Chapter no 82

The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games, 1)

hadn’t been back in the Great Room since the reading of the will. Its stained-glass window was tall—eight feet high to only three feet wide—and the lowest point was even with the top of my head. The design was simple and geometric. In the topmost corners were two octagons, the exact size, shade, color, and cut as the one in my hand.

I craned my neck to get a better look. A twist and a flip…

“What do you think?” Xander asked me.

I cocked my head to the side. “I think we’re going to need a ladder.”



Perched high on the ladder, with Xander holding it down below, I pressed my hand against one of the stained-glass octagons. At first, nothing happened, but when I pushed on the left side, the octagon rotated—seventy degrees, and then something stopped it.

Does that qualify as a twist?

I turned the second octagon. Pressing left and right didn’t do anything, but pushing at the bottom did. The glass flipped a hundred and eighty degrees and then some, before locking into place.

I made my way back down to Xander, who was holding the ladder, unsure what I’d accomplished. “A twist and a flip,” I recited. “What do you see?”

We stepped back, taking in the wide view. Sun shone through the window, causing diffused colored lights to appear on the Great Room Floor. The two panels I’d turned, in contrast, cast purple beams. Eventually, those beams crossed.

What do you see?

Xander squatted at the spot where the beams of light met on the floor.

“Nothing.” He tested the floorboard. “I was expecting it to pop out, or to give…”

I went back to the riddle. What do you see? I saw the light. I saw the beams crossing.… When that didn’t go anywhere, I went farther back in the poem—all the way to the top.

“Noon,” I remembered. “The first half of the riddle described noon.” The gears in my brain turned faster. “The angle of the beams must depend at least a little on the angle of the sun. Maybe the twist and the flip only show you what you need to see at noon?”

Xander chewed on that for a second. “We could wait,” he said. “Or…” He dragged out the word. “We could cheat.”

We spread out, testing the surrounding floorboards. It wasn’t that long until noon. The angles couldn’t change that much. I tapped the heel of my hand against board after board. Secure. Secure. Secure.

“Find anything?” Xander asked me.

Secure. Secure. Loose. The board beneath my hand wasn’t wiggling, but it had more give than the others. “Xander—over here!”

He joined me, placed his hands on the board, and pressed. The board popped up. Xander removed it, revealing a small dial underneath. I turned the knob, not sure what to expect. The next thing I knew, Xander and I were sinking. The floor around us was sinking.

When it stopped, Xander and I weren’t in the Great Room anymore. We were underneath it, and directly in front of us was a set of stairs. I was going to go out on a limb and guess that this was one of the entrances to the tunnels that Oren didn’t know about.

“Take the stairs two at a time,” I told Xander. “That’s the next line.”

Take them two at a time and come find me.

You'll Also Like