50 - Weights & Measure

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March 16, 1481

Venice, Italy

"Alright, so what's going on?" Catherine asked as she approached Ugo, the thief waiting rather impatiently for it in the courtyard. It was only now she realized there was a strain to his features—some deep worry and concern seeded there. Any ire she had towards him for ruining her moment was replaced with seriousness as he met her eyes firmly.

"We're in trouble," he began, and when she gestured for him to go on he motioned for her to follow. She nodded and did so, moving at a fast pace. "It seems your antics have caught the attention of the guards. Antonio received word that the guards have been targeting us specifically, and it wasn't wrong. Already a handful of our men have been captured, and they're to be executed by tomorrow morning. We're trying to free them as we speak, but they're heavily guarded, and most of us aren't made for battle. Rosa and I are some of the best, but she's out of commission, and I can't do this on my own. Antonio is working to get everyone to safety, so we need your help badly."

Catherine nodded, "I understand. Ezio and I should have been more careful—or rather, I should have. My blunder must have been what got them onto us. Just tell me where."

"It's no more your fault than ours—you two only provided the final push for this," Ugo shook his head. "But to start, we know of two exact locations they're at. One by the water, the other near the farthest west bridge between the districts. I can lead you to the first, but then I have to try and help the others. There are two more, but we're not sure where they're being held—only that they're on the inside of the district or possibly on the east side."

"Alright; I'll find them then. Do we know the force we're up against?"

"The usual. Brutes, spearman, and experienced swordsman. However—do not engage them if you can help it. Antonio's orders. He wants this done with as little notice as possible. We don't need a massacre tonight."

"Finesse, right?" Catherine managed to grin slightly, and the thief returned it briefly.

"You could call it that. More so to avoid any uproar—and show the enemy we can beat them without them even knowing it. Also because our forces are stretched thin because of this. If you're caught... you're on your own."

The redhead pause, taking that in, "I... Right. Be sneaky. And careful. You're not making this easy, Ugo."

"Yes, well, when it is ever? If it helps, Antonio really did promise more time off for you—seeing as I interrupted something... important?" the young man mused with a touch of wryness. The memory flashed back through Catherine's mind and she flushed. Well, it had certainly been important to her. She and Ezio had almost kissed again, and that time she knew it would go much further. She would have let it—she wanted it to. Later, though.

"Tell him it's appreciated, and that I'll do what I can. It's only supper, so we have all night to work," she mused, glancing up to the roofs. That way would be their best bet, which meant engaging archers, although there were generally less at night.

"We should. The guards may change their mind if they catch wind, but I'll do what I can to buy you more time. For now, we need to get going. Are you good?"

Catherine nodded, and that was that. The thief clambered up the nearest building, and she followed after. The city was still rather busy with it barely being the nightly hours, but it was definitely getting dark and torches served as the main source of light. It was enough once she adjusted, and the two of them skirted across the rooftops with ease. There were luckily few archers to worry about as they made for the district boundary, although there would certainly be more further in. It was a nice reprieve, though, and allowed them to reach the first location quickly enough.

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