Italy: Tales of Friendship, Treason, Love and Death
Table of Contents
Chapter I: Reminiscences of Siena
Chapter II: The March To War
Chapter III: The Story of Giulio Franchini
Chapter IV: The Battle of Siena
Chapter V: Reencounter
Chapter VI: The Bird
Chapter VII: The Siege Of Pisa
Chapter VII: Fall of the Homeland
Chapter IX: The Return of the Bulls
Chapter X: Holy Intervention
Chapter XI: A Tale of Two Plots
Chapter XII: A Saving Mission
Chapter XIII: Lost Cause
Chapter XIV: The Road to War
Chapter XV: Survival
Chapter XVI: Battle for Freedom
It was a dark night. Cloud had covered the sky and neither a single star nor the light of the moon could be seen. Covered by the darkness, two hooded figures approached slowly to the building in front of them. It was an old castle built during medieval times and now used as a palace. One soldier was guarding the entrance, so one of the hooded ones took him without trouble hitting him in the back of the head.
“Let’s hurry, Giovanni” muttered to the other one. “We don’t have much time; they’ll be here any minute now”
“Where is he?” asked Giovanni.
“Up there” responded his companion, pointing to one of the rooms in the second floor.
They quickly reached the stairs located across the patio and in a matter of minutes they were walking through the hall that lead to the room they were looking for. The two companions arrived to the door of the room, it was closed.
“Are you sure this is the room, Giulio? Otherwise this could become a disaster.”
“Yes, you know I’ve gone through this plan a hundred of times.”
“I hope it works.”
Giovanni opened the door. It was a well decorated room, with tapestries over the walls, except one, where a crucifix was hung. In one of the corners a big bed with red covers lay. And in the wall right in front of them, there was a desk, where a middle aged man dressed with scarlet clothes was apparently writing something. Apparently he had not heard them enter.
Giovanni approached carefully.
“Your Excellency” said Giovanni almost in a whisper.
Cardinal Alessandro Canciani turned swiftly and looked to his unexpected visitors in a mix of surprise and fear.
“Who are you?” the Cardinal exclaimed. “What do you want?”
“Please keep your voice down sir” said Giulio. “Otherwise they’ll hear us. We are Giulio Franchini and Giovanni Ricci and we are here to take to a safe place.”
"And why should I need to go to a safe place?"
"We've been informed by a reliable source that you have information regarding the conspiracy to kill the Pope and that this has come to knowledge of those involved in the plot. We also know that they are supposed to apprehend you tonight. So we must hurry before they arrive.” Giulio explained.
“So they know…” said the Cardinal, talking to himself. He turned then to Giovanni and Giulio. “And what assures you’re not the ones sent to capture and all this it’s just a farce to make your job easier?”
Giovanni smiled in a way that it looked like he was almost expecting that question.
“Insieme fin la morte, niente ci farą cadere” said Giovanni. “And if that is not enough, here is this”. Then he gave the Cardinal a ring with a coat of arms on it.
The Cardinal looked at the ring while repeating the phrase Giovanni had told him. After a minute of walking around the room, he stopped and told the young men:
“This is proof enough, and you don’t seem to be soldiers of the Duke, so let’s go” he grabbed the papers he was working on before following Giulio and Giovanni, who were already leaving the room.
As they walked through the hall, they heard screams of people approaching.
“We must reach the entrance before they do, hurry!” Giulio said to his companion and the Cardinal.
They started running, while the shouts could be heard closer now. But as they reached to bottom of the stairs, they saw a group of seven soldiers waiting for them.
“Cardinal Alessandro Canciani, we are here to take you by orders of the Duke Visconti, charged of treason…”
“Cazzo” muttered Giulio. “It seems we’ll have to fight our way out of here”.
“Please remain behind us while we take care of this” Giovanni told the Cardinal while he drew out his sword.
“Are you ready?” said Giulio raising his sword and positioning himself next to Giovanni.
“Always” was the answer of his friend.
“Let’s go then”.