Soon, a roman lawyer had identified the body to be that of Marcus Minius, another of the builders, one who would have been central to finalising the plans. His muscular build had been cut down; his arms hung limply by his side.

Speculations ran riot amongst the populace, where the rumours had begun to spread. Lucius seemed to be in the spotlight wherever he turned, those moments after he trailed, numb, out of the Coliseum. And it was he who had to face all the gossip now.

“Someone didn’t want plans for the amphitheatre to go ahead?” That particular string of questions rose in Lucius’ mouth as he stood beside the large guard at the door, watching as a multitude of Romans bustled past. Although Lucius was there, he knew his presence would not be accepted for long, and it was only because of his witness to the copse that he had been allowed to stay. Now, there was that guard, firm in making sure that no other citizens, especially freedmen or slaves, would enter. Even so, there was a gathered crowd.

A physician, complete with his steel scalpels, bone levers, and catheters, pushed through the waiting group. His daughter, Felicita, dark-haired and a year older than Lucius, trailed behind the physician. She was bored and not keen on concealing that fact.

Her eyes flicked to Lucius once her father had returned, having examined the body and muttered a word to the lawyer beside him.

“You’re the boy who found the body, aren’t you?” she whispered.

“I am.”

“I want to tell you something I heard. My father...he noticed something strange. Those marks around M. Minius’ neck...they could be a sign of...of murder.”

“We have a dead body a week before the official opening of the Coliseum. Why build a structure so big, just to see it go to waste?” Lucius growled to himself, watching the doctor and his companions closely.

However, they were soon pushed away.

“No admittance to plebeians.”

Lucius shot a look at the doctor’s daughter; when he was sure that he had her attention, he caught hold of her wrist and pulled her behind one of the travelling-carts outside.

“What are you doing?” Felicita hissed, but Lucius gave no reply, merely motioning for her to be quiet. He was inspecting the motions of the guard: steady and without fail in his watch.

“We can’t just let them close the Coliseum with a stain like this over it,” he said.

“What can we do about?”

Lucius tilted his head, his green eyes carefully smirking into the light.

Stellae cadens semper capiendum.  ‘Falling stars must always be caught’. Seize the opportunity.”

So, Lucius pulled her around the back of the Coliseum to where he knew a secondary, builders entrance gave way to the hypogeum.

“Come on. We can get to the place where I found Marcus Minius through a set of tunnels here,” Lucius cried, pulling Felicita behind him.

“This is breaking in!” Felicita moaned.

The End

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