Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast Volume 3 Chapter 4 Part 12

「Oh my. I hope that it was nothing serious? You weren’t injured, were you?」

Just as Le Triomphant showed a concerned expression for Edinburgh’s health, the maid hurriedly waved her hand in denial.

「N-No, not at all! B-Besides, it was not even all that serious of an accident to begin with!」

「…… Well, I am glad that you weren’t harmed. But I must say, Edinburgh, that your reactions are just the cutest out there, fufu.」

「A-Aha, ahahahahaha……」

Edinburgh could clearly feel how her face was turning bright red with all the embarrassment.

Actually, the embarrassment she was feeling right about now was far greater than she could have possibly imagined, and she felt like wanting to go and hide somewhere.

Just then, the fitting room’s door was flung open, and other members of theMaid Corps entered the venue one after another. From the other side of the room, the Iris Libre’s shipgirls also started to come out, all properly dressed up in their formal dresses.

「Everyone seems to be ready, so let’s get this thing started, shall we?」

The one who said that was Her Majesty the Queen, Queen Elizabeth, who stood side by side with Le Triomphant and held hands as she walked slowly towards the center of the venue.

「—— Edinburgh.」

Hearing that voice calling out to her, Edinburgh turned around and saw Emile Bertin standing right there, wearing a really nice dress.


Edinburgh’s face suddenly brightened as she saw Emile Bertin. Also, for some reason the atmosphere around her felt slightly different from when the two of them were meeting for their dance practices. She was still bright and cheerful, but right now she seemed to be even more brilliant and dignified than before.

「Nee-san, who is that person? Someone you know, perhaps?」

When Belfast asked her that question, Edinburgh clapped her hands and introduced her friend.

「Yes, that’s right. Emile, this person right here is Belfast, my little sister.」

「I am honored to make your acquaintance. I am Belfast, a Royal Navy’s Light Cruiser of the Edinburgh Class. I also happen to serve as the Head Maid of the Royal Navy’s Maid Corps.」

When Belfast bowed down her head while greeting Emile Bertin, Emile Bertin also bowed her head lightly in response.

「I am Emile Bertin, a Light Cruiser of the Emile Bertin Class of the Iris Libre. And I must say, you two are really well-mannered, even for Royal Maids’ standards.」

「Y-You think so? Well, I guess that’s kind of true.」

While Edinburgh was feeling kind of complicated about receiving a compliment like that, Emile Bertin walked right next to her and whispered right into her ear.

「That dress of yours is really pretty, You look truly attractive in it.」

After saying that, she quickly separated from Edinburgh’s side.

「Well then, in any case, talk to you later, girls.」

When Emile left while waving his hand, Edinburgh and Belfast were left all on their own.

「Emile has been helping me with my dance practice for a while now.」

When Edinburgh said that, Belfast burst into a radiant smile.

「Fufu, for some reason, I thought that this might be the case here.」

When it comes to Belfast, she did not ask Edinburgh anything about where she was going for the last couple of days.

Belfast was always like that.

She would never ask Edinburgh questions about anything she was doing. No matter what it was or where she would go.

So, there were times when Edinburgh was really wondering whether or not she was worthy of being called Belfast’s big sister.

And she was feeling that way even right about now.

For Belfast, who can do anything, what exactly is the existence of an older sister named Edinburgh, who is less capable than her in every possible way and aspect?

And Edinburgh, she wanted to know more about Belfast. Way more.

「Bel, please hold out your hand.」

Saying that, Edinburgh held out her own hand towards Belfast.

Belfast seemed surprised by her sudden invitation to dance, especially that it was Edinburgh of all people here, but soon enough she put her hand out towards her older sister.

And then the two of them slowly walked forward.

* * *

With a quiet rise, music began to flow around the ball venue.

As Edinburgh began to take prompt steps, Belfast moved her feet to match her lead.

—— Amazing.

Belfast could not help it but to be surprised at Edinburgh.

Edinburgh was leading Belfast with smooth and flowing movements, as if it was a lie that she had tripped against her own legs and was having trouble with the very basic steps just a few days ago.

Then, while going hand in hand, the two sisters came right under the gorgeous chandelier.


While dancing flawlessly across the dancefloor, Edinburgh opened her mouth and spoke in a quiet voice.

「You don’t have to force yourself just so that you can fit in with me.」

Taking a deep breath, Belfast looked at her feet.

「We do not have to match another’s stride. Neither you matching mine nor I matching yours. We can just look for the best position for ourselves, where we can both step forward with our head held high at our own pace——」

While taking one step at a time, Edinburgh would spin around.

「——That way, it’s kind of like confirming our sisterly love for one another, wouldn’t you agree?」

Belfast then thought about the meaning of those words for a moment.

Come to think of it, Edinburgh was always like that. While often doing her chores and duties in a clumsy and careless way, she would make a whole lot of mistakes, and she would strife to overcome them with lots of hard work on her part, all the while worrying about every single thing and detail.

Before Belfast even knew it, it felt like she was being left behind more and more by her younger sister..

For those past few days, Edinburgh has made no attempt to say anything to her. Nothing at all.

That’s because it was the way in which she would usually behave.

She would never say much to Belfast. She would never share her troubles with her and ask for advice on how she could possibly solve them.

So there were times when Belfast would wonder if she really was worthy of being Edinburgh’s little sister. And if it was not like she actually managed to get their roles reversed.

「I ——I want to know more about you, Nee-san.」

It was at that moment that the truth leaked out straight from Belfast’s mouth, before she even realized what she was doing.

「I am sure that…… No matter what I do, or how much I might try, I can never hope to become someone like you, Nee-san. No matter how hard I try to connect with you, it just does not work out the way I want it to. Especially when it comes to topics such as dancing and all the like ——」

How come that you have finally managed to learn how to dance, and in such a way that you could lead with such confidence? Belfast was sure that Edinburgh must have arrived at that conclusion after putting much effort into her training. It was a result of the strength of will, able to overcome any adversaries and after suffering many failures and setbacks. Something that Belfast could never possibly imagine.

But there were times when Belfast wished that she could have that kind of experience herself.

「The truth is…… I really envy you, Nee-san.」

As soon as she said that, Edinburgh burst out laughing.

When Belfast wondered why her sister would laugh like that, Edinburgh stopped laughing and composed herself, only saying a short “I’m sorry”.

「I am also very clumsy and prone to failure, and I’m sure that no matter how hard I try, I won’t ever be able to become even remotely as perfect as you are, Bel. And even though I know that getting jealous or envying you is not going to change anything…… I just could not help it but to feel that way.」

At that moment, Edinburgh changed the way in which she was performing her steps, changing them into something that Belfast had never seen before. For a moment out there Belfast opened her eyes in bewilderment, but the steps were so simple and gentle that she got used to them before she even knew it.

「Those are the steps that Emile taught to me during our training.」

With that said, Edinburgh changed her weight and continued to lead with confidence.

「But now I finally understand —— Bel, there is no way that I can ever hope to be like you.」

Belfast could only nod her head to those words.

「But this is precisely the thing that makes us sisters in the first place.」

「Yes, that’s true.」

The position of each other’s feet was neatly aligned there right at that moment.

Steps only for the two of them, not the original foot stride for either of them. This was something that could only work because they were together.

「‘Expédier l’or’…… ‘Brilliance that shines from under one’s own feet’…… was it?」

Edinburgh suddenly said that and laughed as the two continued to dance splendidly under the grand chandelier.

「We are surely shining bright right about now, are we not?」We’re shining so bright right now, aren’t we?」

Hearing this, Belfast also could not help it but laugh.

「Yes, and we are certainly so dazzling ——」

Everyone at the ball was captivated by the two sisters’ dancing.

「My dear sisters…… They are so beautiful right now.」

Belle-chan, who was watching them from the side, muttered those words while staring blankly at the two of them.

「Excellent! As expected of a Head Maid and her sister! For her to lead the Head Maid so firmly!」

「Kent, it’s actually the other way around. It’s Edi who is leading Belfast.」

Saying that, Newcastle looked at Sheffield, who was standing right next to her.

「I guess that your intuition was off its mark this time around, huh? Surely you thought that Edinburgh would not be able to make it for today, right?」

Sheffield looked at Newcastle and told her without changing her expression even for a moment.

「That’s not true. That remark was only meant to provoke Edinburgh into action. Nothing more and nothing less. And I dare to say that it’s been a resounding success.」

「Hmm, I see. Well, maybe we should leave it at that, then.」

Newcastle chuckled as she looked at both Edinburgh and Belfast.

* * *

「———You are wonderful sisters, aren’t you?」

Seeing Belfast and Edinburgh dancing, Le Triomphant opened her mouth and said that out loud.

Elizabeth was standing next to her.

Looking at the two dancing in the center of the venue like the main characters of this place, she proudly crossed her arms around her chest.

「Well, of course! After all, those two are the best maid sisters out there, in my humble opinion.」

Hearing that, Le Triomphant lost himself in thought for a while, looking somewhat distant for a moment.

Then she looked again at Elizabeth,

「I’d like to invite those two to the ball next time we will host it. Surely you won’t mind that at all?

「It’s fine. However, I must ask you to respect their wishes and intentions. If they agree, go for it. If they do not, that’s that.」

「Well, I know that. Also, I have one more present for those maids of yours. All of them, in fact.」

After saying that, Le Triomphant whispered something right into Elizabeth’s ear.

Elizabeth nodded her head after a moment, and she smiled as she looked at the maids that were gathered around the venue.

「……I see. I’m sure those girls will be delighted to hear that. So, when is Akashi going to turn up?」

It was at that moment that the music came to a halt.

At that moment, thunderous applause was sent to both Edinburgh and Belfast.

「—— Oh, is that… is everyone looking at us?」

While Edinburgh was greatly confused, she could feel that there was some strength being put into their connected hands.

I took her a startled look at Belfast to see that it was her doing, and then her little sister said with a smile.

「Nee-san, would you do me the honor and dance with me for a little bit longer?」

Even though she was initially surprised to hear that, but then Edinburgh smiled in a bright and cheerful way.

「Yes, of course. As many times as you want, Bel.」

Being at the ball that she has always dreamed of, the two sisters once again started dancing, just the two of them on the empty dance floor, all eyes focused exclusively on them.

Looking up at the chandelier right above their heads, Edinburgh made a silent prayer in her heart. A prayer for this blissful moment to last forever and never end..

Forever and ever ——

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