"Golden Age (1)" is episode 0I of the Berserk manga.
A band of mercenaries, led by a man called Gambino, come across the grisly scene of people hung by their necks from a tree devoid of leaves. Beneath the body of a woman among the corpses, a baby lies in a pool of blood and afterbirth, apparently born after its mother had died. The mercenaries assume the baby is dead.
Shisu, Gambino's lover who had suffered a miscarriage three days prior, notices the baby on the ground and cradles it lovingly. Gambino intervenes, and when the baby falls to the ground, the impact causes it to stir and cry, revealing that it is alive. Shisu frees herself of Gambino's grip and takes the baby with her into the group, an idea not liked by the mercenaries, who see the unfortunate circumstances of the baby's birth as a bad omen. Gambino, however, decides to let Shisu keep the baby for comfort after she'd already lost one.
Three years later, the baby, who has since been named Guts, watches on in despair as his adoptive mother Shisu dies of the plague.
Another three years later, Guts is seen helping the soldiers of the mercenary group in battle, carrying Gambino's weapons
for him. Gambino's first harsh lesson for Guts soon follows when Gambino strikes Guts' face with the shaft of a spear for not switching out his weapons quickly enough.
Gambino begins training Guts in swordplay, but seeing as the mercenary band doesn't keep children's weapons around, Guts is forced to use an adult-sized sword to practice. Despite suffering a few cuts from Gambino and having trouble handling the heavy weapon, Guts manages to graze Gambino's cheek, prompting the latter to angrily swipe his sword at Guts' face, leaving a deep gash across his nose. Later that night, as Guts recovers from his wounds, he cradles his sword for comfort as he falls asleep. The next day, Gambino, who Guts suspects is trying to soothe his guilty conscience, delivers Guts an ointment to help the latter's wounds heal.
Again, three years pass, and a nine-year-old Guts is put on the front line next to Gambino during the raid of a castle. Despite having some trouble against a much larger opponent, Guts scores his first kill in battle. He is saved by Gambino when another soldier strikes him from behind.
Later in the day, after the successful raid, Guts gives Gambino the money earned in the operation, and Gambino tosses him a coin as a reward for a job well done. As Guts walks off, Gambino is approached by another mercenary in the group, Donovan, who makes a request of Gambino.
During the night, Guts has trouble sleeping. He sees a shadow outside his tent, and the shadow's caster is revealed to be Donovan, who enters uninvited. Sensing danger, Guts reaches for his sword, but Donovan manages to pin Guts down. Guts lays helpless, unable to reach his weapon.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Golden Age Arc|