\"No! I'm not leaving her here! She…She can't be alone…\" Aiguo hugged his sister's deceased body closer to his chest.
Rin stared down at the boy with a complicated gaze.
\"Aiguo…\" Rin tried to coax the boy but suddenly stopped - her ears perking up.
Her eyes narrowed, a deep chilling glint flashed within them. She could detect the sound of footsteps approaching the house. It was more than one person.
\"I'm telling you, this house is looted!\"
\"Are you sure? We've already raided half of the village and all we got was a bunch of worthless crap.\"
\"Yeah, yeah, but believe me, this one is the jackpot. Although I had to get rid of the stupid little wench that lived here first.\"
\"Was she pretty?\"
\"Tsk, no. Just some tall, ugly bitch who thought she could put up a fight.\"
The men's voices sounded closer near the house. Aiguo, who had been holding his sister's body suddenly froze. His head shifted in the direction of the door. A dangerous glint came to life in his eyes as he narrowed his gaze.
Every word stung, only fueling the fire that burned inside of him. Every violated phrase was like oil to it, his fists began to clench and his jaw rooted.
He set Jia's body gently on the floor and grazed her cold cheek. His hands clenched before he stood up. Standing on the side, Rin suddenly took note of the boy's actions, her eyes dimmed.
\"Aiguo, don't.\" She reached for his arm, but as if he had eyes in the back of his head, he evaded her touch.
Without speaking, he reached for the knife on the counter and rushed outside. Rin watched the boy rush out recklessly and gritted her teeth.
\"Damnit!\" Rin followed him.
The three bandits outside, upon approaching the small home, were surprised to see a young boy rush out the front door. His face was pale but full of anger, enough to make others shudder.
When they saw the knife in his small, little hands, their lips curled into a sneer.
\"Whatcha got there Lil buddy?\" A burly man with crooked yellow teeth approached the boy.
The moment he moved close to the boy, he was surprised by the boy's unexpected attack as he swung the knife at him.
\"Woah!\" The bandit dodged the knife and frowned.
Breathing heavily, Aiguo clutched the knife in his hand and stared at the men with a burning gaze.
\"I'm going to kill every single one of you!\" He bellowed angrily.
The three bandits were surprised by the young boy's fury. They stared stupidly for a moment before bursting out into fits of mocking laughter.
\"Oh yeah? Why don't you try then squirt.\"
Aiguo froze for a moment before gritting his teeth, his eyes flaring once again with intense rage.
\"Arghh!\" He clutched the knife with both hands and charged toward the first man.
The bandit sneered. Just when he was about to pull out his own sword from his waist, a sudden figure rushed out of the house and pushed the charging boy behind them before she brought a fist to the bandit's face, snapping his nose.
A loud crack resounded, followed by the light sounds of blood dripping on the ground from the man's nose. The bandit clutched tightly to his bleeding nose and looked up to see a girl glaring down at him. Killing intent flashed within her emerald eyes.
\"Bitch!\" He snarled, blood dripping into his mouth. \"Grab her! As for the boy, kill him!\"
The other two bandits woke up from their stunned daze and assailed toward the two. At that moment, Rin pulled Aiguo behind her.
\"While I fight them off, I want you to escape and run for Mister Qiu.\" Rin's voice had turned light and soft, her breathing slowed, her slightly narrowed eyes holding in murder that would rock the Heavens.
Aiguo was stunned by her aura and looked up. Before he had the chance to speak, Rin had already lunged forward to the two men.
Rin made contact with the underside of the first bandit's cheekbone. His head whipped around, and he collapsed, lying on his back, bleeding from the various his already broken nose and coughing in fits. Without a moment's rest, the other bandit came forward and attacked.
Rin's eyes flickered and her heart sped up a bit as he attacked with a big right overhand punch, his other hand wielding his sword. She stepped out of range but stumbled back a bit.
While she possessed great skills, the men before her were twice her size and strength! Not to mention, she had just rushed down the top of the mountain!
Her stamina at this point was weaker than usual.
Gritting her teeth, Rin dodged the man's punch again, but this time it was too late as the second man stood up to deliver a blow to her gut. A sudden gush of pain jolted throughout Rin's body. Her stomach ached, her arms lost tension and her legs began to weaken.
Hissing through clenched teeth, Rin's tongue was soaked in the taste of blood. Her head was slightly throbbing.
The two bandits noticed her faltering movements and twisted their lips into a sinister smirk. Before they had the chance to attack again, a wooden hoe swung beneath their feet.
The bandits were stunned as their bodies hit the ground. Without the chance to comprehend what had happened, they saw a wooden hoe raise above their heads and strike down.
The violent impact caused their vision to turn dark, and consciousness to fade. Slightly stunned, Rin elevated her head to identify the familiar old man.
\"Mister Qiu.\" She breathed a sigh of relief.
The old man propped up his wooden hoe and glanced at the girl silently. He directed his gaze to the boy whose head was bowed down. Recalling what Aiguo had done just moments ago, her face immediately flushed red from her anger.
\"Idiot! What were you thinking of running out like that? Do you want to get killed?!\" Rin kneeled to grip the boy's small shoulders. \"What do you think would happen if Mister Qiu or I didn't come to save you?\"
The boy could feel the tension and hear the intensity in her tone. There was a great deal of emotion behind the words she was speaking.
Rin couldn't hold back the tremble in her voice as she yelled, \"Do you want her death to be in vain?!\"
At that moment, everything went silent. Upon hearing those words spoken by Rin, Aiguo's shoulders began to shake. A choked sob escaped him as he shook his head.
Rin's grip squeezed as she looked at him silently. She lowered her eyes, hiding the pained glance that flashed briefly in her eyes.
\"I'm sorry.\" She whispered.
Besides his stifled sobs and trembling shoulders, Aiguo was silent. Master Qiu, who had been watching on the side let out a light sigh. His eyes swept toward the small home and saw the stains of blood on the floor along with the limp body.
Walking over to the two, he placed a frail arm on the young boy's shoulder.
\"Let us go, before more come. We'll come back and bury her when things have settled down.\"
Aiguo had been silent before he quietly nodded his head. Mister Qiu sighed again, patting the boy's shoulder lightly, and grasped the knife from his hand, hurling it on the snow-covered ground between one of the bandit's legs. He guided the boy toward the mountain pathway and ushered for Rin to follow.
Rin stood still for a moment. The biting cold from her eyes swept across the three bandits, her fists by her side trembling.
\"Come along girl.\" Mister Qiu called out.
Hardening her gaze, Rin lowered her eyes and followed behind the two, leaving behind the three bandits and the cold body in the home.
\"Aiguo…we need to go.\" Rin finally spoke up after the boy's crying ceased.