Relationship between House Fende and House Gardios
The Gardios are a family of counts, and the Fende are their Knights. It actually used to be the contrary, with the Fende as the lords and the Gardios as their knights.It all comes from Yulia's time. After saving the world etc, she went back to her hometown Hod and married Freyr Albert, her first disciple and the first Fon Master of the newly created Order of Lorelei, as well as the creator of the Albert Style that Van, Luke and Asch use. Together they founded House Fende in order to protect Yulia's abilities (her Fonic Hymns etc), the Seventh Fonstone, (later) her grave, and the key to open the Albertesque seal (the second layer of the Sephiroth defence system).
Walter Sigmund, Freyr's little half-brother and apprentice, founded House Gardios in order to protect them. He also created the Sigmund Style (which stems from the Albert Style) with that in mind - something about making up for the Albert Style's weaknesses or something. Because of that, the style is kept secret and is taught directly from master to student (whereas the Albert Style has books and stuff - it's more widely known). The Gardios, Pere, and some other Hod citizens use this style.
Since the Fende were being targeted for being descendants of Yulia, and to better hide the Seventh Fonstone, their role inversed, and the Gardios became the masters. So they took the spotlight instead, and it worked, because even Jade didn't seem to know much about the Fende.
The Hod War
Fomicry research was conducted on the island. Because he was the one with the most affinity to the Seventh Fonon, Van was chosen to participate in experiments on hyperresonnance. They were quite painful and messed a bit with his mind. That lead him to hate "Dr Curtiss" who had ordered the experiments (though Jade himself never set foot on Hod).
Malkuth had sensed the invasion from Kimlasca (it's not clear if they just analyzed the situation or if there was help from the Score, but I'm betting on the latter), so they abandoned the island (aka they called their troops back and let the inhabitants fare for themselves - no wonder Duke Fabre had an easy victory). However, there was no time to take the fomicry machines, so Van was summoned to the institute and attached by force to a device that could generate an artificial hyperresonnance. The hyperresonnance accidentally hit the Sephiroth Tree, leading to Hod's fall. Contrary to Akzeriuth, Hod took several days to disappear, probably because it wasn't a direct hit to the Passage Ring. Van's mother was present at the institute (probably taken hostage to force him to cooperate?). He sang the Fonic Hymn to protect them and they fell into the Qliphoth.
Life in the Qliphoth
The novel introduces new characters, namely the Talbas family. The mother, Jessie, became Myria's friend and took care of her until her death. She later took care of Tear (she'd visit her from time to time, and invite her to her home too) as per Theodoro's orders. She has a son, Sein, and a daughter who's two years younger than Tear, Alissa. Sein was Tear's childhood friend and Alissa hated her (mostly out of jealousy). The father, Howard, is a Locrian Sergeant in the Order and is only mentioned. He participated in the Battle of Chesedonia.
Myria died the day Tear was born.
Excerpt from Kin no Inori:
Excerpt from Kin no Inori:
'Mother, about Father..."
'Vandesdelca,' interrupted his mother. 'Your father fought bravely alongside the Gardios. I doubt he is still alive now. You must live on and only keep looking forward. Do not blame yourself.'
'Promise me to protect Mystearica. I'm sure you two can be happy...'
Van looked down at his mother, whose beautiful face was rapidly losing color.
'Vandesdelca... your power...' Myria couldn't speak anymore.
Van glanced with dry eyes at Jessie, who was covering her face with her hands.
Mother... I promise to protect my sister. But I won't blame myself. I'm not at fault. You should know that... Mother...
He could hear a baby's voice in the next room. Mystearica had started crying.
Van enrolled in the Oracle Knights military academy and thus left to the Outer Lands when Tear was 3 (so he was 14-15). He graduated two years later.
It's Sein who gave Tear the idea to enter the Oracle too and help her brother. It's cute how she didn't know girls could become Oracle knights to x3 Anyway they decided to go together. Alissa was a jerk to Tear.
Tear's 5th birthday at the Talbas:
Tear's 5th birthday at the Talbas:
'Sein, Tear, please call Alissa,' said Jessie while heading to the kitchen.
'Okay. Come, Tear.'
Just as she was hesitating whether to take the hand he was holding out to her, someone pulled her hair with force.
She didn't have to turn to know who it was.
Sein's sister had snuck up behind her.
'Your hair's longer.'
'Of course. I'm growing it,' answered Tear, annoyed.
'You're trying to look like Myria,' cackled Alissa as she took her seat.
'I'm sorry, Tear,' apologized Jessie, who had just come back. 'It seems she remembered what I said when we talked about Myria. Girls like to talk a lot when they're three. Ah, but since you're a good girl, you don't make empty talk, do you, Tear?'
She didn't know what to answer.
'Ah, it fell.'
The potato Alissa had been holding high on purpose made a noise as it connected with the floor.
'It fell. Just like Tear.'
Shocked, Tear looked up, and her eyes met Jessie's. Alissa went on.
'Tear, did you hit you head when you fell?'
'I didn't! My brother said he protected us by singing the Fonic Hymn.'
'Ooh. Hey, you know what? Daddy's going to come back for my birthday. Isn't it great?'
If Jessie hadn't opened her mouth then, Tear would have probably left her seat.
'Alissa. If you don't stop being mean to Tear right now, you're going to your room.'
Alissa puffed her cheeks and ran out of the dining room.
'She's not like that, usually...' sighed Jessie.
Tear couldn't help but feel it was her fault. It's because we're strangers. It wasn't the first time it happened.
Tear was young, but she'd already noticed she wasn't really welcomed in Yulia City. It's because life in the Qliphoth is very harsh, and she and Van are seen as outsiders, strangers. Theodoro adopting them and the special treatment they received thanks to that wasn't well received. That lead Tear to wonder where exactly was her hometown, because she'd never known Hod, but she wasn't exactly treated as an inhabitant of Yulia City either.
Van didn't often come back, but he was a really nice brother, bringing her presents and stuff. However, the distance between them was already building, because he was more and more thinking about the Score. It's around that time he started the Replica Project.
Tear's just told him of her plan to enter the Oracle:
Tear's just told him of her plan to enter the Oracle:
"It's a promise, Big Brother!"
"Yes, it's a promise," nodded Van.
A promise... I made one five years ago too...
He recalled his mother's last words.
"Promise me to protect Mystearica. I'm sure you two can be happy...'
He didn't have to think much to decide which promise to give priority to. His sister didn't know anything yet.
They've discovered she can use the 7th Fonon as she instinctively tried to heal a flower that was withering (happens the same night as the previous excerpt):
'Big Brother.' She pulled him out of his thoughts.
'Tomorrow, I'm gonna ask Grandfather to let me go to the library.'
'Good idea. You'll need to learn more about Selenias if you plan to grow them.'
Tear looked up without saying anything. They had just made a promise, but it seemed that her brother's mind was elsewhere.
What I want to learn more about is the sev... Seventh Fonon.
She wondered what exactly that was. At least, she knew that it was something tying her with her brother. Tear was starting to feel confident about herself.
I... promised my brother...
She dug in the ground with her small nails and put the Selenia in the hole.
She, who had felt so lost until then, thought she had just found a way to become stronger.
From then on, Van starts to tell her about his view of the world and his hatred for the Score and fomicry, but Tear is still too young, so she doesn't understand. She's actually scared of him when he's in rant mode, because he seems so different from the kind brother she's used to, plus she doesn't get what's happening.
"Tear, I want you to remember. What destroyed our home, Hod, was the Score, and the hyperresonnance." (Van)
Nevertheless, she still wants to become an Oracle Knight to help him. In fact, she just wants to be with him.
Van became Commandant some eight years after that (Tear was around 13, so he's like 24). In the meanwhile, he gathered the people who'd later be known as the God Generals and included them in his plan, kidnapped Luke fon Fabre and replicated him etc.
Tear was still alone in Yulia City. She and the Talbas grew more and more distant as time passed, though Jessie would still come from time to time. Many in Yulia City believe Van's becoming the Commandant is only due to Theodoro's influence (but that's not true). Alissa's being mean again, and Sein's changed.
Meeting them as she comes back from the library:
'It really has been a while. You haven't come and played at our house for ages.'
How could I come, if I'm never invited? Tear answered Alissa silently. I bet she asks Aunt Jessie not to invite me.
'I see it's different when you're the Commandant's sister.'
'What do you want to say?'
Alissa didn't answer and turned to her brother.
'Sein, go home first. I have to talk to Tear.'
She took the groceries from Tear's hands and put them on top of her brother's.
'Hey, it's heavy!'
She pushed him away, and he left. Tear caught a last glimpse of his face, but couldn't find any resemblance with the boy who had proposed they went to Daath together with a smile.
'Tear, congratulation for Van's promotion.'
'There's a rumor saying it's all thanks to the mayor's influence.'
'No way! It's the first time I hear that.' Tear was surprised; there was no way it could be.
'What did you want to talk about?' she asked while picking up the books and files she had dropped.
'You probably already know about it, but my brother is going to enter the Knights academy in Daath. He hasn't passed the exam yet though.'
'Oh? Well, he always said he wanted to become a Knight.' Tear smiled, looking at Sein, who was walking away while trying to balance the grocery bags.
'You're slow, Tear. I'm telling you you're a bother.'
'How many people from Yulia City do you think are taking the test? Everyone's studying hard now.'
Tear tilted her head, trying to understand what Alissa was implying.
'It's not the time for him to be sent grocery shopping! And yet you still take our mother's time!'
Jessie had come today. When Tear had told her there was nothing to do, she had sent her outside with a smile, saying 'Then I'll just prepare dinner and go home.'
'You've been using my mother ever since you were in your own mum's belly. How much longer are you planning to make her work for you? Look at you, playing outside when we're busy.'
'I'm sorry... I didn't mean to... It's what Grandfather decided. He was worried about me, because he considers me like his true granddaughter... But these days, he only makes her come from time to time. Today would be the first time in a while... But I'm going to talk with him about it immediately!'
Alissa looked doubtful.
'I can't trust you.'
Tear bit her lip. She hadn't expected such open hatred. She ran to her house without saying anything.
I have to talk to Grandfather immediately, and ask him to stop making Aunt Jessie come.
Jessie will die of illness a few years from there, but Tear will only learn it much later.
Van still comes and visit, but she starts noticing there's something wrong with him (well, it's not new, but before she was too young to really notice). So she wants to discover what's really up with him, and she comes to the conclusion that the answer lays in Daath.
She wanted to know what really was lying in Van's heart. For that, entering the Oracle Knights was indeed the only way.
I'm trying to use the promise I made to my brother when we were little as an excuse. But she didn't care.
Although, it doesn't mean she doesn't want to go there for the initial reasons. She still wants to be close to her brother (which is why she wants to understand what changed him).
So she asks to go to the academy, but Van wants to keep her out of all his plotting, so he does his best to keep her in Yulia City - by sending Legretta as a private tutor. Tear isn't pleased with that, because, as Legretta correctly guesses, she cares more about going to Daath than becoming a soldier. She only saw Legretta as an obstacle. She decided to boycott her first lesson, hoping she would be put off of teaching her. However, she underestimated her. Legretta waited for her the whole day and didn't move. When Tear discovered that, she was impressed and became intrigued by her, and accepted to be taught by her in Yulia City.
That, of course, was seen as special treatment by the others, and someone decided to make her pay for it, by framing her for the murder of a pet rappig. Even though he believed in her innocence, Theodoro wanted her to own up to the crime and apologize to calm matters, but Legretta prevented that from happening, saying Tear shouldn't apologize for something she didn't do and that she was under her responsibility so they needed her agreement to do it. She later found the real culprit and the case was closed. When asked about it, she refused to real their name except they were academy students, but Tear, who'd made her own investigation, believed it's Sein who was responsible (for the record, yes it was him and he was expelled as punishment - and his father resigned, too).
Legretta to Tear:
Legretta to Tear:
'It is true that you are treated specially. But what you make of it is up to you, and you alone. Don't forget that.'
Tear about Legretta:
I want to become like her. Strong and kind like her. And I want to earn her trust one day.
She completed her training about half a year later, and was then sent to the academy in Daath for practical training, under Cantabile.
A note about Cantabile
She is the leader of the sixth division. However, that does not make her a God General. She's part of the Fon Master Faction, Mohs tries to get rid of her, and she hates Van and Legretta enough to make her treat Tear unfairly. She knows that Van is up to something (though it's not clear how much she knows) and does not agree with what he's doing.
Tear got one step closer to her brother, but that didn't solve anything. She actually grows more and more suspicious, though she doesn't admit it at first. Training under Cantabile is not pleasant - she keeps putting her down and stuff. She finally decides to confront her, and Cantabile asks her why exactly she wants to become an Oracle Knight. Tear replies she wants to help her brother, work for him.
'Hahahahaha, that's a good one. Seems the Commandant has a nice, cute little sister. You want to work for him? That's hilarious. Hahahahaha. So that's how it is... I see. I see. I finally understand why you never seemed truly motivated.'
Tear is offended and Cantabile takes pity on her, and warns her that there might be more to Van than she thinks. She tells Tear to see for herself and gives her a map with a place where Van is doing his experiments on hyperresonnance.
Tear goes, and panics, because Van is supposed to hate hyperresonnance. He tries to dismiss her doubts, saying it's a project that Fon Master Evenos had entrusted him with, that it's for peace's sake etc, but Tear doesn't really swallow it and has more and more doubts.
Hyperresonnance... My brother is in charge of making experiments on hyperresonnance! What should I do? What should I...
She realizes she never really considered the consequences of discovering the truth.
My goal was to learn the truth about my brother, Tear kept repeating to herself. But I never thought of what to do after. I didn't think it could be something that bad. I took it lightly. I now get why Major Cantabile thought I lacked motivation...
Distressed, she goes back to Yulia City to get some time to think. That's when she hears Van's and Legretta's conversation (they didn't know she was back). She tries to confront them, but Van assures her it's a misunderstanding. However, she's seen too much to believe him now.
Van then gets a little crazy phase (like he did when Legretta tried to kill him in that flashback sidequest) and... it completely flies over his head that he's the one who made her cry in the first place:
'Who... makes you suffer so?' asked Van while fighting for breath.
'Leave it to me... I'll release you of your pain immediately. No... Not only you. I'll release everyone.'
Van's steps as he headed toward the door were uncertain, but his tone was bordering ecstasy, leaving Tear too shocked to move.
'Yes... I have to be the one to do it... I have to...!'
Tear could only look at him in shock.
Tear ponders for a while.
Whatever his reasons, it's wrong make people die. That's the only thing I'm sure of. But then, what should I do?
That night, the only thing certain for Tear was that her relationship with her brother was over.
And then she decides she must stop him at all cost.
She goes to Cantabile and asks her to help her get to work under Mohs. Cantabile laughs and comments that she seems to have found her resolve, and that she might as well honor her wish - it's the last thing she'll get to do, because Mohs is going to send her away. So Tear enters the intelligence division thanks to Cantabile and half a year later, she gets that mission to find the Seventh Fonstone, which enables her to track Van and attack him, and meets Luke in the process.