The Ride Home - Part 3

Date Posted: 1-21-2019

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

“Turmoil… about me?”

Scylla laughed, half wincing as pain shot up her back. “You surely must be mistaken, Ben. In Amon’s mind, I destroyed the only sane, good part of his life.”

“Amon has been plotting revenge on me since the beginning, starting back from the day we first met and I made innocent fun of his hound-ears.” Scylla explained.

“Of course, the stakes grew, with myself being an arch-mage… and him being an aether-maddened washed-up technologist. It would follow in his haze-filled brain that I would have killed her. Makes sense… his greatest rival would just want to kill his long-lost lover.”

“I would suspect the only turmoil he is going through right now, is that he can’t get to me in while I’m in such a vulnerable position.” Scylla closed her eyes in denial, trying to comfort herself in Amon’s condemnation. “He believes I killed her-Clio. There is only hatred there. How could I believe he is capable of feeling much else?”

“But am I right to assume that you didn’t kill Clio?” Ben asked, poking his nose in where it was probably not wanted. 

“No!” The white mage yelled, before curling back up in pain. “Aggh… of course not.”

“She was a stubborn fool… that Clio, but I certainly didn’t want her dead.” Scylla muttered, turning away. “Always poking her nose where it shouldn’t have… and in the end, she was almost as disfigured and twisted… just like him- so committed to her cause… bringing down the very god-emperor which Amon formed and then worshipped.”

Scylla lifted herself up, managing to prop herself up to sit on the bed. Her hands felt tingly and weak, but the pain was subsiding as long as she didn’t make sudden moves. She squinted at Ben as she moved to explain the situation.

“Amon and Clio were ex-lovers on different sides of a war, but with the same obsessive compulsions towards their opposing causes.” The white mage looked straight at Ben. “When Clio was caught, I had thought that they would give her a slap on the wrist… being from a highly respected family of technologists. But Clio would not yield from her battle with the Emperor, and Amon would not turn his loyalties.”

“And so, Amon let her die to impress his beloved liege, who he loved more than anything in this world, and still does.” Scylla snorted.

“The emperor was starting to take favor with myself and my allies. Being his rival at court, I’m sure it was easy for him to make up stories that the evil Scylla destroyed his lover in spite.”

“Nothing changes, Ben.” Scylla looked towards the far deck, staring at the clouds in the distance. “Seems Amon’s infatuation for his creation didn’t change when the tower awakened again. He almost gave this world to the voidsent for his beloved emperor.”

The white mage gave a pained sigh.

“She probably believed in him until the last seconds in the death chamber… Damned fool…”

This was far more information than Ben expected to get from the Allagan. Especially since he really didn’t know her all that well. She was much more open to the right questions than Amon was. Amon appeared to trust nothing.

“I see,” Ben said quietly, trying to digest everything that he’d just learned. “But, now, Amon has learned the truth that you were not involved in Clio’s death. How did he find out?”

“What?” Scylla shook her head. “What do you mean?”

“From what you said, Amon fully believed you were guilty, and he was acting on this fact. But now, I sense he’s questioning whether this is true or not,” Ben didn’t know fully how to explain what he knew. So he fell back on the excuse that Eorzeans seemed to accept. “Call it a hunch. Or maybe the Echo?”

“But this is Amon. He’s a trained dramatist, and he could be pulling your heartstrings just to find a weakness.” Scylla warned. “As for my absolution of guilt… it’s going to take more than the observations of a peculiar mage in green to believe it.”

“I suggest you speak with Amon for yourself, then. Since you are far better equip to see through his chicanery than I.” Ben suppressed the slight smile that wanted to tug at his lips.

She could be just as haughty as she accused her Bard friend of being.

“This is completely up to you. However, this ship ride may be the one uninterrupted chance you get to find out for yourself. I cannot promise that Amon will be welcomed warmly when we get back.”