|"I'll make you wish you'd never had that choice."|
|— Ashfur to Squirrelflight in Darkness Within, page 323|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty five of Darkness Within. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 25 (of 25)
- Page Numbers: 320-328
- Rootspring watches as Squirrelflight pushes her way through the forest. As the yowls from ShadowClan's camp die away, the yellow tom wonders what has happened to both Ashfur and the real Bramblestar. At the thought of the tabby leader, he has the wish to apologize to the tom. Beside him, Bristlefrost questions where the ginger she-cat is heading, as Rootspring reminds her that she had disclosed the desire to be closer to Bramblestar. He adds that she's likely heading to the Moonpool, and Bristlefrost wonders if she is alright, having a feeling that the leader must be heartbroken. The SkyClan tom decides to follow her, hoping to share what else he had learnt from the Sisters, as it might ease her hurt. He declines Bristlefrost's company, believing that Squirrelflight may not want her Clanmates to see her in such a state. Bristlefrost nods, and tells him to be safe.
- The yellow tom tracks behind Squirrelflight, following her on the long trek to the Moonpool. He loses sight of her, but notices a shape moving in out of the landscape ahead of him. Rootspring quickens his pace so as to not lose sight of her again, finally catching up to her as reaches the hollow surrounding the Moonpool. He watches as grief overcomes her as he tries to think of what he could say to help her. However, he notices a tabby pelt at the edge of the hollow and recognizes it as the tabby pelt of Bramblestar. Rootspring watches as Squirrelflight brightens at the sight of the tom, but horror befalls him as it is clear that it isn't the real Bramblestar but instead Ashfur. Ashfur threatens her as Squirrelflight denies him once again, and tells him she could never forgive him for what he has done and will never love him. With a snarl, the dark warrior launches himself at her, but the ginger she-cat lands a heavy blow across his muzzle, sending blood spraying onto nearby rocks. Rootspring decides to intervene, to try and help Squirrelflight, but is sent reeling away with a single blow.
- As he recovers from the strike, Rootspring watches as Squirrelflight struggles against the tom. Ashfur grabs her by the scruff and drags her across the hollow towards the Moonpool. As he reaches the body of water, he drags her body with him underneath the surface. Rootspring, in a panic rushes, towards the edge of the water and dives in. At first he struggles, reminded of the time he almost drowned in the lake, but pushes on to try and save the ginger she-cat. However, he finds nothing and as he returns to the surface he finds it equally deserted. Rootspring drags himself from the Moonpool, trying to wrap his mind around what had just happened. His thoughts race, as he realizes no cat would ever believe what he has seen as he comes to know that Ashfur had taken Squirrelflight where only the dead could reach them.
Notes and references
|Darkness Within 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|