"Ah, c'mon, Davis..." Veemon grumbled. "If that guy doesn't want to help us, we'll have to find the way out of here by ourselves..."
"Out of here?" Kovu asked with a grin. "Can't find the way back to the Pride Lands? Well, you shouldn't have come here in the first place, then..."
"Will you stop it already?" Davis shouted, his fur ruffled. "We're not from any Pride Land, okay?"
"Hah, do you think I'm stupid?" Kovu hissed. "There are no leopards roaming the Outlands... the only ones that live here besides swamp crocs and termites are us outcast lions."
"Well, that's no surprise!" Davis shouted back. "You're an annoying brat, I wouldn't want you to live next to me!"
"Grrrrr..." the dark-furred lion cub grumbled. "Snooty Pride Lander... take THIS!" And without any warning, he tackled Davis to the ground, nearly throwing him into the muddy river they were standing next to.
"Hey, cut that out!" Davis growled. "Okay, you asked for it, buddy..."
He fought back, and the two cubs were rolling around on the ground.
"Get him, Davis!" Veemon cheered his friend on. "Bite his tail! Use those sharp teeth of yours!"
He wished he could help his partner somehow, but he couldn't start any attack right now without risking to hurt Davis in the process.
Besides, it looked like Davis wanted to handle this one.
Finally, Davis had pinned the lion cub to the ground. "Do you yield?" he mumbled, his mouth around Kovu's tail.
"Never!" Kovu hissed. "Not to a Pride Lander!"
"Hey, we're NOT Pride Landers, don't you get it?" Veemon asked.
"Well, where else are you from, if not from the Pride Lands?" Kovu growled.
"We are..." But just as Davis wanted to answer, a deep grumbling sound made him perk up his leopard ears.
"Veemon, what was that?"
Veemon looked down at his belly. "It can't be my tummy," he said. "I just ate before going to bed..."
"That was no lion's snarl either," Kovu spoke up. Even though he was still pinned to the ground, he was nervously looking around as well. "That can mean only one thing..."
"Well, and what's that?" Davis asked. He had a bad feeling about this.
"CROCODILES!" Kovu yelled. The two cubs jumped away just in time, as a giant pair of reptilian jaws closed itself right where they had been just a moment ago.
"Davis, watch out!" Veemon shouted. "VEE-HEADBUTT!"
His head rammed against the massive head of the crocodile, knocking it back. The carnivorous reptile hissed angrily, but its scaly hide protected it from a serious injury.
"It's not alone..." Kovu murmured when he saw how numerous other crocodiles came crawling out of the river. "But... they look so strange... those are no normal crocodiles..."
"They somehow remind me of the creatures we fought," Davis said when he saw the black scales and the glowing eyes of the crocodiles.
"Well, I'm ready to take them on!" Veemon said as he stepped in front of his partner. "I guess it's Digivolution time!"
"You got it!" Davis nodded. He reached for the Digivice that was dangling around his neck with his paw. "Thank goodness it didn't disappear along with my clothes..." he murmured. Then he raised the Digivice into the air. "Digi-Armor Energize!"
Kovu jumped back in surprise when flames surrounded Veemon's body. "Wh-what?" he gasped.
"Veemon Armor Digivolve to... Flamedramon, the Fire of Courage!"
The taller, armored dragon Digimon faced the Heartless crocodiles. "Come on, you creepy things!" he shouted.
The Crushjaw Heartless roared at him and attacked with snapping jaws.
"Fire Rocket!" Flamedramon shouted and threw a couple of fireballs at the Heartless. A couple of them disappeared, but the others kept on coming. One of them lunged at Flamedramon, aiming for his neck.
"Not so fast, lizard lips!" the fire warrior shouted and kicked the crocodile on its back. Flamedramon's eyes then widened. "Davis! Would you take a look, there's a strange emblem on their bellies..."
"That's not important now!" Davis yelled. "Finish them!"
"This isn't happening..." Kovu murmured again and again while scooting backwards on all four paws. "This isn't happening..."
He watched in awe how the bipedal, armored lizard that had just a few minutes ago been as small as himself, surrounded itself with a burning aura and dove at the ghastly, black crocodiles.
Flamedramon smirked to himself as the Heartless disappeared and the gleaming hearts rose up into the air, disappearing themselves. "That's the last of them!"
"Good work, buddy!" Davis cheered.
"AAAAAAAAAHHH!" Kovu yelled, making Davis jump in surprise. "WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?"
"Why, Kovu..." a sinister voice spoke up. "Don't tell me you're afraid... I would expect more from my heir..."
Kovu gasped and turned around. Behind him floating slightly above the ground, stood a ghostly apparition, the shadowy image of a lion. A lion with a black mane and a scar on his face..."
"And this is the boy who is supposed to follow in my footsteps?" the ghost of Scar sneered. "I didn't think Zira would raise such a coward..."
"Y-y-you're... S-s-scar..." Kovu mumbled as he stared at the ghostly image.
"Surprise!" the ghost chuckled. "Aren't you glad to see me?"
"Hey! Whoever you are, stop fooling around!" Davis shouted as he jumped next to Kovu. "You're the one who sent these monsters, aren't you?"
"The Heartless prey on everyone who has a weak heart," the ghost hissed. "Seems like only the Fire of Courage was enough to save this little coward..."
These words apparently hit a nerve, since Kovu stopped shaking. "H-hey, I'm not a coward!" he shouted. "I can become stronger, just you wait?"
"Oh, is that so?" Scar's ghost smiled. "I'll be ready to believe it when I see proof..." And with a burst of darkness, the apparition vanished.
Davis looked at the lion cub. "Say... do you know this guy?"
"So this is Simba's home world?" Kairi asked as she looked through the Highwind's cockpit, at the world that was floating in front of them.
"Yes, and if the Gummi Ship brought us here first, there must be a reason to it," Sora nodded. "We just might find one of your friends down there," he told Kari.
"Well, I certainly hope so," the Digidestined of Light said. "I hope nothing has happened to them... say, is that a particularly dangerous world?"
"Well, that depends on how many Heartless are currently on this world," Sora said. "Most of the natives I met were pretty nice... except for the hyenas, of course. But, there's something else you should know about this world... and you too, Kairi."
"And what's that?" Kairi wondered as she stepped next to her boyfriend close confidant.
"Um, well, it's like this... the last time Donald, Goofy and I were on that world, we turned into, um... animals."
"Uh... animals?" Kari blinked.
"Yeah, animals... Donald assumed that it was the magic of my clothes that transformed us, you know, the clothes I got from the three fairies... but, I don't really think so. He also wanted to make me believe that it was him who turned me into a merman when I was visiting Ariel's home world, but I believe that many worlds somehow 'recognize' visitors and give them a form to fit in. And since there obviously aren't that much humans living in the Pride Lands..."
"And... in what kind of animal did you transform?" Gatomon wondered.
Sora scratched the back of his head sheepishly. "Um... into a lion."
"Really?" Kari asked with awe. "A big, powerful lion with powerful paws and a majestic mane?"
"Actually... I turned into a lion cub..."
Kairi grinned. "Awww, how cuuute... I've GOT to see this! C'mon, let's get going!"
Sora sighed as they walked over to the transporter. "Looks like Donald was right..." he muttered. "She really does think it's cute..."
Four flashes of light later, and they were all standing in the middle of the Pride Lands... only that Gatomon was the only one who hadn't changed.
Sora had turned into his lion cub form, as usual. Next to him stood a female lion cub with a tuft of red hair on her head. On their side, there was a cute little meerkat with a shrunken camera and a miniature Digivice dangling from her neck.
Gatomon stared down at her furry partner. "You know, it's pretty weird not to be the one who transforms for a change..."
Kari looked at herself and suddenly eeped. "My clothes! Where did they go?"
"Oh, right, I should have told you," Sora grinned. "Most of your clothes disappear when you turn into an animal."
"Well, at least my camera's still there," Kari said. "And it even shrunk, so I can still use it... Wow, this place is so beautiful!" she gushed as she looked at the wide, grassy plains they were standing on.
"Well, this place sure has changed since I last was here," Sora commented. "For the better."
"I have to take a few photos!" Kari grinned. "Ooooooh, and what's that giant rock formation in the distance?"
Sora smiled. "That... is Pride Rock! Simba's home..."