Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Coming into the dining hall with a broom and a dustpan in tow, Belfast carefully started collecting the pieces of the scrambled porcelain while the other maids cleaned up the dishes. Once she was done with that, Belfast placed the broken plates inside of the trash can, and went outside to throw it away.
After she was done throwing away all the collected pieces of broken porcelain and came back inside, back, this time Belfast started to clean up the sauce and leftover food that flew all over the place alongside the plates when they started to fall down. The last thing that needed to be done was to simply mop up the floor.
Belfast has gotten completely absorbed into her work, and because of that she has completely lost her sense of time. And when she finally happened to cast a glance at the clock that was hanging on the wall –––
[Oh my, it looks like the date has already changed……]
At some point, the time had already passed so much that right now it was thirty minutes after midnight.
When Belfast hurriedly went to see how the kitchen cleaning crew was faring so far, she could see that the ceiling light was already turned off and only the light of the lone lantern on top of the cooking table was still on.
The one standing in front of that table was none other than Edinburgh.
When Belfast approached her sister, she could see that she was sleeping peacefully with her head resting on top of her crossed arms, her long and silver hair falling like a cascade all over her face.
Apparently, Edinburgh must have been waiting here for Belfast to finish her cleaning duties?
As for Kent, Suffolk and Sheffield, all three of them were nowhere to be seen.
Belfast had been so focused on cleaning that she had completely forgotten all about it, but she remembered that they have come here and she gave them some smaller tasks to fulfill about two hours ago.
For a moment out there, Belfast just stood there over the sleeping Edinburgh and then she gently stroked her long, silver hair.
Edinburgh let out a strange sound from her mouth, neither a moan nor a gasp, and then she frowned her eyebrows as if she wanted to let the one who was disturbing her right now that she did not wished to be woke up just yet and that she wanted to sleep some more.
[Nee-san, you’d better wake up soon. If you continue to sleep in a place like this, you are surely going to catch a cold.]
Raise her sister’s still sleeping body ever so slightly, Belfast supported her against her own body and gently picked Edinburgh up, making sure to hold onto her tightly so that her sister would not slip up from her grasp and fall onto the floor.
Now, making doubly sure that Edinburgh was still resting safely in her hands, Belfast started to carry out her sister out of the kitchen, making sure as to not wake her up.
[Come to think of it now, I never got to ask you how exactly you managed to prepare that tea during the party this afternoon……]
Even though she muttered those words to herself, Edinburgh was still sleeping like a log, with nothing being able to wake her up. But still, for all this time, Belfast’s mind was still caught up on that part of the day when Elizabeth proclaimed that it was the kind of tea that only Edinburgh could have made, and that she would not be able to create something quite like this even if she tried.
[Nee-san…… How did you manage to arrive at such a unique flavor all on your own?]
Belfast pushed open the door of leading to the dining hall, and once she got through it she went directly towards the staircase.
After she managed to climb two flights of stairs and arrive at the third floor of the dormitory, Belfast’s mind suddenly managed to arrive at a certain conclusion.
She wanted to be able to reproduce the taste of the tea that supposedly only her sister was able to create. And she would stop at nothing in order to achieve that goal.
And what would be the better way in order to achieve that goal than trying to imitate the kind of lifestyle that her sister was leading on a daily basis?
[Fufufu…… Just what am I thinking here, I wonder?]
Belfast then skillfully opened the door to their room while making sure that Edinburgh sleep would not be disturbed, and as she was closing the door she could not help it but to laugh at her own thoughts just now.
[When you want people to change, you best start from yourself –––––– I know that I might have said that in the past, but it really is just like that, isn’t that right?]
And while Belfast once again mumbled those words into an empty space, not directing them towards anyone in particular, she then went to bed while being filled with a feeling as if she managed to receive a sudden revelation.
* * *
The next day was similarly sunny and warm just like the previous one.
However, when it comes to the atmosphere that was permeating the Royal Navy’s dormitory, it was something completely different from yesterday.
[Your! Your Majesty……! Please, do try to calm yourself down!]
While Edinburgh’s loud voice was being carried down the corridor while she was marching alongside Elizabeth, the other shipgirls who just so happened to be nearby or happened to heard it stopped doing what they were doing and observed the current situation with great interest.
[P-Personally, I also think that it is something that is quite strange, but…… But maybe Bel was simply tired from all the things that happened yesterday? Or maybe she happened to eat something funny and now she is feeling unwell because of it and…… And……]
[If I wanted to hear your opinion on the subject, Edi, we would not be going to hear the explanation from Bel herself now, wouldn’t we?]
The time was already well an hour past everyone’s usual wake-up time, and Queen Elizabeth was walking straight towards the Head Maid’s room, who was still unaccounted for, while Edinburgh was tagging along right behind her, visibly distressed.
The emotions that could be seen on Her Majesty’s face right about now were also something that could only be described as “out of the ordinary”.
The golden hair of Her Majesty were almost standing upright, her cheeks were bright red with anger, just like ripe apples. And the way in which the small shipgril was proceeding forward was similar to the stampeding elephant, her entire body brimming with aura of intimidation so severe that even someone much taller than her would choose to get out of her way rather than confront her right now.
And once the two arrived at the right room while the sound of their footsteps could have been heard loud and clear echoing across the entire corridor, Elizabeth threw the door to Belfast’s room open without even bothering to knock first.
[Hey, Bel!? What the hell is the meaning of this!? Why didn’t you come to wake me as you were supposed to do!?]
Spinning around, Elizabeth was simply fuming with anger like a ferocious beast right about now, as she approached the bunk bed that was placed in the corner of the room.
[Edi! Which one is Bel’s bed!? The lower one!? Or the upper one!?]
[Umm, it’s the upper one, Your Majesty.]
As Edinburgh said so while looking clearly distressed, Elizabeth jumped on the small ladder and climbed to the second story of the bunk bed in what seemed like a record time.
[Bel! Wake up! Wake up, you hear me!? BEL!!!]
Having climbed the ladder to the second story of the bed, Elizabeth yelled out loud at her Head Maid, slapping the huge, human-shaped bulge that could be seen under the blankets over and over again with mighty force and speed.
[BEL! It’s already morning, god damn it! Just like you’re the one who’s always trying to wake me up, I’m the one who’s doing the exact same thing for you right now! And I will never forgive your for making me do such a thing, just so you know! So come on now, get the hell up! Rise and shine! BEL!!!!!!]
Edinburgh, who up until now was observing Elizabeth exclusively from behind, suddenly thought to try and come closer to her, and then she saw that the expression painted all over Elizabeth’s face was hardly that of anger or annoyance. Quite the opposite, actually.
[Your Majesty, could it be…… Are you actually having fun doing this sort of thing?]
Yes. In fact, Elizabeth was enjoying herself greatly right about now.
Under any normal circumstances, it would be impossible for someone like Belfast to sleep in like any other ordinary shipgirl. Until now, she has always acted as a role model of a maid who has been doing her best in her life, at every possible step at all times. So it was impossible for her to oversleep like that.