The Butler, Parleying (その執事、交渉, Sono Shitsuji, Kōshō) is Chapter 28 of the Kuroshitsuji manga.
Ciel has been discovered in a restricted area of the circus by Doll, a first-tier member, who protects Ciel by grabbing a nearby snake and reprimanding Snake for having them outside of his tent. Snake apologizes, and Doll leads Ciel away from the restricted area. She reveals that she is actually Freckles, and this is why she helped him.
She questions Ciel about why he had been back there, who claims that he was looking for items to steal. He says he did not actually take anything, and he was afraid of living on the East End again. Doll says it is okay, because he did not steal anything, and because she had done something bad to him earlier by revealing his slave mark. She orders him not to steal anything again, promising to keep it a secret.
Ciel returns to the tent shared by William T. Spears and Sebastian Michaelis, where he questions Sebastian's decision to re-release the snakes even though he knew Ciel was still in the tents. Ciel then begins to discuss what he found in the first-tier members' tents – a piece of paper with his name and brief personal history on it, which included a hallmark and the letter "K". As they begin to speculate what this could all mean, Ciel has a coughing fit and begins to vomit.
Sebastian takes Ciel to see Doctor, who says he suffered from an asthma attack and that he needs to be careful.
Back in the first-tier members' tent, Snake tells Jumbo, Joker, and Peter that Sebastian and Ciel were in their tents. Joker dismisses Snake, and they debate what to do. They decide to consult Father before doing anything.
In the sick tent, Ciel wakes up to find Doll sleeping with him. He calls for Sebastian, telling him to investigate the crest they found and to come get him in the morning. Sebastian takes a moment to tease him, stating he will not tell Elizabeth Midford that he slept with another female.
As Sebastian leaves the tent to get started on his assigned task, William encounters him and questions what he is doing. He refuses to let Sebastian leave the circus, who attempts to make a deal, offering never to eat souls in William's area if he may leave for an hour. William refuses, saying it is a demon's special ability to lure people with sweet words, and Sebastian is forced to find another way to find the information he needs.
In another area of the circus, Joker is preparing to leave to see Father, encountering Beast. Beast says she wants to stop doing the things Father asks of them, asking Joker to leave the circus with her. Joker brushes her off, saying they cannot turn back now, as well as telling her to go to bed.
Sebastian reveals that he was watching, and asks if she is crying. Beast tells him to go away, and Sebastian tells her Joker is cruel for being nice to her, even knowing that he does not return her feelings. He says he knows a way for her to forget her pain and forget Joker.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Ciel Phantomhive
- William T. Spears
- Sebastian Michaelis
- Angelina Dalles
- Rachel Phantomhive
- Elizabeth Midford