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agony and tears (and when you left me to suffer)

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"...Father?"

Choked sobs racked the red haired Ragnvindr son.

The delusion.

It killed him.

It killed his father.

"Why couldn't I do anything to stop it?..."

All Diluc could hear was white noise. A faint yell could be heard. Was it Kaeya? The Knights have arrived, he thinks.

As he looked down at his hands, bloody from holding his father and trying to stop his wounds from flowing with blood, crystal clear tears dropping onto his hands mockingly. How could tears be so insulting, he thinks.

Crepus died. Crepus died protecting him, protecting Mondstadt from Ursa the Drake. Diluc knew that. The Inspector of the Ordo Favonius on the other hand refused to acknowledge it.

The young calvary captain was engaging in a heated argument with Eroch, the Inspector.

"Ordo Favonius would lose all credibility if people were to find out that this incident had been settled by a mere business man. They wouldn't trust the Knights to protect them anymore."

That's when Diluc snapped. How dare they call his father just a mere business man? Do they not understand how Crepus potentially saved the whole of Mondstadt?

"Fine! Then don't consider me a knight anymore." Diluc ripped off his coat with pure anger and threw it to the ground. He yelled, "Don't you DARE forget that Mondstadt exists because of people like my father."

He stormed off, slamming the door behind him.

Diluc sighed, exhausted. His eyes red and swollen from grieving and crying over the death of Crepus.

'Father, is this a punishment? What did I do to deserve this?' he thought, tears threatening to spill again. Not in his whole life had he ever been so vulnerable as he was right now.

A gentle knock sounded on his bedroom door.

Diluc quickly dried his tears with his arm.

"Who is it?" he asked hoarsely.

"It's your brother Kaeya here."

The redhead Ragnvindr smiled subtly. "...Come in, Kae."

A creak of the door revealed his brother, still dressed in his knightly gear. It made Diluc grimace inwardly.

"...Hi, 'Luc."

His brother was uncharacteristically quiet. Never really a good thing.

Diluc sighed. "What's bothering you, Kae? You know you can tell me anything."

Kaeya tensed at how well Diluc read his body language. "I just," he practically whispered, "Master Crepu- Father. Father just died, and you are probably grieving, but- I just... need to get this off my chest... Every second I hide it from you I feel like I'm going to implode."

The last part was meant to be an attempt at lighthearted humour, but Diluc was too worried to notice and laugh at it.

Diluc stood up from his chair and walked over to his younger sibling. "Tell me what's wrong." His eyes held a soft concerned look for Kaeya. The navy haired knight wondered how long until that gaze would turn into hatred.

Kaeya didn't respond for a bit. Diluc was about to say something, when-

"..I.. think we should go outside."

Diluc followed Kaeya out of the Mansion's front door into the surrounding forest.

"Why do we need to be so far from the Manor, Kae?" Diluc tried to laugh but it came out strained.

Kaeya didn't return the laugh. He looked at Diluc solemnly. "Diluc."

"...Yes, Kaeya?"

Kaeya looked like he was about to break down then and there.

"Please," his voice cracked, "promise me that no matter what, you'll never leave me."

Diluc looked at Kaeya with surprise. Kaeya had never been one to show a lot of emotions other than sarcasm and mock anger. His expression morphed into kindness. "Of course. I'll always be by your side, baby brother."

Kaeya tried to smile at Diluc, even if he didnt look fully convinced that Diluc meant what he had said.

"Diluc... Basically," Kaeya inhaled shakily, "I- I'm a spy. From Khaenri'ah, long story short. I've lied to you for my whole life living here in Mondstadt. I was abandoned as a kid by my father to spy for them. The- the whole weight of my homeland was on my shoulders, Diluc..."

Diluc couldn't think clearly. This is just a sick joke, right? Right?

Kaeya continued, tears forming at his eyes. "I don't know whether to choose Mondstadt or Khaenri'ah, Diluc." he whispered.

"Bring out your sword." Diluc said blankly.

Kaeya let out a noise of shock. "What?-"

Before Kaeya could finish his sentence, a fire lit claymore came swinging towards him. He barely dodged it, the flames licking the side of his cheek barely.

Kaeya fell to the ground.

Standing in front of him was Diluc Ragnvindr, holding his blazing claymore. In his jasper coloured eyes were a mix of betrayal, fury, and sadness mixed together in one.

Kaeya whimpered, "'Luc-"

He narrowly missed a strike to his shoulder as the weapon came swinging down.

"Do NOT call me that, you TRAITOR." frustration seethed through Diluc's heartless words.

Kaeya scrambled to get up, materialising his sword just in time to block an incoming attack from his brother (?). An allogene against a visionless.

Diluc shouted, "Father took you in! He gave you shelter, food, and a loving home to live in! Do you not feel any remorse? Lying to ALL of us the whole of my life?!"

Sword and claymore clashed again, the fire slowly eating away at the unprotected metal of Kaeya's sword.

"I feel guilty! Why wouldn't I?! F- Master Crepus was like another father to me, Diluc! You are like a brother to me! Please, Diluc-" Kaeya's pleads were cut off.

"Don't call me your brother, you LIAR!"

Kaeya's sword was knocked out of his hands, and he fell to the grassy ground again. He looked at Diluc in fear. His blistered and burnt hands gripped the grass tightly.

Diluc's claymore came flying down, Kaeya whispered out a silent apology. It was about to slice him clean in half when a shield of ice surrounded Kaeya in an instant. However it shattered right after serving its purpose.

Diluc looked at Kaeya with complete disgust and confusion.

Kaeya looked down to a growing frost on his left hand. A vision.

A cryo vision, at that.

The Tsaritsa was mocking him. So very clearly. Kaeya started crying.

.

Diluc looked at his injured brother(?) lying on the burnt grassy field. What.. did he just do? He panicked. Oh no no no no no no, I did this-

The redhead dropped his claymore to the ground. Kaeya hates me. I made my only family left hate me. I hurt him. Diluc covered his face to not show he was on the verge of sobbing. Instead, he ordered Kaeya to leave. That he was banished from Dawn Winery. A pathetic way to hide your concern for a sibling. Pathetic. I am pathetic.