Hello readers, and welcome to the rewrite of the reader acclaimed Maneless. I read it over recently, and I realized that there were things in that story that I feel I can do much better now. Some of it will be the exact same, some of it will be very different. Readers of The Lion King 3: Crime and Punishment do not worry, as I will still be updating that story regularly. When you are finished reading, please do not forget to leave me a review! Well, I have done enough blabbing, so without any further ado, here is the first chapter!

DISCLAIMER: I OWN NOTHING

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.

-Quote from the Grave of an Irishman

"Ahadi. I think it is time."

The Pridelands king looked over to his mate, her black orbs consumed with worry, and his red ones calm and confused.

"Time for what my dear?"

Uru's face disfigured into a glare, her eyes glaring daggers at her mate. "Ahadi, you idiot! I am about to have our cub! I'm in labor!"

The king's eyes widened in shock and slight anger, his face displaying the very same emotion mentioned. "Well, hopefully this cub isn't as disappointing as Taka was." The king then turned his head towards the bright blue skies over the Pridelands. "ZAZU!"

The young hornbill flew down from above, eventually settling down in front of the king. "You called, sire?"

"Yes. Find Mufasa and Taka and get them as far away from Pride Rock as you possibly can. It's about to get really ugly over here."

Zazu nodded his head in understanding, and then bowed, his long wing covering the vast majority of his blue, feathered torso. "As you wish, sire!"

He flew away in order to complete the mission assigned to him by Ahadi, gasping in worry for the two monarchs that the legendary blue bird s graciously served.

Meanwhile, Ahadi carried Uru on his back, all the way to the tree of the pride's ancient shaman, Rafiki.

As they approached, a heavily accented voice called out to them. "Ah, Ahadi and Uru. What a pleasure. I am guessing dat it is time for the birth of de cub."

Ahadi nodded, his mane flying in the wind. "Yes. Uru just entered labor." He then unsheathed a single claw, and pressed it against the mandrill's chest. "Make sure that the cub isn't a disgrace."

Uru frowned in slight disgust at her husband's words, and the wise old shaman nodded in reluctant understanding.

"Come in den. Dere is no time to waste! Bring her inside, bring her to Rafiki!"

Ahadi gently let go of his mate, who followed Rafiki to the interior of the tree that he called home.

"Lie down, Uru, lie down. Relax, and just stay calm while Rafiki tend to you, yes?"

The queen sighed, wondering just how painful the birth would be compared to her previous two. It wouldn't be as painful as her first two. It would be much, much worse. The pain was so awful that Uru could not even feel any of her paws, and her mind was consumed with nothing but pain.

It was six hours before Rafiki emerged from the tree, and began to walk toward an incredibly nervous Ahadi.

"Is Uru alright? Is the cub normal? How did the birth go?"

Rafiki shook his head. "It vas a very difficult birth. Your mate is healthy and alive, as is de cub, but I'm afraid your son was born with a birth defect."

Ahadi snarled angrily before taking his massive paw and he grabbed the shaman's throat, choking him, but not enough to prevent breathing or speaking.

"YOU BASTARD! I ORDERED YOU TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYTHING WENT SMOOTHLY, BUT IT SEEMS YOU HAVE FAILED ME JUST LIKE YOU DID WITH TAKA! NOW WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH MY SON?"

Ahadi let go, and Rafiki leaned on to his staff, and let out a deep sigh. "Due to de difficult nature of de birth, de prince will never grow a mane. He shall live the life of any normal lion, but he will forever remain maneless."

A single, dominant, and powerful emotion began to suddenly swell up inside of King Ahadi. Anger. Anger at Rafiki for failing him, anger at Uru for having fertility issues, and anger at his son for simply being born alive.

"Let me see the little maggot! I think I know exactly what to name him!"

Rafiki shook his head, the wise old shaman overcome with grief and depression, and the mandrill motioned inside. Uru was smiling in pure joy, as she held her son who was sleeping in her arms.

"Ahadi, isn't he beautiful?"

Ahadi growled, and stared angrily at his mate. "Beautiful? How could a lion that will never grow a mane possibly be beautiful? He is a crime against nature!"

The king smiled, but this was not a smile of joy or amusement. No, it was a smile of pure, unadulterated darkness. "THAT is what this little FREAK will be called. There is a word for crime…what is it? That's right! Scelus. His name is Scelus."

Uru stared up at her mate, tears beginning to form in her midnight colored orbs. "How could you say that, Ahadi? How could you say that about any cub, much less our son? I beg you, please change his name!"

Ahadi snarled at Uru, any rational thought beat down by his uncontrolled anger. "My decision is final, woman! His name is Scelus, and that is what he is. A crime! Live with the consequences of your poor fertility!"

With that, the king of the Pridelands stormed out of the room in a fit of rage. Uru, still in shock, looked down to her son, who still slept peacefully in her paws.

"Don't listen to your idiot of a biological father, my son. Your name shall not be Scelus, as you are not a crime in any way whatsoever. No, your name is Gaudium. My little joy."

With that, Gaudium awoke, revealing an eye color of sapphire blue, and the little cub nuzzled his mother, who gently licked his head, the newborn's golden fur bristling under the touch of his mother's tongue.

Well, that is going to be that I'm going to write for now. For those who read the original, did you notice the changes that I made? For those who didn't read the original, how do you like it so far? Be sure to let me know in the reviews! Also, I'm considering changing my pen name to Tex or TexasKid or something else of that nature. Be sure to let me know if you would be okay with this either in a PM or in the reviews. I think I have babbled too much, so take care and thank you very much for reading. Later y'all.

-G-