"Duel" is episode 257 of the Berserk manga.
Guts' sword was swung with enough strength to destroy only one column; it gets wedged in the next, the one Serpico is using as a shield. The latter lunges forward and strikes, forcing Guts to redirect it with his prosthetic hand, though Serpico still manages to land a shallow cut on Guts' cheek. Guts swings the Dragon Slayer the opposite way of his first strike. This time, two whole columns are destroyed, but the third that Serpico hides behind is not, and the Dragon Slayer is stuck once again.
The fight progresses. Guts attempts a vertical swing, but the ceiling is low enough that it catches the Dragon Slayer's tip, slowing it down and allowing Serpico to dodge it with only a shallow wound to his arm. Serpico realizes that there will soon be no more columns to hide behind. However, his gambit pays off: his prediction that Guts would thrust his sword outwards comes true. Using the guard of his rapier, Serpico barely manages to deflect the strike, then counterattacks, aiming for Guts' hand. The light-footed swordsman realizes too late that Guts has foreseen the trap: the Black Swordsman has reversed his grip so that his prosthetic hand is the one that Serpico hits.
Serpico rolls away from Guts, who is suddenly still. He is beginning to feel the influence of the Beast of Darkness creep into his mind. He lifts his sword and strikes again.
As Serpico fights Guts, he reflects on how he was generally a very calm and collected person; he adapted to whatever situation he found himself in and became content with his lot in life, no matter how unfair it was. However, this changed upon meeting the Black Swordsman. Serpico finds that, like Farnese, he too is beginning to change as a person when in Guts' company. And he will not allow Farnese to die by Guts' hand when the latter is possessed by his berserker rage.
The horrified children watch as Guts continues to destroy the columns in the room, eventually leaving Serpico with just one to protect himself. Guts swings the Dragon Slayer. Instead of hiding behind the column as he did before, Serpico grabs the ornaments that adorn the column's higher end and hoists himself above the Dragon Slayer's trajectory, emerging unharmed as the massive blade obliterates the column. This is all according to Serpico's master plan; this final column acted as a support to a stone archway just above Guts' head, which begins to crumble.
Seeing that Guts is preoccupied with the stones falling above, Serpico thrusts his sword towards his face. However Guts, in an effort to protect himself, covers his head with the broad side of the Dragon Slayer and swings it forward, deflecting both the rocks falling from above and Serpico's jab.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|