Sebastian really, really did not want to have to do this, but he had no other choice. At this rate, the grand manor of Phantomhive would be reduced to rubble, and worse. Bard, the chef, had set the manor on fire at least five times already this month. Finnian, the gardener, had absolute hopeless talent with gardening and was killing everything in the garden. It was so embarrassing for Phantomhive when other noblemen would come to visit the young Earl and their garden looked like a graveyard.
And lastly, the house-maid, Maylene... she had such talent for being clumsy and tripped over her feet countless times in one day. She was breaking everything, all the good china, all those expensive tea sets... at this rate, the Phantomhive would be chewed out of money for having to keep buying replacements. And it was Sebastian's duty, the butler of Phantomhive, to see to it that the manor was in its topmost condition always. That's why he had to do something he really did not want to do.
And was that asking Claude Faustus, the butler of Trancy, for a favor. Sebastian had seen how capable and excellent his servants were... those three identical-looking triplets. Why? why couldn't the servants of Phantomive be that capable?
So Sebastian asked Claude if he could borrow those triplets for a day, and allow them to train the hopeless Phantomhive servants in the duties of proper housework. It was embarrassing, yes, and shameful for Sebastian to stoop that low... but he had no other choice.
Claude agreed to this deal. And the deal was, that Sebastian would arrange for him and his master to make another appearance at the Trancy household. It was known that Claude savored the taste of Ciel's soul greatly, and this would be another way for him to obtain it. Sebastian was aware of Claude's devious intention, but he knew that he would protect his master no matter what, so there was nothing to worry about.
"All right, you three," Sebastian said the morning the triplets were to arrive. "Today you will each be getting a tutor to help you with the duties you do at the Phantomhive estate."
"Tutor?" Bard asked doubtfully. "What do you mean, Sebastian?"
"I mean that you three are completely and absolutely hopeless when it comes to cooking, gardening and doing housework, that I am giving you a tutor for one day so they can help you improve these skills." His words were unpleasant, and mean, but Sebastian said it all with a calm smile.
But the three servants knew he was truly fed up with them, and could feel the biting coldness behind these words.
"What kind of people are they?" Finnian asked, when suddenly the doorbell rang.
"Speak of the devil," said Sebastian. "They must be here now."
The four descended down the staircase and into the main room, where Sebastian answered the door. And there were the Trancy triplets, looking as impassive as ever.
"Ah, thank you for coming," said Sebastian with a smile. "I am sure that your master has already explained to you of why you are here today."
The middle triplet, Timber, simply nodded a "yes".
"Then, please, do come in..." And they did so.
The Phantomhive sevants recognized the three immediately, for they had seen them before at the costume ball which they had attended not too ago at the Trancy manor. The ones who cleaned up super-fast, after their pitiful mistakes...
"Now, I believe that your master told me that Ton-san is the gardener, correct?" Sebastian said. Thompson, on the left, nodded, and stepped forward. "Then you will be working with Finnian today."
Finnian nervously smiled and awkwardly inclined his head. "N-Nice to meet you."
Timber, "Chin-san", who was the chef, was thus assigned to work with Bard. And Canterbury, "Kan-san", the house steward, was accordingly assigned to work with Maylene.
"Now, then, by the end of the day, I hope you three will have learned something from the Trancy servants," Sebastian said with a final smile before leaving the six servants. But his "smile", to Bard, Finny and Maylene, was saying behind its feigned kindness, "And after today I won't be expecting any more mess-ups from you three."
So, Thompson and Finny left to the gardens outside, Timber and Bard to the kitchens, and Canterbury and Maylene to whatever household work needed to be done.
Finny at once could see that Thompson was way better at doing garden work than he was. He knew exactly where to dig the holes to plant the trees and flowers, so they obtained enough sunlight to grow, and how deep to dig the holes exactly. But... there was a slight problem. Thompson didn't talk. At all. So if Finny had a question for him, he got no accurate answer, but only a nod or shake of the head, or a point of the finger.
By the time the two had re-done the whole entire garden with new plantings, it was already mid-afternoon, and Finny was quite exhausted. He couldn't understand how Thompson didn't break a sweat, and acted as if they had merely been sitting around all day.
"Thanks for your help today!" Finny said with a wide smile.
Thompson made no reply, as Finny expected, and simply bowed his head.
Finny wasn't quite sure if he had learned anything today though... it is quite hard to learn from a tutor who will not speak.
Meanwhile, in the kitchens, Bard was having the same problem with Timber. Timber was instructing him on how to make a proper lunch without using a flamethrower. But it was a bit difficult for Bard to understand seeing as Timber would not speak a word to him. Bard had to constantly keep asking Timber questions, and all he ever got was a shake or nod of the head. Getting more accurate answers would have been more helpful...
By mid-afternoon, however, the two were successful in preparing a decent lunch for the young Earl of Phantomhive. Bard tried his best to remember everything he had learned today about using the proper tools and ingredients in the kitchen, yet he still had a few questions for Timber which would require actually answering in detail...
"Thanks for your help today, I, uh, guess," Bard grumbled. Timber, like his brother, only simply bowed his head.
Maylene was no better off than Finny and Bard. Today she had to attend to the laundry, and usually she washed the clothes with too much soap or put too much salt in the water that she ended up ruining the clothes. However, with Canterbury there, he demonstrated to her how to properly wash the clothing without ruining any of the colors or fabrics. He also showed her how to properly fix a loose stitch in a shirt. Maylene normally did an awful job on sewing, seeing as she was terribly farsighted and ending up putting more rips in the clothing.
By mid-afternoon, she had loads of questions piled in her head to ask Canterbury, but she was aware he wouldn't answer any of them accurately... there are some things you simply cannot answer with a mere shake or nod of the head.
"T-Thank you very much for your help today...!" Maylene thanked him. And like his two brothers had done, Canterbury simply bowed his head in reply.
At the end of the day, when the three Phantomhive servants met up and the Trancy servants resumed standing in-line with each another, they couldn't help but whisper that they hadn't really learned anything today.
"When they whisper to each other like that," Bard said as he watched the triplets whisper to each other. "It makes me feel like they're saying bad things about us or something, and they don't want to say it out loud!"
"It... it is rather rude, isn't it?" said Maylene.
"Maybe they're just ashamed of how their voices sound, and don't want to speak out loud?" Finny suggested brightly.
"Everyone, thank you for your hard work today," Sebastian's voice suddenly sounded, as he entered into the room followed by the young Earl himself. "I hope you have learned plenty of useful tips from the Trancy servants."
Bard, Maylene and Finny could only nod their heads and mumble positively that they had.
"But there's something I've been wanting to know all day!" Bard abruptly blurted out. Maylene and Finny looked at him in shock, and the triplets looked at him inquiringly. Bard looked at the the triplets stiffly. "How come you three haven't said one word all day?"
As usual, the triplets made no reply, which quite irritated Bard even more.
"Isn't it obvious?" Ciel said casually. "They have laryngitis."
"Laryngitis?" the three Phantomhive servants said in puzzled unison.
"Yes, laryngitis," Sebastian said coolly. "I apologize, I must have forgotten to inform you three of that today earlier this morning."
….The three sighed tiredly. Yes, today was indeed, very, very tiring...