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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Animal · #2223774
An ongoing story about Kovu and Kiara's reign
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Chapter 6

"We live in a predator and prey world." Vitani explained, trudging through The Pride Lands, the injured hyena on her back. "And we all rely on each other in The Circle of Life. Us predators eat prey, but when we die we become part of the earth, and the prey eat the grass. And thus the circle of life continues. We need each other to survive. Do you understand?"

"I never thought about it that way." Aiube said softly. "I was just focused on survival."

"I understand that." Vitani said. "It's hard when your whole life is just surviving." And unwarranted hate.

The grassy plain suddenly faded into a field of ash, plants struggling to regrow.

"Oh gee …" Vitani sighed.

"What's wrong?" Aiube asked.

"I hate walking through here." She explained.

"Why?"

That's it! Now come on, Kiara has started her hunt! We have to move quickly!

Let's …. Light ….. Fire!

Roasty Toasty Princess! Roasty Toasty Princess!

Vitani shook her head, trying to get the thought away. How much life did we destroy in that fire?

"Just … bad memories." Vitani said. "Uh .. why don't I tell you some stories about when I lived in The Outlands?" I need the distraction …

"Oh uh, okay!" Aiube said, perking up a bit.

"I think I'll start with the crocodile story …"

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Nuka bent his back leg, trying in vain to claw all the termites out of his fur. Letting out a frustrated groan, he laid on the ground and scooted back and forth, scratching his back against the ground.

Vitani looked up from the root she was chewing on and rolled her eyes.

"These, dang termites!" Nuka growled, nipping at his leg.

"Careful, you don't wanna chew your leg off, do ya?" Vitani laughed.

Nuka stopped for a moment to glare at her. "Ha, ha, real funny, Vitani! You don't understand how annoying these things are!"

"Yeah …" Vitani said, walking over to him. "That's because I actually clean my fur."

"Hey! I clean myself!" Nuka protested, moving over to scratch his back against the now unoccupied root.

Vitani chuckled. "If you did, you wouldn't have become a termite mound yourself!"

"If you did you wouldn't have become a termite mound yourself." Nuka mocked her.

"Have you ever even been in water?" Vitani asked.

"Well I uh … uh … you … you see …. We don't have any water here you little termite!" Nuka snarled.

"Of course we do." Vitani said.

Nuka looked at her, curiously. "Near the Pride Land's border."

Nuka's ears fell flat. "You mean where all the crocodiles are?"

"Yeah! Unless there's another pool of water I don't know about." Vitani teased.

"Mother doesn't like us going there!" Nuka shot back.

"No she doesn't like us crossing the other side to the pride border." Vitani said. "As long as we stay on our side, we're fine."

Nuka grumbled, scratching himself and trying to think of a way to weasel himself out of this situation. "But … but …. Ugh! Fine! But if we run into any crocodiles …."

"Oh, I'm sure you can fight them off." Vitani joked. "The big, strong, lion you are!"

"Hey! I too could take on a crocodile!" Nuka huffed.

"Then, why don't you prove it?" Vitani asked slyly.

"Hmph! Why don't I!?"

"Well come on, lets go." Vitani said, already heading in the direction of the swamp.

Nuka paused for a second before going after her.

The two stopped in front of the small swamp, and Vitani looked over at Nuka, a wicked grin on her face.

"Well? You going in or not?"

"Huh? Oh, oh yeah! Yeah! Of course I am!" Nuka stammered. "It's just uh … I just ate …. So I have to wait half an hour before I can go in."

Vitani stared at him blankly. "What did you eat?"

"Huh? Oh uh let's see … some termites …. And a nice side of dirt!" Nuka sputtered out.

"Yeah, I think you're going to be fine." Vitani said, trying to nudge him into the water.

"But what if it's cold!?" Nuka whined.

"It's a hundred degrees out here, Nuka! The water's not gonna be cold!"

"Well uh … we don't know that for sure …" Nuka said.

Vitani rolled her eyes. "Then put your paw in first to test it, genius!"

Nuka dipped his paw in the water and quickly pulled it out. "Oh, yeah! Brr! That water's freezing! Ain't no way this lion's getting in there!"

Vitani put her paw in the water and looked at her older brother in annoyance. "Nuka, it's like a hot spring."

Nuka panicked. "Well uh …. To …. To you maybe … but I'm more sensitive to cold than you are!"

"Nuka, just get in the water." Vitani sighed.

"Hey uh … I … I have an idea!"

Vitani narrowed her eyes. "What?"

"Why don't you go in first?" Nuka asked, pushing her slightly towards the edge of the pool of water.

"If I go in first, then will you go in?" Vitani asked.

Nuka nodded.

"All right, fine." Vitani sighed. She waded into the water and swam out a bit. "See, I'm perfectly fine, now come on!"

Nuka gulped as he shakily put his front paw in, followed by the others, leaving him just standing near the shore.

"Come on!" Vitani urged. "You can't just stand there! Come here!"

Nuka hesitantly took another step forward, getting into the deeper part of the swamp.

"Now you're doing it!" Vitani said. "Come on, a little farther!"

Nuka went in more, soon the water going over his shoulder blades and back!"

"There you go!" Vitani said, positioning herself to float on her back. "Doesn't that feel nice."

Nuka's face lit up. "Yeah! It actually kinda does! I'm not itchy for once!"

"Yeah!" Vitani laughed, rolling again to float on her stomach. "Termites hate the water!"

Nuka allowed himself to sink down more into the water, letting it overtake his body, easing the past and present bites of termites on his skin.

Vitani smirked in victory, until she heard a low growling sound. Quickly she snapped her head back, and was eye to eye with a crocodile.

Vitani screamed as she pounced out of the water, back to the safety of dry land.

"Huh? What's gotten into you, you little termite?" Nuka sneered. He turned his head, meeting the same glowing yellow eyes Vitani had.

Nuka yelped and followed Vitani's lead out of the water, as the two raced back to the middle of The Outlands.

"Oh! I knew this would be dangerous!" Nuka groaned.

Vitani laughed. "But, you gotta admit, it was kinda funny!"

"Funny!? How was this funny!?"

"You should've been the look on your face!" Vitani laughed. "It was priceless!"

"Hey! You were scared too!" Nuka pointed out.

"Yeah, because I was caught off guard!" Vitani said. She ran in front of Nuka and stopped, forcing him to skid to a halt. She leaned down and growled playfully. "If I wasn't surprised, I could've taken on that croc, no problem!"

Nuka laughed. "Oh please! A little runt like you, take on a crocodile?"

"I so could!" Vitani laughed.

"Oh yeah?" Nuka smirked. "Prove it!"

Vitani let out a playful snarl as she lunged towards Nuka. He let her get the first tackle in and fell to the ground.

"I got'cha!" Vitani gloated.

"Not for long!" Nuka said, wrapping his paws around her.

Vitani laughed and the two continued to play fight.

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