Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast Volume 3 Chapter 4 Part 11
Edinburgh also followed her steps with her own feet.
She then checked to confirm how long Emile’s stride was and matched her rhythm accordingly. She had a slightly shorter stride than Edinburgh, in fact.
「I know…… And just like that, we will never step on each other’s feet. We are one. We are perfectly in sync!」
Before long, Edinburgh was able to move her feet exactly where she wanted them to go, without really thinking about it or having to worry about stepping onto her partner’s feet.
She was surprised at first, and then Emile Bertin in front of her giggled and then she began to laugh in earnest.
「Yes, that’s it! That’s the reaction I was looking for! You see, people always tend to freak out a little bit when they learn just how well I managed to teach them how to dance.」
Edinburgh blushed embarrassed as she opened her mouth and spoke her partner’s name shyly.
「…… Umm, thank you so much for being with me all this time and teaching me all the way until today.」
「Well now, isn’t that a very crude way of saying ‘thank you’? We are friends, so it’s only natural that we help one another out in our hour of need.」
And so, just like that, the two continued to dance alongside the front porch with steps that were perfectly natural and felt in sync with one another..
On top of this stage that was the narrow front porch, both of them danced gracefully while boldly going all the way on one end, only to bounce right off of it and follow in the other direction with confidence.
「Alright then, Edinburgh. I think it’s more than enough. I also think that it is a high time for your final exam.」
「The final exam? What are you talking about?」」
While Edinburgh was really surprised, Emile Bertin gently closed her eyes as she continued to dance along the front porch.
「—— Just like this, you can continue to dance ever so gracefully, even with your eyes closed.」
Edinburgh was taken aback when he heard those sudden words.
Emile Bertin said the same lines she dared to say to her on that day when the two of them met for the first time..
The moment she realized what she meant by those words, Edinburgh slowly closed her eyes.
Even in a completely closed and dark field of view, the two of them continued to dance in a steady rhythm.
「Congratulations. You managed to pass the final exam with flying colors, Edinburgh.」
Hearing Emile Bertin’s voice, Edinburgh gently opened her eyes and smiled brightly.
And then, she asked herself that one question deep inside of her heart.
—— Edinburgh. Are you really sure that you are going to shine that way?
As for the answer to that question, Edinburgh only thought that it would become obvious tomorrow, at the time of the ball itself.
* * *
The day of the ball itself.
The members of the Maid Corps were invited to Iris Libre’s dormitory around the time when the sun was already setting, changed into their respective dresses inside the fitting room, and waited until the starting time of the event itself.
「Hey! Suffolk! Just look at you wearing that dress! you look so cute in it! I could gobble you up!」
Beside Kent who was wearing a light blue dress, Suffolk snorted as she was wearing her own revealing pale pink dress.
「Fufufun! I know, right! In my honest opinion, my dress is much prettier than yours is, Kent!
「Hey! That’s not true and you know it! My dress is much cuter than yours is, Suffolk, and ——」
While they were arguing with each other, Curacoa, who was similarly dressed in an elegant dark dress, smiled wryly as she addressed both of them.
「I don’t even know what is the point of comparing who looks cuter in what dress. Personally, I think that the both of you look absolutely adorable with what you are wearing at the current moment.」
「Nee-san, you might as well be preaching to the choir at this point. None of those two seem to be even listening to you.」
Saying that, Curlew stood right next to her. Naturally, she was also wearing an elegant dress that was leaning towards a darker color.
「Well, that being said, maybe it’s because I am used to wearing my maid uniform all the time, but I don’t really think that party dresses suit me all that much.」
「Oh my, Curlew, what are you saying all of a sudden? Your dress is also very nice. You look simply gorgeous in it.」
But even though Curacoa went to such lengths to reassure her sister about how nice she looked in that dress of hers, Curlew still hung her head low, as if her sister’s words were unable to reach her. But even so, she had no other choice but to try and console her the best she could.
「……By the way, Sheffield.」
Curlew called out to Sheffield in order to try and change the subject.
「What is it?」
As Sheffield looked back, one judge from the look on her face said that she did not like this party one bit, or that she might have even been thinking of quitting when no one was looking. However, even if doing something like that was Sheffield’s original intention, an intervention from a certain small maid managed to convince her to stay, much to her annoyance. But it was only because trying to weasel her way out of it now would be way too much of a drag.
「Just where exactly have Belfast and Edinburgh gone off to? Not to mention Her Majesty? And I just can’t seem to find Sirius anywhere around the venue.」
「Sirius is actually in charge of the Guard duty this time around. It would seem that she herself has requested this position to be assigned to her, and the representatives of Iris Libre agreed to it, seeing as that would be her strongest suit.」
「On one hand it’s a shame that Sirius is going to be the only one who is not going to be here, but she seemed to be satisfied with that conclusion, so I guess that’s fine for now.」
The one who said that was Newcastle, who was standing right next to Sheffield. She was also the kind of a shipgirl who was not satisfied with the need to attend a social event like that, but since she was begged by both Kent and Suffolk who wanted to see her wearing a formal dress no matter what, so she reluctantly decided to participate as well, as to not disappoint her cute fellow maids.
「Now, the only ones who are still unaccounted for are Belfast and Edinburgh —— 」
「——- When it comes to my dear sisters, they have gone together with Her Majesty to officially greet our dear hosts.」
Hearing that voice, Curlew looked down and saw Bel-chan, who had just hidden behind the Sheffield and was tailing her like a shadow, but now she was looking straight up at Curlew. She was dressed in a yellow and white bicolor formal dress and had a large red flower on her head as a form of ornament.
She was the one who managed to force Sheffield to stay at the ball venue, unwilling as she was.
「I know that the Head Maid would want to go greet the hosts, but what is Edinburgh doing there with her?」
Bel-chan then answered that question by pointing to her chin and placing her finger on it in a gesture of deep thought.
「Umm, I might be wrong about that one, but I happened to overhear my dear sisters talking about being escorted properly during the event when it was first decided that we will be participating. So that’s probably what is happening.」
「…… Perhaps it’s also because it was Edinburgh’s dream to take part in an event like that, so she might have wanted a full experience here.」
Sheffield also made a suggestion like that on the spot.
「But even so, I think it’s time for us to be summoned, as well—— Oh my?」
Just as Newcastle opened her mouth, the door leading to the ballroom was slowly flung open.
Looks like tea is about to start.」
「—— It would seem that the party is just about to begin.」
Edinburgh and Belfast, who have come to greet Le Triomphant as well, both bowed their heads down.
「Oh my, when you are all dressed up and dolled up like that, you sisters certainly look almost exactly the same. By the way, what happened to your glasses today, Edinburgh-san?」
Edinburgh gave a wry smile in response when Le Triomphant asked her that question..
「Oh, erm, ummm…… You see, I just happened to break them by accident during my dance practice.」
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Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast
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