I: Meeting a Certain Flower

A strong pain was all he felt when he landed on the ground below. Dimly, Italy could feel his hands brushed something soft and bouncy all around him. He must had landed on something that somewhat softened his fall. It did not absorb all the impact, though.

For a long while, he just lied there, unable to move as he waited the pain to recede into a dull, numbing itch. Honey-brown eyes fluttered open, staring up at the chasm that he had fallen into. Slowly, as to not invoke any pain, he turned his head and glanced around the surrounding.

From what he could see, he was lying on pretty bed of golden flowers. Purple cave wall surrounded him, leaving no exit except for above and a tunnel ahead. Speaking of which, his head snapped upwards, feeling his heart fell as he gazed. The somewhat huge chasm was reduced to a mere dot, as big as a large There was no way a normal human could had survive that kind of fall.

Italy frowned, sitting up. Just how far down had he fallen?

His thoughts lingered to his friends, wondering what they were doing above. Would they be looking for him? His brother certainly would. Germany had helped him in the past, and he was sure that he could do it again. But..

Would he? Like a taunting voice, the thought lingered. He was acutely aware of how the countries, including him, had treated him. Except for nations like Japan, he was much too polite for that. There was no telling if he would even bother with Italy now.

“Romano..” He drew his knees to his chest, sniffing softly. He was stuck with no food, no cell phone to call for help, at which even then, the reception could not travel this far down, and no way out, save for that cave tunnel. Granted, he was a nation, nations could not die, except under certain circumstances. For some reason, an image of a mansion appeared in his head. “Germany, I’m scared.”

“...t’s... okay..”

“Ve?!” Surprised and startled, Italy stood and frantically look around, trying to find where that whisper came from. He could not see anyone in sight, though, it was as if no one was there. “Who’s there?”

The voice came again after a moment, noticeably louder and clearer this time.

“Just stay.. determined...”

“Determined...” He trailed off in thought. Now, he could feel a presence near him, watching his movement. Could it be an angel? “Ve, grazie, bella! I’ll be sure to follow your advice.”

The presence faded, as if satisfied with the results. The auburn haired Italian gazed ahead the dark cave and back up at the chasm. He could see it was starting to be dark, judging from the orange-purplish sky.

A small smile tugged his lips as he felt a spark lighting within him. Determination. “I hope they’re alright. For now, there’s only one way to go.”

He started walking away from the beam of evening sunlight and into the dark caverns ahead.

*The thought of the well being of your friends and family.. It fills you with determination.

*Progress saved.

The next room he entered was too dark to see anything. However, Italy could see a ray of light shining upon a small patch of grass in the center of the room, at which a flower was planted. As he approached it, it appeared to have a.. face?

“Howdy!” The flower cheerfully greeted. “I’m Flowey. Flowey the flower.”

Italy yelped, taking a step back in surprise. The flower did not seem to be offended by the movement, as it continued. “You must be new to the Underground, aren’tcha?”

Now that he was closer, he could see the strange plant properly. It had healthy green stem, and bright yellow petals. Very similar to the bed of flowers he saw earlier, he silently mused, only that this had a face. It seemed eager to make friends too, with it’s bright smile. He nodded, smiling back.

“Si!” Italy looked back at the door he had entered through and back at the flower. “I didn’t really mean to get lost here, though..”

Flowey hummed thoughtfully. “If you don’t mind me asking, what were you doing before coming here?”

“W-well, I was running away a friend of mine, Germany, you see.” The auburn haired Italian explained like any Italians would, speaking animatedly with complete hand gesturings. “He wanted me to run laps and do push ups when all I wanted to have siesta and eat pasta. So, I ran and found myself up on this really tall mountain! I don’t really know the name of it, though. When I tried to go back down, I tripped and fell into this huge hole!”

“I’m not sure if I got that..” The flower tilted his head to the side, watching as the nation took a deep breath when he finished. It appeared to be confused before recognition lit it’s eyes. “Gosh, I didn’t get your name.”

“Ve.. I forgot about that..” Sheepishly rubbing the back of his neck, he cheerfully introduced himself. “My name is Italy! It’s nice to meet you!”

“Nice to meet’cha.” Flowey closed his eyes, humming a tune. “Golly, someone should show you the ropes around here. I guess the little ol’ me should do the job.”

It stuck it’s tongue out to the side and winked. The nation smiled and giggled, relieved that he had found someone to guide him around this odd wonderland he had found himself in.

“Thank you, Flowey!”

“It’s no problem.” The flower’s grin widened, pleased to be of service. “Are you ready?”

Italy nodded, and the room, if it was possible since it was already dark, darkened suddenly, limiting his vision so that he could only see Flowey. He glanced around, startled when he felt it. There was a weird pressure on his chest and he felt a tugging sensation before it faded. Looking down, he gasped. There, floating where his lungs would be, was a glowing heart.

“You see that heart? That’s your SOUL. The very culmination of your entire... being...” Flowey trailed off as it stared at the soul. The heart that the nation had materialised was a passionate blood red. Just like her, It thought, lightly frowning. But it looks different.. somehow. The outline of the heart was the difference, as it shone a bright and beautiful gold. “Ahem. Are you listening to me?”

“Ve?” The nation, who had been staring at his soul, poking it gently, looked back at the flower, who looked annoyed at being ignored. “I’m so sorry, Flowey. I didn’t mean to ignore you. It’s just so pretty!”

“Clearly.” It chuckled as he twirled around, a sudden unidentified glint appearing in it’s eyes. “Anyway, your SOUL starts off weak, but it can become strong if you gain enough LV.”

“What’s LV?”

“Why, LV is LOVE, of course!”

“Oh.” Italy smiled and slouched his shoulders, feeling like he wanted to take a nap soon. “I’m so glad. I thought it’s like one of those silly games America always talk about.”

“Yep! You want some LOVE, don’tcha?” Five white like objects appeared from Flowey. It looked away strangely as it said it’s next sentence. “LOVE is shared through little white... ‘friendliness pellets’.”

“Whatever you do, don’t trust him. He’s a liar.”

He froze, hearing that same, soft voice from earlier. In front of him, the flower continued, oblivious to the voice he had heard.

“Are you ready? Catch as many as you can.”

“I’m warning you now, Italy. If you want to live, dodge those bullets.”

The ‘friendliness pellets’ moved towards him, but he stepped aside, just barely grazing his soul with them. Flowey’s smiled faltered, and Italy was starting to see how much of it was an act.

“Hey, buddy. You missed them. Let’s try that again, alright?”

Five more pellets appeared and shot towards him. Again, he dodged them, now completely silent as a shadow covered his eyes. The flower morphed it’s face, appearing and glaring menacingly at the nation.

“You know what’s going on here, do you?”

“...Yeah.” Italy nodded, glancing at it with tearful eyes. “I trust you, you know?”

“Well, you have to be an idiot to do that, so..” Flowey began to laugh. “DIE!”

A circular row of pellet bullets appeared around him, immediately shooting towards him. The Italian did not feel any physical damage, but as cracks appeared on his souls, he wheezed and coughed painfully. He could feel himself losing consciousness as row after row of bullets attacked him. Italy collapsed on his knees, trying vainly to protect his soul by hugging himself tightly though, it did not seem to be effective.

Flowey looked frustrated, shooting row upon row of bullets with every word spoken. “Why. Aren’t. You. DYING?!”

Expression full of pain, the Italian fell to the floor, just barely awake. His soul was filled with cracks and seemed to be close to breaking. The flower examined him closer, grinning once again as he realised the problem. “Oh, my... I didn’t think you could gain so much LOVE. You’re not as innocent as you seem, aren’t’tcha?”

Only a mumble could be heard as a response.

“No matter. Once I gain your SOUL, I’ll get the other SOULS and...” It laughed, a last row of bullets materialising from him and surround the nation. “Just die.”

The bullets began to shoot towards him, but much more slower as if mocking him. So nations can die, huh... Italy closed his eyes, unwilling to see the deadly pellets coming closer and closer. I’m sorry, fratello..

“Just stay alive, damnit! I swear I’ll kill that flower if we ever make it out here alive!”

He smiled when he heard the voice once again. The presence seemed to protectively hugging him, as if trying to shield him from the bullets. He softly whispered, smiling a defeated smile.

“I’m sorry.. Bella.. But at least I get to see Grandpa Rome again. And... Holy Rome..”

"Oh yeah? What about your friends? The ones living on the surface. And your brother? What will he say when he found you dead, huh? If you don’t want to live, then fine. But at least live for their sake!”

The words echoed around his mind. He hugged his chest tighter, feeling his cracked and dimly glowing soul pulsing brighter than before. The very same spark within him grew. The nation was too tired to form words, but gave a smile. You’re right..

“Yeah, that’s right!”

Just as the bullets enclosed on him, they disappeared. Flowey started back, confused. It was about to shoot another round of bullets when an orange flame appeared and shot at it. Panicked, the flower ducked and burrowed into the ground.

“What a terrible creature, torturing such a poor, innocent youth.” An unfamiliar voice mused, footsteps shuffling faster and faster. “Are you fine, little one?”

Italy cracked open his eyes, his blurry vision seeing a white and purple blur as it rushed towards him. He tried to move away, afraid that whoever this was, he or she could be just like Flowey. Instead, a sense of warmth and calmness spread over him, successfully keeping him still.

“It’s alright, Italy.” The voice remarked, a hint of nostalgia in its tone. “You can trust her.”

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