|Episode 137 (Manga)|
|Children of Shadow|
|Romaji||Kage no kora|
|Volume||18 Tower of Shadow|
|Date Released||October 5, 1999 (tankōbon format)|
← Tower of Shadow (2)
|List of Volumes|
Casca's attention is drawn further down the shore: her Brand has attracted spirits, who've possessed the bodies of the refugees who died of illness and starvation. Both Casca and Nina and the living corpses are being watched by an unidentified being across the river.
The being watches the scene anxiously and is surprised to see a small being materialize 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 leave their scavenged bodies, which fall back down to the ground, corpses once more. With the spirits gone, the Demon Child looks backwards, towards Casca, its mother, before disappearing.
Casca moves towards the area where the Demon Child lay, but Nina, who hadn't noticed a thing, grabs her arm and tells her not to wander off. The entity across the river watches as the two women return to the camps with the bucket full of water they were sent to fetch. It then shifts its attention to the Tower of Conviction.
Inside the Tower, Farnese is attempting to eat, but the images of the starving and dying refugees flashing through her mind prevent her from doing so. On the other side of the dining hall she is in, several Holy Iron Chain Knights are eating together, among them Jerome. Together, they wonder why they're obligated to follow Mozgus' orders if their sole purpose in St. Albion is to guard him. Jerome loudly supposes that Farnese is trying to get on Mozgus' good side.
Farnese hears his words, but before she can say or do anything, a bowl of soup is spilled onto Jerome and the other knights' table by Serpico. After he makes his quick exit, the knights quip that Serpico should never have been able to rise to the rank he is currently at.
Done with their meals, Farnese and Serpico exit the dining hall and descend the Tower's floors. Eventually, they come to find two of Mozgus' disciples, the Twins, feeding crows who fly in through the open window strips of meat. The sight of them doing something so innocent surprises Farnese.
Another of the disciples, the man in the full-body suit and crow's mask, walks up to the landing where Farnese and Serpico stand, asking what business they have. Farnese asks to see Mozgus, so the crow-man decides to take them to him. As they walk, the crow-man asks Farnese what about the twins shocked her more: their playing innocently with the birds or their hideous unmasked appearances. Farnese barely has a chance to answer before the crow-man explains that all of Mozgus' disciples are good-natured despite their being less-than-pleasant to look at, having been ostracized in many places before being found and cared for by Mozgus.
As though to disprove his own point, the crow-man removes his mask and reveals his face, which is quite handsome. The reason for his being a social outcast becomes clear when he sticks his hand into a beam of light created by the sun shining through a window; after a few moments, it begins to blister.
The crow-man explains that he has a skin condition that causes blisters when exposed to the sun, and a weak constitution which makes him very susceptible to disease. As a young child, he was cast out by his friends and family for being constantly ill and covered in hideous sores. Hiding in a hollow beneath a tree and on the verge of death, the crow-man was found by Mozgus, who blocked the sun's rays, allowing the boy a brief moment of respite. Once all of his disciples were rounded up, Mozgus told them that while they may be hideous, deformed and diseased, no scripture deemed them sinners for being so. As such, Mozgus said that both their appearances and the emotions they feel due to them are all blessings from God, who requires that all be as it is.
The crow-man puts his mask back on and continues to climb the stairs to see Mozgus, saying that while he doesn't enjoy the work Mozgus gives him, he can't help but feel grateful both to Mozgus and to God. Finally reaching the large doors beyond which lies Mozgus, Farnese begins to hear a banging sound at regular intervals. The crow-man knows the source, and opens the doors to reveal the answer.
In his ritual of worship, Mozgus is kneeling before the statue of the White Hawk which represents the Holy See, raises his arms to shoulder level at his sides as though to bask in the sun which beams down on him through the circular hole in the roof, and slams his whole torso and face down onto the floor with a furious passion.