A short story about Kuroda's arrival at the 506th JFW. It also details the political and economical situations surrounding Gallia, 506th and some of its members during the reconstruction of the country. The transcript can be found here.
Beginning of 1945, Central Gallia, Dijon
The base of 506th JFW B-unit
"It was for a short while but thank you for your kindness!"
With an energetic voice and a deep bow that was engraved into everyone's memories, the black haired witch flew away.
"She was an amusing girl, hopefully we'll meet again."
The Liberion Marine who watched the black haired witch leave, Flight Lieutenant Jennifer J. DeBlanc murmured. Her wish would be granted in 30 minutes.
"Hey, isn't that Flying Officer Kuroda?"
Hearing the noise made by the maintenance members, Flight Lieutenant DeBlanc went out to the runway, thinking that it couldn't be. There indeed the black haired witch they just saw off was arriving, Fuso Army Flying Officer, Kuroda Kunika.
Having just spent a few days together, they don't exactly cry bitter tears when they have to part, but they've become partners who wish nothing but good for each other. Although it was nice to meet again, because the separation was just 30 minutes long there really aren't any deep emotions going around.
However, before the serious-looking Kuroda reappeared, there was a report of Neuroi breaking through the Karlsland-Gallia border, and that they were heading towards this base... this led to ominous feelings welling in her heart.
"What on earth.."
Before DeBlanc could finish her sentence Kuroda bowed even deeper than when she was leaving and said:
"I'm sorry! I forgot something!"
Slightly amazed, she helped Kuroda to pack all of her things in her duffel bag to make sure she had everything. After she saw off the witch for the second time in one day, DeBlanc's coworker called out for her.
"I can't believe she is a Fuso noble"
The frank words belonged to the Liberion Marine Flight Lieutenant Marian Carl.
"But she isn't a difficult person"
"Well that's true. Just because one is born in a noble family doesn't mean one has to be petty and mean."
Carl is harsh, she was born in a farm and she had troubles finishing her education. But in her tone there is a voice of an exemplary child who she would scold the most, along with cynicism towards of her past self mixed in .
"That's not what I meant... You're so mean, Marian."
Although DeBlanc was Liberion by nationality, she was also a direct descendant of a Hispanian noble family, even if that had lost most of its meaning by her generation. So she murmured that in a pouting tone, as if Marian's words were directed at her.
Carl is weak against DeBlanc when she takes this attitude.
"Aah... Sorry. I'll take that back. Besides, I don't hate Kuroda."
Awkwardly hiding her embarrassment, Carl turns the discussion into other direction.
"Kuroda fits here better than that place (A-unit), right, Wing Commander?"
Being brought into the conversation, the Commanding Officer of B-Unit, Wing Commander Geena Preddy raises her eyes from the magazine that was delivered from her home country. She just shrugs in a way that doesn't show if she agrees or disagrees.
Same day, some hours later, Northeast Gallia, Sedan
The base of 506th JFW A-unit
In 1944, due to the efforts of the 501st JFW, Gallia was liberated. But there were all kinds of negotiation and chaos in the domestic politics surrounding the reconstruction. In addition, the clout that the aid from the major world powers thought they would bring did not go according to their expectations.
The after effects of the disorder manifested themselves also in the military. The newly organized defense of Gallia, 506th JFW, was not formed with just military necessities in mind. As a sort of symbol for that, the A-unit was formed only of the nobles of the world, and the B-unit was formed entirely of Liberion witches. And they were separated into two bases, one in Dijon, the other in Sedan.
"Haah, I'm finally here"
Flight Lieutenant Kuroda received orders to go to Europe and Gallia, to take her place as a member of the 506th JFW in the appointed time...
But she didn't arrive at the appointed noble A-unit in Sedan. Instead, because of some mistake she appeared in Dijon in the B-unit, surprising the commanders of both bases.
Because the Strikers she used were in a bad condition, she stayed in the B-unit for maintenance and rest. So she arrived in her destination, A-unit of Sedan, two days behind schedule.
"They're the same unit but they're separated into two bases.. Aah, it's complicated"
Kuroda complains, trying to ignore her own carelessness.
Although, just because of those peculiar circumstances, she was sent there from her branch family made of poor nobles. So that they could obtain some economic special favors that came with them.
For Kuroda the economic factor is surely motivation as she was told to work hard enough for Gallia so that she won't get kicked out of her duties. This was said as if it's completely natural.
Even with such a short time, she was charmed by the relaxed atmosphere of the B-unit, forgetting all her worries. But first, monetary affairs carry precedence.
"I wonder if I can make it easier for grandpa and grandma with this"
said Kuroda as she arrived at the base in Sedan. If anyone of the main family had heard that they would murmur "What plebeian expressions" with wide eyes.
—Landing—Approaching the runway of the Sedan base, Kuroda's eyes caught a sight of a single witch who stopped on her tracks.
Being near the runway, by the entrance to the base facility, the witch indeed was waiting for Kuroda.
Even though Kuroda had finished her long trip from Fuso and finally landed safely, she didn't have time to relax.
In front of her was standing a black uniformed witch who looked at Kuroda's Strikers with a frown. They were maintained in the B-base but they were not in the best of conditions.
She had long, luxurious blond hair. From her black uniform with red piping, and the silver eagle on her chest, Kuroda could see she was attached to Karlsland Air Force.
"Flying Officer Kuroda, isn't it"
"Ah, yes, Kuroda Kunika, Fuso Army Flying Officer"
"Heinrike Prinzessin zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. Karlsland Air Force Flight Lieutenant. 506th's Commanding Officer in battle."
Kuroda getting bewildered by the onslaught of information, the Karlslander repeats, without really being able to hide the feeling of "this always happens" from her voice
"...Wittgenstein is fine. Squadron Leader Grunne is waiting"
"Y-yes... umm... did the Commanding Officer in battle come here just for me..."
"Hmph, a "careless thing" who manages to go to the wrong base when taking up a new post, I just wondered what she was like"
Wittgenstein didn't intentionally mean to reprimand her partner who was stepping almost for the first time on European soil. But she wanted to show with her strictness that even if Kuroda had even one excuse for her tardiness, it would not help her position to try and explain it here.
After all, first impressions are crucial, however.
Hanging her head and yelling out her apology, the maintenance crew of the hangar gathered a bit to see what was going on, making the situation quite embarrassing for Wittgenstein.
"Wha-... Hmph, it seems you're reflecting on your actions. You too! Get back to work!"
"Haaaa... I don't have any excuse"
"Enough of that. Report yourself to Squadron Leader Grunne to take up your post"
"Isn't there some kind of punishment... or, tangible cut in salary...?"
This has confused Wittgenstein, or more like, making her bring out her maliciousness.
"I don't have control in such affairs. Regardless, as I said everything concerning this discourse is to be overlooked, so be in peace"
"Wah... Thank goodness!"
As if she was told she wouldn't die tomorrow, Kuroda light steps were on the verge of skipping. Wittgenstein looked at her back dumbfounded.
"Kuroda Kunika, Fuso Army Flying Officer, reporting to take up a new post"
Looking at the office, a unit for the nobles wouldn't come in mind due to its modesty. The impression is not bleak, it has more the charm of a study of a writer who is very scrupulous when it comes to tidiness. Kuroda embraced this nice feeling.
Squadron Leader Rosalie de Hemricourt de Grunne. She is attached to the Britannian Air Force, but she is the heiress of two families of earls from Gallia and Belgica. She had a uniform from the Belgican side of her family, with a black stand-up collar, and white tights with boots.
Looking at it with modern eyes, it seems like it has too many decorations to use in battle, but Grunne is after all an honorary Commanding Officer that doesn't take command in front lines. She gives the feeling of an antiquated "Aristocrat Soldier" that has nothing but good will for other people.
During her interview with Grunne, Kuroda looked into her deep turquoise eyes and her light blond hair with a braid that ended in a round form at the nape of her neck. She looked like a princess from fairy-tales, or rather the tender mother of that princess.
"Thank you for coming all the way from the far away Fuso. It seems you've gone through some trouble..."
"Auh, yes... as I thought, it's a problem...?"
Bringing up the failure that happened couple days ago made Kuroda lower her head in quite a grandiose way and say her words very slowly.
"No... Ah, that's not what I meant"
"Not what you meant?"
This time Grunne was at a loss for words.
"Didn't something painful happen at the Dijon base?"
Kuroda's wild reply made Grunne lower her pose like a small animal.
"We aren't... well... really loved by the Liberion witches..."
Not really understanding Grunne's words, Kuroda's voice became noticeably louder.
"All the people there were really nice. Well I can't know what kind of people they are with just two or three days. But still, it's not like they feel like my childhood friends, but they taught me how to play with cards and such, they were really nice! Ah, I taught them how to walk on stilts, in return..."
Grunne was slightly overwhelmed by the thoughts that were vigorously put into words as they popped in Kuroda's head, but she was relieved to see her energy.
"So you didn't have any bad experiences"
"I see... good"
Even though she said that Kuroda couldn't relax
"Don't you get along with those people?"
"No... well... We don't really have any quarrels, but there is there, and here is here, so we haven't really had any intercourse... We know that this isn't really a good thing"
Kuroda didn't really know how to answer. At any rate, she was assigned here to work and get paid, so that she could make it easier for her grandparents. Using her head wasn't part of her duties. But piling up the cheerful and friendly Liberion people to some troubles Grunne mentioned, has left an uncomfortable feeling over her.
"Oh yes! Squadron Leader, this"
Kuroda takes a bottle out of her hand luggage.
"What is this...?"
"It's Cola. They gave it to me as a present. It's sort of what black tea is for Britannian's, some thing they won't get tired even if they drink it every day. Like they would die if they didn't. It might stink like medicine for us who aren't used to it though"
"Can I have it?"
"Yes, they didn't really address it just for me, also"
Opening her luggage a bit more, she shows a duffel bag filled with bottles.
"I have my share already"
Kuroda declares cheerfully.
"Well then, excuse me"
"Yes, if there is anything you don't know, do come ask"
"Thank you. Ah... by the way, Squadron Leader. Can you manage the bottle opener? You understand how to use it?"
"My... I'm not that much of a princess"
Grunne smiles tenderly and Kuroda leaves her room relieved... At that moment.
Grunne's yell rises from the other side of the door.
Kuroda rushes back in the room, and Grunne's documents and uniform soaked from the Cola that had burst from the bottle.
"I'm sure... she'll hate me for this..."
—Sortie—After having taken up the new post, Flying Officer Kuroda sneaked into the Witches' lounge room, but there was no one there. She had heard from a couple of soldiers, that Flight Lieutenant Wittgenstein and the other Flight Lieutenant of this Wing, Adriana Visconti of the Romagnan Air Force, prefer a hands-on approach to leading, and spend a lot of time in the simple lounge room next the hangar. It was also implied that Wittgenstein heavily observes how her subordinates work.
"This is "simple"..."
Kuroda has a dry smile as she looks at the interior design of the room which is like from a high-class hotel.
Kuroda's name is the name of a branch family of a noble Fuso family. It's not like she ever had to feel hunger, but she lived modestly, and was very far apart from the image of someone noble. So she couldn't deny that she had an anxious feeling in the base which was like "The Residence of the Aristocrats".
She felt much more calm in Grunne's office, where you could really see the personality of its inhabitant.
"It seems there is a lot of money here."
She mutters with a sigh.
However, behind a door there was a corridor which connected the room directly to the hangar, and there the expensive wallpaper suddenly changed to something you could see in a work place, a place where schedules are to be strictly followed. After confirming that there were no people there either, Kuroda moved towards the hangar. As the new types of Strikers have slowly been accepted, engineers from Fuso have been dispatched all around, and also here. But at the moment, they were working just on some ordinary duties for this local Wing. Kuroda wanted to greet them.
"Oh, are you the newcomer?."
Near the entrance, in a dark corner, there was a witch. She had the healthy looking skin of a Southern European and long but light, wave like hair with deep chestnut color. She had a dark uniform which fit her firmly, and on her loop tie as a finishing touch there was shining a brooch that looked like a long dragon that was bending it's body back and forth.
"Adrian Visconti. Romagnan Air Force Flight Lieutenant. Nice to meet you."
Her back parted from the wall it was leaning against and she stepped towards Kuroda. And just from that you could see her flexibility and strength. Coupled with her greyish blue and sharp eyes, Kuroda associated her with some kind of large carnivorous cat.
"Nice to meet you too. My name is Kuroda Kunika, I'm a Flying Officer of the Fuso Army. I'm looking forward to working with you."
"Yeah, it seems you will be under my command. Well, at ease."
"Ah, come to think of it."
There was something Kuroda was interested about.
"Flight Lieutenant Wittgenstein is a night witch, isn't she? Isn't it hard for her to be a Commanding Officer in battle?"
"Woah, you have some courage to say that around her, Kuroda."
Visconti pointed with her thumb towards the open of the hangar, where Wittgenstein was giving orders to the hectic maintenance crew members.
"Wah... No, I mean, it wasn't about her abilities, but her sleeping or the like, that is she alright!?"
Becoming flustered, Kuroda's last words were more like a yell and Visconti let out a small chuckle.
"So you got lectured by the Princess. How unlucky, or careless. Try your best Kuroda."
"I can hear you, Flight Lieutenant Visconti."
"Oops, excuse me"
"Truly... well it matters not. It is partially inevitable that I'm seen like that."
This reaction made Visconti let out a knowing sound.
"I wonder if something good happened during last night's patrol. She's the type who shows her attitude right after that."
Kuroda replied as Visconti whispered this in her ear.
"As I said, I can hear you!"
For some reason slightly blushing Wittgenstein seemed to already be loosing the leadership of this quarrel.
"In actuality, I entrust the daytime battles to Visconti. Flying Officer Kuroda, you also basically fight under her command. In night patrols and emergencies, you are under my command."
Kuroda had a question in her mind, that how it would actually work in the end, and Visconti answered that.
"The so called political decisions. It was agreed upon the creation of this Wing, that a Karlsland soldier would be the figurehead of the battle command."
"It seems you'll say everything you want to say. But, no one has any reason to say anything bad about the performance in battle behind our backs, mine or my subordinates."
"There is no doubting your strength. And thinking about the paperwork connected to commanding a multinational Wing gives me chills. For taking on stuff like that I'm also thankful to you."
"How cheeky... Not having your abilities to match your duties would be troublesome for the name of my family. Even under normal circumstances, people who are noble..."
Visconti interrupts Wittgenstein
""Noblesse oblige", you mean? If this was a war in some Medieval times I would say you have a splendid dedication... but this is a different time, above all the enemy is different... Our enemy is not like humans"
"...I know that"
"If you ask, the neuroi won't take part in a fair one-on-one fight. This battle is not just duty and responsibility of the noble."
"I know that!"
"...If you know it then fine"
Visconti seemed to look at her partner with gloomy, worrying eyes.
"Uuuhhmm... Is this my fault..." Kuroda couldn't bear the atmosphere she thought she created with her loose lips, trying to find a proper timing for her to get in the conversation. But those thoughts were blown from her mind as the base echoed with the sound of the alarm.
Both commanders of the 506th listened to the radio report sent from the monitoring stations. “Hmph, so there’s a mix of small and medium sized, eh…it doesn’t look it’s going to be a big deal for us. So let’s give them a hoof, shall we?” “Roger.” Flight Lieutenant Visconti went to prepare for sortie. The triangular ears of a wildcat appeared on the Flight Lieutenant's head. Long hairs extended from the tips of the ears. “That’s pretty rare, I think that’s called a caracal,” Flying Officer Kuroda thought as she scrutinized the Flight Lieutenant while she gave her account. "Romagna’s most state of the art aircraft, with the best reputation and the highest performance, was the MC.205 Veltro. The Flight Lieutenant’s machine’s ventral side was light blue, the dorsal side had two shades of green for camouflage, and the spinner was painted white. While the starting preparations were hurriedly made, Flying Officer Kuroda spoke to the Flight Lieutenant. “Will we be okay just by ourselves?” “Ah, we have one more coming in from above, so we’ll be fine.”" “From above?” “Precisely, she’ll be coming in during our patrol.” "And so, using the radio, the Flight Lieutenant asked the witch above, “How does it look, Isaac?” “I still haven’t spotted them yet…maybe we passed them?” Over the noise of the radio, the replier's voice sounded very much like that of a young colt, with a distinctly androgynous note to it. “No, that’s impossible. I’m heading to your position, we’ll meet up top. That way, maybe my prey won’t escape me.” "Since the 501st freed Gallia, with the exception of front line countries like Karlsland and Orussia, the war situation has remained stable. Unlike the situation with Britannia before, transoceanic voyages were unnecessary. Deploying troops overland has made the situation far easier to deal with. “It would be best not to go on sortie,” were the words spoken to her. Except, Flying Officer Kuroda had no intention of following them. Unfortunately, the Striker Unit she had brought from Fuso had engine trouble, and the immediate maintenance she received was far from perfect. "Flying Officer Kuroda looked wildly about the hangar until her eyes came to rest upon a Striker lying quietly in the corner. The name of the Karlsland machine was the Bf 109K. The machine had a shiny, like-new appearance, but it did not have the feeling of being an unused ornament. “Ano, what is that?” Kuroda asked. “That? That’s a standby unit, what about it?” Wittgenstein answered. “That unit, is it usable? “Of course. It is for emergencies after all.” “What about right now?” “It was configured to be usable at any time for emergencies. Our development team says it’s flawless.” "Though they never stopped working, the maintenance personnel who heard those words gave Squadron Leader Wittgenstein a dazzling look. Without stopping, Flying Officer Kuroda ran up to the Bf 109 Striker. “Maintenance-san, please turn it!” That being said, they were bewildered. They turned to Squadron Leader Wittgenstein. “All right, you can use it.” Squadron Leader Wittgenstein answered. “Thank you!” After hurriedly giving thanks, the Flying Officer started her preparations. Flying Officer Kuroda's familiar was a Shiba Inu. Her mauve hakama, worn only by nobility, lifted up to reveal a thick, winding tail. Her shyness combined with her kind personality and this familiar made the Flying Officer irresistibly adorable. “Flying Officer Kuroda sure is working hard! Wait for us up there!” Flight Lieutenant Visconti looked back at Kuroda with interest before taking off. “Nn, engine’s okay, hmph hmph, this is my first time with automatic cooling, but I will be okay!” “What?!” “I have experience with Fusoan liquid cooling systems, so I will be fine!” “No, hay, wait!” Flying Officer Kuroda prepared for takeoff anyways; spreading a magic circle all over the hangar floor. “Wait, hold on!” Squadron Leader Wittgenstein's chief worry was not the Bf 109's engine, but its takeoff and landing performance. Considering the bad flow of ether generated on the surface of the runway, it wouldn't be unusual for even a veteran witch to have an accident during takeoff and landing here. The Bf 109, even in the K model, has never been able to solve this fundamental problem. “I’m taking off!” Flying Officer Kuroda popped out onto the runway from the hangar due to her momentum. Normally, one is supposed to taxi onto the runway at low speeds, however, Flying Officer Kuroda blew out of a hangar cluttered with a crane, maintenance equipment, etc. at top speeds. “I did it!” Moving through the obstacles like an acrobat, Flying Officer Kuroda shot straight into the sky. The maintenance personnel left behind were stunned, while Squadron Leader Wittgenstein was astonished. “…Well, her ability was good…”