The Butler, Plotting (その執事、策謀, Sono Shitsuji, Sakubō) is Chapter 71 of the Kuroshitsuji manga.
Ciel Phantomhive and Soma Asman Kadar ride upon the elephant belonging to the latter. Soma explains how difficult it was to enter the school and that Agni could not join him, since allowing servants into the school was against the rules. Ciel changes the subject and explains why he needs Soma. He talks about Maurice Cole and reluctantly requests Soma's help in befriending Maurice. Soma is touched by Ciel's request and suggests the three eat curry together, but Ciel disagrees, instructing Soma to observe Maurice and to report back as soon as possible. He then reminds Soma to keep their discussion a secret, and Soma affirms that he understands, and the duo retreat to their respective dorms.
At the Scarlet Fox dormitory, Soma meets with Maurice and blatantly demands Maurice to be friendly with Ciel. Maurice is confused, but then dismisses the request. However, Soma does not give up, and throughout the whole day, he follows Maurice and becomes increasingly insistent on pressing the latter to talk to Ciel. As a result, Maurice loses his patience and demands that Soma stays away from him. He slams the door on Soma, who states that he is very similar to Ciel.
Subsequently, Soma leaves the dormitory to visit Ciel by using his personal mode of transportation: the elephant. However allegedly a tiger frightens the elephant, and Soma loses control of it, causing the elephant to destroy Maurice's dorm room.
Due to the catastrophe that he created, Soma receives five Ys from Edgar Redmond who forbids the use of elephants. Since there are currently no rooms available, Edgar invites Maurice to stay with him whilst his room is being repaired. But, Soma instead volunteers for Maurice to stay with him in his room, for he states that he is a man who takes his responsibilities. Edgar thinks that this is fair and allows Maurice to stay with Soma, much to Maurice's dismay. Soma then escorts the reluctant Maurice to his room.
At night Soma is awakened from his slumber due to the sound of movement. In the bedroom, he witnesses Maurice leaving the room, and secretly follows him. He spies on Maurice from a distance as the latter posts flower-shaped cards for the other students.
The next morning, Soma meets with Ciel at the chapel to report about Maurice. He is shocked to be greeted by Sebastian Michaelis, as he thought students could not bring servants. Ciel states that he had no choice, and Sebastian requests that Soma keeps this a secret, to which Soma instantly agrees. Soma then explains about what he saw last night, telling the pair about Maurice posting an abundant amount of flower-shaped cards to students in his dorm. Ciel concludes that the cards are a good source of evidence, feeling satified with Soma's report. He thanks him for his great help, and Soma leaves the two to contrive a strategy. Soon after, Ciel states that they will settle the matter tomorrow.
The next day, Ciel calls for Maurice to meet him in the third art room where the former is surrounded by a variety of painted canvases. Maurice meets with Ciel and asks why Ciel has requested for him as he is needed at the Swan Gazebo. Ciel assures him not to worry as their conversation will not take long. Ciel then reproaches that Maurice has purposely informed him of the wrong time the other day so that Ciel would be late. Maurice denies this, but Ciel lists off the names of other students who had received an invitation to the Swan Gazebo, but were given the wrong information. Ciel says that Maurice looks down on the weak, as he impels other students to do his work, in which leads to the notion that Maurice's skills are all fake.
Maurice laughs this off, stating that Ciel does not have any evidence to prove his theory. However, Ciel disagrees and reveals one of Maurice's flower-shaped cards. Maurice recognizes the card, and Ciel elaborates that he has posted written tasks for his entourage to complete at night. He reads some of the cards to prove this, perusing their date and time and handwriting to match, in which proves that Maurice is guilty.
In disbelief, Maurice remarks that he had told the students to dispose the cards, to which Ciel explains that he had a hard time collecting the pieces among the garbage gathered from all over the school. He tells Maurice that the cards had been ripped up so it had taken a long time to patch them up. Ciel insists that Maurice reveal the truth to Edgar, reminding him that Fags should be trustworthy brothers.
Notwithstanding, Maurice refuses to negotiate, and signals for a couple of students to enter the room. Some grab hold of Ciel whilst the others gather the cards and hand them to Maurice. With a box of matches in his hand, Maurice burns the cards, commenting that Ciel no longer has any evidence. He says how Ciel's benevolent attitude is pissing him off, before revealing the fact that he was manipulating others to which is a skill as he is providing the otherwise average people with good use since they cannot commensurate with his beauty. He relays his plan of becoming a prefect so that Edgar would favor him more than anyone else.
Afterward, Maurice reveals a pair of scissors and rips Ciel's shirt before kicking him in the ribs. He tells him that it was foolish of him to meet in such a deserted place since no one will come to rescue him, and resorts to humiliating Ciel by taking pictures of him in his current state. But before Maurice could take the picture, Edward Midford and Herman Greenhill enter the room. Herman rapidly beats down the students that have Ciel in custody, using his cricket bat. He states how he had sworn to never use violence, but Maurice has made him break that promise. Maurice begs Herman to not to tell Edgar whilst Gregory Violet and Lawrence Bluewer enter the room.
Maurice questions the reason for their presences, and Ciel explains that they have heard Maurice about to commit an act of violence. The latter is puzzled by this, stating that the Swan Gazebo is far away and that his voice could not have been that loud. Ciel enlightens him, saying that sound is not transmitted by loudness but by vibrations. He explains that by taking a perfectly tense thread and attaching it to a flat surface, one would be able to transmit sounds to distant places.
To demonstrate, Ciel grabs one of the canvases and reveals a piece of thread attached to the back. On all of the canvases in the room, the threads are fixed onto the backs, and they trail outside through the windows and are connected to speakers surrounding the Swan Gazebo, where Edgar sits and announces that he had heard everything. Therefore, he cancels the brotherly friendship between Maurice and him. Maurice is devastated by this and begins to cry, and Ciel bestows him a handkerchief. However it contains a picture of Maurice's real face, that is without make-up, in which is being copied and spread throughout the entire school for the other students to see.
Edward and the other prefects apologize to Ciel for not believing him. Lawrence pats his head and states that Ciel is truly loyal and brave, and Ciel claims that he has always been against injustice. Whilst Ciel basks in the prefects' and Edward's kind words, Sebastian is lackadaisically hanging from a window, watching his lying master.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Herman Greenhill
- Ciel Phantomhive
- Soma Asman Kadar
- Maurice Cole
- Edgar Redmond
- Sebastian Michaelis
- Edward Midford
- Gregory Violet
- Lawrence Bluewer