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She made it.

New Home, the SAVE file said.

She didn’t know what to expect, but she had been expecting to immediately see some monster here and there. It was a wonder how such vast cave filled with gray Roman-esque buildings and houses could be this empty. The lack of ambience there was unnerving, even for such a child like her who had gone through so many obstacles just to reach the king’s castle.

She took a deep breath to steel herself, and moved forward. She noticed the grayed leaves that she had just stepped on looked oddly familiar. She frowned, before she looked up. What she saw before her completely took her off guard.

It was a small, familiar cozy house, with two familiar windows. A pair of grayed patches of leaves scattered just underneath said windows, with a door in the center. The walls were all bricked, but instead of magenta colored, it was gray.

She stopped, gawking at the absurd view in front of her. Isn’t this Toriel’s house? The one back in the Ruins? She thought. The little girl took another moment before she stepped forward into the house. And once she was in, she was even more baffled.

The wooden floor, the sets of stairs, the desks, the framed painting hanged onto the wall; it was all the exact same room as Toriel’s. Except that it was all grayed out. Toriel’s house was full of color back in the Ruins.

Interested at the shockingly same room, the girl decided to check if everything was also the same. She walked around the stair case, and she noticed that the path to the stair case was blocked out by chains. There were two padlocks and a note.

Howdy! I’m in the garden. If there is anything you need to get off your chest, please don’t hesitate to come. The keys are in the kitchen and the hallway.

Kitchen and hallway? She supposed it wouldn’t be too much of a problem to find said rooms. The girl then walked toward the sitting room, left to the current room. As she walked, she noticed the desk beside the rail of the stairs. She frowned at the certain vase, or rather, at the certain flower in it.

It was a golden flower.

She tilted her head, confused. She fell into the Underground onto a patch of golden flowers. She saw the same golden flower inside Toriel’s room. She fell onto another patch of golden flowers when Undyne confronted her the second time back in Waterfall.

What was happening?

After a few moments, she decided to think about it later as she made her way to the sitting room.

Just as she thought, it was the same sitting room; only grayed out. The same table and chairs, the same reading chair by the same unlit hearth, the same bookshelf, the same set of gardening tools; she had seen it all. After a few steps further into the sitting room, she noticed the vase on the table far on the corner.

The golden flower again.

She frowned, a bit disturbed by the fact that she had confronted so many golden flowers throughout her journey. After a moment of hesitation, she then decided to walk over the table to check if there was anything inside the vase, or maybe something about the golden flower. But just as she was about to take a step, her SOUL was jerked out of her body, triggering an encounter.

She blinked in surprise as she wasn’t expecting to find a monster inside the house. And it baffled her more when she saw a pair of Froggits in front of her.

But there were no option buttons. No FIGHT, no ACT, no ITEM, and no MERCY; just her stat of LV and HP—still LV 1, thank God—and a box with her SOUL in it.

“A long time ago,” one of the Froggits said, “a human fell into the RUINS.”

“Injured by its fall, the human called out for help,” said the other Froggit.

She blinked again as the view became normal again, and the two Froggits hopped away. She turned her head around, looking a bit wary but interested at the same time. What in the world was happening? Why would the Froggits tell a story of her journey to her? She questioned herself as she made her way to the kitchen.

True to the note’s statement, there was a green key on the counter. The girl walked toward the counter and put the key into her phone’s keychain. Then she paused as she stared at the keychain.

Something about the keychain made her think about Alphys.

She shook her head, noting that it was not the time to think about the past. She was worried about Alphys’s well-being, what with her guilt of lying that she needed to kill King Asgore to walk through the barrier and Mettaton’s condition. But now that she was here, there was no way back. She couldn’t worry about anyone. It was her journey and hers alone. Those kind and lovable monsters should not be helping a human such as her.

She sighed. What had she done to deserve such kind treating?

She then moved on. Back to the task at hand, she decided to check, see if everything was really same. She checked the fridge.

“The fridge is full of unopened containers of snails.”

Containers of snails? She let out a silent laugh. Toriel did say that she would bake a snail pie. Closing the fridge, she spotted another note on the counter beside where the key had been. She didn’t notice it before.

Howdy! Help yourself to anything you want!

The king must be what the monsters told her; kind, happy-go-lucky, fuzzy pushover, a total winny. Even Gerson referred the King as ‘Fluffybuns’. But despite it all, she couldn’t help but dreading her first encounter with the king.

She sighed as she stepped out of the kitchen, into the sitting room. She walked across the room, before the same thing happened again; her SOUL was jerked out of her body. Another encounter.

It was a pair of Whimsuns this time.

“ASRIEL, the king’s son, heard the human’s call,” said the first Whimsun.

“He brought the human back to the castle,” the other Whimsun finished.

The encounter ended just like that.

Asriel? Who was that? The king’s son? The prince? She never heard there was a prince before. But now that she thought about it, she presumed it wasn’t her story that the monsters had just told her. It could be the previous humans that fell before her, as she had been taking articles of clothing and accessories that had been abandoned.

Taking a mental note of this information, she strode out of the sitting room towards the hallway, east of the stair case room.

The same hallway, and again, it was all grayed out. The girl took the first door she saw and stepped in. She expected to see a single bed with a toy box beside it, a cupboard, a desk, a drawing of a flower, and a desk lamp on far corner—just like it had been in Toriel’s house.

She blinked, taken aback that her expectation was completely wrong, as there were two beds rather than one. Twin beds. One bed was on far wall to the left and the other was on the opposite wall. Beside the nearer bed was a cupboard with a toy box placed in front of it, and beside the further bed was a drawing of a flower. Beside the cupboard was a desk with a photo frame.

And sitting comfortably on the rug in the middle of the room were two presents.

The girl approached the presents—white, with red ribbon tied into a bow on the top. She opened the nearer present, revealing a heart locket.

“Heart shaped locket. Armor DF +15. It says ‘Best Friends Forever’.”

She frowned. It was must be someone else’s locket—presumably the previous human. She decided to wear it. After she equipped the heart locket, she approached the second present near the further bed. She opened it, revealing a dagger.

“Worn Dagger. Weapon AT +15. Perfect for cutting plants and vines.”

Cutting plants and vines? Sure, why not? There was a set of gardening tools back in the sitting room.

She decided to keep the dagger instead of equipping it. She was here not to kill—she wanted to get out in peace. Besides, it would unnerve the monsters if they saw her walking along the streets with a dagger in her hand. Better keep it and equip it at the right time if she didn’t want to scare the monsters.

The girl stood up and walked out of the room. She barely took three steps to the left when her SOUL, once again, jerked out of her body. She noticed there were three Moldsmals now.

“Over time, ASRIEL and the human became like siblings,” the first Moldsmal said.

“The King and Queen treated the human child as their own,” the second Moldsmal continued.

“The Underground was full of hope,” finished the last Moldsmal. The encounter ended.

There was a Royal Family? Now that was interesting. It definitely wasn’t her story because she never encountered someone named Asriel before.

Or did she?

She remembered when she fell after her second confrontation with Undyne in Waterfall. Before she woke up to find herself lying on a patch of golden flowers, she saw a—a vision, of some sort. Hazy as it is, she remembered that someone had helped her, and recognizing her name falsely. She never knew who it was.

She walked forward, frowning every time she saw the golden flowers on every vase she spotted. There was a room with a note that said the room was under renovation. She walked forward again, now spotting a second green key on a small coffee table. After putting it on her phone’s keychain, she entered the last room in the hallway.

A different room. There was a desk just in front of her, and a king-sized bed behind it. Beside the bed was a large cupboard and a dresser. There were also some portraits hanged on the wall. She stepped in, checking the desk. There was a journal opened on it.

“All the start of the page says is ‘Nice day today!’. The ink is still almost wet.”

She lightly frowned, before she checked one of the portraits on the wall, which was apparently a flower shaped macaroni with a scribble that said “For King Dad”. She checked the cupboard, spotting a Santa Clause costume in it. She then checked the dresser. It was full of robes and button-up shirts, and, she noticed, a pink, hand-knit sweater that said “Mr. Dad Guy”.

She stared at the room, feeling a bit weird, when she noticed a trophy on far corner of the room. It said “Number 1 Nose Nuzzle Champs ’98”.

So the king once had a child, then adopted a human that fell here, and treated the human as their own. The hand-knit sweater and the macaroni flower were the proofs, though she presumed that those could be made by anyone. Who was the queen, then? Who was the wife and the mother?

She exited the room, noticing a mirror beside the door. She stood before the mirror.

“Despite everything, it’s still you.”

Lightly healed bruises and cuts all over her face, arms, and legs. Despite everything that had happened, despite every obstacles that had been thrown in her way, despite the ups and downs that had happened through her entire journey just to reach for the barrier; it was still her.

Her, and her alone. And no one could change that.

She marched back toward the stair case room, where she finally unlocked the two pad locks. Succeeding, she walked toward the stairs and began to descent, down toward the basement.

The same hallway, all grayed out. She descended the stairs, and marched forward. Not long, an encounter happened. It was a pair of Migosps.

“Then, one day,” said the first Migosp

“The human became very ill,” the other Migosp finished.

The encounter ended. She walked forward again, and a moment later, another encounter happened. There were three Vegetoid.

“The sick human had only one request,” the first Vegetoid told her.

“To see the golden flowers from their village,” the second Vegetoid continued.

“But there was nothing we could do,” the last Vegetoid finished slowly.

The encounter ended.

The girl, determined to know what happened, strode forward. The rest of her journey through New Home was full of the same encounters, the monsters each retelling a tragedy that had fallen upon the Royal Family years ago.

“The next day...” a Loox murmured.

“... the next day...” another Loox muttered. The first Loox didn’t say anything, so the second Loox finished with such hopelessness that filled its eye. “... the human died.”

Another encounter.

“ASRIEL, wracked with grief, absorbed the human’s SOUL,” told a Snowdrake.

“He transformed into a being with incredible power,” their fellow finished.

Another encounter. This time, she was outside, where she could see the tall Roman-esque buildings in the distance.

“With the human SOUL, ASRIEL crossed through the barrier,” an Ice Cap said.

“He carried the human’s body into the sunset,” the second Ice Cap continued.

“Back to the village of the humans,” the last Ice Cap finished.

Another encounter.

“ASRIEL reached the center of the village,” a Woshua said.

“There, he found a bed of golden flowers,” another of its fellow continued.

“He carried the human onto it,” finished the last Woshua.

Another encounter.

“Suddenly, screams rang out,” One of three of Shyren’s possible friends murmured.

“The villagers saw ASRIEL holding the human’s body,” said the other.

“They thought that he had killed the child,” finished the last one.

Another encounter.

“The humans attacked him with everything they had,” said one of the three dummies.

“He was struck with blow after blow,” the second dummy continued.

“ASRIEL had the power to destroy them all,” the last dummy finished.

Another encounter.

“But...” Knight Knight started.

“ASRIEL did not fight back,” said Madjick.

“Clutching the human...” Knight Knight continued.

“ASRIEL smiled and walked away,” Madjick finished.

Another encounter. Three Final Froggits showed up.

“Wounded, ASRIEL stumbled home,” the first said.

“He entered the castle and collapsed,” the second continued.

“His dust spread across the garden,” the last finished.

Another encounter. Three Whimsalots appeared.

“The kingdom fell into despair,” said the first solemnly.

“The king and queen had lost two children in one night,” continued the second.

“The humans had once again taken everything from us,” the last finished.

Another encounter. Three Astigmatisms popped out.

“The king decided it was time to end our suffering,” the first declared.

“Every human who falls down here must die,” the second continued.

“With enough souls, we can shatter the barrier forever,” the last said.

Another encounter. This time it was a Froggit, a Moldsmal, and a Whimsun.

“It’s not long now,” Froggit said solemnly.

“King ASGORE will let us go.”

“King ASGORE will give us hope.”

“King ASGORE will save us all.”

Another encounter. It was a Pyrope and two Vulkins.

“You should be smiling, too,” said Pyrope.

“Aren’t you excited?” asked the first Vulkin.

“Aren’t you happy?” asked the second Vulkin.

She walked forward, unknowing that she was balling her fists until her knuckles became white. She held something within her, thought what, she wasn’t sure.

The last encounter. It was a lone Froggit. Both she and the Froggit stared at each other for a while, before the monster murmured a sentence.

“You’re going to be free.”

It was that moment that she realized she had been holding down a tear, which was now flowed freely from her eyes. She stood, shoulders visibly shook, eyes covered by her bangs due to how much she lowered her head down. Drops of tears fell freely from her chin and dropped onto the hard, grey ground.

The fact that those monsters did not recognize her as a human only made her heart broke—made her determination wavered just a bit. The last Froggit’s lone sentence was ambiguous. The word free was relative, depending on how she acted during this whole ordeal; killing Asgore or let Asgore take her SOUL.

She was having a dilemma.

She was very keen on staying alive, but a part of her—a very big part of her—wanted to free all of the monsters here. Was there a way to do these things; staying alive and breaking down the barrier to free the monsters? King Asgore already had six souls stored with him; if only she could just ask him to let her help. Breaking down the barrier might not be as bad—maybe she could use her SOUL and the other souls to shatter it down and—maybe, she could still be alive.

Would it work?

Or would it need a bodiless SOUL instead?

Either way, she wouldn’t know if she only stood out here.

She took a deep breath, calming herself down. Once she was calm, she tentatively moved her leg. Walking forward, she met with two doors; an elevator door and another door that led to who-knows-where. She took the second door.

She was inside, and was met with a long and huge corridor. The floor was tiled, and the corridor was well-lit with golden light, seemingly coming from a row of stained glass windows with the Delta Rune emblem on them. There was a SAVE point in front of her, hidden in the shades of the wall yet sparkling like the star she used to seen on the Surface. She approached and touched it.

Last Corridor, the SAVE file said.

The girl took another deep breath. She didn’t know if she was ready or not. But nevertheless, she was filled with determination.