The Bitter End

Batiatus now seeks vengeance against Tullius for all that has befallen him, including the death of his father. Gannicus pushes Batiatus to complete his sale to Tullius so that he may seek revenge for the House of Batiatus by killing Tullius himself, but Solonius counsels caution and a more sensible, if final, solution. Meanwhile, Naevia replaces Melitta as the personal body-slave to Lucretia, who promises her that no man will ever touch her as happened to Diona. In the end, Tullius and Vettius both fall into the trap - Tullius is bricked into the foundations of the new arena, and at the opening of the new Capua arena, Vettius informs of the sale of his ludus to Solonius and departs for Antioch. Batiatus now has a new rival, his former friend who he has distanced by his continual rebukes, and one willing to use his own methods against him. The opening games begin with the execution of prisoners (including Diona), and after winning the final mass night-battle of the opening ceremony, Gannicus (at Solonious' suggestion) receives his freedom from the magistrate. He soon departs the ludus - but not before entrusting his champion necklace to Crixus.

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