A cry resounded in the woods close to Reina's home, an uncommon one. The woman recognised it quickly. As if possessed by this urge to sate her curiosity, she got up from where she had been seated and headed out, the friend she had been with in tow.
It was a Deino, just as she had surmised. The poor critter seemed lost and confused. His cries reverberated louder and louder as a Zebstrika rammed its heavier body against the small dragon once more. The girl's heart swelled at the sight.
Lightning was shooting out the larger Pokémon in all directions. He was livid.
"It must be his territory." Reina commented, biting on her lower lip, hesitant on what to do.
It was common knowledge Deinos lacked sight. Seemed like this one had wandered in his quest for food and stepped into a larger predator's turf. So, the cries they had heard were of panic. Unable to fight of the stronger threat, Deino had attempted to intimidate him. The draconic critter already had scars marring his skin and with each renewed assault, another formed.
Reina stood still. While her body screamed for her to go help, she knew she would not only do nothing to help the situation but only endanger herself in the process. Pokémon wildlife was nothing like her parents had pretended back she was younger. Sights like these are the reason why she was grateful she never left on a journey like so many other kids. Thankfully, at least she could stomach it now.
When a vicious tackle rammed Deino into a nearby tree, Reina nearly jumped out once more.
A beam of light blinded her. She covered her eyes until it died down. The Zebstrika averted his stare from the dragon to glare at the newcomers, several more bolts of lightning splintering the bark of the nearby greenery.
Out of this beam came a Decidueye.
If she had been unable to take action, her friend jumped at the opportunity. Graham, unlike her, had already trained a few Pokémon. He could deal with the electric zebra.
The bolts conglomerated together into a larger whole aimed straight for the ghostly owl. Without a word shared between trainer and pocket monster, Decidueye weaved around the attack, all the while nocking an energy arrow to its makeshift bow of a wing. Confident in his aim, the grass starter shot and found his mark squarely on the beast's snout. Zebstrika recoiled back from the attack. The overwhelming pain that came over him had his instincts kick in and the large predator left the area without further resistance, leaving the three newcomers alone with the wounded Deino. The girl sighed in relief.
"Thanks a lot, Graham." She said to her friend who merely shrugged the act off.
"It's a common sight on a journey, I'm used to it. Don't mention it." He replied nonchalantly.
Deino cried out once more, in hopes of scaring them. This had the two humans avert their attention back to him.
He was too wounded to flee. If they left him alone, it was obvious he'd die, something Reina would never forgive herself for letting happen. Confident the danger was gone, she approached the dragon. Two steps later, however, a hand had taken hold of her shoulder, stopping her in her tracks.
"He's panicked and dangerous." Graham said. "Let me and my partner handle it. Better us than someone with no Pokémon to defend herself."
Reina looked down to the ground, then, mustering her determination, she pried herself free.
"If you catch him and send him to the center, it might just aggravate his panic and worsen the situation... Maybe they'll even put him down. Trust me, I might not have one to protect me but he's weakened and likely exhausted, I can deal with him. I'm his best hope right now, I'm sure of it!"
Graham looked away, tapping the tip of his toes to the ground. He could think of a thousand ways this would turn out poorly yet the words died in his throat.
"Whatever you say, professor." He conceded. Reina smiled gratefully and closed most of the distance remaining between herself and Deino until there were roughly two meters left between them.
At this instant, the noise of the forest died down, like nothing more than a painting of itself, the land stood still. Deino's growls became less common and eventually disappeared almost entirely. This simple process had taken several minutes but it seemed he was finally calm enough for her to act although he was still shaking from fear on occasion.
Only when the complete silence lingered did Deino raise his head in search of noises to position himself better.
Finally, it was the student's time to approach. She did so not in silence but rather making explicitly sure that the wild animal could hear her shuffling. She continued doing so until they were a meter apart. Deino let her do it. As planned, he was completely aware she was there but the steady, slow sound of her approach didn't scare him anymore. Reina extended her hand towards the snout of the beast in order for him to scent and identify her. The Pokemon did as expected and sniffed the outstretched hand, learning then that whoever this was was indeed, alive.
And true to a Deino's nature, he instantly snatched the hand in his jaw, biting it mercilessly.
Reina suppressed her yelp of pain. Her whole body shook as a jolt coursed through her and her brain screamed to pull back instinctually. Graham took a step forward to intervene. He knew this hadn't been a good idea.
"I'm fine." The girl declared in a calm yet authoritative voice. Graham hesitated. "A Deino tackles and bites everything that moves. It's the closest thing they have to a defense mechanism in the wild to compensate for their blindness. He's just doing as he knows."
The bite was weak. Weaker than it should be on a Deino. It meant this one was either exhausted, as she had believed, or still just a baby. In light of this, Reina conceived of how she could calm the dragon completely. When Deinos fail to threaten and defeat their foe in the wild, they would try to run away to avoid direct confrontation, wounded or otherwise. It was during this time they would be the least hostile and thus, the perfect opportunity to supress them. There's one thing that such an irate critter respected.
Meaning the best way to keep this Deino under check was equally simple.
Upon realising his bite had been anything but lethal, the Pokémon moved on to the expected plan b of his tactical retreat. Trickles of blood were falling from Reina's wrist, a fact she paid no mind to. She jumped the little dragon, crashing her entire weight unto his tiny frame, wrapping her arms around his neck to prevent further wanton biting. The beast flailed in her arms, struggling to get out and crying out in another vague attempt to intimidate her. The student held fast, occasionally getting stunned as the critter's head crashed into her own yet never fully breaking her hold. Graham looked at the interaction with bathed breaths. Decidueye nocked another arrow but his trainer lowered the wing to the ground.
Thankfully, shortly after, Deino calmed down in Reina's arms, beaten. A satisfied grin formed on her lips. She heaved him into her arms and headed towards Graham.
"We should get him something to eat. Poor critter's starving." She said. The average weight of a Deino was around 10 kilograms and yet this one felt even lighter.
"Is this really what they teach professors these days?" Graham asked. "Or do you just have no sense of self-preservation?"
The student huffed and went on ahead of the other two. The man decided to let the ghostly owl out a while longer as extra insurance.
Once they made it to her backyard, the trainer headed into her house to get some Pokémon food while Decidueye and her stayed with Deino who occasionally wailed in her arms in an attempt to leave to no avail.
Once Graham came back out of her house, he had brought food, a potion and a first aid kit. Reina walked towards him. When she was a meter away, she lowered Deino to the ground and to his side, one hand wrapped around his neck to prevent his escape and the other taking some of the food. Her hand inched closer to the critter's mouth who recognized the smell of the one that had just bested him.
"Here you go, little guy. Eat up!" Reina said, dropping the meal right before the Pokémon for him to take. Once he understood what it was, he silently went about eating, all the fight now having left him.
With full confidence he would no longer attack them, the student released her hold on Deino who got back on his feet. Reina took the rest of the food that she had been given and placed it before him. He obediently ate without causing a scene.
Reina beamed, positively delighted with herself.
"You did good." Graham praised. He called back Decidueye, now just as confident Deino wouldn't hurt them. "Didn't even need a Pokémon too."
A nod came in response. Reina crouched back down to observe Deino as he was eating. She had already noticed the scars beforehand, a common sight on these little dragons, but otherwise, this one seemed perfectly healthy if not a little thin. She was just glad they acted in time.
The critter cooed, satisfied. He listened to his surroundings. Once more, the girl approached his snout with her hand. This time, he didn't bite. A smile formed on her lips and she closed the rest of the distance, petting the animal on the head. He practically purred under the soft touch.
"They can be pretty cute when they're not hostile." Graham noted as he handed her a potion as well as the kit. The student took them and did her best to mend the wounds. The instant lingered through time. He chuckled. "It's quite the treatment you're offering him, professor. Are you like this with every wild Pokémon?"
Reina blushed lightly, looking into the distance, but remained silent. He shook his head.
"What's his nickname going to be, then?"
She gave it a minute of thought.