Sif thanked the Twelve that Leifsson had gotten around to teaching resonances. Magnus Trollkarl’s books made reference to the technique but gave few hints on employing it, and her own experimentation had been fruitless. Without it, she certainly couldn’t have turned herself invisible and managed to creep through the park at the same time.
Invisible she was, at least to the eye. She could still leave footprints, or snap a twig by stepping on it, and a magiker looking for her would see her. She made her way carefully into the middle of the park, some fifty yards from where she’d left Einar and Lilja. She squeezed through a gap between two hedges, caught sight of hooded figures ahead, and slipped into the shadows behind a tree trunk.
There were eight of them, standing in a circle around the small pool at the exact center of the park. An eerie light filtered between them. Sif couldn’t see where it came from.
The figures broke into a chant. Sif felt the strain on the weave grow as power built in the circle. She took a few experimental steps closer. The circle of magiker paid her no mind. As she came nearer, she saw the center of their attention: a body in the pool, fully underwater, not breathing.
From all around came a murmur, building to a cry, then a wail, then a shriek. One of the hooded figures raised its hands. A blinding light flashed. Sif felt the shock wave a moment later, picking her up off her feet and throwing her backward. The last thing she thought was, “Not again.”
She hit the hedge she had slipped past, went straight through it, bounced along the ground to a stop, and was still.
She awoke to find herself propped up against a tree. She heard Lilja’s voice repeating her name, with growing insistence. A hand repeatedly patted her cheek and shook her by the shoulder. She waved it away and heard a gasp, then what sounded like a relieved sob. It occurred to Sif that she had not yet opened her eyes.
Lilja crouched in front of her, a frantic look on her face. “What happened?” she said.
Sif shifted against the tree. Everything hurt, if a little less so than the last time she had been thrown through the air by magic. “I was hoping you two had figured it out.” She looked side to side, a note of worry creeping into her voice. “Where’s Einar?”
“He went to look around,” Lilja said. “Are you okay?”