|Episode 152 (Manga)|
|The Iron Maiden|
|Romaji||Tetsu no shōjo|
|Volume||19 Blood Flow of the Dead|
|Date Released||April 5, 2000 (tankōbon format)|
Blood Flow of the Dead (1) →
|Volumes and Chapters|
Farnese has been called to the abbot's office within the Tower of Conviction, and she attends her appointment with Serpico. The abbot informs her that she's been ordered to leave St. Albion by the Holy See. Farnese begins to protest, saying that the Holy Iron Chain Knights' presence is required in the area, given the recent outcropping of heretics, but the abbot corrects her: the order was not directed at the Holy Iron Chain Knights, but at Farnese herself, as requested by her father.
Farnese is speechless, but the abbot continues. He says that command of the Holy Iron Chain Knights will be transferred to Azan while Farnese returns to her worried father.
After Farnese and Serpico leave the office, he tries to speak to her, but his words aren't answered until they are well out of earshot of the abbot. Farnese spins around and slaps Serpico in the face, accusing him of influencing her father to request her withdrawal from the campaign. Serpico denies the accusation, and Farnese reminds him that she is his sole master before turning around and continuing through the Tower.
Eventually, they cross paths with two of Mozgus' torturers bringing Nina up the stairs of the Tower. Apparently, her courage has failed her, and before the torturers could even rip off a single fingernail, she disclosed all the information she had to offer. Farnese watches only for a moment before going down to see Mozgus in the torture chamber.
Mozgus compliments Farnese's heretic-hunting expertise, as now the torture chambers are so full they can barely contain all the heretics Farnese captured in the cave. She thinks to respond, but holds her tongue, so he continues.
He asks about her report, in which she said that a monster appeared in the cave. Farnese confirms it, but she adds that she suspects the hallucinogenic inhalant drugs in the cave were responsible for her seeing it. Mozgus then leans forward and asks about the Black Swordsman, who also made an appearance. He wonders what business Guts had within the cave, suspecting that he was simply acting out against a personal vendetta against the Holy Iron Chain Knights.
Farnese is surprised to see Casca being led into the room by one of the torturers. She watches as the insane girl pays no attention to her grisly surroundings, instead amusing herself by playing with the torturer's mask. Farnese tells Mozgus that the Black Swordsman seemingly appeared to save Casca.
The crow-man then steps forward and tells Mozgus of Casca's status among the heretics: she is apparently their leader, and as he says this the tortured heretics around the room speak to her, asking her to save them. Intrigued, Mozgus steps in front of Casca and inspects her closely, seeing something protrude out of the collar of her shirt. He tears it open, revealing the Brand of Sacrifice beneath. Mozgus identifies it as the mark of a witch. He orders his torturers to place Casca in an iron maiden, where she is to stay until she dies. Puck, who had been roaming the Tower in search of her, flies into the torture room and watches what happens next.
The iron maiden is closed on Casca, who is thin enough to stand inside it without the spikes digging into her skin. As she looks around, the blood of the previous victims of the iron maiden begins to drip off of the spikes, falling to her feet. Her Brand begins to bleed, and the blood which now coats the inner surface of the iron maiden forms into dozens of deformed human faces.
The spirits inside the iron maiden force it open, destroying the torture device and spraying blood all over Mozgus and his torturers. They are shocked - and the heretics delighted - to see Casca standing just outside the iron maiden, surrounded by spirits which grip onto her body, as though trying to protect her.