|"Nothing survives forever— not even ShadowClan, with Brokenstar as our leader."|
|— Yellowfang about ShadowClan in Yellowfang's Secret, page 482|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter thirty eight of Yellowfang's Secret. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 38 (of 40)
- Page Numbers: 468-482
- A cold wind enters the Gathering hollow as Brokenstar stands on the Great Rock. Blackfoot, the ShadowClan deputy, sits below the rock; Stumpytail, Russetfur, Brownpaw, and Brackenfoot huddle close by. Yellowfang sits with the other medicine cats, but she thinks of how she doesn't feel at ease anymore. She wonders if StarClan told them about what's happening in ShadowClan, and remembers her own dreams.
- She listens to Brokenstar as he gives the report on ShadowClan. The ShadowClan leader, triumph lighting his eyes, announces that his Clan is strong. He declares that ShadowClan has been challenged on each border, but have prevailed in each fight. He gazes across the clearing, and snarls that he will not tolerate trespassers, then narrows his eyes.
- Brokenstar then welcomes Badgerpaw, and the small black and white cat stands up proudly; Yellowfang, however, knows that he's too young. The other ShadowClan apprentices cheer his name, but Yellowfang feels grief grip her stomach. She remembers Volepaw, who had died from a rat bite. The medicine cat wonders if Brokenstar is mad, since he made the new apprentices fight a rat as part of their training. Barkface, WindClan's medicine cat, leans into Yellowfang's ear, and quietly asks her about Badgerpaw, his gaze disapproving. The ThunderClan medicine cat, Spottedleaf, wonders aloud if any cat would train kits.
- Yellowfang gets irritable when she thinks that she can't influence Brokenstar, and curtly responds to their questions, telling them her leader knows what he's doing. She turns her back on the others, and ignores them when they mutter about her. Yellowfang knows she can't do anything to defend Brokenstar, so she doesn't speak, and instead reminisces about the times when he'd convinced her Clanmates that everything was their enemy. Brokenstar had told his warriors that they would do anything to protect their Clan, even if it meant giving up their kits.
- The medicine cat sadly thinks of how she'd given up hope on her Clanmates. Yellowfang silently exclaims that Brokenstar had complete power, and wonders if anyone would be able to stop him. After the Gathering comes to an end, Brokenstar leads his Clan back home. Badgerpaw walks beside his leader, and Brokenstar promises the tiny tom that he can fight in a battle soon, exciting the apprentice. The dark tabby goes on, telling Badgerpaw that he scented WindClan in ShadowClan's territory, so he'll lead his cats to attack at dawn.
- Badgerpaw darts away, over to Flintfang, and excitedly tells him that he'll be fighting WindClan. As Flintfang replies to his apprentice, Yellowfang can pick up weight in his voice, and thinks he must not be keen about Badgerpaw fighting. Fernshade watches her son fondly, and tells Yellowfang how proud she is. As Yellowfang draws breath to speak, she stops herself, almost saying aloud that Badgerpaw shouldn't even be an apprentice yet.
- In a short timeskip, Yellowfang is crouched in some prickly grass, listening to the sounds of skirmishing coming from the other side of the Thunderpath. As sun shines overhead and branches rustle, the gray she-cat tells herself that this isn't a day where cats should die. She hears pawsteps behind her, and turns around, spotting Nightpelt, a limp mouse in his jaws. It's noted that even though the elders were exiled, Nightpelt looked sleek and confident. Mentally, Yellowfang knows the black tom had found a purpose in life; hunting for the exiled elders, and keeping their spirits up. Nightpelt sits beside Yellowfang after setting his prey down, and asks her how long ShadowClan would have to live under Brokenstar's rule.
- Bitterly, Yellowfang responds until every cat is dead, in ShadowClan or over in WindClan. Nightpelt questions StarClan's motives, and Yellowfang says they must be proud. To herself, the medicine cat remembers how she had begged her ancestors for answers, but they'd ignored her. She notes they must have abandoned ShadowClan, to wherever Brokenstar leads. Speaking aloud now, she meows that her Clan is feared by all Clans now. Nightpelt heaves a sigh, takes his prey, and leaves to go back to the elders' den.
- She feels a pang of guilt, then remembers her dreams; dark and bloodstained. She notes that what Brokenstar is doing is wrong, as the dreams had demonstrated. StarClan had never appeared in her dreams, not even Silverflame. She knows that whatever she does, it was all up to her. Determined, she tells herself that she has to stop Brokenstar, since he has to listen to her. Russetfur appears, panting heavily, calling Yellowfang's name.
- The dark ginger she-cat hurriedly tells the gray she-cat that Runningnose sent her to find Yellowfang, as Brightflower had started kitting. Yellowfang springs to her paws, and races back to camp, but when she reaches the nursery, Brightflower is curled around two kits. Her apprentice, Runningnose, looks at Brightflower with satisfaction, and Yellowfang nods to him. She asks her mother if she named the kits yet, and Brightflower touches a tiny tortoiseshell, calling her Marigoldkit. She had named the other Mintkit, and introduces Yellowfang to them.
- Both kits knead Brightflower's stomach with their small paws, and Yellowfang thinks that they look strong and healthy. Pain strikes the medicine cat, as she remembers her own daughters, who had died shortly after birth. She bends down and touches her nose to the kits in turn, welcoming them to ShadowClan. However, Brightflower whispers to Yellowfang, saying she would've been a great mother, and the gray cat tenses up. She hisses at her mother, firmly telling her she's a medicine cat now. But when she sees Mintkit and Marigoldkit kneading Brightflower's stomach, love and longing overcomes Yellowfang, and she says they're perfect.
- Noise comes from outside the nursery, and Yellowfang wonders aloud if it's news of the battle. She leaves the den quickly, and instantly spots Flintfang, carrying a limp black and white shape in his jaws. She wails Badgerpaw's name, and bounds up to the gray tom. Flintfang lays Badgerpaw's body down, and is stroking his apprentice's flank with one paw. Yellowfang sees his eyes: glazed, as though he could still see the brutal fight. Flintfang murmurs sorrowfully that he fought like a lion. The gray warrior protests that he shouldn't be dead, because he should never have been fighting.
- Flitfang tells Yellowfang that he'll never train another kit again, for it brings shame to his Clan. Yellowfang settles down, and starts cleaning Badgerpaw's flank. She washes away the blood, and filth of the battle. Between licks, the gray she-cat promises to the small tom that he will burn brightly in StarClan, but Flintfang corrects her. He informs her about Badgerpaw's warrior name: Badgerfang, and how he gave it to the small kit before death.
- Compassion swells inside Yellowfang, and she compliments Badgerfang, saying that he deserves the honor. She gets ready to go tell Fernshade of her son's death, but Flintfang stops her. The ShadowClan warrior states he will, as he owes her that much. As Yellowfang watches her Clanmate leave, noise erupts from the camp entrance. Brokenstar bounds through the thorns, and his patrol follows. All the fighters are filled with pride, and it shows through their gleaming eyes and fluffed up tails.
- Brokenstar announces that a feast will be held, and he calls the apprentices forward. The massive tom orders them to go find fresh-kill, then crows about his Clan's victory. Yellowfang marches up to her son after the small cats leave, and snarls at him. Brokenstar stares at her, then nods, and leads Yellowfang to his den. As the medicine cat follows the tabby tom inside, he seems to take up the space between the tree roots with muscle and fur.
- Yellowfang challenges his knowledge of Badgerfang, and for a moment, Brokenstar is shocked. But before the gray cat can truly tell, his confidence comes rushing back. The big tom simply tells her it is a shame, and rage bites deeper into her flesh. Yellowfang hisses that Badgerfang was too young, and tries to tell her son to stop training kits. To no avail, Brokenstar narrows his eyes, and growls at her. Grief and anger causes Yellowfang's paws to throb, and she threatens him with making StarClan take away his nine lives.
- The ShadowClan leader breaks out into a spurt of laughter, and taunts Yellowfang. He mocks her by saying that she can't stop him, and neither can StarClan, for he made ShadowClan glorious. Flicking his broken tail, Brokenstar orders her away, and to heal his cats. Seething with anger, Yellowfang leaves the den, and spots a line of injured warriors outside her den. The gray medicine cat is aware that being hurt is just the routine, since many battles are fought.
- She runs across the clearing, and into the den, passing the cats. Yellowfang sees Runningnose, her apprentice, applying a poultice to Scorchwind's bleeding shoulder. Her hearts flickers with warmth, and the gray she-cat is grateful to have Runnignose at her side. She observes as Scorchwind keeps looking at Boulder, who waits with a bleeding and torn ear. The ginger tom boasts about beating a WindClan cat, but Boulder retorts to his pride about fighting their deputy. Yellowfang wonders if they know about Badgerfang's murder, then quickly fetches the herbs for Boulder's ear.
- The she-cat snaps at the gray tom to keep still, and begins to treat his wound. While Yellowfang is working, another cat, Littlepaw, enters the den. He's holding up his paw in which a claw was torn out, and the tiny tabby asks about Badgerfang. Curtly, Yellowfang confirms his questions, but Littlepaw's eyes shine. The tabby kit is amazed at his former denmate's warrior status, and grief strikes the medicine cat. Yellowfang is sorrowful to know the warrior code has been trampled in the dust, so no cat has hope of living to be an elder.
- After the injuries have been treated, Runningnose helps Yellowfang clean up the herbs. Her apprentice asks if she'll attend the feast, but the gray she-cat declines. Runningnose leaves the den, and Yellowfang curls up in her nest. As soon as sleep claims the old cat, she thinks of StarClan, unable to hide from her now. She opens her eyes to the same marsh where Brokenstar received his lives. She explores the reeds and bushes, but spots a cat. Recognizing the dark gray tom as Cedarstar, Yellowfang's pent-up anger erupts.
- She shrieks at her former leader, demanding to know why they allowed Brokenstar to lead. The medicine cat calls Cedarstar a mouse-brain; the white-chested tom raises his head. His amber gaze is solemn, and he questions what he could've done. Yellowfang listens as the leader explains Brokenstar was Raggedstar's deputy, so had to take over in place of Raggedstar. Yellowfang retorts back, calling their choice a mistake. She tells the gray tom about the young kits, then demands he stops Brokenstar.
- Cedarstar turns his back on the dark gray she-cat, saying there isn't anything to do. The dark leader explains Brokenstar's promise, and the tabby is keeping well on it. Yellowfang sneers at Cedarstar, then wishes a curse upon the tom after her frustration for the dead spills over. When the words leave her mouth, the she-cat jolts awake. She finds herself in her nest, and the smell of Cedarstar, and her ancestors disappear.
- Yellowfang's questions remain unanswered, and she believes StarClan won't help her. Her anger ebbs, and leaves an empty feeling in its place. Abandoned by StarClan, Yellowfang feels helpless, more than ever, and she tells herself that she cannot trust her ancestors.
- A half-moon later, Runningnose comments about the high-moon meeting. Yellowfang remembers her dreams of blood and horror, and she hadn't had contact with the starry cats since then. The dark gray medicine cat refuses to travel to the Moonstone, and pretend nothing happened. She tells her apprentice to go without her, for she has nothing to say to StarClan. Runningnose sounds urgent as he tells Yellowfang not to give up, but she snarls about Brokenstar.
- The patched tom pleads further, but Yellowfang snarls quietly at Runningnose. She challenges the tom about the dying kits, and the battles that don't need to happen, and the exiled elders. Runningnose shakes his head, and mews to his mentor he made a vow to serve ShadowClan, outliving any leader. Yellowfang touches the patched tom's shoulder with her tail, and she tells Runningnose that she made a good choice.
- She follows the gray and white apprentice into the clearing, and Yellowfang watches him leave. Her hate for StarClan leaves a cold, hard knot inside her, but around her the Clan went on as usual. Blackfoot leads a patrol out, and the small apprentices dragged moss from the warriors' den. However, no elders are sunning themselves, and no hunters returned with prey. She thinks of Brokenstar's promise, but thinks of the darkness at its heart.
- Excited squeaks come from the side of clearing, and it jerks Yellowfang out of her thoughts. Her heart lifts as she notices Brightflower's kits, Mintkit, and Marigoldkit, playing near the nursery. The dark gray she-cat then realizes Marigoldkit is shredding up the moss with her claws, and Mintkit drags a feather along the ground. She wonders why they're already playing battle, and Yellowfang bounds over to the kits. She announces a better game, and invites them to catch her tail, twitching it invitingly.
- The tiny kits stop, and look at Yellowfang's dark gray tail, then at each other. Niether of them move, and Yellowfang thinks of her times with Rowanberry and Nutwhisker. She holds her tail level with the ground, and invites them to try and jump. Mintkit asks if it's part of battle training, but Yellowfang admits it isn't. Marigoldkit dips her head polietly, explaining Brokenstar told them it is important to train.
- The medicine cat recalls her own times with her littermates, like playing with the elders, and play fighting. She remembers it was as close to true battling, but these kits could die at the end of greenleaf. Yellowfang watches, heart sick, as Marigoldkit goes back to her moss, and Mintkit to the feather. Brightflower emerges from the nursery, and stands besides her daughter.
- Brightflower comments her kits are strong already, but Yellowfang can see the fear in her mother's gaze. Yellowfang exclaims Mintkit and Marigoldkit sure are lively, and will keep the queen busy. Brightflower nods, and reveals she'll be leaving with the elders once her son and daughter become apprentices. The ginger she-cat remarks it's strange without the elders around, but won't say that near Brokenstar.
- Yellowfang comments the old cats should be here, and Brightflower glances around swiftly. The aging queen warns her not to let Brokenstar hear, and she twitches her ears. Forcing herself to speak, she admits that the elders do seem happy, and tells her about Nightpelt. Her mother declares that soon she'll be joining them, and Yellowfang is shocked.
- The flat-faced she-cat tries to tell Brightflower she isn't old, but the ginger queen purrs softly. She meows that nobody survives forever, and Yellowfang gazes at her Clanmates, then to the gray on her mother's muzzle, and the fighting kits. To her, and in an instant, everything around her seems fragile, like a moth's wing, or a drop of dew. The chapter ends with Yellowfang telling herself that nobody survives forever, and certainly not ShadowClan, with Brokenstar leading.
References and citations
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 468
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 474
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 473
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 469
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 471
- ↑ Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 475
- ↑ Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 477
- ↑ Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 472
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, chapter 38
|Yellowfang's Secret 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 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29 • Chapter 30 • Chapter 31 • Chapter 32 • Chapter 33 • Chapter 34 • Chapter 35 • Chapter 36 • Chapter 37 • Chapter 38 • Chapter 39 • Chapter 40 • Manga|