It was a peaceful day in the Pridelands.
The Pridelanders were heading to Mizimu Grove to celebrate Kupatana.
Kion and Kiara were walking together.
"I hope Matembo's attending" Kion said.
"She is. She wants to see you" Kiara answered.
When they arrived, Simba assembled them on the ledge.
Kion lept down, and padded towards Matembo.
"Hi, Matembo" he said.
Matembo leaned down, and curled her trunk around his shoulders.
"It's so nice to see you. I've been looking forward to this celebration." She said warmly.
"I have too. Did you find a water source yet?" Kion answered.
Matembo shook her head.
"No. But this is my first time leading the search. It is a bit more difficult than I expected." She said.
Kion sighed sympathetically.
"At least the Dry Season hasn't completely started yet" he said.
"That's true" Matembo answered.
Kiara stepped forward, and cleared her throat.
Kion settled down beside Matembo.
"Today, my father shall give a speech." Kiara said.
She moved aside, as Simba stepped forward.
Simba's reddish-brown eyes shone with affection, as he gazed at the assembled animals.
"I am very pleased to observe everyone celebrating this occasion in the company of those that are loved most, I am grateful to have that same pleasure, as I stand with my family, and I am aware of the presence of those that cannot stand beside me." He said.
From below him, Zuri stifled a sob.
Kula pressed her muzzle against Zuri’s cheek.
Simba gestured towards Nala, and she moved forward to stand beside him.
"It is an honor to protect and care for all that follow the Circle of Life." He finished.
The animals cheered, and Rafiki waved his staff.
The Pridelanders and animals of the kingdom watched the baobab flowers bloom.
Kion leaned against Matembo's foreleg.
"I love you. I know how difficult it is to be a new leader" he said.
"I love you too" Matembo said.