(WP) The Dark One Rises

(WP) The Dark One Rises

               It was finally finished.

               So much bloodshed and so many sacrifices, over so many years, and it all led to this, to victory.

               The Dark One was sitting on the throne, legs folded neatly across one another, head held high. He was wearing a fine silk suit, softer against his skin than anything he’d ever felt. Never mind that it was spotted here and there with blood; it would be a reminder to everyone who’d survived or made the wise decision to given up resistance.

               He was not one to be crossed.

               His minions were already dancing in front of a roaring fire, the flames climbing toward the ceiling, their hellish cackling echoing in the vast, cavernous stone hall, feet stomping and demonic voices raised in demonic worship.

               And their newly crowned king was not about to deny them such celebrations. They’d all worked so hard.

               The Dark King, Melioc, decided right then and there that he would hold a feast. A grand, magnificent feast that would also usher in a brand-new holiday, the dawn of a new age.

               It was better to be loved than feared, he was learning. If people loved you, and if they felt you cared about them, they would do anything for you.

               And anyway, he wasn’t like those stodgy old bags that he’d murdered in order to take the throne and the Empire. He was different, in the most crucial ways.

               And besides, what leader hadn’t gotten a little blood on their hands in the process of following their ambitions?

               There wasn’t any shame in it.

               Melioc called his horde to order, banging his staff on the floor to get their attention.

               “Come forth, all of you! Your new king has a proclamation to make!”

               That had always been one of his favorite words, and he would finally be able to use it in a sentence!

               “No more am I the unwanted child who grew up on the outskirts of society, rejected by all because of my power and appearance. I grew into a man, and soon discovered that the world is needlessly cruel, especially to those under heel of the wealthy and powerful.”

               He paused for a moment, letting his words sink in, and he beamed all over his face when they were met with uproarious approval.

               He had them, hook, line, and sinker. But then, his cohorts weren’t very smart; it was one of their best qualities. But perhaps the humble pleasant folk would see right through his benevolent savior charade.

               But, even if they did, what could they do about it, really? The war was finished, the whole royal family slaughtered. He’d won in every way that mattered.

               “At this feast, I will choose a bride, and her family will live in comfort for the rest of their days. As soon as an heir is born, I will fully solidify my hold on this kingdom. And then we will march until the entire Empire is crushed under our feet!”