|Those actions will follow us until they're repaid. Even if we die, even after we die. After all...you started this story, didn't you?|
|— Eren Kruger passes his duty on to Grisha|
After "The Owl's" Titan slaughtered the Marleyan soldiers and scattered their remains into the ocean, he left the Titan and ascended the Wall to Grisha. The Owl formally introduced himself to Grisha as Eren Kruger, an Eldian and inheritor of one of the Nine Titans. Kruger congratulated Grisha on his near success in the Eldian Restorationists, despite its failure, and Grisha became angry that he was the only one spared. As Kruger grew weaker, he explained that he wants Grisha to carry on with his plan. He said that Grisha possessed a hatred of Marley that he too felt when his father and an Eldian resistance army were killed. Kruger told Grisha of his plan to take the Founding Titan from the Walls. When Grisha asked why Kruger did not do it himself, Kruger explained that due to the "Curse of Ymir," all inheritors of the Nine Titans die in 13 years, and his time has run out.
In his jail cell, Eren Yeager recounts his memories to Armin, who records them. Along with Kruger's words, Eren speaks of "paths" invisible to the eyes which connect all Subjects of Ymir and create the bodies of Titans. Eren recalls Kruger telling Grisha of the same fact: that all invisible "paths" coordinate at the Founding Titan. At this news, Grisha wondered what the truth of Eldia's history is. Kruger told him that Ymir Fritz gained the power of the Titans after finding the "source of all organic material," and that other legends were falsehoods from either side. Grisha wondered if Dina's royalty was false, but Kruger assured him that it was true.
When Grisha admitted that he did not feel the hatred against Marley that he used to, Kruger assured him that his actions were what gave Eldia the chance to reclaim the Founding Titan in the first place. Kruger gave Grisha his old family photograph before passing on his Titan power, which Kruger revealed is named the "Attack Titan."
After the Marleyan soldiers ran out of ammunition, "The Owl" used his Titan to destroy their ship, murder them, and spread any remains throughout the ocean, which Grisha describes in his journal as a body of water covering seventy percent of the planet's surface. The Owl made sure that all evidence of what had transpired was gone.
After returning, the Owl freed Grisha, and formally introduced himself as Eren Kruger, a holder of the power of one of the Nine Titans, and a Subject of Ymir. He explained to a confused Grisha that he had had a doctor forge his blood tests to pass him off as a Marleyan. Kruger complimented Grisha for leading the Eldian Restorationists at such a young age, for having a child with Dina, and for his idea to make Zeke a Marleyan soldier, but admitted that Grice's harsh words had been correct. Grisha agreed, and demanded to know why Kruger did not save Dina instead, for her royal blood, or simply use his Titan form to save everyone. After collapsing, Kruger admitted that he had tortured and turned many more Eldians, in order to ultimately serve Eldia. Claiming not to have much time left, Kruger told Grisha that he would be entrusting the rest of his mission to him.
As they conversed, Kruger admitted to Grisha that, had he not stopped him on the day they met, Grisha might have been able to stop his sister's death, though Grisha admitted that he would only have died alongside her. Kruger told Grisha that it was the hate for the Marley he saw in his eyes that day had been what impressed him that day. Kruger explained that he had felt the same hatred as a child, after his family was burned alive when it was discovered that his father was a part of a resistance cell. The only survivor, Eren Kruger, had sworn revenge, and helped subjugate his own race in order to keep his identity a secret. Kruger told Grisha that he wanted Grisha to use the Titan power to invade Paradis Island and steal the Founding Titan power. When asked why he can not do it himself, Kruger admitted that those who possess the Titan powers die after thirteen years, and that his thirteen years are up. He never told Grisha this information because he knew it would affect Grisha's decision to give Zeke to the Marley.
Eren relates Grisha's story to Armin, explaining that those with the Titan power cannot live more than thirteen years with it, because Ymir Fritz only lived for thirteen years after she obtained her powers. Armin muses that this time span matches up with the timeframe of the Reiss family's succession, before noting that he only has thirteen years left to live, while Eren only has eight. Eren informs him that if a holder of the Titan power dies without transferring it to a new host, then the power is automatically transferred to an infant Subject of Ymir, and muses that all Subjects of Ymir seem to be connected by something invisible. He mentions that one successor claimed to see "paths," which transferred the Titan powers to new successors and from which the flesh and blood of the Titans is formed, as well as occasional memories. And all of these paths cross at a single Coordinate: the Founding Titan.
Kruger explained to Grisha that the "Coordinate" was the Titan Biology Research Society's latest theory on what connected all Subjects of Ymir. Grisha, upon hearing this, demanded to know whether the Marleyans' or the Eldians' version of history was true. Kruger mused that there is no such thing as "truth," and that likely neither version was true. When asked if Dina's heritage had been true, Kruger sadly confirmed that Dina was a true Fritz. When asked why he let her be turned into a Pure Titan, Kruger told Grisha that, considering Zeke would tell the Marleyans of Dina's heritage, he had felt it would be a better fate for her to be turned into a Titan, rather than enslaved by the Marley government and likely forced into becoming a baby factory to produce more royal descendants. Kruger told Grisha that he had not been strong enough to save everyone, and so could only choose one. Despite Grisha's protests, he insisted that Grisha would finish his mission.
Grisha observed Gross' abandoned, partially eaten corpse, and admitted that, despite his hatred for the man, he had not taken any pleasure in watching him die; noting that hearing him scream was horrible and frightening, as was seeing Kruger kill the other soldiers. He claimed that, had he known how much he would lose, he never would have tried to take back his freedom from the Marleyans. Kruger, in response, told Grisha that his father had been a smart man for acting subservient to the Marleyans, in spite of his daughter's death, in order to keep the rest of his family alive. Despite that, his son had still managed to go down the wrong path in life, and send his own family to hell. Kruger ordered Grisha to stand and fight, and promised to give him more information in exchange for a promise: that Grisha will continue to work to bring back Eldia's freedom and dignity.
When Grisha still refused, Kruger took out his final incentive: Grisha's family photo, which he had retrieved from his home. When Grisha refused to look at it, Kruger began insulting his cowardice, but Grisha informed him that it would be pointless to try to rekindle his hatred; all he had left was his sins. Kruger, fed up, told Grisha that he did not choose him for his hatred. He chose Grisha because he chose to leave his internment zone. If it were not for that, Grisha would never have inherited his father's clinic. He never would have met Dina. He never would have fathered Zeke. His sister would still be alive. But Faye, and Grisha's fellow restorationists have all paid the price for Grisha's quest for freedom. All of the deaths Grisha and Kruger have caused will follow them until the day they die, and likely even beyond that. Inspired by Kruger's words, Grisha accepted the photo, and his mission.
Before Grisha ate Kruger and was later encountered by Keith Shadis, Kruger divulged one last piece of information to Grisha: each of the nine Titans have a name. Kruger's Titan, which Grisha is to inherit, is a Titan that is always moving ahead, seeking freedom. Its name is the Attack Titan.
Characters in order of appearance
- Series editor Kawakubo Shintaro has named this chapter as his favorite in the series.