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 Stiker Gunvolt 2.
It's also been adapted, and is featured in the Gunvolt Side-stories Drama CD with some changes and additions to the story.
Quinn's Story Edit
How long has it been since he left his friends behind? With both mind and body dwindling, the exhausted GV has no idea how much time has passed. Pursued by both Sumeragi and QUILL, he can’t return to that place either.
Things might’ve been easier if he could have fled overseas. However, this nation is protected by a boundary (barrier) that the Sumeragi Group controls, along with emigration and immigration regulated by them as well. It is currently under a very strict control. Fleeing the country was impossible. GV had heard that his allies had managed to infiltrate this nation because they used a tiny interval where the regulation wasn’t so strict.
This was just one of the reasons Feather 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 he was actually making the border control stronger…)
Even if he is dead, his will of national defense which he tried to achieve supposedly 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 near a swamp and dies. At the same time, another bolt strikes a swamp nearby the dead man. The lightning bolt brings forth a miraculous chemical reaction in the swamp’s mud and creates a new being who is identical and has the same will as the man before his death: his looks, memories and even his atom arrangement are identical too.
The problem 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 spirit, could she be the same existence of that Joule before her death?
“I’m right here. I’ll always, always be by your side, GV.”
His throat dry, Gunvolt didn’t reply and merely shook his head.
With a sorrowful expression, Joule vanished from GV’s sight.
“Being all alone… It’s depressing...”
Within a large mansion standing in the outskirt, a girl mutters to herself while hugging a stuffed animal. Her name is “Ouka” [Quinn]. It is written using the sakura flower kanji [桜] but it is pronounced as “Ouka” (cherry blossom).
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. That was but a guess she had.
She was taken away from her parents as a child to be raised apart from them. As she can’t remember her parents’ name, she doesn’t have any means to know the truth. Truthfully, she could ask her parents, who were part of the Sakurazaki family, but she’d realized a long time ago 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 appealed as unrelated to the Sakurazaki family. However over the years, the housekeepers went on leaving the mansion one after the other: in the end there was only one 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 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 alright as well. Would you please allow me to live alone for some time?”
Surprisingly enough, her request had been accept without any objections. Seeing how her request was accepted so easily and how her lifestyle had changed to some extent, Quinn decided 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 *
While Quinn’s mind stirred, her stomach 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 suppose I should go buy some food.”
Quinn picked out a light candy 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 bad as of late, it was also 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 do you---”
The plump man suddenly gripped her arms.
“Kyah!” Quinn, surprised, tried to break free of his hands knocking the man to his backside all too easily.
“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 slow and hoarse voice. The plump man’s face became red as a tomato. He cleared his throat with a whistle and was trembling from anger.
Quinn then realized something. The men’s gazes were odd. It was obvious that they weren’t being rational --- and just as she was thinking that, the plump man pressed his hands’ palms against the asphalt road.
A mass resembling a thick tree root appeared by piercing the pavement. The tree roots squeezed Quinn to restrain her.
“Whoa! This fo’ real? It’s like a manga! Yer Septima only could make the “morning glory” flower bloom a bit faster ‘till now! And now this! That drug is great, man!”
The man laughed in a hoarse voice. Quinn’s consciousness was fading.
Just when she was about to faint, some azure feathers passed in front of her eyes.
…An… angel’s… feathers…?
It was but a coincidence.
He had just happened to be walking a deserted road when he spotted a couple ruffians attacking a lone girl, although a few meters away, right in front of his eyes. Incidents like these must happening everywhere in the world nowadays.
That asides, 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… I can’t ignore someone in danger whom I can save by lending my hand.
My body began to move before my thoughts did. Electrical currents coursed through my veins.
Before I knew it, I’d begun to run towards them.
“…Oversurge, Azure Striker!!”
An azure-glowing thunder surged straight into the nocturnal darkness.
To be continued in “Azure Striker Gunvolt 2”