Venti didn’t know when it started…erase that.
He knew, he exactly knew when it started, but surprisingly he doesn’t know why. Why must the Anemo Archon fall for a Liyuen Adeptus? Was it because of the way he made him feel wanted? Was it because of how adorable he looked when Venti finally noticed his presence on that mountainside as he played the flute?
Or was it because Venti felt safe from just his presence alone?
The already in deep shit Archon, let out a big, and tired sigh for even the Alcohol cannot drown such sorrow of him questioning his feelings to the Adeptus. Venti once again drank from his bottle, finishing every last drop of the delicious dandelion wine that he somewhat “talk/sing” his way out from Diluc.
Speaking of the Red-haired, Pyro man, he couldn’t help but notice how distraught the Archon---the bard looked. He scanned the Bard and his every movement, and sure enough Venti was not his usual self. Instead of the loud-house, singing Bard who’s always trying to talk him out of giving him more wine for a song. Not that the uncrowned King of Mondstant had any retaliation to this newfound trait, but knowing who this Bard really was he cannot help but want to question and ask, out of pure worry…for Mondstant.
Diluc cleared his throat, as he grabs another bottle of dandelion wine from the bar shelf, pouring it onto their glassware, he walks up to the Bard who was slumping on his seat at the counter, and with one final sigh of defeat his hands over the glass, and says,
“You seem in distress…?” Diluc said, somewhat cautiously.
Venti looks at the Wine Owner and looks down at the freely poured dandelion glass, Venti just stares at it for a few seconds, Diluc’s breathing hitch from this, the whole chatter and loud noises from the tavern seems to pause around the Pyro user, Venti has always taken anything free from his bar so if Venti decides to forgo this free drink then Mondstant is either doom or---
Venti takes the drink and empties it one go.
The Bard hears a relief but some-what annoyed sigh come out from the Pyro man’s mouth, though he does not care anymore as he goes back to sulking and having an inner conflict between his mind and heart,
Diluc looks back at the Bard once again and asks, “Are you just going to mope around here, cause if so please do it on someplace else—"
“Have you ever been in love Master Diluc?” Venti asked rather irrationally, the few patrons who overhear this give out a few of their reactions whether it's whistling lowly or giving them a glance of what seems to be hopelessness or shakes in there as if saying, ‘Ah-young love’
Diluc on the other hand just grabs the empty glass rather forcibly as he mutters something underneath his breath, muttering curses and saying “A free wine for this childishness” to which Venti just pouts, and with his Anemo, he pushes the Pyro user back and says, “I’m serious here!”
Diluc’s brows frowned from what the bard has down but for the sake of his composure he looks back at the Archon and with a firm tone he says. “No.” Venti raised a brow with that answer, the Archon wasn’t somewhat satisfied, I mean who would believe that the sought-out Bachelor of Mondstant never experience love? Surely, he was jesting.
Venti couldn’t but puff his cheeks, forming a pout. The conversation wasn’t going on as Venti hoped, it only added to his inner mind inducing inner conflict. Ah! Why was love so cruel to people—immortals like him?!
As Venti once again slumped onto the counter, head facing down he prayed to Celestia for somewhat an opening/miracle for him. It was already bad enough that he and the Adeptus don’t have any contact with one another privately. The Archon can’t just keep giving the excuse of missing his Old Friend Morax (especially since the bastard already found a lover to spend time with.)
Another helpless sigh escaped the bard’s lips, an opening miracle is all this weary Archon ask at this very gloomy and hopeless night---
To be lost in his own praying and hopeless thoughts, Venti doesn’t notice the new but familiar faces that just arrived at the tavern. Aether, the traveler with his floating food—uh companion, looks at the God with the look of worry and question within their features.
The blond looks at the tavern owner and points at the sighing bard, Diluc only shakes his head and mumbles the words, “Hopeless Idiot.” To which only bought further questioning look from the Blond Traveler,
Aether sits next to Venti and gently taps the Bard on his slumped shoulders, “Uhm… Venti are you—”
“Hey! Tone-deaf-bard why do you look like you’ve been rejected!?” Paimon says in her high-pitched voice, she says it to rather tease the Bard. The floating pixie expected a rather proud and confident counter back from the Archon, but to her and to Aether’s surprise they were met with a bitter chuckle and more heavy sighing as Venti says,
“I might as well be, Paimon”
Paimon’s mouth sewed shut from that. Uh-oh, she might have hit the jackpot. Aether gave Paimon a glare, the small fairy slaps her tiny hands to her mouth as she floats behind Aether in an attempt to hide her embarrassment. Aether gave the Bard a pat on his shoulders, as he mutters small words of encouragement and moved on to speeches.
The wine owner merely sighs and grabs the traveler attention, “Do not mind the sulking bard traveler,” the red-hair man says as he hands over Aether’s usual drink order of Apple Cider and a slime-like sweet to the Floating pixie, who grabs the dessert with a huge grin on her mouth as she gobbles it in one go.
Aether grabs the drink with a thankful nod to the pyro user, “Anyways—“Aether looks back to Diluc with a small smile on his face, “I was hoping on your helping hand for the next commission, Master Diluc” Aether asks, in a favoring manor making Diluc chuckle softly. Tucking the loose hair behind his ear the wine owner crosses both his arms together;
“You have my attention.” Aether beamed with that response from the Pyro user, As the blond traveler rambles about the commission, Venti could only grasp some of the important details. Too little, thanks to his hopelessness and sulking about; the commissions seem to be from a scholar, in need of Aether’s assistance once again.
That’s all he got.
Though what importance was it to the Archon to truly listen in when he wasn’t even interested in the commission at hand, nor was he even asked for his assistance.
“I see, so where will meet the scholar?” Diluc ask, fingers on his chin as he was grappling with the request and important details at hand,
“Liyue, near the Dihua Marsh I believe,” Aether said in confirmation of the location. Venti slightly perked from his spot, ears now full, listening in. Liyue? Liyue!
“You're going to Liyue?” Venti asked all of a sudden voice filled with somewhat hope and perkiness. Aether nods to confirm, “Yeah, the scholar requested of me personally so who am I to say no to it.” Ah, truly such chivalrous act for the almighty, self-righteous traveler indeed. The trait everyone adores and admires from,
Venti scoots over to the traveler, he leans on to the counter as he asks, “Who’s coming along with you?”
Aether puts a hand on his chin as he answers Venti’s question, “Well,” the blond traveler starts of, remembering the faces of the people he asked for help, “There’s Zhongli,” Aether begins, other hand raising a finger with every name he’s about to call “And hoping for Master Diluc. And lastly, Xiao”
“XIAO’S COMING?!” the archon said too loudly making the whole of the tavern turns their attention to the sudden outburst, even the music came to a stop with the outburst, Diluc gives Venti a glare while the traveler and Paimon apologize for his sudden shouting. Venti gave out his signature “ehe~” as he gives out his apology for the outburst.
Once the place went back to its usual loudness and drunkenness, Aether gave Venti a look, “What was that for?” the blond asks rather taken aback at how Venti had just shouted on his face, Venti gives out a small smile, apologizing for the shouting.
“My apologies, dear traveler it's just that the news brought me to a newfound hope~,” Venti says rather excitingly, his usual self once again back from what seems to be his sulking and moping. Aether was about to ask what he meant by those words when suddenly an arm was on his shoulders and the Archon was beside him with a matter that seemed to only be seconds.
“I would gladly join your adventure, dear traveler~” Aether looked taken aback by the sudden announcement the bard had just said, the bard looks back at him with a cheeky smile on his face as he asks;
“So when shall we part and meet with Xia—with the others?” Venti asks, humming in the last of his sentence, the traveler removes the arm on his shoulders and back away a little from the Bard,
“Woah, Woah, Woah wait!” Aether said, raising both hands to stop Venti from coming near to him once more, Paimon who was behind Aether suddenly came up to the blond and sat atop of the blonde’s hair, and with a pouting and frowning expression she asks;
“You’re not coming with us! We have enough!” she says in a matter-of-fact tone, tiny arms crossing onto one another as she proudly sat on top of the traveler’s head. Aether could merely sigh, letting the pixie do what she wants, but her words…well she did have a point.
“I’m sorry Venti but we are full on the team—”
“Master Diluc, you wouldn’t mind if I stole your spot just this time right~?” Venti asks, ignoring how the traveler was staring at him with wide eyes, and back to Diluc. Venti stares at Diluc, eyes slightly glowing, though Diluc doesn’t know if that was the rage or persuasion. The winds picking up, though limited access from the outside. And no sightings of any holes from the tavern.
It was sure as hell windy.
Diluc sighs, not as a sign of defeat but as a sign of the fact he can’t handle this sudden childish act their Archon was emitting, so he caves in, “Your free to do so, after all, I haven’t agreed to give my assistance.” Diluc said in a small smile as he looks back at the still shocked Aether and the open mouth Paimon.
“What!?” Paimon screeched, high-pitch voice almost gave the three a ringing sound in their ears. Paimon goes back to floating, getting off from Aether’s head, “Why are you even coming!? We already have Xiao to help us!” Paimon says angrily to tone-deaf-bard.
Venti could only give Paimon a glance before smiling sweetly, as he mumbles the words. “That’s why I’m coming”
“What?” Aether raised a brow, mouth slightly open as he tries to process what the Archon mumbled underneath his breath, words that seems to be carried out from the winds in a hurry, Venti merely tilts his head and sticks out his tongue playfully.
Aether looks at Diluc in a side-glance, he was met with a gaze and sigh of defeat. As Diluc nods to which Aether just sighs defeatedly, as the blond traveler looks back at the God and his emergency food fighting Aether says, “Alright. You can join.”
Paimon now atop Aether’s head, demanding answers to her questions which were simple questions that kept getting repeated as the small pixie messes with the traveler’s once neatly braided golden hair.
Venti couldn’t help but let out a stupidly, wide grin, eyes glimmering in some kind of hope. The winds that night carried the hopes and joy from the Anemo throughout all of Teyvat. Every inch and corner of the 7 nations, the winds that carry the joy and hope roam in a sweet, scent and much like a warm embrace.