It made Ciel feel only slightly better to know the demon's words were mere custom and nothing else, but not enough to ease his fears. It was still unclear whether Sebastian could win against this beast or not and, if he did win, how much damage he would sustain. Could Sebastian really protect his master and himself? The small earl wasn't too sure what to make of that, though it was probably best not to dwell on it. He'd keep himself up all night if that train of thought continued.
Ciel scoffed a little bit at his butler's request to sleep, looking down at the book in his lap. [+blue "You think I'll be able to fall into a peaceful slumber after seeing what this creature can do?"] With those images in his mind, the boy imagined he'd be lucky if he even got a couple hours of sleep in. It was hard to rest when he knew they were being hunted. [+blue "You really do have lofty ambitions, don't you?"]
He read for another thirty to forty-five minutes, putting the marker in between the pages to pick up again later, and set it on the bedside table before laying down. It was still difficult to sleep, Ciel deciding to watch Sebastian for a while instead.
The demon tilted his head. "It is merely a custom forr us. Rest assured, you will not have to worry about it after this case is closed." The butler looked toward his master. He had cheated death many times over in his life. He was sure he would survive, hopefully in one piece. However, he would wear any new scars with pride. As it would be a testimony to his victory. There was only one thing that planted doubt, and it was that he knew very little about this creature. It made it difficult to trap it or bait it. He did not know how to force it to attack him. All he could do was wait, and he knew that it was waiting for him to hunt it. His King had pretty much wiped out all information about them. The old demons pride wanting no proof of a creature that actually enjoyed to eat them. All he knew was what his mentor told him. He had been too inexperienced to be near them during the end of the war. Demons were not afraid to exaggerate the truth to seem impressive, so what was truth or myth was unclear. Sebastian had never had need of such things though. Anyone doubted him he usually challenged them to a duel.
"We seemed to have been dragged into a continued war, so it seemed appropriate." The demon looked away, "please, do go to sleep." He had hoped the boy would listen. However, his master was rather spoiled....
The demon looked straight ahead, rather pleased with how well he could see the room. His back was against the wall, and he was listening carefully for anything that might try to go through it. He could see the window and door as well as his little master. Finally, he could see what the crows were seeing. They were imbued with his demonic energy. They would be able to go without sleep until he released them. They were a bit faster and stronger. The dark birds watched over the manor like still gargoyales, unmoving or blinking. The butler wanted to see it, he had so many questions. Did it prefer to hunt as itself? He heard a variety of descriptions in the past. How did it move, did it show any aversions to anything? He knew light was a slight weakness. However, it was only because they had poor eye sight. He heard their hearing was excellent. Then the odd question, what did its blood taste like? He made a mental note to find out.
Ciel remained quiet at the news, glancing down at the book that he held open in his lap. It was certainly a problem, their enemy was closing in. It appeared to have caught on to their hellish contract and was out for blood. Right now, however, it appeared to be using scare tactics...maybe to separate them. It had no idea who it was messing with, neither males were fooled so easily. If it wanted a confrontation, it would have to do it face to face and Ciel hoped they could postpone that for at least a day or two until they fully readied themselves.
Heterochromic eyes lifted as Sebastian spoke, saying farewells. Ciel knew it was a rather dark situation but he couldn't allow himself to think that way just yet and neither should Sebastian. It was best to knock it out of him as quickly as possible.
[+blue "Don't speak in such a manner, it sounds like you're giving up,"] the boy stated, narrowing his eyes just faintly. [+blue "Unless you already have. Carry yourself with confidence unless you need me to do that for you. If that's the case, then you may as well leave."]
Sebastian frowned, locking the door tight. "Even if it was another intruder, it is here. 13 of my crows are dead." He disconnected himself from a large portian of them, remaining with only the ones near the manor. He could now see what they saw, hopefully this would make him see what he was up against. Get some hint to a weakness. He locked the window as well.
"If you can, please, get some sleep." The butler skipped over formaities. He needed the young human to listen. "If the worst happens.... I am glad to have served you. It has been most interesting." He dragged a chair to a spot he could see through the door andwindow. It was also fairly close to his masters bed. He was prepared to keep a silent vigil though the night.
Ciel nodded at his butler's request to retire, watching as he moved into the trashed room and snuffed out the flickering light. He didn't doubt Sebastian's ability to repair the damage done to the study but he did worry a bit about what had been there...or if it was still there. He was half expecting something to leap out at his butler when he entered the room but let out a little sigh of relief as he came back unscathed and secured the door shut.
Slowly he and Sebastian moved down the hall to his bedroom, leaving the demon behind him to secure the door and whatever else he felt he needed to. Normally the boy would find such behavior an overreaction but he had seen the post mortum photographs. This thing was vicious, lethal. It could take him out as easily as Ciel could pick up a book.
There were no such things as overreactions tonight.
Ciel crawled into his bed after snagging his book from the table, leaning back a little with the candle nearby to do some reading. Before he opened the book, however, he lifted his gaze to his butler. [+blue "Do you think it's still here, if it was one of those things in the first place?"] he asked quietly.
"Very good, sir. I will clean this up tomorrow and have the letters out on time." He promised. He would have to move a bit faster, but the other humans in the building wouldn't question it. They knew better. He would be in for a long, boring night. He would just read his masters books or something. "If it would please you, young master, we should retire..." he swiftly snuffed the flame from where he stood. It wouldn't do to start a fire, he mentally scolded himself for such neglilence. He could certainly not let that happen again. The room was left in darkness and he shut the door. He was determined to not let his master in there tonight. Who knew if the thing was still in there? He had to tell himself, again, his master was highest priority. And the child was in just as much danger without the demon, as he would be with him. The butler would try to drag the creature away once it showed itself. Until then, he wasn't sure if he could leave the boy alone. He paled as suddenly he felt several of the birds he was currently connected to die. No matter how old he got, it still remained an unpleasant feeling. He hoped the creature was just throwing a tantrum, and not trying to draw him out. He debated on telling the boy to order him to stay, but if it attacked in the night he wouldn't be able to carry out his plan to take the fight elsewhere.
What if he had been in there? Would Sebastian's birds really have been able to protect him? He didn't like to think of that outcome as he was sure it ended with him lying face down on the floor and Sebastian gone. He couldn't die now, he still had far too much to take care of. Ciel didn't doubt that Sebastian would do his very best to protect himself and his master but he couldn't help but wonder if this creature was too much for the demon to handle.
It was still too early to tell.
Bright eyes looked back over at his butler, observing him quietly for a moment. It was a strange request, indeed, as the only times Sebastian stayed in his master's room was at the boy's request. It didn't happen very often and the demon was never there for long. What would his butler do all night?
Ciel supposed it was his problem to figure out now.
[+blue "Very well,"] Ciel agreed, folding his arms loosely over his chest. [+blue "I'd probably feel a bit better if you were there, anyway."]
The demon was there before ciel finished his sentance. He had come at his name, the sight made the demons eyes narrow. He stood there, tense and silent. "It seems to have followed me." He said. He thought about sending the boy away, however the boy had spent so much time around the demon there was bound to be some sort of residue sent on him. He pondered his options. "Young master.." he tilted his head. This was certainly going to sound very weird. "May I stay in your room tonight?" His gaze turned to his master. He was not going to be baited into hunting and leaving his little lord defenceless. He may be naturally agressive, but he was not completely stupid. Having never been up against one, put him in a rather terrible situation.
Ciel relaxed into the water as soon as he was placed in it, letting out a soft and content sigh. Relaxing baths were easily his favorite thing, there was no annoying staff to bother him and nothing pressing to think about. It was just him and the quiet. He could easily stay in there for hours if the water didn't grow cold so quickly . As always, his butler stood nearby but at enough of a distance in order to give the boy some privacy.
Too bad baths couldn't last forever.
After a while of tranquil thought, he began to clean himself and wash his hair. Once finished and the water began to grow cooler, he slowly rose and allowed his butler to dry him off and dress him for the night. Once Sebastian had finished, he stepped into the slippers beside the door and moved down the hallway. A couple noises from inside his study sidetracked him, Ciel stopping at the door to listen carefully. He couldn't tell what it was but imagined maybe the birds had gotten back in. Carefully he opened the door, eyes widening at the sight before him.
The study was in shambles, the window shattered.
He noticed the candle on the desk was low, but still burning. Whatever had gotten in must have thought someone was in the room by the low light, the thought sent a chill up the male's spine.
[+blue "Sebastian....come look at this..."]
Sebastian closed the door that led to the hall. He bowed and left through another door.A few seconds and runnng water could be heard. Sebastian rather enjoied the indoor plumbing system. Humans had come so far in a few short years. He removed his pristene white gloves and dark tail coat while it heated up. Rolling up his sleeves, he plugged the drain. After the tub was full, he returned to his master. "Your bath is ready, sir." He informed. He waited for the boy put the book aside before stepping forward and helping the boy undress. He then scooped him up and carried him to the bathroom. He would never permit his master to walk bare foot across the floor. He was a fragile little human, and could fall ill so easily.
[+blue "You have to have a soul in order for me to wound it,"] Ciel retorted, heading back to his bedroom. This kind of back and forth was quite normal for the two, in fact it was an easy way to tell if something was wrong. Sebastian never passed an opportunity to tease his master, Ciel never missed an opportunity to poke Sebastian. If this banter was nonexistent, there was a gigantic problem with one or both of them.
The boy stepped into the large room just outside of his bedchamber, sitting down in one of the comfortable chairs beside his fireplace near the window. Slowly he picked up the book that he had been reading the night before which his butler had carefully placed back into its original home, and opened the pages to where he had marked it.
[+blue "Very well, Sebastian,"] he responded, turning his eyes towards the cream-colored pages. Hopefully he could finish another chapter before his butler returned.
The demon feigned offence. "My lord, I'm wounded." The butler led the way to his masters bedrom. The birds had said there had been an odd noise from the window. They was noththing though. Sebastian worried that the creature might have tracked him to the manor. He had been at the crime sene long enough to make quite the sent trail. These things were just as good at tracking as any demon. He frowned, he'd rsther be up against one of his own. At least he knew what to expect. He had thought about finding and warning other demons in London, however his pride stopped him. He wanted to kill this creature. Perhaps he could learn sonething from this fight. And his rank at home was sure to go up if he succeded. Who could say no to such an opportunity?
Reaching the room, sebastian opened the door. "Young master, if you will wait but a moment I will draw the bath." He said, following behind the boy and into the room.
Ciel was still facing the window when Sebastian suddenly knocked on the door, startling the boy and causing him to jump. His heart felt as if it were about to leap from his chest for a few moments before it finally settled and he let out a heavy sigh. Damn demon.
He turned, nodding faintly to Sebastian's request for a bath while focusing to get his heart rate back to normal. Why had he been so jumpy? Were all these birds making him nervous or was it the unexplained tapping at the window? Could it be the case....or maybe it was all of those things combined. Whatever it was, he didn't care for the way he was feeling and desperately wanted it to stop. Perhaps after a time it would.
A soft huff fell from his chest at the bird's occurrence, narrowing his eyes at it before turning away and moving towards his butler to exit the room. Of course the damn demon found it amusing, anything that brought Ciel discomfort usually did. One day he would find a way to pay back Sebastian for all of this.
[+blue "I hope you starve to death before you claim my soul,"] Ciel mumbled in passing, moving down the hallway to the bathroom. [+blue "It'll serve you right."]
Sebastian finished up his evening duties and then went to fetch his master. The demon knocked on the door. "Young master, it is time to retire." He was planing for his master to take a bath. He opened the door, the two crows were still in the same spot. One male cawed in hreeting to the butler, who nodded in return. Any animosity the butler had toward it earlier seemed to have vanished. "If you are finished I would be happy to draw you a bath, sir." He said, looking to the boy. The male flew over to Sebastian and perched on his shoulder. After a moment, sebastian frown. "He will be fine with me, do you two mind investigating?" He went over to the window and let them out. Before the female left she flew to ciel and perched on him. She groomed him for a moment then took off before she could get swatted at. Sebastian covered his mouth to hide a snicker.
"It seems young master has made a friend." He shut the window amd locked it.
[+blue "Very well, then go."] Ciel narrowed his eyes at his butler again and kept them that way until the butler left. He sighed again once he was (somewhat) alone, sitting down in his chair and looking over the papers. He only had two small piles left, certainly able to be finished by the time he needed to head off to sleep. He was grateful for that as last night's episode left him rather exhausted.
Ciel pulled the first pile closer to him, grabbing his quill and beginning to finish the reports that were due. These were perhaps the most tedious and time consuming task, taking most of his evening to finish. Once he was done, he carefully folded the papers and put them into the appropriate envelops before wax sealing each one. The last small pile was a list of event invitations, the earl carefully sorting through them to decide which ones would be the least hellish to go to. He hated social gatherings and preferred to stay at home but his butler didn't allow him to get away with it too often. He had an image to uphold and was expected to be seen at such events.
Just as he finished the last RSVP and set the quill down, a soft tap at the window caught his attention. [+blue "Blasted birds,"] he mumbled, not looking at the window. If this was going to continue all night, Sebastian was certainly going to hear about it. It wasn't until the fourth or fifth tap did the bright eyes narrow, Ciel rising from his chair, and moved towards the window. Much to his surprise, there was nothing there. He slowly opened the window to get a better look, not seeing anything other than the birds. Figuring it must have flown away, he sighed quietly and stood up straighter before closing the window.
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