an ancient enemy shall rise
fearing only the silver eyes
daughter of darkness, will bend the words
the army of dead will roam the earth
years have passed
yet the prophecy have not yet ended
for the hero is driven insane
hidden from all
waiting for her sister to fall
All was still.
All was still, except for an ear-splitting cry, from GemClan.
The world was nothing but an imagery of war, disaster and ruins.
The jet black she-cat turned and ran.
The prophet, Ametrine, was horrified.
'A dark cat,' she announced, 'will bring death and horror to the whole Clan.'
Oh, the unlucky Opal had given birth to a dark she-cat. The ultimate definition of dark- jet-black, and even if light shone on her pelt, it appeared as a dull blackish silver.
'She's the cat,' she yowled. 'She's the cat!' Despite Opal's protests, Ametrine had took the chance of naming Opal's lone daughter.
'This cat, will bring us death. She will rid our Clan.'
Ametrine had named the jet black she-kit Evanescence, but Opal insisted on calling her Lemuria.
Cats were wary. They weren't just wary- they were avoiding her. Once she had opened her eyes, cats grew terrified, for her eyes were so cold they pierced the soul. They weren't just a plain blue or amber- they were silver, the exact reflections of the Moon.
She was the definition of intriguing.
Rose Gold and Morganite, her denmates, weren't afraid. 'Hey, Lemuria, wanna play?' The black she-kit was brooding in her nest, when her silver eyes snapped over to Rose Gold. 'Play?'
'Yes, we're playing Catch!' Another kit, Pearl, nodded. 'It's a hunter-and-prey game.'
Evanescence's eyes lit up. Finally, someone had acknowledged my presence and called me by my true name!
She bounced over, eyes gleaming as Pearl squeaked like a rabbit and started to bound away.
The black she-kit was so quick she was only a flash when she plummeted on Pearl. She knocked the white kit over, her throat rumbling- instead of a purr, a crisp growl came out.
This made the other kits shift with unease- Evanescence's paw was on Pearl's throat now, unsheathing her claws-
' What in the name of Stars are you doing?! ' Morganite shrieked. 'This is just a game!'
The black she-kit didn't seem to realize until Ametrine dragged her off. 'She's danger. I've warned you kits not to play with her!' The prophet's amber eyes flashed with rage as she raked her claws across the black kit's cheek. 'You deserve it, Evanescence. ' Ametrine literally spat the last word out.
The kit's eyes darken. 'The world doesn't work this way, does it? Have you ever seen a cat let a rabbit go, despite its growling belly-'
'-Stop with your nonsense, kit. How much do you know?' The prophet ran her claws down the kit's muzzle, leaving a deep bloody scratch.
'Ametrine, stop.' The leader, Sapphire, padded out. 'She has her point. But, she still shouldn't inflict such acts on her denmates. Opal, how do you teach your daughter?' The gray she-cat's eyes glowed as hatred burned in her glare. 'You're a disgrace, Evanescence.'
The kit's mother stepped out. 'My daughter has nothing wrong!' Her voice rose to a snarl as she protectively curled her white tail around Evanescence's black pelt.
'Very well. Larimar, bring Opal to the Crystal Pools. If she still doesn't see her daughter's face upon calling out the danger of our Clan, she shall drown in the water. Push her head down into the muddy earth, Larimar, and make sure her body doesn't pollute the waters.'
'Yes, Sapphire.' Larimar had to use her telekinesis to move Opal.
'No!' Evanescence tried to pull her mother back.
Suddenly, a blast of power burst through the earth as the black kit threw Larimar backwards with her mind, breaking Opal free.
Larimar scrambled away, eyes wide with fear.
That caused an uproar. Sapphire summoned the spirits to stop her, but it didn't work. Evanescence's force field was too strong.
'Wh-' The kit's silver eyes had suddenly turned black. She let out a silent screech and collapsed onto the ground.
Possession was what Ametrine came up with. The kit was a half-demon possessed by a horrible spirit lingering around, according to the delusional prophet.
The healer, Zinnia, was more reasonable. She blacked out because her powers went out of control, and was too strong for her to bear.
Evanescence stirred in her sleep.
She was tired, heavy, dying. She was leaning on a strong and young she-cat, a bright ginger. She felt hollow and drained, and rage started to fill her when she stepped into familiar territory- GemClan's.
The gray she-cat, though not leader, was still alive. Evanescence immediately lunged at her, but the ginger she-cat tackled her and they immediately became a whirl of claws and fur.
The former finally held her down and hissed, 'Please listen-'
Smoke engulfed Evanescence whole as she closed her eyes...
Fire was imprinted in her mind. The choking smell, the heated cackles...
'Lemu-Evanescence. ' It was Opal.
'What have you done? You've burnt the nursery, and nearly killed Pearl!' Her expression was unfathomable, a mix of terror, rage and worry.
'You aren't the Lemuria I thought you were. You are Evanescence. Go. Go away. I'm not your mother.'
The black kit lay there, expressionless, as she watched her mother pad away. That moment, no other cat knew that her heart shattered into a million shards.
The Clan had no idea that they were the ones who drove her mad.
The day her mother left was when she wondered how could she break free from her restrictions.
She asked Coral, the other prophet, who was the only cat in the Clan that cared for her.
'Why am I trapped in a body, Coral?' She had tilted her head in curiosity. 'What is the body's use? My mind could walk, run, speak just fine.'
Coral purred. 'Our bodies are here for expressing our presence, Lemuria. Without bodies, we are just mere ghosts that no one could see, and we could only communicate via dreams and telepathy. With bodies, we can speak physically, fulfill our physical wishes.'
'But other cats ignore and avoid me, even if I have a body,' the kid protested.
'If they're avoiding you, they're well aware that you exist. They know that you're here, young one. They just choose to turn their backs on you.'
'But why? What have I done wrong?' the kit's eyes grew glassy. 'If they don't accept me, I won't have a point of existing anymore.'
Suddenly Ametrine burst into the den, eyes wild with rage and fear. 'This kit is a curse to GemClan. She must be driven out for the safety of us.'
`You can't just drive out a defenseless kit,' Coral pointed out. `She had proved herself dangerous to us twice. I will not allow it to happen anymore.' Ametrine hissed so fiercely Evanescence flinched but Coral stood her ground.
'Ametrine, this kit may be dangerous to you, but to me she is just the same as Rose Gold, Morganite and Pearl. If you're going to drive her out, you will have to kill me.'
'What did Evanescence do to you, Coral? ' Ametrine's eyes narrowed. 'Did she brainwash you? As a prophet, you should know how dangerous this cat is or can be.'
'Who do you think I am?' Coral snarled. 'Of course I know what's her power and what can happen if she's being careless.'
'Wait a minute,' Evanescence mewed. 'What are you guys talking about?'
Coral turned and looked at her. 'You're a Power Mimic, Lemuria.'
'Which means danger!' Ametrine spat with pure disgust. 'Coral, I swear in the name of Stars that you're in love with this abomination!'
The cream she-cat lashed her tail, eyes burning with hostility. 'Because she doesn't have a mother! I'm a mother to her now, Ametrine. I won't give her up.'
Without a warning Ametrine charged towards Coral, who was unprepared and she froze in shock.
Evanescence, however, saw that coming.
With a panicked squeak she alarmed Sapphire, who dashed into the den just to find Ametrine clawing Coral viciously.
'Ametrine! What in the name of Stars are you doing, attacking your apprentice?' the leader hissed. 'Are you out of your mind?'
'Sapphire- she was defending Evanescence!'
'Ametrine, Evanescence might be a danger,' the gray cat's ears flicked with uncertainty. 'But she is still GemClan.' Her eyes turned to the black kit, then plastered a smile that was so fake it made Evanescence sick.
Then she casted a meaningful glance at Ametrine, beckoning her to the Leader's den.
'I call down the spirits of my ancestors to look down upon this kit. She is ready to receive training and become a full warrior of GemClan. Step forward, Lemuria.'
The she-cat was standing in the waters, blinding silver light shining from the pools. She stepped forward, feeling the water slowly solidify...
'Lemuria, you have to stay strong.' Coral's bright amber eyes flashed with emotion. 'No one's going to like you. You need to be on your own. It's okay, remember that I'll be here if you need me.'
'I name Wolf your mentor.' Sapphire's voice was clear.
A gray tom padded out, blue eyes shockingly fierce, with an aura of warm amber ringing his irises. He returned Evanescence's silver gaze with a leveled blue stare, enough to force the young she-cat look away. Tension stilled the air until Sapphire yowled, 'The Ice Camp is where both of you are going to be for the next six moons. Now go!'
Without saying another word Evanescence leaped out of the water, which was slowing turning into ice.
'Darnit,' Hail muttered, 'I could've froze her!'
Sapphire glared at her guard. 'I never asked you to do so.'
But it was obvious that you wanted him to, Evanescence thought bitterly. You wanted him to kill me.
Sudden fury boiled inside of her, slowly filling and blinding her-
A rotten scent drifted to her nose.
She whipped backwards to see an army of cats- the undead- marching towards the group. She screamed, ready to run.
It took her a heartbeat to realize that she summoned the zombies. Her rage was powerful enough to do so.
She turned and fled the scene.
Evanescence couldn't remember much of the incident afterwards. She was trapped in place without stars for what felt like a lifetime. Everytime she made a turn, a voice strangely familiar would urge her to go further but her sense of direction told her that she was running in circles. Finally, she burst into a clearing. A white she cat was already sitting there, her tail wrapped neatly around her paws. ' Well, how do they teach you in GemClan, daughter? Do you not greet your own mother?'
'Opal?' Evanescence gasped.
The she-cat rolled her eyes. ' It's Shaded, my girl. Come join me on this quick talk.'
'Shaded who?' Evanescence's voice cracked. Shaded sounds so familiar, she thought, But I just couldn't remember who is Shaded!
Shaded hissed impatiently. 'Your mother in your last life, Evanescence. You were Phoenix.'
Sudden realization cleared Evanescence's mind.
'It's you,' she whispered. 'This is the Dark Forest.'
'Let me go!' Evanescence cried. 'I don't want to be here!'
The jet black she-cat scrambled away, eyes wild. 'Let me out! Bring me back to GemClan!'
Shaded sashayed over to her former daughter, who was lying on the marshy ground, prodding her right paw into her flank.
'Stand up, weakling. Who taught you to be that weak? Is it that so-called mother Coral?'
'Stop, please,' she pleaded. 'I want to be back at GemClan-'
'Listen!' Shaded snapped.
Evanescence opened her mouth to protest but to her shock, no sound came out. 'Girl, if you don't remember, you're not the only Power Mimic around here. It's in your genetics. In fact, you got it from me.'
Evanescence finally found her voice. ' I...I don't remember this part.'
Shaded forced a purr. 'Of course you don't remember. You were stolen from me when you were two moons old by the spirits themselves. I only ask for you to join me. I know you will object but I am patient. I can wait. You're destined to be a hero, but we do not know which side are you on. Your so-called mother Coral might be a apprentice prophet but she is certainly a good healer. I cannot keep you here much longer. Just remember, I will be here when you make the decision.'
And then, she faded into nothingness.
Evanescence blinked her eyes open, to find herself restrained by brambles, in a stone den.
She let out a screech of pain as she tried to move. It didn't work.
Focus, Evanescence. Focus. You've used fire to burn down the nursery. You can use fire to burn down the brambles. Shaded's voice was clear and full of clarity.
Sudden fire erupted from her paws, lighting up the brambles with fire. Not long afterwards, the brambles became nothing but ashes.
She rolled away, aware that the guards had already scented smoke.
Fire is essential, but deadly, she thought. We need heat, but it could burn us, melt our gemstone.
'You think I'm going to follow your rules? I'm a free spirit, unrestrained, unrestricted.'
Evanescence faced Hail and Velvet, her silver eyes burning.
How can I take two well trained warriors down single-handed? I'm just a mere untrained apprentice. That's when the jet black she-cat realized she made the wrong move.
I have no choice. I need to fight, she thought.
Using her speed as an advantage, she charged towards Hail and in a heartbeat, she sank her fangs into the cat's shoulder. He yowled in pain as blood seeped out of the wound, with some unknown greenish gray liquid trickling out with the blood.
Almost immediately the tom collapsed, writhing and choking out foam.
Velvet gasped in fear but she stood her ground. Her body shaking, ice started to form around her paws and she lashed her tail.
She quickly lunged at Evanescence's belly, ready to take down the young apprentice. However, the young apprentice outwitted Velvet.
Before the russet she-cat could lash out, Evanescence tried to shove the she-cat down, but she wasn't strong enough and eventually, Velvet held her down, pushing her muzzle into the earth.
'This is unheard of, a former kittypet killing a GemClan warrior, let alone a Black Ice.' Velvet's eyes gleamed with ambition. 'That alone can make me become a Camp Head. I would be so much more powerful. I wouldn't be looked down upon. I, can claw to power!'
Evanescence choked, struggling to breathe. You aren't going to die like this, are you? Shaded taunted her. If you die here, now, you'd be in the Dark Forest, forever. She can destroy your gem Core, then you will perish. Are you going to let that happen?
She let out a shriek of fury and was barely able to throw Velvet off, her coughing out mud.
Her glare was so cold it sent shivers down cats' spine- the other prisoners, Velvet, everyone.
'Have you ever heard of using ice against ice?' Evanescence's black paws had ice crusting around.
Velvet's eyes grew wide as she tried to run, but Hail's reached over, grabbing her tail.
'Help m-me kill th-that abomination,' he choked, 'Please...'
The russet she-cat turned around, glanced at Evanescence once, and looked back.
'Attack!' Sapphire suddenly appeared from the Prison entrance.
Evanescence knew she couldn't take 10 of the best fighters in the Clan.
But I can, a sly voice whispered with a laugh.
Shaded, no! Please! Evanescence pleaded her not to take over.
But she did. It's the only way to take them out, you fox dung! Do you not think?
The cats saw the drastic change- black fur to white fur, silver eyes to fiery golden.
'You need to take me first, you bunch of weaklings,' Shaded snarled.
Sapphire did not recognize Shaded. None of them did. Shaded was too ancient, nearly forgotten by all cats except for the ones in StarClan.
Sapphire charged towards Shaded without warning, creating an illusion of an army.
With a lash of Shaded's tail, the illusion turned into real cats- but on Shaded's side.
Sapphire narrowed her eyes and screeched, 'Kill this abomination!'
The illusionary army rushed forward.
'Honestly, if you think this could kill me, you need to think again.'
Shaded lashed her tail and the illusion disappeared.
'Wh-Larimar! Use your powers to fight this monster!' Sapphire snarled, half afraid.
The gray she-cat smirked and threw a ball of water towards her.
Shaded easily deflected the ball with a water bolt.
Larimar swore and rolled away, dodging the bolt.
'The only way to kill me is to fight me, fist on fist,' Shaded cackled. 'Your powers are too weak! You aren't even trying, mouse-hearts!'
Inferno's bright amber eyes lit up with flame as he turned into a ball of fire, lunging at Shaded's throat.
'Oh, you want to fight in the hard way? As you wish.' Shaded's golden eyes glowed as she vanished.
'Come get me!' She appeared behind Inferno, giggling like a maniac.
'Fox dung!' Inferno spat, quickly pouncing on Shaded. The she-cat growled and tried to shake him off, but to no avail. Inferno was about to dip down and bite her neck when the cats from Shaded's army rushed forward, swarming over the two and dragged Inferno off. Shaded smirked, seeing the bright ginger tom being mangled by dead cat.
Wait. a voice in her head said . You're not Shaded but Evanescence. And since you're Evanescence, I should be the one controlling your body.
For a moment, the zombies disappeared and Inferno scrambled up in confusion.
Concentrate. Shaded told herself firmly. You can't lose to your own daughter who doesn't even know how to fight.
Only thing is, this is a battle and Shaded allowed herself to lose concentration. As Inferno pounced on her again, her fur turned black, like nothing happened.
Evanescence knew she got into really big trouble. She suspected the dumbest cats in clan would know if they're in her place. Sapphire's eyes were blazing with fury.
'What did you do?!' Her snarl was menacing and filled with anger. Sapphire's bright blue eyes flared in pure rage, her fur bushed up and claws unsheathed. 'You're a monster,' she continued, 'a mistake that should've never been made!'
The black she-cat was held transfixed, silver eyes staring up at her leader with defiance. Before she could speak, Sapphire growled, 'Banish her. Get out of my sight. Get out!'
Evanescence hissed, 'You couldn't avoid me forever. This world is small, Sapphire. If you think we won't meet ever again, you can go and be a stupid, bee-brained kit. I'm never going, Sapphire. Never.'
The gray she-cat snarled. 'You never talk back to your superiors! How dare you!'
Larimar snorted. 'Kits. Thinking they're the smartest.'
Evanescence ignored her. ' I dare. For I am Evanescence, whether you like it or not. Lemuria is no longer my true self. I am a monster. Even you admitted it.'
'Get out! GET OUT!' Sapphire roared and even some of her best warriors backed away in fright.
Evanescence shrugged and ran into the depths of the forest, not even turning back but she somehow managed to pounce on Sapphire from behind just the second she disappeared into the shadows of the trees.
'I said I would never leave. Do you understand?'
The gray she-cat flung Evanescence off, just to see a white cat in replacement. Her bright golden eyes were laced with orange with a slight hint of flaming vermilion, dark amber streaks arranged in a sunburst pattern, pointing towards her pupils. She smelled of smoke and marshes, but under the strong smell was a hint of sweet roses, mint and lavender.
For a brief moment Sapphire saw the same she-cat but in GemClan's nursery, nursing two kits- a kit who looked nearly identical to Evanescence, and another black she-kit, which reminded Sapphire of Ametrine.
The slender gray she-cat cleared her head and unsheathed her claws to fight the white cat, but she was gone, into nothing but pure thin air.
'Sh-she's gone,' Larimar stuttered. 'I'm sorry.'
Evanescence ran, her footsteps pounding on the forest floor, scaring squirrels and mice away. Twigs cracked and the sharp, jagged edges grazed on the black she-cat's soft pawpads.
She ran until her paws couldn't carry her anymore, and she lay down on the grass, panting. Her instincts told her she was being watched but she was in no shape to run any further. Her paws were sore and swollen, blood seeping from the cuts, pain blinding her.
The scent of dark, rotting toadstools made her gag. The ground gradually turned into boggy marshes, the river that cut through the ground had turned into a slimy texture.
Evanescence groaned. Back in the Dark Forest again, she thought. What does Shaded want?
Shaded appeared out of nowhere, eyes twinkling.
'Speaking of the devil,' Evanescence muttered.
'So, girl.' Shaded said in a falsely silky tone. 'Have you made up your mind about which side you will join yet? The Dark Forest shall rise tonight if you join me.'
Every word of Shaded made her want to say yes but somehow, she felt something was wrong.
'N...No.' she stammered.
Shaded's spell broke. She frowned at Evanescence. 'Why?'
' You have tried to fool me into believing you truly love me,' Evanescence's voice cracked. 'But what kind of parent are you that will want her daughter to be her puppet? You have possessed me and made me do things I don't want to do. Isn't that enough? What else do you want?'
Shaded hissed. 'Don't you understand? If you join us, we- as a whole- can take over GemClan. Kill every single one of them. We can rule the land. I foresee that there would be a group of cats that intrudes our territory. With our power, we can prevent that. Don't you want GemClan to be safe?'
Evanescence's silver eyes glittered. 'For what? I want to save them, not harm them. You're right, I don't understand your motives.' She turned away from her mother. 'I wish you luck for finding another cat,' Evanescence mewed.
Shaded snarled. 'Don't let her go.' Two huge gray cats appeared, pushing her behind. She spat. 'Let me go!'
'These guards won't listen to you unless if you join this place,' Shaded sneered. 'You either join, or leave- but trust me, you can't make it out alive.'
Evanescence scowled. 'Give me time. I need to make my decisions later. I'm too tired.'
Shaded narrowed her eyes. 'Soot, Dust, bring her to the guest dens.'
'Yes, Mistress,' they mewed in unison. Illusions, Evanescence noted. Shaded's illusions.
Evanescence padded behind the two gray cats, her pelt prickling with distrust. The damp air made her feel extremely uncomfortable.
She noticed Shaded's presence hovering over her. She reminded herself not to get out of line, as Shaded- or her guards, really- can kill her with a single blow.
Dust turned her head to check on Evanescence every few steps, her azure blue eyes minatory, causing her to flinch.
'We've arrived.' Soot cleared his throat and swung his massive head to stare into the black she-cat's silver eyes. 'Find a nest.'
Evanescence hesitantly padded towards a corner and settled down. 'When will I have to meet Shaded?'
Her mother purred with a voice that was glazed with honey. 'When I find you the next day. Don't worry, I will give you enough rest.'
Evanescence woke up to a sweet, mouth-watering scent. A huge, plump pigeon lay in front of her. It was fresh, and a sandy she-cat stood over it, head bowed. 'Mistress asked me to give this to you.'
'What's your name?' Evanescence asked in curiosity.
'Lilypad.' Evanescence looked at the she-cat's eyes. They were a soft shade of green, like the luscious forest in Greenleaf.
'You're not thinking of joining, right?' Lilypad asked.
'How do you know?' Evanescence asked.
The she cat snorted. ' You talk in your sleep.'
' Do you have any ideas of how to get out of this place?' Evanescence asked hopefully.
'Surprisingly, yes.' Lilypad said half-heartedly. She blinked. 'Life is tough being a summoned illusion here,' she explained. 'We get summoned once, then we vanish after we're no use. And my use,' Lily dipped her head, 'is to serve you.'
'So- wait, do you mean that all guards, servants and others get summoned right on the spot?'
'Mostly. You still remember Dust And Soot?'
'Look. They've vanished.'
'Then how do you know so much about the Dark Forest?' Evanescence pushed on, trying to get an answer from Lilypad.
'We were made to share the same mind with- or rather, the mind which listens to- our summoner. We have the same knowledge.' The sandy she-cat sniffed. 'Now-'
In a flash, she collapsed to the floor and vanished.
'-What a traitorous little maid,' a deep voice growled, 'trying to tell our dear guest the way to escape.'
Evanescence snapped her head up. 'Sh-Shaded?'
The cat, who was also black but had wider and sharper green eyes, hissed. 'I'm Purity.'
Evanescence shivered under the piercing green glare.
'You better stay in here, Phoenix.' Purity spat out the last word and walked away. 'What a nuisance.'
Phoenix? Evanescence frowned. Why does Purity call me Phoenix?
'Daughter.' A voice made Evanescence jump. 'Will you join us?'
Evanescence's mind whirled. Her eyelid were drooping- even though she was forcing them open. Before the whole world turned into pure darkness, she heard a faint 'yes.'
Shaded cackled. 'The time has come.'
'Wake up, Evanescence!'
The black she-cat groggily blinked her eyes open and saw the faint silhouette of a cream she-cat, the familiar scent sending waves of memories that made her heart ache in grief.
'Coral!' Evanescence gasped. 'Why are you here?'
Evanescence frantically looked around, realizing that she was in GemClan territory again.
'Hurry! You-we- need to go! GemClan's hunting us down!' Coral's amber eyes were wild with panic, glittering in pure fear. 'I saw everything- Ametrine! I saw her!'
Coral nudged Evanescence to her paws and signaled her to follow. The cream she-cat was fast, but Evanescence's legs were longer and she easily caught up with Coral.
'You've grown,' Coral panted. 'A lot.'
They continued to run until they reached a clearing with four large trees and a towering slab of stone in the middle.
'This is far enough,' Coral whispered. 'Sapphire won't go out of her territory.'
'Coral,' Evanescence whispered. 'I'm scared. What if Ametrine finds us?'
Coral froze. 'Evanescence. Ametrine's gone for good. Sh-she broke her own gem. They're blaming you.'
'Oh.' The black she-cat's shoulders slumped. 'I really tortured her, didn't I?' She let out a chilly, sad laugh and sighed.
Coral's soft, fluffy tail wrapped Evanescence's paws. 'It's okay,' she whispered. 'I know you didn't. I saw her slit her own throat.'
Evanescence! Shaded snapped. Sapphire is nearby!
'Coral,' Evanescence's silver eyes filled with hostility. 'Sapphire is near.'
Coral widened her eyes. 'Roll in the mud,' she whispered. 'Now!'
They immediately slipped in a crack in the stone after disguising themselves.
'Search!' Sapphire commanded, a bunch of cats surging from behind.
Hurry! Move the rocks so that it'll close the gap! Shaded hissed.
Evanescence's mind burned as she focused on the stones. 'Close the gap,' she whispered. 'Close the gap.'
With a loud bang, the two rocks collided and the exit was sealed.
The black she-cat could faintly hear scratching and thumping outside, probably the cats trying to get in.
'There's a tunnel in here!' Coral mewed, slipping inside. 'Come!'
Evanescence slipped in and the world whirled. She looked up and the tunnel ceiling was still here, but the earth was boggy and wet.
'Evanescence,' Coral turned around and faced her. Her amber eyes turned into an icy yellow. Her pelt slowly turned black, with a hint of purple and blue.
'You're trapped.' The she-cat let out a maniacal laugh and her glittering eyes made Evanescence shiver. 'Don't you remember me?' she thrust her muzzle in front of Evanescence's face.
Without a second thought Evanescence pounded towards the exit located next to her, escaping and realizing that she was once again back to the Dark Forest.
Waiting there was Shaded and Purity.
'My two precious jewels,' Shaded purred. 'Evanescence and Ametrine. The blood bound sisters.'
I slowly turned around in pure shock, eyes on the smug amber she-cat. 'Opal is my mother,' she sneered. 'And Shaded is also my mother.'
Evanescence choked. No way! She wouldn't be sisters with this disgusting, cruel dog.
Purity giggled. 'Phoenix and Nigria, welcome back.'
'Ni-Nigria? Phoenix?' Evanescence mewed, confused.
Shaded purred. 'My two beauties,' she mewed, 'are finally here.'
Evanescence was lost for words. No... Surely it was a mistake! Me and Ametrine will never be sisters! Never!
Shaded's attention was fully given to Evanescence. 'My Black Ice,' she smiled. 'My precious jewel.'
Purity's was for Ametrine.
Shaded signaled to me to follow her, and we broke into a run in the forest. Finally, I was left gasping for air as we entered a clearing.
'Me and Purity agreed that you are more important than Ametrine,' Shaded mewed, her chest puffed up in pride. 'We all know that Ametrine is Opal's daughter, but not mine.' Shaded smirked. 'Purity is her mother. But that was always a secret that no one dared probe in. Y' know, young one, I am the Dark Forest. I can manipulate it. I can change it. I can even destroy it. I am the start of this place. And if you have common sense-' she coughed, '-then you would know that you'd have to be extremely lucky to be chosen by me to be the savior of us.' Her golden eyes gleamed. 'Ametrine is just your tool, Phoenix. You don't need to give two pieces of dirt about her. You are the important one.'
'B-but didn't you say we were blood bound sisters?' Evanescence asked, baffled.
'Oh, yeah, pretty lies, some cats just can't take the truth.'
'Mistress,' a voice rang from behind, 'Purity requests to-'
'-Can't she see I'm talking to Evanescence? That little good kitty needs to learn some respect, only knowing how to ask, and ask, and think she's the queen of this place.' Shaded quickly dismissed the puny tabby.
I heard a muffled mew, most likely Purity's, growl, 'That old hag!'
'Hey, you imbecile, I heard that!' Shaded shrieked. 'Anyways, let's ignore that little stuck-up and get back to business.'
Shaded's golden eyes glowed in distaste. ' Give me a reason...a reason for why you even care about Gemclan.'
' It's my home.' Evanescence protested.
' They drove you out and treated you like nothing. But you, my girl, my precious girl shall seek revenge on them!' Shaded hissed.
Evanescence supressed a shiver and nodded. 'I will,' Evanescence snapped.
'Good. Now, first, you can go back and join GemClan- that way, it's easier to kill them off one by one.' Her cold amber eyes shone smugly, a deformed smile taking shape on her lips. This was the first time she noticed the fangs peeking out; they were sharp but yellowed, slightly gnarled and scary. They looked like the sharp misshapen claws of a dog's.
'Stare much?' Shaded snorted. 'Those fangs have been serving me for seasons, Evanescence.'
Evanescence gulped. 'A-are they dog claws?'
Shaded sighed. 'Gosh, no, dog claws smell rank. As if I'll be stupid enough to jam them into my jaws.'
Evanescence let out a sigh of relief. At least those horrifying fangs are hers, she thought.
Shaded nodded, flicking her tail. 'Brindle, call Purity in!'
'You should leave now, young one. Go! But remember,' Shaded's chirruping voice turned into a menacing snarl, 'I don't accept failures.'
'Evanescence, you have proved yourself to be skillful enough to be a warrior. Now go find a nest in the Warriors' den!' Sapphire quickly dismissed the black she-cat.
She padded in and saw a white she-cat licking Inferno's ear.
How disgusting, would Snowy have to be to lick her brother's ear in the worst way possible?
The white cat immediately realized that she was watching.
'Stalker!' Snowy spat, her blue eyes blazing with fury.
'Oh, okay, so you're saying that I can't enter this den without screaming 'I'M COMING IN!'? This is also my den, Snowy, and you should go find a secluded place to start making out with your brother.' Evanescence returned Snowy's spitting with a dark glare, and she looked away.
'Let's go, Inferno, she doesn't know what's she talking about. We aren't siblings, right?'
Inferno shot an angered stare at Evanescence before stomping away, with Snowy scuffling after him.
'Goodness, some cats are just shameless, eh?'
Evanescence snapped her head over to the she-cat standing at the entrance. Her looks reminded Evanescence of the ginger she-cat she saw in her dreams.
'Oh, yes, my name is Blaze. Nice to meet you!'
'Is it true that you beat all ten of GemClan's best warriors in combat?' Blaze asked, her eyes wide.
'Yeah. well, sort of.' She pawed the ground uneasily. Something told Evanescence that this is not the cat she saw in her dream, but to think about it, she didn't even know what.
'Wow.' Blaze continued staring at her like she might turn into mist if she blinked. 'I thought that was just a story.'
Blaze cleared her throat. 'It's not too late,' she suggested, 'we could go hunting?'
Evanescence nodded, wary that Blaze was trying to get close to her.
'Let's go.' Blaze mewed and led the way through the entrance of camp.
'Wait.' Evanescence halted. 'Aren't hunting patrols long over?'
Blaze sighed. 'We're warriors now, so we can go and hunt whenever we want.'
Evanescence nodded. 'Oh.' She bounded towards the pine forests, eyes glowing. Immediately she dropped into a hunter's crouch and crept towards a huge sparrow, which was unaware of Evanescence's presence.
In a flash, she leaped and easily snapped the bird's neck. She picked it up and faced Blaze, who was watching in awe. 'Double wow!'
Evanescence flushed upon hearing the compliment. 'Thanks, I had a great mentor.'
Blaze nodded. 'I can see that! No cat could get used to GemClan's hunting territory unless if they were trained here.'
I was trained in a place which was a direct copy of our territory, she thought, and I didn't even have a mentor.
As they continued hunting, they were both silent, as if muted by an unknown force.
Finally, Evanescence broke the silence. 'We should go back. It's getting late.'
Blaze nodded, picking up two birds that were large enough to feed the whole nursery.
As they returned, Evanescence took a vole and slid into her nest. Cats immediately snapped their heads towards her. Their glares raked down her back. Murmurs spread in the den.
So I guess I'm not welcome.
'Silence!' A commanding voice rang from the entrance. They all turned towards the ginger she-cat.
'Would you treat a new member with disrespect? Would you do that to any cat?' Blaze snapped. 'If you're going to judge her for what she's done before,' she cleared her throat and growled, 'you can go stay with the seniors.'
Some cats actually stormed out of the den, but most stayed and avoided Evanescence.
Blaze went towards her nest, which was right next to Evanescence's, and hissed, 'They think I'm a weak camp leader, they get what they deserve!'
A white she-cat next to her scooted away, 'I'd rather date a she-cat than stay with you!'
Blaze snarled, 'There's nothing wrong with dating a she-cat, Pearl.'
Pearl scrunched up her nose. 'Goodness, it's same gender mating again! That's unnatural, disgusting and wrong.'
Blaze hissed. 'We are the new Era, Pearl. If you're going to stay conservative you can kindly move your rank butt over to the seniors.'
Pearl growled. 'No.'
Blaze atood up abruptly, eyes blazing with pure rage. She swooped down to grab the tiny she-cat's scruff and dragged her out of the den, her legs flailing in protest.
She kicked the white she-cat once as Pearl slumped onto the ground, her blue eyes glowing in distaste and hatred. 'Get your butt over to the Seniors' camp if you're going to be that hateful. Why don't you hate on Violet and Tanzanite? Oh yeah, because they don't protect the cats you hate.'
'Shut up!' Pearl hissed. Violet poked her head out of the den and hissed, 'Pearl, get out if you're going to hate on Evanescence.'
Pearl's lucid blue eyes had turned into a dark storm of hatred, fury and a hint of fear. 'Violet, she nearly killed me as a kit. As a kit! This cat is too dangerous as a full-grown warrior. I don't understand why Sapphire-'
Blaze roared, 'Don't you understand? Enough is enough! You are causing a huge disturbance to my warriors! Even if you don't need to rest, they need to!'
'Welcome back, daughter.' Evanescence was greeted by an angry snarl. 'We cannot affort the price of you fooling around! If you won't do anything, I will do it myself.'
Evanescence shuddered at the thought of Shaded taking over her mind.
'By next sunrise, you will have to bring Opal's spirit to me. It's easy- just kill her.' Shaded's menacing smirk formed on her lips once again.
'H-how?' Evanescence whispered.
Shaded giggled. 'Torture her.'
'Bu...but she my mother.' Evanescence stammered. 'I am your mother. Nobody else. Not Opal or Coral. How many times did I tell you?'
For about...once? Evanescence thought to herself. I can swear you never said that before.
Shaded sighed. 'Anyways, I need her spirit by tomorrow. Off you go!' The white she-cat flicked her tail, signaling Evanescence to go.
Evanescence casted a spell on Opal to make her fall into a coma. She started dragging her to a hollow- the Crystal Pools- but she suddenly scented something rotten.
She knew. Almost immediately, Evanescence summoned a dark storm to kill the undead cats.
Daughter, you forced me to do this. Kill her, or you shall die!
' I'm not surrendering without fighting.' Evanescence hissed.
She summoned bolts of lightning and the army fell where hey had stood. But when she tried to dismiss the violent winds, they refused to listen to her. One streak of pure blue arc of electricity hit the sleeping white she cat and to Evanescence, all her hopes seemed to have died with her.
A wail of grief broke the silence, and even the cats in the heavens felt for the wailer whom they had no idea who.
'Cheer up.' Blaze mewed. Two days had passed since Opal had died. Evanescence did not return to GemClan that night, but Blaze gave up her duties and her place in clan to become an outcast just because she wanted to stay with her.
Evanescence closed her eyes. 'Why did you come with me? You have family and power there. Go back.'
Blaze sighed, exasperated. 'I told you, I can come and go whenever I like. GemClan had gotten used to this.'
'Does Sapphire even allow this to happen? Who would be in your place when you're gone?'
'Sapphire told Rosette to be the temporary leader when I wasn't in the New Era camp,' Blaze mewed, 'and she's a tad bit older than I am. She's been in charge of the apprentices in the Ice Camp before. She's more experienced.'
'Yeah, but you can't just abandon your duties!' Evanescence exclaimed.
Blaze growled. 'I don't care, okay? You're just more important than GemClan. It's just that-' she paused.
'Do you understand now? I like you. I don't want to give you up!' Her voice rose to a shriek. Her bright golden eyes gazed at the black she-cat.
'Oh.' Evanescence mewed. 'Oh.'
Evanescence blinked once and continued, 'I'm sorry.' She stood up. 'I like you as a friend, Blaze. I'm so sorry.'
She stared at Evanescence as if she had been clawed in the face.
Blaze took a deep breath. 'Can I stay here then?'
Evanescence sighed. 'If you want to.'
'I'll go hunt.'Blaze meowed and vanished into the bushes.
Evanescence waited until dawn but Blaze still haven't returned.
The is strange she thought. It shouldn't have took her so long. I'd better check on her.
She tracked down Blaze's scent trail, just to find a cat splayed out on the floor a couple of foxlengths from the place she waited.
There was a nasty wound on her flank, which would explain the puddle of blood next to her. Her heart was still beating, though very weak. Her eyes was closed.
Evanescence placed her paws onto her flank and concentrated hard, trying to stop the bleeding. Eventually, it worked. She listened as Blaze's breathing steadied.
Evanescence's anger flared from her heart and filled her whole. Her silver eyes burned with pure fury, glaring at corners, trying to spot the attacker. Whoever tried to kill her would be ripped to shreds, the black she-cat thought.
She carefully dragged the ginger she-cat into a hollowed tree, placing down leaves and moss as a makeshift nest. She covered the entrances with branches, trying to make it look as subtle as possible.
After a ton of hard work, Evanescence ran to the hollow where she could transport to the Dark Forest. She closed her eyes and whispered, 'Bring me to my mother.'
'You didn't have to kill Blaze!' Evanescence spat at Shaded, who was staring at Evanescence with her confused golden eyes. 'What do you mean? I did nothing to her.' Her eyes were innocent and wide, but Evanescence didn't fall for it.
'Why? You knew that I care for her! You knew that she is the only one that cares for me! Are you a part of GemClan? Do you want to drive me insane?' The black she-cat went berserk on Shaded and had her claws on Shaded's neck. 'I swear to the night I will rip you to shreds!'
Shaded's golden eyes narrowed and she suddenly disappeared and reappeared a few tail lengths away, just out of reach.
'Daughter,' she hissed, 'I can prove that I did not kill Blaze. We all know that you care for her, Evanescence. She'd be your support. We couldn't afford to have your support dead.'
Evanescence glared at Shaded maniacally, her claws unsheathed. 'You once said you know everything. Tell me who tried to kill Blaze.'
Shaded closed her eyes and murmured.
A cat of black shall destroy your heart.
A darkness will break the skies apart.
For one night she has struck the sun.
The damage cannot be undone.
The sharp wide eyes that glows in the dark.
The start of all as a black-feathered lark.
Hidden deep in the star-filled sky.
No cat has seen her other eye.
Whirling in a ball of claws and fur.
You will never think that it is her.
Until the end of both of their lives,
You shall not know which cat survives.
Shaded looked at Evanescence once again, her golden eyes wide in surprise.
'Can't you just tell me which cat are they?' Evanescence hissed in annoyance.
'The power of Reading doesn't work that way,' Shaded sighed. 'Only cats that have the specific power of Reading, not a Power Mimic, can see the image, hear the sound and understand immediately. I could see the image, but there is no sound. There would only be a brief prophecy.'
Suddenly, Evanescence heard a distant voice murmur, Come back, come back, and almost immediately she was transported back to the tree where Blaze was.
'Blaze!' Evanescence gasped, 'Do you remember who attacked you?'
The ginger she-cat blinked and looked at Evanescence with her bright eyes. 'I only remember the faint silhouette of a huge black cat, but I didn't get to see her eyes.'
Evanescence spat. 'Fox dung! That would've been the key to finding the cat!'
Blaze tilted her head. 'I think she also had a very deep voice...'
Evanescence's mind sparked. It's either Ametrine or Purity, if it counts the cats I know. There would also be a chance that it's Shaded in morph. It could be any of their illusions. Or... could it be me?
The black she-cat looked at Blaze. 'Do I count as huge?'
Blaze shook her head. 'You're smaller than me.'
Evanescence suddenly remembered the line, The start of all as a black-feathered lark.
'Did you see it coming?' The silver-eyed cat pushed for more information.
'Well... I was chasing a black bird, then it disappeared. I was confused, then the black cat appeared.'
'Oh.' Evanescence shook her head. 'I still have no idea.'
Blaze sighed. 'Let it be,' she mewed. 'We'll need to be more careful next time.'
Evanescence squinted as sunlight shone into the hollowed tree. The pale golden light warmed the two cats' pelts.
'The clouds cleared,' Blaze remarked. 'It was cloudy and foggy just now.'
Evanescence looked out of the entrance. Shaded killed Opal. Would she be the one to kill everyone I love?
Evanescence pushed herself up. 'I'm going to hunt.'
Blaze's eyes clouded with worry. 'But-'
'Shh!' Evanescence leaped and clung onto a huge branch, a struggling bird in her jaws. She let go of the branch and landed on the floor silently.
'There! This tree's full of prey, y'know. It's pretty obvious.'
She placed the dove in front of Blaze. 'Aren't you hungry?'
Blaze shrugged. 'How about you?'
Evanescence swallowed. How could I explain that my other mother brought me a huge eagle and I finished half of it?
'I'm okay. You should eat first.'
Blaze nodded and gulped down the bird. She noticed that a split olive branch was laying on the ground.
'What's that?' Blaze suddenly pricked her ears.
'What's what?' Evanescence stared at the direction Blaze was staring at.
The bushes trembled and parted to reveal a small she cat, her eyes shining with joy.
' Evanescence! Ametrine told me you were dead! And I knew it! I knew that she was lying!' Coral spat. 'That freaking so-called daughter of Purity! She is nothing like her mother! Lying and trying to bully everyone into believing her!'
' Wait, you know about Purity?' Evanescence asked.
' She exists in the oldest legends.' Coral answered. ' It said that she is the Stars themselves while Shaded is the Dark Forest. This legend is so ancient, most of the Clan already forgot it.'
Evanescence frowned. But doesn't Purity reside in the Dark Forest? Why does she resemble the Stars?
Coral sighed. 'The tale ended as Shaded manipulated Purity and forced her into the Dark Forest.'
Evanescence mewed. 'Oh. That's why.' She swiftly licked her paw and brought it over her ear.
Blaze interrupted. 'I remember another tale where Shaded had to rip herself apart to be able to control the Dark Forest.'
Evanescence snapped her head and gaped at Blaze. 'What?'
Coral nodded. 'Actually, she had to rip Purity apart to let the other half of her soul become Shaded.'
Evanescence frowned. 'So... Do you mean that Purity is Shaded?'
Coral nodded. 'Also, one night I saw Purity- yes, Purity herself- she was trapped in the Dark Forest's river. She had tendrils made of water tied to her limbs and body. She told me that in order to free her, I had to bring her two sisters.'
Evanescence widened her eyes. 'Nigria and Phoenix.'
Coral was obviously surprised. 'You know the tale?'
Evanescence wanted to say, 'No, I am Phoenix, you flea brain', but she knew she couldn't. Both Blaze and Coral would freak out. They were probably lulled to sleep by the stories of Nigria and Shaded morphing into a huge monster and destroying Phoenix. And they would become overprotective.
'Do I look like Phoenix?' Evanescence asked.
'Phoenix has orange fur.' Coral mewed. 'She was nursed by the Stars, that's why her fur color changed. It turned bright orange to match the stars.'
Evanescence frowned. 'What was her original fur color, then?'
'No tale ever mentioned.' Blaze interrupted once again. 'She was said to have eyes like fire.'
Evanescence nodded, taking all of the information in. She was very interested.
'Wait... Evanescence, how do you know about those cats? You've never listened to those tales.'
'Uh... The elders.' Evanescence quickly made it up. 'Tawny told me.'
Coral's eyes brightened. 'Tawny! Yes, he was a Tale Prophet. I remember listening to his stories when I was a kit!'
Blaze mewed, 'Tawny's my grandfather. He loved telling me stories about Ancient GemClan.'
Evanescence let out a sigh of relief, glad that she had made the right choice. Tawny was one of the only elders who would listen to her and tell her stories. He did once mention about Shaded and Purity, but the memory was so vague that she only remembered their names.
Coral purred. 'I'd left GemClan.'
Evanescence frowned. 'But why? Don't you love GemClan?'
The cream she-cat sighed. 'I loved GemClan for their kindness and compassion. Not anymore.'
Evanescence wanted to scream: What are you thinking? Now Ametrine can do anything without the only cat that thinks she is wrong! But she knew that Coral probably did the right thing. If she stayed in the Clan, Ametrine might just kill her sooner or later by merely and accident. She really didn't want that to happen.
'So…any ideas of what next?' Blaze broke the awkward silence.
Coral looked surprised. ' Unless I'm much mistaken, I thought we were going to free Purity?'
'Yeah, you have a point.' Evanescence grumbled. She really hated Purity.
'Alright.' Coral's amber eyes gleamed. 'We need to find Phoenix now.'
Evanescence muttered, 'I'd be surprised if you could find her.'
Blaze shot a glance at Evanescence. 'Can you sense something?'
Coral squinted at a tree. Evanescence saw a faint ginger shape huddled there.
'Is that... Phoenix?' Blaze gasped in surprise.
Phoenix immediately teleported behind them. 'I thought I heard someone searching for me.'
The three cats all turned behind and saw Phoenix.
'I'm not Phoenix.' The cat purred silkily as her pelt changed into white. Her eyes glowed. 'I am your worst nightmare.'
Coral shrieked. 'Run!' Blaze and Coral started to flee the scene but Evanescence just stood there, staring at her mother in shock.
'Evanescence, are you out of your mind?!' Blaze turned back and screeched on the top of her lungs. 'She's Shaded! Shaded!'
'I know.' Evanescence calmly faced the other two petrified she-cats, who were now hissing and spitting. Evanescence swung her head back to face Shaded. 'What do you want?'
'M'dear, it seems like your two lil' friends are pretty... scared here.' Shaded's tail smothered Evanescence's right flank. The black she-cat shivered.
'I said, what do you want?' Evanescence hissed.
'Hush, daughter, you don't want to enrage me.' Shaded's bright golden eyes glowed in contempt.
'Daughter?' Coral gawked at Evanescence. 'Daughter?'
Evanescence snarled. 'I am Phoenix.' Her voice was quavering. 'Shaded is my mother all right.'
Blaze choked. 'You what?'
' I'm sorry, but I thought he truth would frighten you. ' Evanescence mewed, very slowly.
' Well, it sure did.' Coral snorted, keeping her distance from the she cat. ' What else do you expect?'
' So, I heard that you are going to free Purity. I'm afraid that what I do, I always have a good reason to do it. I can only tell you, when you reach there, you will find unexpected betrayal.' and with that, Shaded turned into steam smelling of catmint and marigold.
Coral and Blaze both stared at Evanescence. 'You should stay here.' Blaze mewed.
Evanescence scowled. 'I know the Dark Forest better than you do. I'm more experienced in dealing with these type of stuff.'
Blaze sighed. 'Please-'
Evanescence let out a heavy sigh. 'No. I'm going.'
Coral looked at Evanescence skeptically but she nodded. 'Let her come with us.'
'But don't we have to find Nigria first?'
'No.' Evanescence's voice cracked. 'She is unreachable.'
They arrived in the hollow. 'Bring us to the Dark Forest.' Evanescence announced. The surroundings turned dim and dark. The mud was lapping at their paws.
Evanescence stuck her nose in the air and sniffed. 'She's this way.'
They went towards a huge bramble thicket. Evanescence swore. 'Fox dung! I knew it!'
Blaze frowned. 'You might want to back away.'
She turned into a ball of fire and charged towards the thicket. Soon, it turned into nothing but ashes. 'There!'
Evanescence took the lead once again, hesitation clouding her every step.
'There's P-Shaded?' Coral frowned. 'I thought-'
'Hello, youngsters.' A black shadow loomed over their heades. 'You've finally came.'
'Purity!' Coral bowed at the sight of the 'majestic' she-cat.
'Hmm, guess what?' Purity's green glare shook the ground. 'Evanescence...' Her black tail whipped at her face. 'There.'
The black she-cat felt light-headed. What was happening?
Coral gasped. 'Is- is she a monster? The monster?'
The world turned black.
All she saw was glittering amber eyes shining in the dark.
Thank you for reading! This is the first story- this is the second one: Unreal
Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this!