Lexy pressed the book shut carefully, smoothing the covers together to keep all the pages flat, and placed it gently in his lap. Beneath it, his tail bristled slightly, but his expression didn't change; half-lidded eyes met his captor's gaze without quite focusing, the way you might not focus on a moth fluttering past your field of vision. "The Pokédex is in my private collection, for which you need a library card."
This was still not the expected reaction, and it briefly derailed Skive's intimidation routine. "A wh-- how d'ya get a library card?"
A tiny hint of a smile cracked at the corner of Lexy's mouth. "Prove your dedication to the pursuit of knowledge, and best me in a battle of wits of your choosing." He looked the Sneasel up and down, and the smile faded before it'd really begun. "Maybe ask a more learnéd friend to give it a try."
Skive snarled, splattering droplets of spittle across drooped eyelids. Claws pressed taut against the smaller critter's neck, and two thin red lines formed in the cream-colored fur. "Little smartass, let's see how smart ya are withour yer head, eh?"
Lexy's face fell. "Not my chair...
The Sneasel reared up and snorted a laugh. "About to die and worried about blood on yer chair!" He pulled his arm back and braced for a murderous Slash. "Arrogant little--"
Burning pain exploded along his back. Heat and flame poured from behind him, carving deep black scorch marks into expensive velvet. Skive screamed and toppled backwards off the chair arm—he landed on his burned back, eliciting another scream and sending him clamoring frantically onto all fours. He puffed and heaved, his icy body tensed and aching, his vision blurred by sweat and tears and pain. He blinked a few times, and saw the purple Pokémon floating towards him—a Chandelure that he just hadn't noticed in his awe at the indoor sunlight.
Lexy was standing on his chair now, moaning and carefully prodding the smoldering embers along the top. "This was my favorite! Cal, be more careful
Caldera's voice came out warm but hollow, tinged by a barely audible echo. "Appreciative as ever. If—when—you’re next in immediate danger of decapitation, I'll be sure to first reflect on the ramifications my intervention may have on the furniture. "
A frayed thread was still alight, and Lexy gently pinched it out between two fingers. "I'd be happier if your favorite move caused less, ah, collateral damage." He glanced at his fellow librarian out of the corner of one eye, and grinned. "But thanks, Cal."
The ghostly Pokémon floated a few feet away, purple panels glimmering with the light of the flame at his core. "You know the strategic utility as well as I. And please use my full name; I’m quite aware how witty you consider yourself to be, but I’d rather not be subjected to morphological dissection for the sake of your wordplay obsession. Now, whatever has become of your assailant?"
Third excerpt by
about Merlot's library.