Chapter 1: Welcome to Kyojin University!
Hellooooooo incoming freshman! Welcome to Kyojin University, home of…you guessed it…the Titans! My name is Zoe Hanji, senior and biology major in the Shinganshina School of Arts and Sciences, and co-captain of our infamous Recon Fencing Team! I’ll be the voice you hear throughout the next few days of orientation, so keep your eyes and ears open! Hopefully your move-in process will go as smoothly as possible—make yourselves at home, because this IS your new home for the next four years. Don’t hesitate to try and find me if you have any questions, and remember…GOOOOOO TITANS!!!
Eren Jaeger groaned as he dragged his heavy suitcase up yet another flight of stairs. To his dismay, the elevators were out of the question—too many students with moving carts and crying parents for him to bear with. Plus, it would take 15 minutes for an elevator to reach the lobby of Maria Hall. His ears will still ringing with the sound of the Zoe’s voice blasting from the P.A. system—unfortunately for him, this was the third time he had heard the announcement today, thanks to a mix-up with his last name. The orientation leaders had made the same mistake everyone had made with his last name—placing him in the Q-Z group of students to move in instead of H-P.
Eren thought of his mother as he continued to struggle up the fifth flight of stairs. As much as he had resisted going to University—Eren was convinced that he was destined to fail college, and instead wanted to join the military—his mother would not have it. There had been many arguments that had ended in tears due to his mother’s weakness because of her sickness, with Eren apologizing over and over again as he caressed her hand.
Once the accident had happened, Eren did not hesitate to fill out an application to Kyojin University—despite the fact that his father had gone there, and had tearfully informed his mother of his acceptance as she lay on that small bed in the hospital—
I’m doing this for her, Eren thought, biting his lip as he climbed the stairs, I’m going to make you proud, mother.
He grunted, managing to lift the damned piece of luggage up the last stair, and opened the door to the 7th floor of Maria Hall.
What greeted him was utter chaos.
Since Eren was in the last group to move in, most of the other people on his floor had already made themselves at home. Loud music blasted from a room to his left, while on his right two guys were arguing over who would sleep on what side of the room. Students were running around the halls, throwing basketballs, kicking soccer balls—one guy was even skateboarding.
Am I the last person to move in? Eren vaguely wondered as he passed a room where a group of guys were huddled playing a video game.
“Hey Eren!” one of the boys in the room called, to Eren’s surprise. His eyes widened when he recognized one of his friends from high school, Connie Springer, rise from the group. Eren quickly set down his suitcase as Connie nearly knocked him over in a hug.
“Connie! I didn’t know you went here!” Eren exclaimed as Connie released him, “What made you change your mind?” Like Eren, Connie had also expressed an interest in joining the military after high school.
“You know, something just changed in me,” Connie said, scratching his head, still sporting the buzz-cut from when he was filling out his application for the military. “I was all ready to go and start training, but I met someone who convinced me to try school instead during the winter break of last year. So then I applied here, and somehow got in!”
“But what about second semester? Graduation? I never saw you,” Eren replied, still trying to wrap his head around the information Connie was giving him.
“I was homeschooled for the last semester while I was still trying to figure things out…but I got my diploma, and that’s all that matters, right?”
“Right!” exclaimed Eren, grinning, “So, who convinced you to change your m--!”
Suddenly Eren was knocked to the ground when a mass of blonde hair collided with him. He blinked, stunned, and then began laughing as he recognized his closest friend, Armin Arlert.
“Hey Armin! You’ve been moved in for a while huh?” he asked while trying to push his friend off of him—Armin just held on tighter.
“Eren! I know it was only two weeks but I missed you so much! Oh you wouldn’t believe some of the people that were at the program; they were huge! Half of them didn’t even believe I was in college, much less an honor student!”
Eren just laughed harder, finally managing to disentangle himself from the mass of limbs and helping his friend up. Armin looked a little intimidated as he noticed that they were standing in front of the room with a group of muscular guys who were staring at them, and took a step back cautiously.
“Oh don’t worry, Armin,” Connie said, stifling a laugh when he saw Armin’s eyes widen when he recognized the boy who had been gone the second half of senior year, “These guys are cool, right Jean?”
Jean?, thought Eren, That’s supposed to be my roommate…
“Right,” grumbled one of the guys, a tall one with light brown hair, looking anything but friendly. Eren flinched and Armin shrank back even more, doing his best to smile but ending up with a sort of grimace.
“Anyway…Armin, what floor are you on?” Eren asked, trying to break the awkwardness of the situation.
“I’m two floors below you! And guess what—Mikasa is right below you!” replied the blonde, “I wish you and I could have been roommates though….at least we’re in the same dorm, right?”
“I wanted to live in Sina Hall,” muttered the guy named Jean, before someone slapped the back of his head. “What gives, Marco!?”
“You need to stop complaining about your dorm assignment!” answered the one named Marco, a guy with dark hair and freckles, “Besides, it wouldn’t work out with your major anyway.”
Students were assigned to their dorms based on what major they were pursuing and, although it wasn’t written, what they could afford. Most of the rich over-privileged students lived in Sina Hall…it was even said that some students were the sons and daughters of royalty, while others were celebrities being forced to go to school by their parents.
“Marco?” Armin suddenly piped up, stepping forward, “Marco Bodt?”
“That’s me!” Marco answered, grinning, “You’re my roommate, right?”
“Right! Nice to meet you!” Armin said back, beaming. However he blanched when Marco stood up to shake his hand—Marco was tall and somewhat resembled someone who had beat him up when he was still in high school.
“Hey, you have nothing to worry about—Marco’s a nice guy,” said Connie, smirking. That seemed to calm Armin down a bit. Marco flashed the smaller boy a grin and Armin offered a shy smile back.
“Oh, Eren,” said Connie, waving him over while Armin entered the room to talk to Marco, “You wanted to know who convinced me to go here, right?”
“Well, get this…he’s our R.A.! His name is Reiner Braun!”
“Reiner Braun?” That name sounded familiar to Eren. If only he could remember why…
“Yeah! He’s a junior, and I met him while registering for military school. He had already been through a year of training and convinced me why going to University would be a better choice.” At this Connie leaned in so only Eren could hear him:
“Eren, you should have seen some of the people there. They looked as if they had nothing left. Some of them were ex-criminals, some were drug-dealers…we wouldn’t have made it there, Eren.”
At this the brunette nodded, what little doubt he had about going to University slowly ebbing away.
“Oi, Jeager! Didn’t your friend mention someone named Mikasa earlier? As in Mikasa Ackerman?” came Jean’s voice from inside the room.
“Yeah…what of it?” asked Eren cautiously.
“I might have seen her earlier…black hair and wearing a red scarf, right?”
“Yes,” replied Eren, still confused.
“Wow, you have one hot friend, roomie. I’d like to get to know her a bit, if you know what I--!”
“WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR!?” shouted Jean a moment later, sporting a swollen cheek where Eren had run up and kicked him. Eren gritted his teeth and grabbed Jean by the front of his shirt, lifting him to his knees.
“Don’t you EVER talk about her that way again,” Eren growled, shaking him for emphasis, “If you get near her I won’t hesitate to--!”
And Eren was sent reeling into Marco, who was shouting at Jean to calm down. Connie had run over to restrain the taller boy with Marco while Armin had scampered over to Eren, checking for any injures.
“What is going on here?” boomed a voice from outside.
“Oh great, now we’re in for it,” mumbled Connie, still hanging on to Jean’s arm.
In the doorway stood a tall, built man with short blonde hair sporting a furious expression on his face. At that moment Eren recognized him instantly.