It was a peaceful day in the Pridelands.

Kion was playing Baobab Ball in the Meadow with Denahi.

He didn't know that Rafiki was observing him from the shadows of the baobab tree.

Rafiki hopped out of the tree, and began to make his way to Pride Rock.

When he arrived, he went up to the Peak.

"Simba and Nala! I must speak with you." He called.

Simba and Nala padded out of the den.

"Hello, Rafiki" Simba said.

"What can we do for you?" Nala asked politely.

"I'm here about Kion" Rafiki said

"What about Kion?" Simba asked.

"He is ready to lead The Lion Guard" Rafiki answered.

He led Simba and Nala inside the den to explain further.

Meanwhile, Kion and Denahi were finishing up their game of Baobab Ball.

Kion whacked the ball, and sent it flying over Denahi's head.

"Good shot, Kion" Denahi said.

"Thanks" Kion said.

Denahi made a grab for the ball, and missed.

The ball bounced over the border.

"Aww. It rolled into the Outlands. Game over." Kion said disappointedly.

"I'll get it. I'm not afraid of the Outlands." Denahi said.

"Dad and Kiara say we're not supposed to go there" Kion pointed out.

"Mom and Grandpa are scaredy mice when it comes to the Outlands" Denahi said.

"They have a good reason to be" Kion said.

"You know what Timon and Pumba always say" Denahi said.

Kion rolled his eyes.

He watched Denahi creep over the border, and enter the Outlands.

"Be careful Nahi" Kion warned.

Denahi spotted the fruit, and reached out to grab it with his teeth.

Kion gasped, as he recognized the figures behind Denahi.

"Denahi!, heads up!" He shouted.

Denahi glanced at his uncle.

"Relax Kion, Hakuna-" Denahi's sentence was cut off as he was lifted up into the air.

Kion gasped again.

"'Matata" Denahi finished.

Janja and Shenzi had him in a death grip.

Denahi struggled to free himself.

"Hyenas. Let Denahi go. Pick on someone your own size" Kion ordered.

"Kion, you want the lion cub?, come and get him" Shenzi cackled.

"Let him go, you hyenas don't want any trouble with my Dad" Kion ordered again.

He then roared so loudly that Denahi dropped from Shenzi's mouth with surprise.

Kion blinked with confusion at the power of the roar.

He waited for Denahi to join him, before running back to Pride Rock.

"How'd you roar like that?" Denahi asked.

"I don't know Denahi, I'm sure Dad will" Kion said.

As they entered the den Simba, Nala, and Kiara ran over to them.

"Are you okay, Denahi?" Kiara asked.

"I'm fine, Mom" Denahi said.

Rafiki and Simba exchanged a glance.

"What’s going on, Dad?” Kion asked.

Simba glanced over Kion's shoulder at Kiara.

Kiara nodded, and came up to sit next to Kion.

"We heard your roar, Kion." She said gently.

"Yeah. It was kinda different today" Kion said slowly.

Rafiki chuckled.

"It was more then different, Kion" he said.

"What do you mean?" Kion asked.

"It is the Roar of the Elders!" Rafiki exclaimed.

"When you use it, the great lions of the Pridelands' past roar with you." Kiara added.

Kion and Denahi exchanged a glance.

"Like Grandpa Mufasa?" Denahi asked.

"Yes Nahi" Kiara answered.

"Really?" Kion said.

Kiara nodded.

"The Roar of the Elders is a great gift, Kion. It will make you the fiercest animal in the Pridelands" she said.

Simba cleared his throat.

"Son. Rafiki has informed me that you are ready, to lead the Lion Guard" he said.

"What's that?" Kion asked.

Simba and Kiara exchanged a glance.

"The Lion Guard is the team that protects the Pridelands, and defends the Circle of Life. It's usually led by the monarchs second cub, but since I'm going to be the Queen of the Pridelads, you've been chosen to lead it, Kion" Kiara explained.

"According to tradition, the Lion Guard is made of the Pridelands' fiercest, bravest, fastest, strongest, and keenest of sight." Rafiki said.

Simba nodded.

"Scar was the Leader of the Lion Guard during Yeh-Yeh's reign. The Great Kings of the Past bestowed upon him the Roar of the Elders, which helps the Guard achieve victory in battles" Simba said.

"What happened to Scar's Guard?" Kion asked.

"Scar ordered the Lion Guard to help him take down Yeh-Yeh, your grandfather, and myself. When the Guard refused, Scar was furious. " Simba explained.

"He used the Roar to destroy the Lion Guard." Kiara added.

"Because Scar used the Roar for evil, he lost it forever" Rafiki added.

"Don't worry, Dad. I'll never be like Scar" Kion said.

Simba bent his head, and nuzzled Kion's cheek.

"I know, son" he said warmly.

"Kion, now you must assemble your team" Kiara said.

Kion nodded.

"Don't worry. I'm going to make everyone proud of me" he said.

Kiara curled a paw around Kion's shoulders, and drew him closer to her.

"Just remember. It is a big responsibility" she said gently.

"I'm ready for it" Kion said.

Kiara chuckled.

"I'm sure you are, Kion" she said.

Simba cleared his throat.

"Go on, Kion. Good luck" he said.

Kion nodded, and bounded off.

"Can I go with him, Mom?" Denahi asked.

Kiara nodded.

"Yes, Denahi" she said.

Quickly, Denahi bounded off.

Once he'd disappeared, Kiara turned to Simba.

"Daddy. Kion’s just a cub" she said.

Simba leaned over and nuzzled Kiara's cheek.

"He'll be fine, don't worry" he said soothingly.

"Are you sure?" Kiara asked.

Simba nodded.

"I have faith in him" Simba said.

"You're right, Daddy. Thank you" Kiara said.

"You're welcome" Simba answered

Meanwhile, Denahi had caught up to Kion, and they were settled down at the Meadow. 

"Being the Leader of the Lion Guard is kinda scary" Kion admitted.

"You'll be fine" Denahi said reassuringly.

"Who should I ask to be on it?" Kion asked.

"I know I'm probably you're first choice. But I don't think Mom would like me to be on it. It could be dangerous" Denahi said.

"You have a good point. Do you have any suggestions?" Kion said.

Denahi nodded.

"My friend, Bunga. He's the bravest animal I know" he said.

"Isn't he Timon and Pumbaa's adoptive nephew?" Kion asked.

Denahi nodded.

"He's usually at the Water Hole. Do you want to talk to him?" He said.

Kion nodded.

He stood up, and they made their way to the Water Hole.

When they reached the Water Hole, Denahi bounded forward.

"Bunga, I have someone that needs to talk to you!" He shouted.

Immediately, Bunga scampered over, and stood in front of them.

"Hi, I know you. You're Denahi's mother's younger brother, Kion.” he said.

Kion nodded.

”It’s good to see you.” He said.

"What can I do for you?" Bunga asked.

"Denahi told me you're pretty brave. Would you like to join the Lion Guard?" Kion asked.

"What's that?" Bunga asked.

"It's the team that protects the Pridelands, and defends the Circle of Life" Denahi said.

"Shouldn't it be made of lions?" Bunga said.

Kion shrugged.

"There's no harm in breaking tradition" he said.

"That's a good point. I accept your gracious offer" Bunga said.

Kion and Denahi exchanged a delighted glance.

"Can you meet us at the Meadow tomorrow?" Kion asked.

Bunga nodded.

"Would you like to meet some of Bunga's friends, Kion?, they might be good choices for the Guard" Denahi said.

Kion nodded.

"Let's introduce him to Beshte, Denahi" Bunga said.

"Who's Beshte?" Kion asked.

"He's like a brother to me. I'm pretty sure he's the strongest animal in the whole Pridelands" Bunga explained.

Denahi nodded.

"Come on, Kion. He lives at Big Springs" he said.

"Okay, Bunga I can definitely guarantee a position on my Guard for you" Kion said.

Bunga beamed.

He and Denahi led Kion towards Big Springs.

Meanwhile, Belee had met up with Nita and Kia.

"Do you want to visit Rafiki?" Kia asked.

Belee and Nita exchanged a glance.

"Sure" Nita said.

"Let's go" Belee added.

She led the way towards Rafiki's Tree.

When they reacted it, they entered the store cave, and went up the slope.

Rafiki glanced up.

"Well this certainly is a surprise. To what do I owe the pleasure?" He asked kindly.

Belee padded forward.

"We wanted to spend time with you, Rafiki" Belee said.

Nita glanced past Rafiki.

"Is that a new image?" She added,

Rafiki nodded.

"Come and see it, Nita" he invited.

Nita and Kia exchanged a glance, before padding forward and studying the image.

They blinked in surprise as they recognized the image.

"Is that Kion?" Nita asked.

Rafiki nodded.

"What's he doing?" Belee asked.

"I expect it won't be long until you find out the exciting news" Rafiki said.

"What news?" Belee asked.

Rafiki shook his head.

"I've said too much already, you'll find out soon" he said.

Nita moved forward, and crouched to examine Rafiki's herbs.

She began to murmur quietly.

"What's the matter Nita?" Belee asked.

She and Kia exchanged a concerned glance.

"Is something wrong, Nita?" Kia asked gently.

Nita shook her head, and gestured down towards a small clump of leaves.

"Rafiki, what herb is this?" She asked.

Rafiki glanced towards her.

"That's called juniper berries" he said.

"Doesn't it cure bellyache, and ease troubled breathing?" Nita asked.

Rafiki nodded.

"That is correct" he said.

Belee glanced up.

"We should head home" she said.

Kia and Nita nodded.

They bade goodbye to Rafiki, and exited his tree.

Meanwhile, Denahi, Bunga, and Kion had made it to Big Springs.

Beshte was halfway submerged in the water.

"Beshte, I have someone that wants to talk to you!" Bunga called.

Beshte raised himself out of the water, and smiled at the newcomers.

"Hey Little B, hey Denahi, what's up?" He said.

"This is Denahi's uncle, Beshte. His name is Kion" Bunga said.

Beshte inclined his head politely.

"It's a pleasure to meet you" he said kindly.

"Same to you" Kion said.

He padded forward.

"I've been put in charge of a group called the Lion Guard. Denahi and Bunga tell me that you would be a valuable member. Would you like to join?" Kion said.

"Isn't the Lion Guard supposed to be made of lions?" Beshte asked.

"Usually it is. But I've decided to break tradition" Kion explained.

"In that case, I'd be honored to join your team" Beshte said.

"Thank you, can you meet us at the Meadow tomorrow?" Kion asked.

Beshte nodded.

Suddenly, an egret flew up to them, and landed on Beshte's back.

"Hello, everyone" he said.

"Who's this?" Kion asked.

"His name is Ono. He has the keenest eyesight of anyone I've ever met" Bunga explained.

Denahi and Kion exchanged a glance.

Denahi nodded, and Kion turned to Ono.

"Hi, I'm Kion" he said.

Ono bowed respectfully.

"It is an honor to meet you, Prince Kion" he said.

Kion chuckled.

"That won't be necessary, please just call me Kion" he said.

Ono nodded.

Kion and Denahi exchanged another glance.

"I'm supposed to lead a group called the Lion Guard. Would you be interested in joining?" Kion asked.

"Hmm, isn't it supposed to be made of lions?" Ono asked.

Denahi rolled his eyes.

"I've decided to break tradition" Kion explained.

Ono nodded.

"I'd be honored to serve you" he said.

Kion beamed.

"Can you meet us at the Meadow tomorrow?" He asked.

Ono nodded.

"Bunga, I think we should introduce Kion to Fuli" Denahi said.

"Good idea, I don't think there's anyone better to join the Guard" Bunga said.

"Who's Fuli?" Kion asked.

"She's the fastest cheetah in the Pridelands" Denahi said.

"She's also the most arrogant animal in the Pridelands" Bunga said quietly.

Kion chuckled.

"Take me to her" he said.

They bade goodbye to Beshte, and Ono, and headed out into the savannah.

"Where does Fuli live?" Kion asked.

"Her family lives in a cave near Lake Matope" Bunga said.

He and Denahi led Kion to Fuli's Cave.

They found Fuli chasing a butterfly in circles.

"Hey Fuli!" Bunga called.

Fuli stopped dead in her tracks.

"What do you want, Bunga?!" She asked irritably.

"I have someone that wants to meet you!" Bunga answered.

Fuli growled and walked over to them.

As she drew nearer to them, Kion was stunned by her beauty.

"Hi Fuli, how's it going?" Denahi asked.

"It's going fine" Fuli said.

Denahi glanced pointedly at Kion, and cleared his throat.

"Oh, I'm Kion. Denahi's mother is my older sister" Kion said.

"Nice to meet you" Fuli said politely.

"I've been chosen to lead a group called the Lion Guard. Bunga tells me you're for fastest animal in the Pridelands." Kion said.

"I won't argue that" Fuli said.

"Would you like to join?" Kion asked.

"Isn't the Lion Guard supposed to be made of lions?" Fuli asked skeptically.

Kion nodded.

"I've decided to break tradition" he said.

"Okay, I'm in" Fuli said.

Kion beamed. 

"Great, can you meet us at the Meadow tomorrow?" He asked.

Fuli nodded.

Kion padded forward.

"Meet me tonight at the Meadow" he said quietly.

Fuli nodded,

Kion turned, and padded back to Denahi.

Kion and Denahi began to walk back to Pride Rock.

"Is something wrong?" Denahi asked suddenly.

Startled, Kion tripped over a root, and stumbled to his paws.

He stood up, and irritably shook himself.

"Nothing's wrong, I'm fine" he said.

Denahi rolled his eyes.

"Kion I can tell something is on your mind. You can't keep anything from me" he said.

Kion sighed.

"I was thinking about Fuli. She's so beautiful" he admitted.

"You're not in love with her, aren't you?" Denahi asked.

"I think I am" Kion answered.

Denahi groaned.

"You're madder then a hyena in a fit. She's a cheetah" he pointed out.

"I know that. Denahi, you've heard the stories your parents told. This isn't any different" Kion said.

"Yes it is, this is completely different" Denahi said.

"How?" Kion retorted.

"Because they're the same species, and they were destined to be together. You know 

Grandpa Mufasa told Rafiki to bring them together" Denahi said.

"Still they came from completely different familial backgrounds, and they still have an amazing connection" Kion said.

Denahi sighed.

"Good point" he said.

They reached Pride Rock, and began to head towards the den.

"You have to promise me you won't tell anyone. Especially Kiara, she'll never understand. She still thinks I'm a helpless cub" Kion said.

"I won't tell anyone" Denahi promised.

Suddenly, Kiara approached them.

"Tell anyone what?" She asked.

"Nothing, Kiara" Kion said.

He padded over, and stretched his neck to nuzzle Kiara's cheek.

"We'll be inside in a minute" he said.

Kiara nodded, and went inside.

Once she'd disappeared, Denahi turned to Kion.

"You're going to see Fuli tonight, aren't you?" He asked.

Kion nodded.

"You do realize that you sleep either next to Gran or Grandpa, or next to Mom. How will you get out of the den?" He asked.

Kion shrugged.

"I'll figure something out" he said.

They entered the den, and Kiara padded over to them.

"Denahi, go get Gran to bathe you, I need to talk to Kion" she said.

Denahi nodded, and bounded off.

Kiara turned to Kion.

"I know you're keeping something from me, please tell me what it is" she said.

Kion shook his head.

"I'm not keeping anything from you, everything's fine" he said.

Kiara sighed.

"Are you sure?" She asked gently.

Kion nodded, and stretched his neck to nuzzle her cheek.

"I love you, Kiara" he said.

"I love you too, Kion" Kiara answered.

Kiara curled her tail around his shoulders, and led him into to their nests.

They settled down, and went to sleep.

Later that night, Kion awoke and crawled out of his nest.

Carefully, he stepped over Kiara, and made his way towards the entrance of the den.

He glanced over his shoulder, before slipping outside.

Kion excitingly began to make his way to the Meadow.

When he reached the Meadow, Kion felt a ripple of excitement when he noticed Fuli waiting by the Ndona River.

"I think this is what love feels like" he said quietly.

He bounded over to Fuli excitedly.

Fuli glanced up and smiled warmly.

"Hi Kion" she said.

Kion cleared his throat. 

"I'm not sure how to say this, but I think I love you, Fuli" he said slowly.

Fuli's expression softened.

"I love you, too" she said warmly.

Kion beamed, and pressed his muzzle to her cheek.

"Let's look at the stars" Kion suggested.

"Okay," Fuli said.

She pressed her pelt against Kion's, and they gazed at the stars.

"My older sister says that our ancestors look down on us from the stars." Kion said.

"Really?" Fuli asked.

Kion nodded.

"She says that they will always be there to guide and protect us" he said.

"It appears your older sister must care about you very much" Fuli said.

Kion nodded.

"She still treats me like I'm a tiny cub" he said.

Fuli nodded sympathetically.

Suddenly, they heard a twig snap.

"What was that?" Fuli asked.

"I'm not sure" Kion said.

Suddenly, Kiara stepped out from amongst the grasses.

"Well, this is a surprise" she said sarcastically.

Instantly, Kion and Fuli jumped apart.

"Kiara!, what are you doing here?" Kion said.

Slowly, Kiara padded towards them.

"I woke up to use the dirtplace, I wasn't expecting to see your nest empty. So I decided to track you, and I found you with a cheetah" Kiara said coldly.

"I can explain" Kion said.

Kiara shook her head.

"There's no need, I heard everything you two said. Kion, you're not old enough to know what love is. You can't possibly have feelings for a cheetah" she said.

Kion turned to Fuli.

"I think it's best if you go home now, I need to talk to my sister" Kion said.

Fuli nodded.

"See you tomorrow" she said.

She turned to Kiara, and inclined her head politely.

Kion flicked his tail over Fuli's shoulder, and she bounded off.

Once she'd disappeared, Kion turned back to Kiara.

"I'm almost twelve months old. I can take care of myself" he said.

"Kion, I want what's best for you" Kiara pleaded.

"How do you know that this isn't it?" Kion retorted.

Kiara sighed.

"Don't you remember what Dad taught us?" Kion asked.

Kiara nodded.

"Of course I do, but it doesn't apply to everything" she said.

"It applied to you and Kovu, and it'll apply to me and Fuli" Kion said.

Kiara sighed, and glanced upwards.

"You can't tell anyone about this" Kion said.

"What about Kovu?" Kiara asked.

"You can tell him" Kion answered.

"All right, let's go back to Pride Rock" Kiara said.

She bent down, and grasped Kion's scruff.

"I can walk by myself. I'm getting a little old for this" Kion said.

Kiara began to walk back to Pride Rock.

When they reached Pride Rock, Kiara sent Kion inside the den, and made her way to the Peak.

Anxiously, she glanced up at the sky.

"Grandma?, I don't know if you can hear me. But, I'm not sure what to do." She called.

She shivered as Uru's spirit embraced her.

"I'm always here for you, Kiara" Uru said 

"Kion in love with a cheetah, and won't listen to reason, he asked me not to tell anyone. But I'm not sure if I can keep this secret" Kiara confessed.

"I know how you feel, Kiara. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep a secret about someone you love very much." Uru said.

"What do I do?" Kiara asked.

"Trust your instincts, and know that I will always be here if you need me" Uru answered.

Kiara nodded. 

"Thank you, Grandma" she said. 

She turned, and went inside the den.

The next morning, Kion and Denahi met up with the Guard at the Meadow.

"I've invited Denahi so he can assist me in leading the Guard" Kion said.

"Will he become a member?" Bunga asked.

Kion shook his head.

"I don't think he'll become an official member, my older sister wouldn't like it" he said.

He and Fuli exchanged a glance.

"What are we going to do today?" Fuli asked.

"We're going to walk around the Pridelands, and see if anyone needs help" Kion said.

"That's a wonderful idea, Kion" Fuli said warmly.

She and Kion exchanged a subtly affectionate glance.

Bunga rolled his eyes.

"If you two are done flirting, can we get a move on?" He asked.

"We're not flirting, Bunga" Kion said defensively.

"Mhmm' Bunga muttered.

Denahi chuckled.

"Let's get a move on" Fuli said quickly.

Kion nodded, and they set off.

As they walked towards the Meadow, Kion sighed.

"What's the matter?" Fuli asked.

"I think I need some time to myself, I want to think" Kion said.

"Take all the time you need" Fuli said.

Kion nodded, and bounded off.

He settled beside the Ndona River, and glanced up.

"Grandpa, I want to talk to you!" He called.

He shivered as Mufasa's spirit embraced him.

"Something's troubling you, Kion" Mufasa said gently.

Kion nodded.

"Dad and Rafiki told me I'm the new Leader of the Lion Guard, and I've realized that  I love a member of my team. Kiara disapproves of my new relationship, and I don't know what to do" Kion confessed.

" Kion. Kiara is worried. But she's worried because she loves you. Being leader of the Lion Guard will not always be easy." Mufasa said.

"Then maybe I'm not ready to lead the Guard, I don't want to end up like Scar" Kion said.

"Don't be afraid, Kion. Trust your instincts. The Roar will be there for you when you need it. As will I, until the Pridelands end" Mufasa said.

Kion nodded.

"Thank you, Grandpa" he said.

He watched Mufasa's spirit fade away.

Kion turned, and bounded back to rejoin his team.

"Everything all right?" Fuli asked.

Kion nodded.

"Ono, can you check the skies?" He asked.

Ono nodded, and took to the skies.

He returned a moment later, and settled down on Beshte's back.

"There is a stampede near Lake Matope" Ono reported.

"What's causing it?" Kion asked.

"Fisi's clan of hyenas. His brother-in-law, Janja is leading them" Ono said.

"What'll we do, Kion?" Bunga asked.

"Let's go investigate" Kion said.

He led his friends towards Lake Matope.

Suddenly, Zazu flew up to them. 

"What's wrong Zazu?" Kion asked.

"Belee is caught in the stampede" Zazu said breathlessly.

Kion and Denahi exchanged a startled glance.

"Who's Belee?" Ono asked.

"She's my niece" Kion explained.

"And my younger sister" Denahi added.

"Zazu lead the way, Lion Guard, let's go" Kion said.

Zazu nodded, and led them towards the Meadow.

When they reached the Meadow, Kion turned to Ono.

"Try and find my niece" he said.

Ono nodded, and took to the sky.

Kion caught sight of his family, and led his friends over to them.

He and Denahi exchanged a concerned glance when they caught sight of Kiara. 

"Kion, you go to Mom, I'll go to Aunty" Denahi said.

Kion nodded.

"The rest of you, stay here" he said.

Beshte, Bunga, and Fuli nodded.

Kion bounded over to Kiara.

He rubbed his muzzle against her foreleg.

"Are you okay?" He asked gently.

Kiara shook her head. 

"You know how Grandpa died" she said tearfully.

"Don't worry Kiara, I'll get Belee to safety" Kion promised.

"Thank you, Kion" Kiara said gratefully.

Kion turned, and padded back to his friends.

"What's the plan, Kion?" Bunga asked.

"The hyenas don't care about protecting the Circle of Life. Their goal is to throw the balance of the Pridelands into chaos.  It's up to the Lion Guard to stop them" Kion said.

"The Lion Guard?" Fuli asked.

"You mean us?" Beshte said slowly.

Kion nodded.

"The five of us are the Pridelands fiercest, bravest, strongest, fastest and keenest of sight. Together we can defeat the hyenas, and protect my niece" Kion said.

Suddenly, Ono flew up to them, and settled down on Beshte's back.

"I've located your niece, Kion" he said.

"Great, because I have a plan" Kion answered.

"What is it?" Beshte asked. 

"I should mention that Belee is injured. She has dislocated her paw" Ono said.

Kion and Fuli exchanged a concerned glance.

"We need to move fast" Kion said.

 "I'm the fastest there is. But what do I do once I'm there?" Fuli asked.

"I have an idea" Bunga said.

"Great, then you're with Fuli, Ono, you keep an eye on the hyenas, and Beshte's with me" Kion said.

His friends nodded in agreement.

"Until the Pridelands end!" Kion called.

"Lion Guard defend!" Ono, Fuli, Bunga, and Beshte chorused.

Ono flew into the sky, Bunga leapt onto Fuli's back, and they bounced off, and Kion gestured for Beshte to follow him.

He made his way over to where Janja and the hyenas were gathered.

Janja and Shenzi glanced up, and cackled.

"Well, if it isn't Simba's son, Kion" Shenzi sneered.

"We are the Lion Guard. Our goal is to protect the Circle of Life, and every inhabitant of the Pridelands. Your clan isn't welcome here. Your actions have caused a stampede that endangered the life of someone I love. You and your kin must leave the Pridelands." Kion said confidently.

Janja cackled.

"What will you do if we decide to stay. Our clan keeps what we take." He said.

Kion glanced behind him at Beshte.

Beshte nodded encouragingly.

Kion braced himself, and roared loudly.

His roar sent Janja and the hyenas flying.

Meanwhile, Fuli and Bunga were in the midst of the stampede.

"I can see Belee. She's trapped behind that rock" Bunga said.

"Okay, Bunga. I hope your plan works" Fuli said.

"Don't worry, it'll work" Bunga said.

He leapt onto the back of a nearby gazelle, and began to make his way towards Belee.

When he reached her, Belee glanced up.

"I know you, you're friends with my big brother." She said.

Bunga nodded.

"I'm here to help" he said.

"Thank you." Belee said.

"Hakuna Matata" Bunga said.

Suddenly, Fuli rushed up to them.

"What's the plan?" She asked.

Bunga burped loudly.

Instantly, the stampede ended.

"Good plan" Fuli muttered.

"Thanks. Now let's get Belee back to her family" Bunga said.

Fuli nodded, and bent to grasp Belee's scruff.

Bunga scrambled onto her back, and they began to make their way to Kion.

When Fuli reached Kion, she stopped in her tracks, and gently set Belee down.

Immediately, Kion rushed forward.

"Are you okay, Belee?" He asked gently.

He bent his head, and nuzzled Belee's cheek.

'My paw hurts" Belee whimpered.

"Don't worry, we'll have Rafiki look at it" Kion said comfortingly.

Kion curled his tail around Belee's shoulders, and led her back to their family.

Kiara rushed forward to embrace her daughter.

"Darling one, I'm so glad you're safe" Kiara said.

She nuzzled Belee's cheek. 

Kovu bent his head, and rasped his tongue over Belee's ear.

"Kion and his friends saved me, Mom." Belee said.

"I know they did" Kiara said tearfully.

Kion padded forward, and stood beside Belee.

Kiara smiled down at him.

"Thank you, Kion" she said.

Kion stretched his neck to nuzzle Kiara's cheek. 

"You're welcome" he said.

He and Kiara exchanged an affectionate glance.

Simba padded forward, and bent to nuzzle Kion's cheek.

"I'm very proud of you, Kion" he said.

"Thank you, Dad" Kion said.

Simba frowned as he glanced at Kion's team.

"Kion, is this your Guard?" He asked.

Kion nodded.

Simba sighed.

"They aren't lions, son" he said.

"I know that, Dad. I'm breaking tradition" Kion said.

"Kion, I asked you to assemble the new Lion Guard. Instead you're just playing with your friends" Simba said.

"I'm not playing, Dad. My friends are the new Lion Guard" Kion answered.

"Kion, the Lion Guard has always been made of lions. Do you really think a Lion Guard with only one lion can protect the Pridelands?" Simba said.

"But Dad, I know what I'm doing" Kion said.

"The Lion Guard isn't a game you play with your friends. It's real. The Circle of Life, and your life,will depend on who's on your team." Simba said.

"Dad, I know that" Kion said.

 "I need you to take your new responsibility seriously. Just as seriously as Kiara takes hers." Simba said.

Kiara padded forward, and curled her tail around Kion's shoulders.

"Daddy, Kion's only a cub, I'm sure he made the right choice. There's no need to compare him to me" she said.

"Belee would've been killed if Kion hadn't saved her. Trust our son" Nala added. 

"Please Daddy" Kiara pleaded.

Simba's expression softened.

"All right, I promise that I'll give Kion's new Guard a chance" he said.

Suddenly, Simba felt a familiar scent wreathe around him.

"Well done, Simba" Mufasa said.

Simba inclined his head.

"Thank you, Dad" he said.

Kiara's expression brightened.

"Hi Grandpa" she said warmly.

"Hello, Kiara. How are you?" Mufasa asked.

"I'm fine, I miss you" Kiara answered.

She shivered as Mufasa's spirit embraced her.

"Darling one, I miss you very much" Mufasa said.

His gaze softened as it rested on Kion.

"Are you all right?" He asked gently.

Kion nodded.

"I'm fine, Grandpa. I want to introduce you to my team" he said.

"I'd be honored to meet them" Mufasa said.

Kion padded over to Fuli, and brushed his tail against her shoulder.

"This is Fuli. She's the fastest animal in the Pridelands" Kion said.

He and Fuli exchanged a subtly affectionate glance.

Fuli inclined her head.

"Greetings, King Mufasa" she said.

"Hello, Fuli. I'm delighted to make your acquaintance" Mufasa said.

Kion stepped over to Bunga, and touched his tail to Bunga's shoulder.

"This is Bunga, he's the bravest animal in the Pridelands. He's also Timon and Pumbaa's adoptive nephew, and Denahi's friend" Kion said.

Bunga inclined his head.

"Pleased to meet you, King Mufasa" he said.

"Same to you" Mufasa said.

Kion gestured for Beshte to step forward.

"This is Beshte. He's the strongest animal in the Pridelands" he said.

Beshte inclined his head.

"I believe you're Basi's son, I used to be acquainted with your father" Mufasa said.

"That is correct, King Mufasa" Beshte said.

Ono flew over to them, and settled on Beshte's back.

"This is Ono, Grandpa. He's the keenest of sight" Kion said.

Ono bowed respectfully.

"I'm deeply honored to be in the presence of a great monarch" Ono said.

Simba cleared his throat, and Kiara chuckled.

Nala stepped forward, and curled her tail around Kion's shoulders.

Mufasa smiled at her.

"Hello Nala" he said warmly.

"Hello Mufasa, how is my father?" Nala asked.

"He is doing well, I shall tell him that you've asked after him" Mufasa promised.

Nala shivered as Mufasa's spirit embraced her.

"Thank you" she said.

Simba padded over, and nuzzled Nala's cheek.

Nala leaned into his embrace.

"I miss him" she murmured.

"Sweetheart, it's okay. I know" Simba said soothingly.

He rasped his tongue over Nala's ear.

Suddenly, Sarabi stepped out from amongst the grasses.

"Simba?, I need to ask you something." She said.

Startled, she stopped in her tracks when she caught sight of Mufasa's spirit.

Simba and Kiara exchanged a glance, and Kiara quickly padded over to Sarabi.

She curled her tail around Sarahi's shoulders.

"It's all right, Nai Nai. It's only Grandpa's spirit." She said soothingly.

Gently, Kiara led Sarabi over to Simba's side.

Simba nuzzled her cheek

"What is it, Mom?" He asked.

"What's what?" Sarabi said distractingly.

"What did you need to ask me?" Simba prompted gently.

Sarabi sighed.

"It's not important. It can wait" she said.

Sarabi shivered as Mufasa's spirit embraced her.

"Hello, Sarabi. I'm so glad to see you"  Mufasa said.

Sarabi glanced up.

"Oh Mufasa, I miss you so much" she said tearfully.

"I miss you too. I long to witness our grandchildren growing up. But I'm proud that they know of my legacy." Mufasa said.

Sarabi choked back a sob.

"I love you, I always have, and I always will" she said.

"Darling, I love you too" Mufasa said.

His spirit faded away, and Sarabi sank down amongst the grass.

Simba and Nala exchanged a concerned glance.

"Are you all right, Sarabi?" Nala asked gently.

"I'm fine" Sarabi murmured.

Kion and Kiara exchanged a glance, and Kion stepped forward. 

He glanced at Sarabi, and cleared his throat awkwardly.

"Mom, Dad. I know I'm the Leader of the Guard, and it is a big responsibility. But, I'm  also still a cub, I need your support and guidance" Kion said.

Simba and Nala exchanged a glance.

"Of course, Kion. We love you, and we'll always be here if you need us" Nala said.

Simba nodded.

"We're very proud of you, Kion." He added.

Kion stepped over to Kiara and Kovu.

"Do I have your support too?" He asked.

Kiara chuckled.

"You don't have to ask that, I love you and I'll always support you" she said.

"You've never not had our support, Kion" Kovu added.

He nudged Kion's cheek affectionally. 

Kion turned to Sarabi.

"I need to have yours and Nona's support too, Nai Nai" he said.

"Of course, Kion" Sarabi said warmly.

Suddenly, Kora, Vitani, Nita, Kenai, Sarafina, and Kia rushed over to them.

Kora and Keani joined Simba and Nala, Nita and Kia went over to Belee, and Kion bounded over to Vitani.

"Tani, I've been chosen as the Leader of the Lion Guard, it's a big responsibility. I need to know that I'll always have your support and affection" Kion said.

Vitani's expression softened, and she bent her head to nuzzle Kion's cheek.

"You have never lost my affection or support, Kion. I love you" she murmured.

"Thanks, Tani" Kion said.

"I've always considered you to be my younger brother" Vitani said.

Kovu cleared his throat.

"You know I love you, Kovu" Vitani said tiredly.

"I love you too, Tani" Kovu answered.

Kion turned to Kiara.

"Can you and Fuli come with me for a heartbeat?" He asked.

Kiara nodded.

Kion gestured to Fuli, and led them towards a clump of leaves.

"Kiara, I love you and I know you're just trying to protect me, but I need you to accept Fuli as an important figure in my life. Please try to be friends with her" Kion said.

Kiara nodded.

"All right, Kion" she said.

Kion turned to Fuli.

"Can you do the same?" He asked.

Fuli nodded.

"Of course" she said.

Kion led them back to his family.

As Kion gazed at his family, he felt a surge of affection ripple through him.

"I love you," he said.

Simba and Nala exchanged a glance.

"We love you too" Nala said.

She and Simba padded forward to embrace him.

They were followed closely by Kovu and Kiara.

Kora and Vitani heisted before padding after Kiara.

Belee, Nita, and Kia watched them curiously.

"Why're they hugging Kion?" Nita asked.

Belee turned to face Nita.

"Apparently he's the new leader of the Lion Guard" she explained.

Nita nodded.

"Should we join in?" She asked.

"I can't think of a reason to not join in" Belee said.

Kia nodded.

"Me either" she agreed.

Belee led them over to their family, and they joined the embrace.

After the embrace had broken up, Belee joined Sarabi, Kia went over to Vitani, and Nita bounded over to Simba and Nala.

"Did you have a good day Nita?" Nala asked.

Nita nodded.

"Yes Nana, I had a good day" she said.

Simba extended a paw, and beckoned to Nita.

"Come here, darling one" he said.

Nita moved forward, and crawled into Simba's paws.

"I love you Papa and Nana" she said.

"We love you too" Nala said.

Simba bent his head, and nuzzled Nita's cheek.

"Are you ready to go home?" Simba asked.

Nita nodded sleepily.

Nala stood up, and bent to grasp Nita's scuff.

"Everyone, it's time to leave" Simba said.

Kion bade goodbye to his friends, and bounded over to Kovu and Kiara.

"I'm tired, Kovu will you carry me?" He asked.

Kovu nodded, and bent to grasp Kion's scruff.

Simba led his family back to Pride Rock.