Blaming Oneself

As Chase was regaining consciousness, Aria was shaking her head in disbelief. "This is my fault... this is all my fault." She kept muttering to herself. "I should have sensed this would happened, I should have worried about what would happen. But I was so focused on getting these bracelets off... that I risked someone else's safety..."

Lucy walked up to her, and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Aria, stop blaming yourself. It wasn't your fault. He's tough, he can take it. I mean, they already got a white mage over there healing him. So just calm down."

Aria perked up when she heard the words 'white mage'. "A white mage? Here?"

"Who else was going to heal him? A wormhole wizard is not made for healing wounds." Lucy answered. "C'mon, cheer up! Like when we first met! You giggled! I heard you! C'mon, be happy!" Lucy smiled at Aria, a genuine, friendly smile. Ari nodded. She stood up and gave Lucy a hug, then walked over to Chase and the white mage.

When Aria saw Chase, conscious and obviously in  little pain, Aria couldn't help but notice how similar he was to her apprentice: confident, brave, determined, unbreakable... it made her sad just to see him like this. Perhaps she was reacting this way because he reminded her so much of her own dead apprentice? She shook her head. She realized that all she was doing was feeling sorry for herself. Where would that lead her but further misery? She turned to the white mage and asked: "Is he going to be alright?"

"Yeah... he's a tough one. Judging by how fast he woke up, he's been through worse. He'll be just fine." The white mage spoke softly, as if she was somewhat resentful, but Aria didn't press the matter further.

"I'm glad to here that. He was fighting me when this happened... I feel responsible for his condition. I couldn't bear the thought to see someone die so soon after joining the guild." Aria sighed.

"So, any wounds of your own?" The white mage asked dismissively. She then noticed Aria's burned wrists and the flesh nearly fused to her limiter bracelets. Her eyes widened. "Oh, my god..."

"Are we talking physical or psychological wounds?" Aria chuckled to herself sadly. The memories again rushed through her mind, the searing pain, the mocking laughs... the last month was complete torture...  

The End

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