0: Approaching the Beginning

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Qualia the Purple

Arc 2: 1/1,000,000,000th of a Kiss

Preamble: Approaching the Beginning

This may seem obvious, but every story has a beginning, and if you wanted to bring a story to a close then you had to start telling it from the beginning.

Even so, where exactly should I begin?

This story is about me, Hatou Manabu, and a certain event that happened - or perhaps it was about my entire life? (In fact, I do humbly apologize to those who might've been hoping that my cute friend Marii Yukari would be the protagonist of this story and not me, but alas I am indeed the main character here. Of course, she does play an important role in this story, but once again I really do offer my most heartfelt of apologies...) And, because I have the leading role in this story, maybe it's better if everyone tried to get to know a bit more about me? In that case, maybe I should start from my birth? From the time I was physically, or maybe emotionally, given form on this plane? Or maybe I should start from when the concept of "me" first factored into the universe?

Please tell us she's kidding.

If she starts from there, how long will we be here reading this story?

Of course, if you really wanted, I could begin from all the way back then. If you felt like it, I could even start from the day my mother and her new groom made me (in that case, the tale would begin under the shade of a tree behind our dojo in the middle of a summer afternoon fifteen years ago). If you further wished, I could start from when my two parents met, or even when they were both born, or even start with some stories about my grandparents' ancestors... Just trust me. I could do this. I just don't really particularly want to.

I could go back as far as you wanted. But that was precisely why I had to put my foot down and make a decision.

I had to break the thread of fate at some point and mark the beginning to this story.

And so, let us return to the original question.

Exactly when does a story begin?

Does a story begin when a situation develops which befits a story?

Or is a story born from the moment someone makes a decision to tell it?

If we unravel the chain, then one could say such a situation developed right after her death.

She transferred out of our school, and because of that she met her demise.

Pushing further, she - Marii Yukari - had transferred out of our school because a certain other girl had come to study abroad here.

So, should I start telling the story from there?

Or, maybe I should start telling the story from a certain phone call I received on a night after I had been relentlessly questioned by this blonde-haired girl from abroad?

The call was from someone that couldn't possibly be calling me, and it also foretold of events to come.

So, maybe I really should start from there...

No. No, I really do want to begin this story from that day.

Yes, I might be here asking you about where I should start this story from, but the truth is that I've already decided. The day Yukari and I first met... that day might not have any direct connection with the events to come, but I wanted to believe that that day was the start of everything. It was a very important day for me - I really do apologize for being so roundabout with all this, but this is my story, so please just let me tell it how I want. I mean, it's not like it's that important of a story anyways - and at any rate I'm going to probably just end it like this: "And it turned out everything was a dream. Tadaa~~."

So, just as I wanted, I'm going to start this story like this:

This story begins on the day I met a girl named Marii Yukari: a girl who claimed she saw all living beings other than herself as robots.

Or, if I want to be a bit more dramatic:

This story begins from my first kiss.

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