May 30, 1431
The rancid smell of sweat, grime and dust entered France's nose. People crowded in the center, their dully-colored tunics seeming to blend into one in front of the nation's icy blue eyes. Faces seemed to fade away into scenery, and the scenery itself became indistinguishable, not that the blonde cared to make out any of it. Sight did not matter to him for the moment. Around the nation, a garble of hushed voices filled the air with a thundering noise. He silently wished for all of them to be silent, they would all go to hell for this. Then, a bitter smirk tugged on his full lips as he thought, 'no, everyone should go to hell for this and I should be first in line.' A dark chuckle escaped his dry throat and he turned his eyes upwards to the clear blue sky.
On any other day, it would have been beautiful, but today France thought it to be a mockery. God was making a cruel, sick, twisted joke or maybe He was just punishing the nation. There could be no other reason to kill Jeanne. But, before the blonde could continue his thoughts, a pair of bright green eyes flashed before him. An instant later they were gone. It had probably just been his imagination, but the icy eyed man was sure it was also a sign. Today had not been God's will, but the Devil's, albeit the Devil with a change of name. England.
Sickness bubbled within the Frenchman's stomach and he felt something lurch up and into his throat. His frail looking body shook as he pushed it back. Curse that bastard. At his sides, his pale hands clenched into fists and more trembles fell over him. Why her? The ancient teen thought and not for the first time. There was a stinging pain in his eyes, as if tears would pour out any second, but none came. The trail was rigged, the nation wanted to scream. This shouldn't happen, he thought, contemplating throwing a tantrum. She's no heretic, he almost took off running. But no, none of those options would help; the blonde decided and forced himself to unclench his fists. For the next moment he stood perfectly still with his eyes firmly shut.
Suddenly, the noise hushed to a quiet whisper, only the sound quiet prayers could be heard now. Blue eyes pulled open and France turned his gaze to the left. Wooden buildings towered high above the cobblestone path as She made her way across it. The nation looked towards the calm, but undersigned grey eyes of his savior and watched as she slowly made her way step by step. One of her hands clutched a crudely made wooden cross and the blonde felt himself reaching up to clutch his own delicately cut golden one. Her simple white dress hung loosely on her tall frame, blowing in the light breeze. Her cropped brown hair mimicked the dress. Each step made by her bare feet was resolute and confident, so much so that the Frenchman wanted to step forward with her. But, he held himself still.
Taking deep breaths, France watched as the young hero was led up the steps of a creaking platform. Watched as she crossed the straw and stood against a tall pillar and chains were rapped around her body. In the back of a his throat, a scream once more threatened to come out, but he bit his lip and re-clenched his fists. The nation forced himself to keep his eyes open and watched as Jeanne began to pray quietly. He found himself praying along with her, though his prayers were far from holy. He prayed for the destruction of England, for vengeance for fire and brimstone to fall upon the accursed island. But the only fire that fell then was a lit torch next to the feet of the young woman.
A silver cross, held by two friars, was slowly raised up and the flames began to dance towards the sky. The fire crackled, laughed, and mocked the nation then. It ate at Her dress and raced up to her face. France could no longer bear to look. He turned his head up towards the sky once more, watching the dark pillars of smoke rise up and whirl together. Darkness filled in overhead and finally the heavens matched the scene, mussed the blonde while trying to ignore Jeanne's muffled cries. On his right arm, he felt a pain, as if someone had taken a branding iron and pressed it to his elbow. Somehow, that made him feel relieved. He focused on that spot, focused until the young woman's cries died away, until the fire stopped laughing. Then the spot stopped burning and was replaced by a dull ache.
Blue eyes once more turned to the stand, and numbness hit France, as the charred remains of his heroine were uncovered. His entire face went blank and he just stood there as the burned her body twice more, as they gathered her ashes into a sack. The men then began to walk forward and France followed them through the streets, not bothering to look at his surroundings. Instead he kept his gaze firmly at the now reddening sky. After what felt like an eternity of walking, the rush of water came into the blonde's ears. He finally looked down and saw the men gather along the banks of the Seine. The water rushed quickly past, dyed crimson by the sky. It was perfect, a work of art sarcastically mused the nation as one man reached into the bag containing Jeanne and tossed her ashes into the water. They rushed down, swirling in the river and out of sight. For a moment, the gathered crowd stood still, but one by one they all left.
Only France remained by the time the moon rose high into the sky. Icy eyes turned up towards the stars and the nation promised himself that for this England would pay. That he would regain the rest of his territory and more should he get the chance. That somehow, someday, he would get revenge. Then finally, he let tears spill out of his eyes, sat down at the waters edge and sobbed.