Kurohanchi: Black Half-Blood
Ciel Phantomhive-leader of the Black Lands and a half-Japanese bobtail half-blood, he has blue-gray hair, one dark blue eye and one violet eye (covered by eye patch) that conceals the Faustian contract between himself and Sebastian, pale skinned; in his half-blood form he has blue-gray fur with white tora-ge (two circles above the eyes, white paws, white underlegs and underbelly, white chest, white on his hind legs and on the underside of the tail, white muzzle connected to the white on his chest) markings, and a curled tail due to a mutation in the genes of his tail.
Sebastian Michaelis -butler to Ciel and the later second leader of the Black Lands and a demon half-mixed breed cheetah-bobcat half-blood, he has black hair, red eyes, and a mark on his left hand (hands are covered by white gloves) that conceals the Faustian contract between himself and Ciel, pale skinned; in his half-blood form he has black fur with red tabby markings all over his body and white paws and chest—the tabby markings extend to the white, and he has rings on his tail and long tufts at the end of his ears.
Grell Sutcliff-a former bear-dog and a "created Shinigami," he is the assassin of the Black Lands and close friend (future mate) to Will and a half-husky half-blood, he has red hair, green eyes (pupils surrounded by a darker green), and metal back legs that have a layer of short, fuzzy fur on them to conceal them in his half-blood form (he does not have them in his human form), a result of testing by the scientists, and shark-like sharp teeth; in his half-blood form he is a red-furred husky with light cream markings on his face, chest, underbelly, under the tail, and his legs—he has very sharp teeth in this form as well, and has an unnaturally deep voice thanks to further testing (only has a deep voice in his dog form—never in his regular form), and he wears a brown collar with a silver metal plate on it displaying his name.
William T. Spears-a former bear-dog and a "born Shinigami," he is the tracker of the Black Lands and a close friend (future mate) to Grell and a half-Labrador retriever half-blood, he has smooth brownish-black hair, green eyes (pupils surrounded by a slightly darker green—his eyes in general are a bit lighter than Grell's), and metal nails given to him by the scientists; in his half-blood form he is a chocolate colored Lab with a large black patch on his head, back, tail, and underbelly—he has metal claws instead of nails in this form, and he wears a black collar with artificial studs and a silver metal plate similar to Grell's, displaying his name.
Elizabeth "Lizzy" Middleford-cousin to Ciel and his supposed-to-be fiancé, she is the medicine apprentice to Liz and a half-Papillion half-blood with curly blonde hair, bright green eyes and a rather high voice; in her half-blood form she has golden-yellow fur with a small white dash on her chest and white paws and cream colored eye patches.
Ronald Knox-a former hunting dog and a "born Shinigami" that escaped from the lab at an early age, he is the lead hunter and fairly young, and he is a half-Savannah cat half-blood, with scruffy blonde hair and a black colored second "layer" of hair and bold green eyes; in his half-blood form he has golden colored fur with black spots and black ticking with a splash of white on his nose—he also wears a necklace with an emerald at the end given to him by his former owner.
Elizabeth "Liz" Bradley-a very mysterious girl, she is the medicine cat and is also very close to all of the high-ranking members of the Black Lands, yet not many people know much about her, and she is a half-Siberian tiger half-blood, with curly dark brown hair and dark brown eyes and tanned skin; in her half-blood form she has dark brown fur with tora-ge markings (see "Ciel Phantomhive") and has a curled tail like Ciel due to a malformation in the tail—she also wears a collar with a cross on it instead of a tag.
Claude Faustus-leader of the Red Rebellion (Aka no hanran, A.H), he is a very strong, yet hot-headed half-blood and he is a demon half-jaguar half-blood, with black hair and golden eyes and very pale skin, and gloves over his hands conceal the Faustian contract on his left hand similar to Sebastian's—his eyes often have a crazed look, since his pupils are often dilated and his iris sometimes also becomes very small; in his half-blood form, he has pure, shimmering, beautiful black fur and piercing golden eyes, and he is well-muscled and fast—he has no black spots
Alois Trancy-second leader of the A.H and mate to Claude, he is a small but lithe and a rather bratty half-leopard half-blood, with blonde hair and light blue eyes and pale skin, and the Faustian contract between himself and Claude is displayed on his tongue; in his half-blood form, he is a small golden furred leopard with slightly darker blonde rosettes and slightly darker eyes than in his human form
The Undertaker-neither on the side of the Black Lands nor the A.H, Undertaker is a retired "created Shinigami," the only other created Shinigami besides Grell, and is the only non-mammal half-blood, being a half-Great Gray owl half-blood, with long gray hair and supposedly green eyes, although the color of his eyes is never really revealed; in his half-blood form, his gray is a light gray underneath his wings and on his chest, and a darker gray everywhere else, and his eyes are the signature orange of the Great Gray.
Ciel hissed in annoyance as the bird he was stalking fluttered away, startled by a noise from the bushes. Growling, Ciel pounced on them, and there was a startled yap from under him. A small Papillion cowered beneath him.
"Lizzy?" Ciel growled, and released his frightened cousin. The bright-eyed Papillion glanced up at him, and her tail began to wag.
"Ciel!" getting up, Lizzy nuzzled the unsuspecting Ciel, who stiffened at her touch.
"What are you doing out here?" Ciel sighed, sitting down. "You scared off my bird, you know."
Lizzy angrily stomped her paw. "Liz sent me out here to hunt. She said I was being a distraction while she was trying to fix Ronald's ankle; he sprained it while he was racing one of the apprentices again. She said "Go make yourself useful and hunt," but I don't know how!"
That was obvious, Ciel thought, but he shook it from his head and studied her for a second. "Well, tell her I sent you back because you couldn't catch anything. Don't worry; I'm sure the patrol will get enough." He nudged the young dog to her feet and watched as she wagged her tail in thanks and slipped off through the bushes, and Ciel turned, sighing. He started off towards the deeper parts of the woods to see if anything else was available, when a sudden flash of black and red stopped him.
"Did you loose this, bocchan?" Standing there was Sebastian, the lost bird hanging limp in his jaws. Dropping it at Ciel's feet, the cat grinned. "I shall return it to you."
Picking the bird up by the wing, Ciel shrugged it to his shoulders. "Go back and get the other prey I caught." Without bothering to tell him where it was, he slipped the bird back into his mouth and started off towards the main camp.
Even though his vision and scent was slightly distorted, Ciel could tell where the camp was by the sudden assault of scents through his nose, penetrable even through the warm, musty odor of the bird and the leafy scent of the forest. After picking his way through the fence that guarded them from the outside, he arrived at the "camp," a huge kind of front yard for a tall, beautiful mansion that towered many yards away. Inside the camp were the main residents of the "Black Lands," the territory of the Half-Blood lands of which Ciel controlled; there were hundreds of half-bloods, big and small, and of many different kinds. Right now, when the sun was at its highest point, it was time for congregation and a large lunch of sorts.
Dropping off the bird at the storage place, Ciel shrunk into the shadows and slipped into a crack in a large, cool stone rock, padding deep into the back. A large Sumatran tiger guarded the entrance into the main den, but he dipped his head as Ciel passed. Nodding approval to the larger animal, Ciel slipped past him, and his nose was met by the comforting scent of herbs—the reason for his comfort was that the herbs reminded him of tea, his favorite drink. Sitting at the very back was a huge brown tiger, with the same markings as he, but her coat was lined with the thick black stripes that marked her heritage.
"Good afternoon," Liz purred, turning her brown eyes to acknowledge him. "I hope you're not sick, are you Ciel?"
The cat shook his blue-gray muzzle, before turning to the cots at the right side of the den. A black and yellow Savannah cat slept, his long body stretched out across it, one paw heavily covered in cobwebs and kept in place with two twigs.
"It looks like Ronald got into a fight with a tree stump again," Ciel sighed, shaking his head. How this cat injured himself all the time and yet still managed to catch more prey than everyone else baffled him.
"He sure did," Liz chuckled, her tail "wagging" from side to side. "Boys will be boys though. All we can hope for is that he'll get more responsible with age." She shuffled over to the medicine shelves, taking a sniff of the herbs to make sure they were all still fresh.
"While I have your attention," Ciel meowed, causing Liz to turn and look at him. "Did you happen to send Lizzy out to hunt?"
"Why yes," Liz replied, licking a paw. "Whatsit to you?"
"She can't hunt to save her life."
"I know that."
"Then why did you send her out there?"
Liz just closed her eyes and laughed. "I believe in learning on the job. I didn't have anyone to teach me how to hunt, and look at me now!" puffing her chest out, she straightened her back and neck. She seemed almost like royalty—beautiful and regal.
Unimpressed, Ciel narrowed his eyes. "Could you please try to teach her something before you just throw her out there again?"
Liz closed her eyes and purred, "I'll try."
Ciel then switched from his cat form to his human form, letting out a breath of air as he flexed his cramped muscles. "Anyway, I need the poppy seeds."
Smiling, Liz pulled a jar of small black seeds from the shelf and settled them in front of Ciel. "If I weren't smart, I'd say you have an addiction." Frowning, Ciel grabbed the jar and pulled out two of the tiny seeds, dropping them on his tongue and then swallowing them.
"Keep up the good work," Ciel murmured, squeezing out of the entrance and into the sunlight. Sighing happily, Ciel went to his favorite lookout place—a tall, strong tree that overlooked the entire camp. Climbing to his "sitting branch," Ciel stretched out across the limb, resting his head on his crossed arms, slowly blinking as he watched the camp. His solitary dark blue eye fell on a large red and cream husky who was stretched out long-ways in the sun, a few rays of light glinting off of his red glasses and silver plate on his collar. In the long grass to the right of him was Lizzy, who was stalking towards him. She must be practicing, Ciel thought, rolling carefully onto his stomach and straightening to watch the scene.
The yellow and white puppy was obviously trying to do her best, but the red dog had already been alerted of her presence by the wind. He could smell her, so when she pounced, the husky simply rolled onto his back, evading capture.
Landing on the ground with an "oof," Lizzy looked angrily at Grell. "Hey! What was that?"
Sitting up, the husky turned his green gaze to the pup. "I scented you, so I moved out of your way."
"I was hunting you! Couldn't you have let me catch you?" Lizzy huffed, shaking dust from her coat.
"No." replied Grell flatly.
"That's not an answer!"
"It is in my world."
"Not in mine!"
"Hey, you two!" the two arguing dogs turned to see Sebastian strolling across the clearing, two mice hanging from his jaws by their tails and a vole and a thrush on his shoulders. The large cat dropped off his prey at the food storage place, then moved menacingly over to Lizzy and Grell. "Don't fight amongst yourselves," he hissed. "We're supposed to rely on each other, not fight with each other."
"Sebastian!" Grell's mood instantly brightened as he leaned under Sebastian, tail wagging furiously. Leaning up, he murmured in his ear; "Make her go away, she's bothering me." Sebastian acknowledged his claim with a flick of his long, rounded tail, and Grell flipped onto his back, tail still wagging almost uncontrollably.
Nudging Lizzy with his broad head, his reddish-orange eyes met Lizzy's bright green ones. "Why don't you go and see if Liz will give you some hunting lessons? I would say check with Ronald, but he can't really hunt right now. Liz is the next best; perhaps you'll learn something."
Lizzy grinned and nodded. "Okay!" Turning, she ran off towards the medicine den, and Sebastian sighed and shook his head.
"Of all the pups in the world…" Sebastian turned, letting his eyes wander to the tree in which Ciel was watching. The boy had a small grin on his face, and Sebastian ran to the tree, climbing it with surprising ease and resting beside Ciel.
"She's quite the character isn't she?" Ciel asked, his dark blue eye sparkling. "She never does seem to realize that she's a nuisance."
Sebastian managed a slight chuckle, before becoming serious again. "Bocchan, I found something rather alarming by the edge of our boarder."
Suddenly shifting uncomfortably, Ciel turned his head to face his butler. "What is it?"
"A scent, one not of our own. I could tell that it was a male, a large panther. There was also something more…"
"And what would that be?"
Sebastian's ears pinned against the side of his head, a good way to tell that the mixed breed was unsettled. "It was a demon."
Ciel was quiet for a moment, and he felt the hair along his neck and spine instinctively start to rise. "Investigate immediately. Waste no time, Sebastian."
A small smile went across the cat's face. "Yes, my Lord."
However, unknown to the other two, two pairs of eyes were watching them, one golden and one blue. Turning from his spot on the overlooking rock and nudging the blonde leopard beside him, Claude grinned.
"Did you hear that Alois? They've scented us."
Alois's lips drew back in a sneer-like smile, showing all of his white teeth. "They've only scented you, Claude."
Claude shrugged. "We've been together for so long, our scent is basically the same." The panther looked out across the land again. "We're getting closer Alois. First we took out Rachel and Vincent Phantomhive, and the matriarchs of the Michaelis and Sutcliff families destroyed themselves—I'm surprised it was that easy to get Zak to comply with me—I'm even more surprised that kid ended up killing him, but oh well. He won't be much of an enemy now; we want the main prize—to take out Ciel Phantomhive and Sebastian Michaelis."
It did not take long for Sebastian to carry out the order that Ciel gave him. Sebastian didn't go alone though—he took Grell and Will, not for their company, but for their excellent sense of tracking. Even though Grell could sometimes be annoying with his constant swooning, and Will hated him, their experience as bear-dogs was a key element in tracking down this other demon. Even though Sebastian had no idea what this intruders intentions where, he had to be careful. This demon could be potentially dangerous or unstable—a "rouge demon" as they were called.
After going to the original site of the scent, Grell and Will had begun their search. A good thing about them was that they would never stop tracking a scent until it ended or until they found what they were looking for. Regular distractions such as talking or another scent could wait, and it was pushed far from their minds. Both of the dog's heads were down, sniffing through the undergrowth, each on his own path, but yet strangely coordinated. Every paw step was with the others—they never lost track of each other, even without looking at each other. It was as though they had some sort of connection to each other, that didn't require eyes. Suddenly, both stopped, hackles raised. Will let out a low growl as he raised his head.
"The scent is fresher here," he said lowly, turning to face Sebastian. "He was here about five minutes ago. He couldn't have gone far; perhaps he's still here." Grell had his long red muzzle lifted to the air, sniffing, turning his head to the left, then the right, then back to the left again before slowly approaching a tree. He was crouched low, and his legs were lifted high, like a blind dog or a stalking cat.
"Stay low," he murmured, in his low, growly voice. "Don't move." Suddenly, he leaned against the tree and let out frenzied barks, aiming them at the treetops. As though planned, a huge black blur came from the trees and landed directly behind Grell, who spun around to face him, lips curled back, showing his large sharp teeth.
"Well, well, well," the panther purred, flicking his tail. "Who do we have here?"
"I could ask you the same question." Unlike Will and Grell, who were standing low and stiff with every hair on their body raised, Sebastian was standing calmly now in his human form, his head held high above the other cat's.
"Well, I guess I'd better answer your question before you answer mine." The panther began to pace around Sebastian's legs, soft, black fur brushing up against his pale white skin. "I am Claude Faustus, leader of the Red Rebellion, Aka no hanran, and I am here to kill you." Despite this threat, Sebastian sat calmly, undaunted.
"And you planned to do this quickly and easily, I presume?" Sebastian asked, looking down at Claude with a slight smile on his face and a sneer on his lips.
Swiping his long, barbed tongue over his muzzle and whiskers, Claude grinned wide. "Well, if you want it to be quick and painless, then yes. Or, we could draw it out."
Switching back into his cat form, Sebastian whipped his tail around. "I don't like to go down without a fight." Letting out a ferocious snarl, he turned and sped off through the trees, Claude in hot pursuit, the dogs at his heels.
Being a cheetah mix, and adding that with being a demon, Sebastian could reach very high speeds. However, Claude was about as fast, and he was but a head behind the black and red cat. Growling in displeasure, Sebastian shot up a tree trunk and onto the branches, catapulting from branch to branch, looking as though he was flying through the air. Claude was quick to follow him, and Grell and Will stayed on the ground to pursue them, in case Claude should fall, they could quickly tear him apart.
"You are a fast one aren't you?" Sebastian called out to Claude. "Well, speed isn't everything." Suddenly switching his path, Sebastian made for a gap in the trees, falling gracefully to the clearing and taking off again, until he came to a huge canyon-like gap in the earth. This gap separated the edge of the Black Lands from the place where the loners and humans lived. A long time ago, during the war between the humans and the half-bloods, half-blood soldiers would have their strength and loyalty tested by having to jump this gap. Only the best, the bravest, and the most agile could make it across—the soldiers that did were highly regarded and were the most sought after.
Mustering all of his power, Sebastian kicked off the edge of the cliff, soaring over to the other side. It was no huge feat for him—he had jumped this gap many times, so many that he would sometimes simply do it for fun. It seemed as though Claude had not. The large half-blood skidded to a stop at the edge of the cliff, hissing and roaring in frustration as he walked along the side.
"Can't do it can you?" Sebastian teased, rolling onto his back on the other side. "Oh well, I guess you'll have to stay there until the dogs rip you apart." Claude let out an angry hiss, and was answered by the loud baying and barking from Will and Grell, who were quickly catching up.
Claude spat a curse as the bear dogs made their way to him. Snarling, the two backed Claude up to the edge of the cliff. Just as it seemed as though they had him, the huge panther took a flying leap over Will and Grell's heads, landing about a yard behind them. Before the dogs could turn to chase him, Claude ran off into the woods.
Angry, Will turned to chase him. "Hey, wai—"
"Forget about him." Sebastian, returning from the other side of the gap, trotted over to the two and stood between them. "There isn't any need to pursue him—he's a lost cause."
Growling softly, Will nodded. Enraged over the loss of his prey, Grell paced back and forth. "He got away!"
"Calm down," Will murmured gently to Grell. "The next time we see him…he won't be getting away." Reluctantly, Grell sat beside them, letting his hackles fall back down and smooth against his back.
"Now, we must return," Sebastian sighed. "And alert the bocchan of Claude's presence."
Night couldn't have fallen quicker for Liz. The tiger quickly left the medicine den as soon as she deemed everyone would be sleeping. Usually, the cool night air calmed Liz's nerves when she was stressed, but now it only made her more unsettled as she searched for the gap. Reaching it, Liz easily jumped over it, landing on the other side.
Making her way across the desert-like ground, Liz reached the large hole she was looking for. She let out three short chuffs, and waited ten seconds. After the ten seconds, she was answered by three short hoots, and a large gray owl came up, his big orange eyes settling on her.
"Undertaker," she murmured softly, then leaned in close to him. "I've confirmed it." The owl ruffled his feathers in displeasure.
"I understand." The Undertaker replied, slowly blinking his large orange eyes. "Standby. Do not tell Ciel Phantomhive the part Claude Faustus played in his parent's murder."
"It is for the boy's own good."
Hesitantly, Liz nodded. "Alright. Is that all you need to tell me?"
"For now." With that, the Undertaker dove back down into his hole, and Liz jumped back into the Black Lands.
"So you survived," Liz murmured to herself. "Claude Faustus."