Henrik said nothing more, and his manner made it clear that the meeting was over. Rakel stood and fell in behind the other mages, and lingered by the door as the rest filed out. Henrik raised an eyebrow at her.
“More to say?” he asked.
“A few details,” she said. “First—they have diviners too, don’t they?”
Henrik answered reluctantly. “We can’t say for sure, but the fact that we can see so little does seem to suggest forces working against us actively.” Before she could ask, he added, “We’ll be doing everything we can to help you escape notice, of course.”
“Mildly comforting,” Rakel said brightly. “You’ll be in contact with us, too, I hope. Second—Kajsa knows I’m back in the city, and that something’s going on.” Henrik gave her a questioning look. “My assistant. I trust her, but I don’t know if I should tell her anything more than what I’m doing. That won’t be a problem?”
“Telling her what you’re doing shouldn’t be a problem,” Henrik said. “I’d warn against saying anything about what we’ve foreseen, though.”
“That’s probably for the best anyway. Third—if I’m going to be working under a false name I don’t want to be anywhere near places people might recognize me. Know anywhere I could stay for a few days while you set things up?”
“There’s an inn a mile or so from Yngvar’s,” Henrik said, and went on to give detailed directions. “Is that all?”
“There is one more thing,” said Rakel. “Will I be compensated for my expenses?”
“Of all the people we’ve brought in to work on this, you’re the least in need of financial help,” Henrik reproached.
“That is a no, right?” Rakel said. Henrik gave her a look, and in reply she spread her hands and smiled. “Worth a try.”
Henrik shook his head. “We’ll be in touch.”
Rakel found her own way out of the building and a guard waiting to escort her out of the compound. She saw no reason to return home, and to get to the inn it would be quickest to cut through the High Quarter to the Bridge of the Five. The Conjurers’ Guild house was well out of the way, and so she was no more likely to be recognized here than in the Riverfronts. She started off along the wide boulevards and let her mind work.
The conference had been very short. More than anything that was what had her worried. Henrik enjoyed the sound of his own voice, and his being unable to draw it out any longer suggested to Rakel that he had, in fact, laid it all on the table. She double-timed past the Guild of Heliomancers, looking up at every sound from the massive edifice and hoping that none of them presaged a gout of flame and the attendant cloud of ash. Judging by the thinness of the layer on the street, one was overdue. Luckily, she made it past, and her mind turned to preparations. She’d send a letter to Kajsa and have a few things sent—a mail shirt, leather gauntlets, a construct. She added talismans to her list, and made a note to have Kajsa see what she could do about some protection from divinations. A copy of the Code, too—she had never really read the section that said what she was allowed to do on the other side of the law.
There was the matter of a false identity, but that was the sort of thing Henrik would take care of. She crossed the Bridge of the Five and kicked a rock down into the Heimdal, turning her thoughts toward the more minor things she’d need to do. No less important, though, in the long run—if there was one thing her masters at the School of Conjurers had pounded into her head, it was that she had no excuse for being caught without the right tools.