Underfantasy

BY : Kuromei
Category: +S through Z > UnderTale
Dragon prints: 471
Disclaimer: I do not own Undertale or its characters. It is the property of Toby Fox. I write this for fun and do not monetize at all.

Year 18XX
Sunset over Mount Ebott has set the sky ablaze. It fills you with determination.

Chapter One: Fallen Down

Light was trying to shine through my eyelids as I lay on my back. Everything hurt, especially my left arm as I lay it across my body. The fracture I sustained this morning was throbbing and I could only hope my makeshift splint had held. My head throbbed, so I used my good hand to check my skull. I found a substantial lump, but the bone felt sound and there was no bleeding. I tried sitting up, even though my body didn't quite want to cooperate. Goodness gracious but it hurt…

I cradled my left arm and took a moment just to sit and assess my surroundings. I was in some sort of cave or cavern, with the light from above serving as the only illumination. It was slowly fading as the sun moved across the sky. I was sitting in a bed of small, gold-colored flowers. They must have broken my fall. I could just barely see a path to some sort of archway in the gloom. 

As much as I wanted to sit here and nurse my hurts, the growing dark and quiet unnerved me. I stood very, very carefully. Moving my arm made me a little nauseous, but I managed not to vomit. I shuffled through the archway, pausing only long enough to note the pillars and ornate carving above. On the other side was a corridor with another shaft of light and a single golden flower growing. A flower that had a face…

“Howdy! I'm Flowey. Flowey the Flower!” As I struggled to accept the fact that a flower was talking, he continued. “Hmmm… You're new to the Underground, aren’tcha? Golly, you must be so confused. Someone ought to teach you how things work around here! I guess little old me will have to do. Ready? Here we go!” Without giving me a chance to respond Flowey did something to darken our surroundings. A white square I couldn't leave appeared on the floor trapping me, and a little red heart floated before my chest. There was also a yellow bar declaring itself to be “HP" which was only half-filled. I had a very bad feeling about all of this...

Flowey spoke again. “See that heart? That is your SOUL, the very culmination of your being! Your SOUL starts out weak, but can grow strong if you gain a lot of LV. “What does LV stand for?” I asked. 

Flowey smiled and said “It stands for LOVE, of course! You want some LOVE, don’t you? Don't worry, I'll share some with you!” He winked and a little fleck of pollen flew from his eye. It made me very uncomfortable, but Flowey didn't seem to notice and continued. “Down here, LOVE is shared through little white ‘friendliness pellets‘. Are you ready? Move around! Get as many as you can!” As the pellets slowly came for me I decided I wanted none of Flowey's “love", so I stepped to one side to dodge it all.
Flowey didn't appreciate that. “Hey, buddy. You missed them. Let's try again, okay?” More pellets came for me and I dodged them. Flowey's demeanor changed again. “Is this a joke? Are you braindead? RUN. INTO. THE. BULLETS!!!” I dodged those as well, and his entire face changed, warping into something… else. “You know what's going on here, don't you? You just wanted to see me suffer.” 

“What are you talking about? I just-!” Before I could finish my protest I was surrounded by bullets. There was no hope of dodging any of them. Flowey's face morphed again. 

“Die.” 

Demented laughter filled my ears as it echoed off the walls. The cage of bullets closed in and I instinctively curled around my injured arm, for all the good it was going to do. Again, I was staring Death in the face. It kept getting uglier every time… 

But just before the bullets could touch me they suddenly disappeared! Flowey seemed as confused as I felt, until a small fireball knocked him away. In his absence a new figure appeared. It resembled a tall, white-furred, bipedal goat with feet and hands instead of hooves. It was wearing a tabard with the same angel-like design as the carving I’d seen earlier over a white dress. When it spoke it had a soft, cultured voice in a motherly timbre. 

“What a terrible creature, torturing a poor, innocent youth.” Turning to me she said “Ah, do not be afraid my child. I am Toriel, caretaker of the Ruins.”

I was somewhat at a loss, but I tried to remember my manners. “Er, thank you Miss Toriel. My name is Fra… Frisk. I'm Frisk.” I mentally kicked myself. I didn't want to use my old name. I didn't want to be that person, ever again. 

If Toriel noticed, she chose not to comment. “Frisk? Well, it is a pleasure to meet you, my child. I am glad I was able to intervene when I did. I pass through this place every day to see if anyone has fallen down. You are the first human to come down here in a long time.” 

“Is that so…” For some reason I was struggling to accept all that had happened. It was simple enough to grasp. I was chased like an animal up Mount Ebott. I fell down a very deep hole and knew I was going to die. I survived, only face yet more death. And then I was rescued by a person who was clearly a monster, just like all the old stories about Mount Ebott said. It was all rather straightforward, so why was my heart pounding? Why did my eyes burn as if I wanted to cry? Why did I start to shiver when I wasn't even cold? Why?? 

“My child, are you well?” Toriel's soft query jolted me back to the present. I hadn't noticed her approaching me, or kneeling in front of me. She seemed concerned. My soul and HP bar were still visible and she gasped, her eyes focused on the arm I was still clutching to my body. “You poor dear, you are hurt! Come, let me heal you.” She very gently took my arm into her hands, pushing up the sleeve of my sweater to reveal my splint. I tried not to flinch or cry out as she examined it, especially when she poked a certain spot that made the pain flare. Her hands immediately began to glow green, focused on where the pain had seen the worst. I could feel it seeping into my skin, all the way down to the bone. The pain was easing with each passing second. Then the magic spread over the rest of my body, washing me with warmth. It had a peculiar and familiar feeling to it, as though my mother was hugging me.  

Back when she and Father used to do such things... 

The pain that flashed through my heart with that thought caught me off guard. Tears fell in spite of my efforts, and my teeth chattered as I tried not to bawl like an infant. I was ashamed of myself. A little bit of kindness shouldn't affect me this way! Toriel's magic only intensified, like a hug that squeezed me tight. I tried to get a hold of myself and stuffed those old feelings back where they belonged, well away from the forefront of my mind. I remembered my breathing exercise and the advice I was given, long ago, to never let anyone know I was in pain. To never show my tears, and never show my fears. 

It didn't necessarily make me feel better but at least I stopped crying. 

While I was pulling myself together Toriel's magic was fading. My HP bar was full, and my arm no longer hurt. I wiped my face and dredged up a smile for her. I hoped it looked natural. “Thank you, Miss Toriel. I feel much better.” She smiled back, a bit sadly.

“Poor child. You must be scared and confused. But you need not fear any longer, for I will care for you from now on. Come! I shall guide you through the catacombs. This way.” She stood, walking away and through another archway I could barely see through the gloom.

I hesitated. Toriel seemed nice, but so had Flowey to start with. Nothing I had read about monsters and the old war had ever given me any indication that they could be trusted. What Flowey tried to do was what I figured as “typical" of monsters. But… what if that wasn't the case? Was Toriel the more typical kind of monster? Was everything I had ever learned about monsters completely wrong? Or was she lying to me, too? 

My mind kept going back to when she was healing me. How it had felt, how genuine her concern seemed to be. If I didn't know any better she almost looked like she would’ve hugged me in truth, but that could’ve been my imagination.

I made my decision. No good would come of me just standing here and dithering. As for whether or not I could trust Toriel, I figured she deserved a chance. More of one than Flowey deserved, anyhow. Besides, if she lived here she knew how to get around. I could stand to learn a few things from her, and possibly even learn more about monsters in general if I lived with her.

This could prove to be very, very interesting.

~~~~~***~~~~~***~~~~~***~~~~~

The child was hesitant to follow me, as I had anticipated. Who could blame them, after all? They had clearly been through a difficult time, and meeting monsters in this manner could not have helped matters. As I waited, I took the opportunity to ponder what little knew of them.

I knew a little of how humans aged, so I judged Frisk to be ten years of age, at least. No more than twelve, at most. Sadly, they were one of the oldest children I had ever met in this place. They were wearing a grey, striped sweater made of undyed wool that was much too big for them. The turtleneck on it was so stretched out it could have hidden the lower half of their face, if they were so inclined. Their britches and boots were similarly old and worn, showing signs of recent repair, suggesting that everything Frisk wore had once belonged to someone else, someone older and bigger. Even the hip pack belted around their waist, over their sweater, was weather-beaten. Mud splattered all over spoke of a wet run through the forest on their way here. Their dark hair was cut short, and somewhat unevenly. Had they done that themselves? They had a habit of squinting, so I could not tell what color their eyes were. The squinting could have been attributed to some manner of vision problem, however I had a feeling that was not the case. Just a feeling.

On the subject of feelings, I pondered what I had felt while healing Frisk. I was more concerned with their bodily hurts so my magic just barely brushed their soul, but what little I had felt was concerning. Loss, loneliness, and so much pain for that one instant… What had that poor child endured before falling into this place? But more than that, I also felt something like steel. A will to overcome all obstacles, whatever they may be. It gave me hope for their new life in the Underground.

I was brought out of my musings when Frisk came through the arch. They were removing the splint made of an old bandage and a stick from around their arm. Both went into the hip pack as the child came closer. I moved to guide them to the stairs leading to the Ruins. They followed, only to become distracted by something.

Frisk paused at the base of the stairs, examining the leaves on the floor. They reached out a hand as though to pick one up, but they didn't. They simply stood there for a moment, their palm in the air. But before I could enquire as to what they were doing the moment passed. They practically skipped up the stairs, and when they noticed me watching they gave me a smile. A much less heart-breaking one than before. Seeing their good spirits, I could not help but smile back.

We finally stood before the door to the rest of the Ruins. I spoke the words I had prepared long ago, and hoped this would be the last time I would ever have to say them.

“Welcome to your new home, innocent one. Allow me to educate you on the operation of the Ruins.” I proceeded to demonstrate the first puzzle. “The Ruins are full of puzzles, ancient fusions of diversions and doorkeys. One must solve them to move from room to room. Please adjust yourself to the sight of them.” And from there we progressed.

I taught them how to solve puzzles, what to do in a FIGHT, and tested their independence. Frisk took everything in stride, up until I gave them a crystalphone. They seemed perplexed by it, turning it over and over in their hands, examining every detail. They finally asked, “Miss Toriel, what exactly is this… crystalphone thing?”

“It is a device that will allow us to communicate with each other over long distances. Do humans not possess such things?”

Frisk shook their head slowly. “No. Telephones aren't quite so… portable, up there. I've never seen anything like this in my life.” Their eyes opened wide, though even so they seemed to be of a naturally narrow shape. I finally saw the color to be a peculiar honey or amber shade, not at all common in humans, as far as I knew. Frisk didn't seem to notice my scrutiny as they barraged me with questions. “How are crystalphones made? When were they invented? Who invented them?? Is talking to others all it can do???”

Frisk was nearly bouncing with glee and it made me laugh. Such an inquisitive child! And so very adorable. I recollected myself quickly. “I am sorry, my child, I did not mean to laugh. And I am afraid I cannot answer all of your questions. All I will be able to do is teach you how to operate your crystalphone. They are also commonly called ‘c-phones', or merely ‘phones.’” Frisk was rapt with attention as I explained everything. They grasped it all quickly, and I was certain I could leave them on their own. The house needed to be prepared for their arrival, and a special treat was in order. However, one thing they said stuck in my mind…

Who did invent the crystalphone?

~~~~~***~~~~~***~~~~~***~~~~~ 

Toriel left me to my own devices, telling me to stay put and be good. I thought about it, then decided to explore despite the “danger.” I was refreshed after being healed, and was up for a little adventure in my new home. 

I solved puzzles and met numerous monsters, learning how to fight them without fighting. Dodging their attacks and getting to know them before sparing them to end the fight so we were all happy. They would even give me small amounts of money, sometimes. Toriel called me, asking whether I preferred butterscotch or cinnamon. Even when I said butterscotch, she asked whether I’d turn my nose up at cinnamon. I told her I wouldn't, but it made me wonder why she was asking. 

I made friends with a ghost that clearly needed one, and found things that might have belonged to one of the other humans to fall down here. The Faded Ribbon was cute so I put it in my hair, but the Toy Knife went into my bag. I wasn't about to start hurting things down here, not even with a fake blade. Eventually I came across a bake sale run by spiders and bought three donuts. One for Toriel and a couple more “just in case.” Learning attack patterns was a little dangerous, and I was getting somewhat scuffed up. Fortunately, once I made it to a big, black, dead-looking tree Toriel was looking for me. She even called my phone before she noticed me.

“How did you get here, my child? Are you hurt? There, there, I will heal you. I should not have left you alone for so long. It was irresponsible of me to try to surprise you like this. Erm… I suppose I cannot hide it any longer. Come in, come in!”

I followed her into a neat and tidy little house, stopping outside long enough to “save” at the little yellow star like the one I’d seen earlier. I didn't know what it meant, but it made me feel better about everything, so it couldn't have been bad. 

Walking through the door, I was greeted by a most wonderful smell. Toriel was smiling. “Surprise! It is a butterscotch cinnamon pie. I thought we might celebrate your arrival. I want you to have a nice time living here, so I’ll be holding off on the snail pie for tonight." I had to blink at that, but then again the French ate snails. Why couldn't monsters? 

Toriel wasn't done with the surprises. She took my hand and led me to a door down the hallway. “Here it is, a room of your very own. I hope you like it!” She pat me on the head, then said, “I have prepared a change of clothes for you and set them on your bed. You seem as though you could use a nice shower, my child. The bathroom is through that door, over there. Take as long as you need, and please put your dirty clothing in the hamper by the door. I will wash them for you. And feel free to take a nap if you need one, as well.”

I was a bit taken aback. Toriel was just being so… so kind. All I could do was look her in the eyes and say “Thank you,” even though I didn't feel that properly expressed the depth of my gratitude. 

She just smiled. “You are most welcome, my child.” She pat my head again, before she sniffed the air and her smile faded. “Is something burning? Um, make yourself at home!” She bustled off, quickly for one so tall. I smiled. 

*I could grow to like her, I thought to myself.

I went into my new room. There was the promised bed with the clothes on top, a box of toys at its foot, and a wardrobe full of clothes of varying sizes. A dresser with an empty picture frame on top was also there, as well as a box of children’s shoes in a disparity of sizes. If Toriel had prepared all this it made me wonder how long she had taken to gather all these things. How many children had she helped just like me? And where were they?

Questions for another time. I gathered up the change of clothes, which turned out to be pajamas and clean undergarments that should just barely fit, and went to take that shower.



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