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Art: @starbottle on Twitter

A/N: (Just in case people haven't done the story quest for the Lantern Rite, there will be spoilers. And this is a long chapter, so enjoy.)

"Someone like me, kind? I've slaughtered
many innocent people. And you call me kind? Don't you pity me." Xiao's glare didn't faze her one bit.

"Who said I pity you?"

"Huh?"

"To me you're kind. And I have a different image of a kind person. You were kind enough to keep our little deal. You were kind enough to be interested about myself. You were kind enough to come to Dragonspine with me."

"But—"

"And that's the end of the story. No question. Say. Have you heard about wishing on a shooting star?" She changed the subject quickly, and Xiao was swept right along with it.

"No.."

"Oh."

"Why should I wish on a star?"

"Well... that's a good question. I don't know either. But." She created a star, a ball of light. And took out a small jar. She proceeded to put the small star inside the jar, that had a string attached to it. Xiwangmu took his hand, placing the jar with the star inside. And clasped her hand over his to close it. "If you ever feel like you are being succumbed by the darkness, look at this star. It will help you cope with it. And if you feel up to it, feel free to wish upon it, and this star shall guide you to your answer. Done." She smiled brightly.

Xiao opened his hand and stared at the small trinket. The star wasn't blinding. And it wasn't entirely big either. The jar was travel size, you could keep it in your pocket, or dangle it along with your other accessories on the side of your body.

"Why did you give me a star?"

"Must you question my every action?" She replied the same way he had, just for the fun of it. And Xiao huffed lightly, looking away. While gripping the jar tightly and kept it secured.

"Do use it. I'm sure it'll help you." She smiled. And is a smile Xiao wonders if he could ever smile so brightly as she does.

"Actually. Let's go back to Liyue. Liyue Harbor."

'What.'

And before he knew it, he was already at the outskirts of Liyue Harbor. The place he least wanted to go to. It was all busy getting ready for the Lantern Rite festival.

"You can stay here if you want. I'm going to go and get a Xiao lantern." She skipped off. Though who knew what she could get caught in.

"Do as you please." Xiao sighed. As she walked away. She was so far from him. Metaphorically, and literally. She was willing to communicate with the mortals he hated. She was willing to be near them.

Xiwangmu's hanfu made her look like some great person, and she didn't bother with changing. She loved her clothes.

She gathered the needed materials, and crafted the lantern. All she had to do was write her wish. Before she didn't think anything of it, like the others. But she's become accustomed to do the tradition. This year's Mingxiao Lantern was Skybracer. The statue of it was impressive. She's talked to skybracer once. And they were very bright and beautiful.

Xiwangmu decided to think of a wish near the harbor next to the huge statue. And when she walked towards it, she saw a blonde boy with unique clothes and a floating pixie, talking to what seemed like a treasure hoarder near the crate of materials. He seemed agitated and walked away.

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