They walked in silence following the upward slope of the narrow path in the depths of the mountain. The small lights provided the only illumination.
"In the book the tunnel was blocked by the ice and snow of the eternal glacier at the top of the mountain." Vic said as they walked.
"We'll figure a way out. We always do." BA was walking in front of his brother. "I think I see something up ahead."
When they turned out their lights they saw a dim glow far ahead of them. As they walked the light brightened until, finally, they stood before a sheet of ice the size of a door, sunlight shining through it.
"I guess we found it." Vic started patting the pockets of his vest. "I'm not sure what I have to get through this…"
BA still had the dagger from the tunnel tucked in his belt. He pulled it out and jabbed it into the icy doorway, which cracked from top to bottom. "Never mind, brother. I think I have an ice pick that will work." Chipping at the icy block BA scooped some cubes of ice into his left hand. "Hey, can I have one of the cups? Ice water sounds pretty good to me." He handed the cubes to Vic and continued to chip at the doorway, which suddenly shattered and fell to the ground, leaving a large, ragged hole exiting onto the mountain glacier.
BA grinned. "That was much easier than I thought." He took the cup of ice water from Vic, who also held one and stepped through the opening onto the mountaintop. Vic followed, drinking his water.
They both stared.
"Finally. We thought you'd never get out here. Or perhaps the white crocodile would get you." Kobo stood up and hefted his spear, smiling at the two brothers. He and eight men surrounded a small fire, obviously awaiting their arrival.
BA grinned. "Really? Well, your crocodile god is dead, I'm not too sorry to tell you." He pulled a small bag from his pocket and rattled it. "Here's his teeth if you're interested." The pungent odor from the bag made him quickly put it away. "They need cleaning."
Kobo laughed. "Oh, he wasn't a god. One of the boys dropped him in the sewers when he was little. We don't allow crocodile pets in the city, you see. He grew to tremendous size and started stealing the small goats. We were worried about our children, so we drop a cow down there a few times a month." He grinned. "You did us a huge favor, actually. Thank you." He suddenly looked grim. "I am very sorry that I must kill you."
"As if you can." BA snarled, shifting his weight. Vic said nothing, but collapsed his cup and BA's and put them back into his inside vest pocket.
Next part, next Wednesday.
Author commentary (if I have one)