Mimir's Well (The Oracles of Kurnugi Book 3)

Mimir's Well (The Oracles of Kurnugi Book 3) by Gama Ray Martinez

Book: Mimir's Well (The Oracles of Kurnugi Book 3) by Gama Ray Martinez Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gama Ray Martinez
heavily, but the increasingly thin air sapped his strength. After another ten feet, he saw a small ledge above that looked just wide enough for him to sit and rest for a while.  He scrambled up until it was almost in reach. He jabbed with an ice pick, trying to get it deep enough to hold him, but as he stabbed, the ice under his other one cracked, and the pick came free. For a second, he tried to lean forward, in the hopes that the spikes on his feet would hold him, but it didn't work, and he came free. His cry was cut short as a hand shot down from the ledge and closed around his wrist. The gnarled fingers had a vice-like grip, and he thought they would rip his arm out of its socket as they pulled him onto the ledge.
                  Henry collapsed, breathing heavily for several seconds before he looked up at his rescuer. The man stood at the mouth of a cave that hadn't been visible from below. He was covered in heavy furs, and a long white beard reached halfway down to his chest. His hood shrouded his face in shadows, and the only feature Henry could see was a long nose poking out.
                  "Thank you," Henry said.
                  "It's generally not considered wise to go climbing by yourself."
                  The deep voice spoke slowly and pronounced every syllable precisely. Henry found himself standing up straight and dusting off his shirt before he even realized what he was doing.
                  "I didn't do it deliberately, but no one else would come this far."
                  "It would seem your friends are wiser than you."
                  "I've never really been accused of being wise," Henry said as he pointed up the mountain, "but I do need to get up there."
                  "It's dangerous up there."
                  Henry put his hand on his hilt. "I can take care of myself."
                  The man looked over the ledge. "Evidence suggests otherwise."
                  "Just who are you?"
                  Through the shadows, Henry could see the faint hint of a smile. "I am but a simple traveler headed up the mountain."
                  "Why don't I believe you?"
                  The man shrugged. "Perhaps because you are not entirely bereft of wisdom."
                  "Thanks," Henry said flatly. "Why are you headed up? Didn't you say it was dangerous on the mountain?"
                  "Dangerous for one alone, but I am not alone anymore am I?"
                  Henry pursed his lips, and looked the hooded figure up and down. There was something about him Henry couldn't quite put his finger on, something unmistakably powerful. Henry knew without a doubt that this man was more than he appeared. Of course, what else could an old man found in the middle of an ice cliff be? For the hundredth time, he wished he knew more about Norse mythology. Maybe then he'd be able identify this man. In the end, it didn't really matter. If this man was offering to help, Henry wouldn't turn him away.
                  "What's your name?" Henry asked.
                  "You may call me Bragi."
                  "Well, Bragi, do you happen to know where this cave leads?"
                  "To the top of this cliff."
                  "Let's go then."

                   T he frozen walls were as smooth as glass, and the floor was slick enough that Henry had to walk slowly to avoid falling. Even the ceiling looked more like crystal than ice. Though they left footprints behind them, there were none ahead, which meant Bragi had either climbed down the face of the cliff itself, or he'd just appeared on the ledge. Henry didn't know which was more likely.
                  Bragi carried a

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