Connie finds Armin in a daze and tells him to snap out of it.
“Are you hurt?” asks Connie, “Where’s your squad?”
“They’ve been wiped out except for this guy!” says Ymir.
“Armin didn’t say anything about that!” exclaims Connie.
“Look around! It’s obvious idiot! But rescuing this loser isn’t worth the sacrifices of Eren and the rest!”
“How about I make it so you never say a damn word ever again.”
Krista intervenes and says, “Both of you, stop it! Everyone is frazzled! I mean, suddenly a bunch of our friends are dead…of course we’re upset!”
“That’s my Krista!” says Ymir, “After this mission is over, marry me!”
“I’m sorry I caused problems,” says Armin, “I’ll meet up with the rear-guard.”
As Armin zips through the city of Trost he thinks to himself, This is it for me. There’s no way I can hold out in this hell. And then Armin realizes something, No, that’s wrong. It hasn’t become hell here. This world has always been hell. The world’s so easy to understand it’s almost obliging.
Armin thinks back to when he was young and would always get bullied. Eren and Mikasa would always run to his rescue, but he couldn’t bear that to the two of them he was someone to be protected.
It’s my fault Eren’s dead, cries Armin.
Meanwhile, a fight is breaking out at the gate that leads out of Trost. A merchant is trying to get his cart through, but it’s blocking the people from escaping.
“I’m the boss of this town’s shopping district!” says the merchant, “Who do you think pays for the food you soldiers shit out? This cargo is worth more than all of your wretched lives combined!”
A mother and her daughter are at the back of the crowd. The daughter notices something in the distance. IT’S A TITAN! And it’s coming their way! The crowd starts panicking for their lives.
The soldiers start racing after the titan, but it’s too fast. One of the soldiers zips past all of them. It’s Mikasa. She slays the titan just before it reaches the crowd. Then Mikasa notices the situation at the gate.
“Huh? I thought the evacuation was going slowly,” says Mikasa, “What are you doing? My comrades are dying…you towns folk haven’t finished evacuating, so we’re fighting the titans and dying…”
“That’s natural,” says the merchant, “Isn’t duty to ‘dedicate your hearts’ to protect the lives and fortunes of the townspeople?”
“If you think it’s natural for people to die for other people, then I’m sure you’ll understand how your one precious life could save the lives of many.”
“Just try it! I go way back with your employer! A single comment from me can decide what happens to a grunt like you!”
“How could a corpse say anything?”
The boss decides to move the cart and let the people through.
“Thank you Miss!” says the daughter, “We’re all saved thanks to you.”
Mikasa sheathes he sword and gives the girl a salute.
Mikasa hops on top of a roof where a soldier compliments her on her titan kill.
“Thank you sir,” says Mikasa, “but in my haste, I blunted my blade in just one attack. I’ll be more careful from now on.”
As Mikasa walks off, the soldier thinks, “How can she be this calm when it’s a matter of life and death? What has she been through in the past?“
Seeing the mother and her daughter triggered Mikasa’s memories of her own mother and father.
Why am I remembering it at a time like this? thinks Mikasa.
To Be Continued…
**Images were obtained form the Kindle Edition of Attack on Titan
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