Chapter twenty three - learning and growing fast

Nala moved on fast from the truth about Scar.

She hardly liked him to begin with.

By the time she was 20 months old, Nala had mastered the art of hunting and truly was a champion.

The lionesses still starved despite the skill they had between them though. The hyenas had eaten almost all the herd animals in the pride lands.

"I told you they would eat everything!" growled Sarabi when Scar quite aggressively told her he was hungry.

Scar was furious, but he really couldn't say anything.

The lionesses all hated Scar and often overpowered him at the rarity of a kill.

He was left with the very last scraps, and grew ever more bitter and aggressive.

One day, a lion named Ni arrived in the pride lands. After much talk, it was discovered that he was the brother of Mohatu - Ahadi's father.

This made him great uncle to Scar. Scar was careful, as Ni was bigger than him, but he knew he would just have to wait a little bit. Ni was very old now at 13 years.

Ni became very friendly with the lionesses - they wanted him to be king, as they could see he had a good and loyal heart - but because of his good and loyal heart, Ni would not try and overpower Scar. He often said that it was not his place to change what had happened, and if Scar was king, then that was how it was.

At least, that is what he had said at the beginning of his stay at pride rock.

He soon realised Scar was pretty evil and troubled at mind.

On the very eve of Ni's birthday, he approached Scar, after seeing him attack Sheba.

"What are you doing?" he asked, horrified as Sheba limped away.

"I'm asserting my authority!" growled Scar.

"But she wasn't even doing anything!" objected Ni, growing angry.

"Stay out of it! You haven't had authority over me since Mohatu died. Where did you disappear to after the death of Mohatu?" Scar shouted.

"He was my brother!" roared Ni, "When he died, I had nothing left!"

"You had the throne!"

"A throne!" repeated Ni, "What good is a throne when your most loved are gone? My mother, father and brother were all dead - so I left!"

"I stayed! When father died, I stayed. When Mufassa and his son died, I stayed - to rule over the remainder of the pride lands and the inhabitants." retaliated Scar.

"Wish you hadn't!" growled Nala.

"Nala, shut up!" snarled Scar, furious.

"What you gonna do, 'daddy'?" Nala tormented, knowing and attack from Scar would result in him being attacked by Ni. "Come on Scar, leave Ni alone - as well as us lionesses!"

It was too much for Scar, and he brutally jumped on Nala, savaging her with no mercy to show.

Without realising, Ni was on top of him, fury engulfed in him.

After a bloody battle, Ni had Scar pinned.

"I am going to stay for one more day to celebrate my birthday with my brother's descendants, and all of us are going to enjoy it!" he growled with real threat in his voice.

With a heavy shove on Scar's stomach, Ni let himself up and rudely turned his back on Scar.

He approached Nala and nuzzled her until she got up. Sarafina joined her and flicked her tail impatiently with the presence of Scar.

She was kind to her daughter.

"You need to keep safe, Nala." she purred gently, licking her daughter's wounds.

"I know mom - sorry." Nala replied quietly.

Ni smiled at her.

"We will celebrate my birthday tomorrow, before I leave."

"You're leaving!" cried Nala, horrified.

"Yes, Nala, that is what I said. I am getting old now, and my time of death is close. I do not which to pass away in the presence of so many pride members - especially young ones." he replied gently.

Nala bowed her head with sadness.

"I am sorry I could not spend more time with you all." said Ni to the pride.

"I'm sorry too!" replied Scar sarcastically. He knew Ni was no longer a threat to him, in the sense of taking over pride rock, and remained very rude to him. He didn't do anything to trigger a fight, though - he knew Ni was stronger than him, despite his old age.

After the attack by Scar, Nala was careful around the king.

Ni watched her, and felt sorry for her.

"You shouldn't fear him like this - it's not right!" said Ni to Nala.

"I know - I shouldn't fear him at all, as he is my father."

This sent shivers down Ni's spine.

"I would never attack any lioness, with the exception of war, let alone my own daughter. Ahadi would be horrified if he knew his son had turned out like this."

"Mufassa was the greatest king ever!" smiled Nala, "So at least he could cancel out the disappointment from my father." she laughed.

Scar had heard this, and flew into a rage.

"That name is never again to be uttered in my presence!" he roared, "I AM THE KING!"

With that, he raced to the large cliff that erected behind pride rock, and shouted to the skies, "There you go father! I'm king now, are you proud of me yet? You loved that freak of a brother because of his promised kinghood - love meeee!" he screamed.

When no-one answered, Scar roared with dismay and fury. He truly was troubled in the mind.

Meanwhile, Nala could hear her father shouted, and it made her mature even quicker. She felt sorry for him, but that was no excuse. She was good at heart, but knew Scar did not love her. That didn't make her evil and cruel.

Shaking her head, Nala looked for Uru.

"Yes my grandchild, what is it?" asked Uru kindly.

"Why is Scar…my father, so cruel to us?" Nala asked point blankly.

"My husband, Ahadi, was very cruel to him." explained Uru.

"He was?" asked Nala. "But Mufassa always talked so lovingly of his father."

"Oh yes." nodded Uru. "Mufassa was very much loved by Ahadi - he was his favourite because he was the oldest lion, like him, because he had a gold pelt, like him and because he would be king, like him." explained Uru sadly.

Realisation began to enrobe Nala.

"I suppose Scar is like he is because he found nothing but cruelty and hate from Ahadi - maybe he wants to be just one thing like his father."

"Oh." nodded Nala sadly.

"Yes - Ahadi even gave Scar his name - his real name is Taka." gossiped Uru.

"That's awful!" exclaimed Nala. "Er, sorry." she said, remembering that Uru was Ahadi's wife.

"It's alright child - you are learning and growing fast."