Chapter 17

A tom suddenly appeared in front of Blaze. He was surrounded in a white light and was transparent.

“I am Rain’s ancestor,” the cat meowed. “You know you love her in your heart.”

Blaze saw Fang appear, and he hissed at the white tom.

“Stay away from Blaze,” he growled, pinning his ears.

Fang sprang at the white tom, and they rolled over and over, hissing and clawing at each other. Finally, the white tom swung a paw at Fang, and Fang disappeared in a flash of red light. The white tom pressed his nose against Blaze’s, and he felt as though his head had been cleared. He got off Rain, who stared at him uncertainly.

“I’m sorry, Rain, for everything,” he meowed. “I realize now that you mean more to me than BloodClan ever will.”

Rain purred, her eyes warm. “I won’t ask you to fight against them. You can just leave now if you want.”

Blaze shook his head. “The other Clans deserve their freedom. All the Clans should be equal.”

Rain rubbed her nose against Blaze’s shoulder. “Thank you.”

“We need to find Claw,” Blaze meowed. “Only he can stop this battle.”

Rain nodded, and she and Blaze walked through the battle, looking for Claw. The other cats were too busy fighting to pay any attention to them.

“There!” Rain said, trotting toward a small hill.

Claw and Snake were fighting two LeafClan toms. Claw and Snake definitely had an advantage, and the LeafClan toms were slowly backing away.

“Stop!” Blaze yowled, jumping in between the fighting cats and facing Claw.

Rain padded up beside him and also faced Claw.

“What is she doing here?” Claw hissed, baring his teeth at Rain. “She is a traitor.”

“No, she did the right thing,” Blaze meowed. “Let the other Clans be free, Claw. They deserve it.”

Claw shook his head. “Never!”

“But if you don’t, then many more BloodClan warriors will die. You didn’t think there would be such opposition, and you were not prepared to lose warriors. But they are dying right now, all because of you,” Blaze continued. “And the other Clans might even win. They outnumber BloodClan by far. What will you do then?”

Claw looked doubtful. “We need our sacrifices.”

“You can get them from your own cats,” Blaze meowed. “The elders are always happy to give themselves up.”

“And your ancestors are getting their sacrifice right now,” Rain hissed. “Your warriors stain the ground red with their blood.”

Claw glared at her, but looked thoughtful. “Fine. I will stop this battle.”

Rain dipped her head to him. Blaze pressed against her.

“Stop!” Claw yowled, making the cats stop and face him. “BloodClan, we are going home.”

The BloodClan cats looked confused, but they followed Claw away from the plains.

“Are you coming, Blaze?” Adder asked, padding up to him.

Blaze shook his head. “I’ll miss you, Adder. But my place is not with BloodClan anymore.”

Adder dipped his head. “I will miss you as well.”

Blaze watched as Claw, tail lashing, gathered his cats around him.

“And you had better keep your promise, Claw,” Blaze called. “Rain and I will be teaching these cats to fight, and they will be ready if you attack again.”

Claw growled. “Very well.”

He turned and walked away, with the BloodClan cats following him.

Rain pressed against Blaze. “That was very brave.”

“I did it for you,” Blaze said, looking intently into her eyes.

“LeafClan, MudClan, and CloudClan, you have fought well today,” Rain yowled. “Now treat your wounded and bury your dead. Blaze and I will be teaching you all to fight once you have recovered.”

“Will you come back to CloudClan?” Sunbeam asked. “Blaze is welcome as well.”

Blaze and Rain exchanged a look.

“No,” Rain said. “We will not belong to any one Clan. We will travel from Clan to Clan training them. We will even travel to BloodClan to teach them ways other than bloodshed.”

Then Rain and Blaze walked into the hills together, tails entwined.

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