as in a mirror, dimly
26 Oct 2020
When Reinhard causes a stir by rescuing Mittermeyer from prison, the court is unused to dealing with such interruptions to the status quo. As usual, it’s up to the women to smooth things over. Magdalena decides to find out what exactly caused Rear Admiral Reuenthal to ask Reinhard for help, and why Reinhard decided to risk upsetting the delicate balance of the court over someone he barely knew.
“You’re not like them, are you?”
He glanced at her, an inscrutable expression on his face. “‘Them,’ Baroness?”
“Don’t dismiss me as being a part of that den of vipers,” she said. “I told you, you’re not the only one who has made friends with certain unpopular blondes.”
“And what are you getting out of your friendship with Countess Grunewald?”
“Getting? I’ve made myself a pariah for no reason.”
“It seems to me that women are usually after something,” Reuenthal said.
Magdalena scowled into her drink. “Is simple human kindness not enough reason to befriend someone in need? I don’t know what you think that I could want from her.”
“The winds of power are going to shift sooner or later,” Reuenthal said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you were trying to tie yourself to her boat.”
- Part 1 of as in a mirror, dimly
01 Nov 2020
“If I asked you to do something for me—“
“Yes,” Magdalena said, without any hesitation. “Yes, absolutely, of course. Anything.”
Magdalena smiled, but it was a serious smile, not one of her jokes. “You know I would.”
“You haven’t even heard what I was going to ask.”
“A favor. And I’m always willing to do you a favor.”
“You won’t like it.”
“But I like you, darling, and that will make it worth it.”
Annerose smoothed her skirt out over her legs for a second. Magdalena waited for her to work up the nerve to say what she was going to say. “I need something.”
“Please don’t tell anyone this,” she said.
“My lips are sealed,” Magdalena said. “I’m very good at keeping secrets.”
“I need—“ Annerose began, and she found it hard to get the words out. “A poison.”
- Part 2 of as in a mirror, dimly
Point/Counterpoint by natsinator for Spectral
28 Jan 2021
After the battle of Vermilion, everyone is anxious about the prospect of peace. For Julian and Schenkopp, it seems as though the bonds of war have been the only thing keeping them tied to Yang Wenli.
spoilers up to e54. this is pretty heavily yang/schenkopp but since nothing actually happens i didn't tag it lol.
- Part 3 of as in a mirror, dimly
01 Mar 2021
After a year of self-imposed solitude, Magdalena decides it's time to pay Annerose a visit.
[spoilers up to e55 of the OVA]
“Is this really living, Annerose?” She tried not to sound dismissive. “I don’t know if I could bear it-- you’ve been locked up here like the princess in the tower for a year, just because…” She leaned forward, elbows on her knees. “I feel like, if people didn’t see me, I’d stop existing. Is that what you want?”
“I don’t feel that way,” Annerose replied. Her voice was firmer than it had been, which made Magdalena curious.
The hesitation was back, but Annerose looked over at her, and the earnesty in Magdalena’s posture seemed to bolster her. “For ten years-- I couldn’t let myself exist. I don’t think I knew who I was. It’s easier to be an empty shell. You understand, right?”
Softly. “I do.”
“Here, there’s nothing except me. I don’t need to be some object for anyone… For the Kaiser. A thing for people to look at.” She squeezed her eyes shut. “That’s all.”
“Can I say something?”
“I never thought you were an empty shell.”
- Part 4 of as in a mirror, dimly
11 Dec 2020
After Reinhard’s proposal, Hilde struggles to make sense of her place in Reinhard’s life.
“Did you need something, Fleet Admiral?” she asked, trying to keep herself professional and calm. He stared at her, or perhaps past her— she could never tell where he was looking, or indeed what he was seeing, with those eyes of his.
“I would like to know what your intentions are towards His Majesty.”
“Do you intend to accept his proposal?”
She looked away, and tried to feel as bold as she hoped she sounded. “Fleet Admiral, you may rest assured that if I come to a decision on such matters, I will deliver my answer personally to His Majesty. Our private matters, no matter what they may be, do not need to be overseen by the Secretary of Defense.”
“The future of the Lohengramm dynasty is not a private matter.”
“I have not made up my mind, so there is no answer that I can give you.”
“Very well.” He was still looking at her. “The Secretary of State once indicated to me that you had no interest in marriage, to His Majesty or otherwise.”
“You may feel as you like about me,” she said, “but do not insinuate that my father is a liar.”
- Part 5 of as in a mirror, dimly
05 Feb 2021
spoilers up to e100.
Reinhard and Hilde go on their honeymoon, and are forced to confront the true nature of their relationship.
“Go on. Why is it different for you to be my wife?” Coming from someone else, the question could have felt flirtatious, but coming from him, it was direct-- a negotiation of power, if she wanted to negotiate such things.
Tentatively, as he leaned against her, she stroked his hair. When he made no objection, she let her fingers play with it, bright as gold and soft as silk. There were things about him that were beautiful, even if she had never thought it would be more than an abstract, arms-length type of beauty. Like paintings of goddesses in museums: larger than life, inhuman, divine objects of desire. Touching him was strange and unfamiliar, and she wondered if it would ever be less so, if she could get used to being married to him.
- Part 6 of as in a mirror, dimly
03 Sep 2020
Mittermeyer tells Evangeline three secrets: one about his kaiser, one about his country, and one about himself.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“No,” Mittermeyer said.
“I know you don’t like to talk to me about Fleet Admiral Reuenthal.” Mittermeyer’s hand twitched a little, involuntarily, at the sound of his name, and Eva took his hand in hers, rubbing her thumb along the back of his fingers. “I don’t know if you like to talk about him to anyone.”
“Who would I talk to?” Mittermeyer asked, trying to keep any emotion out of his voice.
Eva drew in a breath, as though she were about to start listing conversation partners, then shook her head against Mittermeyer’s shoulder. “You know, you can talk to me. Even if I didn’t understand, I would listen.”
“You’re too good for me, Eva.”
- Part 7 of as in a mirror, dimly
02 Nov 2020
“Thirty-three,” Mittermeyer said, raising his glass. “Prosit!”
“Don’t remind me,” Felix said, but he drank all the same.
“If you’re complaining about getting old, I don’t know what you think that I’m doing,” Mittermeyer said. “Being twice your age and all.”
“Well, it’s the duty of a father to grow old before their son, isn’t it?”
- Part 8 of as in a mirror, dimly