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Series

Book 1 in the True Hero Trilogy

Writing Contest

This is Tigerfoot's entry for the writing contest, Promp 2.

By:Tigerfoot

Chapter 1:A Fateful Meeting

Thistle stared at the stinking pile of rubbish in front of him. He turned around and continued to search for rats. Thistle didn't like the rats that lived at Carrionplace, they could be filled with disease. Thistle's sister had died of disease from eating these rats.Thistle's father had been hit by a twoleg monster and his mother left to become a kittypet. However, the rats were the only thing to fill his belly other than twoleg rubbish.

Thistle heard a sound, he peered around to see a white she-cat with tortoiseshell patches poking through the rubbish. "Who are you?" Thistle growled. The she-cat glared at him, "I'm Stormcloud" she replied. "Thistle" he finally relaxed and padded up to Stormcloud. "I'm from a group of cats called ShadowClan" Stormcloud told him. "We have a leader, and deputy, and queens who nurse kits" Stormcloud added. "What are you?" Thistle asked. "I'm a warrior, we hunt and fight for the clan." Stormcloud replied.

"We have three rival clans, ThunderClan, WindClan, and RiverClan, sometimes the clans fight" Stormcloud continued to tell Thistle of the clans. However, Thistle just liked being there with her. When it was time for Stormcloud to go, Thistle's heart filled with grief. "I'll meet you again tomorrow!" Stormcloud called as she left. Thistle filled with joy and hopped around the rubbish, waiting for tommorrow to come.

Chapter 2:The Dare

Thistle paced around, anxioustly waiting for Stormcloud to return. Finally, a tortoiseshell and white cat appeared. "Hi" she greeted. Thistle's black pelt quivered with excitement. Stormcloud raced over to the largest pile of rubbish "Bet you can't climb to the top" she dared. Stormcloud gracefully climbed to the tip, where she rested on a soft, square, twoleg thing.

Thistle walked to the foot of the rubbish heap. He placed one paw on a twoleg thing and the pile shook a little. Thistle catiouslly climbed up until he reached the top where Stormcloud was. "Finally!" Stormcloud exaggerated. Thistle playfully swiped Stormcloud's muzzle, the she-cat fell back over the edge of the twoleg thing. "No!" Thistle ran to help Stormcloud but the pile shook and the entire rubbish heap collapsed. Thistle got buried under the rubbish, the black tom pushed himself out and began to look around. "Stormcloud!" he called.

Thistle finnally spotted the she-cat lying limp on the ground. "No!" Thistle ran over to Stormcloud. Stormcloud's eyes popped open, she got up and leaped at Thistle, giggling. "You scared me to death" Thistle gasped. "I'm fine" Stormcloud assured him. Thistle noded, relief washed over his pelt. "I have to go" Stormcloud murmured. "Goodbye" Thistle murmured. Stormcloud quickly rubbed her muzzle against his and dashed off. Thistle found that Stormcloud stayed in his thoughts all night. Was Thistle in love?

Chapter 3:The Dog

Thistle and Stormcloud had been meeting regularly, Stormcloud had shown Thistle how to catch prey other than rats. Thistle had finally begun to enjoy the taste of frogs and lizards. Stormcloud returned from a hunt with a lizard in her mouth. "Let's share" Stormcloud plopped the lizard down in front of Thistle. The two cats began to eat when barking sounded in the distance.

"A dog!" Thistle hissed. Stormcloud bolted up and looked at Thistle "We will have to fight it" she told him. The dog entered the Carrionplace. "Ready?" Stormcloud asked Thistle. The black tom nodded. "Attack!" Stormcloud yowled and flung herself at the dog. Stormcloud slashed her claws across the dog's ears, blood splattered from the wound. The dog sank it's teeth into Stormcloud's tail and flung the she-cat across the ground.

Thistle hissed and leaped on the dog's back, the black tom scored his claws across the dog's spine. The dog howled in pain and desperately tried to fling Thistle off. The dog eventually flung Thistle to the ground and prepared to kill him when Stormcloud rammed into the dog's side and knocked it over. Stormcloud slashed at the dog's exposed belly. The tortoiseshell and white she-cat gave the creature one last bite and it ran away.

"Are you okay?" Thistle asked. Stormcloud was bleeding from her tail but nothing else. "I'm fine" she replied. "Good" Thistle murmured. "Well, i better go" Stormcloud meowed. "Goodbye" Thistle muttered. "Bye" Stormcloud called as she went back to ShadowClan.

Chapter 4:A Close Call

"Good job" Stormcloud complimented Thistle on his caught frog. "Let's share" Thistle meowed. The two cats began to eat when Stormcloud's ears perked, "A ShadowClan patrol!" she hissed. "Hide!" Stormcloud shoved Thistle behind a pile of rubbish. Four ShadowClan cats padded into Carrionplace. "Stormcloud! There you are!" one of them, a white tom exclaimed. "Yes, Cloudfall" Stormcloud murmured. "Tigerfang, go tell Dapplestar that we found Stormcloud" a brown tom dashed off.

A gray tom padded forward, "You can't keep wondering off alone" he meowed. "Yes, Eagleflight" Stormcloud growled. A smaller ginger tom padded forward. "I smell another cat" he told them. "Really, Lizardpaw?" Cloudfall asked. Lizardpaw began to walk in the direction Thistle was hiding. Thistle was silently begging that Lizardpaw didn't discover him. Stormcloud stepped in, "There's no other cat here, I would have seen them" she told them. "Fine" Cloudfall growled.

"Let's go" Eagleflight meowed. Stormcloud followed her clanmates, casting one last glance where Thistle was hiding. When they had gone, Thistle padded back into the center of the clearing, feeling alone without Stormcloud.

Chapter 5:The Three Little Kits and The Big Bad Fox

It had been three days since the ShadowClan patrol had come and taken Stormcloud back home. Thistle missed his tortoiseshell companion greatly. Thistle was pacing Carrionplace when he heard the yelp of kits. It didn't sound like a normal yelp, it sounded like a call for help.

Thistle dashed out of Carrionplace and toward the yelps. The cries took him to a forest across the Thunderpath. He thought he could scent other cats, but he ignored it. He eventually found three kits cornered by a large fox. Thistle hissed and leaped at the fox, raking his claws across it's side. The fox grabbed Thistle by the tail and threw him like prey. Thistle slammed into the trunk of a large tree and everything went black.

Thistle awoke in a hollow tree trunk, Stormcloud stood over him. "What happened?" Thistle asked. "I found you unconsious by the tree, i smelled fox and at first thought you were dead." Stormcloud told him. "What about the kits?" Thistle asked. "Kits?" Stormshine sounded confused. "Three kits were cornered by the fox" Thistle explained. Thistle and Stormcloud searched the forest for the kits. They found a fox burrow with kit scent. The two cats nodded to each other and looked inside.

The mother fox and two cubs were staring down at three kits. "No!" Thistle whispered. The three kits mewled. One of the fox cubs reached down and grasped one of the kits in it's jaws. Without thinking, Thistle flung himself at the fox cub.

Chapter 6:Kits!

Thistle slashed his claws across the fox cub's muzzle, the cub dropped the kit and wailed. The mother fox growled and leaped at Thistle. Stormcloud tackled into the fox and knocked it aside. The fox cubs sat in the corner of the den, a frightened look in their eyes. Thistle rolled underneath the fox and raked his claws across it's belly. Stormcloud slashed at the fox's ears.

"We have to get out of here!" Stormcloud yowled. Thistle nodded and picked up a brown tabby kit and a blue-gray kit. Stormcloud picked up the dark gray kit. Thistle and Stormcloud burst out of the den, the kits wailing. Three cats appeared from the bushes. "The kits!" a golden tabby tom announced. "They are safe, Lionfang" Stormcloud murmured to the golden tabby. "Why are you on ThunderClan land?" the brown she-cat asked.

"We heard the kits and came to help them,Volenose" Stormcloud meowed. Thistle didn't know if this was entirely true. "Sorrelheart will be so relieved" the gray tom meowed. "You're right,Palefoot" Lionfang meowed. "Thank you, i guess" Volenose grumbled. The three kits padded up to Stormcloud and Thistle, "thank you" they meowed. The dark brown tabby spoke "I'm Bearkit" he meowed. "I'm Oceankit" the mottled blue-gray she-cat meowed. "And i'm Elmkit" the dark gray kit meowed. As they padded home, Stormcloud whispered into Thistle's ear "I'm excpecting kits!"

Chapter 7:A Tragedy

Thistle waited until they got back to Carrionplace to disscus the kits. When they arrived, Thistle sat down. "So, you're excpecting my kits" Thistle meowed. "I won't see you again for a long time" Stormcloud meowed, grief clung to her tone. Thistle rubbed his muzzle against Stormcloud's. "I love you" he murmured as Stormcloud padded away.

It had been many moons since Stormcloud first told Thistle about the kits, she had not returned since. Stormcloud had promised, that when the kits got older, she would take them to come and see him. Suddenly, a familiar scent hit his nose. Stormcloud appeared from the entrance. Her belly swayed with the kits. "What are you doing here?" Thistle asked her. "I had to see you" Stormcloud sounded tired.

Stormcloud winced "Ouch!". Thistle's blood froze "You're having the kits now" he murmured. Stormcloud lay down on her side and started panting rapidly. Thistle raced over to her "I don't know what to do!" Thistle cried. "M-moss" Stormcloud barely got out the words. Thistle raced to get some and by the time he returned, a kit had already been born. Thistle let Stormcloud lap water from the moss. Stormcloud let out a shriek and another kit slid out, blood stained the ground. Stormcloud let out a final shriek and a third kit arrived. "Two toms and a she-kit" Thistle told Stormcloud. Stormcloud pointed to the kits "Names" her words were quiet. "You decide" Thistle murmured to her.

Stormcloud nodded and assigned names. "Driftkit for the pale brown she-cat" she muttered. "Falconkit for the black tom, and Dragonkit for the dark gray tom." she finished. "I love you" Stormcloud muttered and closed her eyes. "No" Thistle whispered. Stormcloud's breathing stopped and Thistle knew that she was dead.

Chapter 8:Help!

Thistle stared in horror and grief at the limp body before him. His three kits mewled and Thistle knew he had to do something. Thistle picked up his kits, looked at Stormcloud's body, and headed out of Carrionplace. He dashed towards the direction Stormcloud had said ShadowClan was. He could feel sticky wetness under his paws and knew he was going in the right direction. Stormcloud said that a lot of marshes were in ShadowClan territory.

Thistle arrived at the camp and called for help. A tortoiseshell she-cat came to him. "What's wrong?" she asked. "My mate died giving birth, my kits need milk" Thistle told her. The she-cat nodded "Frog-eye!" she called. A golden she-cat appeared. "Yes?" she asked. "I need you to nurse these kits" the tortoiseshell told her. Frog-eye nodded "Yes Dapplestar" she meowed. Thistle gave Frog-eye his kits and she headed of towards the nursery.

"Who was your mate?" Dapplestar asked. "Stormcloud, a ShadowClan cat" Thistle murmured. Dapplestar's eyes grew wide and grief immediately pulsed from her pelt. "My daughter" Dapplestar murmured. "Cloudfall" Dapplestar yowled. The white tom walked over to Dapplestar. "Our daughter is dead" Dapplestar sobbed. Cloudfall hung his head low. Cloudfall then glared at Thistle "Take us to her body" he growled.

Chapter 9:A New Home

Thistle led Cloudfall and Dapplestar to Carrionplace. Whem they arrived, Thistle could see the moonlight shining on Stormcloud's body. Dapplestar and Cloudfall padded silently to her body and pushed their noses into her fur. "You did this!" Cloudfall turned toward Thistle. "I didn't plan for this to happen, i loved her!" Thistle hissed. "Wait, the cat that Lizardpaw had scented..." Cloudfall stopped his sentence. "Cloudfall, don't fight, let's get her back to camp" Dapplestar grabbed Stormcloud by the scruff. Cloudfall and Thistle went to help.

Dapplestar, Cloudfall, and Thistle settled Stormcloud's body in the clearing. "Now we sit by her body all night" Dapplestar murmured into Thistle's ear. Thistle glanced at the Nursery, Driftkit,Falconkit, and Dragonkit were safe with Frog-eye. The black tom nodded and settled beside Dapplestar and Cloudfall.

Suddenly, Thistle realized something, the reason Frog-eye was nursing his kits, why he was sitting vigil for Stormcloud. Thistle's heart warmed a little as he realized he had found a new home. Although his grief for Stormcloud quickly wiped out the warm felling.

Chapter 10:Problems

Cloudfall had demanded that he and Dapplestar bury Stormcloud alone. Thistle padded into the nursery. Frog-eye nursed four kits. "So, you have only one kit?" Thistle asked Frog-eye. "This is Runningkit" Frog-eye gestured to a little golden kit with brown stripes. "He looks like you" Thistle murmured. Frog-eye nodded and for the first time, Thistle noticed that one of her eyes was sightless and had many slashes across it. "I got blinded by a ThunderClan warrior" Frog-eye murmured. "How did it happen?" Thistle asked.

"I used to be named Frogstep, I had a mate named Silverfoot. We loved each-other greatly. However, one day, we went into battle with ThunderClan, Silverfoot was at camp but I was at the battle. I fought with Mousepelt, but out of nowhere, Tanglestar viciously slashed my eye and left me bleeding on the ground. After ShadowClan lost and returned to camp, Mudstar, the leader at the time, named me Frog-eye, because my eye would be blind forever. Silverfoot said I was hideous and that we were no longer mates. However, I gave birth to Runningkit a moon later, neither me or Silverfoot knew I was pregnant. Silverfoot neglected Runningkit and refuesd to believe that was his son. Silverfoot was killed by a WindClan warrior a few moons before you came." Frog-eye ended the story.

"I have to go" Thistle fellt awkward, but also felt sad for Frog-eye and padded out of the den. He bumped into a ginger tom. "Watch it" Thistle recognized Lizardpaw. Lizardpaw glared at him and ran off. Thistle looked up and saw Cloudfall assigning cats to patrols and Thistle guessed Cloudfall was deputy. The black tom padded up to him "Is there anything i can do?" Thistle asked Cloudfall. "No" Cloudfall growled. Many other cats laughed. "Cloudfall!" Dapplestar hissed, Thistle saw the tortoiseshell she-cat, grief stained her gaze and Thistle thought of Stormcloud, his heart felt heavy.

"Do not treat our newest warrior with such disrespect" Dapplestar commanded. "Newest warrior" Cloudfall hissed. Dapplestar nodded and jumped on a tall log. "May the cats of ShadowClan gather" Dapplestar called. "No" Cloudfall whispered.

Chapter 11:The Newest Warrior

All of the ShadowClan cats gathered near to the log that Dapplestar was perched on. "I have gathered you here for the naming of our new warrior" Dapplestar told them. Shocked gasps echoed across the clearing. "Thistle" Dapplestar beckoned him with her tail. "By the spirits of SarClan, i give you your new name, Thistle, from this day foward you shall be known as Thistlepelt!" Dapplestar announced. "Thistlepelt! Thistlepelt!" Frog-eye and Runningkit were the only ones chearing. Driftkit, Falconkit, and Dragonkit began chearing as well. A few cats muttered Thistlepelt's name quietly.

Cloudfall and Lizardpaw were the only cats to remain completely silent. Dapplestar jumped down from the log and congratulated Thistlepelt. Dragonkit leaped on Thistlepelt's back while Driftkit and Falconkit batted at his paws. "Our dad's a warrior!" Driftkit squeaked happily. "I'm going to be the best warrior in the forest!" Dragonkit exclaimed. "No, I am!" Falconkit protested. "I think you all will be" Thistlepelt told them.

Chapter 12:Apprentices!

It had been six moons since Thistlepelt had become a warrior and it was time for Dragonkit, Driftkit, Falconkit, and Runningkit to become apprentices! Dapplestar's meow snapped Thistlepelt back to reality. "Runningkit, from this day forward, you will be known as Runningpaw, your mentor will be Cloudfall". Runningpaw touched noses with his mentor. "Falconkit, from this day forward you will be known as Falconpaw, your mentor will be Bluebird" Falconpaw touched noses with the bluish gray she-cat.

"Driftkit, you will be known as Driftpaw, your mentor will be Nightwhisker" Driftpaw and the black tom touched noses like the others. "And finally, Dragonkit, you will be known as Dragonpaw, your mentor will be Lizardclaw. Thistlepelt felt doubt in his pelt, Lizardclaw and Cloudfall were the main ones that disliked him and his kits.

Cloudfall, Nightwhisker, and Bluebird took the apprentices hunting. "You're checking the elders for ticks" Lizardclaw hissed at Dragonpaw. Dragonpaw's ears drooped and Thistlepelt felt sorry for his son. Thistlepelt wondered if this was the right place for him and his kits to live but he shook the thought away. ShadowClan was his and his kit's home.

Chapter 13:Hunting with Dapplestar

Thistlepelt and Dapplestar scanned the marsh for frogs. Thistlepelt was suprised when his leader had asked for a private hunt. "Driftpaw and Falconpaw are good hunters, Dragonpaw lags a little" Dapplestar broke the silence. "That's because Lizardclaw keeps him in camp as long as possible" Thistlepelt protested. "I can't tell Lizardclaw how to train Dragonpaw" Dapplestar told Thistlepelt. "I think Dragonpaw needs a new mentor" Thistlepelt told his leader."It was my decision, give it time" Dapplestar murmured. Thistlepelt nodded and the two continued to search for prey. After a while, Dapplestar spoke "There seems to be no prey" she meowed. Suddenly, familiar scents wafted into Thistlepelt's nose. "Dapplestar" he murmured, but it was too late.Several rogues appeared from the marsh, the leader, a dark brown tom, stepped forward. "It seems we have stolen all your prey" he murmured. "Hawk" Thistlepelt growled as he recognized the tom. Hawk stepped forward, but not to Thistlepelt, Hawk walked to Dapplestar. "Greeting, Dappleheart" he whispered.

Chapter 14:Two Against Five

Dapplestar hissed and leaped at Hawk, two rogues ran to help their leader. Thistlepelt ried to help his leader, but two other rogues blocked his way. Thistlepelt ducked underneath a gray tabby and raked his claws across the tom's belly. A white she-cat slashed Thistlepelt's face with her claws. Blood trickled into Thistlepelt's eyes and he was forced to close them. He sank his teeth into a tail and flung the cat away. Thistlepelt could hear the white she-cat's cry as he threw her into the marsh.

Thistlepelt drove the gray tabby away by slashing his shoulders. Thistlepelt ran over and hauled Hawk off of Dapplestar. "Traitor!" Hawk hissed, hatred burned in his green eyes. Thistlepelt scored his claws down Hawk's belly. "You joined them!" Hawk growled and he dug his claws into Thistlepelt's throat. Dapplestar dragged Hawk off and sent him away with a bite to his tail. Thistlepelt saw that Dapplestar had driven the last two rogues away as well. However, Dapplestar collapsed as she lost blood rapidly from her throat. "Hawk" were Dapplestar's last words as she closed her eyes and her breathing stopped.

Thistlepelt burned with anger, Hawk had killed Dapplestar! However, after a few moments, Dapplestar's breathing resumed and her eyes opened. "I lost one of my nine lives" she told Thistlepelt. Thistlepelt gave a sigh of relief as he helped Dapplestar up. Dapplestar murmured to Thistlepelt "I need to tell you about my past, I was born in a similiar way as your kits"

Chapter 15:Dapplestar's Past

Dapplestar settled by Thistlepelt and began the story of her past. "My mother was Redwhisker, a ShadowClan warrior, she fell in love with Sunstripe, a ThunderClan tom" Dapplestar began. "Redwhisker gave birth to me and named me Dapplekit because the sun dappled on my coat when I was born. Redwhisker never told anyone who my father was and everyone assumed it was some ShadowClan tom." Dapplestar continued.

"However, in a ThunderClan and ShadowClan battle, Redwhisker was killed by a ThunderClan she-cat named Whiteleaf, Sunstripe killed Whiteleaf out of anger. ThunderClan found out that Sunstripe killed Whiteleaf and he was exiled. Before leaving, Sunstripe revealed he was my father and left. When i became a warrior, I was named Dappleheart and I fell in love with Cloudfall and we had Stormcloud.

I became deputy, and then leader, after Mudstar died in a fire. One night, the ThunderClan leader, Poolstar, announced that they found Sunstripe on their territory and killed him because he was old and frail." Dapplestar's voice filled with grief. "Hawk knows me because I once ran away from the clan and lived with his rogues. That's why I respect you and your kits" Dapplestar finished. "However, you must prove your loyalty to the rest of the clan."

Chapter 16:The Secret Training

Thistlepelt came across a decision one night about what to do with how Dragonpaw was being mentored by Lizardclaw. Thistlepelt woke Dragonpaw up in the apprentice's den, careful not to wake up Driftpaw, Falconpaw, or Runningpaw. When they tried to leave camp, Tigerfang stopped them "Where are you two going?" he asked. Tigerfang's brown pelt was ruffled as if he saw Thistlepelt as an enemy. "Taking a walk with my son" Thistlepelt replied. Tigerfang nodded reluctantly "Fine" he muttered.

"What are we doing?" Dragonpaw asked. "I'm going to secretly train you" Thistlepelt told his son. "Yay! Now I can get as good at tracking as Runningpaw, or as good at hunting as Driftpaw, or even a good fighter like Falconpaw!" Dragonpaw cheered. Thistlepelt nodded and perfected Dragonpaw's hunter's crouch. They also had enough time to hunt and Dragonpaw caught a large vole. "Good job" Thistlepelt complimented his son.

When they were returning, Thistlepelt had to make Dragonpaw promise not to tell anyone about the training. "I promise" Dragonpaw told his father. Dragonpaw dashed towards the apprentice's den and quickly fell asleep, however, it was only moments before Lizardclaw awoke him for his duties.

Chapter 17:Trespassing

Thistlepelt shivered as the snow continued to fall from the sky. Thistlepelt disliked the season of leaf-bare, it brought cold air and little prey. Suddenly, a white she-cat with black stripes and black paws burst into camp. "What's wrong, Orcasplash?" Dapplestar asked. The young ShadowClan she-cat replied, sounding tired "ThunderClan scent in our territory" Orcasplash gasped. "Thistlepelt, you go with Orcasplash to the border and check" Dapplestar commanded. Thistlepelt nodded and knew that Dapplestar was giving him a chance to prove his loyalty.

Orcasplash ran beside Thistlepelt to where the ShadowClan she-cat had scented ThunderClan cats. They arrived at the edge of the territory, the marsh was frozen underneath their paws. Thistlepelt inhaled and he could scent the reeking stench of ThunderClan. "See?" Orcasplash asked. Suddenly, a black and white paw slammed onto the ice in front of Thistlepelt. At first, Thistlepelt thought it was Orcasplash, but he could then see it was a badger! The badger leaped on Orcasplash and snapped it's jaws only inches from Orcasplash's throat.

"No!" Thistlepelt slashed his claws across the badger's spine and sent the beast away. "Thank you" Orcasplash murmured, her pelt quivered with fright. "Let's go back home" Thistlepelt murmured to the scared warrior as they returned to the camp.

Chapter 18:The Battle On The Thunderpath

Thistlepelt stood on the ShadowClan side of the Thunderpath. Poolstar had accepted Dapplestar's request for a fight at the last gathering due to the trespassing. Orcasplash stood next to Thistlepelt, the two had been close since Thistlepelt had saved Orcasplash from the badger. Dragonpaw stood on the other side of Thistlepelt. Lizardclaw was ill and Thistlepelt stood as Dragonpaw's temporary mentor. Falconpaw and Driftpaw were at camp while Runningpaw stood by Dragonpaw.

"Attack!" Poolstar yowled, the ThunderClan and ShadowClan cats immediately went into battle. Thistlepelt barely had time to defend himself before Volenose leaped at him. The brown ThunderClan she-cat hissed. Thistlepelt sank his claws into her shoulder and flung her around. Volenose tackled Thistlepelt and prepared to slash open his throat but a flash of black and white fur tackled Volenose and sent her away. "Thank you, Orcasplash" Thistlepelt gasped.

The black and white she-cat nodded and headed back into battle. Out of nowhere, a mottled blue-gray tabby leaped in front of Thistlepelt. "Oceankit" Thistlepelt gasped, remembering the little kit he had saved from the foxes. "Oceanpaw" she corrected him. "Bearpaw and Elmpaw too" Oceanpaw whispered and ran off. Suddenly, Thistlepelt heard a loud rumbling and looked down the path with horror and yowled "Monster!"

Chapter 19:A Rogue's Heart

Thistlepelt quickly scattered off the Thunderpath, he could see all the other cats got off as well. However, a small gray and white ThunderClan she-cat was still on the path and the monster was headed straight for her! "Morningshine!" a ThunderClan cat cried. Thistlepelt knew the right thing to do and dashed on the Thunderpath and tackled Morningshine out of the way. The monster barely brushed past Thistlepelt's tail. Thistlepelt and Morningshine landed on the soft, frosty grass beside the Thunderpath.

Poolstar padded up to Thistlepelt. "Thank you for saving Morningshine, ThunderCan is in the debt of ShadowClan" Poolstar bowed his head to Cloudfall, who was leading the attack patrol for ShadowClan. "No" Thistlepelt meowed. "You don't owe us because I did the right thing, our debt is even" Thistlepelt told the ThunderClan leader. Poolstar nodded and the ThunderClan cats left. "What did you do?!" Cloudfall hissed. "We could have asked for prey, it's Leaf-bare!" the white tom growled.

"I did the right thing out of my heart" Thistlepelt replied. "Rogues have no heart!" Cloudfall snarled. Thistlepelt filled with rage and whipped around on Cloudfall. "How do you think I ever could have loved Stormcloud!?" Thistlepelt yelled. "Or, have fun with my kits" Thistlepelt continued. The black tom struggled to keep his claws sheathed. "I do have a heart" Thistlepelt ran off toward the ShadowClan camp.

Chapter 20:The Dead Rogue

As Thistlepelt was running home, the stench of death and blood drifted up to his nose. Thistlepelt followed the smell of death and the dead cat before him shocked his whole body and he felt frozen. There, lying with half his body in a frozen mudpuddle and his throat slashed open... was Hawk. "Who did this?" Thistlepelt gasped. Hawk had been a good fighter, good enough to kill Dapplestar who was a trained warrior. Suddenly, under the stench of death, Thistlepelt scented another cat on Hawk's pelt, he growled the name "Cloudfall!". "Precisely" Cloudfall appeared behind Thistlepelt.

"Why did you do this?" Thistlepelt asked. "He was a rogue, I had to protect my clan" Cloudfall growled. "No! You murdered him out of cold blood!" Thistlepelt hissed. "You're smarter than I thought, this will stay a secret, or you will share the same fate as him" Cloudfall pointed at Hawk's body and left. Thistlepelt covered Hawk's body with snow and dashed off. Thistlepelt tried to erase the image of Hawk from his mind.

As he ran, Thistlepelt bumped into Orcasplash. "Are you okay?" Orcasplash asked. Thistlepelt gaave no reply and just stared at her. Her white pelt, her black stripes. Thistlepelt felt his heart beating as he looked at Orcasplash. Thistlepelt realized that he was in love! However, he still didn't feel like he could tell her, and for the first time, Thistlepelt felt the need to lie. "No, i'm fine"

Chapter 21:Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

Thistlepelt's fur burshed with Orcasplash as the two shared a frog. They had become very close now and the whole clan was wondering when they would have kits. After Thistlepelt had saved Morningshine, ShadowClan had begun to trust Thistlepelt much more and he finally fit in. Thistlepelt stared at Dragonpaw, Flaconpaw, and Driftpaw. Would his kits be ok with him taking another mate? "I'm taking my kits out" Thistlepelt told Orcasplash. Orcasplash nodded. When Thistlepelt, Dragonpaw, Driftpaw, and Falconpaw arrived outside of camp, Thistlepelt spoke. "Are you okay that Orcasplash and I are mates?"

All three of his kits nodded. "You can't stop love" Driftpaw muttered. "We never knew our mother, but we heard she was a great cat" Falconpaw muttered. "She was, Stormcloud was a great warrior" Thistlepelt filled with grief. "We will see her one day, in StarClan" Dragonpaw meowed, his voice sounded strong and sure. Thistlepelt nodded "You will, now go back to camp" His kits nodded and dashed away. "You have found love" Thistlepelt whipped around to a white she-cat with tortoiseshell patches. "Stormcloud" Thistlepelt gasped.

"I am here as a warrior of StarClan" Stormcloud told him. "Are you angry at my love for Orcasplash?" Thistlepelt asked. "No, it's good that you have found love again" Stormcloud replied. "Beware my father, he is planning something" Stormcloud murmured. "He killed Hawk" Thistlepelt told her. "I know" Stormcloud replied. "I must go now" Stormcloud whispered and vanished.

Chapter 22:Warriors At Last!

Thistlepelt was on patrol with Orcasplash, Cloudfall, Nightwhisker, Bluebird, Lizardclaw, Dragonpaw, Driftpaw, Falconpaw, and Runningpaw. Driftpaw attempted to catch a mouse but missed. "Pathetic" Cloudfall muttered. "She did fine!" Nightwhisker snarled. "I'm suprised they're becoming warriors today" Cloudfall added. Falconpaw dashed after a squirrel but returned with nothing. "I thought so" Cloudfall growled. "Cloudfall! Sometimes prey gets away, stop acting so poorly!" Bluebird spat. "Let's just get back to camp for the ceremony" Lizardclaw rumbled.

Dapplestar stood on high-log. "Gather!" she yowled. "It is time for four apprentices to become warriors!" Dapplestar added. "Falconpaw, from this day forward, you shall be known as Falconflight, StarClan honors your fighting skills and strength and we welcome you as a full warrior of ShadowClan. Runningpaw, from this day forwrd, you shall be known as Runningbreeze, StarClan honors your energy and cleverness as we welcome you as a full warrior of ShadowClan."

Falconflight and Runningbreeze looked excited. "Driftpaw, from this day forward, you shall be known as Driftcloud, StarClan honors you speed and intelligence and we welcome you as a full warrior of ShadowClan. Dragonpaw, from this day forward, you shall be known as Dragonfire, StarClan honors your courage and loyalty and we welcome you as a full member of ShadowClan." Dapplestar finished. "Falconflight! Runnignbreeze! Driftcloud! Dragonfire!" The whole clan except for Cloudfall cheered. Even Lizardclaw joined in. Thistlepelt filled with pride. "Our kits are warriors at last, Stormcloud" Thistlepelt murmured.

Chapter 23:A Deadly Allegiance

Dragonfire, Driftcloud, Runningbreeze, and Falconflight sat vigil after their warrior ceremonies. Dusk had already settled on the ShadowClan camp. It was then that Thistlepelt heard screeching from the entrance. Rogues imediately began to pour into camp. Dragonfire tackled one of the rogues. "Rogue attack!" Thistlepelt yowled. The whole clan awoke and warriors began to fight the rogues. Thistlepelt's claws met with the fur of a gray tabby. The black tom threw the gray tabby across the clearing.

"Halt!" Cloudfall yowled. Dapplestar padded up to Cloudfall. "You are deputy, not leader" Dapplestar snarled. "I wasn't talking to ShadowClan!" Cloudfall spat. "I have been planning this attack with the rogues!" Cloudfall growled. "How could you?" Dapplestar gasped. "That's why you killed Hawk, to gain control of the rogues!" Thistlepelt exclaimed. "You killed Hawk?" Dapplestar asked. Cloudfall nodded. "Now I will rule ShadowClan with the rogues!"

"A new era will take place, with me as leader!" Cloudfall leaped on Dapplestar and buried his teeth in her throat. "No!" A yellowish tom tackled Cloudfall off of Dapplestar. "Why did you do that?" Cloudfall demanded. The yellow tom replied. "I'm not who you think" his voice was old and frail. Dapplestar got up "It can't be...Sunstripe?"

Chapter 24:A Fight For Life

"I thought you were dead" Dapplestar murmured. "Poolstar lied to seem strong" Sunstripe explained. "Enough of this, attack!" Cloudfall yowled. The fighting resumed and Dapplestar fought side by side with Sunstripe. Thistlepelt heaved a brown she-cat off of Orcasplash. "Volenose" Thistlepelt gasped, seeing the ThunderClan she-cat. "Poolstar is pathetic, we need a better leader!" Volenose hissed. Thistlepelt sank his claws into the brown she-cat's shoulder. Volenose leaped on Thistlepelt and slashed his belly.

"I hate you!" Orcasplash pinned Volenose down and sank her teeth into her throat. "Fools" Volenose gasped as sticky blood pooled around her. Orcasplash had blood on her muzzle. Volenose's eyes glazed and her teeth were bared in a last snarl. The cries of battle echoed around them. "I'm going to find Cloudfall!" Thistlepelt told Orcasplash. Orcasplash nodded and went to help Frog-eye.

Thistlepelt spotted Cloudfall on high-log and raced toward him. "Cloudfall!" he growled. Cloudfall spotted him and ran out of camp. Thistlepelt followed him to RiverClan territory. "Why did you come here?" Thistlepelt asked the white warrior. "Cats from all clans are fighting with me, cats who want a strong leader. I will be ruler of all the clans!"

Chapter 25:Lizardclaw's Choice

"I can take you one-on-one, Cloudfall!" Thistlepelt growled. "How about two against one?" Cloudfall asked as Lizardclaw appeared out of nowhere. Lizardclaw hissed and pinned Thistlepelt down. Thistlepelt flipped around and pinned Lizardclaw. However, Cloudfall plucked Thistepelt off and threw him dangerously close to the edge of the gorge, the river below swished violently. Cloudfall slashed Thistlepelt's ears while Lizardclaw bit the black tom's tail.

Lizardclaw prepared to slash Thistlepelt's throat when Cloudfall spoke "Let him have a more painful death" Cloudfall growled and he pushed Thistlepelt over the edge of the gorge. However, Thistlepelt barely held on with his front paws, his claws stuck on the side of the gorge. The rest of Thistlepelt's body dangled loosely above the bottom of the gorge. Lizardclaw stood above Thistlepelt. "Go on, Lizardclaw, finish him, shove him off to his death, i'll make you deputy of all the clans" Cloudfall growled.

For once, Thistlepelt saw something in Lizardclaw's eyes he had never seen before. Fear. Was Lizardclaw afraid of Cloudfall? It was only a few heartbeats, but it felt like moons. "It looks like i'm coming to join you Stormcloud" Thistlepelt whispered. The black tom was waiting for Lizardclaw to finish him. But instead, Lizardclaw grasped Thistlepelt's paw and heaved him up. "I'm not going to listen to you anymore" Lizardclaw hissed at Cloudfall. "Traitor!" Cloudfall leaped at Lizardclaw.

Chapter 26:The Final Fight

Cloudfall slashed his claws across Lizardclaw's throat and left the ginger tom on the ground as his lifeblood poured away. Thistlepelt stared in horror at the limp ginger body on the ground "I did...the right...thing" Lizardclaw choked, gave one last jerk, and lay still. "How could you?" Thistlepelt gasped. "I wont hesitate to kill anyone!" Cloudfall flung himself at Thistlepelt. The black tom barely avoided a killing bite to his throat and slashed his claws down Cloudfall's spine. Cloudfall turned around and slashed at Thistlepelt's belly.

"Because of you, Stormcloud died!" Cloudfall growled. "I didn't want her to die anymore than you did!" Thistlepelt protested. Cloudfalll leaped at Thistlepelt, his amber eyes gleamed with rage. Thistlepelt kicked his back legs, wich collided into Cloudfall's belly. The white tom fell down to the ground, stunned and gasping for air. Thistlepelt prepared to give the finishing blow to Cloudfall's throat. "I just can't kill another cat" Thistlepelt released his grip on Cloudfall and begun to pad away.

"I did all these horrible thing and you didn't kill me" Cloudfall murmured. "Big mistake!" Cloudfall exploded from the ground and tackled Thistlepelt, his claws raised above the black tom's throat when a shape shot out of nowhere and tackled Cloudfall. "Stormcloud" Cloudfall gasped. The tortoiseshell and white she-cat's scent tasted of starlight. "I'm sorry father" Stormcloud sank her teeth into Cloudfall's throat. Blood stained Cloudfall's white fur red. "The darkness...it's swarming me...it's come to take me" and with that, Cloudfall's eyes glazed over and the cat Thistlepelt had been enemies with for so long, finally lay dead.

Chapter 27:Ending The Battle

Stormcloud looked away from Cloudfall's dead body and padded up to Thistlepelt and the two rubbed muzzles. "I'm glad you're safe" Stormcloud murmured. Suddenly, Thistlepelt burst with alarm, "We have to stop the fighting, if they know Cloudfall is dead, they'll run away!" Stormcloud nodded and the two raced all the way back to the ShadowClan camp and realized that Cloudfall was right! There were rogues along with cats from ThunderClan, WindClan, and RiverClan fighting against ShadowClan. "Stop!" Thistlepelt yowled. All the cats froze. "Cloudfall is dead, now leave!" "How can we know he's dead?" a rogue called out. "His dead body is by the gorge in RiverClan" Stormcloud explained.

The rogues immediately lefty in a panic, when they were gone, all that remained were the ShadowClan cats. Dead bodies littered the camp. Thistlepelt could clearly see Volenose's body and tried not to remember her death. "Cats of ShadowClan, Lizardclaw died as well, he originally tried to kill me, but had a change of heart and turned on Cloudfall. However, Cloudfall killed the brave warrior" Thistlepelt announced. Dapplestar jumped on high-log "We have won the battle, and we honor Thistlepelt and...Stormcloud for killing Cloudfall. Tigerfang, Eagleflight, will you collect Lizardclaw's body?" Dapplestar asked. The two nodded and dashed away. "Also, cats of ShadowClan, since Cloudfall is dead, I must pick the new deputy. Thistlepelt will be the new deputy." Dapplestar yowled.

"Me?" Thistlepelt asked. "Yes, you have proven to ShadowClan that you are loyal and brave!" Dapplestar replied. "But i've never mentored an apprentice" Thistlepelt protested. "You can mentor Rosekit, she will become an apprentice in less than 2 moons" Dapplestar promised. Stormcloud licked Thistlepelt's ear "Congratulations" and with that, Stormcloud dissapeared. Orcasplash, Dragonfire, Driftcloud, and Falconflight ran over to Thistlepelt. Orcasplash had a wound on her back, Dragonfire was bleeding from his chest. Driftcloud had a torn ear and Falconflight had a bleeding paw. Thistlepelt yowled "The battle is over!"

Chapter 28:Acquisitions

Thistlepelt padded toward Fourtrees with Dapplestar. Orcasplash, Dragonfire, Driftcloud, Runningbreeze, Falconflight, Nightwhisker, and Stoneheart trailed behind. The warmth of green-leaf was settling on the clans and the prey had returned. Dapplestar was happier now that Sunstripe had joined ShadowClan as an elder, but Thistlepelt could see it would not be much longer before Sunstripe joined StarClan. When they arrived, Dapplestar leaped on the great rock with Poolstar, Willowstar, the WindClan leader, and Branchstar, the RiverClan leader. Thistlepelt padded over to the deputies of the other clans.

Darkwillow, the ThunderClan deputy, Lionwhisker, deputy of WindClan, and Raintail, the RiverClan deputy. As Thistlepelt walked over, Raintail snorted "The new ShadowClan deputy" she muttered. Darkwillow greeted Thistlepelt warmly "You're the one who saved my mate!" he exclaimed. "You're Morningshine's mate?" Thistlepelt asked the dark gray tabby. Darkwillow nodded. Lionwhisker gave Thistlepelt a nod, but said nothing. "Let the gathering begin!" Dapplestar yowled. "ShadowClan is fairing well after the death of Cloudfall, Thistlepelt is the new deputy, Lizardclaw was lost as well and Sunstripe has joined us as an elder" Dapplestar finished. Poolstar reported good prey and the death of Volenose. Orcasplash tried to hide her guilt at Volenose's death.

Willowstar didn't report much, just an apprentice that was lost in the battle. Branchstar began her report. "We think ShadowClan has been stealing our prey!" The tom yowled. "What?" Dapplestar asked. "We scented ShadowClan by the gorge, Thistlepelt, Cloudfall, and Lizardclaw" Branchstar announced. "I think there should be a battle to settle this" Branchstar added. Suddenly, clouds began to cover the sky and thunder split the air. "The gathering is over!" Dapplestar yowled and jumped off the great rock. Just then, a blot of lightning struck one of the oaks and sent a branch into the crowd of cats.

Chapter 29:StarClan's Anger

Several yowls split the night air. "Is everyone okay?" Willowstar called. "We're fine!" Lionwhisker replied. Many cats confirmed they were fine. "Orcasplash!" Thistlepelt replied. "I'm right here!" Orcasplash walked up to Thistlepelt, Dragonfire and Falconflight were behind her. "Where's Driftcloud?" Falconflight asked. "I don't know" Thistlepelt replied. Thistlepelt and the others inspected the fallen tree branch, a limp body lay dead beneath the branch. "Branchstar is dead" Dragonfire murmured. "It was her last life" Raintail touched her muzzle to Branchstar's fur. Suddenly, Thistlepelt noticed another dead body next to Branchstar. "Nightwhisker!" Driftcloud ran up to her dead mentor.

"Branchstar and Nightwhisker are dead!" Thistlepelt announced. Raintail padded up to Dapplestar "There will be no battle, I must earn my nine lives" the new RiverClan leader murmured. Dapplestar nodded and turned to Falconflight and Dragonfire "You two carry Nightwhisker's body" Dapplestar commanded. As they were padding home, Dapplestar whispered to Thistlepelt "StarClan was angry, they sent the tree branch down on Branchstar, Nightwhisker was just an innocent victim". Stoneheart, the medicine cat, walked up to them "It was a sign from StarClan" he murmured. "They sent a branch down on Branchstar, they were angry with her." Stoneheart meowed ominously.

Dragonfire and Falconflight laid Nightwhisker's body in the center of camp. Dapplestar jumped on high-log and explained what had happened. Sunstripe and Stoneheart prepared Nightwhisker's body for burial. Rosekit stared from the nursery "He's dead isn't he?" the little white she-kit asked. "That's none of your concern" Rosekit's mother, Moonfern, shoved her back in the nursery. Thistlepelt was a little frightened, he now knew the power of StarClan's anger.

Chapter 30:A Sad Death

"Rosekit, from this day forward, you shall be known as Rosepaw, your mentor will be Thistlepelt!" Dapplestar announced. Thistlepelt happily touched noses with the white apprentice. "I'm going to learn everything!" Rosepaw squeaked with joy. Dapplestar jumped down from high-log and padded over to Thistlepelt and Rosepaw. "I would like to come with you two, wherever you want to go, Thistlepelt" she murmured. "Let's go to Fourtrees, just let me assign patrols first" Thistlepelt decided.

Thistlepelt jumped on high-log. "Tigerfang, take Eagleflight, Driftcloud, and Bluebird hunting" The four cats nodded and dashed off. "Orcasplash, patrol the Thunderpath with Dragonfire, Runningbreeze, and Mistwhisker" The four left for patrol. "Now let's go" Thistlepelt, Rosepaw, and Dapplestar headed for Fourtrees. As they arrived, a loud snarl sounded from the foot of the great rock. Thistlepelt saw a fox and realized this may be the same fox who kidnapped the ThunderClan kits.

Rosepaw quivered with fright "We'll take care of this" Thistlepelt murmured in her ear. Dapplestar leaped at the fox and clawed at it's shoulders. Thistlepelt hissed and sank his teeth into the fox's tail. The fox gave a yelp and flung Thistlepelt and Dapplestar off. The red beast caught sight of Rosepaw and ran towards her. "No!" Thistlepelt tried to help Rosepaw, who was frozen with fright. The fox stood over the white apprentice and lashed out it's jaws toward her throat.

However, Dapplestar dashed toward them and pushed Rosepaw out of the way, the teeth connected with Dapplestar's throat and her eyes grew wide with alarm. "No!" Tgistlepelt slashed the fox's throat and the beast collapsed in it's own blood. Thistlepelt walked over to Dapplestar, who was lying in blood. "Lead the clan well, Thistlepelt" Dapplestar choked as her last life faded away.

Chapter 31:Leadership Ceremony

Thistlepelt and Stoneheart arrived at Mothermouth, Thistlepelt was a little afraid at recieving his nine lives. The black tom remembered announcing Dapplestar's death, the whole clan was shocked and full of grief, especially Sunstripe. "Thistlepelt, it is time" Stoneheart broke the silence. The two walked down the tunnel until they saw the large gleaming stone. "Just touch your nose to the Moonstone" Stoneheart instructed. Thistlepelt obeyed, the stone felt cold to his nose, and in moments, Thistlepelt was asleep.


However, he opened his eyes and he was in the clearing at Fourtrees. "Thistlepelt, you will know recieve your nine lives" nine cats stood around Thistlepelt and they spoke with one voice. A gray tom padded up to Thistlepelt and pressed his nose to Thistlepelt's head."My name is Sunfur, with this life I give you hope, use it when you think all is lost." Pain surged through Thistlepelt, he saw many lights until they all faded away and left but a single one. Sunfur padded away and was replaced by a small tortoiseshell apprentice. "I am Leafpaw, with this life I give you humor, use it to lighten the hearts of your clanmates" as the tortoiseshell she-cat pushed her nose into Thistlepelt's head, a dazlling feeling went through Thistlepelt. Leafpaw padded away and was replaced by a black kit. "I am Shadowkit, with this life I give you patience" the kit pushed his nose with Thistlepelt's head. A numb cold passed through Thistlepelt, he felt as if he would never be able to move. Shadowkit was replaced with an old silver tabby she-cat. "My name is Brindlestripe, with this life I give you compassion" Thistlepelt saw the images of wounded cats, and then the cats being healed as if compassion had healed them all as Brindlestripe nuzzled his head. Brindlestripe was replaced by a light brown tom. "I am Sparrowflight, with this life I give you pride, use it when your clan looks weak." Thistlepelt felt as if his clan were the greatest in the forest. Next, a ginger she-cat pushed her nose into Thistlepelt's head "I am Redwhisker." Dapplestar's Mother! "With this life I give you knowledge, use it to train the cats in your clan" Thistlepelt felt as if he knew everything and he felt happy that this knowledge would be given to his cats. A ginger tom walked up to Thistlepelt. "Lizardclaw!" Thistlepelt exclaimed. The ginger tom pushed his nose to the black tom's head. "With this life I give you loyalty, you already have it." Thistlepelt felt the familiar feeling of great loyalty to a cat, or a clan. "Loyalty comes from the heart, not the blood" Thistlepelt murmured. Lizardclaw nodded and padded away, a tortiseshell she-cat replaced him. "Dapplestar, you're here!" Thistlepelt squeaked like a kit. Dapplestar's nose made contact with Thistlepelt's head. "With this life I give you courage, although, you already know about that" Thistlepelt felt he was face-to-face with every cat in the forest and he had the blazing courage to fight them all. "Make sure ShadowClan stayes safe" Dapplestar whispered and was replaced by a beautiful white she-cat with tortoiseshell patches. "Stormcloud" Thistlepelt breathed. "With this life I give you love, love every one of your cats enormously and forever". A great warmth spread through Thistlepelt and he felt astounded with joy. Stormcloud removed her nose from Thistlepelt's head. "We hail you by your new name, Thistlestar!" Stormcloud yowled and vanished along with the other cats. Suddenly, Fourtrees grew dark. "I am still alive, Thistlestar, you have not won and one day, I will kill you!" Thistlestar recognized Cloudfall's evil meow and saw a glimpse of white fur before the whole world spun and he woke up by the Moonstone. "So?" Stoneheart asked. "Now I am Thistlestar, leader of ShadowClan!"

Chapter 32:New Kits!

It had been four seasons since Thistlestar became leader, he had lost many of his nine lives since then. "Thistlestar!" Runningbreeze, the new deputy, yowled. "What is it?" Thistlestar asked. "Orcasplash is kitting!" Runningbreeze yowled, he had his apprentice, Squirrelpaw, beside him. "What?!" Thistlestar dashed to the nursery, Stoneheart stood over Orcasplash who was panting rapidly. Willowfur, a queen who was excpecting Eagleflight's kits, helped give Stoneheart moss. "Are you okay?" Thistlestar asked his mate. "Fine" Orcasplash gasped, but fear and pain clouded her eyes. "I need raspberry leaves!" Stoneheart yowled. "Rosefeather, get some raspberry!" Thistlestar yowled at his former apprentice. The white she-cat nodded and returned with sharp edged leaves. "Here" Thistlestar gave the leaves to Stoneheart who fed them to Orcasplash.

Orcasplash gasped as a kit slithered out onto the moss. "A tom!" Willowfur announced. Thistlestar was terrified that Orcasplash might suffer the same fate as Stormcloud. "Stormcloud, please protect her" Thistlestar begged. "I will" the whisper echoed around the nursery. Orcasplash, Stoneheart, and Willowfur gave no sign that they heard it. Stormcloud's scent filled Thistlestar's nose. "Thank you" The black tom murmured. A second kit slid onto the moss. "Another tom!" Willowfur inspected the kit. Blood stained the nursery floor. A final kit fell onto the floor. "A she-cat!" Willowfur announced the gender of the final kit. "Wait!" Stoneheart called. One more kit slid out. "Another she-cat!" Stoneheart yowled.

"What are the genders of the kits?" Runningbreeze asked. Thistlestar padded out of the nursery "Two toms and two shde-kits!" he announced. "Four more warriors!" Frog-eye yowled. The rest of the clan happily joined in. "Let's pick names" Thistlestar ducked back into the nursery. "How about, Duskkit for the dark gray tabby tom, and Ashkit for the smoky tom." Orcasplash meowed tiredly. "And, Stormkit for the black and white she-cat." Thistlestar named her after Stormcloud. "And the final kit?" Willowfur pressed on. "Goldkit for the little golden she-kit. Oh, Orcasplash, they're perfect." Thistlestar meowed.

Chapter 33:Greencough!

It had been two moons since Duskkit, Ashkit, Stormkit, and Goldkit had been born. They were very gentle with Nightkit, Minnowkit, and Honeykit who had been born to Willowfur and Eagleflight only a moon ago. Loud coughing sounded from the warriors den. "Who was that?" Thistlestar asked. "It was Frog-eye" Dragonfire replied. "She was coughing all night" Eagleflight added. "None of us got any sleep" Tigerfang complained. "Stoneheart, have Frog-eye stay in your den to be tended too" Thistlestar commanded. The gray medicine cat nodded. "Dad!" Duskkit launched himself onto Thistlestar's back. Ashkit and Stormkit followed. "Where's Goldkit?" the leader asked. "Here!" Goldkit came out of nowhere and landed on Thistlestar's belly. Her tiny claws sank into his skin. "Ouch!" Thistlestar laughed and pulled his kits off.

"What's going on?" Duskkit asked. "Frog-eye is a little sick" Thistlestar replied. "What is she dies?!" Stormkit yowled. "She won't die silly" Goldkit swiped Stormkit's ear. "Right?" Goldkit looked nervously at Thistlestar. "Right" Thistlestar replied. One Moon Later... Not only had Frog-eye caught Greencough, but Tigerfang and Squirrelpaw had caught it too! Frog-eye was the worst, while Squirrelpaw was doing the best. Not that Squirrelpaw was doing okay. Thistlestar made sure that every cat stayed away from the medicine clearing, especially the kits. Suddenly, Darkwillow, Oceanpaw, and Greenleaf, the ThunderClan medicine cat, arrived in the camp. "Poolstar was killed by RiverClan!" Darkwillow immediately yowled. "I am now Darkstar, ThunderClan leader and Oceanbreeze is my deputy" he continued. "Slow down" Thistlestar meowed to Darkstar. "Poolstar attacked RiverClan, Rainstar didn't want to fight, but she killed Poolstar to stop the attack" Darkstar finished.

"We are sorry for your loss, but you must leave, we have Greencough" Thistlestar hissed. "Uh...ok" Darkstar and Greenleaf began to leave. "Bearpaw is now Bearfang and Elmpaw is Elmheart" Oceanbreeze hissed and dashed away. "Frog-eye!" Runningbreeze's yowl sounded from the medicine den. Thistlestar immediately raced to the sound. "What's wrong?" the leader panted. "Frog-eye is dying!" Runningbreeze wailed. The golden she-cat lay on the ground. "Good-bye my clan, I have loved serving ShadowClan, and one more thing, Thistlestar, I have always loved you, from the moment I began nursing your kits, but then you became Orcasplash's mate, I wish things could have been different" Frog-eye closed her eyes and her breathing stopped. "Mother!" Runningbreeze yowled. "Sadly, we have lost another cat." Thistlestar whispered.

Chapter 34:The Time To End The Hatred

Thistlestar, Runningbreeze, Dragonfire, Driftcloud, Falconflight, Bluebird, and Rosefeather waited by the RiverClan border, they were fighting in the place of ThunderClan who was too weak to go into battle yet. Rainstar arrived with some of her warriors. "Fighting for those ThunderClan cowards, a big mistake" Rainstar hissed. "Your mistake was agreeing to battle us" Thistlestar retorted. "We'll see, attack!" Rainstar yowled. The RiverClan leader was lost in the midst of battle. Thistlestar easily dodged a blow from a white she-cat. Thistlestar didn't recognize the white she-cat and she was fully grown so she couldn't have been a new apprentice. "What are you staring at?!" the white she-cat hissed. "Where are you from?" Thistlestar asked. "That's none of your concern!" the she-cat swiftly bit Thistlestar's paw.

She doesn't fight like a clan cat either Thistlestar observed. Thistlestar collapsed to the ground, pretending to be defeated. Let's see if she falls for an apprentice trick. "Ha!" the she-cat tried to kill Thistlestar. The black tom exploded from the ground and pinned the white she-cat. "You're no clan cat!" Thistlestar growled. "Fine, i'm a rogue!" in his shock, Thistlestar loosened his grip on the she-cat, who slithered away. Is Rainstar so desperate to win that she's taking in rogues to fight for her?! Thistlestar wondered. "Thistlestar, look out!" Bluebird's warning was too late, Thistlestar was tackled down by Rainstar, he felt his breath knocked out of him as he slammed into the ground. "Looks like you found out my secret" Rainstar whispered and lashed out her claws toward Thistlestar's throat. The black tom felt the warm blood pool around him. "No! Thistlestar!" the black tom heard the yowls of his clanmates as everything went black.

"You have lost a life"(Thistlestar has lost lives before, it just was not shown) Thistlestar opened his eyes to find himself in the Fourtrees clearing, the cats who gave him his nine lives surrounded him. "You have been leading ShadowClan well" Dapplestar meowed. "Fighting for ThunderClan was the right thing to do" Lizardclaw murmured. "I have to get back into the battle!" Thistlestar meowed frustratedly. "Give it a moment, your body needs to heal" Stormcloud replied. "Why has Rainstar recruited rogues?" Thistlestar asked. "She wants her clan to be strong, she wants her clan to win, to rule" Dapplestar replied. "She's ambitious, not evil" Stormcloud meowed. "It's time for you to go back now" Lizardclaw's meow echoed as everything began to whirl and Thistlestar woke up on the grass. The cries of battle became clear. Thistlestar shakily got up and spotted Rainstar's spotted gray pelt. "Enough!" he tackled into her and hissed into her face. "No more hatred!" The tips of Thistlestar's claws rested on Rainstar's throat and he bared his teeth. "Never!" Rainstar growled. Thistlestar pushed his claws into her throat, making it hard for her to breath, but not cutting her skin

"Fine, RiverClan retreat!" Rainstar's words were low and hard to hear. Thistlestar removed his claws and the RiverClan cats fled. "Is everyone okay?" Thistlestar asked his clan. "Driftcloud's leg looks pretty bad" Falconflight replied. The brown she-cat's leg was twisted pretty bad. "We wish to join you" Thistlestar whipped around to see the rogues. "Rainstar was harsh, can we live in your clan?" the white she-cat, whom Thistlestar had fought, semed to be the leader. "Of course, ShadowClan always helps those in need" Thistlestar replied.

Chapter 35:The Great ShadowClan

As Thistlestar had promised, he let the rogues join ShadowClan. Frost, wich was the name of the white she-cat, became Frostwind. Flare became Flarepaw, Dazzle became Shinelight, Apple became Applestem, Blaze became Blazingkit, Raven became Ravenkit, Fox became Foxkit, Cinder became Cinderpaw, and Toad became Toadleap. ShadowClan was growing larger. Frostwind, who was younger than Thistlestar thought, had taken a liking to Dragonfire. Sadly, Driftcloud had to retire due to her damaged leg, it broke Thistlestar's heart just to perform the ceremony. Thistlestar stood on top of High-log, looking across his great clan. Bluebird was playing with Minnowkit and Honeykit, Frostwind was talking to Dragonfire, Driftcloud played with Ashkit and Duskkit while Goldkit, Stormkit, Blazingkit, Ravenkit, and Foxkit played with Applestem and Toadleap. Moonfern walked over to Driftcloud, she was getting old. Willowfur, Tigerfang, and Eagleflight dozed in the sun.

Sunstriped had died of old age a few moons ago. Falconflight left camp with Runningbreeze, Rosefeather, Flarepaw, and Squirrelclaw. Stoneheart was healing Cinderpaw's cut on her pad. I have such a great clan Thistlestar thought. "You're a great leader" a whisper sounded in Thistlestar's ear and he saw the faint outline of Stormcloud. "I love you" Thistlestar replied. "I love you too" Stormcloud vanished. "Hey" Orcasplash greeted. "Hello" Thistlestar licked her ear. "ShadowClan is doing well" Orcasplash murmured. "Yes, it is"

Thistlestar looked around at his clan again, however, he quickly looked at the edge of camp. "What's wrong?" Orcasplash asked. "Nothing" Thistlestar replied. The truth was, just for a split-second, in the shadow of the bushes, Thistlestar thought he had seen Cloudfall's gleaming amber eyes.

The End!

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