"Rusty Birdcage" is episode 261 of the Berserk manga.
Guts has managed to kill all four pishacha, though several more have entered the hall to replace them. He assumes his standard stance once more, ready to face the next wave of the beasts. The nobles around him begin to silently bicker over who will recruit Guts into their respective armies after he saves them all. They garner the attention of the closest tiger, which pounces on them, but they are saved when Isidro throws one of his miniature bombs at it. Puck and Ivalera approach the nobles and demand payment for saving their lives; the nobles can see the elves, but do not know what they are, and so they scream in terror.
Another pishacha has cornered two women. Before it can attack, Schierke divulges a new creation of hers: thorn snakes - thorny vines which have had sacks affixed to their ends to resemble a snake's head. The thorn snakes slither across the ground and wrap themselves around the tiger's paw, distracting it from the women. Schierke explains to Farnese that the snakes are familiars and gifts her with the ring which allows the wearer to control them. Farnese realizes that Schierke is gifting her with the ability to fight.
Guts continues to fight the pishacha. As he slaughters them, he notices that Roderick has stepped forward and stabbed a tiger in the mouth with his own sword, though this proves to be ineffective when the tiger simply bites the blade off entirely. It pounces on Roderick. However, Farnese, in her first effective use of magic, has manipulated the thorn snakes to wrap themselves around the tiger's hind legs, anchoring it to the ground and saving Roderick. She tells Roderick that a silver weapon is needed, so he finds the candelabra she used earlier and runs it through the tiger's eye, releasing a torrent of fog from the wound.
Serpico has found the harashada responsible for the attack hiding in a boat under a bridge away from the banquet hall. With a single swing of the sylph sword, Serpico decapitates all eight of them at once.
The pishacha in the ballroom suddenly lose all aggressiveness and stare around in confusion. They are no longer possessed, allowing Schierke to use hypnotic suggestion to freeze the tigers in place.
Schierke recalls all thorn snakes to her feet, where they curl into a neat circle that she can grab and pick up. Guts, Schierke, Isidro and Casca crowd around her, and Guts asks whether Farnese really intends to stay in Vritannis with her family. Farnese admits that during her stay in the city, she's come to realize that Vritannis is where she started her journey, but not where she intends to end it.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|