Post by Fawntastic on Oct 17, 2019 23:04:48 GMT -5
The crown is getting heavy But they've written my name in the stars
"Let all cats who call these woodlands home, gather for a Clan meeting!"
Lionstar's voice boomed through the leafy interior of TreeClan's camp. Though they gathered in their usual way, some jostling each other for the best view of the Ancient Stump, Lionstar couldn't deny the buzzing warmth of pride building up like a forest fire. The pale-furred she-cat, no longer a kitten, was being fastidiously groomed by Honeysong, even as her siblings materialized around her, exchanging grins and words of encouragement.
Lilypaw could not see the way her family beamed at her, the way they shared in her accomplishment - it was obvious as Leopardpaw's mother groomed him nearby what today's ceremony would be about - but Lionstar believed she could feel it. At the very least, she could hear the buzzing murmur of the crowd as cats gradually grasped onto what was happening.
A warrior's ceremony was being performed. Two, in fact.
Lionstar forced himself to smile approvingly at Leopardpaw, to put aside his selfish fatherly pride and acknowledge the hard work of the other apprentice. Leopardpaw did not carry his blood, but that didn't soften his paternal instincts towards any young 'paw that belonged to TreeClan. "Leopardpaw, Lilypaw, it's time for you both to have your moment in the sun. Step forward." With a low rumbling purr that was brief but sincere, Lionstar gazed at Honeysong, exchanging a look of love and happiness that few cats could bring out of him.
The family he had was a blessing, and he counted every day he got to spend with them as something precious.
"Flamelight," he sought the ginger and white tom not far from his apprentice, directing the Clan's focus onto the late Meadowleaf's son. "You were given your first apprentice, and you rose to the challenge without question. Leopardpaw has benefited from your patience and your thoughtfulness. Timberfrost," Lionstar's words found the young sturdy she-cat in close proximity to Pumafang, letting fierce amber eyes find icy, icy blue. "You have also lent your wisdom and your battle prowess to young Leopardpaw. Though each apprentice is given one mentor, your lessons are proof that we have plenty to learn from each other - so long as we are open and humble."
It was not Lionstar's plan to embarrass Flamelight or make him feel less-than; Lionstar made a mental note to examine his words more carefully when the ceremony was over, having seen Flamelight suppress a bit of a wince. "Leopardpaw," he brought the ceremony back onto the uniquely marked tom standing before him. "You have trained hard, and shown to me that you are ready for the next step. Do you promise to uphold the warrior code and to protect and defend your Clan, even at the cost of your life?"
"Lilypaw." The golden tom's words caught just slightly, and he fell silent for the few heartbeats it took to get his emotions under check. "My daughter. My final apprentice." Despite his restraint, his voice was still husky with warmth and badly disguised pride. "You have thrived in the face of adversity. I have been humbled and honored to be your teacher, to watch you grow into a strong warrior of TreeClan. You have taught me the value of finding one's own strength, and to maybe not hover so much." He uttered a soft chuckle, ear twitching as he caught a few snickers echoing back. "You were born without sight, but not without the heart and spirit necessary to be part of this Clan. Lilypaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and to protect and defend your Clan, even at the cost of your life?"
Leopardpaw's excited "I do!" coupled with Lilypaw's softer, more solemn agreement filled Lionstar with warmth. He let the forest air swell inside his lungs and his head raise, feeling flecks of sunlight filter in through the leaf-strewn boughs as he spoke. "I, Lionstar, call upon our warrior ancestors to look upon these apprentices and see all that they have accomplished. By the powers of StarClan, I give you each your warrior name. Leopardpaw, from this moment you will be known as Leopardheart. Lilypaw, from this moment you will be known as Lilybreeze. StarClan honors your commitment and your tenacity, and we welcome you as a full warrior of TreeClan."
The name Lilybreeze was one he'd mulled over in his nest for more than a few nights. Lilypetal had felt too soft, as if he were deeming her a delicate little flower that could not handle the harshness of life. It had been a war between the tom who had first laid eyes on her - a tiny little mewling thing - in the nursery, and the tom that had watched her grow from scrap of fur into a beautiful young warrior. He had to honor her accomplishments, and, hoping StarClan was listening, had picked breeze for her easy-going, yet steadfast nature.
And in the hopes that StarClan would grant her a gentler path through life than some.
Lionstar's purr rumbled through him like thunder as he rested his muzzle first on Leopardheart's head, and then Lilybreeze's. As the Clan chanted their names, he shared a brief word with his daughter - the last of his offspring to leave the world of apprenticeship behind.
I've been building up all these kingdoms for so long It's good to be king