|Episode 92 (Manga)|
|Volume||14 The Black Swordsman, Once More|
|Date Released||September 30, 1997 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Golden Age Arc|
← Vow of Retaliation
|Volumes and Chapters|
As they ride through the dark forest, Guts asks about the Skull Knight's identity. The Skull Knight does not reveal his name or personal history, instead simply saying that he is a foe to the God Hand. As they ride, the Skull Knight explains that he wasn't aware of Guts' personal connection to Godo or Erica, having brought him to them by chance, as they live in the settlement closest to the location of the Eclipse. What's more, the mountains in which they reside were once inhabited by elves who have since left, but their influence remains, the result being that the cave Guts awoke in naturally repels spirits like the ones he has just faced.
They come to a clearing, and the Skull Knight spots Casca on a hill nearby, surrounded by spirits that float all around her. Guts leaps off the horse and tries to run to her, but is stopped by the Skull Knight, who's noticed that, though she is surrounded by them, the spirits aren't attacking her. Despite the Skull Knight's confusion at this, Guts pays it no mind and runs to Casca.
When he reaches her, he grabs her shoulder. Her shirt is soaked from the rain and is stained with blood due to her Brand of Sacrifice bleeding in the presence of the spirits. She is sweating, and has a pained look on her face.
She sinks to her knees, clutching her stomach. She holds the confused Guts' hand as she cries and shivers from the pain. He notices blood leak from between her legs, and shortly afterwards, a tiny, black fetus-like being falls to the ground from her body. Casca has just given birth, but not to any normal human.
Guts stares at the thing on the ground and, to his horror, it opens its one eye and stares back. He makes to stomp it to death, but Casca throws herself over it protectively. The Skull Knight explains that her love of it stems from her motherly instinct to her child. Apparently, she was pregnant when she came into sexual contact with a demon, and the child was corrupted.
Guts slowly realizes that this means that, during their having sex shortly before saving Griffith, Casca was impregnated by him. Femto's raping her made the developing baby evil, and the inhuman fetus on the ground, Guts and Casca's child, is the result. The Skull Knight recommends killing it.
During this realization, the fetus has physically grown to many times its original size, to about the size of a several month-old baby. It crawls into Casca's arms and is transfixed by the Brand of Sacrifice over her heart, sucking the blood which leaks from it. Guts violently snatches the demon from Casca, who desperately fights to get it back, biting and trying to wrestle it out of Guts' grasp.
The sun rises over the horizon, making the surrounding spirits fade. The same goes for the demon child, which becomes less and less opaque by the second until eventually it disappears entirely, leaving Guts' hand empty. Casca cries out in agony, yearning for her child. Guts holds her as she cries, and the Skull Knight realizes that the demon is her and Guts' child. He explains that it has not vanished out of existence, and will appear before them again, as a child yearns for its parents.
Rickert and Erica, who've been out looking for Casca, spot the couple atop the hill. The Skull Knight takes his leave, imparting only a few pieces of advice: first, should Guts wish to hunt the Apostles, the God Hand, and all demons, his Brand will serve as his guide, as it reacts to evil. Second, Guts must embrace evil should he hunt evil.
With a final farewell, the Skull Knight and his horse vanish into the distance as Rickert and Erica greet Guts at the hill's crest.
Characters in Order of Appearance
|Golden Age Arc|