|Apprentice Academy Series|
|Preceded by: |
|Apprenticeship||Succeded by: |
Author's Note - HiddenSun =]
First steps in The Acdemy...
Are always the beginning...
Of something new....
Most of cats have not been created by me. See The Character Page to see who is the original creator of the Cat is. Tell me what you think on the talk page. Also you can add your own ideas so they can be in the story in the The Ideas Page. I still don't know how many chapters there will be, so let's see how it turns out! (:
If you see any grammatical errors, please fell free to fix them. Sorry for my million typos!! xD
Prologue - From Young to Old
You look around...
You're not the same...
Nobody's the same...
It's a start....
"Everyone at the main-camp gather all around the Tree Hill for ceremony!" Brackenstar's loud voice echoed all around the main-camp. One by one, the cats appeared from all the home-dens and farther from the clearing to gather around the Tree Hill that lay in the middle of the Gathering hill.
Murmurs of exitement were heard all around the cats. Elderly, young, everyone. Cats all over the Valley had come to the very special ceremony that happened once a moon: an apprentice ceremony, the one step that changed your whole life's direction. The moving from a helpless young kit to a new young apprentice ready to make the choices that could affect their lives forever.
When everyone finished gathering around and had stopped gossiping, murmuring and meowing, the dark ginger tabby tom with amber eyes on the top of the tree started meowing again, "We are gathered here today to celebrate one of our most special and exiting celebration: the apprentice ceremony," he started and everyone started cheering. "Please let the kits step forward, so they may receive their apprentice name."
All of a sudden, warriors and seasoned apprentices made way for the kits to pass to the front. Their faces were full of exitement, and far behind, the queens' eyes were a pool of pride. When the kits finally made their way up front, everyone could now see the large amount there was. This class of future-apprentices was really going to turn out to be something.
"Welcome, fellow kits. With this ceremony, you will leave kithood and enter apprenticeship. You will become responsible for your actions and your future that awaits you." Brackenstar spoke wisely.
He climbed down the tree and stepped right in front of the first kit in the long line. "Leafkit, Aquakit, Sunnykit, Shadekit, Rushkit, Birdkit, Darkkit, Bramblekit, Brightkit, Maplekit, Waterkit, Bluekit, Honeykit, Applekit, Lilackit, Flashkit, Cinderkit, Brookkit, Shinekit, Leopardkit, Rainkit, Coldkit, Poppykit, Spiritkit, Cheetahkit, Blossomkit, Creekkit, Icekit, Blazekit, and Wetkit." He said each kit's name as he passed each one.
"From this day, until you fully finish your years in The Academy as an apprentice and become a warrior, you will be known as Leafpaw, Aquapaw, Sunnypaw, Shadepaw, Leafpaw, Rushpaw, Birdpaw, Darkpaw, Bramblepaw, Brightpaw, Maplepaw, Waterpaw, Bluepaw, Honeypaw, Applepaw, Lilacpaw, Flashpaw, Cinderpaw, Brookpaw, Shinepaw, Leopardpaw, Rainpaw, Coldpaw, Poppypaw, Spiritpaw, Cheetahpaw, Blossompaw, Creekpaw, Icepaw, Blazepaw, and Wetpaw. I ask SpiritClan to watch over you and guide you until you find in your paws the strength and courage of a warrior," he finished.
There was a very quiet silent and then everyone started yowling, shouting and calling out the apprentices' names. The newly made apprentices quickly joined their families and friends to celebrate.
They were very excited and overjoyed, not knowing that the Academy is nothing compared to what they expected it to be.
Chapter 1 - My New Academy
Our first day...The new day
We try to keep it together...
"C'mon! You'll be late for the Academy!" The young black tom heard his father's meow from outside his home-den. It was so early in the morning that the sun was just about to rise. Light hadn't even reached the main-camp yet, and he had to get ready for the Academy!
"Wildpaw!!!" His father meowed louder, this time making the young tom jump from his nest. Too bad his mother, Grassblade, went early to work. If she didn't, his father wouldn't be too hard on him in the morning and might actually let him go a bit late. It didn't matter if he was a bit late; school wasn't going anywhere, and it was only his first day.
"Coming!" Wildpaw meowed, trying to get up, still with his eyes deeply closed so he wouldn't see the light. He moved slowly, trying to hold his head up and not fall asleep. Suddenly, he bumped into something, making him jump and give a tiny yowl.
"What do you think you're doing? Sleep walking? This is no time for jokes! Get going, and don't forget to wash your face in the pool!" Wildpaw heard his father meow as he rushed out of our home-den. This time the sunlight did reach his eyes, almost blinding him completely. Almost every cat living in the main-camp was out, either getting ready for work or hanging out before getting busy with duties. He looked around really fast, but no apprentice came in sight. Now he really was late!
He rushed to the pool, located behind some of the home-dens, washing his face super fast. Great SpiritClan! How much he hated water, and getting wet even more! He finished and almost tripped as he rushed out of the main-camp. The big spiky bushes crashed through his fur, hurting him, but he didn't let that stop him. He felt his paws run faster, and faster. He couldn't afford to be late, or his father would kill him.
Suddenly, a black-furred shape came into view and he crashed into it. "Ouch!" he heard her say, and felt himself staring at a pair of blue eyes. It was a she-cat, about his same size. He quickly recognized her.
"Birdpaw! What are you doing here?" Wildpaw asked, looking at her. She was standing up and cleaning her fur that was with leaves and sand because Wildpaw had pushed her into a bush. "Uhh...Sorry about that. You're pelt looks great, by the way!"
She looked up. "Going to the Academy, obviously! And thanks for the comment, but I've known you for long and know you don't really mean it," she said, knowing that Wildpaw flirted with every she-cat, and only those that didn't know him fell for it. "Let's go!" she said as she started to run. He quickly followed, again having the feeling that his legs were on fire because of all the running, but it didn't stop him from catching up to Birdpaw and passing her.
Both apprentices quickly made their way out of the forest, and now the small island came into view. It was surrounded by trees, and there were a few logs, so you could cross... The Academy! Both apprentices thought. They rushed faster, both of them knowing that they were really, really late! They crossed the log, almost falling off from the hurry.
"Well, well....Look what we've got here..." A shadow appeared from one of the trees and they could just barely see the shape of the cat coming. He was a muscular, black tom, and now you could see that he had those amber eyes that gave you shivers. "Late perhaps? Why!?!"
Both apprentices looked at each other. "Well?" the mentor asked again, sounding quite annoyed. Both apprentices heard him, and started meowing at the same time, not letting Blackheart understand a single word they were saying. "Ok! Enough!" he meowed, making both of them stop. "I will see you in detention after classes. Now hurry! And believe me when I say this. This better be the last time I catch you!" The apprentices quickly nodded, and ran without even wanting to turn and look back.
"Ok! Everyone pay attention!" a black she-cat meowed to all the apprentices. She sat nice and tall with her serious aqua eyes. Nobody would dare to interrupt or disobey her; she was the high-mentor (principal) of the Academy. If you did something that bothered her, you were just looking for detention or another punishment. "From this day one, you are apprentices. You will take responsibility for your actions. Anyone who is not ready to do so is more than welcome to leave until you're ready," she said, now beginning to stand up. "This is a new beginning. A new opportunity, and a new path. The choices are yours. I don't say this to scare you, but I want you to make the-" she stopped and everyone turned around to see two apprentices coming. Both of them with black pelts- Wildpaw and Birdpaw.
Rushingriver, the high-mentor, just looked at them, knowing that one of the other mentors had already spoken to them and continued speaking. "I want you to make the best out of this Academy and work hard to become the best warrior you can be. Well, now I leave you to your mentors, so have a nice day and good luck everyone!" she meowed and headed back to her small den in the bushes. That's when all the murmuring and talking started. Nobody missed a chance where they could talk and gossip with their friends.
"Alright, everyone! When a mentor calls out your name, you go to them." A black she-cat with white spots, a long tail, and green eyes meowed. Her name was Ripplepelt, also known as the mother of the First-Junior apprentice, Blazepaw. All the First-Junior apprentices stopped and waited for their names to be called. A few minutes passed, and now every First-Junior apprentice was in either Ruinstone's or Sweetmelody's class.
Ruinstone's class followed him as he signalled to them. He led his class of seventeen deeper into the wood part of the island. The cats followed him, all of them whispering and murmuring in a low voice so Ruinstone wouldn't get mad.
"Alright, class. Welcome to the Apprentice Academy! I'll be your new teacher for the whole season, so better get used to me!" he joked. He seemed friendly, and some apprentices laughed. "Ok, first...I know you hate this, but we're playing the introduce-yourself-game!" Everyone sighed and complained. "Ok!! Let's see who's first up...." he looked around, and now everyone tried to look away. "Ok! Umm...Aquapaw!" he meowed, and everyone turned their gaze to the beautiful blue-gray she-cat, looking surprised.
"What?!" she asked, but Ruinstone just signalled her with his head to get in front of everyone and go on top of the rock. She looked uncertain, but did as she was told. She climbed the rock and was now facing the whole class with a look of confidence.
"Hello! My name is Aquapaw, and, umm...I don't live in the main-camp...Also, umm...I'm training to become a hunter!" she meowed, and climbed down gracefully before Ruinstone could say anything.
"Alright!! Nice to meet you, Aquapaw! Hunter, huh? Nice! Okay...next up...Bramblepaw!" he meowed, and looked at a silver tabby she-cat with a rake of claws down the left side of her face. She looked at him uneasily, but climbed up the rock.
"Hi...I'm Bramblepaw...I live in a small-camp, and I'm training to be a mentor like you, Professor Ruinstone. I got this long rake of claws down the left side of my face from a dog. And, yeah..." she meowed, and climbed down.
The rest of the morning passed on like that for both Proffessors Ruinstone and Sweetmelody. The apprentices were bored, but they at least go to know each other. Now they knew who is who and what they want to be...the easy part of the day had passed, but now came the hardest one...Lunch... "Hey, Flowerpaw!" A tortoiseshell-furred she-cat turned to see who was calling her name, to see a dark gray she-cat with amber eyes heading her way. Beside her was a blue-gray she-cat with flecks all over her body. Flowerpaw quickly recognize her two life-long friends and ran towards them, leaving her lunch.
"Hi, Wetpaw! Hi, Creekpaw!! Oh my SpiritClan, I can't believe we're finally here!!" she meowed excitedly.
"I know!! I've waited my whole life to be here, and now..." Wetpaw ran out of words and her eyes burned amber. "Well, it seems good so far. Not the classes, but the cats. Some of them. There are some cute toms..." she meowed, her eyes searching through the crowd. Creekpaw laughed a bit on how her friend was already checking out the toms, and on just their first day!
"Sorry I'm late! I couldn't find my keep-bush! You know how confusing they are!" Cinderpaw sighed, dropping her lunch and finally sitting to join the group. The three other she-cats greeted her. "So, any news around camp?" she asked, taking a few pieces from her prey.
"Well, there's this really popular she-cat that I think-" Wetpaw started, but got cut off by Creekpaw.
"You shouldn't gossip. Or start a rumour. It could turn out badly. You know exactly what can happen, don't you?" She spoke wisely. They all looked at her, but said nothing. It was hard not to gossip, especially when Creekpaw was around. Fortunately, they all knew her advices were for the best, and listened to her most of the time.
"Well, this isn't gossiping. I'm just sharing what I know," Wetpaw meowed. "But, oh well, never mind, then..."
"Oh I hear there are paw-ball try-outs after the Academy. Anyone trying out?" Flowerpaw asked.
"No. I'm not a sports cat but-" Cinderpaw got cut off from the large crowd of apprentices heading to the middle of the eating-clearing. The she-cats quickly stood up and followed the crowd. Everyone was now meowing, and they could hardly see where the source of the crowd was.
"You're going to fight me?" the light gray tom at the centre of the crowd meowed to the brown furred tom in front of him and Wetpaw could see that he had his prey behind him.
"Coldpaw, stop it!" some cats were telling to the light gray tom, while others were just telling them to fight.
"You better give me your prey, Darkpaw!" Coldpaw meowed again to the brown furred tom with amber eyes. Darkpaw looked like he was about to fight back at Coldpaw's rude comments, but he was interrupted.
"What is going on here?! Clear the clearing! Everyone go back to your preys!" Blackheart meowed so loudly that most apprentices jumped at his voice. In less than a second everyone rushed back to their groups and prey. "All exept you two." Both apprentices, who were already sneaking back, came to a halt and sighed, turning around. "I'll see you both in detention after the Academy. And this better not happen again! Understand?" He glared at both of them, and they quickly nodded. "Good," he simply meowed.
"Darkpaw!" Birdpaw called from her group padding up to him. "Give him your prey - he's not worth fighting over it. But if you want, you can have some of mine..." she said, while blushing in the same time. Darkpaw’s face suddenly looked surprised, but her agreed a bit too quickly, and tried changing the subject. "Good," she meowed.
"Coldpaw! That was some fighting, huh dude?" Flashpaw meowed while passing by him with Lilacpaw, his best friend. Coldpaw nodded, and grabbed the prey Darkpaw had left him to join them.
"I got no lunch. What you want me to do, starve? I had to get something," he meowed, lying down and taking a huge bite out of the vole.
"No excuse! It was Darkpaw's and not yours. You're even lucky he gave it to you!" Lilacpaw meowed in disgust as he ate huge pieces of prey. "Why do you eat like that?"
Coldpaw just shrugged. "Flashpaw would've done the same thing, right? He turned to Flashpaw, who was just staring at something else. Both Lilacpaw and Coldpaw turned to see Aquapaw and Sunnypaw heading into the middle of the clearing with their squirrels hanging from their jaws.
"Flashpaw! Snap out of it!" Lilacpaw's meow made Flashpaw jump.
"Sorry. Just talked to her today, and she's great!" he meowed dreamily.
"Lots of cats already like Aquapaw....good luck!" Lilacpaw told him, taking a few pieces from her mouse. Coldpaw started laughing.
"Aquapaw? No! Sunnypaw..." he said her name in the softest voice they had ever heard, making Lilacpaw join Coldpaw's laughing.
"Even more luck! Heard she likes Wildpaw, and something tells me he likes her back!"
"Dude! You’re voice is cracking!" Coldpaw meowed in-between laughs.
"Well, today was okay. At least there aren't any parents to tell you what to do!" Brookpaw complained.
"Well, I liked it! There are so many cats I've never seen before in my entire life! And, come on! We're in Sweetmelody's class! Best teacher in the Academy! And not in your dad's class. He doesn't even have prey-duty. So, it's a parent-free day!" the golden she-cat with darker spots meowed happily.
"Guess you're right, Cheetahpaw..." she agreed.
"I can't believe that next season we might be with Blackheart. He's just soo..." Blazepaw couldn't find the words to describe the teacher they all had heard about since they were kits. Everyone gossiped about him, so he was probably the best known teacher in ValleyClan!
"Focus on the good things here!! We also have trips, I heard!!! It's going to be so exiting!" Poppypaw meowed to Blazepaw, who just seemed too lazy to do anything. "I can't wait!!"
"Yeah...this is going to be some season in the Academy!"
Chapter 2 - Too Much Work
You think it's easy...
But it's hard...
Too much work....
"This is way too much than what I expected for homework! I've been having fighting practices, and I'm exhausted!" the light gray she-cat apprentice meowed as she rested her head on her paws. Her leaf-green eyes were almost closing and falling asleep.
"You think you've got lots of homework, Leafpaw? I have to have three voles- by tomorrow! And after that, I have to go to the main-camp and put them on the fresh kill-pile to contribute to the clan..." the golden she-cat meowed, the last words with an imitating voice.
Leafpaw jerked up, looking as tired as ever. "Feel bad for you, Shinepaw....What about you Silentpaw? What do you have to do?" She turned her head to face the quiet, chocolate brown she-cat sitting behind her.
Silentpaw looked up and sighed. "Way bored...Nothing to do. No homework. No nothing."
Leafpaw suddenly stood up as fast as anyone had ever seen her. "That's great!....Maybe you could help me...?...You know, with the homework...?" she meowed with a guilty, but excited voice.
"Is that cheating that I hear?" A cream she-cat padding to join the group meowed, showing that she had been eavesdropping. She shook her head when she was close enough to them.
"It's only once, Honeypaw...no harm done."
"Yeah...and if you keep doing it, it will only get worse, and you'll just keep saying the same thing, over and over again." She turned and looked at Silentpaw. "Silentpaw, don't agree. I don't have homework later, so maybe we could hang out?" Silentpaw nodded.
"Fine, you win...." Leafpaw sighed, and suddenly something stole her stare. The other three she-cats turned around and saw a sleek brown tom passing by them.
"Ooohh! Leafy got a crush. Don't you?" Shinepaw meowed excitedly.
"It's Rushpaw...We're friends, and that's all he ever wants to be..."
"You know that for sure?" Honeypaw asked, and Leafpaw just looked at her, shaking her head.
"Ok!! Listen up class!" The pale she-cat with pale amber eyes meowed, looking down at her talking class. Nobody paid attention to her, and ignored her by talking even louder.
It was only the fifth day, and many cats were already getting in detention. Even though it was getting better with everyone knowing that the mentor in charge of detention was Blackheart, still some didn't, or couldn't, understand the meaning of stop, or pay attention.
"Class!!" Now her shout could be heard all around them, and silent fell upon the class. "Good. I don't like getting mad, but I don't like a class who doesn't listen, either." She smiled when she realized all eyes were on her, and she caught everyone's attention. "Alright. I've got two announcements. First off, welcome your new den-mate, Rosepaw!" She flicked her tail towards the entry of the small clearing where a pinkish-reddish she-cat stood. Her eyes were scanning the apprentice-full clearing, shyly not making eye-contact. "Be friendly. She has recently joined the Clan."
Sweetmelody, this time, flicked her tail, signaling Rosepaw to sit beside Brookpaw. Brookpaw greeted her, smiling, while whispers and murmurs were flowing all around. Everyone was discussing the new she-cat, and wondering where she came from, and what she was doing there.
"Shush, everyone!" The class went quiet again, this time with annoyed sighs. "Second of all, every season, we are required to have a play about real life events, but a twist of drama. Every apprentice in this class will participate, with no exceptions."
The class started murmuring again.
"I understand some of you might not have the same capacity as others, by you are marked by how much you try to be your best, so it's not only on how well you do. There are sixteen apprentices in this class, and all sixteen will get a part. Alright? Any questions....?" she meowed the last word, eyeing every cat.
A golden tabby she-cat with blue eyes quickly raised her tail and Sweetmelody, the mentor, nodded to her. "Do we pick our parts? What's the play's name?"
"Good questions, Maplepaw. The play's name is 'Wild in the Valley'. Inspired by our history. And no, I'm sorry, but I pick the parts for you."
Everyone sighed, but other cat's faces showed they were relieved on not being on the position of having to choose characters from a play they had never heard of.
"Anyone got any other questions?" the muscular mentor with stone-gray fur asked his class. The class just stayed quiet. Being part of this play meant doing a lot of work. And young and lazy apprentices with work didn't match well. Every teacher knew this very well, so the play was kind of like a warm-up to the hard work that the Academy was going to bring them.
"Good." Ruinstone meowed, after a few seconds of silence. "I'm guessing most of you know our history, right?" He looked at the class and started meowing again before giving them enough time to answer. "Just in case, I'll explain it to you in small detail.
Long ago, many cats lived in this valley. Some were rogues, other loners, and some run-away kittypets. Some of them even lived in small groups that were enemies with other groups. A bit like Clans, but way smaller. The forest was filled with blood, and traitors were everywhere. Peace was very hard to find. But as cats gained more power and control, they made their groups larger, giving them names like Fangs and Claws.
The Fangs' leader was called Talon. He was fairly young, because the previous leader had just died. But he was very fierce, and nothing could stand in his way except the Claws' leader, Jag. One day, during a battle between these two very strong groups, Talon attacked Jag, and both of them fell down a rocky path. Jag's sister, obviously worried followed them. Her name was Luna.
She loved her brother very much, but he was the kind of tom that wouldn't show his feelings. He loved her, but was very focused on his enemies, and she didn't like that very much, but he didn't seem to know. She went to look for him but found Talon. He captured her and took her as his prisoner for when he reached his group. But an unexpected thing happened, they fell in love. Before he could send her back to her group because he loved her, his group took her as a prisoner.
When Jag found his group again and found out his sister was gone, he planned a fight to get her back. His best friend, also liked her and was ready to do anything to save her from Talon, his name was Stone. But there was also another she-cat that liked Stone named Lynx - who always hated Luna. But while Luna was kept there, she made a few friends, Fly and Peach - a young queen. Unfortunately, a fight broke off and this time Luna had to choose a side. It was a big fight and she tried to stop her brother. Unfortunately, hate had filled his heart and he fell down to the Rocky Path by being accidentally pushed by Talon who wasn't trying to hurt him too much because of Luna. The fight broke off and Luna went to find her brother. The last minutes of his life he spend it telling her how much he cared about her and that he was sorry. Stone, unfortunately attacked Talon, and a huge fight started. Lynx tried to help him, but Luna stopped her and she was chased away. Talon beat Stone and the fight ended. Stone was badly injured and every cat was frozen. Talon's group, the Fangs, won and the Claws joined them. That same night, SpiritClan visited them and the first leader and clan came to be; ValleyClan and Valleystar. A few cats had been missing, including Luna, and Valleystar sents a rescue mission, four toms and two she-cats, to find them. When they find them, turns out they were catnapped by some Claws that didn't want to join the Fangs including Lynx who had been torturing Luna and another Fang she-cat Gaze."
The whole class went silent.
"Alright. I get to pick who's on the Claws and who is going to be Luna and Talon." Ruinstone spoke.
"Now that you know the story. Let's get to work. This class will be the Fangs and I get to pick who's Lynx, Stone and the SpiritClan cats." Sweetmelody spoke. "Now, I want all of you to form a line looking at me. I will see who gets what part."
To be continued...