The Butler, Giving Assent (その執事、承認, Sono Shitsuji, Shōnin) is Chapter 83 of the Kuroshitsuji manga.
Ciel is shocked to see that the headmaster is none other than Undertaker and the latter greets him, commenting on how he is as tiny as ever but he is pleased that he is doing well. He proceeds to question the Earl how he is taking group life. Sebastian Michaelis states how he was wondering where he disappeared to after the Campania incident and did not think that he would come to a school of all places. Undertaker muses how it is just a temporary position, with Sebastian comments on their investigation getting out of hand. Then, he turns to the Prefects and questions as to what was so important that they resorted to killing Derrick Arden. Lawrence Bluewer is evidently troubled and replies that Derrick was not supposed to be at their school. Ciel asks the meaning of his words.
There is a flashback to a year ago, where Johann Agares announces the new Prefects; namely, Edgar Redmond, Lawrence, Herman Greenhill and Gregory Violet. They proceed to pledge that they will serve to uphold the traditional school's self-government with pride. The next scene shows the four running ecstatically, pleased at their successful achievement in becoming a Prefect. Panting, they arrive at the school lawn, which they tentatively step onto, after being given such a privilege. They stare with awe at the ground and repeat how they finally became Prefects after five years of enrollment. Edgar notices Lawrence is shaking and asks him what is wrong, to which the latter apologizes and relates to his equally emotional peers of how he cannot put his feelings into words.
A period of time has passed with them being Prefects and they are alerted to a case of bullying through the complaints box, which they were given the task of thoroughly investigating. Lawrence recites the school rule, that every student is to be equal under the headmaster. Derrick pipes up and exclaims that they cannot allow such actions in the school as he will stand watch. Edgar remarks on how admirable that is and consents to his offer. Derrick is further praised as being very reliable and his skills are listed. As of marquis bloodline, with a cheerful personality and overflowing talent, he is "dazzling." Interspersing this flashback is a note from Lawrence that because of that, they did not notice the deep dark shadow that light had cast.
The Prefects are later seen apprehending a particular student of unpermitted leave and being in possession of alcohol. Derrick also angrily scolds the student, asking him to think about the disorder he had caused why dragging the names of the school and his family through mud. The student tearfully apologizes and is punished with 3Y by next week. After he leaves, Edgar asks Derrick whether he made any progress with the bullying case, to which the latter responds that he could not find anything on the contrary, noting that there are a lot of fakes anyway in the complaints box. At the Swan Gazebo, Derrick reads out two more complaints from the box: one being the request to increase the amount of water for facial cleansing in the morning and another was a poem dedicated to the Prefects. He reads out the poem and comments on how the author must look up to them. Edgar is startled once he reads it himself and he gathers the other Prefects at night. They question him on why they were called out so late and Edgar reveals that there was a message to them in the poem. He points out all the clues in deciphering the message and concludes that it was directed to them. The message was for them to come to the music room on Thursday night. Edgar also says that despite the purpose of the poem being a message, it was still wonderful as it is. Lawrence comments on how amazing it is that he picked it up and Edgar replies that only the words which convey a special meaning are written in blue (but if not looked at closely would resemble black). He then states that one should pick the message up if he is educated in poetry, though he does not get the last part of the poem.
As they round the corner, Edgar notices that the lights are on in the music room and they overhear rough orders and pained sounds coming from it. They rush in to witness a shocked Derrick and his friends beating up some other students. Edgar is equally shaken to see his Fag there and it is later revealed that the last part of the poem meant Derrick's talents were all fake. He was said to have taken other's talents through despicable means, which was usually beating, and used them to make himself shine in the entire four years he had been at this school. Lawrence tells the beaten up students to go back to their rooms and Edgar angrily laments that he should have known when Derrick could not decipher the poem (since he is also in Scarlet Fox). Derrick's false pretense immediately disintegrates and he sneers as he says how he only needed one more year. He proceeds to explain how he is the heir to a famous marquess house and that his family has been Prefects for generations. Derrick continues to say that he did not uphold the same standards and was forced to come to the school. Herman is visibly furious at his lightheartedness. Derrick asks them to overlook his need to occasionally "let off some steam" and attempts to bribe them with a generous donation of money from his father. He even offers to accept a Y in compensation when Herman screams at him to stop fooling around and that the headmaster will hear about this from the vice principal so he should be prepared for a fitting punishment.
Derrick is hardly shaken at this outburst and calls out to the person hiding behind the piano whether he heard it. The figure steps out and to Edgar's surprise, reveals himself as the vice principal himself. Edgar asks him for the meaning of all this and Agares replies that he has understood the question. He punishes Derrick and his four friends with 2Ys for being out at night and Derrick gives a half-hearted apology. The Prefects protest about this decision and quickly argue that they need to report them to the headmaster for bullying. The vice principal merely states that this year's Prefects are rude and speak back to him. Herman attempts to explain that was not their intention, only to have Agares order them to return to their dorms if that was the case. As he turns around, Edgar notices that he is secretly holding the whiskey bottle they had confiscated before and realizes that he is in league with Derrick. He despairs at how he is unable to do anything and is down. Derrick lazily comments on how he has to become a Prefect next year.
Snapping from fury, Herman grabs a nearby cricket bat and smashes the bat down on Derrick's head, killing him and states that as long as they are there, the tradition of their school will continue to crumble. The other Prefects are initially startled but swiftly hold down the other people in the room and Herman murders them as well, to uphold their view of tradition being everything. Gregory confirms that the vice principal is no longer breathing and Herman finally realizes the weight of the situation. He panics, but is urged to calm down, as they believed they had no choice. Edgar has an idea of what they should do, but Herman objects as he does not want him to commit a crime as well. The other Prefects then state that they swore to protect the school and for that purpose they will proudly commit a crime.
They are later seen at the headmaster's office and comment on how he is on a world trip and will not be back until next fall. Gregory states that he is just goofing around while leaving them to govern the school but the others retort that he believes in them. They ponder on whether they can do "this" by themselves, to which Edgar says that the human resuscitation seems to be going well so they have nothing to worry about.
Back in the present day, Ciel and the Prefects' Fags are visibly traumatized by the story. Lawrence states that their actions are inexcusable to their relatives but there was nothing else they could do to uphold the traditional order. They did not want to stir things up and damage the school's reputation and asks Ciel whether he understands. Shocked, he wonders at how they can just kill someone like that. Suddenly, Undertaker bursts out laughing and says that the story is amazing. With an amused expression, Sebastian comments on how they agree on this point, which is rare.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Ciel Phantomhive
- Sebastian Michaelis
- Gregory Violet
- Edgar Redmond
- Lawrence Bluewer
- Herman Greenhill
- Derrick Arden
- Johann Agares
- Edward Midford
- Joanne Harcourt