August 12, 2008 (Pt. 2)

After taking the new Rubik's cube and it's note into the right room, I stop for a second to look at the next two staircases. A new part of the statue came up, a scythe laying across the ground. It gives me a brief memory of Jason, and I suddenly wonder what he does in his free time. The only things he sees often are his army people, and they're not much for talking. After thinking that for a bit, I just move on. Let me just say, I really don't want to have to do two more puzzles. My head hurts, my sense of direction is shot from the maze, and I go up a new staircase. This room looks all to similar to the Rubik's cube room, but this time there's a small wooden ball sitting there. Next to it is a pile of pieces. I think it was one of those brain bender things they sell at Walgreens. I guess that I have to make that wooden ball out of the pieces, and the completed one is there to show me how it should look. With a sigh, I sit down and set to work. After a while though, I kind of stop thinking about what I'm doing, and basically start wondering what the last test will be. Knowing Mark, and the fact that only he completely passed the test, I doubt I'll do well in it.
It was around the time when I was thinking this that I looked down and realized that I subconciousely finished the puzzle. I guess I'm smarter then I think. Now I stand up and pass by the statue, that now has the eyes on the statue monster glowing bright red. It's a little creepy, but I just move past it and into the last room. This one's actually completely empty.
"What's the deal?" I ask out loud.
"Figure it out" Comes L's voice.
I sigh and look around. Nothing seems out of the ordinary. Then I notice patterns on the walls. On every wall, is a pattern that goes like so:
It goes around the walls in a circle until it reaches the entrance. The reason I didn't notice it before was because the pattern is really small. I guess my clue will be somewhere in there. So, I get to work on the walls. I've barely been looking for five minutes when I find the mark. The pattern does this:
I drop my pen in that spot, and continue on. I find a second spot with that pattern then, and a third after that. Each spot I mark with something from my pockets, like I said, first my pen, then a waterproof pad of paper, and finally my knife. There's three L's on the walls, but then I hear something: Stone scraping stone, which means the final part of the statue is rising. I go out and look, and see that right next to the scythe, there's a book. Ignoring it, I go to the door and try it. But it still doesn't open. That's when I notice something: the door is made of metal, most likely copper from the color. It's a double door, so both doors should swing open. This one however, was welded shut on the other side, making it impossible to open the door unless you're Chris.
Then I remember the small L's in the wall. Only one was etched into the wall, like the big one into the door. I run back in, and pick up my things, before going to the L. I knock on the stone, and hear the hollowness of it. Feeling it again, it's not even hard stone like the rest of the walls, just harder clay. I pull out my knife, and start cutting into the wall. It goes suprisingly easily in. It feels like cutting drywall, a bit tough, but not impossible.
Once I've got a sizeable hole in the wall, I crawl through, and that's when I get my first glimpse of L. He's a lot younger than I expected, only fourteen or fifteen, and is wearing pajamas for some reason. He's really pale, and has what was probably blond hair once, but is now almost snow-colored. He's crouching over a half-done house of cards.
"You'reL?" I ask.
"Yes" He says "But since you've gotten this far, you can call me Near."
"Is that your real name?"
"No." He says. He leaves his house of cards for a moment, and crouches in front of a chess board.
"This is your last test." He says, and I sit down. From my position, I'm white.
"So this is why Mark completely passed, he beat you at chess."
"Technically, we both took all of each other's pieces, so both of us were left with only kings. We called it a tie."
I look up at him. If this guy tied with Mark at chess, I have no chance of beating him. But, I make the opening move. I move my left knight forward. He moves the pawn in front of his left rook two spaces forward. After that, the game became a blur, but in what seemed like a few minutes, Near had the majority of my power pieces taken, and I only had a few pawns and a bishop to show for it. To end it, he boxes me in with my own pieces and declares
I stare at the board.
"So does this mean I fail?" I ask him.
"Yes, it does. you got a three out of five."
"But there were six challenges. The maze, the cube, the puzzle, the paper, the wall, and chess."
"The maze was just a hallway leading to the tests." Near said, stacking another card onto his house.
"Okay, but how did I fail two?"
"You broke the cube. A monkey with a lighter could have had the intelligence to do what you did."
"Well..." I try to think of something to say, but can't.
"Whatever. I'm gonna go kill some monsters."
Near says nothing.
I go up a staircase at the back of the room, and step into the sunlight. Let me just say, that maze was dark. I head back to the monster arena. The tan girl says my next part will be in about an hour, so I go to the tree where that escaped dragon attacked me last year. I lean against the trunk, and before I know it, I'm asleep.