46 - Warm Water

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March 3, 1481

Forlì, Italy

"I am so glad I brought an extra shirt."

Catherine sighed as she looked down at her blue tunic, the dark blue with light blue lines stained almost black from the blood that had seeped out of her flesh wound. The steady stream had finally stopped, although the sting of pain remained. She'd loosened her belt anyways, though, and inspected the damage. It was as shallow as she had hoped, but her clothes would definitely need a thorough washing, or even be thrown out altogether. Luckily, Dia had made plenty of extra clothes for both her and Ezio to choose from to take on their journey. Still, this had been her favorite one.

"I am sure there is a tailor in Forlì who can mend it for you," Leonardo spoke up as he slowed the horses to an easy walk. He had kept them at a fast trot not long after Ezio and Borgia's men were out of sight, and didn't dare stop until now—just as the city came into sight. It wasn't all that massive, although the surrounding area was. It also looked rather morose and solemn with its dark skies and unusually flooded land. It looked as if there had been a hurricane or something, although the people there did not look at all perturbed. No, plenty walked through the muddy roads to wherever they were to be.

"Probably... so this is Forlì, huh? Where's the boat we'll take?" she inquired, peering in the distance, but not seeing any form of transport or even water deep enough to handle a sailing boat despite the flood water.

Leonardo pointed, "That way. You will see it as we go around. But first let us stop in the city and see a doctor. I know, I know—you say you are alright, but please... ease a friend's concern and have it checked?"

"Alright, alright. I'll do it for you. We need to wait for Ezio, anyways, and I might as well as scope this place out. See if there's anything worth picking up before we head to Venezia," the redhead mused, meeting the eyes of whomever stared at her. Again she was reminded this was not home—she looked odd in her get up and weaponry. Not to mention her hair. She often forgot it wasn't an entirely common color in Italia, so she might even get looks just for that. Her freckles, too, and whiter skin, although it had darkened over the years. Thankfully most would not keep staring and looked away, but it only confirmed she'd be noticed. She would have to be a little careful then.

"Exactly. I will see about any supplies as well—perhaps a little souvenir since I have yet to travel here."

"It doesn't exactly seem like a popular place to visit."

"Perhaps at the moment, but you will find it has some value."

"I don't doubt it... hopefully there's some in the food. I'm starving now," Catherine huffed as her belly growled.

Leonardo laughed, "I shall not delay us then. Come, let us find you a doctor and tailor, and eat.

The artist urged the horses a little faster, weaving though the crowded streets well enough. He brought the carriage to the nearest draw bridge entrance where a stable was situated not too far away. A few coins was enough to buy them a spot, and, after grabbing her cloak and pack from the back and putting it on, they ventured towards the city's massive walls. Catherine couldn't help noticing a rather displeasing thick smell coming from the water that permeated into the city. Of course, it didn't help there was water in the city as well, although none of the denizens seemed to mind. They didn't seem to care the streets were a touch grimy—and wet—either, and it looked like some of the city had seen better days. It wasn't all bad, though, and it was actually rather lively with plenty of shops and people of all ages and size about.

"Catherine, over here," Leonardo called, pulling the redhead from her gazing. She followed his hand motions and spotted the doctor easily enough, tucked in a little corner that wouldn't be too conspicuous. She made her way over, noting she couldn't gauge the doctor's expression behind his mask, but the slight tilt of his head suggested curiosity.

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