Berserk, volume 18, chapters 3 to 8

Translated from Japanese to English by Namirrha.

Last revised 5 September 2001.

My sincere thanks to Cronus and Olivier Hagué for their valuable contributions, which have significantly improved the quality of this translation. Thanks also to those others, notably CnC, who took the time to comment on parts of this translation.

Some brief notes on the subject matter of chapters 7 and 8 are provided at the end of the document.

Though every effort has been made to provide an accurate English translation, mistakes may none the less have been made. All such mistakes are, of course, purely unintentional.

Please feel free to distribute - via web page or otherwise - or edit this translation.

If changes are made to the script, which improve it, please make an effort to share such alterations with other Berserk fans, including

Sounds within speech bubbles are generally just converted from kana into romanji. All such sounds are in Italics.

Rhetorical questions are punctuated with full stops rather than question marks.

Material in brackets is either for informative purposes or additional/alternative text.

Episode 135

-Page 41 (01)-

Retribution (Part)

(Chapter of) The Birth Rite

Tower of the Shadow (1)

-Page 42 (02)-

Man: Again…

Man: Another priest……

Boy: The heretics…

Man: It's the heretics' (handi)work.

Man: Things will be tense once more. The hunt for the heretics…

Man: Sh!

-Page 46 (06)-

Man: Food… [lit: a blessing]

Woman: Please, food… [lit: Please, alms/a blessing…]

Knight: F…Fools!! This is an offering to the church!!

Knight: Aid is distributed to you everyday, isn't it!!

-Page 47 (07)-

Man: What, soup made from vegetable scaps. We need more or we'll die!!

Man: You have a full stomach everyday, don't you!?

Crowd: Have mercy…

Guard: H…Hey!!

Crowd: Please, have mercy…

Knight: Wha…What are you doing!!

Crowd: It can't be!!

Crowd: The Knights of the Holy Iron Chain!!

-Page 48 (08)-

Farneze: Stay where you are!! Don't let any of them escape!!

Knight: This is all of them.

-Page 49 (09)-

Farneze: What kind of plan is this!? Since when have you thought to lay hands on church property!?

Farneze: Is this the way believers behave!?

Man (back-right): The sick…

Man (back-left): Almost all the tress here abouts have been felled. How are we to make it through winter to…

Man: How many more days must we live on nothing but watery soup!?

Man: We can not survive such hardship. We don't want to die.

Farneze: The provisions, medical supplies, the other materials as well, are required by the Vatican!!

Farneze: I know it's hard, but I will not let you have them!!

Mother: Please, I beg you!

Mother: This child…He no longer has the strength to breast feed!

Mother: My baby is dying!

Mother: God's divine protection is needed now!!

Farneze: …What (did you say)?

-Page 50 (10)-

Mozgus: Well spoken.

Mozgus: In deference to your courage,

Mozgus: the Lord will show mercy.

-Page 51 (11)-

Farneze: But Lord Mozgus if they go unpunished law and order will…

Mozgus: Naturally, I have taken that into consideration.

Mozgus: Although I am also opposed to that which I have borne witness.

Mozgus: Her blasphemy was motivated by the welfare of her child. The other matter before me, which has led to their arrest, is the work of God.

Mozgus: It is said that love knows no fear.

Mozgus: We must heed the call of this courageous woman's pure love.

Mother: Thank you!

Mother: Thank you!

Mozgus: Take these people to the abbey at once.

-Page 53 (13)-

Mozgus: Escort these people that way.

Mozgus: Do not be concerned. You will meet (up) again later.

Mozgus: Now, we go this way.

Monk: Come now, drink.

Monk: …will it work?

Monk: His condition seems to have improved.

Monk: If he's given rest and nourishment it shouldn't be too long before he recovers. [alt: If he's given rest and nourishment, he should recover before too long.]

Mother: Thank goodness…!

-Page 54 (14)-

Mozgus: I have also sent a letter calling for aid to the Vatican. The report should reach there shortly. ['There' or 'here'? Mozgus does not expressly mention which.]

Mozgus: And then I will try to negotiate with the prelate over conditions for sharing some measure food from amongst prior offerings with the refugees. [Re 'prelate', Mozgus literally refers to 'the head'.]

Mother: I…

Mother: I really do no know what to say…

Mother: Thank you…

Mother: Thank you!

Mozgus: I don't deserve your thanks.

Mozgus: I merely executed God's will.

Mozgus: You can return to resume your responsibilities for this child later.

Mother: …E(h)?

Mozgus: Come now, this way.

Mozgus: Your duties as a believer await.

-Page 59 (19)-

Mozgus: Farneze, this is the first time that you've set foot into this room, isn't it.

Mozgus: The land surrounding Albion Abbey is now the haunt of criminals.

Mozgus: In the garden of the seminary……… a wretched state of affairs;

Mozgus: robbery, rape, murder…

Mozgus: and, worst of all,

Mozgus: heretics.

Mozgus: Recently another person, a monk, was found murdered in the refugee camp.

Mozgus: What is worse is that only the monk's flayed skin and robes were found, both fluttering on the trunk of a tree.

Mozgus: The blessed message is spreading thanks to the efforts of both zealous believers and the Knights of the Holy Iron Chain.

Mozgus: At the end of an inquiry, we have been able to capture many suspicious persons. With each confession the futility of heresy increases.

Mozgus: Many converts have also come forth from that within. It is a righteous task to provide guidance.

-Page 60 (20)-

Mozgus: Do not avert your gaze.

Mozgus: This hellish vision is merely another side of that Vatican you swore to protect.

Mozgus: For all the things that pour forth onto the earth, God has only love. But, God is a stern judge of men.

Mother: Hi…

Mozgus: You can not escape!!

Mozgus: My child, I will help you to free yourself of the sins of the past. Your love and courage must be praised!!

Mozgus: But, a sin is a sin!!!

-Page 61 (21)-

Mozgus: You have courage, and because it is you!!

Mozgus: I want you to undertake this test of God's, and I want you to pass it!!

Mozgus: Come now!! Your attendant has waited long enough!!

Mozgus: Do not be afraid!!!

Mozgus: Put your faith in the Hand(s) of God!!

-Page 62 (22)-

Mother: N…

Mother: No…!

Mother: Hi

Mother: Hiiiii..

Tower of the Shadow (1) End


Episode 136

-Page 63 (01)-

Retribution (Part)

(Chapter of) The Birth Rite

Tower of the Shadow (2)

Prisoner: Release me!

Prisoner: I didn't do anything to the priest…! [The hiragana reading under the kanji normally read as 'korosu', 'to kill', is for the negative of 'yacchimau', that is the negative of 'to do something that the speaker regrets'.]

Prisoner: I'm not a heretic!

Farneze: We have testimony stating you were observed at the scene of the crime!!

Farneze: We're going to examine those claims now!!

-Page 64 (02)-

Prisoner: You're joking!! Not one other person has come back safe and sound, have they!!

Farneze: Nonsense! If you're innocent, immediately upon it being proven………

Mother: A blessing……

Mother: (from) God…

Mother: A blessing…

-Page 65 (03)-

Prisoner: My companions!! Who the hell is it!? [Not 100% sure about this.]

Prisoner: Who put me in (it)!?

Prisoner: I'm going to kill them……!!

Prisoner: Because if I come back, I'm going to beat them to death!! You can count on it!!

Prisoner: Gaaaa(h)

Farneze: Take him in.

Prisoner: Kishooo.. [I presume that this is a cry of rage/despair roughly equating with 'shit'!]

Behind tattered cloth: ……A(h)---A(h)

Luca: [The meaning of one of the terms used by Luca here - 'kowamote' - alludes me, although I have a sneaky suspicion that I've come across it before. At any rate, Luca seems to be here identifying the prisoner, who has just passed, for the benefit of someone as yet unglimpsed. She mentions 'that guy', 'in this vicinity', and 'the man who passed'.]

Luca: [Had problems here as well! Luca starts by saying 'It's because he kept to himself.' Or, at least, I think she does. One of my dictionaries indicates that the plain form of 'kemutagaru' should be read as 'to be sensitive to smoke', whilst another dictionary indicates that it should be read as 'to keep at a respectful distance'. At any rate, I would adopt the later definition. Luca then goes on to note that 'a nuisance was got rid of'. She concludes by noting 'It makes me sick', although, as I'm unsure as to the meaning of 'chikuru', I can't say with certainty exactly what makes her sick. That being said, I think she's talking about the conduct involved, noting that irrespective of who does it or who is subject to it, it makes her sick!]

-Page 66 (04)-

Man: Oi, make a bit of an effort.

Luca: Oh, no. I'm sorry.

Luca: But are you OK?

Luca: Even though your fellow soldiers are still working,

Luca: and the sun hasn't set, you're inside like this…

Luca: You're upset, aren't you?

Man: It's not like that. You're special……That's why I pass-by every day like this.

Man: I'm happy. Work can wait. [The 'work can wait' part is a guess! Although he does refer to work.]

Luca: But that female officer looks frightening.

Luca: I'm concerned. You won't be scolded (by her), will you?

Man: ………I don't care for the commander.

Man: Nobody does.

Man: If she opens her mouth, it's about the mission. It's religious fervour. She handles us poorly.

Man: She has the bad habit of being unable to pay a compliment. [Not sure about this.]

Man: Even if her ability is equivalent to a man's, there's nothing to indicate she's mastering leadership.

Man: …The Commander of the Knights of the Holy Iron Chain is always a woman, it's a tradition. But, if she is an ornament, I want her to act in the most graceful manner possible, as befits an ornament.

-Page 67 (05)-

Luca: It must be (really) awful.

Luca: Surely…

Luca: The only woman in the midst of men.

Luca: A(h)…

Man: The main problem is the collusion. The feelings of her colleagues, whom waste their energy on an ill-conceived task, can't be known. [This is probably a bit literal, which indicates my uncertainty over what he is getting at … exactly. Re 'the main problem', the man literally refers to 'the main point' as being 'the collusion'. The collusion presumably being on the part of Farneze's men in making sure that she doesn’t find out what they really think.]

Luca: That's rich… [I'm not sure what Luca is getting at here. Luca uses a term meaning, according to the dictionaries I have at hand, 'dissipation, prodigality'. Perhaps it's merely a somewhat nicer way of saying that something's 'wasteful', 'wrong' or 'stupid'!]

Man: Owaa(h)----!

Mummy: A(h)--------!

Luca: Hmm.

-Page 68 (06)-

Luca: Hey Elen! This (place) is a workshop.

Luca: And despite me telling you not to come in as well!

Man: Ha---- I was so terrified I went limp.

Luca: I'm sorry, OK--- She's my……younger sister.

Luca: What's up with the bandages, right?

Luca: ……They're an integral part of the, this profession.

Luca: Syphilis…She was unlucky, wasn't she. [There's more here, but in this instance I'm reluctant to make a guess. For what it's worth, Luca seems to be referring to the extent of the disease's effects.]

Man: Her, that's a pity (isn't it).

Man: I'll go back today, for the time being.

Luca: I'm sorry, OK. I'll make it up to you next time!

Man: Here's the usual payment.

Man: And there's this…

Luca: Wa(h)! It's beautiful-

-Page 69 (07)-

Man: Good, because it's worth a fortune.

Man: It's something the masses couldn't appreciate. [There may be some problems here.]

Luca: …I'm delighted

Luca: But I wonder if it isn't a little too extravagant for somebody like me?

Luca: You know, pearls and all that…

Man: …I also wonder whether I've gone senile.

Man: When the mission here is over, I'll take you back to my country.

Man: As the next head of the household, it's not possible for me to marry you.

Man: But, I can keep a mistress. Nobles everywhere (also) do it. It will allow you to live in comfort.

Man: Let's take along your sister as well.

Man: I'll put her in the care of a good doctor.

Luca: What is she doing…

Luca: …Thank you Jerome.

Luca: I do not expect anything from you, but I will be waiting. [alt: I'll be waiting without anticipation.]

-Page 70 (08)-

Luca: ……Case after case, I treat pillow talk seriously. [I'm not sure that I've put this together correctly. According to my dictionary 'honki ni suru' should be read as 'take for truth'. 'Suru' is here rendered in the past, progressive form indicating that 'something' was taken seriously for a time [Without the 'ichiichi' (one by one, separately) contained in Luca's statement, I'd normally start by taking this to mean 'was taking seriously']. The 'something' in this instance being the 'pillow talk' [lit: talk while lying in bed]. Anyway, I've taken Luca to be the subject. Thus, she seems to be saying, more or less, that she takes the pillow talk seriously only for so long as the client is in bed with her.]

Luca: A prostitute can't do otherwise. [This is an awkward little statement. Luca refers to 'prostitute', but I'm uncertain as to what is meant by 'yatterannai'. My searches indicate that I should read this as 'can't do' or 'can't help doing'. At any rate, this is my best and only guess.] [For the reader's benefit, the Acclimate Solution translation renders this and the previous line collectively as 'Guys say always same thing….']

Dark-haired: Hey---Hey---

Blonde: We overheard Luca.

Luca: You guys…

Brunette/Red-head: That's not nice---- Luca----

Dark-haired: Not having spoken with a nobleman, I also want to know what it's like to be told such things by at least a great merchant gentleman.

Blonde: The shop boy companion would be good enough for you, wouldn't he. [Guess alert! Once again, I'm not sure that I've thrown this together correctly. The lady in question more literally says "For you, at best the shopboy companion is good, isn't he." I should add, however, that I'm not sure that I've read 'decchiaite' correctly - 'dechi' meaning 'apprentice' or 'shop boy', 'aite' meaning, according to my dictionary, 'companion', or, according to Spahn et al, 'the other party', 'partner' or 'opponent'. Perhaps, 'His apprentice would be just about right, wouldn't he.']

Luca: What, you're all speaking so casually. At this hour, your faces had better be effective on public officials, hadn't they. I therefore…

Brunette/Red-head: Yeah---

Dark-haired: But---

Blonde: C'mon---

Dark-haired: …At any rate, Luca, the…

Blonde: Yes--- Yes---

-Page 71 (09)-

Luca: I get the message. Come in.

Blonde: Sorry to bother you.

Luca: Don't eat it all at once.

Blonde: We understand.

Brunette/Red-head: We're always being rescued by you.

Luca: And there's this……

Brunette/Red-head: A(h) This was given to you by the knight who left not long ago.

Blonde: Waa(h)-- It's beautiful, isn't it.

All: Wa(h) Wa(h) Wa(h)

Brunette/Red-head: God no!

Luca: All right, divide these pearls between everyone equally.

Brunette/Red-head: Ee(h)!?

Brunette/Red-head: But this was given to you, Luca…

-Page 72 (10)-

Luca: Naturally, I'll also get the same as everyone else.

Luca: I made up my mind in the beginning, to distribute profits, irrespective of their connection with the earnings of one person or another, equally between everyone. [There may be - nay, probably is - a problem with the 'irrespective of their connection' etc part of this sentence. Luca literally says something along the lines of '…regardless of the earnings of one by one…'. So…!?]

Blonde: ……But

Dark-haired: Hey

Brunette/Red-head: This extravagant looking thing……

Luca: All right Pepe, Fu-ke, Lucy. ['Pepe' is a Spanish pet form of Joseph and, presumably, Josesphine. I have absolutely no idea what 'Fu-ke' might be.]

Luca: Listen well.

Luca: We are prostitutes.

Luca: Even at the best of times, it's an occupation that is shunned and despised by society.

Luca: But now we're plying our trade right in the midst of a witch hunt, aren't we?

Luca: (Do you) Understand? It's for surviving how dangerous it is.

Luca: If there is a witch, she's been betrayed. And that is not funny. [Had problems with this, partially due to Luca's use of 'itsudare'. I'm guessing that what Luca is saying is that 'if somebody is a witch sometime, she's been betrayed'. I should add, btw, that I've taken 'witch' to refer to a woman - a male 'witch' presumably being a 'warlock'. Anyway, Luca would probably perceive a witch to be a woman; and that's all that counts, right!?]

Luca: Even under normal circumstances, don't broadcast your feelings to others. Even if you're burning to do so. [Not sure about this, particularly the second sentence.]

Luca: I'm telling you (now), to create smouldering coals of jealousy and suspicion in your family and friends is absurd.

-Page 73 (11)-

Luca: Human beings are wretched things. They envy anyone who possesses even a little more than themselves. And yet, they despise them if they have nothing.

Luca: Fear and loathing at the smallest difference.

Luca: ……It's vexing but particularly for people having something to offer who look like us, true. [Not sure about this. The problem in this instance is 'motazaru', which according to my dictionary means 'to let (someone) have, give; have (someone) hold/carry/bear; preserve, make last'. So, 'a person/people who gives/lets (someone) have who looks like us' = ?????.]

Fu-ke: That's not the case……

Fu-ke: We…

Pepe: Isn't it-

Luca: OK then!

Luca: Now to make sure that it doesn't happen, we'll do things like this everyday. [This was a real pain. Literally Luca says something along the lines of 'Now, so that it won't happen, every day (we'll) perform in this way and prove it.']

Luca: Because a relationship of trust that is not backed up by deeds is not a trusting relationship, now is it.

Luca: Throw our lot together. [alt: By throwing our lot together.] ['Unmeikyôdôtai' = fate/destiny (unmei) + community, co-operative body, co-operative system (kyôdôtai)]

Luca: To survive here that's all we can do.

-Page 74 (12)-

Luca: OK then, always share half the proceeds with the neighbours.

Pepe: E(h)--- Them as well.

Lucy: But we don't need to.

Fu-ke: 1--- 2--- 3---

Luca: What did I (just) say? Don't buy envy unnecessarily, it's not worth it. In a world such as this, the greatest danger is in possessing too much.

Luca: You don't want to be dobbed in, do you. Go right away, and be lavish with the compliments!

Lucy/Pepe: Yes M'am.

Fu-ke: That's strange, one's missing…

Luca: Ah.

Luca: That's no good, is it. We'd better tie them back on more firmly (this time).

Casca: U(h)---..

Luca: Put up with them (for me), even if they're a little tight. [alt: Please put up with them, even if they're a little tight.]

-Page 75 (13)-

Luca: If a beauty such as yourself staggers about a place like this unmasked, one day she won't return safe and sound. [Re 'unmasked', Luca literally says 'unfortified'.]

Luca: To craving men, you'll appear prey.

Luca: If that truly is the case, I should have you work for your own up keep.

Luca: But I won't do it. I won't force you before you're ready and have given your assent………as you too are a woman, aren't you. [Despite feeling pretty confident about this, I do have some reservations. It could certainly be phrased somewhat better.]

Luca: …Besides, there's a mark on this girl's breast.

Luca: It appears to be there for a reason but…… [Simple statement, but I'm 'notorious' for stuffing up even simple statements!!]

Luca: I can't tell everybody else about this, can I. Even if it is a witch mark, I mustn't make a fuss…… [The first sentence here is fine. I did, however, have some problems with the second, for two reasons. Firstly, I was unable to find 'sawagidasu' in my dictionaries, and thus had to guess at 'put out an uproar' or 'make a fuss'. Secondly, I had two separate pieces of advice about how to treat the 'kanenai' following 'sawagidashi'. At any rate, I decided to treat it as 'must not' (make a fuss) rather than 'might'(make a fuss).]

Man: Lu--ca--

Luca: A(h) Yes Yes, Sir. Just a minute, OK.

Luca: Nina, since I'm on a job, [alt: Nina, since I'm doing a job/trick,]

Luca: Please take care of everyone's meals and of Elen, OK.

Nina: ……OK.

-Page 76 (14)-

Luca: And there's this.

Luca: I spoke to my doctor-client about your problem, and he gave me this as payment.

Luca: Morning and night, take two mouthfuls a day.

Nina: ……Th

Nina: Thank you,

Nina: Luca…

Nina: We'll go down and draw some water, and then come back. [lit: We'll go to the drawing water and (then) come back.]

-Page 77 (15)-

Fanatics: Heretic!!

Woman: Throw (it)!

Woman: It's OK, throw it. Quickly!

Casca: A(h)---

Casca: A(h)---

Casca: O(h)---..

-Page 78 (16)-

Standard-bearer: The Hawk!! ['Taka' can also be read as 'falcon'.]

Standard-bearer: The Fire Goddess has spoken. [alt: The Fire Goddess' oracle/message; The oracle of the Fire Goddess.]

Standard-bearer: The Hawk swoops. ['Swoops' is my guesstimation of 'maioriru'. Another reading could be 'to fly down'.]

Standard-bearer: After sweeping away the barbarians, he will lead us to a land of prosperity!! [The standard-bearer literally refers to 'the country that to be(come) one/first'.]

-Page 79 (17)-

Standard-bearer: Everybody, you must not soon forget.

Crowd: Shut up---old man!

Crowd: Get away! If we're mistaken for heretics, what then!? [Not 100% sure about this short statement.]

Casca: A(h)---.

Nina: No, Elen.

Old Man: It's a shame.

Old Man: [I'm unfamiliar with some of the terminology used by the old man in this instance ("shoppikarete"?), thus I won't hazard a guess at what he is saying. That being said, I can say that the old man is referring to the standard-bearer; noting that 'although he [the standard-bearer] was a frank/open-hearted monk, with the suspicion that he was preaching heresy' something happened to him 'and since that…'. Reference is also made to 'going around and calling out to we common folk'. Behaviour that the standard-bearer also seems to have did in the past.]

Woman: Father, sh!

-Page 80 (18)-

Nina: The blood won't (come to a) stop.

Nina: Pus is mingled with it also.

Nina: What's more, the inside of my mouth is swelling as well…

Nina: (For) Me … perhaps

Nina: it's already hopeless…

Casca: Au---

Nina: The doctor was saying,

Nina: this disease, if the bad blood circulates through to your head you'll go mad. ['Mad' may be a little strong here. Nina literally says that her 'mind will be touched'.]

Nina: I wonder if I'll also end up like you?

Nina: For you,

Nina: there is no fear (is there)?

Nina: Elen.

-Page 81 (19)-

Nina: Here,

Nina: most of the day is swallowed up by that tower's shadow (isn't it)…… [Not sure about this, and had problems with the next three speech bubbles as well.]

Nina: Even though it's a place where God exists.

Nina: How can such solemn and fearful thoughts

Nina: gaze upon it.

Nina: …I am afraid…

Nina: Afraid-…

Nina: I'm afraid……

Nina: Afraid

Nina: and I can't bear it…

Nina: Luca-.

-Page 82 (20)-

Nina: Of dieing,

Nina: of living,

Nina: of this world,

Nina: and of God…!!

Nina: Everything,

Nina: I'm afraid…

Nina: of everything,

Nina: and I can't bear it…

-Page 83 (21)-

Tower of the Shadow (2) End


Episode 137

-Page 85 (01)-

[The chapter commences with Nina and Ellen (Casca) at the river's edge - where we left them last chapter. As the sun sinks behind the awesome bulk of the Abbey, corpses concealed in the grass behind a decomposing tree trunk start to stir.]

-Page 86 (02)-

Retribution (Part)

(Chapter of) The Birth Rite

Children of the Shadow

-Page 87 (03)-

Zombie: …Although we prayed……

Zombie: pain…

Zombie: Despite this, we continued to pray…

Zombie: Pain…

Zombie: Can change…

Zombie: Bodies…

Zombie: Sacrifice

Zombie: A sacrifice…

Zombie: Cold…

Zombie: Where…

Zombie: The warm body……

Zombie: God…

Zombie: Will curse-

Zombie: I'm hungry…

[The corpses begin to shuffle forth …]

Zombie: Sacrifice…

[…whilst in the distance someone watches.]

-Page 88 (04)-

[It's those eyes again, dispassionately observing the steady progress of the corpses towards Casca and Nina.]

Zombie: The Body…

Zombie: A sacrifice

Zombie: Warm…

Zombie: Once more…

Zombie: Sacrifice.

[The eyes flare open with surprise as Casca's demon child suddenly materialises before the shuffling corpses.]

-Page 89 (05)-

[Confronted by Casca's child, the spirits animating the corpses depart. Its job done and seeing Casca looming in the distance, the child departs as well.]

-Page 90 (06)-

[Casca starts out towards the child's last location, only to be intercepted by Nina.]

Casca: A(h)---

Nina: Hey…

Nina: Ellen, what's wrong?

Casca: U. U---..

Nina: …Come (along)

Nina: We have to go home now, it's getting dark.

Casca: A(h)---.

Casca: A(h)---.

[Casca continues to look back, whilst Nina, oblivious to everything that has just transpired, looks at her perplexed.]

-Page 91 (07)-

[Back inside the Abbey Farneze sits contemplating her meal.]

-Page 92 (08)-

[She (Farneze) remembers the refugees who begged her for food, especially the mother with the starving child. With this memory her spoon drops into the bowl, and, closing her eyes, she begins to rest her head on the back of her hands. Meanwhile, Jerome is getting drunk. Two fellow knights, eating more so than drinking, share his table.]

Jerome: The alcohol's no good. [The alcohol tastes unpleasant.]

Jerome: Definitely. [alt: Indeed] [Jerome says "Mattaku". My dictionary indicates that, depending on the context, this term means "really, truly, entirely, completely, wholly, perfectly, or indeed". Considering the context here though, I'd be inclined to represent the term as "Shit" or "This sucks [is fucked]".]

[Background Noise: Gyaaaaa…]

[Background Noise: Hiiii…]

Jerome: If I hadn't heard those fucking annoying shrieks up until dinnertime, would it (taste the same).

Blondie: Why are the Knights of the Holy Iron Chain here to help Mozgus in the first place?

Big Blondie: As it is, it's as though we were his private army, isn't it.

Jerome: Perhaps that's what he thinks.

Jerome: Our commander.

Jerome: It's as if she was pandering to (that) Mozgus.

Jerome: No (that's not it), she's totally enthralled by the faith. [alt: No (that's not it), it is (the) faith that she whole-heartedly admires.] [Whose faith? That of Mozgus I presume.]

Blondie: O Oi… [alt: H Hey…]

-Page 93 (09)-

Jerome: Either that or maybe it's because she's a woman? [Jerome goes on to say '…onnagokoro [a woman's heart (that is, what it is to be a woman] tte yatsu [a fellow, a guy] kane……'.]

Jerome: Shit! She heard (me).

[Farneze grinds her teeth in anger, or is that a growl? Either way, she's angry.]

Blondie: Uwa

[…says Blondie as a bowl of soup drops, spilling its contents, onto the table.]

Serpico: I am…

Serpico: dreadfully sorry.

Blondie: Please watch where you're going!

Blondie: Why is that worthless fellow the herald? [alt: How did such a worthless fellow become the herald?] [In the absence of a dictionary definition, I've rendered 'monshôkan', a 'coat of arms officer/official', as 'herald'. I'm sure there's a better title, I just don't know what it is!]

Blondie: Aa [alt: Ah!] I see, by using flattery. [Problems here as well! Blondie refers to Serpico using flattery. Tail and possibly wagging as well are also referred to. 'By using flattery to make her wag her tail'!?]

Farneze: Don't waste food over trivial matters.

Serpico: (I'm) Sorry.

Knights: …At any rate.

Knights: They've increased again.

Knights: What has?

Knights: The refugees.

Knights: I'm sometimes afraid.

Knights: Something……You can't help but think that day by day Albion Abbey is being besieged by refugees.

Knights: But that's ridiculous.

-Page 94 (10)-

[Farneze and Serpico make their way down a flight of stairs within the Abbey. After some time they arrive at a ledge at the top of another flight of stairs, which over looks a chamber. Within the chamber two of Mozgus' followers, now bare-headed, are playing with some birds (either crows or ravens).]

-Page 95 (11)-

[We are given a glimpse of the followers deformed, vaguely fish like, features. ]

Fish Faced Follower: Ka-- Ka-- [This presumably represents the follower's attempt to mimic the cry of the birds around him. 'Caw-- Caw--' may be a better representation of what is being "said".]

[Farneze and Serpico turn as they become aware of another follower - this one bird-masked - progressing up from the chamber below towards them.]

Bird-Masked Follower: Something wrong?

-Page 96 (12)-

Farneze: Err… Lord Mozgus is? [alt: Well…Lord Mozgus is?]

Follower: The Master is at present in the chapel.

Follower: I'm going to call him from there. Let's go together.

[Farneze gives one last look back at the followers playing with the birds before stepping in, with Serpico, behind the bird-masked follower.]

Follower: Were you shocked?

Farneze: A(h)…

Farneze: N…No!

Follower: By the appearance of them playing with the birds? [alt: By their playing with the birds?]

Follower: Or was it their personal appearance?

Farneze: …That

-Page 97 (13)-

Follower: They are boon companions. [alt: They are good-hearted companions.]

Follower: All of us were violently persecuted because of our appearance. [alt: We all suffered severe persecution because of our appearance.]

Follower: Driven from towns and villages. Sold to freak shows to be loathed as abominations. Living hidden away amongst the woods.

[The bird-masked follower stops before a small window, through which the sun shines forth into the stair well, and removes the bird's head shaped mask. The face revealed, although pale (an Albino?), is certainly not disfigured.]

Serpico (thought): ['Iketeru'? The Acclimate Solution translation renders this short statement as: 'He looks just a nice guy.']

Follower: Please observe.

[The follower thrusts their hand directly into the rays of the sun. In no time at all, blisters appear over much of it.]

-Page 98 (14)-

Follower: It's a strange disease I've had since birth. When hit by sunlight my skin becomes inflamed, and in no time at all it ends up looking much like a burn.

Follower: My body's resistance is also weak. Without this mask, I guess I'd succumb to serious disease within 3 days.

Follower: Having the appearance of one burnt, I wished not be seen.

Follower: I banished myself from the village. I banished myself from the society of man.

Follower: Society is a curse, but alone, inside the body of a wayside side tree, I wanted to die. [alt (more lit): Society is a curse, but (as I was) alone let me die in obscurity inside the body of a wayside tree.] [The substance, I'm sure, is correct. The construction, however, may not be so.]

[The second panel shows the person revealed beneath the mask as a youth lying, covered with hideous burns, within the trunk of a tree. The flash back continues…]

Follower: It's at a time like that, I happened to encounter Lord Mozgus.

Mozgus: God.

Mozgus: I give thanks for this meeting and for fate.

Follower: With those words, the Master wrapped me within his vestments; kindly obstructing the rays of the sun.

-Page 99 (15)-

Follower: Later, (standing) before us, he stated,

[Mozgus stands before 6 figures cloaked as monks; 3 small, 1 tiny, 1 tall and lank, another almost as wide and as thick as they are tall.]

Mozgus: People may call you monsters or devils.

Mozgus: But that is a mistake.

Mozgus: Because in these Scriptures, regardless of whether it proves true for an individual born with your appearance, no such sentence is recorded. [This gave me a great deal of trouble. Could no doubt be much better, but I, for one, have no idea how!]

Mozgus: I, on the other hand, think there is significance in the fact that you were given forms such as these at birth. [alt: I, on the other hand, think it (is) significant that you received forms such as these at birth.]

Mozgus: It shows God was thinking of you. It is fate. [lit: (As for) it, God was thinking of you (all). It is fate.]

Follower: Fate?

Mozgus: That's right.

Mozgus: The proof,

[Mozgus smiles gently at those assembled before him.]

Mozgus: Because it was fate that made it possible for (all of) you and I to meet like this.

Mozgus: Both your forms, which differ from man's,

Mozgus: and your hearts, which were filled with hatred, fear and loneliness day after day as a result of being driven away by people.

Mozgus: God needs them all.

-Page 100 (16)-

Mozgus: You have been chosen. You are children of fate.

Mozgus: Have pride,

Mozgus: and have faith.

Follower: …It was a shock.

Follower: Enough to make a person shake.

Follower: Everybody loathed me as I monster. I whole-heartedly believed it myself. Me, who behaved as might a gutless cur that had been ceaselessly beaten,

Follower: If I was needed by God……

Follower: Yes…

Follower: It was a miracle.

-Page 101 (17)-

Follower: …I have no love for this work. […I don't like this work.]

Follower: (It is/which is) shunned, hated and feared. [I presume that the follower is here talking about the work, rather than himself.]

Follower: I also have no love for that which harms people. [alt: I also don't like to harm people.]

Follower: I can't help but think I have indeed became a monster…

[The follower places the mask back upon their head.]

Follower: ……No

Follower: Maybe, if that were the case, I'd face a person and would not be able to behave in that manner… [alt: If that were truly the case, I'd stand before a person and would not be able to act in that way [like a monster], perhaps…]

[The journey up the stairs continues.]

Follower: And yet,

Follower: I still have pride. [alt: I am still proud.]

Follower: This the Vatican recorded in the Scriptures…… [alt: This was recorded by the Vatican in the Scriptures……]

Follower: God was thinking of me, because it's a sacred office.

-Page 102 (18)-

[Finally, they arrive at a large set of double doors.]

Farneze: That sound? [alt: What's that noise?]

Follower: …The sound of prayer.

Follower: The Master's prayers.

[The doors are opened by the bird-masked follower, who ushers Farneze and Serpico into the room revealed beyond. Before them, bathed in light, Mozgus stands, bare headed, before the altar of his faith.]

-Page 103 (19)-

[Suddenly Mozgus drops to his knees and, to Farneze's amazement, drives his head down, face first, into the stone floor of the chamber!]


Episode 138

-Page 105 (01)-

[Farneze, having observed Mozgus plunge to his knees and drive his forehead into the stone floor before the altar, now stands looking perplexed, as does Serpico.]

[Light streams down from the domed roof of Albion Abbey above to settle on and around the prone form of Mozgus.]

Retribution (Part)

(Chapter of) The Birth Rite

Fanatic [This is my spin on the chapter title. "Môshinja" could also be translated here as "Fervent Believer", which may well be more appropriate if the chapter title is seen as referring to more than just Mozgus.]

-Page 106 (02)-

[Mozgus continues to fall to his knees and drive his forehead into the stone floor, as Serpico, Farneze and Mozgus' bird masked follower watch. Farneze stands speechless. Finally ...]

Farneze: That is…?

Follower: The bowing ceremony.

Follower: Lord Mozgus does it 1000 times a day

Follower: (He performs it) In the morning and again in the evening. [This little passage is actually quite awkward. Literally, the bird masked followers says 'Morning, night, that [the bowing ceremony] he repeats.' So, the implication seems to be that he does it 1000 times a day, some in the morning, some in the evening.]

Follower: To abandon one's self to God. To the best of my knowledge, over these last 10 years,

Follower: a day has not passed in which Lord Mozgus has not performed that prayer.

-Page 107 (3)-

[Mozgus ceases the ritual. He stands, head no longer writhing with veins, face no longer a demon mask.]

Serpico (thought): Is this the secret behind that face.

Follower: He seems to have finished. [alt: It looks as though he's done.]

Farneze: Lord Mozgus.

Mozgus: Why here's (Sir/Lady/Lord) Farneze. [alt: This is (Sir/Lady/Lord) Farneze]. [Mozgus always refers to Farneze as Farneze-dono. "Dono", according to my Japanese to English dictionary, equates with English "esquire" or "mister", "miss" etc. None of these is, however, really appropriate. Considering Farneze's rank, as a commander of knights, the appropriate form of address would seem to be "Sir", though "Lady" might be better for gender reasons. I should add hear, lest I cause any confusion, that Farneze always refers to Mozgus as "Mozgus-sama", indicating that he is her superior. If the Knights of the Holy Iron Chain answer directly to the Pope, as did "our" own Knights of the Temple of Solomon (The Knights Templar), this is hardly surprising, as Mozgus would be acting under the authority of the Pope.]

[Farneze looks down on Mozgus' Robes.]

Farneze: Lord Mozgus, you're bleeding… [lit: Lord Mozgus, blood…]

Mozgus: Aa(h)

Mozgus: For this, excuse me.

Mozgus: I was not aware that I was bleeding as I almost have no feeling in my legs. [alt: I was not aware that I was bleeding on account of almost having no feeling in my legs.]

[Mozgus looks up above him at the light streaming down from the …hole …at the top of the abbey's roof.]

Mozgus: In this tower a wise man was once imprisoned by Gaiseric the Conqueror.

Mozgus: They say that in the midst of all kinds of torture he continued to implore God to punish the crimes of the King, until finally some angels appeared. [These are presumably the same angels that destroyed Gaiseric's Midland 1000 years ago - see volume 10.]

Mozgus: Sacred ground certainly makes for miracles.

Mozgus: Someone once said, for worship, as well as strength, let me have seclusion.

[The bird masked follower starts to apply a bandage to Mozgus' wounded knee.]

Mozgus: Thank you.

-Page 108 (04)-

Mozgus: In few moments the feeling will return, along with the pain.

Mozgus: Because of these injuries, I can barely walk…… And I'm no longer suited to running.

Mozgus: And yet I cherish this pain.

Mozgus: My sacred duty is to execute the laws of God, who can be severe. I also have to make people suffer lots of pain, which makes me sad.

Mozgus: Of course, I do not have a guilty conscience. [alt: Of course, I have no regrets.]

Mozgus: But a man will only understand that through the grace of God. [alt: But a man will only understand why through the grace of God.] [Had all sorts of problems with this.]

Mozgus: Man is oblivious of that which exits within himself. [alt: As for man, he is oblivious of that which exists within himself.]

Mozgus: More so, if the person in question is of the same general disposition as myself. [alt: Mores the case where the person is of my general disposition.]

Mozgus: This injury is a warning to myself. It is proof of my belief in God. [lit: It is a proof of faith wound.] [alt: It is proof of religious faith.]

[Farneze looks surprised, then her head drops seemingly deep in thought.]

-Page 109 (05)-

Mozgus: Is there something troubling you, is that why you're here?

Farneze: e(h)

[Farneze splutters, taken by surprise.]

Mozgus: If you're being evasive, is it because you have to make a confession? [If you're stepping around me, is it because you have to take confession?]

Mozgus: If so, we can be alone…… [alt: If so, I'll clear the room……]

Farneze: No, that's not necessary. [alt: No, that will not be necessary.]

[Farneze looks down at the floor away from Mozgus' eyes.]

Farneze: …What I have to say,

Farneze: I was hoping you would listen

Farneze: to me…

Farneze: I don't understand it,

Farneze: this task. [alt: this duty.]

Farneze: What does it accomplish, and how can it save the people. [alt: What does is accomplish, and how does it aid the people.]

Farneze: Despite the arrest of numerous suspects, [alt: Despite the many suspects arrested,]

Farneze: we have absolutely nothing to indicate that the priest murders have come to an end. [alt: We have no guarantee that the priest murders have stopped.]

[Mozgus stands looking at Farneze without emotion.]

Farneze: Word has come to us of the masses seething with malice… [alt: Word has come to us of the masses being full of ill will…]

Farneze: (And) That's not all.

Farneze: I am ashamed to admit this, but even within the Knights of the Holy Iron Chain there are not a few (persons) voicing (their) disapproval for this task. [alt: I am ashamed to admit this, but even within the Knights of the Holy Iron Chain there are those voicing disapproval for this task.]

Farneze: I try to laugh at the novice's joke. [Not 100% sure about this, although I am sure that Farneze is talking about both a novice's joke and about laughing.]

Farneze: …But,

[Farneze looks … apologetic, certainly somewhat forlorn.]

Farneze: in this instance, there's too much fear about for it to be just a joke. And, it's not solely due to emotional exhaustion either...

-Page 110 (06)-

[Mozgus bows his head, then turns around to face the altar/icon.]

Mozgus: Let me tell you a story.

Mozgus: In ancient times there was a holy woman who dedicated her life to the aid of the poor. [alt: …to aiding the poor] [Mozgus refers to "honourable poverty" indicating most probably that the holy woman in question dedicated her life to those born into poverty.]

[We catch a glimpse of a woman in nuns' habit, surrounded by emaciated figures under blankets, giving what appears to be a young man a drink.]

Mozgus: She never turned her back on anybody who had been thrown from the society of man, whether due to plague, destitution or similar matters. Until the hour that they were summoned to appear before God, the dieing were (at the very least) each tucked under blankets and at peace. It is said that she would gather each in turn to her breast and hold them like a mother. [alt: … and hold them as if she were their mother.]

Mozgus: Once she discovered an old man who had become so thin and worn out that he had fell dieing by the roadside.

[The woman in the nuns' habit is now shown walking across … a meadow. In the foreground a figure is apparent in the gloom under a tree.]

Mozgus: As always, she gathered the man to her breast and held him.

Mozgus: But it was he who spoke (first). He said, "I who now waste away by a pathway like this, I would approach no one. This is proof of my having spent a proud existence in isolation." [alt: But it was he who spoke (first). He said, "I who waste away by the trail like this, I approached no one. This is proof of my having spent a lordly existence alone."]

[We see the woman holding the man, though both their features are obscured by shadow.]

Mozgus: (He (The old man) continued,) "Please, this sublime moment to be. Please do not dishonour the hour of my death with your warmth." [alt: (He (The old man) continued,) "Please, this sublime moment to be. Please do not disgrace my time of death with your warmth."]

-Page 111 (07)-

[Farneze stares forth at the altar/icon? It is shown in the next panel.]

Mozgus: What is suffice for a man to save him, I do not know.

Mozgus: That (question) perhaps is best left in the hands of God.

Mozgus: Now then, what is to be the standard by which we measure one's conduct and that of others. It is not (with)in man. The answer is within these pages. [alt: All is revealed within these Scriptures.]

[We are given a close up of Mozgus' "Bible".]

[The sun shining down on him from the roof above, Mozgus continues.]

Mozgus: God.

Mozgus: Solely for the good of God.

Mozgus: It is for God that we proceed. [alt: It is for him that we carry on.]

-Page 112 (08)-

[Mozgus seeming now to tower above Farneze stares down upon her, though without menace, and continues.]

Mozgus: Be not disheartened by a difficult task. [alt: Do not lament a difficult task.]

Mozgus: Be not disheartened by people's understanding, nor that it is not obtained. [alt: Do not lament people's understanding, nor that it is not obtained.] [Does either make any sense!?]

Mozgus: Be not afraid of a person's death, nor of one's own death. [alt: Do not be afraid of a person's death, nor of one's own death.]

Mozgus: Be not covetous of reward for one's own gain. [alt: Do not seek reward for one's own gain.]

Mozgus: Be not suspicious of God. [alt: Do not question God.]

Mozgus: As a human being, let me shed the blood of the flesh and the mind so long as I go on living (solely) for the good of God. [As a man, let me shed blood from the heart and the flesh so long as I go on living (solely) for the sake of God.] [Re the "heart" and "mind" differences between the two "options", this is due to "kokoro", meaning heart, mind or core, being used. As "flesh" would seem to cover the heart, I prefer "mind". That being said …]

Mozgus: That is called faith.

-Page 113 (09)-

[Farneze drops to her knee and bows her head.]

Mozgus: The Lord be with you.

Follower: Master, we must return soon.

Mozgus: Aa(h)

Mozgus: Well then

[The final frame shows a close up of Mozgus' face. He now wears his …hat, although it is the fervent light of his eyes and the prominence of his teeth that most catch the eye.]

Mozgus: Shall we go.

-Page 114 (10)-

[Mozgus leaves, as does his bird masked follower after giving Farneze a small bow.]

Farneze: We must be going as well.

Serpico: Yes.

[Farneze and Serpico begin to leave.]

Serpico (thought): There's something not quite right here (isn't there). But, his argument was faultless. [alt: But, his argument left nothing to be desired.]

[Farneze turns around to look at the altar/icon one last time.]

Mozgus (Farneze's memory): God

Mozgus (Farneze's memory): Solely for the good of God.

Mozgus (Farneze's memory): It is for God that we proceed. [alt: It is for him that we carry on.]

-Page 115 (11)-

[A large shadow with pulsating eyes, much like the eyes of Mozgus, peers down through the roof. As Farneze and Serpico leave we see the shadow 'dash' off over the roof's surface. The action then moves back to the refugees' camp, where we observe Nina handing an old lady some food.]

Nina: Here, take this… [alt: Here, mother, take this…]

Old Lady: Thank you, as always, Nina.

Old Lady: This place has improved for the better, thanks to you. [alt: Conditions in this place are much better, thanks to you.]

Nina: I'm glad, but you take care of yourself OK.

[Nina moves away from the old woman and gives a sigh.]

-Page 116 (12)-

[She then notices Casca, who is gleefully sloshing around in the mud with some children.]

Nina: Hey! Elen! [Elen is, of course, Casca, none here abouts knowing her real name.]

[Hauling Casca away from the pool of mud.]

Nina: Oh---! [lit: Mo---!]

Nina: That's enough, you'll cover yourself in mud!

[Casca reaches out towards the pool as Nina pulls her away.]

Casca: Splash, splash.

[A young man appears before Nina.]

Young Man: Nina…

Nina: Joachim…

[Nina looks wide-eyed, then lowers her head and storms past Joachim with Casca in tow.]

Joachim: Um…Well [alt: Uh…Ummm]

-Page 117 (13)-

[Joachim follows Nina and Casca.]

Nina: If it's about work, you'll have to ask one of the other girls. I'm having a rest.

Joachim: Umm…

Joachim: No

Joachim: I…

Nina: What is it then? [alt: What do you want to know?]

Nina: Is it about my health…

Nina: or…

Nina: You know and

Nina: You're (still) going to say you want to sleep with me? [alt: You're still going to tell me you want to sleep with me.]

Nina: Sir. [alt: Mr Customer]

Joachim: …I

Joachim: …I

Joachim: Only…

Joachim: Worry about you…

Nina: …(But) even if you sweet talk me,

Nina: I still can't service you.

Nina: Why don't you understand? [alt: Why can't you understand that?]

Joachim: No…

Joachim: Not my…

Joachim: Intention…

[Nina raising her voice in anger:]

Nina: If that's the case, just go and fuck someone, OK!!

-Page 118 (14)-

[Nina's outburst has turned more than a few heads, leaving Joachim looking somewhat embarrassed.]

Joachim: Ah

Joachim: No.

Joachim: I…

[Suddenly Nina is before him looking straight into his eyes.]

Nina: If you have the courage [If you truly have the courage]

Nina: Tonight, at the stroke of midnight, come to the river's edge.

[Nina leaves Joachim and, leading Casca by the hand, crosses a small stream on a plank. Unfortunately, her outburst has awoken Luca and the other ladies.]

Luca: Nina, what's wrong?

Luca: You've been making a racket all morning…

[Nina enters the tent and flops down on her bedding.]

Luca: Hey, Nina?

Nina: Nothing's wrong!

-Page 119 (15)-

[Nina lies awake on the pillow whilst Luca looks at her with a curious expression. The third last panel shows the full moon high above Albion Abbey surrounded by clouds. A figure waits with a glowing lantern down by the edge of the river. The last panel shows the leg, boot and skirt of a figure moving through the grass.]

-Page 120 (16)-

[It's Nina. Joachim turns to face her as he hears her approach. Nina looks … surprised …or emotional, though the emotion comes principally from her eyes.]

Nina: …You came.

[Nina rushes towards Joachim, and embraces him.]

Joachim: Nina.

Nina: Answer me, Joachim. [alt: Joachim, answer my question.]

Nina: Do you love me?

Joachim: Ah!

Joachim: Aah

Joachim: I do…

[Nina's eyes are closed. Her head resting on Joachim's chest.]

Nina: In that case [alt: If that's the case]

Nina: Will you be willing to hold me in your arms forever? [Nina here and in the statements that follow, on this page and the next, is asking Joachim whether he can (or, in these instances, will) do the things that she is asking about. Thus, a better translation here may well be: "Will you cherish me?"]

Nina: To die together. [alt: Will we die together?]

-Page 121 (17)-

[Nina pulls back slightly and looks up into Joachim's eyes.]

Nina: Together with me

Nina: are you willing to descend into hell?

[Joachim looks somewhat startled by the question.]

Joachim: …Yes

Joachim: With you

Joachim: If we are together… [alt: As long as we're together…]

[Nina throws her arms around Joachim's neck and kisses him.]

-Page 122 (18)-

Nina: …and it's not business. [Not sure about this, though I am sure that it is better than my first attempt: "…enough".]

[Nina looks pleasantly surprised. Joachim, on the other hand, looks …dumb-founded!]

Nina: OK [alt: Come]

Nina: We'll go together.

Joachim: Wh…Where to?

[Nina grabs Joachim's hand and starts leading him away.]

Nina: A place sacred to a dreadful deity. [alt: The inner sanctum of a dreadful deity.]

Nina: At World's End. [alt: The Edge of the World.] [lit: The End of the World.] [I have here worked on the assumption that Nina is talking about a place, that is the place at World's End, rather than a state of being.]

[The second last panel shows Nina and Joachim in the distance, with another skirt and boot in the foreground. The owner of the skirt and boot is Luca, her hair billowing in the wind with the awesome, shadowy bulk of the Abbey behind her.]

Luca: That girl

Luca: She can't be-…

-Page 123 (19)-

[We see Luca drift off into the distance behind the receding shadows of Joachim and Nina. Luca, however, has also been followed.]

Casca: Vu---..

[As Casca walks in pursuit of Luca, we see that the sky is now swarming with a myriad of twisted, shadowy faces.]

-Page 124 (20)-

[Nina and Joachim have just arrived at a narrow passage between two sheer cliff faces. In the distance we can see several other human shapes moving towards a light in the distance.]


Episode 139

-Page 125 (01)-

[Nina and Joachim continue their progress up the gorge, as do the cloaked and/or hooded figures before and behind them. After some time, they arrive at a cave entrance. Entering this, they begin to descend into the depths of the earth…]

-Page 126-127 (02-03)-

[…stopping only after reaching a ledge over-looking a large cavern below.]

Retribution (Part)

(Chapter of) The Birth Rite

The Bowels of the Holy Place [alt: The Inner Sanctum]

[The cavern teems with human beings, both male and female, engaged primarily in dancing around a large cauldron suspended above a fire at the cavern's centre or in fornication at its edges.]

-Page 128-129 (04-05)-

[We [the reader] move closer to the action, glimpsing first the naked revellers dancing around the fire then the orgy at the cavern's fringes.]

Narrator: Out of anxiety, out of stress, [alt: From anxiety, from stress,]

Narrator: at the base of the cavern

Narrator: is that (which is) known as sin.

Narrator: Of human beings there is naught in the formless vastness.

Narrator: But, there is certainly life;

Narrator: A heaving sea of flesh.

-Page 130 (06)-

[The action moves to a group of males playing various stringed instruments, a drum, and a bullhorn. We are then shown the cauldron being stirred by a large man, in which something seethes and bubbles. In the distance, through the haze created by the fire and the steaming cauldron, a horned head can be glimpsed.]

-Page 131 (07)-

[The horned head is a large goat's head mask. It rests covering the face of some tall, thin man. Around him, with him and with each other, a large number of naked women engage in various sexual acts. Finally, our tour of the cavern complete, we return to Nina and the startled/horrified Joachim.]

Joachim: Aa…

Nina: Come.

-Page 132 (08)-

Nina: Let's descend. [alt: Let's join them.] [Though the hiragana reading given here indicates that this is to be read a "oriyoo" (yoo form of oriru, to descend, to alight, to get off) the kanji used is normally read as "da", fall, with "dasuru" meaning "to descend to, to degenerate, to lapse into". The implication here is thus that Joachim is being tempted to, and at page 140 (16) does, "fall from grace". Of course, I could be wrong.]

[Joachim and Nina move down to the base of the cavern. Luca, hidden away on a ledge behind a stone pillar, watches them as they move towards the cavern's base.]

Luca: That girl, I knew it…

[Joachim and Nina arrive at the floor of the cavern where they are eventually confronted by a group of naked, eager-eyed women. With feline grace, they move forward and commence to disrobe Joachim; much to his consternation.]

Joachim: Ni…

Joachim: Nina…!

-Page 133 (09)-

[Nina meanwhile is receiving similar ministrations, and more, from her entourage, including, amongst other things, having her body coated with some sort of lotion. Finally, Nina and Joachim, now prepared, stand facing each other. Joachim appearing as hesitant as ever.]

-Page 134 (10)-

[Nina's attendants continue to attend to her, each other and themselves! Nina, watery eyed and blushing, holds open her arms, and legs, waiting for Joachim's embrace.]

Nina: Come

Nina: Let us flyaway together. [The verb in this instance means "to run away, escape, flee". "Flyaway" was chose quite simply as it was appropriate for the subject matter - witches during, and after, the Middle-Ages were purported to make use of a flying ointment to fly to the sabbat.]

[Nina and Joachim embrace, as someone other than Luca looks on the cavern below.]

-Page 135 (11)-

[The owner of those pulsating eyes, last glimpse hurtling across the roof of the Albion Abbey, is back again, looking down upon the activities within the cavern.]

[Joachim, whilst otherwise engaged with Nina, and company, is starting to have some disturbing visions.]

Joachim (thought): …What is this salve?

[Those around him, all but Nina, start to lose colour and individual form. Nina, for her part, looks …nowhere, clearly seeing something other than the eyes can see.]

-Page 136 (12)-

[Joachim's visions continue. He and Nina, but more particularly those around them, 'melting' to become lubricated flesh of the most intimate kind. His hand 'melting' into her breast.]

Joachim (thought): An illusion…?

[Suddenly a figure composed of smoke and flame materialises above the cauldron.]

-Page 137 (13)-

[It's Slan, and she's masturbating.]

-Page 138 (14)-

Standard Bearer: The Fire Goddess!! [lit: The Flame Goddess!!]

Joachim (thought): Fire… [lit: Flame]

Joachim (thought): Goddess…?

[The flaming figure of Slan continues to masturbate. Climaxing…]

-Page 139 (15)-

[…she dissipates back into flame.]

Luca: An illusion…?

Luca: They're brewing a potion in the cauldron, aren't they. [alt: They're mixing chemicals in the cauldron, aren't they.] [Had all sorts of problems with this, with each visit back to it yielding another interpretation. At any rate, I've taken "renchuu" to mean "they", and "kusurimazekonderu" to mean "mixing chemicals [or medicine] in".]

[Luca covers her mouth and nose with her hand. Below the orgy continues. Joachim, as he draws near to climaxing, stares wide-eyed in terror.]

-Page 140 (16)-

[Joachim continues to hallucinate … Surrounded by throbbing, convulsing flesh, composed of the other cultists, he continues to thrust into Nina, she herself lying in the midst of the yielding flesh suspended just below a giant clitoris. Joachim climaxes…]

Joachim (thought): I'm falling…!!

[…and disappears into the yielding flesh, the fleshy walls closing behind him.]

-Page 141 (17)-

[The page commences with a close-up of Johny Rotten's definition of love (spunk trickling down …). Nina and Joachim, exhausted, kiss before rising from the ground.]

Nina: Joachim, come with me.

Nina: Great Goat (Lord)

Nina: I have brought this person as he wishes to convert.

[Joachim's head continues to spin as he looks into the eyes of the goat mask.]

-Page 142 (18)-

Nina: From this day you shall speak nothing but ill of God.

Nina: Now, kiss Great Goat's heart and phallus. [Phallus was used in here instead of the literal translation "thing". Of course, I could have used several other terms…]

[Joachim kisses the goat-man's chest, but hesitates as he draws near the goat-man's phallus. It is serpent headed, and hisses at Joachim before metamorphosing into wood. Joachim kisses it.]

Nina: Come, this is the last test.

[Joachim turns his head to see Nina holding a bowl, having just been presented with it by another near-by-standing cultist, filled with some steaming liquid.]

-Page 143 (19)-

Nina: Drink this, then you shall be one of us.

[Joachim moves the bowl to his lips and sips the liquid, only to discover a finger resting in his mouth between tongue and teeth.]

Joachim: Ge…!!

[Joachim spits the finger from his mouth and hurls the bowl to the ground smashing it, in the process also revealing the bowls other grizzly contents, namely an eye and an ear.]

Nina: Joachim!?

Joachim (thought): …This is

Joachim (thought): no illusion.

-Page 144 (20)-

[The man stirring the cauldron raises the 'paddle'. On its end rests what remains of a baby. In the cauldron, floating at the surface of the liquid as if trying to escape, there are more.]

Joachim: Hi..

Joachim: Hiii..

Nina: Joachim!!

Joachim: Uwaaaa

[He flees.]

Nina: Wai…

[Nina drops her head shaking with indecision, until finally…]

-Page 145 (21)-

Nina: Kill that man.

Nina: He will betray us.

[A hoard of cultists, all wide-eyes, clawing hands and shadow, pursues Joachim as he flees from the cavern. As the chase progresses, they seem to gain on him.]

Joachim: …Hi

-Page 146 (22)-

[Suddenly, Joachim, more intent on his pursuers than on where he is going, stumbles inadvertently precipitating himself over a cliff face.]

Joachim: Uwaaaaa

[Joachim's pursuers, Nina standing before them, watch as he plummets into the darkness below.]


Episode 140

-Page 147 (01)-

[The eyes of Nina, filled with tears, and Joachim meet one last time as he plummets into darkness, and on towards the base of the cliff.]  

-Page 148 (02)-

[Nina and the other cultists remain standing at the cliff's edge looking after Joachim into the darkness below.]

Cultist: He's dead isn't he.

Cultist: Aa(h)

Cultist: From this height there's no way he could have survived.

Cultist: Come on (now), we should head back.

Cultist: If someone heard the uproar, they might come to investigate.

Nina: You go ahead.

[They leave]

Nina: ……uhu

Nina: A ha ha…

Nina: Ahu…

[Nina starts sobbing.]

Nina: Hu…

Nina: Gu…

Nina: Why……

Nina: (You) Liar…

Retribution (Part)

(Chapter of) The Birth Rite


-Page 149 (03)-

[Someone is behind her]

Nina: What (is it)!!

Nina: I told you to go ahead……!!

Luca: Nina…

Nina: Luca

Nina: Why (are you here)…?

-Page 150 (04)-

[Luca starts moving towards Nina.]

Nina: …No

Nina: Don't come near me.

Nina: Don't…!!

Nina: I said, don't come near me!!

Nina: Don't, don't come any closer!!

Luca: Nina…

[Nina picks up a rock from the ground and throws it … hitting Luca square on the forehead just above the right eyebrow. Nina looks horrified by the results of her action. Luca looks angry.]

-Page 151 (05)-

Nina: I…if you come any closer

Nina: I'll jump!!

Nina: Wha

Nina: What (is it)…

[Now Luca is closer to Nina we can see that she is no longer angry, but rather …emotionless!]

Nina: What

Nina: What do you want!!

Nina: Are you listening!? [lit: Do you understand!?]

Nina: You can't forgive me for what happened before!!

Nina: I was out of order!!

Nina: You're normally passionate but understanding!! [Not sure about this, though I think it's close to the mark!]

Nina: B…but not now!!

Nina: What's with that look!! [lit: What. Those eyes!!]

Nina: Do you pity me!? Is it distain!? I know, all that sex has aroused you and now you're dripping wet for me (,aren't you)!! [I hope this is close to the mark otherwise …]

-Page 152 (06)-

Nina: I'll sleep with you and I'll do it, with you also, for free. That's not prostitution!!

[…Nina yells out, eyes closed, head tilted forward, her face covered in sweat and tears. She continues in like vein…]

Nina: How is it that you can look down on someone else with those eyes!!

[Her blubbing and trembling reaches a new peak. Finally, she fixes on Luca, who now stands emotionless within two feet of her, an evil, desperate leer.]

Nina: I will yell for my friends to return.

Nina: You'll be torn to pieces.

-Page 153 (07)-

[Luca, no longer emotionless, slaps Nina's left cheek.]

Nina: That hurt…!

Nina: What are you doing……!?

[She follows it up with a similar blow to the right one, sending Nina to her knees clutching both cheeks.]

Nina: Hii..

[Luca grabs Nina's arm, puts her over her knee, and starts slapping her …behind.]

Nina: Gyan!

-Page 154 (08)-

Nina: Hi…

Nina: St..

Nina: Ow

Nina: Sto.

Nina: Stop

Nina: Hin.

[Luca continues to "tan" Nina's "hide" with a vengeance. Nina for her part is now crying torrents. The anxiety and venom (the cornered rat look) is, however, no longer evident.]

Nina: Stopp……

Nina: Lucaaa

Nina: Please…

Nina: Stooppp……!!

Nina: I'm…I'm sorry…!!

Nina: I am.

Nina: I'm sorry……

[And she looks it!]

Nina: Please, no more…

-Page 155 (09)-

[Luca raises Nina up from over her knee and begins…]

Luca: Don't you worry

Luca: About this girl.

[…to comfort her.]

Nina: Hi..

Nina: Hugu..

Nina: U---..

Nina: Wa----..

Nina: Ah----

Nina: Ve----

Nina: Ueh…

Luca: Silly girl

Luca: You really are.

-Page 156 (10)-

Nina: Luca

Nina: I

Nina: I

Nina: Joachim, a…

Nina: I……

Luca: Don't say anything for now, OK. [alt: Say nothing for now, OK]

Luca: Come on

Luca: Let's go home.

[They begin to walk home, stopping only when they turn a corner, around a rock out-cropping, to find…]

Luca: What the! Those guys?

[Nina's companions the returning cultists. They are gathered around someone who, even from this distance, looks all too familiar.]

-Page 157 (11)-

Casca: Avu---

Nina: Elen!?

Luca: No

Luca: That girl, she must have been following me!!

Cultist: What (is it)? Are you looking to convert?

Casca: Byu---

Cultist: Hm?

Cultist: What's with the face?

Cultist: I know her.

Cultist: If I'm not mistaken, she's one of the prostitutes with Nina. Anyway, she has syphilis or some such.

Cultist: She must be waiting for a punter.

-Page 158 (12)-

Cultist: Let's leave her be and head back.

Cultist: Syphilis, why would you want to sleep with her, eh!

Cultist: If she's insane, then we don't have to worry about her informing on us.

Cultist: Sure is chilly… I'm gonna catch a cold.

Luca: Huu [alt: Whew]

[The cultists begin to move away. One of them, an almost toothless, almost bald, older man sporting a rather prominent paunch, however, hangs back, hand clasping Casca's fore-arm.]

Sleazy Old Cultist: He he…Just hold on a sec, OK. [alt: Just wait a minute, OK.]

Sleazy Old Cultist: Aren't you interested.

Sleazy Old Cultist: Hi hi..

Sleazy Old Cultist: to see what it looks like…

[He "jokingly" pats Casca's right cheek, before…]

Sleazy Old Cultist: Her pox-ridden face!?

[…ripping the bandages from her face…]

Sleazy Old Cultist: …What the?

[…revealing Casca's strikingly beautiful face.]

Casca: Bui--

Luca: Accha--! [Basically, "Oh shit--!"]

Sleazy Old Cultist: Oh! What's this? What's this?

Cultist (background): Hooo…

Sleazy Old Cultist: Who's the gorgeous gal?

[He looks as though he's just won the Lotto!]

-Page 159 (13)-

[He grabs Casca by the shoulders, a hand on either side…]

Sleazy Old Cultist: No way is your face pox-ridden.

Sleazy Old Cultist: He he. Even though you look like you're constantly sucking, you're still a fine looking girl(, aren't you).

[…and pushes her to the ground with himself on top of her.]

Sleazy Old Cultist: But what about the bod(y)!?

Sleazy Old Cultist: Let's have a look!!

Nina: Luca…!?

Luca: Don't you move from there!!

[Luca moves from concealment and starts to run towards the cultists.]

Sleazy Old Cultist: Hyahaha keep struggling. It's futile, but your speech [alt: talk] is amusing [alt: funny]!!

[The sleazy, old cultist, now sits on top of the supine Casca, one hand grasping her left fore-arm whilst the other floats menacingly above her chest.]

Casca: Ah--- Gi---

[He grabs and tears the front of Casca's shift from her body, revealing her breasts beneath… and the brand, now weeping blood.]

-Page 160 (14)-

[A shadow steals over Casca's pupil, suddenly she finds herself back at the Occultation…]

-Page 161 (15)-

[…naked and surrounded by a group of monstrosities …only slightly more repulsive than the sleazy, old cultist!]

-Page 162 (16)-

[She lets out a heart-rending cry of anguish.]

Sleazy Old Cultist: Owaah!!

Sleazy Old Cultist: What's with her!?

Luca (background): I'll have to chance it!

Luca: Hey [alt: Wait]

Luca: You guys…!!

[Suddenly everyone stops and looks up…]

Cultists: eh…?

-Page 163 (17)-

[…at the pitch-black night sky, which now writhes with a myriad of tortured, shadowy, picassoesque faces.]

Sleazy Old Cultist: …What the hell?

Cultist: Gyaaah

[We see one of the distorted shadows merging with a cultist.]

Cultist: Vah

Cultist: Vah

-Page 164 (18)-

[The "infected" cultist undergoes some sort of transformation …veins sticking out in arms and neck, the jaws, mouth and teeth extending.]

Cultist: H [alt: O]

Cultist: Hey, you OK. [alt: Oi, you OK.]

Transformed Cultist: I'm..

Transformed Cultist: Hungry.

[The transformed cultist thrusts forth with open mouth and bits off the middle third of the concerned cultist's face.]

Luca: H

Luca: Heyy?

-Page 165 (19)-

[More shadowy forms swoop down from the sky to merge with other cultists, who then attack and consume those that have not been so possessed. Some small distance away both Casca and Luca, at opposite ends to each other, observe the pandemonium.]

-Page 166 (20)-

[Luca stands dismayed]

Luca: Wha…!!

Luca: What is this…!?

[Luca remembers Casca …She sits calmly beyond the bedlam, at its edge, with now feral eyes wide apart, gown laying in ruins about her shoulders and breasts, and with blood trickling slowly down from the seal.]

Luca: That girl

Luca: No way…!! [alt: She can't be…!!]

Transformed Cultist: Flee..

Transformed Cultist: Woman.

Transformed Cultist: Fleshh

Transformed Cultist: Flesh

Transformed Cultist: Fleee

-Page 167 (21)-

[The transformed cultists - werewolf's if you like - move menacingly towards Casca.]

Luca: Elen!!

[The demon babe appears suddenly before Casca.]

-Page 168 (22)-

[The transformed cultists see it and the shadowy possessors depart, leaving the once possessed cultists to fall exhausted upon the ground.]

Cultist: Uwah..

Cultist: Hi..

[Casca reaches for the demon babe…]

Casca: Ah---

[…but, its task done, it also departs.]

Casca: Ah..

[Casca fumbles around the spot where the demon babe was, whilst the surviving cultists watch.]

Casca: Uh uh..

[Luca and, in the background, Nina stand wide-eyed looking at Casca.]

Luca: Elen

Luca: You…

-Page 169 (23)-

[The surviving cultists stand surrounding Casca whilst she fumbles with the air, suddenly…]

Cultist: …a witch…

Cultist: She's a witch!!

[They all bow to the ground about her, whilst Luca and Nina stand in the distance observing her.]

Casca: Vui---..

-Page 170 (24)-

[At the base of ravine/cliff Joachim lies by the shore of the river.]

Joachim: Uuh…

[Above him floats the large, shadowy form with the pulsating eyes. It flees, once again, leaving Joachim by the waters edge.]



Chapter 7

It's easy to dismiss this chapter, due to its explicit content, as being naught but explicit content. This, however, would be a mistake, as here, as elsewhere, Kentaro Miura has shown considerable knowledge of popular beliefs about witchcraft during the Middle Ages and Reformation. The notes that follow, amongst other things, provide some details as to some of those beliefs. In most instances, the source for this information is Witchcraft by Pennethorne Hughes.

Page 126-127 (02-03)

The witch cult would engage in various types of meetings - large meetings, traditionally identified as sabbats, and comparatively smaller meetings of local witch cults, traditionally identified as esbats. Esbats would have been attended primarily by the active heart of the cult, that is the coven, which very well may have consisted of 13 members.

The sites for the great meetings would be in the (secluded) traditional holy spots of the earliest religions, including near lakes and streams, in the heart of the forests, around cromlechs and stones, in caves, or at crossroads. Hughes notes that the cave was the most traditional of such sites.

Three sites, on our own Earth, are mentioned, by Hughes, as being of particular significance; namely the Broken, or Blocksburg, in the Hartz Mountains (speculated by some as being the seat of the Anti-Pope (Satan's Vicar on Earth)), the Blocula in Sweden, and the summit of the Puy-de-Dôme in Auvergne.

Page 128-129 (04-05)

There were several sorts of dances undertaken at the sabbat, including a ring dance, a follow-the-leader dance, and a leaping dance. Hughes notes that many on-lookers were amazed at the acrobatic feats displayed during the later, and speculates that much of this agility might have been due to drug induced euphoria.

Page 130 (06)

The dances were performed to music, as depicted here.

Instruments employed were those common to the locality, and to the principle members. Such instruments including the tamborine, the violin and/or the pipes.

The tunes would have been the popular ones for merry making during that time.

Page 131 (07)

Hughes notes that the chief priest of the cult, and high devil of the vicinity, when at the sabbat would appear, masked and robbed in animal skins (though the disguise may have went so far as to include claws, false hoof shoes, and even stilts), as the witch god.

The classical form for the witch god was that of the goat, though this disguise did not appear in the British Isles.

Hughes notes that in Lorraine the Devil appeared as a goat, usually black, sometimes with a candle between his horns.

Page 133-135 (09-11)

The ointment 'whereby they [witches] ride in the aire'. Pennethorne Hughes notes that:

It contained grease, a proportion of purely horrific ingredients - incorporated because they were related to the sex or excretory taboos, were customary, or were hard to acquire - and a quantity of drugs which certainly would have definite psychological consequences.

Hughes goes on to note that A J Clark, in an appendix to Professor Murray's Witchcraft in Western Europe, has analysed three of the recipes used to make the flying ointment. He continues:

Discounting the bat's blood and the baby's fat as picturesque accessories, oleaginous if otherwise ineffectual, he [A J Clark] finds that the remaining ingredients do carry important toxic qualities. As he sums it up:

The first preparation, which contains hemlock and aconite, would produce mental confusion, impaired movement, irregular action of the heart, dizziness and shortness of breath.

The belladonna in the second ointment would produce excitement which might pass to delirium.

The third ointment, containing both aconite and belladonna, would produce excitement and irregular action of the heart.

Page 138 (14)

I'm guessing here that the standard bearer is the cult's Officer. The Officer's duties included arranging meetings, seeing that the witches knew of the times and places of these, obtaining food for them, presenting new members, and keeping a record of all that was done. The Officer also took part in the 'service'.

Page 141 (17)

Depending on the time and nature of the cult, Great Goat would represent either the ancient Horned God or the Devil.

In an earlier version of these notes, I noted my belief that Great Goat in this instance did not represent the Devil. I'm no longer quite so sure, as I realise my initial conviction was based to some extent on the appearance of Slan, a super-natural figure outside the dualism of God and Devil. In other words, I was prejudiced by a belief that pagan elements nullified Christian elements. This, especially for the time, is wrong. So, Horned God or Devil!? I'm still inclined to think the former, but … volume 3 certainly indicates to the contrary!

Page 142 (18)

In Witchcraft Pennethorne Hughes notes that the initiate might be asked to kiss the Grand Devil's person. Hughes furthermore notes that the required kiss may have been the "Kiss of Shame", whereby the person was expected to kiss the Grand Devil's fundament (buttocks).

The Devil himself - the priest of the coven - would be expected to copulate with all the women, prior to what Hughes calls the 'full abandon of the fertility tradition'. As portrayed here, there is evidence that the Devil may have employed an artificial phallus (in fact, would have needed to do so), as he was described, in various witch trials, as being exceptionally and painfully cold in copulation. Certainly, pregnancy by the Devil was by arrangement not involuntary.

Page 144 (20)

Various charges were levelled at witches with respect to children. These included accusations of murder, cannibalism and the use of children in elixirs, potions etc.

Chapter 8

It's always a hazardous task to try and second-guess an author when it comes to inspirational sources. More often than not, the person attempting such a task makes naught but a fool of him or herself. Indeed, I may be about to do so myself. So, dear reader, you have been warned.

In this chapter, Kentaro Miura continues to make use of popular beliefs regarding witches, and witch practices, in Europe during the late Middle-Ages/Reformation. The sacrificial brand itself is a reflection of this knowledge. Afterall witches had their witch marks, a sign of their having made a pact with the Devil and also the means whereby they fed their familiars. For those who possess volume 14 of the manga, have a look at where the demon babe starts to feed at its birth. Of course, Luca, Nina, the cultists, or any of the other native inhabitants, would need no such additional knowledge to start jumping to conclusions, the brand, the gruesome form of the child itself, its power over the dead and the possessed, and its apparent link with Casca would all point to witchcraft. In fact, for some such as Mozgus the brand itself would be enough - he identifies it as a witch mark in volume 19 ("…This is undoubtedly a witch mark.").

On top of the above, we also have the transformations. As briefly mentioned above, the transformed cultists would most probably be perceived as being were-wolves. Lycanthropy was also associated with witchcraft, whether as a feature of the witch him or herself or as a curse that could be placed by the witch on others.

For more on the beliefs regarding witches during the Middle-Ages/Reformation, and the implementation of those beliefs within Berserk multi-verse see the notes for chapter 7.