In the provincial office of the city, Governor Tao and the previous prime minister stand tall with courteously bowed heads awaiting for Captain Delun's arrival.
The governor was recently informed of Captain Delun's arrival. Based on the recent events that took place he could already guess what his visit was about.
Currently waiting for the captain to arrive, both the governor and prime minister patiently wait.
The sound of Captain Delun's voice causes both men to respectfully lower their heads.
"Captain." Governor Tao greeted solemnly.
Twitching his mustache and staring down at the governor with a look of haughty contempt, Captain Delun frowns.
"Sir Tao, do you know what you did wrong now? Had you not been so foolish, such a mistake wouldn't have taken place."
"I do not quite understand what Captain Delun means..." Governor Tao was soon cut off by the captain's refute.
"Hah! Do you dare lie? Had you not relied on such a young spoiled boy we wouldn't have been in this situation! Now look, we're completely defenseless against the Tuhan!"
Scanning his narrowed eyes around the area, Captain Delun sneers, his distance toward the governor increasing.
"Tell me…where is that all so reliable young captain of yours now? Don't tell me those rampant rumors are true and he actually ran away?"
Governor Tao's eyes widen, a complicated expression placed on his face, his bowed body becoming tense.
Captain Delun witnessing the man's reaction inwardly gloats.
After a few moments of silence, Governor Tao with a grim expression speaks.
"Captain Delun, I humbly admit to my mistake in allowing such a young boy to take control. You were right, I was desperate and cannot excuse for my unacceptable behavior. Had I not been blinded by the greed to succeed I would have noticed my wrong decision sooner."
A hidden sneer forms on the captain's face, however, he quickly hides it carefully replacing it with a calm smile.
"Now, now, governor, there's no need to be too hard on yourself. Concerning the matter with Bai Lan, we can discuss it another day. As of now, we're still no match for the Tuhan. All you need to do Governor Tao is follow my original plan and deliver the Tuhan what they want. A peaceful surrender. That way, both war and the people's suffering can be avoided." Captain Delun gently patted the governor's shoulders.
"Yes, Captain Delun. I'll follow out your orders accordingly. Truly, I was blind before. I thank Captain Delun for graciously allowing me another chance."
"Well, of course. As long you learn from your mistakes and make certain not to repeat them."
"Of course, captain."
Satisfied with the governor's reply, the captain bobs his head approvingly.
Good. Looks like he finally learned his lesson. All his efforts were certainly not for nothing.
Seeing how the governor not only agreed to follow out his orders willingly but also admitting the young Bai Lan was a mistake from the beginning, he couldn't help but inwardly gloat.
Hmph, serves that little brat right. Unfortunately for him, the boy was a member of the Bai family. His death would surely cause outrage from their elder.
But then again, his death didn't point any fingers in his direction. Therefore, he didn't have to worry about the wrath of the Bai family.
He could say it was due to bandits or the Tuhan's who killed him.
Satisfied with how everything was falling into place, Captain Delun's mustache twitches as he hid a gloating grin.
Suddenly, with his head still lowered, Governor Tao's voice sounds out.
"However, regarding the peace negotiation with the Tuhan's, due to Captain Delun holding high power within the ranks, I was hoping you'd be the one to greet them outside the city walls. I feel too ashamed by my recklessness to be the one to do it. I am not worthy of offering our surrender and granting peace to the people." Governor Tao lowered his head with a stern expression, his complexion slightly pale.
Due to the praise toward the captain, his gloating expression brightened even further. His sense of pride was significantly raised by his words.
If he were the one to personally hand out the offerings for the peace treaty, for certain his status would raise among not just the soldiers but also the people. Thinking this, Captain Delun grins happily.
"Haha, why of course, of course. Make sure to deliver them the list of offerings we'll be forwarding them for the negotiation. And again governor, do not fret too much on the incident concerning Bai Lan. All is forgiven towards loyal actions."
"Yes, I will see to it right away. I sincerely thank you for your generosity and granting me another chance, Captain Delun". Governor Tao cupped and gently lowered his head respectfully.
Bobbing his head satisfactorily, Captain Delun shifts his body around, his official robes fluttering behind him as he departed away from the office.
With his head still lowered, the governor slowly stands up with the help of the worried prime minister.
"Do as he ordered. Send out the list of tributes to the Tuhan's Commander. I'll be dismissing myself, make sure no one bothers me for the time being." Governor Tao ordered before leaving the courtyard to head toward his office.
Once alone, the governor sighs gently, his eyes shifting toward the small piece of paper on his desk.
Reading its contents over again, the governor helplessly shakes his head with an amused chuckle.
Indeed, the boy was interesting…
Lifting their gaze towards the sky, the boy's emerald eyes shine brightly upon seeing the familiar figure of the feathered brown falcon. The falcon, flying down gently lands on the boys outstretched arm.
"I see you delivered it to him."
The falcon gently releases a faint sound as if responding to Rin's words.
Rin reaches into her pocket to take out a small folded cloth. Inside was minced raw meat, which she lifts up towards the bird's beak.
Ju, happily identifying the piece of meat in front of its eyes, swiftly snatches a piece of it from the girl's elegant fingers and consumes it.
Smiling gently as Ju ate, Rin subtly fixes her gaze behind her to look at Xu Mujin.
"How's it going, Xu Mujin?"
"Good so far, young Master."
"En, good. Keep it up."
Currently, after climbing down the mountain safely, Xu Mujin, under Rin's orders was cutting away at a large log, gradually disposing of its bark.
Using a spruce tree due to its lightness, the two were building a raft to use to travel upstream and back to Guando.
Gathering the rope the kidnappers used to tie her hands, legs and the bag, Rin began to tie a clove hitch knot around the finished, cut logs together.
Winding the ropes' short ends around the connecting log, Rin skillfully crosses it over the longer end of the rope, intentionally creating a slant.
When growing up in the Bai army, Rin received many forms of training. Including surviving the woods and building a raft to deal with any body of water - including which woods worked best.
Inwardly, Rin thanked the cold-faced Uncle Guo of hers for his brutal and intense training.
Including the time when he abandoned her in the woods for a week on her own to properly train. In the end, all her blood, sweat, and childish tears were worth it.
Thinking about the Bai soldiers and her Uncle Guo and grandfather, Rin's gaze softens.
Once this was over, she would return.
Suddenly, gaining a sense of fierce determination, Rin's hands work faster, her knots tightening. Xu Mujin observing the girl from the side furrowed his brows confusingly.