Chapter 27

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Willowleaf and Skypaw stood there, completely stunned. Darkface had amusement in his eyes.

"Your expressions," He meowed with humor in his voice.

Willowleaf and Skypaw glared at the tom. He immediately fell silent and looked at his paws.

"This is a serious issue!" Willowleaf snapped.

"How so?" The Dark Forest cat tilted his head to the side.

Skypaw narrowed her eyes. Willowleaf gritted her teeth as she replied.

"There is a prophecy that involves the fate of the Clan leader, and now we just found out he found his way to the Dark Forest while he is still alive!"

"First of all, cats from Clans go to the Dark Forest while they're still alive all the time. Second of all, I don't see why Sunstar has to get crushed by a falling sky." Skypaw wanted to leap on this cat and tear his ghostly pelt to shreds.

"It's none of your business!" Skypaw cut into the bickering. "Stop stalking the Clans, too!"

"The Clan cats hang in the Dark Forest, so why can't we tour the Clans?"

"Enough!" Willowleaf snapped. Her fur was bristling once more. "It's almost moonhigh. Skypaw has to get back to her nest and you need to go back to where you came from."

"Whatever," Darkface rolled his eyes. "You could at least thank me."

"Thank you." Willowleaf meowed flatly, rolling her eyes, repeating her brother's movement. Skypaw decided to stay silent.

Darkface vanished from sight. Skypaw watched in amazement, but Willowleaf quickly snapped her out of her thoughts. "StarClan cats can do that too," she meowed, her tone umemotional.

"We won't be able to talk tomorrow due to the Gathering," Willowleaf meowed, in a somewhat brighter tone. "But you can tell me what happened the next day. I'll be here." Skypaw suspected she would like to know what the ThunderClan leader would say to her.

"Aren't you nervous?" Skypaw was uneasy. "The island is so close to RiverClan territory."

"They can't lay a paw on it. It's the code." Skypaw knew of no certain rule that stated Clans couldn't take over the Gathering spot, but she just nodded. Maybe the truce kept invaders away.

"Goodbye, Skypaw." Willowleaf touched noses with Skypaw in goodbye. "I'll talk to you soon. Remember, don't slack off in training. You don't want to make Sunstar suspicious."

Skypaw nodded. With that, Willowleaf bounded away through the trees of the small island. Skypaw could swear there was no other way to get back to the territories besides swimming, but apparently there was more to the former medicine cat's past than Skypaw knew. Maybe she had learned to swim somehow.

Skypaw had noticed she hadn't moved very far from the fallen tree. Leaping back on the slippery bark, she scurried along, trying to forget the rushing water below her. Bolting as quickly away as she could, she made sure her paws stayed within one tail length of the lakeshore as she made her way through WindClan territory in the darkness.

*

*

*

"Skypaw!" Skypaw groaned as Hazelflower's voice erupted through the clearing. All she wanted to do was sleep.

Memories from the night before filled her mind. Bolting through unknown territory, crossing the tree alone, meeting Willowleaf and finding out she was related to a Dark Forest cat who had died and killed his own mother. Skypaw wanted to know how he died exactly, but she pushed the thought away. It wasn't her business.

Neither one of them had any connection to ThunderClan anymore, so it wouldn't matter.

Skypaw climbed to her paws, stretching. Both of her littermates had vanished from the den. She found it odd, because Petalheart doesn't usually take Rainpaw out training at sunhigh. She shrugged.

Her paws seemed twice as heavy as they normally did as she met Hazelflower near the gorse tunnel. As always, her eyes were bright. Maybe it's because she happens to get sleep, Skypaw thought enviously to herself.

Skypaw wished she could just be a normal apprentice. She wanted to know what real Clan life was like, when a cat didn't have to skip sleep time to meet an exiled medicine cat about a prophecy. Or learn that her leader was a traitor, a murderer, and could very well be a Dark Forest warrior.

"Morning!" Hazelflower chirped. However, Skypaw's eyes didn't rest on Hazelflower, but Petalheart and Flarecloud.

"Morning," She replied before asking, "Where are Rainpaw and Shadepaw?"

"They're out on a patrol with Russetsky," Flarecloud explained. Skypaw's heart longed to be with them.

"So," Hazelflower cut in. "We're going to test your battle skills." Her eyes had a sparkling gleam in them.

Skypaw's ears perked with interest. Hazelflower flicked Petalheart's shoulder.

"Since you've been training for almost four moons," Petalheart explained. "That means you only have two moons left. So, from now on then it's going to be hardcore training, trying to push you to your limits."

"We're going to pretend that we're ShadowClan warriors," Flarecloud continued. "One by one, we're going to jump in at attacking you. Hazelflower will start, and then Petalheart will join in when you least expect it. If you can continue to fight us off, I will attack. When we think a normal ShadowClan warrior would surrender, we will leave. Let's see how long you can last."

"Woah," Skypaw was about to reply when she heard the familiar voice. A dark brown tabby pelt came into view, his blue eyes filled with worry. "That seems like a lot."

"Bramblefrost," Hazelflower dipped her head in greeting. "While Russetsky has Rainpaw and Shadepaw on patrol, I thought I would see how Skypaw's training is coming along with the help of their mentors. There's only so much I can teach her, she needs to learn more in numbers."

Her father's eyes still glittered with anxiety. "You're three full grown warriors," he contradicted. "it's not fair."

"She will gain strength from this," Petalheart added. "Especially when it's most needed. We don't know what ShadowClan has up their fur."

ShadowClan! Skypaw had almost forgot. Did the monsters destroy their camp?

Skypaw found the familiar image of Hawkspirit in her mind. I hope he's okay! She thought to herself. He's too kind for disaster in his path.

"Skypaw?" Skypaw was snapped out of her thoughts and found the four warriors staring at her. Bramblefrost blinked.

"What?" She meowed, shaking her head to clear it.

"We asked if it was okay with you," Petalheart meowed slowly.

"Oh," Skypaw thought for a moment. "I'll give it a shot."

"Be careful," Bramblefrost brushed his pelt along his daughter's for a moment before going to the fresh kill pile. Skypaw looked at him for a moment before following the three she-cats out of camp.

Heading towards the training hollow, Skypaw saw a familiar pelt. Looking closer, she saw two cats she knew all too well.

Nightflare and Hawkspirit!

She was surprised when she found her paws straying away from her mentors and towards the two ShadowClan cats all by herself.

Hai.

Recieved bad news about a friend today. If you can, will you please pray for his health?

And I'm sorry, I said I would update yesterday and I got halfway through it until I had to go to bed.

Mothers. -.-

But I uploaded it today :D Thoughts?

I bet I know what you are thinkinnn :3 XD

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