Chapter 3-2

posted August 3rd, 2017, 11:01 am


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August 3rd, 2017, 11:01 am

WildfireK

Chapter 3-2

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“Coalblaze, for the remainder of the journey you will walk with me. This conflict is now resolved,” Frostfire announced with astounding clarity and finality. It was clear that the she-cat was already filling her mold as leader perfectly. Nobody was surprised. Frostfire had always been a leader within the clan, no matter her status. Coalblaze shamefully trudged to the albino leader and hung his head. Frostfire made no attempt at consoling him, and wordlessly, the two walked in silence, save for the tension crackling between them. Lynxheart noted that Frostfire had evaded ordering Swampshine around, instead predicting the medicine cat would walk by herself for the rest of the journey without her having to demand that she do so.
This time, after such a turbulent turn of events, nobody in ShadowClan dared to speak until they reached the camp. Swampshine padded silently along with Shadowsmoke to the medicine den to get herself fixed up, though also to avoid contact with any of the other warriors. Frostfire beckoned for Coalblaze to follow her into the leader’s den, and Lynxheart could feel the pain and defeat radiating from Coalblaze, even from across the clearing, as he braced for his imminent doom. Lynxheart felt pity and sadness stab him in the heart as the den that once was Coalblaze’s favorite place to chat and relax with his leader became an inhospitable dark void that swallowed the once innocent, happy-go-lucky tom whole like a piece of prey.
Lynxheart started in the direction of the leader’s den, but then quickly caught himself, knowing that since he was a warrior now, he would have to sleep in the warriors’ den. That was a daunting task, as the tired tom knew that most cats would act awkwardly around him, knowing that he was a former leader, now disgraced and demoted through their actions.
Lynxheart sighed. All hope he had at finally catching a good night’s rest after his countless nights lying awake, planning and worrying, deserted him like his clan. Tonight would be no better. Lynxheart dismally wondered if he would ever get a good night’s rest for the rest of his life. He never got used to having so little sleep.
As the pessimistic, downtrodden tom padded into the warriors’ den, several heads looked up, expecting to see the glimmering, shimmering dignity that had presented itself to them so many times when Lynxheart was leader, but instead, they were greeted by a careworn figure that shook in the wind. Their leader, now that he had abandoned his façade of confidence, let every bit of his once perfect, regal posture scream the words ‘failure’ and ‘disgrace’ even though the tom was no worse off morally than he was as ShadowClan’s leader. The defeated leader stumbled over the bodies of several warriors, though none of them complained out of respect and pity, and collapsed near his old friends Crowsand and Aspensong. Both of them flashed him immensely guilty looks, but Lynxheart looked away, unable to bear any more of the emotional turmoil that plagued his friends. Instead, Lynxheart found his gaze drift among the warriors in the den. Some of them flashed him guilty looks as well; they couldn’t have possibly predicted that he would take the loss of power so hard, but most avoided eye contact and looked awkwardly away. Some feigned sleep, hoping that Lynxheart wouldn’t notice and judge them too harshly. Lynxheart didn’t.
Lynxheart’s heart ached longingly to talk with his friends, but the most they could share was a meaningful glance. In the warriors’ den, it was impossible to speak in private when cats were awake, and the awkward situation did not help. Instead Lynxheart put his head down on the moss-covered floor and tried to sleep. It took him about two hours before he could finally calm his mind down enough to dream; simply too much had happened today, and his mind was still reeling.
Dawn came sooner than Lynxheart expected, which was not something that he particularly liked very much. Drowsily lifting his head as the sun rudely peeped through the entrance to the den, Lynxheart braced himself for a day of change. It was like waking up on an alien world; now Frostfire would choose a new deputy, and Lynxheart would have to get used to living the life a warrior, something that he had not done in moons. He would take orders from the cat he normally gave orders to. Things were turned upside down in reality as much as they were in his brain. Lynxheart trudged out of the warriors’ den, looking for Coalblaze, After their meeting, the black tom had slept in the leader’s den for a reason that Frostfire had not yet announced. Lynxheart couldn’t help feeling like Coalblaze was a prisoner in his own camp, being kept next to Frostfire against his will. Another stab of pity for his friend pierced his heart. As soon as Lynxheart saw Coalblaze, he would dedicate the entire day to him and spend as much time with him as possible. It would be beneficial to both cats to be able to find some time to slow down and simply love each other without having to defend each other from hostile cats.
Lynxheart’s heart leapt when he saw his favorite black warrior pad slowly and groggily out of the leader’s den, while Frostfire sat on top, supervising the clan. His pelt was a bit ruffled and his eyes were a bit weary, but otherwise in one piece. Thank StarClan. Some suspicious, wary eyes turned to face the warrior, but other eyes were focused intently away, avoiding awkward eye contact. Shadowsmoke walked out of the medicine den, guiding the injured Swampshine along. The ShadowClan medicine cat’s face was covered in leaves and cobwebs, hiding whatever nasty scars that Coalblaze had left in his rage. As such, the she-cat stumbled nervously as her apprentice led her on. If Swampshine could see Coalblaze as he slogged over to the fresh-kill pile, she would have been bristling and spitting insults, but since she was temporarily blinded, she had to rely on the help of Shadowsmoke. She did not like it one bit –it was a huge blow to her ShadowClan independence.
The black warrior caught Shadowsmoke’s eye, but they both looked shamefully away. Both felt guilty about letting ShadowClan’s medicine cat get hurt. Lynxheart’s former apprentice, desperate to avoid facing the uncomfortable, piercing glances of any more of his clanmates alone, padded over to Lynxheart.
“Ugh. I wish last night never happened,” Coalblaze uttered, collapsing down heavily on the ground in front of Lynxheart. The black warrior stretched himself out in an awkward angle but made no attempt to correcting himself, being too defeated to care.
“Me too, Coalblaze, me too,” Lynxheart consoled.
“You aren’t angry with me, are you?” Coalblaze asked, his voice barely a whisper. Lynxheart’s heart broke. Of course he wasn’t! He was incredibly touched by Coalblaze’s loyalty to his friend. Lynxheart suddenly was aware of how vulnerable the young, innocent young warrior was. If he even implied that he was disappointed by his friend – which we wasn’t, at all – he would risk breaking Coalblaze’s spirit forever.
“No! Of course not! I’m not disappointed or even remotely angry! I’m so proud of you, you know. Not a lot of cats are as loyal of a friend as you are,” Lynxheart replied soothingly, hoping to mollify Coalblaze bitter aftertaste and heighten his spirits.
“You’re just saying that to cheer me up,” Coalblaze asserted pessimistically. Lynxheart winced. If he had not been demoted, Coalblaze would never have said anything like this. The black warrior was rarely pessimistic, and Lynxheart had known him since he was a kit.
“When have I ever lied to you, Coalblaze?” Lynxheart responded, trying to reason Coalblaze’s way out of misery.
“Well, you’re so good at lying that I could never tell,” Coalblaze snapped, and then immedatley looked immensely sorry. “I-I’m sorry-I didn’t mean that, both that and the lashing out at your muzzle thing. Sorry,” Coalblaze whimpered, still having enough anger to spare. Even though the black warrior was angered by the injustices that had been done to his friend, it didn’t stop the focus of it slightly expanding to encompass Lynxheart.
“It’s fine. Everyone will forget,” Lynxheart stated, even though they might not. Coalblaze buried himself in his friend’s chest.
“Do you think Aspensong will still like me?” Coalblaze’s muffled voice sounded from the depths of Lynxheart’s think fur, vibrating the former leader’s body.
“I’m sure she will, just like I do,” Lynxheart responded. Coalblaze pulled himself back out of Lynxheart’s fur, blinking back tears of gratitude.
“Right. You’re right. I’ll go meet her now. I’m sure she’s worrying about me,” Coalblaze whispered, then, without another word, stalked off into the warriors’ den to wake Aspensong.
Under the watchful gaze of Frostfire, Lynxheart looked around. Though the last drops of dew still hung from the leaves of the undergrowth, and the fog still pervaded the atmosphere, ShadowClan camp felt so different. Now that Lynxheart had been knocked down from the pedestal he had sat upon during his time serving as leader, the tom would see from the perspective of a warrior. Lynxheart’s ears angled backwards as he caught the sound of pawsteps behind him, as well as the rustling of leaves. Yeweye crawled out of the warriors’ den, and treaded past Lynxheart with a greeting. She sat down near the fresh-kill pile and began grooming herself, enjoying the last few moments of dawn.
The former leader began counting the cats he saw outside of their dens, making sure that each and every one of his cats were accounted for – Lynxheart paused – he was a warrior now. That doesn’t stop me from making sure my clanmates are safe, Lynxheart argued. The other side of him relented and Lynxheart resumed counting. Voidtail and Cypressroot were lingering around the nursery, talking to Firfire and Chervileye, while the two queens’ little kits romped around their mother’s legs. Coalblaze and Aspensong were still inside the warriors’ den, and Shadowsmoke was helping Swampshine pick out a few pieces of prey for her to eat. Ducking back inside the warriors’ den, Lynxheart could see the sleeping bodies of Sandwave, Roserain, Squirreltail, and Snowclaw. Lynxheart noticed the absence of Crowsand, Fadesong, Twoheart, and Ashface. Frostfire must have sent them out on patrols. Lynxheart padded towards the elders’ den, scenting all three of the elders resting peacefully. The former leader turned to his former deputy. Frostfire returned his gaze with burning pride.
“Frostfire, did you send out patrols already?” Lynxheart asked politely. Frostfire, now having no need to act as diplomatically, gave a haughty sniff.
“Of course I have! I used to be deputy, you know. I have plenty of experience with patrols,” The bristling leader mewed. Lynxheart back away carefully.
“O-of course. I was just checking,” Lynxheart reassured. Frostfire turned away. If you’re going to act like that to me, fine! Lynxheart spat inside his mind, though he reminded himself that as a former leader, he would have to earn the respect of his clanmates once more, and Frostfire was still suspicious that he would try and regain power once more.
“Speaking of deputies, I have decided on the new deputy for ShadowClan,” Frostfire mewed, but kept her voice quiet enough so that only Lynxheart could hear her. She didn’t want anybody assuming that she would announce the choice now, when four cats were patrolling and many more were asleep. Lynxheart nodded.
“Congratulations,” He mewed earnestly, though if Frostfire took notice, which she probably did, she didn’t show it, instead treating it as a formality.
“Thank you,” Frostfire mewed quietly. The albino she-cat then turned away, clearly wanting nothing more to do with her former leader. Taking the hint, Lynxheart padded away to see how Aspensong and Coalblaze were getting along. Entering the warriors’ den once more, treading carefully around the bodies of the warriors, Lynxheart arrived at the very back, where Coalblaze and Aspensong were talking in hushed whispers. Both warriors stopped their conversation guiltily, but their expressions softened and the two relaxed when they saw that the intruder was Lynxheart, not somebody suspicious and wary like Yeweye or somebody they were criticizing like Swampshine or Frostfire.
“So, everything’s going fine?” Lynxheart asked casually.
“Yeah,” Coalblaze and Aspensong said together in perfect harmony, something that they had always done; the two were still good friends and knew each other to the tiniest detail. However, observant Lynxheart could not help but point out the awkward tension in their mew. They wanted Lynxheart to go away but remain at the same time.
“Good! Even though you two are warriors now, there’s always a ton to learn. Are you two up to becoming apprentices again and trying out some battle moves?” Aspensong, the fire in her eyes igniting, nodded vigorously. Coalblaze hesitated, and then did the same.
“Okay then! Since I’m no longer leader, we should all have a bit of fun,” Lynxheart chuckled, pushing his way out of the den into the ShadowClan mist. Though he couldn’t see the two young warriors behind him, he thought he could sense Aspensong nuzzle Coalblaze reassuringly on his cheek before racing ahead to catch up with Lynxheart as he padded towards the camp exit. That’s sweet, Lynxheart thought. Coalblaze will be in good hands if the rest of the clan rejects him.
As Lynxheart padded to the camp exit, a voice sounded from behind him.
“Where are you going, Lynxheart?” Frostfire’s commanding mew called.
“I’m going to train with Aspensong and Coalblaze. No harm in sharpening claws!” Lynxheart called back.
“Why don’t you wait until the patrol gets back? I sent them off a while ago, so they’ll be back soon. Why don’t you wake everyone instead? I have an important announcement to make,” Frostfire asked, though it was more of an order than a question. Coalblaze groaned. Lynxheart knew that his friend loved practicing his battle moves. Hoping that Frostfire didn’t hear that, though she probably had, Lynxheart nodded silently and walked back into the warriors’ den for a third time.
After all of the groggy, grumpy warriors and elders had been roused from their slumber, running pawsteps echoed throughout the tranquil air of the delta. Lynxheart and the other cats turned to face the camp entrance, where they knew the patrol would arrive. Sure enough, the four warriors sent on patrol raced into the clearing.
“Ha! I beat you all!” Twoheart boasted, as he was the first one to reach the center.
“What are you doing? You must have scared off half the prey in ShadowClan territory!” Yeweye growled. She was a grump, but she was reasonable.
“We only raced from the training grounds to camp. There isn’t prey there,” Twoheart reasoned. Yeweye looked away sulkily.
“Anyway,” Frostfire interrupted, “Now that everyone is here and awake, I have an important announcement to make. I have decided on who the new deputy for ShadowClan will be.” There was no surprise among the ShadowClan cats, nor was there any confusion or doubt. The choice for deputy was obvious, so Frostfire would not have had to think a lot to decide.
“I have decided that the new deputy of ShadowClan will be Voitail. I expect to see you treat him with the same respect you give me. Thank you,” Frostfire proclaimed formally, and nobody, not even Voitail, looked shocked. The experienced warrior dipped his head, accepting his place as deputy.
“Good. Now that that’s done, Swampshine and I will be traveling to the Moonpool to receive my nine lives. Shadowsmoke will also accompany us in order to support Swampshine. With Voidtail as deputy, I am sure that my clan is in good hands. Farewell, for this is the last time I will be Frostfire. When I return, I will be Froststar. May StarClan light your path,” Frostfire stated, leaping down from the leader’s den to join Shadowsmoke and Swampshine. All three ducked inside the medicine den to take the herbs they needed to travel. Lynxheart turned, looking for Aspensong and Coalblaze among the warriors. Spotting them, Lynxheart padded over and herded them into a group near the entrance.
“Now that Frostfire’s made her announcement, I think we can go and train,” Lynxheart mewed, as Frostfire and the medicine cats emerged from the den, ready to leave.
“By the way, Aspensong and Coalblaze, have you done your duties yet?” Frostfire asked. Since there were no apprentices in ShadowClan, Aspensong and the other new warriors would do apprentice duties until Chervileye and Firfire’s kits were able to become apprentices, which was just a moon away. Coalblaze groaned, but Aspensong stayed silent. Usually they would groan in perfect tandem.
“Oh, yeah. I forget about that. Sorry, but it seems like you’ll have to do those first,” Lynxheart apologizes. Secretly, he was fuming that Frostfire would go out of her way to make sure that Lynxheart was separated from his friends. It appeared that the albino she-cat was still very suspicious of him trying to gain power; after all, it was what she had done.
“Right. Goodbye, Lynxheart. I’ll be off now,” Frostfire mewed, facing the tom, while Shadowsmoke and Swampshine deliberately looked the other way. Silently, the trio then padded out of camp and towards the moonstone. Lynxheart waited until the sound of their pawsteps sloshing through the murky water faded into the distance before turning back to Coalblaze and Aspensong. The former had a mutinous expression plastered on his face. Evidently the black tom was just as angry as Lynxheart was, but had no experience hiding it. Aspensong, however, didn’t look all that disappointed.
“C’mon, Coalblaze. Let’s just get it over with. Even though Frostfire’s leader, she still won’t ever be able to separate us!” Aspensong consoled, placing her tail on Coalblaze’s back. Looking comforted, the black tom muttered a ‘fine’ with the characteristic good humor that Lynxheart had missed the past day. Lynxheart smiled. The power struggle that plagued ShadowClan had tried to touch the young companions, but it would never bring them down nor tear them apart. If only Lynxheart had someone like that – Crowsand and Coalblaze were like sons and Ravineraven was like a father. He wanted friends, not family. Lynxheart sighed, shaking his head. He was too cautious to have friends.

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December 13th, 2017, 4:33 pm

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August 8th, 2017, 12:18 pm

ShadowStalker1128

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Yay, Coalsong lives on!

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August 8th, 2017, 12:19 pm

WildfireK

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August 8th, 2017, 1:02 pm

ShadowStalker1128

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@WildfireK: hai :3

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August 8th, 2017, 1:03 pm

LightEclipse

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August 8th, 2017, 1:04 pm

WildfireK

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@LightEclipse:
Hoi bois
None of you are bois lol

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August 8th, 2017, 1:08 pm

ShadowStalker1128

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@WildfireK:
@LightEclipse:

So many persons

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