With finally leaving Zhongli behind, she could focus on her real mission: Qingxin flowers. Since it already was morning, might as well use the sunlight to climb some mountains and stone piles in the hopes of finding some.
Today wasn’t a special day, no, but she made it her mission to leave Xiao flowers occasionally. She didn’t want to be tracked down by him, so she scattered them throughout Wangshu Inn, where Xiao residence is. Also, some other places he frequently visits, which she already memorized in her head. Most of these places were isolated from the public, only leaving someone with a peak of light in the direction of the city, inviting someone to speculate about the strangest thing that this tiny light could be. Xiao has some great spots to rest but since she didn’t want to interrupt his peace, she made it clear to make a big turn around his spots.
Unless, like today, she is picking Qingxin flowers to leave them there. At the mountain top, the air is thin, small and steady breaths were the only option here. But that wasn’t a bad thing. Being up this high the air felt like a new beginning, refreshing, and preparing you for a new adventure. The breeze might be too cold for some fellas, but not her. It was just right. With the sun hugging the stone pillars and the cranes flying into the sky to swallow the sun’s gesture even more, it was just comfortable being up here in this early hour. She used her glider to glide from one top to another, picking up one flower after another, until she hit the bottom and fell into the shallow water. She didn’t mind her feet getting wet, instead, she kneeled right next to it and formed a tiny dent in her hands. With that, she put it into the freezing water, delighted at the touch. She was drinking like she hasn’t seen a droplet of water for days. Truth to be told, the situation of yesterday and this morning did take a toll on her. But nothing is more worth than Xiao’s content and happiness and since Zhongli was a part of it, she would save him over and over again if that’s what it takes. Now she was looking into the bright sky.
That doesn’t make sense. She thought. Morax is a god, how come any sort of poison would put him in such a condition? And what herbs did I use yesterday to help?
All these questions she had were lying in front of her like a pile of dirty laundry that she had no intention of doing any time soon. She didn’t have nor seek the answers to those questions. She was just curious. Nothing to put her mind into it. She looks at her bag. Some Qingxins are curiously putting their head out of the bag as if they wanted to go on an adventure as well. In her eyes, they still weren’t enough but since she needs to cook today and still hasn’t got the goods for it yet, she decided to pay Wangshu Inn a visit. This, in all honesty, is something that is very hard for her to accomplish. She doesn’t like humans and hates social interactions. But the thought of Xiao maybe being content or even smiling was all worth it. So, her destination was clear.
Passing by trees after trees, she lets her arms loose and touches each of them for a second when passing by, as giving them some love and appreciation for their beauty. The sun kept shining and it seems like it would be for a while since no clouds were to be seen. Seems like even they didn’t want to interrupt this peaceful day in Liyue with their presence.
After a good while, when the sun hit her zenith, she finally made it into the city. You could hear children laughing, running around with no care for the world and its possible dangers. Merchants bargain about the newest shipments and some others just taking a stroll on this beautiful day. A very average day for Wangshun Inn. She was sure not to run into Xiao. He disliked mortals or at least avoided them as much as possible, so she took a deep breath to put her mind at ease. She can do this. She walked over to the nearest shop and stood in line, waiting for it to be her turn. Meanwhile, she looked around. The water wheel was roaring in distance, putting all his might into supplying this city with power and water. The restaurant wasn’t opened yet, but you could see the local chef running around with her partner, a bear, behind her. Both carrying vegetables and big bags, probably filled with rice.
“Hello, young fella! How can I help you today?“
What a nice greeting.
“Three glasses of milk, one cup of sugar, and one cup of almonds please.”
She said in her best manner. The man was smiling, his big beard framing his yellow teeth and he turned around to get all the goods. “Seems like an almond tofu is in making, huh? For a special occasion?“ he asked to keep up the small talk. She wasn’t up for it. “No.” The board man looks flabbergasted but paid no further attention to her answer. A big paper bag was handed over. She tried her best not to spill anything and the man made sure she had everything set before taking his hands off her groceries. “Have a great day, M’lady.“ he waved at her before turning to the next customer.
From then on, she searched for a quiet place. She decided to go near the water. Not the fishing side, though. Any more human interaction would roast her brain. The water was in a lightish blue, clear of any sights of dirt. It mirrored the sky so well that some could think the world turned upside down for a second. What a beautiful scenery. This was most definitely the best place to think about Xiao and make his favorite dish. How did she know? She stalked the chef of the cuisine of Wangshu Inn for some while, counting which plates got where and found out that only the almond tofu once’s where those who never were eaten by anyone in public but always came back by the same waitress with an empty plate. It had to be Xiao. These thoughts were crossing her mind while she set up the portable stove, she got right into cooking. She didn’t want Xiao’s food to be could or disgusting, oh dear Archons. Therefore, she put in all her love and time into making the most delicious Almond Tofu Xiao has ever gotten. Every time she does cook for him, she will do this in hopes of making him feel at least a tiny bit better. Making sure the texture is just right, she completed the dish in no time. Her heart fluttered a bit of how well-done this dish became. She was a little proud of herself, but she wouldn’t dare to tell anyone. It's not like she has someone to talk to anyways.
Making the last arrangements, she put the portable stove back into her storage and made her way up to the highest place here, Xiao’s Residence. Looking at it from the bottom, it seemed like the tower was touching the sky barely, inviting someone to fly around with the clouds and dance with the birds in the winds. As astonishing as this might be, going up all the stairs was a little bit exhausting. She for sure could use the elevator but she refused to do so. She didn’t want to meet anyone and since the elevator is way more popular, the stairs it is. While the stairs were making her legs ache a bit, the view was just beautiful. It was so peaceful here. All thanks to Xiao, but no one knew. Without Xiao, this scenery would never be as beautiful as it is now. To her surprise, she was at the top earlier than expected. There were a few tables on the balcony for dining outside but since the restaurant is still closed, no one was using them. This was her chance. She put the plate with almond tofu on a table with only one seat, making sure Xiao would know that no one was waiting on someone and this dish just was sitting there alone, hoping for someone to ravish it with all its flavors. She was really hoping that Xiao would get the point. Satisfied with the way she fit the table, she got down one level to go to the reception desk. Last task for today.
“Hello there, how can I help you, Miss?” Vergoldet asked in a nice manner as always.
“Ah, I had a commission today that included getting these Qingxin, but I got way too many. I thought I could give them to you?” she lied, obviously, but there was no other choice. She didn’t want her cover to blow up. Verr Goldet lit up in a beautiful smile, making the other girl feel almost bad for her white lie.
“That is so nice of you! Thanks, sweetheart! I will put them right here at the desk so everyone can see those beautiful Qingxin! There are so hard to get!” she almost beamed with happiness and her smile just confirmed that. The gesture made her heart feel a little bit more at ease. She was up and ready to go but then she heard a voice behind her
“Oh, sweetie! Before I forget, what is your name? I shall tell anyone that this nice adventurer got me the most precious flowers of our country! “Though the question was innocent, she felt the tightness building in her chest.
“I have no name. Have a good day, Miss.”
And with that she made her leave, not listening to the attempted protest of the receptionist. It was all in vain anyway.