As Guts trains Isidro while Serpico is cooking a stew, Farnese reflects on her decision of traveling with Guts and her position as Casca's caretaker. But when Casca wanders off, learning later that she returned to camp, a frantic Farnese gets herself lost and is found by the others the following morning. Noticing Farnese's feeling of letting Guts down, Serpico asks her is wishes to return to Vritannis. But she once more refuses to leave as she needs to travels with Guts to find herself. Hours later, the group encounter an old shepherd for direction to Vritannis. Learning of the war occurring among the Midlanders and the Kushan army, Guts and his group learn the quickest path to the city's port is through the mountain trail. When the group takes their leave, the shepherd warns them that the Trolls that have been sighted along the trail.
Later, setting camp in the woods, Isidro feels Guts to be on a whole other level in swordplay. In the process, Isidro learns he can fight ambidextrously with Guts expressing being impressed with the youth's attempt to beat him in a sparring match while encouraging him to develop his own fighting style. He also tells Isidro that he'll get better experience in an actually fight to the death. Serpico appears by the time and asks Guts to accompany him to gather firewood. Once alone, Serpico explains to Guts that the only thing keeping him from attacking the swordsman is Farnese's intent to travel with him. While Serpico admits he is curious of what kind of person Farnese will become, he will kill Guts should any harm come to her.
Elsewhere, lounging around on a large rock near the edge of a waterfall while telling Puck his dream to become a warrior, Isidro hears screaming and finds Casca and Farnese are being forcefully carried off by a simian-like beast. Isidro recognizes the creature as a troll and attempts to fight it. But the troll proved too powerful and nearly killed Isidro when it suddenly ran once strange berries hit its snout. Isidro only has time to briefly examine the berries before he hears a girl telling him to stand still while revealing the group are surrounded from all sides by trolls. The girl tells everyone to huddle close to her as she forms a circle around them and tells them not to step out of it. As Puck reveals this to be magic, A female elf appearing on the girl's hat reveals the girl is a witch and the ritual she is performing will protect the group from the trolls.
With the trolls blocked by the barrier formed by the circle, the witch extracts a small clump of hair from her person to cause a fire spell that drives the trolls off. After explaining what she did, the young witch advises the group to leave the woods while they still can. Angered over her deeming him unable to fight trolls, Isidro tripped himself and his attempt to keep himself from falling resulted him unintentionally groping the witch. The offended witch smacks his face with her staff, hypnotizing him into acting like a chimp and left moments before Guts and Serpico arrive. The witch is amazed they could see the pentagram she drew, blaming the "layer" which had overlapped the area while feeling a distortion emanating from Guts and Casca.
On the way back to camp, after being told of what occurred, Serpico finds it hard to believe that the others met a witch and trolls with Guts assuming that they might be the work of an Apostle. But the group find an old man lying on the forest floor, Puck and Serpico treating the man's wounds as he introduces himself as Morgan of Enoch Village. Morgan explains that his village has been plagued by trolls and, as the feudal lord's army have been sent to deal with the Kushan, he and a few others sought the aid of a witch who lives in a large mansion within the woods. When Casca unknowingly passes close to a tree that has been partially stripped of its bark as the group reach the mansion, it alerts the young witch they pass through her protective barrier as she summons Elementals to activate the Golems within the area. Assuming the Golems are of Apostle origin as Serpico realized the constructs have cores, Guts destroys several of them before the young witch is told to cease the attack and let their guests in.
Once inside the mansion, the group meet the young witch as she introduces herself as Schierke and that she allowed them in the behalf of her mistress. Schierke then leads the group into a sunlit room where an kindly elderly woman named Flora welcomes Morgan, whom she recognized as a child who came to her home years ago. After telling Farnese she has nothing to fear, adding the "witches" the woman had killed while with the Holy Iron Chain Knights were normal people, Flora turns her attention to Guts and Casca. She addresses them as the "Branded pair" and that she had long awaited their arrival.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
Manga/Anime Differences Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|