Chapter 16-Ice And Fire

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-A Few Days After Chapter 15-

Sagepaw was exhausted and frustrated. She had been training all morning on a single battle move with Goldenheart all morning with him in the training are, which was a clearing in the middle of the forest with a soft soil floor. She had to learn a move in which she leapt onto an opponent's back, claw them some, and leap back off. She tried to practice implement adding an extra move that, with enough force, could flip the opponent over. Her idea was that her backwards paw could hook on their fur and stay on, as the claws usually slipped backwards, not forwards.

But Goldenheart had strictly forbidden her to even try it, saying that she could get hurt badly. But Sagepaw knew that he was just suppressing her. This was Valleyclan's evil in motion. It didn't help either that she couldn't sleep or eat as well. She was much colder because the other Learners took all of the bedding and most of the food. Including Sunpaw, the traitor. But at least Badgerpaw suffers with me. He has much compassion within him. She was thinner than most of the clan. As were her parents. It didn't help that she was always woken early by Goldeneheart.

Gradually she had gotten use to it. She had to suffer if she was to better her clan someday. Training was hard for her. She learned fast. However, just to do it in spite, she knew, Goldenheart made her do and it over and over again, correcting her every mistake. I do not like, but all he does is make be a better warrior, contrary to what he thinks that he will do. Practicing a single move could take days sometimes.

It was just the fact that today he would not let her even try her own idea. This frustrated her. By the time he dismissed in the late afternoon, she was exhausted as usual. When they went to camp, she took a nap as usual. They may be cruel, but at least the understand the basic essentials of life. Food, water, shelter, and rest. Sagepaw's eyelids closed shut to let in a welcomed slumber.

When they reopened, they showed fear. She could hear the sharp screams of the clan as her eyes watered at, her lungs coughed at, and her nose smelt smoke. She could see that is was Badgerpaw, in her hazy vision, who had woken her. Fire! It's a fire! Not in the middle of the cold season!

"Quickly!" Badgerpaw yelled at her. "Everyone else is already out! We must go!"

Sunpaw ran out of the hill, with Badgerkit in the lead. The scene around her was one of devastation. The fire was everywhere. The smoke almost blocked out the sun over the camp. She and Badgerkit an through the narrow paths that there were.

When she looked at the warrior's bush, she saw the Rockheart was there, unmoving. Her heart filled with fear for her mother. She stopped and called to Badgerkit, who turned to listen. "Go ahead! I have to help my mother! Save yourself for your family!"

Badgerpaw nodded and turned back to running out of the camp's entrance.

Sagepaw quickly reached her mother. She saw that there was a gash in her throat that was heavily bleeding Rockheart's weakly lifted her head when she saw Sagepaw. Who has done this to my mother? This is murder! I will murder them back for this!

"Sagepaw, there was.....rogues......." Rockheart croaked.

"Don't talk! Save your energy! I will get you out of here!" Sagepaw wailed.

Rockheart weakly spoke once more. "No, I end here, daughter. I love you for you you are......."

"Who did this to you?" demanded Sagepaw in grief. I cannot leave her until find out who did this! The fire can wait!

"Black eyes...." Rockheart started to say, but her eyelids closed.

Sagepaw started to pull her mother with her teeth as the fire raged around her. The fire was always close. The heat made her sweat. But she would not stop until her mother was safe. She could figure out who did it later.

The smoke grew thicker, and breathing grew harder. But step by step, Sagepaw managed to drag Rockheart to the clan entrance. Badgerpaw was there, and he relieved her of Rockheart. His green eyes showed compassion for her.

Sagepaw took a moment to let her breath catch up to her. Then it came. On the edge of her vision, in an instant, she saw a jet of flame reach out to get her. There was no time to react. The fire was in the air one moment, and it was on her left flank the next, scorching her.

As she felt the heat destroy her fur and flesh, she felt her old fox claw wound open up again. As she yowled in agony, she ran up and out of the entrance slope. The fire raced with her, breezing along in her wind. Not too far were here gloooy clanmates, all watching Birchleaf and Sunpaw work on saving Rockheart's life.

Her cries of pain caught their attention, but no cat made a move. Sunpaw rolled in the snow in a desperate bid to get of the fire. It worked. As the fire suffocated against the water and lack of ability to get air, her senses started to fail.

Time had to meaning to her. She lied there, as the pain slowly away from

the fire. New pain came back though from her servers injuries though. he barely saw a Badgerpaw as he stood beside her, having appeared out of nowhere. He was applying wet moss to her now charred left flank. She saw compassion in his green eyes once more. Soon, the pain went away due to the cold in the air and the ground.

"Hey, it's you again." she weakly said.

"Hey." Badgerkit greeted back,

"How long do you think this nap will last?" she joked. "Seems to me like I have a thing for hurting myself in big ways."

Badgerpaw let out a short, purr of joy. He has obviously enjoyed the joke.

"How did the fire happen?" Sagepaw asked.

"A bunch of rogues came in holding torches of fire." Badgerpaw answered. "They just tossed at fire-risk areas, and the camp was up in flames within moments.

"Did you see any black furred, blue-eyed cat?" Sagepaw had to determine if it had been Stonestar or not, for he was a black furred, blue-eyed car as well. Yes he had some white as well, but he was really the only cat in the clan who would fit that description. She did not think that would have been beyond him to haven taken such an opportunity.

Badgerpaw thought for a moment before he replied. "I don't think so."

Then that settles it. Stonestar killed my mother! She was careful not to express her newfound hatred for him with her body. She raged in her mind alone. Just another reason to kill him! My ancestors support m quest, so it will not be wrong to do it. I need to rest. My mother will be waiting for me after I nap.

"Have fun dragging me back to camp." Sagepaw playfully said to Badgerpaw. "I'm going to sleep now. Tell Birchleaf that I expect to have been treated by the time I wake up. How bad is it?"

"Well it looked blackened around the area were that fox struck you. You will probably never grow enough fur there ever again." Badgerpaw said truthfully. "He will be ugly there for life, but it will make you look fierce to others. It's pretty gruesome sight right now, and will be ugly after I heals once more."

"Thanks." complimented Sagepaw. "Good night now. I want to awake in a comfy nest full of moss." Then she covered her purple eyes with her eyelids. Soon, I shall have you Stonestar........

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