The arrival in Wein. We see the initial interaction between Aksinya and Asmodeus. The purpose for their coming to Wien isn't clear. Let me explain it to you. The demon wishes to degrade Aksinya as completely as possible. In Russia, he can only see her death. The Bolsheviks murder the aristocrats. In the west much more effective means of degradation are possible. We will see examples very quickly. You can begin to imagine yourself. In Russia, we would get a show trial, some torture, and death. In the west, there are excruciatingly long term means of causing suffering. The courts with a accusation. Ecclesiastical courts with their taint of true evil. Just keep in mind that the purpose of the demon is to do evil--to and for Aksinya.
They exited the train near the locomotive and immediately a carriage with a pair of white horses pulled up to the platform. Natalya laid Aksinya’s heavy mink coat over her shoulders. Aksinya pulled it close, and Natalya tied the clasp under Aksinya’s chin. Natalya pulled her own black woolen cloak over her shoulders. She buried her nose in the thick fabric for a moment, smiled in a very reassured way then tied the clasp.
Asmodeus pointed with his open hand. The carriage driver was overdressed in fine aristocratic livery. He helped Aksinya then Natalya up into the carriage. He put out his hand to Asmodeus, but Asmodeus instead made a gesture toward the driver’s seat. The driver climbed up to his seat and the demon took a place across from the ladies. He faced the rear.
When the driver was in his place, Asmodeus put up his hand and spoke in perfect German, “Proceed driver.”
The driver responded, also in German, “Yes, sir.”
After they exited the station, they were quickly surrounded by tall buildings. When they were well away from the station, Aksinya asked, “Where are we going, demon?”
“You should be able to guess, countess.”
Aksinya glared at him, “You planned this trip. I had no part in it.”
“The answer should be simple, especially for you. I told you, you could not remain in Russia. There was too much danger for you. I also told you I would convey you to a safe place where you could find relatives who would take you in.”
“So where are we going?”
“You don’t remember?”
“This isn’t a game.”
“But it is, countess. It is a great game.” The demon leaned closer to her, “We are enroute to your Uncle’s house. He is a Freiherr of the Austrian realm… and within the aristocracy of not much account. A Freiherr is a baron in Russian.
Aksinya crossed her arms and replied in German, “I understand very well what a Freiherr is.”
The demon continued without a pause, “His name is Freiherr Herman Bockmann. He is your father’s brother.”
Aksinya’s response was tart, “I know who he is.”
“So everything comes back to you now.”
Aksinya glared, “I understood from the beginning.”
“I know you did. Your uncle will love to take care of you. He will be pleased to invite a real Russian countess into his home and society.”
“I don’t like him, and I will not do as you ask.”
“Why don’t you like him? He is upright in his life and his business. Too upright for my tastes, but he is driven by the idea of nobility and aristocracy. He is tempted to it in much the same way you are tempted to touch yourself.”
Aksinya glanced at the lady at her side, “Shut up, idiot demon. Natalya…”
“The Lady Natalya hears what I wish her to hear.”
Aksinya leaned back and put her hand under her chin. She looked out the side of the carriage.
“Listen very carefully to me, Countess.”
“Whatever your Uncle proposes, you will accept it.”
“And if I don’t?”
“You have already faced that before,” the demon smiled.
“I doubt you will take my clothing off of me in front of my uncle. I don’t think you will harm my servant before him. What do I have to fear from you?”
“If you use your mind, I believe you can imagine many ways that I might make your life miserable. Chiefly, your Uncle thinks of himself as moving in the highest strata of culture, society, and nobility. He is absorbed by it. He celebrates within the church because it separates the common from their betters. What if his niece were reveled as an ugly and common girl who is involved in sorcery? What do you think would happen to his place in society? A countess from Russian is one thing. A countess can be a pathetic being, deserving of pity and love. This specific countess who was chased from her home and lands by the communists and Bolsheviks is especially deserving of pity. Her family was murdered as she watched. On the other hand, an ugly girl who practices sorcery and might have used her curses to escape while she left her family alone to die, is one deserving of only rebuke and punishment.”
“You would reveal yourself…”
“Perhaps, but I am a demon. My position in society is meaningless. To your uncle, his position is everything. The shock might kill him. It would certainly ruin him…and you.”
Aksinya wouldn’t look at the demon, “I won’t promise you anything.”
The demon smiled, “…but you will do as I ask. That’s the answer I wanted from you…”
The demon again gets Aksinya's acquiescence without anything but a threat. He will increase his attacks, but as long as Aksinya doesn't fight back, he will dominate her. If she fights back, she will gain little relief.