Swanwings heard a noise and woke up. It had been two moons since they battle. Mosstail had just had a healthy colt named Brownfoal. Swanwings walked outside. The moon shone overhead, looking down on them with a cold light. She tried to convince herself it had just been one of the warriors, but couldn't. She smelled Mosswings' scent and knew something had happened or was going to happen.
A whinny of fear suddenly split the air, and other whinnies joined it. It was coming from the nursery. Swanwings raced in to the nursery and looked around. She saw a horse lying on the ground. Oh, StarHerd, no, she thought desperately. But as she got closer and her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she saw that it was Gorsefur. His eyes were wide open.
"He's dead," Swanwings neighed in shock.
Just then, Mistystar, Blackshell, Whitewater, and Beaversplash tried to come into the nursery.
"Only Mistystar should come in," Swanwings ordered.
The other horses backed out reluctantly.
"What happened?" Mistystar asked.
"We heard a noise," Bluepond answered. "And then I heard Gorsefur say that he was going to kill Lilyfoal. So I kicked and kicked, but I couldn't really see. I felt it when I kicked him, but I didn't know…I killed him."
"StarHerd will understand," Swanwings tried to reassure her.
"Are either of you hurt, or your foals?" Mistystar asked.
Bluepond and Mosstail shook their heads.
"Then we will leave you and let your mates come in," Mistystar neighed.
Swanwings followed her out of the nursery.
"Blackshell and Beaversplash, you can go in now," Mistystar neighed.
Blackshell and Beaversplash raced into the nursery.
"Mudpelt and Toadnose, you two can get the body," Mistystar ordered. "We'll take it to SwiftHerd when it's light."
Mudpelt and Toadnose nodded, and disappeared into the nursery. Goosefeather ran over to Swanwings.
"Swanwings, come quickly, it's Wavetail," Goosefeather panted.
Swanwings cantered after Goosefeather to a small copse of pines at the camp boundary. Wavetail was lying in them, his eyes closed. Swanwings bent over him, listening for a heartbeat or breath. But there was nothing.
"He's dead," she neighed mournfully.
Goosefeather looked shocked. "He was on watch. Gorsefur must have killed him so he could get to Lilyfoal."
"I need to tell Mistystar," Swanwings neighed.
She forced herself to walk back in to the camp. She walked up to Mistystar, unable to meet her eye. Mudpelt stood beside Mistystar, pressed close to her side.
"I'm so sorry," Swanwings neighed. "But Wavetail is dead."
Mistystar closed her eyes. "No, it can't be."
Mudpelt looked frozen, a look of shock and sadness on his face. Swanwings left them to grieve.
A short while later, Mistystar climbed Grasshill. She called the Herd to her.
"Last night, Gorsefur came to kill Lilyfoal. I think if he couldn't have her, he didn't want any horse to have her. Wavetail, who as on watch, was killed by Gorsefur so he could attack Lilyfoal," Mistystar neighed, her eyes full of sadness.
The Herd whickered in surprise and sadness.
"He was a great warrior," Fishleap neighed.
"He died for a SwiftHerd filly," Splashstream neighed angrily.
Mistystar ignored her. "Gorsefur went into the nursery, but Bluepond accidentally killed him when she kicked him. His body must be taken back to SwiftHerd now that it is light. I will take Mudpelt, Whitewater, Toadnose, Swanwings, and Goosefeather. Goosefeather and Toadnose will carry the body."
Mistystar walked down from Grasshill. Mudpelt walked to her side. Toadnose and Goosefeather took the body and the patrol set off to the SwiftHerd border. They waited at the border until a patrol came. Their eyes widened when they saw Gorsefur's body.
"You killed him," a stallion neighed angrily.
"He came into our camp and tried to kill one of our foals," Mistystar neighed. "He was killed by accident."
"It's true," Swanwings added.
The SwiftHerd horses looked stunned. Two of them came forward to get his body, and the patrol walked away. Mistystar turned and cantered back to the camp, followed by the patrol.
Swanwings prayed that StarHerd would watch after Wavetail. He was too young to have been taken. Swanwings hoped that Lilyfoal's light would be bright enough to fill the space left by Wavetail.