10 Onto something

Ravina left the cave feeling both satisfied and enraged. How could he speak ill of a dead person with such a straight face? She was so close to shooting him to death when he spoke about her father. Since he was the king he was probably the one refusing the peace treaties.

Asking for peace was stupid? She scoffed. Alright then. He would see if asking for war was smarter.

She snuck back to her room and Ester was as usually worried about her working so late. "My Lady, you will become ill soon if you work this long." She said as she came to help her change into her nightgown.

"You are waking up earlier than me and sleeping later. Who will get ill?"

"Well, I don't do much during the day since you are gone. I help the others but even then I have plenty of time left to rest."

She always had a reply so Ravina remained quiet. Once Ester was done, "go to sleep now. I will read for a while before going to sleep." Ravina told her.

"Don't read for too long, my lady," Ester said and wished her goodnight.

Ester had been her handmaiden for as long as Ravina could remember. She had learned her routine, her moods, her likes and dislikes and she grew comfortable with her over the years and now she even scolded her. It was funny because often the other servants pitied her for being the cold-hearted princess's maid.

Ravina leaned back against the bedpost and opened her notebook. She stared at the pages she had been scribbling on to keep herself calm and composed. Among the useless scribbling, she had written down a word. Breedmate. Her new research topic.

She closed the notebook eager for the next day to arrive so she could begin her new study. Placing it on the nightstand, she slid under the covers and closed her eyes.

In the morning she woke up to the fresh scent of soap. Ester had already prepared a bath for her and prepared extra oils and scents.

"What is the special occasion?" Ravina asked.

"My Lady?" She looked at her baffled. "It is the grand dinner this evening and Lord Steele will be here."

Ravina sighed. She had almost forgotten about that. Sliding out of her gown, she sank into the scented water. Ester took extra special care of her hair and body. Washing her, oiling her up, and bathing her with sweet flowery scents.

"My Lady, please don't work too much today until the party. You don't want to ruin everything."

"Alright," Ravina said.

She wore a simple dress for the day and Ester braided her hair so she could have it in waves later in the evening.

"What dress do you want me to prepare for you for the evening?" Ester asked.

"Just pick something that looks good," Ravina said.

Ester knew Ravina wasn't interested in those things so she just nodded.

Ravina went downstairs to have breakfast. Everyone was earlier than her again. The queen watched her as she went to sit down. Ravina began to mentally count to five knowing that was how long it would take for the woman to open her mouth and say something that would make her roll her eyes.


"Ravina, my dear." She spoke in that annoying voice. "You used to wake up so early. Are you ill these days?"

"She has become lazy," her son spoke.

Ironic of him to be the one to say so.

"I am perfectly fine, Your Majesty:" She replied without looking her way. She focused on the servant pouring her tea instead.

"That is good to hear. We will be having the grand dinner party tonight after all, and you will meet Lord Steele. You have to be presentable."

"Yes." Yvaine nodded in agreement. "Wear something nice."

"I don't want to outshine you, Your Highness" Ravina said.

Yvaine laughed. "Shine is one thing you lack but don't worry. I can help you if you need. You just need to ask."

"Can you two stop!" Andrew said annoyed. "I want to eat in silence."

The prince was clearly not happy about Lord Steele coming today. Ravina wanted to mock him but decided to enjoy her breakfast instead. She would watch him crumble tonight anyway.

When she was done eating she went to the laboratory, Bram looked up from the microscope he was looking through. "Where have you been last night?" He asked.

He must have found out since she removed the stones. "I went to the prisoner."


"I know." She cut him off. "It is dangerous but I have it under control. I am figuring him out."

"What are you figuring out? And why did you put yourself in danger to remove the stones?"

"I told you. We need to change our tactics. You said we need to find a weakness. Well, I found one."

He narrowed his eyes.

"His pride," she said. "These dragons are prideful, especially this one. So the real torture is to hurt his pride."

Bram frowned. "And when were you interested in torturing?"

She wasn't. Her goal with him was something else but that didn't mean she couldn't enjoy the torture along the way, especially after what he said about her father.

"Ravina. I don't want you going down that lane. It is enough with your uncle." Bram said. "We are here to invent and develop weapons to help protect our kind."

"We can't keep protecting forever. We have to fight back and destroy them."

"That is not why your father invented those weapons," Bram said.

"Father is dead!" She raised her voice a bit.

His frown deepened.

"I apologize." She sighed looking down at her hands and peeling the skin on her fingertips.

Bram sighed and went back to study whatever he was studying.

Ravina opened her notebook and found the word she wanted to study today. Breedmate. Malachi's second possible weakness. She had certain theories that she needed to test.



"According to your new definition of breedmates, can a human be a breedmate?"

He looked up from the microscope, eyes displaying confusion.

"I mean can a dragon be attracted to a certain human female scent?"

He tilted his head thoughtfully. "It isn't impossible." He said. "Why?"

"I need to know more about breedmates." She said eagerly. "Can I see all your research?"

"I haven't done much research on that."

Her shoulders fell.

"But professor Ward has done more research on the topic. If you want to know about breedmates, you should probably see him."

Professor Ward was a medical researcher in town. Ravina quickly arranged to leave to meet him. She had to confirm her theory.

Her mind was filled with thoughts during the ride to town.

The scent.

Her scent. When the wind blew was when the prisoner took notice of her and then there was the strange behavior when she asked questions and how strongly he denied it. Maybe she was completely wrong, but something told her she needed to find answers to her suspicions and that it could help her in some way.

The carriage stopped when they arrived and the footman opened the door for her. She stepped down and looked ahead at the small pharmacy. She walked over and knocked on the door. After a short moment, the door opened with a creaking sound and an old scrawny man stood at the entrance.

He adjusted his glasses and looked up at her. "Your Highness?" He looked a bit surprised.

"Good morning, Professor Ward. I hope I am not disturbing."

"Not at all. Come inside." He said moving out of the way.

Ravina stepped into his small pharmacy. It was a bit gloomy inside but very well organized and clean.

"What brings Your Highness all the way here?" He asked.

She turned around."I am in search of some information about dragons. Bram told me you did research on breedmates."

"Yes, yes." The old man nodded. "Breedmates. What do you want to know about them?"


He chuckled. "Come with me." He said.

He grabbed the oil lamp from the table and led her down a long spiral staircase. She was worried that the old man would fall. Even she had to watch her steps. Once they arrived at the dark room, he lit a few more lamps.

The room was a small library.

"Hold this for me." He said handing her the lamp.

She took it from him and he went to grab a footstool to reach the shelves and look through old notebooks and documents. Whenever he found one that he thought contained information he placed it on the table.

Ravina watched the notebooks pile up. Would she have to read all of that?

When he had gathered almost ten notebooks and documents he stopped his search.

"This is all." He said.

"Is there anything in it about humans possibly being breedmates."

"Yes, yes." He nodded causing his glasses to glide down his nose. "And no, the first dragons were not reptiles who reproduced with humans as some might believe. It is impossible:" He shook his head.

"Then how?" She asked.

He adjusted his glasses and opened one of his notebooks. He licked his finger to turn the pages. "This goes against what we study but dragons began to shift because of magic."


"Dragons are creatures of magic. I know it is difficult to believe but there is nothing else that can explain their shifting. If the dragons today were a product of humans and dragons, their blood would look different, and instead of shifting between the two forms they would simply be a mixture of both creatures and remain in the same physical state."

Ravina nodded. It made sense but magic?

"When I studied their blood, I found that it was unlike our blood but still compatible which means breeding between the two is very much possible. Some are even more compatible than others which brings us to the choice of breedmates."

"They can tell through smell?"

"Yes, yes." He nodded causing his glasses to slide down again.

So she was right. It was possible. She just had to test her theory several times and come to the same conclusion each time to be sure whether he was attracted to her smell or not.

"Can I take these notebooks?" She asked.

"Yes. Let me pack them for you."

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