Coming to from his vision, Griffith learns that the small God Hand member explains that the vision was no illusion, but a window to Griffith's conscious mind. Confirming that Griffith had used the Hawks to pursue his dream regardless of the causalities, the God Hand explain that his band are still loyal to him despite his broken body, the Hawks are still loyal to him. The tallest God Hand raises a long, slender arm to point at the illusion of the bright castle in the distance. He says that if Griffith's desires to reach it, he must be willing to sacrifice his comrades in order to achieve it. Should he do so, he will be given new wings to fulfill his dream. At that moment, Guts have managed to reach the palm. Griffith turns to look at Guts, acknowledging that he is the only person he met in his life to make him forget his dream. In his heart, with complete sincerity, Griffith utters his answer to the God Hand's offer: "I sacrifice."
The gigantic hand closes around Griffith, blocking Guts from reaching him. The tallest God Hand summons a fiery symbol that floats in the air above his hand. He announces the advent of the "Promised Time", and the symbols fly through the air, leaving fiery streaks in their wake. They engrave themselves painfully in whatever body part of the Hawks they touch first: the palm of Judeau's left hand, Corkus' forehead, Pippin's right forearm, over Casca's heart and on the right side of the back of Guts' neck. The Hawks' fate has been decided, and the transformed Apostles charge to feast on the branded whose deaths shall bring life to the "new Child of Darkness".