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   Chapter 9 Meanwhile in HunterClan...

City of Ice and Fire By Grace Estellar Characters: 19941

Updated: 2019-08-09 15:33

*******Goldenclaw's POV******

Goldenclaw led Violetpaw through the undergrowth, on their way to the Tall Pines. He hadn't yet taken her hunting in Snakerocks yet, as the tortoiseshell's small stature would be easy pickings for a full grown hawk or just as dangerous: an adder.

The grass became sparser here, replaced by orange pine needles that had long since fallen from their respective trees. He wasn't a fan of the pinesap getting stuck in his fur, but the pungent smell of the trees would hide their scent well from oncoming prey.

Unfortunately, this hid prey scent too, so Goldenclaw was forced into having to find prey using only his sight and the small tremors in the earth to find what he was looking for. Violetpaw pads next to him, her nose wrinkled at the overpowering smell of pine.

"I think there's a squirrel over in that ravine, why don't you go see if you can catch it. Remember to come for it downwind. Even with this pine smell, I wouldn't count on your scent completely evading the prey, especially when you're getting close to it." He angles his ears towards the ravine in question, keeping his voice low.

Violetpaw murmurs an agreement before sneaking over to the ravine. Her paw steps fall lightly on the sticky ground, avoiding the pine needles as best as she can. Goldenclaw observes her movements with a critical eye, noting the she-cat's twitching tail.

Thank the Angel there's no tall grass here for it to swish, otherwise the prey would've heard her coming. I'll have to remind her to keep her tail still next time. He couldn't exactly blame Violetpaw though, he too had been excited back when he was first learning to hunt.

Violetpaw came back a few moments later, her purple eyes shining. A gray squirrel swung in her jaws. It's tantalizing prey scent made Goldenclaw's mouth water. He knew Mistwing and Puddlestep would be pleased with this catch.

"Good job Violetpaw. We'll have to work on your approach later though. You can't be wiggling your tail around in the undergrowth, otherwise the prey will hear you coming." He said.

"Mmph sorry." Violetpaw muttered through the clump of fur in her mouth.

"It's all good. I was the same way at your age. Go bury it under some leaves for now, we can go collect it later." Goldenclaw ordered. Violetpaw placed the body atop some tree roots, scuffing some leaves over it with her hind legs. Only when she was satisfied with how it was covered did the apprentice rejoin him.

The two cats continue this pattern for the next few hours, collecting whatever prey they could find. Only one catch had slipped away from Violetpaw, a particularly spry finch. She'd missed the animal by a paw length at best giving the bird just enough time to fly away into the safety of the trees.

Goldenclaw hadn't taught Violetpaw how to climb trees yet, so hunting amongst the branches was out of the question for the apprentice currently. He preferred that Violetpaw get used to hunting on the ground first. Hunting in the trees requires a lot more balance...and it's a lot more dangerous too.

"Goldenclaw, come quick! I think I've found something strange." Violetpaw's airy voice drifted over to him. The golden tabby hurried over to the source of the noise, finding Violetpaw staring up at something.

"What're you looking at..." He trails off, his mouth agape. Up in the air was a medium sized hawk. It was abnormal to see one in the pine forest, but that wasn't what had startled him. What had caught his attention was the black energy wreathed around it, the bird's beady black eyes gleaming with red light.

"SCRRRRREEEEEE" The hawk cried, swooping down with its talons outstretched. The predator had its sight set on Violetpaw, the tortoiseshell apprentice glued to the ground with fear.

"No!" Goldenclaw yowled.

He felt his speed rune sizzle into activation.With lightning speed, he pushed Violetpaw into the safety of a nearby bush. The prickly thorns would no doubt stab into the apprentice's soft pelt, but Goldenclaw knew a little discomfort was the preferred outcome over losing one's life.

Instead of striking Violetpaw, the hawk's talons tore at fur on his backside. His body sung with the pain, the scratches like hot fire. Goldenclaw hadn't been sure before, but now he was certain. The teachings that Dustcloud had given him rang in his mind, telling him what he was facing now.

I don't know how, but I'm facing a demonized hawk.

He had no time to waste. With Violetpaw still nearby, Goldenclaw didn't have time to ponder how this creature how found its way into their world. Instead, he focused on summoning the weapon inside his heart. A sword shimmered in front of him, Goldenclaw grasped the hilt in his mouth. The weapon was reassuring in his grip, making him feel confident in his chances for the upcoming battle.

He sprang into the air, swinging his sword with all his might. The hawk let out a cry of alarm as the sword swung its way. The creature had no way to escape the swinging weapon's sharp blade in time. The powerful weapon sliced through one of the creature's wings, sending it spiraling down to the earth.

It crashed into the ground with a sickening crunch. Goldenclaw met it on the ground, his blade slicing through the monster again. The hawk let out a gurgling cry before falling still. He steps back as black liquid spews around its still form, the inky black standing out against the fallen pine needles. The stuff smelled nasty, like a terrible piece of dung. If memory serves correctly, that yucky stuff is ichor.

A trembling Violetpaw approaches him now with caution. Goldenclaw felt sorry for the young apprentice, she hadn't been prepared for a hawk to attack her, let alone a demonized one. But how did it get here is the real question? And how is it out in broad daylight?

Demons in the forest were a rare sight. And demons in broad daylight were practically impossible, as sunlight often burnt them to a crisp.

not perfectly sure that their assistance is needed."

"But what if it is? If we wait too long things may only get worse." Goldenclaw's tail lashes behind him.

Blossomstar sighs. "I get that you're concerned, I do. But you have to understand, if there was a problem we'd be better off with having as many warriors here as possible to solve the problem." She told him firmly.

"But...what if this is more than just a demon...what if someone else is behind this." A dark look had passed over Goldenclaw's face now, a frown etched across his muzzle.

"Just what is it you're implying?" She has an idea what he's getting at, though she wants to hear it from him.

"What I'm saying is: what if Frostfang is responsible?" Goldenclaw asked, his voice tentative.

******Time Skip******

Blossomstar's amber eyes flash dangerously. "Do you really think that could be possible?"

She'd sent Goldenclaw to fetch Featherflight for her to consult. The gray tabby healer had just gotten done taking care of Violetpaw; he'd left the apprentice to sleep in the Medicine Den overnight to sleep off her panic. Dawnpaw and Dapplefur were sitting with the small cat, making sure no one disturbed her.

Goldenclaw was waiting outside of the Leader's Den while Featherflight listened to Blossomstar list out everything she knew so far about the demon attack and her concerns about Frostfang. The old tom had remained quiet during her speech, patiently listening as she prattled on. It had taken her awhile to get through it all, but now that she had Blossomstar was eager to see what Featherflight thought.

The biggest thing that was on her mind right now oddly had nothing to do with the demon, and everything to do with the Prophecy she had heard from two cats now. Lilyspots and Arrowheart's words echoed in her mind. The former medicine cat had certainly believed that Frostfang's return was imminent, and it would be bad on her part if Blossomstar was to doubt her late friend.

As for Arrowheart...she had the suspicion that this prophecy had to involve him in some way, though how was unclear. She felt uneasy that the young tom was not in HunterClan territory currently, his involvement in helping her with this impossible as of this time. I wish StarClan hadn't been so adamant about him going. Yet they were, so i'll have to trust their judgement.

At least one cat that might be part of the prophecy was still here. Goldenclaw was firm in wanting to get help for this demonic problem. She was still unsure what to do, and hoped Featherflight could shed some light on everything.

"I think that we should listen to Lilyspots and Arrowheart. It wouldn't be that far of a stretch for Frostfang to have a paw in this, he always did cause destruction wherever he went." Featherflight's tired voice told her.

The old tom appeared more and more tired lately, his eyes sunken in and his fur clinging to his frame. She felt bad for the would be elder, he was supposed to be resting in the Elder's Den, not handling the issues of HunterClan. It wasn't like he had a choice though, someone had to train Dawnpaw for the rest of her apprenticeship. And I can't think of any cat more qualified.

"So I should send Goldenclaw to the Silent Forest to consult the Silent Brothers?" She asked.

"I can't tell you what to do Blossomstar, as a leader's word is law. But it is what I strongly recommend." He affirmed.

Blossomstar dips her head in gratitude. "Thanks Featherflight. I know what to do now." She told him.

Featherflight lets out a small purr, his whiskers twitching. "No need to thank me, I'll take my leave."

"Send Goldenclaw back in on your way out." She calls after him. "I need to talk to him some more." Featherflight murmurs a small 'yes' before exiting the den. Goldenclaw's bulky frame replaces the healer's lanky form in her den a few moments later. Blossomstar straightens up her body as he sits back down, preparing herself for the discussion ahead.

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