"Don't worry about being gentle," the lion hissed. "Make them look realistic."
The hyenas cackled, burying their talons deep into the flesh of the dark figure in the cave. Blood dripped down from his haunches, pooling into snags in the floor. The light radiated off of his green eyes, illuminating them despite the lack of light.
"That's enough," he growled after a couple of minutes. The hyenas backed away, their amber eyes gleaming in the dark with passion. The lion's claws scratching against the rock, he pounced over to a limp body on the floor, letting out a rumbling chuckle as he gazed down at it. His heart no longer raced, there was only a steady calm in his chest. He had been waiting long enough for this, and now, he had no feelings except for apathy.
"Mufasa...it is finally my turn," Scar lowly said, quietly enough for only him to hear.
Ahadi silently sat on Pride Rock, staring into his kingdom. He was thinking about his sons, like he usually did on bright, sunny days like this one.
A Thomspon's gazelle was picking at the leaves at a tree in the distance. He could see its black stripe that contrasted with the pale orange of its pelt. Its horns gleamed in the sun, short but deadly. It was a very peaceful moment, and Ahadi let out a small smile.
Mufasa must learn to find the beauty in our kingdom when he becomes king, Ahadi mused to himself. Life does not only exist in the lion pride, it exists in all of the living creatures. In the insects, in the wildebeest, in the bark of the trees. It coincides with death, neither can be without the other. Death can be a beautiful thing just as well as life.
Turning over a rock with his paw, Ahadi felt the smoothness of it, saw the perfect roundness of its shape. It was not alive, but it was created with beauty regardless. Flicking it with a claw, he watched it sail through the air until it landed in the Outlands, kicking up a cloud of translucent dust. It landed underneath a sickly, dying tree that was half in the darkness and half in the light. It reminded him of Taka.
Hearing paws running up the side of Pride Rock, Ahadi turned his head curiously. Racing up the cliff at the speed of light was Scar, his fur bloody and torn. He had a panicked, dark look set into his intense eyes. Ahadi got to his feet, racing to meet his son.
"What's happened?" He growled, with only the slightest hint of concern for his son in his voice.
"Mufasa...hyenas..." Scar panted, his breathing ragged and his chest heaving with pain and exhaustion.
Uru came out from behind the cave, alarmed by the tone of their voices. Scar forced himself to look away from her. He couldn't meet her eyes.
"Take me to him," Ahadi roared, his eyes growing dim.
Scar looked up at him, and there was something dark in his eyes. He hesitated, as if wanting to say something to his estranged father, and then merely nodded, turning and racing away. The two male lions dashed into the yellow reeds, Uru and the rest of the pride strides away from them.
The shadow of a vulture followed them as they raced through dust and dirt, scattering animals as they bolted. In the horizon, dark clouds loomed, quiet thunder howling in the blue sky. Ahadi and Scar came to a small cave hidden in an outcrop of rocks near the elephant graveyard. It was a remote, overlooked location that stunk of must and old animals. Hyenas chortled inside, their laughter echoing throughout the cave. Ahadi let out a deep threatening growl and the clattering sound of running hyenas was heard.
Scar scrambled into the cave, limping on his right shoulder.
"Mufasa?" He breathed into the depths of the hollow.
Ahadi followed him, glancing around in the darkness until his eyes adjusted. In the middle lay a still figure, filled with a familiar scent. Ahadi stopped, and then carefully proceeded forwards. He put a paw on the mottled fur, clenching down on it. The scent of death was mixed in with his sons scent, creating something foul.
"Don't let Uru in here," Ahadi softly said after a moment of silence. He glanced over at Scar, who nodded.
Uru bounded through the small cave opening, and Scar blocked her path, struggling to contain her. She slipped underneath his paws, gnashing her teeth at him and racing over to her mate's side.
"Mufasa...no..." she howled, letting out a sharp sob that led to deeper, more painful ones. Slumping down on his body, she began to uncontrollably weep. Ahadi put a paw around her shoulder, hanging his own head in mourning. The rest of the pride respectably stayed outside, grieving silently.
Indeed, a tear did fall down Scar's face. He did feel sorrow. Yet not for Mufasa. For his own grievances that he had suffered so many years under the watchful gaze of his father and brother. He had finally now been released from the chains that tightly bound him. It was his moment, and this was now his power. He was the heir to the throne. Deep within his chest, he felt a rising joy that was too tremendous for words.
Ahadi glanced over at his son, seeing the tear that fell down from his lone eye. He mistook it for misery, and hesitantly took his paw and motioned for Scar to come over and join his family.
Scar saw the movement, and completely froze. His own father wished for him to come over and join him? The king who had given him his scar, and left him bleeding? The one who had forsaken his younger son? Something weak and bitter fell apart inside of him, and he held back another tear, clenching his teeth together. Head bowed, he took an awkward step forwards until he was underneath his fathers arm. It felt horrible, the sudden affection. Not right. Yet Scar could not help but feel the joy in his soul rising. He had been accepted by his father at least this once. The last time he had felt his touch, it was from an outstretched claw.
He nuzzled into the warmth of his fathers mane, and placed a hand on his mothers back, feeling her heaving back.
Scar was, for once, happy.