The Long Retreat No. 64

Alfhilde huffed. “We will see about that.” Turning to Sif and putting on a smile, she said, “That’s all.”

Sif picked up her pace to walk next to Falthejn, while Sif slowed her step until she was walking with Hrothgar. Ahead, the girl and the diviner carried on with their conversation.

Alfhilde put them out of mind, marshaled her thoughts, and looked at her husband. This would not be an easy conversation, but if she said nothing, the girl was doomed to life as a magiker, running from one thing or another until she died. She couldn’t let that be.

He noticed her stare, shifted Jakob to his other shoulder, and said, “Yes?”

Alfhilde took a deep breath and dove in headfirst. “How are we going to help Sif?”

Hrothgar blinked, catching up to her train of thought. “What do you mean?”

“It isn’t a trick question,” Alfhilde replied. “When we get out of this mess, what are we going to do for the girl?”

“The magiker seems to have that well in hand,” said Hrothgar, shrugging with his open shoulder. “What more do we need to do?”

Alfhilde had expected an argument along these lines. “Don’t pretend that’s a good life for her. You heard her two nights back. She my have convinced herself she can life with danger around every corner if it means somewhere she belongs, but what she really wants is peace, and a place to belong. The magiker’s plan won’t give her either one.”

Hrothgar shook his head. “You can’t be sure of that.”

Alfhilde gestured ahead of them. “Do you think our Falthejn Arnarsson has many friends?”

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