By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
With an estate of such size, he liked to have imagined a little more security would have been in place, it was eerie just how familiar the place seemed, of course the structure was much different than the dawn winery back in Mondstadt, however with some new touches, who knew that the younger sibling had created such an empire in a short time, or then again could he have been here for years, he can't help but muse at the thought as he hears the satisfying click. the door then cracking open slightly, a slither of light showing him the front room of the estate.
As suspected, still too early for anyone to be present, so for now he would make himself at home, taking a glance over the nearby counters and then picking up yesterdays newspaper, perhaps Mondstadt should have a paper like this, bulletin boards were getting old at this point, outdated to say the least. Granted he was almost certain that his dear brother wouldn't appreciate him dropping in uninvited, most likely he wouldn't want to see him at all, it doesn't surprise him.
But regardless he waits, briefly reading over each page, just waiting for someone to arrive.
And then he hears the sounds of boots, stepping heavily onto the wooden floor, however he doesn't flinch. He finishes reading the page, nodding sagely at such words of wisdom in his horoscope, then fully closing it without a single word. A silent moment passes before he turns back to face Diluc, the most innocent of expressions on his face, "You should consider getting better door locks, who knows who might break in."
To say that his mood could have been worse was probably an overstatement for Diluc couldn't recall the last time he--
No. Not true. He had been trapped on an island in a game designed to kill every last person on it. That had left an admittedly sour taste in his mouth to say the absolute least. The scars from that had not even healed before he had encountered Tartaglia, the visible bruise at his jawline a touch later than it had been at their little reunion over a week ago. But it wasn't lighter anymore, not when knew assaults had aggravated it while bringing new scars with them.
Suffice to say, Diluc looked tired and he looked ticked off as he stepped into the winery that day, his narrowed gaze skimming the scorch marks on the ground in front of the front door, a ghost of the fight which had taken place yesterday, and there were plenty more to be found within the winery itself. He'd been at a distinct disadvantage, and his opponent had been both brutal and bloodthirsty enough to throw anything like honor or fairness to the wind. Really, though, there was nothing more or less to expect from one of the Harbingers.
But he was alive, it was a new day, and it was to be--
Diluc halted in his tracks at the sound of that familiar voice. It wasn't that a voice belonging to Kaeya Alberich was one that would have shattered any potential for a good day. Just a ... conflicted day. They were complicated, everything about the pair was complicated, and yet maybe, just maybe, he would have been lying if he were to claim that he was not just a little bit glad to see him. A familiar face like Tartaglia's, but this was not Tartaglia. This was somebody his father had raised, and while he struggled with the concept that he in any way deserved to be called his brother, he was-- He was familiar. In a better way, in a way that he couldn't put into words as he pushed back all of those little moments spent silently wishing that he had been here in Pandora.
And yet, his pride didn't let any of that show on his face as he stared across the room at him. "They're being replaced," he remarked dryly, and it was the truth after yesterday's encounter. Of course today would have been the day Kaeya turned up.
"A whole world out there to explore, and your first instinct was to hunt me down. I'm flattered," he remarked. He didn't sound particularly flattered. But to assume that he was new somehow felt right to him. Perhaps it was the idea that Kaeya would have made himself know sooner had he been aware of the happenings of the Killing Game.
Propping his elbow on the counter, he leans his chin against the palm of his hand as he takes a better look at the red head for a moment, a few scuffles and bruises by the looks of it, was he getting rusty? It was very rare to see the other left with the tell-tale signs of battle.
"What can I say, I was simply enjoying a meal with some of pandora's most hospitable citizens when I realised just how familiar the wine tasted, and low and behold, here you are."
His thoughts congregate for a moment to observe the other, tired clearly, yet still as cold as ever, even to his standards, although it wasn't as if it was unjustified, he wouldn't know where to begin with such a warm welcome.
"Old habits," he murmured idly, and while there wasn't any visible shift in his display of emotion, there was the brief satisfaction that people out there really were drinking product from the Dusk Winery. Perhaps it wasn't a surprise given the amount of day to day business that the vineyard saw, but there was no denying that starting from nothing at all had been intimidating for a young man who had only known how to inherit something that had years upon years and success already present on its shoulders.
And Kaeya. The fact that he had recognized the taste alone of their familiar Dandelion Wine wasn't shocking either, but the fact that he had come all this way ...
No. Surely it couldn't have been sentiment. Surely it couldn't have been care, however the pair of brothers were in denial about such things.
Kaeya was vigilant as ever, not-so-subtly pointing out the roughness of his face, the fact that it was clear as day he had been in a scuffle. But then, scuffle was an understatement. "Trouble just always seems to find my doorstep. You know what that's like, surely. I can't imagine it being any different here in Pandora."
It was a vague answer, a subtle answer, one that neither confirmed nor denied Kaeya's suspicions. But, of course, if he took one look at Heavenfell and listened for the chatter on the streets, perhaps he would hear of the Darknight Hero's reputation.
It was a name that seemed to plague him even in Pandora.
"I can see that. Seems they must have gotten a few hits in, could it be you are getting reckless?"
His eyes focus more on the bruise, by the looks of it, they must have gotten a good few hits in, yet it was not his business to pry into whatever he had gotten himself into, if there was any information that could be tossed in his direction though - that's a different matter.
"Enlighten me, who's bad side did you get on"
It took one look around the area to see a well covered up battle scene, the tension in the air was only getting increasingly thicker, yet this was nothing more than a passing visit after all, he takes a brief look towards the scars on the floor before picking up his chalice once again, taking a sip of the water that he had so generously prepared for himself before.
It was unlikely this was the work of a single bandit, afterall he had seen first-hand that the other was more than capable of defending himself in such situations, truthfully he felt pity for whoever must have been on the receiving end of such a "brutal" Incident.
Kaeya: I shouldnt dig into this, but tell me anyways
"Recklessness implies that I went looking for trouble. He came to me in search of 'ifs' and 'maybes'," Diluc explained, finally setting off past Kaeya with every assumption that he would follow because ... well, that was who he was as a person. Whether he was wanted or not, he made his presence known.
Of course, whether or not he was wanted there in that winery at that very moment was questionable. It may not have appeared that way, but Diluc wasn't good at showing emotion, he wasn't good at letting his feelings seep out into the open, and he certainly wasn't good at telling his brother that some part of him really had missed seeing his stupid, grinning face.
Legs carrying him across the winery to the room he had fashioned into something of an office for himself, Diluc stepped inside, leaving the door open wide for Kaeya without looking back at all. Only when he reached his desk, still covered with paperwork from the day before that he would surely get to eventually, he turned to lean back against it, arms folded over his chest.
"One of the Fatui Harbingers is here. We have ... history. I'm sure you remember the three years I spent away from Mondstadt." Three years spent fighting the Fatui, three years he spent learning all that he could about Delusions, about why it had backfired in his father's hands, about how his father had acquired one at all, about the history of such dangerous objects.
Ah. So it was like that was it? It was inevitable that most people would have someone that came into their life looking for answers, but for them to come out of their way? How interesting. His eye tracks the others movement, silently making his way towards the back areas of the winery.
It would be hard to maintain such conversation from this distance, it leaves him little option but to follow the other into the backroom, papers were already sprawled across the desk, most likely the result of a late night of working or something that had yet to be completed. Instead of spitting out a snide comment about it, he leans against the door frame, mimicking the others actions by crossing his arms against his chest for a brief moment whilst he allows the other to continue their story.
"A harbinger is here?"
It wasn't so much a question at this point, he knew Diluc wouldn't lie about something like this, and given the time period he mentions, it could only be about That. None the less knowing someone of such dangerous status was also in this world only piqued his curiosity.
"I remember. And in that time you managed to do something to capture their attention?"
The way that Kaeya voiced that question, Diluc knew that it wasn't a question at all. They both knew how seriously the subject of the Fatui were to be taken, given past experiences.
Did Diluc strictly blame the Fatui for the death of his father? The Delusions could be traced straight back to them, and there was a part of him that did want to point fingers, however useless it was now all this time later.
The dead didn't just come back, after all. It wouldn't change anything.
Crimson eyes fixed upon Kaeya, there was a light tilt of the head. "I did quite a lot of things to capture their attention. But I believe they captured ours first. Don't you?" There was a knowingness there as he watched him, a slimming of the lips as he considered the past, as he remembered Kaeya coming to his side as he knelt over his father, dead in his arms.
He remembered leaving the Knights. He remembered Kaeya slipping into his shoes, and he remembered abandoning everything to find the truth of the very Delusion that had taken his father's life.
"Oh definitely. Although for them to send a harbinger in your direction, you must have stepped into something particularly dangerous."
Glancing at the nearest desk in his direction, he picks up the smallest thing to catch his eye, a relatively normal pen that he begins to twirl between his fingers, it seemed relatively fancy for something to keep in an office, perhaps it was a gift from someone, after a few moments he places it back on the desk , making sure it was placed back in the exact place he had picked it up from.
The others departure was not on the best of circumstances, after that incident that left them both at odds, he had barely even heard of the younger, there were rumours of course, nothing he could confirm, if he really taken those three years to get on the Fatuis bad side, that itself was cause for concern. However he sighs with a simple smile, it was too late to worry about it, too late to do anything either.
"Have you considered hiring extra protection, given the circumstances?"
Kaeya wasn't wrong. Granted, there were often few things Kaeya was wrong about. Whatever feelings Diluc may have harbored toward him, however much tension there was there between the pair, he could not deny that his brother was and had always been a formidably intelligent individual. He had stepped easily enough into his shoes in the Knights of Favonius as the Cavalry Captain, after all, and however ill the thought of the knights made him feel, there was a part of him that knew the position was in good hands.
However little he would have liked to admit such a thing.
Idly, he watched his brother twirl that pen, his crimson gaze following its path back to the exact spot it had been plucked up from. "I wouldn't need extra protection if he hadn't decided to challenge me with a Hydro vision," he admitted, his voice lower than before, a tinge of frustration there on the edge of his tone. Perhaps there was a small bit of poorly hidden embarrassment as well. "You would have fared better than I did."
He had yet to meet a harbinger face to face, but knowing their reputation if he was to make an assumption that he could deal with one without ending in such a similar state, its true that against someone with a hydro vision he could do a lot more to hinder them, however it was about how they used it, that would be the defining factor.
"This room is rather empty"
He muses quietly, almost a tired sigh as it falls from his lips so casually, glancing towards a empty pillar within the office. "Perhaps it needs a nice Vase to lighten the place up"
An excuse to change the subject and gift the other a horrendous vase? Of course.
Overconfidence leads to failure. Kaeya was not wrong and Diluc knew without a doubt that any grandiose level of confidence he forced himself to carry in the situation he had been in would have done him no good. The facts were still the facts, it was still a Hydro Vision versus a Pyro Vision, and no amount of overzealousness would have saved that. When you were face to face with an experienced Vision user, and a Harbinger no less, there was only so much even an expertly wielded broadsword could do.
The thought frustrated him. Visibly as his jaw tightened just the slightest bit.
Perhaps Kaeya noticed. Or perhaps Kaeya had simply grown tired of the subject. Either was a possibility. His brother had a keen eye, not even Diluc could deny that despite their differences along the way. He was quite a lot of things. Annoying. Intelligent.
And so, the topic shifted and Diluc's gaze flicked toward him, his arms folding over his chest. "Are you feeling nostalgic, Kaeya?" The vase had, at this point, almost become something of an inside joke between them, although Diluc struggled quite a lot more to find the humor in it in the very same way that he struggled to let himself completely dismiss the vase as worthless when he knew why it was put there in the first place. He could have gotten rid of it the moment it had served its purpose. And yet there in the Dawn Winery it had remained.
"Perhaps. Have you ever familiarised yourself with the concept that you don't realise the small things until they are gone, only then do they leave the most impact"
There was a lot in life, the small day to day tasks with their father, the hidden books that were kept at the very back of the library, sleeping without the overwhelming burden of being placed on two sides, things that were best left locked up in the back of ones head, such memories were to be appreciated, not to be sad of.
It struck him as surprising at first that he had kept such a thing, after all it stood out from the decor far too much, sickeningly eye catching, if anything perhaps diluc was the one that was sentimental, either that or he was in genuine need of the vase. He preferred to imagine it was the former.
"I'm thinking gold and purple this time."
His eyes flicker from the empty space and back to the other within almost a moment, as if to gauge the others reaction before glancing at the empty space behind him.
"It's relieving to see that you have settled to this land quite well."