Escape From Riddler's Pass
satisfied. He paced toward the stone pillars and glanced back impatiently. “Let’s finish these so we can go on.”
    Jesse shrugged and read the third riddle.
    I am the weaker brother.
    When I am new, I’m not.
    My reign in half divided.
    The dark is what I got.
    â€œIt talks about a reign,” Rae mused. “A king of some kind?”
    Jesse glanced over at Silas. This time, he was not staring at the rock with a distant, thoughtful expression. Instead, he was grinning like a fool. “Not a king,” Silas corrected, “a governor.”
    â€œA governor?” Jesse asked. He knew, of course, that each of the four districts in Amarias was ruled under a governor, a regent of the king. But that alone did not make sense of the riddle. “Explain.”
    â€œOnly someone who lives in District Two would understand it,” Silas said. “That’s why it’s perfect for a riddle guarding the District Two Rebellion base. No outsider would be able to solve it.”
    Jesse glanced at Rae, who seemed to be equally exasperated. “I wouldn’t call that an explanation, Silas,” she said.
    â€œGovernor Patrice,” Silas said. “Eight years ago, he tried to take over the throne from his brother. He succeeded, but only reigned for two years before he was assassinated.”
    â€œI see,” Rae said. “And what does that have to do with the riddle?”
    â€œPatrice was weaker than his brother Mirad,” Silas explained patiently. “When he was born—new—he was not king. His reign was divided by the rebels who assassinated him. And darkness, death, was what he got.”
    â€œThat does make sense,” Rae admitted.
    Does it really? “But then why doesn’t it say, ‘When I was new, I wasn’t,’ instead of ‘When I am new, I’m not?’” Jesse pointed out.
    Rae looked at him like his mind was made of rock. “Because it wouldn’t rhyme.”
    â€œOh.” Jesse looked at the riddle again. “But what about ‘my reign in half divided’? Did Patrice intend on ruling only—four years?”
    â€œMaybe he was cut in half!” Rae guessed.
    Jesse tried not to picture that and Silas shook his head. “No. As I recall, he was stabbed by the governor who is ruling now, Elias.” He turned to Jesse. “It’s just an expression, anyway. It means his reign was cut short.”
    Jesse sighed. He traced the letters of the riddle with his finger. “I don’t know….”
    â€œJust because you didn’t solve this one doesn’t mean you have to find problems with Silas’ solution,” Rae said.
    â€œThat’s not what I meant!” Jesse protested.
    â€œNever mind,” Silas interrupted. “We have more important things to worry about. Come on.” He gestured toward the gaping hole beside the wall of riddles. Jesse stared down it. More tunnels . “They must lead to the Rebellion headquarters.” He and Rae began to walk into the darkness with only the Rebellion stone to light their way.
    â€œBut what was the purpose of the riddles?” Jesse asked, trying to catch up.
    â€œThe main rhyme says, ‘The key for entrance is the mind,’” Silas said. “Maybe the riddles are a password of some sort.” He touched the dagger, in a sheath at his side. “Whatever happens, I will be ready.”

 
Chapter 9
    Jesse remembered when the only time he was surrounded by darkness was at night, right before he went to sleep. Was that only a month ago ? It seemed like it had been years. Now, entering a dark tunnel lit by eerie glowing stones actually seemed normal.
    â€œWhen we find Parvel and get out of here,” Jesse muttered, “I never want to go underground again.”
    â€œDon’t be so afraid,” Silas scoffed. “We haven’t seen a guard or any sign of danger.”
    â€œThat’s what makes

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