The Lion King IV

 

 

 Part One: The New Cubs

 

 

 

Note: All the characters Mangel, Singa, Zaraku, Sithuka, Garofé, Shyla, Aurora, Timba and Runu were made from me and are not allowed to be used without my permission. If you want to, then email me. All the characters Simba, Nala, Mufasa, Zazu, Rafiki, Timon, Pumbaa, Kovu, Kiara, Vitani and Zira have been made up from Disney. Also from Disney are the first two from TLK, The Lion King and The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride.

 

 

Chapters

 

 

One Farewell (Pride Rock to Boulder of Strength)

 

Two A New King and Queen (Boulder of Strength)

 

 Three A New Generation (Boulder of Strength)

 

 Four Gone (Strengthlands)

 

Five Away (Outlands)

 

 

Characters

 

 

Simba- Once King of Pride Rock, father of Kiara, and mate of Nala

 

 Nala- Once Queen of Pride Rock, mother of Kiara, and mate of Simba

 

Mufasa- Once King of Pride Rock and Simba’s father

 

Rafiki- Shaman of Pride Rock and brother of Garofé

 

Kiara- Queen of Pride Rock, mother of Mangel and Shyla, and mate of Kovu

 

 Kovu- King of Pride Rock, father of Mangel and Shyla, and mate of Kiara

 

Vitani- Sister of Kovu and guardian of Shyla

 

 Zira- Kovu’s and Vitani’s mother

 

Timon- Royal baby-sitter and friend of the prides

 

Pumbaa- Royal baby-sitter and friend of the prides

 

Zazu- Royal stooge of Pride Rock

 

Mangel- King of the Boulder of Strength, father of Aurora, Timba and Runu, older brother of Shyla, and mate of Singa

 

Singa- Queen of the Boulder of Strength, mother of Aurora, Timba and Runu, and mate of Mangel

 

Zaraku- Once King of the Boulder of Strength (Gry), father of Singa, and mate of Sithuka

 

Sithuka- Once Queen of the Boulder of Strength (Cry), mother of Singa, and mate of Zaraku

 

Garofé- Once shaman of the Boulder of Strength and brother of Rafiki

 

Shyla- Daughter of Kovu and Kiara, baby sister of Mangel, and princess of Pride Rock

 

 Aurora- Daughter (youngest) of Mangel’s and Singa’s, and princess of the Boulder of Strength

 

 Runu- Son (middle cub) of Mangel’s and Singa’s, and prince of the Boulder of Strength

 

Timba- Son (oldest) of Mangel’s and Singa’s, and prince of the Boulder of Strength

 

 

 

 

 

One

 

 

~Farewell~

 

 

(Pride Rock to the Boulder of Strength)

 

 

 

The sun was high in the sky as a little lion cub pounced up the path on a giant rock called Pride Rock. The path she was running on was covered in trees that shaded ledges and dirt grounds where lionesses of the pride laid lazily on. Up at the end of the path was the first part of Pride Rock’s peak, and then it would either lead to the edge and very tip of the whole thing, or into the royal cave. Inside the cave was where the cub went.

 

 

 "Mommy! Daddy!" she cried happily and pounced on a dark, big lion. Her father. His name was Kovu, and he was the King. Then she pounced upon her mother, Kiara, a light lioness who was the Queen.

 

 "What is it, Shyla?" Kiara asked, chuckling.

 

She then took her cub in her paws and started to groom her. Shyla’s fur was strangely white, but almost highlighted with black.

 

 "I don’t need to be clean!" growled Shyla, leaping away and she shook. Then she turned and faced her parents, who smiled down at her from their small plateau on the cave’s floor that the rested upon.

 

Kiara giggled. "Just like your grandfather."

 

 Huffing, the cub replied, "I don’t like to be clean." She sat down and closed her eyes, her chin up proudly.

 

Both her parents laughed as an old hornbill came fluttering in the cave. Other lionesses growled and batted it away, annoyed as it accidentally flew into everyone. It was the royal stooge. His name was Zazu. He was an old bird now, and lost his sight in one eye, and was almost fully blind. The poor bird could barley fly anymore either. Shyla giggled and batted at it, a little hard and made him fall over after he landed in front of her. But she stopped batting as she got a cold look from her parents.

 

"Sorry," she muttered, grinning.

 

Zazu got up and fluffed his feather, irritated. He then looked at a rock. "Sire, Mistress, your son and his mate are coming here now, to announce important news."

 

 "Uh, Zazu," said Kovu. "We’re over here."

 

The bird—a little embarrassed—turned around to finally face the King and Queen.

 

"Well thank you, Zazu," Kiara then said. "Do you know what news might be?"

 

"It is," sighed Zazu heavily. "the decision."

 

"Oh, right…thank you," Kovu whispered, almost sadly.

 

Kiara licked her mate. "Don’t worry. We don’t know what they’ve decided yet."

 

"What is it?" asked Shyla, rolling on her back and kicking her hind paws playfully up at her parents as the bird hopped out of the cave.

 

"Hun, your brother—" Kiara started, but right then Mangel and Singa walked slowly into the cave.

 

Mangel was a young, strong lion. He was mixture of darks and lights, and his mane was breathtaking with those colors. Singa, his new mate, was darkened all about. And there was a black circle of fur about her left eye.

 

"Brother! Sissy!" Shyla called out and ran to them, pouncing upon each one and growling playfully.

 

Mangel was Kovu’s and Kiara’s first cub. He was their birth son, but now since he had a new mate, Singa, they treated her, too, as a daughter. And Shyla always called Singa sissy.

 

Singa and Mangel chuckled and they each batted a paw at the cub playfully. But then Mangle grabbed her by the scuff and walked over to his parents, glancing at all the other lionesses. He sighed and laid down between his parents, dropping the little fur ball in his front paws.

 

 "Mother, Father…we’ve made up our minds," he exclaimed. A couple other lionesses started to listen, staring at the prince.

 

There was silence. And then, Kiara asked, "So…what is your decision then?"

 

Sighing, her son replied, "Singa and I have decided to live at the Boulder of Strength."

 

Both parents sighed, not of relief that their son was going, but that the decision was finally made and said.

 

"What?!" cried Shyla.

 

"I’m sorry, little one," Mangel said, nuzzling his little sister, who nuzzled him back. After licking her, he went on. "Both Pride Rock and the Boulder of Strength are kingdoms that have been homes to many generations, and both have to be carried on. Now with Shyla here, she can carry on Pride Rock and be the Queen." Shyla’s baby blue eyes brightened a little at the mentioning of her being Queen. "And so, that just leaves the Boulder of Strength, as Zaraku and Sithuka have decided not to have anymore cubs." More silence. "Mother, Father, we have to. Who else would carry on the Boulder of Strength? Pride Rock will be fine with you two leading it, and one day Shyla and her future mate…So, both will be carried on."

 

Again, silence.

 

 And then, Kiara nuzzled her son and licked him. "If this is what you want, then do it. Follow your heart, my son."

 

Then Kiara and Mangel looked to Kovu. For awhile, he was speechless. But then Kiara gave him a sharp look, but with a grin. With a sigh, the King nodded and licked Mangel.

 

"Pride Rock will seem somewhat empty without you. But, you are right. The Boulder of Strength needs you, too. More even." exclaimed Kovu.

 

Shyla sniffled and whimpered. "Brother, I’m gonna miss you! And sissy, too!"

 

Both Singa and Mangel nuzzled the young cub. "It will be all right," Singa insisted. "We’ll visit all the chances we get. You can visit, too. And, like your brother said, you’re gonna be Queen. You must be strong."

 

Rolling over, Shyla licked Singa’s nose. Singa and Mangel licked her.

 

"Let’s not say our good-byes yet," Mangel then said, grinning. "We’re gonna leave tomorrow at dawn."

 

The rest of the day, Mangel went about, trying to remember every inch of the Pridelands and Pride Rock. At evening, Kovu and Kiara gave their son a quick lesson in hunting and how to be King. For once, Mangel actually caught a zebra by himself. They ate the dinner proudly together. Even Shyla was allowed far in the Pridelands for once. After that, they all cuddled in Pride Rock’s cave and told stories and talked. But when Rafiki came, everyone was silent and listened to him tell the story of Simba and then the story of Kiara and Kovu. And then, everyone fell asleep.

 

In the morning, it was very sunny again. Singa’s parents and their pride came, waiting beside the kingdom’s base on the ground. Garofé stayed away from Pride Rock, but waited in the Pridelands for them.

 

 Everyone in Kovu’s and Kiara’s pride, including Zazu, Rafiki, Timon and Pumbaa, were all on Pride Rock’s peak.

 

 "We’ll miss you deeply," said Zazu.

 

"Thanks, Zazu. I’ll miss you, too." said Mangel sadly.

 

"Pumbaa, can you believe it?! This guy used to be a runt! But now he’s leavin us!" Timon exclaimed, practically in tears. And then, Pumbaa and Timon burst out crying as they had once when Simba and Nala were falling in love.

 

"Timon and Pumbaa, ya learn to love ‘em," Mangel giggled, saying to himself. Then he shook his head and gave them each a hug.

 

Rafiki then came and said, "This is good, but bad. Good because you are following your heart and continuing the circle of life. But, we will be very sad that you are leaving."

 

 The monkey and Mangel hugged.

 

Then Shyla ran over and nuzzled her brother. She wrapped her paws about his muzzle and kept hugging and licking him, so that even when Mangel raised his head, she was still attached. Finally, Kiara grabbed her by the scruff. The little cub cried as Singa nuzzled her softly then.

 

"Don’t worry, will see each other again. We’ll visit, and you will, too." said Mangle and he licked his sister. "I love ya, sis."

 

And then, Kovu nuzzled and licked his son once more. "You’ll be a great King and father. I love you."

 

"I love you too, Dad." Mangel licked him.

 

Setting her cub gently down, Kiara nuzzled and licked Mangel. "Remember, Mangel," she said sadly. "We’re all connected in the great circle of life. Don’t forget it. And if you need help, you can look up to the stars. I love you."

 

"Mom, I love you." replied the young lion. Then he pulled away and looked at all the lionesses. "Thank you so much!"

 

 Rafiki then lightly shook his staff, causing the sounds from the coconuts bumping against each other and the rattling of sand. The baboon pointed to the tip of Pride Rock’s peak.

 

 All of a sudden, Mangel burst out in speed and ran to the tip. Right as he got there, he let out a tremendous roar that shot through the Pridelands. His pride, even Shyla, joined in in the roaring. (Of course, his little sister only managed to meow.)

 

At last, after another goodbye, Mangel and Singa made their way down Pride Rock’s path. On the ground, they found Singa’s pride waiting for them.

 

 "Mother!" cried Singa and she ran over to Sithuka and nuzzled her.

 

 "My daughter," said Sithuka after nuzzling her daughter in turn and then taking a step back. "You’ve grown. You’re a beautiful lioness and the Boulder of Strength is lucky to have you as its Queen."

 

"C’mon," Zaraku then said, proudly. "You’re kingdom awaits,"

 

So they started south, for the Boulder of Strength. Passed the Pridelands they went, and as they did, Mangel glanced about, bidding a silent goodbye to the place he grew up. His home. But of course, as they came to the Outlands, he could see the speck of each kingdom. Now they were between them. He sighed, seeing his new home in the distance.

 

 "Have you told anyone, Singa?" asked Mangel curiously then.

 

"What? Oh…no." replied Singa. "I thought we could surprise them when it was actually noticeable."

 

 Just a month ago, Mangel had proposed. Now that Singa and Mangel were mates, they had made up so many plans. And now, Singa was pregnant. But no one knew yet.

 

 "Well do you have any names in mind?" she asked.

 

"…No." he said. "You?"

 

"Not yet."

 

By evening, they reached the Boulder of Strength.

 

"Welcome home, you two." said Sithuka happily.

 

 

Two

 

 

~A New King and Queen~

 

(Boulder of Strength)

 

 

The next day, the pride at the Boulder of Strength sat together upon the strip of the boulder that came out over the land and rested in the air.

 

 

"Today, there will be a new King and Queen," announced Zaraku, loudly. "I’d like to introduce the new Queen, my daughter Singa."

 

Singa stood up beside her father.

 

 "And her mate, Mangel. Originally from Pride Rock. But he will be the new King here."

 

With that, Mangel stood beside Singa. All the lionesses roared happily at their new leaders.

 

 "And," said Sithuka after the cheering. "Zaraku and I are now the new Gry and Cry." The lioness cheered and roared again, as one generation was moving on. Sithuka turned to her daughter and new son. "If you need help, then ask us, the new elders.

 

"Ahem," said Garofé.

 

The new Gry and Cry nodded to the baboon, who stood up and looked over the pride.

 

 "I am very sorry for what I have done," he started.

 

"Don’t talk about it, Garofé." muttered Singa. But Mangel’s fur bristled.

 

"No. I need to." He went on. "As the shaman, I should’ve been wise. But I wasn’t. I was quite immature actually. The opposite. I am very sorry and I hope nothing like that will ever happen again. I know it won’t, from me at least."

 

"Is this all you wanted, Garofé?" asked Zaraku, irritated and mad at this subject. He felt as if he could rip the baboon’s head off as the pictures of what Garofé had done to his daughter rushed through his head.

 

"No. There is more." Garofé said, taking a step back from Zaraku, sensing his angered feelings and hearing the harshness in his voice. "When a new prince or princess is born, I am afraid that I will not be able to raise it in the ceremony."

 

There was commotion and a couple gasps as this shaman had always been the one to raise the cubs for years.

 

"Please." he said. "If a new cub was born soon, that cub would be the last I would hold up anyway. I’d only be skipping one ceremony as I am old."

 

"So then what is keeping you from raising the cub for your last ceremony?" Sithuka asked, also angered at what he had done to Singa, but also surprised at what he had just announced.

 

"I am sorry, but Singa’s was the last ceremony for me. I am done with ceremonies and presentations. Not just from my age, but because I don’t deserve to touch, or even be near a cub, especially one in this royal family. It wouldn’t be right after what I had done to the last princess, and almost to the last prince." He nodded toward the new King and Queen.

 

"Well all right, if you feel that way," said Zaraku, feeling that that was a good decision.

 

"But who then, will raise the new cub?" Sithuka asked, also agreeing in her mind.

 

"I think I know who could," Mangel said. "How ‘bout Rafiki?"

 

 

Three

 

 

~A New Generation~

 

(Boulder of Strength)

 

 

 

The sun rose, and all the animals were heading toward the Boulder of Strength. Rafiki and Kovu and Kiara were leading their pride across the Strengthlands. Shyla was very playful and happy then. She pounced around, giggling.

 

 

 "Be careful, Shyla." said Kiara, a little worried as her cub kept straying far.

 

"Shyla, stay close!" called Kovu.

 

After pouncing on a bug, she ran back to her parents who nuzzled her lovingly.

 

 "When are we gonna be there?" she asked excitedly.

 

"Look," Kovu said, pointing a paw to the Boulder of Strength, which they now stood in front of.

 

 Animals were now all about them, waiting.

 

 "When will we get to see brother’s cub?" she then asked as she struggled from her mother who was now giving her a bath.

 

"Calm down, Shyla," said Kiara, laying down and holding her daughter in her front paws. "We’ll see it soon."

 

"But Mama, can’t we go up there?"

 

"No, my little one."

 

"This is not our kingdom, and so, we are to wait down here like all the other animals."

 

"But this is brother’s and sissy’s kingdom. We should be able to go up there."

 

"We will," said Kovu. "Just not during the ceremony. We must be respectful and stay here for now. And, when Rafiki raises the new cub, we must bow."

 

All the pride from Pride Rock waited pertinently. Rafiki was already climbing up the Boulder of Strength’s main pathway. He met Garofé halfway up.

 

"Good morning, brother," Rafiki said. They both bowed. "Your kingdom is doing well."

 

"Ah, yours, too," replied Garofé. "Except I’m afraid this is no longer my kingdom. After the ceremony, I will flee."

 

"You can run from your past, or, land from it," said Rafiki, taking his staff and almost hitting the other baboon on the head, who ducked.

 

"No, Rafiki. I am not running, nor landing"

 

"You looked like you were landing from it, but you’re saying that you’re going to run from it."

 

"The thing is, I have no business here. And so, I must leave. Respectfully of course, though."

 

"Well, if that is how you see it,"

 

"Oh it is. I don’t deserve to raise the new cub. I don’t even deserve to set eyes upon it. Or, Singa, or Mangel." he added sadly, memories coming back.

 

"Well then, goodbye." Rafiki said, gravely. "This will be my first and last ceremony at the Boulder of Strength. And, the last ceremony all together."

 

 "Hmmm, I understand. For we both are getting old. And, goodbye."

 

Garofé made his way down the Boulder of Strength, where, in the Strengthlands he would wait for the new cub. After the ceremony, he would leave. But his brother, Rafiki, made his way up the Boulder of Strength.

 

 And so, minutes later, the baboon came out of the cave, carrying a bundle of fur. He lifted it high at the tip of the Boulder of Strength’s peak. Every animal started to cheer. And then, bow, as well as Kovu, Kiara and the rest of their pride. At last, Rafiki put handed it to Singa, but, again, he raised a cub. There was more cheering and bowing. And if that wasn’t enough, he took a third cub, after handing the second to its father, and held the last, high. After the surprised cheering and bowing, the animals went their own ways.

 

 After the ceremony, Kovu and Kiara and their pride ran up to the royal cave, but stood on the first part of the peak.

 

 "Three cubs?!" blurted Kovu. "Three?!"

 

Rafiki chuckled and handed the third to Kovu. He held it in his jaws and everyone stared at it and the other cubs that Singa and Mangel held.

 

 "I’m so proud of you two," exclaimed Kiara happily. She nuzzled all the cubs, including Shyla. And then she nuzzled Mangel and Singa.

 

 "Now both kingdoms will live on," said Mangel.

 

 Shyla ran around, crazy like. She was so happy.

 

 As everyone in both prides nuzzled the new cubs and talked, faraway, in the Outlands, Garofé gave one last glance at his old home, and then went forever.

 

 

Four

 

 

~Gone~

 

(Strengthlands)

 

 

 

 It had been right before the ceremony that Timon and Pumbaa passed away. Lions were happy for the new cubs, but also sad because of the royal baby-sitters’ deaths. One day, Zazu had flown away, just after the ceremony, and no one every saw him or heard of him again. Though he was old and almost blind, so this was expected of him. He mostly likely died from his age, or, was eaten by predators.

 

 

 But then days and days passed, and finally, the new cubs were ready for adventure and play out of the Boulder of Strength. In fact, Shyla and the youngest cub, Aurora, were walking in the Strengthlands in the savanna. The sun was shinning and it was very hot that day.

 

 "My mom and dad are going to teach me how to be Queen," Shyla said proudly as they walked.

 

Shyla was older, and about as twice as big as she was when the cubs were first born, which meant she was twice as big as Aurora was now.

 

"Really?" asked Aurora excitedly. "I wanna be Queen!"

 

Shyla shrugged to her niece. "Who knows? I mean, there are three of you, so your parents are gonna have to choose who’s ruler."

 

 Aurora was a little cub who was very smart and bright and nice. She was also playful and outgoing, just like Shyla. She was a dark golden color. Like Simba, only darker.

 

"D’ ya think we should go back now?" Aurora then meowed. "Mama and Daddy said I’m supposed to be with an adult at all times. And aren’t you, too?"

 

Shyla shrugged again. "I don’t know…I guess. But we only visit once every full moon." This was Shyla’s second visit, including the first time she went to the Boulder of Strength to see the ceremony. "So I want to make every second of it count. Let’s have fun!"

 

Shyla pounced on the littler cub and they both went rolling down a near by hill.

 

 "Shyla!" someone called. The voice sounded worried and somewhat angered. Shyla flinched as she heard the voice. Both her and Aurora stood up to see Vitani there. She stood over them, glaring down at the two, especially Shyla.

 

"Yes Aunt Vitani?" asked the whitish cub sweetly.

 

"Don’t give me that act, Shyla. You know you’re both supposed to stay close to the Boulder of Strength. And with an adult."

 

"Sorry," Shyla replied, rubbing her left front paw in the dirt, sadly and innocently as she looked down. Then she looked back up. "But we were having fun."

 

"Fun? You could’ve died! There’s predators out here!"

 

And she grabbed the white cub by the scruff and started walking back to the kingdom. She then nodded toward it, looking at Aurora, motioning for her to follow.

 

Vitani was a strong lioness. She was Kovu’s sister and Zira’s daughter. After the suicide of their mother, Vitani felt sad and eventually went into depression—even if their mother was evil and tried to take over Pride Rock. Plus, she had threatened the death of Vitani. Yet it was all so confusing that Vitani had decided to run off for awhile. She came back after both the ceremonies and her brother and new sister-in-law told her all that she had missed.

 

 Now she was the guardian of Shyla. And while they were at the Boulder of Strength, she had to look after her and the other cubs as well. Except Vitani really had a special bond with Shyla and thought of her as her own cub. In fact, she was overprotective of Shyla, and did protect her more than any of the other cubs.

 

Back at the Boulder of Strength, she dropped Shyla gently on the cave floor where her nephews—Runu and Timba—were waiting. Runu was the darkest of the three cubs. He was very dark red all over except the tip of his tail which was dark gray and his bangs which were also dark gray. He was the middle cub, and pretty timid. One of his favorite things was sleeping. The oldest of the triplets was Timba, named somewhat after Simba. He was like a leader, like Simba, and a strong little cub. He was light and golden as his great grandfather, too. In fact, out of all the family, he was the one who looked and acted the most like Simba. Some even said that he was the resurrection of the last King. But Timba knew nothing of Simba except in the stories that Rafiki and his parents and told of him. One thing that was different, though, was that his chest and belly were white, along with the tip of his tail. Pure white.

 

 Vitani laid down and started to groom them all, but gave Shyla the longest and most careful cleaning. Then the King and Queen of this pride came in the cave. Mangel and Singa. Behind them followed another King and Queen. Kovu and Kiara, who were also Mangel’s parents.

 

"How were they today, Vitani?" asked Singa.

 

 "Fine." replied the lioness. "Except those two" she pointed a paw to Shyla and Aurora. "traveled far from the kingdom today…without an adult."

 

Shyla rolled her eyes.

 

"Shyla!" snarled Kovu. "Don’t you roll your eyes! You snuck out and you could’ve been killed!"

 

"Sorry, Daddy!" she meowed desperately.

 

 "Stop with the tough daddy thing, Kovu," Kiara said as Mangel and Singa were about scold their own cub. They hushed, though, and listened to the more experienced parents.

 

 "You’re just saying that ‘cause you snuck out when you were a cub," growled Kovu, now quiet.

 

Mangel’s ears lowered as if he was a cub again and he remembered the time when he snuck out far into the Pridelands and eventually to the Outlands. But that was also good because that was the first time he met Singa.

 

 "Too bad Timon and Pumbaa aren’t here anymore. They were great baby-sitters," mumbled Mangel to himself.

 

Vitani growled.

 

 "I’m saying you’re a bad one, Vitani," chuckled Mangel then.

 

"Well I think we should take the cubs out anyway, before it gets dark," exclaimed Singa. "We’ll teach them how to be King and Queen."

 

"But Mama," squeaked Runu. "Who’s gonna be King or Queen here? I mean, there’s three of us."

 

Singa and Mangel looked at each other, somewhat surprised. Then they turned to the Gry and Cry of this kingdom who just entered. And then they glanced at Kovu and Kiara for advice. They chuckled.

 

 "One day we will all find out," said Kiara gently as she nuzzled Runu. Then the other two. Last her own daughter, who was still in Vitani’s paws. "Now let’s give our advice out in the Strengthlands this time." She winked at her son, remembering when she and Kovu had told him how to be King, back at the Pridelands. And then she also remembered the time when she was a cub and Simba had taught her, also in the Pridelands.

 

 Kiara, Kovu, Mangel, Singa, Runu, Timba, Aurora and Shyla all went out.

 

 "Be back before sunset!" called Sithuka to her daughter.

 

"What are we doing?" asked Timba.

 

 "We’re teaching you how to be King," replied Mangel.

 

"And Queen, Daddy!" Aurora said.

 

"Of course," he chuckled.

 

But right as they walked slowly in the savanna, the sky painted with pinks, oranges and blues, Shyla suddenly ran out in front of the seven lions. She laughed and meowed, pouncing on everything she saw.

 

 "Stay close, Shyla," called Kiara.

 

 "Don’t stray too far!" Kovu said. "If you want to hear how to be Queen."

 

The cub nodded toward her parents, but kept on pouncing away. Rolling their eyes, Kovu and Kiara ran after their daughter, but as they ran over to the long grass where they had just seen her, she was gone.

 

"Shyla?" Kiara gasped. "Shyla!"

 

 "Shyla! Where are you?!" roared Kovu.

 

"What’s happening?" asked Timba, Aurora and Runu.

 

But then another lion leapt on Kovu. He roared and jumped back, slashing. Another lion came out and leapt on Singa. For awhile, the seven adults fought, stirring up the Strengthlands. And then, finally, Kiara struck both lions hard across the faces and they ran off.

 

"Are you all OK?" asked Kovu, panting.

 

"Yeah," said Mangel, a few scratches about him.

 

"I’m fine…Where are the cubs?!" Singa cried.

 

"Huh? They’re not here?!" Kiara asked frantically.

 

 "No!"

 

"Mama! I’m right here!" Aurora said suddenly, pouncing out from a small hole in the ground.

 

 "Oh thank goodness!" Singa said, nuzzling her daughter.

 

 "Where are your brothers?" Mangel asked, licking Aurora.

 

"I don’t know," meowed the cub. "I just ran in here when you were fighting."

 

"Who were those lions?" Kovu then said.

 

But no one knew. And so, while Singa held her daughter by the scruff, the others went around, looking for the cubs, but with no success. Eventually, they all went back to the Boulder of Strength and told the news to the other prides. With that, Kovu’s and Kiara’s pride all agreed to stay the night and search. So all that night and the rest of the day they looked, but still didn’t find them.

 

"Don’t worry," said Vitani, strongly. "I’ll find them," And with that, she ran out of the cave and into the Strengthlands with determination. Her heart was set out to all of the cubs, but mostly Shyla.

 

 "Oh Mangel," whispered Singa sadly as she laid down on the Boulder of Strength’s peak. It was the next night, and it was so starry. "I hope they’re all right…" A single tear came down her cheek.

 

 But then Aurora came out and nuzzled into her mother’s fur.

 

 "I’m so glad you’re OK, Aurora," Singa said and licked her cub, who quickly fell asleep.

 

 "Don’t worry," Mangel said. "My aunt is strong, she can find ‘em."

 

"But will she?"

 

"…I don’t know," he shook his head sadly.

 

On the other side of the Boulder of Strength were Kiara and Kovu, laying next to each other on a ledge and looking up at the stars.

 

 "Daddy," said Kiara. Kovu blinked and looked at Kiara, surprised. "Daddy, please let them be all right," the lioness whispered with tears filling her eyes. Kovu couldn’t help but wipe away a tear of his own with his paw. They cuddled and fell asleep. Above them, though, there were outlines of Simba and Mufasa in the stars.

 

 

 Five

 

 

~Away~

 

 (Outlands)

 

 

Far in the Outlands were the cubs. They were taken away by a lioness. Her allies were the two lions who had attacked the adults.

 

 

"From now on," said the lioness to the cubs. "you’re to stay here."

 

They were in a strange but somewhat peaceful place. There was a small river that flowed by as they settled in a grassy place that was covered in a group of scattered trees.

 

 "If you meow too loud, or wander too far, we will kill you," she exclaimed.

 

The cubs gulped and huddled together, trembling as the lioness and other two lions stood over the cubs.

 

 "W-why are we here?" Timba finally asked.

 

"Why?" And then the lioness chuckled. "You belong here. But one day, you will see what you call your kingdom or home again. You will see those who you call your family and pride again. But for now, you must stay here." Then she raised a paw and showed her claws and bared her teeth. "Or else,"

 

The cubs started to whimper, but she ignored them as she went to get a drink from the river. Later, the cubs were put in a small den where one of the lions laid just outside of it.

 

"What are we doing here?" Runu asked.

 

"I don’t know," said Timba frightened. "But I miss Mama and Daddy,"

 

"Me too," Shyla whispered.

 

 With a little cry, Runu meowed, "We’re away from home!"

 

 

To be continued…

 

 

By Baby Fire Wolf

 

wolfcub_gemini@usa.com