|"My warriors will be setting the new boundary tomorrow at dawn. It's your choice whether to stop them."|
|— Firestar to Blackstar and ShadowClan in Fading Echoes, chapter 21|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty one of Fading Echoes. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 21 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 261-277
- Briarlight is coughing, and Jayfeather worries about her, as the thickness in her chest gets worse each time he checks. The medicine cat pushes some herbs toward the brown she-cat to swallow, and telling her that they're flavored with mouse. Briarlight lets out a moan of complaint, and this reminds Jayfeather of Littlecloud's patient, Wildfur, who'd slowly declined after breaking his back. The blind tom firmly that decides that this will not happen to his patient. Millie enters the den to help Briarlight with her exercises, recognizing sickness in her kit.
- The gray tabby asks what's wrong, and Jayfeather responds that has a slight fever, and some movement might do her some good. Millie questions whether her daughter should rest, but Briarlight adds in that she's been resting all night. The brown she-cat breaks off in a cough, leading Millie to begin the morning exercises.
- However, Briarlight suddenly stops and complains this is all too much work. Jayfeather tenses, thinking that she's never given up before. However, the younger she-cat wails that everything is too hard and she can't even be comfortable or go anywhere. Millie's pelt flashes with fear as she desperately tries to come up with more reasons for her daughter to be grateful. The gray tabby reminds her daughter that she can still share tongues with her littermates, and the Clan admires her.
- Jayfeather suggests that Millie go catch her something tasty while he mixes more herbs. When she leaves, the medicine cat says to Briarlight that her mother would gladly suffer her injuries for her. When she asks why, Jayfeather simply says it's how mothers think. He begins to rub her chest, but Briarlight protests that he's messing up her fur, and grooming is one of the only things she can go nowadays. Jayfeather is amused, smoothing the patch back down with his tongue.
- The brambles rustle, revealing Dustpelt at the entrance to the medicine den. He reports Firestar has called a meeting of the senior warriors, and wants him to be there. Jayfeather wonders who will watch Briarlight, but she says she'll enjoy the peace. He goes to the meeting with Graystripe, Squirrelflight, Brambleclaw, Dustpelt, Thornclaw, Brightheart, Cloudtail, and Firestar. The leader addresses all of the senior warriors, informing them that Ivypaw has had a dream.
- This makes the cats break into discussion, wondering if it's true and what it could mean. Firestar says that Ivypaw dreamed that ShadowClan had invaded, and the stream along the clearing where Twolegs come in greenleaf was running with ThunderClan blood. All the cats bicker, and Dustpelt mentions that the rival Clan simply wants to their advantage after being given some ThunderClan territory. Firestar says that all of his decisions are for the good of the Clan, and they are based off of wisdom and experience. Dustpelt agrees with him, but counters that ShadowClan will always take advantage of others when they can. Firestar asks Jayfeather if he has had a warning about this, and he replies no. In his mind, the medicine cat recalls other warnings from StarClan about other topics.
- All of the cats start to talk again, and the consensus is to take action against ShadowClan and take the clearing they gave to ShadowClan back. Firestar says that he must warn Blackstar first and give him a chance to surrender the clearing peacefully. Brambleclaw is shocked, but the leader insists that no blood will be shed needlessly. Jayfeather wants to go find Lionblaze and tell him about this, but Firestar says there's no time and that he needs Jayfeather to go with him to ShadowClan.
- Brambleclaw comes as well, leaving Graystripe to organize the patrols. Jayfeather is a bit uneasy with the huge show of trust Firestar is showing ShadowClan by visiting their camp with his deputy and medicine cat, but doesn't say anything. Brambleclaw questions if it's wise to leave the camp vulnerable, but Graystripe insists the camp will be fine. Jayfeather mentally agree with the gray warrior, but worries about whether they'll be able to come back from ShadowClan.
- The three head towards the ShadowClan border, frost-hardened leaves crunching under their paws. They cross the scent line dividing the two Clans, and Brambleclaw urges Jayfeather to keep up. They soon run across a patrol consisting of Ratscar and Toadfoot. The ShadowClan warriors are suspicious, but agree to take the cats to talk to Blackstar. The group soon arrives at the other Clan's camp, and many cats meow in surprise.
- Blackstar asks Firestar what he wants, and the ThunderClan leader requests to speak to him in private. Russetfur and Littlecloud join, and Jayfeather notices how old the deputy is getting. Jayfeather lets his mind roam the camp, sensing that Pinepaw is sick, but will soon shake it off. The medicine cat follows Blackstar to his den, nose wrinkling at the scent of rat.
- Blackstar briskly asks Firestar what he wants, and the ginger tom replies that ThunderClan is taking back the clearing they gave to ShadowClan. Shock pulses from the ShadowClan leader, and Russetfur scrapes her claws against the floor. Firestar continues that ThunderClan gave it to them as a gift, but have been repaid with their Clan pushing at their borders. Russetfur hisses that it isn't true, and challenges the ginger tabby to admit that his warriors have hunted the forest clean.
- Firestar meows evenly that his Clan has enough prey, but can't spare any for ShadowClan hunting parties. Rage fills the den, and Jayfeather feels like the air is sucked out of the den. Blackstar states that ThunderClan is accusing them of crossing borders, when he'd thought Firestar's Clan had forgotten what scent lines were. Russetfur spits that the clearing is theirs now, but the ThunderClan leader threatens that his Clan will take it by force.
- Blackstar's tail brushes the ground, replying that if he wants a battle, there will be one. The ginger tabby answers that his warriors will be setting the new border at dawn, and it's their choice whether to fight. Blackstar hisses that it is he who is leading his Clan into battle, yowling for warriors to escort the ThunderClan cats off their territory. Paws itching with unease, Jayfeather follows his leader and deputy out of camp. Behind them, ShadowClan pelts prickle with tension as they watch the other Clan's group leave. Toadfoot roughly knocks against Jayfeather's shoulder, asking why he can't mind his own business. The medicine cat simply shifts away from his escort, hoping that Ivypaw's dream is right.
Notes and references
|Fading Echoes 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|
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