The small frame remained bent over the desk, working slowly at the harder questions. This was material he couldn't recall anymore and it frustrated him to know that Sebastian was right. Being comatose for so long had stolen some of his memories, especially the more current ones. These lessons and lectures didn't exist in the boy's mind anymore, even a few older lessons having vanished. He didn't want to leave them blank but couldn't help but wonder what the demon would think when he read those half-assed answers. Perhaps it was better to leave it unanswered.
The soft knock at the door startled him, Ciel jumping and snapping his head up. He had been so engrossed in the review that he wasn't expecting the demon to come and check on him. As Sebastian poured the steaming liquid into a cup, Ciel closed the folder and carefully dropped the quill back into its holder.
[+blue "I'd rather not discuss it,"] he grumbled quietly, taking the cup once it was offered and pushed the folder in the demon's direction.
The demon went about the manor, doing various chores. He was currently balanced on the chandilier in the entrance hall, polishing the expensive item with upmost care. There was a tall ladder under it, but it was mainly for show. He did not need it, but no human could jump that high. He carefully manuvered his way around the complex design. It shifted with his weight, but he was careful not to break off the ceiling. With an expert leap, he jumped off. His shoes made a soft tap sound as he landed lightly. Turning his eyes upward, he admired his work for a brief moment. Then he gathered the ladder and put it away. He clapped his hands together to remove any dust particals and checked his watch. It was almost time to check on his master. The demon turned and headed to the kitchen. He may as well bring a fresh pot of tea. Even if his master didn't finish the last one, it would be cold by now. It wasn't long before the demon was onocking on the sudy door and announcing himself. Once he was inside, he glanced at his masters work. "How are we doing?" He asked, filling a clean cup with the hot beverage.
Ciel continued to glare at the demon until he left the room, his face relaxing some after. His gaze fell to the folder that sat on the desk's surface, a small hand unfolding from his chest in order to open it. There were quite a few pages to this review, longer than any test he had received before. It appeared the butler wished to be thorough. Ciel sighed, reaching forward to grab his quill while continuing to look over the questions quickly. They didn't seem to be too hard in the beginning, the questions covering things Ciel learned years ago and still used today. He was a bit worried about the last pages, deciding to see what that hell had in store later.
Quietly he began to work, finishing the first couple of pages quickly. He didn't begin to have trouble until the last couple of pages, his eyebrows knitting together in frustration as he struggled to remember the answers. It was a bit worse than that, he couldn't even remember the lessons being taught. Did he really forget things due to the coma? A quick glance back through his work confirmed this, Ciel having to skip a couple questions near the beginning as he couldn't remember the answer. He thought about ducking into the library quickly to look up the answers but decided against it, figuring the demon was probably standing guard outside of it. He frowned a bit, continuing to stare at Sebastian's perfect handwriting as he struggled to remember the forgotten answers.
Sebastian could read his master like a book. He was tempted to set himself on fire, just to see what the boy would do. "Then if that is all, I will return in an hour to see how far you are." The demon bowed deeply, placing his hand over his heart. The sardonic smile never left as he straightened. "If you require anything, please call." He left the folder of worksheets on his masters desk. He left, quietly closing the study door behind him. He could hear his masters heart rate increase with his irritation.
Sebastian shook his head, the last thing he needed was to enjoy spending time with his master. It would not take his master long before he realized his workbooks and any notes were missing. The demon bent and picked up the stack of books by the door, and headed to his room. The library would be too easy if the boy wanted to be difficult. The key was to see what his master remembered. He had never been a fan allowing the use of notes for reviews or tests. He hopped over the hole in his floor, he would fix it after everyone went to bed.
Ciel's eyes narrowed as his arms tightened over his chest. He should have known that Sebastian would play such a dirty card. Almost every day since the two returned to the rebuilt manor, he had something sweet. On rare occasions such as an illness he didn't consume any extra sugar, but those were extreme cases. Now Sebastian was threatening to remove it for two months? It seemed excessive but it was the way the demon worked. He didn't have many opportunities in their contract to have the upper hand over his master and took them whenever he saw them. Still, holding his desserts ransom was a very dirty and low trick.
He didn't see a way out of this other than admitting defeat, a fact that irritated him more. Still, the disgusting meal was rather far away. Perhaps he could talk the demon out of it by then or simply refuse dinner that night. He may not have won this battle but the war wasn't over.
[+blue "Fine, you win,"] Ciel grumbled, his form slouching more. He still had a rather displeased look on his face, his eyes willing the demon to burst into flames at any moment.
Amusement faded into passive boredom as the demon studied his master. The boy made it difficult to properly care for him. "If you require me to remove it, then I will be forced to lessen your sweets intake." The only really surgary items like cake or chocolate was after dinner. The demon wondered if his masters sweet tooth would win over his dislike over liver. He then smiled, taking on a thoughtful look. Why not challange his master?
This could be an amusing game, "if you can survive without anything sweet for the next 2 months, I will not feed you any liver." The boy almost always requested a dessert item every day. "It is not good for you, and your body is very delicate right now." The butler mused out loud. He was now being annoying. If his master wanted to throw a fit, he would be punished for it.
The boy frowned a bit as he thought about Sebastian's comment and all the spice that he could be adding. He didn't tolerate it well and found it incredibly difficult to eat. It had been suggested that it may become more palatable as he grew older but he found it doubtful. It already felt as if it were burning his insides the moment it came into contact.
Ciel took another drink of tea, finishing off the cup, and set it down as he looked up at Sebastian again. It appeared he had gone into lecture mode, beginning to school his pupil on the benefits of the substance and all it could do for the male's system. It didn't persuade him any, he still disliked the item and wasn't looking forward to consuming it no matter how well the demon had prepared it.
[+blue "It's still vile,"] he grumbled faintly, folding his arms over his chest again. [+blue "I refuse to eat it and there is nothing in the universe that can make me do so. It's not like you're going to force-feed it to me; take it off the menu or I starve that day."]
The demon feingned exasperation with a heavy sigh. There was a glint of amusement in his eyes though. "My Lord, I do belive you have confused torture with something else. If I wanted to torture you I would be making the spicest foods I could every night." His master was not one for spicy food. Curry was incredibly healthy though, with all the different herbs used to make it. "Liver has a multitude of vitamins that your body needs right now. For one," Sebastian held up a finger, slipping into lecture mode. "Consuming liver is good for both brain and liver, kidney, and heart funtion. As well as boosting your immune system and cell productivity. It also is a high protien meat." The demn smiled at his master. "Even we," he was talking about demons in general, "eat it when we are feeling under the weather."
His master was going to have to do a lot better than 'I don't like it.' If he wanted it off the menu.
He could only imagine what the review would look like and how many questions would be on it. If he knew the demon, it would be everything in the span of the three years they had been together when his lessons first began. Ciel doubted anything earlier than that would be included as it would be rather easily caught by now if it had left his memory. Back then it was mostly etiquette and the like. The small earl took another drink of tea, still glancing at the folder unfavorably. He was lucky this wasn't an official lesson, the demon tended to get pretty strict when it was. He recalled violin lessons perfectly, still remembering the small, sharp strikes from Sebastian's bow to his arms when his posture became sloppy. Once or twice they practiced until his fingers bled. When it came to academics, the boy wasn't permitted to leave the room until his answers were all correct.
Setting down his cup, the boy looked up at his butler at the next comment that left his lips. Yes, the menu. It had slipped his mind when he learned he needed to talk to his family. Ciel would do damn near anything to get that particular item removed since he detested it so. There was nothing he hated more in the world than liver. [+blue "Can't you find anything else to replace the liver?"] Ciel sighed, leaning back in his chair and folding his arms loosely over his chest as he looked up at Sebastian. [+blue "You know I hate it and are probably doing it just to torture me."]
"Come now, Master. Your education is important. Besides, this is just a review. It should be relatively easy." The black clad butler smiled at his little lord. "If you have forgotten anything, I have no doubt you'll be caught up soon." Some would say he was too hard on his master. In his opinion, the hired teachers were too easy. His master had yet to fail his expectaions. Though, he enjoyed watching his master struggle.
"Also, you had a complaint about the menu I wrote out?" An elegant eyebrow rose questionably. While he knew what the item was, he had requested his master not argue the point. Liver was extremely healthy for a lot of creatures. His masters body was lacking a lot nutrients to funtion properly. It would take some convincing to get the demon to remove it. Even if Ciel ordered it, he could refute it. One of the many loopholes in their contract. If it delt with his masters health an order could be ignored.
Ciel had a quarter of the small stack finished by the time Sebastian returned with tea, signing the paper he was working on at the bottom before setting it in the finished stack. He had lied a little to his fiance, the stack in front of him could be set aside for another day if he needed to. All of the very important papers had been finished and sealed already, the ones left were basic figure sheets and some reviews. A couple order forms were scattered in there as well, but it could wait another day. He wasn't sure if he wanted to continue with this much longer, anyway.
His head lifted as the demon announced his arrival, Ciel leaning back in the chair and took a cup of the tea as it was offered. He looked a little tired, most likely from the energy the call had zapped out of him, and hoped the bled Sebastian had chosen would replace it. It had taken the small earl nearly two cups before he noticed the folder the butler carried and he frowned a bit.
[+blue "I think you should burn what you have in your hand,"] the boy grumbled, finally setting his newly filled cup on the sturdy desk surface. He wasn't looking forward to lessons, especially with Sebastian. The demon was tougher than any of his teachers ever had been and taught the child until his brain began to feel as if it were melting.
Sebastian tucked the cards in an inner pocket as he walked down the hall. He blinked when he heard his master call and quickly answered. He left to retrieve the requested beverage, choosing something to help keep him focused. He also gathers his masters review work. Unfortunatly they worksheets would have to wait until business work was completed. However, he had said they would be ready for after lunch. Due to the quarantine, it seemed he would be teaching his young lord. He had no problem doing so, but he was sure the boy hated him as a teacher. He did not care much, as he had no desire to serve an idiot. He would push his masters brain to its limits. The demon had even forced the youths observancy to a new level. Though it was not hard, as the boy had been rather jumpy until he grew comfortable around the demon. He returned, knocking polietly before entering. "I have brought your tea, sir." He said, though Ciel could blatanly see that for himself.
Ciel glanced over at the window when the bird took off, seeming distressed. He raised an eyebrow at this but figured it was Finny doing something unintelligent and strange in the garden. [+blue "I'm very glad to hear that, Lizzie,"] he responded. He was able to hear how happy she was over the telephone and was grateful to know she would at least obey Sebastian's no visitors for a while rule. It was his aunt that was the real problem and would do as she pleased no matter what anyone said. He hoped that Lizzie would be able to convince her otherwise. [+blue "You're correct, I do have some work to attend to. Sebastian wasn't able to finish the work for the company so I need to get most of that done today. But I'll have him telephone you as soon as you can visit, I promise."]
They said their goodbyes, the boy sighing again as he hung up the phone. That was less painful than a visit but still somewhat tiring. He wasn't sure what it was about Lizzie that seemed to pull the energy right out of him and leave him feeling exhausted. After a long moment, he pulled another stack of papers closer and began to work on them after summoning his butler for another pot of tea.
"I promise!" Elizabeth said, he could hear the smile in her voice. "I am guessing you probably have a mound of parework to do," he did every time she went to visit. He was always working. He very rarely seemed to do anything fun. "I guess I should let you get it done." She had every intention of waitng to be invited over for her next visit. Well, she might start pestering if it took 6 months.
Suddenly the house manor shuddered and the bird took off with a startled yell.
Sebastian stared at his bedroom floor, which not had a hole in it. He pressed his lips together. "Perhaps that is a card best left outside...." he muttered. His hand was charcoalized. He had caused quite the shockwave, je hoped the manor was not too teribbly damaged. He didn't hear anything fall or crash, so it was just startling more than anything. It did not even affect his masters phone call. He had succeeded in sumaning the spirit, but failed to control it. He was glad he rolled the sleeves of his coat and shirt up. His glove was nothing but ash, though. He pulled out a new glove and rolled down his sleeves, hiding his charred hand well. She then went to make sure the servants were not doing anything stupid.
[+blue "I'm sure she has,"] he responded, beginning to toy with the quill in order to keep himself amused. Telephone calls had a tendency to bore the young master, depending on who was on the other line and what they needed. At times he would become so bored he would allow his mind to wander and completely forget the conversation he just had. Ciel imagined that it wasn't a good idea to do such a thing with this conversation seeing as how he had worried the remainder of his family.
[+blue "Sebastian has informed me that she's been calling frequently,"] he continued. Movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention, looking towards the window as small fingers continued to brush over the quill. A small bird had stopped on the sill to rest a bit, ruffling its feathers a bit as it settled. [+blue "But he was rather busy making sure I received the care that I needed while enforcing the quarantine. He didn't have much time to talk."]
He paused a moment, looking back over at his desk. [+blue "I feel well enough; the doctor fears my immune system is compromised so I'm limited to time outside and no visitors. He seems to approve of the rate of my recovery and says I'll be able to open the manor again in a few weeks, maybe even travel to London. But in the meantime, I need you to promise me that you'll listen to Sebastian's instructions if he gives you any so that I can recover faster. Will you do that for me?"]
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