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First book in the "Darkening Horizons" series. Takes place 2-3 years after In Memory of Budstar and 27 moons before Cold Moon.

Blurb Edit

Yet more blood has been split due to greed...

After the death of his deputy, Cloudstar, leader of MistClan returns the territory won in his last battle to an enemy clan. Redkit turns against her leader and his new deputy, believing their ideologies resulted in her father dying for nothing. Her goal, to start a war with the clan her father fought against and gain back what they'd lost.

Wolfkit, has everything that Redkit does not, a father, a littermate and lover for his clan, but fears losing it all in the battles MistClan is constantly thrown into. His goal, to protect everything dear to him before it slips away.

SynopsisEdit

Prologue Edit

Nettlewhisker wakes up, but is intercepted by Ravenheart before he can descend his tree. Ravenheart tries to convince him not to go through with his plan, but Nettlewhisker replies that it's necessary for the well being of the clan's kits over frost season.

Nettlewhisker descends his tree and calls for a clan meeting where he asks which warriors will join him in capturing some of IceClan's territory. Wildheart offers to help and Nettlewhisker selects several other warriors.

Before the patrol leaves, Wolfkit and Copperkit try to head towards Robincloud, but Nettlewhisker stops them, saying their father has to go on a very important warrior mission. As they leave, Robincloud admits kits are a handful and Nettlewhisker agrees.

They travel to IceClan territory across the river and start hunting. Soon, an IceClan patrol stops by and catches them. Nettlewhisker refuses to back down and the deputy of IceClan, Rabbitflight attacks him. Nettlewhisker pins him down, but is tackled by a she-cat named Frostbranch. While he's focused on Frostbranch, he sees Rabbitflight out of the corner of his vision getting up and coming towards him again. As he turns of confront him, Frostbranch bites down on his neck.

Wildheart chases Frostbranch off, but Nettlewhisker is bleed out onto the ground. He signals to Wildheart not to retreat and to keep fighting which he does. Nettlewhisker dies known that his clan will be well taken care off, but crestfallen that he has to leave Shadowfern to care for their kits alone.

Chapter One Edit

Wolfkit and Copperkit are arguing over the best prey. Redkit tells them the best kind is the kind she can eat. Wolfkit agrees, saying that the prey Robincloud brings back is the best. Copperkit hopes their father comes back with five rabbits. Shortbranch hushes them and shoos them outside for a walk around camp. Copperkit tells Wolfkit a rumor that Brambletooth's mother is part wolverine and Shortbranch scolds her for gossiping about clanmates.

Suddenly there's a yowl from the camp entrance. Copperkit runs towards it and Wolfkit follows her before being held back by their mother. Wolfkit peers out from underneath Shortbranch's tail and sees that Wildheart is carrying Nettlewhisker's body on his back.

As Wildheart sets down the body, Jaggedstep runs towards his brother. Cloudstar and Ravenheart leap down from a tree and Cloudstar proclaims that blood has been split due to greed. When Jaggedstep asks why they did not retreat, Wildheart tells him that Nettlewhisker didn't want them too. Jaggedstep objects that they didn't have to listen. Ravenheart stops the argument.

Wolfkit sees his father head over to Shadowfern and give a fish, Nettlewhisker's last catch to her and her kits. Robincloud suggests that they sleep in the trees with the kits so that Shadowfern isn't disturbed. Wolfkit and Copperkit go over to Nettlewhisker and mourn him briefly. Wolfkit overhears Redkit thanking her father for the fish. As he falls asleep in the three, Robincloud sings to him.

That night, Cloudstar names Ravenheart his new deputy and Wolfkit because worried as he sees his father going out on another patrol. Copperkit notices his worry and tries to distract him, but suggesting they play a game with the other kits.

Chapter Two Edit

At the next Gathering, Cloudstar gives the territory Nettlewhisker took back to IceClan. Redkit is furious, but Shadowfern tells her Cloudstar does as she pleases. Redkit's brother, Pinekit reassures her that they will fight every IceClan warrior once he leaders the clan. Maplekit objects, saying that they'll all rule together. Redkit reminds him that medicine cats aren't in charge.

Redkit watches her brothers wrestle and Jaggedstep returns from hunting patrols to bring prey from them. Pinekit praises the warrior's skill and wishes Jaggedstep could be his mentor. While they talk, Redkit helps herself to the prey.

During frost season, it starts to snow and Maplekit runs around camp telling all the other kits who come out to play "Defend the Border". Redkit realizes Timberkit is picking all the older kits for his team and retreats into her den. She sits with Pinekit who has been feeling cold. Her brother tells her that tomorrow will be warmer. The next day, Redkit is woken by Maplekit's cries. Pinekit has stopped breathing and Shadowfern is licking him furiously to get him to warm him again.

Cloudstar halves the border patrols in order to increase hunting patrols. Cats start getting greencough. A few days later, Redkit flees the nursery and is found by Wildheart who warms her. He tells her the story of "the Mother" a spirit who had died while traveling with her kits through a blizzard and haunts the forests, bring blizzards where ever she goes.

At the end of the frost season, Maplekit dies and Shadowfern withdraws. Redkit steps out of the den once it starts getting warmer. Wolfkit joins her and Redkit explains that it's time for her to be apprenticed. When Cloudstar comes down from his tree, she heads towards the patrol stump. Shadowfern cleans her and encourages her to catch a big piece of prey.

Timberpaw and Sootpaw are apprenticed to Mothshade and Maggotbounce respectively. Cloudstar announces he will train Redpaw himself, but Redpaw rejects him, saying she only wants Wildheart. Cloudstar doesn't show his anger, but sentences her to cleaning the ticks off the elders for talking back.

Chapter Three Edit

Redpaw drags her paws to the medicine cat's den and demands mouse bile bitterly. Brambletooth sets a clump of soaked moss in front of her. Redpaw wrinkles her nose in horror and picks a bit up gingerly in her teeth, trying not to let the bitterness infect her tongue.

She reluctantly carries the moss to the moss nests on the forest floor where the elder's slept. Shadowfern tells her that she only need remember "grace and poise" and she won't be harmed by her task. Her grandmother, Mottlestorm greets her and beckons her closer, asking to be seen to first. Redpaw quietly agrees and begins picking ticks out of her pelt. After she finishes her, she moves onto Ratwhisker inside the den.

When she enters, she notices that many of the elders have many more scars than any of the other cats. The old tom whines and complains the whole way through. The ticks cling tightly, even with the bile. Tired, she starts licking the moss that's suck to her fur. She's forgotten about the moss bile and swallows a tongue-full of bitterness. When Ratwhisker mutters that she's missed one, she loses her patience and shouts at him to get rid of his own ticks.

Mottlestorm goes after he and instructs her to lick tree bark to get rid of the taste. She says Ratwhisker was giving her a hard time on purpose because it's been a long time since an apprentice was punished with tick duty. Redpaw says she won't be nice to Ratwhisker just because he's old. Mottlestorm tells her that it was daring for her to talk back to Cloudstar. Redpaw mutters that he doesn't care about her. Her grandmother says that Wildheart was once offered the position of deputy, but refused and that makes him similar to Redpaw in a way.

Then they reenter the den Ratwhisker is being pinned down by a dappled tom. Echoheart apologizes and asks to be seen next. Ratwhisker shouts and Redpaw for being lazy and Echoheart for encouraging her. Mottlestorm tells her the story of DarkClan and how it was formed by traitors for all four clans. She says that the leader Fadinglight was killed by Wildheart. An elder, Bumbletongue interrupts her, saying that Budstar was the one to kill Fadinglight. When Redpaw finishes Echoheart's ticks, Bumbletongue tells her another story himself.

Chapter Four Edit

Finally Redpaw finishes and the next day joins Sootpaw and Timberpaw on border patrol. Redpaw teases Sootpaw for her crouch being lopsided and the furious apprentice retaliates. Their mentors break it up. Mothshade explains that their training will be divided into four quarters of about 1-2 moons each, and each quarter they will train in a different area of the territory, starting at the TideClan border.

The arrive at the Outlands and Maggotbounce explains that though it may look like not much now, many herbs grown in bloom season and they must compete with rogues. She hopes that Brambletooth will be able to collect what's needed with too much squabble his season.

Wildheart leads Redpaw to the edge of a cliff where the wind is harsh and she can see the endless sea just beyond. Redpaw asks why the other clans don't take their territory, just as an orca leaps out of the water. It's low, bellowing cry, sends a shiver down her shine. She knows the fearsome beasts will keep the other clans far from the shores.

They head back for the trees and spot a caribou. Wildheart warns Redpaw not to start it as it will alert all the prey in the area. They carefully walk past it and Wildheart demonstrates how to catch a mouse. Redpaw complements him on his catch and Wildheart remarks that he was lopsided and says that Redpaw only guessed Sootpaw's crouch was wrong and couldn't really tell. He says that she is very clever which will make her stronger warrior.

Redpaw asks what her father was like. Wildheart replies that her father was not afraid of being weak. Redpaw asks what he means. He says rogues and such have to be stronger than the rest of the world, but clan cats don't need to worry about such things. Redpaw thinks her father is clever.

Suddenly, a flock of birds fly above the trees and Sootpaw runs through, almost crashing into Redpaw. Ravenheart comes after her and says she was suppose to stop at the stump many tail lengths back. Sootpaw laughs and says she must have missed it. As Ravenheart ushers her back to Maggotbounce, Wildheart tells them to see Brambletooth who can make use of Sootpaw's speed by training her as a herb runner.

Later, Redpaw return to camp, having caught a sparrow. Maggotbounce, Pinespurr and Crowhop approach Wildheart. Crowhop asks for Pinespurr's paw as her mate. Maggotbounce says that Pinespurr is lucky to have someone like her, and asks Wildheart if he thinks so too. Maggotbounce reminds him that Crowhop was Nettlewhisker's second apprentice. Wildheart laughs in embarrassment and wishes the two happiness.

Redpaw brings her sparrow to the fresh kill prey. Wolfkit is very impressed and can't wait to get apprenticed. Wildheart tells Redpaw to give the prey to Cinderspots, Ravenheart's mate. As she pads over to the tree, Brambletooth runs past with Lightningspots hobbling behind her. Ravenheart rushed over and Redpaw watches quietly with the prey still in her jaws.

As the kits comes, Lightningspots bitterly remarks that they won't last long. Brambletooth remains optimistic, but sure enough, the kits all die and Cinderspots is distraught. Lightningspots reassures Brambletooth that she did well, and says that kits often die quickly, especially right after frost season. Ravenheart tells Cinderspots that she did her best, but she shakes him away. He dips his head and leaves her.

As he exits the den, Redpaw asks what she should do with the sparrow. Bitter, Ravenheart says she can do whatever she wants, so she eats it herself, noticing Oakfall peeking into the tree trunk.

Chapter Five Edit

Dewpaw calls for Wolfpaw to hurry before spiriting ahead. He waits for Wolfpaw on a stump and complains about him being too slow, adding that Sootpaw never makes him wait. Mudstep scolds him, saying that everyone learns at their own pace. Buckstripe adds that they are on patrol and that if they rush it, they will miss something. Redpaw asks what there is to miss since there isn't much in the Outlands. Wildheart tells her that things will start to bloom soon.

Buckstripe crosses the scent line, followed by Mudstep. They start expanding the borders. Wolfpaw catches a finch and Buckstripe congratulates him. Just then a rogue she-cat appears, carrying a marten. Wildheart asks her to leave the territory. The she-cat snorts and says that she can hunt where she pleases and clan cats are self-righteous for thinking they can claim all the best land in the area. Buckstripe tells her she can keep her catch, but has to leave the area and not hunt anymore.

Just then a tom, Flint emerges from the trees and the she-cat, Lola says that the patrol was bullying her into giving them the marten she caught for Flint's kits. Mudstep tells them to keep the catch and leave, but Flint refuses. Four other cats emerge and Dewpaw comments on how they didn't detect their scent earlier. Redpaw cuffs him over the ears and Dewpaw tells her to focus her anger on the rogues. As they start to fight, Wolfpaw is attacked by a white she-cat who nearly kills him before Wildheart recuses him.

After a day returning to camp, he is invited to eat with Sootpaw, Timberpaw and Copperpaw. They talk about the gathering which will take place later that night. Sootpaw says that Maggotbounce almost forgot about, but agreed talk to Ravenheart about taking her since she'd done well training the past few days. Timberpaw is upset he didn't talk to his mentor about the gathering. Copperpaw is jealous because Jaggedstep forbade her from going. Wolfpaw scolds her for eating on a hunting patrol.

Dewbounce and Sunspeckle are named warriors and Wolfpaw and Sootpaw are both chosen to go to the Gathering. Wolfpaw fears being around enemy warriors and retreats to gather his thoughts.

Chapter Six Edit

Wolfpaw travels beside Buckstripe and tries to inch closer to her for comfort only to be nudged away. Spotting his mother ahead, he tries to head towards her, but is unable to due to the crowd heading to the Gathering. Buckstripe instructs him to stick to the wall and helps him descend the cliff to the waterfall cave.

Sootpaw meets Wolfpaw inside and the two wander the cave looking for other apprentices. They come across Tideclan warriors and mistake them for apprentices due to their small size. After finding actually apprentices Sootpaw starts a conversation while Wolfpaw is distracted by Cloudstar leaping up onto a rock with the other leaders.

An apprentice from one of the other clans, Buzzardpaw sneaks up to him and tells him that the leaders don't like it when they're stared at. He names the different leaders and their clans, but doesn't tells him which clan he is from. Buzzardpaw wonders if he will be leader and Wolfpaw says that he doesn't want to be leader, because he's afraid of making a mistake.

Buzzardpaw brags that he won't make any mistakes because his mentor is smart and will teach him what to do. Wolfpaw expresses his fears of fighting and wonders how all the warriors can stand being around their enemies. Buzzardpaw says that in the end, they're all the same, cats.

Just then, Aspenstar announces his plan to attack MistClan, saying that he's tried of his clan being bullied by them. Finchstar scolds him for starting a commotion during a Gathering. Buzzardpaw seems upset by the IceClan leader's decision. Ravenheart calls for MistClan to leave. Buzzardpaw asks if he and Wolfpaw will still be friends. Wolfpaw says they will, but doesn't know if he'd have a choice if MistClan and IceClan were going to fight.

When they return to camp, Cloudstar announces that IceClan will invade soon. Brambletooth foresees snow in a half moon. Ravenheart announces training groups and put Redpaw and Wolfpaw together. Redpaw is pleased she wasn't placed with Sootpaw.

Chapter Seven Edit

Redpaw and Wolfpaw train together in the forest with the supervision of their mentors. Redpaw shows Wolfpaw how to climb trees and Wolfpaw gives her battle tips. After fighting a while, Wolfpaw asks if Redpaw is afraid to die or that her kin might die. Redpaw admits that she is afraid of them dying in vain. They train until sunhigh and return to camp.

Wolfpaw tries to invite Redpaw to eat with the other apprentices, but she refuses. Copperpaw accuses Wolfpaw of being too naive and kind to Redpaw who she sees as arrogant and rude. Later he and Redpaw chat in the old camp. Redpaw explains that their skills don't need to be polished as long as the strongest warriors are ready because their strength will be the deciding factor.

On the eve of battle, Wolfpaw is a ball of nerves. The thought of death terrifying him so much he is put in a trance. Redpaw yells at him and snaps him out of it. Wolfpaw is hesitant, but gets up instantly when called by his parents. Redpaw tells him he will be fine.

Just then Wildheart calls out for Maggotbounce. She is nowhere to be found and no one has seen her for a while. Even Sootpaw has been busy with herb runner duties. Ravenstar calms down Cloudstar before telling Wildheart to forget her and take she'd be fine. Wildheart is not reassured and runs of looking for her. Wolfpaw is frightened because Wildheart is the best fighter in the clan.

Chapter Eight Edit

Wolfpaw and Buckstripe hid in a bush, waiting for a signal from their clanmates. Frogdapple climbs down a tree and tells that that an IceClan patrol has been spotted. They emerge and trek uphill through the snow to join their battling clanmates. In the battle, Robincloud looks out for his son and saves him, though he gets a bad wound. Wolfpaw sees a flash of a silver pelt and runs after it.

Across the battlefield, he sees Buzzardpaw confronting a wounded Redpaw. Just as Buzzardpaw is about to attack, Wolfpaw goes for his throat and tears him away from the she-cat, wrenching his own shoulder. Robincloud carries him back to camp while Wolfpaw demands to know what has happened to Buzzardpaw. As they retreat, he hears the sound of Ravenheart calling for a retreat.

At camp, Robincloud insists that Wolfpaw be treated by Brambletooth, but Fogwhisker says that she's busy and is offended he doesn't think she is capable. As Robincloud goes to check on Shortbranch and Cooperpaw, Redpaw approaches Wolfpaw and thanks him for saving her. Wolfpaw tells her to shut up and starts crying.

That night he isolates himself in his tree and pretends to be asleep. Redpaw brings him a mouse and encourages him to eat it. Wolfpaw says that he doesn't want to be a warrior anymore and that he'd rather tear off his paws than fight another battle. Redpaw tells him that he's being selfish and that Nettlewhisker fought for his clan's well-being and not himself.

Wolfpaw asks Redpaw what she fights for and she says that she fights for the future so her clanmates can feed their ambitions and better their lives. She says she does not consider Cloudstar their leader.

Just then Wildheart returns alone. Maggotbounce is still missing. Ravenheart berates him for abandoning his clanmates, but Cloudstar calms him down and tells Wildheart they'd send warriors to search for Maggotbounce in the morning.

Chapter Nine Edit

The next day Wildheart, Pinespur, Buckstripe, Redpaw and Wolfpaw go out on patrol. Redpaw hopes that if she and Wolfpaw impress their mentors, it will distract them from Maggotbounce's disappearance. She tell Wolfpaw to climb a tree and practices ground hunting herself. Wolfpaw goes after a squirrel and gets stuck in the tree.

Wildheart climbs up to rescue him while Redpaw urges him to try to climb down himself. He manages to do so, but slips as he descends. Luckily Wildheart manages to catch him as he falls and brings him down to safety.

The next morning, the night guards wake the clan and Redpaw spots Maggotbounce returning to camp with a bushel of flowers, confused at how much time has past since she left camp. She faints and Wildheart carries her to the medicine den.

Lightningspots reveals that Maggotbounce is going to lose her memories until she has nothing left and that there's nothing that can be done. Wildheart is horrified and Redpaw is shocked as well, imagining if something like that were to happen to her. She promises herself that she will remember her purpose.

Chapter Ten Edit

Redpaw, Sootpaw and Wolf go hunting while Buckstripe supervises from the trees. Wolfpaw and Redpaw talk and Wolfpaw expresses his fears of Maggotbounce's condition. Sootpaw shouts at them to stop talking about it and runs off. Wolfpaw starts to run after her, but Redpaw reminds him that they're suppose to be hunting. Wolfpaw asks if Redpaw cares about anyone, but herself and she scoffs that of course she doesn't. Wolfpaw is angry and runs off.

Wolfpaw and eventually finds Sootpaw and sits beside her. Sootpaw says that she should have been with her mentor and that she's terrible for not noticing she'd been gone for so long. Redpaw points out that it wouldn't have made a difference.

Sootpaw says that she noticed that Maggotbounce had been acting strange and should have said something so that they could have kept a better watch out for her and Wildheart wouldn't have had to have been worried and they might have won the battle. Redpaw mutters that there isn't anything she can do about it now.

Wolfpaw frowns at her negativity and tells Sootpaw that he doesn't remember every single time he and Copperpaw played when they were kits, but that doesn't mean he doesn't love her and is happy to see her. He explains that even if Maggotbounce forgets, the happiness will never leave her. Redpaw adds that, that means there's still time for Sootpaw to do something.

Two moons later, Wolfpaw has become a herb runner. Brambletooth takes him to the Outlands to gather herbs. When they return to camp, it is noted that Sootpaw's new warrior mentor is Mudstep who she dislikes because she feels she must remain loyal to Maggotbounce.

Brambletooth gives Wolfpaw dandelion to deliver to Ratwhisker. He does so, but the tom refuses to eat it. Echoheart tells Wolfpaw to go back to Brambletooth who will take care of it herself. When he returns to the medicine den, Wolfpaw overhears Ravenheart and Cinderspots arguing. Copperpaw comes by and mutters that Ravenheart had been getting more bad tempered lately. Wolfpaw suggests that it is because Cloudstar has been getting weaker and he's stressed about doing the work of leader and deputy. Cinderspots was in the medicine den being checked by Brambletooth because she is about to have a new litter.

Ravenheart asks who the father is and Cinderspots coldly proclaims that it's Oakfall who died in the battle with IceClan. She taunts him, asking if Ravenheart will be declare war on a StarClan cat. Ravenheart is furious and mutters that it's surprising to him now that the she-cat ever meant anything to him. He storms out and Brambletooth continues to quietly tend to her patient. Wolfpaw admires her cool-headedness. Graypaw says that she feels sorry for Ravenheart. Copperpaw twitches her ears and remarks that she almost does.

That night, Cloudstar falls out of his tree and to his death. Ravenheart is in denial, but Brambletooth tells him they will go to the Moonstream to get his nine lives the next morning.

Chapter Eleven Edit

Before they leave, Ravenheart names Mudspots as his deputy. This is an unpopular chose as Mudspots is young and some of the clan thinks Ravenheart is playing favorites seeing as Mudspots was his apprentice.

Wolfpaw and Sootpaw accompany Ravenheart and Brambletooth to the Moonstream. Sootpaw decides to sip the stream water and Wolfpaw hesitantly does so too. He has a dream where he sees Buzzardpaw who reassures him that it wasn't his fault that he died. Wolfpaw says that he learned so much from the silver tabby. Buzzardpaw tells him a war is coming and that his clan will need all its strength.

Though Wolfpaw saw Sootpaw in his dream, she claims to have had a different dream, which causes him to question whether or not it was just something he made up and not a sign from StarClan.

Chapter Twelve Edit

Redpaw notices that Wolfpaw seems distracted by something and confronts him. He tell her about Buzzardpaw's prophecy and Redpaw asks if he will tell Ravenstar. They both agree that they shouldn't, but Redpaw wonders if Wolfpaw doesn't want to in order to simply avoid the situation. Redpaw tells Wolfpaw to stop living in fear and take control of his life.

Copperpaw interrupts their conversation and say that Timberpaw and Sootpaw told all the apprentices to meet them by the Boulder Colony. Sootpaw has come up with a scheme to hunt a caribou after witnessing a hunting a quarter moon earlier. Redpaw is opposed to this, but stays due to curiosity. Wolfpaw stays due to worry for his sister who is enthusiastic about the plot.

They track down a lone caribou, but as they start attacking it, a pack of wolves appear and the caribou escapes, leaving the apprentices to fight two wolves. Sootpaw and Timberpaw are wounded before Redpaw jumps down from her tree and lands on a wolf before being pinned down by the second. The rest of the apprentices rescue her and the second wolf flees.

Redpaw is badly injured with an enormous scratch down her stomach. Wolfpaw is terrified she will die and shouts at Sootpaw to fetch Brambletooth.

Chapter Thirteen Edit

He tells Copperpaw and Sandypaw to get cobwebs while he holds the wound. Copperpaw comes back with cobwebs, but not enough to fully patch the wound. Luckily Brambletooth arrives and preforms emergency procedures before warriors that Redpaw back to camp.

At the medicine cat den, Wolfpaw says he feels he's had a good purpose for the first time. Redpaw congratulates him, but is quiet. At the next gathering, they both go and Redpaw sees Frostbranch and tells Wolfpaw she is Buzzardpaw's mentor

Frostbranch seems to think that Redpaw was the one who killed Buzzardpaw before Wolfpaw confesses to doing it. Frostbranch continues to taunt Redpaw until the tortoiseshell slices her noise, violating the Gathering truce. She is held back by Jaggedstep while Ravenstar apologizes to Aspenstar.

Chapter Fourteen Edit

Back at camp, Ravenstar lectures her and says that she should have taken Cloudstar's offer to train her because he was a wise cat who would have curved his temper. He bans her from Gatherings for four seasons. Redpaw proclaims that Wildheart is her mentor. Ravenstar says that Wildheart is a great warrior, but can be too passionate. Redpaw shouts that Ravenstar could learn from Wildheart because he has no passion.

Redpaw and Wildheart start training by the IceClan border, but never patrol in the area. Wildheart explains it is because Ravenstar told him not to allow her near the border. He talks to her and Redpaw asks if leaders shouldn't be loyal to the warriors as warriors are to the leader. Wildheart agrees that they should and Redpaw asks why Cloudstar and Ravenstar both act like Nettlewhisker didn't exist.

Wildheart explains that the former leader Budstar was Nettlewhisker's mother than that she caused much blood to be spilled in her time, and Cloudstar wanted to distance himself from that and get a new reputation for MistClan. Redpaw asks if they want to turn MistClan into a clan of cowards who just wait to be killed in their sleep. Wildheart sighs saying he's not sure what they're trying to do. Redpaw ponders being leader one day and meeting Budstar when getting her nine lives. She remarks that she sounds like a sensible and clever she-cat.

She asks Wildheart about Maggotbounce. Wildheart says that she's alright for now. Redpaw says that Ravenstar has been urging him to retire and asks if he plans on doing so. Wildheart light-heartedly says that he would abandon his apprentice.

Redpaw convinces Wolfpaw to help her amass warriors for and attack on IceClan. Wolfpaw asks if she's just using the prophecy as an excuse to start a fight. Redpaw tells him she'll go through with her plan with or without his help. Together they convince warriors who's kin had died in the last battle, apprentices and anyone else who they suspect to be interested.

Chapter Fifteen Edit

Redpaw leads her patrol into IceClan territory. Soon a patrol approaches them and she tells her clan to prepare for battle. As the fighting starts, she hears Ravenstar's cries in the distance behind her. Redpaw thinks it is too late for the battle to be stopped, but as IceClan reinforcement arrive, Shadowfern steps in front of her and orders the fighting to stop. She bargains for peace saying that continued conflict will not benefit anyone. Aspenstar reuses to back down and both clans attack.

Redpaw is pinned down by a IceClan cat who is stopped by Frostbranch who wants to fight the tortoiseshell herself. Frostbranch reveals that she was the one who killed Nettlewhisker and after landing several blows, is pinned down after Redpaw spits in her eye. Redpaw is about to kill her, but is stopped by Wolfpaw who says Frostbranch isn't the enemy. Redpaw is incredibly frustrated at first, but after IceClan feels she mutters in agree while narrowing her eyes at Ravenstar.

Chapter Sixteen Edit

Ravenstar calls a clan meeting and tells the apprentices to come forward. He gives them their warrior names one by one, Sootfeather, Timberfoot, Copperbird, Wolfstripe and Redclaw. Wolfstripe's parents congratulate him and Robincloud offers to catch them prey and tell them a story. Copperbird protests that they're not kits anymore, but agrees to the feast. Wolfstripe offers to help, but Robincloud insists that he and Shortbranch will handle everything.

Wolfstripe looks around for Redclaw, but can't find her. He heads towards the medicine den where he talks with Maggotbounce who recalls her own warriors ceremony. She is happy that MistClan will have peace at last and says she thought of running away once. Wildheart says they didn't because it wouldn't be fair to everyone they left behind.

Wolfstripe asks Brambletooth about prophecies, referring to the one he'd been given by Buzzardpaw. Brambletooth tells him that it's impossible to know what the prophecy actually meant and that it's not completely possible to predict the future. When Wolfstripe accidentally reveals the context behind his questions, Brambletooth decides to have faith and not question him further.

Sootfeather later asks Wolfstripe if he wants to go on patrol after their warrior vigil. Wolfstripe tells her that he and Redclaw will sleep in since they'll be exhausted after the vigil. Sootfeather shrugs, not understanding what he sees in Redclaw.

During the vigil, Redclaw notes that there's little hatred passing between her and Sootfeather as they patrol the camp because they are not longer apprentices. As the sun comes up, Redclaw thinks about Nettlewhisker, wondering if he'd been watch her the whole time.

Buckstripe comes to tell them the vigil is over. The rest of the new warriors head towards the fresh kill pile, but Redclaw decides to find somewhere to sleep first. She bumps into Jaggedstep who praised her skill in the fight with IceClan. Redclaw thanks him without bitterness, which causes Jaggedstep to cry with happiness.

As Redclaw is about to climb up a tree, her mother leaps down and blocks her path. Shadowfern says that there more to being a warrior than fighting and that she's wasting her life trying to fight Ravenstar and avenge her father. Redclaw explains that it's not just about Nettlewhisker. If they're not allow to fight, there's not point to living in a clan because they lose the ability to shape their own destiny.

Redclaw is shocked that her own mother would turn against her and angrily pushes past her. She climbs up the tree and Wolfstripe joins her, asking if she's glad it's finally over before falling asleep. Redclaw looks up at Ravenstar's branch and whispers that it's far from over.

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