The Butler, Knifehand (その執事、手刀, Sono Shitsuji, Tegatana) is Chapter 58 of the Kuroshitsuji manga.
As a young girl, Elizabeth Midford is told by Angelina Dalles that a lady should be weak and cute in front of her lord, and be an innocent, careless girl. They are to maintain a blithe smile and an effervescent disposition. All girls are raised to choose poetry over philosophy, embroidery over cooking, and dance over chess.
However, one distinct feature of Elizabeth that separates her from other girls is that she is adept with the sword. During a jousting match, Charles Phipps asks if the person jousting dexterously is Edward Midford, who is rumored to be a genius with the sword. Charles Grey corrects him, saying that the genius is Elizabeth. Although she won, she is sad after the match, for she was not waltzing in the halls like other girls but rather fighting.
Next, a younger Ciel Phantomhive falls down after jousting with Francis Midford. The latter reprimands him, stating that his footwork is weak. After she leaves, Ciel notes that Francis is pretty but such a strong wife, which scares him. Ciel then says that he is glad that Elizabeth is going to be his wife. Elizabeth is seemingly uncomfortable with the fact that Ciel is scared of strong wives. Elizabeth then decides that she would become a wife whom Ciel, her fiancé who is a year younger, is capable of protecting.
Elizabeth later becomes defiant, refusing to train to fence any further. Francis slaps her and says that, as her daughter who is going to marry into the Phantomhive family, she will not allow her to neglect her training. Elizabeth cries and says that she does not want to practice the sword anymore as it is not cute. Her mother hugs her in return and tells her that she realizes it is hard but it is for Ciel's and her own sake.
Afterwards, Elizabeth is making Ciel's birthday gift, hoping he would like it. She reminiscences how the moment Paula rushed in to tell her about the Phantomhives' deaths, being protected by Ciel was surreal and more like a dream. And that, that dream was never to be accomplished.
She stands forlornly at the Phantomhives' graves, hearing other women gossip about their brutal murders and then abruptly changing the subject as if it is no big deal. She contemplates wearing pitch-black clothes, with her pitch-black feelings for one whole pitch-black month of winter.
Then suddenly, Ciel returns alive with Sebastian Michaelis, that is "a pitch-black butler." Elizabeth hugs him tightly, crying and saying that she cannot believe he is back. Ciel hugs her back, saying he is home, expressionlessly. She is shocked to realize that Ciel has become thinner and shorter than she was and soon realizes that it was not he who has grown shorter, but rather she who grew taller.
At that point, she decides that she would become a wife capable of protecting Ciel rather than vice versa. Later, she discusses how cute her new shoes are with Paula, a reward from her father for winning the match. As Paula dresses her, she asks if Elizabeth has grown taller again and quickly realizes her mistake, saying that she is still cute even if she is tall. Elizabeth decides not to wear her new shoes and chooses the low-heeled ones instead. Elizabeth ponders how Ciel is trying hard to be seen as an adult, with his high heels, while she is trying to smile and walk beside him with childish low heels.
Low-heeled shoes, her mother's teachings, and a sword to protect are the three things her current self is made of. Her flashback ends and she lunges toward Grell Sutcliff with her sword, thinking that she is fine with not being cute as long as she could protect Ciel.
Sebastian blocks her sword with his fingers, telling her to go no further. He then bows and apologizes for having forced a lady to go through so much trouble, adding he has failed as a butler. Sebastian says that he shall take over from here. Grell dismisses the fact that their entrance was ruined and is prepared to continue the fight.
Ciel orders Sebastian to stop, and that the job at hand does not have to do with the Grim Reapers but rather Rian Stoker who holds the crucial information of everything about the Bizarre Dolls. Hearing this, Grell realizes that Rian is the clue to the walking corpses and Ronald shows Rian in his records. Grell then notes that they must make haste, and the Grim Reapers depart through the ceiling, where they came from. Grell blows Sebastian a kiss goodbye, saying that their fight would have to continue another time.
The butler notices that Ciel's leg is swollen. Elizabeth is worried and tells Ciel to climb onto her back. Ciel is shocked and Sebastian tells her that he would handle carrying Ciel. Elizabeth then cries and says that she is a scary girl that Ciel hates. He asks what she means by that, and she reminds him that he used to tell her that he did not want a strong wife. Ciel tells her that that was in the past and that he should be the one apologizing.
Elizabeth asks hopefully if Ciel would still take her as his wife, and whether he hates her. Ciel begins to tell her that he could never hate her but notices Sebastian is a witness of the intimate scene and becomes flustered, saying that they have no time for this right now and should focus on going upstairs. Sebastian tries to stifle a laugh but is amused that even his young master cannot help himself in front of a lady. Ciel tells him to shut up, but remains embarrassed as Sebastian carries him.
On the first class deck, Edward shouts that women and children are to board the safety boats first and yells at the supposed English gentlemen who try to board as well. Elizabeth calls out to him and he embraces her delightfully, relieved that she is safe. He sees her sword and sobers, telling her that it must have been hard for her.
Ciel then apologizes for being useless, in which Edward agrees. He then says that he should save the lecture for later and that the important task is for them to hurry to the boats. Ciel asks for a favor, requesting to let Snake board in replacement of himself. He says that he cannot get on the boat just yet.
Elizabeth cries that, if Ciel is not boarding yet, she would not as well. Sebastian forcefully makes her faint, excusing himself by noting that it would have taken too much time to try to explain to Elizabeth that she cannot come along with Ciel. He will accept any punishments later. Edward forgives him, saying that he should be thankful.
With the ship already heavily tilted, Ciel says to escape quickly and get as far from Campania as possible. He leaves Snake and Elizabeth in Edward's hands. As Sebastian and Ciel turn to leave, Edward says that Ciel does not have to return, and that he is fine with not having to give up his cute little sister to him. Ciel smirks and says that he would make sure he makes it back then.
In the first class hall, Rian struggles to escape, cursing that the ship is tilted precariously already. Plates and dishes slide off the tables. Soon after, Rian falls from his position and is about to crash down when Grell appears, catching his leg, thus rescuing him, noting how handsome Rian is.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Angelina Dalles
- Vincent Phantomhive
- Rachel Phantomhive
- Ciel Phantomhive
- Elizabeth Midford
- Francis Midford
- Charles Phipps
- Charles Grey
- Sebastian Michaelis
- Grell Sutcliff
- Ronald Knox
- Edward Midford
- Rian Stoker