Here's chapter 37 and please review.
I'd like to thank AMBER, Guest, Doclover, and TRON0602 for reviewing the last chapter. Sorry about the delay in me updating but I've been pretty busy and writing this story is a bit more challenging than writing my other two.
The next day morning, Nala walked out of the den to check if it was raining. To her dismay, it was still pouring down just as hard as yesterday.
Nala hadn't been able to get a wink of sleep during the night. She had been too worried about her daughter.
Was she alright? Did she have shelter? Was she alone? Was she with the other three?
Was Kiara even alive?
"No!" Nala thought, shaking the thought out of her head. Her okay child couldn't be gone!
She went back into the den to find Simba just waking up. He had tired circles underneath his eyes; he had only gotten a few hours of sleep last night.
"The rain still didn't stop?" Simba asked and Nala shook her head.
"There's still no sign of Kiara either. How do we even know if she has shelter...or if she's with the other three...or...or..." Nala's voice began to break. "...or if she's even alive."
Tears unlocked from her eyes, and she buried her face into Simba's mane. He wrapped a paw around her and held her in close for a while.
"It's okay," Simba whispered into her ears. "We'll find her. I promise."
Meanwhile, the foursome had just woken up, and to their dismay it was still raining.
"What are we supposed to do?" Kovu asked, feeling frustrated. Would this rain ever go away?
"Our parents...they're going to worry more." Danyssa murmurered.
"Can't we just move forward?" Haru asked. "Does anyone remember the exact way we came back?"
"No," Kiara said. "And even if we go, there's a good chance we'll lose sight of each other while we're walking."
"Well we just can't stay here! The rain might take days to die down!" Kovu exclaimed.
"Then do you have a plan to help us?" Danyssa demanded.
"No," Kovu said, narrowing his eyes. "I don't but you don't either."
"Yes," Danyssa snapped. "But I also know that we can't stay here and let the adults worry more!"
"We can't go!" Kovu practically shouted. "There's too much rain!"
"We can't stay here either!" Danyssa yelled back.
"Well we didn't even know how to get back when we could see! Do you think we'll find our way back when we can't see in front of us?" Kovu yelled.
"Both of you just stop!" Haru exclaimed.
"He's right," Kiara said. "We have to decide. Are we going to stay here or are we going to try and find our way back?"
"Find our way back," Danyssa said.
"Stay here." Kovu said.
"Haru?" Danyssa asked.
Haru thought for a minute, chewing on his bottom lip. "Well Kovu's right and we can't see anything in front of us...but we have to try. The rain might stop while we're at it."
"Kiara?" Kovu asked.
"Haru has a point. We can't stay here and the rain might stop." Kiara said.
"It's three against one, Kovu." Danyssa smirked. "Let's go."
Grumbling, Kovu got up and stepped out into the pouring rain. He felt it coming down hard on his head and soaking his mane. He could barely see in front of him, it was all messed up from the rain droplets.
"Call out every couple minutes so we know if we're together or not!" Haru called.
Just keep moving forward for a couple minutes!" Kovu called over the roaring rain. "If we do, we'll probably be at the place that we decided that we need shelter. We can turn from there!"
The adolescents continued moving forward, the best they could all at the same time trying not to lose each other.
Back at Priderock, the adults were getting more and more worried.
"That's it," Nala said. "I'm not waiting any longer!" She got up and began heading towards the entrance.
"Nala," Simba said, from where he was with Alex and Tojo at his side. "You won't be able to see anything. The last thing we need is for you to get lost as well."
"I'm not waiting here a second longer Simba!" Nala snapped. "I don't care how hard it is! I will go out and search for them!"
"Then I'm coming too," Tama said getting up. Nala smiled gratefully at her friend.
"I'm coming," Kula said, getting up. She looked at Chumvi, daring him to argue.
"Shari?" Nala asked. She knew she would come as well; her son was lost at the moment.
"I'm coming," Shari said, getting up. Amri opened his mouth to say the same thing as Simba had said, but at the last second her he decided against it and clamped his mouth shut.
"I'll come too," Shinda said. She hadn't been able to get any sleep the night before. She had stayed up worrying about her goddaughter, while Alex had done everything he could to assure her that Kiara would be fine, but Shinda could tell that even he was in doubt. He was only acting strong for her. Alex looked at his mate, but he knew better than to argue with her.
Shani got up and followed Shinda along with Tama's younger sister, Kirra.
Nala's act must have motivated the other lions as well for many others got up as well. Sarabi, Mufasa, Sarafina, Runju along with many older generation lions got up.
Nala gave her mate a look, and Simba willingly got up. He wanted to go search for his daughter and with the amount of lions going maybe they stood a chance and would be able to have some success.
The number of lions that were coming were about to get bigger when Simba called out.
"It's alright, the number we have us fine! I don't want many going out and getting lost or sick in the rain! We'll be fine with this number."
Nala looked at the groups they had put themselves in. Her group consisted of her parents, Simba, Sarabi, Mufasa, her aunt and uncle along with Shani. Nodding she was the first one to step out of the den and into the roaring rain.
Nala wanted to go back in the den when she felt how heavy the rain was. Simba was right; she could barely see in front of her. But she had to go and find her daughter and the three others.
She felt Simba on her left and her father at her right. Both of them silently encouraging Nala to move ahead. Feeling a bit more hopeful, Nala and the others carefully moved off Priderock and felt themselves on the soaking grass. She nearly lost her balance, but Simba managed to catch her just in time.
"Kiara! Kovu! Danyssa! Haru!" The shouts went on and on, no voice wearing down for all of them wanted the adolescents back and safe at Priderock.
Back in the Outlands, the foursome had managed to make a good guess where they had decided to find a shelter.
Kiara pressed against Danyssa, not wanting to lose her as they walked through the rain. She was shivering hard and she clenched her teeth together to keep from shivering.
"Now where?" Kiara called over the rain. She heard Haru replying.
"We walked northwest from where we were before to find this place! So we have to walk in the opposite direction if we're going to go back!"
"Are you sure?" Danyssa asked.
"Yes!" Haru called. "I'm sure! I'm the ones who led you here, remember? Kovu beat me up for being wrong!"
"Then let's move!" Kovu said, and they began moving ahead.
After a while, Kiara felt the rain beginning to die out. She could now see in front of her quite more clearly. Kiara shook her head; it was amazing how the rains in these lands just seemed to stop miraculously.
"I can see the border of the Pridelands!" Danyssa called, pointing with her muzzle. Sure enough, at the end of the horizon, they saw the Pridelands border.
"Let's hurry up then!" Haru said, quickening his pace to reach the border faster.
"I wonder if the adults guessed that we're in the Outlands," Kiara said.
"Maybe," Kovu said. "But we're going to be in big trouble!"
Kiara winced and shuddered at the thought of her father. He would probably explode with anger at her!
After about an hour, the adolescents finally reached the border.
"Finally!" Haru exclaimed.
Suddenly all of them heard voices.
"Kiara! Kovu! Danyssa! Haru!"
"It's the adults!" Kovu said, and bounded ahead.
"Kiara! Kovu! Danyssa! Haru!" This time the voice sounded like it belonged to Amri.
"Dad!" Haru called, running after Kovu to meet the adults. Kiara and Danyssa followed them.
The adolescents burst through the lining of the acacia trees, and into the grassland clearing.
Ahead of them, the adults were all there, relief shining on their faces as they saw the adolescents.
"Haru!" Shari hurried to her son, embracing Haru lovingly.
"Hey Mom," Haru said weakly. He nuzzled his mother as Amri came up to them. Haru then turned to his father who pulled him in closer, nuzzling him. Haru returned his father's affection.
Zakia approached them, and she pulled Haru in closer, nuzzling her nephew.
"We were all so worried!" Zakia murmured. Aran and Kiona came to their grandson, nuzzling and embracing him along with his father's mother and father.
"Sorry Auntie." Haru said.
"Haru where have you been?" Amri demanded, narrowing his eyes.
Danyssa was greeting her own family.
"I was so worried!" Tama said, licking the top of her head as Tanabi, Ari, and Moraan approached them.
"You're in so much trouble!" Tanabi snickered after giving her a nuzzle.
Danyssa ignored him, turning to her father and embracing him.
After a minute, Moraan pulled back, narrowing his brown eyes.
"You have a lot of explaining to do!" Moraan growled at her.
Just as Danyssa opened her mouth to apologize, her grandparents approached her, and she took the opportunity to greet them.
Kovu had greeted Kula, Chumvi and the rest of his family, and now he knew he had to face his lecture.
"Alright Kovu," Chumvi said. "Give me a good reason as to why you were in the Outlands!"
Kovu cringed and Sahil passed by him snickering. "Good luck, nephew." Kovu glared at him before turning back to his parents.
"I...we...heard...and..." Kovu began, but he was too scared to continue.
"I'm waiting!" Chumvi growled.
Meanwhile, Kiara had greeted her family, but her parents weren't there.
"Where are Mom and Daddy?" Kiara asked from where she was being held in an embrace by Tojo.
"They're coming," Mufasa answered, nuzzling the top of her head. "You're father just left before you appeared to go get your mother."
"Don't hold your breath!" Ajjali grinned. "Simba is going to be so mad at you!"
Kiara winced, knowing that Ajjali was right.
"Kiara!" Came a voice. Kiara turned to see her parents rushing over to her.
"Thank the spirits above you're alright!" Nala said, pulling her in close and nuzzling her. She licked the top of her daughter's head. "I was so worried!"
Simba drew Kiara in close to him, nuzzling her, taking in the fact that his daughter was safe and sound with him.
After a minute or two, Simba pulled back.
"Alright," Simba growled, narrowing his eyes. "Where have you been?! Do you realize how worried we were?"
"Simba," Nala said. "Let's talk at Priderock. Everyone's beginning to go back now."
"Fine," Simba grunted and they began walking back to Priderock.
At Priderock, Kovu was taken aside by his father. Kula knew better than to come while Chumvi wanted a direct father and son talk.
"Alright," Chumvi said. "Where did you go?"
With a sigh, Kovu began explaining how they had heard the scream at the border, and had gone to check it out, but after hours they had lost their way. He then explained about going to find shelter, and after a night's sleep, they had gone done the best they could to find their way back home before the rain had died down.
Chumvi was silent, looking at Kovu with burning emerald green eyes. Kovu swallowed hard as he felt his heart beating faster and harder with fear.
When Chumvi spoke, his voice was shaking with rage. "If you ever do something so foolish again like going into the Outlands with no adults, I will give you a punishment you will never forget! Do you think its fun to go into the Outlands without telling us? You were gone for two days! Do you know how worried you had us?"
"Dad, I didn't know that we'd get lost like that and the rain would be so hard and..."
"I taught you better than this Kovu!" Chumvi shouted. "I've told you how dangerous the Outlands are. It's a miracle you're alright!"
"I know, but I wasn't thinking while I went and..."
"First of all," Chumvi seethed. "You were supposed to be with Amri and me listening to what we were saying! Second, you went two wandered off without telling us! And-"
"Chumvi!" Kula appeared on the scene. "Keep it down. The entire Pride can hear your shouting."
"Kula he has to learn his lesson. This isn't something I'm going to let to easily." Chumvi retorted.
Kula looked at her son. Despite being angry at him, she knew that he had been lectured enough for today and that Kovu was quite tired.
"That's enough for today. He needs rest." Kula said and she guided Kovu away from Chumvi.
"Kovu," Chumvi said. "As a punishment, you're grounded to Priderock for a month. You will only go out to feed and to go the Waterhole. As for battle training, hunting practice and patrol training you won't be joining those either."
"Alright," Kovu sighed and followed his mother into the den.
Simba, Nala, and Kiara were in the royal den.
"Kiara, what were you thinking?" Simba shouted. "Going into the Outlands?!"
"Daddy I-" Kiara began, but Simba cut her off.
"First of all, you weren't even supposed to be at the border! And if you heard that scream, you should have told the males on patrol! Not go out and see for yourself!" Simba growled.
"I didn't think it would take that long!" Kiara exclaimed. "Or that it would start raining so hard!"
"Kiara, we understand about the rain." Nala said. "What were angry about are you going into the Outlands. You didn't even tell an adult and we've told you how dangerous the Outlands are!"
"I'm sorry," Kiara sighed, lowering her head.
After a minute of silence, Simba spoke up again. "I'm sure that what you went through taught you a good lesson. However, you are not to leave Priderock until I say you can. You will stay where I or your mother or another adult can keep an eye on you. You will not go for hunting practices either. If you do have to leave Priderock, you're not leaving without an escort. Understand?"
"Yes," Kiara sighed.
"Very well then," Nala said. "Now come on. You need to rest." She settled down, pulling Kiara in closer to her.
Meanwhile, Haru had dealt with the lecture from his parents.
"Do you understand?" Amri growled. Haru just nodded.
"And as for your punishment..." Shari said.
"What?" Haru asked.
"You won't be leaving Priderock for the next four or five weeks." Amri said. "That means no hunting practice for you."
"How about patrolling training. And battle training?" Haru asked.
"You won't be going for battle training. However, patrolling...what do think Amri?" Shari asked.
"You'll still be going for patrolling." Amri answered.
"What?" Haru exclaimed. "Then how come I can't go for hunting and battle training? Everyone's going to be better than me!"
"That's your punishment." Amri said. "I'm not changing my mind."
"Now come on," Shari said. "You need rest." She pulled a grumbling Haru towards her and settled down for some sleep.
The days for the adolescents passed by. All of them were confined to Priderock all the time except Haru who still had to go for patrol training.
Ajjali and Hofu took a great deal of pleasure in teasing Kiara, just as Zawadi and Sahil did with Kovu.
"Anyways," Ajjali said. "As I was saying, we're doing a lot during hunting practice these days." She smirked at Kiara. "We can already pretty much see who the next leader is these days!"
"Shut up Ajjali!" Kiara growled, hurling herself at Ajjali.
"Ouch!" Ajjali grunted as she fell onto the ground with Kiara on top of her.
"My mother's the leader!" Kiara snapped. "I'm pretty sure I can catch up!"
"Nice joke, say it again!" Ajjali snickered.
Kiara growled, and began punching her.
"Hey!" Ajjali yelped. "Get off! Kiara! I was joking!"
Suddenly, Kiara felt someone yanking her off Ajjali and she looked up to see Alex.
"Hey Uncle Alex!" Kiara grinned.
Alex chuckled, "Anything wrong?" He gave her a knowing look before turning back to Ajjali and laughing at the sight of his cousin.
"Everything's fine Uncle." Kiara replied. "Is the hunting party back?"
"I'm going to go find Mom.'' Ajjali muttered, shooting Kiara an annoyed look.
"Yes they are. Why don't you come and join Aunt Shinda and me today?" Alex asked. "We've missed spending time with you."
"Alright." Kiara said and followed Alex out of the den.
A few weeks passed and the punishment was lifted. Kiara was thrilled to finally be able to join the hunting party again and Kovu and Haru were eager to join the battle training.
To both Kiara and Danyssa's disappointment, the others that were being trained in hunting had learned quite a lot and they had a lot of catching up to do. Both Tama and Nala had assured their daughters that everything would be fine and that they would catch up quickly.
Just as their mothers promised, after another few weeks and a couple private lessons of their own, Kiara and Danyssa caught up quickly.
One day Danyssa and Kiara were returning home when she heard commotion from where the males were training.
"Someone probably got hurt." Danyssa and the two of them hurried to the scene.
To their shock, they saw Hofu beat up pretty badly. Sahil was also in the same state as Hofu but just with a slight black eye.
"What happened?" Danyssa asked, turning to Ari.
Ari pointed to the side and they saw Kovu, Haru and Tanabi being lectured at by Alex, Simba, Moraan, Amri and Chumvi. They crept closer to hear what they were saying.
"We leave you alone for ten minutes and this is what we come back to?" Moraan asked. "All three of you know better than this!"
"We've told you this several times." Chumvi said. "We are practicing but we aren't trying to hurt the others!"
"Were you not thinking as you five kept fighting? Just because they're a few years older than you doesn't mean that you go rougher on them!" Alex said, and Simba nodded in agreement.
"Now come on." Amri said. "We have to get Hofu and Sahil back to Priderock.
Kiara watched as her father helped Hofu to his feet, and let him lean against him for support. Chumvi did the same with Sahil.
"You two sure that you can walk?" Moraan asked. "We can carry you if you want."
"No." Sahil said, wincing. "I'm fine." Hofu nodded in agreement.
"Sahil…" Chumvi said looking at his brother in law. "Be careful. Don't put pressure on that foot." He looked at Sahil's left paw which was bleeding pretty badly.
Alex turned back to Kovu, Haru and Tanabi. "You three come back to Priderock. The rest of you are free to go."
Kiara turned back to Kovu, Haru and Tanabi as everyone made their way back to Priderock.
"What were you thinking?" Kiara hissed. "Look at Sahil and Hofu now!"
"Kiara," Haru said. "I don't think that you really have to be arguing with us here now."
"Yes I do!" Kiara snapped. "Hofu's my mother's brother which makes him related to me! Look how badly he's injured thanks to you three!"
"Look," Tanabi said. "They didn't back off either. So it isn't completely our fault."
Kiara glared at them before hurrying back to her father and Hofu who were ahead of them now.
"Kiara," Simba said, turning to her. "Run back to Priderock and make sure your grandparents, and Sahil's parents are at Priderock. If not, send Zazu to fetch them."
"Alright," Kiara said, and hurried to Priderock. She was glad to see that Sarafina and Runju were at Priderock along with Sarina and Rojo.
"Grandma!" Kiara called. "Grandpa!"
Sarafina turned around. "What's wrong Kiara?" She bent down and gave her a nuzzle.
"It's Hofu." Kiara said. "He was hurt really badly in battle training. Sahil too." She looked at Sarina and Rojo.
"What?" Rojo asked. "What happened?"
"Kovu, Haru and Tanabi beat them up really bad." Kiara explained. Looking worried, the adults hurried out of the den to find Simba and the other males reaching Priderock with Sahil and Hofu.
"Sahil!" Sarina rushed up to her son. "What happened?" Sahil just collapsed on the floor too tired to explain. Sarina looked at her son in law and Chumvi only motioned to Kovu, Haru and Tanabi.
"Let's get both of you inside." Runju said, coming onto the other side of Hofu to support him. Sarina and Rojo nudged Sahil up and helped him walk into the den.
Nala and Kula came up Priderock. Kiara went to her mother and greeted her with a nuzzle that Nala returned.
"What happened to Sahil and Hofu?" Nala asked.
"Kovu, Haru and Tanabi beat them up really bad." Kiara answered.
Kula shook her head and sighed. "I don't know what to do with him." The three of them walked inside. Nala went to Hofu's side and nuzzled him.
"How are you feeling?" Nala murmured.
"Really sore," Hofu sighed, closing his eyes shut.
"Don't worry," Sarafina said. "Simba sent for Rafiki. He'll be here soon."
After an hour, Rafiki had visited and given them the proper herbs and both Sahil and Hofu were asleep. Tanabi, Kovu and Haru were taken aside for a lecture from their parents.
"Kovu, what is going on with you these days?" Chumvi demanded. "First it was the incident in the Outlands and now it's this!"
"Kovu, you knew that you weren't supposed to be that rough during training? Why would you do that?" Kula asked.
"I didn't want to give in!" Kovu sighed. "We knew that one of us had to give in for the other to win but I didn't want to give up."
Chumvi glared at him for a few minutes. "I…I honestly don't know what to do with you these days. You seem to be disobeying everything we tell you!"
"No I haven't!" Kovu exclaimed. "Sure it was this and going into the Outlands but other than that I haven't been doing a lot wrong!"
"Mind your voice!" Chumvi said and Kovu sighed.
"We're not letting you go back to battle training for two weeks." Kula said. "You'll be staying here instead."
"Actually," Chumvi said. "While the males do battle training, the females get the extra hunting practice. Kovu, you could use that."
"Dad!" Kovu cried. "I'm not going to be hunting with all the lionesses!"
Chumvi tried to hold back a laugh despite being angry at him. His own father had done the same thing to him when he had been at Kovu's age. "Sorry, but that's your punishment. Now go check if Sahil and Hofu are awake. If they are, you better go apologize."
Kovu nodded and trotted off. Chumvi watched him go with a sigh. "What are we going to do with him?"
"It's just this age Kula." Chumvi assured, giving her cheek a lick. "Weren't we like that once?"
Kula smiled at him. "As I recall, I was the easy one. You were the one always getting in trouble!" She gave him a nuzzle before the couple headed off for some time on their own.
Hope you enjoyed and please review. This chapter is leading into the next chapter where Kovu and Kiara are going to get a very…shocking story from their parents. Any guesses on what it is?