"Little brother? What's the meaning of this?" Allen asked completely shocked, not really understanding the situation 'How could it be?'
"Sorry, I was a little excited" Eula smiled as she broke the hug "You must be a little confused. But you are my little brother who was lost 13 years ago."
"That can't be..."
"You are called Allen and have 15 years, almost 16. You were lost 13 years ago over a trip at Snezhnaya along..." She made a sad expression "our parents and your twin sister, Ellen. You must have grown as an orphan, I'm truly sorry" Eula hugged him again with some tears in her eyes "If only I had known before. I thought that all of you have died."
'She knows about Ellen? That's why she especially asked about my siblings.' Allen thought 'So maybe is true...'
"If that's true, could you explain what happened?" Allen asked.
"Of course, you will be curious and have some doubts" Eula smiled with compassion "Our family has the custom to go to Snezhnaya once we become 2 years old to receive the blessing of the Cryo Archon. I do not really know when it started, but it can be considered to be a thanks to them and to pray for the children to grow strong. In the end, is certainly true that most of the Visions of the Lawrence clan are Cryo" Eula smiled looking at Allen "I'm glad that we have this in common."
"I went when I was 2 and 13 years ago, it was yours and your twin's time to go and our parents brought both of you to Snezhanaya while I was left in the care of our uncle here at Mondstadt during that time, needing to take care of two children during the travel being enough for them."
"Unfortunately, during their travel by ship, there was an accident and we were informed that the ship sank. Nothing was known about the cause and no notice of any survivor was told so it was thought that all of you had died there."
"However, the other day when I saw you, I gained hope. You have the name, the hair color of our mom and have good swordsmanship, the talent with swords and strength being quite known in the clan."
"Only for that?" Allen asked as it seemed a little strange only for the name, hair and that he used a sword.
"I had some doubts" Eula blushed ashamed "I recalled your purple eyes being deeper. That's why I wanted to know more about you and asked those questions the other day. However, it seemed that you truly weren't my brother. Neither having parents nor a sister made it unlikely for you to be, but it wasn't discarding as you could have been the only survivor. You also did not come from Snezhanaya but from Inazuma."
"All of it seemed to suggest you weren't my brother, but I couldn't shake off the feeling that you might be. In the end, I decided to create this commission for you."
"This is the secret Lawrence Clan's family Domain, but it's not hidden from clan members. It's used as a trial for passing. It tests your abilities and determines if you're worthy of leading the clan, all of it considering your age. Only the true member of the clan who has our bloodline and passes the trials can obtain the Glacial Seal."
Eula opened her right hand, a Glacial Seal equal to the one before appearing over it "This is the sign of passing the trials and being worthy of leading the clan. There's no better sign of you being a true Lawrence."
"So I am a Lawrence..." Allen thought looking at the Glacial Seal 'It certainly explains some things. Like why I felt some sense of familiarity with Eula as now that I truly look at her, she looks quite similar to Ellen, or why when I entered the other Domain with Dottore, the tests were easier than expected as it detected my bloodline as part of the clan, lowering its difficulty.'
"Yes. You are my little brother and you don't have to worry anymore, I'll take care of you. You can call me big sis as you used before." Eula smiled trying to embrace him again, but this time Allen stopped her.
"Eula, I trust your words and I truly think that I am your brother, but I don't need anyone taking care of me" Allen explained "I had difficult times but I surpassed them with my own strength. And I am proud of having done it. For me, family is the people that I grow together and treated me with care and love rather than some bloodline connection. In the end, I don't even know you."
"Of course" Eula looked downcast "It's normal, you have your own life. And I was not there when you needed me the most. I understand" Eula said sadly.
Seeing her depressed face, Allen felt a pain in his heart, he was sure that her feelings were truthful and that rather than him, who wanted more than anything to be siblings was her 'It's normal for her to want it. She should have been only 7 when she lost her parents and little siblings, her family breaking apart.'
'She was then raised by her uncle and clan while Ellen and I were raised as orphans. Our difficulties might have been completely different, but nevertheless, we both had lost a lot.'
"That's why I'll like to know more about you" Allen stated, Eula blinking confusedly "I cannot treat you as a sister for now. That's why, why don't we spend more time together? Meeting, talking, eating... So maybe one day, we'll truly become like true siblings."
"Yes, I would love it" Eula smiled brightly, cleaning a tear from her eyes. "Let's know more about each other. We've been apart 13 years, there's no need to rush it." Eula looked attentively at Allen, all her blurred memories of her almost forgotten childhood blooming again.
"We better keep it as a secret" Eula stated with a strained smile "Our Lawrence clan is quite hated at Mondstadt. You had shown that you can live alone, you don't need the clan, so I don't want you to carry its sins, being hated by the people only for that."
'It could certainly be bad' "We can keep us being siblings a secret for now, but there's no need to hide our time together" Allen rebuked "I know what the Lawrence did in the past and it was certainly depreciable, but people shouldn't be branded by the sins of their ancestors."
"In the end, we must live our own lives being responsible for our own actions and for me..." Allen looked directly at Eula's eyes "You are a proud and excellent knight, there is no reason to be ashamed to be with you."
"Thanks, Allen" Eula smiled warmly 'I will not call you brother for now until you call me sister. I'll make you call me sister!' She promised herself.
"Let me show something" Eula stood up and dragged Allen to the middle of the room where the flower stood "Before us, it has been quite the decades since anyone was able to pass the trial and obtain the Glacial Seal, our mother being the last one. When I reached this point, there was a frozen tree instead of a flower and using the Glacial Seal, I was able to unlock it."
Eula flicked her finger and her claymore appeared over her hands "This was the treasure behind it, the Song of Broken Pines which I was able to bond with. This claymore was used to offer our respect to Barbatos and even in the time of the Lawrence tyranny, it served against the clan, wielded by Kreuzlied in his last moments."
"And that's not the only thing." Eula put her claymore over the flower "Use the Glacial Seal."
Allen did as told, summoning the Glacial Seal on his hand, this one started shining brightly as if reacting with the claymore. Then, Allen saw it, an image, a memory engraved in his mind.
It was a tall woman with short black hair 'Venerare'. Allen could recognize her from the time at the Golden Apple archipelago, of the memory of Old Mondstadt.
Venerare stood in front of a statue of Barbatos, but it was a little different than the actual one, being more similar to the true Venti, respecting his image better, making it more differentiable.
"You were exiled, you were not a Lawrence. We don't deserve you, so we won't sing your songs. But at least, we will follow you and your songs with our dances so that someday, you may feel proud enough of us," Venerare whispered softly to the statue as she finished writing under it "Your songs will last forever and with them, our dance."
The image blinked and changed, showing a man hidden under a coat and a hood, wielding the claymore in a fight with people who seemed slaves following behind.
The image changed, showing different people wielding it and finally, it came the last one.
This time it was the same room of the Domain with a woman with long blue hair and deep yellow eyes. She was incredibly similar to Eula and Ellen, but with a darker shade of blue more similar to Allen.
The woman had the Song of Broken Pines in her hands "I was unable to do it and I found something more important for me than the clan, my own family" She said rubbing her stomach "That's why I return you here" She left the claymore on the flower, floating over it. The flower quickly reacted growing and swallowing the claymore, changing its form and becoming a frozen tree.
"I hope someday, someone is strong enough to wield you and destroy the prejudices against the Lawrence Clan, recovering our true nobility and the respect of Mondstadt."
The image blinked and Allen found himself next to Eula.
"The first woman was Venerare, the leader of the clan at the times of Decarabian that fought against the tyrant to free Mondstadt" Eula explained, not knowing that Allen was already far more aware of it than her.
"And the last was our mother" Eula said with a sad smile "She also wielded the claymore and was considered a little rebel of the clan, not totally following its rules, and in the end abandoning it for our father and us."
"Thanks for sharing it, Eula" Allen nodded.
"I only wanted to show you that the clan is not so bad, there have been true heroes and respected people in it." Eula took the claymore, smiling proudly at it before withdrawing it.
'That's most probably the reason she became a Knight of Favonius, she wanted to show the true nobility of her clan, the one that helped, not the one that oppressed the weak, wanting to follow the legacy left behind by her lost mother.' "I think that the claymore couldn't be in better hands now."
"Thanks" Eula smiled "I'll make them proud."
'Doing it all for others instead of for herself. She is quite pitiful' Allen thought looking at her 'But, I'll help you with it. Accomplishing it and surpassing our mother.'
"Let's return. It's getting dark and the mountain can be quite dangerous at night." Eula said with care, both of them leaving the domain and descending the mountain. By the time, they reached Eula's cabin, it was already pitch dark.
"It's quite late to return to Mondstadt. So if you don't mind" Eula said with a little blush "would you like to sleep with me?"