Back in the library, Fiona stood in her best ready-position, swishing Seymour’s weapon about to gauge its usability. Raif had retreated partway down the tunnel with its tail between its legs and was currently regarding her with a look of skepticism.
“Do you no’ trust my swordsmanship?”
“Raif nhooo…” it whined.
She left off parrying imaginary opponents to sit down and examine the blade. “Tis safe noo,” she said to Raif. “You can come back.”
Raif returned and nosed her scoldingly in the ribs.
The sword was a light one, simple in design, with a narrow, slightly curved blade no more than an inch across at its widest point. Its hilt, the body of which looked as if it had been recently wrapped in fabric and resin for better grip, bore several leather straps, interwoven to protect the hand of the user. The leather smelled old, but the steel of the blade shone bright and new. It wasn’t even scratched. Either the blade had been replaced recently—and who would have a new blade attached to an uninteresting old hilt like this one?—or else it was of very high quality steel.
Raif began to hum again, and she looked up to see what it was growling at.