Alright, Sorry for the late update, i just thought I'd grace you all with an especially long chapter this time. around 5,000 words instead of 2,000. Yes, I know, I'm just awesome like that. anyway, enjoy!

Chapter 31: His Butler, Books, Burials, and Blue Blossoms

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The carriages were being prepared to leave, several already having rumbled away down the dusty road. Woodley was being hustled by several police officers into a cart with barred windows. He was shouting and cursing, stomping on the feet on a few of the unlucky men.

Wordsmith himself was being unusually quite as Pastor Jeremy helped him into his own carriage. His head was swimming with questions and thoughts. I was surprising, in fact, that the pressure of his own mind had not caused his head to explode.

"Thank you for looking after the young master," The pastor said, bringing Wordsmith out of his thoughts. He looked up, surprised. French? Before he could ask any questions, the carriage began to roll away, merging to become part of the caravan that was trumping down the road. The man turned away from the window and casted a thoughtful look at his hands, as if there was something there that really needed inspection. Without realizing why, a cold sweat broke out above his brow, and he began to shake.

Not long after the butler died, the mysterious pastor appeared. The bodies were inspected, yet not in the same room, which was odd, and then the girl died, but no one was particularly shaken up...And try as he might, he couldn't shake the uncomfortable feeling that Woodley was not the killer. He gasped, and realized then that he had been holding his breath. In a flash, he thrust his head out the carriage window and shouted, maybe a bit to panicked, "Turn the carriage around! I must return to the manor this instant!"

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Pastor Jeremy and Ciel were just heading up the stairs when the front doors burst open and a shout filled the manor, "STOP! MY LORD! PASTOR JEREMY!"

Both males looked behind them in confusion and surprise. Arthur Wordsmith was on his hands and knees, panting from the run back to the manor, after the carriage driver had refused to turn around. "Or..huff huff...should I say...huff...The Butler, Sebastian?"

To his horror and amazement, Jeremy smirked. "It appears we have underestimated you, . My apologies." he reached up long, gloved fingers and placed them on his face, above his brow. Digging his fingers underneath the thin material, he peeled it slowly away from his face, revealing the man that lie beneath.

Wordsmith gasped. "This is so unreal...how is this possible?"

"Oh? But I thought you returned because you were sure.." Sebastian mocked "If you had just gone back, you could have returned to your peaceful 'reality'. So why did you come back?" Sebastian noted that the man was shaking slightly. "Trembling, even," he added viciously.

Wordsmith's face darkened as he mustered up his courage to speak. "B...Because, if my uncomfortable feeling wasn't 'simply' an uncomfortable feeling, I'd have to go after the yard's carriage immediately."

"HAHA." Ciel laughed. He nodded, rubbing his chin. "Your sense of justice is strong, , yet..." Ciel looked down at the man through lowered lashes. "Didn't you know that if you knew the truth, you wouldn't be able to return home?" Wordsmith was shocked into silence, his stomach seemed to drop to his feet. Ciel took pity on his look of terror. "I'm just joking. It's as you guessed." He clopped to the top of the stairs and said, without turning around. "Woodley wasn't the criminal, in this crime at least." Wordsmith gaped at the boy. "However," Ciel continued, "He deserves to be in that carriage."

"W-What do you mean?"

"Let us not stand around here talking. I'll have Sebastian prepare tea." And with that he left the room.

Wordsmith glanced fearfully at Sebastian, who smirked evilly. "This way." His smirk grew when Wordsmith shied away from him. "You wish to know the truth, don't you? Don't be scared, we won't eat you."

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Amber tea sloshed gracefully into the floral patterned tea cup, which was set before Wordsmith as he sat rigidly in his seat across from the young earl. "Today I prepared you Fortnum and Mason's Darjeeling Second Flush. For snacks I have Petit Fours."

Wordsmith remained motionless as the sweets were set before him. Ciel noticed this and smirked, bringing his own cup to his lips. "We haven't poisoned it, so please help yourself. So, how did you know that he was alive, ?"

Wordsmith cleared his throat before speaking. "Even though I had an uncomfortable feeling about the butler Sebastian and the pastor Jeremy, there wasn't a single flaw in either of them to be suspicious of. They were just too perfect. So perfect, in fact, it was strange instead."

"And by this you are trying to say.." Sebastian trailed off.

"There is no way you could have prepared everything so perfectly before dying, well, being murdered. The food, the owl, even your words to me were too perfect. It wasn't just a foreboding." Wordsmith shifted in his chair uncomfortably. "The pastor Jeremy was just as suspicious, but his alibi was so flawless that there was no reason to doubt him. And his words at our parting," Wordsmith shivered. "The moment I heard that I realized the true nature of my constant discomfort.. And also the possibility of something unreal that would over throw all of our reasoning. The possibility that the butler had not died. When I thought of that, I just could not contain myself.." a deep breath was taken before he continued,

"When the maid was suspected at the time of lord Siemens' death, you uttered not a single word in defense. Though it is not unusual, if you believed her to be guilty, you knew that the suspicions on her would be lifted as soon as the next murder occurred."

Sebastian lowered his head with a smile. "Of course, I realized this, though that was not the reason I did not defend the girl."

"Huh?" Wordsmith gasped, and Ciel looked up, frowning. Even he was a bit confused.

Sebastian snickered, "With Anna confined under 24 hour watch, it meant that nothing could be done by other members of the party to harm her unless witness by you, who was confined with her."

"I don't understand..." Wordsmith looked at Ciel, hoping he wasn't the only one not following, but alas, Ciel nodded as if he understood.

"You see, there were guests at that party who arrived intending to harm her." he explained.

Wordsmith was desperately confused. "Who?" How many enemies can a girl have at her age, anyway?

"Just two, and names are not important right now." Sebastian clarified at Ciel's nod. "We knew beforehand that there was a person mixed up in the dinner party that wanted to torment her, and me, as well."

"S-so you mean-" the tea in Wordsmith's glass trembled, as if there was a miniature earthquake occurring in only that one spot. "You predicted this entire incident would happen?!"

The black clad butler smiled. "Indeed. We also predicted that Master Siemens would probably be made a sacrifice for it- and that I would be killed."

The scrawny man leapt up as if he had just realized he was sitting on an open flame, "WHAT?!"

"I suppose I should explain." Sebastian said, placing his chin in one hand thoughtfully. He cast a glance at his young lord, who nodded.

Grey straitened up, adjusting his crisp, white tailcoat and smirking. "Not to worry, Phantomhive, we where just testing out your new serving wench, seeing whether or not she was worthy of protecting you."

Ciel looked over the Anna, who was being helped up by Charles Phipps. "She's bleeding." He said, glaring at the two men.

Phipps nodded. "We would not actually try to kill her."

Sebastian smirked at the smaller butler. "I see that you are bleeding too."

"We have deemed her worthy." He said quickly, wiping blood off his cheek and bottom lip with a black glove.

"I don't let offenses against me go unpunished." Grey snarled in her ear.

"Yeah, well I guess that makes two of us."

The weight on her torso was suddenly released as Grey was torn roughly off her and slammed against a wall. Anna shot to her feet. "Sebastian!" She cried in relief. Sebastian was twisting handfuls of Grey's white tailcoat as he held the man against the wall.

Grey must have had a death wish, because his ever present smirk was still in place and he smiled at the furious demon. "Well, well, well." He said in a mocking tone of voice. "Bold rescuer coming to save the damsel in distress." Sebastian growled at the man, a deep, guttural rumble from deep in his chest.

"Sebastian," Anna whispered harshly. "Put him down before you do something you can't undo." Sebastian looked at her and his eyes flashed in anger. "If you kill the queens butler it will only reflect badly on Ciel. You don't want that, right?" Sebastian grunted, lowering Grey to the floor.

"So, Charles Grey wished for his revenge?" Wordsmith asked when Sebastian finished. "And he killed you to get you out of the way as he went at her?"

"Indeed. To make successive attacks to the vital points is exactly what I'd expect from the queen's butler. Grey then goes to the basement to eradicate the witness he used as bait. Master Siemens."

"No way! So you knew who the killer was?!"

Ciel nodded, taking another sip of his tea.

"As ordered, the gardener found my body. I just meant for it to be a little revenge, but Earl Grey's puzzled look when he saw me stabbed through the front, it certainly made me laugh. The young master put on quite a realistic show. Even I wouldn't have thought he would hit me with his ring hand, though." Sebastian touched his cheek, "His cunning was admirable."

"And the girl's acting, it proved more than anything that she was innocent." Wordsmith recollected, but he was surprised when Ciel smiled a bit.

"There was no acting in her case."

"What? You mean-"

"Yes. She, as well, believed Sebastian to be dead."

Wordsmith frowned slightly. With her obvious feelings towards both the butler and the earl, that seems a mean thing to not tell her.

"You are thinking I was cruel to not tell her beforehand?" Ciel asked, and Wordsmith wondered if it had truly been so obviously shown on his face. "Well," Ciel cocked his head to the side, daintily popping a sweet into his mouth, "I had my reasons."

Trying to get off the subject, Wordsmith hurriedly said, "And when we went to check your corpse, you were wet because you were outside, collecting the owl you'd given the maid before, I assume."

"Correct. Then, I camouflaged myself and returned to the manor, carrying the owl and other evidence as my alibis, as Pastor Jeremy."

"But wait a second! I investigated the corpse of the butler along with Jeremy!" Wordsmith protested.

"Of course you remember that I had both bodies moved to separate rooms, correct?"

A cold feeling of dread was beginning to worm it's way up Wordsmith's spine.

"First, we visited Master Siemens, who had clearly been stabbed. Then we inspected the body of the butler. Between them, I had a passed out Phelps, who was, conveniently, the same size as me. I merely pinched a small nerve on his neck, which made him appear dead, dressed him in my clothing, and finished up the 'inspection' as quickly as possible. I merely made sure to be one step ahead of every body." Sebastian refilled Ciel's tea glass when it appeared low.

"SO YOU MEAN THAT THAT BODY WAS NOT ONLY NOT A CORPSE, BUT IT WAS PHELPS'?" Wordsmith exclaimed in disbelief.

"Yes. Thanks to the young master's bad acting, I was able to get by..."

"So, it seems there was nothing you didn't predict. You knew everything was going to happen from the start..Like a play, you were the script writers..."

An aura of anger seemed to fill the room, and Wordsmith cringed slightly as Sebastian's face darkened. "No.." he said ominously. "There was yet one thing we did not predict."

And Wordsmith put the pieces together before Ciel said the words. "Anna's death. That was not planned. I would never have allowed it to be so."

"Grey caught her eavesdropping on the conversation between him and the man, Claude Faustus,he brought with him. Then the rest was as hypothesized, but with different people. She tried to escape through the window, was attacked on the ground, and she was killed in the barn. Grey planted the ring as evidence against Woodley, and the rest you know. Master Woodley was arrested." Sebastian finished, placing a hand on his heart.

Wordsmith ran his fingers through his hair, desperately trying to piece things together. "I don't get it. After hearing your story, the incident. No, everything. I can't make head nor tails of it anymore, because, I mean..it's not that the incident is difficult, the situation is just it was all Grey's doing, then doesn't the yard have the wrong man?"

"That might be," Ciel said boredly, leisurely lifting his tea to his lips again. "But there's nothing to be done about that. Didn't I tell you? Woodley deserves to be in that horse carriage. His true face is a weapons dealer. He sells illegal weapons that he got with the diamonds he mines. Further more, there was an incident about two weeks ago where the president of the Roze Company that evacuates diamonds was murdered. Through my own routes, I was able to confirm that Woodley was the criminal. To track down criminals and deal with them. That is the job of the Queen's watchdog."

"N...No way...If what you've told me is all true, then he...that butler is..."

"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact, wasn't that what you said, ? It has been in front of you the whole time." Sebastian whispered, suddenly right behind Wordsmith's chair and leaning down. "The truth. That I am not human."

Wordsmith tried to back up so quickly that his chair toppled over and he fell, sprawled out on the floor. A shadow fell over him as Sebastian's eyes flashed a stayed a brilliant pink. Wordsmith shouted in terror and lunged for the door, but instead rammed headlong into Sebastian's chest, who was not standing in front of him.

"One wonders what would happen were you to reveal this matter. I'm sure you understand, right?"

"I-I'LL NEVER SAY!" he shrieked. "I'LL NEVER SAY IT SO PLEASE!" He jumped around the man.

As he disappeared out of the house, the last words he heard were, "We are always watching..."

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A Few Hours Later

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Sebastian stepped into the cool wine cellar quietly, closing the door behind him. The room was dank and dim, and it smelled of fermenting grapes. One mound of white cloth stood alone in a corner, like a sick version of a surrender sign. Next to the mound lay a white sheet splayed out. That was where Sebastian was supposed to be, acting as a dead body.

Sebastian peeled back the white sheet that covered Anna's corpse. "Anna." He said simply. She didn't move. A worm of worry began to crawl into his mind, and he searched around on the chest of her uniform until he found the spot where the sword had entered. Two fingers reached discretely and respectably through the puncture in the fabric and felt around the area underneath. As far as he could tell, there was no wound, it had healed over completely. Fatal wounds always did, whether or not the one who received then wanted them to. "Anna." said with more confidence now. She still did not react. An idea came to him, and he smirked to himself. If she's playing dead, let's just see how long she can keep character.. He ran a gloved finger down her jaw bone, from her ear to her chin. She was still as silent as the grave. Sebastian noted the irony in that as his hand continued down to dance around her neck. As it continued downward, he felt her tense, and was ready when her hand flew up to strike him across the face. He grabbed her wrist before it connected and pulled the girl up into a sitting position.

"That is no way to treat a lady!" She scolded, pulling her legs into the crisscrossed position so she could sit better.

"I apologize." Sebastian said, "I thought you were dead." Anna frowned at him.

"Perv." She glared at the ground, then looked back up, smiling. "But guess what I found out!"

Sebastian sat back on his knees. "That trying to sneak up on a demon doesn't work?"

"Um...well, yes, there is that, but-"

"Not thinking things through can end badly?"

"Shut up, will you?"

"You did tell me to guess." Sebastian explained, shrugging.

"True, let me try again." Anna cleared her throat and plastered on the same excited smile as before. "Sebastian. Remain relatively silent while I recite to you what I found out!" She told him about Grey not being contracted with Claude, and about the deal the two had made. "So you see, Grey wanted to kill you with his own hand without getting caught, and he wanted me to be scared of him. Then when he was done with whatever he was planning to do, he would give me to Claude, who would take me away." she put on a thoughtful face. "Strange, isn't it? I wonder why the Trancy kid would allow his butler to serve Grey.." she was shushed by a finger on her lips, and immediately perked up her ears. The sound of a a group of people was echoing down the musty staircase to the cellar.

"We'll finish on this topic later, right now, I believe we are dead." Sebastian said coolly. Anna nodded and laid back down on her stretcher. Sebastian tucked the sheet back around her quickly and laid down himself, pulling his own dingy fabric over him just as the cellar door opened to admit Agni, Bard, Finnian, and the Undertaker, carrying a large coffin between them.

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The knife entered Hannah's side, and she groaned in pain. "How do three measly humans manage to escape from four demons?" Claude demanded. "Pathetic though they may be...It will be a pain to catch them again, they will be wary now..."

"He..hehehe..." Claude looked down, surprised to see the woman laughing and shaking her head. "Our Highness will not permit you to catch them again. Think about it... As long as you've been gone already, you will be fighting him away from you for days...Hahahahaha..." Claude's eyes narrowed in irritation. He knew that the demoness spoke the truth..

Hannah shrieked as another knife entered her side.

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Alois leapt up from his desk when he heard a knock on his door. "CLAUDE!" he cried happily. Taking this an in invitation, Claude opened the door and stepped in. As soon as the door was closed, Alois jumped into the man, who remained solemn and as still as a statue. "So, did you get her? Did you bring Anna back with you? I want to see her!" Alois looked up into Claude's face, and frowned when the butler said nothing. "So you failed. Explain yourself." The blonde boy glared at Claude. "That is an order, Claude!"

Claude bowed his head, "There were many people there. I did not get the chance."

"So does this mean you have to try again?" Alois's big blue eyes seemed to shimmer with tears.

"Your highness-"

"NO! NO! I won't allow it! Don't leave me here again!" the boy begged, grabbing fistfuls of Claude's tailcoat and clinging to him. "Don't leave me alone!"

Claude sighed. "Of course, Your Highness." just as quickly as they had appeared, the tears in Alois's eyes disappeared.

"Hahaha, good!" He laughed, nuzzling his head into Claude's chest. There was a soft fluttering of papers and a 'tmp' as somthing light hit the floor. "Huh?" he reached down to grab what had fallen.

It was a packet, or more precisely, a packet that had been folded multiple times to form a sort of square. Claude reached for the papers, "My apologies," He began, "I'll take-"

But Alois pushed his hand away, walking over to his desk and sitting down.

"Claude, what are these?" he began to unfold the packet. "Are these the papers you took from that library? Why did you keep them?" On the front was a picture of a man with the name 'Sir Isaac Macken' Alois scanned the paper with his eyes. "Anna's father? Disappeared for five years? Strange." he turned to the other page, which was a picture of Anna. The next page made Alois freeze. At the top was the name 'Lukas Macken'

"C-Claude! That's him! That's Luka!" he pointed to the picture of the ginger with multicolored eyes. "She was telling the truth that night! She really is his sister!" He noticed then that there was still one more page, and turned to it. On this page, there was a picture of a rather well endowed woman with sharp features. The name read 'Caroline Johnson.' "Caroline Johnson? Why do you have papers on her? She looks like a whore." Alois chastised, but he read the article under her picture anyway.

Caroline Johnson

Birthdate- unknown

Date of death- unknown

Biography- one of the more well-known prostitutes of the small village of Carthack. It is recorded that she was employed by a man by the name of Issac Macken, and became pregnant by him. She had but one child, who was born on November 13, 1873, whom she named...before placing him in a village orphanage.

"No..." Alois read the name again and again, begging it to change. He closed his eyes tightly, willing the name with every fiber of his body to not be the same when he opened his eyes, but when he did, his stomach dropped. The name on the paper was, undeniably the same, and just those two little words left Alois feeling motionless and sick.

Jim Macken.

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"How long have you known about this?" Alois asked, scarily calm. He did not look up, but it was obvious who he was speaking to.

"For quite a while." Claude replied without emotion.

"And you didn't deem it worthy enough to tell me? You didn't think that it was important to tell me that the very one you are trying to attain is very possibly, my last living relative? My half- sister?"

"No, your highness."

"Why?"

Claude was silent, not answering.

"AUURRRGGGG!" Alois shrieked in fury. "GET OUT! THAT IS AN ORDER CLAUDE! GET OUT OF MY SIGHT RIGHT NOW!" Claude bowed, then obediently left the room. As an after thought, Alois picked up his tea cup and flung it at the thick door, where it broke into thousands of tiny pieces and fell to the floor. Alois joined it there soon after, kneeling on the floor, panting for breath. In more than one way, he felt like that tea cup. Empty...

Cold...

Shattered...

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Anna looked at herself in the body length mirror that was conveniently placed in the Churches cellar, where her and Sebastian had been placed while two graves where being dug in the graveyard.

Anna had been dressed in a lovely white dress. It clutched her at the waist and flared out a little bit around her legs. The bottom of the dress, from around her knees to the ground, small ruffles surrounded the skirt in the same shade of white, but with light, sea-foam-cream colored sheer overlay. A large white ribbon hung limply around her middle, while the top of the dress remained relatively simple. Thin ribbons crisscrossing her shoulders made up for sleeves. Her wavy blonde hair had been pulled up into an intricate bun with finger curls resting on her neck and framing her face.

It was the most grand thing she'd ever worn, and it seemed a shame that she was about to be buried in it. "This seems ridiculous.." She muttered. Sebastian, who was sitting on the edge of the coffin, chuckled softly.

"It does seem a bit strange." He confirmed. He himself was dressed in a black suit that looked almost identical to his regular butler uniform. The only difference was the white rose that had been placed in his lapel, and his hair was pulled back away from his face.

"I look like I'm about to get married, not thrown in a box and buried six feet under. Though, I guess if I have to go, this is better than getting picked up by the corpse man and thrown in the lime pit."

Sebastian arched a dignified eyebrow. "Pardon?"

"The lime pit. You know, where they put the bodies of the people who can't afford real burials. Like orphans." Anna shuddered visibly. "I visited there once, when I was looking for Luka. It was terrible. There were arms and legs sticking up everywhere from under the dirt, and everything had this fine white dust over it. It looked like fresh snow, but it wasn't, it was lime, to cover the smell." She nodded thoughtfully. "I always assumed that's where I'd end up. The lime pits or the anatomists. Neither one sounds very pleasant." She turned and smiled at Sebastian. "But onto a lighter subject."

Sebastian smirked in amusement. Anna had, of course, been apprised of the plan, and it was obvious that she was nervous about the whole ordeal.

"I've been buried alive before," She'd reminded him. "And I didn't like it all that much."

Sebastian was brought out of his thoughts when he felt Anna sit down on the coffin next to him.

It was a large coffin. Big enough for two people to lay side by side, if their shoulders were touching. If had been agreed upon by both Ciel and Sebastian that the two 'corpses' should share a coffin. For one, it wouldn't appear as strange when the time came, and second, the funeral goers would only need to dig one hole.

Anna sighed and leaned her head on Sebastian's shoulder. "I'm sorry I'm babbling. The truth is, I'm terrified."

"Hmph." Sebastian chuckled. "Would you like me to help you relax then?"

"I don't know...I don't like the way you said that..." Anna peered up at him cautiously. "What did you have in mind?"

"I was merely going to ask you if you'd like to dance." Sebastian stood and offered Anna his gloved hand.

Anna looked up at him, incredulous, but she was smiling. "Dance? I can't help but think that it may seem a bit morbid, considering we are supposed to be dead." She took his proffered hand and he pulled her to her feet, "But what the Hell."

Strong arms pulled Anna in close to Sebastian's chest, encircling her waist. "Whoa, what kind of dancing are we doing here?" Because there was no place else to put her arms, she tossed them around his neck.

"Just a simple slow dance." Sebastian began to hum a low tune, smirking down at the girl as he began to lead in the dance.

The tune was eery, as if every note was chosen deliberately to clash the most with the ones before it; but somehow it seemed to carry. It was pretty in a way that sent shivers down Anna's spine. Beautiful, but creepy.

Sebastian took one of Anna's hands in his own and moved it down to his chest, where he let it go. The same hand moved down to her waist and guided her in a slow, close twirl that seemed to last minutes, when it couldn't have been more than a few seconds.

Eventually, Sebastian's humming ended, making the cellar seem empty and, strangely, darker than before.

Anna's face was close enough to Sebastian's that she could feel his breath. She didn't remember at what point during the dance she had closed her eyes, but now she dared herself to open them. As she suspected, Sebastian's eyes were mere inches from her own. She could clearly see laughter in them, and she felt a blush crawl it's way up her cheeks. Yeah, well, let's see how he likes being teased.. She thought, suddenly lifting herself up onto her tiptoes and brushing her lips against his. She dropped back onto the balls of her feet slowly, letting a smirk grow on her own face.

Sebastian looked surprised for a moment. Ha! Serves you right, you bastard! but then an evil smile replaced his look of confusion. Uh oh...

Sebastian leaned forward suddenly, placing his mouth back onto hers and holding her there.

"Ahem."

Anna's eyes popped open and she glanced over at the doorway to the cellar. There stood Ciel, frown in place. Quickly, she pushed Sebastian away from her. "Uh..erm..." she stuttered.

Ciel rolled his visible eye. "In case the pair of you have forgotten, you are supposed to be dead. The rest of the group is on it's way down here to collect the coffin. I came down here to give you a heads up." Ciel gave Sebastian a hard glare. Anna could feel the sparks in that glare from where she was standing.

Oh Dear...

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yeah, you might have been able to tell, but I was listening to "Judas" by lady gaga and "Just a kiss" by lady antebellum during those last paragraphs.

well, the next chapter will DEFINITELY finish up the arch, then things start getting exciting! so a lot of people voted that they DID want me to include the zombie ship arch in my story, so if you'd like to vote, please visit my profile.

hope you liked it! i'll try to update again this month! Please review!