"Ad astra abe–"
"Can I please just get my rewards, Katheryne?"
Aether winced and tried his best not to shiver in fear as Katheryne shot him a smile laced with killing intent. As much as he wants to be polite to brunette, he's too exhausted for any kinds of mortal conversation right now.
He clenched his fists as he remembered how awful his commissions for the day was.
> > Emergency! Fight a Ruin Guard in Mondstadt.
The blond mentally cried as he remembered being smacked by the spinning arms of the Ruin Guard. Stupid robot. Should've stayed in Khaenri'ah instead of parading around like they own the world or something.
Now, he's starting to understand why The Seven destroyed that nation... if they didn't, Khaenri'ah would've probably created more Ruin bastards–
> > Straight to the Heart in Dragonspine.
That would probably be easier if only he's not literally freezing to death. Should've brought Amber–oh, right... she's not available for today.
The blond wished that he brought Bennett or even Master Diluc with him–
Why is he even doing commissions in Dragonspine? Who's sadistic enough to send poor adventurers there?
He glanced at the woman who's crossing her arms at him, waiting for an apology before she gives him his rewards, and cringed.
"Definitely Katheryne. There's no doubt about it. She's the only sadistic one who would do it." The blond thought, completely horrified at the possibilities that the brunette was intentionally sending him to Dragonspine just to suffer.
He just shook his head to clear the image before sighing mournfully, wondering why didn't Venti just flattened Dragonspine like what he did to Mondstadt...
That cheeky Archon is probably too lazy to do it. That bastard.
> > For the Harbingers! in Liyue.
That one kinda amused Aether at first. But then, he got a kick to the gut from Childe's electro lackey...
And lastly, > > Escort the Transport Balloon in Inazuma.
The most freaking annoying one.
The blond nearly abandons that commission because it was too difficult and too annoying for him to do. Much difficult than before because he only did it by himself.
With no one to help him...
"Please give me my reward...?"
The blond ducked his head when Katheryne just raised an eyebrow at him as she crossed her arms to her chest. She stares at him blankly for a moment before sighing and just handing his rewards, "I hope that this won't happen again, Aether."
Aether raised his head and grins sheepishly at the now concerned brunette, "I'm just too tired for any kinds of conversation, Katheryne. I'm sorry, it won't happen again."
Finally, Katheryne starts smiling again as she patted the blond's head before letting the other leave.
Upon being permitted to leave, Aether released a sigh of relief as he finally finished all his commissions for the day and collected the rewards from Katheryne.
The blond tried to keep a pained whimper from coming out of his mouth as the piercing pain of his bruised abdomen distracted him for a moment.
Damn that Fatui, Aether thought viciously.
It has been such a hectic day for the blond. Much hectic than before since his companion and guide decided to ditch him for a taste-test session with Xiangling.
He doesn't mind that she's with Xiangling, of course. But it would be better if someone's with him while he's suffering from finishing those stupid commissions.
The blond sighs, wondering if he should head towards the cathedral to get healed by Barbara, or just ignore his injuries and head straight home.
Thinking about the amount of effort and energy that he would have to exert just to reach the cathedral–
The blond laughed dully before retrieving his teapot from his inventory. Disregarding any thoughts about getting some healing from Barbara. If he's lucky enough, maybe Qiqi was in his teapot today. Or even Jean, if she's not that busy.
As he activated his teapot, no matter how many times he watched it, he can't help but still looked at it in awe as the smoke immediately surrounds him and sucks him in the teapot.
The moment he opened his eyes, a magnificent mansion greets him. A large amount of dogs and cats immediately ran towards him the moments they saw him.
He just laughed happily as he petted each of his pets' head while walking towards the entrance of the mansion. Before entering, he nodded in respect at the ever vigilant Teapot Spirit that guards his home.
Upon entering the mansion, loud arguing immediately caught his attention. Worried, the blond rushed towards the room where the loud arguments came from.
Aether immediately knows something is amiss when he steps into the dining room of his mansion and everyone stops their argument to stare at him. He looked at them awkwardly before glancing down at himself to see if there's something wrong with him other than his injuries. Upon seeing that everything seems to be normal, he walked towards the unclaimed chair and sat awkwardly, feeling everyone's stare on his person.
When Aether raised his head to look at his visitors, they are still frozen in the same way from moments ago.
"Is everything okay?" Aether asks nervously, sipping the tea that Keqing gave him carefully, “Oh...! This tea is pretty good!”
Ganyu, who's sitting beside him, smiled softly, "That's the latest batch of Lady Ningguang's favorite tea. I'm glad that you like it."
The blond just hummed in contentment. The soft noise seems to jar everyone else out of a trance and most of them stares at him intensely. Which kind of creeps him out to be honest.
Not willing to be one-up by anyone, Beidou decided to take the lead and starts the conversation.
Aether looked at the frowning woman warily while sipping his tea, wondering the reason as to why they are a bit fidgety today, "Can I help you?"
Beidou just looked at the blond solemnly. She stood up and held his shoulders down with both hands and speaks to him in a commanding tone.
"Aether," the raven-haired woman said slowly. "will you marry Kazuha?"