This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.
Amon mused over Scylla’s story, the hum of the machine droning somewhere in the background. He took a long sip of his tea and leaned back casually in his chair with an unreadable expression on his face.
Had he really terrorized her that much in the first days of his arrival?
“I remember it quite differently, my dear,” the Allagan told her truthfully. “I always sensed that you’d gone back and ratted on me to your parents, and ‘twas why I was called to your father’s lab the first time.”
“Ratted?” Scylla nearly crumbled her cookie between her fingers, before waving it in his face. “Ratted what?”
“He completely forgot about any type of tattling or sulking I could do after that week.” She took a bite of the cookie with a slight huff. “All he did for the next two cycles was gloat about how fortunate he was to get his new project, and how jealous the other technologists were.”
Scylla took a sip of tea, clearing her throat as her eyes shifted to his choker.
“I didn’t put all the pieces together of how you fit into that project.” The mage sighed. “I should have known something was up when all he could do at dinner was interrogate me about your aetheric pranks in class.”
“Well… ‘twasn’t how it felt at first. All I knew was I’d been directed to come to your father’s lab,” Amon shrugged. “What was I supposed to surmise from that?”
Amon had been quiet today. It was rather unusual, as they were walking home together amongst the wooded path, and there would be no instructor to stop the two of them from engaging in a serious aetheric skirmish.
Scylla pulled the strap on her knapsack with a scowl, before shooing the Elezen boy away. Despite his rather quiet demeanor, she couldn’t stop from herself from getting a jab in.
“Stop following me, Amon! The hound-friendly trail is over there in the woods!” Scylla motioned towards the dark forested area with a smirk.
“I would if I could, trust me.” Amon let a disdainful rush of air escape through his nose in response.
The boy wasn’t in the mood for the usual bickering that had become the foundation of his interactions with Scylla. He was being summoned to speak with her father, after all, and that could not mean anything good.
Teachers were one thing. They were all a bunch of wind and pomp. There wasn’t much they could do to him, even if he did get caught in the midst of one of his grand schemes against Scylla.
Parents were a whole different story. Where he came from, when a parent got involved, it was usually resolved in a session of switching and then a punishment draped on the top of that. So many times had Amon been sentenced to dishes duty, or worse, mucking duty.
But here, he didn’t know exactly what was coming. Everything was so different in the city of the Tower.
Even the kids were different.
Take Scylla, for example. She’d hated him the moment she laid eyes on him, and he didn’t know why. His first experience moving into this brand new world was marred by her jeering about the size of his ears and encouraging all of her friends to join in.
At first, Amon was just dumbfounded. Especially since the girl didn’t stop.
Back in his hometown, if kids had disagreements, it was handled the proper way. Whenever he and Tad butted heads, they’d go out back and scrap it out. The loser was the loser and the winner was the winner. Then a few hours later, all was forgiven and forgotten.
Not so here. Every time Scylla looked at him, it was with an up-nose distaste. Only later had he learned that her red eyes were a sign of Allagan nobility.
Well, he had special eyes, too. And he was determined not to let this girl get the better of him.
“Your father wants to talk to me.” He let a slight sneer creep into his voice. “’Tis funny you haven’t heard… you should know all about why.”
Scylla rolled her eyes. Of course, she knew why her father wanted to talk to Amon. Her father had not been able to contain his excitement all week.
But it would seem that Amon didn’t know.
She gave a sly look as she opened the aether-fence to the courtyard.
“Oh yes, of course.”
“Those robes you stained last week.” Scylla gave a faked sigh, shaking her head. “Well, those weren’t ordinary robes.”
She turned on him, pointing her finger straight at his nose.
“You’ve done irreparable damage to the royal robes of Azys, a timeless artifact, and assaulted one of noble blood.” Scylla shrugged carelessly. “Normally, that means being fed to the hounds, and your family being imprisoned but I don’t know if they would eat one of their own.”
The hounds had taken notice of the pair and looked at them with red, predatory eyes.
“Or maybe they would.” Scylla waved her hand around. “But… perhaps I can ask for mercy… He is my father.”
Her smile was as wicked as the hounds behind her. “But there are a few conditions… attached.”