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Second book in Starlight!

Read book one here!

Prologue: All Is Well

"WindClan is thriving!"

Tallstar sat proudly on the rock at the Gathering, looking down on his cats with care. He knew his Clan would thrive. Cinderheart, ThunderClan's deputy, looked at him. "ThunderClan has something to report."

Tallstar turned his head to Bramblestar. "We have found ShadowClan scents on our border."

He glared accusingly at Blackstar. He raised his head. "My warriors have nothing to do with this."

Bramblestar rolled his eyes. "As always. You always think there is no bad thing about ShadowClan, and you don't confess, just so YOUR Clan can thrive. That is selfishness."

The clearing broke into a huge commotion.

Chapter One: The Sickness

Most of my Clanmates had been falling sick lately, as it was the season of Leaf-fall. I forgot to introduce myself - my name is Tallstar. Leader of WindClan. We continued to thrive, but with so many of my warriors getting sick, I don't know what to do! "Tallstar."

I was snapped out of my thoughts when my deputy, Onewhisker, came up to me. "Yes?"

"Mudclaw would like a word with you."

I sighed and padded over to Mudclaw, my former deputy. He looked mad, his eyes like needles. "With Onewhisker as your deputy, haven't you noticed everything's changed?"

"What has changed?"

My challenging voice had a hint of a snarl, but do I care? No! "The patrols have grown smaller, the cats have been getting sick. Maybe it's an omen that Onewhisker is not the right cat as deputy?"

I snapped, "No! You just want to become deputy again! And the patrols were only large back then because you were so paranoid!"

Mudclaw flinched back, hurt in his eyes, but it faded quickly. He snarled and walked away, leaving me satisfied. How could Mudclaw challenge my choice? I'm the leader, and that's final! But I felt sure that Mudclaw had some evil scheme. "The border patrols are out."

I nodded to Onewhisker, who went to the warriors' den. The sickness had killed one elder of ours, but we were fine. We didn't recover from the loss quickly, though - it left a scar forever. I was deep in thought when a cat came behind me. "Tallstar? The food supply is running low."

It was an apprentice, Horsepaw. "The hunting patrols are out," I replied.

"Oh," purred Horsepaw, running back to his den.

~

When the hunting patrols returned, all most had found was a few scrawny rabbits, and occasionally a grouse or plump rabbit. I came over and picked out a medium grouse, leaving the better picks for my Clanmates and the sick cats. I meowed, "The sick cats will have the best choices. They need it most."

Murmurs of agreement rippled through the Clan, and I carried my grouse to my sleeping spot. Looking at the stars made it calming to sleep here, but it was only sundown. Soon enough, warriors were scattered around the clearing with prey. The sick cats were in a cluster, eating plump rabbits and grouse. "Mudclaw doesn't care about us. It seems like the only cat who cares is Tallstar," I heard a sick cat mutter.

I noticed cats were looking at them with hostile faces, but was this only because they got the best picks?

Chapter Two: Falling Ill

I woke up, and I realized I was feeling a little off. I felt like I had to vomit, and my belly was oddly full. I could hardly walk, but I made it to the dirtplace. I vomited there, gross vomit pouring out of my mouth. I felt a little lightheaded, but just when I was back in the camp, I collapsed. "Tallstar," gasped Onewhisker.

"I can't walk," I shrieked, "Help me!"

Kestrelflight came to me. "He has the sickness," he declared.

I wailed in pain as a cramp entered my belly. Darkness was pushing it's way through my vision, and Kestrelflight shrieked, "Tallstar! You have to stay conscious!"

It was to late. My paws splayed out and everything was dark. I felt light, and I couldn't see or hear anything happening, until my eyes flickered open. "You didn't lose a life," gasped Kestrelflight in relief.

"Why would I?"

My purr must have cheered Kestrelflight up, because he smiled and waved his tail. "You can leave."

I left, and went out to enjoy the scenery. I didn't see what I had expected to see. I saw shriveling heather plants, had the sickness gone to another species? I touched it, and it had strange foam on it. The cats who were sick had foam on their mouths! "Kestrelflight!"

He popped his head out of the den. "Yes?"

"Come look at this."

He padded over to me, and gasped. "What do you see?"

"It's a sign from StarClan," Kestelflight confirmed, "Stick together during the great foam, or else dark will take over."

"What could it mean?"

Kestrelflight shook his head. "I don't know," he murmured.

I started shaking. It didn't feel good, let me tell you. I felt vomit enter my mouth, but I swallowed it back down, coughing a little at the bad taste. I was suddenly consumed in a sea of foam, swirling under and my head popped back up. "What's wrong?"

"I was in a sea of foam, and I was going under..."

I described the dream to him. He nodded. "It sounds like what I got."

I closed my eyes, "And we must stick together through it."

Tomorrow was the half-moon. Maybe there Kestelflight would get answers.

Chapter Three: Help

I waited patiently for Kestrelflight to come back from the Moonpool. Just as the sun was rising, he popped through the camp wall. "Did you get anything?" I raced over to him.

He shook his head. "StarClan just said the same thing about the foam."

I snarled inwardly. Can't StarClan just give us answers? I padded back to my den, my head ached. Soon enough, I fell asleep. I woke to be running beside a starry spirit. "Deadfoot?"

My old deputy nodded. "It is I."

"Have you come to give me answers?"

"No. We don't know the answer."

"How could you NOT?"

"Greater places give us the prophecies and omens."

I nodded and dipped my head. "I'll tell Kestrelflight."

Deadfoot's eyes widened. "You must not," he pleaded.

"Why not?"

"He won't have faith anymore."

I dipped my head, telling him I respected his words. I left the dream in confusion. Hopefully Kestrelflight never found out. I stretched, another morning sun was rising, already. I knew I might not live to see another day, on my last life, with this sickness. Kestrelflight went up to my den. "Good morning," he purred.

"Good morning to you," I replied.

He stretched. "StarClan didn't give me answers. I just had a dream about the foam again - we all did."

I leaned in closer. "Maybe we have to unite."

"What!?"

Kestrelflight sounded like he never wanted to do that, but I knew he wasn't a hostile cat. Suddenly, I vomited.. Foam. "Tallstar, it's an omen," Kestrelflight gasped.

I tilted my head, then I realized it was foam. "StarClan, help me!"

Was I slowly dying? I won't tell you.

Chapter Four: World

I felt like I was getting better. Just then, Kestelflight came into my den. "I have some bad news."

"What is it?"

Just then, he choked and retched. "Kestelflight!"

I leaped forward, and he was closing his eyes. "I have something to tell you."

I leaned in closer, and he looked at me with care. "I... I'm dying. My old age is getting in the way. I just want to tell you... My apprentice will be... P... Pe..."

Then slowly, his breathing stopped, and his flanks heaved one last time, and his spirit left him. "No! Wake up! Who will your apprentice be?"

I shook him, but I very well knew he would never wake up again. "I'm sorry..."

I raised my head. "HOW!? HOW!? STARCLAN, TELL ME WHO IT IS!"

No answer came, but just then, a petal fell from a bush, with the shape of a paw in it. Petalpaw! "All cats old enough to run on the moor, gather beneath the Fastrock for a Clan meeting!"

The sleepy shape of Heathertail emerged, and soon after that, warriors came flooding out of their dens. "I have some bad news," I announced, "Kestrelflight is dead."

There was a ripple of sad murmurs throughout the Clan. "He tried to tell me who his apprentice should be, but he didn't finish his sentence before he died. But I got an omen, maybe from Kestelflight himself. A petal was falling, with the shape of a paw. Petalpaw!"

Petalpaw leaped out excitedly. "I always wanted to be a medicine cat!"

She bounced up and down. "And now you get the chance. But I need to send a patrol to ThunderClan, for Leafpool, Jayfeather, or Alderheart to mentor him. Onewhisker, sort this out. Clan dismissed."

When I leaped down, cats crowded around Onewhisker, and I felt joyous of how loyal they were to this Clan. We would live on forever, and we could break out of this sickness.

Chapter Five: Care

Alderheart had arrived in WindClan. We were thriving again, as all the sick cats had been healed. I saw Petalpaw. "How's training going?"

She looked up. "It's great! I know almost all the herbs already! Isn't that awesome?"

I nodded, and looked up at the sky. StarClan definitely chose the right cat. She was enthusiastic and would cheer the patients up. Onewhisker was sorting patrols below the rock, right now, my Clan was everything I had wanted. Except for... "Tallstar."

I looked down. Mudclaw was lashing his tail at me. "Yes? Do you need something?"

Mudclaw hissed, "I want to be deputy again."

I shook my head. "I made my last choice."

He looked satisfied, and like he had done something I didn't know about. I decided to leave it be, I could figure this out later. The sun was setting, so I went to my den. I sat in my mossy nest. "Ah..."

"Tallstar! Tallstar!"

Sedgewhisker broke into my den. "We're being invaded!"

I raced out and gathered my warriors. "The cats on the battle patrol will be: Onewhisker, Mudclaw, Crowfeather, Breezepelt, Sedgewhisker, Heathertail, Harespring, Ashfoot, and Horsepaw!"

The cats raced out, clawing their way through the thick undergrowth. I was proud of them. I saw ShadowClan, standing just pawsteps over the border. "Late?"

A ShadowClan cat sneered in my face, but I slashed it's nose. The cats of my Clan were standing together now. "With such a small patrol, how will you win?"

It looked like ShadowClan had the whole of their Clan behind them. "WindClan, attack!"

The cats attacked the start and end of ShadowClan's line first. I jumped for the middle. But then, something caught the corner of my eye. It was Mudclaw, fighting one of my warriors with a ShadowClan cat. "What are you doing!?"

"Taking revenge."

The cats pinned me down, and I felt a rough pawing on my head. Stars exploded my vision, and I felt myself slowly slipping away.

~

"Tallstar!"

A voice woke me up. "Huh? Sedgewhisker?"

"You were unconcious."

Chapter Six: Up

Later, I was notified that we had won the battle. "Good," I replied.

"But you lost a life!"

"I still have one more," I replied. But then, I thought, One more? Great StarClan, I am old! I escorted Onewhisker to sort out patrols, and fell asleep. "Tallstar."

I blinked my eyes open to see Bluestar. "What is it?"

"ShadowClan isn't satisfied yet. Another fight will come soon."

I was confused. "But we showed them we won't give up that easily."

Bluestar sighed and rolled her eyes. "Don't you get it? ShadowClan won't stop until they get what they want."

Soon, the dream faded. "No! Tell me more!"

But a mist surrounded me and I was back in my nest. "Mouse-dung," I cursed.

I tried to go back to sleep, but I was to energetic, so I decided to take a walk. The heather waved in the wind, making me comfortable. It looked like my home could never be attacked, but it has been, and will be. "Tallstar!?"

I whirled around to see a WindClan patrol, Crowfeather in the lead. "Hello, Crowfeather."

I dipped my head. "What are you doing here?"

"Just talking a walk."

I padded away from them, and they continued to head towards the border. I decided I would surprise them and meet them there. I went through a secret tunnel I knew about, and came to the border. "So we meet again," purred Crowfeather.

I purred in amusement. "I was trying to sneak up on you. Why aren't you surprised?"

"We could smell your scent coming from the tunnel."

Realization hit me. They were checking for scents, so obviously they were going to be aware of me! Stupid! I purred. "I'll be on my way now."

Chapter Seven: Battle

I perked my ears. I could hear heather stalks snapping and voices. "Stop being so noisy! Your going to alert Tallstar!"

"He's an old mouse. Why would he hear me?"

I waved my tail. So that's how they wanted to play it? I called, "I need a battle patrol. No time to explain. Sedgewhisker, Onewhisker, Mudclaw, Horsepaw, Heathertail, Breezepelt, Oakpelt, and of course, Horsepaw's mentor, Gingerflight."

We set off, and I saw the ShadowClan cats. "You thought I couldn't hear that well, did you?"

The cats looked at me in surprise. I recognized the voice of the one that had insulted me, "So I was wrong."

Another looked at him in triumph. I took that chance and leaped on it. I scratched it's nose, leaving a scar. It dripped blood. Yowls rose and the battle started. "You think you can take me on?"

The cat kicked me off, and lay on the ground, stunned. Just then, a gray tabby pelt flashed before my eyes and knocked the cat off. "Cinderheart?"

Once she was done, she looked back and meowed, "Of course."

We fought back-to-back. We were a flurry of claws. Cinderheart was yelling insults at the ShadowClan cats. "Mouse-brains!"

Just then, a ball of fur bowled us over. Onewhisker and Mudclaw were locked in battle. I bowled Mudclaw off, but Cinderheart stood, her jaws gaping. "We always had problems," I growled.

Cinderheart raked her claws down Mudclaw's side. He yowled in pain and ran off. "Good job, Cinderheart. For a ThunderClan cat," Onewhisker purred.

Cinderheart purred, "Hey!"

I noticed a brown tabby pelt. "Bramblestar." I dipped my head.

Bramblestar dipped his head. "Thank you for helping us," I purred.

"Of course."

The ShadowClan cats were running off, howling in pain. Blood pooled on the ground with every step they took. Mudclaw was running with them. We gathered our Clans up, and left.

Chapter Eight: Berrynose

I jumped onto the a tree branch. Tonight was the Gathering. A yowl came for it to start. "May I go first?"

Rowanstar's voice echoed through the clearing. "Sure," everyone meowed.

Rowanstar leaped up, no hesitation. "First, I'd like to announce that we need more territory. The prey has been running low here, and there have been rogue sightings. So I have to ask, will any of you give up part of your territory?"

Yowls of outrage came from the crowd. "You never helped us, why should we help you?" I asked.

Rowanstar dipped his head. "I will make sure to be gracious in the future."

Yeah, right. Bramblestar looked at him in shock. "No! Of course not!"

Leopardstar just shook her head. Rowanstar unsheathed his claws. "Fine! I'll have to take it," he snarled.

Cats gasped. He couldn't attack! It was a Gathering! But he seemed to pull himself together. "That is all I have to report."

"Rowanstar, why have you been attacking us?" I asked.

Gasps, snarls, and yowls of protest rose from the crowd. "Oh, Tallstar, those were simply border patrols trying to get more territory," purred Rowanstar.

My fur bristled. "Why ours? Your Clan isn't suitable for hunting there," I argued.

The other leaders nodded, and below, I caught Cinderheart giving a small nod. Moving on, I reported, "The prey has been running well, but Leaf-fall will soon be here, so we need to be sure to stack our prey piles."

I sat back down. Bramblestar stood up. "I also have something to report. We have found ShadowClan scents at the border."

There were gasps and protests. "This is just like the last Gathering in our other territory," I meowed.

"WindClan is thriving!"

I sat on the rock, looking down at my cats with care. "We have found scents at our border," I reported.

The leaders nodded, except for Rowanstar, who was just glaring. He didn't know where that was. I scoffed. Bramblestar stood up again, "We also have undergone the betrayal of Berrynose!"

Gasps rose from the crowd. My eyes widened, and my fur bristled. How dare he do that? "In a battle with ShadowClan," he glared at Rowanstar, "he injured Hazeltail. But don't worry. She is recovered."

Hazeltail smiled in the crowd, and I smiled back. But Berrynose would forever be a scar in my memory.

Chapter Nine: Surprise

I felt a presence around me. Like there was a StarClan cat. I heard a whisper, "Tallstar.."

"What?"

I saw a strarry cat, Berrynose. "What have you come to say to me?"

Berrynose purred, "Something important. Why I betrayed the Clans."

He explained, and at the end, I gasped. "How could you believe those boasting fox-hearts? You know they're just taunting you, right..?"

Berrynose nodded. "But I was foolish then."

I saw sense in his words. Any young cat would have done that. "I think my Clan would be loyal," the words slid out of my mouth.

Berrynose looked amused. He purred. "I was perfectly loyal, but I fell for it."

He disappeared, leaving me with lots of questions. "Hey, Tallstar, were you talking to yourself?"

It was Onewhisker, his voice was a purr, and he looked amused. "No, I was just thinking."

Onewhisker nodded and left, his paws making the grass rustle. The bustle in the Clan was getting annoying now, as it surprisingly was when all the queens gave birth. I heard kits squealing. "Nightkit, you patrol the borders. Dawnkit, you hunt. And Duskkit, you hunt with Dawnkit."

I heard squealing as they broke apart. One came close to my den. "What are you doing, intruder?"

It was Nightkit. "Oh, I wanted to take over the Clan. What a shame, because the strongest warrior found me." I decided to play along.

"Your not going down without a fight!"

Nightkit leaped on me and pretended to bite me. I ran, and dropped to the ground dramatically as her paw reached my throat. I made a dramatic death scene. "I'm sorry, Nightheart," I whispered dramatically.

I closed my eyes and made my tongue loll out. I heard pawsteps as the kit scampered away happily. I got to my paws, and a voice asked, "Do you enjoy it?"

Chapter Ten: Amused

I looked up to see their mom, Horsepaw, who was now Horsefire. "Of course," I snorted.

I looked into her eyes. I could see their amused tint, and she purred. "I was just wondering. If they ever get under your fur, call me!"

She padded back to her den. I nodded steadily, and shook myself. Dust went flying off me. "Do you mind?"

A tiny voice squeaked. It was Dawnkit. I shook my head, amused, and padded into my den. The familiar scents wafted through the den, and I felt myself relax. All would surely be good in the Clan, and it was an amusing day, I had to say. "It's sunset," squeaked a kit.

Dawnkit, Duskkit, and Nightkit were gathered around her. "Flamestar, I must give an urgent report," squeaked Nightkit.

Flamekit looked down at her. "I found an intruder, Talltail, at the border today. I killed him though."

"Great job, Nightheart."

I looked on at them with fond eyes. I used to be like that, believe it or not. Amusing memories flooded me. "Wormkit!"

My brother raced after me, amusement gleaming in his eyes. I loved the feel of running. "Tallkit! Get back here!"

A voice interrupted my running. "Okay, Barkstar."

I curled up in my nest, ready to take a sunhigh nap. I delved into blackness, and it swam through my vision, until nothing was left.

~~

I woke up, stretching. I heard crickets outside, and saw the glint of the setting sun. I looked out. Everything was normal, just that the camp was quieter. The kits were inside, presumably curled up in their nests, dreaming. "The patrols are out." Onewhisker looked up at me.

"Okay. Thank you."

Later, the sun set. That day had been amusing, no matter what you say. But I felt a sense, like tomorrow would be terrible. And I was correct, in a way.

Chapter Eleven: Toys

I padded to check a border. The ShadowClan one, to be exact. I saw a ShadowClan patrol on the other side. Their eyes glistened with exhilaration. "Your finally here," hissed a pale gray she-cat. She looked young.

And older tom padded in front of her. "We have orders."

"What orders?"

"Leave a part of your territory for us or be attacked. RiverClan already gave up some, and we're attacking ThunderClan right now. So it's best you leave. Your the weakest Clan. Your a bunch of toys."

My patrol's fur bristled, though the tom's eyes looked cool. His icy blue gaze rested on me. "What do you say?"

I snorted. "Who do you think you are, our leader? We're not giving up our place, and we will fight for it." The cat nodded.

"ShadowClan warriors will be sent."

They padded away. I ordered Mintpaw to get more warriors, and our patrol waited at the border. My claws were plucking at the grass when the patrol finally came. It was made up of Oakpelt, Heathertail, Breezepelt, Crowfeather, Nightcloud, and Mintpaw. "We have another patrol waiting to ambush them inside ShadowClan territory. When they run into us, that's when we're supposed to attack." Mintpaw explained.

I nodded. Onewhisker must have made the plan. Suddenly, I heard the air explode in yowls. ShadowClan had been attacked. There was rustling of bushes and they came over to us. I recognized the shape of Violetpelt. Her eyes were wide as she skidded into me. I slashed her nose, and she yowled in pain. Another cat came to her aid, one I didn't recognize. It clawed my ribs, which was painful, but I bit it's belly. "Help!"

It's yowl was loud. Blood poured around her, and she collapsed to the ground. Violetpelt shrieked. She leapt at me, but Onewhisker got in her way. He took the blow instead. He fell onto me, but we quickly got up and fought back to back. I flurried blows at Violetpelt, while Onewhisker landed steady blows on Mudclaw. Violetpelt suddenly ran, squealing, across the border. Her pelt was battered and bruised. "Tallstar!"

I faced Rowanstar. He reared up and slammed his paws into me. I yowled in pain, but whispered, "We will not give up."

I leapt at Rowanstar and without thinking, sunk my teeth into his throat. His yowl gurgled into nothingness as I held the grip. ShadowClan stared in awe, and his eyes went blank. I expected him to get back up, but he didn't. That was his last life! "They killed the deputy and the leader!" A cat shrieked.

ShadowClan padded away, heads hanging, and the tom hissed, "This isn't the last of us."

"I don't care!" I called back, "That was a good beating for now!"

Chapter Twelve: Asked For Help

I yowled, "Because we defeated ShadowClan, we will have a feast!"

Yowls of agreement greeted my words, and I purred in excitement. I leaped down to pick out a fat grouse. I took a bite out of it, and felt the warm taste in my mouth. Just then, ThunderClan burst into our camp. "We need your help! We're uniting against ShadowClan!"

I nodded. "Onewhisker, Sedgewhisker, Harespring, Onewhisker, Oakpelt, Heathertail, Breezepelt, Mintpaw-"

"Wait, your taking an apprentice? The battle is way to wild. ShadowClan cats are even killing to win."

"You'll have to sit this one out, Mintpaw. To continue, I need, Whitetail, Crowfeather, and Nightcloud."

We ran with ThunderClan, to the ShadowClan border. "Here's the plan, we're going to ambush them from all our sides of the border. RiverClan is already set up. Once you hear the fight, wait until they come to the border and attack them. Also send a patrol inside ShadowClan territory."

With that, they ran off. I looked at my cats. They all looked determined, and scared at the same time. "The cats who will go in their territory are: Nightcloud, Breezepelt, Oakpelt, and Crowfeather."

Those cats darted inside their territory. I crouched down. After a few minutes, the air exploded into yowls. Yowls of hatred, and yowls of fear, and yowls of surprise. ShadowClan cats ran to our border, but I leapt at one. Mudclaw. I ripped open his belly, sending blood flying everywhere. He let out a yelp, and his eyes dulled. He lay motionless on the ground. "Good riddance," I snarled.

I turned to face Crowfrost, and I attacked him. I slashed my claws along his ribs, and I saw Cinderheart driving ShadowClan towards us too. Soon enough, Cinderheart attacked Crowfrost from the back. He turned around to face Cinderheart, while I pounced on him and bit into his back. He yowled in pain and fled across the border, only to be met by Mistystar, Reedwhisker, and Dropletfur. "Stop! Please!" begged Crowfrost.

I didn't watch the rest, and flung myself onto Tigerheart. He screeched, and he flipped himself around, only for me to pin him down. I pummeled his head with blows, letting him know he wasn't welcomed in any territory. I scratched his ear, sending a tip flying off. "Ow!" He screeched.

Dawnpelt dived into the fight to help him, knocking me off. She pinned me down and sunk her teeth into my throat, but Cinderheart pulled her off like a flea and bit into her throat. I teamed up with Onewhisker and raked my claws through Tigerheart's belly. He tried to flee over the border, but Ivypool pounced on him. "No flirting with my sister! She wants to be left alone!"

She bit Tigerheart's throat, which left him lifeless on the ground. A ShadowClan cat yowled, "Retreat!"

The remaining ShadowClan cats ran over the border. There were only two left, and maybe some more at their camp. We yowled in victory. The past day had been tiring, but this one had been exhilarating.

Chapter Thirteen: Turned Against

I watched the sunset, it looked like blood flowing around. I sighed. This couldn't be a bad omen! StarClan, please, we've had all the fighting we could take! My paws flooded with energy from the battle, with memories surging me. I shook my head. I'd rather forget that. "Tallstar?"

I looked down. It was Onewhisker. "Yes?"

"Should I send out patrols?"

"Only if cats aren't too tired or wounded."

Onewhisker nodded and padded away. I felt a sense, like only one StarClan warrior were protecting me now. Well, it made sense, because I was on my last life. But the sense was so weak, maybe my time would come soon. I heard a cat, and a shimmering shape appeared. "Tallstar, close your eyes, go to sleep, your life is coming to a close."

I gasped. "Why?"

"Your so old, and we don't want you to suffer the greencough that is soon coming. That will end your life if you don't take this offer."

I finally sighed and nodded. I lied down and closed my eyes, and I felt something sweep over me. And I saw my body. "Goodbye," I whispered, and padded of to StarClan.

~~

"Cats of ThunderClan!"

A call came from the warriors' den, waking everyone up. "What is it?" I groaned, feeling tired still.

Thornclaw padded out of the den. "We've been letting our guards down too much, so I declare I'm going to join ShadowClan!"

Gasps rose from the crowd. "Leave, then," I hissed.

I felt helpless, with my place as deputy. The Clan was snarling, pelts bristling. "Goodbye," Thornclaw snorted.

Chapter Fourteen: True Warrior

I watched the Clan. The early morning sunrise was good, as usual, and we were all happy. Things had not gone the way we had planned for the next few days, though. Thornclaw had left, and Snarlclaw was thinking about taking after his mentor. "Our Clan is going into a downward spiral," a voice behind me sighed.

I turned to see Bramblestar. "I know."

The sky was bright blue, and it looked like it was going to be a perfect day, but it probably wouldn't be. The full moon Gathering was the next day, and I didn't want to tell the Clans about our weaknesses. "I wish it wasn't always like this."

Bramblestar seemed to be lost in thought, so I ignored his remark. The Clan was pacing around, presumably waiting for me. I hopped down to sort out patrols. "Hazeltail, you lead a border patrol with Stormpaw, Poppyfrost, and Sparktail."

Hazeltail nodded, and padded to the warriors' den. "Millie, you lead a hunting patrol with whoever you'd like."

Millie nodded and padded away. I went into the warriors' den, and curled up. After a the days of the battles, I needed some sleep. I felt myself drift away into black.

~~

"Cinderheart! Wake up! We're under attack!"

I immediately opened my eyes, to see a kit. "For real?"

"Yeah!"

The kit, Applekit, led me outside. I could scent the light scent of... ShadowClan!? I yowled, "We're under attack! ShadowClan!"

"They still didn't give up," snarled Sparktail.

"The cats to come be the first wave with me are, Snarlclaw, Snowtail, Ambermoon, Dovewing, Ivypool, and Grassheart."

"The second wave, which will attack when I command with the wave of my tail, will hide in the bushes until my say. These cats are, Hazeltail, Sparktail, Yellowpaw, Whitewing, Brackenfur, and Blossomfall."

Those cats nodded. We padded out, and saw pelts, and scented heavy ShadowClan scents. Wave Two cats hide in groups, each group in a different bush. I stepped over to the ShadowClan cats. "You think you can surprise us, huh?"

Crowstar turned around. "We thought we could, and we still can."

I snorted. "Fat chance."

"What are you going to do by yourself? Just one measly, weak, warrior."

My cats stepped out behind me, and we leaped at them. I bit into Crowstar's back. I bit down onto it, hard, while he tried to snap at me. He kept failing, but he fell to the ground, and started to roll over. I jumped off. "Ha! Weak for a leader."

Crowstar's fur bristled, and he bunched his muscles and leaped at me. I slid to the side and he crashed into some brambles. "You can do better than THAT," I hissed.

Crowstar was still struggling to get out of the brambles. I saw three of my warriors were pinned down, so I waved my tail. More cats leaped out of the bushes, onto the ShadowClan cats. I crashed into Violetpelt, one of the cats holding down my warriors. She shrieked, and tried to claw me, but I slid to the side and clawed her ribs as she went flying by. She crashed into a tree. "Pathetic," I hissed.

Violetpelt growled.

Chapter Fifteen: My Life

I sighed, wishing this would just be over. Violetpelt was still sitting there like a mouse-brain, dazed. "Snap out of it," I whispered, padding away.

I looked at the fighting cats, the fight was pretty much over. ShadowClan cats were slumped on the ground, and others were running. I scanned over my cats. "Yellowpaw!"

The tom lay motionless on the ground. "No! Yellowpaw!"

My voice cracked. He wasn't breathing, and blood was still pooling around him. The red stuff made me want to vomit. The sickening sent of death swirled in the air. "Yellowpaw!"

A voice came from behind me, and I saw his mother, Whitewing. She pressed into his fur, crying. She caterwauled to the sky, and soon the whole Clan was gathered around. "I wish you well, Yellowpaw," mewed Dovewing.

"Have a great time in StarClan," added Ivypool.

Chapter Sixteen: A Good Life, And a Good Heart

I fell asleep in my den. The world was peaceful. This where our story must end.

Next book: Rivers

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