|"You're weak. You don't deserve to lead other cats. You can't even kill."|
|— Clear Sky's thoughts in The First Battle, page 271|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty one of The First Battle. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 21 (of 23)
- Page Numbers: 42-56
- Clear Sky's mind buzzes with thoughts that tell him he's weak, and that he doesn't deserve to lead. Petal stares at him, and he growls, telling her to leave, then snaps that no one won the battle after Nettle asks. The leader stares out at the clearing, spotting Thunder picking his way through he bodies that litter the ground, then rushing up to Hawk Swoop's corpse, with Lightning Tail at his side. The two young toms grieve, but Acorn Fur hangs back, sadness in her gaze.
- Clear Sky mutters they’re acting like kits, and Gray Wing rebukes him, staggering forward, reminding him that they are kits, Hawk Swoop's kits. The light gray tom reminds him how Thunder is Storm's son, feeling his heart twist, before he pushes it away and tells Snake to return to camp. The brown tabby noses Dappled Pelt away from the wounded Leaf, heaves him onto his shoulders, and leaves the hollow.
- The tortoiseshell she-cat calls after them to use cobwebs for wounds, but no cat answers, while Quick Water eyes her warily as they depart, with Thorn, Snake, Dew, and Nettle. When his cats leave, Clear Sky feels his heart quicken, realizing it's only him in the hollow with the moor cats. Gray Wing sends Lightning Tail back to the camp to be treated, and Dappled Pelt goes to fetch coltsfoot for the injured.
- Lightning Tail obeys, heading up to his sister, Acorn Fur, nudging her toward the hollow’s edge. Tall Shadow shoots a look at Clear Sky, causing the gray tom to flinch, seeing the hate in her gaze. Thunder looks up from Hawk Swoop's body, saying he won't leave until his mother is buried. Wind Runner agrees, and so does Gorse Fur, who stand together.
- Clear Sky questions their choices, and Wind Runner growls at him, telling the gray tom they'll stay with their friends while the warmth is still in their bodies. He swallows, thinking about how the battle was only meant to prove his group can decide their own borders, but it ended up showing how the moor group will fight to the death for their own friends. He spots Falling Feather and Jackdaw's Cry, slumped on the ground, then Rainswept Flower, and sways on his paws, confused.
- The rogue River Ripple appears, striding into the hollow, although Clear Sky voices his opinions, saying that he shouldn't be there. The silver tom admits he watched the battle, and explains he didn't try to help because it wasn't his fight. Then, he turns his gaze onto Clear Sky, questioning why he left the mountains, or if he needed to fight that badly over something, recalling how some cats fought over prey but never killed each other.
- The light gray tom stubbornly insists it wasn't his fault, defending himself by stating he just wanted to feed his group. Tall Shadow growls that a battle wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Clear Sky's obsession with borders. Wind Runner declares she will fight again if it keeps her kits safe; Gorse Fur suggests finding a new home, but she refuses, content on staying in the moor with the group.
- She whips her gaze toward Clear Sky, remarking that he's just greedy, but the gray tom is surprised when Gray Wing comes to his defense, telling the brown she-cat he would give his food for their sister, Fluttering Bird. Suddenly, the wind lifts, the clouds shifting, and the starlight drifted into the clearing. Then, a silver cat with a gentle gaze approaches, breaking Clear Sky's heart, who asks if it's Storm.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Revealed in The First Battle, page 271
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Revealed in The First Battle, page 272
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Revealed in The First Battle, page 273
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Revealed in The First Battle, page 274
- ↑ Revealed in The First Battle, page 275
|The First Battle 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 • Bonus Scene|
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