Why would An Sun be spying on her? He had no reason to and if he did, he wouldn't resort to such methods like spying.
Little did Rin know the reason An Sun never sent men to spy on her was that he himself partook in the lurking.
The more she thought, the more she was convinced it wasn't An Sun. Someone ordered a scout to observe her.
Thinking carefully about the possible suspects, Rin's eyes lit up. She almost felt like slapping herself on the forehead due to her stupidity. It could be none other than a member from the An Clan!
Rin was aware of the competitiveness that went on within the clan and based on An Sun's motives to cause turmoil in the Eastern Empire, he wasn't a valued member.
She could only assume it was an important member of the clan who held suspicion toward An Sun and sent someone to spy on her.
If they found out what An Sun was planning then...She had to dispose of them.
For the next few days, Rin allowed the guard to watch her while she carefully and unnoticeably studied him from afar. Based on his ability to hide his presence so easily, his martial art skills must be high – she couldn't make any mistakes.
"Show yourself," Rin's voice was now ten times chillier than before.
On the other side, hidden behind a rock, was a scout dressed in black. His eyes narrowed.
How did he sense him?
The man presumed it was due to the fact he let his guard down, causing the young boy to sense him.
Walking out from behind the boulder, the man raises his hands in the air, "I mean no harm, I swear."
Rin's eyebrow raised. "How do I know that?"
Slowly, the man walked closer to the boy who immediately took a step back. The man hid his smirk.
"Because…I'm here to make a deal with you."
"Yes. One that'll work in both of our favors. All you have to do is listen. If you don't agree then I'll leave you be, I promise."
Right after he disposed of his body.
In response to his words, the scout watched as the boy's cold expression faltered, appearing doubtful, his lips pressed together.
To further stir his response, the scout said, "Your deal with An Sun…I know about it. I know he took you against your own will."
Shock overtook her face. Rin lowered her head and bit on her bottom lip, a complicated look on her face as her eyes clouded over in thought.
When the man saw Rin's expression shift from surprise to bitterness he looked at her with a faint smile – his eyes holding back a sinister glint.
"I can help you, but in return, I'll need you to do something for me."
After a few seconds of silence, Rin raised her gaze, "What is it?"
The scout smiles upon hearing Rin's question. "It'll be a lot on your part, but believe me I'll be there to protect you if things get risky."
Rin's lips pursed, and she slowly bobbed her head.
His smile grew. "Alright. All you need to do is—"
Furrowing his brows, the scout looked at Rin in confusion and caution. Was he changing his mind?
Before he had the chance to think further on the matter, Rin's nervous voice spoke.
"Not here…it's too close to the camp; someone might hear." Rin's eyes scoured the area like a fearful bunny. "Follow me."
"I understand." The scout nodded and followed behind Rin at a safe distance, his hand on the concealed sword within his clothes.
If he tried anything, all he would have to do is kill him and cover his tracks.
Examining Rin's tiny figure up close he couldn't help but inwardly smirk with ridicule. How could An Sun possibly find such a frail boy useful to him?
Not only did he recruit that bastard foreigner as his general, but he appointed a frail boy as his strategist.
Everyone's words were correct - An Sun truly was a fool.
"This place is good," Rin's voice brought the scout out of his thoughts.
Looking at their surroundings, the scout found they were now standing in front of an old cave - a plum blossom tree at the front.
"You...You said you had a way to help me? What is it I have to do?" Rin looked at the man with expectant eyes.
Enjoying the sight of her expression, the man smiled, "It's very simple. However, before I tell you, I need to know...are you willing to do anything for your freedom?"
The man searched for any hint of hesitation or malicious intent in the boy's emerald eyes, yet all he could see was his eyes brightening - his expression filled with hope.
The boy nodded his head eagerly.
"Good. Now, to get your freedom, I'm going to need you to report to me all of An Sun's moves. Whenever you can sneak out and meet me here. Can you do that?"
"Sneak out? Isn't that risky?" Her eyes widened in disbelief.
The guard softened his voice as he spoke, "Don't worry. I'll have your back if things go wrong. So, what do you say?"
Rin stared at the man with pursed lips.
"Can you really help me?"
"I promise you, once I've gathered enough, I'll help you."
She went silent from his words. A look of deep thought overtook Rin's face as the man observed her every expression carefully.
Rin clenched her fists and nodded. "I'll do it."
Once more, Rin nodded her head while the man smirked.
Lost in his own thoughts, the man had missed the dark and ice-filled glint in the boy's emerald eyes.
For three days now, Rin had sensed she was being watched. Initially, she chose to disregard it as one of An Sun's men keeping an eye on her. However, as the days went on, she began doubting her original thoughts.