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Return of the Royal Mlinzi: Chapter 20: Fall of the Pridelands
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JDTaylorWriter
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Return of the Royal Mlinzi: Chapter 23: Mwindaji's Pride

Return of the Royal Mlinzi: Chapter 24: Heart of the pride
chapter_23.txt
Keywords lion 34276, cheetah 13012, lioness 9150, lion king 4025, elephant 3435, simba 2552, nala 1888, kion 1012, lion guard 931, hippopotamus 532, honey badger 330, fuli 278, bunga 263, kopa 139, mandrill 126, ono 110, egret 79, mlinzi 70, makini 60, beshte 58, amani 37, rotrm 37, karimu 34, kuwinda 18, ulinzi 9, chapter 23 1, mototo 1
Kopa's mind continued to fall through the void, occasionally bashing into darkened objects, causing his momentum to crumble. As he did, memories flashed through his mind.
His first meeting with Karimu, becoming Royal Mlinzi, saving Karimu from a group of four males lions. The last memory, especially, clawed its way across his mind. He remembered how he felt. The pulse of horror as he saw her walk away with one of the lions, knowing her possible fate amid his thighs. She was lucky, as was he.
He remembered massacring them, returning to Karimu and collapsing in her presence, their blood coating his fur. This was the start of their relationship… and the start of his downfall.
"Kopa!" Multiple voices cried out his name, as if praying for his protection, his presence, his hope. He knew their voices, some of old, some of now. But some he didn't.
Were they from the future? He knew it was possible. As the void laid in between words, in-between time.
The voices fell as they became one, clear, maternal voice once he fell back into the light beneath.
"Kopa! Kopa!" He awoke his eyes, to find a strong, blue-eyed lioness nudging him awake with her forehead, tears rolling down her face.
"Nala?" Awaking quickly, Kopa saw that he was still underground. The shallow washing of water behind him allowed him to calm quicker. Rising to his paws, he remembered how he had arrived here, and with.
"Wait! Where's Simba?" The young lion started to panic, frantically searching for the fallen king.
"I'm alright, Kopa." A familiar voice rumbled through the small crowd of lionesses who had gathered around. Among the gathering, Simba trotted through, smiling heartfully at his nephew.
Kopa practically pounced at his uncle, purely relieved to see he still lived. He brushed his side against Simba's, their manes entangling together as they did so. "Thanks to you." Kopa looked up at Simba. He noticed the slight scars and buried blood stains dying the fallen king's mane in small places. He couldn't help but think of the pain Simba must be in, probably more than himself.
It was at this moment that Kopa felt something on his tail. A rather plump ball of muscle and fur, with a pair of blunt, yet powerful teeth nibbling at the tip. Turning around, he found the small cub from earlier, staring up at him, his mouth still grasping Kopa's tail as he raised it.
Kopa looked down at the small lion cub. He couldn't help but smile. He reminded the Mlinzi of when he was younger. Mischievous and always pushing his luck. Even the cub's greyish brown eyes glistened into Kopa's heart.
"Vibaya!" One of the lionesses strolled towards the cub, a rather worried look adorning her muzzle. She placed her predator teeth around the cub's nape, picking him up and placing him away from Kopa.
"You do like to play with fire, don't you?" She turned to Kopa, an apologetic look and tone spread across her voice. "I'm so sorry, Kopa!" She lowered her head whilst also picking up the lion's tail analysing it for damage. "I hope he didn't hurt you."
"It's okay." Kopa smiled at the lioness, flicking his tail away from her. "I've been through worse." She picked Vibaya once more, moving him back to the small group of healthy lionesses nestled in a corner of the cavern. Kopa continued to look around. Another small group of lionesses nestled in the opposite corner, their injuries clear.
But they were strong, like all lionesses in the Pridelands. They would survive.
He watched as Nala snuggled up to Simba, brushing her face through his heavy, auburn mane. Rafiki tended to the fallen king's wounds. Kopa couldn't help but think of his own family, all alone in the Outlands. What he wouldn't do to snuggle up to Karimu right now, he certainly needed the comfort.
But Kuwinda! What if she were still alive? He loved her too, he could feel the conflict of love clawing through his heart. How could he choose?
This series of thoughts quickly shook out of his mind and chest when a sudden gust of wind blew through the caverns. He started out in the direction of the breeze. "Where does that lead?" His question was picked up by Rafiki, who after finishing cleaning Simba's wounds, approached Kopa, sitting beside the Royal Mlinzi.
"The Outlands, I believe." The mandrill responded. Kopa felt another figure sit beside him. Through the corner of his eye, he saw Simba, and beside him Nala, looking out into the complex cavern system beyond.
Kopa released a thoughtful sigh before rising to his paws. He turned around to address the others.
"We need to head there, meet up with Karimu and the cubs." He declared. Everyone looked at him, rather confused, but Kopa continued. "Hopefully, Kion and the Guard would have done the same and saved more Pridelanders.”
"Kion's alive!?" Nala burst into relieved tears that started to roll down her cheek once more. Simba arose too, amazed his son had been able to survive such devastation. Kopa simply nodded, forcing Nala to leap at her nephew, brushing herself against him in relief.
"Well, it sounds like a plan." Simba shrugged his shoulders. He raised his paw as if to allow Kopa to lead. "Shall we?" Kopa smiled as every lioness arose to their feet. Even the injured ones, with help from their sisters in pride.
As Kopa led the surviving pride further into the cave system, his mind dwelled on its conflict. He knew he had to decide soon.
He looked around the lionesses who were following him, all of them eyeing him up from head to tail. Why was he so irresistible to them? He quickly slapped himself out of it, however, and focused on the path ahead. He even minded the cubs, who would most likely pounce on him when he returned. Faint pain brushed across the scar over his eye, slightly probing his mind.
All he knew was that things were about to get interesting and more stressful for him...

The cursed night was quickly coming to an end as Kuwinda led her new hunting party through the Outlands. Wivu still rested over her back, snoring her head off as the young lioness beneath her struggled, feeling the weight on her back drain her of all energy.
The group arrived at a blocked off canyon. The chilly wind that blasted through the night halted their advance, blowing over the group. The other lionesses followed, some of them also carrying their injured sisters.
"Kuwinda?" One of the lionesses trotted alongside her, slowing her pace. "Don't you think we should rest?" Kuwinda looked at the lioness and her group. Everyone was exhausted, their faces no longer terrified. A few of them had already collapsed, rolling over to their sides to cool on the cold, dry Outland soil.
"Yeah." Kuwinda gently rested Wivu on the ground, only slightly awakening the injured lioness. She saw the gaping wound etched into her new friend's fur, a sliver of blood seeping from the rip across her body. Kuwinda looked around to find Makini, tending to the other lionesses, too busy to help Wivu. She had to do something.
The young Kuwinda began to clean Wivu's wound, her tongue brushing across the cut like a wave of muscle, fusing both sides together, and stopping the bleeding in the process. Wivu awoke at the slight feeling of pain to see Kuwinda caring for her. A friendly, appreciative smile spread across her muzzle.
"Thanks." Wivu smiled up at her new friend. How could she not see her kindness sooner? Kuwinda didn't say anything, instead nestling beside her, falling to the ground with complete exhaustion.
This was understandable. They had travelled so far and she did have to carry her own weight in lioness in addition to herself. Wivu nestled up to Kuwinda's warm, worn back and fell asleep  instantly.
Hours passed. The lionesses rested, peacefully sleeping as the stresses and horrors of the day dwindled into the void. But one lioness shivered awake.
Kuwinda.
She knew this place, what it was. She couldn't help but feel the cold embrace of death caressing her back, sending bolts of uneasiness up her spine. She stared at the boulders blocking the canyon in the distance, from where the chilling breeze originated. She never expected to return here, not now especially.
Arising to her paws, she strolled up to them, her ears firmly resting against her head. The wind chilled her entire body, the only thing keeping her warm was the spark of life, nestled deep within her. She looked forward as she approached the boulders. On the dry, dusty dirt beneath them nestled the outline of a lion's paw etched into the ground, reaching out from the boulders as if pleading for freedom. Kuwinda felt a gush of tears roll down her face and onto the dry ground. She tried to push the boulder, moving it just enough to get a glimpse of a skeletal husk, crushed under the rocks.
"Kuwinda?" A strange, otherworldly, yet gentle and motherly voice boomed through the canyon. Kuwinda's spine shuddered once more, turning around to find the source before her. A spiritual lioness, staring her right in the face with worry, regret and just general love.
"Mother?" Kuwinda cried, her body lost in a sense of shock. "It... It can't be?!" she placed a single paw across her mouth trying to contain her emotion, rather poorly. Her facial fur had become drenched in her salty tears. The warmth inside of her grew, burning brightly as she looked at the ghostly apparition.
Mwindaji didn't say anything, instead deciding to stare at her daughter. Kuwinda, still adorned in shock, leapt at her mother's spirit, brushing against her. To her surprise, her mother's ghost had the same soft, gentle yet muscular and lethal texture she remembered as a cub. The sudden shock on her body had finally rooted itself, erupting from the young lioness' face.
"I failed you!" She brushed her face through her mother's spiritual fur, looking up into her ghostly, gleaming eyes.
"I'm sorry!" Mwindaji shot her head back, her breathing growing rapidly. Small spectral droplets of liquid rolled down her cheek, dropping onto Kuwinda's fur. They felt so warm, slightly warming Kuwinda's face as they conjoined with her in tears. She looked up at her mother, her heart beating tight against the spectral lioness' chest.
"You never failed me." Mwindaji nuzzled her daughter, unsure about what to think. She had spent so much time away from her, nestled in the skies above. She took a deep breath, barely holding her emotions in place.
"I failed you." Kuwinda looked up at her mother. "I should have started training you before I died. I should have been there for you in spirit and guided you from the stars." She looked up at the starry sky above them. Her home. Kuwinda looked up, nestling her neck along her mother's.
"You are an incredible young lioness." Mwindaji continued, looking down at the stunning face of her daughter. "You have become an astonishing huntress, and, in time, an amazing mother." She placed her paw on her daughter's shoulder, forcing their eyes to meet. "I haven't always been there for you. I'm sorry."
Kuwinda brushed against her mother's velvet veiled fur once more. A heavenly, soul calming scent emanated from it. The smell of lands beyond. The gentle hum of life tickled her insides, forcing her to place a paw on her pelvis.
‘How could she be a good mother?’ Kuwinda thought. ‘She hadn't even brought the cubs into this world yet. Besides, she didn't get on with other lions that well. How could she raise her cubs?’
"But how?"
Mwindaji licked the top of her daughter's head. The spectral saliva faded slowly into her fur and skin before looking out into the distance, where the other lionesses slept. "Kuwinda, you are part of an incredible pride, and will become part of an even greater one." Mwindaji' eyes watered once more. "Talk to your fellow lionesses. They will guide you."
Kuwinda thought about what her mother was saying. Another pride? What could she mean? She would never leave the Pridelands. Unless...
‘No! He couldn't be! Could he?’ The very thought sent a shock of bliss through the young lioness' body. She looked up at her mother's spirit, who just nodded at her.
"Yes, Kuwinda. Kopa lives. She smiled gently at her daughter. "Because of you, because of Karimu… he has a reason to fight, a reason to live." Kuwinda looked up at her mother, her face shrunken in confusion. She felt her mother's spectral paw nestle on her pelvis; the feeling of life glowing as she did so.
"He's nearby. Scarred and afraid." The spectral lioness opened her eyes, removing her paw from her daughter. "He needs you, just as much as you need him."
"What about you?" Kuwinda whimpered, trying to keep the vast amount of emotions contained in her body and mind. Mwindaji arose to her paws, standing before her daughter. She raised a single paw.
"I'll always be here, from now on. I promise." She placed her paw on her daughter's chest, their heartbeats synchronised with each other, in both life and death.
Kuwinda leapt into her mother's chest, brushing her head in her soft, supernatural chest. The pair seemed fused for some time before a single voice shook Kuwinda out of her emotional embrace.
"Kuwinda? What are you doing?" The young lioness turned to find Wivu, standing before her. A look of confusion adorning her muzzle.
Kuwinda turned back to where her mother was, only to find nothing but rocks. Yet, the warmth on her side still remained, as if she was still nuzzling her. The young lioness turned back to her friend, thinking of how to explain her situation.
"I don't know." She couldn't think of anything. How could she explain such a bizarre, yet powerful turn of events? Her mind started to remember once more with thoughts of Kopa. If he was alive and hurt nearby, she had to find him. But she could feel her tiredness creeping up on her.
"It doesn't matter." She continued to walk back to the rest of the lionesses, only turning around once more to see her mother's grave, one last time. A tomb of rocks.
As the two lionesses returned to their hunting party, Kuwinda held Wivu up slightly as they walked. They noticed a small, instantly recognisable shadow fly above them. By now, the sun had started to glisten across the horizon. A new day. The shadow only grew with the sun, bringing a pulse of hope to the lionesses' bodies.
"Kuwinda?" The keen-sighted bird flew to the ground, landing before the two lionesses. He tried to keep his breath from failing, looking up at Kuwinda with a state of amazement and shock. "Thank the gods you're all okay."
"Ono?" Kuwinda looked down at the small egret. Her heart beat quicker with every second. "Where's the rest of the Guard?"
"They're not far." Ono caught his breath, fluttering his wings back into their regular, ordered position. "They're with the other survivors to the east of here." He pointed his wing as he spoke. "I was sent to find other survivors and bring them back."
"Okay." The other lionesses had awoken slowly walking up to the egret and lionesses. Their ears flickering upwards at the news he brought. But Kuwinda still had a question.
"What about Kopa? Is he there?"
"I saw him heading there, with Simba, Nala and some more survivors." His voice quivered, thinking about how they would react to see their son among the injured. For Kuwinda though, this news brought a shot of new energy as she turned to the smiling, eager faces of her sisters in pride.
She returned a look of understanding, resulting in them nodding at her. No words were ushered, but a decision was struck.
"Okay then," Kuwinda turned back to Ono, hiding her more predator teeth away from the keenest of sight. "Lead the way, Ono."
"Affirmative." Ono bowed before the lioness, before fluttering up to the sky. The group of lionesses regrouped, picking up their injured, ready to head out. Wivu seemed okay now, only walking with a slight limp. Kuwinda's wound cleaning lick seemed to have done the trick, for now.
Luckily, they weren't far from Jasiri's clan's den, from the other survivors and, for Kuwinda, Kopa. She couldn't stop thinking about him as she led the way, following Ono's shadow above. The sun had now peeked over the horizon, shining on her light cream fur.
"I am so proud of you, my daughter." Her mother's voice boomed through the air, seemingly only detectable by her. "You are destined to do great things, to stand in the presence of a god." Kuwinda closed her eyes for moments, taking a deep breath to smell her mother's calming scent.
"And I will guide you, my daughter."
Kuwinda opened her eyes, continuing to lead the party wherever Ono was leading them. She couldn't help but think about what she would say to her love. How could she tell him of her pregnancy? Even if she couldn't think of anything, she knew she would have to, in time.
And when she would, it would change the entire savannah. Forever...

The sun had risen above the horizon of the Outlands, revealing the extent of the damage caused by Scar’s attack. Row upon row of bodies littered the baking, hot land. The bodies of the Pridelanders who gave their lives to stop the carnage and terror imposed by the Outsiders and their dark god.
The survivors, infused with grief and remorse, nestled next to their dead, still shocked at the extent of the chaos sown into their lives now. The elephants were especially hit with grief, as they gathered around the body of their former leader, Ma Tembo, who gave her life to save as many of her herd as possible.
One of the young elephants took the blow harder, however, as she had just saved him before falling to the bombardment of lionesses clawing the life out of her. The sight of her bloodied body falling into the flaming fields scarred the young elephant's mind. The always friendly and supportive Beshte tried to calm him down.
"It's okay, Mtoto." The helpful hippo allowed the young elephant to rest upon him, tears seeping on to his thick, muscular skin. Wherever Beshte looked, he saw grief. All the dead.
How could Scar do so much damage? He looked over to a nearby body of a young lion, a single, tearful cheetah nestled next to his body soaking it with her tears. He couldn't help but feel a small tear roll down his unbreakable cheek. He had lost a friend too. A leader.
The cheetah herself had laid next to her friend's body all night. She couldn't believe it at first. Kion? Dead? But now? Her thoughts had darkened. However she looked, she could only come to one conclusion.
This was her doing.
She could have stopped the hyena. She could have ripped it off of Kion in time to save him. But she didn't. His lifeless body was the totem for her sins, for her failure. She had sent Ono out to find other survivors. But she couldn't think of what to do next. No one did. They would be dead within a week if they all stayed here, that much she knew.
As Fuli rested beside Kion's body, she noticed a slight tremor brushing her side rhythmically. Rising up and down, up and down. She looked over at the lion's scarred body. His chest was moving. The young cheetah couldn't help but blink a few times. Surely, she was dreaming now. The tiredness that had swept her body must have been causing her to hallucinate. But, after a few eye blinks, she shot back in realisation.
Kion was alive.
A breath of life burst through the young lion's lips, forcing his body up off the ground, his auburn eyes shot open looking up at the brightening sky, breaking into day. His mind was lost in the wonder he had seen, the land of the gods.
"Kion!" A soft, slender furred figure leapt at the awakening young lion, pinning him to the ground. A bombardment of concerned, platonic licks brushed across his face, soaking his face before a soft, furry body brushed against him. He knew exactly who it was.
"Fu-" He tried to say her name, but her constant cuddling made it impossible to speak. He tried a few more times, still no luck. After a few minutes, her licks receded, allowing him a chance to speak.
"Fuli." He couldn't help but smile up at his cheetah friend. Her surprisingly caring green eyes sparkled above him, slowly filling with tears of relief and shock. Her friend had returned to her.
Without a second thought, Fuli nuzzled her small soft head against Kion's neck, releasing a series of purrs. Kion responded with a series of hums, loving every single second of their loving embrace.
"KION!" A ball of bluish-grey fur catapulted itself at Kion's chest, knocking the young lion a few feet backwards. As Kion slowed, he noticed it, clinging to his chest with its protruding claws.
"Bunga?" Kion asked. The honey badger lodged his face into Kion's slowly developing chest mane, slowly soaking it with his tears.
‘Wait! Bunga? Crying?’ Kion thought. It seemed even the bravest had cracked in his absence. The trio cuddled up to each other, under the tearful eye of Beshte, who had stumbled through the crowds of mourners and bodies to find his friends.
Meanwhile, Karimu nestled away from the bodies of the deceased, lying instead near the injured and maimed. She had spent the entire night tending to the injured and lending her paws wherever she could. She may not have the experience as many of the lionesses from the Pridelands, but she tried her best to save as many animals as possible.
Now, she rested along with many of the uninjured lionesses of the Pridelands. Ulinzi and Amani nestled into her soft-furred chest, snoozing off the stresses of the day. Karimu lay still, listening to the lionesses around her. Their conversations had been interesting, focusing on everything from what had happened to what to do next. One of them, however, brought up a name that instantly forced Karimu's ears to ping upwards.
“Kopa.”
She listened deeply. They talked of legends, stories they had heard from passing males. How Kopa had wandered the land, seeking his lost mate for months on end. Never giving in, never surrendering.
How he had stopped a brewing war between two violent, unstable prides with the slam of a single paw to the ground. How he had leapt into burning fields to rescue a litter of cheetah cubs. Their stories of his deeds continued for hours. She couldn't believe some of the things they were saying. She knew Kopa was brave and heroic. But this? This was legendary, even for him.
Their conversation was abruptly interrupted when a few of the lionesses nearby sighed, seemingly in shock. Everyone tried to look at where they were. Karimu snuggled through the crack of view to try and see.
"Simba? Nala? Kopa?!" Cries of shock rumbled through the Sisters-of-Pride. Karimu's heart skipped a beat. Kopa? Alive? She brushed through the pile, squeezing through the lionesses quickly arising to the paws. Ulinzi and Amani awoke instantly, craving the warmth of their mother's side. Being much smaller, they simply clambered over the lionesses, leaping from back to back, laughing all the way.
Reaching the front. Karimu could see the lions and lionesses slowly approaching. All of them were smiling as they saw their family and friends alive.
Kopa's eyes scanned the group before locking on Karimu. A heartfelt, relieved smirk flashed across his handsome, unmistakable muzzle. Her eyes illuminated with a fire of love and hope. He had returned to her.
The pair rushed to each other, landing in each other's embrace. Karimu nuzzled into Kopa's thick mane, suckling in its scent with every breath. She felt as Kopa nuzzled back with just as much relief. After a moment, they departed their embrace to a series of affectionate sighs from the Pridelanders surrounding them.
"You came back!" Karimu looked up at her mate, a small tear rolling down her face. The sun glistened through his fur, illuminating his body in seemingly radiating with a strange, unknowable energy, only heightening his attractiveness. At this moment, she felt incredibly lucky. He was hers. And she knew, looking around the other lionesses, that that meant so much.
"I'd always come back for you, my love." Kopa replied, his smile poking through into his mate's heart as he brushed her once more, releasing a giggle from her lips. As he retracted his head, she gave him an affectionate, longing lick across his cheek.
"Daddy!" Two cries of joy rattled through Kopa's ears. Turning into their direction. He felt two balls of fur pounce onto his back. One slid down to his tail, nibbling away at it as the other clambered around in his mane, becoming lost in that great maze of fur. The three of them giggled, loving every second of their adventurous playtime. This was quickly interrupted when Karimu lifted the maned one off of her mate.
"Amani! Ulinzi! Leave your father be!" She picked her daughter off of her mate who responded with a heightened series of giggles. Ulinzi let go of his father's tail, brushing himself against his father's side, forcing him to raise his paw off the ground.
"They're alright." Kopa replied, giving an affectionate, loving lick across his son's back as he approached his front. The young family nuzzled each other as the Pridelanders settled down. Nala couldn't help but watch Kopa and his family. How beautiful they looked together.
Thoughts of Kiara and Kion rushed through her mind. How she had lost them. She scanned the rows of the deceased, hoping not to find their bodies. They weren't there though. Her heart sank with despair before a spark ruptured behind her.
"Mum" A recognisable, feminine voice exhaled behind her. As she turned, she saw her daughter, nestled between a tearful Tiifu and Zuri. Nala's eyes met her daughter’s, and Kiara rushed to her mother's front paws. The pair nuzzled each other for some time before Kiara found the strength, and air, to usher a few words.
"Kion..." She stuck her head into her mother's chest, soaking it with her tears. The older lioness looked on. She hadn't seen her son yet. Not with the dead or the living. Was he lost forever? Her heart increased its tempo once more as tears started to roll down her face once more.
"Yes?" The voice froze both lionesses. They turned to its source to see the young, fierce lion standing before them, surrounded by the Lion Guard. Scars etched through his fur with slight blood splatters, he slowly approached his mother and sister. They didn't mess about, however.
"Kion!"
They both pounced at him, licking and snuggling up to the young lion. Neither could believe it. He was alive. The Guard stood back, allowing the Royals to have their reunion. Fuli stood close to the side, able to see Kion's adorable face. He looked out at her, giving her a comforting, knowing smile.
Meanwhile, Kuwinda and her newly founded hunting party arrived at the entrance to the relief camp. Ono flew ahead, to warn the others of their arrival. The lionesses sat at the entrance, comforting each other awaiting clearance. The small herd they had been able to protect did the same among their numbers before Ono reported back to them.
"You're okay to enter." The egret squawked. Kuwinda rose to her paws, nudging her head towards the entrance to the camp.
The other lionesses followed her, rounding up the herd in a protective bubble. As they entered, the head, and hunting party, split into two those injured and those not. Wivu led the injured to where Makini and now Rafiki lead the medical treatments. Whilst Kuwinda led the others to where the healthy lionesses were laying.
The young lioness couldn't help but think about what her mother and Ono had said, about Kopa. She scanned the gathering of lions as she walked, hoping to see his glorious mane. After a while, she still hadn't seen him. Her heart froze with a sense of loss. This only rested until she looked into the very corner of the ravine.
There, nestled with another lioness and cubs, snuggled Kopa. Her heart sank. Her mind flashed with a variety of thoughts. How could he-? But then she remembered. She remembered the reason why he had returned to the Pridelands. The reason why he was here in the first place. To find the princess of the Uasilands. To find his mate.
She slowly approached the pair, using every trick she had learned, by him and by her instincts. She was a few feet away, when Kopa looked up, to see her glistening, if scarred, fur.
"Kuwinda?" His ears instantly folded downwards. Unbeknownst to her, her party had followed her, seemingly becoming inseparable to their new leader. They listened in, intrigued by the events unfolding before them.
Tears started to pour down Kuwinda's face, her lips trembling as she tried to explain what had happened. "I... I tried." Releasing his mate's affectionate grip. Kopa slowly approached the young lioness before him. His strong, masculine body overshadowed her equally powerful, if slender one.
The male lion sat in front of her, allowing her to wipe her head through his mane, staining his tears with her fur, just as much as his first mate. Karimu watched on, speechless. She couldn't believe what was happening. As Kuwinda tried to look up at Kopa, she felt the distinctive, affectionate lick of his tongue across her muzzle, wiping the lioness blood from his furry surface. Kopa's brown, caring eyes looked down at Kuwinda's light brown, watering eyes.
Karimu slowly sat behind Kopa, watching as the two lions exchanged a series of nuzzles. Her two cubs nestled within her paws, watching as their father nuzzled the younger lioness.
"It's okay, Kuwinda." Kopa struggled to keep his own emotions in check. He had forgotten where he was and who was watching him.
He didn't care. He had worried about Kuwinda for hours, he was just glad to see her safe and sound. But his calm, controlled behaviour wouldn't last long.
"No, it's not." Kuwinda barely cried. She looked up at her first mate once more, admiring the confused, worried look etched across his muzzle. She couldn't help but look away from him. The news she brought would only break his heart after all.
Out of nowhere, she felt a warm, comforting feeling on her shoulder, otherworldly and maternal. The feeling of life bubbled within, only making this harder to explain. Looking back up at Kopa, she said the words that would make or break the legendary lion.
"Kopa..."
"I'm pregnant..."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Return of the Royal Mlinzi: Chapter 20: Fall of the Pridelands
Return of the Royal Mlinzi: Chapter 24: Heart of the pride
Chapter 23 of Return of the Royal Mlinzi, a fanfiction based on the lion king and lion guard by J.D.Taylor

The Uasilands have fallen.
Now, only the Royal Mlinzi remains. A warrior trained and raised to protect the Uasian Throne and the many realms under its jurisdiction.
Until now,

With nothing left to protect, Kopa, the last Royal Mlinzi,  along with his friends Kwaheri and Jicho, must track down the missing Uasian Princess, the one he was duty-bound to protect. But to do so, he must face his past.

He must head home...

Without Hope... Without Fear... Without Consequences
 
 Cover created by Kitchiki

Lion King and Lion Guard characters are copyrighted to the Walt Disney Corporation

Keywords
lion 34,276, cheetah 13,012, lioness 9,150, lion king 4,025, elephant 3,435, simba 2,552, nala 1,888, kion 1,012, lion guard 931, hippopotamus 532, honey badger 330, fuli 278, bunga 263, kopa 139, mandrill 126, ono 110, egret 79, mlinzi 70, makini 60, beshte 58, amani 37, rotrm 37, karimu 34, kuwinda 18, ulinzi 9, chapter 23 1, mototo 1
Details
Type: Writing - Document
Published: 3 weeks, 3 days ago
Rating: General

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lionkinguard
1 week, 3 days ago
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