FLAWS

The rumor about 'Guile is Magus' is disregarded; it is just a speculation.

DISCLAIMER: Chrono Cross doesn't belong to me.

XXX

The yellowish glow of the hanging lamps couldn't reach that place; the place where Guile was standing with a glass of red wine in his right hand. There was no wind to cause his long blue hair to sway; nor was there the light to be reflected by his golden mask. Alone in the dark, he kept silent, although he could hear the sounds of yelling and glass clinking from afar. He did not wish to join the guests' chatters; he wished only to stay away from them now.

Can't I forget about that accident? He had thought.

He took another sip of his wine, hoping that the alcohol would end up damaging his brain and thus, causing him to forget his past. However, in no way he could do it now; the words he had spoken when he was young echoed in his ears.

"Once I grow up, I want to be a great magician!"

Suddenly, Guile could hear a soft voice coming from his conscience, which was growing louder and deeper as time passed. Close your eyes and relax, as if you are sleeping… Do not think of anything now… Let the oxygen fill and refresh your brain.

With that, Guile's eyes began to shut. Guile struggled not to close them, but the force was heavier than he had ever thought. His breath was getting more rhythmic as second by second passed. Thus, he could see, smell, and hear nothing. When he opened his eyes, he realized that he was standing on the invisible yet concrete floor of a black void. Then, the same soft voice talked to him.

Dream a little dream; children always do that, don't you think so? Slowly, the void gained colors, and Guile could see a little boy reading a book. He realized that for so long he had dreamt to be a splendid magician. Spending his childhood learning about magic from numerous books, he hoped that one day his dream would come true. He looked forward to mastering every sleight of hand that existed, in hopes that he could entertain many people.

The law of attraction is true, isn't it? The nature will give its answer at last. Guile remembered the happiest day of his life; when he was a teenager, when his parents enrolled him to the Magic Guild. Guile's curiosity about magic had driven him to study hard. He studied all day and all night, without spending much time hanging out with his friends. In three years, his hard work had paid off; he graduated and earned the title 'Rising Star' for his academic achievements.

Life is like a wheel, isn't it? Sometimes you're above, but sometimes you're below. Guile saw himself traveling across the Zenan Mainland. He stopped by the villages and towns, to pull a set of cards out of his sleeves, plunge some swords into a black box where his volunteer was being locked, and perform numerous tricks. He could be the happiest man alive, as his reputation had spread throughout Zenan like a wildfire… but there was one mistake. That fatal mistake had led him into an accident that had scarred him for his whole life; an incident that had caused him to hide his face behind a mask.

When everything is going smoothly, have you ever thought that you'll make a mistake? Guile shook his head as his vision turned to the spectrum of a rainbow. Slowly, he could see that there was a stage lying on the open field, on which he was standing and asking for a volunteer. Soon, a girl decided to walk up to the stage. Guile pulled out the staff from his left sleeve and waggled it, conjuring rings of flame around the girl. At that moment, he could hear the crowd cheering at him below the stage.

How do you feel when you do wrong unexpectedly? "Disappear!" That word reverberated in Guile's ears; the word he uttered in his final show. Moments later, he saw a fiery explosion, enveloping the entire field with dense grey smoke. When the smoke cleared, he looked at the audience. They were gawking, giving him the feeling that they were impressed. But suddenly, their faces changed; they frowned. Shocked, Guile trembled, as if he were standing at a cold place. He did not want to know the worst, but he finally turned, and found out that his worst nightmare had just happened. The girl, the volunteer, was lying on the ground, charred and motionless.

One mistake has started a life-threatening problem, hasn't it? All of a sudden, Guile could see audience as if they were real. They were walking towards him, teeth gritted and fists balled. Guile knew that he had accidentally killed his volunteer, but how could he explain that it was unintended? Everybody would not believe him and instead, they would beat him to death. He felt a surge of energy as the crowd was approaching him. Sweating excessively, he turned around and leapt, flying away to the ashen sky and never to return again.

But would it be better if you didn't escape and considered what you had done? Guile saw himself flying on the air, fighting against a storm. Like an aircraft being hit by a downpour and tossed around by the wind, he kept on flying. He spent almost a day of flying to flee from Zenan; he flew across both verdant lands and azure seas alike, while struggling against the natural adversaries. Lastly, the rain diminished into drizzle while the wind subdued. Coming to a halt in a forest, he found out that his adrenaline had worn off; he collapsed and couldn't rise anymore. His white garment was soaked with mud. Small leaves had even clumped on his sleeves. Breathless, helpless, and dying; there was nothing he could do, other than lying on the ground, shivering while waiting for an aid or perhaps, a miracle.

How did you feel after running away from that problem, you were found by a group of humans that was perhaps, part of the enraged audience? Guile saw his dying body lying on the ground. He felt that he would die in any minutes, but suddenly, he could see a man and a woman were approaching him. He might be safe, but what if these people belonged to the furious audience?

What did they do then? Guile saw the man hoisting him to a boat. There, he was laid on the wooden seat and covered with blanket. Thus, his vision went black again.

What happened afterward? Guile recalled that when he woke up, he found out that he was wearing pajamas, lying on the bed. He could see that the ceilings, the wall, and the floor of the room were made of wood. He simply lay there, until suddenly, he heard a some voices. He managed to leave his bed, but couldn't stand upright. Standing while holding a wooden pillar, he saw a man and a woman; the man's head dropped a bit.

Do you still remember what they were talking about? All of a sudden, Guile could hear their voices very clearly.

"Coming back already, Doc? What's the happening?" a woman's voice asked.

"My patient has just died because of an anaphylactic shock..." a man's voice replied sadly.

"What? This is probably the first time I heard that kind of news from you."

"It's my fault; I shouldn't have prescribed penicillin for her."

"Honestly, Doc, how could you know that she was allergic to that antibiotic?"

Slowly, their voices abated. Darkness had enveloped everything and blackened Guile's vision. Now, he realized that he was in the void.

He could hear a soft voice whispering to him. That happened years ago, and now that you had seen a number of scenes belonging to your past, do you understand what was the purpose of bringing back the memories about your past?

Shaking his head, Guile managed to say, "Could you clarify?"

Nobody is perfect.

"Pardon?"

Humans are but imperfect living beings. No matter how great they are, they will eventually make a mistake.

Silence.

You are a human, a living being that cannot escape from doing wrong. On the day you recovered, you requested someone to create a mask only to hide your face, didn't you?

"Y-yes…" Guile stammered.

On that day, you just seemed to be unable to forgive yourself. You must know that mistakes are inevitable, and the only way to live with them is by loving yourself, Guile. If you happen to do wrong, do not blame yourself.

A pause.

Moments later, Guile closed his eyes and said, "I think I…understand."

Excellent. You may now wake up and apply what you have learned. In a few seconds, you can feel that you are getting out of your trance state... You can see that the void is fading…and you will find yourself in reality soon.

The voice was fading; getting softer and softer, until it was gone. Guile could hear that the noises of scraping woods were growing louder and louder. Stench of beer and scent of wine were getting more vivid to his senses. He shook his head and opened his eyes, and saw that wooden chairs and tables were visible on his sight, with many people walking back and forth between the tables.

Realizing that the wine glass was still in his right hand, Guile decided to walk towards the counter and put the glass on it.

"You've done drinking, Sir Guile? The glass is still half full..." a woman's voice said.

Guile turned his attention to the source of the voice. It was a waitress that had called him.

Guile replied, "Yes, I'd rather not drink at this moment."

"Well, I thought that you always enjoy drinking…" the woman said, picking up the glass.

All of sudden, the glass slipped out of the waitress' hands. Before it hit the floor, the woman had managed to catch it, but the remaining wine had spilled, soaking Guile's boots in alcohol.

"I'm sorry, Sir Guile!" the woman gasped.

Guile simply smiled. "Mistake happens, miss. Nobody is perfect."

XXX