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You walk into the cave. Strangely enough, you don't know why you walked into the cave. . . Wait second,

What is "the cave" anyways? Where is "here"? Why are you "here"?

And who is "you"? Who are you?

Not knowing who you are, where you are, or why you're here, by second nature, you walk deeper into this cave.

After a minute or two, you come across a metal box sitting on a big stone. A box? What is a box doing in a cave? More importantly, why are you even looking at a box inside a cave yourself? Shouldn't you just walk out instead and go home?

You try to lift the box. The box is too heavy. Instead of lifting it, you made a weird noise as you made an attempt to lift it. You noticed an inscription is inscribed on the lid of the box. As you brush the dust off the letters, it glows, and it reads out a word:

P̷̱̚ ȁ̶͈ r̵͝ͅ å̷̡ d̷̹̑ o̸̙̓ x̵̀ͅ i̵͜͠ u̵̼̓ m̷̬̏

You try to open the box, but the box has locks. 3 locks, to be exact:

The Forbidden Locks

You're hungry. but yet you decide to try to open the box on the rock's locks.

You touch the first puzzle, and you realize for the first time the box has a screen behind it; because it turned on. This was displayed on the screen:

Screen

A.!; 5!22{[[7 :44; ? G: ;; t! ]].}e ;:;: !. ;!.&+!!; =-= #??L/H?FF zZz !!T<:2 ;f; !Y

? 7? 2.. !4 4! Lz: ; :=! !. e. 25!X+!++ ### !!7 ;F:.5;! !. ;:_! .

You also notice a keyboard on the side of the box, so you guess you're supposed to type something in there.

You have no idea what to make of the text, because it obviously just looks like someone fell asleep on their keyboard while making this.

With no clue on where to start, you wonder what you will to do to open the first lock. You wonder why you haven't just given up and gone out to eat something at McDonalds instead of doing this pointless task.

This is a big hint, only take it if you need it:

Despite what it looks like, this is not a cipher!

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Proper use of Zalgo, that's a rare bird on Stack Exchange. Here, have an upvote! $\endgroup$ – Glorfindel Jan 19 at 11:55
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I have decided to write this answer, but I am still not sure that my way of thinking is correct, but nevertheless it may be part of the answer or at least the direction of the solution.

So far my apologetic introduction and now my answer:

You try to lift the box..... As you brush the dust off the letters, it glows, and it reads out a word:

the word is "Paradoxium",And its meaning:

There is a book called "Paradoxium: The Place That Can not Be" This book is a book of poetry written by author Gary Lewis-If we look at there is a connection between the name of the book (The Place That Can not Be) and the previous content story(What is "the cave" anyways?) And here I would add that in my opinion the choice to enter the "cave" alludes to the American horror-action film.

Continue the riddle:

You try to open the box, but the box has locks. 3 locks, to be exact:

3 locks,means:

The book I mentioned above is the first part of a book trilogy-(A trilogy is a set of three works of art that are connected -thx to wiki), they are:1. "paradoxium: the place that cannot be" 2. "Paradoxium II: Order From Chaos"3. "inevitum: the place that must be"The three locks hint at the three books,

-

You touch the first puzzle

In accordance with what was stated earlier:

the first book "paradoxium: the place that cannot be",The main poem in the book (whose name is the name of the book) was written:"A place that never began,that will forever be ...Where reality and fate are all in your head....Where dreams become real, masking reality concealed..."

And now to the last part:

A.!; 5!22{[[7 :44; ? G: ;; t! ]].}e ;:;: !. ;!.&+!!; =-= #??L/H?FF zZz !!T<:2 ;f; !Y

means:

I downloaded all the special characters and left only the letters and divided them into words as follows AGe LHG Fzzz TfY and applied it to Google search.The first search result led to a page with a .txt extension that looks like this: enter image description here As you see the title is "hollowgirl" which is the name of a book written by Sean Williams tells about a girl who has to enter a digital world identical to the real world in order to save her friends,And this is related to what is said in the poem (paradoxium)about a world that does not exist but is part of your destiny.

and the second line:

? 7? 2.. !4 4! Lz: ; :=! !. e. 25!X+!++ ### !!7 ;F:.5;! !. ;:_!.

means:

I acted like the previous line and got the word:LzeXF,-Lz=lzip is a free, command-line tool for the compression of data ,The file that is produced by lzip is usually given .lz as its filename extension.-eXF=is a console (command line) Windows utility similar to fsum, md5sum, sha1sum, etc.The last verse in the song:" Seek not what should be in the lands of deception, or your path will impede at the hands of correction. Welcome to the compendium " Another hint is that the icon of the first key is similar to a file icon: enter image description here.

And finally the answer is:

I think what this implies is that you need to insert a path that leads to a file through the command line and the file that needs to be inserted is the file we found above and this act will to open the first lock.And if the answer should be one word then it is a file,It is the key to the first lock.

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  • $\begingroup$ nice! the book trilogy part was correct. your decryption of the first and second line was correct, but the "answer" isn't correct. someone still needs to find the key. $\endgroup$ – Enqrypted - Deviniled Apr 10 at 19:05

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