|Episode 156 (Manga)|
|Those Who Dance at the Summit, Those Who Creep in the Depths|
|Romaji||Itadaki ni maumono soko ni haumono|
|Volume||20 Shadows of Idea|
|Date Released||November 5, 2000 (tankōbon format)|
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Those Who Dance at the Summit, Those Who Creep in the Depths (頂に舞うもの底に這うもの Itadaki ni maumono soko ni haumono?) is the 156th episode of the Berserk manga series, written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura.
The claw-wielding disciple prepares another deadly swing. Jerome warns Nina and Luca, who are both hanging precariously from the Tower of Conviction, of the inevitable strike. Nina is the only one with a strong grip on Luca, preventing her from falling. She realizes that she is the only thing now standing between Luca and certain death, while Nina very briefly considers letting go.
The choice is made for her by Luca, who willingly releases her grip on Nina's hands and falls from the massive height. The Skull Knight, who only moments before was poised to strike at the mysterious being, rides down the vertical surface that is the wall of the Tower of Conviction. Though his foremost priority is catching the mysterious being, which has jumped off the Tower, the Skull Knight uses the opportunity to save the falling Luca.
Jerome, Isidro and Nina stare in awe at the place where Luca was snatched out of the air before being brought back to their senses by the sound of rattling chains. The disciple has thrown his claw once more. It spins in the air as it approaches them. Its path is blocked by the newly-arrived Guts, who uses the Dragonslayer to deflect the claw, saving Jerome, Isidro and Nina. Guts then makes a mad dash towards Mozgus, who is holding the unconscious Casca. His sword is swung with deadly accuracy, but misses its target; Mozgus has grown feathery wings and flies above the blade's path.
The Skull Knight has come to a stop just outside the outer wall of the Tower of Conviction, among the burial grounds of the deceased refugees who died of starvation and disease. Their naked, emaciated bodies all lay along the ground in neat rows. Luca believes she has died, and she misperceives the Skull Knight as Death thanks to his skeleton-themed armor. He asks her why she chose to fall from the Tower, and she explains that, while she was dangling in the air, she hoped that jutting bricks on the surface of the Tower of Conviction may have slowed her fall, allowing her to survive with broken legs at worst. In hindsight, she realizes, her plan was unrealistic. The Skull Knight dismounts from his horse and draws his sword, ordering the nearby mysterious being (which is crouched among the bodies) to step out of the shadows.
Along with Mozgus, all the disciples have grown wings similar to their mentor's. Having finally met the infamous Black Swordsman, Mozgus is eager to fight Guts, but announces his determination to have Casca burned in the name of God.