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Conquest of Shadows - Flames with In - Chapter 2

by FlamingPhoenix


As the sun’s golden rays crept into the navy-colored sky lighting the clouds with soft pinks, Richard crouched behind a tall chimney watching as the guards did their last rounds for the morning, the two chatting as they scanned the woods border.

Keeping his eye on the guards Richard crept towards the edge of the roof he’d spent the night on, his joints stiff from sleeping on the hardwood. There were only a few meters between him and the forest, so when the time presented itself he would have to make his getaway quick, it shouldn’t be too hard being know knew he was there.

Rubbing his neck, removing the aches, Richard continued to observe the guards as they rounded one of the houses, moving onto another section of the border.

‘Now’s my chance.’ Richard thought, securing his mask and cloak hood before descending from the roof, ducking and rolling when hitting the ground, thus causing a small cloud of dust to form around him.

Still in the shadows of the house, Richard took one last look around before dashing into the open street between him and the safety of the forest.

“Hey! You!” An enraged voice shouted from behind Richard, a sharp slicing sound was soon heard as a weapon was removed from its sheath.

Risking a glance behind him, Richard’s eyes widened when he saw the angry solder take chase, his sword drawn. ‘Where did he come from? I was sure they had left.’ Richard thought, keeping up his speed but drawing his sword ready to defend himself.

The sounds of heavy armor fast approaching rang in Richard’s ears as he lifted his sword to block an oncoming attack, it was just in the nick of time as his sword just hit the tip on the guards, only slowing the blow enough for him to roll out the way, the weapon swinging past his face.

Quickly getting back to his feet, Richard resumed his attempt at a getaway, his feet slipping slightly against the gravel. He hadn’t planned on having an encounter with one of the King’s men, especially in broad daylight.

A stabbing stinging sensation ran over Richard’s arm sending waves of sharp pain through his body as he saw the shine of a blade fly past his shoulder embedding itself into a nearby tree out the corner of his eye.

Hissing in pain, Richard tried to ignore the wound in his arm as he continued to run for the trees the feeling of a warm substance running down his arm forcing him to grip the injury in hopes of stopping some of the bleeding.

The sound of heavy footsteps and the ringing of his beating heart rang in Richard’s ears as he picked up on the faint sound of another blade being drawn from behind him.

‘I have to get out of here.’ Richard thought as he passed the tree line, cool shadows of the early morning passing over his sweat-drenched body as he looked for somewhere to hide. Just because he was somewhat in the safety of the trees doesn’t mean the guard chasing him would give up.

Richard ran for what felt like hours, but what ended up only being a few minutes. His heartbeat against his chest as his lungs burned for the extra air he struggled to breathe in through his fast gasps for air, the mask didn’t help, but it was the only way to keep his identity safe.

‘I have to lose him, and quickly.’ Richard thought as he looked behind him, eyeing the guard up, the heels of his feet aching with every step he took.

Hurriedly looking around him, Richard’s spotted one of the sections of the forest that was known to be denser than the rest, therefor the sun at this time wouldn’t penetrate the leaves as easily.

Removing a few small blades from the pouch strapped to his hip, Richard threw each of them at his pursuer, forcing the other man to stop and deflect the attack with his sword; the small knifes bouncing off of the mettle embedding themselves into the ground.

Seizing the small window to escape and get a larger distance between them, Richard headed towards the thicker part of the forest weaving between the large oak trees hoping to slow the guard down due to the heavy armor he wore.

Richard ran for a while and only began to slow when the guard's footsteps began to fade off, he knew there was still a large chance he was still being followed, but now that he had time he had to think of a plan to shake the man off of his trail.

Going into the thicker part of the forest seemed to have helped a bit, but it wasn’t doing the trick. “Man, Damien’s guards are persistent...” Richard huffed, when he looked behind him to see a bulked shadow running towards him, the sound of his mettle plating rolling through the air.

Sucking in a long breath of air Richard quickly resumed his running when he felt himself get pulled back by the arm. Panic washed over him when he felt his back get forcefully pushed against a tree, a hand quickly covering his mouth muffling any shout of fright that could have escaped him.

The man in front of him lifted a gloved finger to his lips signaling to keep quiet as his dull green eyes looked in the direction the guard was coming from, the scar that ran along the side of his neck fully visible.

Richard couldn’t see due to being behind the tree but he could tell from the footsteps that came from behind them just a little while longer and the guard would be right on top of them.

Looking up at the man who stood before him, Richard watched as he closed his eyes his face calm as his hand rested on the hilt of his sword, counting down the seconds.

The two of them remained there for what seemed to be a painstaking long few seconds as they both listened to the guard's footsteps as he began to get closer and closer.

In one fluid motion, the man ran forward removing his sword from its sheath, the sound of metal slicing through the air was the only sound that could be heard before the thud of a body hitting the ground met Richard’s ears.

Wincing Richard remained behind to tree for a few seconds, listening out for the sound of mettle, but it was only silence.

Coming out from behind the tree Richard looked down at the guard that now lay motionless in the grass, the blood seeping from his neck staining the grass crimson.

Richard could feel the sick feeling in his stomach slowly rise to his throat as he looked down at the body, the guard's once dark skin now a ghostly pale. He hadn’t meant for anyone to get hurt, let alone get killed. Sure not everyone is perfect, but they're still wasn’t any need for him to die the way he did, for all he knew the guard could have been a lower tear villager just doing his job, trying to bring in what little money he could make.

Forcefully removing his gaze Richard looked up at the other elf that stood over the body, removing the blood from his sword with a stained cloth. ‘No emotion? How’s he even able to do such a thing without wanting to hurl your guts out?’ Richard thought guilt lay heavy on his shoulders. His eyes follow the other elves' movements as he leans down closing the guard's eyes, remaining there for a moment his head bowed. ‘I guess that’s what happens when you live through a war, you don’t feel pain I guess, a kill is a kill, nothing more.’

The loud scrape of metal rang through the air as the other elf stood, sheathing his weapon, his gaze moving from the body to Richard, who met his eyes only to look down at his feet soon afterward.

“What...are you doing here, Ryan?” Richard asked, the words leaving his mouth sooner than he could stop them.

His mask and cloak hood now removed from his face Ryan stood there for a moment seeming to contemplate on what to say, the displeased expression on his face not going unnoticed by Richard, as the morning sun peeked through the canopy above, highlighting his face.

Letting out a long sigh Ryan turned to look at Richard again as he calmly spoke, “I was out here looking for you.” As he spoke the anger he was keeping in check slowly began to come through his voice. “Your father and mother didn’t leave you in my care just so you can go get yourself killed.”

“You didn’t have to come looking for me you know?” Richard mumbled, his eyes landing on the body in the background again, the churning in his stomach only getting worse.

Crossing his arms Ryan lifted a gray eyebrow, “Well when you don’t turn up for nearly an entire day, I begin to assume you’ve gotten yourself into trouble...again.” Looking where Richard was Ryan’s eyes landed on the body a few feet away from him. “And I was right to believe so.”

“Did you have to kill him though? Was it really necessary?” Richard snapped pointing towards the dead guard.

Sighing heavily Ryan nodded. “What else did you expect me to do?”

“I could have lost him among the trees.” Richard reasoned, pointing around him.

“And then what?” Ryan asked, leaning against one of the many trees, the emotionless expression remaining on his face.

‘What does he mean by that?’ Richard wondered, his face going blank for a moment. If he did lose the guard in the trees then they both would have been allowed to go home.

“Let’s put this in a way you can understand,” Ryan said lifting a gloved figure. “Okay let’s say I didn’t get involved and you managed to lose the guard. What would have ended up happening, is he would have returned to the king and reported what you had done, thus ending with the king ordering half of his men to search the forest, ending up with us being found, and possibly killed.”

‘I didn’t even think of that...I could have gotten us killed if it weren’t for Ryan.’ Richard thought, looking away even more guilt coming over him.

“I think I’ve gotten my point across, let’s just put this behind us and continue with the day...” Ryan said walking over to Richard.

Reaching into the satchel strapped to his waist Ryan removed a bottle of water and some cloth, which he handed over to Richard who took it confused.

“I’ll stay here and take care of that.” Ryan pointed behind him at the body before continuing, “You go get yourself cleaned up and then go check on the traps.”

“Okay...” Richard mumbled putting the bottle and cloth in his pouch.


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Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:36 pm
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MaybeAndrew wrote a review...



Andrew here for a review! I was glad to discover another chapter floating around I hadn't reviewed.
Overall the chapter is fun, the chase scene is exciting, but I would say my main critique is the flow feels a bit messy. At some moments, I feel like things are rushing by too fast or just unnessery.
Ryan seems interesting, I've always loved mentor characters, so I'm excited to see how that'll be expanded.
But into specifics!

A stabbing stinging sensation ran over Richard’s arm sending waves of sharp pain through his body as he saw the shine of a blade fly past his shoulder embedding itself into a nearby tree out the corner of his eye.

I feel like I had to draw a diagram to track this sentence. I'd suggest breaking it up into multiple pieces.
Removing a few small blades from the pouch strapped to his hip, Richard threw each of them at his pursuer, forcing the other man to stop and deflect the attack with his sword; the small knifes bouncing off of the mettle embedding themselves into the ground.

I'm no throwing knife expert but I didn't know you could deflect them with blades, that'd be pretty sick. In the unlikely this doesn't happen, I'd advise cutting it, it makes the guard feel like an anime hero.
Also yet again we have the weird spelling of metal. Heres a couple more I found
when he looked behind him to see a bulked shadow running towards him, the sound of his mettle plating rolling through the air.

Wincing Richard remained behind to tree for a few seconds, listening out for the sound of mettle, but it was only silence.

Obviously, that's a minor mistake, but look out for those!

‘I didn’t even think of that...I could have gotten us killed if it weren’t for Ryan.’ Richard thought, looking away even more guilt coming over him.

I feel like that thing had already been said, and having us hear that thought in simple words makes it feel kinda like Richard is a simple man trying to explain the idea to himself. I love Richard taking responsibility for his action, but it would be cool to hear how he feels. Like, does his stomach hurt with embarrassment, face burn? Does he see images of Ryans dead body, does he feel like a child? etc etc
But that's all just my two cents, hope it helped!
I liked the part where our main character isn't just a murder hobo and sees that this poor guard is just a dude. I also liked that our main character is kinda crap at fighting and at thinking, I always like a likable character who can do with a lot of growth. Makes the arc of the story really fun. I'm excited to see what Richard gets into next time, and exactly who Ryan is.
Thanks, and keep writing,
Andrew






Thank you for the review Andrew!
Yeah this chapter wasn't one of my best, I'm not to happy with it myself, XD I had so much trouble writing it.
I agree it could have flowed a little better, and parts could have been taken out, and some expanded.
I am steering away form my last draft of the story a lot so this is kind of a first draft all over again soo... XD
I'm glad Richard is a relatable main character, that was one of the things I changed a lot in this draft, before he was a very good fighter and didn't need anyone to get him out of trouble, so I'm really trying to change that, so as you said there can be character growth.
Haha yeah I like Ryan too.

Thank you so much for the review Andrew, it was so unexpected. :D
I'll try and post the next chapter soon, I'm taking a little more time on this one because I want it to come out better than this one. Lol



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Thu Dec 09, 2021 6:28 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Okayy...so we have our first bit of action here and its definitely not what I expected. I was hoping for some good fighting by Richard, that usual bit of dominance he shows against the guards, but this time it seems you're making the guards out to be a little more dangerous or rather considering how Ryan dealt with said guard, it seems you're making Richard a bit weaker.

Anyway let's get right to it,

As the sun’s golden rays crept into the navy-colored sky lighting the clouds with soft pinks, Richard crouched behind a tall chimney watching as the guards did their last rounds for the morning, the two chatting as they scanned the woods border.

Keeping his eye on the guards Richard crept towards the edge of the roof he’d spent the night on, his joints stiff from sleeping on the hardwood. There were only a few meters between him and the forest, so when the time presented itself he would have to make his getaway quick, it shouldn’t be too hard being know knew he was there.

Rubbing his neck, removing the aches, Richard continued to observe the guards as they rounded one of the houses, moving onto another section of the border.

‘Now’s my chance.’ Richard thought, securing his mask and cloak hood before descending from the roof, ducking and rolling when hitting the ground, thus causing a small cloud of dust to form around him.


Ahh, this is a nice little start. This is a lovely little scene to see Richard just waiting for the guards to come up to a position where he can press the advantage and do what he needs to do. Recently I've been playing Dishonored which has a lot of stuff exactly like this so I'm in the mood for scenes like this...xD Good start to this chapter.

Risking a glance behind him, Richard’s eyes widened when he saw the angry solder take chase, his sword drawn. ‘Where did he come from? I was sure they had left.’ Richard thought, keeping up his speed but drawing his sword ready to defend himself.

The sounds of heavy armor fast approaching rang in Richard’s ears as he lifted his sword to block an oncoming attack, it was just in the nick of time as his sword just hit the tip on the guards, only slowing the blow enough for him to roll out the way, the weapon swinging past his face.

Quickly getting back to his feet, Richard resumed his attempt at a getaway, his feet slipping slightly against the gravel. He hadn’t planned on having an encounter with one of the King’s men, especially in broad daylight.


Oooh, this is lovely....throwing us into a bit of a chase sequence, with how the first chapter went, I was getting worried that we'll be missing out on this even more, but it seems like in the end we are still going to get a good little fight scene here and I am loving hat.

Hissing in pain, Richard tried to ignore the wound in his arm as he continued to run for the trees the feeling of a warm substance running down his arm forcing him to grip the injury in hopes of stopping some of the bleeding.

The sound of heavy footsteps and the ringing of his beating heart rang in Richard’s ears as he picked up on the faint sound of another blade being drawn from behind him.

‘I have to get out of here.’ Richard thought as he passed the tree line, cool shadows of the early morning passing over his sweat-drenched body as he looked for somewhere to hide. Just because he was somewhat in the safety of the trees doesn’t mean the guard chasing him would give up.


Ooooh the guards are pretty good this time...I don't think Richard ended up being hurt in too many scenes of the earlier story, but here the first time we have a light altercation, Richard is the first one to be getting hurt and while running away no less. This sets a completely tone already and it is exciting so far.

Removing a few small blades from the pouch strapped to his hip, Richard threw each of them at his pursuer, forcing the other man to stop and deflect the attack with his sword; the small knifes bouncing off of the mettle embedding themselves into the ground.

Seizing the small window to escape and get a larger distance between them, Richard headed towards the thicker part of the forest weaving between the large oak trees hoping to slow the guard down due to the heavy armor he wore.

Richard ran for a while and only began to slow when the guard's footsteps began to fade off, he knew there was still a large chance he was still being followed, but now that he had time he had to think of a plan to shake the man off of his trail.

Going into the thicker part of the forest seemed to have helped a bit, but it wasn’t doing the trick. “Man, Damien’s guards are persistent...” Richard huffed, when he looked behind him to see a bulked shadow running towards him, the sound of his mettle plating rolling through the air.


Oooh, this is good, Richard using a nice little distraction to try and get away. You don't see that happening too often in situations like this and I think it a great choice here. You also definitely get to see just how ruthless these guards are when you see them following him despite all of what he's doing disappear here.

The man in front of him lifted a gloved finger to his lips signaling to keep quiet as his dull green eyes looked in the direction the guard was coming from, the scar that ran along the side of his neck fully visible.

Richard couldn’t see due to being behind the tree but he could tell from the footsteps that came from behind them just a little while longer and the guard would be right on top of them.

Looking up at the man who stood before him, Richard watched as he closed his eyes his face calm as his hand rested on the hilt of his sword, counting down the seconds.

The two of them remained there for what seemed to be a painstaking long few seconds as they both listened to the guard's footsteps as he began to get closer and closer.


Well I have a feeling I know exactly who that man is...for a second I got worried it was some other type of guard out here to do something to Richard, but then it seems this is a much more friendly face here and I can definitely guess who this one might be.

Richard could feel the sick feeling in his stomach slowly rise to his throat as he looked down at the body, the guard's once dark skin now a ghostly pale. He hadn’t meant for anyone to get hurt, let alone get killed. Sure not everyone is perfect, but they're still wasn’t any need for him to die the way he did, for all he knew the guard could have been a lower tear villager just doing his job, trying to bring in what little money he could make.

Forcefully removing his gaze Richard looked up at the other elf that stood over the body, removing the blood from his sword with a stained cloth. ‘No emotion? How’s he even able to do such a thing without wanting to hurl your guts out?’ Richard thought guilt lay heavy on his shoulders. His eyes follow the other elves' movements as he leans down closing the guard's eyes, remaining there for a moment his head bowed. ‘I guess that’s what happens when you live through a war, you don’t feel pain I guess, a kill is a kill, nothing more.’


Well that's an interesting little dilemma to mention there towards the end. I wasn't expecting Richard to address that possibility now that we've got a death happening but he did and well that's definitely making things a bit more interesting. I also completely forgot these are all know elves so that's a good reminder...well, let's see what happens next, I sense a scolding in the near future.

His mask and cloak hood now removed from his face Ryan stood there for a moment seeming to contemplate on what to say, the displeased expression on his face not going unnoticed by Richard, as the morning sun peeked through the canopy above, highlighting his face.

Letting out a long sigh Ryan turned to look at Richard again as he calmly spoke, “I was out here looking for you.” As he spoke the anger he was keeping in check slowly began to come through his voice. “Your father and mother didn’t leave you in my care just so you can go get yourself killed.”

“You didn’t have to come looking for me you know?” Richard mumbled, his eyes landing on the body in the background again, the churning in his stomach only getting worse.


Well yup that was easy enough to guess...although hmm, I wonder if this Ryan is a tiny bit different from the one we already know and love, or maybe its just because this is the first time we see Ryan in the middle of action, in the previous versions he was always just in the house I think well except for that one random training montage but that was two drafts ago..xD

‘What does he mean by that?’ Richard wondered, his face going blank for a moment. If he did lose the guard in the trees then they both would have been allowed to go home.

“Let’s put this in a way you can understand,” Ryan said lifting a gloved figure. “Okay let’s say I didn’t get involved and you managed to lose the guard. What would have ended up happening, is he would have returned to the king and reported what you had done, thus ending with the king ordering half of his men to search the forest, ending up with us being found, and possibly killed.”

‘I didn’t even think of that...I could have gotten us killed if it weren’t for Ryan.’ Richard thought, looking away even more guilt coming over him.


Hmm, well I suppose there is that to consider. That guard had to die either way it seems as sad as it could be to see said guard die...but I do think now they're going to need to do some extra work and get this body to someplace else or the king will be sending men in there regardless if they discover a body in the area.

“I’ll stay here and take care of that.” Ryan pointed behind him at the body before continuing, “You go get yourself cleaned up and then go check on the traps.”

“Okay...” Richard mumbled putting the bottle and cloth in his pouch.


Hmm...well this is starting off on a very different tone here. The previous Richard we saw was much more confident of his abilities and we just got a bit more of a feeling that he knew what he was doing, here its Ryan who gives of that vibe and Richard seems a bit more toned down and childish here. Its an interesting change, I guess we'll see how this impacts the later situations eventually.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, this is a very interesting direction. This definitely feels like a completely different story almost from the previous draft, there's only just some familiar names...hmm, well, I'm excited to see where this goes next.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry






I'm really happy you are liking the changes so far. :D I had to think over how I could make the story better for a while.

One of the things I saw that I did in my last drafts is Richard was a little over powered, he didn't really have any flaws, and never got hurt. So I'm trying to change that, that way through the story there will be some character growth, where he will be more confidant, and become more of a relatable character.

Also his no longer 20 but now 18, so his a little younger. :D And Ryan really does have to still watch over him.
Oh and Ryan is still the same, but his not going to hide out in the house anymore. XD

Thank you for the review Harry! I always look forward to them.



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!!

Hmm...those all sound like good changes :D





Hopefully it will pay off. :D



HarryHardy says...


I'm sure it will. :D



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Wed Dec 08, 2021 11:15 am
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi FlamingPhoenix,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

So, here we have a stealth chapter with a nice reveal and presentation of another - important - character.

At first glance, the chapter seems to me to be dragging on and at times I wondered why it was being dragged out so much. While I like the descriptions and that it sounds varied, there wasn't an immediate climax. It was like climbing a mountain, but before the mountain, there is a valley that has to be crossed first. But the climax came at the end and I like the presentation here of Ryan and how he cares for Richard. With his statement we also learned something interesting; Richard is an orphan and therefore the question arises as to the relationship between the two.

I'm not saying that the chapter itself is bad, but it took a lot of energy to get to this end. I think you could certainly take out some sections and it wouldn't change much in the plot here. You put in good descriptions and details of how Richard thinks, and through his actions the reader already sees enough to get an idea of how everything works in the story. In other words, you probably dropped a bit too much into your story and didn't pay attention to the fact that there was a bit too much information. :D

Or, of course, you can build in another minor climax in the chapter, where you might also see another side of Richard, perhaps a little more swashbuckling or reckless, before he goes back to "normal." :D

In general, it was a solid chapter. I expected a bit more with the beginning and what was to come, but towards the end, the expectation was still somewhat fulfilled.

Other points I noticed while reading:

As the sun’s golden rays crept into the navy-colored sky lighting the clouds with soft pinks, Richard crouched behind a tall chimney watching as the guards did their last rounds for the morning, the two chatting as they scanned the woods border.

Very nice beginning and good paragraph, but it is also a single sentence. I think exactly at "behind a tall chimney" you could make a full stop and split the sentence.

ducking and rolling when hitting the ground, thus causing a small cloud of dust to form around him.

I don't know if it's just me, but it seems so fake when I read "-ing" four times here. Is there something wrong or is it possible to rewrite it?

Richard’s eyes widened when he saw the angry solder take chase, his sword drawn.

A tiny typo here by “soldier”. Here´s an “I” to put it there. :D

‘I have to get out of here.’ Richard thought

The reader already knows (this is Richard's third train of thought) that Richard is alone and not talking; that is, we know he is thinking. So I wouldn't put the "Richard thought" in there anymore, because then it just seems unnecessary, because you show it with the quotation marks and italic that this is something different than the normal text.

Have fun writing!

Mailice






Thank you for the review! It was very helpful as normal!

I have been having a little trouble with writing at the moment, and this draft may not be as good as the last because I'm kind of starting off with a new twist on the story. XD

But I'll try to not give to much information I get it gets a little to much.

Again thank you for the review, I'll try to make the next chapter better.




Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.
— Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights