Book 1: Warriors: The Shadow Outcast

I am human, or I was. I was fine, and now I'm cursed with insanity. They say I can do great things, but all I've done so far is kill. Sacrifice can only get me so far, and the feeling of exile and outcast isn't new to me. Is this what you wanted StarClan?

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26. Chapter 24

Chapter Twenty-Four

“Rainfur, what happened to you?” asked Robinwing, her voice barely audible. “What have you become?” Rainfur looked to her, his eyes showing more pain now. His leAgs were weak and his body was starved. His head lowered as she asked this, a small tear running down his cheek.

He remembered getting all of the information at once. He remembered seeing Sharpstar beat his friends. He remembered seeing Sharpstar give that offer to Rosestar. He remembered seeing Sharpstar kill Yelloweye. He remembered seeing everything. Jactur was saddened as he saw them as well, feeling Rainfur’s pain.

“Robinwing, I haven’t changed, I promise,” Rainfur murmured, the pain beating down on him. “I just need time to think. Death has taken its toll on me once again, leaving me with no choice. I was clueless as to what was going on, but once I knew, there was something that needed to be done. I’ve come back, but not just to see you like I promised. I won’t leave again. I know it’s my fault, same as everything else, but I promise you, I will fix my mistake.”

“Rainfur, what are you talking about?” asked Robinwing, looking very shocked that he’d changed so much. “Nothing was your fault!”

“You’re wrong,” Rainfur muttered in a monotone voice. He couldn’t do anything, for he was trying too hard to keep his emotions hidden. “Everything was my fault. If I hadn’t left you with Sharpstar—no, he doesn’t deserve such a name. If I hadn’t left you with Sharpfang, none of this would’ve happened. If I hadn’t killed Ravenstar, Sharpfang would never have the power to leave the Clan in destruction. I just made the simple mistake of letting Jactur go, leaving everything like it is. I’m sorry.”

“Who’s Jactur?” asked Robinwing, not really confused. She seemed like she knew the answer, but she just didn’t want it to be true.

“The monster, the demon, the ghost of my memories,” Rainfur muttered, his eyes darkening even more. “I gave him a name, and he in turn trained me. I’m ready to kill Sharpfang now. With Jactur’s power at my control, I will be able to kill him once and for all. If the Clans still hate me, then so be it. As long as you and our kits are safe.”

“You trained with the monster?” Robinwing asked, gasping as she did so. “Rainfur, you must be mouse-brained! He’ll kill you, now that he knows your weaknesses! He’ll destroy you from the inside!”

“No he won’t!” Rainfur yelled, his voice booming throughout the forest. “He’s helped me! He knows me! He is me! If it weren’t for Jactur, I wouldn’t be here. If it weren’t for Jactur, I wouldn’t know what Sharpfang has done to you. If it weren’t for Jactur, I’d be dead, and if it weren’t for Jactur, I would be a scrawny, pathetic weakling just ready to be killed. He’s helped me move on from my brother’s death by training me. I have his speed, his strength, and his intelligence. And, most importantly, I have his trust. We are one now, and I am friends with him. I’ll forever be in debt to him.”

Aw, thanks, said Jactur, seeming to enjoy the sad moment.

Please be quiet, Rainfur whispered. It’s hard enough as it is.

Alright, but don’t take too long. Jactur said. I still have a few more things I want to show you.

“You have changed!” said Robinwing, standing up with fear. “I can’t believe you’ve given yourself up to the monster just because you remembered your brother’s death. I can’t believe you’ve given up!”

“I haven’t!” Rainfur yelled, his eyes narrowing. “I have combined myself with him, making me stronger and much smarter! I know what it means to trust again, and if you want proof that I have not given up, I shall show you.”

Rainfur then concentrated all of his power and all of his will on letting Jactur help him. He felt his friend connect with him, and he felt the strength and speed join in with his body. After this, he looked into Robinwing’s eyes, aware that his eyes were now a dark blue, and the colouring had changed on his coat. Robinwing’s eyes widened with fear, shock, and hope, backing up as she realised that she might be in trouble.

“Do not be afraid,” Rainfur whispered to his mate. “I am still me, only with another part. You see, back when I was a ThunderClan cat, I was only one part of myself. What I didn’t know, though, was that I needed the other part to survive. It turns out that the missing part was Jactur, and with him I have grown. I am taller than you now, and I am stronger and smarter than I was before. I am fully me now, and I shall use that knowledge to kill Sharpfang for you and all of the other Clans. I promise you, I will not rest until that monster has been destroyed.” Robinwing looked speechless, and as she searched for words, Jactur popped in again.

Isn’t it ironic that at one point, that’s what you called me? Asked Jactur. I find that funny, and I bit sad at the same time. I can’t annoy you as much anymore.

You’re annoying me right now, Rainfur hissed. I thought we agreed no commentary until I get to ShadowClan. What happened to that?

Eh, I sorta can’t keep my thoughts to myself, since they just pop up, Jactur murmured. I’ll try harder though, but please hurry up! You’re taking so long!

I’ll hurry, just please let me finish this on a good note, Rainfur whispered.

Okay, was all Jactur said before it was quiet once again.

“Robinwing’s scent is this way!” Rainfur suddenly heard a cat say. “Come on! Sharpstar will be angry if she’s dead!” Rainfur growled lowly before switching back to his normal state and looking to his mate.

“We shall meet again, my sweet,” Rainfur whispered to his mate. “And do not worry, those cats won’t be able to scent me. Good-bye, Robinwing.” Rainfur then ran away, happy to finally be home.

A certain pride was growing within him, filling him with confidence. He was going to kill Sharpfang, even if the cat was his mentor. He was going to kill Sharpfang, even if the cat was nice to him before. He was going to kill Sharpfang, even if cost him his life. Sharpfang was the enemy, one that would not get away.

“Rainfur!” Sweetclaw’s voice brought him out of his thoughts, making him stop and smile at the young she-cat. “I was so worried! I thought those stupid ThunderClan cats had gotten you.”

“Almost, but I was too fast,” Rainfur answered her.

“So did you see Robinwing?” asked Sweetclaw, looking very curiously.

“Surprisingly, yes. She’s a bit confused, but she’ll know by the next gathering when we’ve joined ShadowClan. Speaking of which, we need to get a move on, or it’ll be midnight before we get to their camp.” Sweetclaw nodded before standing and following him.

“Do you think they’ll accept us?” asked Sweetclaw, an edge of cheerfulness in her voice that made Rainfur smile warmly.

“If I remember what Jactur showed me correctly, ShadowClan is in a really tight spot,” Rainfur told the younger Warrior. “Nightstar wants me badly, but I don’t think his deputy agrees. Also, I think that his Clan isn’t really happy about his decision. When I get there, though, I’m sure we’ll be accepted. Once they learn I’ve controlled this power, they’ll accept us before you can say ‘mouse’.”

“Good,” said Sweetclaw. “Otherwise, we’ll have to continue being loners, and that isn’t fun at all.” Rainfur chuckled, nodding in agreement.

“Don’t worry, Sweetclaw,” said Rainfur. “Soon you’ll be back with your family, and I will be with my kits. Just you wait.”

*

By the time Rainfur and Sweetclaw walked onto ShadowClan territory, it was sunhigh. Or at least that’s what Rainfur thought it was. With the dark clouds looming over head, he didn’t really know for sure. The rain wasn’t helping either, for it just made it harder to continue on.

Rainfur paused a bit, trying to decide whether to continue on or wait for a patrol. He knew that waiting for a patrol would be the smart thing to do, but then again, he and Sweetclaw needed to get out of the rain. Rainfur didn’t want to start a fight, though, and after being in ThunderClan for so long, he knew that ShadowClan always wanted to start one.

A sudden yowl of pain caught Rainfur’s attention and made up his mind quickly. He ran forward, the rain beating down on his fur like insects stinging his skin. Sweetclaw ran beside Rainfur, though she looked tired. He reminded himself that he was much faster than the younger she-cat, having trained with Jactur. With that, he slowed down to a speed that she could keep up with, making her smile at him.

“How ironic,” said Rainfur, “It starts raining when I finally return.” Sweetclaw chuckled at this.

“Too bad StarClan didn’t make a prophecy about it,” said Sweetclaw. “Rain will fall when Rain returns.” Rainfur laughed at this.

Rainfur ran while keeping an eye out for the cat. With the pouring rain and freezing cold wind he couldn’t scent a thing. He’d have to rely on his ears which were now finding many interesting sounds that didn’t belong in a normal day. His heart raced as his mind jumped to conclusions on what could be happening, but then his anger rose as he realised just who he’d be fighting.

Rainfur suddenly saw several dark figures in the distance, all of them moving quickly toward each other. They were fighting, but Rainfur knew that it wasn’t ThunderClan and ShadowClan. The weak scent that he did catch was the same as Shadow’s. He growled with anger again, though there was a bit of disappointment. He was hoping to see Sharpstar, but either way he was going to fight.

Rainfur leaped as he finally got to the battle, hissing at the first cat he could find. It was a dark tabby tom, and as soon as he saw Rainfur, he yowled loudly, alerting all of the other cats before he was shut up by Rainfur’s claws.

The rogues stopped fighting, immediately turning to see the cat who had yowled. ShadowClan was confused, but they took that moment to recover as Rainfur continued to fight the rouge.

“Stop! Stop!” squealed the rogue, thrashing around in Rainfur’s grip. “I give up! I surrender!” Rainfur hissed with frustration before sinking his teeth into the tom’s neck, making it yowl in agony. The rogue still tried to struggle, but Rainfur was using his new-found strength. The rogue didn’t have a chance.

Rainfur held onto the tom roughly, killing it by the second. Blood squirted into his mouth, making Rainfur flinch slightly. He still held on, though, determined to show the rogues that were now surrounding him what he could do.

Just before the rogue would have died, Rainfur let go of his neck. The tom’s eyes were filled with fear and shock, but Rainfur didn’t want to kill him. He may have been trained that way, but he was not going to live by those rules. Not yet, anyway.

“Leave before I finish you off,” growled Rainfur darkly, his eyes emotionless. The rogue beneath him squirmed out before sprinting away, leaving Rainfur to look around at the rogues in which had surrounded him.

“So you have returned,” said Shadow, the rogue right in front of him. “Sharpstar will not be pleased, but if I kill you, he might be. . .” Rainfur tilted his head, the rain filling the short silence.

“Why is there uncertainty in your voice?” asked Rainfur, his voice still dark. The rogues seemed weary of him, but also very shocked. “I am no different from when I left, just aware of everything around me.” Shadow’s ears lowered, baring his teeth a little.

“I am not afraid!” Shadow hissed, his eyes narrowed. “After you killed my brother, I have been quite happy actually! I thank you for saving Sharpstar the trouble, but I shall still kill you. I shall kill you and end this.” Rainfur stood still, emotionless aside from the hint of anger that flashed through his eyes.

“I know everything, Shadow,” Rainfur muttered. “I know about your deal with Sharpstar, I know that you were sent to kill Ravenstar. I know that you had a horrible life, and I know how you feel about it. Why can’t you just forgive and forget?”

“My brother hated me, and I hated him!” Shadow hissed, his tail lashing. “I shall kill you and receive my reward from Sharpstar! I shall win and bring my family honor!”

“Before you attack, Shadow, I would like to ask you something,” Rainfur murmured, his heart racing. He kept his fear hidden, just like Jactur had taught him. However, he’d never used his power in a fight before. Rainfur just wished it would go right.

“Oh yeah?” asked Shadow, growling loudly. “And what’s that?”

“How likely is it that you’ll live now that I’ve learned how to control the power that your cats fear?” asked Rainfur. Shadow’s eyes widened with shock before he was knocked down by Rainfur, his breath leaving him. Rainfur sighed as he bent down and bit Shadow’s neck, the life leaving Shadow quickly.

Shadow lay still for a few moments, leaving Rainfur confused. However, it didn’t stay like that for long. The black tom slashed his claws toward Rainfur’s chest, though he was too quick. Rainfur dodged Shadow’s attack with ease, but had to let go to avoid it.

Shadow stood, his yellow eyes narrowed with true insanity. Rainfur stood and waited for the dark tom to attack, calling upon his training as he did.

I remember this idiot, said Jactur. Please kill him. He’s quite annoying.

With your training, I most likely will, Rainfur replied. Thanks by the way. I feel much stronger, and much better when I’m fighting.

Don’t worry about it, said Jactur. I’m just happy I don’t ever have to remember those memories of yours. I guess we both win, don’t we?

Guess so, said Rainfur before leaping to the side, avoiding Shadow’s attack. I just hope the second stage of our power won’t spiral out of control. . .

Nah, it won’t, Jactur promised, smirking it sounded like. We won’t have to use it soon, and by then, you’ll have mastered the first stage.

Rainfur didn’t reply. He was too busy leaping away, getting away from Shadow once again. Rainfur kept evading Shadows attacks, watching as the dark tom grew more and more exhausted.

“You weakling!” Shadow spat. “Are you going to fight, or are you just going to run away? Sharpstar was right! You aren’t a Warrior at all! You’re just a loner and you always will be! You’re pathetic!” Shadow lunged, his teeth bared. Rainfur used his reflexes to dodge and evade the attack, leaving Shadow to hiss with frustration.

“I am no weakling,” Rainfur muttered. “But Sharpstar—I mean fang—was right on one thing. I’m not a Warrior. I am a loner. I always will be one at heart, but what’s so bad about pretending? It’s the only way I’ll end your lives, so why not?” Shadow hissed, lunging toward Rainfur, his teeth missing the grey-and-white tom by just inches.

“What happened to those memories of yours?” Shadow demanded. “How on earth did you learn to control that power? It’s impossible! Sharpstar told us so! StarClan made the mistake of leading you here and giving you that demon, and then—and then you were cursed with it!”

“You see, there’s where you are wrong,” Rainfur growled, his eyes expressionless. “Sharpstar doesn’t know me, or Jactur. He doesn’t know how we are tied, and he doesn’t know that StarClan didn’t just lead me here. Sharpstar knows nothing about me, and though he was once my mentor, I do not count him as one.” Shadow scoffed before lunging again, his claws unsheathed. Rainfur dodged again, this time leaving Shadow with a gash on his flank.

“Oh, so you believe that Thorntail was a better mentor?” asked Shadow. “As if! That she-cat has broken the Warrior code, and is just plain pathetic!” Rainfur tilted his head, clearly confused.

“What is the Warrior code to you?” asked Rainfur, his muscles tensed and ready to move. “I thought rogues never believed in the stars.”

“It doesn’t matter!” Shadow hissed, his tail lashing. “Oh, and by the way, that mentor you love so much, is dead. She broke the Warrior code. She made half-Clan kits, and has been punished because of it! How’s that for stupid? Never underestimate Sharpstar! He is the strongest! The fastest! He will kill you! Oh, but not before he kills your kits. I know he’ll make you watch. He’ll make you plead and beg. He’ll make you weak!” Rainfur yowled with fury before lunging toward Shadow, his eyes narrowed with anger.

Rainfur’s claws unsheathed and sunk into Shadow’s skin, making the black tom cry out in agony. He raked his claws down Shadow’s belly, making him caterwaul in pain. After this, Rainfur leaned down so that only Shadow could hear him.

“My kits won’t die,” said Rainfur darkly. “Robinwing will live, no matter what I have to do to save her. Might I add, before you die, that Thorntail was not the only other mentor I’ve had aside from Sharpstar? Remember the monster that was within me? Remember the power of my cursed scar? Remember the several deaths you had to clean up, just because you made the mistake of scratching my scar?” Rainfur watched as Shadow’s eyes grew wider, the fear feeding on Rainfur’s anger. He gripped tightly, making Shadow whimpered.

“I thought you would remember,” said Rainfur. “His name, one that I gave him, is Jactur. It means sacrifice, something I’ve come to know over the past eight seasons. Jactur lives within me, training me. I’ve come to know his power, his strength, and his intelligence. I am stronger, I am faster, and I am smarter. So next time you want to make me angry, please remember this.” Shadow seemed relieved, probably thinking that Rainfur would let him go.

Rainfur stood up straighter, though not once did he let go of Shadow even the slightest. The black tom beneath him looked at Rainfur, his eyes wide with surprise.

“Y-you’re going to let me go now, aren’t you?” asked Shadow, his voice showing his fear. “You’re going to let me flee, right? I don’t want to fight you! I don’t want to kill you! Let me go!”

“Why should I?” asked Rainfur, his eyes filling with darkness. “You killed Snowstorm. You nearly killed my first mentor. You have scarred my life forever, and yet you expect me to leave you in peace?” Shadow’s eyes grew wide as Rainfur gripped tighter.

“No! Please! No! I’ll leave you alone! I promise! Please! Plea—” Shadow was cut off as Rainfur slit his throat, his stomach lurching as he saw the light leave Shadow’s eyes. Rainfur stepped off of Shadow, feeling as sick as he could as he turned to the cats watching him.

“For those of you wishing to fight me, please keep in mind that I’ve changed,” Rainfur announced. “Unless any of you rogues want to end like Shadow, please leave.” The rogues then backed away quickly, soon running back to ThunderClan.

ShadowClan cats were the only ones left, and each of them were quiet. Rainfur stared at Nightstar, his heart beating quickly as he waited for someone to do something. The rain was now coming down harder as the wind blew faster, and each cat but Nightstar and Rainfur flinched as a long streak of lightning flickered through the sky, thunder clashing after it.

“Is there a reason you’ve returned, Rainfur?” asked Nightstar, his eyes looking hopeful.

“I wish to join your Clan,” Rainfur replied.

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