It had been 6 months since then. Yoshika tossed and turned in her bed. She couldn't sleep. She lay on her futon just looking at the bright moon of that night.
I won't be able to be a witch anymore… I saved multiple people, but the war still goes on…
It was March 1946, and the 501st Joint Fighter Wing had been disbanded ever since that event. She had lost all her magic power fighting the Neuroi hive that had used Major Sakamoto as a shield generator back in Romagna.
Heh. I guess it was the only way.
The events that unfolded right after were miraculous. Yoshika was given 3 medals and promoted to 1st Lieutenant of the Fuso Navy. The only thing the spoiled it all was the fact that no one she knew could be at the ceremony. Everyone still was part of their respective militaries, and they were reassigned to different areas of the world. The only person that was even close was Major Sakamoto, but she was busy training new witches at the time.
However unlike before Romagna where she didn't even get any mail from her squad mates, there was usually a new letter every month. It was usually from Lynette, but sometimes others also. Keeping up with them was kind of the only thing she could think of that reminded her of her days as a Witch. Yoshika looked at her hands.
I probably shouldn't even try. But everyone's probably having so much fun right now.
Shirley and Lucchini were in Africa for a stint until recently, when Shirley was called to Karsland to help develop new Striker models. Lucchini decided that Africa was a bit boring, so she went with her. Perrine and Lynette were back in Gallia HQ; Lynette being a Radiowoman for HQ and Perrine in the field working on reconstructing war torn Gallia. They meet pretty often or so she said. Sanya and Elia returned to Suomus Air Base, and that was all she heard from them. Erica, Trude, and Minna went back to Karsland to help support their home country against Neuroi control.
Because she was the only one not doing anything, and because it was ingrained in her Yoshika started running as a pastime.
Well I can't sleep anymore. Might as well start the day.
She got dressed and started to do her daily run. It was like drills back at the squadron headquarters, except she just ran around town for an hour or so.
When she passed by the base she glimpsed Mio coming out of the gates. She saw Yoshika and waved. Yoshika stopped in front of the gates.
"On your run for today Miyafuji?" Mio asked.
"Ah Sakamoto-san! Yes I am." Yoshika replied. Mio looked at her and smiled. Though as she looked at Yoshika's cheery face her mind was troubled.
How could someone this young already lose all her magical prowess? Is that even possible?
Mio tried to kill the awkward science. "How is everyone? Are they doing fine?"
"Yes they are Major Sakamoto. Shirley just got called to Karsland to help test the new striker models!"
"Oh wow, that's really cool! I haven't been able to contact them because of my duties. Send them my regards!"
"I will!" Yoshika ran off, leaving Mio alone with the sunrise. She looked at Miyafuji until she was no longer able to be seen, and walked off into the city. As she walked in, Mio kept replaying the moments Miyafuji used the "True Reppuzan" move on the Neuroi Hive and noticed something.
I put a limiter on the sword to make sure if I wouldn't use up every last bit my magical power!
Remembering that made Mio happy, but full of doubts.
Is there a chance Miyafuji could become a Witch again? I need to talk to Anna about this. She's an old hag but at least she has enough experience to know the intricacies of magic.
There was a conference in Romagna next month; it would probably be the best time to talk.
Yoshika got back around 6 am that morning. Her mom came outside.
"Hey Yoshika, there's someone here to see you."
She went inside. Inside the room she couldn't believe her eyes. A girl was sitting at the table, and had a very refined looked to her. But Yoshika noticed how 'squishy' she was and remembered everything.
"Lynette, is that you?" Yoshika couldn't believe it. "Why did you come to Fuso?"
"I came to deliver a letter from your father, and pick you and Major Sakamoto to go to the Conference in Romagna."
Lynette gave the letter to Yoshika. But Yoshika forgot about the letter and hugged her best friend that she hadn't seen in a while.
"U-U-Uh- Yoshika…" Lynette said quietly. She couldn't say it, she was happy to see her best friend also.
"What are you doing 1st Lieutenant Miyafuji?" Yoshika remembered that voice.
"Trude! What are you doing here?" asked a very surprised Yoshika.
A girl wearing a Karsland uniform came out of an adjacent room with a yellow haired girl.
"We're here to bring you and Major to Karsland."
Erica spoke, "The high command wants the 501st reformed immediately so we needed to bring everyone."
Yoshika was flattered at the turn of events, but she remembered something important about this.
"I don't have any more magic though…."
Lynette shook her head.
"It's not a fighting duty; they just want all witch squadrons not in combat assignment at the moment going to Karsland!"
Yoshika wanted to protest, but they were right, it's probably nothing.
"Commander Minna wants you there." Lynette said
Yoshika sighed. "Let's go then."
Her mom looked into the room. "Are you going to Europe again?"
"They want me to come back!" Yoshika said proudly.
Her mother sighed, shook her head, and smiled. "You are becoming more and more like your father everyday Yoshika."
Yoshika gathered her things in preparation for the trip. Then she remembered the letter. As she ran out of the room Yoshika ran into Lynette.
"Yoshika, are your hands attracted to my breasts or something?" Lynette said, looking very embarrassed.
"N-N-No! I just fell on you that's all!" It was pretty obvious Yoshika was embarrassed too.
They got up. "Here's the letter from your father."
"Why does he seem to send me letters every time I'm going to Europe?"
"I wish I knew…"
After that little episode the group was on their way to the navy base to pick up Mio.
"We're here for Major Sakamoto." Captain Barkhorn showed her Karsland ID.
The guard looked visibly surprised. "Wow, you guys are part of the 501st?" He was about to ask them something about it, but he saw his superior giving a disapproving look. "Oh- Uh- Where is- Ah! Major Sakamoto left for Romagna just about 30 minutes ago!"
Apparently Mio already knew of the 501st reforming and went ahead of the group.
They boarded the plane and got ready for the week long trip to Europe. It was a good time to catch up on everyone's lives.
"Hey Miyafuji did you hear about Shirley and Lucchini?" Lynette asked.
"I did, also, Sakamoto sends her congratulations!" Yoshika said.
"Lynette, how's Perrine?" Gertrude asked. Erica was sleeping on her shoulder.
"Oh... I actually don't know. We haven't talked in a while since Perrine was sent out to the capital city's ruins for a mission"
"What? What mission would that be?" Gertrude looked a bit confused.
"Karsland is still under Neuroi control right Trude?" Yoshika interrupted, unable to control her excitement
She looked at her a bit annoyed, but dismissed it and answered the question.
"Yeah, but we're using the results from the Yamato to help the ground forces."
"Perrine's mission is more of a goodwill thing that HQ keeps making her and other displaced nobles doing to rally support." Lynette said. She looked a bit annoyed.
"She's a tool for propaganda?" Gertrude exclaimed.
"Yes, they also banned her from making unnecessary conduct with us." Lynette said sadly.
"Are they letting her go for this?" Yoshika asked.
Lynette shook her head, "I don't even think that they even told her."
Gertrude sat there simmering in this information.
"Everyone else is going to be there though." Lynette said, desperately trying to change the subject.
"Ehh? I thought Sanya and Elia were in combat against Neuroi over Orussia!" Gertrude said.
Yoshika didn't even know that, but she assumed that everyone was in combat somewhere.
"But I guess being part of the 501st gives you special consideration." Gertrude said and smiled.
After a week in that plane the group got out in the border between Karsland and Gallia.
Mio on the other hand, had different plans before she met the group at Karsland. First was the stop in Romagna.
I wonder if I can find Anna here… This plane seriously dropped me off too far from her place…
Mio drove around for an hour before finding the iconic bridge to her island. The island looked the same, yet, there was something different.
There were girls on brooms having fun just past the bridge. What was especially weird was that boys were playing tag on them too.
I have never seen a wizard before. It's pretty interesting.
"Come back here you kids!" An old powerful voice shouted. The kids flew off in random directions as Anna sped by. Within 5 minutes Anna had collected them all and confiscated their brooms.
"Now for your punishment, go get the water without brooms." She said sternly. As the kids walked off without their brooms she looked at Mio and sighed. "I'm getting too old for this Mio. Do you want to train them one day?"
"Hahahaha, I should shouldn't I? But I'm here on a research mission."
Anna looked surprised. "Oh? And what brings you to this old witch's home?"
Mio quickly got to business. "Have you heard of what happened at Venezia?"
Anna thought for a moment. "Ahhh, I now know why you are here. Come in, come in, it's a long way from Fuso you know."
Mio walked with her to her farmhouse on the island. Mio followed her inside the house and looked around. It was a normal house, lacking in luxuries but full of history and magical artifacts.
"Ahh this gives me memories." Mio said out loud as she entered.
"Ha, that's not going to get you out of trouble for calling me an Old Hag last year."
"How did you- never mind. Anyway, is there a way to help Miyafuji?"
"Sheesh, that Miyafuji is a problem isn't she." Anna chuckled as she scanned the bookshelves. "Ah here it is." She brought out a book.
From the looks of it was an old and dusty one and the title was impossible to decipher. It opened itself to a page and Anna started reading from it.
"Well first of all, a Witch will always be a Witch no matter what happens. The well may go dry but it still remains. It's actually one of the first laws of magic. Now Mio, tell me, has Miyafuji actually tried magic?"
"Not exactly. She seems to have resigned to the fate that there is no way she will get her magic back."
Anna smiled. "Well, there's two ways to know if she has magic still. The first is making her fly on a broom. Remember what I said about the well going dry? It's possible that she just burned through almost all of her magic using that godforsaken sword you made, but still it was a good idea to put a limiter."
Mio frowned. "I had to! Otherwise it would have drained me clean after a powerful strike!"
"Yes, and that could have possibly helped Miyafuji in the long run. If there is any chance any power was saved 6 months ago, she will again be able to fight, but not with the same amount of power as before. She pushed her power to her limits, and she burned out somewhat. If she did lose ALL magical power, she would have died."
Mio thought for a moment. It made sense, because most elderly witches can still do powerful things. But it still doesn't answer her question.
"And in the worst case scenario?" Mio feared what could be the treatment for this.
The book Anna held turned a few pages. "In the worst case scenario, a witch has not lost her magical power but the means of utilizing it. Her 'magical engine' is dead."
"Is there a way to fix it though?"
The book turned a few more pages. Anna stared at the page for a few seconds then glanced up at her former pupil.
"There is but, tell me, how much do you want Miyafuji to fly again?"
Mio thought for a moment.
She's so young and her life was changed because of the Strike Witches. It is fair for her never to take to the skies again? She wouldn't be able to protect anyone in her current state.
"My reason is for one thing. I want her to protect as many people as she can."
"Even at the risks of the spell to save her magic?" Anna implored.
Mio was visibly taken aback by this. Risks?
"I said, are you ready to risk anything to save Miyafuji's magic!" Anna's face was serious and strict.
A heavy tension hung in the air. Then Mio made her response.
"I am ready to do what it takes." She confirmed that she was ready despite the risks, both to Anna and her heart.
"Listen closely because the risks are already high as it is. This technique is built to start up the 'magical engine' but it is at the cost of another user's magical engine. Many witches in the old days would do this to help younger witches get a head start on their enemies. I will remind you again; this will render you unable to use magic again."
"An equivalent exchange huh… It seems fitting." Mio mused as she thought about it.
"I won't give you the spell now, but when you feel it is the right time to exchange, return here and I shall help you perform the technique."
Mio left the house knowing there was hope for Miyafuji.
Anna ran out after her.
"Mio I need to tell you something about Miyafuji." Mio looked at her. "When I was training her, she was very particularly powerful in her magic output. I assumed it was due to lack of control. But incredibly, near the end of my training, she still outputted that much power when she first started. Mio you must have known this already, but she has the potential to be one of the most powerful witches in your generat— no. She could become one of the most powerful witches in history."
"Anna, I knew this from the beginning, but the extent of her power is that great?" Mio exclaimed
"Yes and the special part about it is that she is pure. Her magic ability is one for good, and not evil. But I must warn you, do not let this revelation sway you. This is all up to Miyafuji. If the witch does not want to cooperate, then the technique will fail, and the person giving up their magic will still lose their ability to use it."
Mio bade goodbye to Anna and started making the trip to the plane where she would meet up with her old squadron in Karsland.
But remembering Anna's words, Mio had a final goal.
If it comes to it, I will sacrifice myself in the hope that Miyafuji can protect more and more people, when I could not.
The plane landed with a resounding thump in the middle of grassland. It was an airbase just a few miles from Karsland HQ.
At the airbase there was a familiar person waiting for them at the gates. She had red hair and the aura of a commander.
"Commander Minna!" Yoshika shouted as they got off.
"Miyafuji, you made it." Minna said politely.
"Hartmann wake up!" Barkhorn said to a sleeping Erica.
"Forty more minutes…" she said sleepily.
"We're at the airbase already!"
Erica got up and looked around.
"Oh, so we are."
"…" Barkhorn stood speechless as Erica walked out of the plane.
Minna started talking, "Major Sakamoto has not made it yet, she had other business to take care of in Romagna, and so we should go to HQ right now."
Yoshika wondered aloud, "What does HQ need us for anyway, aren't we disbanded?"
"I actually don't know…" Minna said sadly.
The squadron was met with a major military presence.
Gertrude looked a bit annoyed. "Now why do we need Tanks protecting us when our Striker units are in the vehicles next to us?"
Minna pressed her lips and replied, "Just do what High Command wants Captain Barkhorn."
The ride was short, but the escort was truly unnecessary.
The squad met up with Sanya and Elia in the Hangar.
"Sanya! Elia! How long have you been here?" Yoshika said.
"Oh not very long. We just flew in from Suomus, and had a chat with Shirley and Lucchini." Elia said.
From the looks of the map of the base, the Hangar was literally next door to the High Command's briefing room.
Minna mused, "Do they finally trust the Strike Witches now?" and started smiling. Everyone laughed.
As they walked up to the door Commander Minna announced, "Alright everyone, the meeting starts in 5 minutes. Also, where exactly are Shirley and Lucchini anyway?"
"They went to go get some snacks from the chefs." Elia pointed at the kitchen where Shirley and Lucchini came out holding a big box of food.
"Ah! Yoshika! Everyone!" Lucchini dropped the bags and ran up to Yoshika. She grabbed Yoshika to check her "growth".
"Ah…" Yoshika tried to squirm away from Lucchini's grip. "Stop it…"
Lucchini pouted. "You didn't grow any at all."
Minna frowned, "Is now really the best time?
Lucchini ran back to the box she dropped and started eating. Predictably, Erica drifted to Lucchini and started eating the sweets.
"Hartmann!" Gertrude dragged Erica back to her normal position.
Sighing, Minna faced the door. "Alright 501st , it's time to begin the meeting. In formation now."
The girls entered the door into the High Command's Briefing Room.
Authors Notes: Ah, I'm back again, this time with a totally new story. I've been having computer problems, so TOWOSH(The One Wish of Suzumiya Haruhi) is on a short hiatus until I can fix them! Don't worry I have not forsaken the story yet!
This story is really after ATC's Strike Witches 2 Anime adaptation. As I have not gotten any of the light novels, its possible some of the characterization is wrong or certain things could quite possibly be wrong. But the sad ending to Miyafuji sort of compelled me to write this story, and now I'm coming out with this. This story will be a lot more serious, and the little fanservicey bits will be far and few in between. Something I really felt that could be a problem is Miyafuji becoming that super powerful witch and yadda yadda, its a little cliche. But who knows. I would like to note that this story will be updated if not more often than my other story due to my love of the Military genre. Also I love the reviews, and it really helps me make this story better!
If you have time after reading this story, go read this one as well which is made by me!
The One Wish of Suzumiya