Part 155: NGAE: ~/yellow/ally/blue/ally/ally sigma\$ tenmyouji.exe
VLR OST: [Confession]
It was a really stormy day when he found me. He said the rain was coming down so hard it almost hurt, but somehow he managed to hear a baby crying. I guess I must have been crying pretty loud.
He took me home and did his best to raise me, but he'd never been married or had a kid before, so I think it was really hard for him. He couldn't figure out how to mix the formula, so he was always carrying the directions around with him. Also, I guess I was a pretty picky eater, so if he didn't get the water-to-formula ratio just right, I wouldn't eat it. I guess I was kind of a pain, huh?
But he didn't give up, and now here I am. When he found me I was really, really small, and he was worried that I might not make it. That's why he named me Quark. A quark is a really, really small thing, and I was really, really small too.
Grandpa didn't need to worry, though, because it turned out that I was pretty tough. When I was one, he forgot I was sleeping in the bed of his truck, and drove off. I rolled out and went off the back, but I didn't even get scratched. I started walking when I was two, and when he wasn't looking I fell down the stairs. I didn't get hurt then either. When I was three, I got really sick. I had a super high fever for a week, but eventually I got better.
I guess you could say I'm pretty lucky.
Anyway, I didn't really have any more accidents after that, and I was a pretty healthy kid. By the time I was six, I'd started helping Grandpa out with his work.
His job was to gather junk from abandoned buildings. Then he'd fix it up or pull out the useful parts and sell them. There were plenty of abandoned buildings, but finding good stuff in them was hard. You had to know which parts were useful, or you could end up wasting a bunch of time. Every time I'd find something, he'd explain to me what it was, how it was supposed to work, how to fix it, all sorts of things. Usually, though, I just wanted to finish up work so I could go to the theater.
The theater came to our town once a week in a wagon. They'd show old news or movies. I went every single week, but Grandpa only went once in a while, and he'd only go weeks when they showed movies.
Oh, yeah... I didn't know that I'd been adopted until I was seven. One of the other kids on my block told me.
I guess after Grandpa found me, he looked all over town to try and find somebody who'd take me. The kid from my block actually had a mom, and he'd asked her if she would take me too.
I gotta admit, I was pretty shocked when I heard that. There weren't a lot of kids with parents around, so hearing that someone lived with his actual mom was pretty impressive. I was also kind of surprised that Grandpa had tried to get someone else to take me. Did that mean he didn't want me?
The kid who'd told me about Grandpa trying to get rid of me was a real jerk. He was totally spoiled, and he'd brag to everybody about how he had a mom. He liked to come up to me while I was working and say stuff like, "Must be hard not having a mother."
It'd never bothered me before, but after I found out that Grandpa had adopted me, I started to think that maybe he didn't really want me. If I could work on my own, then he could get rid of me. I was scared to know the truth, so I never asked him.
Then one day he took me to a bar in our neighborhood. During the day, of course. He went there sometimes to drink scotch, but I'd never gone before.
When we got in he just walked up to the counter with that grumpy look he has and I thought, "Oh no, he's gonna make me work here..." But I was wrong. I saw him pass something to the bartender, and then he picked me up and set me down on a stool next to the counter. The stool was pretty high, especially for a seven year old kid, and my legs just dangled off of it. It seemed really, really high to me, and I was pretty nervous.
Eventually the bartender came back over with a glass of scotch and another big glass full of something else.
As I looked closer I realized that the second glass was full of some sort of brown liquid with a scoop of ice cream in it.
It took me a minute to realize what it was... A root beer float! I'd never seen one before! I was so surprised!
Root beer was even more expensive than the nicest alcohol in the bar. To me and the other kids it seemed more like an urban legend than a real drink... But there it was, right in front of me.
I stared at the float (I still wasn't sure it was real at that point) and then turned to look at Grandpa. He looked back at me. I didn't know what to do, so I turned to the bartender.
He'd already turned around and moved off, though, so I figured he must have put the glass down in front of me on purpose.
It still didn't seem like it could be real, and I was just staring at it when Grandpa told me to hurry up and drink it before the ice cream melted. His gruff voice sounded like an angel's. "Is this really mine?" He nodded.
Words can't describe how awesome it was. I'd never tasted anything like root beer before. The creamy sweetness of the ice cream made my entire head feel light.
I felt like the luckiest boy in the whole world. That's not an exaggeration, I really thought that. The root beer float was delicious, but what made me even happier was Grandpa. When I looked over at him, he was smiling. I know that's gotta be hard for you to imagine! But he really was. Right then I didn't care whether he'd just found me and adopted me or not.
He'd bought me a root beer float. That made me way luckier than some kid who had a mother but had never tasted root beer.
Of course, after we left the bar he was the first kid I bragged to.
[Music cuts out]
So Grandpa and I were doing pretty good... Until the fight.
I was in a super bad mood that day. I'd torn one of my shoes that morning, and some old drunk guy had yelled at me. All the junk I found was totally useless. The day was almost over, and I was fed up, so I just grabbed some random trash and took it back to the house.
VLR OST: [Blue Bird Lamentation]
When I showed what I'd found to Grandpa, he frowned.
He started going through each thing I'd brought back, explaining why they were all useless.
I got really mad and just yelled, "I don't care!" Then he got mad, and I couldn't take it anymore. So I ran away.
I was pretty upset, and I started thinking that maybe Grandpa had only adopted me so he could raise me to work and make money for him. After a while I went and hid in an abandoned building, but by then I'd started to calm down and think that maybe I should go back and apologize. It had started raining pretty hard, though, so I decided I should wait for it to stop.
...But that was just an excuse. The truth was that I was nervous. Part of me knew I'd done something wrong, but I didn't want to admit it.
The rain didn't stop, though, so I just sat there staring out at the gloomy, gray sky. I imagined Grandpa coming to get me...
It kept raining all night, and he never showed up.
I gave up waiting and decided it was time to go home. I was about halfway there when I heard somebody groaning. At first I thought I should just ignore it and not get involved, but I went over anyway and... It was Grandpa.
He was totally soaked, and I could tell right away that he'd been there for a really long time.
I yelled, and he opened his eyes a little bit. He smiled weakly and said he was glad I was safe.
He'd spent all night out in the rain, looking for me.
I felt awful. Grandpa had been out in the rain looking for me so long that he'd collapsed.
I was horrible. He'd heard me crying in the rain, but I hadn't heard him.
As I ran to get the doctor, I promised whatever god might be listening that if they would only save Grandpa, I'd never ask for another root beer float ever again.
He got a real bad fever, and his temperature wouldn't go down for days. The doctor said that if it kept up, he'd die.
If he died, then I'd be all alone. There wouldn't be anybody left to care about me. The thought of that happening terrified me.
Fortunately I must have passed some of my luck on to Grandpa, because a week later his fever finally broke. I was glad he wasn't going to die, but I was also a little scared. What if he had decided he didn't want a stupid kid like me around anymore?
My plan was to apologize as soon as he woke up, but when the moment came my brain just stopped. Grandpa started to talk, and it took me a minute to realize he was apologizing. I didn't know what to think...
He explained that he was an old man, and that meant he was probably going to die sooner rather than later. He was strict with me because he wanted to make sure I'd be able to make it on my own after he was gone, but maybe he'd been a little too strict.
All of the things I'd worried about had been stupid and selfish. Grandpa cared about me a whole lot. He'd been worried when I ran off, and he'd gone out into the rain to look for me.
I tried to apologize, but when I opened my mouth I just started crying. I don't think I've cried that much since I was a baby.
But he just smiled and patted my head.
I asked him if he'd ever regretted adopting me. His eyes got all wide and he said, "Of course not." He told me that he was looking for a really important lady, and because of that he'd had to give up on pretty much everything else in his life. But when he took me in and started raising me, he felt like he'd gotten some of what he lost back.
That was when I decided I'd stay with him forever.
Even if he said I couldn't.
VLR OST: [Virtue's Last Reward (Piano)]
And that's an ending! Good thing Quark wrote all of that down, otherwise all this might've been for nothing!
...Quark must have pretty compact handwriting, huh.
No, seriously guys, we're on the home stretch. Don't pay any attention to the ending count! It's kinda misleading!
We're filling in more and more of this thing! Anyway, here's our options, which are a lot tidier now that I've removed the fake ones.
After successfully allying with Luna, go through the Blue door with Alice and K
After escaping the Director's Office, betray Tenmyouji and Quark
After escaping the PEC, accept Clover's request and betray Tenmyouji
After successfully betraying Alice, reject Alice's suggestion and insist on taking the Green door with Luna and Clover