What's it Called? Chap 1

This is the result of three weeks of lots of free time, incessant Plot Bunnies, and a minor obsession of Undertale. This is about as close to a one-shot that I think I'm going to ever get and this is about 30K words and six chapters.

What can I say? I like stories with a bit of depth.

And some things are going to be a little different from the actual game. I realize this. Just about everything that is different is meant to be different from the game.

Please feel free to leave reviews and I hope you all enjoy this!

Disclaimer: The wonderful world of Undertale belongs to the great Toby Fox and I claim absolutely nothing except a bunch of adoration of the great game and this work, which is of my own creation.

Chapter 1

"You're not getting tired, are you, David?"

I forced my audible breathing to slow and grinned at my, hardly sweating, friend.

"Just enjoying the mountain air. Can't get enough of it!"

"I'm sure," Benny, usually referred to as Ben by most, drawled. He was waiting a few yards up the path and I obliged him by hauling myself up to where he was.

Why are mountains so bloody steep?

The better question: why am I climbing this bloody mountain?

"Tell me, again, why are we doing this?"

"Because we were headed this way and you demanded we stop so you could draw this mountain."

"I said 'draw the mountain,' not 'climb the giant pile of dirt!'"

"Eh, we had the equipment. I thought you would enjoy the experience."

"Yeah, sure." We fell silent and kept climbing. We had been going uphill for three or so hours and the near forty-five degree slope was wearing on my endurance. Ben had an easier time of it with his hobby of wall-climbing having built his endurance well.

If only my hobby was as endurance building. Unfortunately, drawing isn't as strenuous as most other activities. Pretty dang rewarding, yeah. But not strenuous.

Not unless you're hauling the supplies up a freaking mountain!

"Let's take a break here," Ben moved from the basic path and sat on a boulder that was worn flat.

I found one of near-equal flatness and set my camouflage seabag on the ground with a sigh of relief. I had gotten the cylindrical canvas bag from a cousin who was going off to the Navy and gave it to me as a present. The bag was only half full, having been emptied of anything that wasn't necessary for our climb. Everything else was left in Ben's truck at a motel in the town located at the base of Mt. Ebott.

'Why were we there,' you ask?

We were on a final road trip. College was starting in three months for the both of us and we knew that opportunities like road trips and such would become scarce. We would both be going to different colleges due to what we each wanted to major in.

I wanted to go into game design and something that would allow me to put my art skills and rampant imagination to use. Ben wanted to go and become a robotics engineer.

Most were surprised at how close the two of us were when they learned of how different we were. I was pretty smart and managed to keep good grades with ease, but was honestly very lazy. I hated getting out and doing anything more than necessary. Even running with the track team-which my mother forced me to join-was pushing it. The only reason I kept up with the team was to stay somewhat in shape.

God knows what I'll do to stay fit when I go to college.

Ben enjoyed getting out and doing stuff. To him, the best joy came from going outside and doing one thing or another. He was a mechanic at heart and an adrenalin junkie by choice.

We weren't even sure why we were such good friends. I think it's our personalities.

"Catch," I fumbled with the water bottle, barely managing to catch it before it went out of my hands and rolling back down the slope.

I glared at him while uncapping the bottle. He grinned at my expression and ran his hand through his reddish-brown hair. His short hair had a windblown look at all times. No one had ever managed to conquer it. He had freckles spread liberally over his arms and dotting his face.

My own dirty blonde was usually neat and combed short. I had let it grow out a little, having not been to a barber since we left our homes a month prior. Now, I was just trying to keep the sweat-soaked follicles from getting into my eyes. I was beginning to consider grabbing one of the machetes we had brought along and doing a hack job after feeling the sting in my left eye once again.

"How high do we need to go to get your 'perfect angle?'" He made his fingers form air quotes when he said those last two words, repeating what I had said the day before.

I took a moment to think back to what I had seen the evening before. We were coming into the town, aptly named Ebott, and the sunlight streaming across the hills of West Virginia caught my attention and I hadn't been able to get it out of my head.

I had to draw it!

As we drove, I had made it a personal goal to draw something from each state. In Florida, our home state, I drew a picture of a crab trying to snap at a piece of string that was strung above it. In Georgia, a peach that was ready to fall from its lofty perch. And so on and so on.

But we were almost out of West Virginia and I had yet to see anything truly inspiring. So Ben, wanting somewhat to climb anyways, decided to go along with my request that we stay the day in Ebott and give me the chance to draw it when sundown came.

He, in turn, convinced me to climb the bloody mountain. Worst choice made on the road trip since I tried petting that goat in Alabama. Ben laughed when the goat began chasing me, doing nothing to help.

Don't trust a single fucking goat. Not one of them!

"Just a little higher, I think. I'll need a clear ledge or something to draw from."

"What are you thinking of naming this one?"

I shrugged and said, "I'm not sure. I'm thinking of pulling something about this place being cursed into the title, but nothing's come to me yet."

It would come. I was sure it would.

"I hate this giant pile of dirt," I wheezed and collapsed, not caring about the aching protest that came from one of my ribs that managed to connect with a stone.

"Oh, how about there?" Ben nudged me with his foot and I lifted my head to look towards our right.

"...it will do." My head went right back down and I rested in the shade. Ben snorted at my actions.

"Good. I'm not sure how much more sunlight we have left-"

His words sent a jolt through my body and I sat up and scrambled over to where I had deemed good enough.

"Woah! What's the hurry?"

"I have to set up and get ready!"

I moved quickly to get out all of my supplies. My special coloured pencils, sketch pad, and a few other objects-

I saw a drop appear on one of my pages and paused long enough to look up.

"Well damn," Ben said right behind me, moments before the heavens decided to open.

I managed to shield the paper in my jacket, which I wore due to the cool mountain air. Ben grabbed my other supplies and we high tailed it down the mountain to a small alcove in the stone that we had passed a short time earlier.

We ran into it and found that it opened up into a cave a short distance in.

"It's a good thing you noticed this. I don't think any of my papers would have survived that deluge," I said gratefully, pulling out aforementioned papers and finding most of them unscathed. The alcove, which we now knew was actually a cave, was hidden behind bushes and some trees. He had noticed it purely by chance when he had moved off to take a leak.

I saw Ben's mouth move, but loud thunder cut his words out of existence.

He waited for the sound to die away before saying, "You're welcome. Here," he passed me my other items and I stored them, along with my papers, in my seabag. Thankfully, it's material kept the items inside more or less dry.

The cloud overhead blocked the sun and the amount of light that came into the cave dropped significantly.

"Ah damn. Let me find my flashlight."

I pulled out my phone and clicked on the small flashlight on the front to give him some light.

"Heh, thanks."

I nodded and held it long enough for him to find the flashlight that he packed.

"How did we miss that?" I asked, out loud.

"Must've come from behind the mountain. No way we would've seen it."

We had been climbing up only one side the whole way, keeping to a badly kept path for a fourth of the way before going off-road beyond that. We had gotten near the peak before I finally demanded that we stop.

"Well this sucks," I muttered while pocketing my phone, flashlight off. I didn't want to waste power.

"Could be worse-" the rain came down even harder, a bit of spray actually reaching us and pushing us deeper into the darkness of the cave.

I glared at Ben and he grinned sheepishly.

I rolled my eyes and, using the light from his flashlight, got mine out of my seabag.

I flicked mine on and pointed it out of the cave. The light hardly reached a meter outside before becoming effectively useless. Finding nothing that way, I pointed it into the cave and was surprised when I found more open cave than I expected.

"I'm going to see if there's any more back there," I said, hitching my seabag over my shoulders and moving further into the cave, flashlight extended. Ben had sat down and nodded at me while trying to relax.

"Call if you find anything."

I grunted in response and had to duck a little to go further into the cave. I walked about fifteen meters, hunched over and seabag dragging against the ceiling.

Then my foot landed on something that was obviously not stone. I froze, afraid to look down but unable to prevent myself from doing so.

It was a simple vine. I felt my body relax at the sight. The sound of frantic dripping had me point the flashlight forward again and was surprised to see rain pouring from a hole in the rock above. That explained how the vines managed to stay alive, being so deep in the cave.

But why did the rain landing sound so far away?

If I hadn't looked, I would have, unintentionally, leapt.

A hole, easily five meters in diameter, was only about half a meter in front of me. Had I taken a full step, or two smaller steps forward, I would have fallen in. Taking a moment to evaluate and accept the risks, I moved forward and pointed my flashlight down into the hole.

The hole only looked to be four or five meters deep. Much less than what the water made it sound like.

But where was the water? I peered carefully through the darkness and confirmed what I thought I saw. The water was not hitting the rocky ground that I saw.

It was going through.

I thought about what that could possibly mean, and kicked a rock down.

It went through. The sound of it hitting down below came clearly to my ears.


In a minute and a half, he was next to me and I had shown him what I had found.

"Get out that rope," I told him, feeling excitement stirring in my stomach.

He handed the rope to me and I unrolled it.

"This will tell us how deep this really is," I explained before tossing the end of the rope over the edge and slowly feeding it more slack until it went limp.

I pulled it back up, marking the spot it had stopped.

"About ten or eleven yards, maybe," Ben surmised. "But why should we care? We're not going-what the hell!?" He gripped my shoulder and pulled me back when I began to move forward with the rope.

"Relax! I'm just seeing if it's the same depth on all sides. I'm not keen on falling and breaking something. Mark the spot from before with tape, would you?"

Ben let go after a moment, giving me a look before doing as I asked.

I went around the hole, dragging the rope from side to side. It was the same depth in all places, but I found that it drug a little when I pulled the end through the middle. Kind of like there was something rough on the bottom catching it.

"Same depth, I think. Doesn't feel like there's any water-urk!" I felt a tug on the rope and scooted forward just a little.

"Wh-" a much stronger yank brought me into the hole. I twisted and met Ben's face moments before going beyond the nonexistent ground.

My body pulsed once, glowed faintly for a second, and I was falling once more. Back-first, seabag-first, technically, I landed and all the air was knocked out of my lungs. I began coughing violently.


I was still coughing, so I shined my flashlight up the hole. I could see Ben, through the showering rain and darkness. But I had no idea if he would be able to see through the barrier to me. I doubted it.

"I see your light," Ben yelled down. "Are you okay?"

Couldn't he hear me coughing?

I cleared my throat as well as I could and rasped, "I'm fine!"

"David? Hey, are you alright?"

What the hell? I stood and picked up a rock, one we had thrown down earlier, and threw it up towards Ben. He jumped when it went past a certain point and turned back to the hole.

"Can you hear me?"


Ben waited a moment before saying, "If you're saying anything, I can't hear you."

Again, what the hell?

"Let's work out a system. Two blinks means Yes, one blink means No. Understand?"

I caught on right away and clicked my flashlight twice.

"Awesome! Are you okay?"

Two answering clicks.

"Didn't break anything?"

Took a moment to check before clicking twice.

"That's good. Any idea why I can't hear you?"

One click. I had an idea, but chances are that I wasn't going to get it through to him via flashlight clicks.

"You've still got your supplies?"

Two clicks.

"Try writing a note and sending it up."

I clicked twice, excitedly, and did as he said. It was brilliant! I scrawled out a quick note and wrapped it around a rock. I pointed the flashlight at him to catch his attention before throwing it up to his waiting hands. I had to throw it carefully to avoid getting it in the stream of rain.

He unwrapped it and read.

And promptly rolled his eyes.

"No, I am not going to start saying 'Over' at the end of every sentence."

I clicked once. Spoilsport.

"Yeah yeah. How did you fall in? You slip?"

No, I was tugged-the realization of that froze me and I searched around. There was a large patch of flowers, buttercups, I think. But those were the only other living things I saw.


I quickly wrote out a note and threw it up.

"Something yanked you down, but it's not there? Are you sure?"

I clicked twice, though I should have only done it once. I began glancing into the darkness, uncertain of how empty it really was.

"What should we do? Should I come down?"

I flashed my light once, quickly. It wouldn't do to get us both stuck.

I sent up another note.

"Fuck that!"

Two clicks.

"I'm not about to leave you down there!"

"You've got to," I whispered while clicking once.

Ben hesitated.

"What are you going to do in the meantime? Saying that I actually do it."

I saw a tunnel to my right and sent up a note.

"Exploring? What if the thing that pulled you down is still there?"

I sent up a paper with a single word: machete.

"Fine," Ben relented. "But keep your phone handy until you get outside. I'll go get help, but I want you to call if you do manage to get out. Until then, it's doubtful you'll get service under there. I don't have any."

I sent up another note.

Ben nodded, looking more serious than I had seen him in a long time.

"You be careful, as well. If I do not hear from you in seven or eight hours after you leave, I'm bringing whoever I can to help."

I clicked twice.

"I'll leave just as soon as this rain lets off some. You better go. Be safe, or I'll kick your ass when I see you again."

I clicked twice, sent up a final note, and began walking down the tunnel, machete drawn and flashlight lighting the way.

"I'll take that bet," Ben whispered, barely audible to my ears. I grinned and kept on.

The tunnel was musty and damp-smelling. It went for about twenty meters before I found something I hadn't expected.

"Pillars?" I moved forward and confirmed that they were pillars. The pillars had some sort of symbol above it that was almost brushed away by age. I didn't recognize it, but I saw something that looked like wings with three triangles below it. There was also an area beyond the pillars, into more darkness. Seeing little other choice, I moved forward. I moved around an area that rain was coming down. Some grass grew there, but no buttercups.

I moved past it, then stopped. I felt the sensation of being watched and looked around. No one was there. I moved forward and found another doorway being held up by pillars.

Beyond those, I noticed light. Excitedly, I turned off my flashlight and moved forward.

I stopped and my eyes widened in shock. There were two stairways that led up to another doorway, this one without pillars. The area was lit from above by, from what I could tell, glowing rocks. They shined brightly, but did not give off any heat. If they did, it did nothing to warm the chill of the underground.

The stairs and walls looked to be made of stone laid in a brick-like style. I continued on.

A door was closed. To the left, a plaque stood on the wall.

"Only the fearless may proceed.

Brave ones, foolish ones.

Both walk not the middle road."

"...well that's not helpful," I muttered, looking around. I found a switch on the wall and excitedly pulled it.

Nothing happened.

I then saw the upraised panels on the ground. Six of them.

"Both walk not the middle road," I said, the words coming to me. On a whim, I stepped on the outside four and pulled the switch.

"Piece of cake!" The door opened and I went on.

I went through the next room, and the next trap, quickly. This was due to the arrows drawn next to two switched that deactivated a spike trap, allowing me to pass.

I wasn't sure what to make of the dummy in the following room. It was made of cloth and didn't look too old.

Who was living down there?

I found another sign that read, "The western room is the eastern room's blueprint."

"Who the hell came up with these hints?"

I almost ran straight into the spike traps. I looked around for a way to disable them, and found nothing. I then stepped into the water to the sides and just walked on. The water wasn't deep at all. Beyond that was this long hallway with an oddly placed pale pillar to the side.

On the other side of it, a frog-like creature jumped out and I stumbled back from the sudden movement. My chest pulsed and, to my eternal surprise, a heart came out. No, not a real heart. (I wouldn't be here, telling this story, if it was that.) It was the shape of a traditional Valentines heart or the kind that children usually draw.

It was sickeningly pinkish-red. It hung in front of my chest and I nearly missed the white projectiles that flew from the frog.

My heart did not move with me and agony went through my body when the white projectiles slammed through it. Acting on instinct, I reached out and the heart, my heart, raced back towards my hand. I held it carefully and pointed my machete at the frog creature.

"Attack me again, and I'll use this on you!"

Apparently, I intimidated it enough because it quickly hopped away. I found a few gold pieces where I stood before and didn't hesitate to take them. If the frog was going to attack me, I was going to take its gold. Fair is fair.

My heart returned to in front of my chest and slowly sank back in. My flesh rippled as it went back in and I shuddered at the sight. Flesh shouldn't ripple exactly like water. Ever.

"What the hell just happened?" I asked myself, finding myself grimacing.

Moving carefully beyond the room, I found a glowing speck among a small pile of leaves. Curious, I touched it and found that my heart, which had been aching up until that point, suddenly felt better.

On the glowing speck, the words, File Saved, appeared.

"What is this, a videogame?" I snorted and rolled my eyes. I saw a doorway to my left, but went to the right instead.

I jumped over some ground that looked really weak, pushed a rock onto a pressure plate, and read another weird sign.

Small, fearful creatures flew around occasionally, but none came close. One that did come close flew away crying when I glared at it.

Shy creatures, I suppose.

I came to a room almost full of weak flooring and had to carefully navigate it by poking my foot down on it before putting all my weight down.

Took me half an hour, but I got through.

I saw gently vibrating jell-o like things here and there, but kept my distance when I felt my heart coming out the first time I approached one. I noticed something odd when my heart came out. My body seemed lighter and able to move faster than normal. My heart appeared to only be able to move up and down a short ways away from my body, but I was able to jump superhumanely high. This helped me dodge any attacks that sprouted from the ground, I assumed. I continued onwards.

Then I came to the rock.

The first two rocks were okay. They were normal.

Then the fucking rock spoke.

I had a conversation with it, politely asking it to move on the pressure plate like the other two.

This place was becoming weirder and weirder by the minute.

I found another gleaming speck next to a table with cheese stuck to it. The speck filled me up with some sort of odd energy. Like I had downed an energy drink.

I then found a ghost and paused.

I tried to remember if I had salt in my pack, and silently cursed when I didn't. Was my machete made of steel?

I knew I should've carried around a Bible.


The ghost, shaped in the form of an almost cartoonish fashion, floated a meter off of the ground and had a strange scent about him. Was that ectoplasm?


"Sorry to interrupt you, but may I pass?" If this ghost could speak, then it had some form of intelligence. I could reason with it.

"Oh...yes...I've been in the Ruins long enough, I suppose...I'll go now...bye." He then faded out of existence and I continued on, surprised at how easy it was.

"'Come eat food made by spiders'- nope, that's where I draw the line!" I moved past the sign without a second thought. I wasn't arachnophobic, but I wasn't about to eat food made by them.

The next room had several of those frog things in it. I walked by, careful to watch them, but they only stared and ribbited.

The next room had a spike trap, but it was already deactivated. I thought it was a trick, and quickly went through. Nothing happened.

The next four rooms were a bitch. I'm sad to say that I'm not that good at puzzles. All the ones until then were simple or straightforward.

Then a decidedly circular fellow gave me the evil eye.

"I'm Loox, human! Fight me!"

I prepared my machete and said, "I really don't like fighting, but I will retaliate-"

My heart came out and I grabbed it in my left while swinging the machete into the white projectiles. They shattered on contact with the metal and dissipated a moment later.

"You asked for it!" I ran forward and slashed at Loox. A wide gash opened up on what little of its body wasn't an eye. I didn't want to blind the guy, just maim or seriously injure.

They screeched in pain and I yelled, "That's a taste of what will happen if you attack me again!"

Crying, Loox stumbled away. He left behind several gold coins. I wondered if that was some sort of tactic they employed often. Drop gold to distract predators? Well it certainly worked with me.

I went on and found a dead tree standing among a pile of leaves at its base.

Beyond it stood a brick house.

I paused at the entryway to the area, next to the tree. The house looked well-maintained and I saw light through the glass. Someone was living there in the Ruins, I think? Wasn't that what that ghost called this place?

I noticed another small gleaming speck next to the house and touched it.

"Someday, I'm going to figure out why you do that," I muttered to the File Saved that popped up.

I then noticed the words above them.

"Huh, these are the Ruins. But why is it showing up now?"

I thought for a moment more before giving up on the matter. I went to the door and knocked on it.

I heard footsteps a minute later, right before I was going to knock again. I stepped back from the door and was sure to aim the machete towards the ground, as non-threatening as a slightly bruised and dirtied eighteen-year-old with a military seabag can look.

It was a little late to try and clean up.

The door opened and I'm pretty sure that I saw a mirrored look of surprise on the goat's face. It was some sort of anthropomorphic goat-creature-thing.

Why did it have to be a goat? Anything but a goat.

And why did the goat have to be almost half a foot taller than my six-foot frame?

"Ah, hello," I said, breaking the silence.

She, as I soon figured out, jolted at the greeting and smiled. Her face, goat-like as it was, was surprisingly kindly. Almost mother-like.

"Hello, my name is Toriel. I am the caretaker of the Ruins."

"I'm David. I kind of fell down here and am looking for a way out. Sorry for entering without permission."

Goat or not, I was going to be polite to this lady until she gave me reason otherwise.

"Oh, it's been such a long time since the last human came. Please, come in. I was just preparing to read a little before bed."

"Er, thank you," I said gratefully. I hadn't expected someone that I had just met to let me in their home. Especially at what was, apparently, nighttime.

It was...strange.

I walked in and took a quick look at the place. There was a stairway straight ahead from the doorway, a flowerpot to the left of it, and a small bookcase to the right. A doorway to a living room type area was to the left while a hallways was to the right. The air was a warm and, surprisingly enough, only faintly smelled like Toriel. She had a slight musk around her that wasn't too unpleasant. It was the definition of homely.

"Please, let's go have a seat," Toriel closed the door behind me and began walking to the left. I followed behind and sat in the chair she gestured towards. It was at a table with three chairs and some flowers set in a pot in the middle.

"Have you ate yet?"

"Yes ma'am," I responded respectfully, out of habit. What? She was a lady and, probably, older than me.

In truth, I had only ate a banana and a granola bar in the last five hours and had drunk water to stave off the hunger since falling.

I didn't want to inconvenience her. I was just that kind of person.

My growling stomach disagreed about the type of person I was.

"I see," Toriel smiled knowingly at the faint blush that crept on my face, despite my attempts at keeping a poker face.

"Well I'm going to set out some snacks. Just wait here, child."

She turned and went into a kitchen area.

It was at that point that I realized that I still had the machete out. I quickly got the sheath that sat in the seabag out and stored it away, placing it on the floor next to my foot. The seabag sat next to it, on the right.

Toriel came back with what was definitely more than what constitutes a snack.

My stomach grumbled loudly at the sight and Toriel let out a little laugh.

"Eat up. I've already eaten." She sat down in a comfy looking chair next to a fireplace and picked up a book that sat to the side.

"Yes ma'am," I said, embarrassed. I began eating the odd, spongey, food and asked, "If I may, what is this?"

Toriel looked up from the book and said, "Snail spongecake. How is it?"

I blinked in surprise.

"I've never had snail before, but this is good," I said, surprised at how good it tasted. It had no trace of the slime or shells that snails are well known for.

Or maybe those crunchy things weren't nuts. Eh, it tasted good. And I wouldn't be there for too long.

I finished the snail spongecake in no time and turned to Toriel.

"So why are you the caretaker of the Ruins?"

"Hmm?" Toriel looked up from her book and I repeated the question. She apparently got sucked into books as much as I did.

"Someone needed to stay here, in case humans came down here."

"If you don't mind me asking, what do you call yourself? I mean your species. Are there others like you?"

Toriel smiled and set the book on a small table beside her.

"I am a Monster, and yes, there are others."

My brows furrowed and I said, "C'mon, I may have not known you for too long, but you can't be that bad. What-"

"No, no," she interrupted me. "Not the negative form of the word, I'm referring to species. You know about Monsters, yes?"

I thought back and said, "I remember that some historians are considered nutjobs for claiming that humans used to live among Monsters. We were given a little lesson about it in the second grade, I think. Weren't Monsters defeated by humans and..."

"Forced underground, yes," Toriel finished for me.

I couldn't really deny her story, seeing as the evidence was right in front of me.

"So this is where y'all have been. Why don't you leave? I mean, I fell down. Couldn't you just climb out?"

Toriel frowned and shook her head.

"We cannot. The Barrier prevents this. It has sealed us all away. Anything may enter, but only creatures with exceptionally strong souls can leave."

"But I threw rocks through it?" Had I found a weak point?

"Objects can pass without hindrance."

"What about sounds? I could hear stones hitting the ground. And Ben could see the light from the flashlight, even if he couldn't see me."

"Your voice is a weak projection of your Soul. That's why it couldn't go through. Ben? Is there another with you?"

"No, he's going to go for help once the rain stops. It probably has gone by, by now. He said he'll come after me seven or eight hours after he leaves, unless I call him." I checked my watch and saw that it had been about three hours since I left Ben. Seeing this, I frowned and continued. "Thank you for the food, but I must get going. I can't worry my friend. I have to find a way out."

I stood, slinging on my seabag.

"Wait! If you leave, you'll be going straight into danger!" Toriel stood and had a panicked look on her face. I paused and listened.

"The only way to get through the Barrier is for one to mix the souls of a Monster and a Human."

"Do you mean the heart that floats out of me when something threatening occurs?"

"Yes. That is your Soul."

"Perfect," I said, happily, catching her off-guard. "I can just find a Monster that does the same, mix our Souls for a bit, and get through. I'm sure I can convince som-"

"You don't understand, child," Toriel said, looking like a great weight had come on her. She sat and I couldn't help but copy her, setting the seabag down again.

"Monster Souls do not work like Human Souls. Human Souls can survive out of their bodies, as you have seen. Even when Humans die, their Souls linger for some time. Monsters...Monsters aren't like that. Our bodies turn to dust when we die and our Souls disappear soon after. Our Souls cannot leave our bodies or we will die."

My breath didn't come for a few seconds.

"B-but how am I supposed to leave?"

"You can't," Toriel said it in such a matter-of-fact tone that even I believed it for a moment.

Then I was angry.

"Sorry, but I'm not going to let some Barrier keep me down here if I want out," I said, resolutely, standing with my bag over my shoulder.

"I'm not going to kill someone to get out of here, but I will get out. Can you point me in the direction I can leave most easily?"

Toriel shook her head, fluffy white ears swinging gently. I thought it was a negative response, but it was actually in a forlorn manner.

"Asgore's castle. Behind the throne room. That's where the Barrier stands and where all Monsters came in from. You will find a way out there."

"Thank you. Is that some place in the Ruins?"

Toriel shook her head once again.

"Come with me." She stood and went out of the room. I followed her down the stairs and through a long tunnel. She stopped in front of a large door that had the same symbol from her clothing on its face. The same one I had seen earlier.

"This is the entrance to the rest of the underground. You will find Asgore's castle on the other side, at the far end."

"Thank you, Toriel. I will never forget this," I smiled and she returned one that was laced with what seemed like grief.

"Be careful. Return if you have a change of heart," Toriel said before turning around and walking quickly back the way we had come.

I looked to the door and steeled myself. I had to hurry and get to the Barrier. I would figure a way to get through it on the way.


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