Guts and Griffith's conversation is interrupted by the appearance of the King of Midland and his brother, Julius, the second in line for the throne of Midland. Griffith bows courteously in the King's presence, though it takes some convincing from Griffith and threats from Julius to get Guts to do the same. The King has decided to speak to Griffith based on the notion that it is young, enterprising commoners like him who will help Midland prevail in the war against Chuder and contribute to Midland's growing legacy rather than established nobles.
As Griffith thanks the King for his compliments, he notices a girl watching him from behind one of the castle's columns a few meters away. The King introduces her as his daughter, Princess Charlotte. As she makes her way over to the group of men, she trips over a paving stone, but is saved from a fall by Griffith, who catches her. Griffith is reprimanded for touching Charlotte by Julius by way of a backhanded strike, but Griffith takes the punishment gracefully, flashing Julius a disconcerting smile. The King, Julius, their accompanying guards leave, but Charlotte and Griffith exchange a quick glance before she heads off with them, showing interest in each other.
Julius splits off from the group and chastises a group of maidservants for gossiping about Griffith. After they run off, Julius is greeted by Minister Foss, who informs Julius that the royal guard for the upcoming autumn hunt will comprise members of the Band of the Hawk, rather than Julius' own White Dragon Knights, as is custom. The paranoia this causes in Julius allows Foss to plant a sinister idea in his mind: assassinating Griffith by way of a "stray" poisoned arrow during the hunt. As Julius leaves, confident in this new plan, Foss stays behind, smiling knowingly.
Guts lays across the roof of one of Windham's many towers, pointing his broadsword up at the stars. He thinks back on Griffith's inquiry as to why he'd ever need a reason to save Guts, and Guts resolves to wield his sword for Griffith's sake.
Characters in Order of Appearance
|Golden Age Arc|