A/N: Allow me to explain my characters Papal States and Mantua.

The Marquisate of Mantua was a historical Italian city-state, with her character in this universe having been created by me. Mantua was exceptionally small compared to her neighbors, the Republic of Venice and the Duchy of Milan, so she didn't have much of a significance in Italian history, but she was, fortunately, a place of learning. Mantua, at the result of a marquise known as Isabella d'Este and her husband the marquis Francesco Gonzaga, became a center of learning and art. Her human name is Maria d'Este (like Isabella d'Este, though the woman never found out Mantua was using her surname) Clothing involves a long sky blue dress with white frills at the end of each sleeve, and has the same color as Italy's hair, the trademark curl, and curly hair tied up in a bun.

The Papal States was also an Italian city-state ran by the Papacy, or, the Pope. Its capital is Rome, where the Pope spent most of his days. He never truly had a strong army, but simply didn't need it. Rulers paid their dues and obeyed the Pope just as a peasant would to a king, so he never had much trouble (with a few exceptions of cities within the states ignoring the Pope's orders). Since the Papal States had so much power of Europe, he developed quite the swelled head. When Italy began to attempt unification, the Papal States refused. He wished to remain as he was, but as we all know, he failed. He did, however, return as an official independent state known as the Vatican City. His human name is Piero Caesar (like Pope Julius II, who named himself after Julius Caesar). His is also slightly more intelligent than the other Italians, but not much. He has a gold and white robe with a large cross on the front. He, of course, has a curl.

Plus the two of them are Italians so they do have Romano and Veneziano's traits too, and Mantua at least refers to him as Piero. This is not historical, some of the things I say in the opening paragraph are historical, but generally this is not.


The Papal States, at the order of his boss Pope Leo X (whose title of being the 'Indulgent Pope' was nothing below completely accurate) was making visits to a few different Italian states, going from Solozzo to Florence to Milan to Venice and then finally Mantua, who was the last on his list for the day. The reason for making those rounds was at the result of his boss wishing to have more money to afford the ginormous project of rebuilding St. Peter's Basilica. The easiest way to make this money was to sell indulgences, which was a slip that supposedly granted people less time in Purgatory as to get to Heaven faster without having to suffer for any past sins. People at this time didn't know it was all a money scam formed by the Papacy, so their operation was still running rather smoothly (of course, when Martin Luther came about it slowed down a lot, but that was at a slightly later point in time).

All of the city-states had bought at least two Indulgence slips, and the Papal States was hoping he'd get at least sell another two to Mantua. He strode up to her door and knocked on the door. Mantua answered rather quickly. "Oh, ciao Piero!" she said cheerily.

The Papal States resisted the urge to frown. Using their human names was a sign of familiarity and he didn't like it. He adjusted his tall hat (much like the Pope's own, except gold and white with a large cross in the middle). "Ciao to you, Mantua. May I come in?"

Mantua smiled and stepped aside. "Of course, Piero," she answered.

He gave her a slight nod and then stepped in to her home. "So very beautiful," he said. She glanced at him, slightly confused. "Your home, that is," the Papal States added quickly, lightly blushing.

"Grazie!" The two of them stood there for a moment, before Mantua added, "We shouldn't just stand here in the doorway. How about you go sit down over there." She pointed to a couple of chairs around a small table.

The Papal States picked one chair, setting down the long, heavy gold scepter (he prided himself in dressing and using fancy things like that) and Mantua picked the other. "Would you like a drink?" she asked. The other shook his head. "Okay then, Piero. You know, you never visit me so I'm really surprised."

The man shrugged. "Well, I'll be honest. I'm not here for a friendly visit," he replied. "My boss sent me to some city-states up north to sell some indulgences."

She blinked. "Oh, si, si, the indulgence slips. I hear people talking about them all the time. Though, what do they actually do?"

"They lessen your time in Purgatory," he explained. "They are handy to have, because no one wants to spend a long time paying for their sins in that place."

"I don't think anyone would." Mantua paused. "So you can sell them?"

The Papal States nodded. "Oh yes. It's charity, basically."

Mantua smiled. "I get it now! By the way, how much are indulgences? I'm thinking of buying one."

He paused. "Well..." She was looking at him curiously, and for once in his life, he couldn't cheat someone out of their money. "I wouldn't buy any."

She blinked, surprised. "Why not?"

"Indlgences aren't all they're cracked up to be, and to be completely honest," he began slowly, "to be completely and utterly honest... the indulgences are a scam. Pope Leo X set them up because he needed more funds to rebuild St. Peter's Basilica, and he didn't want to use his own vast wealth to build it."

Mantua was silent for a minute or so. "I thought the Pope as a good man," she mumbled.

The Papal States sighed. "Not many of them actually are."

"These guys are supposed be the head of Christendom?"

"Apparently so."

"So..." she said, "...did you tell anyone else?" He shook his head. "Why me?"

The blush from before returned. "I don't know, okay? It's not like I..." His voice slowly trailed off. "Not like I like you or anything."

That was blatant lie, but he wasn't sure why he thought that way. He was indifferent to her, just as he was to the others.

"I-I wasn't implying you did," she replied quietly, face slightly flushed.

Their conversation then was drenched in an awkward silence. Both shifted uncomfortably in their chairs, not saying anything. The Papal States was looking away from Mantua, who was staring down into her lap. "Um, well..." the Papal States started. He stood up. "I think I should leave."

Mantua shrugged. "If you want," she simply said.

"I will. I have to get back to my boss." He headed back to the door and opened it.

He glanced back for a moment and saw Mantua looking at him. "Have a nice trip, Piero!" she said sweetly, having recovered from the silence they had just experienced.

The Papal States nodded. "Thank you, Maria," he replied, smiling softly. With that last sentence uttered, he left her home.

Mantua was still in chair, slightly surprised. He called her by her human name. Using their human names was a sign of familiarity.

And she liked it.


A/N: This was supposed to be more romantic, but oh well. I got a bit of it in. Also, this is very rare for me to write an OC story. I don't do that, okay? The ones I was doing were when I was younger and didn't know OC stories weren't good material. Anyways, hope you liked it. I didn't try very hard with this so I know it's not my best work.