Behind the altar, Mira looks down at an ornate CHEST, gilded and jewelled. Looks back to Janos.
I don’t understand.
There’s nothing here.
That’s because the Count took it. The chest once held a vial
of the blood of blessed saint Briccius, who was stoned
to death by your very own ancestors. The villagers then were a
pathetic group of miserable pagans who refused to convert. It was only
through the martyrdom of Briccius that they saw
the depth of their sin and finally turned to God.
What would Bathory want with such a relic?
He has used the blood in perverse rituals. He has desecrated it, used it
to make himself something dark and terrible.
The man Bathory used to be died a long time ago.
He must be destroyed!
What do I care?
Because that is the only way your husband will be restored.
You say he must be destroyed, not just killed.
What would kill an ordinary man will only incapacitate the Count. Keep his heart from
beating, sever his head, and you will earn some time, but even from
those wounds will he eventually heal. His servants need only bring him
innocent blood upon which to feed, and he will be restored. No, his
body must be destroyed. Fire is the only way.
Why haven’t you set him on fire, then? Easier to just hide
in your chapel all these years?
Yes. I am not proud of my cowardice.
I fear the Count suspects that I am aware of his true nature. I
doubt I could ever get close enough to his person to do any
damage. Besides, have you ever seen any fire in Bathory’s presence?
I had hoped Ilka would be the key to his undoing, but she was
entirely too easy for him to enchant. Jewels and pretty dresses, and
not the dark arts, did most of the work, I’m sad to say. By the time
the Count had lost all hope of getting a son by her, she was
broken, and no longer of any use.
And so you brought me here to use, heedless of the danger my son
and husband would be placed in. Actually, it was probably
better for your purpose, wasn’t it? It gave me a reason to want to do your bidding.
I will destroy the Count. And I will save my husband,
and together we will rejoin our son. But I want you to
know that for all your piety and goodness, you’re just as much a bastard as he is.