The approach to the Tokakinji lands was quiet, and neither Bangua nor Cheneta exchanged any words as they crossed the borders and passed into the outskirts of the large pridal lands. He would not have known this was part of the pride if she had not pointed it out earlier, the lands apparently massive and holding different areas inside it. It seemed like a nice enough place, and she had spoken very highly of it on the way over, but now they had fallen silent all together. It was not her fault, nor his. This was just the moment they had both been dreading.
"Rogues are allowed here," Cheneta said after a moment, looking at him with a small smile. "At least for a little while. You're welcome to stay in my den for a little while if you want... I live in one of the dens near the market, rather than the castle mountain where a lot of us live. I can show you that, too, and take you around the lands a little?"
"That sounds like a better idea than the one I had."
He was thinking about leaving her here and heading back out to the rogue lands, maybe making it easier for them both by just ending it quickly and forcing them to face his departure as quickly as possible. But then, after the night they had shared together, he was not keen on leaving her at all now. The idea of staying in this place was still in the back of his mind, and seeing how big it was, and knowing that they were allowed out into the Rogue lands whenever they wanted, to run tasks for the King or to simply explore and bring things back for the pride, really helped him lean toward the decision to stay. He was glad it was also pretty and looked fairly calm and friendly. They allowed visitors, after all.
He did not have to make his decision immediately. There was no reason to haste, or rush his way into anything at all. He did not need to make up his mind since he could stay there for a few days at least, as a guest, before he needed to decide if he would stay as a new resident or not. He smiled at the idea, and then looked at her, seeing her watching him and his dopey smile. He cleared his throat and looked away, embarrassed to be caught. She could not help but grin at him for that, shaking her head and leaning against him reassuringly. She thought he was adorable, though he liked to be calm and tried to be cool. She had seen how sweet he was, though, and there was no hiding that from her now.
Bangua looked around as she led them to her den. It was pleasantly sized and when they moved into the cave he saw it was filled with stones and collections she had gathered so far. None were as spectacular as the loot she had brought back with her this time, though, that she knew. All the items she had gathered so far were just from inside the pride lands, and there was no way she could get anything special for those. No, she thought these items she had found with Bangua were the best she had ever seen, and was very excited to set them up in her little shop at the market soon. Not too soon, though.
Oddly enough, her attention was drawn. All she really wanted to do was spend some more time with him, for all that effort to bring her home. The rocks and plants and bones would all be there when she came back for them, and there was suddenly no rush to get to that trading.
"This is a nice den. Bigger than I thought. Does everyone get space like this?"
"The diggers and builders make these dens themselves, the ones made out of dirt and piled rocks like this one. The ones carved into the mountain are harder to come by, and the space in them isn't as easy to regulate. But I think the King does his best to make sure everyone has a comfortable place to live. He is a very good King, and he takes care of his pride, him and his Queen." She liked the royals, though she had never met any of them personally before, safe one time she spoke with the King and he told her to do a good job in her post and help the pride to flourish. That had been one of the best moments of her life, and gave her such a strong drive to accomplish more, though she knew everyone was allowed to have audiences with the King and Queen... and it was not really all that special.
Still, she had not gotten out much and that had been the highlight. Until meeting Bangua, of course, and that took the top spot of best moment in her life. She watched him now as he looked around her den and investigated some of her old wares, smiling at him and shaking her head. She moved to nuzzle him by surprise, making him jump and getting a faze full of his mane fur, but that was alright. She laughed and looked up at him, making him smile at her.
"Why don't you show me around the pride lands? I think I like the look of this place already... it might not be that hard for me to learn how to live in one place, after all. And we can still go out on adventures together, can't we? It might be fun. I'd love to see the rest. You said something about the mountain?"
"Of course! That's where the King and Queen, and all of their family and the other nobles, as well as some of the other attendants and classes live. It's a big place with different layers, and even tunnels and dens inside for them all to live in. It's an amazing place, though I don't go up there very often. If you... if you really did want to join the pride, we would have to go up there anyway, so you could speak with the King."
Rogues had to speak with the King, to get their ranks and their jobs, and to just swear to make no trouble in the lands. Not everyone did it that way, and the King could not regulate everything, but it was always a good way to make a positive first impression.
Bangua nodded, seeing the excitement in her eyes.
"Then I guess I should see this place, then."
Word Count in Word: 1,115