|Occupation:||Archbishop of Istvan|
|Manga debut:||Act. 35 Wait Until Dark|
Archbishop Emanuele d'Annunzio is the archbishop of the Church of Istvan. His goal is to restore the Vatican's position as the core of human society, which he hopes to achieve by starting a war between the Vatican and the New Human Empire. In order to orchestra his plan, he captures Shahrzad al-Rahman and extorts her into assassinating his newly invented Lady Saint.
After the death of the previous pope, Emanuele became heavily involved in the Department of Inquisition and many other bureaus of the Vatican and was the former superior of Brother Petros. He is also a writer and popular among women. He used his strength and reputation to lead the previous cardinal to adjust to Istvan, which had been in chaos from the Star of Sorrow incident a year ago.
Mark of a Lady Saint / Imitation Star ArcEdit
This arc begins with an omnious voice commanding a vampire to go to Istvan and kill the "Lady Saint."
Archbishop Emanuele d'Annunzio is first seen recommending the flustered Pope Alessandro XVIII to rest. Caterina thanks him, to which he politely replies there is no need. Emanuele explains he scripted the opera that will be shown later that night, and proudly proclaims it will be magnificent. Cardinal Antonio Borgia rhetorically replies that would obviously be the case, as all of the cast were first-rate actors, and the only case if the opera would be the fault of the script. Emanuele replies to the backhanded compliment with gratitude and states this was an opportunity to help advertise and revive Istvan, and he will expect the Vatican's support in exchange for showing the Vatican's power to the world. The Cardinal is not impressed.
Emanuele then greets and compliments the honored guest, Sister Esther Blanchett, much to her embarrassment. While the two talk, Antonio explains that after the death of the previous pope, Emanuele became heavily involved in the Department of Inquisition and many other bureaus of the Vatican. He is also a writer and popular among women. He used his strength and reputation to lead the previous cardinal to adjust to Istvan, which had been in chaos from the Star of Sorrow incident a year ago. Cardinal Borgia doubts the city can be revived, and cannot help but harbor and irrational hate for the Archbishop. Esther modestly refuses the title of Lady Saint, but Emanuele pressures her to accept it. The nun turns to Abel Nightroad for support, but becomes angry at him when he pretends to admire the chandelier. Emanuele informs the nun that he will be giving a speech to the crowd, to her surprise. Meanwhile, the dark-skinned vampire from earlier glares at them from the floor below.
Brother Petros bumps into Esther while he was lost in the hallways. Esther explains that Archbishop D'annunzio has ordered her to give a speech in front of the audience he wrote for her. Petros does not believe her and takes her speech script from her, only to realize the speech encouraging war had Archbishop's signature there, and becomes increasing suspicious when Esther mentions The Duchess of Milan summoned her. Archbishop D'annunzio appears and asks what Petros was doing in there, which causes the flustered inquisitor to thank and praise his former superior. Esther questions whether it was alright to preach about war in the speech, but the Archbishop tells Esther that people want to hear about a "riveting and dramatic story," and that a heroine will provide an inspiration to the people, who are still in peril after the events of last year.
Esther soon leaves to make preparations and the Archbishop D'annunzio makes a snide remark that he has never gotten along with intelligent women to Petros. Petros looks at the Archbishop as he confesses he just wants his "fodder" to "act like the brainless fodder they ought to be". D'Annunzio explains it is exactly as it sounds: "Saint Esther" is just an artificial image created with the power of mass marketing. He elaborates that the reason why the Vatican wants to make such an investment is because of the decline of the Vatican in the secular world, and creating a "Saint" is the perfect method to revive their position as the core of human society.
Petros then asks Archbishop D'annunzio about the huge numbers of police in the local garrison, to which the archbishop answers that this is the country requires a strong defense because of it's close proximity to the Empire. The Inquisitor argues that the the Vatican should be in charge of defense, while the police are there for peacekeeping, and accuses the Archbishop of militarizing the police. D'Annunzio simply adds that despite the financial burden, it is a necessity as the Vatican army would abandon the city if war broke out. Brother Petros becomes confused at this blatant breach of the Vatican law set by Cardinal Medici himself, especially considering there appears to be no impending signs of war. D'Annunzio cautiously reminds him not to forget the enemy of mankind, and leaves ominously saying that Istvan is the front lines of war.
A terrified Esther is summoned onto the stage and struggles to give her speech. The nun fumbles the script D'Annunzio gave her earlier and ends up spilling the papers on the floor. To everyone's surprise, the nun manages improvise a speech of her own. D'annunzio is surprised, but thinks to himself it is alright so long as she does not say the wrong thing.The nun becomes distracted by the bright lights and, determined to dispell the belief that she is a saint, finds the dermination to make a speech of her own. She admits she initally came back to Istvan because of the invitation that was given to her, but has changed her mind and wants everyone to pray in memory of the blood that was spilt and the lives lost in Istvan. Not just for the allies, but also the enemies. Although they had no choice at the time to fight, Esther explains she no longer believes that is true. Everything started from a misunderstanding, both sides thought each other had to die, but both sides were also the same: they smiled, cried, hated and loved. Yet, it was all lost to a misunderstanding. Esther urgers people to question their own "righteousness", and the "righteousness" advocated in the world. The crowd is perplexed as the nun encourages people to think about whether their own sense of justice is their presumption or propaganda. Although this may mean God and righteousness are complete illusions, the nun tells people to keep questioning, because she believes people will find the truth they cannot deny: love. Love is what God left behind, and that is why she believes in him, and that he left it behind because he loves them. In memory of the people who have died, Esther ends her speech by encouraging people to pray for the departed.
Esther's speech is in stark contrast to D'Annunzio's script inciting war, but nevertheless earns her a standing ovation from the crowd.
The woman Esther and Abel saw earlier approaches the stage to bring flowers. A guard tells her that is it not time yet, but she does not listen, using her abilities from her glove to flick soldiers out of her way. The Methuselah announces her name as Shahrazad, an assassin sent from the Methuselah Empire to kill "the murderer who calls herself 'Saint'". She destroys the wall behind her and makes her way over to Esther and whispers something, but is stopped by Brother Petros, who engages in a battle with her. Shahrazad defeats him with ease, kidnaps Esther and flees into the night. Abel calls out for Esther but is held back by the panicked crowd. As Shahrazad leaves, she bids farewell to the Archbishop before leaving, which does not go unnoticed by Petros.
The next day, Archbishop D'Annunzio reports to Cardinal Medici for yesterday's failings. The Archbishop blames Petros' presence for causing him to let his guard down, and athough initially stunned, the inquisitor relents and takes responsibility for his role in yesterday's events. Caterina Sforza steps in and defends Petros, arguing that his original mission was to guard the Pope, and puts the blame back on the police.
Brother Matthew shows up and explains that the weapon the vampire used last night. Archbishop D'annunzio asserts such a sophisticated weapon must be an indication that she was an assassin sent from the Empire, which she claimed. Caterina Sforza urges that he should not jump to conclusions as their nemesis has been diplomatic for over a century, but Cardinal Antonio Borgia points out the Empire may feel threatened after they lost Istvan to the Vatican. D'Annunzio tells everyone that all of his troops are already searching for Sister Esther as they speak. Unsatisfied at the lack of experience and proper equipment, Matthew proposes that the Inquisition should help this investigation as well. Although initially reluctant one man could do much, the Archbishop is graciously accepts the help as Brother Matthew explains that he will have three battle ships and five-hundred men within the afternoon. Caterina and Antonio both point out that it is almost as if he had planned an impending war beforehand. Petros pleads to help in order to redeem for his failings from the night before, but Cardinal Medici simply tells him to guard the Pope. Petros reluctantly agrees. Cardinal Francesco ends the meeting with a warning that with the news of a Saint kidnapped by a vampire could spark a catastrophic crusade, and to be prepared.
After learning that Archbishop D'Annunzio had blackmailed Shahrazad Al-Rahman into killing her, Esther joins the Methuselah to take him down.
While waiting for The Pope and Caterina to come to dinner, D'Annunzio tells his lieutenant that his bad premonition has come true when Shahrazad kidnapped Esther. The lieutenant apologizes and asks if they will escape, but d'Annunzio informs him that would be impossible as it is taboo for the vampires to leave their "livestock". The Archbishop predicts that Shahrazad will try to contact him to exchange Esther for her human "livestock", or team up and try to contact Cardinal Sforza. If the latter were to happen, D'Annunzio explains they will have to "martyr" Esther, who had become an international celebrity due to her being kidnapped, to frame the vampire. This would inevitably mean that the media will be enamoured with the story, Rome will be forced to start a war, and the person at the front lines like Istvan - such as himself - will have power rivaling that of the Pope's.Just as he is fantasizing out loud, Esther makes her presence known. The girls confront the Emanuele, who reveals that this has all been part of his schemes to start a war between the Empire and the humans. The Archbishop has a backup plan, though, as he pulls out a knife and sticks it into his own shoulder, making it seem like an attack from Esther and Shahra, just as Cardinal and Pope arrive in the room. Esther tells Shahra that they need to leave, and pushes her down just in time to dodge Tres Iqus's bullets. Shahra shields them from more of Tres attack until Abel arrives and tell Tres to stop. But the Gunslinger does not listen, and resumes his orders to take down the people who attacked the Archbishop. The Gunslinger fires another bullet but it appears to have hit the Pope instead, who stepped in the way to shield the two girls. Shahrazad persuades Esther to quickly use this opportunity to escape while Abel examines Alessandro and confirms that he was simply suffering from a concussion. An infuriated Caterina orders people to go after the two, no matter what it takes.
Archbishop D'annunzio holds a press conference about the kidnapping of Esther while Abel and Petros watches the even after Alessandro recovered from his concussion, . The Knight states the Archbishop does not show any humility and would subjugate the young man to so much unwanted attention just for himself to take the spotlight. Petros voices his annoyance to Abel and the priest responds that Alessandro can't help who he is, although things may be different if Caterina was beside him. The Inquisitor deduces that Caterina must be shunning Abel and teases him about it, which earns a humorous comeback that at least he isn't like Petros, who himself is on guard duty because he "botched things up". The reporters tell the two to pipe down so they can hear the interview, only to witness Petros comically strangling Abel.
Petros defends himself and points out he was not on guard duty because of his failings, but because the Pope could still be a target. Abel is reminded that Esther is still missing and begins to worry, doubting that Caterina can do much, despite her word.
After D'annunzio allows the Pope to return so he can finish his own rhetoric about avenging the "deceased" Lady Saint, Petros allows the Pope to rest and asks if he was tired. Alessandro replies he wasn't, and that he had to do something as everyone else was working so hard. Petros is easily moved by the Pope's "commendable determination" and "unparalleled benevolence," then promises to serve him devoutly, with the "utmost admiration from the bottom of [his] heart." The Pope asks Abel if Esther had been found, to which the priest replies that she had not. The Pope asks if if Esther would really betray them, and asserts that he doubted it and believes she must have a good reason for her current actions. The Pope points out no one knows why Esther was kidnapped or why she was currently with the Methuselah. Petros argues they must have conspired together from the beginning, or the vampire would not have allowed her to live. Abel points out she was with him the entire time, and they were suddenly summoned to Istvan out of the blue.
The priest stops when he realizes that the only people who would've known about Esther's arrival was Caterina, Antonio and D'Annunzio. Abel asks Petros if he had noticed anything strange with the Methuselah, to which he reluctantly replies that she mentioned D'Annunzio's name and that she was taking Esther into her custody. The priest points out how odd this was, considering she had announced she was going to kill the Lady Saint. Abel asks Petros what the Methuselah would gain from this, the Knight struggles and answers she may have enjoyed making threats. The priest questions how she would have entered the highly-secured opera house, and Petros struggles again and makes an attempt at guessing. Abel finally points out that the assassin wouldn't have known the architecture, and after struggling again to come up with an adequate answer, the inquisitor becomes angry at the priest in a comedic fashion.
Abel comes to the conclusion that the Methuselah was led here deliberately by someone from the inside, because they wanted Esther dead. Petros becomes shocked at such a "preposterous" accusation against Archbiship D'Annunzio. An ominous figure approaches them, but to their luck, it is Antonio Borgia. The Cardinal gives Abel a letter for Abel. Although there was no name or address, Antonio identifies the envelope as property of the Csillag Hotel, which was famed for it's bagel salmon sandwiches. Abel reads the letter and suddenly feigns a stomach ache and runs, but is stopped when the Cardinal orders Petros to catch him. Antonio reads the letter to realizes that it alleged "Archbishop D" was planning a conspiracy, and it was from Esther. Antonio realizes no matter if the contents of the letter are true or not, the Csillag Hotel must be investigated, and allows Abel to investigate. Petros insists on going as well, but Antonio points out he is assigned to guard duty. Just at the moment, the Pope asks if he could them the permission to go, as he did not want Esther to die. Petros begins to comically cry and Abel remembers Antonio mentioned the hotel made delicious bagel sandwiches. Antonio comes up with a plan: the two have the perfect excuse to leave under the guise that they are buying a bagel sandwich on the sacred orders of the Pope.
Petros and Abel arrive at the hotel just as the police were about to kill Esther. Enraged after witnessing the policemen trying to murder the Lady Saint they were meant to protect, Petros orders them to surrender, or face punishment at his hands. The police try to fire their guns, but the Holy Knight decimates them with ease. The four escape after finding out reinforcements were about to arrive, but are suddenly stopped by Father Tres and Sister Monica. Monica introduces herself as Petros' "business rival" and stabs him in the neck, then proceeds to kill Esther. The nun is suddenly saved when Petros springs back up - just as Monica realizes she didn't slice his throat, but the hydraulic cable of his armor. Abel and Petros hold off Tres and Monica as Esther and Shahrazad head out to fight against the Archbishop D'annunzio. Petros manages to corner Monica, but just as he was about to deliver the finishing blow, his Screamer passes through Monica. Monica escapes from Petros, who curses and heads back to where Abel is. Abel tries to reason with Tres, but the cyborg does not listen until he realizes Caterina Sforza, who was in D'Annunzio's mansion, is in danger. The three of them join forces and defeat the rest of D'Annunzio's police force before going to the mansion.Emanuele leads Caterina and Alessandro into Gyula's mansion, where he promptly kills all of the Pope's guards before revealing he plans to murdering the Pope and Caterina. Shahra and Esther find the Archbishop as he is about to kill the Cardinal and the Pope. Having realized they were in another trap, Esther tells Shahra to escape with the Cardinal and Pope, but Shahra was frozen, having seen the dead bodies of her family. Esther screams at the Archbishop for having lied to Shahra from the very beginning, which the Archbishop replies it was obvious that he would have done just that. In the novels, Shahrazad tells Esther she now hates Terrans with all her heart before charging at d'Annunzio. The Countess remembers her deceased Terran family before leaping towards the Archbishop and murdering his guards, but is stopped by the UV-lights before she could reach d'Annunzio himself. The Methuselah lies on the floor in pain as she is shot by the police soldiers.
Abel, Petros and Tres show up just in time to save Esther, Shahrazad, Caterina and Alessandro from Archbishop D'annunzio. D'annunzio is surprised his large police force was taken down so easily, to which Petros replies it was not a contest of numbers. More police join the fray, but Petros remarks the Archbishop does not have the justice, faith, or fighting spirit to win. D'Annunzio tries to flee but he is stopped by Esther before he can escape. Petros is surprised when Brother Matthew suddenly appeared with his troops. D'Annunzio tries to lie his way through it all, but Matthew laughs at the 'scenario' he scripted, calling it cliched, and reveals they had intercepted all his communication for the past two days and Lieutenant Dobo has confessed to everything.
Esther informs Shahrazad that d'Annunzio has been captured, and they must run or the Inquisition will kill her. The nun proclaims she is on Shahrazad's side, just as her friend had asked her earlier. The Methuselah is stunned and smiles, stands up, hugs Esther and tells her she loves her. However, knowing there is no hope for her to survive from here, Shahrazad she takes the Pope hostage and declares she will kill him.
Shahrazad dictates for everyone to stand back except Esther, and orders the nun walk over to her. She places the nun's gun to her chest and orders her to kill her. Esther refuses and proclaims she would rather be killed as a witch by the Inquisition than to harm her friend. Touched by her words, Shahra cries and and thanks her tovarisch before pulling the trigger and killing herself. Shahra smiles as she dies and apologizes for pushing the task to her friend, but is glad knowing she was able to make Esther into a real lady saint to the people so that she can change the world. Esther grieves for her lost friend who passes away in her arms.
He commits suicide at the end of this arc, reportedly by ingesting a poison he had concealed within him. Caterina remarks that this would be for the best.
"Emanuele" is a Hebrew name for "God is with us".
"D'Annunzio" translates to "Announcement" from Italian. Gabriele D'Annunzio (12 March 1863 – 1 March 1938) Prince of Montenevoso, was an Italian writer, poet, journalist, playwright and soldier during World War I. This is similar to how the character envisioned his plan like a scripted play.