She’s down by the lake, boots drying in the sand beside her as she kicks her feet along the ledge.
It’s the first day in a long while that she’s had a proper day off since she’s been promoted to Outrider several years ago. Stormterror’s sudden gust of wind toppled over at least two of the windmills within the city limits; and just that had made the rebuild a vigorous full-team effort by all the knights within the city — excluding the other copious amounts of damage still present. But the industrious Acting Grandmaster, Jean, had already been on top of it. With the help of Lisa and the city’s governing committee, they quickly assessed the casualties and created a strict plan regarding the renovation of the city's damages.
Despite Amber’s due diligence, the work progressed at a snail’s pace. Not much later after the traveler left for Liyue, she had her mind in the clouds— daydreaming off and on like some lovesick puppy pining for their owner. The restoration effort was an efficient distraction as a way to whisk her mind from the girl’s overwhelming sense of absence.
She didn’t want to acknowledge it as loneliness. She knew things would spiral further if she did so.
So, she did what she thought was best: She threw her mind and body into her work. Need wooden planks? She’ll get them! Not enough iron ores? Using a claymore shouldn’t be too hard, right? Klee blew something up again? Amber’s on the way!
Incredibly productive was she; so much so, that even the busy Jean noticed quite quickly at her increasingly sluggish pace during morning patrols. It began with a misstep here, a misplaced file report there, and a very awkward encounter with Kaeya during what should have been her break.
Jean attempted to convey worry in that curt, motherly tone of hers that most knights of Favonius felt overbearing guilt when directed with. But Amber, being Amber, brushed away her worries; dismissing it as one would an overprotective parent. She was fine. Days seem to blend into each other, and sleep was an enigma, but it's fine.
However, it was decidedly not fine when she collapsed under the stress the next day during her routine archery practice.
She sighs at the memory of the absolute earful she got from the Acting Grandmaster that day— angry, and livid, but above all, concerned over her physical and mental well-being; angry tones morphed into one of quiet worried sighs. And thus, she was forced into an involuntary off day.
A day meant to relax.
And a day that quickly let her mind wander back to the girl thousands of miles away in a different region; to whom had quite literally taken her heart with her.
She wondered if the whole ordeal with Rex Lapis was under control, and whether or not the Honorary Knight had been caught up in all of it again. She seemed to have a knack for tumbling into trouble at another’s behest.
Was she eating and sleeping properly? (Hah, how hypocritical of her). She knew how hectic it could be on the road— let alone a new unexplored region. Lumine was never great with meal times, even during the more mundane hours of the day. Amber remembered having to constantly drag her to have lunch after a successful quest if Paimon hadn’t already beat her to it.
She claps her hands on her cheeks with a soft slap. Quickly cutting off any kind of pining thoughts left to ruminate in her head with a swift jump to her feet. She was fine. She had to be.
She’s just about to patrol the woods again (Under the guise of a stroll. Ignore the bow she’s carrying with her— what do you mean, that's definitely just for show.) when someone stops her with a soft touch to her shoulder.
“Are you Amber, with the Knights of Favonius?” A pale man, dressed in green slacks towered over her. He carried a satchel of what she assumed were letters and packages. He shuffled around in his bag for a second, pulling out a small brown wooden box in his hands. Upon closer inspection, it seemed to be intricately designed; delicately carved under a practiced hand. Gold lined the edges, with the soft lettering of her own name by the corner.
She nods, “That’s me!” Eyes still locked on the box with a fluttering in her chest.
“This is also for you.” He says, handing her another accompanying letter. It’s a thin envelope, sealed with the careful wax symbol of the Geo Archon all official mail from Liyue furnished. “A gift from a friend and her companion in Liyue.” Is all he adds before he bows, bids her farewell, and slowly begins his journey to his next destination.
Amber watches him leave. Catching sight of his back disappear into the dense thicket of trees in the horizon, before she glances back down to the box in her hands.
It's not heavy in the slightest, but it's certainly precious enough to make sure she didn’t mishandle it— or accidentally drop, as she tends to do. She feels the indents and slopes in the carving under the material of her gloves. Otherwise smooth and sleek like the handle of her trusty bow.
She doesn’t want to get her hopes up. But in her heart, she knows who sent it. It only made sense. Afterall, who else did she have personal ties with in Liyue?
With bated breath, her thumb gently unlatches the lid. The inside is just as exquisitely made. Purple velvet lined the edges like a soft blanket. She could only guess how expensive just this box was.
In the middle was a small, translucent vial. A golden looped thread attached to the embellished cap as it neatly sat in its shallow divot.
Curiously, she picks it up carefully and peers inside of the glass container. It seemed to glow even brighter under the warmth of her hand. Soothing like the sun on a warm day. Her heart does a little dance as she’s reminded of Lumine’s eyes.
Unsure to what it could be, Amber tears her eyes away as it seems to pulse with a certain muted glee, and redirects her attention to the letter patiently waiting along with it.
Unlike the box, she doesn’t take her time. Being less gentle than she previously was, she tears open the letter with hurried hands; a sudden rush of emotions the moment she recognizes the elegant signature signed on the back like a beacon of light. Her heart’s suspicions confirmed.
To her initial dismay, there’s only a few sentences. The broad blank white sheet of paper seems to eat up the words like a snowstorm. But that disappointment is quickly whisked away— as it does nothing to stop the excitement burning through her veins like that of a raging fire.
Open the bottle when you can :)
I’ll see you soon!
Underneath the graceful calligraphy, a crude, but ever heart-warming familiar handwriting accompanied her message.
P.S. Paimon misses you too! <3!
She chuckles, the enormous grin on her face already straining her cheeks. She’s coming to visit soon. An exciting thought that is quickly tucked away later for further inspection.
She quickly glances at the bottle sitting in the box. Now fully aware that it seems to grow brighter with every second of time that passes by.
At the letters behest, she gently tugs at the cap. As soon as the lid is lifted, a bright golden light fills her vision like that of an exploding star. She closes her eyes out of instinct as something happily chirps in her ears in a jovial song.
When she peeks, she is surprised to find a golden seelie sitting in her palms patiently; glowing like the brightest fireflies in the fields of Windrise.
“A seelie…?” The name slips her lips breathlessly, bemusedly. She’s helped more than a few back to their final resting places while out running about for errands. But this particular one was a stranger color than even the ones she’s caught a glimpse of in Dragonspine.
It looks at her and does a twirl. She can’t help but gawk at it. A quirk of her lips, her eyes crinkling at the distinct color it carried.
Mora, some would say. Luck of currency. Riches beyond your wildest dreams. She knew a few folks who’d say it’d remind them of such desires.
But for her, the response would be immediate. Lumine. Someone dear and close to her heart. And in an almost embarrassingly sappy way, someone she considered more than a friend. It even seemed to carry the girl’s mannerisms through subtle ways. It certainly shared her mischievous nature with the trilling laughs it loved to do.
As if it could read her thoughts, it gently floated up to her face, and Amber felt the lightest of touches on her cheek as it brushed against her. Brief, but tender. Amber felt her face flush red at the insinuation immediately; and the seelie chittered in delight, floating circles around her as she pressed her hand against her face.
The laugh she let out was merry, if not a bit bashful. Suddenly, it was like she was revitalized, excited and eager. Worries dissipated like a wisp of smoke. She knew she’d see Lumine soon enough. Her new tiny Seelie companion would make sure of it.
She wondered if it’d like a tour of Mondstadt?
(Several days before the letter was sent. The locals by Stone Gate would say they saw the strange foreigner who helped protect Liyue Harbor, whisper something to the golden seelie in her palm.
Something along the lines of, “Give her a kiss for me, okay?”
Before it seemed to nod in delight, slipping into the glass container with ease. All the while, she adorned the slyest of smiles on her lips.)