Chapter 22

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We stood in the middle of the room in silence, waiting for the two other groups to come out of their rooms. Marcus continued to stand on the other side of the room, by the single door, and continuously checked his watch every once in a while. Time seemed to drag on forever. My finger tapped impatiently against my arm as I stared at the two doors in which the groups were going to enter.

"Which of the two groups do you think is going to finish first?" Matteo whispered to Logan.

Logan shrugged. "I'm not sure. They both seemed to have an equal amount of IQ."

"Clearly they didn't make it equal with all of us," Matteo said with a quiet chuckle. "Our puzzle appeared to be a little too easy."

I looked away from the three doors and looked up at Matteo. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Willow doing the same.

"They might not have gotten the same type of room as us," Willow said.

"And even if they had gotten the same room, they probably didn't take the short cut," I added, remembering the first few lines in the poem that we hadn't even used.

"Short cut?" Logan questioned with a raised brow.

My brows furrowed as I looked at the two boys's confused expressions. "Yeah...I highly doubt anyone else here, besides the obvious one who understands Italian, can figure out what was written in the violet book." I took a pause and glanced between their still confused expressions. "Don't you remember the first part of the poem? The part that we didn't end up using?"

Realization formed on Matteo's face and he half smirked down at me. "I try not to remember things that have no significance."

Disbelief covered my face and I looked away.

I could hear Matteo and Logan both laugh silently to each other before they suddenly stopped as the doorknob on the right door started to jiggle loudly.

"Dannazione," Matteo whispered underneath his breath. He must have thought the other group was going to get out first.

The door then opened after the sound of the key turning the lock and then four teens stepped out. Three that I had forgotten their names and Mia. As they all stepped into the bright room, their eyes widened, looking at us. They then soon relaxed once they noticed that the other group was still in their room.

I looked behind me as the teens closed their door behind themselves and joined us. Marcus had taken out a similar notepad to the one that Ace had had, and he jotted down a quick note before checking his watch, putting the notepad away, and walking towards the door in which the last group was still in. He reached out with his right hand and wrapped his fingers around the knob, and then twisted it and pulled to reveal the last four teens who looked to be struggling immensely. They still had the first book in their hands and it didn't look like they knew what to do with it.

"Out you go," Marcus said to them, gesturing to the rest of us who were congregated in the middle of the room.

The boy with the book dropped it and they walked past Marcus, all of them ridged and close to tears. Was Marcus going to kill them for being the last group to make it out? Technically they didn't make it out without Marcus opening the door, but is he still going to kill them?

Marcus walked back around to the far side of the room where the single door was and he turned around to face us. "Right this way."

I guess he wasn't going to kill them. At least not right now anyway. Maybe he's saving them for Ace to deal with. That thought sent a chill down my spine as we all followed Marcus out of the room and down the hall.

A few minutes later we came to another door in the hallway. Marcus opened it and gestured into it with a wave of his hand. We all obeyed and walked past him and into the large gymnasium type room.

Ropes hung from the tall ceiling, while exercise equipment covered the far side of the room. This side of the room, on the other hand, was bare except for Ace and Austin who were talking among one another until we entered. The terrified look had left Austin's face, leaving a blank stare in its place.

"I hope none of you gave Marcus any trouble," Ace said with his crooked smile. The door shut behind Marcus and he then walked over to the other two as Ace continued, "Well, now, we will be doing our physical test."

Ahh yes... the thing I had been dreading the entire day.

"I have ten different activities that will test your physical skills and by the end of it you will be graded, so I expect each and everyone of you to give it your all." Ace took a pause and looked around the room before speaking up again. "Well, let's get started."

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