His Butler, Able
White feathers floated gracefully toward the ground, as a young boy, no more than 10 years old, floated above the feathers. Very short, navy blue hair with bangs long enough to cover his blue eyes. A crimson blanket covered the boy's torso.
"Think carefully. Should you reject the faith, even this once, the gates of paradise will, forever, be out of your reach." A deep, dark voice warned the child.
"Do you think, that who was among the faithful, would ever go as far as to summon someone like you?" The boy asked in a deep, stern, but very calm voice.
Upon a withered, old tree, stood a dark raven, looking at the boy.
The raven gave out a dark chuckle, as if it was a demon, "I'll ask, but once more, do you wish to form a contract with me?"
"I do! Now, stop asking these tedious questions, and let me know if we have a deal!" The boy shouted.
On cue, the feather's flew upward, turning black as they surrounded the raven. The dark room turned white as the feathers disappeared, revealing a tall, figure standing before the boy. The man smiled with fangs showing.
I opened my eyes, and raised my head with a quiet gasp. I realized I was in my younger brother's room, sitting on the bedside chair, as I last recalled.
My younger brother, Ciel Phantomhive, was still asleep in his bed. I rubbed my forehead, I must've fell asleep after singing his lullaby to him.
I stood up, reached out the window and noticed it was still night, the curtains were still closed. I sighed in relief. I quietly exit Ciel's bedroom and made my way to my own room.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Eleanor May Carter. And I work for my adopted younger brother, Ciel Phantomhive, who is the Earl of the Phantomhive Estate, the Queen's Watchdog and the current owner of Funtom Corperation. I'm 16 years old and my job at the manor is snack and tea specialist and decoy for Ciel.
The reason I'm a decoy is because the Earl of the Phantomhive Manor and I share a striking resemblance, even though we're not related. Same navy blue hair. Pale complexion. Even the same face and eyes. We even sound similar.
The only noticeable differences are that I'm female, taller and my voice is a bit lighter than Ciel's. But, these differences can be easily overlooked and missed. I've been told that I'm one hell of an actor. Heh.
Anywho, I entered my bedroom and laid my head on to my pillow, waiting for the realm of dreams to take me on another adventure.
*The Next Morning...*
"Eleanor. It is time to wake up." A voice spoke as a knock came from my bedroom door.
Groggy, I opened my eyes and sat up from my bed with a yawn.
"Would you like some help with getting ready for the day?" The voice asked politely.
I rubbed my eyes from the sleepy dust, "No thank you, Sebastian. I'll be down in five minutes."
"Very good." The voice replied, then everything went quiet.
With that, I got out of bed, did my morning routine, and got dressed into my casual attire.
Once I got dressed and ready, I exit my bedroom and got to work with Ciel's morning tea. His favorite; Earl grey tea from Jackson's of Picadilly.
I met up with the other servants of the Phantomhive Manor in the dinning hall and waited for Ciel to arrive.
"Good morning, Master. Did you sleep well?" Mey-Rin, the maid, Bardroy, the chef, Finnian, or Finny, the gardener, and myself greeted with a bow, as Ciel entered the room.
Ciel looked at us for a second, then resumed walking into the dining hall, saying nothing. Ciel sat down, and began eating his breakfast. Out of nowhere, Ciel threw a dart at the back of Finny's strawberry blonde head. Finny began whining in pain and ran to Ciel, holding the back of his head in pain.
"What was that for, Master? What did I do?" Finny asked.
"Nothing. I don't need to justify my actions." Ciel answered, finishing his tea.
I covered my mouth to suppress a laugh.
Then the double-doors opened to reveal Sebastian showing up, "There you are!"
Sebastian Michaelis is one of the two butlers of the manor. Everything assigned to the other servants is handed out and overseen by him. Sebastian is a tall man that is in his possible late-twenties to early-thirties. Sharp facial features and quite handsome.
What the surprising thing is that he looks like Ciel's father, the late and wonderful Vincent Phantomhive. Just with black hair and piercing red eyes.
He mostly wears a black butler uniform with a black tailcoat, and white gloves. He wears gloves for a reason, but I'm not gonna spoil it.
"Have you finished weeding the courtyard, Finny?" Sebastian asked.
Finny drew a blank.
Sebastian turned to Mey-Rin, "Mey-Rin, have you washed all of the bedding?"
"Uh... Well..." Mey-Rin stuttered, drawing a blank also.
Sebastian turned to me, "Eleanor..."
I stood up straight and answered, "Today's tea delivery will arrive within the noon, sir."
Ciel glanced at me. Sebastian nodded, "Very good." Then turned to Bardroy, "Bardroy, shouldn't you be preparing for tonight's dinner?"
Bardroy just smirked and looked away.
Sebastian looked behind, "Tanaka?"
Mr. Tanaka, our head butler, before Sebastian, was sitting on his knees, drinking a Japanese cup of green tea.
"Well, I suppose you're alright as you are." Sebastian said, "Now all of you. We have no time for thumb-twiddling this morning." He explained to the three, "So, get to work!"
Everyone got straight to work and closed the door behind them.
"Simply hopeless." Sebastian remarked.
Ciel smirked, then returned to his breakfast. Sebastian returned to his chores.
As I did mine. My chores for today were to clean to Main Foyer and take care of snacks for Ciel and his guests. I caught Ciel making his way up the stairs, as he walked through the foyer. He stopped to look at the painting of his parents for a few seconds, before he continued walking.
I looked at the painting and a wave of sadness hit me.
Maybe I should explain a few things about myself. I'm not originally from this era. I was born in 1992, a hundred and seventeen years after my brother was born. The Modern Era, if you will.
How did I end up in the Victorian Era of England? My father was a mechanic for a place of scientific research. When I was 8 years old, the head scientist chose me to test the new time-machine he was working on. There was a glitch in the machine and I've been trapped in this era ever since.
If it wasn't for Ciel's parents, Vincent and Rachel Phantomhive, I would have died on the streets of Victorian London, and no-one would have cared.
Anywho, back to what was going on. Once I was finished with the foyer, I was on my way to the kitchen. Already on the table was prepared food, ready to create a first-rate dinner. Sebastian has been busy. Speaking of the ravenette butler, I saw him on the other side, as her was preparing a flower vase of roses for the centerpiece of the Phantomhive welcome.
I was about to greet him, until the bell from the study rang.
Sebastian noticed and sighed, "Still so much to do and he calls me now."
I made my way into the doorway and bumped into Sebastian.
"Oh, Sebastian. Please forgive me. I was just on my way to preparing snacks for the Master and his guest this evening." I apologized with a bow.
Sebastian placed his gloved hand over my shoulder, "It's quite alright, My Lady. Please resume to your duties and I'll tend to the Master's needs."
I nodded, "Of course, Sebastian."
The bell from the study rang twice. Sebastian and I looked and realized what it meant. Either Ciel is getting impatient, or he was asking for me too.
Only one way to find out. Sebastian put his tailcoat on and he and I made our way to the Study, where Ciel was residing, sitting on his desk.
"I'm a bit hungry. I'd like something sweet to eat." Ciel told Sebastian.
"You shouldn't eat now, Master. You don't want to spoil your appetite for dinner with your guest this evening." Sebastian warned Ciel, not really wanting the 12-year-old Earl to eat too much.
"I don't care about that." Ciel told him, then instructed me, "Make me a parfait."
I shook my head, "I'm sorry, My Lord. But I agree with Sebastian."
Ciel glared, but calmed and turned to look out his window, "Fine then. About the portrait, in the hallway..." Ciel began.
"Yes?" Sebastian asked.
"Take it down." Ciel ordered.
"But, Ciel. That's-" I began, but he cut me off, rubbing his father's ring, "I am Ciel Phantomhive. Son of Vincent. And I am head of the house now."
Sebastian smiled, and bowed, "Consider it done, My Lord." With that said, Sebastian left the room.
Ciel looked at me, "I am sorry, Eleanor. But-"
"No. It's okay. I understand." I bowed in respect.
*Later that Evening...*
Ciel and I walked into the Drawing Room, and I prepared the game table and grabbed the pieces needed for the game. Damiano arrived and bowed to us in respect.
Damiano was an Italian man in mid to late 30s. Light brown hair with a goatee to match and blue eyes. He wore a dark brown, nearly maroon business attire with a dark red scarf and dark brown boots.
I glared at the man, but quickly faked a smile.
"Good evening, Mr. Damiano. Would you like to play a game with my younger brother, as you discuss the matters of the factory?" I greeted and asked.
He accepted and started the game. Ciel and Damiano played half-way through the game, as Damiano discussed the affairs of Ciel's toy factory in India.
"The progress we've been making with the East India Factory is quite astonishing. We already have the makings of a top notch staff." Damiano told us, not paying attention to the game.
"Bewitched by the eyes of the dead." I spoke up, startling him, my eyes not leaving the board game.
"What terrible luck. It appears I lose a turn." Ciel told Damiano.
Damiano turned his attention back to Ciel, "Right now is the perfect time. We should begin expanding the company and building a strong labor force. If we-"
"Go on. It's your turn." Ciel cut him off.
"Oh yes. I just spin this then." Damiano said as he spun the top. It stopped at the number five. "Okay, then. Five spaces." He moved his piece. "Now, what I wanted to ask you. Perhaps you could contribute another 12 thousand pounds to support our expansion?" Damiano began requesting.
Ciel opened his visible eye at him. I felt my blood boil a little, as I listened, making me look at the Italian business man with a quiet glare.
"I believe it will be quite a profitable venture for you, my lord, and I would consider it an honor to help expanding Funtom Company-" "Lose a leg in the enchanted forest." I cut him off again.
Damiano looked at me.
"And it's your turn again. I lost a turn, remember?" Ciel told him.
"Oh. I see." He span the top again. It landed on six. "Right, I move six." Damiano said.
"You don't. That's three." Ciel told him.
Damiano looked at Ciel in confusion, "What? But-"
"You lost a leg, if you recall. Now, you only move half of the number of spaces." Ciel explained.
"Oh my." Damiano smiled and laughed, "This is a gruesome board game, isn't it? Is there no way for me to restore my leg, then?"
Ciel glared, "I'm afraid once something is truly lost, sir, that one can never get it back."
I took Damiano's piece and moved it three spaces, "Your body is burnt by raging flames. You lose."
Damiano stared in shock as he looked at the image that his piece fell on.
I faked another smile, "Would you like to play again?"
Damiano smiled and nodded as I move the pieces back to the beginning. Damiano was doing a little better this time.
Sebastian opened the door and smiled, "Pardon the interruption, but dinner is served."
Damiano smiled in relief, "Oh, dinning out in that exquisite stone garden? Shall we go, my lord?"
Ciel sat up and I followed, "Very well. We'll finish the game later."
"Oh, is there any real need to finish it? It's obvious I'm going to lose." Damiano asked.
"I am not in the habit of abandoning games halfway through." Ciel explained.
My brother and I walked toward the door, until I heard Damiano mutter under his breath, "How childish."
I stopped and turned to him, "Excuse me?"
Damiano regained his composure, "I mean, that sometimes it takes a child's eyes to see what's really important. It's a true gift. Maybe that's what's made the Phantomhives the nation's foremost toy makers." Damiano stood up and joined us, "It certainly impresses me."
As we made our way to the garden, Sebastian pulled me back a little, "My Lady, you seem to be a little distracted. Are you alright?"
"I'm fine." I told him.
*In the Garden...*
We arrived at the garden. Ciel and Mr. Damiano took their seats on the dining table.
"On tonight's menu is a dish of finely-sliced raw beef, donbouri, courtesy of our chef, Bardroy." Sebastian introduced the dish, which was as he described, a bowl of raw beef and rice, with the finishing touch of shredded lettuce and parsley.
"A pile of raw beef. And this is dinner?" Damiano asked, not sure of the dish.
"Yes, but surely you have heard of it? This, good sir, is a Japanese delicacy. A dish offered as a sign of gratitude to someone, who has accomplished important work. That, sir, is the wonder of donbouri." Sebastian explained the dish to Damiano, who was having trouble absorbing the information.
"This is a token from our master and mistress, to show their thanks for all your hard work on the company's behalf. They wanted you to know that it's much appreciated." Sebastian told Damiano as Mey-Rin entered with a bottle of red wine.
"Now that's our Sebastian for you." I heard Finny's voice from the garden, as Ceil started eating.
"He saved the day." Bardroy's voice spoke from the same area.
"Excellent! What an inspired idea! The legendary Phantomhive hospitality in action." Damiano shouted in joy and pride.
"The vintage we are pouring tonight was specially selected to compliment the soy sauce." Sebastia introduced the wine, then looked at Mey-Rin, "Mey-Rin?" She did nothing, but smile, "Now, Mey-Rin." Sebastian told her.
Mey-Rin looked at Sebastian in confusion, "Yes, sir?"
"Why are you just standing there? Pour the man a glass of wine." He whispered to her.
"Of course. Yes, sir." Mey-Rin said. She grabbed the bottle and poured the wine into one of our vials.
"Hey." "What?" "Is it just me, or is Mey-Rin acting a little strange?" I heard Bardroy and Finny's voice, as Mey-Rin wobbled her way over to Damiano's end of the table.
Now that Bardroy mentioned it, she did look a little flustered and embarrassed.
I stood up and looked at the flustered maid, "Mey-Rin, are you alright?"
"Sebastian is watching me. I can't take it! Don't look at me that way!" Mey-Rin muttered to herself.
Her nerves got the best of her and she missed the cup, spilling the wine on the tablecloth. Ciel and my eyes widen in shock.
"Mey-Rin, stop it! Can't you see? You're spilling the wine!" Finny whispered/shouted to Mey-Rin, but she couldn't hear him.
The wine spread to the edge of the table. A drop escaped the spill. Sebastian acted quickly and pulled the cloth off the table in one move, catching the drop as well. Nothing moved or tipped over.
Luckily, Damiano was too busy, eating his donbouri to noticed what happened. I took a breath and calmed down. Damiano finished his food and noticed the cloth was gone. Finny, Baldroy and I took Mey-Rin back inside.
"Where did the tablecloth go?" Damiano asked.
"A speck of dirt. Most unsightly. I had the cloth removed, so it wouldn't distract us. Think nothing of it." Ciel explained, as he returned to his meal.
"Please accept my apologies, sir. Do continue. Enjoy the meal at your leisure." Sebastian told Damiano.
"Oh. Oh my..." Damiano smiled and laughed, "Lord Phantomhive, once again you have truly impressed me. What an able butler you've acquired."
"Pay him no mind. He merely acts as befits one of my servants." Ciel faked a smile.
"My master is quite correct about that. Naturally, you see, I am simply one hell of a butler." Sebastian complimented.
Ciel and I looked at Sebastian. Ciel looked back and 'hmphed.' My eyes soften as I looked at my dear brother.
*Later, back in the Drawing Room...*
After dinner was finished, Ciel and I lead Damiano back to the Drawing Room.
"That was a thoroughly enjoyable dinner, my lord. Now then, about the contract..." Damiano started, as Ciel and himself took their seats.
"Before we discuss that, we must finish the game." Ciel told him.
"Ah. Yes, of course. I do have a pressing appointment." Damiano excused, not wanting to play Ciel's game anymore. "Perhaps another ti-"
"Children can be very demanding about their games." Ciel cut him off, smirking. "Surely, you wouldn't want me to get upset."
Damiano gulped, but calmed himself, "No. No, of course not. Perhaps you would permit me to use your telephone?"
"Of course. It's downstairs, fifth door on your left." I answered, pointing to the door.
Damiano nodded his head and walked toward the door. He opened the door, and found Sebastian pushing a cart with a tea set in front of him. He saw Damiano leaving the room.
"I've brought some tea for you and my lord." Sebastian said with a smile.
"I'll be right back." Damiano said in a quiet, but noticeably annoyed tone.
Sebastian pushed the cart to us and poured the tea in our cups. Ciel and I sniffed the aroma of the tea, and gave it a disapproved look.
"What is this?" Ciel asked.
"It smells terribly weak." I finished, "This can't be the tea I ordered..."
Ciel looked at me, "Care to elaborate, Eleanor?"
I nodded, and explained, as I put my cup of tea on the cart, "Out of consideration for our guest, I brought some Italian tea."
"Italian?" Ciel repeated in confusion.
"Italians drink more coffee than tea, Master. So, finding high-quality Italian tea can be difficult." I explained, then asked, "This particular selection is not to your liking?"
"No. It is not." Ciel answered, "I don't like it at all."
"I'll see to the dessert preparations." Sebastian told us.
"Good. We must show him every available hospitality. The Phantomhive family is known for its courtesy." Ciel nodded with a smirk.
Sebastian bowed, "Yes. my young lord." He looked at me with glowing, slit-pupil eyes, "Are you ready, M'Lady?"
I looked from my tea, and smirked as well, "Yes. I'm more than ready."
With that, I sat on my knees and took deep breaths.
"I'm tired of babysitting those child Earls." I told my crew over the phone.
"Yes. I've already sold off the factory. Now, all that's left is to pocket the extra cash. I'm trying to squeeze more out of the brats right now." I told them.
The crew asked about the employees.
"The employees? Who cares about them?" I snapped.
I felt a icy chill up my spine, and looked back. There was nothing. I returned to the phone. The crew asked what happened.
"Nevermind. The rest of the formalities are you to deal with." I answered.
They asked if it will be difficult.
"No. It'll be easy. Please. They're only children." I told them.
With that said, my crew hung up the phone. I put the phone back and walked by way back, to the Drawing Room. In the Great Hall, as I passed the large portrait of a smiling couple, I felt the chill again.
I looked at the portrait and saw the man's face glow white, except for the eyes and mouth, and looked at me. I rubbed my eyes and looked again. Everything was normal.
"Impossible. I'm seeing things." I whispered to myself.
As I returned to my destination.
"Bewitched by the eyes of the dead." I heard the Phantomhive girl's voice speak in my ear.
I stopped, but smiled at her brother's childish game, "No. That's ridiculous."
I was able to reach the door to the Drawing Room, but as I opened the door, it was the Pool Room.
"Huh." I closed the door.
And tried another door.
"Not here either." I tried another. "Or here."
I began to wonder, "This manor is like a giant maze. I can't even find the Drawing Room."
"Bewitched by the eyes of the dead." I heard the Phantomhive girl's voice speak again.
I stopped and saw a headless man, floating in mid-air, walking towards me. His face came into view. It was the same face from the painting. In fear, I backed off a bit, then ran.
"S-Stay away from me!" I shouted. Without looking, I bumped into someone.
I looked and saw it was one of the Phantomhive brats. I couldn't tell which one it was. The hallway was too dark and his, or her visible eye was closed.
"What's the matter, Mr. Damiano? Are you not liking our hospitality?" The child said in a hollow, monotone voice.
I recognized the voice. It was the Phantomhive girl. She opened her eyes and looked up at me. Her eye were blank. I ran past her in fear. This had to be a trick!
"You lose one turn." I heard her voice say, as I ran.
The lights went out and I couldn't see where I was going. I lost my footing and fell down something hard, breaking my right leg. The light went back on and I realized that I fell down the main stairs.
The maid came to my aid, "Sir, are you alright?" She backed away in shock, as she saw my leg, "His right leg! It's twisted round, what happened to it?" The chef and the gardener arrived, carrying the large portrait that started this whole incident.
"Hey! What's wrong?" I heard the chef ask the maid.
"Our guest! Something's happened!" The maid shouted.
I looked and saw the man's face in the painting.
"And now, you lose one leg in the enchanted forest." The ghost said in the Phantomhive girl's voice.
I trembled in fear. I had to get out of the manor. I began to crawl away from the group. I heard the maid calling me to come back, but I didn't listen.
I kept crawling down the hallway, until a pair of legs stood in my way. I looked up and saw it was the butler. There was something sinister about his smile.
"Surly you aren't leaving the manor yet, sir." I stumbled back a bit. "We haven't given you the full Phantomhive treatment yet. We still have to serve dessert." I tried to crawl away from the butler, but I could hear him walking behind me.
"You lost a leg, remember? Now, you can only move half the number of spaces. So, why don't just relax and make yourself at home?" The butler said, then suggested.
I couldn't take it anymore. I crawled as fast as I could and entered a room, closing the door behind me. I looked around, but I couldn't see a thing.
"Damn. It's too dark." I muttered to myself.
I heard the butler's steps coming closer. I moved away from the door and backed up against something.
"Is this a cupboard?" I wondered, as I was able to open the door and hid inside.
I was too busy, checking the size, that I didn't notice the door to the room open.
"Damn. These are really tight quarters." I whispered.
Then, I felt my hand touch something soft, but spongy.
"What's this?" I sniffed the stuff on my gloves. "Smells like sugar."
I heard something open and noticed the butler. He gave me a sad look. The cupboard started to get warmer.
"What an impatient guest we have. You couldn't even restrain yourself until dessert was out of the oven." My fear reached its peak.
"The oven? Open up! Please, open the door!" I shouted, trying to open the door, but it was locked on the outside.
I was trapped and slowly began to burn.
The butler stood up, "Perhaps the Italians aren't familiar with our customs. There's plum pudding. Mincemeat pie. There are many traditional desserts here, in England, that make use of meat. I find them all quite tasty."
The butler closed the viewing window, as I heard the Phantomhive girl's voice again, "Your body is burnt by raging flames. You lose."
I screamed loudly and at the top of my lungs.
I entered the Drawing Room, with my eyes back to normal and a small smirk on my face, and looked out the window.
"How did the guest like the hospitality?" Ciel asked.
"Let's say he enjoyed it so much, he might not make it through the night." I answered.
I saw Damiano limping down the path of the garden. He fell over once, got up and continued to limp. Using my fingers, I counted down to the moment he would shout.
As I reached my last, index finger, "MAMMA MIA!"
Ciel chuckled lightly at the scream, "What an unattractive scream."
I smirked, "He sounds almost like a pig taken off to slaughter."
"What presumption, first he sells the East Indian factory without telling me, and then he dares to ask for more money?" Ciel continued, as he grabbed his piece of the board game, "Did he think to retain my trust?" He moved his piece to the happy end. However, he made it fall to its side, "I'm afraid, once something is truly lost, one can never get it back again."
I nodded my head in sadness and put our games back.
"I'm ready to retire for the day. Could you get Sebastian, Eleanor?" Ciel requested.
"Of course, Ciel." I answered.
I left the room and walked off to find Sebastian. I found him the Great Hall, looking at the blank area, where our parents' portrait used to be.
"It would appear we'll be needing to hang new wallpaper as well." Sebastian muttered.
I felt something pull at the back of my mind. I turned to look at the hall and saw a much younger version of Ciel and myself, playing with our toys. But something felt like it was missing someone...
Ciel looked at our parents, "Mama? Papa?"
Rachel and Vincent were smiling at us, enjoying our little smiles. Even the dog, Sebastian, was smiling. Tears welled up in my eyes, until I heard a snap of fingers and I snapped out of my trance. I shook my head, removing the thought.
"The head of the Phantomhive estate. Hm." Sebastian whispered to himself.
"What just happened?" I asked.
Sebastian looked at me with a reassuring smile, "You seemed to have drifted down memory lane, Mistress." Then asked me, "Were you looking for something?"
I blinked, then recollected myself, "Y-yes. I was looking for you, Sebastian. Master is ready to retire for the day."
Sebastian bowed, "Of course, my lady."