Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast Volume 2 Chapter 1 Part 1
Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
CHAPTER 1: A Bonding Halloween
The hour was still before dawn, so it was no surprise that the world outside was still shrouded in the veil of darkness to some extent.
That was actually the very first thing to do on the list of daily routines for the beginning of the day for the Royal Navy’s Maid Corps’ the second ship of the Town Class, Edinburgh Sub-Class Light Cruiser named Belfast.
Surrounded by mountains on three sides, this area was the section of the Port island where the school managed by a certain faction was located. And located in the north-eastern part of the school’s campus, there was another building, a dormitory, where the young shipgirls of the “Royal Navy” lived their daily lives, ate their meals and went to school to receive education.
The three-story dormitory was built in the Neo—Gothic style and even had a solitary bell tower erecting from its roof. And to the west of the dormitory, there was the long concrete pier that could be seen, as well as the bridge connecting this area to the central port.
And it was inside of the Royal Navy’s dormitory that Belfast was walking down the quiet corridor where all the windows were lined with tracery.
Eventually, Belfast would go down the stairs in the center of the building and arrive at the ground floor, going down another corridor before eventually arriving in front of a large double door located slightly to the south of the staircase.
[…… Oh my?]
She slowly turned the doorknob –––––– But much to her surprise, the door would not open.
[It’s way heavier than I would have expected…… And way harder…… That’s troubling……]’
When she put her whole body against the double door and pushed it with all of her weight, it took her a moment but they eventually started moving forward inch by inch.
This dormitory was quite large in order to properly accommodate all of the shipgirls who are supposed to live here all at once, but even taking that fact into account, there were still quite a bit of empty rooms to spare.
Although there was a stained glass in every window that would allow for the daylight to easily pass through into the building, the corridors and the rooms inside of the dormitory were still quite dim, much more than in the other dormitories around the Port island.
After staring for a moment or two into the distance, the maid directed her gaze towards the lantern that was hanging on the cedar wall just outside of the double door.
However, the lantern was hanging way higher than the maid was able to reach, way above her head. But since she was always prepared for such an eventuality to occur, she brought out portable stairs that she prepared in advance, and she climbed them up and stretched out her arm in order to reach for the lantern without having to strain her legs too much.
[And there we go…… Alright, I got it!]
After getting the lantern from the wall, the maid jumped off the top of the portable stairs, even though she knew that it was dangerous and that she should not really do it, and then she quietly placed the lantern on top of the table.
Next, the woman gently put her hand inside of the pocket of her maid uniform’s apron.
Then she started to rummage through the contents of her pocket in search of a matchbox, all the while there was a huge smile blooming on her face. For her, gently lighting up a lantern seemed to be synonymous with being a prim and proper maid who can behave gracefully and elegantly at all times without fail.
However, the matchbox was nowhere to be found inside of her pocket.
She thought that it was really strange, and then she put her hand inside of her apron’s pocket once more and started searching. Realizing that the matchbox was not there, there was a small feeling of emptiness that was born inside of her heart. Not to mention that the inside of her pocket was a true mess, since she had a whole lot of small things and thingies there, like extra tea bags and such.
The movement of her small hand inside of her pocket became gradually more erratic and chaotic, and her cheerful expression was replaced with a huge frown.
Just when she started to get a little frustrated that she was unable to find what she was looking for, she felt a shape –––––– a single matchbox brushing against the tips of her fingers.
She immediately latched onto that shape and pulled the match out of her pocket before it managed to elude her further.
In that blink of an eye, the match slipped out of her hand with the excess momentum and started to fall down towards the floor.
The matchbox fell out of her hand and started falling towards the floor while rotating in mid-air, and the contents that were inside of it were scattered all over the place. She hurriedly picked them all up one by one and put them back inside of the box.
[Nothing seems to be going as smoothly as I would like it to today……]
That action right now might not have been elegant in the slightest, but even so, the young maid proceeded to light the lamp and then she started to walk through the room as if nothing at all happened.
There, at the very end of the long and spacious room, there was a single wooden door in the back, and when the young maid inserted the key into the keyhole and opened the door, the kitchen with the scalary integrated into it came into a full view. From the window curtains on the east side of the room, where many cooking utensils and tableware were lined up, there was a bright light that was falling into the room, just before the sun was about to rise over the horizon. It was a truly pretty sight when you were observing it through the window.
Gently placing the lantern on top of the cooking table, the maid slid her body inside of the curtains that covered the window.
Staring at the ginkgo trees that could be seen from behind the glass windows, the maid unlocked it with a little pomp and pulled the window up. At that moment, the “silk curtain” softly swelled into the kitchen like a giant balloon would when you would fill it with air.
After taking a deep breath of the still cold morning air, the maid would look at the birds sitting on the trees and opened her mouth to greet them.
[…… Good morning.]
It was then that a certain voice echoed from behind the young maid’s back, and before she was even able to react in any way or turn around, someone placed both of their hands right on top of her shoulders.
Surprised, the little maid turned around to find a silver-haired woman wearing an apron standing in the middle of the curtain that was all fluttering up in the gentle morning breeze.
[Now, this won’t do, I’m afraid. You have to properly extinguish the lantern before you open the window. If it’s a particularly windy day, it can be blown away from the table, and that’s something that we would rather not want to see, am I right?]
The gentle, and sweet voice as if it was dripping with honey, sounding like the most perfect example of sheer elegance.
With her hands still being placed on the little maid’s shoulders, she gently warned her about the lantern that was still on the table. The little maid ––– the little Belfast that everyone was calling Bel-chan for short ––– looked at her grown up self and asked with small flames of anxiety starting to smolder in her eyes.
[…… Could it be that I got in here as the last again?]
While Bel-chan was saying that, the silver-haired Belfast the Head Maid pulled her hands from her shoulders and then she tilted her head slightly while at the same time she grabbed a hold of the bulging kitchen curtains and pulled them to the left and to the right, tying them firmly in one place so that they would not disturb the kitchen’s work..
[No, that’s not it at all. It’s just that I got up really early, the little Head Maid-san.]
When Belfast said that with a bright smile on her lips, Bel-chan seemed to become slightly embarrassed by her visage, her hands fidgeting while being placed on top of her maid apron.
In fact, all of the other maids were already in the kitchen, but there was no need to say that for now.
[That’s because, I’m afraid that today is going to be quite a busy day.]
When Belfast said so, the soft autumn breeze flowed in from the outside of the window right into the kitchen.
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Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast
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