I really dig Schierke and Guts. They are my most favorite duo in any work of fiction.
They are both rather introverted and thoughtful personalities capable of change and learning. The interaction between them seems very harmonious and trusting. I absolutely love reading about them evolving to such a wonderful and caring friendship.
It’s no secret that Schierke is having a huge crush on Guts, for understandable reasons, considering she lacked a fatherly figure her entire life (then again who doesn’t have a crush on Guts in one way or the other?)
However, one interesting question is: How does Guts feel about Schierke?
From the beginning, Guts has been protective of her. Remember how Isidro teased her for touching Schierke in inappropriate spaces when they first met her in volume 24? Guts gave him a knock on the head for that, telling him to leave the girl alone.
When Schierke was down or doubting herself, Guts repeatedly cheered her up and motivated her: think enoch village or the beach scene. Because he is very observant and responsive, he knows what’s going on with the little girl.
From what I’ve seen, Schierke is the only one who gets any physical affection from Guts, mostly shown as him placing his palm on her shoulder or head.
Moreover, he described her as impressive sorceress, a reliable magic user, his lucky charm. Whenever I read him saying this, it feels like he is saying this full of pride, utmost respect and perhaps it goes even so far as admiration. Similarly, after the Kundalini was slain in volume 31 page 137, I remember Guts’ facial expression when he proudly tells Serpico how great of a combo he and Schierke were.
Guts opens up revealing the depth of his character when he is with her. During the Sea God Arc (volume 33 page 19) after he saved Casca, and Schierke is about to redraw the amulet on his back, he states that even if you try to piece something broken back together it won’t be back to normal again, referring to his mechanical arm (and possibly also Casca). Despite of him being hurt as he says that, he doesn’t mind sharing that with Schierke. But it’s not only that: he doesn’t have a problem to be hurt and have her witness him being vulnerable. Here’s your reminder that the last person to see Guts vulnerable was Casca, which is an interesting and also provoking parallel. Guts voiced gratefulness for the times Schierke has been helping him keep his sanity. He puts his trust and life onto her, counting on her that she will bring him back. Just ponder about this for a second. A guy like Guts, who’s been betrayed all his life, putting this amount of trust into a little girl like her.
He knows the little girl is his salvation. He treats Schierke with deep respect and care, trust and gratefulness. He looks up to her, marvels at the little girl’s magical powers and is proud of their joint achievements. Her word has a lot of weight for him, because he knows how much she cares for him. I’m very sure Guts likes her quite a lot in return.
What’s pretty cute about it is that Schierke feels the same way about him – and actually a bit more than that.
What’s between those two is more a spiritual and very pure kind of love, and I know some people in the fandom are hoping they’d become lovers one day – but I honestly think that romance would only spoil the purity of their bond and friendship.