Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast Volume 2 Chapter 1 Part 2
Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
* * *
There was a loud sound that could be heard from the very top of the Royal Navy’s dormitory building ––––––
It was the morning routine that upon striking the designated hour, the bell at the top of the clock tower would ring out loud to indicate that it was about time for everyone present at the dormitory to wake up. The sound the bell was making was so loud that it reached even all the way across the home Port, and it was often considered to be way too loud among the shipgirls who were living in the dormitories.
That very same bell was to toll out loud right about now.
Just three more seconds left.
Two seconds. One second ––––––
[It’s time to get to work!]
With those words being said, there was indeed a loud toll of the bell that could be heard.
And at the same time, both Belfast and her sister Edinburgh rushed from the kitchen into the dining room.
What was right in front of them was the huge dining room. And what each of them was holding in their hands was a bunch of pure white table cloths.
They divided their work to the left side and the right side, and proceeded according to the shape that was made out beneath their feet by the tape in the shape of a huge rectangular shape.
Doing their job, each made their way further and further down their designated side of the dining room. And while they were going, the folded table cloth in their hands was slowly unfolding with a gentle rustling sound.
And after a short while, the two maids came to a screeching halt all at once.
The tape was the thing that told them where to go and where to stop.
Looking at the dining room from the bird’s-eye perspective, the clothes held by the two maids seemed to be the thick lines that were dividing the dining room in a straight line.
「And one! And a two ––––––!!」
While the two maids made quiet shout in unison like that and made the white table cloth in their hands into a motion, it went upwards way higher than their heads for a single moment.
And once the two maids managed to confirm that the table cloth landed safely on top of the table, it was time for Belfast to quickly turn around and go back into the kitchen.
「Well then, everyone. If you’d be so kind.」
「OK! Alright then, here we go!」
The first person to come out of the kitchen with an energetic shout to boost her morale was Kent, the County Class Heavy Cruiser.
Next one to emerge was Suffolk, also a Heavy Cruiser of the County Class, followed by Sheffield, a Light Cruiser of the Town Class. The three of them approached the end of the table where Belfast was standing, each pushing a serving cart loaded with a large amount of various tableware.
First of all, Sheffield quickly lined up the napkins on each seat, followed by Kent lining up knives and forks.
「Is the soup ready to be served?」
Belfast turned towards the busy Kent, asking her that.
「Yes! Just a little bit more and we will be ready to serve it!」
「And how about the preparations for tea serving?」
This time around Belfast turned towards Suffolk, who was busy arranging the cups and pots on the table.
「I-I think we are going to be fine to serve it! Probably.」
Thankfully, the speed at which the members of the Maid Corps were arranging the tableware on the table was quite fast, and somehow it seemed that the preparations would be finished before the first shipgirls from the dormitory would arrive in the dining room to have their morning meal.
「Sheffield, what about –––」
Belfast turned towards Sheffield with that next inquiry.
However, the maid in question suddenly disappeared from the dining room without a trace.
All of the napkins were already beautifully arranged. When Belfast took a peek into the kitchen really quick, Sheffield was already there, instructing the other maids on how to properly arrange the pieces of the meal on the plates.
「Make sure that you do not go overboard with beans. Think more about the balance of the whole plate, and bring together the best proportions for each ingredient to make that perfect image in your head become reality.」
Next, Belfast was going to ask about the way in which the meal was arranged on the plates for everyone as well about its taste, but it would seem that there was no longer any need for her to worry about that. It was already nicely taken care of.
When Belfast was letting out a small sigh of relief for a moment out there,
「What’s wrong, Belfast?」
All of a sudden, Sheffield raised her head and noticed that the Head Maid was looking at her.
「No, it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.」
When Belfast answered while shaking her head to the sides, Sheffield lowered her head as if she had lost all interest and she immediately began giving instructions to the maids once more in the most serious of tones.
「Toast and eggs should always be up front. Now hurry it up. We don’t have that much time left.」
When it comes to Sheffield, she might have seemed harsh at times, but that was only because she did not want to hold back even when it comes to her subordinates and other shipgirls, making sure that they would absolutely get the job done. Belfast knew that fact about her very well that although she usually had that expressionless mask on her face all the time, and it was difficult for anyone to be able to reach what lied underneath it, she was the one who was the best choice to train others to do things the right way.
As evidence of that simple fact, Sheffield moved around the kitchen more than anyone else would when there was the time to make any sort of preparations. Each and every one of her juniors was always properly trained and instructed, while Sheffield herself was always keeping a firm eye on them so that they wouldn’t make any mistakes that would impede the rest of the work.
「Anyways…… I think that we will manage to make everything in time.」
Looking at just how smoothly things were proceeding, Belfast said those words more to herself rather than to anyone else in particular.
After all, the morning at the Royal Navy’s dormitory was just getting started for today.
When it comes to the Royal Navy’s breakfast, it is called the Full Breakfast, and is particularly extravagant compared to the breakfasts of every other faction. In other words, out of all the three meals of the day, the breakfast was always the most challenging of them all for the Royal Maids to prepare.
And what’s more, today that fact was especially true, because there was another reason for that Full Breakfast that was making it even more difficult than it usually was.
「I was afraid that the work for today might be especially sluggish because of the lack of personnel, but I guess it was good thing that I was wrong……」
Belfast then quickly glanced into the kitchen.
In front of the tables that were meant for cooking that were placed at even intervals, several maids were doing work other than that related to preparing breakfast.
One of the most noticeable things about that work was the large orange pumpkin in the middle of the kitchen.
「But I must say, that pumpkin cake surely looks delicious.」
Peeking from behind Belfast’s back, Bel-chan’s eyes were shining with the truest child-like excitement.
She then looked at Belfast from below while her whole body was fidgeting restlessly.
「I know why everyone got up so early in the morning today. That’s because today is Halloween, right?」
「Yes, that is in fact a correct answer.」
Belfast smiled as she put her hands on Bel-chan’s tiny head and stroked her hair gently.
It all started just the other day.
Since Halloween was just around the corner, a decision was made to prepare some pumpkin-like decorations and have some dishes and sweets with a pumpkin motif for the occasion.
And it was none other than Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth who came up with such a proposal.
Everyone was surprised to hear it at first, and Belfast immediately gathered all the maids to discuss the exact plan for the event that was to take place, and just like that they were able to devise a plan that would be manageable and would please everyone participating in it.
–––––– For example, how about making a huge pumpkin cake?
The planned height of the cake was about two meters. It would be a cake taller than any small shipgirl that was currently living in the Royal Navy’s Dormitory.
Normally, it would only be Bedfast who would get up early in the morning in order to prepare breakfast for everyone.
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