Here is chapter 2!
You guys will be happy to know that this chapter is really long! (2,554 words!) I didn't expect it to be so long, but this is how it turned out. (for those of you that think this isn't long, you should see some chapters in other stories I wrote. They can be really short.)
After ceremony everyone went back to what they were doing. I was so astonished – it all seemed so organised. How was I meant to know what I should do?
I noticed the other three new apprentices in a huddle together nearby and I padded over to them. I felt a little shy. What if they rejected me like some of the other cats in the clan?
They noticed me approach them. Clawpaw stepped forwards.
"Go away! We don't want your rogue diseases near us!" he hissed, his words spiked with venom. I almost flinched. This wasn't what I wanted to happen at all.
"That's mean!" Shadepaw cut in, "Ignore Clawpaw. He's just a bossy furball! We're happy to have you with us! Another she-cat for me to talk to!" I sighed in relief. Shadepaw seemed really nice. Clawpaw's ear twitched in irritation the same way that Proudclaw's did. For a moment I was puzzled, but then I remembered that Emberstar had said they were kin. Maybe that was where he got his mean attitude…
"I can't wait to start training," Tigerpaw commented, "I'm going to be the best warrior in the clan!"
"No you're not! I am!" Clawpaw retorted, "I'll prove it to you!" The two toms began to wrestle.
Shadepaw rolled her eyes. "Toms," she sighed.
"You guys ready for training?"
Ravenclaw had approached us, along with Proudclaw, Stripecloud, and Russetface. Shadepaw and her brothers nodded. I nodded too, although I felt nervous. How difficult would training be? What if it turned out that I was so rubbish at it that I was kicked out from ThunderClan? What would I do then? I wish I could feel as laid-back as the others. It didn't help that Proudclaw was glaring at me.
"Good," Ravenclaw replied, "Come on."
The four cats – warriors I think they were called – led us out of the rocky hollow. Shadepaw, Tigerpaw, and Clawpaw followed enthusiastically. I followed with less glee, fearing the worst. They didn't have to care about how well they did, simply that they had fun.
I had been in the forest before, so it was nothing new to me. I thought, that seeing as Shadepaw, Tigerpaw, and Clawpaw lived here, that they would have been in it too. However, they all showed great curiosity in their surroundings.
"Haven't you guys been here before?" I asked them.
"We have," Shadepaw replied, "But this time we get to explore it properly, without Silverlight watching over us constantly!" I assumed that Silverlight was their mother.
I realised that, in a way, I was more mature than the others. Perhaps it was because I had lost my memory, allowing me to have a different outlook on the world. Or maybe they were surprisingly immature for their age.
I had lost track of time. We had arrived at a river. There was a foreign scent coming from the other side.
"Across there is WindClan territory," Ravenclaw told us, "For those of you who don't know anything about WindClan," he cast a meaningful glance at me, "They live on the hills and hunt rabbits. They are well known amongst the clans for their speed. This river marks the border, and runs all the way to the lake. Let's follow it there."
It was clear to me that older cats commanded over younger ones – Ravenclaw was leading the entire group. It wasn't that he was really old, but there were telltale signs that he was more experienced than others – mostly in his eyes. He led the group downstream.
I fell in step beside Shadepaw. Tigerpaw and Clawpaw were behind us, with Stripecloud padding behind them to watch for danger. Ahead of us were the other warriors.
"I must be so weird for you, not knowing who you are," Shadepaw commented, "What's it like, not being able to remember anything?"
I shrugged. I didn't really trust Shadepaw enough to be completely honest with her. "What's it like being able to remember things? I can't really answer that question until I get my memory back."
"But what if you don't get your memory back?" Shadepaw asked me.
I had no idea what to say to that. I hadn't considered it before. I hadn't had time to consider it. Thankfully, I was saved from have to answer because we had just arrived at the lake.
"As you can see, there is the lake," Ravenclaw meowed, "I assume you have all been to the lake?"
We all nodded.
"Good," Ravenclaw smiled, "Now, we're going to make our way along to the ShadowClan border."
"What about the stuff in the middle of the territory?" Clawpaw asked.
"We'll explore that another day," Proudclaw spoke for the first time, "Right now we're going to show you the boundaries so you know where you can go and where you can't. So you know where your enemies are."
Clawpaw smiled and nodded, understanding. Ravenclaw gave a curt nod and led the way across the lakeshore.
I ended up walking with Shadepaw again. "So…" she said, "What were we talking about again?"
I didn't want to go back to our conversation about my memory. "I can't remember," I lied.
"Wasn't it… I can't remember either. Oh look, there's Bumblepaw and Icepaw!" Shadepaw indicated the two other apprentices that had just come out from the trees to the shore.
"Where are your mentors?" Proudclaw demanded to Bumblepaw and Icepaw, "You shouldn't be out on your own!"
"I'm here," a black she-cat I didn't know padded out from the trees, "And Snowflower is busy organising patrols. Proudclaw, don't always assume that apprentices are up to no good."
Proudclaw bristled slightly, but didn't reply.
"So how are they doing, Darkleaf?" Ravenclaw asked to break the tension. Bumblepaw and Icepaw padded over to us whilst the older cats had a discussion.
"Hey guys! Having fun on your first day out?" Bumblepaw asked us.
"Yeah!" Shadepaw replied enthusiastically, "Although we haven't done much. Just looked at borders."
"Nothing much does happen on your first day," Bumblepaw agreed, "But when you start hunting and fighting it gets interesting."
"Go away!" Clawpaw growled, "We don't want to talk to you."
Bumblepaw looked offended and Shadepaw blinked in shock. "That's a mean thing to say, especially since Bumblepaw is our cousin! Bumblepaw, ignore him, he's just being a grumpy furball!" Shadepaw meowed.
Clawpaw bristled. "But dad said-"
"When will you realise that what dad says isn't necessarily true?" Tigerpaw asked, "He said that Tinybrook is a weakling just because he's small, but I don't think he is."
"Well you clearly have no brains. Tinybrook is a weakling," Clawpaw argued.
"Don't insult my dad!" Bumblepaw growled, "I bet he is stronger than you."
"That is because I have only just become an apprentice, Bumblepaw," Clawpaw meowed curtly, "And Tinybrook is an experienced warrior. However, I don't think his experience is much use."
"I'm confused. Who is Tinybrook and who is your dad?" I asked, hoping to interrupt the argument.
"But out of things that don't concern you!" Clawpaw growled.
Shadepaw ignored him. "Ratheart is our father and Tinybrook is our uncle, and also Bumblepaw's father. And Icepaw's father." Shadepaw glanced meaningfully at Icepaw, who was clearly shy. She hadn't said a word the entire time.
I felt a shiver run through me. Ratheart was their father? No wonder Clawpaw was so horrible. Like father like son, clearly. But Tinybrook was their uncle? How could Ratheart insult someone who was either his brother or mate's brother?
"Come on Bumblepaw and Icepaw. We have some hunting to do!" Darkleaf called. Icepaw dashed away. Bumblepaw glared at Clawpaw before following.
"That was really rude, Clawpaw!" Shadepaw hissed, "You can be such a mousebrain sometimes! You don't say to a cat's face that you don't like them. That's mean!"
I wasn't really listening to what Shadepaw was saying. I was still digesting the fact that Ratheart, of all cats, was their father. I could understand it with Clawpaw – in attitude he was everything like him. But the other two were too… nice. Perhaps they had a really nice mother.
"Come on," Ravenclaw ordered. We followed him and the others further along the lakeshore. Yet again, I ended up walking with Shadepaw.
"See what I mean about toms? Clawpaw can be really mean sometimes. He's nice to cats he likes, but he can be really horrible to cats he doesn't," Shadepaw glanced at me, "You haven't seen his nice side, have you? He doesn't seem to like you that much. I think he doesn't like you because Ratheart and Proudclaw don't. He seems to copy them a lot."
I found that I didn't know what to say without offending Shadepaw – I had no desire to say nice things about Clawpaw, Proudclaw, or Ratheart. So instead I nodded and changed the subject. "So can you tell me about the clan? I don't know very much about it," I meowed.
"Oh, well, I better tell you about the different ranks," Shadepaw said, "Firstly, there is the leader. I'm sure you know what a leader is, so I won't explain anything about it. Our leader is Emberstar, as you may have already guessed. Then there is the deputy. The deputy is basically the second-in-command. They order cats around. Our deputy is Snowflower, who I know you've met."
"And are the rest of the cats warriors or apprentices or kits?" I asked.
"No, you're forgetting about the medicine cat," Shadepaw told me, "The medicine cat heals injuries and cures diseases. Our medicine cat is Bouncetail, who is also my uncle. His apprentice is Deerpaw."
"How many uncles do you have?" I asked, "From the sounds of things, you have loads."
Shadepaw smirked. "I have five uncles," she replied, "But that's because both of my parents have no sisters."
"Well that's probably more than I have, I think," I pointed out.
"I guess so," Shadepaw agreed.
"Here is the ShadowClan border," Ravenclaw announced. We had arrived roughly where the ThunderClan trees turned into pine trees, obviously where ShadowClan territory was. I yucky smell hit my nose, and it wasn't coming from fox dung.
"That hideous smell belongs to the pieces of crowfood that call themselves ShadowClan," Proudclaw growled, "Remember it well, for that is the smell of our most hated enemies."
I felt a shiver run through me. ShadowClan didn't sound very nice. But then again, that was Proudclaw's description of them. They were probably just like ThunderClan.
"The ShadowClan border runs up through the forest. I don't really think we have much need to show you it – you will know it's there from the foul stench," Ravenclaw meowed, "But we'll show you it anyway, just so you know where it is."
Ravenclaw led the way into the forest again. Once again I fell in step with Shadepaw.
"So, besides the leader, deputy, and medicine cat, there are the warriors (cats who fight and defend the clan), apprentices (young cats training to be warriors), kits (cats too young to train), queens (she-cats that are expecting or caring for kits) and elders (older cats who are retired). Does that explain everything else for you?" Shadepaw asked me.
"Yeah… Ah, mouse dung!" I cursed. I had just stepped on a thorn, and now it was embedded in my paw.
"What's happened?" Ravenclaw asked. The patrol had stopped, and everyone was staring at me.
"Lightpaw has a thorn stuck in her paw," Shadepaw told them.
"Should I take her back to camp so Bouncetail can have a look at it?" Russetface asked Ravenclaw.
He nodded. "I doesn't matter that much that she doesn't get to see all of the border," he said.
Shadepaw blinked. "Aw, but…" she trailed off, realising that I would have to go.
"See you later," I said brightly to try and cheer her up.
"Yeah, see you later," Shadepaw meowed.
"See you later," Tigerpaw meowed as well.
I heard Clawpaw mutter something under his breath, although I have no idea what he said. Whatever it was, it was probably to do with me. It also wouldn't have been very nice.
The patrol padded away. Russetface turned and led the way towards camp. I turned and followed him, limping. Every step on my paw made me wince, so I had to walk without it touching the ground. It meant that I couldn't walk very fast, so we progressed slowly through the woods. Suddenly a question popped into my head.
"Russetface, who is Mottlepelt?" I asked.
He stared at my in confusion for a moment, and then sighed. "Oh, of course, you don't know him because you've only just joined…" he meowed, "Um, Mottlepelt was my father, as Nighttalon kindly pointed out earlier."
"Was?" I queried.
"He died in battle when I was only an apprentice," the ginger tabby explained, "And now most cats think he was weak, especially since he was a rogue that joined. But he wasn't. He definitely wasn't. WindClan are just a bunch of murderers, that's all."
I could hear the pain in his voice, and decided not to press the subject any further. "There are four clans at the lake, right? So what is the other clan?" I asked, changing the subject.
"RiverClan. They like to eat fish and are the only cats that swim. They're mousebrains," Russetface meowed. Now that he wasn't talking about his dad, he seemed to be quite friendly.
In our journey back to camp, we got quite deep in conversation. I found him easy to talk to. He explained to me the warrior code, and he told me about clan traditions. It was weird, how organised the clans were. But then again, they had been around for a long, long time, according to Russetface.
We arrived back before the others did. Russetface led me across the clearing, past cats that looked at me as if I was pathetic. I sighed. Just because I wasn't born in the clans, doesn't mean I'm not as loyal and skilled as a clan cat, I thought to myself.
Russetface led me into a cave that smelled of strange plants. I assumed it was the medicine cat den. Inside were some moss and a pool of water. There was also a crack in the wall where the scent of plants was strongest. Oh, and there was also a cat sorting out plants.
Bouncetail was a brown tabby like his brothers, but there was something about him the made him different. Hopefully it was his personality. Bouncetail looked up at us.
"She stepped on a thorn," Russetface explained.
Bouncetail looked at me. "Ah, so you're Lightpaw! I was out collecting herbs when you arrived, so this is the first time I've seen you," Bouncetail meowed cheerfully, "Now, hold still so I can pull the thorn out."
I stayed still as asked, and Bouncetail gripped the thorn in my paw with his teeth. When he pulled it out, I yelped in pain. Why were thorns so sore?
Bouncetail then got some cobwebs and put them on my paw. "They should stop the bleeding. Don't go stepping on anymore thorns!" he meowed with a hint of amusement in his voice.
"I'll try not to," I replied.
I then left the medicine cat den with Russetface. So far, my time at ThunderClan was going okay.
So there you go. Hope you liked that! Tell me what you think of the characters in a review!
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