"Bugger! Why do these things always happen ta me? Where's this bloody Arni Village?" She stamped on the ground angrily. "Whatever. Don't mind restin' for a while." She took her backpack off her shoulders and lay down on the ground, enjoying the light and comfortable feeling on her shoulders. "Serge, I told ya I'll find ya and what am I doin' now? Holy crap, I don't even know where I am!"
She sighed and watched the clouds in the sky slowly moving above her. Kidd felt like one of these clouds right now. She moved so slowly and she didn't know if she would even reach her goal. The clouds were better off, though. The drifted wherever the wind took them, not caring about the direction. They didn’t have a single thing to worry about, they had no need to hurry.
Kidd lay there for a few more minutes in blissful comfort and silence, then got to her feet. "Dammit! No time ta waste! I'll find ya, mate.", she said, knowing that it was herself only who needed those words to continue. She just had to believe in these words.
She shouldered her backpack again and almost cried out in pain as her wounded and sore shoulders experienced the unbearable weight of it after such a short time of relief. Blood was showing through her vest, but she tried not to care about it. She couldn't take care of it, because she didn't have any tablets or bandages left. She'd been through a lot of battles on her journey up until now, fighting off all kinds of beasts who had dared to get in her way. However, the last one had been a little too much for her. She had been walking for three days without a rest when a bunch of monsters had attacked her out of the blue, catching her unaware. She had used up all her elements in this battle, leaving her not one for the rest of her way. She just had to deal with that fact. She had been lucky to win this fight at all, but now it was time to find a town or village to rest and restock her elements. She would try to avoid fights for the time being, even though she thought of herself as immensely ill-suited for running away. "Time ta get movin'!", she said almost happily to cheer herself up a little. There was no one else to cheer her up, after all.
After a few hours she reached a beach, which seemed oddly familiar to her, but she couldn't remember the name. While walking through the white sand she discovered a swallow almost entirely buried. She had only been able to see the tip of it, reflecting the strong sunlight.
Kidd picked it up and regarded it curiously. Then it shot through her mind like a lightning. "Where angels lose their way? Right, that's Opassa Beach! This swallow must be Serge's!", she cried out in surprise, startling herself. She had gotten much too used to talking to herself lately.
Suddenly her heart sank. Was it possible that he had forgotten his swallow? What if something had happened to him? Without a second to waste, Kidd ran towards Arni Village, raising her pace even though her shoulders felt as if being torn apart.
Kidd didn't want to imagine what could have happened to Serge. There were far too many possibilities, one worse than the other.
After twenty minutes of running at full speed, she finally reached Arni. Without looking around, she headed straight to his house. She didn’t want to think about the possibility of not finding him there.
Her eyes were solely fixated on the familiar wooden house, so she failed to notice the person in her way and inevitably crushed into him. She tried to catch herself but fell to the ground rather inelegantly. After a few seconds she managed to get up.
"Bloody hell, watch where ya goin', boy!", she shouted fiercely while rubbing her head.
"Are you kidding? You were the one who knocked me off my feet!", the boy answered with the same vigour.
To Kidd’s surprise it was a voice she, despite its unusual fierceness, recognized in an instant. Could it be? "S…Serge?", she asked hesitantly. The boy turned around at once, looking just as startled as her. Kidd almost started to cry, but dismissed that feeling instantly. This was not the time for crying.
"Oi mate, nice ta see ya again, eh?" She tried to sound as normal as possible, but her voice was trembling ever so slightly. Serge didn’t notice.
"I can't believe it!" Serge grinned delightedly and hugged Kidd tightly. Kidd had half expected him to do something like this, but still she couldn’t keep her cheeks from flushing at the unusualness of the gesture. She tried to hide it by looking away. "You look very tired, I think you should rest tonight at my house. We can talk tomorrow."
Shortly later Kidd found herself lying in Serge's bed, her heart beating wildly. How nice he was, letting her sleep in his bed. She wondered where he was right now. She wondered if he too, couldn’t sleep at all. There were so many things she wanted to tell him, she couldn’t wait for the first rays of sunlight to appear on the still dark horizon. She had promised him she would find him, and she had. But what was next? He had smiled at her so gently, had worried about her feeling tired. Could it be? Could he really love her? With these thought on her mind, she eventually fell asleep.
When Kidd finally woke up it was almost afternoon, from what she could tell from the strong sun she saw through the window. She looked around, but Serge was nowhere to be seen. There was a note at the door: “Meet me at Opassa Beach.”, it read. Simple words, but Kidd nevertheless found herself reading the note three times. Meet me at Opassa Beach, meet me at Opassa Beach.
Meet me at Opassa Beach. It had to be what Kidd thought it was.
Kidd got up and noticed that someone took care of her wounds, for all were bandaged. Kidd flushed at the thought of Serge having done that, feeling slightly uncomfortable. She shook her head quickly, telling herself that Marge was probably the one. Kidd quickly got herself dressed, then left the room and headed outside.
"Where are you going so quickly? Don't you want something to eat?", a voice halted her. Kidd recognized this voice and turned around. It was Marge, smiling and pointing at the breakfast table. Though she wanted to meet Serge at once, her hunger made her sit down at the table, where she stuffed various things simultaneously into her mouth, trying to make it quick.
"Uhm, thank you very much.", she said, the words muffled by her still half-full mouth. She left the house, quickly buying some elements before heading to Opassa Beach. She was going to be careful from now on, even though her elements indicated that her understanding of carefulness was trying to end the fight quickly with the strongest elements she had instead of actually using healing elements. She would try to not even get hurt, so she wouldn’t have to worry about wounds later. She found it to be a good enough idea, for now.
As she reached the beach, she saw Serge already sitting there, watching the waves.
"Hiya mate!", she called and Serge turned around quickly. "Hi Kidd. Come and sit down."
Kidd did as he said and sat down right beside him. "So...whaddaya doin' now? Surely not sittin' at the beach all day?", she asked with a smile.
"No, I'm fishing. Nearly everyone does that in Arni, so there’s no reason for me not to do the same. Besides, thanks for the swallow. I don't know what I'd do without it.”, Serge said and caressed the blunt edge of his swallow. “But what are you doing here? I didn't expect you coming to see me."
He didn't? But why? "I told ya I'll find ya mate. Don't ya remember?" Kidd tried not to sound too disappointed.
“Sure…but many things have changed and…I thought you'd go back to Radical Dreamers. So…why did you come here?", his voice was innocent enough, but Kidd shook her head unwillingly.
What was he talking about? Why did he ask such things? Didn't he know? "Whaddaya talkin' 'bout? I came here for ya, Serge! Dammit, I could've went to Radical Dreamers!", she answered, suddenly angry.
"What is going on here, Serge?" It was Leena. She came towards Serge and kissed him on the cheek. Kidd was furious.
"Yeah, what's goin' on here?", she asked, demanding an immediate answer.
"Well…I'm going to marry Leena.", Serge answered truthfully, confused about Kidd’s strong reaction. Kidd couldn't believe it. This long and hard journey...for nothing?
"Oh well, I should've known. Bye." Kidd said in a voice that showed indifference, and stood up to leave. No use staying any longer. It was over. So soon.
She hastily wiped away the tears running over her cheeks." Kidd, wait!", Leena shouted and ran past her to stand right before Kidd, blocking her way.
"Whaddaya want from me? Outta my way ya bitch!", Kidd shouted fiercely and pushed Leena to the ground. She could hardly control her anger. Who did she think she was? She didn’t need someone like her, trying to explain. Kidd understood it perfectly. She didn't take another look at her as she ran past her and away from it all. Serge stood up to run after Kidd, but decided to help Leena instead.
"Let's go back to the village", Leena said softly, her voice still kind despite everything while Serge helped her to get up.
"I'm sorry, I didn't know she'd be so upset", Serge apologized genuinely. He didn’t know what had gotten into her all of a sudden. He didn’t know her being like this.
Together Serge and Leena went back to Arni Village. They decided to take a look at the new bar, which opened two days ago. They needed something to take their mind off of what had just happened. Leena didn’t know what to say. She knew she was the cause of it, but she couldn’t bring herself to feel sorry. Why would she? It wasn’t her fault Serge chose her and not Kidd.
They went inside and sat down at the table. "What is it, Serge? You look troubled.", Leena asked softly, trying to get a few words out of the suddenly pensive Serge. She knew he wasn’t able to simply forget about all this.
"Oh, nothing. I just wondered where Kidd could be. Could it be that she has left Arni already?", Serge asked thoughtfully. He couldn’t think of a place she would go to, however. She hadn’t exactly sounded pleased at his remark of the Radical Dreamers, though Serge wasn’t sure it that had been for different reasons.
Suddenly the door opened and Kidd stepped inside the bar, looking around with a face of curiosity that didn’t give away the feelings she was trying hard to suppress. It was no use having other people see them, after all. It wasn’t like anyone would offer any help.
Her eyes suddenly spotted a pair she hadn’t expected to see. "Dammit", she mumbled to herself while looking at Serge and Leena.
"Kidd!", Serge shouted and ran over to her before Kidd could turn around to leave.
"Let's talk outside. Just for a minute, okay?", he whispered to her, not wanting everyone in the bar to hear what they were saying. Kidd nodded solemnly and they went out of the bar, where Serge watched Kidd worriedly. He felt guilty.
"Listen, Kidd. Don't be so angry, please. I love Leena. You just…have to accept that." Serge held her shoulders to keep Kidd from going away.
Both of them didn't notice Harle sneaking up to them and hiding in a bush. She was too far away to be able to hear their voices, but that didn't matter to her. She saw their lips moving slowly, their bodies close to one another. Harle could imagine what they were talking about, and it both broke her heart and turned it to ice. She didn’t move, although she wanted to step out and smash Kidd to bits. She decided to keep hiding and watching a bit more, even though she could hardly bear seeing them close like this. It stirred feelings in her she had tried to forget.
Kidd stared into Serge's eyes and began to cry against her will. She never cried, so why did she now? How did she deserve breaking down in front of him like this? It wasn’t fair. Nothing was.
"I know, I know.", she said, trying her best to keep her voice from shaking. She quickly wiped away her tears and hugged Serge one last time.
"I'll leave Arni Village.", she said and tried to smile a little. It was the best she could do. She might have no idea on where to go, but one thing was for certain: She had to leave. She had tried and failed, as simple as that. She really tried to believe this, telling herself that it was no problem.
"Good luck", Serge said and went back into the bar without turning around a second time to look at her. It was no use making this any harder than it already was.
Kidd went into Serge's house to fetch her backpack and left.