|Episode 135 (Manga)|
|Tower of Shadow (1)|
|Romaji||Kage no tō (1)|
|Volume||18 Tower of Shadow|
|Date Released||October 5, 1999 (tankōbon format)|
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Refugees taking shelter in tents on the outskirts of St. Albion peek out of their dwellings and notice the skin and cloak of another in a string of priests killed by heretics hanging from a barren tree. The same grisly scene is watched by a more mysterious being from a distance.
The less desolate parts of the mass campsite reveal the extremely poor living conditions of the refugees: some tents barely manage to cover their occupants, the bigger tents are cramped, the refugees' clothes are beyond repair, food is so scarce that the hungriest squabble over rats to eat, and corpses having died of starvation being wheeled out of the area are a common sight.
Some refugees notice a cart leading to the Tower of Conviction being driven by a knight. Hoping to receive donations from the cart that is presumably full of food, they approach him, but the knight tries to shoo them away, as the food is property of the Holy See and will be rationed to the refugees when the time comes to feed them.
Worried that they will starve before that time comes, the beggars swarm the cart, hoping to steal some food. Their attention is drawn by the approaching Holy Iron Chain Knights, who round up the thieving beggars. Farnese berates them for trying to steal from their religious leaders, but her heart is torn when one of the refugees presents her with an emaciated child who is too weak to nurse.
A conflicted Farnese does not need to find her words because Mozgus has appeared on horseback nearby. Understanding the harsh conditions the refugees live through, Mozgus invites the cart-swarmers inside the Tower of Conviction, where they can be rewarded for their tenacity and the infant can be treated.
The inquisitor personally leads the beggars and several Holy Iron Chain Knights into St. Albion proper. He hands off the refugees - with the exception of the mother and her weak child - to another member of the Holy See to be taken care of. Mozgus leads the woman to a doctor, who tends to the child and assures its mother that it will recover. She thanks Mozgus profusely for helping her, and he assures her that he was simply acting out the will of God. He adds the cryptic statement that the payment the child will make for being tended to will be incurred later, and leads the mother, along with Farnese, Serpico and Azan, away.
They are all brought to a torture chamber, where Mozgus' disciples are hard at work torturing the other refugees Mozgus had brought in. He explains that many of the refugees around St. Albion are notorious sinners and must be punished. Farnese tries to look away from the horrific sights surrounding her, but Mozgus orders her to watch, saying that the torture of heretics is an aspect of the Holy See that she must accept.
He then grabs the now-horrified mother and leads her into the chamber, praising her courage and wishing for her to overcome the brutal trials she is about to undergo. He foists her off to his torturers, who get to work in stripping her naked and burning her with hot coals. Farnese stops herself from averting her eyes.