Leopardheart pulled her paws up the mountain. "Come on, lazy cats. we have to get Lightfeather back!" She meowed sternly.
"Ok, ok," meowed Brightfoot.
Leopardkit looked at Arcticleaf, her mother. "Mother?" She meowed. "Yes?" Replied Arcticleaf through a muffled voice. "Being a kit is boring," she meowed.
"Yes, yes," meowed Arcticleaf. "But there is a possibility you could be a great warrior," meowed Arcticleaf. "I know," mewed Leopardkit.
Leopardkit went back to scratching the den walls. She wanted to fight really good.
"Leopardkit?" Asked a voice. It was Spotkit. "What?" Asked Leopardkit. "Our mother is going outside," he mewed. "So?" Asked Leopardkit.
"We have a chance to get out of the nursery," he meowed.
Leopardkit walked outside. "Their all gone!" She meowed. Spotkit ran out into the open. "Not Treeleap," he warned.
The three kits followed Arcticleaf`s scent. When they got there, they saw fighting cats. "A battle!" Squeaked Orangekit.
"Your precious kits," meowed the leader of LeafClan. He walked over to us. "Momma! Momma!" We squeaked. He clawed Spotkit, sending lots of blood out of him.
"How dare you?" Said a voice. One they didn`t know. "You know it`s against the code to kill kits," said Dappledflight, deputy of LeafClan.
"Not in our Clan," hissed Brightstar. Arcticleaf came over. She bit Brightstar. "I`ll kill you too," he said.
Leopardkit couldn`t watch.
Leopardkit closed her eyes. She heard a voice. "Wolfstripe?" She said. "It`s me," said Wolfstripe.
Leopardkit opened her eyes. To her surprise, Arcticleaf was fine. Spotkit was only half alive. "Spotkit.." Said Arcticleaf.
It had been a week since Spotkit was injured. "Spotkit! Want to play?" Asked Orangekit.
"Not right now." He said. Orangekit and Leopardkit walked away. "Hey! A butterfly!" Said Leopardkit.
They chased after it. "Bet you cant catch it!" Said Orangekit. "Bet I can!" Said Leopardkit.
Arcticleaf grinned. "Remember, your going to be apprentices soon," she said. Leopardkit nodded. Fawnpaw padded over. "You are going to be great apprentices," she said.
"Thanks!" They squealed. Fawnpaw had just become an apprentice herself. They heard the leader.
"I bet that`s you," said Fawnpaw. They walked over. "Leopardkit?" Asked Foxstar. "What?" Said Leopardkit. "Do you promise to obey the warrior code and train with your mentor?" She asked.
"I do." Said Leopardkit. Leopardkit was Leopardpaw, and her mentor was Wolfstripe. Spotkit was Spotpaw- but something surprising happened.
"But... The medicine cat already has an apprentice!" Said Horseflight. "But Spotpaw was very injured." Arcticleaf said. Arcticleaf was right.
He still had that long scar. "I want to be a warrior!" Said Spotpaw. There was so much commotion that day. "What will we do?" Asked Leopardpaw. "I don`t know." Said Orangepaw.
"If you can take it," said Arcticleaf. "Then, your mentor is Diamondriver," mewed Foxstar. Everyone cheered. "Spotpaw! Leopardpaw! Orangepaw!" They chanted.
Spotpaw was lucky to be alive. But, if he wants warrior training... He has to be tough. Arcticleaf shook her head. "I can`t have him as a warrior," she sighed.
He had already gotten beat up from playing with the other apprentices. Fawnpaw felt sorry, but Spotpaw simply said: 'No need'.
"He has to be my apprentice," said Treeleap. "Yes, I know. His wounds are opening," said Arcticleaf worriedly. "I`ll fix that," said Treeleap.
Diamondriver looked at Spotpaw. "You look very injured," she meowed. "He is! He is!" Yowled Leopardpaw. Treeleap had come to tend to his wounds.
"I can fight," said Spotpaw. But he was very weak when he attacked. "He needs me," said Treeleap. He was forced to go. Leopardpaw followed Treeleap.
"What can you do?" Asked Leopardpaw, forcing the words out. "He`s becoming my other apprentice," whispered Treeleap. Leopardpaw gasped.
"But the Clan needs more warriors," interrupted Forestfur. "I know," said Treeleap. Leopardpaw listened. "She does what`s best!" Wailed Leopardpaw. "How should I take orders from you, apprentice?" Asked Forestfur. Foxstar came in.
"Foxstar!" Said Leopardpaw. "Forestfur, the medicine cat knows what she`s doing," she said. Leopardpaw nodded.
Forestfur let out a growl. "Foxstar, I`ll kill you here and now," said Forestfur. "No," hissed Leopardpaw. She was tempted to leap right at him and bite his throat, but she knew she couldn`t. "What shall I do with him?" Asked Leopardpaw.
"Nothing," said Foxstar. Leopardpaw walked away.
She looked at Orangepaw. "I don't want Spotpaw to be injured, but I want him to be a warrior," she said.
"Me too," said Orangepaw. Spotpaw walked over. "It was my fault," he sighed. "Sorta..." Said Leopardpaw. "Will you forgive me?" Asked Spotpaw.
"Yes," said Leopardpaw.
Spotpaw looked at the ground. "Training time," said a voice from behind Leopardpaw. It was Wolfstripe. "Ok," replied Leopardpaw.
Leopardpaw padded to the training hollow. "Today you will learn the forepaw strike," said Wolfstripe. Wolfstripe showed Leopardpaw the move.
"Try it on me," said Wolfstripe. Leopardpaw did the move really good, but carefully. "That`s great!" Said Wolfstripe. Leopardpaw purred. I think that was the first time I`ve ever purred-since Spotpaw was injured. Thought Leopardpaw.
There was water everywhere. "Flood! Flood!" The words were drowned out by the bubbling of water.
"Help!" Yowled Leopardpaw. Her paws were being dragged of the ground and out of camp. "Please.." Said Leopardpaw. Suddenly, she couldn't breathe.
She knew she was going to go to StarClan. Everything went black.
"Leopardpaw!" said a voice. "Wolfstripe?" She mumbled as she got to her paws. "Yes. It`s me and Treeleap," said Wolfstripe. "What happened?" Asked Leopardpaw.
"You almost drowned," replied Treeleap. Leopardpaw couldn`t believe it. "Did my littermates see?" Leopardpaw asked, embarresed. "Only Spotpaw," replied Wolfstripe.
Leopardpaw blushed. "Can I go back to the apprentices den?" She asked. "Yes," replied Treeleap.
Leopardpaw over heard the conversation.
"Hey, apprentices! Leopardpaw blacked out!"
"DID NOT!" Yowled Leopardpaw. Spotpaw looked at her. "She`s lying," he told them. "Yeah sure, Spotpaw," said Fawnpaw. Leopardpaw was glad to have someone at her side.
But she was lying, she couldn`t deny it. She sat in her nest. "Believe me," said Leopardpaw to the other apprentices. "We do," mumbled Vinepaw.
Leopardpaw smiled. "I`m going to make dirt," said Leopardpaw to get away from the others. "Ok," said Orangepaw. She ran to the ravine.
"What?" Said a voice from behind her. She almost jumped out of her fur. "Oh, hi Foxstar," said Leopardpaw. "What are you doing here?" Asked Foxstar. "I`m just trying to get away from everyone. It`s to crowded."
Foxstar nodded. "I do that too," she meowed. Leopardpaw felt better. All these lies... She somehow felt she had gotten away from them.
Spotpaw was watching in the branches. "Spotpaw?" Asked Leopardpaw when she saw him. Spotpaw looked at her. "Busted," he said. He ran back to camp. "That was weird," said Foxstar.
"Yes," replied Leopardpaw. "Well, Leopardpaw, I saw you drown. You were very brave." Said Foxstar.
"I think we should make you a warrior early."
Leopardpaw gasped. "Ok," she replied. "I will name you Leopardheart," continued Foxstar. Leopardpaw smiled. "That`s a great name!" She replied.
"Glad you think so," said Foxstar. With that, she padded off.
Leopardpaw looked at the setting sun. Time for my warrior ceremony. She thought. Foxstar called the cats together. "Today, we will have a special part of warrior life." She said.
"Leopardpaw, Orangepaw, Spotpaw. Step forward," said Foxstar. The three cats stepped over. "Leopardpaw, you will now be known as Leopardheart." Said Foxstar. "Spotpaw, you will now be known as Spotpelt."
And Orangepaw was Orangestorm. "Leopardheart! Spotpelt! Orangestorm!" The cats chanted.
Leopardheart blushed. "Thanks, Foxstar," she purred. "Your welcome," replied Foxstar. "Go to your den. You will be on the dawn patrol tomorrow."
Leopardheart walked into her new den. It scented of Tigerheart and Wolfstripe. "Hi," said Leopardheart as she padded over. "Hello," said Tigerheart.
"I see your the new warrior," purred Tigerheart. "Yes, I am," replied Leopardheart. Wolfstripe beamed with pride. "And I was her mentor," she added. Leopardheart couldn`t help feeling proud for her.
"I need to get some rest," Leopardheart said. She curled up in her new nest.
"Leopardheart, your on dawn patrol," said Diamondriver. "Ok, coming," replied Leopardheart.
Leopardheart padded out of her den. "It reeks like a fox here!" She complained, smelling fox. "Your right," replied Tigerheart.
Tigerheart padded forward. "There`s a den over there," he said quietly. Leopardheart looked beyond the ferns. "I can see it," she said.
She got closer. She could smell warm milk. "There are fox cubs," she reported. Diamondriver nodded. "I can smell them," she replied. A big fox padded out.
It took a glance at them, and started growling. "We should get out of here," said Leafripple. They ran back to camp. "There`s a fox on our territory!" Yowled Leopardheart.
Foxstar came out of her den. "Show me," she said. They padded back to where they found the fox. "It also has cubs," added Leopardheart.
Foxstar had gone back to camp to get some warriors to investigate. She had put Leopardheart on guard. "Leafripple, I smell the warriors," said Leopardheart.
Leafripple whipped his head around. "I see them," he said. The pounding of paws came closer. "Foxstar said you found a fox," said Horseflight.
"We did," replied Tigerheart. Orangestorm came closer. "I smell them. The scent isn`t stale," she said. "We need some warriors to go in," growled Forestfur.
"Very well," replied Wolfstripe. Forestfur told Leopardheart, Tigerheart, and Horseflight to go in. "Be very careful," whispered Leopardheart.
They padded quietly through the passage. Leopardheart`s heart was beating fast.
"Do you smell trouble, Leopardheart?" Asked Tigerheart. "Not yet," she replied. The passage was long. It curved into small and big paths. "We're blind in here," said Horseflight.
"But we have to do what the deputy says," pointed out Leopardheart. Soon, they came to a small passage and smelled warm milk. "We're close," she said.
She could see the fur of the fox cubs. "They look like newborns," said Tigerheart. "I see," replied Leopardheart. She stepped forward, very carefully.
She could hear their moaning. "Their mother isn't here," said Leopardheart. "Good. We can finish them off," replied Horseflight. Leopardheart unseathed her claws.
My first battle, She thought.
The fox cubs whined. "I will need backup," said Leopardheart. "I`ll take that role," said Tigerheart. Leopardheart pounced on the cubs, Horseflight soon after. Leopardheart clawed one of them.
"I suggest the eye," said Tigerheart from behind. "Whatever you say," mumbled Leopardpaw with a tuft of fox fur in her mouth. She raked her claws on one`s eye.
It squeaked, and bumped into the cave walls. "It`s blind," said Horseflight. Then, Leopardheart pounced on the blind fox, ending it with a swift bite.
"Great job," said Tigerheart. There was only one cub left. Horseflight raked his claws on its eyes, it went blind too. He ended it like Leopardheart. "We're done," said Tigerheart.
They padded out. "We heard you in there," said Wolfstripe when they came out. "We killed them," said Leopardheart. The ran back to camp. "Great job," said Foxstar when she heard the news.
"They died blind," said Leopardheart.
"Kits! Kits!" Cried Treeleap with worry. Cats gathered around the nursery. "I hope Brightfoot has a good kitting," Leopardheart said.
"With the right cats, she will," replied Crystalpaw. Leopardheart wasn't sure. "Their here!" Said Brightfoot. Leopardheart peeked in. There were 3 beautiful kits.
"1 tom and two she-cats," said Treeleap. "I will name the yellow one Lightkit," purred Brightfoot. "The white one Blizzardkit, and the gray one Wildkit."
Leopardheart purred with delight. "Come in," she whispered to Wolfstripe. "I don't feel like it," she replied. Leopardheart padded out. Tigerheart was grooming himself.
"Hi, Leopardheart," he said cheerfully. "Hi!" Replied Leopardheart. She sat down beside him.
"Wonderful day, huh?" Said Tigerheart. "Yes," purred Leopardheart. Tigerheart looked down at his paws. "I always meant to ask you something..." He started. "What is it?" Leopardheart asked.
"Will... Will you be my mate?"
Leopardheart looked shocked. She had just become a warrior! "Sure," she replied without thinking. Leopardheart realized what she had said.
She didn't regret it. "I hope we have wonderful kits," purred Leopardheart. Tigerheart nodded. Wolfstripe was looking, shocked. "I thought you weren't ready," said Wolfstripe.
"Well I am," replied Leopardheart. Wolfstripe sat down, looking relaxed. Tigerheart looked at Leopardheart.
"What should we do?"
Leopardheart was deep in thought. "Hmmm... I don't know," she replied. Tigerheart looked back down at his paws. Was he regretting what he said? Leopardheart wasn't sure.
Wolfstripe was purring. "Your just to cute," she said. Leopardheart scowled. She wasn't cute! She was a fierce warrior! "Im not cute," she replied.
Wolfstripe shook her head. "Your on patrol!" Said Diamondriver. "Ok," said Leopardheart. She padded off. "Hi, Leopardheart," said Fawnleaf. "Hi," said Leopardheart.
Fawnleaf was a new warrior.
Well... Along with Vinestripe, and Stripethorn. Leopardheart padded out of camp with the patrol. "LeafClan scent," said Stripethorn. He was right.
"They're deep in our territory," growled Leopardheart. "Horseflight, get more warriors," said Diamondriver. Soon, Horseflight was back. "This will be good," said Vinestripe.
Diamondriver led them through the brambles. "Were on LeafClan territory now," said Leopardheart. She could see the outline of a LeafClan cat.
"What are you doing here?" Demanded Flightfire, a LeafClan warrior. "What were you doing hunting on our territory?" Growled Stripethorn. Flightfire ran to camp.
Leopardheart clawed Brambleheart. She dug her teeth into his fur before he could make a move. He fled into the camp, yowling. "Not this time," said a voice behind here.
She bit the tom that had said that. "We will have victory," said Leopardheart. She bit down on his leg before he could attack. But he kicked her off. "Nice try," he chuckled.
She lunged at his throat, to quick for him to do anything. She bit down hard. He layed limp. Leopardheart helped Vinestripe get Maplefur off him.
"Thanks," he mumbled. "LeafClan, retreat!" Yowled Dapplestar. Cats fled into the bushes. But, one cat from her Clan layed limp on the ground. Foxstar. "No!" She wailed.
Cats gathered around her. Yowls of protest to LeafClan came from WildClan warriors. "I know who did it," said Stripethorn. "Grassfang." He said. Leopardheart growled.
Foxstar was in the medicine cat den. "I will rip up the LeafClan cats if Foxstar is dead," said Leopardheart. Treeleap looked at her paws. "Well," she whispered.
"Foxstar has 2 lives left."
Leopardheart was calmer. "At least she can still live," said Leopardheart. Treeleap nodded. Leopardheart was grateful of StarClan for letting their leader live.
"She's losing a life," said Treeleap. Leopardheart curled up in her mossy nest. "You can tend my wounds while I sleep," said Leopardheart. She drifted off to sleep.
"Lightfeather!?" She was calling. She knew it was a dream. "Where are you?" She asked. She peeked over a gorge. Lightfeather was on another cliff. "There you are!"
Leopardheart raced toward her, but she realized something. She was FLYING. "This is easier then I thought," she said. But, Lightfeather was gone. She was falling over the cliff.
"No!" Wailed Leopardheart. Soon, she was also falling. She woke up in Treeleap's den. "Good morning," said Treeleap. "You too," replied Leopardheart. She padded out.
"You're not on Dawn Patrol," said Foxstar. "Ok," said Leopardheart. She padded to the fresh-kill pile. "Hi, Leopardheart," said Fawnleaf. "Hi," she replied.
She grabbed a vole.
"That was just caught," said Fawnleaf. "Sure tastes like it," replied Leopardheart. She gulped it down. Stripethorn was warming on some rocks. "Hi," he said.
"Hi," replied Leopardheart. The sun got stronger, and Leopardheart went to her den. But suddenly...
"Your on patrol!" Said Horseflight. "Ok," said Leopardheart. She walked out to the clearing. Lightkit was tumbling around with Wildkit. But she went to the entrance.
Vinestripe, Diamondriver, and Horseflight were there. They started. "LeafClan is scared," jeered Vinestripe. Leopardheart laughed. She marked the borders.
"They wont be back anytime soon," said Dappledstar. She turned around. LeafClan warriors were there. "I'll get more cats!" Said Vinestripe. He dashed away.
Leopardheart slashed at a orange tom. "You will never come again!" She yowled. She bit down in his leg before he could attack. He fled. She saw Diamondriver pinned down.
She threw a white tom off him. But soon, a cat pinned her down. Nobody came to help. "Take that!" Yowled Orangestorm. She knocked the tom off Leopardheart, it fled.
A she-cat knocked Spotpelt to the ground. Leopardheart bit down on the she-cat. She fled. "LeafClan, retreat!" Yowled Dappledstar.
Leopardheart had seen Grassfang cross the border. They were holding him prisoner.
"Please, let me go!"
Leopardheart padded over. "Never, spy," she replied. Grassfang looked taken aback. Lightpaw, Wildpaw, and Blizzardpaw and just become apprentices. "Hi, Leopardheart!" Said Lightpaw.
"Hi," she replied. "It was cool when you took Grassfang," remarked Wildpaw. "Ok.." Said Leopardheart. Lightpaw and Wildpaw padded away, chattering. Grassfang was still snarling.
"Don't be silly," said Wolfstripe to Grassfang. "Im not," he growled. "Don't think we will let you out," said Leopardheart. Grassfang lashed out at her, but it was no use.
She just backed away. "Ha!" Said Leopardheart. Grassfang snarled. Foxstar looked down from the Highrock. "Having fun?" She asked. "Yes," replied Leopardheart. They ran around the clearing.
Soon, the sun was setting. They were laughing in the warriors den. "Your acting like kits," said Vinestripe. Suddenly, memories pooled around Leopardheart. Fawnpaw playing with them,
messing with the apprentices... She was jerked back by a voice. "Leopardheart?" It was Stripethorn. "Im ok," she replied. Tigerheart was laughing with Fawnleaf.
Leopardheart tipped her head. She looked at the den walls. "Its getting dark," she said. She curled up in her nest, and soon drifted off to sleep. "Lightfeather!"
She was calling Lightpaw's warrior name again. Lightpaw was flying again. "No!" Called Leopardheart. Lightpaw started to fall. Leopardheart fell too. "Good morning," said Tigerheart.
"You too," replied Leopardheart. She walked out of her den. She wondered why she was having that dream. Stripethorn was by the fresh-kill pile. Leopardheart grabbed a vole.
She took it to the warriors den. "Hi, Fawnleaf," she said when the young warrior padded out. "Hi," she replied. Fawnleaf went to the edge of camp with a hunting party.
Leopardheart looked at the Highrock. Foxstar was in her den. She was talking with Blizzrdpaw. None of my business, thought Leopardheart.
But she was tempted to pad up there. But soon...
"All cats old enough to catch their own prey, gather beneath the Highrock!"
Leopardheart padded over. "We have some early warriors today," she started. "They have had good training though," she continued. Other cats nodded.
"Lightpaw, from this moment on you will be known as Lightfeather," said Foxstar. Wildpaw was Wildgrass, and Blizzardpaw was Blizzardheart. Foxstar dismissed the Clan.
Lightfeather was by the fresh-kill pile with Leopardheart. "Newly caught prey is so good," remarked Lightfeather. "I know," said Leopardheart. A border patrol came back.
"There's LeafClan scent!" Exclaimed Stripethorn. Horseflight, Leopardheart, Wildgrass, Lightfeather, Blizzardheart, and Vinestripe got to come along.
"Its time for revenge," growled Snowtail, the LeafClan deputy. "WildClan, attack!"
Cats went swarming into the clearing. Stripethorn lunged for one's throat. Stripethorn had just enough time to get in the blow. The cat ran away, screeching.
Leopardheart slashed at a LeafClan warrior. He kept dodging, until Leopardheart bit down hard on his leg. He fled into the brambles, then got caught in them. Leopardheart chuckled.
Vinestripe was holding off Dappledstar. Leopardheart came to help, and gave her a storm of blows. "You should be Scaredstar!" She teased. Leopardheart leaped onto her back.
She gave her a bite, making her bleed. "LeafClan, retreat!"
"You better retreat," said Wildgrass. He had earned a scar. "Hey, that scar looks bad," said Leopardheart without thinking. "Oh, It'll be fine." Replied Wildgrass.
"If you say so," replied Leopardheart. Please, tell the truth. She thought. But she would be able to shrug it off by tomorrow. "WildClan, lets go," said Foxstar.
"I lave some bad news," said Foxstar. They were in camp after the battle. "Horseflight is dead," she meowed. Ripples of worry spread through the crowd. "He has fought his battles,"
said Leopardheart. Foxstar nodded, and looked down in grief. "I wish nobody was dead," she whispered. Leopardheart thought of her future kits. What if they were born dead?
She pushed the thought out of her mind. "We all grieve," continued Foxstar. "He was a worthy warrior." Almost all the Clan nodded, only Lightfeather didn't. "Do you grieve?" Asked Leopardheart.
"No," growled Lightfeather. "He deserved to die." Foxstar looked at her is disbelief. "Lightfeather, you are now banned." She meowed.
Lightfeather ran out of the entrance, Leopardheart, Brightfoot, Bizzardpelt, and Wildgrass following. "Lets follow that warrior!" Said Leopardheart. They ran down the path.
"No, don't follow me." Growled Lightfeather. "Well, to bad, we will," replied Leopardheart. She ran across the border, through a snowy mountain.
"Come on, lazy cats. We have to get Lightfeather back!" Said Leopardheart. "Ok, ok," said Brightfoot. They raced to the top, still following Lightfeather. "Where is she going?"
Whispered Blizzardheart. "I have no idea," replied Leopardheart. She followed the little tracks. Leopardheart knew they were going to wash away sometime soon.
"Wildgrass, Blizzardheart, corner her," ordered Leopardheart. They had arrived in a small gorge. "Let me be free," growled Lightfeather. "We need you!" Said Wildgrass.
This Lightfeather wasn't the one Leopardheart knew. She was so lively when she was a 'paw! What had happened? "Brightfoot, you and I will block her path." Continued Leopardheart.
Brightfoot nodded, and padded to the place where Lightfeather could escape, along with Leopardheart. "Your not going anywhere!" Exclaimed Blizzardheart. "I will."
Leopardheart looked back to see a rouge. "Oh, youngsters. What are you doing here?" Asked The rouge. "That's none of your business." Growled Wildgrass. "My name is Alanza." Said The Rouge.
"What weird name is 'Alanza'?" Asked Brightfoot. "A rouge name." Replied Alanza. "Not a very good one," commented Blizzardheart. "It is," growled Alanza. "Ok, ok," said Blizzardheart.
Alanza led the three cats to a pool. "Where is Lightfeather? Is this a trick?" Growled Wildgrass. "Calm down," was all Alanza said. Leopardheart looked at the water.
It rippled rapidly, like a waterfall. "Is coming here?" Repeated Wildgrass. "I don't know," replied Leopardheart. Alanza was getting something ready. Hmmm... Thought Leopardheart.
She whipped her head around, looking for a flash of yellow. But there was no sign of Lightfeather. "We've been waiting," growled Leoardheart. "Just a little bit longer."
Alanza probably was talking nonsense. How could this rouge just suddenly know about Clan life? Was he a former Clan cat?
Alanza flicked his tail. Leopardheart stared. "Lightfeather won't be coming," growled Wildgrass. He left, silently. Leopardheart went after him.
"Where are you going?" Asked Alanza. "You tricked us." Said Leopardheart as she slipped through the bushes. Lightfeather's pelt suddenly flashed. Leopardheart and Wildgrass went after it.
"I am willing to come back." Said Lightfeather. Leopardheart smiled gleefully. She was reunited with one of her best friends, and will live from here on a happy life.