"Stupid girl, slow down when you eat! You'll choke!" Commander Bai scolded.
"Yes, yes, Rin understands." Rin coughed lightly slowing down the pace of her chopsticks movements.
In a minimum of two days, Rin's body began to recover back to its original strength. She had slowly started her regular training but with lighter pieces of training and steps.
Although it was slow, it was better than not training at all.
As the two ate their morning meal, Commander Bai had instructed Rin to eat more raw foods rather than anything oily as it'd affect her health.
Rin could only sigh bitterly as she ate plain white rice and a few raw vegetables and fruits.
"We'll be heading to the Northern Empire soon," Commander Bai suddenly spoke.
Rin looked up from her bowl and nodded with a faint hum proceeding to eat. The Commander couldn't help but furrow his brows towards her response.
"Girl...Are you sure you want to come with me?" He spoke hesitantly.
"Does grandpa not want me to come with him?" Rin asked, her head tilted.
"Aiya! Don't twist this old man's words." He lightly huffed.
Sighing, Commander stares directly into the young girl's eyes - his expression turning serious.
"Rin, you must know the power I hold back in the Northern Empire." He said. "I'm the Commander of my kingdom, I even hold a slightly greater authority than my Emperor, if you add the backing I have with my army."
Rin had continued to stay silent allowing the Commander to finish his words.
"However, with power comes great sacrifices," He sighed sadly. "With power comes enemies and with enemies comes danger. If you're to follow me you will also be placing yourself at risk. Are you willing?"
Remaining silent Rin silently stares at the Commander as she then shifts her gaze towards the now cold tea on the table.
Memories of her times in the Li Palace flashed before her eyes as she remembered the evil schemes her family was exposed to, the fake smiles and lies.
At first, things were stable, her father, the previous Crown Prince knew the truth of the Palace and their evil deeds.
Yet he, a man of love, dignity, and honor chose to remain with his family - removing them from the Palace's darkness.
Unfortunately, sometimes a man in love can be just as dangerous as a man seeking revenge.
Rin's Uncle, Emperor Li Chang had also been in love with her mother. Yet she did not love him back and chose to be with his brother, the Crown Prince Li Jian.
That forever haunting night, a group of assassins had broken into their courtyard. Rin, who was four-years-old at the time, couldn't recall what took place as her memories were hazy.
But she could never forget her father's towering body as he protected her and her mother from an assassins murderous blade.
Blood...blood spread everywhere. It had violently splattered itself into Rin's small face along with her mothers.
The sharp gleaming sword stabbed through her father's back causing the point of the assassin's sword to come out from the other side - pointing towards her mother and herself.
"Run..." He had said in a dark demanding voice that shook Rin's fragile ears.
After that, Rin had never seen her father again. Nor had she seen the Li Palace or their courtyard. Nor did she see the maids and servants who would smile at her with pity and sadness.
Nor had she seen the man who murdered her father again.
After her father's death, Rin and her mother escaped to an abandoned village far from the Li Palace.
Three years the two lived in peace.
Yet in the end like many, a person leaves a reputation, as a swallow leaves its call.
Soon Rin's Uncle the Emperor of their nation Li Chang had sent assassins on them - to capture Ai, her mother and kill the Princess Liu Rin.
Which then led to the tragic death of her mother.
Recalling such dark miserable memories, Rin clutched tightly to her robes resting on her lap before staring into the old Commander's silver eyes.
"Grandpa, it's better to walk thousands of miles than to read thousands of books." Rin smiled. "Rin doesn't wish to live in the arms of unknown safety. Where grandpa and his men go, Rin shall follow. That is Rin shall feel safe."
The Commander's eyes widened slightly, as they soon flashed with a warm tender gaze.
"En, then we shall head out in two days." Commander Bai declared. "Now finish eating before it gets cold!"
Humming in response, Rin happily turns towards her food nibbling humbly onto her chopsticks.
For the first time, Rin couldn't help but feel that the meal she was eating to feel slightly warmer than usual. And her heart to feel so much lighter.
Soon she'd start her new life. Not as Princess Liu Rin, but the granddaughter of the Bai household.
Smiling fondly, Rin couldn't wait to see where her exciting choice would lead to in the near future.