For noses and friends!
Use of the styleswitcher may result in flickering.
Warnings for this chapter: Very brief mention of violence at the start. Good wolf gets pets.
Hop sighed dramatically, his arms behind his head as he reclined on a bench. "I really thought we had it that time! We'll beat Leon next time, right Zamazenta?"
Zamazenta nuzzled the boy gently, receiving a thorough head pat in return. The boy had not yet realised that it was not a matter of power that drove their losses, but a matter of restraint. Hop's brother had mastered the art of defeating an opponent without slaying them, an admirable skill in these times of peace. A skill the old wolf needed to hone, for he had only been shaped by the arts of war. Until then, he was perhaps too careful in order to avoid bloodshed.
Another deep sigh, but it wasn't long until the boy's bright smile returned. "Well, I have some good news, at least."
Zamazenta tilted his head quizzically, tail wagging softly as he regarded Hop.
"I'm gonna go home and visit my Mum today! You're gonna love meeting her, mate," said Hop, grinning happily.
Zamazenta barked and nuzzled Hop once again, tail wagging harder, as the boy laughed and ruffled the wolf's fur. The mother of such a noble boy could only be a very noble and honourable person herself.
"I'm gonna have to recall you while I'm in the taxi, but I won't leave you in the Poké Ball for too long, ok?" Zamazenta licked Hop's hands in affirmation, and the boy gave the wolf a good few pats on his side. "We'll be there before you know it!"
The Poké Ball, at least, was a great place for a nap.
"...And this must be Zamazenta!"
He couldn't help but wag his tail furiously, bowing his head to the woman as a sign of respect. Hop's mother was soon petting Zamazenta all over and scratching him behind the ears, which, if anything, only increased the amount of joyous tail-wagging.
"Muuum...! That's a legendary hero, you know!" Hop laughed, giving the old wolf some pats of his own.
"Well, it's certainly an honour to have him here!" She hugged Zamazenta tightly, putting her face near one of his ears. "And thank you for keeping my little Hop safe, hmm?"
He nuzzled the woman happily, nearly knocking the laughing Hop and Mum off their feet. She was, indeed, a kind and noble person.
"Dinner shan't be too long, my dears," she said, dusting off some stray wolf fur. "Make yourself at home!"
While his charge and his mother set to tasks in the house, Zamazenta enjoyed the sights of Wooloo meandering in the fields, of Butterfree chirping and fluttering through a clear blue sky. The gentle wind felt refreshing on his fur, bringing rich and full scents of fresh grass and hay, of the slowly bubbling stew in the kitchen. Sprawled out in the garden in front of Hop's house, Zamazenta felt comfortable.
His daze slowly left him as something soon caught his attention. Cinderace, his ally in battle, was kicking around a large ball in a neighbouring field. It seemed the hot-headed bunny had seized a toy from the boy's house.
"You having fun there, mate?" Hop laughed, walking out of the door with a glass of juice. He cheered enthusiastically as Cinderace kicked the ball high into the air, and when the rabbit made quick, flourished movements to catch it on the way down.
Zamazenta watched the ball get kicked and bounced around, a feeling growing in his chest. He slowly got to his feet, stepping towards the playing field, regarding the speedy plaything with an intense interest. He paused, for a while. And then - he struck.
Cinderace squealed and laughed indignantly as he had to jump even higher than before to catch the ball, doing a forwards roll in the air and landing squarely on his feet. Zamazenta, brought into the field by a mighty jump of his own, crouched before the bunny and wagged his tail slowly and playfully, while Hop hooted and hollered.
"Yeah! I didn't know you wanted to play, Zamazenta!" He fist-pumped the air, nearly dropping his drink in all his enthusiasm. "Go get 'em!"
He barked, happily, and Cinderace hopped around and kicked the ball from one foot to another, eager to duel his ally in a game of catch. A most worthy opponent.
The world was now a place where play and sport could thrive, and Zamazenta was ready to enjoy it.
Page last updated on 16th February 2021 at 18:48 GMT.