A/N: Another plot bunny ambushed me, made it's home in my bed, and refused to leave until I started this. Knowing myself, I will get halfway through the story, lose motivation and/or my hard drive, and barely manage to slog my way through the rest of it. So this time I have a strategy...don't post until I have a significant buffer. In any case...I hope you enjoy this story. This is Chapter 1: A New Beginning.
P/S: Since I plan to have recommended music for various parts of the story, I will mention that unless a battle has another theme, the song 'Enemy Approaching Remix' by SK_Jinx is the recommended standard battle music. Obviously, you can disregard this if you wish, they are, after all, only recommendations.
I was never the hero of this story. That role belongs to my little sister, and always has. But me...compared to her, I'm nearly nothing. You see...me and my sis were orphans. We stayed in the Ebbotton Orphanage since my sister was a baby, and I was 4. Despite all our efforts, we never seemed to fit in with the other kids, and never bonded with anyone else. Our lack of true family...it hurt us both, but there was nothing we could do, save cling all the harder to each other. So we coped, in our own ways.
She was always very friendly to everyone she met, and some people took advantage of that, until I put a stop to it, promising her that I would always protect her. So she was lonely, yet never lashed out at all. I on the other hand...I fell into some bad crowds as a means to gain some measure of control over my life. She never really liked that, but she let it go until one day, where I was forced to beat a man to within an inch of his life, as a test of loyalty to a street gang I was being initiated into. When I got home covered in blood, she panicked and hid from me, which shook me to the core. The very last thing I wanted was my little sis; the most precious person to me in the world, to fear me. I managed to coax her into listening to me, but he told me straight to my face that I wasn't a good person, and that she wasn't sure if he wanted to be around me, if i continued on the path I was walking. Those words nearly shattered my heart.
With her being the only constant in my life, her opinion was really the only one that mattered, and so I cut my ties with all the negative influences in my life. I promised her I would never hurt an innocent again, even if it wasn't through a fight...but stopped short of promising never to fight at all...which she understood and accepted, even if she disagreed with me. My outlook now considered my sister's reaction to whatever I planned to do, weighing my actions against my oath. Her words became the most important things in the world to me...and slowly, she became my conscience.
Who is she? Well...you might already be familiar with her. After all, if you're reading this, you've probably already become acquainted with her story...a tale taking place in the Underground...Undertale. But that tale...never told it all. No matter how many times you began that tale anew, you could never achieve a 'perfect' ending. No matter what you did, no matter what type of guidance you gave her...there was always something wrong...something you couldn't fix because a piece was missing, a path that wasn't there. But in reality, the story continued for so much longer, and those missing pieces and paths were finally found.
Time twists and turns, and when one has reset it countless times, one might cause something to happen that hadn't before. Something like a brother catching sight of someone climbing Mt. Ebott, and putting the pieces together when their little sister never showed up for supper. Something like that older brother deciding to climb after her, carrying a baseball bat 'just in case'. Something like that person finding a scrap of cloth that matched their younger sisters favorite blue and purple sweater at the entrance of a cave. And then, that person jumping into the underground...like his sister before him, without a hint of hesitation.
Who is this older brother?
You can call me Alexus.
"Oof!" I wheezed as I slammed into the ground, but funnily enough, I wasn't flat as a pancake as I expected. Pushing myself up, I realized this was due to the flowers which were growing in the thin beam of sunlight shining down, though the light was weak, as I'd arrived during evening.
"Well that's lucky. Where am I anyways? Under Mt. Ebott...this is...this is the realm of monsters...isn't it? Frisk...why would you come here?"
With nothing left to do but advance and hope I could find her, I left through the only path available to me. I entered a pitch black room, with only a single patch of light. Within that light was a single flower.
"Howdy." The flower spoke.
A talking flower? Is this a 'monster'?
"Hi?" I said hesitantly, never dropping my guard for an instant.
"Nice to meet you. My names Flowey! Flowey the Flower. Hmmm...you're new to the Underground, aren'tcha? Golly, you must be so confused. Someone ought to teach you how things work around here." Flowey said.
Why did that sound so...rehearsed?
"I guess little old me will have to do. Ready? Here we go." Flowey said, before something happened. I felt like I was being squeezed, before an orange heart appeared directly in front of me. Additionally, I noticed some words and numbers hovering in my vision.
LV 5 HP 55/55
What's going on?
"See that heart? That is your SOUL, the very culmination of your being! Your SOUL can grow stronger if you gain a lot of LV. What's LV stand for? Why, LOVE, of course!"
...This definitely sounds scripted, I mean...who talks like this? But the question becomes...why? Is he nervous...or is this a trap?
"You want some LOVE, don't you? Don't worry, I'll share some with you! Down here, LOVE is shared through...little white...'friendliness pellets'." Flowey said, as he let out 5 of the pellets.
Yeah, sounds legit. Totally 'not' a trap, and I'm definitely 'not' being sarcastic here.
"Are you ready? Move around! Get as many as you can!" Flowey said, as the pellets came towards me.
"...Actually, why don't you have them, so you can increase your LOVE!" I shouted, as I bravely swung my bat as the pellets were about to hit my SOUL, giving up the opportunity to dodge. I connected with 3 of the pellets, COUNTERING his attack and sent them flying back at Flowey. His face was one of panic, as the pellets slammed into him.
"OW! You...you know what's going on here, don't you!? You just wanted to see me suffer!" He shouted, no longer giving me a friendly face, instead showing an almost demonic face. I grinned.
"Nothing in this world is free, underground or surface. Had you worked on your pitch, maybe I would have fallen for it." I said.
"Well it sure worked fine on the brat who came earlier!"He shouted. I narrowed my eyes.
"Care to repeat that." I said slowly and quietly. The atmosphere of the room darkened, though the flower seemed not to notice.
"That snot nosed kid who came through earlier fell pretty hard for it. If that lousy goat hadn't come I would have..." At this point, Flowey stopped talking. I'm sure he would have said more, but it was at this point that my bat connected with Flowey's head.
"That kid was my little sister you bastard!" I shouted. Flowey recovered from my strike and surrounded my SOUL with his bullets.
"DIE!" Flowey shouted. I readied my bat.
"I'm not afraid of you! Bring it on!" I shouted back. My SOULlet out a small pulse of orange light, and I felt like I'd grown slightly stronger.
You are filled with BRAVERY! AT increased.
Alexus LV 5 55/55 HP
Fight Act Item Mercy
Weird...these words...are they linked to me or something? Let's try 'Fight'.
The second I thought that, my SOUL hovered over the FIGHT button. With but a thought, I confirmed my selection and attacked Flowey again by deflecting some of his bullets away from me, which had the added benefit of allowing me to escape his bullet ring.
He's ready for me now. It's not going to be as easy to hurt him.
"Heh...I guess you're stronger than they were. You don't need someone to come save you."
Bullets rained from all around me. I did my best to dodge them, but took a couple hits.
The first hit shocked me with the pain that radiated through my body, despite my body being completely unharmed. The second wasn't as bad, if only because I anticipated the pain. Seeing as Flowey could attack from any direction with his 'friendliness pellets', I decided that drawing out the fight was a bad idea. I needed to find out if Flowey had a weakness to end this quickly. With that thought, my SOUL disappeared from the FIGHT button, and instead hovered instead over the ACT button.
So 'ACT', is any action I take that isn't attacking. I guess 'ITEM' would be using anything I'm carrying besides my weapon...that leaves 'MERCY'...which sounds like a waste of time in a fight. But I bet Frisk would use it any chance she could...she never fights, even if she gets hurt. I suppose teaching her how to fight could also be considered a waste of time, even though I would never have 'not' taught her. Ugh, stop daydreaming Alexus, don't get distracted!
Alexus LV 5 47/55 HP
Fight *Act Item Mercy
Flowey the Flower 19 ATT 4 DEF
A deceitful flower who attacks those who fall into the Underground.
Weak defense, relies on sneak attacks and trickery to triumph.
More bullets, though now, I realized their general pattern, and managed to dodge them all.
"So what now? We gonna keep this up until I stomp ya into the dirt? It's only a matter of time, and you don't have the defenses to stand up to me!" I said. Flowey scowled at me, but didn't attack.
"Not likely. Fine. Go on ahead, if I don't kill you something else will. After all, in this world, it's kill or be killed!" Flowey said, before disappearing into the dirt.
You WON! You earned 0 XP and 0 Gold.
"Heh. So, that's the first monster I've ever seen, and so far I'm not impressed. But he hurt Frisk...where is she anyways? Are you here Frisk!?" I called, not really expecting an answer. I noticed a path off to the right that I hadn't seen before, and with no other option other than turning back, I advanced. I found myself in a strange structure, with only a single path available to me.
As I moved through the strange purplish catacombs, I came across several simplistic traps, many with the solutions posted nearby.
Perhaps someone is looking out for who falls down here...or maybe they're just forgetful.
As I walked through an empty room, I was suddenly enveloped in that strange squeezing sensation again, as a strange frog-like creature appeared.
The heck is this thing? Another monster? Anyways...hopefully I don't need to kill it.
Froggit hopped close!
Alexus LV 5 47/55 HP
Fight *Act Item Mercy
"You'd better back off!" I shouted, hefting my bat threateningly. It didn't seem to truly understand, but still shied away from me, scared.
...it's almost like...a child. Is it a child? It really seems like it...dammit, now I feel guilty.
It suddenly jumped towards me, and I only barely managed to dodge it. It landed and turned to face me, shivering.
I don't think it actually wants to fight, it just lives here. Maybe if I show I don't want to fight it either?
Froggit doesn't seem to know why it's here.
Alexus LV 5 47/55 HP
Fight Act Item *Mercy
I lowered my bat and backed away from the Froggit.
"I don't want to fight you, you know. Can we stop this?" I said in an even tone. It seemed to calm down slightly, and I thought I saw it smile. With that, the Froggit hopped away, dropping a single coin. As it did so, more words appeared.
You WON! You earned 0 XP and 1 Gold.
...that was weird. Oh well, free money!
With the notes let on the traps and my own wits, navigating these 'ruins' was easy, though the points where I had to deliberately fall tripped me up for a little while. Occasionally I was attacked, but it seemed that the 'monsters' here weren't exactly all that monstrous. Finding their little quirks allowed me to proceed without hurting anyone, and conscious of my promise to Frisk, I was careful not to lay even a finger on any of those I encountered.
Eventually, I reached a point where I could see an entire city before me...seemingly abandoned. On the ledge I found something that didn't seem to belong...a knife. Picking it up, I noticed that it was plastic...a toy.
Maybe now would be a good time to check my 'ITEMS', now that I actually have one.
With that thought, a whole new set of words appeared in front of me.
What is this now? Some sort of 'menu'? Hmm...STAT? What's that?
AT 27(15) EXP: 168
DF 29(20) NEXT: 32
Weapon: Metal Bat
Armour: Leather Jacket
How odd...these strange words seem to quantify my strength into these numbers...almost like a game. If I somehow increased my LV...would I get stronger? But how would I do that? I doubt the flower was telling the truth about 'LOVE' in the first place, for all I know it could be a very bad thing to have a lot of. And do I really need to be stronger? After all...I promised Frisk that I'd change. Getting stronger would imply that I was preparing to hurt people. In any case...let's check ITEMs now.
Scrap of Cloth
Well...that was self explanatory. Let's see how it measures up.
Looks like a childs plaything.
Yep...compared to my bat, it's pathetic. If I need to fight...I'd rather use my bat. I don't need this.
I threw away the Toy Knife like the worthless piece of trash that it was.
Enough fooling around. I need to find Frisk.
Seeing as there was no path leading forwards, I turned back and took another path. A dead tree in front of a house greeted me. As there were no other paths for me to take, I walked up and knocked on the door. I heard footsteps, and the door opened, revealing a woman, who very much resembled a goat.
"Erm...hello?" I said hesitantly.
"I was wondering if you knew the way out of here, or if you've seen a young child come through here."
"Oh, are you acquainted with the child who came earlier?" The lady asked. I nodded.
"You saw them!? They're my sister, I got worried when they didn't come home, and then I saw a scrap of fabric from their sweater at the entrance to a cave, and when I investigated, I fell down here. Oh...my names Alexus by the way." I said. I pulled out the Scrap of Cloth to show her. The lady nodded.
"My name is Toriel, and I am the caretaker of this place, the Ruins. That scrap definitely matches what the child was wearing. OH...look at me, I haven't even invited you in! Come in, have a seat, can I get anything for you?"
"Well...I never did eat supper..." I said. Toriel smiled.
"As it happens, I've made a butterscotch-cinnamon pie. Would you like that?" I nodded.
"I personally love butterscotch...and I'm guessing Frisk went for the cinnamon?" I said. Toriel nodded. She set a plate of pie for me, and I slowly ate while we continued to talk. I noticed my HP ticking up after every bite, and soon, it was maxed out.
"So you're safe Frisk...I was so worried. Are they still here?" I asked. Toriel shook her head.
"They...they wished to proceed out of the Ruins. I tried to stop her, but..."
"She's stubborn, isn't she? I'm guessing she wouldn't take no for an answer."
"She wouldn't at that. Not only that, but..." She trailed off, looking...ashamed?
"Did something happen?"
"I attempted to reason with them, warning them of the dangers. Alexus...many monsters wouldn't hesitate to strike down a human child, simply to get at their SOUL. Our king, ASGORE, covets these SOULs."
"Get her SOUL? But...what makes a human SOUL so valuable?"
"...we are trapped here in the underground, sealed behind a barrier your ancestors placed many many years ago. This barrier requires the power of 7 Human SOULs to break it, or a single SOUL to simply pass through...and currently, ASGORE...the King of Monsters, possesses 6. He only needs one more...to break the barrier and set his people free. He will not hesitate. He will send his Royal Guard to seek and destroy any human who falls, or, should they reach him, do so himself."
I rose to my feet, ready to charge off. Toriel placed her hand on my wrist.
"Calm yourself...I tried to warn Frisk of this, and when she refused...I fought against her, trying to either make her retreat...or show me she has the strength to survive."
"And she refused entirely, didn't she?" I said, calming myself slightly and returning to my seat. I did need as much information as she could give me.
"She refused to fight me...and she also refused to run. She repeatedly showed MERCY..and SPARED me. Even when she was on the last vestiges of her strength...she wouldn't give up."
"So you let her go?"
"I did. I...do have a friend in the underground who promised me he would protect any humans who came through...but I was not sure it would be enough."
"Well...I guess I'll go after her then."
"...Alexus...I'm not sure...I can allow that."
"What!? Of course I'm going after my sister. You can't say I'm too weak to protect myself."
"Oh, it's not your safety I'm concerned about. No...from what I can see...you are more than adept at hurting others." Toriel's voice, despite never changing tone, suddenly felt harsh and judgmental.
"What?" I said nervously.
"Do you know what LV is...and what it stands for?" Toriel asked.
"...LV. A certain flower told me is stands for LOVE." I said slowly.
"That much is true, but is also misleading. LOVE itself is an acronym...it stands for Level Of Violence. A measurement of how easily you can hurt others. It is increased by gaining EXP, or Execution Points, a measurement of how much you have hurt others. So tell me Alexus...how can I justify endangering all monsters, when you already have 5 LV? You've barely even been down here, and even had you slaughtered everyone within the Ruins, you would only be at 4 LV. So you were already someone who utilizes violence, even on the surface."
"A simple 'Check' told me all I needed to know. I ordinarily would not invade the privacy of someone who fell, but you are the first to fall who is not a child. I felt the risks too great...and I can see I was not mistaken. I can't risk letting you through...monsters are vulnerable to the hatred...the killing intent that one must feel when one has a high amount of LV. The problem only grows when a monster doesn't want to fight...their SOUL becomes extremely vulnerable to attack. You could very easily kill as many as you wanted...I can't risk that. If you wish to force the issue...then I'm afraid you already know what I'll need to do."
"...I haven't killed a single monster, and I don't intend to start. Can't you trust me?" I asked, trying to avoid what I could clearly see happening. Toriel shook her head.
"Regardless, you clearly are someone who's used to using violence to solve their problems. How can I trust you?" Toriel said.
"The surface isn't as nice a place as you seem to believe. It was a matter of survival...and I've been trying to change for Frisk's sake if nothing else! Toriel...Are you certain there's no way I can prove myself to you?"
"I am sorry, but I cannot put my fellow monsters at risk." Toriel said sadly. I sighed and nodded.
"...Let's...talk about this tomorrow. I'm really tired, and I don't...I..." I said, trying to put off what I knew now had to happen.
"As you wish. There is a room down the fall for you, though the bed may be a bit small, as it was intended for children." Toriel offered.
Surely she knows...I can't just abandon Frisk. But...she's still...treating me kindly.
"It's better than the floor. Thank you Toriel." I said. She nodded, and returned to her own room. I went to the room she had indicated, lay down on the bed, and tried to rest. Thoughts bounced around inside me head, refusing to allow me to
I...really don't want to fight her. But she's not giving me a choice in the matter. I...I HAVE to protect Frisk.
All through the night, I desperately tried to reconcile my promise to protect her with another, extremely important promise...the promise I'd made never to harm another innocent. I wasn't sure I could.
A/N: For those who are wondering, yes, Alexus uses a different SOUL Mode than Frisk, and in fact used the ability he possesses during his battle with Flowey.
Brave Mode: When your SOUL is Orange, you draw magical attacks towards yourself with greater speed...but if your timing is just right, you can COUNTER and send them flying back, damaging whoever attempted to harm you.
Regarding the menus and stat screens...in this AU, everyone has the innate ability to read and access the menus with just a thought, including monsters. Thus, terms such as HP, LV, EXP, AT, and DF are commonplace and well understood. However, the menus are only readable by humans in areas with ambient magic, such as the Underground.
Regarding Frisk's and Alexus' 'Routes'...Frisk is clearly choosing the Pacifist Route, as Alexus did not encounter any dust piles, and Toriel is fine. As for Alexus...his path isn't about 'Fight' vs 'Spare', but more about living up to his ideals, namely, to not let his sister down. The two options for him are the Oath-Keeper and Oath-Breaker Routes(There is no neutral path for him, the second he consciously takes a life from an innocent or greviously hurts someone(not necessarily through battle) his oath is broken.).