01/30/10 - Jahusi Lion

The Players:
Badiliko - White Lion from Kopje Valley
Balana - Pride Mother of Kopje Valley
Elimnyama - Rogue Black Lion and Mystic
Itumele - Juvenile Son of Balana
Johari - Badiliko's Mate and Kopje Valley Lioness
Katili - Kopje Valley Lioness
Mashaka - Elder Lion of Kopje Valley
Miiba - Hedgehog and Wanderer

We start, on an average day in the borders of the Pridelands region, a large rock that has always been there. Nothing about the rock itself is special save only what it bears on top of it: sitting there is a pygmy hedgehog, looking around the entire scope (that he can see at least) as if he was in search of something big and impressive. Based on the way he's sitting and looking, though, the little guy has been there for quite some time and doesn't look like he's going to be moving anytime soon. Not without someone to bump into him, that is.

Balana is asleep. She didn't get to talk much to Kahini the other night before the cubs settled down… so… she's still sleeping.

One of the two youths, on the other paw, is more than eager to get moving again. Why are they still here? Shouldn't they be going? Mutter. Ambling about, Itumele's trying to keep himself amused. Right now, he's taken to singing quietly under his breath, something rather unintelligble. That is, until he spots the weird thing with spikes on the rock. Being nosy, of course, he wanders over to investigate.

The past few days have been a blur for Johari. She's told just about everyone with an exposed ear about her kill, and the blessing of the Queen and her father. Even now, she's still on cloud nine, searching for a particular lion to see how he did with his half of the blessing.

It has been quite some time since Elimnyama left his childhood home and made his way into the abandoned lands that lay between the Natamba and Kopje prides. The dark lion appears, at first, as only a speck in the distance. He could be nothing more than a dark spot on the eye, or a fly fluttering just out of paw's reach. What draws him nearer, however, is known only to he alone. So, he continues towards where it seems others have gathered at a slow, easy pace, the light casting on his unusually colored fur and his blue eyes searching.

And the hedgehog, amidst his looking, spots the variety of lions coming about. At least, he definitely spots Itumele and Johari, and with a salesman's smile turns over to them. "Hello, my superior…superiors!" he greets with a slight hangup. "Would you both like to hear special stories and terrific tales before I head on my way to parts unknown?"

Mashaka comes up from the waterhole, padding lazily through the grasses. He finally spots a bit of a group forming at the border, and turns his meanderings to head off in that direction, curious to see what's going down tonight, especially when he spots the hedgehog on the rock.

The juvenile, though he's had some interaction with the other's in the pride, hasn't quite met this little critter. At least, not that he remembers. And the words used are… somewhat odd. "Do I want to hear what?" Itumele drops to his haunches next to the rock, nose wrinkled in thourough confusion.

Johari pads up to the same rock as Itumele, eyes transfixed on this strange little creature. "Superior?" She half giggles, "Oh, that's a new one. I'm still getting used to huntress." Yup, she HAD to slip that in there somewhere. "Sure, I'm up for a story or two."

As he draws closer, the dark lion picks out the forms of various individuals. An approaching lion, lionesses, and youngsters - all very strange things to be seeing in a land that was supposed to be abandoned. Even so, Elimnyama doesn't seem to surprised by this. He maintains his pace, making his way ever closer like a shadow creeping across the grass.

"Terrific tales! Fabulous Fables! Things and creatures and places you've never even imagined before!" He grins and "sits up," as a hedgehog may be able to at least. "Why, there's a Meerkat out there who singlehandedly broke the will of a whole ARMY of Mountain Gorillas! Or the hawk that looked at stars to tell the future! There was even a toad afraid of a fly, as I recall." The tone makes him sound like a circus ringleader, spinning the obvious in a very, VERY outlandish yet etertaining fashion.

Attention is paid to the hedgehog for a few more moments, but Itumele's a little too restless to care about stories right now. "Maybe later. We're supposed to be going to the volcano," the juvenile says as he gets to his paws, looking briefly at Johari. "As soon as /Mom/ gets up…" This causes his gaze to turn back towards where the sleeping lioness rests some distance away. He can see part of her form in the grasses… but the lion drawing closer in the background is suddenly drawing his attention. Without so much as a further word to the others, the young lion starts bounding his way off through the grasses.

Katili's pawfalls slowly follow the scent trail of the others up towards the edge of the valley where the pridelands met her own home. She wasn't sure what was going on and it bore investigation, her ears perk forward at the tiny voice of the hadgehog piping absurdities, and her eyeslids lower to half-mast in a look of repulsion at the falsehoods the smaller creature spins.

Johari sits back on her haunches though. "Well, you might be going with her, but I'm going with Badiliko. Since he's not here…" Her voice trails off before she looks back to the hedgehog for now. "Do go on."

It doesn't take long for the voice of the hedgehog to reach Elimnyama's approaching ears. He'd heard his fair share of stories in his childhood, and passed many of them off as nothing more than beguiling tales to amuse the young. However, the comment about a hawk who could tell the future… that catches his attention. Lifting one eyebrow, the dark lion casts a glance around before making his way closer. It seems logical that there should be a protector for this group, and so he hesitates just a moment, not wanting to earn the ire of some overprotective male before he makes the last few steps along the pathway to join them. "Is there much truth to these tales you spin, little one?" He asks, his bass voice rich, albiet unused from his time living a solo lifestyle. He blinks just once, as the cub seems disinterested in the stories, his tail flicking. "I am certainly curious what you have to say of fortune tellers…"

"Is there much truth?" the hedgehog repeats, sounding mock-insulted. "I'll have you know, mister…dark lion…that everything I talk about is nothing if not true! It all sounds unusual, even I admit, but I wouldn't remember it if it wasn't true. Why, I even outran a volcano once! Barely made it, too!" He sounds so sure and confident that everything he's talking about is true…it may well be. "And as for fortune tellers, can you believe that there are those who watch waterfalls, blades of grass, and even ROCKS to see into the future?"

There is perhaps more than a little bit of rustling as Itumele's path first leads away from the others… with several pauses, the trail of rustling grasses eventually circle out to lead somewhere up behind Elimnyama. Itumele hesitates for several moments, torn between his caution around larger males, and what he's heard about being a guard. Ultimately, he attempts to get up behind Elimnyama and rather boldly grab a hold of the lion's tail with his teeth, emitting a not-very-friendly sounding noise.

Katili sits down not far off, watching and listening with a disapproving air but keeping her thoughts in check.

Johari perks her ears at the sound of the other approaching. She's expecting Badiliko of course, but she's overly surprised to see the stranger Elimnyama instead. It makes her.. Well, uncomfortable to say the least. Even if her great grandmother isn't too far away. "Hello." She starts, forgetting the hedgehog stories for the moment.

At first, Elimnyama doesn't quite convinced by the hedgehog's words, "Elimnyama." The lion replies, bobbing his head just once, letting the irony of being called 'mister dark lion' only to introduce himself as something that means quite literally 'it is dark'. His tail sways back and forth behind him, the black tailtip keeping rhythm, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he is being stalked. He inclines his head to the female as well, also oblivious to the equal irony that he is not the lion she is expecting, but polar opposite in coloration. The mention of rocks, though, has his attention glued back on the hedgehog. "Yes. I can indeed believe stories of those who read the rocks." He shifts a forepaw, nudging a few stones infront of him into a strange arrangement. His mouth opens, as if he were about to say more, but then his tail is chomped down on. "EEeah." Elimn stiffens and turns, looking behind him with an expression of surprise. It softens though, "I do believe I'm being mauled to death." He mutters, tugging his tail a bit within the grasp of Itumele.

Well, we're not going to leave that to pure chance, are we? Given the commotion that is going on someone decided to come check it all out. A small blurry fuzz at first soon becomes the form of an adult lion…a WHITE adult lion. And as he comes up he gauges the environment closely. This was very interesting, and he couldn't help but laugh a little at the scene. "What are you all doing here?" Badiliko asks, friends and strangers alike.

The tail is held for several moments, and Itumele just looks back up at the dark lion as he's peered at. Um… uh… He doesn't shrink back, but nor does he seem to know exactly what to do at this point. There is something he's supposed to do, right? Oh, right! The young lion puffs himself up and attempts to speak, which of course doesn't get him very far. Thus, the juvenile spits out the tailtuft, and tries again. "Halt!" Well, so far he's already done that. "Who goes there?" …and the lion already gave his name. So much for /that/ line.

Katili glances at Badiliko and tries to sum up the situation geaturing to each creature as she sums things up for him, "The Hedgehog is lying to us all too keep the others amused, Mister Elimnyama is being attacked by one of the cubs, Johari was waiting for you, and I am here to say goodbye to you both."

Johari's attitude changes all together as she spots the white lion coming up on the group. Whew, nothing to worry about with Badiliko here. A smile creeps through her features, but Katili pretty much beats her to the punch line. "Right, what Katili said."

"Well, I certainly couldn't go anywhere with such a brave guardian holding me back, now could I?" Elimnyama replies, his voice serious although his eyes hold a bit of amusement that doesn't reach the rest of his mannerisms. "I mean you and your loved ones no harm, I assure you." With his tail now freed, the lion curls it behind him, trying to prevent a repeat of the whole teeth-on-tail thing. Badiliko's arrival, though, has his curiousity piqued. He's only ever seen a pale lion once before in his life, his sister… His now deceased sister. It takes him a moment to collect himself before inclining his head towards the white lion. "My appologies for tresspassing. The small one sounded as if he had an interesting tale to tell." He motions his muzzle towards the hedgehog, although his eyes stay locked on the white lion.

And that is all the information Badiliko gets and processes. "Hrm…well, as long as nobody is being seriously hurt," he says as he approaches Johari and gives her an affectionate nuzzle on the side. "Haven't heard any really good stories in a long time, though…so let's hear it!"

The hedgehog, however, upon sighting Badiliko…and after a small moment's thought…goes quiet. Not only does he go quiet, his eyes go big and his mouth hangs open. Somewhat like a silent scream of a prey looking Death right in the eye. And he stays there in utter horror for several moments before he makes a mad dash away from Badiliko (and by proxy everybody else) and likewise screaming "THE JAHUSI IS GOING TO KILL ME!"

Katili snorts derisively as the hedgehog makes a break for it, "I knew the little morsel was insane, such ridiculous stories. Good riddance to bad rubbish." The dusky lioness rises to her paws and moves towards Johari and badiliko now ignoring the smaller mammal.

The murmurings were enough to stir the elder lioness into the world of the nearly-conscious… but it's not until the hedgehog screams that Balana wakes up entirely. She's to full alertness and on her paws a little more swiftly than might be expected for an old lioness… and, upon spotting the group, she makes for them. "What in the name of the Great Kings is going on here?" she asks, not seeming to take notice of the presence of a strange lion in their midst, or the proximity of her son to said lion.

Itumele at first looks a little bit proud at Elimnyama's response… but it's short-lived as Badiliko shows up and his attention meanders. "Badi!" And then there's some excitement he can't see. "What is it? Let me see!" the juvenile says as he draws to a stop near Elimnyama's forepaws. "Where did that thing go?"

Johari nuzzles her mate back with a warm, affectionate purr. "Hello Love, I'm glad to see you and…" And what in the world?? Johari blinks and looks up as the hedgehog goes tearing off for no apparent reason that she can tell. She opens her mouth to say something, anything, but is lost for words on it. That was just, weird. She ends up staring at Badiliko with an expectant gaze. Maybe he knows why he drew such a weird reaction?

Does Badiliko know why the hedgehog darted off like that and screamed what he did? Well, no, and that's in his face. But not long after the lion heard that something DID dawn on him. Something that hit so close to home that Badiliko has a look of shock on his face. "…Jahusi…" he repeated, as if it meant something to him, and then proceeded to dart off in front of the hedgehog to cut him off. "Stop!" he commands once he's in front.

One dark brow lifts as Elimnyama takes in the other lion's reaction, or at least his lack of reaction to his presence. While he may be large, there is no agression in the dark lion's posture as he simply turns his attention away from the obvious pairing of Johari and Badiliko and back towards the hedgehog. That is, until the little creature makes a break for it. His head tilts a little as his ears perk forward, seeming yet again amused as a cub ends up between his forepaws. "What a strange little creature." This from a lion who reads the future in rocks. "I wouldn't eat that one if I were you." He says to Itumele, nodding sagely. He glances up at Balana's arrival, though, shrugging his shoulders slightly in response.

Pant pant pant pant pa—SCREECH! The little hedgehog is stopped and seeing no other alternative he does what hedgehogs do best: curl up into a spiky little ball and shake in fear. "Pleasedon'tkillmepleasedon'tkillmepleasedon't…" He's going to be like this for a while. Shellshock is a killer, even when there are no shells involved.

Katili rolls her eyes at all the commotion, looking calmly at her grandmother and again explaining things, "Grandma this is Elimnyama, He was nearby when that mad little thing there began telling ridiculous stories that were obviously lies to entertain the cub and Johari. Who was waiting for Badi to arrive so they could leave for the volcano. Elimnyama stopped by to listen to the stories too. Itu decided it would be a good idea to chew on his tail to "protect" us. For some reason the little morsel there is terrified of Badiliko. I'm just here to say goodbye to Joh and Badi."

Balana looks around for a moment, and finally it seems Katili's going to be the one to explain things. A slight grunt is emitted after her granddaughter's explanation, and she turns to eye the stranger in their midst for a moment. Well, he's behaving himself… "Don't sit in the paws of strangers, dear," she tells Itumele as he just gets a glance, and she then turns to move over towards the other females, leaving the males to their own devices. "So you two are ready to go, I take it?" she asks Johari. "If I'd known that, I would have just coordinated with you," she says as she leans to give the pair of lionesses a nuzzle. "I'm taking Itumele and Uzo back because we didn't get to stay as long as I'd promised before since we came back for Kasjari's coronation."

Johari has absolutely no idea what to make of all of this confusion. She's figured out that for the moment at least, Elimnyama isn't a threat. That much is good. But the crazy behavior of the hedgehog? No clue. She makes her way to and stops at Katili's side next. As Balana pads up, Johari offers her own nuzzle in return. "Well, we're kind of, sort of ready to go." They are ready, right? She hasn't actually gotten to ask her mate to be that question yet.

Itumele doesn't seem to realize just where he's standing until Balana points it out, where he looks first at one of the lion's paws, then the other, and then up at him. "I wasn't gonna eat it! I just didn't wanna hear it tell a long, boring story. We were already supposed to go to the volcano twooooooooo days ago," he says, looking more than a little unhappy as he places himself a little bit further from Elimnyama. "So where did you come from? You smell funny. Not like anywhere I've ever smelled."

"You are quite astute, aren't you. It's refreshing." Elimnyama comments, turning his head slightly to give the slightest of inclinations in Katili's direction. However, it's Balana and the cub that get most of his attention after the white lion corners the strange, twitching hedgehog. "Perhaps he has some sort of illness." The lion suggests, before regarding the older lioness once more. "He's quite safe." He tries his best to be re-assuring even as his head lowers towards the boy. "I come from the Natamba. It's a land beyond this place. It sounds as if you and your family are not staying in this place… a shame. It would be nice to see life here again."

Badiliko sits there, keeping the hedgehog in place while he gets a chance to talk to him. "Look, I'm not going to kill you, little guy. I just want you to tell me where you heard the word "Jahusi" from, alright? How do you know that word?" His stance is a little threatening, perhaps, but his tone and face do not express much hostility. And, of course, he's almost completely tuned out the rest of the world for this.

More shaking and rampant fear for Miiba, but he stops the rambling at least. "J-Jahusi is a name…title…clan of l-l-lions…mean ones." While curled up in his spiky refuge his spikes are growing more and more rigid. "…past desert to the north…" Every possible hint suggests a bad experience. That would make Katili's statements about his stories wrong, or at least inaccurate. More importantly, though…how would this tie to Badiliko?

Katili returns the nuzzles from Johari and her Grandma, looking slightly disgusted by the behavior of the hedgehog she chooses to ignore it however so as to not spoil Johari's big day and lightly bumps the younger lioness with her shoulder, "Are you excited Joh?" She pays little mind also to Uncle Itumele sitting in the dark lion's paws, as well as the dark lion himself. She isn't impolite, she returns Elimnyama's nod, but he is quickly forgotten right after.

Balana smiles lightly to Johari. "I see. Well, no real matter, I suppose. If you're ready now or you're ready in a few suns. I just have a feeling I'd better get the young ones to the volcano before Itumele starts growing his mane. However, I would like to speak with a friend I ran into first, if I get the chance… Tell you what. If you two are ready to go, would you mind too much taking Uzo and Itumele with you? The volcano's safe enough, and they don't eat too much… well, yet. I shouldn't be more than a sun behind you, two at the most." She doesn't completely catch what Itumele is saying, but she catches his tone. "Mind your manners, Itumele," she says over her shoulder at him, but then settles to her haunches near the other females, falling quiet.

Johari, hunt for four? Its certainly a challenge, though everyone has given her the blessings already. "Well, I don't mind, but Badiliko needs to be okay with it too." Johari looks over to the others just in time to get the key word spoken by the hedgehog, and see Badiliko's response.

Lip curls in an expression of confused skepticism. "The Natamba? Nuh-uh. They're a whoooooole long long way away. You couldn't walk that far!" Seems he's not really had much proper geography outside of where Kopje, the Pride Lands, and the volcano are. "And stay /here/? We don't wanna stay here. This is just some big ol' flat place. We're going to the /volcano/," he says in a tone that certainly makes it sound like he considers it superior to… well, anywhere else he's been. "It needs life more than this. It was my Dad's home once!" The scolding from his mother gets a mere pause, and then he decides to speak a little quieter.
Itumele says, "It's a big mountain, except it's hollow inside. There's a lake, and caves, and easy to protect cuz' the only way in is through the cave."

For the time being, Elimnyama's attention ends up shifting between the cub and the conversation between Badiliko and the hedgehog. Travel plans and goodbyes are all good for some, but not so much for a lion who has followed the signs of nature for as long as he has. "I haven't heard of the Jahusi in my travels, but the lands beyond the desert aren't well spoken of by the fliers." The dark one settles to his haunches, curling his tail safely nearby. With his input added though, the child's exclaimations bring his head around again. "Oh, it is a far distance away. I've traveled for months and months and months under the hot sun. That's how my fur become this color, you know. It made all my fur burn black." He nods his head, as if speaking some absolute truth, but listens none the less to the boy's tail. "A volcano you say. Hrm." The lion shifts a paw once more, placing some small stones in line between himself and the cub. "So are you going to rule the volcano?" He asks Itumele, amusement finally causing a hint of a smile to peek through his dark features.

The hedgehog further elaborates in his frightened state: "Long way across…they don't d-deal with outsiders…he's the only one to ever leave." Clearly a reference to Badiliko, who he titled as a Jahusi to begin with.

Once again Badiliko looks surprised. Very, very surprised. Having heard this, though, he stops to think. You know, the kind of thinking where there's lots of looking at those around, as if they were being factored into some major equation or decision. Yes, there is a lot of thinking going on here. It ends when he looks to the others and states, "I won't be going to the Volcano. Not now."

Katili curls her tail about her flanks and now falls silent, watching and listening to her grandmother and Johari making their plans.

"Of course, of course. He seems a little preoccupied at the moment, though," Balana says with a vague glance over towards the white lion. She isn't too sure just what's going on over there, but it sounds like it might be something good to tune into. The only little bit she gets from this is Badiliko's last part, and she looks quite surprised. "I missed something. What's going on?"

Johari drops her mouth open at Badiliko's statement, and pads away from the others towards the white lion. "Badi? Love? What's going on?" Her words echo Balana's, though sound with deeper emotion. "I don't understand, where are we going?"

Itumele's eyes get a little wider and wider as Elimnyama goes on… and he doesn't seem quite sure whether to take the dark lion's words as true. "…nuh-uh! You just made that up." Then, at the last question, "…I don't know," he answers truthfully, and his gaze wanders to Badiliko as well, but for different reasons. He missed the declaration by the white male. "What happened?"

There is something to be said for living a life where you tend to be one paw-step ahead of others. Perhaps it is for that reason alone that Elimnyama doesn't seem surprised about the white lion's change of plans. "The past has a way of catching up to you." He replies in a soft tone, keeping his head near Itumele, but his eyes flit to Badiliko in the process. "Hmmm. You're quite smart though, young one. Itu was it?" He'd picked up that bit of the name from Katili, "I was born this way, just as your patron there was born with his fur, and you with yours. But the rest is true. My father is king in Natamba, a destiny that I don't share." He slowly rises to a full sitting position though, curious as to what the sudden change in plans will mean for this group he's found himself inadvertantly tresspassing among.

"What…Elimnyama, right? What he just said." He doesn't face anybody except Johari. "Johari…you know that Balana found me in the Volcano as a cub and that I never knew where I came from." He motions back to the hedgehog. "He knows something, and he's going to help me find it," he states in a commanding voice.

Miiba stops shaking. His quills slack considerably. Even his breathing stops for a few good seconds. And then, in the same way a possum or certain meerkats would be proud of, the hedgehog faints with a tiny "thip" on the ground. Too much for one day, it seems, especially being bossed around by another lion.

Katili arches one eyebrow at the hedgehog's fainting spell, and she smirks, "Wow Badi, I never knew you could be so terrifying. Then she turns to look sidelong at Elimnyama and her little uncle before stating flatly, "Itumele come here for a moment."

Too many conversations going on at once. An ear twitches at a few keywords from Elimnyama, mostly about who his father is, but Balana doesn't have time to address that now. Filed away for later use. "There was something about crossing the northern desert in there, wasn't there?" she says with a folding of her ears. A somewhat skeptical look is then given to the hedgehog… who apparently isn't in the realm of the conscious anymore.

Johari can't believe what she's hearing from the white lion! A day ago, both hearts were set on the volcano. Now, out of the blue this? Johari catches her breath for a moment. When she does speak, its somewhat broken in thought, "Well, yes, I mean, I knew of that, but.." Oh, this is crazy, isn't it? Johari takes a deep breath, trying to think clearly. "This is what you want?" A brief pause and then Johari corrects the white lion, "He's going to help /us/ find it then."

"Itumele," the juvenile responds, but he's summoned before he can really get any further. "Um… hold on," he tells the dark lion before Itumele gets up and moves over towards Katili. He's been told she's not a nice one to see mad. "What?"

"Mmm." Elimnyama simply nods towards Badiliko, re-affirming his identity before listening and making what he can of the bits of information being offered to him, and what he knows from reading the earth around him. "A pleasure to meet you, young knight Itumele." Elimnyama returns the greeting to the cub, but only gives a cursory glance to follow his path before looking back at the obviously mated pair. "Sometimes the paths we take lead us back to the beginning. Perhaps that is what the great spirits had in mind bringing this strange one to you." Strange, coming from him? Still, Elimn seems slightly concerned over these before unknown individuals. "But it may proove more… effective not to scare the daylights out of the poor thing. You may have taken a good cycle off of his life, you know…"

Badiliko smiles. "Maybe, Elimnyama, but I'll make it up to him if he delivers." That's when he turns to Johari and gives a nod, knowing that arguing with his beloved mate would be utterly futile. "If you'll come with me, I couldn't think of a better companion to have." Oh hey, someone's going on an adventure PAST the Volcano!

Katili gently scoops the juvenile male in closer to her and whispers something into his ear while watching the black mane'd adult lion suspiciously.

Balana glances away in thought for a few moments, and then up to Badiliko again as she gets to her paws and approaches him. "Just… do me a favor and don't go dashing off anywhere until I get back. I won't be long." And with that, the elder turns and starts to move further along the border, and eventually out of sight.

SOMEONE was going to go to the volcano, learn the hunting grounds, and try to establish some sort of pattern in her life so that she can care for this same beloved mate. Now Johari stands there, staring into the eyes of the other lion as she tries to put her mind at ease on what Badiliko is really saying. "You can't get rid of me that easy, Badi." A strange look is taken at the departing elder, but Jo just shrugs it off in the end. "

Itumele leans in to listen to Katili's whisper… and then frowns. "What? Mom didn't tell me to get away. Is it because he's not a Kopje lion?" He looks back at the black lion, and then back to his older niece. "Talkin' never hurt anybody…"

Elimnyama's face remains somewhat impassive, although his muzzle does twitch at the white lion's words. "Ahh love." He murmurs to himself, looking at the two young lions with that same, almost smile that lights it. That is, until his ear swivels toawrds Itumele. The dark lion turns to look first at him, and then up at Katili. His blue eyes blink behind the fringe of black mane. "Kopje is not the only bastian of good in this world. Still, I am an outsider. My apologies." The lion inclines his head forward, his face momentarily hidden by dark mane before he gets to his feet, taking a few paw-steps away from the main grouping, setting himeslf purposely appart.

Badiliko gives Johari a small nuzzle before looking to the others. "If any of you wish to come, too, we'll leave once the hedgehog wakes up or Balana returns…whichever happens second." Good sign, he trusts the others who are with him!

Katili nods at the black lion, however her eyes do not grow any more friendly as she whispers to Itumele again.

Johari takes in a deep breath of the evening air now. She looks off towards the volcano for a bit, silent while Badiliko goes about inviting the others to follow as well. After about a half minute or so, she bumps her head back against Badiliko's mane, whispering something into his ear quick before heading off a few paces and settling down for the night.

Itumele leans in to listen once again, and then looks back at Katili. "Well… I'll stay with Badi then," he concludes, seeing as his mother has darted off to places unknown, his features then drooping considerably. "I just wanted to go to the volcano," he says in a decidedly upset tone that's getting more distraught as he continues speaking. "But I don't think we're going to GET to. We're gonna… my mane's gonna be all grown in before we get to go." That expressed, he gets up and mopingly moves to go lay down somewhere behind Johari and Badiliko, out of sight of Elimnyama and Katili.

Strangely enough, though, Elimnyama doesn't just leave the small grouping. Instead, the dark lion settles himself a short distance away, curling himself up and settling his head onto his paws. Whatever his reason for coming to them, it seems that he isn't intent on leaving just yet.

Katili watches the black lion for a moment longer after her family has all laid down for some shut eye and then she stands a very cold look in her eyes as she turns, tail lashing behind her as she moves off into the surrounding grasses, but her scent doesn't depart, she is watching the strange lion from the consealment of the long grass.

~End Part 1~

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