Zira looked upon her new pride, thinking of the long way she had come. Unlike her last pride, these twenty-five lions and lionesses had nothing at all against Simba, and they weren't mad about Scar (who they never heard of), or anything that Zira used to be mad about. But that didn't matter. Zira hadn't been mad about Scar for a very long time now. Of course, she still wanted Simba to die the most painful, dragged out death as she could possibly thrust upon him, but not because he brutally murdered her dear husband and king. No, she was so enraged at Simba because he had tried to brutally murder her!
Zira had always known how to swim. She was, indeed, the lion who had taught Kovu how to swim! But the river was rushing so fast, she wasn't sure she was going to make it. Luckily, the storm had subsided so fast that she had been able to paddle to shore. Zira knew she couldn't go back to the Pridelands, not yet. She was weak and weary, and couldn't face Simba without a pride under her control. So, Zira took the long way to the Elephant Graveyard, around the mountains, and by the time she got there, her strength had returned to her. But she still didn't have an army. Unexpectedly, Zira had run into a few of the ugliest rogue lionesses she had ever met, gorging themselves on a recently dead elephant. She followed them back to their home, and found that they weren't rogues at all, but greedy huntresses in a pride, lead by an ancient and ailing lion, who called himself 'Ni'. Zira knew she could take him in a fare fight, and definitly win in an unfare one. So, she ambushed Ni while he slept, and he was dead instantly. With the promise of a new home in the Pridelands, Zira was queen within the hour.
"Oy, Queenie!" a lioness howled from an elephant skull, interupting Zira's thoughts, "When ah we go'n invade the Proid-londs already? Mah cubs ah 'ungry!"
Zira was used to their disrespectful attitudes.
"Once I have an heir to the throne!" Zira growled back, "Once one of you volenteers a worthy cub, we'll be ready! And once you learn how to talk..."
Zira never wanted to bare cubs who weren't Scar's.
"Wha' 'bout mah son?" asked another, "My son, Neo."
"I haven't met Neo, Kijinga," Zira replied.
"Oy, Neo!" Kijinga hollered.
A pitch-black teenager came strutting out of an old skull. He shook his glossy gray-and-brown mane. Zira liked him, he had the look of a king!
"Ah..." Zira breathed, "Neo, you shall be the next king!"
"Jus' loike ya fatha always plond!" Kijinga beamed.
"Coo'," he replied, glancing up from licking his paw.
"Once we take back the Pridelands, I'll find a nice little queen for you. Maybe one of my grandchildren, I'm thinking of letting the littlest ones live."
Meanwhile, the lionesses (of the Pridelands) sat together in the den. It was far too hot to be outside, and the hunting had been done, so nothing was left to do but chat.
"I don't care what he says," said an older lioness, "we've seen what the hyenas can do."
"I know," a young lioness replied, "But, like Kiara said, it's been a long time since they've done any of that."
"We should get to know them before we regect them," a teenager piped up.
"They won't follow the rules," said another, "You bet your tail they won't."
"But Kiara can kick them back out if they don't. I think it's worth the chance."
"Well some of us don't!"
"Well Kovu does!"
"Sure he does, he was one of them..." growled the old lioness, laying her head on her paws.
"One of who?" asked a lioness, a former Outlander.
"Don't get me wrong, I like you, Ander, but you have bad blood."
"We have the same blood as you, Ubaguzi!"
"Ladies," someone said, entering the den.
"Hello, Simba," said Ander, darkly.
The others greeted him with nods.
"I couldn't help but overhear," Simba continued, "that some of you are less than happy with Kiara's decision?"
Some lionesses hung their heads.
"Sorry, Simba," said Ubaguzi, "I know we should support them, it's just-"
"Hold on, I wasn't done."
The lionesses looked at him, puzzled.
"I don't support this either."
They were confused, and shocked.
"I know how badly this will hurt the pride, and I know what I'm going to do; Who doesn't support this decision?"
Around 40% of the lionesses answered, mostly older lionesses and some of their children. The others rolled their eyes at them.
"Well, I have an idea. I'm going to leave the Pridelands, with Nala of course, until Kovu and Kiara realize what they have done, and exile the hyenas again. If some of you would like to come with me, and avoid any pain that will come with the hyenas, I welcome it. We will leave for the Outlands tonight."
"That's practically mutiny!" cried Dotty.
"Or necessary precautions. When this all blows up in their faces, we will come back, and rejoin the pride. Who is with me?"
"I am!" Ubaguzi said, eagerly. She walked up to Simba and smirked at Ander.
"Me too," said another.
Soon, almost half of the lionesses were standing around Simba.
"Are you sure you aren't coming?" Simba asked the remaining lionesses.
"We are loyal to our queen," replied Ander.
"Alright. Now we shall find Nala and leave for the Outlands."
Simba walked out of the den, with the lionesses at his heels. The others stared daggers at them as they left.
Kovu and Kiara walked back to Pride Rock, uneasy, but excited. Kiara grinned, spotting Upelelezi and her babysitter, Zazu playing in front of Pride Rock. He had been so happy after his first time babysitting her, as she was so much calmer and sweeter than any other cub he had been forced to take care of. Kiara sighed, happily. Upelelezi would grow up in such a differant world than she had.
Kovu looked over his shoulder, at Kizazi and his hyena friends, Waanzin, Kila, Kitu, and NaZaidi, playing chase behind him and the adult hyenas. There were only a couple dozen hyenas, now, so many had burned to death, starved or had been killed.
"You're it, Kila!" cried Kizazi.
"Not for long!" she laughed, chasing after Waanzin.
Soon enough, they were back at Pride Rock. The hyena clan got settled around the base of the rock, while Kovu headed into the den to inform the lionesses of the hyenas arrival. When he entered, Kovu was shocked to find almost half of the lionesses missing!
"Where is everybody?" he asked.
"Simba took them," Vitani replied, "He said that they're gonna be in the Outlands until this all 'blows up in your faces'."
"Is something wrong?" asked Kiara, walking inside. She tilted her head.
"Where are the others?"
"Simba took away some lionesses," said Kumbuka, "because they don't like the hyenas."
"Kovu, we need to talk outside," she said.
They hurried out, and up Pride Rock.
"Kovu, what are we going to do?" she asked, "Both of my parents are gone. And where did they go?!"
"I don't know what we should do," Kovu replied, "But I know that Simba took them all to the Outlands. I don't think they realize what life is like over there."
"And this is all because of the hyenas... Should we bother keeping them in the Pridelands at this price?"
Kovu didn't answer.
Kizazi chased Waanzin up Pride Rock, unknowingly going in the direction of his parents.
"You're going to be it!" he laughed, with a pretend growl.
"Am not!" she replied, grinning.
When they climbed farther up Pride Rock, Kizazi spotted Kiara and Kovu. He skidded to a hault, as not to bump into them.
"Hi King Kovu, hi Queen Kiara," smiled Waanzin.
"Hey, kids," she replied.
She whispered into Kovu's ear;
"What'll we do?"
"I can only think of kicking them out again," he whispered back, "Ugh, that conversation won't be fun... But we can't let our family live in the Outlands. Family comes first..."
"It'll crush Kizazi," she said, a little to loudly.
"What?" Kizazi asked, walking up to Kiara.
"Um, Kizazi... We should probably tell you this alone."
There was a pause.
"I get it," said Waanzin, walking off, "I heard you."
"Kizazi," Kiara began, laying so that she was nose-to-nose with Kizazi, "We've been forced to rethink this. We don't think we can let the hyenas live in the Pridelands."
"Well, to be honest, your grandfather took away some of the lionesses, and they won't come back until we exile the hyenas again."
"You can't do that!" Kizazi shouted.
"I understand how hard this is for you," Kovu started, but Kizazi interupted him.
"That isn't it!"
"Than what is it, Kizzy?"
Kizazi's stomach tightened. He wasn't sure how to tell him about his dream without sounding crazy, or like a stupid little cub (and he was a smart little cub!). Kizazi sighed to try to calm himself. It didn't work.
"I had a dream last night," he sighed, "and Nuka was there."
"Nuka?" Kovu asked in disbelief, "My dead brother, Nuka?"
"Yes, he was there, and he told me this was going to happen."
Kovu and Kiara looked at each other.
"He said Simba and some lionesses were going to do something that would be bad for the pride. And he said that if you go talk to Simba, than while you're doing that, that... well, Nuka said that 'the storm would hit'. I'm not sure what that means, but he said that if we don't have the hyenas, that 'the someone' is going to win. I don't know who The Someone is, but I know it's really, really bad! We need the hyenas."
Kiara muttered to Kovu;
"What are we supposed to do with that?"
Kovu said nothing. His eyes were wide in horror.
"Kiara, I know what's going to happen."
"'A storm is going to hit'. Nuka said it like that for a reason. The night that Scar died, a storm hit. The night that Zira... died... a storm hit. It is... very possible that Zira didn't die."
Kiara was dazed.
"Kovu, that couldn't happen."
"She could swim, and the storm ended right after she fell. Kizazi, what else did Nuka say?"
"He said, um..." Kizazi strained, trying to remember, "he said that... 'the one person who your family thinks has been washed away is gonna be back'. He said it's the worst thing that could happen."
"Kiara... this proves it. Zira is alive."