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How will you behead sixty eight and leave eighteen.

Behead sixty eight and leave eighteen.

Sixty eight to eighteen.

Sonuvabitch, I hate riddles. Mel leaned against a tree for a well needed break. Though she doubted that she could actually outrun a Sphinx, she had to try. It was the only way to get herself more time to try and solve the damn the riddle that would actually save her life.

But outrunning a creature with the body of a lion and wings to boot was next to impossible. The creepiest part was the human head and voice that emitted from the Sphinx. Not that she expected to meet one in her lifetime, but she also didn’t expect such a pretty voice from something so terrifying.

One thing that Mel did know was that answering the riddle correctly was her only chance at survival. It worked in the legends that she could remember and it even worked for Harry Potter. On a good day, using a fictional character as your hope for survival was an insane thing to do but in this case she thought she had a good enough chance.

If she could only figure out the stupid riddle.

Behead sixty eight and leave eighteen. The words continued to swirl around her head as she ended her break and moved on. A scratching sound put the hair on her neck on end but it was the mocking voice that sent the final chills down her back.

“Tick tock, tick tock; you’re running out of time.” The taunt came out in the form of a deceivingly sweet song as the Sphinx prowled forward from her left. Mel’s terrified gaze clashed with the glittering golden eyes of the creature and she swore that if she made it out of there alive, she was never leaving her house again. “I gave you such a simple riddle. There were humans that figured this out within minutes.”

“Maybe your riddles are a bit outdated,” Mel muttered under her breath. She immediately regretted it as the Sphinx’s expression turned angry and its lion’s body looked ready to pounce. Without another thought, she turned and ran again. She needed more time. Riddles were not her strength in school. In fact, nothing that included writing and reading was really her strength. Mel was so much better at math but the riddle she had been given didn’t include math.

She had already used two of her three guesses on the math answers that she had come up with. In fact, the answers had surprised the sphinx enough that she figured that it had nothing to do with any sort of formula.

Though she couldn’t hear it, she knew that the sphinx was behind her. The forest was far too quiet for her not to be right. None of the little animals wanted to get in the way of this hunt, no matter how much Mel desperately wished they would.

A hard push from behind sent her tumbling through the brush. Smacking her head on the base of the tree that stopped her tumbling, Mel’s vision went white with pain. Groaning, all thoughts of the riddle faded away as she cradled her head in her hands.

“Time is up, what is your final answer little girl?” Before the blinding pain had stopped, the sphinx was standing with one great paw holding Mel down. The creature was smug, sure of victory, and didn’t care for the pain that Mel was in thanks to the hard shove it had bestowed her.

“Uhmm,” she stammered, struggling to remember what she had been thinking about just before her fall. What she couldn’t figure out how was she supposed to behead a number to be left with another. Now her time was up and she still had no clue. “Are you sure it’s not subtracting?”

“No.” A smile that couldn’t be considered anything but malicious spread across the Sphinx’s face and Mel’s heart stopped in her chest. The creature couldn’t be counting that as her final guess? “And now you’re all out of guesses.”

Apparently it was.

Sharp claws began to dig into her chest and Mel didn’t even have time to scream before the creature was moving in for the kill. Her head drooped to the side as her blood began pooling in the dirt next to her. Pain that had been so real only moments before seemed so far away.

It only began to occur to her that the riddles really were outdated which meant the answers would be outdated. She didn’t stand a chance because it hadn’t really occurred to her. Now, the answer seemed so clear.

It was Roman numerals…

__________________________

Finding a riddle that I liked for this one was my biggest block. Took forever. I’ll provide the actual answer below~

Riddle answer: Remove L (50) from LXVIII (68) and you are left with XVIII (18)

Next Creature: Hydra

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