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This article is about the fifth chapter of the manga. For the third episode of the anime, see A Dim Light Amid Despair: Humanity's Comeback, Part 1.


Quote1 No... that is wrong... It hasn't become hell here. I've just misunderstood up until now. This world has always been hell. Quote2
— Armin comes to a realization

A Dull Glow in the Midst of Despair (絶望の中で鈍く光る Zetsubō no Naka de Nibuku Hikaru?) is the 1st chapter of the 2nd volume and the 5th chapter overall of the  Attack on Titan manga, written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama.

Overview

Connie shakes Armin awake, who spaced out. Armin promptly remembers that his team was entirely wiped out by a group of Titans and starts screaming frantically as a result. Armin apologizes for causing his friends trouble and leaves to join the rear guard. Jean and Connie head to the front, leaving in the opposite direction. Armin's equipment fails to grapple the Wall in front and he crashes into the Wall, sliding down and injuring himself. He mourns Eren's death, blaming it on himself.

Trost is simultaneously undergoing another issue: the villagers are trapped due to an angry merchant ordering his men to push his cart through the gate, blocking the villagers who are in need of passing. An Abnormal Titan approaches and the Elite Squad follows swiftly from behind. Mikasa speeds in front of the group and kills the Titan. She threatens the merchant to move the cart, and he reluctantly does so. When she is thanked by a mother and her daughter, she recalls a dark time in her childhood.

Summary

Attempting to repair the damage from the Colossus Titan and deal with the Titans that have entered through the hole, the Garrison and trainees are spread thin. Atop the Wall, troops unleash a volley of cannon fire on the approaching Titans but to no avail.
A dead Garrison soldier

A dead Garrison soldier torn in half

On the ground, the vanguard has been eliminated. Connie finds Armin still in shock from what happened. As Connie tries to get answers, they are joined by Krista's companion who wonders why they bothered to save Armin. This outrages Connie who lunges towards her only to be stopped by Krista. She manages to diffuse the situation and Armin gathers himself and joins the rear guard, while Connie and the others join the front. Distraught, Armin tries to make sense of the situation. He recalls Eren and Mikasa coming to his rescue while being bullied and wishes he could have had that kind of strength. Still, on his way to the rear, he notices Hannah crouching over a bifurcated and clearly lifeless Franz. In disbelief, she is attempting to reanimate him, to no avail. The sight is too much, causing him to break down again; Armin is at his limit.
Dr. Yeager sees Mr and Mrs. Ackerman's corpses

Dr. Yeager and Eren see the bodies

In another part of town, citizens are turning on each other in the confusion. A fight breaks out when a merchant's wares are too large to fit through the gate. Instead of stepping aside and letting citizens go first, he insists that the merchandise goes through as he says it is more valuable. A Titan is seen quickly closing in on the crowd. Just as it seems all hope is gone, Mikasa overtakes the Titan and makes short work of it. With her comrades giving their lives to protect them, she sees the goods blocking the gate and asks why the evacuation is taking so long. The merchant sharply replies that it is their jobs to do so. Reversing that line of thought against him, she counters that if their deaths save lives, then perhaps his would as well. Briefly calling her bluff, he changes his mind when he sees she is serious. With the merchandise out of the way, the grateful refugees are now able to escape to safety. When a small girl turns and thanks, Mikasa, it causes her to recall her childhood.

In an isolated cabin six years earlier, in the year 844, Mikasa's mother is seen bandaging Mikasa's arm and giving a brief explanation of the symbol of their clan. She tells Mikasa that one day, she will pass it down to her children which caused her to ask her mother where children come from. Trying to avoid the awkward question, her mother attempts to pass it off to her father, who then says to ask Dr. Yeager when he arrives. After a knock at their door, the scene changes to Dr. Yeager and Eren standing outside the door. Dr. Yeager is preparing to introduce his son to Mikasa and hopes they will get along, as there are not many children around the area. When no one answers the door, Dr. Yeager appears worried and lets himself in, calling to see if anyone is in the house. As the door opens, he sees the lifeless bodies of Mikasa's parents.

Current Publicly Available Information

4. A Broad-scale Illustration of the Human Domain

CPAI4

Current Publicly Available Information #4

This illustration gives a sense of the extent of territory left to the human race and is not an accurate depiction of the size of the towns and Walls. Whatever lies outside the outermost Wall (Wall Maria) is still unknown, and thus cannot be portrayed accurately.

The center of the human domain is at a higher elevation than the rest of the territory, with rivers beginning there and flowing outwards. The human domain is blessed with natural resources such as water, minerals and natural gas.

Characters in Order of Appearance

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