All of us were shocked to see the “thirteenth” person that Lau had predicted; I never even thought it would come true!
“What! He was real?”Grey exclaimed as his face went pale, “where on earth was he hiding!”
“So... He’s the killer!” Mr. Woodley was shocked.
“Wow, never thought that the thirteenth guest would show up so quickly,” Lau smirked, “I am actually pretty surprised myself”
Lau got up from his seat and walked to the suspicious man who was tied up at the moment, “So who’re you again?”
“This again!?” Ciel and I mumbled as we complained about Lau’s typical actions.
“My name?” the creepy man asked as he looked toward the young Earl and me, both of us swallowed hard.
“It’s been a while, Jeremy....” Ciel said softly, I just stood there speechless, I didn’t know how to improvise on this.
“Earl is this old guy a friend of yours?” Lau asked, Jeremy raised an eyebrow.
“Y...yeah...” Ciel replied sounding a bit unsure, he then walked over to the tied up man and introduced him to everyone.
“This man is father Jeremy Rathbone, he’s a popular advisor to the local church and somewhat a famous person” Ciel introduced.
“Please call me Jeremy” he smiled and looked toward me, his dark red eyes made me feel calm but a bit scared, “Countess, I am surprised you didn’t recognize me”
“Well, I wanted to be sure it was you, how could I forget you for doing my cousin’s wedding ceremony” I replied, I totally made that up on the spot but my cousin actually got married though so it’s not a total lie.
“So you two know him?” Wordsmith asked while Ciel and I nodded in reply.
“Like I’d trust a suspicious guy like you!” Mr. Woodley shouted while pointing at Jeremy, “the only one who could have committed the murders is the thirteenth person without an alibi!”
“Actually you’re reasoning us utter nonsense, Mr. Woodley” Jeremy smirked. Mr. Woodley was shocked.
“How do you know me?” Mr. Woodley asked in shock.
“Looking at your ring it’s quite obvious, and to mine such a large diamond would only be in South Africa,” Jeremy continued, “plus one of the diamond cuts you’re wearing is the only diamond cut that is not in the market, but only Woodley Company so it all makes sense”
“If you consider that one of the people invited to the Earl’s evening party wearing such a rare ring, it is none other than the director of the Woodley Company,”Jeremy smirked, “in other words you”
Mr. Woodley trembled as Jeremy pinned him down with his words, which reminded me of Sebastian..... It was quite weird.
“More importantly how in the world... no why and since have you been here?” Wordsmith asked curiously, Jeremy sighed.
“Hey you,” Jeremy looked toward Bard who was holding Jeremy’s bag, “would you mind opening it?”
Bard opened it and inside was a white and fluffy owl, it was asleep.
“That’s Sebastian’s owl!” Mey-rin pointed.
“It seems that there is a letter at its claw” I said while pointing to it, Ciel took the letter from its claw and opened it and he sighed.
“Young master, what does it say!?” Mey-Rin asked worriedly.
“It seems he anticipated that he would be killed, and sent a letter to Jeremy” Ciel’s eyebrow twitched a bit as he stuffed the letter in his pocket. Something was up, and I knew Ciel was hiding it from me and I had to make him spit out the information.
“Do you have any more evidence which proves that you’re not the killer?” I asked, I glared at him slightly.
“Matter in fact I do, it’s in my coat pocket” Jeremy answered, I walked toward him and dug my hand into his pocket, I found a crumpled piece of paper and took it out.
“This is a ticket for a play” I said, “and it was at 6pm from last night”
“Indeed it was The Lady of the Lake at Lyceum theatre!” Jeremy smiled.
“The Lady of the Lake is indeed playing at that theatre” Irene added.
“The play ended after 10 pm, even if I took a hansom cab and threw him a sovereign it would still take over two hours to get there” Jeremy added giving more proof that he wasn’t the killer.
“In other words, you mean that you cannot be involved in the killings because you were in London last night...” Wordsmith concluded.
“Yes,” Jeremy replied, “Now that your doubts have lifted, would you mind getting me up this rope, I want to solve the case as soon as I can”
. . . .
All of us sat down and explained the murders in detail to Father Jeremy; he took every information into account and understood everything. I was still suspicious of him but somehow I felt there was a connection, at a glance at his height, eye colour and even how he investigates reminds me of him. However, I can’t go fully set on this conclusion.
“I see that’s all that happened from the time of the first murder up until the murder of the butler,” Jeremy clapped his hands together, “Could I see the bodies? They will tell me nothing but the truth”
“Well then we would have to go to the wine cellar together” Wordsmith replied.
“Stop!” Jeremy ordered, Wordsmith was stunned in confusion, “I would like you to move each of the bodies to a separate room”
“May I ask why?” Irene asked.
“The scent might be a clue to the crime, of we put the bodies together their scents will interfere with each other” Jeremy replied.
“Also, the wine cellar strongly smells of wine so it would kill their scent” I added.
“Yes, indeed.... On that note, can you lend me three rooms, Earl?”
“Of course,” Ciel answered as he looked toward the three servants, “You guys divide the bodies over three rooms.”
“Certainly” The three replied.
“Earl, will you allow me to change my clothes in the meantime?” Jeremy asked the young boy.
“Sure... the clothes of my predecessor might be a little too small, I’ll lend you some clothes of the dead butler,” Ciel replied, “I’ll take you there”
They were about to leave until Ciel turned around to face me, I cocked my head to the side in wonder.
“Lady Ciela didn’t you say you forgot your bracelet in Sebastian’s room when we were searching for the key?” Ciel asked me.
“Bracelet..?” I was confused for a bit until something clicked in my head, “Ah, yes I forgot it there... I will come with you guys”
I quickly walked toward the two and started our way down to Sebastian’s room; when we made it to his room, Jeremy quickly changed clothes and took off his mask, my eyes widened.
“Sebastian!? I knew it!” I gasped.
“I am sorry but I have to run, so excuse me!” Sebastian ran out of the room in a second, I sighed and faced Ciel.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I pouted, “I knew you were hiding it from me so I played along”
“I’m sorry I didn’t get to tell you, the guests were watching us like hawks” Ciel replied.
“Anyways, you knew who killed who right?” I asked Ciel.
“Yea, kinda... I told and ordered Sebastian everything,” Ciel explained, “I will explain it to you in detail after we find the killer”
I nodded, and brushed my fingers through his hair he gave me a sour look but he didn’t move. He likes it but he doesn’t admit it. Sebastian quickly ran in and changed back into Jeremy.
“Shall we?” Jeremy gestured to the door; we walked back to where everyone was, they anxiously waited for us.
“Young master, we have finished transferring the bodies” Bard informed, Ciel nodded.
“I’d like you to show me the bodies on the order that they were killed” Jeremy exclaimed while clapping his hands together, his face looked very determined and was ready to examine the body.
“Let’s start from lord Siemens then” I suggested, as soon as I was involved in it Earl Grey pitched in as well. We walked down the hallway and it seemed that the bodies were placed in order on the right side of the hallway, it was very convenient. We entered the room where Lord Siemens’s body laid. Jeremy walked toward the body and started examining it.
“Hmm... the only external trauma is the wound on his chest,” Jeremy studied, “a single stab with a sharp edged blade it seems”
“I bet he was a heavy drinker” Jeremy predicted
“How do you know?” I asked, Earl Grey wanted to know the same thing.
“Well, as soon as I saw this,” Jeremy showed us the expensive pocket watch and I could see the scratches near the key hole. Jeremy closed his eyes and sniffed the room, honestly the disguise that Sebastian portrayed was too creepy, and he looked like a pedophile.
“What’s wrong?” Ciel asked.
“I smell a faint fragrance of the sea” Jeremy replied.
“The sea?” Mr. Wordsmith cocked his head in confusion, Jeremy walked toward me.
“Countess, do you happen to carry a handkerchief?” Jeremy asked while he was giving me that creepy look, I know its Sebastian and all but he really had to stop doing that!
“Here you are,” I replied, I was about to give it to him until Earl Grey quickly took out his and put it in his hand, I was surprised.
“Instead of hers take mine,” Earl Grey requested while looking toward be with a smirk, I smiled back nervously, “a man should help a woman out in every situation”
“This isn’t a bad situation though,” I replied softly, Earl Grey stood very close to me I was feeling a bit uneasy. Jeremy noticed this and stuffed Grey’s handkerchief into Siemens mouth, we all gasped and Earl Grey’s jaw dropped open in shock, I giggled.
“Hmmm...” Jeremy thought as he smelt the handkerchief, and put it back into Earl Grey’s hand.
“Well, I thank you Earl Grey for giving your handkerchief instead of mine” I thanked as I winked at him and walked away; Grey just stood there and gaped at the wall.
“Next was Mr. Phelps right?” Jeremy asked while turning the knob to enter the room.
“Yes, it is” I replied. We walked in the room, I leaned against the bed’s foot board and Grey did the same, I sighed.
“He was the only one killed differently from the other two,” I summarized, “it seems he was killed either by a bite or a puncture”
“I see, can I go to the room where he was killed?”Jeremy asked.
“Of course, follow me” Ciel replied, all of us climbed up the stairs to Ciel’s bedroom. Grey looked back and noticed Jeremy wasn’t following us, he stopped.
“The old guy is not following you know” Grey pointed out; he started to feel suspicious about him.
“Jeremy?” Ciel called, and soon enough he came up panting and wiping his sweat with his handkerchief.
“He he I am sorry for being late, let’s go” Jeremy chuckled, Earl Grey grumbled under his breath when he found out Jeremy had his own handkerchief. All four of us arrived at the untouched, broken down room; Jeremy took out his magnifying glass and looked around the room very carefully.
“It seems there are several killers in this crime” Jeremy noted as he continued to look around.
“So there were multiple killers after all” Ciel scowled.
“It will be easy to catch Georg’s killer but it will be quite troublesome to catch Phelps’ killer,” Jeremy observed, “In order to avoid any further victims it will be better to catch this criminal soon”
“Are you saying this criminal attack only at night?” I asked.
“That and I need the Earl’s co-operation in this” Jeremy said as he looked over to Ciel.
“Mine?” Ciel clarified.
“Yes, yours,” Jeremy smirked, “I will also need the Countess’s help”
“I will explain everything when night has fallen” Jeremy smirked as Ciel’s and my eyes met his.
“Well next up is the butler right? Let’s go,” Grey nagged. We then quickly headed downstairs to the final room, where Sebastian’s body was. Jeremy approached the dead body and slowly lifted the covers, at that moment Ciel gripped at the skirt of my dress and he looked sick... well he faked it more like.
“Ciel! What is wrong!?” I asked frantically as he partly collapsed in my arms, this caught everyone’s attention except Jeremy.
“I’m sorry seeing Sebastian’s corpse so many times, but...” Ciel shook, “It is too much for me”
“Are you okay? Why don’t you take a break out side?” Wordsmith suggested as he approached the young Earl.
“Thank you...Mr. Wordsmith” Ciel stuttered.
“Whaat?!” Grey just gaped at the young Earl; he was getting a little annoyed with his breakdowns.
“Weren’t you fine when you stripped the Butler’s corpse awhile ago?” Grey asked.
“Grey, he is only a fragile child he must have had a flashback of the whole thing in the beginning!” I snapped at Grey.
“Who said I was fragile...” Ciel grumbled while glaring at me.
“I see...” Jeremy spoke as he put back the cover on the body.
“You’re done already?” Grey asked suspiciously and Jeremy just nodded in reply.
“It’s almost dinner time; I’m hungry” Earl Grey complained, “What’s on the menu today?”
“Who knows, I have to ask” Ciel replied.
“I’m heading back,” Earl Grey walked out the room and waved, “Nah, its fine I’ll be looking forward to it”
We were all heading back until I noticed Earl Grey heading back to the room, as soon as everyone was far away and they didn’t notice me leaving, I quickly snuck out from the group and followed Earl Grey, I wanted to know what he was up to. From the corner, I saw him run into the room where Sebastian’s body was, my eyes widened and I quickly followed behind. I poked my head in and I saw Earl Grey taking off the white cloth which covered Sebastian’s “dead” body. He was about to kick it until I surprised him.
“Grey? Why are you in here?” I asked, he startled in surprise.
“I was making sure that the body which Jeremy was examining was Sebastian” Earl Grey replied.
“Of course it’s Sebastian, you can see it now in front of you” I said, while gesturing to the body on the floor.
“Ya.... but I had second thoughts...” Earl Grey said softly as he looked at the body in front of him.
“Anyways, we should head back, it’s almost dinner and you must be hungry,” I smiled; I was trying to make him not observe anymore.
“Ya we should go” Grey replied, he put the cover on Sebastian’s body and left the room, we walked together to the dining hall, he kept looking at me the whole way down..... Geez this guy never stops.
. . . .
Fifty plates were stacked on either side of Earl Grey and rubbed his stomach in approval.
“Ahh I’m full!” Grey exclaimed happily, “It was delicious~”
“Yes, I agree” I added as I wiped my mouth with the napkin, I smiled softly because this food reminded me of Sebastian’s cooking, and his cooking is really good for a demon.
“Well then, now that we’re all full, why don’t you finally let us in on the truth of these incidents?” Lau asked as he playfully smirked, he really loved interesting things.
“Well let’s not be hasty now, there are still some things I want to prepare before that,” Jeremy replied calmly as he laid his eyes on the young Earl and I, “Well will the earl and Countess lend me your assistance?”
“Sure...” I replied slowly.
“...Yes, what should I do?” Ciel asked.
“Simple,” Jeremy smirked, “Take off your clothes.
Ciel and I stopped midway from putting the small piece of food in our mouths.
“WWWWWHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAATTTTTTTT!!!!!” Ciel and I screamed.
. . . .
I quietly lied on the bed without making a sound or making a move, I closed my eyes to hear each sound around me. Quietly and slowly waited for him to attack me and for Jeremy’s signal, I waited for the killer to attack me.... I waited. Through the thick comforter I could hear traces of slithering and hissing, it grew louder and louder as it came closer toward me, all that was left was his signal.
“Now!” Jeremy shouted. In an instant, I quickly kicked the blanket off me and threw it on the floor; I quickly jumped off and joined the others who were standing against the wall.
“Gotcha!” Grey exclaimed as he was about to stab the killer until Jeremy stopped his attack, they glared at each other.
“It’s an important witness,” Jeremy spoke, “We’d be in trouble if you killed them!”
All four of us surrounded the blanket, which under it laid the killer. Jeremy quickly took the blanket off and strangled the killer, our eyes widened to see that the one who killed Phelps was a snake. We left the room and walked toward the room where Ciel and everyone else was, Mr. Wordsmith opened the door.
“We brought the killer along” Earl Grey announced.
“Eeek!” Irene screamed while hugging Mr. Keane tight in her arms.
“Here is the killer” Jeremy announced while holding the tight snake in his hands.
“A snake!?” Mr. Woodley gasped.
“It’s hard to believe but it really came to the young Countess who wore the Earl’s clothes” Mr. Wordsmith pointed to me and I nodded while blushing. It was embarrassing to wear this which was very revealing in the chest and was really, really short.
“Snakes have a highly developed sense of smell and hearing even though they lack sight” I said.
“Due to that they are able to find their prey in the dark through sound vibrations and smell,” Jeremy continued, “In other words the snake was most likely trained by being fed after it was exposed to the Earl’s scent”
“It all makes sense!” I exclaimed enthusiastically, “Because if they use a snake it doesn’t matter if they have a key or even an alibi!”
“This is a black mamba, they are from South Africa and possess a strong Neurotoxin,” Jeremy continued, “the victim will die within one hour from being bitten by it”
“However, a snake is a snake so it wouldn’t know whether the person it bit was the Earl or not!” I said.
“I see, so the one who slept in my bed that night was Phelps” Ciel said softly.
“We were lucky to have the Countess wear his clothes and take his place,” Jeremy looked toward me with his usual pedophile look and I smiled, “In an emergency situation, the earl wouldn’t have been able to avoid the attack right?”
“Well at least you’re safe” I said softly as I crouched down to his level, I placed my hand on his cheek and smiled, he blushed a bit. It was cute to see how Sebastian’s coat covered his whole body, it looked like Ciel shrank.
“However, its illegal to transport poisonous snakes on trading ships,” Mr. Wordsmith said, “I used to be a doctor on a boat that sailed the African Sea course as a part time job, the luggage was checked quite strictly”
“Which means it was smuggled,” Lau lifted his finger to his chin in thought, “bribing a privately managed freight ship is probably the easiest way”
“That is true, you’d need close connections with an African business” Ciel added. My eyes lit up and I pounded my fist onto my palm.
“Wait a sec, if you’re talking about Africa Imported products, it would be gold or diamonds”
Everyone looked toward Mr. Woodley, instantly his face began to look pale and was about to object.
“N..no it wasn’t me!” Woodley shouted in denial.
“Well it really is a bit much to be deciding the killer based on the snake being from Africa alone” Grey shrugged.
“B..but I have an alibi!” Woodley frantically shouted back, he was shivering and I could feel it.
“That alibi might not be worth that much” Jeremy smirked.
“What do you mean?” Mr. Keane gulped.
“What if the corpse the butler and the others found wasn’t a corpse?” Jeremy questioned with a sly smirk.
“But he didn’t have a pulse and there was blood on his chest!” Wordsmith added.
“However, the one thing we didn’t do is inspect the wound thoroughly” I shrugged.
“Well, you know the potion Juliet drank in Romeo and Juliet?” Jeremy asked.
“You mean to go into a state of apparent death but comeback to life?” Irene questioned.
“That’s right. It actually exists!” Jeremy replied, “A poison that would induce this state!”
“What!” Mr. Woodley began to panic.
“There is a substance called Tetrodotoxin that was recently discovered and is being studied,” Jeremy continued, “It works the same way like in the story”
“However that substance is a poison that Puffer fish and octopuses carry” I said.
“Exactly, and that is why there was a faint scent of the sea when he was actually killed” Jeremy said.
“It was all set up?” Ciel asked.
“It all makes sense now, he drank the poison and got rid of the bottle and pretended to be dead, so it wouldn’t matter what room he was put in,” I continued as I noticed Grey being more alert than before, “So, the only way to get rid of it is simply burn it!”
“That is indeed true, Countess” Jeremy sighed, “But when I checked the body he was certainly stabbed to death”
“So he could have been killed after he woke up” Wordsmith sighed sadly, “I should have checked the wound...”
I placed my hand on his shoulder, “But if you look at it in another way, the Earl might have been lured into a trap and even killed!”
“me?” Ciel got confused, “But why would he want to lure me into a trap if I have never seen or talked to him before?”
“That is a question I cannot answer” Jeremy bowed slightly.
“But where did the bottle go?” Earl grey asked.
“Like I said somewhere it could be hard to find in a fire” I answered again, my eyes widened in realization, “The fireplace!”
“But we wouldn’t be able to find it because Sebastian collected them” Ciel shook his head.
“But what happens if the killer killed Sebastian, took the evidence and put it in the Hearth?” I suggested as I looked toward Mr. Woodley.
“I would never have such a thing like that!” Mr. Woodley cried, he glared at me.
“Well let’s check then!” Mr. Keane exclaimed as he stomped his way to the Hearth, ashes spread everywhere and smoke clouded the room, I coughed. When the smoke cleared, there were glass shards inside; Mr. Woodley’s eyes grew wide in shock. Jeremy approached the broken glass shards and quickly put them together, like he was putting together a puzzle.
“Wow!” Everyone gasped.
“It looks like an ampule of medicine” Jeremy noted.
“You’re the killer after all!! You murderer!” Mr. Keane angrily shouted at Mr. Woodley who was panicking.
“I...I have no idea what this is!” Mr. Woodley argued.
“It’s all because of diamonds isn’t it?” I walked over to Lau and gestured to give me the long needle he kept in his sleeve and he placed it in my palm, I walked over to the nervous man and raised his chin with the needle just below it.
“You wanted to trap the young Earl, because his company has the latest technology that could benefit his business thus damaging yours” I glared at him.
“What! That is-”
“Shut up!” Grey interrupted as he placed the tip of his sword on Mr. Woodley’s back.
“No more explanations, I’ll listen to your stories in jail” Earl Grey said sternly.
“I recommend you be quiet so you don’t get killed, after all you’re surrounded by two people who can handle weapons very well” I threatened as I drew some blood from his throat by the needle.
“Earl Grey, you know what to do” I winked at him and the white butler smirked.
“Of course” he replied while winking back. Earl grey wrapped Mr. Woodley in chains and hand cuffed him.
“See ya Countess, we will meet again soon” Earl Grey waved as he left the manor with the criminal in his hands.
“I am so relieved!” Irene cheered.
“Well why don’t we have a toast in celebration?” Jeremy suggested, Finny then ran in with a bottle of wine and glasses for all of us.
“Well, if Mr. Wordsmith would like to make the toast then” Ciel said.
“What me?” Mr. Wordsmith blushed.
“Of course you helped us solve the crime!” I exclaimed as I walked over to him and gave him a nice peck on the cheek, I could feel his cheek get hotter and his face get redder.
“To celebrate solving a crime... A toast!” I exclaimed as everyone raised their glasses in cheer.
. . . .
The thundering storm had finally stopped at midnight, everyone in the manor were sound asleep. I lied down on chaise lounge in my room and gazed through the clear window to watch the quiet night. Everything was safe and sound, the “killer” was caught and everything was at peace. My eyes started to get heavy and I closed my eyes, but for some reason I wanted to be awake but why?
I snuck into princess’s room and found her asleep on the white chaise lounge by the window. I walked toward the sleeping guardian before me; she looked much younger and peaceful when she was asleep. I bent down to her level and tucked her black ebony hair behind her ear, she was perfect, pure and nothing could taint her soul, not even a demon’s kiss.
“She is so defenceless when she sleeps like this” I sighed as I gently picked up her fragile body and placed her on the grand bed. I tucked her in and placed a gentle kiss on her rose lips.
“She is my perfect poison” I smirked, “only my poison”