|Episode 171 (Manga)|
|Tidal wave of Darkness (2)|
|Romaji||Yami no tsunami (2)|
|Volume||21 Bestial Priest|
|Date Released||June 5, 2001 (tankōbon format)|
← Tidal wave of Darkness (1)
|Volumes and Chapters|
The Egg-Shaped Apostle has made its way up to the top of the Tower of Conviction, sitting in the palm of the hand created by the collapsed structure. It listens to the refugees' cries of despair far below. It addresses the Demon Child within its body, whose evil essence has dissipated, leaving a normal-looking baby behind.
On the ground, the refugees are trapped. The spirits surround them on three sides, and the wall of St. Albion blocks their way backwards. Azan and the Holy Iron Chain Knights also surround the refugees, defending them from those possessed by spirits. Eventually, the lucid refugees find their way through a gate and into St. Albion. Despite the blood spirits still inhabiting the Tower of Conviction, the situation within the town is much more manageable than without.
Azan decides that it would be prudent for himself and the knights to also make their way into the town. But as they do, the gate leading into the city closes; the refugees within have sealed St. Albion, trapping several hundred of their own - along with the Holy Iron Chain Knights - outside the town and helpless against the spirits.
Nina is sitting up in the now-destroyed merchant's stall she fell into, rubbing her ankle. She fears that it was broken in the fall. She climbs out of the wreckage, using a broom handle as a crutch. Before she can find anybody to help her, her makeshift crutch slips out from under her, forcing her to use her bad foot to support herself. She falls to the ground in pain, crying for help. She hears a mass of people rushing towards her. Looking up, she sees the refugees who have barricaded themselves in the town stampeding her way. Even as they approach, they don't stop their charge. Seconds before she is trampled, Nina is protectively tackled to the ground by Luca, who had managed to infiltrate St. Albion with the refugees. The two women wait until the crowd has safely run past before they sit up.
Nina cries and hugs her old mentor, but Luca tells her that there is no time to get caught up in a reunion. She looks towards the wall and sees one of the large wooden doors in the outer wall being rammed inwards, as though something large is trying to get into the town. Nina cannot run due to her injured ankle, so Luca comes up with a plan - she helps Nina over to a nearby barrel and orders her to climb inside it. While at first Nina refuses to leave Luca's side, the older woman knocks the younger on the head with the barrel's lid, bringing her back to her senses. Luca tells Nina that Nina's propensity towards being fearful means that she is a staunch survivor. She gives the girl one last wink before placing the lid on the barrel and hammering it tightly into place with a rock, sealing Nina inside. Just as she finishes hammering the lid in place, Luca notices the spirits from inside the Tower of Conviction slowly pour out and approach her.
The only living beings remaining atop the wall of St. Albion are Guts, Casca, Isidro, Puck, Jerome, Serpico and Farnese. They watch as the spirits below slowly fill St. Albion, meaning that now the wall they stand on is flooded with spirits on both sides. With nowhere to go, Serpico diverts everybody's attention to an interesting phenomenon occurring just a few feet from the outside foot of the wall: a few stranded refugees are praying over Mozgus' body, which is consumed with flame. The are countless spirits surrounding them, but they do not approach; the spirits dislike fire.
Guts finds many loose pieces of dried wood along the top of the wall and drops them in front of the others. Striking his metal arm with a small rock, he manages to light his own wooden stick on fire, instructing the others to do the same. Jerome suggests that they make their way into the Tower, but Guts explains that it is crawling with nearly-indestructible spirits. He then says that dawn is soon upon them, and the morning sun will force the spirits to retreat. Farnese, who harbors a great dislike for the Black Swordsman, is oddly reassured by his words.
Once everybody present (besides the insane Casca and the tiny Puck) is armed with a burning plank of wood, they slowly walk along the wall towards the large mass of spirits before them.