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In a time when SkyClan, moons after Firestar rebuilt the forgotten clan, is at war. Rogues have invaded, and it seems that they will stop at nothing to destroy the Clan and steal their territory.

But two young cats plans on changing that.

Meet Rowanpaw, a young tom who strays across a rouge while hunting. But they aren't trying to murder each other. They have a plan to end the violence, once and for all. But will some cats thirst for power end it?

In this tale of innocence, betrayal, love, loss, greed and sacrifice, Leopardkit shows what it truly means to be a warrior, and live under StarClan's watch.

Prologue

The sky was blackened, the moon not shining tonight. The gathered cats took advantage of the helplessness found in there enemies, to strike the cats who were at war with them. The group got a running start, and leaped over the stream with some difficulty. But jumping was not there skill. That was the enemies- a Clan, as they called themselves- had. But the attacking cats did not pride themselves on strong hind legs. They knew that they were the most deadly cats in the gorge. Few cats could survive a battle against these rogues. There ancestors were once part of the vicious Clan, BloodClan.

The cats called themselves NewBlood.

The group padded on the dark territory, not a word spoken between them. Then, silently, they reached the camp of their enternal enemies. A young, gray tom stood guard, but could not see the enemy, even though they were only a few fox-lengths away. Without warning, they jumped up and attacked the tom, covering his mouth. They clawed his flank as he thrashed, trying to escape the NewBloods. But he had lost to much blood, and slumped to the ground.

"You're our warning," A ginger tom meowed to nearly-dead cat. "Sweet dreams." he finished menacingly

NewBlood started to walk away, back to their territory. They did not seem upset that they had just killed an innocent cat in cold blood. In contrast, they seemed pleased with their accomplishment. Returning victorious, NewBlood was one Clan cat down.

Chapter One

"Rowanpaw!" called a nagging voice. It was my mentor, Sandfoot. She was named after the legendary Sandstorm herself. "The elders said that your still haven't cleaned out there bedding." she sighed. "Sageheart had me help collect horsetail. It wasn't my fault!" I nearly yelled, exasperated. I instantly wished that I really said that. Sandfoot just looks away. "Fine." she said, much too softly, and then heads towards the camp exit.

It would have been better if she had just yelled at me and gotten it over with.

Ever since her mate, Bouncestar, had died two moons ago, she could hardly talk to anybody without thinking of him, choking on her words, and trying to pretend that she was perfectly fine. She's not the only cat to suffer! I think crossly. My littermate, Stonepaw, had been brutally killed while guarding the camp, by the same rogues who had stolen Bouncestar's life, and other members of SkyClan. I sigh, and go to gather moss for the bothersome elders.

"It's taken you long enough!" mutters Sparrowpelt, the eldest tom in the Clan. Bitterly, I change his moss quickly to get out sooner, and grab a mouthful to give to Petalnose. "Thank you." she says gratefully. She's the only elder I've ever meet who doesn't complain about everything I do to help them. I dip my head to them, and quickly carry out the old bracken to the dirt--place. Looking out for any warrior that might notice my absents, I head towards the camp exit, without anybody giving me a second look, stopping me from going with the new rule. "No Apprentices out of camp alone."

I feel the fresh air on my face, relieved to finally be alone. I head towards the stream, and smell squirrel. I begin to stalk it, and quickly leap up to grab the prey, hopping on a low branch. I give thanks to StarClan for it's life, and bury it. At least if the Clan finds me, they can't be upset with extra prey, especially when New-Leaf has been so late. Upwind, I smell a few pigeons. I take a few steps towards the mouth-watering scent, but I lose my footing a snap a twig. The birds scatter. Mouse dung! I bitterly think. I make a note to ask Sandfoot about bird hunting techniques. Padding over to the stream, I drinking in the cool, refreshing liquid, and sit on the grass, still a light tan color from the unusually harsh Leaf-Bare. Suddenly, my ears perk up at the sound of rustling.

Something in the bushes moved.

"Who's there?" I call, fearing the worst.

I smell the air, and the scent reveals my fears.

A NewBlood cat.

Chapter Two

The wind was knocked out of me.

A she-cat, most definitely from the NewBloods, attacks me. Her light brown tabby fur bristles in anger, as she claws my pelt. I try to attack her back, but she's much fiercer than me. She draws a long cut down my sides, when I suddenly leap up and claw her face. I scratch her nose, and pin her down, and for the first time, I see fear in her green eyes, and did something incredibly stupid.

I let her go.

She stands up, looking humiliated, and quietly says "Thank you."

She turns around and disappears in the bushes.

I think how incredibly idiotic I am, just letting a cat outside the warrior code go free. But it was too late now. I shuffled back to collect the squirrel, and head back to camp, where a punishment surely awaits my absence.

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"Rowanpaw! Where in StarClan's name were you?" an antagonizing voice calls. It was Rockash, my father. He was made deputy after Bouncestar was murderd by NewBlood, two moons ago. He's extremely strict, and I think that he regrets having kits, because he has so little time for my mother and me. "I was hunting." I half-lie. I had the squirrel for evidence. Rockash looked suspiciously at me. "Take it to the elders, and then go clean the nursery." He punishes me. I protest. "You broke the rules." My father says. I hate him. He hates me. I wish I had a good cat for my father. Any cat but him.

After giving the squirrel to the elders, I head to the nursery. Milky scents come from Tinynose nursery Cloverkit and Birdkit. I bring a mouthful of moss to them, and Tinynose smiles warmly at me. The queens are so much gentler than the miserable elders! I think crossly. After clearing the bedding out, I grab a thrush from the fresh-kill pile. Gulping it down in three bites, I go to my nest. The apprentice den is empty, since I'm the only cat who sleeps there. But in two moons Cloverkit and Birdkit will be in here. Just for a half-moon, though, when I earn my warrior name.

Chapter Three

I check if the coast is clear. All the senior warriors were meeting with Mintstar. The others are patrolling, or hunting. Sandfoot is gone with Dawnsky and Rainclaw to hunt by the Twoleg border. I find myself alone in camp, were Cloverkit and Birdkit squeal as they tumble around by the Nursery. Slyly, I head out of camp, and nobody notices. I proudly pad out to the border, and begin tracking birds, but-

I smell her again.

Then, I see her. Her tabby fur gleams brightly in the sunlight. Her eyes sparkle, as if they're were a river. She looks up, and seems astonished that I'm there. "Y-You!" she shrieks quietly. Her pale eyes flash in fear. "Why are you in my territory?" I growl definitely. She says nothing, only staring in horror as she looks over my head. "Fox!" she yowls.

TO BE CONTINUED

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