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Finding Truth

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Florence, Italy, 1523.



There you are.

Yuuri was perched on a rooftop as usual, the glare of Italy's sun at noon casting his shadow starkly against the terracotta tiles beneath his feet. If someone in the bustle of the market below were to look up, they would merely see the tip of his hood poking out behind a chimney, but they were too busy going about their days to really notice the lurking assassin.

His target was idly strolling across the market, towards one of the stalls he owned so he could collect the money the poor vendor made and spend it frivolously in a tavern or one of the many brothels around town. Yuuri had been watching him for a bit and while the man didn’t seem to have bad intentions, his habits hurt many of the poor salespeople he was supposed to employ, not exploit.

Not to speak of the templars that regularly used him as marionette for their schemes without him even noticing, which made Yuuri wonder just how oblivious and naive the man strolling along down there could possibly be. Well. He wouldn’t be either of those for much longer if Yuuri had any say in it.

The assassin briefly glanced at the arching pillars that surrounded the marketplace and found a nice beam he could reach with a leap and from there his mission was even less of an issue than it had been in the first place. Climbing and jumping were second nature to all assassins in the Florentine brotherhood and Yuuri made a point of knowing the basics like he knew the back of his currently leather-clad hand. The soft soles of his boots made no sound on the stone arches as he crept closer to the man dressed in obnoxious magenta and gold colours - not like any sounds wouldn’t have been drowned out by the noise of the crowd anyway. Still, Yuuri took no chances with any of his assignments and made sure that even an easy, oblivious target like this one was treated as if it could kill him with a single move. (He briefly wondered how the other would even be supposed to kill him, he certainly couldn’t be hiding a dagger in pants that tight, not that he was looking at that. The dagger. He was looking for daggers, of course. Which is why he was looking in the first place. At the pants.)

His idle thoughts came to an abrupt halt as his target approached the arch he was currently clinging to (even your average farmer could see a man standing up on a structure like that, so he made himself as flat as possible) and the world fell into the sharp focus of black, white and red. No, not red this time - gold. The eagle eye, a skill only descendants of the Auditore family possessed until a few years ago, was given to the brotherhood as a gift by their old mentor and Yuuri made sure to use this gift as often as he could.
He really didn’t know how you could just pass on a skill like that, but he wasn’t complaining when his target, who who seemed to hope he could disappear among the crowd, stood out to him like a sore thumb. A wave of adrenaline hit Yuuri's system. This was the moment. With a kick of his leg, he smoothly rolled over the edge of the pillars, grabbed onto a protruding ledge to swing himself forward and descend upon his target with his hidden blade drawn, ready to spill blood, his aim perfect, the blade would stab right into his neck.

Ah.

He saw the man slowly turn around and then the feeling of something being incredibly, overwhelmingly wrong hit him, just like a hand hit his foot and then fingers sneaking around his ankle, bringing him off course and crashing him into one of the market stalls that promptly collapsed around him.

There was no time to get his bearings and look for his attacker. Yuuri blindly threw out his hand with the hidden blade extended and almost let out a small “whoop!” of success when he felt it collide with something soft, followed by a curse that was distinctly not Italian.

“You piece of shit, I’ll maim you!”

That was Italian, though, and it was followed by the panicked screams of a crowd that finally realized what was happening. Yuuri’s vision cleared up and at last he could see his opponent and- if he weren’t in charge of training assassins from a very young age himself, he almost would have stopped short at the young boy standing in front of him with a dagger clutched in his left hand. As it was, that same boy had probably just ruined one of his assassination attempts and was therefore not to be taken lightly. The boy raised his dagger to hit Yuuri somewhere vital, but the assassin immediately saw the distraction for what it was: The dagger, while deadly, was just supposed to divert his attention from the sharp pointed metal tip of the boot that, judging by the way the boy surreptitiously inched his leg backwards, was preparing for a kick. And just one, with not even a lot of force behind it. If he wasn't going for serious injury with that, then...

There was probably poison in play.

Yuuri really didn’t want to deal with a fight, not in such a crowded place, especially not when his opponent had poison on them. He needed room to fight and his equipment wasn’t ready for a full-on fight right now anyway, he had come for a quick and easy kill after all.
So he did what assassins did second best - he threw a smoke bomb and ran. For the fraction of a second his gaze landed on his target, who was still crouched on the floor with some kind of fascination swirling in his eyes before his form disappeared into the swirling haze of the smoke.
Yuuri made his escape.

--

“Ugh, Chris. Why didn’t you tell me my target had a teenaged bodyguard with poison-tipped boots? What’s even up with that, where do the templars get that kind of equipment,” Yuuri moaned, slumped over in a chair while a physician looked over the scrapes and bruises he carried home with him from his encounter with a market stall.

“Yuuri my boy, you know I don’t know everything about the Templars. Maybe next time go gather your intel yourself instead of relying on the information the order found so far? How does that sound?”

“You know how much I hate going undercover,” the younger grumbled but knew in his head that his mentor was right. Nothing is true, after all, so he had to find his truth for himself and not take it second-hand from his fellow assassins.
The failed assassination had shaken him but also hardened his resolve. Tomorrow, he would don a disguise, head out and try to find his truth, with his own eyes and ears, and he would not rest until he found satisfactory information.
Unbidden, the image of his target’s powder blue eyes popped into his mind - could they, possibly, hold the key to finding his truth?