I do not own Hetalia Axis Power; also the historical people in this story are not completely true to their actual nature when they were alive.
Also I will add that I have done a fair bit of research on this historical monarch and I hope to dispel some myth’s about him that have occurred in that widely popular movie; Braveheart.
Enjoy the story.
The blonde haired, violet eyed young man walked towards the door of the fine house, the roses were all in bloom, the garden itself was full of life and colour, to be honest if Matthew wasn’t so interested to learn some more history he would be relaxing out here and taking in the beautiful weather.
Instead he would focus on his personal task; I need to know the other side. He thought to himself, so many of his people had come from the UK, a good few came from Scotland, where he had just been, but his country was mixed, with English, Welsh and Irish along with all the other countries that have come to his land.
Matthew is the personification of Canada; normally he would be carrying a small white polar bear, however he knew full well that the bear wouldn’t appreciate this weather.
He was in England now, having spoken with Scotland, his sort of Uncle. Although given that Scotland was the older brother of England, or as the man was known as; Arthur Kirkland, he was also a good friend to France, so Matthew found it hard to tell exactly how much of an Uncle Scotland was to him.
The history between Edward ‘Longshanks’ and William Wallace, as well as Robert the Bruce, caught his interest, he didn’t know why but it did, and so he was going to learn Arthur’s side of the legend.
He placed his finger on the doorbell, being careful not to press for too long, out of fear that the other man might think that Matthew was his brother; America.
It didn’t take long for the man to answer the door, but the expression on his face when he saw the other told him all he needed to know; He’s forgotten me…
A frown appeared on the blonde’s face as he narrowed his green eyes to his guest; “America I have no patience…”
“Um… I’m not America, I’m Canada,” Matthew said softly as the other looked at him in surprise.
“Bollocks,” Arthur cursed himself for not realizing, again; “Sorry, do come in,” He opened the door wider to let the other nation into his home.
Oh how Matthew had loved this home. England’s history was far greater than his own, so drenched in history and myth’s intertwining that it became hard to tell what was real and what was not. The books Arthur had were fascinating to him and he loved to read them over and over again while American, or Alfred, would get most of England’s attention.
He was lead to the sitting room and the green eyed nation looked at him; “How can I help you?”
This was the part he dreaded, how to tell Arthur the truth… Though he knew the nation would prefer the truth outright, he was worried about the wording of it; “Well… I… Er… I started to do a bit of research on my people’s history… Some of them were Scots… So I spoke to…”
“My brother,” Arthur finished drily, his eyes were now weary, his body was slightly tense as if he expected an attack, whether by words or fists.
“Y..Yes, but… He told me about… William Wallace and… And Edward I, I… I really wanted to know more about him… So I thought you would…”
All tension drained away with Matthew saying that, Arthur should have known better, but he was so used to America or Scotland jumping the gun that he forgot – although not unusual – that Canada liked to know all, or as much, of the facts as possible.
“You want to hear about Longshanks from me?”
“Well… Y… Yes… Please,”
Arthur smiled and gestured for him to sit down; “I’ll get some tea ready first,”
Matthew nodded his thanks but didn’t sit down, he looked around the room, and it was so comforting, so… quaint. All the history that Arthur had in this room, the books, the pictures… Even the furniture! It was good to know that Arthur wasn’t ashamed of his past, everything he had done was part of him, he never wished for something to have never happened, or if he did; well, he never admitted it out loud.
“You haven’t changed,”
Matthew jumped and turned to see that the blonde was back in the room, with a tray which had tea cups, a teapot, sugar bowl, milk jug and some biscuits.
They settled down, Matthew sat on the sofa while Arthur made his way to the winged back chair in the corner of the room. As he poured the tea and gave Matthew a cup he spoke;
“You still look around this room as if everything here was created by magic,”
Matthew just stared at the older nation; he knew full well that England dealt with magic, but for him to say such a thing obviously meant that nothing in this room had a hint of magic to it.
He poured a bit of milk into his tea and watched as Matthew put a drop of sugar into his own and began to stir.
“I know what he has told you… That it’s my fault that his people were killed… Murdered,”
“He… He said something along those lines,” Matthew admitted, although they both knew full well that ‘those lines’ would have been full of swearing, rage and threats of revenge.
“No surprise, when we look back we can’t believe certain things happened… The merger, when we became Britain. The past… Hm…” Arthur took a sip of his tea, placed his tea cup down and shook his head refusing to get caught up in the past that had brought about a golden age to the country, the past that cause him to fight his own siblings, the past that could very well have killed him had he not been so damn lucky; “So, Longshanks…”
“Er… How did he get that… That nickname?”
Arthur smiled slightly; “Two reasons, one was due to him being so tall. He was over six foot and back then that was rather unusual; then there was his temper,”
“His temper?” Matthew had a feeling that perhaps Scotland hadn’t been embellishing the history.
“He had a reason to do so, Longshanks had a lisp. It frustrated him to no end, to become king and to be ridiculed due to a slight speech impediment angered him greatly,”
Matthew remained silent, which was the cue Arthur had been waiting for, the Canadian wouldn’t interrupt now.
“Edward the fourth was a,”
“Um… don’t you mean Edward the first?” Matthew asked; confused.
Arthur smiled slightly; “No, no, he was the fourth one, he was given the title of first just before he died. All the others before him had never truly been great Kings. Where was I? Ah, he was a tall man, as I said, he was also a born solider and began his reign in his early 30’s. However there is a few things you need to know; I suspect my brother left out some information,” He paused for a moment to take another sip of his tea; “You see, Scotland was a nation divided, the authority of the Scottish kings effectively covered the lowlands and the boarders, while Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles as far as the Isle of Man belonged to the King of Norway and the Highland’s on the mainland considered themselves independent although they did recognize the authority of the crown,” He looked over at Matthew who seemed surprised by this new information: “This is the reason why my brother seems to have such… Problems, it’s not as bad as it was then, but you can still see him when he has his moments of… Insanity.
Once again Arthur paused, he had to tell the younger nation the history of this man, but he couldn’t possibly begin half way through his life, it wouldn’t be fair to his old king, nor would it have been fair to Matthew to not learn the complete history of this famous monarch; “However, I need to tell you of his youth before we get into the Scottish battles.
Longshanks was seventeen years old when he had his first taste of warfare…”
I had just learned of the Welsh uprising and not too long after I received the news I heard the familiar sounds of goblets being thrown to the wall and a servant running down the hall in fear, his face completely white and looked shaken.
“I see the Prince has heard the news,”
The servant blinked in surprise before bowing; “Y… Yes my lord Kirkland…”
I waved him off; “I will speak to him,” As I continued to walk down the hall towards the Prince’s room.
Although the Prince had a temper, it has to be said that he did come from a loving family, although his father wasn’t always there, due to the crusade or other battles that had to be fought, he did try to make as much time as he could for his family. The Prince’s temper was a family trait, coming down from generation to generation, some were worse than other’s with the sharpness of it.
I never felt the need to be afraid, in fact no one in his family, or close friends felt any need to be afraid of his temper, we all knew how to calm him down, whether by words or just by giving space, or taking him on a hunt. His close friends gave him the nickname of Longshanks, but that name wouldn’t be received for a few years yet.
Entering the room, the fire burned brightly in while Edward appeared to have exhausted himself and was now sitting on a high-backed wooden chair. He glanced at me and gave a nod, I picked up the two goblets nearest me that were on the floor and placed them on the table, refilling them with the wine and gave him one to drink.
“So, you heard,”
Edward had pale hair and a reddish complexion, but he was strong and in time he would prove how strong.
“I will have his head!” The Prince snapped; “This Llywelyn ap Gruffydd will rot in a ceil!”
I had felt pity for the Prince over the years, more often when we were at court and his lisp caused a good few people to laugh, his mother had noticed that it got more obvious when he was frustrated, or put on the spot, but the King dismissed her concerns about his son’s welfare.
Sometimes I think perhaps we all should have listened to her, but… There is no place for regret, during that time people didn’t truly understand such things.
I just nodded in agreement, the ap Gruffydd was an upstart and he needed to be taught a lesson. There was a problem, the King was already having a problem with his barons, who felt they should be given more money and more range of power.
“My father… the King will give me an army,” The Prince was red-faced, all the way to his ears, and he was shaking with the rage he felt over this Welsh man.
“My Prince, the King… He has other problems…” I began to explain; although I didn’t know if Edward was fully aware of the baron’s plans.
Edward took a gulp of the wine and then laughed; “I know! I know full well they are upset at my father, de Montfort is in charge of the rebellion…”
I was watching him carefully now, he may become my future king, but right now my duty was to my present king. Any vital information that the Prince might relieve I would not hesitate to inform the king as soon as I could, however I also knew that perhaps the Prince wouldn’t side with that man.
“He was taking care of Gascony for you,” Gascony was a French province that we obtained so many years ago before.
“Yes… I appreciate that,” Edward finished his wine while I hadn’t even touched mine; “Leave me,”
I bowed as I left the room, worried about what could become of my nation… and my king.
As expected, the King negotiated peace with the Welsh; however he would suffer a far greater betrayal.
The Prince had sided with Simon de Montfort, the King was dismayed at this turn of events, the future king had turned his back on him and worse he was heading out with the barons and at the head was Simon de Montfort.
Together the two produced the Provisions of Westminster, which in effect allowed the barons to have more rights and the King… The King was heartbroken that his son would turn on him.
Due to this betrayal I began to avoid the Prince whenever I could, I used feeble excuses to get away from him; but the rift between the baron’s and the King hadn’t fully gone even with the paper’s being signed.
Finally in 1264 Civil war broke out, the country was a riot although this time… This time Edward sided with his father. The King was overjoyed, but I had reservations, would the Prince keep changing sides whenever he felt like it?
“Ah Arthur, I feel we shall win this,” The King said as we walked the courtyard.
I smiled, the King sounded so hopeful and I couldn’t be negative to him; “Of course, you are the King because God himself ordained it,”
He laughed at that, pleased to know that I agreed with him; “We are lucky to have you Arthur, and I know my son will be lucky with you by his side and teaching him things about the past kings he never would have dreamed of,”
“I shall be pleased to see him take his place,” I said, but I lacked the conviction and the slight flicker of his eye I also knew that he realized it as well.
“I know he betrayed us, but I believe in him. He’s my son England,” He berated me, and I took it, how could I not? He was my boss for one and for another he did have a point, then the fact that he called me by my true name, he was serious with what he was telling me.
I nodded; “I know that My Lord, I feel… I feel he might be siding with us for other reasons,”
“Because de Montfort would not let him fight?”
“Not just that, I suppose he wants a challenge, to prove to himself that he can be good in a battle,”
The King rubbed his beard in thought; “I believe we should give him a chance, let’s see what my son is truly made of,”
I agreed with him and we made our way to the dining area for our dinner.
However Edward began to redeem himself, during that year he managed to capture de Montfort the younger in Northampton; but he was still young and rash.
At the Battle of Lewes Edward thought too highly of himself, believing that he would be able to defeat the elder de Montfort.
As with all battles it was bloody, but what made it worse was that the King and Prince were both there, together. The losses on our side were high, it was a badly planned battled and the two Royals were captured, but before they were the King looked at me. The Prince was elsewhere in the battle field, although I had felt my soldier’s dying around me, I didn’t feel his death.
“Arthur… Go; go find a safe place to retreat…”
“Nay, my King. I would never leave the battlefield without you, or your son,” I shook my head; the armor that I wore clinked as I moved towards him.
“If they learn of…”
“They won’t. Your own son doesn’t truly know about me yet,” I told him and yet he still looked uncertain, I knew he thought I could round up some troops to free him or his son, but I couldn’t. I didn’t have that power to round up troops, not back then.
“They wouldn’t risk harming either of you,” I told him, trying to reassure his safety; “It’s too risky for them, the people wouldn’t want some foreigner having a bigger claim than any of the baron’s, or de Montfort,”
We were then taken to the Tower of London and the de Montfort’s enjoyed taunting us, although I do know I was lucky, they believed I was closely related to the Royals, meaning they wouldn’t execute me; it was too risky for them since they didn’t know if someone in another country might take revenge, like France. Although if I was being honest, I think Scotland would be more likely to charge at them than France, after all Scotland wanted to kill me, while France just wanted to rule over my country.
I was seated on the chair, looking out the window as someone brought in some food. The Tower wasn’t a prison back then, it was a Royal retreat, but due to it being a fortress it did make a good prison. The elder Simon de Montfort entered my room and looked at me with narrowed eyes; I continued to ignore him and remained focused on looking out the window.
“You have always been at court?” He suddenly asked and I was startled, as I finally turned to look at him.
“Yes,” I replied and mentally cursed myself for doing so; “For a good few years,”
I was thankful that de Montfort and his son didn’t attend court as often as the other barons, since they were out in France they would come back a few times during the year, but it was usually just to keep the King up to date about the happenings. They never noticed me before, and I made sure that no baron approached me. The best way for me was to wear dark colours while everyone else in court – aside from the servants – wore more colourful clothes.
Edward’s new wife, Eleanor, had even asked why I wore such dull colours;
“I prefer such fine creature’s such as you to be dressed in glorious colour,”
She blushed and laughed, thus I gained her trust and friendship.
However right now I was imprisoned, along with the King and Prince, it would take great planning to escape and given that my mind was focused more on the King’s welfare I couldn’t really focus on a plan.
I walked to the King’s apartments, with a guard escorting me and as I entered the guard remained outside the room. I had never seen the King look so dejected before, not even when Edward betrayed him.
“I take it you have heard?” The King asked me and I shook my head, not understanding what he was talking about; “Edward managed to escape,” He whispered and his eyes went towards the other door; “They are keeping a close watch on me,”
I walked over to him, my own eyes glancing over to the other door and noticed it was open slightly. No one would leave a door open when it was winter; it made life easier to keep the heat in.
“I wish I had told him…” He continued in a lower voice and I looked at him, wondering what he could possibly mean; “I wished I had told him about you,”
I raised my eyebrow in question; “What do you mean my King?”
“He wondered about you, asked why you never aged, why you always wore dark clothes,”
“My King, you know that it is my duty to tell every new King who I am,” I whispered back with a small smile; “He’s alive…”
“But for how much longer?” The King sighed, and for once he truly looked his age; “de Montfort’s have so much power… I am but a pawn,”
“My King, please…” I couldn’t think of anything to say to be of comfort to him.
Instead I stood and poured out some wine from the jug into the goblets and we both drank in the silence.
I worried about Edward as well, but neither of us needed to. It was a year later when I learned that Edward had built an army to fight against de Montfort and the baron’s. I had never felt more grateful, for I and the King were both close to telling the elder Simon de Montfort who I truly was, due to us both believing that Edward had retreated to France.
The battle of Evesham resulted in the death of the elder de Montfort and thus we were freed. The King returned to his family and he served severe retribution on all those barons by disinheritance.
“That’s not a suitable punishment!” Edward yelled as we left the court.
“Son, if you were disinherited what would become of you?”
The Prince paled at such a question, knowing that he couldn’t do anything, he would have nothing to his name, just the clothes on his back and to the baron’s it was a fate worse than death. Every single one of them became just as pale as the Prince when they heard the sentence being carried out, and worse was that the sentence had already been brought about as they were in court.
“But they have a strong hold in Ely!” The colour returned to the Princes cheeks as he spoke, his lisp making it hard for me to understand what he was trying to say the more upset he became.
“My Lords,” I finally spoke, not wishing to interfere in this family argument; “Might I make a suggestion?” The two men looked at me and the King nodded; “Prince Edward has more than proven himself of being capable of being a solider and leader…”
Edward looked at me in surprise and the King smiled.
“I agree with you, I believe that is an excellent point, you raised an army to fight against de Montfort and freed myself and England. We trust you to fight the barons,”
I noticed how Edward looked confused when the King said ‘myself and England’, but he didn’t mention it. Once the plans were made; the King demanded that I go with the Prince, so that I could see first-hand exactly his own military expertise.
I saw that Edward would become a strong King and by 1269 it was all over. Peace was restored across the land and the baron’s uprising had been squashed.
It was after this that Edward decided to finally join the Crusades, he had wanted to do so for many years, but due to the uprisings he was unable to. So he left the kingdom with his wife, his children remained behind, so that there would still be a ruler should anything happen to the Prince.
It was while the Prince was away that the King passed away and word was sent to Edward that he was now the King.
He took his time returning, he received the news in Sicily and thus he moved through Italy; not only as a Crusader hero but also as a new King. He traveled all over in his glory, going to France to pay homage to their own new King Philippe III.
A few years passed, the King was confident in his advisors, who were well aware that any trouble would be quickly put down and they would find themselves in the same place as the rebellious baron’s before them.
The year 1274 was when the King returned to us, and his coronation happened two weeks later. It was a grand affair, with only once hitch; Llywelyn ap Gruffydd had failed to pay homage to his new King.
Matthew looked at Arthur in surprise, all of that happened in the twelfth hundreds? He fought alongside his King and risked death…
He suddenly yawned and noticed it was completely dark outside.
“You may as well stay here,” Arthur said as he stood up, picking up the empty cups and plates, the younger nation picked up the milk jug and sugar bowl and followed him to the kitchen; “I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow,”
Matthew nodded; “Thank you. Ah, why did you stay with the King?”
“I can’t leave them, abandon them… They held the true power. If I ran away where would I go? France would use me as a pawn to rule over me, Wales would do the same. We were not as civilized as we are now,”
“Maybe we are just more grown up?” Matthew suggested and he laughed.
“Try telling that to America,”