f o u r .

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"Are you just going to sit there?!" You snap at Sarabi and Sarafina, feeling slightly bad afterward.

Mufasa drags himself from the watering hole and shakes his fur, drying it up a decent-amount before approaching you, "...He does this a lot, just not around you. You just need to give him time."

"He strayed from your father's path, and that doesn't bother you?"

The eldest prince sighed and sat down beside the two girls, "Look, he always does this. I've grown less and less concerned every time; he's just looking for attention and he definitely gets it from our mother every time he comes back wailing and telling her how bad of a brother I am."

Sarafina looks at Mufasa and then to you, nodding, "Queen Uru really does obviously favour Taka."

"I don't care," you growl, turning on your heels and running off in the direction Taka had taken off in. You look over your shoulder and give them once last glare.

Sarabi watches you run off after the young prince and sighs, standing up and walking back toward Priderock. Mufasa gives her a confused look and follows, with Sarafina close at his heels, "H-hey, where are you going? We still have time before the sun sets, we can keep playing."

"What you did was cruel, Mufasa," she says, her voice as calm and collected as usual but with bite in it, "Y/N shouldn't be the one going after him. You're his big brother."

The golden prince stops in his tracks, and Sarabi continues walking, not sparing a glance back toward her crush. Sarafina gives him a sympathetic look before running off to catch up with the other young lioness.

 Sarafina gives him a sympathetic look before running off to catch up with the other young lioness

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"Taka?" You shout into the air. You followed his pawprints into a large sparse section of the savannah; the only thing stopping you from panicking is that you could see Priderock in the distance and, therefore, could find your way back easily. The sun was dropping though, and you wanted to find your friend before it went down fully. "Taka?!"

"Well well well, what do we have here?" Comes the low, raspy voice of a female. You look around yourself, but can't see because of how high the grass in this area was. "You can't see me, but I can see you."

"Come out and face me," you growl, "I'm friends with the princes, you can't threaten me! I'll tell on you to King Ahadi and he'll kick you out the Pridelands."

The voice chuckles as a dark grey paw stomps down in front of you, "He can't kick out someone whose already banished."

Looking up the animal's long, tall leg you come face-to-face with a hyena with two piercing orange eyes. She had matted fur and multiple wounds covering her face, legs, and body. Curiously, you realise she has no tail.

"W-who are you?" You ask, frightened. You'd never seen a hyena before, only heard about them from stories your mother would tell you before going to sleep.

"My name is Kuchinja," she said, before letting out a throaty cough, and then spitting out some blood onto the ground in front of you. "Why are you so far away from your pride, little one?"

"I'm not little," you mumble, stepping away from the blood, "I'm looking for my friend."

She smirks and chuckles, "I was wrong, you are very brave. I admire that. Unfortunately..." she looks down at you, something unreadable in her eyes, "...well, I need to feed my cubs, and you're the only animal I see out here at this time. I promise to make it as painless as I can; I take no pleasure killing younglings."

Your eyes widen as she looks down at your jugular and opens her mouth, revealing her rows of piercing teeth. Just before you could snap out of your shock to run away, a small body, smaller than yourself, runs and smacks into her leg, surprising her. "Get away from Y/N!"

"This your friend?" The hyena asks, lifting the paw that was currently being shoved, sending the small orange cub face-first onto the ground.

"Taka! You're alright!" You gasp happily, looking back up at Kuchinja, "You need to get away from her, she's hungry and way bigger than us!"

Taka growls at the hyena, "You need to leave, this is a direct order from the prince of the Pridelands!"

"...Prince?" Her eyebrows shoot up, a smile curling across her face, "I'm very sorry your majesty," she bows, "I will leave right away."

You don't miss the smirk on her face as she stands, coughing once more, before turning and walking back the way she came. Taka squirms on the floor and hops up, tackling you in a hug, "You're okay! I'm sorry for running off and putting you in danger."

You nuzzle your nose into his fur and giggle, "It's okay, you saved me, right? I bet you totally broke her leg."

His green eyes shine as he grins up at you, "You really think so?!"

"Yeah! Now lets get you back home, make sure you protecting me didn't hurt you either."

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