It was the perfect day for a murder. Rigatoni Pesto had waited for this moment all his life. Ever since the day the brash man from Firenze had taken his own instrument and beat him across the head while the crowd cheered him own.
"This is for harassing the public and most of all me, with your atrocious excuse for a song!" The man had tossed several florins on him, causing the crowd to go wild. They trampled over him, breaking bones and causing cuts all over. He had felt a part of his manliness go pop that day. As he lay convulsing and bloodied in the street, he swore that the bastardo man from Firenze would pay for his sins against the self-employed minstrels of Italia.
The Borgias had given him the perfect opportunity. He had served as Cesare's personal composer, as the manchild seemed to be one of the few capable of appreciating Pesto's fine voice and lyrical genius. As gratitude, Cesare had his engineer Gaspar de la Croix make a few adjustments to Pesto's lute. It now doubled as quite the literal instrument of destruction. It could launch bombs, a varying assortment of blades, and for quite the odd reason, a built in fishing rod. He had enjoyed multiple orgasms on the day that Cesare returned from the siege of Monteriggioni and the general himself told Pesto that the Firenze man who had plagued him so in Venice was surely dead.
To the people of Rome's dismay, Pesto and his fellow minstrels took to the streets for many months to celebrate Cesare's victory. They sang a manner of songs praising the man who had liberated them from the man who tormented them all. Songs regarding his magical beard to the enormity of his breadmaker. But that all changed quickly.
The people of Rome cheered as the man in the while hood strolled into town. The Borgia slowly fell, and tales of badly beaten minstrels began popping up again amongst their inner circle. Pesto began to fear the worst. Had the demon returned? He received his answer soon enough when his associates, who all ignorantly loathed his musical talents started popping up as cadavers around town. The smuggler, the blacksmith, the footpad, they all died. On the day that Cesare fell by gravity's hand; Pesto found he was homeless, florinless, and looking for work again. But people only spit on the minstrel, kicked him where his manliness had once been, and plucked apart the strings on his lute. The guards had only laughed when he complained, and once the papal brutes had lifted him by the legs before swinging him around like a doll.
Now, in Constantinople, he scanned through the crowd of disgusting witchcraft-practicing Romanies looking for a man. He saw a familiar form in a gray set of robes hand a crate to a Romani woman. He followed the man through the marketplace. He saw the man hand a herald a pouch of coins before subtly stealing them off the man when he turned his back. He saw the man in gray take a seat on a bench. He wouldn't get away this time. Rigatoni Pesto would have his revenge at last. This was for the holy order of Minstrels!
Ezio took his rest against the bench and sighed. He was the farthest he had ever been from home, and yet there was so much to do in the little time he could spend in the city. Training new recruits, aiding local factions, hindering Templar influence, and so much more had fallen on his shoulders. It was like Rome all over again. Ezio wondered if the day would allow him enough time to retire to the Assassins headquarters and examine the key he had found.
Might as well enjoy some of the local sights and sounds while I'm here. Ezio thought to himself. Tomorrow he would try to climb Galata Tower to the very tip and from there make it to the Golden Horn with a parachute. As he heard an irritatingly familiar plucking of strings and cracked singing, Ezio groaned. It seems that the worst of home, aside from the Templars, had followed him as well.
"Remember me, Firenze scum?" The man in the excruciatingly out-of-place minstrel uniform growled. "I waited a long time for this."
"Ah, I forget. So many of your kind I have beaten, dumped in wells, and pickpocketed. But you tire me already, minstrel. So be off, and I shall forget I saw you. Leaving you to count your blessings for this day." Ezio tried to wave him off.
"You're wrong. I know absolutely who you are, Ezio Auditore da Firenze." Rigatoni screamed in a singing voice while he took out the cross. Ezio frowned in disapproval.
"You know what this means, don't you, musical talent detractor?" Rigatoni grinned devilishly.
"Of course. You know why in spite of beating you all senseless, I never bothered to pop a blade into one of you aggravating minstrels? Because in spite of your disgusting public nuisance, you were still innocents. Protected by my creed. But now, with you following that cross. Let's just say I'm not so inclined to follow the creed now." Ezio rose from the bench.
"I can still kill you! Tra-la-la-la-la!" Rigatoni sung and plucked the strings on his instrument in a specific pattern. Instantly, a rusty blade popped from the tip of his lute and became stuck.
"What the? I swore I had this thing cleaned ten years ago! Oh, fuck fuck fuck fuck…" He still sung, and bewildered civilians were turning their heads towards him as they heard his language.
"Not to mention, a Minstrel never forgets his natural instincts." Ezio reached into his pouch and threw some money on the ground. Instantly, a primal urge overcame Rigatoni and he bent down and scooped up the money.
"Coins!" He screamed over and over again in eagerness.
Ezio walked away from the minstrel shaking his head. He had considered placing his hands over the minstrel's eyes and letting the blades pierce his sight, but the Templar minstrel wasn't worth bloodying his blades. But he had been taught how to craft bombs by his Ottoman brothers. He had still to test some of these out, and he smiled.
"Hey minstrel, I lost one of my Datura bombs! Can you help me find it?" Ezio called to the money hungry minstrel as he continued to pocket the coins. Getting no response, Ezio tossed the sphere underneath the man's feet.
Rigatoni felt a growing sense of delirium. He had been here for something, but the sight of coins had made him forget exactly what.
Later, the Ottoman patrols came across the minstrel's corpse. They kicked to see if he was still alive, but the corpse lay there with a ridiculous grin on its frozen face. Coins were scattered around Rigatoni's body.
They considered investigating, but there was no point in extending such effort for an insignificant tourist when there were greater things to do like fighting Byzantines.
Ezio observed the scene from a distant rooftop. He smiled like a satisfied wolf. Ezio sped away on a zipline, returning to headquarters to investigate the mysterious keys…
Many centuries later, Abstergo's Templar Training program considered using Rigatoni Pesto's genetic memories and making him an animi avatar called the Pest, as a bit of an April Fool's Gift to all the Templars in training.
The idea was quickly and unceremoniously laughed down by Warren Vidic himself.