The Butler, Compromising (その執事、妥協, Sono Shitsuji, Dakyō) is Chapter 59 of the Kuroshitsuji manga.
Sailors on the deck of the ship are in a hurry to call for help. A sailor orders them to continue shooting fireworks as a signal, and not to let the light diminish. Another sailor arrives, telling the prior that they received a message from a freighter sailing nearby claiming they would come to help in approximately two hours. The prior sailor then concludes that the only thing they can do right now is to get as many people as possible onto the lifeboats.
Meanwhile, Grell Sutcliff asks the man they rescued if he is Rian Stoker. Rian then counters by asking how Grell knows his name. Ronald Knox intervenes, saying the routine talk is unnecessary, addressing Rian as the guy that is moving the corpses around with some trick. Rian is speechlessly surprised that they know of this information. Ronald smirks at Grell, saying that irregulars are exasperating and that, in this world, "death" is a rule that no one should overturn. Grell inquires a way to stop the corpses of Rian, and the latter hastily tells them that there is a device in his room that can render the complete salvation ineffective again.
In Rian's first class guest room, Rian discovers his device has mysteriously disappeared and is certain it was here before. He then guesses that 'that man' had stolen it.
In the first class passenger hallway, Ciel Phantomhive and Sebastian Michaelis encounter the Viscount of Druitt, Aleistor Chamber. The Viscount asks who they are. Ciel and Sebastian realize their blunder and remember that they never greeted the Viscount without being in disguise. Aleistor, however, dismisses the fact that they are "strangers", saying that, since he is notorious as the incarnation of beauty, it is rare for someone not to recognize him.
Sebastian asks why the Viscount of Druitt is here, since the ship is full of Bizarre Dolls prowling around. The latter gestures his glass of wine to a peculiar device behind him, telling them that there is something he absolutely wants to protect even if it means risking his life on the sinking ship. The corpses are just like puppets to him. After saying that, he says he has spoken too much.
Sebastian quickly recites the Aurora Society's greeting and they all join in. As they cry out "The Phoenix", Ciel and Sebastian raise their arms and cock their wrists while the Viscount poses differently, one hand to his head while the other is stretched out. The V4iscount acknowledges them as comrades after the recitation of the greeting and says he does remember their faces somewhere.
Ciel questions if that device is something that could stop the corpses. Aleistor suspiciously asks them how they know of this. He remarks that, if they want to know, they should follow him and he will show them the coming of a new Aurora, thanks to the medicine. His handful of servants carry the device as the Viscount leads them. Ciel and Sebastian ponder their next move, considering to take it from him by force. The only problem that lies there would be finding out how to activate it.
One of the people carrying the device snickers and it is revealed to be the Undertaker. Ciel is surprised and asks what he is doing here. He replies that while escaping, he was asked to help carry the device, then witnessing Ciel doing "The Phoenix" pose again. Ciel scolds him, screeching to forget it right away. He then asks if the Undertaker knows how to activate the device, to which he responds that he does not, and wonders if the device would be of any help anyway.
They arrive at the first class passenger lounge. As the servants and the Undertaker set it down, the Viscount tells them to place it down carefully as it is worth more than their lives. He adds that he will not activate it yet since the cast is still incomplete. Ciel and Sebastian curiously contemplate what he means by "cast" when Rian appears, yelling at the Viscount for stealing the device.
Aleistor is unaffected by his anger and with open arms, dramatically welcomes Rian. He informs Rian that the empire he built will collapse like Pompeii tonight and be replaced with what would be the Viscount's new realm. With the power of the device, he will create a new empire. The one who conquered eternity shall rule over everything else with corruption and decadence. It will be called the Aurora Empire.
Ronald notes that it sounds complex. Grell eagerly volunteers to "paint him red" immediately. The Viscount interrupts their annihilation plan, threatening to destroy the device by pouring his wine over it. Ronald quickly stops Grell from attacking. Aleistor laughs, saying that he could win against them all with just a glass of wine. Sebastian mutters to Ciel that he is getting irate and asks if he could kill him. Ciel tells him to wait although he understands his butler's feelings of belligerence.
Abruptly, Bizarre Dolls barge in, breaking through the windows. They all realize that there is too much of them. Ciel urges the Viscount to activate the device so as to render them inactive. The Viscount corrects Ciel, saying he is not a Viscount anymore. He is "Caesar", and he will activate it if Ciel calls him that with "that lovely little mouth of [his], cock robin". Ciel suddenly changes his mind and tells Sebastian to kill him right now, but it is the butler's turn to tell him to wait, although he understands his feelings.
Aleistor watches them battle against the Bizarre Dolls and theatrically describes the scene as "Many paladins putting their fleeting lives at stake. The place is like a Colosseum of corruption." The Viscount says he is just watching from above whilst enjoying his wine, similar to Emperor Nero. Ronald overhears him and gets irritated, prompting to kill him and Grell snaps that it was Ronald who stopped him from killing the Viscount earlier. Grell curtly yells at Aleistor to make the device work.
The latter agrees that it is time for his empire to be official. He invites everyone to show him the dance of the Phoenix to pledge their loyalty to the emperor that is himself. Ciel, Sebastian, Grell, and Ronald all darkly agree to kill the Viscount. Meanwhile, the Undertaker asks if they are sure they do not want to know how the device works.
The Viscount begins to recite his version of the Aurora Society's greeting: "The complete flame in our chests shall not be extinguished by anyone. We are the new incarnation of The Phoenix!" Ciel, Sebastian, Undertaker, Grell, Ronald, Viscount of Druitt, and the handful of servants all pose the Viscount's adaptation of the Phoenix, with one hand behind their head and the other stretched out.
Aleistor praises their pledge of loyalty to him and shows them how the dead army prostrates itself before him. He presses a button on the device and nothing happens; the Bizarre Dolls continue their rampage.
The Undertaker laughs over their confusion as the Viscount yells at Rian that the device he built is not working. Ciel is appalled to realize that it was not the Viscount who built it. The latter points out that he cannot build something like this and he only decided to borrow it. Rian shouts that the Viscount has fooled him.
Grell demeans them as a useless farce and kills several Bizarre Dolls, impressing Ronald. Grell continues advancing toward Aleistor with the intention of murdering him. Ronald quickly yells that they are not allowed to kill humans.
However, before Grell is able to land a blow, the Undertaker covers the Viscount, one of his hands stopping the Death Scythe, shocking everyone. The Undertaker says it is been a while since he laughed so much, and to lose such an amusing man that is the Viscount, would be equivalent to the pain of losing the whole world. He asks if Grell agrees, addressing them as a Grim Reaper.
Grell is bewildered to acknowledge that their Death Scythe cannot cut him and jumps back as the Undertaker whirls around, revealing blade-like sotoba with writing on them underneath his cloak. He throws his sotoba at Grell, which they block with their Death Scythe. The objects also penetrate the glass ceiling above them and shattered pieces of glass shower down so Sebastian protects Ciel.
The Undertaker murmurs how sad it is if laughter is to disappear, raising his bangs to reveal his eyes for the first time.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Grell Sutcliff
- Rian Stoker
- Ronald Knox
- Ciel Phantomhive
- Sebastian Michaelis
- Aleistor Chamber