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LMS VI: Silver and Silk 0.2

by Omni

The storm did not relent, nor did Ryun's suspicions that something was off. While he whittled away at his surprise for Railyn and Railyn messed around with some wooden toys near his bed, Ryun's eyes were in a constant cycle of glancing out the window to his right, checking on the candle in front of him to keep tabs on how much time had passed since his parents went out to the coast, and to his left to keep an eye on Railyn. The younger boy was completely oblivious and didn't seem to share the same dread that something was wrong like Ryun held deep in his chest. His heart threatened to escape from his inside, and perhaps he was doing this to himself but perhaps not. Glancing at Railyn, sometimes Ryun wished he held the same naive optimism that Railyn had. Both of them were only child's and grew up in the same struggling village, but, while that fact had aged Ryun before his time, it never seemed to affect Railyn, who just accepted it as it was. Thankfully, Ryun had Railyn as he grew up, and Railyn had Ryun. They had grown up together and were as close as brothers, and sometimes it felt like it was going to be them against the world.

But, when Ryun's parents had not shown ack up when the candle extinguished completely, the flame doused in the hot wax of several hours passing by. Ryun stared at the candle before lightning shocked the window outside, catching Ryun's attention in the corner of his eye. He glanced out the window, waiting still, letting nothing move until another lightning struck. The dim light of the smoldering embers in the fireplace gave him enough light to see just a bit in front of him, but hopefully not enough to show that he was staring outside.

Soon enough, lightning flashed once again, and Ryun saw someone, or multiple someones, moving in the darkness past the house.

Ryun's heart wanted that to be his parents. His head told him it wasn't.

Ryun sucked in a breath. Something switched in him and he made a decision that would change both his and Railyn's life forever.

Ryun first glanced at the door to the back, then to Railyn. He moved over to Railyn, who smiled at him. Ryun offered a half smile back and, after a moment of consideration, he concocted a plan. "Railyn. How about... I was thinking, how about we go play some hide and seek?" He glanced back to the front window, then back to Railyn. "Let's play in the mines?"

"The mines?" Railyn considered that for a moment. "But that--"

"I know, I know what I said" Ryun retorted, perhaps a bit too harshly, judging by Railyn's confused and slightly hurt face. Ryun sighed and tried to plaster a smile on his face, "Well, we can't play hide and seek in the rain, we'll get too wet. We don't want our parents to get mad at us getting soaked."

"Well, I am getting bored just sitting here. You don't have any good toys."

"I know, I'm boring like that." Ryun grabbed a fire poker from the fireplace and kneeled down next to Railyn. "So, who's hiding first?"


The abandoned entrance to the old mineshaft was right next to Ryun's house, so the walk in the rain was short, but it was still miserable. Ryun lingered behind Railyn, who managed to jump into every puddle he could find on the way to the entrance, to check behind them to make sure they weren't followed. He had no reason to really think they would be followed, but he had every reason to think they were followed, judging from what he saw from the flashes of lightning. The rain threatened to loosen his grip on the fire poker, but his whitened knuckles refused to let that happened.

They reached the entrance of the mine, and Railyn hopped around, looking back to Ryun. "Hurry up!" he shouted into the storm, but the rain muffled it to a whisper by the time it reached Ryun. He couldn't help but chuckle at Railyn's completely unfounded optimism and ended up jogging to the entrance of the cave. "Okay, okay. You're hiding first, right? Right right?" Railyn said, jittery from the pent up excitement in his bones.

Ryun chuckled. "Let's get inside before we get to the whole 'hide-and-seek'ing thing, all right?"

Railyn nodded and ran inside, practically hopping through the wooden planks that were boarded up against the carved rocky opening. Ryun followed him in, crouching underneath the plank, glancing behind him one last time before he entered the cave entrance. Inside, it was pitch black, with the moonlight that peered over the storm clouds no longer granting them light. Railyn had quickly found a whale oil lantern and lit it with the nearby lighting station, fumbling a little bit from the slickness of the rocks. Ryun followed suit and grabbed another lantern, lighting it. His first thought was that the light of the lanterns might be visible from the outside, with how close they were to the entrance still. He saw on Railyn's face how excited he was to start the game, so he faked a smile and said "let's get a bit further into the mines before we start, so there'll be more areas to hide in." He didn't really have time or the energy to think more on what he said or if it was correct, but Railyn nodded along like it was completely sound advice. He admired Railyn's willingness to go with the flow.

Ryun let Railyn lead the way into the mines. While, usually, he'd be a little more hesitant going deeper into the mines as he knew they were dangerous, it'd be easier to stay hidden that way. While Railyn was looking for some good hiding spots, Ryun's mind was set on finding one of the abandoned mining outposts. While the fireplace poker in his hand was a decent weapon, a pickaxe would serve him better. However, he was set on trying to find an Eternal Flame. If they would be anywhere, they would be in the outposts.

So, lagging a bit behind, Ryun followed Railyn deeper into the mines. 


Wordcount: 1045

AN: Thank you for reading the second part of Silver and Silk! This part is a bit weaker in my opinion, but I do hope you enjoy it :) 

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Tue Sep 20, 2022 6:22 am
winterwolf0100 wrote a review...

Heyya Omni! I am back. :]

So just jumping right in, this feels like a very sudden start. I think even including something describing that Ryun sat back down to keep working on the secret would help to transition the scene smoothly from the last upload to this one. I also like that we're getting to see inside Ryun's head a little, but the way that it flows is a bit choppy, so it makes it hard to follow at first. Breaking it up a bit and expanding on some of the concepts-- like the fact that their parents are away, or how long they've been sitting in the dark since they first heard the horns-- would help a lot. I'd also like to hear their thoughts on what the horns mean. I imagine they know what it logically means, but I'd love to see them expressing their emotions about that to each other. They seem close enough to each other that they might mention their nervousness about it to one another, or even a simple line of, "that's weird". When they don't mention it at all though, it makes it feel like that's the norm for them, and that they're used to being at war, which begs the question of why Ryun feels unsettled by it.

You're also using this first paragraph to fill in a lot of lore about Ryun and Railyn-- which is completely fine. But it's in such a rushed way that it feels a little unnatural, especially since it's framed as Ryun's thoughts about Railyn. He refers to wishing he had Railyn's naivety-- but we don't really see Railyn's naivety, so it feels like we're just being told that he's that way.

Moving into the second paragraph, is Railyn not concerned that his parents aren't back? It seems like one of them would've commented on it outloud-- or, if they didn't, there would be an overwhelming sense of dread beginning to envelop them that both would be able to pick up on.

The short quick lines of Ryun wishing it was his parents but knowing it wasn't is heartbreaking. I'd love maybe just a quick explanation on why he knows it isn't? Even just the shapes of their bodies looking different, or him having just a feeling? I also, on the one hand, understand the foreshadowing of a line like, "Something switched in him and he made a decision that would change both his and Railyn's life forever", but at the same time, it feels just slightly cheesy, especially for your style of writing. It feels like it draws away from the panic and uncertainty of the moment, in a way.

Ouch. So Railyn smiling like he has no idea what's wrong really hit home the idea of how completely young it is. So now it makes sense he wasn't really freaking out when the candle went out and his parents weren't home. I'd still love to see Ryun comment on Railyn's obliviousness to that though, as a way of further drilling in how young he is.

So for the transition-- I get wanting an easy cut. But I would love to see how they manage to sneak out of the house without those mysterious figures who were outside seeing them. How do they manage to get to the mines? Also, Ryun's protectiveness of Railyn is really shining through beautifully in this post, and it's wonderful characterization on your part. I'm really able to feel all of those feelings practically radiating off of Ryun's actions.

The rain threatened to loosen his grip on the fire poker, but his whitened knuckles refused to let that happen.

I have literally nothing to say about this except for the fact that I am in love with the description "whitened knuckles" being used as a noun instead of "knuckles turning white" or some variation where whitened is the verb. This way of wording it was so unique and it's really great imagery.

Hmm... Ryun is super panicked that someone is following them and presumably thinks his parents might be dead, but he's chuckling at something Railyn said? This feels a bit out of character? I think even adding that his nervousness and anxiety has built until he couldn't stop himself from chuckling would help to make that more in character and make sense for the situation.

Since they just entered the mines, I would love some sort of description of that feeling of going from rain to being out of the rain. It's usually pretty freezing, and even them shivering a little in the suddenly dry air would add a lot to the moment and ground it, I think.

So for the paragraph where they've just gotten inside, it's feeling a lot like you're telling and not showing. I'd love to see some action verbs that pack a bigger punch; some adverbs would also go nicely in making the paragraph a bit easier to read. I find that when it feels like there's a lot of telling and no showing, it makes it harder to me to pay attention as much, even if I really like what's happening in the story. Making it a little more showy and less tell-y throughout the chapter as a whole would go a long way, I think.

I think a big problem with the flow of this chapter that's been tripping me up is the fact that Ryun is so scared of people following them and mentions it several times, but we never really see evidence as to why he's feeling that way. It feels unjustified. Or even if he was nervous because of past experiences and they really aren't in any danger right now, it doesn't feel like he's really anxious about people following them, which is why lines that mention his worry aren't really ringing true. They're feeling a bit false or exaggerated, like the part of "it'd be easier to stay hidden that way" just doesn't ring true when it doesn't really feel like he's actually all that anxious about needing to stay hidden. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but that's just something I'm struggling with throughout this chapter.

You're also throwing in some really cool worldbuilding details! I'd love a little expansion on them! What are the abandoned mining outposts? What were they for? Why are they abandoned now? Even just a sentence or brief descriptor of why they're described that way would help solidify it as a piece of lore in my mind and bring it down to earth. You also haven't established how he would have any experience with a pickaxe (if he doesn't have any, how would that be better for him?) or what an Eternal Flame is. Maybe that's meant to build up the suspense and keep it a secret, but without the other lore being expanded on, it kind of feels like you expect us to guess at what it is. I think if you expanded on the other lore details you include, like the mines and the abandoned mining outposts, then the Eternal Flame bit would feel more like it was a purposeful type of suspense.

For that final sentence, I very much love it. I would love if before it, there were some sort of dialogue line from Railyn? Something that reminds the reader of how innocent he is and how much of a little kid he is. It could be something super random about the game of hide and seek, or maybe even that he's just skipping through the tunnels singing to himself and his voice is echoing off the walls. Something to bring the reader back to earth with Railyn, before circling to the last sentence about Ryun being pulled out of his thoughts (much in the same way as the reader >.>) by Railyn, and following him deeper into the mines.

I have absolutely no idea if any of this feedback is helpful at all for you, so please let me know if you feel like it is or if you're like "hmm... nah, not feeling it." I'm more than happy to try to gear my feedback towards a different style if you'd prefer to hear about other things. This chapter definitely moved the plot forward and I can feel that we're reaching the big turning point that's going to kick off the story! I'm very excited for it, and only now just realized that I'm going to have to wait several days for the next upload :'] which I do not want to do because now I'm on pins and needles lol. Oh well-- the benefit and drawback of an LMS work. XD Again, just to reiterate, this was very good, so I do hope that you're not pushing yourself too hard on this. I could kind of feel through your writing the type of headspace you were in when writing it. Just remember to be kind to yourself! <3

I have no idea how to end this,


We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
— Ernest Hemingway