The air chills your bones. You thought it would be best that you left home late at night. That way, you wouldn’t have to explain why you left without warning. There hasn’t been a lot of job opportunities in town and you’ve been struggling to find anything to move out from your parent’s place. So, you were thinking about going into adult entertainment. It was your last resort, but here you are. Hiking up this mountain despite all the red flags going off in your head. You didn’t have much choice now. It was either this or being in debt to your family. This was probably the most stupid thing you’ve done.
You take the flyer out from your pocket and unfold it. You think this was made by hand. It looks like it was all written out in pen, with scribbles marking the errors. The lettering was big too. Some of the words were scribbled out and placed elsewhere on the page. It reads,
“Looking for adult, female actresses! Want something fun and exciting? Head to Mt. Ebott, where Ca$h will evaluate you. ONLY WOMEN OVER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN. Teens will be escorted out. Don’t even fucking try.”
What made you think any of this was a good idea? Everything about this idea is screaming red flags. Yet, here you are. There’s just something that draws you here. Whatever it is, you’re here now. The chilled breeze washes over you. You feel your past behind you.
Suddenly, you fall. The world you once knew is swallowed up in darkness. You see the faintest glimmer of light above you. You expect to die, or get hurt. Who would hear you? Would anyone even find you? This was all a mistake! A stupid mistake! You-
You suddenly land on something soft. Soft and fluffy. You look below you. Some giant creature is beneath you, with white fur. A bear?! No, wait, white bears aren’t in this area. Plus, the creature has long ears as well. Definitely not a bear. Wait, is it wearing clothes? A white bear with clothes? Wait, no, not a bear. Then what-?
“Ooh goodness... What in the stars...?” It spoke!! You jump off and step away from the creature. The fur ruffles a bit before the creature stands up. It easily towers over you, and it’s still slouching. It shakes its head and looks up. “What was that...? Too soft to be a rock... What in-?” It turns to you. You see the face of a tired, but kind, face of a goat. From what you can tell, he once had horns, but they seem to be broken off. He wears old, tattered, violet robes that drag across the ground.
“Oh...” He blinks. This... This isn’t the guy who wrote the flyer, right? “...Oh! Howdy! Um...” Definitely not the guy. He straightens up, showing just how massive he is. You instinctively step away, unsure what his intentions are. He shows his hands and takes a step away from you too. “It’s okay. I won’t hurt you, uh, miss.” He watches you. You refuse to move. He seems to understand and lowers his hands, which is swallowed by his sleeves. “You surprised me, you know. I was just tending this little flower patch here before you, um... Stopped by.” He steps aside, showing you a small patch of golden flowers. You’ve never seen these flowers before. At least, not in a patch like this. You glance at him, not sure if this was all some sort of trick before you slowly approach the patch. The giant goat gives you your space and watches you.
The flowers, upon closer inspection, smell lovely. The scent was gentle and warm. It puts you at ease, but you still haven’t forgotten the monster beside you.
“You’re very quiet.... Are you hurt anywhere? Did I scare you?” He comes closer to you, but he approaches you as if you were fragile, about to break any second. You didn’t expect a creature like this to treat you so carefully.
“N... No. I’m okay...” You stammer. After all, he did break your fall. He smiles a little then looks up.
“My... You’ve certainly had a great fall... I don’t think I’ll be much help getting you back up there... Forgive me, miss.”
“Oh, no, it’s not your fault!” You quickly say. The monster nods and dusts off the dirt from his robes.
“Well... I’d hate for you to go ahead all alone. Why don’t you follow me? I have a guest room you can stay at for a while.” He offers. “Oh, forgive me for being so rude. I haven’t introduced myself.” He holds out a hand for you to take. “My name is Asgore, young miss. It’s very nice of you to drop by.” He smiles. Dad jokes? You can’t help but smile, at least a little.
“It’s nice to meet you, Asgore.” You reply, shaking his hand. Though you aren’t sure if you should go with him, you were already doing something stupid to begin with. However, he doesn’t seem to give off red flags, at least not yet. He walks ahead.
“Please, follow me. The ruins can be a teeny bit confusing, but it’s really nice. You’ll like it down here.” He states. You follow behind him, keeping a safe distance from him in case things go sour for you. As he leads the way, you begin to see purple stone, with more flowers growing. Vines climb the walls. Piles of red leaves are scattered about in the area. At some point, there was a little stream of water. It was shallow, and you could see the bottom. Insead of dirt, the roots from nearby vines covered the bottom. How interesting to see all these plants grow here without sunlight...
“It’s very peaceful here. Lots of things to keep yourself occupied. Plenty of things to take care of and many puzzles here to master.” Asgore hums. Puzzles? You haven’t seen a puzzle here in your passing. Some obstacles, but they aren’t what you would call puzzles. He continues to hum until you come across a large, black, dead tree. All around the ground are even more red leaves, and just up ahead you see a small house. Before you say anything, Asgore is already at the front entrance, unlocking the door. Why would he have to lock the door, you wonder. Nevertheless, you scurry up to meet him and step inside the house.
The house is fairly quaint. With wooden plank floors, shelves full of harmless nicknacks. There’s even a few cute little handcrafted snail decorations, where a rock is used for a shell, and clay made up the rest of the child-like snail.
“Well, make yourself cozy. Oh, first, your room.” Asgore gestures the hallway, which you assume he wants you to walk ahead. You’re uncertain, but you do so anyway. He’s behind you and you make note of any possible escapes in case something goes wrong. He seems way too friendly to you. Can you even trust him? “Here. The first door right here, will be your room for now.” He says. “Go rest for now. You must be tired walking up that mountain. I’ll make some dinner for you. Though, um... I’m not much of a cook.” He mumbles. He continues to mumble something under his breath, but you cannot hear him.
“What was that?” You ask.
“Oh, um, do not worry. Just an old man talking to himself.” He chuckles. “I’ll try to make something to your liking. Until then, please rest. Make yourself at home.” He doesn’t move. Does he really want you to go in that room that bad?
“Um... I need to use the bathroom.” You say.
“Oh! That will be next door, miss.” He states. He still doesn’t leave the hallway. You figure if you had to lock yourself anywhere, the bathroom at least has water. You try not to worry too much and walk inside the bathroom. It’s rather plain, with pastel blue tiles and just the basics. A tub/shower combo on the far side of the room, the sink and toilet just to your right, with a mirror hanging over the sink.
You splash some water on your face, wondering when you’ll wake up from this strange dream. Only to look down and see a tuft of white fur stuck in the drain. You rub your eyes until you see stars and open them again. Still in the same bathroom. Monsters in the mountains... You thought people were just telling you things to scare you! How long have they lived in this mountain? Does that mean, the flyer you found... Was that made by a monster too? Is that why Asgore locks his door? To keep out other monsters? The thought makes you tremble. Asgore is massive... Why is he locking himself away?
“Young miss? I hope you don’t mind me interrupting, but how do you feel about pie? I’ve been trying to get this recipe right and I thought you would like to try a taste of it!” Asgore calls. You’re shaken from your thoughts and pop your head out from the bathroom.
“Um, yeah. I’ll give it a try.” You call back and step out. You don’t know why, but that room gives you the creeps. There’s some kind of.... Aura about it. Do you even believe in auras? Well, whatever this feeling is, it’s giving you all sorts of red flags. You almost ran past the room and try to follow the sounds of cooking from the kitchen. Upon leaving the hallway, you notice some stairs leading down into... A basement? Oh God, what could possibly be down there? You don’t want to know right now. Just focus on the kitchen for right now.
The kitchen is a mess. Asgore is clumsily flipping through a cookbook with a whisk in one hand, not noticing that the odd, brown, creamy substance is dripping onto the floor. A half baked pie stands on the counter.
He’s struggling a lot, just to make you a pie. You can’t help but feel a little bad for him. Hell, the guy seems strange, but not a bad guy. He looks up and sees you.
“Oh! Um, sorry young miss. I was just... Well...” He sighs and scratches his head. “I’m afraid I’m not very good at this...”
“I can help, if you want.” You offer. His face lightens up and he nods.
“Thank you. I didn’t anticipate your assistance, but I will appreciate it.” Asgore shuffles to the side, making room for you in the kitchen. It took the two of you some time to fix the pie, but the two of you finally create something that’s edible. He seems happy, and your stomach is thankful. Perhaps this guy wasn’t so bad. Still, you can’t shake off that bad feeling in the pit of your stomach. You try to convince yourself that you’re just tired, so you politely excuse yourself from the kitchen.
“Thank you for cooking for me, but I think I’m ready for bed...” You say. Asgore nods and stands up.
“That’s fine! Don’t worry about the cleanup, I’ll take care of it. You just rest easy.” He says with a smile on his face. You nod and make your way to the hall. As you pass the stairs, you have an impulse to go down there, but you try to focus on going to bed. Asgore has done nothing wrong for you to want to run away. He seems really nice... Almost too nice. He didn’t have to do these things for you... Is he the one you’re actually supposed to be looking for? You turn around, but you know he’s busy... Just rest for now...
As you near the door, you tense up. Something beyond that door is bad, you can just feel it. It’s been plaguing your thoughts and gnawing on your anxiety. What is it about this room that makes you want to run? A part of you doesn’t want to know, but you’ll go mad if you don’t find out the answer. Your hand clasps onto the door knob, which sends an unpleasant chill down your spine. You can’t dwell on it forever. You need to have an answer. You open the door. You wish you hadn’t.
The room, alone, wouldn’t be so bad in any other context. It’s the thought that a lone, grown-up monster would have these sort of things. How did he get these children’s shoes? These toys... Even the clothes in the closet were from children... Worn by children. You can tell by the small stains, the little tears, the little imperfections from being worn. Was Asgore expecting a child to fall...? And if you were a child, what would... How did he...
You can’t take it. Even if you were tired, the thought of sleeping in this room makes you sick. You run out, slamming the door behind you and make a beeline to the basement stairs.
“Wait! Human, wait! Where are you going?!” Asgore calls for you, but you can’t stop now. You need to get away! What horrible things has he done to those kids?! Where are they now?! Your mind and heart are racing. You almost trip down the stairs, but you quickly pick yourself back up. You’re now in a dimly lit hall, but you keep running. You don’t know what’s down here, which makes you more frantic. Your eyes dart in every direction, seeing nothing. You hear Asgore running towards you. Your legs ache and the air you suck in is stinging your lungs. You scream when you feel a firm hand grasp your arm.
“Let me go! Let me go!!” You shriek, trying to pull your arm out from his grasp.
“Tell me what’s wrong!” Asgore yells over your panic. “What frightened you? Was there a monster?”
“You’re the monster!” His eyes grow wide. “Those kids! Where are they?! Why do you lock your door? What the hell were you going to do to me?!”
“No, no. Please... You misunderstand... I’m trying to protect you from the monsters out there!” He says. “Please, please, stay here. You’ll be safe here. I promise, I can change your room if you like! I’ll learn to cook better! Just please, stay here with me. You’ll be safe here... You’ll be-” He’s begging you to stay. Can you even trust what he says? There’s more monsters out there? If there was, they’re probably safer than him! You manage to pull your arm from his grasp and bolt down the hall. He hear him call for you, but you can’t stop. You can smell the fresh air and pine needles. This hall leads outside! You don’t hear him following you anymore, but you won’t stop until you know you’re free from him.
Suddenly, before you know it, there’s snow. There’s pine trees and ice. You realize that wearing a hoodie and shorts probably wasn’t the best idea to wear now. The cold air on your bare legs makes you shiver. Or maybe that’s the adrenaline from earlier. You aren’t sure, but there’s no Asgore in sight. You can relax... At least, that’s what you keep telling yourself. You still can’t shake off the feeling he might still be after you, so you keep marching forward. You try to keep warm by pulling the hood over your head and tucking your hands in the big hoodie pocket. Though, after trudging in the snow for a while, your socks and shoes are getting soaked. You can’t feel your toes anymore. You begin to fear that they’ll turn black if you don’t find a place to warm up soon.
You thought you were going to pass out in the snow by the time you reached a little town. A town? Underground? The thought puzzles you and you start to wonder if you did actually die back there with Asgore. You shake it off and enter the first building.
“Oh, y’ here for the inn? It’s next door sweetheart.” A dog says from behind the counter. She’s flipping through some sort of magazine and doesn’t even look up at you.
“Um...” You shuffle to the counter. Now the dog looks up at you, but she looks more irritated than anything else. You stumble over your words before you finally say what you want, “Do you have any new clothes...? It’s cold here and I thought-”
“Ooohhh, you’re coming in from the Capitol, aren’t ‘cha?” She asks, closing her magazine. “You rebelling or something? Parents sheltered ya and you wanna taste of freedom?” She asks.
“Um... Well, actually I’m here because I need a job.” You reply. She clicks her tongue and rummages through something under the counter.
“Well, lotsa jobs here miss, but none of them ain’t exactly what any little lady like you is expectin’.” She takes out a paper and scribbles something on it. “You know what’cha lookin’ for?”
“Actually, I’m here because of... Ca$h?” You feel a nervous tingle run through your body when the dog looks up slowly from the paper.
“Oh. Him.” She nods slowly and turns to the shelf behind her. “Just a minute, sweetheart.” You now take in what’s around you. It seems like a general store, with all sorts of things shoved onto a shelf. It’s cluttered and not at all clean, but at least there’s a clear path between the front door and the counter. Behind the counter, things are more neat, and you can see some food items on the top shelf. Smells like cinnamon rolls... The dog takes out a pile of clothes and hands them to you.
“My husband runs the inn next door. Take this paper to him and he’ll get you covered. If you’re here to see Ca$h, I’m told he’s checked out for today. So, we’ll make sure you’re taken care of until he’s ready to see ya.” She explains. You nod and take the bundle from her.
“Oh, don’t thank me yet, honey. He’s gotta evaluate you first and we gotta make sure you’re in good health, otherwise...” Her voice trails off and she stays quiet. Her brows furrow and averts her gaze to the ground. “Um... Anyway, you take care, dear.” She pats your head and returns to reading her magazine. You manage to sneak a quick glance of it before you leave. There were cute bunny girls dressed in provocative, lacy wear, all fawning over this... Android? Robot? You couldn’t exactly tell, but it was some kind of humanoid.
Back in the snow, but only for a few moments. Your toes were screaming at you to stop, but you tell yourself that it’s only going to be a little while longer. You didn’t see anyone behind the counter. So, you could only wait there... At least here was cleaner. By that, you mean it’s practically bare. There’s only the counter with a little, empty glass vase. You were just about to humor the thought of sitting on the floor until a bigger dog came stomping downstairs, complaining under his breath. He straightened himself out when he finally notices you and takes his place behind the counter.
“Welcome! How can I help you!” Well, at least he’s better at greeting than his wife... You show him the paper that you were given. You couldn’t read her handwriting anyway... He looks it over, nodding every now and then. “Ah, so you’re a Capitol gal, huh? Gonna see Ca$h tomorrow, hmm?”
“He’s popular here, I’m guessing?” The dog chuckles and hands you back the paper.
“Oh, popular is an understatement, dear. You’ll see once you meet the guy.” He grabs something then motions for you to follow him. You nod, hugging the bundle of clothes to your chest. “Yeah, most Capitol girls aren’t used to the cold here. So, Ca$h has told us to take care of you girls when you get here.”
“This sort of thing happens a lot...?”
“Well, dear, it’s a business.” He shrugs. “Girls come and go. He’s just making sure his stuff is taken cared for.” As the two of you pass, you catch some.... Erotic sounds coming from one of the rooms. Your face heats up and you try to hide deeper into your hood. The dog nods. “Mhm... You’ll have to get used to that.”
“Because, that’s how things are here now.” He says with a shrug and unlocks your room. “Don’t worry, you’re safe here. Just don’t go out when it’s late like this, okay? Monsters tend to get... Well, I don’t wanna scare you just yet.” He sighs. “Just be careful and take care of yourself.” He opens the door and holds it open for you. You step inside. It’s a small room, only with the bare minimum. You weren’t expecting a five star hotel, exactly, but something a little bit more than this...
“So, um... Tomorrow... Where can I find Ca$h?” You ask. “What does he even look like?”
“You’ll know. He sticks out like a sore thumb.” He says. “As for where he can be, dunno sweetheart. He’s everywhere. A busy guy, y’know?” You nod slowly. “Look, don’t worry ‘bout that for now. Just take it easy and get some sleep,okay? You’re gonna need it for tomorrow.”