March 22, 2020 at 4:01 pm #5571
Wolfstar ~WindClan Leader~
Drops fell steady and soft from the light gray clouds that blocked the sun and sky. They quenched the soils beneath the WindClanner’s paws with a pitter patter rhythm that sounded so good to Wolfstar’s ears. Most of the snow had melted away into the rivers and lakes that surrounded them, making room for the newleaf plants to begin their growth. The WindClan leader had always loved leafbare. The cold and solitude it brought provided him with a feeling of peace and contentment. Yet, he was most excited for this new season to fully appear. He missed the sun’s rays on his gray-and-white coat, making him feel welcome with its warmth. Despite his and his patrol’s pelts beginning to get drenched from the rain that had been showering over them all day, he still found himself thrilled that leafbare had come and gone.
Wolfstar had informed his deputy, Sandpath, of his plan to take out some of his Clanmate’s on a patrol to mark the border at the back of their territory. He purposefully didn’t send too many border patrols at that specific place seeing as none of the Clan’s were there. WindClan territory stopped directly underneath the first mountain of the mountain range behind them. Wolfstar had no worries a stray cat would enter their camp from that side of the moors, content with only patrolling it once a week to appease his Clanmates’ minds. The leader looked behind him at the cats in his patrol. So far, it was only Eveningstorm and Night, the new apprentice. She had yet to earn her apprentice name, but Stumpystep had expressed good things about their training. Wanting to see for himself, he had decided to take the black-furred she-cat with him on this outing to test out her skills.
“As we head farther away from camp, it’s always best to keep our eyes sharp and our ears alert,” he meowed to Night. “I’m not sure if Stumpystep has shown you this side of the territory, but nothing much goes on except for hunting here. The mountains are behind us, as you can see, and we don’t travel up them. We stay on the moors where we know it’s safe and away from whatever is behind it. Since we’ve lived here, we have had no trouble with this part of the territory, but it’s never wrong to be cautious.” He flicked his tail and continued to move forward, roaming his blue eyes around the moors they traveled on. His paws stepped on the saturated ground without hesitance. He knew his own territory like the back of his paw. He hopped over every branch or rock in his way with surety, his muscles rippling as he seemed to be dancing with the rain and the hills. This was his home; his life.March 22, 2020 at 4:49 pm #5574
The moors were as cold and miserable as ever, and though she hated it for the time being, she knew that the rain would bring forth life once more in the forest, and with it, the warm sun and lush greenery; reviving the healthy glow she’d longed to see return. It was the essence of nature that washed everything anew, bringing deep puddles into which the grass and flowers would grow from.
Even being cold now, Night was grateful that her coat had thickened and she had put on some weight since her arrival in Windclan. The chill she felt now was nothing compared to how she felt then, and for that, she was more than glad. Most of their journey had passed in relative silence with only a few words spoken here and there. The quiet had given the apprentice plenty of time to think and reflect on her training with Stumpystep, and how she could improve.
That had been the majority of her thoughts until her ears perked at the sound of Wolfstar’s voice. She listened carefully to all he had to say, nodding in between every few words. She’d remembered Stumpystep showing her the different parts of Windclan. He’d made sure to wait until she was strong enough to travel before showing her every mouse-length of territory there was to offer— though she was certain that was due to her own eagerness to see more rather than him wanting to.March 22, 2020 at 5:05 pm #5576
Eveningstorm ~ WindClan Warrior
Jaws parted as a large yawn slipped past his lips, the past few nights had been troublesome for the tomcat, ears flat against his head as he felt like his paws were literally being dragged by both Wolfstar and the young feline known as Night. His thought process was moving just as slow, not necessarily taking in the conversation that Wolfstar and Night were currently having, honestly he could careless. She wasn’t WindClan and it was almost a joke to let a feline try out the ways of the Warrior cats. But it was not his place to speak such thoughts and so he kept his mouth shut, ignoring both felines for the time being as his dark amber eyes were slowly moving over the moorland. The skies were grey which almost gave the area a gloomy appearance, while small drops of water were specking his dark brown and white tabby patched fur. Grumbling softly under his breath as he continued to follow Wolfstar and Night, long tail swaying as he played with the growing grass.
Another yawn was playing at the back of his throat, blinking his eyes slowly as he continued to keep an eye out. He wasn’t exactly sure what the objective of this patrol was, but he felt like as slow and sleepy as the rest of the world did today. Large toes were sinking slightly into the dampening dirt, but Eveningstorm didn’t really mind as he continued his lumbering walk. “Exactly what is it that we are supposed to be doing?” He finally grumbled, shaking out his long furred pelt for a moment before he quickened his pace in order to keep up with Wolfstar and Night.March 22, 2020 at 6:07 pm #5581
Wolfstar ~WindClan Leader~
Wolfstar blinked with approval when Night seemed to be listening to him. However, she was very quiet, unlike the rest of their apprentices. He didn’t know if it was because she was regretting her choice of staying with them, or if that was just her personality. Some of their most skilled warrior’s were quiet and kept to themselves, showing their true skills during combat or hunting. He hoped it wasn’t the former, not wanting to seem like a mousebrain for trying to let an outsider learn their ways. Runningstar had been kind enough to give Wolfstar a chance when he was just a kit. Would it not be hypocritical to turn a fellow outsider away when he was provided a second chance at life?
Wolfstar almost rolled his eyes at Eveningstorm’s grumbling. He knew the rain and dreary sky made everyone tired and weepy. But, he didn’t expect someone to be so whiny about it directly in front of him. “We’re on a border patrol, Eveningstorm,” he meowed, giving the warrior an annoyed look. “I haven’t sent out a border patrol to this side of the territory in over a week. I thought it would be a good chance to take Night out as well, and you weren’t busy inside of the warrior’s den. So, I thought you wouldn’t mind joining.” His tail flicked as they continued forward, getting closer and closer to the boundary between the mountains and the moors. The large, rocky terrain was getting larger with every step, and his head tilted upward to see the tip of the first mountain.
“Alright, at the border line we’ll mark and make our way around the side. Night, if you spot any prey then don’t hesitate to go after it.” Wolfstar meowed to the she-cat, hoping she would notice the rabbit that was a little farther away from them to their right. It was still too far for it to hear them, which meant it was too far to begin chasing it, but he just gave Night the permission to hunt if she saw anything. This would be a test of not only her hunting skills, but her alertness and sense of surroundings.March 22, 2020 at 7:17 pm #5585
Though insignificant, a light drizzle from Eveningstorm’s pelt landed on the already soaked apprentice. The muscles along her frame tensed when she felt the cold droplets coming from all angles of the warrior. Night exhaled sharply through her nose, her jaw tense. ‘Assuming you were listening, we’re on a patrol— and that’s what we’re doing,’ she thought quietly to herself, doing her best to keep her annoyance at bay. The warrior’s aloof demeanor along the way and likely distaste for her aggravated her to no end, but Night was nothing if not loyal, and she’d not question the leader’s choice in bringing her, nor would she allow a little aggravation provoke her sharp tongue.
Proving herself to Wolfstar and Windclan meant everything to her, and instead of allowing a snappy response to slip from her own mouth, the apprentice chose not to speak and instead let her leader address the warrior however he saw fit— and he did so rather comically. Night stifled a laugh at Wolfstar’s dry and irritated response before fastening her pace to walk alongside him.
When they arrived at their destination, Night didn’t hesitate to follow the instructions given to her. “Will do!” she happily responded with an eager smile and excitement in her eyes, keeping her voice barely above a whisper as to not potentially scare anything away. Her mentor had informed her that most prey were very alert creatures, and tend to scurry off at the slightest hint of danger. While she had hunted on her own before coming to the clans, she had been rather awful as it, and having a mentor had vastly improved her strategy. In fact, she had picked up on it rather quickly.
Separating herself from the others, she had closed her eyes to bring more focus to her sense of smell, her small jaws parting to allow each and every scent to roll over her tongue. A gentle breeze stirred the air, carrying with it the crisp smell of regrowth and wet soil. It wasn’t long before she picked up on the nearby rabbit amongst the other smells. At first, she couldn’t see anything; then she noticed tendrils of grass quivering a decent ways from her. Stealthily, she quietly dropped into the position that Stumpystep had taught her beforehand. She began to approach the source of movement, doing well to keep her eyes on the source; cautiously placing each paw in front of the other. She knew she had to get closer before taking off into a sprint. As she inched closer, the undergrowth had swallowed her up completely and there was a moment of silence before the blades of grass parted again once more to reveal the dark furred she-cat with a limp rabbit hanging between her jaws.March 24, 2020 at 12:22 pm #5647
Wolfstar watched Night pad swiftly, but quietly, away from him and Eveningstorm, her paws light and her ears attentive. He nodded with approval and turned back towards the boundary that was almost directly in front of them now. The leader sniffed the air and grunted at the very faint smell of their markings from many sunrises ago. He made a mental note to tell his deputy to send more border patrols this way to remark the boundary just to be on the safe side. The large tom marked a few spots on the line, motioning for Eveningstorm to do the same ahead of him with a nod of his head. When they were almost done, Night had arrived once more, parting the grasses before she appeared with a rabbit between her jaws. It looked to be the exact one he had noticed. “Good job,” he praised, giving her a warm smile. She was a young apprentice and already showed great potential to being a WindClan warrior. Maybe it was time to truly welcome her to the Clan…
Suddenly, Wolfstar heard a low growl from behind a clump of bushes to their left. The fur on the back of his neck rose. It sounded almost like when Twoleg monsters woke from their deep slumbers. The leader took a hesitant step forward, somewhat standing in front of Night in protection, holding his breath so he could hear better. His ears swiveled towards the bushes that now started to quiver. What terrified Wolfstar, however, were two very large paws the same color as sand. They padded out of the bushes followed by a head the size of Night. A mountain lion. Wolfstar had only heard stories of these large wildcats, but being directly in front of one was way more terrifying. What do we do? Even though the lion was larger than they were, it still looked like it was young and still growing, the fur on its flanks and tail still fluffy like a cub’s. It was most likely half grown, but still looked dangerous.
The mountain lion’s head was lowered as it stalked towards the three cats, its lips drawing up in a snarl as it grumbled another growl. Wolfstar took a step back, pushing Night back as well with his paws. “We’re going to have to fight it, Eveningstorm,” he murmured quickly to his warrior. “Night, if you haven’t had any training in combat, then I want you to hide wherever you can and stay out of it.” The mountain lion was getting closer, its tail lashing and its eyes bouncing from one cat to the other.March 24, 2020 at 1:46 pm #5648PheebsParticipant
‘Thank you Starclan for this prey that will feed my clan.’ Quiethawk raised his head from where it had been bowed over a now slain rabbit. Cleaning the blood from his maw before picking up his prey to head back to camp. It was only by chance that the brown-grey furred tom caught sight of the sand-colored feline prowling from out of a bush that was below him. Quiethawk frowned, amber eyes slowly creeping up to land on the band of cats in front of the wildcat.
Wolfstar, Eveningstorm, and that molly- Night. Dropping the hare at his paws, the warrior sent a silent prayer of thanks to Starclan that the wind was pushing back, carrying his scent behind him and not in front. With soft, quick steps the older warrior was able to prowl down the hill, catching his leader’s eye and nodding towards the beast between them.
Once Quiet was a good distance away from the wildcat, he dropped down into a crouch, body hidden in the taller grass but eyes just above it. Wolfstar wasn’t attacking, which means he was waiting. Quiethawk figured it would be a good idea for him to attack when the others did, a united front was necessary against a larger combatant like this one.March 24, 2020 at 5:57 pm #5654
Eveningstorm ~ WindClan Warrior
He wanted nothing more than to just sleep, his dreams had been troubled as of late. His mate no longer was seeing him, and his apprentice was clinging to life as it was in the medicine cat den. Needless to say that it led him to be in a rather sour mood, throwing daggers at the back of Wolfstar’s head when he responded in a noticeably annoyed voice, causing his whiskers to twitch. “Great communication. Although I would have preferred to sleep.” He grumbled back, although usually he would bite his tongue, perhaps his younger brothers foul mouth was beginning to rub off on him. Slowly he inhaled the sweet new-leaf air, while his ears folded neatly back against his cranium as he noticed the slight smirk upon Night’s muzzle before she quickened her pace in order to walk side by side with Wolfstar. Yep. Don’t like her. Eveningstorm rolled his deep amber eyes, although he knew deep down he wasn’t giving her fair chance. Slowly his ears lifted once more as his gaze boredly dragged along the border, pupils narrowing slightly in thought when Night quickly took off as Wolfstar instructed for the she-cat to see if she could try catching a rabbit. She knows how to hunt, huh. He thought curiously, his eyes watching her dark figure move cautiously and with grace. She’s definitely not a kitty pet. Eveningstorm grunted, movement you’re his side catching his attention when Wolfstar mentioned quietly for him to mark the border.
Breaking away from the older cat, the dark brown tabby and white tomcat walked along the border, marking the line with his scent and rubbing his pelt along scarce bushes and tall trees. Nostrils flared as he breathed in the scent of the border, it had been a bit stale, but today the scent of WindClan would be profound. He supposed it was because of Wildpaw and Breezepaw venturing further than they should have, his eyes clouding with thoughts as he walked and marked the border. This didn’t take him long, as the tall and slightly broad tomcat was already making his way back towards Wolfstar, coming to his right as he noticed that Night was trotting back towards Wolfstar with a limp rabbit hanging from her jaws. Of course, before he had any time to think anything of it, his ears twitched towards a clump of bushes that appeared to be emitting a rather impressive array of growls. Suddenly a large feline like creature stepped out from the bushes, the sandy grey pelt was unfamiliar by sight, but he wasn’t so young that he didn’t know the tales of large wildcats that roamed the mountains. Perhaps this wildcat was one of them? Ears pinned back as his lips pulled slightly to show off his own fangs to the wildcat as the mountain lion cub was looking between all three cats that stood before it, unaware of Quiethawks’s presence.
Honestly, Eveningstorm hadn’t been aware of Quiethawk until he noticed the faint nod that Wolfstar gave, while looking over the shoulder of the wildcat. “Seems that way.” Eveningstorm responded to Wolfstar, acknowledging that his leader had given an order. Although, he was uncertain with Night fighting, did she know how really? That didn’t matter, but they would all have to be aware and careful. As the mountain lion got closer to Wolfstar and Night, Eveningstorm felt his pelt rise for the dark fur along his spine to stand up, his own tail lashing as he gave a deep growl, tickling his vocal cords. Stepping forward slowly, he glared at the mountain lion but now he could barely just see Quiethawk crouched low behind the mountain lion, waiting for his chance to help aid his clan mates.March 24, 2020 at 7:03 pm #5656
The praise given to her brought forth a smile as her heart momentarily swelled with pride. Seeing the leader acknowledge her small accomplishment was a nice feeling. Though, the happiness she felt was short lived as disaster came in the form of a low growl that thundered across the once peaceful landscape, followed by an enormous shadow that blotted out the sparse sunlight. Night’s eyes widened in fear as she could hardly believe what she was seeing— what even was that thing!?
This was the first time she had ever seen anything this big and terrifying. No stories from her kittypet upbringing had even foretold of such a creature existing, though even if it had, it couldn’t have even began to prepare her for this encounter. Her adrenaline surged so fast that, if she had eaten today, she would have expelled all of it onto the ground. The muscles in legs twitched, fighting the instinct to whirl around and sprint down the damp, trampled path back to camp as fast as her paws could carry her. Despite the distance between them, she could feel the heat of its breath and the putrid scent of rotten meat caught between its teeth.
The thought of fighting something that could easily snap her in two was nothing short of terrifying, but Night swallowed her fear. She’d chosen this life, and these were her clanmates. She wasn’t about to run and leave them to fend for themselves no matter how afraid she felt. None of the other warriors were running, and even Wolfstar had stepped in front of her to shield her; protecting the young and vulnerable as a strong leader would do. For a moment she looked up at him in youthful admiration. In times of trouble, leaders walked confidently ahead, keeping morale high by showing fearlessness and pushing everyone forward. Although he didn’t show it, she was sure that even Wolfstar feared for himself and his clanmates in this moment, yet he held his ground nonetheless.
The only way out of this was to stand her ground and follow the lead of her clanmates. Even though it felt as if this was an impossible task, she still had the option to remain still, to be quiet enough to choose how to fight. She would be a warrior one day, after all.
With her fear temporarily conquered, she took a deep, calming breath; keeping her eyes focused on the large opponent before her and being careful to not make any sudden movements that might provoke it. “I know enough, so I won’t be leaving,” she replied casually, stepping closer to Wolfstar and Eveningstorm, “but I also know I’m not as experienced so I’ll also be staying out of the way until I’m needed.” The young apprentice’s heart was racing, and her limbs trembled with adrenaline and excitement as she lowered herself towards the ground with unsheathed claws. She was ready.
March 25, 2020 at 3:13 pm #5680
- This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by Shy.
Wolfstar’s eyes never left the wildcat. Even with young age, the lion could easily kill one or two cats with its talon-shaped claws that slid out with every pawstep. The leader was almost surprised the ground didn’t shake with every move it made. Quiethawk lived up to his name when he silently popped up behind the lion, and Wolfstar gave him a grateful nod. Thank StarClan. More cats meant a much higher chance of getting out of this situation alive. Wolfstar didn’t want to lose another life…he only had five left. The WindClan leader puffed out his gray-and-white fur as much as he could to look larger, his lip snarling upwards as he let out a warning growl. It growled right back, surprising Wolfstar when it sounded a lot like his just with a higher pitch. It quickly swiped, but Wolfstar was swift and ducked before it could claw him. He bumped into Night as he stepped back, shoving her more out of the way. The lion looked frustrated that it missed, its eyes gleaming with hatred. Wolfstar kept pushing Night as he continued to step back.
Wolfstar wasn’t on the defensive because he was scared. He was trying to move the lion to where Eveningstorm was on one side of it while Quiethawk was on the other. It would be easier to attack a predator as large as this from the sides than the front and back. Wolfstar quickly looked at Eveningstorm and then at Quiethawk, nodding for them to attack now that the lion was in the correct position.March 25, 2020 at 3:45 pm #5682
The glare the cub casts at Wolfstar was positively murderous, and it is made even more menacing by the light that glinted off it’s claws; skimming the air only hair lengths away from her. Night instinctively flinched at the sight of them. She was certain the mountain lion would be sinking it’s claws into Wolfstar had he not successfully dodged the attack, and the thought of that alone ran a chill up her spine. Her soaked, muddy paws squelched with each step she took backwards, and an uneasy grimace twisted into her features. She wasn’t sure if Wolfstar was deliberately knocking her back or if she was getting in the way, but on the off chance that she was, she put a bit of space between herself and the grey tom. The last thing she wanted to do was trip him and put him at risk. She’d be more attentive to his movements now, that way she’d have time move with him, step for step, instead of clumsily stumbling after him.March 25, 2020 at 4:56 pm #5685
Eveningstorm ~ WindClan Warrior
He blinked in surprise when the mountain lion cub outstretched one of its large paws, the talons on these wee wildcat was simply insane. Eveningstorm winced slightly as he could just imagine those claws snagging Wolfstar’s pelt, although thankfully both Wolfstar and Night had shuffled back fast enough in order to miss the outstretched claws. “Beetle dung.” He breathed the curse as Wolfstar and Night were struggling under the continued pursuit of the wildcat, which appeared to have a song tracked mind. Ears standing upright instantly as he noticed that Wolfstar was looking his way while trying to strategically maneuver the mountain lion to where he was more so on the side of the lion. Quiethawk was no doubt trying to move into position, while Eveningstorm lashed his long tail in an aggressive manner. “Hey! Hey kitty kitty, look this way.” He sneered loudly, trying to get the attention of the wildcat off of Wolfstar and Night. Being his age he was skilled enough with fighting within a group.
Stepping back slowly, he was giving room for the large wildcat to maneuver before he would step forwards in order to push the wildcat towards Quiethawk. Growling and hissing towards the wildcat, he allowed the large feline to advance before he lowered his ears against the back of his head before he lashed out towards the large feline, his claws easily missing the muzzle but he only wanted it to be a warning, perhaps to scare the mountain lion back a step or two in the direction of Quiethawk.March 25, 2020 at 5:03 pm #5686PheebsParticipant
Quiethawk eyed the predator warily, watching its slow but deadly swipe that narrowly missed Wolfstar. It took the tabby only half a second before he realized what the grey tom was doing, and he moved accordingly. Paws barely shifting the grass, the warrior crept to the side of the wildcat, making sure he remained out of sight. Quiethawk threw a glance towards his leader and the little she-cat with him. Watching her stumble, the tom felt a flash of irritation. She looked to be about apprentice-age, but she wasn’t an apprentice he recognized. He would know, he spent much of his days analyzing each apprentice and each upcoming apprentice, hoping for his own and judging those that had mentors. This molly was a stranger to him. ‘She better keeps her tail out of this fight, or else she’ll lose it.’
Redirecting his attention to Eveningstorm’s familiar brown and white pelt, the warrior readied himself to pounce. Once Eveningstorm had successfully pushed the lion cat-back towards him, Quiethawk leaped into action. With quick, deft movements the tom landed an array of practiced blows on the wildcat before darting back and away, urging the lion to follow him with a challenging snarl.March 26, 2020 at 2:45 pm #5697
The lion swung its head towards Eveningstorm’s direction, eyes narrowing at his obvious taunts. But when the WindClan warrior swiped at his muzzle, it flinched and ducked, its ears flattening to the back of its head in a warning. The lion’s tail lashed repeatedly, swinging back and forth and smacking the bushes behind it. Quickly, it reached out towards Eveningstorm in a very swift movement, barely grazing his fur when Quiethawk started swiping at the other side of it. The lion growled with anger and swung its foreleg out, smacking Quiethawk away with a force large enough to knock the warrior back against the rock behind him.
Wolfstar watched with horror at the wildcat’s face as it glared at Quiethawk and advanced towards him with its jaws gaping wide. The leader sprinted towards it, pouncing and landing on top of the mountain lion’s back and shoulders, his claws digging in to its tough skin to distract it away from Quiethawk. The lion hissed and immediately started shaking its fur to ruin Wolfstar’s grip. “Eveningstorm, bite its hind legs!” he commanded, his grip loosening at the continuous shaking. “Night, rake its muzzle!” The WindClan leader tried to look at Quiethawk to make sure he was okay, but it was getting hard to see straight with the rocking. If they failed to kill or chase the mountain cat away, it would most likely venture into the WindClan camp and kill the oldest and youngest of his Clanmates. We can’t let that happen! We must fight it off!March 26, 2020 at 4:46 pm #5700
If the situation hadn’t been so dire, the young apprentice would have taken the time to to admire the sheer skill of her clanmates. She’d never seen an actual fight before, let alone one against an opponent much larger than them, and it was certainly something to behold. They were moving in fluid unison, using mostly their eyes and body language to communicate. It was easy to feel more at ease knowing she was in the company of experienced warriors. Even so, she could still feel the tension between everyone and hear the intensity in their tones. While their skills were undoubtedly sharp, there was still a great sense of urgency and not a moment to spare.
In that frozen second between standing off and fighting, she saw Eveningstorm’s eyes flick from the fight to something else in the distance. She followed his gaze and was greeted by a pair of intense, yellow eyes. Another warrior, none other than Windclan, crept forward in silence. Night admittedly hadn’t noticed his presence until that moment and took note of his stealth before turning her attention back to Eveningstorm. She realized now that they were trying to herd it, but to no avail. She watched in horror as the young mountain lion thrusted a giant paw at Eveningstorm, and before she could even blink, it had kicked the wind out of Quiethawk and sent him flying backwards. There was a dull thud as his body collided with a nearby boulder, and a look of delight flickered across the wild cat’s face as it quickly advanced towards the warrior.
A feeling of apprehension had her stomach in knots when she heard the tell-tale sound of claws meeting fur and skin, causing her own to flex into the soft soil as she caught glimpse of their leader now on top of the beast. Night watched, immobilized by fear. Everything was happening so fast now that she could barely process it. Though, it was sound of Wolfstar’s voice that pulled her from her thoughts, and before she could even rationalize what was going on, her body surged forward all on it’s own at the sound of his command, surprising even herself at how quickly she moved.
Night drew forth her claws and immediately leapt from her position, rushing the large feline while Wolfstar desperately held on. On the outside, she appeared as calm as ever, but her heart was beating like a drum and her eyes were wide with worry. Every muscle in her body protested, her instincts screaming at her to stop, turn around and run for safety, but her will to protect the cats she’d grown to see as her new family overrode her fear, and courage washed over her like soothing rain. Small, white paws skid in front of the animal before she lunged; quick and smooth, landing perfectly on the creature’s face. She gripped firmly with her claws, her muscles coiled and taut, squeezing tight with her limbs. The ebony black claws belonging to her hind legs streaked down it’s tender muzzle, effortlessly slicing through the thin skin and drawing forth blood.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.