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Quote1 We count on you, and we hope you'll count on us. Trust in us. Quote2
— Petra Ral makes a request of Eren

The Easy Path (好都合な道を Kōtsugōna Michi o?) is the 4th and final chapter of the 6th volume and the 26th chapter overall of the Attack on Titan manga, written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama.

Overview

In the Titan Forest, Eren sees a memory about the Special Operations Squad. He remembers a time when he transformed by accident and the members of the squad tried to kill him. However, thanks to Levi, they finally apologize and trust Eren. Back in the present, this gives Eren the resolve not to transform and fight the Female Titan, but trust in his comrades instead. This allows the Survey Corps to capture the Female Titan alive and start the process to extract the human body inside the Titan.

Summary

After Eren unexpectedly manifests a partial transformation, Hange and her assistant rush out of the forest to see what the noise was. Seeing steam from a Titan transformation, Hange jumps around excitedly. Eren finds himself surrounded by Squad Levi. With all of them making different demands, from explanations to threats of death if he moves, Eren is unable to get a moment to tell them it was not on purpose. Captain Levi tries to calm his squad down, but Eren, losing his patience shouts over the crowd and silences up. Just as he is about to clarify the situation, Hange excitedly runs over to him and asks to touch the Titan arm. Upon touching it, the Titan flesh is extremely hot without skin, causing Hange to take her hand off quickly after being burned. Eren, seeing that his hand is still stuck inside of the Titan, pulls it loose and falls to the ground. Hange begins to panic as the Titan arm slowly evaporates, but stops upon noticing the teaspoon unharmed in the hand's grip. Gradually, Levi is able to contain the situation and his squad lowers their weapons.

Shortly afterward, Eren is upset that the other squad members do not trust him. Levi discloses all of the squad members records. All of them have very high Titan kill counts, both solo and as a team. He explains that to have survived that long, they had to make quick, life or death decisions. The possibility that he was a threat was something they had to react on. Even so, he explains further, that does not mean it was an easy decision for them to make.

Special Operation Squad bite their hands

The Special Operations Squad bite their hands to apologize to Eren

Hange calls for both of Eren and Levi to meet her upstairs. She presents the teaspoon that had been found in Eren's Titan hand. Asking Eren about it, he replies that he was reaching for it when he suddenly transformed. Hange then makes the connection between all of the times he changed: he had a clear objective of what needed to be done. Whether it was protecting his friends from the cannon shell or picking up a teaspoon, simply harming himself was not enough. With this new information, Hange wants to do more experiments but with the mission coming up she does not have enough time. As Eren leaves the room, he is met by members of Levi's Squad. They ask him about the transformation earlier that day and, after confirming that it was not on purpose, they all bite their own hands. Shocked, Eren asks what they're doing. They answer that it is their way of apologizing for their actions. Petra tells Eren that as a team, they are stronger together, and they need to rely on each other. They'll trust him and they want him to trust the team.

Now back in the Titan Forest, Eren is still trying to make the decision of whether he will transform and act on his own, or continue riding and trust his team. Needing to answer quickly, he tells Levi that he will continue going forward with the team. Immediately after, Eren hears the Female Titan kill another soldier. While he silently asks for the soldier's forgiveness, the Titan accelerates to full speed and rapidly starts closing the distance. Eren starts to second guess his decision until he remembers his friends and the support they gave him. He desires to have that kind of trust with his new team. Directly overhead of Eren, the Female Titan reaches down to grab him. However, she fails to notice that she is walked into a trap.

The Female Titan is captured

The Female Titan is captured

Commander Erwin and a number of his veteran soldiers are on both sides of the path, hidden in the trees along with hundreds of harpoons directed at her from every angle. Erwin gives the order to fire and she is quickly incapacitated and unable to move, with only a split second to raise her hands and cover the nape of her neck. Levi tells his squad to tether their horses up ahead and switch to vertical maneuvering equipment. Having a separate mission from his team, he leaves Eld Jinn in charge with orders to stay away from the Titan and to hide Eren, then heads towards Commander Erwin and the trap.

As Levi gets back to the trapped Titan, large spikes are shot through its knees and ankles to make sure it is immobilized. Commander Erwin congratulates him on a job well done. However, Levi gives credit to the soldiers who sacrificed themselves to give him the time they needed. Looking down at the ensnared Titan, he mocks her before making it clear he is about to cut the responsible human at the limbs, and take them out from inside the nape of the Female Titan's neck.

Characters in Order of Appearance

  1. Moblit Berner (flashback)
  2. Hange Zoë (flashback)
  3. Oluo Bozado (flashback)
  4. Levi Ackerman (flashback)
  5. Eren Yeager/Attack Titan (flashback)
  6. Petra Ral (flashback)
  7. Eld Jinn (flashback)
  8. Gunther Schultz (flashback)
  9. Female Titan
  10. Bertolt Hoover (flashback)
  11. Krista Lenz (flashback)
  12. Reiner Braun (flashback)
  13. Mikasa Ackerman (flashback)
  14. Jean Kirstein (flashback)
  15. Sasha Blouse (flashback)
  16. Armin Arlert (flashback)
  17. Annie Leonhart (flashback)
  18. Connie Springer (flashback)
  19. Samuel Linke-Jackson (flashback)
  20. Marco Bott (flashback)
  21. Erwin Smith

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