Leader: Sky of the Night (Nightsky)-a pure black she-cat
Deputy: Halfmoon (Half the Moon)-a whitish-grayish tom
Healing Cat: Swiftfoot (Swift on her Feet) –a grayish- bluish and white she-cat
Starynight (Stary Night) –a gray tom
Sunset (Setting of the Sun) –orange tabby tom
Sunrise (Rise of the Sun) –yellow she-cat
Duskpelt (Dusk of the Night)-brown tom
Darkmoon (Darkest Shade of Moon)-black she-cat
Skypelt (Pelt of the Sky) -bluish-grayish she-cat
Cometblaze (Blazing Comet) –a golden tabby she-cat
Sunstrike (Strike of the Sun) –a golden tabby
Cloudwillow (Cloudy Willow) –a fluffy gray she-cat
Skywatch (Watcher of the Sky) –a cream colored she-cat
Wintersky (Sky of Winter)-white-gray tom
Midnightshadow (Midnight’s Shadow)-a ginger tabby tom
Risingspirit (Spirit Rising)-gray tabby she-cat
Starflight (Star’s Flight)-an orange tortoiseshell she-cat
Moonshift (Moon’s Shine)-a blue tabby with a unique fur pattern
Asteroidleap (Asteroid’s Leap)-a silver and gray she-cat with black blotches and one blind eye
Meteorflare (Meteor’s Flare)-a red tabby tom with two unusual yellow stripes on his forehead
Fireeclipse (Fire Eclipse)-a handsome orange tom
Tigerheart (Tiger’s Heart)-an orange tabby with black stripes
Dusttail (Dusty Tail)-a dusty pale brown tom
Duskfur (Dusk Fur)-a dusky dark brown tom
Snowpetal (Petal of Snow)-a whitish-reddish she-cat (mother of Wintersky’s kits (Weather-a blue and white she-cat and Icy, a pale yellow tom)
Dawnflower (Flower at Dawn)-dawn colored she-cat
Breezetail (Tail in the Breeze) –a black and grey tabby she-cat with white markings
Cloudysun (Clouds of the Sun)-whitish-orangish she-cat
Shinningnight (Shinning Stars of the Night)-a white she-cat
Leader: Fur in the Gorse (Gorsefur)-greenish-brownish tabby tom
Deputy: Tallbreeze (Tall Trees in the Breeze) gray tom
Jadestep (Step of Jade)-a white she-cat with black spots
Summerair (Summer in the Air)-an orange-yellow-reddish she-cat
Rainstorm (Storm with Rain)-blue-gray tom
Stormcloud (Stormy Cloud)-blue-gray tabby tom
Windpool (Wind by the Pool)-bluish she-cat
Cracklefur (Crackle of Lightning)-brown tabby
Boomingthunder (Booming of Thunder)-grayish tabby tom
Whirlwind (Whirling Wind)-a silver tabby she-cat
Lightningshear (The Lightning’s Shear)-a black tabby tom
Sunshadow (Sun’s Shadow)-a pale yellow she-cat
Sonicboom (Sonic Boom)-grey she-cat
Floodwater (Flooding Water)-blue-gray she-cat
Fogwater (Foggy Water)-white she-cat
Lightningscar (Scar of Lightning)-an orange-yellow tabby with a scar running down his eye onto his neck
Leader: Fur of Crystals (Crystalfur)-pure white she-cat
Deputy: Winterair (Air of Winter)-white-blue she-cat
Firefrost (Fire’s Frost)-a red tabby tom
Hawkfrost (Frost of Hawk)-brown-white tabby tom
Frostytrail (Trail of Frost)-a black tom with jet white paws
Icyclaws (Claws of Ice)-a pure white tom
Hailfoot (Sky of Hail)-white-gray tom
Snowstorm (Storm of Snow)-white she-cat
Coldfangs (Fangs of Cold)-pale white tabby
Icecloud (Cloud of Ice)-pure white tom
Clearsnow (Clear Snow)-pale gray tabby tom
Icefire (Ice Fire)-a blue tortoiseshell tom
Snowdrop (Drop of Snow)-a bluish and whitish she-cat
Frostfire (Frosty Fire)-gray she-cat
Frostflower (Frost Flower)-a black she-cat
Jetfrost (Frosty Jet)-black tom with a white tail
Willowsleet (Willow in Sleet)-white tortoise shell she-cat
Snowfern (Ferns in Snow)-tortoise shell she-cat (Mother of Frosytrail’s kits (Frosted-a grayish-whitish tabby and Flake-an unusual black spotted she-cat)
Dewspot (Spots of Dew)-a gray she-cat with one huge white spot on her back
Leader: Tail of Cinder (Cindertail)-brown she-cat
Deputy: Redlight (Light of Red)-red tabby
Healing Cat: Bigheart (Big Heart)-a brown tabby tom who is completely blind
Goldenheart (Heart of Gold)-yellow she-cat
Silverfoot (Foot of Silver)-silver tortoise shell she-cat
Smokynose (Smoky Nose)-a smoky black tabby tom
Ashtail (Ash Tail)-a white-brown tabby
Leaffur (Fur made of Leaves)-dark tabby tom
Springshine (Sign of Spring)-white-brown she-cat
Blackheart (Heart of Black)-pale black tom
Pinefur (Fur of Pines)-short haired tabby
Waterflow (Water’s Flow)-bluish white tom
Greenpoppy (The Green Poppy)-a reddish-black she-cat
Ivyleaf (Ivy’s Leaf)-brown-greenish tom
Kinkpelt (Pelt of Kink)-gray-brown she-cat
Morninglight (Morning Light)-a tortoiseshell she-cat (Mother of Blackheart’s kit (Swift-a blue and white she-cat)
Forestleaf (Forest Leaf)-grayish greenish tortoiseshell she-cat
Runningrainbow (Running Rainbow)-white tom
Tawnyfur (Tawny Fur)-tortoise shell she-cat
Dustfur (Dusty Fur)-dusky pale brown tabby
Ripplepelt (Ripple Water)-dark gray tom
Leader: Pelt of Honey (Honeypelt)-orange-yellow she-cat
Deputy: Weaslefur (Weasle Fur)-brown furred tabby
Voleear (Vole’s Ear)-pure white she-cat with two brown ears
Shrewfern (Shrew in the Fern)-gray tabby tom
Birchfall (Falling Birch)-light brown tom
Earthwing (Wings of Earth)-brown tortoise shell she-cat
Rabbitfoot (Rabbit’s Foot)-white she-cat with pale brown paws
Mousewhisker (Whiskers of a Mouse)-a brown tabby tom
Grizzlynose (Grizzly’s Nose)-a black tom with a huge nose
Beetleeyes (Eyes of a Beetle)-greenish-grayish she-cat
Birdtrail (Trail of a Bird)-red-brown she-cat
Harespring (Spring of Hare)-white-brown tabby
Toadpelt (Toad’s Pelt)-dark brown tabby tom
Bumblestripes (Stripes of a Bee)-an unusually black stripped tom
Fishtail (Tail of Fish)-a silver-white she-cat
Squirreltail (Squirrel’s Tail)-a ginger she-cat with a bushy tail
Starlingfeather (Starling’s Feather)-a reddish she-cat
Wolfclaw (Wolf’s Claw)-a brownish gray tabby tom
Spikenose (Spiky Nose)-brown tom
Leopardpath (Final Leopard Path)-an orange she-cat with an unusual black spotted fur pattern
Snaketeeth (Snake’s Teeth)-whitish black she-cat with razor sharp teeth
Beestripe (Bee’s Stripe)-a pale yellow tabby tom with black stripes
Lionroar (Lion’s Roar)-yellow tabby she-cat
Bluebird (Blue Bird)-bluish she-cat
Fishtail (Tail of Fish)-a silver-white she-cat (Mother of Harespring’s kit (Bear-a white tabby she-cat)
Dragonfrost (Dragon’s Frost)-red and black she-cat
Everything has changed in the five tribes since you last saw it. All of these books in series two are several years after the battle with Blood Tribe. Ever since then, things have changed. For example, Risingmoon soon died a season later because of a wound that had gotten infected. After that, Nightsky had been chosen as a deputy. A moon after Nightsky was made deputy, Lightningclaw was killed in a battle with Tornado Tribe (from a deep wound) while trying to help Breezetail give birth to kits in the middle of the clearing of fighting cats. Two seasons after Lightningclaw’s death, Silence of the Night lost his nine lives by green cough and many battles. Soon after, Nightsky was made leader and she chose Halfmoon as her rightful deputy. I hope you enjoy this exciting series.
Tigerheart padded into camp with his mentor, Swiftfoot. It was a sunny afternoon so Swiftfoot had decided that they should go looking for herbs. He looked around the camp in shock. “What happened?” asked Swiftfoot running to Sky of the Night. “Another fire.” replied Sky of the Night. “They keep popping up everywhere at random moments.” Tigerheart looked at the black bracken. What does it mean, he thought looking at the sky. Ten moons ago, fire starting appearing randomly even when it was raining! No cat knows what it means. “Hey Tigerheart!” greeted Fireeclipse, Tigerheart’s brother as he walked into camp. The orange tom looked at him with his forest green eyes. “Come to the healing den after you talk with your brother.” instructed Swiftfoot padding away. Tigerheart nodded his head. He turned his green gaze back to Fireeclipse. Fireeclipse looked at him shyly. Tigerheart narrowed his eyes. “What are you up to?” he asked. “I’m not up to anything!” retorted Fireeclipse shuffling his paws. “Well then what?” snapped Tigerheart impatiently. “I don’t have all day.” “I-I-I think Starflight likes me.” whispered Fireeclipse staring at the pale yellow she-cat. Tigerheart rolled his eyes. “That’s nice. Now I got to go.” Leaving his brother to stare at Starflight alone, Tigerheart padded into the healing den. “Are you ready to go to The River of Our Ancestors?” asked Swiftfoot looking up from sorting herbs. Tigerheart looked at her in shock. “It’s time already?” he asked. “Yes. It’ll be moon down soon.” she answered looking at the darkening sky. “Ok then. Let’s go!” meowed Tigerheart enthusiastically.
As they came up the hill, Tigerheart saw the other healing cats; Jadestep with her apprentice Sonicboom, Firefrost, Bigheart with his apprentice Ivyleaf, and Voleear, a good friend of Swiftfoot’s; with her apprentice Lionroar. “Greetings.” meowed Swiftfoot dipping her head to the other healing cats. “Shall we get going?” The other healing cats dipped their heads in greeting. “Jadestep looks a lot like Halfheart.” muttered Swiftfoot to Tigerheart. Tigerheart padded beside his best friend, Sonicboom. “Hey Tigerheart.” greeted Sonicboom happily. “Hey Sonicboom.” replied Tigerheart. “Anything new?” she asked. Tigerheart shook his head. “No prophecies or dreams of danger. Why? Did you?” Tigerheart meowed suspiciously. “No of course not mouse-brain! Otherwise I would’ve told you!” answered Sonicboom. “I was just wondering if you had any prophecies on how to stop these fires from happening.” They walked the rest of the way in silence. Tigerheart finally heard the trickle of water going down a hill like a snake slithering up a tree. Tigerheart licked up the water in rhythm with the other healing cats and laid himself down to sleep. Let’s hope I can figure out what’s going on, he thought drifting off to sleep. He woke up in a green forest. A yellow tabby tom appeared in front of him. “Lightningclaw! Oh thank Sky Tribe!” meowed Tigerheart in relief. “I have to ask you some stuff…” Tigerheart was cut off by Lightningclaw. Tigerheart looked at him puzzled. The tom sighed. “Two have been chosen from each tribe to fight the fires. You are one of them. Meet the rest at the Peace Night place tomorrow night.” Tigerheart looked at him in shock. Cats to put out of fires? Meet at peace night tomorrow night? Tigerheart was about to speak but Lightningclaw had disappeared.
Dusttail stretched his aching bones. He and his brother, Duskfur, had been training all evening yesterday. “Hello Dusttail. It’s good to see you awake and ready to hunt.” greeted Dusttail’s mentor, Starynight. Dusttail sighed. “Yeah. Can’t wait.” he muttered under his breath as he followed Starynight out of camp with the patrol. Duskpelt, his father, was part of the patrol along with Duskfur and Halfmoon, the leader of the patrol. “Ok. We’ll split up to go hunting first and then we’ll meet back here to share our reports. I need Starynight, Dusttail, and Duskfur to go to Rainbow Tribe border to hunt and renew the scent markings while Duskpelt and I go to the Swift Tribe border.” ordered Halfmoon. “Go!” “Ok then.” muttered Starynight looking at the two toms running away. “Well then, let’s go hunting first.” Dusttail padded off into the honey suckle. He heard rustling behind him. Out came Duskfur. “What are you doing?” snapped Dusttail. “Are you trying to scare all the prey away?” Duskfur ignored him. “I was just wondering if you’ve noticed that Tigerheart has been acting a little bit strange?” asked Duskfur. Dusttail and Duskfur were close friends with the healing cat apprentice but ever since last night, Tigerheart had avoided them. Dusttail shook his head. “I have no idea. Maybe we should ask him when we get back from our hunting patrol.” “Good idea.” agreed Duskfur. “Well now that I’m here; can I hunt with you?” Dusttail rolled his eyes. “Fine. Just don’t scare all the prey away.” he teased.
Dusttail came back with two shrews and a juicy vole. Duskfur was next to him. He’d caught a black bird and a red squirrel. “Good job you two.” mumbled Starynight dropping his huge rabbit on the ground. He quickly dug a hole. “Now put the prey in there and let’s get going on the border scouting.” Starynight instructed pawing at his rabbit; trying to get it into the hole. Once they had dug the hole back in, Starynight lead them to the Rainbow Tribe border. “Sniff the air carefully. Rainbow Tribe cats smell a bit like water.” meowed Starynight wrinkling his nose in disgust. Dusttail sniffed the air. “Rainbow Tribe!” he exclaimed sniffing the air again. “What did you say?” asked Starynight suspiciously padding over. “I said I smell Rainbow Tribe! They’ve been hunting really close to the border.” repeated Dusttail looking down at a skeleton of a water vole. “Good job Dusttail!” praised Starynight. “But why would Rainbow Tribe come this close to catch water vole?” asked Duskfur puzzled. Starynight shook his head. “I don’t know but we need to report this to Sky of the Night immediately.” exclaimed Starynight. “Come on! Let’s dig up the prey and head back to camp.”
“What?!” meowed Sky of the Night as Starynight finished telling her the report. “But Rainbow Tribe is our closest ally!” “Not anymore it looks like. That’s for sure.” growled Duskfur. The pitch black she-cat silenced them with a flick of her tail. “Anymore news about this strange incident?” asked Halfmoon as Sky of the Night remand silent. “No.” answered Starynight. “But I think that the water might be filled with twoleg stuff because at the last peace night, Tail of Cinder had said that.” All of a sudden, Sky of the Night gave out a growl of frustration. “Doesn’t Star Tribe have enough problems already?!” she hissed. “First the fires; now this? Unbelievable.” “Actually, all the tribes have a problem with the fire.” explained Halfmoon nervously. The she-cat shot him a glare. “Sorry.” muttered Halfmoon. “Are you finished you patrol?” asked Sky of the Night calming down. “Yes we finished. There’s nothing unusual on the Swift Tribe border.” reported Duskpelt who had been silent the whole time. The she-cat nodded her head and flicked her tail for every cat to leave her den. Halfmoon stayed behind. Dusttail padded down the leader’s rock with Duskfur. He spotted Tigerheart eating a vole by the kill pile. He nudged his brother. “There’s Tigerheart! Let’s go talk to him.” whispered Dusttail into his brother’s ear.
Duskfur padded over to Tigerheart who was munching on a juicy vole with Dusttail in front of him. “Oh hey Duskfur, Dusttail. What’s up?” greeted Tigerheart looking up shyly. “We know you’re hiding something from us.” whispered Dusttail. Tigerheart looked at them in shock and sighed. “Come with me.” he instructed. The two siblings followed Tigerheart in complete silence. Tigerheart led them down to the lake. Duskfur sniffed the air. It smelt like fish. He wrinkled his nose in disgust. And Rainbow Tribe eats fish, he thought, how gross! Duskfur looked at Tigerheart. “Well?” he demanded. “What is the big secret?” “Two have been chosen from each tribe to fight the fires. You are one of them. Meet the rest at the Peace Night place tomorrow night.” explained Tigerheart. “That’s what Lightningclaw told you? Are you sure you heard it right Tigerheart. I mean, how could cats put out fires?” exclaimed Duskfur. Tigerheart shook his head in frustration. “I don’t know. I’ve told Swiftfoot about it and she says that Lightningclaw never lies and that I should go.” “Well what about Sky of the Night? Did she agree?” prompted Dusttail. “It took a while to persuade her but she finally said yes.” Tigerheart explained. All of a sudden Tigerheart looked at them suspiciously. “You aren’t going to come with me? Are you?” he growled. Duskfur shook his head. “Yes because I’ve had the same prophecy.” explained Dusttail. Tigerheart looked at him instantly. “R-r-r-r-really?” he stammered. “You’ve been chosen?!” Dusttail purred in laughter. “Of course not you stupid fur-ball!” Tigerheart growled. “This is serious Dusttail.” he snapped. All of a sudden there was a loud “bang”! Duskfur turned in the direction to see long flames…right in the middle of Star Tribe’s camp! Duskfur rocketed back to camp with Tigerheart and Dusttail. When the three apprentices neared the camp, he could see clouds of smoke everywhere. “Every cat out of the camp now!” he heard Halfmoon cry as more flames burst up from the ground. Duskfur raced to the nursery to see his mother, Breezetail racing out of the to-be-mothers den while supporting Dawnflower on one side. “Is everyone out?” Sky of the Night shrieked. Halfmoon nodded his head. “Everyone’s out.” “Come on Duskfur.” cried Dusttail as more flames erupted out of the ground. Duskfur raced out of camp with Shinningnight. “Everyone head down to the lake!” ordered Halfmoon. “Wait!” shrieked Shinningnight. “Where’s Cloudysun?!” Everyone called the she-cat’s name but Cloudysun didn’t reply. “She’s still in camp!” cried Skypelt racing back to camp. Cometblaze and Midnightshadow raced after her. “Everyone stay here.” commanded Sky of the Night. “Skypelt, Cometblaze, Midnightshadow! Get back here this instant!” The three cats turned around and pelted back to safety. “B-b-b-but Cloudysun is still in there.” argued Wintersky. Sky of the Night shook her head in despair. “We can’t risk any other cats’ lives.” And just like that, the fire died down and burned out. How does it do that, thought Duskfur. “I want Starynight, Dusttail, Swiftfoot, and Halfmoon to come with me. The rest of you stay here. Is that clear?” ordered Sky of the Night. All the cats just nodded their heads and remand silent as the five cats raced back to camp. A couple minutes later, they came back. “Is there anything left?” whimpered Snowpetal as Wintersky licked her muzzle and put his tail around Weather and Icy. “Everything’s fine. Our prey isn’t burned and since the fire was only in the middle of the camp, it didn’t burn any dens.” reported Sky of the Night. All the cats muttered their approval. “What about Cloudysun?” whimpered Shinningnight, Cloudysun’s den mate. All the cats stared at their leader expectantly as she hesitated. “S-s-s-she didn’t survive.” answered Halfmoon shaking his head. Wails of agony exploded into the evening sky. “Not Cloudysun.” cried Cometblaze. “She told the best elder stories.” whimpered Breezetail leaning against Duskpelt. Shinningnight raced into camp with the other cats behind her. “It can’t be true.” he heard her say. She heard Shinningnight wail in agony as she stopped beside a lifeless body. All of Star Tribe gathered around the white and orange she-cat, grief stricken. “We’ll sit vigil for her tonight.” explained Sky of the Night. Duskfur lay down beside Starynight.
Tigerheart stared at the she-cat in horror. If a fire could kill a cat, he thought, then I must find a solution quickly. He looked at the darkening sky and reminded himself; no matter how much he wanted to sit vigil for Cloudysun, he had to meet cats at the gathering place. He gave his mentor a quick nod and left her staring after him. Tigerheart silently padded out of camp and through Rainbow Tribe territory. Tigerheart stayed close to the lake; making sure his scent was covered by the water as the sky went dark and millions of twinkling stars shone in the night sky. He heard a rustling sound behind him. “Tigerheart?” whispered a familiar voice. “Is that you?” Tigerheart slowly turned around; afraid of what he might see next. He saw an orange tortoiseshell she-cat staring at him wide-eyed. “Starflight?” he exclaimed. “What are you doing here?” “What are you doing here?” she asked. Tigerheart sighed. He quickly explained the prophecy. “No way! So I’m not the only one who got the dream!” she cheered at the end. Tigerheart stared at her in shock. “You got the prophecy too?” Tigerheart asked astonished. “Yeah!” she replied. “That’s why I’m here.” Tigerheart took this all in. He wasn’t going to be the only Star Tribe cat there! “We should get going in case anyone catches us.” exclaimed Tigerheart padding through Rainbow Tribe territory.
The two cats finally reached the gathering place. All the other cats that had been chosen were waiting! This is incredible, thought Tigerheart taking a deep breath. From Tornado Tribe there was Cracklefur and Sonicboom. He sighed in relief as he saw his best friend. Tigerheart flicked his tail in greeting. Sonicboom looked at him happily. “I didn’t know you were chosen.” she greeted. “I didn’t know you were chosen.” he meowed. “Who is she?” asked Starflight coming up. “Starflight meet Sonicboom. Sonicboom meet Starflight. Sonicboom is a healing cat apprentice like me. We’re best friends.” explained Tigerheart. Starflight narrowed her eyes but dipped her head in greeting. Tigerheart looked around the clearing; from Winter Tribe, Frostflower and Clearsnow were chosen. Blackheart and Greenpoppy were chosen from Rainbow Tribe. Rabbitfoot and Squirreltail were chosen from Swift Tribe. “So now that we’re all here,” exclaimed Blackheart. “What do we do now?” All the cats in the clearing muttered in agreement. All of a sudden, he felt very sleepy. “Are any of you getting tired too?” he asked drowsily. “Actually, I am too.” replied Rabbitfoot sleepily as she slumped to the ground. One by one, the chosen cats all fell asleep and hit the ground with a huge thump. Out of nowhere, Tigerheart’s eyes shut and he too, slumped to the ground.
Tigerheart gasped as he opened his eyes to find himself and everyone else, in Sky Tribe. “Are we dead?” groaned Greenpoppy opening her eyes. “You aren’t dead.” meowed an unfamiliar voice. All of a sudden, five starry shapes came out of the trees. Rabbitfoot opened her eyes wide. “B-B-B-Brightlight? I’d thought I’d never see you again.” she meowed happily. The she-cat dipped her head in greeting. Tigerheart looked at a tortoiseshell she-cat. “Hey I know you!” he exclaimed. The she-cat looked at him. “You’re Spottedsong, Duskpelt’s mother! Swiftfoot told me about you.” Spottedsong dipped her head. “That’s correct Tigerheart. This is Heatherbracken from Tornado Tribe, Mistypool from Winter Tribe, and Shudderpelt from Rainbow Tribe. We are all here to guide you on your quest.” explained Spottedsong. “Quest?” repeated the cats. “What quest?” “We have brought you here for a special reason.” explained Shudderpelt. “For what reason?” asked Starflight curiously. “You are in Sky Tribe to help put out the fires.” finished Heatherbracken. “But the fires aren’t up here.” corrected Sonicboom. “They’re down there.” Brightlight nodded her head. “Your right Sonicboom but up here is where the fires come from.” “What?!” growled Rabbitfoot. “How is that possible?” “There is something that no tribe cat down there knows about. It is called Peace Ring.” explained Spottedsong. Every cat was silent. “What’s Peace Ring?” asked Tigerheart breaking the silence. All the five Sky Tribe cats stared at him in shock. “You don’t know?” meowed Spottedsong astonished. Tigerheart shook his head. “No I don’t.” Brightlight shook her head. “I thought you said he was the “tiger”.” she muttered. Tigerheart stared at them in bewilderment. What did they mean? “He is. Maybe Swiftfoot hasn’t told him yet.” Spottedsong whispered back. “Told me what?” snapped Tigerheart hitting his paw on the ground. But the starry figures ignored him. “Anyway, Peace Ring is a border line that prevents the other ghosts from coming into our territory and starting a fight. But something happened and the Peace Ring is broken. You have come here to fix the wrong.” finished Spottedsong.
Tigerheart looked at her in astonishment. “You expect us to do it?” asked Frostflower. “We don’t even know where it is!” Shudderpelt sighed. “That’s why we’re here to guide you. We will show you where a camp is set up for you close enough to where the Peace Ring is supposed to be.” All of a sudden, a starry white-pelted she-cat walked in. Tigerheart stared at her in surprise. “Halfheart?” growled Clearsnow. “What is she doing in Sky Tribe? She comes from Blood Tribe.” Mistypool dipped her head. “Greetings Halfheart.” she meowed. “Why is she here?” snapped Rabbitfoot impatiently. “Halfheart may have been part of Blood Tribe but she is a true Star Tribe cat at heart.” explained Spottedsong sympathetically. “But she betrayed us.” growled Greenpoppy unsheathing her claws. “No she didn’t.” retorted Brightlight. “That’s only what you thought she did.” “Well then.” replied Rabbitfoot dryly. “Why is she here?” “I came here because Rollin and Hitch need to help you.” explained Halfheart. “Hitch and Rollin?” repeated Tigerheart. “Who are they?” “They’re my old friends. They live in twoleg place.” explained Halfheart. “Rollin is a brown she-cat and Hitch is a black and white tom.” “But why do we need them? Besides we have a quest to go on too you know.” retorted Sonicboom. “I know.” sighed Halfheart. “But, Rollin and Hitch know stuff about this Peace Ring.” “How?” demanded Spottedsong. “No other cat but Sky Tribe cats know about Peace Ring.” Halfheart shuffled her paws. “Well, Soul Tribe has something called a Death Ring.” Death Ring? Soul Tribe? What is she talking about, thought Tigerheart. “What in Sky Tribe is a Death Ring or Soul Tribe?” snapped Spottedsong. “Soul Tribe is where dead Blood Tribe cats go. The Death Ring is basically like the Peace Ring. I told Hitch and Rollin about it but I can’t remember anything I told them so you have to go to them if you want to hear about it.” explained the white she-cat. “But what does this have to do with the Peace Ring?” demanded Mistypool suspiciously. “Well I thought if Soul Tribe had a “ring” like Sky Tribe then I thought there might be some connection.” muttered Halfheart. Murmurs of agreement rose among the listening cats. “She has a point.” muttered Shudderpelt. “I think so too.” agreed Brightlight. “How about we get two cats from one tribe to go into twoleg territory and look for them?” suggested Heatherbracken. “Good idea.” agreed Spottedsong. “But who?” “It was my suggestion and I get to choose.” snapped Halfheart.
Dusttail awoke to a kick in the side. “Hey!” he growled swinging his head around. “Watch it, will you?” Meteorflare looked at him drowsily. “Sorry.” he muttered. Asteroidleap opened her eyes. “What are you two going on about. Cats are trying to sleep. Right Starflight?” snapped Asteroidleap. “Starflight?” The she-cat swung her one good eye around to her sister’s nest. It was empty. “Where’s Starflight?” meowed Asteroidleap. “Moonshift! Wake up! Starflight’s gone!” “She’s probably already out with Sky of the Night.” mumbled Moonshift curling back up. Asteroidleap didn’t look convinced. “Don’t worry Asteroidleap.” soothed Dusttail coming up to the she-cat. “Starflight can take care of herself wherever she is.” Asteroidleap looked at him. “You don’t get it do you?” she snapped. “Starflight could look like me one day.” When Asteroidleap was just a kit, she had run out of the to-be-mothers den and ran straight into a thorn bush and got a thorn in her eye. “So what if you’re blind in one eye? At least you have another one.” meowed Dusttail. Asteroidleap looked at him in anger and pain and stormed out of the den. Dusttail looked after her in confusion and shook his head. “She-cats.” he muttered leaving the den. “Hey Dusttail!” greeted Halfmoon as Dusttail look around camp. Dusttail dipped his head in greeting. “Is Duskfur awake yet?” the deputy asked looking at the apprentice den. Dusttail shook his head. “He isn’t awake yet but he could use a wakeup call.” Halfmoon nodded and padded into the apprentice den. “Hey! Dusttail!” whispered a familiar voice. Dusttail swung around to find Tigerheart behind him. “There you are!” exclaimed Dusttail. “Have you seen Starflight?” Tigerheart nodded his head. “Yes. She’s one of the chosen ones for the prophecy.” explained Tigerheart. “Really?” exclaimed Dusttail. “Yes. But don’t tell anybody.” replied Tigerheart. “Who else was there?” asked Dusttail. “Where’s Duskfur?” meowed Tigerheart ignoring the question. “Halfmoon is just waking up Duskfur right now.” answered Dusttail as he saw his brother pad drowsily out of the den with Halfmoon. “Bring him over here. I need to tell you guys everything.” ordered Tigerheart. Dusttail was about to make a sharp retort but held his tongue and padded over to his brother. “Hey Halfmoon?” meowed Dusttail coming over. “Could I talk to Duskfur before he goes out of camp?” Halfmoon nodded his head. “Be quick.” he instructed sternly. “What’s this all about?” asked Duskfur as they padded up to Tigerheart. Dusttail listened inventively from end to beginning. “Wow. That’s awesome.” exclaimed Duskfur at the end. “Come on Duskfur.” growled Halfmoon as he padded up angrily. “You’ve missed half a training session and so have you Dusttail.” Both brothers nodded their heads in apology. “We’ll talk later.” whispered Tigerheart padding away. Dusttail was alone once more as Tigerheart and Duskfur raced to their mentors. Dusttail looked around camp to see a border patrol was about to leave. He raced over but regretted it as he saw Asteroidleap. Asteroidleap and him hadn’t started the day off so well and he didn’t feel like dealing with it right now. Dusttail slowly backed up. “Hey there Dusttail.” greeted his mentor padding up. Oh no, thought Dusttail stopping in his tracks. “I was thinking we join that border patrol. Come on.” meowed Starynight flicking his tail. Starynight, Dusttail, Asteroidleap, and Risingspirit raced out of camp. “Which border should we patrol first?” asked Risingspirit, the leader of the patrol. “How about the Swift Tribe border?” asked Asteroidleap “Why do you say that Asteroidleap?” prompted Risingspirit. Risingspirit had been taking over as mentor for Asteroidleap because Breezetail had decided to stay and help out the other pregnant she-cats. “They’ve been awfully quiet and Halfmoon had said that Swift Tribe does come really close to the border now.” explained Asteroidleap proudly. “Good choice Asteroidleap.” praised Risingspirit. “But while we patrol, look out for anymore fires.” Dusttail shivered. The fires had killed one of the kits from Swift Tribe and three young apprentices in Winter Tribe. We must find a solution before a whole tribe gets whipped out, thought Dusttail padding along. Dusttail gulped as he realized that he was padding beside Asteroidleap. But instead of the she-cat saying anything, she stayed quiet till they got to Swift Tribe’s border. The tension crackled between them like lightning. Dusttail let out a sigh as he spoke. “So about this morning…” He was cut off by Asteroidleap. “Forget about it Dusttail. You didn’t mean to hurt my feelings. I know it. You aren’t that kind of cat.” she meowed padding towards the front of the patrol. Dusttail let out a sigh as she padded away. Asteroidleap wasn’t exactly always easy to deal with like her mother. Asteroidleap had always taken after her father, Starynight. Dusttail pushed the thoughts away and carried on. Starynight told her patrol to stop as she sniffed the Swift Tribe scent markings. Dusttail opened his mouth in shock. All he could smell was fear scent from Swift Tribe. “What are they so afraid of?” growled Starynight. “They are usually such a great tribe who never gets scared. Dusttail noticed that Starynight had sneered in disgust at the end. “It must be all the fires.” suggested Risingspirit. “Everyone is afraid.” Dusttail had to agree with the she-cat. Ever since the first sightings of fires in the cats’ territories, the tension between the five tribes had been growing.
Dusttail pounced on a mouse a few lengths away. After they had patrolled the Swift Tribe and Rainbow Tribe border, they decided to go hunting. Dusttail had wanted to go with his mentor but Risingspirit had suggested the apprentices work as a team to hunt. So now Dusttail was stuck with Asteroidleap. “Good catch.” he mumbled with a mouth full of a black bird as she pounced on a rabbit. The she-cat shot him a grateful glance. “Thanks.” she muttered holding her tail up proudly as they put their prey in a prey hole. “Should we hunt more or do you think it’s enough?” asked Dusttail nervously. “There’s never enough prey in the forest Dusttail. Let’s keep hunting.” she suggested her one good eye blazing with determination. Dusttail nodded his head and padded beside Asteroidleap. All of a sudden he heard a cry. “Some cat is in pain.” cried Asteroidleap racing towards the Swift Tribe border. “Asteroidleap! Wait!” yowled Dusttail as she saw her cross into Swift Tribe’s territory. The tom raced after her. He breathed in her scent and followed her into a clearing of smoke. Dusttail closed his eyes as the smoke grew thicker. His eyes watered as he opened them to find the silver and gray she-cat pulling out a limp body. He raced over to see that Asteroidleap and he weren’t the only cats there. Snaketeeth, Grizzlynose and Spikenose were watching Asteroidleap in astonishment. “Is she still alive?” meowed Spikenose padding over to touch the she-cat’s body. “She’s still alive.” answered Asteroidleap not even caring that she had crossed the border. “I can see her breathing.” “Oh Leopardpath!” wailed a she-cat in the distance. “My poor kit!” Dusttail narrowed his eyes to see Dragonfrost running up to the unmoving body with Lionroar and Voleear behind her. “We came as soon as we could.” panted Lionroar but turned his head curiously to see Dusttail and Asteroidleap. “What are these two doing in our territory?” he asked. Grizzlynose spoke up. “This young she-cat saved Leopardpath’s life after a fire burst up right under her out of nowhere. W-w-w-we were all afraid to go into the smoke.” admitted Grizzlynose embarrassed. Dragonfrost swung her head around. “Is this true?” she whispered. Asteroidleap nodded. “Yes.” The she-cat’s eyes became watery and she dipped her head in thanks. Voleear looked at them. “Thank you for saving this young apprentice.” she muttered. “Swift Tribe owes you a great deed.” All of a sudden five Star Tribe cats burst into Swift Tribe’s territory. “We heard you call.” growled Halfmoon with Duskfur, Risingspirit, Midnightshadow, and Starynight behind him. “We didn’t call.” explained Dusttail. “Then who did? Wait, what’s going on here?” growled Starynight as he say Leopardpath being gently dragged back to camp. Voleear looked at Starynight. “These two saved Leopardpath from getting killed by a fire.” explained Voleear. “Swift Tribe owes Star Tribe a favor.” “Good job you two. You risked the code to save another cat. I’m proud of you.” praised Halfmoon. “But we should be heading back to our territory.” “Grizzlynose, Spikenose, and Snaketeeth will escort you back to your side.” explained Voleear calling for the three cats. Dusttail looked at her angrily. She owes us a favor but we still have to be escorted, he thought. That’s stupid.
Once they had crossed the border back into their territory, they headed straight for camp. “What’s going on?” growled Sky of the Night as the cats burst into camp. Halfmoon explained everything that happened. At the end, Sky of the Night looked at Dusttail and Asteroidleap proudly. “Good job. Now go rest. All of you.” ordered Sky of the Night. “You’ve worked hard.” As Dusttail started to pad away, Asteroidleap opened her mouth but was cut off by the black she-cat. “Dusttail, Asteroidleap. Meet me in my den before you go to sleep. Now.” Dusttail padded after her with Asteroidleap at his side. He ruffled his pelt as he felt a chilly winter air blow by. It hadn’t snowed yet but by the looks of it, Dusttail knew it would soon. Dusttail felt a warm pelt brush against his. He glanced side ways to see Asteroidleap had come a bit closer as if the wind frightened her. For some reason, Dusttail had to admit that Asteroidleap and him had gotten closer ever since they had rescued the Swift Tribe apprentice from the fire. An amused purr rumbled in his throat but he ought to not show it so he kept his mouth shut. As they padded up the rock to the leader’s den, he heard Sky of the Night and Halfmoon talking in whispers. Dusttail strained his ears to make out what they were saying. “We can’t tell the tribe. Ever and you know that Sky of the Night. It’s for his safety.” he heard Halfmoon say. Dusttail flicked his tail in surprise. Who was he and what was the secret? Dusttail continued to listen. “I know. It’s just-just, it’s hard to keep it in.” he heard Sky of the Night give out a hushed wail. “Well you’ve been doing a great job of keeping it a secret. I haven’t heard a single cat saying anything bad about you.” replied Halfmoon soothingly. “They better not be.” growled the she-cat. Dusttail didn’t listen to the rest of the conversation and just waited. Finally, Halfmoon came out. He looked startled to see them. He thinks we over heard, thought Dusttail. Was it so important that it made the deputy of Star Tribe scared? “How long were you there?” he asked. “Long enough to fall asleep.” replied Asteroidleap playfully as Dusttail pretended to fall asleep. But the deputy’s face made Dusttail realize that it wasn’t the right time. He noticed the Asteroidleap had her ears plastered on her head as if waiting for a rude reply. But the deputy just stared at them with cold, pale hazel eyes before turning his head away and assembling a hunting patrol. “What ruffled his fur?” meowed Asteroidleap curiously. “We were just having fun.” Dusttail nodded his head but he understood the deputy; a bit, the secret must be too great for the tribe to handle. Curiosity over flowed him but he stood his ground. All of a sudden, he felt a bushy tail stroke his cheek. A purr almost escaped him but he held it in. “Come on mousebrain!” meowed Asteroidleap. “Sky of the Night is waiting for us!” Dusttail went into the den. Warm are blasted in his face. This den is as warm as the summer, thought Dusttail in surprise. “Sit.” ordered Sky of the Night settling in her nest. Dusttail and Asteroidleap sat down. “What you two did today for Leopardpath was great. You two acted like warriors today. Sadly, you aren’t quite ready to become one. But when the time comes, you two are defiantly ready.” she praised them. “Now go eat and rest after I’ve called a tribe meeting for everybody to hear your victory and that Swift Tribe owes us a favor.” “Yes Sky of the Night.” meowed Dusttail and Asteroidleap at the same time.
“We make a great team.” exclaimed Asteroidleap. “Yeah.” he agreed. “The way you saved that apprentice was incredible.” “No Dusttail. The way we saved that apprentice.” she replied. Asteroidleap gave a big yawn. “Well we better go to sleep.” Dusttail nodded his head and followed her to the apprentice den.
Duskfur’s ears twitched as he heard an eerie silence. He opened his eyes to see he was in a forest. Where is everyone, he thought. He looked around to see the apprentice den behind him. That’s strange, he thought as he looked inside to find Dusttail sleeping in one of the nests. “Wait,” he muttered. “I’m dreaming, aren’t I?” All of a sudden a groan came from Dusttail as he awoke to find himself in an eerie forest. He looked at his brother as he got out of bed. “Where are we Duskfur?” he asked. “I don’t know but to me it seems like the forest holds lots of secrets.” answered Duskfur. All of a sudden Dusttail jumped up and down. “Secrets! Secrets! I want to tell you something I heard earlier today.” he meowed in a secretive tone. Duskfur curiously listened to the conversation of Halfmoon and Sky of the Night that Dusttail had overheard. Duskfur flicked his ear in annoyance. “So?” snapped Duskfur agitated. “That talk could’ve been over anything; borders, prey, other tribes, anything.” Dusttail stared at him in shock. “Fine then.” he growled. “I’ll just find out myself. You always think you know it all Duskfur.” “I do not!” spat Duskfur angrily. “Oh yeah? Then what about that time that you corrected Starflight whenever she got a patrol wrong?” Dusttail spat back. “That doesn’t prove anything!” growled Duskfur coldly. Dusttail unsheathed his claws with bared teeth. Duskfur did the same. When Duskfur was about to lung at his brother, a voice came out of the undergrowth as a starry white she-cat darted out. “That’s enough.” she growled. Both brothers looked at her in shock. “Dusttail.” she acknowledged looking at the tom. “Just like his mother, proud, strong, bad temper, curious.” Dusttail swelled up with pride and shot a smirk at Duskfur. Duskfur curled his lip back. “Duskfur.” she continued. “Gentle, courageous, loyal, much like your father, Duskpelt.” Duskfur shot a mocking glare at Dusttail but his brother was busy washing his paws. “Why fight?” she meowed. Both brothers ignored the question. “Who are you?” demanded Duskfur. The she-cat looked at him solemnly. “I am Halfheart.” the she-cat replied. Duskfur looked at her in shock. “So you’re the cat that betrayed the tribes.” spat Dusttail. Halfheart spun around, a bit of annoyance showing in her eyes. “Anyway, I have come here to ask you to make a quest.” Halfheart meowed. Duskfur’s eyes widened till they were as round as the moon. “What kind of a quest?” asked Dusttail betraying his excitement; his anger completely gone. Halfheart sighed. “I have chosen you two to seek out two of my two old friends from twoleg place.” she explained. “Why twoleg place?” asked Duskfur. “There is a brown she-cat named Rollin or Rose for short and then there’s a black and white tom named Hitch.” explained Halfheart ignoring Duskfur’s question. “Why do we need to find them?” asked Duskfur. “They hold secrets that might help save the tribes from danger. But we already have cats to take care of that so it is none of your concern.” the white she-cat meowed sternly as both siblings opened their mouths ready to speak. “How do we find the way?” asked Dusttail suspiciously. Halfheart flicked her tail for silence. “You must go through Swift Tribe territory. Then, you will see a fallen tree and you must then follow it and keep going straight ahead.” she explained. Duskfur’s heart sank. How were they going to get through Swift Tribe territory without a few gashes? “How would we go through Swift Tribe territory?” demanded Dusttail. “You will find a way.” she simply meowed. “But how do we know which twoleg den they live in?” asked Duskfur. “Just call out my name.” she replied. “Call out Halfheart and Lilac.” Both brothers nodded. “When shall we leave?” asked Duskfur quivering with excitement. Halfheart looked at him seriously. “You must leave at once or as soon as possible.”
Tigerheart stretched his stiff legs as sunlight entered the healing den. “Another gorgeous morning to look for herbs.” cheered Swiftfoot. Tigerheart shook his tabby pelt. “Shall we go out right away?” he asked. Swiftfoot blinked at him gratefully. “Of course.” Swiftfoot raced out of the healing den with Tigerheart behind him. “Hey Tigerheart!” greeted a voice. Both cats stopped and turned around to see Fireeclipse coming up with his mentor, Cloudwillow. “Hey Swiftfoot!” greeted Cloudwillow dipping her head. “I was wondering if we could join you.” Swiftfoot nodded her head. “Sure. We’re going to look for herbs.” Tigerheart’s heart sank. He wanted to spend time with his mentor alone but reluctantly followed. “If we have four cats, how about Fireeclipse and Cloudwillow go look for herbs close to the Swift Tribe border.” ordered Swiftfoot. As the two cats raced off, Swiftfoot and Tigerheart were alone once more. “So what happened?” she hissed. Tigerheart looked at her in confusion but then he understood. She was talking about the night when all the chosen cats met at the Peace Night place. Tigerheart explained the whole story. “Wow.” she meowed at last. “That sounds terrible. So what’s going to happen now?” Tigerheart shook his head despairingly. “I don’t know. Only Sky Tribe can guide us.” he answered. Swiftfoot sighed. “Well, let’s go look for some herbs.”
“Whoa!” meowed Tigerheart as he padded into camp to see the two kits stumble to his paws. “Watch out there Weather and Icy!” Tigerheart gently prodded the kits back to their mother. Snowpetal shot him a grateful stare as she went back into the nursery with the two playful kits. “Let’s head back to the den.” meowed Swiftfoot sternly. Tigerheart followed her in silence. Once Tigerheart had put away the poppy seeds and burdock root, Swiftfoot started heading out of the den. “Where are you going?” he asked curiously. “I’m going to check on Snowpetal’s kits.” she called over her shoulder. “I could do that if you like.” replied Tigerheart. Swiftfoot shook her head. “It’s a generous offer but I want you to sort out the herbs.” Tigerheart sighed and started to sort the sorrel from the yarrow. “Hey! Tigerheart!” hissed Dusttail walking into the healing den. Tigerheart narrowed his eyes. “What are you up to?” he asked. “I’m not up to anything.” spat Dusttail. “I need to tell you a dream I had.” Tigerheart listened inventively. “So you and Duskfur have to go on a quest to find who?” asked Tigerheart at the end. “We are going on a quest to find Hitch and Rollin. It has something to do with your quest but I don’t know what for.” explained Dusttail. “Why did you come to me?” asked Tigerheart. “I need you to make me and Duskfur traveling herbs. Halfheart told us to leave right away or as soon as possible.” meowed Dusttail. Tigerheart looked at him in surprise but didn’t reject. “Ok.” he meowed dryly. “I’ll make you traveling herbs and for Duskfur.” Dusttail looked at him gratefully. “Thank you.” Tigerheart sighed. No matter how much he wanted to argue, Tigerheart knew he could never change the bad tempered tom’s mind. Tigerheart got to work. “Hey Tigerheart.” greeted Duskfur as Tigerheart put sorrel in the mixture. Duskfur let out a sigh. “I don’t really want you to go.” choked Tigerheart. “I don’t either.” meowed Duskfur. “But there’s no way we can change Dusttail’s mind.” he meowed bitterly. Tigerheart flicked his tail in surprise by the bitterness in his friend’s tone as he said Dusttail’s name but Tigerheart didn’t even want to ask. “Done the mixture.” exclaimed Tigerheart. “Are you done the mixture?” asked Dusttail impatiently as he padded in. “Just finished.” replied Tigerheart handing it to the two toms. After they had lapped up the bitter sweet herbs, Tigerheart said; “Could I walk with you until Swift Tribe’s border?” “Sure.” meowed Dusttail narrowing his eyes. Duskfur flicked his tail for them to follow but Dusttail just trotted ahead and gave his brother a mocking glare. Tigerheart saw Duskfur curl his lip back, trying to keep his fur flat. Tigerheart stared at him in confusion but just shrugged his shoulders and followed behind Duskfur. As the three apprentices left the camp, Duskfur, Tigerheart, and Dusttail bolted all the way to Swift Tribe border. “Well,” panted Dusttail. “We’re here.” Tigerheart sighed. “I guess this is good bye for now.” he meowed awkwardly. “Yeah.” meowed Dusttail shuffling his paws. “Well then, we better go.” meowed Duskfur sternly. “Good bye Tigerheart. See you in a bit.”
Dusttail padded silently through Swift Tribe territory with Duskfur in front of him. All of a sudden, they heard rustling. Dusttail and Duskfur dived into a clump of ivy tendrils. Dusttail popped his head out of the undergrowth to see Leopardpath, Bumblestripes, Beestripe, and Wolfclaw emerge through the bracken. “I hope those fox-hearted Star Tribe warriors aren’t planning anything.” spat Leopardpath. Dusttail flattened his ears. “Well without those fox-hearted cowards you might not be alive today.” meowed Bumblestripes sternly. Leopardpath said nothing more. An amused purr escaped Dusttail throat. “What was that?” growled Wolfclaw. “Who’s there?” Dusttail swallowed. “It was probably nothing.” meowed Bumblestripes calmly. “Let’s carry on with the patrol.” Wolfclaw narrowed his eyes but said nothing and carried on. Dusttail let his fur lie flat with relief as he waited a couple minutes. “It’s all clear.” whispered Duskfur slowly padding out. “I know that! I’m not a mouse-brained fool.” spat Dusttail silently. Duskfur spun around and fixed him with a hard stare but Dusttail didn’t flinch at his gaze and just carried on walking. After a while, Dusttail spotted the fallen tree. “Look!” he exclaimed. “There’s the fallen tree!” Both toms padded up to it. “Let’s hurry up and see which way the log points.” hissed Duskfur looking around. “We’re still in Swift Tribe territory. Remember?” Dusttail could feel rage burning inside of him but he ignored his brother and started walking around the log curiously. “I found the point!” whispered Duskfur. Dusttail came over. “The log points this way.” meowed Duskfur pointing his tail at a meadow. Dusttail ran ahead. “Where are you going?” hissed Duskfur. “I’m going to find Halfheart’s friends.” snapped Dusttail. Duskfur sighed and followed Dusttail into the meadow. “I think we should find some shelter.” exclaimed Duskfur panting as he looked at the darkening sky. Dusttail reluctantly agreed. “But where?” he snapped. Both brothers walked on in complete silence until they came to some thick undergrowth. Dusttail’s belly growled. “Now that we found the den.” he meowed. “I’m going to go hunt for myself.” Dusttail dashed away before Duskfur could argue. Dusttail sniffed the air and his blue eyes widened in satisfaction as he smelt a rabbit. Dusttail went in the hunter’s crouch and swiftly stalked the rabbit until he was a few fox lengths away. The brown tom then pounced and landed on the rabbit and quickly ended its life.
“What took you so long?” demanded Duskfur with a black bird at his paws as Dusttail came back to their den. “Hunting a rabbit.” snapped Dusttail settling down to eat his prey.
Duskfur slowly padded towards twoleg place with Dusttail in front. Both brothers had walked till sun high until they saw twoleg dens. By now, the traveling herbs had worn out and Duskfur was more tired than ever. “Come on slow poke.” hissed Dusttail unsympathetically. Duskfur held back a sharp retort and followed his brother, speeding up his pace. Ever since the fight with Dusttail in Sky Tribe, the brothers hadn’t been so close. “So what now when we get into twoleg place?” snapped Duskfur. “I don’t know!” spat Dusttail. “Halfheart didn’t give us a lot of information did she?” Duskfur had to admit, his brother was right. Halfheart hadn’t given them any specific detail at all. As night grew closer, the brothers found a nice and dry hedge they could sleep under for a while. Duskfur didn’t even bother saying good night to his brother. He just fell asleep like a dead mouse. Duskfur awoke in a strange forest. “Another dream?” he growled. “Just what I need.” All of a sudden a large tree appeared in front of him. It had a twisted branch leading into a… “Twoleg garden!” exclaimed Duskfur. “I know where we have to go!” Duskfur had seen the tree earlier while they were walking along a river. He quickly woke up and told his brother about the dream. “Where is it then?” snapped Dusttail after Duskfur had explained the dream. “Follow me.” meowed Duskfur flicking his tail. This time, Dusttail stayed behind him. Soon enough, Duskfur found the tree with the twisted branch. The only problem was the river. “Are you mouse-brained?!” snapped Dusttail. “That river is flowing pretty fast!” Duskfur looked around helplessly. There was no other way they could cross. “We’ll just have to swim through the river.” sighed Duskfur. “We’re not Rainbow Tribe cats!” snarled Dusttail as Duskfur sprang into the water. Duskfur landed squarely on the other side but his paws slipped and he fell into the water. “Help!” he yowled as the current pulled him under. He saw the terrified eyes of Dusttail disappear as a shadow fell across the water. Duskfur struggled to come up for air when all of a sudden; a grey tabby tom grabbed him by the scruff and dragged him out of the water. Another tom was helping Dusttail get across. As both siblings gasped for breath, Duskfur could make out two plump kittypets. “You two need to be more careful around these kinds of rivers.” purred the pitch black tabby tom licking his soaking wet paws. “Who are you?” spat Dusttail lashing his tail. Duskfur’s heart sank. Dusttail was going to attack, he thought. But his brother didn’t spring; he just waited for an answer. “Well?” growled Dusttail. Both kittypets let out purrs of amusement. “My name is Ripple.” explained the gray tabby tom. “And my name’s Rascal.” finished the pitch black tabby tom. “We saw you two trying to cross the river. What are your names?” “My name is Duskfur and this is my brother, Dusttail.” greeted Duskfur. “I can introduce myself thank you.” spat Dusttail. “Oh we got a feisty one here don’t we Rascal?” purred Ripple in amusement. “We sure do.” purred Rascal. “Anyway, where do you two brothers come from?” “We come from Star Tribe.” explained Duskfur. Both kittypets looked confused so Duskfur told them about the five tribes and everything that was happening. At the end Ripple and Rascal just looked at them in concern. “Can we help you in anyway?” asked Ripple. “Actually, you can.” snapped Dusttail. “Do you live in that twoleg den with the twisted branch because my brother had a dream about it.” “Actually, we do live in that den.” exclaimed Rascal. Just our luck, thought Duskfur in amazement. “Come on to our backyard so we can talk more. It’s safer in there.” exclaimed Ripple leading them to their twoleg den. “I’m not going in there!” spat Dusttail. “I’m not a kittypet.” “Oh come on Dusttail. It’s not like it’ll be bad.” snapped Duskfur agitated. Dusttail stared at him coldly as he took a step towards him. “Then I think you’re a kittypet.” he spat in Duskfur’s face. Duskfur burned with rage. He couldn’t hold it back anymore. His brother had gone too far. “I’m just as loyal to my tribe as you are!” he shrieked and flung himself at Dusttail. Dusttail looked at him in surprise as he knocked him over. Duskfur clawed at his brother madly but Dusttail gave him a hard kick in the stomach. Duskfur shrieked in pain as he started to see drops of blood on the ground. “That’s enough!” spat Ripple shouldering between the two brothers. Rascal went in front of Dusttail; holding him back in case he decided to strike again.
Dusttail looked at his brother coldly. “That’s enough.” growled Rascal sternly. “Now let’s go in our twoleg garden.” This time, Dusttail silently followed without a word. He steered away from his brother as far as he could go. He wasn’t in the mood to talk with Duskfur. “Now,” meowed Ripple as they jumped over the fence. “Are you still bleeding?” Duskfur nodded. “Yes.” “Do you know how to stop the bleeding?” “Tigerheart, our friend who’s in training to become a healing cat, told us that cobweb stops bleeding.” explained Duskfur. “Let’s look for some cobwebs around the yard.” suggested Rascal. “And you too Dusttail.” Dusttail held back a sharp retort and followed. “Now how does it feel?” asked Ripple as they pressed the cobweb onto Duskfur’s wound. “I-I-It’s better.” stammered Duskfur. “Anyway,” started Rascal but was cut off by a loud bark from a brown furball as it stumbled into the yard. Without a moment’s hesitation, Dusttail ran and jumped onto the fence. “Whoa Rebel!” cried Ripple in delight. “You know this fox-hearted beast?” spat Dusttail jumping cautiously down from the fences with unsheathed claws. “Yes this crazy little yapping furball lives with us.” snapped Rascal. “His name is Rebel. Rebel say hi to Duskfur and Dusttail.” Rebel came up to Duskfur but didn’t do anything. Dusttail tightened his grip on the ground as the furry dog came up to him; and licked him on the face. Dusttail lashed out with his claws at the dog’s face and clawed his nose which made tiny drops of blood drop onto the ground. The dog yelped and ran inside. “Hey watch it Dusttail!” growled Ripple. “All he did was lick you. That’s a sign of love.” “Forest cats don’t love dogs. They tear them to shreds.” explained Duskfur. “Because in the forest they kill cats and kits.” Ripple and Rascal let out a grunt. “Anyway, back to why you two are here.” started Rascal. “Oh right.” exclaimed Duskfur. “We came here because we need to talk to two kittypets because something bad will happen to the five tribes if we don’t do something.” The two kittypets were silent for a minute. Finally, Ripple broke the silence. “Which kittypets are you looking for? What are their names?” Duskfur looked at Dusttail blankly. Dusttail sighed. “Their names are Rose and Hitch, I think.” explained Dusttail. The toms took a minute to think about it. “Oh yes!” cried Rascal jumping up and down. “I know those two. Perhaps you mean Rollin and Hitch? Rollin calls herself Rose.” “That’s it!” yowled Duskfur. “Those are the cats we are looking for. Can you take us to them?” “Of course.” meowed Ripple. “Let’s go.” Duskfur looked at them. “Thank you Ripple and Rascal.” “Yes, thank you.” murmured Dusttail. Ripple and Rascal nodded their heads and then signaled them to follow.
Tigerheart padded out of the healing den and took a big stretch. “Tigerheart!” called a voice. Tigerheart turned around to find Swiftfoot and Breezetail hurrying towards him. Breezetail looked frantic. “Have you seen Dusttail and Duskfur anywhere? They’ve been missing for two days.” wailed Breezetail. Tigerheart wanted to reassure their mother by telling her that her kits were safe and saving the tribes from destruction but Tigerheart couldn’t betray his friends’ trust. Tigerheart shook his head. “No.” he lied. “I have no idea where they could be.” Breezetail looked at the two healing cats desperately. “Didn’t Sky Tribe tell you anything?” she pleaded. Swiftfoot shook her head. “Now go into the healing den. I need you to calm down.” Breezetail looked like she wanted to argue but the warrior looked too exhausted. Swiftfoot walked over to Tigerheart. “I’m going to give her some chamomile and poppy seeds to calm her down and let her rest.” whispered Swiftfoot. Tigerheart sighed and padded over to the kill pile and enjoyed a juicy mouse. All of a sudden he heard Sky of the Night’s voice on the other side of the clearing. “Asteroidleap, Fireeclipse, Skywatch, Wintersky and…” ordered Sky of the Night but stopped in her tracks as she searched for the last cat for the search party. “You, Tigerheart. Come be part of the search party. You’ll be investigating the border and upwind next to Rainbow Tribe’s border.” commanded Sky of the Night as Tigerheart padded over. Tigerheart nodded his head. “Let’s move out.” ordered Skywatch as they rushed out of camp. As they started towards the Rainbow Tribe border, they bumped into another search party. Halfmoon, Duskpelt, Moonshift, Risingspirit, and Midnightshadow stopped to report to their patrol. “Did you find them?” asked Skywatch. Halfmoon shook his head. “No but we think we’ll get Breezetail to sniff a certain spot by Swift Tribe’s border; we picked up something but the scent was from yesterday and it had rained yesterday night so it’s a bit washed out.” reported Halfmoon. “Are you guys going to the Rainbow Tribe border now?” “Yes we are.” replied Skywatch. “Then I’ll leave you to It.” finished Halfmoon beckoning his patrol to follow. “Let’s keep going.” snapped Wintersky impatiently. “We’re wasting daylight.” Asteroidleap looked around anxiously. “Hey Tigerheart.” greeted Fireeclipse coming up. Tigerheart nodded his head. “So what’s on your mind?” he asked unexpectedly. Tigerheart looked at him in shock. Was it so easy to see he was frustrated? “N-n-n-nothing.” protested Tigerheart. “It’s just that with all these unexpected fires and now this? It’s unbelievable.” Fireeclipse nodded his head in agreement. “Well at least us brothers have each others’ backs.” purred Fireeclipse nudging his brother. Tigerheart nodded his head enthusiastically. Perhaps we should hang out more like Duskfur and Dusttail, he thought. Then an idea landed in his mind. “Hey Fireeclipse? Do you have anything to do after?” he asked. “Not that I know of. Why?” replied Fireeclipse. “Well,” started Tigerheart. “I was wondering if you’d like to collect herbs with me. And if you aren’t doing anything after that, maybe you could teach me a basic fighting technique?” he asked hopefully. “What’s this all really about?” Fireeclipse asked eyeing his brother suspiciously. Tigerheart sighed. “What you said earlier is true, Fireeclipse. We don’t really hang out that much at all. So I thought that maybe we could hang out a bit more?” explained Tigerheart. Fireeclipse looked at him gratefully. “I didn’t mean that if we didn’t hang out that wouldn’t make us brothers.” purred Fireeclipse. “But I’ll try to fit in some time for that. Ok?” Tigerheart nodded his head gratefully.
After they came back from the patrol, Tigerheart went straight to the healing den to see if Swiftfoot was inside sorting herbs; and sure enough, Swiftfoot was in there with Breezetail helping her. “Hi Swiftfoot. Hi Breezetail.” greeted Tigerheart. “Well hello Tigerheart.” replied Swiftfoot looking up. “Did you find my kits?” demanded Breezetail rushing towards him. “Breezetail calm down!” meowed Swiftfoot sternly. “No. We didn’t see anything but the other patrol that investigated the Swift Tribe border said they needed your help to identify a scent that could be the scent of one of your kits.” reported Tigerheart. Breezetail pushed past him and rushed out of the den. Swiftfoot looked at him in exhaustion. “I let Breezetail stay in here because she needed something to keep her busy. The chamomile worked for a several minutes but a mother’s love for her kits is too strong for herbs.” whispered Swiftfoot. “The reason I came to see you is because I wanted to ask you if me and Fireeclipse could go looking for herbs and then after he could teach me some basic fighting techniques?” asked Tigerheart. Swiftfoot looked at him in surprise but understood. “I know how you feel Tigerheart. I too was separated to a different path from my three sisters. Of course you may.” purred Swiftfoot. “Thank you Swiftfoot.” meowed Tigerheart gratefully. “What herbs shall we look for?” Swiftfoot thought for a moment. “Catmint, Chickweed, and Chervile Root please.” answered Swiftfoot. Tigerheart nodded her head and raced out of the healing den. “And Watermint!” cried Swiftfoot after Tigerheart. “Hey Tigerheart!” greeted Fireeclipse. “Cloudwillow says I can collect herbs with you and teach you a basic technique.” “Awesome. Swiftfoot says she wants us to collect Chervile Root, Chickweed, Catmint, and Watermint.” explained Tigerheart. “Ok then.” meowed Fireeclipse. “Let’s go. Whoever collects the most chickweed gets to present Swiftfoot with it all!”
Dusttail padded tiredly behind Ripple and Rascal as they jumped from fence to fence. “How are you keeping up?” asked Rascal looking at Duskfur. “I’m fine.” meowed Duskfur honestly. “Here we are!” exclaimed Ripple as they stopped in front of a red fence. A brown she-cat was on top of the other side of the fence talking to a black and white tom. “That’s them.” explained Rascal. “Rose is the brown one and Hitch is the black and white one.” Dusttail and Duskfur nodded their heads. “Now what?” asked Duskfur. “I’ll get their attention.” suggested Rascal padding over to the two cats. In several heart beats, Rascal padded back over to them. “Why aren’t they coming?” snapped Dusttail. “What did you tell them?” “I told them that two youngsters need to talk to you.” hissed Rascal. “And they are coming over right now!” “Hello Rose and Hitch.” greeted Ripple. “Hello Ripple and Rascal.” replied Hitch. “Who are these two? Do they live with you?” asked Rose looking at Dusttail and Duskfur. Dusttail spoke up before Rascal could. “We don’t live with twolegs! We are forest cats.” spat Dusttail. Rose Hand Hitch looked taken aback. Duskfur spoke up and told them about the five tribes and everything that was happening. “That sounds a lot like Halfheart.” murmured Rose lost in memories. Dusttail looked at the she-cat in surprise. These really were Halfheart’s friends, he thought. “Did you just say Halfheart?” asked Duskfur disbelievingly. Hitch nodded his head. “Yes. Why?” he growled. “We know her! She used to live in Star Tribe!” exclaimed Duskfur. “She isn’t alive anymore but she’s in Sky Tribe now.” “You really do know Halfheart!” exclaimed Rose happily. “Are her kits still alive?” she asked. “Yes. Her kits are warriors now. Sunstrike, Cloudwillow, and Skywatch.” explained Dusttail. “I’m s proud of them; even if they aren’t my kits.” purred Rose. “Then why are you here?” asked Hitch suspiciously. “We came here because we need your help back in the tribes.” explained Duskfur nervously. Duskfur explained about the problem in the five tribes. “That sounds terrible but why us? We’re just kittypets.” meowed Rose in confusion. “Because you know about Halfheart’s past; about Blood Tribe.” “Are you going to judge her about it?” spat Rose. Duskfur looked at the she-cat in shock. “N-n-n-no! I was just going to ask if you know about something called Soul Tribe and a thing called the Death Ring?” asked Duskfur. Rose and Hitch looked at each other thoughtfully. “I think I know something’s about it but why do you want to know about it?” objected Hitch. “Because it’ll save the five tribes, tons of cats from dying, and it’ll make Halfheart rest in peace.” spat Dusttail impatiently. Rose looked at him hopefully. “You think so?” “Of course we do! We spoke to her! She sent us to look for you!” explained Dusttail. “You talked to her!?” meowed Hitch disbelievingly. Dusttail explained it all. “S-s-s-so we could be able to talk to her?” asked Rose. “Only if you are a healing cat. The only reason we got to talk to her is because we had to find you two.” explained Dusttail sternly. Rose nodded her head. “Fine.” meowed Hitch. “We’ll come back with you two to “Star Tribe”. Rose was so lost in thought. “When do we leave?” Rose asked. “Right away.” meowed Duskfur. “Let’s go.” meowed Hitch and Rose without a moment’s hesitation. “Well then.” meowed Rascal who hadn’t talked the whole time. “I guess this is goodbye Dusttail and Duskfur.” Rascal and Ripple quickly said goodbye and the five cats were on their way to the tribes.
To Be Continued…
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