Blaze sniffed, disgusted by the pathetic cowards. The MudClan cats dropped on their bellies before Claw. As well they should! The leader of BloodClan deserved respect.
The leader of MudClan stepped forward, keeping his head lowered. “We are here to pay the tribute.”
Claw nodded. “Bring them forward, Sludge.”
Sludge nudged forward three kits. They shrank back from Claw. He carefully inspected them.
“We will take that tom,” Claw meowed, nudging a tabby with a determined expression.
Sludge pushed the kit forward and led his warriors away as fast as he could.
“Frost, take him to the cave,” Claw ordered his mate.
Frost herded the kit away. By the end of the day, LeafClan and CloudClan had given their tributes to BloodClan as well.
Once a season, BloodClan accepted tributes of toms from the other three Clans, and once a year they accepted she-cat tributes. BloodClan accepted these in exchange for keeping the other Clans safe and not driving them out. BloodClan was by far the strongest and loved battle more than anything. The she-cats became servants, and the toms were forced to go through the Trial. If they proved they were strong enough, they could join BloodClan, the greatest honor imaginable. If not, they were killed.
“Hi, Blaze,” Adder meowed. “Excited for the Ceremony?”
Adder and Blaze had grown up together. They were best friends.
“I can’t wait,” Blaze replied.
“I can’t believe we were in the Ceremony just two seasons ago,” Adder meowed.
Blaze nodded. He couldn’t believe it either. The kits that were going to participate seemed so young.