In The Dresden Files RPG, mental stress is accrued for casting spells. As you cast spells, you become more mentally fatigued. The mental stress track is cleared at the end of the conflict- so if you cast spells to defeat the big baddie, after he's defeated, and you take a second to catch your breath and clear your mind, your mental stress track is zeroed.
So my question- if you're not in a conflict, and no conflict is imminent, and you cast a spell for an effect, how and when is stress cleared? I'd think in most cases it wouldn't matter as if there's no conflict in the making, the effects of casting the spell beyond the moment wouldn't affect the story, but I was just wondering.
An example: The group is investigating a murder, and creeps into the office of one of the suspects. The office is locked, so the wizard p.i. casts a 1-stress rote in order to open the door. Then once inside, they find a scrap of fabric that the wizard p.i. realizes is the same as the fabric of the coat of one of the victims, so casts a psychometry spell with 4 shifts (equal to his conviction) to verify this, for another point of stress. After verifying, and seeing that there is a clock with a reflective surface facing the door, the Wizard P.I. picks that up and casts a 5 shift spirit spell to see everything that the surface reflected in the last day, for 2 more stress. He sees that in contrast to the suspect's tale, the victim was in his office just yesterday. So they leave to go question the suspect again. Scene over. Does the mental stress clear at this point?
My read of the rules says yes, but I wanted to verify that mental stress in non-conflict situations is just for record keeping and such (and as a herring perhaps to disguise conflict vs. non-conflict, i.e. if the suspect was going to return, they wouldn't know it).