"Aren't you friends with that little brat we're after? Why would I let go of something that'll help us catch him?" The man grinned maliciously, his friend beside him snickering.
After he finished speaking, Aiguo's eyes widened as far as they could go and he struggled even more.
"You bastards! If you lay a hand on—"
Before he could finish cursing the man, a black figure flew over. One of the men felt his neck stiffen before it erupted open. The figure behind him pulled the sword in their hand forward and his throat, split open. In an instant, blood spurted everywhere, including to Aiguo's clothes.
Stumbling a few steps forward, the man fell to the ground. The other man holding Aiguo was stunned. He released the boy on the ground before he hurried to escape the unknown figure. He had only run a couple of steps before a felt pain shoot into his back.
He had been stabbed!
Falling to the ground, the man struggled to get up and when he turned around, he saw a pair of bloodthirsty eyes and an iron sword lifted high.
"No! Don't kill me!" The man wailed, but his cries were cut off as the sword struck down on his head, beheading him.
Fresh, crimson blood bloomed on the ground, a sudden foul odor spread throughout the area. An Sun lowered his eyes. His icy gaze fell upon the men as he clicked his tongue.
Men who picked on the weak were nothing but cowards. They deserved death.
Flicking the blood off the sword from the men, An Sun turned around to see a pair of wide eyes staring at him. The little boy's eyes shone with the light of the stars as he fixated on him.
"A-Awesome…" Aiguo mumbled. All of a sudden, he felt his stomach lurch and he hunched himself over in a corner, vomiting.
The look on An Sun's face stiffened, and he froze in his spot at that moment, dumbfounded. The only sound in the alley was now the sound of the boy's heaving as he vomited his last meal.
While Aiguo heaved and heaved until there was nothing but an empty pit in his gut, An Sun stood in the corner and watched with a strange expression.
He never really knew what to do in these situations.
With quivering legs and an empty stomach, Aiguo straightened himself up. When An Sun saw he was done, he cleared his throat awkwardly.
He was a little dumbfounded, which showed in his expression as he looked at the young boy. He helplessly asked, "Are you all right, kid?"
Aiguo wiped his mouth. He looked up and glanced at An Sun--with that one look, he was scared stiff by the hair-raising frostiness in his eyes.
He looked down and nodded his head. When Aiguo suddenly recalled the situation, his eyes widened.
"My friend! I don't know why, but those men are chasing her! You have to save her, please!" Aiguo looked up at An Sun - his gaze was desperate.
An Sun's shadowed gaze swept over him, his expression was unreadable.
As Aiguo waited for the man to answer, his fists by his side trembled slightly. While he did save him, Aiguo couldn't help but find the man's aura a little terrifying. If he were to compare it, it would be equal to Rin's when she was angry or fighting.
The immense pressure of his aura made him extremely tense and the longer the silence stretched, the more nervous Aiguo became.
Suddenly, he felt a large yet warm hand pat him on the shoulder. Looking up with wide eyes, Aiguo was stunned when he met the man's smiling expression
"Don't worry kid, just leave it to me. I'll save your friend."
Aiguo was slightly surprised. He couldn't hold back the smile growing on his lips.
"Thank you!" He bowed his head in gratitude.
An Sun held back a snort from his formal behavior and patted him on the shoulder again.
"Go back to the Su Inn and look for an old man. To recognize him, just look for the one complaining to the staff about the rice."
A little puzzled, Aiguo nonetheless nodded his head. Straightening himself up, An Sun looked ahead and his lips drew up into a cold arc, his sword swinging effortlessly in his hand.
"All right then, time to find that friend of yours."
After Rin had drawn the men away, they quickly followed behind her. At one point, one of the men managed to pull the distance between him and Rin to three meters or less.
The man took down the crossbow from his waist and aimed. Before he even placed his finger on the trigger, something had whooshed through the air and in his direction.
The boy in front of him had suddenly stopped and drawn the crossbow from behind their back and pulled the trigger!
From behind Rin heard a loud thud, followed by the sound of a strangled and choking sound. The men behind him called the man's name before confirming he was no longer breathing. They looked ahead at the figure responsible, and their faces burned red with fury.
While the men grew even more determined to catch the youth, Rin had already turned down a corner and through the side streets. As the winter winds beat against her face like an endless wave of ice shards, Rin's brows suddenly furrowed together.
Her expression turned grave and she immediately looked down at her throbbing ankle. She tried her best to ignore the pain; however, her movements could not help but slow down. She kept sucking in her breath due to the pain.
Finding in an alley, Rin stopped and gasped, inhaling a mouthful of cold air. She glanced down at her ankle and took a step. Just that slight movement of her body pained her enough that she sucked in her breath. Running was even more hell.
"I think he ran over here!" A man nearby yelled loudly.
The moment she heard his words, Rin's pupils constricted.
Damnit! Who the hell were these men anyway?!
With no choice but to continuing running or find a hiding spot, Rin quickly composed herself. Suddenly, Rin heard someone walk up behind her slowly and pull her close, their hands wrapped around her.
He walked over to her side and leaned in with one hand against the wall behind her as he backed her into a corner. His black hair draped down the side of his face, as it tickled her cheek.
The man's big, strong arms seemed very protective wrapped around her frail body.
However, Rin felt anything but protected! Especially when he had a hand over her mouth!
Pressed up against the wall, Rin fought against his hold, when she suddenly felt a hot breath on her neck. She stiffened.
"Don't move." The man's low and magnetic voice resounded beside her ears, raising goosebumps all over her body.
The moment he finished speaking, there was an unprecedented shock reflected on Rin's face. She widened her eyes as her face turned stiff and she was lost in a daze.
That voice…she knew this voice.
"Don't worry, I'm here to help you. Just stay still a little longer until they leave." When he spoke, his slightly husky voice carried an undertone of complete calm that was oddly soothing.
At that moment, Rin was positive. This voice, it was none other than An Sun!
As the men's voices grew more distant, did An Sun finally breathe a sigh of relief. Slowly, he removed his hand from the mouth of the figure below him.
He cast his gaze down, "Sorry about my actions just now, I--"
At this moment, An Sun was stiff with shock. He completely lost his usual cool and stiff facade as a myriad of expression blossomed to life on his face.
There were too many emotions in his eyes to name, but slowly, he opened his mouth to mumble the name, "Bai Rin?"
Rin was also stunned. However, seeing the bewildered expression on the normally calm and clever young man caused Rin to give a snort of laughter.
As she looked up at him, the corners of her lips curved into a pleasant smile. "Mm, it's good to see you again, Lord An."
"Let go!" Aiguo struggled as the man dangled his body loosely in the air.