caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VII - Daybreak on the Elbe

Chapter 9 - The Star of David


Coronation day! Eduard shows up to rouse Franz Stefan out of bed, into the bath, and into the proper clothes. In return, Franz gives Eduard a new eye-patch... with the Star of David on it. Just as he'd asked for, as Franz points out. Eduard is pretty speechless. Cue emotional bonding moment. And... no one notices. Eduard decides people just don't see things which don't concern them. No one notices, that is, until they're waiting in the antechamber and Therese arrives with the kids in tow, takes one look at Eduard, and shrieks. Everyone starts looking around for danger, see what Therese is staring at, and start to react. Just then a servant arrives and announces it's time to start the procession, and Franz takes a steely grip on Eduard's shoulder and propels him out ahead of him, ostensibly as a prop to hold him up under the weight of the robes. Jaeckin and Valentin wordlessly pick up the train and follow.

As they're marching along through the crowd, a voice cries out: "Eli!"

Eduard looks around. It comes again: "Eli!"

It's Adelheid.

Eduard makes his excuses and bows out on Franz who good-naturedly complains, "Women are more important than friends?"

"It's not a question of gender, it's a question of time. I've been with you for 13 years. The day I parted from her was the day I met you."

Eduard ducks out and circles around the crowd, then pushes through them (causing a few mutters of "Jew!") to find Adelheid. Re-united, the most important question is of course to ask if she's married. She isn't, so he proposes. Of course she accepts. Short interlude of reminscing about how they feel young again. Then she tells him Karoline is waiting to meet him outside, then cautions him that she's had a hard life and is bitter.

The widow studies him. "You're the Jew Eliyahu Rothschild?"

"That's correct. You're the widow of the Landgrave of Hessen-Kassel?"

"That's correct. The wife of the man you killed, the mother of the man you killed, the fallen woman who has suffered because of you."

Eduard meets her eyes. "I have things I would like to ask you, and things I would like to tell you."

Karoline put her right hand into her muffler as she replied: "No matter what you ask, or what you say, this is my answer."

And then she shoots Eduard in the chest. "God is watching. I shall have justice."


Chapter 10 - Rebirth


The coronation is over, and Therese's personal physician is operating on Eduard to get the bullets out. Franz promises him anything he wants, the empire, anything, so long as he saves Eduard. He asks Valentin and Jaeckin what they think, if Eduard can be saved.

Valentin replies that Eduard has already died twice and come back to life twice. Jaeckin snorts and looks away. "I'm not letting him die until he repays his latest loan."

Meanwhile, Therese is putting her children to sleep. Little Josef calls out to his mother. "Today, everyone was saying. How the wounded Eduard is a Jew. The Jews are the evil people who live in the dark in am Hof, aren't they? Is the Sword of the Habsburgs really one of them?"

Therese can't stop crying.

"Mother, what is it? Did I say something wrong?"

"You're going to be emperor after your father. You have to take up your courage and see clearly what is true and what is right. [...]"

Josef nods quietly. "If Eduard is a Jew, then I can't hate Jews. Father would say that too, wouldn't he? And mother too."

Therese remembers the past. "Become a good emperor. Don't get trapped in customs, seek the truth, and endeavour to act with sympathy. That will bring you happiness."

Little Josef snuggles into his blankets. "It'll be good if they can save Eduard."



(What the-? The end. Right there. Thanks for reading, folks.)
caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VII - Daybreak on the Elbe

Chapter 9 - The Star of David


Coronation day! Eduard shows up to rouse Franz Stefan out of bed, into the bath, and into the proper clothes. In return, Franz gives Eduard a new eye-patch... with the Star of David on it. Just as he'd asked for, as Franz points out. Eduard is pretty speechless. Cue emotional bonding moment. And... no one notices. Eduard decides people just don't see things which don't concern them. No one notices, that is, until they're waiting in the antechamber and Therese arrives with the kids in tow, takes one look at Eduard, and shrieks. Everyone starts looking around for danger, see what Therese is staring at, and start to react. Just then a servant arrives and announces it's time to start the procession, and Franz takes a steely grip on Eduard's shoulder and propels him out ahead of him, ostensibly as a prop to hold him up under the weight of the robes. Jaeckin and Valentin wordlessly pick up the train and follow.

As they're marching along through the crowd, a voice cries out: "Eli!"

Eduard looks around. It comes again: "Eli!"

It's Adelheid.

Eduard makes his excuses and bows out on Franz who good-naturedly complains, "Women are more important than friends?"

"It's not a question of gender, it's a question of time. I've been with you for 13 years. The day I parted from her was the day I met you."

Eduard ducks out and circles around the crowd, then pushes through them (causing a few mutters of "Jew!") to find Adelheid. Re-united, the most important question is of course to ask if she's married. She isn't, so he proposes. Of course she accepts. Short interlude of reminscing about how they feel young again. Then she tells him Karoline is waiting to meet him outside, then cautions him that she's had a hard life and is bitter.

The widow studies him. "You're the Jew Eliyahu Rothschild?"

"That's correct. You're the widow of the Landgrave of Hessen-Kassel?"

"That's correct. The wife of the man you killed, the mother of the man you killed, the fallen woman who has suffered because of you."

Eduard meets her eyes. "I have things I would like to ask you, and things I would like to tell you."

Karoline put her right hand into her muffler as she replied: "No matter what you ask, or what you say, this is my answer."

And then she shoots Eduard in the chest. "God is watching. I shall have justice."


Chapter 10 - Rebirth


The coronation is over, and Therese's personal physician is operating on Eduard to get the bullets out. Franz promises him anything he wants, the empire, anything, so long as he saves Eduard. He asks Valentin and Jaeckin what they think, if Eduard can be saved.

Valentin replies that Eduard has already died twice and come back to life twice. Jaeckin snorts and looks away. "I'm not letting him die until he repays his latest loan."

Meanwhile, Therese is putting her children to sleep. Little Josef calls out to his mother. "Today, everyone was saying. How the wounded Eduard is a Jew. The Jews are the evil people who live in the dark in am Hof, aren't they? Is the Sword of the Habsburgs really one of them?"

Therese can't stop crying.

"Mother, what is it? Did I say something wrong?"

"You're going to be emperor after your father. You have to take up your courage and see clearly what is true and what is right. [...]"

Josef nods quietly. "If Eduard is a Jew, then I can't hate Jews. Father would say that too, wouldn't he? And mother too."

Therese remembers the past. "Become a good emperor. Don't get trapped in customs, seek the truth, and endeavour to act with sympathy. That will bring you happiness."

Little Josef snuggles into his blankets. "It'll be good if they can save Eduard."



(What the-? The end. Right there. Thanks for reading, folks.)
caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
(Starting to lose steam here.... Onward!)

Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VII - Daybreak on the Elbe

Chapter 7 - Return to Frankfurt



News of Austria and Russia's alliance is made known, and suddenly Friedrich can't get any allies other than England. Karl Alexander is trounced again by Friedrich at the Battle of Soor on September 30th. News of Prussia's alliance with England reaches Austria and Therese calls an emergency meeting to push forward plans for the alliance with France. France demands Silesia and the Western Netherlands, as proof that Austria intends to honor an alliance made with their historical enemy. After some deliberation, Therese agrees.

Plans for the coronation move forward.

Eduard walks the streets of Frankfurt, and finds himself on the Alte Bridge once more, listening to the various languages of the empire.


Chapter 8 - Heavenly Command


Meanwhile, Therese receives a visit from the lady-in-waiting of the widow of the Landgrave of Hessen-Kassel, Karoline, who requests an audience, with Therese or with Franz Stefan. At first unsure of who the woman is, and busy with details for the coronation, Therese plans to fob the woman off, until she learns that she has been living in Paris for many years, and in fact has roots and relatives there. She digs deeper, learning about the woman, wondering if she can be used for connections. In the end she decides it can wait until after the coronation, when a chance comment about how Franz Stefan had stopped there thirteen years before comes to her attention.

Again, she digs deeper, and she learns the true history of how Franz met Eliyahu (a name she still remembers Jaeckin tossing off while she hid in the wardrobe all those years before). She has the lady-in-waiting summoned personally, and tells her that she will see her mistress and the young woman settled, but perhaps separated (because she doesn't want to run the risk of the widow seeing Eduard and recognizing him. But the young woman respectfully declines, saying that as the widow's misfortunes are all her fault, she cannot leave her service.

Realizing that this is Adelheid, Therese asks her how she could love a Jew. Guileless eyes look into hers. "Why should I not?"

Therese returns briskly that she will see them settled, but there will be no more talk of past affairs with Jews while under the protection of the Habsburg family. Is that understood?

"Even if he's not a Jew?"

Therese is shocked and demands an explanation. It comes out that Adelheid has discovered Eliyahu's true roots. He is the bastard son of Karoline and Friederich Maximilian Günderrode. His birth was kept secret and he was given to a Jewish girl who had just had a miscarriage, some few days before the fire that destroyed the Jewish quarter in Frankfurt. Adelheid is convinced that Eduard is that boy, and Therese believes her.

Now Therese decides both widow and Adelheid must be settled in some remote, rustic place, far from Eduard. She doesn't dare let Eduard and Adelheid meet again.

Eduard's feet eventually take him to the Jewish quarter, but the red shield no longer hangs over his old family home. Then a young boy's voice calls out, demanding, "Who're you?"

The boy, it turns out, is Amschel Mosheh's son. Eduard's family has set up their shield only a few houses down the street. They have a tearful reunion, where no one blames Eduard for the past. Eduard promises them that he isn't traveling again, except to Zion. He explains his plans. He also explains them to the new rabi (the old one, his enemy, has passed away). The new rabi is fairly young, and flexible, and asks if he can reveal Eduard's identity when he explains the plans to the other rabis in Frankfurt. Because of the complicated deceptiions and paperwork trails that Franz has set up on his behalf, he asks the rabi to wait until he can talk to Franz. The rabi agrees: "Friends are precious treasures."

Franz, when told, readily agrees. When Eduard voices his worries that it could mean trouble for him, Franz laughs. "Tomorrow I become emperor."

After they part for the night, a messenger comes to Eduard from Therese, requesting an urgent meeting. Remembering his oath not to meet Therese alone again, Eduard asks the messenger to tell Therese that he was already asleep. The man replies that if that were his answer, he was instructed to give him a letter. Eduard opens it, and all it says is: "I have spoken with the lady-in-waiting of Karoline, the widow of the Landgrave of Hessen-Kassel."

Eduard follows the messenger.

Therese greets him lightheartedly, although Eduard is wooden with worries and suspicions. She tells him that she has learned two things: The truth of how he met Franz.... She takes him into her arms, laughing. "I promised to make you a count, didn't I? That's not enough, I'll make you a duke, second only to emperors." She goes on in this giddy way, but Eduard doesn't respond, and pulls away.

She offers him the piece of Prince Eugene's sword, and everything he has always wanted. As he looks at her, Eduard remembers the day he forgave her for her hatred of Jews which blinded her. "I'm a Jew," he tells her.

Then she tells him who his parents really are.

"For all my life I thought as a Jew, suffered as a Jew, grew up as a Jew. [...] You probably cannot believe this, but as you love and live for Austria, so I love my people, and I intend live for them. And..."

He smiles at her. "You say you love me?"

In tears, Therese can't reply. Eduard nods. "The one you really love is Franz, isn't it?"

As he spoke, Eduard pulled her out of his arms as if pulling out a thorn buried deep in his chest.

"After the coronation I'm leaving for Turkey to live in Zion. We shall not meet again. Farewell."



(You tell her, Eduard! Wooo~~ Also, major points to everyone who called his secret past being revealed. I truly believed the adoption ploy was just so the author could have steamy brother-sister lovelove.)
caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
(Starting to lose steam here.... Onward!)

Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VII - Daybreak on the Elbe

Chapter 7 - Return to Frankfurt



News of Austria and Russia's alliance is made known, and suddenly Friedrich can't get any allies other than England. Karl Alexander is trounced again by Friedrich at the Battle of Soor on September 30th. News of Prussia's alliance with England reaches Austria and Therese calls an emergency meeting to push forward plans for the alliance with France. France demands Silesia and the Western Netherlands, as proof that Austria intends to honor an alliance made with their historical enemy. After some deliberation, Therese agrees.

Plans for the coronation move forward.

Eduard walks the streets of Frankfurt, and finds himself on the Alte Bridge once more, listening to the various languages of the empire.


Chapter 8 - Heavenly Command


Meanwhile, Therese receives a visit from the lady-in-waiting of the widow of the Landgrave of Hessen-Kassel, Karoline, who requests an audience, with Therese or with Franz Stefan. At first unsure of who the woman is, and busy with details for the coronation, Therese plans to fob the woman off, until she learns that she has been living in Paris for many years, and in fact has roots and relatives there. She digs deeper, learning about the woman, wondering if she can be used for connections. In the end she decides it can wait until after the coronation, when a chance comment about how Franz Stefan had stopped there thirteen years before comes to her attention.

Again, she digs deeper, and she learns the true history of how Franz met Eliyahu (a name she still remembers Jaeckin tossing off while she hid in the wardrobe all those years before). She has the lady-in-waiting summoned personally, and tells her that she will see her mistress and the young woman settled, but perhaps separated (because she doesn't want to run the risk of the widow seeing Eduard and recognizing him. But the young woman respectfully declines, saying that as the widow's misfortunes are all her fault, she cannot leave her service.

Realizing that this is Adelheid, Therese asks her how she could love a Jew. Guileless eyes look into hers. "Why should I not?"

Therese returns briskly that she will see them settled, but there will be no more talk of past affairs with Jews while under the protection of the Habsburg family. Is that understood?

"Even if he's not a Jew?"

Therese is shocked and demands an explanation. It comes out that Adelheid has discovered Eliyahu's true roots. He is the bastard son of Karoline and Friederich Maximilian Günderrode. His birth was kept secret and he was given to a Jewish girl who had just had a miscarriage, some few days before the fire that destroyed the Jewish quarter in Frankfurt. Adelheid is convinced that Eduard is that boy, and Therese believes her.

Now Therese decides both widow and Adelheid must be settled in some remote, rustic place, far from Eduard. She doesn't dare let Eduard and Adelheid meet again.

Eduard's feet eventually take him to the Jewish quarter, but the red shield no longer hangs over his old family home. Then a young boy's voice calls out, demanding, "Who're you?"

The boy, it turns out, is Amschel Mosheh's son. Eduard's family has set up their shield only a few houses down the street. They have a tearful reunion, where no one blames Eduard for the past. Eduard promises them that he isn't traveling again, except to Zion. He explains his plans. He also explains them to the new rabi (the old one, his enemy, has passed away). The new rabi is fairly young, and flexible, and asks if he can reveal Eduard's identity when he explains the plans to the other rabis in Frankfurt. Because of the complicated deceptiions and paperwork trails that Franz has set up on his behalf, he asks the rabi to wait until he can talk to Franz. The rabi agrees: "Friends are precious treasures."

Franz, when told, readily agrees. When Eduard voices his worries that it could mean trouble for him, Franz laughs. "Tomorrow I become emperor."

After they part for the night, a messenger comes to Eduard from Therese, requesting an urgent meeting. Remembering his oath not to meet Therese alone again, Eduard asks the messenger to tell Therese that he was already asleep. The man replies that if that were his answer, he was instructed to give him a letter. Eduard opens it, and all it says is: "I have spoken with the lady-in-waiting of Karoline, the widow of the Landgrave of Hessen-Kassel."

Eduard follows the messenger.

Therese greets him lightheartedly, although Eduard is wooden with worries and suspicions. She tells him that she has learned two things: The truth of how he met Franz.... She takes him into her arms, laughing. "I promised to make you a count, didn't I? That's not enough, I'll make you a duke, second only to emperors." She goes on in this giddy way, but Eduard doesn't respond, and pulls away.

She offers him the piece of Prince Eugene's sword, and everything he has always wanted. As he looks at her, Eduard remembers the day he forgave her for her hatred of Jews which blinded her. "I'm a Jew," he tells her.

Then she tells him who his parents really are.

"For all my life I thought as a Jew, suffered as a Jew, grew up as a Jew. [...] You probably cannot believe this, but as you love and live for Austria, so I love my people, and I intend live for them. And..."

He smiles at her. "You say you love me?"

In tears, Therese can't reply. Eduard nods. "The one you really love is Franz, isn't it?"

As he spoke, Eduard pulled her out of his arms as if pulling out a thorn buried deep in his chest.

"After the coronation I'm leaving for Turkey to live in Zion. We shall not meet again. Farewell."



(You tell her, Eduard! Wooo~~ Also, major points to everyone who called his secret past being revealed. I truly believed the adoption ploy was just so the author could have steamy brother-sister lovelove.)
caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VII - Daybreak on the Elbe

Chapter 5 - The Dream of Returning to Zion



When Eduard wakes up he's in a bed again and he fears for a moment that he's been recaptured, but a young woman tells him to lie back and not tax himself. Her name is Olga, and she's clearly frightened of him. He tells her bitterly that if she's so scared of him she would have been better served to leave him to die, but she replies that no one in her family could leave someone unfortunate to die. All life is precious.

Something about her words sounds familiar to him. He realizes she's Jewish, and weakly follows her into the kitchen as they talk. She's reading and cooking at the same time, when her book falls into the fire. The book is obviously precious to her, and unable to put the fire out, Eduard reaches in and pulls it out. It's half-burned, but Olga is glad that any of it is left. Then Eduard sees his own name embossed on the cover: Eliyahu Rothschild. This book is his German translation of the Tanakh. Because women aren't taught Hebrew, they aren't able to read the writings of their religion. But this book allows them to do so, and to understand. Copies have been circulating among the community. She herself has copied out five copies of the book for friends. Her father got it from a friend of a friend, who got it at university.

From Olga, Eduard learns of the new belief circulating among young Jews -- that their purpose is to return to Zion.

Tragedy strikes their town over the accidental injury of a non-Jewish child by Jewish children, and the death of the non-Jewish child's father when he tries to kill the Jewish children, and a mob forms, burning and killing the Jewish homes in the area. Eduard helps to rescue the family who saved him.

In turn, he realizes that he has found a new purpose. He is going to make the return to Zion possible. Zion is currently in a part of Turkey which is controlled by Austria. Once Franz Stefan is crowned emperor, he will be able to ask Franz for the land, for his people.


(I've had a feeling ever since I translated the chapter titles, before I even started reading the book, that it was going to take a sharp turn into religion at the end. Here we go. Hang on to your safety belts.)


Chapter 6 - Alliance Reversal


At the start of September, Franz Stefan travels to Hohenfriedeberg with Jaeckin and Valentin, to pay his final respects for the fallen soldiers. On the 13th, a message arrives that he has been confirmed by the electors as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. The crowning is set for October 4th, so they return to Austria to help with the preparations.

He returns to Wien, and a secret meeting with Therese and Hoteck (the nobleman sent to France). Hoteck advises them to work through Madame Pompadour, the king's mistress, which sets Therese off in a furry. After she storms out, Hoteck wonders aloud to Franz if all Austrian women are so strict. "What if they are?" "Then I'm returning to Bohemia right away." They laugh, but a voice floats around the room, "You should. Once her good opinion is lost, you'll never regain it."

Franz is stunned and demands that the speaker reveal himself. Eduard steps out of one of the hidden panels built into the room and immediately launches into plans for France.

Franz, still unable to believe it, runs his hands over Eduard's face, shoulders, and arms, before grasping his wrists. "Don't you have anything else to say? I'd like to hear you say something else. Like: 'Sorry for making you worry', or 'I'm sorry', or 'I won't do it again'."

Eduard is rather casual, while Franz is overwhelmed. But Franz also notices a lightness about Eduard that he hasn't seen since Prague. Without a stop for breath they launch into the spiderweb of politics, figuring out a way to win Russia over to an allegiance ... and then, in case of the rumored English-Prussian alliance, a way to make a pact with France.

With that settled, Franz suddenly goes and picks up Prince Eugene's sword piece, Eduard's former eye-patch. He offers it to Eduard, but Eduard shakes his head. Before Eugene had it, it was Emperor Karl VI's, so he tells Franz to return it to Therese. Franz nods, accepting it, but adds that Eduard can't walk around with the ruin of his eye showing in polite company.

Eduard smiles. "Then I'll wear the Star of David."

Hoteck stiffens in shock. Fifty-some years previous, the Star of David was the symbol of the Jews of Prague. He remembers Eduard's job in Prague, and how he knows the act still lingers. "Eduard, you-"

"What, Hoteck? Say it."

But Hoteck declines. He owes Eduard everything, and finds that in the end it doesn't matter.

After Hoteck leaves, Eduard passes over Khevenhüller's report. The truth is, Franz already has an exact copy, which Khevenhüller had given to another subordinate, just in case. But he feels tremendously grateful to Khevenhüller and Batthyány for giving Eduard the will to escape from the Prussians and come back to him.

Speaking of the suicide brigade, he tells Eduard that Therese has left Eduard's reward in his hands. "Whatever you want, name it."

Eduard explains his plans for Zion. Franz Stefan realizes that if he agrees, Eduard will leave him. But that weighs as nothing against having his friend still alive. He agrees.


(Franz and Eduard♥ Most amusing reunion ever.)
caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VII - Daybreak on the Elbe

Chapter 5 - The Dream of Returning to Zion



When Eduard wakes up he's in a bed again and he fears for a moment that he's been recaptured, but a young woman tells him to lie back and not tax himself. Her name is Olga, and she's clearly frightened of him. He tells her bitterly that if she's so scared of him she would have been better served to leave him to die, but she replies that no one in her family could leave someone unfortunate to die. All life is precious.

Something about her words sounds familiar to him. He realizes she's Jewish, and weakly follows her into the kitchen as they talk. She's reading and cooking at the same time, when her book falls into the fire. The book is obviously precious to her, and unable to put the fire out, Eduard reaches in and pulls it out. It's half-burned, but Olga is glad that any of it is left. Then Eduard sees his own name embossed on the cover: Eliyahu Rothschild. This book is his German translation of the Tanakh. Because women aren't taught Hebrew, they aren't able to read the writings of their religion. But this book allows them to do so, and to understand. Copies have been circulating among the community. She herself has copied out five copies of the book for friends. Her father got it from a friend of a friend, who got it at university.

From Olga, Eduard learns of the new belief circulating among young Jews -- that their purpose is to return to Zion.

Tragedy strikes their town over the accidental injury of a non-Jewish child by Jewish children, and the death of the non-Jewish child's father when he tries to kill the Jewish children, and a mob forms, burning and killing the Jewish homes in the area. Eduard helps to rescue the family who saved him.

In turn, he realizes that he has found a new purpose. He is going to make the return to Zion possible. Zion is currently in a part of Turkey which is controlled by Austria. Once Franz Stefan is crowned emperor, he will be able to ask Franz for the land, for his people.


(I've had a feeling ever since I translated the chapter titles, before I even started reading the book, that it was going to take a sharp turn into religion at the end. Here we go. Hang on to your safety belts.)


Chapter 6 - Alliance Reversal


At the start of September, Franz Stefan travels to Hohenfriedeberg with Jaeckin and Valentin, to pay his final respects for the fallen soldiers. On the 13th, a message arrives that he has been confirmed by the electors as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. The crowning is set for October 4th, so they return to Austria to help with the preparations.

He returns to Wien, and a secret meeting with Therese and Hoteck (the nobleman sent to France). Hoteck advises them to work through Madame Pompadour, the king's mistress, which sets Therese off in a furry. After she storms out, Hoteck wonders aloud to Franz if all Austrian women are so strict. "What if they are?" "Then I'm returning to Bohemia right away." They laugh, but a voice floats around the room, "You should. Once her good opinion is lost, you'll never regain it."

Franz is stunned and demands that the speaker reveal himself. Eduard steps out of one of the hidden panels built into the room and immediately launches into plans for France.

Franz, still unable to believe it, runs his hands over Eduard's face, shoulders, and arms, before grasping his wrists. "Don't you have anything else to say? I'd like to hear you say something else. Like: 'Sorry for making you worry', or 'I'm sorry', or 'I won't do it again'."

Eduard is rather casual, while Franz is overwhelmed. But Franz also notices a lightness about Eduard that he hasn't seen since Prague. Without a stop for breath they launch into the spiderweb of politics, figuring out a way to win Russia over to an allegiance ... and then, in case of the rumored English-Prussian alliance, a way to make a pact with France.

With that settled, Franz suddenly goes and picks up Prince Eugene's sword piece, Eduard's former eye-patch. He offers it to Eduard, but Eduard shakes his head. Before Eugene had it, it was Emperor Karl VI's, so he tells Franz to return it to Therese. Franz nods, accepting it, but adds that Eduard can't walk around with the ruin of his eye showing in polite company.

Eduard smiles. "Then I'll wear the Star of David."

Hoteck stiffens in shock. Fifty-some years previous, the Star of David was the symbol of the Jews of Prague. He remembers Eduard's job in Prague, and how he knows the act still lingers. "Eduard, you-"

"What, Hoteck? Say it."

But Hoteck declines. He owes Eduard everything, and finds that in the end it doesn't matter.

After Hoteck leaves, Eduard passes over Khevenhüller's report. The truth is, Franz already has an exact copy, which Khevenhüller had given to another subordinate, just in case. But he feels tremendously grateful to Khevenhüller and Batthyány for giving Eduard the will to escape from the Prussians and come back to him.

Speaking of the suicide brigade, he tells Eduard that Therese has left Eduard's reward in his hands. "Whatever you want, name it."

Eduard explains his plans for Zion. Franz Stefan realizes that if he agrees, Eduard will leave him. But that weighs as nothing against having his friend still alive. He agrees.


(Franz and Eduard♥ Most amusing reunion ever.)
caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VII - Daybreak on the Elbe

Chapter 3 - Eternal Refusal


Hohenfriedeberg is a crushing defeat for the Austrians: 9,000 killed and wounded, 5,000 prisoners. The Prussians lost 5,000. All of the Special Brigade have been killed. Franz Stefan and Therese find Eduard's name on the list of dead. Therese orders special compensation sent to the families of all of the men in the suicide brigade... except Eduard. The treasury of the Holy Roman Empire will not pay for a Jew. Aloud, she tells her staff that Franz Stefan will see to Eduard's portion personally.

Franz, meanwhile, is hunting for reports of any soldier who may have seen Eduard's last moments.

"[...] I want to know how he seemed. I want to walk the places he walked, kiss the earth where he fell, pray for his soul's peace. He didn't have a moment's rest while he lived."


(Franz. T_T Therese, you ****.)


Chapter 4 - The Last Request


Of course Eduard isn't really dead. Actually, he's in a hospital tent in the Prussian army camp, under Friedrich's care. But the doctors tell Friedrich Eduard has no will to live. He won't eat.

Friedrich, despite his own wounds, gets dressed and goes to see Eduard.

"Eduard. The answer you gave me -- I but it on a black-haired Prussian soldier who had died. Right about now Austria is giving you funeral rights. Do you understand, Eduard? You're free of them. Get better quickly. You'll return with me to Berlin."

The slow look Eduard gives him is devoid of life. This isn't the Eduard her knew. Friedrich repeats himself: "Come with me to Berlin."

Of course, the situation then sends Eduard into a fit of laughter.

Some days later, Eduard is woken by a young man who says he has come with a message from a dying Hungrian soldier, delivered just after the battle. Eduard recognizes Batthyány from the boy's description. Batthyány's last act was to hand over a report given to him by Khevenhüller  before the battle. The report contains strategy and tactics for the future, as well as the past. Eduard must see it delivered to Franz Stefan.

Finally given a purpose, Eduard waits several days, eating heartily and sleeping well. Then he escapes the Prussians in the night and begins walking through Silesia towards Austria. At last he collapses.


(Heart-breaking echoes of when Franz Stefan saved Eduard. Oh, Friedrich. He spends most of the chapter agonizing over what might have happened if he met Eduard before Franz did. Before Eugene did.)
caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VII - Daybreak on the Elbe

Chapter 3 - Eternal Refusal


Hohenfriedeberg is a crushing defeat for the Austrians: 9,000 killed and wounded, 5,000 prisoners. The Prussians lost 5,000. All of the Special Brigade have been killed. Franz Stefan and Therese find Eduard's name on the list of dead. Therese orders special compensation sent to the families of all of the men in the suicide brigade... except Eduard. The treasury of the Holy Roman Empire will not pay for a Jew. Aloud, she tells her staff that Franz Stefan will see to Eduard's portion personally.

Franz, meanwhile, is hunting for reports of any soldier who may have seen Eduard's last moments.

"[...] I want to know how he seemed. I want to walk the places he walked, kiss the earth where he fell, pray for his soul's peace. He didn't have a moment's rest while he lived."


(Franz. T_T Therese, you ****.)


Chapter 4 - The Last Request


Of course Eduard isn't really dead. Actually, he's in a hospital tent in the Prussian army camp, under Friedrich's care. But the doctors tell Friedrich Eduard has no will to live. He won't eat.

Friedrich, despite his own wounds, gets dressed and goes to see Eduard.

"Eduard. The answer you gave me -- I but it on a black-haired Prussian soldier who had died. Right about now Austria is giving you funeral rights. Do you understand, Eduard? You're free of them. Get better quickly. You'll return with me to Berlin."

The slow look Eduard gives him is devoid of life. This isn't the Eduard her knew. Friedrich repeats himself: "Come with me to Berlin."

Of course, the situation then sends Eduard into a fit of laughter.

Some days later, Eduard is woken by a young man who says he has come with a message from a dying Hungrian soldier, delivered just after the battle. Eduard recognizes Batthyány from the boy's description. Batthyány's last act was to hand over a report given to him by Khevenhüller  before the battle. The report contains strategy and tactics for the future, as well as the past. Eduard must see it delivered to Franz Stefan.

Finally given a purpose, Eduard waits several days, eating heartily and sleeping well. Then he escapes the Prussians in the night and begins walking through Silesia towards Austria. At last he collapses.


(Heart-breaking echoes of when Franz Stefan saved Eduard. Oh, Friedrich. He spends most of the chapter agonizing over what might have happened if he met Eduard before Franz did. Before Eugene did.)
caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VII - Daybreak on the Elbe

Chapter 1 - The Night Before Deployment


The winter of 1745, and the only topics on everyone's tongues are the birth of Therese's second son in February and what Friedrich is planning.

The allied army has Karl Alexander, with Khevenhüller as one of his subordinates, and Batthyány and the Hungarians. Eduard attaches himself to Khevenhüller and Batthyány's divisions, of course.

Before leaving Eduard begins to tie up all his loose ends. He's in a fatalistic mood, somehow, on the eve before his final showdown with Friedrich (it's all very personal for Eduard). He asks Andrássy to marry him, so she'll be provided for if anything should happen to him. She thinks it over for three days and tells him that instead she will return to Hungary. Without Eduard, living in Wien, where she has no friends and cannot speak the language has no appeal for her. So Franz Stefan sends some men to travel with her to Prague and see her safely returned to her family.

Kuyt's messenger arrives, and Eduard thanks him for his long service, but says that he no longer needs the updates on Friedrich. The messenger replies that Kuyt thought that would be his answer, and in that case, he was to give this last message, gratis. It corroborates with the information that the Austrian palace had gotten through other channels.

This leaves him only one last farewell. Eduard goes to visit Franz Stefan. First they debate the problem of France, with Eduard suggesting the young Böhmen nobleman, Rudolf Chotek, be sent as an envoy to scout out the situation in Paris. With that settled, Eduard plunges into his parting with the usual many reserve.

"There's no time to have a liesurely talk, so I'll just say it now. It's been thirteen years since I met you. I owe you many things. Thank you."

"Thirteen is an unlucky number. And tomorrow is Friday."

"Don't worry. I'll be back before your coronation. I have to attend it, after all."

"Of course, you have more right than anyone else. Hurry back. We'll go to Frankfurt together and ring the bells of Saint Bartholomeus' Cathedral."


(Jeez. This entire chapter was foreshadowing shoved down our throats.)


Chapter 2 - The Battle of Hohenfriedeberg


(This was an enormously long chapter, and amazing. Fujimoto is really in her element bringing battles to life. But... it doesn't have an enormous amount to do with the plot, so I'll condense it.)

The Austrian/Saxon army numbered about 60,000. Reports tagged the Prussians at 30,000, so the mood among the Prussians was pretty self-assured. Both sides were camped near Hohenfriedeberg on June 3, 1745. Friedrich marched his troops to attack during the night, leaving their campfires burning and tents up to confuse the Austrians.

At dawn, the Prussians attacked the Saxons and routed them, while the Austrian officers argued over what to do. (Fujimoto really loved to point out the inefficiency of the Austrian system.) Finally Khevenhüller declares that he'll form up a special devision to attack the Prussians and hold them back while the Austrian army is organized. Batthyány and Eduard both volunteer, although Khevenhüller points out that it's a suicide devision and nine out of ten men will die.

Yep, they're all killed. Friedrich is merciless, ordering the deaths of all of the division. Except Eduard. He faces a wounded and unhorsed Eduard and demands to know why he betrayed him. Eduard is unable to say a word, and finally simply hands over the gold sword piece that he received from Prince Eugene and has been wearing as an eye-patch.

"This is your answer?" Friedrich demands.

Eduard looses consciousness.


(Really, really loved this chapter. The descriptions of the foggy morning, the commraderie of the three. The desperate charge.)
caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VII - Daybreak on the Elbe

Chapter 1 - The Night Before Deployment


The winter of 1745, and the only topics on everyone's tongues are the birth of Therese's second son in February and what Friedrich is planning.

The allied army has Karl Alexander, with Khevenhüller as one of his subordinates, and Batthyány and the Hungarians. Eduard attaches himself to Khevenhüller and Batthyány's divisions, of course.

Before leaving Eduard begins to tie up all his loose ends. He's in a fatalistic mood, somehow, on the eve before his final showdown with Friedrich (it's all very personal for Eduard). He asks Andrássy to marry him, so she'll be provided for if anything should happen to him. She thinks it over for three days and tells him that instead she will return to Hungary. Without Eduard, living in Wien, where she has no friends and cannot speak the language has no appeal for her. So Franz Stefan sends some men to travel with her to Prague and see her safely returned to her family.

Kuyt's messenger arrives, and Eduard thanks him for his long service, but says that he no longer needs the updates on Friedrich. The messenger replies that Kuyt thought that would be his answer, and in that case, he was to give this last message, gratis. It corroborates with the information that the Austrian palace had gotten through other channels.

This leaves him only one last farewell. Eduard goes to visit Franz Stefan. First they debate the problem of France, with Eduard suggesting the young Böhmen nobleman, Rudolf Chotek, be sent as an envoy to scout out the situation in Paris. With that settled, Eduard plunges into his parting with the usual many reserve.

"There's no time to have a liesurely talk, so I'll just say it now. It's been thirteen years since I met you. I owe you many things. Thank you."

"Thirteen is an unlucky number. And tomorrow is Friday."

"Don't worry. I'll be back before your coronation. I have to attend it, after all."

"Of course, you have more right than anyone else. Hurry back. We'll go to Frankfurt together and ring the bells of Saint Bartholomeus' Cathedral."


(Jeez. This entire chapter was foreshadowing shoved down our throats.)


Chapter 2 - The Battle of Hohenfriedeberg


(This was an enormously long chapter, and amazing. Fujimoto is really in her element bringing battles to life. But... it doesn't have an enormous amount to do with the plot, so I'll condense it.)

The Austrian/Saxon army numbered about 60,000. Reports tagged the Prussians at 30,000, so the mood among the Prussians was pretty self-assured. Both sides were camped near Hohenfriedeberg on June 3, 1745. Friedrich marched his troops to attack during the night, leaving their campfires burning and tents up to confuse the Austrians.

At dawn, the Prussians attacked the Saxons and routed them, while the Austrian officers argued over what to do. (Fujimoto really loved to point out the inefficiency of the Austrian system.) Finally Khevenhüller declares that he'll form up a special devision to attack the Prussians and hold them back while the Austrian army is organized. Batthyány and Eduard both volunteer, although Khevenhüller points out that it's a suicide devision and nine out of ten men will die.

Yep, they're all killed. Friedrich is merciless, ordering the deaths of all of the division. Except Eduard. He faces a wounded and unhorsed Eduard and demands to know why he betrayed him. Eduard is unable to say a word, and finally simply hands over the gold sword piece that he received from Prince Eugene and has been wearing as an eye-patch.

"This is your answer?" Friedrich demands.

Eduard looses consciousness.


(Really, really loved this chapter. The descriptions of the foggy morning, the commraderie of the three. The desperate charge.)
caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
Rushing toward the ending as quickly as possible before I forget too much:

Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VI - Dark Night on the Rhine

Chapter 4 - The Roaming Emperor


January, 1745. As per Eduard's plans England, the Netherlands, and Saxony become allies of Austria, completely reversing the earlier position of Austria and leaving Prussia surrounded by enemy nations.

This leaves two problems. One is Bavaria. Karl Albrecht is on his death bed and has requested permission to return to Austrian-occupied Munich (his home city) to die. Because his French allies have largely abandoned him, Therese accedes to the request.

The other, Eduard says with a grin, is how to structure the army that will finish of Friedrich. He fully intends to join them, when the season begins.

But the real issue is to win over the electors to insure that Franz Stefan and Therese are confirmed as emperor and empress after Karl's death. To that end, they begin sending out bribes, making promises, and traveling to visit the electors face-to-face. At last they secure all seven.


Chapter 5 - The Honor of a Desperate Defense, If Not Death

For the first time in hundreds of pages, we're back in the Prussian camp listening to Friedrich's war council. Many of his advisers and officers are urging him to make peace with Austria; to give them Silesia as a concession. He refuses. When the logistics of refurbishing his exhausted army are pointed out to him by Keyserling he tells his treasurer to sell everything of value he owns -- everything his father collected, the china, the furniture, everything. He refuses to give up.

And, of course, the chapter ends with the obligatory memory of Eduard's black gaze floating in his head.


(Dude. This is a man obsessed.)
caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
Rushing toward the ending as quickly as possible before I forget too much:

Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VI - Dark Night on the Rhine

Chapter 4 - The Roaming Emperor


January, 1745. As per Eduard's plans England, the Netherlands, and Saxony become allies of Austria, completely reversing the earlier position of Austria and leaving Prussia surrounded by enemy nations.

This leaves two problems. One is Bavaria. Karl Albrecht is on his death bed and has requested permission to return to Austrian-occupied Munich (his home city) to die. Because his French allies have largely abandoned him, Therese accedes to the request.

The other, Eduard says with a grin, is how to structure the army that will finish of Friedrich. He fully intends to join them, when the season begins.

But the real issue is to win over the electors to insure that Franz Stefan and Therese are confirmed as emperor and empress after Karl's death. To that end, they begin sending out bribes, making promises, and traveling to visit the electors face-to-face. At last they secure all seven.


Chapter 5 - The Honor of a Desperate Defense, If Not Death

For the first time in hundreds of pages, we're back in the Prussian camp listening to Friedrich's war council. Many of his advisers and officers are urging him to make peace with Austria; to give them Silesia as a concession. He refuses. When the logistics of refurbishing his exhausted army are pointed out to him by Keyserling he tells his treasurer to sell everything of value he owns -- everything his father collected, the china, the furniture, everything. He refuses to give up.

And, of course, the chapter ends with the obligatory memory of Eduard's black gaze floating in his head.


(Dude. This is a man obsessed.)
caithion: (Peter Lorre)
I've just finished Houken (I had two pages left, after using it to keep myself occupied and awake all day yesterday on the trains and in Tokyo).





..... What?
caithion: (Peter Lorre)
I've just finished Houken (I had two pages left, after using it to keep myself occupied and awake all day yesterday on the trains and in Tokyo).





..... What?
caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VI - Dark Night on the Rhine

Chapter 2 - Recovering the Fatherland


June 17th, 1743. The Austro-English troops set up camp along the Main. By the 27th, they had defeated the French at Dettingen am Main. Karl von Lothringen was commanding the Austrians, and Therese was so overjoyed when she heard the news that she ordered the outer palace walls painted whatever color Karl liked. He chose gold, so they compromised with yellow.

In the late autumn, Karl returned to Wien for his wedding to Anna Maria, which took place on January 7th. They were made joint governors of the Netherlands, and took a trip to Brussels.

Meanwhile, Eduard is agonizing over why Friedrich hasn't made any moves yet. His occupation over it drives everyone else to distraction.

It isn't until Franz Stefan is explaining the troop movements and battle plans for the upcoming spring campaign against France that Eduard gets a flash of intuition. Friedrich has been waiting, waiting for the Austrians to extend themselves across the Rhine. Now Eduard knows what they need to avoid doing, but he cannot say anything to Franz, because he knows how much Franz wants to get Lothringen back from the French. Eduard keeps his counsel.

He gets news from Kuyt that Friedrich has left Berlin with 60,000 men, aiming for Dresden, Prague in Böhmen, and then Wien.

Troubled and unable to see a way out, Eduard writes to Khevenhüller, who replies with a plan to hold off Friedrich which would require only 3,000 men. It involves getting the countryside to support them, stripping it bare and burning crops when the Prussians approach, and the 3,000 men hide in the woods and strike from there. He insists that the men be Hungarians, for the plan to succeed.

With this plan, they do not need to divert forces from the campaign against France. But when Eduard presents the plan to Therese, she refuses to believe that Friedrich will break the Breslau Peace Accord. Also, determined to see Franz's brother advanced, she insists on putting Karl in charge of the troops, and then the bickering starts over who to put under him, with the final decision being for a very young nobleman with no field experience whatsoever. Khevenhüller refuses to serve under such men and such conditions, and gets himself into Therese's black books again Instead, he begins to make preparations for what he knows will come.


(Eduard continues to be completely obsessed with Friedrich♥, even if his character has completely disappeared from the book, except in Kuyt's reports--I begin to understand why he isn't a character in the stage version. But, hm, another weird corner in the whole messy Eduard/Therese/Franz Stefan relationship.)


Chapter 3 - Underground Currents in Wien

May of 1744, Karl Alexander von Lothringen sets out from Minden,  with allies making a force of 60,000. By June they have made their way nearly to Lothringen.

Then Friedrich breaks the Peace, invading Saxony on August 10th. He takes Dresden, and by the 17th of the same month he is in Böhmen, and Prague has fallen.

Therese is absolutely torn. If she pulls Karl Alexander back, they may never get so close to Lothringen again. After many fruitless meetings, Franz speaks up, recommending that they abandon Lothringen. Prague, and the southern regions are the real heart of the empire, and must be protected. Therese is moved by her husband's words, especially that he is putting Austria before his homeland. "We shall do as the king advises," she says, marking the first time she has ever called Franz "king".

When Eduard hears that Therese has listened to Franz Stefan's advice, he is startled. Something has changed in her relationship with her husband. Eduard re-evaluates his position and decides that he no longer needs to make this about showing what he can do and winning recognition. From now on he will push Franz forward and use him as the mouthpiece, so that Therese will listen to his advice, advicr she automatically distrusts when it comes from a Jew. From now on, Eduard will stand at Franz's back, in the shadows. He will hold nothing back from Franz again.

They try it, and immediately Therese issues the three orders: 1) send out to make alliances with Saxony and Russia, 2) order the peasants of Böhmen not to sell food to the Prussians, 3) pull back from the war with France.

Karl Alexander turns away from Lothringen reluctantly. He has also just received the news that Anna Maria delivered a stillborn child in October. She died herself shortly thereafter, in December. Their marriage hadn't even lasted a year.

Friedrich retreated back to Silesia, pressed hard and suffering heavy losses.


(Aw, poor Karl. And he never married again. )
caithion: (The Sword of the Habsburgs)
Habsburg no Houken, Book 2
Part VI - Dark Night on the Rhine

Chapter 2 - Recovering the Fatherland


June 17th, 1743. The Austro-English troops set up camp along the Main. By the 27th, they had defeated the French at Dettingen am Main. Karl von Lothringen was commanding the Austrians, and Therese was so overjoyed when she heard the news that she ordered the outer palace walls painted whatever color Karl liked. He chose gold, so they compromised with yellow.

In the late autumn, Karl returned to Wien for his wedding to Anna Maria, which took place on January 7th. They were made joint governors of the Netherlands, and took a trip to Brussels.

Meanwhile, Eduard is agonizing over why Friedrich hasn't made any moves yet. His occupation over it drives everyone else to distraction.

It isn't until Franz Stefan is explaining the troop movements and battle plans for the upcoming spring campaign against France that Eduard gets a flash of intuition. Friedrich has been waiting, waiting for the Austrians to extend themselves across the Rhine. Now Eduard knows what they need to avoid doing, but he cannot say anything to Franz, because he knows how much Franz wants to get Lothringen back from the French. Eduard keeps his counsel.

He gets news from Kuyt that Friedrich has left Berlin with 60,000 men, aiming for Dresden, Prague in Böhmen, and then Wien.

Troubled and unable to see a way out, Eduard writes to Khevenhüller, who replies with a plan to hold off Friedrich which would require only 3,000 men. It involves getting the countryside to support them, stripping it bare and burning crops when the Prussians approach, and the 3,000 men hide in the woods and strike from there. He insists that the men be Hungarians, for the plan to succeed.

With this plan, they do not need to divert forces from the campaign against France. But when Eduard presents the plan to Therese, she refuses to believe that Friedrich will break the Breslau Peace Accord. Also, determined to see Franz's brother advanced, she insists on putting Karl in charge of the troops, and then the bickering starts over who to put under him, with the final decision being for a very young nobleman with no field experience whatsoever. Khevenhüller refuses to serve under such men and such conditions, and gets himself into Therese's black books again Instead, he begins to make preparations for what he knows will come.


(Eduard continues to be completely obsessed with Friedrich♥, even if his character has completely disappeared from the book, except in Kuyt's reports--I begin to understand why he isn't a character in the stage version. But, hm, another weird corner in the whole messy Eduard/Therese/Franz Stefan relationship.)


Chapter 3 - Underground Currents in Wien

May of 1744, Karl Alexander von Lothringen sets out from Minden,  with allies making a force of 60,000. By June they have made their way nearly to Lothringen.

Then Friedrich breaks the Peace, invading Saxony on August 10th. He takes Dresden, and by the 17th of the same month he is in Böhmen, and Prague has fallen.

Therese is absolutely torn. If she pulls Karl Alexander back, they may never get so close to Lothringen again. After many fruitless meetings, Franz speaks up, recommending that they abandon Lothringen. Prague, and the southern regions are the real heart of the empire, and must be protected. Therese is moved by her husband's words, especially that he is putting Austria before his homeland. "We shall do as the king advises," she says, marking the first time she has ever called Franz "king".

When Eduard hears that Therese has listened to Franz Stefan's advice, he is startled. Something has changed in her relationship with her husband. Eduard re-evaluates his position and decides that he no longer needs to make this about showing what he can do and winning recognition. From now on he will push Franz forward and use him as the mouthpiece, so that Therese will listen to his advice, advicr she automatically distrusts when it comes from a Jew. From now on, Eduard will stand at Franz's back, in the shadows. He will hold nothing back from Franz again.

They try it, and immediately Therese issues the three orders: 1) send out to make alliances with Saxony and Russia, 2) order the peasants of Böhmen not to sell food to the Prussians, 3) pull back from the war with France.

Karl Alexander turns away from Lothringen reluctantly. He has also just received the news that Anna Maria delivered a stillborn child in October. She died herself shortly thereafter, in December. Their marriage hadn't even lasted a year.

Friedrich retreated back to Silesia, pressed hard and suffering heavy losses.


(Aw, poor Karl. And he never married again. )

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