This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.
“I didn’t intend for anyone else to read this…” he murmured. “Or do you not remember that I worked alone? If I’d known that poor handwriting was all I needed to deflect prying eyes, perhaps I would have endeavored to reduce my legibility even more.”
He pursed his lips and leaned back, studying her for a moment.
“What is this about me assisting you, now? I’m the one on borrowed time at the moment, Your Highness.”
He let the final two words hang with a hint of his own disdain, intended to match hers. It was petty and dumb, but he couldn’t let himself be outdone by her. Not even now.
“But that’s just it.”
Scylla gave a sour look as she traced her fingers along his sketches.
“You’re talented and creative, no doubt, even when on your own. Talented beyond any my father had seen, according to his own words.”
The white mage grabbed a pen, and connected a couple of the sketches, crossing out runes and replacing others.
“Amon, you did not do your best work by yourself.” Scylla mused. “You did your best work when you were working together with someone who cared about you. Everything that made you so successful and famous had a basis in the work that you did with others… like my Dad… like Clio…”
Her words trailed off…
“I didn’t mean to bring the past up… it’s just easy to think about them… with all this…”
She took a breath and pointed out her revisions to his work on the page.
“And besides, you’re still making the same mistakes on the charge/flow ratio that you made in Academy. Last time you made this mistake in your calculations, you covered the student lab in bio-slime.”
She poked her finger in his chest.
“This time, you would have blown yourself into the sky with that much aether-charging.”
The white-mage then gave him a frown.
“It won’t help if you give back that borrowed time only to explode into a pile of bits and ears.”
Amon sucked in his breath a bit at the mention of Clio. Every time he thought he had those emotions in check, it took so little to spark the pain again. It had to have something to do with the weakness of this infernal cloned form.
He shook himself out only to see Scylla scribbling all over his very sound and absolutely perfect theory! The Elezen opened his mouth, brows furrowed in frustration.
She WAS going to try to ruin it!
One hand reached out and snatched the paper away from her, looking completely horrified.
“What are you doing? I had this all measured and balanced! There was a reason that I set the frequency to that length!” Amon began to rant furiously, hoping he’d be able to remember the original designs well enough to undo what she’d just done. His hands splayed wide in dramatic frustration, words springing from him, chiding her for daring to touch his absolutely flawless diagram…
Then his eyes briefly brushed over the second set of handwriting, so different from his own, and he stopped. Looking at Scylla’s additions, he… had to admit… that… they actually had merit…
That was all he could bring himself to say.