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.
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 :)