Rewrite of Face-Lift 1288: The Feast of Masks
For years mercenary Tali Adilrein has been following an on-again-off-again whisper of danger that only she can hear. [If I've been following anything for years and still haven't caught up to it, I give up.] She can't ignore it, but she doesn't want to admit the whisper may be related to the rare type of magic she wields--dragon magic. [I'm not sure what it means to follow a whisper. I'm less interested in knowing dragon magic is rare than in knowing what it can do. I'm not sure why someone wouldn't want to admit that a whisper may (or may not) be related to dragon magic. What kind of danger is being whispered of? I'm pretty much lost. All I know is mercenary Tali wields something called dragon magic.]
The whisper [I'm becoming annoyed with the whisper.] leads Tali to stop the kidnapping of a girl, Shimmer, who can enhance dragon magic. Worried, Tali hires on as Shimmer's bodyguard.
Soon thereafter Tali defends Shimmer from magically guided arrows. The next day, she kills a swarm of destructive beetles released where Shimmer is working. Both incidents involve magic similar to Tali's own. [So releasing beetles is something Tali could do? Somehow the term "dragon magic" sounds more impressive than that.]
Though initially suspicious of Tali, a well-connected politician enlists (extorts) her aid when he investigates. [What's he investigating? The failed kidnapping? Isn't that a job for law enforcement?] While his leads peter out and his informants turn up dead, Tali must call on her own magic and Shimmer's help in fighting off stronger, more blatant attacks. [Stronger than beetles?]
In the end they will discover an ancient dragon is hunting Shimmer. To protect the girl, Tali will need more than dragon magic: she herself will need to become a dragon.
Does the dragon that's hunting Shimmer want to force her to enhance its magic? If so, attacking her with arrows doesn't seem smart.
If the politician does something useful, what? If all you tell us is his leads peter out and his informants turn up dead, he's not needed in the query.
I have to say, I think your previous version gave a better idea of the story. Also, that my version in the comments there, works better than either of your versions. Apparently you've rejected it, which is okay, but I'd at least let it guide you toward something with more clarity.