Amateur Fontech - a Tales of the Abyss fanfic
Disclaimer: Tales of the Abyss does not belong to me. This is a work of fanfiction.
It was a beautiful sunny morning at the Fabre manor, but Guy Cecil hadn't seen any of it yet. He was huddled in the corner of the manor's kitchen, fiddling with a mysterious fon machine. The maids had mostly left him to his own devices for the last few days, but now that it was Master Luke's 16th birthday, they found that his private construction project was shaping up to be more of a nuisance than a curiosity.
One of the maids, a young girl who had only been working at the manor for a few weeks, was especially annoyed by Guy's presence in the kitchen. She had been tasked with baking Master Luke's birthday meal, a chicken dish that the kitchen staff was fairly sure Luke would actually eat, and she had to maneuver around Guy every time she wanted to reach the oven. She drew closer to him, watching for a few moments as he adjusted a bolt with a wrench, hoping that he would notice her lurking over his shoulder. When he made no movement to acknowledge her, she decided to speak up. "Excuse me, Guy..."
"Eep!" Guy dropped his wrench and jumped three feet in the air, spinning around and backing up so far against the cabinet that the maid thought he was trying to disappear inside of it. He relaxed somewhat when he saw who it was, but still stayed stuck to the cabinet. "My apologies. What is it?"
The maid had intended to be stern and insist that Guy move so that she could cook, but she had been unnerved by his reaction. Being new, she hadn't had much time to get used to Guy's adverse reactions to women. "Um, sorry to bother you, but what exactly have you been making over there?"
Guy relaxed further and a huge smile spread across his face. "Oh, you'll see at Luke's birthday party! I'm almost done with it. Just a few more little tweaks..." He turned back around, picked up the wrench, and went back to tightening bolts. His tongue stuck out of the corner of his mouth as he worked. "Okay, that should do it!" He stood up, surveying his work proudly, then pressed a button on the front. There were a few mechanical whirrs, and it seemed as if the fon machine were performing its intended function... until it unceremoniously ejected a large amount of flour all over Guy.
Despite now being completely covered in flour, Guy seemed unfazed. "I thought I fixed that!" he said, sounding disappointed. He was about to sit back down and make some adjustments until he remembered his tiny audience. He turned around to look at the young maid watching him. "I'm terribly sorry, am I in your way?"
The maid was so amused by the absurdity of the situation that she had completely forgotten her earlier frustration. "Um, no, Guy, it's fine. I'll just go around the other way." She smiled and continued going about her work, looking forward to seeing if Guy's fon machine would work as hoped by the time Luke's birthday party rolled around.
Luke fon Fabre, for his part, wanted nothing to do with the fuss over his birthday party. The only difference between today and any other day trapped in the manor was that they made a slightly bigger fuss over him than usual. The maids had dressed him up in a fancy outfit for the occasion, but that hadn't stopped him from climbing his favorite tree after he'd sneaked out of the house. He tracked the time of day by the position of the sun, as he'd become accustomed to doing just so that he wouldn't be surprised by Guy coming to find him. He had a pretty good idea about where the sun should be at the time when his party was about to start, so he was confused when it passed that point and Guy had still not come to find him. In the distance, he could hear a maid's voice calling for him. He frowned; Guy always knew where to find him, so why hadn't they sent him like always? He didn't want some maid to find his hiding place, so he jumped down from the tree and headed back towards the manor.
"Oh, Master Luke, there you are!" The maid rushed towards him as soon as she saw him, quick to straighten his dress clothes and smooth out his ruffled hair. Luke shied away from this treatment, annoyed at this maid for having the audacity to come look for him. "Come along, Master Luke, you're late for your party!"
The birthday party was much the same as any other birthday party that Luke could remember. The meal was some kind of roasted chicken, which he refused to eat because it had mushrooms on it. The Scorer from the Church of Lorelei recited his birthday Score, but he couldn't care less about it. What annoyed him most was that Guy was nowhere to be seen. The nerve of him, not even showing up to my birthday party! Luke thought, sinking into his chair. The birthday cake was as extravagant as always, covered with candles and lots of frosting, but he wasn't especially interested. He only ate one piece before asking if he could go back to his room, complaining about a headache. All of the servants immediately yielded to his request, assuming that it was one of the terrible headaches that had plagued Luke since his kidnapping six years ago. He could hear Natalia whining about his early departure, but he ignored her.
Once he got back to his room, Luke stretched out on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. He still couldn't believe Guy's nerve. He didn't care about the other servants, or his parents, or Princess Natalia. The one person he actually wanted to see on his birthday was nowhere to be found.
While Luke was still stewing, there was a soft knock on his door. "Luke? Are you in there?"
"I don't want to talk to you, Guy," Luke snapped, rolling over onto his side.
"Don't be like that, Luke," Guy said through the door. "I have a surprise for you."
Luke was still irritated, but he was somewhat curious about this surprise. He pulled himself up to sit crosslegged on the bed. "Okay, fine, but it'd better be good!"
The door opened and Guy pulled in a crude-looking fon machine. It was obvious to Luke that Guy had built it himself. Just by looking at it, he had no idea what it could possibly do. "What's that weird thing supposed to be?" Luke asked, looking at it with a combination of curiosity and disgust. It looked like most of the parts had come out of some kind of scrap heap. How could Guy bring that dirty thing into his room?
Guy ignored Luke's attitude, beaming at his creation as though it were the greatest work of art. "Watch, and be amazed, dear Master Luke!" He leaned forward dramatically and pressed the button on the front of the fon machine.
The machine started up with mechanical whirrs and the sounds of gears shifting. Then it started shaking violently back and forth for a minute, causing Luke to back up slightly on the bed, expecting that something would pop out to frighten him. After the shaking stopped, the machine started humming, and the metal glowed slightly from the heat that was being generated inside. Luke looked at Guy, worried that this weird machine was going to suddenly explode in his room, but Guy was gazing at the fon machine lovingly, his eyes wide like a child's. When Luke looked back at the machine, the glowing was subsiding and more gears were shifting. Finally the machine produced a loud DING!
Guy practically leapt forward, opening the tiny door on the front of the machine and peering inside. "Perfect!" he said, sounding pleased. He reached inside and pulled out a tiny cake in a tiny pan, steam still rising from it, with a dollop of icing and a single candle on the top.
"Happy birthday, Luke!" Guy said, a wide smile on his face as he presented the tiny cake to Luke in a humble servant fashion.
Luke looked at the tiny cake, not sure what to think. He had to admit, it was pretty amazing that Guy had managed to build a cake-baking fon machine all by himself. After staring at it for a few moments, he looked up at Guy. "You could have picked a better frosting color than pink."
Guy's face fell for a moment, but he was quick to correct it. "Just try it, okay?" He produced a tiny fifth fonon generating machine from his pocket and lit the candle on the cake. "Happy birthday, dear Master Luke~" he sang teasingly.
"Cut it out," Luke said with a frown, leaning forward to blow out the tiny candle. He took the fork that Guy handed him and took a small, cautious bite of the cake. Surprisingly, he didn't find anything immediately objectionable about it. "It's alright."
Knowing that this was the closest thing to approval he would ever get from Luke, Guy grinned from ear to ear.
Then, without warning, the fon machine started smoking and producing a loud whining sound. Guy looked over at it in alarm, but by then it was already too late. A giant lump of pink frosting shot out from the front of the machine and splattered all over Luke.
At first, all Luke could do was sit in stunned silence while the melty pink frosting slid down his face. Guy tried his best, but he couldn't stop himself from laughing. Luke whirled around and glared at his servant. "You did that on purpose!"
"No, Luke, I swear..." Guy couldn't force out any further explanation, because now he was nearly doubled over laughing.
Naturally, this didn't help his cause any. Absolutely furious, Luke picked up the half-eaten cake and shoved it in Guy's face. "That's what I think of your dumb cake machine!" he shouted, crossing his arms and looking in the other direction, nose upturned.
Guy blinked a few times to get the frosting out of his eyes. Any other servant would have been exasperated with Luke for his childish attitude, but Guy just smiled.