Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda

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SPOILER WARNING: rey infinito spoiler details may follow.

If we get an opportunity to leave Antigua, I'll try to seize it just as hard as he is. But I've never been able to put voice to all these thoughts.
—Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 3: III - Guatemala Arc

Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda (ホアキン・ルイス=ホルーダ, Hoakin Ruisu=Horūda) is a former primary ally and the Stand of Octavio Luna Kan featured in the light novel rey infinito.

Due to Octavio's ability, he is not just a Stand but also a human, created to be Octavio's friend. He is believed to be a mestizo orphan by everyone, including himself. He temporarily becomes part of the Speedwagon Foundation as an investigator after proving his usefulness. Together with Octavio, the two become known as a legendary duo surpassing even J.D. Hernández and Lisa Lisa, known as the Huérfanos de la Tormenta (嵐の孤児たち(ウエルファノス・デ・ラ・トルメンタ), Uerufanosu de ra Torumenta, lit. Orphans of the Storm).[7]

Appearance

Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda is a mestizo with a short and frail body[1] along with fair skin.[3] His amber eyes and expressions help him convey what he wants to say since he cannot speak aside from making sounds. He has an indecipherable gaze at times, but there is a subtle wisdom behind it.[1] After joining the Speedwagon Foundation in his late teens, he wears a black suit with the wheel logo.[7]

In late 1974, Joaquín's hair grows to his shoulders and takes on a dull, greasy sheen as he wanders to various remote locations while trapped in El Aleph's eternal night.[6] When Joaquín is an adult in 1986, he changes quite a bit in appearance as Lisa Lisa and the others in the Foundation don't immediately recognize him. He lost weight which makes him look more fierce. He has braided hair, dark bags under his eyes, and a black mark in the shape of a dragon tattoo coiled around his wrist. The mark slides around his body or engulfs him completely when he is using his abilities as El Aleph. He is also described to be reminiscent of a translucent creature dwelling in deep waters,[8] and is sometimes seen as being semi-transparent.[6] However, he is normally fully visible like an ordinary human.[9]

Personality

Joaquín is a calm and vigilant teenager who desires to be as free as the wind, living a life free of strife.[7] He was born with a speech impediment and cannot speak his thoughts with his voice. Instead, he grunts, makes noises, and uses his expressions and gestures to convey his messages.[1] Depending on the situation, he can write down his thoughts instead, such as when he answers Lisa Lisa's question before she hires him and Octavio.[7] He wishes that he could have telepathy to communicate with his allies,[10] but usually manages to make people understand what he wants to say through pantomimes.[11] However, he actually does have a telepathic bond with Octavio, due to Octavio being his user. Although he is unaware of it, they use that to their advantage to catch Alhorn off guard.[12] As a cautious person, Joaquín is highly observant and utilizes his skills to analyze his opponent's powers and any weaknesses they may have.[10][11]

Joaquín's primary trait is that he considers himself as Octavio's protector and is happy to play that role. Not only is he Octavio's closest friend, but also his sworn brother. He acts both like a younger brother who follows Octavio around and like an elder brother who advises Octavio and leads the way.[9] Joaquín usually grunts in agreement in response to what Octavio says.[3] He goes wherever Octavio wants to, acts as Octavio's voice of reason, and acts cautiously when Octavio makes impulsive decisions. He compares Octavio to being Pinocchio, thinking of himself as Jiminy Cricket or a bard singing of Octavio's exploits. Although there are times where Octavio is uncooperative or does things that Joaquín dislikes, he considers them as being inseparable since Octavio is the only one who could easily understand what a mute like him is thinking ever since they were kids. Lisa Lisa states that he and Octavio are like the binary system given human form; Octavio rushes toward any possibility like the number 1, whereas Joaquín is a bottomless receptacle of knowledge like the number 0. Octavio hasn't paid attention to lectures ever since he was a child, relying on Joaquín to listen for him. Joaquín is always interested in learning new things and gaining knowledge.[7] He puts in an exceptional amount of effort in studying, listening to J.D.'s lessons, and memorizing the Speedwagon Foundation's mission statement, to the point where he could accurately recite what he learned word by word.[13] Whenever Octavio would go flirt with women, Joaquín would considerately wait outside while Octavio sneaked into a girl's room.[9]

He also does any task asked of him without grumbling or complaining, making him well-suited to being an investigator. However, Joaquín never would have joined the Foundation on his own if Octavio hadn't pleaded to join. While Octavio could name a bunch of things he would want to change in his life, Joaquín couldn't name a single thing he would like to change.[7] Unlike Octavio, Joaquín actually enjoys doing menial tasks like cleaning and peddling junk they find on the streets as a cover job for their investigation, believing this kind of work suits him.[13]

After evolving into El Aleph in 1974, Joaquín wanders the eternal night while closing off his senses. He starts doubting reality, questioning whether he is even human. He only remains sane thanks to Octavio's voice. He feels regret, shame, and guilt for being the one whose power put them in this situation. His and Octavio's desires for revenge against Alhorn grows, eventually leading the duo into committing several gruesome acts and immoral deeds. After they form the Selva Cartel, Joaquín surrenders himself to the darkness, only relying on his survival instincts. Devoid of any passion or reason, Joaquín abandons his conscience and voraciously attacks his prey while following Octavio's orders.[6] His voice becomes more distorted than before, like the pent-up rumbling at the bottom of a valley.[8]

Despite sacrificing his sense of self for several years, Joaquín's deeply ingrained morals return upon reuniting with Lisa Lisa, Sasha Loggins, and Hernández in 1986. He doesn't truly want to hurt them and openly defies Octavio's orders twice. Upon learning that he is actually a Stand, he thinks that he is stupid for never realizing it himself before. He cries upon realizing how many cruel acts he committed for Octavio's sake. Joaquín even hates Octavio a bit for never telling him that he was just Octavio's ability and not a normal human, believing Octavio must have realized at some point. Nonetheless, his bond with Octavio is unbreakable, and he continues shielding his user against The House of Earth's punches. Lisa Lisa believes that Joaquín is more human than anyone else, claiming that his opposition to Octavio's evil deeds makes him a beacon of hope and that he could be the guiding light for the Foundation.[9]

Abilities

Stand

Imaginary Entity Creation

Lisa Lisa theorizes that the original ability of Octavio's Stand allowed him to create a friend with a completely independent self, accompanied by both flesh and spirit. She assumes that it's probably an ability that could only be activated once in a lifetime. As a lonely orphan, Octavio subconsciously created Joaquín, a true friend who is not only just the body of his Stand. Joaquín is fully visible to everyone and stands by Octavio's side. Although he can act independently, his desires do not significantly deviate from Octavio's. Joaquín's traits are all mostly what Octavio wished for, aside from not being able to speak out loud, though the two can still communicate telepathically.[9]

El Aleph

Main article: El Aleph

After Alhorn shoots him with the Arrow, Joaquín evolves into the Requiem Stand El Aleph. Not knowing that he is a Stand, he believes El Aleph to be his own Stand rather than being himself. It causes him to envelop his surroundings with an infinitely lasting night. Nearby organisms will feel lethargic and are put to sleep. He can also summon nightmarish creatures from the darkness.

El Aleph (無限の王(エル・アレフ))Link to this section
NoPicAv.png
Debut
Ability
Infinite Night Inducement, Infinite Eldritch Creature Creation

Personal

Joaquín is nimble like an animal with high endurance despite his frail body, making him skilled in stealth operations.[1][10] He is capable of moving quickly such as during the game of Hopscotch, where he evades all the weapons thrown at him and hops back to the cars faster than all the other investigators.[7] Joaquín's memory is sharp enough to write out priests' sermons down to the very word. He also has the ability to carefully monitor every inch of his surroundings,[7] and is extremely adept at climbing, being able to scale a building about 20 stories tall without a tether while the whole structure is constantly tilting.[11] Lisa Lisa is interested in his hidden potential.[7]

Extraordinary Senses

When Joaquín faces adversity, such as when one of his senses are taken away or he's covered in wounds, his senses are capable of evolving as if his nerves extend out into the world like capillaries. By letting his mind go utterly silent, he claims that he can see light even in the dark, feel everything such as the tiniest dust and particles, and hear or smell the faintest sounds or scents. He does not blink or breathe while in this state of concentration. With his enhanced senses, Joaquín could ignore the pain he feels, relying on his adrenaline and muscles to complete what he set out to do.[11]

He uses this skill to navigate in the darkness without any light, as he easily finds Hernández in the underground tunnels and guides him to the exit despite it being pitch black in there.[1] He naturally senses the tiny gaps and bumps on Alhorn's citadel, and constantly bounces higher up while climbing as if his whole body is a spring, disregarding his puncture wounds from Écue-Yamba-Ó's barbed wires.[11] This also enables him to see the afterimages of the movements of La Casa Verde's roots, allowing him to understand the role of each root and classify them into specific categories.[10]

Morality Viewing

According to Octavio, both he and Joaquín are capable of perceiving the light and darkness within people, allowing them to know whether one is righteous like an angel or evil like a demon. He claims that they're usually correct and that it must be gifts they received for being orphans who are very close to the gods.[3] This ability helps them succeed with gathering information and completing their first mission for Lisa Lisa.[7]

History

Background

One night, Octavio Luna Kan sneaked out of the orphanage and visited Cerro de la Cruz, a large hill overlooking Antigua. In his loneliness, he created Joaquín with his Stand ability. Joaquín saw Octavio playing alone with a ball made out of balled-up cloth and strings. Joaquín slowly approached Octavio and picked up the ball while looking at the goal post, so Octavio allowed Joaquín to be the goalie. Soon after, Joaquín was raised in a missionary-run orphanage where Octavio already was.[13] The two became inseparable, but were eventually thrown out after refusing to join a seminary. Since then, Joaquín decided to follow Octavio, who made a name for himself in the streets and acquired a back-alley network of other orphans, homeless people, and peddlers.

J.D. Hernández, an investigator from the Speedwagon Foundation, hired Octavio and Joaquín as informants to help him catch the Monstruo of Antigua.[1]

rey infinito

Guatemala Arc

Battling the Monstruo of Antigua

At night on Friday, April 20, 1973, Hernández passes by the ruins of the Convento Santa Clara and meets up with Octavio and Joaquín. Octavio informs him that the killer is on the move, and Joaquín grunts and gestures with his arms and body to communicate. Despite Joaquín's speech impediment, Hernández is still able to understand what he is trying to say through his expressions. Hernández learns that the killer attacked the sacristan at the La Merced church. Before leaving, Hernández tells Octavio and Joaquín not to engage with the killer if they find him.

Knowing the path that the killer would take, Octavio stages an ambush at the other end of a tunnel and has Joaquín follow Hernández inside to bring him back to safety. Joaquín finds Hernández and grabs his hand, forcefully running so that they could escape from the tunnel. As Hernández wonders how Joaquín managed to find his way there and avoid all the obstacles without any light, a swarm of flies suddenly rains down on them. Joaquín and Hernández manage to escape from the tunnel and emerge in the plaza in front of a cathedral thanks to Joaquín's navigational skills. The plaza is filled with spectators due to the climax of the parade. Octavio then calls out that he caught the killer. Octavio pins the man down while Hernández, other Foundation workers, soldiers, an old homeless lady, and merchant children rush over to the scene. Before Hernández could yell at the locals to leave, a massive swarm of flies covers the entire sky. Lisa Lisa takes off her disguise as the old homeless lady and defeats the killer with her Ripple.

Joining the Speedwagon Foundation

Hernández has Octavio and Joaquín treated by the doctors in the Speedwagon Foundation as they offer far better resources, quality of care, and surgeries than any normal hospital. Lisa Lisa asks Octavio and Joaquín if they want money to keep quiet or if they would rather learn her tricks. Octavio reveals the duo's ambitions of wanting to leave the war-torn city so they can experience an adventure beyond the borders. He begs Lisa Lisa to recruit them as investigators for the Foundation but she isn't swayed by their story, and refuses to bend the rules the Speedwagon Foundation has about not involving itself with humanitarian aid or recruiting local hires. Octavio and Joaquín persist but Hernández rejects them in Lisa Lisa's stead. Octavio then reveals that both he and Joaquín possess a special power that allows them to perceive the morality of people, which they believe they acquired from being close to their gods. Although Lisa Lisa questions whether he's speaking the truth, she picks up on their worth and resolve, and presents them with a challenge if they want to join.[3]

Their first task from Lisa Lisa is to investigate whether there are more people hiding abilities like Fabio's. They use their massive network of informants to amass information from anyone they could find. They also craft sob stories to appeal to people's emotions, such as an eccentric old lady who refused to answer anything. Their second task is to discover how Fabio had acquired his ability. They travel to the maquiladora where he worked and interview the landlord of the apartment where he lived. They realize that Hernández and his team already investigated the same areas and wonder if this is a competition Lisa Lisa set up to see which group would find the truth first. They think back to Fabio's backstory and decide to find the trafficker that scammed Fabio. Octavio knew that most traffickers had bad intentions, robbing customers who couldn't pay and then leaving them in the forest, such as what happened to Pedro Ochoa and Enrique. Octavio and Joaquín's informants expand their search to neighboring villages and they gather together all the rumors and secrets they heard. They eventually learn that the boss of the trafficker in charge of Fabio's home village changed right before Fabio's plan to cross the border. Since then, the organization got a lot shadier, demanding exorbitant fees, forcing people to walk through dangerous areas, and shooting them with arrows.

The duo hands their report to Lisa Lisa four days after she gave them the challenge, before the deadline elapsed. They found one of the trafficker gangs stationed in the forests northeast of Guatemala City and know its general location, so they offer to accompany Lisa Lisa there as official members of the team. After reading the report, Lisa Lisa gives them a speech about fluorescent lights flickering at an imperceptible rate. She compares herself and the boys as living beneath the light, but there are some who live beneath the flickers of darkness. It's the Speedwagon Foundation's duty to capture the flicker of darkness. She asks if they're ready to hide from society by becoming members of the Foundation, and finally asks what the biggest lie they've ever told is. Joaquín grabs a notepad and writes down that saying he hasn't ever lied is the biggest lie he's ever told. Lisa Lisa appreciates his answer and accepts them as members.[7]

A Game of Hopscotch

Accompanied by Lisa Lisa, Octavio, and Joaquín, the research group led by J. D. travel by car to their destination. They pass by Mayan ruins and Lisa Lisa gives them a history lesson while Joaquín listens carefully. They reach their destination, arriving at a small settlement where the human traffickers are rumored to be. However, the place appears to be deserted. They decide to investigate anyways since they came all this way. As soon as Octavio exits the car, he steps on the prongs of a half-buried rake, severely injuring the toes of one foot.

Several of the Foundation investigators begin to fall in holes. Joaquín notices chalk drawings of shapes on the ground and makes noises while pointing to them. Hernández understands what he's trying to say, deducing that anyone who steps inside of a shape drawn in chalk will fall into a hole. However, Octavio reveals that he's already stepping inside one but hasn't fallen. Joaquín copies Octavio's posture with one foot up causing Octavio and Hernández to realize that this is a game of hopscotch. As the group stands on one foot, Hernández orders them to focus on getting back to the car before thinking of a rescue plan. Suddenly, they see a large number of shapes being drawn on the ground by an invisible evil spirit, covering the ground with patterns. Making matters worse, a rusty sickle is thrown at Hernández's thigh, making it difficult for him to keep his balance. Several sickles, hatchets, knives, and rakes are sent flying toward the investigators, causing more of them to fall into holes.

Joaquín nearly hops back to the cars, reaching there faster than the others. However, the evil spirit draws underneath their cars, creating a hole beneath the car Lisa Lisa is sitting in. However, she manages to save herself by using the Ripple on her muffler alongside acrobatic techniques. Lisa Lisa informs them that there is no need to retreat. Instead, they now have more data about these abilities. She thinks that the ability can't spread its power over a wide range, so the user must be hiding nearby. Octavio and Joaquín both understand what she means, thinking the user might be hiding in the water tank in the corner of the plaza. Octavio and Joaquín hop to the water tank, finding a 15-year-old mixed orphan named Izahela Mena-Mena who was the user of an ability later named "Hopscotch" in the investigation files. She collapses from exhaustion and they find that she was assisted by other children who were throwing the weapons.

The Speedwagon Foundation takes Izahela and the other children into custody and they learn from her testimony about a man named Alhorn being the leader of the traffickers, who used an Arrow on herself and several others. Lisa Lisa gives a speech about mysterious phenomena occurring in Peru and possibly other locations caused by what seems to be a virus. She hypothesizes that a man who wished for the power of a god made the Arrows from minerals at these locations and there must be several of these Arrows throughout the world. Lisa Lisa states that it is now the Speedwagon Foundation's duty to retrieve every arrow in circulation. For the present, they will focus on capturing the subordinates of Alhorn and recover the arrows they possess in Latin America. At night, Octavio feels restless from Lisa Lisa's speech, excited that he has a new opportunity for gaining power. Never seeing Octavio in this state before, even Joaquín feels excited about the potential that awaits them.[7]

Peru Arc

Tracking Down Alhorn

While on the road or at their lodgings, Joaquín and Octavio have to go through physical training and studying, which Joaquín takes seriously and puts his utmost effort into. In 1974, Joaquín and Octavio are in San Juan de Lurigancho, Peru, working as salvage dealers as a cover job for their investigation. They would clean up junk and sell them for money, giving most of their change to homeless people in exchange for information. Joaquín enjoys the cover job, feeling that he is suited for it.

At their base in Lima, Octavio is more interested in learning the Ripple power that Lisa Lisa uses. Hernández explains that it isn't just a simple trick but a profound martial art technique. Joaquín, having studied the history, elaborates that the Ripple is an ancient technique passed down from hermits in the East and that grueling training is required. Just then, Lisa Lisa arrives at the base to begin the briefing of what they learned from Fabio and Izahela.[13]

Octavio and Joaquín decide to investigate at the barriada, where Lisa Lisa lost communication with her special investigators. Still pretending to be salvage dealers, they pull a cart full of scrap around to blend in with the locals. While looking around, they witness cats acting territorially aggressive. At night, Joaquín goes to buy groceries. Octavio ends up being attacked in the plaza by around ten thugs, but turns the situation around and beats them all. A corrupt officer who led the ambush arrives and threatens Octavio, but Octavio negotiates with the man to bring him to Alhorn after he mentions that he has information. Joaquín, who was hiding, overhears their conversation and secretly follows the patrol car up past several hills.[14]

Infiltrating the Citadel

Joaquín is about 20 meters away from the citadel when he suddenly sees flashing lights. He realizes that it is a message in Morse code from Octavio. The message indicates that Octavio has located prisoners in the top of the south building, who need to be rescued immediately. After a few moments, Joaquín answers "OK" using his flashlight.[15]

As he approaches the southern building, he notices its construction against a cliff side, making direct entry challenging due to the guards and patrols. However, the southern side is less guarded. After navigating various obstacles, Joaquín finds himself at the base of the southern building, ready to scale its walls despite it being about 20 stories tall. Joaquín is confident about his natural climbing abilities, using bars and poles embedded in the wall to pull himself up. He encounters a few challenges while climbing, including a loose pipe and the increasing height that plays tricks on his perception. However, he then touches a sticky, glowing substance which illuminates in a fluorescent yellow-green, revealing a grid-like pattern across the wall.

Suddenly, an eerie chant, "Écue-Yamba-Ó," echoes around him. It reminds Joaquín of the venomous warning of a scorpion. As the chant persists, the glowing grid on the wall seems to come alive, and Joaquín realizes he had activated some sort of sensor. To his horror, the entire building begins to tilt towards the cliff, indicating he had triggered a defense mechanism of the complex. He tries to navigate the wall, but the sticky web is not only adhesive but also barbed. The barbed wires stab his entire body, covering him in both blood and goo. The more he tries to move, the more he becomes ensnared. Amidst his struggle, Joaquín tries to deduce the nature of the mysterious substance and gives it the same name as the eerie chant echoing around him. He theorizes that this might be the work of someone with powers similar to Fabio and Izahela. Given the vast coverage of the sticky net, Joaquín ponders whether the user of this power is nearby or if the ability activates automatically upon contact. With the wall nearing a 120-degree tilt, Joaquín would die if he were to fall.

In a moment of introspection, Joaquín recalls his unique ability and closes his eyes to enhance his senses. He never really had to use this power in his hometown, but now, as a member of the Speedwagon Foundation, it is his key to survival. Joaquín launches himself upwards, using the wall's tiny imperfections as footholds. Despite the extreme angle and the pain from the barbs, he continues to leap higher, relying on his heightened senses to guide him. The building nearly tilts to 180 degrees, but Joaquín swings across ladders like monkey bars and finally reaches his destination. He finds a vent and squeezes inside the duct, making his way inside. He takes a moment to catch his breath and regain his balance, as his world is right-side-up again. Écue-Yamba-Ó's siren also goes silent.[11]

Prison Escape

Joaquín discovers a dimly lit room filled with around 15 prisoners, appearing more like a quarantine ward than a jail. As he assesses the situation, a woman recognizes the logo of the Speedwagon Foundation on his uniform and identifies herself as Sasha Loggins, one of Lisa Lisa's special investigators. Joaquín explains that he can't talk so the two communicate using a pen and paper. Sasha reveals that the prisoners, including herself, had been shot with Alhorn's Arrow to observe the after-effects. She shows Joaquín the wound on her chest, which embarrasses him. Her partner, Gustave Shaulo Messina, unfortunately did not survive. Sasha expresses her intent to escape with Joaquín's help, declaring that she would serve as Joaquín's "radar" using her ability to see the evil spirits.[11]

They stealthily navigate the building, avoiding guards and checkpoints, while Sasha incapacitates any guard who sees them using the Ripple. Despite wearing camouflage attire, Octavio interrupts their progress by noisily greeting Joaquín. Octavio mentions being hurt by barbed wires, so Joaquín wonders if Écue-Yamba-Ó works inside the building as well. Octavio then reveals that he had intentionally started a fire in the building as a distraction, believing it would force Alhorn to evacuate with the Arrow. Suddenly, an explosion rocks the building, indicating the fire had reached a gas cylinder. The group rushes back to evacuate the immobile prisoners by putting them on gurneys. Despite the chaos, they manage to reach the bottom floor, only to be confronted by more guards at the bridge's entrance. Octavio and Sasha defeat the guards, but Alhorn's right-hand man, Dos Santos, blocks their way.[10]

Battle Against Dos Santos

Dos Santos summons his own ability, La Casa Verde, causing the surroundings to change dramatically. Trees burst through the floor, their roots intertwining and transforming the bridge into a dense forest. As they try to retreat, aerial roots attack them like predatory snakes. These roots ensnare people, pulling them into the air and binding them. Octavio, caught by these roots, manages to free himself with Joaquín's help using a machete Octavio stole from an earlier guard. Dos Santos hovers above them, manipulating the forest as an extension of himself.

Joaquín closes his eyes, enhancing his senses to decipher the patterns and roles of the different roots in the forest. He identifies six types of roots, each with a specific function. Among them, he believes that targeting the respiratory roots might be the key to hindering Dos Santos's control over the forest. However, the rapidly growing forest makes it challenging to communicate this insight to his allies. He tries to telepathically speak to them, but fails.[10]

Lisa Lisa and Hernández arrive at the citadel by following signals left behind by Joaquín, and witness their comrades struggling against Dos Santos. Octavio desperately attempts to choke Dos Santos, using all his strength to keep him restrained. However, the roots relentlessly try to pry Octavio off and even attempt to invade his mouth. Meanwhile, Joaquín swings from root to root, trying to get closer to assist his friend. Sasha's ability awakens, sending a bird carrying her braided cord to Octavio. It manages to reach Octavio thanks to Joaquín adding extra weight to the roots, making them sag down. Lisa Lisa and Sasha both transfer as much Ripple energy as they could through the other end of the braid. The Ripple surges through Octavio harmlessly and transfers into Dos Santos, incapacitating him and ceasing the aggressive growth of the forest. Octavio had passed out from exhaustion while strangling Dos Santos, so Joaquín carries him on his back.

Suddenly, an intense pain engulfs Joaquín and Octavio. Joaquín turns around to see that Alhorn had shot them with the Arrow using a crossbow. He taunts them about their changed fates and promises to meet them again, before escaping from his hideout on a truck. The duo fall unconscious while Lisa Lisa, Sasha, and Hernández rush to their side.[16]

Eternal Night

Joaquín and Octavio are taken to the Foundation's infirmary. Joaquín finds himself in a disoriented state, drifting between consciousness and sleep, unable to discern the passage of time. Every time he awakens, it is always night. The Foundation's staff, including medical officers and researchers, frequently visit Joaquín, but Octavio is conspicuously absent. The staff's demeanor towards Joaquín had changed, with many appearing suspicious and melancholic. Joaquín feels increasingly isolated and yearns for Octavio's presence.

Sasha visits Joaquín and describes Dos Santo's Fantasma, reassuring Joaquín that she does not see any Fantasma near him. Lisa Lisa also visits Joaquín, advising him to rest and sharing stories of her past upon Joaquín's request. Joaquín realizes how him and Octavio are now a part of her story, and she is a part of theirs. However, the atmosphere shifts when Lisa Lisa reveals the grim news about Octavio. He had contracted a severe infection from the Arrow wound, leading to gangrene in his left thigh. To save his life, the Foundation had no choice but to amputate his leg. Devastated by the news, Joaquín later visits Octavio, who appears drastically different. Octavio is pale, spiritless, and expresses envy and confusion over why Joaquín had been chosen by the Arrow but not him. Despite Joaquín's daily visits, Octavio remains in this desolate state.

Joaquín finds himself in a state of heightened awareness, sensing the world more acutely than ever before. He realizes that despite not being able to see his own Fantasma yet, he has awakened powers from the Arrow. Joaquín despairs that anyone becomes lethargic when they are near him, recognizing the curse of his newfound power. Deciding that staying at the Foundation would be detrimental to their mission and could potentially harm others, Joaquín chooses to leave, as if sentencing himself to exile. As he makes his way out, he walks past Octavio's room. Despite appearing dazed, Octavio demands to come along. Joaquín hesitates, but agrees. The two of them set out together, leaving the Foundation behind. Joaquín's power continues to manifest as they travel, turning everything around him into night and causing life to wither.[5]

Final Arc

Wandering in Darkness

Pulling around Octavio on a cart, Joaquín finds himself wandering without direction. They avoid populated areas, traveling through desolate landscapes. Joaquín's senses dull and his sleep is fragmented by circadian rhythm disorders. The lack of sunlight makes him question his humanity, finding solace only in Octavio's voice. Joaquín bears the weight of Octavio's vulnerability and his own guilt for being chosen by the Arrow. He would rummage through deserted houses, resting in sheep pens and charnel houses. He made fires by a riverside, filtering dirty water using rags to give to Octavio. With no home to return to, they venture east into the jungle, a decision spurred by Octavio's suggestion. They ruminate about their past, seeking revenge against Alhorn. Their life in the Amazon is primal, as they briefly settle in various areas. They build a hut north of the Rio Branco and live as hunter-gatherers. Later, they settle on an area made of volcanic deposits near the lower Marañón River and live with a dying tribe. Their journey and conditions spawns rumors and tales among local villagers, painting them as devils, spirits, vampires, or supernatural beings.[6]

Their path changes upon meeting a revolutionary from Ayacucho, who convinces them to use their unique abilities for political upheaval in South America. Reluctantly, Joaquín and Octavio agree, drawn by a sense of shared identity and the injustices by the government detailed by the revolutionary. They became protectors of a coca leaf commune in the northeastern Amazon, which funds the revolution. They use their abilities to safeguard the community, mediating between the commune's farmers and drug traffickers. They enforce stable prices and fair trade, protecting the commune from untrustworthy dealers. When the elderly farm owner of the commune passes away from a heart attack, Octavio and Joaquín take over the farm's management. They are able to expand their sales channel and rapidly grow the commune into a major drug organization, eventually taking over its management and forming the Selva Cartel.

Over time, Joaquín's identity transforms. Engulfed by the darkness, he and Octavio cease questioning their fate, fully immersing themselves in their new roles within the cartel. Joaquín resigns to a life driven by instinct and violence, far removed from the person he once was.[6]

Revenge Against Alhorn

In the early 1980s, Joaquín and Octavio pose as buyers interested in Alhorn's illicit firearms operation in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Upon meeting, Alhorn detects their true intentions is revenge, especially noting Octavio's visible anger. Alhorn demonstrates the lethality of his weapons on Octavio's guards, provoking them to summon their abilities. As darkness envelops them, Alhorn summons his own ability, El Corazón de las Tinieblas. Believing Octavio has no ability, El Corazón attacks Joaquín first, but the latter dodges at the last moment. He communicates something to Octavio which Alhorn couldn't understand. El Corazón then punches a wire mesh scaffolding Joaquín is standing on, which deforms and makes a hole Joaquín falls into. El Corazón repeatedly tries punching Joaquín, but its punches are blocked by Joaquín's own arms. Alhorn wonders how Joaquín is capable of directly defending himself with his own body, but then notices that dark spots emerged on Joaquín's arms, shoulders, and neck.

Alhorn shifts his focus to Octavio insted, blowing away Joaquín when he tries shielding Octavio. El Corazón's ability grotesquely deforms Octavio's body by swapping around various body parts. However, Octavio yells at Joaquín to not approach him. Joaquín doesn't take Alhorn's bait and runs into the mansion, evading Alhorn's various traps as he uses El Corazón to transform the mansion into a labyrinth. Since El Corazón is a close-range ability, Alhorn becomes increasingly desperate and cautiously sends El Corazón to approach closer to Joaquín. Octavio uses this opening to his advantage and stabs Alhorn with his prosthetic. Moreover, Joaquín summons a beast from El Aleph which emerges from a whirl of darkness, biting El Corazón's neck and critically injuring Alhorn. In a final effort to survive, Alhorn uses El Corazón's power on himself, swapping his heart with his cheekbone to preserve his life functions just when the beast chews his head off his neck. Consequently, he ends up as a disembodied yet conscious head. Octavio lifts him up and demands to know the whereabouts of the Arrow.[12] Thus, Octavio and Joaquín take Alhorn's resources for themselves, using the Arrow to awaken abilities in people for their own army.[9]

The Selva Cartel drastically grows in resources and infamy.[17] Octavio would order them to do ruthless acts such as brutally murdering any soldiers who attempted to do search and destroy operations, which Joaquín would participate in using El Aleph's beasts to devour any enemies.[18]

Bittersweet Reunion

In 1986, Lisa Lisa, Sasha Loggins, J.D. Hernández, and the Speedwagon Foundation's Rueda Squad invade the jungle where the Selva Cartel operates to retrieve the Arrow from their leader, who they believe to be Alhorn. After a fierce battle between the Selva Cartel's army and the Foundation members, Joaquín stops them, calming both sides. His former friends recognize him, questioning about his alignment with Alhorn's gang. However, Joaquín remains silent, only offering a subtle, empathetic smile. He demonstrates his power by releasing a black wave that spreads across the jungle floor, passing harmlessly through Lisa Lisa and her group but leaving a chilling effect. Thus, Lisa Lisa realizes that the unending night is Joaquín's power.[8] Joaquín leads the group to see Octavio, who is lying on a bed within a temple.

The Foundation members are speechless upon realizing Octavio is the Selva Cartel's actual leader. Octavio shocks them further by showing Alhorn's head in a birdcage. Octavio brings up how Joaquín's night ability is incredible, revealing that Alhorn named it El Aleph. He speaks to Alhorn's head, telling him to narrate the events that happened when they fought.[19] After hearing the story, Sasha accuses Octavio of becoming Alhorn's successor in spite of all the evil he committed. Hernández confesses his confusion about the story but begs Octavio and Joaquín to surrender the Arrow. Octavio refuses, seeing the Arrow as vital for their survival and quest for power. Sasha wonders if this means they will face El Aleph's powers, feared even by Alhorn. Lisa Lisa notes that Joaquín is visibly tense upon hearing that.

Since the Foundation refuses to leave without the Arrow, Octavio asks him to unleash El Aleph, but Joaquín hesitates. Joaquín strains his voice, trying to get Octavio to change his mind. Nonetheless, he succumbs to Octavio's pressure.[9]

The Final Battle, El Aleph

Joaquín releases a floating orb of darkness which a cocoon falls out of, spawning a myriad of nightmarish creatures. These entities attack indiscriminately, engulfing the temple in chaos and terror. As chaos ensues and everyone is separated, Lisa Lisa confronts Octavio and Joaquín on the rooftop of the temple. She attempts to connect with them through shared experiences of being orphans and suffering from loneliness, but Octavio is unyielding. He plans to rebuild his army and expand their operations into the city, asking for Joaquín's opinion. Lisa Lisa challenges them to a duel involving their abilities, and summons her own new power, The House of Earth. The House of Earth leaps toward Octavio and Joaquín and punches where they were standing, shattering the ground. Meanwhile, eldritch creatures from El Aleph swarm together below the stone slabs of the rooftop, making the ground rise up like an arena.

As the battle escalates, Lisa Lisa understands that Joaquín is actually Octavio's power and not a normal human. She asks Joaquín whether he has any memories without Octavio. Meanwhile, Lisa Lisa commands The House of Earth to draw in air and forcefully exhale ferocious solar wind on the creatures, learning from Sasha that they are weak to the Ripple. Lisa Lisa then reveals her discovery about Joaquín's true nature, forcing him to reconsider his entire existence. He grapples with the reality of being a manifestation of Octavio's will, yet endowed with a distinct personality and consciousness. Lisa Lisa figures that Octavio must have learned the truth at some point, even if he didn't know when he was younger. He might have kept it secret from Joaquín out of concern for his feelings. Joaquín feels both angry and betrayed, as Octavio had made him commit so many evil deeds. Nonetheless, Octavio insists their bond remains unchanged.

A giant crane-fly like creature pierces through the edge of the arena. Lisa Lisa and Octavio both nearly fall off the cliff, but Joaquín instantly rescues Lisa Lisa, grabbing her arm. Octavio barely manages to climb back up himself. He tries kicking Lisa Lisa back down the cliff with his prosthetic leg, but Joaquín pushes him away, defying his user once again. Octavio is stunned that Joaquín would betray him, but Joaquín apologizes saying he has no choice. The House of Earth pauses the exhalation of wind and launches a barrage of punches at Octavio. Joaquín throws himself in front of Octavio to protect his user. Consequently, the two are blasted away and fall into the abyss below the cliff where the horde of El Aleph's eldritch creatures are. It is unknown whether the creatures would devour their own creators or if they would disappear if Octavio and Joaquín are incapacitated. Lisa Lisa, at her limit, requests Sasha and Hernández to rescue them. She collapses as the dawn breaks, signaling the end of the endless night brought by El Aleph and the beginning of a new day.[9]

Epilogue

The Selva Cartel's operations are shut down by the Guardia Civil. Octavio and Joaquín's fates remain undocumented officially, but their memory lingers in the hearts of those involved. Sasha and Hernández also secure Octavio's Arrow and securely place it in a storage area known only to a few.

Joseph Joestar asks Lisa Lisa what happened to the orphans afterward, and she claims that they visited her several times after that. Joseph doesn't know whether she means real visits or in dreams, but doesn't press further.[4]

Chapters

Book Icon.png Novel Appearances
Chapters in order of appearance

Quotes

Quote.png Quotes
  • If Octavio wants to go somewhere, I'll go with him. If he wants to leave this place, I'll leave with him. I'll always stick to him like a burr—I even join him when he goes on dates with muchachas. I'm Octavio's foil, his voice of reason—the Pepito Grillo to his Pinocho. I'm the bardo who writes songs of his exploits as a salvador. I'm the one who follows him, picking up the caution that he threw to the wind. And I'm happy in this role. Octavio isn't just some naive knight of chivalry and justice; sometimes, he can be uncooperative, or do things I don't like. But ever since we met as kids, he's the only one who’s been able to understand a mute like me. We're inseparable. So, can you understand my reasoning? If Octavio wants to join the Foundation, I'm joining too. If he says this world is full of surprises and adventures made just for us, I can believe it too. And if we get an opportunity to leave Antigua, I'll try to seize it just as hard as he is. But I've never been able to put voice to all these thoughts.
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 3: III - Guatemala Arc
  • If we get an opportunity to leave Antigua, I'll try to seize it just as hard as he is. But I've never been able to put voice to all these thoughts.
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 3: III - Guatemala Arc
  • Saying that I haven't ever lied is probably the biggest lie I've ever told.
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 3: III - Guatemala Arc
  • I'm a born climber. If the wall's got cracks and bumps like this on it, I don't need a tether.
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 8: VIII - Peru Arc
  • What can I see, and what can I not see? What's visible, and what's invisible? Where are we supposed to draw the line?
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 8: VIII - Peru Arc
  • Just between you and me, I'm pretty strong when push comes to shove. Although I've never been able to tell anybody that. I've never even told Octavio.
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 8: VIII - Peru Arc
  • I'm gonna tell Octavio I’m the king of escalada libre the next time I see him!
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 8: VIII - Peru Arc
  • Let's go to a place with nobody and nothing in it and breathe new life into it. We'll make our own order and rituals out of nothing in the silence.
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 11: XI - Peru Arc
  • It really should have been Octavio who was chosen. I left our homeland with him so he wouldn't end up like this. But this happened instead. Oh, the unbearable shame, I can't bear it!
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 16: XVI - Final Arc
  • Pondering in the middle of the night definitely never leads to anything good. But for us, it's always night. Octavio says to go as far as we can. But where does the night meet its shore? Where is the dead end of this unending night?
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 16: XVI - Final Arc
  • If this is the place Octavio meant when he said 'we've got to go as far as we can,' if this is the dead end of our night, then that's fine, that's okay. If there's still something beyond, if someone is waiting on the other side of the darkness, then all we have to do is stand up and head there, if that is what he wishes.
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 16: XVI - Final Arc
  • What are you talking about? Me, an Astral? But, I'm... I'm definitely visible to everyone's eyes. What about the classification of visible and invisible things?
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 19: XIX - Final Arc
  • I think that's why I have no memory without Octavio. I followed wherever Octavio decided to go, even when he decided to leave our hometown. Isn't it strange that we supposedly grew up in the same orfanato but first only met outside at night? That's where I was born. Perhaps, la Maravilla that was budding inside Octavio without him realizing it was activated, and I, who shouldn't have had a physical form, appeared with one. Like an amigo invisible of children appearing in dreams. I filled in Octavio's shortcomings, and for a while, became his crutch after he lost his leg.
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 19: XIX - Final Arc
  • Octavio comforted me in my heartaches and anguish, following me wherever I went on my wanderings. Heartache, anguish? How could those be mine alone? No, weren't they originally not just mine? If I trace the cause, it's because I awoke to the night power, but was that really my ability? Was I just a compañero (Astral) that acted as the medium, and El Aleph was actually Octavio's ability? Ah, was it me? Am I El Aleph?
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 19: XIX - Final Arc
  • Why didn't I realize? Why didn't you tell me? Why are you telling me now? Why?
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda, rey infinito Chapter 19: XIX - Final Arc
  • Octavio, I hate you a little. I've dirtied my hands following you. There's truly nowhere to return to, is there?
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda to Octavio Luna Kan, rey infinito Chapter 19: XIX - Final Arc
  • Lo siento. But I have no choice but to do this.
    —Joaquín Ruiz-Jorruda to Octavio Luna Kan, rey infinito Chapter 19: XIX - Final Arc

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