One day earlier:
"No, Gabor!", Janos called. "There are too many thorns for me!"
But Gabor did not pay attention to him and was already fighting his way through the bushes. Both the boys had decided to explore the area around their village one sunny afternoon, as they had just moved there a few days ago.
"Oh no...", Janos whinged and stomped on after Gabor.
From the outside, the thicket hadn't looked all that big, but inside it was menacingly dark and Janos had the feeling a wild animal would pounce on him any minute now. As he spoke to Gabor about his fears, the latter laughed quickly and assured him tat no beast would dare come into these bushes, as they were too thick.
"Yet we go in just like that?"
"Yes", Gabor answered and fought his way on. Suddenly he came across a path of sorts.
"Well, there we go!", he grinned, and let Janos go first.
They had been walking for about ten minutes when the path led them out of the thicket: they stood before a high rock face with a large, heavy wooden door set into it.
"What could behind that?", Gabor wondered out loud.
"Surely nothing good, or they wouldn't have sealed the door so well", Janos said and pointed to a wooden beam someone had put across the door.
"Where there's a will, there's a way", Gabor said. He turned to his left and began to walk along the side of the rock face. Since it was starting to get dark, Janos was worried and tried to get Gabor to turn back. But he did not give in so easily and carried on looking for another entrance. Janos did not want to go back to the village alone, so he was forced to help him look. But they were unsuccessful and so they turned to head back home. However, Gabor decided to return the next day.
At home, he didn't speak a word about the unusual discovery and even went to bed earlier than normal to be fit for more explorations the next morning.
Just after sunrise, he met up with Janos just outside the village, as they had agreed, and they both went on their way to the large door. Today they weren't as lucky as the day before, for they couldn't find the path anymore and fought their way through the bushes all the way to the rock face. However they found the door right away. Gabor turned to Janos..
"So, where shall we look first? We didn't have any luck searching to the left yesterday but perhaps today.."
"What do you know at all?", Gabor smirked and turned decisively to his right.
They walked along the rock face until it stopped abruptly and they ended up standing in front of a large gorge.
"Well, bad luck", Janos said and wanted to turn to go, but Gabor grabbed his shoulder and pointed upwards. Janos looked up straight into the sun and had to blink a few times. Then he saw a tunnel that seemed to lead straight into the mountain. However it was a good five meters above them.
"We'll never get up there!", Janos said and turned to Gabor, but he wasn't there. Janos looked up again. Gabor was above him, hanging from the rock face. There seemed to be a way up to reach the entrance in the mountain easily.
"Aw no..", Janos grumbled and started to climb after Gabor.
A short while later they both stood in front of the cave, panting. The cave was so deep that the sunlight did not reach all the way to the back.
"Here we go then!", Gabor said and bravely stepped on ahead.
"But...", Janos whined. "But it's far too dark!" But Gabor was already out of hearing range. Janos did not want to be a coward so he followed him in.
After a few minutes he had lost sight of Gabor. "Gabor!", he called into the ever growing darkness. "Wait for me!" But he got no answer. The darkness now forced him to feel his way along the wall and suddenly he crashed into something. The tunnel seemed to end here, but where was his friend? He hadn't gone back out; the cave was too narrow for him to pass by unnoticed. So where the hell was he?
Gabor had also walked along the wall that Janos was now standing in front of, he he had noticed that the tunnel had just turned sharply to the left and carried on.
Janos had waited five minutes, then turned around and hurried back to daylight. There, he stood five meters off the ground without a chance of getting down, for he wasn't the athletic type. So he turned around again and felt his away back inside the mountain.
Meanwhile, Gabor had reached a cave of sorts that was so bright that it seemed to not have a roof. Gabor couldn't find a source of light anywhere and so he waited a few minutes in his tunnel before daring to go into the light.
This allowed Janos to catch up a bit and he just caught sight of a figure getting up, taking a quick look around then hurrying towards another tunnel.
"Hey, wait!", Janos called and wanted to rush after him, but he noticed two shadows that were thrown against the wall of a third tunnel and were moving towards him. Quickly he drew back into the darkness. Two monsters passed by without noticing him cowering in the shadows. Janos couldn't really see what they were; the only things he saw were green skin and tusks. He waited another couple of minutes to be sure, then he too ventured into the lit cave, entered the dark tunnel that Gabor had disappeared into and rushed after him.
By then, Gabor had left the darkness again and entered the next cave. It was also brightly lit, but the light was of a different kind; somehow he felt it was.. colder than in the previous area. He took a better look around and noticed that small crystals were set in the wall in a regular pattern, from which the light seemed to come. He walked up to them to have a better look at one...
Janos had just seen the end of the tunnel already and also a figure bending over at a wall as if there was something to see there, when a strong hand suddenly grabbed him from behind. Gasping, he turned around and looked into a green face and fangs
"You thought we had not see you, huh? Not seen you?", the Something grunted. "No, no. We aren't stupid... aren't stupid."
Janos was thinking otherwise because of the slow talking and the smell, but he decided not to say anything.
A second monster turned up. "Let's eat him up here!", it said. "Why share him with the clan?"
"Because it's the law. Law!", the first one snarled. "And we abide by it. Abide by it!For we aren't stupid! Not stupid!"
Apparently it was abysmally sure of its intelligence, but Janos now thought it was less perceptive than he did before.
"Alright, but let's go, I'm hungry.. hungry!" With that, the second monster turned around and disappeared into the darkness.
Janos recovered from his shock and screamed for Gabor but then a hand was held over his mouth. He felt a sharp object press against his back and it was clear to him what the monster wanted: he had to move.
Gabor, in fright, turned to where he had come from. He thought he heard someone call his name. But has he listened, he heard nothing.
Where the hell was Janos? Mummy's boy had probably ran back home again when the tunnel got too dark for him.
Gabor then left this cave behind him and entered the next. This one was also filled with light, but in a stranger way.. cold. Colder than the last. But it was filled with the same radiance which came from dozens of yellow nuggets that were lying around. Gabor picked one of them up. And dropped it again. It was icy cold. No, colder than ice. He knelt down to take a closer look. There was something magical to it. It made him forget the world around him. And he was only startled when a sharp object was pushed against his back.
"Get up! Get up!", someone behind him grunted.
Gabor raised both his hands and obeyed the order. Then he turned around and looked into the most distorted face he had ever seen. It was a green colour and fangs protuded from the corners of the mouth.
"Turn around! Turn around!"
"Look, look! We got two good catches today. Two good catches!", the same voice continued.
"Yes, we have, Grum. We have!"
The creature seemed to talk to itself. Gabor was doubted it was very intelligent.
"It.. it talks to us?"
"Yes, it does.", Gabor answered.
"What does it want? It want?"
"To save you."
"Save? Save us from what?"
"From the ogre behind you."
"Ogre? What ogre?", the Something asked and turned around. Gabor could hardly believe his luck and started to run off right away.
"Nooooo!", came the cry from behind him.
Gabor had escaped. Or so he thought, for as he reached the tunnel he thought led outside, gasping for air, he heard shouts from behind him. The creature had got help. And they were fast, for he already saw the glow of torches in one of the tunnels. Gabor sprinted on.
Gabor ran for his life. Behind him, the mob screamed and yelled. He skidded around a corner and nearly crashed into a wall, for the ground seemed as if it were covered in oil. He leaned against the stone wall and took a deep breath. Then he rushed on. he had to reach the surface. He had to warn the others. He had to ...
Finally, he saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Relieved, he took a step outside. Too late he realised there was a vertical drop at the end of the tunnel, for he had already lost the ground beneath his feet and plunged into the deep...