**All Standard Disclaimers Apply**

Book Two in the Doppelganger Trilogy
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Shadow Kingdom
by The Wolfess

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Chapter Twenty One: The Shadow King

The crowd collected in Hyrule Castle Town square was overflowing into the side streets. People had gathered there from all over the city, as well as some from the farms outside the city that still supported the crown. They were a gray skinned, red-eyed lot of Obsidian Eaters that crowded, pushed, and argued with each other, and Dark Link was pleased with his handiwork. He had erected a large stage from which each person there could see him, and all his henchmen were at the ready around its base.

Dark had called in his monstrous troops: the blue or violet skinned Bokoblins from the dark wood lined up alongside the green skinned Bulbin hoards. King Bulbin and Tribal Leader Bokoblin stood at the base of the stage with the strongest of their people to protect the King. The rest of the beasts stood around the rim of the crowd to maintain order and refused to let anyone leave. They were a stinking, bulbous, violent, grinning lot of monsters won over to Dark Link's side by sheer wit alone. The dark king was proud to see them there, so loyal to one they hardly knew, as the hylians they contained and constrained would soon be: captive by fear and trembling. By complete helpless dependence.

On this cold, dreary morning, Dark Link climbed the steps to the top of the platform. Teela disguised as Queen Zelda followed close on his heels. He was dressed in his new skeletal armor, the helmet with its bone crown tucked under his arm. Teela herself was dressed in the royal gown in all black, her crown and armor mirroring that of her dark husband. The banner hanging down the front, normally bearing the crest of Hyrule, was bearing her master's new crest: the dark reversed Triforce, hovering above the head of a raven with a black apple in its talons.

Dark Link stepped to the edge of the platform, his stride cocky and menacing at once, and looked out over his people. The fake Queen Zelda stood next to him, her eyes cast down in a demure fashion. Her white hair almost blended in to the gray-white clouds behind her head. The people all turned their attention away from each other, raising their eyes up to the platform. They began to cheer, shaking their fists or their Obsidian-filled hands in the air. A dull chant grew to a roar.

"King Link, King Link, King Link, King Link!"

Dark Link raised one hand in the air. The chanting stopped. All eyes turned upon him. All voices halted, awaiting his command.

"Thank you for coming," he said, his voice amplified by magic in a way that the real princess had never been able to master. "I have gathered you here today to be witnesses on the most important day in Hyrulian History: the day that the kingdom of Hyrule finally belongs to darkness."

A few people cheered, but those who had actually managed to listen despite their Obsidian-drugged minds stayed silent, their expressions growing confused. Dark Link grinned, and as he did a black smoke enveloped him and Teela alike. It shook and moved, enveloping the entire platform and then swelling away, clinging to their forms like second skins. The people murmured. Some close to the front started to scream. Dark Link could make the illusion fade more subtly, but he was showing off. He wanted them to be impressed. He wanted them to be afraid. He wanted more of those screams to fill the air.

The smoke fell off of the King and Queen, dissipating bit by bit from the crowns of their heads to the toes of their boots. It hovered around their feet, filling the platform again, and Dark Link and Teela stood with no illusions to mask their true appearance. Teela raised her chin and crossed her arms over her chest, her proud purple eyes peering down on her stolen subjects. She took a step back and turned to Dark Link, falling on one knee behind her king. Dark Link held his hands out, palms parallel with the floor, his fingers spread wide. The endless blood red pools of his eyes radiated red light, dancing with mirth. His grin was terribly white against the blackness of his skin. His silver hair and clothing were all that remained unchanged—and these served just to confirm that he really was the person that had walked among them—and he, not Link, was the one they had crowned king.

With a slow turn of his hand, Dark Link raised a column of the black smoke up and twined it around himself like a sash. It swirled around his torso a few times, then slithered up over his shoulder and seemed to attach itself to the back of his armor. It rolled down and spread out—a shadow cape for a shadow king. There were shouts in the audience growing. People were angry. The crowd started to surge against the platform, and the Bulbin and Bokoblin troops beat them back with fists and clubs. Hylian blood dripped onto the cobblestone streets.

Dark Link laughed. "You fools," he chuckled. "How do you intend to dethrone me? You have already crowned me king! It cannot be taken back!"

"What if we take it by force?!" One proud old man shouted. Dark Link looked down and recognized the princess's aging advisor, Forrad, glaring up at him from the crowd below. Dark grinned right back, one eyebrow raising higher than the other.

"If you resist me," he said, "I will not have to kill you. What is a kingdom without subjects, after all? No, if anyone resists me I will simply take all of their Obsidian away. I did not find it—I created it. And I can reclaim it just the same." To prove his point, he raised his left hand in the air and snapped. Every shred of Obsidian in the square vanished right then and there, materializing on the platform in large piles. It glistened in the daylight, dark bottomless pools of colorless black, as if every fruit and vegetable and bean were covered in crude oil. Dark Link held out his hands and spun around, gesturing to it. The people were screaming now. They thrashed against the platform, tearing at the monstrous guards, minds white with mad panic.

"DO YOU WANT THIS BACK?" Dark Link shouted, his grin practically curling from ear to ear. "Then accept my rule! I am Dark Link, and you may call me the Shadow King!"

As if on cue, the banners of Hyrule were torn down as far as the eye could see. Dark had positioned a servant at each one to hoist the new black banners high. The outline of his crest glittered in silver on each one, their centers black as the apple which Dark Link now pulled from a pouch on his belt. He took a deep bite, and the statue of Link and Zelda which had stood in the square since Durtain erected it in secret in the night was knocked down. A troop of Bokoblins marched forth, and on their shoulders was a statue hewn of obsidian rock. They carefully put it in the old one's place, and the figure of King Dark Link stood twice as high as the previous statues had. Black apples were strewn about his feet, and he held one in his hand and held it out as if offering it, with an evil smirk on his face.

"Dark Link, Dark Link, Dark Link," the chant rose. More joined, and it grew into a louder roar than the first one. "DARK LINK, DARK LINK, DARK LINK, DARK LINK!"

The Shadow King laughed. He snapped both of his fingers, returning the Obsidian to his subjects with extra piles of twice as much than they had before at each person's feet. Dark Link laughed and he laughed and he laughed, and his black banners fluttered in the wind, and his shadow bride took her place at his side, and the people began to eat and feast. The feasting would last for a few days, after which very few people objected to the Shadow King's rule. The Shadow King generously provided to all, and he began to erect monuments around the city. Some of them where in honor of himself, others were in honor of Hyrule's new patron God: Demise, the Demon God of dark legends.

The wise ones whispered that the sacred light went down on the land of Hyrule that day and the goddesses turned their faces away. The few who had consciousness enough to see the evil of what was taking place fled Castle Town in the night. Dark Link let them go. He would deal with resistance soon, and his vengeance upon them would be recorded on the tomes of Hyrulian History.

History would call this time the Shadow Age, and so the reign of Dark Link, the Shadow King of Hyrule, began.

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Author's Notes:

I know this is a short chapter. Forgive me! But things are getting really good, and there is some exciting stuff coming up. Stick with me readers! There is light at the end of this tunnel.

Don't forget to "like" the Doppelganger Trilogy on Facebook to get special progress updates in between chapters and other goodies.

~The Wolfess