Around 10,000 lives were lost during the retreat behind wall Rose. The refugees came pouring in, overwhelming the towns inside who were already struggling with famine.
The town bells rang in the square as you went to get your food rations near the warehouse. Excited you finally had a more 'regular' diet, you were happy you didn't have to steal scraps now.
People crowded around to receive their handouts from the stalls in the courtyard and some adults began bickering in the crowd.
"I don't think so, friend!" One man grabbed another by the collar, shaking him back and forth. "Give me a break! All I've had for two days is a lowly bit of crust!" They tussled a few moments more and you simply scoffed at their reactions.
It's more food than you're even used to, yet these adults are bickering like alley cats over their 'rations'. How pathetic. Some soldiers on the sideline eyed the men disapprovingly. "Nothing more gratifying than seeing our rations go to animals." The soldiers jeered. "Guess we gotta beef up the herd a little though."
"Eat up! The titans like a little meat on their bones!" You watched as the angry brown-haired boy from the ferry stomped forward in anger. He marched over to the soldier and didn't hesitate to kick the soldier in the shin. He shouldn't have done that.
You mentally warned as the soldiers promptly retaliated with a frustrated punch to the boy's face and a harsh kick to the side. The boy began rabbiting on about the titans and how spineless and cowardly the soldiers inside wall Rose really were. Of course, you agreed on some level.
These soldiers hadn't seen what you all had. You were the lucky few to survive such horror. Humanity wasn't ready for appearances of abnormals big and strong enough to destroy the gates. After having your own two-cents worth in your head, you decided you just didn't have the energy to care enough and keep watching their little fight.
Although the events of that day were both tragic and horrifying, you couldn't help but feel somewhat grateful for your mildly improved life. After all, it was better to be stealing from the mouths of those better fed than you, rather than stealing scraps from poor merchants.
Besides, if these hosts weren't as hungry as you were back then, they had no right to complain about their current situation. Get over it, you're supposed to be adults, right? Suck it up.
Frustrated at their idiocy, you took your bread and proceeded to a shaded spot just off the courtyard. People hovered around the area eating in silence, looks of depression on their faces.
After finishing your hearty meal, you proceeded to wander around, looking for a secluded and quiet spot to soak up the sunlight. As you meandered through, you overheard the stubborn children from before yelling in the distance.
"If you wanna scrape by in the tyranny of cowards, that's your thing! But I'm not a parasite!" The brunette was yelling at the timid blonde as he clutched his bread. How funny. You have always considered yourself a 'parasite', so nothing had really changed.
Aren't we all parasites to some degree? You were sure they too had been leeching off someone before the attack - their parents perhaps? And what did they offer in return for their meals and clothes, the roof over their heads? You were sure it was nothing, for what can children really do in society other than leech?
Your inner thoughts were quickly interrupted as their eastern looking female friend swiftly approached and decked the brown-haired boy in his other cheek. Hahaha.
You couldn't help but chuckle as you walked by, the three of them eyeing you as you did. The eastern girl and the blonde boy appeared surprised, but the brunette just glared in anger. You stopped for a moment, observing their faces and scoffed.
"Huh, pathetic." You muttered as you continued on. ...
A few days later, the word was spread that the starving refugees would be sent to the fields to plow in an attempt to raise food. You had no interest in following as you knew your weak body would cave under that kind of hard physical labor.
Instead, you did what you do best, hid in the shadows, and stole the food you needed to survive. You overheard that the ground yielded nothing and shortly after, the older refugees were sent to their deaths in the guise of 'reclaiming wall Maria'.
Of course, you knew this was a lie, they were being sacrificed so others could live. Hardly anyone from the 250,000 sent returned, though the famine experienced in the interior eased as a result of their sacrifices. Thank you.