Bracing yourself against the steep opening of the entrance to the Underground, you heave a breath. Mount Ebott, despite being relatively small in comparison to other mountain ranges, still proved to be quite the feat to climb. Readjusting the large pack against your back, you peered down into the darkness below. It wasn’t a particularly gentle slope to get to the bottom. In fact, it was almost a complete drop for about thirty to fifty feet to the bottom.
Taking out your rope and harness, you secure it to a heavy tree nearby, making sure it was secure before scaling down. Your gloves whistle against the rope with ever foot of distance you cover. With every push against the wall, and your decent further into the center of the mountain, the more you’re astonished with how bright the interior was with such a small amount of sunlight peeking through. It was like nothing you’ve ever witnessed.
When your feet touched ground again, it was in a thick bed of yellow flowers crowding themselves in a small spot, competing for sunlight. You removed the harness, as well as your pack, stretching your tight muscles. You’d leave your supplies here for now as the site for your new base camp. You wanted to check around the small area first before settling down for the night. You weren’t sure how deep the tunnels went into the mountain, and it would be disastrous for you to continue on without having a way of returning. Atop of your pack sat a blue GPS button that synchronized with your phone. Using this, you would at least be able to find your way back if you got lost far into the Underground.
The monsters had broken the seal on the mountain about two years ago, and were all but eager to leave the prison that held them for so long. In fact, they had craved the surface for so long that it was impossible to find someone to even guide you through the mountain. The most you had gotten were some old maps and blue prints of some of the major towns and buildings you would come across, but that was it. It was hard to blame them though, the sheer idea of being stuck underground without a choice didn’t appeal to you much either. Who would want to return to a place that only reminded them of a hurtful past?
Cracking your knuckles, you hummed lightly. The trip wasn’t going to last more than a few days or so while you collected and documented specimens to bring back to the surface.
The first night in the Underground was a lot quieter than expected. Even though you had spent your night underneath the entry way to the outside where you could see the stars and the moon, the lack of wind and natural wildlife was a bit disconcerting. In any other space you were at least accompanied by the sound of insects, birds, or bats as they called to one another in the night. The sound of wind running through the grass or the treetops would fill the night with ambient sounds. But here in the Underground, it was as if none of those things existed. The air was stagnant, and not one thing made a sound aside from you. It was like every living thing had disappeared.
Now that it was the second day, you had passed through the ruins, taking careful documentation of the yellow flowers, and the lone black tree in one of the courtyards. There was grass in small, space places, and vines that crawled across the stone walls, but nothing stood out. Most of the foliage here were indigenous to the upper-world as well, probably due to the close proximity it had to the entrance. But none the less, it made your trek through the ruins a lot quicker than expected.
With your heavy pack on your shoulders once more, you found your way to a set of heavy double doors. They seemed to be made of thick wood, and stood taller than you by many feet. Years worth of dust settled over them, but even then you could still see the once golden runes that were carved into them. They looked important, at least.
Taking out your map, you checked the small scrawl of vague details written by one of the monster’s that had become part of the research centre you worked for. Although they couldn’t provide a map, they did provide a small list that dictated what to expect in each town or city you came across. Apparently the Underground was all connected by one continuous road which travelled through each town the further down the mountain the Underground went.
“At least it makes things a little easier…” you mumbled to yourself. Assuming that these doors signified the end of the ruins and the beginning of a new town, the next place would be,”….Snowdin.”
You looked at the words on the page. It told you to be careful in Snowdin as the temperatures would drop below freezing, and was much colder there than anywhere else in the Underground. Did the Underground really have snow? The concept wasn’t…impossible. There was a hangar somewhere in the world that was big enough to house it’s own clouds…but snow? That had to be a joke.
Lightly touching your fingers against the wooden door experimentally, you quirked a brow. It didn’t feel cold. Throwing caution to the wind, you pushed against one of the doors to continue on. They were heavy, which was expected, but the cold temperature that met you on the other side was not. Squeezing through a hole small enough for you and your belongings, you fell into frozen white fluff.
Eyes wide, you dusted yourself off, eyeing above you for an explanation. There were clouds here that blocked off your vision of the roof of the….cave? This place was so huge you weren’t sure what to call it anymore. Sure, Mount Ebott was enormous…but this was crazy. A whole new ecosystem within a mountain…
But your wondering was cut short as the cold began to nip at your exposed skin. You were dressed for a brisk climb through a short mountain, not a hike through the snow. Your breath came out in puffs and your cheeks turned pink. You’d need to find a place to set up camp soon, so that you’d be able to warm up.
Pushing on, you walked across an old wooden bridge that brought your across a deep cavern and a forest of pine trees. The trees towered over you, and were an example of how long they, and perhaps even monsters, had been residing within the mountain. Their branches carried blankets of snow, and created almost a canopy to shelter the floor from the white fluff. This place was amazing, and nothing like you’ve ever studied in your life. It would bring new data to the science world. It would give new insight to how plants lived, and how the water cycle worked. This was amazing. If only your colleagues could see this. They wouldn’t believe you when you got back.
“Achoo!” Although, you supposed that could wait for now. You’d catch a cold if you dillydallied any longer. You passed through the town, checking doors of houses as you passed to see if they were unlocked, and you continued on with no success. The Inn, the Library, and the town shop were all locked. At this rate you would probably have to either set up your tent, or break into a place to stay the night. You still had to collect samples and take photos of the area before moving on.
Blowing warm air onto your now red finger tips, you made your way to one of the final houses on the street. By now your teeth are chattering and you can’t help but shake. “Wh-Why is it s-s-s-s-so c-cold here?” You mumble to yourself.
“No kidding. I’m practically chilled to the bone ,” a voice mentioned behind you.
You almost agreed, when you realized that you were the only one supposed to be down here. Stopping in your tracks, you turned slowly to look behind you. You’re met with a short, grinning skeleton, with two glowing dots in the sockets where eyes should be. The hairs at the back of your neck stand on end, and you can’t help the terrified scream that escapes you.