I’m still not entirely sure of whether or not Rean will be the main character of the upcoming Sen no Kiseki III, but there’s no ignoring the fact that he’ll absolutely be in the game. Especially after the little reveal from the Tokyo Xanadu eX+ trailer.
However, Rean’s position in Sen III is in the air! Finish Sen II/Cold Steel II to find out why people are confused! Kondo promised a gamechanger, and that’s what Falcom delivered.
As a result, if you haven’t finished the game, please do not continue beyond the cut, for this is dangerous, spoiler-filled territory!
(all screenshots courtesy of Gu4n!)
I’m going to start in chronological order for this, so the theory won’t entirely make much sense until you come to the end of it, and everything comes together.
At the end of Trails of Cold Steel, C (or Crow, obviously) makes an attempt on Osborne’s life during a speech after the incident with Crossbell and the disappearance of Garrelia Fortress.
I am fairly convinced that Crow was successful, considering the nature of Osborne’s wound, and the end result of the attempt.
However, if you had played Ao no Kiseki, you would know that not only was there an assassination attempt on Osborne, but that it would also be unsuccessful.
Ao no Kiseki, at its fragments chapter, brings up the assassination attempt on Osborne.
…but once you get to the end of Ao, it brings up that he’s a critical part of defeating the nobles in the Erebonian civil war.
So when I saw the scene in Cold Steel, I realized that it was far more successful looking than I had imagined, especially after what I was led into thinking from Ao no Kiseki.
Fast forward to Cold Steel II- there’s even a scene in it when Claire brings up that Osborne’s body has disappeared. To me, this sounds like Erebonia had his body, and that he was- for sure- dead.
But I’ll draw your attention back to 3rd, during Kevin’s report on the Pillar of Salt incident and his plan to weaponize it by having a crossbow bolt made from it.
This will make resurrection, through any means, impossible.
This one line, I think, is one of the most telling lines of that entire report. This tells me that the Septian Church is aware of methods of resurrection. Such as with Weissmann in SC, when he’s hit with the bolt, you can see that his body is destroyed afterwards. I suspect that the body is necessary for the process of resurrection.
And I’ll point back to Claire saying that Osborne’s body has gone missing. So if my theory is correct, then Osborne’s body was stolen for the resurrection process.
When you finally see Osborne again at the end of Cold Steel II, this is right after Crow has died. But let’s take a step back to Crow’s death…
Not only can you see that Crow’s wound is the same as Osborne’s, he straight up says it as much. I believe that when you have the game narratively pointing something out like this, then it’s not meant to be seen as a coincidence at all anymore, but instead it is something you should remember.
It could be a poetic stance, in the irony of the two injuries, but who are we kidding? This is Kiseki, and there are no coincidences in Kiseki.
By the time you get to the Gaiden, as resistant as Rean was to the idea of working for Osborne during the end of Cold Steel II’s final chapter, you see that he’s doing exactly what he didn’t want to do while in Crossbell.
There’s enough evidence that Rean is working with the rest of the Iron Breed, as he’s following orders, and reporting back to Lechter at the end of the Gaiden.
So now that my evidence in front of us, my theory is this….
Rean’s motivation for working for Osborne is driven entirely to find out why he’s alive after the gunshot wound. This is because Rean has yet to let go of what happened to Crow, and seeks to resurrect him, the same as what has happened with Osborne.
But let’s look at the odds stacked against him, especially now that we now have a confirmed Dominion close to Rean and most likely meddling there, too. I do not believe that the Septian Church is friendly on the idea of resurrection. I’ve seen the concept of an interest from their direction in Crow’s resurrection as well- but I don’t believe they are following Rean for that reason. I think Rean has a Dominion keeping track of him because there is a relationship between the knights and one of the two Sept-Terrion in Erebonia.
…but that begins to delve into a whole different theory entirely.