This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.
Scylla let go of Amon, dropping slowly back towards the table and sighed at Koh.
Noah, the High Allagan Archmage, Keeper of the Imperial Mysteries, and inventor of 101 Legendary Incantations. Archmage Noah, the revered tutor of magic to generations of the high nobles, and required for all that were to inherit the throne.
Except, Scylla was a lesser noble, and such tutelage and cultivation were not meant for her. She remembered her youthful days at the Aetherstudies Forum, and the chained doors leading to the High Archmage’s quarter. Those of highest breeding were afforded the greatest positions. She was a lesser noble, born to play her part as one of the many ladies at court, or perhaps to become an instructor at the Forum herself.
Scylla bit her lip. Of course, her educational programming was of the highest caliber, and she had earned the rank of Archmage on her own merits, not by buying her way to the highest levels or summoning voidsent to do her bidding.
But none of it mattered now. Had she been the Archmage Scylla, she would have blasted this room into kindle-sticks and long been hidden away into the deep thickets of the Shroud. Perhaps she would have turned Amon into a frog, though the long ears were unlikely to be hidden.
“Higher priority items?” Scylla looked dejected. “Like what? Our fate is likely already decided, Your Reverence. Do you think they will let us roam free? Amon is a walking aether-fuse!”
“And they see me as actual Allagan royalty.” The white mage shook her head. “Maybe you can tell them that I am low-blooded… far too low-blooded to even study in your presence.”
Scylla shook her head, and sat back, dejected. “They are going to throw us somewhere where we can be quieted before the general population finds out. Perhaps Toto-rok… or maybe the Deepcroft, where we wither away with the ghosts.”
As if in response to Scylla’s words, the door to the barracks opened, admitting Ben. He strode in quietly, scanning the room and taking note of the tingles of hostility that lay within.
“Is everything okay in here?” He asked, tilting his head. “I sure hope the answer is yes. Because I have some news.”
Amon frowned and lowered himself back to the bench. He was just as sure as Scylla that his fate was sealed… that the Allagans were unwanted holdovers from a world time forgot. And Gridania wouldn’t be so eager to forgive his missteps now that he’d proven himself unworthy of their trust.
“I spoke at length with the Elder Seedseer and Master E-Sumi-Yan,” Ben said slowly. “There wasn’t a lot I could tell them that the Spirits hadn’t already informed them of, I’m afraid. However, despite all that, the Spirits of the forest still seem to be on your side, Amon.”
The Elezen spread his hands with a furrowed brow. “How is that even possible?”
“WHAT?” Scylla couldn’t believe her ears. “They are on HIS side?”
Scylla wondered if Amon had found his way to conniving with elementals now.
“Don’t ask me,” the mage shrugged. “They’re the ones talking to them. But apparently the will of the Spirits holds great weight here.”
“So what does that mean?” The Bard inquired.
“You’re going home,” Ben responded, his green eyes sharp as he looked over both of the Allagans. “With some… conditions.”
Scylla picked herself out of the chair and nodded with a smile. “Well then, if that’s it – it’s been nice knowing all of you…”
She scurried over to the door to leave, hurriedly shaking Mocho’s hand as she turned towards the entrance, only to find Ben.
The Elezen mage’s visage, and his six and a half fulm-high measure seemed to indicate that leaving was not an option.
She sighed and sat down on the corner of the table.
“I suppose that means those conditions… apply to both of us.”
Ben nodded slowly.
“You may have the blessings of the Spirits, but your trip to the Tower and to Azys Lla has the Gridanians understandably concerned. They recognize that you both hold knowledge of activating ancient technology and the ability to travel to these locations… even though you didn’t have clearance to do so.”
Noah shook her head at this statement, but didn’t add anything to it.
“I know it’s hard to play by the rules when you’re used to making the rules,” Ben told them. “And neither the Elder Seedseer and Guildmaster want to cage you. In fact, I think they’re curious. The truth is, you both can offer Eorzea much, and I think they realize there’s an opportunity to work with you.”
Amon rolled his eyes, “Cut to the chase, mage.”
Ben shot him a quiet look. “I’ve been hired to oversee you.”
“Oh, so no more spies?” The Bard glared down at Mocho, who paled even further. “Yes, I knew about you.”
The Lalafell took a deep breath, mulling on how to respond.
“Save it,” Amon told him, face softening a bit. “We both have done things we aren’t proud of. You don’t have anything to explain to me.”
Mocho looked a bit relieved of that, but he didn’t get a chance to say so.
“No more spies,” Ben rerouted the conversation. “But they want you watched. Both of you. And since I can only be in one place at one time, that means I need you to be able to function in some sense of co-existence. The alternative… is probably a lot less pleasant.”