Copen's Story is a short side-story written by Toshiaki Tai, featured exclusively in three issues of the Dengeki Nintendo magazine (December 2016 issue, January 2017 issue, February 2017 issue).
It was then published together with the other 3 side-stories in the Gunvolt Official Complete Works, albeit with important rewritings, likely to adapt them to the pacing of the Drama CD version.
It has also been adapted, and is featured in Gunvolt Side-stories Drama CD with some changes and additions to the story.
This story also features the debut of Nori.
Inside of Sumeragi’s satellite base “Firmament”...
Standing in front of Copen, who’s dropped his knees into the ground, his whole body filled with wounds, was the Septima “Azure Striker” Adept -- Gunvolt.
Copen’s had his 2nd chance encounter with Gunvolt here, on Firmament, challenged him to a battle, and lost.
Why…? Why didn’t I win?
Copen had employed all kind of means insofar so as to kill Adepts.
Developing a special jacket that would mechanically support his body, the “Megante Leon”. Tireless training day after day.
He rummaged like a hyena the fragments of “Glaives” from the remains of the Sumeragi Adepts that Gunvolt killed and retrieved the Septimosome.
Develop a gear that was able to pseudo-recreate the Septima based on that data --- and kill the Adepts even by employing the power of the abominable Septima.
Copen, being a “mere human”, had little other choices if he wanted to fight as an equal against the Septima Psychics.
In terms of efficiency, he should simply silently watch as both Gunvolt and Sumeragi fought each other and then finish off the survivor of the battle --- but when he spotted Gunvolt, he challenged him to a battle at once.
When he bumped into Gunvolt for the first time in the Sinner's Row, things were different.
It was an unexpected encounter, so he’d jammed Gunvolt’s transmission equipment to isolate him and readied special bullets that were also effective against the Thunder Adept.
And when the battle turned back-foot, he pulled out at once… And this time around he challenged him to battle in a headlong rush.
Ego, anger, impatience --- all types of emotions cross his mind.
Copen naturally strongly clenched the grip touching his palm, and is surprised.
Is this it…?
That was a memento of his dead father, a revolver gun. The "Border".
The bullets loaded on that gun, named "Power Grab", had the effect of disturbing an Adept's Septima flow and spreading the whole of it across the air.
It was a Pseudo Septima (Copy Ability) analyzed from a magnetism Adept.
The original owner of this Ability was a muscular guy (an idiot) who only was able to recklessly swing his strong power around.
A man who didn’t understand his own Ability’s usefulness at all.
That was why, despite that Copen's developed Power Grab was a copy that had its power drastically reduced to something inferior, it displayed effects better than the original in terms of “usage”.
Copen had felt the joy when he’d completed the Power Grab, something that became an absolute threat to any Adept.
These bullets, unlike the other Copy Abilities, were not installed in the shield that employed them (Aix Gear) but in the revolver gun that was his father’s memento: that was because there was some anxiety about using those together with the other Abilities, but it also was a display of romanticism typical of Copen. “I’ll wipe out the Septima Adepts with Father’s memento”.
However, that was but foolish ego.
Gaining a “sure-kill” weapon that would provide an absolute advantage when facing the adepts might’ve caused him to lower the guard.
So that means that I’m as equally foolish as that magnetism Adept. Dad, I’m sorry… I’ve been deluded by a momentary emotion and failed to fulfill your late will…
Copen thought as much. His internal passions were still boiling but, somewhere, he’d coolly realized that those thoughts would probably never clear up anymore.
“I’ve got no time to deal with you now… So I’m leaving.”
Gunvolt didn’t finish off Copen and headed elsewhere.
“What was that?”
Copen tried to stand up but. On that instant, however, sparks spread from the jacket’s mobile parts.
In the meanwhile, Gunvolt, without turning back, vanished into the depths of Firmament.
I’ve been spared? By that kin-killer demon, “Gunvolt”, that’s buried the Sumeragi Adepts?
Copen clenches his teeth.
He thinks that he shouldn’t have talked about his inner feelings, about… his father, to him.
If he’d bought his sympathy by doing that then he was very miserable indeed.
Nori’s voice, concerned over Copen, comes out of his transmitter.
No, we’re talking about Nori.
She might be worrying, but she might also be having pity of him even.
… Copen spits out to try to shake off those abject thoughts.
So that Nori, on the other side of the transmitter, can hear him.
“What cheap sympathy…”
He spits out his best bluff, and bolds up his wounded body.
The strengthening jacket’s starting to wear out as well.
The “Megante Leon” had worn out by now, and his body’s muscles were screaming, too.
“But I’ll make a wise use of my life…”
I’ve got something to achieve. I can’t lose track of the general picture because I’m fixated with the chaff in front of me.
“I can’t stop Nova in my current state anyway. Fine. I’ll give up the role of killing the man to you…”
That’s it. As long as I get the results then that’s fine. Gotta get rid of this stupid pride…
“Go ahead and crush each other, you Adepts (Monsters)… I’ve got no intent of bending my beliefs.”
Copen began to think. Gunvolt will surely win the upcoming battle.
By looking at his gathered data, it all pointed at Nova being superior.
But Copen did have a hunch, more like a premonition.
Or it could be that he wished, at the very least, that the man who’d beaten him won: a dwarf desire even.
“One day, I’ll… defeat you for sure… Gunvolt!”
“What do you intend to do now, sir?”
Copen answered to Nori’s voice coming from the transmitter.
Nori’s a normal human without a Septima.
She’d been dispatched as a “maid” by the Kamizono head house to be Copen and his sister’s protector and watcher: but, for some reason, she was ignoring the family’s orders, and began to support Copen on his personal revenge.
At the beginning she’d been in charge of the education and care of him and his sister. When Copen decided that he’d take revenge on the Adepts, she procured a great heap of funds from an unknown source, and provided the equipment and info he needed.
She was the one who trained Copen in fighting skills as well, at a level that was above the usual: she was a rather mysterious woman.
Even if one implicitly asked her about her identity, she changed the topic by replying “I am but a maid, so…”, so Copen had ended up giving up on that in part and convincing himself that she was one of the few things in the world that he “needn’t know about”.
“It’s an unexpected turn of things and the Megante Leon has suffered a lot of damage. The mission’s cancelled. I’m coming back.”
Having a lot of damage in both body and equipment, wasn’t in a condition to have unnecessary fights.
The “Megante Leon” seemed to be wearing out as well since its movements were getting dull there and there.
He’d set it up expecting today’s mission to be a long sneaking mission, and so the battery consumption had been greatly reduced compared to the usual rate, but the battle he’d just had consumed most of the battery.
That makes him rethink. How the Septima, which prides itself on being able to almost limitless energy, and at having tons of practical applications, is indeed a power that goes out of bounds of the common sense.
“An unexpected turn of things…is it.”
“Are you trying to say something, Nori?”
“No, it’s nothing… Well then, should I come pick you up, sir?”
“Be reasonable. To begin with: you’ve got no means to come here.”
There was no spare of the small spacecraft that Copen had used to intrude into the base.
It looked like that even the capable Nori had some difficulty in getting more than one of them.
As he retorted her joke, which wasn’t funny, Copen pictured Nori intruding here, into “Firmament”, located in a static orbit, with a heavy gun in one hand and easily shaking off Sumeragi’s soldiers.
He felt scared at how he easily pictured her doing all of that and without changing her facial expression at all.
“…Understood. Maybe I should stop transmitting to avoid the enemy noticing us, sir.”
“Yeah. I’ll switch this off for a while.”
“Good luck, sir.”
Copen switched off the transmission equipment and began to move.
His goal was the small spacecraft “Sabertooth”, hidden in the material entrance.
If he could ride into that, he could go back to the surface… Supposing that he wasn’t found out by Sumeragi, of course.
Copen holds his breath and avoids the enemies.
He had some points where he had close calls but made it through them and made it to the front of the “Sabertooth”.
But he found a white-haired man with sunglasses touching the Sabertooth’s white body and peeking into the cockpit.
I’ve seen him before in materials Nori gave me.
Wasn’t he named “Asimov”...? Must be an alias, though.
He’s one of the founding members that had established QUILL and a Septima Adept with an "unknown ability" who fights in the frontlines himself.
To think he was able to reach this place…
“What’s this machine? A vehicle? Doesn’t look like a Sumeragi design…”
Who’d said that it wouldn’t be a Sumeragi member but an intruder like me the one who’d find it?
Copen really wanted to curse his bad luck.
“Suspicious… Let’s destroy the suspicious stuff to be on the safe side.”
Asimov takes out a long swing handgun that he carried and removed the manual safely.
If the Sabertooth’s destroyed, then Copen’s escape will become hopeless.
“Won’t let you!!!”
Copen raises his voice to avert his attention: he aims his shield-shaped armament “Aix Gear” forward and rams into Asimov.
Asimov is flicked away. But he doesn’t bother to resist the attack.
He’s swept away!
Asimov immediately fixes his posture.
In the meanwhile, Copen changes the Aix Gear from shield to bow and loads a weapon cartridge.
The Aix Gear’s now in attack mode to fire a Pseudo Septima.
“Burn up! Fury-flames’ anger-bow (Blazing Bombers)!”
The flaming arrow shot by the Aix Gear advances while bursting the air.
It’s an outlandish behavior arrow that defies common sense.
Asimov puts some distance and dodges by jumping sideways: he then counters with his handgun.
However, his shot rounds are blocked by the Aix Gear’s armor.
The Aix Gear wasn’t originally developed to be a shield but it was designed to be extremely resistant because it had to be bear the use of the special bullets.
Its endurance performance might’ve decreased due to the previous battle but it’s easily blocking the handgun’s bullets.
“Those attacks and that weapon… You’re the Non-Adept that was in one of GV’s reports, huh? Who’d said you’d come this far?”
“Hmpf. So that means we both have info about each other.”
Copen quickly changed the weapon cartridge and irradiated a purple light from the Aix Gear.
That light could make those who looked it turn into a very short and temporary suspended animation (petrification), the shut-out curse-light (light) “Envy-sight’s snake-eye (Gorgon Gaze)” --- but Asimov began to quickly approach Copen without minding the light as he was bathed by it from the front.
Asimov jumped into Copen’s bosom and strongly grabbed the Aix Gear with the right hand: he forcefully blocked the light emitted from the muzzle.
“It’s like you said, Non-Adept. We both have info about each other!”
The pupils beyond the sunglasses expanded.
The Gorgon Gaze doesn’t activate unless you look straight into its light.
Asimov had seized that from the battle report that GV had left..
He took out his sunglasses with his left hand; his pupils became dull white.
A blue flash surged out from the fist grabbing the Aix Gear --- the next instant, the Aix Gear’s armor and the muzzle below it were shattered.
“You…! That Ability (power)…!”
“A Non-Adept that can copy our Septima… A truly dangerous foe! I’ll impart judgment into you with my Azure Striker!”
Blue and white electricity surges out from Asimov’s body.
He was surprised that Asimov had the same Lightning Ability as GV but he quickly changed his thoughts.
He should’ve figured it out from the earlier battle.
Confusion and doubt of his emotions called in defeat… And the man in front of him had been capable of gripping and crushing the Gear, unlike Gunvolt, who hadn’t been able to puncture it.
It was safe to assume that, even though it was the same Ability, its power was above Gunvolt’s.
He quickly turns the Aix Gear with the broken muzzle and aimed the cannon opposite to the one that was destroyed at Asimov.
The Aix Gear has 2 cannons equipped on its rear and each one is independent.
Even if one was destroyed it was possible to use the other one.
“Devour it all! Millions of predators (Flesh Eater)!”
A colony of light overflows from the muzzle.
Light spores imitating flies gather around Asimov like they had a will of their own and surround him.
But when the light-insects touched Asimov’s body, his flesh became an afterimage and “blurred”.
That was one of the Azure Striker’s Abilities, to change one’s flesh to electrons and make all kinds of attacks pass through: the invincible EM boundary “Prevasion”.
“It's in vain. As long as I’ve got Prevasion no attacks can hit me.”
“Obviously. But it can serve as a distraction.”
He pulls tightly the trigger of the revolver gun “Border” with the hand that isn’t holding the Aix Gear.
When the bullet is shot from the muzzle, it becomes a black energy spheroid.
It’s a bullet that absorbs all kinds of Septima and spreads them, the Special Super Magnetic Bullet “Greedy Usurper (Power Grab)”.
The already fired energy spheroid erases the Flesh Eater as it advances aiming for Asimov.
Asimov, who noticed that bullet’s heterogeneity at the last second, barely managed to turn the body away.
The energy spheroid skimmed Asimov’s shoulder. Asimov’s whole body is suddenly struck by lethargy.
It barely touched him but the Power Grab had dispersed the Thunder Wave from Asimov.
“What is this…? Guh!!”
Asimov collapsed onto his knees.
“That’s humanity’s (our) wisdom. This bullet wasn’t on the guy’s report, right?”
He came closer and aimed the Border at a critical point.
“Be destroyed, you monster!”
“Shit!! Voltaic Chains!”
Chains tinged with lightning suddenly stretched from Asimov’s legroom and flung the Border away.
“! The Border!”
The still-stretching chains tighten onto the Aix Gear and Copen.
Like they’d reacted to Asimov’s roar, the chains tinged with lighting increased their momentum and began to strangle Copen along with powerful sparks.
Asimov quickly stood up and picked up the Border that was lying around.
“A mere damned Non-Adept was able to build something like this…!”
“St...op…! Don’t touch that gun with your filthy hands…!”
“If you like this gun so much, I’ll kill you off with it…! Dead end!!”
His consciousness hazed as the muzzle of the gun is pointed at him.
I won’t… die… here… not… yet…
But, then a familiar woman’s voice hit Copen’s lobes.
A woman clad in maid uniform totally analogous to this place all jumped out from within the Sabertooth --- it was Nori.
“Stupid Angel’s Initiation, Maid Kick!!”
Asimov, still under the effects of the Power Grab, had no choice but to dodge Nori’s flying kick.
Given the unexpected intrusion, his concentration got altered and noise ran along the image (vision) of the Voltaic Chains and jolted a little bit. Nori didn’t let the chance elude her.
She quickly grabbed Copen and pulled him away from the Voltaic Chains.
And, at the same time the maid saved Copen, the Aix Gear shattered.
If she had been slower then Copen’s body might’ve ended up like it, even…
“Let’s flee. Excuse my manners, sir, but it’s an emergency.”
Nori nimbly lifted Copen and violently threw him inside of the Sabertooth.
Even if the Aix Gear, the heaviest piece of Copen’s equipment, had been lost, the Megante Leon was also pretty heavy as well.
“I will pilot!”
Nori jumped into the pilot’s seat, closed the hatch, and began an emergency take-off.
Asimov, on the other side of the hatch, shot his own handgun but it only managed to make a few wounds on the Sabertooth’s exterior: the ship broke the outer wall of the space station and jumped into outer space.
“Are you alright, Lord Copen?”
“Nori… Why are you here…?”
“It is a maid’s job to protect you, sir. I was secretly lurking within this “Cosmo Copen”...”
“Don’t make up weird names. This spaceship is named “Sabertooth”!”
“I apologize. If that’s the case, that’s how I will refer to it from now on.”
I’d always thought of her as being unfathomable but I didn’t expect her to be SO odd…
“More importantly... That gun… I am deeply sorry that I was unable to retrieve it, sir.”
Copen’s favorite gun and his dead father’s memento, the “Border”.
She must be talking about Asimov stole it.
“Don’t mind it… You saved my life…”
Copen didn’t say anything else.
He sinks his tired body in the seat while regretting how he’d lowered the guard at the end.
While hardening the resolve to retrieve his father’s memento…