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Private When Two Trainers Lock Eyes...

Velouria

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Date: November 20th
@Ryoji Mochizuki
~
The sunset lengthened the shadows of a four-legged creature bounding along the sidewalk with a skittish clacking of claws. The furry body was slender and white-furred, but it was too low to the ground to be a small dog. There was a half-canine girl jogging after it though, a tail of silver fluttering out behind her as she tried to hold down her hood from flying back and clutched an ornament-shaped device in the same hand. Different fingers grasped a briefcase handle.

"Wait up, Linty...!" Velouria called after the Linoone. Her Pokemon was fast. Even at a leisurely run, Linty could keep up with a car cruising down the street. The wolfskin didn't mean for the Pokeball to pop open and let her companion escape, and it didn't seem like Linty was trying to run away, but this chase was ongoing for several blocks now. She wished she had better faith throwing that sphere from afar. "'Scuse me... Gah, sorry..." All these people she nearly collided with really reminded Velouria that cities weren't really her place. The least that these dummies could do was stop letting that large ferret creature dart between the forest of legs.

She almost felt relief when the Pokemon turned right into an alleyway, carved between two big buildings like it was the floor of a ravine. The light was a little gloomier as Velouria followed, the place tinted with night instead of orange. There she spotted Linty snuffling before a jumble of trash; stray wooden pallets, overturned metal cans, large black bags, and the biggest neon-green dumpster the adventurous wolfgirl had ever seen.

"Oh, Linty, you found us some treasure...!" she beamed. She approached and ran a pet along the Linoone's back, who only looked up with that same impassive expression always on display. The pair were really alike, kind of.

Returning Linty could wait for now as she reclipped the ball to her belt and set the briefcase down on the pavement, giving herself a little boost to lift the lid of the giant bin. Even on tiptoe it was a little hard to see inside. She turned to the sound of something spilling, a half-empty box of plastic utensils that Linty dragged out. The Pokemon bit the handle of one of the dozen strewn forks from amongst its spoon and knife neighbors and raised it up proudly like it was a rare bone.

Velouria smiled down, then squinted in the direction of the street. Was somebody gawking at them?...


 
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Ryoji had always wondered just what Grape's deal with spoons was.

The little guy loved the things. Always had, from the moment he'd floated in off the street and into his new owner's life. Ryoji liked to think that it was something about the weightiness of them that made the Pokemon feel secure, almost as if he were armed in the event of some sort of catastrophic event. Which made little to no sense, given the fact that he was a massive purple pumpkin capable of dragging people down into the shadow realm, or hurling balls of black mist at them. Why it made Grape feel better to be wielding a weapon was beyond his owner's comprehension. He also used them to communicate and gesture... and by that, Ryoji meant that he had a great penchant for lobbing them at people who opposed him like metallic one-way boomerangs.

Grape was a strange little thing. He liked spoons, and he liked to deliver messages, and he liked to sit on people's heads. That was sort of the extent of his life, and Ryoji thought that to be grand. Whatever made the pumpkin happy was just fine by him. He rarely accompanied Grape on his daily outings (of which there were many -- it seemed that no matter how far he went, or where he ended up, the little guy always found his way back home. It was impressive, and honestly pretty useful, considering Ryoji's navigational skills were easily comparable to those of a week-old peanut that'd rolled under a couch) but he'd made the decision to do so today. It wasn't like he had much to do otherwise, and it'd been a while since he'd been out of the house. This was pretty much the least that he could do. Besides, it'd be fun. Wasn't like he'd gone out to explore all too much since his wings'd sprouted.

Almost immediately as they'd entered Ark City, there was commotion. Not large scale, but enough to make him raise an eyebrow. Weird. What was going on? Some sort of chase? That's what it appeared to be, at least from his perspective. Ryoji and Grape locked eyes for a moment, almost as if assessing the situation. Was this something that they should... try to help with? The Shadow usually tried his best to stay away from external conflict -- his track record concerning Pandora hadn't exactly been great. Now that it was much easier and clearer to tell what he was at a glance, he was trying to do his best to stay away from weird confrontation... but he couldn't help feeling bad for the girl in the red hood, fighting her way through the crowd to follow her weird weasel(?) friend.

Sigh, sigh. What was a man to do?

Noting that they'd both seemed to take a turn around a corner, Ryoji gestured for Grape to follow him. The purple pumpkin of a Pokemon gave an annoyed huff, clearly aggravated that this little detour was seemingly more important than his quote-unquote 'errands'. His owner merely shrugged in response, adding a little flutter of his wings for effect as the two of them rounded the same corner as the mysterious girl and her elongated animal friend. What could possibly be so interesting at the end of this turn? He didn't know the ins and the outs of the city as well as he'd like to, but he couldn't possibly imagine what in the world was worth a look down here. It just seemed to be some weird alley space, in between two buildings so large that Ryoji couldn't think of a comparison for them, even in all of his years of memory. A weird alley space with some trashcans, and a dumpster...

... and two legs hanging out of the dumpster.
There she was. The runaway girl.
It took Ryoji until now to realize that she was sporting a tail -- a nonhuman girl? Or, at least, not fully human? Maybe she was part dog. That'd explain why she was digging through the trash. Or why she was attracted to it. Why was he finding conclusions for questions he didn't even know that he had? And was he gawking? Oh, whoops. This wasn't exactly off to a good start, now, was it?

He rubbed a hand through the back of his hair of many colors, head tilting in moderate confusion as the two of them locked eyes. That probably wasn't good. Grape'd long since abandoned him to join the weird weasel, picking up a plastic spoon and trilling in happiness. How absolutely and utterly useless.

"... Hey." Very poignant, and a great start. "Forgive my intrusion, but are you doing alright? Were you chasing after something?"
 
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Attracting any stranger's attention wasn't really part of the plan. This teenager in front of Velouria didn't look to be too remarkable in this low light, so she didn't expect to be cornered and interrogated in this dark alley about why she was running off. But she supposed she had to answer -- especially since it seemed they both pet owners...

"Uhm," she paused to step down from her briefcase and distance herself from the act of scanning through the waste. "Yeah, I was after someone, but I found her. That's Linty right there." A hand gestured to her Pokemon, which was somewhat surprised to be approached by the floating ball-shaped creature taking interest in the plastic utensils. Keeping herself low to the ground, the Linoone growled for a moment and hunched over a cluster, reaching out its forequarters and shepherding a few utensils closer under her watch. Obviously Linty wasn't familiar with the concept of sharing, something that Velouria was a little oblivious to herself. But that hovering, glowy animal was allowed to take just one spoon for now, whatever the reason.

"I'm her owner, her Trainer," Velouria continued, clutching across herself at one of her elbows. "She just took off, maybe 'cause she wanted me to find a few treasures while I'm visiting the city for tonight. We've both got a nose for it, heh heh." And tolerant ones at that to withstand the dusty, moldy, dirty odor of this poorly-kept area of the block. Without much fanfare she scooped up her briefcase by the handle, flicked open its two latches and let its one side fall open to the pavement. The base of a shattered lightbulb, the television remote from the hotel room she stayed in, some loose thread and a letter envelope settled out in the bottom; perhaps the only thing that deserved to be there was a bundled up change of clothes underneath -- a black hoodie and jeans for when she didn't feel like weathering another comment from a stranger about if she was from a fairy tale. That was getting old.

The wolfgirl reached around and went under the Linoone to pluck a few plastic cutlery from the ground, letting them fall into her case like they were sprigs of herbs and her collection was a pot. She glanced up at the guy's monster-friend. "That thing's kind of cute. I like how vacant its eyes look... Almost like it's got two sets...!" Linty craned her head around and stared at her Trainer, content when a palm began patting heartily at her back. "But Linty's the smartest, cutest Pokemon there is. I think she's the fiercest too, if it ever came to a fight." Plenty of confidence for someone who relied mostly on herself in battle, thanks to that magic stone in her pouch.


 
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Ahhh, so she'd run off in search of her pet. Or, uh, her Pokemon, maybe? That was what he was guessing, considering Linty didn't appear to be like any animal he'd seen before. She seemed to be like a badger, of some kind, though remarkably more intelligent. It was also a tip off that the girl in front of him had used the word 'trainer'. Most people did not refer to themselves as 'trainers' of their pets, but Ryoji knew for a fact (from Ren, mostly, and from watching the influx of said creatures in their group chat back in the early summer time) that Pokemon Trainers were just that. Trainers.

Ryoji wasn't too familiar with most Pokemon, outside of Grape. He knew only a handful, and most of them came from those he was surrounded by. Ren's Ditto named Boss, Futaba's Ditto named Smush, Akechi's... weird... tree... monster named Marie. Pokemon seemed to vary as wildly as any species of animal did. They came in all shapes and sizes, from things that weren't entirely animate (such as Grape, the giant purple pumpkin,) to things that were nearly indistinguishable from actual animals (such as Linty, the badgerish creature hoarding trash in front of them.) He found himself fascinated by them, and by their concept. This world really was full of all sorts of weird-

The smack of the briefcase the girl was carrying against the ground startled him out of his weird, circular pattern of thought. She was carrying around what appeared to be... junk? Essentially? A remote, an envelope, some clothes... what a weird person. Everyone had their quirks, though. She had described them as treasures, which meant that they had obviously made her happy in some way. Who was he to knock that? If she could find happiness from a set of plastic utensils, that was just fine by him. Wasn't like he wasn't used to things that were weirdly enamored by cutlery. Grape was now floating back over to him, having captured a plastic spoon for himself with a delightful little trill. Ryoji wondered if it was a Pokemon thing, briefly, but... considering the girl herself had been the one to describe them as treasures, he doubted it. She didn't exactly look like a Pokemon, after all. Though she did appear to have a tail and ears... again, he couldn't judge her. He was the one out here with two sets of wings.

"I'm glad you were able to find her." He shot a small, toothy smile over at Linty and the girl herself. "Must have really been looking out for you, huh? Running all that way to find something she thought you'd like. That's a good friend, right there." Ryoji wished that Grape would ever do the same. The best he'd probably get was a spoon thrown at his head for some kind of nonsensical noncompliance. "Also glad that neither of you were hurt. Seemed to be rushing around pretty fast, there."

He reached a hand up to pet at Grape's head as he continued to speak. "He's pretty cute, huh? He's supposed to look like a Jack-o'-Lantern, I think. No idea why he's purple. Maybe he just wanted to be different." Ryoji looked to study Linty then, head tilting to the side. "I don't doubt it. She certainly looks like she can take on anyone who crosses her. ... Wish I could say the same for Grape. Don't think he's ever battled a day in his life." At that, the Pumpkaboo gave an angry-sounding noise, as if he were offended by the sheer notion.

"I'm Ryoji. To whom do I have the pleasure of speaking to tonight, Miss...?"
 
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The briefcase closed -- with her weighing down on its side using her knees -- to the sound of a click. With both latches secure, she raised her gaze up to the boy. "It's Velouria," she answered, but with no intention to shake hands. "Ryoji, huh? And that's Grape..." Certainly a fitting name for a purple creature. She knew of these jack-o-lanterns from Pandora's holidays, so it briefly made her ponder whether the Pokemon was a product of this realm, or... the one Pokemon came from. There were definitely no purple pumpkins to her knowledge out there.

The wolfgirl picked herself up and rubbed the bridge of her nose absentmindedly. "You're not alone on that. Linty hasn't battled anyone either." Her Pokemon's eyes regarded her with the same indifference to the fact. "I just know that these things do." She detached the red-and-white ball from her belt and gave it an inspection, a scuff on it from when it dropped to the ground before and started the whole escapade. Her sleeve carefully began to buff it as she carried on. "There was a nice lady who gave me this thing and was training a bunch of monsters, like... six of them. And they were all pretty big -- larger and stronger-looking than both of ours. So..."

She stooped over and locked her arms underneath Linty, raising her up in a hug that made the fluffy animal squeak. Hind legs just barely remained anchored to the earth as Velouria nuzzled her cheek against her head. "That's why I want to teach Linty how to fight, so maybe I'll get to have a pet as tough as those," she grinned. A little laugh escaped as the Linoone squirmed. "Aww, what's wrong? I thought you liked snuggling, you big softie." Velouria ignored the claws pressing against the side of her face in an attempt to lean away, but then...

Clang!

There was the sound of a switch tripping, and Velouria could hear a distant electrical hum. Both wolfskin and Pokemon raised their heads to the rectangular lights set within the buildings that painted the alleyway a bluish-white to contrast the settling nightfall. They acted like stadium floodlights, a bit harsh but all-illuminating, and got Velouria to stand up and adjust her hood a little further up to shade herself. "Dumb city and its surprises..." she complained quietly, more to herself. Perhaps they should get going before the inhabitants of the night got them into trouble, and the girl adjusted her hold on the Pokeball, prepared to return Linty to its interior.


 
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Huh. That certainly didn't sound like a bad goal to Ryoji. Training their Pokemon to get stronger, so that they could protect themselves... that was certainly a nice thought. He hadn't given much thought at all to how Grape would be able to protect himself if he needed to. Or, hell, even if he just wanted to... spar one day. Part of him believed it foolish, but he had thought of the creatures to be similar to Shadows -- meaning that, they were born with the innate ability of knowing how to fight. Though, Pokemon were far more free thinking than (most) Shadows ever were. Of course they probably knew how to do basic things at, er... birth? (Were they born? Were Pokemon hatched? He really needed to either look into this or ask Ren in the future) such as scratch or bite, but, well... honing the powers that they were supposed to know... that could only really be learned through fighting, right?

Grape was a grass and ghost dual-type Pokemon, after all, but Ryoji had never seen him do anything even remotely close to... anything related to grass anything. He was a ghost, and that was enough, but could he use what were ghost-type moves? Move types, in concept, weren't something Ryoji was a stranger to -- being a creature similar to Grape himself, at least in part, he knew well what effected him the most. He had no idea about Grape. Logically, a fire type would trump a grass type, wouldn't it? But what would trump a ghost type? God, he didn't know. Shadows didn't work like that. Personas didn't work like that. He was about as knowledgeable as... he wasn't. He wasn't at all knowledgeable. How was he supposed to help Grape learn to fight if he had no idea where to even start? Maybe he should pay a visit to the lady Velouria'd been talking about...

All of that was lost on him in an instant, though, with that loud metallic screech.
Out of nowhere, there were... were those stadium lights? Why the hell were there stadium lights? Where, exactly, had they run off to, anyway?

Grape let out another trill, this time of confusion, as he floated his thirty-pound body up to sit atop Ryoji's head. The human-shaped one of the duo frowned a little, if only due to the sheer weight now pressed up against his skull. Maybe Grape had thought it cute, Linty and Velouria's little snuggle, and wanted one of his own. Wouldn't be the first time the little guy tried to copy others around him, especially regarding affection. Unsurprisingly, he never seemed to get it quite right. Ryoji rubbed his neck as he looked around, his own wings flitting a little as he did so.

So, stadium lights. Middle of an alley. What were they supposed to do now?
... Hm.

"You said you wanted to teach Linty how to fight, right? So that she can be strong." He reached up then, pulling the ghostly gourd from his place on his head. "And I wouldn't mind teaching Grape, either. ... There doesn't seem to be anything we're interrupting around here. Maybe we should try?" He hummed a little, looking over at Velouria with a small smile. "Only if you'd like to, though. No forcing or anything. I'm just curious as to what each of them can do!"
 
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Velouria looked across at Ryoji with curiosity before she let go of the capsule. She supposed she had the time to learn how to guide Linty in combat. In fact, the wolfgirl wasn't sure what exactly the Linoone was capable of. Those silver claws the crafty weasel possessed had to be good for something -- all the Trainer had to do was tell her companion to start swinging them. The rest would do itself, probably; because how she hated doing lots of the work.

So her head began to bob as she reclipped the Pokeball to her side. "Oh yeah, I think I'd like to try. Should be a nice little test." Wolf-white teeth flashed in a smile at him as she dropped to her knees again, giving her stone-faced Pokemon an encouraging ruffle of the fur with both hands.

She dropped her voice low as she talked to Linty on all-fours, coaching the creature. "Hey Linty, we're gonna beat up Grape, ok? Well, not too badly, I guess. Just whenever that guy and I decide to stop. But you'll do fine...!" Though Velouria winked, Linty just regarded the gesture with another mute tilt of the head. "If you win, I'll buy you a brand-new brush for your fur. Now, are you ready?"

Though she figured everyone and everything liked the sound of receiving gifts, whether or not Linty understood the stakes would have to be seen; she raised herself back up and started to backpedal, giving the beast some space, and sizing up the competition. Grape kind of had the advantage of being able to float around a bit, but Velouria just had to remind her pet that all it took were a few jumps and clean swipes. Simple things.

"Alright," Velouria bounced on her heels and clenched a pair of raised fists, an optimistic rhythm in her tail. "Hope your Pokemon's ready, Ryoji, because here we come...!" Without much more preparation, she gave something between a command and a cheer. "Linty, leap and attack with your pointy claws!" It was only fair to do the first strike; Velouria knew the thing that ladies went first, after all, and Linty was always quick on her feet.

The Linoone hesitated just to toss a glance backward and tense her leg muscles, but obediently she darted forth with a scattering of gravel. Velouria even giggled to herself lightly, thinking there was an element of surprise in her strategy, in the moment that Linty went speeding towards her target. It only needed a second for the gap to be closed and the furry Pokemon to bound up. One front limb went raking across and Linty made a clean landing, skidding to a halt between Ryoji and Grape. The Linoone was... frowning at the human, her expression harder than usual, puzzled almost.

Velouria thought she didn't even see an impact. "Did-- Did it work?"


 
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Alright. Challenge accepted.

This would be good for both of them, Ryoji had decided. Grape needed to learn to defend himself somehow. Hurling spoons could only get the poor thing so far. What if, Heavens forbid, there was a spoon shortage? How would he defend himself then? It was only natural for a Pokemon to learn some kind of combat, even if it were entirely for self defense. Self defense was important. He'd seen Grape build some sort of force field around the two of them before, but it was time to see what the little purple pumpkin could really do.

Following Velouria's lead, Ryoji stepped back a bit, giving the two creatures space to work with during their match. Wouldn't be wise in the slightest to get in the middle of them. That was regardless of whether or not either of them knew the true scope of the pair's power. A grin found it's way onto his features, much more excited and enthusiastic than cocky.

"We're ready whenever you are!" With that, he shuffled Grape off of his head, watching as the not-so-little one floated into what was to be his 'place'. The expression on the Pokemon's face read eagerness in a way Ryoji'd never seen before. It was almost like he wanted to battle. That in itself was unusual, especially for a lazy Pokemon like Grape. But hey, as long as it made him happy, who was Ryoji to complain? Maybe they should try stuff like this more often...

It only took a minute of passing before Linty was hurtling at the two of them. Man, was that a fast little... raccoon? Badger? It was a fast Linty, that was for sure. Ryoji felt himself seize in momentary panic. What... was he supposed to tell Grape to do? Get out of the way? Ghost at her? Produce tufts of grass to throw at her?

Oh no. It dawned on him, now, that he really should have probably thought this through a little better. Grape had no claws of which to speak, and his tiny mouth wouldn't do well biting somebody. His body wasn't course or abrasive. Did he even have any way to defend himself? Did he know any moves? The panic bubbled within his trainer's stomach, and Ryoji bit at his lip. This was going to be interesting, for sure.

"Grape, get out of the w-"

But all at once, Linty came to a screeching halt, landing herself between the two of them. She had definitely followed her trainer's instruction -- to attack with her pointed claws -- but Grape looked wholly unaffected. In fact, the pumpkin looked more confused than anything. It... hadn't worked? He hadn't phased out so that she couldn't touch him. He hadn't done a single thing, but the attack hadn't succeeded? How was that possible? Was that a result of the type match up? Ryoji didn't know what 'type' Linty was, but it seemed that Grape was almost immune to whatever she'd tried to do. All three of them -- four of them, even, now that Ryoji had caught sight of Velouria's face -- seemed to be at the same level of confusion. That was assuring, at least.

"I don't think so." One hand reached up to scratch at the back of his head. "Maybe whatever she tried to do won't work on him? I think I heard that's how Pokemon work..."

With a huff of his own, Grape puffed out his tiny little cheeks. It was almost as if he were offended by the sheer notion of the fight not being difficult enough. Which was an odd thought, considering it gave him the advantage, but far be it from Ryoji to really understood how the pumpkin's mind worked half the time. He floated his way over toward Linty, giving her an almost-devilish look before... spitting a seed at her.

A seed. A plant seed. A grass-type move? Regardless, it didn't connect; merely splatted on the ground in front of Linty like some kind of weird, gardening-themed warning.

"Uh... good job, Grape!" Ryoji clapped his hands together uselessly. "But maybe we should try to figure out how this works before proceeding, hm?"

Another annoyed huff.
Of course.

Ryoji looked back to Velouria, humming once more. "What do you think's going on?"
 
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One of Velouria's eartips had been twitching irritably ever since it became clear the first move of Linty's had done absolutely nothing. It was like witnessing something in a dream that made little sense in reality, and she glared at the phenomenon as if she could intimidate an intangible thing to fix itself.

She didn't restrain her tone from snapping at the other novice Trainer. "It didn't work? What does that even mean!? It has to work! We need them to hit each other at some point!" Both wolfskin and Linoone flinched at the spat speed, with Linty inching back a step and watching the shrapnel warily like it might be poisonous. Anything that came from a seemingly invincible enemy was scary indeed.

"Whatever. Come on, Linty!" Velouria clapped her gloves. "Try again! Do a really big tackle or something. Head-on...!"

The Linoone's eyes lit up from the other end of the alley as if to signal it was worth a shot. Anything to wipe out this adversary's confidence. First she swiftly turned herself around and breezed past Ryoji with a sprint, almost rejoining the strip of sidewalk. Digging claws back into the pavement, Linty reoriented herself back the other way, wiggled her tail and took off. The white fur streamed like a sonicboom as the Pokemon flew like an arrow -- and the human needed to clear out this time to avoid getting taken out by the oncoming blow.

Linty jumped again and went sailing -- and... this time Velouria gawked at her companion, head tucked down, phasing right through that floating blob creature and coming out the other side of it with only the slightest ripple of matter. Momentum took the Linoone into a flailing somersault, bouncing off the alley floor and rolling to a stop. A small injured squeal escaped, and Linty wound up just before Velouria's feet, probably hurting the most in pride than anything. But that reckless attempt had to have bruised something.

"Lintyyyy...!" the wolfgirl pouted. Ryoji's Pokemon wasn't even doing anything and it was still winning. Velouria didn't have the chance to brush off her pet's scuffed fur before Linty was back on her four feet, scampering forward into another ready stance. "Make your pumpkin thing stop cheating!" she demanded.

This was looking like a perpetual stalemate if nothing was going to land. Learning to battle really was pointless.


 
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'Cheating'? Was it possible for Grape or himself to be cheating if neither of them knew quite what was going on?

Ryoji pushed his hand back through his hair with a soft, frustrated sigh. He did his best to think, trying to come up with any logical explanation he could as to why, despite her efforts, Linty's attacks didn't seem to want to properly land. In hindsight, he figured that maybe he really should have asked Ren for help before attempting any sort of actual battling. The Pokemon expert that he lived with was sure to know far more than he himself did. There was no question about that.

The only thing that Ryoji could come up with was the fact that Grape was, in fact, a ghost. While he had a tangible form, he also had the ability to 'phase' in and out of physicality, much like Ryoji himself. It was clear to him that Grape hadn't been doing that at all though. At least, intentionally. When the pumpkin 'phased', he took on a slightly more transparent form. Right now, he looked as solid as ever, so that couldn't have possibly been it. Grape wasn't purposefully doing anything to defend himself. The poor thing looked as confused as the rest of them did.

His mind continued to circle around the thought of type combinations. It was the last thing that he could think of. Maybe the fact that Grape was a ghost type made him impervious to any sort of physical damage from another Pokemon regardless of it's type. Or, perhaps, it was just Linty's nails that Grape couldn't be hit by. There were multiple different forms of physical damage. At least, there had been back in Japan. Linty's nails would likely classify as a 'slash' weapon, as opposed to a 'strike' or 'pierce'. Maybe there was a possibility that Grape was immune to slash damage? Or strike damage. Or whatever Linty's nails truly were classified as in their own Pokemon way.

Ryoji was snapped out of his spiral of thought by an incoming seed spat from said pumpkin's mouth, which connected with his forehead and caused him to yelp.

"Hey!" A frown spread across his face, and he crossed his arms against his chest momentarily. "I'm not the one you should be fighting, you jerk." With a sigh, he reached up to rub at his forehead, hoping that there would be no bruise to attempt to explain away later. Beckoning his companion over with a wave of his hand, Ryoji gave a small, sad smile over to Velouria at last.

"I'm not sure this is going to work." Whatever could have possibly given him that idea? It was anyone's guess, really. "I think it might be because of their difference in type...?" His hand found it's way to the end of his scarf again, and he squeezed it as he told the wolf girl his theory. It was worth trying to figure this out, in the event that either of the groups were ended up in a battle with people who weren't so nice as to let them wait to smooth things out.

"Grape's a ghost, so I don't think Linty's physical attacks can hit him at all. Is there anything else she can do, maybe?" He hummed. "Like, um... see how Grape can spit seeds? Anything like that?"
 
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Velouria snorted at the question asked of her. "How am I supposed to know what Linty can and can't do...?!" Did she look like some kind of weasel?

Regardless, she wasn't ready to call the whole thing off even if she lacked the answers. It just called for more brute force -- strategically. It was evident this wasn't some normal ghost she and her Pokemon were dealing with here, or else it would've evaporated in the glaring lights above. What they needed was some magic, something far beyond either of their range of ability, as far as the wolfskin was concerned. And she was no good at that... Too much brainpower and thinking required, a seventh sense beyond a sixth for doing all of the wondrous work of manipulating matter.

Velouria had been clutching her temples for a short while now and blinked out of her trance. "I think we just have to concentrate harder. Linty! You need to focus really, really hard..." If there was ever a way to communicate that frustration she felt trying to chase down dodgy prey, and the relief she felt when a bite or blow finally connected, it was that, trying now to emanate the feeling towards her companion.

On her own, Linty seemed to go quieter than the quiet Pokemon was to begin with, closing her eyes and slumping her limbs. "Hey, don't ignore me!" Velouria barked, but the Linoone scarcely budged. She was seeing something otherworldly going on -- Linty's hairtips beginning to lift as if they were gravitating towards the moon, like the creature was scared of something. But still, only the tail muscles twitched for a few more seconds, and the nose that was lowered to the asphalt snapped up alertly. Linty's nostrils flared, the teeth gritted, and for once Velouria's pet seemed downright angry. Or just... focused, hopefully!

Thinking the third time was the charm, Linty galloped off swiftly with a sneer rumbling in her throat. She reared up at the pumpkin-thing that had obnoxiously spat a seed and lunged with a pair of outstretched claws, yowling, not unlike a cat...

Boof!

Just when Linty lowered her head almost to phase through again, the impact sent both Pokemon flying this time. The Linoone had her slender arms wrapped around in some rotating hug, a victory cry escaping as she and her enemy crashed together into the turf. Velouria watched on as Linty slid on her back, still clutching her catch, until a neat little kick punted the Pumpkaboo up into the air like a balloon in a game of keep-up. The Rush Pokemon used the span her adversary was floating to roll herself back over and shake gravel pieces out of her fur, scowling as she gazed upwards.

The wolfgirl didn't know how Linty had tightened her senses that much, but she raised her arms and hollered at the first successful attack. "Ha! Yeah, you see that?! That's how battling is done...!" She smugly crossed her arms and relaxed, assuming Linty could just handle herself at this point, and kept her mouth shut instead of issuing more commands, like to maybe, watch out for a retaliation...?


 

Ryoji Mochizuki

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How was she supposed to know what her Pokemon could and couldn't do? That was as good of a question as any. Ryoji far from had the answer to it, but... it seemed that she'd figured it out all on her own. With some kind of really intense focus, no doubt.

Either that or Linty had finally decided to stop playing games, because Grape had gone from being completely unaffected to being creamed in what felt like a matter of seconds. The Pumpkaboo let out a cry of distress as Linty punted him up into the air. Without command, he floated upward toward the sky, continuing to spit seeds at his opponent as if he were proud of his new elevated vantage point. He seemed almost to sneer, as if to say 'try and reach me now!'

Ryoji watched his companion in a mixture of both confusion and excitement. He sort of... wanted to call out commands, but he didn't know how to approach doing so. Just like Velouria, he hadn't any real idea of what Grape could do. Obviously he could spit seeds, and fly, and protect himself. What other attacking moves did he have to offer, though? Could he bash into Linty with his gourd-shaped body? Maybe he was able to produce some kind of ghostly ectoplasm to shoot? The poor thing didn't exactly have hands, so physical options were fairly limited. Things like elemental (would they even be called that? Was 'ghost' a Pokemon element? God, Ryoji had a lot of reading up to do) attacks would be more his speed.

Not wanting his obvious inexperience to come off as a hindrance, though, Ryoji simply laughed.
Hell, it certainly was a sight to see, if nothing else.

"You got us there!" He called out to his fellow trainer, a soft smile spreading over his face. "But I'm not sure this is over yet. Actually, this might just be the beginning." His own sets of wings flapped confidently behind him, and he hoped that it would give him a mock-air of sort of knowing what he was doing next. The chances of that were... incredibly slim, he had to admit, but they were better than zero. He raised one arm in the air in order to direct Grape, smiling up at his little gourd of the skies.

"I don't know what else you can do, Grape, but feel free to try whatever else!"

Grape's solution was leaves, apparently.

With the same eagerness with which he had spit out seeds, Grape hurled a tornado of... Ryoji had to admit, pretty sharp-looking leaves toward their new weasel-creature friend. They likely wouldn't pack a wallop, but they'd give the poor girl a nasty sting. After he finished blowing around foliage, the pumpkin topped it off with another seed, watching in triumph as it thunked itself against Linty's head. He gave a pleased little 'boo!' as he spun in a circle. Like he'd won. Now that Linty could find a way to fight back, the fight was fair, and it was clear that the purple gourd had no intention of 'holding back'.

"... Good job, I think?" Ryoji called out uselessly, earning himself a small glare from the pumpkin who thought him to be no help. "But don't get too cocky, now. She knows what to do. You can't let your guard down now! ... Can we?" He raised a teasing eyebrow over at Velouria, knowing very well what the answer would be.
 
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Velouria

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The momentary bit of triumph turned into a perilous situation on a dime, because Linty had a clear height disadvantage against the other Pokemon. Well, it came down to the inability to fly for the most part, and create projectiles by herself. Before Velouria could voice a snarky reply that the battle was only heating up, she was distracted by the plant-matter raining down and pelting her pet. "Grrraah, this still seems so unfair..." the wolfskin complained under her breath, having stepped back a few paces out of the way of being caught in the crossfire. "Don't get hit, Linty!"

It seemed simple enough for the Linoone, however Grape was a particularly good shot, bonking a few seeds off her back, and grazing through her fur. Linty was not the kind of creature who could run and change direction at the same time, and the alleyway was rather narrow. Coming short of zigzagging adequately enough, it was mostly stumbling and bumbling that made up the Pokemon's movement, and the occasional yelp escaped from every dodge that went the wrong way. What could either of them on this team do to turn things around...?

Linty paused too long to look up at the glaring lights and didn't see the whirlwind of leaves coming either. Even Velouria winced on behalf of her companion as the Linoone grit her teeth and tried to endure the dozens of individual impacts, scratching through the fluffy coat. And once a final bullet bounced off between the ears, Linty squeaked and sprawled out her four limbs, slumping onto her stomach.

Velouria clutched a spot over her chest. Battling was rougher than she thought! "Oh no... C'mon Linty, keep trying!" There was a moment of stillness where she thought her friend was down for the count, but Linty suddenly stirred with a growl. She dragged herself up to her feet, turned and skittered nearer to Velouria. The trainer wore a look of disbelief on her face for the span Linty approached, and then the Pokemon just disappeared... underneath the dumpster.

Having no idea why the creature chose to wriggle into cover, Velouria gave Ryoji an unsteady answer to his question. "Uh, I think maybe we should stop. I'm not sure if Linty's willing to contin--" Her ears picked up the faintest of quick scraping and scrabbling noises and she turned to the sight of gravely pieces rolling out from underneath the container. She held that thought to check briefly, and found nothing -- all was quiet and Linty was gone!

Just when it was evident that apparently this fight couldn't go on with one Pokemon running away, the earth was shifting under her feet with a gentle rumble. The fissures coursed their way in Grape's direction down the alley, hesitated in silence for a second, then... Crunch! A mound punched through the hard ground. Maybe a bit too hard... There were some flakes in the crust now, but Linty didn't appear. A second try, and this time the Linoone erupted through, lunging upwards with a geyser of dug-up stone. The speed and ferocity of the launch sent Linty hurtling straight up towards Grape, claws outstretched, then head tucking down.

They collided like the bell on a carnival game, just as gravity was taking over. The impact didn't seem too rough, but unfortunately for Linty, hovering a multitude of feet above the earth -- what goes up must come down. She plummeted head-first, legs kicking for one of the building walls nearby to perhaps start running along it on her descent, but it happened too fast. Velouria held her cheeks as the Linoone spun onto her back to land on a stack of wooden pallets, milk crates and a net of other junk lying around. Linty rolled out and lay in a daze on her side, drawing her tongue back in between her slack jaws to struggle to a stand once more.

All that effort just to injure herself a larger amount. At least nobody could say Linty wasn't trying...! Velouria didn't know whether to feel proud or shocked. Whichever way, her head was spinning too much to issue another command...!


 

Ryoji Mochizuki

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Wait, wait, wait. With that impact... should they stop?

Ryoji definitely had to admit that the 'digging under the earth' thing? The somehow-gaining-momentum-from-underground-to-hurl-yourself-at-a-flying-pumpkin thing? Pretty spectacular. It was nothing if not a sight to see. However, even though he knew Pokemon were tough (and could certainly take a beating; these creatures fought for sport, after all,) that collision with the ground certainly looked like it hurt. All a part of the battling process, he supposed, but he couldn't help but feel bad for poor Linty laying there on her side. It was almost as if the move she'd pulled off hurt her more than Grape. The pumpkin appeared dazed for sure, with some scratches on his purple body, but seemed far less worse for wear than their new badger friend did.

Her efforts were certainly commendable, especially for this being the first battle for both of them. Short as it may be, who said that these things had to take forever anyway? There wasn't a script for a friendly spar, was there? Regardless, Ryoji took a few steps forward, worry painting over his expression as he looked between the injured Linoone and her overwhelmed owner.

Yeah. Definitely time to stop. They'd probably both had their fill by now. It was best to call it quits before someone got seriously injured. Ryoji had no idea how to heal Pokemon up after battles, after all, and he himself had nothing in his repertoire of skills that could be used for betterment rather than destruction. He chewed on his lip as he approached the duo, one pointed tooth digging uncomfortably into the sensitive skin of his mouth.

"I think it was a great effort, but maybe it's time to be done." He told Velouria, one hand nervously pushing his tricolored hair back into place. "Linty looks pretty hurt, and I don't want to risk Grape... being Grape and going a little bit too far." From behind him came yet another indignant, annoyed 'Boo!' sound from his violet gourd companion. Ignoring him in total, Ryoji stuck his hand out toward the wolfskin girl, giving her a soft smile.

"What d'you think? We can discuss what we think went on while everyone gets back to feeling their best again."
 

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Thanks for everything, Pandora! If you would ever like to talk just add me on mirai#0007
what do you do when you are pretty constantly caught up? you write more charries, obviously!
"...Whoever said 'Silence is Golden', obviously never needed friends or family around."
tfw the anole in your house keeps outsmarting you. #FloridaProblems

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