|Episode E0 (Manga)|
|The Guardians of Desire (3)|
|Romaji||Yokubō no shugotenshi (3)|
|Volume||2 Guardians of Desire Part 1|
|Date Released||March 3, 1991 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Black Swordsman Arc|
← Guardians of Desire 2
Guardians of Desire 4 →
|Volumes and Chapters|
Guardians of Desire (3) (欲望の守護天使(3) Yokubō no shugotenshi (3)?) is the 5th nonnumerical chapter of the Berserk manga series, written and masterfully illustrated by Kentaro Miura. This chapter is also the fifth of sixteen chapters that do not go by conventional chapter labeling.
The Count, in the presence of his underlings and Dahl, make their way through the castle with a caged Puck. They enter the room of the Count's daughter, Theresia, to give her Puck as a gift. The Count refuses to let Theresia out of her room for fear that the world is full of "heretics", so she is kept imprisoned there. During the visit, she flinches at the Count's touch, and he leaves, feeling dejected.
Guts wanders his way up the castle staircase in search of the Count, where he runs into Zondark, who is more monstrous than ever. Guts wins the duel without too much effort, but when his back is turned, he is struck by the still-living Zondark's arm-whip. He triumphantly reveals to Guts that the only way to beat him is to sever his head, which Guts promptly does. When the Count's head, which previously occupied Zondark's body, tries to assimilate Guts, the latter smashes the former's head against the wall, killing him. Guts presses forward despite a massive loss of blood, intent on killing the real Count.
Puck and Theresia have begun to speak, and she lets Puck out of his cage. She recounts that her mother was killed seven years ago when pagan worshippers kidnapped her and demanded that the Count allow them to practice their worship freely, but when the Count refused, she was executed, though Theresia has no memory of these events as she was too young to remember them. She reveals that the Count had changed after this event and she senses he is has lost his humanity, confirming that she has no knowledge of his status as an Apostle .
Guts has found his way to the Count's throne room, where he is intercepted by Dahl and a regiment of guards. Guts dispatches the guards easily and stands menacingly before Dahl, who is defenseless. Guts, too preoccupied with his search for the Count to notice the small, scared man in front of him, stares into the depths of the throne room.
Theresia and Puck continue to talk, and she tells him that she hasn't been let out of her room since her mother's death, and that she wishes to be free. Puck overhears the guards outside her window inform each other of an intruder in the castle, who Puck realizes is Guts. He asks Theresia to open the window for him, but she vehemently denies his request, though she quickly relents when she realizes that Puck is Guts' friend and wants to be with him. Puck leaves, but not before promising to one day return and free her from her bedroom prison.
Guts stands before the Count, who sits on his throne. Through Guts' battles with Zondark, the Count knows that Guts is too strong a foe to face in his human form, so he transforms into a large slug-like creature. All attempts to slice into the Count's body are futile: he can regenerate his limbs. Guts and the Count engage in a violent battle, the magnitude of which is so great that it shakes the castle.
The force of the battle has burst a wall leading to the outside of the castle, through which Puck rejoins Guts, and shakes the floor within its walls, knocking the locked door of Theresia's room off its hinges. Determined to free herself from her confines despite an initial hesitation, Theresia leaves her room.
The Count loses sight of Guts, but notices a black cloak peeking out from behind one of the columns in the room. The Count attacks and kills the person hiding behind it, who is revealed to be Dahl, clad in Guts' cloak. Guts uses the opportunity to launch a surprise attack, but the Count is able to block it and gives Guts a harsh thrashing. The Count proclaims that the Brand on Guts' neck is a symbol of his imminent demise, and he catches Guts' leg using his tentacles to swing him into the columns around the room. Noticing that Guts refuses to let go of his sword, the Count throws him into a pillar, where Guts lays, seemingly defeated, under a gloating Count.
Characters in Order of Appearance
|Black Swordsman Arc|