After a long, treacherous battle, the party stand exhausted, thinking of ways to proceed.
Isla is frantic next to the body of her human friend. She calls him Faust. And as Faust lie bleeding to death on the ground, blood soaking his tunic from a horrific wound, Rook worries for his survival.
Rook does his best to help but still doesn’t have much hope for Faust’s survival.
Rook asks how Isla got to Middara in the first place. Suri explains that creatures from different dimensions can create a Soul Bond with each other, allowing them to take physical form and stay in another realm permanently. Suri explains that Faust is Isla’s Soul Bond and to Bond with one from Arkalla is highly illegal. Although a Soul Bond is usually permitted, Suri’s homeworld of Arkalla is one of the dimensions that is off limits from travel. Suri angrily explains that Isla was stupid and endangered Faust by Soul Bonding with him.
Isla ignores Suri and pleads to the group to save Faust.
Suri begins to usher them to grab Faust so that they might leave. Suri explains that they must hurry before the Great Bounty arrives but she’s cut short as the sun blots out and darkness looms over them.
Dread overcomes Suri as a dark opening tears into the sky above them. An agent of the Great Bounty was already here. Suri whisps away, giving Rook one last desperate look before vanishing in fear at the newcomer.
Descending from the skies, a massive lion-like creature, three stories tall with flowing feathery wings like something out of the book of Revelations lands nearby.
The beast introduces itself as an agent of the Great Bounty. Promising that it means humans no harm. Instead, the creature congratulates them for bringing it two lawbreakers. It cordially asks the party to hand over Isla as it turns on the Living Oblation. The red headed girl with the scythe struggles with her injuries and crawls in a vain attempt to escape.
The giant beast leans down over the squirming Living Oblation. The red headed girl screams out as the Lion-Beast tears the human vessel into pieces, exposing the creature that was habitating the human body. It explodes out of the carcass like a black ooze, similar to the Maluma.
Then, the massive lion creature turns to Nightingale, Rook, Remi, and Zeke, and politely asks again that they hand over Isla for their payment.
Faust still lay dying and Isla tells them to do whatever they need to do, but Faust is her only concern. Save him and she’ll be happy. Isla turns to the group for a decision.
Nightingale voices no opinion, she just doesn’t want to be in the presence of the Lion-Beast any longer. She covers her mouth in horror at the idea of the monster tearing her apart to get at the Maluma within herself. Somewhere deep within her, she feels the Maluma shrink and disappear as though it too was fearful of the monster.
Rook hates that the Great Bounty police’s their realm for any reason. He feels that those who want to be together should be allowed. Somewhere deep down Rook would like to have Suri with him at all times. But he also knows that Faust will die without prompt medical care. Protesting this Lion-Beast’s wishes could prove to take too much time.
Zeke lost the cigarette out of his mouth not long after he watched the Living Oblation get torn apart. He didn’t feel the need to be next, so he opts to hand over Isla and get Faust immediate medical attention.
Meanwhile, Remi can’t bear seeing someone else eviscerated again. She worries Isla will be killed if they hand her over so she protests the decision.
!Decision: Protect Isla or hand her over to the Great Bounty.