May 25, 2019 at 4:11 am #421RibiParticipant
The end-of-day hung heavy in Thunderclan territory. The rain that started sunrises ago after Softbelly and Jaggedthorn disappeared still drenched the ground, and the air was fraught with humidity. Green-leaf was creeping up on the clan, bringing the heat that made thick-furred cats such as Antlercreek so uncomfortable throughout the season. He relished new-leaf and leaf-fall, but this year, he was struggling to celebrate the time of annual rebirth. Not only was the weather casting grieving mists onto them, but some of Thunderclan’s best cats were disappearing, and trouble seemed to be brewing with–or about–Windclan. The larger tabby had led an early morning patrol this sunrise, joined by his apprentice Cherrypaw, for one of her first patrols. It was uneventful, relaxing, and mind-clearing. Antlercreek appreciated that, and had given Cherrypaw the rest of the morning off.
After lunchtime, they reconvened. He had been grateful for the rest, and guessed the young fae was too, but now, he regretted it. Groggy from a few hours of little activity, the heat and thickness of the air weighed him down, and his paws felt heavier with every step. He had to train, however. The tom was not nimble enough now to even approach the thought of hunting, so battle training it would be. Not only had Cherrypaw not gotten time to officially begin battle training, but Antlercreek had little practice over the last few moons. Leaf-bare was spent scrounging for prey, and rabbits, and staying warm while cutting paths through the snow during border patrols. The deputy was prepared to be rusty, and let his apprentice know that as he took her out past the berry bushes, to a small clearing in some dusty sand.
“Alright, Cherrypaw,” the warrior addressed her, gruffly, once they reached the clearing commonly used for battle training. “You’ve been working very hard lately. Clan life is busy, so today has been more of a rest day… but we’re going to change that with some battle training. I’m sure you’ve scuffled around with your littermates and other apprentices. Today, we’re going to put that scuffling to good use!”
To say that Cherrypaw had been having the time of her life was quite the understatement. Everything she did for the first time re-sparked her seemingly unending energy, and the patrol earlier this morning had been her favorite so far. The apprentice’s paws had been itching to get out of camp, and there was some sort of feeling that she found unexplainable about waking up early and joining her clanmates to patrol through their territory, while the sun was still climbing its way into the sky and the grass still had light drops of dew.
She had certainly found that preferable to the heat that was bearing down on them now. The molly was rather thickly coated herself, her ginger fur having gotten tangled this morning and now a cause for suffering in the afternoon sun. However, despite this unfortunate burden, she had licked her coat down endlessly with her pink tongue on her down time, and managed to groom it as she could. Now though, having had lunch, she sat in a shaded spot and wondered what was next to come. Was this it for the day? The apprentice sighed softly, her emerald eyes flickering around in boredom. Eh, maybe she would see if someone needed help changing a nest out. It was nasty work, but still something to do, and something she could do now that she was an apprentice. She still loved the sound of that.
However, luck should have it, her gaze locked on the figure of her mentor, ears perking at the sound of her name, and instantly she felt a rush of energy prickle through her paws.
“Battle training?” Cherrypaw repeated, sounding awed, her green eyes widening as she scrambled to her paws. Yes! Yes! Finally, a real training exercise!
“That sounds really great, Antlercreek!” The apprentice hummed with enthusiasm, her paws itching as she kneaded them at the ground in anticipation. It didn’t matter how hot it was, at least she thought, she was sure this would be fun regardless. “I’m ready when you are!“
Antlercreek smiled a bit at his own secret plan and at Cherrypaw’s enthusiasm, his lips curling upward in a benevolent, approving manner rarely seen amongst the serious cat’s countenance. The humidity broke, and mist descended as a marginally heavier drizzle. Water beads formed on his coat like dew on grass before the sun woke. This new development both refreshed his body and cooled him off, and the tabby brute shook his head, and stretched. His shoulders popped, and he flicked an ear, satisfied. “Be sure to stretch,” Antlercreek cautioned. “Maybe I’m just old, but it’s good for every cat to stretch their muscles and bones some before training.” He demonstrated, and this time, felt the coolness of the misty rain settling into his skin, and sighed.
Now that they were all prepared, Antlercreek gathered his stance: a sturdy arrangement of himself, well grounded. He was ready for whatever any cat threw at him in this position. “Okay, Cherrypaw. Show me your best attack.”
The approval meant the world to the lithe she-cat, a sign that she was getting some positive feedback for her attitude. Good, then that was the mentality that she would try and keep. She nodded her head in response at her mentor’s reminder to stretch her limbs, her front legs stretching out before her as she dipped her back down, feeling the pull of untrained muscles beneath her coat. The molly did a series of what she considered ideal stretches, and then waited for Antlercreek’s next order.
Suddenly, however, she found herself a bit caught off guard. Her best attack, huh? Well, what was her best attack? The ginger feline paused, thinking back to her wrestling as a kit, and decided the best move she had was to render her opponent off their element, and gain time for another attack. Her emerald eyes looked the larger tom up and down, hardening as she pushed away the discourage she felt in her chest. The apprentice took a step back, and then lunged to the side, quickly swerving back around and knocking herself into Antlercreek’s legs.
It…didn’t do too much. It was enough to make the warrior stumble maybe, but with his size it didn’t work as well as it would have on a fellow apprentice, or a cat more her build. Her attack had been a bit sloppy too, and the impact had done a number on herself as well, causing her to fall back a bit, her fur fluffing up in surprise. Instantly, she felt discouraged again, as her best attack hadn’t been great in the slightest. Maybe she should have tried something different…?
Cherrypaw glanced to the deputy’s face for feedback, a soft frown on her lips.
June 22, 2019 at 1:22 pm #1714RibiParticipant
- This topic was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by Ribi.
Antlercreek knew whatever attack Cherrypaw took was going to be futile, and was prepared for her disappointment. Despite it all, the aged cat was unfailingly confident in his young apprentice and her ability to learn. “Great job, Cherrypaw!” He praised, and touched his tail to her shoulder in approval. “You took what you knew, and your instincts, and brought it together! Your strategy must always be adjustable based on the circumstances,” the deputy mewed, sitting back down.
“While that’s a really great start–we have lots of work to do. We need to build your natural instincts; we’ll do that by increasing your knowledge with some battle theory.” Antlercreek was famous for how he broke down battle training. Rather than using brute force and agility, the warrior brought combined the physicality of fighting with the mentality–and gave his students a thorough education. Cherrypaw would likely be his last apprentice, and he wanted to pass down the tradition of Thunderclan battle training the correct way. “We’re going to pick apart the pieces of fighting. Are you aware of your body? I keep myself sharp by hunting rabbits… How will you react in the heat of a battle, with all your clanmates around you in the chaos? It’s important to keep your head.” Antler checked to see that Cherry was still paying attention. Dusk was nearing, and he wanted them both to be back in camp before the final patrol returned. Besides, daylight was running out. “We’ll start with a few body awareness activities…alright?”July 16, 2019 at 8:42 pm #2460NettlenoseParticipant
Great job…? Cherrypaw’s emerald eyes met Antlercreek with surprise, round and curious at his praise. A smile blossomed upon her maw as he seemed to find her first attack a good start, and her confidence slowly began to rise. The she-cat steadied herself on her paws, listening intently as the deputy talked, astounded by how wise he sounded. There was no telling how many brave battles Antlercreek had been apart of!
“Build my natural instincts…body awareness…” The apprentice repeated softly, wanting to make sure she was keeping up with what he was telling her. Was she aware of her body? At his question, she looked down at her white paws, which were planted firmly on the ground, straightened again and somewhat casual. She tightened her stance to a more action-ready one and then looked back to him, ears alert.
“Keep my head, got it…” Cherrypaw echoed, giving Antlercreek a grin. “Alright, yeah, lets try it then!”
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