(Featured image base by: kk6646)
Just as Claude predicted, Alois wasn’t happy at all about the eight unexpected guests, though the boy Earl tried to put on a masquerade for them. The moment the young boy was alone, however, his smile was stripped from his face. “…Claude! How much longer must I continue this nonsense?!”
“It shouldn’t be too much longer.” the butler answered, giving the boy his tea. “I heard Angel talking with her friends of the Phantomhive manner that they plan to ask a Grim Reaper to send all the guests on their way.”
“That mutt of yours is dating a reaper, is she not?” he asked. “Can’t she just get him to do it NOW?!”
The butler shook his head. “I’m afraid Mr. Knox isn’t skilled in that area of expertise. Sebastian’s daughter’s mother, however, is.”
“You mean that Ginger tranny?” Claude gave a simple nod. Alois groaned. “First you force me to take on that mutt you call a daughter, then you make me take in that angel maid, now you refuse to get these extra lunatics out of my mansion!”
“Ciel and Christi have the same number of guests.” Claude reminded. “Or are you saying that you cannot handle what the Phantomhives can?”
The master glared at him before gaining an idea. “I’ll just pay my sweet fiancé a visit~ That should lighten my spirits. Come on Claude!” Without another word, the two were gone.
Christi was laying on her bed with Venice, just talking and giggling like little girls do, when there was a knock on the door. “My Lady,” called the teen butler. “you have a visitor from the Trancy Manor. Shall I send him away?”
Christi groaned as she made her way over and sighed, “No, just let him in. I guess I should give him a lick of a chance to ‘sweep me off my feet’…like it’ll ever happen…”
As commanded, Justine opened the door for Alois Trancy and Claude. “Hello my sweetheart~” the Trancy boy smiled widely. “I just thought that you could use a good long visit from me~”
Christi only clutched her head. “…And here I thought you were only here to ask for sugar…” she stated sarcastically. “What is it you want?” she asked.
“Do I need a reason to see my beloved?” he asked before turning to Claude. “Leave me. I want to be alone with my betrothed.”
The butler simply bowed with a, “Yes, Your Highness.” before leaving.
Justine glared at the spider before leaning down to her mistress. “Are you sure you even want him here?”
“Alois Trancy is my betrothed, and has been for a good while.” Christi answered with profession beyond her years. “It’s fine. Just check on all the guests and see if they need tending to. With how many there are, that should keep you busy for a while.”
The butleress nodded with a bow. “Yes, my Lady.” the teen stated before she grumbled a full rant under her breath. “I still can’t believe I have to serve my own little sister for nothing in return. Dad should’ve checked her background before signing a contract with a soulless butterfly demon. Why didn’t he look over her background? In fact, why did mom give her up and not tell the two of us? Did he think she wasn’t worth our time? Well news flash mom, the kid you gave up is now our Lady and Mistress for all eternity. This sucks. And, not to mention, Ciel’s her target, and dad and I can’t do a damn thing about it until his contract is fulfilled, which I don’t see that one being fulfilled for another year or so. Even if Christi was human, we couldn’t do a damn thing about her contract. Still, doing all this work for no soul in return is total bullshit. When dad told me she was my responsibility, I thought, ‘Oh, good, so dad get’s Ciel’s full soul, I get Christi’s full soul, we both are happy demons’ but no! Christi had to turn out to be my long-lost little sister, the butterfly demon-reaper hybrid, the second in existence, soul not included. At least she satisfies with human food.” The mistress listened as she left the room, but Christi ignored it and tried to keep a smile for her fiancé, leading him to the garden.
Just as she was ordered Justine checked on every single guest individually, starting with Venice, since she was already in Christi’s bedroom. “Is there anything I can do for you Ms. Venice?” she asked, kneeling down to the little eight-year-old.
“I came in here to see if Christi’s seen Papa and Zio Romano, but she hadn’t, so instead, she started talking with me to help me feel less lonely.” the Italian child confessed. “If it’s not too much trouble, can you help me find Papa? He’s not brave at all, and he worries really easy when I’m not with him.”
Justine bowed to the little girl. “It will be my pleasure to help you find your father. This is a large manner for young guests after all; it’s very easy to be lost. Some say these halls are nothing more, nor less, than a maze.” Seeing that she was doing nothing but scaring the poor girl, the servant stood and took Venice’s hand gently. “We’ll find him.”
The two wandered around for some time before they found Twilight in the library. Remembering her order, Justine entered the room, the little girl with her following closely. “Is there something I can do for you, Mrs. Sparkle?”
Twilight looked up from the book she was reading and smiled. “Hey Justine.” she greeted. “I was just trying to find something that can possibly help us, some form of magic in this world maybe…just a plan B, you know? It’s just in case your mom decides not to help us.”
Justine thought for a moment before she smiled. Leaping in the air, she transformed into a cat and landed on a high shelf on her small, precise paws. She scanned each of the titles of the books before turning back to Twilight. “Heads up!” And just like that, she started tossing various different books down before returning to the ground on two feet. “These should have what you’re looking for, it’s all the knowledge of all supernatural beings we know of.”
“Thank you.” the former pony smiled, already taking the books and starting to read.
The teen nodded and gave her a bow. “If there is anything else, don’t hesitate to ask, Lady Twilight.” With that said, Justine took Venice’s hand again and continued on their way.
Not finding Italy in the hall, Venice suggested they search in the kitchen; Italians can’t live without pasta or pizza. Instead of Italy or even Romano, they found France stirring something at the stove, which peaked the teen’s curiosity. “Do you need help, Mr. France?” she asked.
The blonde turned and shook his head. “Non, not at all.”
“What are you doing?” Venice asked, sniffing the sweet aroma in the air. “Is that some special pasta?”
France chuckled and ruffled the girl’s hair. “Non, petite belle. I’m just showing my gratitude by making a soup from home, the best in my country.” he answered. “I can’t get the same ingredients as the ones from home, but I think it’ll still be good.”
Justine smiled as she smelled the air filled with the spices. “This is really sweet Mr. France, but Bardroy is very protective of his space. There’s a reason he cooks with explosives.”
“Don’t worry Tine!” Bardroy reassured, entering the kitchen with boxes of spices. “He is helping. I gave him permission since he’s a cook to rival Sebastian! I thought that, if he tasted Mr. France’s food, thinking it’s mine, then he’ll get off my back about the kitchen!”
Justine smacked her face at the sound of that. “…There are so many things wrong with your plan…to start off, dad hates food. Second, if he thought that Mr. France’s food was your’s, which he most likely won’t because he knows you, how you cook, and what you cook, then he’d be even more disappointed and more agitated that you won’t be able to recreate the same food after Mr. France is gone.”
“Can we help?!” Venice asked, joyfully jumping with a smile on her face. “Papa and I make apple pie for America every Thanksgiving! All our pies have to be HUMONGOUS for America’s big mouth! Zio Romano says that his mouth is big in more ways than one, but I don’t really understand what he means by that…”
France and Bardroy chuckled. “I think we’ve got it, belle.” the Frenchman answered. “Now, go on. I saw your papa earlier, and he looks more scared than usual.”
Justine nodded and took Venice’s hand again, gently pulling her out of the kitchen. “Let me know if you need help…and beware, my father is very picky on how meals should be made…”
She continued on to the garden, where Cutie and AD were both doing something unknown to the servant. “Stay here, Lady Venice, I’ll be right back.” she requested as she made her way to the two.
“Come on AD!” Cutie stated. “Flying isn’t THAT scary!”
“Aren’t you a little young to start sounding like my mom?” AD questioned.
Cutie giggled and turned to the side. “Come on Finnie! Give us a good start!”
Justine never noticed Finnie in the sidelines until he walked up to them and asked, “Are you sure about this?”
“As sure as my mom’s the Party Pony~!” the young girl answered.
The gardener took in a deep breath and picked up the girl. With one hand, he threw her across the garden, flapping her arms like wings. Justine gasped and ran in the direction the girl was flying, holding her arms open, ready to catch her as she hurried in her path. Before the teen had a chance to catch Cutie, she disappeared in a blur of black. “Please try to keep your feet on the ground, Lady Cutie.” requested a smooth voice. “I understand that you were a pegasus in your homeland, but here, you are without wings. You could’ve easily gotten hurt, which would stain the Phantomhive name.”
“Yes Mr. Sebastian.” the girl stated as the butler smiled and put her back on the ground.
Justine crossed her arms and pouted. “I had it under control.” she complained. “Why do you always have to ruin my fun, dad?”
Sebastian smirked at the teen. “I am your father, therefore, it is my duty to, as you put it, ‘ruin your fun’.” he explained. “Also, if you had it under control, then why was Lady Cutie flying in the air to begin with?”
“That wasn’t my fault!” Justine complained. “Finnie threw her in the air because she wanted to fly! I tried to stop him, but I wasn’t fast enough!” Sebastian only gave her a cold stare, causing the teen to cringe. “…Fine. I take responsibility for Lady Cutie…”
Hearing that, the father smiled. “That’s my girl.”
Glancing over, she saw Venice rushing to the teen, causing her to remember something. “Dad, have you seen Mr. Italy?”
“Not the one who curses a lot, the other one.” she answered.
Sebastian thought for a moment before smiling and nodding. “I saw him with Ms. Naples in the study.” he answered. “He seemed quite worried, so I offered them tea to calm their nerves, then I saw the Young Mistress in the garden with Lord Trancy.”
Justine flattened her face. “…Dad, no one’s around. You don’t have to be so formal with Christi all the damn time.” she huffed.
“Habit.” Sebastian shrugged.
“Yeah, well, you do realize she’s not only our mistress by contract, but your daughter and my sister by blood!” Justine backfired. “So while we’re in public and trying to sell the cheap crap that Christi is the Young Master’s younger sister, then we should treat her like a mistress. But just around the manner?” Sebastian simply looked at the teen as she went on and on. “Around the manner, when no one who thinks she’s a blood Phantomhive is around, be a father! Her contract was for a family, right? ‘Cause her human parents died in factory accidents? So you have every right to be a father to her! Just as much as I have the right to be a sister to her!”
The butler stared at Justine for another minute before turning to the young girl that started to cling to the teen’s clothes. “Your father is worried about you. I suggest you hurry to the study.”
“Thanks, dad.” the teen huffed, dropping her arms from their crossed position over her chest before lightly tugging Venice in the proper direction.
On their way to the study, someone started stomping behind them. “THERE YOU ARE!” called the man following them. “Veniciano and I have been searching this whole fucking maze for you! Do you realize how worried SICK your Papa is?!” He then snatched Venice’s hand and dragged her away. “Seriously! It’s bad enough I have to watch my own daughter, now I have to go on wild goose chases for my niece!”
“Is there something I can do for you, Mr. Romano?” Justine offered in a weak attempt to calm him down as she followed him down the hall.
“No Gratsi!” he shouted over his shoulder. “I’m going back to that room where mio fratello is still worrying!”
Regardless, Justine continued following. When they got to the room, they only saw Naples in the room, worrying in Italy’s place. “Papa! Venice!” she called, running over and hugging her younger cousin. “This mansion seriously is a maze!”
Romano wasn’t very happy to see his daughter, however. “…Naples, where’s Veniciano?”
“He just left.” she answered. “I tried to stop him, convince him to wait just a little longer, but he lost it!”
“Do not worry.” Justine smiled with a little bow. “I will find him. Just please stay in this room so that we don’t just miss each other again.” With that, she left the room and ventured down the hall.
Re passing all the rooms, she asked other guests and servants if they’ve seen Italy, to which none of them recently have. She soon came to Ciel’s desk, the young Earl going through his paperwork, giving his signature, and whatever else was required of him as the Queen’s Guard Dog. “…Young Master,” Justine called, catching the attention of the boy, his single blue eye glancing up at her with annoyance. Not wanting to show disrespect, she bowed low and on a single knee. “My apologies, but I failed to care for one of the guests.” She proceeded to explain the situation.
When the servant was done, Ciel chuckled and sat back in his chair. “Is that all?” he asked with a smirk on his face. “The father in question came here, asking where his daughter was only fifteen minutes ago. I told him I didn’t know, and perhaps she was wandering a little too far from the manner.” he explained. “He then left in a bigger ball of nerves than your own father was when you were kidnapped by the Viscount Druitt.” He then gestured to the window with a perfect view of the front door. In the distance, Italy was running at full speed through the woods, the dust clouds leading to the Trancy manor.