Chapter 1 : A Blade in the Knight.7th of July, 1892, Thursday. The Philippine Archipelago.
Ambrosio Madrigal walked through the cobblestone streets of Tondo searching for a specific house on Azcarraga street, no. 72, where he was instructed to go by a man named Andres Bonifacio. He had no idea who this man was but, according to him, he was a member of the La Liga Filipina before it disbanded due to Rizal's deportation. The wind started to pick up and Ambrosio's black coat, similar in style to that of a ship captain, began to flow a bit too much and was at risk of exposing the Kris concealed at his left hip. The Kris had a hilt made of the horn of a Carabao, carefully carved for a perfect index, A sheath made of Ivory which was engraved with silver. The blade itself had a wavy pattern in it, both in forged shape and marks from the Damascus fold. He decided to pass through an alleyway, which reeked of stale piss and dead rats, that cut through a row of small poorly built, Spanish style, buildings.
"This better be worth it Bonifacio." Ambrosio whispered to himself as he quickened his pace. "This place is a death trap for men like us. The Templars have been on high alert for us."
As if the streets wanted to prove him right, four men, in the, light blue, uniforms of the Guardia Sybil, emerged from the shadowy alleys five feet away, armed with Sabres and muskets slung across their back. Ambrosio swore under his breath as one of them, most likely a new recruit trying to show off, walked towards him with a hand on his sabre.
"Bakit nasa labas ka sa ganitong oras Ginoo?" he asked in Filipino. "Nawawala ka ba? Pwede namin kang tulungan, ngunit may kaunting bayad."
So the man was a local, Ambrosio thought to himself, what a poor excuse of an officer. He wanted to teach them a lesson, but he prefered to get to the meeting place quick.
"Hindi naman," Ambrosio lied in the same language, irritably. "Kahit na, kayo'y ay sa halip hangal para sa mga Templars."
"Anong pinagsasa-" The man said angrily, but was cut short when Ambrosio let loose the hidden blade, on his left arm, and thrust it into the side of the man's head.
"¡Asesino! ¡Mátalo!" One of the other men yelled in Spanish, drawing his saber in his left hand.
Ambrosio readied both his hidden blades as the other two men drew their sabres as well. He charged at the man who exposed him, ducking under his attempt to block, and thrust the blade on his right arm into the man's chest, lifting him up and throwing him on the ground. The remaining two men took a step back as he looked gave the a daunting glare.
"Es sólo un tonto," a mustached templar said to his remaining companion. "Podemos llevarlo juntos"
He stared down the two men, eye twitching with irritation. They had just called him a fool, and underestimated him. The last person to do that was a fellow Spanish Assassin who challenged him to a weaponless duel. It ended with the Assassin out cold on the floor in less than a minute. These two would be no different.
He gripped his kris' Carabao Horn hilt and drew it from its ivory sheath, his foes' eyes widened in fear as he pointed the kris to each of their chests in turn. He charged the first man, ducking under his attempted strike to Ambrosio's neck, and countered by smashing the hilt into the side of the man's head. As he staggered around, Ambrosio took his chance and buried his blade up to the hilt into the man's side. The other Templar tried to catch him off guard with a diagonal chop from high, but he was able to dodge with a side step and counter with a snap kick to the man's knee, dislocating, as well as overextending, it. The man collapsed to the ground, writhing in pain. Ambrosio casually removed his Kris from the other Templars chest and leveled the tip with the remaining man's face.
"You Templars never cease to amaze me." He bragged, not caring if the Templar understood him or not. "And just when I begin to think you all decided to calm down after getting rid of Rizal."
He placed the tip of the blade over the man's Nape, thrusting the sword through it, severing his spinal cord. In the end of it, he cleaned his blade and searched each man. They all had a Templar's Cross on a chain, all except for the Filipino, he felt a pang of guilt for taking his life. He had no idea what The Templars, or The Assassins, were. He was an innocent, albeit a corrupt one.
"How long did that take?" He asked himself as he walked out of the alley carrying an additional three muskets, the spoils of war. "Three minutes at most I bet. I hope I'm not running late, that would be rather rude of me."
He adjusted his coat to hide his sword and continued on his way to find Azcarraga street. It was several minutes until he found the house, it was rather a large house for the area, having two storys and a gate to guard it. As he approached the house's gate a man wearing a long coat with his hands in both pockets walked out of the shadows and approached Ambrosio, who clenched his fist in anticipation of another fight.
"Who is the lost key to a peaceful liberation?" The man asked in English, walking steadily closer.
Ambrosio couldn't help but feel confused, the man had said 'who is the key', not, 'what is the key'. Perhaps it was a test so that only those who knew could go in? But what did he mean exactly? Suddenly, the answer came to his mind like a Galleon ramming a Frigate.
"The key is Dr. Rizal." Ambrosio answered quietly. "And now we're left with no choice but to bring the fight to them."
The man nodded and beckoned him to enter the house. Inside were six men seated in the living room, two of which he recognized, Andres Bonifacio, a fairly thin man and the person who convinced him to attend this meeting, and Deodato Arellano a man with a fair amount of fat on him and the previous secretary of the disbanded La Liga Filipina.
"Señor Madrigal?" asked Deodato standing quickly. Ambrosio nodded and gave a slight bow to the men in front of him. "I can't believe it! Last time I saw you, you were about to go on a reconnaissance mission for Dr. Rizal. What happened to you out there?"
Ambrosio looked down in shame, that day he discovered that the Guardia Civil had found out about the, yet to be formed, La Liga Filipina's true purpose, which was to help give the Brotherhood a foothold in Southeast Asia, while the Guardia Civil's (and most of the Church's) was to make the Philippines a Templar stronghold. That, or destroy it entirely.