SIXTEEN

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THE DRAGON SIMPLY stared at her

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THE DRAGON SIMPLY stared at her. Several moments of silence passed between them, shattered only by the distinct pitter-patter of the rain. A sigh escaped him. "Do you still wish to learn from me, or not?"

Ravenna frowned. "Well, I haven't exactly learned much."

"Haven't you though?"

Her lips pursed. She hadn't learned much about her powers, about how to control them, or about what she could do with them. All she knew was that she needed to be more observant. Yet she'd still learned a lot about humans and how to act around them. Not to mention she'd picked up various other spells through studying the scrolls. None of that would have happened without the dragon's interference.

"I've been staying at the tavern," she said finally. The ghost girl crossed her mind, and Vyses's strange attitude. "I don't have much there, but I should at least thank them for allowing me to stay."

The dragon nodded. "If you'd like, we can go retrieve your items now. The tavern isn't the safest place at night."

Ravenna almost snorted.

She climbed to her feet and clutched the book to her chest. The dragon glanced behind him, at the sheets of rain that pummeled the earth. He waved a hand.

Ravenna watched curiously as he stepped away from her ice encasement. An invisible barrier appeared around the dragon's form, made visible by the torrent of rain that pelted against it. Ravenna stuck her hand out. Another invisible barrier appeared around her own fingers, protecting her from the rain.

The streets seemed to different to Ravenna now that they were empty. A mixture of figures and shadows filled the windows of the buildings that surrounded them, flickering within the candlelight. One or two guards remained posted in the streets. One strolled past them, the rain plinking against his helmet. Another pressed close to the walls of the entrance of the general store, using its roof as shelter. The only other human that was out and about was an older man. He stood in the middle of a small garden, his arms stuffed full with cabbages.

"Have you met Henry yet?" the dragon asked as they walked toward the tavern.

Ravenna arched an eyebrow. "I've heard of him," she answered. "I think the bookkeeper mentioned him. He isn't very fond of magical creatures, right?"

The dragon's lips twitched with a smirk. "Right."

Ravenna's brows furrowed. "Why do you ask?"

He glanced back at her, his eyes shining mischievously. His smirk seemed to widen, and her eyes narrowed. He lifted a hand and snapped his fingers.

She heard a soft pop and a startled yelp. Ravenna's gaze snapped toward the garden, just in time to see another cabbage explode into a small cloud of green dust. The older man dropped all the cabbages in his arms, eyes wide and incredulous.

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