Chapter OneMy hand twitched slightly as the Frenchman shoved the sword through my back. Which he's been doing for the past ten minutes. Mutilating and torturing my body for what felt like hours. The metal had pierced my skin many times, though it avoided the arrows poking out. I had given up on trying to fight back. My hat sat a foot away from me, my clothing was torn and bloody. My hair was ratted and covered with the red liquid that poured from every wound in my body. "How shocking, one thousand years and you finally fall." France cooed as he removed the blood soaked metal from my back, and replaced it in my shoulder, next to an arrow that entered my body when this battle began.
My body jolted, but the pain wasn't felt. He pressed his foot on my beaten back, and put most of his weight on it. He pushed the sword deeper into my shoulder, and twisted his foot against my spine. I felt the bones start bending, my chest being pressing deeper into the ground. "Now, I can boast about now I ended the 'Great Holy Roman Empire'." He hissed, the bones cracking in my back didn't hurt. Everything was so empty. My eyes tiredly stared off into the distance as he continued to shove the metal sword in my scared shoulder. He pulled back out the weapon, and scoffed. Nothing hurt anymore. The pain has been going on for so long, I couldn't feel the pain of my bones being crushed. I couldn't feel the pain of the arrows that were still in my body. I couldn't even feel the pain of France stabbing my back. As he continued to crush me with his weight, I did feel my weakly beating heart against the green, now stained red, grass.
His foot crushed my spine to a point of where it almost snapped, then finally retracted his foot once his boss called out for him in French. The short man was yelling at France, but he argued back. "Puis-je écraser cette nation sans valeur en paix?" He shouted, and grabbed one of the arrows that stuck out of my leg. I slightly inhaled when he ripped it out of my flesh, tearing the muscle and skin more than it already was. I heard the arrow being thrown next to me, the vibrations of the heavy arrow were easily felt. Something wet and warm hit the back of my neck, and drip down. He spit on me twice before speaking again. "Profitez de votre mort." He hissed, and stormed away. I felt the vibrations as his heavy footsteps returned to his boss. I stared with dull eyes at nothingness. For there was nothing to look at. My life was done. There was nothing else I could do, but wait. My men were dead, my army has failed. I was going to disappear. The skies matched the aura of the field I laid on...they were grey, and the thunder rolling in the distance proved that it was going to rain sooner then later. Blood seeped out of my mouth, and onto the soft ground. So soft...
The grounds were covered with bodies, bodies of my men. My soldiers. All fallen...like me. My hands slightly clenched the grass, but my strength had left me long ago, and my fingers relaxed. I watched as the clouds grew more dark, the winds picking up. The smells of blood, dirt, and metal were carried by the winds, carrying them off to farther lands. Maybe...if I call out her name...she will hear me. I opened my mouth, my jaw trembled as I tried to form words. But nothing but blood came out. My eyes watered as my expression turned pitiful. I want to call her name. I want to call her name one last time. I want to feel her holding me one last time. I wanted to hear her voice. The feeling of her soft lips against mine were dead and gone. How I longed to feel it again. All of these things will never happen again.
I closed my eyes, trying to escape from the world I was in now. I tried to see her face, and not the dead bodies surrounding me. I tried to smell her beautiful scent of lilies and that one scent I could never specify. The sweet smell of her, was covered by the smell of death surrounding me. I clenched my eyes tighter. Trying to remember what her voice sounded like. It's been so long...so long. All I could remember her saying was her begging me not to go. "Don't leave me!" Tears found their way out of my eyes. Those words rang in my head, over and over. I could see her tears streaming down her gentle cheeks as she cried out to me.
My heart caught in my throat as I chocked a sob. I could feel the blood leaving my body at a disheartening rate. The rain began to lightly fall. Sprinkling over the dead bodies of the men who had lost their lives, because of me. I couldn't lead them correctly...and now non of us were going to go home. These men had lives. They had women waiting for them to return home, but they would be waiting forever. The children of these men would never know, or remember their fathers. And even if they were old enough to remember, they would never see their father ever again. The tears streamed faster out of my closed eyes. My body felt more and more weak every passing minute.
I let out a shaky breath, and opened my eyes. I looked out once more, seeing the darkened skies and the now pouring rain. The rain pelted my wounds, causing the bleeding to speed up. The loss of blood caused my sight to start dotting up. Different colours, splotches of black and white, and dots covered my vision. I reclosed my eyes, and let the cold water steal the rest of my body heat. I relaxed my body, and allowed the cold grasp of death to reach out to me.
"We'll see each other again!"
Her voice. I snapped open my eyes. I promised her. I promised her that I would return. I clenched my fists in the wet grass. I..promised her. I can't break that promise. She's waiting for me. "I...ta...li...a.." The words finally formed and had a breathy escape from my mouth. Slowly but surely, my arms found there way under my beaten body. My arms pushed upwards, trying to lift me off the muddy, blood soaked ground. My fingers sunk into the cold soppy mud, not that I cared anymore. I had to get home. I'm coming home Italia. I'm coming home. My arms trembled as they tried to lift me off the ground, and failed. My chest slammed back into the mud, where I stayed for the next few minutes. The rain slamming against my wounds. I tried again. My arms beneath me trying to lift me off the ground.
They succeeded the fifth time, and I sat up. I was heel sitting on the wet ground, and looked up. I closed my eyes as I felt the blood pouring more vigorously out of my back, and chest. The pain, was still unfelt. I was thankful, and sighed softly, I should be thankful for even living this long. I had to return to her...if I went to Prussia, he could take me to her. He isn't far. At least, he shouldn't be...right? I looked down at the ground, and opened my eyes. My vision was blurry and spotted, but I pushed that aside and stared at my open palms. Something white inside my black, torn jacket stood out. My weakened, mud covered hands made their was up to the strange white item, and pulled it out. It was a small painting. I ducked my head over it, so the oils wouldn't mix together. It was already too late on some parts, but I could still make out what the painting was of.
Why is it getting wet? Aren't I covering it? I stared at the small drops of water, that would fall on the precious painting every now and then. I watched as the small drops dripped down, making it seem that Italia was crying. Crying...was I crying? I tightly shut my eyes as I kissed the painting. I'm coming home Italia. I promised I would, and I shall. I placed the painting in my jacket, and prayed that it was safe. My vision blurred as I tried to stand myself up. I have to find Prussia. I have to find him..he can heal me as much as possible, then take me to her. I gasped as I fell back, causing an arrow that pierced my back, and never went though, to stab through my stomach. That pain was felt. Screams of agony escaped my lips as I quickly went back into the heel sitting position. Tears fell faster from my eyes as I tried to cover the wound with my hands, but only succeeded in getting them bloody.
I took deep breathes, trying to calm my nerve. I slowly pushed my jacket to the side, and stared at the blood covered arrowhead that poked though my sensitive skin. A pathetic noise escaped my bloodied lips as I put my jacket back in place, not wanting to look at the wound for too long. I tried pushing all of my strength to my legs, to get them to be able to push my up body. I tried over and over, but every time I would fall face first into the mud. After what seemed like forever, my strength had returned to me, and I stood up. The arrow that had been ripped from my leg sat next to my hat, but I payed no heed to it. The red liquid dripped faster down my body, and pooled on the ground.
I grabbed my jacket, and placed my hand over the painting, thanking God that the painting wasn't pierced by the arrow. My legs inched forward, hobbling past numerous bodies of my fallen comrades. My blue eyes were set forward, and not on the ground. I needed to get home. I must get home. I promised her. My wet, silver tasting mouth, gaped open as I tried to say her name. But utterly failed, and closed once more. My hand clenched over the painting, as my legs stumbled. A blood trail was left, going from the pool of the red liquid from where I was laying, up to where I was now. Staggering, forward, my body trembled as it grew weaker. But my mind was set.
I will get to see her again. I love her so much. I can't die, not now. Not when she is waiting for me. I'm coming home, Italia.
Wait...is that her? My eyes widened as I saw a brown haired girl wearing a white and green dress, beckoning me to come forward. "I told you we would see each other again!" She giggled, I felt my mouth twitch into a smile as my legs quickened their pace. She's here. I don't care why or how. But she's here, I want to hold her. "I....talia.." I hoarsely said as I made my way up to her. Tears of joy trickled down my cheeks, mixing with the rain water. She giggled as she held open her arms. "I missed you, Holy Roman Empire." She said softly, her voice was angelic to my ears. Her gentle face lit up as I grew closer to her. My heart pounded faster, she's here. She's actually here. I smiled as I fell in her open arms.
But fell in wet mud. The arrowhead sticking out of my stomach dug back inside me, causing me to hiss. My hopeful eyes looked back up, trying to see her...but she was gone. My smile quickly faltered, as I placed my head back in the mud. The tears of joy quickly turned into tears of heartbreak and agony. She was here...but my eyes were just playing with me. Trying to give me the false hope. She wouldn't be all the way out here anyways...why did I even have the hope. My heart and throat clenched as I chocked out a sob. Which came out more blood then a pathetic cry. I looked back up, feeling the mud drip down my face and being washed by the rough rain as I stared out. This field seemed like it would never end. But it will.
I will find my way to Brother, he will help me get better, and he will take me to Italia. I will go home. I will go home, to the sweet sound of Austria's piano and the sound of Hungary laughing and dancing with Italia, who was singing. The smells of sweets and flowers. Feeling Italia's hands over mine as she tries to teach me to paint. Having Hungary pick the two of us up and try to joke around with Austria. Seeing Brother try to sneak in, but failing. All of these memories flooded back to me, I remember so much. But there was still many memories yet to be made.
I clenched the ground, feeling Adrenalin start to flood my veins. I somehow made myself stand up on the first try, my mind was set on going back. The arrows and stab wounds in my back and chest haven't stopped bleeding, but I chose to ignore it and pushed myself onward. My shaking hand replaced back over the painting, I mouthed my promises to her, but no words came out. My vision became more blurry, and my legs trembled more and more. It became harder to breath, harder to walk, harder to even keep my eyes open. The more I pushed myself forward, the more tired I felt. My mind was set on going home, but my body started failing me. I cared not, and proceeded to push myself to the limit. My clothing, which clung to my skin, slowly became more heavy. I knew the rain had nothing to do with it...
I was running out of time.
My expression became more despondent as reality slowly creeped up on me. Yet I stumbled forward, determined to see the joy filled home once more...and stay. The faint heartbeat, which belonged to who other than me, grew weaker, my breathing became slower. My tensed muscles started to relax deeply, dragging me down. Hard drops of rain pelted my body, feeling like bullets. My determination had left me, and I allowed myself to fall to my knees. My glazed over eyes stared up at the skies, refusing to close, even when the drops of water hit them. My wary look soon turned relaxed as I fell on my chest. I was back where I started, on my chest, in the mud. The amount of blood loss is too much. My body has no more strength. I can't move, even if I wished too. The weakness throughout my being caused everything to feel tingly. It felt like pins and needle spreading through my body.
My pail fingers twitched as I tried to move them. I wanted to see her face one last time. I had too. I forced every last drop of power I had left, to grab the painting, and to bring it up to my face. My lackluster gaze looked over the painting. A smile tried to tug at my lips, but failed. I failed her. I broke the promise. I'm tired.. My body stopped feeling anything, even the rain hitting it. Everything went into tunnel vision, my hand loosened around the painting. My eye lids slowly closed as my last thoughts crossed my mind.
I'm sorry. I'm so sorry Italia...but...
I'm not coming home.