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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40. Chapter 38

Chapter Thirty-Eight

I told you to fight! Bravestar hissed, though there was more frustration in his voice than anger. Why can’t you? I feel the fear, but can’t you get over it? Mudpaw screamed as the pain suddenly came rippling toward him, his legs stiffening with more fear.

I physically can’t fight! Mudpaw yelled to Bravestar, closing his eyes and gritting his teeth as Wolfheart grinned. My body just freezes, and I can’t move anything! Help me! Wolfheart prepared for the death blow as Bravestar seemed to be thinking quickly.

I’ve never heard of someone doing that, Bravestar murmured. Well, there’s always room for learning.

Suddenly Mudpaw’s body moved. His suddenly powerful back legs pushed Wolfheart off him, and then he stood up, panting heavily as his wounds continued to bleed out. Wolfheart looked as if he’d seen someone from the Dark Forest, giving Mudpaw another advantage.

He was no longer controlling his body, and he was no longer controlling his expressions or emotions. It was nothing, really, but pure determination that was the only thing that seemed strong enough to overcome the fear running through his body. So, as Mudpaw swam in the shock and fear, Bravestar used his determination to protect Robinwing, whose first kit was getting closer and closer.

Bravestar, what’s going on? Mudpaw asked, panicking as he seemed to be going deeper and deeper into his mind. The noble leader didn’t answer, leaving the small brown apprentice to do nothing but watch helplessly as his body was being used for fighting a full grown Warrior.

Wolfheart lunged for Mudpaw, but his body made a quick jerk that created an evasion from the attack. Bravestar continued to stay quiet as he used Mudpaw’s fragile body to fight Wolfheart, all the while the brown apprentice was struggling to keep himself there, as if Bravestar was taking over.

This wasn’t supposed to be happening. This fighting. . .it meant nothing! The war shouldn’t have started, because all fighting did was kill. Bravestar should understand that, but after asking him, Mudpaw found complete quietness. He felt alone as he gasped for air.

Bravestar leaped toward Wolfheart using Mudpaw’s body, flexing out the barely used claws and crashing into the massive deputy. Mudpaw felt the pain, doubting Bravestar did at all, and screamed, but that was a mistake. His lungs filled with a sticky liquid that nearly made him drown. But something was keeping him alive. Something was making sure that he lived through the agonizing battle.

Wolfheart slashed open three scratches on Mudpaw’s face as Bravestar forced his body to rake his claws down the grey tom’s soft exposed belly. Mudpaw’s vision blurred as he watched the battle. Wound after wound, scream after scream, battle cry after battle cry. . .would it ever stop?

StarClan, make this stop. . .

Wolfheart kicked Mudpaw in the belly, forcing Bravestar to retreat to the far side of the den next to Robinwing. The large RiverClan deputy stood up, an angry look on his face. Mudpaw knew that Wolfheart had realised what had happened. Mudpaw knew that Wolfheart had figured out about Bravestar.

StarClan, make this stop.

Robinwing wailed as Wolfheart lunged for Mudpaw’s recovering body, sending both of them crashing into the back wall of the den as the kitting mother was pulled out of the way. Bravestar obviously couldn’t control any of the battle after that, because Mudpaw’s body ended up being the one pushed into the sharp brambles that made up the outer layer of the den.

StarClan, make this stop!

Wolfheart watched as Mudpaw’s exhausted body slumped down to the ground unable to move from the shock that even stumped Bravestar enough to give up. The massive leader jumped onto Mudpaw, bringing all of the air out of him, and then raised his paw, once again ready for the death blow.

StarClan, please. . .

“Make it stop!” Mudpaw screamed aloud, overpowering Bravestar’s attempt at getting his body to move. Wolfheart paused, his eyes narrowed in confusion as tears ran down Mudpaw’s face. “Just stop fighting!” The brown apprentice couldn’t control it anymore. He raised his hind legs and pushed Wolfheart off of him, standing as the massive tom flew backwards.

Salty tears stained Mudpaw’s face as Wolfheart stood up slowly. Though determined to protect Robinwing, he wasn’t going to attack unless Wolfheart did. There was no need to fight, for he felt StarClan standing beside him, and Bravestar smiling within him as he found out that the noble leader wasn’t trying to kill Wolfheart on purpose. Bravestar was forcing the fighting to continue so that Mudpaw could find himself and what was wrong right in front of him.

“So I see the pathetic apprentice is back,” Wolfheart muttered, obviously disappointed. Mudpaw’s tail lashed in fury and his eyes narrowed with anger, making the massive RiverClan deputy widen his eyes slightly. He was obviously not expecting anger of all emotions to be filling Mudpaw. Looks like he was wrong for a change.

“Yes, I’m back, but I am not going to fight,” Mudpaw hissed, making Wolfheart sigh.

“But I will,” Wolfheart said simply. “As long as Robinwing lives to have those kits, I will fight. It was what Sharpstar ordered me to do, and I will kill everyone who gets in my way. I have no idea how you’ve survived this long, but I’ll assure you, by tonight, you will be dead.”

“No!” said Mudpaw immediately afterword. “You don’t need to kill the kits to get revenge on Rainfur!” Now Mudpaw wasn’t sure of what he was saying. His voice was in the mix of StarClan’s ghost-like voices, but it wasn’t him coming up with the words to say. It was StarClan. They were making the fighting stop.

“The kits are the offspring of Rainfur!” Wolfheart hissed, his tail also lashing, though his eyes showed a bit of fear as he heard StarClan take over the argument. “He will break when his family his dead. He will have nothing to fight for, and then he will die, just like his poor, frail mentor who had the nerves to make Rainfur bring my kits to me!” Mudpaw suddenly felt the earth beneath him shake for a second, but it stopped soon enough.

“Leave the kits to live!” came the voices of StarClan from Mudpaw’s mouth. “Sharpstar will be able to train them into killers! If they are half as strong as Rainfur, they will make excellent fighters, and they will never need to know about their father. They could be raised to hate them! Just let them live so you can end this pointless fighting!” Mudpaw had no idea what StarClan was trying to do, but he found it frightening. It sounded as if StarClan wanted the kits to be raised to kill their father, but Mudpaw had sense to figure out that they were probably saying anything to save the kits. Or at least that’s what he hoped.

Wolfheart paused, weighing his options. It was a few seconds before he shook his head, unsheathing his claws as Mudpaw flinched. He was too tired to fight. If Wolfheart attacked, he would die, and Robinwing would die, and Rainfur would die, and then so many others afterword.

“Wolfheart. . .”

Mudpaw blinked. That didn’t come out of his mouth, but it came from a StarClan she-cat. A pretty long furred one from what little Mudpaw could see, and she whispered Wolfheart’s name so sweetly. It was familiar. Too familiar. Wolfheart obviously knew who it was too for his eyes were wide with shock.

“Wolfheart. . .why are you fighting?” asked the angel-like voice. “Your kits, they need you. . .Why don’t you answer their pleas for help? Why don’t you answer mine? StarClan. . .they want you to stop. So I’m begging you, Wolfheart, be the cat you once were. The cat I. . .I fell in love with.” Wolfheart stood, shaking as he thought about his options once again.

“Sharpstar will kill me!” Wolfheart insisted.

“We’ll make sure he’ll agree with you,” the voice whispered. Mudpaw had figured out it was Thorntail, his second mate. “He has nine lives from us, remember? We still control him, if only slightly. We’ll persuade him into agreeing with you. It will work. Just stop fighting. No blood should have been split. No blood should have been oozing out of death wounds. Make yourself right again.” At first Wolfheart shook his head, but in a few moments of silence, the massive grey tom just nodded, unable to say anything else. As StarClan faded and Thorntail’s voice stopped whispering, Wolfheart returned to a scowl, in which hid his grief for his second mate.

“I will spare the lives of the kits, but that is the only thing you will be achieving.” Wolfheart growled, his eyes narrowed with determination. “May your days as a medicine cat apprentice be filled with joy, you worthless mouse-brain.” And with those words of relief to Mudpaw, Wolfheart left, having all of the Warriors follow him.

Mudpaw was gasping for his breath now. That had taken all of his strength, and now that both Bravestar and the other StarClan cats were out of his head, he could feel the pain full-on now. Suddenly there was a simple hum in the back of his mind, telling him that it wasn’t over yet.

As future medicine cat of WindClan, we shall give you the prophecies that we have given the other medicine cats. You may not say a word to any of the normal she-cats and toms. This is for your ears only.

Blood will be shed as the ashes fall, with memories lost and some forgotten, evil shall over-power even the strongest of the Clans. We wait for the Saviour, and pray that we will be saved. Mudpaw was about to ask what it meant, but he was cut off as the words began again. He who hides his fear will come on wings of silver, bringing a war along with him. Demons of the Dark Forest shall fight the demons of the Clans, and so history shall be repeated. The Unexpected shall battle the Unexpected, and we pray that Sacrifice will remind us of the deaths we shall see in front of us.

These words are what you shall follow in order to win this war which is not yet ending, StarClan whispered to him. Be brave, and heal those who need you.

Mudpaw was too shocked to say anything as the StarClan cats left. Almost instantly afterword did he try to figure out what the words given directly by StarClan meant. First of all there were memories that were going to be lost. The evil was going to take over even the strongest of the Clans. Then he was supposed to pray for the Saviour.

Well, all of that has obviously already happened, Mudpaw thought. Ravenstar fell and let Sharpstar come to power, taking over WindClan and ThunderClan. The memories lost were Rainfur’s because I heard him talking about that memory of his brother’s death being taken away and a whole bunch of things like that. Rainfur, the Saviour, was the one he needed to pray for.

He who hides his fear is also Rainfur, as is the wings of silver. He returned and now he’s brought a war with him. Sharpstar and Rainfur are fighting now, and to everyone I’ve heard, they’re both demons. Has this happened before? That would explain the ‘history will repeat itself’ part. The Unexpected—Jactur and Rainfur—will battle the Unexpected—Sharpstar—and we pray that Sacrifice will remind us of the deaths we shall see in front of us. Like Rosestar, Bravestar, and everyone else. It all makes sense!

Wait. . .sacrifice. . .does that mean someone is going to sacrifice themselves to end the war? No! It must be Rainfur! I must save him! I have to save him!

Robinwing suddenly screamed, making Mudpaw turn his attention to the pretty silver she-cat who panted hard. The elder queen beside Rainfur’s mate was watching the kitting, making sure everything was going smoothly. Mudpaw ran over, ignoring his stinging wounds as he tried to do something for the stressed she-cat.

“What’s happening?” Mudpaw asked Morningbreeze, his body now shaking with the fear of Robinwing’s death. The elder queen didn’t answer for a few moments before giving a large, happy smile to Mudpaw, who tilted his head with confusion.

“The kits. They’re coming.” Morningbreeze stated simply. “Robinwing is going to live! Come on, sweetheart. Just push a little more!” Robinwing squeezed, biting on a stray root as she did. A bit of blood was showing, but soon Mudpaw could see the small little body, squealing as air reached its lungs.

“Just a bit more!” Morningbreeze told Robinwing, encouraging her gently. The silver queen shook her head, panting harder than she ever had. Mudpaw’s heart began beating quicker as Robinwing’s raspy voice spoke just a few simple words.

“I. . .c-can’t!”

Morningbreeze took the look of horror as Robinwing’s breathing became more laboured and soft. Mudpaw gasped as her eyes closed, breathing slightly, but dying quickly. This kit needed to come out. Now, or Rainfur would go crazy and the whole plan would be for nothing.

Mudpaw walked over and grabbed the kit carefully behind its shoulders, making it squeal again. He used his tongue to get a better grip on it before pulling, making Robinwing scream. Mudpaw cared and felt sad for bring pain to her, but this kit needed to come out. It had to.

After three pulls and a lot of screams and squeals, the kit plopped down in front of Morningbreeze, whose eyes were wide with surprise. Robinwing’s eyes opened, looking toward the kit and smiling as she realised it was alive. She was too tired to congratulate herself though.

“Is it going to live?” asked Mudpaw as Morningbreeze carefully licked the small little kit so that air could get to its lungs faster. The elder queen just nodded, flicking her tail in Robinwing’s direction to signify that another was coming. In a quick turn of the heels, Mudpaw watched as the second kit’s smaller body just simply plopped down in front of him, yowling loudly.

Mudpaw nudged the kit over to Morningbreeze after the elder queen had nudged the first kit to its mother’s belly. Just like the last kit, Morningbreeze licked it roughly, getting all of the nasty afterbirth out of its system. Robinwing smiled as she saw the two kits, and Mudpaw noticed that her breathing was calming down quickly. Robinwing’s smile of joy didn’t disappear, not even as she slowly drifted off into a long-deserved slumber.

Mudpaw watched as he noticed that the first kit, who looked incredibly like Rainfur with its rainey-grey and white fur, was a she-cat who seemed quite content to finally be out. The second kit, a pale grey tom, struck Mudpaw’s interest the most, for he resembled Bravestar, the noble leader who saved his life.

“Lovely, aren’t they?” asked Morningbreeze, grinning widely. “Even in the middle of the war, miracles can happen. And to think these cute kits are going to live to be Warriors! You were brave, Mudpaw. I don’t know what happened in that fight with Wolfheart, but I know that you must have shown true loyalty to StarClan if they were to grant you your wish. Without that wish, these kits would already be dead. Thank you for saving their lives.”

Mudpaw could do nothing but smile.

Maybe Wolfheart’s ‘punishment’ of making Mudpaw a medicine cat apprentice wasn’t that bad after all. He couldn’t fight, and he loved helping cats. He loved seeing their smiling faces and he already helped Robinwing with her kitting. Mudpaw knew his siblings wouldn’t like him for being a medicine cat, but who cared? The thought of never having to fight again made him smile wider with pleasure.

StarClan knows what they’re doing.

*

Rainfur didn’t move as Matar’s power wrapped around him, keeping his flowing amount of power and energy tightly within him as his energy built itself back up to its normal amount, which was abnormal according to Matar. He stared at the TV screen now playing in slow motion while he watched Jactur struggle against Sharpstar, who was winning without a doubt.

He wasn’t depressed that his partner was losing because he knew that Matar was doing his best to open up the mind traveling system so that they could be reunited. He wasn’t angry that Sharpstar was now winning because he knew that soon the idiot would be losing. He wasn’t even furious at Matar for taking so long because he was so determined to come out of this war alive.

Rainfur was simply planning. From the looks of it, Jactur had had a plan, but it backfired when he went insane and then he forgot now that Sharpstar was beating him to a pulp. Rainfur was trying to figure it out, but things were just too strange. They kept locking eyes, and both would wince in pain when their gaze broke apart.

Rainfur was smart enough to know that they were trying to break down the walls built for defence. It was probably the reason he was feeling so many headaches. But why? Why was Jactur risking his life trying to take down Sharpstar’s wall? The idiot’s memories would flood their own mind, and then make them both insane.

“Are you ready, Rainfur?” asked Matar from behind him. “You are welcome to stay a bit longer if you still need time to recover. Remember, it’s been a few hours since I’ve shown you what Jactur’s going through, so that only means he’s been alone for three more seconds. Are you sure you want to—”

“I appreciate your offer, Matar, but I must get back to Jactur,” said Rainfur calmly, a determined look in his eye as he stood and faced the brown and white tom. “Besides, you and Stormpaw have a lot to catch up on.” Matar dipped his head in respect, acknowledging how very important it was for his new friend to return to his own mind. But the kind part of Rainfur wanted to say more, and so he did. “Thank you for becoming allies with me. We’ll meet again soon.”

Then, in one single silent moment, Rainfur brought up his paw and unsheathed his claws, scratching his scar for the second time that day. Instead of pain liked he’d expected, the world around him darkened, and he felt nothing but the chilly darkness that made him feel the familiar emotion of loneliness. This only lasted for a few moments, though. In the far off difference, a figure was making its way toward him, a familiar grin lightening up the darkness.

“Took you long enough,” Jactur snorted as Rainfur smiled, happy to see his partner again. “I was about to die and all you did was make me exhausted. Should I even ask why you turned off the switch to our insanity? I was winning! I even took three of his lives!” Rainfur paused, surprised that the insane tom he knew had actually been able to do that, but then shook his head, telling Jactur that it would be better if he didn’t know at the moment. Suddenly, in a wave of confusion emotions, he dipped his head in respect, surprising Jactur a bit.

“Who are you and what have you done with Rainey?” asked Jactur, his jaw dropping as Rainfur chuckled a bit. He wasn’t used to seeing Jactur surprised.

“Don’t ask. And sorry about being late, but Stormpaw was depending on me,” Rainfur murmured, ignoring Jactur’s question. “Everything’s taken care of now, so why not show that mouse-brain who’s really the leader of this forest?” Jactur smirked at this, unsheathing his claws as his wounds automatically healed.

“That’s more like it!” Jactur said, excitement pulsing through him as the familiar rush of adrenaline rippled into his bloodstream. “Let’s go kick some tabby butt!” Rainfur nodded in agreement before they jumped toward each other, once again tying each other’s minds together.

When Rainfur’s eyes opened, he was no longer in the cold lonely blackness. Instead he was back in the familiar parts of ThunderClan camp, to which he smiled to. He was home, and now he was protecting it. Curing it of the evil the lies within.

Sharpstar stood in front of him, panting heavily with a confused expression. It faded once he looked to Rainfur’s eyes, realizing that the immediate threat was gone, as if Rainfur was just a puny thing that had just gotten in the way.

“So that’s it, then?” asked Sharpstar in a mocking voice. “You’re just going to give yourself up to me? You’re an easier target now. You will both die easily. Too easily. Pathetic.” Rainfur smirked a bit, his eyes darkening with emotion as Sharpstar said these words.

“This fight is going to be easy?” Rainfur teased, smirking a bit. “Good, this will just be a cool down then. Tell me how the Dark Forest eats while you’re dying, won’t you?” Sharpstar growled with anger, but kept his cool. This didn’t bother Rainfur since they were both really good at ignoring insults, but he was still annoyed of Sharpstar shooting them around everywhere he went.

Rainfur lunged, purposely missing by an inch to make the tabby leader evade for nothing. Sharpstar lunged after that, but Rainfur just leaped out of the way gracefully, as if not fighting to his full potential. In reality, he wasn’t. He was too busy worrying about the plan Jactur had.

Got any news for me? Rainfur asked, his claws flexed as he evaded another attack. Sharpstar wasn’t getting any more accuracy points, but he was definitely frustrated, which usually led to figuring things out in Rainfur’s opinion.

Well let’s see, Jactur thought to himself. Sharpstar has got to be getting tired soon, so of course it will be an easy win. However, as I said before, the mouse-brain knows something that I’m pretty sure you’ve guessed by now. So my advice would be to give him no time to look into your mind, because otherwise you’d go crazy.

Rainfur merely nodded before returning to his fight. Sharpstar lunged again, but he evaded the attack, keeping a close watch on the tabby tom without having to look the leader in the eye. From what he’d seen, if Sharpstar managed to lock eyes with him, he would be done for.

While Rainfur continued to dodge Sharpstar’s attacks, he noticed something different about Jactur. For one, the mouse-brain was quiet. Jactur was never quiet unless nothing interesting was going on, and that was definitely not the case at the moment.

Before Rainfur could think longer, Sharpstar recalculated his attacks and actually landed on him. Hissing with frustration, Rainfur went to the ground as the massive tabby tom pinned him down. Sharpstar was clawing at his belly, but not once did he reach Rainfur’s skin. This annoyed the tabby leader, but he wasn’t going to give up because of it.

“How does it feel, Rainfur, to be on the bottom?” asked Sharpstar, growling lowly as Rainfur struggled to get free. “How does it feel to be forgotten about?” With a defiant yowl, Rainfur pushed himself up and clamped onto Sharpstar’s neck, making the tabby leader screech with fury.

Rainfur was panting heavily as Sharpstar ripped himself away from his enemy. He stood as the tabby leader locked his sharp amber eyes with him. In a wave of shock, Rainfur’s vision faded into darkness, all aside from a wall of smoke in which he guessed was what kept Sharpstar from seeing his memories.

Rainfur prepared to fight Sharpstar himself but found that he couldn’t moments later. He panicked for a few moments before Jactur materialized in front of the tabby leader, smirking wickedly. Rainfur smiled a bit as Jactur lunged toward Sharpstar, pushing the stupid leader out of his mind.

“You were saying?” Rainfur asked, provoking Sharpstar as his vision returned to normal. The tabby tom just hissed with irritation, daring his enemy to attack as he stood ready to evade. Rainfur flexed his claws, feeling the cool dirt beneath his paws.

Jactur, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you since I’ve turned off the switch of insanity, Rainfur said, evading Sharpstar’s attack once again. The cats around them were staring at their battling leader, and though some were happy that Rainfur was back, a few were angry.

And what might this question be? Jactur asked, his demonic voice echoing in the darkness of his mind. Rainfur leaped out of the way, just barely able to get out of the path of Sharpstar’s sharp claws. The tabby tom growled lowly, taking Rainfur’s evasions as being silently mocked.

Could we be stronger if we turned the switch on now? Rainfur asked, lunging toward Sharpstar as the angry tom leaped toward him. In a loud bang they crashed together, biting and clawing at each other’s throats. When they departed, they both leaped far away from each other, aware of how easily the other could kill them in that state.

Well, the switch isn’t gonna turn on again because frankly it wouldn’t be able to switch back, Jactur told him. But a lot of our insanity resides in our power, so if I feed some of it to you, you would be a bit stronger, as well a bit more. . .irritating to Sharpstar. Rainfur smiled as he evaded another attack from the tabby leader. Finally, a plan.

Feed me some, said Rainfur before leaping toward Sharpstar. Jactur stirred within him, and he could only imagine how excited the crazy tom was at the moment, leaving him to continue smiling.

Let’s see some insanity! Jactur yelled, pleasure painting every single word.

In one single moment, Rainfur’s smile turned into a smirk, and he felt the familiar provocative personality pulsing through him, strengthening his muscles so that they would help him push his body further. Sharpstar realised the change the moment it happened, but it was too late. Rainfur was already in the air.

He landed on the tabby leader seconds later, pinning him down with all of his strength as he searched for the amber eyes that belonged to his enemy. After a few seconds of struggling, Rainfur found them, and locked onto them until his vision faded into darkness, finding a large brick wall in front of him.

Smirking slightly, Rainfur lunged toward the battered wall. The several cracks that Jactur had created finally joined together and send another chunk of bricks falling to the ground. After returning to reality, Rainfur raised his paw and slit Sharpstar’s throat easily before leaping away from Sharpstar as the tabby leader’s life quickly left him. After a few moments, Sharpstar stood shock running through his body as he realised he only had five lives left.

“A brick wall? Really?” Rainfur teased, standing tall as Sharpstar turned to face him. “Wow. Was Cheetahfur’s death that horrible? Or was your past just too pitiful to let your enemies see?” Sharpstar yowled in fury, giving Rainfur the satisfaction. The tabby leader lunged at him again, but Rainfur evaded the attack, content in just irritating Sharpstar to death.

“Or maybe you think that hiding the fact that Ravenstar was your father would make you honourable!” said Rainfur, provoking Sharpstar once again. “If you haven’t forgotten, which I’m sure you haven’t, I’m not Clan born, so it doesn’t seem honourable at all. It actually makes it seem as if you’re afraid.”

“Shut up!” Sharpstar hissed, his amber eyes narrowed with anger. The tabby leader leaped toward Rainfur, but of course he just dodged the attack, laughing as Sharpstar missed. They both turned to face each other, one of them smirking, the other scowling.

“But why?” asked Rainfur. “This is so entertaining. So tell me, do you ever regret trying to prove yourself? Do you ever regret being the reason for your mother’s death? I sure don’t. If it weren’t for that incident, I’d probably be dead.” The anger in Sharpstar’s eyes was unmistakable, leaving Rainfur to continue smirking.

Rainfur sprinted over to Sharpstar in a flash, using his upgraded speed to run toward his enemy. In one single slash, the tabby leader’s flank was bleeding heavily, drenching the brown fur with crimson liquid. This only made Rainfur laugh as he jumped away, leaving Sharpstar even angrier.

Rainey, I think you better watch out, Jactur warned uncharacteristically as Sharpstar’s nostrils flared. Rainfur rolled his eyes, taking even more pleasure in Sharpstar’s anger as the tabby leader’s tail lashed furiously. Sharpstar’s gonna be driven by anger soon, and then we might actually be evenly matched. . .

Am I really talking to Jactur? Rainfur asked, his tail flicking to balance him after he evaded Sharpstar’s poor attack. I’m doing what you would be doing, so there is no need to be worried. Rainfur waited for a response, but found none, so he shrugged and returned to his battle, in which wasn’t getting very interesting.

“How lonely it must have been to be an only kit after your sister died of green-cough,” Rainfur murmured, smirking as Sharpstar got even angrier. “At least I have my brother back. At least I no longer feel pain when I remember my twin brother. But you’ll never get your sister back. Ever.”

“You don’t know anything!” Sharpstar hissed, his teeth bared as he got into a fighting position. This made it easy for Rainfur to enter the tabby’s mind, and though only a few cracks formed when he attacked it, it was enough to anger Sharpstar into craziness.

Rainfur, stop! Jactur hissed, his voice filled with panic that Rainfur didn’t understand. Sharpstar’s angry now, and if you irritate him any more he’ll—

“So much ambition given to such a weak cat,” said Rainfur, pushing it a bit too far. “Probably would’ve become a leader innocently if you didn’t think so highly of yourself. I wonder how it felt when Ravenstar pushed his own son away from the deputy’s position several times in a row.”

Sharpstar looked as if he were about to explode. His fur was bristled, his claws were flexed as far as they could go, his tail was lashing quickly, and his eyes were narrowed tightly. That changed in an instant. The tabby leader’s angry scowl changed into a smirk and his claws sheathed as he calmed himself.

“You really want to know how it felt?” asked Sharpstar, making Rainfur narrow his eyes in confusion. “Well then have at it.” Rainfur’s eyes widened as he figured out what he’d just done. What he’d just forced onto himself. He realised too late that he should have listened to Jactur’s warning.

And in that single moment, the brick wall formed in Sharpstar’s mind crumbled under command.

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