My Undertale fan fiction, The Six Human Souls. This is chapter three of part two. Toriel, did anyone ever tell you that fire is hot, and throwing it at people isn’t cool. (that was an unintentional pun and I’m sure she’d love it if someone did tell her that)
Chapter 3 – Training
“So, you wish to fight Asgore and go home? Human souls are stronger than monsters, it is true, but still, you are merely a child. Asgore will decimate you without a second thought. You must become stronger if you wish to win against him.”
Grifford nodded his head, clenching and unclenching his fists. “I’ll become strong enough to defeat him. I won’t let him get the better of me. I won’t let him take my soul, or destroy humanity.”
Toriel bowed her head, her hands clasped in front of her. “Very well. You will have to go through pain to do this, so I hope you are ready. If you at any time change your mind, we can-”
“No, this is something I have to do. Toriel, you’re not going to change my mind. I’m sorry if you don’t like the path I’m choosing, but… I see no other way.”
Toriel sighed and nodded. “Well, I suppose as long as you’re training, I can still keep you with me for a little longer.” She smiled somewhat sadly then shook her head. “But enough stalling. Let’s begin, shall we?”
Grifford positioned himself in front of the dummy that Toriel had brought him to closer to the entrance of the Ruins. He squinted at it, narrowing his eyes and squeezing his hands into tight fists, as if somehow that would bring more power into him.
“You can use this to practice on,” Toriel said. “But I’d prefer you not destroy it. We only have the one, and I don’t want you to hurt it.”
“I’m sure you could always sew it up if I managed to tear into it, right?”
“Well yes, but there’s another reason I’d like you to be careful with it. There’s a ghost living inside it.”
Grifford blinked and stared at the dummy. “A… a ghost?”
The dummy seemed to stare right through Grifford, as if daring him to fight it now. A shiver went up his spine and he took a step away. “Hey, Toriel? Do you think maybe I could spar with something that’s not… possessed? Or living in any way, shape, or form?”
“Well…” She paused, then shook her head. “I suppose you could fight me.”
“What? I’m not going to fight you. I’d feel awful if I hurt you!”
Toriel laughed at this and patted him on the head. “You shouldn’t worry about such a thing, child. I may be an old lady, but I can handle myself in a fight. You’re not going to hurt me unless you are actually trying to, and I don’t think you would try.”
Grifford frowned, then thought back to when he had been fighting those two other monsters before Toriel showed up. They had run away and it seemed like they were scared of her. Perhaps she was a lot tougher than she appeared.
“Well, alright then, if you think it’ll be okay.”
“Yes. I think it would be best that you prove to me you have the strength to make it on your own out there. That you have the strength to fight Asgore and win.”
“Eh, right. Let’s fight then!” Grifford held up his fists and frowned. “Fight me, Toriel!”
Toriel lifted her own hands, and fire sprung up in her palms. The sight of it made Grifford’s heart sink into the pit of his stomach. Oh yeah, that’s right. Monsters use magic. I’m screwed.
Blasts of flame shot out from Toriel’s fingertips all around Grifford. He had to dodge to the side to avoid it all, getting singed a few times but never really getting hurt. When Toriel paused in her attack, Grifford ran forward and attempted to punch her a few times. He managed to get in a few hits, but Toriel barely even flinched.
“Humans are stronger than monsters, it’s true,” Toriel said as they fought, creating a wall of fire all around Grifford that began moving toward him. He screeched and dodged under and around it, his hair almost catching on fire. “But that does not make monsters weak. If you do not have the skills to defeat us, you will be overpowered quickly and then destroyed.”
“Okay, hold up, time out, need a break for a second!” Grifford yelped, collapsing to the ground just before another stream of fire hit him. Toriel stopped in her attack and clasped her hands together. Grifford panted and wiped sweat from his brow, shakily getting back to his feet.
“Have I hurt you?” Toriel asked, looking worried.
“N-no, I’m fine, I think. That was just a bit intense, is all.”
“You were expecting a more ‘hands-on’ sort of fight?”
“Well, yeah, I suppose you could call it that. I guess I just wasn’t expecting… fire.”
“Well, I would go easier on you, but Asgore certainly won’t, and he would be using much stronger attacks than I’ve just shown you. With that knowledge in mind, are you still prepared to go out there and fight him?”
Grifford bit his lip, turning his face away from Toriel. Was he strong enough to handle such a thing? After fighting her, he wasn’t so sure. Then he made up his mind and gave her his answer. “No, I’m not prepared to go out there and fight him. That’s why I want to train with you. So I can get strong enough to fight him. I know it’s going to be hard, and painful, but I’m still willing to do it. Don’t hold back on me, either! Well… you can hold back if you’re about to kill me, but other than that, don’t hold back!”
Toriel frowned, and it was clear to him that she was hoping he would have changed his mind from their battle, but now she saw that wasn’t going to happen. “Very well. I will do my best to train you in preparation to fight Asgore. But you have to promise me one thing.”
“What is it?”
“That, if you face him and you defeat him, you either come back and let me know or you have someone send word to me to let me know that you’ve made it back to the surface. Can you do that for me?”
Grifford blinked then nodded his head. “Of course I can, Toriel. I’ll let you know what happened to me so you won’t have to worry anymore.”
A small smile broke out on her face and she nodded. “Alright. We can continue, then. Whenever you’re ready.”
They spent the rest of the day sparring, with Toriel giving Grifford advice on how to better form his attacks. He found he could do nothing but continuously dodge Toriel’s attacks until she gave pause for him to make his own attack. In those moments, he rushed in and punched at her as strong and quickly as he could. He figured that the best way to beat her would be wearing her down first, but no matter how often he punched, she never seemed to budge from her spot or even break into a sweat.
When Grifford was about to collapse from exhaustion, Toriel called off the match. “Alright, let’s continue this tomorrow. You look like you need some rest, and some food. Let’s go back to the house and I can make you something to eat.”
“That sounds great,” Grifford panted. “Food and sleep, that’s just what I need. Yep.”
After having a nice supper of chopped steak, Grifford slept all throughout the night. The next morning he started more training with Toriel. She continued to show him up and remind him just how much more powerful she was than him with her fire magic, but Grifford refused to back down. This went on for several days. Toriel healed any wounds he sustained in their fights and he always ended the battle with a big smile on his face.
Finally, one day, when they were fighting, Grifford rushed at Toriel with a vicious attack, punching her in just the right places to make her stumble back, which is something he had never succeeded in doing thus far. They both paused and breathed hard, gazing at each other, then Toriel finally stood straighter and made an announcement.
“You have gotten stronger, my child. But, I do not believe you are strong enough to fight Asgore yet.”
“Well, then let’s keep fighting!”
Toriel held up her hand and shook her head. “I do not believe I will be able to teach you anything more. You can only get so strong doing the same things over and over. I believe the only way you will gain the strength you need to fight Asgore is to leave this place and find your way throughout the underground.”
“Wait…” Grifford lowered his arms, his eyes growing wide. “Are you saying I can leave?”
Toriel nodded her head sadly. “I do not wish you to go, but I feel it is the best thing for you, if you truly do still wish to return to the surface. I see no point in keeping you locked up down here any longer. You’ve proven to me that you are strong, and I believe you have a chance out there. Just… you must get stronger before you face Asgore, that’s all I ask of you.”
Grifford went to Toriel’s side and took her hand in his, squeezing it a bit and smiling at her. “I promise. I’ll get stronger, I’ll defeat Asgore, and I’ll come back to tell you all about it. Then you can come and see me off, okay?”
Toriel didn’t say a word, but merely wrapped her arms around him and hugged him tight. Then she let him go and turned back to the house. “Come with me, I will show you the way out.”
Grifford followed her down into the basement and up a long hallway before they finally reached a huge door. He gazed up at the door then looked at Toriel. “So, what will I find beyond this door?”
“There is a large forest outside. If you keep heading to the east, you’ll reach a town called Snowdin. If you’re able to make it that far, I’m sure there will be someone nice that you can ask for more directions.”
“If I make it that far? You don’t sound all that confident in me all of a sudden, Toriel.”
“I apologize.” Toriel patted him on the head then turned away. “Please, do not come back unless it is because you have defeated him, or if you’ve decided you’ve changed your mind about going at all. I don’t believe I could bare it if you came back only to leave again.”
“I… I understand. Toriel, thank you for helping me this far. It means a lot to me.”
Toriel nodded her head. “Then go. And be safe, my child.” She walked back down the hall, never turning back to look at him. Grifford let out a shaky breath then pushed the doors open and went out into the great snowy forest beyond.