The Butler, Substituted (その執事、代行, Sono Shitsuji, Daikō) is Chapter 42 of the Kuroshitsuji manga.
A storm is covering all of London, and inside the townhouse, Soma Asman Kadar looks out the window and comments to Agni about the insane amount of rain that there is. He tells Agni how worried he is about Ciel Phantomhive, but Agni counters that, since Sebastian Michaelis is with him, everything would be alright.
Meanwhile, at Phantomhive Manor, everyone is gathered around Sebastian's body, investigating his death. Arthur Conan Doyle concludes that he was stabbed by a poker right through the center of his torso, but apparently, he was also hit on the back of the head while rekindling the fire in the hearth. Charles Grey comments on how it was peculiar that, since he did not die from the blow to the back of the head, he was also stabbed, but from the front. He questioned why the killer would take the trouble to hit him from multiple directions. To this, Arthur responds with a simple conclusion: there are multiple culprits, much to everyone's surprise. He guesses that someone must have talked to him as a distraction, while another person struck him from behind, and the other, then, stabbed him from the front. However, before they can discuss any more details, Finnian brings the conversation to an abrupt stop, screaming over how they are all being insensitive towards Ciel's feelings. Mey-Rin hurriedly apologizes on his behalf for his brashness. The tension is then broken, and everyone agrees to discuss it after some breakfast.
Once everyone leaves the room to make their way to the dining hall aside from Ciel and the Phantomhive servants, the latter discuss what had just happened. Ciel apologizes for losing it, and orders them to move Sebastian's body to the basement. Ciel then entrusts the butler badge to Tanaka, which he had grabbed from Sebastian's dead body. He tells Tanaka that he is now the new head butler, at least temporarily. Tanaka then jumps to his job, ordering the servants to move and prepare water for Ciel's bath after moving the body. When they leave, Tanaka comments to Ciel about how the previous head of the household—Vincent Phantomhive—was never so shaken, especially not over just the death of a servant. With a smile, Ciel comments on how Tanaka seems to be as strict as ever.
At the dining hall, everyone is gathered for breakfast. Ciel says that Sebastian really saved them by preparing the food beforehand. Irene Diaz is unable to eat due to the recent events, but Charles feels straight at home, digging in with a smile on his face, even. Because of Irene's reluctance to eat, Grey asks if he can eat "that". Irene tells him to go ahead and take her food, but, in actuality, he had meant the plate of food right beside her. He comments on how there is one plate too many, but Ciel counters with the fact that, since it was Sebastian who had prepared the food, he would not have gotten the numbers wrong. It is found out that the food was supposedly for Patrick Phelps, who is not currently present at the table. Arthur suddenly shouts out, asking if they should check the Earl's bedroom, as he is overly suspicious of Phelps' absence. Ciel agrees to take him there.
As everyone rushes upstairs, Arthur takes the lead, arriving at the doors first, panicked while screaming Phelps' name. The doors are locked, and when he asks Ciel for the key, Ciel responds that only Sebastian had the key to his room. Finnian moves forward to break down the door for them but, before he is able to, the door is sliced in half. Much to everyone's surprise and terror, Grey appears, sword in hand and commenting on how he just wants the matter over with as he is in a hurry for dessert. Arthur rushes into the room first, his face transforming into one of horror as he sees Patrick Phelps on the floor, presumably dead.
Outside, the storm is still raging on. The owl that Sebastian had entrusted with a letter that was to be released at dawn flies off. However, before it can go too far, the bird's cries are heard. The last scene in the chapter shows a bird's feather on the floor.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Soma Asman Kadar
- Sebastian Michaelis
- Arthur Conan Doyle
- Grimsby Keane
- Irene Diaz
- Karl Woodley
- Charles Grey
- Ciel Phantomhive
- Vincent Phantomhive (pictured only)
- Sebastian (pictured only)
- Patrick Phelps