"Dimly-lit Wasteland" is episode 348 of the Berserk manga.
Schierke and Farnese enter Casca's Eclipse-reminiscent dreamscape, in search of the root cause of her regressed state. After happening upon a hound (representing Guts) and a coffined, fragmented doll (representing Casca's state) it is safeguarding, the sorceresses, accompanied by the hound, begin properly navigating the dreamscape by way of Danan's guidance.
Schierke and Farnese survey Casca's dreamscape, having arrived in a plane strongly resembling the Eclipse. A blackened sun hangs over the sky, and the area is vast, barren, and bloodsoaked. Strange flag-like objects dot the landscape, sticks rising out of the mud with torn rags hanging from them and blowing in the wind. A black mountain looms in the distance. Schierke decides to head off immediately for whatever part of Casca's psyche awaits them. Farnese questions how they will manage it when the area is so vast, but Schierke says the realm is immaterial – this is a dreamscape, not reality, and what they seek will be found once they decide on it.
They soon after happen upon a strange sight: a black hound chained to and dragging a falcon-crested coffin through the wasteland. As they watch, the tattered black rags hanging from sticks in the area transform into spear-wielding, bat-like creatures and begin attacking the dog. Coming to the dog's defense, Schierke and Farnese use fire magic and braided snakes, respectively, to fend off the creatures. On closer inspection, Schierke's suspicions of the dog are proven right: It is representative of Guts, missing its front left foreleg and bearing a Brand of Sacrifice on the back of its neck. Feeling equally suspicious of the coffin it drags, Schierke makes to open it. The dog attempts to stop her, but relents when she insists it must be done. Opening the coffin, they find a bizarre and unnerving sight: a weathered, heavily-fragmented doll bearing the brand and Casca's overall image, representing her current regressed state.
Schierke draws Farnese's attention to something else: inside the doll, a small figure. It is a minuscule being roughly resembling Casca, innocent and defenseless, with a childlike demeanor. The two sorceresses wonder what to do and where to go next, promptly being directed by Danan in the form of cherry blossom petals floating on the wind. They accept her guidance, and Schierke invites the hound to join them, as it too has Casca's well-being in-mind.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
- This episode reinstated monthly serialization.