The Moon in the Dark

Long ago, the Monsters and Humans fought a great war. The Monsters lost, and were sealed in the Underground. It would take the power of seven human souls to break the barrier that kept them imprisoned. They only had six. And so the Monsters waited and hoped, praying that another human would find their way to the Underground. Some thought the seventh soul would give their King the strength to break the barrier. Some dreamed of a human who would be their friend, and save them all...or had nightmares of one who would bring back the war.
...but nobody came.
...but somepony did.
Eons after the war, with no way to tell how much time had passed above, a tiny blue filly with wings and horn fell into the underground, calling for her Mama. None knew the poor creature's nature or origins...but her soul was powerful with magic, even more so than a human soul.
None can know what will come...of this little 'Woona'.


37. Who Sat Down Beside Me

As Woona struggled in the webbing, she saw its purple magic wrap around her Soul, binding her mystically as well as physically.  Desperately, she tried to reach the pouch of spiders with her magic, but with the purple aura around her heart, she found she couldn't use her magic.  Her saddlebags slipped off her body, and the pouches spilled out, some of them falling open as they did.

"Uhuhu..." a soft voice moaned, approaching nearer.  "What's the matter?  Caught in my web?  Well, that's what comes for one like you...after what you did..."

A figure wrapped in shadows lowered towards Woona, only five purple eyes glowing in the darkness.  Woona tried to cry out, but the webbing bound her mouth as well.  All she could do was whimper, and roll from one line of the web to another, and not too far at that.

"Afuhu..." the voice continued.  "No escape for you...we'd finally saved enough...the limo had reached the ruins...and came back empty..."

The figure became more visible.  Woona recognized the spider girl from the picture the Ruins spiders had shown her, older and more haggard.  She looked to be in mid to late adolescents, not much older than that, though details were difficult to make out under the black shroud that covered her entire body.  Her long black hair was unkempt, hanging down on one side and falling out of a scrunchy on the other.  Tear tracks ran down her face from each of her five eyes, arranged in an upside down arc over her forehead.  She had six arms and two legs...but all these details Woona noticed in passing.

Her attention was locked on what the girl held in her six hands.  The middle two hands held the strands of web that bound Woona.  Her upper right hand held a chef's knife.  The upper left hand clutched a cleaver.  The lower pair of hands held a chainsaw.  All gleamed with her purple magic, tinged black with pain and grief.

"It's because of you..." the girl hissed.  "When I went to hire the limo...I didn't want to believe what that stranger there were no more spiders in the ruins...because of the pony..."  She sobbed as more tears ran down her face.  "But the limo came back...and nobody came..."

She lashed out with the cleaver, barely missing Woona as she stomped the floor, kicking away one of the pouches as it scattered the donuts inside.  "And yet here is the proof!  Satchel stuffed with their donuts and cider, made from their mystic energy in a desperate desire to come home to entire clan gone!"  She shrieked in rage.

From down below, a loud rumbling echoed, and a massive spider - easily bigger than anything Woona had seen in the Underground - slowly crawled upward, its mandibles masticating eagerly.

"You're going to pay..." the spider girl hissed angrily.  "I'm going to carve you up, feed you to my pet, and let the Guard do what they will with your soul!  The money doesn't matter anymore...nothing does!  My father's clan is gone because of you!"  She hefted the chainsaw, revving it to life.

Woona swallowed convulsively, whimpering as she saw her doom coming.  Well, she thought to herself, if this makes another reset, I know to open the spider pouch before coming through the door...the pouch!  She focused her attention on the pouch, marked in runes for storage and warmth.  If she could only get to it and open it...

As the chainsaw came down, Woona desperately rolled to the side, barely evading the swing of the chainsaw.

"Afuhu..." the spider girl laughed wickedly.  "A feisty one, huh?  My pet will enjoy that!"  She tugged on the strings holding Woona prisoner, pulling her around into a better angle to strike.

Desperately, Woona put her chin to the SOULSTONE.  Help me! she whimpered in her mind, hoping it would somehow do something.

Power flooded into Chara, briefly allowing him to fully manifest independent of Woona.  Lunging out of her, he tackled the spider girl to the floor, managing to get the knife away from her.

"Uwa?" she gasped out.  "The pony sprouts a human?  Afuhu...isn't that interesting?  More for my pet then!"  She lunged forward with the chainsaw, gasping in surprise as Chara used the knife to parry it.  "Oro?"

"I'm good with knives," Chara replied, smirking.  "Always have been."  He quickly swung, striking the chainsaw's engine and twisting the knife inside, causing it to sputter and short, before leaping back.

"Afuhu..." the spider girl whispered.  "This is not what I expected...but anticipation makes any meal taste better..."  She bared her fangs eagerly.  "I wonder how you taste..."  She pulled out more knives, one for each hand.  "Let's see how you handle this..."

Unnoticed to the spider girl, Chara had slashed through the strings of webbing holding Woona captive, letting her move more freely.  She was still bound to moving along the web due to the purple magic, but she was able to make her way slowly towards the pouch.

Chara grinned as he raised his single knife against Muffet's six.  "I see your determination," he growled, deflecting each knife strike.  "Your grief and rage fill you with power...but they also weaken you.  A single strike, and I could dust you.  And as little as a week or two ago - has it really been so short - I wouldn't have hesitated to do so."

"Then dust me!" the spider girl shrieked.  "If you're so proud of that-"

A flurry of slashes from Chara sent the spider girl's knives flying.  "I never said I was proud of it," he interrupted.  He then pointed to Woona as she struggled with the pouch.  "And she's why..."  His knife dropped to the floor as he faded back into her, and the pouch opened.

The spiders, marked with the blue star of Woona's magic, rushed out of the pouch, swarming out to the spider girl and the spiders all around her.  She stared, eyes wide, as they crawled up her, chittering comfortingly and chidingly.  ""

Woona finally managed to get her mouth unbound.  "They told me what they were saving for," she explained.  "So I made a heated pouch I could carry them all through Snowdin in."

The spider girl put her face in her hands, all six of them.  "Oh this what that shape changing stranger meant?  The message was so garbled...was he saying I didn't need the limo because the clan was already on their way?"  Reaching out with her magic, she unbound Woona.  "I'm terribly sorry, must think horribly of me-"

"I know what grief can do to a mind," Woona interrupted.  "I'm sharing my soul with the prime example.  He was much worse when I first met him."  Toddling up to the spider girl, she smiled up at her.  "I'm Woona.  What's your name?"

The spider girl managed to smile.  "Afuhu...I can't believe I went that far without even giving my name.  I'm Muffet, deary."  She glanced down at herself.  "Oh...I'd invite you to tea to make up for this, but I look such a fright..."

"I'll wait," Woona offered happily.

Muffet's smile widened.  "Thank you, deary.  I'll be right back."  As spiders brought out a table, chairs, and other supplies for tea, Muffet clambered back up her web rope.

Woona happily climbed into the chair, waiting for Muffet to return.  She didn't have to wait long.  The spider girl looked much better in her poofy pink top and dark pink short pants.  The two ribbon scrunchies holding her hair up to either side of her head was quite adorable.  Woona wished she'd learned enough about fashion to know the more accurate terms to describe her attire.

"I hope I didn't keep you waiting long," Muffet offered cordially as she took her seat daintily, pouring them each a cup of cider as she set out the plate of donuts.

Woona eagerly reached for a donut, unceremoniously stuffing her face.  She paused as she saw Muffet smirking, one hand to her face.

"Afuhu," Muffet giggled.  "Have you never had tea before?"

Woona scratched her head.  " a tea party?" she asked.

"Precisely," Muffet agreed.  "It has a certain decorum about it."

"But Mommy always had dresses for me for tea parties back in the Ruins," Woona pointed out.

Muffet stroked her chin.  "Hmm...afuhu, I think I have it!"  Reaching out, she plucked a few strands of web, spinning it out with webbing provided by the spiders marked with Woona's magic.  Within moments, a beautiful dark purple gown speckled with stars hung gracefully from Woona's body.

She made you Star Spider Satin, Chara spoke up, analyzing the gown.  Hmm...wearing it decreases your speed, but increases your magic and...fanciness?  Since when is that a stat?  ...then again, apparently your 'Cartographer's Cap' increases 'path finding'...

Gasping as an idea came to her, Woona lifted the Cartographer's Cap from her head and proceeded to fold it, setting it on her head as a top hat.

...the 'Cartographer's Top Hat'? Chara asked, stunned at the stat readout.  Increases...fanciness and snobbishness?  What next?  A monocle?

Almost as if she could hear him, Muffet reached out and placed a monocle over one of Woona's eyes.  "Afuhu...that's perfect," she purred.  "Now...what titles do we go by?"

"I am Princess Woona!" Woona proclaimed happily as she put the Chilled Apron into her satchel, since it clashed with the rest of her look.  "And you are Muffet, Queen of the Spiders!"

"Afuhu..." Muffet giggled.  "Well then, would Your Highness care for another donut?"

"Her Highness would," Woona confirmed, nodding regally.  "And Your Majesty?"

Muffet lifted her hand to hide her licking her lips, but Woona noticed how...gaunt she seemed, as though she'd gone a long time on not enough food.  "I...We believe we shall, yes."

Woona and Muffet stared at each other for a time, only to burst into shared giggles.  Despite the rocky start, the new friendship and kept promise filled Woona with DETERMINATION.

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