It's now the 80th anniversary of the Foundation's founding, and people pack into the Time Vault.
Hardin reflects on how different everything is since the first time Seldon appeared. He remains the mayor what with him having stopped a war and all.
Across the room, Sermak and Bort have a lively discussion: see, the members of the Action Party did the speeches-and-praise thing for Hardin but immediately started a new campaign afterward.
Them's the breaks in politics.
Lee, always the worrywart, reminds Hardin that without Seldon's backing they could still be in a lot of trouble for what Hardin did.
Not to worry, because Hari Seldon appears anyway. (Holographically, we mean.)
Seldon notes that his calculations show a 98.4% chance that the Foundation succeeded in overcoming the second crisis.
What's more, he even guessed that the Foundation used religion as a means to again power over the Periphery Kingdoms. Pretty spot on, we must say.
But Seldon is quick to warn them that spiritual power isn't going to prevail over nationalism in the long run.
That, and the road to the Second Empire will be long, since there are still (1) plenty of barbaric worlds separating them from the Empire, and (2) also, the Empire itself isn't looking too hot these days.
Oh, and don't forget the Second Foundation, because that'll be important in about two more books.
With that, Seldon reminds them there are only 920 more years to go before the Second Galactic Empire, and then winks out.
Lee notes that Seldon didn't say when he'd return, but Hardin seems to take comfort in knowing both of them would be "safely and cozily dead" before then (III.9.26).