Vandread Extra Stage Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Melting Away

Part 1

“You’re promoting Barnette to pilot!?”

Rebecca’s hysterical shout echoed through the hideout’s briefing room. Even Magno who was present had a puzzled expression on her face. However, Gascogne who was the one who proposed it spoke with an expression brimming with confidence.

“I only said it because I’m positive about it. You should have seen the results of the pilot compatibility test, right?”

For certain the date that had been presented to Rebecca held ample persuasive power for a promotion. However, the cautious Rebecca wasn’t going nod her head just for that.

“Us comrades are all capable of cooperating with one another! Barnette is currently lacking that! That child’s grandstanding is likely to expose the entire team to danger!”

“……Likely, is it? That doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone.”

“However the likelihood is high!”

The strength of Rebecca’s tone was even greater than usual. However, it goes  without saying that that such cooperation of those with such directly opposing values was what sustained Magno’s Family. This sort of situation, Magno would take care, to the best of her abilities, to abstain from interjecting in these matters. While she thought that Gascogne’s school of thought that adhered to taking immediate action was good, on the other hand she recognized that Rebecca’s school of thought that advised cation  was a persuasive one. For this reason she felt it was best to debate these matters to the very end.

Then, at his point, “Is it okay if I ask a question about this situation?” the voice of Buzam interposed from the foot of the table. On the occasion of the present sortie, her accurate judgement had caused her to be approved to participate in this top level meeting.

“What do you want to ask?”

Rebecca had ironically spoken in favor of trying out Buzam on the bridge, but despite her having raised her voice that did not mean she had lost her sense of reason. Thinking that the cool-headed Buzam would agree with her, it was in a calm manner that she prompted her to make a statement.

“I certainly think that taking such a defenseless risk is a problem. However, in regards to Gascogne-san’s proposal it does seems like she has a plan……”

While Buzam was saying this she gave a fleeting glance over at Gascogne. Without warning Gascogne suddenly responded to this with an embarrassed laugh.

“‘San’ is not needed. Gascogne is fine……. ……Fufu……you’re quite the shrewd one, aren’t you.”

Hearing that Rebecca leaned her body forward in apparent irritation.

“Not publicizing everything all at once is one of your bad habits, Gascogne!”

“Fuh……sorry. I got used to concealing my hand from playing poker.”

In response to Gascogne’s attitude of feigning ignorance, Magno finally spoke up.

“Enough……. Well? How do you plan to do it?”

The fact that Magno had opened her mouth and spoken meant that the time had arrived to reach a conclusion. Judging this Gascogne straightened herself and spoke.

“Suppose……we put her together with Jura. That’s what I’m thinking.”

 

“Just a minute, what’s with this!?”

At this time Jura’s shout that was like a shriek resounding within the cafeteria. Apparently the outcome of  the earlier meeting had been communicated. Regarding the contents of that communication, Jura’s scream says it all.

“How can you expect that I, Jura, would just allow that gloomy child to join our team!?”

That Jura was indignant was not unreasonable. She was being required to include Barnette, who just a few days earlier had publicly challenged her in front of her companions, in their formation. However, the team leader was Meia. When it came to women who prefered things that were fun and enjoyable, her oppressiveness was enough to stifle such things in those who were her partners.

“A~~~~N! Ooh, no way no way no way————!! Someone else take over for Jura——!!” {TN: In case you missed it, Jura is calling herself in the third person}.

Jura was raising a stink like a spoiled child, but even if she screamed about it the situation couldn’t be expected to change. One by one the surrounding crew members all went ahead and departed from her side, as if to say that there wasn’t one person from amongst them to console her.

 

On the other hand, Barnette whose promotion to pilot was just announced was at the peak of delight. Without looking at the newly provided pilot suit and such, she spent everyday buried in the simulator dressed in her favorite costume. Although her skill had already been demonstrated from her test scores, she was a rookie pilot lacking combat experience. For the sake of practicing the leading figures Valore and Meia had assumed the role of instructing her.

‘Barnette! Not like that! Pay more attention to what’s happening in your surroundings!’

Valore’s reprimand sounded within the simulator. But for Barnette who was entranced with the target before her eyes, her voice didn’t even enter her ears.

Valore and Meia were gazing at the data on the external device with complicated expressions.

“She certainly has top of line ability in her target elimination rate.”

While her eyes remained focused upon the nearby console, Meia muttered to herself. However, Valore merely let out a sigh as she wiped the cold sweat dripping along her dark brown skin.

“She does things independently huh……. However, if she’s not able to do anything other than charge forward like that, it will be impossible to include in formations with the team……”

As identified by Gascogne, Barnette’s greatest fault became immediately recognizable to the two of them.

“Be that as it may, the only results that are lacking are those of the leadership test. It seems that she’s unlikely to be the type to lead people.”

As Meia had said, there were several patterns when it came time for deciding a suitable position for Barnette, and if the team leaders were to at this time have their attention taken away from this beyond necessary task that they’d were entrusted with, it could result in them suffering severe damage later on.

Although Barnette certainly had a rough personality, she wasn’t the type who could actively lead people. On the contrary, possibly due to the influence of the environment she was born and raised in, excepting the time during the battle when she had been at her best the appearance she had shown to others was one that inspired extreme loathing.

“……Perhaps she’d be a suitable number 2……. That is someone who would be lead by someone else……”

Valore muttered as though she was greatly perplexed. Thereupon, Meia expressionlessly turned to face her and spoke.

“As Gasco-san said before, putting her together with Jura might be the best.”

Even for Meia who had a preference for rational decisions, it was though she wanted to say there was no other choice.

“Poison or be poisoned huh? ……Geez, even for drastic measures going too far can be fatal.”

“…………”

Unrelated to the concerns of these two people, Barnette, having completed the program, emerged from the simulator with a lively expression. That alone spoke of the extent to which she enjoyed combat.

“How was it? Shouldn’t there be no worry about making use of me in the next sortie?”

Convinced that all of the targets had been flawlessly dispatched, Barnette called out to the two of them with a proud voice. Thereupon, Valore whose look was serious inhaled deeply before calmly speaking.

“You’re approved to sortie. Provided, however, that when doing so you must accept whatever mission you are assigned.”

Part 2

Having finished all of the training, Barnette, having returned to her own room, was exposing her resentment once again. This was because the mission Valore had assigned her was ‘be Jura’s backup’.

“Why should I have to protect someone who’s nothing but gutless on the surface!?”

If she was going to be a backup at least it should be for Valore or Meia, but when she proposed as much that desire was quickly dismissed. As it were, she was told the reason was that the matter of being Jura’s backup was her final test. If she were to refuse the natural consequence was that she would lose the chance to be assigned as a pilot. Rather than let the hard earned opportunity go to waste, Barnette reluctantly agreed to Valore’s condition.

“Kuh! It’s fine if I just do it right!? Just watch me! I’ll protect her to the end perfectly without even the tiniest of gaps!”

Somehow or another, it seems that rather than being restrained she was the type to motivate herself. Apparently Gascogne’s plan to cheer Barnette was successful.

Originally, even during the everyday lives of the pirates of Magno’s Family, it could be said that they act in team units whenever possible. The fact is that Magno encourages this to strengthen the spirit of cooperation. However this is not a matter of duty. It was considered a good thing that the rules were settled upon by means of a decision by the team units.

As far as Barnette is concerned she was on Team Meia with Meia and Jura. However, since the three of them mutually wished to avoid each other, they usually choose to act entirely independently of one another. This was due to the fact that Meia the leader avoided contact with other people as much as possible. Naturally Jura and Barnette had no reason to converse, and before anyone realized it had reached the point of where there were rumors within the hideout that ‘They’re united in their relationship of avoiding each other’.

“……What do you think?”

In the high officers terrace overlooking the cafeteria Rebecca murmured. The one she had called out to was Buzam.

“……Hmm, did you say something?”

Buzam had been considering the matter that Rebecca had spoken of, but she immediately derived that reply to the question that was the subject of Rebecca’s inquiry.

“Pay it no mind.”

As though she had seen through Buzam’s thoughts, Rebecca added those words. In regards to the sight before their eyes, it was the team of rumors, the trio of Meia, Jura, and Barnette. The three of them were at separate tables as though avoiding each other. Jura had followers all around her as though showing off to the other two, while in contrast Barnette, whose social disposition was awkward, was alone. As for Meia had just taken the necessities to eat after arriving, she was leaving the cafeteria as though trying to escape.

“Whether it’s good to leave this as they are, is that what you were saying?”

Buzam calmly spoke to Rebecca who’s back was turned. Subsequently, Rebecca silently gave a small nod.

“……Certainly this place is similar to a hangout for drifters. It’s difficult to find an honest person. ……And yet, for us to nevertheless be adding to the seeds of dispute without concern……”

These worries were characteristic of Rebecca who was of the prudent school of thought. However, Buzam who heard that spoke with a small smile.

“Certainly Gascogne’s proposals always exceed our expectations. Nevertheless, as crazy as it seems at first glance, in fact there’s a deliberately sentimental aspect to her considerations. That’s what I feel.”

“……That is to say, time heals all wounds, is what you mean to say huh……”

“Or else, destiny has already been decided.”

Hearing Buzam’s words, Rebecca wore a smile of self-derision.

“Either way, it’s useless for inflexible people like us to judge……”

As for the subjects of Rebecca’s worries, the discord between Meia, Jura, and Barnette steadily escalated, until finally it became the central topic within the hideout. The attention of the crew members was focused upon the next sortie. What kind of battle would unfold for the team of Meia and company was a matter of great interest.

And then, that day came at last. A mission to capture a Taraak fleet that was mining resources in the asteroid belt.

‘Linestar reaction from on-board resources. The men are currently mining linestar ore.’

From the radar room a semi-excited report burst in. The ‘linestar particles’ were a precious resource whose use was indispensable for controlling the ‘Pexis Pragma’.

Hearing the report Rebecca’s eyes flashed briefly.

“We’ve caught a big one today! Everyone, today is the best chance to bring in profit! Since after all the loser will be penalized!”

In an unusually exalted state, Rebecca ordered them to dispatch. These days, for the pirates whose earnings had been lacking, this was a game they absolutely could not do without.

Following Rebecca’s proclamation, each member of the crew hurried towards the mothership Eden.

“Hey hey! What do you think!?”

“About the Meia team?”

“Yes indeed! I think it’s absolutely absurd!”

“True that, it’s absurd that the higher ups would allow it!”

Unaware that she was the focus of the crew’s attention, Meia boarded the ship with an attitude of disinterest that was no different than the usual. Jura on the other hand, as though to gloss over her anxiety, was even more typically bragging to those surrounding her.

“Please watch! Since I, Jura, will return carrying more spoils than you could possible carry! And then Jura’s Dread will receive a special crystal coating!”

In contrast to that of Jura, Barnette was seen off with openly scornful looks as she passed by. Nervous about her first sortie as one would think, she was muttering as she thought over the scrupulously refined plan. As the crew certainly feared, today’s sortie would not be a straightforward one.

‘Slow speed advance, 0.5!’

Rebecca was raising her voice. In accordance with this, Eden glided forward leaving the hideout behind.

While making several repeated changes in trajectory, as was the usual, the pirates cautiously approached their prey. As they skillfully maneuvered the warship by using the asteroid belt as a shield to conceal the Eden’s movements, it closely resembled the way the lion, the king of beasts, would hunt.

“Target has been identified! Four transport ships, three escort class ships!”

Gazing at Rebecca the bridge crew member shouted in a loud voice. Thereupon, Magno from the captain’s seat issued the order with a broad smile.

“All hands commence the attack!”

As though it’d been waiting only for Magno’s declaration, the Eden emerged from the shadow of an asteroid. Simultaneously the Dread Team that had been lying in wait launched successively from the lower part of the warship’s bow.

“Attack formation, Gamma 11! First group stay with me! We’ll attract the group of escort class vessels! Meia! You lead the second group and go reap the spoils! Use formation Delta 3!”

Valore’s tactical instructions omitted specific details. Much is said about having great tactics, however given that Valore gave no more than minute instructions, it goes without saying that she was anxious about Meia and the others. However, Meia’s reply in response to this was one that steadily stirred up her anxiety.

‘I’m not even asking for formation instructions. What I want is for you to focus on just your own team alright!’

“……Kuh……”

Having heard this Valore ground her teeth in annoyance. Even for her though, this did not mean she carried hatred for Meia. On the contrary, she saw her as no less than her rival, and as such when it came to Meia all she felt was the desire for her to overcome her so-called “social aversion”. However, reality was that she would pull back if anyone tried to approach her. Even for Meia’s obstinate refusal of a reply, Valore found it vexing.

“In that case just do as you please! But in spite of that I don’t permit you to lose!”

Having said this Valore hit the accelerator all at once, and started to charge at the group of Taraak escort class vessels while laying down a violent barrage.

“……Without so much as relying on anyone, I’ll show the results of doing so……”

Muttering these words, Meia once again issued instructions towards the second group.

“Attention second team! Attack formation, Delta 2! We’ll strike a blow to prevent them from moving and then tow them when we withdraw from the front! A Team and B Team will serve as backup!”

Having heard Meia’s instructions Barnette was startled. The A team was none other the one which included Meia, Jura and herself. For her who had been looking forward to being at the head of the charge, this was a great betrayal of her expectations.

“Why!? Shouldn’t the leader be the one acting as the vanguard!?”

Barnette who was under her supervision immediately objected as Meia continued to rush forward. Meia refuted her coldly as though she had been expecting this.

“Our team is not yet a unified one. If our formation were to become disorganized in the presence of the enemy it would result in a situation that would put the entire team at risk. Battle isn’t just about attacking.”

‘However!’

This was the great difference between Meia and Barnette. At first glance, they both appeared to be people who were incapable of cooperating with others, but Barnette was merely rebellious as she clung to her own subjective point of view, while Meia always took an objective view of the situation. Partly due to previously having understood the circumstances of her own, Meia had recognized that her own team was unsuited to tactical mobilization.

‘Your duty is to be Jura’s backup. If that’s not possible then I’ll have you return to the warship immediately.’

The unemotional rebuke of Meia echoed within the cockpit of Barnette’s craft.

“Kuh! ……Oh fine then! I understand now!”

As she said that, Barnette approached Jura’s spacecraft with her own as though she was going to fuse with it.

“Kyah! H-hold on! Are you trying to collide or something!?”

Thinking that the crafts’ hulls were going to impact each other when she saw Barnette’s spacecraft approaching, Jura unintentionally raised her voice. However Barnetts brought her craft closer still. Knowing that she would not be going to the front lines, she schemed to head out by pushing Jura’s craft.

“Barnette! Too close!”

Having noticed Barnette’s reckless behavior Meia raised her voice. However, there was no response from Barnette. Silently instigating Jura’s craft, the result was that before anyone realized the Meia team had overtaken the first team.

“Fun! It can’t be helped if you were being so slow earlier that you were overtaken!”

Brimming with confidence in her skillful tactics, Barnette muttered proudly. Simultaneously she opened her own ship’s gunports and pulled the trigger at the Taraak fleet.

“The situation is strange! We’re sensing a huge energy reaction from the group of transport ships!”

On the Eden’s bridge, the hollow sounding voice of the operator Ezra sounded.

“What was that!?”

Hearing this Rebecca gazed at the console in confusion, which was definitely showing a massive energy spike inside the the Taraak transport ships. However, the one’s guarding the fleet had suddenly started turning around.

“! ……A trap!? Ezra, emergency communication to the assault team! All ships turn back, withdraw from the front!”

Rebecca was speaking rapidly without pause, but at that point it was already too late, as Valore and the other’s Dreads were enveloped by the expanding fireball from the transport ships that had started to self-destruct. Moreover, even Meia’s group that would have safe had they proceeded according to the strategy were also swallowed by the fireball as a result.

“KYAH~~~~~~~~!!”

Jura’s sorrowful scream was heard. However, as if to drown out that voice, the trap set by Taraak caused immense damage to the Dread Teams of Magno’s Family.

“Dread Teams! Please respond! Valore-chan, Meia-chan!?”

Nothing other than Ezra’s voice eagerly calling out could be heard on the bridge. Rebecca and Magno gazed forward dumbfounded with their mouths hanging open, clearly in no condition to speak. Within this, only Buzam who had taken the left side operator seat gazed at the fireball with an expression filled with hope. Somehow or another ‘he’ seemed to have predicted this situation.

無題057

‘……ze……zeze…………this is……re……lore……some, how we’re still alive……’

Within the bridge that had been enveloped in silence, a reply message also indistinguishable from noise was received from the Dread Team. Hearing this Ezra leaned forward joyfully.

“AHA! Valore-chan!? Thank goodness, are you safe!?”

‘This is Meia……. Ship controls are inoperable. Requesting recovery.’

Following Valore’s voice a communication from Meia was heard. And then, with that as a cue the voices of the pilots registering their safety were heard in succession. Having relaxed her dumbfounded, body even Magno sank into the captain’s chair while releasing a sigh of relief.

“……Geez, they really are tenacious kids huh.”

Ironically Barnette’s reckless actions had resulted in saving the Dread Team from a crisis. Valore had broken the formation when she noticed Jura and Barnette’s ships shooting past, before Rebecca had even sent out the withdrawal order instruction the Dread Team to turn around.

While the safety of nearly all the pilots had been confirmed, Jura and Barnette had not yet communicated a reply notifying of their safety.

Gascogne’s delivery ship had been rapidly dispatched, and was probing the surrounding as it cruised about collecting Meia and the others, but regrettably they were unable to even find the wreckage of the pair’s ships.

Part 3

“……Twelve people seriously wounded, thirteen with minor injuries…………. Missing in action……two people……Jura and Barnette……”

Buzam reported on the damage situation with a grave expression. A heavy atmosphere enveloped the hideout’s tactical room.

So that they could also deliver their reports on the current situation, Team Leaders Valore and Meia were present there. Meia’s only display of individuality may have been the hair ornament that covers the left side of her face, but right now there were bandages wrapped underneath it that were painful to look upon. Besides Magno and Rebecca, even Gascogne was full of bitterness over the two whose whereabouts were unknown as expressed through her silence.

Meia felt a great deal of responsibility over their complete inability to reunite with those two, but it happened at the moment she was about to spit out some words.

“It’s my responsibility……”

These words came from Gascogne’s mouth as though to restrain Meia. As the surprised Meia looked over as Gascogne, she caught sight of the long toothpick held in her mouth repeatedly shuddering.

“……I, I was mistaken……. Her pride was obvious. The training of the crew members and such, that matter of impertinence towards myself…….”

As Gascogne who was continuing to speak self-deprecatingly, Rebecca leaned towards her. However, Magno commanded her to remain silent, the voice she spoke with being the exact opposite of her usual gentle one.

“It’s not about whether you were right or wrong……. We were all too conceited.”

In response to Magno’s unexpected words, everyone present looked at Magno in astonishment. Notwithstanding the faint smile her mouth was showing, her eyes shuddered sadly.

“……As was said our family has become quite large, and for that reason we were hasty……. Certainly, everything had gone smoothly until yesterday. However, that itself gave birth to negligence……. Since we were negligent to that extent, we didn’t notice the men’s simplistic trap……. It is due entirely to our pride that Jura and Barnette were enveloped by that……”

At this moment, Buzam became aware of how the person known as Magno Vivan held great affection even towards Jura and Barnette who were the least of her crew members. It was at this point that within Buzam, no Uragasumi Tenmei, his assessment of Magno Vivan underwent a great change.

“……If you don’t mind, I would like your permission to head to the scene once more……”

Meia spoke up abruptly breaking the silence. It goes without saying for the topic of the proposal, but everyone felt even more astonished that it was Meia who proposed it. Under the concentrated gaze of everyone present, Meia made yet another bewildering statement.

“Determining whether those two are alive or dead, as the Leader that is my duty after all…….”

Having spoken to this extent Meia went silent with an embarrassed expression. However, having sensed a possibility of her opening her heart from her attitude, Magno quietly nodded while wearing a kind smile.

In regards to the two asteroid belts surrounding the homeworld of Majere, the one close to Majere that was the remains of the first satellite had a rapid flow, while the ruins of the second satellite on Taraak’s side were slower. However, that being the case, when it was temporarily hidden behind Majere the asteroid would suddenly cool, and the remaining water was just in the act of freezing the asteroid.

Falling for Taraak’s trap, the machines of Jura and Barnette that had been enveloped by the fireball were caught in the gravity of a relatively large asteroid while they caught in a tailspin. Although the exchangeable parts from the two ships had been torn off, the cockpits had fortunately escaped destruction. However, having lost the communication systems the result was the two of them were shivering from the cold in their emergency life support tents.

“UU~~~~……Cold……. Couldn’t it be a little warmer!?”

Jura groaned as her teeth were chattering.

“……Could please tolerate something of this extent! This is the last of the insulations packs! Since we don’t know when we’ll be rescued isn’t it only natural to economize them!?”

Barnette was feigning confidence, but she had suffered a head injury at the time she had crawled out of her cockpit. Although she had avoided complete loss of sight her eyes currently could barely see as a result of the injury. Jura on the other hand had fractured both arms at the time of the crash, and currently wasn’t even able to comb her prided hair.

“I’m hungry……. Feed me something…….”

Jura grumbled helplessly. Thereupon which Barnette turned to face Jura’s annoying voice and cursed.

“Don’t act so spoiled! Can’t you do at least that much yourself!?”

However, both of Jura’s arms were wrapped in balloon gypsum from the medical kit and were unable to hold anything.

“If I was able to do it myself I would!”

Even Barnette understood Jura’s condition. Letting out a great sigh in response to this banter, she reluctantly began fumbling through the lifesaving kit in search of the food packs.

“Ah, not there! ……More to the right! That’s also wrong!”

Towards Barnette whose eyes couldn’t see, Jura gave directions to location of the food packs. Finally having discovered them she tossed them over with a throw, after which Barnette once again squatted at a distance from Jura.

“……In what way can you call this a meal?”

While comparing the package of the food packs before her that Barnette had tossed over, Jura complained sadly. Hearing this Barnette became enraged as her patience snapped.

“It’s good enough alright! I’m not your servant okay!”

Thereupon, even Jura began to vent her suppressed irritation at Barnette.

“I don’t like having to rely upon you! I’m watching the surroundings in place of you whose eyes can’t see, aren’t I!! Therefore you have to make use of your hands in place of me whose hands can’t be used!”

It certainly was as Jura said. It was an ironic situation for the two of them who mutually were hostile to each other, but in their current situation if they didn’t cooperate with each other they wouldn’t be able to eat.

“……Geez, why did it have to be with such a person as this……”

While grinding her teeth in frustration, muttered to herself. Subsequently, Jura exposed her wrath and glared at Barnette.

“As I said originally this wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been so rash!”

“That’s not why! It’s you having been so slow that’s to blame! What’s with you! Although you like to talk big with all that lip service, when push comes to shove you get so scared that you can’t do anything at all!”

“Sure you say that! Aren’t you just condemning others for your own mistakes! Do remember! You received failing grades for both leadership and cooperativeness!”

“Someone who only thinks about running away has no right to say that!”

The two of them continued to insult one another inside the tiny tent. Under circumstances where neither of them wanted to be the one who stopped it only grew more intense. However, with their rescue beacon having not been picked up as of present, the danger to Jura and Barnette’s lives was only increasing.

“How’s it going? Has there been any kind of response?”

From the cockpit of the delivery ship Gascogne asked a question of Meia who had gone ahead in her machine.

‘No……. There do not appear to be any Dread identification signals coming from the wreckage around here.’

“For there to be no signal, it becomes likely that their machines were scattered into pieces. That’s the only hope we can have right now.”

Having volunteered for the search for Jura and Barnette, Meia once again returned to the scene along with Gascogne’s delivery ship. Having determined that there was no reaction from either Jura or Barnette’s machines in the wreckage floating through the surrounding area, the two of them decided to investigate the planetoids in the area. However, even if only considering those of a size likely for those two to be one there were several hundred. Discovering Jura and Barnette from within that was a daunting task.

However, Meia said, “Well then, I’ll investigate the port side,” and drove her machine forward as she disappeared into the asteroid belt.

“……Geez, when her honest feelings emerge she becomes someone who exudes a loveable nature……”

It seemed that Meia herself was perhaps unaware of this, but even without her saying anything it was obvious that she was concerned about Jura and Barnette. Surely whether it was Meia, Jura, or even Barnette, each of them individually had a strong case of being a problem child. However, Gascogne had seen cases such as them repeatedly during her own youth. Thus, by rescuing Jura and Barnette, she hoped that one day the three of them would be united by feelings of strong bonds between them.

Part 4

“A~~~~n! Mou, that’s not what I said! It’s no good if you cut that one!”

“Then which one!? Would you explain it so that I can properly understand!”

Within the tent were the same pair of Jura (who could not use her hands) and Barnette (whose eyes couldn’t see) who were continuing to vent at one another. However, slightly different from a short while earlier, it was not unproductive abuse as before them was the broken communication device that they were picking over. They were now assisting one another by covering for the other’s disability, so one could perhaps say this was an improvement. However in this unlucky situation, Barnette who understood machines was without her sight, while Jura who could see the machine did not have a good understanding of how to repair it. As such the work was only increasing the pair’s impatience.

“Ugh I’ll explain it once more from the beginning. ……With the console facing you, which chip is connected to the right hand window?”

Taking a deep breath, Barnette regained her calm. In response to Barnette’s inquiry, Jura answered while peering intently at the interior of the communication device.

“Let’s see……ah, I see! You’re currently holding the one next to the right hand one!”

At which point Barnette carefully shifted her fingers according to Jura’s instructions and seized the chip.

“Now then, look to see whether this chip is damaged. Has it been cracked, or perhaps burned?”

“U~~~~n……. Ah! It certainly has been!”

Having discovered a damaged section as she had said, Jura spoke joyfully like a child. Hearing this Barnette’s lips let slip a sigh of relief.

“Yes! With this the communication device can be repaired!”

“Truly!?”

Unexpectedly a sense of shared accomplishment was born between Jura and Barnette. However, perhaps out of awkwardness, Barnette cleared her throat to gloss over it and gave Jura the next instruction.

“……This doesn’t mean that it’s fixed yet……. Uhm, next is……”

“Next is, what!?”

Bringing her face close, Jura inquired in a pestering manner like that of a child. Surprised by her excessive upfrontness Barnette was nothing short of bewildered.

By lending each other a hand, the two of them had overcome their hardships and a sense of reliable comradery had sprouted.

As Jura watched, Barnette assembled the communication device, which then broadcasted a signal for the sake of announcing their presence. After that, while they were both waiting for the other to speak words or apology, it happened.

‘ZUZU~~~~~~~~N!’

Together with the sound of an impact the asteroid the two were on began to shake violently.

“WHA, WHAT!?

Barnette who couldn’t see raised an uneasy voice. Thereupon, what was reflected in Jura’s pupils who was serving as her substitute was another large asteroid that was colliding with their own.

“KYAH————! At this rate we’ll be crushed!”

Jura let out an agonizing scream of approaching doom when in the next moment it happened.

‘Oya! Two lost children were hiding in such a place!’

Gascogne’s voice in a tone that feigned ignorance was then heard from the communication device.

“!? Gasco-san!?”

‘Could you please stop using that strange way of shortening it……. It’s not Gasco! It’s Gascogne!’

With only a hair’s breath, the delivery ship knocked the asteroid away, and the outcome was that Jura and Barnette had successfully returned safe and alive.

 

Meeting up with Meia’s ship, the delivery ship carefully approached Jura and Barnette below. During this time, the asteroid the pair had been on passed out from the shadow of Majere, and they were struck by the gentle rays of light from the sun.

Even the ice that had frozen on the bodies of the pair was now gradually started melting. And it was at that moment that Barnette, who had until now bared her fangs at everyone around her, clearly began to reveal that she had started to mature.

“A~~~~n! Wait just minute, Barnette!”

Jura’s voice resounded within the hideout as she desperately sought attention. She was chasing after Barnette, whose eyesight had been restored, as she headed towards the location to register for her new ship.

“You promised that, ‘When the time comes we’ll register our new ships together,’ didn’t you!”

To Jura who had raised this sulky complaint, Barnette did not take the same attitude as before. Since the time they had cooperated with each other to escape from a crisis, Barnette had not gained a feeling of camaraderie towards Jura, but simultaneously discovered her strength as a woman.

“Sorry, my apologies! I thought Jura had already gone over ahead of me.”

“No way! Barnette will choose together with Jura! You are absolutely not allowed to make a choice by yourself!”

Jura was also different than she had been to this point, when she had behaved like a majestic spoiled child in public. She also felt that Barnette had a charm that she herself lacked.

In the beginning Jura and Barnette had been in opposition to each other, but now they were such intimate companions that those around them were envious.

With Jura who, despite putting on airs, had the purity of a weak little girl within the heart, and the skillful Barnette who has hesitant to be in the spotlight herself, the relationship they had was like that of the sun and the moon.

At the situation of this pair, even Gascogne who was waiting for them at Reg was gazing pleasantly.

 

In this way, Jura and Barnette were given the name of ‘Magno’s Family’s Best Couple’.

3 thoughts on “Vandread Extra Stage Chapter 2

  1. It looks great,many thanks for translating the vandread novels.
    Sorry to nitpick but it looks like you might have missed out the “You” in this sentence:
    “Your duty is to be Jura’s backup. If that’s not possible then I’ll have [you?] return to the warship immediately.’”
    Anyway I look forward to the future chapters

    Like

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