Azur Lane: Episode of Belfast - Volume 1
Why did she pick up that particular can out of the many other high quality possible choices? While Belfast was pondering her head over that matter, Edinburgh poured hot water into the pot and put a lid on top of it.
[Now then, if you’d be so kind as to wait a little while longer, please.]
Although Edinburgh was trying her best to put on a bright smile on her lips, Belfast could clearly see the awkwardness on her sister’s face that she was unable to shake off, no matter how hard she tried. And as a matter of course, even at the round table in the middle of the courtyard, everyone except Elizabeth had an uneasy expression on their faces as they continued to watch Edinburgh struggle.
After a little while longer, Edinburgh finally grabbed the teapot in which the tea should have been all ready now, and she started to pour the tea into the cups of everyone present at the round table. Lastly, she filled Elizabeth’s cup, and then she returned the empty teapot on top of the serving cart, letting out a deep and pained sigh after she realized that she somehow managed to do her job right.
[I, I did it…… I don’t know how, but I somehow did it……]
[Thank you very much for all of your hard work, Nee-san.]
Belfast then directed her gaze at the round table while still not forgetting to give Edinburgh the words of appreciation that she needed to hear after an ordeal such as this.
Now then, what kind of tea did she chose to serve to the guests of the party, especially since that tea had an important job of actually calming down the atmosphere that Warspite’s failed scones brought upon them?
As for the gathered guests, no one said anything for now, and instead they have all raised their cups and brought them towards their mouths.
A gentle breeze blew through the trees surrounding the courtyard, and the quiet sound of the rustling leaves reached the ears of everyone gathered at the tea party.
[–––––– Oh my?]
The first to open her mouth was Illustrious, and the current expression on her face was completely different from the timid and elegant expression that she had before she put the cup to her mouth. This expression was the expression of surprise and excitement, but not the bad one, but rather the good and pleasant one.
[This tea is very delicious, Edinburgh-san. Truth to be told, I think that it is on the same level as the tea that Belfast-san is always brewing for those tea parties of ours.]
After Illustrious said that, Hood was the next one to follow suit and part the cup from her lips, looking towards Edinburgh with an expression of pleasant surprise painted all over her face.
[This particular tea has a much simpler, but also gentler taste than anything else I have ever drank. I wonder if it is thanks to the autumn tea leaves? Could it be that only those can produce such taste? Or maybe it’s simply a matter of drinking off-season tea? But it also makes me feel really calm and relaxed.]
However, it would seem like the one who was the most surprised by the effects that the tea had on everyone present was the one who brewed it, which was Edinburgh herself. And it would seem that the words of praise was not really helping her to recover, but only served to fluster her even more.
She just stood there beside Belfast for a while, and only when the Head Maid gently touched her back with her hand she seemed to have finally snap out of her daze, bowing her head in a hurry while panicking.
[A-Ahh! T-Thank you! Thank you very much!]
Having witnessed all that, both Warspite who was at Elizabeth’s side and Her Majesty herself were the last ones to bring their cups closer to their mouths, having the taste of Edinburgh’s tea.
Then, after a brief moment that seemed to have lasted for a whole eternity, both of them parted their cups from their lips and lowered them down, putting them back on their respective saucers on top of the table. They then stared at them for one more moment.
[Me too…… I think that this tea is really delicious.]
[Right? I told you that the tea that Edinburgh brews is something else, didn’t I?]
Elizabeth said so with a really big grin on her face, and then she picked up her cup and reached out with it towards Belfast, as if urging her to take it from her hand.
[Here, you should have a taste as well, Bel. If memory serves me correctly, you never actually had Edi’s brewed tea before, right?]
Belfast just stood there and hesitated for a moment, staring at the teacup that Elizabeth was passing onto her.
[Your Majesty, this is your teacup and yours alone. Are you sure about this?]
[Sure, as long as it is you, Bel, I don’t mind in the slightest. Even if it was something like an indirect kiss.]
It would seem that there was no hesitation on Elizabeth’s part here. And because of that, Belfast was in no position where she could possibly refuse a direct request from Her Majesty, so she had no other choice but to graciously accept the teacup.
Before she brought the teacup to her lips,, Belfast cast one last quick glance at Edinburgh.
But she was no longer there, as it would seem that she was summoned by one of the guests sitting behind the round table again, seemingly asking for a refill of their already emptied cup.
While watching her sister getting praised and her tea suddenly getting way more popularity than you would think possible, Belfast sipped on the tea that Elizabeth handed her. At the same time, she could hear only positive comments bombarding her ears from left and right one after another.
–––––– This is……
When Belfast took a sip of that tea that her sister made, she was immediately blown away by its taste.
Of course, the tea tasted like freshly brewed green tea first and foremost, but it also felt that it was slightly less astringent than the one that Belfast tried to brew herself sometimes ago, with the use of the very same tea leaves as the ones that Edinburgh was using just now.
From its original mild at best taste, this one here was slightly more drinkable and its taste was way softer on the taste buds. When Belfast thought about it for a moment, the way in which Hood described that tea, as a simple and gentle taste, could not have been more accurate. Because that was exactly what this tea was all about.
For those simple Nilgil leaves to evolve into something as exquisite as this tea…… How was that even possible? How did this even happen?
[So, Bel? What do you think after tasting it yourself?]
When Belfast finally came back to her senses, she could see that Elizabeth was looking at her curiously, a huge grin present on her lips.
Despite her having some truly mixed feelings about this situation, Belfast decided to answer truthfully, in accordance with her own feelings at the moment.
[It was delicious. Really delicious.]
[See? What did I tell you?]
While Belfast returned the teacup back to Elizabeth, she puffed out her modest chest, looking all smug and feeling good about herself for some reason.
[Also, I am more than sure of it, but…… I don’t think that you would be able to bring out the same kind of flavor from that tea, Bel.]
[I wouldn’t be able to…… bring out the same flavor?]
Those words actually made Belfast stop in her tracks, her mind going completely blank for a moment. She had to remind herself in a hurry where she was right now and that she needed to behave accordingly before she snapped out of it.
When it comes to the brewing procedure, as far as Belfast was able to tell Edinburgh did not do anything special in particular, or that was out of the ordinary. On the other hand, since she did not watch over her sister’s every single move and action, she could not be all too sure that she did not added something extra to the tea while she was being at it, or that she did not in fact created some sort of a special blend on the spot.
For a moment she really considered all possible option of foul play on Edinburgh’s side, but then Belfast shook her head in a hurry to chase those thoughts away.
–––––– Thinking in such a way was the epitome of foolishness. …… Besides, Belfast knew deep down inside of her heart that Edinburgh would never do such a thing.
Although there were times when she was really clumsy and absent-minded, that was all part of Edinburgh’s charm, as well as the fact that she was always straightforward and honest.