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Of Hurricanes

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Six. Six human souls. The number weighed heavily on the king, drowning him in grief, in regret, in sorrow. Even as the number has slowly grown, he found himself plagued by an emotional gravity that seemed inescapable. Even one soul had felt like far too many.

He found himself in an unfit state to rule. Though Asgore had not known these humans, these children, personally, he found himself grieving as though they were his own. That pain plagued him, in waking times as well as in his dreams.

When had he allowed his life to become a nightmare?

That answer was simple enough. He had brought this on himself when he had declared war on humanity, driving his wife into hiding. At the time, he felt as though it was his fault that they had been forced into the underground. That being so, it was his responsibility to get them out no matter what it took.

He had severely underestimated the crushing weight of what befell him now. How could he be expected to wage war when they returned to the surface? He was… a broken man to be sure. There were still monsters who, despite everything, loved and missed humanity. Those who remembered the days of the surface at least.

But now… he found himself unable to continue. It would only take one more human soul to free them all. Only one more and yet he knew that, when the time came, he would not be able to do it. He was not strong enough. After all this time, and all that he had sacrificed, it had all been for naught.

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The rumor drifted around the underground for a couple of days. Nothing substantial, and no one quite knew what to make of it. Was the king really giving up? When we were so close? But it wasn’t long before the rumors became fact.

Any humans who henceforth fell into the underground were to be treated not as enemies, but as friends.

Many reacted pleasantly to the news. After all, monsters were made up of love and compassion. The idea of ending the war before it began was a beautiful thought, one that many had given up on seeing come to fruition.

But, on the other hand, there were many who were distraught by the news. Though no one necessarily wanted to kill the humans, there was still a feeling of betrayal that drifted through the underground at the thought of humanity. They had trapped us down here, and we were simply giving in? When we were so close?

But the underground, as a whole, accepted the new declaration. It would not do to have rebellions against the king; the underground would never come back from that. Asgore, everyone could agree, was a just ruler, and the idea of a new one was terrifying.

So, the underground moved on. The Royal Guard remained, only as more of a police force than a human-hunting brigade. The Royal Scientist was hard at work trying to find a new way out of the underground, and rumors dictated that he was getting close.

And suddenly, when the monsters thought that things couldn’t get any crazier, Queen Toriel returned.

No one had been quite positive where she had gone. Some thought her dead, and others claimed that she was in hiding. Asgore had never outright confirmed any rumors, so her return had been a surprise to many, though not an unwelcome one.

Tensions seemed to be high between the two rulers, but Asgore and Toriel had seemed to agree that the underground was in need of a solid presence leading them. So, the two boss monsters took the lead once more, urging everyone not to give up hope.

Things began to fall into some semblance of a routine in the underground. People went to work, did their best to keep the underground a habitable place, and kept up the morale of those around them. There were even rumors that the King and Queen were going to have a child.

Of course, those were only rumors.