“How do we know if this is even the right way?” asked Arturo. “All these passages look alike, it’s confounding.”

“Keep your voice down,” said Myrtle. “We’re lucky we haven’t been found yet, moving as slowly as we have been.”

Arturo snorted. “If only we could use torches like that one you carry around — or Alquis’s magic light, perhaps?”

“No light,” said Nicyes. “And less noise. If we take more time to get through the caves, then so be it. I think we really shook them up by slaying that goat-spawned beast. Even with the collapses, they have the advantage in here. They know the terrain better than we do.”

Myrtle wanted to tell Nicyes to keep his voice down, for out of the three of them, he’d made the most noise, but she could already imagine what he’d say and how they’d argue. She decided it better to just let him continue walking just a little bit ahead of her, in case he really did get the attention of something in the dark.

They had already been underground for a few hours, and it was warm and the air uncomfortably heavy and wet. Myrtle had an inkling they’d left the island proper and were underneath the lake now, but there were no clear signs that she understood.

They stopped once or twice each hour for Arturo to rest, and when they did, Nicyes would scout ahead and return to let them know what he could learn about the area around them. Mostly it was just more cave, more darkness, and more climbing, crawling, and being as careful as possible. It was miserable.

When Nicyes came back after one rest, he told them of some strange, glowing symbols he found in a chamber ahead of them. With little else to guide them, they moved forward.