I'm here to show that my creativity shall not be silenced! We writers and artists have a right to express ourselves the way we want unless it is completely plagiarized. So what if we're using unoriginal characters? Every character is bound to have something in common with another or even one of the billions of people on Earth, fact is, every creative person in the world, original or otherwise, should be thrown into prison for copyright because there's always going to be someone who's already that character or have the same traits or some other reason! We shall not be silenced!

This message was inspired by a PM sent to me from TRON0602. I am Zero Unit RGB, and I approve this message.

Do not forget to review to this chapter.

-X-

Kianu opened one eye and watched Pumbaa's mass disappear into the night. He then opened both eyes after he was gone and sighed quietly to himself. Hearing that story only reminded him of his situation. He looked at his fur and thought about how Uru and Ahadi were mistreated. Granted their situation was turned around but it had the same idea.

The golden cub tried getting into a comfortable position after some long thinking but he just couldn't get to sleep. It appeared that a bedtime story had the opposite effect on him as it did on the other cubs.

So after everyone else in the den had gone to sleep, Kianu got up from his spot. He scanned the room which was full of snoring adults and soft breathing cubs. Once he had confirmed that he was the only who was still awake, he made his way out of the den, carefully and expertly avoiding physical contact with all other bodies.

Kianu walked out of the damp cave and into the cold night. The moon was bright and the stars shoned brilliantly against the blanket of darkness. He shivered in the cold air so he stayed still and breathed deeply until he felt his body temperature adjust to the new atmosphere.

He looked back at the inside of the den before walking to the peak of Pride Rock. He stared at the empty and sleeping savannah; everything was quiet except for the sound of crickets chirping and the rustling of grass against the cool wind.

"…Why…Why did my life have to turn out this way?" Kianu whispered to the night. He was his breath in the dark and wondered if he would catch a cold if he stayed out there any longer. For some reason, this made the cub want to pour his heart out to the heavens. "My father and I had to be banished from our pride just because of my fur color. My very first memory was of being chased by starving wild dog! I never had a real mother and the one who gave birth to me probably doesn't even acknowledge my existence! I was always the target for scavengers and every pride I go to looks at my father with disdain because they think that he did some heinous crime! I like it here…But no one likes me…"

Kianu let the tears roll down his cheeks before his ear perked up to a sound from behind him. He turned and saw the two princes staring at him.

Kito chuckled a little nervously but that didn't stop him from replying unashamedly. "Whoa dude, we get that you had a rough life, but that doesn't mean you should tell everyone about it."

"Whatever…" Kianu grumbled irately as he rubbed the tears off of his face. "I have a right to say what I want to say. But you guys shouldn't be butting into others' privacy, I need my space. And it wasn't meant for anyone to here anyway…"

"Come on, chill out" Neo said.

"Oh don't worry" Kianu muttered as he shivered again. "I'll have no problem with that."

Kito glanced around before apparently noticing what he was searching for, inside the den. "Hey, Neo, isn't your dad supposed to be out here for another three more days? What's he doing inside the den?"

"Mom let him off the hook because of his constant begging and because of…You know…burial reasons…" Neo explained.

Kianu scoffed in an irked fashion before stamping down the steps of Pride Rock. "You two are pathetic…"

"Wait!" Kito called. The two princes were able to catch up to him before he even made it to the bottom of the steps. "Where do you think you're going?"

"Just for a walk, don't worry your majesties, I'll be back before the sun rises" Kianu grumbled in reply.

"Well then we're coming with you!" smiled Neo.

Kianu paused and sighed in irritation. "Why?"

"Because of what you said earlier, if you want more people to like you then you should hang out with us a little" Kito told him matter-of-factly. "Plus, you're pretty much wrong when you say no one likes you. I know my sister does, she says you're more interesting to hang out with than the rest of us."

Neo chuckled alongside his cousin. "And that's saying something."

Kianu rolled his eyes but he didn't dissuade them otherwise. The three of them began their walk through the seemingly empty Pride Lands. They made sure to stay near Pride Rock in case night predators or illegal poachers were running amok.

Kianu found their company to be rather entertaining. There was a lot of friendly arguing among them and trivial disagreements. Many times, Kianu found himself laughing to one of Neo's corny jokes. The three of them were climbing around a large tree near the water hole when they suddenly heard something.

Kianu shushed the other two and ushered them behind the tree. They peeked their heads out and saw a shadowy figure approaching the water hole. It appeared to be a lioness but it was unfamiliar to the cubs.

She had bright glowing green eyes and prowled as if she was hunting for something to eat. It was difficult to see her because her fur was practically pitch-black it hid her well in the cover of the night but not as well in the grass. But it wasn't nearly as dark as Tau's.

"She doesn't look very friendly…" Kito whispered. He was shaking in fear when he saw the lioness's sharp teeth glisten in the moonlight. Then again, it wasn't like his cousin wasn't afraid too.

Kianu showed no signs of fear; he was completely stiff as he watched this lioness lap at the water. Even though he wasn't frightened like his companions were, he was afraid. He had seen many predators in his short lifetime, but none looked as deadly as this black lioness.

"W-We…We need to stay quiet" Neo stuttered.

Kianu shushed them again before turning back to the lioness. She had just finished her drink as it would appear and then it looked as if she was about to leave. Btu before that, she froze and sniffed the air.

The cubs' postures stiffened as she turned to the true. She approached it slowly, they all knew that she had caught their scent; the air was pretty much blowing them in her direction. Neo's ears lowered and stuck to his head while he lowered his body and shuddered in fright. Kito silently prayed to the Great Kings of the Past. Kianu remained stock still, his eyes finally betraying his stoicism.

Just as the lioness had reached the tree, another dark lioness appeared. This one wasn't nearly as dark as the first; she had the same fur color as Kovu had if only a shade darker. "What are you doing? You're wasting time!" the second lioness snapped.

The first lioness turned her head to her companion and gave a grunt of irritation. She had a very annoyed expression on her face, not that the cubs could see it. "I thought I had caught the scent of cubs over here but apparently, it's just you."

"Ha ha ha. Very funny…I almost forgot to laugh. Anyway, it was probably the scent of some cubs from earlier today or something. I highly doubt that the adults here would allow their young to roam free in the dead of the night. Now come on!"

The first lioness groaned but didn't protest any further as she followed the other lioness away. All three of the cubs simultaneously released breaths they hadn't known they were holding after they had completely lost sight of the lionesses.

"She was way too close for comfort" Kito breathed.

"No kidding…What do we do? Report to grandpa in the morning?" inquired Neo.

"Maybe she was just a rogue who was really thirsty so they came here to get a drink" Kito suggested.

"I don't know…" Kianu muttered doubtfully. "She and that other lioness seemed awfully shady to me."

"They probably looked like that because they knew that trespassing was wrong. I know that I'd appear shady if I was somewhere I wasn't" Kito shrugged nonchalantly.

Kianu sighed but decided that Kito was probably right. The chances of a criminal lioness entering the Pride Lands to do something bad were highly unlikable. Not to mention the fact that the biggest crime they could've committed was poaching and as long as they hadn't harmed anyone else, things would be fine. And if they had poached, the victim's family or friends would report to the king anyway.

"Yeah, I suppose you're right…" Kianu sighed. "Although with the attitude you have towards all this really makes wonder if this kingdom is in safe paws when you take over."

"I wonder that all the time" Neo laughed.

Kito made a face before lightly cuffing his cousin on the arm. "Shut up!"

-X-

Ashanti yawned as she unwrapped herself from her mother's grasp. She shook herself until she found herself to be wide awake. The sun was just rising in the Southern Kingdom and she knew that her stepfather was already out patrolling.

Everyone in the pride told her that she was lucky to be the princess. That she was lucky that her mother became loving mates with Mheetu. But…She didn't feel lucky and she most certainly didn't feel happy. It's not that she didn't like Mheetu, honestly she liked him. But being the princess was what she didn't like.

Everyone was telling her she was lucky and so, they just stopped hanging out with her. The adults wanted so hard to please her and show that everything was going for her. The other cubs all felt that she was getting all the attention and she had completely changed her attitude from nice to snobbish so they've grown distant from her. And her own parents had become way too busy to hang out with her since gaining their royal duties.

"I wish everything returned to normal" she muttered. Ashanti walked her way over the other members of the pride before she got out of the den. She didn't get very far as she encountered Mheetu right outside the den, he had probably just come back from some meeting with Tojo.

"Hey Ashanti, what are you doing up so early?" Mheetu asked.

"Nothing much" she shrugged in response. "I only got up early because I went to bed early. There's not much for me to do anymore…"

Mheetu sighed as he knew of his stepdaughter's current situation. He wanted so badly to help her but the council of elders have him running ragged running the kingdom and keeping things in order. For the longest time they had taken care of everything and he only assisted, he never expected for his kindness to lead to an entire change in venue.

"I'm sorry you're mother and I have been so busy lately" Mheetu apologized. He stepped closer to her and nuzzled her affectionately.

"I know" Ashanti replied, her voice having a hint of depression in it. "I'm just a little lonely sometimes…But don't worry about me! I get that you and mom have to be busy. You've got an entire pride to take care of now, not just me."

"Why don't you tell me about it? It might make you feel better."

Ashanti smiled at the thought but then shook her head as she walked past him. "No, you're busy, you've got your morning patrol to do and you've also got to wake up the pride. I'd only distract you…Maybe we can talk later, like tonight when you put me to sleep…" She noticed her stepfather's uncomfortable shift in posture before silently groaning. "Or, you're busy tonight…I totally get it…"

"Actually" said Mheetu, stopping his stepdaughter from getting and farther. "I actually had a talk with Tojo about your little dilemma." As if on cue, Tojo appeared with a bluebird on each shoulder. He acknowledged the king and princess with a nod before heading towards the den.

"What's Tojo doing?" asked Ashanti curiously.

Mheetu chuckled as he led her away from the cave. "I talked to Tojo and he, being the understanding head elder that he is, allowed me a break. Family is important; he knows that, so he wants me to hang out with you today while he and the other elders take care of everything else."

Ashanti couldn't hold back the smile that was forming on her face as she leaped into Mheetu's arms. "Thank you, thank you, thank you, so much for this!" she cheered.

There was a reason why she liked her stepfather. He was the only father figure she really knew, her biological father was out there living by his own rules and not caring about the creatures he leave behind, while this one is here and making sure to love his daughter like one should.

They may not be connected and related by blood, but that doesn't change the memories they had of each other.

"Oh, and don't worry about being lonely so much" Mheetu told her as they began their father-daughter walk together.

"Why's that? Are you going to have more breaks so you can hang out with me? I don't want you to do that, that'll jeopardize your place on the throne" she said.

"No" he laughed. "Actually, I asked my sister to come visit sometime and she says she will make plans to come in a month. She's also going to be bringing her grand cubs who aren't far from your age. I know you'll hit it off with them."

"Why, are they outcasts too?"

"Now don't say that! But also don't mention this to anyone else in the pride" said Mheetu as his voice dropped to a whisper. "…Lions from the Pride Lands are much nicer than the ones here, cubs included…"

"Now you're just complementing yourself!"

"Maybe I am!"

The two of them ended up laughing and then Ashanti mentioned how she could beat Mheetu in wrestling. The king of course, doubted this claim and got into a crouched position. She did the same and leaped on him.

They rolled around for a while before Mheetu stopped on his back with his stepdaughter on top of his stomach. They were laughing the entire time until Ashanti stopped to rub her face against his warm chest.

"You know…Even though you're not my real dad, I'm glad you're my stepdad" she smiled. "…Because you're the best dad in the whole wide world."

Mheetu was taken aback by this but then smiled and pulled her into a closer embrace. He let the tip of his chin rub the top of her head lovingly. "And you are the best daughter any lion could ever ask for…I love you…"

"I love you…"

-X-

Kula glanced at the inside of the den and looked around for any sign of her friend. She was just about to give on the place when she heard her name being called.

"Kula?"

"Tama?" Kula asked aloud. She walked in deeper into the den until she saw the figure of her best friend approach her. "What in the world are you doing in here all alone? The rest of the pride is already awake and doing their morning activities."

"I just…I just don't want to…" Tama's words trailed off. She looked down at the ground before looking back up at her friend with a rather distressed expression. "I guess I just don't want to bump into Jelani…"

Kula furrowed her brow in a peculiar mixture of confusion and curiosity. "May I ask why?"

"I think…I don't know, I remind him and the rest of the pride a lot of a lioness named Tala who used to be Jelani's mate before she lost her mind and was exiled" Tama blurted out. "And I just don't want him falling for me because…"

"…Because you look like Tala?" Kula finished for her. "Hey, don't sweat it. Besides, I've seen how the prince looks at you, from what I see, he truly cares about you and worries about your well-being. I'm sure he only wants to get to know you better, not to get to know because you look like his lost love. Maybe you should stop running from him and actually let him talk to you."

"It's not just because of the fact that I look like Tala to him…" Tama sighed. "It's also because…"

Tama's words trailed off again but Kula was able to get the message easily. The rougher lioness instantly felt sympathetic towards her best friend and she approached her and laced a comforting arm around her.

Kula probably knew that asking this question was a sore spot for her friend but it's not like it was easy for her to approach the subject either. "Are you still in love with him?"

"Yes, and I can never stop thinking about him…" Tama admitted. "I see him every night in my dreams and every morning when I wake up. So if Jelani ends up falling for me because I remind him of Tala then I'll feel like I'm leading him on. I'll feel like I'm being used and also the one who's doing the using."

"Wow" Kula uttered. "I've never heard a more complicated sentence from you. But I get what you mean; I can't stop thinking about him either, but of course for different reasons than you…"

"…Kula…Did her ever…Did he ever say if he loved me…Or anyone for that matter? After all, you were closest to him…"

Kula frowned as she stepped away from her friend and began pacing around for a few moments, digging in her memories for any conversations about love with the lion in question. "…No…I'm afraid not…But think about it this way, Jua only allowed four people near him. Afua, Sierra, me, and you, that's got to mean something especially since didn't even like Sierra all that much."

"…True I suppose…But that doesn't change the fact that he's gone from our lives…I get that we need to stay positive and hope that he'll return one day but…Ugh, he keeps messing with my mind all the time and I just can't stop him…I need to know how he feels about me or I'll never get over him…"

Kula stared at Tama as she tried her hardest to think of a way to cheer her up. "I get that this is troubling you but that shouldn't stop you from getting to know others that could possibly be your one true love. Give Jelani a chance and if he tells you he loves while you're still sorting things out, just tell him to give you some time. If he truly loves you, then he'll give you all the time in the world. And one day, we'll see my brother again and that's when you can ask him."

Tama smiled. "Thank you Kula" she smiled as she nuzzled her friend. "But when did you become so filled with this kind of romantic stuff? I never would've pegged you for the insightful and romantic type of lioness."

"I guess I've changed since we ended up living here" Kula shrugged. "Or maybe…It was Chaka who changed my view on life, after all, he's the one who lit up the hope inside of me that there's a way to bring Jua home."

Tama laughed. "Then I guess I have to thank Chaka too!"

Kula laughed along with her before pulling Tama into her embrace. "Hey…You know that I'm your best friend and that I'll never ever leave your side right?"

"…Of course…"

"Good…" smiled Kula. "Now come on, everyone in the pride is waiting for us."

-X-

Kivuli watched as the different animals clashed with each other, with the master plan branching towards the final phase, everyone had to be in perfect condition. She watched as each animal was picking themselves up after falling over and then trying again.

Kivuli knew that starting a war for peace was a long shot from succeeding but watching as all these animals worked together for the same goal, it made her proud to be a part of it. But she also felt that there was a way for this plan to work, for it to actually achieve an era of peace. Not one that was perfect of course since perfection was impossible, but a place where no one would hate life and everyone would appreciate each other, appreciate life, and not see it as a way to be superior to another.

She chuckled to herself. "To think that striving to win a war that hasn't even started yet could bring together so many."

She got up from her vantage point and began walking along the border of their property. She frowned when she saw a nasty little group of various animals. These creatures claimed to be in their association for peace and equality but she could see right through them. They were only in this because they were mistreated and they wanted to prove that they were better than their oppressors.

The black leopardess scoffed in disgust, ashamed to think that there were those using their lord to achieve the exact same thing their clan leaders' had.

"It's not very nice to behave in such a way when you should be training everybody" a familiar voice chuckled.

Kivuli turned her head to see Thimba approach her. "What's up big cat?" Kivuli retorted smugly. "I see that daddy finally let you out of his sight."

"Get off that" Thimba shook his head. "He sees me as a brother to him not a father. That'd be really weird anyway since he'd probably just be about a month prior to adolescence when I was born. He's only old enough to be the father of a cub."

"Who says you're not a cub?"

"That's taking it too far!"

The two of them laughed for a bit before noticing Jet giving them a very suggestive glance. This caused raucous laughter and irritating cackling amongst his little group of misfits.

"He's being as mature as usual" Kivuli noted. She then sighed before turning around and stamping away.

Thimba was just about to follow when he noticed a rather small stone but still large enough to harm someone on the ground in front of him. He picked it up and threw it at the cackling cheetah. The lion smirked to himself when Jet dropped to the ground unconscious.

"That was satisfying…" he smiled to himself before catching up with the leopardess. "Hey! Kivuli, wait up! You've been a bit on edge lately, is everything all right?"

"Of course…No…" she admitted. "I'm just suffering from the same illness as everyone else here is, nervousness. By now that Black Pride should've completed their task and by next week or maybe even sooner, the members of the Pride Lands will move."

"I know what you mean" Thimba nodded. "But you should just try to calm down; everything will turn out just fine. Just remember that we're all in this together, we'll all be watching each others' backs, even Jet and his cronies. They want to live too."

"I know…"

Thimba looked back to all the clashing animals. "We've got quite a decent army here…There's absolutely nothing to worry about…"

Kivuli sighed but nodded nonetheless. After that, Thimba smiled towards her before running off since he was on hunting duty today.

"…Nothing to worry about…Except the result…"

-X-

Well, here was the newest addition to the Book of Black Pride family. I honestly hope that all of you enjoyed this because I know that I enjoyed writing it. And so, Tama's love is revealed and we finally learn a little more about Ashanti. And here are some questions I must ask of you people but do not forget to review!

1) Do you think that the dark lioness was in the Pride Lands for no real reason or do you think she was something more?

2) What are your true thoughts on Kianu? I must know how much more likable I must make him.