Title: Components of War
An excellent tactician plans for everything. He sees all sides of the situation, and plans all escapes. He plans for backup, plans for interruptions, plans for intrusion. He plans for the enemy's cunning defeat. He plans for his troupe's safety. He plans for casualties. To join forces with Hungary was a brilliant move on his part. But as an excellent tactician, Austria still planned for defeat.
Bloodshed was to be expected on the battlefield. The patron and his matron of war were well aware. Prepared. Even so, when he stumbles on with a gash in his thigh, panic prompts her to stick to his side and lead him out of the line of fire. When the wound heals and they are alone, she presses kisses to his scars and assures him that he is brace, that his marks of war are beautiful, and he cradles her face in his hands, murmuring that she must never abandon her own battles for him again.
It seems that she is always the one to lead him to victory. She is strong, so strong, and when she fights beside him, his heart is filled with pride and something else that he is almost too afraid to name.
Tactics. Bloodshed. Victory. All that remains is defeat.