"Do you think Rin could be here?" Bai Han suddenly asked.
An Sun sighed. "I don't know, but we have no choice but to keep trying."
Bai Han silently nodded his head. He could only hope nothing bad happened to her. If something did...
With this in mind, the fists by his side clenched.
At that moment, the two suddenly heeded a voice nearby muttering loudly to himself. Looking ahead, An Sun could perceive a disheveled man staggering in their direction.
It was clear he was drunk.
An Sun's brows drew together, and he chose to ignore the drunkard. However, the moment An Sun passed him, his shoulder suddenly collided with the drunks.
"Hey! Bastard, watch where you're walking!" The drunk man suddenly turned and shouted.
The edge of An Sun's twitched. It was clear from his lack of balance that he bumped into him!
When the drunk man turned around, he hadn't expected to face a pair of dark, chilling gray eyes. Not just that, but the young man was larger and taller than him!
"What did you say?" There wasn't any trace of emotion in An Sun's magnetic voice, but it still sent chills down the drunk man's spine.
He gulped. However, unwilling to show his panic, he clicked his tongue.
"Whatever..." He muttered. "Second time tonight I have to run into some weird bastard..."
Despite hearing the drunk man's words, An Sun let it be. He was in no mood to fight a drunk man. Despite him being an ass.
By this time, he did not staying in the village. He could only hope Rin was not staying here.
"We'll be taking two rooms for the night."
The inn worker stared at the old man with blinking eyes. Her gaze shifts to the young man beside him. His gray eyes emitted a heavy pressure. She swallowed.
Although their clothing looked plain, one could not help but tremble upon seeing their chilly, stern faces and intimidating auras.
These men were beyond your normal commoners, the female inn worker thought upon seeing the two men.
"Y-Yes." She managed to stutter.
After having paid, the two men accepted their keys and without another word, went upstairs to their rooms. In awe, the female worker stared in their direction, unaware of the two other figures standing in front of the counter to check-in.
It wasn't until she heard a soft cough that she was pulled from her shock.
"I-I'm so sorry, how may I—" She raised her head and before she could even finish speaking, she choked on her words.
A pair of bright eyes stared back her, a slight tilt in their head. The young man possessed a delicate appearance, short hair covering his forehead, just sweeping across his eyebrows due to its length. He was casually dressed in clothing that looked both comfortable and common.
However, this hardly drew attention away from his emerald eyes that were as mesmerizing as a flowing, crystal river.
Meanwhile, feeling the inn worker's intense stare, Rin simply smiled before clearing her throat.
"We'd like a room please."
"Eh?" The inn worker blinked her eyes rapidly.
Having realized she was caught boldly staring, a furious blush bloomed on her cheeks. When she noticed the boy standing beside the youth staring at her with narrowed eyes, she looked away in shame.
"Y-Yes! I'll prepare that for you right away!"
The youth nodded. When all was said and done, the inn worker apologized again before delivering him one key.
There wasn't any expression in particular on the youth's face. He put on a benign smile and said, "Thank you."
After that, he walked away with the boy up to their room. At this moment, the inn worker's heart could no longer bear it. She patted her pounding chest and took deep breaths.
Why in one night was their so many attractive guests! Was this God's way of letting her die peacefully?
Crying silent tears, she prayed the next customer would be more revolting than an old, wrinkled boar.
Inside their room, Rin's eyes were glimmering as she stared at the beds before them, as if she was looking at chests of gold. Walking over, she smoothed her fingers along with the cotton mattress. She pressed her cheek to the cool, soft pillows. The comforter was thick and irresistibly soft, like a billowing cloud.
At that moment, her entire being softened, a rosy color blooming on her cheeks. She plunged into it, relieved to rest her weary feet. Warmth and darkness enveloped her as she tried to succumb to the call of sleep.
Unfortunately, fate has always been cruel to her.
On the other side of the room, Rin could make out the sound of shuffling.
"Go to bed. You need plenty of rest for tomorrow morning." She ordered while rubbing her face deeper into the pillows.
The shuffling noise stopped and was replaced with silence. With that, Rin's body softened once more into the bed. However, finding the silence oddly suspicious, her eyes blinked open as she shot up from her bed.
Although it was dark, Rin could make out a slight trembling coming from the lump beneath the covers. Releasing a soft sigh, she stood up and walked to the bed. When she tried to uncover the blankets, she was met with resistance. Aiguo was tugging the blankets back.
The corners of her mouth twitched. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." She heard a faint murmur from beneath the covers.
From the raspy sound in Aiguo's voice, it was clear he was crying. Understanding the reason for his tears, Rin's heart softened, a shadow casting over her eyes.
"You know…" Rin sat at the edge of the bed, her hands playing with the bed's soft fabric. "When I was around your age, I lost my mother. At first, the memory of losing her became the only thing I remembered of her. Another bad memory is what I made of her. But...She was worth more to me than a sad memory. Love and precious memories don't go away easily. They may hurt, but they also shine."
Her eyes shift to the lump on the bed and her lips curled into a gentle, yet harsh smile.
"I'm sure, the memories you have of her, are extremely bright."
The room was silent. Rin waited patiently, but she didn't hear or see any movement from the boy beneath the covers. A moment later, the covers gradually began to unravel. When they were completely lowered, Aiguo blinked and looked up at the girl in front of him, head in a daze. His eyes pinched with pain.
"If it hurts this much, why can't I decide to just forget all of it?"
For just a moment, Aiguo thought he detected hurt in Rin's expression in response to his words. She masked it swiftly. She looked down to see his eyelashes were trembling and that his face was a little pale. She reached out to hold his hand and found it was ice cold. Her heart clenched.
"The truth is we don't forget, move on, and have closure, but rather we honor. We remember and incorporate them into our lives in a new way. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn't seal back up. And you come through."
The people she loved and lost, they were always there with her. Thinking back over the past years, during her hardest decisions, she always considered those she had lost. She learned from their deaths.
In that instant, the look in Aiguo's eyes sparked up a little. He had been silent before he sucked in a deep breath. The lost look in his eyes slowly changed into one of peace.
When Rin saw his expression, she inwardly let out a breath of relief. She pats the boy on the head.
"Now get some sleep. We have a lot to do tomorrow."
Aiguo nodded and settled himself in the covers. With his small fists clutching the edge of the blanket, he blinked his eyes up at Rin. Met with his seemingly childish gaze, her lips twitched.
"What is it?"
Aiguo hesitated before murmuring, "Can…Can I sleep with you tonight?"
Rin gave him no face and bluntly replied, "No. Now sleep."
Aiguo frowned slightly, his expression forming into a small pout.
"Jia always use to sleep with me."
At this, Rin paused, her lips tightening to suppress the urge to snap. She took a deep breath and turned back the bed, slipping herself beneath the covers beside him.
A look of joy crosses Aiguo's eyes. But before he had the chance to gloat happily and hug her to sleep, he was met with a sharp glare.
"One time. After that, use a pillow, a stick, or something else. And no touching." Rin stated icily.
Opening his mouth to protest, he closed it quickly and nodded his head with a gulp. Rin sounded a hum of satisfaction and nestled her head into the pillows before closing her emerald eyes shut. Aiguo's black eyelashes trembled as his eyes focused on the unconscious girl.
Her lips were currently formed into a pout, and a few strands had fallen over her flushed cheeks, right under her eyes where a single mole was set underneath the right one.
He stared at her peaceful expression and for the first time, a smile formed on his face. He nestled into the bed and slowly drifted off to sleep.
While the gloomy clouds over the two had cleared up, there was a storm brewing somewhere else. Within a room in the same inn, a young man lay silently in his bed.
An Sun was in the middle of some deep thinking with his eyes shut. He subconsciously rubbed the green ribbon in his hand as he did so.
[This girl, do you like her romantically?]
A fair young boy around the age of fifteen emerged in his mind. On serious occasions, their pair of slightly narrowed, appealing peach eyes looked very engrossed.
During meals, those bright emerald eyes sparkled as they sat by the table, enjoying the delicious food in front of them with stuffed cheeks.
The youth's smile revealed a small dimple on the left that added a touch of cleverness to his appearance. He was level headed, intelligent, and strong-minded. Every conversation with him never required an explanation. The boy always just knew what he was thinking.
An Sun's eyes slowly fluttered open. The cool expression on his face had already melted like the first snow of spring. Glancing down at the green ribbon in his hand, a faint smile appeared on his lips.
To him, that person had always been Bai Lan. His brother and comrade.
The girl Bai Rin, he had yet to uncover.
Arriving in the new village, An Sun and Bai Han passed down the dark streets quietly.