Huang Shaotian’s breath caught.
He wasn’t the only one, either. All around the hall, knights and squires straightened from their food and boredom-induced stupors, even the ones sitting so far down the table that they could surely only see the back of a figure. The fire itself seemed to still, barely crackling under the presence of the sword – a magnificently crafted thing, he could tell, even from the poor angle. Not even the blacksmiths of the Excellent Court would be dismayed with such a weapon. For an instant the sword was too dazzling to look at, reflected firelight blazing off its edges, and when the traveller slid it away a great sigh of loss rippled mournfully through the hall as the spell broke.