The mysterious Skull Knight appears once again before Guts and his comrades, warning them that dark forces wish to repeat the Eclipse once again to incarnate Griffith in a human form. Disturbed by this revelation, Guts sets off to discover the masterminds behind this demonic plot. Meanwhile, Farnese continues to struggle with her faith as Nina meets a young man named Joachim. The two run off together at night, despite Luca's warnings. They become involved in a demonic orgy conducted by the heretical cult of the Great Goat Head, who summons their pagan goddess in a ritual. Casca stumbles upon the ritual in progress before her brand attracts evil spirits to attack the followers. However, she is saved from the spirits by her unborn child, while Luca comforts Nina. Joachim falls off a cliff, his fate uncertain as a mysterious being watches him from above.
As Nina fetches water, she is unaware of the starved corpses animated by spirits attracted by Casca's brand. The scene is witnessed by a mysterious figure who sees something appearing in the grass between the women and the spirits: the Demon Child. The Demon Child pacifies the spirits with a simple glance and wordlessly commands them to depart from their husks. With the spirits gone, the Demon Child looks towards Casca before fading. Casca moves to where the Demon Child lay before Nina takes her, as the figure's focus shifts to the Tower of Conviction.
Facing the animated wheel-bound corpses of Mozgus' victims, Guts sees that Isidro got his sword broken and throws the boy down a hill so that he can lure the specters after him. After miles of running without rest, Guts stops when he sees an imposing figure ahead of him: The Skull Knight. After formalities, the Skull Knight reveals that he is also heading to Albion; he says that the God Hand are planning to take advantage of the immense concentration of negative emotions around the Tower of Conviction for an event that occurs once in a millennium: an Incarnation Ceremony, where one among the God Hand would regain corporeal form in the mortal plane, namely Griffith.
The Skull Knight explains that the collective dreams of Midlanders who desire the Falcon of Light have guided the refugees to Albion, that Casca's presence is a beacon to guide Guts into a nightmare no different to the Eclipse and that what is to happen is written in stone. But Guts, reminding him that he and Casca both survived the Eclipse, refuses to accept the Skull Knight's prophecy and says that he will save Casca before killing Griffith. The Skull Knight is impressed by Guts and notes that he might change destiny itself, though he leaves Guts with words that Casca's fate to be alone has already been decided. After Puck notes that he should have asked the Skull Knight for a lift to the city, Guts resumes his run towards Albion with Isidro following him.
Back at Albion, having a nightmare of an event from her past and being unable to eat with the images of the suffering refugees in her mind, Farnese is accompanied by Serpico to see Mozgus about his methods. However, on the way, she is astonished to find Mozgus' twin disciples feeding the crows in a childish manner as another of the disciples, the man in the full-body suit and bird-beaked mask, appears. Offering to escort Farnese to his master and briefly removing his mask to show his own ailment, the Bird explains that all of Mozgus' disciples are outcasts and that he took them in despite whatever deformity they had been afflicted with. The Bird adds that he finds no pleasure in torturing others, but does so out of gratitude for Mozgus' kindness towards him and the others.
The Bird eventually brings Farnese and Serpico to the shrine where Mozgus is carrying out his self-damaging method of prayer. Once finished, the Bird tending to his wounds, Mozgus explains the historical significance of the Tower of Conviction in relation to the legend of Supreme King Gaiseric and of the imprisoned sage who prayed for God's wrath on him. Farnese then explains to Mozgus that she fears his methods would alienate the people and deal a hard blow to her Holy Iron Chain Knights. Mozgus responds by telling her, through both the story of a saintly mourner and of a dying man who refused her help, as well as a verse from their faith's scripture, that they must continue their act of devotion regardless of the consequences. Meanwhile, none of them are aware that the mysterious figure has been watching them.
Back at the camps, after giving half of her earnings to neighbors as Luca instructed, Nina is met with several children when she sees her regular customer, Joachim. Knowing about her illness, Joachim came to see Nina out of concern rather than business as she expected. Thinking he's more interested in a freebie, Nina insists that Joachim meet her next to the river at midnight. When midnight comes, Nina is happy to see Joachim and asks him if he loves her to the point that he would follow her to Hell itself. Confused, Joachim answers that he would and Nina takes him to a cave between two cliffsides, where he sees cloaked figures entering and disrobing to take part in a massive orgy in the bowels of the cave, overseen by a a man wearing a massive goat's head. While Joachim was initially hesitant as several women strip him naked, he gradually opens up to make love with Nina. But the fumes from the crock pot in the middle of the cave, with the image of a goddess manifested above it, causes Joachim to have surreal visions before he is taken to the Great Goat to embrace him as part of an induction ritual. But when Nina offers him a bowl of soup from the crock pot to complete his induction, Joachim finds that they are cooking human flesh and runs off in terror.
Acting on the Great Goat's command to ensure Joachim does not tell the Holy See about them, Nina and the other members of the cult chase after him and cast him down the side of a nearby cliff. Believing Joachim to have died, the pagans decide to return to cave in case someone hears Joachim's fall. Nina remains behind, breaking down in tears over Joachim breaking his promise to follow her to the Hell she brought him in. It is then that Luca, having followed Nina and having seen the entire thing, reveals herself. Attempting to force Luca to stand back by throwing a rock at her, Nina threatens to kill herself if her mistress comes any closer, before yelling for the pagans to save her. But Luca reaches Nina and slaps her across the face before spanking her like a child until she apologizes for running off. Luca ceases and comforts Nina with a hug before telling her that they can talk once back at camp. However, Luca does not realize that Casca has followed her up to this point.
Some of the pagans encounter Casca, and were not going to jump her until a curious one among them removes the bandages, exposing Casca's undiseased face and so, exposing Luca's ruse. The pagans proceed to force themselves on Casca, who screams as visions of her ordeal in the Eclipse flash in her head. Before Luca can intervene to prevent the rape, Casca's brand attracts spirits which proceed to possess the pagans and have them kill each other. The survivors turn their attention to Casca before the Demon Child appears and orders the possessing specters to depart. The surviving heretics believe that Casca is a witch and bow before the clueless woman. At the bottom of the chasm, the mysterious being looks at the still living Joachim's body before scuttling away.
Next Episode Preview Edit
Luca finally meets Guts, who tells her he isn't giving up since he has unfinished business. Then, an old man preaches to a group of naked heretics. The old man then welcomes a "Lady Priestess" upon her arrival. Meanwhile, Isidro tosses a rock in his hand, remarking confidently that he has the advantage in this type of situation. Farnese looks on in terror as a voice commands the Holy Iron Chain Knights to crush the enemy. The screen then goes back to Guts, who makes his arrival in Albion before sarcastically scoffing at its title of a "holy city".
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
- Demon Child
- Egg-Shaped Apostle (Glimpse)
- Skull Knight (Reintroduction after Golden Age Arc III: Descent)
- The Twins
- The Bird
- King Gaiseric (Mentioned only)
- Joachim (First appearance)
- Great Goat (First appearance)
Manga/Anime Differences Edit
- A large majority of the nudity was censored, along with several sex scenes and explicit content in the orgy being cut.
- Farnese's masturbating scene was censored.
- Similar to the previous episode, Guts encounters Skull Knight before the Great Goat Head ritual begins, rather than afterwards.
- This is the first episode to have continued footage after the credits, rather than just the preview of the next episode.
- This is also the first episode to have the second part of "Hai Yo" play during the preview.
|The Golden Age Arc Trilogy|