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The Freedom of War, the Bow of the Adeptus

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Ganyu had been at the Archon War. She had paid witness to Havria’s death from afar, she had watched in fear as Morax threw mighty pillars of stone from the sky.
She had seen gods be struck down by arrows of light and feather, and had seen the roar of justice prevail over corrupt gods.
She had seen Xiao’s forced descent into insanity, his friends going insane or killed in the line of duty.
But most importantly, she had seen the blood of gods streaming down the smallest god’s arms.
Beautiful hair of blue and black, eyes of the greenest forests. The laugh of an angel, and pure white wings to match.
Such a shame the white was oft marred by dirt or blood, as he struck down god after god with his arrows, unblinking and uncaring as he ended the life of an immortal.
Ganyu did not often speak of her memories, as the war was something she would care to forget. The seemingly endless bloodshed, displays of power, and bloodcurdling screams were something she often had to force away with herbs more expensive than she’d like to admit.
When she did, she often described the god of freedom.
“What? The fool whom abandoned Monstadt to their own devices?” Ningguang would ask incredulously. “He has nothing to offer, and I am sure he was a supporting character in the Archon War. Every child is taught that the mighty Rex Lapis, god of war, was a major player, not some foolish god of freedom.”
“My lady, that foolish god is who I learned my weapon skills from,” Ganyu replied quietly. “I modified my form, as I could never adapt to the sideways shooting he had, but for the most part, he taught me. On the days of momentary peace, when he would find me attempting to slay hilichurls, he would teach me. He knew that the weapons of choice of most other archons were not ideal, and helped.”
“Ganyu, why did you never tell us this? You know, most of us forget your true age. The only tell is your horns, honestly. I mean, we never knew you were so close to Barbatos.” Keqing would add.
“He had the highest kill count,” Ganyu said, her voice barely over a whisper. “I did not fear him, I did not love him, I did not worship him. To me, he was just another soldier, hopefully not another body. I respect him. Instead of becoming a god of war, he chose freedom. I chose to work. Xiao chose to kill. Rex Lapis chose to lead. Baal chose to dictate.”
Ningguang bowed her head silently.
Keqing covered her mouth- she typically ignored stories of the Archons, preferring the story of mortals. Hearing about the worst war in Teyvat history from someone who was there for it was horrid.
Ganyu sighed. “He was, however, incredulous when he saw me thousands of years after, Cryo Vision on my hip. He asked me to shoot for him, to see if I had improved. When I struck down a Lawachurl from 2,000 feet directly through the eye, he hugged me. And then he cried. ‘Never use that skill unless you must. Do not fight a war if you can stop it,’ he told me. And thus, he left. It seems there is a certain freedom in war,” Ganyu said as she remembered her time before.
Red skies, full of flying birds, pink clouds. The night, full of stars, planets, the moon. It was beautiful, and she wished to leap amongst the blue clouds like her fellow adepti.
The battlefields afterwards, flowers springing up around fallen demons and gods.
The ocean, bluer than the sky and deeper than Havria’s love for her people.
Rex Lapis as his arms lit up with the power of Geo. The roar of Azhdaha as he felled many a soldier.
The enormous dust cloud as Khaneri’ah fell.
The horrible display in the sky as they shot a mechanical weapon of hatred at Barbatos, hitting him with precision learned only through years of practice with the bow.
And then, the war was over. She spent eons in the woods, away from humanity, reclaiming herself and practicing the bow.
And then, Ningguang. Keqing. Beidou. Hu Tao. Zhongli. Yaoyao.
She smiled. The ice of her bow had stalled wars.
Ganyu hoped Barbatos was okay.