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   Chapter 29 Terrible News

City of Ice and Fire By Grace Estellar Characters: 19214

Updated: 2020-01-03 23:49

****Nightrose's POV****

She'd awoken in the middle of her slumber to quite the commotion going on in camp. Sighing, Nightrose pulls herself onto her paws to head out of the Warrior's Den. The sky is dark now, with stars glittering in the sky to make the cats awake in the clearing gain a soft silver sheen. It doesn't take long for her to figure out where the commotion is coming from.

The Medicine Den has several of her Clan mates gathered around. Among them are Blossomstar, Vultureclaw, Dapplefur, Smokepaw, Mousepaw and Stripepaw. She finds herself even further surprised to see Arrowheart and Patchfur and Goldenclaw hanging around the group too, all looking anxious and worried.

She runs over to meet them, only to be surprised when she finds a fresh scratch across Arrowheart's chest. The blood there had dried but the wound was relatively recent if the discomforting grimace on his face was anything to go by.

"What happened?" She asked. "Arrowheart, how did you get hurt?"

At that, Goldenclaw looks down at his paws like he was deeply ashamed of something. Being the smart she-cat that she is, it didn't take long for her to connect the dots. Nightrose whirls her gaze onto her other brother.

"Goldenclaw, you did this?" She asks, stunned.

"I..." Goldenclaw breathes, unable to get the words out.

"He did." Arrowheart admits. "But he was upset, so it's okay. Besides, it doesn't even hurt that much." As if to demonstrate this, Arrowheart places a paw over the wound, pressing down. The gesture does not make him wince, giving off the sign that it wasn't a deep wound.

"Arrowheart will be just fine Nightrose, I'm taking care of him." Patchfur assured her. The warlock tom had his tail twined with her brother's. Arrowheart seemed pleased to have Patchfur so close to him. It made her wonder what exactly was going on with the two. For Arrowheart to let Patchfur be so up in his comfort had to mean they were close.

Whatever happened while they were gone must've done this.

Nightrose wasn't about to complain. Despite her brother's careful strategizing, she was well aware he is gay. A part of her had been worried that Arrowheart would never be honest with himself, allow himself to find love, luckily for her it seemed she was wrong. The question was, just what was the relationship between her brother and Patchfur? Hopefully she'd find out soon enough.

In the meantime, there was a situation at paw.

"So, who's injured?" Nightrose asks. She has a sinking feeling that she already knows, but still has to confirm her suspicions.

"Violetpaw." Goldenclaw uttered his apprentice's name somberly, his normally confident exterior ripped apart to leave behind a haunted shell.

"Oh. Oh no! Goldenclaw, I'm so sorry." All the anger she felt towards her foster brother vanishes in that moment. "What happened to her?"

Arrowheart seems to swallow a lump in his throat. "She was hit by a monster." He casts a sideways glance at the cats gathered there, his blue eyes narrowing on Vultureclaw. The traitorous deputy wasn't in earshot, too busy talking to Blossomstar. Arrowheart leans close to her, whispering in her ear. "She was trying to receive a message from Vultureclaw." His expression briefly hardens with his next words. "A message Blossomstar was supposed to go get."

Nightrose at first doesn't understand what her brother is getting at. When she does however, a bolt of horror strikes through her. Her brown eyes widen.

"You can't possibly mean...." Her voice rises with the horror building up in her chest.

Vultureclaw was trying to murder Blossomstar.

Patchfur's tail swipes over her muzzle; a subtle gesture to quiet down. Nightrose offers up a feeble nod, her heart still racing with anxiety. Maybe she should've expected Vultureclaw's murderous tendencies to extend to clan leadership, but Nightrose just had never imagined even a psycho like Vultureclaw going as far as to attempt to murder their own leader. The mere thought of such a thing sent her blood roiling with rage. If only this was the right time and place, she would be ripping the tabby tom apart.

As it was not, Nightrose forced herself to calm.

"Yes. That's exactly what he means." Patchfur mews. "But we can't discuss that here. All of you know as much."

"Yes. Violetpaw should be our main concern right now." Arrowheart agrees.

"Speaking of Violetpaw, how bad is she?" Nightrose almost can't dare to ask. Whenever she thinks of the young tortoiseshell, her mind recalls a striking young she-cat that was the leader of her gaggle of siblings. It sent a pang of sadness in her heart to hear such a vibrant young cat could be seriously injured.

"I-I...." Goldenclaw struggles for form words, "I don't think we can say for sure yet. One of her back legs was busted up pretty bad when we found her." The admission of that made his body do a full shudder, the pain in his golden eyes unmistakable.

Arrowheart shakes his head sadly. "And to think, this was supposed to be such a special night for Dawnpaw too. Coming home to this...I didn't even get to learn her new name when she got back. I hope she and Featherflight know how to help Violetpaw." He mews.

Patchfur nods. "I think that's what we're all hoping at this point."

They all sat in tense silence for what felt like hours, but in reality was only a few minutes. Eventually Featherflight came out of the Medicine Den, the expression on the old tom's face was grim. Dapplefur raced over to him, her three kits that were by her side trailing behind her. Nightrose has a feeling that Foxtail was likely there too, watching down on them from somewhere up in StarClan.

Just what would he think of all this? He probably hates Vulturecla

s Violetpaw. So don't wake them." She tells him. "Oh, and my name isn't Dawnpaw anymore. I'm Dawnmist now."

"Sure. Oh, I almost forgot you had you're naming ceremony last night. Congrats Dawnmist! I just wish that you didn't come back to the horrible thing that happened to Violetpaw." Goldenclaw said.

Goldenclaw didn't dare voice what he knew that thing to be. It had been a trap all along, though it had been meant for Blossomstar, not Violetpaw. Vultureclaw had hurt two of his Clanmates now. How many more would get hurt in his lust for power? That, Goldenclaw did not know.

Dawnmist shakes her head. "Accidents can come at the worst time. With Leaf Bare almost upon us, all the herbs are drying up, so we've been having to use what we have pretty sparingly."

The admission strikes new worry through Goldenclaw, along with a tug of disappointment that the Medicine cat does not see Vultureclaw's misdeed for the intentional chaos that it truly was. He stares at his own paws and then Dawnmist's surprised to find that hers are stained with what looks to be green juice and something that reeks of what smells like pungent garlic. Goldenclaw has to stop from wrinkling his nose in disgust.

"You do have enough to treat Violetpaw right? She's going to be okay yes? You have to tell me Dawnmist." He demands the answers.

The image of his apprentice's damaged left hind leg flashes in his mind with a harsh sting. The unnatural angle of the multicolored appendage had been so severe it made Patchfur worry that Violetpaw would never be able to walk properly, something that was terrifying in itself. Goldenclaw wants nothing more than for his apprentice to recover. At this point though, he's unsure if that's even possible, if it can even be done.

Dawnmist lets out an annoyed growl. "Don't get your whiskers in a bunch, mouse-brain. Violetpaw is going to recover, we've been giving the best care we can. But, "

"But what?"

"But her leg...her leg....I hate to say this, but I doubt she'll ever be able to walk on it again. It's far too shattered for normal medicine to heal and-" Dawnmist gets cut off by Goldenclaw again, the golden tabby catching the special words she said in that sentence.

"You said normal medicine can't cure her fully. Does that mean special medicine -magic- can?" Goldenclaw asks. He can't hide the desperate hope in his voice.

"I-I don't know Goldenclaw. Theoretically it's possible, but..." Dawnmist trails off, seemingly overcome with emotion.

"What is it Dawnmist? You need to tell me." He tells her.

"FaerieClan is known for having magical cures for severe illnesses and injuries, but Goldenclaw, it might not work. And even if it does, there's no guarantee that it will fully heal her. Violetpaw may still end up being crippled. And-and then there's Vinestar. She...there's always a cost with her Goldenclaw. Each and every time." Dawnmist shakes her head wearily. "Who knows what she might want from you? It might be more than you can give."

Goldenclaw can feel the moment that his mind is made up. He knows what he has to do now. Dawnmist is right that there could be a huge risk for him, but Violetpaw is much more important.

"Dawnmist. You and I both know that I have to try. Violetpaw needs our help." Goldenclaw murmured.

"I figured you might say that." She says with a sigh. "But can you at least eat you're breakfast before rounding up some cats to go with you? I'm assuming that Arrowheart, Nightrose, Sparkpaw and Simon will be among that list....and maybe Patchfur too."

"I don't know about all of them." Goldenclaw admits. "But I do agree that breakfast should come first."

Together the two share the voles he'd scrounged up from the prey pile, beginning to plan for what would come in the near future. If they were lucky, all would go well.

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