81 A Pleasure Serving With All Of You

"Captain Bai, you can't be serious? Working alongside the Tuhan? That's practically suicide!"

Standing in front of the broad table, Rin and a group of generals gathered within the provincial office. After her discussion with An Sun on his negotiations, Rin called all her trusted men to inform them of their agreement.

"As risky as it may sound, it's our only option to ensure the citizen's safety as well as the soldiers. I can't allow harm on any more innocents."

"But…captain, what about you?" The general's expression furrowed.

Looking up at the men, Rin faintly smiles, her hands clasped lightly behind her back. "I'll be able to handle myself just fine, don't worry. Even so, to protect the citizens and people is worth it."

Lowering their heads the general's hearts beat fiercely toward the young boy's words. The sacrifices and harsh battles that took place all embedded itself deeply into the men's hearts.

"As for the citizens, don't inform them of this matter. All they need to know is of our peaceful and achieved surrender."

"Yes, Captain Bai."

Bobbing her head, Rin smiles gently at the group of men. Her emerald eyes remained firm and fearless as if everything that took place, never happened. As if she wasn't about to sacrifice herself into the claws of a ferocious wolf.

"It was a pleasure serving with all of you."

Wrapped in furred coat, Rin stares quietly at the stone graves at the top of the snowy cliff. Engraved with the names Tao, the sturdy stone embedded itself deep within the ground.

At that moment, Rin was standing in front of the graves of Governor Tao and his wife.

Forever would he be looking down at his citizens and watching over them from above. As promised, An Sun ordered his men to create a decent and proper burial for the two – specifically placing them on the cliff.

Unsure if it was an accident or not, but it appeared An Sun knew very well the proper place to bury the honorable Governor Tao. As he had formerly said, he was a courageous and honorable man. It seemed even if they were enemies, he still respected the strong and brave.

"Cough--! Cough--!"

Rin covers her mouth, before bending down gently to kneel onto the snow-covered ground. Lowering her head, Rin's eyes closed.

"The citizen's lives as you hoped for were spared, no harm will come to your people." Rin softly spoke. "Your daughter has been sent away safely to live with her relatives. This favor is the best I can give you for your noble sacrifices."

Tugging at her coat edges, Rin's eyelids tighten.

"I thank you, for saving me and offering me valuable insight into those around me. I will eternally remember your words."

Looking up, Rin slowly stands up to take a white, blooming flower from her pocket and gently places it on the top of the governor's grave. The chrysanthemum's petals fluttered elegantly through the chilling wind.

Nobility. Strength and elegance.

"You deserve this more than I do."

As Rin calmly gave her blessings to the governor and his wife, from a distance on the cliff stood An Sun and Manchu – quietly watching Rin from the very beginning.

"He's quite an interesting fellow." Manchu's eyes glistened with amusement.

Glancing at Rin's small kneeling figure, Manchu lightly shakes his head and sighs.

"Although he's a little too soft in my opinion. I'm guessing he's weeping over there right now."

Noticing that the man beside him wasn't speaking, Manchu glances to the side to see An Sun's expression. From the beginning, his expression was cold and aloof with crossed arms – those cold gray eyes of his calmly examining the small boy ahead.

An Sun's pale and smooth, jade-like skin and chiseled features blended in beautifully with the frosty surroundings. Unlike his luminous skin, the man's eyes contrasted strikingly, causing one to freeze under his gaze.

To be honest, even Manchu was surprised when An Sun considered having the young boy join them. Although growing up with him for the past ten years, Manchu learned to never be surprised when it involved the young man.

Unfolding his arms and turning around, An Sun leisurely begins to walk away.

"When he's done, crying like a baby over there, tell him that we're leaving. I won't be so kind to patiently wait for him."

Chuckling, Manchu nods his head in the man's direction. Shifting his gaze back toward Rin, Manchu patiently awaits for Rin to finish.

Having been told by Manchu, it was time for them to leave. Rin remained calm as she stared at the graves one more time before departing away.

Arriving to see An Sun and his men mounted on their horses, Rin's clear eyes scanned her surroundings.

Men in armor effortlessly loaded carriages filled with weapons, hay, and sacks of food onto the wooden carriages.

Rin observed the men as they loaded the carriages with more supplies and resources, lightly coughing on the side as she waited for them to finish.

Feeling a faint noise in the corner of her ears, Rin turns in the direction of the familiar sound of a horse's hooves walking past her.

Seeing as a dark gallant horse stopped in front of her, Rin quietly looks up to see the towering figure of An Sun who was suited in full armor – his gray concealed eyes looking down at her with a gaze colder than frost.

"Aren't you getting a horse? Or do you wish to walk?" An Sun's deep, husky voice laced with menace spoke.

"My apologies, my Lord. I'll go mount immediately."

Quietly walking away, An Sun watches as the frail cloaked figure makes their way toward the back, her eyes slowly observing each man and their horse before landing eyes on a milk colored horse that was unmounted, unlike the rest.

Walking in its direction, Rin stares at the horse for a brief moment. Her white, frail hands gently caressing its side. After a few moments, Rin brushes the horse and mounts onto it effortlessly.

Watching as Rin mounted easily onto the horse, An Sun turns and ushers his horse away with his usual cold, blank expression.
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