"Sea Battle (1)" is episode 288 of the Berserk manga.
Schierke redraws her talisman on Guts' neck. As she does so, she notes that the extensive burns on Guts' back make his body feel hot to the touch. She goes on to recall that she once clung to his back while in her ethereal state. Her expression gives away her thoughts, and Ivalera silently teases Schierke about her crush on Guts. Flustered, Schierke quickly finishes her drawing, tells Guts to rest, and leaves his room, closing the door behind her. Outside the room, Schierke remembers the earlier conversation between Guts and Roderick that she overheard. Though Schierke did not hear anything when Guts revealed the nature of his and Casca's relationship, she decides to accept it for what it is, taking solace in the fact that she and Guts have their own special relationship.
Farnese is giving Casca a bath and accidentally gets soap in Casca's eye. In retaliation, Casca pours a bucket of water on Farnese. This strikes Farnese more than it usually would; she begins to yell at Casca, who does not understand, that Guts is constantly risking his life for her. Despite all this, Farnese says, Casca always seems to dislike Guts and does not appreciate him. Farnese sinks to her knees and begins to cry. After a moment, Casca takes another bucketful of water and pours it on herself. Farnese hugs Casca in response.
Roderick looks at three ships in the distance through his telescope. His navigator explains that upon seeing the Seahorse, the three ships changed course and began to fly flags of Ys, the nation that Roderick and his crew are from. Being the only person aware of the three ships' true intentions, Roderick calls his men to their battle stations. Alarm bells are rung, alerting Guts and his group to the danger.
A man on the first of the three ships is looking at the Seahorse through his own telescope. He grumbles about his dabbling in honest business not having gone anywhere, and that now he returns to his old profession, the first ship he comes across happens to be a warship. Another sailor suggests taking Roderick and his crew hostage in exchange for ransom, but his captain, Bonebeard, strikes the sailor over the head with his crutch for not addressing him as 'Boss'. He does, however, take to the sailor's idea, and orders his fellows to hoist their real flags and prepare to attack.
Seeing the new flags, Roderick's crew determine that the three ships are pirate ships. Though his crew have become agitated, Roderick himself is quite calm. Serpico and Isidro meet him on the quarter deck, asking to know what's going on. Roderick informs them of the situation but refuses their help; they saved Roderick in Vritannis, so now Roderick is intent on saving them from the pirates. Isidro agrees not to involve himself in exchange for being allowed to watch the battle. Serpico makes to retreat belowdeck to be with Farnese, Casca, Schierke and Guts, but before he can move out of sight, he is stopped by Roderick and is asked to keep Farnese safe.
The pirate ships approach the Seahorse. Roderick orders all cannons be fired upon one ship, and the Bonebeard is shocked to see that the Seahorse's cannons have greater range than the pirates' cannons; one of the pirate ships has its masts destroyed. Before Bonebeard can come to his senses, the second pirate ship is shot at.
Now that the Bonebeard's ship is close enough, he can make out the finer details of Roderick's ship. To his horror, he notices the horse-shaped figurehead on Roderick's ship, and he realizes exactly who he's fighting.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|