The world had become a dangerous place.
Gone were the days where one could simply walk to the next town without fearing for their lives. No, every single day was a new challenge, making simple travel difficult.
Of course, there were reasons for this aside from the changed environment.
A lone Houndoom silently crept along Route 22, keeping its senses aware of all around it- it was necessary if one wished to survive in this wasteland. If you didn't pay close enough attention to your surroundings, you could miss your chance to obtain food...or you may become food yourself.
However, Houndoom was lucky this day. It picked up two scents in the air- one human, and one...it couldn't be. sure. It knew that the smell was a familiar one, but Houndoom could not place it. But there would be time to figure it out later. Houndoom dropped and pressed itself to the ground in an attempt to make itself as invisible as possible. The wasteland didn't offer much cover, but a skilled hunter didn't need it.
Houndoom kept its red, feral eyes trained on the direction the scent came from, and sure enough, a human eventually appeared on the horizon. Following the human was a dinosaur like creature with a flower around its neck- a type of Pokemon rarely seen nowadays. Houndoom's eyes narrowed. He guessed that at one point the Pokemon would have proven to be a difficult challenge, but not now- the environment would surely have weakened it. And the human appeared to be weak and frail- no challenge at all.
What could have easily passed as a grin grew across Houndoom's face as the two crept closer, a fierce, low growl creeping up from within its chest. It was beginning to lose patience with its prey. It didn't help when the two suddenly stopped for what appeared to be no reason. A foam had begun to build around the Houndoom's mouth, it's irises growing a dark red and its pupils slowly expanding. There would be no more waiting- Houndoom was hungry.
Withouth a second thought, Houndoom flung itself towards its prey.
Houndoom released a piercing howl into the empty night air, foam being flung off from its face as it ran. Its prey seemed to be unaware of its approach- This would be far too easy, food, they would be dead in food, must kill, food, it would tear them limb from kill-
Houmdoom felt several sharp objects that appeared to be leaves began to cut away at its body, but no matter- Houndoom was upon them, and its prey would soon be at its mercy. It would be best to take out the Pokemon first, as it seemed to be the one attacking and certainly posed the biggest threat. With another howl, Houndoom leaped into the air, ready to begin tearing into its opponent's flesh-
There was a loud BANG, and Houndoom felt something slam into its body. The powerful force sent Houndoom back to the ground. But this was merely an inconvenience- Houndoom attempted to rise again in order to continue his attack, but stopped when it felt a cold sensation in its chest. Suddenly growing light-headed, the Houndoom slowly craned its head back to look at the area were it had taken the blow and now felt this sensation. As its vision began to grow blurry, Houndoom noticed a small silver glint in its chest, blood surrounding it. Houndoom sniffed the air briefly and knew immediately that this wasn't his prey's blood- it was its own.
And with that realization, Houndoom lowered its head and died.
It had ended so quickly. Haru and Meganium had been careless- they hadn't been paying any attention to their surroundings. Had it not been stopped, the feral Houndoom would have killed them both, or at the very least, injured Meganium.
Thankfully, that hadn't happened.
"What in the flying hell are you doing, wandering around like that without a weapon?" asked a tall, bearded man who now held a smoking shotgun, "You have some kind of death wish, boy?"
Haru had to think before answering. Given all that had happened, maybe he did deserve death. But if he did, there would be no way for him to make up for what he had done.
"Bah, whatever," growled the man, "but look, its dangerous in these parts, especially at night. I'll take you to Viridian City for free if you'd like- only this once. If I didn't at least offer, I wouldn't be able to sleep."
Haru stayed silent for another moment before answering with an affirmative nod.
"We'd like that very much, sir-"
"WOAH, no, not sir. Doug. The name's Doug. Sir doesn't sit well with me, and neither does Mister. Long as you don't call me either of those, we're in business." the man said, then he frowned as his gaze turned to Meganium. "Also, boy, don't you have any other Pokemon aside from that Meganium? You know Grass types don't do well out here."
"No, I don't," Haru said with a shake of his head, "I don't feel like I need any other Pokemon."
Doug shrugged his shoulders and sighed. "Whatever, kid. We'd better get moving before more of those things show up," he said, pointing at the dead Houndoom with his gun. Haru nodded in response, and the group began to head towards Viridian City. As they went, Haru glanced back at the fallen Pokemon.
"I'm sorry," he said before turning away. Meganium gave his friend a sad glance before taking the rear of the group.