The Butler, In Vain (その執事、無駄に, Sono Shitsuji, Muda Ni) is Chapter 55 of the Kuroshitsuji manga.
Sebastian Michaelis notes that the "situation has become unpleasant". Ciel Phantomhive denounces "unpleasant" as an understatement and says that even one Bizarre Doll is troublesome enough to imagine ten times of them. In various locations, the Bizarre Dolls proceed to wreak havoc, murdering passengers.
Meanwhile, in the communications room, an employee receives a warning signal from a preceding ship and hurries to tell the captain before being killed by a Bizarre Doll.
Back in the stern freight storage, they summarize that the ship is being infested by a horde of dangerous Bizarre Dolls. Ciel orders Sebastian to take his aunt and the others to a safe place and to come back soon after he has accomplished his task. As Sebastian takes his leave, Ciel turns back to Rian Stoker, who is being restricted by a snake. He points a gun at Rian threateningly and demands for another method to kill the Bizarre Dolls besides smashing their heads, including that he is not very patient as of now for Rian to hesitate in disclosing the information. Rian says that there is one other way, a device that omits supersonic waves, rendering all patients subjected to the complete salvation inactive again. He informs that the device is in his room, in first class. Ciel orders him to take him there, prominently pointing his gun, and they make their way to the freight elevator in the boiler room in order to go upstairs.
Ciel asks how he makes the corpses move, and Rian responds with a lengthy explanation of implanting a special device into the brain of the deceased to generate a weak electric current in order for signals to be sent to the rest of the body. Ciel intervenes and changes his question from resuscitating them to what Rian is planning to do by sending these samples to America. Rian refuses to answer and Ciel threatens to shoot him. Rian quickly points out that, if he is dead, the device would be useless. Ciel agrees and says it is bothersome, but they will resort to smashing the Bizarre Dolls' heads. Rian, in an attempt to save his life, confesses that a certain company named Osiris bought the Aurora Society's complete salvation technology in order to develop a new drug. Ciel contemplates that the company is probably fraudulent, a dummy created to make the deal. He decides to investigate when they reach land, but if it is irrelevant to the Queen then it has nothing to do with him.
The group enters the turbine engine room, followed by Ciel ordering Snake to remove his snake off of Rian in order to pose as his comrades. Snake obliges and Rian poses as a Phoenix to a suspicious employee in order to use the elevator. Snake, Ciel, and Elizabeth Midford are forced to do the Phoenix pose as well, much to Ciel's embarrassment. They are led to the elevator.
In the elevator hall, Francis Midford is found battling against the Bizarre Dolls. She stabs a Bizarre Doll through its chest and is surprised when it continues attacking nonetheless. Sebastian destroys the Bizarre Doll and informs Francis that the only way of stopping them is to smash their heads. They fight back to back against the Bizarre Dolls and, after realizing what Sebastian said is true, she compensates by excusing his slovenly face and hairstyle. Her husband and son rush in, and Edward Midford asks where Elizabeth is. Sebastian says that she is with his young master. Alexis Leon Midford and Francis are relieved, since they believe that Ciel would protect her at all costs. Sebastian continues to say that he is under orders from Elizabeth and Ciel to escort them to safety, which Alexis interrupts, saying that would be impossible. Edward and Alexis unsheathe their swords, claiming they are English knights, and they will not abandon their people and run. They both then look over at Francis for approval, which she gives.
Sebastian, unable to change their minds, wishes for their safety. Edward tells him to tell Ciel that, if anything happens to his sister Elizabeth, he will not forgive him. Sebastian assures him that he would tell Ciel and runs off.
Ronald Knox is at the third class passengers' dining hall, verifying the dead in his book and collecting their souls. He then complains how he is tired and sick of this, saying he is already so busy.
On the lookout, two employees are oblivious to the invasion of Bizarre Dolls, dismissing the unusual noise going on as a bunch of drunkards. They then notice that the ship is approaching treacherous, huge icebergs. They demand why the other ship has not warned them yet and cry for the captain, but receive no answer.
In the wheelhouse, the captain and sailors lie dead, murdered by Bizarre Dolls.
The lookout employees desperately ask why the captain is not answering. They panic as the ship approaches the icebergs. Ronald Knox, standing by a distance, watches the icebergs. He sighs and complains how "the guys in management are really asking for the impossible", as in how could so many souls be collected at a time when there are only two Grim Reapers appointed for the job.
Standing on the icebergs is a mysterious person, saying if the ship rams into it, it will break. The ship is shown crashing into the icebergs, and the person jumps from his position and beheads some passengers on the ship with his Scythe. He then compares the incident to a "big guilt trip of death". The person is revealed to be Grell Sutcliff, the other Reaper assigned.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Sebastian Michaelis
- Rian Stoker
- Ciel Phantomhive
- Elizabeth Midford
- Sophie Smith
- Francis Midford
- Alexis Leon Midford
- Margaret Connor
- Edward Midford
- Ronald Knox
- Grell Sutcliff