|"No. Sunningrocks belongs to ThunderClan."|
|— Bluestar to Leopardstar in A Dangerous Path, chapter 16|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter sixteen of A Dangerous Path. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 16 (of 27)
- Page Numbers: 180-189
- Cinderpelt and Fireheart stand in the medicine cats’ den, discussing the warning she received from StarClan. The gray she-cat is convinced that it is important, as it has been sent twice now. Fireheart tries to be optimistic, but both are fully aware of the looming threat hanging over their Clan. In the days that follow, the deputy adds more patrols to help give warning if ShadowClan or RiverClan decide to attack. He is tired, and knows that there are barely enough warriors to keep up with normal duties. Fireheart reflects that the brief recovery of the forest is over, and leaf-bare is coming.
- One morning, Bluestar walks out of her den and decides to lead a patrol. Cloudpaw is skeptical, sarcastically saying that they’d all better watch out for flying hedgehogs. Fireheart cuffs his ear, but is surprised that the leader is engaging in Clan activities. An idea strikes him, and he tells Cloudpaw to go fetch Swiftpaw and Longtail for the patrol. The deputy thinks that perhaps the two apprentices can impress Bluestar so she will make them into warriors. Fireheart quickly asks Brackenfur if he minds swapping duties with Longtail, and the tom agrees. Swiftpaw and his mentor come back with Cloudpaw, and Bluestar icily asks her deputy if he has the right cats now. Without another word, she turns and sprints up the ravine.
- They make their way towards the RiverClan border, and as they run through the forest, Fireheart reminisces that it almost feels like a few seasons ago, when he was responsibility free. As the cats move forward, he tests the two apprentices on their skills, hoping to impress Bluestar. However, the leader gives no sign she even hears them, seemingly intent on reaching the border. Bluestar stops as they approach the river, and the forest is silent. However, when the patrol approaches Sunningrocks, Fireheart feels a sense of foreboding as Leopardstar comes into view. He hisses, asking Bluestar why the other Clan is on their territory. However, Fireheart is disheartened to see her staring at Stonefur with the admiration and pride of a mother, and not as an enemy. The patrol moves forward, and Leopardstar says that she’s been waiting for some ThunderClan cats all day, and thought they’d never come.
- The RiverClan she-cat meows to Bluestar that she’d hoped it wouldn’t be her, and Fireheart winces at the insult to his leader.Bluestar asks Leopardstar why she is here, because Sunningrocks belongs to her Clan. The spotted she-cat retorts that this territory has always belonged to RiverClan, even though ThunderClan hunts there currently. Leopardstar claims that ThunderClan is in her Clan’s debt for their help after the fire, and claims Sunningrocks as payment for that. Fireheart’s fur bristles with fury, and he sends Swiftpaw back to camp for reinforcements. The apprentice wants to fight, but obeys his deputy. Leopardstar watches the young cat go, and Fireheart knows that it’s imperative to hold off the battle as long as possible. He tells Bluestar this, and then Leopardstar begins to challenge the ThunderClan leader again. More RiverClan cats emerge behind the spotted she-cat, revealing Graystripe standing with them. Fireheart looks at his friend’s face, seeing the dismay at having to fight his former Clan.
- Bluestar says that Sunningrocks belongs to ThunderClan, so Leopardstar gives her Clanmates the signal to attack. Almost immediately, Fireheart and his Clanmates are swarmed by several warriors. The deputy struggles to break a tabby’s grip on his neck, and manages to twist free. He looks around for Bluestar, but instead sees Blackclaw coming to attack him. Fireheart meets the RiverClan warrior’s claws head on, biting hard into his ear. Blackclaw stumbles when the deputy rakes his claws across his belly, but soon both break apart as more cats join the fray. Fireheart is knocked over, feeling teeth bite his tail. He despairingly thinks that this is hopeless, but suddenly Cloudpaw rips a warrior off of his mentor. The white apprentice crouches on top of Blackclaw, his claws digging into the enemy warrior’s pelt.
- Fireheart turns to drag a cat off of Longtail, and suddenly comes face to face with Brackenfur. He gasps, realizing that Swiftpaw must have met the hunting patrol near the treeline that he’d posted after Graystripe’s warning. Brackenfur asks where Bluestar is, and the deputy says he doesn’t know. In a moment of respite, Fireheart looks around for his leader, but only sees Leopardstar fighting with Whitestorm. He sees Longtail get up off the ground, following Brackenfur back into the fray. He is about to join them, but hears Graystripe calling for him. For a moment, the deputy is wary that this might be a trick, but decides that his friend would never do that. Fireheart bounds over, and looks over a rock slope to see his leader cornered by Mistyfoot and Stonefur. The RiverClan deputy slashes his claws at Bluestar, telling the she-cat that she needs to defend herself, or he will kill her. Mistyfoot creeps forward, asking if she’s too scared to fight.
- Bluestar doesn’t move, but Fireheart knows that she’ll never be able to attack her kits. Graystripe whispers to his friend that he just had to let someone know, even though others might call him a traitor. The ginger tabby shoots him a look of gratitude, watching Mistyfoot and Stonefur advance on Bluestar. The RiverClan leader is about to strike when Fireheart launches himself down the gully. Both cats screech in defiance, but the ThunderClan tom insists that they can’t harm Bluestar, because she is their mother.
Notes and references
|A Dangerous Path chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27|
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