Days earlier, Griffith arrives to a city that has been conquered the by Kushan army with the men slaughtered and the women taken prisoner. Moving passed Silat, Griffith instantly killed the Kushan general with his victim's subordinates finding their revenge-driven hail of arrows drastically missed their mark. Before a second volley is fired, the Kushans are attacked by Zodd and a horseman named Locus who offers his services to Griffith. As the prisoners are amazed to see Griffith since he mysteriously disappeared, a young girl among them broke her bindings and approached Griffith as Silat has his Tapasa attempt to capture him. But the bodyguards are subdued by a masked shadowy assailant whom they recognized as a Kushan outcast named Raksas, who has also come to offer Griffith his services. Then a giant of a man named Grunbeld with others who have killed the last traces of the Kushan invaders within the city.
In the wilderness, after finding Guts alongside Serpico and Isidro, Farnese requests the Swordsman to take her with him. Farnese explains to a skeptic Isidro that she had become disillusioned with the Holy See and wishes to travel with Guts to understand the true nature of their world. To prove her new resolve, Farnese shortens her hair while vowing to make amends for the trouble she's caused Guts in the past. It was at this time that Guts speaks, accepting her company as long as she does not get in his way while reminding her of the specters that will come for him and Casca after nightfall.
In Midland's southern fiefdom of Lumias a young noble named Mule Wolflame lies in waiting in some thick underbrush along with a large group of Midland soldiers to ambush a Kushan caravan to avenge his father and brothers. One of his subordinates, Saritus tries to convince Mule that they should act rashly while revealing rumors he heard of Griffith's return. Mule was about to consider Saritus's words, but the sihht of Midlanders captured by the Kushan drove him into a furious rage and commenced the attack. But Mule's group learned too late that the captured Midlanders have become fodder in the Kushan Army under fear of death. But at the moment before the two forces meet, several Kushan cavalrymen were decapitated by arrows shot of an archer named Irvine as Zodd leads an army of armored warriors under the banner of the Band of the Hawk to slaughter the Kushan. As the confused Mule noticed the girl with him, Griffith demoralizes the surviving Kushan by revealing their general died by his hand. The few remaining Kushan flee to report of Griffith's reappearance, only to be ambushed a slaughtered by monstrous creatures led by Rakshas.
Later in the evening, the Hawks have set up camp and have allowed Mule and his soldiers to stay with them. As Mule observes the mercenary band busy themselves around him while surrounded by women, children, and the elderly, noting to be more like a village than a nomadic mercenary band. He then encounters the young girl, introducing herself as Sonia and explaining that all but Griffith are new members of a new Band of the Hawk before taking him to meet Griffith himself. Along the way, learning that Hawks have enlisted Kushan turncoats into their army, Mule is brought to a dark forest where he sees the monstrous soldiers, the Hawks' War Demons, feasting. Mule nearly had an altercation with them were it not for Irvine and Grunbeld's intervention, Mule recognizing the latter as a veteran of the One Hundred Year War.
Eventually, Mule is brought before Griffith as he was surrounded by spirits of those who died in the fighting with the families of those killed kneeling in prayer to give their final respects. After the silent mass concludes, explaining to Mule that the sprits have departed to where they will become one, Griffith formally introduces himself to the youth. Without a second thought, mesmerized by Griffith's appearance, Mule quickly made an oath of loyalty to the White Hawk. Griffith takes the young noble's sword and inducts him into the Band of the Hawk while Rakshas dispatches a nearby group of Kushan assassins.
Characters in Order of Appearance
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|