Chapter 6

Honeypaw blinked her eyes open. Faint sunlight was shining into the den, lighting it up. She sat up and licked a paw, drawing it over her head. After her washing, Honeypaw padded into the clearing.

Icestar was standing near the South tunnel, Shadowfoot, Stormcloud, Stonesight, and Sunflare were with her. Icestar was talking with Adderwind when she noticed Honeypaw. “Honeypaw,” she called. “Wake Thistlepaw and Sweetpaw, will you?” she continued her conversation with Adderwind.

Honeypaw padded back into the apprentices’ den, almost bumping into Thistlepaw. “Hey, watch where you’re going.” he growled through the ferns and hanging vines. “Icestar’s leaving. She’s waiting on you and Sweetpaw.” she told him.

Thistlepaw looked back at the sleeping tortoiseshell figure. “Good luck with her,” he meowed. “you’ll need it.”

Nodding, Honeypaw padded into the den. Sweetpaw was known in LostClan for her impatience and temper, so Honeypaw was reluctant as she extended a paw and prodded her in the side.

Sweetpaw’s eyes shot open imediately. “Who poked me?” she hissed.

Trying not to wince at her words, Honeypaw flicked an ear. “Icestar and her patrol are waiting for you.” she told her.

Sweetpaw sat bolt upright and licked her fur rapidly. “Great StarClan, I’ve forgotten!” Honeypaw followed Sweetpaw as she scrambled out of the den and over to Icestar.

Honeypaw sat down outside the apprentices’ den. She saw Coralfern and Bluepaw talking together, their heads close together. Coralfern lifted her head as Icestar led her patrol out of camp, “May StarClan light your path!” she called after them. She bent her head and continued talking with Bluepaw.

Looking around the camp, Honeypaw saw Angelwing washing herself outside the warriors’ den. She padded over to her mentor. “Angelwing, I’m going hunting.” she mewed.

Angelwing nodded. “Okay. Don’t go farther than the river to the south, the stream to the north, and the clearings to the east and west.” she meowed between licks.

Honeypaw dipped her head. “Okay.” she mewed and ran for the South tunnel. The scents of her Clanmates hung in the forest air. Should I follow them? She thought. She shook her head. No. I’d get into trouble. She padded to the east clearing and parted her jaws to taste the air.

A twig snapped a few tail-lengths away, in the trees, and Honeypaw spun around to look in the direction of the noise. Show yourself!” she hissed, the fur on her neck and back starting to rise.

The bushes rustled and a black tom stapped out. “Sparknight?” Honeypaw mewed. “Did you follow me?”

Sparknight licked his chest fur. “I thought you’d be here. Come with me.” he meowed and padded into the forest.

Honeypaw followed him. “Where are you taking me?” she asked.

“You’ll see. It’s a great view.” Sparknight meowed over his shoulder.

Moons seemed to pass by before they reached a rose bush. Honeypaw narrowed her eyes. “A rose bush.” she meowed flatly, her voice a half-growl.

“There’s a tunnel inside.” Sparknight told her. He crawled into the bush and Honeypaw followed.

Honeypaw entered the bush in time to see Sparknight’s tail disappear into a hold in the ground, and Honeypaw followed him in. The tunnel led downward, then leveled out for a few fox-lengths, then sloped upward.

She felt as if her paws were about to fall off when she could see sunlight around Sparknight’s ears She stepped out of the darkness and into the light, blinking her eyes. Honeypaw knew she was high above the forest because of the strong wind in her fur. She looked around. The place she was standing was a flat patch of grass a few fox-lengths across. A single tree stood in the center of the patch, and the tunnel entrance was in the tree’s roots. She looked up. The clouds looked so much bigger and closer. Honeypaw’s eyes were wide as moons at the view over the cliff: the territories stretched below her. The treetops looked like grass, and the mountains that stretched into the distance, as far as she could see.

Sparknight came to stand next to her. “I use this place for a number of reasons. I may come up here to clear my mind and get away from everything, or I may come up here to look over things.” he meowed.

Honeypaw was still looking at everything when Sparknight’s growl made her jump. “Look. There is the new Clan’s camp.” he flicked his tail to what looked like a burr from where they were standing.

A low growl started in Honeypaw’s throat as her eyes fell on the camp. A small white figure was moving through the trees towards it, and a few darker ones moved after it. Honeypaw nudged Sparknight. “I can see Icestar’s patrol from here.” she mewed.

At that moment, a yowl exploded from Sparknight as he fell on his side, his claws running through the grass, and his eyes squinting. “Sparknight?” Honeypaw whimpered.

Sparknight got up a few heartbeats later, looking as if the meltdown had never happened. The only trace of it was in his eyes; they were filled with distress, concern, and rage.

He dove for the tunnel, “Let’s go. Hurry!” he hissed. Honeypaw cast a last glance over the cliff’s edge. Dark shapes were coming out of the new camp, and were moving towards Icestar’s patrol.

Honeypaw plunged into the tunnel after Sparknight. She was running through the tunnel and caught up to him at the rose bush. “What happened back there?” she asked him.

“Trouble.” he replied.” Icestar’s patrol is in danger. They’re about to be attacked by the new Clan.” Sparknight hissed through clenched teeth as they ran. “We are going back to camp to get help.” He put on speed until he was bolting through the trees, and Honeypaw matched his speed.

Adderwind sat outside the South tunnel when they neared camp.

“Adderwind. Icestar’s patrol is about to be ambushed.”

“Icestar will-”

Icestar is outnumbered!” Sparknight growled. “I am willing to lead a back-up party to help them.”

Adderwind held Sparknight’s green gaze until he finally spoke, “Very well. You can lead Angelwing, Bubblefur, Flameclaw and Honeypaw. Stay hidden until the attack happens.” He spun around and went into camp. “I’ll get them.” he meowed over his shoulder. Adderwind appeared a few heartbeats later with Angelwing, Bubblefur and Flameclaw behind him.

“What is this about?” Flameclaw asked.

Sparknight waved his tail. “I’ll explain on the way.” He took off.

He explained as they ran through the forest.

“So we are to stay hidden?” Bubblefur asked when Sparknight finished.

Honeypaw nodded. “Yes. Addewind said to stay hidden until the attack is launched. We help when needed.”

Sparknight stopped and scented the air. “Over there.” he flicked his tail to a large bush and crawled inside, his patrol following.

“I can see Icestar.” Honeypaw whispered to Sparknight, who nodded. “Should we tell her about the attack?”

He shook his head that time. “No. One of us telling them means that we bought back-up. That would give her party overconfidence that they can win, and that will not help her at all.”

Good thinking.

Honeypaw saw Icestar turn around a corner and a screech split the air. Honeypaw flexed her claws and jumped up, but Sparknight stopped her.

He crept forward, then stopped. “When I go in, follow me.” he meowed.

The black tom moved towards the battle, then crouched and waited.

Honeypaw felt Angelwing nudge her. “He likes you, you know.” she whispered.

“How do you know?” Honeypaw asked.

Angelwing chuckled. “Trust me. I know love when I see it.” Her whiskers quivered with amusement.

Bubblefur and Flameclaw suddenly ran forward. “Come on. We’ll talk later. Remember your training.” Angelwing meowed. She ran into the battle and Honeypaw followed her.

As Honeypaw looked down at the battle, she saw her Clanmates clawing and wrestling with the other cats.

Honeypaw quickly found her leader. Icestar was pinned down by a big black tom. Honeypaw was close enough to hear the tom growl, “Tresspassers!”

Icestar spat back, “This isn’t your territory!”

Racing down the slope, Honeypaw clawed the tom, aiming for the white lightning bolt on his side, and he let go of Icestar, stumbling backward.

A cry of, “Thunderstar, no!” rang in the clearing. The black cat was laying on the ground, blood gushing from the wound on his side. He got up a few moments later, and attacked his next victim.

“Thank you, Honeypaw.” Icestar huffed. “Great StarClan, he was heavy!” she tackled a brown tabby.

Nodding, Honeypaw looked for Thistlepaw. When she saw him, he was wrestling with a blue tabby. As she was bounding towards him, the breath was knocked out of her when a cat ran into her. She was pinned a few heatbeats later, and Honeypaw looked up into the eyes of her attacker.

Honeypaw was looking up at a black and ginger tom, his copper eyes pouring into hers. He leaned closer to her ear and hissed, “Meet me at the stepping stones at moonhigh. Tell no one of this. My name is Dragonpaw.” He got off her and ran after his fleeing Clanmates.

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