|“||Some times in life, even if we want to, there are things we can't do over and we can't ever make right||”|
Early Life and Business CareerEditBorn in the first half of the twentieth century, very little is known about Schuwald's personal life before he went into business. It can be assumed he spent large amounts of his childhood and teenage years reading; this habit followed him through adulthood, as he claims his reason for being so successful despite never having received a proper college education was that he read every book he could get his hands on.
In a casual conversation Lotte Frank, Karl Neuman and Johan Liebert had while the latter was volunteering to take care of orphan children, Johan disclosed some information about Schuwald: he had gone bankrupt three times in the past (one of which occurred in the late 1960s) and disappeared for a while after each downfall, only to resurface later and regain his throne.
Margot LangerEditAround the year 1974, Schuwald became a client of Margot Langer, a nineteen year old call girl who often served businessmen and other members of high society. The relationship between the two was not strictly professional, so they often discussed their personal lives. In addition to revealing that her real name was actually Halenka Novakova, Margot once told him about the time she and her friend attempted to cross the Czech-German border, but how the other woman was captured and sent back. The girl, later revealed to be Viera Cerna, was said to have lived in a building with a sign containing three frogs next to Čedok Bridge. Schuwald took note of this fact.
In 1977, Margot became pregnant with Schuwald's child. For reasons unknown, she had to permanently leave him shortly after. At their parting, Schuwald handed her a rabbit's foot and asked of her to give it to their child. The two never saw each other again.
Three FrogsEditFour years after her disappearance, Schuwald was still searching for Margot. Having remembered the information she told him about her friend in Prague, he decided to pay the woman a visit to see if she knew of Margot's whereabouts.
He found the Three Frogs next to Čedok Bridge and knocked on the door. Waiting inside was a beautiful blonde woman. His search turned up nothing though, as Viera had no more information than he did. Before leaving he noticed something that sent chills down his spine -- behind the woman stood a pair of fraternal twins, seeping up every word of their conversation.
Blue SophieEditSchuwald's continuous efforts in searching for Margot bore no fruit, and he gradually began slowing down his financial activities. Johan's flight into economics, on the other hand, had only just begun. After his money laundering services went up in a gory mess, he began living with Margot Langer. Shortly after she was the victim of a "phantom killing", the young man slowly started closing in on Schuwald.
Several months before her death, Margot poured her heart out to former prostitute Blue Sophie at a bar. When Johan killed Margot in 1996, Sophie took on the deceased woman's identity. Schuwald found her and, despite being fully aware of the fact that she was a fraud, began showering her with money in an attempt to compensate for his sins. It became a regular habit; every night at 2 AM he and his bodyguard would venture over to her living quarters. She was also frequented by university students trying to pass off as Schuwald's son, namely Edmund Fahren and his blonde accomplice as well as Karl and Lotte. She met an untimely death in 1998 after trying to blackmail Johan.
Murders in the 1990sEditAs touched upon in the above segment, Johan Liebert began getting closer and closer to Schuwald even before Margot's death. In 1993, Schuwald's former head housekeeper was murdered; back when she worked for him, the woman would always read poetry to her employer. As a thank you, he gave her a generous amount of poetry books from his personal collection. Mr. Gauck, Schuwald's lifelong business rival and "friend" in a sense, was also killed. Hans, the Vampire's former chauffeur who taught him about birdwatching and an accountant he met while birdwatching -- all dead. On the surface level, these appeared to be random, unrelated incidents, but Richard Braun's later investigation brought to light their unifying link with Schuwald.
University of MunichEdit
After finally fading away from the business world, Schuwald settled down in a mansion close to the University of Munich. He employed young men from the school to read Latin to him -- a different boy for every day of the week, notably Karl Neuman on Tuesdays, Edmund Fahren on Thursdays, and Johan Liebert on Fridays. Female students like Lotte Frank could occupy positions as housecleaners, maids, et cetera.
Occasionally students from the university would come to him, claiming to be his long-lost son, but all proved to be loose ends.
Edmund FahrenEditIn the summer of 1997, a young man named Edmund Fahren, Schuwald's Thursday reader, admitted to the tycoon that he was his son. Schuwald was delighted, and fully believed that this boy would be the one, for he didn't seem to be after his inheritance. He brought this topic up with Karl, unintentionally crushing his real son's spirit.
Naturally, Fahren was simply being manipulated by Johan Liebert, as he knew that by using this boy he could get closer to Schuwald. When Karl entered the picture, however, Fahren was nothing but an imposition so Johan put him up to suicide. Schuwald consequently entered a depressive state and was neglecting his health. Even after Richard Braun concluded that Fahren really couldn't have been Schuwald's son, his condition still did not improve.
The Secret WoodsEditJohan befriended Lotte and she introduced him to Karl. The three of them became good friends, and while discussing Schuwald's past, Johan mentioned that every time the tycoon went bankrupt he would disappear to a certain place which always made him feel better. Lotte then asked Johan if he knew where this place was, and she and Karl devised a plan to take the old and half-blind Schuwald there. Lotte trapped Kunz, Schuwald's bodyguard, in a bathroom and took Schuwald in the Obenberg forest to cheer him up. However, upon their arrival they found that the forest had been cleared, with construction implements for its eventual conversion as a business district. Schuwald asked Karl if he could see the lake, and Karl reluctantly said yes so as not to disappoint the old man. Lotte too had to lie about the greens of the forest. Moments later, Schuwald remarked that he could not hear the wrens chirping, much to Karl's already dissonant feelings about the conversion of the forest that he told Schuwald the place had been turned into a construction site. Johan appeared behind them suddenly, claiming that if they listened long enough, they would hear the beautiful crying of the wrens. He then employed his imagination and told Schuwald that apples had fallen in the grove and he pretended to pick one up, placing it in the elderly man's hand. He then continued his imaginary excursion, describing to Schuwald the flowing vibrance of the autumn leaves and how they caught the rays of the setting sun, how the lake was so still it looked like a mirror. Schuwald took a bite from the apple Johan gave him and he suddenly had a hallucination of the once-blooming Obenberg Forest. The old man was moved to tears by the sight of it.
Reunion with Karl NeumanEditWith Johan's help, Lotte and Karl had succeeded in brightening the elderly man's spirits. The following Tuesday while Karl was reading to him, Schuwald told the young man that his Latin had greatly improved; this caused Karl to admit that he had actually been tutored by Johan. When Schuwald began going off about what a talented, distinguished young man Johan was, Karl felt as though he could never truly live up to his father's expectations and decided to quit his job as a reader.
That evening, he confessed his plan to Johan. The blonde man asked him if he had any sort of proof he could use to identify himself as Schuwald's son, to which Karl admitted that he had been keeping a rabbit's foot his mother gave to him over a decade ago. He figured that it would be best to give it to Johan for safe keeping.
Instead of using the rabbit's foot to make himself look like Schuwald's son, Johan uncharacteristically told Schuwald the truth, that Karl was his real son. After a short phone call, the older man showed up at Karl's room for a teary-eyed reunion.
Book Donation CeremonyEditHaving resumed his financial activity alongside Karl and his new secretary Johan, the two young men proposed that he give away his book collection -- which he had no need for with his failing eyes -- to the university, where it would be accessible to the students. Schuwald thought it was a fantastic idea and set the date for September 4th. While making preparations, the small gesture somehow turned into a nationwide event, and the guest list kept getting bigger and bigger.
Johan's original plan was to have Roberto shoot Schuwald from the top of the balcony; Tenma would be blamed for it and he would be in control of Germany's economy. However, after coming into contact with The Nameless Monster, his plans changed and he instead decided to decorate the library's interior with glaring, monstrous flames.A few nights before the ceremony, Julius Reichwein showed up at Schuwald's home. To his surprise, the older man was already well aware of the reason for his visit -- he knew it would be about Johan. As Reichwein finished presenting his information about the youth, Schuwald said that Johan was the beyond-human, chaotic monster he had aspired to be so badly in years past. He compared the young man to the biblical Beast of Revelations, specifically quoting the passage 13:4, "People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, 'Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?'"
Schuwald went to the book donation ceremony fully expecting Johan's initial plan to unfold, but as the young man's cold hands grasped his own while they made their way to the podium, he realized a much crueler fate was about to be delivered. And with the simple strike of a match, the room was set ablaze, further pronouncing Schuwald's internalized image of Johan as a beast from hell.
Shortly after the doors were shot down, Johan made a quick disappearance and Schuwald, along with Nina Fortner, became the flames' captive after a burning curtain fell on him. Luckily, he was rescued by Tenma and told him that his son would meet him in Dresden to deliver a message.
RecoveryEditSchuwald was interrogated by Inspector Heinrich Lunge in the hospital on the following day. Although he was reluctant to respond, Lunge noted that Schuwald definitely heard and understood every word he said. A few days later he arranged to have Karl meet with Tenma in Dresden to deliver the message that the mother of the twins he had gotten involved with was still alive, perhaps in Prague. Using this information, Tenma was able to locate the Three Frogs.
The tycoon began looking for Viera Cerna again, and he sent Reichwein to the Three Frogs in search of her, but their efforts dug up nothing. Reichwein also helped him cope with his trauma from the book donation ceremony.
When Tenma was arrested he tried to hire Fritz Verdemann to represent him, but the lawyer declined his requests and accepted some of the doctor's former patients' proposal instead.
EndingEditWhen Ruhenheim's madness began, he, Karl, Lotte, and many others had to go into hiding to ensure the safety of their lives. The process was free of complications and after everything ended they were released.
Schuwald is seen in the last episode sitting with his son as he says that he would like to meet Tenma again someday.
Although Schuwald thought himself to be a selfish 'vampire' and worshipped money-making and learning in his early years, he definitely is very much unlike Johan, following that he claimed in his late night discourse with Dr. Reichwein that Johan wanted to be like him. He befriended and trusted many people along the way. He formed many relationships, although those people he had felt much connection with was killed one by one for him to be left alone, just like General Wolf.
Halenka was the prostitute whom Schuwald fell in love with, and it can definitely be said that she did not hold only professional feelings for him in return. They often discussed matters concerning their personal lives during their times of intimacy, and Halenka even bore him a son (though the latter was probably not an anticipated event). When they went their separate ways in 1977, Schuwald constantly lived under the belief that Halenka hated him, while she too believed in a similar notion.
In retrospect, Schuwald is terrified of yet equally fascinated by Johan. He sees the youth as what he had once dreamed of becoming -- a man who can't be rationalized and is seemingly above everything human, an individual who effortlessly toys with people's everyday patterns of life like a child playing with ants in the sandpit.
He often compares Johan to the Beast from the Book of Revelation or claims to see hell in his eyes, giving the young man a demonic aura and making him seem like some fictitious biblical character straight from hell. Their relationship isn't entirely like a passer-by admiring an artifact encased in glass though, as Schuwald sees a bit of Johan's "monster" in himself. When conversing with Julius Reichwein, he mentions that while living up to his nickname "The Vampire of Bavaria" in his glory days, his disregard and never-looking-back business attitude allowed a monster to swell up inside of him. Therefore, in his subsequent statement, "The only thing that can defeat the beast, would be a monster more fearsome than the first," he may not only be referring to how a greater monster must be the one to put Johan down, but also how the blonde possessed the monster that destroyed his own.
At first, Karl and Schuwald had a very difficult relationship, as the older man disapproved of the student's slow Latin-reading abilities. He would often yell at the boy, yet Karl tried his best to please him anyway. Initially he planned only to see "how miserable of a man my father really is", yet he slowly began warming up, longing for acceptance whilst concurrently fearing he wouldn't be able to live up to his father's expectations. When Johan revealed Karl's blood relation to Schuwald, the two of them gradually began making up for lost time.
Tenma is a man whom Schuwald can relate to but also respects immensely. Both had the unfortunate experience of losing a lot of people close to them thanks to Johan, and were slowly being isolated into their own little doomsdays. Yet, despite being alike in some ways, Schuwald also recognizes that Tenma is the only one who can put a stop to Johan's wrath.
Schuwald was not present for his son's interview with Werner Weber, though it was revealed that before learning of Johan's true intentions he had planned to make him his heir instead of Karl.
"You must know what people call me, that infamous nickname of mine. Oh yes, the much feared 'Vampire of Bavaria'. I'll be straight with you, that nickname pleased me very much. I'd push myself harder and harder, never relenting, and oh how it did grow. How it swelled the monster inside me."
"I can always sense it. Yes, the presence of something so unerringly precise, like Johan. I feel as though he's not of this world at all. "
"They worshipped the dragon, for he had given authority to the beast, and they worshipped the beast saying, 'Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?' The only thing that can defeat the beast, would be a monster more fearsome than the first."
"Sometimes in life, even if we want to, there are things we can't do over and can never make right."
"I saw hell right there in his eyes. Hell, in the eyes of a living human being."
- Lotte says rumour has it that Schuwald had a phone line inside his mansion that was used by Schuwald to manipulate the European stock market.