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The Gifts of Darkness
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Adrien's eyes needed a moment to adjust themselves to the dim interior. On the inside, the shop was small and tightly packed; goods were efficiently arranged in piles that went up to the ceiling, unless they were hanging from hooks from the ceiling itself. The aisles had almost no maneuvering room - two people couldn't have passed each other going in different directions without their backs colliding with some merchandise. The air was heavy inside, and smelled like cardboard and dry pasta.

On the right, sitting behind a counter, there was a middle-aged man wearing round glasses. His dark eyes had a severe, hawkish expression to them that made Adrien shrink.

"Good day", Val said upon entering.

"Good day", the man replied.

"Good day", Adrien echoed in a lower voice, tailing behind his mentor. Val picked a basket, left his bags at the entrance, and began browsing the aisles; Adrien was about to follow him, but was stopped by the shopkeeper's voice: "The apprentice?", he said.

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Posted on January 1st 2023.

The Gifts of Darkness - Chapter 18 - Page 14

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