This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.
Amon’s expression shifted from puzzled to concerned to surprised.
But then, why should he be surprised? Leave it to people to tell him one thing – that he had complete freedom – and do another – follow him and watch his actions. The fact that he tried to trust them to do as they promised made this all the more frustrating.
The Allagan started to quietly fume about this to himself… until he took notice of Scylla’s demeanor.
Was she suddenly distressed? Why?
She acted as if he had actually gone through with burning a certain Tia hairless that day. That’s when Scylla should be all upset. Not now. Not when he actually made the right choice.
But she was still upset with him for some reason.
Amon furrowed his brows, looking puzzled again.
“Dangerous? Me?” he asked and frowned a little. “But ‘tis what all this has been about. You’ve been healing me and restoring my aether. Eventually, if all went right, this would restore my aether-flow. Why do you act as if ‘tis a surprise?”
“Sometimes the ability to access the realm of the elemental never comes back to those who are aetherburned so deeply.” Scylla frowned, scratching the wood of the table with her finger. “But then you are Amon, the greatest mind of Allag. My father’s legendary prodigy. The man who can see aether.”
“But to these people, we are something completely different.” The white mage shook her head back and forth, struggling to admit her thoughts to the man in front of her. “You will heal in time, I’m sure… and your ability will return.”
Scylla swallowed, giving Amon a straight look in the eye.
“I am afraid… of what may return with it.”
Amon peered across the table at Scylla as she was obviously choosing her words carefully. She meant something much more than what she actually said, he knew. What she really feared was that this signaled a return to everything he used to be.
“After all of this? After you saw me at my weakest, saved my life and nursed me back to health, you think that I would…” his words trailed off, hinting at his disappointment and frustration. Then he stopped himself and looked away. “No. I suppose I cannot blame you. I just thought that…”
Thought what? – he chided himself. That it would be that easy for her to truly set aside the things he’d done? That she really forgave him? That she trusted him?
She forgave him and trusted him, but only when he was of absolutely no threat to her. But once that changed, what else would change? Would she just go back to hating him again?
His eyes squinted as his chest tightened with a feeling he didn’t quite understand.
Why did this bother him so much?
“I… I promised you. I don’t intend to go back on my word.”