Chapter 5

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Sunstar sped quickly through the forest. With Skypaw behind Hazelflower, she was starting to get tired. She was not used the exercise like the full grown warriors.

"Go check the WindClan border," Sunstar's deep meow still made Skypaw uneasy. "I want to make sure the fox and the rogues are gone. I'm going to check the ShadowClan border to make sure they keep their muddy paws away from ThunderClan territory."

Hazelflower looked puzzled for a moment. "Okay," she meowed finally. "Come on, Skypaw." With that, she leaped through the undergrowth with Skypaw hard on her paws.

Skypaw glanced back at her leader. He was sitting on the forest floor, his piercing green eyes staring into her fur causing a chill to do down her spine. Turning away from him, she followed Hazelflower, greatful to be out of his sight before long.

 "This isn't usually how a patrol goes," Hazelflower explains. "we usually check all the borders together."

"Why didn't you say something?" Skypaw questioned. "If you weren't comfortable, I mean."

Suddenly, Mousetail's last words to the two she-cats in camp echoed through her mind, clouding her thoughts. She blinked rapidly, confused. She wanted to keep her attention on her mentor.

"Sunstar's word is law," Hazelflower meowed. "and I wasn't uncomfortable. Just confused. Perhaps I will question his odd order the next time I see him."

"I'll pray to StarClan for your safety," Mousetail's voice rang through her mind once again.

Skypaw was deep in thought as she bolted through the forest. Although her mind was focused on something else other than her first run through her territory, she was still loving the wind in her fur and the texture beneath her paws. Willowleaf was right when she talked to her when she was still a kit.

Skypaw was still hard on Hazelflower's paws when she crashed into something quickly, and hard. Her paws skitted on the forest floor as she fell, feeling dazed as her shoulder ached. Twigs and brambles snagged her pelt until she finally came to a whirling stop.

"Skypaw!" Two familiar voices said at once. Skypaw opened her eyes, which she had squeezed shut in fear of injuring them, and saw her shocked mentor standing above her, as well as a gray tabby pelt.

"Rainpaw?" Skypaw meowed, surprised.

"Are you okay?" Rainpaw replied. Worry covered her sister's eyes.

"Yeah, I'm fine." Skypaw meowed, unsure of what had happened. She climbed to her paws.

"You were running quite fast," Rainpaw explained. "and silently. I didn't see you." Rainpaw explained quickly.

"It was all an accident," Hazelflower concluded. "You should get back to Petalheart, Rainpaw."

"I'm right here," Petalheart's white pelt weaved through the undergrowth until she stood among the group. Skypaw felt bad for her, between her white fur and her reddish eyes, life in the ThunderClan forest would not come easily. Except in leaf-bare, Skypaw thought to herself.

"Both apprentices are fine," Hazelflower meowed to the older she-cat.

"As long as they can train, all is well," Petalheart agreed. "Let's get back to climbing, Rainpaw."

"Can Skypaw and Hazelheart come?" Rainpaw meowed, her tone begging. Skypaw's heart warmed at the thought of her littermate wanting to spend time with her now that they didn't have to.

"I'm on patrol," Skypaw's voice came out quietly with sadness. She would do anything to climb through the treetops with Rainpaw.

Rainpaw's tail dropped. "Oh," she meowed.

Petalheart changed the subject. "Only you two?" Disbelief sounded in her meow.

"Sunstar's leading, but he told us to go check the WindClan boarder when he checked ShadowClan's," Hazelflower meowed, disapproval now shining in her hazel gaze.

"That's odd..." Petalheart's voice trailed off in thought. "I don't think Sandstar would approve of this new way of patrolling."

Hazelflower looked like she was about to agree, but a fiery tom emerged from the bushes. "Sandstar is no longer leader," he meowed. "It's always good to try new methods of training and patrolling in order to improve ThunderClan itself," Sunstar's green gaze was hard.

"I never said anything different, Sunstar. Whether this is good for our Clan or not, Sandstar would not approve. There is no problem with that." Petalheart's meow was challenging, so Skypaw felt the strong need to change the subject.

"I'll pray to StarClan for your safety,"

"How was the ShadowClan boarder?" She questioned. "I haven't patrolled it yet."

Sunstar's gaze tore from Petalheart's and focused on Skypaw. The hairs on her neck rose, but she prayed to StarClan that her leader would not notice. This is the first time in her life the fierce leader had ever paid any attention to her, and even at her own apprentice ceremony he had not made eye contact with her once. She tried to forget that, feeling it was wrong and uncalled for, but every time she looked at the ThunderClan leader something inside of her was queasy with unease.

"I'll pray to StarClan for your safety," Suddenly, she didn't take Mousetail's unintentional choice of words as a distraction, but a warning.

(Short chapter. Sorry, but I'm jumping on either ShadeCraft or Final Dawn. I'll update more tonight, I promise. XD I'm curious on how you guys are liking the story so far. Would you mind leaving some feedback in the comments? :D I would love that, and please note that the cover competition is indeed still going on, so please post your entries on either the Final Dawn website, Instagram, or Twitter! Thank you!)

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