The Lion King: The Secret Prince

Chapter 1

It was raining heavily that day but the lion didn't care. The rain was beating down on his back as he watched the clash of the Pridelanders and Outlanders from a tall cliff above. He made sure he remained unnoticed as he continued to preside over the battle. As the battle looked like it was coming to an end the lion moved closer until he spotted the lioness he'd been looking for. The sight of her made him shiver slightly or maybe it was just the rain, still her face was one that constantly haunted him. When the lionesses went to attack the King of the Pride Lands, the princess stopped her and both of them went tumbling over the cliff edge.

The lion became slightly panicked when he saw the Zuberi River crash and fill the gorge. He could only watch as the scene unfolded. The lioness had refused the help of the princess and let herself tumble into the crushing water below. She'd surely be dead after that. Turning away from the battle scene the lion jumped below, and followed the river downstream. He kept an eye out for that lioness, hoping she wouldn't die on him and make his life difficult for a second time. Luckily, as the water became shallow he saw the lioness poke her head out of the water. Of course, she was unconscious and he couldn't believe someone like her was so lucky. He sighed with annoyance before jumping into the water to retrieve her. Once he found her he dragged her out of the water by her neck and placed her beside a large tree. He shook himself off and was thankful the rain had stopped.

He went over to her and saw she was still breathing; even after all she'd been through. You are one lucky lioness he thought but he couldn't deny that part of him had hoped she wouldn't make it. Nevertheless he decided to stick around and wait until she finally regained consciousness.

Zira couldn't believe it when she opened her eyes. She knew falling into that river meant certain death and yet here she was, still alive. As her eyes focused she realised it was dark out, most likely night had fallen. She coughed as she tried to sit up. She couldn't and she found herself asking what else could turn against her today. But sudden rustling noises distracted her from her thoughts and she looked around to see the figure of a lion making his way over to her.

He was growling as he approached her and Zira realised who this was as his appearance was instantly recognizable. He did, after all look a lot like a certain lion she knew a long time ago. He was quite huge for a lion and his fur was brown with a thick black mane encircling his head.

"No not you..." she trailed off, in shock.

"My, my, it's been too long Zira, I'd never thought I'd see you look so shocked to see me." the lion growled.

"I take it you're the one that saved me from certain death." she said, bitterly, wishing he hadn't. "I'm struggling to understand why you would do such a thing after what I did to you." she said and the lion growled at her again. "Either way I've still lost everything, everything I'd worked so hard for. You should have just left me."

The lion laughed a little and finally spoke. "Believe me I wanted to leave you but despite our past I need you for something important." He said and Zira was momentarily curious about this. Still, she didn't say anything for a few seconds as she was still taking in the fact that he was alive.

"How are you alive?" she questioned in disbelief. "Scar, he sent his hyenas after you. I was sure you had died." she said.

The lion laughed. "Please they weren't even worth the energy." He said and he begun circling her.

"Jitu, if I had known what Scar was planning to do I could've stopped it." she said.

"Oh please you didn't care what he did to me. Your precious Scar was all you cared about. Even after he sent his hyenas to drive me out of the Pride Lands all you did was watch." he said with a frown. "Enough about the past, I want to know what happened to our children." he demanded and Zira snarled.

"Nuka is dead. Our two other children Vitani and Kovu have betrayed me and become a part of Simba's pride." she said bitterly.

Jitu sighed heavily after hearing of Nuka's loss but after a few seconds his cunning smile returned. "So I see Kovu didn't turn out to be the perfect little heir you and Scar hoped for." he said with a smirk. "Vitani less than surprised me after what happened between her and him.Still I'm surprised you made your little revenge plan last as long as you did." he said and realization hit Zira.

"You were watching me this whole time?" she demanded to know.

"Of course, in fact while you were trying to overthrow Simba I was out discovering things of my own and believe me you will not believe what I found out." he said, sounding rather pleased with himself.

"What are you talking about?" she asked, coughing out some water.

"Well let's see, uh the thing that begun Simba's complete hatred of you. The thing that instigated the war with the Pridelanders." he said, surprised she couldn't recall. "The reason Vitani probably turned against you in the first place."

When Zira finally realised what he was talking about she immediately froze. "Ah now you know what I'm talking about." he laughed evilly. "Good."

"What, what are you talking about?" she asked again, mustering up most of her strength. "What does that little brat have to do with any of this? I killed him long ago." she said.

"That's where you're wrong Zira. You only think you killed him but I know for a fact you didn't and he's not so little anymore." he told her.

"Lies!" Zira roared. In a fit of rage she managed to leap towards him but it put too much strain on her damaged body. Jitu sighed in annoyance and stepped a couple of paces back to avoid her attack. Zira slumped back on the ground, unable to move.

"I wouldn't over exert yourself Zira." he said but she ignored him.

"Lies." she said again.

"It is the truth I've seen him. You were too quick to assume you'd succeeded in killing Simba's son. I wouldn't feel too ashamed though, after all he has no recollection of his previous life." he explained and despite feeling overwhelmingly disappointed, Zira begun to listen intently. "He doesn't even know his real name or that his family believe him to be dead."

"I don't believe it. All this time, all that I've done has been for nothing. His death was supposed to be the starting point for everything." she yelled.

"Maybe that's why it didn't work, but I can assure you my plan will. Originally I wanted to use this for Scar but since he's dead, Simba will do." Jitu said turning away from her and walking the opposite way. "The only reason I saved you was because I knew you'd want to be a part of it after everything that Simba has taken from you."

"Oh and what is this master plan of yours?" Zira asked. Jitu glanced back at her and grinned evilly.

"I was hoping you'd ask that and don't worry it begins with his long lost son, prince Kopa."

Four months later...

It was a beautiful day down at Pride Rock. After the events that had taken place four months ago, things in the Pride Lands were better than they'd ever been before. The joining of the former outlanders and the union of Kiara and Kovu saw the kingdom finally united in peace. That day Simba had been trying to teach Kiara about the ways of the Pride Lands but she'd been easily distracted and therefore wasn't really interested.

"Kiara you need to learn this or you'll be unprepared when the time comes for you to rule." Simba said, rolling his eyes and sighing.

"You know sometimes I wish I had a brother, at least he'd be the one doing all this and not me." she said, meaning it as a joke, but the look on Simba's face told Kiara he'd taken it seriously. As soon as she'd said that Simba froze, completely taken aback.

"Father are you ok? I only meant it as a joke." she said, concerned.

"Yes I'm fine Kiara." Simba said, smiling softly, hiding how much that comment had affected him. "We can talk about this later." he warned her. He soon walked off, and his distressed face was hidden from Kiara. However she knew something was wrong, she'd seen the way her father had reacted when she'd said that and she knew that wasn't normal.

She was interrupted in her thoughts when Kovu made an appearance beside her. She was happy to see him, in fact ever since he'd become a part of this pride she's spent most of her days with him. He saw the troubled look on her face though and asked her what was wrong.

"Are you ok, you look a little confused about something." he said.

"That's because I am." she sighed, walking away to go sit atop the long throne. Kovu followed her and sat down beside her. "I made a comment to my father and he looked so sad when I said it and I don't why." she said.

"Well what did you say?" he asked.

"I said I wished I had an older brother." she said. Kovu's eyes widened as he too looked as stunned as Simba had been.

"You did?" he questioned.

"Yes and believe me I didn't expect him to look so upset about it." she said.

Kovu laughed slightly. "Well maybe he just didn't expect you to say something like that." he said.

"Yeah maybe." Kiara muttered but she knew it was something more and whatever it was she was determined to find it out.

Meanwhile down at the wildebeest territory, a hunting party of lionesses, including Nala and Vitani were keeping hidden in the grass, waiting. Ever since their brief battle four months ago queen and daughter in law have become quite competitive, especially when it comes to hunting.

"Now, we're aiming for that male one today and you know how much they fight back, so stay alert." Nala whispered to Vitani.

"Yeah I know." she said rolling her eyes. "But why are we still waiting I mean we've been hiding here for a while now." Nala grinned and before Vitani could say another word Nala was off, chasing after the wildebeest. It took Vitani a few seconds to process before she ran after it as well.

The moment Nala had revealed herself, the entire herd begun running off in a panic. Two other lionesses joined Nala from the right as she closed in on the wildebeest. The two that had joined her helped to single it out from the rest of the herd. Vitani managed to catch up from behind but by the time she did, Nala had quickly secured it and bit down on its neck. The other's helped force it to the ground and kept it there until it breathed it's last breathe. Vitani groaned with annoyance a she caught up to where they were.

"You shouldn't get easily distracted, or you'll miss the perfect opportunity." Nala said.

"I'm an excellent hunter I just lost myself for a moment there that's all." Vitani defended.

"Of course you did." Nala said softly before proceeding the help the others drag the kill back to Pride Rock.

In a beautiful lush jungle at least two days journey away from Pride Rock, two adolescent male lions were walking through the grass, one of them dragging the body of a fully grown Zebra along with him. One of them had a strong build with golden fur and a maroon coloured mane. The other was slightly skinnier with light brown fur and dark brown mane.

"You know Ayari you should really carry your own kills back home. Sometimes I think you ask me to tag along just so I can carry them back for you." said the skinnier one. The one called Ayari stopped and turned to look at him.

"You know that's not true Koko, I give you the opportunity to try and get one yourself but you never do and what do I say?" he asked Koko.

Koko dropped the Zebra and said "Whoever gets a kill first makes the other carry it back home." he recited looking annoyed.

"Exactly and since I'm always the one who gets one, you're always the one who carries them back home." Ayari said and he resumed walking. Koko sighed heavily and picked the Zebra back up, following after him.

"I have a good mind to talk to Mheetu about this but you've always been his favourite." Koko said. "It's unlikely he'll side with me." he concluded.

"Speaking of Mheetu we should get back or he'll be wondering where we are." Ayari said, completely ignoring the last bit of Koko's comment. Koko didn't say anything to him again as the boys continued to make their way home. Still it didn't stop him from feeling completely jealous of all the attention Ayari gets. Ever since he and Mheetu had found him he's always been treated like he's special and he's the best at everything he does. He's beginning to resent the day they found him more than ever now.

Night had fallen over Pride Rock now and as Nala looked around the den she noticed Simba was missing. It was late and she wondered what he could be doing this time of night. She walked out of the den and found him sitting atop the throne, gazing up at the stars.

"Simba," she said, going over and sitting down beside him. "What are you doing out here so late?" she asked.

Simba smiled at her softly before hanging his head. "It's been three years since we lost him." he said. "Three years tomorrow." he said returning his gaze to the stars. Nala realized what he was talking about immediately and couldn't believe she'd forgotten.

"I know." she sighed, looking slightly upset.

"I'd forgotten all about it until Kiara reminded me earlier." he said and Nala saw a tear escape his eye. "I don't ever want to forget him like that." he expressed.

"Simba we'll never forget him, he was our son." Nala said. "No one has forgotten him. Despite them not being able to talk about it every single member of this pride remembers him." she said trying to cheer him up a bit.

"I know I just, I miss him Nala. Every night I look up at the stars and wonder if Kopa's one of them, watching us like my father." he said.

"I'm sure he is, even though he never got the opportunity to be a king he was a great cub who brought happiness to the entire pride." she said, smiling softy up at him. "I miss him as much as you do but the happy memories of him make it easier."

"We need to tell Kiara the truth." he said, and Nala was taken aback by this sudden comment. She had not been expecting him to ever say that. "We've kept it from her for too long, she needs to know about her brother."

"Do you think she's ready? After all if she knew his death was what instigated the whole war there's no telling what she'd think of us all, knowing we'd kept something like this from her." she said.

"I understand that but," he sighed. "We'll deal with that when that time comes."

He was running, running frantically through the grass. He couldn't tell what he was running from but he knew he was running from something. He heard maniacal laughter from behind him and ran faster until he came to the edge of a river. He looked back and saw he had no where left to run. Out came a murderous looking lioness. She knocked him aside and he fell in the river. He struggled to stay afloat as he was being dragged under water. It all got worse when he fell into some rapids that pushed him straight into a large rock. He heard a loud thump before everything went black.

Ayari's eyes shot open. It was that dream again. He found himself panting and this soon attracted the attention of Mheetu and Koko. They woke up, looking a little dazed, but they were used to this. This was the third time they'd been woken up by him.

"That dream again?" Mheetu questioned.

"Yeah, sorry guys." Ayari said.

"What is it with you and those dreams?" Koko complained, trying to go back to sleep.

"Koko don't." Mheetu warned and Koko turned over, sulking. "Why don't you go and get a drink Ayari? it might help to freshen you up a bit." he suggested.

"Sure." Ayari said, standing up. He walked out of the den and over to the river that flowed a few metres away from their den. As Ayari bent down to take a sip of water he felt the wind cool his back. That's the third time, the third time he's had that dream and he still can't make sense of it all. He knew it might have something to do with his past but because he didn't remember he couldn't make sense of any of it.

He sighed and looked up at the stars. As he did, something achingly familiar struck him about them. Whatever it was he couldn't recall though. He looked back down into the river, staring at his own reflection in the water.

"Who am I?" he questioned, stating the biggest mystery of his entire life.