Book 2 - The Tremors






"Welcome people, to the second installment of the exciting new Series: The Lion King – Legacies.

Please note: if you have not yet read "Lion King: Judgment", or the Lion King Legacies – Flood, please do so, viewable in my profile. Characters introduced in Judgement and in Flood make appearances here, and it is essential that you have read the first story beforehand.

This story is part 2 of what will eventually become a five part epic. This is, I am anticipating, the hardest book to write – because, following the events of the previous book, the characters are scattered across the plains of Africa – new characters are appearing, and dozens of subplots will appear and need resolving. I am anticipating this to become the most complicated and convoluted of the series – however I urge you – to try to struggle through it. If you can keep all the characters straight, and follow the three different viewpoints at the same time, you will enjoy yourself.

If you have difficulties, drop a question by in a PM, or one the Forum.

As ever all questions, comments, etc are welcome in the reviews section, or in the PM. I love to hear predictions, comments, fan-art etc, so please send it all in!

A Special Thank you to JJZ-109, Chu10, and "The Gang" on TLKA Boards, for their patience. And now – without further ado, and without me putting it off for any longer…

Here… we… go.

Cheers: Haradion"

Prologue: Down in the Jungle Deep

The Plains of Africa are a vast expanse of grassland, woodland, jungle, desert and mountain. From the peaks of Kilimanjaro to the desert sands of the Great Desert. The Jewel of Africa is the Pridelands – a lush and rich land of plenty. Prey and Predator live – if not in perfect harmony then in perfect balance. The balance is referred to as the circle. The Great Circle of Life. The connecting force that binds all creation together. All things are dust. And to dust all things return. Life. Death. Rebirth. The endless cycle in a potentially violent world, that is often cut short. And whatever one's place in the world, all are equal in the circle. It is the knowledge and understanding of this balance that gives the rulers of these lands the wisdom to rule justly, the power to live happily, and the courage to defend oneself and all they hold dear.

Some things in the world are not in balance. Some things are wicked. Some are twisted and dark and defy the circle. Some are full of bitterness and hate. They must be fought.

That is the task of the Lion King. To defend the circle – and so protect the balance that connects all of their subjects. From the Lion to the Ant, from the hornbill to the alligator. That is why the strongest of all creatures rules. The Lion does not take the crown, because it is powerful – it is granted the crown, so it may use its power for the benefit of all who live under it – and even the wearer is located under it.

So things have been for centuries.

But no longer...

Kiava ran as fast he could, running as fast as his four paws would carry him. His side was aching now. That comforted him. The lancing stabs of agony that had pierced him earlier had faded to a dull twitch. He pushed it out of his mind. He could not be concerned with it. Behind him, never staying out of sight was another shape.

Kiava eventually pulled up short. He was panting heavily, but could not keep such a speed up for long. Lions were sprinters – not long distance runners. They could put on bursts of lightning speed, but only for a short while. And now the cub was tiring. He leaned on a branch of wood nearby. Behind him, Zuri caught up.

The female cub was lighter on her feet, and sleeker, but even she was showing signs of fatigue. She gulped down the air as if it were water.

"You think we have lost them?" Zuri asked her friend. Kiava shook his head.

"No. They'll be back. But we have put some distance between us for now... we should be safe for the time being..." He said. Zuri nodded.

"Are you sure?" She asked, letting a tinge of fear seep into her voice. Kiava looked at her and shrugged.

"No. I don't have a clue. But I can't run any more so I pray to the Kings I am right... We won't get any further today..." He said. Zuri let out a sigh and crashed to the ground in exhaustion.

"Ouch... my paws are aching so badly..." She moaned, rubbing them together. Kiava sang to the ground and closed his eyes, trying to ignore the pounding of his own heart. He was still on the adrenaline.

"Do you think out parents are alright?" He asked Zuri. Zuri looked away.

"I... I don't know... I didn't see them. But I heard fighting... and I smelt blood. Lion blood..." She told him. Kiava nodded. He did not remember much from earlier. He had been half blinded by the pain in his side where his wound had burst open to have noticed much. All he remembered was the stunning realisation of the significance of the wound.

"How is it?" Zuri asked him, the wound... Zuri looked at it now with apprehension. It looked shallow. A thin line across his side – barely visible underneath his short fur. It was an illusion. It still made her shudder to think back to what it had looked like a few hours ago – when it had burst with red light. It had been swollen and blacked – almost infected. Dripping in puss and clotted blood that had made her stomach churn. Now it was made of the half formed scar tissue characteristic of wound almost a week old. It had healed five says in less than five hours. She didn't understand it. But she knew – like Kiava – the dreadful true cost of the wound.

Kiava was cursed. And the curse was connected to the wound. It was like a beacon. A Fire in the night – a shimmer in a dull desert. Through dark magic and witchcraft, the Shai'tan – terrible conquerors from the eastern continent – had created a magical way to track the young prince across half of Africa. They had heard it from the lips of their own hunters. It had scared Zuri. For Kiava it was worse.

"It feels okay now..." Kiava replied. He sighed.

"Where are we?" He asked her – as if she had any clue. She shook her head.

"Somewhere deeper in the Jungle..." That was true enough. The branches of leaves twisted and turned above their heads so tightly, that they could not even clearly see the sun, bathing the air in a sickly green light by day, and blotting out the stars and moon by night – bar in a few places. Thinking of the stars made Kiava think about his parents – as they always did.

"They always said you would be there... Looking down upon me from the heavens above..." He muttered. "If you are up there... help me... Mum... Dad..." he whispered. What would his parents have thought of him? They would have called him reckless. Impulsive. Foolish. He had been an idiot – running as he had. But all he had thought of doing was getting as far away from those he loved as he could... Because if the Shai'tan had a method of tracking him... even a cub could see what it meant. It meant that anyone he stayed with was in danger. Aunt Vitani. Sara, Inti, Almasi, Damu... Danyal... Their survival depended on being able to escape – upon being able to slip out of the Shai'tan's notice and to survive until they could take back their homes. But how could they survive the inferno if the Prince drew the flames towards them?

He vaguely remembered trying to explain as much to Zuri – in short gasps of pain, and in the little time they had for communication. She had refused to leave him – and he would have fainted from the pain three times were it not for her, so they had ended up together.

They were a pair of cubs – driven into exile, far from their family and their homes, with the might of an Empire bearing down upon them. So the two of them did the only thing they could do.

They ran. Deeper into the Jungle.