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|I opened my eyes again, and spread before me was freedom. From there, I began to walk, and I lived the way I wanted. I have no regrets.|
|— Ymir recalls her awakening|
After Eren and Mikasa are freed from their jail sentence, they visit Queen Historia, who reads Ymir's letter to herself in which Ymir reveals her past as an Eldian beggar who became a figure of worship in a cult. Together, they all attend a military meeting in which Commander Hange Zoë reveals all of the findings from Grisha Yeager's basement.
During the meeting, Eren remembers his father's memories of when Krueger told Grisha of the true nature of the Founding Titan and how King Fritz ended the war by making a vow with the Founding Titan. Hange connects this vow to the ideology of the King which consumed the Reiss family successors, but reminds the meeting that Eren was able to use the Founding Titan in the past. Eren realizes this was because he was striking the hand of Dina Fritz's Titan, a member of the royal family, but he stays quiet fearing for Historia's safety.
In Eren's memories, he sees Krueger preparing to inject Grisha with a Titan serum, telling him to find love within the Walls and to complete his mission for the sake of Armin and Mikasa. Grisha did not know who these names belonged to, and neither did Krueger.
Outside of Eren and Mikasa's jail cells, Hange, Levi, and Armin arrive. Hange asks Eren about his talk of the "Attack Titan" which was seemingly to himself, though Levi stops Hange's questioning when Eren begins to show discomfort. Hange continues to wonder, and Armin insists that he will explain things later. Eren asks why the others have arrived, and Levi and Hange inform him that his sentence has been cut short in order to maintain morale after their victory in Shiganshina District with Commander-in-Chief Darius Zackly's approval. As Eren notices Mikasa has seemingly lost weight during her imprisonment, and Levi announces that they are to meet with Queen Historia Reiss has come to Trost District.
Elsewhere in Trost, Historia reads the letter from Ymir. Within the letter, Ymir apologizes for leaving her to aid Reiner and Bertolt two months ago before explaining her past. Her letter states that she was a beggar as a child that was given the name "Ymir" by a man who brought her into a cult where she was worshiped. Others received happiness because of her, so she continued to play the role of "Ymir". However, when the cult was discovered by the authorities, the leader of the cult claimed that Ymir had deceived him. Ymir held true to her name thinking that it would help her followers, but it was to no avail. Ymir and the other cultists were dragged through the streets in chains before they were sent to the borderline where all of them were turned into mindless Titans. She muses that the meaninglessness of the world is one of the things that makes the world incredible. After Ymir had consumed Marcel in her Titan form, she awoke to freedom she had never expected and vowed from that moment to live as she wanted without regrets. Ymir closes her letter expressing her one regret being her failure to marry Historia.
After finishing Ymir's letter, Hange asks her if any hidden messages could be found within it. She says that nothing stood out, and that Ymir would not have attempted such a thing. Historia dwells on Ymir's letter as the remaining members of the Survey Corps arrive, greeting her formally. Historia insists on casual conversation, stating that her title has not been made official yet. After briefly catching up with her friends, Hange urges the others to make their way to the scheduled military meeting. Elsewhere in Trost, Sasha recovers from her injuries.
In a military meeting room, Darius Zackly states that only the members of the meeting are aware of the existence of the three books found in Grisha Yeager's basement: "The Early Life of Grisha Yeager", "Titans and Everything Known of History", and "Information About the World Beyond the Walls". Zackly commends the Survey Corps members, living and dead, for their accomplishments in retrieving the information before letting Commander Hange inform the meeting of their findings. As Eren thinks back to his question to Ymir in the Titan Forest of their true enemy, Hange states that the enemy of walled humanity is the world. Hange announces to the room that the humans of the Walls are the "Subjects of Ymir", inhabitants of the nation of Eldia who ruled the world in ancient times and could rise to power again. Hange states that due to the infamy of the Eldians, the world wants them eradicated. Hearing these words, Eren recalls a memory of his father.
Atop the borderline of Paradis, Krueger said to Grisha that the Founding Titan in the hands of Marley would mean the end of all Eldians. Krueger explained the nature of the Founding Titan as an ancient weapon of war and said that Marley kept Eldian citizens within the Liberio Internment Zone for the purpose of using them as Titans when the time came. However, Krueger stated that many Marleyans wished for the Eldians to be exterminated rather than weaponized, though the conversation had died out until the time comes when Marley possesses the Founding Titan. When Grisha noted that the King of the Walls would not allow for such a thing, Krueger informed Grisha that King Fritz made a vow with the Founding Titan renouncing war, and that the ultimatum to flatten the earth with the Wall Titans was simply a deterrence to end the Great Titan War. Despite the King's desire for a paradise, the King also felt the necessity for Eldia to be destroyed. Therefore, it was Grisha's duty to take the Founding Titan from the cowardly King.
In the meeting, Hange states that the vow made between King Fritz and the Founding Titan must have been the suicidal thoughts that consumed the royal inheritors of the Founding Titan. Zackly notes that humanity's best course of action is to unleash the Wall Titans, but the vow prevents humanity from doing so. Hange states that Eren was able to use the Founding Titan in the past, though the reason is unknown. Eren recalls the moment when this happened, wondering why only in that moment he was able to do so. Eren remembers striking the hand of the Titan that killed his mother, the Titan who was in fact Dina Fritz, a descendant of the royal family. Eren shouts out in the meeting room, making the connection that Dina must have been the reason he could use the Founding Titan, but he stays quiet once all eyes are on him. Hange looks knowingly at Eren before dismissing his outburst in front of Zackly and the meeting. Eren thinks to himself that it may be possible for him to use the Founding Titan if he were to touch another member of the royal family after turning them into a Titan, though bringing up this idea in front of the meeting could put Historia's life at risk. Eren dismisses his thoughts as Armin looks at him knowingly.
Atop the borderline, Krueger prepared a Titan serum while urging Grisha to start a new family within the Walls. Grisha was hesitant, and wondered if his memories of their conversation would disappear after turning into a Titan. Krueger told him that someone else may see his memories some day and urges Grisha to find love in the Walls lest history repeat itself. Krueger told Grisha that, in order to save Mikasa and Armin, his mission must be completed. Grisha wondered at these names, and Krueger admitted to not knowing who they were or whose memories they belonged to.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- In the original release of this chapter, Hajime Isayama mistakenly made Eren say that he was considering whether eating a royal Titan would activate the Founding Titan rather than simply touching a royal Titan. This was addressed on his blog shortly after the chapter's release, where he made his true intentions clear to his readers and promised the error would be fixed in the volume release.