Harle had left the village as well. She hadn’t been able to watch them any longer. She had known it would turn out like this. How could she have ever thought about Serge loving her? It was impossible.
She ran up to Cape Howl, catching her breath as she reached it. She watched the sunset. It was beautiful, but it was a beauty Harle couldn’t cherish today.
"You are such an idiote, Harle. Moi should have known. Mon chéri and zis vulgaire one, Kidd. Mon dieu.", she said to herself, trying to laugh but failing miserably. She kicked a few stones down the cliff and watched them dropping into the ocean far beneath her. She felt like one of these stones. Useless, kicked away.
After a while of simply staring at the ocean she leaned down to take a stone and started to scratch the engraving on the big rock in front of her.
However, she soon stopped and went to the edge again, almost falling down. She stared into the ocean right under her. Now her tears were dropping right into that vast pool under her, taking them in. Her tears didn’t change anything. It was just water, returning to where it had originally come from.
"Oi, committin' suicide, I suppose?", a sudden voice asked and Harle lost her balance in shock but regained it just in time to keep from falling. She shouldn’t have stepped so close to the edge, after all.
Harle turned around to look right into Kidd's evilly smiling face. "Just go ahead. So I won't have ta do it!", Kidd spat at her and laughed. The venom in her voice and all the hate she radiated made Harle cry even more. Did she really hate her to death? Did she really deserve all this? Yes, she did. But knowing this didn’t take the pain from her. She couldn’t bring herself to look into Kidd’s eyes.
"Se taire! You know not'ing at all. Juzt go back to your chéri!", Harle shouted, desperate. "Leave moi alone!" She ran past Kidd and got out of sight.
‘Chéri? What was she talkin' about? And why was she cryin'?’, Kidd wondered, still looking into the direction Harle had left. She made a few steps forward and noticed the scratches on the big rock, which had served to depict Leena’s and Serge’s affection. But now, Leena's name was all scratched and hardly readable anymore. There was 'Kidd' written above it.
"Did she…? Geez, that stupid jester. She doesn't know anythin' at all, that's for sure!" Kidd went to the edge and looked down.
‘Way too high ta fall down and survive! Did she want ta kill herself?’, she thought, contemplating the possibility of Harle doing that. From the way how she had looked at her, Kidd could actually imagine her doing it. But then, wouldn’t it be too good to be true? Kidd doubted the jester would do her a favour for a change.
“No way, girl! If someone kills you, then I'll be it!", Kidd said to herself, clenching her fists. With a smile on her face she started to run into the direction Harle took. For a while, she had actually forgotten about Harle, but now she had all the time in her life to get her revenge on her.
Harle ran and ran as fast as she could, her tears still dropping from her cheeks to the ground. She didn't know where she was running to nor why she did it. She just wanted to run away from everything. Breathlessly, she eventually came to a stop. It was already dark and cold, and Harle could feel the hairs on her neck raising. She didn't know where she was, but it was a forest, one she didn’t think she had ever passed through before. She had an uncomfortable feeling about this place, but shrugged it off. If anything, she wasn’t going to become paranoid now.
She turned around in search for a place to sleep, shivering slightly. It had to be later than she had thought, the temperatures had already dropped fairly low. After a while, Harle decided to simply sleep at a big tree, for lack of any caves or something similar around.
She gathered the leaves from around her and covered herself with them, hoping for them to keep her warm, if only a little. "Leave moi alone…what a fool moi is", she whispered and fell asleep. She didn't notice the huge creature creeping up to her in the middle of the night. Seventh dragon…your end is near.
It was already noon when Harle woke up with a start. "Seventh dragon? Must have been un dream. The dragonz are dead.", she tried to calm herself quickly. She knew the dragons were dead. She had seen it with her own eyes. She still remembered the day in Chronopolis, when she had said goodbye to Serge and escaped. She had done her duty until then, but she hadn’t been able to fight Serge, after all they had been through. So she had hidden until the dragons’ deaths. But sometimes, she still feared they would come back one day. To get her for betraying them.
Harle stood up, rubbing her eyes. She hadn't eaten anything for three days, so she decided to go hunting, her second favourite thing right after playing jokes on people. It was a small comfort, after what had happened, but the only thing to keep her spirits high enough to refrain from getting depressed. Her state was ridiculous, really. She was a jester, shouldn’t she be laughing all the time? Shouldn’t she be the one to laugh in the end?
After several minutes of walking, Harle spotted a little komodo hiding in a bush. Harle's crimson eyes flashed brightly as she killed it with only one throwing card of her prism deck. Too easy. Although she had changed, she still enjoyed killing if she was in a bad mood. She hated herself for being like that, but she couldn't help it. Somehow it made her feel better. She didn’t have anything other than this small feeling of superiority.
‘Moi haz to kill if moi wantz to live, non? It'z az simple az zat.’, she excused her actions, though she didn’t know to whom.
She took her prey back to her small camp, which still consisted of nothing more than a few leaves. She left the Komodo lying there while looking around for a few pieces of dry wood to make a fire. She had soon gathered a sufficient amount, but wasn't really in a mood of making a fire by herself, so she simply used a fireball element from her grid.
She roasted the Komodo and ate it without much delay. She had to admit that she had some reserves to eat like this, but there wasn’t much of a choice right now. She shouldn’t have left Termina, after all. There she could have at least stolen something decent to eat. As expected, it wasn't very tasty, but it was better than nothing at all, she had to admit.
While sitting at the fire she heard the trample of heavy steps. She stood up immediately and tried to locate the direction it came from. It got closer and closer and soon she could see it. She didn't need a second look to know what it was. It was the black dragon.
"Non...zis iz impossible!", she cried, not trusting her eyes. With eyes wide open she stared at the dragon as he came closer.
"It is time to die!", the dragon roared and attacked. Harle knew nothing. Didn’t know why he was there in front of her, didn’t know what he wanted from her, aside from killing her.
He tried to hit her with his huge tail, but Harle dodged and rolled aside just in time. She quickly tossed five, despite her shock well-aimed cards at its body, but they simply recoiled and fell to the ground without effect.
"Non!" Harle stood up and prepared for the dragon's next move. Her heart was pounding in her ears, and she tried her best to focus, shutting out her inner voice who was in despair.
The dragon cast a BlackHole element on the jester, but Harle hardly flinched. It didn’t hurt her.
"You are even more stupide zan I t'ought! Let moi show you how to fight!", she shouted and took a MeteorShower element. Before the Black Dragon was able to react, various meteors came crashing down on his head and he almost lost consciousness. Harle slowly went towards the dragon.
"Very amuzing. Too bad moi haz to kill you.", she said, laughing arrogantly. Her earlier fear had left her, and now all she could bring herself to feel was hate. She walked in a circle around the dragon, which lay helplessly on the ground. She was ready to strike at any moment, but a part of him wanted to see him suffer. She wanted him to suffer as much as she did.
"Please, don't kill me.", the dragon requested, his voice devoid of all its dignity.
"Alors, why should moi do zat? You wanted to kill moi az well, non? Why did you came here alone, anywayz?", Harle asked, still walking around the dragon.
"If you kill me, the others will come. They will kill you.", the dragon hissed dangerously.
Harle stopped and turned to the dragon. "I don't care about ze odders! If zey come, moi will kill zem. Zat iz it. Moi iz no longuer your puppet!", she shouted, finally speaking the words she had longed to speak for such a long time. She wasn’t their propriety, they couldn’t decide over her. They held no power over her.
Her thoughts were raging, but she soon placed her hand onto her forehead. "Mon dieu, why iz moi discussing? I mean-", she said, but was interrupted by the dragon’s tail, which hit Harle's back hard and smashed her to the ground so quickly that Harle hadn’t even registered the dragon’s movement until she felt a stinging pain all over her body. She had heard her bones cracking, but for the moment she was glad that the pain of her whole body numbed her senses enough to let her actually feel each broken bone. She had no desire to find out which bones it were.
After a few minutes, which the dragon had spent with watching her intently, Harle managed to stand up, breathing hard. Blood was dropping from her mouth and she stared right into the dragon's eyes. He was standing right in front of her, with no sign of fatigue at all. He seemed more than ready to crush her.
"Did you really think we created a puppet stronger than us? You are a fool. You betrayed us. Someone like you deserves to die!", he roared, and Harle stepped back unbelievingly. Her eyes were full of fear yet again, and she cursed her inattentiveness earlier. She should have known better, should have known that she was no match for him, after all. But could it really end like this? Had she put herself through so much pain and worrying, only to die at the dragon’s hands? There was only one answer: No.
"Non! Zat iz not true!" Harle shouted but couldn’t prevent her body from trembling. The dragon hit her and again Harle was too slow to realize. She stumbled to the ground like a doll that had been tipped backwards. She didn’t have the strength to try to catch herself, so her skull met the floor at the same time her back did. She hardly felt the pain.
Her costume was soaked with blood Harle knew was solely her own, but there was no stopping it. She couldn’t move anymore. She felt as if she was tied to the ground by gravity. There was no way she could stand up, so all that was left for her to do was watch the dragon’s paw hovering above her, ready to squash her.
"That's enough, ya bastard!", an unexpected voice yelled and one second later a dagger stuck deep into the dragon's neck. The dragon couldn’t do so much as gasp before he collapsed onto the ground. He was dead, and Kidd saw him soon vanish, as if evaporating into countless particles.
"Kidd.", was all Harle managed to whisper before she lost consciousness. Kidd approached her motionless body.
"I told ya, didn’t I? If someone kills ya, I'll be it.", she whispered, but she didn't seem to realize the meaning of her words at that moment. She took the jester into her arms and carried her to her sleeping place.