Chapter 22-The Moon Meeting

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-One And ¾ Moons After Chapter 20-

The cold season's air whistled down Sagepaw's spine. The trees rustled. The full moon was in the sky, a signal for all clans to come to the Tree Memorial. It was time for The Moon Meeting, a time for all five clans to share the news. Funnily enough, I haven't even bothered coming to one until, despite being eligible too. I had no need to before, but now that I need to begin investigating how the other clans would react to Starktail. Marshclan will not right now, but do stand ready for if they must. Brookclan play passive-aggressively. They will only go to war for their allies Lakeclan if Blazeclan goes to war against them. So I must convince Blazeclan that they must attack, and for Brookclan to turn their backs. But one step at a time.

The Marshclan and Blazeclan border scents filled her nose as she walked on Marshclan's land. With her was Birchstar, Birchleaf, Sunpaw, Goldemheart, Badgerpaw, Cloudfur, Vinetail, Barknose, and Snowpaw. Badgerpaw walked beside her, his eyes as happy as ever. Badgerpaw is a very caring and helpful friend. He even suffers hunger. He seems to like as more than just a friend though, hoping that I feel the same about him. But sadly I do not. It's embarrassing to admit this to even myself, but I have that feeling for Ravenheart. He may be from another clan, but if we are destined to change the clans together, it make sense to be together!

They were the last clan to arrive. Everyone was with their own clans, and they were all dead silent. Birchleaf took her place on the Valleyclan birch tree as the other Chiefs had already done, and Vinetail, Birchleaf, and Sunpaw took their place beneath her. The Valleyclan cats took their spot in front of their tree as well.

Sagepaw noticed a nervous glance for Sunpaw to confident looking Starktail, who was under the Lakeclan tree across the clearing. Naturally, Sunpaw fakes innocence. I do not know what motivation she has for helping Starktail, nor their plans, but I will soon figure it out. At least the traitor had finally stopped bothering me about how she totally didn't betray me, that she can explain" herself, and to be who I once was. Well I would be nice to you had you not take my dreams away on purpose and left me to suffer the hardships of our clan as a warrior.

"Let us began The Moon Meeting." Birchstar Cale's out. "My I began first?" All of the other Chiefs, Emberstar of Blazeclan, Streamstar of Lakeclan, Treestar of Marshclan, and Sunstar of Brookclan, gave Birchstar the go ahead.

"A few moons ago" Birchstar announced, "And I apologize in advance for having told no one of this, for it has not been relevant until now, Valleyclan's Mender Learner Sunpaw received a prophecy. It goes as such: "Darkness blooms, but do not stop it, let it grow. For within grow seeds of light that shall soon blossom. Then lightness shall bloom, born from darkness."

"I thought since nothing has happened thus far to warrant it any meaning, it would be best to speak of now to see of any of us has a clue to what it means."

Sagepaw quickly went to work trying to decipher what had been said. This must be another ploy of Starktail's! Everyone is too afraid of Starktail to lay a single paw on her, so all but her own clan would believe what she said comes from the ancestors. So another Mender saying something would only cement her plans. We know she is a darkness, so as the prophecy states, we must accept the oncoming darkness, then everyone will not bother to challenge her. Blazeclan and Marshclan will not accept this, but Valleyclan and Brookclan shall.

The clearing went silent as no cat spoke up. Sagepaw then had an idea to use this opportunity to get a chance to speak Emberstar, to get her attention.

"May I speak, Birchstar?" Sagepaw's question sparked a slight wave of whispers.

Sagepaw saw curiosity in her Chief's look at her. "Go ahead, Sagepaw. We need someone to speak here."

Preparing herself for an onslaught of noise, Sagepaw spoke. "While I do believe that this prophecy speaks of accepting a questionable opponent's ways, I do not believe it speaks of problems between the clans. I am of course referring Lakeclan and their questionable aggressiveness towards Marshclan. I see that as their problem only, not all of the clans, as the prophecy suggests. We should not interfere in or accept their fight. Maybe it refers whatever Ravenheart may bring back with him in two years from now." Hopefully he brings back those Valleyclan descendants soon.

Sagepaw saw anger flow in Birchstar's eyes, but her voice was lost in the eruption of talking and shouting around her. The world now revolves around her. Sagepaw looked around until she caught Emberstar's copper eyes locking with hers. Sagepaw tried to send her a message hat she needed to talk to her, and that she had not truly meant what she had said.

Emberstar's order bellowed over all of the commotion. "It seems that if we cannot bear to listen to one cat's thoughtful opinion, we should be here any longer. And Birchstar, I need to speak to you."

With that, she climbed down from the tree and the clans broke to and headed to their own lands. Within moments, Lakeclan, Marshclan, and Brookclan were gone. Now only Valleyclan and Blazeclan remained, ready to leave, waiting as their leaders to finish talking. Heartbeats later, they finished. Valleyclan shuffled ahead at Birchstar's command. Birchstar stayed behind to talk with Sagepaw. Blazeclan left with Emberstar at the same time.

Birchstar's face showed fury when she went up to Sagepaw. Her words shook with it as well. "How crazy are you?" Birchstar erupted. "We all know that Lakeclan is evil, and you dare tempt them like that? We mustn't provoke them lke you just did!

"Are you afraid to stand up for what is right?" Sagepaw calmly challenged, showing no fear.

"I am not!" growled. "I am protecting Valleyclan! If we comply with Lakeclan we live, and they will destroy is if we don't! Don't think that I can't exile you for betraying us in some manner!"

Pretending the be defeated, Sagepaw simply mumbled "Yes, Birchstar."

She could see a faint hint of satisfaction in her Chief's eyes. "Now, for whatever stupid reason, Emberstar wants you to come see the Rock of Light on the night you become a warrior, which is in in three quarter-moons from now. Until then, you're on elder and Learner nest duty. Something you said rocked around in her hazy brain. THose cats spend too much time in caves and tunnels. Messes with their brains. Now let's go."

Sagepaw followed behind Birchstar with her body, but her mind was elsewhere. Looks like my ploy worked! The Rock of Light is a special Blazeclan site, deep in their caves. Few outsiders are ever allowed to see it. They do, however have a tradition where they invite new warriors from other clans to see it as to show off their power. Now I can talk to Emberstar. Doing all those nests will be hard work, but worth it. And Starktail now knows that I am coming for her.

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