Chapter 30-Taking Charge

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-A Quater Moon After Chapter 27-

Ravenheart stood by the southern Marshclan border, the smell and sounds of warm-cold of the marsh greeted him. The sun was at its highest, radiating warmth into the silent air. The sound of a cold stream was also there, for it marked the southern border of Marshclan. I have come back to reclaim my place among my clan. Now that a couple of moons have past, they should be ready now. This amount of time should have been suffice. Treestar always leads the sun-high patrols. Leopardclaw always goes with him, as lovers always need their time to come. He should be here any moment now.

Eventually, Ravenheart's amber eyes saw a patrol of four cats heading his way. They went into a battle ready mode as they slowly advanced to where he was, on the opposite side of the stream on Marshclan land. The patrol consisted of Leopardclaw, yellow, black-dotted fur, Shadowbird, black fur, Diamond, gray fur, and Redmoon, ginger fur. Just as I remember them, of course.

 When they were in front of Ravenheart, Redmoon was the first to speak. "You shouldn't be here, Ravenheart!" he growled, his amber eyes glowing menacingly. "You were exiled for two years. Get out of Marshclan land! I am sorry about what happened to you, but what Treestar said goes."

"Do you not want to defeat Starktail? Ravenheart asked. "I know her best out of all of Marshclan, and I have been in their camp."

"We cannot do that." Diamond inputted. "Valleyclan has weakly chosen neutrality. Blazeclan will not dare to attack Brookclan for fear of Lakeclan retaliation. We are alone."

"I have friends and connections. But I will only tell of them if you go get my father." Ravenheart said. 

He looked to his mother Leopardclaw. Her amber eyes showed love and a longing for him. "Diamond and Shadowbird, go get Treestar," she ordered, "And stay there. Redmoon, as you are a senior warrior, you shall be a witness to whatever happens here." Redmoon nodded his head while the other two toms scampered off.

"You have grown much in these past moons, my son. I have missed you." Leopardclaw said.

"I have missed you too, Mother, and Father as well. I have seen and learnt much while I have been gone. Only now would I be considered a warrior had I stayed." Ravenheart informed.

An awkward silence fell upon them until Treestar arrived, his brown pelt swinging in motion. His blue eyes showed compassion, but also anger. "I have told you before son, you should be gone." Treestar coldly said.  "I know you may want to stop Lakeclan, but we cannot do it alone. I will not see Marshclan suffer in a fruitless battle with fruitless hopes."

"We are not alone, father. I have a friend in Valleyclan who has helped me. Soon, more help shall arrive, trained by me, and with a strong and supporting Valleyclan, Blazeclan shall help us."

"What is this treachery?" Treestar demanded to know. "You conspire with another clan and break the rules?"

"It is not treachery!" Ravenheart argued. "I have done this to help Marshclan. You want help for Marshclan, and I, being a loyal member of Marshclan, have done this. My friend has, through simple intellectual debate, convinced Blazeclan to help us once Valleyclan is whole again and ready to fight."

"I understand you, son, but this is just not right. Going behind your leader's back is against the rules." Treestar revealed. "And I thought I was no long your father, as you said so long ago. You said clan before kin, so why have you gone to another clan?"

"Forgive me father, for I was wrong to not call you my father." Ravenheart pleaded. "I did not choose another clan. I merely seeked to have help from them. There is a difference."

"You were in shock that night, so I am once more your father. Explain to me reuniting Valleyclan." Treestar asked.

"Long ago, when Brownstar of Valleyclan put into place their system of how to judge a cat," Ravenheart explained, "half of the clan left in a protest. They never returned. Our ancestors have led me to them to bring them back. With a stronger, fixed Valleyclan, three clans united shall easily bring down Lakeclan and Darktail. I have trained them adequately to fight."

"You have no proof of any of this." Treestar countered. "I want to believe you, so our clan can be protected, but as you have no proof, I reject your claims to protect my clan. You may be a Marshclan cat at heart and to us, but officially you are not."

"I suppose so, Treestar. I suppose so." Ravenheart mumbled. "This is the last time that I shall come here, seeking to help my clan. I swear so father."

"Then go, son, and may you not be seen until your exile is over. I am truly sorry." Treestar apologized. However, I must do this to protect Marshclan from any accusations by Lakeclan. This may make me weak, to comply with them, but we and they both now that this is how it must be. I am the Chief, and so the clan does as I will. I maybe an unworthy leader, but I do as I see fit."

"I understand. The clan listens to what the Chief has to say." Ravenheart agreed. "May I at least come over and touch noses?"

"Treestar," Leopardclaw spoke, "Please do so. I wish to say goodbye to our son." Her eyes showed understanding when Ravenheart looked at him. Treestar nodded, so Ravenheart hopped over the stream.

Treestar extended his neck out to wrap heads with Ravenheart. Ravenheart stepped up, and put his head besides his father's, smelling the brown fur. Then Ravenheart bit his father with gear force in the neck. He quickly jolted back as Treestar instantly fell to the ground, choking on air.

"Do not to anywhere, Redmoon! " Leopardclaw instantly ordered, just as the ginger tom just as he started to run off.

"Listen to her!" Treestar then jaggedly spoke up. The tom stayed.

Ravenheart looked into his father's eyes. "I am sorry father, but I do this for our clan. You are too set in your ways to challenge Lakeclan, and that is ok. But now is now the time. Marshclan must have a new leader. I may not have trained a Leaner, but I have trained a clan. Sometimes the rules must be bent."

Treestar looked with pain, but also love. "I forgive you, son. I could never lead my clan to harm for as long as I was Chief. Our ancestors have given my glimpse of the clan you speak of, Holelcan."

"I am sorry, my love," Leopardclaw said when she walked up to her mate, "But not even I can live with your decisions."

"This is why it is time for a new Chief of Marshclan." Treestar croaked, slowly dieing. "Redmoon, you have seen this all unfold. Tell on one of Ravenheart's crime. Say that I rogue bit me." The ginger toke simply nodded, looking somber.

"I still have lives left," Treestar went on, "But I declare now, to my ancestors, that I give them up for my clan. I also interpret the rules as such that Ravenheart has trained a Learner. He is the age of a young warrior, but he has shown much wisdom beyond his years. Thus, upon my deathbed, I name him my deputy, to become the next great Chief of Marshclan."

"But this is not proper! He is too young! He has killed!" Redmoon countered, springing to standing mode.

"No he has not." Treestar said. "It was a rogue. Disobey me, and I will connect the Mender to tell everyone that it was you who killed me. That is not right, but a new Chief does not need a tainted reputation. The Code Of The Clans states that reasonable exception can be made. I think the ancestors supporting this is reason enough."

Redmoon then sat back down, clearly defeated.

"I love you, father, Treestar." Ravenheart said.

"As do I to you, son, Ravenstar, perhaps the youngest ever Chief there ever has been in Marshclan." Treestar replied.

Then the light in the eyes of the Marshclan leader went out as silence enveloped them all. Ravenheart felt sorrow and guilt inside of his heart. Iam sorry father. But I do this for our clan. To have killed my own father. It is wrong, and yet it is right.

"Tell the clan that I will be back in a quarter moon." Ravenheart said to Redmoon and a Leopardclaw. "I am no Ravenstar yet, so do not speak of my name as such. Tell the clan what happened here in accordance with what Treestar said. I have some business to do tonight, and afterwards, I shall be off to bring back a clan's worth of fearsome foes for Lakeclan to fight."

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