The Butler, In the Fray (その執事、乱闘, Sono Shitsuji, Rantō) is Chapter 53 of the Kuroshitsuji manga.
Sebastian Michaelis and Ciel Phantomhive are perplexed and bemused by the revived corpse, Margaret Connor. Sebastian contemplates about the corpse, certain that he has stabbed her through the heart, and says that it is a being who he does not understand. Ciel says that he has not expected Lau's story of "The Aurora Society's reviving the dead may not be occult" to be true. Rian Stoker is found cursing that his experiment has failed. He subsequently orders his men to eradicate the corpse, which they respond by shooting at Margaret. The bullets pierce through her, which proves ineffectual as she proceeds to kill the men who shot the bullets. After attacking one man, Rian is terrified and curses his men as useless, and promptly runs away.
Ciel, appalled, is about to chase Rian, but Sebastian stops him and suggests dismembering Margaret so she will not be able to move. Ronald Knox appears and informs the duo that "these guys can't be killed unless you smash in their heads", advancing to demonstrate by smashing Margaret's head with his Death Scythe. Ronald proceeds to lecture them to pay more attention to important things. He reaps the soul of Margaret's mother, Susannah Connor, causing her Cinematic Record to begin playing, briefly displaying her childhood. Ciel realizes Ronald is a Grim Reaper, due to his previous knowledge about Grelle Sutcliff, another Reaper. Ronald notices Sebastian's outfit and asks if he is the rumored "Sebas-chan", which is the nickname Grelle has labeled Sebastian with. Sebastian responds, saying that, although he has a strong aversion to that name, he is indeed Sebastian Michaelis, the Phantomhive family butler.
The conversation progresses after Ronald introduces himself and claims he is here to investigate about the corpses and their souls, saying he knows no specific details about it. He goes on to say that he has received Margaret's soul two weeks ago, so he is confounded to see her corpse moving once again. Ciel muses that the corpses are not revived then; they are only able to move. Sebastian notes that Ronald only knows about stopping their movements i.e., smashing their heads and not particularly killing them. Hearing this, Ciel concludes that their only option is to pry information out of Rian, and they both attempt to depart.
However, Ronald Knox suddenly attacks, and Sebastian quickly blocks the Death Scythe, thus protecting Ciel. Ronald says that, if the administration hears about a demon being on board, loose and unstopped, he would be falsely accused of allowing it to snatch all the souls, since demons have a notorious reputation of doing so. He suggests Sebastian to just vanish. Ciel, on the other hand, continues, telling Sebastian that, when he is done "playing", he will catch up with him.
Ronald, distracted, points out that Ciel is nasty for simply leaving and implies that kids nowadays are impertinent. Sebastian seizes the opportunity of Ronald's inattentiveness to kick him, which Ronald managed to narrowly dodge. As the battle drags on, Ronald is able to destroy Sebastian's knives with his Death Scythe, earning a praise from Sebastian of how impeccably sharp Grim Reapers' Death Scythes are. Ronald agrees and manages to cut his opponent's cheek with a knife, much to Sebastian's surprise. Ronald says the Reapers' obsession with their death scythes is overrated and restates how kids these days are really nasty.
Meanwhile, Ciel is shown running down the stairs with a gun, in pursuit of Rian Stoker. A mysterious hand taps Ciel's shoulder and he whirls around, pointing his gun, to realize the hand belongs to Elizabeth Midford. She pouts about how he almost shot his own fiancée. She initially explains that she was following him and tries to give him the cake she promised to deliver. Ciel claps a hand over her mouth, shushing her, and says that he cannot fuss with her at the moment, telling her to go back to Francis Midford. He runs off, while Elizabeth, afraid of being alone, calls for him.
Ciel proceeds to the bottom freight storage of the ship with a lamp. He notices a bulge in the darkness and points his light at it, demanding to know who it is, which is revealed to be Snake. Snake cringes and says it is too bright while Ciel asks why he is down here. Snake explains that he thought the food is scrumptious, so he thought he would share it with everyone, referring to his snakes.
Suddenly, Elizabeth appears, distressed and begging Ciel not to leave her. Ciel scolds her, telling her to go back up and she counters, saying she wants him to eat the cake she brought. Elizabeth hands over the plate to find it abruptly empty, although it had a piece of cake on it a moment ago.
A Bizarre Doll is found behind her, his mouth covered with traces of the cake, and attempts to bite Elizabeth. Ciel quickly grabs her, pulling her away from the danger. The light from his lamp shines on the corpse to reveal the Aurora Society's mark on it. Ciel is shocked that Rian has revived yet another corpse into a bizarre doll. He then tells Snake to take care of Elizabeth while he deals with the Bizarre Doll. Snake, however, points and says that the "bird mark... there's more over there." His statement proved true, as dozens of coffins are lined up, all with the Aurora Society's mark engraved on the front. The coffins begin moving, arousing a sense of adversity.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Ciel Phantomhive
- Sebastian Michaelis
- Margaret Connor
- Rian Stoker
- Ronald Knox
- Elizabeth Midford