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Kingdom Hearts: Return To The Pride Lands Chapter 1: Return “Woah...” The only audible sound he could make as he looked in wonder at how beautiful the Pridelands had become since their last visit. Gone were the barren browns they had known under Scar's selfish and neglectful reign. Replaced now by lush grasslands, calm and rippling rivers and all teeming with wildlife. Antelopes hopped merrily along their way, birds flew majestically in the sky which was now a vibrant blue, the sun lighting up everything that existed underneath it. Sora had been to many Worlds on his travels, but this one was one of the most invitingly peaceful he had ever seen. “Looks like Simba is doing a really good job!” Donald said, energetic and happy as he flapped his wings every now and then to regain height when gravity started to pull him down, flying just above Sora and Goofy. “Ya Huh” Goofy agreed, how could he not? Although the weight of his shell he used to shield himself in these lands felt heavier than usualy in the sunlight. “C'mon! Let's go see him!” Sora said. Motioning his head toward Pride Rock, which was just in the distance. Standing tall as the landmark of the Pridelands, casting a shadow around anyone who was near it. As the three of them made their way toward the structure, Donald was enjoying the breeze that came with his light weight in this World as he flew laps around Sora and Goofy. Goofy waddled along at times, but he also would bring his neck inside his shell, spinning along the grounds so he could travel easier and faster and keep up with Sora and Sora himself felt the worst of it, his mane and all the rest of his light brown fur drew the rays of the sun to him. “Look! There they are!” “The heroes of the Pridelands!” “Mummy can we go and say hello to them?” The voices of the animals both young and old that inhabited these lands swirled around as the trio passed. Word had spread of their arrival and the kingdom was humbled to have them visit again. Getting closer the Pride Rock, which was now enormous as the three were dwarfed by it, Sora wandered what had happened to the hyenas and the heartless. A lion with tanned almost orange fur with a red well groomed mane that covered the outsides of his face and rounded his neck and tipping off at his chest was joined by a young adult lioness with light brown fur and yellow eyes with striking blue iris. “Sora! Donald! Goofy! Its great to see you!” The lion said as they stepped down from the monument to meet the. The lioness smiled at them, she hadn't spent as much time with them as Simba had and she hadn't joined them for the battles but she had them to thank for helping to get Simba to return to the Pridelands in the first place. The three of them bowed their heads in respect to the royal couple. “Your majesty.” The three of them said in unison. “Oh come on. You guys know you don't need to be so formal around us.” The lioness said back to them but she respected them for doing it anyway. Sora laughed, partly to break the awkward moment of silence and partly out of pure joy, after all it was amazing to see how much Simba had grown and changed, transforming the kingdom along with himself. The five continued to talk and exchange laughs as they stepped up Pride Rock, reaching the peak of it that stretched out from the King's den. The view was a stunning one, the savannah seemingly endless in front of them, even the barren gorge where the tragedy of the great Mufasa took place was now teeming with new life. The hyenas allowed to live there in peace and while it wasn't what they had in mind, it was better than fighting for scraps in the Elephant Graveyards. The downside of course is they had to vacate it when the herds wanted to move through, a fair trade off they all had agreed to. In the midst of the joyous reunion, Sora had forgot to mention why they were here. Until Goofy bought the subject up. “Gawsh Simba, its great to see you all again but we noticed darkness in this World. Do ya have any idea where that might be coming from?”Perhaps the organisation were somehow present in this World. Or Maleficent and Pete had returned. Simba looked off to the East, to the place where the colours stopped and murky browns, rocks, hills and barely any signs of life seemed to be present. While they shared the same sky, they did not share the same destiny. It was hard to believe this was a part of the same World, the contrast as Sora looked from those lands to the magnificent ones in front of him was almost sad to see. “... That would be my best guess.” Simba said reluctantly. “The outlands.” “The outlands?” Sora repeated it back to him. The king's blue red-billed hornbill and Majordomo for the royal family, Zazu was perched on Simba's broad shoulder blade. “Nothing there but a bunch of back stabbing outsiders.” he hissed the words out. “Zazu's right. You can't trust them. They were banished to the outlands for continuing to follow in Scar's plans.” Scar, now there was a name that bought with it a sense of dread and anxiety. Images of his namesake, that scar that tore through his eye, came rushing back to Sora. “And worse yet. Kiara seems to be involved with one of them somehow.” Simba continued “Who is Kiara?” Donald asked Simba. His voice was always loud in any conversation among all others. “Princess Kiara.” Zazu smiled a proud smile. “Uhm, princess?” Goofy was the first to realise what this meant. Simba nodded and smiled “My daughter.” There was a brief moment of silence but it was sharply broken “DAUGHTER?!” Sora and Donald both shouted it at the same time. The rest of the gang couldn't help but laugh at the shocked look on their faces.