This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.
“The only thing you were good at is serving yourself in every uncivil way possible!”
Scylla’s face turned red as anger, matching her eyes. He hadn’t been this eager for a fight for a while, and was not backing down against her steeled brow. Her voice raised in volume and spite as she pulled harder.
“Let go of my book, barbarous max-eared scoundrel!”
“As you wish, Your Majesty,” Amon grinned triumphantly, and gave the pretty, pretty Princess exactly what she requested. Releasing the book, the Elezen oozed smugness, allowing cause and effect to carry out its wild will.
“Oh no! AMOOOON!”
Scylla’s eyes widened as she flipped backwards, flailing to keep her balance, as tea, ink, piles of books and everything else went flying with her.
She had fallen for the oldest trick in the book, literally.
But she wasn’t going to go alone.
Instinctively, her right foot caught against the bottom of the small table, sending the flat of the table and remaining contents flying straight at her opponent’s chin.
Cause and effect’s wild will came flying right back at him. Square in the chin, to be exact.
A flash of light took his vision as he felt the table connect with bone, and send him reeling forward into the mess that he’d staged. A fitting climax to a bad drama. And so, the bard found himself doubled over the upset table, his own bottom stuck up in the air, and a split bottom lip for his efforts.
He’d almost lost his glasses in the middle of the affair, but thankfully, his ears kept eyewear anchored better than most. Lying there, momentarily dazed, he could only offer a low groan.
Scylla rubbed her eyes, blinking at the mass of table, papers and tea spilled about. And there in the middle of the mess was Amon, flopped over the side of an upturned table. The book that she had borrowed from Ben was half-torn and drenched in the afternoon’s special lotus brew. It was her turn to stare down at her beleaguered foe with matching stains on his shirt.
“You never change, do you?”
Amon’s ears were drooped as he groaned in pain from the unexpected strike. In the haze of anger that filled her eyes, she came up with a quick plan to both fix the ears and help him to his feet.
“I didn’t do anything to you, and all you do is come over and look for trouble! Well, now I will give you trouble to remember!”
She stomped over to his side, and grabbed him by the ear and pulled upwards.
“See if you find this funny, max-ears!”
Another sort of pain, one that crossed the threshold of even a bloody lip, registered in Amon’s world. The Elezen ear pull. He hated how sensitive his ears were. He hated that Scylla always took advantage of it when they were young.
But here? Now? After everything that had happened?
He wasn’t sure how he felt about this kind of insult.
There wasn’t much he could do but lift his head and try to ease the tug, moving with Scylla’s yank. His face came up, his chin streaked with blood from the blow he’d taken.
Amon despised showing any sort of weakness in the face of his rival. But this pathetic cloned body could only take so much before it just gave in on itself.
“Enough! Enough!” He spluttered over his blood-oozing lip.
“Enough, you say? Oh Amon, there is no emperor to be a pet to anymore! You don’t command me to do anything!” Scylla shook Amon’s ear back and forth.
A third calm-voice joined the shouting between two tea-soaked figures. When there was no response, the voice beckoned again.
“Scylla. Listen to him. He’s injured. Enough.”