Here is Chapter 3!

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Chapter 3

Today is a special day.

Lightkit's POV

I was so excited. The day had come at last! I was going to become an apprentice!

I was full of energy and excitement – I had waited to long for this moment, after all – and I was spending this energy by running around the place with Stormkit and Sunkit. Brightflower (I had stopped calling her 'Mother' when I realised that it was immature and silly) was looking harassed as she attempted to get us to calm down so she could groom us.

"Please stop running around!" she meowed exasperatedly, "Or I'll suspend your apprentice ceremony."

The three of us stopped in our tracks and gaped at our mother in horror. Suspend our apprentice ceremony? Was she mad?

"You couldn't do that!" Stormkit protested, not sounding convinced by his own words.

Brightflower seemed pleased that she had gotten our attention. "Oh yes I could," she replied, "Now hold still so I can groom you lot. I'm not letting you got to the apprentice ceremony looking like that."

We all reluctantly sat quietly whilst our mother groomed us. It was annoying and boring. Why did older cats always have to take the fun out of things?

"Let all cats gather here beneath the Bigboulder for a clan meeting!"

Ravenstar's call sounded in the clearing, and I exchanged excited glances. Now was the time of our apprentice ceremony! Stormkit rushed over to the group of gathering cats, and Sunkit and I followed enthusiastically.

When all the cats had gathered together our father spoke to the clan, "Today is a special day. Three kits have reached their sixth moon, and it is time for them to become apprentices," he announced, his voice filled with pride. Our dad was proud of us! "Stormkit, Lightkit, Sunkit, come forwards."

Stormkit took the lead, trying to look tough and strong as he (sort of) calmly walked to the centre. I walked behind him, also trying to look calm and controlled. Of course I wasn't going to look like a mousebrain in my apprentice ceremony. However, Sunkit rushed forwards. She stopped in her tracks when she realised that Stormkit and I weren't running along like mad kits, and she looked embarrassed. From a glance around I noticed a few amused looks. The three of us arrived at the centre of the circle and looked up to our father.

"Stormkit," he began, "From this day forwards, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Stormpaw."

Stormpaw's stuck out his chest in pride of his new name.

"Lionstorm," Ravenstar continued, "You will mentor Stormpaw. You are a brave and loyal warrior. I expect you to teach your skills to Stormpaw."

Stormpaw no longer appeared to be happy. Lionstorm wasn't a very nice cat. He was Tawnypaw's father, the cat she got her horrible attitude from. I couldn't tell if Lionstorm was happy about it, as he simply just nodded. Stormpaw slowly padded over to him and they touched noses.

"Lightkit," Ravenstar meowed, "From this day forwards, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Lightpaw."

I smiled in glee, Stormpaw's new mentor forgotten. Lightpaw! That was a cool name!

"Eaglewind," my father went on, "You will mentor Lightpaw. You may only be a new warrior, but you have already proven your strength and skills to the clan. I trust you can pass on your skills to Lightpaw."

Eaglewind wasn't that bad a mentor – actually, I liked him. He was the father of Brackenkit and Oceankit, so he must be nice. I padded over to him and touched noses with him. He smiled at me warmly, confirming my thoughts that he was nice.

"Sunkit," Ravenstar's voice brought me back to the ceremony, "From this day forwards, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Sunpaw."

Sunpaw appeared gleeful at her new name.

"Burnfur," my father continued, "You will mentor Sunpaw. You are a warrior of bravery and great fighting skill. I hope you can pass on all you know to Sunpaw."

Burnfur? He was okay… better than Lionstorm, at any rate. He was a bit strict though. Or maybe that was because he had once found me doing something naughty (I was only trying to sneak out of camp…). Sunpaw padded over to him and they touched noses.

"The meeting has come to an end," Ravenstar announced, bounding down from the Bigboulder.

All around me my clanmates were greeting me by my new name. I felt full over joy and pride. At last, after having to wait until I was six moons, I had finally become an apprentice.

My eyes caught a cream tabby she-cat at the edge of the clearing. Shimmerkit! I had learnt over the past few moons not to react to seeing her, because then everyone around me who couldn't see her would be confused. I simply pretended she wasn't there. As my clanmates finished speaking to me and began drifting off, Shimmerkit padded over to me. I didn't expect a conversation or a game, but simply a few words from her.

"Well done, Lightpaw," she congratulated me. I pretended she wasn't there so that no one would know she existed. "I just wanted to congratulate you. By the way, the name's Shimmerpaw."

I flicked my tail to show I had heard and Shimmerpaw vanished in the mysterious way she always did. I smiled to myself. Not only was I now an apprentice, but I also had a friend in StarClan! Even Tawnypaw would have been jealous if she knew!

Too bad she didn't. I padded over to Eaglewind to find out what we would be doing first.

Stormpaw's POV

Oh dear. Why? StarClan, do you hate me or something? Are you trying to ruin my life? Why did you give me Lionstorm as my mentor?

I was so annoyed. Why had my father given me him as a mentor? He was just as bad as Tawnypaw – I had seen him speaking to some other warriors, and he hadn't been very nice. What had been going through Ravenstar's head when he made that decision.

"Come on. I'll show you the territory with your sisters," Lionstorm meowed in an unfriendly tone.

He padded over to the exit with Eaglewind and Burnfur. I followed with Lightpaw and Sunpaw. I made a face at Lionstorm behind his back. My sisters both looked at me in sympathy.

We ventured out into the marshes. I found it difficult to move through the mud, as did my sisters. We were smaller than our mentors, so whilst they were walking through the mud, it was closer to wading for us.

We came across a pond. There were lily pads on it, and I could hear the quiet croaking of nearby frogs and toads. Our mentors turn to us.

"This is the pond," Eaglewind meowed, "It's a good place to catch frogs and toad, and even a small fish if you're lucky."

I felt a spark of jealousy. Eaglewind was such a cool cat. It unfair that Lightpaw had gotten him and I had gotten Lionstorm. And Sunpaw had gotten Burnfur – everyone knew what a skilled warrior he was.

"Let's continue," Lionstorm growled, not leaving it to debate. He led the way further into the marshes, with everyone else in tow. I was puzzled – Lionstorm was younger than Burnfur, so why did he seem to command over him? But then again, Lionstorm did seem to naturally lead other cats, whilst Burnfur preferred to follow orders.

They then arrived at a river. It sliced through the marshes, cutting across the territory.

"This is the river," Eaglewind explained, "It's a good place to catch fish."

I caught a waft of fish coming from nearby, and saw Goldenstripe had just caught a fish on the opposite bank. She looked up at us and smiled. She may have been Lionstorm's sister, but she was much nicer than him.

"Hello. I see you're out with the new apprentices," she meowed, "Are you enjoying yourselves?" she asked us.

My sisters and I nodded simultaneously.

Goldenstripe laughed. "Well, I'd better take this back to camp now. See you lot later!" she meowed, before padding away with her freshly caught fish.

"Let's take them to the hard land," Lionstorm meowed coldly. I sighed. Why was there such a contrast between him and his sister?

We crossed the river using the stepping-stones (we had yet to learn to swim). On the other side we padded away from the river. The marsh continued for a while, but then the ground hardened and the mud disappeared. I was surprised to find myself in a place that could have resembled the moors, but had too many bushes and even the occasional tree.

"This is the hard land," Eaglewind explained, "Hunting here is very different from hunting in the marshes. You can also find different sorts of prey here – rabbits, mice, birds, and even, if you're very lucky, squirrels." Eaglewind indicated the trees.

"It's a bit like a combination of the other two territories, moor and forest," Sunpaw pointed out. I sighed. Only Sunpaw could have noticed something like that.

Eaglewind blinked in surprise. "So it is," he agreed.

"But then why do we have it?" Lightpaw asked curiously.

It was a perfectly innocent question, but this caused Lionstorm to turn on her. "It's because we fought for it and won it past times," Lionstorm growled, "Back in the days when we were strong."

There was an awkward silence.

"Let's go show them the deep marsh," Burnfur suggested. It was one of the few times he had spoken that day. He was clearly the silent type.

"Good idea," Eaglewind agreed, and we set off again.

We crossed the river again, this time at a section where it was shallow enough to wade across. We then came across what must have been the deep marsh. It was an area of flat, dry mud, which greatly confused me. I was about to go into it when Lionstorm barred my way with his tail.

"Don't walk there if you value your life," he growled. I inwardly shivered at the seriousness of his tone.

"This is the deep marsh," Eaglewind meowed, "This place is extremely dangerous. That mud may look as if it can support your wait, but it's very thin and breaks easily. Underneath it is wet mud that goes on forever. It can easily swallow up a cat. As Lionstorm said, don't walk here if you value your life."

My sisters and I shivered. The deep marsh sounded scary.

"Let's go back to camp," Lionstorm growled, "These little squirts must be tired already."

Although Lionstorm spoke in an unfriendly tone, he was right. I was exhausted after moving through the marshes, which was difficult if you weren't used to it. My sisters looked equally tired. We followed our mentors back to camp.

So now they're apprentices! Hope you liked that!

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