All characters © Toboso Yana
The Silent Repiner
The Undertaker normally wasn't one to ruminate, but on that chilly November evening he couldn't help but feel a soft twinge of nostalgia. Leaning out of his shop window with his head resting on his arms, the mortician sighed. He sensed a young shinigami somewhere nearby, and the smell of warm blood permeating the air.
The Undertaker was an Old World shinigami. He always had been. The years were catching up to him now, even if it didn't show. Despite the fact that he still had a few good centuries left in him, the Undertaker had decided to retire to the human world, working as a normal albeit creepy funeral director of the middle echelons.
In his time he had been legendary. He still was. Even the Dispatch Management continued to look up to him. He had done his deeds, had passed with flying colors, yet…the Undertaker couldn't help but feel just a modicum of sadness. It seemed as if the new generation of young Death Gods was replacing him more and more. Maybe, in time, he would be forgotten.
There was a general rule in the Underworld, no matter what type of creature you were. That rule was a kind of esoteric understanding, a silent agreement shared only by the things that took the shapes of men. Simply: keep your true identity a secret. When in the human world, blend in.
However, most creatures of the netherworld were hungry for glory, to best describe their nature. Because this rule existed, it was a common practice among them to find as many ways as possible to break it—that was how shinigami, demons, and other creatures were. It was a continuous contest, the Undertaker knew, to see how well you could become known in the human world without revealing your identity. If you could accomplish this feat, it earned you respect in the Underworld—much like proving your manlihood amongst humans.
That young shinigami a few blocks down was doing a pretty decent job. Although a bit unconventional, the Undertaker knew that the case of 'Jack the Ripper' would be serious enough to plague human crime history for centuries to come. He personally wouldn't have resorted to whimsical homicide, but it certainly was one way to be known.
But that's not to say the Undertaker hadn't done his fare share as well, oh no.
It was common knowledge that the demon Sebastian Michaelis had started the Black Death. The Undertaker personally knew a shinigami who had spread an Oomyete all over Ireland, causing a shortage of potatoes. And believe it or not, that goody two-shoes William T. Spears had started the first Salem Witch Trials in America. The Undertaker himself had become famous for convincing the Vikings to raid Lindisfarne in the late eighth century, thus commencing the Viking Age in human history.
Although in retirement, the Undertaker still needed human souls every now and then. He had already distinguished himself in the shinigami and human world, so reputation meant little to him. His latest project was just an extra boost to remind them all that he was still here.
It had started only at the beginning of the century, in the New World. He had been hungry, in a dearth of souls to reap, and happened to stumble across this merely by chance.
Like most elder shinigami, the Undertaker was not very familiar with the West. The human population had always been low, so it had been deemed rather pointless to explore the land. But lately, more and more humans had been taking refuge in the Americas.
It was his blunder, really, for going so long without reaping any souls. It must have been his old age. But nonetheless, the Undertaker had found himself in the Bahamas, looking for a good cluster of souls to satiate his needs.
It was only by chance that the Rosalie happened to sail by.
Soon afterwards, the vessel was found near Nassau, perfectly intact…but with not a soul onboard. Literally.
Satisfied, the Undertaker had returned to London, for a little while.
Three decades later, the crew disappeared from the Mary Celeste, and the empty ship drifted out into the sea. The Undertaker had been "on holiday" from his shop then.
Then the Atalanta haddisappeared eight years ago, crew and all. A year later, members of the Ellen Austin had vanished from an abandoned derelict on its passage to England.
The humans were calling it the Bermuda Triangle Mystery, the Devil's Triangle, and other names of the sort. The news eventually reached Londoner ears, and the Undertaker would giggle every time he heard—
—He was interrupted from his thoughts by a knock on the door. Glancing at the clock, the Undertaker needn't have wondered who could be visiting him at this hour.
Sure enough, the Earl of Phantomhive and his butler greeted him outside. Both were spattered with maroon, drying blood. The butler was supporting two bloody women in his arms, and even through his thick gray bangs the Undertaker could see that they were quite dead.
"Ah, it's so nice for you to visit, Earl."
"Undertaker," the boy greeted. He was shivering in the moonlight, clad only in a vest, pants, and cotton blouse. "I have some clients for you."
"Hmm, what happened to the Madame?" The mortician asked conversationally, chewing on a nail.
Ciel averted his eye. "Isn't it obvious?" he asked coolly.
"I want you to clean these women up, and indentify the other one for me."
The Undertaker motioned with a sleeve to a nearby table, indicating that Sebastian should lay them down on it. Sebastian gently removed the women from his arms and returned to the Earl's side after placing them on the table.
"Very well. I can already see that the woman is…lacking," the Undertaker grinned. "Did you catch Jack the Ripper?" Ciel didn't answer for a moment, leaving the night silence thick and heavy.
"Yes," he said finally, before turning on his heels and leaving.
The Undertaker grinned in the wake of his departure, doubting that very much. Vaguely he could hear the echoes of laughter tincturing the crisp night air. Ah yes, youth was truly a wonderful thing…how he missed it so.