SIXTY FOUR

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AT BREAKFAST, VYSES seemed to be in a sour mood. He poked aimlessly at the assortment of fruits that sat on his plate, his eyebrows furrowed with annoyance. Ravenna watched him from the corners of her eyes. She didn't eat much either --only forcing a few bites whenever she noticed someone glancing her way. Part of her felt bad. She knew that his frustration stemmed from the spellbook. But she didn't want to share Caelan's real spellbook with him. Not yet.

"So what's next?" she asked Vyses, hoping to distract him.

His gaze turned toward her. Confusion flickered through his eyes. "What do you mean?"

"Well, are we going to stay here?" she asked. "I'm not sure that it's very safe, especially now that the Blood Knights have arrived. We need to think about what we are going to do next."

Vyses nodded absently. "I don't think the Blood Knights will be much of an issue," he said. "From what we heard last night, none of them actually have a clue what their 'witch' looks like, aside from that crappy wanted poster. So I think that we will be safe for now. Though we definitely need to look into finding a more permanent place to hide out."

"I think it would be good to walk around the market," Ravenna told him. "We talk to some of the locals."

He sighed and pushed at a strawberry. "Yes, that would probably be a wise idea."

Ravenna glanced at Lyth. The kid was pretty much finished with his breakfast. His plate was almost completely cleared. She opened her mouth to speak, but the sound of heavy footsteps made her pause.

Her gaze flickered toward the staircase. A small group of Blood Knights descended the stairs, wearing their heavy metal armor and cloaks colored crimson red. At their very center was Eion. His movements were sluggish and dark sleepy bruises cupped the base of his eyes. Ravenna stiffened when his gaze found hers and he seemed to perk up a bit.

"Let's go explore the market now," she told Vyses. When he didn't respond, she pinched his arm, hard, and started to stand. If Eion moved any closer, she'd simply leave without him at this point.

He scowled at her. "What was that for?"

"Let's go now," she hissed at him.

He climbed to his feet and Lyth followed suit. Both followed Ravenna toward the door. The latter expressed gratitude toward Gaius for a delicious breakfast as they passed. Once the door shut behind them, Ravenna exhaled in relief. Something made her feel weird about Eion. It wasn't hard to see that he was interested in her. The prolonged and awkward conversation she had with him yesterday hinted at it. Now, the way that he seemed excited to see her this morning just proved it. His obvious interest reminded her of the men she'd killed before she met Caelan. He was too excited about her, despite knowing nothing about her. It made her nervous.

The market swallowed them whole. Wooden stands surrounded them, filled with fresh fruits, sliced meats, and colorful fabrics. Several stands showcased display boxes filled with jewels that glittered in the sunlight above their heads. A group of little girls floated around the marketplace, baskets filled with an assortment of wildflowers hanging from their arms.

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