In Mondstadt, the time of the Ludi Harpastum was approaching.
People were preparing for it, while children were gathering flowers for the decorations.
The knights of Favonius were standing guard less than before, as no disasters or incidents had been reported for quite some time.
In addition, Mondstadt would have the exclusive participation of its hero, the great Traveler, Aether, accompanied by his faithful flying and hungry emergency food, named Paimon.
Paimon: I'm hungry.
Aether: Well, let's go to Sara's place.
I have plenty of Blackberries to order a feast, but we have to save some.
All I heard is that you're going to pay for the food.
Aether: ... you could do it one of these days.
Paimon: Nah, you do it better.
Aether: Yeah, but don't think I don't keep track.
Aether: ... until NOW.
Paimon: I'll pay you back when I have time.
When we get to the Good Hunter...
Sara: Hey, Aether, how can I... huh?
Aether had Paimon tied up with some ropes.
Aether: Do me a favor and put her inside a cauldron full of hot water.
If she keeps talking, she's still raw.
Paimon let go of the ropes and started biting Aether.
Aether: Please, could you make us a honey chicken with carrots?
Sara: Right away.
When the chicken was ready, they started eating.
Paimon ate most of it, while Aether could barely keep up.
Aether: You know something?
I know a very interesting concept.
Aether: It's called "sharing".
I think you should be familiar with it.
Paimon: *continues eating*
???: Oi, Tabibito-san!
They looked at someone who was approaching them.
It was Amber.
Aether: Amber, hi.
Amber: I'm so glad to see you!
I was wondering where you were.
Aether: We just got back from Inazuma.
Amber: Oh, and how did it go?
He remembered the beating Ei gave him, not to mention all the little jobs he'd been doing for the Sangonomiya Resistance, Yae's trolling, his Anti-Shogun training, and so on.
Aether: ... luckily, I'm alive.
Amber: You don't sound very convinced.
Aether: ... Oh, I'm not, believe me.
Amber: Ok... well, I think you know the Ludi Harpastum is coming up.
I'd like you to join us for the holidays!
Aether: Count on it.
Paimon: Will there be food?
Amber: Y-Yes, yes there will be....
Paimon: Aether, your sister can wait.
We won't move from here.
Aether: Sure, it's not like I was planning on going to Sumeru this early, but well... let her wait.
After a while, Aether was helping out at the headquarters of the knights of Favonius.
He arranged some books next to Lisa, played with Klee, even though he prayed she wouldn't exploit him in the attempt... made some potions with Sacarosa, drank with Kaeya and with Venti, drew next to Albedo, attended to Jean with some matters, etc.
Later, he headed to the cathedral.
He spent some of his time with Barbara, fought together with Rosaria against some thieves, analyzed some domains together with Diluc, among other things.
Aether: Ahhhhhh... I'm very exhausted...
Paimon: Come on, the day is not over yet!
Aether: I'm as dry as a raisin...
Paimon: Do you want me to buy you something to drink?
Aether: Yes, please...
Paimon: Give me your Blackberries.
Paimon: What? I offered to buy you something to drink, but I didn't say I would use my money.
Aether: ... Do you have money?
Paimon: ... that's why I'm telling you to give me your money.
Aether: Don't want to avoid my question.
Paimon: No, I don't have any money.
Without hesitation, she put her little hands in Aether's pockets, took some blackberries and went to buy something to drink.
???: Wow, you sure are exhausted.
He made an effort to look at that person, and realized it was Eula.
Aether: Hello, Eula.
Eula: Are you thirsty?
Aether: ... is that it?
Eula: I just wanted to ask you that.
Aether: Yes, I'm thirsty.
Don't you have something to drink?
Do you have warm milk?
After a while, Paimon came with a big glass of water.
Paimon: I'm back.
Aether: Do you have any water?
Paimon: ... oops, I forgot to buy some for you, sorry.
Out of frustration, he took his glass from Paimon and drank a large part of the water.
That was mine!
Aether: You bought it with the money you TAKED from me.
Paimon: But Paimon did it for you!
Aether: ... lie.
Paimon: ... you're right, Paimon did it for Paimon.
Aether: Well, I'm in top condition now.
Eula: I'll get revenge because you guys ignored me.
Aether: I can make that up to you, so you don't have to take revenge... like you always do.
Eula: And how do you plan to do that?
Aether: Tell me something you like to do, and I'll go with you.
Eula: I like to dance.
Eula: Do you want to dance with me?
Aether: It depends on what kind of dancing you do.
Eula: Come with me.
She grabbed him by one leg and dragged him across the floor, going to a nearby camp.
~ after a while ~
Aether: You know I can walk, right?
Eula: Yes, but I found this more convenient.
Eula: I said I was going to get back at you because you ignored me.
Aether: But I like these clothes!
Eula: You just have to wash it, it's no big deal.
He stood up and wiped off all the grime he accumulated thanks to Eula.
Eula: Ahh, this is a good place to practice some dances.
Are you ready?
Pay close attention.
She took a small musical device given to her by Fontaine, and got ready to dance.
She started doing some pretty precise and elegant dance steps, while following the beat of the music.
Aether methodically analyzed every single step she made.
Strangely, he felt like standing up and trying to imitate her steps.
Eula: Stretch your knees and relax your hips.
Let your arms move with the wind.
Aether: I-it's a little complicated...
Eula: Maybe, but it's just the beginning.
You'll get used to it.
He tried to follow in her footsteps.
As much as Aether seemed to be doing them well, Eula didn't seem happy with the results.
Eula: No, no, no.
You are doing the movements in a jerky way.
You should be more relaxed and let your body flow on its own.
Aether: Saying it is easier than doing it....
Just take a good look at me.
She put back the song she used to dance to, and copied the same dance steps again.
Eula: What's up?
Eula: Try it.
She took him by the arm, and little by little she helped him with the dance.
He was trying to copy Eula's movements, although now he seemed more relaxed and was getting carried away by the music and the way the wind was moving.
Eula seemed somewhat pleased by this now.
Eula: That's good.
That's the way I like it.
For a beginner, you didn't do too bad.
(If I danced any more, I was going to fart).
Eula: You won't say anything?
Aether: I just don't know what to say.
Eula: Well, come with me.
I'll take you for a drink.
Aether: ... let me guess; you say you'll take me, but I'll be the one to pay.
Eula: ... h-how do you know...?
Aether: A hunch.
(He who understood, understood.)
~ after a while ~
Aether ordered two bottles of wine for himself and Eula.
The bartender told him that he didn't give alcohol to minors, something that got on Aether's nerves, who gave the table a loud bang, breaking it.
Aether: I'll tell you just once.
I look like a minor, but I'm a FUCKING ADULT.
Bartender: ...I'll bring you the wine.
Aether: Thanks, hehe.
He sat down next to Eula at a table, and those who were present, had gone to the second floor, as they were scared that Aether had reacted like that.
Aether: Gee, it's not that hard either.
Haven't you ever seen a "dwarf" before?
Eula: Are you an adult?
I don't look like one, but I can assure you that I am an adult.
Eula: What proof do you have?
Aether: Look behind you.
She looks behind her, and sees Venti lying on the ground.
Eula: ... that doesn't justify anything.
Aether: Well, it's up to you whether you believe me or not.
You know for a fact that I don't lie.
Eula: Ok, ok.
They spent some time together, drinking wine and eating a pizza.
Stanley put some music on his radio.
The first song that came on, Aether recognized it, and unconsciously sang it softly, while Eula went about her business.
Aether: Summer has come and gone~.
Innocence can't last forever~
Wake me up...when September is over.....
Eula looked at him, as she too knew that song.
Eula: I didn't know you knew "Wake me up when September ends."
Aether: Oh, yes.
During my trip I knew this song.
And I liked it, hehe.
In fact, I like to sing it, although you'll rarely see me do it.
Eula: ... do you want to give me a demonstration? Aether: Not today. I'm not in the mood. Eula: *gets angry and inflates her cheeks*. Aether: Hehe... Eula: I'll get revenge for this. Aether: Can I squeeze your cheeks? Eula: N-No...! Aether: You look adorable when you get mad. Eula: Aether: Tell me, do you plan to participate in the Ludi Harpastum? Eula: No. Aether: But... it's a national holiday. Won't you do it? Eula: They don't want a Lawrence to be involved in this. You know what people think of my clan, and therefore, you know what they think of me. Aether: *sigh* So what? You can show people that there are some Lawrence that aren't bad. I mean... you're not. Eula: They won't listen to me. Aether: If you don't try, then you won't know. Well, I'll tell you what. I'll go along with you. Eula: Oh, don't bother. I have no interest in this anyway. Aether: Oh, come on! It'll be fun! Eula: *sigh* Aether: Ok, ok. I won't insist anymore. Eula: Thank you. Aether: At least let me visit you, though. Eula: Why? Aether: Because I want to. I hope you don't feel lonely. Eula: ... neither do I... my childhood was hard, and all because I was a Lawrence... Aether: ... Eula: People disowned me. No one wanted to take my money or talk to me. Because of this, I had to hunt for my food to survive. Aether: How... how sad... Eula: ...honestly I wanted to be loved and feel protected... but I was alone... and the only thing left to do was to survive. That touched Aether, because he felt identified with what she was saying. Aether: ... you are not alone. Eula: Eh? Aether: I said you're not alone. You have friends who support you and care about you. Eula: ... Aether: Forget about the past, and focus on the present, so you can create your future. Eula: You think...? Aether: Sure! Well, let me pay for this. Eula: That's good, because I don't have Moras. He paid the bartender, and escorted Eula home. Eula: Will I be able to see you again? Aether: Yes, although I'll need to rest. Eula: Why? Aether: My body hurts from so much dancing. Eula: Ok, rest. She said goodbye, then went into her house. Aether kept thinking about how sad she sounded when she talked about her past, so he had a feeling he wanted to help her. Aether: ...I'll do it for her.