That afternoon, a two-horse drawn carriage entered a vast estate right near the borders of England, silently following the only path in front of them. The trees lining the pathway of the entrance swayed majestically with the guidance of the soft wind. Outside, the mansion definitely stood out amongst the nearby houses as it was decorated with grandiose architecture, which probably dated back more than centuries ago. That, of course, is possible, considering the familial heritage the estate belonged to.
Just then, two men both elegantly dressed in white stepped out of the carriage, overlooking the estate. Standing tall like soldiers, both of them had on unreadable expressions as they finally arrived their destination.
"Whoa!" The shorter man of the two beamed with one hand placed on his forehead – as if saluting – while his eyes were energetically scanning his surroundings. "It's my first time personally delivering a letter to this household, but wow, it's definitely more than I could have ever imagined it to look like!"
The other man sighed in reply, “Please stop doing that every time we go to someone’s house to deliver something,” he placed a hand on his head and continued to sigh, “it’s very unsightly.”
The shorter man pouted as both of them headed towards the staircase with the taller hitting the golden carved lion knocker against the door as they waited for a reply. Soon after, the door was opened by a footman, bowing as he saw the two men and led them inside the mansion. He led them down the hall and finally stopped outside a large door. “Please, enter,” he gestured to the door in front of them, “Marquis Midford is inside his study.” After another bow, he left them.
“Excuse us,” the tall man knocked and entered after a few seconds he heard a reply from the inside. There, in the opposite side of the room, sat the head of the household, Marquis Alexis Leon Midford, leader of the British Knights. “We were sent by the queen to give you a letter.”
“Well, it’s more for your son though,” the shorter one added.
Marquis Midford stood up from his seat and headed over to the two men, greeting them warmly. “Ah, welcome, Charles,” the Marquis shook the tall man’s hand with a smile then he did the same to the other man, “and Charles.”
“It would be better for you to just call us Phipps and Grey, Marquis Midford,” the tall man replied.
Then, a knock came from the door, followed by the entrance of a young blond man. “Father?” he curiously said as he moved closer towards the Marquis. “Ah, Earl Grey and Sir Phipps. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” The man shook both of their hands with a smile.
“Well, now that all of us are here, let’s talk this matter over some tea,” the Marquis gleamed.
“Lord Edward Midford,” Phipps began as all four of them finally sat down after their introductions, “I have a letter from the queen addressed to you.” With this, he took out a letter from his double- jacket and handed it to the young lord sitting across from him.
Edward took a quick look on the back of the letter, the queen’s seal clearly visible on the candle wax marking. He opened the letter and enclosed, read the letter to himself.My Dear Young Lord Edward,
It would seem that I have a task for you as a knight of the Midford household. Please keep this a secret from anyone until the mission is cleared. I cannot leave this mission to the Earl of Phantomhive since he is busy with other work as well as your father as he is the head of the Knights, therefore I ask this favor of you.
There is not much, but please protect Lady Annalise Harrietson. I have already asked Earl Phantomhive to accommodate as to where you will be staying to keep a close eye on her. I sincerely wish you the best of luck and that harm will not come across both of you.
Edward looked at the two white-clad soldiers with a confused expression. “I-Is this it?”
“Yes,” Phipps replied.
“There’s not much information on it though, like why am I even-”
“Shh,” Grey held up a finger to his lips, startling the young knight. “We were told by the queen that this is top secret and it is forbidden to speak of the mission.”
“So please,” Phipps continued as he and Grey stood up, “prepare for your departure to Earl Phantomhive’s mansion tomorrow. We will personally take you there, as ordered by the queen.”
Marquis Midford stood up as well, motioning to the door, “Well, I guess we’ll see each other tomorrow as well then, Sir Phipps and Earl Grey. I’ll see both of you out as Edward thinks this through.”
“W-What kind of mission is this?” Edward mumbled in disbelief as the three gentlemen headed out. “I sincerely wish you the best of luck and that harm will not come across both of you?!” He read the sentence again. His fists balled up, crumpling the sides of the letter. This sentence alone gave him the chills. As he was about to leave, the Marquis entered, his eyes worried for his son. “Father, I-”
“Edward,” he said in a stern voice. “Since it is top secret, even as the leader of the British Knights, I must not know anything about your mission nor can I be of help to you. You are a knight as well, and you must therefore execute the orders of the queen as best as you can. But as a father,” he placed his hands on Edward’s shoulders and looked at him with a worried expression, “I am concerned.”
That morning, a carriage lined in front of the Midford household as last minute baggage were being loaded. As the servants finally finished, the Marchioness and Marquis stepped forward to bid their goodbyes to their son along with their wishes for a safe mission.
“Now Edward, don’t forget what you have learned and to be on your best behavior,” Marchioness Midford spoke, “Don’t do anything rash and think logically for your next move, understood?”
“Yes, mother,” the boy replied lifelessly. Just thinking of what his mission would be like scared him, especially the thought of the queen’s last sentence. He knew he wasn’t prepared for this yet. He didn’t want to risk another’s life due to his incompetency. But in the end, he didn’t want to let down the queen, much less the name of the Midfords who have protected England for centuries. He didn’t want to seem weak, even though his sense of justice was stronger than anyone else’s.
“Edward,” the voice of his father snapped him out of his thoughts as he raised his head to face his father’s. “I trust you, son.” As his father gave one last smile before the carriage moved, Edward shot up. At that moment, with his father’s last words, he felt that he could do this mission… somehow.
“Cieeel~!” The little lady jumped out of the carriage the minute it stopped and hugged the little boy waiting in front of the entrance to the mansion. “I’ve missed you so much! Look how cute you look!”
“L-Lizzy! I-I can’t b-breathe!” the boy spoke.
“You!” Edward faced the same boy with an angry expression. “Get your hands off of Lizzy this instant! Also, I haven’t accepted you as my brother-in-law yet, you hear me?!”
“Gah!” Once Lizzy let go, the boy coughed. “I expected Edward, but not Lizzy to come today. Sebastian, make the necessary accommodations.”
“Of course I would come to see you, Ciel!” Lizzy gave him another hug, to which he flailed again.
The black-clad butler standing next to him smiled and bowed, “Yes, my lord.” Then he faced the two guests and held out a hand, “Please, follow me, Lady Elizabeth.”
“Eh?” Elizabeth let go of Ciel and looked at Sebastian. “Only me?”
“Edward and I are going now. Take care of her, Sebastian.” Ciel got onto the carriage the two Midfords just got out from and motioned to Edward to do the same. “Let’s not waste time, Edward. Come on.”
“W-What? But we just got here!”
“Actually, you just came to pick me up so that I could show you both to your new home for the time being.” Ciel looked towards the entrance to his mansion and sighed. “Come out, Lady Harrietson. It’s time to leave.”
“B-Both?” Edward looked back to the mansion just in time for the door to open slightly.
The door to the mansion opened to reveal a woman dressed sophisticatedly in a light blue and white dress with matching frills and ribbons. Her long and rich honey-colored hair draped loose by her shoulders. She slowly stepped gracefully towards the staircase, eyeing everyone below.
“Wow, she’s so pretty!” Elizabeth exclaimed. She eagerly looked behind towards her brother. “Brother, isn’t she-” Elizabeth didn’t even finish her sentence as she saw her brother lightly painted with red across his face as he silently watched in awe of the woman in front of him. This only excited Elizabeth even more. “Kyaaa~! Brother’s in love!”
There, in Edward’s face, crept a deeper shade of red as he heard his sister’s comment. “L-Lizzy! W-What are you talking about?!”
This only made Ciel and Sebastian chuckle in amusement. Even the woman above the staircase had on a smile at the statement.‘Y-You have got to be kidding, right?!’
Edward thought as he blushed even more. ‘I-I’m supposed to protect someone like her?! I don’t get this at all!’