Exams are finally over and yes, I know, I suck at fight or battle scenes. It's just; those kinds of scenes require a lot of description and the knowledge of various body parts. And one other thing, the names for my stories are at the bottom of my profile but as a reminder, the next story in this saga is called Book of Black Pride. Hope you all enjoy this because it's going to be a while until I can get anything new on Lion King for quite some time.
Shenzi was only a foot away from samba when someone barreled into her, pushing her out of the way. He pinned the matriarch to the ground and was breathing quite heavily. "I…I finally made it…" he huffed in a tired voice.
Lightning flashed across the sky, lighting up the battlefield and anyone could see that the hyenas were outraged and were ready to start mauling again. But Shenzi was the only hyena who didn't react as such, she was staring up at the figure that was holding her down. "…Taka…?" she whispered.
"I'm not him Shenzi…But I carry his legacy."
"Kovu!" Simba said when he realized that it was his son-in-law. He ran over to the darker lion and pushed him off of the matriarch. "What are you doing here? I told you to watch the pride!" Simba said to him.
"I'm sorry I disobeyed you but I wasn't ready. I was running myself ragged doing all of that by myself and don't say I wasn't alone! I know I wasn't but you should've known, you were king before you were ready, we both thought we could do it on our own so we didn't accept anyone's help at first" Kovu said to him. "But I know Nala, Kiara, and Vitani can handle it because they know when they need each others' help. And from the looks of things, you needed mine."
Simba sighed knowing that the youth was right. "That's true enough…But…Why did you come all the way here?"
"Because I know something you don't."
The hyenas were just about to advance on the lions when Shenzi stopped them. She took a few steps closer to Kovu and Simba. "What do you mean, you know something he doesn't? does this have to do with Scar?" she asked.
She was letting her curiosity get the better of her, she knew that, but she didn't care at this movement. The more she stood looking at Kovu, the more she kept thinking of her old friend and all the days when things were happy in her life. She was trying harder than ever to keep her tears at bay.
All the lions were now on one side and the hyenas were on the opposite just like when the war began. None of the hyenas were wounded or injured, or even scratched; they were just covered in mud. The lions on the other hand, sustained several injuries, but none of them had the heart to kill a hyena or even injure it to the point of immobility, not after Sauda came along. Even though it was only a few hours, they really got to know about hyenas and their harsh lives from past to present through her.
"Scar…Or Taka rather…died because he chose too. He learned that what he had been doing was wrong and he knew that Simba was still alive at the time. He knew Simba would return one day and he knew that that day would be his last" Kovu said. He was directing himself to both the matriarch and the king as he spoke. "He knew that a king, a great king, wouldn't kill a family member, even if they deserved it. So he made sure that it was you guys, the hyenas that did it."
The rain sounded as if it had gotten louder since no one uttered a single word or sound. It was a story none of them could really believe let alone make sense of unless they had heard the earlier stories of Taka.
"Choosing death instead of life…Is stupid" Simba finally said.
"I know what you mean, but he did what he thought was right. In a way, he finally did something right as king" Kopa intervened. "I know that living would've been a better way for him but when you think about it, it's not really good enough for his hyena friends. Even though they were friends, he treated cruelly and always used him being a lion as a threat to them; he probably believed that the only way the hyenas would forgive him was death by their paws."
Shenzi gritted her teeth as tears began to stream down her eyes. "Well I still don't forgive him!" she shouted at them. "I knew what he did was extremely wrong but to think he let us kill him! We could've started over together but he chose to give up on life! What the hell is the matter with him?!"
"He wanted us to start over."
Everyone turned and saw the other hyenas that had run off and Tama's group there as well. But what was really surprising was the fact that Pumbaa, two meerkats, Ed, and Banzai, the one who had spoken were there as well.
"If you remember, Scar…Taka…He chose to stay in the Pride Lands even though the lands were dying and there was little to no chance of us surviving. Yet he chose to stay there" Banzai said as he walked towards his mate. "If he had left with us in exile, he wouldn't have been able to take it. The Pride Lands was his home, and the only one he ever knew, leaving it would've just been too difficult for him. But he knew we didn't deserve that so he wanted us to start over."
Kovu took a couple steps closer to the matriarch and her hyenas tensed up, ready to pounce and kill. But what he did instead surprised them all; he bowed his head to Shenzi. "I know that what Scar did to you was wrong and since he is no longer among us, I shall apologize for him. If you hate him as much as you say you do, destroy what he had last aimed for as the tyrant, an heir…I am Scar's heir."
Shenzi was silent as she looked at the other lions. None of them were in a battling position anymore and they were just watching this. It was like the lions were waiting for the hyenas to decide the fate of the Western Kingdom. She then turned to her hyena division that had given chase to the escape prisoners. "Why did all of you choose to stop fighting?"
"Commander Ed and Lord Banzai told us something that you may want to hear, matriarch…" her commander told her.
"It wasn't Malka's pride that had attacked me…We've been played. It was that lion that we had met and told us that the treaty had been broken, it was Hasani we have to blame for our suffering" Ed said slowly. "Those zebras had been his puppets…"
"Puppets…" Shenzi whispered. Her fierce demeanor came back in a rush as she remembered something else. "Hyenas have always been used as pawns in the sick game lions call life! Since the beginning of the first Pride War, which by the way; should've been known as the massacres of hyenas everywhere! Our kind was blamed for a crime that was never backed by evidence. And since then, we've been hated by all!"
"I know it wasn't hyenas to blame!" Pumbaa shouted. He ran forward and stood right next to Kovu with the lions behind him. He left Timon and Trisha with Sauda. "It was a lion…He started the war. And I know that we're all sorry for what we have done to your kind. Just please…End this war now…"
None of the hyenas agreed with this though, they all wanted to rake out their rage and desire for vengeance on the lions. Pumbaa was distressed not knowing what to do but Simba did. The king took a place on the other side of his son-in-law and bowed his head down as well.
It created a wave of lions doing the same until everything had become silent. "We are sorry on behalf of all our kind for mistreating hyenas and blaming them for the Pride War. We now know that we were in the wrong. If you truly want to closure and this is the only way you can have it then so be it. We will die on behalf of our kind. Our only wish is for you to forgive us…" Simba said calmly.
"But most of all…" added Kovu as he looked at the matriarch. "Forgive Taka…When I was on my way here…I had a dream. He came and visited me and asked for your forgiveness. That is all he wants…Please know that you…Banzai…Ed…The three of you are his dearest treasures…"
Shenzi's lowered her eyes so that no one could see her expression but now that the rain was finally letting up, her tears were much more visible. Her sniffs and sobs were now audible and they were all surprised to say in the least. A couple of the lions raised their heads and pretty much all the hyenas were no longer tense. A few from both sides were crying truthfully.
Shenzi said nothing as she turned away from the lions and slumped her way back to hyena territory. No words were spoken but Malka knew that their little 'feud' would have to wait for another day. The hyenas all slowly turned tail and followed their broken-down matriarch.
Sauda did the same but not before giving the pride one last look. She watched as Jelani carried a sleeping Jambo and placed him on her back. She said a quick goodbye before leaving with the rest of her family.
"Ah! The moon finally came out!" Kopa exclaimed as she looked up at the sky.
The rest of the lions raised their heads and saw that the dark clouds in the sky were opening and a ray of moonlight rained down on them. Kovu's head fell back down and he exhaled deeply. "It has been a long week trying to get here…" he sighed.
"So I see you couldn't handle the pride on your own, hm?" Kopa inquired smugly.
"Don't give me that! Like you could've resolved this without me, Pumbaa, or even Banzai" Kovu shot back.
"No fighting you two" Simba sighed. "But I must say, I'm curious, did Taka really visit you in a dream Kovu?"
Kovu nodded as he looked at his father-in-law. "He also wanted me to tell you that he's sorry for every little thing he did to cause you to suffer. He wants you to know that he knows that choosing death was stupid…But leaving his only family member behind was even worse for him."
"Strong words for a dead lion" Timon chuckled.
"I see that you still don't believe in that kind of stuff" droned Pumbaa.
Simba ignored the conversation between his foster parents and he looked up at sky. He noticed the stars twinkling as they realigned themselves. He knew they weren't actually moving but he knew that both his father and Taka were watching over them.
The king smiled to himself for the first time in a while.
Three days later…
"We apologize for taking these lands from you. The matriarch wants you to have it back. She is sorry for the misunderstandings between us and hopes that everything will return to normal between us" Ed told the two kings. He received the promotion as the new negotiator; Banzai felt that speaking to other species was getting a bit old for him.
"So I suppose we will be moving back in by tomorrow?" asked Malka.
Ed nodded. "Also, we understand that your kingdom is in need of a shaman. Sauda, the daughter of the matriarch has offered herself as your new shaman. She hopes to help fix the relationship between our kind and yours."
"Well, I'm afraid things cannot go back to normal" said Malka. This surprised Ed and the few other hyenas there. "I have a message for your matriarch. Tell her…Her pack is part of our kingdom now. The hyenas will no longer be excluded from their rightful place in the kingdom."
Ed was staring at the king's smiling face to see if he was joking but he could see that he wasn't. Ed smiled back and nodded. "I will be sure to inform her of that. But I cannot promise you that she will accept, it may take some time."
"No worries, it's an open invitation" Malka chuckled before finally noticing that his fellow king had not said a word since the hyenas arrived. "Simba? Is something the matter? You seem to be staring off into space."
Simba glanced over at Malka before returning his awkward stare on Ed. "I'm sorry it's just…I'm still getting used to fact that you're using words instead of cackles to communicate…"
Ed's eyes showed signs of exhaustion as he shook his head. "Of course you are…"
"So my uncle and the rest of the colony have chosen to stay away from the kingdom now? And that's why the tunnels have been moved to the outskirts?" Tamina inquired Trisha to make sure she got it all right.
Trisha nodded to show that her future sister-in-law was correct. "It seems that they really want to keep their distance since the hyena matriarch may become part of the kingdom. I'm just glad that none of the other animals are against it."
"Well, the lions are going to be monitoring the hunting so that they don't overhunt like they tend to" Timon pointed out.
"That's right, one last thing before I forget. The other meerkats that 'betrayed' the chief are going to create their own colony here in the kingdom. And they were wondering if you would be their chief Tammy" Trisha grinned.
"What?" Tamina replied in surprise before shaking her head vigorously. "I can't do that, I'm needed back with Timon and the rest of the oasis colony. I'm happy there and I want to start my life with Timon there as well."
"I see…I expected that answer, I guess it can't be helped…"
"Why don't you just be chief?" Timon suggested.
"Well…I've already decided that I'm not going to stay here anymore…It's not filled with the best memories for me" Trisha replied with a reminiscent smile on her face. "I think I'll join a new colony so that I can restart my life."
"Why don't you come join us back home then? I know Ma would love to see you again."
Trisha shook her head to dismiss the suggestion although she looked as if she would've rather taken it. "I don't know…As much as I'd love to see old friends and family again, I think I'd rather not or at least…not yet. I'm thinking of going to the Southern Kingdom and meeting up with Manny. But I'll be sure to visit you and Ma as soon as I get the chance."
"Are you sure you'll be alright on your own? Getting there won't be easy" Tamina said worriedly.
"I got from the eastern colony to the western colony safely…I think I'll manage, but thanks for your concern" Trisha smiled. "I'm going to miss you guys…" She gave the two of them a big hug. "I leave tonight…"
"We'll miss you…And we'll be sure to throw you a big bash when you come and visit" Timon chuckled.
"Thanks…I love you little brother…"
"I love you too…Big sis…"
"Zazu, there's something I need to tell you…" Zahina said shyly. "This may be a little too forward but I know that I have to tell you before you go back home…I may never get this chance again…"
"You can tell me anything Zahina" the other hornbill replied.
"…You might think of this as stupid or even insane but…I love you Zazu…I really do."
Zazu's eyes widened when he heard her say this. "Er, well…um…I wasn't exactly expecting this at all."
"I know it's a bit odd considering we're a little bit…Separated by age but…I don't know…" she muttered before continuing in at a higher volume. "I guess…Ever since I saw you again when I first arrived to the Pride Lands, you cared for me and watched over me…You've been on my mind all the time since then."
"I…I'm not quite sure how to respond…"
Zahina fought back the tears as she turned away from the older hornbill. "Yeah, I knew it was stupid to even bring up. J-Just forget about what I said and…I…Goodbye Zazu…" She was just about to take flight when he placed a feathered wing on hers.
"It's not stupid. I just never imagined that the young and beautiful hornbill I loved would've confessed to me first" Zazu chuckled. "I love you too Zahina and I want us to be together. Which was why I was thinking of staying here…with you…"
"Oh Zazu…" she sniffed happily before shaking her head furiously. "But I can't have you do that, Simba's pride needs a majordomo and you're the only who can fill that role at this current moment. But I have a sister, she can be this kingdom's majordomo, she's wanted to be the majordomo ever since she was born."
"I want to go back to the Pride Lands…With you as my mate…"
"…I happily accept…"
"So you and your mother are getting on better terms now?" Jelani inquired curiously as he and Sauda watched Jambo chase after a butterfly.
"She's determined to strengthen our bond which is why she didn't come to this negotiations thing herself" Sauda smiled although it was a little uneasy. "I asked my father about it and he said it might've been his fault for her desire to get closer to me. I don't know what he said to her but I do hope she gets tired of doing the things we loved when we were younger…"
"Well, at least she's trying…"
"And I appreciate it…" she covered up a small giggled. She smiled as she felt the cool breeze flow fast her. The wet season has never been so nice before. "But she's trying new things too like stargazing. She says she doesn't get it but it's definitely relaxing. It's fin really, being able to talk to her normally."
The two adult animals remained silent for a while before Jelani came with a new thought. "Hey, do you remember what you said about us meeting our new loves one day?" he asked.
"I've been thinking a lot about my future…And I'm not quite sure if I'm ready to move on from my mate…"
Sauda looked confused since she had no idea why her friend had even brought it up in the first place. "Why not?"
"…I know Tala's alive and I know she's out there somewhere. Maybe I'm just hanging on to a delusion but I met a lioness that looked, spoke, and even acted the same as she did. Even her name is the similar. The only difference is that she's a two whole years younger than my mate. And now…I don't want to fall for a lioness just because she's the same as someone I loved before…" Jelani spilled out.
"I don't know how to respond to something like that but I do know is that you need to be patient. Maybe not all things work themselves out but this is one thing that only time can help you resolve. I just hope you're happy with whatever decision you make."
"Thanks…So do I…"
"Simba, there you are, there's something I need to tell you" said Kovu as he entered the king's den.
"Can it wait a bit? I've been looking everywhere for Kopa but I can't seem to find him anywhere" muttered Simba.
"That's, uh, sort of what I came here to talk about. I told Kopa that his son was born a couple days back and he shot off towards home. I'm guessing he wanted to see his son and he couldn't wait any longer" Kovu chuckled.
"I've never been in such a situation but I think I can relate a little" Simba smiled.
At that moment, Kula rushed into the den with a partly excited, partly concerned expression on her face. "King Simba, there is some news I bring you and I do hope that you are fine with what I am about to say" she started.
"Kula? You seem…different" Kovu remarked with a raised brow. "Last I checked, every time you saw me, you insulted me in some way shape or form to get on my nerves."
"It's been a long few weeks…Anyway, King Simba, um…There's something I need to tell you…"
"You want to stay here in the Western Kingdom because you think that this pride has something to offer you that my pride cannot. And you were wondering if I was okay with such a thing" Simba said without having to hear Kula say a thing.
"Well…That sort of makes it sound like I'm selfish and insulting my home."
"Well if I put it into other words, you'd just deny it."
"Wait, what does that mean?!"
"That you love someone in Malka's pride."
Kula stood silent for a while and stared at Simba before coughing and then shaking her head as if she hadn't heard him. "There's one more thing I have to tell you though…Tama wants to stay here with me so I was wondering…If you could let us live here from now on…"
Simba smiled since he expected this to happen. "I don't want to be in the way of my pride-mates' happiness, the two of you can stay here with my blessing. I hope the two of you will find everything you desire here."
"Thank you Simba, I will never forget you for this and please apologize to Kopa for my previous behavior for me."
"I'd be happy to."
Eight days later…
"Sierra's…dead?" breathed Simba when Nala gave him the news.
The queen nodded sadly. "I'm afraid so…We didn't want to start the passing ceremony until all of you returned but…It had been a little bit over two weeks, we didn't have much of a choice unless we wanted scavengers to eat away with her."
"But, where are Tama and Kula, I know they went along with you guys to the Malka's kingdom. Don't tell me they…"
Simba shook his head to dismiss the thought. "They chose to stay with Malka and his pride. And now Zahina's going to be staying with us as Zazu's mate and I'm pretty sure they're going to be distracted with each other for quite some time. So for the time being, we will be without a majordomo for a while."
"Well I'm glad that things went so well on your end but Kiara and I have something to tell you and Kovu" Nala said as her daughter left the den to join them. ""Kopa was already informed of it when he returned…"
Kovu wondered what this could be about. "What is it? Nothing seriously bad happened while I-I mean, we were gone right? Is Kito all right?"
"Kito is just fine…But on the same day Sierra died, a rogue entered the Pride Lands" Kiara started. "I knew this rogue because I had seen him and another on the day I brought Rafiki to Pride Rock. I didn't know if they were hostile but the rogue that came to us on the day of Sierra's death told us to leave the Pride Lands. That something was going to happen and it would horrible…"
The king and prince looked at each as they tried to absorb this sudden information. "But why didn't you tell me of this before? If I had known, I would've looked into it…Where's that rogue now?"
"I knew you were stressed already, I didn't want to add on to that…" Kiara sighed.
Nala shook her head sadly. "And the rogue died right after he had told us the news but it looked as if he had more to say. I don't know what's been going on lately but it seems that everything is connected somehow."
"We'll just have to be a little more cautious when we go about things" Simba finally said after some thought. "For now, we just need to relax, everything will be just fine. We've been through a lot together, what's a little more going to do?"
Pumbaa inhaled deeply and the exhaled the same way as he approached Rafiki's tree. The warthog knew that he had so many questions for the shaman and so many answers for his questions. But there was one thing he had to do first.
"Rafiki?" Pumbaa inquired.
"Enter my pupil" Rafiki chuckled from where he was examining his paintings. "I trust everything went well back in the Western Kingdom?"
"Um…Yeah, and I decided…I've accepted the fact that I am the Shaman of Love and will take on your role after you pass" Pumbaa said as he took a seat next to his master. "And…there's a confession I've got to make…"
"What is it?"
"I…I told Kovu and Kiara about the prophecy, I'm sorry…"
Rafiki laughed a little maniacally and patted Pumbaa on the back. He grabbed onto a branch above his head and swung up to it. "I knew you would tell them, you are the Shaman of Love. And your emotions steer you in the right direction. I cannot tell you what is wrong or right, only your heart can."
"So you just made me feel guilty all this time even though you knew I'd tell anyway?"
"That is correct and I am sorry. But what do you expect? I am old!" Rafiki cackled to himself and Pumbaa awkwardly joined him. "So, is there anything you wanted to tell me or was that all?"
"Ah…Well, there is this one other thing…" Pumbaa sighed. He took in another deep breath when Rafiki looked at his pupil with fixed concentration. "I had a dream while I was away and it sort of took me to the past when the first Pride War began. It showed me…a lot…"
Rafiki rugged his chin in deep thought. "I suppose they were showing you Rogue, the lion that had started the war. He and Hasani seem very alike although I must say, the former seems much more insane…"
"Well, yes, but it was also telling me to accept myself for who I am" added Pumbaa before reluctantly adding "And…The dreams ended with Rogue attacking the Pride Lands and then leaving. I don't know what happened after and I'm kind of curious…"
Rafiki sighed and leaned back against his tree which he would've restricted himself from doing if it wasn't for all the excess stress. "Well…After Rogue had left, the Eastern Kingdom became involved with the fighting. They joined sides with the Southern Kingdom, as expected, but the Northern and Western Kingdom didn't believe in the story of a fellow lion starting the war. Therefore, the war was mainly between Northwest and Southeast..."
Rafiki paused as he thought back to what his master had told him about the first Pride War. "Along the way, Mohatu and Jolina discovered that their parents had arranged a marriage between the two of them because they knew each other when they were young. The war ended when Mohatu tricked Rogue into admitting what he had done and then the king of the Northern Kingdom killed him. After that, treaties were made and the war was over and Mohatu and Jolina had forgiven their parents…There really isn't anything interesting to this story…"
"…Well…Yeah, but there's something's that's been bothering me lately…"
"It's just…Well…Hondari and Mohatu are related to each other…And I remember you saying that Sarafina was Hondari's daughter. That would mean that Taka and Sarafina are related as well but they loved each other at one point…" Pumbaa was going to continue but he got too embarrassed to go any further.
"I can see why you would ask such a question…" Rafiki sighed. "What do you think?"
"Well, I have two theories" started Pumbaa. "First is that Sarafina is adopted. The second is that Uru was the one that was adopted."
"Is adoption the only possibility?"
"Think…Uru was known to be unique in Mohatu's family because of her unusually dark fur color. Was there any male lions in your dream that had such a dark color and had certain feelings for Jolina?"
Pumbaa thought long and hard before the mind-numbing realization hit him. "Don't tell me that…"
Rafiki gave him a solemn nod. "Uru is related to Jolina but not to Mohatu and Hondari. She is the daughter of Queen Jolina and the greatest war criminal of all time, Rogue…"
The mourning of Sierra's death took at least three days. Not many of the lions were ready to accept the fact that she was gone. But many were able to at least show a smile for Timon and Tamina's marriage, Zazu and Zahina's marriage, and the joining of pack and pride in the Western Kingdom.
So much happened in the course of a few weeks that it was shocking. But they all hoped things would get better from then on.
It was about a week after Sierra's passing ceremony when the blue bird arrived with a message for King Simba and Queen Nala. The avian bowed down in respect before giving them the message.
"Rulers of the Eastern Kingdom, you have been invited to the coronation of the new king of the Southern Kingdom along with the kings and queens of the other great kingdoms" he recited.
"If I memory serves correct, I don't believe the late king had an heir...Does this mean the council of the Southern Kingdom has chosen someone to take the throne?" Simba asked.
The majordomo nodded in response. "Yes, and the new king wanted to come here himself to invite the two of you personally. He says that he knows you and he knows that the two of you need an explanation for why he hadn't returned a long time ago. Honestly, I'm not quite sure what he means by that."
Simba could feel the rest of the pride's eyes on them as he exchanged a glance with his mate. It was clear to each of them that the other had no idea what that could mean either. It was all confusing but at least they knew it wouldn't lead to something dangerous.
"Who…What is the name of your new king?" asked Nala.
"Ah yes, I guess you would wonder about that…His name…" chuckled the blue bird. "King Mheetu."
Ah, it's finally finished! And yes, this is Mheetu, the younger brother of Nala. Hope you all enjoyed Story of the Stars, I don't have the release date for Book of Black Pride but with my private life being a tangled loop, I doubt it'll be soon. Bear with me.
Oh yeah, I recently watched this video that made me realize that my childhood is just racing away. So I wanted to ask people this question, what are your top 5 Disney animated movies? Pixar does not count. I'm asking this because I feel that Disney movies have always been my childhood and maybe hearing others' opinions will make feel happier too.
As a basis, here are mine from least fave to most fave: Pocahontas, Lady and the Tramp, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and Lion King (Obviously)
Don't forget to give me feedback about the epilogue as well and stay tuned for a preview of Book of Black Pride. (This has been the longest thing I've ever written)