After Clay, Penumbra and the rest of his friends figure out this curtail piece of information Penumbra decides he will take Clay and his friend to the place where "The Unbroken Spine" meet.
While they were there, Clay is able to secretly get and copy the only volume of the codex vitae of Manutius. When getting this Clay tells no one and hides it from all of his friends. After a while he realizes that if he included his friends it might be easier to decode the book.
He is then determined to decode the text. While doing this Clay still continues to go to work and and during work he still is keeping in touch with Kat but keeping the secret about what he has been working on from her and his friends.
Using both reading skills and his computer, Clay finally reveals to the group that the tiny notches in Gettitszoon's typeface are indeed the code they've looked for . He uses these to decode the Codex Vitae and a hidden in the typeface itself: “Thank you, Teobaldo. You are my greatest friend. This has been the key to everything.”
Disappointed by this anticlimactic message, the Unbroken Spine disbands. However, Clay and Mr. Penumbra start a consulting company for other companies interested in the intersections between books and technology.
Clay writes a novel about his journey to uncover the Codex Vitae, and the most important lesson he learned, "only through careful work and friendship can immortality be achieved through the written word".