"Thank you." An Sun smiled warmly at the girl.
Yun Suyin's heart pounded, and she bobbed her head happily before skipping away. Although Bai Han hadn't heard their entire conversation, he could see that An Sun's behavior suddenly changed.
He seemed to be acting friendlier.
What the hell was going on?!
When An Sun watched Yun Suyin's back disappear from the corner, his half-amused eyes gradually disappeared as he stared at her. Turning around, he was confronted with the glaring eyes of Bai Han.
Arching a brow, An Sun frowned slightly. "What is it?"
Bai Han looked at him with crossed arms, his eyes narrowed as he shot an icy glare.
In a deep, chilling tone, he questioned, "Since when did the two of you become close?"
By now, An Sun had realized there was something wrong with Bai Han. However, he still didn't know how he had triggered him this time.
"She's a nice girl." An Sun replied indifferently.
Bai Han continued his one-sided, fierce staring contest, even as An Sun gave him a blank look.
"You are aware she likes you, right?" Bai Han's eyes narrowed even further.
In response, An Sun snorted contemptuously. "Do you think I'm blind? After encountering all kinds of women around the empire, do you think I don't know when someone is interested in me?"
An awkward expression appeared on Bai Han's face. However, he still couldn't put away the unpleasant emotions within his heart.
"Then why lead her on?"
An Sun stared at the old man with a dark look in his eyes. He sighed and lazily leaned his body against the wall.
"Just because she likes me, does not mean I need to accept her feelings. Besides, she useful. I'm sure she's been around all the towns to know where the escaped women are. Why else do you think I would agree to their invitation?"
Upon getting this answer, Bai Han's eyes widened in shock. "You…"
So that's what it was? He was purposely being nice to get information from the girl?
An Sun knew from the moment Yun Suyin laid eyes on him, that she had immediately fallen for him. As a man used to women trying to climb into his bed for protection in the army, he could recognize when someone liked him. Especially a feeble-minded, noble girl like Yun Suyin.
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By manipulating the girl's infatuation, he could easily grab information from her along with shelter. Although it seemed cruel to play with the girl's emotions, Bai Han had to admit it was a clever idea.
While Bai Han processed this information, An Sun continued staring at him, his thin lips pressed tightly together and his hands curled into fists at his side. The small trace of warmth in his eyes disappeared and his expression turned cold and dark.
"After all this, you still think so badly of me? Am I really to you just some barbaric, ruthless man who has his way with women?"
When Bai Han finally regained his senses, his face wrinkled up into a strange expression. His eyes lowered to avert to An Sun's gaze. He couldn't help but feel a little guilty for suspecting An Sun.
It was apparent from his lowered head and avoiding gaze that Bai Han was indeed guilty. An Sun knew this but felt no sense of pity or mercy. It was at that point he was incredibly irritable.
Although he had been disappointed with Bai Han, he had thought to make the best of it and just move on. At the very least, after everything he had done, Bai Han should have shown a little trust or apologized rather than wallowing in guilt.
However, whenever a doubtful situation occurred, Bai Han would not hesitate to accuse him of vile acts.
An Sun's hands tightened into fists, reflecting the fury in his heart.
At this point, he could no longer allow his acts to slide.
"Let me ask you something. If I am so terrible, then why did Bai Rin choose to stay with me? I provided her the chance to return, yet she chose to stay with me."
The room went silent. The guilt that had flooded Bai Han's mind completely dissipated when he heeded An Sun's words.
With white knuckles from clenching his fists too hard, he gritted his teeth from the effort to remain silent. His hunched form exuded an animosity that was like acid - burning, slicing, and potent. His face was flushed with suppressed rage.
Bai Han clenched his teeth. He abruptly lifted his head and looked directly at An Sun's eyes. Those eyes were fearless.
At this point, his controlled temper flared.
He wasn't thinking when he let out his boiling hostility and swung his tight fist, too quick and potent, into An Sun's defined jaw. His actions had been so sudden that even An Sun was unable to react in time.
As his fist hit his jaw with such force, pain erupted from the point of impact. An Sun staggered back to prevent himself falling down the stairs. When he recovered his senses, An Sun stood there. He was holding his jaw.
"You punched me," He said in disbelief.
Bai Han's chest gently rose and sank with each shallow breath he drew in.
"That's right." He snorted coldly.
A second passed before An Sun emitted a low laugh, his eyes glinted coldly as his mouth curled up slightly.
"On the battlefield, I always fight fair and square. I believe these rules also apply to you, do they not?"
Bai Han's eyes narrowed. "Oh?"
While Bai Han sensed a foreboding premonition, An Sun had already begun cracking his knuckles. Shifting his gaze, eyes narrowed up, a deep chilling glint flashed within them.
"So bring it on old man, no holding back!"
At night, everyone had returned to their own rooms. The next morning, Bai Han awoke and left his room to eat breakfast, when he saw Yun Suyin and An Sun speaking to one another in the hall.