Alright. I'm back after a month or so. Hope you guys enjoy.
A year...one full year...12 months spanning the current June from the previous. Traveling the tirelessly we searched for the scoundrel who dared steal my brother's soul. Only seconds...inches before Sebastian could claim it as his payment. Normally I would protest to Sebastian's hunger for my Ciel's soul. In actuality I would shake the hand of the one who stole Ciel's soul. I desired to do so at one point. But when I think back...guilt swells in the pit of me.
They were shaking. Sebastian's arms. Those strong arms which captured me in their warm embrace...trembling like a twig about to break. And his voice, "All shall be rectified in due time," never have I heard him sound so cold. Not even when Angela and Ash drove him to the brink of madness. Sebastian Michaelis is calm, collected, distant. Both emotionally and physically. You would never be able to tell by looking at him the trauma and trials he's endured. Years - seven now eight if I am correct - Sebastian has sought to devour Ciel, the soul he cultivated to his liking.
Our contract was complete. My humanity sacrificed for demon power, and the revitalization of my brother's soul. The Bat is what I am. Fear is my power. My sight a nightmare to all who dane to challenge me.
Laughter into Screams. Dreams into nightmares. Delights into fears. Porcelain white into crimson red. That is what makes me The Demon of Phantomhive. Formerly of Paris.
I love Ciel. Truly I do. My duty as the elder twin is to protect him. But I am also a lady of my word. And a demon. I chose to keep my soul, evolve into a demon. Thus Sebastian's previous contract is enacted. Ciel's soul is the desired payment. To hinder the completion of that contract could have dire consequences. For Ciel, myself...and Sebastian.
Luckily we would not have to worry for much longer. Sebastian discovered the location in which Ciel's soul is being kept. The House of Trancy. I know of the Trancys. I know of their Earl. I have met the disgusting wretch once before. And I'm well accustomed to the depravity Alois possesses. Chills crawl on my back thinking of his expression when we meet again after all these years. But what I do not know is, what does Alois Trancy want with Ciel's soul?
Vicious, never ending rain showered all of London, soaking cobblestone and dirt laden streets to the core for the last three days - soon to be four. Thunder reverberated the darkly clouded London sky. A beastly roar quaking the windows of the Victorian abodes. Lightning crackled, slithering like serpents retreating to and from their burrows. Its sudden flashes igniting the torrential flooded streets in a blinding haze. The level of water submerged streets to the height of the sidewalks. Gardens were drowned. Crestfallen petals of beautiful bouquets just in bloom wilting, carried away by the rushing gutter stream. Carriages were ruined. Horses hidden in the stables stomped their hooves in a frienzie, neighing desperately for the storm to pass. Blustery winds ravaged the trees. Their discolored leaves ripped at the stem and lost in the storm.
Summer Storms were not unheard of in England. They were at their worst at the beginning and towards the end. Though they do tend to be quite finicky as to when they arouse. It could happen the following year, or ten years from now. Quite frankly everyone just prepares for the weather to go sideways.
An estate - its angelic fountain overflowing with rainwater - was hidden amongst violently rippling leaves. It's awe inspiring woodwork braved the harsh weather. The rain simply washing off the seasons of imperfections tarnishing the glazed marble, stone, and glass.
The House of Trancy. Previously in the ownership of one Laurence Trancy, now bequeathed to the Late Earl's only heir - Alois Trancy - The House off Trancy has been the tireless victim of accusations spawned by greed. Alois Trancy, accused by his Uncle - Arnold Trancy - to be a farce, was inspected by a priest and by the Viscount Druitt, Aleister Chambers, to confirm the legitimacy of the boy's heritage. Of course it was no secret Arnold Trancy solicited this investigation out of sheer malice toward the boy, and avarice for the estate his brother originally left to him. Should the boy prove to be false, all rights and titles would be given to Arnold. Luck was not on the Elder Trancy's side. Alois cleared the investigation, laving Arnold with less than he started with. Not to worry, 'dear Arnold Trancy.' By the time I am finished, the boy will have one less trophy on the shelf of his ego.
A family whose reputation rivals that of the Family Phantomhive, the Family Tancy is truly one I will implore my young master and mistress to tread carefully near. A rumored rivalry excited the simple minds of the subordinate folk. Only because the wealth isequal, and just barely break the glass ceiling of the other. Respect and admiration for them is well heard of. Praise toward the prestigious family reaches the ears of many nobles, including her - late - majesty. The influence they possess was not something to scoff upon. All who dare challenge the family of Trancy do so with great caution and trepidation. Dare I say, their ruthless nature, and callous means trump that of my young masters. Ha-ha. Alliahnna will certainly adore putting the young Earl in his place.
Alliahnna has conveyed much in regards to the House Trancy. She did so with great disdain...and fear she tried to obscure. Sometime seven years ago, long before I came into her employ, Alois Trancy and his Uncle were on business to Paris and visited Count Schneizel. His butler was not in attendance. Had he been, Alliahnna would undoubtedly understand whom it is she faces.
I believe Alliahnna was in her third month of stay in Lord Schneizel's home. Alliahnna laid eyes upon the Trancy's for the first time. His Uncle clearly a worm in a suit. But Alois. Alois sickened her to the brink of self-destruction. His eyes, she told me, were engulfed with hatred and rage that would make even Ciel vomit. Alois harmed a maid whom Alliahnna cared for strongly. The maid lost her leg, later employment. Alliahnna, losing herself, dealt a devastating blow to the boy's knee.
Several hours of surgery later, Alois and his father took their leave and vowed to never return. Before they departed, Alliahnna grabbed Alois by the arm and swore, "You ever hurt someone I care for again, you too shall lose your leg." Alliahnna has always been a lady of her word. But I think she'll take more than just the boy's leg when all is said and done.
Hidden behind the storm bent branches, two figures nestled in a tree, observing the manor in awe as it withstood the torrent. Not bothered in the slightest by the harsh weather. Crimson and sapphire eyes pierced thee shadows, vengeful daggers carving the pristine structure to tatters.
"After all this time, that wretch Trancy managed to get his grubby hands on him." Alliahnna's bereft sapphire eyes shifted to Sebastian. The demon relaxed his back to the tree trunk, lost in deep thought. Alliahnna's hand subconsciously grasped the handle of a leather suitcase. The other caressed it lovingly. "Are you sure he is here?"
"Yes. The scent of my young master is unmistakable." Alliahnna's shoulders tensed. Sebastian closed his eyes for a moment. A distasteful aroma wafted to his nostrils. The rain did not so much as mask it. Them. "Five. This Earl has five demons employed." He shifted a perturbed expression to Alliahnna, signaling his displeasure of the circumstances. "How fares your body?"
Alliahnna placed a hand to her chest. Every six beats, a sharp pain struck her heart. Less pain than what she felt two months ago. Numbing stiffness, throbbing muscles, erratic and constant stitching, nausea, lightheadedness - all dwindled down to a bit of heart pain. The transformation left her body frail, easily mangled. But with her line of work, the physical strain, a pain in a heart could hinder her. Sickeningly nostalgic. Jasper's dagger to her heart left a nasty scar. Mentally and physically. It was the only other time she felt...at a disadvantage. Hampered. What if the demons get thee better of her like Jasper?
"If a battles ensues, any injuries retained could inhibit-"
"I can handle a lolita and his butler!" She stated sternly. Sebastian's concern wasn't needed. Or wanted.
"But can you handle a lolita and five demon butlers?"
Alliahnna's brow knit. Hot Crimson glazed over cool sapphire. "Why don't we just focus on the current mission at hand? Seeing as that's been your only concern for the last year!" Sebastian was taken aback by her virulent tone. The heavy suitcase flew roughly into his arms. Almost knocked him out of the tree. Alliahnna opened another suitcase, "After all, you've put so much dedication into finding your young master, I'd hate to prolong your agony any further by inhibiting the mission."
"That's not what I-"
"Keep it to yourself!" Alliahnna curled tightly and closed the case. "Hurry up and knock! I'm getting sick of this case!" Curses, muffled by the case, knotted Sebastian's stomach.
Sebastian was primed to protest. He hovered a hand over her suitcase...then curled his fingers, retreating to the distance Alliahnna restrained him. A somber, defeated sigh was all that resounded.
This has become most unsettling. I may be one Hell of a butler, but when it comes to the minds of women I am no more clairvoyant than a human man.
Some time ago - I am unclear as to precisely when - Alliahnna had become so cross with me. Rarely do we speak. Her back is faced to me daily. When we speak...it barely lasts a minute. I address her. The most disdainful look rips my flesh like a dagger. Other times - as just witnessed - she roars at me and then retreats to where I am unable to reach her. She keeps me out.
When one is transformed into a demon for the first time, side effects are not uncommon. Fragile anatomy, violent outbursts, easily marred, and an erratic and irregular emotional state. The time span for these effects varies demon to demon. I, myself, was frail for several years. Alliahnna is making a remarkable recovery compared to me. I attempted to write off her anger as a side effect. Unfortunately no part of me is so naive. Not that she's allowing me to in to confirm otherwise. Normally I can read her expressions and body language, anticipate her current state of mind. But not now.
For the first time in years a wall has been built and I am on the opposite side. Out of reach Alliahnna is going to great lengths to keep me out. Why Alliahnna? Why are you keeping me out? What have I done? What can I do?
Ciel, Ciel, Ciel - that's all he ever talks about! All he cares about! Not that I am one with room to speak. Ciel consumed my mind at one point. But I learned to strain my focus. Why can't Sebastian? Ever since I turned into a demon...I cannot recall the last time he shamelessly teased or harassed me. The kiss we shared before arriving to the isle was our last. Since then...you know what? Never mind. It doesn't matter. I guess Ciel was his one true love and master. That's fine. Ciel can have Sebastian...I don't care anymore.
Knock-knock-knock, a brass handle rapped on a polished oakwood door. Sprinkles of rain ran down a heavy trench coat, creating puddle on the drenched stone steps around dress shoed feet. Water pooled on the brim of the top hat, trickling to the loose locks of black hair, trailing to the shoulders and to the pool on the ground. Knock-knock-knock, a gloved finger and thumb rapped the handle again. The other gloved hand keeping a firm grasp on a large suitcase. Hearing footsteps approaching, the knocking hand grasped the other suitcase. Both leather cases were drenched. The figure inched them as much out of the rain as he could.
The door opened with an eerie creek. The glow of candlelight greeted the storm. A pale skinned man - the butler no doubt - answered the door. The flickering flame reflecting off his rectangular glasses did well to illuminate the Butler's stunning golden eyes.
"A storm has blown in." The trench coated man announced strongly. A shrill clasp of thunder emphasized his statement. The crimson eyes of Sebastian Michaelis smirked wolfishly underneath the hat's brow.
"What brings you to our door at this late hour?" The butler asked uninterestedly. Clearly he was prepared to decline the soaked man access, but thought it best to humor himself by hearing a plight.
The harsh wind agitated the trenchcoat. Golden, mistrustful, eyes bore into the suspicious man. His face hidden in hue. Not even the warm glow of the candle revealed him to the butler.
The trench coat would only hide him for so long. We must procure our prize and take our leave. Sebastian implored the situation progress more expediently before the stoic butler decides to ask questions.
"I've been caught outside in this wicked storm. I was hoping I might trouble you for lodgings for tonight." The unmoved butler stood silently, staring at the man as if he were a beggar with his hand extended outward. A hand to the door he was prepared to deny the unwelcome guest entry. Until a young boy appeared out of nowhere from behind him.
Semi long platinum blonde locks glistened in the candlelight. Bright, bluer than skyblue eyes beamed in excitement. The Earl Alois Trancy. "LOOK AT YOU! YOU'RE SO FILTHY! You look just like a drowned rat!" He clamored, giggling childishly.
Albeit the coat collar, and hat brim obscured his face, Sebastian could clearly see the Earl. Both of my masters are misconstrued adults compared to this Earl. By appearance he was a mistakable for a child. Stocking socks, shorts, boots with bows, a green vest and white under shirt donned by a purple coat and black neck ribbon. However a closer study revealed him to be...maybe 19. 20 at most. But a child none the less.
"But still," The Tancy boy purred, standing on his tiptoes. He clung to the taller man's shoulders, pulling himself close to his face. The man remained stone still at the boy's invasion. Taking in two deep whiffs of the man, the boy purred, "You do smell rather nice. So what's your name? Hm?" He brought his lips close to the man's cheek. The suitcase in his right hand rattled. The butler took notice. Before Alois could address the strange sound the man placed the case on its side and stomped. The boy gasped and jumped back. The butler knit his brow but kept still.
"My apologies." The man sat the case upright. An indented scuff mark frayed the leather. "I do hope such a scene did not disturb you, young sir."
"WHAT THE HECK IS IN THERE?" The boy boomed, in both fright and fascination.
"Would you believe me if I said a female bat? I daresay she gets rather temperamental when another is too close." He caressed the case, soothing the savage beast within.
Alois' eyes flew wide with excitement. "Really?! Can I see her?!" He looked like a child admiring a puppy.
"Perhaps we should discuss matters inside." The man gestured to the pouring rain. "It is growing rather damp out her."
Alois squealed, unable to contain the eager anticipation of seeing the bat. "Then it's settled," Alois faced his butler, "This man will be staying with us. Understood, Claude." He declared forcefully. The butler named Claude narrowed his eyes in displeasure. Thunder and lightning clashed, highlighting his irritation.
I sense I am in the hottest of water.
Sebastian, (rubs throbbing hip) I will kill you for that!
Three remarkably young attendants awaited in the manor foyer. Their plum colored hair brushed over their crimson orbs when they bowed, offering to take the visitor's coat and suitcases. The man quickly declined, starting he'd feeling more comfortable keeping his belongings with him until shown to his room. His wishes were respected. But not without Claude raising a brow.
"Pardon my speaking out of turn, sir." The cloaked man turned to Claude. "Surely out camera to part with your luggage and..." He cleared his throat with noted sarcasm, "Lady bat for dinner, at least."
A wolfish smirk did not go unnoticed on the man's face. "No call to apologize. I actually protest for your benefit, Sir."
"Oh? Is that a fact?"
"Indeed it is. For you see, my bat friend just underwent a horrifying transformation. It has left her quite unmanageable. Should I leave her alone, I fear she may escape and cause a ruckus."
"Then why bother with her?"
"Personal matters I do not wish to divulge." At that Claude fell silent. The man hides more than just his identity. "But I will convey this to you, I carry her in this case to prevent her from hurting herself or others. The last time she escaped... a drunken man's heart was ripped from his chest." Alois cringed, groaning in disgust.
Claude's brow twitched. "Understood." He bowed apologetically nonetheless. "I shall not trouble you. Any further on the matter." A gleam of light flashed across the glasses. Claude's predatory ambitions took hold. This intruder will be unmasked.
So what if some drunk was killed! I told him to stop touching me! Then he has the nerve to threaten me with his family status. Stating, "I'm the son of Minister Raoul." As if I cared. I ripped his heart out and left it beside him where he lied, along with a message in blood. Wealth does not grant protection from death. I can't stand trust fund brats. Believing they can do as they please because of some label.
Alois Trancy. Your death shall be worse than the drunk's.
Alois and Claude escorted their guest to the glittering dining hall. Gold, beige, and brown brimming with the young Earl's frugal tastes. A royal dining table cloaked by a silk white table cloth rested upon a brown, designed area rug. A bouquet of roses, a bowl of fruit, and candelabras tied the room together.
The mysterious visitor hid his cases under the table, positioning them between his feet. This bothered Claude. Why such caution in regards to those suitcases? Claude was not one to deny - or admit vocally - the prickly curiosity begging him to press the issue of those trunks.
Tap-tap, Claude heard. The sheen dress shoe retracted to a relaxed position. The visitor tapped one of the trunks with his foot. How strange.
A plate of baguettes were brought for the Earl. He hadn't planned on eating a full meal, but did not wish for his guest to feel uncomfortable. The main course of glazed sirloin coupled with vegetables and a dab of mashed potatoes were placed before the visitor. Exquisite food befitting the luxurious lifestyle of the Earl. Clearly he takes excellent care of his quests. The ones he approves of anyway.
"Try this one!" Alois insisted passing the visitor the baguettes. "Claude's cooking is simply delicious."
"Yes, I'm sure it tastes quite nice." The visitor replied indifferently. "However..." Claude's stern glare sharpen on the guest, "Please inspect the speck of sauce on the rim of the plate." Claude's brow shot up in insult. "I assume it would have been too great an inconvenience to dab it with a cloth." The man hinted strongly, wishing for the plate to be taken back.
"My apologies, Sir. I'll clear this." Claude retrieved the plate. "I didn't realize a man who doesn't remove his coat at the dining table would have such delicate sensibilities." An insult disguised as a compliment. Claude's one true pleasure for the night.
"You flatter me." The man fought a chortle. Claude meandered to the kitchen to fix the guest's plate.
Such neglect. Sebastian sniggered victoriously.
"Please excuse me," Alois rose, "I must address this grievous error personally. Please wait here."
"Of course, young lord." Alois disappeared into the kitchen after Claude. An eerie curtain silence descended. It was quite awkward. Tap-tap-tap. The latches of one truck flicked upward."He is too powerful. There are four others. Take care." The trunk opened. A small hand curled to the brim.
The kitchen door whisked open. Alois skipped to the visitor, humming gleefully. "I do hope you'll pardon the delay." Claude sauntered behind him. "The cook is preparing another dish."
"That is quite alright. Actually I would prefer to retire for the night, if it is alright. It's been a long night." The man pulled the trunks out from under the table. Claude raised another brow. The ones case seemed different somehow.
"Of course." Alois bowed his head respectfully. "Claude, show this man to his room. I'll take care of his dinner. I'm a but famished."
"Yes, Sir. If you'll follow me." Claude opened the door to the main hall. The mysterious visitor followed Claude's gesture and adjourned to the hallway. Just as Claude was about to exit, a sharp woosh of air strained his attention back to the dining table. He knit his brow. The table cloth fell back into place. Almost as if someone had disturbed it. Alois was seen exiting into the kitchen. Not that Claude suspected him in the first place. The air in the room was completely different. Someone uninvited was in the room. But who? "HM!" The shadows shifted in the second story, vanishing into the hallway. "Sir, did you surreptitiously bring a guest with you?"
"I did not. Why do you ask?"
Claude glared at the second floor area. He was certain someone was lurking about. "No reason." Claude closed the door behind him. The click of the handle echoed shockingly loud.
From within the shadows of the manor's second floor, a pair of gleaming red eyes pierced the hue. "A perceptive demon." A grin glistened hungrily as a tongue lathered fangs protruding past the lip. "Still he pales to mine."
What? Its true. Jasper, Zanosuke, this Claude moron - no demon, or Angel, holds a wick to Sebastian. That doesn't mean anything special. Just stating a fact.
"I must thank you once more your hospitality, sir Claude." The hooded visitor complemented with utmost sincerity. Claude maintained focus on the darkened corridor. The simple candle barely lighting the walkway. "You and your young lord has been gracious hosts."
"It is the solemn duty of The Family Trancy to be kind to all who enter the manor." Claude replied as a matter of fact. "Regardless of personal dislike."
A menacing chortle escaped the ambiguous man. Claude's shoulders tensed. "I understand your dismay. There were times I was forced to do something I greatly disliked. But worth it for the one you...admire."
"You sound as if you possess such a person. A master, perhaps?"
"A former master you hold deep admiration for."
The man chortled again. "I suppose I do." A smirk shown past the hat and coat. "No matter how adamantly you search, you will never find another more lovely," A crimson eye glimmered in the candlelight, "...or dangerous."
Aside for her recent contempt towards me, much of Alliahnna's original state of mind remains the same. She candidly voiced her content for the death of the man, however her eyes showed remorse.
Even as a substitute demon Alliahnna showed remorse. The growing demon power overwhelmed her restraint. Several fell victim to her wrath. Our drunken trust fund baby included. How like her it is to commit gruesome act with a smile. Best to belie the agony. It is because of this compassion disguised as depravity I was inadvertently drawn to her. As lovely and compassionate as she is, it only masks how dangerous she can be.
To let your guard down around her would be similar to poking a jaguar with a stick. She will strike back, and you will die. A living weapon. Her prowess as human was impressive. Her skill as a substitute demon astonishing. Now as a full demon...she will be a force to be reckoned with.
My heart flutters at the thought.
Across the manor in the main entrance hall, the three plum haired attendants were diligently tending to their daily chores. Each time they past one another, they'd wordlessly confirm which area they would clean, how fast, and where they would clean next. Sort of a habit of theirs actually. The world must never hear their discussions.
One cleaned the parlor. Scrubbing worn stains from the rugs and walls, feeding wood to the fire place, polishing the furniture, and dusting all portraits and other decor items. As a secondary retreat from the mundane lifestyle, it must be kept in shape. A room fit for a king. In this case an Earl.
The other triplet tended to the foyer itself. Sweeping off thee stairs, cleaning the statues of the staircase railing, the railing, and mopping the floor and scrubbing the rolled out carpet ascending the stairs. It is the first room guests see upon entry. First impressions are very important.
The last one idly ran a cloth over the walls and trinkets of the east wing, not really caring to clean. Especially since not much in his corridor needed to be cleaned.
"You've missed a spot." The boy whipped around. A sharp gleam darted. There was a sickening squish. Metal skewering bone.
The two triplets downstairs halted their work, sensing something amiss. In seconds they were in the east corridor, sprinting at break neck speeds, seeking their brother. A three candled candelabra dimly lit the hall.
The low glow showed legs limply bent. A body langorusly leaned against the wall. Blood ran down the wall, soaking into a white undershirt. Stakes nailed pale, open palms spread out to the wall. The candles were raised a higher. A stainless steel dagger, blood dripping from the T guard of the hilt, stuck out of the third triplet's head, mounting him to the wall. The two triplet's blinked impassively. One of them tapped his brother with his foot. The pinned triplet blinked dully, then erected a finger, directing his brothers to search down the hall.
As soon as the two stepped past their brother, "Boo," A puff of air extinguished the candles. Darkness engulfed the corridor. The candelabra dropped with a clang. The two brothers stopped dead, backs pressed to one another. A voice was heard before the lights went out. Behind, in front, or to the side - difficult to say. Tiny drops of sweat trickled to their chin.
"Don't be scared, boys. This won't take long." The voice echoed all around them. Foot steps clopped dauntingly. An unnerving chuckle emanated from the paintings. "Over here!" A pipe or long stick of some sort ran through one triplet's stomach and through the other. The assailant hidden in the darkness. The pipe was forcibly turned, aimed, and run through the pinned triplet. The shock of the injuries stunned need the triplets. Death didn't so much as tickle them."Demons!" The figure snarled. Slowly the pipe started to bend. The free end was jabbed into the wall. All three triplets trapped between a pipe and hard place. "That certainly was boring." The triplets twisted as far as they could. The hands of the remaining twins were pinned together and nailed to the wall by daggers. "Killing you would offer me no satisfaction. I hope the other two present more of a challenge."
The demons harboured by Trancy sickened me. Either they were as weak and sluggish as they appear...or they are holding back. Whichever result, I was not amused. I hate being underestimated. Sebastian knows this. He discovered this chink the second day after we met. Heh. The hours he spent training me to control this trigger...it was...our first lesson together. His level of patience, my level of impatience - the aggravating, mocking smile he flashed my way. The time he installed to help me, to...care for me. How much he...put up with me... The number of times I must have neglected him for my own purposes. Suddenly I feel guilty. Petty. Do I truly have a right to be...angry?
The stranger's head tilted slightly upward. The charming guest suite he was granted stay in was deathly silent. To be accurate, it grew eerily silent. The soothing patter of rain beating against the roof was surprisingly loud. He tilted his head to the ceiling. There was a faint hint of blood in the air. The atmosphere of the manor was lighter. By three. "Hn." The stranger chuckled quietly. "Well done, My Lady."
Three knocks rapped on his door. A blissful sense of triumph snuffed by those three knocks. The man stiffened on the edge of the bed and rid the smile as the door opened. A curvaceous, dark skinned woman timidly entered the room. Her head was bowed, but the captivating crystal blue eye gleamed. Bandages were wrapped tightly over her left eye. Tiny scratches etched to her cheek just below. Long silver hair, restrained to a braid mid way, she entered the room with a pitcher of water.
"Some hot water for you, sir?" She offered, strutting across the room. She replaced the empty pitcher with the pitcher of hot water.
"May I ask why you wear a bandage over your eye?"
The woman froze at the question. "It's nothing." She lied with a faint half smile.
"I'm impressed that you can still work." He pressed. The woman turned away. Her gaze shifted to the ground woefully. Just as the man was about to continue the conversation…
"Hannah!" The woman jumped at her name. Her spine turned to ice as Alois Trancy entered the room. She trembled so badly the empty pitcher nearly fell from her grasp. "What are you doing in here? Tell me?" He demanded laxly. The woman, Hannah, looked as if she were about to collapse into a fit.
"I...I came to change the water." She replied sheepishly. Pure terror shook her soft voice.
"Oh?" Alois hummed doubtfully. "OR perhaps you were seeking pity by wearing that silly bandage and acting pathetic for our guest?" Alois spoke to her as if telling a joke. As if she were the joke. His hatred toward her showed like beacon. SMACK! The pitcher shattered to the ground. Water spilling everywhere Alois had Hannah by the back of the neck. "GET OUT OF HERE NOW, YOU STUPID TART! GO!" He shoved her to the ground, and dealt a swift kick into her back. Hannah quickly picked herself up, bowed, and left the room briskly. Alois glared in utter disgust. His very face quivered at the sought of Hannah. Surely the woman felt the burn of his gaze scorching her back. "Terribly sorry. Forgive her, sir."
"Are you certain she will be alright?" The masked guest fretted standardly.
"Who knows?!" Alois replied contemptuously. "I don't care much for her anyway! She's such an embarrassment. What is she thinking?" At his own question Alois sighed dismally. "Well, for that matter, I suppose I doing know what anyone's thinking."
Nauseating as it may be, I must sympathize with the boy. Lately I don't know what thoughts run rampant throughout Alliahnna's mind. Before, as a partial human, I read her the same way Princess Belle of Fairytale read her books. The content memorized, the climax reaching its critical point, and the resolution easily attained.
Now, as she is a demon, a whole new story is written. Unknown content imprinted upon pages I strived to etch a legacy. Thus far my chapter has yet to be included. Only mere mentionings here and there. Will I play a part in her tale of love and tragedy once more? Or will she scratch me out? Leave me to fade?
"Hold on." Alois skulked the room curiously, searching aimlessly for something. Lifting the draping bed coverings, snooping through the closet, rifling through the plants.
"Yes?" The guest asked with notable confusion. "Have you misplaced something, My Lord?"
Alois poked his head out from under the bed. His big blue eyes blinking innocently with bewilderment. "Didn't you have two trunks?" He flashed two fingers. The man stiffened and glanced down. One trunk was with the man. Presumably his luggage. But the scuffed one. The one he stomped on at the door. "Where did the other one go?" He crawled out, dusting himself off. "The one with your lady bat friend. I've been dying to see her." There was a twinkle in his eye.
"Ah. Yes." The man lowered his head solemnly. "Unfortunately she escaped moments after I entered the room. My secondary case ravaged to tatters."
"SHE WHAT?!" Alois shrieked. He scrambled, whipping around to every open corner, searching for bloodthirsty eyes seeking to rip his flesh open. "WHERE-WHERE HAS SHE GONE?"
"There is no call for fear. She has no desire to harm-"
"WHO'S AFRAID?" A huge smile broke out across Alois' face, startling the cloaked man. "I don't care how dangerous she is! I just want to see her suck the life out of someone!" Alois hugged himself, elated chills tingling him. "This is the most exciting thing that's happened in this dull mansion in YEARS!" He twirled and fell to the spot right beside his guest, arm hugging to the broad waist. "If she's running around she'll give the servant a fright." He squealed, stamping his feet, giggling like a crazed girl, "That'll teach those bastards snicker behind my back." Alois howled with laughter. The walls trembling as the madness grew.
Such a broken boy. The shrill cackles echoing like damning tolls of an executions bell. The sky blue eyes were glazed with sadness. Deep pools of pain and sorrow wide, failing to laugh with their bearer. A porcelain doll pristine and polished cracking and chipping a little each day. A face he wears to keep everyone at bay, ignorant of the agony hidden. Of the monster.
Hannah's pace slowed considerably as she grew farther from the guest's room. Leisurely she moseyed, head bowed and eyes closed, immersed in her thoughts. Her panicking heart relaxed. Shivering muscles steadied. She was at peace. For the moment.
"So long as I am by his side," She whispered devoutly, placing a hand to her heart, "I shall endure."
Malevolent laughter petrified her to her spot. "And here I thought only my demon was devoted." A female voice chortled hatefully. Breath shaking, Hannah retreated a few steps, searching frightfully for the source of the unnerving laughter. The laughter became louder, as if the portraits around mocked her. The darkness played tricks on er panicking eyes. She half expected the portraits to come alive. "No need to be scared, Hannah." Hannah twisted to an adjacent hall. Pitch darkness greeted her. "I promise not to hurt you...too bad."
Hannah did not stray. She narrowed her eye. The voice came from that hallway. "Hm!" Footsteps were coming her way. A lax pace given the rate.
Laced brown boots stepped into the dim lighting. Hannah tensed, primed to strike. Long black stockings hugging slender legs were unmasked. A white skirt swayed side to side. Hannah was taken aback. A uniform blazer - jet black folded cuffs, and collar complemented by a red bow tied just below the buttoned V - was stained with blood. The brown strap crossing her chest was darkened by the blood. The black vest and white shirt beneath were not marred, as far as one could tell. Sheen, profuse navy blue hair brushed a young woman's smirking cheeks. She kept her eyes closed, not impressed by Hannah. Bangs and strands before the ear left to hang while small portions of hair on either side were tied back loosely, braided down the middle. Ruby red stud earrings glistened.
Hannah stared perplexedly at the girl. So young. A good build for her age. A pretty face, undoubtedly. What is it about her that put Hannah on edge?
"Alois is just as violent as I recall." She slowly slid the lids of her eyes open. Hot pink glaze shown in the bleak lighting. Hannah's heart stopped. Her jaw fell open, eyes wide in utter horror. "The abuse demons endure for their masters." The girl tilted her head, widening her smirk, "But he's not your master, is he? He's Claude's." Hannah's brow furrowed. She gnawed on the inside of her cheek. The girl sniggered menacingly. "Guess I'm not the only soft heart."
"ENOUGH PRATTLING! WHO ARE YOU?!"
"My name matters not. You should be more concerned about yourself." The girl pulled something out of her pocket and tossed it. Hannah snapped her hand closed. A black ribbon entangled her fingers. "Those three boys were rather boring. I highly suggest you entertain me."
Three boys! Hannah panicked. Timber, Canterbury, Thompson! "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO THEM, CHILD?!"
"Are Trancy demons hard of hearing?" The girl reached behind her head. Hannah tensed, her hands snaking for her breasts. There was a grind of metal. A sharp gleam illuminated the smooth edges of a blade. "Because I believe I told you to worry about yourself." With a sharp swing of her amr, a rapier unsheathed. Hannah tore open the chest of her dress.
"SO," Alois beamed, running for the only remaining trunk, "What's in that trunk of yours? Clothing? Sweets? Weaponry? Perhaps another bat?"Alois giggled, thinking of all the mysterious and wondrous things held in the confines of that one little trunk. How easily amused the boy is. With all his wealth and influence, one would think he could obtain all sorts of entertainment. Perhaps he has and - like predecessing lords before him - grew bored of what he could purchase. Easily fascinated by the mysterious, bored of the easy.
"I'm jealous of you." Alois admitted. The glow died from his pale cheeks. "I bet you get to travel to all sorts of interesting places. I wish that I could travel some time." Gently he caressed the trunk, mind wandering to the inner confines. All the trinkets he must carry chronicling his journeys in stone. "This mansion's so dull."
"It's dull?" The guest smirked impishly. "But I have been told something interesting lies under this mansion. And, given he adoration of the dark, my bat may have found her way there."
The twinkle returned to Alois. He truly is a child easily fascinated by the mysterious. "REALLY?! She is?!" He beamed. "And the interesting bits! What are they?!" Question blurted one after the other.
"Shall we strike a bargain? Show it to me and I'll show you what's in this trunk. I'll even coax my bat into revealing herself." Alosi didn't have to nod or speak. The way he laughed and fawned over the trunk was answer enough.
The raven smirk faded.
A small door opened with a creak. The warm glow of a candelabra revealed a narrow staircase. Alois and the stranger adjusted to the sudden darkness before proceeding.
"Just follow me." Alois took point. The stranger followed closely behind him, trunk in hand.
The staircase led to a storage cellar. Rations for a protracted period were categorized and shelved in their proper places. Cans of beans - coffee and baked, herbs for teas, potatoes, grain, wheat - you name it. Every variety of non perishable food was kept.
Alois maneuvered effortlessly in between the maze of cases. The stranger was behind him but silently whispered directions toward the something interesting. Alois thought nothing of it. Excitement needs no explanation.
"So where is she?" Alois asked, searching for the bat. "I don't see your bat anywhere."
"She is near. I trust she'll reveal herself when it is time."
Alois raised a perplexed brow, "And just what does that mean?"
"There. That's it." The stranger ignored the question. Alois glanced sideways to a high up shelf. Setting the candelabra down he reached up and removed a box of tea. New Moon Drop. Her Majesty the Queen of Crescent Moon.
Alois eyed it disappointedly. "What, this? It's just tea."
"It's new moon drop." The man corrected poetically. "People say tea leaves plucked at the full moon give off a clear sweet smell. These are the opposite, however. Having been plucked at the New Moon, their indistinct aroma can bring a mind to totally-bottomless-darkness." Alois gazed upon the box with new found intrigue. He was lost in the bottomless darkness the tea is said to bring about. I don't like the dark. The boy whimpered mentally. "It has another name, as well. It's called the soul's temperature." The man purred. His hand snaked for the box. A grin fought his cheeks.
"Not-quite-yet!" Alois retracted the box from reach.
"Oh?" The man grumbled.
"No need to get prickly. I promise I'll show it to you." A sly smirk suddenly appeared. "But one thing first."
"That's right." A voice from nowhere spoke. "First you'll hand over that trunk." The stranger whipped back. Glasses gleaming, Claude emerged with golden cutlery fanned between his gloved fingers. He twisted and let the knives fly. The collar of the cloak ripped to tatters. The top hat pierced, falling from the head. Waves locks of black hair flowing in the breeze. Crimson eyes glaring indifferently. "Sebastian Michaelis!" Claude snarled in disgust. He raised his hands. Knives within his fingers. Sebastian grasped the shoulder of his cloak. Claude sent the knives flying. Sebastian whipped the cloak out, diverting the knives. Whilst covered he veered back and stole the tea box right out from Alois' fragile fingers. Charging for Claude he grabbed the midair cloak and draped it over the demon, successfully making his escape up the stairs.
"UGH! HE'S GETTING AWAY!" Alois screamed. Claude ripped the cloak away and ran after Sebastian. The box of tea tucked into the demon's coat. Golden knives ripped the air, missing the retreating demon entirely. "DON'T KILL HIM! I WANT HIM ALIVE!" Claude put his glasses in his pocket. "CATCH HIM, CLAUDE!"
Sebastian jumped the last few steps into the kitchen. Another volley of knives narrowly missed him. Sebastian took a quick glance back. He pushed the dropped the trunk against the wall and spread himself before it. Three knives pierced his shoulders. Sebastian winced at the surprise pain but quickly shook it off.
Claude lackadaisically walked into the kitchen, staring at the wounded butler like a vulture about to feast. "Do you value that trunk above your own life?" Sebastian grunted. "Pity." Claude drew a saucer plate and tossed it. It whirled like a disc, heading straight for Sebastian's face.
A fork whisked through the kitchen, pierced the plate and pinned it to the wall just below the hanging skillets. The plate remained in tact. Claude's brow furrowed. Sebastian was stunned. Alois finally made it up stairs and gasped in awe of the plate. Where Sebastian was sitting he couldn't have done that. So who-
"First Arista's leg," Claude, Sebastian, and Alois gaped toward the only other door, "And now you're trying to mangle my former butler's face." A blood stained uniform blazer was discarded in a trash bin. Alois gasped in horror, scrambling back as a young woman entered the kitchen. Claude put a protective arm between him and the second intruder. Blood dripped from the rapier in her hand. None stained the white shirt or black vest. "You truly are a destructive little monster, aren't you, Alois?"
"Alliahnna Phantomhive…" Alois voice trembled.
Alliahnna's grin widened. Her sapphire eye glistened demonically. "It truly has been a while, Alois. How's your knee?" Alois was too terrified to speak. His hand subconscious grasped his left knee. A nostalgically sharp pain throbbed. "I see you've landed yourself a demon butler." Alliahnna grabbed a cloth and began cleaning the blood from her sword. "I do hope you take better care of him than you do those other four." She flicked the clean blade. The cloth tossed to the trash. Claude growled in the back of his throat. "Why the surprise, Faustus? Sebastian did say his bat was lurking around!" She flared her eyes. Hot pink blazing in the orbs. Fangs protruding her smile. Alois screamed and hugged desperately to Claude. The boy's shivering body begging his butler to protect him.
"So then the rumors were true." Claude spoke. Alois gaped confusedly. "The Eldest Twin Phantomhive surrendered her humanity. Became the bat which preys upon the fears of unsuspecting victims ."
"Laughter into Screams. Dreams into nightmares. Delights into fears." She sheathed the rapier behind her back. "Which begs the question, what does the Trancy brat fear the most?" The faded faded to Crimson. Alois' eyes widened. Claude clamped a hand over them, impeding the ritual. Alliahnna sniggered.
Sebastian picked himself up, fixing his askew uniform and hair. "Better late than never I suppose." He rumbled picking up the trunk.
Alliahnna's brow twitched. Her smile transformed to a glare. "Well excuse the Hell out of me, Michaelis! That maid with the missing eye was stronger than she looked!" She gritted her teeth, "Besides you have little room to speak! I was doing all the hard work while you were getting comfy!"
Sebastian towered her, a disapproving hand to his hip, "I was not getting comfy! I was buying you time!" He got so close to her face their noses practically touched, "Time you CLEARLY needed for such a simple task."
Lightning streamed between their harsh stares, "If it was SO SIMPLE then you deal with the demon help and I'll lug the trunk around!" Claude observed blankly while Alois was enthralled in the drama.
"I am the senior demon!"
"Senior is right!"
"You have a smart mouth, you know that?"
"You've known this for six years!"
"It's grown worse since your transformation!" Alois grabbed a bowl of cherries and started eating them, admiring the spectacle.
"Then I guess you should have tried harder for the soul!"
"Women should be seen and not heard."
"Says the old crone who elicits screams from a nun!" A vein popped in Claude's head.
"WILL YOU JUST LET THAT GO?"
"OYE!" Claude barked. Alliahnna and Sebastian glanced shocked towards him. "If you two are done, there is the matter of that trunk that raises higher concern."
Sebastian grunted. He held the trunk close to his chest. Alliahnna moved in front of him. "This trunk is no concern of yours." Sebastian declared. Alliahnna curled her fingers more tightly to the sword hilt, daring the demon to lash out.
Claude reached behind his back. "You've entered Trancy premises with large case concealing potentially dangerous items." Jerking his hand, three plates fanned out. "Either by my confiscation or your willing surrender - the trunk will be in my master's hands!" Claude tossed the saucers. All three soared in a single file line.
Sebastian grasped the chest tightly and ran. Alliahnna fortified her stance. Sword firmly in her grasp. The plates three feet away. Alliahnna slashed her sword 1-2-3! Cleanly split halves of china flew right by, shattering to the wall on either side of her. Her brow knit. Claude was right on Sebastian's heels. Alliahnna grabbed whatever she could - a skillet - and threw it. It wheeled for Claude. The demon whisked around, swatting the skillet back. Alliahnna jumped, evading the skillet, and drove a flying kick for the Spider Butler. Claude spread his feet. With one hand he caught Alliahnna's boot by the ankle. He pirouetted and sent her across the room. Sebastian, too late to counter, felt the full brunt of Alliahnna. Sebastian's trunk hit the ground. The latches popped open. Alliahnna's sword left her grip. The two crashed into a hutch. Crystal glasses broke around them. Doilies draped on their heads.
Claude fixed himself. Never has he had to work so hard. "These two must be dealt with...swiftly."
Alliahnna groaned dazedly, leaning up on a hand. She removed the doily, not amused by the embarrassing debacle. Or the lump that would surely form later in the evening. An arm hugged under her knees and around her back, cradling her like a princess. She was sitting in a warmly familiar lap. Glancing up, a blush broke out on her cheeks. Sebastian sniggered at her. "And here I thought you'd never come around." The moment was short lived. Sebastian's eyes went wide with fear. Alliahnna, bewildered by the expression, followed where he was looking. She froze.
The trunk. It opened! A small body in the fetal position was exposed. "Ciel...PHANTOM-hive!" Alois gasped. Sebastian set Alliahnna down. They've lingered long enough. Alois laughed triumphantly, running to the grown Phantomhive double. "I finally have you! You're mine!"
"You're wrong about that!" Sebastian snarled. Alliahnna wrenched all three knives from his shoulders and threw them at Alois. Claude caught them inches from their target. Alliahnna hissed through gritted teeth. Sebastian tightly closed the trunk, concealing his young master. "We would never allow the likes of you to come anywhere near him! Someone as vulgar as yourself isn't worthy to come anywhere near this trunk! Nor will you ever be! Your mere touch would defile my young master."
"What?!" Alois edged forward. Alliahnna choked silently, secretly biting her lip. Claude arched a brow at her bothered demeanor.
Sebastian jumped to a serving cart, securing the trunk. Alliahnna scooped up her sword, ran to the cart and gave it a strong push. Sebastian pulled her on and the two were out the door, riding the cart down the hallway.
"You put your feet on something to carry food! What kind of butler are you?" Claude hissed revoltingly, giving chase.
Alliahnna and Sebastian sped down the hall, blowing over vases and portraits in their wake. Alliahnna held onto Sebastian tightly as the demon made sharp turns. "What kind of Butler am I?" Sebastian repeated with a hint of humor. Alliahnna rollers her eyes, here it comes! "Why I am simply one-no!"
Alliahnna nearly fell over dumbstruck. "HUH?!"
Sebastian touched a slender finger to her lips. "It's not quite time for that yet."
The cart burst into the foyer brightly lit foyer. East and west curved staircases donned by red velvet carpet gleamed. Alliahnna and Sebastian grabbed the cart by the sides and lifted. Sebastian leaned forward while Alliahnna reared the back around. The cart rolled down the railing on two of its side wheels. Claude blazed in seconds behind them. His arms spread he glided along the railing effortlessly like a skier.
"You both flee instead of fight?" Claude goaded.
"We have what we need." Alliahnna stated. A smirk crept to her cheeks, "Yore no longer of interest." Claude grunted. Sebastian smirked and kicked off the cart. Alliahnna sprang off after him. The two landed back to back atop the candlelit chandelier. The cart crashed at the middle of the room, sliding beneath the opposite stairs. Claude landed just below the chandelier, glaring daggers at the demons who dare desecrate a fine item with their filthy feet.
"I believe I recall your ways." Sebastian announced auspiciously. "Turning day into night. Sugar into salt. Navy into golden."
"Deceitful appearances," Alliahnna grinned, "The perfect montage for The House of Trancy."
Sebastian placed a hand to his chest. The glow of the candles ignited his devilish smirk. The crimson orbs burning with glee, thirsting to see those very flames engulf the manor.
"Then it seems I shall have to transform golden...into black." Alliahnna severed the chandelier chain.
There was a loud CRASH! The world went black! "AAAAAHHHHHH!"
All I heard was the terrified shriek of the Trancy brat. As a demon of fear, it brought chills to my spine. Made me smile. What can I say? I may be the saint of the twins, but, deep down, I've always been a bit of sadist. The pain of those I utterly despise is m ambrosia. That taste has grown considerably in the last year. My only hope is to curb it just as I did before selling my humanity.
Glass shattered as we escaped. Muddied puddled splashed as we leapt through the daunting forest. The Trancy manor was swallowed by the dark, naked trees. I know not what became of Alois after we left. I didn't care. However...I sense our paths will cross again. Claude Faustus - the spider - will not let prey escape once trapped in his web.
We succeeded. After a year of searching, facing tumultuous weather and distances, Ciel's soul was in our possession. Now the contract which began nine years ago can be completed.
Or so I naïvely thought.
TO BE CONTINUED!