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"So. Why Dihua Marsh this time?" Xiwangmu slid across the grass. And kicked a rock along the way.

"I come here often."

"To slay demons?"

"To slay demons."

"Oh! That's Wangshu Inn, correct?" She pointed to the tall tower.


"I've actually never been there before."

"Would you like to go take a look?"

"Sure." Xiao then suddenly picked her up, and jumped really high, moving fast, onto the rooftop. Then was slapped upside the head.

"Don't suddenly do that." She smoothed out her hanfu skirt, then sat down on the blue tiles.

"Do I get to hear your 'tales' now?" Xiao asked with slight sarcasm. As his gaze was fixed on the sun set.

"...." Did he, get to hear one?

"I'll tell you one. Of which of when I was with Guizhong and Morax. We've all met Guizhong, I'm sure. Morax and her were very close, since. He didn't spend much time with me back then, because his social skills weren't very good. But I was the same too." She laughed.

"But in my most early days, Guizhong would talk with me. And invite me for tea with Morax. And then I found out I hate tea. And spit it all on Morax."

"On Rex Lapis?"

"On, Rex Lapis." She turned back to the orange sky that was fading.

"I apologized profusely, and Guizhong looked concerned. And Morax just chuckled it off. Oh. But now, I don't apologize to him if I spit it out anymore."

'No, I think you should.' Xiao thought.

"I would tell you more. But I'd like for you to get going. On with the Yaksha business." She pat his back. While, he seemed to be staring for a few seconds.

"Why do you keep mentioning my duty as a Yaksha, and make me leave?" Xiao turned to her fully. He didn't sound upset.

"I didn't mean to make you feel like I'm pushing you away, if that's what you're thinking. But you're the only lasting yaksha, appointed by Morax. Or Rex Lapis." She started.

"To slay the evil, and protect Liyue. The debt to repay him, to shoulder the burden. I wouldn't want you to forget it. Though I doubt you will. I want you to fulfill your duty. And 'duty' is a major detail for me."

Xiao listened. He listened well. A lot more than he usually would to someone. Her voice like silk, filled with dignity.

"In other words. Err, fulfill Rex Lapis' 'contract' as you're the only one to save Liyue from most harm."

"But.. what about you, and- and the other adeptis then?"

"I don't think the others think much of Liyue's people as much as you do. Not that they don't at all."

"I don't think much of the mortals either."

"Ah. I guess that's true. But remember, gods, and adeptis... no matter how long they live, they can't run from death. And I'm sure you understand that well."

Xiao did. All too well. Death, wasn't something new to him. Left to suffer, and wrestle with the old grudges, unfulfilled dreams, and fractured their souls. Soon, the fragments of their hate tainted him and his soul.

Xiao looked down in contemplation.

"I apologize if I brought unpleasant memories." Xiwangmu smiled softly. And apologetically.

Xiao only shook his head.

"If you'd like, the next time you come over to visit, I could play you a few tunes on my flute."

'Flute?' Xiao sees a fragment of his memory. Of hearing a flute when he was long exhausted and feeling the hatred, that took affect to him. And was healed.

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