Sequel to Heart's Battles
Emerald (Mother of Lily Rose) Almond (Daughter of Lily Rose)
Rose Lily (Daughter of Lily Rose)
Ember(Grandkit of Vole)
Cedar(Grandkit of Vole)
Apple II(Grandkit of Vole)
Bob & Larry (the Vegietales cats!Just kidding...)
Belle & Bella
Venom pulled back gently on the reins.The fox stopped and turned,wondering why Venom stopped him.The cat slid out of the saddle,one hand still on the fox's reins.
The tall towers spiraled into the sky.“Not long now,"the cat promised,patting his fox gently on the neck.Venom leaped onto its back and continued riding.Each step the fox took brought them closer to the tower.
I can't fail her.It ran through his mind,that one single thought.He wouldn't fail her.He couldn't.
“I won't fail the princess."He didn't even realize he murmured in out loud.
Queen Lily Rose,The Ruler of the Cats of Whisper,smiled as waves gently lapped at her paws.Her dress was pushed against her ankles by the wind.Next to her stood King Apple,and in her paws she held two small,wriggling bundles.Apple held another,and looking at the blankets,she smiled even wider.“What shall we name them?"Apple asked her.
She thought for a moment,then looked at the kit in his paws.“Prince Ocean."She decided,looking out at the horizon.
Apple grinned.“A fine name,"he agreed,“And her?"he asked,gesturing towards Lily's left paw.Lily thought.
“Princess Almond."The last bundle squirmed.
“We are naming her Princess Rose Lily,after her wonderful mother."Apple said firmly.
Lily rolled her eyes.“Honestly,Apple-"He cut her off.
“That is her name."he insisted.
Lily gave in.
Lily Rose stood on the balcony,wind buffeting her fur.“Apple,"she said as she heard him walk onto the terrace beside her,“With five kits,"she paused,watching his serious expression.He looked at her,suddenly worried about what she might say.
“With five kits,"she repeated,“How am i supposed to hear myself think?"He snorted.
“Simple."He grinned at her.“You dont think."She laughed and punched him lightly in the shoulder.
She rolled her eyes and gently placed her paws on the railing.Apple stood beside her.Dawn light was spreading over the cats of Whisper.
“Now,"Lily said,a serious tone creeping into her voice,“Alexandra gives news that Dawn is ill."
“That's terrible."Apple agreed.
“Well,"Lily began again,“Alexandra says that Emma must stay with us till her sister is well.Staying amidst the illness could make her sick."
Apple nodded.“I take it you told Alexandra Emma was welcome?"
Apple nodded.“I'll have a maid prepare a room."
“I already have."Lily stopped as a thin wail interupted her.“Almond again.Honestly,she is the fussiest kit i have ever seen."
“I'll bet you were the same way,"Apple teased.
Lily rolled her eyes and went instead.Apple turned to follow,but she had locked the large glass doors.
“Lily!"He knocked on the door.The queen giggled,waving and turning towards the nursery.“Lily!Lily Rose!"
“Bye,Apple!"she called through the glass.
“You are not being very queenly right now!"He shrieked.
Lily ran down the hall to the nursery.Three tiny cradles held the kits,and Lily could see blankets being thrown and kicked around in Almond's cradle.
“Almond,"she murmured softly,“What's wrong?"
The princess was two years old and half the size of her sister.Rose Lily was a plump she-cat with her father's pure white pelt.Almond was a speckped brown with grey ears.
The princess thrashed in her cradle.“It's too hot in here!"
Lily looked up in confusion.The leaves were turning,and soon the snows would come.It definetely wasn't hot.
“Just sleep,"the queen whispered.She opened the large window and smoothed the princess's sheets.Slowly Almond began to calm down and snored softly.
Prince Ripple,Heir to the Cats of Whisper,was walking down the hall when he heard his father's yelling.“LILY THIS ISN'T FUNNY,LET ME INSIDE!"
Ripple looked through the doorway and saw Apple banging on the glass doors.“Father?"
“Ripple,let me inside!The door's locked!"Apple shrieked.Ripple obeyed.
Lily walked down the steps towards the dining room.Tall marble pillars surrounded the large mahogany table.China dishes lined the table,and a beautiful glass vase sat,filled with beautiful daisies.
Emerald,Lily's mother,was already at the table.“Good Evening,"she said,as Lily sat at her seat.
“Good Evening."Pebble came around the corner.“Ma,Marigold is making RASBERRY stew.Do I have to eat it?"
Lily nodded.“Of course,dear.Marigold works very hard on that stew and no cat can make it like she does."
“You mean smelly and disgusting?"Pebble asked,making a face.
Apple came down the stairs.“Did someone mention Marigolds Rasberry disaster?"he whispered.
“Apple,I couldn't hear that,what?"Emerald complained.She was growing older and couldn't hear as well.
Apple repeated his statement in a raspy voice.“Apple,what did you do?"Lily groaned,head in her paws.She had so much planning to do,with the kits and Emma coming,it would drive her insane if he was to get sick.
Rippke snickered.“He yelled himself hoarse out on that balcony."
Lily cracked a smile.“Furbrain,what'd you do that for?"
“You wouldn't let me in!"He rasped.
Just as he said this,Marigold came in carrying a large pot of stew.It bubbled and steamed a blood red,with floating chunks of carrots and fish,with a murky glaze on the surface.
“My famous Rasberry stew!"she announced proudly,setting the pot on the table.The twins groaned and Ocean made a face.Rose Lily was the only member of the family who squealed in delight at the stew.
Marigold spooned out bowls of stew,and passed around peices of bread.Apple stirred the murky blood red gloop with a spoon.He half-heatedly smiled at Marigold.
“Delicious."he muttered.The moment she left the room,everyone except Rose Lily and the queen gagged.
Lily rolled her eyes.“Eat.If you don't eat your stew,you get nothing."
Ripple tentatively lifted his spoon.He tasted it and twisted his face.With great effort,he swallowed.“Honestly,Ma,what does she put in this?Poison?"
Rose Lily slurped spoonfuls of stew and spread huge globs of it flying into Pebble's fur.“Ma,she's doing it again!"he complained.
Lily groaned.“Honestly,you are all acting like animals!We are royalty!Eat your soup,Don't complain,don't make a mess,AND BE QUIET!"she yelled.
There was silence for the rest of the meal,because Lily was angry.
And no one messed with Lily when she was angry.
Emma sat side saddle atop a beautiful fox.It's coat was a unique silvery grey with red fluffs on the ears and tail.The saddle was embroidered with gold flowers.
“Queen Lily Rose,"she said,bowing her head.“A Pleasure."
“Thank you."Lily smiled.“But while you're here,just call me Lily."She turn and saw Apple coming out of the castle.He had his sword in paw,a wooden case covering the blade.Ripple came right behind,also carrying a sword.“And what,"Lily asked,“Are you doing?"
“We're going to practice my swordfighting."Ripple replied.
Lily shook her head.“Not today.Your Father needs to rest that throat of his,and you know how hard he yells in those mock battles of yours."
“Aw,Lily!"Apple whispered,“I'm fine!"
“You're going to bed."She said firmly.With a groan,Apple turned to leave.Ripple muttered something that Lily never wanted to hear from him again,abd to show him that,she swatted him on the head with her long tail.
“Now,"Lily said,turning to Emma,“Marigold shall show you to your room.She's our best maid and will make sure you're comfortable.We eat dinner at 6 o'clock sharp,and a cat from the village,Westy,comes and winds the clocks for us every night,so they are always on time."
Emma nodded.“Thank you for having me."
“No problem."Lily said earnestly.
The two she-cats walked into the parlor,huge draperies hung on the windows,hanging down in long,elegant folds.“Now if you'll excuse me,"Lily said to the Princess,“I need to do some sewing."Emma nodded and the queen headed up the stairs.
Emma had been staying at Silver Tower for several days now,and the family had grown used to having her around.Many mornings she went out riding on her fox,Fifi,then she'd return in the afternoon to sew or read,and after dinner she would walk in the garden till dark.It was a simple routine and the family was careful not to be in her way.
It was one of these simple days when things were thrown off balance.
At dinner one evening,Marigold had made Rabbit With Nuts,a family recipe she learned from her mother,Willow.They were all eating,merrily talking and enjoying each other's company,when Lily noticed Ocean wasn't eating.He pushed his rabbit back and forth around the plate,not very interested in tasting it.
“Ocean,"Lily scolded lightly,“You need to eat your dinner."
“I don't want to."Ocean said in a thin voice.Studying the prince's face,Lily realized he was pale - if a cat can be pale,that is.
She looked at him a little closer.“Are you all right?"she asked him,and he moaned.
“My stomach hurts."the kit complained.
She sighed,laying down her fork.“I'll call Willow in the morning.Come,Ocean.I'll take you up to bed."
The next morning Willow,the only healer in the village,came to the castle.Lily led her up to the nursery to see Ocean.
“He didn't touch his dinner,or any of his breakfast,"Lily explained worriedly.
Willow sighed.“kits eat thangs out in the garden to see what they taste like sometimes,"the old she-cat told her.“He probably ate some bad weed or something.I'm sure he's fine."
The healer's sure attitude brought peace to Lily,but she still felt worried for her kit.As they walked into the nursery,her fears doubled.
Ocean was groaning in agony.His paws were clenched and his small face was twisted in pain.Willow set her bag of herbs down and went to work,mixing them in jars and bowls.Lily stood back,a worried expression on her face.
Willow finally put together a mixture and she forced it down Ocean's throat.After a few minutes he settled,breathing hard.Willow gently felt his chest and stomach.As she slowly pressed down the kit howled.
“Stop,you're hurting him!"Lily exclaimed.
Willow shook her head.“I'm not hurtin' him none."
As she mixed her herbs,Lily wondered if she TRULY knew what she was doing.Of course she does, she told herself, she's a healer.
Forcing another mixture down the kits throat,the healer stood.“He's a fine."She said.“Just a lil' stomach ache.Should be gone in a few days."
“Thank you."Lily said as the old she-cat walked out of the door.Watching the prince squirm,Lily again doubted Willow's statement.
Ripple woke early the next morning,his stomach churning.His vision blurred as he broke into a sweat.He groaned,closing his eyes tightly.The pain grew,til he couldn't bear it,and he blacked out.
Pebble heard a sound from his brother's room,and woke,jumping up.Going into the hall,he asked,“Ripple?Are you alright?"
Pushing open the door,he knelt by his brother's bedside.“Ripple!"he said loudly,shaking his brother's shoulders.
He looked towards the hall,hoping someone would walk by.“MA!PA!"he yelled loudly.
Lily woke with a start.Apple was already up and about to walk into the hall.She leaped up and followed him down the hall.She wished deaply Ocean was alright,and her heart nearly stopped when Apple turning into Ripple's room.
“What's going on?"he rasped.Pebble was kneeling by the bed,and Ripple was as limp as a rag doll.
“I heard something,so I came to see what it was,and I think he's real sick-"Lily didn't hear the rest.All she focused on was Ripple.She ran round the other side of the bed and placed her paw on his forehead.
“He has a fever."she said.
Pebble fidgeted anxiously at the bedside,waiting to see if his brother was alright.Lily looked at him.“Pebble,tell Chelsea to make her mother's healing broth."He looked ready to protest,to be allowed to stay with Ripple.“Now."she said sternly.Sadly,Pebble walked off.
Lily gently whispered calming words in the kit's ear.She didn't notice Apple had left until he came back,with Willow on his heels.Quickly the elderly she-cat opened the large bag she carried and began crushing leaves together in a small bowl.She told Chelsea,the young servant-cat,to bring her water when she came in.Chelsea set down the broth she had made and hurried down the stairs to the kitchen.Pebble timidly walked in and stood by his father.He was quiet as a mouse.Lily didn't even notice him.
Willow felt Ripple's forehead,listened to his breathing,listened to his heart.She quickly added water to the herbs when Chelsea came back and stirred it in the bowl,then forced the mixture down Ripple's throat.With that,Willow stood,nodded to Lily and Apple,did a curtsey,then left.
Lily refused food for the rest of the night.She stayed,crouched by Ripple's bedside.Apple let her.He went on with his business.Emerald and Emma were happy to help with the kits,and Pebble stayed quiet.
Late that night Apple came to tell Lily he was going in to bed.“Are you coming?"She shook her head,never looking away from Ripple.He was sleeping now,but still she watched him.“I'll stay here."Apple nodded,and,giving one last glance at Ripple,he sadly went down the hall.
Lily didn't eat the next day,either.She spent all her time with Ripple,and only left him to check on Ocean.Ripple woke sometime around noon,and Lily repeatedly asked him how he felt.
“I'm fine."He muttered,for the tenth time,though he looked awful.He kept squinting his eyes and blinking as if he couldn't see her clearly.
Lily asked him why he kept doing that.
“I'm not squinting."Ripple protested.
Lily sighed and said “Yes,you are.Are you seeing okay?"He nodded.Lily grabbed a few of the matches that sat by Ripple's lamp and held them up.“How many matches am I holding?"
Ripple squinted and blinked several times,then said uncertainly,“eight."
Lily froze.There were only five matches in her paw.“Ripple,are you sure you're seeing okay?"