|So we have to discover Eren's true motives...and prove it to everyone...that Eren is on our side.|
|— Armin remaining optimistic about Eren's latest persona|
The MPs discuss Historia's unplanned pregnancy with a commoner working at her orphanage, that had forced them to change their plans of immediately devouring Zeke. One MP believes Yelena had persuaded Historia, and the volunteers have something planned. Around that time, Jean, Mikasa, Armin, and Connie discuss Eren, who suddenly supports Zeke's plan, and who Connie finds to be a completely different person. While Connie angrily says they should be prepared to have to cut him down, Mikasa reminds them of an event from the previous year that showed how much he cares for them.
Last year, while building a train track, Hange brings news that Hizuru had been unable to open up a diplomatic path. They regret other nations' unwillingness to see them in a positive light, and Mikasa suggests they should meet them face to face. Later on the train, Eren brings up the topic of finding a candidate for his Titan powers. The former 104th volunteer themselves, but Eren refuses, saying they are too special to him. In the present, Mikasa says Eren is moving forward for their sake, but the others disagree, Jean saying he put them at risk and Armin explaining they may need to have him eaten if he can not be trusted. Gabi and Falco rest by a stream, and fight over Gabi taking off her armband. They meet another young girl and before Gabi can attack her, are convinced to go to her house. In Marley, Magath briefs the Warriors of Zeke's likely betrayal. He explains that the world has banded together to form a global military alliance that will destroy Paradis Island in six months. Reiner Braun, however, believes Marley should attack immediately, to go against Zeke's expectations.
Nile and other higher-ups in the Military Police hold a meeting over dinner. They talk about the Garrison's successful arrest of the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers, though Nile regrets having to restrain them despite their aid. One drunk official, Roeg, teases Nile for his sympathy towards the Marleyans. He expresses that with the uncertainty surrounding Zeke, who along with Eren has the power to manipulate their memories, they cannot be free. He says that they should have gone ahead with the original plan to have Historia Reiss devour Zeke as soon as he had reached the island; only Historia's pregnancy had ruined this idea.
Roeg bluntly puts that Historia is a low-born, Queen in name only, and they should not have let her become pregnant at such an inconvenient time. Nile disagrees, saying that she has the right to choose her partner; a man from the same area as Historia, and worked at her orphanage to amend his guilt of throwing rocks at her in his youth. A debate begins around whether it is right to let the monarch of the land choose her partner, with Roeg continuing that it is likely somebody coaxed Historia into becoming pregnant to delay her inheriting Zeke's Titan. He is certain that this was Yelena, and wonders what the volunteers are planning. Roeg asks a Marleyan to fetch another bottle of wine, with Niccolo handing a servant one by his recommendation.
Jean Kirstein, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert sit quietly in a room, with Connie Springer fiercely staring out of the window. Jean is surprised by the arrest of the volunteers. He supposes it was inevitable due to the lack of knowledge around Zeke's intentions; Eren, who had previously been against the plan, was now supporting it after a private talk between them. Connie asks the others if they think that Eren is still himself at all. He does not think so, and says they need to be prepared to cut him down should the need arise. Mikasa is shocked and says she will not let him, leading to Connie giving her an intense glare, asking if she is choosing that side as well. Mikasa simply says it will not happen, as Eren cares for them. She reminds them of an event that happened last year.
In 853, Eren had persuaded the 104th Survey Corps to help build a train track in the heat. As they work, Connie and Jean wonder about what Hizuru had achieved in their dialogue with the rest of the world and hope that they could become friendly with other nations. Hange Zoë and Levi Ackerman arrive on horseback, bringing word of the reply from the Azumabito's. Negotiations had turned up empty-handed, with Hizuru wishing to keep its monopoly over Paradis' resources, and other countries being unwilling to grant rights to Eldians, preferring the idea of keeping Paradis Island pinned as the world's common enemy. Eren sadly supposes that they will have to move forward with the rumbling. Armin regrets other nations' unwillingness to see them in a positive light, with Mikasa explaining it is because they had not met face to face. Hange agrees, saying that they should meet other nations themselves to create an understanding between them.
In the locomotive, the former 104th explore the idea of sneaking into Marley. Armin explains that Eldian is an international language, meaning communication would not be too difficult. Eren wishes that they had more time for this, as Zeke and his own tenure are fast ending. He says that soon, they will need to decide his own successor. Mikasa volunteers, though is shut down by Jean due to her Ackerman-Hizuru heritage. He instead volunteers himself, though it is decided as unlikely due to his potential in becoming a possible Commander of the Survey Corps. Connie and Sasha also volunteer themselves, though bicker over their level of intelligence. Eren explains that he has no plan of passing his powers onto any of them, as they are highly important to him and he wishes for them to live long lives. Blushing at the situation, the train ride continues.
In the present, Mikasa continues that it is likely Eren proceeded with the attack on Marley to protect them, but Jean explains this is unlikely as he had forced them to come to his aide on the front lines. Connie also adds that he had caused Sasha's death. Getting worked up, he asks Mikasa how he thinks Eren had reacted to Sasha's death - by laughing. Armin says that Mikasa and himself will try to talk to Eren. By examining how the coordinate had worked in the past, he finds Eren will be in control when he activates the rumbling, meaning that it is important to examine whose side he is on. Surprising Mikasa, Armin states that in the unlikely case Eren is against Paradis' methods, they have no choice but to have him eaten.
As Eren and Zeke sit in their respective captivities, Gabi washes her face after running far from the prison with Falco. Falco tells her to take off her armband, but she refuses. She wishes to find Zeke to learn about his motives, adding that Falco can do what he wants. Falco snatches her armband, and Gabi reacts by wrestling him to the ground, fearing that she is no different to the islanders without it. While she helps him back to his feet, a young girl asks them what they are doing so early in the morning. Shocked, Gabi lies that they ran away from home, while secretly picking up a blunt rock. Before she can act, however, the girl invites them to her home for a meal, with Falco taking the rock from her hand.
In Liberio, bodies are carried away from the former battleground. Commander Magath briefs the Warriors that after looking at the Beast Titan's corpse, only Zeke's limbs could be found. He concludes Zeke had faked his death, and escaped with the Survey Corps. This corresponds with Pieck's theory of Zeke having gathered co-conspirators, as well as the recovered maneuvering equipment having bases in Marleyan technology. Galliard is shocked by Zeke's betrayal, and Magath says the fight will not end here, as all major nations have come together to form a global military alliance. Within the next six months, the world plans to conduct a scorched-earth operation on Paradis. Despite Colt Grice's concerns about the candidates, Magath explains Marley should also wait, as going alone will repeat their defeat in the past. Reiner Braun disagrees, explaining waiting is what Zeke expects, and will likely have a devastating response planned. He slams his fist on the table, saying Marley should launch a surprise attack now.