I am really sorry for taking ages to upload. I'm probably not going to update very soon either after this.
I'm really busy, busy, busy, I can barely find time to even just type something up. I'm still reading tons of fanfiction for more experience and what you can call writer experience. Thank you for all who are reading and still reading this, I've noticed that the flow of events are painfully slow, and for 5 chapters, that was really painfully slow progress. I promise things will change and hopefully, be less...bland? For those who are supporting this fic, thank you very much *bows deeply*
Chapter 6: Those Who Are Feral
Ciel was attacked with unpleasant, indistinguishable emotions he couldn't quite decipher. Images, recollections, name them - plagued him mercilessly and for the first time in years he undeniably felt weak and helpless. The darkness was so deep that the fact that he was in the Trancy mansion and actually still conscious was long drowned out by the seizures that overwhelmed him. He felt lost and alone, but he knew that all he had to do was open his mouth an let a cry escape his lips...
Whether his mouth voiced the cry, or whether Sebastian heard it, the boy was not sure.
Calm and stoic as ever, the crow butler's face came into view, but of course, in fuzzy clippings. After what seemed like an eternity he felt a cool, reassuring hand on his shoulder. This simple touch seemed to exorcise all the diabolic spirits that assaulted him, wash all his anxiety away as if nothing happened.
"What's happening to me?" the boy's voice came out in a harsh, beleaguered whisper. His breathing slowed to normal, but his eyes made no improvement. The butler produced a handkerchief and began to wipe off the sweat drops disgracing his young master's sculpted, tender face.
Sebastian's answer was nothing but an ungraceful frown. The boy knew it wasn't a good sign.
When more guests started arriving, the parlor became more and more crowded with people. Every now and then servants brought in tables and plates and drinks and glasses. Nobles and dignitaries, flaunting off costumes and clothing from known and unknown lands, from chartered and unconquered territory, filled the large room. Strange and outlandish ones stood out, yet there were some that looked of the norm. But little did they care; this was a costume party, not a coronation.
The heavy, burdenous air of exaggerated perfume, supposed to be pleasant, was too strong that it made Ciel want to vomit. Those pleasant odors of daisies and whatever, which hid the stench of the unhygienic bodies, was still too weak to overpower. The hall's air was an indistinguishable mixture of stench and fragrance waging war against one another. It helped little with Ciel's claustrophobia. The little earl put a finger to his nose as he leaned against the wall on the corner, a fortunately less populated area of the ballroom. He was thankful for the unattractive costume he wore, for no one bothered to approach him.
"Sebastian," he called in a low voice, "Fetch me a drink."
"Trancy is taking too long to appear, fashionista or not. Search for him," he added mentally. Ciel felt the unpleasant, burdenous sting in his eye. The little boy looked down sideways, written on his face a lost but unwavering look.
The butler was off, his jet-black tailcoat melted in with the swarm of color and costumes in no time.
He did his best to maneuver and overtake whenever possible. After what seemed like a disgraceful eternity he was able to reach the table that held the glasses of fine wine. As he was about to reach out for one, distant voices coming from the nearby hall alarmed him, sparked something within his being. He could smell two people his young master was looking for. One was pure and white, one was tainted, but neither white nor dark. It didn't reek of darkness but neither did it boast of the light.
Sebastian concentrated on his ears, shutting out the buzzing in the ballroom so he could hear what they were talking of. All at the same time he sent a mental telegram to his master at the opposite side of the ballroom. "They are here," he stated plainly.
The meek yet unwavering reply came. "I'll be there."
As he waited for his master to fight his way out of the swarm, Sebastian listened.
"Forgive my impudence, but I am not interested," the first voice called out. It was calm, but it was trembling. It was a high-pitched voice, belonging to a girl. The voice was low and dangerous, but it was clearly terrified - and powerless.
"Oh, my lady, it matters not if you are or not. Here, let me show you something interesting." The second voice was lower, obviously male, yet there was a feline grace to it, a very slinky yet effeminate one. It was a voice that concealed venom, one that was ever-so-ready to strike.
Sebastian guessed Trancy was creeping indecently closer to the poor girl, for he heard what seemed to be a slap.
"How rude!" the voice rose in pitch, obviously angered now.
A dark, amused whistle. "How rude, yes! To slap the face of your patron!" The voice pretended to be hurt and threatening, but Sebastian could've sworn the boy was charmed. The crow butler could imagine a cheshire grin and glinting eyes come with that. This Trancy boy is something different. The bad kind of different.
Sebastian sent an urgent telegram, even though he was sensing his soul come nearer and nearer. "Young master, this is trouble."
"I'm coming," the boy sent back, obviously displeased by having to squirm his way.
The butler continued listening.
"-didn't mean any impudence, Earl Trancy. I'm...betrothed."
The voice pretended to be amused and interested, but Sebastian knew the girl's statement fell on deaf ears. "Oh? Is that so? Then-"
Voice and musing were interrupted by a graceful beginning of a waltz. The swarm of costumes had fallen into pairs and were on the right position as the song dictated the launch of their dance. Sebastian swore to himself, reaching out a gloved hand to pick up another elegant glass. He could smell the same two people making their way into the dance, and he quickly assigned another visionary line to the back of his head to observe them.
An indignant air made the crow butler look forward. Ciel has seen the disgraceful sight before him. Whoever that foul boy was, an angry red filled Ciel eyes and furrowed his eyebrows, painting a perfect scowl. He concentrated on the blonde boy holding his fiancee's hand as if it belonged to him and him alone. The girl clearly objected, of course. But little did it help.
With that, a thousand questions also loomed over Ciel's mind. Why is Trancy already with his fiancee? Why is he pestering his fiancee? Why, why, why, a thousand more whys.
"Young master," Sebastian warned him mentally. "Calm yourself." With that, some norm returned to Ciel's tender face.
"I know," he sent back half-heartedly. Yet anyone could see that the boy was far from willing.
Whether Trancy was blind to notice the piercing glare or chose to ignore it, Ciel didn't care. He cleared his throat, straightening his back.
"Good evening, Elizabeth," he managed lamely, his eyes stale and his face grim.
The girl didn't manage anything more than a meek reply that was barely audible. Ciel's scowl returned once again. Instead of the usual sunny voice that never seemed to send warmth throughout his body no matter what, all that took its place was terror and embarrassment. Whenever Ciel called her by her name, the girl would pout and scold him warmly, demanding to be called "Lizzy". Now there was nothing. Nothing of that sort.
The blue earl did not blame her, though. Trancy's frail arms, no matter how weak-looking they may be, were iron bars. Ciel could see that plainly. It wouldn't take any effort to break free, but it wasn't the issue of strength. Those frail arms looked like claws ready to snatch their prey should they attempt any escape. The blue earl knew Lizzy couldn't move not out of weakness, but out of fear. The fact that Trancy was the benefactor tonight helped nothing. It was their worst enemy.
He sent another death-glare to Trancy, written all over his face not a request, but an order to give him back Lizzy, tonight's benefactor or not. To the blue earl's surprise, Trancy seemed to understand this. Was he actually going to-
The purple earl smirked, a smirk so diabolic and out-of-this-world that Ciel could have sworn that it was a demonic spirit that filled the other boy's eyes during that moment. An equally diabolic grin graced that absurdly angelic face.
Ciel kicked himself mentally, faced with a very unpleasant irony. Angelic face or not, Trancy reeked of deception and all that was wicked. He didn't get the purple earl at all. There was a genuine honesty in him, but -
An unbelievably pure, childish laugh rang him out of his thoughts. It was sounded like a girl's - light and soft. Ciel didn't know whether he should be surprised or terrified. But he did feel the chills run down his spine.
Trancy leaned closer to the blue earl, but his gloved hand still did not part with Lizzy's small, trembling palm. He stretched his attached arm, providing a distance between him and Lizzy so that she won't hear what he was about to say, all the while giving Ciel less space.
The purple earl faked a childish smile, but his face remained so graceful and natural that Ciel couldn't judge if he was joking or not. "Of course," Trancy replied, then stopped for a while, his face darkening with a thousand threats and dares. "...not."