"Well, we were already headed in the right direction when we came here. It'll be at least a couple days travel. The hard part is finding it. The rivers that flow from Eden have a unique, fresh taste. It's subtle but if you've had it before, you'd recognize it. Basically, we'll head North until the rivers taste better, then we'll follow them upstream."
Zoba explained the first steps to finding Eden to Kela. It wasn't something he told just anybody. Uriah and Zoba were the only two lions who knew the location. Before them, their parents were the only lions who knew. It felt like he was passing the torch on. He was so excited to show Kela the lush, peaceful place.
Kela nods nods and continues to walk with Zoba, trusting his memory on how to get there. A few hours later, with the jungle far behind them and the sun now setting, Kela stops walking for a moment and yawns, growing fatigued. "Zoba, we should hunt and rest for the night, if that's okay with you."
The place Zoba had chosen was a grassy spot between two acacia trees. It wasn't an amazing spot to spend the night but it'd do the job. He'd certainly fallen asleep in much worse places. Soon after, he spotted Kela with the gazelle he had requested. He had to admire her. She stepped with such confidence like it wasn't even a difficult task she had just pulled off.
Without a word, Zoba dug in and ate his fill. When he was done, he laid down by Kela and began grooming her as well as himself. Each spot of blood he paid careful attention to clean.
Kela grins and starts to groom across his forehead to the top of his head, even managing to reach behind his ears. "As comfortable as this is, if you want me to finish grooming you, you'll have to get off of me."
Zoba smiled and raised his eyebrows as if to say 'Oh, alright. Fine' as he rolled off of Kela and laid on his side, facing her. He closed his eyes, awaiting the continuation of this intimate cleaning ritual.
She rolls over onto her feet and gently pins him to the ground before starting to groom his back. After a few minutes, she switches to his neck and mane, occasionally using her teeth to pick out stray twigs.
Ironically, it took some effort to allow himself to relax but once he was there, Zoba sunk into a deep bliss as he closed his eyes. Each brush of Kela's tongue across his fur and tug at his mane to straighten it out made him feel better. It was like mental healing.
There was a gentle rustling a few meters away. In his relaxed state, Zoba thought it must've been the wind, but when he heard it louder the second time, he opened his eyes to see if something was there. Zoba looked just in time to see a young lioness bolt out into the clearing, grab what remained of the gazelle, and take off. Her tattered ears bore all manner of scars and nicks. She was thin but not emaciated. It all happened so fast, Zoba could hardly react but by the time he got up to prepare for an altercation, she was gone.
"I don't think she's coming back." He said, his heart racing and adrenaline pumping through his veins. "She just wanted the food." Zoba lifted his head over Kela's neck in a comforting half-hug but kept his eyes on their surroundings. "We should probably be more careful of where we leave food lying around."
Kela heard the rustling and stopped mid lick to stare at the area she heard it from. As soon as the smaller lioness bolts out, she's standing protectively over Zoba with a snarl half way out of her throat. When the other took off with their leftovers, she slowly relaxes again against Zoba. "I agree, but she looked like she needed it more than us, anyhow. It's no real loss to us."
Zoba always felt more at ease when he was with Kela, but he couldn't shake the thought of that lioness out of his head. Who was she and where did she come from? What situation was she in so that she had to steal scraps from strangers?
The next morning, Zoba woke at first light. He had grown accustomed to waking up as soon as the sun came up whenever he was traveling. With one paw, he rocked Kela gently. "Hey pretty lady... you awake?" He cooed.
A few minutes later, Kela yawns and wakes up, stretching her body out as she stands up. Noticing the Zoba hasn't returned yet, she lays back down, but stays alert, since she doesn't know if she's in a claimed territory or not.
With a warthog in his jaws, and a skip in his stride, Zoba returned to see Kela wiping the remaining sleep out of her eyes. It wasn't a huge meal but they'd be leaving nothing behind and it would be enough for the two of them. He was proud to be able to provide for the two of them just as much as she was. In actuality, if Zoba was honest with himself, Kela was the better hunter.
Once they had finished, the two continued their walk toward Eden. Each river and stream they came across, they tasted, searching for the one that would lead them to their destination. Finally, found it. The river with the slightly sweet taste Zoba could remember after so long. He could almost tell before he even bent down to lap up the cool water.
Zoba tilted his head back and closed his eyes as the water rolled down the back of his throat. It was almost rejuvenating.
"This is it." He said, opening his eyes and smiling at Kela. "We're almost there."
Kela takes a few laps of the water, nearly purring at how good it is. "That is the best water I ever had." She smiles at how much more excited and energized he looks. "I'm right with you." She says and walks over by his side.
"This water is sweet but..." Zoba said as Kela walked to his side. He casually licked her cheek. "You're sweeter." With a wink, he trotted and bounded along the creek, peeking over his shoulder at the lioness with a look that dared her to chase him.
This Land: Spot on ! xD Yeah, my re-do loop was insane....then after a while realized I was making it worse , so tapped "undo" a few times
Jan 15, 2021 14:13:00 GMT
mrcrazypants: That is usually how it goes for me too xD , it's as if one gets... sketch-blinded? or perhaps mane-blinded? haha! Glad you solved it eventually tho! I'm looking forward to see it
Jan 15, 2021 15:45:44 GMT
This Land: That must be thing, well its a thing now xD Plus I'm sure only having one fully functioning eye doesn't help either with drawing x3. Here is a sneak peak at my W.I.P sta.sh/04b2chb38kq
Jan 15, 2021 16:57:47 GMT
mrcrazypants: Ohh I love the WIP so far! 😍 And with a falling pose like that I totally get why it was challenging to draw the mane xD
Jan 16, 2021 20:03:19 GMT
mrcrazypants: When you say one fully functioning eye, is the other one "just" lower in eyesight or is it completely blind? Let me know if It's too personal! Sometimes I tend to be a bit too curious haha ^^'
Jan 16, 2021 20:06:33 GMT
This Land: I'ts fine xD It's just a lot lower in eyesight. Its not blurred, been to several opticians and glasses do nothing,its like only half the image goes to my brain like choppy vision. So I have little or no depth perception. No 3D films for me
Jan 16, 2021 21:29:46 GMT
This Land: And thanks ^^, you keep me going !I've been practicing a new mane colouring technique & keep fixing the eyes, and keep changing the body as i've never drew this pose (again XP).This picture is another massive learning curve, been on and off it all day
Jan 16, 2021 21:36:19 GMT
mrcrazypants: Oh wow I've never heard of anything like that before O.O But tbh, you're not missing much with 3D movies if you ask me, I always chose regular xD
Jan 17, 2021 10:03:56 GMT
mrcrazypants: I'm glad to hear! I think it's great to have someone to play ball with in art (if that makes sense haha) That sounds cool tho, are you filming the progress on this one too? I'm curious to see if you got anymore art tricks I can steal xD
Jan 17, 2021 10:07:57 GMT
This Land: Makes sense yeah and totally agree ^_^. I'm recording this one too, About 80% done
Jan 17, 2021 13:38:38 GMT