It was a busy day at the tavern. Diluc wiped his sweat from his forehead, sighing at the sight of his crowded tavern. The sight alone is enough to overwhelm him to the point he felt nauseous.
Diluc felt soft fur brushing against his hand. Soft purrs echoing in his ears, calming the overwhelmed man.
"Nice cat, Master Diluc. What's its name?"
The half drunk man gave the white cat a pat on his head sluggishly. The white cat stopped purring and let out a low hiss. Diluc grabbed the cat and brought it to his arms.
"You should go back home. You are drunk."
"Tch! No fun."
The man left the tavern after dropping some mora as payment. Diluc huffed and put the cat onto the table behind him.
"Stay here, you will be safe."
Pavo let out a meow and curled himself to sleep. Diluc smiled and continued his job. After hours, Diluc couldn't take it anymore. He left the tavern after Charles assured him everything will be alright.
The redhead sighed at the cold air washing his pale skin. It was midnight and the city seemed quiet and peaceful.
"Pavo? Why are you here?"
The white cat stopped and rubbed its body on Diluc's leg. Diluc bent down to take the cat into his arms.
"Let's go for a walk then."
Pavo purred and snuggled to his neck searching for warmth. Diluc took off his coat and wrapped it around the tiny cat. Pavo looked up at Diluc, the icy blue eye met the crimsons. Diluc chuckled, reminded by his brother's appearance.
"You are worried about me? This is fine."
The cat stared at Diluc for a second and continued to purr. Diluc chuckled and scratched the cat's chin. Diluc walked through the streets feeling nostalgic at some places.
"Pavo, this is where we met. You were so little at that time."
The cat gave no response.
Diluc walked out from the city. He met a few guards who greeted him. He recognized a few of them and greeted them back. Diluc stared at the one spot Timmie used to stand there and fed his birds.
"There used to be pigeons here. A lot of them."
The cat still gave no response.
"Eventually the boy grows up and no one cares enough to feed them again. I'm sure you would like to catch the birds."
Diluc continued his journey. Sometimes he stopped and remembered the memories the place holds. Some brought him to smile and some brought him pain. Either way, Diluc still treasured them in his heart.
"So peaceful. This forest was dangerous back then. Full of monsters and dangerous creatures."
Diluc looked around, trying to find the familiar hilichurl noise or some abyss mage. None of them could be found, not even their weapon or fireplaces.
"They have been slaughtered. Monstadt is safe. Happy ending right?"
Pavo looked up at Diluc. Thousands of emotions shone through the crimson eyes.
"Let's continue our walk."
The two stopped at a pond filled with fishes and crabs. Diluc put his coat on the ground with Pavo on it not caring at mud and soil tainting the expensive fabric.
"Stay there alright. I will just grab some flowers for my brother."
Pavo let out a noise and stared at his owner picking some flowers gently.
"You want some fish? I will just feed you some fowl at home."
Pavo stayed silent and licked his paw. Diluc chuckled and picked the last Calla Lily he found. He sat beside Pavo and stared at the moon reflection on the water.
"Kaeya loves Calla Lilies. I don't know why. They smell weird in my opinion. But again it is Kaeya. I'm just glad the flowers grew back after the war."
Pavo let out purrs when Diluc scratch his chin. Diluc sighed and grabbed his coat and Pavo with his free arm. He took a deep breath, filling his nose with the faint smell of water and Calla Lilies.
"Let's get back to Monstadt. I'm afraid the flowers will wilt if they stay out too long. Kaeya will protest how terrible i'm with flowers."
Pavo only stretched his arms and yawned. Diluc gave the cat a kiss on its head. The two of them went back to the town. When they reached the town, dawn had risen. Diluc watched as the town slowly became lively. People started to open their shops and the guards changed their shifts.
"How can people move on from the war so fast?"
Diluc remembered everything in detail. The way people shouted and screamed in distress. The panic colouring their pale faces. The smell of blood and burned flesh. Everything was a mess. Burned town and dead bodies littered everywhere.
Diluc closed his eyes when he felt his mind start to mess with him.
"Monstadt is safe," he assured himself.
He opened his eyes to see his beloved town safe and sound. A smile rose on his face.
"Monstadt is safe."
Pavo gave no response.
Diluc greeted some people he recognized. He even bought a little girl some apples for her breakfast. Diluc smiled at the innocent and pure smile, not tainted by lies.
"Thank you, mister! Thank you kitty!"
"His name is Pavo."
"Can i pet him?"
Diluc kneeled so the little girl could reach Pavo. Gentle fingers ran through the white fur earning purrs from the white cat. Eventually the little girl has to leave. She bit her last thank you and left.
"You seemed to like the little girl."
"Yea, let's get to my brother."
Diluc watched his step when he walked. He sighed when he saw the stairs. Diluc huffed when he finally got into the last stair.
"Pavo, you are lucky someone carried you."
Pavo only purred and blinked slowly. Diluc smiled when he saw the familiar white building. Even years after the war, after the building burned, Monstadt rebuilt it exactly like the old design.
Diluc went to the back of the building. He kneeled down in front of a tomb, putting his coat and Pavo beside him.
Here lies Kaeya Alberich
The writing itself was enough to make Diluc feel thousands of needles stabbed into his heart. The grief still there after years of endless mourning.
Diluc put the calla lilies he picked earlier on top of the soil.
"You're welcome. Oh, I brought Pavo with me today."
Diluc patted the white fur and smiled.
"Today is tiring. The tavern was crowded… Yet I never felt more lonely. You weren't there."
Diluc felt tears pooling in his eyes.
"I miss you. I miss you so much."
Diluc broke into tears. Guilt and anger filled his heart. He saw how his town recovered from the war. He saw how his friends moved on from the incident.
Yet he was stuck on the past.
Like he always did.
"You should have let me die or we can die together."
Yet the past can not be changed. The war is over and so is his brother's life. War and death had taken his families once again from him.
"Kaeya… I miss you. I miss father. I miss us."
There was only silence.
Diluc stopped sobbing when he felt the familiar soft fur against his hand. Pavo jumped onto his lap and purred softly.
"I'm sorry Pavo. I wish you can meet my brother in person. He was a nice guy."
Diluc held the cat in front of his face. Pavo stretched his paw until it touched Diluc's face.
"Your paws are always cold."
Just like Kaeya's fingers.
Pavo let out a meow and licked his leg to clean them. Diluc chuckled and wiped his tears.
"I will be alright, Pavo. You are here with me. Promise me you will never leave me."
Pavo blinked slowly.
Nothing really changed in Monstadt besides new faces and new buildings.
Monstadt had moved on from the incident that took their peace.
But for the uncrowned king of Monstadt itself everything changed.
Thus he still continued his life.
Busy day at the tavern with one eyed cat and a fresh vase of Calla Lilies on the table.