All this time, Rin had been preparing the soldiers and as of now all of the citizens of Guando were aware of their surrender. By now, Lixue and Wei Jingyi had long driven away from the city.
Rin's greatest worries at the moment, unfortunately, were if the Tuhan's commander was going to be accepting toward their surrender and the citizens. Based on the reports she received on him, he wasn't so forgiving and was quite ruthless.
But then again, most men in his position would be that way toward the opposing side. In war, there was no going easy. Only brute strength and tactics mattered in moments like these.
Therefore, Rin could merely rely on her abilities to persuade.
The sudden sound of a soldier's shouts echoed throughout the room's walls. Rin, clearing from her thoughts focuses her attention on the incoming soldier.
"The Tuhan…they're here!" He panted.
Composedly, sitting at her desk, Rin stands up from her seat. Despite the circumstances, not a trace of panic or worry could be seen on the young figure's face.
As she walked out of the room, her robes fluttered behind her in a graceful manner.
"Prepare me our tributes for the Tuhan's commander." Rin's cool voice ordered.
Through the estate window, Rin could see the perfectly gray sky. Petals of snow gently fell from the sky and the land covered in blankets of white, glowing powder. The girl's eyes flashed dimly and silently stared up at the sky.
It was time to finally meet the Tuhan's commander.
Outside of the city walls, were ten-thousand men in armor, mounted on gallant strong horses.
In front of the large army was An Sun with silver armor, seated firmly on a black midnight horse.
Black satin hair cascaded down his broad shoulders and back – the silk hair waving through the arctic wind.
Concealing his deep, menacing gray eyes, was an iron mask - all that was seen was his strong narrow nose and thin red lips against his porcelain skin.
Mounted beside him was Manchu, his blue keen eyes gazing at the city's fortification with entertainment.
"I'm surprised. After their previous issue for surrender, I didn't think you'd accept. Do you think it's another trap of theirs?" Manchu lifted up his eyebrows and his eyes glanced over at An Sun's still and relaxed figure.
An Sun shifted his gaze slowly, as he looked at the playfully looking Manchu. In an instant, an unreadable yet chilling smile spread across his lips.
"I'd like to see them try. Besides, now that Tao Guozhi his dead, they won't have much spirit to fight."
A cold, blood-thirsty expression converted on An Sun's handsome face. "Although, if it's a trap I won't be hesitant to kill all of them."
Manchu sighed as if expecting that answer from him.
Suddenly, the sound of a small door on the side of the city walls could be heard slowly opening.
"Hmm? Looks like someone's coming out." Manchu smirked, his voice soothing.
An Sun, also taking note of the sound, turns to look in the direction of the wall. The sound of footsteps sounded through the air, their volume softening from the deep snow.
White robes fluttered as the figure walked, jade-like hands gently holding onto a golden chest.
Dark long hair framed their face after a gust of calm wind breezed through – a mole underneath their right eye was visible.
The figure's emerald eyes and dark silk lashes remained lowered as they stepped. Walking until they were nearly three feet apart from An Sun and his army, was none other than Rin.
An Sun, observing the figure quietly step forward, arched his black brow and couldn't stop his gray eyes from dimming. From the beginning, his deep, penetrating eyes watched Rin come forward, with arms crossed against his broad chest.
Once the figure stopped in their tracks, a gentle voice chimed through the air.
"I, Captain Bai of the Guando province come on behalf of the city to surrender. Governor Tao has taken his life to ensure peace in the city. Regarding his actions, I ask if you conceal your anger and accept our surrender."
Composedly, Rin elevates her head. She focused her eyes in An Sun's direction, with a calm and steady gaze without a trace of fear or weakness - her eyes were impassive and resolute.
"Inside this chest is Governor Tao's head. You may look inside if you wish to confirm." Rin lowered her head respectably once more and raised the chest toward An Sun in a kneeling position, all thoughts of the numbness in her feet disappearing.
From the beginning, An Sun remained silent, however, the slightest twitch in his eyebrows could be seen and his deep eyes darkened even further.
[This female-looking guy...was who he'd been fighting with all along?]
From their previous word of surrender, he was able to distinguish the small figure of someone staring down at him from above. He could already guess it was Captain Bai, however, he hadn't realized how weak the boy looked until he stood a few feet in front of him.
Not minding his silence, Rin continues to speak with her head lowered. "We hand you all the cities riches to you willingly. If there is more you wish for we're willing to give it but…please spare the lives of the citizens inside the walls."
Following her words, the sound of a blade could be heard unsheathing and swiftly approaching Rin's face.
Feeling something drip down her cheek, Rin calmly looks up to greet the eyes of Commander An Sun – behind his mask Rin discovered his gray eyes looking at her with contempt.
Just now the tip of his sword scraped her cheek, causing a red liquid to flow down gently as if it were a tear. Although the cut wasn't deep, it was still enough to slice until there was blood.
"You dare beg for your life and seek forgiveness now?" A sinister yet calm smile gradually surfaced to show upon An Sun's face. "Why should I heed your requests and allow insignificant people to live when I can merely kill you all and take what I want?"
Unaffected by his harsh tone, Rin lifts her eyes to stare up to look directly into the man's eyes. "In that case, why don't we discuss your tributes, Commander An Sun."
"Are you asking to negotiate with me or to stall time to issue another attack?" An Sun's voice deepened.
"I dare not issue another attack. You are the victor while I have lost, that I acknowledge. You can kill me as you please, however, the citizen's lives…I will ensure their safety." Rin stood from the frozen ground. "All I ask is a bit of Commander An Sun's time to settle this civilly."
The soldiers listening to Rin's words couldn't help but laugh mockingly.
"Haha, settle this civilly? What's with this guy?"
"What grants you the right to ask our Lord to negotiate?"
"He really must be courting death."
An Sun, with crossed arms, looks down at Rin. His gray eyes shone with a chilling, murderous aura.
"And if I don't agree to settle it peacefully? Why not just kill you now?" His voice had become ten times chillier than before.
Leisurely, a faint angelic smile spreads upon Rin's pale lips.
"In that case, if you kill me and don't spare the lives of the citizens, you'll leave us no choice but to settle things violently."
As if amused by her words, a blood-thirsty smile spreads across his lips, however, his eyes deepened even further.
An Sun gave a cold laugh. "You still possess the strength? Let me tell you; I don't like being threatened. Especially by a female-looking guy like you."
Casually, An Sun leaps off from his horse, his boots slamming down onto the deep snow creating a thudding sound.
"But since you asked so politely." Calmly, An Sun walked toward Rin, the powerful aura around him intensifying. "I'm willing to listen to your negotiation."
Rin lowers her head, her silk lashes fluttering. "I thank Commander An Sun for granting us a chance at a settlement."
Staring down at the boy who was now only a foot away from him, An Sun chuckles darkly.
"I wouldn't be too excited." The man calmly plays with his glistening sword.
"After all, if I don't like what you give me…I won't hesitate to kill you." An Sun said with a light, playful smile, pointing his sword toward her narrow shoulders.
Rin remains calm despite the weapon pointed on her. Her head still lowered, Rin's mellow voice speaks.
"Then I can only hope my tributes will please you. My fate, for now, will be in your hands, Commander An Sun.
The two days of awaiting the Tuhan's arrival passed by in a blink of an eye.