Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast Volume 1 Chapter 3 Part 4
Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Belfast then suddenly heard a voice coming from her left, and she opened her eyes in a hurry.
When she turned her head in the direction where the voice was coming from, what she saw there was not one person, but four of them.
[–––––– I knew it, it was Belfast-san! I couldn’t see your face because you were wearing a hat on your head, so I was wondering what I should do if you were actually an entirely different person altogether.]
Belfast did not recognize her for a moment out there because she was wearing her plain clothes as well, but the one who spoke to her was the first ship of the Nelson Class, Battleship Rodney. And right behind her stood Nelson, the second battleship of the Nelson Class.
[Oh my, it certainly is Belfast! But where is Edinburgh? She’s not here with you today?]
The one who spoke now was the person standing right next to Rodney, the battlecruiser of the Renown Class, Repulse. And just like Nelson and Rodney, right behind Repulse was the battlecruiser Renown, the namesake of her Class.
[Yes, it is me. And unfortunately, Nee-san is not here. I’m on my own for today.]
Belfast nodded to the four of them, as they were all familiar faces from the Royal Navy’s dormitory, and they were all people with whom Belfast could talk in a much more relaxed fashion than with other maids or lecturers at the school, not to mention the fellow shipgirls with whom she would do commissions from time to time.
[Hmm, is that so? We met Rodney and the others in front of the station a while ago, and seeing that we are all sister ships, I was wondering if that was supposed to be some sort of a theme for today’s outing or something like that. You never know with the top brass, after all.]
Laughing dryly, Repulse pointed to Belfast’s side, as if she was asking if it was okay for them to sit down right next to her. And once Belfast nodded her head in affirmation, Repulse sat down right next to her without hesitation.
Repulse’s plain clothes were very simple and looked really comfortable. And when Belfast saw her sitting on a bench while wearing a T-shirt and hot pants, all the while crossing her legs, Belfast suddenly felt like saying out loud what was at the very top of her head.
[But I must say, it’s really surprising. Seeing you, Repulse-san, and the company right here like this.]
[Huh? Is that so?]
[You see, it’s just that, there was also a camping option in the choice for a possible vacation spot, so I just assumed that you would choose that option instead.]]
[Are you saying that camping is something that is more like “us” rather than a trip to hot springs? And you know what? You’re right. But the thing is, Nee-san right here really wanted to do this, so here we are.]
Saying that, Repulse cast a quick glance to the side at her older sister Renown.
Renown dropped her gaze while making an exasperated expression. But even with her like that, it was clear that her thoughts were already up ahead at the hot spring inn. It was clear that she must have been really looking forward to this particular trip.
[Umm….. If I were to choose between those two, I think that hot springs are way more attractive of an option than the camping trip.]
Renown replied firmly, defending her choice.
[But I have heard that the camping trip had things like fishing for sweet fish, barbecues, and fireworks in its itinerary, aside for a few other things.]
[You keep saying that, while in reality you have not even cast a glance at the pamphlet that was describing both options in greater detail.]
After that was told, Renown actually started to read through the pamphlet that she just so happened to be holding in her hands.
[“This option offers a trip to a natural hot spring discovered north of the Home Port some time ago. The unique qualities of this natural spring is weakly alkaline with sodium, calcium, sulfate, and chloride among many others. It is said that the water there has a healing-like effects such as ––––––]
When Renown read that far in a as-a-matter-of-fact tone, everyone on the spot gathered in front of the pamphlet and stared at the text with a cannibalistic gaze in their eyes.
[What do we have here, what do we have here…… “The history of this hot spring goes back almost twelve hundred years back. If you take a bath in the spring even once, your skin will be moisturized and smooth like never before, and any fatigue, injury or illness is said to be healed instantly”…… ]
[–––––– I have never even heard before about a hot spring with such magnificent healing qualities. It seems that the pamphlet attributes those to some deity known as the “God of Hot Springs” that resides in those waters…… But seriously? Do you guys really believe in such a thing?]
Rodney, who spoke right after Repulse, raised her head and looked around at everyone’s faces.
However, no one responded to her words of doubt.
[Among all of us here, has anyone ever been to a natural hot spring before?]
Belfast asked a question of her own, but just like Rodney, she did not receive any sort of answer for her question.
In other words, all of the members here seem to have never experienced hot springs before, having only been to the artificial hot springs in their Home Port.
[That actually sounds like some bullcrap story made up entirely for the sake of advertisement, don’t you think?]
Said Nelson and then she walked away slightly, seemingly bored by what she heard just now.
[I mean, I’m sure it is all just exaggerated. It says it’s a hot spring meant for caring and beautifying the skin, but isn’t it actually just a normal, run-of-the-mill warm spring water?]
[However, according to this pamphlet, some research conducted by an independent pharmaceutical company has proven that the skin beautifying effect has been scientifically proven and ——]
Nelson just shook her head in disbelief when Belfast pointed to a small piece of writing in the corner of the pamphlet.
[Please don’t expect too much, but also don’t get discouraged, they say that the effects of this spring also work wonders for arteriosclerosis and rheumatism…… Hmm, how is it possible to heal so many things just by soaking in hot water, I wonder?]
[Then why did you choose to go to the hot springs as well, Nelson-san?]
[Well, you see, I heard that you can eat delicious kaiseki cuisine there as well. Rather than eating peculiar food like BBQ at the camp, that is something that a classy lady would enjoy far greater, don’t you think? Or at the very least, I myself prefer to eat a fancy meal cooked by a great chef and ––––––]
At that time, Belfast heard the sound of the heavy machinery drawing closer and a long piercing sound of a whistle, and everyone who was there at the station turned around all at once.
When they all looked up, there was steam coming out of the chimney of the train, and it was slowly making its way towards the people waiting at the station’s platform.
[Rodney, on the other hand, thinks that it is important to get excited about stuff like that. It is our long-awaited day off, so we might as well get to enjoy it as much as possible without having to needlessly worry about every single little thing.]
With that being said, Rodney happily walked into the train with her huge luggage in tow, and Nelson followed right behind her.
[Ah, wait! Wait just a minute! Just so you know, I’m calling dibs on the seat by the window!]
After that, Renown and Repulse also entered the train, and finally Belfast boarded it as the last one.
[I know that each and every one of us has a lot going on, but I hope that we are going to get along really well during this trip.]
Before actually entering inside of the train, Repulse came back to Belfast and said those words while extending her arm for a handshake.
[The pleasure is all mine. I hope that we will have a relaxing journey together.]
Saying that, Belfast shook Repulse’s hand and smiled brightly.
Soon after, the train’s whistle blew loudly, and the train, with the five people on board, began to run slowly toward its destination ––– the hot springs inn.
* * *
The train with five people on board continued to run over many mountains.
While the train was on its way, Belfast started to read the pamphlet that Renown had in her possession, starting from the very beginning. According to what was written in it, it was said that the spring itself has been there for a long time now, and recently members of the Sakura Empire started to work together with the Naval HQ with the intention of turning the place into a huge spa town-style fitness facility for shipgirls from all factions.
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Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast
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