|Episode 153 (Manga)|
|Blood Flow of the Dead (1)|
|Romaji||Mōja no ketsuryū (1)|
|Volume||19 Blood Flow of the Dead|
|Date Released||April 5, 2000 (tankōbon format)|
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Guts, Luca and Isidro approach St. Albion and the Tower of Conviction, and it's only when they're up close do they take in the Tower's absolutely massive size. In addition to the Tower's daunting presence, Guts' Brand of Sacrifice oozes blood the closer he gets to it, moreso than is warranted by a regular Apostle.
Isidro notices a wooden panel on the lengthy brick wall which stands before them, which Luca identifies as a trash chute. She throws a rock at it, and it opens up a few inches, and a silhouette is visible inside. The silhouette throws a rope ladder down to the ground, allowing Guts, Luca and Isidro to discreetly infiltrate St. Albion. Luca asks that Guts to leave the saving of Casca to her, and climbs the ladder. She asks the man who threw the ladder down to fetch Jerome of the Holy Iron Chain Knights, and slips him a bag of gold. While the man is distracted in conversation with Luca, he barely notices a large black figure climb up the ladder and dart past him, into the Tower of Conviction. Annoyed that Guts denied her request, Luca places her foot on Isidro's face so the man standing above her cannot see the boy.
Inside the torture chamber, Mozgus, his disciples, several other torturers, the surviving heretics, Farnese and Serpico are terrified to see that Casca has escaped her confinement inside the iron maiden and is now surrounded by spirits who manifest as faces formed in a mass of blood that floats around her. Serpico stands protectively in front of Farnese. A drop of blood falls on his cheek - he looks up to see that the blood has flowed onto the ceiling directly above them all, and will soon cover the entire room.
A tendril of blood extends itself suddenly, absorbing one of the nameless torturers. As the other humans watch in horror, the torturer is dissolved inside the glob of blood, leaving only his bones behind. The surviving torturers and Serpico lead Farnese away from the scene and towards the room's exit. Mozgus and his disciples cannot leave the same way, and escape into the chapel exit.
Puck is the only being left in the room besides Casca and the possessed blood. He reaches out to her, and her to him, but her arm is quickly coated in a thick layer of blood. A terrified Puck watches as Casca is completely engulfed in the deep red liquid.
As Guts wanders the halls of the Tower of Conviction, he hears a door open behind him. Hiding behind a statue, he watches as Farnese, Serpico and the torturers enter the hallway and run into Azan. Serpico urges Azan to turn around, and together, the whole group moves to escape the Tower. Everyone besides Farnese, that is, as Guts grabs her and pulls her into a smaller adjacent hallway, something which only Serpico notices.
The Black Swordsman throws Farnese against the wall and shoves the point of his dagger mere inches from her face, ordering her to reveal Casca's location. She doesn't answer immediately, so he puts the blade of his dagger directly into her mouth, whereupon she tells him that Casca is located in the underground torture chamber. She advises Guts not to go down, however. When he asks why, she can only give a vague answer of something along the lines of a monster having infested the lower levels of the Tower of Conviction.
He demands that she show him to an alternate way to the torture chamber. When she denies his request, he punches the statue above her head, causing it to shatter. Farnese is intimidated into complying. They leave to find another way into the torture chamber, unaware that they are being followed by a third person.