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In Brunn, Andrei stays with his friend Bilibin, a diplomatic up-and-comer in the way that Andrei is a military up-and-comer.
Bilibin is a super diplomat, which means that he is happy to support any Russian policy or objective. He really only cares about writing good reports and speaking well. In other words, he is a perfect mouthpiece. Not really the most flattering picture of what diplomats do, but whatever.
Andrei complains that he’s not getting the hero’s welcome that he was expecting.
Bilibin is like, um, guess what, this is Austria and not Russia. They want their own guys to do some damage to Napoleon and don’t particularly want to give the credit and glory to someone else.
Oh, and also Napoleon has occupied Vienna. Kind of a big deal, since that’s the capital of Austria. (Just imagine some foreign country’s army occupying Washington, D.C.)
Yeah, so no one cares too much about some minor battle victory.
Andrei is shocked and depressed to hear this new development. Bilibin piles it on even more, saying he thinks the war is pretty much over now – Napoleon has won.
Totally beaten down, Andrei goes to bed. But then he dreams again about the fighting and wakes up all happy that he got to be in combat.