Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast Volume 4 Chapter 2 Part 9

「Yes! I know! I know it all too well! But still! I don’t want to show it to anyone! It’s embarrassing!」.

Looking at Elizabeth a little bit closely, Belfast could see that her eyes were all bloodshot.

That fact alone was enough proof that she must have pulled and all-nighter in order to put this manuscript together.

「I have been working hard ever since yesterday! I swear! However, no matter what I do, I just can’t seem to get the results I want!」

When she said that, Elizabeth’s body shook and trembled while she was still cradling the manuscripts in her hands.

「Your Majesty!」

Surprised, Belfast and Warspite rush over to Elizabeth’s side.

The way she was no, worrying that she might collapse at any moment, Belfast and Warspite supported her body as the two gently put her down onto the reception sofa,

「I can’t write like I thought I would be…… Uuuhh……I will just lie down for a while……but I will get to writing again soon enough…… Guh.」

Elizabeth lay down and in just five seconds she fell fast asleep.

While only the sound of her cute sleeping breaths echoed in her office,

「Belfast, do you have a moment to spare?

Warspite covered Elizabeth’s body with a thin blanket, then took Belfast out of the office with the majority of the botched manuscripts still placed on top of the table.

「…… You can read a few of them. But don’t tell Her Majesty what I have shown them to you. She would be very displeased knowing that.」

When Warspite handed Belfast one of the prototype manuscripts, Warspite leaned against the wall in the hallway while letting out a long and deep sigh, and then she opened her mouth, her thoughts spilling right through it.

「Basically, what Her Majesty was trying to do here was to re-write what was written in the picture book into the script from scratch, but you do realize just how short that story really is, right?」

Belfast nodded at those words and looked over the manuscript.

—— Boo-san, who happened to come to the Home Port to work as a maid, is a hard worker, but she seems to be a little clumsy and ditzy most of the time. And whenever she does even the most basic of chores, she always manages to end up getting into some sort of trouble ——

It was a simple synopsis of the beginning of the story. Belfast might not know all that much about scriptwriting, but she presumed that most of the scripts would start in this way. She also had a feeling that the notes that Echo took during her interviews and investigation really came in handy here.

「It does not feel to me like something that would be that much of a problem, but……」

Belfast raised his head, but Warspite just shook her head in response.

Could it be that the real problem with this manuscript was still lying up ahead?

Belfast looked down at the manuscript again and continued to read on.

—— Before long, Boo-san, who was always causing some sort of trouble, even if it was not intentional, was gradually becoming despised by everyone else at the Home Port. No matter what she would do in order to improve her image and do a good job, it would always end up backfiring horribly, and in time she would hind herself distancing herself from others more and more. So Boo-san still tried to do her best at her job, but being already despised by the majority of the community, she would now become subject to harassment from them, and……

「But this is……」

After reading up to this point, Belfast finally realized that something was horribly wrong with this script.

Compared to the picture book, this script had a number of significant additions and alterations to it.

The reason for that was simple: if you follow the picture book, the length of the stage play would be extremely short no matter what you do. So Belfast guessed that Her Majesty tried to do something about it, to counteract that effect.

Which means, in other words,

「——- Her Majesty, in order to moderate the length of the stage play, rewrote Boo-san to be quite the troublemaker, added an ‘episode that makes the character become hated for a moment’, on top of a few other things?」

Warspite could only nod her head with a sad sigh.

「His Majesty seems to have decided that it was a good idea in the sense that it would make the clumsy character stand out a little bit more, but……」

Seeing just how muddy Warspite’s words were starting to become, Belfast read the same passage again and again.

Certainly, the clumsy part was getting more and more interesting than before thanks to that.

For example, while mopping the floor, she would collide with another girl who was doing the same chore, and all of them would get their clothes soaked from top to bottom as a result. It was a little cliche of an action, but one that was certainly quite effective.

This part of the manuscript was full of comical elements like that , and she thought it would be a fun and interesting play to actually watch from the audience’s perspective.

「But…… I feel like it’s getting a little bit too heavy when it comes to the point where everyone starts to hate her because of it.」

While muttering that, Belfast tried to read the script further.

When she finally got to the point where Rei-san would appear for the first time, an even more uncomfortable scene awaited her.

—— Today, yet another new “shipgirl” has arrived at the Home Port.

The name of the new shipgirl was “Rei-san” and it was the kind of a shipgirl with a very noble attitude about her, belonging to a class called the Capital Ship or the Flag Ship.

And as for Rei-san, she would constantly severely criticize Boo-san for her carelessness and every single one of her mistakes.

「Why is no one getting angry with a useless maid such as yourself!? I will never get along with a maid like you! Ever!!」

At first, Rei-san was stubborn with such a stern and cold-hearted attitude,

「Boo-san and Rei-san don’t seem to get along at all……」

While looking at the manuscript, Belfast involuntarily held her head in her hands, but no matter how much she read, the way in which Boo-san was portrayed here left no room for the moment when Rei-san would eventually start to open up to her little by little..

Rei-san was also a problem in her own right. She was a character that corresponded to the so-called “Tsundere” archetype, but because she was only putting out her “tsun” elements endlessly for everyone else to see, only the bad side of her personality was being emphasized way too much.

To Belfast, who was wondering what the hell was going on with this script, Warspite opened her mouth as if to add yet another blow to already on-the-ropes Belfast.

「If you read the story up ahead you do know what conclusion the story is going to have, but after reading only this part alone, the only conclusion that you can get from this is that nothing more but a chain of misfortune will occur between those two.」

「Why would Her Majesty even think of doing something like this……」

Before writing the script, Elizabeth would have boasted that she would create the happy ending for this story, but judging by her work so far, she was writing those two characters in such a way as if she intentionally wanted them to be miserable and unhappy.

「I have also told this to HerMajesty, that the way it was right now, this content was way too dark. And her only response to that was that since the story was only written about halfway through it’s just a sample of the true scale of things, and that they would have a major turnaround at a later point somewhere.」

But seeing this script that was in front of her, was that really going to be the case here?

「I have never written a screenplay myself before, so when I try to pick up the pen without knowing what the actual situation is all about, I am sure that I am going to make it even heavier because I would try to give the story way more depth based on my own imagination.」

Hearing Warspite’s words just now only convinced Belfast that her own line of thinking was right.

Certainly, she got the feeling that this script was trying to add way too much depth to the part that would later connect those two together.

After reading it again and again, Belfast deduced the direction in which Elizabeth’s line of thinking was heading towards.

「…… Just a conjecture on my part, but I am sure Her Majesty wanted to pass Boo-san as a character who is “bright and positive” no matter what. She had a philosophical positivity about her that would not waver no matter what, even when she was being harassed by everyone else.]

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Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast

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