"Did you bring your crossbow in case of an emergency?"
"Yes, grandpa, I packed everything I'll need." Rin sighed gently.
For the past half hour, Bai Han had been interrogating Rin on the supplies she brought on her journey, as well as making sure to have her repeat the conditions he set for her every single minute.
It knowingly took two days by horse to get to the North Borders, therefore, she was certain to properly pack a set of need materials. As well as a few snacks for Ju who would naturally be accompanying her on her travels.
Sigh. If she knew he was going to be so troublesome, she would've tried escaping earlier in the morning without anyone knowing.
However, who would have thought Bai Han would already guess his granddaughter's wicked plans and had maids and guards survey her courtyard - four times the necessary amount than usual.
Currently, dressed in male robe attire and her bamboo hat tied on her graceful neck now resting on her back, Rin's long strands of silken hair neatly tied up into a tight and sturdy bun - two loose strands from each side dangling graciously in front of her dainty white ears.
With a bag on her back along with a double-edged sword, Rin took on the appearance of a young boy heading to fight in battle and was being sent off by his family members.
Bai Han, being the overprotective worrying mother and Uncle Guo…well, being Uncle Guo.
"Here, make sure to deliver this to the guards at the North Borders entrance. It'll grant you access and authority." General Guo's tranquil voice spoke while handing Rin a scroll.
Bobbing her head with a charming smile, Rin takes the scroll from his large hands into her small one.
"Many thanks, Uncle Guo," Rin said smilingly.
"En," The stone man merely grunts in satisfactory reply.
Unknown to the rest of the Northern Empire and Bai military army, Rin, who used her male disguise often, performed the crucial role in strategizing the armies battle moves and techniques.
A considerable majority of the time she'd merely send it in private letters, but soon began heading to the Northern Empire's borders and other provinces to place out orders.
There, she was known by the name Bai Lan.
It all began when she turned the age thirteen when she suddenly took part in her grandfather and uncle's military strategies.
Once they noticed her excellent skill in planning against an enemy and valuable methods and elaborate traps, they gradually began involving Rin in with their numerous victorious battles.
Instantly taking on the identity of a nephew of Bai Han's, she'd often issue out orders towards the soldiers.
Those that were aware of her true identity as the adopted young Miss of the Bai family were merely Bai Han, Uncle Guo, and a few trusted maids and soldiers.
Even many citizens from the outside had heard of Bai Han's 'nephew', Bai Lan. Word spread of his stunning and charming looks that made young misses from established households fall in love.
However, none were lucky enough to get close enough to the attractive young boy.
Bai Han would always sigh as he noticed the swooning young women fawning over his granddaughter disguised as a man.
Wherever she went she attracted pests of all genders…
Tsk, he might as well lock her away forever to get rid of such annoying bees and butterflies!
"This will be your personal guard Xu Mujin," Bai Han said while gesturing towards a young man in white and light green robes.
His dark hair was tied in a neat bun, however, a thick set of loose hair fell in front of his face covering his left eye. Looking up at him, Rin could notice a faint, but noticeable scar running down his right eye. His bright brown eyes shimmering with a calming stillness.
"While you're in the North Borders, Xu Mujin will be with you the entire time to ensure your safety." Bai Han explained smoothly.
Shifting her gaze from her grandfather towards her newly appointed personal guard, Xu Mujin, Rin reveals a calm gaze, a faint smile forming on her lips.
"Please take care of me then, Xu Mujin. I hope you won't disappoint me." Rin's dazzling eyes gleamed gloriously.
"En, I'll be sure not to disappoint the young Master and protect you with my life." Xu Mujin declared while cupping his fists and releasing a slight bow.
Rin couldn't help but feel partially stunned at such sincere and righteous words. Scratching her nose gently with a helpless expression, Rin sighs.
"Bai Lan," Rin heard her uncle suddenly call her by her disguised name.
Directing her questioning gaze towards her uncle, Rin's eyes suddenly sparkle with eagerness.
Noticing her shining emerald eyes, General Guo coughs lightly, an awkward expression forming on his face.
Finally, granting the courage, General Guo stares the girl directly in the eyes. "Be safe, kiddo." He said with a smile.
Producing a smile on the corner of her lips, Rin radiates an expression of sheer joy.
"En, I will Uncle Guo." Rin chuckled.
Grunting in response, General Guo releases a faint smile.
"Promise me you'll be safe," Bai Han suddenly walked up towards the 'young boy.'
"Have I ever lied to you, grandpa?" Rin asked with an arched brow.
Creasing his fierce brows, Bai Han frowns unhappily towards the girl. "On multiple occasions."
Stifling a giggle from escaping, Rin simply nods her head.
"You're right. But, have I ever lied to you when it involved my safety?" Rin questioned.
As if in deep thought, Bai Han goes silent - searching for a possible reason to say yes.
A reason to prevent the foolish girl from leaving him.
But in the end, he couldn't. When it came towards her safety, she would always take his feelings into consideration.
He knew Rin wasn't the type to head straight into things without fully knowing whether or not she could handle it.
She was that kind of person. The person that always had a plan.
Yet, he also knew her excitement and determination towards new things and challenges. Thus, he feared how things would go when she entered the North Borders.
An enemy, that even he couldn't handle, was going into the hands of his wicked and intelligent granddaughter with a pleasurable thrill for the new and exciting.
All he could do was hope for her to make it back safely, victorious or not, that's all he prayed for most.
"No." Bai Han said gently with a defeated sigh.
"Mm, then you should know I wouldn't do this if I didn't have a plan." Rin gently spoke. "Don't worry grandpa. I'll be safe and come back just as I left."
"You better, or else I'll be sure to give you a proper beating and lecture if you return with a single scratch!"
Laughing out joyfully at his words, Rin softly pats her grandfather's wrinkle strong hands.
"Understood," Rin giggled.
Smiling thoughtfully at one another, Bai Han gently pats the girl's jade hands before slowly releasing them - stepping back towards the Bai entrance.
Looking longingly at the small group of loyal Bai soldiers standing respectfully behind her Uncle Guo and grandfather, Rin softly smiles at the scene before her.
She'll be sure to return.
Turning around towards the noble carriage behind her, Rin enters with Xu Mujin following behind.
With the door shutting, Rin comfortably leans back in her cushioned seat and gazes towards her visible window - the familiar scene shown to her was a set of estates and empty streets.
Before long, the familiar sensation of the carriage moving forward starts. With her chin propped up by her slender white fist, Rin's dewy eyes gently flutter shut - her attentive ears taking in the delicate faint sound of the horse's feet against the dirt ground.
From here, she would embark on her new journey. Her journey to an unknown path in her fate.
Yet, never in her entire life, had the always planned and skillful Rin, expected the future and fate that awaited her...