Squall duels with Seifer in a training session outside the Balamb Garden military academy. Meanwhile, Galbadia invades the Dollet Dukedom, forcing Dollet to hire assistance from the Balamb Garden branch of "SeeD", Garden's elite mercenary force. SeeD uses the mission as a final examination for its cadets. With the help of his instructor, Quistis, Squall passes its prerequisite and is grouped with Seifer and Zell. Seifer disobeys orders and abandons his team, forcing Selphie to accompany Squall and Zell for the duration of the mission. After the mission, SeeD halts the Galbadian advance; Squall, Zell, and Selphie graduate to SeeD status, while Seifer is disciplined for his disobedience. During the graduation party, Squall meets Rinoa, whose personality is apparently the opposite of his. When assigned with Zell and Selphie to help Rinoa's resistance faction in Galbadian-occupied Timber, Squall learns that a sorceress named Edea is behind Galbadia's recent hostilities. Under orders from Balamb and Galbadia Gardens, Squall and his comrades — now joined by Rinoa, Quistis, and Irvine — attempt to assassinate Edea. However, the sorceress thwarts the attempt, and the party is detained. During the attempt, Squall's party also learns that Seifer has left Garden to become Edea's second-in-command.
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