The fifth book in the HawkClan series. As Newtstar's long awaited legacy begins, he finds out one shocking secret after another and especially one that never should of been. Meanwhile, Hickoryheart gets an unexpected suprise which isn't the good kind. Stormtooth wonders abut the whispering dawn and Stormpaw and Nightpaw are on the fast track to warriorhood.
A grey, thick furred tom kit stalked a a brown she kit. He pounced and jumped onto her, but she shook him off. "You can do better than that Wolfkit, can't you?" she asked. Wolfkit headbutted her. "Oh come on Finchkit!" Wolfkit said. Finchkit put on her best growl and lunged at her brother. They tussled, until they saw another kit, a ginger tom, tackled both of them. "No fair!" Wolfkit cried.
"It was so fair!" the ginger tom said.
"You never who's going to attack you Wolfkit" Finchkit said. "So it's pretty fair that Adderkit tackled you over."
"I tackled you over too Finchkit" Adderkit said. Finchkit crouched, as well as Wolfkit. Adderkit lunged at his siblings. Wolfkit grabbed Finchkit with his tiny fangs. Adderkit pushed him over and Wolfkit released Finchkit. "Alright, I'm tired" Finchkit said. "Let's go and see Daddy!"
"Yeah" both of her brothers said. They ran to the clearing.
"Daddy!" Wolfkit yelled. A brown tom looked at his kits.
"Hello you three!" the brown tom said.
"Daddy, where's Mummy?" Finchkit asked.
"She's still in the nursery" he said. "Now go to her. I'm a little busy."
"Alright Daddy!" all three of them said and they raced to a den near a fallen tree.
"Hello Duststar" a voice said from the shadows.
"Spiderclaw! So glad you could join us!" Duststar said. The black tom with the white underbelly came out. "Did they fall for it?" he asked.
"Of course" Spiderclaw said. "They were far too grief stricken to realise that I don't have a white tail tip or paws. Also, I have a nick in my right ear, not left." Duststar gave a cackle.
"HawkClan is just so gullible" he said.
"I have some bad news though" Spiderclaw said. Duststar looked at him.
"What?" he asked, looking at his deputy.
"Newtstar is the leader of HawkClan now" Spiderclaw said.
"Newtstar?" Duststar asked. Spiderclaw nodded. Duststar went distant. He thought about all the feelings he had for his brother. The happiness he felt when he was around him in kithood. The anger he felt when he found out about how he was going to be leader instead of him. The crushed feeling he felt when he lied to him. The sadness he felt when their bond broke in two. However, he shook it off. "Don't worry Spiderclaw" he said. "Once we're done with HawkClan, Newtstar, your kits and HawkClan will be gone."
2. The nightmare
Newtstar settled into his new nest. It was quite different from the warriors den. This must be how Stormtooth feels in the elders den he thought as he curled up in a ball. He woke up somewhere dark. There were no stars. Then, he realised. The dark forest! he thought, then saw the leader, his great grandfather Flightfeather. Newtstar growled. "Leave me alone" Newtstar snarled, bristling.
"Why should I?" Flightfeather asked. "I'm in your blood. Your brother has my blood. Your kits have my blood. Once they find mates, I will still have distant descendants and they will join the dark forest to continue my legacy" he growled.
"I will never let that happen!" Newtstar yowled.
"Oh really?" Flightfeather asked. "Songleaf!" A battle scarred yellow she cat came.
"Meet one of my best warriors" he said. Songleaf hissed and leapt at Newtstar. However, Newtstar easily dodged the attack. He lunged at her and snapped her neck. Songleaf's blue eyes went dull and she faded. Flightfeather staggered back. "I promise you Newtstar, I will get my revenge." Newtstar hissed, then his eyes widened when he saw a familiar figure. His eyes were downcast, but the yellow stripes gave him away. "Yellowstar! Why are you here!"
"Like I said, I am no son of StarClan" Yellowstar said gloomily.
"Get out of here" a new voice said. It was a black tom. "You killed my mate."
"Save your revenge Pearstar" Flightfeather said. "Until we're ready."
Newtstar woke up from his sleep. He gasped for air, then saw his deputy. "Are you alright Newtstar?" Sparrowwing asked.
Sparrowwing, the dark forest is still around" Newtstar said. Sparrowwing's eyes widened.
"It can't be! They were wiped out so many moons ago!" he shouted.
"Flightfeather is leading it now" Newtstar said.
"My grandfather!" Sparrowwing spat.
"Yellowstar is there too" Newtstar said sadly.
"No" Sparrowwing said.
"I killed one of their warriors last night. Apparently she was one of their best and I just killed her in one move" Newtstar said. Sparrowwing nodded.
"Did you see any others?" he asked.
"There was this leader called Pearstar" Newtstar said.
"P...P...Pearstar?" Sparrowwing asked.
"Yeah. Why?" Newtstar asked.
"Pearstar was the leader of Flamestar's clan after my mother left with Stormtooth and the others to found HawkClan. I wasn't born then, but I heard that they tried to kill him. If they succeeded, there would of been no HawkClan and no you if Hawkstar never met our father. But they failed. As much as they shouldn't of, it was for the good, truth be told. You are meant to lead this clan Newtstar. I will always stand beside you until I die or become leader" Sparrowwing said. Newtstar stiffled a smile.
"Thank you Sparrowwing" Newtstar said. "Have you sorted the patrols?"
"Umm..." Sparrowwing said.
"Come on, It's not hard" Newtstar said.
"Alright..." Sparrowwing said skeptically. Newtstar gave his uncle a friendly nudge and Newtstar sat in his den.
3. Message of darkness
Hickoryheart saw a white she cat with brown stripes. "Hello young one" she said. Hickoryheart looked at her.
"You're my mother, aren't you?" Hickoryheart asked. The she cat nodded.
"I am" she said. "But enough of that. I have a message for you. The dusk will come in the early light and it brings claws. Watch your back, my son. The dusk is out to kill." Hickoryheart was about to ask what it means, but felt a thorn like prick at his side. He woke up to see Timberfall, Russetfire and Breezestorm, who had a sharp stick in his mouth. Hickoryheart looked at his side, then looked at the three warriors. "Sorry bro, we had to wake you up with something" Timberfall said.
"Yeah right!" Breezestorm said. "I had to poke you with the stick because he thought you were..." Timberfall bowled him over. "Thought you were, uh, in a deep sleep! Yeah!" Timberfall said.
"It's very nice to hear that my own brother would think that I was dead!" Hickoryheart said. Russetfire shook her head.
"Come on" she said,eyes shining. "Feathersplash wants us for a patrol." Hickoryheart got out of his nest, then followed the others out to see the grey warrior.
"It's about time" Feathersplash said. "Come on, let's go." She led them towards the border, then saw something. "What is that?" Hickoryheart asked, looking at a tuft of grey fur sitting on a plant, seemingly fastened.
"Greytuft" Feathersplash said happily, realising that her son had settled into StarClan. Hickoryheart saw Timberfall's eyes mist up when he saw the omen from his former apprentice. Breezestorm smiled, then scouted across the border. Hickoryheart followed him, then was about to say something, but the words were stuck in his throat.
Russetfire stayed close to Feathersplash as they patroled the border. Feathersplash noticed the usually confident warrior looking a little insecure. "Is something wrong?" she asked her.
"There's something I want to say to Copperstrike, but I'm not sure if I should" russetfire replied.
"Come on Russetfire!" Feathersplash said. "My brother's a gentle tom. Well, most of the times."
Russetfire laughed. "Well, I'm expecting his kits" she said. Feathersplash smiled.
"Congrats!" she said. "It looks like Wolfpelt is getting a fourth litter of grandkits, then a fifth."
"Are you expecting Newtstar's kits again?" Russetfire asked.
"Yes. I haven't told Newtstar yet though. Remember, you can serve as a warrior for as long as possible until you're almost ready to give birth. Anyway, when did you and Copperstrike start?" Feathersplash asked.
"Before Spiderclaw died, he told me about the huge crush he had on me. I only though of him as a friend, until I had the same feelings for him" Russetfire said. "If it wasn't for Spiderclaw, we would still be friends." Feathersplash smiled.
"Spiderclaw was great. Sure, he was annoying at times, but he was one of the best brothers a sister could ever ask for" she said. "How is your sister coping with the loss?"
"Oh, she's still taking it horribly" Russetfire replied. "Mallowflower and her kits can't go a sunrise without talking about him."
"She was his mate. It's a shame" Feathersplash said, looking at the ground. Russetfire then realised something.
"We have to go! I beleive Sparrowwing is leading his own patrol out soon." Feathersplash nodded and they got to camp before Sparrowwing went with Newtstar. Russetfire then saw Copperstrike with Nightpaw. Hickoryheart saw Stormpaw and both went into the hollow. Russetfire also went into the hollow. "Copperstrike, can I speak with you?" she asked.
"I'm busy!" he snapped, trying to teach Nightpaw. Hickoryheart looked at him. Russetfire had talked to Hickoryheart about it.
"It might be important Copperstrike. I'll train Nightpaw with Stormpaw" he said.
"I don't care!" he growled. "Now go away!" Russetfire realised something.
"Copperstrike, you have a wound!" Russetfire said, looking at an infected wound, probably from a thorn. Copperstrike sighed.
"Fine. I got a rat bite" he said.
"A rat bite! Copperstrike, you can probably die from the infection!" Russetfire exclaimed. Hickoryheart took Stormpaw and Nightpaw out to the moor, while Copperstrike unsheathed his claws. "Why are you getting so protective of me! I cna look after myself you know!" he yelled.
"I want you to see our..." Russetfire started, but Copperstrike swiped at her.
"Just stop talking! You've been annoying me since you asked for me today!" he snapped and scratched at Russetfire's leg. She yowled in pain and before Copperstrike pounced on her, Feathersplash flung herself in front of them. "Copperstrike stop!" she yelled. "Can't you see that you're in danger of not seeing your kits?!" she asked. Copperstrike's eyes widened, then looked at Russetfire.
"You're expecting my kits?" Copperstrike asked.
"Of course! I wasn't being over protective for no reason!"
"Russetfire, why didn't you tell me?" he asked.
"I was afraid to. After my last time..." Russetfire said.
"What last time?" Copperstrike asked. Feathersplash looked at her. Russetfire sighed.
"Fine. I'll tell you. I'll tell Newtstar later. So..."
5. Early birds
Stormpaw excitedly bounded on his toes. It's my warrior assessment today! he thought. he looked at his brother and they looked at each other excitedly. Stormpaw watched as Hickoryheart came out with Wolfpelt. Then Copperstrike came out with Breezestorm. As Copperstrike led Nightpaw and Breezestorm into the forest, Hickoryheart looked at Stormpaw. "Now, first, I want you to go onto the moor to catch a hare. then we'll go to the forest and get a squirrel. Once you've done that, I'll let you hunt until sunhigh, okay?" Hickoryheart asked.
"Yes Hickoryheart" Stormpaw said. Hickoryheart and Wolfpelt disappeared, while Stormpaw stalked a hare. He tested the direction of the wind and ran after it. The hare bounced, before tripping over a log. Stormpaw's claws pierced the hare and he grunted with satisfaction. He strode into the forest, then saw Nightpaw. "How are you doing bro?" Stormpaw asked. "I'm getting ready to catch a squirrel."
"I need to get a mouse in the open" Nightpaw relied. "I'll see you later." Stormpaw nodded, then saw a squirrel eating a nut. He swatted it with his paw, his claws sinking into its flesh. Stormpaw smiled, then saw a pheasant. He pounced on it, then scented all of the more possible oppertunies the forest had to offer.
Stormpaw bounded onto highrock, his brother next to him. Newtstar stood to adress his clan. "Alright, today two young apprentices are ready to become warriors, but first" he looked at the four who were looking at his sons. "Hickoryheart and Wolfpelt, how did Stormpaw do?" he asked.
"He definantly has your blood in him Newtstar" Hickoryheart said. "It has been a big pleasure to teach him." Newtstar smiled. "He shows a certain maturity when hunting, even beyond his years" Wolfpelt added.
"Copperstrike and Breezestorm, how well did Nightpaw do?" Newtstar asked.
"Nightpaw has certainly got your blood Newtstar" Copperstrike said. "His hunting skills are among the best."
"He has shown very good hunting promise" Breezestorm said. "I would of liked him as my apprentice."
"Alright then" Newtstar said, smiling. "Stormpaw, do you wish to fight for this clan, even at the cost of your life?" he asked his son.
"I do" Stormpaw replied, holding his head high.
"Now, by the powers of StarClan looking down on this apprentice, Stormpaw, you will now be known as Stormblaze. StarClan honours you for your energy and skill in battle" Newtstar said. Stormblaze held his headhigh. I love this name! he thought. He saw Newtstar turn to his brother. "Nightpaw, do you wish to fight for this clan, even at the cost of your life?" he asked his other son.
"I do" Nightpaw replied, his head as high as Stormblaze's.
"Now, by the powers of StarClan looking down on this apprentice, Nightpaw, you will now be known as Nightblaze. StarClan honours you for your energy and courage."
"Stormblaze! Nightblaze!" the clan cheered. Feathersplash came up to her sons.
"I am so proud of you" she said, then looked down. "Greytuft should of got his warrior name like this."
"Don't worry Mother" Stormblaze said. "He's watching us."
"You're right" Feathersplash said. Newtstar led his sons to the edge of camp.
"Your vigil begins my sons" Newtstar said. "I will let a warrior tell you when your vigil is over.
6. Flood of memories
Stormtooth sat in the sun, grooming himself. He looked over the ledge and saw Stormblaze and Nightblaze sitting their vigil. They're only eight moons old! They'll be the youngest warriors here! he thought. He saw Russetfire with Copperstrike and Feathersplash approaching him. Stormtooth smiled as she sat down next to him. "Hello my friend" he said, grooming her fur. "You've put on some weight." Feathersplash cuffed his ear. "I'm not that type of fat Stormtooth" she said. "I'm expecting my second litter."
"Ooh!" Stormtooth said, smiling. "Does Newtstar know?'
"I just told him" Feathersplash said. "he's overjoyed, but he hasn't told our sons yet. We're planning on telling them after their vigil. Well, if they can stay awake." Stormtooth laughed.
"I heard from your mother that you only sleeped until sunhigh and your mate and brothers slept until the evening patrol!" he laughed. Feathersplash laughed. "I heard that after I came back!" she said. Stormtooth went distant for a while, remembering the young apprentice who he fought with and who was looking for her clan. That apprentice was sitting right next to him, now one of the best tree climbers and one of the most powerful warriors of HawkClan. She was expecting her second litter and he was a blessed friend and lucky enough to be her grandfather. Feathersplash looked at him. "Are you okay?" she asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine" Stormtooth replied, then eyed something. He saw Dawnkit, then felt like gasping for breath. Everything he had came right back. Dawnlight. Pebbleclaw. Lionstar. Wolfpelt. Flailfur. His mate and kits. "Stormtooth?" Feathersplash asked, poking him with her claw. Stormtooth shook his head. "Oh. I was just thinking Feathersplash" he said.
7. Lark's shadow
Newtstar licked his paw, looking over his clan. Stormblaze and Nightblaze sleepily lumbered tothe warriors den, nests in their mouths. He smiled and looked at his sons. They'll be big brothers soon he thought. He watched them disappear, then saw Russetfire, Feathersplash and Copperstrike walking towards him. Newtstar flicked his ear. "Yes?" he asked.
"W...We need to talk" Russetfire said. "Sparrowwing needs to hear this too." Newtstar nodded, then signalled his deputy. The five cats went through the den. Newtstar sat next to Feathersplash and Sparrowwing, while Copperstrike and Russetfire sat across from them. "So?" Newtstar asked.
"You know I'm expecting Copperstrike's kits,right?" she asked. Newtstar nodded. "Well, this won't be my first litter."
"What?" Newtstar said, his eyes wide. Did his half sister have a forbidden love?
"I know what you're thinking, remember?" Russetfire growled. Newtstar groaned. Sparrowwing looked at her.
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"You have a lot to catch up on Sparrowwing" Copperstrike said. Sparrowwing flicked his tail and looked at Russetfire. "Well, when I was washed away by the flood, this tom saved me. His name was Lark. He looked so beautiful. His black fur shined in the sun and his yellow eyes were like the sun itself. We fell in love and before I returned to this clan, we had kits" Russetfire said.
"What happened?" Newtstar asked.
"I fell for his trap. All he wanted was for someone to love him. He killed our kits! All three of them!" she said, eyes burning with pain. Newtstar growled and Sparrowwing hissed. "How could he?" Sparrowwing spat.
"He was heartless. Just as heartless as Flamestar is" Feathersplash said. Newtstar nodded.
"But, why are you telling Sparrowwing and I?" he asked.
"I...I just can't get Lark out of my head" Russetfire said. "I really loved him."
"Remember Russetfire, HawkClan is your home. You were born into HawkClan and no cat treats their kits the way lark did with yours" Newtstar said, then dismissed all but Sparrowwing. Sparrowwing looked at Newtstar.
"Did you have a dream about the dark forest again?" he asked. Newtstar nodded.
"I saw a new member. Her name was Maplestream."
"Maplestream huh?" Sparrowwing said. "She sounds familiar." Newtstar nodded. He dismissed his deputy, then thought to himself. Is Sparrowwing training in the dark forest?
8. Morning dusk
Hickoryheart went to the nursery, Breezestorm following. Acornkit was tussling with Hazelkit, Redkit, Dawnkit, Frostkit and Shimmerkit, while Stonekit was racing with Morningkit. Palekit joined the play fight, while Pebblekit was watching Marigoldstem give his mother some borage. However, Pinekit was in a corner of the nursery, sulking. Hickoryheart looked at his mate. "What's wrong?" he asked.
"All of the kits are ignoring him" Blackbreeze replied, sadly looking at her son. Hickoryheart looked at his son sadly, then saw the play fighting kits coming towards them. "What's up with Pinekit?' Hazelkit asked.
"He has no one to play with" Daisypool said.
"Aww! Come and play with us bro!" Palekit said. Pinekit looked up at the group of kits.
"Really?" he asked, smiling.
"Of course!" Frostkit said. Pinekit began to tussle with the other kits, Pebblekit joining a little later. Hickoryheart lay her head against Blackbreeze. She purred, then both stood in alarm when Wolfpelt called a warning. Breezestorm followed, Hickoryheart's and Blackbreeze's kits following. Hickoryheart's eyes widened in shock when he saw the familiar tom. "Clawpaw!" he yelled.
"Clawdusk" he snarled. "Hickorypaw."
"Hickoryheart" Hickoryheart retorted. Clawdusk hissed, then he looked at Blackbreeze in shock.
"Blackpaw!" he said.
"Blackbreeze" she corrected. Pebblekit led his littermates towards the dark brown tom.
"Who are these kits?' Clawdusk asked.
"These are Hickoryheart's and my kits" Blackbreeze purred, laying her head against Hickoryheart's. He snuggled into her, not realising that Clawdusk was watching them, his amber eyes burning with fury.
9. The secret
Russetfire watched Clawdusk leave. Why did he come anyway? she thought, then looked at him again. She gasped. He was mentoring a cat she knew well. She had to tell Copperstrike, but how could she? She ran towards the tom. "Clawdusk, how's Wrenpaw doing?" she asked, shuffling her paws.
"Your daughter is Wrenfeather now" Clawdusk said.
"Is she in Flamestar's clan or DustClan?" she asked.
"She's in DustClan with me" Clawdusk said. "Have you changed your mind?"
"Of course" Russetfire said, smiling. "Copperstrike doesn't have a clue. But can I bring a cat?"
"Of course you can!" Clawdusk said.
"I want to take my sister Mallowflower" Russetfire said.
"Alright, but you know she has to leave her kits behind, right?" Clawdusk asked.
"Yes, I told her that. She was reluctant at first, but now she wants to do it" Russetfire said.
"Good. I'll be waiting by the border" Clawdusk said. Russetfire, bounded onto the moor. She went into the nursery. Mallowflower saw her and nodded to her sister. Russetfire flicked her tail and Mallowflower left the nursery. "Do you still want to do this?" Russetfire asked.
"This clan is getting far too soft. I mean, Newtstar is a fantastic leader, it's just Sparrowwing..." Mallowflower trailed off. Russetfire nodded, then was stopped. "Russetfire! Where are you going?" Copperstrike yelled. Lie Russetfire, lie! she thought. "We're going for a walk" she said, fluffing up her fur.
"Alright then" Copperstrike said. "See you later!" Russetfire smiled, then bounded across the moor, followed by Mallowflower. They padded across the forest, but stoppped when they heard something. "Nothing to be alarmed about" Breezestorm said, sliding out of the brambles. Marigoldstem followed. Russetfire smiled. She knew that Breezestorm wasn't really exiled and was a part of DustClan, working as a spy. Even Marigoldstem was using Sweetwind to become DustClan's medicine cat. The four cats padded to Clawdusk. He nodded,then jumped across the creek. Russetfire followed, then Mallowflower, Breezestorm and Marigoldstem brought up the rear. Clawdusk led the cats down the creek, where it widened into a river. Two black toms, one with a white underbelly, the other one solid black, met them. Mallowflower flung herself at the tom with the white underbelly. "Spiderclaw! You're alive!" she screamed. Spiderclaw snuggled into her fur.
"I'm sorry I tricked you" he said. Mallowflower just continued to snuggle into him, while Russetfire pressed her head against the other tom. "Have they fallen for it?' he asked.
"Of course Larkfang my love" Russetfire said. "Copperstrike thinks that the litter that I'm expecting is his." Larkfang snickered. "They don't know the truth. It's not exciting to say that they really died of starvation."
"Three of our kits may of died of starvation, but Wrenfeather has survived" Russetfire said.
"Do you want to see her?" Larkfang asked.
"Of course" Russetfire replied. "I'm not leaving this time."
"You're not?' Larkfang asked, eyes shining.
"I wouldn't be bringing these three if I was just visiting" Russetfire replied. "I've missed so many important things in her life Larkfang. I'm not going to anymore." Larkfang smiled and led Russetfire and the others into the camp. A grey she cat flung herself at Russetfire. "Mother!" Wrenfeather purred, snuggling into her fur. Russetfire snuggled into her daughter's fur. "Hello my sweet" she said.
"Mother, you're expecting kits!" Wrenfeather said.
"Yes I am" Russetfire said. "You're going to be a big sister."
"Are you going to stay here for a while? I want to talk about all the things that happened" Wrenfeather said.
"Wrenfeather, I'm not staying here for a while. I'm staying here for the rest of my life" Russetfire replied. Wrenfeather's face lit up. "Really?!" she said.
"I've missed so many things in your short life Wrenfeather. I'm not going to miss anymore." Wrenfeather smiled and walked with the group. Russetfire saw the brown tom with white markings looking at them. "Hello you four" Duststar said. Russetfire bowed.
"Hello Duststar" she said. Breezestorm padded next to him, releived that he no longer had to be a spy. Duststar smiled. "Welcome to the clan."
10. Gathering mist
Stormblaze wlked beside his brother to the gathering. "We're going as warriors!" he said.
"I know!" Nightblaze replied. They bounded to the front, beside Sparrowwing and when they got there, took their places. Newtstar jumped onto the rock, while Sparrowwing sat on the ledge. Wildstar jumped onto the rock, smiling at Newtstar. "Hello my friend" he purred.
"Hello Wildstar" Newtstar replied with a warm nod. Stormblaze the deputy Webcloud sitting next to Sparrowwing. Foxstar followed, new deputy Wetrunner sitting on the ledge with him. He looked around and smirked. "First Flamestar wonders where the other clans are, now he's late himself!" he snickered. Newtstar smiled. Stormblaze just looked around, then saw the grey pelt of his friend Mistpaw. "Hey!" he yelled, running to her. "Stormpaw! Hi!" she said, smiling.
"It's Stormblaze now" Stormblaze said.
"Wow! You're a warrior too? I'm Mistfang now!" she said.
"Cool!" Stormblaze said. They sat next to each other and watched as Flamestar came. He jumed onto the rock, then glared at Foxstar. Foxstar hissed, then settled down. "Sorry I'm late" he growled, tail lashing. "I've been busy."
"With what? Grooming your pelt so it shines?" Stormstripe from Roseclan spat.
"Or caring for your precious claws?" Stormstripe's brother Darkdusk added.
"Oh, and I suppose you know everything?" Flamestar's clan's deputy Eagleshade hissed.
"Silence!" Wildstar's voice boomed. "Stormstripe, Darkdusk, I am disappointed in you two. You will clean out the elders den and both of you are not to leave camp for a moon!"
"What?!" Stormstripe shouted.
"You can't do that!" Darkdusk added. Eagleshade snickered. Wildstar gave the striped grey and dark brown warriors a glare and both slank down. "Now" Flamestar said. "Blossompuddle has given birth to my kits, Flowerkit, Longkit and Waspkit" he said proudly. How could someone love him? Stormblaze thought. It was obvious that even the arrogant Foxstar couldn't speak. Flamestar's tail lashed. "What about you Foxdung?" Flamestar hissed. A low growl came out of Foxstar's throat. "We have two new warriors. Mistfang and Spottedsnow."
"Mistfang! Spottedsnow!" the clans cheered.
"Congradulations Mistfang" Stormblaze whispered when nobody was looking at them.
"Thank you Stormblaze" she said. "Do you want to come with me?"
"Of course" Stormblaze said. Once the gethering was over, he went to his father.
"Yes son?" Newtstar said.
"Beechflight of BraveClan has told me of a nest of thrushes near our border. He saw them when they crossed to get to the gathering spot" Stormblaze said.
"Okay, go and get them" Newtstar said and led the clan back.
"So, where are we going?" Stormblaze asked.
"I want to show you something" Mistfang replied. She led him to where the creek became a river.
"Hello Mistfang!" a solid black tom said, then looked at Stormblaze. "Who's this?"
"Larkfang, this is Stormblaze of HawkClan" Mistfang replied.
"Ahh, you're Newtstar's and Feathersplash's eldest son, aren't you?" Larkfang asked.
"I am" Stormblaze said.
"Well, do you want to join our mission cats?" Larkfang asked.
"Mission cats?" Stormblaze asked, confused.
"We use cats to spy on their own clans or for our own missions. Now, are you in?"
"Spying on my clan? No thanks!" Stormblaze said.
"If you ever change your mind, come back!" Larkfang said, then turned back, Mistfang following. She looked back sadly, then scampered into the camp. Stormblaze looked away, then looked back. He sighed, then padded back to camp.
One day later.
Stormblaze padded towards where he saw Larkfang. He sat near the border and saw the familiar black shape come towards the border. "Stormblaze!" Larkfang said, suprised. "What do you want?"
"I've changed my mind" Stormblaze said. "I'm in." Larkfang smiled, then kinked his tail over his back. Stormblaze followed Larkfang towards a clearing. Three kits were playing on a fallen tree trunk and a grey she cat was grooming her pelt. Larkfang led Stormblaze to a dencovered by vines. Stormblaze slipped through and saw Duststar with Mistfang and a cat he could not beleive. "Nightblaze, you're here too?" he asked. "Of course" Nightblaze relplied. "You just joining?" he asked.
"Yeah" Stormblaze replied. Duststar silenced Stormblaze.
"Alright, you three. I want you to be in a different clan for a moon" he said.
"What?" Stormblaze said.
"I want you three to see weaknesses in clans other than your own. I've chosen FlareClan."
"FlareClan? That's so far away!" Stormblaze spat. Duststar glared at him. Stormblaze sighed and he left, followed by the other two.
Stormtooth sat in the elders den and thought. I wonder if I can go to the gathering next time as well he thought. I love the drama Flamestar and Foxstar bring to the clans. He purred, then saw Stormblaze and Nightblaze. "Stormtooth, we need to tell you something" Stormblaze said.
"What is it?" Stormtooth asked.
"Duststar is around" Stormblaze said.
"Duststar?" Stormtooth asked, rather confused.
"I think he's father's brother" Nightblaze said, then shrugged. Stormtooth's eyes widened.
"You mean Dustleap?" he asked.
"Yeah, but he's Duststar now" Stormblaze said. Stormtooth gasped.
"We need to tell your father!" he said.
"I know" Stormblaze said. "But he's busy." Then he looked at Stormtooth. "I think Sparrowwing's behind this."
Sparrowwing? Stormtooth thought. The brave deputy who risked his life for his clan so many times? Stormtooth thought. He shook it off, then looked to see something.
12. The return
Newtstar gasped as he saw Russetfire with Mallowflower and an unknown cat. Copperstrike rushed out and snuggled into his mate. "Where have you been?" he asked. Russetfire sighed. Newtstar calmly stepped in.
"Where have you two been these moons? And who is that?" he asked.
"We need to talk to you. Copperstrike and Feathersplash can come too. We can take Hickoryheart too and Sweetwind" Russetfire said. Newtstar nodded and summoned the medicine cat. Sweetwind came out, her eyes dull and pelt drab. She was not herself. She had lost nearly everything during the last moons. Her mother, her brother, her apprentice, now she was about to lose herself too. Hickoryheart followed Feathersplash into the leaders den. Newtstar sat down, his mate sitting next to him. Russetfire and Mallowflower sat by Hickoryheart, while Sweetwind sat next to Wrenfeather. Stormblaze and Nightblaze looked at their parents. "Father, this is Wrenfeather" Stormblaze said. Newtstar dipped his head in welcome. Wrenfeather smiled weakly. Russetfire sighed.
"She's my surviving kit" she said.
"What?" Newtstar said. Copperstrike looked at his mate, extremely shocked.
"I thought you said Lark killed all three of your kits!" he said.
"That's what I thought, until Wrenfeather stirred" Russetfire replied, her head low. Feathersplash purred.
"Don't be sad" Feathersplash said, wrapping her tail around her friend. Russetfire smiled, feeling safe in her friend's fur. Mallowflower sighed.
"How are my kits?" she asked. Newtstar was about to open his mouth, until Shimmerkit and Morningkit bursted in, their eyes shining. "Mummy!" they yelled, jumping onto Mallowflower. Mallowflower smiled, then frowned as she didn't see Frostkit or Stonekit around. Newtstar smiled. "Don't worry" he said. "They're coming soon." Mallowpool smiled. Copperstrike frowned. Newtstar knew immediately what he was looking for. Russetfire nodded and rushed out of the den.
"Father" Nightblaze said. "Sparrowwing's up to something."
"Sparrowwing?" Newtstar said. How could my father's brother be behind this? he thought.
"He casted us out" Mallowflower growled. "Russetfire, me, Breezestorm and Marigoldstem." For the first time in moons, Sweetwind's eyes were bright. However, they were not bright with happiness. They were bright with fury. "He will pay" she snarled under her breath. Newtstar growled. "Yes he will" he added. Wrenfeather looked to Hickoryheart, then looked to the rest of the cats, until her mother returned, two kits squirming in her mouth. Copperstrike's eyes softened. "M...my kits" he said. Newtstar smiled, then looked at the twokits, one of them grey, the other a light brown. Russetfire looked down at the grey one sadly. "Smokekit" she said. Newtstar smiled, remembering his half brother, who went from the one of the most energetic kits, to one of the bravest warriors who laid down his life to save Newtstar's and Mallowflower's kits with his other half brother Hailwhisker. Copperstrike nodded.
"Let's name the she cat Poppykit" he said, smiling at the light brown kit. Newtstar smiled.
"Great names for two great kits" he said. Feathersplash smiled, then curled up next to him painfully.
"Our second litter's coming!" she gritted through her teeth. Newtstar gasped. Sweetwind bounded out of the den, Hickoryheart follwing. Newtstar kept his mate calm by touching her side with his tail. "I love you" he said.
"I love you too" Feathersplash said, giving a little yowl of pain. A dark brown kit slid out. Sweetwind immediately bounded in, followed by Hickoryheart and Wolfpelt. "It's okay honey" Wolfpelt said. Feathersplash smiled. "You're right, it doesn't hurt as much as the first kitting" she said.
"It's a tom" Sweetwind said.
"He looks like a a strong kit" Newtstar said. "How about Kestrelkit?" Feathersplash smiled, then yowled in pain again as another kit, this time a grey kit slid out. Another tom" Sweetwind said, giving Feathersplash some rasberry leaves. After she chewed them, she looked at the kit warmly. "Rabbitkit" she said. Wolfpelt smiled. She looked away for a while, then looked back. Newtstar smiled. He would never forget Feathersplash's father. The brave deputy who saved his life in kithood. Feathersplash let out another yowl of pain. A brown kit slid out next. "Another tom" Sweetwind said.
"Thrushkit" Newtstar said warmly. The kit reminded him of his father, his brave, strong father. Feathersplash let out one more screech and a black kit came out. "Spiderkit" Feathersplash said.Newtstar smiled, thinking about his best friend. "What beautiful kits" he said, nuzzlinng his mate. Stormblaze and Nightblaze gathered around their little brothers, while Wolfpelt nuzzled her daughters cheek. "You named one after your father and your littermate" she said, then sighed. "Let's bring them to the nursery." The others nodded and they began to bring the four kits and Poppykit and Smokekit to the nursery.
Two moons later
"Every cat old enough to catch their own prey gather beneath highrock for a clan meeting!' Newtstar yowled. Hickoryheart and Blackbreeze padded out of the nursery, leaving their kits with the vigilant Stormtooth. "As you know, Frostkit, Stonekit, Shimmerkit and Morningkit have reached six moons and are ready to become apprentices." Newtstar then turned to Frostkit. "Frostkit, you will now be known as Frostpaw. Wolfpelt, as our most experienced warrior, you have mentored many apprentices. I hope you share wisdom with Frostpaw." Wolfpelt smiled and touched noses with Frostpaw. Mallowflower proudly watched as her other three kits waited. "Shimmerkit, you will now be known as Shimmerpaw.Timerfall, you were fantastic with Greytuft. Please share your bravery with Shimmerpaw" Newstar said. Timberfall nodded and touched noses with Shimmerpaw. "Congrats on your second apprentice Timberbreath" Hickoryheart teased his brother.
"Oh just shut up Hickoryfish" Timberfall teased back. Newtstar turned to Stonekit next. "Stonekit, you will now be known as Stonepaw." Please let me mentor him. Please let me mentor him! Hickoryheart thought. He had always had a fondness for Stonepaw. "Hickoryheart, you did great with Stormblaze. I hope youcan share your enthusiam and courage with Stonepaw." Yes! Hickoryheart thought and touched noses with Stonepaw. Newtstar finally turned to Morningkit. "Morningkit, you will now be known as Morningpaw. Wrenfeather, you are a great new member to HawkClan. Share your bravery with Morningpaw." Wrenfeather smiled and touched noses with Morningpaw. Newtstar dismissed the meeting and Hickoryheart began to take Stonepaw to the forest. "Where are we going?" Stonepaw asked.
"I'm going to show you the forest, then we'll explore the moor" Hickoryheart said. Stonepaw nodded, then looked to his new mentor. "Hickoryheart, who's that?" he asked, flicking his tail towards a familiar ginger tom. Foxstar? Hickoryheart thought, shocked that the BraveClan leader had gotten into the territory. Hickoryheart growled. "Foxstar!" he yelled, catching the leader's attention. Foxstar looked up and menacingly smiled. "Well, if it isn't one of Yellowstar's kits! I believe you're Hickoryheart, son of the worst ever leader of HawkClan?" Hickoryheart growled.
"My father was the best leader ever! Even Flamestar is more leader material than you!"
"What did you say?!" Foxstar snapped. "I'll show you..."
"Foxstar!" Newtstar's voice boomed. Foxstar looked up to see HawkClan's leader glaring at him. Nightblaze, Wolfpelt and Frostpaw stood beside Newtstar. "Why are you here?" he asked.
"I want here to be my clan's new territory" Foxstar growled.
"Never happening!" Newtstar spat. Most of the clan gathered at Newstar's words. "Now go home."
"This will be my home!" Foxstar growled. "BraveClan, attack!" The cats of BraveClan charged. The new HawkClan apprentices turned tail and ran, while the rest began to charge.
14. Dilema and betrayal
Stormblaze fought with Spottedsnow, fangs bared and claws unsheathed. Spottedsnow fell, then Stormblaze stood over her. He sheathed his claws. "So you aren't going to kill me?" she asked.
"Get out of here" he snarled. Spottedsnow whimpered, then got up and ran. Stormblaze didn't realise another cat flinging herself at him. "Mistfang?" Stormblaze choked, looking at his friend. Mistfang looked at him sadly. "I'm sorry Stormblaze" she said. "But I must do this." She reluctantly unsheathed her claws, then quickly sheathed them again. She shook her head. "I won't do it" she said, glaring at Sparowwing.
"You fool!" Sparrowwing growled, hitting Mistfang forcefully with her paw. "You're a disgrace to BraveClan!" Stormblaze growled. "What do you mean?" Stormblaze said. Sparrowwing growled.
"HawkClan's been a mess sice my mother's died. My half sister was weak. My littermate killed her and he got to be leader. A stupid black cat with yellow stripes became leader over me! My brother never thought about me being leader after him..."
"And you won't become leader after me!" Newtstar snarled, ripping out his uncle's throat. "You spoilt traitor" he said to Sparrowwing's fallen body. "Leave him be. He doesn't deserve a burial in our camp."The HawkClan cats nodded. Stormblaze looked to his unconcious friend. Foxstar had led his clan in a humiliating retreat. "Mistfang" he said. He nudged her chest. Mistfang's eyes slowly opened. "Stormblaze?" she said, slowly getting to her paws. "I'm so so sorry my friend." Her eyes filled with tears. Stormblaze looked to his father, leading his clan. "Father, wait!" he yelled. Newtstar stopped, then signalled Copperstrike to lead the rest of the clan back to camp. I wouldn't be suprised if he becomes deptuty Stormblaze thought. Copperstrike's such a brave, caring cat anyway and he's a brilliant father! Stormblaze saw his father sit in front of him. A smile grew on his face. "You don't want to leave her, don't you?" he asked, smiling at the tearful Mistfang. Mistfang smiled, her tears beginning to dry up. "We need fit nimble warriors like you." Mistfang looked at the leader blankly. "You're letting me in? But..." She was silenced by Newtstar.
"It doesn't matter what your upbringing is. I am as compasionate as my father was when he was leader" Newtstar said. "Now come young one." Mistfang smiled and walked by Stormblaze as they headed towards camp.
15. The new deputy
Russetfire watched as her mate led the clan home. "Daddy!" Poppykit and Smokekit cried in unision, running towards Copperstrike. Russtefire padded towards her mate "Where's Newtstar and Sparrowwing?" she asked.
"Sparrowwing's dead" Copperstrike said.
"Yeah" Copperstrike finished. Russetire's eyes shined.
"Good" she said. Finally, he's gone! she thought. She snuggled into her mate's fur, then watched as Newtstar and Stormblaze came with a bluish grey she cat. Russetfire decided to read one of the cat's minds. Ahh, so this is Mistfang she thought after getting the information from Stormblaze. The pair continued to watch as Newtstar got up the ledge. "Everyone old enough to catch their own prey gather under highrock for a clan meeting!" he yowled. Russetfire looked at her half brother. She wanted to read his mind to see who he would pick as deputy, then thought against it. Don't want to ruin the fun she thought.
"As you know, Sparrowwing is dead. Now I will choose a new deputy. Copperstrike, you are wise, strong and serious. You will be my new deputy."
"Copperstrike! Copperstrike!" the clan cheered, while Copperstrike smiled. "Thank you Newtstar. I shall take this spot with pride." Newtstar nodded, while Feathersplash smiled to her brother. Russetfire smiled and snuggled into her mate. "Congrats Mr deputy" she said.Copperstrike smiled.
"Thank you Russetfire" Copperstrike said.
Duststar padded across the forest he knew so well. With Clawdusk on one side, Larkfang on another and Spiderclaw at the rear, the four cats walked to the familiar moor. "Look at our old home Spiderclaw" Duststar said.
"Just as puny as ever" Spiderclaw added.
"I'm going to enjoy disbannding our old clan" Duststar said, letting the dim moonlight sink into his pelt. "Take them back to camp" Duststar instructed his deputy. Spiderclaw nodded and kinked his tail over his back. Clawdusk and Larkfang followed. Duststar scowled. "Betrayed by my mission cats" he growled. "I promise you Newtstar, I will destroy your clan and kill you." He sighed, the slunk back, walking away from his former home having finally gotten over his affection for his brother.
Book 6, the biggest challenge, is out now!