The Butler, Cogitating (その執事、着想, Sono Shitsuji, Chakusō) is Chapter 20 of the Kuroshitsuji manga.
Sebastian is found to be cooking curry in the kitchen of the Phantomhive manor early in the morning. The other Phantomhive servants compliment his cooking skills and are sure his first attempt will win the competition.
However, when Soma tastes, he says it is disgusting. It turns out the problem is that Sebastian used curry powder, which contains already ground spices, rather than selecting the spices himself. Ciel and Soma are ready to give up until they remember that a president of a trading company is dining with them ‒ Lau. In just two days, they have the finest selection of spices at their manor. Ciel says this is the only time Lau is useful, while Lau says it is never a bad time to do Ciel a favor.
In two hours, Sebastian has a second curry attempt already completed, much to Soma's shock, although Sebastian apologizes for taking so long. Soma says it is not quite right and begins to get upset about his inability to help.
Sebastian, however, insists that he can be of use, bringing him to the kitchen where a wide variety of curries were prepared. He requests that Soma taste them all and select the ones that best match Agni's curry. He manages to find one that reminds him of Agni's, but is missing a vague quality that Soma has difficulty specifying.
Ciel comes down to the kitchen and requests that Sebastian make him chocolate cake for a snack. Out in the hall, Lau comments that this request seems to indicate that he would like Sebastian to lose. Ciel says it would be more interesting if he did, and Lau calls him a bully.
Sebastian quickly makes another curry, feeding it to an already overstuffed Soma, Baldroy, Mey-Rin, and Finnian. Sebastian further ponders finding an additional ingredient to add substance to the curry without ruining the taste when he finds something that surprises him.
The next morning, Sebastian feeds Soma another curry, which Soma says is not a copy of Agni's curry, but is a British take on an Indian food. He says it is delicious and competition-worthy and asks what the secret is. Sebastian reveals that the extra ingredient is chocolate, which he thought of using thanks to Ciel's request for a chocolate cake, much to Ciel's chagrin.
In Harold West Jeb's home, Agni is also making curry and West reveals that most of the competition has pulled out of the contest, but a toy company has decided to compete. Agni is worried, but West says no one can beat them. At the London town manor, Ciel says a similar thing, stating that replicating is not the same thing as winning. Sebastian is not worried, and Lau questions if he has a secret plan. Sebastian says he does, and Ciel questions if he is lying. Sebastian confirms that, on his name as a butler of the Phantomhive family, his company will certainly win the Royal Warrant.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Sebastian Michaelis
- Soma Asman Kadar
- Ciel Phantomhive
- Harold West Jeb