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Within the Mansion of the Spirit Tree, Flora finished chiseling a rune into the breastplate of a piece of armor. The Skull Knight, overseeing Flora making the finishing touches, is wary of giving the armor to Guts in fear that the swordsman may make the same mistakes he did. But Flora assured her friend that their personal failures would not necessarily repeated, the two then sensing intruders. They step out onto Flora's balcony with the Skull Knight, preferring Flora to die peacefully than be horribly murdered, riding off to fend off the intruders.
Nearby, as the other praise Schierke's skills, Guts suddenly collapses as the young witch realized his injury from facing Slan left a scar on his soul that cannot be easily healed. Despite this he manages to keep walking, remembering Flora's parting words to her, Schierke is astonished to hear that Guts faced one of the God Hand and actually managed to injure the entity with his Dragonslayer. Schierke suddenly senses that the barrier placed around Flora's domain has vanished, Casca clutching her chest in pain as Guts expects Apostles are nearby and mansion as he, Serpico, Isidro, and Schierke run off while Farnese protects Casca. Within moments, the group arrive to find the mansion set on fire.
A distressed Schierke runs into the burning mansion to find her mistress with Isidro and Serpico following after her. Guts proceeds to attack the Apostles that caused the fire, only for his injuries to make his attack less effective against the monsters. Luckily, the Skull Knight arrives to aid Guts while revealing his relation to Flora and that the Apostles they are fighting are acting under Griffith's orders before Nosferatu Zodd appears. Zodd and Guts' short conversation is interrupted by Grunbeld wanting to form the latter, expressing his displeasure of being sent to kill an old woman despite being ordered to commit the deed as a member of the Band of the Hawk. With that, the Skull Knight and Zodd proceed to resume their personal battle while Guts fights Grunbeld. Inside the mansion, sending a telepathic message to Schierke, Flora requests her apprentice to save the greatly outnumbered Guts by bringing him to the armor. Flora adds that she has accepted her impending death, adding that the death of magic-users is not the same for normal people. Braving the flames and a few Apostles, the trio reach the chamber where the foreboding black armor is located.
Outside, both weakened by Slan's injury and shocked to find that Griffith reformed the Band of the Hawk with the original members' killers, Guts is greatly overpowered as a very disappointed Grunbeld breaks his ribs and decides to finish him off with his shield cannon. But Schierke's earth Golems intercept the blast, reforming into a giant to hold off Grunbeld while a barely unconscious Guts enters the mansion at Schierke's request. Despite how Guts appears and the risks behind Flora's request, Schierke ultimately decides to get the armor on him with Isidro and Serpico's help as an Apostle breaks the door down. Moments later as Grunbeld defeated the golem, he sees the intruding Apostle running out before being slashed to bits by the armored figure that is Guts. Guts proceeds to slaughter the weaker Apostles while Isidro cheers Guts on, Schierke knowing what the armor and the price for its use. Zodd is also shocked to see the armor, realizing the Skull Knight had knowingly gave it to Guts despite the fact it may eventually kill him.
Inside the armor, Guts is aware that his injuries are still present despite being able to fight at full strength before the armor warps into a reflection of Guts's mind: With the skull-like helmet turned into the lupine visage of Guts's inner darkness.
Characters in Order of Appearance
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|