April 10th, 2022
It's been almost a year since I left the Pridelands and I already feel like something has been missing. I don't know if it's the fact I essentially left a family I married into behind for my actual one, but something is telling me I should ask Mohatu if I can go back to the Pridelands to see how they're going. Kiara is probably thinking about me every day...not that I blame her, really. Anyway, if I end up not being here...it's because I left...for the Pridelands...I love you guys...I always will…
Connor Emery, your heart and soul
''Is that good?'' I asked the great king, who was still in my head after almost a year being away from the Pridelands.
It is quite the letter, I will admit that...but I must warn you about something, Connor...there is a great threat of wild variety coming to the pridelands and I ask that you consider going back to help take care of it.
''Oh, I understand.'' I said while nodding, then walked outside of my house as I looked up to the sky, ''...Beam me up to the Pridelands!''
Suddenly, a lightning bolt hit me and a bright light flashed before my eyes.
''WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-'' I screamed before I fell into the Water Hole, causing all the animals there to flee. I quickly got my head out of the water and spit some of the liquid out, sputtering while doing so, ''Puh!''
I looked around as a lone antelope narrowed his eyes at me.
''You look familiar.'' The antelope said before his eyes widened, ''Wait...you're...Shujaa.''
''Yes...why do you ask?'' I asked and the Antelope grinned excitedly.
''I can't believe it! The lone warrior of the princess has returned to our world!'' The Antelope said ecstatically before I climbed out of the waterhole and hushed him.
''Don't..tell...anyone.'' I said before I heard a voice.
''Til the Pridelands end..'' A child's voice said before four more voices spoke up.
''LION GUARD DEFEND!'' the four other voices said as The Lion Guard reached the antelope and I, causing a cub to jump in between us.
''Who are you?'' The cub asked, causing me to smile. Ah yes, Kion.
''Kion?'' I asked and Kion raised an eyebrow.
''How do you know my name?'' Kion asked, wondering how I knew him.
''How do you know Kiara?''
''Where is she!?'' I shouted out, causing Kion to walk back a bit.
''She's...at Pride Rock with Mom and Dad...why?'' Kion replied.
''Because I want to pay her a visit.'' I answered, causing Kion to blink.
Kion and I reached Pride Rock and were nearing the den as a lioness managed to notice me, bolting to us.
''Oh my godness, it's you!'' The lioness said before turning to the den, ''The Princess hasn't been the same since you left, Shujaa.''
''What do you mean?'' I asked and the lioness sighed.
''Why don't you find out?'' The lioness replied as I walked towards the den, where I found Kiara all the way in the back of the den, not talking to anyone with Simba and Nala watching her.
''Wait...you know my sister?'' Kion asked and I nodded.
''I know her better than even you do, Kion.'' I said before I walked in the den, ignoring Kion's muttered "not possible", and walking past napping lionesses before I managed to get into the largest part of the den and looked around, ''Well, I see nothing has changed other than the number of lionesses.''
As I expected, Kiara's ears perked up at the sound of my voice as Simba and Nala turned to me in surprise.
''Shujaa?'' Nala asked in shock and wonder, ''Is that…''
''You?'' Simba completed and I nodded, causing both of them to embrace me, to Kion's confusion.
''Oh, it's good to have you back!'' Nala said before Kion growled.
''Hey, am I missing anything?'' Kion asked, ''Who is this guy, how does he know you and why is he here?''
''This is Shujaa and he's your brother-in-law...Kiara's mate.'' Nala revealed to Kion, who stared at me in shock as I chuckled, only for Kiara to slowly turn her head towards us with tears down her cheeks.
''C-C-Connor?'' Kiara asked in doubt, googly eyes with tears coming down.
''Whatever happened to calling me that in private, Princess?'' I asked her before she launched herself at me and tackled me down, hugging and nuzzling me while openly crying.
''It's you, it's actually you!'' Kiara cried as she buried her muzzle in my mane, ''I couldn't live without you!''
''Oh, so that's how much you care.'' I chuckled before nuzzling her back and smiling, ''I missed you, Kiara.''
''Don't leave us this time, okay!?'' Kiara yelled as I laughed nervously.
''Well, you see, there's a reason why i'm back in the pridelands and while it was mainly for you, there's also another reason if you could get off of me, Kiara.'' I said, causing Kiara to slowly get off me as Kion still looked at me in surprise. I shrugged off the look from Kion and looked at the three other royals, ''You guys know how I was brought to this world by the great kings, right?''
Kiara, Simba and Nala nodded as Kion looked understandably lost.
''Well, they've sent me for another mission...one that involve my brother-in-law's little Lion Guard.'' I said, running a paw through Kion's mane as he looked confused.
''How does it involve The Lion Guard?'' Kion asked and I looked at him.
''...I'll just explain this to Kiara and Kion on the peak of Pride Rock, okay?'' I said to Simba and Nala, who nodded, leading to me gesturing for Kion and Kiara to follow me, Kiara and I nuzzling along the way...yep, this is the life I wanted.
''You see, my time in my world was average at best. My human family kept bombarding my with questions as to where I was, why I was gone and why I didn't bother calling...if only they knew you can't call in this world.'' I chuckled, ''But on with why i've come back. The great kings have requested I come back to this world in order to help your Lion Guard, Kion.''
''Help us?'' Kion asked, baffled, ''But we're doing just fine!''
''Kion, listen to him.'' Kiara told him gently as I smiled.
''I had one priority I did want to follow through on and that was reuniting with Kiara, who I ended up having to leave just after we married to go back to my world.'' I said and Kiara grunted, ''But now that i'm back, i'm all hers.''
I winked as Kiara giggled and Kion did a mere 'blech!'.
''Seriously though, Kion, you do not understand how hard being leader of The Lion Guard will actually be.'' I told my brother-in-law, who frowned.
''I seem to be doing well enough.'' Kion defended, causing Kiara to scoff.
''Kion, you've only beaten one threat and that's a small hyena pack, the enemies will get larger and tougher.'' I reminded him, causing him to look down and frown, ''But alas, that is not the point. While the threats your sister and I faced over four years were big, they usually came down to a pride of lions in the outlands….this one...has variety.''
Before I could explain what I meant, we heard a roar calling for us, causing me to sigh.
''Looks like Simba wants us.'' I said with a smile...nobody has changed a bit.
The three of us arrived where Simba and the rest of the pride were as the king was on the edge of Pride Rock.
''As all of you know, I am the current King of the Pridelands and I rule it fairly.'' Simba started.
''Kind of fairly.'' I interrupted, raising an eyebrow, ''Remember the exile?''
''Well...mostly fairly.'' Simba sighed, ''But the point is, for five years, I have ruled over the pridelands and provided peace with the help of all of you...but I had discussed something with my mate, the Queen of the Pridelands, Nala...and in two months, we will be abdicating.''
Gasps from everyone in the crowd, including the animals that managed to attend this...everyone gasped be me, but my eyebrows raised, as even I was surprised. Simba stepping down? That's odd.
''And the next rulers of the Pridelands...will be you two.'' Simba revealed, gesturing to me and Kiara, causing my eyes to widen..i'm gonna be a King in two months!?, ''I understand that such a job might require training since Shujaa has a lack of royal knowledge, but I assure you, Shujaa, you will have help from everyone around you.''
''I understand, Simba.'' I said immediately, ''My lack of experience will be made up by my tendency to learn from others. You need not worry about the Pridelands falling under disrepair.''
''That's what I like to hear.'' Simba admitted before Zazu landed in front of him.
''Sire!'' Zazu shouted to Simba, who looked down at him.
''What is it, Zazu?'' Simba asked and Zazu sighed.
''A crocodile has called for a mashindano against Pua.'' Zazu informed Simba, causing his face to harden.
''A mashindano?'' Kion asked and I frowned.
''Yes…'' I said, ''I will explain when we get to where it is.''
HERE IT IS, A NEW STORY!
Next: Mashindano! When a croc named Makuu defeats the previous leader of his float in an ancient Crocodile tradition, Shujaa assists The Lion Guard in their quest to prevent Makuu from taking over big springs.