The third book of the HawkClan series. The flood may of ended, but that still doesn't mean that it's now all safe. Smokestorm refuses to believe Russetfire is dead and many dangers are begining to rise against him, maybe even his own litter mates. Meanwhile, Newtstep is about to become a father and Yellowstripe supports him every step of the way.
"Russetfire!" Smokestorm yelled after her sister slipped into the water. There was no reply. "Russetfire!" he yelled again. Once again, there was no reply. Russetfire? he thought, hoping Russetfire would reply. There was still no reply. The heavy rain hid the tears coming down his face from Yellowstripe, who along with Smokestorm hadn't yet crossed the space. Smokestorm backed up against the lege, then charged. Yellowstripe tried to grab him, but he was too late. "Smokestorm!" he yelled.
"Don't worry Yellowstipe!" Stormtooth yelled. "Just walk the short way!"
Meanwhile, Smokestorm struggled in the rushing waves, yelling his sister's name. "Russetfire! Russetfire!"
But she didn't reply. Worried sick, Smokestorm tried to swim, but was being washed away, until he saw a familiar cat grab him by the scruff on one of the few trees on the plain. "Are you okay?" Hawkstar asked. Smokestorm caught his breath and nodded. Ashtail and a cat he didn't know were also on the tree. The cat he didn't know, a silver she cat, began to speak, "Hello there, I'm Rainstar, the leader before your father and the eldest daughter of Hawkstar."
"So you're Ashtail's kit?" Smokestorm asked. Ashtail smiled and Rainstar nodded.
"The water's receeded" Ashtail said. "You can go now."
Smokestorm nodded and walked, avoiding the puddles the flood made.
2. Finding out
Newtstep watched Smokestorm come back soaking wet. Thrushstar irritantly twitched his tail. "You stupid warrior! You know you could of been killed!" he yelled at his son and glared. Smokestorm also glared.
"At least I was never hit by a tree!" he growled.
"that's enough!" a new voice yelled. Windclaw jumped in front of her mate and son. "I want nothing of this! Do you hear me!?" she asked harshly. Smokestorm reluctantly nodded, but Thrushstar wasn't going down so easy. "Who made you the leader!?" he growled. Windclaw's tail lashed and Smokestorm slowly backed towards his half brother. "I can't believe you chose me as your new mate!" Windclaw snarled. Thrushstar just snorted and walked into his den. "What's wrong with your father?" Yellowstripe asked.
"I don't know. Since he became leader, he's been much more offensive" Newtstep said.
"He wasn't offensive when you were born?" Smokestorm asked.
"He was Thrushheart when I was born" Newtstep said. "He was the best father." Smokestorm blinked, but said nothing. "I'll go and apologize to him" he said and walked towards Thrushstar's den. Newtstep watched, then saw his mate coming towards him. "Hey Newtstep!" Feathersplash said and pressed her head against his. Newtstep smiled. "Do you have something to tell me?" he asked. Feathersplash nodded.
"I'm expecting your kits!" she said happily. Newtstep smiled happily. I'm going to become a father! he thought. "So, when are you going to the nursery?" he asked.
"As soon as the moss is replaced" Feathersplash said. Yellowstripe also smiled.
"You two are going to be great parents" he said, then looked down in sadness. "I wish I was."
"You're a great father!" Newtstep said. "Even though Brokensnow is gone, they survived and so did you."
"I lied that Brokensnow was killed by a fox!" Yellowstripe said, the greif heavy in his eyes. Newtstep placed his tail on his former mentor's shoulder. "Let's go and find some moss" he said. Yellowstripe brightened up again and nodded, then remembered something. "I've got to arrange..." but he was cut off by a sight. Feathersplash gasped, Yellowstripe's eyes widened and Newtstep watched blankly at the scene.
Hickorypaw watched his mentor attacking Smokestorm, but he was attacking back. "Stop them!" Windclaw screeched. Hickorypaw just stared. He was too frightened to move. His father just stared as well. Sweetwind stopped Windclaw from interferring. "Let them fight" she said. "The more negative energy they have against each other, the more likely one of them is going to kill the other and my guess, it's probably going to be Thrushstar who will kill." Windclaw nodded and backed away. Hickorypaw saw his brother Timberpaw coming towards him. "What's happening!?" he whispered. He had been checking the moss in the apprentice den on Thrushstar's orders. "Thrushstar and Smokestorm are fighting" Hickorypaw replied. Timberpaw's eyes went blank with shock. Hickorypaw then saw Daisypaw. "Hickorypaw! are you okay?" she quietly asked. "Yeah, just a little shocked" he replied.
"Yeah, me too" Daisypaw said. Smokestorm fell to the ground and Thrushstar grunted with anticpation. Without caring about his wounds, Thrushstar stormed into his den. "Smokestorm!" Windclaw yelled.
"It's okay, I'll help" Sweetwind said. "Marigoldpaw come on!"
"Right!" Marigoldpaw said and ran with her mentor with Newtstep dragging his half brother.
"I hope he's okay" Hickorypaw said.
"He'll be fine" Yellowstripe said to his son. "Sweetwind learned from and is the best medicine cat."
4. Yellowstripe's prophercy
After sorting out the evening patrol, led by Copperstrike, Yellowstripe slowly stepped into the warriors den. He collapsed into his nest and fell to sleep. He padded across the sandy ledge sealed with blood. There he saw the brown outline of Thrushstar and the limp body of Smokestorm. "That could of been how it ended" a she cat said, then the white pelt of his mate rushed towards him and touched his nose with hers. "I miss you" Yellowstripe said, but Brokensnow said nothing but,
"The thrush will become a lion and the newt needs help. Only the stripes of yellow and the fire of russet can be trusted as the storm of smoke faces betrayel."
"Russetfire!" Yellowstripe shouted, getting the fire of russet part right. "But she's dead!"
Brokensnow just smiled and walked off, though she murmered some words that Yellowstripe was just able to make out, "Think about Feathersplash."
5. The terror begins
Smokestorm's eyes fluttered open, rays of the rising sun shining on his pelt. "Good morning Smokestorm" Marigoldpaw said. "Good morning Marigoldpaw" Smokestorm said. He saw her circle him , then go off to grab some goldenrod. She chewed it to a poultice and spat it onto one of his worse wounds, then licked another poultice of horsetail and marigold onto his tail. "You got a severe beating from your father" she said. "I know" Smokestorm said, then saw his brother come. Hailwhisker usually got on well with Smokestorm, but today, he felt an odd vibe coming from him. "How could you!?" he cried.
"What do you mean?" Smokestorm asked.
"Thrushstar lost a life because of you!" Hailwhisker hissed.
"He lost a life because of me!?" Smokestorm screeched, irritated by his brother. "He gave me these wounds and it's all my fault!?" Hailwhisker just grunted. Smokestorm furiously got up and hissed. "I may be injured, but I'm a way stronger warrior than you are!" Hailwhisker gasped, then snarled.
"Oh, you're so dead!" he growled, but another voice rang out.
"Stop all of this!" Sweetwind yelled. Smokestorm snarled, while Hailwhisker just stormed out. "What was that all about?" she asked Smokestorm harshly.
"Hailwhisker said that Thrushstar lost a life because of me!" Smokestorm said.
"It's not your fault at all" Sweetwind said. "Thrushstar lost a life because he wouldn't get his wounds checked."
"The wounds I caused!" Smokestorm cried. Sweetwind placed her tail on his shoulder.
"You're not the one that started the fight" she said. Smokestorm then felt a sense of security with the young medicine cat.
Newtstep pounced on a squirrel. He held it in his jaws and picked up his other pieces of prey, thinking about his soon to come kits. They'll be great hunters like me he thought. As he padded back to camp, he thought about what he did when he was a kit. He smiled as he remembered the confrontation him and Dustleap had with the clan. Then he remembered the death of Rabbitclaw. He dropped his prey and looked at Wolfpelt, who was just coming back with her prey. She dropped it down and saw Newtstep. "Are you okay?" she asked. Newtstep was startled by the senior warrior's voice. "Oh, yeah. I was just thinking" he replied. Wolfpelt smiled. "I'm glad my daughter is having kits with a brave tom like you Newtstep" she said.
"Yellowstripe was a good mate to Brokensnow" Newtstep said.
"He was indeed" Wolfpelt said. Newtstep smiled. He grabbed a rabbit, went up to the ledge and sat next to Spiderclaw. Before he ate it however, Newtstep remembered his first catch. As he ate it, he remembered him chasing after the plump yet fast rabbit he chased and finally caught. "Are you going to the gathering tonight?" Spiderclaw asked.
"Of course I am!" Newtstep replied. "Are you?'
"Yeah! I'm not missing a missing a gathering like this!" Immediately, Newtstep remembered.
"I'm such a mouse brain! I forgot we were having a hunting competition!" he exclaimed. Spiderclaw laughed. "Can't you wait!?" he asked. After finishing his rabbit , Newtstep replied.
"Of course I can't wait!" he said.
"With you in HawkClan, we can't lose!" Spiderclaw exclaimed. Newtstep smiled.
"It's obvious we're going to win!" he said.
"Your kits are going to be great hunters and fighters like you, you know?" Spiderclaw asked. Newtstep smiled and nodded. Spiderclaw was starting to grow out of his kit like behavior and was becoming more mature, as he was volenteering for patrols and hunting more. "Are you ever going to have a mate?" Newtstep asked. Spiderclaw just smiled. "Maybe. I'm not that kit who wanted to be a mate free warrior anymore" he replied. Newtstep then saw something odd in his eye. A strange twinkle that was never there. A yellow pelt was reflected.
7. The special gathering
Hickorypaw leapt over the creek, followed by his brother. "I can't wait for the hunting competition!" Timberpaw exclaimed. Hickorypaw smiled. "I know!" he said, then his face dulled. "Oh, we have to listen to the other leaders first." Timberpaw groaned, then they got to the meeting place. Thrushstar leapt onto the rock, followed by Ashstar. Flamestar jumped onto the rock not long after. However, Mousestar and BraveClan were nowhere to be seen. "Where is she?" Ashstar asked. Flamestar shrugged.
"She's probably still chosing who should come to the gathering" he said.
"Bravestar was like that" Thrushstar said. "But never Mousestar." Flamestar pouted, then caught the glaring eye of Newtstep. He flinched and then looked Thrushstar straight in the eye. "Hickorypaw!" a she cat's voice shouted. "Blackpaw, hi!" Hickorypaw shouted back.
"Hi Hickorypaw!" A dark brown tom, just a little darker than Timberpaw said.
"Hi Clawpaw!" Hickorypaw shouted back. The two apprentices were from Flamestar's clan and he was very good friends with both of them. Finally, the shape of Mousestar appeared and she leapt onto the rock. "Why are you late? It's not like you" Flamestar said. Mousestar coughed.
"If you didn't know Mousebrain, I'm the eldest leader here" she coughed again then continued, "And I'm sick." She broke into a fit of coughing, then stopped. Hickorypaw, Blackpaw and Clawpaw sat next to each other as Thrushstar spoke, "We have two new warriors here tonight, Mallowflower and Hailwhisker" he said. "Mallowflower, Hailwhisker!" most of the cats yowled. What about Smokestorm? Hickorypaw thought, then remembered that he was recovering from the injuries Thrushstar made. Ashstar decided to go next. "We have two new warriors as well, Stormstripe and Darkdusk" she said.
"Stormstripe, Darkdusk!" the clans cheered. "However, we also have some sad news. Briarberry has died." Sparrowwing gaped, along with most of HawkClan. "Willowflower now has her position." The grey she cat nervously dipped her head as the clan cheered. "Well, we have one new warrior, Breezestorm" Flamestar said. "Breezestorm, Breezestorm!" the clan cheered. Mousestar finally went. "We have two new warriors, Wetrunner and Sootstorm" she croaked.
"Wetrunner, Sootstorm!" the clan cheered. She coughed again, then announced, "The hunting competition is now underway!" The cats immediately left the rock.
8. The hunting
Yellowstripe stalked a mouse. Although he wasn't used to hunting at night, he could still see in the moonlight. He pounced onto the mouse and placed it under a leaf. However, he couldn't find anything else.
Who would think of hunting at night? Yellowstripe thought, until he found something even better. He quickly went into a hunters crouch and slowly stalked the group of pheasant. He stalked until he leapt and killed one of the pheasants with a blow with his paw. Yellowstripe smiled and had a look at the moon. There was no clouds covering it. Good. I still need a lot more time he thought. Now that scared the remaining pheasants away, he had to find another piece of prey. It took him a little while until he saw a small shape scuttling across the ground. A vole! Yellowstripe thought and chased after it, though he saw a grey pelt dart in front of the vole and grabbed it. Newtstep smiled. "My ninth piece of prey!" he said quietly. Newtstep already has nine pieces of prey? Yellowstripe thought. Newtstep didn't seem to notice Yellowstripe, probably because of his black pelt and walked off. I'm the deputy and my former apprentice is better than me at hunting! he thought. He had anothwer look at the sky. The yowl of Mousestar, who seemed a lot better after hunting was heard. "No!" Yellowstripe yelled as the clouds covered the moon. He sighed as he carried his prey to the rock. Thrushstar glared at what his deputy had caught. "What small prey!" he growled, but he smiled at his eldest son's catch. "Ten piece of prey!" he said.
"Thanks Thrushstar" Newtstep said. Hickorypaw came next, which also impressed Thrushstar. Although he didn't have as much as Newtstep, he had a good catch. Yellowstripe backed into the shadows.
Smokestorm grimaced at the sickly and strong smell that lingered. He almost teared up as he thought of his sister. He looked at her empty nest. It was his first day since his injuries that he would be in the warriors den, though Russetfire wouldn't be there. He shook his head and went into her nest. The scent was unbearable at first. He was the only cat to beleive that Russetfire was still alive. He smiled when he thought of Feathersplash. Although he wasn't born when Feathersplash was beleived to have died, he heard it with his littermates. Smokestorm lay awake for a while, still grimacing from the scent. Although he didn't know it, Hailwhisker watched him with sympathy. It was a little while until Smokestorm's eyes closed and his dreams washed away his worries. His eyes slowly opened the next day. "Good morning Smokestorm" Wolfpelt said.
"Good morning Wolfpelt" Smokestorm replied.
"Yellowstripe wants you" she said. Smokestorm's eyes widened.
"Did I sleep in!?" he asked, worried. Wolfpelt shook her head.
"He just wants you. I'm not sure why." Smokestorm nodded and ran out of the den. The black tom with yellow stripes sat on highrock. "Did you want me Yellowstripe?" Smokestorm asked. Yellowstripe nodded.
"You're facing betrayal from all sides, but I can help" he whispered.
"What do you mean?" Smokestorm asked.
"I... I got a prophercy that you would be betrayed by many" Yellowstripe said. Smokestorm gasped.
"Many cats?" he asked. Yellowstripe reluctantly nodded.
'Don't worry though. Some cats are here to help you" he said. "Now can you lead the patrol?"
"Sure!" Smokestorm said and took his patrol of Spiderclaw, Timberpaw, Sparrowwing, Daisypaw and himself.
One moon later
"Smokestorm! Smokestorm!" Mallowflower's voice woke up Smokestorm.
"M..Mallowflower? What is it?" he asked. A yowl of pain answered his question. He jumped up.
"You need to find Newtstep!" she yelled.
"Where is he?" he asked.
"He's lead the dawn patrol out a few heartbeats ago." Smokestorm nodded and sprinted as fast as he could.
10. The big day
Newtstep heard his half brother yell. "What is it Smokestorm?" he asked.
"Feathersplash's kits are coming!" he yelled. Newtstep gasped.
"We must go now!" Newtstep yelled to his patrol. The cats nodded and Newtstep sprinted across the moor. "Feathersplash!" he yelled. Her yowl was the first thing he heard. He darted into the nursery and rushed by her side. Sweetwind held some rasberry leaves, while Marigoldpaw broke the stalk of a piece of fennel and Feathersplash drank the juice. "it's okay Feathersplash, I'm right here" Newtstep reassured his mate. Feathersplash nodded, then she once again yowled in pain. Her first kit, a grey one, came out. Newtstep and Feathersplash both smiled. "A tom" Marigoldpaw said. Sweetwind smiled.
"Your doing very well" Sweetwind said. Marigoldpaw smiled.
"What are you going to name it?" Stormtooth asked.
"Stormkit" Feathersplash said. Stormtooth smiled.
"You didn't have to name it after me!" he said. Feathersplash smiled.
"He almost looks just like you, except he has a silver stripe across his face" she said. Stormtooth still smiled. Then, the second kit came with a bit more of a struggle. It was a black kit this time. "Another tom" Marigold paw said and fed Feathersplash some rasberry leaves. "Nightkit?" Newtstep asked. He seemed to like that name. "Of course!" Feathersplash said, then she yowled again. A grey kit came out.
"Another tom" Marigoldpaw said and gave Feathersplash the last of the rasberry leaves.
"How about Greykit?" Feathersplash asked. Newtstep couldn't help but laugh, though he nodded. Feathersplash smiled. Newtstep stopped laughing and had a look at his precious kits. I'm a father now. However, something worrying came into his mind. The spitting image of Dustleap came across breifly, but he shook it off. All he knew was that he was the father to three healty kits.
11. Hickorypaw's surprise
Hickorypaw lay by the apprentice den. There was no training today. Timberpaw lay beside him. "What are we going to do?" he asked.
"I don't know" Hickorypaw replied, then saw Stormkit and Nightkit tussling with each other, while Greykit watched unamused. "It looks like Greykit has less of his father's energy" he said. Timberpaw nodded.
"I think Stormkit and Nightkit are going to be great warriors like him though."
"Yeah!" Hickorypaw said, then another thing came across his mind. "When are we going to be warriors?" he asked. "Hopefully sometime soon" Timberpaw replied desprately. Hickorypaw smiled.
"Be patient Timberbreath!" he said. Timberpaw smiled.
"Hickoryfish!" he said. Hickorypaw tackled him and they tussled like Stormkit and Nightkit. However, both stopped when they saw a black she cat, wounded and tired, limping into the camp. "Blackpaw!" Hickorypaw yelled, running towards his friend. However, before he reached her, Blackpaw collapsed near the medicine cat den.
Yellowstripe saw the black she cat being pushed into the medicine den by his two sons. He leapt off the ledge and rushed into his sister's den. Sweetwind was preparing a poultice, while Marigoldpaw had catchweed in her mouth. As Sweetwind spat the poultice onto one of the cats wounds, Marigoldpaw stripped the burrs off the plant and stuck them on. "What happened?" hew asked his sons.
"I don't know, but I just saw her collapse by the medicine den" Hickorypaw said. Yellowstripe nodded and saw the she cat slowly regain conciousness. "Ha? W...where am I?" she asked.
"Don't worry Blackpaw" Hickorypaw said. "You're in HawkClan's medicine den."
"Hickorypaw?" Blackpaw asked. "Is that you?"
"It's me" Hickorypaw said. "What happened?"
"The whole clan attacked me, even Clawpaw" Blackpaw replied.
"Clawpaw too!?" Hickorypaw asked. Blackpaw sadly nodded. Yellowstripe thought , then came up with an idea. "Join our clan Blackpaw!" he said. Blackpaw's face lit up.
"Really?" she asked.
"Sure!" Yellowstripe said and ran towards Thrushstar's den. He then saw him come out weakly. He was injured after protecting the nursery from a fox and he was still weak. "Is there something you wanted Yellowstripe?" he croaked.
"There's this apprentice that I said could join the clan" he said nervously.
"Can I see her?" he asked.
"Yeah. She's in the medicine den" Yellowstripe said. Thrushstar limped behind Yellowstripe and he smiled at Blackpaw. "What's your name?" he asked
"Blackpaw" Blackpaw said. Thrushstar smiled again.
"Once you recover, you will continue your training and become a true member of HawkClan" he said.
"Thank you!" Blackpaw said and bowed to her new leader. Yellowstripe smiled.
13. Blackpaw's new start
Smokestorm gathered under highrock along with Mallowflower and Spiderclaw. Greykit was sleeping in the nursery, while his more confident siblings poked their heads out. Thrushstar was on the rock, along with Blackpaw. "Blackpaw, you will now continue your warrior training in HawkClan" he said. "Newtstep, you have done very well mentoring Russetfire and you will do very well mentoring Blackpaw." Newtstep smiled and touched noses with the black she cat. Smokestorm sighed and saw Stormkit and Nightkit come out. He saw them bounding up to him. "Hey Smokestorm!" Stormkit said, but was knocked down by Nightkit.
"We were wondering if..." he started, but was attacked by Stormkit. Smokestorm shook his head, then stopped the two kits. "What were you two wondering about?" he asked.
"We were wondering if you can teach us the hunters crouch" Stormkit said.
"Yeah! We want to put it to good use so we can hunt moths!" Nightkit continued.
"Alright then" Smokestorm said. He went into a hunters crouch, but instead of getting ready to hunt a moth, he stalked a bird that was perched on a branch overhanging the sandy hollow. Immediately, Smokestorm pounced, killing it with a blow with his paw. "Wow!" Stormkit shouted, bouncing up and down. "You must be the best hunter in the clan!"
"I'm only average" Smokestorm said. "It's your father with the skills of a hunter."
"Daddy's the best hunter?" Nightkit asked, excitement in his eyes.
"Apparently, the only cat who surpasses him in the clan is his father" Smokestorm said.
"Thrushstar?" Stormkit asked. Smokestorm nodded.
14. The hunting assesment
One moon later
Newtstep came out of the warrior den, Hailwhisker following. Although he just trained Blackpaw for a moon, she was ready for her warrior assesment, along with Yellowstripe's kits. "Alright Blackpaw, do you remember the rules?" Newtstep asked. Blackpaw nodded.
"I can't see you or Hailwhisker, but you can see me" she said.
"Very good" Newtstep said. "Now, catch three birds, preferably blackbirds." Blackpaw nodded and went off. Newtstep and his half brother followed her through the bushes. They both watched as Blackpaw pounced onto the first blackbird. Newtstep smiled. Hailwhisker looked rather impressed. They watched as she caught the second blackbird. They both watched in amazment as Blackpaw leapt to grab the third bird by the tail. She gave a killing bite to the throat. The two cats came out of their hiding spot. "Well done Blackpaw!" Newtstep said. Blackpaw smiled.
"How did you leap into the air like that?" Hailwhisker asked. Blackpaw kneeded her paws, then said, "I learnt it in my old clan." Newtstep put his tail on her shoulders.
"You should never hide such qualities like that" he said. Hailwhisker looked away breifly, then looked at them. Newtstep then led the other two cats back to camp. Thrushstar was on the rock, beside his apprentice. Newtstep signalled Blackpaw to go up to highrock. She nodded and ran up the ledge to sit next to her friend. Timberpaw bounded up the ledge proudly. Finally, Daisypaw came up the ledge. The cats gathered beneath highrock and Thrushstar started the ceremony. "Alright, Newtstep and Hailwhisker, how well did Blackpaw do?" he asked.
"Blackpaw did very well for a cat I taught for just a moon" Newtstep said.
"Blackpaw has shown very good qualities" Hailwhisker said. "She is as good a hunter and fighter as Newtstep." Newtstep smiled, while Thrushstar seemed impressed with the young she cat's potential.
"I thought Hickorypaw did very well too" he said. "What about you Wolfpelt?"
"He impressed me greatly with his rabbit chasing skills" Wolfpelt said. Thrushstar nodded, then looked at Spiderclaw. "Spiderclaw and Mallowflower, how well did Timberpaw do?" he asked.
"Timberpaw did extremely well" Spiderclaw said. "His focus is great."
"He has shown abilities beyond my own" Mallowflower said. "It would of been nice if I've had him as my apprentice, but I was one when he started." Thrushstar nodded and finally, turned to his brother. "Sparrowwing and Smokestorm, how well did Daisypaw do?" he asked.
"Daisypaw has shown very good hunting promise" Sparrowwing said.
"She has great hunting skills" Smokestorm said. "I wouldn't be surprised if she caught a pheasant one day." Thrushstar nodded, then turned to Blackpaw. " Blackpaw, do you wish to fight for this clan, even at the cost of your life?" he asked.
"I do" Blackpaw said.
"Now by the powers of StarClan looking down on this apprentice, Blackpaw, you will now be known as Blackbreeze. StarClan honours you for your courage and determination" Thrushstar said. Newtstep smiled to his former apprentice. Blackbreeze smiled back and Thrushstar then turned to Hickorypaw. "Hickorypaw, do you wish to fight for this clan, even at the cost of your life?" he asked.
"I do" Hickorypaw said.
"Now, by the powers of StarClan looking down on this apprentice, Hickorypaw, you will now be known as Hickoryheart. StarClan honours you for your strong will and bravery" Thrushstar said, then turned to Timberpaw. "Timberpaw, do you wish to fight for this clan, even at the cost of your life?" he asked.
"I do" Timberpaw said.
"Now, by the powers of StarClan looking down on this apprentice, Timberpaw, you will now be known as Timberfall. StarClan honours you for your honesty and courage" Thrushstar said, then finally turned to Daisypaw. "Daisypaw, do you wish to fight for this clan, even at the cost of your life?" he asked.
"I do" Daisypaw said.
"Now, by the powers of StarClan looking down on this apprentice, Daisypaw, you will now be known as Daisypool. StarClan honours you for your spirit and kindness" Thrushstar said.
"Blackbreeze, Hickoryheart, Timberfall and Daisypool!" the clan cheered. Marigoldpaw proudly watched her siblings, while Yellowstripe was yowling to the sky. "She'll know" Newtstep told him.
"I know she won't miss an occasion like this" Yellowstripe's eyes misted up, but he shook it away. "It's been moons since Brokensnow's been gone, but I miss her terribly."
"I guess it's natural" Newtstep said. "I can't bear to lose Feathersplash."
"You make a great father to Stormkit, Nightkit and Greykit" Yellowstripe said.
"I know" Newtstep said and watched affectionately as Stormkit and Nightkit tussled with each other.
15. Overwhelming feelings
Hickoryheart shivered as the wind rustled his pelt. Why do newly appointed warriors have to do this!? he thought. He looked at Timberfall, who was also shivering from the cold. Daisypool was probably the worst, shivering violently. Blackbreeze was also shivering, although it was like Hickoryheart and Timberfall. However, Hickoryheart felt warm all of a sudden when he lay his eyes on her. This feel's strange he thought, then looked across the moor, though another strange feeling lured him back. Focus Hickoryheart, focus! he thought, but he just couldn't. He then realised why he was so attracted to Blackbreeze. He was falling in love. But did she love him? Hickoryheart shook his head. I'll think about it after this vigil he thought. It was a long time until the first light of dawn shone against the moor. Hickoryheart smiled. He quickly looked and saw Mallowflower bounding towards them. "Your vigil is over" she said. Hickoryheart and Timberfall immediately rushed towards the fresh kill pile. After eating a mouse each and sharing a lark, both grabbed their nests. Hickoryheart was the first to place his nest on the outside of the circle, followed by Timberfall. However, before falling asleep, Hickoryheart's feelings arose when he saw Blackbreeze place her nest next to his. They breifly locked eyes, then both fell asleep.
16. The next queen
Yellowstripe watched affectionately as his kits and Blackbreeze slept soundly in their nests. He then looked at the fresh kill pile. Not much prey left Yellowstripe thought as Greykit entered the nursery with his prey and Stormtooth took a vole. Wolfpelt began to stir. "Wolfpelt, can you go on a hunting patrol with Spiderclaw and Smokestorm?" he asked.
"Good morning to you too Yellowstripe" she murmered irratibly. Yellowstripe flinched. Wolfpelt was becoming a little bit grumpy lately, however, she was currently the eldest warrior in the clan, even being older than Thrushstar and Sparrowwing. "Sorry Wolfpelt" Yellowstripe said.
"It's okay Yellowstripe. I think I can go hunting. I still have a lot of potential left" Wolfpelt said and went out of the den, her son and Smokestorm following. Thrushstar, Windclaw and Mallowflower were already up and Mallowflower's belly was rather swollen. Did something happen to her? Yellowstripe thought. However, he soon saw that her parents weren't so concerned. They looked full of joy as Mallowflower talked to them. Slowly, he walked towards them. "What's going on?" he asked. Mallowflower turned around.
"Oh, Yellowstripe!" she said, startled.
"It's okay Mallowflower" Yellowstripe said. "But what's going on?"
"I'm expecting kits!" Mallowflower said. Yellowstripe smiled. This is what the apprentice I pushed so hard came out to be he thought.
"Who's the father?" he asked.
"Spiderclaw" Mallowflower said. Yellowstripe was about to say something until Copperstrike saw the hunting patrol come back. Yellowstripe looked behind him and saw Wolfpelt with some shrews, a vole and two pheasants, Spiderclaw with two blackbirds, some sparrows and a mouse and Smokestorm with some voles, a rabbit and four mice. Spiderclaw came up to his mate. Wolfpelt smiled. "I'm expecting my third lot of grandkits" she said. "Maybe I should go to the elders den and keep my father company."
"You'll probably expect a fourth litter of grandkits a little later maybe" Yellowstripe said.
"Yes, I'm expecting kits from you too Copperstrike" Wolfpelt said.
"No thanks!" Copperstrike said immediately. "I'm not having a love interest!" Wolfpelt smiled. Spiderclaw also smiled. "You had one once, remember?' he asked. Copperstrike looked away, then looked back.
"I did once" he said. "But Russetfire's dead now." Yellowstripe saw the pain in his eyes, a familiar look of pain. He knew it was the pain he experienced when Brokensnow died. Then he remembered the prophercy he was given moons ago, only the stripes of yellow and the fire of russet... but he shook it off.
17. The lion's reign
Smokestorm watched as his sister padded towards the nursery, her belly swollen with kits. He smiled, then glared when he saw his brother. Hailwhisker returned the glare. I better not read his thoughts he thought, his glare becoming as cold as stone. Thrushstar's yowl was the only thing that stopped them from glaring at each other. Smokestorm sat beside Wolfpelt and Thrushstar began speaking, "There is a group of badgers attacking! We must chase them out!"
"Thery're no harm at the moment Thrushstar" Stormtooth said, but Thrushstar just snarled.
"I don't care if they're no harm just yet, they will be!" he shouted. Smokestorm sensed cold creeping over his father's heart and his brown fur becoming as golden as a lion's. Stormtooth slinked back. "Who will join me!?" Smokestorm swallowed hard, then replied.
"I will too!" Newtstep yowled.
"I will always follow!" Yellowstripe yowled.
"I'll die myself for this clan!" Hailwhisker yowled as well. Windclaw, Spiderclaw Copperstrike, Wolfpelt and the four new warriors also yowled. Only Sparrowwing, Stormtooth and the two queens didn't yowl. "I have a bad feeling about this" Sparrowwing said. "I can feel it in my paws."
"Me too" Stormtooth said.
Meanwhile, Smokestorm ran towards the coming badgers. He tackled into one twice the size of him. However, the badger quickly bowled him over and then was ready to make the death blow. Smokestorm closed his eyes. Goodbye HawkClan he thought as the badger was about to jump onto him. However, a blood curdling yowl was heard instead. Smokestorm quickly opened his eyes again to see his father, slumped onto the ground. "No!" he yowled as he saw Thrushstar, still concious, but barely.
"Smokestorm, I'm sorry I attacked you those moons ago" he croaked.
"It's okay Father" Smokestorm said.
"I knew you were special" Thrushstar said quietly, his eyes begining to flutter close.
"No no no! This can't be your last life!" Smokestorm shouted.
"It is, I'm sorry" he said, then for the last time, his eyes closed.
"NO!" Smokestorm yowled and greived. Hailwhisker touched his tail with his shoulder.
"I'm sorry Smokestorm" he said, his head hung. "I also pushed you hard." Smokestorm sighed but he smiled at his brother, then both yowled in shock as they saw a blood stained grey pelt. Yellowstripe looked over his former apprentice. "You trained him well, Yellowstar" Wolfpelt said. Yellowstripe smiled.
"Newtstep was a very good apprentice" he said. "And it's Yellowstripe." Wolfpelt frowned.
"Thrushstar's dead" she said. Yellowstripe's eyes widened.
"What!?" he yelled, shocked. "I'm not ready! I'm really not!"
Wolfpelt put her tail on his shoulder. "You're as ready as ever" she said. "But we better bring Thrushstar's and Newtstep's bodies back to camp." Yellowstripe nodded and they headed back to HawkClan.
18. Back to camp
"No!" Feathersplash yowled as he saw her mate's body. Their kits gathered around him and all four of them greived. Stormtooth looked at Newtstep's grey pelt. "He was such a promising young..." he was cut off by a moan. "He's alive!" Stormkit squealed. Newtstep's eyes fluttered open and his kits jumped onto him.
"You're alive!" Nightkit squealed, then playfully attacked Stormkit. Newtstep smiled. Feathersplash placed her head onto his blood stained chest fur. "I'm glad you didn't leave me" she said.
"I can never leave you Feathersplash" Newtstep said. Feathersplash smiled, then backed away. Newtstep slowly got up and yowled in shock as he saw his father's body. "What happened!?" he asked.
"He protected me from a badger" Smokestorm mewed sadly. Newtstep nodded.He then looked to his former mentor. His sister padded towards him. "It's a long way to the moonpool Yellowstripe" she said. "We'll be there just before time if we leave now." Yellowstripe nodded and followed Sweetwind as Marigoldpaw was treating the other cats injuries. "May StarClan light your path Yellowstar!" Newtstep shouted.
19. The new era
Yellowstripe and Sweetwind trudged as they got closer to the moonpool. "I'm lucky I wasn't the main medicine cat when Thrushstar got his nine lives" Sweetwind said.
"I wish I wasn't deputy anymore" Yellowstripe said. They finally got the water were the stars reflected on.
"You know what to do right?" she asked. Yellowstripe nodded, touched his nose to the cold pool and fell asleep. He heard the nine voices of the cats ready to give him his nine lives. "Are you ready to begin Yellowstripe?" the nine voice asked.
"I am" Yellowstripe said. The first cat broke away from the others. Yellowstripe bowed to Rainstar, but she just flicked her tail. "There's no need for that anymore Yellowstripe" she said. Yellowstripe nodded.
"It seems to be natrual" he said. Rainstar smiled and put her nose on his forehead.
"With this life, I give you patience. Use this to keep your calm at all times, even when want to be angry" she said. The life flew in without much pain, only a few thorn like pricks. Rainstar smiled and left for the moor while the second cat stepped foward. "Hello Leopardclaw" Yellowstripe said.
"Good evening Yellowstripe" Leopardclaw said.
"Did you see your son's warrior ceremony?" he asked.
"I could never miss that" Leopardclaw replied. "You raised my kit into a mighty warrior."
"Have you seen his kits with Feathersplash?" he asked.
"Of course I saw them! I was beside Thrushstar" she replied, then put her nose on his forehead like Rainstar did. "With this life, I give you nuturing. Treat the whole clan like they are your kits." Yellowstripe almost fell down in pain as the life surged into his body. I thought that would be a nuturing feeling! he thought. Leopardclaw ran onto the moor and the third cat who he didn't even know came up. "Good evening Yellowstripe" she said. Her pelt was dark brown, while her paws were golden brown. Her ears, shoulders and tail were battle scarred, though the look in her amber eyes told Yellowstripe that she was friendly. "I am Hawkstar, the first leader of HawkClan."
"You're Stormtooth's and Mousestar's sister aren't you?' Yellowstripe asked. Hawkstar nodded. She placed her nose onto his forehead like the other two. "With this life, I give you confidence. Use this life when you feel you are lacking in what a leader needs." Yellowstripe braced himself as a surge of pain almost rendered him breathless. Hawkstar smiled and went towards the moor as the fourth cat stepped foward. He bounced up to Yellowstripe, although he was a full grown warrior. Yellowstripe touched noses with him. "Hi Redwing!" he said.
"How are you Yellowstripe?" Redwing asked. "Do you miss me?"
"Of course I miss you!" Yellowstripe said. Well, most of the time. Unlike the other three, Redwing kept his nose on Yellowstripe's. "With this life, I give you compassion. Use this life when you don't want to fight and instead want to comfort" he said. Yellowstripe braced himself, preparing for the pain like Hawkstar's life. However, a soothing feeling was the only thing he felt. As Redwing headed towards the moor, the fifth cat came up. "Brokensnow!" Yellowstripe shouted. Brokensnow pressed her head against his.
"I miss you" she said.
"I do too" Yellowstripe said. "Did you see our kits warrior ceremony?"
"I'd die again if I didn't" Brokensnow replied and pressed her nose on his, like Redwing did. "With this life, I give you endurance. Use this life when you feel like you can't go on." A wave of strength began to rise in Yellowstripe, but there was no pain. "I'll be waiting" Brokensnow said as she went towards the moor. The sixth cat, another cat he never knew came up. He looked so much like him, except he didn't have the yellow stripes. "My name is Podheart" he said.
"Are you mine and Sweetwind's father?" Yellowstripe asked.
"I am" Podheart replied. "I died before you were born. I'm so sorry that I wasn't there for you."
"It's okay Father" Yellowstripe said. Podheart smiled and put his nose on Yellowstripe's. "With this life, I give you forgiveness. Use this life when you you want to try forgiving, even at the hardest time." Yellowstripe tensed his muscles as Podheart's life went through. Podheart went towards the moor, while the seventh cat came up. "Good evening Rabbitclaw" Yellowstripe said. Rabbitclaw dipped his head.
"Good evening Yellowstripe" he said. "How is your ceremony so far?"
"Tiring" Yellowstripe replied. "Well, Brokensnow's and Rainstar's lives weren't too bad, but Hawkstar's and Leopardclaw's are a different story." Rabbitclaw nodded and pressed his nose onto Yellowstripe's forehead. "With this life, I give you strength. Use this life when you don't have any physical or mental strength left" he said. Yellowstripe almost fainted from the pain of the life. I have two more lives left and I don't think I'm going to hang on! he thought. The eighth cat stepped foward and Yellowstripe immediately knew who it was. "Good evening Stumpyfoot" Yellowstripe said. Stumpyfoot smiled.
"Good evening Yellowstripe" he said. He smiled at his former apprentice, who just fell asleep. "Hello Sweetwind!" he said.
"Hi Stumpyfoot!" Sweetwind said and touched noses with her former mentor. He then went back to Yellowstripe and pressed his nose on Yellowstripe's forehead. "With this life, I give you experiwence. You don't have any at the moment, but you will and once you do, use this life to make the right choice" he said. Yellowstripe felt like he was choking on a vole bone, though it went away as Stumpyfoot went towards the moor. The final cat then came up. Yellowstripe dipped his head. "Good evening Thrushstar" he said.
"Good evening Yellowstripe" Thrushstar said. "I expect very good things from you."
"I'll do my best" Yellowstripe said. Thrushstar smiled and pressed his nose against Yellowstripe's forehead.
"With this life, I give you nobility. You have a lot of this, but use this life when you run out of your own nobility." Out of all the lives, Thrushstar's life was the most soothing and Yellowstripe felt the wave of strength that Brokensnow's life gave to him come back. The other cats who gave him his lives gathered beside Thrushstar. "Yellowstripe, you're old life is now over. From now on, you will now be known as Yellowstar."
"Yellowstar! Yellowstar!" They cheered as Yellowstripe awoken, along with Sweetwind.
"Come on Yellowstr... star, we'll get back to the clan by late sunhigh."
Yellowstar yowled so the clan knew it was time for the meeting. "As you know, I am the new leader of HawkClan!" he yowled. The clan cheered. Yellowstar smiled. "Now, I will choose a deputy" he continued. "Will you be it Newtstep?"
"Me!?" Newtstep asked. He knew this was going to happen, but now?
"You're the bravest cat in the clan" Yellowstar said. Newtstep hesitated for a while but then replied.
"I accept then." Yellowstar nodded.
"Newtstep! Newtstep!" the clan cheered. Newtstep puffed his chest up proudly. He was going to become Newtstar one day.
Book 4, Whispering dawn is coming out soon!