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Akogare

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This is a very long story. I'm planning to use all the Archons and Characters' stories in my work. English is not my first language so I'm sorry for any bad grammar I'm using. But I just want to note that this work will take a very long time to finish because the plot I will be using is following Genshin's original plot (Archons and Character's stories and maybe some event stories too). I will do my best to deliver my fiction and I hope everyone who reads it will like my work.

I'm also posting my work on Tumblr: @fleuryoro

 

DISCLAIMER!
Also, Genshin Impact and Jujutsu Kaisen are not my work. I only make fan-fiction (Akogare).

Forgot to mention, but there's some headcanon here... (mostly related to y/n)

Enjoy ∠( ᐛ 」∠)_

(Note: Start 07/01/2022)

Chapter Text

The smell of burnt and blood covers her entire senses. Her injury is so severe that she should’ve died from blood loss, but thanks to her inhumane power and the “God’s Blessings” her clan possess, she still could stay alive. The woman stood there in the middle of the fire with a blade in her hand. Her feet are pressed against someone’s neck, strangling him. She was covered in blood from head to toe, and there’s no single body part in her body that is not touched by the blood. It’s from her victim and hers that drenched her body. Her blade is all red, and the only word that could describe this view is hell.

The woman who was supposed to be their puppet, their slave, was slaughtering them like a pig. No one survives and the last one to die is right below her feet. Her cold-blooded gaze pierced towards the man and he couldn't help but cry and beg for mercy. His wailing makes her more annoyed and she stabs her blade into the man’s right hand. The screams of agony were torn from the man’s throat, he has already lost his left eye and now she wants to take his right hand. He kept begging for mercy and swearing that he would release her but it fell into deaf ears.

“Stop yapping like a dog.” The woman’s cold voice startled him. His face was pure horror when he saw her bloody face smiling. She came forward near his crying face and a giggle came out from her throat. “It looks pathetic,” she whispers near his face. And then she cut off his hand from his body and another agonizing scream can be heard from the man. He wants to fight against her but the gravity that she controls keeps him from moving. Her feet that were stepping his throat were pressed and choked him, but she won’t let this man die just like that. She wants this man to die a very slow and painful death. And she will make it come true.

***
The sky is dark and the rain is hard, her entire body was drenched in both blood and rainwater. The man is already dead and her vision is blurring. Shangri’la, the so-called protector organization that fights against curses around Sendai City, was a cult that was famous for doing a lot of crimes behind the scenes. They monopoly their Jujutsu sorcerer for their greed, and she was also one of the victims.

Her parents sold her and her brother, Naoki to the Shangri'la to pay their debt. The great Andou clan was reduced to this extent thanks to her incompetent father. His gambling addiction brings her family wealth to dry and her greedy mother left her husband and children to run away with her lover. Abandoned by her family, she must live her life to survive. She agreed with the Shangri’la upper ups to spare her brother and use her because she possessed the Andou’s clan power: “God’s Blessing”.

Finding that they got their hand into one of the great sorcerer clan powers made their greed escalate and use her as a tool. She was blackmailed, drugged into submission, and many other heinous crimes she was forced to bear at a young age. But if this is all for her brother, she will do anything to keep him from knowing and joining the Jujutsu world. She wishes her brother to have a normal life and be away from any threat the Jujutsu world could offer.

But after 15 years of being enslaved into this evil organization, she was finally able to get her revenge and kill every single upper up from Shangri’la. But her life is also nearing its end.

She fell into her knee and her blade pierced into the dirt below her, she used the blade to support her body from falling. She has lost too much blood, and her body can’t handle her power’s burden from using the blessings. Her vision was blurred and her senses all went numb. She knows that this will happen to her but she can’t help but let out a quiet sob.

“Are you happy with this?” came the man with white hair and a very distinct attire. The man in front of her is Gojo Satoru, her childhood friend who helped her to get her revenge. The man looked at the woman before him, soaked in blood and rainwater, her appearance battered. Her blood pooled below her knees. The woman just let a breathy laugh, her hands in her blade are visibly shaking, she doesn’t have much time anymore.

“Of course not.” The reply came unsurprisingly for the man. He knew his childhood friend well, and he knows that this is not what she actually wants. She wants to escape, she yearns for her freedom. But she can’t get that freedom because death will strip it away from her. “... I wish to live a normal life with Naoki.”

Nothing is more precious than her brother in her life, and Gojo knows it. But there’s nothing the strongest sorcerer can do in this situation. He can’t revive a dying person. So he just stood there accompanying her in her final moment.

“Promise me that you and the others will protect Naoki.” the woman begs. “Please don’t let him join the jujutsu world, I know he has a talent for that but please, don’t let him know about Jujutsu's existence.” the woman’s sobs are getting louder, even in her final moment, she kept thinking about her brother. “Please keep all about my life a secret from him, I can accept his hatred as long as he doesn’t know what has happened to me.” The rain is getting harder and her voice is getting muffled by the sounds of the rain. The pool of blood was getting wider and her body was slowly falling from its balance, but the woman kept her strength so she could convey all of her last words. She lifts her head and looks at the blindfolded man, she smiles at him, a sincere smile. “And thank you for everything.”

And then there’s silence. He couldn't hear her breathing anymore, her choked sob had stopped, and the only sound he could hear was the deafening rain. The rain makes it seem like the Gods that bestowed this poor woman their blessings crying. But if she hears his thoughts she will gag and show him a disgusted face, as if she’s just looking at the most disgusting thing in her life. But the woman who will do that is no longer here. He just stood there silently in front of her, savoring their last conversation for the last time.

“I hope you will live freely in your next life.”

Chapter Text

The sounds of the waves and the smell of the sea are the ones who greet me. The light breezes blew through my hair and the sands felt cozy under my unconscious body. There are distant sounds that catch my hearing, it sounds like someone is trying to wake me up. But who does that? Isn’t I supposed to be dead already? The sound is so loud and it is starting to hurt my ears.
“...up!”
Up?
“...ke…up!”
What?
“Wake up!”

My eyes open and my body jolted up, a loud gasp is heard through my labored breathing. My vision is blurred and I can feel my heart beating so hard that I almost thought it would jump out from my ears. Suddenly a hand touches my shoulder and reflexly I turn my head and look at the person beside me. The man beside me has a really beautiful blonde, his golden eyes show concern. Beside him, there’s a floating… thing?

“Hey, are you alright? Paimon and Aether found you unconscious near the beach, how are you able to be there? Do you fall from the cliff?” The floating girl flew around me, checking my body if there’s an injury, but I know my body is uninjured because I don’t smell any blood from me but they took my silence as if something bad had happened to me.

“Aether! She must have hit her head!”
“Are you ok? Do you need a doctor?”
The blonde and the floating girl keep asking me questions, my head is ringing because of the noises and I unconsciously grunted. I want them to keep quiet for a moment and let me process the situation I’m just involved in. I believe that I’m supposed to be dead and yet here I am breathing and surrounded by some people I don’t recognize.

“I’m sorry but can you both keep quiet for a moment?”
Realizing that they may be quite noisy, they lowered their noise and muttered small apologies to me. I scanned my surroundings and came upon this beautiful view of the sea. The wind blew my hair and sent the sea scent into my nostril. I never saw this beautiful beach in Tokyo nor in any country I’ve ever gone to.

“Where am I?” I ask in awe. The blonde noticed my astonishment and was relieved that I looked alright. He smiled and stood up from the spot beside me. “This is the beach near the Starsnatch Cliff, it’s beautiful isn’t it.”

“Starsnatch? Which nation is this?” I never heard Starsnatch before, is that in Europe? Or America?
“It’s Mondstadt!” The floating girl yells loudly.
“Mond what not?”
“Mondstadt, the City of Freedom.”

Is this Germany? How in the world am I in German? My face showed how confused I am in this absurd situation. Are Gods playing with me again? Not only did they ruin my life with their ‘blessing’ now they sent me into Germany after my death? I bit my lips trying to find my way back to Sendai City and meet with the others. I tried to stand up but I couldn't feel my feet and immediately I fell into the sand. But before all my body fell, the blonde quickly grabbed my hand and assisted my body.

“Be careful, your body must be fatigued. Let me help you.” The blonde hoisted my hand around his shoulder and helped me stand up. I whisper to him my thanks and keep scanning my surroundings. There’s no danger around us, the place is so peaceful. The sounds of waves and the scent of the ocean, the birds that fly freely in the sky, it’s a great place for a vacation. But it's not the time for relaxing, If I was alive then I need to deal with the aftermath of the plan with Gojo and make sure that my brother is alright. I need to go back to Sendai City immediately.

“Can you tell me how to go to the airport? I know if this sounds shameless but can I also borrow some of your money to buy the ticket? I swear I will return this favor, but I need to go back to Japan right now. I could leave you with my phone number and my contacts too.”

My voice sounds hoarse, I guess I’m kinda dehydrated so I cough lightly to relieve my throat. I turn my head to look at the blonde expecting his answer, but the blonde just gives me this confused expression as if he doesn’t understand any of the words I’m just spouting at him. I turn to the floating girl hoping for an answer but she also looks confused. And now I’m also confused with their reaction. Feeling somewhat embarrassed maybe my request sounds too much?

“Airport?” The floating girl asks.
“...Yes?”
“What is that? Is that edible?”
How come these people don’t know what the airport is? Maybe they call it with a different word? What is the German for the airport? I pondered how to answer the floating girl’s question, but the situation stunned me and it made my brain malfunction. I feel kinda embarrassed but mostly very puzzled with all of this. The blonde who noticed my distress finally opens his mouth.

“Are you perhaps someone from another world?”
His sudden question startled her. “What are you talking about?”
The blonde scratches his head and doesn’t know how to explain his question to the girl who was just unconscious a few minutes ago, but he kinda believes that the girl is just like him, an outlander from another world. But the girl doesn’t know anything about what he’s talking about, and just like her before she asked him to bring her into this place that is called ‘airport’.

“I know this sounded crazy, but I think you’re not from this world.”
(y/n) thought he’s joking, and if he was, it’s quite funny. But he sounded serious enough to make her think twice before letting a small laugh escape from her. As for his floating companion, she doesn’t look that surprised, but she weirdly looks quite excited.
“Are you also someone from another world?” I ask him, unsure of his answer but after observing their reaction I think what they are saying is quite the fact. But I’m still hoping for them to laugh at my question and say that it was a joke. But it never happens.

***
The night has come, we all circle the bonfire that Aether has made before. The fish he caught was being grilled around the fire while we’re all sitting in the sands and waiting for the fish to be ready to be eaten. The only sounds that were heard were the crackling from the fire and the gentle waves, no one was talking, afraid to break the tense silence. They know that (y/n) is not from this world, but they can’t do anything to help her. She looked very surprised and also had some hint of dread when she realized her situation. She begged Aether to help her go back to her world but there’s nothing he can do. His power is sealed and he is also like her, stranded in this world. And after (y/n) calmed down, she hasn’t spoken a word towards them. Understanding her confusion, they let her be for some time. They introduce them selfs to her and the only reply they receive is her name.

(y/n) Andou.

That’s an unusual name. They are curious about this girl’s identity but they couldn’t bring themselves to ask her knowing her situation right now. It’s been half a day since they found her, she is still quiet in her place. She seems drowned in her thoughts, and Aether is curious about what she’s thinking about.

The fish is ready and Paimon immediately grabs two sticks of grilled fish into her tiny hands and devours them. Aether went to grab two sticks, afraid his gluttony companion would eat all of the fishes and forgot to leave some for him and (y/n). He walked to (y/n) who was still sitting in her spot with her knee tucked up in front of her and his head resting atop her knee. The smell of grilled fish made her aware that Aether was walking towards her, so she raised her head to greet him. Aether offers her the freshly grilled fish to (y/n) and she accepts it with gratitude. They sat there in silence while enjoying the night view of the ocean.

(y/n) was visibly upset. She wants to come back to her world and reunite with her brother. But there’s nothing she can do to go back there, even with her power, it is impossible to travel between worlds. She was hoping that this is all just a dream, or maybe she was in a coma and she’s stuck in this dream that her brain projects. But, it feels so real. Her interaction with Aether and Paimon felt so real, the sands and the waters also real, the fish she ate right now is also real, she also still could feel her cursed energy. But how is this possible? She clearly remembers that she should have been dead. But here she was breathing and alive. Her scars around her hands and feet are all gone, her body felt lighter and also healthier, and she also felt that she’s shorter… Am I shrinking?

After finishing her dinner, she sat in her spot again and kept thinking of any possible way or any possible reasons for her to be stuck in this unknown world. She felt helpless and this feeling is not unfamiliar to her. Before the negative emotions engulf (y/n)’s mind, Aether came to her. He senses her sad feeling and wants to lift the atmosphere. Paimon flew beside him and sad between (y/n) and Aether.

“Is there anything I could help with?” Aether asks gently.
(y/n) gives him a small smile and shakes her head. She still is not in a mood to speak to anyone. Her eyes stuck in the bonfire in front of her and watched the firewood crackling inside of the blazing fire. Paimon just looks back at (y/n) and Aether’s interaction and thinks that she should help Aether lift (y/n)’s mood.

“Paimon thinks that we should go to Mondstadt tomorrow.” (y/n) just hear her suggestion silently while Aether agrees with her.

“Maybe we could find a way to bring you back to your world. Paimon and Aether are looking for the Seven Archons, so maybe if we’re lucky enough we could ask their help to send you back to your world.”

“The Seven Archons?” (y/n) finally speak.

“Yea, The Seven Archons is the seven Gods that rule over the seven nations of Tevyat. Each Archons is associated with an element and an ideal. For example, Mondstadt is The City of Freedom, and they worship the God of Freedom, The anemo God Barbatos.” Paimon, being a great guide, explains to (y/n) and Aether about the Seven Archons and all nations that are in Tevyat. While Paimon is busy explaining, Aether noticed (y/n)’s displeased expression. The face of disgust and detest.

“(y/n)?” he asks her warily.

Realizing that Aether saw her, (y/n) sends him a smile, and reassures him that she’s just feeling cold, and there’s nothing wrong at all. Aether just nods and accepts her reasoning, but he knows there’s more than just cold.

“Sure, let’s go to the city then tomorrow.”
“Paimon can’t wait to taste their food! What do you think the food will be like there? Paimon never went to the city.”
“Wait, you both never went to the city?”

Aether and Paimon nod. (y/n) who didn’t believe their answer kept bombarding them with questions.

“So all this time you both are camping on this beach? Since when? I thought you both at least have been into the city once?”
“Haha, it’s kind of complicated.” Aether scratches his cheek and avoids (y/n) eyes feeling embarrassed. He and Paimon have been on this beach for three months now until they found (y/n)’s body this afternoon near the shore. (y/n) that was baffled by their story just keep asking more questions.

“Wait, so you found Paimon, no so you catch Paimon when you’re out fishing? But how? Can’t you float? And what are you both doing all these three months here?”

(y/n) keep asking questions to them and then find some amusement in their answers. Even though it’s weird, it is undeniably funny so she can’t help but laugh. Aether who finds the former upset girl finally laughs her heart out and feels that it is worth the embarrassment as long as she’s not sad anymore. And also…

‘I think her smile looks beautiful.’

***
The night is filled with the stars and the full moon illuminates the sky. Paimon is asleep beside Aether who’s already asleep a few moments ago. (y/n) can’t help but admire the sky because this kind of view is rare in the city. I fondle my earring in my right ear, the only things that were still in my body are this weird outfit that I have never bought before and my right earring. The earring is an artifact from my original world that could seal my cursed energy, the earring has a blue gem that dangles from my ear. The gem is the artifact that could suppress my power.

It was used by them to control me. But now I need this earring to survive in this world. How ironic.

After hearing Aether’s story, I felt sympathetic that his power was sealed by the unknown God when he and his sister were trying to escape from this world. Not only does God seal his power, but she also has to separate these siblings from each other for five hundred years. I could understand his pain for being away from their precious sibling because it also happened to me.

(y/n) steal a glance towards Aether’s sleeping figure across her. He looks so peaceful and serene, she kinda envies him for being able to sleep peacefully. In the past, she had to use drugs to force herself to sleep, but this new healthy body that she has all of a sudden proves that she doesn’t need any kind of drugs anymore. She was forced to accept the reality that she was stranded in an unknown world that was called Tevyat. Her healthy body felt like a miracle to her.
I guess, living a new life here.. Doesn’t seem that bad.

But she can’t help but want to come back and finally be with her precious brother. Naoki Andou, her precious family. Her only light in that dark world.

She looks up into the night sky and thinks about her brother. She believes in Nanami and Nao to take care of him while she’s gone.

“Dear Naoki, I hope you could live your life normally and I wish you could find your happiness. Even if your sister is gone, I sincerely hope for your well-being. I regret the time when you left home so much, I know it’s my fault for always keeping you in the dark, … but I believe this is four own good. I miss you so much… I love you.”

Chapter Text

A scream can be heard from an apartment, the sounds of a young boy screaming and crying in front of a blonde man. He’s kneeling, begging the man to tell him that all he just heard was a hoax. He couldn’t accept the reality he had just heard. The blonde man tried to calm the young boy down, but he kept avoiding the boy’s questions.

He knew he shouldn’t talk about her near the boy’s residence, but by mistake, he talk about her, and the boy by accident eavesdropped on their conversation. The white-haired man beside him watches the situation unfold before his blindfolded eyes. They couldn’t deny the truth, everything has been revealed by accident to the person they must keep in the dark the most. And now the boy is wailing and bawling his eyes out.

“PLEASE, GIVE ME MY SISTER BACK!”

Chapter Text

I was drowning in my thoughts all night and didn’t notice that the sun was already rising. I’m putting my thoughts into one and thinking about what I’m going to do for now. I was stranded in this new world with nothing, I could start my life anew here. No one will control me and no one will use me as their tool. I could escape from the life of a living marionette. I could be free here. But, what about Naoki? I’m worried about him, I can’t help it, he’s my precious little brother that I have protected since I was a kid. I will lose Naoki if I don't come back to the earth. I feel relieved to see nothing had changed from my body, I still have my dark hair and my green eyes, except my fair skin is now spotless without any scars from the battle or the torture. I think I could sleep without any drugs anymore. It’s as if my body pressed a restart button. I also look slightly younger. Is this really not a dream?

I watch the sun slowly rising into the horizon. The sky turned into a beautiful golden hue, and the sea is reflecting the sun’s reflection, adding it into the breathtaking view in the early morning. I’ve been here for a day, and I still can’t get used to how nature is still untouched by humans. It felt unreal.

I walked into the seashore to wash my face and I watched as the crabs scrambled away and dug the crab hole to escape any human that’s near them. The birds near the cliff were flying into the morning sky and the sweet scent of the ocean greets my nostrils. I splash my face into the ocean water and wash away my drowsiness. I can’t get enough sleep tonight because I still have to sort things out in my mind. I heard the crunching sounds of the sand and I believe Aether is finally waking up. I didn’t turn my head to confirm it, instead, I just watched the sunrise. I can’t let this beautiful view escape my eyes. The crunching sounds are getting near and I know Aether is walking towards me, I could also hear Paimon yawn beside him.

The blue gem that was dangling in her right ear was shining thanks to the sun’s illuminations and Aether saw the girl’s silhouette standing on the seashore basking in the morning sun. The gentle wave is hitting the girl’s feet gently and the breeze is waving her long locks into the air. The unusual girl that he met yesterday looked serene as if she had finally met her peace. From yesterday what Aether could see from the girl’s eyes is just an overwhelming negative emotion, as if half of her soul has been taken away from her. Even though she begged him to bring her back to her world, he can still see that deep down the girl wanted to stay in here. The whole silence the girl gives when she realizes her situation is really tense, even makes Paimon unable to speak loudly, afraid to sour the atmosphere around us. But after we shared our story with (y/n) she was finally able to smile and laugh with us. I’m curious about her world, and I want her to tell us her story, but I guess it’s too fast. We just met yesterday so maybe it’s uncomfortable for her to share her story with some strangers. I hope we can befriend her.

The girl finally turned her face facing me and greeted me with a subtle smile. She pulls her hair into the back of her ear to prevent the wind from hitting her face. “Good morning.”

I smiled at her and removed my gloves to wash my face beside her. Paimon is still yawning while holding my gloves and sitting in the stone near the shore. I walked beside her and splashed the cold water into my face. Then I looked at the view that had always stolen her attention since she woke up. The sky slowly turned blue and the ocean breeze felt cool against my skin. The drowsiness had already gone from the ocean’s cold water.

 

“It looks beautiful, right?” basking into the sunlight, the warmth engulfs our body and the ray is blinding our eyes, but we can’t help but keep our eyes from looking away. “... it is.” the hushed reply can be heard beside him. There’s a comfortable silence around them and they enjoy the sun rising into the sky. Until Paimon suddenly breaks the silence with a loud grumble from her tiny stomach.

 

“Paimon is hungry!” the pixie said while slowly floating in their direction. Aether just shakes his head and walks towards her to take his gloves back, while (y/n) still standing in her spot keeping her eyes on the horizon. “(y/n), are you not hungry? Paimon is really hungry, Paimon wants to eat Mondstadt’s food.”

 

The girl finally turned her body and walked towards them near the campsite. Aether had packed up all his belongings and got ready for our journey to the city. “Let’s eat in the city, I’m kinda tired of eating fish every day.” said the blonde.

 

(y/n) let out a chuckle and can’t help but to tease him, “Who told you to stay here for three months ?”

 

Aether just scratched the back of his neck and a light red is dusted around his fair cheeks, while Paimon laughs at her companion’s embarrassed face. We walked awhile near the shore while watching Aether and Paimon bantering with each other. Until I stepped into something gooey that made one of my feet drenched. I let out a yelp because of how startled I was by what I had stepped on into and fell into the sand below me. Aether immediately helped me get up and looked at the blue creature that was in front of us.

 

“What in the world is that?” I let out a surprised yelp. I have seen many grotesque cursed spirits in the past but what is that small and blue gooey thing?! Is that a face I’m seeing? Wait, it’s alive?

 

“Oh, Paimon knows that, it’s a slime!” Wow, it really sounds like a light novel plot. I watched the blue blob regain its composure and be ready to charge at me. I could see its fiery rage because I stepped on it. The slime is jumping on the water surface and splashing some water around it. Aether immediately stood up in front of me and spawn a sword into his right hand. I have never seen him with any weapon before and when I saw the weapon I immediately raised my guard. So all this time the person I thought was weaponless had a weapon beside him. I stood up walked a few steps away from him and watched him fighting against the slime. Paimon noticed me and asked me if I was hurt, hearing that Aether immediately ran towards me but I raised my hand to stop him.

 

“Tell me where you put your weapons?” I ask sternly. I swear I never saw him with a weapon since yesterday and all of a sudden he had a sword in his hand. Who knows what this person will do to me if I keep my guard down. I glared at them and stood on guard, ready to fight if any of them attacked me. Aether immediately let his sword down and raised his hands and Paimon soon followed her companion and raised her tiny hands in the air. He noticed that (y/n) is in a defensive stance, and the girl asked about the weapon in his hands, so he guessed that the reason (y/n) acted like this was because of his weapon. A frown inscribed her face while waiting for Aether’s answer. She should have known that these people are suspicious. She didn’t want to risk the possibility that her life is being controlled again like in Shangri’la all because of her trust towards some strangers.

 

“Listen to me (y/n) I will never hurt you.”

 

“Answer my question.”

 

He gulped when he heard (y/n)’s cold voice, he never thought (y/n) could speak like that. Knowing if he keeps his silence or drags her questions he would look more suspicious.

 

“... it could be spawned by mind, we could store our materials and weapons through space inventory.” he then spawns a sweet flower he once picked near the cliff in his hands to prove the inventory he’s talking about. But (y/n) still keeps her guard, and silently watches the flower in his hand. Knowing she’s not convinced he again spawn a crab into his other hand. Still giving the blonde her silence, she still demands proof. So the blonde stores the flower and carb away and spawns a cabbage in his hands.

 

(y/n) slowly dropped her defensive stance and saw that Aether quickly store his cabbage and sword back. There’s tense silence between them and Paimon is visibly confused at what had just happened just now. (y/n) still keep her eyes on Aether and Aether is wrecking his brain of how he could convince this girl that he’s not a danger. Until finally (y/n) decided to break the silence between them.

 

“Tell me how you do that.”

 

The blonde blinked at me and then scrunched his face. He seems in trouble. He actually doesn’t know how to explain how the inventory works to her. He can just use that naturally. So he can’t find the right words to explain to her. (y/n) is still waiting for his answer, but she’s being impatient now, so she faced Paimon. Meeting with (y/n)’s cold green orbs, the pixie let out a startled yelp. She doesn’t expect (y/n) to look at her at all, and now her (e/c) are piercing towards the pixie demanding her answer. Paimon turned her head towards Aether hoping for his help but he just sent her the same look as her.

 

Sighing, (y/n) try to memorize the time when Aether spawns his weapon. It came out of thin air as if it’s materialized from the air. But she knows for sure if his sword is not from cursed energy or the air. It looks 100% metal. Maybe he just thought about the sword and then the sword is immediately right at her hand. So she tried to imagine a sword, her sword. But it didn’t come into her hand. She tries it again but now with another type of weapon she can use. But it still failed. Aether and Paimon were puzzled looking at (y/n) who keep staring at her hand. They’re arguing in their mind if they should interrupt her and break her concentration, but before they could settle their mind they saw (y/n) with a sword similar to Aethers in her hand. She figures out how to use the inventory just like Aether’s, and the sword similar to his was now right in her hand.

 

She inspected the sword intently and tried to swing it to the side. The sword is dull and it’s kinda light. (y/n) snorted, looked at the sword at her hand, and thought to herself.

 

‘This sword is really bad.’

 

***

After that misunderstanding has been settled. I apologize to Aether and Paimon for acting like that towards them. But Aether and Paimon just tell me it’s alright and they understand. We walked straight into a forest, Paimon grabbed some fruits from the trees and gave them to Aether to save them inside his inventory. She seems really excited. Probably because of food, even though I've just been a day with her, I know how foodie she is. Where had all the food inside her tiny stomach gone? She ate a lot , but she always managed to get hungry every few hours.

 

“Where are we going now?” I asked

 

“We’re off to… Statue of The Seven!” said Paimon excitedly. We walked through a small waterfall and the forest was so beautiful. The air was so fresh and it felt so different from the city she used to live in. We walked a little bit and then we met with this amazing bird’s eye view. The birds flew in the sky and I could see a lot of colorful trees surrounding a man-made lake, and in the middle of the lake, there’s a huge tall statue. The cliff surrounding the forest is so unique that (y/n) can’t help but hold her breath in awe. And she could see a city in the distance, and she could see some giant wheel within the city.

 

“That’s the Statue of The Seven!” Paimon points her finger into the tall statue in the middle of the lake. I breathed in the air, unconsciously holding my breath all this time. Staring at the statue, I wonder if the Gods in this world are the same as the Earths. To be honest, I hate Gods, no scratch that, I despise them. The so-called “Blessing” they give to the Andou ancestors is all just bullshit. This is not a blessing, this is a curse.

 

They said that the Andou clan possesses the “God’s Blessing” since the Edo period. The Andou ancestors were famous for using the blessing for saving people from many Cursed Spirits. The power to protect, to destroy, and to fight against evil. In the past, Andou was crowned as the second strongest clan after the Gojo Clan. That’s why I’m able to become childhood friends with Gojo Satoru. But since the peaceful era, blessings have become rare, and only a few ‘lucky’ descendants from the Andou clan possess this power. And I’m one of the few lucky descendants that possess it.

 

But Thanks to this power, my life is turned upside down. My incompetent father who suffers inferior complex with his older brother has become a gambling addict. But a disaster fell upon my uncle and it killed him and his whole family. So my father was the only son left, inheriting the Andou Clan wealth and title as the head. But his gambling addiction drained all the wealth within a year and Andou Clan is on the verge of collapse. The Andou clan was almost removed from the great four sorcerer clan but they postponed it because I’m the Andou’s firstborn daughter possessing the infamous Andou’s Blessing.

 

But my greedy father decides to sell me and my brother to the Shangri’la, to pay his debt. And now the Andou clan is gone for good. The fallen noble family. I gritted my jaw thinking back about that horrible past, the depression and suffering I must endure for my brother’s sake. If people wonder what about my mother, she left us with her lover and has never been seen again.

 

I was used as a tool in those horrible places. They forced me to do many horrible things without my consent, and they even drugged me into submission. I kept praying to the Gods who were once blessed with our family, hoping for them to help and release me from this hell. But years passed, my naive side kept believing that the power I possess could save me one day and that God will also help me. But it never happens. I must live in that hell for years to protect my brother. They said I could protect and save with this power but what I can do is just kill and destroy everything I touch with this ‘Blessing’. What bullshit. My power manifested into gravity manipulation when I was 10 years old, 4 years after I was sold into the organization. I don’t know how it could manifest into that but I once heard from my mentor, that my power, the ‘God’s Blessing’ could manifest the user’s wish into a power. But the organization forced me to use my power for destruction and it once affected my mental state. But after coming here, my mind is calmer and I feel like I have never felt before in my previous body.

 

We walked towards the statue while Paimon explained to us about the Anemo God, Barbatos. The Anemo God controls the wind and his ideals are Freedom. That’s why Mondstadt has never been governed by any government, even their God let his people be. Aether wants to look for his sister and Paimon believe that someone at least knows about his sister. We believed in her guide and followed her instructions to visit the statue first.

 

***

“So this is the Anemo God”. I look at the statue closely. The person in the statue looks like a girl, with two braids beside their face. I thought the Anemo God was a male, but I guess I’m wrong. The person is wearing a long robe until below their feet, and at their back, there’s a pair of wings. Then I saw Aether walking towards the statue and touching it, and the statue was suddenly lit up. The orb the statue was holding was shining with a bluish-green and then a light flew out from it and flew towards Aether. The light was absorbed by the blonde’s body and he’s now surrounded by the bluish aura.

 

I and Paimon watched in awe

 

“Ooh! Did you feel the element of the world? Seems all you had to do was just touch the statue and you got the Power of Anemo!” and then the pixie turned her head towards me. She points at the statue and I send her a questioning look. “Why don’t you try it too (y/n)? Didn’t you also from another world just like Aether? Maybe you can absorb the Power of Anemo just like Aether!” I sent her a skeptical look and snorted.

 

“I don’t think I can do that.”

 

“Oh, come on! Just try it, who knows maybe you can.” Paimon beg.

 

I sighed at the small girl’s words, and I walked towards the statue to satisfy her. When I touched the cold stone, we waited a minute to pass, and then a second. I knew I can’t do what Aether just did. I turn my body and then shake my head indicating that I can’t do what Aether just did.

 

Paimon then turns her head looking at Aether.

 

“People in this world can never get a hold of powers as easily as you…”

 

“This can’t be good…”

 

“Hey! It’s a bit rude to say that about the power the gods just gave you!”

 

I watch them both talking back and forth, but then I turn around and look at the statue once again. I don’t know why but I felt a bad feeling, I don’t know why or what would happen, but I shouldn’t let my guard down. Even though Aether and Paimon won’t hurt me, that doesn’t mean that our surroundings are as friendly as them.

 

“The elements in this world responded to your prayers and Paimon thinks that’s a lovely sign.”

 

Oh, how naive

Chapter Text

The fishes in the lake are swimming idly, unaware of their surroundings while the crane was standing near the lake drinking the clear water after its tiresome flying. The sound of splashing scared the animals away from the sources. Aether and I had to swim across the lake to be able to reach the land. Thanks to Aether’s new power, he could blow our clothes to dry fairly easily. Thank goodness I wouldn’t have to enter the city with drenched clothes. Suddenly a loud rumble could be heard from the sky and all of the monsters nearby scrambled away in hiding. What are those monsters? They look humanoid with a mask that covers their faces. It was ready to attack us when it saw humans nearby their territory but a rumble came from the sky and scared them away for hiding.

A giant shadow passed us and when we looked up we saw a blue dragon flying above us. The dragon flew towards the city and then went from the eyesight after it went to the dense forest in front of us.

“Wow! What is that? There’s something huge in the sky!” The pixie squeaked.

“I thought you knew about that creature?” It's pretty unusual for our tiny guide to not know something. Because all this time she sounded like she knows everything and anything in this world.

“It’s headed towards the forest.” Aether keeps his eyes keen towards the forest where the dragon just went in.

“Keep on cautious," I told them. "The dragon could be a threat."

We went straight into the forest and the whole forest was quiet. The gentle wind blowing passes through us from the heart of the forest. We walked quietly, afraid to encounter the dragon that we believed was hiding inside the forest. I sharpened my senses in case of danger lurking and not long, I could sense two presence a few feet ahead of us. "There are two presences ahead. Keep on cautious." Aether nodded.

He grabbed my hand while Paimon followed us silently heading towards a big tree for hiding, poking our heads to observe around, and spotted there’s the dragon. It was facing a girl. A girl with a very striking green outfit was talking towards the dragon, and the dragon just silently looked at her.

“... don’t be afraid.” the green girl raised her hands.

“...it’s alright now, I’m back.”

We kept quiet and watched the scene intently, the intense silence between the dragon and the girl showed us that there’s something more between them. The dragon seems on edge, while the girl wants to calm the sorrowful dragon.

“Is he talking to a dragon?” Paimon whispered to herself.

Turning my head to her I lifted my brows and repeated Paimon’s words inside my head. He? I thought she’s a girl? Before I could question her, Aether’s chest glowed and let out a small wind particle that startled the dragon and it immediately roared violently. It tried to attack the boy in front of it, but it missed. Seeing that immediately I stood up and was ready to run to aid the boy but the dragon created a violent wind from its six wings to prevent us from moving. I kept my eyes on the boy, afraid the dragon would hurt him again but I saw him quietly disappear in a bright green glow as if he’s just an illusion.

The dragon let out a last violent roar before it flew away and left us alone. After the forest went quiet from the harsh violent wind, I still maintained my eyes on the boy’s previous locations before he disappeared. “You saw that too didn’t you,” I ask Aether. “Yeah.”

“That was so close! Paimon almost got blown away! Luckily Paimon managed to grab hold of your hair! Thanks” she brushed off the dust on her clothes.

“Good thing you didn’t pull my hair out.” Aether grumble, he combs his messy braids a little and removes some flying leaves that were stuck in his hair. He looked at me and then reached his hands towards my hair “(y/n), please don’t move.” Before I could question him, he drew his face closer towards mine and unconsciously I closed my eyes, bracing for whatever he’s gonna do to me. I felt his hand in my hair, picking some leaves that had stuck in my hair and using his hand to comb my hair. Unused with this kind of treatment, my face unconsciously heated up and I could feel the tips of my ears burning. When I could feel his face away from me, I slowly opened my eyes and looked at his golden orbs. The boy looked at my slightly reddened face and then his eyes widened and realized what he had just done.

“I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable, there’s a lot of leaves in your hair so I want to get rid of it.”

“It’s ok… thanks by the way” I turned my head and stared at the nearby tree to cool down my face.

“Paimon thinks it definitely has something to do with that weirdo who was talking to the dragon.” She puts her hands between her hips while flying towards us. “Is talking to dragons normal in this world?” Aether asks his flying companion.

“Of course not!”

A short laugh left me, watching them bantering with each other is really entertaining. But a sudden red glow caught my sight of where the dragon had previously been. “Hey, what is that?” I walked towards the glowing stone followed by Aether and Paimon behind me. The tear-shaped red stone emits a red immense glow. The energy surrounding the stone is filled with negative emotions and I as a jujutsu sorcerer could feel it. The stone is basically like a power bank for any jujutsu sorcerer, it was fueled with enormous negativity. But (y/n) wouldn’t risk revealing her secrets yet, so she keeps her mouth shut and lets Aether keep the stone safe. That stone’s emotions… Does that belong to the dragon?

***
We went out of the forest, but before we could completely exit the woods, I heard the sounds of someone or something running. Before I could alert the others, the person who seemed to sprint towards us is now screaming to stop us. Then a red silhouette jumped out from the bushes atop of us and then rolled into the ground before stopping her tracks opposing us.

“May the Anemo God protect you, strangers!” The red girl greeted us. Looking at her appearance, she doesn’t look like someone who will be a threat, her sweet smile beamed towards us as if there’s a second sun down here. “I am Amber, Outrider for the Knights of Favonious.” the girl introduces herself with unfamiliar gestures. She looked at both of us from head to toe and then squinted her eyes.

“You both don’t look like citizens of Mondstadt. Explain yourselves!” her voice became demanding and showed suspicion. What a very pleasant way to be welcomed.

“Woah, calm down. We’re not looking for trouble.” Paimon tried to soothe the cautious girl but it did nothing to calm her down. Instead.

“That’s what all the troublemakers say!”

Aether let out a small cough to get the two girls’ attention, then he smiled and introduced himself. “Hello, I’m Aether.” Then he looked at me, “And this is (y/n).” I smiled and waved my hand towards the outrider. She nods in acknowledgment, Amber then looks at Paimon then points at her. “And this… mascot, what’s the deal with it?” offended, Paimon let out a loud gasp and turned her head waiting for Aether to assist her. Her dark eyes screamed at Aether to clarify that she is not a mascot. But Aether, feeling want to make fun of her as his revenge for pulling his hair before answered otherwise.

“She's an emergency food.” Paimon gawked at the answer, she stomped her tiny feet into the air in annoyance. “Hey! That’s even worse than being a mascot!”

“Pfft-” I can’t help but laugh at Aether’s answer for Paimon, how could he think of that? Paimon seems more annoyed because of my laugh and she turns her head away and lets out a ‘hmph’ sound. Looking at our interaction, Amber summed it up that we’re all not a threat to the city so she welcomed us and even offered herself to be our escort. But before we could agree, Paimon noticed that Amber is out here for something.

“Aren’t you out here for some other reason?” She asks her curiously.
“I am. But don’t worry. I can keep you both safe by doing that too,” she told us proudly. She took a glance at us before notifying us of her still clear suspicion. “Besides… I’m still not sure if I can trust you three yet.”

I rolled my eyes and mumbled ‘Seriously?’

***
We all agreed to help Amber clear up her mission before we went into the city, and on our way to her mission site, she asked us some questions.

“So suspicious travelers, what are you doing in Mondstadt?”

Aether just oblige and answer her questions honestly, “I got separated from my sister, so I’m looking for her,” Amber just nodded at his answer and then looked at me. “How about you, (y/n)?”
Pondering what to answer, I cupped my chin and remembered the thoughts I just sorted out this morning. I thought starting a new life here isn’t that bad so maybe I could use this chance to repay and help Aether. “Maybe helping him find his sister,” I answer simply. Aether’s eyes widened, shocked at what he just heard. He had thought she wanted to find her way to go back to her world, he didn’t expect her to join his journey looking for his lost sister. Wanted to hear more of her answer but he kept his mouth shut and will ask her next time. Deep down he felt really happy that (y/n) would stay with him longer.

We finally arrive at the location Amber originally headed to, and there’s a small camp that was filled with the masked monster we once met before entering the Whispering Woods. They looked weird but better than those nasty cursed spirits. “What are those creatures?” I ask Amber. “It’s Hillichurls, these monsters have been getting too close to the city recently.” Amber summons her bow and draws an arrow in between the bowstring.

“My task this time is to clear out this camp. On my mark let’s ambush them!” We nod and get ready into the positions with our sword in our hands, after Amber gives her signals, we immediately charge at the camp. The camp only has a few monsters, and they’re not using any sharp weapons and they are using the wooden clubs. Fighting against them is really easy, just a few stabs and kicks could finish them up, but the dull sword I have is so uncomfortable to use. I swear I will change my weapon after I gather enough money.

After all the monsters had been wiped out, I went to inspect the camp a little bit, it doesn’t look like the camp is for a permanent stay. It’s too small and not well constructed for a monster camp we saw outside the woods, and it looked more like a temporary camp. Feeling suspicious of the situation, I walked towards Amber who was still talking with Aether and Paimon.

“How did the hillichurls end up here?”

“Yea, this creature doesn’t seem like the type to set up camp so close to the city.” Paimon then pondered at (y/n)’s question.

“Exactly, it’s more normal to find these creatures much further in the wilderness, but since the dragon, Stormterror has been around a lot more recently, our orchards have been destroyed and the local market has been affected as well.” So the blue dragon is called The Stormterror, huh. It does seem to be kinda violent towards humans, but she said that it’s just recently. What causes the dragon to behave like this all of a sudden? Is the gir- boy involved with the dragon’s unusual behavior?

‘...it’s alright now, I’m back.” recalling the young boy’s words, I can’t help but feel suspicious of the boy’s identity. The dragon seemed to understand his words but went violent when Aether accidentally revealed our presence.

But just to make sure…

“Amber, can you talk to a dragon?”

The red girl snorted at my weird question.

“Of course not! If I can talk to a dragon I would tell the Stornterror to stop already.”

If no one could talk to a dragon, besides the boy, then he is definitely not a normal person.

***
“Let me officially introduce the city of wind, dandelions, and freedom- Travellers under the protection of the Knights of Favonious, welcome to Mondstadt!”

We had finally arrived in the city. The sunlight shone on the city, the weather was great and the scent of flowers was all around the city. The city was wonderful but somewhat empty.
Only a few people are outside and most of them are the Knights. Lots of shops were closed and no children’s laughter could be heard from the city hall. Paimon stretched her small body and sighed “Finally, no more having to camp outdoors!”

“Everyone’s been put out of place by stormterror recently. But everything will turn out fine as long as Jean’s with us!”

“Jean?”

“Oh, she’s the Acting Grandmaster of the Knights of Favonious. Defender of Mondstadt. With her on our side, surely even the vicious Stormterror will be no match for us.” Amber talks very highly about Jean. She does sound amazing, from her title. I hope she could help Aether with his lost sister though. We walked into the city hall and we’re all heading towards the cathedral, but on our way there Paimon, who was hungry, this morning was distracted by a very delicious scent from an open restaurant near the fountain. Amber promises the pixie that she will treat her to a Sticky Honey Roast after we go to the cathedral because she wants to give us a gift as her thanks for helping her complete her mission.

While walking silently and listening to the three’s conversation, I suddenly caught a glimpse of a figure that was not unfamiliar. That bright green cape. The green cape walked upstairs, his back figure was the same as the boy we met in the forest. The twin braids between his face look very familiar, it looked the same as the statue we came to this morning. The same hairstyle as the God of Anemo. Huh, weird? I keep my eyes as the figure slowly disappears into a small alleyway. I almost ran after him but Aether caught my shoulder and startled me.

“(y/n)?” he looked at a small alleyway between two houses near the stairs where I just stared at. He made a face. His eyebrows knit together and looked at me.

“Is there a problem?”

I smiled and reassured him that everything was alright.

“There’s no problem. Don’t need to worry.”

Chapter Text

Everything happened so fast. A terrorizing roar shook the ground, and the sky went dark in an instant. The dragon suddenly went on a rampage in the middle of the city. Buildings were destroyed, tornadoes were summoned by the creature to create more destruction in the place. Every citizen immediately started to evacuate to a safer place, but the strong wind makes it harder for people to run away from the terrible disaster. And what’s more, is that now Aether is being taken away by one of the tornadoes that were summoned near us. I tried to catch him but the wind was so hard it would be a death sentence if I also got sucked in.

“AETHER!”

The tornado pulled him up and now he was floating in the sky thanks to the wind glider Amber just gave us. The dragon saw Aether and was now charging at him, he was quick to dodge it and using the dragon’s body as his temporary ground, he quickly regained his composure and spread his glider so he wouldn’t fall. But instead of going down, the blonde stays midair as if he was flying too. A green Anemo sigil is formed in front of his chest and now he’s shooting a beam at the dragon’s back.

No matter how worried I am for Aether, I need to help Amber evacuate the civilians out of the city. I quickly ran towards the gate and helped the knights. Most civilians that had evacuated were all gathered outside the gate, but some of them were injured because of the fallen debris from the destroyed buildings. Healers immediately came into their aid, while the knights keep the people calm down.

“Sage? Sage? Where are you?!” I heard someone screaming from the group and saw a woman who was dressed in a simple brown dress scrambling around, looking for her son. Another voice coming from a different direction who’s also looking for Sage, and now it’s a man who begged the knight to let him in and look for his son. But as per the instruction, no one is allowed to enter the city since the city is filled with tornados and the Acting Grand Master ordered the knights to keep the civilians away from the danger. The man was in defeat and he knew can’t overpower the knights to enter the city. So he keeps begging the knights to look for his son who’s still inside, but the knight’s hands are full because of the evacuation and no one can enter the city.

A child scream can be heard from inside looking for his parents, and the man screamed back at the child, recognizing the child’s voice. The child is crying and lost, his scream sounded faint and it looks like the child isn’t near the front gate. Immediately, I charged into the city and ran towards the child’s scream, behind me the knight is calling me to come back. I ran across the blacksmith and the scream was getting louder. I turned right and saw the boy hiding behind a stall next to the main road. The boy was holding the stall pole so he wouldn’t get blown away by the wind but by the time I spotted him, the stall was on the verge of collapse.

I hurriedly sprint towards the boy and embrace him from the falling stall, the wood hit my back and the fruits were scattered all around us. The boy is still wailing from both shock and fear of being separated from his parents.
“Are you hurt?” I gently whisper to him.

The boy shakes his head, I could feel his body shaking. I tried to get up to bring him back to his parents but I realized that my ankle had been sprained. I had accidentally twisted my ankle when I jumped to grab Sage. The child is still crying and I gently pat his back to calm him down, I tried to get up before a gloved hand appeared right in front of me.

“Here, grab my hand.”

***
“Where am I?”

Inside the room with me, there are two women. The blonde was standing in front of the table anxiously while the brunette enjoying her book in front of the giant bookshelf. Upon hearing my voice, the women whipped their heads towards me. The blonde let out a cough, clearing her throat, and then walked towards me, who was sitting on a sofa at the corner of the room.

“My apologies, my name is Jean. I’m the Acting Grandmaster of the Knights of Favonius, you’re at the Favonius Headquarter. You said that Kaeya was the one who brought you here, right?”

So this is the infamous Acting Grandmaster that everyone was talking about.

“Yes. The man suddenly brought me here without any explanation. He told me to wait here.” I explained to her. She nodded at me and her eyes trained to my reddened feet and then she knelt. Startled, I draw my feet back before she manages to hold it. I gave her a weird look, she coughed realizing her weird action.

“I apologize if I surprised you, but I saw that your feet were swollen, so I thought I could heal it for you.” I silently listen to her and slowly nod giving her permission to heal my feet. She put her hand at the swollen part and a sudden gentle breeze emitted from her hand and I could feel the pain lessen. After a while, she let go and my feet are now completely healed. I gave her my thanks and she nodded while getting up.

“Jean. I’ve brought them.”

The door opened and we all turned our heads and saw four figures getting inside the room and one of them was Aether. When our eyes met, he ran towards me and checked if I had any injuries from the tornadoes. I reassured him and then I met with a very distinctive diamond-shaped pupil that belongs to the man who brought me here. He smiled at me and waved his hands, I just stared at him and then turned my head back to Aether.

The man by the name of Kaeya then proceeds to sum up what had happened after the Stormterror attack. Jean turned her heels to Aether and greeted him politely.

“Mondstadt welcomes you, windborne travelers. I am Jean, the Acting Grandmaster of The Knights of Favonius. This is Lisa, the librarian.” Jean re-introduces herself to Aether and proceeds to introduce her brunette friend who is idly standing beside her. “May I ask for your names?”

“My name is Paimon, he’s Aether, and the girl is (y/n)! We’re all travel companions” Paimon introduces us to the knights. Lisa looked at me and I sent her a subtle smile and nodded at her. When Jean told us that Lisa is a librarian, I have some questions for her regarding the Stormterror. The case of the Stormterror intrigued me so I want to do some research and the perfect place to do so is in the library.

“Stormterror has caused quite a ruckus in the region since its recent resurgence. Simply put, Mondstadt’s elemental sphere and ley lines are now akin to a yarn ball in the paws of a kitten.” Lisa explains. The knights ask for our help to assist them to go to the abandoned Four Wind’s Temple. We agreed to split up, Aether goes with Amber and I want to join with Lisa because I still have some questions regarding Stormterror.

“I would like to join with Li-”

“I will take (y/n) with me.” a male voice cuts my words.

I whipped my head towards the man and knitted my brows. The man just smiled at me and before I could refuse his offer, Jean had already begun the mission, begrudgingly I followed Kaeya outside the room as the teammate.

***
Kaeya was the one who helped me when I sprained my leg saving Sage. It's not that I disliked him, but he just ruined my chance to ask for more information with Lisa. And it was kinda annoying for someone to decide something for me without my consent, that’s why I was quiet on our way to the Temple of the Wolf. Kaeya had tried to open a conversation between us but I kept giving him a brief answer and then stayed quiet. I wanted to show him that I’m upset at what he had just done.

“(y/n), can you please stop ignoring me. I want to get to know more about you.” The man tried to coax me so I would talk to him. I just turned my head at him and said “I am not.” and turn my head back to the road. He laughs at the other failed attempt and continues to strike another conversation again. Irked, I stopped at my track, turned my heels to face him, and looked right at his blue diamond eye.

“Stop beating around the bush, what do you want from me?” He widened his eye and dramatically put his hand atop his heart while letting out a sad sigh. “How could you take my sincere effort as trickery?” His sad face didn’t faze me at all and I just stood there waiting for him to reveal his real intention.

“Why’s the suspicion (y/n)? Didn’t I just help you when you’re stuck inside a fallen stall? Trust me when I say that I just want to get closer to you.” Kaeya smiled at me and I just rolled my eyes at his act.

“You suddenly dragged me here with you. You clearly knew that I wanted to go with Lisa.” Kaeya just smirked at me and shrugged, he didn't seem to want to answer me. Annoyed, I left him and walked straight to the temple that was a few feet ahead of us. He then followed me while still talking.

“You know you can ask me some questions too, right. I may be as resourceful as Lisa.” I gave him my silent treatment and kept moving forward to the temple. The smell of burnt and ash could be smelled from inside of the temple. Kaeya came beside me and crossed his hands in front of his chest. He takes a sniff and could predict what could have had happened inside the abandoned temple.

“I imagine there will be slimes, hillichurls, and… whatever is giving Stormterror extra power.” I could sense a lot of presence inside. Monsters grunt and growl could be heard as if they have anticipated us to come to them. I summon my sword and readied myself to go inside, but Kaeya grabbed my hand before I could get in.

“Oh, ho-ho! You’re quite the brave one, aren’t you.” I deadpanned at his statement, and I yanked my hand from his grip and walk to the temple entrance.

“It wouldn’t be a gentleman for me to leave the job to a woman.” he struck again.

Ignoring his remark, I left him behind and open the stone gate. “I am not weak.”

He laughs and followed me inside. The burning smell became stronger as the gate opened, the monsters let out growls and screams that would scare away anyone who entered their territory. On the ground floor, there’s a camp of hillichurls and the monsters are waiting at their intruders.

Kaeya draws his sword and swings it expertly in his hand. A blue circular crystal glowed from his hips and a cold mist appeared around him. He turned his head to look at me and smirked.

“Let me show you how the Knights of Favonius conquer our adversaries.”

Chapter Text

“So tell me, where are you from?” The scream of the hilichurl he had slain echoed inside the now mostly empty temple. Blood was splattered all over the floor and walls, corpses were scattered all over the place. Some creatures were even frozen to death because of Kaeya’s vision. 

 

“Somewhere far away”, a hillichurl came charging towards me with a flaming club. I quickly raised my leg and kicked its face, while it was running towards me; I slashed its neck to finish the job. The blood spurted out of its neck and my silver sword was drenched by the monster’s crimson blood. I swung the air to get rid of the blood from my sword before I set it back inside its scabbard. I tried to avoid being near him the entire time while we were inside the temple but this parasite of a man kept sticking to me like a leech. As annoying as he is, I noticed he was actually trying to test me. He’s smart at using his words in obtaining the information he wants, but I don’t want to cooperate because of how annoyed he has made me. 

 

We had cleared all the hillichurls and slimes inside the temple and now the whole place has gone quiet. No more grunting, growling, or screaming. Our steps echoed throughout the whole place. We walked for a while and finally, in front of us, there’s a green stone with a very powerful Anemo energy radiating from it, sitting in the middle of the room. I studied the stone and I could feel the strong currents emitting from inside. 

 

I pointed at the stone, then asked.

 

“Is this the thing that Stormterror is using to gain its power?” 

He cups his chin and observes the Anemo stone before he draws his sword and heads towards the stone. “Seems probable. Let’s deal with it.” The stone breaks easily and the Anemo power inside it gets released to the air and disappears. I stared into the air and pondered about the whole ordeal we have just gone through. This world is filled with monsters and danger, even though vision-holders don't have to hide their existence from the civilians. Unlike when Jujutsu Sorcerers deal with cursed spirits in my world, they were hidden from the public. The monster's existence is everywhere with an overwhelming population such that it threatens the safety of the citizens. 

Kaeya always kept his eye on the (h/c) girl. Even though she came to the city with Aether, he had to be wary of everyone for Mondstadt’s safety. He didn’t want to risk another Fatui spy pretending to be an outlander. He kept trying to pry some information from her but she kept giving him short answers. With his keen observation, he could deduce that the girl was interested in Stormterror. But he’s not sure enough because the girl kept her mouth shut at his questions. 

“Did you know, Stormterror was once one of the Four Winds?" Kaeya said abruptly. 

My eyebrows rose at the new information. Wanting to know more, I faced him and looked straight into his eye to make sure he was not lying to me just so I'll talk to him. “What are the Four Winds?” 

He shrugged and just left me curious. He looked satisfied because he had confirmed his suspicion. He stepped closer to me and inched his face towards mine. I stepped backward and was ready to attack him if he dared to try to hurt me. 

Before I could warn him to back off, he raised his gloved hand and patted my shoulder. Stunned, I shot him a questioning look at his abrupt gesture. I shrugged his hand off and moved a few steps backward. He just laughed at the confusion written all over my face while I started to get irritated by his laugh. 

“Just relax, I won’t hurt you.” He placed both of his hands at his hips, tilted his head to the side and his signature smile wiped off from his face, replaced by a serious gaze I’ve never seen from him. “Except, if you’re a threat to Mondstadt’s safety.” 

The tension between us was getting thicker, our eyes not willing to turn away from each other. Before another presence appeared behind a pillar and we both turned our heads, we readied ourselves to face more creatures. 

“There’s no way hilichurls organized an ambush like this themselves, not with their limited mental capacity…” Kaeya explains. 

I pull out my sword when a floating blue monster with staff comes out from its hiding and lets out vicious snickers. After a brief silence, the monster chants a weird spell and water comes out from its feet and turns into bubbles. Before I could move forward to attack, a sound of flame could be heard from behind us. 


Another one?

 

Turned my head expecting another unwelcome quest. But instead of another monster, three fireballs appeared and burned the monster. A red fiery man appeared from behind us and quickly broke the shield of the abyss mage. He summoned his black claymore and struck it at the abyss mage’s face, hard. A burning smell is coming out of the monster’s corpse and the mysterious man’s claymore is now covered in a layer of fire. The man turned around, looking straight at Kaeya with a frown. 

“The Knights of Favonius… always so inefficient.” 

Kaeya clapped his hands and slowly turned his heels to the mysterious man. 

“Agree to disagree. But your involvement in this just made things a whole lot more interesting.” He twisted his wrist and popped one of his hands out. Tilted his head coyly, he smiled at the frowning man. 

The red man just ignored his remark and trailed his red orbs to me.

Looks like Kaeya knows this man, but their relationship doesn’t seem good

. I sighed, in annoyance. This mission was so tiring, Kaeya kept bothering me and many unwelcome guests appeared at the end of our mission.

I’m tired of this shit. 

***

The sounds of my heels clicking on the marble floor of the Knights Headquarters. I slammed the door of Jean’s office and saw Aether with others waiting for us. Kaeya came from behind me with a shit-eating grin plastered on his face. I immediately headed towards Aether, once I got inside the room.

“Is there anything that happened while you were with him?” He leaned his body towards me and whispered. I inwardly grimace remembering what happened when Kaeya and I exited the temple.  


The mysterious red-haired man left us alone and now I’m left with Kaeya again. I didn’t ask him who the man was just now, I want to go back to the city and reunite with Aether again. I push myself towards the exit, leaving him behind. But the man saw as I tried to leave him and quickly rushed beside me. Ignoring his existence, I quickened my speed and tried to get into the city as fast as possible. 


This man has annoyed me so much! I had enough of him. I’m not considered an impatient person, but this time it's different. I knew he wanted to pry into my secrets, he had a suspicion that I was someone dangerous. But why? The only threat Mondstadt is facing right now is the Stormterror, and I’m perfectly sure that I look human. A human filled with cursed energy. 


The first thing I noticed when I entered the city was this massive wave of negative energy coming from the civilians. Thanks to the Stormterror, the energy was amplified. But not a single cursed spirit was spotted there. This world is completely different from Earth. But what in the world made the knights all cautious, even towards wandering travelers? Is there something more besides the fact that Stormterror is a threat to the city? I should look around the city when I arrive. Asking him wouldn’t bring me the answer I’m looking for. 


“Hey (y/n), I think it would be a great idea to ask Jean to give you a title and make you a knight!” This man is hard to read. One second he doubts me and now he wants to recruit me as one of them? What does he want? He’s so insufferable! 


“Not interested.” I want to meet with Aether as fast as I can. Or else I will punch this man’s face. I’m “this” close to breaking his nose if he kept poking on my nerves. “Why not? I bet Aether will receive a title as his reward for defeating Stormterror.” I ran my hand through my hair, trying so hard not to pull it. “I don’t care.” 


Snickers could be heard from behind me, and I know the man was amused by my reaction. I should keep my cool but this man keeps getting on my nerves whenever I compose myself. How did he join the knights with that annoying attitude? “The Knights would love to accept a competent person like you. You have a rare talent for sure, you’re really skilled at wielding your weapon. Tell me, did you learn it by yourself?” 


Archons, provide me patience so that I don’t strangle him. 


“I don’t know.” The city is getting closer, each step I took held the aggravation I was feeling. “What's the rush? Do you perhaps need to go to the toilet? I’m sorry if that’s the case, I should have known that you need to relieve yourse-” 


“Can’t you just shut up!?” 

Chapter Text

It’s been two days since the incident of the Stormterror’s attack. I stretched my stiff body upwards, took a glance at the clock inside the library, and twisted my neck to relieve my tense muscles. The coffee Noelle brought to me had already gone cold, left forgotten even. 

I took a sip at the cold coffee and glanced at the stack of books I’ve gathered these few days with a tired sigh. Thanks to Lisa’s help, it’s easier to find the books I needed to get the information I’m looking for. The number of books that I've read for the past two days is plenty. The books are piled neatly right in front of me, beside it was a plate of cookies Noelle left for me.  

After the mission, I asked Jean about The Four Winds that Kaeya had mentioned before, and as a reward for my contribution, she answered my question, unlike a certain someone . After getting permission to enter the library, I spent most of my time reading and digging for more information. I placed my hand on my stomach and realized that I haven’t eaten anything since this morning. 

I want to eat Sticky Honey Roast…

I take a book from the pile to bring with me to lunch. The book that I took has information about The Four Winds, and I found a piece of really interesting information. The Dragon Tome was written by Jacob Musk (It’s real, go Google it). It tells of the history of the fallen “Wind Dragon” Dvalin and his fight against The Black Dragon, Durin. I found this book by accident on one of the shelves at the corner of the library. At first, I thought the book was fiction but after further inspection, I deemed that it had necessary information on Stormterror. 

Jean told me that Stormterror was one of The Four Winds and now has become Mondstadt’s enemy. And for some reason, no one in the city remembered the dragon as their former protector. Based on the book the dragon had fallen into a slumber for a hundred years because of Durin’s poison. So what drove him to turn his back against the city he was supposed to protect? Did poison have something to do with his sudden attack on the city?

While locking myself inside the library for a whole day, Aether would help the others and join me again for dinner. Yesterday, he spent his day helping Kaeya. Well, it was more like he was used by Kaeya. Aether told me how Kaeya used him and Paimon to lure and capture the local treasure hoarder, while Paimon angrily laments how they shouldn’t have trusted the chivalry captain.

***

“I swear the next time he tricks us, I will give him an ugly nickname!” 

Aether nods at Paimons threat, he stabbed his steak harshly and brought it to his mouth. Laughing at the duo’s story, I’m relieved that I locked myself inside the library instead of joining them. If I was there, I would have punched his smug face- as revenge for yesterday too. That man was really smart and cunning with his words, no wonder he’s the Cavalry Captain of the Knights of Favonius. He could win people’s favor with his candy mouth. 

“Oho, I wonder what kind of ugly nickname I’ll receive” 

All of us were startled by the sudden voice behind us. Paimon who’s still chewing her hashbrown choked from the surprise. Aether quickly helps her by patting the pixie’s back and giving her water to drink. The voice behind me laughed at the situation in front of him. I don’t need to turn back to know the person who suddenly appeared and scared the crap out of us. Not choking anymore, Paimon took the glass from Aether and glared at Kaeya. Taking a big gulp, the pixie quickly wiped her face with her sleeve and shouted.

“Don’t surprise Paimon like that!”  

The man behind just chuckled at the pixie's scolding. “Hahaha forgive me, I never expected to surprise anyone today,” 

He went beside me and put his hand at the back of my seat. I didn't bother to look up at him and just took a spoonful of my veggie soup so I wouldn’t have to greet him, and pretended as if he’s not here. I could feel him stealing some glances at me while chatting with Aether who had finished his dinner. As for Paimon, she flew to Sara to order more food, leaving the three of us at the table. “What brings you here Kaeya?” Aether asks. 

Kaeya sat at the empty seat beside me, he put his head on his hand while crossing his legs to the side. “I was walking towards the tavern to enjoy the end of my shift, and on my way to the tavern, I accidentally heard a very interesting conversation come from this table, so I couldn’t help but want to join. Especially when I saw how passionate Paimon talked about me.” 

“So you eavesdropped on us,” A hint of mockery could be heard from my tone. 

Unfazed by my taunt, the one-eyed man calmly replied “Didn’t I just tell you that I accidentally overheard your conversation?” 

I scoff. But before I could retort, Aether, who noticed the slow tension that was brewing between us, quickly cut my word before I could start a fight with Kaeya. He had heard my story of what happened when we were at the mission on the Temple of The Wolf, and he can relate to my annoyance now but doesn't want us to have a conflict with each other.

“Have you eaten dinner, Kaeya?”. Turning to the blonde, Kaeya shakes his head and leans himself into the chair. “I want to eat at the tavern, I’m wishing for some glass of Death After Noon.” 

“What is that?” Paimon flies towards us with her hands full of hash browns and Chicken-Mushrooms Skewer. Her ears are sharp at the mention of food. 

“It’s my favorite drink, of course.” Kaeya raises his hand pretending as if he’s holding the glass. “The most delicious drink in the whole nation. The taste is heavenly, you should definitely try it when you have a chance." Kaeya says while looking at me.  

I rolled my eyes at the man’s words, finishing my soup quickly. I stood up to go back to the library, but Kaeya grasped my wrist and prevented me from walking away. Raising an eyebrow at his action, I sent him a questioning look. 

“I would love to invite you to join me drinking, my treat, as an apology for yesterday.” His offer sounded sincere and his eye holds no deceit. But knowing how cunning the man was in front of me, I shook his hand and quickly rejected his offer.

“Thanks for the offer, but I need to go to the library,” I replied bluntly and proceeded to walk away from the group, while a crystal blue orb staring at the girl’s shadow disappeared from the sight. 

 

***

I made my way to Good Hunter to grab myself a nice meal of Sticky Honey Roast. In front of the headquarters, Aether and Paimon are standing outside talking to each other while looking like they're waiting for someone. A smile crept up into my face unconsciously when I saw them together. I wouldn’t lie, these past few days have been quite enjoyable. I didn't have this kind of companion before. The only people I could consider as my friends were Gojo, Nanami, and Nao. But because of my occupation inside Shangri’la, I could never spend time with them, afraid to get them involved in the incoming danger. The only time I had the chance to spend time with them was when I’m looking for Gojo’s help to plot my revenge against the Shangri’la and that’s why I secretly joined Tokyo Jujutsu High for six months, becoming a temporary mentor for the now second-year students. 

(a/n): this happens before Itadori ate Sukuna’s finger, so (y/n) became Maki and others' temporary mentors for 6 months. Which means Maki at the time is a1st year student)

I pressed my eyelids together and took a deep breath to remove the gloomy memory. “Good afternoon Aether, Paimon.” The blonde and the pixie turned their heads hearing my greeting. “(y/n), we’re waiting for you!” Paimon squeals excitedly after she looks at me walking towards them. The pixie flew hurriedly in front of my face 

But Aether grabbed the pixie's head and pushed her aside from my face. “We’re thinking of eating lunch at Good Hunter, and figuring that you might have not eaten anything yet, so we decided to wait for you.” 

After hearing Aether's explanation, I felt a thump inside my chest. He’s so sweet and I have never been treated like this back in my world. Feeling my face heat up, I quickly changed the topic to hide my flushed face. 

“By the way, how’s your exam?” Earlier today, Aether told me that he would go through his gliding exam with Amber, while I postponed my exam because I buried myself in piles of books for the sake of my curiosity. “It went… well, I suppose.” Aether sounded unsure. 

“Pfft- ‘I suppose’? What adventure did you both go through again today?”

“Nothing much…” He shrugged at my question

Walking down the stairs together, our eyes captured a familiar figure standing outside a hotel, talking with a mysterious masked woman in a dark outfit. Her face looked serious and her body was tense.

“...which is what has brought us to this point in the first place. If you are unable to deal with the Stormterror threat, then leave the defense of Mondstadt to the Fatui.” The masked woman proudly said. “We can put an end to Mondstadt’s threat, all we need to do is to bring the monster he-” 

“‘Monster?” Jean darkly repeats the woman. 

The woman was alarmed by Jean’s sudden aggressive tone. 

“Yes, what’s wrong with that?” 

Hearing the woman’s ignorance, Jean can’t help but scoff right in front of her face. 

“I’d expect a more professional attitude from you diplomats.” She crosses her hands and lets out a mocking tone. “Yet, here you are saying you want to “put an end” to one of The Four Winds?” 

She lowered her voice and put some pressure on her tone, “I won’t have any of this nonsense in front of the Knights of Favonius.” 

The masked woman went speechless for a moment before she decide to retreat from the Acting Grand Master, not wanting to anger her more. “He… hehe, fine, that’s enough negotiation for today. I’ll be sure to make… thorough notes on our discussion today…” The woman quickly enters the hotel, leaving Jean alone outside.

Sighing, Jean slumped her shoulder and pinched her nose bridge in stress. Turning her body to return to the headquarters, her greyish eyes met ours. Embarrassed for getting caught eavesdropping on her, I avoided her eyes and let out a small awkward cough. 

“We’re sorry, we didn’t mean to eavesdrop on your conversation with her” 

Jean chuckled at the black-haired girl. She doesn't mind them overhearing her conversation with the Fatui diplomats since she’s talking with them in a public place, it was bound to happen. 

“It’s okay, I don’t mind. As you can see the pressure from the delegation has become too much to be ignored.” The blonde woman sighed. Looks like these Fatui diplomats adding stress for the Acting Grandmaster. 

“Delegation? From Liyue Harbor or Inazuma?” Paimon curiously asks.

“They’re from Snezhnaya. The envoys go by a peculiar name: The Fatui.”

“Oh, them, They are super famous,” she suddenly cuts herself. “No, infamous is a more correct term…” 

Jean nods at the fact and lets out another tired sigh. If one looked closely, there’s a subtle hint of eye bangs under Jean’s eyes that were covered by her make-up. She must be very tired because of this whole ordeal. 

“I don’t think killing Stormterror is the right course of action and I doubt they have Mondstadt’s best interest at heart. I suspect they want something to do with the Anemo Archon.” 

Remembering something important, Aether walks beside Jean and whispers to her. “There’s something I need to show to the Knights of Favonius.” 

Jean quirked her brows hearing Aether’s serious tone. “Let's head back to the headquarters then, we shouldn’t discuss the important matters outside.” 

Jean and Aether climbed back upstairs to the Knights Headquarter while Paimon and I stared at them both downstairs. Our faces held frowns while staring at their back.

“What about lunch???” 

Chapter Text

The whole office was silent, a glowing red gem was floating in the middle of the group. Jean and Lisa inspected the glowing gem with full caution because Aether told them it came from the Stormterror himself. Afraid of what the gem could cause if it was handled incorrectly, Lisa told everyone that the gem was not ordinary. 

 

“I could sense the impurities in the crystal, but upon further inspection…” 

 

Lisa raised her hand and a purple magic circle came out from her gloved palm. After a brief silence, Lisa scrunched her brows and let out a frown. 

 

“I’m sorry, I can’t make a proper analysis at the moment. Please give me some time. I’ll take a look through the library’s restriction section.” Jean nodded in agreement and let Lisa continue her research after. “I’ll leave it to you, Lisa.” 

 

“Understood. I’ll notify you if I made any progress.” 

 

Lisa keeps her eyes on the crystal and observes it with much curiosity in her emerald orbs. The scholar side she had abandoned years ago resurfaced without her notice. “Though I wouldn’t go getting your hopes up. They are incredibly ancient texts, not to ment- Ouch!” 

 

Lisa tried to touch the crystal but quickly withdrew her hand.  

 

“Gosh, that hurts!” She rubbed her pained palm. Jean worriedly stepped next to Lisa to inspect her friend’s hand, but Lisa immediately shook her head and reassured Jean. “The impurities of the crystal hurt me when I get close to it.” Lisa pondered for a second before coming to a conclusion. “I see… it appears reacting to Visions.” 

 

I quivered my brow at the mention of Visions. 

 

“I’m sorry, but what are Visions?”

 

Everyone in the room turned their heads at me with a very surprised face. “You don’t know what Visions are?” Lisa asks with astonishment in her tone. 

 

“...No?”

 

Lisa pointed at a purple circular crystal on her neck and pointed at Jean’s green crystal she hang on her waistband. 

 

I remember looking at those, I saw them a few days ago at my mission with Kaeya. “Those are Visions, it’s a gift bestowed by the Gods. It grants the user to wield the elements of their given visions.” 

 

Gods? Bestowed from the Gods themselves? 

 

I scrunch my face in distaste. The past I somehow forgot came into my mind. The past I want to bury, the past I want to forget, the past that I loathe remembering. Never have I thought this world's Gods are very ‘generous’, bestowing their gifts to mankind who they recognize. And here I am with the “blessings” I still have to carry even if I’m in another world. 

 

Andou clan was one of the great sorcerer clans, but formerly, Andou was known as a family of exorcists. In the Edo period, cursed spirits flourished because of constant war and conflicts between nations. Poverty and hunger are rampant in areas trapped in the conflict zone. Negativity enveloped the whole nation and made cursed spirits stronger. 

 

We know the only ones who can defeat the cursed spirits are the jujutsu sorcerers. But despite Andou’s ancestors who were Onmyoji (exorcists) at the time, they still fought against those evil spirits to protect their people. 

 

A God who saw the Onmyoji’s sincere heart to protect the weak bestowed its power to the exorcist family and now they became one of the great sorcerer clans, not until my incompetent father inherited the title, of course. That sperm-donor didn’t do anything to be proud of and succumbed to his inferiority complex. 

 

The story was passed down into our family as a reminder of the blessing we had given and also to remind us to save the weak. But the great Andou family had fallen, and my brother and I had to live a life full of challenges. We had to build our lives from zero and keep our best to stay alive. Yet the so-called God who promised to protect us never came when one of theirs was in need. 

 

I lived a life full of resentment. I hate my father who sold us for his petty greed, I hate my mother who abandoned her child to run away with her lover, I hate the people who were using me as their tools and threaten to hurt my brother, but-

 

I hate myself the most for being weak. 

 

(Flashback 15 years ago)

 

“Subject- A012 will be placed inside Arena D” A loud sound came out from the loudspeaker announcing another test that will soon be held. 

 

A man with a suit dragged a young girl out from a dark narrow hallway that connects into a big arena. Iron walls caged the girl, preventing her from running away from the empty space. There was a mere six-year-old child who wasn't supposed to be here. The child was crying, begging those big men who brought her here to stop and bring her back to her father. Little did she know that her father she trusted had sold her and her infant brother to the cooperation to pay off his debt. The girl was being tested and forced to undergo many dangerous tests just within a week, her body was visibly bruised from her previous tests. Her tiny body was shaking, afraid of what she had to face next. She was forced to meet and fight very scary-looking monsters and she almost died if only not the people who brought her here stopped the monster from attacking her. 

 

She can’t eat nor sleep properly due to the stress and fright she had to suffer these past few days. So they had to force-fed her and drugged her to sleep so she wouldn’t collapse for the next test. 

 

Upstairs, in a room with a wide glass-like window looking at the arena where the girl was placed, there’s a group of men who observe the girl from this room. As if it was a sports show, the room was filled with luxurious items and expensive sofas, the men inside held a glass of expensive alcohol to enjoy the show. 

 

The men were laughing and expecting something to happen today. From the reports they had received, it seems like the girl finally could unleash her cursed spirits yesterday and thanks to her bloodline, she had a natural talent to become a very strong jujutsu sorcerer, and they’re lucky to have her. But they need to train her and awaken her true power.

 

The men cheered at their expectations and with a loud clunk from their glass, finally, the test was begun. 

 

A loud sound from an opened iron cage startled the girl. The girl yelp in fright and corners herself in the corner of the arena. Her tear-filled eyes pleaded for this nightmare to end, to let her go home with her father and brother. 

 

‘God please save me, please let this nightmare be over, please don’t let the monster out. Please, please, please, please, please-” 

 

Each time the girl was faced with the curse. She repeatedly chants prayers to the God who once blessed her kin, she begs them to save her, to let her live, to be back with her family. 

 

But her prayer was never heard. 

A low growl slowly approached the iron cage entrance, the girl who was only weaponed by a small dagger cried out loud begging for them to stop, but there’s nothing the girl can do in this situation. 

 

A large claw appears behind the shadow, and she could feel this monster is definitely stronger than yesterday. A giant eye looks straight at her, looking at her as its prey. She could feel the ground beneath her shake as the monster came charging at her. 

 

Her body was shaking in fear, she screamed and asked the people to help her, so slowly she looked at the room that was overlooking the arena, and there was a shadow of a man who was looking at her. Smiling.

 

A sudden realization washed over her and she finally understood. 

 

‘It’s useless…’

***

“(y/n)?” 

Aether brought me back to reality, I was in disbelief that I remembered the past at this kind of moment. My heart-felt heavy from reminiscing, but I shot him a reassuring smile. “If that’s the case then, Aether also has elemental abilities as well but doesn’t seem to be affected in the same way.” I turn back to the topic to distract my thoughts from the past. 

Lisa nods in agreement. 

“The crystal should be left in the hands of my cutie then. It would be a pain if left with us. Both literally and metaphorically.” 

“Cutie?” Aether turned his head to (y/n). The blonde stared at her for a moment, before understanding who Lisa’s “cutie” meant to. A blush crept up to his fair skin and he quickly turned away from (y/n) hiding his flushed face. He was internally relieved that the girl didn’t notice his stare. Lisa chuckles at the boy and decides to not comment on him, glancing at Jean, she finds her friend’s fixed eyes at the floating gem. 

“... fascinating,” Jean mumbled. 

She looked from the crystal and look at Aether with an awed face, “Do you know anything that makes you special?” 

Aether wordlessly shakes his head while trying to hide his red face. Paimon stared at her companion's face weirdly and looked at me with the what’s-wrong-with-him face. I took a glance at Jean, telling her maybe he’s embarrassed by Jean’s compliment. 

“Well, then Aether. The knights of Favonius have another favor to ask you. Please accept the title of Honorary Knight and also the gratitude from the Acting Grand Master.” Aether and Paimon were mildly surprised at Jean’s sudden favor, but because Kaeya once hinted at me that Aether will accept a title from Jean, I thought this isn’t something to be surprised by. 

Gawking, Paimon repeats at Jean’s words. “Honorary knights… of Favonius?” 

Jean nodded at the girl and stretched her hand to shake Aethers. Aether accepts her hand and now he’s officially the Honorary Knight of Favonius. 

“We ask for your continued assistance with helping us find the answer. Mondstadt’s peace hangs in balance. May the wind open your eyes to the truth.” 

Chapter Text

“Wait, aren't you guys from the forest before…” 

Right in front of us, there’s the green boy we met before in the woods. After exiting the Knights headquarters, we tried to find out about the mysterious boy by ourselves, but whoever thought the boy himself would show up right after we talked about him. 

After painstakingly looking for his path using Aether’s elemental sight we finally found him singing a ballad in front of a giant Barbatos statue. And shockingly, the ballad is telling the same story from the Dragon Tome I found this morning. 

The ballad of forgotten history, a story that had passed for a hundred years. Yet no audience remembers the story the bard tells. The story has been completely forgotten in time. A heart-wrenching story about a lonely dragon. No wonder his tears could be filled with such sorrow. 

After the bard finishes his story, we confront him about the past event that happens in the forest. The bard didn’t try to run away nor conceal himself from us. I thought he would run away because we saw him talking with the Stormterror before. 

“The one who scared Dvalin away.” The bard states. 

“Who’s Dvalin?” Paimon curiously asks the bard. It seems she didn’t understand the bard’s story. Aether shakes his head at his companion’s questions, he didn’t understand how she couldn’t catch the clue. “It’s the Stormterror name. Lisa told us yesterday, weren’t you listening?”

“Uh… Oh… Right. Most people call him ‘Stormterror’ so…” Paimon looks away from Aether’s narrowed eyes, and proceeds to question the bard. “Anyway, why do you call him that… are you two close or something?” 

“Oh, so close!” The bard didn’t try to hide this? He even proudly states his closeness towards the dragon as if they’re best friends. If someone heard this, they might think he’s crazy. 

“Hey, Aether, (y/n), Paimon thinks this guy has a screw loose…” Paimon whispered. Still baffled at the bard, (y/n) just stared at his face with a look of astonishment. The bard noticed her of course, he beamed her a smile and slightly bowed his body while keeping his aqua eyes in her emerald one. “The name is Venti. Venti the bard.” he then gives her a close-eyed smile. “What can I do for you guys?” 

“Given you recognize us, Paimon doesn’t believe we need to explain any further. Of course, it’s about Stormterror.” 

Venti cups her chin and raises his brow, acting ignorant, “Storm…?”

“Hey, cut the amnesia act!” Paimon screamed in annoyance. People around us turned their heads to look at the group. Aether shushes his partner and pretends like there’s nothing serious going on with the group, so slowly, people stop minding our group and go back to their business. “Sorry… should we go to a more quiet place? Paimon thinks this place isn’t suitable to show Venti what we have found in the forest.” 

“Oh? What did you find in the forest?” Venti asks curiously. 

“The Dvalin’s Tear.” 

***

We move into the back of the cathedral where there is no one in the area. The sky is darkening and the sky turned into a dark vermillion hue. Aether brings out the tear to show it to Venti, but the previously corrupted tear has been purified. The red gem has changed into a beautiful teal color, and the pureness of the gem surprised everyone. 

Amazing, all the negative energy has been purified completely. 

Perhaps this is Aether’s doing since the only one who can touch the crystal is him. But his face also showed that he didn’t expect this to happen. Did he perhaps purify it unconsciously, he is a very special individual after all.  

“Dvalin, he…” the bard quietly mumbled. “The anguish he feels… has brought him to tears…” his face showed how sad he was towards his dragon friend, those aqua orbs reflecting his emotions very clearly. He then brings another impure tear out of his pocket and stares at it with sorrowful eyes. “He was once such a gentle child. Now so full of rage and suffering…” He raises his head, meeting Aether’s golden eyes while giving him the crystal tear. “I also came across a Teardrop Crystal. Can you purify it?” 

Aether accepts the crystal, and with a serious face, he touches its surface. The crystal floated from his grasp and a red light came out within it. The impurities slowly disappear accompanied by a very bright blue light. Everyone was astonished by what just happened, including Aether. But happiness soon flooded into Venti, relieved that there’s a way to purify his friend’s poisoned blood. “You… really do have some wonderful abilities…” 

“Someone like you is going to end up written into a bard’s poem.” Venti teasingly recites a line of his poem to us, but he didn’t finish his poem. His first happy smile slowly turned into a gloomy one. “Alas… I’ve really not had the time to compose a melody at this moment. Even if Dvalin is not taken down, his life will still wither away in the breeze…” his eyes turned downcast, and the smile turned sour. “... he’ll burn himself out in the flames of anger…” 

Look at the bard, I can’t help but feel sympathy for him. I understand the feeling of wanting to protect someone, even if it’s for family or friends, the feeling of hopelessness when we know we can’t help them is so painful. So I decided to help him save his friend, just like when he helped me. “Is there anything we can help with?” 

Those aqua eyes look straight at me. I have never seen such a beautiful color of eyes before, those deep green looks so pure yet also felt inhumane. Eyes that shine with child-like innocence, yet also showed mystery surrounding those crystal clear orbs. I know he isn't someone normal… 

“By purifying the crystal teardrop it already helped me a lot. But, I’ve already made my own plan.” He answers apologetically. Paimon, as Paimon curiously asks about his plan, but Venti just gives her a vague answer before going off himself and leaving us a vague clue of where he’s heading next. 

“This ‘weirdo’ Paimon put it, we should keep an eye on him.” Aether puts back the crystal to his pocket before turning his heels to follow the bard. “As far as he’s concerned, you’re a weirdo too ya know…” Aether stopped from his tracks and turned his head to look at the pixie with a deadpan expression. Paimon just grins at him with raised brows. “Isn’t I right, (y/n), don’t you think Aether is also a weirdo?” 

“Oi!” Aether glared at his floating companion, but it didn’t scare her a bit, her grins spread wider into her tiny face. 

“Well, I would’ve lied if I said ‘no’” Aether’s eyes grew wide hearing me siding with Paimon, his mouth hanging open and he pressed his eyebrows together. Before he could speak to defend himself, a sudden loud grumble came out from (y/n)’s stomach and everyone looked at the girl with widened eyes. She quickly hid her face, embarrassed by how loud her stomach sounded. 

Stupid! Stupid stomach! Why do you have to do this to me!? (y/n) heard Paimon and Aether’s laughter, immediately she felt like digging a hole and burying herself alive. How could her stomach do this to her! 

Even though her face was covered entirely, Aether still could see her red ear that wasn’t covered by her black locks. He tried to stifle his laugh, not wanting to embarrass the girl more, but Paimon still continued her laugh. 

Aether slowly reaches (y/n)’s wrist and gently tries to pry it open, wanting to see her flushed face. But the girl refused to budge and subtly shook her head, making the boy chuckle at her. “Let’s eat dinner first before we head to look for Venti, ok? So please let down your hands” Aether tried to persuade (y/n) to show him her face, but the girl was still holding her face tightly, afraid to let him see how red she is right now. “Come on, (y/n), you can’t walk like this.” Aether's voice sounded so close to her and this made her even more reluctant to open her hands. 

Her stomach starts to rumble again, demanding her to eat immediately. The sound makes Paimon laugh even harder now and Aether almost starts laughing again. Biting her lower lips in frustration, she opens her fingers that cover her eyes to look at Aether, and her eyes meet with his right away. His golden eyes saw her green one and smiled so sweetly at her. If she’s still a naive girl, she would have fallen in love with him.

“Please stop laughing!” Instead of stopping, Paimon just laughed and teased the poor girl harder. (y/n) couldn’t bring herself to open her face, she was beyond embarrassed. This had never happened before, even worse, in front of her friends. 

“Paimon, please stop it,” Aether told Paimon who’s clutching at her tummy from laughing too much. The pixie tried to stifle her laugh but let out a wheeze instead for her failed attempt. 

“Ok, P-Paimon stop, Paifft-” and she wheezes again. 

I swear I will smack her head after this.  

Her insides starting to churn, not wanting to let it rumble again, (y/n) reluctantly opens her face. Now, Aether and Paimon could see her reddened face. A pout she let out just made her look even adorable in Aether's eyes. He held both of her wrists between her chest, while (y/n) keep looking down avoiding his gaze. Her face was completely red as a tomato, and her lips also started to swollen because she keep biting them to suppress her shame. 

“Haha” Aether let out a small laugh but it immediately alarmed the dark-haired girl. Afraid the boy might tease her just like Paimon, she tries to pull her hand to hide her face and leave them but Aether firmly holds her wrist preventing the girl from doing what she was planning to do. Her brows pressed together, her mouth turned into a frown in disagreement and the increasing shade red of her face made Aether think she might explode at this rate. 

“Let’s go to Good Hunter now.” Aether let go of her wrist and pulled out one of his hands. (y/n) just stared at his hand, clueless about what he wanted from her. But it suddenly clicked inside her head. 

She put her hand on his and let their hands intertwine together. With her other hand, (y/n) tried to hide her face from the crowds below. They walk their way down to the town hall, leaving the still laughing pixie behind. But before they could go far from her, she stopped her laugh and quickly fly her way to them.

“Hey, don’t leave Paimon behind!”

Chapter Text

“AAAHH Paimon is so full!”

After devouring four plates of Sweet Madame, Paimon lays her distended belly on the table with a very pleased expression while beside her, Aether who can’t help but sigh in defeat for the amount of food his companion has consumed. Piles of plates are stacked in the middle of the table, most of them are because of Paimon’s insatiable eating habits. Standing up, Aether went to Sara to pay for the bill.

Sipping on my warm coffee, (y/n) looked around the quiet city hall, it was silent besides the sounds from rustling trees from the wind. But despite the absence of noise, the atmosphere is very comfortable, the sky is darkened and the warm city light brightens up the town and creates a cozy ambiance. Only a few people wandered in the town while most of the townsfolk kept themselves safe inside their humble abodes. The quietness makes her mind feel more at ease and the warm beverage in her hands makes the moment perfect.

“Well, what a pleasant encounter (y/n)!” Not until the group heard this familiar voice. Looking up at his distinct diamond pupil, the (h/c) haired girl saw his signature smile beaming at her. Giving him a curt nod to acknowledge his existence, she let Paimon greet him instead. 

“What are you doing here, Kaeya?”

“I was on patrol tonight and I saw you guys enjoying dinner together, so I just came here to greet you.”

“Are you sure you don’t have anything else in mind?” she asks while putting down her now empty cup. “Well, yes, I actually do have something...” Kaeya grabbed one of her hands that cupped the coffee cup, brought it to his lips, and gently kissed the back of her hand. Stunned, (y/n) gaped in surprise at his sudden action. Raising his crystal blue orb at her, he smiled. Unable to sense any hint of trickery behind it. She can’t help but question his motive for doing such a thing. Doubt flooded inside her, afraid of what kind of trick and deception he will pull now. She quickly wants to draw her hand away from his, but before she could do that, another gloved hand came in front of the female and quickly separated her hands from Kaeya’s.

While grabbing Kaeya’s hand away from (y/n), Aether frowned towards the taller man. “What are you doing here, Kaeya?”

Kaeya withdrew from Aether’s grab and let out a defeated sigh. “Don’t be so wary, Traveler, I’m just here to ask the lady out for a drink.” Behind Aether, (y/n) involuntary let out a gasp.

Lady?!

Did he hit his head? Why is he acting like that? Those questions were seen on the (h/c) haired girl’s face. The girl doesn’t trust the Cavalry Captain at all. He couldn’t blame her, he treated her like a suspect right away, even tried to probe for her personal information. She’s a smart girl, indeed, she sensed his motives right away and was even bold enough to confront the knight about it. And for clarification, yesterday’s invitation for her is a genuine one. He wanted to apologize to her for his rude treatment. As a captain, he needs to show his dignified side and not taint the Knight’s of Favonius reputation. He figures that he should act more like a gentleman to approach her, but it seems to backfire. He also didn’t expect the traveler to act so aggressively all of a sudden, whoever thought that the composed traveler would be jealous over a small hand kiss.

Chuckling over the small discoveries, Kaeya ignored Aether’s glare and kept looking at the girl behind the blonde. The girl’s face scrunched into a frown of confusion while looking at the captain, her face clearly showing her displeasure for what he had just done to her.

He can’t back down like yesterday, he has to apologize to her and it will be tonight. “Can I borrow your traveling companion, Aether?”

“Didn’t you say you have a shift tonight?” Aether coldly counters the question back to him.

“How about you Traveler, don't you need to follow that bard before he disappears?”

“Did you follow us?”

“Of course not, I just know this city very well.”

“We have an urgent matter to solve. We have no time for drinks and such.”

Not backing down, Kaeya keeps trying to talk to (y/n) but Aether prevents him from talking to her properly, the traveler keeps cutting his words and answers his invitation instead of the girl in question. As his last resort, he shoves Aether to the side and stands beside (y/n). His towering figure blocks Aether’s view to look at (y/n), and his shadow covers (y/n)’s whole body.

Her (e/c) looked straight at his blue one, and Kaeya could see her face closely this time. He couldn’t deny that the girl in front of him is very attractive. No wonder the traveler is really protective of her . He puts one of his hands at the table and leans down towards (y/n). “I hope you accept this apology”

Aether readied himself to pull Kaeya away from (y/n), but before he could do that (y/n) who was being quiet suddenly accepted Kaeya’s invitation. “Alright, but I need something from you.”

(y/n) knows the man before her isn’t someone trustworthy yet. He’s someone cunning and full of deceit, but she couldn’t always antagonize him, and looking at his effort to receive her forgiveness, she should give him a chance. And by chance, she is just using him to gain more information that she couldn’t get from the book.

Hearing that she agreed made the eyepatched man relieved, but Paimon suddenly floats between them and stretches out both of her tiny hands making them put more distance from each other. “Wait, wait, what about Venti?” Aether nods at Paimon’s question, hoping for the girl to join him instead of drinking with the Cavalry Captain. But all hopes were shattered once (y/n) shook her head and apologized to them. That wasn’t what he wanted to hear. His hopeful face turns into a pout and visibly irritated. He glares at the smirking captain who’s standing behind (y/n). No matter how close he is with (y/n), he couldn’t force her to always follow him. He is only her traveling companion, but no matter how he realizes this fact he couldn’t get rid of this displeasure feeling that’s boiling inside him when he sees Kaeya kissing her hand.

And when he realizes it, he’s already grabbing Kaeya’s hand. Sighing, he lets (y/n) go with Kaeya, and quickly drags Paimon with him to find Venti. He took a last glance at her before he exited the city and hoped to finish his task quickly.

 

***

The duo entered the unusually quiet tavern and walk to the bartender. Looking around, the tavern was nearly empty. Almost no one dares to enter the tavern and intoxicate themselves in the middle of this disaster. Some people were lying unconscious on the tables because of the alcohol, others were tipsy and slowly drowned themselves with their glass of alcohol quietly.

“Good evening, Charles.”

The bartender named Charles turned his head towards Kaeya and looked at his companion with slightly widened eyes. “Good evening to you too, Captain. It’s rather rare to see you come here with a lady.”

Chuckling, Kaeya sat down at the seat in front of the bar and pulled out another chair beside him for (y/n) to sit. “Dandelion Wine for the lady and mine will be Death After Noon.” Nodding, Charles turned to the cabinet behind him, pulled out two bottles of wine and opened them. He then pours the drinks into glasses and gives them out to his two customers.

A wonderful fragrance could be smelled from the beverage and the beautiful gold color of the wine shows how high quality the drink is. (y/n) took a sip and her (e/c) widened in surprise by the taste of the drink. Smiling at her, Kaeya watched the girl drink her alcohol expecting this to happen, after all, it is Mondstadt’s specialty.

(y/n) put her glass of wine down and turns her head to the man beside her. Almost distracted by the delicious wine, she quickly remembered her purpose in accepting this man’s invitation and decided to ask about it right before it slipped through her mind.

“I want to know more about the monster we met in the Temple before.”

 

Chapter Text

The Abyss Order.

A mysterious yet powerful legion of monsters from the abyss. They despise mankind and were the enemies of humanity in Tevyat. They could control hillichurls and command them to act as a sword. The deep-rooted hatred they harbored against humans drives them to bring chaos and destruction wherever they go. 

Such a horrible creature could exist in this world. 

But after hearing Kaeya’s detailed explanation regarding this Abyss Order, Now this explains the unusual behavior from the hillichurls. The hillichurls that lurked near the city all could be ordered from the Abyss Order, and the chaos inside all three Temple of Winds was also directed by them, confirmed by the appearance of one of their mages. But why? What are the motives behind this? Are they planning to attack Mondstadt, while knowing that their Archons are absent? Or were they controlling Dvalin?

“Do you think this could be related to the Stromterror?” Kaeya’s information was very resourceful. But it raises more questions. Kaeya while circling his finger atop his now empty glass, hum while thinking his answer. “I think so, their recent activities were reported to be very active these past few months.”

Turns out this world isn’t as peaceful as I thought at first. Monsters kept lurking and threatening to attack the civilians while knowing that there was also a group that could control them was frightening. But I’m still curious about another thing.

“Can I ask another question?” (y/n) who never seemed comfortable with him before now can talk with ease, it seems he gained her trust by being honest. Pleased with this improvement in their relationship, he agrees to her request immediately. 

“Of course, I will do my best to answer you.”

“What’s the influence of the Fatui in Mondstadt?” Kaeya’s face changed seriously as he heard the name. Although unsettled with Kaeya’s sudden change of attitude, (y/n) kept her eyes on the man beside her. Straightening up his body, he thinks over how to tell her the crucial information that the Knights are still struggling against even until right now. 

“Mondstadt has always been plagued by a draconic creature named Ursa the Drake. That dragon already existed a thousand years ago,” See my empty cup, Kaeya signaled to Charles to refill it. “But four years ago, one of the Fatui Harbingers, Il Dottore, killed the dragon and made Mondstadt heavily in debt with them,”

Taking her new filled glass, (y/n) tried to connect the dots she had gathered the few days she’s been here. From Jean’s unpleasant attitude towards the diplomat to their arrogant way of talking to the Knights. Few locals even showed their distaste for the Fatui. If the locals demand them to get out of their city, the Fatui couldn’t do anything against them. But seeing them able to stay for months proves that they have gained more influence because of the debt Mondstadt has. 

"Seeing how much influence they had just by killing an evil serpent, they could have Mondstadt under their control if they succeed in killing the Stormterror." Unsurprised by her intelligence for taking all the scattered hints, Kaeya gives her a simple hum while drowning at his third glass of Death Afternoon.

The girl beside him let out a tired sigh. Seems like she didn’t expect the matter would be this complicated. Mondstadt was indeed being attacked by all sides. From the outside, it would only seem that we’re struggling against a rampaging dragon, but the fact that the Knights are slowly losing their influence over Fatui makes them cornered. The lack of manpower and absence of Grandmaster Varka even worsened the situation. But thanks to these mysterious Travelers, few urgent issues have been settled. 

“Don’t be so grim. The Knight has everything under control despite the constant threat. We’re more capable than that.” Smiling at his word, (y/n) continues to drink her alcohol quietly. She thought she had lost her humanity because of her past but it seems like she was wrong. She still remembers the slaughter she did before her death and now here she is worrying about a city she has never been to before. 

This new life felt so surreal. Like a sweet little dream, she used to yearn for her dark reality. If only her brother was here, this life would be perfect. A life where she lives as herself, not as the Shangri’la bloodhound. 

Maybe Aether did purify her. Whenever she’s with him she would feel more at peace. Or maybe the fact she has a new chance in life changed her demeanor. She isn't usually this soft after all. 

Hmn… maybe she’s just drunk. 

“Hey, Kaeya… do you have a brother?” (y/n) mumble silently. 

“... I had.” the man answered slowly. The liquid in his glass reflects his melancholy gaze. 

She took her hand out and rested her chin atop her palm, “‘Had’?” and then continued to sip her drink. 

“Hahaha, it’s complicated.” 

Seemingly not wanting to share his story, she decides to not question him any more. “I see.” 

The question is just a simple curiosity because she’s thinking about her brother right now. How's Naoki? Is he well? He should be, isn't he… there's Gojo and the others after all that are looking after him in secret. But still, she can't help but worry. It's been years since they had last talked face to face and the last time they met they were fought with each other instead.

“I also have a brother…” (y/n) suddenly blurted out. “... but we’re separated.” Noticing her gloom, Kaeya directs his attention from his glass to (y/n).

“Is your situation similar to Aether’s?”

(y/n) shakes her head, and her face looks somber. Raising her glass, she takes a big gulp and emptied her glass. 

“We could never be reunited again.”

 

***

“CAPTAIN! THERE’S AN EMERGENCY!” 

A knight wearing armor barged into the Tavern with a very panicked expression. Kaeya turned towards the man who was now clutching at his knees and tried to catch his breath from all the running he did to find the captain. 

“What’s the matter, Swan?” 

The knight named Swan quickly walks his way to Kaeya and whispers something. Kaeya's eye went wide to whatever the knight just delivered. Stand up from his chair and prepared himself to leave the Tavern, but before he ran outside, he sent me an apologetic smile before I waved my hand signaling him to go. 

He mumbles a small thank you before rushing out with Swan to the headquarters where Jean and others are waiting for all captains to gather. Seems like the problem is quite serious.

“And here he said everything is ‘under their control’” (y/n) jokingly murmured to herself. She gives her empty glass back to Charles, taking this as her signal for another refill, Charles grabs another bottle from the rack. But before he could pour it into her glass, (y/n) while rubbing her forehead stops him. “Can I ask for water? I want to sober up.” 

Nodding at the girl, Charles grabbed a new glass and poured fresh water for her to drink. “Thanks.” The girl then grabbed her purse to pay for all the drinks they had but Charles then told her that the bill had already been paid by Kaeya. 

Now half tipsy, she’s slowly drinking her water. Her alcohol tolerance used to be high because she’s immune to poison but with this new healthy body, she’s much weaker to alcohol now. 

The door behind her was opened and a fiery red hair man entered the Tavern. He walks straight to Charles without giving the girl any single glance. “Master Diluc, this is this week’s account.” Charles gave the man a ledger from the drawer beside him. Lost in thought, (y/n) didn't even notice there’s a man now standing behind her while accepting the ledger from Charles. “Hmmm… the disaster has greatly affected the business.” 

Alarmed by the noise behind her, (y/n) whipped her head and her (e/c) met with the same ruby eyes she saw back then in the temple. How could she forget this man’s eyes, those set of eyes that had lost its light. The man now standing behind her while holding a ledger in his hand greets her without any change of expression from his monotone expression. 

“We’ve met again.”

 

***

“QUICK! Search for the thief. Don’t let them get away! Hurry seal the gate!” Many knights are all running around the city searching for the criminal who’s just stolen their precious national treasure. Unbeknown to them, a blond traveler with his partner in crime sneakily tried to enter the tavern. Hiding on the roof of the Goth Hotel, Aether grabbed his hair and clenched his fist in frustration. 

“Remind me again how we are stuck in this situation?” 

The bard who’s hiding behind him answers his questions instead of Paimon. “You’re helping me retrieve the Holy Lyre so I can help release Dvalin from his sorrow.” hearing that Paimon scoffed. “So basically it’s your fault.” 

Gasped in offense, Venti put his hands on his chest dramatically. “How could you say that!” 

“What? We wouldn’t be a fugitive if we didn’t agree to help you!” Paimon refutes. 

“But aren’t you following me until Windrise to help me?” 

“We’re-”

“Could you both please stop? We should hide somewhere safer.” Irritated, Aether shut down their banter quickly. He doesn’t know how to explain this to (y/n), he doesn't want to involve her in this mess. Biting his lips in frustration, he decides to stay away from (y/n) until this mess is solved. 

Three of them stood up from behind the hotel’s chimney and quietly glided themselves down in front of Angel’s Share under Venti’s direction. After checking that the coast is clear, they hurriedly enter the tavern. 

“Hi, we’d like a seat of your ahhh… least spacious table,” Venti asked the owner of the tavern. Aether who’s very much exhausted clutching at his hips and catching his breath. Unbeknown to him, the girl he wants to avoid the most is now sitting right in front of him. 

“Aether are you alright?” 

Her voice startled the blonde, and his golden eyes widened in shock. Sensing that her partner is in a problem, (y/n) walks towards Aether to check if he’s injured. “No, no, I’m perfectly fine.”

Skeptics with his confession, (y/n) squinted her eyes and crossed her hands. This made Aether feel guilty for lying to her. He turns his vision to his foot and this made (y/n) sure that he’s involved in some problem. But this isn’t the right place to ask him. 

“The second floor has fewer customers, you’d be less conspicuous up there…” The red-haired man points to the stairs at the corner of the room. The three of them almost immediately rushed towards the second floor but stopped at their paces after the man questioned the bard. "Aren’t you a bard? Why not sit front or center?”

Venti expertly avoids the man’s question while making sure not to raise suspicion to the surrounding. “Let’s save the paid performance for next time. We’ll be heading up now, see you in a bit!” And there he went to the second floor with Paimon.

Aether followed behind but before he climbed up the stairs, he walked back to (y/n) and gently grabbed her hand. His eyes told (y/n) that he wanted her to follow him upstairs, and so she followed him. 

(y/n) waited until he told her what was going on. Before they reached the second floor, Aether quietly whispered to her that he was going to explain everything. Hoping nothing bad will happen to him, she squeezes his hand gently to assure him that she will be there for him. 

 

Always.

Chapter Text

“So, you’re telling me that you both helped him to steal the national treasure?” She pointed at the bard beside her. “And got beaten to it by some masked woman?” Aether and Paimon nodded at her questions. (y/n)’s tired sigh slipped out from her mouth. “Why do you do such reckless things?” 

Aether opens his mouth to explain to her but before he could tell her the reason, the door below suddenly opened revealing a pair of knights. Approaching the red-haired man who’s standing behind the counter, they scan around to see if the thieves are hiding inside the tavern.

 Aether and the two others reflexively duck their heads down, not even letting their shadow appear near the railing while (y/n) took a peek and tried to eavesdrop on their conversation.

“Ah, Master Diluc, have you seen two thieves around?” One of the knights approached the counter.

Noticing the knights, Diluc sensed that something amiss is happening. “What happened? Why have you mobilized so many guards?” 

“Haven’t you heard, Master Diluc? Two thieves were caught stealing the Holy Lyre!” the knight beside the former answered Diluc bitterly. The knights went into a panic because of the sudden thievery in the heavily guarded Cathedral. Every knight that was available inside the city was mobilized to capture the thieves immediately, sending chaos in the middle of the night. 

After hearing the information, Diluc cups his chin and mutters lowly. “How odd…” 

Taking this as a response from the former captain, the knight continues his monologue. “Isn’t it? The Holy Lyre is a treasure that was oned by the Anemo Archon. Such a precious treasure of cultural heritage… how could they steal it!” the knight held his forehead and shook his head. 

“Why would they want to steal something they can’t sell-off? Wouldn’t it pay more if they steal from my cellar?” Diluc mumbled quietly. 

“Huh?” The first knight who’s standing near Diluc caught him mumbling something. 

“No, it’s nothing, I believe they went that way.” He said while pointing out towards the back exit of the tavern. Thanking Diluc for the direction, they immediately ran towards the direction he pointed at, hoping to be able to catch the thieves as quickly as possible. Unbeknown to them, Diluc gave them a false trail. He sensed that something was off from the knights before and to lower their guard, he pretended as if he didn't have any ounce of interest towards the matter. 

And it worked.

 

Venti, after confirming that the coast is clear from the knights and knowing that they only recognize the thief for having blonde hair, walked down to the counter for a nice glass of Dandelion Wine. But his nimble hands couldn’t resist stealing a bottle of wine from the cabinet near the counter and so, he secretly took one bottle and hid it behind his long cape. But of course, this didn’t go unnoticed by the owner. Pretending as if he didn’t just steal the bottle, Venti sat on a chair and ordered a nice glass of Dandelion Wine from the counter. 

“Today, I think I’ll have a glass of…”

“You can put down that bottle you stole from behind the counter.” Diluc cuts him off.

“... something cold.” 

Slowly taking a glance at the red-haired man behind him, he then put the bottle on the counter.

“I want answers.” Feigning ignorance, Venti asks him back. “Answers for what?” 

Diluc’s stony composure makes it clear that he wasn't in the mood for joking around but Venti didn’t give in. Aether didn’t want to let Venti create more problems, so he walked down towards them and tried to break the tense mood between them while being followed by Paimon. 

Staying behind on the second floor, (y/n) just watch everything unfold between them from the seat near the railing. 

“How about let me finish my drink first? And then I’ll pay you - with performances.” Venti negotiated cheekily with the owner. 

“You seem too young to drink.”

Aether soon arrives at the counter and doesn't let Venti say another word to arouse more arguments with the man. “I’m sorry for my friend, but may I ask who you are?” Aether asks the red man.

“He’s Master Diluc, the boss of… ah, the owner of the Tavern.” Venti introduces him to Aether. “He’s very famous, you know, and his dandelion is my favorite, by the way.” 

Ignoring Venti’s remark about his wine, Diluc jumps straight to the main issue. “I just heard some thieves from the guards.” Diluc watches the two men in front of him very intently. “For the record, I like your guts for trying to steal the Holy Lyre even if you’re a fool, we don’t often get to see people like you.” From upstairs, they could hear a quiet muffled laugh. Not accepting his ‘compliment’, Paimon rolled her eyes and immediately corrected him.

“Gee, thanks for the compliment but the real thieves are still out there.” Paimon crossed her hands and glared at the red-haired man.

“Yes, and this is the hotshot of the Knight’s of Favonius. Why would someone so aspiring steal Mondstadt’s sacred treasure?” Venti adds with a nod. 

“So it’s you… the rumored honorary knight?” Diluc looks at Aether from head to toe. “Words do spread fast huh.” Aether closes his eyes for a minute and then introduces himself properly to Diluc. “My name is Aether, and this is Paimon, my traveling companion. As for her…” looking up to the second floor, he sees (y/n) laying her head on top of her folded arms on the railing watching over them from the second floor. “... she’s also my companion,”

The girl raised her head from her position to lazily wave at them. The alcohol slowly kicks in her system and makes her tipsy. Her red flushed ears could be seen clearly because she had tucked her hair behind her ears and her cheeks turned a bit rosy. 

Turning their focus from the girl, Diluc looks at the bard that is still looking at the girl upstairs. “So, you and the bard are close friends?”

Shaking his head, Aether sends a glance at Venti. “We’re not close actually.” 

“It’s a shame you joined the Knights.” Diluc takes a seat beside Venti while still facing the blonde. “What’s wrong with joining them?” Paimon asks plainly. 

“The Knights of Favonius are incompetent.” A big frown now carved into the fair man’s face. “And towards Fatui? Weak and conservative.” 

And there’s a silence after Diluc’s sudden statement. But before anyone could ask why, he stops them from talking. Diluc gave them the answer instead “... Forget it, I don’t feel like talking about it.” 

Diluc’s eyes caught (y/n) head that flopped on her folded arms beside the railing. It seems to be dangerous for a drunk person to stand beside the railing, he then tells Aether to bring the girl to one of the rooms of his tavern to rest. “Your… companion seems to be drunk. You should bring her to a room to rest, there is an empty room for instances like these. Bring her there while we discuss this matter. Better hurry before she falls.” 

Quickly looking up to (y/n), Aether could see that she was starting to doze off. How many glasses did Kaeya force her to drink?! “I’ll be right back.” and he goes to help (y/n) who’s half-asleep while standing up. 

“(y/n), you shouldn’t sleep there. It’s dangerous.” Aether scolds the girl. “But, I'm not hunlyyy.” (y/n) couldn’t even respond to Aether properly. She slurred her words and her body was slumped against Aether’s lean body. 

Sighing, Aether wrapped one of her arms around his shoulder and carried her into one of the empty rooms near the stairs, just in case something happens to her, he can quickly come to aid. Laying the unconscious girl on the bed, Aether made sure that she slept comfortably before he goes downstairs and discusses the matter with Diluc and others. 

 

Aether stayed beside her for a couple of minutes before he leans down and brings her hair to his lips. A strong smell of alcohol can be smelled from her but he also detected the smell of her natural floral and vanilla scent. He couldn’t help but get infatuated by this mysterious girl. She’s a pleasant person to have around, he doesn’t know why he became soft to her so quickly. But he didn’t hate this feeling.

Walking out of her room, he took a last glance at her before he closed the door. 

“Good night (y/n).” 

 

***

(Y/n) opened her eyes. The sky was still dark, but some birds chirped outside the tree near the window of her bed. Standing up, she was soon greeted with a headache. Groaning in pain, (y/n) rubbed her temple to soothe the sensation from the hangover. 

“Wha- where am I?” (y/n) look around after her headache is a bit better and she could observe the simple room that she was unfamiliar with. Confused, (y/n) walks towards the entrance of the room. Touching the cold metal handle, the door was opened by Aether with Paimon floating beside him. 

“(y/n)! Are you ok? Did you get hit by the door? I’m sorry I don’t know you were awake.” Aether went to her and checked her for any injuries. 

“Aether, I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.” Aether frowns at what he’s hearing from her. “Of course, I’ll be worried, I hate seeing you getting hurt.” 

(y/n) was speechless to see how Aether reacted. She didn’t mean to make him worry, but him acting as if she’s a fragile being made her uncomfortable. She has never been treated like something fragile, she was always treated like a piece of pawn for most of her life. Hearing him talking as if she’s weak made her rather irritated but she knew he didn’t mean like that. 

“Thank you for worrying about me but I’m fine.” (y/n) looked behind Aether and saw the familiar layout of the Tavern's second floor. “Am I at Angel’s Share?” 

“Yeah, you were drunk last night. Paimon was surprised by how talkative you’ve been.” Paimon flew inside the room and sat on the bed. “And you kept hugging Aether’s arm all night,” she adds.

 

“I- WHAT?” (y/n) couldn’t believe her ears. She must be joking right? She got drunk. She never got drunk. How can she get drunk? She only drank four glasses… no way, she got drunk. “You’re joking…” (y/n) turns to Aether, hoping to see him denyPaimon’s accusation but what she saw is Aether shaking his head with his pointer finger positioned in front of his lips, signaling to Paimon to not say anything anymore. 

“... no way.”

Chapter Text

(Flashback of last night)

 

“Let’s meet here tomorrow night after the Tavern closes.” Everyone nods and agrees with Diluc’s suggestion. After telling the owner the whole story about the fallen wind dragon and the reason for the thievery of the Holy Lyre, he concluded that they should consult with someone he knows to resolve the whole issue. 

 

They spend forty-five minutes explaining everything and it’s midnight already. Charles went home an hour ago and left the four of us alone in the room to talk over the situation. Diluc went to fetch his coat that was left on the countertop before looking at Aether and Paimon. “You both can use the empty room too. Don’t worry, I won’t charge you. Including the girl’s room too.”

 

“What about me, boss?” Venti asks with puppy eyes. 

 

“Except for you.” 

 

“Eeeh?? Why?” The bard whines. Diluc rolls his eyes without answering his question. He walks to the keys shelf and proceeds to lock the front door. “You can use this key to open the back door, just in case there’s an emergency. Charles usually arrives at the Tavern early in the morning.” 

 

“Thank you.” Before he went upstairs, he looked at Venti, unsure where this mysterious bard would stay for the night since Diluc didn’t give him a room. Venti waves his hand signaling him to go and take a rest, knowingly shrugging off Aether’s concern. “It’s okay, Aether. I have another place I want to visit.” 

 

Nodding at him, Aether stores the key in his bag and goes upstairs with yawning Paimon beside him. “Oh, Aether, make sure your companion doesn’t fall!” Venti yells from below.

 

“What are you talking about?” Paimon yells back. 

 

“Your human companion opened the window.” 

 

“How did you know that!?” Not trusting Venti’s warning, Paimon argues back at him. 

 

“Just check her, if you don’t believe me!” 

 

Aether and Paimon rushed into (y/n)’s room and were surprised to see the girl awake. But what makes them even more surprised is that she’s sitting at the corner of the opened window. Her back is facing back at them and her intoxicated mind makes her surroundings distorted, making her not notice their arrival. 

 

Quiet humming resonated in the quiet room and she swayed back and forth. 

 

Let’s go home with a nice breeze… Let’s go home with a gentle rain~” (Kaerou by Fujii Kaze)

 

Aether quietly walked towards her, not wanting to startle and accidentally make her fall. He carefully grabs her arm but before he realizes it, the girl pounces on him and they both end up on the floor. 

 

“Aether!” Paimon yelled in surprise. The sound of his head colliding with the ground sounded so loud, she’s sure Diluc and Venti can hear it from downstairs. “You okay? It sounded like it hurt.” 

 

Aether groans in pain, his head throbbing from the impact and he can’t get up because the girl is pinning him from above. He opened his eyes to see (y/n). She’s now glaring dagger at him. When she felt a hand on her arm, she reflexively pinned the person down.

 

Aether carefully cups (y/n)’s face with both of his hands, trying to make the girl recognize him. “(y/n), It’s me, Aether.” he spoke slowly as not to startle her. Still not bulging from her position, (y/n) kept glaring at him. Paimon flew behind (y/n) and tried to pull her away from Aether, but her tiny body wasn’t strong enough to move (y/n) from her position. 

 

“(y/n)! Sober up!” Paimon yell from behind. Seemingly recognizing the familiar voice, (y/n) turned to look behind her and squinted her eyes. She saw a blurry floating figure pulling on her clothes. She then looks down at Aether and stares intently at his face. Not daring to move an inch of his body, Aether just gave up and prayed that (y/n) wouldn’t recognize him as an enemy and attack him. Even under this state, she’s still very strong and has quick reflexes, so there was no denying that she’s a very skilled person. 

 

After feeling like hours in this position, (y/n)’s glare face suddenly transformed into a wide smile. “Aether!” She lays her head on top of his chest. “WHOA-” Paimon who’s still pulling (y/n) shirt was also dragged down and bumped into (y/n)’s lean back. 

 

“What happened??” Dizzy from the impact, Paimon wobbly floats away from the two. 

 

“I think she’s recognizing us…” Aether slowly gets up and pushes the girl away so he can finally stand up. (y/n) grabs Aether’s gloved hand while still sitting on the ground, her (e/c) glowed beautifully under the moonlight and a cool breeze blew her (h/c) locks. “Where are you going?” 

 

“Is she still drunk?” Paimon asks while floating beside (y/n). She saw Paimon floating near her, (y/n) quickly grabbed her tiny hand and hugged the pixie tightly. “Paimon!” 

 

“ACK! Aether, help!” 

Aether laughs at the two for a good few seconds before trying to pull Paimon out of (y/n)’s tight grasp. After the pixie is out from (y/n), Aether then carries the girl to her bed. Feeling exhausted, Aether squatted down and hung his head down before letting out a tired sigh. 

 

“Where’s Naoki?” (y/n) abruptly asks. 

 

Looking at the girl sitting on the bed, they both looked at her in confusion.

 

“Naoki, who?” Paimon turns to Aether wondering if he knows who she's talking about but looking at his expression, Paimon knows that he also didn’t recognize the name ‘Naoki’. 

 

“Is Naoki’s home yet?” (y/n) continues to ask. “Or is he playing with Gojo right now?” She then tilts her head up and pushes her lips out. “Hmn, but isn’t Gojo usually busy?” 

 

(y/n), who’s talking to herself, kept mentioning names that none of her companions knows and the name she’s mentioning also doesn’t seem to be from Mondstadt. 

 

“Maybe it’s someone from her world,” Aether tells Paimon. He stands up and gently nudges (y/n) down to lay her on the bed, urging her to sleep. “Ck, Gojo, don’t always come into my house unannounced.” (y/n) pushes Aether away. “We will meet tomorrow anyway…” (y/n) continues to talk but fatigue kicks in, making her yawn. “… but since you’re here, you can use the room beside mine.” She slips herself inside the comfort of her blanket and fell asleep, leaving Aether and Paimon dumbfounded. 

 

“Who do you think this ‘Gojo’ is? They seem to be close.” Unsure of who it is, Aether shrugs at her question, not wanting to talk about it. Aether walks out from (y/n)’s room and leaves his companion behind. Paimon sensed that her partner turned a bit sulky after (y/n)’s words. Whether it was because of fatigue or because of (y/n) mistaking him with another man, she didn’t know. But what she knows is she could use this chance to prank (y/n) tomorrow morning. 

 

“Oh, Paimon will tease her tomorrow hehe” 

***

 

The sun is high and the sky is clear. A perfect and beautiful day to start but not for (y/n). Hearing from Paimon that she kept hugging and clinging onto Aether because she was drunk made her feel so embarrassed and guilty. 

 

Is that the reason why there are eye bags under his eyes?

 

She tried to recall what happened last night but was unsuccessful in remembering anything. “Was I drunk? I never got drunk before.” (y/n) mumbles to herself. Right now, she’s sitting alone near the fountain. Aether and Paimon had commissions to do for today and told (y/n) to rest because of her hangover this morning. “Or maybe Paimon is lying to me?” she continues her thought. She crossed her legs with her hand cushioning her chin. Even though she was lost in thought, she could feel a set of eyes that bore into her figure. 

 

A blonde man, who she had never met before, kept looking at her since she was sitting at the fountain. She tried to ignore his stare but he kept stealing glance. The girl turns her head at the man and she is met with a set of teal eyes that reminds her of a gem. The unfamiliar man finally realized that she has already noticed him. He closed his book and stood from his seat before walking towards (y/n).

 

“I’m sorry if my staring made you uncomfortable.” He apologizes to her and gives her a piece of paper from his book. “I’m using you as my drawing reference. I hope you don’t mind.” 

 

Looking down at the paper he had just given, she saw the most beautiful drawing she had ever seen. “Th-thank you…” 

 

The blonde hums and sits beside her. Confused, (y/n) stared at him with her brows knitted together. Turning to her, he catches her confusion very quickly and not wasting any more time, he then introduces himself.

 

“My name is Albedo, Chief Alchemist of the Knights of Favonius. If I may ask, what’s your name?”

Chapter Text

We’re now waiting for Diluc and his acquaintance at the Tavern. Angel’s Share just closed a few minutes ago and Venti has been waiting for us since evening while enjoying a few glasses of Dandelion Wine. Sitting at the chair in front of the counter with a cup of coffee from Charles in her hands for caffeine induces. Inside, she still feels bad for what happened to Aether while she’s drunk last night. She can’t recall anything and Paimon’s story makes her both doubtful and bothered. 

While Aether keeps telling her it’s fine she’s still worried about her action while she’s under alcohol influence. It had never occurred to her before in her world when she was drinking with the others so she didn’t know what type of drunk she was. Sipping her coffee to calm her nerves, she sees Venti changing his sitting place to sit beside her from the corner of her eyes. 

“So how’s your day in Mondstadt today?” Venti asks casually.

“Nothing special.” (y/n) gave him a light shrug and continued her drink.

“Hey, if I may ask, what song did you sing last night? I’ve never heard anything like that before, it sounds very unique.” 

“What song?” (y/n) raises her brows at him. Venti looks at (y/n) with the same expression as hers. “What? You don’t remember anything when you’re drunk?” (y/n) slowly shakes her head, herself even unsure to answer him. “Well, it’s great that you didn’t fall off though.” 

Almost spurting her coffee, (y/n)’s eyes widened. “F-fall off??” 

Venti laughs at (y/n)’s reaction. He knows that she didn’t remember anything from last night but whoever thought teasing this girl is amusing, guess this is what Paimon felt today. “Yea, you’re really chaotic last night.” Venti winked at her in a teasing manner. 

Disbelieving at what she’s heard just now, she asks him more about what happened to her last night while hoping to finally get the answer she never got from her companions. “What did I do? Did I perhaps hit someone? Or maybe I accidentally kill a per-” 

“Whoa, whoa, not that extreme ok.” Venti cuts her off before she finishes her words. “And why do you think that extends? You did nothing serious at all.” A flood of relief soon drowns on her. “O-oh…” a relief sigh escapes from her lips, but her eyes still show brother and concern. “Then, what did I do last night?” Venti opens his mouth to answer, but the sound of an opening door makes him stop. Turning all of our heads to the door, we see Diluc entering the Tavern and behind him, there’s a figure that we all know and recognize. 

“Jean?” Aether asks in surprise. 

“She came here as ‘Jean’ herself, not as the Acting Grand Master.” Diluc clears the situation immediately. “Jean you will never see, even as an Honorary Knight.” 

Scanning around the room, Jean looks at the faces she never thought could be involved in this issue. “What a surprise. I heard about the Holy Lyre, but I never suspected it was you.” Jean confesses to Aether. Feeling bad, Aether scratches his hair and mumbles a small ‘sorry’ at her.

“So, I heard that the sounds of the Holy Lyre can purify Dvalin… Is that true?” Jean asks Venti. He then answers her very simply and surely. “That’s right.” 

Venti exchanges look with Aether and Paimon who are standing across both of us that were sitting at the counter. “Aether is putting themselves on the front line to try to resolve the Stormterror issue. Now that’s the hotshot of the Knight of the Favonius I’m talking about.” 

Paimon puts her tiny hands at her hips and sends the bard an impassive expression. “Sounds more like we’re breaking a law though…” 

“Do you all trust the bard’s story just from his performances?” (y/n) opens her mouth and asks abruptly. 

Jean shook her head and looked at (y/n) with soft eyes "I can’t think of any reason for Dvalin’s betrayal. If he was poisoned and then corrupted by the Abyss Order after he woke up, we can’t really blame him.” Jean inhales softly. “And as for the Lyre, we have confirmed that it was stolen by the Fatui themselves. But they didn’t hide it inside the hotel. They’re not that reckless after all.” 

“Why do you think they want to steal the lyre? Isn’t it too risky if they get caught like this?” (y/n) pondered the reason why the diplomats dared to steal Mondstadts’ National Treasure. But based on what she knew already, they would try anything they can to achieve their goals, including stealing one nation’s precious heritage.

“The Cryo Archon seems to be aiming for Anemo God’s power,” Jean tells the group her suspicion of Fatui’s true motives. “...” (y/n) notices Venti who is unusually silent, having a serious-looking expression plastered onto his face. 

“Ven-”

Now come to think of it, how can he know so many historical occurrences? Isn’t he just a normal bard…

Silently watching the bard beside her, she took a mental note to continue observing him. 

He must be know something

After a solid minute of thinking, Venti raises his head to the group and speaks his thoughts. “I think they intend to use Barbatos’ connection to the wind to draw him out, just like Lisa traced the source of the storm to the temples.”

The more he speaks the more suspicious he sounds to (y/n).

How did he know that?

“The God of Anemo? … hasn’t been seen for more than a thousand years. What makes you think that's their intention?” Diluc beats (y/n) for asking Venti a question. Even though it's a different question from her, his question does draw some questions.

“Oh… ah…” Unable to answer him, Venti avoids his gaze from Diluc’s piercing gaze. Everyone besides her seems to shrug his suspicious behavior off as some opinion sharing instead. “Forget it, I don’t like having to pry. Aether and (y/n) take this mask, you both better hide your face to protect your identity from Fatui." Wearing his mask, Diluc opens the back door of her tavern wide open for everyone to use. “Let’s go settle the business with them.”

Wearing the mask she had just received, they all walk out from the tavern one by one through the back door. Venti who’s gone out first before (y/n) could feel the lingering gaze from the girl.

***

“IT’S SO HOT!!” 

The hideout we find is basically covered by lava. Smokes and ashes fill the whole domain, leaving a little to nothing fresh air to breathe. Jean and Venti went to the other place for lookout while we were with Diluc into the hideout near Springvale. Upon entering the hidden cavern, a huge pile of hot smoke came crashing into us and making Paimon scream in pain. 

“Keep it down Paimon or you want to get caught by them.” (y/n) Scolds paimon. The pixie quickly covers her mouth and mutters a small apology to the group for the ruckus she had just made. Diluc took a moment to scan around making sure no Fatui came to check their place but it seems that no one noticed the noise. Sighing in relief, Diluc soon leads us to the inside of the hidden lair meticulously. 

In the middle of the ruin, there are iron bars that lock the main room from outsiders, in the middle of the bars, there’s a small keyhole. “Seems like we have to look for the key.” 

Dodging hidden traps and mechanisms carefully, we finally arrive in one giant room that is filled with hay. And in the middle of the room, there's a masked man with a dark red coat with a logo of Fatui embroidered below. Even with a sword in his hand, the man seems to be very scared.

“Should we approach him? He looked about to wet himself if we did.” Paimon whispered.

“We don’t have any choice.” Aether reply. He sneaks towards the Fatui men warily before putting his hand on the man's shoulder and making the poor man jump in surprise.“No, NO! Don’t eat me!” Dread could be heard very clearly from his scream. The tremor from his words showed how scared he was. It makes (y/n) question how is this “Fatui” diplomat able to corner the Knight of Favonius with this kind of underling.

Realizing who was touching him just now wasn’t a monster, the Fatui underling slowly raised his head to look at the intruder. “O-oh, you’re a human…”

Acting powerful, Aether straightened his posture and pretended ready to draw his sword to threaten the man. “We’re here for the Holy Lyre.” Even though half of the frightened men’s faces are covered with a mask, everyone could tell his eyes bulged out of surprise. “Wh- H-How did you guys know the lyre’s here??” 

“Tell us or you will face the consequences!” Paimon adds.

“E-EEK! Don’t kill me!” 

(y/n) thought to stand beside Aether and tell him to leave the men alone since he seems to be useless to get information from. But the frightened men thought she was coming at him instead and quickly screamed for mercy. “D-Don’t come after me!! Just keep going further into the ruin and find the key, please! I don’t have anything with me!”

Baffled, (y/n) stopped from her track and turned her head to look at Aether and Paimon ahead. Her lips asked a wordless ‘what’ and was answered with a shrug from both. The Fatui man now is crouching and hiding his head, leaving his weapon on the ground beside his feet. No one in the room dared to move, afraid to make the frightened man make more noises that could attract unwanted attention to the group. After a solid minute of silence, (y/n) confirmed that no one is coming at them. 

Thinking she could use his intense fright to gain at least some information, (y/n) walked towards the crouching men and squatted in front of him. “Tell us everything you know.” (y/n)’s cold voice resonates throughout the ruin. Chills ran down to the poor man's body, his eyes shook and all of his body trembled. “W-w-what are you talking about?” 

“Who is your boss?” (y/n) asks again. She took out a small dagger from her pocket and drew it out from its hilt. Showing the men her new dagger she just bought yesterday. “Speak.” 

He could sense that this girl isn’t someone to be messed around with. The overwhelming pressure emitted from her is suffocating, and her (e/c) glowed under the dark mask she’s wearing makes her look even more intimidating from his view. Gulping, the man lowered his head and mustered his courage to speak. “... L-La Signora.”

“The 8th Fatui Harbinger is here?” Diluc, who's been quiet since the beginning, now opens his mouth. “That’s news to me.” 

(y/n) recalled hearing the word from Kaeya, but she forgot to ask him what ‘Harbinger’ is. But this man told her that this harbinger is his boss. Seems like they’re someone important for the organization.

“I-I don’t know anything else, please, leave me alone…” the cowered man begs to (y/n) with his head lowered to the ground. Sighing, (y/n) stands up and urges the group to go out from the room to do another search for the key. Everyone agrees with her and slowly leaves the men alone inside the empty room.

“La Signora? What a strange name…” after we were away from the first room, Paimon suddenly asked the name we had just received. “As I said before, she’s one of Fatui Harbinger. The only reason why Fatui can run amok across the seven-nation is because of their Eleven Harbingers…” Diluc paused from his explanation. “... we should act quickly before she gets wind of what’s going on.”

“Is she powerful?” (y/n) wondered.

“I have never met her, but all The Eleven Harbingers are famous for being very powerful individuals. You should be careful if you encounter them.” 

All three of them nod at his warning. The pressure for this operation felt heavier once we knew there was someone powerful behind this. Even though (y/n) wasn't sure if they will meet with this La Signora, she unclip her earring for precaution. 

(A/n: If yall forget why earring, it's because her jujutsu energy is suppressed by the gem of her earring. It’s my personal headcanon.)

***

 

We’ve been inside the abandoned ruin for almost thirty minutes, and we’re wasting most of our time looking at one.freaking.key. Entering the last room of the giant ruin, they all felt tired already even though there’s no fighting involved yet. Yes, they had encountered a few Fatui Subordinates before, but they’re just a bunch of cowards that didn’t have any guts to fight them. And NONE of them also know where the key is. But the last one they just found says that the key is hidden in the room they are entering right now.

“I swear to God, if the guy is lying to us, I will cut his tongue.” (y/n) clench her fist in annoyance. 

“Please don’t.” Aether tried to soothe her irritation away by patting her shoulder gently. Huffing in vexation, (y/n) cross her arms in front of her chest. 

After dodging the same traps from all the rooms before, they finally arrived inside the furthermost wing of the ruin. And a woman wearing dark purple jacked while holding a violet lantern stood in the middle of the room. Noticing there’s an intruder, the woman quickly summons Cincins around her. “Who are you guys?” 

“It’s you!” Aether points at the hooded woman aggressively. “You’re the one who’s stolen the Holy Lyre!” 

Looking at Aether’s appearance intently, the woman scoffs sarcastically. “I remember that hair, you’re that loser who’s tried to steal it too. Too bad, you’re too slow.” 

Rolling his eyes in exasperation, Aether summons his sword and is ready to attack. Diluc and (y/n) also summon their weapon to aid Aether for the battle, but the hooded woman continues to provoke. “Heh, three versus one? Alright, I can beat every each and one of you easi-” 

A sharp dagger flew quickly to the woman’s side, ripping the tips of her hood open. The dagger pierces the stone wall behind her with a few of her hood’s fur at its tips. Turning her head back to the group, she looks at a masked girl who summons her dagger back to her hand with horror.

“The first throw is a warning.” (y/n) raises her right arm aiming her dagger at the woman’s head. “The second throw will go through your head.”

Chapter Text

Uh... I forgot to mention this from the beginning, but I don't have a fixed schedule of when I release a new chapter.

This week I release one chapter, maybe next week I release four. Who knows.

But what I can promise is, at least I will upload one chapter every week. And if I need a hiatus I will give notice.

 

So if yall confuse why I sometimes upload so fast, it's probably because I have so much free time or I am just in the middle of frenzy mode for writing.

 

No one knows, even myself ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

But in all seriousness, I really like writing in general and it's been really a while since I'm write any stories. And looking that many read my story also motivates me to write more and deliver it to people who like my work. With the help of my beta reader, I wish my story could at least accompany readers' day.

So if any of you who's wondering "When is this author releases their chapters?" or "Why suddenly they release so soon?" Just remember that I don't have any schedule LOL

 

Anyway, thank you for the support! \( ゚ヮ゚)/

Chapter Text

“Finally.” Sweeping her hair behind, (y/n) grabs the key from the hooded woman hidden inside her pocket. Leaving the bruised woman behind, (y/n) trails her way to her bewildered group. “Let’s go, we can enter the room with this key.” She didn’t kill the woman, you read it, she’s just wounded her. Badly. Dare to insult Aether means they will have to face (y/n)’s wrath. No one can offend her friends while she’s around. 

 

(y/n) didn’t stab her yet some of her wounds were deep enough to make her paralyzed from the pain. She’s fighting as if she’s playing a throwing knife arcade. The teleportation trick the mage possesses didn’t falter (y/n) at all. Fighting with a cincin mage usually could be very tricky since they could teleport behind and send many powerful Electro attacks. But no matter where or what the mage does, she cannot escape from (y/n)’s cruel game.

 

After many, many dodges and attempts to fight back, she just ended up getting more bruises and cuts from the girl's dagger. Lips screwed in and accepting her defeats, the battered mage slumped her bloodied body into the ground. Glaring at her attacker with so much resentment, the mage hopelessly watches the girl steal the key from her pocket. After (y/n) walks her way to her group, the defeated mage quietly escapes and makes sure no one notices. 

 

“Remind Paimon not to make (y/n) angry…” Hiding her tiny body behind Aether’s back, Paimon silently regrets teasing her this morning and praying to any Archons so (y/n) wouldn’t know that she’s lying to her about her drunk story.

 

Her skill is on par with any trained assassins because of her neatness when dealing damage. Diluc, who's involved in the dark side of Tevyat, could recognize those kinds of skills immediately. Keen sense of danger and expert knife-throwing ability, she wouldn’t be able to achieve those abilities without some kind of training. Suspicion bubbled inside the red-haired man, doubting the girl he was with is secretly someone dangerous.

 

The walk to the main room didn’t take too long for the group. Most of the traps are already turned off or destroyed by them, and all fatui guards have already been cleared up from the area. Turning the key open, echoing sounds caused by moving iron bars resonate throughout the abandoned domain, and using a moving stone plate to the upper floor, we finally find the stolen lyre that was hidden inside the room.

 

“Where did you rats scurry out from…” A gruff voice startled the group alerting everyone to quickly bring out their weapons. The mysterious person’s steps echoed with a cold wind blowing inside the room sending chills to everyone. A masked hooded man appears from the shadow with an intimidating aura around him. “Signora is not going to tolerate this kind of interference in our affair.” A big rounded knife comes out from his wrist with a perilous red aura. “So I’ll be the one to take care of you, save her from the trouble of having to deal with you herself.” He throws three Pyro imbued knives around protecting him and with dark smoke, his body disappears into the thin air with his floating knives. 

 

Aether and (y/n) stick their back together, covering each other from the unexpected attack, while Diluc with his claymore doesn't move a muscle since the Pyro Agent disappears. A faint noise appears behind us but before both can react, Diluc swiftly throws his giant claymore in the noise direction and sends the agent flying. The agent quickly composes himself and escapes from the three’s attack before he launches a counter-attack that almost wounds Aether.

 

Diluc swiftly ran behind him and slammed his Pyro-infused claymore to the ground, forcing the agent to jump. While in midair, he was quickly attacked by (y/n) from behind. Her blow sends his body colliding to the ground and slamming the cold hard wall. Coughing due to the impact, the agent staggered to bring his body to stand up. Her attack hits like a truck, letting a cough of blood out of his throat, the agent glares at the girl. Teeth bared, embarrassed drowned because the girl’s weapon is a dull sword yet can’t help but also feel overwhelmed by the pressure. Blinded by rage, the agent blindly charged at the three.

 

“I will not lose!” Overusing his Delusion, the agent sends a wave of ominous energy and recklessly throws his blade at the three.

 

Aether quickly creates an anemo vortex at his palm to immobilize the raging agent and give his teammates enough time to defeat the agent. Imbuing her dull sword with cursed energy, she made the once bad sword have greater damage than a claymore. Assisted by Diluc, (y/n) able to cleanly stab the man’s stomach. His blood covered the tip of her sword, and his throat was choked by the air. 

 

Pulling out her sword, the man's bloodied body falls with his blood pooled below him. His body isn’t moving, but he’s still breathing. Heavily. (y/n) raises her sword above the collapsed man to finish the job before she's stopped by Diluc's hand gripping at her wrist.

 

"Leave him be, he will die soon anyway."

 

Reluctantly following his order, (y/n) lets down her sword and steps away from the dying man. An uncomfortable feeling emerged from not finishing her job completely. Gripping her sword’s handle tightly, she reminds herself to better forget her habits from the past. Unrealized to her, she unconsciously transfers much-cursed energy to the sword to ease her agitation. Making a sudden cracking sound reverberating, her sword exploded into tiny pieces. (y/n)’s mouth agape while staring at her sword handle in awe. Nervously glancing at her groups, she hides her broken sword’s remnants behind and smiles tensely. 

 

“My bad.”

 

“Wow, that sword just exploded…” Paimon commented. “Are you alright? The shards didn’t hurt you?” Aether asks worriedly. 

 

“I’m fine, I’m just startled by the explosion.”

 

Eyes swiftly darting to the lyre, (y/n) points her finger to the stone altar. “We should bring the Holy Lyre back, the sooner we save Dvalin, the better.” Quickly walks her way to the lyre, (y/n) grabs it, and gives the lyre to Aether to keep. Letting out a small exhale while taking off her mask, the (h/c) girl felt relieved no one asked her regarding the shattered sword. 

 

But both Diluc and Aether notice her effort to redirect the topic. Didn't want to let the matter off easily, Diluc opens his mouth to ask but (y/n) quickly catches him and hurriedly urges the group to leave the ruin immediately. “Let’s meet with the others quickly… wouldn’t want to make them wait.”

 

“Since when you’re so considerate to them?” (y/n) put her hands on her hips hearing Diluc’s inquiry. “How rude, am I such a thoughtless person in your eyes Master Diluc?” 

 

Diluc shook his head, denying the girl's accusation. “That wasn’t what I meant, also why address me with such formality?”

 

Tilted her head to the side, (y/n) pursing her lips. “What should I call you then?” 

 

“Diluc is fine, and-”

 

“Alright, then Diluc, let’s go back to Angel’s Share.” 

 

Diluc’s wrinkled brow showed his reluctance to let this off, but with some indirect plead and some sugary-sweet words from her mouth, Diluc let out a defeated sigh and followed her to get out from the ruin. He can ask her after this after all.

 

The group then walked out from the place, but behind them, the dying agent is plotting to at least injure one of them, or even bring one to hell with him. Gathering his last remaining strength to put strong delusion power into his knife, he slowly raised his body to launch an attack. But suddenly his body felt like being squashed by a huge stone. He couldn’t raise a single finger, the gravity around him felt like doubled, no, tripled . His lungs are crushed, he can’t breathe, his blood pooled out even faster as if a newly emerging spring. He can’t scream, it’s painful, it’s so hu-

 

Stone debris suddenly fell down before his eyes. 

 

Horrified, the agent glances up and sees the sturdy stone ceiling starts to crumble above him and a moment later a huge hole appears, burying his body alive.

 

Everyone was perplexed at what had just happened. A perfectly circular hole abruptly formed right above the dying man’s body, as if it’s a judgment from fate itself. Silent engulfs, pressure, and chills from horror appear on their faces. But not for the girl.

 

Her face is dark, her eyes lost their light, her glare could be described as a ferocious beast. Diluc notices the change of expression of the (h/c) girl, and it makes his eyes freeze open.

 

He didn’t know what could make such a composed girl suddenly look resentful. He simply didn’t notice what the damned agent tried to do to them. But she realizes it. And before he could do any harm to them, (y/n) uses her Jujutsu to manipulate the gravity around them and bury the bastard alive. Glaring at the pile, she promises herself to protect those who she holds precious.

 

***

“Welcome back!” Venti gleefully greets them. His smile falters after looking at their faces filled with shock and confusion… also unease. “What happens? Why are you all so grim?” 

 

Placing her hand at her forehead, Paimon excessively swallowed her saliva. “I’m not the only one who saw that right?” Murmuring in disbelief at what she had just seen back in the domain. “Maybe that’s just a coincidence?” Aether scratches the lower part of his lips, himself also unsure about it. 

 

“What are yo-”

 

“Here’s the Holy Lyre Del Himmel, Venti. We managed to retrieve it.” (y/n) abruptly cuts Venti’s question. Didn't give anyone room to ask, (y/n) quickly change the topic to the Stormterror issue. Venti accepts the lyre and his face blooms into a nostalgic smile. “The pattern of the flowing winds on the rosewood, and the strings still feel cool to the touch… Oh, the memories…” 

 

Jean let out a light cough to bring the nostalgic bard back. ‘“What do you think, Venti? Can you summon Dvalin?”

Venti shook his head at Jean's question with a tight-lipped smile. “As you can see, the lyre has been through a thousand years of history. Its Anemo power has already run dry. In this condition, you couldn’t play music fit for even Diluc’s tavern with it…” Venti jokes around to ease the tension since the group is back from their mission, seemingly working, Diluc rebukes his assumption regarding his tavern’s stage. “Bards fight to get on the stage of my tavern. Don’t make assumptions.” 

“Is that really important right now, Master Diluc?!” Paimon places her hands at her sides, glaring at the bard beside her. “And you- did you just borrow the Holy Lyre to play music for drunkards to hear?” 

 

Venti tilted his head and stuck out one’s tongue at Paimon. “Ehe” Annoyed, Paimon hunched her tiny body forward and frowned. “What do you mean ‘Ehe’?!” 

 

“Anyway, don’t worry about it. We can resolve this issue thanks to the Honorary Knight here. Aether, do you still have Dvalin’s teardrops with you?” 

 

Aether rummages his inventory to find the teardrops. Finding the tears he shows it to the group the purified tears. “Isn’t that…” Recognizing the familiar shape of the crystal on Aether’s hand, Jean stared at the stone with wide eyes. “Yes, this is the purified tears of Dvalin,” Venti says. 

 

Giving his lyre to Aether, he entrusts him to be able to recover the Holy Lyre del Himmel. The tears combined with the lyre, and a beautiful green glow glowed from it. After a brief moment, the lyre has returned to its glorious self. With this, we can finally confront Dvalin.

 

“Let us meet up tomorrow night at Dawn Winery.”

Chapter Text

The sound of iron being forged can be heard from a distance and the smell of burned air faintly tickled her nostrils. Walking her way to Wagner’s blacksmith to buy a new sword, (y/n) quietly sighed in relief that the diligent blacksmith is still working even until midnight. 

“Hello, sir.” (y/n) greets the working man politely. Wiping the sweat off his forehead, Wagner stopped his work and raised his head to look at the girl. He turns around to look at the clock behind his store and gives the girl a scrunched brow. “It’s already midnight, what are you doing walking around at this time?” 

“I’m quite busy with work, but more importantly, the dagger you made was great.” (y/n) hold her dagger that she tied on her belt, smiling with satisfaction from the quality. “If you’re here for the useless flattery, you’re just wasting my time.” Wagner grabs his iron hammer and goes back to continue his unfinished work. Shaking her head at the blacksmith’s rude attitude, (y/n) brought out a bag of mora in front of the counter table. “I need a new sword,” dropping another leather bag beside the bag of mora, a loud clanking sound of metal colliding attracts Wagner’s interest because of the familiar noise. 

Opening the leather bag, he pulled out a sword handle with some iron remains from the blade. Bewildered at the sword’s condition, his mouth gaped open in disbelief. “What did you do to this sword?”

Giving him a curt smile, (y/n) shrugs her shoulder halfheartedly. 

Staring at the girl with doubtful eyes, Wagner puts back the sword to the leather bag and throws it into a bin. Glancing at the mora bag the girl gave, he crossed his hands and tilted his head. “I don’t want to make a sword for those people who can’t wield it.” 

“Who says that I can’t, sir?” 

“The blade itself told it.”

“I never knew you could talk to a scrap of metal.” 

Frowning at the girl, Wagner didn’t give in to her taunt. Before he could reply, a familiar red-haired man walks towards them. His steps were loud from the city's quietness and his crimson eyes quickly scanned the commotion between them. Soon he was able to conclude the problem that caused a quiet commotion in the middle of the night. He knew Wagner had a big pride toward his works and had great care for any weapons. He is a blacksmith at heart, and from what happens at the back of the ruin, no wonder he would be misunderstood and turn down the girl's offer after seeing the state of the badly shattered blade.

“Please make her a new sword, the blade suddenly shatters in the middle of our commission. It’s not her fault.” Diluc told him. Still doubtful with his statement but knowing Master Diluc wasn’t someone who would lie for a trivia thing, Wagner reluctantly accepts the girl’s mora under his request.

“Come back here tomorrow morning,” Wagner threw the mora bag into his drawer and wrote a note to list the order. Nodding in agreement (y/n) gives him a ‘thank you’ and leaves her way to Angel's Share for a good night's rest.

“Wait-” Diluc suddenly grabs (y/n)’s hand and halts her. Startled, (y/n) almost drew her dagger in reflex, but she didn’t because the person who grabbed her is someone important for their next mission. Confusion was clear from her face, her mouth asking a soundless “what”.

Letting her arm go, Diluc’s crimson eyes look at her as if he wants to peek at her soul and find the truth he was looking for, his eyes narrowed and frowning. Baffled with his sudden act, (y/n) stood there at her spot and didn’t move her body. Letting the man do whatever he’s doing right now, whatever observing or just staring.

“You… what is that power you’re using back in the ruin?” (y/n) clicked her tongue after hearing his question.

“You’re asking me that?” (y/n) shook her head and sighed. “Can’t we discuss this tomorrow? I’m tired, and tomorrow we have another important job to complete,” 

“You will avoid the topic if I do so.” Diluc states sternly. 

“... I won’t.” 

“You will.” 

There’s static between their eyes. None of them want to relent. Diluc wants the answer to assure himself that the girl isn’t someone dangerous, while (y/n) wants to avoid the topic in the context of being tired.

She knew Diluc wouldn’t stop to find the answer and she’s also glad that he wasn’t as sly as Kaeya when seeking the truth. But she has a feeling that Diluc wouldn’t let the matter off easily and if Aether finds out about her secret from others, she doesn't know how to explain it to him. She wants to tell it herself, but not now… 

After pondering what she has to do to this man in front of her, she bit her lips and decides to tell him a brief of her power so the man would stop suspecting her and let her off before Aether and Paimon draw suspicion of her too. 

“... Ok… I will explain it to you, but not here.” (y/n) exhales in defeat. acknowledge that the street wasn't an ideal place to talk, Diluc gestured. “Follow me.”  He then walks his way to the city gate, while the girl follows him close behind.

Realizing that Diluc walks away from the city, (y/n) stops following him and asks “Where are we going?” Diluc glanced at the girl behind him without stopping. “To Dawn Winery.” 

“Didn’t we agree to meet there tomorrow? And what will the owner think when we enter his property without permission?” 

Hearing this, Diluc stopped in his tracks and turned his body to look at the clueless (y/n). He answered her concern with a flat gaze. 

“I’m the owner of the Dawn Winery.” 

***

a luxurious mansion located in the middle of a vineyard came into (y/n)’s sight. Few crystalflies gracefully fly around the vineyards and the aroma of ripe grapes smells very thick around the mansion. It’s a very grand mansion indeed. Very classic yet also elegant. 

She knew that Diluc was a wealthy man, but she didn’t know he was that wealthy. 

“... so he’s a wine tycoon…” she thought to herself. 

At first, she thought Diluc was just a wealthy tavern owner but turned out he was a multi-millionaire… No wonder he had such a wide connection in Mondstadt. 

Entering the quiet mansion, Diluc let the door open for (y/n) to enter, and immediately a maid comes to aid. 

“Welcome back, master Diluc.” 

The blonde maid took the jacket that Diluc was wearing and hung it on the rack nearby, she noticed a guest behind her master and proceeded to greet her. Nodding at the maid politely, (y/n) gaze at Diluc and signal him that she wants to talk about the matter right away. 

Diluc told Adelinde to bring them tea and gestured (y/n) to enter the living room. Sitting on a very comfortable sofa, (y/n) gladly receive a warm cup of tea from Adelinde and place it at the table in front of them.

Diluc already focused his attention on the girl, anticipating the truth from her. Whether she’s a member of fatui or any dangerous organization, he will judge her himself. He won’t allow someone dangerous to roam freely in his beloved city. 

The girl cups her chin to think about her answer. She didn’t want to tell him everything but she also had to be able to convince the vigilant tycoon that she was not to threaten anyone. Sighing, (y/n) couldn’t understand why people she met in this city were always being so cautious.

 

“So…”

Chapter Text

“Do you think I will believe what you had just told?” Diluc pinched his nose bridge. 

“Well, you ask me so I give you the answer.” (y/n) smiles while sipping her warm cup of tea. Diluc glares at the girl after hearing her nonchalant answer. He should have known when she was being cooperative with him. Scratch that, she’s being too cooperative with him; it should have drawn his suspicion.

“Your story is absurd.” He adds sharply.

“How rude, it’s not a story!” (y/n) put down the cup and crossed her arms and legs. Her back is straightened and she lets out a pout while tilting her head upwards. Diluc knows that she’s just pretending and it makes him more annoyed. “So you’re telling me to believe that the power you possess is a gift from…” Diluc paused from his sentence and was reluctant to say the word. Grinning from ear to ear, (y/n) casually asks him. 

“From…?” 

Clenching his jaws in irritation, Diluc abruptly stood up from his seat and walked away to the exit door of the living room. He then heard (y/n)’s suppressed laughter from behind the room. “From the fairy godmother.” she completes. 

Standing up from her seat, (y/n) grabbed her stuff and readied to go back to Mondstadt, but was stopped by Diluc. “Where are you going?” 

“To Mondstadt of course,” (y/n) answered plainly. “Fairy godmother didn’t bless me with superhuman ability, ok.”

Why do you ask her to act absurdly like this? Simple. It’s to annoy the wine tycoon so he wouldn’t take her words seriously. Since she knew the man was exhausted from the mission before, she could use this chance to annoy him so he would let her go. She isn’t ready to tell her secret to anyone yet, and if she does, the first person who will know about it first will be Aether and Paimon, not a multi-millionaire.

Pointing at her droopy eyes, (y/n) continues to tease. “Look, can’t you see that my eyes are so heavy. I could collapse at any second.” 

“...” Diluc just stood there staring at her with his famous deadpan expression. His face screams ‘No Trust’ at her.

She knew she shouldn't laugh, but his “I’m so done with life” ’s face reminded her of Nanami, and a snort slipped from her mouth. This made Diluc frown, he didn’t expect the girl to be this playful. His first impression of her is that she's very composed, serious, even cold. 

Her unexpected attitude gives him a headache. Since the moon is high, he hasn’t taken a rest all day and became even more tired after talking to her. But he wouldn’t let a girl walk back to the city at midnight. He brought her here so he must take responsibility.

“Stay here for a night.” (y/n)’s eyes widened when she heard that. “Who? Me? Thank you for the offer but I must come back to Angel’s Share.” 

“Why? Is it because of your companions?”

“Yes, I didn’t tell them that I will visit the winery. They will get worried when they find me missing in my room.”

Acknowledging the matter, Diluc pondered for a second before he walked towards the window and whistled, not long after, an eagle landed onto his arm. Rubbing the bird’s neck dotingly, Diluc walks to the table with it and writes a small letter that will be attached to the eagle’s leg for it to be delivered.

“Happy now?” He asks sarcastically as he let the bird go.

(y/n) pouts for real now. She knew he had just sent her friends a message about her staying at the winery. She doesn’t know what excuse to use so she can’t deny him. If she spouts out random excuses, he would sense her urgency to escape from him and it could let them into another time-wasting conversation.

No other choice, she accepts to stay for a night at the winery. 

 

————————————

“.... should I go back to the tavern?” Lying on the queen-size bed alone, (y/n) stared blankly at the ceiling. The clock is pointing at two o'clock. She had been lying down for forty-five minutes without being able to close her eyes to sleep. Although she was tired and sleepy, her body would not allow her to enter the dream world.

Turning her head back and forth to find a comfortable position, her brain keeps preventing her from taking sleep. Frustrated, she gets up from the bed and walks to the balcony in her room to get some fresh air. Opening the glass door, a cold wind came crashing into her body immediately and sent a shiver throughout her figure. A simple white nightdress that she wears right now is from Adelinde since she didn’t bring anything to wear, and the cloth of the nightgown could not warm her from the cold night wind. She stopped from her steps when she saw Diluc who’s also staying up late at the balcony beside her. His white shirt looked disbelieved and his hair was let loose and messy, seems like he can’t get himself to sleep too.

Diluc turned his head when he noticed someone was on the balcony across from him. There’s a glass of dark liquid and a bottle at the railing on his hand. “Can’t sleep?” Diluc asked.

“... yeah, are you perhaps drinking right now?”

“A bit.” 

Hum at his answer, (y/n) walks to the balcony and stood there and looking at the view. The moon is full, stars glimmering, and beautiful crystalfly glowing around the vineyard. Another cold wind blew past and her body was visibly shivering from the cold, placed her palms together (y/n) tries to warm herself up. Diluc puts down his glass and sighed when he saw the girl shivering. “Go back to your room or you’ll catch a cold.”

“My, are you worried about me, master Diluc?” (y/n) smiled. 

“... We need to confront Stormterror tomorrow.” Diluc pours another glass of wine and shares it with (y/n). He thought maybe with a little alcohol, it could help (y/n) become sleepy.

The girl accepts it with thanks and brings the glass to her mouth. A sweet taste of wine tingles her taste buds and ample tannin balances the sweetness of the wine. (y/n) smiles and enjoying the drink slowly, savoring the taste. “Go to sleep after you finish the glass,” Diluc ordered while sipping his glass.

“You’re not my father.” (y/n) scrunched her nose.

Diluc turned his head and glared at the girl with the glass still connected to his lips. (y/n) laugh at his expression that always reminds her of her dear friend.

There’s a comfortable silence between them, after filling up two more glasses of wine she slowly could feel drowsiness creeping up at her and she started to yawn.

“I’ll go back to my room. Thanks for the company.” Another yawn came and it was louder than the first. Her body felt more tired and heavier. Thanks to the alcohol in her system she thinks she can fall asleep right away when her head hits the bed.

“Why are you lying?” 

His sudden question took her by surprise. His crimson eyes are staring at her (e/c) one. His cheek is slightly flushed but his gaze is stern. “I’m no-”

“You are.” He tightens his hold on the glass. “Why would you let yourself be suspected as someone dangerous when you can easily be honest and tell the truth? You’re a clever girl, and you should know why I question you. Don’t pretend as if I didn’t notice what you had done at the ruin. Your skill is akin to a professional assassin, and that mysterious hole… it’s your doing isn’t it?” Diluc narrows his eyes and deepens his voice.

He thought a direct approach would get her to speak since Kaeya had failed to obtain any information from the girl with his usual method. But the first try was a failure because the girl tells him a child fairy-tale instead. But he will try again until he can get her answer.

Waiting for her reply, he makes sure to look at her expression. 

“You want my honest answer right?” curling one’s lips, her eyes narrowed with a mischievous glint. “You should have to know the answer yourself, master Diluc.” Scuffling his brows, Diluc somewhat felt like he was being played by the girl. “Imagine if you’re in my shoes when someone you didn’t know or just met for a few times suddenly asks for your personal and private information. Wouldn’t you be annoyed or just straight up ignore them. I’m just like that, but since you’re being honest and asking me directly, I answer it. Even if it’s a lie, I respect your effort in asking. At least you’re not like Kaeya…” She explains. Then her grin quickly changes to a serious one.

“Since we’re not close I’m not comfortable sharing my secret with you. But I can promise you that I wouldn't be a threat to Mondstadt. Isn’t that what you’re afraid of? A mysterious power that could harm your beloved city? For that, the answer is no. I will not be a threat to this city, ever.” (y/n) assured him confidently. 

They stood there face to face, no words were spoken. While (y/n) hoped that Diluc would trust her words, she still thought to herself another answer just in case the man was still stubborn for the answer. Yet, what Diluc will say to her next surprised her.

“... You’re right.” He said, “I’m sorry for being rude, it wasn’t my intention.” He places his glass down and apologizes sincerely. “I’m too caught up in protecting the city and become inconsiderate to your feelings."

Baffled by what she had just heard, (y/n) didn’t know what to answer him. But she’s relieved that Diluc can rationalize her reasoning and apologize to her too. “Apology accepted.” She chuckled.

“I should go back to sleep now, good night Diluc.” 

Leaving the man alone, she walks back to her room and quickly went to sleep.

Still standing at his spot, he stares at where the girl just stood. His mind replaying their last conversation.

“...Good night Diluc.”

Grabbing the bottle, he fills his glass again with the fine wine and silently murmurs. “...Good night.”



—————————

“(Y/N)!” Paimon rashly flew to (y/n) with Aether behind. Her face is frowning and she seems displeased. “Don’t you know how worried we were when we couldn't find you in your room?!” She cried. 

“Didn’t you receive Diluc’s letter last night?” (y/n) asks confusingly.

“We did, but it’s after we’re looking for you.” (y/n) scratches her cheek in guilt. If she had told them that she was going out last night, at least they wouldn’t be panicked when she isn't back to the Tavern. “I’m sorry, I should have told you guys.”

Aether shook his head. ‘It’s alright as long as you’re alright.” Paimon nods at his words. “But next time if you’re staying at this mansion again, you have to invite us too.” Paimon grins. 

“I doubt I would.”

Soon Jean and Venti arrive at the winery. “Good afternoon everyone!” The bard greets cheerfully. 

“Where’s Master Diluc?” Jean asks.

“He’s still upstairs. There’s a sudden urgent matter he needs to finish so he will be late.” (y/n) told her. 

“No need to wait, I’ve finished it.” Diluc came behind her. A few minutes ago, Elzer, Diluc’s butler, came to them while they were eating lunch. He came to Diluc and whispered something to him. It seems to be important because he immediately left his unfinished food and went to his office. 

“Let’s go, we need to face the Stormterror.” Diluc pulled his loosened glove and told the group to prepare for facing Dvalin. Silently, (y/n) felt nervous because she has never done this kind of mission before. To be honest, everything felt more like a fantasy game than reality. The whole dragon and elemental power are very…  intriguing. And she can’t help but feel tense, just like when she first had her mission. 

 

She hoped that this confrontation with the dragon would go smoothly.

 

Chapter Text

That afternoon didn’t go well. We were able to meet with the dragon but a floating rodent came out of nowhere and spouted nonsense at him. Saying that we, humans will eventually betray him again, just like what happened to him right now. The dragon didn’t have any chance to speak against that accusation angrily at the green bard and revealed his true identity.

Barbatos, he said. 

The dragon quickly left the group with the abyss mage behind his back and left us in deep awkward silence. Venti was not injured, but he was visibly shaken by what had just happened with his friend. Diluc and Jean look at him with pity but also with a hint of distress in their eyes. They were probably flustered that their God was actually around them as a mortal. As for the rest, they all watch everything unfold from the sideline with many questions in their mind.

Nobody dared to speak first but Jean decided to break the awkward silence.

“Barbat- Venti, are you alright?” 

Venti smiled gently at her, and said “Hehe… you’ve known my true identity for some time now, haven’t you Jean?” The acting grandmaster didn’t reply to him, but her eyes spoke the answer. “I thank you for continuing to use the name Venti.” The bard says gratefully. 

Venti bent down to pick up the broken lyre and sighed sadly. “It’s broken.” 

“Can it be repaired?” Diluc asked. 

“No, it’s beyond repair.” 

Everyone looked gloomy but Aether quickly recovered before the emotions swayed him. “Dvalin must be in danger, we must quickly save him.” Paimon nods profusely beside him. "Yeah, but before that, we need to teach them a lesson!”

“There’s no need.” Diluc butts in. “I eradicated one not long ago in one of the Four Winds temples.” 

“What, when?” (y/n) asks confusedly. 

Ah-

So that’s why he stayed up last night…

“...Yes.” Diluc looked at her and immediately knew what she was thinking. “If you want to track those monsters down, then I’ll seek answers from my contacts. I’ve got other means for getting the job done. I’ll be sure to let the Abyss Order know that their blatant disregard for Mondstadt will not go unpunished.” 

───────────────

"You must have lots of questions in mind." After returning to the winery, Venti casually approaches (y/n) who since the group found out his real identity keeps their distance from him. The girl without looking at him answers the bard with a monotone voice. "I don't understand what you're talking about." 

Ah, the old (y/n) is back. Those cold responses stab his heart. Venti dramatically places his hand atop his chest. "How cold. Even the Cryo Archon wasn't as cold as you are." 

Rolling her eyes from the bard's statement, (y/n) ignores his entire existence by not answering him.

Venti isn't oblivious. Even though he’s playful and carefree, he was a very observant person around. 

"What? Why are you like this all of a sudden? I know you have a suspicion of me but is it that surprising? Jean even considered that I am one. I thought you also knew.” 

(y/n) had been acting weirdly after the confrontation. She went quiet and always avoided his eye contact. Venti thought she was shaken by what had just happened before but now it doesn’t seem that’s the case. 

(y/n) is still quiet, she didn’t even bother to look at him. Frowning at her puzzling attitude Venti couldn’t help but feel frustrated. But he told himself to give her time alone and after the whole crisis was resolved, he could try to get close to her. 

After all, it is rare to meet another otherworldly traveler.

 

───────────────

"Papa, where are we going?"

There’s no response from the man who’s currently dragging her around. 

"P-papa, slow down, I-"

"CAN’T YOU SHUT UP?!"

He suddenly raises his voice at the poor girl and makes her sob. 

“I will hit you if you dare to cry.” The man glared at her menacingly. Holding back her tears, young (y/n) bit her lips suppressing her noise. Her short legs tripped from his aggressive tug, yet her father didn't stop nor slow down when she did and kept dragging her as if she was a sack of potatoes. 

They finally entered a giant skyscraper. After her father talked to the security they were led into a VIP elevator to get into the highest level of the building. 

"If you make a scene, I swear I will lock you inside the closet." The father threatens the poor girl. Terrified by it, she profusely nodded her head. When her father was satisfied with her response, he let go of her hand and looked straight at the elevator display screen with eagerness plastered on his face. 

Her father kept acting weirdly since this morning. He always glanced at his phone like he was waiting for something, and suddenly he told (y/n) to dress nicely and dragged her off to go to their destination on foot. The 34 minutes walk makes the little girl almost faint from exhaustion. 

Standing inside the luxurious elevator, she felt confined and suffocated just by being inside the same room with her abusive father. The anxiety is real, her face is pale and cold sweat wet the back of her dress. Her fist is clenched at the hem of her dress and making it wrinkle. 

‘Where is this place? Why are we here?’

Her mind is a spiraling mess. She had a bad feeling about this place. She wanted to ask her father but was afraid to face his wrath. 

They arrived at the highest floor and fear struck her like lightning. A man dressed in a black suit is sitting in a leather chair waiting for them. Behind him there stood two bodyguards with an intimidating aura guarding the man against any threat. Little (y/n) whimpered and took shelter behind him. 

“You’ve arrived.” His black eyes stared at (y/n) with interest and scanned at her from hair to toe. Turning from the trembling girl, he asks her father. 

“Is she the one you talked about?” 

“Yes yes yes, she’s the one. I can promise you she possesses what you’re looking for.” 

His black eyes have a gleam of deviltry. The smirk that plastered on his face terrifies (y/n) even more. She suddenly shoved to stand in front of him to present herself to the suited man. Powerless against his father, she stood there helplessly while hoping for the creepy man to soon let them home. 

She couldn't understand what they were talking about. Something about ‘jujutsu’ and ‘ancestor’. Her mind is blank, she couldn’t stay calm as her father hoped and stagger due to stress.

“She seems weak.” The man in the suit commented.

“S-she is just nervous.” The father answered tensely. He then pinched the girl’s arm hard from behind and glared at her. Reminding her about the thread he had left behind in the elevator. Cold sweat slowly trailed down from her cheek and her eyes widened in dread. Her body was stoned in fear looking at her father’s enraged face. Sobs slipped from her tiny mouth and tears piled up at the corner of her eyes. 

Until the man in the suit chuckled.

“It seems like you have trained your daughter well.” That’s not sarcasm. It’s sincere praise from the man’s mouth. He placed his head atop his palm and gestured to his bodyguards with his other hand to fetch the girl. 

But before the bodyguards could take (y/n) away, her father placed his arm atop her shoulder and stopped the bodyguard from approaching them. (y/n) jumped in surprise and the interaction makes her body tense. She didn’t dare to look up at her father, she lowered her head and stared at her feet. Even inside a fully air-conditioned room, her body kept sweating until it drenched her dress. 

‘He’s going to hit me, he’s going to hit me, he’s going to hit me, he’s going to hit me, he’s going to-’ 

“How could you just take my daughter like that?” 

His words attracted everyone’s attention, even (y/n)’s. She quickly lifted her head to look at her father while disbelieving at what she had just heard. 

‘Am I dreaming? Father just acknowledges me… does that mean he’s changed? D-did father changed? Does that mean we could be a normal family again?’ A smile weakly bloomed at her tiny face, faith, and hope flooded inside her heart, grateful that her prayer was finally answered. But little did she know that their next conversation will soon crush her. 

“You didn’t know how tiring to train her to be like this. I wouldn’t give her for free.” 

Her smile immediately dropped.

 

What?

 

The man in the suit silently pondered his words before agreeing with him. 

“You’re right, she is a very valuable asset based on your description. I have a very high expectation of this girl so it’s normal for you to receive something in return.” A sly smile like a fox decorated his face. 

 

What is he talking about?

 

He walked to a safe that was hidden behind a painting. Opening it, there’s only a black suitcase inside. He took the suitcase out and then placed it atop his desk and opened it, revealing a huge stash of money filling up the whole case.

Her father’s face bloomed in delight, he quickly walked to the desk before shoving her daughter behind, making her fall at her back. Without even looking back, he quickly took the suitcase and counted the money inside of it.

 

What’s happening? 

 

“... this is all for me right.” Bewildered, he asks the suited man.

“Yes, this is a part of our deal.” 

 

Papa? 

 

Greed wrote all over his wrinkled face, he closed the suitcase and took a last glance at his daughter’s face. There’s no remorse, no pity, or regret. His face instead screamed delight. 

As for (y/n), she was faced with the horror of her father. Her sole family member besides her brother is currently selling her. Her body was sagging, her whole muscle seemed to vanish. She couldn't believe her hearing… 

“P-papa… ???” 

“Huh? Who are you? I don’t have a daughter.” 

 

No… no no no no no no no no no.

 

He is selling her. She is then quickly dragged by bodyguards to the elevator behind, but the girl makes a fight with her tiny body. She scratched, yelled, and cried, denying the fact she is facing right now.

“PAPA! D-DON’T LEAVE ME! PLEASE! I-I-I WILL BE GOOD, I WON’T CRY ANYMORE! I WILL DO WHATEVER YOU WANT! PLEASE D-DON’T LEAVE ME!” The girl screamed in desperation. 

But her father, no, Daisuke Andou didn’t even bother to look at her for the last time. 

He was simply smitten by the money he was embracing right now.

“PAPA! PLEAsE-” A piece of cloth then shoved inside her mouth, making her gag. Her arm was pinned behind and unable to fight back, she was helplessly taken away from the room. Staring at her father with tearful eyes, the six years old girl couldn’t believe what he had just done to her.



This is a lie, right?

Chapter Text

Hello everyone! Thank you for still reading my story until now ^^ It brings me joy that many were enjoying my story. Though I know I may have many flaws in my writing technique, I hope the story that I deliver could still bring some entertainment for all the readers.

Now now, this is not a sad announcement, I'm not going to discontinue this book. I just want to tell everyone that I have some change of plans for this work. 

 

So this is my 1st idea in December when I first release the chapters:

Draft 1: Concept

The names are just examples and if you look at the draft I made yesterday, the story would be reeeeaalllyyy complicated (for me). So, for the sake of my sanity, I decided to only pick 2 or 3 routes. Aether is 100% the main route because he's the main character in the game after all. As for the others, it's more like an alternate story.

So, I will do some revisions for the previous "Nightmare" Chapter and changed it to

"(Diluc) Nightmare" and post another one that's aligned to the main route after this announcement. 80% of the nightmare plot is about MC's past, so I will only post MC and Aether's interaction so readers don't have to re-read the same story. 

(Sorry for the inconvenience).

 

(Edit: I decided to take down that chapter instead, it will confuse the reader later if I kept it. Sorry everyone :"))

Draft 2: Routes

SO, sorry for the change of plan, and I will edit most of the tags of this story. Sorry for disappointing readers with these changes. For now, Diluc and Childe have their route set (Still pondering with Zhongli). 

Each time I make a title like: "(Name) Title Name"

That means it's an alternate route. (I hope I explain it well... 0-0;;)

 

There's a chance some other characters will get their route IF I know what plot I could apply to them. 

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Why tf did I decide to write such a troublesome plot????

Is that because I'm in the middle of my holiday when I post this, and because I'm bored to death at that time, I just post a story online on impulse??? (ಥ_ʖಥ)

 

The past me are so naive. ༼ಢ_ಢ༽

Chapter Text

Blinding light entered the girl’s peripheral vision as she slowly woke up from her short slumber. Her head stung from pain and a groan escaped from her bruised lips.

3 months, 17 days, 04 hours, and 44 minutes. 

She had been confined inside this facility for that long. She was used as a test subject and was forced to undergo much barbaric training. Her tiny body will receive many fresh wounds every day, she eats supplements and pills instead of proper food. Her body was beyond exhausted but her mind prevented her from taking any proper rest. Maybe because she’s too traumatized by the training… or maybe because her mind always stays alert? She didn’t know… she’s so tired she can’t think, her vision is all blurry and hazy. She wants to sleep but she can’t… so hungry and so sleepy… so tired…

(y/n) cannot get in contact with her father no matter how hard she begs, all of her action was monitored, cameras all over her small square confinement. 

Quiet sobs came out from her throat, she closed her mouth with her rough hands to stifle the sounds from the guards outside her confinement.  

‘Papa… Naoki… I’m so scared….’

She couldn’t accept this fate, she believes that one day, perhaps, her father will take her back. To their home.

 

“*Hiks*...” 

 

Suddenly a loud bang came from the door and startled the girl, two-man in black entered the room to bring her out for her daily “training”. Without speaking a single word, the girl obediently rises from her bed to follow the two men, she stands in the middle of them while being escorted.

She wipe her teary eyes with her sleeves while bracing herself for another torture she would face today. She couldn’t cry in front of them, or she would get beaten. She tried to dry her wet eyes so she wouldn’t get scolded yet her chest which is filled with overwhelming emotions makes it harder for her to stop crying. 

Walking on the empty corridor, her sobs echoed throughout the building. It’s useless to suppress it because no matter how hard she tries/how silent she tried to, it will echo, but she still bit her lips trying her best not to let a sound slip. 

After minutes of walking, they finally arrived at a room. Atop the metal door, a large number 12 was displayed. She then pushed inside the room that was similar to the place she was in yesterday before the large metal door behind sealed her from escaping. Across her, another metal door slowly opens, revealing a monstrosity creature ready to set loose. Its eyes were glowing red, and the sounds of dripping saliva from its giant mouth gave (y/n) a warning.

A warning that it will eat her.

The monster’s head looked like a lion's, and its body was like the wolf's. Its sharp claws claw the floor and a loud heavy growl reverberate through its furry neck. It looks agitated, like a dog that caught rabies. It kept struggling with its leashes and tried to run rampant immediately. 

(y/n)’s body shook in fear, her eyes dilated, she clenched her teeth to suppress her scream. She knew ‘they’ were watching her somewhere… ‘They’ are always there, everywhere. So she has to do her best to impress them, or she will face punishment. 

They didn't give her any kind of weapon to use, so the only way she could defend herself is by fist. Raising her trembling fist, she took the stance they taught months ago. 

She has to do it.

It’s not her first time doing this, but no matter how many times she did this training, she couldn’t help but shake in fear and terror when facing a grade three cursed spirit. It’s fierce like a wild beast, and it’s also too strong for a fragile girl like her. They shouldn’t do this to her, it’s too inhumane. But they did what they did either way.

A sudden buzz was heard from all the corners of the room, it was the signal from them to release the spirit.

The spirit is now more agitated as the minutes' pass. It's now letting out loud barks and growls that stoned the girl in fright. Her body is paralyzed- no, petrified.

The spirit was then released after they secured the metal door behind so the monster wouldn’t escape from the room. She swallowed her saliva hard, her chest beating so hard she could feel it to her ears. 

Silence hung heavy in the air and not one single sound could be heard in the room. They stared at each other for minutes, waiting for the other to attack first. 

The silence broke when the spirit quickly dashed to her, opening its wide jaw revealing its sharp fangs that could shred her. Hard and heavy thumping from its mad dash petrifies the girl. She needs to run- no, she needs to dodge it, but her feet are nailed on the floor. 

Tears soaked her face, her body tremored. 

The spirit is only a few feet away from her, 

 

‘It's going to tear me apart.’

 

‘What should I do?’

 

‘I need to run.'

 

‘I have to escape.’

 

‘I don’t want to die.'

 

‘I want to live.’

 

‘I-’

 

“(-n). (y/n)! Wake up!” 

(y/n) had escaped from her nightmare, but her mind is still a mess. Dream and reality seemingly mixed up in her vision and confused her greatly. Two blurry silhouettes are beside her looking like a mixed watercolor in her eyes, in reflex, she screams.

“Do-DON’T TOUCH ME!” She hysterically tried to push the person away from her, but because she was just awake from her nightly torment, her body felt so weak and listless that she wouldn't be able to move the men’s body more than a couple of meters away from her. 

Her breathing becomes increasingly unstable as the past memory slowly seeps into her mind. Horror and terror drown on her bringing back those unpleasant feelings to her senses, her body shakes and her pupils dilated. She wants to hide, she wants to curl up and disappear. 

“(y/n), look at me.” A hand touches her cheek gently, but she flinches from it. The person’s hand slightly withdrew from her face when he saw her unusual reaction but still determined to comfort her, he continued to slowly try to get close to the girl. “No one's gonna hurt you as long as I’m here.” He cups her cheeks gently, raising her head to look at his golden one. “You don’t need to worry about anything anymore, you won’t be alone anymore, I will be right there for you.” 

His words vaguely enter her hearing, and yet it manages to touch her heart. Her body stops shivering, and her tense body slowly relaxes under his touch. Pressing her cheek deeper into the man’s palm, she lets out a satisfied sigh.

‘It’s warm…’ 

She closes her eyes and baths herself in the sensation of his thumb that’s dotingly rubbing one of her cheeks. His familiar scent gives comfort to (y/n). Slowly opening her lidded eyes, she raises her lips slightly. 

“... Thanks, Aether.”

 

 

________________________

It was late at night. Everyone is already sound asleep inside their room. The tavern was very quiet inside out, and only the sounds that could be heard were gentle snores that were coming out from a few rooms. Until…

“NOOO!” 

A scream that came from the other room startled Aether from his sleep. Still half-asleep, he slowly raises his body while rubbing his eyes while anticipating another scream. After a minute of silence, he thought he may have just misheard something like a scream. So he went back to his bed to continue his rest before he heard a familiar voice from beside his room.

 

“-ON’T…. CLOSER! PLEASE….” The voice is still muffled, but it’s loud enough for Aether to hear the pleas. And it belonged to (y/n). 

Dread poured into his body like cold water, his drowsiness quickly fades away as anxiety rose sharply inside his chest. He jumped out quickly out of his bed and startled Paimon who was still sleeping soundly beside him before. He ran as fast as he could to the other room and banged the door in a panic. 

“(Y/N)! Are you alright? Open the door!” 

There’s no reply from the girl, making him even more anxious. Is she being attacked? Are there assassins? Or maybe Fatui is here to harm her? 

Negative thoughts came into his mind and filled him with even more anxiety. He tries to open her door but it’s locked. Amidst this, Paimon flew groggily to him. 

“What is this?? Why are you making such a fu-” She stopped at her words when she heard a plea for help inside (y/n)’s room. 

“... P-Paimon must have heard it wrong… right?” 

But not for Aether. He was livid. Her pleas sound clearer in his hearing. He never heard she’s like this before. She never sounds this broken. What is happening inside the room? 

He turns the handle but the door is locked. The scream inside is getting louder and louder, her voice sounds more broken as minutes pass. If he didn't get in there soon, she will- 

Taking a deep breath to calm his nerves, he continues to back away for a few steps from the door. 

 

“Stand back, Paimon.”

“Huh?”

 

BRAK!

 

He kicked the door open.

Paimon is so surprised by his action and immediately goes speechless. But she came to her senses when she heard another pained scream. 

"NO! Please, do- DON’T! Don’t leave me alone, please! Please!” (y/n) in her bed squirming as if she was in pain. Her eyes were shut but words came out from her mouth. She was in a nightmare. 

Aether rushes into her room and quickly calls her name. He tries so hard to wake her up but it makes her scream even worse. 

‘This isn’t a normal nightmare’ He thought. It’s more like a trauma.

Her reaction seems as if she had suffered from it before, repeating trauma whenever you close your eyes. Dreamworld seems more akin to a torture chamber. A terrifying place where you always reopen your old wounds. 

When he first awakens from his 500 years of slumber, it also happens to him. His dream keeps repeating the moment when his sister was taken away by the Unknown God before his eyes. Those few weeks when he regains consciousness are so exhausting to the point he thinks that having no sleep is better than being reminded of that painful past. 

And now it happens to (y/n)

Out of all the people he knew, why must it be her? 

“(y/n) open your eyes!” He shakes her body but her body shakes violently instead. Aether now in distress of how he could awake (y/n) without causing her more agony. But seeing her cry even in her dream caused him indescribable pain. So he has no choice but to wake her up and end the dream that is tormenting her. 

“Please, (y/n)! (y/n), wake up!” 

She finally opens her eyes. But the light inside her orbs is so dim that Aether couldn’t believe that despair could be shown from her usually bright eyes. Reaching out to her face, he tries to soothe the girl’s pain away, but she still hasn't come back to reality yet.

“Do-DON’T TOUCH ME!” (y/n) backs away from Aether, arms shaking, body curled up like a child, and eyes dilated staring at Aether like prey would look at its predator. Her breath slowly became rapid, and if Aether didn’t act fast, she would suffer from hyperventilation. Aether gulps in nervousness, he isn't sure if this is the right move but he’s determined to comfort her. He wants to soothe her pain away, he hates seeing the girl’s in pain. 

“(y/n), look at me.” He touched the girl’s wet cheeks with his ungloved hand. (y/n)’s body visibly flinched from his touch, he was taken aback by her reaction. His heart stings looking at the girl’s state. He gingerly brings his palm to her cheeks and tenderly caresses it. Even if (y/n) is still on high alert of his presence, he still continues to solace her. And thankfully it works. 

She’s now calmer and her breath wasn’t as violent as before. She seems to accept his presence and even indulge herself with it. Relieved to see the girl is now calmed, he made a promise for both himself and (y/n). 

“You don’t need to worry about anything anymore, you won’t be alone anymore, I will be right there for you.”  

 

I will always be there for you, I promise.

Chapter Text

Hello, this is Fleury. I want to tell everyone that I will take a few weeks of hiatus. My school is getting busier and 2.6 will be released soon, so I want to use my remaining free time to indulge myself with the game.

I'm sorry because of my selfish reason I took a hiatus TvT

I will come back for maybe two or three weeks, I'm sorry if it's too long but I want to pull for Ayato and spoil him rotten with all of my resources 。゚(゚´Д`゚)゚。

Blame everything on this man/jk

ANYWAY, good luck to everyone who's pulling for Ayato/Ayaka/Venti!!!

 

Edit (14 May 2022):

Hello, sorry for not updating for so long x-x I never thought I would get really busy right after Hoyoverse updated 2.5, I'm on my 2nd semester after all and lots of tests and assignments piling up after another. And I don't think I can update yet because I'm in the middle of an exam for a month (because it's a project-based exam). Another reason why I can't update is that I burn out x-x

It's horrible, I can't find any motivation or inspiration for my genshin chapters, I can update it weekly but I know it wouldn't be a good chapter since I didn't have any motivation to do so. I will update a new chapter when I can in the future, thank you for the support up until now ^^