Black Albino

Twenty-two
Discoveries

Its horn is larger than the female’s and its Horn Attack is quite powerful.
Dexter

Having been attacked so many times by various Pokémon and lost several times, Kuu figured he should probably learn how to fight. Much as he disliked the idea, it had to be done. He vowed never to actually attack another Pokémon, only if they started attacking him first. He wasn’t that kind of Nidoran, unlike most males of the species. But nevertheless, he knew that if he didn’t learn how to defend himself, he wouldn’t last long.

The day at least wasn’t as hot as the others had been, and it was easier for Kuu to travel by daylight without overheating or getting dehydrated. The thing was that he had nothing to practice on except rocks, trees and grass, and these were nothing like any Pokémon he’d come across before. He wasn’t going to just run up to a wild Pokémon and attack it so he could practice his tackling, that was just wrong. He wished Noki were here, then they could both have practiced together, and had fun with practicing too.

Kuu sighed, wondering what was happening back at the warren. Everyone would hate Taishou now. He’d killed the mother of the black Nidoran, therefore making him leave. They may have even kicked Taishou out of the mob. He hoped Hamara was protecting Jaa from Taishou, or any other darker Nidorino in the group who thought every creature paler than he was didn’t deserve to live.

He glanced up at his horn, wondering if it was possible to control the poison that squeezed out of it. He concentrated hard, trying to force the poison out. He clenched his eyes tight and growled with the effort, but nothing happened.

Why did Taishou have to kill his mother? He had been such a great teacher, why did he have to spoil it like that? Now Kuu was left alone to try and teach himself. He didn’t even know what he had the potential to do, let alone how to do it.

He took a deep breath and thought things through. Each time he had felt the poison leak from his horn, he had been hitting something, so maybe that was what made the poison come out. He hopped over to a rock, placed the tip of his horn on it and pushed hard, at the same time trying to force the poison from the tip. There it was, the cool clear liquid that was deadly to anyone but Kuu.

He smiled and took his horn off the rock, concentrating on what it had felt like. He frowned, squeezing the poison glands at the base of his horn with the muscles in his forehead. He could feel the poison in his horn, working its way slowly up the straw inside it. A drop of the poison finally leaked from the tip, dripping to the dusty land of the mountain.

Kuu almost did a back flip he was so happy. He’d done it. Without the help of Taishou, he’d managed to get his own poison from his horn. He let out a whoop of joy, even though all he’d managed to squeeze out was a single drop, it was at least something. All he needed was practice and he’d have it nailed.

After the attack of the human and his Ledyba, Kuu was constantly on the lookout for more, especially as he was near a human warren. At first he had wanted to find out more about the new and exciting warren, but having met one of its inhabitants, he rightly decided to steer clear of it.

Over the next few days of travel, away from the human warren, he practiced hard with his poison injecting techniques until he could almost do it without thinking, just as a reflex action. He felt powerful now, unstoppable, invincible even. He almost wished another Pokémon would come up to attack him, just so he could practice his poison on them.

He shook his head. What was he thinking? This must be how other darker Nidos got so mean; the power of being dark got to their heads until there was no way to stop it from overtaking them. Kuu wasn’t going to let that happen to him, it wasn’t like him. It may be the way of the general male Nido populus, but not for Kuu.

Only now did he realise how lonely he really was. Nidoran were used to living in large groups, and a soul Nidoran was not a common thing to see. They rarely ventured very far from the home warren, and yet, here was Kuu, so far from home he wasn’t sure he would know how to find the way back again.

There had been nobody there to share in his delight at learning something new, nobody to help him out when he was being attacked, nobody to look out for him when he took a drink or went to sleep. An overwhelming loneliness overcame him. Not a creature was to be seen, and most of the Pokémon he had come across had attacked him. He resolved that the next Pokémon he saw, no matter what, he would ask them about mysterious black Pokémon with silver patterns.

Just as he was thinking this, a strange voice came up from behind him.

“Don’t get Nidoran around here all that often.”

Kuu turned around to come face to face with the strangest creature he had ever seen. A bright yellow pear-shaped head with beady black eyes and a big pink mouth balanced precariously on the Pokémon’s spindly brown excuse for a body. Two rich green leaves waved from halfway down its body, keeping the creature upright.

Kuu visibly recoiled, merely from the surprise of seeing such a strange creature.

“So what brings you here?” the thing asked.

“Um, I’m looking for my dad,” Kuu answered, still staring at the thing’s spindly body and pear-shaped head.

“Don’t think you’ll find him here, like I said, Nidos don’t come by here much, unless they’re with a trainer.”

Kuu shook his head. “He’s not a Nido. Mum never told me what he is exactly, but he’s long and black with silver patterns. He’s a shiny Pokémon.” He paused. “You wouldn’t happen to have seen any Pokémon like that, would you?”

“Can’t say I have,” the pear-shaped Pokémon said slowly in it strange, wobbly voice, “Very lucky to have a shiny Pokémon for a dad though.”

Kuu smiled, proud of his father, even though he didn’t even know what he was. “So you don’t know what kind of Pokémon he is?”

“The only black Pokémon I know of is a Heracross, and I don’t think your dad’d be a Heracross.”

“What do they look like?” Kuu questioned.

“Big, hard shell, kinda stubby, um, they’ve got a really long horn with two points on the end. That sound like your dad?”

Kuu shook his head. The creature smiled and turned to go. “Good luck on your search, hope you find him some day,” it called back.

Kuu hopped up to it. “Just out of curiosity, what kind of Pokémon are you?” he asked tentatively.

The creature’s beady black eyes blinked down at Kuu’s big, dark red ones. “I’m a Bellsprout.” Its large, fleshy pink lips grinned. “Don’t you forget it,” it said, winking.

Kuu smiled back. “Thanks for your help!”

As Kuu moved on through the grassy slopes of the mountains, he spotted several more Bellsprout, as well as what he guessed to be their evolution—they had the same pear-shaped yellow head and the same green leaves, but there was no spindly brown body.

When he figured he had his poison-injecting skill down to a fine art, he began to try and squeeze poison from the spikes on his back. Again he tensed the muscles on his back, squeezing hard on the base of his thorns. After several unsuccessful attempts, he wondered if he even had poison glands in them, so instead he decided to develop a different way of using the spikes on his back.

He dove into the grass and rolled over, thrusting his back forward and presenting his thorns to any Pokémon that might be there. He tried it again, somersaulting through the grass until he was quite worn out. Panting, he lay down under one of the increasingly common trees and dozed off, very proud with his day’s work.

Twenty-three