The narrator, John, along with his priest father live in a post-apocalyptic world having the knowledge with strict "rules and laws" which it's "forbidden to go any of the Dead Places except to search for metal" including the Place of the Gods believing there are "spirits" and "demons."
Crossing the Threshold
During the night, John hears "the voice of the gods" telling what they are by truth. This made John's "lack of knowledge burned in" him.
Test, Allies, Enemies
John came to tell his priest father decided that “it is time for [him] to go on a journey” after the knowledge he knew about the forbidden places is inaccurate. The priest agrees and gave John "the bow and the three arrows."
Apporoach to the Inmost Cave
As the priest approves John to head out east to the forbidden places, he "went fasting" then leaves the village "out of sight" after dawn.
During John’s journey to the forbidden places, he tries to reach his goals independently by killing the “panther with one arrow” and passing the Forest People “without their knowing” as he views himself as his only ally.
John felt that he was nearing his destination as he “could feel evil spirits around [him].” He was eventually able to “[walk] forward to the place of the gods”