Sebastian and Finnie searched everywhere they could, sneaking around all of Druitt’s manners and facilities. After days of this searching, they grew tired and fearful of the lack of success. Both of them bore dark bags under their eyes and their hair was getting less straight and more crazed. Even their clothes were starting to wear and tear from sneaking in window after window, hiding in bush after bush. “What are we going to do now?” the gardener asked as the butler looked down at him in the orange and yellow light of the late evening.
Just before the demon could answer, a twig snapping caught his attention as a form came out of the trees in front of them. It was the form of a girl with a long black tail coat, a black tie under a purple clip, and brown hair falling over golden brown eyes. Sebastian sneered at the teenage girl. “Go away!”
Angel looked up at him after beating the leaves and dirt from her arms. “Sebastian, you have to come with me to the Trancy manner.” she informed urgently.
“Why would we do that?” Finnie asked, curious, but just as skeptical as Sebastian.
“Justine’s there.” This caught the males’ attention, so she continued. “My dad had her the whole time since you searched the first Druitt manner, the one where you needed me to be bait.” she explained as the two listened carefully.
When the explanation was finished, Sebastian sighed with an edge to his voice. “So, you mean to say that Justine has been with you this whole time?” She nodded.
Finnie bit his lip in thought. “Let me get this straight.” he stated, clutching his head to relieve an oncoming headache. “So, Justine was kidnapped by Druitt, but then turned into a cat and taken to the Trancy Estate, where she’s been ever since?”
Angel again nodded. “The only problem is that, when my dad took her in the garden, I lost sight of where he took her specifically.” she stated as she started to lead them to the estate. “We’d need to search the gardens, without my dad or young master finding out, of course.”
As the three came up to the manner, Angel looked around in the shadows of the nightly hour before turning to the men. “All clear.” she whispered before she jumped out of her skin and her dog ears, tail, and even half folded, white wings popped out for only a second. Someone jumped right in her path.
Seeing it was only Timber, she mindlessly folded her wings and smoothed her ears and tail in her hair and coat before smacking the triplet. “What are you doing here?” she asked. “And why did you have to scare me like that?!”
“I heard you coming back with Sebastian.” he stated, crossing his arms.
After a second, something hit the teen like a ton of bricks. “…Where are Thompson and Canterbury?”
“Thompson is talking Claude’s ear off in the kitchen, and Canterbury is insisting on the master’s help on deciding the new interior design.” Timber answered. “As for what I’m doing here,” He reached in his breast pocket of his vest and pulled out a shining golden key. “…I saw Claude lock up that cat in our shed.”
Hearing this, Sebastian widened his eyes in shock, confusion, and a hint of anger. “Why didn’t you set her free when you had the chance?”
“Same reason you three are sneaking around.” was the triplet’s answer. “If I opened the shed directly after Claude locked it, he would’ve heard the lack in cries, and know it was me and my brothers instantly, the young master would know that something was wrong, Claude would tell him that his backup plan to making you miserable was failing, then my brothers and I would all face the Demon Sword.”
The crow demon simply slumped and hung his head on his lean neck tiredly. “…Why is it this kid’s goal in life to make me miserable?” he asked no one in particular. He sighed to himself, regaining his scrap of composure left, before looking up at Timber. “You are willing to show us your shed?” The purple haired demon nodded as he started to walk in the direction.
When they got to the shed, Timber unlocked the door and opened it wide. Inside the small wooden shed were…only tools. Finnie looked behind the tools, calling Justine’s name, but Sebastian growled and took the triplet’s shirt in his fist. “You think this is funny?” he growled as his shadow grew larger and in defiant in shape.
“No!” Timber shouted in defense. “I promise I saw Claude lock her in here!”
Angel looked down at her feet and noticed something odd. She knelt down to the soil and placed her hand in the deep hole at the base of the doorway. That must be what happened, she thought to herself as she quickly turned into a full dog and sniffed the hole. …chocolate and catnip? Yup, that’s Justine alright.
“Guys, I found something!” she shouted but was ignored as Sebastian pulled his fist back that was aimed for Timber’s face. Thinking quickly, the dog bit in the demon’s pants sleeve and pulled the leg just enough for Sebastian to slip and stumble on a box. “I have Justine’s scent!”
Finnie looked at Angel confusingly. “…How is it she could talk, but Pluto couldn’t?”
Sebastian clutched his head and made a sound that was a mixture between a sigh and a groan, trying to think of a way to explain the complex concept for his simple, human brain. “Pluto was a demon hound, which are born as canines and gain the ability to turn human as time progresses. Angel, however, is a dog demon, which is just like other demons, but her default form is a dog much like mine is a crow, Justine’s is a cat, and Claude’s is a spider.”
Angel tugged on Sebastian’s pants again, but much less forceful, to gain everyone’s attention. “This is a great lesson and all, but I have the scent, and it’s not going to be long before Thompson and Canterbury can’t distract my dad and master anymore. Are we here to find Justine, or learn Demons 101?”
The three nodded before they followed the dog. “You know, Timber,” she called back as she followed her scent trail. “I think we can take it from here. You go and check on your brothers, especially Thompson. Make sure my dad does NOT find us!” The demon nodded and ran back to the manner.
Angel, Finnie, and Sebastian followed the trail a little further before the dog saw something very distinct and familiar, a skull. She sniffed the skull again before turning to the men. “I think I know where she went.” she stated.
“Where?” Finnie asked.
“A while back, before our dads even knew we were friends, we had a clubhouse in the middle of the woods between the Trancy manner and Phantomhives.” she explained quickly. “The path was built with skulls and bones, and we even put up amulets so no one would follow us, namely you and my dad.” she stated to the crow demon as she moved the bushes a little to reveal the amulet shaped like a dog’s head hanging from a branch. Angel looked up and nearly met Sebastian’s red glare before averting her eyes to the ground with a cough, desperate to change the subject. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on humans, but since the only human in this manner is Alois, that was never really a problem for me.”
“If the amulets don’t let demons pass,” Finnie started, trying to connect the dots. “Then how is it you and Justine can? Aren’t you both demons?”
“We both put a few drops of our blood on each amulet so it would let us in at either entrance.” she explained. “Unless their blood ended up on the amulet, no demon, neither reaper nor angel could follow us.”
“Why would she go there?” the gardener asked, truly curious.
Sebastian took another look at the amulet and furrowed his brows. “It’s a guarantee that she will be safe from Claude, especially because of the supernatural protection on this path. Even I never detected the path from either side before.” he explained as he removed his glove, bit his finger hard enough to draw blood, and attempted to drop the red liquid on the amulet when it rejected him altogether and zapped him back a good few yards.
The zap alerted Claude as the spider demon dropped his activity and hurried from the kitchen to the garden. “Uh, I think I heard the master call for you!” Thompson shouted, trying to keep his attention.
“I didn’t hear the master.” the butler responded as he opened the door and started outside.
Seeing light pour out the door, Angel quickly snatched the amulet and presented it to Sebastian. “Come on, it should work now that it’s been moved from its place.” she insisted.
Sebastian looked back with widened eyes and tense muscles before quickly squeezing out a few drops of blood on the stringed stone. Just when Angel returned it to the branch it originally hung on, Claude turned the corner and saw them as Thompson and Timber both tried to pull him back. The dog watched tensely as the glow started to fade, knowing it wouldn’t accept the new blood until its supernatural shine was gone. “Come on! Come on! Come on!” she hurried. The second the light faded, she dragged Sebastian and Finnie on the path just before Claude could snatch the gardener’s hat. When the spider demon tried to follow, he was zapped in exile from the woods and thrown many yards back.
When Claude walked away with a huff, Sebastian looked at Angel, now returning to her human form and giving the two room to follow the path ahead of her. “…My blood will stay on that amulet for the rest of its existence, you know that?”
“Yes.” she answered as they made their way down the river of bones.
“…Why help me in?” he asked. “What do you have to gain in helping me at all rather than turning me into your father or helping him find Justine?”
Angel grabbed his shoulder to turn him around as the demons paused in their hike; she looked him dead in the eye. “You’re a smart demon, Sebastian,” she sighed as she stepped around him on the thin path. “what are dogs good for if not loyalty to those deserving of it?” The crow was silent as he followed the dog and the gardener. “Let me tell you something, boys, the moment Justine and I found out that our families were enemies, we promised to stay loyal to each other. I promised I’d stand by her, and her me, and I still honor that word now more than ever.”
“But, how is helping us being loyal to her?” Finnie asked as the three continued down the path of skulls and bones.
“Simple.” Angel shrugged as they approached the old club house and Finnie stopped in admiration, allowing the teen girl to slip ahead of him. “If I just found her, then my dad could easily get his webs on her. But, if I found her for you,” she stopped to open the door for the two newcomers, where they found a small figure breathing lightly under a blanket.
Now stirred from the sound of the door the small figure used her tiny paws to rub her eyes and looked up at the frame. Seeing the tall butler, the green eyes of the cat widened in pure joy. “Daddy!” she cried as she ran up to the three and leaped into Sebastian’s arms, snuggling up against him as he fully squeezed her back, making it difficult for Finnie to even scratch her behind the ears.
“Justine!” Sebastian called back in flooding relief as he continuously kissed the top of her black, hairy head and around her small, furry face. “My little kitten.”
Angel smiled at the scene before her as she continued her thought for no one in particular. “…I’d know she’d be in good, safe hands.” She knew the two weren’t paying attention to her, but she just wanted to hear herself finish the sentence aloud.