Alrighty then! The final chapter of the Pride of Man is here! Enjoy!
Chapter 15 – The Battle for Pride Rock
Pure and blank shock coursed through my body as if I had just been struck by a bolt of lightning. I stared at Simba, mentally pleading that he had not said what he had. When this gave no comfort, I looked around at the lionesses to see if any chance that I had heard wrong could be seen in their faces. Every one of the lionesses who stared at Simba bore a look of both fear and shock.
Sarabi and Nala both gaped at Simba, both with looks as if they had been hit over the head and were dazed. Sarabi stepped forward to her son.
"It's not true!" She begged him, "Tell me it's not true."
Simba stared into her tearing eyes for a moment, and he closed his and lowered his head.
"It's true." He whispered.
It was as if the ground had fallen out beneath me, and I was falling into an endless abyss. All this time, Simba, my brother, the son of Mufasa, had been the cause of his death.
A loud clap of thunder roared and a lightning flashed in the sky as Scar's harsh voice rang out. "You see? He admits it! Murderer!"
Simba jerked back up at Scar's declaration. He began to circle both Simba and I, a look of hatred on his face.
"No!" Simba cried out, "It was an accident!"
Scar scoffed, "If it weren't for you Mufasa would still be alive! It's your fault he's dead! Do you deny it?"
"No," Simba said quietly.
"Then you're guilty!" Scar growled.
Simba's voice grew desperate as he spoke again. "No! I'm not a murderer!"
Scar stopped in front of Simba and stared over at me.
"I'll deal with you later, you traitorous filth!" he shouted, and he swiped at me, claws out.
Three of his claws slashed at my shirt and sliced into my chest. The force of his swipe sent me flying to the left and into the wall. My back slammed into the wall, and I fell to the ground in a slump. I yelled out as the combined pain of my chest and my back came in full force.
"Ayden!" Simba cried out. Blinking back tears of pain, I opened my eyes and saw Scar, followed by a large group of hyenas, stalking Simba. He was backing up along Pride Rock as Scar and his cronies came closer and closer. They were forcing Simba to the edge where he would fall to his death.
"Oh Simba," Scar said solemnly, "You're in trouble again. But this time, Daddy isn't here to save you. And now everyone knows why!"
On Scar's last word, Simba's back foot slipped over the edge of the rock, and he fell out of sight. Simultaneously, a bolt of lightning struck the ground just below Pride Rock.
An oh-so familiar reddish-orange light began to emanate from the area. The image of an exploding jeep sprang to my mind.
"Simba!" Nala screamed.
Shaking my head to rid myself of the memories, I painfully sat up. Groaning, I grabbed onto the wall and pulled myself into a standing position. I looked out to the spot where Simba had fallen, despair growing in me. Scar sat on the edge, staring down. His mouth was moving. Confused, I followed his gaze, and a flash of hope shot through my despair. Simba was clinging onto the edge with his claws, still alive.
But the hope was gone in an instant. Scar flung himself downward and latched onto Simba's paws with his own claws. He was going to force Simba to let go.
Courage and anger swelled inside of me like a balloon and, ignoring my pain, I let go of the wall and began to walk forward, pulling out my knife. Raising my arm, I found a spot on the back of Scar's neck.
Nala ran forward and blocked my path. "If you kill Scar, he'll let go of Simba!"
Grinding my teeth furiously, I lowered the knife. Utterly powerless, we watched as Scar leaned down to Simba's ear. Apparently, he was whispering something to him.
What occurred next happened in only a couple of seconds.
Simba's face changed from fear to confusion as Scar whispered. Then absolute rage filled every inch of his face. He struggled for a second, and then incredibly, he flung himself back up and forward, landing on top of Scar, pinning him to the ground.
"MURDERER!" he screamed, teeth bared at his uncle.
Every one of the lionesses' mouths fell open, including Zira's, who was still standing in the entryway of the den.
"No, Simba! Please!" Scar begged as Simba growled.
"Tell them the truth!" Simba commanded, a slight roar escaping him.
"Truth? But truth is in the eye of the beholder…."
But Scar could not finish the sentence. Simba had placed a paw on Scar's throat and was pressing down hard. Scar began to make choking sounds, and through them, two words were audible.
Simba lightened the pressure, but still kept his paw on Scar's throat. The pack of hyenas that stood between the pride and the two lions began to growl.
Scar's mouth moved but he talked so quietly that nobody but Simba could hear. The only sound was the crackling of the flames that were quickly spreading around Pride Rock.
"So they can hear you." Simba growled threateningly.
Scar's face fell for a moment, and then it grew stern. At the top of his lungs, Scar screamed, "I KILLED MUFASA!"
At these words, the hyenas burst forward from their pack and engulfed both Simba and Scar. Simba was knocked back as the wave of hyenas overcame him, and Scar rolled out from underneath the fray. For a moment, I saw, not Simba underneath the hyenas, but Sekou.
Without thinking, I was running forward, not at Scar, but to the mountain of hyenas. Pulling out my knife, I reached them and began slashing at any and every bit of skin, fur, and muscle I could reach. Then, from behind me, the entire pride came forward as one, clawing and biting every hyena off of Simba. Within seconds, Simba was unearthed from the mound, with only a few minor cuts. I rushed forward and helped him get to his feet. The second he was, he began to swipe and bite viciously at every hyena.
A sharp pain suddenly pressured my left shoulder as a hyena launched at me and bit down. I fell to my knees screaming as the hyena bit into my skin even harder. I gripped my knife in my right hand and swung upward towards the hyena's face. The blade embedded itself in one of his eyes, and the pressure on my shoulder was released instantly. I turned to see him backing up, whining and rubbing his face with a paw. Blindly, he kept moving about through the fray, until he reached the edge of Pride Rock. His back foot slipped, just as Simba's had, but the hyena was not so lucky. He slipped off and fell down into the fires below.
I turned my head at the sound of a battle cry. I raised my knife to toss it at the source, but soon saw that it was not a hyena, but Timon and Pumbaa. Pumbaa was charging through the hyenas, sending a good amount of them flying off of Pride Rock and over the edge into the flames. I smiled, feeling relieved that they had survived their encounter with the hyenas previously.
I crouched and rolled to the left as two hyenas came running at me from the front. They missed me by inches and tripped when they realized they had missed their mark. I landed and turned to the hyenas. Without aiming, I flung my knife at the one to the right.
The knife landed in the hyena's stomach. Before either of them had time to react, I was already sprinting forward to them. I leaped and landed on the back of the hyena I had thrown my knife at and I wrenched it from his stomach. He let out a growl of pain as I did so. The other hyena looked up at me and launched forward to bite. His teeth broke into my right side and I screamed as he dug into my flesh. I sliced forward with the knife and hacked the hyena's face. A large gash appeared from the top of his head to his muzzle. He released my side and backed up quickly. While he recoiled and whined, I turned the knife on the struggling hyena below me. As fast as my hands could go, I flung my arm below his neck and brought the knife cleanly across his throat. The hyena gasped and spluttered as the blood spilled from his neck. My deed being done, I turned, again, to the hyena whom I had hit in the face. He was attempting to run at me, but he stumbled and fell again.
I hesitated, a feeling of pity in me for the creature that was so clearly in pain. But the feeling was gone instantly as the hyena leapt up again and charged at me. I dodged him and turned to watch as his tripped over his feet again and tumbled over the side of Pride Rock.
By now, all of Pride Rock was glowing with a luminescent and haunting orange light. The flames were quickly spreading across the dried out land. As the battle continued, thunder would crash overhead and occasionally, lightning would flash across the sky.
I suddenly felt a moment of fatigue, and I realized that I needed a moment to recover. Glancing around, I saw the entrance to the den. I slid in, knowing I had only seconds to see what the damage was.
I slumped against the wall and removed my shirt to examine my wounds. My shoulder seeped blood, but the damage was not bad. The three marks on my chest where Scar had slashed at me were not severe. My side, however, was an entirely different story. The hyena had taken out a good chunk of skin and blood ran freely from the open wound.
I ripped my shirt into two pieces. One was one long strip and the other was a smaller piece. I painfully pressed the smaller piece over the wound, and tied the long piece around my stomach, creating a makeshift bandage. All the while, my side screamed in anguish.
When I finished, I leaned against the wall again. Blinking back tears and gasping for breath, I closed my eyes to regain my composure. Thoughts seeped into my consciousness, and I lost myself to them.
Scar's words rang in my head.
I killed Mufasa.
So…Simba was not the cause of Mufasa's death. I remembered back to the day that Scar had taken Simba for the 'surprise' that Mufasa had for him. It all made sense now. Simba had been placed in a situation where he would be in mortal danger. Scar had caused the stampede. He would go and get Mufasa to come and save Simba. Both Simba and Mufasa were intended to die in the stampede. Mufasa did, indeed, die. But Simba had survived. So Scar had set the hyenas on Simba to finish the job, but yet again, Scar's plans did not succeed.
The sudden voice startled me, and I jumped slightly.
I looked down and saw Nuka staring up at me.
"Ayden, what's going on?" He asked, staring curiously. "Mother said you were dead! What's that noise outside?"
"Nuka!" I hissed quietly, "You need to get to Kovu and Vitani and hide! It's not safe for any of you to be in the open right now!"
"They're with mother." Nuka said quietly. "I just woke up and she was gone. I'm pretty sure she took Kovu and Vitani with her."
I gritted my teeth as a sudden hate for Zira rose in me. She had taken two cubs that were not even her own, and she so willingly abandoned her true son.
A sudden screaming came from the entrance of the cave. I scooped up Nuka in my arms and held my hand over his mouth. He struggled for a moment until I shushed him. We looked at the entrance of the cave as Timon came sprinting in, followed closely by Shenzi and Banzai. They turned the corner, not even seeing Nuka or I. From around the corner came another voice; one with a British accent.
"Let me out! Let me out!" Zazu screamed.
"Let me in! Let me in!" Timon screamed back.
I started to edged forward as quietly as possible to try and look around the corner.
"Please don't eat me," Timon begged piteously.
As I moved away from the wall to peek around the corner, Pumbaa came rushing in. He missed hitting Nuka and me by inches. He turned the corner, but stopped. I saw the tuft of his tail swinging back and forth right where the corner turned.
"Drop 'em!" He called out.
Banzai's confused voice came next. "Hey! Who's the pig?"
I moved close enough, still clutching Nuka in my arms, so we could see around the corner. Timon and Zazu were standing in a cage of ribs against the opposite wall. Banzai and Shenzi were standing near it, but were both staring at Pumbaa.
"Are you talking to me?" Pumbaa whispered viciously.
"Uh-oh, they called him a pig." Timon whispered fearfully to Shenzi.
"Are you talking to me?" Pumbaa said, raising his voice.
"Shouldn't have done that…" Timon said warningly.
"Are you talking to ME?" shouted Pumbaa.
"Now they're in for it!" Said Timon, rolling his eyes.
"They call me 'Mr. Pig'!" Pumbaa screamed. Then with a battle cry, he charged forward to the hyenas. He met them with a loud CRASH and the two hyenas went flying through the air. I backed against the wall again as Shenzi and Banzai came running around the corner, followed closely by Timon, Pumbaa, and Zazu. I looked around and saw Timon and Pumbaa chasing off after the hyenas.
"Nuka," I said, setting him down. "Go and hide in the den around the corner. It's not safe for you here. I'll come back for you when it is safe."
He nodded and rubbed against my leg. Then he turned and ran around the corner, and out of sight.
I headed for the entrance of the den and burst out into the orange glow. The battle was still continuing, but the pride was gaining the upper hand. Hyenas were breaking off of the original group and sprinting down the slope and away from Pride Rock. We were winning!
I looked around for Simba. I needed to find him so we could go after Scar. Suddenly a hyena broke off of the group and sprinted at me. I raised my knife, ready to take him on. Then a golden paw came crashing down on the hyena's head. I looked over and saw Simba, teeth bared, staring down at the dead hyena. He looked over me for a second.
"Ayden," he panted, "are you alright? You look hurt pretty bad."
"I could say the same about you." I said, looking at his many cuts and bruises. One in particular on his right flank was seeping blood.
"I'm not worried about my injuries right now." I told him. "We have to find Scar."
Simba nodded and glanced around. I looked up at the ledges that lined the summit of Pride Rock. There was a strange object moving slowly there. The light of the flames was not bright enough to light the small crevice. I pointed upward, and Simba looked too. A bolt of lightning flashed, and the object was revealed to be Scar slinking up to the top of Pride Rock.
"Get on my back!" Simba growled.
Without a word, I jumped on. Simba roared intensely and together, we sprinted up around the path that would lead us to the top. We caught sight of Scar as he ran up the path. We followed him until we came close to the top. Scar jumped a small ledge, only seconds before a large wall of flame shot up from the crevice. Simba stopped in front of it hesitantly. He backed up a few feet, and then sprinted and leapt through the flames. He landed on the plateau where Scar stood. There was nowhere for him to go but over the ledge that led down to the ground. Scar was trapped.
I slid off of Simba's back and gripped my knife tightly at my side. Together, we stalked forward to Scar whose face was becoming very fearful.
"Murderer…" Simba whispered.
I gritted my teeth and growled, "For too long you have ravaged these lands. For too long you've tormented and tried to destroy every single creature who lived here. It ends now."
Scar sunk low to the ground, plea in his voice as he spoke. "Simba, Ayden please! Please have mercy, I beg you!"
"You don't deserve to live." Simba said, moving closer and closer.
"But Simba…I…am…family!" Scar said, breathing deep between each word.
"As was Mufasa." I said viciously. Scar's face fell even more at my words.
"It's the hyenas who are the real enemy!" Scar said suddenly, as if he had just remembered something. "It was their fault! It was their idea!"
I glanced back and saw Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed standing just behind the wall of flames we had jumped through. At Scar's words, they growled and backed away.
"Why should we believe you?" Simba said stopping inches away from Scar's face. "Everything you ever told me was a lie."
"Everything you ever said to me was hateful or spiteful." I added.
Scar's eyes reflected true fear, and it gave me great satisfaction to see how far the mighty had fallen.
"What are you going to do?" he whispered. "You wouldn't kill your own uncle…"
These last words were pleading, but yet he said them as if he was convinced that Simba or I would not kill. Part of me longed to tell him that we were going to kill him…
But something inside of me said that killing him would not be the right thing to do.
Damn the right thing to do! Think of all he's done these last few years! He deserves to die!
My mother's voice was speaking to me. In that one word, my mother was telling me the right thing to do. Great comfort and warmth came from her voice. A wave of emotion swept over me, but I shook it off. Now was not the time to get emotional.
"No." I whispered aloud.
"No Scar." Said Simba in agreement. "We are not like you."
Scar sighed in relief. "Oh thank you boys, thank you! You are both truly noble! I'll make it up to you, I promise!"
Neither Simba nor I were convinced by this.
"And how can I prove myself to you?" Scar asked, getting to his feet. "Tell me, anything."
Simba hesitated for a moment, searching for the right words. Then, after a moment of thought, he said in a silent growl, "Run. Run away Scar, and never return."
Scar's face grew fearful again. I was unsure of why these words had such a profound impact on Scar, but clearly they were something that he was not expecting.
"Yes…" he said slowly. He sunk down to the ground again and moved forward around Simba and I. "Of course."
He was behind us now, and both Simba and I turned to watch him go.
"As you wish…"
He stopped in front of a pile of embers. He placed his paw next to the pile.
He swiped his paw through the embers and sent them flying in Simba's and my direction. The hot embers hit my bare chest and burned into my skin. Beside me, Simba yelled in pain as they flew into his face. He turned to rub them out of his eyes.
Suddenly, Scar launched himself forward and pinned Simba to the ground. Recovering from his low and dirty attack, I turned to the two fighting lions. The fight was intense, like no fight between two lions that I had ever witnessed. They were up on their back paws biting and clawing at each other's necks and bodies. Then they were down again, pinning one or the other, still biting at their necks. And again, they were up on their back paws. I rushed forward to Scar, whose back was to me, raising my knife. I leapt up and flung one arm out. I wrapped it around Scar's neck and clung onto him. My right arm flew down and plunged the knife into Scar's right shoulder. Scar fell to his paws and twisted wildly, trying to get me off any way he could. Simba backed off, not daring to attack, for fear of hurting me in the process.
"YOU FILTH!" Scar screamed. "GET OFF OF ME!"
One…two…three times I removed the knife and plunged it back into Scar's body. Each plunge was followed by a roar of pain from Scar, and a feeling satisfaction in me. For years I had waited to cause Scar as much pain as he caused everybody else. Again and again, I plunged the knife deeper and deeper into Scar's flesh. He flailed and roared in agony, but to no avail. He could not reach me with his teeth or claws. His back was coated in red.
In desperation, Scar jumped on his hind legs and fell backward. As I raised the knife for another blow, Scar's large body fell on top of me. Every part of my body hit the ground with a loud THUD, except for my head. A sudden and very sharp pain became apparent in my right shoulder.
Scar rolled off of me and I yelled in agony. Blinking back tears, I slowly raised my head. I looked down at my chest and saw that half of the blade of my knife was sticking out of my right shoulder, just below my collarbone. I could not even move my right arm without causing pain to my shoulder.
Scar reared up above me to deliver a killing blow, but he was knocked aside as Simba lunged at him. I turned my head to see them, and suddenly realized why it had not hit the ground when Scar had fallen backward. My head was dangling over the edge of the plateau. I rolled over so that I was away from the edge.
I tried to stand, but the pain in my shoulder was causing me so much misery that I could not focus enough to do so. I sat up and grabbed the hilt of the knife. I waited a moment, preparing for the pain I knew I would feel when I pulled it out.
Staring up at the two fighting lions so I wouldn't have to see myself do it, I wrenched the knife from my shoulder. It was a very strange feeling, as much as it was painful. Panting and blinking out tears, I looked up as Scar swiped at Simba's face and knocked him to the ground. Simba lay on his back, dazed and confused for a moment. Scar backed up a good distance, sunk low to the ground, and then sprinted at Simba. He leapt into the air, claws unsheathed and mouth wide open, teeth exposed.
Everything seemed to move in slow motion. Scar was flying in midair towards Simba who was slowly realizing what was happening. Quickly, I switched my knife to my left hand, for using my right would cause absolute agony. Shakily, I raised it, aiming for Scar. This was my very last chance.
The knife flew from my hand and I smiled, for I knew it would fly true.
I watched in slow motion as the knife twirled in midair as it shot straight for Scar. It struck his side where his stomach was and stayed there. Scar recoiled in midair, throwing him off balance. Simba reached up with his hind feet and pushed against Scar.
Simba's push did the trick. It sent Scar flying back up, over Simba. Scar flew for a moment, and then he disappeared over the edge.
Without using my right arm, I crawled over to Simba, who had gotten up and was staring over the ledge down at Scar. I clutched onto Simba's mane with my left hand and stood up. Looking down, I saw that Scar had miraculously survived the fall. He was standing in a clearing where the fire had not been able to reach.
Then out of the flames came three dark shapes. Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, Scar's faithful servants, were staring down at Scar with the utmost hate in their eyes. Scar spoke.
"Oh, my friends!"
Shenzi looked over at the other two hyenas. "Friends?" she chuckled. "I thought he said we were the enemy!"
Banzai nodded in agreement. "Yeah! That's what I heard."
Together, they looked over at Ed and said simultaneously, "Ed?"
Ed stood silent for a moment. Then a creepy smile broke over his face, and he started laughing that maniacal laugh of his. The hyenas began to approach Scar, licking their lips as they did. Then, out of the flames, what remained of the hyenas began to appear. All of them were heading to Scar, and they too were laughing and licking their lips.
"No!" Scar pleaded with his once-faithful servants. "L-l-let me explain! No, you don't understand!"
The hyenas were closing in on him. There was nowhere for Scar to run to. Overhead, the thunder roared out across the evening sky.
"No! I didn't mean…no! NO!"
Simba looked away. My eyes were glued to the one who had caused me so much pain and suffering. I wanted to see this.
The hyenas pounced on Scar, who was now screaming as he was eaten alive. They tore at his skin and ripped it away with savagery I had yet seen.
Slowly, I backed away. He was gone. That was enough for me to see.
The answer to this thought became present in my mind.
It was over.
All of the pain, all of the suffering, the torment, the death, the destruction, the tyranny…it was ALL over.
Something small and cold fell on my face. I looked upward as another one fell. Then another, and another.
After two and a half long years, the sky was finally releasing the rain that it was harboring. My breathing became staggered and tears came to my eyes. I fell to my knees and held out my left arm, letting the rain fall soothingly on me.
It was as if each droplet of water was washing away all of the pain and suffering of the past years. It was cleaning the slate for me. It was a chance at my old life before the tyranny began; the life that was so far gone, and yet was now so close in front of me.
The fires around Pride Rock were being doused by the downpour. The orange light was being extinguished and steam and smoke rose from the places that had been burned.
Simba padded over to me, dripping wet, and he nudged me in the back. I looked up at him, lost for words.
What does one say when over two years of suffering and pain ended? What does one say to the one that helped end it all?
There were only two words that came to mind, and to me, they were not nearly enough to express my feeling towards Simba.
Simba smiled. "No. Thank you, Ayden."
He helped me get to my feet, and then he swiftly slid between my legs so that I was, once again, seated on his back. With my right hand, I grasped Simba's mane, and with my left, I grasped my right shoulder. Together, we silently traveled down the summit of Pride Rock.
"Oh, Simba! Wait a second!" I said, suddenly remembering.
Simba stopped, and I got off his back and wandered into the den. I rounded the corner and stared around through the dark.
"Nuka?" I called out.
From a small crevice at the back of the cave, the small and thin cub came wandering out, staring up at me. I smiled at him.
"It's safe for you to come out now. The fighting is over."
He looked up at me and smiled a little. I scooped him up in my left arm and carried him out. Simba waited at the entrance of the cave, staring curiously at the cub in my arms.
"Simba, this is Nuka." I said. "Nuka, did your parents or Sarabi ever tell you of Simba?"
Nuka nodded, staring up at Simba bewilderedly. "I was told that you both were dead!"
"Ayden…" said Simba hesitantly. "Whose cub is this?"
I stopped for a second. "Simba, he is much better than his parents. He has a kind heart."
"Ayden, whose cub is this?" Simba repeated.
I sighed. "This is the son of Scar and Zira. But they have shunned him for obvious reasons. They do not consider him to be worthy of the title of their son."
Simba grimaced momentarily, but he smiled down at Nuka when I told him this.
"It is nice to meet you Nuka."
Nuka nodded. I put him down on the ground, and he ran down the slope. Simba and I watched him until he disappeared, then Simba looked over at me.
"I promise you Simba," I said assuredly, "He is no threat. Scar and Zira hate him, and he has bore that burden well. He has a very kind heart."
Simba nodded somewhat reassured. I got back on his back and we continued back down the slope.
At the base sat what remained of our pride. Nala and Sarabi were standing at the front, waiting for Simba and I. As we walked down to them, Zazu landed on a rock next to us and bowed low.
"Your Majesties." He said respectfully.
Somehow, it didn't feel so weird to be bowed to now. I realized that the reason I felt so weird about it before was because I had not earned the kingship yet. Now that I had done so, the feeling was not so strong.
The pride walked over and surrounded both Simba and I. I slid off of his back, feeling much stronger than I had before. I stared around at the pride, all of whom were smiling at both Simba and I.
All except for one.
Zira stood in the back without approaching us. Kovu and Vitani were sitting underneath her being sheltered from the rain. Nuka stood a distance away from her, but still near enough. He smiled up at me. I returned it.
All thoughts of Zira were pushed from my mind as Sarabi and Nala came up to Simba and I. I hugged Nala and whispered "Thank you."
She smiled at me and turned to Simba. They nuzzled each other lovingly and I smiled. I remembered back when Simba was a cub. I remembered his confused little face when I had asked him if he and Nala were best friends. I told him that he would understand someday. I could see clearly now that today was that day.
Sarabi walked up to me. I stared into her eyes for a moment, and saw my mother again. I sighed deeply and threw my arms around her.
"I'm so proud of you my son." She said happily.
"Thank you, mom." I said, tears falling down my face. "I couldn't have held through without you."
The embrace seemed to last for an eternity. Again, I saw the chance for my new life laid before me. It was ready for me. But there was one last thing for me to do; For both Simba and I.
A rattling sound became apparent, and Simba and I both looked up the slope. Rafiki stood there shaking his stick. The gourds on the end of the stick were making the rattling sound. His stick was pointing to the edge of Pride Rock.
Together, Simba and I walked up to Rafiki. We stopped in front of him, and he stared at us for a moment. Then he arched his back and bowed to us. Simba reached over with his paw and pulled Rafiki into a hug. They released and Rafiki put a hand on each of our shoulders.
"It is time."
Simba smiled at Rafiki. Then he looked at me and motioned to me with his head. I understood what he meant. I put my leg over his back and sat down. Together, we slowly walked up towards the edge of Pride Rock.
Every eye on every face was fixated on both Simba and I. Together, the lion who was just over three years old and the 19 ½ year-old human, both of whom were very young candidates for the kingship, slowly made their way to the edge.
My mind filled with many questions and thoughts that had no beginning or end.
Where's my knife?
What will be our first act as kings?
What will we do about Zira?
What exactly had happened to the rest of the pride who was not here now, but had been here when I left?
What happened to Sarabi's and Scar's cub?
Now was not the time to worry about all of these troubling thoughts. I would deal with them later.
We stopped at the edge and stared up into the sky. The rain poured in sheets now, and it was absolutely refreshing. Silently, Simba and I stared up into the clouds.
Then, two of the clouds parted, revealing the deep blue sky dotted with the light of the hundreds of stars. It was a sight that I had not seen in a very long time. It was truly beautiful and peaceful.
Mufasa's voice solemnly rang out. He spoke only one word, but that one word will live in my memory for all time.
Simba and I looked at each other for a moment. We slowly smiled at the same time. Then we turned and stared out at the Pride Lands, knowing what the final deed was in order to take our first step into our new lives. Simultaneously, we took a deep breath, and roared.
The sound that came from me was neither a yell nor a scream. It was a true roar. It felt as if I was not entirely human, but was somehow part lion. I felt that I was, for I had lived with them for so long, and I had adopted so many of their customs. Whatever the reason for it, all I know is this; I roared.
The roar signified one absolute fact.
Simba and I were now both Kings of the Pride Lands.
Our separate journeys had taken us both through so many hardships, but our paths had crossed each other again. We both had now taken our rightful place in the Circle of Life.
Together, our combined roars echoed across the Pride Lands. The lionesses below us roared in response, as a sign of respect and acceptance. They willingly accepted their new leaders and looked forward to their new lives as well.
All except for Zira.
As Simba and I continued roaring, more thoughts soared through my head. And though there were many troubling issues that needed dealing with, though there would be other things that would challenge us, and though we still had a long way to go and a lot more to learn, there was one thing that I was absolutely certain of.
Things were better now, and they were going to get even better from here.
I was home, I was with my family and friends, and through all of the hardships and trials, I still had my pride; the pride of man.
lol, but don't think it's over yet, because it's not! There will be AT LEAST one sequel to this! I might write a third after that, but for now, i'm going to focus on the second fanfic! It might be another month before i put out anything though...i need to take a break from writing for a while.
I'm so glad that i have this one done! Thank you all for your reviews, and please, to new readers, REVIEW! Let me know what you think of the story!
I would like to thank the following people...
Tonyboy - He was, and currently is, my beta-reader for the final chapters for this story. He will be the beta-reader for my next story, and hopefully for my third book (if i get around to it). Thank you very much Dan!
Amase - Words cannot express enough how much i thank you for allowing me to base my story off of your incredible chronicles. Thank you SO much!
Thanks again to all my readers! And keep your eye out for the sequel!