|Episode 245 (Manga)|
|City of Humans|
|Romaji||Hito no machi|
|Date Released||March 5, 2005 (tankōbon format)|
|Arc||Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|
← Navy Yard
The Kite and the Owl of the Wharf→
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The thin, black man attempts to speak to Schierke, but she cannot make out its words. It speaks more incomprehensible words as it makes its way through the alley and back towards the direction it came from, evidenced by a length of rope that extends from its neck to an as yet unknown location. Schierke follows the mysterious wisp until she comes across its point of origin: a gallows.
Schierke weaves her way between the dozens of hanging Kushan bodies, frightened by what she sees. She once again catches sight of the thin black man, though this time it is high in the air, very close to a dead, hanging man. Schierke deduces that the thin black man is what remains of the dead man's Astral body. In a moment of inspiration, Schierke grabs the rope from which the dead man hangs. As a result, she suddenly sees snippets of the man's life: his poor living conditions, his job as a farmer, the day guards appeared at his door, and the moment of his enslavement.
Schierke releases the rope, startled by what she saw. She falls onto her behind, stunned, and stares up into the sky, where the Astral bodies of the other dead men now float, all of them begging to be cut loose from where they hang.
Schierke is suddenly startled by two guards who cannot see the thin black men. The guards demand to know why Schierke is trespassing on forbidden ground, and why she is dressed like a witch. She promptly hypnotizes them and, at her questioning, they reveal that the hanged men are all Kushan who were abducted from their homes and sent to Vritannis, where they were bought and sold as slaves. Since the Holy See sees the Kushan as mere heathen enemies, the population of the holy city of Vritannis has no moral qualms about keeping Kushan slaves. However, once the war against the Kushan Empire began, Vritannis had their Kushan slaves hanged so that their presence would not shame the city while it acted as the naval yard for the entirety of the Holy See's maritime forces.
Disgusted by the reasoning with which the men were hanged, Schierke commands the guards in assisting her with cutting the bodies free and cremating them. As they set about doing so, they are watched from a raised pathway by a woman. Once the bodies are cremated, their spirits fly high into the air. The woman is taken aback when she sees them.
Isidro and Puck fruitlessly search for Schierke in the enormous bustle of Vritannis. Isidro decides that the only solution is to wait for Schierke to reach for them using her thought transference. The boys' conversation is interrupted by none other than Mule Wolflame, who is intrigued by their talk of witches.
Her task with the guards over, Schierke continues to wander around Vritannis, feeling dejected. Eventually, she and Ivalera find Vritannis' harbor, which is full of gigantic ships. Schierke cannot fathom why humans would create such enormous vessels if they are simply made to traverse water. She then realizes that Vritannis and other cities like it are the norm for her traveling companions, revealing that their world is just as alien to her as hers is to them.
Schierke thinks of Flora, telling her deceased mistress that she cannot feel any Astral beings due to their presences being drowned out by the humans of the city.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
|Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc|