" How dare you die?" Xia Lian growled in anger, her entire demeanor evoking a deep sense of fear in everyone's hearts.
Beneath the angered voice there was hidden concern and the smile on the woman's face widened as soon as she understood Xia Lian's complaints. She blinked her eyes and rubbed her eyes to get rid of the layer of tears blocking her vision. But, what she saw completely blew her away...
Xia Lian's face was completely red due to her anger and her bloodshot eyes coupled with her almost white knuckles evoked a deep warmth in the woman's heart contrary to the expected fear. Either in her past life or this life, this was the only person who cared about her.
She was not afraid of receiving a few blows and she was certainly not afraid to speak her mind before her. With a stubborn expression encasing her face, she faced Xia Lian's fierce eyes with an unrelenting look as she retorted " Then how dare you die and leave us?! If you dared to die, then why can't I? You have no right to question me!"
Xia Lian's eyes trembled slightly before reverting back to the usual bottomless look " Heh... You are learning to talk back when I am reprimanding you. It seems that our parting made you rebellious. It's my duty to discipline you."
As soon as the words fell, the woman's eyes widened in fear and she hurriedly positioned herself preparing for the incoming slaughter on her muscles and bones.
Xia Lian let out a low chuckle as she noticed the fear in the woman's eyes and hurled herself towards the woman knocking the woman down along with her. The woman closed her eyes expecting a sharp pain on her back, but her eyes flickered open after a while as there was no pain whatsoever.
There was this stupid look on the woman's face which made Xia Lian's lips twitch in amusement. Earlier she was angry, but she was not that insane to inflict pain on this fellow who was now beneath her. So, she used her hand as a padding for the woman's back so that she would not be hurt by this fall.
'Did this girl become so dumb that she could not even sense my hand around her waist?' Xia Lian face-palmed.
" Yinri... When did you turn so dumb?" Xia Lian could not resist and blurted out the words plaguing her heart.
What Xia Lian didn't expect was that the damn girl below her to stiffen immediately as soon as she used the name Yinri...
The woman dressed in black or Yinri was moved to the point of tears as soon as she heard her name. She was a soldier and a woman who had a remarkable control on her emotions. At the moment, all she wanted to do was to cry out all her heart but she gritted her teeth to suppress the whimpers which are threatening to escape from her quivering lips.
Noticing the glistening tears in the girl's eyes, Xia Lian sighed and loosened her hand which was snaking around Yinri's waist gently. Even after straightening her robes and stretching her arms, Xia Lian found Yinri in the same position, the girl was now rubbing her eyes frantically.
" Stupid! Enough of being a cry baby..." Yinri reprimanded herself while getting up from her embarrassing position. What she didn't know was that Xia Lian was eyeing her with a weird expression and that she was currently acting like a clown.
Controlling her watery eyes and blabbering mouth, Yinri kneeled respectfully on a single knee showing her respect to Xia Lian.
Xia Lian lowered her head and Yinri raised her head, their eyes making contact and almost immediately both of them closed the fists of their respective left hands and placed them on their chest in a swift motion.
It was their signature salute, which they followed in their training. After the completion of match the loser of the match goes down on one knee and places his fist on his chest respecting and acknowledging the other party's skills, irrespective of their cadres and rankings. In a similar way, the winner also follows the motion in a standing position, respecting the other party and reminding themselves that humility is a redeeming quality for the soldiers and that they should remain down to earth not letting pride getting over their hearts.
It was a sign of mutual respect...
Yinri lost many times against her but Yinri was the only woman who managed to make her kneel three times while the others never managed to last even a few minutes on the ring. Xia Lian was quite proud of Yinri, like a teacher proud of her student.
" You fought well..." both of them spoke at the same time and there were traces of smile in both Xia Lian's and Yinri's eyes.
The days in the army training grounds and the daily matches were like a part of Xia Lian's life and if she said that she was not missing any of that, it would be definitely a lie. She was an expert in concealing her emotions. Her funny and frivolous front is one of her many masks. Only her sub-ordinates knew the decisive and sharp girl beneath her facade.
And Yinri was one of the few who could guess her hidden emotions with a single glance. Truth be told, she missed this man hating girl, but that does not mean that she was happy on seeing her here. Yinri being here meant only thing, the girl had died. Xia Lian was current having bittersweet emotions on seeing the girl here.
But how and when did she die? There are many things that Xia Lian was curious of and she would take her sweet time interrogating this stupid girl later. But now...
" Get up..." Xia Lian sighed helplessly on seeing the girl not moving from her kneeling position.
Yinri got up form her squatting position and dusted her flowing black robes. Not knowing what to speak she eyed the present Xia Lian who was short and younger than her by a few years. But, that did not diminish the regal air around her. The predatory eyes of hers resembling that of an eagle sub-consciously gave birth to respect in her heart.
And at that moment, she knew what to speak...
Standing upright with an assertive and correct posture, Yinri opened her palm and saluted Xia Lian in a loud and deep voice " Commander!"