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Letters on the winds

Chapter Text

It is an impulse on Venti’s part, in a way. Kazuha is... one of his, after a fashion, remarkably free and wind-like for a human. And with such a bent for poetry! Venti has heard him gift his poetry to the wind – verse after verse, haiku after haiku, written from a moment’s inspiration and shared just as freely. And perceptive. Very perceptive, to hear Venti stalking him quietly from the air. 

“It is not the custom in Inazuma to welcome guests that show not their faces.” Kazuha calls out, voice polite but with a hand on the hilt of his sword, from where he rests by the window of the guest quarters for the Irodori festival. Venti chuckles to himself, the sound like a burble of the wind, and slips in through the window and lets himself be seen. They look at each other silently for a long moment. Eventually, Kazuha decides to start the conversation. “You’re the Mondstadt bard... Venti, right?”

But silently, too, Venti hears him muse, half to himself and half to the wind, Venti... one of the best bards in Mondstadt, he says. And he must be, to dare to name himself after the wind...

Venti grins sharply at him. “That’s right! Venti, the best bard in Mondstadt at your service! But you knew that already, ehe.”

Kazuha bows his head slightly in return. “Kaedehara Kazuha. But you knew that as well. Venti.”

Venti smiles serenely at him. “You have something of a reputation as a wandering warrior-poet – in particular as the poetic warrior of the Crux fleet under Captain Beidou’s hand. Perhaps I thought that we bards and poets could share some verse over wine? Or sake? It is the Irodori festival after all.”

And to himself, he muses quietly, and I could use some relatively uncomplicated discussions of poetry and song, after having to deal with Yae Miko looking out for Ei’s interests! And that Ei.... Hmf!

Kazuha glances at him, thoughts moving flicker-sharp through his eyes. “Well. Why not. Come on in, then, Venti. You brought your own alcohol, I trust?”

Over cups of strong sake, they exchange verses. Kazuha suggests, with sharp humour, that the first topic of their verses be the wind. 

“In honour,” he says, “Of the archon of freedom, wind, and song, whose winds may at last freely nourish the hearts of Inazuma.”

Venti chuckles fluidly, sipping at his sake, and glances at Kazuha over the rim of his cup. How bold was this wind-child! How quietly perceptive. It’s nostalgic.

“Wind songs, then? A good idea! Let me begin....”

They while the hours away with verse and drinks and song. When the morning light begins to soften the velvet dark sky, Venti sighs and smiles at Kazuha. “Ah, this has been so much fun! Alas, we must away, the dawn has come to call us to the fray.”

Kazuha, bright-eyed and shining with the fervour of their poetic exchange, looks momentarily downcast. “This wanderer will eventually be leaving Inazuma when his affairs here are settled, and thereupon will rendezvous with the Crux fleet in their wanderings. And you will be returning to Mondstadt after the Irodori festival.”

Venti shrugs, letting himself bob up on a gust of wind. “Aren’t we both blessed by the wind? Does not the wind flow freely across Teyvat? Distance is no barrier... if you are willing to entrust your words to the wind.”

“Why not?” Kazuha muses half to himself. “I shall... attempt it before I depart Inazuma at the end of the festival. And then... “

“And then the wind will carry our songs and verses to each other!” Venti chirps at him, before letting himself tumble gaily out of the window. He has a fox-priestess to run rings around this morning, unfortunately. 

The first such letter is, as promised, from Kazuha to Venti. The wind curls around it and drops it on top of Venti's hat. He reaches up for it.

To Venti the bard, of Mondstadt:

I once had to flee Inazuma under... tragic circumstances. And yet this time, with many matters resolved.... Ah, the wind is lighter upon my feet, playfully tugging me into the air at every chance I get. This time, I may leave and return freely whenever I so wish. 

I have tales to tell, and a cat – that still surprisingly remembers me – to greet. Libations of wine, and a sword for a death-offering.

And then. Then, let us see where the winds will bear us.

Venti reads it through carefully. It is very Kazuha in a way – nothing that would be truly dangerous if intercepted, yet... for all that it is prose, not verse, the words... roll. He finds some sturdy parchment, and begins to write a reply.

The wind picks it up, and swirls playfully with it, and slings it playfully through the window of Kazuha’s dwellings, narrowly avoiding his cup of tea.

From Venti, to Kazuha of the Crux fleet.

The ship to Mondstadt departs with the turn of the tide. My travel companions are... eager, in a way, to return. Albedo – or Calx the artist, as you might perhaps better know him – is eager to return to work. And Klee... Well. At least the Inazuma fishes will not need to fear being bombed into the air when we depart, eh?