Spoilers from all books.
I don't own the characters of Stravaganza, or the content. I just mess with them. Disclaimer for whole story.
No Flames, Reviews Appreciated.
Stravaganza is a fantastic series; I am saddened that it lacks fan fiction. So if anyone is in this section, please take the time to read this :)
This is my first Stravaganza fic, and I don't think of it as 'my version' of Book 6, it just came to mind.
I have to say, I wanted a reverse story, where things are backwards. This is also post City of Ships, so set a year after. (Meaning half the cast have up and gone to university, leaving me with some people to mess with. Yay.)
Hope you enjoy it :)
The Youngest Stravagante
Adriano was a unique person, who lived in Bellona, the City of Dreams.
Prince Jacopo, the ruling di Chimici, was a strange character. The Prince was different to the way he responded to orders from the head of the family, and for that reason, Bellona, although very much an ally to Giglia, was always on unsteady ground.
Adriano's master, Cristoforo, was an older learned man, who was also the Ambassador for the Prince.
Adriano himself was no stranger to the di Chimici, and every day he was in a position of danger, for he and his master were both part of a secret Brotherhood known as the Stravagante.
Cristoforo had taken up his alliance with the Brotherhood before he had been given the position of Ambassador. He was a noble, with much wealth and the ability to sympathise with the di Chimici when needed. Prince Jacopo entrusted Cristoforo with many secrets.
But because of this, Rodolfo had contacted the Ambassador and they both agreed to give him an apprentice, since Cristoforo frequently visited neighbouring cities.
It was in the Stravagante's interest to have one of their own as a close confident to Jacopo and eventually Filippo, but at the same time, that Stravagante was no use if he wasn't there to keep an eye on the Prince's activities.
So one year ago, Adriano, a young noble himself, had been chosen in utmost secrecy, to become the youngest Stravagante in Talia.
He was very much still in training, but knew too much to be of little importance.
Cristoforo had picked him out of Bellona's university, because the boy had a natural talent for inventiveness and a quick mind.
As honoured as he was, Adriano frequently felt uneasy while living so close to the di Chimici.
Since their defeat against Classe and Bellezza, the di Chimici were rallying in the shadows once more, undoubtedly scheming and plotting for new revenge.
Cristoforo had been sent away on diplomatic business with Volana, leaving Adriano as the acting Stravagante. In general, he was a 'friend' of Prince Filippo, although he loathed the man. The heir to Bellona was away on family business, which meant Adriano could relax a little bit.
He would also be able to use this opportunity to do more of his studies at the Bellonan University.
But something tugged at the back of his mind, and Adriano knew it couldn't be anything good.
Adriano sat in his personal quarters, a luxurious room that was a part of his master's housing.
At the table, he held a mirror before him, reflecting his dark hair and brilliant green eyes.
But the young Stravagante was not looking in the mirror due to vanity, and it was not long before a new face appeared in the mirror.
"Master Rodolfo." Adriano spoke softly to the mirror. It was a bad habit, for the person at the other end could not hear him, but see his lips moving.
As formal as always, Adriano. Rodolfo thought to his mind.
The older man must have been able to read what Adriano had said.
He blushed slightly.
Since Cristoforo had been absent, Rodolfo had been teaching Adriano more and more through the mirror. Instead of 'Signor', he had adapted 'Master', to his name, much to the amusement of the Senator.
My apologies... Rodolfo. Have you any news from Cristoforo? Adriano sent back.
The informal leader of the Brotherhood looked concerned for a moment, before his face flickered back to a mask of passiveness.
I received word when he reached Volana; he has now travelled to Remora. He is surrounded by di Chimici men, and would only be able to contact us if he met with one of our own.
However I have graver news for you: Grand Duke Fabrizio is coming to your city.
He gasped and crossed himself, muttering words of disbelief.
He remembered that Rodolfo couldn't hear him and urgently thought back, Do you know why?
He wishes to meet Arianna as well as the leaders of Classe and Padavia. It is not good. Dottore Crinamorte has also done his monthly divinations and we are concerned with the predictions. It seems there is trouble brewing, and there will be more behind Fabrizio's visit than a simple conversation between leaders.
The Senator of Bellezza paused, allowing Adriano to absorb everything he had said.
Between the divinations and what we know, we are in need of more Stravagante.
The young noble quickly inhaled, already understanding.
You wish for me to bring back a new Stravagante? Even with my lack of training?
Rodolfo fixed him with a calm gaze, and his emotions seemed to flow throw the mirror, settling Adriano's uneasy mind.
You have my trust. And it will not be long before I myself arrive in Bellona.
He swallowed hard, glancing away from the mirror. A new thought struck him.
Your apprentice? Could you send him over? It would be quicker than a formal party and he is much more knowledgeable than I am. Adriano thought back.
This is your task as a Stravagante. Besides, there is a warrant out for Luciano, I could not send him right before the Grand Duke.
Adriano bit his lip. What a stupid thought, of course Rodolfo wouldn't send the Duchessa of Bellezza's future consort to the city with the man who wanted him dead.
Adriano. Rodolfo thought seriously. Whoever is brought to Bellona, take care of them.
Which disguise could they have? He thought back desperately.
A fellow student studying at your University? You have the ability to formulate a strong plan, do not worry.
Once more the calm feeling washed over him.
Thank you, I will go tonight. He said, as confident as he hoped.
Good, I will contact you when I gather more information. Stay safe.
Rodolfo nodded in the mirror and then his image vanished.
Adriano placed his own mirror down, a thoughtful expression on his face.
He had never visited the other world, but Rodolfo believed in him. He had to take Cristoforo's place, until his master returned.
The young Stravagante stood up and walked over to a drawer, opening it to find two strange objects.
The first was a beautifully carved piece of quartz, worth little in Talia, but a token of the other world. It was his own talisman, given to him by Cristoforo.
The second item he touched gingerly, wondering whether to use it or not.
It was a small charm, with the carving of the moon into its metal surface. Clouds surrounded the moon, but did not overlap it. It was a symbol of the goddess, punishable by death if found because of the anti-magic laws in Bellona.
But it was precious to Adriano, one of his mother's treasures before she died. He saw it fitting to be an important part of Bellona's history.
He tucked it into his pocket, nodding to himself.
That night he would visit the other world.
If you liked it, review! If not, I have a fire extinguisher! Rawr!
- Lady Mae.