⠀ ⠀xingqiu⠀[devious muffin] ♡

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dedicated to Hxney-lemon and Honeyyd3w

she/her pronouns mentioned, for reader

"Be careful on the streets today," Katheryne warned as you passed by the front desk of Liyue's Adventurers' Guild. "Lots of dangerous people have been out and about since officials have been distracted by the Fatui."

"I'm aware," you assured, pausing at the counter to hand her a bag of sunsettias she had requested earlier. "Thank you for the reminder though."

Although you spent a good amount of time at the Adventurers' Guild, you were officially a part of it. It was true that you shared similar values to the various members you had met in both Liyue and Mondstadt, but you disliked being tied down to restrictions and affiliations, as selfish as that seemed. There were however, some exceptions to your preferences. Your heart leaped a little and you felt giddy, smiling as you remembered particular memories. It was a warm feeling, more ecstatic than seeing the joyful faces of those who had their issues resolved.

With a wave to signal your departure, you headed down the nearest staircase, taking your time to admire the quiet of Liyue just before nightfall. Time seemed to be at a standstill. Natural orange light sweetened the navy blue silhouettes of buildings, plants and animals, dusting them in warmth. Children brought down their kites and the aged packed up their knitting. The story tellers you passed were finishing off their journeys with extra enthusiasm, leaving crowds on the edges of their chairs in anticipation. Shop owners called out to sell their remaining stocks and left various items in the air. There was soft laughter all around, something you always found relieving. As a traveller in the past, most of your days had lacked the compassion of strangers and friends alike. You could never get used to the welcoming nature of Teyvat, and that made it precious to you.

You weren't a stranger to the city of Liyue. It was in fact quite the opposite. You had built quite a formidable reputation and that was what led to the constant greetings you received as you moved to wait by the staircase leading up to the Wanwen Bookhouse. While most of the citizens respected your personal space, some did not. This was noticeable with the three silhouettes you could spot lurking beside you. You shifted in discomfort from their stares and whispers - ones which dehumanised you to something they could use. Every cell in your body was insisting for you to create an outburst, but it would be misunderstood by the passer-by. They couldn't hear the words that made you feel disgusted. They couldn't hear the words that made you feel as filthy as them.

You swallowed your nervousness, distracting yourself by watching nearby cats, who were bathing in the remaining heat of the sun. Yet you could still hear them and you wondered if they were stupid for speaking so loud. It was only then you could hear them more clearly, because they had gotten closer to you. Your hands wrung together behind you back, nails digging into your palms to restrain from unsheathing your sword. You were used to combat with a weapon, but here you felt exposed, nothing to protect you from incoming danger. The group took another step towards you, chuckles among them that sent shivers down your spine. Your eyes searched around for someone who could help you, but no one seemed to notice your predicament. After all, it was still crowded.

Suddenly, an arm wrapped around your waist. At first, you froze to your spot, the only thing moving being your racing heart. But as your senses cleared, you identified the gentle and slightly citrus fragrant of a familiar person. You sighed with relief as you felt yourself be pulled close to a lean figure.

"Good afternoon, my lady," a silky voice mumbled in your ear, lips brushing along the back of your neck.

"Xingqiu," you stated, your body instantly relaxing into his hold. You asked, voice holding tremors, "Did you find anything to read?"

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