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Census
The Pridelanders
Scar & Zira
♂04 ♀05

The Outlanders
Kiume & --
♂04 ♀02

The Coldlanders
Ismahel & --
♂03 ♀03

The Shadowlanders
Ni & Abuto
♂07 ♀03

The Desertlanders
-- & Quanna
♂02 ♀03

The Lowlanders
Nyota & Duara
♂02 ♀09

The Ashlanders
Nako & Heshima
♂02 ♀03

The Rogues
♂04 ♀04

The Other Species
♂03 ♀00

Total: 63
♂31 ♀32

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 Makings of a Queen

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Ni

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PostSubject: Makings of a Queen   Fri May 25, 2012 1:24 pm

Dusk had started to fall upon the Shadowlands and the pride began to fall asleep. Ni had just returned from a rare late night patrol with a lot on his mind. Over the past year he and Abuto had been raising an unwanted litter from the Pridelands together. The two were far from being perfect parents but they were just the things that Kiasi and Makosa needed. Reflecting on how old the cubs were, the male realized that he had lead the Shadowland Pride for around the same time his cubs had been living; a year. It shocked Ni that his brother had been gone for so long, that he had kept the pride together for so long. He had gone an entire year of his life without a queen. A queen; Ni had actually been putting thought into that lately and what he realized surprised him. What Ni had deduced was something that honestly he would have never thought happen; he had fallen for the mother of his cubs. He had fallen for Abuto. It was a foreign concept to Ni, that is love, but in his heart he knew it was right and finally Ni had the courage to talk to her about it. But would it really be worth it? Would she return his feelings? And then came the fact that Ni had almost no clue how to say what he had to say, but it was worth a shot wasn't it?

As the king neared the den he saw his small yet powerful family padding into the den. Ni smiled and nuzzled his children to which they returned with hugs and groggy hellos. As the boys wandered into the den, stumbling over their feet, clearly tired from a day's worth of play, Ni smiled and approached Abuto. "Hey, can we talk?" Clearly something was on the king's mind and he would lead Abuto away from the mouth of the den and onto the top of the den, overlooking the kingdom. The golden-tinted cream furred lion's heart raced as he lead Abuto to the precipice and away from the eyes and ears of the now sleepy pride. He knew that this was it, but how was he going to get through it? Small talk? Just flat out tell her? This was going to be difficult, but everything was difficult now a days wasn't it? It was difficult raising a family, difficult hiding the fact that your family wasn't blood related, difficult just trying to get through the days without having to worry and fear for your safety. Ni may be king, but he didn't feel as if he was right for the job, but maybe with Abuto at his side he would have nothing to fear and life would be easier. But there was something that Ni had to keep in the back of his mind; his sons.

Ni knew his sons would probably be thrilled to see their mother become queen, but then he had to make sure that they understood that they couldn't become king, neither one of them. But then again, how could he do that either? In one instant he could destroy his son's lives and ambitions with four simple words, 'You can't be king,'. But Ni would cross that road when he got to it, for now his efforts were focused on the female next to him. Ni lay on the edge of the cliff, overlooking his kingdom and he motioned for Abuto to take a seat next to him. He sighed and decided that small talk will be best suited for this adventure. He reused the same question that he asked months before when the two were in the canyon where they first had met. "So, they're growing up fast aren't they? The boys that is," Kiasi's cheek tufts had been becoming more pronounced and Kosa's violet eyes seemed to shine brighter each day. Ni loved his children and he would do anything for them, but giving them the reign as king was something he wasn't quite ready to do. If Abuto accepted this offer he was about to give her, than the king might just kill two birds with one stone. But, there was always the chance that she would say no, and Ni would be left heartbroken and in an awkward state with his friend.

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PostSubject: Re: Makings of a Queen   Thu May 31, 2012 2:38 pm

Whenever Abuto took a moment to reflect on her life, she was always left with a feeling of disbelief. Besides her occasional worrying, she wasn’t one to project too far into the future, not when her present was filled with enough to keep her busy, but she certainly never would’ve thought her life would end up as it had. When she was a small cub she had stuck to her mother’s side, never wandering too far and always hiding behind her paws when trouble occurred, which was frequently for the spotted lioness. She hated conflict, found little joy in the hunt (which she was not so good at anyway) and was always a small, weak lion. Her mother was the only one who ever thought she would amount to anything; even Abuto herself doubted her life would be more than just a simple passing between worlds. She had no royal blood, no pedigree from a pride who disliked her from the start. Her mother had occasionally commented that she had the heart of a princess, but Abuto never took the thought seriously. What good could a heart be when her body was so pathetic?

Her early life seemed to only prove this. Once a rogue, troubles abounded due to her size, gender, and young age regardless. Looking back, Abuto honestly wasn’t sure how she got through those months, at least the earlier ones. She never thought herself cut out for such things, but could feel some pride in the fact that she had never given up, never just laid down in the dirt and let herself succumb to the earth. Finding Ni and joining the Shadowlanders was undoubtedly the best thing to have happened to her, and the past year was just further proof of this. She finally found friends, had a pride that accepted her (even if they still regarded her curiously) and even had a family. It had all happened so fast, but watching her two adopted cubs grow each passing day was further reminder of the blessings she had, and she could not help but think her mother and knew this would happen all along. That she would find her place and a better life would be laid in her paws after years of trouble.

The past year had been one of her bests. She had grown with her sons and Ni as the cubs took on the first year of their lives and Ni walked through the first year of kingship. She had found strength in herself through the three most important lions in her life and had realized her life was of importance, at least to them. It was impossible not to love them. Each had taught her so much, given her everything she needed and ever wanted, and daily Abuto wondered what she had done to deserve it and what she could do in return. Ni was dear to her, but just as love was a foreign concept to him, so it was to the lioness. Even with a few months more than four years behind her, Abuto still felt like a cub at times. She had never considered the love of a mate before, only knowing the affections of a mother and those of brief friends, and wasn’t sure what to make of the affections she had for the King of the Shadowlands. Certainly they had started years ago when the two had first run into each other, but the more time that passed the less she understood of such an emotion.

The two had cubs, even if they were not their blood. They were mates without being mated, even if the others of the pride didn’t seem to believe that, and the concept was a strange one. But whenever her thoughts lingered on her affections for Ni, she would brush them off. Her sense of self-worth was still shaky, and as close of friends as they were, Abuto never considered Ni to officially have her. Rising to the status of a queen was the last thing on her mind. She had the love of her friend and two beautiful sons that were completely hers no matter what anyone could say about their origins -- what else could she ask for? Asking for anything more seemed so selfish, so she had convinced herself she was content with the way things were.

Abuto could believe such things in the comfort of the den, the night beginning to fall around them as the pride retreated, hunting already finished for the day. Though Abuto rarely joined in on the hunt, instead keeping careful watch over her cubs and any of the other pride’s children while the more talented lionesses searched for food. The boys had been as rambunctious as ever that day, their energy only mounting with the months while they continued growing -- soon enough they would be shoulder to shoulder with their mother, but still she felt the need to keep watch. But the two had worn themselves out and wandered back wearily into the den at her side. She nuzzled them as they passed, but paused when Ni came to her. He spoke softly, his voice and demeanor seeming distracted and she wondered if he had found something troublesome on his patrols, but simply nodded when he asked to talk. “Of course.”

Abuto followed him silently out, though her mind buzzed with questions. He lead her to the top of the caves, far enough from the den for some privacy. But what would he need to speak of in such solace? She took her place next to him when he motioned, momentarily distracted by the view of the kingdom cast in deep shadows. When he finally spoke up, asking a familiar question about Kiasi and Kosa, Abuto regarded him curiously. Surely they hadn’t come up here just to talk about the growth of their sons. “Everyday they get bigger and brighter.” She nodded regardless. “It’s hard to believe it’s been a full year already.” The lioness glanced back out over the rocky terrain for a long moment, the chill of the evening air slowly settling, before turning her attention back to the golden lion at her side. “But what is this really about? What else is on your mind, Ni?”

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PostSubject: Re: Makings of a Queen   Thu May 31, 2012 7:20 pm

As Abuto joined the male, his body warmed up and his heart started to race. His nervousness was contained for now as he listened to his "mate" talk about how the boys were getting stronger. She spoke of how she couldn't believe that they had grown so much, and the fact that it had been over a year. "Yeah I can't believe it either. Soon Abuto, they'll be bigger than the both of us," But then the lioness saw that the question wasn't the only thing that Ni wanted to talk about. The king chuckled and sighed, the time was upon him and for some reason he wanted to avoid this as much as he could. Why did he want to? Hadn't he made his decision about this on his patrols today? Maybe it was just his nerves, but finally Ni spoke. "Yeah, there's something that I've been thinking about. I've realized how long I've been king, and honestly? What is a kingdom without a queen?" Many a kingdom were run by just one monarch or the other, the majority by one king. However, Ni didn't think like that, and he pushed that the only reason he hadn't taken Abuto as his queen yet was because of stress. Ruling a kingdom for a first time while attempting to raise two boisterous boys as princes. Kiasi and Makosa would make a great king, both of them would do wonderful ruling a kingdom. But, Ni felt as if it was time to create his own legacy, his own heirs. He would still love his two sons, but there had to be a true heir to the Shadowland throne.

And who wouldn't be a better lioness to do that with than Abuto? She was smart, kind and caring. She was funny, and overall amazing. She was a perfect mother to his two adopted cubs, so why wouldn't she make a good mother for his biological cubs. Well, all this was is a best-case scenario. Abuto had every right to say no, every right to turn him down. She would leave him heartbroken, but Ni wouldn't care. He wanted Abuto to be happy, and if she would be happier not being queen he would understand. From going from a rogue to being queen of an entire land? It was an absurd thought to most. But Ni had done the exact same thing, and who wasn't to say that they could do it again? "I've been thinking, and I've found that I've fallen for this lioness. There's something about her appearance that makes her stand out among all the rest. I know that she's amazing with cubs and she's smart enough to rule the kingdom along side of me. I know Kiasi and Kosa will like her as well," Ni started to hint at everything he loved about Abuto, but he didn't wish to come right out and say it. He wanted to be suspenseful, to give Abuto a complete shock when he asked her to be his queen. There was no one in the Shadowlands shaman wise to join them together, but Ni didn't care. He would become Abuto's king, her mate, her everything. But first, it came the dangerous time to ask her, to bring up the question that would seal their fate.

However, Ni would wait for a response before asking. He didn't wish to make Abuto mad, or angry, or sad. Especially not sad. But the king still wanted a reaction before saying anything. Even if it was swift, he would wait for Abuto's words. Chasing after her and stopping her if she ran away. "Abuto, that lioness is you," The creamed-golden lion would place his paw upon hers and nuzzle her neck in a more affectionate way than before. "You have become my best friend, the mother of my cubs, you've fallen into my heart. Ever since that fateful day when you stumbled into the canyon I felt something when I was around you. Maybe I'm just being a hopeless romantic, but I can't see myself spending the rest of my life without you by my side. Abuto, I love you, I always have just never realized it. So, will you take this step with me? Will you become my queen?" Ni's voice flowed with a softness rarely seen unless he was talking to his sons. His eyes softened as well, giving them a charming look. Ni looked like his old self again, right when he became an adult. He looked just like a big, adorable cub. He thought back to what Abuto had told him about her past, and the king smiled. He knew that in this very moment that the two would prove everyone who had wronged her and told her she would never amount to something wrong. Abuto would be someone important, to not only Ni, Kiasi or Makosa; but to a whole pride. Abuto would be a queen.

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PostSubject: Re: Makings of a Queen   Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:20 am

Abuto couldn’t help but get a bit nervous in response to Ni’s own nerves. Even though he hid them well, she could feel the slight tension in the air between them. It had been growing the recent year. The strange tension was far from constant, but would show up if the two sat too close or nuzzled too affectionately. True, they were both parents, and true Abuto had realized that the rest of the pride thought they were... more. Ni had always avoided the topic, as it brought up their sons and their blood. The Shadowlanders, and anyone else for that matter except two hyenas, all assumed Kosa and Kiasi were Abuto’s and Ni’s true kin. But that would have meant Ni would’ve mated with her a few months before she returned to the Shadowlands, which was far from true. Even the idea made her blood rush in embarrassment. But Ni seemed to think it best for the pride to think as they did for the sake of the boys. He didn’t want it getting out that the boys were dropped from the Pridelands, and Abuto never felt the need to question it, so kept her mouth shut.

When Ni brought up the question of a queen, Abuto looked away. That was another matter of confusion for the entire pride, including their sons. It was hard for the lioness, acting like the two were mates when they were really just... well she didn’t know what they were, and that’s where the confusing came in. So the lioness tended to avoid all such topics when she could, too uncertain how to handle them or answer any questions posed to her on the subject. “Well, you’ve managed a year so far without one,” she said, half joking. “I’d say you’re doing quite well, especially considering... things.” The death of his brother, her own reappearance, the sudden jolt of parenthood -- all on top of ruling a difficult kingdom in a time of drought with troubles from the Pridelands looming. It was amazing they had all made it through.

She was proud of Ni. She hadn’t known him particularly long, but he’d grown and been through a lot in the time she had. He never wanted to be king, only wanted a family, but with everything colliding in a short time, it would be difficult for anyone to handle. But he had gotten through it, proved himself a great king and wonderful father; truly caring and compassionate and wanting the best for his subjects and family, which were on in the same. And he was still a cub at heart, which could sometimes be frustrating for a lioness already raising two boys, but he was never unruly or over the top about it, and encouraged a close relationship with his children -- one Abuto had never had with her father.

But as Ni began speaking of this lioness he had fallen for, she began to feel cold. For a long moment, she fooled herself into thinking she didn’t understand why the more he talked about this lioness -- someone beautiful, intelligent, good with cubs, and sure to win the affections of Abuto’s own sons -- the worse she felt. She had no idea he could be speaking about her, it never even occurred to her. While her confidence had gone up over the years, it was still painfully easy for her self-esteem to fall. The lioness kept her gaze ahead of her, looking down as she tried to figure out the right thing to say to Ni. I’m happy for you? This lioness sounds wonderful? I hope you two are well?

It all sounded ridiculous to her, and she wasn’t sure she’d be able to say it sincerely. Abuto wondered just who this lioness was. There were few other lions in the Shadowlands, male and female alike, and she couldn’t remember seeing anything between any of them -- several already had cubs and mates anyway. Perhaps his heart was set on a rogue? The more she thought about it, the deeper her heart fell.

It was then that Abuto realized that Ni was not just her friend, her king, or acting mate. Her heart ached at the idea of Ni spending his time, sharing his life so closely with another because she wanted to be the one at his side. The one there for him no matter what. The one helping him, supporting him, loving him, raising their children, perhaps raising more of their own blood. The thought made her hot, her tail flicked once, and it hit Abuto that she loved Ni. She loved Ni. She must’ve for quite some time, why else would she be so affecting now? Why else would she have so willingly raised children who were not of her line (but certainly still hers)? Why else would she be so hurt at the idea of Ni being with another?

For a moment, Abuto wanted to run. She couldn’t look at Ni, knowing what she did and still figuring he was interested in another lioness. It made sense, who would love her? A small, weak, odd thing. But she wanted him to be happy above all. She wasn’t sure she would be able to handle watching him and her children grow closer to a new lioness without making it worse for both of them, and wondered if she should just leave the Shadowlands all together. Perhaps it would be better that way. Ni could spend his life with the one he loved, her sons wouldn’t have to watch their mother slowly tear herself apart. But could she find a new home? This had been her home for over a year, and she hadn’t even thought that would be possible.

Abuto had to forcefully push back her growing panic at her seemingly dim future. Her mouth was dry, but finally she found the words and gave him a short glance, meeting his eyes only once before turning away shyly. “I hope you’re very happy together, that’s all I’ve ever wanted.” She spoke softly, pushing stiffly to her feet and began to move away -- her mind racing over what she should do, where she should go, what she would tell her sons -- until Ni stopped her.

“Abuto, that lioness is you.”

That was the last thing she expected, but everything she hoped. The lioness froze, wondering if she had imagined the words until the King of the Shadowlands put his paw gently on top of hers, his face pressed into her neck, the tension that had previously kept their affections controlled completely disappeared. He continued on, the words pouring out now, her heart pounding faster and faster until it was almost painful. Abuto couldn’t quite believe it. The confession, the mere idea of holding someone’s strong affections for so long went against everything she thought was possible. More so, she was realizing how blind she had been to her own feelings for quite some time, pushing them back day after day still somehow convinced she wasn’t good enough. But Ni was always the first to say she was beautiful, inside and out, and hated when she worried about her childish spots or her smaller stature.

He loved her. He loved her! And she loved him! She still couldn’t believe he was asking this of her, but stared at him in relief, trying to swallow back her tears. “R-Really?” She shook her head in disbelief. “I...I...” Abuto had to pause to find the words. “I-I think I’ve loved you for a long time, only... only I didn’t realized it until now. I’m so oblivious,” she laughed at herself, though was too thrilled to truly feel bad. “You--You really want me to be your queen? Y-You really think I could...?” Her body shook from the sudden shift of overwhelming emotions, but she really didn’t care at that moment. She knew Ni would be a good king when she met him, despite his reservations about it, there was something about him that she thought held great potential. The way Abuto saw it, she was proved right. But could the same be said for her? Would she truly be a help, or a hindrance to the pride?

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PostSubject: Re: Makings of a Queen   Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:40 pm

Maybe it was just his heart telling him that it was how he should feel, but Ni found Abuto's questioning and worries quite adorable. When asked 'Really?', Ni nodded and smiled, confirming everything that he had said before. "How could I ever lie to you Abuto? I have meant everything that I have said," There was a moment of silence and Ni hung his head in defeat, Abuto didn't love him. No one could ever love someone like him. He was getting old, too old even though he was only a generation younger than the accursed king of the Pridelands. But then, his heart soared when Abuto said those wonderful words. She loved him back. The creamed male didn't know exactly what to say, but he had to show his affection some way. Overwhelmed with joy, Ni flung forward and playfully tackled Abuto to the rocky surface below. Thankfully the geysers were firing off in the cave that most of the pride were already dead asleep and oblivious to the noise going up above. Ni chucked and nuzzled Abuto's spotted head, staring into her bright jade eyes, "You aren't oblivious Abuto, you never have been so. And if you're oblivious, make me ten times as so," The male smiled and chuckled once more, "Hey, that only means we'll be oblivious together," Together, that was all Ni ever wanted for these past few days. To be together with his "mate", for her to become everything and more in his life

Kiasi and Makosa would become full princes, not just related to the king. But then there was the issue of one of them becoming king. Maybe if Abuto accepted his offer, then they could create their own litter, their own legacy. Of course, Ni would wait until the litter were cubs to announce his decision, but then there was the fact that he would have to chose between the litter. Who would be Ni's heir? Abuto would have control over the situation as well, maybe instead of a king there would be a queen? It was just all something for Ni to think over in the coming years, that was if Abuto even accepted his offer. But when the lioness asked if she was really the one that Ni wanted to lead alongside of her, he nodded and pressed his muzzle against her forehead. "Abuto, you being queen would mean the world to me. Look at us, two rogues that went from nothing to having a family together. Even if the boys aren't ours, we're a family. And we will stick together as a family. Abuto I've come to love you more than I could anyone else in the world, even our sons," Ni paused for a second and nodded at Abuto's final question, "I believe you will be the best queen that these lands have ever seen, you will be better than my Aunt, better than my Great-Grandmother, better than everyone that has ruled these lands before us,"

The ruby-eyed male smiled at the spotted female below him and pressed his nose to hers, a small purr rustled through his body. Was this what his mother and father felt when they found each other? Was this what his brother didn't have the time to feel? Was this really love? As Ni thought about it more, he found that he couldn't imagine anything without Abuto, he couldn't find anything more enjoyable than her as his queen. Ni's eyes softened and he pulled away, laying next to the female quickly after. He nuzzled her once more and whispered into her ear, "So Abuto, will you become my queen?"

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PostSubject: Re: Makings of a Queen   Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:12 pm

Abuto knew Ni was constantly concerned about his age, but as he tackled her to the ground like Kiasi and Makosa had a habit of doing, she knew her king would always be a cub at heart. Were she capable of blushing, she would’ve, as Ni stood over her and nuzzled her cheek, smiling into her eyes like she had never seen before. Being oblivious together? “I wouldn’t mind that at all,” Abuto grinned shyly. It was all coming together in a way she couldn’t have hoped for before, so hesitant to even think of such circumstances. Someone loved her, loved her enough to want to be with her for the rest of their days, thought enough of her so to ask her to be his queen. She had sons, sons who were growing to have kingly hearts no matter their blood, sons that didn’t think their mother strange and weak, as she feared would be the case. Sons she was sure would make her even more proud as the years passed. Sons that now had a more solid place within the pride. The topic of Kiasi and Kosa’s kingship had constantly been averted unless Ni and Abuto were completely alone, both knowing it unlikely either would truly be able to rule due to their background and the ways of reigning. Abuto honestly did not quite understand why blood was such an important thing -- how could fleshly status be held higher than a good heart and intelligent mind? But it was not her place to argue.

And yet, now it was. Now Ni and Abuto could fight for their sons rights. No one had to know the children were not of hers or his blood. Most of the Outlanders believed them to be at least her sons in some manner, the circumstances of their and her own arrival blending nicely. Still, the lioness was not completely certain what all this meant and what could be in store of all four of them, especially if their family grew... But Ni was right. They had come so far, so strangely, coming together into a family, and a family is as they would remain. Abuto swallowed a lump in her throat. “I-I never thought I would find another family, after my mother died,” she admittedly quietly. The lump in her throat only grew as Ni expressed his high beliefs about her, ones she never thought she would be able to measure up to, but remained deeply touched that he would think so.

Ni leaned near, purring, making her stomach flutter. She had never felt such a way about any lion before, and had never even seen such a love between others. Her mother had been more or less alone for the entirety of Abuto’s memory, raising the unwanted cub of the pride isolating her from most others. She didn’t even know who her father was for certain, as the king of her childhood overlooked her except for a few rare occasions. Despiste the uncertainties of... well, everything, Abuto felt comfortable, safe, and warm in Ni’s presence. Everything she could ever ask for, even if she still could not wrap her mind around the complications of love.

But a queen? Abuto was still unsure how this would fare. But... if Ni thought she could do it, shouldn’t she believe in herself? The spotted lioness shivered at the whispered question and was silent for a long moment, fear and uncertainty keeping her maw closed for a long moment until she finally accepted that there was really only one answer. “Yes,” she said softly, though her tone strengthened as she nodded, a wide smile on her features. “Yes of course. I would be honored.” She leaned to nuzzle into his mane, shutting her eyes briefly, “You’ve long been my king, and always will be.”

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PostSubject: Re: Makings of a Queen   Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:57 pm

Ni's heart fluttered as Abuto commented on how she thought she would never find another family. The king nuzzled his girl and smiled, "Abuto, you'll always have a family here. Whether through the pride, through Kiasi and Kosa, or through me," And today, Ni would unknowingly start a whole new family through him and Abuto which would only lead to sorrow and pain. With becoming queen, Abuto would make her sons proud, they would have a solid place in the pride and finally they would be full princes. Which the fact of that scared Ni, he still hadn't come up with an excuse on why these two couldn't be king. He couldn't just flat out say, 'Oh hey guys, you can't be king because you aren't my children,' because that would ruin everything. Not to mention the fact that his cubs were seemingly so sensitive to the topic. In fact, he had even asked Kimondo about it, but still there was no response from the night sky. Maybe his brother had shunned him and the pride? No, impossible, Kimondo loved his brother. Maybe he just wasn't able to contact him at this time. But either or, Ni pushed the thought out of his mind. Right now he only had to think about Abuto and her insecurities about becoming a queen. The male waited anxiously for her reply, thoughts playing in his head of how glorious the lands would be with her at his side. They would be great rulers, understanding and compassionate to all.

And when Abuto said yes, Ni's heart almost stopped. A wide smile formed on his muzzle that easily matched the one that she was giving. She would be honored? No, Ni would be honored to have her as his queen. The male nuzzled his new queen and whispered into her ear, "And you have long been my queen Abuto," Ni lay down beside her and held the spotted lioness close, unwilling to let her go even if any of the pride came up to investigate. But that was absurd, for the geysers in the cave silenced all of the motion from outside the cave. In fact, the top of the cave roof was warm, and it made Ni snuggle up to his queen closer. "Kiasi and Kosa, they'll be thrilled. Maybe they'll stop pestering us now," The king chuckled, the two boys whom he had raised from birth always wondered why their mother wasn't queen. But now that she was, they would stop their questioning about everything and finally become full princes. Even if not by blood that is. Finally Ni let his grasp on Abuto slacken and he stood up, looking over the kingdom on which they now ruled together. It was dark at night, but Ni didn't care, he loved these lands even if they were almost as barren as the Pridelands. They still ended up finding enough food, especially when they hyena spies that they had in place came back with their share. Ni smiled and looked back to Abuto.

"Abuto, you will be a great queen I just know it. You'll make your mother proud, wherever she is right now. Your coronation will be tomorrow morning, that way we can catch everyone before they go run off for whatever that have to go do," Ni looked to the sky and saw the stars twinkling, they looked amazing from on top of the cave and a small breeze ran through Ni's mane, caressing him ever so slightly. Finally after all these years, Ni had found love and someone to share the rest of his life with. He had a family, a pride, and most importantly a queen. If only his grandfather could see him now, so he could show him that the spawn of his son made a great king. As the moon shined brightly, Ni chuckled and turned to the south, where the cave roof met the ground. "But for now, let's go have some fun," At the word fun, Ni swiped his tail across Abuto's nose and chuckled before getting into a pouncing position. "Race ya," And with that, Ni was off, slowly to make sure Abuto would catch up with him but still laughing all the way. Who knew where the race would take them, or who would win at this race, but all Ni knew was that he was happy. Finally his family was complete, his pride was complete, his life was complete. Everything that happened was for a reason, and now unknowingly Ni would receive something more out of this deal than just a queen. A mate, cubs, and yet sorrow to last a lifetime. But for now, fun was all the king could ask for.

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Heshima | Chui | Kiume | Ni | Nuka | Upendo

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