Sitting serenely in the estate's garden, inside a wooden built gazebo with four red pillars on each side, was the young Miss of the governor's estate, Lixue.
With a plate of delicious delicacies in front of her and fragrant warm tea, the little girl softly nibbled on the mooncake in her palms.
Sitting gracefully across from her while quietly sipping her tea, was Rin. Her eyes gently lowered as she sipped the tea.
From the beginning, Lixue had keenly watched the pretty big brother with glittering eyes, sometimes peeking a few longer glances at his charming features.
However, what stood out the most to the little girl was the small, brown falcon resting on the boy's shoulder.
Its black beady eyes blinking swiftly as it looked at its surroundings, and occasionally at Lixue - who's heart would always race gleefully when the adorable bird stared at her!
Pretty big brother's little bird was simply too adorable!
While Lixue's dewy eyes were targeted sharply on Ju, the small bird instantly sensed the little girl's penetrating gaze and thought to look elsewhere from the petite girl.
Such intense eyes this little one had!
Rin, who was continuing to drink her tea with a dazed look, gently placed the cup down and merely stared into its contents silently. Lixue, noticing Rin's glassy expression, tilted her head questionably.
"Is something wrong pretty big brother? You seem to be lost in thought."
Breaking from her blank stare, Rin looks up to stare at the little girl across from her; Lixue's large doe eyes staring eagerly at her curiously.
Rin releases a gentle smile, her brows wrinkling slightly.
"I'm alright, young Miss Lixue," Rin assures while gently scratching her cheek. "I suppose it's because I didn't sleep too well last night that my mind is a little hazy today."
The little girl's eyes widen anxiously, her posture shooting upright.
"Oh no, is pretty big brother ill? Lixue will ask a servant to go summon the doctor!"
Abruptly about to stand up from her chair, Lixue shifts her gaze toward a nearby maid.
"You! Go call a doctor for pretty big brother, hurry!"
"Ah..." The maid becomes flustered towards Lixue's orders.
Dramatically blinking her eyes toward the small girl fiercely commanding the poor maid, Rin sighs as she looks toward the maid.
"There's no need, stay." Rin halts the maid just as she was about to depart quickly.
The maid turns around appearing hesitant on who to obey, however, feeling the boy's intense intimidating eyes, the maid quietly stayed in place with a lowered head.
Master Bai Lan's eyes were sometimes too scary and charming!
Sighing, Rin rubs her wrinkled brows with a finger before looking at Lixue.
"I assure you young Miss Lixue; I don't need a doctor. It was simply a lack of sleep that's all."
"Mmm...If pretty big brother says so. But if you feel any worse tell Lixue right away, and Lixue will order the most skilled doctor!"
"En, many thanks." Rin chuckles lightly
Toward the boy's light musical chuckle, Lixue's eyes sparkle brightly with infatuation. Rin, observing the little girl's dazzling eyes inwardly sighed.
That day, Rin had been signing reports and issuing orders toward her soldiers within the city walls until suddenly, a servant called saying that Lixue wished to see her in the garden.
Furrowing her brows, Rin dismissed the two soldiers in her room and headed toward the garden, only to see the little girl seated within the giant gazebo with a table filled with high graded teas and treats.
When Lixue saw Rin enter the garden her previous bored, pouting expression lightened up almost instantly.
Before Rin had any time to utter a single word, the small bun dashed swiftly in her direction - almost stumbling over in the process. Once in front of Rin, she dragged Rin forward with her soft little hands and fiercely spoke.
"Pretty big brother, come and have tea with Lixue! I also prepared snacks!"
Not able to say anything in return, Rin helplessly followed the little girl.
Now here she was having small talk and drinking high graded tea with a little girl. Thinking about her situation, Rin inwardly sighs toward her misfortune.
She should be working on a plan, yet instead, she was sitting here entertaining the governor's daughter.
Lixue, as if suddenly recalling something, stares at the dishes in front of Rin.
"By the way pretty big brother, did you not like the treats Lixue had the servants prepared?"
"No, I like them."
"Does pretty big brother prefer something else?"
Flashing a radiant celestial smile, Lixue was too blinded by the boys smile to see the slight twitch in his brows.
"In fact, I do. Rice cakes."
"En, they have always been my favorite treat to snack on when I was in the Bai manor. Its a shame though, now that I'm so far away I haven't been able to eat them so often."
A determined expression flashes on the little girl's expression after listening to Rin speak.
"Don't move pretty big brother! Lixue will personally order the cook to make rice cakes just for you!" Lixue quickly shot out of her chair and hurried out of the gazebo.
"Young Miss, please slow down!" A maid behind the little girl called out nervously.
Sitting serenely in the gazebo with an amused grin, Rin silently watches the little girl scurry away until her petite figure was out of sight. Subtly shifting her eyes toward the cup of tea in front of her, Rin's eyes glaze over.
Staring at the reflection in the cup of tea, the girl becomes silent.
Ju, sitting on the girl's shoulder looks down at the cup of tea, its eyes flashing confusingly with a small tilt in its head.
Lost in thought, Rin's mind had wondered toward last night's events, a dark glint flashing within her eyes.
It was all his fault. It was his fault she was weak.
But no more. She'd show him and all those who feared her for her power.
Although she was little in size compared to them, that hadn't meant she was little in strength.
Nobody will be able to hurt her without her permission.
In war, there was no such thing as a fair fight. All vulnerabilities must be erased.