This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.
Amon’s eyebrows lifted in an open display of surprise. For a moment, Scylla had looked to be ready to lash him with the sharp side of her tongue, but instead… She spoke to him with a calm kindness, her words echoing logic that he did not want to accept.
“I.. apologize…” the Elezen mumbled, flexing his fingers with a wince of pain.
Naturally, he thought that earning back his aether would be the first step in granting him the power he’d lost long ago. Sure, this form would need to be strengthened to sustain the kind of aetherflow that he used to use. Still, the Elezen hadn’t expected roadblocks to come in the most simple functions of casting that he was experiencing now.
Something in her words – I am hardly a mage of Azys – surprised him even more than her calm response.
“Do you really believe that?”
The words came before he had time to think them through. He hoped they weren’t taken in offense, and tried to elaborate.
“The knowledge of the Archmage… and Technologist… aren’t to be cast aside as nothing, Scylla. Do you think us to be bound by limitations so much that we are not ourselves anymore?”
“It’s gone, Amon.” She gave a shrug with a sigh. “Maybe you remember every single thing about our past, but for myself… there are many things that are missing.” She ran her fingers along the focus, squinting as if trying to reach deep into her memories. “Of course, I remember the important things-people, places, my family, most of what happened.”
She gave Amon a sad look, before staring at the reflection in the polished steel of her rapier.
“But did I not get it right with the cloning. It was far too rushed, and in my madness, I hardly worried about perfection. So even if I had the physical potential, much of my aetheric knowledge as an archmage has disappeared. It’s all so unclear, nothing more than just a fuzzy set of images and feelings. It’s like waking from a dream that is on the edge of recall.”
The mage clenched her fists in frustration, throwing her arms up.
“Mayhaps I won’t be able to access these energies – the same fire aether that comes easily to you won’t spare me more than a trickle! Doesn’t it figure.”
Scylla pointed her finger at his nose with a sour laugh.
“Well, can’t get this to work, I fear you’re just going to have to look somewhere else for a worthy rival, maxears.”