Quinn's Story is a short side-story written by Toshiaki Tai, featured exclusively in Dengeki Nintendo magazine (October 2016 issue), release in August 2016 and serving as a prologue to Azure Striker Gunvolt 2.
It was compiled along with the other two side-stories in the Gunvolt Complete Works.
It has also been adapted, and is featured in the Gunvolt Side-stories Drama CD with some changes and additions to the story.
How long has it been since he left his friends behind? Exhausted, with both mind and body dwindling, GV has no way to guess that.
Pursued by both Sumeragi and Feather, he can’t return to that place either. Things might’ve been easier if he’d been able to flee the nation.
However, this nation is protected by a boundary (barrier) that the Sumeragi Group controls; emigration and immigration is strictly controlled by their subsidiaries as well. And so, fleeing the country was impossible.
GV had heard that his allies had infiltrated the nation using a tiny interval where the control wasn’t so strict. This was just one of the reasons QUILL fought in such small numbers against the giant business Sumeragi: because it was so hard to bring reinforcements over.
“To ensure the survival of the country we must remove the dangerous factors at once and build up military force“...
That was a Sumeragi Adept he’d fought, Nova, had said.
(It’s possible that he was actually making the border control stronger…)
Even if he is dead, his will of national defense which he tried to achieve must still lives within Sumeragi and this nation...
Well then, what about me? What exactly did I gain from that battle involving the Muse (Joule)?
“You’ve got me, GV, don’t you?” A peaceful apparition (Joule) whispers, her words echo in his ears. Her existence is one of the pasts (sins) that GV burdens.The dead girl’s consciousness (soul) dwells within his body.
GV sometimes thinks. About “what” she’s supposed to be.
There is a philosophical thought-experiment known as “Swampman”.
A man gets hit by a bolt of lightning when he’s next to a swamp and dies. Right afterwards, another bolt strikes the swamp next to the dead man.
The lightning bolt causes a miraculous chemical reaction in the swamp’s mud and creates a new being that has the same looks, memories and arrangement of atoms as the one who just died.
The question is… can this newly-born “swamp-man” be truly called a dead man come back to life?
Is she and her gentle speech a “swamp-man (Joule)” which his thunderbolt (Septima) had unconsciously created because he couldn’t bring himself to terms with Joule’s death? Say, for instance if she is the original Joule… Now that she has become a soul, could she be the same existence she’d been before she’d died?
“I’m right here. I’ll always, always be by your side, GV.”
His throat dry, Gunvolt didn’t reply and shook his head without strength.
With a sorrowful expression, Joule vanished from GV’s sight.
“Being all alone is lonely, indeed…”
A girl mutters to herself while hugging a stuffed animal within a large mansion standing isolated in the city’s outskirts.
Her name is “Ouka” [Quinn]. It is written using the sakura flower kanji [櫻] but it is pronounced as “Ouka” (cherry blossom) [櫻花].
She’s directly linked by blood to one of the few national plutocrats, the “Sakurazaki family”, but she is not allowed to use that surname. She was an illegitimate child.
Maybe her name was decided by her parents so that she could feel her own roots despite the prohibition to use the surname, yet that was but a guess she had. She was taken away from her parents as a child and raised apart from them. As she can’t remember her parents’ faces to begin with, she doesn’t have any means to know the truth.
Truthfully, she could ask her parent, who was still part of the Sakurazaki family, but she’d realized, even at her young age, that doing so would cause trouble to a lot of people.
She was sent to live into this wide mansion and given several housekeepers. From a public point of view, she appeared as unrelated to the Sakurazaki family. However over the years, the housekeepers went on leaving the mansion one after the other: in the end the only one that remained was a woman who took care of Quinn as if she was her daughter.
And now that housekeeper was gone as well. She passed away as a consequence of a sudden heart failure about 3 months ago.
The Sakurazaki family immediately requested a substitute care-taker (and overseer) but Quinn, who had just lost someone she considered a foster parent, wasn’t in the mood to entrust someone else to personally take care of her.
So, on the day of the housemaid’s funeral, Quinn went and told the Sakurazaki family liaison her own request, the first she had in her lifetime so far.
“I’m already 16. I could marry, even. I can handle… household duties better than the average, too. Would you please allow me to live alone for some time?”
Surprisingly enough, her request had been accepted without any objections.
Seeing how her request was accepted so easily, she didn’t go to the point of wondering what was the point of her life insofar, but she convinced on her own that the Sakurazaki family had some reasons of its own, typical of them.
Anyhow, the only conditions imposed were that she sent a regular report once a week and that it’d only last until she graduated the girls-only high school she was attending to: and thus Quinn began to live alone.
I said that I wanted to live alone and thus I mustn’t falter.
* grumble *
When Ouka’s inner mind stirred, her belly grumbled. She glanced at the clock: it was past 8:40 PM.
This depression might be because I’m hungry…
If she remembered correctly, the fridge was wholly empty. The only “food” in the mansion were some simple candies and that was it.
“I should go buy supplies.”
She lightly pinched the candies between her fingers and headed off to the supermarket near the station.
Quinn trudges along a deserted road in the night. She held a bag with the things she’d bought, ingredients and living ware, in her hand.
Her surroundings had become pretty dark but there was still quite a distance until the mansion.
Maybe it’d be best to buy a bicycle. That big mansion is some distance apart from the stores, and now that I’m alone, it’s pretty inconvenient as well.
Things had become pretty unsafe lately, and it was dangerous to walk alone at night-time.
Dangerous terrorists (QUILL) were continuously raiding Sumeragi-related facilities and there was a dangerous drug (Booster Drug) spreading around that was said to power up Septima but at the cost of destroying the user’s mind.
Incidents involving Septima Adepts made the news stir almost every day. It had been said that there were overseas countries that had lost their functions as states due to the rampage of Adepts.
Quinn tried to speed up her pace but suddenly two men appeared to block her path. They were a small plump man and a man who looked as thin as a dried up tree.
The plump man seemed to say something but Quinn didn’t understand what he was saying. Maybe it wasn’t understandable.
“Excuse me, what did you---”
The plump man suddenly gripped her arms.
Quinn, surprised, shook off his hands, abruptly making him fall on his backside.
“Gwah, hah, hah! Dumbass! What’re ya doin’? Ya tripped!”
The thin man mocked the man who’d fallen on his backside with a terribly dull and hoarse voice.
The plump man’s face became red as a tomato. He made howling sounds with his throat and was trembling from anger.
Ouka then realized something. The men’s gazes were questionable.
It was obvious that they weren’t being rational --- and just as she was thinking that, the plump man “thrust” his fists into the asphalt road.
A mass resembling a thick tree root appeared by piercing the pavement. The tree roots squeezed Quinn so as to restrain her.
“Whoa! This fo’ real? It’s like a manga! Yer Septima only made the “morning glory” flower bloom a bit faster! And now this! That drug is great, man!”
The man cackled and laughed.
Quinn’s consciousness was fading. Just when she was about to faint, some azure feathers danced in front of her eyes.
…An… angel’s… feathers…?
It was but a coincidence.
He’d been walking a deserted road when he spotted a couple of ruffians attacking a lone girl, right in front of his eyes (although a few meters away).
Incidents like these must happening everywhere in the world nowadays. That aside, he is unable to save everything in the world.
He did not know if saving the girl in front of him held any actual meaning or not.
Being weak of mind and body he might be beaten by the enemies instead. It was possible the assaulters had a reason (justice) of their own.
… But. Even so... Even so… Even so… I couldn’t ignore someone whom I could save by stretching out.
My body began to move before my thoughts did. Electrical currents coursed through the insides of my body. Before I knew it, I was running forward.
“…Oversurge, Azure Striker!!”
An azure-glowing thunderbolt surged straight into the nocturnal darkness.
To be continued in “Azure Striker Gunvolt 2”