Sebastian blinked in genuine surprise. "I see..." He took it the small book, flipping thru it. The images were rather pretty, his eyes able to pick up all the little details. "Please send him my gratitude...." the demon muttered, feeling like he ought to say somthing mire. He had never actually recived a gift before, and it was strange. The closest thing to the book would be the clothes Ciel insisted on buying him. Which really came with the job. He was not sure the proper way to act so he mimicked what was normal for humans. While trying to hide the surprise that he had done something deserving the gift. He had really only been following orders. He glanced down at his master quickly, not really sure what he was suppose to do in this instance. He felt just as uncomfortable as when Agni claimed to be his friend. Then he smirked, looking back at her knowing a gift he could return the favor with. Mischief was written, as he was bot ashamed of what he was going to say. "Also, tell him the key is to focus on heating his insides, like he might do to boil water. He is a bright boy, I am sure he will understand." It was a small tip to teach him how to exhale fire. "Though, it would be best to stay away from flamables. He has no self esteem, and that is no good for a growing demon." Pergaps learning a new trivk would give him a much needed boost. It might take a few tries, but he was sure the boy could do it. He would let her deal with the surprise when Haku wanted to show off what he could do.
[+red "I've also discussed this with Akira,"] Seth told him softly, glancing up at his demon. She was watching him calmly, remaining at his side. [+red "If anything were to go wrong she has explicit instructions to get him to safety. I won't allow him to suffer in such a manner again."]
Ciel remained tense but looked up at Seth. It was so strange to see a noble like him, one who put the well being of others over his very own. He could see why the others were happy in his household and why they obeyed his instructions to the letter. He was a rarity in their world. If Ciel's soul was so valued he could only imagine what one would want for Seth's.
[+blue "I want to ask you something,"] Ciel stated quietly. His voice lacked the authority and bravery it held at the beginning of the meeting, so many things had come to the surface that he wasn't quite sure how to handle yet. Seth nodded, wanting him to continue, and he waited until the heterochromic eyes fell on his frame. [+blue "Are these the conditions of your contract?"]
Seth smiled a little at this, running his hand through his hair again. [+red "Something like that, I suppose. It's a bit more complicated but that's the general outline. Akira and I still have much more to accomplish before she takes my soul, however, so I'm sure we'll run into each other again."]
Akira looked over at the butler, reaching into her obi as she approached him. Carefully she pulled out a small, homemade book made out of three or four pages and handed it to the butler. Inside, each page consisted of two or three skeletonized leaves in bold and stunning colors of ink. [+fuchsia "Haku-chan wanted to thank you for showing him such kindness,"] she told him softly. [+fuchsia "He worked rather hard on that and wanted me to deliver it to you."]
"However, keep in mind if my master calls I will not hesitate to his side." His eyes narrowed. "Or if something goes astray, I will not have him overly abused." He expected his master to be roughed up for sure. However, if anyone intended to exessivly hurt him he would intervene. He enjoyed tormenting Ciel himself, but that was his right and nobody elses. "I don't care if it comprimises the game." He turned to Ciel, eyes glowing at that. He knew of anyone, Cuel would be the only one to order him to no stray from the plan. Regardless of their contract, Ciels life remaning intact was more important to him. Plus, he was too proud to have they boy snatched from his claws in such a manner. "If that is agreeable, then I suppose you have a deal." He said, looking away when he was certain he made his point.
Ciel turned away from all of them again, seeming to ponder his choices. Seth's choice of action was the easiest and would most likely result in less property damage. It was also reassuring to know that the redhead and his demon would be with him every step of the way and wouldn't leave him to Lord Whitehill's devices. He may even stand a better chance with the two of them there. If he didn't agree and the man showed up randomly, he wasn't sure how he could fight that. Sure, he could have Sebastian render him immobile and Ciel could finish him off but what about the rest of them? It's not as if they had directions to where they gathered and, even if Seth supplied them, it wasn't guaranteed that they'd get in.
He remained quiet for a long while as he considered his choices, his form keeping rather tense. [+blue "....Very well,"] he agreed quietly. [+blue "We'll do it your way. Let's just hope it's quick, I'd rather not suffer with that man longer than I need to. Sebastian, make sure to bring my revolver with you and extra ammunition, the one I keep underneath my pillow. Keep in mind I won't tolerate any mistakes, not with this."]
Seth smiled faintly, looking up to Sebastian. [+red "Once he arrives in my possession I'll send Akira or one of the twins for you,"] he told him softly. [+red "They'll bring you carefully inside. I'll also let you know the correct moment to strike."]
Sebastian started at the duo in silence for a moment. Yes, it was a good plan. Something along the lines he had been pondering, as well. He just didn't like the idea. He had no real issue with his master being lightly tormented. Bound, stuck in a cage. He enjoyed how helpless Ciel looked in those situations. However, he had never been one to appreciate the abuse his master often went thru. "It... would be the easiest route. Though perhaps the most damaging to your person. The choice, is of course yours to make, Master." He said, rather than stating his personal thoughts out loud. Part of him relished the thought of seeing his master once again helpless on the alter. The other part wanted to draw the boy into himself and protect the boy from anything and everything that could take him away. Not to mention such an action would probably scar his master for life.
Seth lifted his gaze towards Sebastian and decided to continue the conversation with him in order to give the boy time to digest and wind back down. He had an idea, yes, but he knew the two of them weren't going to like it. Barging in and attempting to take down the faction wouldn't really get them anywhere except being attacked by some pretty unstable people. The easiest way to get in without being detected was to let the Duke get his way, to allow him to think he won.
[+red "I do, but I'm having second thoughts about it,"] Seth admitted softly. This caught Ciel's attention, the boy lifting the exposed eye and focusing it on Seth. It seemed he was more than an encyclopedia of occult knowledge, he had some attacks in the works as well. [+red "The easiest way to get inside is allowing my father to believe he's won; he knows you're here and he'll come to retrieve you. Luckily for you, he doesn't know about your demon. All he knows about that night is you disappeared during the sacrifice. I and Akira can keep a careful eye on you to make sure nothing happens. Once you're in and he's ready to start, you can bring Sebastian to you. You'll be there no longer than a couple hours. He wouldn't want to give you time to escape again."]
Ciel kept his tense position, turning his attention to the table again. He was right, he didn't like it. But he had a point. It also helped knowing that not one, but two people would be on his side to keep that monster as far away as possible. [+blue "What do you think, Sebastian?"] he asked quietly.
"Thank you, I am sure we will be able to find him with this." Sebastian said, looking at the name over Ciels shoulder. So their contract would not be ending yet. To the human eye, nothing changed. However, this information put the demon at ease. It ment that he still had time to figure out just how he was going to handle the situation. Give him time to figure out how to alter their contract, without hurting Ciel unnessisarily. Changung the cobract at this point would bring the boy lots of pain, and maybe make him go comletely blind in the eye, something the raven didn't want.
"Now, then. You mentioned an outright attack would fail. While it was not my plan to do so," he had thought of allowing them t attck first, due to how familiar he was with thePhantomhive grounds. "I take it he has traps and sheilds in place, and I would suspect he is going to have whereever the ritual take place simularly guarded." It would be foolish, otherwise. He was sure the Duke was aware he was being hunted.
Ciel remained rather tense, still slouched in his chair. He knew the demon was simply trying to make him feel better in his own way. He wondered how many contracts were like this, where the demon seemed to care about the well being of their next meal. Sebastian would go above and beyond his duties in order to serve the boy, did Akira do the same for Seth? He didn't truly know what went on behind closed doors in that household but it seemed that the female was taking very good care of those in her protection. Seth seemed genuinely happy with her and he could tell by the look in her eyes that she felt some other kind of emotion towards her charge other than hunger.
Seth reached over, pulling the paper close again, and began to write something else on the paper. Ciel looked over to see a first name and a country. [+red "Since that's your ultimate goal you should know that one of them has left the England faction and joined the Swedish one. That's all I know about him, he disappeared shortly after you did."]
Sebastian smiled, at first it was rather preditory. Then, halfway thru forming it changed to something more like fondness. Battling between how a 'proper' demon ought to behave in front of the other pair, and how he honestly wanted to. "I did not mean to imply you had, sir." He said, "I was merely making sure of something." Though he didn't really sound sorry. He was satified with the answer, even if the flame behind the words had been rather low. He hardly understood how a human could be fine one minute, and a mess the next.
He felt the pair were not a real threat, even if the female picked up on his odd behavior. However, he also felt like this might have been part of their plot. Maybe not exsctly, he didn't think she expected to be caught tonight. However, he did wonder if this conversation was in their plans at some point in the near future, and being caught only serve to quicken their own betrayal to Seths Father. He shifted his gaze, meeting the female who had been watching how he handled his masters sensitive state.
Ciel remained quiet for a little while longer, not rising to Sebastian's bait at first. This was something the demon couldn't fully understand. Yes, he knew the basics and mostly why Ciel felt and behaved the way he did, but there was still a deep, underlying fear. The boy dreamed of this day ever since he returned to the manor with Sebastian, vowing to himself and his demon that those that harmed him and ruined his life would finally be destroyed. Now that it was here and he was about to look those demons in the face, the deep fear that had buried itself began to show. He had no doubt that he would be able to kill them but how long it took for that anger to overcome his fear of Fredrick would be a challenge.
[+blue "I told you not to kill them because I wanted to do it,"] he responded quietly after a long minute. [+blue "I wanted to take revenge on those that destroyed everything I had, including my dignity. I haven't forgotten."]
Demonic eyes shifted to Ciel when he seemed to go into himself. After a moment, sebastian prodded at him, trying to encourage the emotion of anger and hatred to take hold. "You seem terribly conflicted, Young master." He put emphasis on the title, almost as if mocking his somewhat childish behavior. "Please, do remind me what you told me that day, hm?" He rose an eyebrow. Yes, it was normal for Ciel to be frightened. He would not be human, otherwise. However, it was now time for the young Earl to look Fredrick in the eye and make him beg for mercy. "Why did you stop me from hunting down everyone who ever harmed you that instant?" He knew the answer well, of course. The revenge would mean nothing if Ciel was not the one to carry it out. No matter the cost. That been the first instance Sebastian had realized the rarity of his master. This time, he offered no comfort, not wanting the boy to think it was ok to cave into the fear.
Akira nodded, agreeing with the demon's words. [+fuchsia "Leviathan is easily distracted; Lucifer's laziness could also be why the Asians haven't succeeded, either."]
Seth carefully replaced the quill into its holder when he had finished what he was working on, pushing it over to Ciel to allow the younger noble to look over it. [+red "I haven't forgotten about your other question, Sebastian, and I plan to answer it soon,"] Seth told the demon, turning a bit to look up at him. It's up next on my agenda of topics."] He shifted his position, making it easier to look at both of them, then ran his hand through his hair before he continued. [+red "Every five years or so all four factions meet for some kind of ritual that's mean to call all four at once. The invocation has never worked and I don't think it will. That goes back to some kind of occurrence during the Renaissance that wasn't recorded completely. Nevertheless, they still try. This is what my family has been doing for decades and plan to continue for decades more. Father told me he was partially successful once, when he was a teenager, summoning something that could only be described as otherwordly. I'm not sure of what became of that but he tried to recreate his success using the most powerful sacrifices he could: his children. He tried a different, toned down version of it with me but that didn't work either. He didn't want to do the full ritual, if he did no one would be left to continue the line. After my failed ritual was where you appeared, Ciel. I remember you well."]
Ciel remained quiet for a minute, looking over the notes that Seth had written on the once perfect piece of parchment then allowed his gaze to shift towards him. [+blue "I don't understand why. It's not as if my family had ties to the occult."]
[+red "No, but your father was widely talked about in underground circles,"] Seth explained quietly. [+red "Vincent was an incredibly powerful human; because of the work he did and how well he did it some people in the underground thought he had to have ties with demons and the occult. Father figured you could help the cause; he knew what a rarity you and your father were....and this is the branch that specializes in child sacrifice. He had others from the cult take you away from your home and bring you there."]
Ciel's form tensed more, the boy slumped stiffly in the chair as his eyes fell down to the table. Such a wide range of emotions were going through him he couldn't pick on to settle on. Even though he was incredibly angry with the boy's father for doing all of this to him, he was still scared of him. He knew what he was capable of. Ciel's frame trembled a little as his mind went back to that day, his arms locking into place over his chest, and he stared blankly at the table. Akira could feel the immediate change in the boy, looking up at Sebastian slowly.
Sebastian hummed in agreement to the females words. "I belive he is much too busy peeking at everyone elses belongings- ah, very clever." Sebastian cut himself off, "his primary trait is Envy. He would have been happy to come steal my master from me. If it were not for one vital flaw. I find his attention span to be rather short..." Sebastian had met him once, during a visit to the castle. It had been rather interesting. "I wonder how he will react once his worshipers are irradicated?" He looked down at the paper, truly finding this new devopement interesting. "Trust a power hungry human to summon a power hungry demon." He seemed amused by it.
Sebastian could not help but wonder if him making a contract to Ciel had been part of the plot, or if his appearance had actually put a kink in their plans. Somehow, it only served to amuse him more.
[+blue "Like I'd go anywhere near Lord Whitehill without it,"] Ciel retorted quietly, his arms folding over his chest again in a rather tight fashion. Even though this case made him extremely uncomfortable it was nice to have someone from the inside, someone who had witnessed everything, explain all the details to him. Perhaps he would get answers to questions he never thought possible...like the one Sebastian had just asked.
[+red "That's correct, it's one of the families that started this whole mess,"] Seth responded, looking up at Sebastian as he carefully took the items from him. He set the paper in between himself and Ciel then carefully opened the ink pot as not to spill it, then dipped the quill into the thick, black liquid. [+red "To understand what he practices, allow me to talk about the history briefly. Somewhere around the dark ages in...Scotland, I think, four families discovered some kind of powerful force. I think it was a demon, Father isn't quite sure. Either way, they became familiar with this power and wanted to find a way to harness it. This is where the cult started."]
Seth picked up the quill, drawing a line at the top of the paper then began to draw four vertical lines stemming from it and began to write names of countries next to the lines. [+red "They've grown larger in numbers since then but there are four factions to this particular movement. One is here, one in Sweden, one in Italy, and the other is further east...some kind of Asian faction. The goal of each of these branches is to sanctify the earth for the return of the four crowned princes of Hell. Each branch focuses on a specific prince; we're in the west of this so ours is focused on Leviathan."]
As Seth began writing again, Akira leaned lightly against the edge of the table on the redhead's other side and tucked her hands into the sleeves of her kimono. [+fuchsia "If the man would listen to me, I would have told him countless times it's pointless. It wouldn't take all of this fancy stuff to get them up here, besides Lucifer is lazy and wouldn't even come to a party he threw himself. Leviathan would probably get lost on the way here."]
Sebastian bowed breifly and quickly left to retrive the items. His supreme hearing enabling him to listen in. He returned quickly, handing the requested items to the young red head. He, however, remained standing behind Ciel. The only times he sat in his masters presence was when they were traveling. It was unbecoming of a servant to do so. "The symbol you both carry. It is from one of the origonal families who enable our speices to survive." Sebastian supplied, having just gone over this with his master. The book, itself, in his masters bedchamber. In case Ciel wanted him to stay the night thru again. Even though he had no real clue before, it didn't mean he hadn't been trying to figure it out. Sebastian smirked, "You will be sure to keep your pistol on hand, master?" He asked. "I will be sure to drag him to you, if I must." One part of their deal was that Ciel wanted to complete his revenge himself. That ment killing the one(s) who tormented himself. "I will be happy to line them up for you." He purred. While they would have some talking afterward, the close end of their contract was thilling. After 3 years, they were approching the final showdown.
"Though, I am curious. You seem to have done your reseaarch on my master. Other than torchureing him, did any of the families involved have any ties to my masters family?" Part of their deal was to find out why his parents were killed and his home burnt, and who did it.
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