The Meaning Of Souls
1. Draw a monster
2. Look at the picture
3. Now look at me and tell me:
Why is it a monster?
"I'm so excited for next week! We'll have so much fun together!"
She avoided her friend's gaze, trying to push back the wave of guilt washing over her.
"Oh! And I'll show you the new sculpture I started with mom-"
"We're not gonna-"
"And we can try out the-"
"I can't come," she said in a harsh tone.
He stopped talking and abruptly closed his mouth, only to open it as if to say something and close it again. Hugging herself with her pale arms, she kept her eyes locked on the ground as he furrowed his brows and tilted his head at her.
The shorter of the two shuffled her feet and sighed.
"Look, we- we can't be... friends... anymore."
She dared to look at him, searching for something on his face - Did he hate her now? - but his expression didn't tell her anything other than confusion.
"I- what do you mean?"
It hurt - she already missed him - but she didn't have a choice. If she did, she would choose him, choose their friendship over anything.
"We can't be friends anymore," she repeated, pouring some of her anger into her voice because it was the only way it wasn't going to just break.
She wasn't angry at him. There was nothing he had ever done wrong - He was a great friend, the best! - yet she was going to hurt him. The confusion slowly melted from his face and suddenly he started laughing awkwardly.
"Yeah, sure, I'm not falling for that. It's not even that funny, you know..."
She mutely stared at him, waiting. They just stood there for a minute, trying to find out which words could somehow fix this, or make the situation more bearable for them.
He blinked. Then he blinked again and she realized he was trying not to cry - it did not work.
"Why?" he asked, hands curled into fists, shaking. "Why?" he repeated when she took too long to reply.
Because you're a monster, was the true answer. But she couldn't say it. That simply wouldn't be fair. Automatically, her hand moved towards his face to wipe away the tear tracks on his cheek, but then she stopped, hand left hanging mid-air. He was obviously still hoping for an explanation, but there was nothing she could say that would make him understand - heck, she didn't quite understand it herself.
She swallowed, dropping the hand.
Her parents had made it clear though. They had never really had a problem with the monsters. When the movements against them started they stayed in the background, not supporting them, but not doing anything against them either. Shortly after the government had seperated schools though, they had forbid her to invite him over. When in public, she wasn't allowed to mention him as her friend anymore. And now...
"I hope we'll meet again," she mumbled before turning around and running off.
The young monster peeked around the door frame and into the warm living room, easily getting his mother's attention. The tall woman was sitting in her favourite roving chair, reading and just taking some time for herself. She smiled and lifted her gaze from the book in her hands.
"What is it, my little prince?" she asked, causing the boy to briefly scrunch up his nose at the nickname.
"I'm not a little prince!" he complained, crossing his pale white arms and pouting up at his mom from the doorway.
She chuckled, putting the book down onto the table next to her and standing up to walk over to her son.
"Of course not," she agreed. "But you are the prince and you're my little boy." She crouched down in front of the small child. "And that makes you my little prince."
Said prince rolled his eyes and huffed, trying to glare at his mother but ultimately just ending up looking adorable. Remembering why he had come to seek her out, he dropped the glare and shuffled his feet.
"Um," he began, eyes trained on the ground.
His mother raised her eyebrows, not used to this sort of behaviour from her son.
"I wanted to ask if I could maybe... go play with Undyne?"
She shook her head lightly and smiled at the young child.
"Of course you can go play with her," she assured.
He lifted his gaze to look at her, a brief expression of relief flickering across his face. His mother wasn't quite sure what to make of it.
"But," His shoulders sagged a bit at the oncoming words from his parent. "Remember to be careful on the way. You know you must not-"
"Cross the dump, try any unlabelled bridges or talk to strangers. And I must under no circumstances enter the ruins. I know, Mom," he finished, giving her an impatient look that clearly told her she did not need to remind him.
She sighed, putting her hand on his shoulder briefly before sending him off.
"Alright, alright. Go have fun and be safe!"
Not giving his mother the chance to change her mind, he thanked her, turned around and left.
Most of the way he ran, having memorized it perfectly after all the times he had visited his friend. Whenever he saw someone he knew, he slowed down, whether it be to politely say hello or to avoid trouble with the grown-ups. But with all the short cuts Undyne and him had discovered, it didn't take him long to reach the bridge that lead to her house. Undyne's father had build it together with his own father before either of the two children had been born. Still, it was one of the safest bridges he had seen in the Underground. Not that he had seen much of it. Despite being the heir to the throne, he had not been to a lot of places down here and most monsters still felt like they knew too little of their future king. The Underground was much bigger than most thought and part of it was constantly growing, changing. Maybe there was a bridge out there that led up into the human world after all?
He quickly shook his head to get rid of the thought. There was no way out of the Underground. He knew this, everyone knew this. It was probably the one thing every monster knew for sure. Hoping for it to be any different could prove to be very dangerous. As he crossed the bridge, he kept his eyes on the dark chasm below him, almost expecting some unknown being to emerge at any second and swallow him whole. Undyne liked to tell him all kinds of scary stories about what might be lingering down there in the absolute darkness. It was getting difficult to believe they were just stories when no one would give him actual answers and he was left with a mystery to solve on his own. Or, well, not on his own.
"Come on!" Undyne hissed and pulled him to the side as soon as he stepped off the bridge. "Let's go before my parents notice we're gone."
He nodded, an excited grin spreading out on his face, as he quickly followed after the blue-skinned girl. They kept to the shadows, using the path around the left side of the house where the light from the torches didn't reach them. Ducking under the window on the back of the house, the two young monsters crossed the wide backyard and came to a stop in front of the thick metal fence. Both shared a determined glance and got to work. They used Undyne's new practice spear and helped each other up the fence.
"On three?" Undyne asked.
"Yeah," he agreed, getting ready to jump. "One," He bit his lip, a little nervous. But he wasn't going to back out now. Not in front of his best friend. "Two," He didn't get why Undyne was always so much braver than him. He was going to be king some day, so he couldn't be afraid of anything. "And... three!" he whisper-shouted.
Undyne and him jumped off the fence simultaneously, landing in a roll as they had learned during fight practice. Not every monster learned how to fight anymore these days. The war was over and fights had become rare in comparison to old times. But as a prince and the daughter of the king's right hand, it definitely could not hurt to know how to defend yourself. And both enjoyed the training - Undyne even more so than the prince. But she also always said that she didn't actually want to fight anyone. It was fun when it was training, but the idea of hurting someone was something she hated. She wanted the world to be a nice and friendly place. He knew what she meant, they had heard practically the same stories about the times of constant fighting from their parents. Everyone knew it was bad. No one wanted another war.
"Alright," Undyne said, dusting off her clothes and straightening her fiery ponytail. "Now that that's done, how about we go on a real adventure for once?"
Despite the underlying fear he still felt, the young prince found himself caught up in his friend's excitement. A real adventure did sound pretty awesome.
"Yeah," he exclaimed, putting his fist up into the air and running ahead. "Let's go on an adventure!"
Undyne laughed, secured her spear on her back and followed the boy with the tiny horns on his head into the foreign darkness of the Underground.
There is a prophecy.
The One Who Has Seen The Surface...
They will return.
And the Underground will go empty.
The lights flickered dangerously and a few alarmed shouts could be heard throughout the main section of the building. He had expected this, though the calculations his assistant had made seemed to have been incorrect, after all. Looks like he had to fire a certain monster - such a shame. The only thing that really bothered him about it was having to search for a replacement. He would have to let his current assistant help clean up the mess he had caused by leaving them to think they had more time left they had. Once the power levels and machines were stable again, he would start caring about getting rid of him.
An engineer, as he could tell by the green colour of his lab coat, ran up to him. The female monster was nearly as tall as him, but so thin she could fit into her coat at least twice. He waited for her to address him before looking at her.
He barely turned his head in her direction, not giving her more attention than necessary. Still, the movement was enough to tell her she should start talking.
"Sir, we need your permission to set in the last fragments," she informed, telling him what he knew was coming.
He nodded, more to himself, and waved her off.
"Yes, yes. Get the process ready, I should be there in a moment."
Expecting her to leave and follow his orders, he turned away from the worker, intending to pay a short visit to his main office, but to his surprise, she stopped him.
"Um, Sir?" The red and gray monster's expression was one of uncertainty and she seemed uncomfortable in his presence.
Impatiently, he stopped in his tracks and turned halfway towards her, subconsciously noting that the alarm had stopped.
"What?" he ground out, the stress and hectic getting to him and causing him to easily snap at the engineer.
She hesitated, fiddling with a pen that was attached to the left pocket of her lab coat.
" Well, these fragments are the last ones we have-"
He held up his hand, interrupting her, and closed his eyes, sighing.
"Yes, thank you, I know that. Is that all?"
The female winced at his tone.
"I apologize for bothering you, however I feel the need to point out that these fragments might not be enough for the entirety of our machines." He was about to send her off when she pulled out a slightly tattered notebook and flipped it open to a page that was filled with numbers and calculations. "This facility can not take another power outage on a scale as high as this one. If we set in the fragments, we pay the risk of destroying the whole campus by the time they burn out."
He watched her face intently, looking out for signs that may tell him she was lying. Instead he found honest concern and intelligence behind her eyes. He made a mental note check her background and possibly get her a better place in the facility if he got the chance.
"Send your calculations to my office so I may have a look at them then. Delay the setting until I give further instructions," he ordered, before walking off, leaving behind a shocked young engineer.
He kept one hand on the wall next to him as they made their way through the nearly pitch black tunnels. Part of him kept saying this was a bad idea, but he was also just so curious. Who knew what kind of awesome things they might be able to discover? He heard a scuffling to his right and froze. It had been so quiet this whole time, the only sounds from their feet against the ground and their quiet breathing. Occasionally, one of them would speak up, but conversations were cut short every time. So the moment the foreign sound reached their ears, Undyne and him were suddenly very on edge.
The girl, having taken the lead, slowly turned around to look at him and they shared a nervous glance. Undyne seemed more excited than scared so he didn't say how uneasy he really was. It was obvious for both of them though that the other had heard the noise, too and upon unspoken agreement, they both carefully moved into the direction it had come from.
It was too dark to see anything, even after coming closer to where they would possibly find the source of the shuffling sound.
"Az," Undyne whispered, so quietly he just barely caught it. "Can you make some fire?"
He hesitated, thinking about evrtything that could go wrong. But his parents had never said he could not use his powers when he was with Undyne and he had gotten a little better at it already. Also, it would be a huge help right then.
He nodded. Waiting for Undyne to take a step back - she was a little more sensitive to fire and heat than he was - before holding his hands out in front of him, palms facing each other. After a moment of doubt, he finally managed to produce a small flaming ball, floating in between his hands. It lit up enough of the tunnel for them to get a vague idea of what had made the noise, before it hurried off to side and around what looked like a corner. Undyne gasped quietly next to him.
"Wow! Did you see that?"
He was still staring at the spot where the small monster had been sitting before he had scared it off.
"Uh... yes? Sort of?"
Undyne didn't seem to mind and instead just grinned, her tiny fangs glinting in the light of his flame dancing in the air.
"I know what that was," she excitedly informed him. "I saw it in one of the older books from the librarby."
He barely refrained from correcting her. Since the library in Snowdin had opened up and everyone had been able to read the incorrect name on the front sign, the place had become the most popular library in the Underground. Most people just called it the librarby now. Undyne loved to browse through the many book shelves and learn all linds of interesting things about the Underground and the time before it.
She looked at him like he was dumb and not getting the hint and slapped his arm. (Hint: He was not getting the hint.) He wanted to protest after the move made his flame splutter out and left them in the dark once more.
"Az! Do you not know what this means?"
He opened his mouth, only to close it again. Then he shook his head. Undyne probably rolled her eyes, but he couldn't see it very well.
"It means," she said. "That we might have just seen one of the monsters should have become extinct years ago!"
His face was slowly lighting up, but he got no real chance to reply.
"We gotta go after it!" Undyne decided, not waiting for him to voice his agreement before running off and round the corner.
"Undyne!" he called, eyes wide. "Wait!"
He ran after her, stumbling through the darkness, arms stretched out in hopes of avoiding contact with any unexpected obstacles. Only rounding the corner, he remembered to create some light. He stopped and repeated his earlier process. The light stretched out into the space before him, revealing the room he had just entered - it was empty. It had a vaguely round shape and three different hallways aside from the one he had come from leading to-
He didn't know where they led to. He didn't know anything about where he was and now he didn't know where Undyne was either. He had lost himself and his best friend and if he didn't get out of this place soon, he would probably lose his mind as well.
The best thing to do would be to go back the way he came - or try to, as he wasn't sure he would be able to remember most of it - and get help. But he knew they would be in so much trouble if their parents found out about this. And also, there was no way he would leave Undyne alone down here, with unknown and probably even dangerous monsters. She could get lost or hurt or- or worse! No, his decision was clear. He would either leave this place with Undyne, or not leave it at all.
Now this might sound very brave - and the plan was brave - but he wasn't. After a couple minutes of listening into the darkness in hopes of catching the sound of footsteps signalling his friend was back - or anything else that could help him - he decided to sit down. Not daring to let the small flame between his hands die out - What if he got attacked and didn't see it coming? - he got comfortable on the grimy floor, right next to the tunnel he had come from.
He couldn't tell how much time had passed, but it was enough for him to seriously doubt Undyne would come back anytime soon. She had probably gotten lost from blindly following that frog-monster they had encountered and was completely alone now - just like him. Should he go search for her? Or stay and wait anyway, no matter how slim the chances of her finding her way back were?
Despite his fear, it was an easy decision.
Long ago, two races ruled over Earth: HUMANS and MONSTERS.
One day, war broke out between the two races.
After a long battle, the humans were victorious.
They sealed the monsters underground with a magic spell.
Many years later... In year 201X... Legends say, that those who climb MT. Ebott never return.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of its characters.
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