Van Fanel and Allen Schezar have a strong friendship during the series.

They first meet each other in episode 3,
when they both fight each other in a sword fight. Van and Allen, at first, do not agree on anything; i.e. When Allen's Castle was attacked by Zaibach, Allen wanted to run so no one else would die, but Van wanted to stay and fight to the death. "There's nothing brave about choosing to die."- Allen Schezar to Van Fanel.

Theme here: Just a bit of friendly rivalry, right? Both of these young fighters were trained by the renowned swordslinger Balgus. Their eagerness to claim the title of top student shows constantly in their dealings with one another. Hitomi's presence complicates the situation, but in an odd way: the men compete to see who is better at keeping Hitomi safe from harm, and sometimes they appear to fight because of their concern towards Hitomi. This results in a few harmless, dirty looks, as one nobleman and then the other rescue the distressed damsel, but this escalates into a passionate conflict when they find another beautiful, young source of contention.