Twilight Tea - Part 1

Date Posted: October 7, 2018

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

The first thing Elezen had suggested was that the pair find a more suitable, semi-private place to have a discussion.

Koh seems to have friends over. I’ve probably already started the rumors flying across the entirety of the little company.

They sat together at the beach, in an open-air summerhouse on the shores of Shirogane. A small meal gave way to the evening tea service, as the two sat watching the last of the daylight dissolve into the first pinpricks of stars in the sky.

Scylla sighed to herself, pouring a cup of tea for both herself and Amon.

Maybe this all isn’t worth it… Of course, I should have thought about it before I spent the return ticket money on furniture for my storage closet.

While not overly crowded, the scattering of people walking along the shoreline gave Scylla some reassurance of not being completely alone with the peculiar stranger. She didn’t know why, but she felt a familiarity with him, as if she should trust him – despite the fact he wore a poor facsimile of the hound-master costume that plagued her dreams.

Maybe there’s something in this tea.

At first, she gingerly spoke of the barest details, but she found that Amon had a way of drawing the story out. She hadn’t even finished her first cup of tea when she told him everything that she knew about herself.

How she was found unconscious – nearly left to be a monster snack out in the wilderness of Mor Dhona.

How she was brought to Gridania and restored to health under the care of the Padjali.

How the art of conjury and white magic came so easily to her… as if it was something she had known in the past.

Most importantly, she told him every fiendish detail about the nightmare.

There is definitely something in this tea.  

She swished the tea around in her cup, deep in contemplation.

Why do I feel like he’s someone important…?

“There you have it.” She took a sip of tea and gave the bard a blunt look. “I want to know answers, even if the truth of the past may be… unsavory.”

Why do I feel as if I can trust him? …Is he an old friend?

“Amon.” She winced at him, letting her guard down as she looked into his eyes. “Who am I supposed to be?”

At first, Amon wasn’t sure how to read this situation. Had he been in Scylla’s position, it would have been all too easy to put on airs, pretend memory loss, and draw the victim into a web of lies. Only… that had never been her way.

Oh, sure, she was an opportunist and dabbled in the occasional bout of manipulation. But outright deceit, and passing herself off as something she wasn’t just… was not Scylla’s cup of tea.

No pun intended, he thought as he sipped his own tea and mulled it over.

She was not like him, not given to fancies behind a mask and making people believe him to be one thing when he really was another. So, he patiently listened, keeping his mind open and not discarding her story as fibbery.

The more he listened, the more she told. It was almost too easy. This was certainly not the Scylla he knew. And he came away convinced that whatever power had brought her back into this world had left her somehow incomplete.

This made him curious. But following up on that would have to wait.

Because the more that she talked, the more the wheels in his head began to turn. When he looked at her, he found himself drawn time and again to her red Allagan eyes… until finally, it all fell into place.

Here it was. The answer to everything he’d been searching for.

Scylla, born of Allagan royalty, was his key to getting back into Syrcus Tower.

And once there, once reunited with the proper tools, he could not only restore his own power… but he could claim hers.

Infusing himself with the blessings of Allagan royalty would restore his control over Syrcus Tower, which was currently in a woeful state of slumber. Waking it, Amon would seize leadership over what was left of the Allagan citizens within, and bless Eorzea with the legacy the world had lost thousands of years ago.

He would revive Allag and bring its gifts to this stumbling, struggling world. As it always should have been.

Amon tempered his smile, which had been spreading slowly as his mind built the picture of a brighter future for Eorzea before him. This was all very possible… but he had to approach this carefully. And soon.

Scylla would only open the gates for him if he played his cards right. And he was willing to pretend friendship to earn her trust for the bit of time it would take to get what he desired from her.

And so, he looked upon her with gentle pity as she ended her story and asked the question that everyone did sometime in their life – Who am I? What am I here for?

“Oh, my dear,” Amon leaned upon the table, setting the tea down slowly. “You and I share the same woes in this world. For we come from another time and place, and the knowledge we bear is one feared simply because we are not fully understood.”

A sad, convincing smile touched his lips. He had to make sure she wanted this for herself. That she wanted this more than anything else.

“You have come to the right place. I know the secrets you seek, and I am willing to share them with you, but…” Amon lifted his eyebrows as he drew another sip from his tea. “What becomes known can change a person. ‘Tis something you’re ready to face in finding your truth?”

“Another time and place?” Scylla gave a frazzled look, but quickly bit her lip before her words mirrored her thoughts.

What in Ifrit’s Flames is that supposed to mean?

Whatever she had forgotten had not taken away the deep-laying bluntness of her personality. She could sense that there was some purpose behind his saccharine-laced speeches. A tiny portion of her unconscious pleaded she take caution at the way he handled the situation… leaving a small doubt that he was holding some purpose back from her.

She brushed the thought away at another, more reasonable explanation.

He’s a bard. And bards talk in bard-speak. How in the world was I friends with a bard? They are always so frustrating with their dramatizations of every woe and pleasure in this world.

“Do you think I wouldn’t be ready?” Scylla crossed her arms, showing a hint of frustration with Amon. She would test the familiarity that he claimed in his speech. “I sailed halfway around this world, sold my belongings, and now spent the money for my return ticket for a chance to figure this out.”

Scylla blew her hair out of her face with a grumble, tempering her words with an appeal.

“I know you are trying to help… But if you really did know me, you wouldn’t have to pretty-pretty the truth for me, even if you are into spinning tales.”

The heavens know you cannot get anything out of a bard without them strumming away bad notes and turning a spilled cup of ale into a dramatic tale of villainy and tragedy.

“If you really know who I was, just tell me how it is, whether it be vile criminal or storied saint.”

Ah, there it was. The determined commitment that he wanted to hear. Perfect.

Amon made a great act of fiddling with his tea cup for a moment, as if pondering the wisdom of what he was about to share. When he did finally begin to weave his tale, he told her… the truth. Mostly.