Chapter 1: Mark of Evil
"Go Lion Guard!" Simba roared while slamming a spotted hyena back with a punishing blow with his paw. He led his royal army deep into the outlands, lionesses, rhinos, crocodiles, elephants, eagles in the sky, and many more fought alongside their King against the army of Ushari and if the rumors were true, Scar.
"Let's go! Till the Pride Lands ends!"
"The Lion Guard defends!" Simba watched his son Kion and the rest of his Lion Guard, Fuli, Bunga, Anga, Beshte, and Ono, as well as Rafiki's apprentice Makini fight their way through groups of jackals, spotted hyenas, and crocodiles until they reached the base of a smoking volcano which loomed over the Outlands like an ominous shadow.
"Be safe." Simba muttered, nearly missing a pair of jackals sneaking up on him, luckily he didn't fight alone. Nala snarled and slammed one into a rock before seizing the other in her powerful jaws before shaking him like a ragdoll.
"Dad, you need to focus!" A young lioness said as she came beside him.
Simba took a deep breath but didn't stop watching Kion.
"He'll be alright." Nala said, though from the tone of her voice and expression, she almost sounded as if she was trying to convince herself.
Kiara too was worried about Kion, but the rumors couldn't be true. There was no way Scar could be back, and if Ushari was using dark magic to cause a volcanic eruption, only the Roar of the Elders could stop it.
"You guys are nuts if you're still working for that snake!" Simba, Nala, and Kiara noticed Janja with four of his closest followers now fighting alongside the Pridelands, or at least with Jasiri's pack of Hyenas.
"I'm still getting used to that." Kiara said, earning a chuckle from Jasiri who came beside her.
"I knew there was a good boy hidden inside him. Now that he's not distracting Kion, he should have that snake in no time."
"I hope so."
Kion was no longer a mere-cub, he was now in the full-swing of adolescence, his deep-red mane half-grown in and thick muscles extended across his body.
"Come on, we're almost there!" The young-lion's voice similarly deepened, matching his ferocious expression. With a feral snarl, he crashed one paw into a spotted hyena, sending her sprawling back into a rock, and then pivoted to snatch another in his jaws. With these foes clear, the prince came low to flip an approaching crocodile onto his back. Yet even as he did so, a trio of jackals loomed in the shadows, ready to pounce.
"Time to eat some Lion prince-"
"Huwezi!" Moving like a flash of lightning, Fuli pounced, struck, or snatched each jackal in her jaws.
"You can't hide, and you can't run either!" The cheetah said with an intense smile as she ran down one of the fleeing jackals.
Despite this, more of Ushari's minions rushed from the volcano's interior to block the Lion Guard's entrance.
"Our master's plans are near completion, don't let them inside!" A vulture squawked, closing in on Kion with two wingmen.
"Anga linga!" The violet fish eagle, Anga swooped up from just over Kion and intercepted all three vultures with a series of swift blows, that nearly knocked them out of the sky.
"Come on, let's give Kion some space! Zuka Zama!" Bunga leaped up and off Kion's head, claws held out.
Two approaching jackals nearly yelped when they saw the ferocious honey descend upon their faces. In a matter of moments, the wild dogs' senses became flooded in pain, agony, and disgust as Bunga let loose a barrage of claw strikes and his trademark stench.
Back in the sky, Ono watched the skirmish with some difficulty. More than once he had to clear his keen eyes from the ever growing clouds of soot forming around the base of the volcano and its punishing heat.
"Hapana! Kion, look out!" A pair of crocodiles on a higher ledge attempted to push a boulder down onto Kion, but he had a protector.
"Twende kiboko!" Beshte huffed, and used his immense bulk to shove the boulder safely away from Kion.
All of this gave the Prince time, time he needed. Channeling the power of the elder lions, Kion arched his head back and made the wind pick up, clearing away some of the sulfur. Finally, he roared, unleashing a hurricane of wind and power from the heavens above that sent both crocodiles and any other predator minions opposing them flying off into the distance.
Kion stared into the tunnel with an uneasy expression. A dark column with a fiery red light at the end.
"Kion." Makini stuttered, trembling slightly as she approached him from behind, clutching her staff so tightly it nearly cracked.
"It's alright, Makini, we'll go on, cause the rains, and put an end to Ushari's dark magic." Kion tried to assure the mandril.
"What if Scar really is back? Rafiki always warned me that there is no darker or more terrifying magic than necromancy. I've heard of nightmarish stories about those who try to use it-" She started.
"Relax, Scar can't be back. It's probably just a rumor Ushari started to convince all these predators to work for him." Bunga said, placing his arm around her shoulder.
"Big-B's right, all that snake knows how to do is deceive." Beshte added.
"Well we better get inside and stop him then!" Fuli roared, emphasizing the ever increasing amount of smoke emanating from the volcano's crater.
"She's right, come on!" Kion led his Guard inside, and immediately felt the volcano's effect on their senses grow exponentially. It became drier than a desert with an unsettling ambience of boiling lava in the distance.
"Ohh come on, Bunga, now really?" Fuli said, covering her nose.
"That wasn't me."
"He's right, it's the brimstone, we're getting close." Ono said, landing on Beshte's head beside Anga.
She noticed the egret bird trembled slightly, but he wasn't alone. Fuli looked far more on edge than she typically was.
"Ono, Fuli, you guys don't actually think Scar is back, do you?" She asked quietly, hoping Makini wouldn't hear.
"I, uh, no, of course not. That's, that's impossible. I just don't like being in a volcano is all. There aren't many places less dangerous than a volcano."
"Yeah, what Ono said, this place is really confined, I can't run as fast."
Despite their efforts, Kion heard the immense fear in his companions and saw it exacerbate Makini's own terror, to the point where she clutched her arms around him tightly.
Taking a deep breath Kion stopped and looked directly at his friends.
"Guys I know this is bigger than anything we've done before, but we're the Lion Guard, it's our duty to protect the Pride Lands no matter what threatens it. I don't want to believe that somehow Scar is back either, but I can't afford to let my fear put everyone we care about at risk."
Kion's words struck a chord with each of them, and their sense of fear for what awaited them in the put lessened.
"I don't know what's in the crater, but I do know Ushari is there, and if we don't stop him, he'll burn everyone and everything we've ever loved to the ground in a fiery tidal wave." Kion turned to the pit, his dedication lightning the dim cavern with the bright flames of hope.
"We're not going to let that happen!" Fuli snarled, losing all sense of dread.
"Not while we breathe!" Beshte huffed, almost shaking the ground as he slammed his front feet into the rocky surface.
"Never! Never in a million years!" Ono squawked, taking off from Beshte's head and came directly over Kion's head, Anga coming close behind.
"Zuka Zama! That's more like it! Let's kick some snake tail!" Bunga cried, leaping onto Kion's back and setting himself like a knight on his steed.
Makini hardened her expression and nodded.
"Lead the way!"
Kion readied himself for the fight of his life and slowly entered into the volcano's pit. There oddly enough, despite the intense heat, he and the others almost felt a chilling sensation running down their spines as they walked across a rocky pathway to an altar-like formation in the lava-pool's center.
A strange orange-blackish mist emanated from the liquid-rock in a way that looked unnatural, and somehow, all of them felt as if they were being watched by someone, or something.
Fuli almost jumped when she thought she heard a whisper. The cheetah frantically looked around but saw nothing.
"Who's there!? Ono, Anga, do you guys see anything?"
"No, I can't see past this mist."
For a brief moment, Kion considered using the roar to clear the ominous fog, but knew he had to wait for Makini to prepare the rains.
"Alright, Makini, let's get started."
She nodded and bregan drawing a symbol with her staff.
"Eyes peeled, watch for Ushari." Kion growled.
The adolescent lion Prince slowly circled his mandril companion, ready to strike, when suddenly, he heard a low growl.
"I heard something!"
"Me too!" Anga squawked.
The growl sounded almost like a lion's, but darker and almost otherworldly.
"I see you, Kion, I see the mark of the Lion Guard." Kion felt his insides become a frozen tundra upon hearing the voice.
"How far the Guard has fallen, letting such animals take the place of real lions."
"Hey! Who do you think you are!? Whoever you are, wherever you are." Bunga said, looking around for the source of the voice.
"Ha ha ha, I am the true ruler of Pride Rock, the rightful King who was neglected by his father, ignored by his brother, betrayed by his servants, robbed of his throne by a jealous nephew, and stripped of the Roar for daring to take what was rightfully mine by force."
"No!" Makini nearly collapsed and the others backed up, terror and anguish filling their faces.
"Scar! That's impossible! You died!" Kion roared, trying to retain his composure in the face of Scar's voice.
"Oh Kion, death is not the end. Has my dearest brother not shown you as such through his own voice from the heavens."
Kion had spoken with his dead grandfather before, seeing his likeness in the sky and hearing his almost enchanting voice. Death wasn't the end, and he finally understood what was before them.
"You're the ghost of Scar, aren't you, trapped in the Earth because of your crimes during life. You've been the one manipulating Ushari, aren't you!"
"You are perceptive, more so than Mufasa or Simba." Kion snarled.
"I'm not afraid of a dead tyrant and murderer!"
"You ssshould be." Another voice hissed, all eyes turned to another figure concealed by the mist.
"Ushari?" Bunga looked closer and almost yelped when he saw the distinct silhouette of a lion approaching them.
"No way! It can't be!" Beshte almost yelped, nearly backing himself into the lava. Even Kion trembled slightly as the lion approached them, but to his relief and slight confusion, it wasn't Scar, but instead another adolescent lion male, perhaps Kion's age.
Like Kion, he had the signs of a mane growing in, but unlike the Prince's, his was more of a brownish-red. Additionally, his fur was a darker shade of tan. The lion's eyes raged with a fiery inferno that suited the volcano's crater well.
"Prince Kion, we finally meet." He snarled, Kion could feel the fury waiting inside him ready to burst into a storm of fire.
"Who are you?" Kion asked, more intrigued than frightened.
"Our dissssciple." Ushari finally revealed himself, slithering along the Lion's neck before resting beside his head.
"Ushari!" The Lion Guard harned their expressions and got back into a fighting stance.
"Greatingsssss, Lion Guard, we've been waiting for you. We're sssso pleased you could join us in the rebirth of Pride Rock."
"Look I don't know who you are, but you have no idea what Ushari wants to do and-"
"He wants to cover Pride Rock in lava." The Lion answered without hesitation, nearly making the Lion Guard wince.
"Huh, I guess he does know." Bunga said.
"Well that just makes you insane!" Fuli roared.
"This is a glorious day, the day my family is avenged!"
"Your family?" Kion raised an eyebrow.
"Kion, allow me to introduce you to our protégé, Hasira, the last surviving member of the Fisadi." Scar chuckled, his voice echoing a little as he spoke.
Kion went still and nearly turned pale when he heard that name.
"Fisadi!" Makini stuttered.
"Fisadi?" Bunga asked, looking at the others who almost glared at him.
"Didn't you pay attention to Rafiki's lessons?" Ono asked.
Fuli sighed and shook her head.
"The Fisadi were the lion royal house who ruled Pride Rock before Kion's family, the house of Plantagenet. King Geoffry the 1st and his younger brother Askari came to Pride Rock and saw how the Fisadi ruled it as tyrants, then led a rebellion against them. After they succeeded, the animals of Pride Rock named Geoffry their King and Askari founded the Lion Guard remember."
"Wow, that sounds incredible! How'd I miss that?"
"Were you chasing a bug?" Anga asked.
"Oh yeah, it was a juicy one too."
Fuli and the others shook their heads again.
"Your ancestors murdered mine, they forced us into exile, where we dwindled. Now only I'm left, the last Fisadi, and today I avenge my pride and take back what's ours!"
Kion bore his fangs and got into a more aggressive stance.
"You'd kill everyone in Pride Rock because you want revenge for something that happened generations ago!?"
"Revenge issss yoursss, my ssstudent. Thosssse who are sssstrong will ssssurvive, and you will rule over them, you will rule over the worthy." Ushari hissed into Hasira's ear.
"Look, whatever happened in the past is in the past. Trust me, you don't want to listen to them!"
"You Plantagenets took everything from my family! Now I'm going to take everything from you, and not even your precious roar will stop me!" Hasira roared, and the Lion Guard heard approaching footsteps.
Ono and Anga peered in with everything they had, and finally saw them. A group of jackals, spotted hyenas, and crocodiles moved in.
"Hapana! Look out!"
"Anga Linga!" Anga quickly moved to intercept a pair of vultures flying in low to try and attack Makini who frantically tried to complete her ritual.
"Protect Makini!" Kion roared. He and Hasira readied themselves, then launched themselves forward, clashing like two trains colliding into each other.
"Twende kiboko!" Beshte took a defensive stance in front of Makini and slammed a pair of jackals back. Fuli grit her teeth as she tried to race around the island of rock, but had to do so with incredible caution, limiting her ability to maneuver. Luckily, Ono gave his cheetah companion clear instructions from above.
"Behind you! Flank left!"
"Huwezi!" She roared, Ono's guidance giving her the ability to stay ahead of her foes, eventually pounching them into the ground.
"Zuka Zama!" Bunga mauled a jackal who tried to flank Kion and sent him scurrying off with his tail between his leg.
"What's wrong?! Can't handle the heat!" Bunga laughed until he saw Kion's fight with Hasira. The two lions fought with a tenacity the honey badger had only seen in King Simba. A part of him was excited, but the rest slightly frightened.
"Come on Kion!"
The Prince grunted as one of Hasira's paw strikes hit his face, nearly making him stumble. The rival lion came in high, attempting to get his jaws around the back of Kion's neck. Luckily, the Prince recovered fast and pounced upward, hurling Hasira onto his side and following up with a iron head headbutt that slammed his foe back into the stony ground.
"Don't make me do this!" Kion growled, still maintaining his aggressive stance.
Hasira snarled back, the fiery hatred in his eyes only intensifying.
"Die, Plantagenet!" Hisari snapped his jaws inches from Kion's snout, and made him lurch to the side. The two clashed again, furiously trying to claw and bite each other. Kion longed to use the roar, but knew doing so could possibly spray lava upon himself or the others.
"Makini, how much longer!?" Bunga shouted.
"Just a bit more!" Sweat trickled down the mandril's face as she placed the finishing touches on her symbol. Bunga looked back and felt his eyes widen when he saw Ushari continue to slither across Hasira's neck while watching Kion.
"Faulter, fall, just like your grandfather." Scar growled.
"Oh no! Kion!"
"Graaaww!" Kion lashed out and smashed the top of his head against Hisari's jaw, giving him an opening to bite down on the second lion's throat. With a ferocious effort, started to hurl the Fisadi away, only for the world to slow around him as he saw Ushari, fangs out, directly in front of his left eye.
"Now, you shall join me, Kion."
"Gaaah!" Kion shrieked in pain and agony he'd never experienced in his life, it was as if his insides were on fire!
"You dirty no good snake!" Bunga slammed into Ushari and pulled him off Kion, but in doing so, he lost control and both animals went tumbling into the lava pool.
"Bunga!" Fuli, Beshte, and Anga shrieked. Ono flew with speed that impressed even Fuli, and ignored the deathly head and fumes around him.
"No!" Ushari yelped, before disappearing into the liquid rock.
"Ono!" Bunga reached out, pure terror in his eyes.
Kion breathed heavily and felt his eye throb before realizing what happened.
"Bunga! No-" Kion stopped when he saw Ono fly back up and crash into the rock, Bunga clutching onto his legs.
"Ohhh, I'm ok, I'm ok." Bunga trembled.
"Ono, you did it, you-" Anga stopped when she saw Ono's eyes.
"Guys, guys where are you? I can't see, I can't see anything!" He squawked, sounding distraught.
"Ono." Bunga covered his mouth.
"You fools, what have you done!" Hisari roared, emphasizing the lava where Ushari landed. The liquid rock began to turn black and bubble.
"Ha ha ha ha! Now Pride Rock will be reborn in fire!" Scar laughed.
The volcano began to shake and lava spewed up like a stormy sea.
Hisari fell back, vanishing into the darkness.
"Ahh!" Anga tried to find a way out but was nearly enveloped by the lava. Beshte and Fuli too couldn't see a way to escape.
"Guys!" Fuli muttered, tears in her eyes.
"Come on, there's got to be a way out! There has to be!" Beshte pleaded. Kion couldn't think straight, the pain in his eye burning him more than the lava.
Makini desperately finished her symbol and slammed the staff's bottom into its center.
Back outside, Simba hurled another crocodile back before hearing what almost sounded like an explosion.
"Huh?" He and the others felt an overwhelming sense of heat and dryness as the sky darkened over them.
Before the King could speak, the volcano erupted into a wave of lava.
Simba went still and felt everything go numb. He was unable to take his eyes off the mountain even as the fiery liquid descended upon them.
"Run for it!" Janja roared, the two battling armies fled in panic, desperately trying to escape the incoming lava. All except for Simba, Nala, and Kiara, who stood in place, as pale as ghosts.
"Come on! We can't stay here!" Jasiri shouted, frantically trying to get the lions to move.
"No! No! Kion's in there! I have to save him!" Simba cried, tears streaming down his face as he tried to advance on the mountain.
"No! Your highness, if we stay we'll die!" Jasari couldn't hold back her own tears as she looked back at the volcano.
"Please, you have to live." Calling upon her Hyena pack and a few royal lionesses, they got the royal family to a safe distance. There, all of Pride Rock watched as storm clouds brought a downpour of rain upon the advancing lava, halting it before it could reach the pridelands.
Yet even all that rain couldn't match Simba, Nala, and Kiara's sobbing. The whole Kingdom felt the unrelenting pain of mourning for their Prince and his Lion Guard. Beshte, Ono, and Anga's families experienced much the same as the Royal Family, struggling to cope with what just happened.
"Ohhhh Bunga, Kion!" Pumbaa wailed, the warthog struggled to breath.
"Pumbaa please, we have to stay strong, we have too-" Timon couldn't hold it together either and collapsed beside Pumbaa.
"I can't believe he's gone." Zuri muttered, staring out with Tifu and the other lionesses.
"Kiara." Tifu said, slowly looking back at the Princess who buried her face in Nala's lap. The Queen couldn't even raise her head, and almost hyperventilated.
"I can't do it, Simba, first Kopa, now Kion." Nala broke down, only kept upright by Simba. The King clenched his eyes shut, trying in desperation to go on. Having only felt pain like this twice in his life before. Simba placed his paw around Kiara and held her close. She was his last child now, and he'd keep her safe, no matter what.
Elsewhere, the back of the volcano began to crack until it finally burst open, rock debris and lava flying everything. Fuli, Beshte, Anga, and Makani rushed out coughing and desperately trying to breathe.
"Aaahhhh! We're alive!" Fuli almost laughed, falling over and panting from sheer exhaustion.
Bunga followed them, Ono in his arms.
"I've got you, Ono." He said tenderly.
"That was scary." Beshte huffed, collapsing on the ground just like Fuli.
"Kion, you did it! You saved us! That was the most incredible thing I've ever seen!" Anga almost squealed in exuberance. Kion emerged from the volcano after Bunga, but did so slowly and kept his head low, one paw over his left eye.
"I still can't see! I still can't see! What's happening!?" Ono's panic grew and Bunga handed him off to Makini.
"Hold still, let me take a look."
"Kion! You were unbungalievable, you! Gaaah!" Bunga yelped when he saw Kion move his paw to reveal a scar over his left eye.
"Woah!" Beshte sprung up upon seeing it.
Kion moved over to a nearby pool of collected rainwater and felt his heart sink.
"Scar, I have a scar, aaaaaggh!" The burning sensation returned, but worse. So much so that Kion struggled to keep his eyes open.
"Kion, how bad does it hurt?" Bunga asked.
"Bunga, please, I-"
"Does it hurt bad-"
"Gaah! Just leave me be!" Kion snarled, making Bunga jump backwards in fright. None of the Guard ever saw Kion snap at them like that, and he began to pant, the burning sensation fueling his raw emotions.
"Bunga, I'm sorry, I just got so angry all of a sudden. Uhhg, this scar hurts so bad." Kion groaned. Bunga didn't look upset and immediately came back to place a hand on his friend's shoulder.
"It was Ushari, he did something to you!"
Normally Fuli might've objected to an idea like that, but knowing of the snake's dark magic, she hesitated.
"Makini?" The Mandril set Ono down and very carefully looked over Kion's scar.
"Oh no, he gave you his venom!"
"Venom, what does that mean? What does that mean!?" Kion tried not to sound frantic, but the sheering pain made it impossible.
"Kion, Ushari delved into dark magic, it corrupted him from the inside out, now his venom is inside you….."
Kion understood and trembled.
"It's, it's going to make me like him! Like Scar!"
"No! You're not Scar, you'll never be like him!" Bunga said, taking Kion's face in his paws.
"He's right, you're Prince Kion Plantagenet, you're the leader of the Lion Guard!" Fuli added. Beshte, Makini, and Anga quickly joined in, Makini carrying Ono.
"Kion, if I could see you right now, I wouldn't see anything different." Ono said, earning a slight smile from the lion before his pain resurfaced.
"Makini, is there anything you can do?" Beshte asked.
"No, this is beyond my abilities. But maybe there is a way!" The dread vanished from Makini's voice and she lit up like the rising sun.
"The Tree of Life, that's it!"
"The Tree of Life, Makini, that place is just a legend." Kion said.
"No it's not! I've been there before!"
"You have!?" Anga almost squawked.
"Yes! Environments and animals from around the world, and the Tree itself, capable of healing any injuries! They could heal you, I know they could!"
Kion turned to Ono.
"What about Ono's sight, could that get healed too?"
"I would like my sight back." Ono muttered.
"That's it! We're going to the Tree of Life!" Bunga proclaimed.
Kion looked back towards Pride Rock with a heavy heart.
"Our families probably think we're dead, we need to go back and, uuhg-" Kion held his scar again.
"There's no time, Kion, we need to get to the Tree now." Fuli said, placing a paw on his shoulder.
Kion fought back his emotions and struggled not to tear up.
"I'll be back, Mom, Dad, Kiara, I promise. Guys, your families-" Kion started.
"Kion, if you think we're letting you go to the Tree of Life without us." Bunga said with a growing smile that quickly spread to the others.
"We're in this together, all of us, one Team, one family." Fuli said.
Kion looked up at the sky and the shining sun. As light passed through the clouds, he saw the silhouette of a familiar lion staring down at him and nodding.
Staring out at the horizon, Kion returned his Team's determination.
"Till the Pride Land ends."
"The Lion Guard will defend!"
As Kion and his friends departed, they were unaware that someone else observed their every move.
"The Tree of Life exists! How interesting."
Yep, I'm back, I suppose I just can't stay away from this franchise
So in this reimagining I wanted to make it fit a bit more with the cannon of Lion King 2. For one, Simba thinking Kion is dead would explain him never mentioning him a bit more realistic and also explain why he's so overprotective of Kiara when he wasn't in the show.
As for the House of Plantagenet, I named Simba's royal house that because one, the Plantagenet's coat of arms was three golden lions, second Richard the Lionheart was from the House of Plantagenet, and Kion in this story is based on him.
This is effectively a prequel to King of Life, however, since most of the story is already written, I'm afraid I won't be accepting submissions for OC's, especially since some of the OCs from King of Life will naturally be appearing to preserve continuity.
So until next time,
Please review, comment, suggest, or ask (VIA PM)