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's also been adapted, and is featured in the 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 a young man -- Gunvolt.
The very first Septima to be called the “strongest”, the “Azure Striker” that can control electrons, Gunvolt was a Adept with that ability.
Copen’s had his 2nd chance encounter with Gunvolt here, on Firmament.
Copen has challenged him to battle with his creed of “I will make sure to kill any Septima Adepts that appear in front of me” and had been defeated.
Why…? Why didn’t I win?
He’d gone to the ends of having him fight the Sumeragi Adepts and then bring down the survivor so as to achieve his goal: that should’ve been efficient enough.
But it was true that he wasn’t in a situation in which he could choose how to fight the Septima Adepts, monsters beyond human knowledge.
He’d done a lot of things insofar to be able to kill Adepts.
Developing a special jacket that would mechanically support his body, so as to be capable of fighting the enemies strengthened by the "Glaives".
Tireless training day after day to be able to perfectly employ the jacket.
He rummaged like a hyena the fragments of "Glaives" from the remains of the Sumeragi Adepts that Gunvolt killed and retrieved the Septima Inducers.
Develop a gear that was able to pseudo-recreate the Septima based on that data --- and kill the Adepts (Monsters) even if he had to employ a power that was similar to the evil power that he hated, the Septima.
Copen, being a “mere human”, had no other choice but to do that to be able to fight the Septima Adepts.
Things should’ve been different the first time, back when he’d first encountered Gunvolt.
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’d postpone it for the next chance, and pull out… But, then, why did things turn out like this?
Ego, anger, impatience --- all types of emotions cross his mind.
Copen naturally strongly clenched the grip touching his fist.
And he’s startled.
That was a memento of his dead father, a revolver gun.
The bullets loaded on that gun, named “Power Grab”, had the effect of spreading all across the air and disturbing a Adept’s Septima flow.
It was a Pseudo Septima (Copy Ability) analyzed from a magnetism Adept.
This ability’s original owner was a guy with encephalomyopathy (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 Copen’s developed Power Grab being a copy that had its power drastically reduced to something inferior, it displayed effects better than the original in terms of maneuverability.
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 might’ve been no more than excessive ego for all he knew.
Maybe the fact that he’d gained a sure-kill weapon that would provide an absolute advantage when facing the Adepts had given birth to carelessness on his part.
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 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 ignored Copen and left.
“What was that?”
Copen tried to stand up but, suddenly, the jacket’s motor squeaked and began to emit sparks.
In the meanwhile, Gunvolt, without turning back, is swallowed into the depths of Firmament.
I’ve been spared? By that kin-killer demon, “Gunvolt”, that’s buried the Sumeragi Adepts?
Copen didn’t know it.
That Gunvolt isn’t a ruthless demon.
And that he’s just like Copen: he’s no more than a young man with a narrow field of vision that shakes off what’s right and anything else and fights for those that he believes in.
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.
He spits out his best bluff, and bolds up his wounded body.
The strengthening jacket’s starting to wear out as well.
The muscles throughout his body were screaming.
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, he could clearly say that Nova was the predominant one.
But Copen had a mysterious 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.
“It’s an unexpected turn of things and the jacket’s suffered a lot of damage. The mission’s cancelled. I’m coming back.”
“An unexpected turn of things…is it.”
Copen, having lost to Gunvolt, and having sustained a lot of damage in both body and equipment, was in no condition to have unnecessary fights.
The strengthening jacket supporting his body “Megante Leon” seemed to be wearing out as well, since its movements were getting dull here and there.
Since he’d set it up having today’s mission, a prolonged sneaking mission, in mind, the battery consumption had been greatly reduced compared to the usual rate, but the battle he’d just had consumed most of the battery.
Seeing his current state, he reminds himself once again that the Septima Adepts, with close to limitless energy supply and high applicability, are indeed monsters outside of the scope.
Gunvolt’s a good example of that. His Thunder Ability can freely change form into a sword or a barrier.
“If that is the case, should I come pick you up, sir?”
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.
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, 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, and she displayed activity in all kind of fields, to 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”.
“Be reasonable. To begin with: you’ve got no transportation to come all the way 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 arranging for the spacecraft.
In short, she was talking about the impossible to begin with, and her “pick you up” surely was a joke typical of her…
She’s always indifferent, so it’s hard to know when she’s joking.
“…Understood. Maybe I should stop transmitting to avoid the enemy noticing us, sir.”
“Yeah. I’ll switch this off for a while.”
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 close calls, but he survived the difficulties and made it to the front of the “Sabertooth”.
But there was someone wholly unexpected there.
A white-haired man with sunglasses was touching the Sabertooth’s white body and peeking into the cockpit.
He’d seen him before in some materials he’d gotten from Nori.
If memory served, his name was Asimov.
He was one of the founding members that had established QUILL and a Septima Adept with an unknown ability who fought on the battlefields in person.
So he’d been able to come all the way here even…
“This machine… a vehicle? Doesn’t seem to be a Sumeragi design…”
Who'd have said that it wouldn’t be a Sumeragi member, but an intruder like him that’d stumble upon the vehicle?
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 battle with GV but it’s easily blocking the handgun’s bullets.
“Those attacks and that weapon… You’re the Non-Adept hat 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, 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. You said that we both had info about each other, right?”
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 expedited.
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 is a very dangerous existence indeed… I’ll pierce and destroy you with my Azure Striker!”
Blue and white electricity surges out from Asimov’s body.
He was surprised that Asimov had the same Thunder Ability as GV but he quickly changed his thoughts.
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 surely wasn’t a mistake to consider that, despite it being 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”.
“Impossible. As long as I’ve got Prevasion no attacks can get a hold of me.”
“Obviously. But it can serve as a distraction.”
He pulls 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)”.
Maybe it was a side-effect but the Aix Gear suddenly stopped moving.
The already fired energy spheroid sucks up 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 Greed Snatcher had sucked off the Thunder Wave from Asimov.
“What is this…?”
Unable to withstand the sudden energy depletion, Asimov collapsed onto his knees.
“That’s humanity’s (our) wisdom. Humanity, by learning and growing, became able to even hunt large beasts… This bullet wasn’t on the guy’s report, am I right?”
He came closer and aimed the Border at a critical point.
“Be destroyed, you non-human!”
“Not yet! 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…!”
His consciousness begins to haze.
I won’t… die… here… not… yet…
A familiar woman’s voice hit Copen’s lobes then.
A woman clad in maid uniform totally analogous to this place all jumped out from within the Sabertooth.
The maid attempted to strike Asimov with a dagger knife.
Asimov, still under the effects of the Greed Snatcher, had no other choice but to dodge.
Given the unexpected intrusion by the maid, his concentration got altered and noise ran along the image (vision) of the Voltaic Chains and jolted a little bit.
The maid uses that opening.
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…
“Please excuse my lack of manners, sir, but it is an emergency.”
Nowa throws Copen 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.
She had a lot of strength despite her slender body.
Nowa jumped into the cockpit as well, closed the hatch, and performed 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 and the Sabertooth escaped Firmament.
“Are you alright, Lord Copen?”
“Nori… Why are you here…?”
“It is a maid’s job to protect you, sir.”
“That’s not it. You’re not going to tell me you were hiding in the Sabertooth all along?”
“It was complicated to transmit to you, Lord Copen, without you noticing me, sir.”
Copen sighs * huff * at how Nori, as usual, says amazing things without changing her facial expression.
I’d always thought of her as a bottomless woman but I didn’t expect her to be THIS capable…
“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…
The End Gear’s armor.