Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast Volume 2 Chapter 1 Part 6
While Edinburgh was trying to think out loud, Foxhound quickly countered that statement with a retort of her own.
[We only saw her from behind, so we didn’t really see her face, but it must have been a maid, who else would that be? And my eyesight is impeccable, so I’m certain of it! There is no way that this is a mistake!]
While listening to this story, Belfast suddenly came back to her senses and cast a quick look at the clock that was hanging on the wall. It was a little past 10:00 a.m now, and she was supposed to be in the middle of clearing out the millet that had been left in the kitchen.
[Were you the only ones who saw that maid at that time?]
Belfast then started to walk at a fast pace, going between Foxhound and Fortune and reaching for the assignment book that was always kept at hand.
It was none other than Belfast herself who made the list of all of the tasks for every maid every day. If everyone was following the assignment book, they should have always acted individually in their assigned posts at all times.
[It’s really hard to imagine that someone would be acting all alone at this time of the day. And if someone really was doing just that, it would be someone who willingly has left their assigned post, and their partner would surely come to complain about that.]
That being said, Belfast did not think that Foxhound and Fortune were lying to them regarding that matter. After pondering it for a little while, she finally snapped out of it and turned towards Bel-chan while placing her hand on her shoulder and saying:
[Bel-chan. Can I leave you here to look after the cake-makers while I go out for a bit? There is a little something that I must absolutely take care of, you see.]
[Of course, Nee-sama! You can count on me!]
Next, Belfast turned to Edinburgh, Kent, Suffolk and Sheffield and addressed them directly.
[Let’s go and ask the maids who are in charge of the cleaning a few questions –––––– whether anyone has left their post, and if so, how long they were gone before they got back.]
The moment that one of the Maid Corps has been accused of stealing something that did not belong to them, that was the moment when Belfast simply could not sit idly and just watch. The honor of the entire Maid Corps was at stake here, and so she wanted to get to the bottom of this case as soon as possible.
With that being said, the five maids immediately set off from the kitchen and headed to find out if the maids on the cleaning duty had an alibi for the presumed time when the crime took place.
* * *
While Belfast was climbing up the stairs,
[–––––– Oh! Well, if it isn’t Belfast! Hello there!]
She was met with the Renown Class Battlecruiser Repulse in the middle of the staircase.
As far as Belfast knew, ever since yesterday she was on her leave from duty, and she used that time in order to go pay a visit to some famous hot spring resort together with her sister.
Of course, she was not alone. Right next to her was her sister Renown, a Battlecruiser of the Renown Class as well. And as a matter of course, she also had an alibi of being out of the port on a hot spring inn trip.
Belfast then glanced at the objects that each one of them had in their hands.
Each of them had a bunch of bags in their hands, with nothing else but sweets inside of them. But at the same time, they not even once tried to hide the bags of their contents, leaving them completely in the open.
[Oh, this thing? Are you interested in it, perhaps?]
Repulse, noticing that Belfast was staring at the object in her hands, handed the Head Maid one of the bags.
[We were going to give them to the little ones later. I thought that maybe I should dress up appropriately for the occasion, but I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just walk around like normal even when you can change your image.]
After stealthily opening the bag and looking through its contents g, Repulse took out a huge piece of wrapped candy and showed it to Belfast, as if boasting about it.
[Want one? Also, if you wouldn’t mind, would you like to tag along as we go and distribute those to the kids, Belfast? How about that?]
[No, you see, right now I am……]
Because the entire group was in a bit of a hurry right now, Belfast knew that she could not talk too long with those two.
And while she was thinking that, Renown, who was behind Repulse all this time, stepped up and opened her mouth.
[Is there something wrong, Belfast?]
Renown then stared at the whole group intently, as if sensing that something was wrong.
Well, aren’t you exceptionally sharp, huh? Belfast thought to herself like that.
Even if they did not act particularly all that strange, she might have seen an unusual tension in Belfast’s eyes, but even so, there was no way that the Head Maid could blatantly admit that they were currently investigating a candy thief on their own.
More than anything else, Halloween was supposed to be a fun little event. And Belfast did not want to spoil it by causing people unnecessary worry and anxiety over something that could have been nothing.
So, Belfast decided to actually play around the subject at hand, disclosing only a part of their reason for being here.
[Actually, I was thinking of going to see how the maids on cleaning duty are doing right now.]
[Oh my, I’m sorry. Are we actually interrupting your work?]
As if that was some sort of a magic spell, Repulse put the candy back into the bag and moved out of Belfast’s way.
[I’m sorry for being in the way of your work. Come on, Renown, you do the same!]
Renown also gave a reluctant nod and moved aside while moving down the stairs, allowing Belfast’s group to pass.
[Well then, see you around!]
Belfast smiled and waved at the two of them and just like that they parted ways, and then her group went up the stairs and managed to easily find the first group of maids, the ones that were tasked with cleaning the floors.
[Can I interrupt your work for a minute……?]
Just like that, Belfast’s group moved from one maid to another, making inquiries with over ten people so far.
And all this time, they were unable to obtain any clues as to who the mysterious candy thief could be. Just like that, the group managed to arrive at the dormitory’s rooftop, where a group of maids was tasked with airing out the freshly made laundry. They were currently spreading the bed sheets over the driers to let them dry in the warm rays of the sun.
According to the cleaning assignment book, the cleaning maids were supposed to be here as well.
And so the group moved forward in between the washing poles filled with freshly washed sheets, the clothes gently flapping in the wind and the smell of detergent filling their noses……
It would seem that the group of maids was spotted first by the ones who were supposed to be here. And just as they continued to scurry around, pushing their way forward through the mass of drying sheets and washing poles,
[Here. Right this way.]
They could hear a voice coming from behind their backs.
A Town Class Light Cruiser, Newcastle. One moment she was nowhere to be seen, and the very next moment she was right in front of them, holding onto a black umbrella with one hand. Until the very moment she called out to them, none of the group was able to sense her presence at all.
[I was just about to hang the freshly washed sheets. Come over here, if you’d be so kind.]
Belfast followed right after Newcastle’s footsteps, the place where the other maid was currently working.
Newcastle was a former Head Maid of the Royal Navy’s Maid Corps, and Belfast’s dear senior as a maid. She was also the one with whom Belfast had the longest relationship out of the entire Royal Navy.
Just as Belfast was thinking that her entire existence seemed to be as ephemeral as ever, the group passed through the mass of sheets that had been put up and came out into a wider space of the roof.
Then there she was: a new maid who was supposed to be drying the sheets together with Newcastle.
Newcastle then looked at Belfast with curiosity in her eyes, putting the laundry basket that was right next to her away.
[By the way, Belfast? You’re supposed to be in the kitchen right now, aren’t you?]
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Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast
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