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Heart’s Desire: Stone Heart

Heart's Desire: Stone Heart
TypeBook
Rarity
In-game SlangQuest Item
In-game DescriptionA collection of fantasy stories centered around a mysterious antique shop. It's widely popular around Teyvat.
Item Story
Legend tells of a corner of the harbor that has been forgotten by the mountain rocks and the sound of the crashing waves.
To reach that place one must stand in the sea breeze and close their eyes, walk forty-nine steps away from the clamor of the city streets, then wait until complete silence replaces the sound of the voices in the background, the only remaining sound being that of one's own heartbeat. Upon opening one's eyes, one will find they have arrived at a little shop...

————

"Is anybody in?" The man tapped on the front door as he called out. He was draped in a raincoat.
He peered in through the dusty windows at the objects on display around the store — a bottle of glimmering stardust, a broken blade that gleamed like ice, a painting on a roll of paper that the years had turned yellow, an elixir that gave off a mysterious aurora, a tile thinly coated with a gel-like substance...
He entered the store. The door closed behind him.
He walked over to the counter and began inspecting the weird and wonderful objects in the store. All seemed to be relics from a bygone era. Then, a soft female voice came from beside him.
"Welcome to the store. Do you see anything that takes your fancy?"

Taken by surprise, he turned to face the speaker, a fox-eyed shopkeeper, who let out a faint smile.
"Here's the thing... I'm looking for a certain something that can help me settle an old score."
The man spoke with a voice that was clear and resonant, but that had a hint of apprehensiveness about it — one which did not seem to fit with his physical appearance.
"Oh? Very well then."
The shopkeeper's golden fox-like eyes flickered as she examined this new customer of hers who was draped in a soaking-wet raincoat. She gave a nod.
She leaned down to search in the bottom of the cabinet. When she stood up a moment later, she was holding a large and beautiful piece of Cor Lapis.

The Cor Lapis in the shopkeeper's hand gently glowed a dark shade of gold, much in the same way that her eyes did.
The man took the stone from her hand and studied it closely in the moonlight. In this light, the Cor Lapis seemed to reveal a deep turbulence concealed within its soft golden hue.
His hands were still trembling.

"Cor Lapis is the soul of the rocks. Even the hardest and most resilient of rocks will, over time, eventually produce a pure, limpid soul."
The shopkeeper's voice seemed to be coming from a distant place. The man gave a nod.
"This is precisely what I was looking for."
The man solemnly responded, and placed a heavy sack of Mora upon the counter. Then, he left the store and ventured off into the midnight rain.

————

"That's what happened."
After the shopkeeper had spoken, she narrowed her fox-like eyes and examined the customer in front of her.
"Did he say nothing else at all?"
Judging by his appearance, the young man was presumably a miner. His eyes betrayed an urgency that he could not contain. But the shopkeeper responded simply by calmly shaking her head.
"He left a sack of Mora with blood stains on the outside."
Like a pool of water, the shopkeeper's voice was calm and still, but also icy cold.

"That is precisely what I was looking for."
The young man let out a long sigh. It seemed he wanted to evade the golden gaze of the fox-eyed shopkeeper.
"In return, I will give you a story."
The shopkeeper nodded her head to indicate that he should continue.
"That man in the raincoat... I used to go mining with him, up in the mountains. I wanted to make a name for myself. He just wanted to support his family..."
"One rainy night we broke open a rock to find that substantial piece of Cor Lapis inside. The pure golden glow that radiated from its surface was a more breathtaking sight to behold than all the marvels of Jueyun Karst put together..."
"We agreed that we would split it fifty-fifty once we got back to Liyue Harbor. But that night, under cover of the deafening roar of the torrential rain... I discreetly made it so that that clifftop would be his final resting place..."
"I did it because I was scared I couldn't trust him... I couldn't trust in a promise that, aside from ourselves, only the adepti could have heard — and they're probably imaginary anyway."
"So... Fear won me over. I could bring myself to accept that the whole sum could be mine if I was willing to get blood on my hands, but I couldn't bring myself to accept the risk of traveling with a stranger..."

"The following morning, I let down my rope and began my descent down the cliff. I had taken maybe four steps, five or six perhaps, and I was adjusting my footing on a rock when suddenly, I felt the rope trembling in the palms of my hands... Instantly that same trembling permeated every fiber of my being..."
"I lifted my head to look at the rope, but it was too late..."
"The last thing I remember seeing was the torn rope fibers at the end of the snapped rope."
"Only a hunting knife could have made a clean cut like that. I am sure of it."

"Then, in the end, you two settled your score."
The fox-eyed shopkeeper smiled so faintly it was all but indiscernible.
"He takes the Cor Lapis, and you take the whole sum of money for it."
The young man did not say much in reply.

————

Legends claim that Cor Lapis is the soul of the rocks of the earth, and that the stronger the life force of the rock the more power it possesses to reveal a person's true nature.
Some say that even after its owner has left the world, Cor Lapis will bring their unfulfilled desire and regret back into it, waiting for one with the ability to fulfill them.
So the legends claim.
It had now been around four hours since the two strange customers had left the store. The rain continued to pour down.
The shopkeeper stood by the window for a long time, peering out at the dark street engulfed in misty rain.
"But... Is the score truly settled? And are they now truly free? "
She spoke as if posing her question to the curtain of rain, but knowing that the answer would never come.

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