Chapter 16

Blaze trotted with the other BloodClan cats, his fur prickling with excitement. This was the first battle he had ever gone to with all of his Clan mates around him. It gave him a feeling of invincibility. BloodClan were the strongest Clan! They would show the other Clans the meaning of fear.

The sun rose in a bloody streak as the warriors stopped in the grassy field.

“This is a sign from our warrior ancestors!” Claw yowled. “We will spill blood today and be victorious! Now, form up.”

The Clan formed a long line spreading down the plains. It was two cats thick. Blaze stood in the front next to Adder. Claw made his way to the front of his Clan and stood looking over the plains. Blaze sunk his claws into the dry ground. Would the other Clans come?

Then, he saw the first cats appear walking toward them. To his surprise, it looked like every warrior of all three Clans had come. A few of the BloodClan cats exchanged uneasy glances. Four cats trotted toward Claw when the rest of the warriors stopped. Blaze saw to his surprise that Rain was among the three leaders.

“What is the meaning of this?” Claw hissed. “Lightning? What are you doing here?”

“I am here to fight with my Clan,” Rain meowed. “All we want is to live in peace, without you taking sacrifices and servants from us.”

Claw hissed. “Never! We need those sacrifices for our warrior ancestors!”

“Then all three Clans will fight you,” Rain meowed. “And you will wish you had not chosen to fight.”

Claw scoffed. “It is you who will beg for mercy. Look at the might of BloodClan and tremble!”

“We will never tremble before you again,” Rain meowed.

She locked eyes with Blaze for a moment. Blaze pinned his ears and hissed. He would show her what happened to traitors. He thought she looked surprised, but then she recovered. She flicked her tail and the three leaders followed her back to their warriors.

“Warriors of CloudClan, LeafClan, and MudClan,” Rain yowled. “These cats took your kits, and killed them or forced them to work as servants. They forced you to cower before them. But now longer! Now, you will fight! Now, you will be free of BloodClan’s influence forever!”

The cats yowled, their eyes blazing.

“Attack!” Rain yowled, wheeling around to face BloodClan.

“Attack!” Claw hissed.

Blaze ran forward toward the oncoming cats. He saw a queen jump at him, and he rolled with her. She clawed his shoulder.

“That’s for my kits!” she yowled.

Blaze was surprised by her ferocity, but he was not overwhelmed. Though she may be fierce, she had little fighting skills. He clawed at her belly with his hind legs, and she hissed in pain. She rolled off of him, and Claw jumped on her. She battered uselessly at his belly, but he bent over her and bit her throat. She finally went still, and Blaze jumped away.

He saw Sting being clawed fiercely by a tom who had her trapped underneath him. She yowled, and the tom let her get up. Instead of running away, she sprang at him and surprised him, causing him to roll over. Sting did not show him any mercy, but clawed his throat out. Blaze hissed in satisfaction. The other Clan warriors were disadvantaged because they did not want to kill BloodClan cats. They were weak.

Blaze saw that the BloodClan warriors were not winning as easily as he had thought they would. He suspected that Rain had taught them fighting moves, because they knew a few. He saw Rain fighting Maggot, and ran over to them. He jumped on Rain, knocking her off her paws. They rolled, and he pinned her beneath him, his ears pinned. Rain looked surprised.

“Blaze!” she meowed, her eyes wide. “What are you doing?”

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