"Denizens of the Sinister Sea" is episode 313 of the Berserk manga.
Schierke has cleaned and dried herself at Isma's, who serves her food as the sun sets. Isma begs to hear some of Schierke's stories, but the young witch instead wants to hear about Isma and the island she lives on. Isma becomes bashful and dismisses those sujects as boring, but Schierke disagrees.
Isma explains that the island she lives on is so isolated that it gets no regular visitors, and people who do wander onto it are distrusted by the locals. What's more, Isma herself has been deemed an outcast by them, and she is forced to live alone, away from the village. When Isidro and Schierke ask why this is, Isma jokes that the villages fear her for being a merrow.
Isma goes on to explain that she truly is part-merrow on her mother's side. However, her mother left while Isma was young, leaving only a decoration above the house's front door (said to repel evil), and her father refused to speak of her; Isma was left to find out the truth from other kids who teased her about her parentage. Four years prior to the present, Isma's father's boat capsized, but he lived long enough to tell Isma that her mother would return for her one day.
Despite this promise from her father, Isma says, she's never laid eyes on a real merrow. Schierke, who knows merrow to be water spirits often considered to be good omens for fishermen, asks why this is not the case with the half-merrow Isma. The blue-haired girl explains that, long ago, the Sea God would rampage around the seas, killing every living being it came across. A band of merrow, at great cost to their numbers, managed to confine the Sea God to the cave beneath the island. Isma says that during full moons, the Sea God is able to extend its tentacles away from the island to kill fishermen. Thus, the island's villagers came to resent the merrow for trapping the Sea God so close to where they lived.
While Isidro makes the connection that the giant tentacle monster that Bonebeard summoned is the Sea God, Isma goes on to say that she's noticed that the villagers have stopped going about their daily schedules as of late, in addition to hearing strange noises from the Sea God's cave and beneath the sea. Isma wonders aloud whether these strange occurrences have anything to do with the white light that appeared several days prior.
Guts' party have finished their meals at the inn, and Roderick decides to head back to the Seahorse to oversee its repairs. After telling the rest of the group that he will come collect them in the morning, he steps outside, only to see that the entire village's inhabitants have surrounded the inn. They are all similar in appearance - strange skin texture, fish-like eyes, a portly build, and bald.
The group suspect that the village has decided to turn up to greet them, but the inn's cook, who has a circular sucker-like mouth, reveals that it is the full moon, and that they are guests for a feast. Guts kills the cook with a throwing knife to the eye, and the group come to the conclusion that they were to be the main course.
A large tentacle monster enters through the window to attack, but Guts splits it in half with a swing of the Dragon Slayer. Roderick deduces that all the villagers are disguised monsters, and Guts steps outside to face them.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit