Ling fastens a makeshift splint onto Ed's broken wrist as they prepare to escape from inside of Gluttony. It had taken a little bit for Ed to piece things together, but now seeing these pieces to the ruins of Xerxes, he had come to the conclusion that they were using Gluttony's failed portal in order to hide the evidence of exactly what took place in Xerxes.
King Bradley begins to explain to Roy that he doesn't recall his own parents much less his own name, that he was raised as a candidate to potentially become the next Führer. As they worked in a group they developed many various skills: fencing, martial arts, militaristic fighting, etc. They had studied leadership skills and even anthropology. Once they grew to a certain age, it was time for them to test their bodies by injecting them with the Philosopher's Stone. Those who couldn't withstand it would end up as a sacrifice and it was now Bradley's turn to test his own body. As it kept killing itself, it kept regenerating all the same until finally he had conquered the stone and adapted to it, thus being named as the new leader of the country and given his new name, "King Bradley" being left with only one soul and the feeling of wrath.
Roy wondered if Bradley couldn't just live as a human rather than a homunculus, Bradley disagreed entirely stating that he had transcended his humanity and just as the humans were proud of their humanity, they too were proud Homunculi. Bradley even reminded Roy that the woman he had killed had her pride intact even as she died.
Back inside of Gluttony, Envy had gathered all of the remaining pieces to the ruins of Xerxes. Ed began to explain that it was part of the mural he had seen when they passed through the ruins, however after further examination, he had come to the conclusion that it was an array for human transmutation. But unlike performing the transmutation on the dead, they would need to perform it on themselves in order to pass back through the portal and return to other side. As they questioned what would happen if something had went wrong, Ed explained that the transmutation would rebound on the person who user, in this case being himself. Before Ed began, he redrew what he saw on the mural in the ruins on the floor, he then explained that the symbol for God was upside down meaning "to throw god to earth with one's own hands to be a perfect existence," and that the lion was swallowing the sun or "the Philosopher's Stone."
Through this deduction Ed had come to the conclusion that the Homunculi had sacrificed the city of Xerxes in order to make a Philosopher's Stone. Envy tells him that he'll tell Ed more if they can get out, he then gave Ed his Philosopher's Stone. Ed identified the bodies that multiplied from Envy's true form as the former people of Xerxes. Ed then told Ling if anything were to happen to him to tell everyone what the Homunculi were planning on doing to this country. Ling in turn told him it wasn't his country, but there were important people waiting for him so he should return and tell them himself. As Ed apologized to the souls that remained within Envy's body and he began to use the Philosopher's Stone, Ling recalled his hands placed together like this in transmuting reminded him of what it looked like to pray. The portal was successfully opened and Ed now had to guide his body through the portal in order to be whole when he reached the other side.
Unbeknownst to Ed, when he came to he was not only faced with the portal in front of him, but a portal behind him as well. At that very moment he spotted Al's body sitting in front of the other portal, it looked frail and feeble. Ed furiously ran in order to try and bring Al's soul with him, to which he was rejected by not being Al's body. Ed responds in a heartfelt promise to get him back to his body soon. From there Ed, Ling, and Envy suddenly burst out from within Gluttony. As Ed figured out that they had come into contact with Al in the suit of armor, it was concluded that they had made their way back to the real world.
After ending the feeling of fear that they would never be able to see each other again, they reconcile and reassure themselves of being alright. Ed turns to try and figure out where they even are as Father comes closer to them revealing the biggest surprise of all, his face looking all too identical to Van Hohenheim.
- In the 2009 anime adaptation, Ed is taken through the portal then bursts through the gate to tell Al he will be back for him. In the manga he tells him he will be back for him and is taken through the gate without bursting back through.
- The events that take place in this chapter coincides with Episode 26: Reunion (2009 series) of the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood anime.
- This chapter marked the end of Season 2 in the 2009 anime adaptation.