So… this ended up being extremely late. I had a late start on working on this, and then wasn't liking the direction things were going on, so I had to start over and then adjust.

I will go on and say that I do have a long-term Genshin story in production, and I did decide to treat this as a sort of practice round for some elements and ideas I have in mind for it. You'll at least get a gist of some of the characters I'm gonna be making major.

Those who follow me on Twitter, then some of this stuff will sound a little familiar. This did get some basis from my own playtime with the game, albeit adjusted a little bit here and there for the sake of a story.

In spite of the lateness, this is still very much for Ganyu's birthday. I hope that you'll enjoy this little tale I made in honor of my favorite character from Genshin Impact, and the character who originally inspired me to start playing the game…

Disclaimers: Genshin Impact belongs to Hoyoverse and its other owners.

It was a calm day around late sunset. The Traveler, better known as Lumine, had been on her way alongside her companions to get back to Liyue Harbor in order to make some preparations for their travels to the nation of Fontaine. It had been a mostly quiet trek back to the land of the Geo Archon, with only a handful of scuffles in the time between, and the group had set up camp for the oncoming evening.

"How much longer…?" Paimon asked as she floated nearby Lumine.

"Shouldn't take us too much longer…" Lumine responded, holding a framed photo in her hands.

Paimon soon noticed this and floated nearby, then gave a small smile at it as well.

"Paimon remembers," the small fairy soon remarked as Lumine looked at the photo, "February 6th. It's almost been 300 days!"

"Wo~w…" Lumine commented, soon giggling a bit, "And I remember when we met Ganyu. January 25th. I remember it like it was yesterday…"

During Lumine's travels in Liyue, a mechanized soldier had ended up becoming active because of vague reasons she didn't fully understand, and it proved to be a monster. It was a machine known simply as the "Ruin Hunter" and it was borderline impossible to kill. The Ruin Hunter proved tough, durable, hard to hit, and constantly able to regenerate health. An order for no entry or exit from around that particular area had been ordered to ensure that nothing would unintentionally agro the Ruin Hunter until somebody could properly deal with it.

"We're gonna need to beat that thing, somehow…" Xiangling remarked.

"I know, I know…" Lumine responded.

At the time, Lumine's party had been herself, Kaeya, Barbara, and Xiangling. Kaeya ended up getting really badly injured during one attempt to stop the Ruin Hunter, and Barbara had also gotten minorly injured as a result of being forced to tank a drill attack. She was able to survive it, thanks to Lumine, but Kaeya had needed to get sent back to Mondstadt for proper treatment to the point he needed to get carried back by Noelle. Thus, at the moment, it was her, Barbara, and Xiangling.

"Lumine, where are we going again?" Barbara eventually asked.

"I heard that there's a spot that can get us help if I use those special wishing gemstones I've been finding. And considering we don't know when Kaeya's gonna recover and we don't know if we can get Fischl's help, we need all the help we can get…"

Barbara soon sighed, rubbing the back of her head a little bit.

"Just trust me a little bit, Babs," Lumine responded.

The blonde rubbed the back of her head, giving off a nervous giggle at the memory of how long it took for the wishes to actually work.

As Lumine kept using the Intertwined Fates, Barbara and Xiangling just started to cook a little bit with some supplies they had found nearby. Lumine saw the two working on the food, then gave off a nervous laugh.

"How's it going?" Paimon soon asked.

"I'm… down to the last materials we have…" Lumine soon informed.

Xiangling and Barbara sighed, packing up some of what they had cooked to get ready to leave.

"Please… please… please…" Lumine whispered, clutching the Intertwined Fate in both of her hands.

With all of her hopes and prayers resting on this item, Lumine flung it towards the sky. It began to glow as it trailed upwards towards the air, then returned downwards with a golden glow. Lumine's eyes widened in amazement as she saw it continue to glow before it landed at the ground. The golden glow kept going for a moment, before finally fading…

"At last, I have found you, you who returned from Jueyun Karst," a woman's voice spoke.

"Who's there?!" Paimon spoke in worry.

"Lumine, we should get going," Barbara said, equally worried.

"Wait, I am not with the Millelith, nor am I here to claim your bounty!"

Lumine gave a nod as the voice approached the group. Lumine's face lit up a bright red as she saw the beauty and grace that this person carried with her as she walked. Time almost seemed to slow down as she walked over to them, with Lumine not able to look away from her.

"However, I am an emissary of the Liyue Qixing. My name is Ganyu, secretary at the Yuehai Pavilion, and I have come specifically to meet you," the figure introduced.

"Secretary?" Lumine eventually asked.

"Well, in concrete terms, I am the corporate secretary for the Qixing. However, in this moment, I have responded to this," Ganyu informed, holding the now burnt up Intertwined Fate.

Lumine managed to get her focus back upon seeing the item and then recomposed herself quickly, "Yeah. I was trying to wish for aid."

Ganyu nodded her head a little bit, ready to hear Lumine out about what she needed.

"The Ruin Hunter has been a major issue for us. We have been trying to stop it multiple times, but it just doesn't know when to give up. Our attempts to deal with it have been… less than successful…" Lumine began to explain.

"We got close to beating it once, but everybody was incapacitated and I got knocked out when I was the last one standing…" Barbara admitted.

"We need any help we can get to try to beat it. Please…" Lumine spoke

Ganyu looked at Lumine for a bit, then she pulled out some papers and handed them to the blonde.

"Here is a draft Service Agreement for your review and consideration. Effective immediately, if all is in order…" Ganyu spoke, making Lumine briefly skim it for a moment to check what it said, only to look at it in confusion for a moment. Ganyu walked over to her side and then saw what she was staring at, "Ah! Wait a sec, wait a sec, I forgot to sign it…"

Xiangling quickly passed over something Ganyu could use to write, "Thank you. Alright… 'Gan... yu…' there. Right."

Lumine soon looked towards her current group of friends and traveling companions. Ganyu and Barbara were still part of the group, but Xiangling had to leave the group before they headed out towards Inazuma and Thoma had picked up the spot in the group. Collei was also with them, having been the most recent new addition to the group after their travels to Sumeru.

"Have you ever tried dango before?" Thoma asked Collei.

"Read about it, but I've never tried it before," Collei admitted.

"It's really simple," Thoma told her as he began to make some of the prep for it, while Barbara was going through the process of actually making the dango.

Lumine gave a small smile towards her group of friends, before her eyes drifted back towards Ganyu. The bluenette was currently working on cleaning off both her own bow and the bow that Collei had been using. Her mind continued to drift a bit as she relaxed, but…

"Shoot, shoot, shoot!"

"Born of ice and frost!" Ganyu spoke, quickly shifting her position to generate an ice flower to act as a cooling agent.

"Thanks," Thoma responded, "The heat just rose a bit faster than I was expecting."

"Everything ok?" Lumine asked.

"We're fine, just a small issue," Barbara responded.

Lumine nodded a bit, then looked and soon noticed a light drizzle starting to form. Thoma and Collei quickly got a cover up for the campsite, just to be safe, while Barbara kept working on the dango recipe.

Lumine slowly looked towards the rain as another memory came back to mind…

The day was now February 6th. Lumine, Ganyu, Barbara, and Xiangling had made as much preparation as they could before they got back to the Wangshu Inn. The Ruin Hunter had been inert over the time between when it first got active and now, apart from Lumine's few attempts to make it stop, so nobody had disturbed it. Lumine walked towards the railings to try to plan out a trajectory to get towards it, when she and Xiangling happened to see the weather…

"It's… raining…" Xiangling remarked.

"Wait… that gives us a chance! Hurry!" Lumine shouted, quickly dashing off the side of the building, opening up her glider, and sailing forward.

" she always this reckless?" Ganyu couldn't help but ask.

"Like you wouldn't believe," both Barbara and Xiangling responded. The three all sighed before following Lumine's lead and getting towards the Ruin Hunter.

"Ganyu, take the lead. Barabara, Xiangling, get ready to cover her if need be!" Lumine quickly instructed the others as they all landed.

Once they got close enough, the Ruin Hunter sensed them and began to move upwards.

"Born of ice and frost!"

With that said, Ganyu moved backwards and left an ice flower of sorts. The flower drew the attention of the Ruin Hunter, with the Cryo energy quickly freezing it over completely. With this, Ganyu summoned her bow and unleashed a fully charged ice arrow right at the Ruin Hunter. It, once again, froze over completely. Ganyu quickly unleashed another ice flower to keep its attention off of her and give her time to aim and keep on the offensive. This kept up for a bit before the Ruin Hunter was able to avoid some of her arrows and get moving around in the air.

"I can't see it!" Ganyu spoke, the rain starting to mess with her focus.

"Behind you!" Xiangling yelled.

The quick drill finished revving up before it moved towards Ganyu, but Lumine managed to summon her sword and get right in the way just in time. Lumine's blade held off the mechanical arm of the Ruin Hunter, with Lumine bracing the other end of her sword with her other hand, "You… will not… hurt her!"

The Ruin Hunter growled in anger as it kept applying the drill's pressure on Lumine's sword.

"I will… lay down… my life…" Lumine spoke, struggling to hold back the attack, "IF IT MEANS PROTECTING HER!"

"Lumine…" Ganyu spoke.

Lumine was able to knock the Ruin Hunter back a little bit, then quickly generated Anemo energy into her hand, "Windblade!"

The gust of wind blew back the Ruin Hunter a little bit, with Xiangling moving towards the blonde-haired traveler.

"Get me an opening and I can get you one," Xiangling quickly told Lumine.

Lumine nodded her head, then turned towards Barbara and Ganyu, "I got a plan. Cover me!"

The two long-ranged fighters nodded as they headed forward and unleashed a few attacks that managed to freeze the Ruin Hunter. With the opening granted, Lumine hurried forward, taking a moment to focus, then grinned, "Starfall!"

Lumine's sword glowed a bit, which gave her a charge of energy, "Drop!"

With that, another construct fell into position. Xiangling nodded, quickly getting up both of them and getting close enough to the Ruin Hunter. Xiangling managed to knock the Ruin Hunter closer to the ground. Lumine quickly moved forward, generating Geo energy at her legs, before she struck a pose, "Crumble apart!"

The Geo constructs collided with the Ruin Hunter, though some did miss it. The Ruin Hunter was capable of rising again, then took aim towards Lumine with its missiles.

"Eat thi~s!" Xiangling yelled, quickly flinging her spear around herself. The spear quickly generated enough force to spin around her, along with Pyro energy flowing around it, which kept attacking the Ruin Hunter head on. This caused the missiles to redirect towards her. While her spear did manage to keep some away from her, a few of the blasts did knock her off of the constructs and back towards the ground.

"I'll protect us!" Barbara spoke, quickly generating her healing ability around the group. The flowing energy began to recover their health a bit, "Are you okay?"

"I'll manage," Xiangling spoke, managing to support herself with her lance. She took a moment to wipe away some sweat and some raindrops from her forehead, only to see a bit more sunlight than earlier. The group looked up to see that the rain clouds had moved away.

"The rain's gone…" Lumine spoke, getting a bit more nervous.

Barbara hurried forward, casting some water spells towards the Ruin Hunter. Ganyu quickly got what Barbara was going for, then hurried over and fired a volley of Cryo charged arrows at it. Barbara kept up the assault of spells, which made the Ruin Hunter get ready to go for the drill move.

"This is long overdue!" Ganyu proclaimed, generating the Sacred Cryo Pearl overhead of the group. The Sacred Cryo Pearl began to rain down ice shards onto the Ruin Hunter, which froze it over when combined with Barbara's Hydro attacks. Ganyu moved forward and kept on the attack while the Sacred Cryo Pearl kept raining down ice.

The Ruin Hunter's mechanical form began to spark and shake, indicating that it was finally on its last legs and was going to go down. Ganyu exhaled for a moment, then hurried to get the last attack.

The bluenette pulled back on her arrow, the Ruin Hunter no longer able to pull anything to move.

"Let evil die and good endure!"

The final arrow soared towards the Ruin Hunter, successfully colliding with it dead on. The Ruin Hunter stopped in mid-air before falling out of the sky and collapsing to the ground, totally inert. The four girls all panted a bit before they finally saw the enemy was defeated, the Sacred Cryo Pearl vanishing from overhead.

"We… we did it…" Lumine spoke, looking in genuine disbelief that they had pulled it off, "We did it… we did it! WE DID IT!"

Barbara and Xiangling both began to cheer a bit, quickly high-fiving each-other. Paimon floated around in pure joy, while Ganyu just gently giggled. While they began to celebrate a bit, though…


The group watched Lumine keep swinging and smacking the now inert and inoperable Ruin Hunter in pure anger.

" she okay…?" Ganyu soon whispered to Paimon.

"The Traveler had been trying to beat this thing for about a whole month. Let her have this…"

Ganyu exhaled a little, then watched Lumine keep swinging for about another three minutes as the blonde made absolutely certain that the Ruin Hunter was broken beyond any capability to be repaired. After a moment, Lumine exhaled and then walked back over to Ganyu.

"Glad to see you're feeling better…" Ganyu responded, with an expression showing she had no idea what else to say.

"Ganyu, thank you so much! You're my hero!" Lumine beamed, going over and giving her a kiss to the cheek…

"Everything ok?" Ganyu asked, bringing Lumine back to reality.

"Oh, yeah. I was just thinking about how you and I had first met each-other," Lumine admitted, making the photo that the four triumphant heroes had taken after the battle disappear in a brief bit of light, "And then the fight against the Ruin Hunter."

"The 'operation' as you so eloquently put it," Ganyu reminded.

Lumine giggled a bit at that.

"U~h…" Thoma soon spoke up, he and the others having overheard part of the conversation.

"What are they talking about?" Collei asked.

"I'll tell you two later," Barbara responded.

Thoma and Collei just nodded, able to tell from Barbara's expression that it was a long story, so they all went back to the food prep.

"I don't think I'd be able to do anything without you, Ganyu. You're one of the greatest people I've ever met," Lumine smiled.

Ganyu blushed a little bit, then gave a soft giggle. Barbara soon brought over the finished dango and set it out for the group to go ahead and eat.

"How much longer do you think it'll be before we get to the harbor?" Collei ended up asking as she picked up a dango stick.

"Shouldn't be more than a little while. Just… camping out for the evening before we finish the trek," Lumine responded.

The others nodded and enjoyed the meal for the time being. The rain that was nearby had started to leave, making the night sky visible to everybody. Paimon quickly swiped a few finished dango to munch on, though nobody seemed to mind at this point. Lumine watched as her friends all glanced upwards, while her eyes were fixated on the bluenette archer by her side.

It was now morning in Liyue Harbor, and Ganyu was gently walking around the city and observing the people as they went about their business. The bluenette had gone ahead of the group to get back into the town to make sure things were ready for the evening. She eventually walked over to a restaurant and saw a familiar face was currently working on cutting up some lettuce for a salad.

"Oh! Good morning, Ganyu! Happy birthday!" Xiangling waved.

"Good morning," Ganyu greeted, "Thank you."

"How have you and Lumine been?" Xiangling soon asked, before she spotted Ganyu blushing, "Oh. I didn't mean that in a weird way. I meant that in a 'how are you all doing in general' kind of way. Sorry."

"Oh, oh," Ganyu responded, her blush fading after a moment, "Uh, we're all doing well. One of our new friends is hoping to get the chance to meet you in the future."

"That's great to hear," Xiangling smiled, "So… any reason you've swung by?"

"Uh… I did want to do something for my birthday. I rented out part of the Pavilion for the day and wanted to have a bit of a meal set up."

Xiangling smiled, quickly getting out a notepad to prep some ideas, "Say no more. I'm ready to cater a party at a moment's notice!"

"Uh… I… uh… wanted it to… just be… uh… me and Lumine…" Ganyu soon informed.

Xiangling quickly nodded, jotting down that she'd have to make enough food for two people. She looked around the restaurant to make sure she had the supplies, then gave off a small grin as she got to work cooking up a storm.

Lumine gave off a small yawn as she sat up and saw that the others had gotten to work on packing up the campsite.

"Good morning, Traveler! Ganyu left a message for you!" Paimon informed, handing Lumine a small envelope, "Ganyu ended up going on ahead of us. Just so you know."

The blonde gave off a small yawn, rubbing her eyes a little, before she opened up the letter.

'Dear Lumine-

Lately, the other secretaries at Yuehai Pavilion have been working hard and are handling many of the affairs, so I'm less busy than usual at the end of the year. I'm... not used to having free time, so I find myself not knowing what to do.

I heard that it is a pleasant experience to admire the moon and to clear one's mind over a cup of tea with a friend after work. Would you mind accompanying me under the moonlit breeze tonight?

Please don't feel obliged to agree. Being able to have a quiet and peaceful moment in the midst of my busy schedule has made me very happy.

I've prepared tea that I often drink at Yuehai Pavilion and its complementary ingredients that help soothe the mind. I hope you will like it.

Hope to see you soon, Ganyu.'

Lumine quickly got up, prepared herself for the day ahead, and then headed off with a skip in her step. Paimon then followed after her, leaving Barbara, Thoma, and Collei to exhale a little bit before they also followed along. Although, part of the way forward, they ended up losing sight of Lumine and Paimon.

"Certainly a big town…" Collei observed as she, Barbara, and Thoma were now walking around the main town of the nation of Liyue. The green haired girl was holding onto one of Barbara's hands out of a slight bit of nervousness, but was keeping a calm look on her face in spite of her nerves.

"Don't worry. Once you get the hang of it, it's easy to get around," Barbara assured her.

" say that…" Thoma mumbled.

Collei nodded her head a little bit, but kept her hand next to Barbara's as she guided them forward. Barbara soon stopped and turned around when she seemed to hear something, which she quickly noticed and guided over Thoma and Collei when she saw the source.

"Hey, Babs! Been a while!" Xiangling greeted as she was quickly putting the food into some containers.

"It certainly has. How have you been?" Barbara responded.

"Doing pretty good. Got a pretty big order I'm working on," Xiangling added, packing up some rice into a container.

Barbara gave a small nod before she realized that Thoma and Collei would both be a little bit lost.

"Uh…" Thoma started to speak, as if to give Barbara a cue.

"Right. Thoma, Collei, this is Xiangling. She was one of our traveling companions for a while. I think she was one of the first friends Lumine made outside of the Knights of Favonius," Barbara proceeded to explain.

"We sorta bumped into each-other while I was over in Mondstadt because I was trying to gather some unique ingredients. I kinda ended up needing to focus on my job and, well, deal with less… crazy things… if you get what I mean," Xiangling informed.

Thoma and Collei seemed to grasp what Xiangling meant by that and gave nods in response.

"Xiangling, this is Thoma. We met him while we were in Inazuma and, after the rules preventing entry and exit were removed, he joined us full time. He traveled around with us a lot while we were in Inazuma, and he's a great guy," Barbara continued.

"Nice to meet you at last, Xiangling. Lumine and the others told me quite a bit about you," Thoma informed as he offered his hand for a high five.

"Great to meetcha!" Xiangling beamed, accepting the high five.

"And then this is Collei. We all met her while we were traveling around in Sumeru and she recently joined up with us. She's pretty good with a bow and has a Dendro Vision," Barbara added on.

"Collei? Hmm… Collei, Collei, Collei…" Xiangling mumbled for a moment before she snapped her fingers, "Right! Amber mentioned you a couple of times in some of her messages to Lumine while I was traveling with her. She said she was hoping you and I would get to meet!"

"H-Hi…" Collei nervously waved.

"You'll have to go a bit easy on her. She's a little shy and a bit touch-sensitive," Barbara quickly whispered to Xiangling.

Xiangling gave a quick nod and thumbs up, before she gave a friendly smile towards Collei, "Great to finally meet you."

Collei nervously nodded a bit, but she did manage to give a genuine smile towards Xiangling.

"I am glad you three are here. I'm working on prepping some meals for tonight. I got some of it done, but I do think I'll need some extra hands for both prep and plating. Think you're up for it? It's for a certain someone's girlfriend who has a birthday tonight."

The trio all nodded, clearly getting who that was in reference to…

"Traveler, teleport already!" Paimon yelled.

"I will when I finish the present!" Lumine responded, picking up some Glaze Lilies. Paimon let out a heavy sigh as Lumine kept getting the flowers into a bundle.

A few hours had passed before Lumine had gotten back into Liyue, having spent a bit of the day working on gathering the present, and having it made into a nice flower bundle. The blonde soon walked around the town, following a small map she had to make sure she was going in the right direction.

"Okay… so… this way…" she mumbled, going forward.

Paimon was about to say something, when she spotted Xiangling nearby. The small companion floated over to her, with Xiangling giving her a small 'shh' motion. Paimon then saw that Barbara, Thoma, and Collei were nearby and they were all ready to watch the little date between the two.

Lumine soon arrived at the Pavilion to see Ganyu was sitting there and admiring the moon. The blonde walked over to Ganyu's side, gently handing her the bouquet of Glaze Lilies.

"Ooooh!" Ganyu gawked as she accepted them.

"Happy birthday, Ganyu," Lumine smiled, quickly giving Ganyu a kiss to the cheek.

"Thank you, Lumine," Ganyu smiled, holding onto the flowers for a bit, "I did ask for some food to be made, so we can enjoy the evening. Just the two of us."

Lumine gave a nod before she sat down. The two watched the stars for a bit before some fireworks began to go off. Both of them gasped and turned towards each-other, but then they just enjoyed it.

"Uh…" Xiangling started to speak, turning towards the others.

"I have no idea," Barbara admitted.

"Not a clue," Thoma added.

"I don't even know my way around this town," Collei responded.

"Paimon thinks Paimon knows," the small companion spoke, gesturing just across from them. They looked to see Ningguang, Keqing, and Shenhe were there and quietly heading off.

"That makes sense," Xiangling admitted.

Barbara gave her own nod, then gave a quick "I'll tell you later" gesture to Thoma and Collei. The two nodded, and simply enjoyed the fireworks as well.

Lumine and Ganyu watched the fireworks for a bit. The two then smiled towards each-other before they happily kissed for a bit. Once they stopped, their eyes went back to the fireworks as they kept going off.

"Happy birthday," Lumine soon whispered.

With that, this little story is done. While this did end up taking a bit longer than expected owing to me getting busy with holiday things, some minor school things, and other IRL stuff, this is done before the end of the year, which became my goal after I missed my original deadline.

Nevertheless, this was fun to write. I will admit that I am still getting a grasp on certain characters and adjusting here and there, so some voices may be a little off. However, it's not gonna be a major issue as time goes on.

I think my favorite part was just the little kiss. It was short, sweet, and cute.

Hope you all enjoyed this and you're having a happy holidays. There should be one more fic out by tomorrow.

Just Live More.