Message from the Author: It's back, book two obviously follows straight after the first book, if you haven't read the first book, go read it! As the book title suggests, this book features lots more flashbacks from the secretive past...
Lion King 4
Chapter: I– The Tale of Prince Kopa, Part One.
In the warmth of the savannah a newly formed tide covered with thick broken logs presents itself on the rocky coast of the Pridelands. In the coastal waves a figure of a lioness is washed away with the tide. With no strength to raise her legs she crawls out of the water and trundles further onto the coast. She wheezes for breath only to cough up water. The strong waves trying to haul her back into the rushing river she came down from. The lioness almost reached the end of her life after falling from a reasonable height into the water and swept down the gorge when the dam broke. The waters crushed upon her with such power and ferocity the next second she could breathe was on this coast, but now she was greedily swallowing the air before eventually awakening and started coming to her senses over than the tang of wet groggy dirt and sand in her mouth. She rubs her bleak face and eyes with a broken paw. She shakes her golden furred body to release the water and only then she does look up at the horizon and stare at Priderock still standing strong in the distance. With cowardly eye's she draws her chipped claws and weakly hobbles off alongside the golden twilight coast into lands yet unknown.
Book Two – Reuniting the Pasts.
Kopa floods with optimism. His face lights up as he gases upon Vitani, the cub he loved and the cub who he wanted to be his queen now as an adult. A lioness he hasn't heard of or seen of in a very long time. Muttering her name in his head Kopa shakes his head in disbelieve but rushes directly towards her. Vitani smiles for the first time in a long while and the two of them run together before finally embracing eachother in an almighty nuzzle.
"I thought you were dead," Vitani says as they lovingly nuzzle one another,
"I thought you were too," Kopa smiles filled with hope and joy, a final salty tear trickles down his cheek. Simba and Nala both rush down from Priderock to see the two old mates nuzzling one another they smile together as Zazu swoops down and Rafiki appears from the cavern, Kovu looks in surprise but only scowls and remains in the shadow of Priderock. Everyone smiles accept Kovu, it's only at that moment the dark storm clouds divide apart above Priderock and a single ray of light blasts through the grey clouds shining down solely upon Kopa and Vitani. The successor has returned.
As their loving nuzzle ends and the storm cloud slowly part above them the mates gaze longingly upon eachother once more, time has not been so kind to Vitani, her face changed with the spiral of depression she felt when Kopa was deemed dead. For once, now she is smiling, the look in her face suddenly lights up, she is no longer the gloomy looking lioness she was at her mother Zira's side and now for the first time Kopa can now find the words he failed to say all those many years ago: "I love you."
Those words opened up Kovu's heart as he looks down at his dark paws and then at the new scar he scratched along Kopa's right eye. Thinking what a fool he is to attack a prince. Perhaps his anger just got the better of him, when his hopes were so suddenly crushed knowing the tales of his father were fake Kopa was there to take the fall. But this did not excuse the fact of what Kopa did. All to be addressed later it seems as it's Nala who steps forward next to nuzzle her only son, Kopa will always be her baby. The scar on Kopa's right eye drips a single small drop of blood but he ignores the stinging pain and just turns to face everyone with a warm smile, he sits down upon the ground and slowly starts to reminisce of his past, he begins by telling his story. Just what happened to the forgotten prince for all these years? This is the true chronicle of prince Kopa—
'—The tale of Kopa takes place in the time just after the demise of the dark king Scar who used to be named Taka in his cub years. A time when Sarabi was still with the living, the Hyena's were chased off and peace was declared in the Pridelands once more. Nonetheless the battles which just past and the actions of Scar had left the Pridelands destroyed and ominously dark. So during this time all the inhabitants of Priderock had to migrate and journey to the outskirts of the Grass Wall: Rafiki's fatherland. Here they waited for the Pridelands itself to recover and bloom once more from Scar's reign of starvation and drought. It was called the Great Migration, the date everyone had to leave Priderock. Zira also migrated away from Priderock, she had just seen the death of her mate Scar, and for the duration of Scar's reign she was spent in recluse raising their two cubs Nuka and Vitani. At the Grass Wall Zira had a third cub named Kovu, the cub Scar had already chosen to be his successor. No one truly knows why Scar chose Kovu to be the next Lion King and to this day it remains a complete mystery. But during this time called the Great Migration; Kopa was also born from his mother Nala and his father Simba. After the Pridelands recovered from the drought of Scar's reign Kopa was immediately presented to the Pridelands which were now flourishing with new greenery and wildlife, however Kovu was never presented. This saw Zira's hate grow, not only does she blame Simba for her mate's Scar's death but now Kovu has been pushed out of becoming the Lion King! That day Zira vowed for revenge, while she was allowed to stay in the Pridelands by the kindness of Simba she hatched an evil plan to act her revenge on the newly born but unsuspecting prince Kopa.
Kopa was always a mommy's boy; on the star filled nights of the equinox grandmother and son would lie together on a wide terrace of Priderock telling stories of a hopeful and bright new future for everyone in the Pridelands. If lucky they would sometimes see shooting stars majestically jet across the blackness of the night sky. Kopa would always try to locate patterns in the stars whilst laid on his back. The prince's enthusiasm and charisma made Sarabi feel younger than her years. Kopa regularly slept beneath the stars after his grandmother departed for the lion's den, their wondrous brightness amazed the young cub. Kopa was always the charmer and stronger than his father Simba was at his age, his reddish-brown mane between his ears had also developed early and this brought the attention of many of the younger female cubs, although Kopa never boasted about this mainly because he never even noticed the attention he got. Here in the Pridelands, he was content. Kopa lays his sleepy head upon his crossed paws; his tired eyes slowly close as he peacefully falls into sleep.
Sunrise, and a shining new bright morning begins, the sun brightly radiates the Pridelands as it always did in the clear blue morning sky. The Pridelands were awaking with chirping insects, singing birds and much more lively wildlife all around. Everyone had just arrived back from the Great Migration and the land had recovered from Scar reign, fresh grass was grown, flowers have bloomed again and the Pridelands were as good as new. But as the darkness of night fades away a silent figure of a lion slowly creeps its way across the rocky ledge to the sleeping prince Kopa, making no sounds other than low breathing, just a few more steps towards the cub... Suddenly the lion lets out an almighty and powerful roar behind the unsuspecting Kopa. The young cub Kopa jumps out of his sleep and turns quickly looking up with his ears folded back and his heart racing.
"Ha; I got you!" Afua laughs after just scaring his younger best friend. Kopa breathes a sigh of relief as Afua ruffles Kopa's mane with his paw. Afua is one of Kopa's older friends, standing much taller than the prince, with dark tanned fur and brown ears and also small clumps of black fur on top of both his ears. Like Kopa, Afua's mane developed early and his fur tail is half colored half black and half brown. But Afua's most distinctive feature is that he always stands with his paws facing outwards. Kopa frowns and tries to relax after just awakening hastily. Afua sits and grins,
"I can't stay long little buddy; I promised Beba I would stay with her tonight, afterall it's the date of Equinox Sunset, I'm sharing it with Beba, who will you go with Kopa?" Afua questions his friend as Kopa tilts his head and begins to think, the Equinox Sunset happens only once every year during the summer seasons, the sun would shine its upmost greatest and the sky would light up in a display of orange, red and yellow lights. Kopa was excited to see the Equinox Sunset as this was the one night for him to share with someone special to him. They're plenty of younger female cubs but Kopa never really understood love, he just wanted to have adventures and fun. Afua wasn't going to stay all morning watching his friend gaze into the air, he needed to find Beba. According to Afua, Beba was a fast African leopard with a small white maine, Afua always exaggerated on how fast she could run, saying she was faster than a lightning flash. Kopa and his friends have never seen Beba, infact Afua and Kopa once even got into an argument one time because Afua constantly talked only about her, Kopa got jealous and fell out with Afua as friends sometimes do, but the two of them quickly made amends and Kopa was taught was valuable lesson that day. After bidding his friend a quick farewell Afua runs off into the Pridelands leaving Kopa to stand on a small rocky terrace of Priderock and look out to someone to share the sunset with. The young cub shakes his head of the nonsense and climbs down Priderock onto the grass,
"And where do you think you're going young prince?" A stern voice suddenly pierces the air. It's Zazu. The hornbill marches up to the prince three times his size. Zazu is suppose to be watching over Kopa as ordered from the king. Kopa thinks to himself and grins coming up with a genius plan to get away from Zazu so he can explore the Pridelands independently. Kopa jumps on Zazu's back and after rolling around playfully in a scuffle Kopa ditches Zazu running as fast as he can, Zazu on the other hand is left in a heap on Priderock, fluttering his wings he quickly takes off once more.
Not so far away from Priderock, two other cubs from a different family are lying in the sunshine: "The freedom of the Pridelands; isn't it great? Just smell that fresh air," the cub Vitani smiles as she rolls over in the sunlight to warm her golden furred back. Together with her brother the two siblings are relaxing in the sunlight deep in the Pridelands. Nuka takes a whiff of the air; the air was indeed fresh but also smelt of the lush grass all around them. Of course the smell of the Pridelands was nothing compared to Nuka himself, he always avoided taking a bathe; his whiskers were loopy or bent and his posture was one of pure laziness. Their mother Zira is currently looking after her third cub named Kovu who has just barely begun to open his small green cub eyes, Kovu was born during the Great Migration and before Scar died he claimed Kovu to be the next the king, much to Nuka's disgust. This is why Nuka was so upset all the time, Kovu was barely even born and already Scar chosen him to be the next king. That's twice Nuka was cheated out of out being the king of the Pridelands, first Kopa was born and now Kovu. Nuka felt unloved, a dark burden he will carry for most of his life. But with their mother Zira raising her third cub or hunting with the other lionesses this left Vitani and Nuka to adventure across the Pridelands without consequence.
"You're always so serious about everything Nuka;" Vitani smile's reading her brother's facial expressions while playfully laying in the sunlight. Gazing at her brother while lying on her back, Vitani tilts her head backwards as to see the world upside down. It's only at this moment she notices Kopa in the distance heading towards them and she grins even more. Vitani suddenly rushes up to the prince and hops onto Kopa wrestling with him playfully while exchanging greetings with eachother. The prince and Vitani were always happy to see eachother as they roll and wrestle on the ground. Nuka, the oldest of the three cubs rolls his eyes at their childishness. Vitani grins in reply to her brother's reaction as she pins Kopa and rolls off over him onto the ground infront of Nuka making everyone laugh. Nuka and Kopa were friends, just not very close ones. Vitani and Kopa were the best of friends and this distracted Nuka from the hardships of not becoming the Lion King. So together they shared laughs and adventures. After greeting eachother for the new day and playing around for awhile Kopa, enthusiastic as always, plans an adventure for them.
Far across the Pridelands, four lionesses prepare for a volunteering hunt for the heard of dawn gazelles. Among the small party of lionesses: Nala, Sarabi, Sarafina and finally Zira: Who was taking a break from raising Kovu. Sarabi in her old age was keeping a close eye on Zira; afterall she was the queen of Scar, and the dreadful acts what Scar committed upon the lionesses was unforgivable. However for now, the lionesses including Zira, were working together in this hunt. Crawling in a line each lioness behind the next they creep slowly against the ground. The gazelles were grazing quietly in the distance. The dawn sandy gazelles were known for their attuned attention to their surroundings, almost always looking over their shoulders, bending their heads in hope for a peaceful grazing. Almost blended into the wheat grass the four lionesses' get ready, eye's wide, claws drawn.
Rushing faster and faster, Nuka and Vitani race eachother across the sunny mores of the Pridelands. Vitani taking little leaps into the air. As they run two swinging monkeys glide through the vines of the trees near the Zulu Waterfalls as Kopa, Vitani and Nuka run through the Pridelands, enjoying the new dawn. The monkeys named Jambo and Kwaheri are following them, as Vitani and Nuka rush on ahead, crossing the river on a bridge made of logs and old timber, Kopa accidentally trips over his forward paw's and into the ground, as the cub lands sand blasts up covering the cub in dirt. Grunting in shame Kopa shakes himself off, his tail had someone managed to find its way on top of his head. It's only then Kopa hears the giggling of the two swinging monkeys in the nearby thin vine trees. Gliding through the vines the monkeys Jambo and Kwaheri were pointing and laughing at the prince. The monkeys had being following Kopa for awhile now.
"We know you want to impress Vitani," Kwaheri the deceitful monkey turns so he is hanging upside down in the tree looking down on the prince Kopa. "We know what could really impress her: Go the Zuberi River and scare the red elephants with an almighty roar; that would be sure to impress her!" Jambo explains with a snigger, Kopa brushes himself off of the dirt and runs off saying nothing more. But now the idea was in his head, Kopa will show those swinging monkeys his almighty roar, he will impress Vitani and one day he will become the Lion King. Vitani and Nuka had already run off ahead not knowing of Kopa's encounter with the mischievous monkeys. With little effort now Kopa joins them on the edge of the sallow part of the Zuberi River; right below to the fantastic Zulu Falls. The red elephants were bathing in the water here, right where Jambo and Kwaheri knew they would be. Gawping at the size of the waterfall above her Vitani decides to swim around some, using her paw to splash water on her best friend Kopa. Nuka hated the water, it made him think of taking a wash and so he growls severely before leisurely backing away into the grass leaving Kopa and Vitani alone by the water's edge. Kopa laughs and climbs up onto the highest rock nearest the lake at the bottom of the waterfall. Wasting no time he takes a deep breath; Kopa roars out like a true king. The red elephants suddenly turn in shock and panic; they race around and rush off, right into the path of Vitani. The elephants large stomps almost standing right on the cub as she dodges the larger elephants, water explodes everywhere in all directions and Kopa watches as the elephants scuttle away in a stampede. Vitani was no longer moving, her smile turned into a frown as she was collapsed in the swallow wavy water. It's only then Kopa realises his great error as the elephants clear the water and run off into the Pridelands at full speed. The ground shakes; the tiny pebbles and rocks bounce up and down uncontrollably. The dawn gazelles perceive this at first their ears pricking up suddenly as they being to bounce away in all directions, the four lionesses, Nala, Sarabi, Sarafina and Zira all look at the horizon.
"It's a stampede!" Sarabi shouts as the red elephants approach in a dust cloud of sand with their stomping. Sprinting into action Nala and Sarafina rush towards the elephants in a bid to stop them, running alongside them, trying to calm them down, they were exceedingly spooked. But they were stopping for nothing, after charging after the large beasts Nala pulls back and look down at the path of destruction the stampede caused. Grass was trampled and a nest of termites were completely destroyed. Heading to find the source, Sarabi leads the others following the destruction back. Eventually to come to see Kopa lying next to Vitani in the water, Nala and Zira's faces instantly turn to one of disgust, both of them growling at their cubs and then at eachother.
"Your little brat ruined our hunt, that much is obvious," Zira snarls at the queen Nala.
"Kopa, you should know better than this, you broke our hunt, scared the elephants and almost harmed Vitani." Nala winces her eyes looking down in deep thought, sighing deeply. "I'm sorry mom; I just wanted to impress Vitani!" Kopa sulks; knowing he's committed a grave mistake. The lionesses stand together all arguing over what just happened,
"You left one of yours cub alone? What dreadful mother!" Sarabi taunts Zira during the arguments. Kopa looks up at the fighting lionesses in deep regret of his actions. Vitani awakes finally looking up innocently to see her mother guarding her away from the others. Nala walks up to Kopa giving her son a look of great disappointment before moving him away.
After vowing to never let the cubs see one another again, Nala and Zira walked in opposite directions taking their cubs with them.
Nuka kicking the dirt with his paw was long gone from Zulu Fall's by now. Nuka decided to spend some time alone on a dusty old rock. The rejection of his father was something Nuka could not easily forget. Sighing the cub bounces his tail against the rock in anger. A young lioness suddenly runs infront of him chasing a savannah butterfly. The cubs name was Doti, using the less-common nickname of Dotty because of a distinctive row of dots under her right eye. The cub Doti runs right past, she turns shyly to see Nuka and backs away slightly.
"What are you looking at?" Nuka says smugly, Doti's lazy eye twitches and she sadly looks down wondering what she did wrong. Nuka sighs deeply and gets up; he draws his claws and points on the horizon, "Let me show you how you really hunt something." Doti's face lights up as the two walk along the sunny Pridelands together little knowing of the drama back at Zulu Fall's.
The day was quickly thinning; the Equinox sunset was almost upon the Pridelands for another year. The events what happened at Zulu Fall's were quick and painful, especially for Kopa, he was forbidden from seeing his best friend, but not because of own their actions, but because of the grievances of their parents and the events of the past which drove them into hate. Sulking in the lion's den in the darkest corner Kopa hides his face in his paw. Jambo and Kwaheri watched the whole scene, laughing and wailing they tease Kopa inside Priderock.
"What a show we got tonight Jambo!" Kwaheri says to his monkey brother. Kopa sits, wrapping his tail around himself for comfort, ignoring the monkeys. However the swinging monkeys are quickly dispatched with a quick whack of a wooden staff. Jambo and Kwaheri quickly run away wailing loudly and clearly defeated. The wise one Rafiki seemed to have watched everything from afar as well. After dispensing of the devious monkey's with his staff Rafiki he walks up to Kopa, understanding completely what the young prince was trying to achieve. Rafiki Notices Kopa wants to have no fear and be like his father Simba. Kopa clearly thinks that not having any fear makes you a good king. Kopa just wanted to impress Vitani and everyone in the Pridelands. Rafiki parts some words of advice to the prince:
"Brave animals know when to be afraid," Rafiki grips his shaman staff loosely while standing perfectly on a moss covered boulder next to the prince. Little did Rafiki know; it's that same line of advice he would tell a much older Vitani in many years to come... Kopa had enough of listening to others; he wanted to see his best friend. Rafiki was not going to stop the cub as Kopa gets up and suddenly rushes out of Priderock to find Vitani.
Into the fleeting sun Kopa runs, never before feeling like he does now inside. Meeting once more in a secretive place, Vitani has had the same idea to meet with Kopa and the two cubs reunite in the Pridelands. Nuzzling eachother, neither one knew what this feeling was. It felt warm inside, like a thousand hugs. The two cubs run away together, trying to find a secret place, someplace where no parents or swinging monkeys could ever find them.
"Here!" Vitani calls to Kopa as the two cub's dash forwards and discovers a cave covered in old tree branches and foliage. Clawing away at the undergrowth with their large claws, they drag's them out and away from the cave to reveal a hidden cave entrance. Vitani looks down into the cave, there is revealed a narrow passage winding down into a bottomless darkness; the two young cub's side-by-side march down into the darkness. Together they had no fear, eventually after marching through the pitch dark the sound of flowing water can be heard gushing at the bottom of the long tunnel. The cave opens up into a enormous cavern; On one side of the cavern's haphazard walls a large waterfall blasts water into a small lake, the source of the waterfall trails off into another dark section of the cave. On the far side of the cavern another tunnel leads off into an unknown location. In the roof of the cave are small holes where sunbeams of light shine through enlightening the whole cave-like room. Grey fresh rocks litter the cave, placed around the cavern. This was the perfect secret place. Together the two cubs explore the cave themselves, they stands by the water's edge looking down into their reflections. . There they sit by the waterfall, look into the water and see their reflections are merged together in the waters.
"We are one" Kopa says smiling at their reflections. It's only later when fully exploring the cave, the two cubs find it. Someone had being here before, but not for an anciently long time. On the tallest wall of the cave they discover a carving. On the wall is a carving of names connected with strange lines, they go all the way to the bottom of the wall, and at the bottom of the carving Kopa and Vitani added their own names to the bottom of the carving under their parent's names and draw a line between their names using a rock or their own claws. Looking at all the names Kopa ponders a question:
"What happened to your father? Can you tell me about him?" Kopa lies down upon a high rock, resting his head on his crossed paws.
"Well, his name was Taka, well that was before he got a scar across his eye, then his name became Scar and he was the best king ever. That's what my mother told me." Vitani says,
"What happened? Where is he now?" Kopa says curious about his best friend's past.
"Oh, I'm sorry..." Kopa quickly replies. Vitani just smile's, she didn't mind talking about this:
"Some lion came and killed him. But if I ever knew who killed my father." Vitani clenches her paws, the story of Scar and Simba was greatly exaggerated on both sides as it was told. However the true story still remains a mystery and a fuzzy mess to the two cubs, for now, Vitani and Kopa neither knew the truth of their parents past. Kopa understanding his best friend's pain, Kopa would be devastated without a father. Kopa slowly gets up on the small rock he was perched on but suddenly the cub slips on the moss covered rock tumbling down he falls right onto Vitani and the two cubs lips meet in a accidental kiss. Both their eyes widen and Kopa quickly gets up off of his friend. Both blush deep red and then finally leave the cave for the first time, Kopa and Vitani head towards the West...
As the day fades away Kopa and Vitani secretly meet up on the hill top away from the cavern but they're not the only ones: Afua and Beba sit together not too far away and also Nuka and his new friend Doti to the other side of them. Together they all sit as the Equinox Sunset begins, the sun disappears before the horizon and the light display begins, yellow and red's dance across the sky the clouds burn deep orange across the whole of the Pridelands. Under the blazing colourful sky, Kopa and Vitani declare their love. The dazzling lights could not compare to how beautiful Kopa saw Vitani in that moment. Little did either of them know, it would be the last and only sunset they would spent together. The display lasted for several minutes, the sky was like anything seen before in the Pridelands and the light's seemed almost alive. The Equinox Sunset kept going until a thick blanket of night covers the sky and the stars came out in their hundreds. When it was time for them to part, Kopa almost came to say those fateful words before saying goodbye to Vitani; but somehow he wanted to wait. Kopa in the thick of night was walking home, alone, in the dark. Long hoots of quiet owls can occasionally be heard as the prince walks towards Priderock. Kopa is stopped by a figure on the horizon, a lion walking towards him, Kopa freezes as the lion gets closer. Then suddenly Kopa sees his own father Simba approaching him. Breathing a sigh a relief Simba quickly tells his son he was very worried. Father and son then begin to lie under the stars,
"Look at the stars, the great kings of the past look down on us from those stars." Simba says wisely passing down the wise words his own father Mufasa once told him. Kopa shakes his head as he is laid with his father Kopa asks for the truth:"Dad, what happened to king Scar?" Simba suddenly shakes from hearing Kopa's question, nobody has ever told his son the tale of king Scar, nobody dare speak of the dreadful acts that lion committed on so many others drunk on the power of being the Lion King...
"Scar was, lost to darkness son, he let his hate and fear corrupt him, and in the end, I had to make sure he would never harm this land again, I did what had to be done," Kopa listens to every word, then he gets up, the young cubs leg's shaking, Kopa suddenly realises it was his own father who lead king Scar to his death,
"Y-you only told me that you stopped Scar. Not killed him!" Tears stream down the prince's face, Kopa suddenly realises the truth of his origins, "You lied to me! It was you who killed Vitani's father!" Kopa screams at his dad before shaking his head and running off into the darkened Savannah. Kopa ran so fast he couldn't hear his father's cries: "Kopa I can explain, please come back!" Simba's voice only seemed a mere echo as the prince Kopa ran so fast he didn't even notice he was running into a mysterious white fog, angry and upset at the past, Kopa suddenly finds he is alone. Looking around so cold and upset, Kopa fails to see a lioness in the fog with him. The lioness gazes at Kopa, a killing look in her eye; claws drawn; the fog would be the perfect ambush. It seemed Kopa's fate was already sealed—'
Back at Priderock, the now adult Kopa is quickly interrupted from his tale by the blinding sunlight of sunrise. He was not nearly finished from his tale, but perhaps he can finish another time. The storm clouds had now fully parted in the sky, and the Pridelands were still moist and wet from the rain which fell previously. Kopa stands with Vitani, Simba and his loving mother Nala and no matter what happened in the past, this was his family, and for now, they were all safe. He'd only to remember that.
End of Episode I.