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A Dream I Once Had

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Quote1 Maybe it's the look in your eyes... What in the world... happened to you? Quote2
— A new recruit notices the change in his old friends

A Dream I Once Had (いつか見た夢 Itsuka Mita Yume?) is the 4th and final chapter of the 17th volume and the 70th chapter overall of the Attack on Titan manga, written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama.

Overview

Two months after Historia's crowning, the Military now rule within the Walls with the monarchy acting as a display. Historia opens an orphanage using the properties confiscated from the nobles. Eren has mastered his Titan hardening abilities, and the Survey Corps are preparing a strategy to retake Wall Maria. All resisting members of the old government have been arrested and their allies forced to pay high taxes. Confiscated technology was recovered and the shining ore found in the Reiss chapel caverns was given to the citizens as an infinite source of light. With Eren's help, Hange develops a guillotine-like weapon capable of killing Titans without the need to fight them, though at great cost to Eren's health. Hange reveals the results of the studies made on the Titan serum. Because of the results, it is left in the care of the most capable soldier with the highest chance of survival: Levi. Marlowe and some other members of the Military Police Brigade join the Survey Corps. Eren recalls some memories of Grisha encountering their old instructor, Keith Shadis, after the massacre in the Reiss chapel and makes plans to meet with him tomorrow morning. In the Shiganshina District, Reiner is defeated by the Beast Titan. The human inside it emerges and orders him and Bertolt to wait for the Survey Corps so the three can ambush them and retrieve the Coordinate when they come.

Summary

Eren talks with Historia

Eren talks with Historia but they are interrupted by Mikasa

Two months after the crowning of Historia Reiss, Eren, Jean and Armin are reunited in a farm, watching Historia scolding some children, and commenting the events that have happened in that time. The Military has successfully taken over the government. Historia allows them to rule in her stead so that she can run an orphanage. This prompts people to affectionately call her the "Cattle-Farming Goddess". Jean teases Eren saying that at this rate, people are going to forget the one that sealed the hole in Trost District, but Eren ignores him and comments that this was what Historia wanted since she became the queen.

All orphan children and people in need from every corner within the Walls are gathered in a farm to be taken care of, using the royal family's budgets and the assets seized from the politicians. This was done with back up from Levi, since he grew up in the Underground. The resistance from the aristocracy to the proposal did nothing more than strengthen the support from the people.

At that moment, Historia finds them slacking and spots them, ordering them to carry some boxes and sacks before the sun sets. Historia and Eren talk about the hardening experiments done to him. Eren states that he can block a cave now, but they are not ready for the mission yet, and that they must hurry before Reiner and Bertolt return. He reaffirms his intentions to kill them the next time. Historia comments about her decision to reject the First King's power, and looking at the orphan children so happy, she cannot be wrong.

After the military took power, the former Assembly and their staff had their titles stripped, and were sent to prison camps to pay for endangering humanity's future for their own selfish desires. Any nobles left were forced to pay taxes to the new government, with those who opposed the Survey Corps being forced to pay more than those who cooperated. Numerous technological advances have also been made thanks to the equipment left over that the Military Police Brigade confiscated from anyone attempting to branch out, and the shining ore from Rod Reiss's underground cave were given to the civilians as a light source that does not require energy.

Titan guillotine

Hange's Titan guillotine

While helping out at the farm that serves as Historia's orphanage, Eren has been steadily mastering his hardening abilities thanks to training with Hange Zoë. In the past two months, Eren has used his hardening ability to reinforce the hole in Trost District, as well as create a Titan killing device: it has a scaffold in the Wall to catch any Titans that attempt to enter. Hange has also designed a battering ram on top of the Wall to execute the Titans caught in the scaffold without risking the lives of soldiers.

Hange is thrilled to see that the ram is able to execute the Titans, but is distressed to see that repeatedly using his hardening ability is taking a negative toll on Eren's body. Levi theorizes that there may be a limit to how many times he can use hardening, as well as how much his body can handle. He suggests that Eren should slow down, but Eren insists that they must continue preparing for their expedition to Shiganshina District.

Levi is entrusted with the case

Levi is entrusted with the case

Later, Erwin, Levi, and Hange participate in a meeting with Darius Zackly, Dot Pixis, and other military higher-ups to inform them of their progress and preparations. Erwin informs them that the Survey Corps' night expeditions to clear a path to Shiganshina have been going well thanks to the rocks from Rod Reiss' underground caves, and that the Corps should be ready to leave for Shiganshina within the month. One of the officials is surprised by how quick the Survey Corps is moving, and reminds Erwin that if their next expedition fails, the military will be left bankrupt. Erwin assures him that the Corps is willing to do everything in its power to ensure that all of their comrades' sacrifice will not have been in vain.

After the meeting, Pixis attends a private meeting with Erwin, Levi, Hange, and Zackly to discuss the Titan serum given to Levi by Kenny Ackerman. Hange reports that all efforts to analyze the serum have failed due to their lack of the technology necessary. Hange reports that although the contents of the serum appear to be based on fluid from a human spinal cord, it vaporizes upon contact with air and so cannot be further researched. Without being able to research it, it is decided that the serum, and the decision as to whether it should ever be used, will be entrusted to Levi.

Recently, members of the Garrison and the Military Police Brigade have begun to transfer to the Survey Corps to boost its dwindling ranks. Among those who have transferred is Marlowe Freudenberg, who is ecstatic over Hange's new Titan-executing ram. Claiming that using it, mankind will finally be able to wipe out the Titans. Jean is less than convinced, claiming that it is hard to believe someone like Marlowe who has never seen a Titan.

Marlowe is undeterred, claiming that he is not the only member of the Corps to be excited over Hange's invention, but Jean points out that only those who have recently transferred, like Marlowe, are excited. This attracts the attention of some former 104th Training Corps members who have recently transferred from the Garrison. One of them claims that they are not the only ones excited, and that everyone is ready to take back Wall Maria. When Jean brushes them off, he questions what happened to him and the others to leave them the way they are, but leave when they do not get an answer.

Marlowe notes that he had been acting like them, embarrassed, prompting Sasha to ask him why Hitch Dreyse did not try to stop him. Marlowe notes that Hitch stayed with the Military Police and tried to convince him to stay for the benefits they would be given for helping overthrow the government, but that he had refused, claiming he had been wrong about her. Eren is the only person who is not appalled at him, claiming that what he said was true.

Grisha meets Keith Shadis after the massacre in the Reiss chapel

Eren sees a past memory of Grisha meeting Keith Shadis after the massacre in the Reiss chapel

Connie Springer decides to leave early so that he can prepare for his trip to Ragako Village. After he leaves, Sasha wonders if they will be able to change the village inhabitants back to human form. Eren recalls when he learned that Titans were really humans, and notes that there have been times when he became a mindless Titan, but that he could not remember anything about it, only knowing what his father Grisha saw. Jean suggests that Eren try to remember the man he saw in Grisha's memories, to which Eren agrees, concluding that the man from Grisha's memories must have known something. Eren notes that the man looked familiar, but that he could not remember where he had seen him before.
Reiner loses to the Beast Titan

Reiner is beaten by the Beast Titan

Jean's suggestion that he have their old drill instructor, Keith Shadis, head-butt the memory back into him leads Eren to the realization that it was Keith his father encountered in the memory, and declares that he will visit Keith in the morning.

In Shiganshina, Bertolt Hoover watches in horror as the Beast Titan stands triumphant over Reiner Braun's battered Titan form. As Bertolt pulls Reiner from his Titan, the Beast Titan declares himself victorious, and that they should worry about Annie later, as acquiring the Coordinate is their first priority. As a man emerges from the Beast Titan and dons a pair of spectacles, he declares that if they wait, Eren will come to them.

Characters in Order of Appearance

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