Oh, one thing, the whole story is told by Jean de Metz, who was knight close to Joan during her military career and one her most early believers. I did that to give the story some realistic elements, even though it's fiction, but it's historical fiction. Key word: HISTORICAL :3
Oh, and another thing...boy this is embarassing, um...I'm not really done with this story yet. I plan on making this into a novel one day, but I currently have a lot of writing left to do.
Chapter 1: A Life-changing Encounter
My name Jean de Metz, now 85 years old...and dying. It is the Year of Our Lord, 1493. All those years of toiling as a soldier and the ancient wounds, along with the natural tidings of old age have finally catch up with me, and are taking their toll on my waning body. Now on my death bed while my stiff and aching hand can still manage to hold a feather pen, I am writing about my experiences with Joan of Arc, because I believe it is my duty and God's will that her memory shall be preserved. I have spent all my life fighting for my country's freedom, and the greatest part was with Joan. Oh, how sweet and gentle, and brave and noble she was! It is like she is still living right in front of me. I can almost see her sweet face again, with her beautiful blue eyes, fair skin, slender frame, and that warm and friendly smile that never fails to fill a soul with great joy. Out of all things, that smile is the one that I miss the most. She was such a brilliant tactician and skilled strategist. I remember how she would, in her shining white armor, always stay at the front lines, cheering on her beloved soldiers, bringing victory in her wake. That is a picture that will always stay fresh in my mind. Oh, how glorious our days together was! Until she was horribly betrayed and was captured by the enemy. They tried her unjustly, as the King and France stood silently by, while they burned to death our beloved Maid! I shall now begin my memoir of her, lest my blood pressure gets any higher.
I can remember that it was in the middle of January, the year 1429 that I first met her. I had heard so much about her and was quite curious. My curiosity soon grew so strong, that I just had to search her out. You see, I wasn't much satisfied by the usual order of things in town. I was a young and adventurous fellow, who will gladly spring at any opportunity for excitement!
At that time, I was a 22 year old knight working for Robert de Baudricourt, governor of Vaucouleurs. Joan had come in January, to petition Baudricourt to send her to the Dauphin. He said no to her, and now she is staying here until he does.
It was not really difficult task to find her. I was walking down a busy street, when I suddenly came upon this house with a crowd of people around it. "Excuse me, sir, but who does this house belongs to and why the crowd around it?" I asked of man nearby.
"Why-this is the house of Ley Royer, sir!" answered the man quickly. "We are all here to see and talk with Joan the Maid! She says that she is sent by God to save us and crown the Dauphin. I don't know about the others, but I believe in her!"
There, I grinned at the man's simply enthusiastic faith in a lone girl's claims.
"Thank you, kind man", said I graciously, before starting to make my way through the thick crowd. Most of them recognized me as knight in Baudricourt's service and respectfully made way for me. In that fashion, I was able to move easily forward to Joan, who was sitting on the front steps of the home. She was only seventeen years old, and might I say, very pretty. I approached her confidently, for I was still a bit skeptical of her. I spoke suavely to her as if one would talk to children.
"What are you doing here, my fair maiden? Is it not said that the English shall rule France and we all become English?" I could see a fire in her eyes when she looked up at me to answer.
"I have come here to ask Robert de Baudricourt to send me the Dauphin", she sweetly answered. "He has refused me now, but he will eventually send me, for it is my Lord's will that I be sent." I could feel my grin drop from my face, and I grew grave. I could feel her intense gaze piercing into my soul.
"Who is your lord?", I asked in uneasy awe.
"He is God", she said blissfully. "He has willed that I shall save France and crown the Dauphin at Rheims. Have I had a hundred godmothers and a hundred godfathers, and if I had been a king's daughter, still I would have gone, for nobody else could save France but I alone."
Mouth gaping, I just stood there staring at her, for my mind was whirling to evaluate her words. Then, by the work of some mysterious impulse, I instantly fell to one knee and took hold of her hands in mine. "I, Jean de Metz, do hereby solemnly swear, that by the help of God, I shall personally take you to the Dauphin at Chinon."
I could see that she was grateful of my promise to help her, by the way she held on to my hand and smiled. "Please good sir, I think it would be better if you do not bow to me", and with that, she bid me to rise. She invited me into the house, and we sat down at a table. I decided to ask her a few questions about her family.
"So, good maid, who are your parents and do you have any brothers or sisters?" She answered my question without hesitation.
"Well, I was born in Domremy, and my father's name is Jacques d' Arc and my mother's is Isabelle Romee. I do have three older brothers, Jacques, Pierre, and John. I also have a baby sister, Catherine. I'm afraid it just grieves my heart that I have to leave them, but it is God that commands it, so I must." Seeing that tears are rising in her eyes, I decided to change the subject for her sake.
"How are you planning to accomplish what you say, for it sounds extremely difficult."
"I know without a doubt, that I shall accomplish it, for my Voices had promised so."Then a quick flash of determination shone in her blue eyes. "With God by my side, there is nothing I am afraid of!"
"Wait, what exactly do you mean by your voices?", I asked, puzzled.
"My voices are those of the Archangel Michael, Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret. The are my heavenly counsel, and will guide me along in my mission", answered Joan simply.
Oh, how I was smitten by her, for she was the only person who have not talked about outright surrender to the English, who were currently pounding away our forces at Orleans. I critically scanned her clothing, and was concerned. I thought to myself, "Is she going to wear that peasant dress while riding to Chinon? I mean, the roads are muddy, it would be hard to ride a horse wearing a dress, and we would have to cross icy rivers! She wouldn't last long in those garb."
As if reading my mind, she gave me an answer that surprised me."I will willingly take the garb of a man, for my voices told me to. Unfortunately, I don't have the proper clothing. Do you mind lending me some?
Shocked for a moment, I soon recovered my senses, and measured her for size. "I shall get you some clothing Joan and a servant will bring it to you tomorrow. I shall also get you a horse. Anything else that you need?"
Her cheeks bloomed a brilliant crimson as she grazed her hand along her long, brown hair. "Yes, there is one more thing. I need to get my hair cut short. This is also a part of my mission. Can you do it?"
I bit my lip to hide my amusement from her. "Indeed Joan, I shall find someone to cut your hair."
She then led me to the door, and I bid good day to her. As I turned to leave, she suddenly grabbed hold of my hand, sending a electrifying jolt up my arm. "Jean, can you maybe teach me to ride and wield a sword as well?"
I genuinely looked into her eyes and answered in a friendly tone. "Of course Joan, anything for the good of your mission. I will be happy to." She thanked me with a grateful glance.
As I walked back to the castle, I could feel a great sense of joy in my heart, and knew somehow that I just agreed to help in God's will. I also thought to myself, "Joan must really be convinced of what she is doing! For I know of no other women who would willingly dress as a man and cut their hair, except maybe if God commands it. The sooner that Baudricourt sends her, the better the chance of saving France."