Chapter One: Sina District
Cue the typical nice neighborhood setting with pastel colored houses and white picket fences protecting flower gardens from being crushed. Pan left to the all-American family – working father, protective mother, brother and sister, and their Golden Retriever – enjoying lunch under the shady oak tree in the back yard. Zoom in on the smiling, laughing faces and emphasize their fulfillment in life, perfectly content so long as they're together and happy. Slowly filter the scene with a grainy static overlay and watch as the image distorts before fading to black.
Cut to the man with a knife clenched in his right hand and a deep flesh wound on his left shoulder. Zoom in to see the pain etched across his features as his arms pump at his sides frantically, his feet hitting the ground in a haphazard, hasty rhythm. Jolt the screen and turn sharply to view the gang pursuing him when he slips and crashes against the pavement roughly. Leave the film running long enough to see the men catch up to him. Cut the scene abruptly and fade to black.
It was Friday afternoon, school just let out for the next week of fall break, and students flooded the courtyard of Legionnaire High, racing for their cars and immediately forgetting about anything educational. The usual buzz of gossip and random chatter filled the crispy cool air as the various cliques and distinguished groups talked about their vacation plans, and the excitement filtering through the crowd was almost tangible.
"Did you see Sasha today? I swear that girl was raised by pigs!"
"Yeah, but did you see Eren? He stood up for her! What a lame ass!"
"Shh! His sister is right there, you idiot! Shut up!"
Frowning distastefully, Eren Jaeger – seventeen years old and a senior at Legionnaire High – adjusted the ear bud in his left ear and glanced at the dark-haired girl beside him. Her eyes were narrowed into a sharp glare towards the gossipers that rushed ahead, pushing each other to walk faster so they wouldn't be caught, but she didn't make a move to stop them much to Eren's relief.
"Don't worry about it, Mikasa," he muttered under his breath, attempting to cover his own undying urge to hit the girls as they fled the scene. He'd gotten better with his anger management lately, but even with the continuous lessons and different sessions of pillow-punching, it was hard not to deck every other person who had to shit to say.
Eren sighed internally when his sister – scratch that; adopted sister – turned her gaze elsewhere and adjusted the tasteless grey scarf around her neck. He watched the side of her face for a moment longer before averting his own eyes, his hands stuffing themselves deep into the pockets of his jeans. His fingers brushed the hard plastic case protecting his phone, and the teen bristled when a fleeting memory came to mind.
"Hey, we're supposed to ride with Jean today, right? Armin said we're spending the break over at Sina District." Glancing at Mikasa expectantly, Eren fiddled with the side of the phone case in his pocket, his mind partially tuning out whatever upbeat song was blasting in his ear. The girl beside him looked up thoughtfully before nodding and adjusting the messenger bag on her right shoulder.
"I'm pretty sure we are. Krista wants everyone to meet her cousin who lives downtown while she's here for the fall," Mikasa responded, her shoulders lifting and falling in a neutral shrug. "And Jean wants to show off his new truck." Clicking his tongue slightly, Eren grinned a little and shook pesky brown hair out of his eyes just for the autumn breeze to push it back.
"I wouldn't expect any less from him to be honest," the brunet pointed out, eventually lifting a hand from his pocket to run it through his hair, his fingers threading through the locks loosely and resting on top of his head. He surveyed the area around them thoroughly, spotting a few friends here and there – Sasha and Connie sharing a bag of chips while they walked and watched something on Connie's phone, Marco questioning the new student teacher about their assignment due after break, and Franz and Hannah being all lovey-dovey with each other.
It was a rare sight to see everyone so hyped up for a mere weeklong vacation, but Eren figured it was only natural. School hadn't started long ago at all, and the first break was always the most anticipated.
With a sigh under his breath, Eren let his feet carry him automatically in the direction of the student parking lot, his mind picking out the dusty file from the recesses of his brain with Jean's parking space number. He absentmindedly adjusted the bud in his ear a little more and glanced around again while people buzzed by him, talking loudly about how they weren't even going to bother with the assignments they'd been given over break.
Rolling his eyes slightly, the brunet looked over to Mikasa again just to find that she'd gotten her own phone out and was staring at the dim screen intently. Her fingers moved quickly over the screen, and Eren couldn't help but be curious as to what she was doing.
Carefully, Eren stepped a little closer to his sister and attempted to glance over her shoulder, gasping and coughing when an elbow was jammed right into his ribs. Clutching at his injured side quickly, the brunet stared at Mikasa in surprised shock. "What the hell was that for?"
"You were looking at my phone and invading my privacy," she responded passively though Eren wouldn't have mistaken the cunning smirk pulling at her lips for anything else. He huffed irritably and rubbed at his wound while it throbbed dully – just enough to let him know it was hurt.
"You could've just pushed me away or something," Eren grunted under his breath, one hand moving to fix the book bag slung over his shoulder haphazardly. He heard a little laugh that was more like a chuckle than anything and glanced at Mikasa wearily. "What?"
"Nothing. I was just going to point out the fact I did essentiallypush you away." Frowning at the words, Eren rolled his eyes and shoved at the girl's shoulder, quickly sidestepping to avoid a harmless punch in his direction. He grinned and slipped his free arm through the empty strap of his backpack, turning around to walk backwards while facing Mikasa.
"C'mon, Jean and Armin are waiting," he teased, quickly turning on his heel to jog down the rest of the grassy hill to the parking lot, the traction on his shoes preventing him from slipping on the lopsided mound of mud, grass, and rocks. He figured Mikasa was following right behind him and he jumped onto the black asphalt of the lot, making his way over to where Jean was proudly showing off his truck with Armin inspecting all the detailing while Krista sat on the open bed and swung her legs distractedly.
Waving to his friends as he caught up with them and jokingly insulted Jean's truck, Eren ducked the hand about to give him a noogie and held up his hands in defense. He laughed alongside his friends while Jean grunted and said something about regretting his offer to drive everyone before corralling them all inside the vehicle despairingly.
"And we're off to Sina District! Home of the Military Police and king over a thousand years ago!"
"You make it sound so lame, Armin…"
The back alleys of Sina District's general prostitute and drug dealing hub reeked of age-old garbage and stale sex, and the pavement was damp from the afternoon rain showers. Women in scanty outfits flaunted their endowments on various street corners, and the men higher than cloud nine engaged in drug sales between the whorehouses.
Sirens blared in the distance but never came close enough to the red-light district's boundaries to cause concern, and illegal matters were taken care of without a hitch. It was like this all day every day. There was never a time illicit business rested from dawn until evening. Luckily, only the lowest of the low had to deal with such dangerous areas where no one cared for each other's safety and it was a dog-eat-dog world all the way through.
But even the filthiest of the filthy ran into trouble among their own kind.
"Say, when did you stop being afraid of your own shadow?" Disinterestedly, Rivaille – twenty-one years old and living amongst the worst of Sina District's thugs – stared up at the man standing across from him. His back was plastered against the brick wall of the Stohess whorehouse, the seat of his jeans was soaked from wet concrete, and a smoldering cigarette rested between his fingers. He gave a weak shrug of his shoulders in response and cast a sidelong glance to a group of drug dealers at the other end of the alley.
"I never was afraid of my own shadow," Rivaille responded simply, grey eyes briefly returning to the man confronting him. He internally hummed at the frustrated look on the man's face and stretched his legs out in front of himself absentmindedly. An angered sigh met his ears, and Rivaille took a long drag of his cigarette in response. "What?"
"You weren't like this before, Rivaille. So coldhearted, I mean. You used to be human just like the rest of us. I don't even know what you are anymore," the man responded flatly, his tone even and unchanging. Rivaille gave a bemused snort thanks to the words and tilted his head back against the brick behind him, staring up at the fading blue sky.
"So if I'm not human, what am I?" he questioned neutrally, the smoke of his cigarette spilling out the corners of his lips as he spoke.
"A compassionless monster." Humming lowly in the back of his throat while he contemplated the words, Rivaille looked up at the man across from him once more. Stone cold blue eyes were watching him with distrust, and his own grey gaze was vigilant yet bored.
"A monster? Yeah, I guess you could say that." Shrugging indifferently, Rivaille shifted to place one hand firmly on the wall behind him, using the extra leverage to stand before wiping at the damp fabric of his pants. The cigarette butt between his fingers fell to the ground, and he crushed the smoldering end beneath his boot.
"You accept it just like that? What the hell's wrong with you?" Rivaille sighed in irritation under his breath when the question met his ears, his thumbs loosely hooking in the pockets of his jeans.
"So annoying," he breathed, closing his eyes for a brief moment before turning to face the man directly, looking up at his face blankly. "You're not the only guy I've ditched, and you aren't the only one to call me inhuman. Now, if you get that, are we done here? I have places to be." In all honesty, he was silently amused with the flustered look that crossed his interrogator's face and the way the man's jaw worked uselessly. It wasn't rare that someone expected him to say something else – something they could actually fight back against – but what was he supposed to say other than the simple truth?
"Tch. Whatever, you bastard. You better watch your back if you keep doing this to people. We both know that killing another man isn't a crime on these streets." Waving him off apathetically, Rivaille turned on his heel to walk towards the side of the building they were behind, his thoughts wandering to who he was supposed to meet with next.
"That's fine with me. Just don't beg for pity if things come to that," he responded while he walked, glancing over his shoulder at the man as he passed by him. "It's disgusting." Without anything more to say, Rivaille turned ahead again and made his way out of the back alley, his legs working on their own to get him back to the main street.
The sky was fading from that light shade of blue to a dusky grey now as night began to fall, and the serious dealers were beginning to swarm the streets. Prostitutes that spent their mornings and afternoons asleep or prepping themselves were arriving at their usual spots with aphrodisiacs in hand, and the rich men from the other side of Sina District were traversing the streets with cash ready to be spent.
Such lifestyles were, in Rivaille's opinion, absolutely sickening. His own wasn't much better, but he figured that as long as he wasn't selling his body or illegal drugs, he was still considered a little better than most. However, he did lie, cheat, and steal to earn a living. But it was far better than selling himself to some random man or woman he'd either never see again or see every night.
"Tch, they're all pathetic brats anyways," he muttered under his breath, grey eyes raking along the form of a scantily clad blonde girl who couldn't be more than nineteen. Hell, she looked sixteen, but Rivaille knew better than to assume that minors allowed themselves on these streets. Almost everyone had ID of some sort – forged or real – and if you were underage, you got treated just as harshly. And that in itself was half the reason minors couldn't handle it.
Breaking out of his distracted state when a faint vibration could be felt against his leg, Rivaille pulled his phone from his pocket reluctantly and flipped the screen open – it was older and stolen, but it worked for him – before bringing it to his ear. Who needed fancy phones anyways when they lived a solitude life on the streets?
"What do you want?" he questioned briskly, glancing around the area carefully. Standing in the middle of the street on the phone wasn't always the best idea, and Rivaille casually made his way towards an abandoned café several people tended to use for shelter when they couldn't keep up with their rent anymore.
"Rivaille! That's how you greet me even though it's been so long? How cruel," the female voice responded from the other end, and Rivaille pursed his lips slightly, humming in response. He heard a sigh and watched the toes of his boots as he walked, occasionally glancing to the side if someone suspicious came into view.
"What do you need, Petra? I thought you said you weren't going to be affiliated with this life anymore, miss student teacher." A sheepish laugh filtered through the speaker, and Rivaille frowned sordidly. "Well? I don't have all day."
"I know, I know. I was just going to tell you that I heard from one of the students in my class that he and his friends will be in Sina this next week. I was going to ask if you could—"
"I'm not going to babysit a bunch of brats, Petra. If that's all you have to say, I'm hanging up."
"No, wait! Wait, Rivaille. I was just wondering if you could make sure they stay away from…there. I don't want them getting in any trouble. There's supposed to be a lot of them. Eight or nine, maybe." Clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth disinterestedly, Rivaille blankly stared across the street as a frail looking woman openly passed a brown bag to a young man, his hands shaking as he handed her a wad of money. "Rivaille?"
"If they come down here, I'll send them back the way they came. Otherwise I'm not responsible for them. And if they're here but I don't know, I'm not going to do anything about it either," he responded with an agitated sigh, fingers pushing through his black hair exhaustedly. "And if they're already in trouble when I find them, too bad." The line went quiet for a minute, and Rivaille knew Petra was thinking over his offer carefully. He heard a soft sigh before the woman's voice filtered through again.
"Alright, that'll work. I know you don't want to get caught up in troublesome affairs. But…but if you do see them having a rough time, will you at least think about helping them?" Of course she had to ask that again and almost – almost – make Rivaille feel like he'd be held accountable if he didn't. With a reluctant groan, Rivaille leaned back against the wall behind him, placing the heel of one foot back against the dark bricks.
"Maybe. I don't guarantee anything though. Is that all you needed?" Ready to end such a bothersome conversation, Rivaille began to pull his phone from his ear just to be met with a rather interesting comment.
"I'm sorry, Rivaille. About leaving you. I just…I couldn't take it—"
"I know, Petra. I don't blame you. It's a good thing you're safe now so don't worry about anything like that." Rivaille's gaze lifted to the darkening sky, his heel tapping against the wall while his expression filtered to a blank mask as usual. "Maybe I'll get out of this life one day, too."
"You could come work at the school with me, you know. There are a few free spots for assistants and such," Petra responded, and Rivaille could hear a quiet tapping in the background that was probably from a keyboard. He shook his head slightly before closing his eyes and pressing his head back against the bricks.
"Maybe one day. But I really need to go right now. I'm keeping people waiting," he pointed out, glancing around the area carefully. One man on the other side of the street had been watching him for a while now, and the black-haired male shifted slightly. Tch, disgusting. Don't look at me, bastard.
"Alright then. I'll call you again soon, okay?"
"Please don't." Instantly responding, Rivaille ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. "I'll send you a message tomorrow or something. Just don't call. You'll get me in trouble with your horrible timing. Understood?"
"Yes, sir. Ah—sorry, there I go again with the 'sir'. I'll talk to you later, Rivaille." Laughing quietly, Petra sighed into the speaker, and Rivaille suppressed the urge to smile at the little mishap.
"Goodbye, Petra." With a final worn out breath, Rivaille hung up and slipped his phone into his pocket before pushing away from the wall and making his way back to the sidewalk. The streetlamps were beginning to flicker on, and his shadow grew dimmer and dimmer as the sun fell beneath the horizon.
So, he was supposed to look out for a couple of kids, huh? It wasn't unlike Petra to be worried about other peoples' wellbeing – especially younger kids – but did she really need to get him involved too? Hopefully the brats wouldn't get lost and would stay on their side of town, but with his luck, Rivaille was sure at least one of them would end up causing him trouble.
Sighing and leaning his head back to look up at the dim sky, Rivaille paused for a moment to wonder who would be among that group of teenagers. "Probably a bunch of nobodies," he muttered under his breath before shaking his head and continuing on. Surely, he wouldn't be with them. Petra would've said something if that were the case.
Twenty-one years and there's been no sign of him. He won't just magically show up, idiot.
The clouds were grayed out, and the sky was rapidly fading into its usual darkness that signaled nightfall. Pristine streetlamps illuminated the street winding through Yalkell's largest neighborhood, and families were ending their late night walks. Dogs restrained behind chain link and picket fences barked and howled at the outdoor cats that filtered through their lawns, and a trio of cars turned into the driveway of the fifth house from the first cul-de-sac.
Shining headlights were reflected in the windows of the house, and engines continued to roar with life. Doors slammed, and Krista was the first one out of Jean's truck and rushing towards the house. Everyone who hadn't fallen asleep during the trip made their way out of the cramped spaces and stretched their limbs, groaning with the effort of movement.
Almost immediately after making sure their muscles wouldn't snap from strain, the group of teenagers – all but Eren who was fast asleep in the truck – made their way to the house to greet Krista's aunt with smiles and hugs. The greetings didn't last long, however, and everyone was soon rushing back to their cars to get their luggage inside to avoid running down the fuel in their tanks even more.
"Eren!" Forehead smacking against the dashboard of Jean's truck when his name was yelled right in his ear, Eren groaned and rubbed at the injury groggily, tired green eyes blinking in confusion. Armin was waving something in front of his face, and the brunet stared at the moving slip of paper in misunderstanding.
"Ah? What's this?" he questioned as he lifted his face from the hard plastic of the dashboard, his fingers fumbling slightly as he took the paper from Armin. His blond friend let out a sigh and pointed at the name displayed in large letters across the top. "Yalkell Museum of History? What's this for?"
"We're going there tomorrow. It's your ticket. Don't lose it," Armin pointed out, giving Eren the most serious face he could muster before sitting back and rubbing at the nape of his own neck. "By the way, everyone's here and working on getting their stuff inside. Krista's aunt gave me the tickets just now so I figured I should wake you up while I was passing them out."
"Oh yeah… Sorry, still trying to wake up," Eren apologized with a yawn, sitting up in his seat and stretching tiredly. His hand fell to undo his seatbelt, and he reached to open the door, accidentally pushing it forward too hard and smacking Jean with the corner as the teen passed by.
"Ow! Shit, Eren! Pay attention," Jean groaned, balancing the luggage that almost got knocked out of his hands. Sheepishly, Eren apologized again and pulled the door back so Jean could get by before hopping out once he was out of the way.
"Hey, Eren!" Blinking slightly, the brunet looked over in the direction his name was called from, faltering when a bag suddenly hit his face. "That's yours!" Frowning as the bag fell to his arms, Eren stared at an overly-enthusiastic Connie passing out luggage from the back of Jean's truck.
"Thanks, Connie," he muttered under his breath before shaking his head and throwing the strap of the bag over his shoulder. "Where are we supposed to go anyways?"
"Oh, just go in the front entrance. Krista's in there with Sasha and Marco. Just follow Jean or Armin. And don't let her cousin scare you, by the way. She's colder than your sister," the teen responded with a dramatized frown, his attention soon being caught by Mikasa when she dragged a suitcase from near his feet.
Nodding in response, Eren turned and shut the passenger side door before maneuvering his way between the various cars in the driveway, his eyes catching sight of Armin heading up the main set of stairs outside. Still fairly confused and getting back into the groove of things, Eren reached into his pocket to make sure he had his phone, tugging it out to check the time. Nine forty…
That would explain the darkening sky and the reason he still felt half-asleep. The trip to Sina had taken well around four hours, not including the time it took to get everyone's luggage and food for the trip. It wouldn't have been so bad any other day of the year, but with fall break coming, everyone was getting out of their own district. Plus, the districts were serious tourist destinations no matter what time of the year it was, so travel was only that much more difficult.
With a sigh, Eren shook his head and rubbed at his eyes in an attempt to help wake himself up as he ascended the steps, nodding to Krista's aunt once he walked inside. The whole house was fairly large – definitely big enough to accommodate over fourteen people at once – but with everyone dragging luggage inside and claiming rooms, the whole place was a temporary war zone.
"I call the room by the bathroom!" Connie shouted as he bounded inside with two duffle bags under his arms, Mikasa right on his heels.
"Eren, you can choose the room, but we should stick together," the girl pointed out when she passed by her brother, pulling a suitcase behind her. A slight frown tugged on Eren's lips, and he thought over the choices before nodding and heading towards the room he normally chose when they stayed at Krista's aunt's house.
"Marco and Jean are staying in the room beside Connie's, and I'll stay with Krista and Annie. Armin's staying with you two, right?" Sasha questioned as she wormed her way out of the kitchen with a Coke in one hand, a tube of Pringles in the other. Eren gave a nod and pushed open the door of the room he'd be sharing, tossing his bag in carelessly.
"He should be, yeah. Who's Ann—?" Before he could finish the last syllable, Sasha was already opening her mouth to respond.
"Krista's cousin. She's the one that we're all supposed to meet and get used to over fall break. She's in the living room away from everyone else," Sasha pointed out, jerking her thumb in the direction of the living room before heading down the hall to her own room. Eren gave a small nod before turning to step into his room, looking over to Mikasa while she unwrapped the scarf around her neck and folded it carefully.
"It's chaotic here as usual, huh? Do you think things will calm down during the week?" Eren questioned thoughtfully as he collapsed onto his bed and reached for his bag that was ever-so-slowly slipping off the edge. Dragging the duffle closer to himself, Eren moved one hand to the zipper, pulling it down with jerky motions thanks to his position.
"It always does. Once everyone's settled, things will be fine. Just give it a day or two," Mikasa responded with a small shrug before situating herself on her own bed, pulling her knees to her chest and resting her chin in the little space it created. Eren gave a nod of agreement while he dug around in his bag and pulled out the PSP he made sure to pack, searching for the charger afterwards.
"You know, I really hope Armin wasn't serious about that history museum thing. It's not every day we get to come to Sina, and we're supposed to be here for history? No thanks," Eren grumbled under his breath, glancing to Mikasa when he heard a little laugh.
"But we are in a historical area, Eren. It's only natural," she reminded him, adjusting her position slightly so she could lean forward a bit more.
"You say that as if we don't live in a historical area every other day of our lives, too," the brunet responded, tugging on the cord of his charger impatiently to get it untangled from beneath clothes and other junk in his bag. "We live in the Maria District, too. Which is the most historical of them all in my opinion. And Rose District. But I guess Sina's just the most popular because it's downtown." Shrugging halfheartedly, Eren sat up once he had the charger and grabbed his PSP, reaching over to the electrical outlet above his bedside table.
"Well, you're right about that. Sina's museum is the biggest though. We should go for Armin. You know he likes all the historical things like that," Mikasa pointed out, glancing over at the door when a shriek that could only belong to Sasha rang through the hall.
"Damn it, Connie! Don't put ice down my shirt, you asshole!"
Forcing back laughter, Eren looked over at the door as he plugged his charger into the wall just to see a laughing Connie sprinting down the hall. "Things will get quiet around here, huh?" he questioned with a short laugh, shaking his head and sitting back once his PSP was set up.
"Just give it time," Mikasa responded with a little smile, hugging her legs closer to herself. Eren nodded in agreement with the words and leaned back on his hands while he gazed around the room. Nothing had changed in the months they'd been gone really. One bed rested against the left wall, one against the right, and another against the same wall as the door. The wallpaper was the same shade of sea green it had been since the house was built, and the white trim was still peeling and dusty.
The two dressers were as small as ever, and the closet was probably still stuffed with boxes from Krista's aunt's college days. It was nostalgic any time they visited even if they happened to come over at least two or three times a year, and Eren had to admit that it was his favorite place away from home.
Breaking away from his thoughts when a knock was rapped against their door, Eren glanced over to his right and noticed an unfamiliar blonde girl standing in the doorway. Her hair was pulled back in a sloppy little bun, and icy blue eyes traveled between Eren and Mikasa.
"Dinner will be ready in half an hour. Don't be late to the table or you'll be kicked out," she stated firmly before turning on her heel and heading to the next door. Eren stared in her direction silently for a minute before shrugging and pushing himself up onto his feet.
"I'm guessing that's Annie?" Mikasa gave a nod in response to his words and moved to stand up as well, adjusting the bottom of her shirt in the process. "She seems nice," Eren pointed out jokingly, chuckling a little to himself and stretching his arms above his head. "Well, whatever. I'm gonna find Armin and ask about that museum thing."
"I'll go with you," Mikasa stated as she fell in step behind Eren, pulling the door shut behind her and following behind the brunet. He gave a nod to acknowledge her words and slid his hands into his pockets, briefly glancing down the hall where Annie was informing Marco about dinner.
His fingers distractedly toyed with the lint in his pockets, and he set to work finding Armin with Mikasa, hoping to get out of his history lesson tomorrow. The last thing he wanted to do during his vacation was get stuck learning about the things he never heard the end of. Nasty things called titans that ate humans, soldiers that could fly, and unnamed heroes were all things he was tired of by this point. The walls that existed over a thousand years ago weren't the same anymore after going through renovation after renovation to match the new age anyways, and he didn't see the point in learning about ancestors whose names weren't even recorded in history.
But never once had he stopped to think about why their names weren't recorded. Even the identity of humanity's strongest soldier was supposedly lost in the ashes of history, never to be remembered. Some people went as far as to say the stories were a hoax – something to attract tourists to the area for more money.
"Eren!" Shaking away his thoughts when Armin's voice filtered into his mind, Eren turned around to see the small blond catching up to him. Mikasa glanced over her shoulder before turning as well, giving a little wave of greeting.
"Oh there you are. Where were you?" Eren asked on reflex, his hands pushing themselves deeper into his pockets. Armin nodded in the direction of the kitchen before holding up the same sheet of paper he'd given Eren earlier.
"I was talking to Krista's aunt. Apparently that museum she wants to take us to uncovered all this cool evidence about some of the names of the soldiers who lived back when the titans were around." Raising a brow slightly, Eren cocked his head to the side in mild interest.
"Yeah? Whose names did they find?" he questioned curiously, glancing at Mikasa absentmindedly. Her focus was just as intent as his, and Armin's lips split in a crooked little smile.
"The only one I could get out of Krista's aunt was humanity's strongest soldier's name. Rivaille. Lance Corporal Rivaille!"
Farther down the hall, Annie paused when a familiar name met her ears, her gaze glancing in the direction of the three friends sharing their opinions on the name and Eren's skepticism about it being real. Blue eyes narrowed slightly, and she turned away from the group silently.
"Rivaille…what are you hiding this time?"