A corpse speedily digs itself out of the ground, and proceeds to throw itself at the gravediggers. It seems to have come unbidden - though animating it was Aberion's goal, he had no time to summon it. Lokan slashes at it, but before it succumbs, it's able to rake him across the shoulder, and to create a nasty open wound. Augusta's prayers subdue the creature, and Agapia's prayers help close the wound up, but the experience is disconcerting. Agapia's continuing shakes also proves a cause for concern.
The following day, Yuri still has not returned. Thinking the cossack can take care of himself, most of his companions occupy themselves by attending an audience with Trofim Andreevich. Lokan has come to tell the prince a version of the events in Sitnitsa that raise questions about the origins of the golden egg, and Lokan's own actions in confiscating it. The vagabond then gifts the mended eggshell to Trofim Adnreevich, saying that the prince is really the sole owner of everything in his domain anyway. The prince is amenable to taking control of the shell, and responds favorably to the gift. Lokan relates that Yuri may still be in the village, and the prince dispatches riders to search for his servitor. When Lokan introduces Aberion to the prince, and recommends him as a competent healer, who has come to train with Iraklii Petrovich, and the Prince grants him access to facilities around the citadel. Augusta, in the meantime, meets with Mother Feodosia, to discuss the egg. The nun believes that whatever evil powers may be associated with its appearance, such miraculous events still help instill hope among the poor. Augusta is also concerned about Agapia, about whom she has detected a funnel of evil energy, and asks the Mother to speak to her.
* * *
Yuri's leadership of the aggrieved peasants through the wilderness is at first fortuitously inept, which results in failing to find the rest of the party. After a night's rest, he does succeed in leading them and their cart around some quicksand, and then finding the way back toward Ladeisk. At this point, his group is surrounded by Trofim's riders, who escort them back into the city. In the citadel, Trofim tells the peasants they will be allowed to state their case before him on the morrow. After dismissing them, he tells Yuri Lokan's version of the recovery of the egg, and then adds that fighting the Kochmaki is an expensive proposition. He tells Yuri that he will also be required to give his sworn version of the events, and asks him to recount the tale of finding the egg, as well as its purported disappearance. Yuri is a bit skeptical, but he nevertheless articulates a story that is technically true, and is moreover one that Trofim Andreevich wants to hear. As the prince tells him that his companions are looking for him, Yuri then seeks out Lokan and Augusta at a watering hole inside the citadel, and there, he is introduced to Aberion.
In the meantime, Agapia is confessing her sins to Mother Feodosia. The shakes she has been experiencing since leaving Sitnitsa has her concerned about her spiritual well-being, though since she prayed earnestly earlier in the day, they seem to have died down. The swallowing of the egg, and the relationship with Stinker-Terentii may also be causing her discomfort, though she begins by telling the Mother about the times when she may have taken some cauldrons that did not technically belong to her. The Mother responds to Agapia as an innocent, and is ready to release her with only a few formulaic prayers to recite, but as she does so, the convent comes under attack by five robed figures, who display an uncanny similarity to the restless corpse of the previous night. Feodosia dismisses the foul things, and escorts Agapia to the tavern where her companions are assembled. Unfortunately, the robed figures reassemble there, and attack.
Agapia invokes divine beneficence to prepare her companions for battle. All goes well initially, and after Lokan and Yuri begin to hack at the monsters, Augusta confronts them with the truth of the Resurrection, and turns them to dust. However, the leader of the cloaked figures emerges from the opposite side of the drinking hall. He initially engages Augusta, who vaporized the navii under his command, but then switches his attention to Lokan, who harries him. He manages to bite the vagabond with his oversized fence, and drains some life-blood from him. The monster also proves difficult to damage, as most wounds dealt him speedily close up.
The battle of the creature against the seasoned Yuri and Lokan becomes protracted, and Aberion decides that this presents him the perfect opportunity to go through with his original plan. He retreats toward the robes left behind by the navii, and attempts to reanimate them. Unfortunately, aside from the tattered robes, there seem to be no remains. Worse, Mother Feodosia, who has also retreated, divines Aberion's purpose, and commands him to hold in place.
In the main battle, the monster begins to think to make a break for it, but Augusta's divine fire finally fells him. As Lokan attempts to bind him, he suddenly revives, and makes to climb up atop the tavern, but is brought down, overpowered, and bound. He is then questioned, and reveals that Agapia and the others have torn the veil between the Netherworld and the Visible World, and now, all the numerous creatures like himself will come through incessantly. He does not seem to fear death, but promises that the companions will have no peace. Finally, his head is removed, and he is burned, and buried. The prince and other servitors, who soon arrive on the scene, ask what happened, and aside form the story of the upyr', they hear Mother Feodosia's tale about Aberion's actions during the melee. Concerned about what has transpired, Trofim Andreevich orders the newcomer to be thrown into a pit until the matter can be fully investigated.
- Lokan grants the golden eggshell to Prince Trofim Andreevich
- Navii and an upyr are defeated
Character(s) interacted with