Over the Starsnach Cliff, Collei, Amber and Cyno, a scholar from Sumeru stood over the cliff.
"This is the time when its powers are at the weakest" Cyno stated looking at the sun at its highest. He had tan skin, red-orange eyes, and medium-length gray hair and wore a black cloak with dog-like ears over the hood.
"Last chance if you want to back out" He said to Collei "Once sealed you shall not use its powers again at the cost..." He paused for a moment "Lest you be devoured."
Collei listening with a worried face, thinking about it "Let's do this!" Collei finally exclaimed full of resolution.
Cyno started chanting in an ancient and unknown language while praying with his hands as the ritual started.
"AHHHHH!" Collei started shouting madly in pain as black fire surged from her body, reacting to Cyno's ritual as it concentrated over a barrier, trying to seal it.
"So you were hiding here" Suddenly in the middle of the ritual Barnabas appeared "She was right after all."
Barnabas took out a curved sword, swinging it and shooting two black blades of Abyss element toward Cyno.
"Buagg!" Cyno vomited blood due to the backslash of canceling the ritual. The ritual required full concentration and most of his energy, breaking it in the middle having grievous consequences for him and for Collei.
*Cr* The barrier surrounding the black fire broke apart, the fire returning to Collei and surrounding her body "AHHHH!"
"Collei!" Amber shouted worried as she run towards Collei, however, as she was unable to reach her, Collei's black flames burning her surroundings avoiding anyone to approach.
"Trying to seal the holy powers capable of saving you. Could you be more stupid?" Barnabas criticized her "Foolish, unclean child, after being so favored by our god, you don't know how to show even a little gratitude."
"Unleash your power! This world has abandoned you!" Barnabas swung his sword again, this time targetting Collei with black blades.
"Stop!" Amber jumped in front of her, swinging her bow covered with Pyro element and breaking the black blades.
"Foolish knight! The culprit of the black fire must be handed to the Fatui!" Barnabas shouted.
"I won't be fooled by you. You were the first one to attack, get away from Collei!" Amber drew an arrow focusing Pyro on the tip of it "The Knight of Favonius will never turn a blind eye to you hurting innocent people!" Amber shot the arrow, Barnabas barely able to avoid it, the tip of the arrow slashing his cheek.
"You!" Barnabas roared with furry as he swung his swords, shooting multiple black blades, however, Amber showed her great agility and the experience as an Outrider, avoiding every blade while jumping around shooting arrows.
"Let it rain!" Amber shot a volley of arrows to the sky, these ones falling as a Pyro rain towards Barnabas who was unable to avoid them, his body being pierced by the arrows, pining him to the ground and being forced to let go of his sword.
"Give up!" Barnabas dragged his body trying to recover his sword, but Amber was faster, kicking it away toward the cliff.
"Despreciable Mond!" Barnabas cursed and started chanting in a strange language, runes appearing all over his body. "GAAAAAA!" Barnabas growled as his body started transforming, growing, becoming stronger as he became a Thunderhelm Lawachurl.
"Take this!" Amber shot a charged arrow but she was unable to do anything, the arrow rebounding over Barnabas's new body "Not even a single scratch, no way!"
Barnabas swung his huge arm, Amber trying to block it protecting herself with a Pyro barrier but it was easily broken, Barnabas injuring her and throwing her away almost failing over the cliff.
"Amber!" Collei clenched her teeth. She stood up in fury and pain as she could feel her body burned by the black fire.
"This is the power of gods! How could you renegade after being chosen by it?!" Barnabas shot towards Collei with his colossal body while Collei could feel her mind being blurred by the black fire full of bad emotions, losing herself in it. Collei knew it, it was her end, she was to be swallowed by the black fire and if it was so, she would take Barnabas with it.
"AHHHHH!" Black fire exploded from Collei and she charged towards Barnabas, punching at him.
*Cla* Just before they were to clash, someone jumped between both, blocking Barnabas arm with a sword and clenching Collei's punch.
"What an spectacle, a monster attacking two poor girls" Collei's mind was instantly cleaned, the black fire withing her becoming more bearable as she could feel warm from the hand stopping her punch. As her eyes cleared up, she could see the beautiful girl in front of her wearing a bright and confident smile and a strange blue gemstone tying her hair.
"M-my lad-" Barnabas was shocked by the sudden interruption of Columbina stopping him. But before he was able to react, Allen swung her Flute, a net of slashes cutting his body.
*Shaf!* Blood surged and Barnabas fell to his knees, all his body being easily cut by Allen's vibrating sword "W-why?" He whispered before crashing to the ground dead.
"Who are you?" Collei asked with distrust feeling something strange and familiar with Allen, the power of her Delusion similar to the black fire.
"I am Columbina, the 11th Fatui Harbinger" Allen presented herself.
"You!" Collei tensed and looked at Allen with anger, remembering her time over with Barnabas and Dottore, experimenting with her body and injecting god's fragment into her. The pain and terror that would never be forgotten. Collei's black fire started intensifying again.
"You better stop any resistance and come with me" Allen approached Collei, whispering over her ear "Or something very bad could happen to your friend there." Yes, in the end this was the reason behind Allen letting Collei befriend Amber as a way to control her and for her future.
"Let Collei go!" Amber warned preparing to shot at Allen.
"Do you think she can stop me?" Allen whispered at Collei before separating from her and turning over Amber "This girl is the culprit about the black fire incident that took the life of two diplomats. As such, I will be in charge of taking her."
Amber tensed, keeping her bow drawn. However, she really doubted that she could do something to stop a Harbinger, it was useless comparing her with Barnabas who she was unable to win against.
"But!" Allen smiled warmly at Amber "Do not worry. I am aware of the truth behind and that the poor girl is unable to control it. I promise that I will take care of it." Allen turned towards Collei, hiding her cold face from Amber "Won't you follow me, Collei?" Allen offered her hand.
"Yes" Collei hid her clenched hand and her fury to Amber, knowing that if she went against Allen, Amber would be killed and she will be dragged away, their power unable to compete with Allen. "Do not worry Amber. I will be fine" Collei forced a big smile to Amber before taking Columbina's hand.
Amber could feel that something was not right and that Collei was forcing herself for Amber's own safety.
"I'll leave Mondstadt to take care of Collei" Allen said to Amber "Please, inform the knights about my leave and tell them that the black fire incident had been taken care of."
"Good bye, Amber" Collei smiled forcefully at Amber before going with Allen, leaving Amber alone in the place.
*Pa!* Amber punched the ground. The feeling of the impotence of not being able to do anything to safe her new friend. She felt so powerless. "Shit!" She cursed as tears fell from her eyes.