A Chocobo’s Tale – Part 5

Date Posted: August 12, 2018

In the deep recess of night, Amon awoke to the distant sound of someone talking. It took him a moment to remember where he was – a sickbed in Wineport, where he’d been tended for gashes along his shoulder after the coeurl attack.

His whole arm felt hot and stiff under the bandages, and it ached to move too quickly. He wasn’t concerned about it, though. He had faith in Koh’s healing abilities.

Maybe that’s why when her voice drifted into his dreams, it woke him. He didn’t know who she was talking to, but she sounded very upset.

With a groan, he pushed himself out of bed and padded across the stone floor to peer out into the hallway. Following the sound, he eventually found Koh all alone, under one of the stone archways in the moonlight.

At first, he was going to approach her, curious as to why she was talking to herself. But then, realization of whom she was talking to came to him as he listened.

“Noah…” Koh said softly, clutching her hands in front of her chest. “Please. I need your help. I don’t know what to do.”

The cat-girl was silent for a long moment, as if waiting for some internal response. She didn’t appear to get it, so she continued talking.

“You heard what Mocho said today. I… I believe him. I don’t think it was a fever dream.”

Amon pursed his lips, having an inkling of what this was about. Staying absolutely still, tucked in the shadows of the stone, he waited to see if he was correct.

“If Amon gets his magic back, are we going to lose him?”

The Elezen was taken aback at the sound of near-tears in her voice.

“Will he really just give into the temptation of power, like he said? Would he really go back to being…” Koh stopped, as if she didn’t dare speak the rest out loud.

Amon stood in the shadows, drowning under the weight of miserable guilt.

He remembered the day that he told her those things, just to be belligerent and cruel. And though he’d apologized for upsetting her the day after, he hadn’t realized that something about that conversation had remained and caused her this much distress.

Why was she so concerned about a wretch like him? He couldn’t understand.

Koh’s head was bowed as he approached her. Though he tried to move quietly, her ears perked, catching his sound. She whirled around to face him with a start, then quickly began to scrub her face with her sleeves, trying to cover her emotion.

Amon didn’t even pretend. There was no point to it. He cut right to the chase. “What Mocho told you was true.”

“You were listening.” She sniffled accusingly and continued to wipe her face as he came to stand next to her under the arch.

“Yes,” he said. Then he asked curiously, “Does Noah respond when you talk to her like that?”

“Sometimes.”

“Not tonight, though.”

“No.”

“She probably doesn’t want to deal with me, either,” Amon attempted to joke.

Koh’s ears just remained folded back against her head. She wasn’t in the mood for his humor.

He cleared his throat, then told her, “Something about this cloned form doesn’t connect to the aether quite right. It blocks my ability to channel and cast. But, from time to time, I’m able to break through that block and make it happen.”

“So what does that mean?”

“I don’t fully know. I told you before that I can’t make any promises about what’s going to happen to me,” Amon grimaced. “Trust me, I’m not happy about that either.”

Koh’s eyes flicked up to his face. “Don’t you want your magic back?”

He looked out at the quiet stars for a long moment before answering. “If it means that I lose myself like I did before… no.”

She gave a tiny gasp. “Do you mean that?”

“Mmmm…”

“That’s not what you said before.”

“No, ’tisn’t,” Amon agreed. “I’ve thought about it. And I’ve changed my mind.”

Koh’s ears perked forward, eyes rounding, reflecting the moonlight.

“Is that such a surprise?” He muttered. “’Twas a miserable existence in the end. Now that I have another chance, I want to do something different.”

Her surprise transitioned into relief mingled with joy. “Then… you’ll…?

He nodded slowly. “I’ll try not to let myself get swallowed up in the temptation of magic like I did before. Still no promises, though.”

“You don’t know… how… much… I’ve wanted to hear you say that,” Koh’s eyes misted up again, this time with happiness.

He still didn’t understand why she was so emotional. “You’re welcome, I guess.”

She had a strange expression on her face as she continued to watch him.

“What?”

“I’m going to hug you now,” Koh warned him.

Amon took a step back in surprise. “No… Koh…”

“Yesssss!” she came for him with open arms. “You owe me, Amon!”

He rolled his eyes and groaned. “Fine. Just… do it quickly.”

Koh wrapped her arms around him, her little face beaming as Amon frowned down in return. The Elezen then sighed, patted her head gently, and complained, “’Tis inappropriate.”

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