"Do not go gentle into that good night." - Dylan Thomas
Jahr Unseres Gründers c.743
It was clear to all who had survived the exodus from the Mainland that Eldia was in its death throes.
The Nine Titans were gone, their noble families seized and devoured by enemies and traitors alike, or turned traitor themselves. The Empire had fallen into near-nothingness, leaving only a remote island outpost on the edge of the Empire's maps in Eldia's possession. Thousands, if not millions of mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, fellow Subjects of Ymir, had been left behind to the mercies of Eldia's age-old enemies and formers vassals as the few forewarned fled to the far-flung island border of the Empire.
Worse still, the state itself was on the verge of collapse. Of the noble bloodlines and allies of Eldia, only the main branch of the Fritz Royal family and several families from the Hizurese Shogunate remained to govern what was left of the crumbling Empire. The 145th Fritz King (the Coward King, some had begun to call him, and rightfully so, others murmured behind closed doors) refused to leave his chambers in the new capital of Mithras, and the castle grounds had been closed off to the both common folk and the remaining aristocracy, cutting off any news pertaining to the other members of the Royal family. Not to mention, what remained of the Royal Army would in no way be enough to fend off any retaliatory invasions from either the traitor families or their former vassals, chief among them the Marleyans.
As it was, the military was had already fallen into a state of chaos, and several factions had formed in the confusion in the absence of the King-Founder or any Royal decrees, each vying for a general to replace the one that had fallen on the Mainland.
Yet still, the Fritz King did nothing- nothing but brood away in his palace and send messages to the Mainland. And while he festered, the people grew angry. Who was he, this Coward King, decriers would shout, who would give away the Empire without a fight? Who would abandon our kin, the Children of Ymir, to the mercies of our enemies?
For indeed, Karl Fritz had done just that. He had stood back and let the noble Great Houses of Eldia war amongst each other, doing nothing as villages were destroyed, ignored as his subjects were eaten alive, and turned a blind eye as former vassals rebelled. The only action Karl Fritz actually took was to denounce the Great Houses responsible for the war, declare the abdication of the Empire's continental holdings, and commanded thousands to be boarded upon ships to ferry them from the Mainland.
The people had accepted it then, due to the fact that the Great Titan War and the liberation wars in between were dangerously gaining proximity to the coastal territories, but now?
They could no longer do so, but what could they do? The only powers that could conceivable combat the Founder were now in enemy hands. Any rebellion would end in Titanization, a fate reserved only for the worst and for those sentence to the King's Justice.
Thankfully, the people of Paradis would not endure Karl Fritz's injustices for long.
Four months after the mass-exodus from the Mainland, citizens in the new capital reported sounds of fighting from inside the King's palace, fighting which continued until the next day, upon which the Crown Prince of Eldia, Cardel Fritz, emerged from the depths of the palace, and convened court for the first time since the mass exodus.
It was at this court that Prince Cardel explained to the awaiting aristocrats and reporters the events that had led up the fighting, and what had prompted such violence. He has stood before the assembly, opened his mouth to speak, before clamping his eyes shut in despair and gritting his teeth in anger.
"We have been betrayed, Eldia, by mine own father," he cried out in anguished rage. "Karl Fritz has betrayed us. The King has betrayed us."
Silence his met his words, and Cardel Fritz took the time to collect himself and do his duty and lead his people.
As the Crown Prince of Eldia explained with great detail the plans laid out for Eldia by the 145th Fritz King, the assembled court, even the sons and daughters of the Shogunate, raged and seethed- for betrayal was not taken lightly in the Empire…
...but never in living history had the Empire been betrayed by its own King.
Of course, once the people heard what the Prince had to say, they too nearly fell into the violence that had overcome the King's palace, and they bayed for Fritz blood.. It was only due to the fact that the Prince had come out unarmed and had prostrated himself before them in deference to their judgement that cooler heads prevailed.
With the truth now made known to the public, the common folk were dismissed from the assembly for the aristocracy and the Crown Prince to converse in privacy, and t was quickly decided that crowning a new King-Founder would be paramount for the Empire to regain stability. When asked by one of the sons of the Shogunate of the whereabout and status of the Coward King, Cardel's eyes darkened.
"After coming upon his plans and correspondences with the Tyburs, I had him drugged into his sleep. He will never see daylight again."
"And what of the Founder?" another aristocrat asked, and Cardel grimaced. "As the eldest, it falls to me to inherit its powers, and I must do so before my fa- the Coward King regains consciousness enough to follow through with his plans. The sooner, the better."
Those were the last words spoke by Crown Prince Cardel, as he was quickly ushered towards the underground cavern that held the disgraced and unconscious Coward King. As soon as the proper ceremonies had been seen to, the Crown Prince was injected with the Ymirblood and transformers.
Karl Fritz awoke just in time to find himself being devoured. The Coward King had screamed, then-
-but those screams were just as suddenly cut off by his spine getting torn in two.
The Titanized Crown Prince eagerly devoured the remains, before slumping over. Those present rushed to pull him out of the nape, and check for any injuries or any meddling done by the Coward King, and were relieved to find that, when Cardel emerged from the Titan's nape, he was smiling.
"The First King's Will is undone," he murmured, before speaking loudly. "The Founder is uncompromised. The Coward King did not taint it."
There were many a cheer and sighs of relief at that, although the new King of Eldia did not notice, a distant look in his eyes.
"...Who's memories are these?"
He did not know, but…
These memories… this scenery, it… it looks...
The memories looked bright.
Jahr Unseres Gründers c.851
Mithras City, Paradis Island
"The Nation of Marley is at war."
Those seven words uttered from the lips of the Queen-founder did not, unsurprisingly, silence any in the room- for they had already been silent
For all present knew that this was no ordinary assembly of state.
This was a war council.
"This has been confirmed, Queen Historia?" an officer asked, and received a reply in the form of a nod from the Queen and the attention of the King-Consort. "Our embassy in Hizuru have confirmed that the International Congress was called," King Eren stated. "War was officially declared there by the Mid-East Alliance, though the fighting started two months before with a naval engagement off the coast of the Vatanlar Peninsula."
There was a low murmuring, before the Lord Ackerman voiced himself, "Who won, anyways?"
At that, the Queen-Founder's lips quirked upwards. "The Mid-East Alliance delivered a resounding defeat to Marley's naval forces before beginning a land campaign against their border territories in Frikaana. The win was theirs."
A smattering of applause and cheers erupted with the news, though it was dampened by the Queen's next words. "But… what the Alliance has in technological advancements compared to Marley, our enemy still reigns supreme in every land-based engagement. They still have out Titans."
"However, those Titans are currently campaigning against the Alliance." Erwin Smith stood from his seat by the other Heads of Branch, letting his voice ring. "The military is ready, and our own navy is as prepared as it will ever be. The time to strike is soon, if not now." The Feldmarschall's declaration was met with the thumping of mugs against tables and yet more cheers, though they yet again quieted when both the Queen-Founder and King-Consort turned to the Heads of Branch.
"Is this the opinion of the Armed Forces, Feldmarschall?" Historia asked, and Erwin nodded, before ceding the floor to the Oberbefehlshaber, Darius Zackely, who also nodded. "This is the decision that the Heads of Branch have settled upon, Queen Historia, King Jaeger."
Turning to the other members of the assembly, the King-Consort studied them with emerald eyes. "Is this also the will of the people?" he asked, and Eren was met with unified cry of various offerings and agreements.
With the will of the people confirmed, the two monarchs nodded, then rose, before joining hands and speaking two words in unison, setting into motion plans that had been in place for over a century.
Silence permeated for a moment, before the assembly descended into a joyous uproar.
The long awaited time had come at last.
The reconquest of the Empire was upon them.