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Interlude Chapter of the Archon Quests is a Quest Chapter.

Summary

Act I: The Crane Returns on the Wind

Jade Chamber Rising

Several months later, as the Traveler continues to be in pursuit of their sibling, the Traveler overhears Ningguang's announcement to rebuild the Jade Chamber; she requires Sunset Vermillionite, Wonder Core, and Adepti Sigils. In return for the first three people who could acquire these materials for her, she would allow them to ask any question and she would honestly answer them in response, gaining the excitement of all present. The Traveler then approaches Ningguang, who is pleased to see them and that they're intending to participate, clarifiying that she would answer the question to the best of her ability.

As Ningguang takes her leave, the Traveler and Paimon spot two men talking to a young woman; believing them to have information, they decide to follow them. They arrive just slightly outside of Bubu Pharmacy, where the discover that the two "brokers", Scar Liu and Qiang the Brave, are trying to fleece the woman of her money to pay off their gambling debts. Paimon then points to a Millelith on duty to ask for help. Qiang is worried that they have bitten off more than they can chew as he feels terribly anxious; as Scar tries to use force, the woman begins to activate some exorcist sigils. The Millelith, Zheng, recognizes Scar and Qiang and apprehends them.

The woman then introduces herself as Shenhe, having heard of them before and thanks them for their assistance, although if she had it her way, she would have smashed their heads until they understood, which Paimon finds violent. Shenhe's stomach begins growling and Paimon recalls overhearing the two men commenting on her eating "spree" around the city. It is soon revealed that Shenhe was not interested in the food, as she preferred Qingxin, Violetgrass and Glaze Lilies, much to Paimon's surprise. They then take her to Bubu Pharmacy for the herbs.

Inside, Shenhe orders the herbs and consumes them all in one sitting to everyones' astonishment, although she finds the experience bitter. She had come to Liyue Harbor to assist in rebuilding the Jade Chamber, but had no interest in participating in the contest. However, to repay the Traveler's kindness, she wishes to assist and proposes that they eliminiate the other contestants, much to Paimon's astonishment.

As they argue, Baizhu comes in, saying he wanted to fetch the wound dressing that Ningguang ordered. Baizhu then mentions that the Sunset Vermillionite is a very rare item and that the Feiyun Commerce Guild would have more information on the item. The Traveler and Paimon thank him, and then they go to the guild.

Seagaze Sunset

Meanwhile, Xu arrives to inform Xingqiu about a problem; the Guild has received some strange orders recently and wants him to deal with them. Just then, the Traveler, Paimon and Shenhe arrive, and Xu leaves so that Xingqiu can 'entertain' them. Xingqiu is surprised to learn that the Traveler is participating in the contest and that they do have a piece of Sunset Vermillionite on auction, but discourages them from taking part in the auction as he anticipates the transaction to be at least 500 million Mora, none of which they could afford. However, he tells them of an adepti, Sea Gazer, who had an abode rumored to be filled with the material, which he believes is in the Lisha area after cross-referencing multiple books. Shenhe states that Sea Gazer was close to Mountain Shaper, while Paimon is worried about disrespecting the deceased adepti. Shenhe states that Sea Gazer was open-minded and wouldn't mind, surprising Xingqiu. As she takes her leave, Xingqiu notes that she's awfully familiar and reminds the Traveler that the abode is likely to be well-defended and infested with monsters.

Upon arrival, Shenhe uses an art to dispel the magic surrounding the area, revealing a seelie that the group pursues into the adepti's adobe. When they enter, Paimon is surprised at the sudden change of the atmosphere as the seelie disappears into the clouds. Shenhe states that they'll need to destroy the mechanisms maintaining the "clouds" if they wish to go deeper inside. They destroy two mechanisms before reaching the bottom, destroying one final mechanism to find the interior of the adepti's abode. They also spot the Sunset Vermillionite, with Shenhe taking the massive rock herself to the building area; the Traveler and Paimon catch up to her there.

Shenhe delivers the Vermillionite, much to the surprise of everyone present, believing her to be an adeptus. Baiwen asks Shenhe for her name, believing that she is participating in the contest. Shenhe states that she was just delivering it when the Traveler and Paimon arrive; Baiwen is impressed with the Traveler's talent, as the Vermillionite is the largest and highest quality for the project. She also tells them that Ningguang provided all the contestants with lodging before leaving. As Paimon asks Shenhe how she felt when the people complimented her, she gives a plain response and becomes slightly irritated by her fellow people worshipping her as something she isn't. Paimon suggests she take a rest, which she does out in the wilderness, but Paimon insists she take a rest with the provided accommodations.

Arriving at the hotel, Ju'an tells them that one room is still being prepared. The Traveler and Paimon let Shenhe take the vacant room and decide to go get a snack for her when they spot Cloud Retainer landing above. Cloud Retainer is bewildered when Paimon asks her what Shenhe's adepti name is and states that she is just a human. She then proceeds to explain about her past and reveals herself as Shenhe's master and caretaker. She tells them to take good care of Shenhe and that she came to see how Ningguang would deal with the contract between Liyue and its people, as the adepti sense a calamity coming soon; if she could not rectify it, the adepti would not hesitate to seize control.

In the morning, they meet up with Shenhe again, who says her master has already relayed the situation to her and apologizes for not explaining sooner. She knew because she did not see the Traveler going in, and when she went out, she noticed her master talking with the Traveler. The group then decides to go to the building site to see how the progress is going.

Bygones Time Like Dust Passing

They arrive to find the Jade Chamber built, though tied down because it's not finished yet. After Baiwen finishes briefing up the work, Beidou introduces her new friend Yun Jin, who has joined the contest in order to be able to ask Ningguang about the place for her opera, titled "The Divine Damsel of Devastation". Yun Jin proposes to split up the reward to three people asking a question to which both sides agree. Beidou decides to split up to find the raw materials for the Wonder Core. Yun Jin, the Traveler, and Shenhe decides to go to town to ask for questions.

They find Master Zhang in town and asks him for questions. He replies that he needs the Starsplinter Iron and Subrosium in order to make the Wonder Core, and recalls that last time the Starsplinter Iron was collected was on Mt. Tianheng, though he doesn't know where to find the Subrosium, citing that the people around the area had some trick that allowed them to collect the mineral.

After arriving to the destination, Yun Jin reminisces herself about how she was brought here once by her father when she was little, and says the area is the inspiration for her father's opera. She explained the story of the opera, which was slightly close to Shenhe's real story. After listening to the summary of the plot, Shenhe says that she doesn't think the little girl in the opera was as brave as she made it out to be, which Yun Jin takes in consideration, given that the opera has a degree of deviation from the true story.

After obtaining the iron, Yun Jin suggests asking around in the village for the Subrosium. Mingjun is silent when the group tries asking him for clues, however he is surprised to learn that Shenhe is alive and that the rumors were true. He actually gives the clues, and the rest leave to find the ore while he talks with Shenhe about the old times. Yun Jin collects the first part of the father's diary and is surprised to learn that the damsel was actually Shenhe herself. She now understands why; it wasn't because of the courage, but rather because she was forced into it, and mumbles that her father would need to revise the opera. The third piece reveals the location of the ore, and they return to Shenhe just as she finishes talking to Mingjun. Yun Jin comes forward to apologize to Shenhe, but Shenhe says she likes Yun Jin's fictional version of her own story more. They get the Subrosium, and they return to the Liyue Harbor to have the ore be crafted. Next to the Subrosium is Xiao and says he is preparing for danger in the sea but cannot get involved.

Where The Heart Finds Rest

After successfully crafting the Wonder Core and the Adepti Sigils, the group goes to Baiwen to hand in the items, and they are regarded as the winner of the contest. After being led up to the Jade Chamber, Ningguang thanks them for the hard work. She offers to Yun Jin to host an opera in the Jade Chamber after the rebuilding, as it would provide a good view, both in the air and from below. Ningguang then answers the Traveler's question, although she says with disappointment that she hasn't found any leads regarding their sibling, so she answers Paimon's question instead. She says that in the future, if there is any need for financial assistance, she would pay them at the highest cost possible.

Paimon asks Shenhe if she had any question, and although with some relucance she asks Ningguang if she could fit in the Liyue Harbor to which she says the key is to develop a sense of belonging. Just then, Beidou arrives and asks if preparations are done, replying to Paimon that she was forced to help the Tianquan, who reassures her that preparations are done. The Traveler is curious to know what is going on, but Ningguang says that it would be better to not know.

Just as the Jade Chamber finally ascends into the air, a storm suddenly comes and with it, a large monster appears once again; this time it is Beisht, the wife of Osial. She admits to knowing it, as Beidou warned her months prior, and thus she was preparing for its arrival. This time however, she says she would rely on her own people of Liyue to fight it instead of the adepti. With her monologue, the Tianquan attacks Beisht with the projectiles, assisted by Keqing, Ganyu and the Millelith. The creature roars and creates a tsunami. The Traveler suddenly leaps forward in order to intercept the monster, however it fires a beam, launching the Traveler into one of the stone pillars and causing them to lose consciousness as they are grabbed by Shenhe; she suddenly remembers a flashback of her father leaving her to die and Retainer's words.

Furious, Shenhe summons a talisman to freeze giant tsunami, allowing the Jade Chamber the chance to fire it, weakening it further as Shenhe then dives into the vortex. She is startled to see the Traveler and Paimon going in as well to help her. After defeating the creature, Ningguang commends them on the hard work and orders the soldiers to rest up. Cloud Retainer then comes in after being seen by the Tianquan and commends her for being able to make prior preparations, which was considerable progress compared to last time even though she says that Shenhe had contributed significantly. Ningguang decides to host a victory banquet at the Jade Chamber, inviting the Traveler and Shenhe over.

In the night, Paimon is happy to be able to eat at the Jade Chamber just as Ningguang addresses the guests and Yun Jin performs "The Divine Damsel of Devastation" to everyones' applause. A drunken Zhu Tao then tries to interact with the group, only to be rebuked by Shenhe.

Act II: Perilous Trail

The Unexpected Guest

Curious after the events at The Chasm, both Paimon and the Traveler decide to return to where they found the mysterious Chasm Nail. When they arrive, they find Yanfei looking towards it. Yanfei is surprised to see the two and tells them she's on important business and that if anyone is looking for her, to pretend they didn't see her. Soon after she leaves, Arataki Itto and Kuki Shinobu arrive, the former looking for Yanfei.

Shinobu reveals that she had returned to Liyue to pick up her graduation certificate from Tongwen Academy as she had been unable to as she was at home when the Sakoku Decree had been enacted. Itto had gone along with her for "safety", only to get into a brawl with the Millelith when Yanfei got him out of the mess he caused. After slyly getting Paimon to reveal that they knew Yanfei, Shinobu gestures towards the Traveler to misdirect Itto.

After sending Itto off, they head to the ground below the nail and find Yanfei. Just then, a mysterious woman arrives, who's introduced to the two as Yelan. Just then, Itto and Shinobu arrive, upset that the Traveler had deceived him. Yelan tells the two to leave for their own safety as the Chasm isn't a place for people to be wandering around in, but Itto takes offense to her attitude despite Shinobu's advice to de-escalate the situation. As the two prepare to fight, the ground beneath them cracks and sends them falling down into The Chasm's Bed.

As the group goes about to ascertain their surroundings, Yelan heads off to figure out where they are. They soon come across a strange portal and Yanfei recognizes the rocks around it are extremely old Liyue Mountain Rocks. Yelan then hears someone behind them, who ends up being Xiao. The Traveler asks what he's doing here, to which he claims that he's looking for someone and advises them to leave before he teleports out. With little choice, the group enters the Domain.


Chasmic Maze

After clearing the domain, the group finds themselves back in the same place they started. Believing that an evil youkai is responsible, Itto summons Ushi to dispel the demon. Ushi looks around but is unable to find any other exits, much to Itto's surprise.

The group spreads out to look for more potential exits but are unable to, while Yanfei notes that the ceiling above seems to have sealed up completely. Yelan tells the group to mentally prepare themselves for a potentially long stay underground. The Traveler decides to call Xiao, but despite saying his name, he fails to appear, causing the Traveler to become suspicious of the place. After checking in on the rest of the group, they decide to wait for an opportunity to arise.


Danger All Around

A day later, Paimon complains that it has felt like 20 days to her, while the Traveler feels as if only one day had passed. Itto, Yanfei, and Shinobu then join in and the group realizes that since they've been stuck inside, they haven't felt hungry, thirsty, or tired at all. Yelan then calls the group over, having found another path that was hidden behind illusory magic. They enter the Domain within and explore it. As they do so, they hear Xiao talking to someone and he appears to be struggling, prompting them to assist.

Upon solving the puzzle, a mysterious door appears and the group convenes there, only for a rift to appear. Itto, believing that no one was inside, is surprised to find an illusion of Xiao pop up. Xiao is soon surprised to see the others and why they came, upon which he realizes that the domain is dangerous but is abruptly cut off while urging them to immediately leave. Itto then leaps into the hole and hurts himself, with the others following in.

The group encounters a door which Itto tries to open with brute force, only to notice a switch and embarrassingly opens the door with it. Upon doing so, he's greeted by various Inazumans who're upset with him for being a bad influence along with bowls of beans lying on the table. Itto then decides to have someone else go in, of which Shinobu volunteers and finds herself in a prior conversation with her mother who wanted her to become a shrine maiden. Yelan declines going in as she would have to kill everyone if she did as she works for Ningguang and thus is privy to many Liyue secrets. Yanfei then goes in, only to witness a civil dispute. The group then realizes that the door appears to lead into the opener's worst fears. The Traveler then decides to go in themselves, only to find themselves in the darkness of the Abyss that took their sibling away. The door locks on them from the outside, but they're able to escape from the door's grasp.

Paimon soon becomes tired and hungry, causing the group to realize that the domain is targeting their weaknesses and thus they retreat back to camp to re-group and re-plan. There, Yanfei talks to the Traveler in private, wanting to rescue Xiao before it would be too late. She theorizes that the area must be a chaotic space where normal logic does not apply and that they could use its own rules against it. She manages to dispel another illusion where they begin to clearly hear Xiao's voice and manage to drag him out of where he was just in time.


End of the Line

After a good rest, Xiao explains that he is looking for his missing brother-in-arms, Bosacius, and believed that he was inside The Chasm. Xiao's testimony about domain's chaotic nature confirms Yanfei's theory that the domain is an antlion's den, using illusions to slowly entrap their victim. Xiao proposed that he'll used up his powers to get the group back to the surface at the cost of him being left behind, which the others vehemently oppose. Ushi informs Itto of the argument, in which he decides to punch open a path to avoid unnecessary sacrifice, although he ends up expending all of his strength in the process.

The new path that Itto blasted leads to another domain where they find a large version of the Fantastic Compass in the distance and a smaller one in the ground. Accompanying Yanfei, they run into Treasure Hoarders, but Yanfei recognizes them as hired thugs that were sent after her after winning against a defendant in a case. After she clears them out, they head into the next area through the compass where they find Yelan and the Fatui, who the two easily dispatch. After proceeding a bit further, they run into Xiao and a remnant of Bosacius' memory, confirming Xiao's suspicions that Bosacius was the Nameless Yaksha that participated in the Chasm. Xiao purges the memory after a brief fight, and after manipulating the compass a bit more, head into a manifestation of the Abyss. The Traveler spots their sibling and chases after them, but it's only an illusion that reveals another Fantastic Compass lying on the ground.

Yelan activates the compass and discovers that someone had used it before. They leave the area to take a breather while Yelan tries to unlock it to figure out what may be inside.


At Tunnel's End, Light

After a short time, Yelan informs the group that the only thing hidden inside was about Boyang's fate, much to the dismay of the group as they believe themselves to be stuck for good in the chaotic space. This had scared Paimon into knocking the Fantastic Compass down, but as soon they moved to pick it up, it reacted to Yelan and Xiao's energy. Yanfei realized that from the compass is an exorcism catalyst made to repel demons using human's magic art and adepti's power combined. And by their theory, the Compass can bring the group to the Surface, but since the compass is an illusion created by the space, they cannot take it with them outside.

Activating the Compass unleashed a floating platform that began climbing towards the Surface. While Xiao was busy maintaining the energy flow, malevolent forces appeared that tried to snare the group back into the Depths. After breaking through a particularly large mass of malevolent energy, Xiao's own suddenly starts to give in, upon which he uses the last of his energy to hurl the group to the Surface. As the platform shatters, Xiao begins to fall back down, but a swirl of yellow energy appears from the Surface to rescue him. It is soon revealed that prior to Xiao's journey, he had informed Zhongli of his intentions, thus making the former Geo Archon aware of the trip.

After escaping, Itto wakes up and realized that he missed the show. While Yelan leaves, Yanfei decides that for all the trouble she caused, she should invite Itto and Shinobu for a tour in Liyue. Xiao later invites the Traveler to Pervases' temple, telling the Traveler that not knowing Bosacius' fate had always bothered him until now. Xiao reflects on his suicidal plan and his past actions, agreeing with the Traveler that those who died defending Liyue are heroes of history.

Gallery

Other Languages

LanguageOfficial NameLiteral Meaning
EnglishInterlude Chapter
Chinese
(Simplified)
间章
Jiān Zhāng
Chinese
(Traditional)
間章
Jiān Zhāng
Japanese間章
Kanshou
Interlude
Korean중간장
Jungganjang
Interlude Chapter
SpanishIntermedio
FrenchIntermèdeInterlude
RussianПромежуточный том
Promezhutochnyy tom
Thaiบทสลับฉาก 1
VietnameseChương Đệm
GermanZwischenkapitelIntermediate Chapter
IndonesianChapter InterludeInterlude Chapter
PortugueseCapítulo de Interlúdio

Change History

Released in Version 2.4

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