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Andrei is invited to sit in on Emperor Alexander's non-council meeting. It’s basically the meeting from hell, as everybody there has his own agenda and doesn’t care about trying to get along with anyone else.
A general gets up and starts demonstrating his own campaign idea, which is totally unrelated to what is actually happening with the army.
Pfuel snarkily answers this by saying that clearly they don’t need him anymore.
Others start asking Pfuel questions about his plan, and he methodically and sarcastically goes over every detail.
Andrei feels for Pfuel, who seems like the only guy there who isn’t just out for himself. Also, he’s the only one who doesn’t seem to be petrified of Napoleon.
The argument keeps going, and eventually they’re just yelling and calling each other names.
Andrei, meanwhile, is having some deep thoughts about military power and strategy. He decides that since everything in the army is actually chaotic and random, the best general is a brave, self-assured fool like Bagration.
The next day Alexander asks Andrei where he wants to serve. Andrei says he wants to go into the army, and with that, his potential career at court is over.