|When I learned that humanity lived beyond the Walls... I... was so disappointed. I... wished for it... I wanted to wipe it all away. I'm sorry... I'm sorry... I'm sorry...|
|— Eren Yeager to Ramzi|
The Wall Titans continue on their path of destruction. Ramzi and Halil, two refugee children, join crowds of civilians and refugees trying to flee a seaside town, only to be surrounded by the Titans climbing through the mountains. As the Titans annihilate the town and its inhabitants, Eren Yeager reflects on his interaction with Ramzi around a year ago, regret for his inability to change the future, and his tearful apology towards the boy. He reminisces his childhood when Armin Arlert regaled him on the world beyond the Walls, before a younger incarnation of Eren declares the sight of the outside world as the ultimate freedom. Through the paths, he inquires an adult Armin about his opinion.
With Annie Leonhart snapping him out of his vision, Armin finds himself back on the ship, underway to Odiha. He and Annie talk about why he kept seeing her while she was trapped in her crystal. Armin confesses his feelings for her, but Annie concludes it is because he is a good person. Armin corrects her assumption, referring to himself as a monster. Despite that, he still retains optimism that somewhere out there could be the better world that he and Eren dreamed of as children.
On the continent of Marley, Halil, and Ramzi, two refugee children, look over some stolen money Ramzi has hidden beneath a tree. Halil is concerned because Ramzi has already lost his right hand due to being caught stealing, and could lose his other if he is caught again, which would make their grandfather sad. However, Ramzi is undeterred because too many people will not be able to survive the winter in their refugee tents. He asks Halil to give the money to his family if he dies.
Though they are outside the city, many townspeople run past them, much to their surprise. As the boys ponder the reason, they notice that the ground is starting to rumble around them. They look over the hill they are on and see a massive flock of birds flying overhead with shapes moving in the distance.
Eren Yeager thinks back on his early days in Marley when he was seeing its people for the first time, knowing that one day he would kill everyone there. He wondered if that future would come to pass because they never found a way for Paradis Island to survive. He also wondered what his mother would think and if the King of the Walls had been right that Eldians were the ones who ought to die. More people outside the island would have to die than if all the Eldians died, but Eren found he could not accept an outcome like that.
While in his thoughts, he spotted Ramzi getting beaten by merchants. He intended to intervene, but realized that he could not pretend to be just when he knows that he will eventually kill Ramzi someday. Eren saved Ramzi regardless, and took the boy back to the refugee camp, though he was disappointed to see that the future did not change. Eren compared himself to Reiner Braun and the latter's conflicted sense of morality, but claimed to be worse than him. He apologized to Ramzi, knowing the things he would eventually do.
Back in the present, Ramzi and Halil join the other refugees running from the Wall Titans destroying the town. The crowd tries escaping to higher ground, but a man notices a group of Titans lumbering up a nearby mountain range, cutting off their escape. They huddle in fear, despairing that the Marleyans had fled without telling them what was coming. Ramzi proclaims that they cannot give up hope just yet.
The two boys join some of the refugees fleeing back into the city. On the way, Ramzi drops his money and Halil attempts to retrieve it. Ramzi grabs him and they try to run, but Halil's head is crushed by debris kicked up by the feet of the oncoming Titan. Trapped by debris himself, Ramzi sees an apparition amidst the chaos as he is crushed by the foot of the Titan. Not far ahead, the remaining refugees pound at the shuttered wall that traps them within the city and in the path of the Titans' destruction.
From his position behind the wall of Titans, Eren remembers seeing a different wall, in a time when Armin Arlert would tell him about flaming water, frozen plains and snowfields on sand. He thought that anyone who saw such things would be the freest person in the world, and that being outside of the Walls would be freedom.
A youthful Eren revels in the sensation of freedom as Marleyan homes and people are crushed beneath the Titans. He says that they are here at last and this is the sight they wanted, before turning to Armin for confirmation.
However, the Armin that receives Eren's glance is an adult in the paths, shirt still stained with blood from his last battle. He stares in surprise at Eren until Annie Leonhart's voice calls him back to reality.
She offers him a seat next to her and thanks him for the time he spent talking to her while she was in her crystal. Back then, listening to him and Hitch Dreyse was the only thing she could look forward to, but she does not understand why he did it in the first place. She suggests there must have been more entertaining girls for him to spend his time with. Armin says it is because he wanted to see her, and is surprised that she has not thought it even after Hitch's teasing.
Annie concludes that Armin spoke to a monster who has been his enemy because he is a "good person" who wants to avoid conflict, but Armin reminds her that he does not like being called that. He killed a lot of people and has been a monster himself for a long time now. He shares with Annie the dream he and Eren had of seeing the outside world, but Annie correctly concludes that it was not what they thought it would be.
Armin agrees it was not, but he still hopes that the unknown world they were looking for is out there beyond the Walls. Elsewhere, Eren rests within his Founding Titan.
Characters in order of appearance
- Although Armin's shirt has bloodstains from where he was shot by Samuel, it does not have any visible holes.