Spy Glass Page 28

I staggered from the boulder. A moldy smell clung to my clothes, and I wondered how long I had been out of it. By the time I found Quartz, the sun hovered over the horizon. Having no energy to face anyone, I headed straight for the inn. I wouldn’t tell anyone about Finn. Not yet. He had the warden’s permission. Plus he had claimed he was doing his job—my questions about the SMU worried him, but his methods sent warning signals. This time I wasn’t going to waste effort trying to solve this one on my own.

In the middle of the night, I woke, convinced Finn hovered over me. I jolted upright, and scanned the shadows. No one. A shudder rattled my teeth as I realized how easy it had been for Finn to fool me and how quickly he’d trapped me. I was defenseless against him.

I doubted Finn could get that close to Valek. Worry panged. Maybe I should deal with Finn myself? Stop it, Opal, I chided myself. Young and inexperienced Opal would have reported him to the Councilor and tried to convince her of his misdeeds.

Older and smarter Opal called for help right away. This concerned Valek just as much as me. Finn had illegally obtained private information about both of us.

I mentally checked Finn off my to-do list. He had to know I wasn’t here to help anyone escape from the SMU. If I avoided him, I should be fine until Valek arrived. I would concentrate all my effort on finding my blood. Then it hit me. I had to assume Finn knew all about my mission. Damn.

My sore muscles protested as I pushed the blankets from my legs. I hopped down and paced the room. I needed a new strategy and fast. Finn could decide to find my blood and use it, or sell it, or dump it on the ground for a laugh.

I reviewed all that I had learned since arriving in Fulgor. The warden, Finn and the hotshots. I sorted through my memories. As the sky lightened with the dawn, I formed the only plan that had a chance of working. I would sneak into Wirral and ask Ulrick myself.

When I arrived at work in the morning, Zebb sat at his desk. For better or for worse, Zebb was part of the team. My background search on him had uncovered an exemplary service record. We still didn’t like each other, but we tolerated each other’s presence.

“Zebb, do you still have that glass messenger?”

He straightened, instantly wary. “Yeah. Why?”

“I need you to contact Leif Zaltana for me.”

Huffing at my audacity, he said, “Sorry, it’s for emergencies and Council business only.”

“This is Council business. I have an idea about who may have attacked the Councilor, but I need more information.” He hesitated.

“Should I bother the Councilor for permission?”

“No.” He yanked the goat from his pocket and peered into its depths. “Leif better have one,” he grumbled.

“He does.” I had always given him extras.

Zebb concentrated and then asked in a distracted voice, “What do you want to know?”

“Ask him if a Finn Bloodgood was ever a student at the Keep.” I waited.

Eventually Zebb put the goat down. “He doesn’t recognize the name, but he said he’ll find out and get back to me. Do you think this Finn is involved in the attack?”

“It’s possible, and I’d like to know how strong he is.”

“Anything else?” Zebb asked. His flippant tone indicated he didn’t think I would request any more.

He was wrong.

“Yes. Can you contact Yelena Zaltana?”

“The Soulfinder?” He seemed a bit shocked.

“Unless you know another Yelena?”

When he didn’t respond, I said, “You made that snide comment about my hanging out with Master Magicians and the Soulfinder, so why are you surprised?”

“I thought you weren’t…”

“Important enough to really know the Soulfinder?”

At least he wasn’t tactless enough to agree with me. Progress. Instead he raised the glass goat. “I can’t believe I’m doing this.”

After a few moments he smiled. First genuine smile I’ve seen from him.

“She wants to know what you’re doing in Fulgor,” Zebb said.

“Tell her I’m assisting a friend, and ask her to contact Ghost for me. I need his help.”

“Ghost? Who’s that?”

“A mutual friend.” Ghost was Kiki’s name for Valek. Yelena could communicate with her horse, and Kiki had special horse names for everyone. Leif’s was Sad Man, and Janco’s was Rabbit. I never did find out mine.

Zebb returned the goat to his pocket.

“Well?” I prompted.

“She said he’s already on his way.”

I should have known. Perhaps our immunity connected us and he sensed when I really needed him.

“Do you think this Ghost can find the magician?” Zebb asked.

“Oh yes. No doubt.”

Later that day, Zebb told me Leif didn’t see Finn’s name listed in the Keep’s records. I wasn’t surprised. Not all magicians attended the Keep. The Sandseed Story Weavers taught their own children and new Stormdancers learned from the experienced dancers.

Before leaving, I carried a box of old documents down to the Councilor’s record room. I had waited until most of the workers left for the evening. Since this area only housed Tama Moon’s documents, it wasn’t staffed. The rest of the Moon Clan’s records filled up its own building and employed five people to keep it organized.

I added my box to a stack before searching for design plans. Long sheets of parchment rolled into tubes lined the back wall, but after going through them, I realized they were blueprints for various buildings throughout Fulgor and not ones for the important structures like security headquarters, the Councilor’s Hall and the prisons.

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