"Morning of Departure (3)" is episode 36 of the Berserk manga.
Guts and Griffith are frozen in place. Guts decides that the imminent duel is a much more fitting end to their partnership than a simple farewell. He feels a strange calmness come over him, even though the man he's about to fight is the only human alive who has ever bested him in combat.
Casca convinces herself that Griffith will win the duel, and everything will remain as it always has. She suddenly realizes how much she wants Guts to stay.
Griffith seizes Guts up, and has noticed that Guts is not in the usual, heated mindset he gets into while in battle. Instead, he's very relaxed. Griffith recognizes this as Guts' absolute resolve in wanting to leave, and he decides that he won't allow it to happen. He is also aware of how Guts has progressed as a warrior, and he determines that he must win in the first strike, lest his sword shatter from an impact with Guts' broadsword or he slip in the thick snow. Griffith does a mental play-by-play of his plan of attack: deflect Guts' sword, and bury his own flachion deep into Guts' shoulder. Griffith promptly realizes that if his movements falter even a little, his sword may come down on Guts' head. He decides that it's better that Guts dies rather than be allowed to leave.
The drop of a heap of snow from a nearby conifer signals the beginning of the duel. Both men swing their swords at blinding speeds, but the match ends as quickly as it begins. Griffith's sword is snapped in two under the weight of Guts', and the latter has stopped his own sword only inches from burying itself in Griffith's shoulder. Griffith drops the hilt of his sword and sinks to his knees in defeat, clutching his wrist.
Guts calmly sheathes his sword and walks past Griffith, not looking back. Casca calls out to Guts, but he doesn't respond. Guts compares his defeating Griffith as the bump of a small stone on Griffith's path to achieving his dream, and that, in time, Griffith will get over it and will keep moving forward.
Guts has freed himself from Griffith's grasp, and from the Band of the Falcon.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Golden Age Arc|