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It was no secret within the wall of Liyue Harbor that a certain member of Fatui was ‘infatuated’ with a certain traveler. Talks about how the man was often seen around the girl, by accident or not, had been spreading from mouth to mouth. It was reaching the point where even the wise Wangsheng Funeral Parlor’s consultant got the wind of it and gave his opinion when questioned.

“The traveler and the young man from Snezhnaya? Many states that they have been seeing the two walking together around the city and I must say that I, too, have run into them a couple of times. Things beyond that, however, are yet to be proven.”

But it was still something, and an approval from the renowned consultant was enough to incite the citizens to cook up juicier talks. And talks turned into another round of rumors, and rumors, for the better or worse, were always managed to get into the ears of the subjects; Childe and Lumine.

The latter would always try to correct the word with ‘obsessed’ whenever the question about the man’s proximity with her was pitched into the conversation. She also insisted that the man was simply a ceaseless sparring partner and occasional, if not frequent, money bag for Paimon’s bottomless stomach. But Liyue Harbor citizens knew better, and they knew very well how there was always this specific shift of air whenever they were together.

Ying’er called it ‘romantic tension’ and the rest agreed with her that it was, indeed, a romantic tension. It was just so unfortunate that the traveler was unbelievably oblivious to that. To think about it, their case was different from how it was with Vlad and Nadia; in which both somehow managed to be aware, acknowledged each other’s advances, and proceeded further. But still, the citizens would gush with covered smiles and threw secretive glances at the two whenever they were seen together on the street.

Hopefully, their beloved traveler and this Fatui Harbinger would have the same development as Vlad and Nadia did.

Unfortunately, those not-so-secretive glances and hushed whispers got mistranslated by Lumine. The citizens were not aware that she was experienced enough to notice stares followed by whisperings to each other whenever she and Childe walked together. Was it a suspicion that they had on her, specifically, or was it merely curiosity on why they were walking together leisurely after he tried to summon an ancient god?

Thankfully, the former was just a part of her cautious mind kicking in because it was then proven when Lumine was playing pirate with the three kids in a ship. Little Lulu tugged on her dress before she could jump out of the ship to the dock after she finished her role as the pirate. Looking at that curious gaze, Lumine could not help but listen to what she wanted to say.

The girl pointed in a direction and asked, “Is he your boyfriend, Lumine-jie?”

Lumine’s smile froze instantly when she realized the person Lulu pointed at was Childe. Thankfully, praise the Archons, the man was too busy talking with Paimon to notice the pointing and too far away to hear the question.

“No,” her reply was immediate, firm, but it was pretty embarrassing too since the boys now stopped their play to focus on her answer, “he’s not my, uh, boyfriend.”

“Oh,” Lulu sounded dejected, and Lumine could not decide if it was a bad thing or not. “But Ying’er-jie said—”

“What is a boyfriend, Lulu?” Fei cut in.

“Yeah, what is a boyfriend?”

The girl turned to them, frowning. “Ssshh! Lulu is trying to find out!”

Yeah, it was merely curiosity. Harmless curiosity. But why, of all things, did it have to be something about that? For all Lumine knew, the citizens could wonder if she was going to join the Fatui with how Childe glued to her most of the time. They could, really, but apparently, talks about love and stuff about romance were more interesting.

And it was not as if Lumine could not see it herself. A young woman and a man spending time together, walking around the city, and having meals together almost every day could only mean one thing. The two Fatui members guarding the bank were often seen doing those things and it took her no time to figure out their circumstances.

But this was her. And Childe.

Love was certainly beyond his battle-filled head.

“Ying’er-jie said that he’s in… infu…?”

“Infuriating?”

“In-fat-u-at-ed,” Lulu spoke slowly, broke down the syllables of what seemed too big of a word for children, "with you, jiejie.”

A sigh. “More like an obsession to fight…”

“What is obess.. ob-ses–”

“Nothing! Nothing, really.”

Lumine quickly wrap it up and jumped off the ship, leaving the young girl confused. Paimon and Childe were still talking—or bickering—so she guessed it should be okay to leave them for a bit more. A certain perfume shop’s owner would have to explain things she just heard from the girl.

At least that was the plan, so Lumine did not expect to be roped into buying a perfume she certainly did not need with Ying’er insisting that “A charming scent might spark something more than just a romantic tension.”

“Tension,” Lumine corrected, eyeing the clear bottle of perfume rather warily, “there’s no romance or anything like you all have been talking about.”

There were only invitations for sparring and more of him inviting himself to join her daily commissions. Sometimes, with the number of times Childe had tagged along on her outing, she found herself wondering if his job as a Harbinger in Liyue had ended with the Geo Archon’s gnosis obtained.

Well, it was none of her business.

“So you’ve heard about the rumors.”

“Am I not supposed to?”

“Who knows?” The woman winked, smiling knowingly as if she was certain of something. “Anyway, preparing for something in the future is never a bad thing, right? It’s not as if there’ll be any big loss in doing that.”

“Yeah, and you’ll get another thing to talk about with the other.”

“Oh, it’ll be a good one, I’m sure.”

Archons, this woman…

“Actually I’m more surprised at how everyone seems to be so casual about the fact that he almost drowned this city,” Lumine deadpanned. “What if Childe had another hidden agenda?”

Ying’er smiled and stared straight at her. “Well, we have you here.”

Lumine wanted to smack herself—of course. Jack-of-all-trades, the traveler from afar who saved the day, who accepted commissions ranging from fighting treasure hoarder to finding love signs; that was what she was. Not forgetting “the girl who kicked Harbinger’s ass”.

They really made it sound like it was as easy as breathing.

“Ma’am, Childe and I– We’re literally enemies,” Lumine wanted to massage her pounding head, but opted to give the perfume bottle a squeeze instead, “Archons, why?

Sure, romantic stuff always garnered an audience, Lumine got the logic, but the subject in this one being her and Childe was what could not be comprehended by her logic. It felt out of it, not that she never anticipated this kind of thing, but more like because they were enemies. They literally came from different sides and as far as Lumine knew, Liyue citizens had always been a bit wary of the Fatui, so—

“Enemies-to-lovers.”

There was a twitch on her hand that squeezed the glass bottle. Her inner thought came to a halt as Lumine blinked. “I’m sorry, enemies-to… what?”

Ying’er sighed and rested her chin on an open palm. “Oh dear, it’s a very famous romance trope in fiction novels. Jifang should’ve some books with that trope in her store.”

Did she hear it right?

“Fiction,” she repeated after a second of pause and a hard stare at the woman.

Ying’er nodded. “Fiction. This is all fiction, anyway.”

Lumine felt like she missed something in this whole conversation with Ying’er but could not put a finger on it. One thing for sure was that she made a big mistake by coming here. She should have just ignored what Lulu said and maybe she would not have to spend mora on something she did not want nor needed and have this conversation.

All of this was simply ridiculous.

“So you’re here!” A familiar high-pitched voice entered, disrupting Lumine from making another remark at Ying’er. “Paimon’s been looking for you! Why did you leave Paimon with him?!”

Paimon hovered around her, crossing her hands across her chest, and frowned. Lumine made a quick glance and could not find Childe anywhere around Paimon. “Childe isn’t with you, though?”

“He went to Granny Shan,” Paimon said as she flew out of the perfume store followed by Lumine. “Paimon doesn’t know why he wants to look at the toys, but one thing for sure is that he will pay for Paimon’s dinner tonight!”

Childe’s ginger-colored hair stood out amidst dark hair; a bit of autumn trapped inside, smooth coolness pronounced in languid gestures, frosty eyes hidden under the friendly front. It just occurred to her that even with what he had done, Liyue citizens still treated him fairly, friendly. Or maybe it was just Granny Shan.

“He spoils you too much,” Lumine said after a moment, an afterthought, while her eyes lingered seconds too long on the man who was greeting the elder.

“Have you ever thought that he could be doing that for something more than just spoiling Paimon?”

A nudge to her side came from Ying’er who looked more amused than how she was just a couple of seconds ago. Her eyes followed where Lumine’s gaze fell before sweeping back at her. A gleam flashed in there that felt suspicious the more Lumine try to decipher its meaning.

“Nope,” was all the traveler replied to the woman with, refusing to give in to the bait laid carefully under what sounded like an innocent question.

In all honesty, Lumine could try to imagine Childe’s reason for doing these things. She could. It was not hard to. But she did not want to and the reason was simple.

She did not want to catch any unnecessary feeling in a world foreign to her.

But even she could not deny that it had become a routine—returning to the city after one full day of doing commissions outside the harbor to be greeted by him somewhere around Chihu Rock’s main plaza. They would talk for a bit until Paimon’s stomach grumbled and then they would go to a restaurant. Most of the time, they would end up eating at Wanmin Restaurant, but sometimes Childe would drag her to Liuli Pavilion or Xinyue Kiosk.

Show off…

“Oh, don’t let me hold you back from your date,” Ying’er pushed her, chuckling lightly behind her hand. “Don’t forget what I told you about the perfume, now.”

Paimon gaped at Ying’er then at Lumine. “Date?!”

“Don’t mind it, Paimon,” Lumine pulled the pixie then turned to see Ying’er walking next to her. “And you are…?”

The woman smiled at her, eyes crinkled into crescent moons. “I have a promise to meet Jiangzhou at Third-Round Knockout. Don’t worry, I won’t interrupt you two.”

There was nothing to interrupt, really, and nothing to be worried about. She was just going to go get him before Paimon’s stomach protested and before the seat was all taken in whichever restaurant he decided to treat Paimon tonight.

Well, it went without saying that he would treat her too, but for once she wanted to pay for her own meal. Only once because she could never find the chance to pay her own share, be it to the restaurant or paying him back. Lumine did not know much about the custom in Liyue, or Snezhnaya in this case, but she did know that this was often done by a couple in a romantic relationship.

Maybe Ying’er was right. Maybe it had been a date all along.

...A friendly date.

Ying’er gave her a pat on the shoulders before meeting Jiangzhou while Lumine walked straight to Childe. He seemed to be deep in thought as he looked at some of the toys Granny Shan sold. There was a dragon kite in his hold and a collection of Rex Lapis-themed toys scattered across the table; stone dice, dragon-shaped wooden sword, dragon horn. Blue eyes stared intensely at the kite and Lumine wondered if he was not aware of her standing next to him.

“You want to buy toys?” she asked after moments of silence.

But it seemed that Childe was aware of her because then he answered her smoothly, “They’re for my younger siblings back at home. I’ve promised them to bring some souvenirs from Liyue and these toys look perfect.”

A hum was all that she replied to him before proceeding to look at the displayed toys. “It’s all Rex Lapis-themed.”

“Pretty cool, huh?” Childe laughed as he picked up a wooden sword. “Even after his death, the citizens still regard him highly.”

It oddly did not sound like sarcasm. More like a grumble and from that, Lumine wondered if Childe was still bitter over the Gnosis hunt fiasco. It was disastrous, not to mention that he awakened the ancient god Osial just for the Geo Archon leaving the whole ordeal in the capable hands of the Qixing.

“I had hoped it would never come to this, for the weak will be swept away in the process. Unfortunately, we cannot be picky about our methods as Fatui Harbingers.”

Duty first. Even back then with Teucer watching him, he still managed to get his works done even if that odd ‘toyseller’ front must be sounded outrageous to those new Fatui recruits. There was no speck of anything remotely close to romantic in everything involving Childe, only that one time after abusing his Foul Legacy that she saw him in his weakened state.

Yet, even so, it was not a romantic moment.

Lumine did not get that enemies-to-something Ying’er said earlier, nor would she try to comprehend it. She just hoped that Childe was not aware of all rumors about them—it would be embarrassing even both knew that was not the case at all.

“Well, he’s overlooked their city for countless years,” Lumine replied, glancing at him, “or are you sulking for not getting the Gnosis yourself?”

Childe laughed as he turned to her. “If I did, what would you do, hm?”

Nothing. She would do nothing. This was not the first time he asked this kind of question and that response from her would be the umpteenth time for him to receive. But then there was a stare, a prickly one stabbing her back and she immediately realize that what Ying’er said earlier about meeting Jiangzhou was not all there was to it.

They were being a spectator, seated on the front row, ready to formulate another round of gossip among the citizens.

If it’s a gossip that she wants…

Lumine would give it to her. Fueled purely by annoyance and, probably, spite.

So she stood on her tiptoes, a hand reached for his head then ruffled his hair.

“There, there. You did your best,” she said monotonously and heard a collective gasp and muffled squeal somewhere behind her. Taking a peek at the two women, Lumine could say she really gave them a good material as they were now whispering to each other, even roped in Zhiruo, the waitress of the tavern.

Lumine could sense another incoming full-blown headache from this round of gossip, but then again, Childe’s stunned expression was not something she could catch every day. Thank Archons Paimon was busy chatting with Granny Shan to witness such exchange or else the pixie would react so strongly the way she did when Ying’er said date earlier.

“So? Are you going to buy the toys or not?” Lumine asked, staring pointedly at the wooden sword in his hand as she pulled her hand away.

Childe blinked at her several times before going to Granny Shan wordlessly. Apparently, Childe just broke the record of Granny Shan’s toy sales for he bought so many things for reasons unknown to both Lumine and Paimon. It would be good if this became a gossip too; a Fatui Harbinger made a big purchase from a local toy seller to the point where he summoned his subordinates to bring them to his place.

“Childe really spends money as if it grows from trees,” Paimon shook her head, sighing in wonder when it would be her turn to spend so much on food like money did not matter.

“Splurging a bit for your siblings isn’t always a bad thing, is it? I missed last year’s Christmas so hopefully, those toys can compensate for it,” the man put the money bag back into his pocket. “And I see that I’m not the only one who made a purchase here.”

Her perfume. It was still held in her hand.

“Ying’er forced me to buy this,” she showed it to Childe which he took it. “You can have it if you want. Another souvenir from Liyue for your sis–”

But before she could finish her sentence, Childe put on the perfume on her, spraying it on her neck that got her jumping in surprise. The cold attack left her with wide eyes, got her throwing a glare at the culprit who smiled openly. “Why don’t you keep it? You bought it," he asked.

Lumine rubbed off the liquid from her neck—its scent was too strong to be applied anywhere too near to her nose, but then again, her sense of smell had been strong in the first place. “I never wear one. It wouldn’t be good to have something that can get me caught so it’d be better to give it to someone who would wear it.”

At least that was what Aether once told her. Having a nice scent would be good, but in her line of work, it would be better to have no distinguished scent that could be easily tracked. Years of journeying had taught her better to be stealthy even if it was not her strongest point. Perfume, no matter how pleasant it smelled, would be a no-no.

Childe cocked his head to the side, watching her silently before brushing away hair from her neck. Lumine froze, shoulders stiffening at the way he suddenly dove to her neck, taking a whiff of what was left of the perfume there.

“It’s sweet,” he said, hot breaths swept over her skin, almost setting her face ablaze. “You have a naturally sweet scent, but this suits you too, ojou-chan.”

Lumine was not sure of what to do; to simply shove him away or punch him for closing in without warning. She should have been able to anticipate it after numerous fights with him, but in her defense, the situation did not require that much of a guard.

But here he was catching her off-guard, and she could not blame him for it.

A shove away for more personal space would be good, and she was about to do it if not for another squeal arrived in her ears, sourcing from none other than Ying’er who milked on more gossip materials from this.

She really has fun in all this, isn’t she…

“Yeah?” Lumine leaned into Childe, hiding a roll of eyes at how it gave the women the view—fanservice, one might say—but failing to realize that there was practically no space spared between them. “You have this ocean-like scent. It’s refreshing.”

There was a chuckle resounding in her ears and then, voice dropped a beat lower, a reply, “Sounds like our scents mixed together would be good.”

Her body stiffened at what sounded to be too careless to be called a casual remark, mind swum back to replay what she just heard to make sure if she heard it correctly.

“Our scents together.”

That was a bold one, no?

Lumine pulled herself back, creases grew between her brows and lips turned into a trembling line. Slender arms crossed across the chest as seconds passed with her wordlessly staring at him and him watching her openly. Questions were swimming visibly in his gaze, somehow looking painfully innocent and more like confusion, but that was not enough to tone down the heat spreading her cheeks.

“Pervert.”

Then she walked away with Paimon, who was completely oblivious to their previous exchange and ignored a round of excited whispers coming from the women as Childe chased after her.

“O–Oi, ojou-chan–”

“Paimon said dinner will be on yours,” Lumine said without glancing back at him, “Liuli Pavilion sounds nice.”

Paimon flew in front of her. “But Paimon wants Xinyue Kiosk’s fullmoon egg and crystal shrimp!”

“We’ll get that too,” Lumine looked at Childe and smiled. “It’s all on the mighty Mr. Harbinger, right?”

The waitress at Xinyue Kiosk smiled at them after witnessing the sight of numerous takeout orders the group made. Lumine thought, then, if this would add to the rumor about them or would it generate another one without her featured inside. From what she could remember, Yueshu was acquainted with Jifang and all this would undoubtedly come to the ears of Ying’er.

Well, at this point, Lumine could only brush it off or entertain them further. Two could play this game and she knew it would become more interesting—Lumine against the citizens. What a farce.

Liuli Pavilion was, as usual, serving the best tianshu meat to the point where Paimon was asking for two more servings and Childe laughing nervously. The waiter continuously brought in dishes that covered the table surface and Paimon whooping in delight.

“I guess this isn’t really bad,” Childe said, carefully picking bite-sized meat with his chopsticks only for it to fall back to his plate.

“So far, your chopsticks skill has been unimpressive,” Lumine commented across him, skillfully using the pair of wooden utensils to eat her noodles.

“Not that,” the man sighed, “I mean this dinner.”

An eyebrow rose at his words. Surely this was just another dinner for them? Nothing was unusual from these getups—Paimon inhaling everything to her bottomless stomach, Childe struggling with his chopsticks, and Lumine eating the dishes (and appreciating its taste) leisurely.

But then, Childe continued, “This will be the last time, after all.”

A bite of noodles was halted, chopsticks hovered stiff in front of her lips with Lumine directing her gaze at him. A quick munch and swallow, then she asked, “The last time?”

“Yeah,” he smiled and it was the first time she saw him smiling that way. “I’ll return to Snezhnaya next week.”

There was nothing more than “Oh..” to that statement that Lumine could say, nothing more than placing her chopstick down to quietly sip her lukewarm tea and absently watching Paimon laughing at Childe’s sloppy way of holding his chopsticks.

Something heavy nestled in her stomach that night, but it did not have anything to do with the dinner she had earlier.

For a week since that night, Lumine barely stayed in the city. She took more commissions outside Liyue Harbor, even took some commissions from Mondstadt. Paimon questioned her a couple of times and her answer would always be “I suddenly missed everyone from Mondstadt” or “A change of scenery would be great”, and both knew it was not either of those two.

The citizens welcomed them merrily one late afternoon when they stepped back into the city, asking them how they had been and why the sudden disappearance. Lumine blocked the talk about a certain Fatui had been looking for her during her stay out of the city, but one quiet talk shared between Gentry De’an and Granny Shan caught her interest.

“Ah yes, I heard that the young man from Snezhnaya will finally return to his homeland this afternoon.”

And it took Lumine no breath to spare before her feet broke into a run to the South Wharf, not realizing Paimon’s surprised squeak at her sudden sprint or even the fact that the pixie was unable to follow her because someone held her back.

The harbor was bustling with people; fishermen returning from the sea with their catch, fishmongers closing their shop, and more shipbuilders and carpenters retiring for the day. Fatui men were mingling among them, dressed in their trademark suits, all scattered but heading to a big ship.

Yet among them, Lumine could not find the person she was looking for.

Closing into the ship was not a good idea; she was someone in alliance with the Qixing so everyone would be wary of her. An unnecessary fight could break and even if it could just end with a commotion among the Fatui, she would rather not arouse such things in the first place. After all, she had no place nor business in all of this. Her last-minute sentiment was just the stubborn part of hers that finally gave in to what she wished she could do.

So here she was, standing in the middle of the slowly emptying street of the harbor, watching people come and go without any of them being that someone she wanted to see off. There was this strange urge to just stay there until, she did not know, the ship sailed away, maybe.

Off to the ocean leading to Snezhnaya, a faraway land beyond her horizon.

Lumine thought it was so stupid and that she could imagine Ying’er gossiping about how the traveler seemed to be brokenhearted after being unable to meet the Harbinger before he left the city. Paimon would be asking about it too and nothing would shut her mouth, not even Xiangling’s special dishes could, until she got the answer. Well, she guessed she reaped what she sowed; Lumine better braced on whatever came to her later.

So she turned around, eyes lingered one last fleeting glance at the ship and heels made a push to the ground underneath as she stepped into the first staircase. Her feet might have taken her to the top in no time, but the fact that it was frozen to the spot could not be explained by anything other than the familiar figure standing above, with chest rising and falling and ginger-colored hair swept messily.

“You’re back,” was what Childe said without moving an inch, running his blue gaze on her frozen figure before settling back to her dumbstruck profile. And as if there were no other words in his dictionary, he repeated, softer it sounded almost like a relief, “You’re back.”

“I’m… back?” Lumine replied hesitantly, unsure what to say or do other than trying to command her legs to move. It was futile.

Childe approached her, scaled down the stairs, and somehow, her legs finally moved, only it moved in the opposite direction to where she told herself to. It brought her closer to him while her mind was blanking for a good couple of seconds until she realized that they had stood in front of each other, with him at the lower ground, facing away from the ship.

At this place, for once, Lumine was taller than him and she could see him at angles she could have never seen before. For example, the way his hair was tousled more than she noticed earlier and how his red earring glinted vibrantly at the touch of the setting sun. The way creases appeared between his brows and ocean eyes looked at anything but her. The way beads of sweat rolled down his temple and strands of hair clung to his damp skin.

This kind of proximity and air would perfectly suit Ying’er’s description of ‘romantic tension’ and surely this would step up her gossip spree even further. But there was no Ying’er around her, no eyes stabbing at her back, no hushed whispers and stolen glances at them in this stairway.

There was just her. And Childe.

And love was the only thing her short-circuited brain could generate at the moment.

“Why are you here? Don’t you need to get on the ship over there?”

Ouch.

She sounded annoyed, unnecessarily so.

“You should board in. I heard they’ll depart in a minute or so.”

But Lumine was annoyed. At herself. For being so casual with this when a moment ago she was undoubtedly feeling dejected.

“Don’t want to miss the last ship home, do you?”

Honesty was not her strongest point, was it?

There was warmth where her hand was and when her gaze shifted from the ocean far behind Childe to her hand, she found him enveloping it, grasping her hand neither too loose nor too tight. It was just right. With a somewhat reassuring squeeze as if to make sure that she was really there.

“I’m glad to be able to find you, ojou-chan.”

Oh…

That explained the messy hair, the quick rise and fall of his chest, the sweat. Childe was looking for her.

But it did not lessen her confusion.

“Why?”

“I just want to see you before I return,” he looked up at her, “can’t I? Or are you too conscious about how they talked about us?”

Golden eyes blinked twice, mind shifted its gears to figure out what he meant by 'they' and 'talking about them'. A loud bell rang in her head once everything clicked, and for once, Lumine could not help but barely covering the surprise in her voice.

“You know?”

“The walls have ears,” he tapped his ear, the ruby earring dangled with the motion. “And what can I say about it if I don’t really mind about those things.”

"It's about us," Lumine reminded him, "being in somewhat a romantic relationship!"

He smiled. "I don't mind."

Childe did not mind. Well, she minded, but for now, her focus was directed to the way he casually addressed the thing she had been trying to ignore for days. Her rational mind kicked in; Childe was a Harbinger, so mere gossips would not affect him in any way possible especially when it all came from the citizens. And despite his somewhat playful and a bit lax attitude whenever he was around her, it would take more than just gossips to drag him down the mud.

“Well, if they want something to gossip about, then we’ll give it to them. For the last time,” Childe moved, fingers unclipped the earring from his ears and offered it to Lumine, “let this be the last thing they could gossip about us.”

Two things were crossing in Lumine’s mind at that moment. The first one was the fact that Childe knew about the gossips but he never said anything indicating he was aware of them, and the second one was how could he just hand over such precious-looking jewelry to her?

“I can’t accept that,” Lumine said quickly, but Childe was quicker. His fingers brushed away hair fallen around her ear before clasping it there, letting it hang from her right ear amidst the golden locks before she could say more.

“I didn’t give it to you; we’ll do an exchange,” his finger trailed up to the side of her head, plucking one of her flowers.  It fitted in his hand, white petals a contrast to black gloves yet it was not a terrible sight. “Something for me to remember while I’m back in the icy land. A souvenir from Liyue.”

A small smile grew from her pursed lips and soft laughter followed right behind. The mental image of him wearing it at the side of his head was amusing. “So now we give everyone another gossip material? We spoiled them too much."

“Well, who knows?” Childe leaned into her, his voice echoed in her ears as he added, “Maybe it won’t end up just as a gossip next time.”

 


 

It was no secret within the wall of Liyue Harbor that a certain member of Fatui was ‘infatuated’ with a certain traveler. Talks about how the man was often seen around the girl, by accident or not, had been spreading from mouth to mouth. It was reaching the point where even the wise Wangsheng Funeral Parlor’s consultant got the wind of it and gave his opinion when questioned.

“Ah, them. It has been a couple of days since his return to his homeland, therefore many have not seen them walking together again. I must say that this is to be expected, for Childe is bound to be with the Cryo Archon. It is interesting, however, to see how he has left something else to take his place beside the traveler. Such an affectionate gesture, indeed.”

That something the consultant talked about must be that small, red thing hanging on the traveler’s ear. It was a bit sad knowing the citizen’s matchmaking agenda was put to halt because of this unavoidable course of the event, but sometimes, one would catch the traveler standing on the South Wharf’s dock, staring at the sea as it reflected golden from the setting sky.

In her hand, there would always be that red earring usually seen dangling from the Harbinger’s ear.

It was then the citizens decided that although their beloved traveler and the Fatui Harbinger could not meet the same end as Vlad and Nadia in the span of his stay in Liyue, they still progressed the same way as the former couple.

And progress was still progress.

On the night that sight was first seen, Ying’er celebrated that fact with Jiangzhou and Jifang—their beloved enemies-to-lovers ship was indeed sailing beautifully.