The trio had reached the First String member's tents, and walked casually into Belle's tent. Belle went straight for the chest where she kept her spares, whilst her new human acquaintance stared all around her in awe.

'My, it's awfully spacious...'

'Oh, that's because I'm a First String member.'

'First String? So there's ranks to the circus...curious indeed.'

Belle felt a sniffing action on her legs, 'Well, it seems Wolfie likes you. I'd take that as a compliment.'

'Ummm, okay, then.' The dancer handed Evelyn the package in brown paper, 'Here you go, as neat and non creased as I could get it. Sorry 'bout the packaging though.'

'Not at all. Say, how long have you been doing this for?'

'Well...I've loved animals, particularly horses, since I was a kid. I got into the circus when I was 18, about 4 years ago-'

'So you're 22?! But...you're so small! About my height, in fact!'

'Why? How old are you then?'

'I'm 17 years old.' Evelyn reached into her purse, 'Here. My compensation.'

'What? No, I told you, I don't want your money-'

Her new acquaintance put the gold and silver coins into Belle's hand, 'Think of it as payment for a friend.' The Countess had a mysterious glint in her eye. She whispered, 'Be glad to know, Belle dear, that I now owe you a favor. ' And with that, Ravenne turned around, and strolled out of the tent, followed by her wolf-like companion. When Belle ran out after her new friend, neither was nowhere to be seen.

What does she mean, favor?


Belle was walking around the tents to clear her head after feeding and untacking the horses, only to find herself in the tent where Doctor did most of his work. And seeing Joker and Dagger with the stranger from earlier on.

'Joker, who's this?'

'Hmm? Oh, Belle! This is poor guy was bitten by Betty! We're just going to ask Doc to check up on him!'

'Betty?! As in, Betty the tiger?!'

'Right on the mark.'

Doc was checking the stranger's head saying that there was no harm done, when Beast, who wasn't much older than Belle by 2 years or so, stormed into the room. 'Doctor, I was wondering if you could look at my leg...' Then she saw the stranger, 'YOU!'

Belle could definitely tell that there was tension in the air. She was slightly scared of Beast, mainly because of her temper. As such, she stood a little bit behind Joker, like a human shield. The stranger must have done something to offend her, because she practically stormed through Dagger's love proposal as if he was some kind of ghost, pointing at the man accusingly.

'You're that mad gentleman from earlier! Why are you here?! Thanks to you, the show was-'

'BEAST! What are you saying to our guest! In this case, if you weren't able to control Betty, wasn't this your own carelessness?!' Doc reprimanded Beast for her accusation.

'But he carelessly-'

'I want no buts about it! You're a pro, aren't you?'

Joker, Belle and Dagger tried to calm the wheelchair bound Doctor, 'Now now Doc, there's no need for yelling in front of the customer-'

'That's right! Instead, take a look at Big Sis's leg!'

'Y-yeah. B-b-besides, that mister there seems to be alright...' Belle timidly chirped in.

Doc reluctantly stopped his lecture, 'Ha...After this though, Beast has to discipline Betty again.'

Beast tsked at the thought, '...Fine.'

All the while, Belle saw the man in black stay silent, almost observing his company.

'Right then, let me see the prosthetic leg.'

That alone piqued the black clad man's interest, 'Prosthetic?' Seeing the curious question, Joker made to explain, stepping away from Belle.

'Well, there's a reason behind the circus. Folks with some sort of problem gather together here. I'm missing an arm too, but thanks to Doc,' He wiggled his skeletal fingers, 'I've got this. Pretty cool, huh?'

'It's because you use that hand that it goes bad so quickly!' Doc muttered under his breath, 'Makes me just want to readjust your whole body too.'

'So you're the one who makes the prosthetics for the circus?'

'Yep, that's right. It's hard work, since I do everything from the carving onwards.'

'Carving? In other words, they're wooden?'

'Nope. Ceramic.'

Doc was showing Beast's prosthetic leg, 'Well, I say ceramic, but they're made of special materials that make them light and durable.'

The man in black lightly touch Beast's leg, 'I see, it feels good.'

'Right? So that they move smoothly, I use ball-jointed doll parts.'

The man looked at Belle with a strange stare, 'I don't see any prosthetic limbs on you...'

Belle flustered. She was only looking, not intending to be asked on. What should she do? Should she answer? Yeah she should probably say something, 'I, um, yeah I know.' She gave herself a mental face palm Nice going, idiot. Way to point out the obvious...

Joker was her saviour from Belle looking like a moron, 'Ah, sir, our Belle here is just a little shy around people she doesn't know well. But yes, she doesn't have prosthetic limbs, but luckily some of the other First String members have the rest of their bodies intact too, haha!'

'This is truly finely made. Ah?' then the stranger did the unthinkable, 'This hallmark is...?' he asked as he lifted Beast's leg in a very...compromising position.

Embarrassing hilarity ensued after.


WHOOOOOOOOOO! SECOND CHAPTER YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!