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The Empress has left the palace and begun her procession to the Moldova Mausoleum. Watching her departure from their window are Asta and Abel. Watching from the rooftop is Ion. Among the followers, Ion sees Radu and leaps at him, intending to kill him with his sword, but Radu overpowers him. Suddenly, Radu whispers to Ion that he must get away and stop the Empress then resumes his nasty persona. Esther rushes into the courtyard to help Ion, but Radu and Suleyman catch her. Just as Radu is about to kill Ion, the Empress orders everyone to stop. She tells her guards to take Esther and Ion into the palace and hold them there because she wishes to talk with them. Then she continues on her way to the Mausoleum.

Asta and Abel head toward the Mausoleum themselves. Before they can get there, they are appalled to see it go up in flames and smoke. Asta and Abel go into hiding in the sewers until they realize that they are being shadowed. Asta stays behind to fight and orders Abel to go to the palace and save Esther and Ion. Assuming the Empress to be dead, Suleyman focuses on seizing control of the Empire, while Radu takes on the job of getting rid of Esther and Ion before they can say too much to the other nobles. Suleyman does not want them to be killed, however, so Radu has come up with a different plan.

Radu goes down into the dungeon where Esther and Ion are being held. When Ion attempts to understand why Radu is so against the Empress and her ability to peacefully unite both Terrans and Methusalahs in Byzantium, Radu reveals his true self. Radu is indeed dead, and his body is being inhabited by Dietrich von Lohengrin, the Puppet Master of the Order of Rosenkreutz. Ion attempts to rush him, but Dietrich fires a bullet at Ion. It doesn't take long for Ion to realize that it wasn't an ordinary bullet. It contained a catalyst to excite the vampire bacillus in Ion's blood. Soon Ion will turn into a ravenous beast with an uncontrollable bloodlust that will cause him to drink every last drop of Esther's blood. Dietrich tosses Esther a knife to protect herself and then leaves them both to kill or be killed.

Ion begs Esther to kill him, but she cannot. Ion fights the thirst while Esther stands by helplessly.


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