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The Kidnapping Arc is the first arc of the Kuroshitsuji manga. It is a major conflict that introduces Ciel Phantomhive, as an Earl, who has contracted with his talented demon butler, Sebastian Michaelis. His fiancée, Elizabeth Midford, and his other servants, Baldroy, Finnian, Mey-Rin, and Tanaka are also depicted. Ciel is the head of the notorious Phantomhive family, who is renowned for aiding the Queen as a Watchdog.
The conflict starts when Ciel and several other nobles accumulate to discuss about disposition of a certain person. After acknowledging that Ciel received drugs from Clause, Azzurro Vanel kidnaps and abuses Ciel, demanding for them. Sebastian goes to find Ciel, eventually defeating Azzurro's snipers, bodyguards, and men.
In the outskirts of London, a manor is located in a mist-covered forest. The manor belongs to the distinguished noble family of the Phantomhive's. Their morning starts off with an early tea.
An unidentified person in black clothing tells his young master to wake up and that the breakfast is a poached salmon and mint salad with the side dishes of toast, scones, and champagne. The person then dresses his young master whom notices the aroma as Ceylon tea. He informs his master that they'd be using Royal Doulton dishes and Wedgwood Blue-White tea set, both expensive chinaware, for preparations. After breakfast, the young master would see the authority on Monarch Study, Professor Hugh. The master presses on what's the plans after lunch.
Later, on the outside of the manor, the Phantomhive household watches as the person fights against an energetic female opponent. She uses her secret technique but he easily overpowers her. The opponent coughs up blood on the ground as she asks who the person is to be so powerful.
He introduces himself as Sebastian Michaelis, the butler of Phantomhive. He then turns and smiles benignly at his young master who is identified as Ciel Phantomhive, head of the Phantomhive family. He says that in return for him winning the battle, Ciel has to review today's and tomorrow's pre-lesson. The three other workers are identified as Finnian, the gardener, Mey-Rin, the house maid, and Baldroy, the chef. They admire and compliment Sebastian's meritorious skills and Finnian notes that it's his 50th consecutive win.
Ciel is disappointed that he couldn't see Sebastian on his knees today but congratulates Sebastian with a drink which he accepts. Sebastian then questions why Finnian, Mey-Rin, and Baldroy are here when they should be working. Sebastian then scolds at them for loafing and orders them to fulfill their duties.
Ciel then says that there was a call from Clause in Italy and is heading directly to England. He got a hold of the usual goods although he had considerably more trouble this time. Sir Clause would arrive at six o' clock where they'll execute negotiations at the Phantomhive manor. Ciel inquires if Sebastian understands what it means and the latter replies a positive and promises to provide Sir Clause with the best hospitality.
Sebastian then asks on a different topic what's the lemonade Ciel congratulated with him earlier and that the heartburn won't stop. Ciel says that it was concocted by Tanaka, the house steward, and that it tastes and looks strange; he stopped drinking in one sip, insinuating that Ciel purposely gave it to Sebastian, knowing it has a negative effect.
The butler begins his preparations: pick and polish matching silverware from glasses to platters, the tablecloths must be impeccable, young master's favorite Sterling Silver roses must have the rotten flowers trimmed, porch's weeds must be pulled, and the lawn's green stature must be arranged like velvet. The vital point is the dinner having the best ingredients. The beef, vegetable, and rice must be meticulously chosen. The salt and pepper must be picked directly from an extravagant market. It all represents the Phantomhive's hospitality.
There's a ringing of a bell, an indication to come, and Sebastian swiftly makes his way to Ciel. As he leaves, Finnian, Mey-Rin, and Baldroy yearn to prove themselves as capable and believe that now's an opportunity to portray their skills. Finnian plans to make a beautiful garden, Maylene plans to make the tea sets shine, and Bard an amazing dish. As they carried out their plans, Ciel wants to eat sweets in which Sebastian declines, saying it'll spoil his dinner.
Afterwards, the garden is shown destroyed, the plates and dishes broken and shattered, and the food and kitchen burnt. Sebastian demands how did the destruction happened and the three are intimidated. Finnian shamefully explain that he accidentally walked around the garden with the weed killer's can opened which destroyed the plants, Mey-Rin unintentionally pushed a cart into the tea set, and Baldroy cooked the raw meat with a flamethrower.
Sebastian forgives them and mentally notes that they have a little less than two hours until Sir Clause's arrival to fix things. He then notices Tanaka sipping tea and it inspires an idea. He explains to the three what the plan is. Mey-Rin attempts to give Sebastian some packages but tripped because of her broken glasses and Sebastian rescues her and catches the packages simultaneously. Finnian hands him the gravel and other gardening things as told and the butler thanks him and says he'll handle the final adjustments. Subsequently, Sebastian tells them to leave the rest to him and accentuates that they should act like adults.
Sir Clause arrives and greets Ciel who was waiting outside. He asks if Ciel has grown taller in which the latter replies curtly that he didn't. Clause accepts it lightheartedly, saying Ciel is still as rude as ever and the young master responds the same. As they enter, the Phantomhive household greets him warmly.
Clause is impressed by the manor's interior, praising that it's beautiful. Finnian offers to take his jacket and Clause notices that there's more new faces in the mansion. Sebastian opens the door to the courtyard, saying that he must prepare dinner so Clause and Ciel can negotiate for the meanwhile. Clause is vividly captivated by the design of the courtyard, acknowledging it as a rock garden from Japan. Sebastian escorts the pair to an outdoor table for Japanese green tea which was inspired by Tanaka's tea. Clause hands over the game Ciel had sent him to get, saying it's difficult to obtain. Ciel presses on for another game, telling him that kids have a greed for games. Clause sighs, remembering Ciel is just twelve and is forced the responsibility to develop the country's best game-maker.
Sebastian interrupts and serves the evening meal: beef donburi. He hands the credit to Baldroy although the latter simply cut and brought it only. Clause is unaware that there was such a meal before. Sebastian then animatedly explains that laborers from ancient Japan are thankful for the Donburi. Clause then laughs, saying the service is prodigious and that Sebastian is intelligent. The next procedure is the Italian wine in which Sebastian tells Mey-Rin to pour into the glass. She nervously spills and Clause is fortunately oblivious to it at the moment.
Sebastian then pulls at the stained tablecloth cleanly and swiftly from the table without disrupting the food and plates on it. Ciel smiles at his butler's success and tells Clause to ignore the tablecloth and continue eating leisurely. The three workers praise him as 'Superman' in which he replies that he's just 'one hell of a butler'.
Clause compliments that Ciel's butler is skillful in which he replies that it's natural for Sebastian to be able to do such amazing works since he is his servant after all. He also adds that he likes the sweets Sebastian makes. Clause laughs, saying that the important reason for hiring Sebastian must be for the sweets. The Japanese dessert arrives.
Later, Finnian remembers that what he brought Sebastian were iris seeds yet the flowers are already abloom. He contemplates how it's possible but dismisses the matter offhandedly.
Main article: Chapter 1
Ciel and Sebastian heads to a store that sells cane. The shopkeeper greets Ciel as a boy and asks if he's on an errand for his father. Sebastian immediately intervenes and asks for the Master's cane. The shopkeeper mistakes the Master to be Sebastian and questions why he is in need of such a small cane, much to Ciel's disdain. Sebastian points the cane to the man's face threateningly, and compliments its sturdiness. He leaves the terrified shopkeeper some money and the pair departs.
Outside, Ciel mutters about how Finnian destroyed his last cane accidentally and now he's forced to buy a new one. They then witness a little boy being thrilled about the Ciel's Funtom Company's new product: Bitter Rabbit.
When they arrived home, Ciel is shown shocked by his decorated mansion, filled with girly accessories. His servants are also dressed in girly clothes and they referenced to the "crazy girl" through the double doors. Sebastian and Ciel enter only to have Elizabeth Midford spring on the latter, exclaiming how she wanted to meet him and how cute he is. She forces him to call her Lizzy instead of Elizabeth. Ciel asks why Elizabeth is there and she answers that she rushed over in secret. Sebastian introduces her to the servants as Ciel's fiancee, to their astonishment.
She pulls Ciel to the ballroom and he grudgingly notices that it's also decorated and pities for his mansion. Elizabeth mirthfully tells him to have a dance party and for him to wear the clothes she picked out for him. Ciel tries to refuse but she dreamily pictures the moment of dancing with him. He scolds at her to listen to what he's saying, but she continues to ignore him.
Later, Ciel is shown depressed. Sebastian reminds him that he can not afford to turn Elizabeth down coldly since she's the daughter of the Midford-Marquis family and his future wife. The young master remarks that he didn't choose to become her fiance, but was rather forced to. Sebastian tells him that it would be profitable if he obeys her wishes today. As Ciel sips his tea and flips through his papers, the butler reminds him that he hasn't finished his current game. Ciel says to fill him quickly with dinner and then bring it away and that he doesn't have time to associate with little girls and their hobbies, referencing to Elizabeth. Sebastian says that Elizabeth wishes to hold a dance and Ciel deliberately ignores him. The butler then concludes that his young master has no dance instruction, thus he's reluctant to join Elizabeth to the dance. If Ciel was at a dance, he'd be a 'wallflower'.
Ciel says that he's too busy with work to play with games such as dancing but his butler tells him that dance is a social thing in which all elite gentlemen should be able to do naturally and good grooming is crucial. If Ciel refuses the invitation to dance with Elizabeth whom family is part of the high society, his reputation would be soiled greatly. Ciel, begruntled, complies and asks for a home tutor. Sebastian says that there is no time for a tutor and that simply demeanor and pose will be sufficient to master the basics in one song. He offers himself to teach Ciel the basics, despite his young master being insolent. Ciel disagrees with dancing with a big, male partner like Sebastian. He assures Ciel that he knows how to waltz.
Consequently, Sebastian instructs Ciel about the primary dancing steps and how he must firmly hold onto the woman's back. When the song starts, he should begin with his left foot and Ciel accidentally steps on Sebastian's foot in this process. Ciel wobbles when he attempts the natural turn and unintentionally kicks Sebastian's shin. Sebastian then reprimands that his talent for dancing is nonexistent and that it must be devastating for him. Ciel yells that Sebastian's too big. The butler then pinches Ciel, telling him to not maintain a sour look and that it would be rude to the lady he's dancing with. He should attempt to look convivial and smile happily. Ciel pulls away and looks at his blue ring on his thumb, saying that he had forgotten how to smile happily.
The scene changes as Elizabeth murmurs how blue will definitely fit Ciel. She invites Mey-Rin to the party and promises to make her cute. Maylene quickly says that without her glasses, she's super far-sighted and Elizabeth soothes that it's okay.
Afterwards, Ciel comes out to greet Elizabeth, dressed and groomed. She excitedly swings him around, complimenting how cute he is and how she wasn't wrong in picking out the clothes Ciel's wearing. She then frowns when she notices Ciel's blue ring and how he isn't wearing the ring she had prepared for him. He says that his ring is fine but she shouts, saying how she went through a lot of trouble to make everything adorable and "uncute" ring is ruining it.
Elizabeth then snatches the ring out of Ciel's thumb, disparaging it, nothing how old it is and how the size is unsuitable. Ciel yells at her to give it back, his expression furious. She cries and asks why he's so mad at her just because of the blue ring. She then throws it, crying that she hates the ring. The ring shatters to pieces at the impact and Ciel is horrified in seeing his ring broken. He, infuriated, raises his hand in a motion to slap Elizabeth and she cringes.
Sebastian catches his hand from behind and places the cane in it, saying that the young master has forgotten his long-awaited, new cane. Ciel begins to calm down and silently stares at his broken ring. As Elizabeth sobs, Sebastian apologizes, informing that the ring is very important for Ciel since it's been passed down through the Phantomhive family for generations and it's one-of-a-kind. She is shocked to realize how significant the ring is.
Ciel bends down to pick up the shattered ring and tosses it out the window. Elizabeth is astounded and asks what he's doing. He calmly replies that he doesn't care about the old ring. He then declares that the ring is proof that the head of the Phantomhive house is him, Ciel Phantomhive.
He readjusts his outfit and takes out a handkerchief to wipe Elizabeth's tears, saying he wouldn't invite her to dance if she keeps crying. He comforts that they should forget about all the bad things and dance until dawn with evening party etiquette. Ciel offers his hand and she takes it, smiling. They dance and she says how it's like a dream. Sebastian plays the violin eloquently as they continue to waltz.
Later that night, Elizabeth is depicted soundly sleeping and would be picked up tomorrow by her grandmother. Ciel is in his bedroom, dressed by Sebastian. He says how he had spent the whole day uselessly. His butler points out that he seems satisfied. Ciel comments that he's an idiot and reaches for his blue ring only to remember that it's gone. Sebastian counters that Ciel is now the idiot. He notes that the ring is actually very important for Ciel and that he only put on an ostentatious show of throwing it away for Elizabeth. He puts a hand over Ciel's and when he uncovers it, the blue ring is returned on Ciel's thumb, repaired. The young master is astonished while Sebastian says that as the Phantomhive butler, he would be incompetent if he couldn't even accomplish this much. He says that the ring exists on his thumb and he should take good care of it. Ciel wistfully remarks how the ring had witnessed the deaths of its masters; his grandfather and father. Irrefutably, he, himself, would grow sick one day and pass away with the ring. He says that whenever he closes his eyes, he could hear the screams of the pain of death. If he threw it away, he probably won't hear them.
Sebastian tucks him into bed, saying the moon is already high and he should sleep. Ciel orders him to stay be his side until he falls asleep. Sebastian then replies that he would always be by his master's side, until his death. Once Ciel falls asleep, Sebastian leaves and reminiscences how Ciel was confident in front of Elizabeth but revealed his weakness later that night. He then prepares for tomorrow.
Main article: Chapter 2
Baldroy is fixing the ceiling wires, blaming the damage on the rats. He says there's been a plaque of freaks in London recently and they're constantly causing power outages and it's bad for business. Finnian, Mey-Rin, and Baldroy spot a rat running through and attack it recklessly. Finnian slams a heavy object on the ground, scaring everyone, and the rat slips free. Bard reprimands that you can't challenge them head-on and must use your head to read the enemy's movement. They must create a diversion. Baldroy uses his special cooking so when the mice eat them, they'll have digestion problems. Finnian uses the 'eternal enemy, Tom and Julie' tactic where he gets a cat to chase the mice. Mey-Rin litters mouse traps all over the floor. They then vigorously cheer, their rat-assassin mission in progress.
The noise grabs the attention of several nobles playing pool in a nearby room. A man, Lord Randall, notices the commotion outside caused by the servants and notes that they're quite boisterous. It showcases Ciel, Clause, Lau, Madame Red, Lord Randall, Azzurro Vanel, and a plump man playing the game of pool. They converse about a 'rat' in the room that must be exterminated. Ciel promises that it would be soon since he received ingredients from Clause. He'll eradicate it and break a few of its bones, in return for a compensation. Lord Randall calls him a vulture in which Ciel replies that he's a bloodhound that can't even catch one rat so he cannot insult Ciel's family crest. Randall then reluctantly answers that Ciel will receive his compensation this evening. Ciel plays pool as he tells Randall that afterwards, a carriage will come pick him up. The latter, angered, says that greed will destroy Ciel in which he finds amusing.
Sebastian questions the other servants' unorthodox methods and extreme measures just to capture rats. Ciel arrives to tell him to prepare a carriage to escort Lord Randall to his mansion and to leave tonight's plans open. Sebastian then catches the rats in one swift motion and tells the servants to behave as there will be guests around tonight.
Ciel retreats to his study only to be grabbed by an unseen attacker. Shortly after, Sebastian arrives to bring Ciel his afternoon tea and is upset to discover Ciel has disappeared, as tea he prepared will become meaningless.
Elsewhere, it is revealed that the kidnapper is the Italian drug dealer Azzurro Vanel of the Ferro family. He has resorted to violence, bounding and beating Ciel despite the fact that he's just a child. After arriving to England, the Phantomhive, that is the 'watchdogs', has been maintaining a strict vigil over others, disabling Azzurro to do as he pleases with drugs. He says this is why he hates the English. They are too submissive to the Queen. He asks Ciel to cooperate but he refuses to conspire with a filthy 'rat'. Azzurro then demands to know the location of the drugs Clause obtained, threatening to kill Ciel's servants if not told, but Ciel simply laughs it off.
In the midst of exacerbation, Azzurro kicks Ciel and tells his snipers that negotiations are over and they are ordered to kill Ciel's servants.
At the manor, Sebastian is approached by Mey-Rin who has a letter for him. A sniper shoots through the glass, the bullet taking off a chunk of Sebastian's hair, and Mey-Rin and Sebastian fall to the ground. The snipers flee while the servants are in shock over what happened. Sebastian reads the letter Maylene has given him to realize it's a blackmail sent from Azzurro. It expresses that in return for Ciel Phantomhive, drugs must be exchanged in the white chapel on back's row and the butler notes it's an undignified invitation. Finnian and Baldroy rush over, and Sebastian entrust them to clean up the pie and finish dinner preparations since he has a minor business to handle. Before Baldroy can ask if cleaning up the pie means eating it, Sebastian has already disappeared.
Meanwhile on the road, the snipers inform Azzurro that they have failed their annihilation mission to kill off the Phantomhive servants. Azzurro gets infuriated and orders them to return at once when the snipers began screaming at an oncoming attack. Azzurro grows increasingly disturbed as the snipers shriek that they can't outrun something that's coming. They scream that it's no good and that 'it's here' and their voices are cut off.
Ciel chuckles at Azzurro's failed plan. The latter, outraged, kicks Ciel tumultuously and demands into the phone for an answer. Sebastian answers the phone, introducing himself as a member of the Phantomhive household. He hopes his young master hasn't been troubling him, freaking Azzurro out with his nonchalance. Ciel omits a bark 'woof'. After hearing the bark, Sebastian comprehends the ambiguous signal and says he'll come for Ciel soon.
Sebastian returns the phone to the snipers who are still in their vehicle that is now precariously balanced on the edge of a cliff. Feeling desperate for their lives, the snipers reveal Azzurro's name and hideout when interrogated. The snipers then ask for their lives to be spared since they're only hired to kill. Sebastian dismisses their pleads and apologizes for detaining them for so long on the cliff. He wishes them to enjoy their trip. and steps off the car and watching it topple over the edge. He begins walking away, ignoring the car explosion behind him, concerned that he'll be late for dinner at this rate.
Main article: Chapter 3
With the knowledge that Sebastian is on his way for Ciel, Azzurro demands for all entrances to be fortified so not even a rat could slip in. However, Sebastian effortlessly slips past the men where they didn't even notice until he spoke up. The men advances to surround and kill Sebastian as he says he belong to the house of Phantomhive.
Meanwhile, Finnian, Mey-Rin, and Baldroy contemplate whether or not they're permitted to devour the pie.
The scene resumes to Sebastian and it showcases that he has already singlehandedly took out Azzurro's men. He worries over the limited amount of time in order to make it to dinner. He enters the mansion only to be showered by bullets caused by Azzurro's men. He dodges them meretriciously and using the objects around him, he wipes out the men.
In the Phantomhive manor, Baldroy grows irritated, indecisive in eating the pie, and questions where Sebastian went. Mey-Rin offers milk, warning him not to underestimate the power of milk as if you drink a lot of it, your bones would be exceptionally strong.
Sebastian ventures on to the dining hall where more men are awaiting him. He uses the plates to block the bullets and to deliver blows. The men tries to accumulate more men from the West Ridge as well and Sebastian comments that they aren't making any progress.
Baldroy finally decides to eat the pie and blames it on Sebastian for not making the order clear. He tells Finnian and Mey-Rin to take out the silverware in order to eat. However, Finnian was only able to find a spoon.
Meanwhile, Sebastian uses silverware to attack, frightening the men with his prodigious aims with simply utensils. He leaps in the air to where the men on the heights are and says that if he's not worthy of being a Phantomhive butler if he couldn't even handle this much. He hangs upside down on a chandelier after wiping them all out, remarking he has delayed slightly.
Azzurro is currently anxious, staring at the clock, with a gun in his hand for precaution. Sebastian opens the double doors, announcing that he has come to retrieve his master. Azzurro is surprised to see that he's merely a butler. When Sebastian attempts to hand over the ransom, Azzurro has hidden men shoot him multiple times, inflicting what would be fatal wounds. Azzurro, comforted by the idea that Sebastian's eliminated, boasts that he's the winner of the game and returns his attention to Ciel.
He threatens to sell him and removes Ciel's eyepatch until Ciel suddenly intervenes and asks Sebastian how long does he plan to continue to play dead. In response, Sebastian stands up, praising the efficiency of the guns and how they improved since a hundred years ago. The fact that he's still impossibly alive frightens Azzurro and he orders his men to finish him off. Sebastian is shown having already removed all the bullets that penetrated him and 'returns' them to the men by throwing them at the men, killing them.
Sebastian murmurs that his clothes are a mess in which Ciel counters that it's because he was playing around. The butler says that he was just following Ciel's commands and that Ciel's appearance right now is nice and gruesome which fits Ciel's small and weak body. He adds that it would be gratifying if he could watch him in such a ghastly state for a while. Their banter distresses Azzurro greatly and he threatens to shoot off Ciel's head. Sebastian pretends to be at lost on what to do and Ciel urges him to hurry up since his arm hurts. The butler replies that if he comes closer, Ciel will be killed.
Ciel is annoyed and asks if Sebastian dares to go against the contract. Sebastian answers the negative, assuring him that that would be unthinkable. He has been his faithful servant ever since that day where they met and Ciel disbanded his happiness and offered a sacrifice. Ciel's right eye gleams with the Faustian contract's mark and orders Sebastian to save him, freaking and confusing Azzurro out even further. Azzurro, discombobulated, impulsively shoots at Ciel only to realize that he's not dead.
Sebastian appears behind him with the bullet Azzurro has shot. He returns it to him, dropping it into Azzurro's pocket. Sebastian takes Ciel back as Ciel says today's game is uninteresting. He sets Ciel down in a chair and releases his bounds as Azzurro tries to convince him to leave the Phantomhive family and join forces with him. He offers anything in return. Sebastian says that human currency does not strike him with intrigue since he's a demon and a butler. As long as he has contracted with his master, that is Ciel, he is his faithful servant. He shows that his hand has a Faustian contract mark identical to the one on Ciel's right eye. He will remain Ciel's servant until the day his soul belongs to Sebastian.
It's 'game over' as Sebastian worded it and he transforms to his demon self to kill Azzurro.
Ciel and Sebastian return to the manor where the other servants greet them warmly. They worry over his ripped clothing and the injuries on Ciel. Finnian observes to Ciel that it must be fun to be carried in which he replies that it's not, getting down from Sebastian. The butler asks for forgiveness from Ciel for his behavior. He finds himself culpable since today's supper preparations have been left entirely unfinished.
The next day, Baldroy reads the newspaper and realizes that the Italian trading organization, Ferro Co., was met with an unidentified attacker which resulted to a high number of casualties. The survivors are determined that it was a 'monster' or 'demon' who attacked them in which Finnian says that that's scary. Baldroy tells them that rumor says that the Ferros would commit horrible things for money so this could have been an act of revenge by a 'ghost'.
Sebastian enters and confiscates the newspaper, urging them to start working instead of loafing around. He reads the newspaper and is amused by the contents. Afterwards, he is off to serve Ciel.
Main article: Chapter 4