Chapter 5:

The trials begin

Conflicted Evil

I walked down the stairs towards the kitchen as midnight was approaching. For some strange reason, I felt nervous. I arrived at the kitchen as I was thinking of what might be awaiting me.

“You’re on time,” Arianne said, wearing her usual smile, “I thought you might not come tonight.”

“It wasn’t really as if I had much of a choice,” I retorted, "what do you have in store for me?”

“Don’t worry, I won’t test how physically fit you are. You’ll immediately get eliminated from the challenge. Therefore, your trials will consist of three stages of problem-solving. Are you ready?”


“Let’s start then.”

Arianne immediately guided me across the kitchen before I could even react.

“Here’s an egg,” Arianne explained as she passed one to me.

“I can tell.”

“Your first challenge is to break the eggshell,” she continued, ignoring my remark, “very simple, break the egg into pieces. You just can’t drop the egg on the ground, throw objects at the egg, or any solution that requires collision to break the egg. You have one hour to solve this problem.”

“Wait, this is a trial? I could solve this in around 3 minutes.”

“Solve the problem before boasting.” Arianne laughed, glancing at me.

“Watch and see.”

I walked up to Arianne and took the egg out of her hands. I peered at the egg, analyzing how I could crack break the egg into pieces. I tried squeezing the egg, knowing that it wouldn’t work. Squeezing an egg would only cause the pressure to evenly spread across its surface. I need a way to cause the egg to explode. Then I thought of an idea.”

“Hey Arianne, I could use anything in this room right?”

“Yes, help yourself.”

I turn towards the microwave and place my egg into it. I dialed the time and waited. The microwave should cause the yolk in the shell to increase in temperature. Since the yolk is made out of mostly water, the heat will cause it to evaporate. This will put pressure on the shell of the egg which increases as time goes on. When the shell is no longer able to withstand the pressure, it will explode. And on that cue, the egg in the microwave exploded.

“Well, that was easy,” I remarked, “I thought it would be challenging.”

“That is only the first stage, it will be more challenging now.”

“Can’t wait.,” I mumbled, “what is it even about?”

“Here’s a rice bag filled with rice,” Arianne explained.

“No surprise.”

“You have one hour to figure out how much rice there is. You can start now.”

“You have to be kidding, why would anyone be bored enough to make a trial like this?”

“You should get started,” Arianne returned to her usual smile, “time is ticking.”

I picked up the bag and stared at it. It would be impossible to count how much rich is in this bag by counting one at a time. I need to find a faster way to figure out what to do. I could try to weigh a hundred pieces of rice and then measure the whole bag to see how many hundreds of rice there is. No, that would highly be inaccurate since each rice bit does not have the same weight. This reminds me, how would Arianne even know the exact number of rice?

“You know, just staring at the bag won’t help you,” Arianne amused, “the answer won’t just appear out of thin air.”

I ignored her. There’s no way that she’d counted each rice one by one and sealed the bag back to normal. In other words, the point of this trial is not actually to determine the number of rice in the bag. There must be another way. She wants to know how much rice there is but counting is not an option. I pondered the thought. Then it hit me. I laughed out loud.

“Laughing also does not help in this trial.”

“I now know what you expect me to do in this trial.”

I opened the rice bag and dumped the whole contents into the nearby furnace blazing with fire.

“What are you doing?” Arianne exclaimed.

“I solved the problem,” I explained as I showed her an empty rice bag, “there are zero pieces of rice.”

“That’s now how you solve the problem!”

“You don’t even know how much rice there is.”

“Of course I do, I counted them one by one.”

“Wow, you’re more stupid than you look. As you can see right now, my answer isn’t wrong. I believe I passed the second trial?”

Before Arianne could strangle me to death, a voice appeared.

“Yes, you have passed the second trial. The way that you solved it was very creative. Oh right, you haven’t met me. My name is Harrison, Arianne’s assistant in the resistance group. Are you ready for your third trial?”

“I’m ready.”

“Perfect, you can wait until tomorrow to attempt the trial.”

“It seems like my hand wants to high-five your face.”

“I always have that feeling when I’m around him,” Arianne joined in.

“You should go to sleep now,” Harrison said, pushing me out the door, “you have a difficult challenge ahead of you.”

And with that, He closed the door, leaving me in the silent darkness.