Twin Swords – Act II – Mors Altaris

~Beginn of Story Quest~

“It’s Dainsleif!” You inform your companion whose eyes widen as she also connects the dots. Paimon begins to nod in agreement with your conclusion on the Medical Captain’s peculiar contact. Your floating companion rubs her head as she processes the information.

“Why would Dainsleif even be close enough to Captain Ohm to contact him about that? He didn’t react to you telling him you’re the honorary knight.” Paimon pointed out and you furrowed your brows. Yes, indeed, it was odd. How or why were they close enough that Dainsleif sent a possible distress message to the captain?

Before you could open your mouth to respond though, somebody ran into you, sending you to the ground. “Oh? Apologies!” A voice chuckled from above you, Paimon putting her fists on her hips and glaring at the tall man. He held out a hand, and you reached out to take it, eyes narrowing momentarily at the white mask filled with gold cracks that covered his face. “I didn’t see you there, my bad.” He bowed his head politely as he helped you stand straight once more. 

“You better be sorry!” Paimon huffed, you waved her off though and she circled the man in question, despite the mask covering his face, his head curiously followed her, looking over one shoulder, then the other to follow her movements. Once more she floated beside you, fists on her hips. Sassy today.

The man rubbed the back of his neck with a gloved hand, head tilting to the left. “Where are my manners? My name is Sulien. Please, allow me to treat you to lunch for my hindrance.” He placed his hand against his chest and Paimon immediately lit up, nodding her head with the sort of enthusiasm only she could muster.


~You Join the Strange Man at Wanwen Bookhouse~

“Whoa look at all these books!” Paimon left your side to go examine one of the many bookshelves. Sulien hummed in agreement as he raised his hand, nodding to the shopkeeper who returned the nod with a smile. The masked man made a beeline for one of the bookshelves, apparently already aware of what he needed. “So when do we get lunch?” Paimon inquired as she floated over to the man, floating beside his shoulder. 

Sulien seemed momentarily distracted as he scanned the shelf in front of him. “Hm? Oh. Sorry.” His stoic voice trailed off for a few moments before he grabbed a book off of the shelf. “My roommate says I need to cut down on books. I only need to stop by the smithy after this, then we can go get food, promise.” Sulien tilted his head in apology before he hurried off to the shopkeeper. 

(He seems to know a lot about Liyue despite definitely not being from here..)

“Why do you need to see the blacksmith?” Paimon inquired as she followed him, you continued to stand by the railing as you watched them interact with one another. Sulien handed mora over to the shopkeeper, the woman happily taking it with a chipper ‘Thank You!’. 

“Oh, my claymore is being repaired.” You couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at his relatively stoic statement. How does one even break a claymore? Sulien turned for the stairs, his book tucked under his arm. “Come along, I’ll show you where it is. If you are who I think you are, I’m positive you will need his services.” Noticing your hesitant expression at his words he hummed. “The clothing. It is a little obvious.” (Ah that explains that..)

~You Follow Sulien to the Blacksmith~

Sulien gestured with his arm, the playful action almost made you wonder if he was smiling under the cracked mask. “This is Hanfeng’s Ironmongers!” His voice however fell flat, remaining monotone as he spoke. “And this,” Sulien turned towards the blacksmith, “is Master Zhang.” You watch the blacksmith in question stop his work to speak with the masked man.

“I’m sure you’ve been too busy to really look around Liyue Harbour, he’d make a good guide.” Master Zhang nodded to your masked companion who merely put a hand to his chest and bowed his head politely. “Or just Liyue in general, have you brought more ore locations?” The two exchanged a piece of paper. “And your weapon, be careful with it next time. I still don’t know how you managed.”

“Yeah how do you break a sword that big?”

Sulien hummed at Paimon’s question, the claymore dematerialising once he touched it. “I threw it too hard. Thank you.” Sulien once more nodded to the man before he took a step away, arms crossing over his chest as he surveyed the street ahead of him. “Very well, I promised you lunch. Let us go.” Sulien nodded and Paimon giggled in glee, clapping her hands. (How does he plan on eating with the mask on? Will he take it off?) He turned away and you snapped from your thoughts to follow him. 


~Head to Xinyue Kiosk~

You very quickly learned he was not going to take off the mask, instead opting to sit aside and read the book he bought from Wanwen. He was quiet, allowing Paimon to make idle chatter with you instead. A small hum escaped him as he flipped the page and you considered your conversational options.

>Doesn’t the mask get annoying?

>Do you ever take the mask off?

Sulien looked up from his book, the soulless eyes of the mask boring into you, but his shoulders remained relaxed. “No.” He responded simply, turning his head back to his book. (Seems like the mask is a sensitive topic.) Sulien flipped to the next page and you looked down at your plate of food.

You cleared your throat and judging by the slight tilt of his head, he was listening to you. As if sensing your intention it was Paimon who spoke up for you. “You don’t look like you’re from Liyue, where are you from?” She questioned, eyes gleaming as she watched the relatively expressionless man ponder the question quietly.

Sulien’s head tilted to the other side and he hummed. (Paimon wonders why he does that so often..) “With how long I have been in Liyue for work, it has become a home to me. It is why Master Zhang recommends me for sightseeing.” Sulien’s chuckle was slight as he answered quietly. “I am afraid I am far less interesting than I seem. Tell me, Traveler, why is it you travel?” 

“He/She is looking for his/her sibling!” 

“Oh? Is that so?”

“Yeah! We’re looking for this unknown-” You shushed Paimon with a look and she let out a small ‘eek!’ Sulien was once more staring at you, at least, you think so. The mask makes it hard to tell and his body language almost never changes. The entire day spent with him, you were beginning to realise, he’s not once changed his tone of voice or his relaxed stance. 

Sulien tilted his head to the side, the action almost robotic with how he went about doing it. You quickly looked back down to your food. Was he judging you? Was he- “I hope you find him/her. To lose one’s kin must be tragic and to lose one’s only kin? Hm.. Devastating.” He closed his book and stood from the chair. 

“Are you leaving, Lien?” 

Sulien paused, looking away from the two of you for a moment. “Yes, unfortunately I have other matters to attend to. Your meal is already paid for, please enjoy it. I apologise for my abrupt departure.” Sulien looked back to the two of you, pressing his free hand to his chest and bowing his head respectfully. Paimon flailed her arm good bye and he nodded, straightening out and leaving the room.


~Connect with Paimon just outside of Liyue Harbour~

You settled down on one of the rocks overlooking the harbour, the setting sun added to the atmosphere. With everything happening after Mondstadt and the Rite of Descension, the peaceful day you had was welcomed, perhaps even needed. The harbour was gorgeous with the orange and pink sky above, reflecting off of the crystal waters below. But something felt off, something felt wrong.

Paimon seemed to feel it too as she floated around you in a circle, stopping on your left. Before she could say anything though a net flew by, successfully trapping your traveling companion despite her shriek and desperate flailing attempts. Quickly you summoned your sword, moving to push yourself off of the rock and face your attackers. Before you could do so however the familiar sound of a bow string being pulled back graced your ears.

And pain flourished in your sword arm as the arrow found purchase in your shoulder. The force sent you off the rock, sword falling out of your grip. “Capture them!” A voice called and you struggled to crawl for your sword with your good arm. Your fingers brushed the hilt of your sword before your world went dark, a bag pulled over your head.

And then nothing…

~An Undetermined Amount of Time Has Passed~

You struggle against the binds around your wrists despite your injured shoulder, the rope not budging despite your best attempts. You glare when the bag is pulled off of your head, revealing none other than Treasure Hoarders. Of course they’d be behind this, it was them or the Fatui anyway. The one dressed slightly different from the rest bent down, making a point to look you over. 

“This is the famed hero of Mondstadt? Really?” The treasure hoarder that seemed to be the leader taunted. You narrowed your eyes up at him, struggling despite the pain. “Oh you won’t be getting out of those any time soon, we made sure of that.” The man stood up, raising his arms above his head to stretch. Nearby you heard Paimon shout from the net she was still trapped in. “We only want one thing, hero. Mora. And a buttload of it.” 

“No way!” Paimon cried out from where she was. The treasure hoarder’s snort turned into a full blown laugh as he looked down at you. His laughter quickly died and his eyes narrowed dangerously. (This isn’t good.) A feeling of dread quickly washed over you.

The treasure hoarder crossed his arms over his chest. “Oh I wasn’t asking-”

“Boss!” A panicked shout interrupted their leader and the treasure hoarder in question growled, turning to address the woman who called for him. You followed his gaze and were met with a confusing sight. 

“Shall I take care of them, comrade?”

Childe. And.. Sulien? Before Childe could pull out his weapon, Sulien’s claymore appeared in his hand, the man flipping the weapon casually as he stepped forwards. “No, I need to ensure the repairs were done right.” Sulien tilted his head, making a point to look the leader up and down. “Unless, of course, you give us the Traveler.” 

Sulien pivoted to the side, one of the potion bottles the treasure hoarders often used flying by him. The leader pulled his own weapon and Sulien merely sighed, adjusting his one handed grip on the large blue and black weapon. “Yes, I didn’t think it would be that easy. Unfortunate.” He brought the claymore up, pointing it directly at the treasure hoarder. “Fruit Tart, please go untie the Traveler, thank you.” 

(Why was he so friendly with the Fatui?) 

~Sandrone Trial~

The enemies fell with very little effort on the masked man’s part. The man’s claymore dug into the ground as the last enemy poofed away from the fight. He let out a sigh as he turned back to look at you.

Childe untied the rope around your wrists, freeing you from the binding. The harbinger returned to the masked man’s side, his claymore disappearing into light blue crystals. “What are you doing here?!” Paimon questioned, fists on her hips as she floated beside you, focus pointed at Childe who gave her a lazy smile. 

The other man adjusted his gloves wordlessly, face directed away from you and your companion. Childe laughed as he looked between you three, hand on his stomach as he let out a couple of laughs much to Paimon’s chagrin at being ignored. The man beside him sighed, turning his attention back to you. The soulless eyes of his mask bore into you as you looked him over. (He had seemed so friendly earlier.. But now.. Was that..?)

The harbinger straightened out, clearing his throat. He gestured a gloved hand to his companion beside him. “This is Sandrone, codename Marionette. Number ten of the eleven fatui harbingers. He prefers the first name.” Childe patted Sandrone’s back, earning a soft huff from the man in question. Paimon gasped as he quickly looked to you, as if trying to gauge your reaction to the news. Your eyes focused on the gem on the back of his left glove. 

(I should have known.)

“You lied to us!” Paimon accused him to which Childe chuckled as if he were enjoying a show. Sandrone hummed in response, one arm crossing over his chest, the other hand pressing to his chest. “Do you have anything to say for yourself, you.. you.. uhm, puppet!” You looked at Paimon, that was her best nasty nickname in the moment?

Sandrone sighed, bowing his head. “That I did. My intent was not to manipulate, however, when an opportunity arises.” He stood straight. Just as before his voice remained stoic. Perhaps his manner of speaking and lack of expressive actions made sense now. “And, while I may have lied. Had we not come, you would still be held up by those Treasure Hoarders.” The masked man pointed out. He wasn’t wrong.

Before either you or Paimon could respond, Childe turned away. “Remember, Traveler. Not everybody is on your side in this battle of yours. No hard feelings, of course.” He gave a small wave over his shoulder. Sandrone once more bowed but hesitated before he turned, looking back at Childe and then to you. Childe stopped, looking back at Sandrone.

“It is merely a business transaction. I do hope you find your sibling. That much was honesty.” And with that the harbingers left you and Paimon alone in the darkened clearing. His words stuck with you as you watched them disappear.

(Why did he seem so familiar there? As if I’ve met him before?)

~Quest Complete~