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|Emerald Witch Arc|
The Emerald Witch Arc is the eighth arc of the Kuroshitsuji manga.
A pair of nobles on horseback are attempting to hunt a fox with their hounds in Germany. After the fox escapes into the woods, the noblemen take a moment to decide whether or not they should go into the forest. One of them brings up the rumor that the forest is "cursed;" in the end, they decide to chase after the fox anyway. After riding for a while, they bump into an old woman who is noticeably wearing an amulet. She tells them to go away or else they will be cursed. The hunters ignore her warnings and head deeper into the forest.
After finding their hunting dogs who failed to capture the fox, the hunters notice that the dogs are growling at something. A creature, presumably a werewolf, appears and the hunters, terrified, flee from the forest. They arrive at a mansion and are greeted by a plump noble and his maid. After a moments confusion, the noble tells one of the hunters, Reinald, that his nose is bleeding. Reinald collapses soon afterward, but when his partner turns him over, it is seen that Reinald's face has swollen up. The noble then notices same of the other hunter, Briegel, who collapses soon afterwards as well.
Sometime later at the Phantomhive Manor, Ciel Phantomhive is reciting German text aloud, with Sebastian Michaelis commenting that his pronunciation is quite terrible. Prior to present day, Ciel had informed his butler that Queen Victoria ordered the former to investigate a series of mysterious deaths in Germany. Sebastian asks Ciel if the Queen asked him to go in person and Ciel confirms this, noting, though, that the Phantomhive family's duty is to manage the underground society in England, rather than Germany, and hands Sebastian the letter.
The letter says that many strange deaths had occurred in southern Germany, with victims that were healthy but suddenly became "grotesquely deformed and died afterwards." The Queen says she would like to send medical support, but both the Kaiser and the German government have not given her a definite reply. Sebastian comments that the Queen was unable to send officials because of the lack of reply, so she sent Ciel instead. Ciel complains that he has only traveled abroad for a mission once and that he does not understand why the Queen would go out of her way to send him such a great way outside of Great Britain. Sebastian asks Ciel if he should send a reply asking for a reason, but Ciel declines, saying they will only evade the question.
Ciel mentions the Phantomhive family's information network covering Europe and Asia, saying that he has been thinking of using it, especially Diedrich, whom he inherited from his father - Vincent Phantomhive. He orders Sebastian to inform Chlaus to visit Diedrich. Chlaus comes to the Phantomhive Manor for dinner, jokingly telling Ciel that his butler is rather elusive and suddenly appeared while he was at a sauna in Finland. Ciel tells Chlaus that he is glad the latter was not traveling very far; Chlaus replies that traveling is the only thing that keeps old men like him amused. In his report to Ciel, Chlaus says that he had went straight to Diedrich when he arrived in Germany, but the latter had brushed him off, claiming he was busy. Chlaus says he ended up going to the places of the deaths himself, and noticed that it did not seem like there was a disease going around. He says the villagers there all told him the victims had died from "the witch's curse." He says the victims varied in age and gender, but all had visited the Werewolves' Forest shortly before dying. He informs Ciel that the locals considered the forest taboo. He explains that from 14th to 17th century, many witch hunts were held in Germany, causing the surviving witches to release their familiars into the forest and settle there, so setting foot in the forest was considered bad luck. Ciel calls the idea of a curse ridiculous, and Chlaus apologizes for not being able to gather more information. Ciel tells him it is not his fault and decides that he has no choice but to look into it himself.
He informs Claus that Undertaker disappeared and he wants information on him. Claus tells Ciel that he and Undertaker never interacted with each other much and that Vincent knew him for a longer time. He says that the only one who knew Vincent before Undertaker was Diedrich. Sebastian suggests that he and Ciel visit Diedrich while at Germany. Ciel agrees, but Claus comments that "former German beauties" are quite stern and cold. Ciel suggests that he can only pray that Diedrich is in a good mood when they visit, and orders Sebastian to prepare the train tickets.
Consequently, Diedrich, doing paperwork in an office, complains to himself that Ciel brings trouble just like his father. He remarks that Ciel is turning thirteen and will begin to look more like his father.
Main Article: Chapter 86
One week later, Ciel and Sebastian are on a train; the former continues to practise speaking German. Sebastian comments yet again that Ciel's pronunciation is terrible, causing Ciel to give up. The two arrive at the outskirts of Nuremburg in Germany. They attempt to hire a local man to take them into the forest, but he refuses, saying that he does not want to get the witch's curse, with Sebastian translating for Ciel because the latter does not understand East Franconian. The man tells Ciel and Sebastian about the victims, describing their faces as swollen and muddy. The man tells them that one died, but the one that survived went mad from the shock, repeatedly shouting that the werewolves were coming; the survivor, Briegel, had been transferred to a larger hospital. Sebastian asks Ciel if he should search all the hospitals in Germany, but Ciel declines, saying that there is no point in talking to a madman and it would be better to go into the forest themselves. Sebastian reminds Ciel that the village man refuses to take them there no matter how much money is offered and Ciel tells him to ask how much the carriage costs.
Meanwhile, Baldroy, Finnian, Mey-Rin, Snake, and Tanaka wait in the village. Baldroy complains that his behind hurts and Mey-Rin scolds him for being indecent. Baldroy retorts that he was sitting for the whole day. A few village boys are playing football and the ball rolls to Finnian. The boys ask Finnian to throw them the ball, and he throws it too far and apologizes in German. Snake notices and asks Finnian if he speaks German, and Finnian, seemingly embarrassed, says he speaks it a little.