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The Quickening of Ambition (野望の胎動 Yabō no Taidō?) is the 3rd and final chapter of the 6th volume and the 20th chapter overall of the Attack on Titan: Before the Fall manga, written by Ryō Suzukaze and illustrated by Satoshi Shiki.
Superintendent Barden summons Xavi to his office, and Gloria Bernhart reveals that he will be completing his training two years early due to his exemplary skills. Meanwhile, in the Industrial City, Sharle is working hard in the workshops and Xenophon watches her, scolding her constructively. The other workers comment on Sharle and Xenophon's progress, and wonder what "Klow" and "Carl" are doing. Kuklo and Cardina are out on the grounds training with their newly-modified devices and show some improvement.
Within Wall Sheena, Xavi is courted by Brenke who discusses the family business's success with him. Brenke also informs Xavi that Sharle was rumored to be spotted in the Industrial City, but Brenke disregards the thought and leaves. Xavi talks with his butler Rixner and they consider the possibility of finding Sharle there. Rixner whispers a plan in Xavi's ear, and he encourages Rixner to put it to action.
At the headquarters of the Training Corps in Wall Rose, Xavi Inocencio reports for duty. His instructor, Superintendent Barden, welcomes him as Xavi notices a woman sitting on the couch facing away from him in front of the Barden's desk. Barden begins by opening the topic of Xavi's graduation, surprising Xavi since he still has two years remaining before his graduation. The woman, Captain Gloria Bernhart of the Military Police Brigade, takes control of the conversation. She welcomes him into the Military Police, and Bernhard awkwardly certifies his graduation. Xavi formally thanks Gloria for the opportunity, to which Gloria dismisses his formality, saying that they will be getting along just fine.
In the Industrial City, Sharle is hard at work in the workshops while Xenophon watches her, dealing harsh criticisms to Sharle. The other workers look on in admiration of Sharle's determination. They wonder where "Klow" and "Carl" are, referring respectively to Kuklo and Cardina. One says that they have gone to a nearby stone quarry to test Xenophon's equipment. Xenophon then scolds the workers for slacking off while Sharle looks on in amusement.
In the quarry, Kuklo is equipped with an iron bamboo sword and a new model of Angel's device. He stares with determination at a Titan dummy, imagining the Titan from Carlo's expedition in its place. He grapples to the face of the dummy, and is rapidly pulled towards it. He lands clumsily on its face, leaping behind the neck to slash at the dummy's nape. On the ground below, Cardina congratulates Kuklo for his improvement, but Kuklo remarks that his target was stationary and that fighting real Titans will be an even greater challenge. They consider testing an even newer model of the device that grants the user horizontal movement. Recalling an injury Kuklo received testing the device last month, Cardina proudly declares that he will come up with a training regimen for testing the newer model.
Elsewhere, in Wall Sheena, Xavi discusses business with Brenke, the company manager of his family's business. After matters are concluded, the manager congratulates Xavi on his military progress, to which Xavi remarks that soon he will be transferred from the Shiganshina Military Police to the Interior soon enough. Before leaving the Inocencio family estate, the manager informs Xavi that Sharle was seen in the Industrial City lately. Xavi dismisses this, claiming the girl must have been a lookalike. When the man leaves, Xavi asks his butler Rixner of his opinion of the validity of the claim. Rixner states that it is a possibility. He suggests that Sharle must have some connection with the Military in order to gain access to the Industrial City. Xavi says that he does not want any searching for Sharle to become public, which gives Rixner an idea. Whispering to Xavi, he then tells Rixner to give the plan a try. Xavi thinks to himself that he will ensure Sharle is put to proper use in his plans.
Characters in order of appearance
- In this chapter, it is said that Xavi Inocencio was part of the 49th Training Corps and entered the Military Police Brigade just under a year into his training. This places the main events of Before the Fall in the year 793, with Angel Aaltonen's story taking place 15 years earlier in the year 778.