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【英文】Bygone Days Ⅰ




Author:Sharp Pine

Title: Bygone days

Background: Napoleonic wars in the early 19th century

Subject: History/Military

status: In progress

Pairings: France/Britain, Russia/Prussia, Spain/Britain

Hetalia is not mine.

Chapter 1


General Caulaincourt rode all the way back from Moscow. When the mud-spattered carriage finally comes in front of the Tuileries Palace, the whole Paris is caught in rare silence. Several days ago, the bulletin de la grande armée carried the news that their Grande Armée struggled in Russia snow, leaving the city into an unknown panic, and the arrival of the French Ambassador in Russia does not seem to make the situation much better.


Francis is waked up by a nervous maid. After dressing he follows her to the Empress's apartments. There his current boss, Napoleon Bonaparte is talking with dusty General Caulaincourt to exchange the latest information. The general seems not very good, or even a mess. Loose muscles with dark circles hung around his eyes, he weakly leans on the seatback, talking slowly. What makes he look most disturbed and depressed, are probably the expression and words of a deep sense of loss. The loyal ambassador of France has been against his emperor turning Russia into war since the first moment. He emphasized many times that it was impossible to beat such an opponent, especially when their Grande Armée was tired of battles for a long time. Faithful suggestion is always impolite and often seems most unacceptable to the arrogant overlord of Europe.


In that year, their Grande Armée had conquered most parts of Europe. The battle lines had been extended from the coast of Spain to Lithuania. Only Sweden remained outside of Napoleonic system throughout Continental Europe and Britain still resisted along the coast of Spain, but soon they would understand that it was futile. By the time when his army win Moscow, the German family in the east is likely to be a little more law-abiding, while the helpless expression in Arthur Kirkland's face will be the sweetest celebration.


However, as in the case of which General Caulaincourt tried hard to prevent, they encountered stubborn obstruction in the harsh winter of Moscow. The tiredness of main force and maladjustment of climate as well as terrain forced Napoleon to make a retracement to Lithuania. Vilnius was well stocked with supplies and reinforcements. Defence there was solid. Both Felix and Torres hate Ivan to the core, while Russia's army also suffered heavy casualties which could not be repaired within a long period of time. It allowed Francis and his boss to quickly withdraw to Paris handling civil strife.


Carriages bumped in the rugged road. When reached the snow ground, they changed their transportation into sleigh. During their long arduous travel, the fleet continued to decline. Most of the lost Chasseurs or cavalry were hijacked by Russian Cossacks, and then disappeared in the snow. Such a dangerous journey almost made everyone fail to sleep. Francis crossed arms around his chest, in order to maintain vigilance. Napoleon sat on the opposite of him, looking at winter snows through the window without saying a word. Obviously his bad mood has grown to a certain degree. The rumour of his death spreading across his beloved Paris gave him more depression than his defeat in Moscow. Just a lie made by a usurper could lead most Parisians choose to believe and consider to a change of regime. A strong sense of betrayal resulted to his returning to Paris without any explanation of the defeat in Moscow, leaving every Parisians in panic.


"Joseph repulsed the British navy in Spain," Napoleon noted the sight of Francis and suddenly said, “Everyone will suggest making peace with Russia, so that we can focus more on the war with the British”.


"If we draw our boundaries at Ivan's doorstep, I do not think he won't bring Arthur Kirkland to the negotiation table." Francis sorted his hair on the forehead. Sticky blood mixed with dust, which made the original bright colour dim down. If he is going to see his old enemy like this, no doubt the only thing he can receive will be a contemptuous ridicule.


"I desire peace, the world needs it." Napoleon continued. It sounded not like an Emperor who sepnt half of his life in conquests would say.


"Angleterre won't bring us peace." Francis shrugged. He was pretty sure that Arthur would not accept Europe under the rule of France so easily.


"Most Europeans refuse to admit it. They cannot see how outrageous the British are on the sea and their monopoly on trade, but question our contribution to the consolidation of European unity and stability."


"They're just afraid of your power, my king." Francis muttered, remembering the battle with Prussia at Jena in 1806. It was the biggest victory in recent years, with sophisticated layout, clever strategy, cruel morale, which ultimately led them to destroy such a powerful enemy. He still clearly remembered the fear in people's face when French army crushed into the city, and Gilbert knelt in a pool of blood unwillingly to acknowledge the painful defeat.


"Only power can bring peace." Seeing Francis lost in thought, Napoleon once again turned its attention to the outside of the window. Silent moment last for a while, finally Napoleon opened his mouth, "Next spring, I will return to Vilnius with more troops."




Vilnius is not that indestructible as Francis and his arrogant superior imagined. Gilbert knows it very well, so he watched Francis's luxurious carriages depart without any word but a sneer. Napoleon has been using Prussian corps to fight with Russian army since he began to invade Russia and most of the French troops were deployed in the northeast part. All the soldiers are tired of endless battles.


Torres cannot stop shaking since he heard the news that the French army was forced back from Moscow due to the horrible climate. Felix is also terribly worried with a bad complexion. That cunning Slav certainly will not give up this opportunity to swoop in, and repairment is not his main concern. He knows too well of Ivan and his way of fighting.When he was also called Teuton, they often hunted in the vast forests of Russia. Sometimes one of them did observation, and the other went hunting. Sometimes they started several competitions. Ivan always told him the habits of various animals in Russia in high spirits after they finished hunting and he would be happy to point out Ivan's flaws during hunting.


The temperature in the tent is not ideal, Torres wraps himself in a thick coat with Felix, siting close together. It seems that they intend to avoid Gilbert and discuss something quietly. Gilbert doesn't mind staring at them until the other two stop their whisper. Murat lifts the curtain and just comes across such an awkward silence. He clenches his hands on a cup of hot water, walking in and sitting down near Gilbert. Some water vapour rises from the cup which seems to ease the frozen atmosphere in the tent. Murat gives a smile, breezily says, "Gentlemen, how about go outside and enjoy Christmas Eve with our soldiers?”


Felix remains silent with that bad complexion. Torres barely smiles, "Thank you for the kindness, but I think Felix and I both need to consider about the future warfare."


There isn't much steel in the weak statement. Gilbert snorts, almost laughing. He turns to Murat in a good mood, "Busy outside eh? It sounds much more awesome going outside than staying here and being infected with depression."


He lifts the curtain with a playful smirk and goes out, followed by a rather awkward Murat.


Outside of the tent isn't as exciting as he expected. Most of the soldiers fell asleep early due to the battles in Moscow. Only a small group of people sit around the campfire drinking liquor quietly.Gilbert does not intend to join in, instead he goes to the other side watching the dark sky at night. Boundless sky seems rather lonely at winter night. Only a few scattered stars dot on the dark sky which is almost the same as the one he saw hundreds years ago.Back at that time, there was someone next to him who pointed to the remote sky and said in a cheerful tone that auroras sometimes appeared in that direction. It was the torch of spirits to guide the dead souls to heaven. But those soldiers who died in a foreign country never saw the torch appeared for once, whether it means that they have been abandoned by God?He shacks his head and make a bitter laugh. That is only an unknown legend, but he still decides to ask that person next time, if there is next time.


He doesn't realise that he has come to the edge of the barrack until the light of fire from the camp is faraway and the road is unclear. Gilbert tugs the coat toward his shoulder. When he turns around, a hand suddenly covers his mouth and drags him into the bushes at the other side. A familiar temperature leans on his back. Gilbert blinks and a low and husky voice whispers to his ear, "Stay quiet and don't move."




Murat's poor performance in Vilnius almost ruined the Christmas of the master of Europe. Only a small number of Russian troops stationed in Vilnius could cause his army into a panic. The King of Naples could not even organize an effective defence, and soon the Russian troops with no more than 10,000 men crossed the river Niemen.


The moment when General Caulaincourt received the information that the Russian won Vilnius, he put the peace treaty on the conference table; Unfortunately Napoleon has not been strongly shacked by the wrong arrangement of Murat this time. He still planned to force back Russia in spring next year, even the Austrian envoy has already arrived in Paris, with strong willingness to hold peace talks between France and Russia.


Napoleon dismissed all the voices which requested peace. Reason is that he refused to sign any treaty that dishonoured France. The Austrian envoy can only turn to Francis who was at the garden of Tuileries and hoped that he can convey Austria's willingness to Napoleon.


"He desires peace indeed," Francis cuts off a broken rose bud and explains to Ferdinand who looks slightly anxious, "But this isn't the right time."


"Because of Britain?" The blond country stops for a moment, which confirms Ferdinand's speculation, "He will not accept any terms until the British throw in the towel, and he certainly won't let Russia bring that pirate to the negotiation table. For the interests of France, right? "


Francis places the scissor on the parterre and seems no longer in the mood to prune roses.


"You know very well about why he dismisses all the offer of mediation, but still come to me." For one time, he gives the Austrian ambassador a serious gaze, "Surely there are more important things you want to share so eagerly."


"As you said, Your Highness" Ferdinand bows, "I'm afraid there isn't much time left for us to consider."


Francis raises his eyebrow, which motions him to go on.


"Murat has been evacuated to the Prussian border." Ferdinand looks down, and decides not to see the expression on Francis's face at the moment, "Austria sincerely does not want to see things change in the same way as it in the Seven Years War."


In January the following year, just after being back to Tuileries from Théâtre Français, Napoleon receives a piece of unpleasant news that Prussian Corps detached from French units and signed a covenant with Russia without permission.



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