Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast Volume 4 Chapter 1 Part 12

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Just when Belfast and Newcastle were getting ready to start boiling some hot water for the tea that was soon to be served, Edinburgh and Echo came back to the kitchen after finishing their morning activities for the time being.

「We have come back~.」

「Bueh, for some reason I feel incredibly tired now……」

While Echo looked bright and cheerful, humming under her nose as she raised her hand in the air, Edinburgh, on the other hand, looked so tired and about ready to throw up on the spot.

「Welcome back, both of you. How is the interview? Is it proceeding along smoothly?」

When Belfast smiled like that and asked Edinburgh that question,

「Please pardon the intrusion. I’m coming through!」

Then, all of a sudden, a voice could be heard coming from right behind Edinburgh and the others in the kitchen.

「I thought I would just drop by and check on the progress of the interview and its contents.」

Elizabeth and Warspite entered the kitchen after passing by Edinburgh in a casual manner.

「Your Majesty!! You did not have to! There was no need for you to come to a place such as this just to check on Echo’s research!」

「No, it’s not a big deal. I just wanted to make sure it’s coming along nicely so that I can get back to my work as soon as possible. Now, then, Echo, can I see that notepad of yours for a second?」

As Elizabeth reached out for Echo’s notepad, she handed it to her after taking it out from under her arm where she was keeping it for the time being.

Newcastle immediately prepared chairs for the two of their new guests, and Elizabeth and Warspite both sat down and flipped through Echo’s notes.

「For some bizarre reason, there seems to be an awful lot of notes that are the detailed descriptions of Edinburgh……?」

Hearing Elizabeth’s words, Echo nodded her head with satisfaction.

「That’s because I think that Edinburgh-san looks so cool when she is giving it her very best!」

「W-What are you talking about, Echo!?」

Despite the panic in Edinburgh’s voice and her face becoming beet red from embarrassment, Elizabeth continued to flip through Echo’s notes with a serious expression on her face.

After a while, the kettle on top of the stove started to make a loud whistling sound, and Belfast gently offered the two of their guests a cup of tea as they were concentrating on the notepad right in front of them.

It seemed that Echo’s memos had been filled with a lot of thoughts and descriptions on the Maid Corps’ work from the early morning, and Elizabeth, who had spent quite a long time reading it, slowly looked up.

I then took a sip of the tea that was in front of her.

And as soon as she put down the cup, Elizabeth spoke to Echo in a clear, as-a-matter-of-fact tone.

「In conclusion, even if you can see the clear picture as to what a maid’s everyday work is all about from this memo, it does not have anything that would enrich the stage play’s story even a little bit. I’m sorry to say that.」

「O-Oh…… I-Is that… so?」

Seeing the disappointment in Echo’s eyes and hearing reluctance in her voice, Elizabeth immediately follows up on her earlier remark.

「Now, please don’t get me wrong, Echo. This is a wonderful interview that you have written right here. That much is true and I command you for that. But, the thing is, the impression that the reader is getting from reading this……」

Then, after casting a quick glance at the notepad in her hands, Elizabeth looked up at Echo once again, and finished her sentence, her words sounding really heavy.

「—— Is that the everyday life a of maid is a really plain and uninspiring one. Like, it lacks any kind of excitement to it.」

「…… Your Majesty, up until now, in what way have you thought about the maids? How exactly did you perceive them?」

It was actually Belfast out of all the gathered people who asked Elizabeth that question. Then, after a long moment of silence, Warspite, who was reading the contents of Echo’s notepad alongside Elizabeth, finally spoke up.

「Your Majesty. I have been thinking for a while now, and I honestly think that maids are best utilized in the story when they are used as support characters rather than the main ones. Otherwise they might really seem bland and uninspiring. So how about it? How about you try to look at this subject from a different perspective for now?」

「Uh, alright, but…… Alright, then how about a drama depicting the rise and fall of a prominent family?」

「If we were going to go with that, I think that the scale might be way too grand for what we are trying to make here. It would be completely unfitting……」

While making a really troubled face, Elizabeth stood up from her chair when she finally took her eyes off of Echo’s notepad.

And then, just as it looked that she was about to leave the kitchen, she turned around towards Belfast and the other maids who were present.

「Bel, Edi, and everyone else! We are heading to the library to look for some stories that might serve as a source of inspiration here! We are not going to give up on the idea of maids being the main theme of the story! Now, if any one of you thinks that you might have some good idea that we can use, just come forth and say it! It doesn’t matter what kind of idea it might be! Echo! You are doing more than enough of a good job at the current moment, so I just want you to continue with your research and interviews as you were up until now!」

And then, after pointing her finger at everyone present in the kitchen, Elizabeth ran out of there and disappeared into the dining room..

「If Her Majesty is getting so worked up about that matter, then that means that she is raring to make the best performance that ever was. Please, bear that in mind.」

After saying that, Warspite finished her tea and slowly stood up from her chair.

「Her Majesty said that she would like to see the elements of you maids that are making you who you are, so it will make the play even better. Even though you are the servants who do not usually get that much place in the spotlight, you are our treasured and important companions who support this Royal Navy behind the scenes with all of your might.」

After Warspite said that, she stared at Belfast.

「Belfast, I would also like to request your cooperation for Her Majesty’s sake in this endeavor.」

Hearing this, Belfast chuckled slightly.

「Warspite-sama, I honestly think that saying such a thing right now is a little bit too late, wouldn’t you agree?」

After all, Warspite was talking to someone who was so used to granting Her Majesty’s requests all the time and assisting her in many different endeavors and matters that Belfast thought it was only natural that she was going to help with this stage play as well.

Hearing that, Warspite also smiled and nodded her head in agreement.

「…… Yes. Yes, I guess that you are right.」

After saying that, Warspite politely bowed down her head and left the kitchen as well.

「Oh my, it’s true. It would seem that Echo was only writing about Edinburgh in her memos.」

A voice suddenly muttered behind everyone’s backs, and Belfast turned herself around to see what it was all about.

When Belfast looked behind her, Newcastle was flipping through Echo’s notepad.

After thinking about it for a while, she slowly raises her head and rolls back to Belfast.

「But this here is…… Yes, that’s right, Echo-san has covered the daily life and work of a maid in a surprisingly great amount of detail. In addition, she has even written down the characteristics of each and every one of the maid shipgirls who worked in the kitchen this morning…… I must admit, it is actually kind of embarrassing to be reading about myself in such great detail from someone else’s observations.」

Saying that, Newcastle chuckled slightly.

「Speaking of which, Belfast. Did you notice that Her Majesty and Warspite-sama overlooked one important thing in their impressions of reading Echo’s notepad?」

「Something important? Like what?」

「This is about that part when Her Majesty said that the impressions that one might have after reading through those memos won’t be helpful in conjuring up a compelling story for a play. Well, since you are really smart and have a great intuition, I guess that you are going to find it out sooner rather than later.」

Hearing Newcastle’s words, Belfast thought for a short moment.

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