Crazar could never be in a more irate state. "Arggh! Three slaves escaped last night, one of them that rebellious mouse!" "M-My lord...,"stammered a soldier of no real importance and rank. He was run through by a sword, callously murdered by the infuriated emperor. "Useless lackey," muttered the warlord, seemingly calm. "That mouse escaped while I was disposing of the scum that passed of as a prince. He took two other slaves with him, both having relatively strong spirits. I believe we are in danger." "My lord, I have a useful piece of information," stammered an ordinary wildcat soldier. "What is it? Tell me now!". The wildcat lord was always more cruel to those of lesser rank or importance. Some of his lackeys were treated almost as horribly as slaves. "I investigated the slave quarters last night. There were branches all around, mainly near the cots. They were sharper than usual." Crazar shook his head in disbelief. "Too strong. Too rebellious. I have to do something." He contemplated a plan for some time, and then summoned his slave officers. "My lord, what is your wish?" asked Captain Skrowtz, one of the emperor's leading officers. "Make the slaves carry bricks of stone around the island. It's a hot summer day. By the end of today, the slaves' spirits will be broken so much that any rebellion will be immediately be quashed. Captains Orka and Ulheg, search for the three escaped slaves." Crazar's plan was working out perfectly. No rebellion, undisputed rule, and any leftover slaves found and executed- by Crazar, of course. there was just one thing that bothered him: his slaying of the lackey. He pushed that thought aside. No one would dare rebel against Crazar, the Sharp-Clawed One!
* * *
What the emperor did not know was that three pairs of eyes were watching him form a distance. The now infamous mouse, Ruzenpaw, and his two squirrel friends, Raktree and Longtail. Longtail rarely spoke, due to deep emotional trauma caused by the slaying of his entire community of squirrels. An old, grey-haired squirrel, he was still an expert bowbeast. Both squirrels could see the hatred and anger in Ruzenpaw's eyes. Ruzenpaw nodded at the two squirrels, and all three grabbed bows and arrows. Hiding behind a bush, they opened fire. No wildcat was ready for this. A few of them stiffened and fell dead, while the rest ran away, only slightly injured. Crazar, due to his superior armor, remained unscathed. Ruzenpaw, Raktree, and Longtail met in an underground mole dwelling, willingly lent to them. "Wulcome back, zurrs! Be vurry noice to see yurrs!", exclaimed Abeltunnel Shortsnout, or Snouty as he was called informally. "Three soldiers and the one called Orka felt the wrath of our bows," said Raktree. "One day, Crazar shall die, no matter from whose paw. Today, I swear it: Crazar shall die for all his horrendous crimes!" swore Ruzenpaw. "Well said, Ruzenpaw!",exclaimed Raktree.