Moonlit Bamboo Forest

Moonlit Bamboo Forest (I)
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (I)3
Book, Moonlit Bamboo Forest
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (II)
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (II)3
Book, Moonlit Bamboo Forest
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (III)
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (III)3
Book, Moonlit Bamboo Forest
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (IV)
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (IV)3
Book, Moonlit Bamboo Forest
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Table of Content
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (I)
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (II)
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (III)
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (IV)

Moonlit Bamboo Forest (I)

Moonlit Bamboo Forest (I)
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (I)NameMoonlit Bamboo Forest (I)
Type (Ingame)Quest Item
FamilyBook, Moonlit Bamboo Forest
DescriptionWhen a small-town boy looking to leave his sleepy hometown behind gets lost in a bamboo forest at sundown, what long-forgotten dreams will he encounter?
Between the rustling emerald curtains of foliage, in a spot where the croaks of frogs and shrills of cicadas meet, lies a corner of the forest that is withered and dry, just near the wetlands beneath the mountain crags.

The bamboo forest of Mt. Qingce is the verdant home to many fables.

After a spell of rain, a cadence of drips and drops could be heard bouncing from the bamboo leaves and hollow bamboo stalks. Along a winding path between the bamboo spires came a young boy. He swiftly made his way along the trail, climbing up damp crags and running down its paved mossy course. The leaves of tangled foliage and vines strewn across his path brushed against his skin. The boy finally decided to stop for a rest at a dried and withering spot among the creaking bamboo of Mt. Qingce, tucked away below the mountain rock.

The boy clearly remembered the village elder once saying that the rainy season was the proper time for the fox to take its wife. Only the eyes of a child could ever see the fox bride's crimson sedan chair and its procession dancing through the forest accompanied by strains of music and thumping drums.

The village elder also warned that kids mustn't approach any such procession.

"If you wander too close, the fox will snatch your soul away!"
That's what the village elder always said.
"What happens if your soul gets snatched?" asked one of the kids.
"Once the fox has your soul, your fate will be forever sealed... Perhaps they will use you for music in their processions, smashing you like a cymbal and beating you like a drum, horns blaring all around... There will be no rest for your soul."
The elder would never forget to pose as if she were beating a drum while she spoke, scaring the little ones all the more.

As the boy grew older, he stopped believing the elder's silly fables. Following the Seelie's wispy trails, he passed through the green labyrinth, accompanied by the faint calls of foxes coming from the thickets along the way. Those crafty creatures hiding deep in the forest will seldom reveal themselves or their boisterous bridal processions to careless treading travelers.

The boy was in rather low spirits, kicking pebbles off the road and stomping up the naturally occurring stone steps along the way, wandering further into the heart of the bamboo forest.

The village elder once said that this very forest was once an ancient kingdom conquered by the Geo Archon. But what did the Geo Archon look like? Did it have arms and legs, or eyes like us? Or, was he more like the stone beasts found along the water banks?

The herb gatherers that periodically set up shop in the city to sell their herbal ingredients would always bring tales of that year's Rite of Descension. Listening to their stories, one could only imagine the amazing scene of the Geo Archon descending to the world. But of course, the curious kids could only hope to someday see the great Archon that had been revered for generations with their very own eyes.

Was the immovable Mt. Qingce a gift from the benevolent Geo Archon? And were the decades of peace and the long lives that had been enjoyed by generations of people here preordained by the Archon?

The answers to these questions lay outside the village, within the aging forest on the mountain.

Bubbling with questions and expectation, the determined boy made his way forward beneath the scattered shadows of bamboo leaves.

Moonlit Bamboo Forest (II)

Moonlit Bamboo Forest (II)
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (II)NameMoonlit Bamboo Forest (II)
Type (Ingame)Quest Item
FamilyBook, Moonlit Bamboo Forest
DescriptionAs the moon slowly rises in the night sky, small-town boy meets bamboo-forest girl — but is he voyaging into the realm of the adepti, or setting foot in some monstrous trap?
Lost among the green bamboo canopy, the young lad soon met an unexpected companion.

"What's the matter? Are you lost?"
The lad heard a gentle voice among the rustling bamboo stalks, speaking with a hint of sarcastic playfulness.

The lad turned to see a slender woman garbed in white. She stood beside a clear babbling brook, with beads of water glistening on her woven rush raincoat, her golden eyes melding with the rays cast through the forest by the setting sun.

The village elder had said that there were once white horses that would leap from clear springs to become adepti to assist the campaigns of the Lord of Geo.
But no one had ever specified which spring, or the honorable name of the illuminated beast that sprang from it.
Besides, the woman that stood before him now didn't appear to be an adeptus, apart from the piercing gaze of her golden eyes.

Furthermore, he had never heard of any adepti that needed to wear raincoats.

"Well if it isn't another fool."
The lady garbed in white began to chuckle, squinting her eyes with a smile.

"Who are you calling a fool?"
Replied the young lad in a fluster.
This was certainly no adeptus. Who had ever heard of an adeptus that would speak in such a deplorable manner?

"I wish to embark on an adventure. I want to sail across the seas and witness the stone spears of the Lord of Geo for myself!"

"You've only just embarked on your journey and yet you've already fallen astray among the bamboo forest..."
The woman's reply was calm and even, a subtle smirk playing over her eyes. Already, the lad found her particularly annoying.

"I don't need your..."
"There's no shame in being lost. Come, follow me. I will lead out of here."
The woman snickered and extended her slender hand toward the boy. Her white skin glimmered under the rays of the sunset that shone between the bamboo leaves.

"Uh, thank you..."
The young lad took her outstretched hand. Her skin was cold and damp to the touch, much like fresh rain upon a mountain or dewdrops upon a bamboo shoot.

The setting sun gradually disappeared behind the mountain ridge, and the afterglow in the clear sky above gradually grew dim.

The village elder always used to say that once the warm glow of the setting sun fades, the cold and murky atmosphere of the mountain woods becomes a perfect breeding ground for monsters.
These monsters are born from a past that has long gone, their spirits forming from the resentment and unwillingness of the dead. Any bamboo they ensnare will dry up and die, and any person they ensnare will similarly grow weary and fade from existence.
"Sometimes, they will even call upon passers-by to assist them with matters that they could not accomplish on their own, before leading them into a trap from which they would never return..."
"Other times, they would act as a guide for innocent travelers, leading them to a den of demons."
"So you see, little ones, you must stay vigilant, and never let your guard down when you journey far from familiar soil."
Thus would say the village elder, patting the kids on their heads as she finished the story.

Come to think of it, could this woman in white be a monster of the mountain woods?
The lad grew nervous in his heart and couldn't help but slow his pace.

"What's the matter?"
The woman turned around, her golden eyes shining through the moonlight draping over her silhouette.

Moonlit Bamboo Forest (III)

Moonlit Bamboo Forest (III)
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (III)NameMoonlit Bamboo Forest (III)
Type (Ingame)Quest Item
FamilyBook, Moonlit Bamboo Forest
DescriptionDeep in the bamboo forest, reality has coincided with a story from the distant past. But the crossover ends as the bright moon reaches its peak in the night sky, and small-town boy disappears into an indescribable dream.
Nightfall seemed to always hasten its approach over the bamboo forest of Mt. Qingce.
Gazing upward, the silvery moonlight was scattered amidst the shadows of the bamboo forest's leaves. In a spot illuminated under the moonlight, far from the croaking frogs and chirping cicadas, new bamboo culms had just sprouted from the ground.

The bamboo forest of Mt. Qingce is the verdant home to many fables.

As night fell, the woman garbed in white began to recount many stories to the young lad, ancient tales that the lad had never heard before.

"Long ago, three bright moons once hung high in the night sky. These three moons were sisters, their years numbering more than those of the Geo Archon and their year of birth predating the very bedrock upon which Liyue Harbor now rests.
The moons were daughters of prose and song, sovereign over the night sky. They navigated the heavens above in their silver carriage, alternating with one another thrice a month. If the reign was not promptly passed from one sister to the next, a terrible disaster would occur that very day.
These three luminous moons shared but one love, the stars of daybreak. Only at the fleeting moments when day and night converged could one of the three sisters pass the fading stars and gaze upon the chambers of the morning stars. Moments later, as the new dawn would break over the horizon, the carriage would quickly ferry the night's sister away.
The three sisters shared an equal affection for their one and only love, much like the affection they shared for one another. But this was all before the world was smashed against the tides of great calamity.
With time, disasters overturned the sovereign carriage and laid ruin to the halls of the stars. The three sisters of the night turned against one another, leading to their eternal parting by death. Only one of their pale corpses now remains, ever shedding its cold light..."

The woman raised her head and gazed at the moon through the sea of bamboo. Her long, slender neck was covered in the silver light and her eyes shone gold.

"The wolf packs are children of the moons, they remember the calamities and the tragedies that ensued. Hence, they lament the fate of their mother with each new moon... It is also why those who live among the wolves call the morning stars, the surviving love of the moon, the grievous stars."
"I see..."
The young lad remained silent for some time.
This was a story that the village elders had never told before. Perhaps it was a legend that even the eldest of elders had never heard before. It was a grander tale than those about foxes taking brides and monsters ensnaring people, but a less riveting one than those about the Lord of Geo driving away evil spirits. The woman's tales were almost like a dream of the imagination.

"These are stories that have never been told, legends that have already been long forgotten by people."
The woman garbed in white gently stroked the lad's hair and lowered her eyelids. The golden color of her eyes grew a little darker.
"Before the ancient immortals established the universe, there were gods that wandered across the lands. It was at this time that many of the adepti came into being. But what about before then?"
"Only broken memories and fragments of the past were turned into stories, and stories turned into legends, passed down among the people..."
"Even deities and adepti would feel sentimental upon hearing such ancient memories that surpass the mortal world."

The woman let out a long sigh and turned to find the young lad fast asleep.
"Tsk! Unbelievable..."
With a weary smile, she took off her raincoat and placed it over the young lad.

That night, the lad dreamt of three moons in the sky, and a silver carriage stopped before the gates of the stars.

Moonlit Bamboo Forest (IV)

Moonlit Bamboo Forest (IV)
Moonlit Bamboo Forest (IV)NameMoonlit Bamboo Forest (IV)
Type (Ingame)Quest Item
FamilyBook, Moonlit Bamboo Forest
DescriptionAs dawn gently approaches, the fate of the two youngsters diverges, and they go their separate ways. But the echoes of that ancient story still resound within the forest, waiting for the day that they may welcome small-town boy back into their midst once more.
As day slowly dawned, the young boy was gently awakened.

Daybreak's light silhouetted the white mist that shrouded the bamboo forest of which tales of ghostly foxes were told. The vapor seemed like a horsetail, as it billowed this way and that.

The woman held his hand, and together they walked toward the place where the sun pierced through the woods. They turned left, then right, passing through undergrowth teeming with insects, clambering over slippery moss-covered stones, scaling down a gorge hidden by the shadows of the bamboo trees. All the way she led him, till they arrived at the exit of the bamboo forest.

"I still don't know who you are, or where you're from."
Said the boy, for the previous night's story had yet to leave his mind.

The woman turned, and with her back to the morning light, her eyes shone gold.
But she merely smiled, and said nothing.

Many years later, the boy, who was a boy no longer, would remember that moment, and he would understand: the gap between them was as a yawning chasm. His fate was to leave his home and go to Liyue Harbor, to seek the riches the Geo Archon had bestowed upon him. Hers, then, was to hide herself away, away from the majestic, kindly gaze of that great Lord of Geo, and protect those ancient tales that even she was beginning to forget.

So, the boy and the white-clad, golden-eyed woman were parted.
He would pack his things and head for that thriving port city, while she stood silently at the boundaries of the bamboo forest. For in her bewitching eyes, she seemed to have already foreseen the young man's fate — that someday, when he was old, tired of the sea and the waves of life, he would slowly return to this mountain village, and there he would live out the rest of his days.

In the dawn's glow, the boy heard a whinnying cry that then grew distant.
He turned and looked, and there was nothing behind him, but a single strand of hair that had come to rest on his shoulder.

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