After a night fending off skeletons and a demon tree, Guts finds himself surrounded by the Holy Iron Chain Knights before being captured by them and interrogated by their leader, Farnese. However, Puck frees Guts after the sun sets and restless spirits begin to manifest.
Guts is surrounded by a group of knights clad in silver armor as their leader, a blonde-haired woman, remarks that she has finally found the Black Swordsman as her men stare at him. The leader, Farnese, explains to Guts that she and her men have searched for him on orders from the church of the Holy See to capture him, following the carnage he has left in his wake. When Farnese demands that Guts lay down his weapons and surrender, the Black Swordsman refuses despite still being exhausted from last night's fight. The rest of the Holy Iron Chain Knights rush into battle against Guts, who proceeds to slaughter a few of them as Farnese reminds her men that the swordsman must be taken alive. Farnese's right-hand, Serpico, reminds her that the Holy Iron Chain Knights are mostly composed of sons of nobility who were not expected to see actual combat. Azan, the only member of the Iron Chain Knights with combat experience, orders the others to stand aside as he faces Guts in a duel.
After formally introducing himself, with Guts commenting on his famous act of halting off a hundred horsemen on a bridge, Azan proceeds to quickly overpower Guts as he begins to lose consciousness. Knowing that his only option is to escape, Guts uses what little energy he had left to jump straight over Azan and sprint towards Farnese; despite being hit in the leg by a well-aimed crossbow bolt, he continues his charge. A fearful Farnese raises her sword to defend herself, her blade managing to impale Guts' shoulder as he is tripped by a piece of wood secretly thrown at his leg wound by Serpico. The knights cheer at an astonished Farnese for forcing a defeated Guts to his knees. Immediately, Azan snaps her out of the shock of actually drawing blood, making her regain her composure; she then orders her men to place stocks and an iron ball on Guts while they bring him to their camp.
Once at the Iron Chain Knights' camp, Guts is placed inside Farnese's tent so she can personally interrogate Guts over his agenda, as well as the connection he has to both the solar eclipse from two years ago and the disembodied corpses she and her men found on that day. But Guts changes the subject by offending Farnese over her having issues relating to her faith. Farnese threatens Guts, telling him to not blaspheme, while reviewing all of his possessions, including a strange object that caught her eye. She asks Guts if this item is a pagan idol while threatening to have the swordsman burned at the stake if he refuses to comply and to confess his crimes. But Guts remains silent before calmly asking Farnese if she believes in God or even has met him. Farnese answers that God exists in heaven, and speaks of the faithful, to which Guts reacts by saying that it is a rehearsed answer. He then mockingly tells her to run off and pray, provoking Farnese to furiously whip him as he continues to insult her faith. But Farnese finds Guts barely registering the pain, ordering a concerned Azan to take the swordsman out of her sight as she prays to a statue of a hawk in flight.
After sunset, having been placed in a short cage with only a tarp on top, Guts notices several spirits rising from the ground, unsure of what to do in his current condition. On cue, Puck appears with the keys he procured from Farnese's armor during her captive's interrogation. Once freed, Guts sneaks back into Farnese's tent to regain his gear. Guts finds Farnese inside, topless and in the middle of Self-flagellation before the hawk statue. Guts takes advantage of Farnese's distraction to knock her out. He quickly gears up before setting the camp on fire, forced to take Farnese with him as his hostage since he is still not in top form. Then, Guts proceeds to take one horse while sending the rest to rampage through the camp. Azan orders the rampaging horses be rounded up to pursue the swordsman, noticing Serpico riding out ahead of them after their target.
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Farnese stands, topless and bound, in the foyer of a large, foreboding mansion. She tries to escape through a closed door, only to have spirit-possessed hounds burst through the wood and scare her. Guts remarks that he is tired of miracles as a mysterious man talks about home. Suddenly, Puck and Guts discover a bizarre bust resembling a female head.
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Manga/Anime Differences Edit
|The Golden Age Arc Trilogy|