|"Four Clans will unite as one when it matters most."|
|— Blossomfall quoting Tigerstar in The Last Hope, chapter 10|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter ten of The Last Hope. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 10 (of 27)
- Page Numbers: 108-116
- Ivypool shudders as mist swirls around her paws. The Dark Forest seems colder than ever, and the tabby wonders if they have leaf-bare here too. She glances up at the slimy trees, checking for any browning leaves, but darkness swallows them up.Tigerstar's growl jerks her back to the present, and she looks over to see the dark brown tom standing on the fallen tree, claws curled into the wood. Hawkfrost, Shredtail, and Darkstripe stare up at him, while Mapleshade hangs back in the shadows with Sparrowfeather. Thistleclaw and Brokenstar spectate through narrowed eyes; Applefur, Hollowflight, and Redwillow cluster together, their fur bristling with excitement. She sees her father, Birchfall, and the RiverClan warrior, Beetlewhisker, and Furzepelt, and Tigerheart. Ivypool wonders how they could've fallen for Tigerstar's lies.
- The Dark Forest warrior announces their mission will be the first of many, and Ivypool realizes she hasn't been listening. She leans over to Blossomfall, her Clanmate, and whispers to her. The tortoiseshell she-cat replies that Tigerstar will be taking them into Clan territories. The tabby she-cat feels sick, and stares at Tigerstar, his broad shoulders rippling. The massive warrior swings his head around, and Ivypool meets his gaze as it lands on her, holding it as he continues his statement. He growls most of them are unfamiliar with the lake territories, so he'll be taking them to visit each one, and learn the best places to fight. Redwillow steps forward, declaring where to hide, and Hollowflight claws the ground. Thistleclaw swings his long tail, adding as to where they'll be able to corner their prey.
- At first, Ivypool doesn't understand him, then sinks her claws into the slimy ground, realizing that he's referring to Clan cats. Blossomfall's breath stirs her ear fur, and she quotes Tigerstar. She tells Ivypool they'd be able to help another Clan when they need it, and she jerks her head around. She wonders how Blossomfall can be so foolish, then turns back to Tigerstar. She calls out, asking what territory they'll start with, and he answers with ThunderClan. Mapleshade shambles forward, and Sparrowfeather bounds after the warrior. Tigerstar narrows his eyes, asking if there are any other volunteers, and Furzepelt and Tigerheart push their way forward. He nods, then beckons for a RiverClan recruit, before his amber gaze lands on Beetlewhisker. He tells the tabby that he'll do, along with his Clanmate, Hollowflight.
- Ivypool stares right at the big warrior, questioning silently if he is only showing her Clan's land to her enemies, and steps forward. She challenges Tigerstar, telling him Birchfall, Redwillow, and Blossomfall deserve to come as well. She wills him to refuse, so the other Clan warriors can see Tigerstar is only doing this for his twisted reasons. However, he dips his head, allowing her apprentices to come as well. She demands to know if she can accompany them, and Tigerstar bares his teeth, replying in a smooth voice, saying she'll be their guide. The dark cat turns to Brokenstar, telling him he'll report when they return, and jumps from the log.
- Ivypool follows Tigerstar and the other cats, then glances over her shoulder. If the current route leads to the Clan territories, the ThunderClan she-cat wants to know what it is. They tread past bogs, gloomy glades, and across mudsy streams, before the earth changes. The slimy soil turns to grass beneath Ivypool's paws, and she looks up, seeing tree branches, and the moon above, in a starry sky. The she-cat realizes they've crossed over, since at first, she can't recognize the slope in front of them, but as they climb it, the trees become familiar to her. Hollowflight wrinkles his nose, murmuring to her, asking how she can live with the stench. Ivypool flicks his ear with her tail, and teases him about his smell when they visit RiverClan.
- Redwillow drops in beside them, and whispers a thanks to her. He adds the more he learns, he'll be a real Dark Forest warrior, and Ivypool jerks her head toward him. She stares at the mottled tom, asking if he just wants to be a strong ShadowClan warrior, but Hollowflight nudges her. The brown RiverClan cat says that Dark Forest cats are stronger, and they don't worry about rules. Redwillow tells the other warriors he feels as though he's training with kittypets over in ShadowClan. Hollowflight lets out a growl, stating only the strong survive, and Redwillow says it should be like that in the Clans. Ivypool questions the ShadowClan warrior if he'd let his Clanmates die if they're weak, and alarm sparks in his gaze. He stammers a reply, looking over to Hollowflight, stating he just wants to be a good warrior. Forcing her fur to lie flat, she keeps walking.
- Tigerstar stops on the slope's peak, the trees behind the tom framing the lake below. He nods toward a beech tree, and tells his patrol that is why they're learning to climb, because here, you have to be prepared. His amber gaze seeks out Blossomfall, and he beckons her forward to explain some things. The tortoiseshell warrior shoulders her way to the front, her chest puffed out, explaining that all ThunderClan cats are taught to climb, so they can drop down on their enemies, or move from branch to branch without touching the ground. Redwillow mutters, calling the Clan squirrels, and Blossomfall flicks her tail, retorting to him that they move like squirrels, but fight like foxes. Ivypool's fur lifts down her spine, and she swiftly lies they don't train like that anymore, but her Clanmate blurts out that Brambleclaw and Dovewing were training earlier.
- Ivypool manages to catch Birchfall's gaze, relieved to see worry in her father's eyes, knowing he understands the danger. The light brown tom cautions Blossomfall, and Tigerstar shifts his paws, assuring Birchfall there is no need for secrets. Mapleshade stalks up the slope, halting beside the big tom, meowing to the patrol that maybe Birchfall doesn't feel apart of their Clan. Ivypool protects her father, stepping in front of him, and growls at the tortoiseshell. Tigerstar then invites the light brown warrior to share some knowledge of the territory, and when he begins his statement, Ivypool can see his tail quiver. She's able to tell that he's uncomfortable, but continues to listen. Birchfall tells Tigerstar about the slope between the shore and WindClan land doesn't have trees, and the dark warrior presses harder, demanding to know if its easier to battle in woodland or out in the open.
- Birchfall's eyes dart to Furzepelt, and he admits ThunderClan fights better in woodland, as they can trap their enemies the in undergrowth. Ivypool tries to distract them, and climbs the slope. She stares out at the lake, and asks Beetlewhisker to tell them about his territory. Just as he's beginning to speak, the brambles at the slope's bottom swish, and Ivypool stiffens. She is able to recognize Spiderleg's black pelt, and Brambleclaw's brown tabby fur. The deputy asks Spiderleg if he's sure there were voices, and the black warrior says that he was guarding the entrance, and heard paw steps. Spiderleg tells Brambleclaw then he heard voices, and the ThunderClan deputy growls about WindClan. Brambleclaw suggests they check the tunnels, but his companion protests, and begins to climb the slope. The blood roars in Ivypool's ears, and she hisses at Tigerstar. The massive tom spits in response, showing his desire to fight the two toms below. Fear races through her, and she pleads for him to take them back, and Tigerstar murmurs if she is scared.
- Ivypool feels her panic rising as the brambles shift, and she tells the brown cat that if they find them, they'll lose the advantage of surprise. Hope hollows her stomach for a moment as his ear twitches, then Tigerstar narrows his eyes, agreeing to take them back. Ivypool feels relieved as she follows the warrior along the slope's crest, quickly and silently. The patrol is swallowed up by brambles and juniper branches; the tabby she-cat checks to see if the others are keeping good pace, and the undergrowth darkens. The earth turns slimy again, and Ivypool looks up to see the moon has disappeared. The ferns give way to tangled thorn bushes, and the scent of decay fills the air, causing her to wrinkle her nose. The patrol emerges from a thicket of brambles, and Tigerstar halts. Mapleshade paces around the warrior, demanding to know why they didn't fight, and Blossomfall lifts her muzzle. She says they are there to learn, not to fight, and Redwillow sits down. He comments he's never been that deep in ThunderClan land before, running one paw over his whiskers, and mews that ShadowClan's territory is very different. Hollowflight chimes in, saying the reed beds in RiverClan make for perfect ambush spots.
- Sparrowfeather flexes her claws, telling them she can't wait to see all their territories, and Ivypool wonders why they can't see the menace in her eyes. As she glances at the tabby nervously, claws pierce her shoulders, and she's thrust down. Tigerstar hisses angrily, ordering Ivypool to never challenge him again. The ThunderClan cat buckles beneath the pain, and glares up at Tigerstar, insisting she wanted to protect the patrol. She sees Birchfall's eyes widen, and silently begs for him to not protect her, because it'll make it worse. The light brown tom faces Tigerstar, questioning the reason of visiting the lake, and Ivypool realizes her father is attempting to distract the dark tom. Gradtitude and relief for Birchfall fills her, though Tigerstar digs his claws deeper into her shoulder, snarling at Ivypool. She gasps, replying the more they know, the better warriors they are.
- Tigerstar releases his grip, and she wriggles away, and stands beside Birchfall. She states they all follow the warrior code, and that knowing all the territories better, they'll be able to help each other. Ivypool knows she hates lying to him, but that's all she can do to hide her real reason of being there. A growl sounds beside Tigerstar, and Brokenstar enters the clearing. A horde of Dark Forest warriors follow him, swarming like rats, their eyes bright and curious. Shredtail growls, and Darkstripe mockingly asks if they saw the stars.
- As Ivypool gazes at the ranks of the scarred, scowling faces of Dark Forest cats, she thinks of her Clanmates: peacefully asleep. Her heart aches with pity, for they have no clue how much danger they're in, but she vows to protect them with her last breath.
Notes and references
|The Last Hope 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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