He was bored. The boredom gnawed at him, digging delicate teeth into his skin, making him itch and pace and yearn to do something – anything – if it would release him from the monotonous rut he was trapped in. He was tired of traveling aimlessly, stopping now and again to find a weak soul to be devoured. Then again, it was mostly Sebastian who gave him food still, brought the prey to him to be eaten. After all, it wasn't like he would ever stoop so low to serve a mere human, not even as a demon.
"Sebastian!" Ciel called, and his eternal butler was there, standing straight and proud and prepared to serve him. Turning his head, Ciel frowned up at the older demon. "Sebastian, I'm bored," he stated, very careful not to sound like he was sulking. His pride would never allow him to show weakness in front of Sebastian, but contradictorily, Sebastian was the only one that he could be weak in front of.
Sebastian tilted his head to the side, his crimson eyes contemplative as he stared at his master. "Then perhaps Bocchan would like to catch a soul on his own?" he offered, his expression amused. Ciel scowled, opening his mouth to refuse, but then stopped. It was rare that Sebastian actually made a suggestion such as this, because he was well aware that Ciel would never stoop so low, even to eat. If he was bringing it up now, then he must have found something interesting.
Staring coolly up at the butler, Ciel replied steadily, "And just who do you suggest I form a contract with, Sebastian?" The curiosity burned brightly in him now, chasing away the boredom for a brief moment in anticipation. Sebastian just smiled in that secretive way of his and turned around.
Pausing at the door, Sebastian turned his head and spoke to Ciel. "This town is quite wealthy, Bocchan. I'm certain you can find prey to satisfy even your insatiable hunger." With those final words, he drifted out the door, leaving a nonplussed demon behind him. Ciel knew that Sebastian wouldn't actually tell him who he had in mind, because that would take the fun out of it, for both of them. No, it was better this way.
Standing, Ciel left the room as well, his feet dancing lightly over the floor as he moved. There were many advantages to being a demon, and he had quickly discovered several of them. Silent footsteps, the ability to go without food or drink, an uncanny attraction to those with souls that were unique and powerful in their own right, hearing and sight that far exceeded human limitations, and a speed and strength that belied his small size. The fact that he could survive damage that would be lethal to a human was one of the advantages that he hadn't attempted to test yet, and he had no desire to, either.
Ciel made his way down the stairs of the inn, ignoring the clerk that stared after him, vaguely unsettled as he shifted uneasily. When they had arrived in this town, Ciel had decided that they would find proper accommodations, and Sebastian, of course, had not protested. So they had found a secluded inn with sufficient luxuries, and had settled in for a while. The clerks didn't ask questions, either, which was a blessing in itself.
Walking outside, Ciel breathed deeply, his demon senses picking up so much more than his human ones ever had. Rain was on the way, but probably wouldn't arrive for another three days. Deer grazed on the edges of the village, too timid and wary to walk within its borders. Birds fluttered through the treetops, preparing to settle in for the night. The outskirts of the village practically pulsed with life, and Ciel's eyes glowed briefly red as he took it all in contentedly.
But the village itself didn't smell alive, Ciel thought with a frown. In fact, other than the inn clerk behind him, the young demon didn't sense any humans still outdoors. It wasn't too terribly late that they should all be asleep already, but everybody was indoors nonetheless. Ciel's nose twitched as he breathed in, scenting the air in the village.
A strong, pungent fragrance assaulted him, and Ciel jerked in surprise, then frowned, his curiosity aroused. He smelled fear first and foremost. Fear and distrust and a deep-seated hatred, as if whatever drove these people inside at such an early hour was something utterly intolerable to them. But underneath of that, a low current that hummed at the base of the village, was a sort of resigned acceptance. It was almost as if the people of the village knew what they feared, but had no hope of defeating it, or driving it away.
Curiosity and anticipation prickled along Ciel's skin, and he felt more alive than he had in a long time, ever since he had been reborn into a demon at Hannah's hands, fed her power through the wish of that brat, Alois Trancy. This was more reminiscent of when he had been human, when the Queen had been troubled and had called upon her loyal dog to banish her sorrow. Then, danger and mystery had been commonplace, had been a part of everyday life.
Ciel finally realized that along with becoming a demon, he had lost that sense of mystery, of intrigue, and of purpose. As a demon, he had nothing that he wanted to do, nowhere that he wanted to go. It left him lethargic and uninterested in the world around him. Now, he had been given a chance to feel those things once again.
Turning towards the center of town, Ciel started moving, mulling over Sebastian's words. Then perhaps Bocchan would like to catch a soul on his own? What soul? None of the souls here were strong, or delicious. They were weak, cowardly things, souls that failed to so much as stir the near constant hunger that plagued him. A deer would be more filling than these humans.
Still, he noticed as he walked through the silent town that things were even more dire than he had suspected at first glance. The windows all had bars on them, and the doors had multiple locks. It was as if the townspeople were trying to keep something out…or keep themselves in.
A low chuckle met his ears, and Ciel turned towards the sound, instinctively fading into the shadows around him as he watched the fantastic creature that strode up the main street. The only word that his mind could come up with was 'beautiful'. He was definitely human, Ciel could feel the soul that resided inside of the body, but there was more to him than that. Magic, perhaps, or another contract, though Ciel sensed no demonic taint on the boy's soul.
And he was a boy, Ciel realized. A few years older than he himself had been when he had been reborn as a demon. Seventeen, or perhaps eighteen, but no more than that. His hair was pure black, as deep as pitch, as if even the night sky itself couldn't compete with the dark tresses. His hair spilled down his back and around his shoulders, reaching nearly to his knees, but it was as smooth and free as water, flowing like shadows around a slender body.
Pale skin was framed by dark clothing, the outfit fitted closely to the body that wore it, like a second skin. Low-riding pants slipped comfortably into ankle-length boots, a small silver buckle glinting on the belt that held them on his hips. His shirt was made of a soft, comfortable-looking material that fit his waist closely, but flared out at the wrists. The shirt had no buttons or ties, but was designed to leave a large strip of pale flesh showing, stretching from the boy's collarbone all the way to just above his navel.
Still, the most striking feature on the boy who was now dancing along the road were his eyes. As brilliantly blue as the clearest sky, or the purest sapphire, they were lit with a cruelty that belied his lithe figure. His eyes were cold and heard, alight with a wicked pleasure at the obvious fear that the sound of his laughter instilled in the townspeople.
And they were afraid, Ciel realized, feeling the souls around him tremble. But, underneath the fear, there was something else. Something more…intense, more excitable, as if whatever this boy brought with him was something to be desired or anticipated.
"Come out, come out, wherever you are!" the stunning creature called out, and Ciel's breath caught in his throat. That voice was a dark and smooth as the deepest ocean, where no light could reach and intrude. A velvety warmth that was betrayed only by the ice that could be seen in his gaze. "Don't you want to come and play with me, you lovely things?" he crooned to the empty streets. Power flowed across the town, seeping into the houses and washing around Ciel who was immune to the magic that was being used, thanks to his own demonic attributes.
A low moan reached his ears, and Ciel jerked his head to the side as he heard cries and thumps echoing from the houses. Hands scrabbled against wood, and pulled at bars, and more hands pulled the girls away from the windows and doors, begging and pleading with their daughters not to go out, not to fall for the creature's trap.
Not just girls, Ciel noted curiously, but some young boys, too, pretty and young and delicate enough to almost be mistaken as girls. It seemed that this boy, whoever he was, didn't care if his playmates were male or female, as long as they were young and pretty. Like himself, Ciel supposed, curling his lips up in disgust.
Still, this might be worth looking into, the young Earl thought, his eyes glowing brightly as he scanned the creature's soul. There was no claim already made on him, by either demon or angel, which meant he was free for the taking. Still, there had to be something that gave him this sort of power. Now, if he could only find the source.
Ah! There it was, in the small earring the boy wore. A silver thread spun and glittered with jewels spaced evenly throughout its short length, and a blue stone hung on the end, carved in an odd shape, like one half of the Chinese Taijitu. Ciel wondered idly if it had another half, a light to the darkness, as it were.
Having seen enough for tonight, and hardly interested in whether or not the boy succeeded in luring out the townspeople's sons or daughters, Ciel turned and walked back to the inn, slipping silently inside and sticking to the shadows, the clerk completely unaware of his presence as he moved upstairs and into the hallway.
Instead of stopping at his room, Ciel moved down the hallway one more room and opened the door, already knowing that it would be unlocked. Sebastian sat in the room's single armchair, his legs outstretched and crossed at the ankles as he read a book, his glasses perched on the end of his nose.
Without waiting for permission, Ciel moved forward, climbing into Sebastian's lap. His butler put down his book – it was probably boring anyhow – and wrapped his arms around Ciel's back, so that the smaller demon was straddling his lap, facing him, his red eyes glowing eerily in the dim lamplight that Sebastian had been reading by.
"Did you find what you were seeking, Bocchan?" Sebastian asked curiously, his voice deep and smooth and comforting in its familiarity. Ciel didn't answer, but instead curled his body forward until his face was pressed against Sebastian's chest, tucked neatly under his chin. Sighing, Ciel allowed his eyes to close, his breath puffing lightly against Sebastian's throat. "Bocchan?" Sebastian asked, even as slender fingers slipped through his hair, combing gently and relaxing Ciel further.
"There's nothing in this town to interest me," he murmured dismissively. "We'll be leaving in the morning." He hardly had any desire to stay in such a dull, boring little town, when the villagers refused to stand up for themselves.
The hand petting his hair paused for a moment before continuing with sure strokes. "Yes, my Lord," Sebastian replied, his voice quite satisfied. Ciel smiled; it looked like he wasn't the only one who had no palate for the food served here. He just hoped the next town was a little more appetizing, because Sebastian still owed him a meal.
Still, he supposed, thinking back to the creature in human form that had stalked the villagers, there were worse hungers than his out there. And besides, he thought with a smile, Sebastian was a far better hunter.