... Months later...
Kizazi ran around after a younger lioness. She was just between his and Upelelezi's age.
"Tag! You're it," he cried, tapping her on the shoulder.
"It!" she giggled, swiping at his tail and padding away.
"Gottcha!" Kizazi laughed, catching up to her easily, "You're it, Speckles."
Speckles chased after Kizazi, laughing.
"You two are the cutest," laughed Dotty, "I'm sure Kovu and Kiara will be just as happy as I am!"
"What do you mean?" asked Kizazi, holding Speckles back.
"Oh, I thought you knew. Kizazi, you and Speckles are betrothed. That means that when you're king, Speckles will be your queen."
"Huh... That's weird. At least I like you, Speck!"
Kizazi and Speckles began to play again.
"Who am I betrothed to, Mom?" asked Kumbuka, who had only recently woken up from his nap.
"Well, Kumbuka, you're not betrothed to anybody. Only the royal lions' mates are chosen for them."
"Oh," he said, "Well that's less interesting."
"Don't worry, dear," Dotty replied, licking his cheek, "You'll still have a mate."
"It!" Speckles squeaked, smacking Kumbuka's back.
"Quite it!" he growled.
"It! You're it! Kumbuka!!!"
Speckles swatted at Kumbuka's tail.
Kizazi laughed at the bickering siblings. Kumbuka swiped at Kizazi with his long claws.
"I'm gonna go explore the Pridelands," Kizazi laughed, prancing off, "See you guys later!"
Kizazi pranced to the waterhole, where his mother and a few other lionesses were taking a drink. Zazu sat upon her shoulder.
"Thank you so much for letting me have a vacation, Kiara," he said, "I can't wait to see Binti again!"
"You're welcome, once again," she replied.
"Hey, Mom," chirped Kizazi, prancing up to his mother.
"Hi, Kiz," Kiara replied, licking her son's head.
"Mom, can I go see the Pridelands?"
"Your father showed you the Pridelands yesterday."
"I know, but I wanna go see the Pridelands! Can I go explore? Please? Please? Please?!"
"Alright, if you're careful."
"Really, you're gonna let me? I had a speach prepared and everything."
"Aw, too bad, that would've been fun."
"So I can really go?"
"Yeah, have fun. Be careful, though, Kizzy."
"I will! Thanks, Mom!"
"Shouldn't I go, to make sure he isn't in any danger?" asked Zazu.
"I thought you were on vacation, replied Kiara.
Kizazi hurried away from the waterhole, grinning. He would finally be able to explore his future kingdom! Kizazi had never been out before- well, not without grown lions. There were so many things to do! Kizazi ran through tall grass, and hopped from rock to rock. He crawled through logs, and pranced through clear plains. Eventually, Pride Rock was just a gray thing in the distance. Kizazi wasn't sure where he was anymore. Flies and termites fluttered about his head, and sharp, jagged rocks were scattered about his paws. One wrong step, and Kizazi's paw-pad was punctured by a rock.
"Y'ouch!" he yepled.
Kizazi tripped, and rolled a few feet. He slammed face-first into something furry. The creature fell forward.
"Oof!" it squeaked.
The creature leaped to it's paws, fangs bared, and eyes glowing in anger and a bit a confusion. But when she saw what had hit her, Waanzin's eyes softened, and became wide and curious. She looked down at the smaller cub.
"Hi there," she chirped, "What - I mean - who are you?"
Kizazi was a bit afraid, and took a step back. He had no idea what this creature he was talking to was. But he quickly got his confidence back.
"I'm Kizazi," he said, proudly, "the next Lion King! Who and what are you?"
"So you're lion! i've never met one before. My name's Waanzin, and I'm a hyena."
"Nice to meet 'cha. But how have you never met a lion?"
"Same reason you haven't met a hyena. We live in the Outlands, and you live in the Pridelands."
"I have too met a hyena!"
Kizazi hated when people knew more than him.
"Yeah? Where?" Waanzin smirked.
"Um... I met one in the Outlands..."
Kizazi paused, trying to think of something clever to say.
"... And her name is Waanzin."
"Hahahahahehehehehehehehahahahahahahahehehehehehehaha!" Waanzin cackled, rolling over backwards.
Kizazi shuttered. He had never heared a hyena's laugh before. Waanzin had developed Ed's sense of humor soon after she was adopted. Finally, Waanzin regained her control, and pushed herself back onto her feet.
"Hahaha...hehe...ha. What did you say, again?" she asked.
"Nothing," Kizazi replied, "I don't remember."
Kizazi cleared his throat.
"So, are there a lot of hyenas around here?"
"Some, not a lot. Just my clan. Are there a lot of lions where you live?"
"Yeah, lots of us! Me, and my family, and the rest of my pride. We all live in Pride Rock."
"'Pride Rock?' Is that that gray thingy over there?"
Kizazi turned around, and spotted his home in the distance.
"Yep, that's where I live!"
"Cool. Do you want to come see where I live?"
"Nah, I'm already a little lost, and I don't wanna get really lost. But do you want to play?"
"Yeah, sure! How about we wrestle? I love to wrestle!"
"Uh, sure, okay!"
Waanzin hunkered down, fangs bared, wagging her little tail. Kizazi, in turn, unsheathed his claws, and growled. The two animals leaped upon each other, and rassled in the sand, snarling and growling. Kizazi was kicked in the chest and rolled away, as Waanzin chewed on a leg.
"What are you doing?" asked Kizazi.
Waanzin looked down, and found that she was gnawing on her own leg. After a moment of silence, the two began to laugh, and laugh hysterically. They rolled on the ground, howling with laughter, until they were out of breath. As Waanzin leaned against a rock, hiccuping, Kizazi yawned and shook sand from his fur, still giggling a bit.
"I should get going," he said, "Do you want to hang out tomorrow?"
"Sounds fun," Waanzin replied, "I should go too. My dad doesn't know where I am. See you tomorrow!"
Later that day, Kizazi climbed up Pride Rock, looking for something to do.
"Speckles?" he called out, "Upelelezi? Kumbuka? I'm bored!"
As he neared the den, Kizazi spotted his father and grandfather talking. Kizazi headed over to them, but stopped in his tracks when he heared their conversation.
"I saw them by the boarder of the Pridelands..." said Simba. His voice was intence, angry, and worried.
"I'll check it out in the morning," Kovu replied, "You know, it might just have been cape dogs."
"It wasn't, trust me. I know a hyena when I see one."
Kizazi stared at them, confused, scared and utterly worried. He backed away hurriedly, and slammed into Kumbuka.
"What did you want - oof!" Kumbuka squeaked, "Kizazi, be careful! Hey, what's the rush?"
"It's complicated!" Kizazi replied, running into the den.
Kizazi sat down, and stared into space. What did Grandpa Simba mean? He made hyenas sound... evil. 'I know a hyena when I see one'. Why would he talk about them like that?
"Is something wrong, Kizzy?" Kiara asked, standing just outside of the den with Upelelezi beside her.
"S'nothin'..." he replied, looking away from his mother.
"I know when my boy is upset," said Kiara.
Kiara picked Upelelezi up, and walked inside the den. She layed down, and placed Upelelezi inbetween her front paws.
"Tell me about it. What upset you?"
"I'm not really upset... But I'm kind of confused. Grandpa and Dad were talking about hyenas that Grandpa had seen, and he sounded really scary and serious. Why was it so bad that there were a few hyenas?"
Kiara sighed. She never wanted to tell Kizazi the full story about Scar, but more and more was being revealed.
"Well... you know that your great-grandfather Mufasa was killed by his brother, Scar, right?"
"Well, the hyenas were Scar's accomplices."
"They helped him to kill Mufasa."
"Does that explain it?"
"Yeah, thanks. That explains it."
"Are you sure you're okay, Kizazi?"
"I'm fine, Mom, really. I'm gonna go hang out with Kumbuka and Speckles."
Kizazi headed out of the den. In reality, he wasn't fine. The hyenas had helped Scar kill Mufasa! Did Waanzin know?
Previous: Lion King 3: Hyena Rules (Chapter 2)