The Butler, Startled (その執事、驚き, Sono Shitsuji, Odoroki) is Chapter 39 of the Kuroshitsuji manga.
Ciel Phantomhive is speaking on the phone to an unseen individual about German affairs, with his manner apparently reminding the other speaker of Ciel's father, Vincent Phantomhive. As he hangs up the phone, Sebastian Michaelis arrives to inform him that it looks like rain. In the kitchen, the other servants discuss the rain when Sebastian arrives to tell them that the party is still on and that they need to be careful not to mess things up.
At the party, Ciel's guest, the unnamed writer, wonders why he is present around such wealthy and powerful individuals. As he worries, he accidentally runs into Ran-Mao and is introduced to both her and Lau. He asks if they are actors, and explains that he is a lowly writer who has never even met Earl Ciel Phantomhive. Lau says that it is impossible to know what that "moody guy" is thinking, but that something interesting is bound to happen, which puzzles the writer.
As Lau taunts the writer, who crafts up an interesting image of Ciel, Ciel arrives and the writer is surprised to learn that he is just a child. Ciel then notes that the guest of honor has not arrived yet, and shortly after, he does, revealing himself to be Georg von Siemens. After his arrival, Karl Woodley, Patrick Phelps, Ciel, and Charles Grey begin discussing business and enterprise. Lau introduces himself to them, which seems to shock Patrick. Afterward, Ran-Mao begins pressing her bosom into Georg, who does not seem to know what to make of her.
Afterward, everyone introduces themselves, except for the writer. Grey suggests that they have a toast. The writer, apparently feeling ignored, goes off to sit alone when Sebastian brings him a drink. He thinks to himself that Sebastian is quite beautiful, and thinks that high-class people must have high-class servants. As he wonders why he is there, Ciel sits down next to him. The writer, now introduced as Arthur Conan Doyle, asks why Ciel invited him, and he states that he had read Arthur's work. They discuss writing, which attracts Grimsby Keane into their conversation.
However, they are quickly interrupted by Irene Diaz's screams, as Georg has apparently been groping her. Georg grabs her again, prompting her to slap him, and he retaliates by throwing his drink on her, though Ciel intervenes and is hit instead. He then reprimands them both for their behavior. However, Grimbsy is quite upset and goes to throw a bottle of wine at Georg, but Sebastian prevents it from hitting him. He then uses the wine to fill a tower of glasses. The guests calm down as they enjoy the wine, while Sebastian and Ciel discuss the activities in French.
Ciel worries that Georg is going to be a repeat offender, and Sebastian comments that Georg has little restraint, wondering whether he is a fool or just shameless. Arthur, however, understands their conversation and begins to laugh until Ciel shushes him. They then notice that Georg has passed out, and Sebastian carries him to his room.
After the party, the servants begin cleaning up, while Georg calls for their attention. Mey-Rin is afraid to approach him alone, so Sebastian agrees to go with her because he is worried about how intoxicated Georg had become. They approach his room when they hear a loud scream, which attracts the attention of all the guests, and break down the door to get in. Inside, Georg had apparently been murdered, and Arthur comments that they could not have imagined that his death was a prelude of things to come.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Ciel Phantomhive
- Sebastian Michaelis
- Charles Grey
- Arthur Conan Doyle
- Grimsby Keane
- Irene Diaz
- Karl Woodley
- Patrick Phelps
- Georg von Siemens