In the dark of the moon
Casting darkness upon the land
Naturally dark and foreboding.
In the dark of the moon
Evil lurks, but never truly shows
Darkness in the heart of the shadows
Darkness in the light...
"This is the most mouse-brained thing I've ever done!"
"Oh? You've done other mouse-brained things?"
"Oh you're so smart River, well, you're the one that got us caught!"
In a dark cave, two she-cats were arguing, the small blue-gray she cat mewed in an annoyed voice.
"If I remember correctly, Dragon, you were the one that taunted them."
The bigger she-cat, a silver tabby, with flaming green eyes, snapped, "What else was I supposed to do?"
"I did that, and looked what happened!" Dragon snapped.
"I meant attacking as in surprise attack, not as in "Oh, I hope you guys are good at fighting" kind of thing." River said flatly.
"Whatever." Dragon sniffed.
River sighed, "I hope Shadow and Yarrow are okay."
"They might be." Dragon grunted.
"You don't seem convinced."
"I'm not." Dragon looked at her sister with a smug look.
"Any ideas on how to get out of here smart one?" River snapped.
"Actually... I do have one..." Dragon mewed. "But it might have to involve getting hurt."
"Don't all your plans?" River asked.
"Now your getting it!" Dragon laughed, then looked at the den entrance with narrowed eyes, her whiskers twitching. "I hope they hurry though, I'll launch my plan when they are distracted!"
"Yay. distractions," River sighed, "The ultimate fighting is using distractions."
"Exactly, I hope you're prepared River, we've got a few long days ahead of us..." Dragon mewed in an excited whisper.
"Oh joy!" River rolled her eyes.
"Well, this is more like it!" Yarrow exclaimed, jumping around.
Shadow looked at his brother with narrowed eyes, "We just got into the forest." he pointed out.
"I know! The mountains were so plain." Yarrow mewed, "And cold!"
Shadow shook his head. "Come on, we got to find our sisters," he led Yarrow, following the scent of the rogues. Which was getting more closer to the lake.
"I hope we don't have to the swim." Yarrow commented.
Shadow stopped, "There's a tree forming a flat bridge across, so unless you slip, no you don't."
Yarrow stayed silent, and Shadow rolled his eyes. They continued, Shadow kept going, but Yarrow stumbled behind.
Shadow looked at him, "What's wrong?" he asked, confused.
"Tired... Is all." Yarrow panted.
Shadow narrowed his eyes. He had a feeling it was the thing around his neck tiring his little brother out. After all, they didn't know what it was. Shadow shrugged then turned back. Continuing to walk.
Soon they were at the bridge. Shadow sniffed the air, the heavy scent of crow-food and cat on the air. Shadow was about to go to the tree bridge but was stopped by a voice. "Well.. This is a rare sight..." he looked up quickly.
A cat was already on the bridge watching him and Yarrow. The cat jumped down, and soon him and Yarrow were surrounded by cats.
Yarrow looked around alarmed. His claws unsheathing. "We usually get rogues around here... but they usually smell of mountains.. You two smell of forest." a she-cat mewed silkily.
Yarrow asked, "What do you want?"
The she-cat was staring at Shadow intently. But glanced at Yarrow, her eyes widened, and she bristled, "Star carrier!"
The cats looked up, their eyes widened. They started whispering to each other, glancing at Yarrow with fear.
Shadow saw Yarrows eyes flash. He mewed cooly, "Where did the rogues take our sisters?"
The she-cat bowed, "To the outskirts, where they made their camp." she growled.
The other cats murmured in agreement. One of the cats, a tom, mewed weakly. "They took two cats, they were putting up a fight though," he looked at Shadow. "We can take you to them, but you can't fight them off alone, but we wouldn't be any help, they deprived us of food."
Shadow looked at Yarrow. Yarrow mewed. "Take us to them, we don't need numbers to beat them."
The she-cat mewed. "This way.." she flicked her tail. She looked at Shadow with an unreadable emotion, then led them away from the bridge. Shadow was confused, but then followed, with Yarrow behind them.
A little bit later, they were in a forest. It was dark and unwavering. With pine reaching to the sky. The she-cat looked at Shadow, "There camp is near, be cautious," Shadow nodded and padded past her. He thought he heard her sigh, but he flicked his ear and kept going.
Yarrow mewed, "Hey! Do you smell that?" Shadow looked up. Narrowing his eyes, the cats looked around worriedly.
The tom flinched, "They are near." he flicked his tail backing up a little bit.
The she-cat looked at him. "Are you going to back out so soon?" she sneered, "You aren't usually the type to back out of a fight, Stormfrost... Descendents of ShadowClan always like a good fight..."
Stormfrost looked at her, "I always like a good fight, I just know this is going to be a fight we won't win." he snapped.
The she-cat purred silkily, "There's always a way to win Stormfrost..."
"Moonberry, don't be mouse-brained, we're not the clan cats, we're only descendents!" Stormfrost growled.
Moonberry ignored him. She looked at Shadow, "What do you think we should do?"
Shadow shrugged. And Yarrow piped up, "Cl-Clan cats?"
Moonberry and Stormfrost looked at him, "Yes, clan cats, have you heard of them star carrier?" Moonberry asked. Yarrow looked away, his eyes full of fear and hurt. Shadow was confused, then looked into the dark shadows of the pine forest.
Moonberry stared at Yarrow, then looked into the darkness too. Shadow started to pad into the darkness, and Stormfrost called after him, "Are you crazy? They'll kill you! They'll kill us all."
Shadow stopped and looked back. And Moonberry mewed, "We have the star carrier with us Stormfrost, there's no way we can lose!"
Stormfrost looked at Yarrow. "I know, you seem a little young carrier. Do you know how to fight?"
Yarrow shook his head. And Stormfrost looked at Moonberry in triumph.
Moonberry purred silkily as she passed Shadow, "He doesn't need to know how to fight, as long as he's the carrier." Stormfrost sighed. Muttering as he followed Moonberry with the other cats. Shadow and Yarrow followed closely.
As they got deeper, the smell of carrion and crow food got stronger. Sickness hung on the air, with the scent of blood and cats. Shadow froze. Looking up at the trees suspiciously. The cats stopped and looked at him with confusion, "What is it?" Moonberry asked.
Shadow growled, "They know we're here." he looked around quickly, unsheathing his claws.
Stormfrost looked around also, "I-I don't see anything..." he exclaimed.
"You don't need to see us to know that we are there!" a small squeaky voice mewed.
Stonefrost got hit with an attack, he yowled. Battling the cat weakly, who had the upper hand. Shadow was about to go help him but a heavy weight landed on him. He and the cat rolled some ways away from the others. But they were close enough to yowl in shock.
Shadow pushed the tom off him, jumping into the trees. The cat hissed, "So you're going to fight darkness with darkness? Two can play at that game!"
The cat jumped where Shadow was moments before. Shadow landed onto the ground. And he looked at that cat. Yarrow yowled.
Shadow looked around distracted, and the cat saw his chance to attack Shadow. Shadow was slammed into the ground. Teeth biting his neck. Shadow narrowed his eyes and drove his claws upwards, the claws pierced the cats neck.
The cat backed off in pain, running into the darknes. Yarrow yowled again, and Shadow hurried to the group.
Yarrow was getting pulled by the neck, Yarrow, who had no fighting experience, wriggled helplessy as the cat pulled him.
Shadow was about to reach him, but Moonberry got there first. She wrestled the cat away from Yarrow, Yarrow leaped away. Moonberry bit the cats neck. The cat tried to wriggle away. But each attempt got weaker and weaker.
Moonberry finally let go when the cat stopped moving. She looked at Yarrow. "You alright?" she asked.
"Never better." Yarrow panted. There were a couple of shrieks and yowls deep in the forest, soon cats poured into the clearing, fear in there eyes. "We did it Dragon!" a familiar she-cat yowled.
Shadow looked up to see River and Dragon jumping from tree to tree chasing the cats. Dragon leaped on top of a big cat. Making him yowl in surprise. Dragon bit his neck.
He growled and threw her off, only to be attacked in the face by River. The big cat screeched in pain, running off. Dragon and nodded at each other and grabbed a cat by the tail.
The small cat screeched, trying to pull away. The cat managed to break free. Shadow and Dragon looked at each-other. Dragon looked relieved, but it soon turned into fear, "Shadow watch-!"
Shadow didn't hear the rest. He turned around quickly, only to have his world go black.
Shadow wasn't really sure what happened.
Dragon tried to warn him. I'm so mouse-brained, I saw that coming. He thought angrily. Trying to open his eyes.
A voice whispered, "Hey, Shadow.. Are you alive?" Shadow automatically knew the voice was Dragon's, but he couldn't talk, or move. I must be dead he thought. "Shadow?" Dragon asked again. Worry echoing in her voice.
He managed to mew, "It's not like you to worry Dragon...." he drifted off.
Dragon sighed, "That cat could have killed you if it wasn't for Moonberry"
Shadow didn't say anything. He thought Wait... What?
Dragon asked, "Remember? That cat was insane, and his claws were like... Thorns."
Shadow mewed, "Yes, Dragon..."
Dragon mewed, "Are you okay, Shadow?"
"I've felt worse if that's what you mean." Shadow mewed.
Dragon didn't say anything. "You look like your dying," she mewed.
"Thanks." Shadow growled. He opened his eyes and looked at Dragon. "I'm fine Dragon, I'm not dying."
Dragon looked at him as if she wasn't convinced. Then she shrugged, "Well, we won the battle anyways, everyone's okay."
Shadow closed his eyes again, I am dying... he thought, wanting to tell Dragon, but didn't want to worry her. He asked, "Where's River?"
"With Yarrow, he's the reason we won." Dragon said in a surprised voice.
"You know that myth Mizu told us about?" Dragon asked.
"Well, It's true." Dragon mewed with awe in her voice.
"All of it?" Shadow asked.
"Every single one of it." Dragon mewed.
"Are you sure your alright?" Dragon mewed, "I mean, Moonberry got him off you, but he still managed to drive his claws in your neck."
"I'll be fine." Shadow reassured her.
Dragon looked at him, "You never could lie, Shadow..." she murmured.
Shadow growled again, "I'm fine." he stood up to prove it, but he flinched from the pain.
Dragon sighed, "Everyone's asleep, you should rest." Dragon didn't wait for him to answer, she padded away swiftly, leaving Shadow alone in the den.
Shadow sighed, curling up in the nest. He closed his eyes, Dragon knows me too well.... he thought. Drifting off into sleep.
He opened his eyes, but it was obvious he was dreaming. He looked around, Not again... It was the same dream he's had over and over since his mother died, and it was getting annoying.
Not of importance, he thought annoyed, Doesn't mean anything.
A she-cats voice mewed softly, "Are you so sure this dream holds no importance?"
Shadow closed his eyes, answering, "There is nothing of importance, it's just the past."
He opened his eyes to see a young Dragon and a younger version of himself arguing.
Dragon whined, "I thought it was going to be a she-cat."
"I told you not to get your hopes up!"
"Shut up, you jinxed me." Dragon hissed.
Shadow padded past them. Mewing again, "There is nothing of importance here mother." He looked straight at the she-cat. The she-cat was silver-gray with eyes as blue as ice.
"You know as well as I do that it is not true." His mother murmured. Shadow sighed, then looked around. The trees surrounding the clearing were dark, the leaves had already changed colour, signaling it was fall.
He noticed something in the bushes. Watching the two kittens argue. The two kittens finally stopped arguing, and Shadow heard their mother call, but it was faint. "Come on Dragon, we can continue arguing when we get home." The young Shadow mewed.
"Whatever." Dragon grunted. Following Shadow. Shadow saw the cats gaze full of triumph, and he disappeared.
His mother murmured, "Do you see? You knew he was there, you just didn't want to mention it to Dragon."
"I'm not mouse-brained, I can tell that the cat wasn't very friendly." Shadow sighed.
The she-cat started to fade, Shadow was only left with a warning, "No one is my son, watch, the Moon you know has gone dark..." The words echoed around Shadow. He flicked his tail, the dream was also starting to fade.
He woke up to Dragon poking him, "Hey?" she asked.
"Stop poking me." he growled.
"Sorry." Dragon grunted. Stepping away from Shadow, "Feel any better?" she asked.
"Sure." Shadow mewed.
"Well, I have a plan!"
"Was that your plan that almost got me killed?" Shadow asked.
"Um... No..." Dragon stammered, "I wasn't planning on that!"
River peaked in, "Maybe we should help the clan cats."
Dragon mewed, "They said they were only decendents, not clan cats."
River asked, "What's the difference?" She didn't wait for an answer, only ignored them and walked away.
"Oh dear, she's turning into you." Shadow joked.
"Shut it." Dragon mumbled.
"Sorry," Shadow mewed. Yarrow ran into the den, stepping on Dragons tail, "Oops, sorry Dragon," he took his paw off her tail and mewed, "Moonberry has a plan to chase the rogues out."
Dragon nodded, "Good, but there's something I don't trust about her though," she shrugged, "Might just be me though." Dragon and Yarrow padded out, Shadow followed them.
Moonberry was on a tree branch. Looking down at the small band of cats.
Stormfrost saw Shadow, "Eh? Oh you're okay! Great!" the tom looked excited, "We actually have a chance." he looked at Moonberry with attentive eyes. Moonberry shook her head. Then leaped down.
Shadow mewed, "She seems okay..." he tippied his head in confusion.
"Yeah.. But, she's sneaky and devious," Dragon grunted, "I can't trust her, she doesn't seem to be all goody goody as everyone else thinks."
Shadow stayed silent, a small group of kits were watching also. Yarrow shook his head, "Well, we won't find out anything just sitting here, Dragon, if you don't trust her, you got to find a way to prove she's not trustworthy." Yarrow mewed flatly, and walked away.
Dragon looked at Shadow, who shrugged, "He has a point you know." Shadow mewed.
Dragon flicked her tail. and looked up when Stormfrost padded up to her, looking nervous as he mewed, "M-Moonberry wants us to explore the moors a bit.. See if there are an cats there who want to join our cause." he looked at her.
Dragon shrugged, "Sure." and followed him away from Shadow.
Shadow flicked his tail, Looks like someone likes my sister. he thought amused. Moonberry padded up to him and asked, "Are you alright?" there was something in her eyes, something that wasn't evil, but wasn't exactly worth trusting also.
Shadow mewed, "I'm fine."
Moonberry seemed convinced, "We're going to drive the rogues out of our home, they have been killing us for far too long!" she mewed.
Shadow looked at her. "How can you be so confident that it will work?" he asked.
Moonberry mewed, "They fight with darkness, but I'm planning to make that their weak spot, because we have someone here that can do that."
Shadow raised an eye-brow. "And who would that be?" he asked.
Moonberry looked at him. "You." she mewed.
"And why should I do it?" he asked, narrowing his eyes.
Moonberry mewed, "Shadow, this might be the chance we've been waiting for, if you and your family don't want to stay, that's fine, but please help us, we've been deprived of our home for too long, it's pretty much destroyed!" she was getting desperate.
Shadows gaze softened, knowing what it was like to be chased out of your home. "Fine, I'll help." Shadow mewed, "What would you have me do though?"
"When we go to lauch their surprise attack, you're going to give us a signal, they won't even realise your there, because we're going to do this at night, where they won't see you, and they also won't see us." Moonberry mewed, relieved.
Shadow twitched his tail, then shrugged, "Alright, but we can't beat them with our sorry lot, you cats really need to get healthy again." he mewed.
Moonberry sighed, "We've been trying."
Shadow looked at her, being confident was not the same as looking confident, her ribs were showing through her fur, and her eyes were now dull.
Shadow mewed, "Not hard enough it looks like." he hesitated and continued, "What have you been doing while the rogues were in your camp?"
Moonberry mewed, "Nothing.."
Shadow nodded. "That's your problem right there." he mewed, and looked at some younger cats, who were watching him with wide eyes, he looked back at Moonberry, "Those young ones aren't kits.."
"No, they're apprentices, their mentors died in the last raid, they haven't been getting any training at all.." Moonberry muttered, sadness in her eyes.
Shadow mewed, "Well, we're going to have to change that.."
Moonberry looked at him, then the fire was back in her eyes. "Alright, would you be willing to teach them?" she asked.
Shadow nodded. "Yarrow needs training too, so I might as well." he mewed.
Moonberry nodded and looked at the two apprentices. "Rainpaw, Skypaw, come here!" she called to them, and they went to her quickly and shakily, and they asked, "Yes, Moonberry?"
Moonberry looked at Shadow. "Shadow is willing to mentor you." she mewed.
Rainpaw and Skypaw looked at him with wide and fearful eyes, and Shadow was taken-aback. Rainpaw and Skypaw looked back at Moonberry, then they sighed, "Alright."
Skypaw looked at Shadow, "Are you one of them?" she asked, eyes narrowed.
Shadow looked confused, then mewed, "You mean those rogues.. No, I can't be, my sisters were captured by them."
Skypaw relaxed, then mewed, "Sorry."
Rainpaw, who also relaxed, "Yeah, they killed a whole lot of us, there used to be more of us, but they all died of sickness or battle." she mewed.
Shadow looked at them, they both looked underfed, and weak. Shadow sighed, then flicked his tail, "You two, follow me." he mewed. They both nodded, and followed him closely out of the camp, sticking close to him with fearful eyes, watching the darkness.
Shadow led them far away from the pine forest, and headed toward the lake, Skypaw and Rainpaw seemed to relax. Shadow looked at them, and he mewed, "Alright, show me what you can do." he turned to them, watching them carefully.
Skypaw and Rainpaw looked at each-other confused, then looked at Shadow.
Shadow asked, "What's wrong?"
Rainpaw sighed, and padded in front, crouching, staring at Shadow. Shadow looked at her flatly, and Rainpaw finally leaped, paws oustretched, Shadow narrowed his eyes, jumping into the darkness. Rainpaw looked around, eyes wide.
"Be watchful when your enemy does this, because they could come from anywhere, this gives them the upper hand." Shadow mewed, moving between the undergrowth. Rainpaw looked around in a panic, Shadow thought, Panic is not the best way to deal with your enemy disappearing...
He mewed, "Don't panic, Rainpaw, that's how they get you!" he then leaped into the tress, and sighed with annoyance when she still panicked.
Shadow finally leaped out of the darkness, pinning Rainpaw down, and she had wide fearful eyes, staring up at Shadow.
Shadow let her stand up, and shook his head, "I told you not to panic, your supposed to stay calm." he mewed, staring at them both.
Skypaw growled, Shadow admired her spirit, now if she was a bit healthier, and not under fed, she'd be a dangerous enemy.
Skypaw padded forward, eyes narrowed, staring at Shadow. Shadow looked at her, a bit confused, he never saw so much hate in a young cats eyes.
She leaped, claws unsheathed, his eyes widened, and he dodged the blow jumping into the undergrowth, leaping into the tree and watched her. She looked around with narrowed eyes, Shadow leaped out of the tree just as her back was turned, but he was taken by surprise when she turned swiftly, her claws outstretched, aiming to kill.
Shadow slammed into her, and Rainpaw looked horrified. Skypaw snarled as she tussled with Shadow, and she leaped into the darkness, Shadow followed, knowing exactly where she was because of her white pelt.
He leaped, landing on her back, she screamed, and he finally pinned her down. Skypaw froze for a second, staring at him with eyes filled with sadness and hatred, she started to growl, and Rainpaw mewed something, but Shadow did not hear her, because Skypaw kicked him off her, he turned around just to meet Skypaw.
Her claws slashed the air, he dodged every blow, confused on her sudden anger.
Rainpaw cried, "Skypaw stop! He's not him!"
Skypaw froze, looking at Rainpaw with narrowed eyes, "It has to be him, he fights just like him! He looks like him too!" she yowled.
Rainpaw mewed, "But it's not, if he was, he would have killed you, and that whole time he never hurt you!"
Skypaw blinked, and looked at Shadow, and put her paw down. She whimpered, "I'm sorry..."
Shadow looked confused, then shrugged, "How about we stop, and go hunting?" he asked, looking at the two she-cats.
Rainpaw and Skypaw nodded, and they followed him deeper into the forest, hunting as they got back to camp.
Dragon and Stonefrost were back, with quite a large quantity of cats, who looked skeptical, and stared around. Dragon saw Shadow, and padded up to him surprised, "Were you attacked?!" she asked.
Shadow shook his head. "The apprentices like to fight rough, that's all." he mewed, looking at the newcomers, "Where'd you get those cats?"
"The moors." Dragon mewed smugly, "Mind you, they weren't very trusting when they first saw us."
A cat from the group hissed, "Why should we? A rogue and a Shadowclan cat walking into our camp without warning isn't a very good way to make an impression." he glared at Stonefrost especially.
Moonberry mewed, "Please calm down, you obviously came here because you want the rogues out just as much as we do, so let's get started, and don't kill each-other while your at it!"
Shadow led the small hunting party towards the lake, sticking to the shadows, because Moonberry had suggested that he try and teach the dark-pelted cats to learn to become part of the darkness. Nightpelt, a young and obnoxcious tom asked, "So, where is all the prey?"
Nightpelt was a pitch black tom with emerald eyes, he always thought that he was the best at everything, but Shadow was betting that he had no idea how to swim, because usually Windclan cats don't.
Shadow jumped into the tree, and disappeared into the darkness, with Nightpelt close behind him, since they were the only black cats in the whole patrol, they usually scouted ahead to make sure there wasn't any danger, and he was a natural at blending into the shadows, but he was a bit hyper to really blend in, because the enemy could hear from from probably miles away.
Shadow sniffed the air, he held his tail up, scenting rogue. He watched the bushes carefully, and glared at Nightpelt, making sure he would not give away where they were.
Soon enough, a patrol of lion like cats padded out of the undergrowth. Their eyes scanning the trees and the undergrowth, but luckily, they did not see the two cats watching them. When they disappeared back into the under-growth, Nightpelt asked, "Should we follow them?"
Shadow thought for a moment, tipping his head, then looked at Nightpelt, "Fine, but if they even smell us we both get out of there, Got it?" he mewed as he glared at Nightpelt. "And we must be quiet also, so there will be a less chance of them finding out."
Nightpelt nodded and mewed, "Don't worry, you won't even know I'm here." he then procedded to close his jaw, and put his paw on it, watching Shadow.
Shadow rolled his eyes, and followed their scent, staying in the dark trees, they soon caught up to them, watching their every move, and listening to their every whisper.
As they got deeper into the Pine forest, Nightpelt and Shadow slid to the ground quietly, stepping on the ground lightly as they continued to follow the patrol of two cats.
They started mewing, "I haven't had a scent of the rogue cats since the battle, do you think they finally got the message and ran off to die, and get eaten by crows?" the younger one asked, his voice filled with victory, "I'd be glad if they were finally finished off!"
The older one grumbled, "Don't underestimate them, the Windclan cats have suddenly disappeared, and I don't like where it is going." he continued to pad along.
"But, I heard.. I wasn't there at the battle of course, but do they seriously have a star-carrier thingy, one of those super powerful and magical cats?" he asked, starting to get even more excited.
"Yes, yes, and a visionary too, they have too much cats ever since those forest rogues came, the lying rogue cats are starting to regain hope, which is bad for us," the older tom grunted, staring into the darkness, "They could be watching us right now, and we wouldn't even know."
Shadow and Nightpelt started to back away warily, but stopped when the younger one asked, "Why do you say that?"
The older one sighed, "Because, they have dark-pelted cats, and two black pelted ones, ones that can blend into the darkness with just a flick of their tail," he mewed, then shrugged, "But we scouted the whole area, and there's no sign of them."
The younger one relaxed, "I so want to rip them to shreds!" he unsheathed his claws, swiping the air, "Once I'm done with them, there won't be any of those silly lying rogue cats left!" he yowled.
The older cat stopped, "You go ahead, I need to eat." he mewed to the younger cat, and he nodded, and bounded away.
Shadow and Nightpelt were about to hurry away, but the older cat asked, "Having fun you two?"
Shadow looked at Nightpelt, and flicked his tail, signaling Nightpelt to go back, and he stepped out of the undergrowth. "You're smart." Shadow growled, preparing for a fight.
The old tom closed his eyes. "I don't want this you know, I really don't, so put your claws away, before you alert the enemy," he mewed.
Shadow didn't move, so the tom mewed, "I see... You are not quick to trust, good..." he looked at Shadow. "You are Shadow, are you not?" he asked, staring at Shadow.
Shadow raised an eye-brow, "Yes, how do you know?" he backed up, suddenly feeling small next to the tom.
"I knew your mother, yes, your mother, Frost, she was a wonderful cat, but I had to leave the forest because of the steady growing number of two-legs, I tried to warn her, but she never did listen to me," he mewed, "Kind of like you." he laughed.
Shadow stared. "You-you knew our mother? Frost always said I was like our dad, but we never got to know him because he died, or that's what she told us." he mewed.
The tom sighed, "I don't want this war, I'm a clan cat at heart," he mewed, "I won't tell anyone you and your little friend were here, just try not to do it again."
Shadow narrowed his eyes, and nodded, retreating back into the darkness. Following the path quickly into the forest.
He stopped inside the territory, and padded back to camp, wondering why the tom didn't kill him right then and there, he could have, but he didn't.
When he padded into camp, the fresh-kill pile was growing steadily bigger, and thorns were guarding the camp entrance, and all den entrances.
Stonefrost mewed to Dragon, "Thanks for helping us put all those thorns at the entrance, that was a good idea!"
Dragon flicked her tail. "It was nothing, you can't beat rogues with an open camp!" she mewed confidently, "Protection is what we need, then we can start training the young cats how to really fight!"
Stonefrost nodded excited, "Yeah! Then we could finally beat those rogues once and for all!" he mewed triumphiantly.
Dragon nodded, "Yeah... But too bad, you'll probably want to start ShadowClan up again after, the pine forest, as you've told me, was Shadowclan's home." she mewed with happiness, "But at least you get your clan back again!"
Shadow saw hurt flash in Stonefrosts eyes, and mewed, "We'll still be able to say hi to each-other! I think the clans have learned their lesson about fighting!"
Dragon nodded, Shadow wouldn't blame her if, after the battle, she wanted to help Stonefrost rebuild Shadowclan.
Shadow heard River, "Do you think Dragon likes Stonefrost?" he looked behind him to see River padding up to him, sadness in her eyes.
"Maybe." he mewed, understanding her sadness.
River sighed, "Have we come this far.. Just to be seperated?" she asked, staring at Shadow, her and Yarrow have become distant over the past few days, barely even talking to each-other.
Shadow stayed silent, he wasn't exactly sure what River was talking about, but he agreed with her, they came this far together, but now they might seperate. River sighed, and walked away, tail drooping.
Shadow sighed, going back to watch Dragon and Stonefrost, sadness also flashing in his eyes, realising that Dragon would choose to help Stonefrost.
Moonberry looked around with trumph in her eyes.
Shadow saw Dragon pad up to him, and she asked, "Hey, are you alright?"
Shadow looked at her. "Yeah, I'm fine, why?" he mewed, staring straight ahead.
Dragon rolled her eyes, and padded away, flicking her tail angrily, hating not knowing anything. Shadow shook his head, and padded to the den, very few cats were in here most of the time, because there were not many cats.
He sighed, suddenly not convinced that these numbers will be enough, and their current state will not be helpful.
Shadow then did something he would probably regret, he padded out of the den, and looked around, he hurried out of the camp. He rushed through the darkness, heading toward a small island in between to large rivers, willows shading the island, and a rocky path leading to the island.
He jumped on rock, then looked around, he stopped when another cat padded toward him. "What's a rogue doing here? Don't you prefer the forest to the rivers?" she asked, her eyes narrowing.
Shadow saw that she had several others behind her, but they were hiding in the trees. "I didn't know cats like you prefered to hide in trees, from what I heard, you prefer the river." he mewed.
The she cat muttered, "We do." a bit of confusion in her eyes. "We can swim, can you?"
Shadow didn't answer, and she mewed, "I see.... Why are you here?"
"The forest cats need your help, they want to chase the rogues out." he mewed flatly, staring at her.
"Why should we help them? They didn't help us, and they couldn't fight a mouse! I've seen how they are, prove to me that they have a chance now!" she growled.
Shadow looked at the cats. "How about a battle against three of you?" he asked.
The she-cats eyes widened, "Fine, against only you?" her eyes than narrowed.
"Just me." he mewed. Two cats padded out of the bushes, fear soon flashing in their eyes as they registered at the cat standing before them.
The she-cat mewed, "I hope you can swim."
"Don't worry, I won't need to swim." Shadow mewed back, then flicked his tail, "What are you waiting for?"
The she-cat put her ears back, and nodded to the she-cat to her right. "Go on, Lilywater." she mewed with smugness. Lilywater nodded, her sharp emerald eyes narrowing, and soon she jumped onto the stones, staring at Shadow, planning her attack.
Shadow dodged when she jumped and that caused her to lose her balance to fall. She got to the surface, and hissed something, leaping out of the water, and went to attack him again.
Shadow saw a tree branch right over head, he jumped high into the trees shadows, and watching Lilywater. "Why are you just standing there Lilywater?" a cat asked.
"Where are you?!" she yelled, looking up, and narrowing her eyes, Shadow slinked to the ground behind the she-cat that first greeted him, and the tom with her.
He leaped over them, and pushed Lilywater into the water, they stared at him in shock.
Shadow mewed boredly, "Come on." When Lilywater got out to the shore, all the cats watched. The she-cat nodded to the tom, and they padded toward Shadow, claws unsheathing.
When they both leaped at once, he stepped back, they both landed on the same rock, and slipped deep into the water. They got out, then headed back to their shore, Shadow decided to attack, he ran toward them, he leaped into the darkness. They turned to face him, but their eyes went confused.
Shadow climbed the tree slowly and quietly, and then leaped out, pinning them both down, claws unsheathed. The tom was a bit panicky, but the she-cat mewed, "You're good, fine, we'll listen."
He let her and the tom up, and she mewed, "I'm Riverfall, this is Reedwind." she flicked her tail to the tom beside her.
"I'm Shadow." he mewed flatly.
Reedwing narrowed his eyes. "You're well trained in fighting with darkness, how do we know your not one of those murderous rogues?" he asked suspiciously.
"You're not dead are you?" Shadow asked, eyeing him.
Reedwind went silent, then shook his head.
Riverwind asked quietly, "Alright, Shadow, why do you want our help?" she raised an eye-brow, looking at Shadow.
Shadow sighed, and flicked his tail, "Moonberry wants us to grow in numbers and strength, sadly, we don't have many numbers, and they are underfed," he mewed, "You seem to be getting along fine."
Riverfall flicked her tail, "We stay on this island, it's safe for us, since most of the rogues don't know how to swim, and they hate fish." she mewed, looking at Shadow once again.
Reedfrost puffed out his tail, "Retreat to the bushes, I smell carrion!" he yowled.
The cats backed up quickly, retreating to the bushes, Riverfall stopped and looked at Shadow. "You better hide." she mewed.
Shadow looked around, then just jumped into a tree, flicking his tail to Riverfall, puffing out his black fur, and watching the river with narrowed eyes.
Riverfall whispered, "It's either rogues or dogs..."
Shadow seemed confused. "Dogs?" he asked.
She nodded. "Yes, but they are really mouse-brained, why just the other day, one ran into a tree." she mewed, rolling her eyes. When they heard a crash, they froze. Staring at the bushes, and a large brown thing trampled out, barking and growling.
Shadow mused, "So that's a dog?" his ear flicking as it went to paddle across the river, staring at where the cats are.
Riverfall seemed to fall silent, the dog had froze when it climbed to the river-bank, and it was now sniffing the air. Riverfall whispered, "One thing though, they have amazing sense of smell." She backed up a bit, when the dog took a couple bounds foward.
Reedwing whimpered, "It can kill us with one bite, I swear it!"
When it finally crashed into the bushes, it whisked some cats aside, and cornered Riverfall. Riverfall was protecting a young kit, her eyes angry.
Shadow turned to the dog, and unsheathed his claws, he caught Riverfalls eye, then leaped, landing straight on the dogs back, and digging his claws in, then leaped off.
The dog whipped around, when Riverfall stared at Shadow, he mewed, "Get the kit out of here!"
Riverfall grabbed the kit, and ran up a tree, the dog walked towards Shadow, it's teeth bared. It's eyes wide and staring. Shadow didn't break eye-contact as he backed up, swishing his tail back and forth.
The dog seemed a bit shocked at Shadow keeping eye-contact, it flicked it's tail, and barked, and walked forward once again.
Shadow narrowed his eyes, and backed up onto the river stones, still keeping eye-contact with the dog, waiting until he thought the dog was distracted enough not to go after the Riverclan cats.
He jumped to the other shore, then jumped into a tree, watching as the dog tried to climb up. The dog barked, then just stood there, staring up at Shadow with indifferent eyes.
As they had a staring compitition, they flinched when there was a noise in the bushes, they both looked up, and stared as two cats padded through the bushes. Shadow widened his eyes horrified, it was Dragon and River, who seemed confused.
When the dog turned to look at them, Shadow tried to signal to them to back away, but of course, they didn't listen. "Hey, Shadow! Since when were there dogs here?" Dragon asked, looking at the dog with interest and some fear.
Shadow shook, his eyes widened. "Dragon! Back up, that's a dog, you know that!" he mewed in a strained voice, staring down at the dog.
River whimpered, she backed into the bush, the dog had got a sudden interest for the two cats, it looked away from the tree, and headed towards them, it's panting getting more and more excited at every step.
Dragon seemed to be alarmed, she puffed up, unsheathing her claws, and baring her teeth. The dog snarled, swishing it's bushy tail, and it's gaze flicked between the two she-cats hungrily.
Shadow yelled in a surprised voice, "Dragon! You know this won't be a fight you'll win!" he unsheathed his claws when the dog bounded for them.
Shadow leaped, landing right on the dogs back, I am not going to win this fight either though... he thought as the dog barked in surprise, twisting and turning.
When the dog smashed onto it's side, Shadow felt a tremor of shock go through him. He was frozen for a couple of seconds, that gave the dog time to make another advance.
Shadow got up quickly, flinching from the pain from the dog smashing him into the ground. He ran towards the dog once again, biting it's tail, and pulling it's tail as hard as he could. The dog whined, and whipped around, causing Shadow to let go of it's tail.
Shadow shook once again, staring at the dog. Dragon looked at Shadow horrified, and River whimpered some more, practically hiding behind Dragon, as Shadow faced the dog alone.
Shadow dodged to the side when the dog lashed out with razor sharp teeth. The dog seemed to expect that though, because he used his paw to meet Shadow. Shadow tumbled, seeing double because of the dogs paw, he wasn't entirely sure what was going on, but he knew the dog was near him.
He rolled away when the dog lashed out again, barking in frustration. He stopped, tired of all the fighting with the dog, and his vision was going dark, he only heard the dog, which was whimpering and whining, he looked around, alarmed that the world had went dark, and he called, "Dragon!?"
He heard something rush over to him, and mew loudly, "Shadow? You should see this! A bunch of cats are attacking the dog at once!"
He blinked, "Well, sorry, I can't." he mewed, "What's happening?" he asked.
It suddenly went silent, the only sounds were scuffling and twigs breaking, then that also went silent. "You must be the bravest cat I know, or the most mouse-brained one," Riverfalls voice said, Shadow could almost hear the approval in her voice, "It's not something we see everyday, a cat trying to take a dog on his own, I'm amazed."
Shadow blinked a couple times, and the world started coming back to focus, he looked around, and the dog was nowhere in sight.
He mewed, "Yeah, well.. I wasn't exactly thinking either." he stood up, shaking himself, "How did you take on that dog?"
Reedwind padded up to them, "Well, if one cat can't take a dog on, then you need more cats to take one on." he mewed, impressed.
Shadow looked at Riverfall, who's eyes were sparkling with more then awe, she was hiding something. Riverfall looked at Dragon, then looked at Shadow, "I think you and me should have a talk, alone," she added with a glance to Reedwind and Dragon, then flicked her tail, "Follow me."
Shadow seemed confused, and followed her, they stopped in a dark clearing, even though the sun was out, it was covered with shadows of the willow trees. "Now tell me, Night hunter, how did you come across the clans?" she asked, narrowing her eyes.
"What? Night hunter?" Shadow looked at her, "What's a night hunter?" he asked.
"Well, it's not exactly just a cat, it's a group, a legend to be precise, even more legendary then the carriers and the stones themselves," Riverfall mewed, "The Night hunters were a band of black pelted cats, who could blend into the shadows and disappear with a flick of their tail, they were dangerous, legend has it, they were led by Shadow him or herself, but for all we know, it could be led by just shadow."
Shadow asked, "But.. Why did you just call me a night hunter?"
"Because, I saw you disappear when you were fighting Lilywater, I never saw a black pelted cat that could disappear so quickly, I thought night hunters were a myth." she mewed.
Shadow looked at her. "I was taught to disappear like that from my mother." he mewed, looking at the shadows.
Riverfall asked, "Was she a black cat?"
"No, she was a gray cat, but she could disappear quickly to.." Shadow mused.
"What about your father, Shadow? Was he black pelted?" she asked.
"I.. I don't know," he shrugged, "I never met him."
Riverfall looked upset, "Oh.. I'm sorry..." she mewed.
"It's fine." he grunted.
"Anyways, there's more to the Night Hunters, yes, they were said to be a legend.. But now, I'm not so sure anymore." Riverfall mewed, glancing at Shadow from time to time.
Shadow listened as she told him about the Night hunters.
"The night hunters, where to even start... Well, before the clans, I mean.. Way before the clans, there was a small group of cats, that continued and persisted to fight, and there was so much death," she stopped for a second, "One cat, the only black cat in that ever getting smaller group of quarreling cats, believed that it should stop, or else, the entire group would be killed, and there would be no more cats." she mewed.
"So, he travelled to a near camp, where small, hungry, dark pelted cats were wallowing and wishing for food, and something to help them," she mewed, and sighed, "They were a bit hostile when the cat came in their mist, but he promised them food and a proper home, so they started to follow him, wherever he went, wherever there was fighting between cats, they would jump in." River then got a sad look in her eyes.
"What?" Shadow asked.
"Well, when they got big and powerful, they got more respected, and also feared. Then something happened to the leader.." Riverfall mewed, "Apparently, the leader fell in love with a beautiful gray and white she-cat, with eyes as soft as the moon," she looked away. "But, the she-cat actually wanted to kill him, and destroy the night hunters, she succeeded with one part."
"Let me guess, she killed him?" he asked.
"Yes, and she almost killed all of the night hunters, who felt so betrayed they vowed never to interact with the group cats anymore, and after that, they disappeared all together, but, the she-cat was also betrayed, and was killed by a night hunter who loved the leader for real," Riverfall muttered, "Then, they just... faded away, like they were never there in the first place."
Shadow mused, "So, the other night hunters must have loved other cats too, or there still wouldn't be night hunters."
Riverfall nodded, "But the night hunters are all gone, they were gone a long time ago, but that's the weird part, they are gone, how can there be still cats like you who can disappear so quickly?" she asked.
Riverfall sighed, "My clan will help you, Shadow, but... There is a prophecy, and I'm sure it's starting to happen now."
Shadow looked at her.
"Flowerwind, our medicine cat, I found her having this weird.. Vision, and she said "The dark side of the moon approaches, be warned Riverfall, the moon cannot be trusted, but the hunter of the night can," then it stopped and she said "I think the hunter of the night is in trouble." but we niether had no idea, but she did tell me she saw a black pelted cat being hunted by the moon, or, the gray and white she cat with soft gray eyes." she mewed.
Shadow mused, "So you think the hunter of the night is me?"
"Yes, and I think the moon, is your leader, Moonberry, that's her name right?" she asked, looking at Shadow, "She's likely using the same way that the old Moon used to get to the leader."
Shadow muttered, "She has been acting strange around me."
"Don't trust her, Shadow, don't let her get to you." River mewed firmly. Shadow looked at her, and wondered why she was telling him this, and why she was so suddenly willing to follow him over a legend.
Shadow was sitting in front of Moonberry, with the Riverclan cats behind him, glaring at Moon with hate and distrust, their teeth close to baring. Moonberry looked amazed, "I don't know how you did it, Shadow, I couldn't convince them to join our cause." she mewed.
Riverfall muttered, "We don't trust you, we trust Shadow."
"Ah, still hanging on old legends, which are not true, and will not come true?" she asked, her eyes narrowing, "You're going to go crazy if you keep hanging on to legends for hope."
Riverfall bristled, "It's not myth! We have proof that the legends, these stories, are real, just are real as these.. Destructive stones of yours!" she growled, looking at Moon, and unsheathing her claws.
Moonberry laughed, "Oh, you have no proof! That legend shouldn't come true, the prophecy at the end of the story foretells the danger if the legend does come true."
"The only danger is you!" Reedwing hissed.
"The only danger is me? How about you?" Moonberry hissed back.
Yarrow thought they were being really, really irrational, he could tell Shadow thought the same, because he was flicking his tail with annoyance.
"Do we have to argue over this?" Shadow asked, losing his temper every second they fought.
"Well, don't you think Riverfall is being a bit irrational with this legend business?" Moonberry asked Shadow, narrowing her eyes.
Riverfall countered her, "Don't you think Moonberry is being unfair to us?" Shadow just went silent, flicking his tail back and forth as the she-cats argued, Yarrow rolled his eyes, she-cats were always trouble.
Dragon looked annoyed, and River looked confused.
Riverfall hissed, "We can't come to an agreement, Moonberry! We can't trust you!" she looked at Shadow with sadness, "I can't follow you with her in the way!"
Shadow just bowed, and Nightpelt laughed, "Moonberry does have a point though, the Night hunters have been dead for a while."
Nightpelt went silent from Riverfalls glare, and Nightpelt bowed, "Although.. I do agree with you...." he mewed.
Riverfalls gaze softened, and she looked at Shadow. "I guess we will see you later, Shadow." she mewed, bowing her head in sadness.
Shadow looked at Moonberry. "Do you really need to argue about legends?" he asked.
Riverfall answered, "It's fine, Shadow, we'd rather follow you than her."
Shadow looked at her with sad eyes, then looked at Dragon, who's ears started to go back slowly, and she shrugged.
Riverfall looked at Shadow, "Are you thinking of coming with us?" she asked, eyes wide. Moonberry seemed angered, but it was gone in a instant, which confused Yarrow.
"Well, if I don't, we'll never win against the rogues." Shadow mewed, looking at Dragon, "Don't kill Yarrow, will you?"
Dragon laughed. "I'll try not to, Shadow." Shadow nodded, and looked at Moonberry. "I think Riverfall will only help you if I'm leading them." he mewed, then walked out of camp with the large group of Riverclan cats, and surprisingly Nightpelt.
Dragon then seemed upset, used to having someone from her family that was her age, she then looked at River, who was still confused.
Yarrow sighed, looking at Moonberry, she had her teeth bared, looking at the ground. "What's she so mad about? We got Riverclan on our side," Dragon hissed silently, looking at Moonberry with distrust, "I agree with Riverfall, she really is untrustworthy."
Stonefrost muttered, "That doesn't matter."
Dragon looked at him confused, then shrugged.
A black pelted tom from Windclan growled, "I have half of mind to follow Shadow too." there were some nods of agreement from the darker pelted Windclan cats, most of the dark pelts were black pelted.
Moonberry was already in the tree, and a black she-cat murmured, "Maybe we should..."
The tom and she-cat walked out, running to catch up with Riverclan.
"I think the legends are true, I mean..." a young black pelted apprentice from the original cats mewed, "The stones are real.. So why can't this legend?" He stood up, and followed the Windclan cats that had left, and soon it was only some cats left, murmuring, watching where Moonberry was.
Dragon looked smug, "Knew she wouldn't be able to keep influence for long." she mewed, chest puffed out, and eyes glittering dangerously.
After a couple days, Moonberry finally padded out, "I decided, we will attack the rogues in two days time, I need a messanger to tell Riverclan." she mewed.
Stonefrost called, "I will." soon, he was also running out of the camp.
Yarrow commented, "I guess we wait now."
"Yeah," Dragon muttered, "Wait." They didn't have to wait for long, Stonefrost came running back, panting, and telling them all Riverclan has agreed to the battle, but that Shadow and some other cats had disappeared a while ago, and their numbers had decreased.
Dragon looked horrified and murmured, "I hope Shadow will be alright..."
Moonberry murmured, "He will, I wonder.. Maybe Riverfall was right..."
Yarrow twitched, and he huffed, wanting the battle to hurry up and get here, there won't time left to take on the rogues.
Two days later, they were padding to the marshy territory, eyes flicking around, waiting for the Riverclan cats. Soon, Riverfall appeared, stoney gazed, and soon, they were advancing into the territory.
But surprisingly, they did not run into rogues as they ran to their camp. They looked into the dug out hollow, the rogues seemed to be waiting for them, they had a small stare down before Moonberry mewed, "I guess you knew we were coming."
"Yeah, I guess." A she-cat hissed, staring up at Moonberry.
Moonberry growled, "Attack!" Yarrow jumped on the nearest cat, but he was still not familiar with battle, so the tom easily threw him off.
Dragon was battling with a huge brown tom, Dragon was twice as small next to him, so she was easily thrown away.
River was having better luck though.
Yarrow heard Riverfall murmured, "Hurry...." He stared at the dark sky, and he suddenly saw shapes fly out out of the trees, attacking the clan cats, except the Riverclan cats.
Yarrow was pinned suddenly, and he yowled, "Ack!"
He took a look at his attacker, its moss green eyes flaring, and his teeth bared, his eyes flashing in anger.
"S-Shadow!" Yarrow yowled, squirming away, but Shadow had a grip, and when he finally recognized who it was he muttered, "Calm down, Yarrow, we aren't going to hurt you, the clan cats have got the rogues all wrong...."
"Wait? Was Dragon right about Moonberry?!" Yarrow yelled some more, only to have Shadow shut him up by stepping on his tail. "Yes, now stay right here, and don't move!"
Shadow hissed, and got off him, jumping back into the darkness. Moonberry growled, "So Riverfall, I guess you brought the legend to you I guess."
"They came with us freely!" Riverfall hissed, "You aren't a clan cat, you're a rogue, these "Rogues" as you call them, are the actual descendents!"
Stonefrost seemed stressed, standing behind Moon. "I cant believe the night hunters are real..." he murmured, staring into the darkness, where eyes watched them carefully, circling them. Moonberry laughed, some cats that were following her looked nervous, but got more confidence and started to caterwaul with her.
Riverfall then leaped, grappling onto Moonberry. Then the battle started again, with Moon and her followers losing, the night hunters were too well trained with darkness, and kept picking them off as they got more cocky.
Moonberry yowled, "Retreat!" She ran, with her more faithful followers following her, and she called back, "This isn't finished, I'll make sure the legend never comes true!"
All the cats huddled in a group, staring as the Night hunters circled them, staring at them. Riverfall rolled her eyes playfully, "Alright guys, the battle is over, you can stop with the acting now!" she laughed, and the black pelted cats started laughing too.
Nightpelt yowled from the Night hunters, "That was awesome!"
Another cat agreed, "We need to do this more often!" Shadow stopped circling them, but the others still did, mewing in victory, and Riverfall mewed, "Told you it would work!"
Dragon looked at Shadow confused, and Riverfall continued, "Shadow didn't think the plan would work."
Shadow shrugged, "I had reason to believe it wouldn't." he mewed.
Nightpelt jumped around them. "But it did! Yay!" he yowled in victory, and the clan cats joined him, and so did the "Rogues".
The rogues introduced themselves to the ex-followers of Moon, their leader was Nox.
Nox looked at Shadow. "Good thing we agreed not to hurt any of the cats that would not follow Moonberry after finding out!" he mewed.
Shadow nodded, and some black-pelted cats gathered behind him, whispering. "I got to hand it to you, Riverfall, I really didn't think it would work." Shadow mewed, flicking his tail.
"But it did, and we won," Riverfall mewed with admiration, "You thought it wouldn't work, but you went with it anyways."
Nightpelt laughed, "We scared them off with this Night Hunter business, they ran with their little tails between their legs!"
The black pelted cats started to yowl in victory again. Riverfall mewed, "Well yes, but you heard Moon, it isn't finished until the rest of the night hunters are dead," she looked at Shadow. "That's why we're going to take our plan furthur, Shadow." she nodded.
Shadow nodded, and looked at the black pelted cats, and they all nodded, soon following him into the darkness.
And Yarrow could only watch as his brother disappeared into the night, followed by the black cats. Riverfal nodded to the others, and jumped into the darkness, heading to RiverClan territory.