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The Lion King 4: The Dawn of A New Era
Simba sighed as he looked down at his daughter, sitting on the rock in front of him. "One day I won't be here, and I need you to carry on in my place. You're a part of The Great ..."
"... Circle of Life ... I know ..." Kiara finished, rolling her eyes in annoyance.
"Exactly! And you need to be careful ... " Simba said, putting his paw around Kiara's back. "...As future queen ....."
Kiara pulled back, swatting his paw away. "What if I don't wanna be queen!?"
A cold wind whipped throughout The Pride Lands as Kiara left the den of Pride Rock. Rain whipped her fur harshly, sending a shiver down her spine. Kovu exited the cave and sat beside her.
He frowned and gently nuzzled her. "Hey ... how are you holding up?"
Kiara sighed as she returned the nuzzle. "I'm ..." She put her head in the crook of Kovu's neck. "... not ..."
Kovu licked her cheek gently as tears streamed down her face and a harsh breath left her throat.
"... at all ..." She finished.
Kiara looked back towards the den where Nala, Kion, Vitani,the former and the current Lion Guard, Rani, and Zazu stood.
Nala stepped forward and embraced her daughter in a warm nuzzle. Kiara cried more as she relaxed into her mother's soft touch.
"It's going to be all right ..." Nala whispered gently.
Kiara sniffled and pulled back slightly, her gaze landing on her younger brother.
Kion stepped forward, Rani by his side. "Kiara, you're going to do great." He gave her a weak, yet reassuring smile.
Kiara exhaled harshly and looked back towards the tip of Pride Rock. The animals of The Pride Lands were gathering at the base, waiting ... for her ...
"We'll be by your side the whole time, okay?" Kion said, trying to reassure her the best he could.
"Thanks ..." Kiara said, forcing a smile that turned quickly back into a frown. "But .. what if I can't do this? What if I'm not ready?"
"But you are." Nala said, calmly. "You've done so much for our Pride already. You stopped a war that should have ended a long time ago, you united the Prides again ...
Sweetheart, you're more than ready to take your place in The Circle of Life." She turned towards Kovu, "Both of you are .."
Kiara grinned and snuggled into her neck.
An eldery mandrill made his way up the side of Pride Rock, over to the mourning family.
"Kiara ..." Rafiki said softly, pulling her into a tight, secure hug. He looked up at the other lion standing close by. "Kovu ..."
Kovu stepped forward, as Rafiki embraced him too. He'd gone from being just the weird friend of the family to being a trusted friend and shaman.
The wise mandrill looked to the sky as lightning flashed across the sky. A small smile pursed his lips as he looked over to the new rulers. "It is time ..."
Kovu and Kiara made their way to the tip of Pride Rock, their family close behind.
At the base, the animals gathered in grief, letting out cries, and whines, a chorus of sadness booming throughout The Pride Lands.
Kovu and Kiara looked down at them, knowing that these were their people now and that they'd have to be good rulers for them.
Kiara glanced over at Kovu for emotional support. He leaned closer, nuzzling her cheek slightly.
"We are one ..." He whispered softly into her ear.
Kiara felt the knot in her stomach disappear at these words. Kovu's silky smooth, buttery voice made her feel more chills than the cold air did.
She exhaled and took another step forward, looking down at her kingdom.
Feeling the presence of The Great Kings of The Past standing beside her, Kiara felt a huge weight lifted off of her shoulders, and let out a loud, mighty roar.
The animals cheered and celebrated, letting out roars and various noises of their own. They stomped their feet, screeched out, and showed their loyalty to their new queen and king.
Kovu stood beside her and let out a roar of his own, soon joined by Nala, Kion,Vitani, Rani, and Vitani's guard.
Fuli let out a low growl of her own, Bunga a low snarl, Beshte a loud groaning sound, and Ono a squawk.
Zazu fluttered in front of them, bowing, while Rafiki looked to the sky, grinning.
When Kiara finished, she looked down at the kingdom. Her kingdom.
She was now their queen.
I can't let them down ...
Once she was finished, she headed back to the den, and was comforted again by Kovu.
"You did great." Kovu purred gently.
"Thanks ..." Kiara breathed out, a bit uneasy. "But ... I'm ... I'm just not sure if I'm ready ..."
"I was nervous when I first became queen too." Nala said. "All the pressure and responsibility .. .but ... I knew I would have Simba by my side the whole time."
"And I'll be by your side the whole time too." Kovu reassured his mate.
"So will I." Nala said, joining in the nuzzle.
"Me too ..." Vitani said softly, approaching her.
Kion and Rani stepped forward too. "We'll always be here for you."
"Yeah!" Bunga said, leaping forward. "We'll always have your back, your highness!"
Kiara sniffled and smiled at them. "Thank you."
"You should probably get some rest." Nala suggested. "It's been a long day."
Kiara nodded and headed into the den, Kovu close behind. He laid beside her, letting her rest her head in his paws, allowing him to hold her close.
"Kovu ...." Kiara said softly, settling into his neck.
As he groomed her fur, Kiara fell asleep.
Kiara opened her eyes to see her father standing at the tip of Pride Rock.
"Daddy?" Kiara gasped out.
Simba didn't reply, he kept looking out towards the sunrise on the horizon.
Kiara got up and nearly ran over to him. "Daddy?" Hope was evident in her voice.
Simba looked over, a small smile gracing his lips.
Tears formed in her eyes, and she nuzzled into his mane. "Daddy ..."
"Shh it's okay ..." Simba said, returning the gesture. "It's okay ..."
Kiara cried into his fur. "Daddy ... I ... ... I can't do this ... I .... I can't ...."
"Shh it's okay ... remember ... it's in your blood ... as I am .... We are part of each other ... and it's your turn in The Circle of Life ... you're the rightful queen ..." He reassured her.
"But ... what ... what if I can't do it, father!? What if I mess up and make the whole kingdom hate me!" Kiara whimpered out.
Simba let out a small laugh. "I felt the same way when I first became king."
"Really?" Kiara asked. In her eyes, her father had always seemed so sure and proud of his position.
Sure he'd told her the story of Scar and how he'd run away in guilt thinking he was responsible for his father's death.
He'd also mentioned the great amount of worry he had when returning to The Pride Lands to challenge Scar.... but he'd never mentioned any hesitation when he first became king.
Simba nuzzled her closer. "The land was already so broken and barren when I got back. I was worried the land wouldn't be able to heal, and that we'd have to move the pride...
I was scared I wouldn't be able to fix what Scar broke .... But I knew my father was watching over me and I had Nala by my side the whole time."
He pulled back and looked his daughter in the eyes. "I'll always be watching over you Kiara ... and you'll have Kovu by your side."
"But what if that's not enough?" Kiara sniffled.
"You have to believe in yourself." Simba said, softly. "You'll do great. I know you will."
He took a step back and started fading into light.
"Daddy .... daddy!" Kiara whined, stepping towards him. "Please don't leave daddy! Daddy!"
Simba faded away into beams of bright, white, light.
Kiara's eyes snapped open as she let out a gasp.
"Kiara?" Kovu asked, groggily. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah...yeah I'm fine." Kiara said. "I just had uh .. a dream."
Kovu frowned and nuzzled her. "Was it a bad dream?"
Kiara took a second before replying, "I .... I don't know ...:"