Rainpaw sat with the rest of the crowd, his heart beating quickly as he realised that he was going to get a Warrior name. Everyone around him seemed very happy, and he had even caught a glimpse of Cheetahfur smiling at him. After six moons of training and constant wounds, Rainpaw was glad that he was finally receiving his Warrior name.
Rainpaw watched closely as Ravenstar leaped up the Highrock, and as the great leader sat down, he waited for his name to be called.
“ThunderClan, we have witnessed a wonderful thing today,” Ravenstar started. “We have seen Rainpaw’s true loyalty to not only his Clan, but WindClan as well. This is something that is hard to come by these days. Rainpaw could have kept the lives his demon stole for himself, but instead he brought back those his monster killed. He made it clear to us that he does not kill willingly, and that he is a true Warrior of ThunderClan. For that, I think it is high time he receives his Warrior name.”
“Rainpaw,” called Ravenstar, looking down at him. “Do you promise to uphold the Warrior code and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?” Rainpaw nodded.
“I do,” said Rainpaw clearly.
“Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your Warrior name,” Ravenstar continued. “Rainpaw, from this day forward, you will be known as Rainfur, for your outstanding bravery and loyalty. We welcome you as a full Warrior of ThunderClan, and hope that you stay with us for many moons to come.” Rainfur dipped his head respectively, unable to describe how happy he felt.
“Rainfur! Rainfur! Rainfur!” The Clan chanted, Robinwing louder than all of them.
“I shall now announce those coming to the gathering with me,” said Ravenstar after quieting everyone down. “Sharpfang, Snowdrift, Frostpaw, Birdflight, Lilyear, Dawnpelt, Talontooth, Flamepelt, Robinwing, Shadowflame, Rainfur, and Sweetpaw.” Rainfur couldn’t help but to feel proud now. Not only was he a new Warrior, he was also going to go to the gathering.
Robinwing walked up to him, licking him on the cheek as she did so.
“I’m so proud of you!” she said. “Now we’re both Warriors! Isn’t this great?”
“I still don’t understand why I couldn’t go,” Amberstorm growled playfully. “I know I died, but I’m fine now.”
“Maybe Ravenstar thought you were still under a bit of shock,” Rainfur suggested. “It’s not every day a cat experiences being dead and then being brought back alive.”
“How was it, by the way?” asked Shadowflame curiously as she walked up to them. “Being dead, I mean.”
“Strange,” Amberstorm replied awkwardly. “Can we not talk about this? It’s just weird. . .”
“Sure!” Shadowflame replied quickly. “I was just curious!” Amberstorm chuckled.
“Don’t be too hard on yourself,” the gentle ginger she-cat replied. “I’m not that mean.”
“What do you think WindClan is going to say?” asked Flamepelt as he walked up to the crowd, looking a bit concerned.
“Do you think they’ll even be there?” asked Amberstorm.
“Of course they will,” said Robinwing. “They’re too stubborn not to come. Now Rosestar is another question. I honestly don’t know what she’d do if she was there and saw you, Rainfur. Probably run with fear, if you ask me. Did you see how she looked when she left?” Rainfur shrugged.
“Maybe she just won’t come then,” said Shadowflame innocently. “Blackpelt has become quite the deputy. She’s almost an exact copy of Rosestar.”
“Wasn’t she always like that?” asked Rainfur.
“No,” Robinwing replied. “She used to be very gentle and kind from what I’ve heard. However, she’s just become like Rosestar lately.”
“Well that’s sad,” Sweetpaw chirped up as she joined the conversation. “I was really hoping that Rosestar would die so that WindClan could become nice again.”
“Don’t say that!” Shadowflame scolded. “Leaders are leaders, and they can do what they want. After all, they have nine lives and have lived for many years. We consider them the same as our Elders.”
“But Rosestar doesn’t have nine lives and she definitely hasn’t lived that long!” Sweetpaw argued. “Why can’t I wish that she dies? I know Ravenstar wishes it! And the other leaders as well! From what I’ve heard, nobody likes her.”
“Sweetpaw, you are younger, and so you should not wish such things,” Robinwing soothed. “I think your mentor is calling you now, by the way.” Sweetpaw nodded before leaving, looking quite determined as she did so.
“Well she’s got one thing right,” said Flamepelt. “Everyone does want Rosestar gone.”
Rainfur basically pranced beside Robinwing, who was giggling as he did it. She had already been to a Gathering as a Warrior, but he had not. Rainfur knew deep down that most cats weren’t going to really care about his Warriorship because of what happened last time he came to a Gathering, but he didn’t care.
They were just entering WindClan territory, and everything seemed to grow intense. Everyone was quiet—well, not the leaders—as they looked around with hostile glares. None of them had forgotten the WindClan invasion, and none of them were going to let their guard down.
Rainfur, of course, didn’t care. He was too excited to really notice the WindClan gathering patrol show up behind them, and he was too busy talking to Frostpaw to realize that ThunderClan had stopped to send warning growls to WindClan, who were doing the same. When Rainfur finally did realize what was going on, he just took a step back and hoped that this wouldn’t end another fight.
“You traitors!” a ThunderClan cat yelled.
“You must be mouse-brain to work with rogues!” Another yelled.
“You’re the weaklings!” one WindClan cat hissed.
“The only thing that saved you from the rogues was that monster!” another WindClan cat growled. Rainfur’s fur bristled at that sentence, growling lowly for warning.
“At least we’re not weak enough to call to rogues for help!” Robinwing hissed beside him, determination in her eyes.
“Yeah!” Shadowflame agreed, also narrowing her eyes. “How many lives did Rosestar loose again?” Many WindClan cats yowled with rage as Shadowflame said that, and the ThunderClan cats weren’t much better. However, Ravenstar made sure that this did not end in a fight.
“Silence!” Ravenstar yowled above all of the threats. “WindClan have learned their lesson, and are lucky that we brought those seven cats back to life. They need not to be threatened.” The black cat in front of the group made Rainfur a bit uneasy. He knew her. She was one of the first cats he’d met. That was Blackpelt, the deputy of WindClan. Was that Blacstar now?
However, before he got to question it, Ravenstar lead them forward. Blackpelt waited awhile before walking, quieting her Clan down as well. Rainfur was afraid now.
Did Rosestar die? Did the demon wound her so badly that she lost her last life? Why is the demon so evil?
Hey! Hissed the demon then. It’s not my fault! It’s yours! It was you with the suicidal past! Rainfur rolled his eyes before continuing to walk forward with the rest of the Clan, hoping that Blackpelt was not the new leader.
When they came to the fallen tree, Rainfur waited for everyone but Sweetpaw to pass before he jumped on. He kept an ear out for the small apprentice, though, aware that she had never been to a gathering before. She did fine, though, and crossed without a problem.
Rainfur was suddenly pushed playfully to the ground by none other than Cloudpaw from RiverClan. It was confusing, a bit, knowing two cats named Cloudpaw. He laughed as the black-and-white apprentice acted like she was all that.
“Get off!” said Rainfur. “Is that how you treat a full Warrior of ThunderClan?” Cloudpaw got off immediately, still giggling.
“You’re a Warrior?” she asked quickly. “I am too! My new name is Cloudstreak!”
“It suits you,” said Rainfur as he stood up. “My new name is Rainfur. What’s yours, Thunder...?”
“Heart,” Thunderheart answered. “My name is Thunderheart.” Rainfur smiled, but then noticed the WindClan cats come in. The ThunderClan cats glared at them, though they seemed to take no notice. However, Thunderheart figured it out real quick.
“Who killed Rosestar?” the new Warrior asked. “It must have been a bunch of people, I know she had all of her lives.”
“She isn’t dead, I don’t think,” Rainfur snapped. “Only eight lives were taken, though she did have many wounds. The cat that killed her wasn’t really thinking correctly.”
“Who did it?” asked Thunderheart, narrowing his eyes.
“I. . .er. . .don’t know,” Rainfur replied, lowering his head. “It’s complicating, and I—”
“I know you know,” Thunderheart growled. “Who did it?”
“I’m not telling you!” Rainfur growled. “I can’t. . .”
“You did it, didn’t you?” asked Thunderheart. Rainfur shook his head.
“No, I didn’t, not really. . .” Rainfur murmured. This was getting really uncomfortable, especially with Cloudstreak standing right there.
“How could you?” asked Thunderheart. “She’s a leader, for StarClan’s sake! How could you take eight lives of hers?” Rainfur snapped his head up, his eyes narrowed with anger.
“She attacked me!” Rainfur growled. “WindClan was the one that invaded! The rogues that has been attacking ThunderClan made a deal with them! I-I didn’t know what to do. . .I had no choice on what I did. . . We were outnumbered . . . the demon just. . .just came out. It had never done that before, not even with the rogues last time.” Rainfur shook his head before looking up to Thunderheart, who was looking very angry, though fearful as well.
“Look, my life hasn’t been the best since I saw you,” Rainfur growled. “With the two kits I saved from the rogues, Jayflight’s death, and the death berry poison—”
“Death berry poison?” asked Thunderheart. “How on earth did you live through that?” Rainfur narrowed his eyes harder, refusing to answer. However, Cloudstreak’s worried looking eyes got the best of him.
“Let’s just say the monster of my memories is the only reason I’m here at the moment,” Rainfur growled as stood up, happy that no one was near the three Warriors. “I would have died moons ago had it not been for my extra strength.” He left Thunderheart and Cloudstreak staring back at him in shock, making him frown. At least they know not to pester me about those things, Rainfur thought. Hopefully it won’t happen again.
Rainfur then noticed that the gathering was starting, and so he found Robinwing and walked up beside her. She smiled at him at first, but then she noticed the sad look in his eye and then looked questioningly at him. He didn’t explain anything. He just wanted the gathering to be over with.
Blackpelt sat on the lowest branch while Ravenstar sat on the one above it. Bravestar sat on the highest while Nightstar sat on the second highest. The three leaders all looked at Blackpelt, hoping for her to go first so that she could explain what happened to Rosestar.
“WindClan is thriving as new-leaf gives us more prey,” Blackpelt began, an emotionless expression on her face. “We have had no problems, and have gained two new apprentices: Willowpaw and Bramblepaw. Two knew Warriors have also been added: please welcome Echoscreech and Hawkstrike.” The Clan cheered for Echoscreech, though Hawkstrike was not there. It actually wasn’t surprising to Rainfur at all.
“Hawkstrike could not make it due to some wounds he has gotten,” Blackpelt continued. “He is okay now, just recovering.” Blackpelt then sat down, signalling her finish.
“I am sure everything is fine, but mind my asking, where is Rosestar?” asked Bravestar. “I am sure we are all curious to know.” Blackpelt narrowed her eyes, showing an emotion finally. She stared at Ravenstar for a few moments before looking to Bravestar again.
“Rosestar is still recovering from a battle a few sunrises ago,” Blackpelt told the Clans. “With many wounds from battle, she is in shock. Yellowstreak, our medicine cat, says that she is okay and will not lose any of her lives anytime soon.” Rainfur sighed with relief, happy that Rosestar was not dead.
“Hawkstrike and Rosestar both?” asked Bravestar curiously. “Was it the rogues who attacked?” Blackpelt held her breath, deciding on what to tell them. Ravenstar had already made sure ThunderClan was quiet, and Rainfur just hoped that they would understand how vulnerable it would make WindClan seem if they knew they were fighting with the rogues, not against them.
“We invaded ThunderClan,” she replied. “We outnumbered them, and so we thought we could defeat them easily enough. However, ThunderClan is stronger than we thought. Their up and coming Warriors were trained nicely, and though there were no deaths, Rosestar, Hawkstrike, Morningbreeze, Haretail, Skyhunter, and Silverpelt are all in complete shock, having met ThunderClan’s secret weapon face on. They are okay though, and quickly recovering.” Bravestar was quiet then, aware of what she was talking about. He glanced over to Rainfur, but then looked away quickly.
“What do you mean, ‘secret weapon’?” asked Nightstar then, the only leader who had no idea what they were talking about.
“I’m afraid that information is not going to be shared tonight,” Ravenstar growled. “It would only end in another fight, something I’d rather not experience again.” Bravestar nodded in agreement.
“Agreed,” said Bravestar. “Now I would like to report a few ceremony’s I’ve preformed. Cloudpaw and Thunderpaw have both gained their Warrior names. They are now Cloudstreak, and Thunderheart. Whitepaw, Maplepaw, and Oakpaw have now taken their place as apprentices and are doing well under training. We have had no more encounters with any other foxes, and are doing well this new-leaf.” The Clan cheered out the names of Cloudstreak and Thunderheart before Nightstar stood up to speak.
“ShadowClan have done well this new-leaf and have made two new Warriors: Spottedfur and Swiftfeather.” The Clan cheered out their name before Nightstar continued. “Dawnstripe, our queen, has given birth to three wonderful kits that have been named Mudkit, Tigerkit, and Rosekit”—Rosestar flinched as this was said—”Owlkit has now become Owlpaw, and now has Pineshade as a mentor. Other than this, we are glad to say that we have not had any Green-cough.” Nightstar then sat down before Ravenstar stood up.
Like one Rosekit isn’t enough already! Thought Rainfur.
“ThunderClan has done well this moon,” Ravenstar announced. “Bluekit and Lionkit have now become Bluepaw and Lionpaw, and are now much more cautious since they ran into the rogues. Grassfur is expecting Talontooth’s kits, and has happily moved to the nursery.” The Clan cheered as Ravenstar paused.
“No one was killed during the fight with WindClan,” Ravenstar continued. “Rainpaw, the wonderful apprentice we gained, showed true bravery. He protected his Clan from Rosestar when she attacked him, and though I had to finish the fight, I remembered to give Rainpaw the credit that he deserved. After all, not many apprentices would take on a leader with nine lives. Rainpaw has now gained his Warrior name: Rainfur.”
ThunderClan cheered, as did RiverClan and some of the ShadowClan cats. WindClan did not cheer. They all gave hostile glares at him, though some of them were a bit scared. Rainfur sat proudly, happy to share this moment alone. Ravenstar then sat down, making Blackpelt glare at him.
“How brave you must be to lie about such things,” Blackpelt muttered. “Rosestar would never attack an apprentice.”
“Ah, but she would if she thought he killed her kit and mate, wouldn’t she?” Ravenstar countered, keeping a calm expression. “You know exactly what happened, Blackpelt, and so I suggest you don’t question your leader’s actions in front of those who’d we both rather not hear.” Blackpelt hissed with fury then, her eyes flashing with anger.
Oooh, said the demon curiously. I sense a little hostile glares coming from the outside. Mind if I butt in?
Absolutely not, Rainfur growled. This is a Clan meeting, and I don’t want everyone knowing what I can do.
But that would be interesting! the demon argued. Everyone would be afraid of you, and then you would be the top of the world!
Yeah, but then you’d kill someone, and then I’d be exiled, Rainfur hissed. Stay put, or StarClan will try to kill you.
No they won’t! the demon insisted. You would die if that happened, and right now, that’s the last thing they want! If you died, the whole prophecy would fail!
What do you mean? Rainfur asked curiously. I thought I had nothing to do with that!
Er. . . the demon muttered. Bye-bye!
Wait! Rainfur called, but it was already gone. He growled lowly with frustration, hoping not to worry Robinwing that much.
“Blackpelt, please remember that this is a Gathering,” Bravestar reminded her. “Ravenstar, would you like reminding of what happened last time?” Ravenstar narrowed his eyes but he then jumped down the tree. He glared at Blackpelt one last time before leading his Clan toward the fallen tree.
Ravenstar suddenly turned around to look at Rainfur, surprising him a bit. Some message seemed to be trying to reach Rainfur, as if Ravenstar was trying to tell him something, but it never got to him. Something was already reading it.
Okay, now I’m really ticked off, said the demon, suddenly popping in. This dumb leader needs to be taught a lesson.
Wait, what on— Rainfur was suddenly cut off as a sharp blade looking thing shot toward Ravenstar, surprising everyone around him. It bounced off of something though, flying elsewhere while another one did the same thing. Rainfur followed the blades as they shot toward many other cats, bouncing off each of them and then making a replica.
Then, when there were ten blades, they went to the middle, and that was when Rainfur found that they were all engulfed in flames. Then they separated so they made a star. The fire then connected the blades, making a full star that burned with fury.
Hehe, the demon laughed. That was totally not what I meant to do, but boy is this awesome!
The loud evil laugh that came from the demon then boomed throughout the forest, making everyone shiver with fear.
“Rainfur!” Robinwing screamed above the laughing. “What’s happening?”
“I don’t know!” Rainfur yelled back honestly. “I can’t do anything!”
“I am not to be controlled! I am not to be defeated! I am not to be looked down upon! I am the king! I am the leader! I am the demon! I am your fear! Now die by the blade that started my creation!” The demon screamed.
All of the blades then lined up and paused before one shot toward Ravenstar. It was quick—too quick. Ravenstar had no chance, and as the blade went through him, a life was quickly lost. The brave leader fell to the ground, the blade still burning as the others waited to attack.
Another blade soon shot toward Blackpelt and killed the deputy easy. The Clan then began running in complete terror, trying their hardest to get over the log.
Rainfur was aware of the life he now had, and for some reason he knew what he had to do to stop the killer of his soul.
StarClan, save them all!
The blades orange flames then grew a lightning blue before zooming toward him. He stood still, hoping that this would stop them. The eight blades then stopped and shattered into tiny blue dust specks. Then, just as he thought it was over, the dust specks gathered into a lightning bolt and then shot up into the sky, forming a thunderstorm right above them.
Everything was okay then, making Rainfur sigh with relief. Since the other Clans had vanished, probably afraid that more blades were going to come, ThunderClan was free to ask him about what had happened. Sharpfang, of course, was the first to question him.
“What in StarClan’s name just happened?” Sharpfang demanded. “You just wasted a life of Ravenstar’s!”
“I did not!” Rainfur hissed, narrowing his eyes. “I also honestly don’t know what happened. The demon was really getting jumpy when Blackpelt and Ravenstar was arguing, though I managed to convince it not to take control. Then Ravenstar did something, and whatever he did really made the demon angry. After that, I have no idea what happened. I used Ravenstar’s life to shatter the blades—”
“Blades? Is that what those sharp sticks were called?” asked Sharpfang. Rainfur sighed to calm himself down. He’d forgotten that these cats knew absolutely nothing about the names of human things.
“Yes, and they’re used mostly for killing in the Twoleg world,” Rainfur hissed. “Anyways, I used the life to save everyone, but I don’t have anymore. Blackpelt is dead, and I can’t restore Ravenstar’s life. I don’t know what happened, but do know that the demon is getting ready for something. He just keeps popping up whenever it gets interesting. I don’t know what’s going to happen. . .”
“What did it mean when it said ‘Now die by the blade that started my creation’?” asked Sharpfang. Rainfur didn’t respond. He couldn’t, not with everything going on. He knew exactly what the demon meant, but he just didn’t want to remember.
“Rainfur, answer me!” Sharpfang hissed angrily. “You know how it was created, don’t you? Why haven’t you told me?”
“Because I couldn’t!” Rainfur hissed. “The demon was created the moment my brother was harmed, but I just couldn’t remember! Now that I have, I refuse to remember. Those memories feed the demon, and the fear that I felt back then just encourages it. The blade was the first thing they used on my brother, and that was when the stupid demon was made. That’s the reason I haven’t told you or anyone else.” Sharpfang and everyone was quiet as he finished his speech, and that’s when Ravenstar finally woke up.
As the leader stood to his feet, he looked to Rainfur with fear. Rainfur just ignored this. After all, Ravenstar had a right to be afraid of him.
“What are you?” asked Ravenstar with a raspy voice.
“What I was in the past doesn’t matter anymore,” Rainfur muttered, his head lowered. “What am now is unknown. What I will be, however, is something I’m afraid to ask myself. The only thing I can do is pray that StarClan brought me here for a reason, and not by accident.” Rainfur then left, unable to stay there with the voices in his head. The memories going through him, and the stares that he was getting.
He was done. Over with. No one would trust him now, just as he gained it from every single cat. They were all now back to square one, and Rainfur knew in his heart that it would not return to the way it was ever again. The only ones who would like him now would be his friends, and even that was uncertain.
Rainfur then ran forward after jumping off the fallen tree, sprinting through WindClan territory.
“Why!” he screamed as he ran. “Why was I even brought here? I’m different! I can never be normal! I-I am never going to be the same as them! I’m going to destroy everything!” He kept yelling, hoping and praying that someone would answer him. Deep down there was only one answer for each question and one answer for each fear.
“The martyr. . .the pariah. . .the shadow. . .the martyr. . .the pariah. . .the shadow. . .the unloved. . .the unprotected. . .the unwanted. . .the unloved. . .the unprotected. . .the unwanted. . .”