35 Fragile hear
Evlin was feeling really upset in the following morning.
After fighting against Daren and realizing the difference between their combat abilities she was starting to doubt her own skills and accomplishments.
Ashley was trying to cheer her up but with no luck.
"Hey... How long do you plan to continue to pout...?"
"Ughhh... I don't wanna chat right now... Go away..."
"Hey, it's not like you lost right? He said it himself that it was a draw!"
"Of course I lost... What did you think was going to happen if we had continued that fight?? Nothing I used on him worked... The guy was a freaking tank!"
"Eh... Ok, maybe you did lose, but why is that such a big deal? You lost fights before right?"
"Because... Sigh... This was one of those fights I really didn't want to lose ok?"
"... Because he mocked your magic skills? I thought you didn't care about this stuff..."
"It didn't feel like he was mocking magic... It felt like he was mocking me... I wanted to prove that I wasn't just another mage full of herself... I wanted to show I was better than that!"
"But you did, didn't you? He acknowledged that you were someone mature enough to know the right time to use your power and when to show restraint."
"Still isn't enough... I wanted to win!!"
"... You know... You're starting to sound like a spoiled child who just found out you're not the center of the universe..."
"Stop letting a little wound on your pride keep you down and get over it! You will have plenty of chances of proving yourself now that we are following these guys..."
"Guess so... Sorry... It's been a while since things didn't go as I expected..."
"Yeah well, that's just life... Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't. Just do your best to learn from it."
"Hey, you two doing ok?"
Ria approached the two sisters with her usual bright smile right after finishing petting Sphinx. She saw Evlin laying face down against the ground and decided to make fun of her a little bit.
"Err... I guess Evlin took the fight from last night pretty seriously huh? Will she be ok...?"
"She will be fine... She is just going through an 'I'm not the best at that thing I wish I was the bast at' moment."
"Love you too sis..."
"Ria you want to try and deal with this corpse for me? Even I need a break from her every once in a while..."
"I would love to, but Gustav was asking to talk with Evlin. He thought it would be a little awkward to come directly so he sent me to ask if it was ok..."
"Eh... Gustav wants to talk with me?"
Evlin honestly didn't want to talk with that man. The fight from last night was his idea and he was the only one who came out on top from that result. Now the group trusted Daren more than ever and realized how much of a greenhorn Evlin was. He probably just wanted to gloat.
"Do I have to talk to him...? Back me up, coach!"
"You should go talk to him..."
"Coach, you're fired!!"
"Just get this over with! We will be traveling with him from now on. If you have a problem with him better to solve it now than to keep dragging it during our journey..."
"And for the love of God, try not to punch him."
"... We need to have a little chat about your view of me later..."
Evlin went on to meet with Gustav who was staring at the river close by writing some notes on a notebook. Evlin had no enthusiasm to start that conversation. What was he going to say? Maybe he will try to convince her to leave the group again? Or maybe he just wanted to brag about how much batter Daren was than her? Maybe if she got lucky he could spit out something offensive and give her an excuse to punch him in the face.
"Man, Ashley was right about me... When did I became so violent??"
Gustav heard Evlin talking to herself out loud and turned around to meet eyes with her.
"Huh... Ria said you wanted to talk..."
"Are you... Using your power or something? You know I can't read minds, right?"
"Ah...! No, sorry... I... Was just thinking about what to say..."
Gustav's eyes looked rather odd. He was acting like he was trying really hard not to look at Evlin's face. Did she have bad hair or something?
"Miss Evlin... I'm sorry!"
"... You're... Sorry?"
"I'm sorry for using you... Because of my selfish request you had to go through that yesterday... And almost got yourself seriously hurt in the process... I thought Daren was going to end the battle with one attack or something... I didn't imagine you would push him so far..."
Was this guy having mental problems or something? That was pushing him far? It felt like he was toying with me the whole fight. Is what Evlin was thinking.
"I am truly, truly sorry... Could you forgive me?"
"Sir Gustav, are you trying to piss me off??"
"Huh!!?? No, no...!"
"Because you know... I've been having a bad week... You two jumped at me with the whole 'you don't know about our circumstances' nonsense... Let me share with you a bit about my circumstances..."
"You know this wonderful world you guys live in full of monsters, beasts, mages, demons, and gods? Things that can kill you with a sneeze if they ever so much as come close to you? My world didn't have that! You guys were born in this life-style, I was dragged into it. I didn't grow up learning how to defend myself or how to control magic, or how the hierarchy of the kingdoms was ranked. My biggest concern at home was doing well while trying to answer a piece of paper. I didn't had to worry about losing my life every two seconds just because I dared to let my guard down for a moment."
Evlin started to went on a rant to vent her frustration and began to share her entire story.
"The first thing I came across was the king's idiot son who was trying to capture me to basically make me his love slave. I had to throw myself out of a window to escape from him and broke almost all of my bones in the process. It was only by luck that I run across a lady nice enough to help me while being on the verge of death."
"I spent the last two years of my life trying to forget everything I knew about my old world in order to learn how to survive here. And you know what? It was horrible! I had to fight every day, I had to kill every day. I had to deal with disgusting creatures, act as bodyguards to horrible people, and travel to terrifying places. You guys live here, you know how hard it is, but at the time, I didn't! I didn't had anyone or any time to prepare myself for this kind of situation. If I tried to take my time to properly prepare myself, I wouldn't get any money, and would have nothing to eat! So I forced myself to jump into these stupid scenarios and kept risking my neck time and time again."
"But you know... I could endure it... I mean sure, I was crying on the inside, terrified if the next day would be the day I would finally kick the bucket and never managed to see my family again... But I could endure it all... Why? Because the universe was kind enough to send me the world's nicest old lady I have ever seen. So even if my life was a living hell, at least I could stand it, knowing that I might be helping this old lady that helped me."
"But then I find out that this nice old lady who was keeping me from breaking apart until now, guess what? was about to die! Sucks right? But it's not enough that she was about to die, she was forced to ask me to let her die! Why? Because in my attempt to try and help her, I discovered that I was actually keeping her imprisoned here. Fun right? The one person I was trying to help actually wanted me to stop helping her so she could abandon me forever!"
"But wait!! It gets better!! Then I find out that my garbage life might not be such a garbage life anymore as I find out there is a guy that might know how to bring me home! But... Because God forbid something in my life go as I wanted... I find out that the guy was also dying! Because of course, he was! But hey, at least he was kind enough to send me on a wild goose chase before leaving! So then I think to myself, 'Cool, I might finally start getting somewhere!'. But nope! I find out that I need to get rid of yet another psychopath trying to entrap me, need to get myself stabbed half to death by a group of hunters, almost get captured by an angry mob just because I have the loosest of clues as to where some stupid weapon-kid might be, and all for what?"
"So I can encounter a bunch of idiots who want me to prove myself because I don't "understand their circumstances"!! ... But whatever, I have to prove myself... Cool... How does that go? First, I get mocked for having to pick up the only thing in this world that I'm slightly good at... Something that I don't even enjoy being good at by the way... Then I get completely, one-sidedly demolished in front of these same idiots... All so I can embark on yet another nonsensical journey to get myself cursed and try to fight a goddess... One of which might end up killing me in the process, if not both... And now you bring me out here, the one person I did not want to see, or talk to... Just so you could apologize and feel better about yourself?"
"Maybe I'm starting to lose it a little bit... But don't you think I might deserve a bit more than "I'm sorry"? How about "I'm sorry for being such an insensitive idiot and assuming you didn't had your own problems to deal with"? Or maybe, "I'm sorry for trying to push you away just so I could make my boss look better despite you doing nothing wrong and actually being very patient with all of us"? Or heck, how about "I'm sorry that our world is such a garbage place to live in and you ended up having almost died so many times despite never asking for any of it"?"
"What...? Have nothing to say? You sure had a lot to say about me not too long ago... Are you only able to talk when you need to make someone feel like trash? Are you unable to say words that might make people feel better?"
"For the love of God, SAY SOMETHING!!!!"
Evlin punched Gustav using her fist filled with healing magic and wearing a wooden gauntlet. The man suffered a massive injury and was sent flying towards the river.
"... Oh no..."
She realized that she could have killed him by accident and started to rush to his side to apply healing magic. But before she could reach him he extended his hand as if making a "stop" sign and started to stand up from the river.
He walked towards her with his arm holding his stomach looking like he could pass out at any moment. Evlin wanted to fix his injuries but he started to speak before she could.
"Nothing I say can fix anything..."
"My words can't bring back your friend, they can't send you home, and they can't protect you from the dangers of this world..."
"You were right... About everything... I was just trying to apologize to clear my conscience... I shouldn't have judged you... I shouldn't have vent my frustration on you... And I definitely shouldn't have suggested that fight..."
"I was selfish... Selfish, stupid, and childish... But I can't change the past... All I can do now is apologize... And beg you to let me start over..."
"Miss Evlin... Will you please give me another chance?"
"I want you to be part of our family... Please..."
Evlin understood what he was feeling. She knew that they also had their own problems to deal with and that it wasn't really their fault that she had to go through all that. But that didn't matter right now. At the end of the day, the fact was, she asked for their help, and they used this chance to hurt her, physically and emotionally. She needed people she could trust, people that could make her feel safe. She was ready to help these people, to join these people. And yet, they grabbed her good intent and treated it as a joke. Evlin's heart was filled with too much frustration, anger, and sadness to simply forgive Gustave and Daren so easily.
"I don't want your apology... And I don't need your permission to be in this group... And most of all... I need Ria, and I need Daren and Lilith... But I don't need you..."
"You said you wanted a curse because you were tired of being useless right? Well, I was useless once too... I couldn't move, I couldn't walk, I couldn't fight... You know what I did? I learned how to move, how to walk, and how to fight...And I did it by myself... I didn't had a fancy mansion or an army of powerful super-friends... I earned my own life... You want my forgiveness? Then start working to earn it too..."
Evlin turned around and realized everyone was staring at the two of them. She didn't know since when but Ashley, Ria, Auren, Lilith, and Daren were all looking at her and Gustav with shocked expressions. At any other moment, she would be feeling uncomfortable about the situation. But right now, all she wanted was to stop finding more reasons to waste time.
She walked towards the group and stared directly at Daren.
"I will be going with you on your suicidal trip... Any problems with that...?"
Daren looked at Gustav, then looked at her.
"Good... Call me once we are about to leave..."
She started to walk away from them when Daren called her attention.
"... I will work hard... To earn your forgiveness too..."
Evlin just turned around without saying anything and continued to walk away. She approached Sphinx who was laying on the ground nearby eating fish and used him as a pillow. She then noticed Ashley coming closer towards her. She joined Evlin on top of Sphinx and started to hug her.
Evlin was confused but Ashley just kept hugging her.
"There is dust in your eyes..."
"Dust in my eyes..?"
Evlin wiped her face with her hand and finally noticed. Turns out she was crying the whole time.