"Mansion of the Spirit Tree (1)" is episode 199 of the Berserk manga.
During the walk back to camp, Serpico and Guts thank Isidro for having saved Casca and Farnese. Guts in particular is very grateful, as he feared that if he himself were left alone with Casca, he may have tried to take advantage of her again. He looks back at Casca, but she shrinks behind Farnese's back, still afraid of him. Serpico comments that Casca has taken a particular liking to Farnese, but Guts doesn't reply and turns back around. He thinks it's for the best that Casca have somebody she can be close to that won't try to take advantage of her.
Serpico speaks again, finding it hard to believe that Isidro, Casca, Farnese and Puck had met trolls and a witch. As he listens to Serpico's words, Guts hypothesizes that the trolls and witch are signs of a nearby Apostle.
As the group walks, they come across an old man lying on the forest floor. As Puck and Serpico treat the man's wounds, he introduces himself as Morgan of Enoch Village and explains that he had been wandering the forest with several other men when they were attacked by a group of trolls. Morgan doesn't know where the rest of his group is, or if they are even alive. Serpico (with Guts' permission) offers to have their entire group escort Morgan back to Enoch Village, but the old man declines. He has a duty he must fulfill in the forest before he can return home, so the group resolves to help him.
Lifting Morgan onto his back, Serpico leads the group through the forest, following Morgan's directions. As they walk, the old man explains that the forest they find themselves in is the source of many myths and legends in Enoch Village. Only recently, however, did the village come to believe the stories due to an attack by a pack of trolls which slaughtered the village's livestock and kidnapped many of its women and children. What's more, Enoch Village is also subjected to heavy taxes imposed on them by their liege lord to support the war effort against the Kushan. Since Enoch Village cannot ask their lord for help as he is currently in Vritannis, Morgan explains that the village's last hope is the witch who supposedly lives in a large mansion in the forest. The villagers of Enoch have never seen the mansion itself, but apparently, long ago, a child had once seen it.
As the group continues to walk, Casca unknowingly passes close to a tree that has been partially stripped of its bark. The exposed wood has a symbol engraved into it: the group has wandered into the witch's domain. The symbol telepathically alerts the young witch from earlier that strangers have wandered into her part of the forest. She calls for the assistance of Elementals, small balls of light which fly through the trees, to help her deal with the problem.
The group has come across a magnificent sight: a giant clearing in the forest in which grows a single, enormous tree. The tree seems to grow through a large wooden mansion, but Isidro surmises that it is in fact the mansion that is growing out of the tree. Morgan trembles at the sight of the mansion and reveals that he was the child who had long ago caught a glimpse of it, and he is only now seeing it for the second time of his life.
Isidro realizes that the young witch he met during the troll attack is the likely occupant of the mansion, so he brazenly walks right up to a large statue which stands imposingly at the roots of the big tree. At this moment, both Casca and Guts feel an odd sensation emanating from their Brands. The latter yells for Isidro to back away from the statue. It suddenly springs to life, and Puck realizes that the statue is in fact a golem - a guardian made of mud which serves to protect the witch's domain.
Before the golem can grab Isidro, Guts draws the Dragon Slayer and slices both its thick arms off, though this has no effect beyond temporarily leaving the golem defenseless until it draws more mud from the ground to construct new arms for itself. Guts cannot figure out how the golem is animated, since he cannot feel the presence of spirits inhabiting the mud. Casca suddenly yells, alerting the group to more golems closing in around them.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|