After surviving the confrontation with Alana, the group joins the Anointed in their old camp. Instead of resting right away, Nightingale meets with Zafir and justice to discuss what has happened.
Justice retells her experiences searching Hyde and eventually locating the piece of the Pontifex, as well as the death of her previous companions. Zafir assures her that she made the right choice looking for it, and that none of those who died were her fault.
After some discussion, Justice explains that she now understands what the Pontifex actually does. It’s a key, able to seal and unseal esper of all kinds. A supernatural skeleton key.
The injured members of the group are finally able to receive magical treatment, recovering from their wounds.
! Special: All party members are no longer injured
The next morning, the whole group meets with Zafir again, and Rook asks about the purpose of the Anointed. Zafir explains that the Annointed were formed to oppose a godlike being called Charon, who they now know is attempting to escape using the power of the Pontifex. There seems to be more to their motivations, but Zafir refuses to explain, instead demanding answers about their own motives for helping Justice.
Before they can tell him the truth, the Maluma reveals itself to Nightingale, warning her frankly that Zafir is one of its old enemies, and if he learns it has infested her, then Zafir will stop at nothing to get it out, even if that means killing her. She stops Rook from telling Zafir about it just in time. Instead she tells Zafir that she’s the princess, and lies about her civic duty.
Once he’s gone, Nightingale explains what the Maluma told her. Rook seems doubtful that Zafir would turn on her after she saved his life. Nightingale leaves to find Justice and ask her how he’ll react.
Justice confirms that the Maluma was telling the truth, and that Zafir has killed its previous hosts. She seems confident that she’ll be able to make sure this time goes better so long as she makes the case. Nightingale and Zeke are frustrated with her, but she promises to make the case for Nightingale that night.