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Conquest of Shadows Chapter 4

by FlamingPhoenix


Author's note: This is the first chapter I have written in a while, so it may not be my best.

Looking up at the sky Richard could tell he only had a few hours, not having much to go on he figured he should follow the tracks Ryan had left. Picking up the wooden sword Ryan had left him he went back to the tracks he had seen before.

Richard followed them for a while when he realized he was going in circles, Ryan had set them up to trick him and only waste more time. Letting out an annoyed grumble Richard looked over the wooden sword Ryan had given him, grabbing one of his knives strapped to his pants he leaned down and began to shave away some of the wood.

Once he was finished he looked around, the dark shadows of the woods creeping out towards him covering the undergrowth in darkness. The vegetation was deep enough for him to set a trap up without it being seen, but Ryan would see that coming. No, he had to think out of the box if he was going to out whit him. Surely Ryan would come back around these parts to check he had even shown up, being it was normal for him to just run off and do his own thing.

Richard chuckled at the thought. He didn’t realize how much trouble he made for Ryan until he thought about it. Quickly shrugging it off he looked around for a large enough tree for him to hide in, if he wanted to catch Ryan off guard he had to do something he didn’t even know about, something he only did down in the village, he had one of two things up on the older man, he just had to execute them right.

Placing his makeshift sword in the place his real one would be Richard ran for the tree in front of him giving himself enough speed he managed to get a few feet up the tree before having to grab a branch to continue climbing. The bark was rough under his hands but it helped him get a better hold as he climbed higher. He continued going up until the leaves covered him, hiding him from view. Crouching on a large branch Richard waited, if he knew Ryan there was a large chance he would be back here and he wouldn’t have to search for him, or he would get tired of sitting around and try and find him.

Exhaling Richard looked through the leaves their soft surfaces rubbing against his skin. The greenery did well to hide his dark clothes from view. All he had to do now was remain quiet and hidden. Richard was very familiar with Ryan’s way of training and he knew if Ryan said to find him he would be on the move, it was only a matter of time before he came across his path…hopefully.

It felt like hours had gone by when Richard heard leaves crunching under the tree, sitting up he shifted himself around so he was balancing on his feet and hands, moving along the branch a little more he peeked out threw the leaves. But nothing was there. Frowning Richard remained there scouting out his surroundings. He knew he had heard something and it couldn’t have left that quickly.

Not moving from his spot he grabbed the branch he had been shaving beforehand, it was one stick but at the one end it had two branches going out like a V, all that was left to do was tie the band onto it. Once finished Richard gave it one last look over, happy with how it came out he put it in his pouch to use later.

Looking through the leaves again Richard had to hold back from chuckling when he saw a hunched over figure dressed in black looking over the tracks he had left behind. What was left now was for him to wait for the right moment to strike, patience wasn’t his strong point he normally liked to jump in headfirst and ask questions later, but that is how they got in this mess in the first place. Richard grimaced at the thought. If only he was a little more careful.

Letting out a soft breath of air, Richard removed his wooden sword, his plan was simple. Wait for Ryan to move closer to the tree he jumps from it hits him in a fatal spot and that’s training done, simple. A sly grin formed under Richard’s mask as Ryan moved closer.

Standing up on the branch Richard managed to remain balanced as he walked up the branch, taking in a deep breath he jumped from his hiding spot ready to attack. The short rush of wind blowing over his face was cold but refreshing as Richard landed on the floor his feet and left hand keeping him balanced as he swinging his sword out at Ryan’s feet.

The older man didn’t have much time to react but managed to jump away, Richard’s attack missing him by a hairs length. If Richard wasn’t busy with his attack he would have seen the surprise flash throw Ryan’s eyes. Though the other man quickly pushed it aside as he removed his own weapon.

Standing, Richard glared at Ryan. The two stood there poised for attack for a while waiting for one to make a move. Quickly Richard ran at Ryan, but before the older man could meet his sword with his, Richard ducked so he skid under the attack his feet kicking up mud. Everything became slow motion for him as he got engaged in the fight.

Placing a hand down on the ground Richard pushed himself up so he threw another attack at Ryan who sides stepped the attack, his eyes meeting Richard’s.

While Richard’s back was turned Ryan kicked him to the ground then made a dash into the trees the leaves he had kicked up settling onto the floor, the air still and quiet again.

Cursing under his breath Richard placed his weapon back in the belt of his pants as he tried to think up a plan. He thought he had him, it was so close. Though if Ryan had left it meant he was on the defensive, there could be many reasons for that. One; he could be trying to lead him into a trap of his own so he could have the upper hand, or he had been court off guard and he wasn’t ready for it.

Trying to keep his cover Richard climbed another tree this one smaller than the one before, moving along the branch Richard positioned himself to jump onto the tree next to it. Once regaining his balance he moved onto the next tree. He repeated this for a while until he reached another clearing only this one a little denser. Crouching he looked through the tree's thick leaf cover.

Everything looked clear from what he could see, but he didn’t move for a moment more looking around. He had an uneasy feeling that he was being watched but pushed it aside. Jumping down from the tree he walked into the clearing, stopping he looked around again when his eyes court sight of a shadow hiding behind one of the trees.

‘Maybe he hasn’t seen me.’ Richard thought as he crept closer, being careful where he placed his feet. Once he was in the tree line he removed his wooden sword, never taking his eyes off of the shadow, he began to move faster through the trees. Once he was close enough he lunged forward his sword coming in contact with the dark figure.

Sticks, stones, and leaves fell to the floor before Richard’s feet as he looked down at the mess. How could he have fallen for such an obvious plan? Suddenly there was the slight crackle of leaves behind him, eyes widening, he quickly turned lifting his sword to block the attack.

Blue eyes meeting green Richard smirked up at Ryan, he might have a chance and beating him this time, if he moved quickly.

Jumping back Ryan withdrew his attack for a moment to regain his footing. Remaining in place Ryan waited for Richard to make a move.

Without any hesitation, Richard ran forward only to have his foot snag on something that soon tide itself around his ankle. Confused Richard felt himself begin to be lifted into the air dropping his sword on the way. Looking up at his foot Richard could see a thick rope wrapped around his right ankle going up the trunk of the tree and off to someplace else. Swiveling his head around he could see the sly grin on Ryan’s face as he walked up to him slowly.

Crouching to Richards level Ryan grabbed his shoulder to stop him from turning. “This is what you get when you think you know better. I’ll see you at home.” With that he turned and walked into the forest, the shadows swallowing him up.

Richard could only watch him walk off in complete astonishment. What had just happened? He was sure he had him? Where did he go wrong?

Hanging there his fingers only just touching the ground Richard let out a low sigh, how was he going to get out of this mess now?


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Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:02 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 back!!...sorry for taking so long for this one.

First Impression: Hey, its been a while since I read this, so apologizing in advance in case I forgot something important. As for this chapter, I love the action in it, there are some really cool moves that you describe really well. I love the way you write Richard being smart and learning from his mistakes. Good to see some character growth like that.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Looking up at the sky Richard could tell he only had a few hours, not having much to go on he figured he should follow the tracks Ryan had left. Picking up the wooden sword Ryan had left him he went back to the tracks he had seen before.


Oooh...I barely remember where we were...RIP...but I think he was on some kind of scavenger hunt or something that Ryan told him to go on??

Richard followed them for a while when he realized he was going in circles, Ryan had set them up to trick him and only waste more time. Letting out an annoyed grumble Richard looked over the wooden sword Ryan had given him, grabbing one of his knives strapped to his pants he leaned down and began to shave away some of the wood.


Oooh smart move there.

Placing his makeshift sword in the place his real one would be Richard ran for the tree in front of him giving himself enough speed he managed to get a few feet up the tree before having to grab a branch to continue climbing. The bark was rough under his hands but it helped him get a better hold as he climbed higher. He continued going up until the leaves covered him, hiding him from view. Crouching on a large branch Richard waited, if he knew Ryan there was a large chance he would be back here and he wouldn’t have to search for him, or he would get tired of sitting around and try and find him.


Whoa that looks like a pretty cool move. Great bit of description there.

It felt like hours had gone by when Richard heard leaves crunching under the tree, sitting up he shifted himself around so he was balancing on his feet and hands, moving along the branch a little more he peeked out threw the leaves. But nothing was there. Frowning Richard remained there scouting out his surroundings. He knew he had heard something and it couldn’t have left that quickly.


Another smart move by Richard there.

Looking through the leaves again Richard had to hold back from chuckling when he saw a hunched over figure dressed in black looking over the tracks he had left behind. What was left now was for him to wait for the right moment to strike, patience wasn’t his strong point he normally liked to jump in headfirst and ask questions later, but that is how they got in this mess in the first place. Richard grimaced at the thought. If only he was a little more careful.


Ouch, yes patience is very important to winning a fight, especially as an assassin. Well good on him for realizing his mistake at least. That's something.

Letting out a soft breath of air, Richard removed his wooden sword, his plan was simple. Wait for Ryan to move closer to the tree he jumps from it hits him in a fatal spot and that’s training done, simple. A sly grin formed under Richard’s mask as Ryan moved closer.


GO Richard, GO

The older man didn’t have much time to react but managed to jump away, Richard’s attack missing him by a hairs length. If Richard wasn’t busy with his attack he would have seen the surprise flash throw Ryan’s eyes. Though the other man quickly pushed it aside as he removed his own weapon.


Think you meant through there.

Standing, Richard glared at Ryan. The two stood there poised for attack for a while waiting for one to make a move. Quickly Richard ran at Ryan, but before the older man could meet his sword with his, Richard ducked so he skid under the attack his feet kicking up mud. Everything became slow motion for him as he got engaged in the fight.


Ahh that line...umm...it feels a little weird to me somehow. I don't quite know why but I think it departs from the pacing a bit too much there.

Cursing under his breath Richard placed his weapon back in the belt of his pants as he tried to think up a plan. He thought he had him, it was so close. Though if Ryan had left it meant he was on the defensive, there could be many reasons for that. One; he could be trying to lead him into a trap of his own so he could have the upper hand, or he had been court off guard and he wasn’t ready for it.


Yes, I love how Richard is breaking this down to try and do the best option.

Trying to keep his cover Richard climbed another tree this one smaller than the one before, moving along the branch Richard positioned himself to jump onto the tree next to it. Once regaining his balance he moved onto the next tree. He repeated this for a while until he reached another clearing only this one a little denser. Crouching he looked through the tree's thick leaf cover.


And jumping through trees, more awesomeness.

Everything looked clear from what he could see, but he didn’t move for a moment more looking around. He had an uneasy feeling that he was being watched but pushed it aside. Jumping down from the tree he walked into the clearing, stopping he looked around again when his eyes court sight of a shadow hiding behind one of the trees.


Oooo....is that Ryan???

Without any hesitation, Richard ran forward only to have his foot snag on something that soon tide itself around his ankle. Confused Richard felt himself begin to be lifted into the air dropping his sword on the way. Looking up at his foot Richard could see a thick rope wrapped around his right ankle going up the trunk of the tree and off to someplace else. Swiveling his head around he could see the sly grin on Ryan’s face as he walked up to him slowly.


Oh dear, he walked right into that one.

Richard could only watch him walk off in complete astonishment. What had just happened? He was sure he had him? Where did he go wrong?

Hanging there his fingers only just touching the ground Richard let out a low sigh, how was he going to get out of this mess now?


Oh my god, poor Richard.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall its amazing as always. Some slight issues here and there but nothing big. Waiting patiently for the next chapter!!

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

Stay Safe
Harry






Thank you so much for the review Harry! Sorry it took me so long to reply, I only saw you reviewed it now. It didn't show up in my notifications.

Anyway I'm glad you like the chapter, and i'm happy you see character development, I was hoping that would come through!
Sorry this chapter is a little rusty, i'm still getting into the writing groove again, but I'm more than half way done with chapter 5 so you shouldn't have to wait to long for it!

Again thank you so much for the review!



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Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:23 pm
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jackwyndeonline wrote a review...



*wakes up out of cryosleep*
Hmm, this is very interesting. A bit of cat-and-mouse training. I really like the concept, and the mentorship/training could be a really powerful storytelling device to set up characters in the first act. Well done in keeping the story moving and being confident with the decisions you're making!
A couple of suggestions, mostly action-wise. I think it's a bit harder on the readers to write action scenes with a lot of longer sentences. Maybe consider keeping your sentences shorter when characters are fighting or trading blows. Fight scenes are, in a way, choreography. It's a series of actions, countermoves, and so on. Maybe focus on exactly what each sentence needs to convey in order, and strip it down so readers don't have a chance to get lost. Maybe less clauses strung together in a single sentence.
That's really my only critique for this chapter I think. Honestly, I like what you're doing with this. My biggest piece of advice is to make 100% use of these training scenes. Use them to reveal characters, relationships, and to plant cool things you can pay off later. This is your chance to grab readers and tell them why they should be fascinated with these characters. If you show readers how your characters make decisions, what they do under pressure, what scares/motivates them, your readers will be hyped to see it pay off in later chapters.
Carry on!!






Thank you so much for the review, this will help me a lot. I never thought of these training scenes to show what the characters are really like. So this helps a lot! I will go back and edit this chapter to help the flow a bit more. Again thank you so much for the review!



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Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:26 pm
jackwyndeonline says...



Hmm, very nice. Oof, I don't know how the site works tho XD.





Mr. Scorpio says productivity is up 2%, and it's all because of my motivational techniques -- like donuts and the possibility of more donuts to come.
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