"If you had the chance to return to your real parents over your foster family, would you?"
An Sun's sudden question startled Rin.
She scratched her cheek, "Well, since both my real parents are dead my option is quite obvious."
Unseen by Rin, An Sun's originally controlled expression cracked. A wave of irritation welled up within and he tsked.
"You know what I mean. Now stop playing dumb and answer the question." His voice deepened as a frown settled on his face.
Rin muffled a laugh and coughed lightly, "Of course, my apologies, my lord."
Rin's expression grew thoughtful as she pondered over the right words to say.
If her parents were still alive, would she go back to them? Rin's heart clenched from being asked such a question. If such a situation happened then…
Rin pressed her moist lips together and put a little more thought into her words. "Truthfully, I don't think I'd return."
An Sun's eyebrows creased. "You wouldn't?"
"Believe me, my lord, I may have been young when I lost them both, but I loved them with all my heart, I still do. However, my love and care for the Bai family is greater."
Leaning against the stone wall, Rin's eyes lowered. "They're the ones who raised me to be the person I am, the ones who nurtured me. The bond that connects us is not one of blood but of respect and joy."
"You're not saying that because you feel obligated for them raising you?"
Rin smiled, "If that was the case, I would have left the Bai Manor long ago."
After she had finished speaking, she quickly took note of An Sun's unusual silence. Tilting her head to the side, she saw through the steam the young man's handsome features contorted into a grim expression - the depth of his eyes dark as he stared deeply into the water.
Rin's brows furrowed. A sudden thought appeared as she thought back to his previous question.
Unconsciously, her eyes shifted to the scar on his chest and her lips tightened.
Parting her lips, she says, "But it all depends."
As if the sound of her voice divided him from his thoughts, An Sun's eyes shift and he stares at the rock she hid behind.
"What do you mean?" He asked.
"I mean, although the Bai family raised me, gave me a place to live, a name and taught me many useful things, those deeds don't define my choice for picking them. They provided me more than that. They gave me love, emotional support, and protection. I believe that's what matters most in a family, whether they be blood-related or not."
In a steady and gentle tone, Rin finishes by saying, "In the end, love isn't an obligation it's a choice. We can't choose who raises us, but we can choose whom we stay with. It's alright to feel solely admiration and gratitude."
An Sun was left speechless by her words. He could only stare at the rock she hid behind, his wet brows drawn together.
"Do you believe that?"
"I think so, yes." She replied calmly.
An Sun's thin lips curled up into a smile, his eyes wandering back to her hidden figure.
"I think I've stayed long enough," He lifted his body from the water.
Rin directed her gaze in An Sun's direction.
Unfortunately, due to their deep and earnest conversation, Rin had momentarily disregarded one important fact - An Sun was naked.
As his body elevated from the water, Rin's eyes received a perfect view of the young man's penis.
Her eyes flung open in shock and a red blush crept on her cheeks as she quickly averted her gaze.
It was brief, but due to her keen eyes, Rin was able to see every detail of the man's full length.
Why…Why was it so big?! It was at least 20 cm long and 5cm wide!
She may have grown up around men and seen them shirtless – not without being scolded by Bai Han and Governor Guo. But never in her life had she seen a man's penis!
Unexpectedly, the sight of An Sun's caused her to shiver. It was almost as intimidating as its owner.
Meanwhile, An Sun who had risen from the water, nude, glanced in the direction of the rock and took note of Rin's hiding figure cowering even lower - her eyes averting his.
He snorted, "You speak such clever words, yet you act like a shy maiden."
Rin's lips twitch. She was a shy maiden at the moment!
Grabbing his clothes, An Sun begins dressing. "I'll see you back at the camp. Don't stay in for too long."
"Yes, thank you, my lord, for your consideration." Rin's voice was faint.
An Sun's eyebrows raised in amusement before he shook his head and exited the cave.
Silence descended throughout the cave. After a while, Rin emerged her body from behind the rock and glanced around.
He was gone, finally!
Without hesitation, she swam over to the other side and climbed out of the warm water. Quickly walking over to her folded clothes on the rock, Rin began to hastily dry herself and tie her long dark hair in a ponytail.
Dressed and somewhat dried off, Rin left the cave to find her horse still tied to the old plum blossom tree – waiting for her. Sighing, Rin brushes the horses head and mounts onto its back.
Heading back the path she came from, it didn't take long for Rin to return to the camp.
Returning the horse with the others, Rin handed the horse to the previous Tuhan officer guarding them.
"Welcome back Advisor Bai, how was the hot spring? Did you enjoy—" The soldier chocked on his words upon receiving Rin's cold and piercing glare.
A shiver ran down his spine.
S-Scary…Why did he suddenly look at him like that!
Rin held her glaring stare for a while longer before storming away back to her tent.
The man watched her figure leave once again while releasing a breath of relief - his back dripping with cold sweat.
Did he say something wrong?
In her tent, Rin took off her furred coat and set it aside on the table. Squatting down onto her mat, Rin covered her body in the blanket. Buried inside the covers, Rin's cheeks flushed red.
Never again did she want to see a naked man's body!
*WARNING: The following content contains minor explicit content involving nudity that may be unsuitable for children.