[All characters are © to Disney save Jamba, Keilah, Shinda, Sandula, Nanoy, and Kovu (different one!). They’re mine. Dunno who Ahadi is © to, so… yeah… If you’re not a Scar fan and do not like how the story goes, then I’m sorry. Deal with it. Story takes place in somewhat both movies, so be warned in case it gets a bit confusing. Any comments or feedback can be sent here: eva_janus4@hotmail.com.]

 

 

The Lion King III – The True King 

 

 

     Scar came to a river that divided the Pride Lands from a place called the Outlands. It was a place for all outcasts and exiles to live. There wasn’t much grass or trees there; barely even water. There were plenty of rock settlements though. In some rocks, Scar had found a den for himself. He had come out now to hunt along the Pride Lands’ borders. As he crossed a fallen log into the Pride Lands, he thought bitterly back to his early life. As a cub, he was never really noticed. His father, Ahadi, spent so much time with Mufasa that Scar felt he wasn’t truly a prince. What started off as simple hurt and jealousy soon grew into hate as he became an adolescent. He remembered the time he went to his brother to try and talk things over… Mufasa had answered by giving him his scar. That also became his new name. From that point on, he’d hated Mufasa with the utmost hate. It had caused him to actually kill his own brother. That wasn’t the end though: his reign as king was horrible. His number one mistake in the great plan was the hyenas. If only he’d known there were so many… He had needed their help but he couldn’t ask for it with nothing in return. Everything had gone wrong. The only two good things about his reign were that he was in control, and Jamba. That lioness had been kind to him and tried to lift his spirits during that hard time. If only he could see her again…. She probably would have left with him if she had been nearby when he had escaped the hyenas and the fire.

     Now, he was utterly alone. He didn’t mind too much since he was naturally quiet, yet everyone needs someone to be near. With a sigh, he shook away these thoughts and focused on the task before him. A small group of gazelle was nearby, grazing. He concentrated his attention on a small female and snuck close. When the time was right, he sprung forward with speed and agility. The bewildered gazelle was down in seconds as the others scattered away.

 

     Simba stood outside the den of Pride Rock. Before him was half of his pride with angry faces. At the front was Zira. She was thin with brown fur, a pale stripe on her head, and red eyes. In fury, she spoke. “Scar is gone because of you!”

     “I did what I must.” The king replied, firmly.

     “He was a good king!” Zira urged.

     “He was an evil king!” Simba shot back. “He murdered my father and nearly succeeded in killing me. He was a liar and a manipulator.”

     “That may be true, but I don’t recall you being there during his reign. You weren’t there to see him when he tried! Instead you were in the jungle, trying to hide from past and future.”

     “I had my own problems to solve… problems that he caused in the first place!”

     “If he’d succeeded in having you killed, we’d still be in a bad situation. The hyenas were the problem. They overran the Pride Lands, leaving us no food. Scar should not have made a bargain with them. If they weren’t there, his reign would have been just as good as Mufasa’s!”

      Simba growled low. “I’ve had enough of this, Zira! Scar is gone. What are you trying to prove? If you’re angry at me and refuse to obey my command, then you need to leave.” Grunts came from the lionesses and Simba added, “All of you must go if you are with Zira.”

     “Don’t think you’ve got rid of us for good, your highness.” Zira said bitterly and sarcastically. Then she turned and started walking away, the others following.

     Simba watched them as they began their departure. He took note that Zira’s cubs were being taken with them. The two older ones were Nuka and Vitani. The youngest, still an infant being carried, was Kovu. Simba had always been somewhat suspicious about Kovu since his name meant ‘scar’ but if he truly was Scar’s son, Zira would’ve kept him hidden. As he watched them leave, he caught sight of Jamba. Why was she leaving with them, he thought. Jamba had always been loyal to Mufasa… She stopped suddenly at the back of the line and looked over her shoulder at Simba. For a moment, the two just stared at each other. With a look of sorrow, Jamba turned back and continued following the others. Simba’s mouth was parted slightly with his eyebrows knit. Why she had left his pride, he couldn’t understand. He never would find out the reason.

 

     Scar lapped up some water then lifted his head back up. He’d finished his kill and left the rest as carrion. Pausing, he stretched his muscular body and yawned. Then he turned back up the riverbank to cross back over to the Outlands when something caused his ears to perk. He glanced into the Pride Lands, his eyes searching. They came to rest on objects moving his way. He could hear their voices and it seemed he recognized some of them. Knitting his brow, he called out to them with a roar. The whole group stopped for a moment before a roar sounded in reply. Scar began moving forward towards them as they came to him. Once they came face-to-face with one another, Scar recognized this group as part of the pride. All the lionesses, when they looked on him, froze in their tracks. Eyes were wide and mouths hung open. Scar felt a bit awkward but covered it well. “Why are you all out here?” he asked.

     Zira answered. “Simba has exiled us to the Outlands… My- … My lord, how are you-“

     “I’ll tell you the tale soon enough.” Scar cut her off. He looked over all the lionesses present until his eyes landed on one and remained there. His mouth fell open slightly as he stared at her. It was Jamba. She was at the back of the group, her head hanging. For a moment, she looked up at him then quickly diverted her eyes. “Jamba?” he said softly. She slowly raised her eyes up to meet his. Scar’s gaze softened and he walked past the others to her. No words were exchanged for what seemed hours until Jamba slowly fell to her belly and repeatedly kissed Scar’s paws.

     “My lord, you’re back!” she cried, tears beginning to roll down her cheeks.

     Scar quickly bent down and nudged her muzzle with his nose, causing her to rise back to her paws. “Please…” he said gently. “None of that is necessary.” For a moment, he thought he felt tears welling up within him.

     Jamba looked into his eyes. “No, but it is… my king.” And she bowed down once more. The others followed her lead this time. Scar looked about him at the reverent lionesses. They saw him as their king! True respect and admiration was being shown to him by others, not only Jamba! He stood there for a moment, not sure what to do.

     “Rise.” He finally stated. All the lionesses stood up. “You have been exiled and desire the rights to the Pride Lands once again….” And he let a little smirk pop into his mouth. “And so I shall return them to you.”

     All the lionesses smiled and roared in triumphant unison. Scar looked to Jamba once again and smiled warmly at her. This time, she held his gaze and returned the smile. After their moment of celebration, Scar led them across the river into the Outlands. He showed them to a certain rock settlement which was also near a giant termite mound. “This is where you all shall live. It is the closest to food and water, well protected, and close enough to the borders yet a safe distance away.” He turned and motioned out in the Outlands. “I live farther in the Outlands for my own reasons and I would advise against any attempt to follow me.”

     The lionesses looked to one another and back to Scar. Their faces showed that they wouldn’t dare to do such a thing. Zira took a step forward. “Don’t worry, your majesty. We respect you and fear you. Anyone who has the guts to go against your word will pay.”

     Scar nodded approvingly to her words. He then paused before continuing on. “Now I’m sure you all desire to know the tale of how I escaped the hyenas. Well, I tell you now: I scaled the cliff I fell over and snuck down the back of Pride Rock.”

     The lionesses waited, expecting more. When nothing else was said, they glanced at one another. “That’s it?” one inquired.

     Scar nodded once, casually.

     “But we saw the hyenas topple you over.” Said another lioness.

     “So they did.” Scar said, his voice held at a normal speaking pitch. “The fire also closed in quickly. It burned away most of the hyenas, giving me the upper paw. I just threw aside the ones atop of me and lunged for the cliff before the fire did any fatal damage to me.”

     Some of the lionesses nodded, comprehensive to Scar’s words. One lioness, though, spoke up. “And no one saw you escape the Pride Lands?”

     “No one.” Scar replied, coolly. “If someone had seen me, Simba would be hunting me endlessly right this very minute.” There was a pause of silence. “So if there are no further questions, I must be off. Jamba, you come with me.” he motioned to Jamba. Then to the others, he said, “Oh, and you may hunt along the borders of the Pride Lands. Just don’t get caught or you’ll be left to Simba’s judgment.” With that, he turned and headed off into the Outlands with Jamba following. It felt so wonderful to be a king again. This time, there were no hyenas and everyone respected him. This time, he thought, I will be successful.

     Zira watched the two disappear into the hills of the Outlands. A look of discontent covered her face. “Why does he favor Jamba?” she growled. “She’s too quiet and doesn’t have the killer instincts like the rest of us.” Murmurs broke out among the lionesses. “Bah! It doesn’t matter!” Zira hissed, turning to the dens. “Soon he’ll see she’s worthless.” Carefully she bent down and took a gentle hold around Kovu, carrying him into a den.

 

     Scar led Jamba to his den within the heart of the Outlands. He stepped inside, then turned to face her. She followed after and stood before him. For a moment, the two only gazed into the other’s eyes. Scar finally broke the silence. “It is good to see you’re well.”

     Jamba smiled. “The same to you, your highness.”

     “I… I never thought I’d…. see you again.” Scar said a bit hesitantly. His emotional side began to show, Jamba sensed.

     “Nor did I.” She responded, just as nervously. “…. I’d left in sorrow, thinking you to be gone for good.” Her eyes focused on the stone floor as she spoke quietly. Scar slowly glanced at her, watching her speak. “Simba couldn’t believe the fact that you’d been denied essential attention all your life nor the fact that you’d tried to right your wrong at one time.” She paused, feeling like she might cry. “He wouldn’t believe that you had a right to be the way you were. The seed of hate had been planted in you at too early of an age…. It was something that could’ve been prevented.” Jamba paused again, tears rolling down her cheeks. “You only needed someone to love you and care for you…. If Simba hadn’t come back, I could’ve been the one to help you. It tore me apart to think you had lost that chance.”

     Scar thought her words over in his mind. She had just admitted her love for him. Love is more precious than respect, he thought. Her tears were for him. “Jamba?… You truly do love me?”

     The lioness before him looked up with tear-filled eyes into his. “More than anything, my king!” she urged. “If you desired me to take my life right this minute, I would do so.” And she raised a paw with extended claws to her wrist.

     Scar quickly pushed her paws down, about to cry himself. “No, don’t do that.” He said, hushed. Leaning in close to her, he pressed her head against his chest with his chin. She quickly leaned back against him, burying her face in his mane. The two held their embrace for a long time before Scar pulled back a bit. “If you desired one thing, what would it be?… I am king and will give you anything.”

     Jamba looked up into his eyes, a single tear rolling down her soft cheek. “My lord… I only desire you.”

     Inside, Scar was a bit surprised. He looked back into her eyes and saw only love and tenderness. She was being completely honest with him. With a warm smile, he replied to her. “So you shall have me.” he purred gently. A smile crossed Jamba’s face as he said the words. Leaning forward, Scar planted a firm kiss on her ebony lips. They held their muzzles locked together for a long time until Scar gently forced her onto her back.

 

     During the next few months, the Outlander pride survived in their harsh environment. Kovu had gone from infant to young cub and possessed some wonderful features. He was strong and fair; quick to learn and convincing. Scar had taken note of these characteristics on his visits to the pride. With a plan growing in his mind, he instructed Zira to have him trained as a vicious fighter. Kovu was to be the one to overtake the Pride Lands for him. In the meantime, Kiara was born to Simba and Nala as future ruler of the Pride Lands. Their son, Tanabi, had been stolen away from them in the night and nothing of him had been seen since then. Scouts from the Outlander pride had discovered this news and brought it back to Zira. “This is too perfect!” she exclaimed. “My Kovu will take the Pride Lands through Simba’s daughter!”

     “It is a good plan.” The scout agreed.

     “I must tell Scar.” Zira thought out loud. “He should be pleased with such an idea… Only…” and she snarled. “Jamba, alone, can approach his den.”

     “Shall I send for her?” another lioness requested.

     Zira nodded. “Yes. Tell her to bring Scar at once. We’ve discovered some vital information.”

     “Yes ma’am!” the lioness turned and trotted off. She soon found Jamba headed in an odd direction. “M’lady!” she called.

     Jamba turned quickly and faced the lioness. “What is it?”

     “Zira requests you send for Scar. We’ve discovered some vital information.”

     “Very well. I’ll go to him shortly.”

     The lioness nodded and went back in the direction of the others.

     When Jamba was sure the lioness was gone, she continued on her way. She came to a small den with trees surrounding it. Walking in, she nudged a pile of grass and leaves. Underneath was a ball of light tan fur. It was her cub. She had been careful to keep her cub hidden from the others. Even Scar didn’t know of his own offspring. Jamba picked up the tiny creature and gently trotted out into the Outlands to Scar’s den. Once there, she spotted her mate lying on his side, his upper body sitting up though. He smiled as she entered. “Jamba, my dear,” he said, then coughed. He’d been coughing badly over the past few months. Jamba feared it was a sickness caused by the smokes of the fires he’d escaped when Simba first returned. He coughed once more before he spoke again. “What brings you here today?”

     Jamba gently set the cub into Scar’s arms. A puzzled look crossed his face momentarily before he understood. “I named her Keilah.” She said, smiling.

     “Keilah…” Scar repeated. “She’s beautiful!” He bent his muzzle down and gave his daughter a tender, loving stroke of his tongue. A purr emitted from his throat also as he held the small cub. Jamba smiled bigger. She was happy that Scar was pleased with his offspring. After a moment, the smile on his face disappeared. “Jamba,” and he coughed again. “I must tell you this now…. My time is short.” He looked up at her with sad eyes. Her eyes reflected the sadness.

     “What?” she said in disbelief.

     “I won’t be here much longer. The wounds from my escape have not healed. These cuts and scars have become infected or reopened easily.” He coughed again. “My breathing has changed and affected me too…”

     Jamba shook her head, fighting back tears. She crouched down beside her mate and nuzzled his face. “No…”

     “I’m afraid so.” He replied quietly. For a moment, he was silent. “Jamba, I need you to be sure that our daughter mates Kovu and their son becomes the new king.”

     “Their son?”

     Scar coughed, then nodded. “Yes, their son.”

     “How do you know?”

     “I can sense it. As words of reassurance, you have protected our descendents from being spotted by others as my blood.”

     Jamba knit her brow. “What do you mean?”

     “Look at Keilah,” he motioned, then coughed. “She looks nothing like me. Her son will not look like me nor Kovu… I know it.” Having faith in her mate, Jamba nodded. A tear trickled down her cheek and Scar quickly licked it away. “Don’t cry, my dear.” He smiled.

     “I don’t want you to be gone forever.” Jamba trembled.

     “I won’t…. I only go to be in the stars.” And he nuzzled her face tenderly. “I will still be here to watch you and Keilah.”

     Jamba sniffled and nuzzled him back, tears streaming down her face. “I love you, Scar.” She whispered.

     He coughed lightly once more and leaned his head against his mate’s. “I love you too, Jamba…. Thank you…” and his eyes closed.

     Jamba closed her eyes also, knowing his spirit had just left his body. She felt the weight of his head against hers and she slowly lowered her head so his could lay against his paws. Carefully, she took Keilah from his arms and backed away. Her vision blurred by tears, she turned out of the den. Unable to control herself, she set the cub down and collapsed to her belly sobbing. A tiny cry came from Keilah as she sensed her mother’s grief. Jamba quickly gathered herself together with all her strength and stood up. She carefully pushed a large rock up against the den entrance. Turning, she went to another rock and pushed it against the den entrance. Taking several more, she piled the rocks as a door to keep unwanted visitors out. She placed the last rock and stepped back to look. It was no longer a den, but a tomb. A royal majesty laid to rest within the darkness. Jamba slowly bowed once and whispered, “Farewell, my lord.” The she picked up Keilah and carefully hurried back to the pride.

     Upon arrival, everyone stared at her and the bundle in her mouth. She slowly walked along, avoiding accusing glances. Almost immediately she found Zira. Gingerly she set Keilah down in a safe spot on the ground. “Zira,” she spoke quietly, her voice quavering. “He’s gone…. Scar has left this world.”

     Zira’s eyes flew open and her jaw hung low. “Gone?” Her tone was one of amazement.

     Jamba nodded. “I covered the door to his den as a burial.”

     Everyone bowed their head or diverted their eyes. The atmosphere was sad and empty. “What will we do now?” one lioness sighed.

     “Scar spoke to me before his spirit passed on.” Said Jamba. “He told me that Kovu was to become my daughter’s mate and their son would reclaim the Pride Lands.”

     Everyone looked at Jamba in confusion, Zira particularly. “My Kovu is to be betrothed to your daughter?” she asked, less than happy.

     Jamba nodded. “Yes. Scar specifically told me.”

     One lioness stepped forward. “Since when did you have a daughter?” Murmurs from the others followed the question.

     Jamba started to become very uneasy. “She is Scar’s offspring. I kept her a secret until the time was right to present her to Scar. I didn’t know he was dying.”

     Several lionesses gasped and the murmurings became louder. Jamba shifted uncertainly. Zira stood motionless, anger welling up inside her. She then spoke, an idea in her head. “How certain are you that this cub is Scar’s?”

     Everyone stopped talking and turned to Zira. Jamba looked at her with a worried face. “I asure you, Zira, this cub is our king’s.”

     “Strange,” Zira said, glancing at Keilah. “She looks nothing like Scar. How could she be his? How do we know she’s not Simba’s?”

     The look on Jamba’s face was a look of hurt and pleading. A tear rolled down her cheek. “She is Scar’s, I am positive. I left Simba’s pride because I loved Scar and followed him.”

     “That may be true, but we have no way of knowing who’s cub this truly is.” Zira took a step forward. “You were the only one there when he died. How are we to trust your word?”

     “Why would I lie about something like this?”

     “Perhaps you want your daughter to be someone of importance and have a place in royalty.” Zira’s eyebrows lowered and her voice grew more forceful. “We have no way to be sure of your words. Therefore, we follow the original plan for Kovu to retake the Pride Lands.”

     “No!” Jamba cried. “You can’t-“

     Zira slapped her with a clawed paw. “Scar is gone now and you have made it clear to us that we can’t trust you. My son was chosen by Scar to fulfill a duty and so he shall!” She turned as if to walk off while Jamba slowly stood back up. “I suggest you leave now before more harm comes to you… or perhaps your little abomination.”

     Jamba quickly crouched over Keilah in a protective stance. “No!” she cried out, shaking her head. “Don’t hurt her…. I’ll leave.” And she gingerly picked up Keilah, turning to go. She saw in the faces of the others fear and reverence towards Zira. Her eyes sadly turned to the road ahead of her.

     Zira glared at her as she started walking away. “And if you come back, we’ll kill you.” She growled low before continuing about her way.

 

     Time passed over the Pride Lands as well as the Outlands. Kiara had grown into a beautiful young lioness still with a cubbish nature. Kovu grew stronger and more deceitful, trained to hate Simba. His time was to come soon…. the time when he would enter the Pride Lands and claim the throne through trickery. Keilah’s time was coming soon also. Jamba had taken her daughter from both Pride Lands and Outlands to be hidden in the mountains. During all that time, Jamba taught Keilah of who her father was and what he’d gone through in life. Keilah was taught how to be deceiving and a seductress. Jamba told her of the importance to mate Kovu. Keilah’s son must be the one to reclaim the throne for Scar. With all this knowledge in her mind, Keilah eagerly awaited the day when she would hunt down this Kovu and return honor to her father. She knew how her mother thought of Zira too. In turn, Keilah too hated Zira. “A wicked, traitorous lioness she is!” Jamba would say. “If I ever had a chance, I’d rip her apart.” Keilah hated to see her mother so hurt and angry. One day, she would make her mother so proud that she wouldn’t be able to think of what Zira had done. Soon… in time…

 

     It was nighttime, the moon and stars shining brightly. Keilah sat atop a cliff at the summit of a mountain. She sat, staring into the sky with bright green eyes. This was something she did since cub-hood every night. As she stared at the stars, she would try to guess which one was Scar. Tonight she was especially distressed. Speaking aloud as she always did, she called to her king. “Father,” her voice was hushed but pleading. “I’m frightened… I’ve never been afraid of anything. But tonight I sit trembling before you. Tomorrow is when I go to fulfill your words.” Then she paused and looked to the ground below her paws. “But I am fearful that I may ruin everything…. Send me comfort and peace of heart. I desire to make you proud… but I cannot do so with so much fear inside of me.” A tear fell from her cheek to the stone she sat on. For a moment she sat in shame, afraid to lift her face to the sky.

     “Keilah.” A voice called quietly.

     The young lioness’ ears turned back at the sound and her head turned to follow the source of the voice. Her eyes spotted a ghostly figure of a lion before her. He was strong in build with a magnificent black mane, a dark brown pelt, and stunning green eyes. As she looked into his eyes, she took note of a scar across this left eye. “Who are you?” she asked fearfully.

     “Someone who loves you very much and wants you to have faith in yourself.” The ghostly figure replied, smiling warmly. “Keilah, I am your father, Scar.” Keilah’s eyes widened and her mouth hung open. “I’ve heard your cry tonight and bring you comfort.”

     “You…. You’re my father?” Keilah asked, her eyes tearing up again.

     The form of Scar nodded. “I’ve been watching you ever since my spirit left this world to be in the stars. You have made me very proud so far. You will overcome whatever comes your way.”

     “How can you be so sure?” Keilah asked, tears streaming down her face. “What if I fail?”

     Scar took a step forward. “Have no fear! I know you will succeed… I can sense it. I’ve sensed it from the day I laid eyes on you.”

     Keilah came forward and laid a paw against Scar’s. Strangely, it touched his paw as if he were there in flesh. Smiling, she quickly pressed against him and nuzzled his mane. “I wish you could come with me.” she said, her voice shaky.

     Scar smiled tenderly and nuzzled her back. His voice was calm and gentle as he whispered his last words to her. “Have no fear… my daughter…” Then he closed his eyes and slowly vanished into the night air.

     Keilah opened her eyes to see that the image of her father was now gone. She looked up at the sky and caught sight of a twinkling star. With a smile, she said, “You’ve taken away my fear. Tomorrow, I shall make you very proud.”

    

     The sun started to shed its first bits of light on the horizon as Keilah emerged from the den. She inhaled the fresh morning air and looked out across the mountains. The Pride Lands were just beyond. She gave one last glance behind her to Jamba’s sleeping form before she padded away. I must find Kovu, she thought. I’m sure he must be surveying the Pride Lands before his initial advance. She thought over in her head how she might deceive him but couldn’t decide how it should be done. She finally figured she’d have to take it as it came. She had never met Kovu before and therefore didn’t know what to expect as a response. Focusing more on just finding him, she set paws onto the grass of the Pride Lands. “Showtime…” she muttered to herself before trotting ahead.

     She figured it best to scout near the borders of the Pride Lands to the Outlands. Perhaps she could catch Kovu as he first entered. As the sun peeked over the horizon, Keilah sat among a small grassland forest with her eyes focused on the Divided River. Just as she had hoped, she caught sight of a dark figure crossing the log over the river. She smirked and slowly made her way out of the brush. He was a good distance away from her so she had a chance to think of a plan. As his figure drew nearer, an idea came to her. She sat beneath a tree and pretended to be resting when he came close. At his presence, she feigned surprise. “Who are you?” she asked, jumping to all paws.

     Startled by her presence, Kovu answered unsteadily. “Uh… just a passerby.”

     “What business have you in these lands?” Keilah pushed, taking a step forward. She noticed that Kovu had beautiful green eyes and a rich dark mane. His pelt was a healthy golden brown shade and it clung to his muscles, making him very desirous to the eye.

     Kovu paused at her words. There wasn’t supposed to be anyone out today, namely by the borders. It was the day of preparation for Princess Kiara’s first hunt. This lioness must be lying. “What business do I have? What business do you have here? You have the look of a Pride Lander yet you seem to have forgotten your pride today.”

     “In what way?” Keilah made her voice sound convincing.

     “They are all preparing for the ceremony tomorrow when the princess will become an adult.” And he smirked.

     Keilah smirked back and walked close to Kovu’s face. “And a passerby would know this?”

     Kovu’s smirk slowly faded. “Who are you?”

     “Just a passerby… same as you.” And she walked along his side, her tail brushing under his neck seductively. A purr emitted from her throat and she walked behind him back to his front. He took this moment to glance over her body. She was a beautiful tan color with stunning green eyes. Her pelt was healthy and shining especially against her muscular build. She was very attractive, Kovu thought. Keilah stood in front of him and smiled. “So who are you? Do you have a name?”

     “My name is Kovu.” He replied, lightening up slightly. “And yours?”

     “Keilah.” She said, grinning.

     “Well, Keilah, what are you doing out here? You’re obviously not a part of Simba’s pride.”

     “No, I’m not.” She agreed. “I’m just a girl looking for a good time.”

     Kovu smirked again. “And I’m the perfect target?”

     “Aww, I wouldn’t quite say ‘target’… but you are perfect for what I need.”

     Kovu raised his eyebrows and grinned. “Really now?”

     Keilah grinned and turned towards a small forest nearby. She glanced over her shoulder. “It will be worth your time… I promise.” And she continued on slowly. Kovu watched her for a moment: she looked perfect. He knew he desired her greatly. Her smell was strong… How could he pass this up? A little fun never hurt anyone, he thought. Smiling evilly, he followed after her into the forest. Keilah rolled onto her side and looked up at Kovu as he entered the brush. This was not her first time. Jamba had her practice on many others in a certain manner. This was the full deal. She purred loudly as Kovu gently lowered himself over her body. The rest came as only one thought: pleasure.

 

     That night, they rested from the day’s earlier events. Once Keilah was sure that Kovu was fast asleep, she quietly snuck away. She made sure to wear him out. Her job had been done well. With a grin, she followed her trail back through the Pride Lands to the mountains. From that time on, she never saw Kovu again. Kovu also never mentioned Keilah. It was only one time of pleasure and then back to normal. While Keilah carried a cub within her, Kovu had entered the Pride Lands again. This time, he had saved Kiara from a set up fire in the Pride Lands. He had joined Simba’s pride and soon fell in love with Kiara. It was through them that the two prides were reunited instead of destroyed. Once things had settled down, the pair mated and gave birth to a daughter. This cub was to be the future ruler.

     As she was growing to be a queen, Keilah’s son was growing to be another deceiver. He was named Shinda. As Scar had foretold, Shinda did not resemble him. Instead, Shinda wore a tannish pelt and a dark brown mane. His eyes followed Scar’s and Keilah’s as green. He was every bit as cunning as his mother and grandfather. Keilah taught him young how to trick others and twist their words around. She also taught him physically as best she could. Neither of them knew which skill would be needed more: brains or strength. The number one thing she stressed on him though was that Simba was evil. Simba was the one who aided in Scar’s dying. Jamba taught Shinda all about Scar and his last words to her. She was the one responsible for his mental being while Keilah pushed more on the physical side of training. Shinda grew stronger every day and soon reached the age of adolescence. It was now his time to fulfill his grandfather’s command.

 

     The day came for Shinda to leave home and start the long road to getting the throne. He nuzzled and licked his grandmother goodbye and promised her that he’d succeed. He then turned out of the cave into the night air. His mother sat some distance away. Quietly padding up to her, he gently nudged her shoulder. “Hey.” He purred.

     Keilah turned and smiled. The two nuzzled for several minutes. “You must go now, my son.” She said quietly, sadness in her voice.

     “Yes…” Shinda paused, not sure what to say next.”… Don’t be scared, Mother.” He finally said, rubbing his head against hers.  “I will take back what is ours…. Scar’s…”

     “I know you will.” Keilah smiled, returning his affectionate motions. “I just wish I could go with you.”

     “I know… But I promise you that I will make you proud and you will live to see it.”

     Keilah closed her eyes and held her son tight. “I love you, Shinda.”

     Shinda held his mother close and licked her head. “I love you too, Mother.” Then he slowly pulled away to make his descent. Keilah didn’t know that this would be the last time she lay eyes on her son. His figure continued on until she could see him no more.

     Shinda walked on through the mountains under the dark sky. He dared not look over his shoulder. He had to stay focused on the task at hand. The goodbyes were over now… There wasn’t time to feel sad. Keep focused, he thought. As he pressed on, an odd feeling set into him that this would be the last time for something. Would this be the last time I come here, he thought. The last time I see Mother?… The last time I walk again? He wasn’t sure what to think. With a heavy heart, he sighed aloud and moved on into the Pride Lands. This was the first time he’d ever been away from the mountains. Everything looked different and felt different. The land was flat and filled with grasses as opposed to the soaring mountains and dry rock. It was a whole new world for him; vast and mysterious. This was to become his home now. His paws carried him across the soft grass of the Pride Lands. In the distance, he caught sight of Pride Rock. The rock formation had been described to him by his grandmother many times before. It looked like nothing grand whatsoever. Blowing his mane out of his face, he continued on. Soon, he’d rest for the night.

 

     The form of a young lioness exited the den at Pride Rock. The morning sunlight hit her pelt and reflected to show a healthy shine against dark brown. Her eyes sparkled, matching the blue sky. A playful smile crossed her face and she bounded down from the rocky settlement. Though she was almost a full adult, she had a cubbish nature about her. “Hey Sandula!” a voice called. The young lioness turned to the voice to see her best friend, Nanaoy.

     “Hey!” Snadula greeted.

     “What’re you doing?” Nanaoy asked, eagerly. Her eyes were a beautiful reddish-brown that blended well with her golden brown pelt. She tossed her head back to get the brown fur that hung in her face away.

     “Just heading off to… wherever.” Sandula laughed.

     Nanaoy grinned. “I’d better go with you just in case you get lost.”

     “Hey!” Sandula laughed. She playfully hit her friend’s cheek with a paw. The two smiled and laughed again before taking off. They were so close to adulthood, yet so young. The Pride Lands had always been theirs to roam since cub-hood and here it stood about them, still theirs to roam. The acacia trees grew larger along with the horizon as the two best friends ran along. Sometimes you don’t need anything to do or talk about. Just running freely is enough to keep your spirits high and pass the time.

 

     The morning light shone down through the trees onto Shinda’s face. Slowly opening his eyes, he sat up. A small breeze swept past him along with the scent of wildebeest. He yawned and carefully stood up to stretch. Once his muscles were pulled and loosened, he shook out his mane and looked about him. Pride Rock was still on the horizon yet beginning to look a bit larger. As his eyes scanned his surroundings, they caught sight of the wildebeest. He licked his lips and smirked. The ground passed quickly underneath him as he made his way forward. Once he was a certain distance away, he slowed to a stop and crouched down. Using the brush as cover, he slinked closer to his prey. His trained eyes singled out a small wildebeest. Moving silently, he came closer. The herd milled about grazing, unaware of the danger that lurked nearby. Shinda moved a little closer and then sprung forward with great speed. The herd, suddenly aware of him, cried out and scattered. Shinda lunged at the small wildebeest and caught its back. He dug his teeth into the animal’s neck and started to drag it down when a great pain stung him in his shoulder. It hurt so bad that he fell back, letting go of his catch. He hit the ground hard but looked up quickly to see several wildebeest charge towards him. Rolling over just in time, he dodged the animals and they continued on past him to the herd.

 

     “Oh my god!” Sandula cried suddenly. She slowed to a stop and looked out across the plains. The wildebeest had stampeded because dust was rising in the air. “Did you see that?”

     Nanaoy came beside her to watch. “See what?”

     “A wildebeest just charged that lion and knocked him right over!”

     “Oh my!” she turned back to see the male lying in the dust as the herd moved away.

     Sandula started to move forward. “We’ve gotta go help him.”

     Nanaoy jumped in front of her friend quickly. “No! He’s a rogue. We don’t know if he’s friend or foe.”

     “He’s injured; how can he hurt us?” Sandula protested.

     “What if it’s a trick? We shouldn’t take that risk.”

     “Nanaoy, we’re Pride Landers! We need to show an example of our concern. We care… we should show it.” Then she pushed past her friend.

     Nanaoy sighed and followed after Sandula. “I hope you know what you’re doing.”

     The two of them came close as the male sat up slightly. They kept their distance but tried to seem as friendly as they could. The male looked young, probably just a bit older than them. He looked very healthy and strong too. “Hey, are you okay?” Sandula asked.

     Shinda was a bit surprised at their arrival but was grateful. “I don’t know… my shoulder hurts like hell.” He replied, glancing at his arm.

     Nanaoy saw some blood and then a deep cut. “Wow! That wildebeest got you good with his horns.” She winced.

     Shinda growled low and quiet to himself as he saw it was true. He hadn’t wanted to actually get hurt in order that he could be accepted to Pride Rock. Now he had no choice. His shoulder stung with pain from just sitting there. He winced and let out a grunt.

     “Are you gonna be okay?” Sandula asked, coming closer. “We can go get some others to help you.”

     Shinda looked up at her. Her eyes were beautiful and innocent. Quickly, he averted his attention to his wound so that he wouldn’t stare. “Nah, I’ll be alright.” He lied, managing to stand up. His smile was convincing enough to deceive the lionesses.

     “Alright then,” Sandula smiled back. “Follow us. Let us know if you need to pause or rest.”

     Nodding, Shinda began to follow. His arm hurt so bad it almost felt numb, but he dared not say anything. He refrained from expressing pain on his face as he walked though he felt his strength leave him with every step. The dark colored lioness walked alongside him though just slightly ahead. She seemed very nice. The other, on the other side, seemed hesitant and a bit skeptical. Perhaps she had a right to be. He was a loner entering into their lands. It didn’t matter… He would convince them as best he could. Deceit was to-

     The world around him blurred into darkness as his head spun. Losing his balance, Shinda toppled over to the ground unconscious. Sandula and Nanaoy stopped and turned to him. “Oh no!” Sandula cried. She bent down and nudged his face. “Hey! Can you hear me? Hey! Wake up!”

     Nananoy looked across the horizon to Pride Rock. “C’mon, we’re getting help.”

     “No, I’m staying here with him.”

     “Fine.” Nanaoy knew there wasn’t time to argue. Quickly, she sped off towards the rock settlement.

 

     Everything was black; a world of nothing. Just when a feeling of hopelessness crossed over him, Shinda thought he saw a sliver of light. Hastening towards it, the light grew til the world returned to him. His eyes fluttered open and he slowly looked about him. He lay on his side upon a stone floor. It was a cave of some kind. The entrance was before him, the stone floor going on out into the sun until it suddenly stopped. Somewhat confused, he sat up. The pain in his right shoulder returned quickly and he let out a loud grunt. As he did, a form appeared in the cave entrance. It was the dark lioness he’d seen earlier. She smiled and came over to where he sat. “Hey! You’re awake! Feeling any better?”

     Shinda returned the smile best he could. “Maybe just a tiny bit.”

     “Your shoulder should be fine. You lost a lot of blood out there.”

     “Oh. Well, thanks… for helping me.” he mumbled.

     “You’re perfectly welcome!” Sandula nodded.

     Shinda looked about the cave for a moment. There were only two other lionesses there. Perhaps they were to watch him. Whatever their purpose, it didn’t matter. He turned back to the cave entrance as some others approached. There were a few more lionesses and then a strong built adult male. It suddenly hit him. He was standing face to face with his own father.

     “Welcome, stranger! My name is Kovu,” Said the male, smiling. “And this is my mate, Kiara.” He motioned to a golden brown lioness beside him who smiled sweetly.

     Shinda bowed his head then slowly lifted it. “Thank you for your shelter.”

     Kovu slightly nodded in return. “What is your name and where do you come from?” his voice was gentle and calm.

     “My name is Shinda. I come from the mountains far out from here.”

     “You’re a nomad, no?”

     “I am.”

     “Is there a pride you come from originally?”

     “No, sire.”

     “Is there anything in particular here you seek?”

     “Only nourishment and shelter… at least for awhile, if you will permit it.”

     Kovu chuckled softly. “Of course! You’ve shown no sign of threat. Stay as long as you need to.”

     Shinda managed a light smile and bowed his head again. “Thank you, your highness. You are most generous.” Somewhere in his mind, he was surprised. It seemed too easy…

     “Seeing that you’re wounded, it would be best for you to stay near Pride Rock until you’re fully healed. The lionesses will be close by in case anything is to happen.”

     Shinda nodded once more. “I will.”

     “Very well, Shinda.” Kovu smiled. “Enjoy your stay.” With that, he turned out of the cave. The lionesses followed out until only Sandula remained.

     Inquiring, Shinda turned to her. “Does he normally welcome all rogues like that?”

     “He was somewhat of a rogue himself one time. Long story short: His mother trained him to take the Pride Lands, so he came as a rogue. Simba was harsh and skeptical towards him. During his stay, his heart changed but Simba didn’t believe him for the longest time.” Sandula paused for a moment. “I think he takes it to heart. He probably feels that others may be like he was. He just wants to give them a chance I guess…. ‘cause he never had a chance to prove he’d changed.”

     Her words were kept in his memory. “Wow. He must’ve gone through a lot.”

     Sandula nodded. “But he’s come around from what I hear. He’s a good king.”

     Shinda moved to stand up fully. Gingerly placing his weight down to his arms, he felt pain return. Ignoring it, he began to walk out of the cave. “Where are we?”

     Sandula followed and came beside him. “This is Pride Rock.” She smiled.

     As Shinda came out into the sunlight, he saw that the rock that extended was a throne. The Pride Lands stretched out before and on either side of him. His eyes became wide as he looked about him. He turned to look behind him and nearly gasped. Rising high above him was the promontory. “Wow…” he breathed. “It’s so much bigger than I thought….”

     Sandula chuckled lightly. “Yeah, it’s pretty big. I guess it’s not as grand to me since I’ve always seen it.”

     Shinda moved his eyes back across the Pride Lands until they came to rest on Sandula’s face. “It’s gorgeous.”

     “Yes, it certainly is.” She agreed.

     He just stared at her for a moment. “You know…. I never asked for your name.” He laughed a bit.

     Laughing also, Sandula smiled. “No, it’s alright! My name is Sandula. Yours is Shinda?”

     He nodded. “Thanks again for your help.”

     “Yeah, no problem.”

     There was a pause and Shinda looked out across the Pride Lands again. He was becoming fond of Sandula already…. His task was to win the princess and he had to keep focused on that. Even if he ended up not liking the princess, he had to make the sacrifice of staying with her. It was all being done for Scar, his grandfather. Who was the princess though?

     “Something bothering you?” Sandula asked, nudging him gently.

     Shinda turned to her and smiled. “No, I was just thinking to myself.”

     “Alright then. If you need anything, don’t be afraid to ask.” With that, she turned down the side of Pride Rock.

     He watched her go then turned his attention to his wound. He grunted at the pain but tried to brush it aside. Looking away toward the sky, he saw it was getting late. “I must have been out a long time.” He said aloud to himself. “Almost the entire day!” Sighing, he turned back into the cave of Pride Rock and laid down on his side. He felt tired but also needed some time to think. He didn’t really need to use much trickery to be able to stay. Perhaps he’d have luck on his side. Closing his eyes, his thoughts continued on until he was fast asleep.

 

     When Shinda awoke the next morning, the pain in his shoulder had lessened greatly. He slowly stood to his paws and looked around the empty den to the entrance. The sun had already risen into the sky. A yawn emitted from his mouth before he carefully exited the den. His paws slowly carried him down the side of Pride Rock and onto the soft earth. He paused for a moment and clawed at the cool dirt. While inside the den, he’d felt a bit at home. His paws were used to rocky surfaces. The feel of soft dirt and grass was wonderful, he thought. Slightly smiling, he then looked back up and continued walking slowly. His throat, he noticed, was dry and begged water. Nearby were most of the lionesses. Perhaps one of them could show him to a water source. Before he was even halfway to them, his eyes spotted Sandula with her friend about to cross his path. She’d spotted him also and their eyes met. Smiling, Shinda stopped as the two stood before him. “Good morning, Shinda.” Sandula greeted.

     “Good morning.” He returned the greeting.

     “Looks like you’re feeling a lot better.”

     “I am.”

     “That’s great to hear!” Sandula then glanced at her friend. “This is my best friend, Nanaoy. You’ve somewhat met her already.”

     “Hello.” Nanaoy smiled.

     “Hello.” Shinda nodded. “I remember.”

     “So what are you up to right now?” Sandula inquired.

     “Well, my throat’s kinda parched. Is there a river nearby somewhere?”

     “Yeah, the watering hole is that way.” She motioned behind her. “Would you like us to accompany you?”

     Nanaoy glanced at the lionesses nearby. “Actually, I gotta take care of something. Sorry.”

     “It’s alright,” Shinda said. “If you’d like to, Sandula, that’d be great.”

     “Alright then.” Sandula smiled. She and Nanaoy nuzzled before going their separate ways. Then she turned and walked alongside Shinda. “Please forgive her. She tends to be the skeptical one out of us.”

     “It’s alright.”

     There was an awkward pause between the two as they walked. Then Shinda spoke up. “While I’d first been in the Pride Lands, I’d heard about your pride.” He lied. “There was the king, the queen, and their daughter. I’ve met the king and the queen, but who’s the princess? I just wanna make sure I address everyone properly.”

     Sandula glanced over at him. “Well you’ve been doing a good job so far, don’t worry.” Then she paused for a moment. “You’ve already met the princess.”

     Shinda knit his brow then looked over at her. “I… I have?”

     Sandula giggled slightly. “Yes, you have. She’s me!”

     Nearly losing his balance, Shinda stopped and stared at her. “You’re the princess?!”

     The lioness nodded, still smiling.

     “Why didn’t you tell me, your highness?” and he quickly bowed his head.

     “Whoa! Whoa!” Sandula cried. “Number one, don’t ever do that. Number two, it doesn’t matter if I told you or not. I don’t look down on people so I don’t like to be called a title or shown respect that I don’t deserve… at least not while I’m still a princess.”

     Shinda lifted his head, staring at her again. He was still a bit shocked. The one he was becoming attracted to was the princess! “Sandula…”

     She smiled and shook her head then came over and nudged his face. “Not what you expected?”

     Shinda glanced away shyly. “Well… I didn’t have any expectations to be honest. I’ve only known my mother and grandmother… never another male or, let alone, a princess.”

     Slightly surprised, Sandula inquired. “Really? Who is your mother?”

     “Um… my mother.”

     “No, what’s her name?”

     “I don’t know… For me, ‘Mother’ was her name.”

     Sandula nodded slowly. “What about your grandmother?”

     “Same thing.”

     “Ah…”

     Shinda looked back to her. “Strange to you?”

     “Well, yeah… a little, I guess. Perhaps it’s that I’m so used to being around more than two people.”

     “Yeah…” Then there was another pause between them.

     “Well, that’s alright.” Sandula spoke up. “You seem to be a very interesting person, Shinda. If you wanna talk about anything during your stay, then I’m here.”

     A warm smile broke out across his face and the two stared at each other for a moment. “Thanks, Sandula.” Then the two started walking again til they reached the water hole.

 

     As the days passed, Shinda’s wound healed and he was able to walk perfectly normal again with no pain whatsoever. Though his wound closed up and healed, his friendship with Sandula blossomed rapidly. The two had become close and developed an attraction for the other. Shinda found her to be the best, most caring and gentle lioness ever. She was open and outgoing with a sense of cubbish playfulness. Their long walks and talks taught one another a great deal about themselves and it was pleasant to be able to share secrets. Shinda felt that his welcome may be worn, so one day he went to Kovu to request a longer stay. “Your majesty,” he bowed upon approaching the king by the water hole.

     Kovu, being alone, turned and faced him. “Shinda!” he smiled. “You look terrific! How can I help you?”

     Smiling in return, Shinda stood back up and came beside the king. “I came to ask of you a longer stay.”

     “Well, I see no problem in it. May I inquire as to why?”

     A nervous smile overcame the adolescent as he spoke. “Well… um, sire… it’s Sandula.”

     Kovu nodded, still smiling. “Ah, yes. I’ve noticed you two spending much time together. She’s even come to me to tell of such a wonderful lion you are.”

     Slightly reassured, Shinda’s ears perked up a bit. “Really? Wow…”

     The king chuckled lightly. “So I guess I have a good idea of what you’re gonna ask next.”

     Shinda laughed nervously and gulped. “Yeah… I want to become Sandula’s mate but I’d like your approval first.”

     Kovu nodded in response. “You certainly have it, Shinda.”

     Happily smiling, Shinda bowed again. “Thank you, sire!”

     Kovu placed a paw on the youth’s shoulder. “You’re a good lion, Shinda… I know you’ll care for her.”

     Shinda smiled once again and beamed happily. “Thank you.” Then he turned and headed off to Pride Rock. Kovu watched him go, smiling still.

     Upon reaching Pride Rock, Shinda sought out his lover. “Sandula!” he called happily. At her presence, he smiled warmly and nuzzled her face affectionately. “I’ve wonderful news!” he purred.

     Sandula nuzzled him back just as affectionately and smiled. “And what would that be?” she purred back to him. It seemed almost as if she already knew but was trying to contain herself.

     Shinda then pulled away and gazed into his lover’s eyes. “I have gained your father’s acceptance to ask you a very important question.”

     The princess gazed back into his eyes and smiled too. She didn’t realize she was holding her breath. “Yes?”

     “Sandula… would you be willing to spend the rest of your life with me?”

     Her eyes lit up as he said it. “Yes!” she cried, quickly leaning in and nuzzling his neck and face. “I’m more than willing!”

     Overjoyed and somewhat relieved by her response, Shinda smiled big and returned her affectionate touches. He wanted to say something but was unable to. All he could do at that moment was hold her close to him. He really did love her. He thought it would have to be faked but as fate had it, he had no need to. It was too perfect… For a brief moment though, a feeling came to him. It was the same feeling he had when he had first left the mountains and entered the Pride Lands. Not wanting the moment to be ruined, he brushed the feeling aside. All he cared about just then was his new mate.

     The next day, a ceremony was held for the two. Sandula and Shinda were recognized as the future rulers of the Pride Lands. Everything was set. Shinda had found happiness as it came to him and his mission had been accomplished; all in one. Now Scar’s bloodline could flow dominant in the royal family. Now Scar had the chance he was never given. For a moment during the ceremony, Shinda thought he could feel Scar’s presence. It was as if he were watching in approval from the heavens. A joy filled Shinda and he smiled warmly to himself. All was well until some time passed. Many nights became sleepless for Shinda or filled with nightmares. He couldn’t explain it. Life with his mate had been wonderful so far. Sandula was even pregnant with their first cub. Now, things seemed to be going downhill. The same feelings and thoughts that he had upon first entering the Pride Lands that one night returned more and more. They were inescapable.

     He decided one day to go visit his mother and grandmother as he promised he would do. They needed to be informed of his success. It was a chilly, dreary morning when he set out. Sandula had taken notice of his uneasiness over the past few weeks and desired to know what was happening. She walked along with her mate as he made his departure from the pride. “I must speak with you.” She stated.

     “Very well.” Shinda replied.

     Once out of earshot, Sandula spoke up. “Shinda, what’s bothering you? Don’t think I haven’t noticed.”

     Shinda kept his eyes diverted as they walked. The farther from Pride Rock he got, the stronger the feelings were within him. He felt terribly sick all of a sudden.

     “Shinda?”

     He paused before he finally replied. “Sandula… Do you remember how your father was? When he came here, he originally had wrong intensions… but over time, he changed.”

     Sandula became slightly uneasy but listened still. “Yes, I remember.” Then she glanced over at him and saw how distraught he was. “Shinda, what happened?”

     He was able to look at her for a moment before diverting his eyes again. “What have you been told about Scar?”

     Not knowing where it was all going, she paused. But no, she thought, Shinda always has a reason behind his questions. Trusting him, she went on and answered. “Mom and Dad always told me what Simba had told them. He’d said that Scar was evil and jealous. His hate drove him mad and he even murdered his brother to get the throne. His reign was terrible and he nearly destroyed the pride and their lands.”

     Of course he’d say that, Shinda thought to himself. He slowly shook his head. “Only part of that is true.” Out of the corner of his eye he could see Sandula look at him in shock. “Scar was once a good lion, but that side of him was destroyed at too young of an age. No one showed him the love and attention that a cub needs. It seems Mufasa needed it more than anyone else. Yes, Scar became hateful and jealous… but it wasn’t his fault. He even tried to right the wrongs he’d made. Of course no one took notice because they all hated him. They ignored him as a cub then scorned him as an adult… It wasn’t his fault…”

     There was a pause as they continued walking along. Sandula was shocked. “How do you know this?” She was unaware that Shinda knew about Scar.

     “The only person to ever show him the love and attention he needed and deserved was my grandmother…”

     Sandula’s eyes widened and her mouth hung open slightly as she came to a stop. Shinda stopped with her and dared a look into her eyes. As Sandula looked back at him, she saw that he was being honest. What scared her was that she also saw fear in his eyes. “Shinda…”

     “Sandula, I’m so sorry… I…” but he couldn’t think of anything else to say. As he struggled within himself, tears began streaming from his eyes.

     For a moment, Sandula only stared at him in shock. Her mind went over his words as she watched his face. She’d never seen him weep before. Could he be telling the truth? He came here with certain intensions but changed? He was of Scar’s bloodline… Who else would know better than him what happened to Scar? Simba wasn’t even there during Scar’s reign…  As she watched her mate shed tears of fear, she realized that he had to be right. Swallowing hard, she came close to him and nuzzled his neck.

     Shinda quickly returned the motions and licked her forehead. “I must go… My mother must know of my success.” Then he paused and looked down into her eyes. “You won’t tell anyone… will you?”

     “Shinda, it doesn’t matter if you had a plan or what not. I love you and trust you.” She managed a weak smile. “Do what you must. I’ll still be here for you… always.”

     Shinda smiled back and kissed her on the lips. When he pulled away, a look of sorrow overcame his face. “Sandula… I… I don’t know if I will return.”

     His mate knit her brow in disbelief. “What?… You have to come back!”

     “My sleepless nights… the bad dreams…” he said, almost choking on his words. “They’ve built up to this moment in time. I must go…”

     “But what about our cub?” Sandula protested, tears leaking from her eyes.

     “Our son will be fine whether I come back or not. The kings always watch from above.”

     Shocked again, Sandula inquired. “Son?”

     Shinda nodded. “I can sense it…”

     Tears rolled down Sandula’s cheeks endlessly. She quickly buried her face in her mate’s mane and cried loudly. “I love you, Shinda!”

     He held her close and stroked her shoulders. “I love you too, Sandula and I will always be with you no matter what.”

     They stayed that way for a long time until Sandula pulled away. “You must go… I’ll tell no one of who you are.”

     Shinda smiled and nuzzled once more. He paused. “Thank you, Sandula. Thank you for everything.” Then he turned and continued on his way. As Sandula watched her mate go, she knew deep in her heart that she would never see him again.

 

     It was nighttime when Shinda finally reached the den where he once lived. Strangely, it was empty. An odd smell hung in the surrounding air also, but he ignored it as a figure caught his eye. Coming towards him from a slope was the figure of a lion. Shinda stood by the den entrance and looked quizzically at the figure. The lion had a rich black mane with dark fur and green eyes. What caught his eye most was a scar on the left eye. “… Scar?”

     The figure smirked. “Yes, it is I. You seem to have completed your task quite well, young Shinda.”

     “I have… but where is my mother and grandmother? I made a promise to them.”

     “Oh, don’t worry! They know you have succeeded. I made sure to tell them myself… but sadly their time on this earth is over. Yours is to come too, you know.”

     “Yes… I know.” Shinda paused. “How did they die?”

     Scar sighed sadly. “In the same way you will meet your end, my son. The hyenas weren’t able to kill me, so they hunted down the ones that meant the most to me… and they’ve learned of you too.”

     Shinda lowered his head. “No…”

     “I’m sorry, my son.” Scar said, taking a step forward. “I, alone, can’t decide who lives and who doesn’t. But don’t you worry. I look forward to seeing you again in the stars… As does your mother.” Shinda looked up at Scar’s image. It started to fade away with a smile. “Well done, Shinda. Well done, my son.”

     Shinda smiled back as the image disappeared. Just then, sounds filled the air as well as the foul smell. Glowing green eyes arose from the darkness of night. Looking about him, Shinda sat down. The hyena leader, apparently female, came forward and bared her teeth at him with an evil grin. “Make it quick, please.” Shinda said, closing his eyes. Before long, hyenas were piled atop him as their howls rose into the night air.

 

     Time passed, as always, and Shinda never returned. Though greatly sorrowful, Sandula didn’t let it get to her. She knew that her mate was always in her heart and that she’d meet him in the stars when her time came. In the meantime, she had the Pride Lands to help maintain as well as a cub. The cub, as Shinda foretold, was a boy. He resembled his father very much and constantly reminded Sandula of her mate. In honor of her loved one, she named the cub Kovu. Her son was the true blood of Scar, unlike her father. Little Kovu grew strong though. He knew that his father was gone forever but he never let it bother him. All he was focused on was the task at hand. He knew he’d get to meet his father one day. Just from observing her son, Sandula found the strength she needed to continue on.

     It has been noted that her life was overall a happy one until the event of her death. Now she is filled with more joy then ever before as she has reunited with her mate in the heavens above. As for Kovu, he has lead a happy life also as king with his own mate. No one knew that the royal family bloodline was Scar’s. That is to be revealed in time…