Black Albino

Six
Fight

Leer decreases the enemy's Defense. Effects are cumulative for a maximum of 6 uses. Further uses have no effect.
Azure Heights Pokémon Laboratory

Once the mob had overcome the initial shock of seeing a pitch black Nidoran, the question of who Lumi had mated with came up again, and was almost a demand now. Even the head male of the mob was overshadowed by Kuu’s sheer blackness. Everyone asked this question of each other, but none dared to ask Lumi. Even though she had birthed Kuu, she was still almost white, and the other Nidos were still less than willing to approach her.

As with every dark young Nidoran of the mob, Kuu was taken to the head Nidorino, known to everyone as Taishou. Taishou was a formidable Nidorino. He was huge, almost twice as big as the average Nidorino, and his rich, plum coloured fur was bedraggled and worn from fights, the vast majority of which he had won. His long horn was said to be sharp enough to pierce the skin of a Rhydon, and with poison deadly enough even to take down an Arbok. The Nidos of Taishou’s mob didn’t fear him, they respected him. He protected the mob from any danger, and for that they were grateful. However, Taishou had no time for pale Nidos. The less of them, the better, as far as he was concerned.

One of Taishou’s duties as head male was to teach the dark young male Nidoran how to fight, as no doubt one day, at least one of them was going to be head male, and they must know how to protect their mob. Other Nidoran were taught by their parents, but the darker ones needed special attention.

So, a week after he had first left the burrow, Kuu was led by two of Taishou’s guards to the head burrow. Kuu took in all the scents and sounds of the other Nidos, all of whom were staring at him in awe, a few with a hint of resentment. Why had he been her son?

Kuu was taken into the main entrance and through a maze of tunnels so complicated he was sure he wouldn’t come out again. The tunnels were well worn, with hard, packed soil floors from hundreds of running feet. The noises were much the same as in the home burrow – dull thuds of feet from further off.

Eventually they reached the head burrow, a chamber ten times bigger than Kuu’s own. On the other side of the chamber was a group of seven dark pink and purple Nidoran, all older and larger than Kuu, and Taishou himself. One of the guards nudged Kuu from behind, pushing him towards the group. Kuu looked around to him with worried eyes. Why did everyone always stare at him? He swallowed and made his way slowly to the group.

Taishou smiled warmly at him. “Welcome to your first training class, er, Kuu, is it?”

Kuu nodded nervously. They were still staring. Why were they always staring?

“Well Kuu, you’ll have fun here. I won’t deny it, the course will be hard for you, but you’ll learn a lot. I can see by your fur that you’re going to make a fine fighter.”

Kuu was puzzled. How did his fur help him be a better fighter? He shrugged it off and decided he must have heard wrong. You don’t fight with fur. Maybe he said horn. That must be it. Kuu glanced up at his forehead and could just see the tip of his horn, and having not yet been used, it had quite a point on it. Yes, Taishou must have said horn.

“Okay boys, you’ll need to find a partner now so you can practice together.”

At once, all the young Nidoran turned to Kuu. Each had been told by their parents how important being dark was, and they all wanted to be partnered with the blackest of the mob. Kuu couldn’t stand it. He crouched down and put his paws over his eyes.

“Why you all stare at me?” he cried, “I no done nasty-bad to you, stop staring!”

He felt a soft, warm paw on his back, and slowly opened an eye. “Don’t worry Kuu, you haven’t done anything. The boys just all want to be your partner because of your dark fur.”

Kuu sniffed. “What fur do?”

Taishou blinked. Had this youngster not been taught anything about the importance of colour? He sighed. “Kuu, if a Nidoran has very dark fur, he will be stronger than a Nidoran with fur that’s almost white.”

“Why?”

Taishou was sure that was all Kuu needed to be convinced. He was only four weeks old, they’re not supposed to start thinking for themselves for a while yet. “That’s just the way life is.”

“But why?” Kuu insisted.

Taishou sighed again. “It’s been proven many times. Light Nidoran never win against dark ones. You can be partnered with Noki,” he said, before Kuu could open his mouth again.

Noki was an unusual colour himself, he almost looked like he’d been rolling around in the dust and made his coat all dirty. His face lit up, and he hopped over to Kuu, smiling broadly. “Hi!” he piped, “Me Noki. I you partner.” He grinned again and poked his tongue out at the rest of the group, who groaned and mingled around choosing their partners, rather disappointed they’d missed out on being with Kuu.

Kuu reluctantly stood up, but his ears were drooping. All because of his fur, he was expected to be this daring, adventurous, heroic Nidoran. Couldn’t he just be average?

Eventually the Nidoran were all teamed up together and lined up in front of Taishou, ears twitching and eyes wide with wonder.

“Right,” Taishou began, “First attack any Nidoran learns is leer. Scares any enemy, I tell you that, and it’ll get ‘em almost every time. It kind of mesmerises them, so they don’t know what you’re going to do, then you can make your attack. Now, first off, lower your head and put your ears back, like this.” He crouched down and flattened his long, tattered ears against his back. All eight of his students copied, looking up at him with big, round eyes.

“Now, look as angry as you possibly can. Imagine some creature has come along and taken away your family, and they won’t give them back. Think how angry you’d be with them.”

The Nidoran bared their teeth, lowered their ears further, projected their horns outward and frowned as hard as they could. They just ended up looking cute, like every group did.

“Okay, good. But you have to really hate them, I mean, really really hate them. This animal has taken your mummy, your brothers, your sisters. Think about your family right now. How would you feel if they were taken from you?”

Kuu thought about his mum and how much she had cared for him and his siblings. She meant the world to him. Without Lumi, he would never have even existed. Even though he was the runt of the family, Lumi had made sure he got his share of milk. Even though he was reluctant, she got him used to grass – which he now loved – and she had led him into the bright, vibrant, beautiful smelling world out of the burrow. If she were taken away from him, Kuu would be beyond furious.

“Yes! Kuu, you’ve got it!” cried Taishou, “Now remember how that feels, and use it whenever you come across an enemy. Well done Kuu!”

Kuu’s eyes were glowing blue, bright blue. He no longer looked cute, but truly horrifying. When the other seven Nidoran kits looked at him to see what a leer looked like and how they should be doing it themselves, they took wary steps back. The leer really did work. Kuu smiled an evil smile. He could begin to enjoy this. Now, when anyone stared at his fur, he could just leer and they’d turn away. Perfect.

The first combat lesson continued on for another twenty minutes, and by the end of it, all eight Nidoran were quite puffed out from leering, but they could now all do it right, and were eager to run back and tell their parents, brothers and sisters what they had learned. They all felt invincible, but Kuu could see that there was more to fighting than just making your eyes go blue.

The two guards led the group of Nidoran out of the warren into the warm, orange, evening sunlight and directed them in the way of their burrows. Immediately the group of Nidorina known well for their knowledge of everything that was going on in the mob approached the two guards.

“Well? Did he say anything?” they asked impatiently.

The guards shook their heads. “And Lumi hasn’t taught the kid a thing. Didn’t even know why he was so special! Poor kid. Definitely got spirit and guts though. Learnt leer on his first try!”

The group whispered to each other about how hopeless Lumi was, and how amazing Kuu was. “A born leader for sure!”

“But,” the head gossip demanded, “Who’s his father?”

The other guard replied, “Still don’t know. He’s a quiet thing, didn’t say much at all, definitely nothing about his father.”

“Nothing?” she persisted. Both guards shook their heads. The gossip group sighed and turned back to their burrows for sleep, except for one. She was more a follower than an actual gossip, but really wanted to be part of the group. She’d ask Kuu herself. So once the Nidorina had said their goodbyes, she turned and ran after him.

She spotted him, still a fair distance from his burrow. She paused for a while, gazing at his rich black fur. “Wow,” she breathed. The sun was halfway below the horizon and the gentle orange glow reflected off his glistening coat beautifully, making him appear almost golden.

The Nidorina shook her head to clear it and trotted up to the heir of the head burrow.

“Hi there,” she greeted, “I’m Lorpotella.”

Kuu blinked. Who was she? “Everyone calls me Lop though. So, you’re Lumi’s son, are you?”

Kuu nodded. “Everyone call me Kuu,” he murmured.

Lop cackled out loud at the joke, coming from such a young Nidoran. Kuu couldn’t see what was so funny, but this Nidorina scared him. “Why you here?” he ventured.

“Oh, nothing, just a friendly chat. So where would your daddy be right now?” she hinted.

Kuu cocked his head to one side. “Daddy?” he asked.

“Yeah.”

“What a Daddy?”

“Um, well, were there any boy Nidoran or Nidorino in your burrow when you were very little?”

Kuu nodded. “Hamara and Kukka. They my brothers.”

Lop sighed, but kept a cheery face. This was going nowhere. “Been great talking to you, Kuu, bye!” and with that she turned and waddled off to her burrow, rather disappointed with her progress.

Kuu stared after her. She was strange. But what was a daddy? He shrugged and bounded for the burrow, wishing he’d used leer.


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