First Battle (初陣 Uijin?) is the third episode in the Berserk series.
Griffith defeats Guts, and makes him a member of his mercenary band, the Hawks. The Hawks go on a midnight raid, and Griffith chooses Guts for the most important position, protecting the rear. Guts succeeds and the band hails him as a hero.
Beginning just at the end of the previous episode, Band of the Hawk, Griffith and Guts clash to decide whether Guts would be staying with the Hawks. When Guts receives a cut on his arm from Griffith, he thinks to himself "He's something else. I know I can split steel with this sword, but he easily evades each blow, and uses just one arm to handle his narrow blade. He is good." Griffith asks Guts if he would rather suspend the duel until Guts is fully recovered, but Guts instead charges again. Guts continues to push himself throughout the fight, telling himself to become faster and stronger in order to defeat the enemy.
Still on the blade, Griffith compliments Guts, saying that he enjoys the way his opponent fights, that he would go to any length to defeat him. Now, however, Griffith tells Guts he can longer wield his sword and again offers to postpone the fight.Guts tells Griffith that he talks too much and that during a battle there is only one way you should be using your mouth, and bites down on Griffith's blade, holding it so tight he draws blood. He uses this to unsettle his sword and the two tumble down the edge of the hill they are on.
Guts lands on top of Griffith and proceeds to punch and kick him. As the spectators line the top of the hill, they all expressed various degrees of surprise, saying that they have never seen Griffith get knocked down before.Guts stands over Griffith, asking how he likes the taste of his own blood and is answered by Griffith saying that while he struck a sound blow, it is the end. Griffith quickly pins Guts to the ground and asks if Guts will surrender or if he should dislocate his shoulder. Guts' answer is simple: "You bastard" and his shoulder is immediately dislocated.
Everyone races down the hill and congratulates Griffith on his triumph. Corkus comes to taunt Guts about losing twice in a row but is stopped by Griffith, who takes hold of Guts' face and says that he now belongs to him. While the group celebrates the induction of their latest member, Casca stands at the top of the hill watching. She thinks to herself how strange it is, that Griffith is so interested and complimentary to Guts, when he had never done so before, for anyone.The scene fades out and refocuses on a night view of the camp at the base of the castle, where at the top of a tower, two noblemen stand overlooking the Hawks. The men discuss the fact that the Hawks have been dubbed Death on the Battlefield since they are seemingly invincible, but they need not worry themselves, since the Hawks are currently working for the Midland and mercenary bands are disposable. The other noble says that he is not so certain, that the Hawks could gain power and the confidence of the King, meaning they would lose their own prestige, honour and pride as noblemen.
The scene changes to Guts, lying in his tent, thinking back on how he lost to Griffith so completely, angry that Griffith can talk openly like an innocent kid, but mercilessly dislocated his shoulder joint so cleanly, comparing it to plucking the arm off a doll. Guts angrily punches the ground, demanding to know just who Griffith is.
Outside his tent, he hears scuffling and several men talking, discussing killing Guts for revenge for Dante's death. Corkus says that killing Guts will be easy now, since he is injured, asleep and unarmed, and he adds that they can dump the body and tell Griffith he ran off.
Guts is happy to kill these men, calling them idiots, knowing that they will be no problem for him compared to Griffith.
Outside, Casca comes up and stops the plan to attack Guts, telling the gathered men that even though he is injured, the group is still no match for him. Corkus says that he knows why Casca is defending Guts, that no one really knows what went on for those 2 days while Casca lied with him to keep him warm, but Casca threatens to chop off his head if he ever says something like that again.
When the men run away, Guts comes out of his tent and says that he now owes Casca double and makes a poor attempt to thank her. Casca however, says that she didn't do it for him, instead she was acting on Griffith's orders and that she wants Guts to drop dead in battle soon and walks away.
Later, Griffith explains that the opponents have their Headquarters on the hill with 2000 soldiers at their command. Their mission is to burn the supplies kept at the back of the hill. Since all the soldiers will be massed at the front in case of a night attack, the Hawks will advance from the river, attack the rear and then will run through the masses to the gates of the castle again. He also informs the Hawks that they will not be receiving any reinforcements from their employers since they cannot afford the loss of any more resources.
Much to the surprise of the Hawks, Griffith chooses Guts for the rear guard, explaining that he will have to help his fellow soldiers escape while containing hundreds of enemy cavalry on a straight road. He asks if Guts can handle the task, to which Guts inquires if it an order: it is.
Everyone thinks that this is going to be a test for Guts, and a tough one at that, but Casca knows that this position is too important to be a test and that Griffith really trusts Guts. Corkus is happy that he will not have to the one who kills Guts, certain he will die during this battle.
As the Hawks march their horses through the river, Guts knows that the enemy will not predict their attack, and that the gale will cover any sounds they make. Guts notes that every element of the raid on the enemy camp had been pre calculated by Griffith. The group stops only once so Judeau can kill an enemy gathering water from the river and continue, moving up onto the shore.At the enemy camp, the lone sentry bemoans his "lot in life", that he has to stand guard on such a creepy night and wants to go home. He sees some fires moving amongst the trees, unsure of what it is, until the figures of the Hawks can be seen. He is surprised they are attacking from that direction and runs to the camp, calling out that they are being raided.
The Hawks charge into the camp, killing more sentries and soldiers, and Griffith orders for the fires to be set, with the tents quickly being engulfed in flame. The fire spreads through the tents, catching the ammunition stores kept in one, and causes a massive explosion.The Hawks disengage and break for the castle, going through the enemy forces. The enemy general orders for the heavy cavalry to move to the front, disgraced that they were defeated so easily by a group of mercenaries.
As the Hawks escape through the forest, Guts marvels that the raid had been so efficient. The cavalry, coming up on the rear guard, use crossbows trying to hit them and Guts, after narrowly saving Rickert's life, tells him to get out of there, leaving only himself to fight the cavalry.
The Hawks return to the castle and the noblemen compliment Griffith, who excuses himself, as they are not done yet. He asks Judeau what their loses are, but Judeau replies that there are no serious loses, thanks to Guts for taking on the heavy cavalry single-handedly. Rickert races up to the two, reporting that Guts is still in the forest alone.Guts is seen killing more of the cavalry men, scarcely avoiding being killed himself. An arrow hits his horse, causing the two to fall and Guts prepares for the onslaught, thinking he failed when a barrage of arrows suddenly takes down the closest soldiers. While riding on the horse with Griffith to escape, he is surprised the leader came back for him and worries that since they are double mounted they'll be caught, but Griffith tells him to not worry, that they are almost to the end of the forest.
The rescue group disperse and the cavalry are destroyed by cannon fire, with only a couple managing to escape back into the forest. The two are surrounded by a group of men, while Casca glares from the side-lines.
In the castle courtyard, a party is going on, with the members of the Hawks saying that Guts is amazing and will make a great addition, but Rickert notices that the subject of conversation is missing.Guts can be seen sitting on the edge of the rampart, staring out into the night, thinking that despite his age, Griffith has the qualities of a great leader: his people believe in him, he has perfect judgement and can take action in the heat of battle.
Judeau, Pippin and Rickert come up to Guts, and Rickert thanks him for saving his life back in the forest. Rickert also adds that he`s never seen such an amazing fighter, except Griffith. Guts replies, saying that he was only doing his duty and therefore does not need to be thanked for it.
Judeau wants Guts to come to the party, saying that it is not as lively without its hero, but Guts tries to stop them, saying that he never wanted anything like that. Pippin throws Guts over his shoulder, and despite being elbowed in the nose, Pippin doesn't react. Guts demands to be put down numerous times, showing his continual aversion to physical contact, until he is dropped in the middle of the party. Pippin holds out a drink, cutting off more of Guts complaints and threats and Judeau toasts to their "brash, new friend" and Guts, not knowing what else to do, he drinks.
Several of the Hawks come up and compliment Guts, saying that he is the best they've ever seen and another says that he is completely insane, but is glad that he's on their side.
Griffith sits watching Guts, who resolutely ignores him, while Casca and Corkus stand back separately watching the celebrations.
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Void begins by saying that there is always time that you cannot retrieve and that, in the pursuit of forgiveness, one must live through agony and letting time slip away. He wonders which is sadder: the sorrow in the furthest reaches of one's memory or the sorrow just beyond one's memory.
The images shown are the crimson Behelit that Griffith has, and Guts having a discussion with him. Another image is shown, this one of a battle, Gambino and Guts as a child.
Characters in Order of Appearance
|Golden Age Arc|