Vitani guides Maalum through the Outlands, until they reach the Termite Mounds. Maalum observes the dark and lonely land. "But what is this place?" He asks.
“Maalum. Welcome to our home."
"What?!" Maalum is shocked. "Do you live here?!"
"Yeah, I know. Lions usually live in the Pride Lands, but we are different. We're not welcome there.”
"What did you do?!" Maalum's suspicious.
"Nothing. We just wanted to follow the rules of the kingdom, but... It's complicated.” She sees her older brother in the distance. “Come on, Maalum. I want to introduce you to my older brother... and the dumbest one.”
Nuka is rolling on the floor scratching his back... again. "Damn termites!"
“Hey, Nuka. Haven't you seen mom?”
“Mom left. She must have gone getting food for her favorite son.” He realizes that his sister is accompanied by a strange animal. Nuka begins walking around Maalum, analyzing his body. "And what do we have here?"
“He-Hello. My name is Maalum.” The hybrid responds, a little nervous. "I'm half jackal, half lion."
Nuka rubs Maalum's back with his claws. "And what does a creature like you do here alone?"
Vitani pushes her brother with her head, away from the little hybrid. “He's with me, Nuka. And you better start treating him with respect, because he will become a member of our pride.”
"Who said that?!"
"Mom will like to have someone like him in our pride."
"Oh yeah? Good luck convincing her.” He lies back on the floor, rolling. "Damn! I'm so sick of these termites!”
"Come with me, Maalum."
The hybrid follows the lioness, entering a cave, where Kovu is sitting on his “throne” waiting for his mother to return.
"What do you want, Vitani?" Kovu asks, seriously.
“I want introducing you to someone. Kovu. This is Maalum. Maalum. This is my other brother, Kovu, future king of the Pride Lands.”
"What?!" Maalum is amazed. "Future king?!"
“Our mother is training him. Kovu will be a very strong lion and will help us recover our home.”
"I don't know if it will be like that." Kovu speaks discouraged.
“Kovu! You have to listen to mom. She just wants the best for us.”
"Vitani's absolutely right." Zira enters the cave, surprising the three cubs.
"Mom!" Vitani's excited, Kovu remains serious and Maalum is nervous and a little scared.
“Kovu. It's time to get back to your training.” Zira speaks in her usual serious tone.
"Okay, mom." Kovu doesn't seem very happy to be back in training.
"Wait, mom." Vitani interrupts. “Before training Kovu, I want to introduce you to someone special. Maalum. Come and meet my mother.”
Maalum approaches Zira. He walks slowly and huddled, afraid of the lioness' serious and menacing gaze. "H-Hello."
“Vitani. Where did you find him?!”
“He was alone, mom. He has no one and nowhere to go. Do you think he can live here with us?”
"What?!" Zira is a little upset.
“Look at him, mom. He has a perfect body. Half jackal, half lion. He could train with us.”
Zira thinks for a few seconds, watching the little hybrid's body. Then she smiles and approaches him. “Vitani's right. You can stay and train.”
"R-Really?!" Maalum is confused.
"You're still very young, but I'm sure that you will grow and become strong and intelligent." She nuzzles Maalum with her head. "You will be very useful to me."
After leaving the cave... "Thank you, Vitani."
“You don't have to thank us, Maalum. I am happy for you to join us.”
"Sure. Your help will be very important for us to recover the Pride Lands.”
"I... I don't mind helping, but... I just want to feel good." The little hybrid leans his head against Vitani's body, showing how grateful he is for her help. In doing so, Maalum blushes slightly.
"Hey! Get away!” Vitani pushes Maalum, making him ashamed.
However, the little lioness smiles at him, making him smile again. At this moment, the two blush when they see each other's smile.
"Do you want to go play for a bit, before we start our training?!" She invites.
"Of course I want!" He replies excitedly.
Then, in the days that follow, Maalum plays with his new friend Vitani. He also starts training, along with her and the other lionesses in the pride. Maalum realizes that they're training for a fight and he doesn't like that at all. After leaving the jackals because of not feeling integrated and not wanting to participate in their struggles, the last thing Maalum wants is to get into a fight between lions.
However, the little hybrid likes to be with some of the members of Zira's pride, especially with her daughter Vitani. The days go by and Maalum feels more and more comfortable and excited, whenever he's in the presence of that lioness. Although he doesn't always agree with what she says or does, Maalum feels he can trust her and their friendship grows over time.
At the same time, Vitani feels confused. She approached Maalum and helped him join the pride because she believed he would be useful in the fight against Simba and his followers. But it's different now. Vitani likes to be with him. He's loving and always willing to help. More and more, she likes to be with him, whether playing or training.
Maalum grows over time, becoming a teen hybrid. His body grew with the same cute look he had as a child, although he now looks stronger.
One day, after training, Maalum decided to pay a visit to Kovu. They both get along, despite not meeting much, due to the hard training that Zira forces Kovu to do.
Upon entering the cave, Maalum realizes that Zira is still there. Today's training seems to have been slow.
“You're getting stronger and stronger. We'll soon be able to put our plan into practice.” Maalum overhears Zira comment with joy.
"Yes, mom. I'm going to make Scar proud.” Kovu responds with conviction.
"What?! Scar?!” Maalum is confused.
"I can't wait to see Simba down." Zira smiles wickedly.
“I will kill Simba and then I'll be the king. That's my duty.”
Maalum is frightened and runs out of the cave, towards Vitani. “Vitani! Vitani!”
“Maalum?! What's up?!" She's worried.
“Vitani. Ko... Kovu. He... He will...”
“Maalum. Calm down. What's up with Kovu?”
"I heard him say he was going to kill another lion, Simba."
Vitani strokes Maalum, trying to calm him down. “Maalum. You don't have to worry. It's time for you to know the truth.”
"The truth?! Which truth?!" He asks, confused.
“Scar was the king of the Pride Lands, until Simba killed him and took the kingdom for him. But before that happened, Scar had chosen Kovu to be the future king. When my mother told Simba that, he didn't accept it and they both ended up fighting. Simba was stronger and banished us all to the Outlands. As if that weren't already bad, some time ago, Simba's son, Kion, also banished us from the Outlands. That’s how we ended up in this territory full of termites. And that’s why Kovu is being trained to kill Simba. He’s the chosen one. He should be the king, not Simba.”
Maalum steps back a little, shocked by what he just heard. "No. No. This isn't right. I have to do something.”
“Maalum. You cannot challenge my mother.”
"She doesn't need to know."
"What is your plan?"
"I have to try making Kovu change his mind."
“Maalum. You can't do that. What if she finds out?”
“She won't find out. Do you promise not to tell her?”
Vitani looks at him seriously. Although she respects Zira and accepts her plan, Vitani also likes Maalum very much and doesn't want to be upset with him. Then she replies: "You can count on my support, Maalum."
"I knew I could count on you, Vitani." Maalum leans his head on hers to thank her for the support.
The two stand looking into each other's eyes with a dizzy smile.
"If you only knew how much I like you, Vitani." He thinks.
"I wish I could tell you how I feel, Maalum." She thinks.