The Lion King:
The Legend Continues
Note: The following is the recommended reading order of my fan fiction novels and short stories:
The Lion King: A Father's Concern (short story)
The Lion King: Sarafina (short story)
The Lion King: Mheetu (short story)
The Lion King III: The Lost Prince (book)
The Lion King IV: The Rogue Pride (book)
The Lion King: Responsibilities (short story)
The Lion King V: Man Comes to the Pride Lands (book)
You can find all my fan fictions on my profile page. Technically, Responsibilities takes place before The Lost Prince but I recommend reading Responsibilities last and then Man Comes to the Pride Lands because Responsibilities is a midquel ofMheetu with a final section that takes place after The Rogue Pride, so it will probably spoil some of the plot for Mheetu,The Lost Prince, and The Rogue Pride.
Morning light rose beyond the horizon and Asante had to shield his eyes. He stood by his mother and older siblings as his father Simba walked up the platform that jutted out from the base of the mountainous kopje. Standing proudly on the throne, the Lion King surveyed the approaching beasts that had arrived to pay homage to the royal family's newborns. Once Simba was satisfied that the entire kingdom had arrived, he looked over his shoulder and gave the royal advisor a nod.
Rafiki carried a pair of week-old cubs in his arms, born only days apart. Their eyes had only just recently opened and they blinked in confusion as they were brought up to the edge of the throne. One cub was a light brown male with golden-brown eyes and the other was a white furred female with bi-colored eyes, one blue and one green. One would need to look very closely at their eyes to see the color because most of their irises were veiled in dilated pupils, their newborn eyes unaccustomed to the light. The old primate took a deep breath, already fatigued without his walking stick. It was only a year ago that he had presented Asante to the kingdom. On that day, Rafiki was able to hold Asante up in the air so all the creatures could see but now the aging monkey could only turn the new cubs slightly in his arms.
A congratulatory cheer spread among the Pride Land citizens upon receiving the modest glance at the cubs.
Asante heard a soft clicking and looked down at his brother's foot. Kopa was tapping his claws impatiently, a look of anxiety on his face.
"Dear?" Vitani said, nuzzling Kopa's cheek. "Are you all right? You look nervous."
"He's holding our daughter at the edge of a cliff, of course I'm nervous," Kopa grumbled.
"He's also holding my son but Kovu and I are calm," Kiara pointed out.
"Yes, because we trust Rafiki," Kovu added, nuzzling Kiara.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Kopa muttered.
"They're coming back," Asante noted.
"Oh thank the Great Spirit," Kiara suddenly gasped.
Kopa gave his sister a sardonic look. "Really? That's you being calm?"
Rafiki and Simba returned to the base of the throne. "Here they are, little Mufasa and Nyota," Rafiki said chidingly. Kiara and Vitani eagerly took their respective cubs.
Simba smiled at Kiara as she retrieved her brown furred son. "You named him after my father?" he asked, eyes twinkling.
Kiara lowered herself to the ground and cradled her infant son in her arms. She looked up at her father and smiled. "Even though Grandfather isn't here physically, he still brought us all hope and guidance. I wanted to honor him for watching over us."
"Look at you," Nala purred to Nyota. "So fair, you're a little bundle of good fortune."
"They say a cub can only be born with white fur if both parents have white lions in their ancestry," Vitani noted once she was settled with Kiara on the ground. She rubbed her cheek against her daughter, purring lovingly. "That's why they're so rare."
"Wow, wow, wow," Kopa protested when Rafiki approached his wife and child with a cracked gourd containing anointing juice. "Is that stuff hypoallergenic?"
"Kopa, stop pestering Rafiki," Simba laughed. He noticed Asante sitting several feet from the rest of the family. Leaving the shamanic primate to anoint his two grandchildren, Simba stepped away to see if his younger son was all right. "Don't you want to meet your niece and nephew?" he chided.
Asante looked up at Simba and smiled timidly. "Maybe in a little bit," he mumbled, wrapping his arms around one of Simba's forelimbs. "They're not going to call me Uncle, are they? I don't feel old enough to be called that."
Simba leaned down and licked Asante's cheek. "We'll figure that out in time." Smiling affectionately at Asante, Simba then looked at the rest of his growing family, feeling a sense of peace more profound than anything he'd ever experienced.
The Lion King V:
Man Comes to the Pride Lands
Five cubs were gathered on one of the lounge boulders surrounding Pride Rock. Asante was the oldest of this small group at a little over one year in age. The second oldest at ten months was Tojo and Tama's daughter Uzuri, who was born shortly after the defeat of Adui and his gang of murderous rogues. She was near the same size as Asante with tannish fur and blue eyes. The next cub was Mheetu and Madoa's son Faraji, an eight-month-old with light beige fur, dark brown eyes, and a black tuft of mane. Though younger than Asante, Faraji was an early bloomer who stood a couple of inches taller than his older cousin. The fourth oldest at five months was Timira and Babu's son Timir, a golden furred cub with bronze eyes and a small tuft of cream-colored mane. And the youngest of their quintet was Afua and Boga's son Bado, a three-month-old cub with light brown fur and ochre eyes.
"I'm telling you, Sante, your cousin is driving me crazy," Uzuri grumbled.
"Which cousin?" Faraji asked. "Not me?"
"No, the other one," Uzuri specified.
"You mean one of my brothers?"
"I mean Mufasa!" Uzuri snapped. "That kid won't leave me alone!"
Asante sighed. "Fasa's not my cousin, he's my nephew," he corrected Uzuri, referring to Kovu and Kiara's son by his diminutive nickname.
"Oh whatever," Uzuri grumbled. "No one can keep track of your crazy family tree anymore."
Asante's ears pricked up at the sound of several Pride Land animals gathered at the base of Pride Rock. He stood on tiptoes to see what was happening.
"It's just the Palaver," Faraji noted. "They never talk about anything interesting."
"What's a palaver?" Bado asked, climbing on Faraji's back and nipping playfully at his ear.
"A really long and boring talk," Timir explained to his younger cousin.
"The Great Palaver is when all the animals in the kingdom come to Pride Rock to discuss all the problems they have and try to figure out solutions," Asante explained.
Bado tilted his head. "What kind of problems?"
Several yards away, out of earshot of the five cubs…
"We have had it with you using our territory as your bathroom!" A zebra named Lemuta shouted. "Your poo is bigger than our foals!"
Herr Rhino glared at the zebra indignantly. "I poop nowhere near your foals!" the rhino declared in a mustard thick German accent.
Simba rubbed his eyes wearily.
"So this is what we have to look forward to when we become the kings," Kopa sighed jadedly, sitting next to Kovu and watching the animals bicker while Simba tried to mediate. Vitani and Kiara were currently with Nala overseeing the hunting lessons for the adolescent females. In the past year, both future kings had hit their physical peaks and now stood several inches taller than Simba, their physiques bulkier than the king's figure. Additionally, they had grown thicker manes that grew past their chests to their midsections. Kopa's chin had grown scruffy while the fur on Kovu's muzzle had grown out to resemble a beard.
"When my mother was training me to overthrow Simba and become king, she never mentioned this part of the job," Kovu noted. "You know, I've been thinking about your offer to rule the Pride Lands together and, while I'm thankful of course, I'm not so sure…"
"You already accepted," Kopa noted darkly. "Don't even think about backing out now because I'm not dealing with this stuff on my own!"
"Herr Rhino," Simba sighed, "I've been to see the…" Simba gulped back his disgust. "I've been to see the zebra territory and there's no mistaking the scent I found. You're clearly crossing land boundaries to – well, you know. Now, why can't you find a section of your own territory to – do your business?"
"Blödsinn! You will not tarnish my reputation with outlandish falsities!"
"Did he just call my dad a blödsinn?" Kopa scoffed. "How dare he… wait, what's a blödsinn?"
"Simba," Kovu called.
The king looked wearily over his shoulder at the two younger males. "Yes, Kovu?"
"Why don't you allow me or Kopa to handle this one?" the king's son-in-law offered.
Simba smiled appreciatively. "I'd be very thankful," he noted, leaving Lemuta and Herr Rhino to their loud argument.
"Not it," Kovu said, grinning at Kopa.
"Huh?" Kopa grunted. His eyes widened and he gave Kovu a murderous glare. "Oh you son-of-a…"
"Off you go," Kovu chuckled, giving Kopa a light nudge towards the quarreling animals.
Kopa stopped in front of the rhino and zebra. The two of them paused their argument and looked at Kopa in unison. "So this must be hell," Kopa noted glumly.
Back where the cubs were lounging, Asante was explaining the rules to the game he'd invented. "Okay, so each of us will draw a straight line in the ground – one at a time." Asante demonstrated, scratching a line in the dirt with his claw. "The next person does the same thing and, one by one, we'll keep adding lines until we draw a complete picture."
"A picture of what?" Faraji asked.
"That's the catch, we won't know what we're drawing until the lines start coming together."
The other four cubs stared at him blankly. "That sounds really weird," Uzuri noted.
"Just give it a try," Asante grumbled.
Timir went next, followed by Faraji, then Bado, and lastly Uzuri.
"Oh hey, it kinda looks like Pride Rock," Bado explained.
"Bado!" Asante protested. "Don't say that, now everyone's going to try and make it into a picture of Pride Rock."
Bado stared at Asante uncomprehendingly. "But isn't that the point of the game, to figure out what we're drawing?"
"Not until the picture's finished," Asante explained.
"How can we finish the picture if we don't know what we're drawing?" Timir pointed out.
"That's the whole point of the game," Asante declared in a flustered voice. "Otherwise, it's not a game, we'd just be drawing a picture."
"But we are drawing a picture," Uzuri pointed out.
"Oh forget it!" Asante shouted, standing up and lumbering off to where Simba, Kopa, and Kovu were overseeing the Great Palaver.
"I'm confused," Faraji said.
"Join the club," Uzuri mumbled.
"Uzuri!" another youngster called as he approached.
"Oh no," Uzuri groaned, recognizing the voice.
Mufasa, or Fasa as nearly everyone called him, hurried over to the group of cubs, making a beeline for Uzuri. At four months, Kovu and Kiara's son was half the size of Uzuri. His tuft of mane had grown in but it had not yet darkened and was still the same color as his light brown pelt. The small cub took a seat by the larger female cub. "Hi, Uzuri," Fasa said warmly.
Uzuri regarded the prince jadedly. "Hey, Mufasa," she mumbled unenthusiastically.
"So, I was wondering if you wanted to go see the Buzzard Boyz concert with me…"
"Mufasa, I thought we talked about this," Uzuri groaned.
"We did," Fasa conceded, "but I've been thinking about it and, while you may be half a year older, Timir and Bado's grandpa Mega was three years older than their grandma Sabini, so really, age isn't all that important…"
Uzuri buried her head under her arms and moaned loudly.
Back at the Palaver, Kopa tried unsuccessfully to cut into the argument between Lemuta and Herr Rhino.
"You think no one is brave enough to stand up to you just because you're so big and have that bulbous schnozzle horn," Lemuta spat, "but I'm here to burst your egomaniacal bubble, you fat walking explosive bout of diarrhea!"
"Du kannst mich mal!" Herr Rhino retorted.
"SHUT UP!" Kopa roared.
All the animals crowded around Pride Rock were taken aback by Kopa's outburst.
"Just shut up all of you!" Kopa continued to rail. "You," he said as he whirled on Herr Rhino, "no more taking dumps in the zebra territory!" He spun around to face Lemuta. "And you, stop antagonizing animals ten times your size!"
"Okay," Kovu interjected in a diplomatically calm voice, hurrying over and moving in front of Kopa. "What my colleague means to say, with all due respect, is that we are all clearly troubled by this situation and, instead of pointing fingers and name-calling, perhaps we should try and put ourselves in the other person's shoes."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Kopa scoffed. "That's not what I was saying at…" Simba pulled Kopa back before he could finish speaking.
"Herr Rhino," Kovu intoned, "Clearly, you are embarrassed by what you've done, otherwise you wouldn't deny it so vehemently but you don't have to be embarrassed. We're all still your friends so you can be honest with us. Now, could it be that these – um, episodes are all by accident?"
Herr Rhino lowered his head woefully. "Ja," he said.
Kovu paused for a moment. "I'm going to assume that means yes." He turned to the zebra. "Now Lemuta, considering you and Herr Rhino have been best friends since the king was a cub, maybe your first response should have been to ask if Herr Rhino was ill and not to ridicule him, don't you think?"
Lemuta sighed. "Perhaps." He looked at Herr Rhino. "Rhino, are you sick? Is that what's going on?"
Herr Rhino nodded. "Ja, when I visit you in zebra territory, I eat the pink leaves."
Lemuta rolled his eyes. "Rhino, I told you not to go near those."
"I know but they smell so good. After I eat them, I have just one accident…"
Lemuta narrowed his eyes.
"Okay, two accidents," Herr Rhino conceded, "but that's all."
"Lemuta, why don't you take Herr Rhino to see Rafiki," Kovu suggested. "Maybe he has some medicine that can help settle your friend's stomach."
The zebra nodded. "Thank you, Kovu. I'm glad you're not holding a grudge over that 'disgrace' thing."
Kovu paused. "Disgrace?" Then, he remembered the zebra that called him "a disgrace" a year ago when Simba exiled Kovu, thinking he'd been a part of Zira's ambush. "Wait, that was you?" he snarled but the zebra and rhino were already walking off.
"Hey, Dad," Asante called as he scurried up to his father and older brother. "What are you guys talking about?"
"Crap," Kopa muttered.
"Kopa," Simba scolded.
"What?" The prince scoffed. "That's what we were doing? We were literally talking about rhino crap for the last half hour."
Simba sighed and turned his attention back to the crowd of animals. "All right, does anyone else have a dispute or problem they'd like to bring forward?" When no one spoke up, the king smiled in relief. "Very well, you are all dismissed. Have a good day."
As the animals departed, Simba leaned down and nuzzled Asante.
"Don't look so proud of yourself," Kopa muttered to Kovu. "You successfully mediated a dispute over diarrhea. I doubt very much you're going to be bragging about that later to Kiara."
Kovu elbowed Kopa in the arm.
"Well, if that takes care of all that nonsense," Simba sighed, "I think I'll head out with Asante, Fasa, and Nyota for their lessons."
"Fasa," Kovu called out to the cubs nearby. "It's time for you to go out with your grandfather."
Fasa obeyed, much to the relief of Uzuri, and scurried over to his father, rubbing himself against Kovu's arm.
"Now where's Nyota at?" Kopa mumbled.
The cubs nearby let out a series of high-pitched screams and scattered. A white furred cub dashed onto the lounge boulder where they had previously been gathered, the fur on her back bristled as she cackled maniacally. "Yes, run, run for your lives!" the white lioness cub laughed.
"Ah, there she is," Kopa said calmly.
Nyota's bi-colored eyes landed on Timir and she bolted after him with a feral hiss.
"Why does she always go after me?" Timir cried out, dashing past the king and his family.
As Nyota hurtled by, Kopa grabbed her by the scruff of her neck with his teeth and lifted her up onto his back. "No fair," she mumbled.
"What was all the commotion?" Nala demanded as she, Kiara, and Vitani approached from the training field. "There were cubs fleeing in every direction."
Simba gestured to their granddaughter.
"Oh," Nala said, not requiring any further explanation.
"Good timing," Simba noted as his wife nuzzled herself against his side. "I was just on my way out with the kids."
Kovu settled down on the ground and Kiara nuzzled his cheek. "Tough day?" she asked.
"You have no idea," Kovu laughed, pulling Fasa up against his chest with a purr.
"Can we go now?" Asante asked.
"Yes," Simba said, rubbing Asante's head with his paw.
"You mind what your father tells you," Nala told Asante as she nuzzled him, "and keep an eye on Fasa and Nyota."
Still holding onto Kopa's back, Nyota was about to jump down when Kopa turned his head and kissed her loudly on the cheek. "Dad, come on!" Nyota protested in disgust. "This mushy stuff is not conducive to my image."
Kopa grinned at Vitani. "You hear that? She doesn't like mushy stuff."
"Oh, I heard," Vitani chuckled darkly.
"Wait a second," Nyota protested just before Kopa and Vitani snuggled her from both sides. "No!" she wailed. "Unhand me, this is child abuse! Curse you both!" She pulled herself out from between the sandwich hug of her parents and took shelter under Simba. "Let's get out of here," she demanded.
"We love you," Kopa and Vitani called in unison.
"Ack, it burns my ears!" Nyota hissed.
Simba couldn't help laughing. "It looks like we're off," he chuckled, ushering Asante and Nyota ahead of him. "Come along, Fasa."
Giggling, Fasa struggled out of Kovu's loving arms and hurried after his grandfather. Kovu and Kiara watched their son go with tender smiles on their faces.
"They're growing up too fast," Kiara sighed forlornly.
"Four moons and counting," Kovu agreed.
"Four moons?" Kopa scoffed. "No, it's been longer than that. It's been thirty-two moons." Everyone looked at Kopa blankly. "They're four months old, and there are eight moons in each month; the full moon, the waning gibbous, the first quarter, the waning crescent, the new moon, the waxing crescent…"
"Kopa," Kiara interrupted, "when people refer to moons as a measurement of time, they don't mean moon phases, they mean full moon cycles. It's been four full moons since Fasa and Nyota were born."
Kopa was silent for a moment, blushing under his fur. "Oh."
Nala couldn't help giggling. "I thought someone would have corrected you by now. You've been making that mistake since the days when your father and I called you Fluffy."
"Sorry, what?" Kovu gasped, a grin spreading across his face.
Kopa's expression fell. "Mother, why?"
"Wait a second," Kovu laughed, "your nickname was Fluffy?" He let out a mocking laugh. "That is never going to get old!"
Kopa stared at Kovu darkly, one eyebrow cocked. "You know what else doesn't get old?" he asked scathingly. "Evisceration."
Kovu paused a moment, watching Kopa hesitantly. "You make a good point."
Continue to Chapter 2