Chapter 40

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Skypaw screeched on the top of her lungs, lunging at the ShadowClan leader. Feeling her claws rake the dappled fur, Dapplestar hissed, Willowleaf's blood still on her claws. Willowleaf staggered back, shock plastered on her face.

"Sunstar!" The ThunderClan medicine cat yowled. The flaming pelt of the ThunderClan leader erupted from his den, his eyes groggy with sleep. Skypaw scowled at him.

Sleeping during battles and while you ordered your Clan out hunting? She hissed to herself.

"What in the name of Sta-" Sunstar snarled before he was cut off by a mighty battle cry. The white pelt of Moondust landed squarely on top of him, leaves from the trees falling after her. Sunstar swiped at her, only to have his strong paw pinned by a more superior she-cat.

Skypaw looked around for any sign of the ThunderClan warriors, but there weren't any in sight. Including her sisters, Sunstar had ordered the Clan be productive during the harsh time of leaf-bare.

As if on cue, yowls of ThunderClan cats echoed throughout the territory. ShadowClan were everywhere!

"You again!" Dapplestar hissed, stalking around Skypaw.

"Yes, me again," Skypaw returned the hissy tone. "You are invading my camp, after all."

Dapplestar cuffed Skypaw's ear, her bloody claws stinging against her skin. Scowling at her, Skypaw leaped, barreling her over. Landing a few blows on the leader's face, she put forth all of her moons of training.

Glancing around, Skypaw noticed the camp was mostly deserted. Sunstar was lazily pinned by Moondust, Willowleaf was racing to her den to get herbs, and Featherfur and Flowermoon cowered in the nursery, protecting their young.

"We need more warriors!" Skypaw yowled. "I can't fight two of them and defend camp by myself!"

"What in the-" Appleleaf burst from the elders' den. His eyes were wide as he realized the unprotected camp. "Dear StarClan!"

Skypaw was totally taken off guard when Appleleaf let out a battle cry, leaping up the tumbled rocks where Sunstar threw insults at Moondust. She felt Dapplestar's claws rake her shoulder, but she didn't care. Surprise echoed through her mind as she saw Appleleaf barrel over Moondust, freeing the ThunderClan leader.

Looking at the fighting elder for another moment, she spun back around to face Dapplestar.

"Ever since Nightflare told me that Russetsky had kits, I've wanted them dead," The ShadowClan leader snarled. "This couldn't seem like a more perfect time for you to perish, and that's what I've come for."

"You're insane," Skypaw shot back. "StarClan will never allow it!"

"They allowed me to ally with Sunstar," Her eyes glinted evilly.

"He's not your ally!" Skypaw said the words with confidence, only hoping they were true.

"But he is," Dapplestar continued to stalk around the ThunderClan apprentice. "Together, we'll take over all of StarClan!"

"I cannot even," Skypaw meowed before landing a heavy blow on Dapplestar's face. "believe the amount of nonsense coming from your-" Skypaw hissed when Dapplestar's teeth sank into her tail. "mouth!"

"Well, believe it, foxbreath," Dapplestar snarled. "because we will take over all of StarClan," Skypaw ducked as the ShadowClan leader aimed a powerful blow at her face. "And the Clans will be ours!"

Skypaw couldn't ignore the growing fear growing inside of her. Dapplestar and Sunstar had allied? That wasn't in the prophecy! Skypaw said she didn't believe what was happening to Dapplestar, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. She could totally see Sunstar teaming up with the evil ShadowClan leader, thinking together, they were powerful to get what they both wanted.

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