141 Take Responsibility

Early the next morning, Rin woke up to the sound of chopping wood. She sat up on the bed a little groggy and shifted her head in the direction of the sound.

Slipping out of the bed with her bare feet, Rin walked out of the small bedroom.

The moment she opened the wooden door of the hut, a bone-piercingly cold wind came barreling in from outside, complete with ice and snow.

It was enough to make her entire body shiver.

Her body was still rather sensitive to the cold.

Rin raised her eyes and saw Jia standing over a tree trunk with an ax in her hand, effortlessly chopping logs of wood. The tall girl extended her hand and wiped sweat from her broad brows before chopping away again.

Suddenly, perceiving something from the corner of her eye, Jia stops her movements and looks over to see Rin's frail figure observing her from the doorway.

Flashing a wide grin on her face, Jia waved her hand. "Mornin'!"

Rin nodded slightly. "Good morning."

Jia grabbed another wooden log from beside her and placed it on the trunk. "You should head inside. I'm almost done here; I'm just chopping wood to prepare breakfast."

Rin again nodded her head and walked back inside. Though she didn't enjoy allowing Jia to do everything herself, she knew there wasn't much she could do with her body's condition.

In the meantime, Rin glanced around the small hut and felt somewhat nostalgic.

It reminded her of the hut her mother lived in for three years.

The interior was decorated simply, revealing the lack of wealth. A small wooden table and chairs were set in the center, a few pottery pots scattered in the corners of the room. The only one bedroom with a hard cushion for a bed was small and had no door.

Whilst Rin was observing the interior of the hut, Jia had finished chopping wood. She stepped inside to see the beautiful girl quietly sitting on a wooden chair and gazing around.

Jia noticed her complexion seemed to have greatly improved after a proper night's rest.

A smile surfaced on her lips as she said, "You seem to look better today. I'll start making breakfast now. I hope you don't mind waiting a little longer."

Rin shook her head. "I don't mind."

As if suddenly recalling something, Rin turned to look at the tall girl.

"Where's your brother?"

"Ah, Aiguo? He when to get some shinbones for dinner tonight. I'm cooking soup! Ah, do you like soup? We don't have much so it might not taste that great, but I ensure you my cooking isn't completely terrible!"

Rin sat calmly in her spot and smiled. "It's all right, I'm not too picky."

Jia scratched the thick black hair on her head. "You don't talk much, do you?"

Rin just smiled and said nothing, confirming Jia's words. Jia didn't mind and continued to grin widely.

"Here, drink some of this nourishing medicine Master Qiu left. Don't worry, it's not too bitter. Aiguo should be back soon with extra ingredients for breakfast."

Rin accepted the cup of medicine and lowered her head to drink it slowly. Meanwhile, Jia began burning the chopped blocks of wood into a stone oven.

She pulled out a giant iron pot from the side and grabbed a wooden jar of what appeared to be shredded wheat. Pouring it into the pot, she swiftly places water in before covering it.

By the time she finished, small hurried footsteps sounded nearby.

"I got them!" Aiguo stepped into the hut, a slight blush on his cheeks from running.

"It's about time! What took you so long?"

"Hey, don't blame me! The old man there is stingy!"

"Yeah, yeah, hand me the bones."
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Aiguo's face was gloomy, but he still delivered his sister the bag of shinbones. Jia glanced inside the bag and grinned.

"He may have a stingy attitude, but he's not stingy with his portions. You did well. Now go sit at the table while I prepare breakfast." Jia fondled his spiky head.

Escaping her hand, Aiguo grumbled to himself while walking to the table. However, upon turning around, his movements stopped as he finally noticed the unparalleled beauty sitting in the chair.

Her head was currently lowered, thick lashes fanning against her pale cheeks. A strand of her long dark hair tucked behind her small dainty ear, exposing a minor portion of her smooth, porcelain neck.

Aiguo was dumbfounded and suddenly recalled the shapes of rounded peaks and small pink dots exposed against a white, soft surface.

Aiguo had already been feeling both ashamed and aggrieved at the same time, causing him to feel deeply confused. Without him noticing, his ears had even flushed red with embarrassment.

To see such a sight…he needed to be a man!

Aiguo drew in a deep breath and walked up to the girl. Right now, the two of them were so close that Aiguo could see the eyelashes on her eyes.

They looked even lovelier up close!

In that instant, he had lowered his head and declared:

"I…I will take responsibility for you!"

Rin had just lifted her cup to take a sip of the nourishing drink when she heeded Aiguo's words, which caused her to pause a moment. She blinked with wide, innocent eyes at him. Her gaze was questioning, as she could not fathom the meaning behind his words.

Rin was just about to speak when Jia came from behind her brother and smacked him hard on the head.

"Idiot! What nonsense are spewing!"

Aiguo's brows furrowed. Clearly unhappy, he said, "But, I saw—"

Jia struck him on the head again to prevent him from speaking anything further.

"Shut up! You're not allowed five feet near Rin, understand? Go outside and play with a stick or something to cool yourself off."

Aiguo's face was flushed red with anger. However, he couldn't say anything in return and helplessly turned to leave. Rin saw his cheeks turn pink with frustration; his head drooped low as he left the hut.

Placing her hands on her hips, Jia shook her head helplessly.

When she turned to look at Rin, she said, "Ignore what that idiot said just now. He's young and confused."

Rin couldn't hold back anymore and the corners of her lips twitched upwards in soundless laughter. Moments like this were rare for her to encounter.

"I understand." Rin laughed gently.

Jia let out a laugh as well. Suddenly, the awkward air had turned softer.

After a while, the boiled shredded wheat Jia boiled finished, and she served around the table after calling Aiguo back inside.

While eating, the two siblings randomly conversed while Rin silently sipped the boiled shredded wheat. When Rin finished, Jia glanced at her bowl and smiled.

"You must have been hungry. Do you want seconds?"

Rin shook her head. "No, thank you."

"I'm sure you ate much better and more filling things back home," Jia said with a somewhat embarrassed smile.

Rin resisted the urge to scratch her nose.

Jia's words were both true and false. When living in the Bai army, her meals were always extravagant and well-seasoned. But when in comparison to the food she ate in the Tuhan army, Jia's food was better.

Rin coughed to the side. "No, that's not it. Rather, I feel terrible eating food I did not contribute to."

Jia blinked at Rin for a moment before her lips curled up.

She snorted. "You're rather modest, aren't you? If that's what you're so worried about then don't be. I understand we may look unwealthy, but we have enough food to feed an extra mouth. Especially considering it's just my brother and me here."

Rin was momentarily stunned. She hadn't thought Jia's words would be so carefree and bold. Compared to most girls she met her age, they were reserved, polite, and gentle.

But Jia, a young girl possibly a year older than her, was bold, upbeat and strong with her words.

It was refreshing.

For the first time, a genuine smile appeared on Rin's face.

"Then…may I have seconds, please?" Rin clumsily asked with a slight cough.

"Hehe, of course!" Jia stood up from her seat and grabbed Rin's bowl before walking to the stove.

Meanwhile, Aiguo stole a glance toward Rin and sneakily placed a piece of dried meat from his pocket onto the table.

"I like my women meatier." He lowered his head muttered with red cheeks.

Rin was left speechless by his words.
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