Prologue

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Walking in the Dark Forest couldn't be lonelier, Shadepaw realized as he trenched along the moist soil. Shadepaw he never bothered to interact with the other residents of the Dark Forest, just as he preferred not to be a part of their brutal training and battles with their starry rivals.

You could see the places where the ground was stained in blood and others where the cats fought. Ripped out soil, clumps of fur. Shadepaw hated it in the Dark Forest. But where else was he suppose to go? After making one fatal error in his life, he was forced to join the murky, evil place as punishment.

On steady paws Shadepaw marched over to the Dark Forest and StarClan border. He let the morning sun glow on his thick black fur as he passed, his skin soaking in the heat radiating off it. Once he arrived to the border, he lowered himself down and started creeping into the resident of the good souls.

He unsheathed his claws as he walked, ripping up the starry territory any chance he could. The place disgusted him. Judging cats for the actions in their pasts, and not forgiving them? Perhaps it was an honour to be in the Dark Forest. It was fair, and cats there probably had a hard life, causing them to make ruthless actions and...- No. This wasn't right. Cats were sent to the Dark Forest for their horrible and blood-thirsty choices.

Shadepaw gave a small sigh as be padded down a little slope, occasionally looking behind him for any StarClan souls. His ears remained perked as his tail twitched apprehensively. He could sense the presence of many cats in one and a faint whisper echoing across the heavenly forest.

He flattened himself against the forest floor, feeling the lush grass tickle his white chest fur. His bold yellow eyes narrowed as he crept along the soft ground and towards the source of the noise. Shadepaw suddenly felt the ground suddenly grow a bit rockier, the once thick grass had broken off, and slowly turned into a rocky ground.

Shadepaw hesitated, thinking of the danger he'd put himself in if a rock would accidentally slip under his paw and plummet down towards the crowd of StarClan members. Yes- a crowd. The voices were beginning to grow louder, meaning he had pretty much closed in onto their meeting.

The area was a wise place to choose for a meeting of the residents. It had a small pool in the middle, followed by a reasonable space for cats to gather. Then, followed a steep drop, and a rocky terrain around it, where Shadepaw was located currently.

Shadepaw pressed his dark velvet fur against a rock and leaned over from the side to overhear the StarClan cats' conversation. Just as he leaned Ina muscular orange tom jumped onto a rock, perched directly before the water. Shadepaw supposed it was like ThunderClan's High-Rock, where a leader, or an important cat would speak. But the orange tom looked well in charge.

"Clanmates of StarClan." He announced in a deep voice. The power the voice withheld amazed Shadepaw. He must've been a powerful foe when he was alive. "We have been planning this prophecy for moons, correct?"

The starry ranks below the orange tom murmured beneath him, some acted more uncertainly and whispered to the cat beside them. The tom raised his tail for silence. "The prophecy has been made. Yellowfang, will you volunteer to tell it?"

All heads turned towards a mangy, flat-faced she-cat. The she-cat, Yellowfang, gave a quick shake of her ragged pelt before standing up. "I will tell the prophecy to the cat who needs to know it. I do not wish to spread anymore lies than is necessary, Firestar."

Lies? Shadepaw thought, echoing Yellowfang's voice. Was this prophecy a fake? Just as if to answer his question he saw the orange tom, whom he assumed was Firestar nod at the she-cat slowly, "What are you trying to tell us, Yellowfang, you know nothing exits StarClan without anyone else knowing." A little shiver ran through Shadepaw's paws.

"I feel guilty enough lying to the cats of ThunderClan. So this fake prophecy will go to no one else but who needs to hear it." Yellowfang countered calmly.

Shadepaw noticed Firestar's tail twitch the tiniest bit in impatience. "Have you at least decided you wished to send this prophecy too?"

So it was a lie. They were trying to trick this cat to save ThunderClan! Shadepaw held back a gasp of awe. He never realized that StarClan would lie for the safety of their Clanmates, he thought that they would always let the warriors find their own ways! He was proven wrong though. Bigtime. StarClan were no different than ThunderClan. But lying to their Clanmates... Had StarClan gone mad?

"Yes, I will send it to the cat we have chosen, Applekit." Yellowfang announced, then resigned to her place, sitting down and licking her fluffed chest fur down.

They're going to trick her! Shadepaw thought, horrified of what was to come. His mind began to race. They were going to ruin a cat's life for the good of ThunderClan! No, this wasn't right. He had to stop it. He had to help her somehow.

Shadepaw quickly turned around and began scampering over the rock ground. Suddenly, a hot flash of pain alit in his forpaw and he fell onto the hard ground, stomach first. A whimper escaped his mouth and he heard a cat's yowl sound in the clearing. "Intruder!"

Shadepaw quickly jumped on his paws, ignoring the pain in his forpaw and began to dash away, wind whistling in his ears and his heart pounding. If the starry cats caught him, he'd be faded within moments. He flattened his ears as he charged forward, zigzagging across the starry forest.

As he raced by, a spot with clumped and torn grass caught his eye. I'm almost there, just a bit further. Shadepaw bolted through the forest, an army of StarClan members at his heels. But none could catch him, he had a head start. The young tom leapt over the StarClan and Dark Forest border.

Afraid the StarClan cats would attack him on the border anyway, he sprinted deep into the territory and plunged in the shadow of a tree, breathing heavily. He looked at his injured paw and saw the front of the paw scraped in a line facing up, towards the endless dark sky.

Shadepaw, resident of the Dark Forest, had just overheard a plot by StarClan to lie to ThunderClan to save them all. They just had to manipulate a small, helpless she-cat. It wasn't fair to her, so Shadepaw was going to help her, despite making an enemy of StarClan and the Dark Forest. Would he put his life in danger to save a small kit? Yes. And that was final.

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