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The first time they met, Childe saved Aether and called him 'buddy'. Then Childe Story Quest, in which Aether is befriending Childe and is promising Childe to visit him and his Family in Snezhnaya.
Aether first meets Childe in 'Archon Quest Chapter 1 Act 1'. Aether is escaping to avoid suspicion of being the culprit of Rex Lapis' murder. When he was at the stairs he stepped on shard of glass accidentally grabbing the guards attention. Unfortunately, he gets surrounded by the guards until he hears Childe's voice saying "Hey buddy-- Hold still,". Childe then knocks all the guards unconscious and escapes with Aether. After both Paimon and Aether are exhausted from running, Childe formally introduces himself. Of course, that wasn't his real name but an alias of sorts. Paimon and Aether figured that Childe is one of the Fatui. Childe claims he isn't here for trouble, but is here to help them. Childe trusts Aether for not killing Rex Lapis since he's been keeping an eye on Aether. Childe has gave Aether a fake Sigil of Permission created by the Fatui, and the story continues.
Aether enters The Golden house to check on Rex Lapis' Gnosis, there he sees Childe who also had his eyes on Rex Lapis' Gnosis. Childe then challenges Aether to a battle. Aether successfully defeats Childe three times throughout three stages, but Childe wasn't finished. With all the Sigil of Permissions that the Fatui have been reproducing Childe summons Osial, Overlord of the Vortex.
In Tartaglia's Story Quest which can be unlocked at Adventure Rank 40 with Story Key, is where Aether and Paimon meet Teucer or Childe's Little brother, almost at the end of the Story Quest Aether, Paimon and Teucer are at Northland Bank and, Paimon said that Teucer has been following them/Aether and Paimon the whole time, Teucer then gave an answer saying that he knew Aether and Paimon the whole time because of a letter that Childe sent home. Teucer also said, that if Childe could quit his job, then he would join Aether on adventures and after Teucer then left, Childe then appeared and he explained to Aether and Paimon that he didn't want his brother to see him all weak as his last memory of him. Childe invites Aether and Paimon to Snezhnaya they agree after all they made a pinkie promise to Teucer.
In Childe's birthday mail to Aether, he tells him that it has been a while since the two meet each other. He further say's, that having him around is what makes his life really interesting and that he plans a special day to meet up with Aether. The last thing he say's is that if Aether has no special plans, he could visit him.
- “Hey, pal! How have you been? You must have traveled far and wide since we last saw each other, right? For me, I can only seek out some entertainment for myself. These past couple of days, I've used a work opportunity to explore Dragonspine and seek out some local specialties. I hope they will be of use to you. The harsh cold of the snow-capped mountains is reminiscent to the scenery of my hometown... Sigh, I've had many mundane days that makes me nostalgic of our time together. Whether it's a fight or a challenge, I always feel that having you around is what makes life really interesting. Haha, to be honest, I've been planning a special day to meet up with you, today could be that chance! If you have no special plans, how about you swing by my place?”
- — Childe's Birthday mail.
Chilather tends to be controversial depending on fans as Aether has no official age so a few fans decrypt Aether as a minor while the other thinks Aether is an adult. After the release of the new archon it's revealed Aether is five hundred years old, it still caused some controversy as those who oppose the ship earlier on believe despite the number of his age, as those believed Aether 'still' has a body of a minor making him still a minor. However those theories were debunked in Diona's hangout as Aether mentions just because he looks young doesn't give the fact he's actually way older than he is, debunking the fact Aether is underage.
The ship became also bigger because of the Childe Story Quest, in which Aether is befriending Childe and is promising Childe to visit him and his Family in Snezhnaya. And he always promoted in PV as traveler.
On AO3, Chilaether has 470+ fanfictions.
Screenshots from story
- ChiLither refers to the ship between the two and Zhongli
- ChiTohTher refers to the ship between the two and Thoma