The following is a dramatic reenactment:

I noticed the green beacon of the online now sign on Shinoda's name. I
figured the proper thing to do was to head into the room. I turned
toward the arch and entered the courtyard when I heard a voice:

But it was too late. A great iron gate crashed down behind me, sealing
off my only exit. I gazed at my surroundings and found I had gotten
stuck inside an arena, with a horde encircling the outside, watching.
NeXus stood in the center, and a felt a sharp jab from one of the guards
which ushered into the center with him. That is when I heard the second

"So, our champions are here" and I looked upward, and slouched
improperly on a throne on a balcony, twirling a glass of wine between
two fingers, was Lord Shinoda. "I just mentioned you, KATHYxx." I
fumbled for an excuse, as I knew I hadn't done anything too deserving of
the title, like putting my name in any fire goblets or anything. I was
just a normal person who tried the find the secret of the puzzle, as
many others had done. Right?

The murmur of the crowd rose. Lord Shinoda took a round look at them
and declared "I shall only speak with the champions at this point
forward." The murdering died down. Requests for international visits

A few quipped to themselves "Why those dorks? I want to talk to hiim.
spill their blood!" and the crowd took up the chant "blood! blood!
blood! blood!"
NeXus and I looked at each other for some sort of sign.

Lord Shinoda motioned for their silence again. "I have waited long
enough for an answer to the riddle. I have sent out thousands of my
minions yet none of them have found an answer I find satisfactory. My
patience is finished. I have declared these two to be the champions and I
will get an answer for this riddle NOW."

His words rattled and echoed across the arena. Instinctively my muscles
tightened, though there was no one to fight or to flee from.

"Today, the champions will partake in a mortal challenge. Shall they
survive, they will take vast rewards. But shall they fail, and their
souls shall be collected and woven into piano strings that shall make
the finest music."

The crowd roared. I felt a weird weight pulling my stomach down.

Lord Shinoda continued, "The game shall be a game of legend. A game
played since before my generation. Let us play Twenty Questions."

The match began, attention was on NeXus and I, we had to come up with
something. I quickly recalled the last few words from teh last time I
had been working on the riddle. Five nouns that could have been the
translation of the mysterious phrase "de var to".

Lord Shinoda opened up the discussion by recalling the finer details of
the riddle, testing NeXus and I if we had deserved to be called
champions. Members of the crowd spoke up with questions about the status
of the riddle. But once fact remained clear: The riddle perfectly
translated into the ancient quote from an ancient text, except for the
troublesome "de var to." I had five words that it could possible
translate to. I spat them out.

"Is it war or earth?"

"no" Lord Shinoda replied. Finding that his voice didn't reverberate
across the arena to his liking, he repeated in a caps lock boom "I MEAN,

"Is it lime? women?"

"NO" .

crap, two questions lost. "Is it joy then?"


Gone. All five of my only words were gone. NeXus took the next several
questions. My mind fogged out the surroundings trying to find the next
thing to say. I had nothing left on "de var to." Surely I was standing
dead now. Wait, but what of it's complement, "A Thousand Suns," that's
the only place I could go. It's the only thing I could ask about.

It was like NeXus and I arrived at the same moment of clarity at the
same time, we asked nearly simultaneously "Is it have to do with A
Thousand Suns?"

Lord Shinoda smiled and set the glass of wine down. Then he giggled and
clapped his hands. "YES YOU GOT IT."

NeXus and I just looked at each other again.

Thinking it was just a clue, I tried to continue. But Lord Shinoda's
expression indicated that the words there were the answer itself. Why?
It's clearly the element whose compliment is missing...


NeXus explained that A Thousand Suns is the missing part. The one part
that wont translate.

Lord Shinoda nodded slowly. Then he spoke "What does it mean then?"


I almost wanted to burst out "what do you mean 'what does it mean?" as I
totally blanked. But then I paused. And then my eyes widened. And then I
had a rush of adrenaline that was urging me to get the epiphany from
out of my belly and into the outside world as quickly as possible.


Lord Shinoda just looked at me without saying anything.

"SINGLE name?"

No reply. He sat up straight and then rose from the throne on the
balcony. His right hand rose up and he snapped his fingers. "Goodbye.."

He turned and was gone.

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Comment by chesterchester on September 10, 2010 at 10:14am


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