Abel sighed to himself once he had finished wiping up the dust with a spare rag, the three rabbits sleeping in his jacket which laid on the bed.
"How's this?" he asked the dresser.
"It looks so nice. Thank you again." Katyusha said giving a slight smile.
Bella was checking around one of the beds before pulling a small book out from under the bed.
"What's this?" she asked, showing the object to Katyusha.
"I'm not quite sure, I don't recognize it."
"But I do!" chimed Vladimir.
"You do?" Bella asked, glancing down at the candlestick.
"Da, that looks like the book the Master's sister used to carry around so much." Vladimir explained.
"Its Lili's?" Katyusha asked.
"I think so."
Bella flipped open the small book carefully before reading aloud.
"The local townspeople were saying my bruder is a cheap. I'm worried. I am scared to tell him that I am interested in Raivis. I think that he might not want me to get married. I will tell him after the coronation tomorrow. I will be back to write down what happened after the party." Bella read out loud. "Yours truly, Lili. And this was the last entry."
"Does that mean anything to either of you?" Abel asked, glancing over at the two talking pieces of furniture.
"Well...I did notice before the event that Lili was always deep in thought...I never realized-" Katyusha started.
"You said Raivis?" Vladimir interrupted suddenly.
"There was a Raivis...he was the son of local Duke. He and Lili had grown up together. I never thought she'd fancy him." Vladimir explained.
"You think she ever told him?" Abel asked.
Before either could answer the door opened with a creak.
Boris hopped his way into the doorway.
"Greetings Miss. I am here to escort you to the dining hall for your dinner with my master."
"Tell him that I politely refuse." Bella said without looking up.
Abel glanced at her while Katyusha, Vladimir, and Boris all stared at her wide eyed.
"I won't do it. I don't appreciate someone threatening harm to my older brother and then expecting me to have dinner with them." Bella said, setting the book down and crossing her arms across her chest. "As I just said, tell him I politely decline."
"Oh d-dear..." Boris said, trembling slightly.
"Boris, just go. We'll handle this." Vladimir said.
"Alright...but I won't like the Master's explosive temper..." Boris said as he hesitantly hopped off.
"Shut the door..." Vladimir said.
Bella closed the door with a click.
"Katyusha-" Vladimir started. "-You need to block the door."
"Wh-Wh-What? Why me?"
"You know how angry the Master can get and we are going to protect these two."
"Al-alright..." Katyusha replied as she lumbered herself to block the door.
"What now?" Abel asked as he held a sleeping rabbit in his hand.
"Well...now we wait."
The Beast was pacing back and forth in front of the massive fire, growling to himself impatiently.
"Where is she?" he growled.
"You need to calm yourself. Stress is not good for the organs, mainly the stomach...or so I've heard, aru." chimed the teapot, Yao.
"If you ask'a me, I think'a you shouldn't get so upset'a. It'sa impolite to the Lady." added a napkin holder.
"Yeah!" shouted a large battleaxe which currently was hanging over the fireplace. "I mean, its not she's gonna reject you or anything-"
"I'm gonna apologize for him." said a small bird statue. "He doesn't know a single thing he's talking about."
"How am I going to get her to like me when I look like...THIS?" The Beast growled, motioning to his own body.
"You just'a need to be'a yourself-"
"-The you before all this nonsense happened."
The door to the dining hall creaked opened rather suddenly causing the Beast's ears to perk up.
He turned to the door and stopped upon seeing a shaking Boris in the doorway.
"Well? What is it? Where is she?" he questioned.
"I-I'm sorry Sir...she's um...sh-she's not coming to dinner."
The room's occupants sat silently to themselves when came the loud yell that caused all of them all to freeze up.
"Katyusha, hold the door back!" Vladimir yelled as the loud footsteps came towards the door.
Katyusha pushed the door back, whimpering as it shook with the pounding of the Beast's fist.
"I thought I told you to come down for dinner!" came the muffled shouts of the Beast.
"Go away!" Bella screamed right back.
"I can bust this door down!"
"I'm not scared of you!"
There was muffled voices before the Beast growled out in his attempt to be calm, "It would bring me great honor if...you were to join me for dinner."
"Thank you but I'm not hungry." Bella replied, crossing her arms across her chest.
"FINE! STARVE FOR ALL I CARE!" came the final scream as the Beast was heard storming away.
After a short time, a light tapping came. "It's me, Boris."
Katyusha moved away from the door so that Boris could enter the room.
He stared up at Bella.
"Please forgive him, Miss. He has had a great deal of stress that he's kept bottled up for so long. We all do. We miss when we were human."
"You all were human before this right?" Abel asked. "Then start talking."
"Well-" Boris started.
"-It isn't fair to everyone else, now is it?" finished Vladimir.
"Everyone else?" Bella asked.
"You didn't really think the few you met were the only servants here, did you?" Vladimir said. "Come along, then. The Master has probably returned to his Wing."
Vladimir led the way through the door with Boris, Bella, and Abel (carrying the rabbits in his jacket still) following.
"Let me tell you the others will be so pleased. We haven't had a lot of use in recent years. Some of us have forgotten what we looked like before the Event. Especially the younger ones."
"There are younger ones?" Bella asked.
"Oh yes. My little brother as well. Funny thing is, he became a tiny candle holder. But he spends most of his time on the fireplace because of how small he is."
"Abel and I have a little brother. His name is William."
"You don't have any parents?" Boris asked.
"No. They passed a very long time ago. So its just been us three."
"I can see why you are so protective of your older brother. He really is all you have." Boris said. "I don't have any family, I had only lived in the castle for two years when the Event happened."
"You keep mentioning the 'event', what is it?" Bella asked.
"We'll explain when we reach the dining hall." Vladimir said. "And here we are."
He led the way through the door.
Vladimir stopped, glancing about.
"Strange. Usually most of everyone are normally here." he pondered. "I hope the Master didn't-"
Then came a loud crash from the kitchen area.
"Oh dear...has Angelo gone and lost his temper again?" Vladimir asked with a sigh as he hopped into the kitchen.
The rest of the group quickly followed after.
Bella had to duck when a knife went flying and was imbedded in the wall where she had been standing.
The massive stove was moving around a lot, obviously angered.
"I spend'a all day'a working on his'a meal but noooo, he can just'a decide that'a he doesn't want'a it." it complained the stove rather loudly.
"Angelo, calm down....Lovino, where are you? Your cousin is at it again." Vladimir called glancing around.
"I'm a little bit'a preoccupied right now you damn'a bastardo." replied the knife in the wall which managed to pull itself out.
"Honestly those two still are as immature as ever." The teapot, Yao said from his spot beside the china cabinet.
"Hello again." Bella greeted him.
"Nǐ hǎo." Yao greeted back. "See! At least some people have manners, aru!"
"Why don'ta you just'a shut up'a!" Screamed the stove.
One of the teacups hopped its way towards the stove.
"Calm yourself, Angelo." the cup said to it.
Vladimir glanced up at the sibling pair.
"That is Cheng, one of Yao's siblings, he had taken a liking to Angelo there. Lovino is one of three brothers who worked here and Angelo is their Sicilian-born cousin. Oh yes, how are you two feeling?" he asked.
"Well...I am feeling a bit hungry." Bella replied. "What about you, Abel?"
Abel gave a silent nod.
"Excellent." Boris cheered, motioning them back out into the dining hall. "Please wait to be served while we prepare the food."
The doors shut with a click before a loud call of;
The sibling pair watched as a tiny candle holder stopped right in front of Vladimir.
"Perfect timing, Alexandru." Vladimir said, patting the little holder.
"This is my younger brother, Alexandru. Alexandru, this is Bella, she's the girl who the Master is allowing to stay with us and this is her older brother, Abel."
The smaller candle holder stared up at them before giving a loud, "Salut!"
"Th...That's Romanian for Greetings." Vladimir explained. "Please take a seat."
As Abel went to sit down, Vladimir noticed him struggling with his still wounded arm.
"Oh! What happened?!"
"Your arm!" Vladimir pointed at it.
"He broke it before we left on our trip. Its why I was traveling with Abel out here in the first place." Bella explained.
"Never fear, Miss Bella." Vladimir said, hopping up on the table. "I'd be happy to fix it for him."
"You?" Bella said, raising an eyebrow. "But how?"
"You'll see." Vladimir said with a toothy smile. "Now lets see if I remember the sentence."
Vladimir mumbled a few words under his breath.
"Okay, try moving it now."
"What do you-?" Bella started when Abel raised his wounded arm and moved it as if it were never broken to begin with.
"How did you-?"
"Magic." Vladimir said.
"Magic?" Bella repeated.
"Yes. Its how we all ended up like this in the first place." Vladimir explained, waving his 'arms' about.
Bella sat back in her chair.
"Can you tell us?" she asked. "You did promise."
"Ah yes, I did. Well, it would five years ago in a few months when the Event happened. The Master wasn't the nicest of people back then. He only really cared about one person and that was his little sister, Miss Lili. He made the mistake of insulting a traveling wizard from the border who cursed us. He mainly cursed the Master not just with the form you see him as, but as well cursed him to be separated from the only person he truly cared about." Vladimir explained. "Its why he reacted so strangely when you mentioned your older brother here."
"Oh my god..."Bella gasped, covering her mouth.
"So you understand where he's coming from. The Master does miss his sister but he can't let her see him like that." Vladimir said.
"...If his sister loved him, then she could see past his looks, right?" Abel said without warning.
"The spell was quite different. The Master needed to earn the love of someone he hadn't grown up with...someone he hadn't met before-"
"The pretty lady can break the spell!" shouted Alexandru.
"M-me?" Bella gasped.
"Alexandru!" Vladimir shouted, covering the candlestick holder's mouth. "I apologize, it seems the Master isn't the only one who needs a lesson in manners."
Vladimir gave a loud sigh.
"We aren't saying you're the one to break the spell, we're just..." Vladimir said, lowering his head. "We just don't want to lose the chance because someday, the chance will never be able to come and we'll be stuck in these forms forever."
"Well..." Bella started, giving a cough. "I guess I can try to help."