We stopped at a vender so Solai could buy some figs and nuts, and another selling cheese. He kept my hand on his arm not daring to let me out of his sight, should the attacker try again. When Solai has everything he needed we made our way back to the castle to be let in by two different guards who had nothing to say.
I sigh in relief once we are back in the room and able to take off the heavy cloak. It wasn’t a hot day, but the fabric of the cloak heated my body.
“Your market is certainly a busy place.”
“Bella, I have never seen anyone, well not a woman, carry out such moves. You took that man down as if you were a soldier.” Solai put his hands on the table and leaned towards me lowering his voice giving me a serious look. “Perhaps you are an assassin after all?”
How the hell did I managed to defeat my attacker? one thing was obvious, I wasn’t just an ordinary woman. I surprised myself with how easy it was, but the man did attack me, and thank the Lord that I knew, even if I didn’t know, how to defend myself.
But the question remained, am I an assassin or a soldier? What else would explain why I could fight my way out of a deadly situation. Damn I wish my memory would just make an appearance in my brain. The not knowing was literally driving me insane.
Solai sat at the table with a plate of cheese and bread. “Sit Bella and eat. It looks like Lucia has already been and cleaned.” He points at the table where the coins had been. “We will talk to my maestro when he returns with what happened today, although I am a little afraid Bella, of who may have seen you other than myself.
I smiled to myself lifting my gaze to his Solai look of confusion. “I did kick arse today, though didn’t I?”
Solai broke out into a guffaw of laughter. “Yes, Bella as you say you did kick arse. You do have some strange phrases.”
Solai starts talking about Leonardo, which seems to be his favourite subject. I am glad that he changed the subject saying no more about the attack.
“Do you know when he was young and newly apprenticed his father gave him a shield to paint, the shield belonged to a friend of his fathers. Well my maestro stuck bones and lizard bits to it.”
“What did his father say?”
“When his father came to collect the shield, he was horrified. Though I have to say it does look somewhat like a raging dragon corpse. His father ended up buying his friend whom the shield belonged to a new one. However, his father sold the shield a year later for one hundred soldi, and that man later sold it for three hundred soldi and you would never guess who to.”
“Who did he sell it to?”
Solai had tears in his eyes laughing at his story. “To Lord Ludovico Sforza, it is hung in the great hall here in the castle.”
We both laugh as Leonardo walks in the door.
“What has you two laughing so?”
Solai gets up to get a plate and cup for Leonardo. “The shield you did for your father’s friend.”
“Ah yes, the dragon shield.” Leonardo says sitting down.
“It sounds like your father didn’t appreciate your work.”
“No, he did not, but it did not matter, and I suppose there is some amusement as to where the shield ended up.” Leonardo cuts some cheese on his plate. “So how did you go at the piazza today?”
Solai tells him what happened with the gendarmes and what I said to them. Then he tells him about my attack, and what I did to defend myself to Leonardo’s eyes growing wide.
“Bella it was very brave of you to stand up to the guards, but you must be careful. As for the attack it would seem you have some skill when fighting. This could be a problem, if someone had seen you do so.”
“I didn’t know I could fight, well not until today and as for the guards I wasn’t having them search me. I hate bullies they have shit for brains, and if they had have tried, I would have fucking throat punched them.” I stop dead realizing what I just said. When I look up it is to two very stunned faces, eyes wide and mouths hanging open. “I’m sorry. I don’t know where that came from.”
Solai breaks out in a guffaw of laughter. Leonardo is still sitting with a shocked face a piece of cheese in his hand mid-way to his mouth. He coughs and drops his cheese to his plate swallowing and blinking a few times.
“I am sorry I don’t know what came over me.” I apologizing again.
Solai wipes the tears from his eyes. “You have an iron mouth and an iron fist Bella.” I look at him in surprise, well I haven’t heard that one before, I don’t think anyway.
Leonardo is shaking his head. “I don’t think I have ever heard a woman speak that way.” He croaks to himself before resuming to eat his cheese, slowly.
I bite my bottom lip and Solai winks at me.
“Maestro do you have another meeting today.” I’m sure he is only asking to change the subject and deflect away from my little rant.
“Yes, I need to see our Lord shortly. Bella you will stay here for the rest of the day with Solai. I will return as soon as I can.”
“Yes Leonardo.” I say not looking at him still feeling somewhat embarrassed.
When Leonardo has left for his meeting, I head to the bedroom to lay down for a rest seeing as I didn’t sleep very well last night. When I enter the room the bundle of clothes under my bed is not sitting where I put it. Untying the bundle, the only thing missing is the pouch with the necklace.
Hurrying into the room I find Solai stripping some leather into long laces.
“Solai someone has taken my pendant.”
Anger and horror crosses his face morphing into a frown. I bet it was Lucia. I never did trust her. I told Maestro that things had been going missing.”
“Do you think we can get it back?”
“I will talk to Maestro when he returns. I don’t know where Lucia lives but maybe my Maestro does.”
“Oh ok.” What else could I say, this day had not exactly gone right, first the guards, then the attack and now my pendant.
I returned to the bedroom and lay down. It is just a pendant, but it feels important as if I am connected to it, as much as the crossbow, I know I must get it back, no matter what.