My Undertale fan fiction, The Six Human Souls. This is chapter three of part one. This one ended up being way longer than I expected, but I think I’m happy with it. Toriel is the best goatmom anyone could ever ask for. Oh yes, also SPOILERS for Undertale (but why are you reading this if you don’t know the story already).
Chapter 3 – Toriel
“What are you doing here, my child?”
Fiona stared at the tall monster standing in front of her. On closer inspection, she realized it was some kind of goat person wearing a long robe. Fiona squinted at the goat and stepped back against the railing. “Uh…”
The goat monster smiled and held a hand out to Fiona. “Do not be frightened, I shall not harm you. My name is Toriel. What’s your name?”
“Fiona,” Fiona said quietly, feeling shy all of a sudden. Even Puppo seemed to be shy, as he was hiding behind Fiona’s feet with his tail between his legs.
“A lovely name. Are you hurt my child? I can heal you if you are.”
Fiona glanced down at her leg. It had been hurt when she originally fell into the mountain, but she had been ignoring it up until now because of her adventurous spirit. Now, however, it hurt quite a bit. “Y-yes, I am hurt.”
“Come with me then, my child. I can bring you to my home and heal you, and give you something to eat. It isn’t far, and you can rest there as well.”
“Thank you, Miss Toriel,” Fiona said with a faint curtsey. Toriel smiled and took Fiona’s hand.
“No need for such formalities, my child. Come along. You look exhausted.” She blinked when she saw the small puppy at Fiona’s feet. “And of course, your friend can come along, too!”
Puppo’s tail started to wag when he heard this, and he followed behind as Toriel led Fiona away from the balcony and back through the hallway, going up through the other passage to a tidy little house. Fiona’s eyes lit up as they stepped inside. It was warm and inviting. This was a place where she actually felt like she was at home.
“Come with me,” Toriel said, leading Fiona down the hall and stopping in front of a door. She opened the door to reveal what looked like a child’s bedroom. It seemed dusty and unused, but was otherwise neat and well kept. “You can rest here for now, my child. Please, go ahead and sleep. I can fix you something to eat for when you wake up.”
Fiona went over to the little bed and settled into it. Toriel walked with her and helped her pull her shoes off, then with a gentle touch she stroked Fiona’s sore ankle, healing it up straight away. Toriel chuckled a little at the look of amazement on Fiona’s face, then she had Fiona lie down and tucked the covers around her. Toriel then lifted Puppo up and set him on the bed with Fiona as well. Puppo immediately curled up and seemed to fall asleep instantly.
“I’m sorry I didn’t find you sooner,” Toriel said, stroking Fiona’s hair gently. “If I had known you had fallen down here, I would have come to get you from the start so you wouldn’t have had to get through all those puzzles and monsters on your own. But, clearly you were able to make it through, and for that I am glad.”
“They really weren’t all that hard to figure out,” Fiona said with a sleepy smile. “It just took a little bit, but I got it in the end. I wasn’t too fond of those vegetable monsters, though. They made me eat broccoli.”
Toriel suppressed a giggle, then patted Fiona on the head. “Well, I’ll make you something to eat that doesn’t have broccoli in it. But for now, you should rest up. You’ve been through a lot, so you deserve it.”
Fiona nodded her head and shifted onto her side, closing her eyes. “Thank you again, Miss, er, I mean Toriel.”
Toriel smiled fondly at Fiona then left the room, turning off the light and closing the door behind her to let the human and puppy rest after their long day of adventuring. And sleep they did.
Since she didn’t have a watch and there didn’t appear to be any clocks around, Fiona wasn’t sure what time it was when she woke, nor how long she had actually been sleeping. But one thing she knew for sure, she felt better than she ever remembered feeling after a good long sleep. Maybe it was the bed. It felt extraordinarily soft and comfy, with just the right amount of warmness that she wasn’t constantly shivering under the covers and grappling at any heat she could get. To put it simply, the bed – and the room for that matter – were absolutely perfect.
Fiona really didn’t want to get out of bed, she was so comfy, but at some point she decided she couldn’t sleep anymore and so slid out from under the covers. Puppo opened one eye and started thumping his tail on the bed when he saw her walking around the room. Fiona turned to him with a smile then sat down on the edge of the bed and rubbed his belly. He rolled onto his back and stretched out, panting and wagging his tail.
“This place seems pretty nice, don’t you think?” she said idly as she rubbed his belly. “Toriel seems really nice, too. I mean, assuming she isn’t just acting nice while really planning to bake me into a pie or something. I doubt it, though. She doesn’t look like she’d secretly be any sort of witch that eats kids. What do you think?”
Puppo licked her hand in response. Fiona patted his head and stood up. “Well, I’m gonna explore a bit more. You can stay here or come with me, your choice.” She walked over to the door and opened it a crack, peering out into the hallway from left to right before opening the door all the way and slipping out. Puppo trotted after her.
They explored down the rest of the hallway, finding a couple more doors, one which was locked, the other which led to Toriel’s bedroom. There were a bunch of vases all along the hall which held some sort of plant that Fiona had always called a cat tail, but after reading a book she found on Toriel’s bookshelf, she found that here in the underground, the monsters called them water sausages. Weird.
When she had finished exploring that side of the house, she crossed to the other side. She passed by a stairway that led down, and beyond that she found a living room with a rocking chair, a fireplace, another bookshelf, and a dining table. The next room was the kitchen, and that’s where Fiona found Toriel busying herself.
Toriel was just lifting what looked like a pie out of the oven. She set it down on the counter top to let it cool then looked over her shoulder at Fiona. “Ah! I thought you were still asleep. I was hoping to surprise you with a piece of this for when you woke up, but it’s no matter, I suppose. You can have some now, though it’s quite hot.”
“What kind of pie is it?” Fiona asked.
“It’s an old favorite of mine that I use to always make. Butterscotch cinnamon pie.” Toriel smiled brightly, then a look of concern came over her face. “Oh, but I guess I should have asked you whether you liked butterscotch or cinnamon before I made it for you.”
“I’ve never tried it before,” Fiona admitted. “But it does smell good.”
“Well, then I hope you enjoy it. I thought it’d be best to lay off the snails for now, as I’ve heard humans aren’t all that fond of them.”
Fiona made a face when she heard that. “Well, I heard French people eat snails, but that sounds gross to me. Thank you for not making me eat any.”
Toriel let out a friendly laugh and patted Fiona on the head. “Here, let me get you a piece.” She waved her hand over the pie, which seemed to make it cool down a little faster, at least enough to let her cut it. She took one slice out of it and set it on a plate, then handed the plate to Fiona and walked with her back into the living room. Fiona sat at the table while Toriel settled into the rocking chair.
“Can I ask you something?” Fiona said as she toyed with the pie using her fork, as it was still quite hot. “I mean, don’t take this the wrong way. I’m very grateful to you for taking me in like this, but I was always under the impression that monsters were bad. That they were mean and scary and wanted to hurt humans.”
“Is that so?” Toriel sighed and shook her head. “I suppose that’s to be expected, though. We were at war with the humans for some time, after all. It’s only natural that they would teach their young that we’re the evil ones.”
“Well, wasn’t it the king of monsters who started the war?” Fiona asked. “That’s what I’ve always heard, anyway.”
Toriel looked rather sad, then. She lifted her head and gazed up at the ceiling. “Asgore has always been hotheaded when it comes to dealings with humans. Well, that was a long time ago, actually. We’re not really sure who started the war anymore. All we know for sure is that the humans won in the end, and they sent us down here with no hope of escape.”
“Do monsters hate humans?” Fiona asked in a quiet voice.
“No, no dear, we do not.” Toriel glanced over at Fiona and gave her a sad smile. “Why don’t you eat your pie? It does not do to dwell on such terrible things.”
Fiona got a small piece on her fork and blew on it before putting it into her mouth. The butterscotch and cinnamon flavors mixed together to make a wonderful sweet delight for her taste buds to experience, though it was still a little too hot for her to eat more at once.
“Well, it’s just that I don’t know much about monsters. They’ve basically become fairy tales that adults tell to kids to scare them, but no one actually believes it’s real. I always believed they were real, though, and that’s part of the reason I climbed the mountain. I wanted to find out the truth. Well, that and a couple boys dared me to.”
“We are real,” Toriel said, nodding her head. “All of the stories of our history with the humans is true. Well, I’m not sure how your people have painted us to look in the stories. They may say bad things about us, and if that is so, then the stories are false. For the most part, monsters lived peacefully away from the humans, but fear boiled up between us. They were afraid of us, and we were afraid of them. That’s how the war started.”
“You were afraid of us because we were stronger than you?” Fiona asked, taking another small bite of her pie.
Toriel nodded her head. “You’ve heard the stories about how human souls are their greatest power?”
“Yeah,” Fiona said. “And that’s why we were able to beat the monsters. But I also heard that monsters tried to steal the souls of humans, and if they did, they would become something big and powerful and scary.”
“Yes. That is why humans feared us. Because while they did have the power to defeat us, we had the power to become something far more terrible than they could ever imagine if we managed to kill a human.”
Fiona swallowed her piece of pie and it sank into the depths of her stomach. “But you never managed to get a human soul, right?”
“No,” Toriel said, shaking her head. “And I’m happy for that. I don’t think it’s right for monsters to do such a thing. Either taking the life of someone else, or using their souls to gain immeasurable power.”
“So I don’t have to be afraid of you trying to take my soul, then?” Fiona asked.
Toriel smiled. “No, dear. You are safe with me. So long as you do not leave my protection, you shall not be harmed.”
“Oh. So, you were all trapped down here by humans through some magical spell, right? But, I guess that was a really long time ago. Our stories say that seven mages sealed you down here, but humans don’t do magic.”
“Hm, it must have been long ago, then. There was a time when some humans knew the ways of magic. Of course, their ways were not our ways.” Toriel’s features darkened. “Monsters use magic naturally. It comes to us as easily as whistling or snapping your fingers would. Humans, on the other hand, had to turn to different measures to use magic.”
Fiona wanted to ask what sort of measures those were, but the look on Toriel’s face kept her from asking. Toriel seemed quite upset at talking about this and Fiona felt bad for making her think of things that set her in such a mood.
“So, this spell… you can’t ever leave this place?” Fiona asked instead. Toriel nodded her head.
“I’m afraid so, my child. There is a way to get out, but-” She cut herself off and gave Fiona a strange look. Fiona leaned toward Toriel, now more curious than ever.
“How? How would one leave this place?”
“It’s… it wouldn’t be possible. Well, it would be for you, but.”
“Tell me,” Fiona said, though not in a demanding way. “Please?”
“My child, it would be too dangerous for you to go looking for the way out.”
“Why is that?” Fiona asked. “I think if it’s possible to return home I should try. My family is probably worried about me.”
Toriel shivered, looking as if she had just been struck by the fact that Fiona actually had a family waiting for her on the surface. “Oh, my child… I’m so sorry.”
Fiona gazed up at Toriel for a long moment, then she sighed and took another bite of her pie. “Is there a reason you don’t want me to leave?”
Toriel didn’t say anything for some time, then she nodded her head. “Well, perhaps it’s a little bit of selfishness along with the desire to protect you. You see, the King – Asgore – he is not happy with the humans. He wishes to destroy the barrier that’s keeping us down here, and to do that, he needs seven human souls. He’s waiting for humans to fall down here. It’s happened before, but it’s still a rarity. I do not wish you to suffer such a fate at his hands, my child. Do you understand?”
Fiona shivered a little. “By… acquiring human souls, does that mean he would kill me? Absorb my soul, like you had said before and become some terrible creature?”
Toriel nodded her head. “And then he would go and destroy the humans on the surface so we monsters could live in peace. But… but I couldn’t live like that knowing we had destroyed everyone to obtain such peace. It would not be right.”
“Is this Asgore guy really bad, then?”
“No, he isn’t, he’s just… like I said before, he’s hotheaded.” Toriel let out a deep sigh, a distant look on her face. “We had been living peacefully enough, but then the humans took something precious from us. He blames all humans. That’s why he wants to destroy them.”
“What did they take?” Fiona asked.
“Asriel, our son.”
Fiona blinked. “Wait… our son?”
Toriel blushed a bit but nodded her head. “Yes, mine and Asgore’s. You see, I am the queen here, but after Asgore declared his plan to take the soul of any human who comes here, I left him. I came here to the Ruins in hopes of protecting any humans who fell down here.” She smiled and looked up at Fiona. “Like you.”
“So… the humans killed your son?”
“Yes, well… another human had fallen down here a long time ago. Her name was Chara, and she became like a second child to us. She got sick and died, and Asriel absorbed her soul and crossed through the barrier to take her body back to her village. But the humans thought he had killed her, so they attacked him. He ran home and died in our arms.”
“I’m sorry,” Fiona said, looking down and growing very quiet.
“It isn’t your fault, child. It’s understandable, really, it is just regrettable that it should happen. We lost two children in one night.” Toriel let out a deep sigh.
After a moment of silence, Fiona looked up again. “Would Asgore be so unreasonable as to not hear me out?”
Toriel blinked. “What would you say to him?”
“I would tell him that doing this would not bring him the peace he wants. He loved a human child once, right? He knows they can be good, that not all humans are bad. If he let me get back to the surface, it would show the people on the surface something. Legends say that those who climb the mountain never return, but what if I did? That could show people that monsters aren’t all bad. And I could tell everyone the truth. What if I could convince people, and then we could destroy the barrier ourselves and let you come back?”
“That… that sounds like a nice idea, Fiona, but I do not know if Asgore would accept such a proposal.” She sighed and turned her face away. “I think it would be best for you to stay with me for the time being.”
Fiona stood up and walked over to Toriel, putting her hands on Toriel’s face to make her look Fiona in the eye. “What alternative do I have? It’s not like I don’t wish to stay with you, but I don’t think this can work as a long term solution. At some point I’ll grow up, or someone will find out I’m here and try to take my soul, right?”
Toriel’s eyes started to glisten and she laid her hands on Fiona’s, pulling her arms away gently. “You are right, my child. I just fear for your safety. I don’t believe Asgore will accept what you’ve just told me.”
“The only thing to do is try, right? Either he lets me get out, or he kills me. I’m going to die at some point anyway, so.” Fiona smiled a bit, but it was a nervous smile.
Toriel sighed. “All right, child. I see your point. However, I don’t think you should leave, at least not right away. Give it a couple of days. If you still wish to go on your journey, then I shall let you go.”
“Thank you.” Fiona smiled then wrapped her arms around Toriel’s neck, giving her a big hug. “If all the monsters are as good as their queen is, I see no reason why humans should fear them.”
Toriel smiled and wrapped Fiona in a warm embrace. A small tear slid from her eye as she murmured, “If only that were so.”