He swung his fist at my head.
It seemed the wild thrash of a desperate man, but it was not impulsive. I had fought, and been schooled in fighting, enough to read the blow, and the fact that it was not telegraphed. There was no micro expression of warning, of prior tension or bracing. It just came, expert and fluid. Just as fast, I dipped down to avoid it. But even as I did so, I was puzzled, for it was not a blow that anyone would strike with the hand, especially not a man who was clearly proficient. The move was more a sword-stroke, aimed at the side of my neck. Why strike so, with a fist?
All this I relate now in a hundred, perhaps a thousand, times the instant it took for the blow to come. It was fast, and I barely avoided it.
And in avoiding it, I found my answer.
A sword’s blade missed my head and buried itself in the side of the old clavier. It buried itself deep. The impact shook the instrument, and knocked over the glasses of amasec standing along its top.
There had not been a sword in his hand a half-second before. There had not been a place for him to conceal a sword. It had just appeared in his grip….
…His sword, which had come from nowhere as if by magic, was a blinkblade. I had never seen one, but I had read of them…. They were blades held in scabbards of what I now know is called extimate space. Bidden by their masters, they appear in corporeal reality, conjured from pocket-space….
— Penitent, Chapter 16
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