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"Declaration of War" is episode 262 of the Berserk manga series.


The guests silently marvel at the ruckus Guts and his crew caused. Lady Vandimion watches Farnese interact with the group, and concludes that Farnese is able to trust the group more than she has ever trusted her own family and that Farnese receives attention from them than she ever got from people within the Vandimion estate. Several guards rush into the ballroom and surround Guts and his party, but they are dismissed by Federico. The Lord Vandimion thanks Guts on behalf of all the party guests for killing the pishacha, and the party goers burst into applause.

Federico then deduces by the tigers' misshapen appearance that they are war beasts employed by the Kushan, and that they were purposely sent to kill the important nobles at the ball. The nobles guess that the tigers were created through the use of dark arts or drugs, and suddenly shift their attention to the elves. The nobles are once again suspicious of Guts and his group, and do not like the fact that Farnese used what appeared to be magic. Federico silences the nobles and insists that it was an illusion caused by wine laced with drugs, claiming that it is a Kushan plot. Federico then cements this notion in the nobles' minds by saying that the Kushan's plan is to make them all drink drugged wine and then go out in public claiming to see elves and magic. Federico's immediately taking charge of the situation impresses both Guts and Farnese, and makes Lady Vandimion realize that Federico has a presence of mind that far surpasses Magnifico's.


Ganishka appears in the banquet hall.

Suddenly, Guts feels a stab of pain in his Brand and Schierke senses a discrepancy in the Astral world. Fog flows from the corpses of the dead tigers and coalesces into a sphere above the heads of the party guests. The sphere expands instantly to form the giant fog face of Emperor Ganishka, who mocks Federico's claim that the night's events were an illusion and officially declares war on the Holy See and its subservient nations. Meanwhile, Guts is slowly overcome with anger as he realizes that he is now face-to-face with an Apostle.

The fog dissipates, leaving the nobles terrified and Guts suspicious; Guts theorizes that since Ganishka is an Apostle, he must be allied with Griffith, meaning that Griffith himself would be the one responsible for the Kushan invasion.

Worried about Guts, Schierke tries to speak to him, but her voice is drowned by the nobles, who've all noticed that the sky outside has turned red, a side-effect of several ships in Vritannis' harbor being set on fire.