"Looks like everything was completed thoroughly." Manchu smiled. "Our head forces went through the Eastern Empire's bordering province and are on their way toward the capital. And the new set of weapons arrived yesterday. "
"That's good," An Sun calmly responded.
Standing in the front of his tent with arms crossed over his armored chest, An Sun quietly glimpses ahead at the stone snow coated mountains ahead.
"What's your report on their captain?" His deep husky voice sounded.
Standing behind him with a scroll in his hand, Manchu helplessly smiles while looking at the report.
"Captain Bai Lan, a grandson of the Bai household; however, until recently, no word of someone with the name Bai Lan entered the family. He's played various parts in battles with the Bai army for the past two years but has hardly made any appearances until a month ago when he was sent to aid Tao Guozhi and his men." Manchu reads the official report on Bai Lan. "All tactics are from him as well, he holds the majority of control over the Guando army."
After Manchu ended the report, An Sun remains soundless.
Several strands of silk black hair gently caressed An Sun's handsome face as the frosty air gently whisked through the air and his silver mask concealing his eyes from sight.
"A member of the Bai huh?" An Sun's crescent eyes divinely revealed a faint glint, his red lips arching upward. "Let's keep that Captain Bai alive."
"Oh?" Manchu, now standing beside the man arched a brow amusingly. "That's the first. You're regularly so keen on spreading as much blood as you can."
With the corners of his mouth still arched up in a smile, An Sun lowly chuckles. "I believe he'll be a valuable asset to our army, particularly with tactics like his."
"I thought you said they were pathetic?"
Calmly glancing to the side, An Sun's sinister smile expands even further.
"They are, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. His tactics are nevertheless admirable."
Looking intently at the man beside him, Manchu delivers a cunning smile.
Grunting in response, An Sun begins to walk away from the tent and toward the center of the camp where his noble horse stood.
Ascending onto it effortlessly, An Sun's dark gray eyes hidden behind his mask reflect a trace of murderous killing intent.
A frivolous smile spread across his scarlet lips.
Behind him was a full army of men in armor mounted on their horses, Manchu mounted beside him.
"Let's take down Guando province!"
"Cough! Cough!" Rin lightly releases a few mild coughs, her blue cloak fluttering behind her in the frosty background.
The Tuhan's men were arriving, and her grandfather was fighting out in the Eastern Empire's capital.
All situations were troubling, but Rin knew she had to focus on one for the time being.
And that was strengthening their defenses and securing the city walls.
The sound of Rin's footsteps in the snow sounded as she walked toward the soldiers disposing of the deceased bodies from their previous battle in front of the city walls.
"Hurry it up; we still have to secure the walls!" A soldier ordered two others as they lifted the dead body of a soldier in a large white cloth.
"In that case, we'll need more people to come and help!" The other responded with a grunt.
Tightening his lips, the soldier was about to respond when suddenly, from the corner of his eyes he saw the bright red cloak of a boy.
"Captain Bai!" The soldier respectfully lowered his head.
Rin and a prime minister approached the soldiers.
"Sir, the repairs on the city wall have yet to start. If we're given more men then…"
"Stop what you're doing. For the time being, we'll have others complete this task. Thanks to the sudden wave of snow, we've been given more space to repair. Our top priority is to repair the fortified walls immediately. The Tuhan's men could strike us again any day now." Rin coolly spoke.
Lightly nodding her head, Rin looks around at the snow-covered ground. Countless bodies of soldiers and their deceased horses were about.
Sharp arrows and swords impaled in their maimed bodies, while some's heads were beheaded from their bodies.
Rin's eyes remained composed and indifferent as she stared at the deceased bodies.
This was war, there was no time to mourn; there was only time to make sure their lives weren't in vain.
"Any other civilians out, inform them to head back into the city. We're shutting the gates, make sure not a citizen is outside the walls." Rin gazed ahead at a few civilians helping the soldiers dispose of the deceased bodies in front of the walls. "We'll perform a proper burial for the deceased later."
"Yes, sir." The soldier cupped his hands.
Nodding her head once again, Rin turns her body around to head back toward the city gates. Light coughs escaping her rosy lips.
As she walked, her mind began recalling the countless dead bodies in the snow. So many of those corpses were their own men. Some belonging to the Tuhan's.
However, when in comparison to the soldiers lost, their side had twice as much.
Due to the snow, they were given an advantage when the Tuhan's arrived since it'd slow them down.
Earlier, Governor Tao sent word to the Eastern Empire's capital for more reinforcements, including to the Bai army.
Rin could only hope the battle in the capital would finish soon, and their reinforcements would arrive. And for her grandfather and Uncle Guo to make it out safely.
Entering the city, Rin's steps halt upon recognizing a familiar figure among the civilians. In her hands was a set of large furred blankets.
The woman's long flowing black hair was elegantly tied in a styled bun - a simplistic jade hairpin placed in her hair. Wrapped around her tall, slender body was a light purple cloak.
Suddenly noticing the approaching figures, the governor's wife shifts her brown eyes in their direction.
"Captain Bai." The woman's soft voice greeted them.
"Madam Tao, you shouldn't be here. It's cold and dirty, who knows if you'll catch a cold. Allow us to return to the estate." Rin lightly lowered her head.
Staring at the boy with soft eyes, the woman smiles serenely, a slight shake in her head.
"I'm all right, thank you. Supporting the civilians is all I can do in this situation."
Despite her age being near thirty, the governor's wife was both sophisticated and youthful looking. Her silk lengthy lashes and carefully powered face, all glowing softly in the white scenery.
"I thank you for accompanying my daughter often, she mentions you quite often." Madam Tao gently giggles.
With a faint smile, Rin nods her head. "No need to thank me, I enjoy hanging out with young Miss Lixue. She's great company to have during such times."
Smiling lightly, the governor's wife smoothly lowers her long lashes.
"Captain Bai, I understand the pressure that weighs on your shoulders during this time, however, be sure to keep in mind to properly take care of yourself." Madam Tao reminded kindly.
Rin couldn't help but be stunned by the woman's gentle words. Her brows somewhat furrowed.
"You should see a doctor once in a while. I've noticed you've been coughing lately, not to mention your complexion is paler than usual."
"I thank Madam Tao for your concern and kindness. However, such things will be put on hold until..."
All turned toward the frantic sound of a soldier's voice. Rin quickly turns her gaze in the soldier's direction with narrowed eyes.
"The scout sent to the Eastern Empire's capital has returned! Governor Tao is requesting for you!"
Rin's expression becomes alert at the soldier's report.
"Understood. Have someone prepare me a horse immediately!" Rin said sternly while quickly walking away - however, not forgetting to turn to look at the governor's wife. "Madam, I apologize, I need to return. Please go back to the estate safely."
With those parting words, Rin quickly mounts the horse given to her by a soldier and withdraws to the provincial office.
Observing the boy leaving on the horse, the governor's wife watches with a concerned expression.
A man with long hair and a ruffled beard who previously was within the house of a civilian appears behind her. His strange appearance was frail and slightly ragged, one a beggar would look. Dressed in white robes, his long shoulder-length hair tied in a ponytail.
Already perceiving the man's presence, the governor's wife slightly shifts her gaze toward him.
"Do you know what's taking place?" Madam Tao looked at the man with furrowed brows.
"I do not, madam."
Hearing his response, Madam Tao's brows deepened, her dark glossy eyes turning in the direction Rin departed in.
"In that case, do check on the situation. Make sure everything's all right my husband and Captain Bai."
Afterward, the ragged man parts ways with the governor's wife and begins walking in the direction of the provincial office.