The Lion King:
The Legend Continues (Collaboration)
By Asante, Dreaming18, Haradion, Incarnate Firefly, the almighty alphamon, and TRON0602
Edited by Asante
Note: The following is the recommended reading order of my fan fiction novels and short stories:
The Lion King: A Father's Concern (short story)
The Lion King: Sarafina (short story)
The Lion King: Mheetu (short story)
The Lion King III: The Lost Prince (book)
The Lion King IV: The Rogue Pride (book)
The Lion King: Responsibilities (short story)
The Lion King V: Man Comes to the Pride Lands (book)
The Lion King VI: Fall of Man (book)
You can find all my fan fictions on my profile page. Technically, Responsibilities takes place before The Lost Prince but I recommend reading Responsibilities last and then Man Comes to the Pride Lands because Responsibilities is a midquel of Mheetu with a final section that takes place after The Rogue Pride, so it will probably spoil some of the plot for Mheetu, The Lost Prince, and The Rogue Pride.
- Prologue based on fan art by angeltiger777. Used with her permission. Edited by Asante.
- Chapter 1, Scene 1 by TRON0602. Edited by Asante.
- Chapter 1, Scene 2 by the almighty alphamon. Edited by Asante.
Asante sat outside the den watching the sun rising in the distance. Suddenly, he was grabbed from behind and slammed flat on his back. As the young lion recovered, he saw Nuru standing over him with one paw on his chest.
"You should never let your guard down," Nuru teased.
"Nuru, what are you trying to do, kill me?" Asante snapped.
"Oh Sante, you wouldn't be breathing if that was my intention," Nuru said in a hushed tone. She didn't move her paw from his chest, staring at him with a look he'd never seen before. "What's the matter, Sante?" She leaned in closer and whispered in his ear. "Do I make you nervous?"
Asante jerked awake. He lay in the den with the rest of his pride, his family sleeping nearby. Early morning light filtered through the den's entrance.
"Just a dream," Asante sighed, not sure if he was relieved or disappointed. He glanced over to the dais where his father usually slept, and realized Simba was gone. He looked over to Daniel's cushions and noted the human's absence as well. "Where've they gone off to?" he mumbled.
The Lion King VI:
Fall of Man
Simba had left the den earlier that morning with Daniel, hoping to console him over the nightmare he had. They headed for the central waterhole. When they arrived, Daniel kneeled down and splashed water in his face while Simba took a drink. Once Simba had satisfied his thirst, he turned to the young human. "Daniel, I know you probably don't want me to ask, but what was your dream about?"
Daniel twitched and looked away from the aged king. "I don't remember."
Simba's eyes narrowed, observing the youth's subdued tone and the way he avoided eye contact. As cubs, Kopa, Kiara, and Asante had all acted the same way whenever they were caught in a lie. "Daniel, I'm not falling for that."
Daniel cursed under his breath and sat down by the waterhole. He took a deep breath and faced the lion. "I'm afraid of how you'll react if I tell you. Can't we just say I screamed cause I dreamed I was kissing Nuru or something?" Daniel shuddered at the thought.
Simba raised an eyebrow. "How do you think we'd react?"
Daniel hugged himself. "That you'll banish me."
Simba's eyes widened. "Banish you? Daniel, why would we banish you over a dream?"
Daniel turned away and pretended to be thirsty, cupping his hands to scoop some water for himself.
Simba leaned in closer. "It wasn't just a dream, was it?"
Daniel looked at Simba in surprise. "What do you mean?"
Simba then recounted a dream he once had when Kovu first joined the pride. He'd dreamt of Kovu throwing him into the gorge, mirroring Scar's murder of Mufasa. "The dream terrified me, so much so that it made trusting Kovu all the more difficult, but now I think I understand the real warning of the dream."
Daniel looked at him uncomprehendingly. "What warning? I thought you and Kovu were on good terms."
Simba smiled. "Yes, we are. I don't believe the dream was a warning against Kovu, it was warning me not to push him away - to let Kovu in and see the good in him."
Daniel shook his head. "Okay, I'm lost now."
Simba chuckled. "Think of it this way, had I not come around to Kiara's way of thinking - had I continued to treat Kovu as an enemy…"
Daniel nodded. "You're saying Kovu would have become your enemy like in the dream if you'd continued to treat him like one."
"Yes. Rafiki once told me that all dreams are messages from the Great Spirit, so we shouldn't ignore them, but we shouldn't fear them either. The problem with dreams is that we don't always interpret them correctly, which is why a second opinion could be helpful." Simba smiled coaxingly.
Daniel looked away again. "Did you tell anyone else about your dream?"
Simba nodded. "For the longest time, I kept it to myself, and it weighed heavily upon my heart. Finally, when we learned Kiara was going to have a cub, I took her and Kovu aside, and I told them about the dream. I felt as if I were admitting to a terrible crime and I asked Kovu's forgiveness for distrusting him. Kovu and Kiara were very understanding, and it was Kiara who helped me reinterpret the dream. That nightmare never again troubled me."
Daniel pondered everything the king said. He sighed and turned to the lion. "Okay, I'll tell you about my dream."
Simba placed his paw on Daniel's shoulder. "You have my undivided attention."
Daniel slowly recounted his dream, taking a moment to once again explain the concept of a gun as he described the "sticks" the mural figures carried. Daniel believed these figures to be poachers, those who hunted animals for sport rather than food. He described the mural being covered in blood, concluding his narrative with a shudder.
Simba pondered Daniel's dream. "This is what you meant when you said you were afraid of drawing those who would harm my pride."
Daniel nodded. "So, when does the weight lift?"
Simba tilted his head in confusion. "Pardon?"
"You said that telling you about my nightmare would make me feel better - but I don't feel better."
Seeing how distressed Daniel was, Simba leaned in and nuzzled the human's cheek. "What do you think the dream is trying to tell you?"
Daniel rubbed his face. "People - that is, other humans - are trying to find me. When they do - when they come to rescue me, they'll find out about the Pride Lands, and so will the poachers. I'm the reason the poachers will come. I'm the reason…" Daniel's eyes filled with tears. "I'm the reason you're all going to die."
Simba regarded Daniel solemnly. "Daniel, these dreams - these messages from the Great Spirit are not given to us if there's nothing that can be done to change them. If this is a vision of what's to come, there is a way to prevent it."
Daniel grew quiet. "Are you going to banish me?"
Simba shook his head. "Never, you're a part of our pride now - a part of our family. I could never turn you away."
Daniel closed his eyes. "If you're not going to banish me, then I'll just have to leave."
Simba gaped at Daniel. "What?"
"I wish there was another way, Simba, but the risk is too great for me to stay here."
Simba regarded Daniel in silence for a moment. "If that is what you think best, then I will escort you home myself." He could already see the human moving to protest but quickly silenced him with a stern look. When Daniel backed off, the lion smirked. "Glad to see you agree, now let's head back."
Daniel stared at Simba for a moment, and then threw his arms around the lion's neck, hugging the king fiercely, both in gratitude for Simba's kindness but also in sorrow, for his fears were coming true; Daniel was leaving the Pride Lands.
As they walked back to the kopje, Simba pondered another decision he'd made. He braced himself for the pride's reaction, for this would change everything.
It was evening but even with sunset approaching, the heat was rough. Kneeling by a small waterhole, Daniel splashed some water on his face. He looked up and noticed the lionesses returning with a gazelle after their hunt. He turned to Simba, who lounged on a rock deep in thought. "Simba," Daniel called. Simba looked at Daniel, who nodded to remind Simba that it was time for the announcement. Simba returned his nod and stood, calling the pride together at the kopje.
Kopa was napping on a boulder, exhausted from overseeing the sparring lessons that day. Kovu walked over and lightly smacked Kopa upside the head to wake him. Kopa's eyes popped open as the rest of the pride gathered. He yawned loudly, a little drowsy and not happy about the rude awakening. "Jackhole," he groused.
"Tool," Kovu countered mildly. "Now hush up, your dad has something to say."
The pride formed a circle around Simba, who took a deep breath.
Asante stood between Daniel and Nuru. "Is something up?" Asante whispered.
Daniel didn't reply, watching Simba expectantly.
"I don't know how to say this gently," Simba said, "so I'm going to make it quick. Daniel plans to return to his homeland."
Asante turned to Daniel in shock. "Wait, what?"
There was murmuring amongst the pride.
"And I shall escort him there," Simba added.
There were exclamations of shock from every lion.
Kiara darted over to her father. "You can't be serious."
Kopa snapped out of his drowsiness. "Dad, you're way too old to make the journey!"
Simba glanced at Kopa with a raised eyebrow.
"Uh, I mean," Kopa stammered, "not to say you're old - or not that you're that old but - but you're older than…"
"I get your meaning, Son," Simba replied cynically.
"Do you have any idea what could happen to you?" Kiara fretted. "You're our king, we can't lose you!"
"I know the stakes Kiara," Simba replied, "which is why at sunrise I shall be stepping down and relinquishing the throne to you, Kopa, Kovu, and Vitani."
The whole pride gasped in shock.
"You've got to be joking," Kopa protested. "You're not done. We're not ready." Kopa looked down timidly. "I didn't even receive proper training as a child, living out in the wilderness."
Simba looked to his son and smiled. "Neither did I, Son, but I retook the kingdom without anyone to train me. My father and the Great Kings were there for me, just as they'll always be there to guide you, and so will I."
Kopa turned to his mother. "Mom, snap him out of it."
Nala looked to her husband. "I agree that Daniel should be accompanied on his journey, but must it really be you, Simba?"
Simba nodded. "As the one who welcomed Daniel into our kingdom, I feel it is my duty to escort him home."
Nala sighed. "I don't know if I fully agree with your reasoning, but if you really believe this is something you must do, than you have my support. You know I respect and trust in your wisdom."
Simba smiled and turned to Daniel, who watched with sadness in his eyes. "Then it's settled. Now then, I would like others to accompany us. Who is willing to do so?" Several members of the pride stepped forward. Simba laughed. "I appreciate the concern, but I would prefer that we move in a small group so that we don't draw as much attention."
"Hey, move it. Warthog and meerkat coming through," Timon demanded as he and Pumbaa pushed their way through the crowd of lions. Timon looked up at his friend. "Simba, we've taken care of you since you were a kid, and as a brave and heroic meerkat once said before aiding his king and queen…"
Timon rolled his eyes. "And his noble steed…"
"Hey!" Pumbaa exclaimed.
"…In defeating an evil dictator, 'We're with ya 'til the end.'"
Simba smiled and looked to the rest of the pride. "Anyone else?"
Asante wanted to go, but he was too nervous to raise his paw.
"I'll go, Your Majesty," Nuru called out. Asante gaped at her in shock. "My father aided you in your moment of need, and so shall I."
Simba sighed. "I appreciate that, Nuru, and I'm sure you're father would be proud."
Nuru smiled. "I can be ready at a moment's…"
"But your life is too important to risk. If we lost you, who would be the heir to Serpent River?"
Nuru was stunned. "What? But I need to do this! If I'm to prove I'm worthy of ruling Serpent River, I'm obligated to aid a fellow ruler."
"As Malka's ambassador, we have a responsibility to protect you," Simba said.
"That is my final decision," Simba firmly declared.
Nuru huffed in frustration and stepped away. Asante breathed a sigh of relief. He wasn't about to lose Nuru now, especially with his friend Daniel leaving - and especially after he'd just begun to realize how he felt about Nuru.
Daniel stood as Simba approached him. "Well, they took that a lot better than I was expecting."
Simba smiled a little. "I promise I will get you home, my friend. We leave at dawn."
Continue to Chapter 2
Note: While angeltiger777 may not be one of my official co-authors, she's supplied some funny 'outtakes' for my fan fiction, and also did some fan art of Asante and Nuru. She was nice enough to let me use the story from her fan art description for the prologue of this book. Thanks for the support, Angel. Now I present to you all Angeltiger777's continuation of the outtakes:
After Daniel and Aslan took the picture together, another stagehand – a young woman with brunette hair and black glasses – noticed the golden lion. "Aslan?" she called, making a beeline towards them.
"Angel, long time no see," Aslan greeted happily.
Daniel looked at the girl in surprise. "Wait, Angel? You know the Great Aslan?"
"Well I was his groomer before I was hired here," Angel said shyly, rubbing the back of her head.
"So Angel, how is work going?" Aslan asked.
"It's a lot more manes then I'm use to but can't complain," Angel answered.
"Angel, where's the L'Oréal? I can't find it!" Simba shouted in a panicked voice off-screen.
Angel sighed. "Good to see you again, Aslan, but I gotta go. The Drama King needs me."