After saving the dodos from extinction—so he could harvest their exp later—Vainqueur led his flying pack west, towards the Serica continent. His manling chief of staff had insisted on making a stop at the Teikoku Empire, an island located near its shores.
For some reason, he and Knight Kia often called it ‘Japan’ while discussing together.
Vainqueur had expected a warm welcome, as befitting of his rank.
Instead, he found the island’s shores walled up, covered in cannons, and the nearest port city on fire. Flying ships similar to the Thaoten’s had crashed against pagoda-like houses, pillars of smoke turned the skies dark, and the dragon could barely hear himself think over cannon fire noise.
Vainqueur circled the skies to observe the ground below, watching manlings fight an army of goblins, orcs, beastkin, and horned ogres. All of them wielded arquebuses, swords, and spears, attacking the other side with fierce anger.
Yet, both sides froze in fear at the sight of a true dragon.
“Gojira!” The locals pointed fingers at Vainqueur in awe of his majesty. “Gojira!”
Vainqueur unleashed a mighty roar and a breath of flames at the skies, to get the point across. He then landed in the middle of a street, crushing houses below his feet.
Of course, killjoy that he was, the zmey tried to imitate him, one of his heads spitting acid, the other fire, and the last one cold. Instead of groveling before the beauty of Vainqueur, the locals screamed in terror at the knockoff. “Kingu Gidora! KINGU GIDORA!”
“You scare them, zmey!” Vainqueur lambasted his minion’s mount, who lowered all his heads in shame as he made a shy landing. “Turn around, nobody likes you!”
“Your Majesty, please stop bullying my zmey!” Manling Victor complained.
“Gorynych is sorry,” the zmey apologized, retreating in a corner. The rain the inbred creature summoned wherever he went started extinguishing the fires. “No flying princesses make Gorynych sad...”
Seeing the zmey submit to Vainqueur calmed the locals, especially as they noticed Manling Victor petting the creature. Knight Kia joined him, almost no one paying attention to her and her silly griffin mount.
“Manling Victor, announce my presence to these peasants,” Vainqueur ordered his herald, as he climbed down from his mount, Knight Kia imitating him.
The Vizier stepped towards the fearful locals, even as they pointed their weapons at him. Tasty Malfy had finally delivered the Vizier a new armor to wear, one better than the last; mostly because it used Vainqueur’s favorite golden and crimson colors alongside that bland black. The armor was leaner than Manling Victor’s previous one, mixing plate, chainmail, and crimson clothes covered in unholy symbols. Spikes formed a crown on the helmet.
The sight reminded Vainqueur of his loss, the dragon promising himself not to leave this land without a new crown of his own.
“Citizens of Teikoku! I am Victor Dalton, Grand Vizier of the V&V Empire, Ishfania, and the Albain Mountains! His Majesty, the great dragon Vainqueur Goldbeard Knightsbane, Emperor of the Pirate Sea, Minion Liberator, Conquistadores of El Goldorado, and Savior of the Dodo Race, has come in peace!”
The locals exchanged worried, confused glances and answered in a strange tongue Vainqueur didn’t understand.
“Japanese,” the Vizier said.
“I will cast a translation spell,” Knight Kia declared.
“Wait!” Manling Victor stopped her. “Can… can I talk to them without the auto-translation? Just once.”
“You speak Japanese, Vic?” the [Paladin] asked, doubting his chief of staff.
“Oh no, not at all, but…” Vizier seemed embarrassed. “But… but when I lived on Earth… there was something I always wanted to do if I ever went to Japan.”
The chief of staff approached the crowd, instantly commanding their attention. He inhaled, gathered his breath, and then spoke.
The locals seemed to both understand the words, and miss the meaning completely. Slightly bothered, the Vizier tried again with a longer sentence, pointing his scythe at them.
“Omae wa mou shindeiru!”
Many ran away screaming while Knight Kia put a hand on her face in annoyance; Manling Victor laughed wickedly, strangely blissful.
At least, until he was challenged.
Only a lone orc dared to stand up to the Vizier. Frail and lean for his green-skinned kind, he wore a ridiculous jacket and shirt with a badly painted planet symbol on it. He didn’t wear any weapons; he didn’t need them.
“Oh, you’re approaching me?” Victor asked in common, as the creature walked towards him with confidence.
“I can’t meme the shit out of you without getting closer,” the orc replied in the same language.
“He can speak common?” Kia almost took a step forward, but Vainqueur put a hand before her.
“Do not interrupt the ritual,” the dragon ordered, as his chief of staff and the orc approached each other. “You could ruin it.”
Soon, both his chief of staff and orc stood face to face with only a few inches of distance.
“Okay, I admit, I, I had a short phase when I was a teen,” Victor said suddenly. “There is a part of me that I don’t want, that I hate whenever I see that Esoteric Order of Isekai. I just wanted to get it off my chest, bury it.”
“Then you need to accept that part of yourself, before you can let it go,” the orc declared with pride. “Mudkips is mai waifu.”
“Is it OK to be gar for Archer?” Manling Victor replied, Vainqueur unable to make sense of the strange wordplay.
“Stupid sexy Lockon,” the orc replied.
“Don’t...” the Vizier said, looking shy, before mustering all his courage and retaliating. “Don't believe in yourself! Believe in the me who believes in you!”
“You are a true man of culture, and you deserve my respect. Do you feel happier now?”
“Yes,” Manling Victor said. “I think I can finally lay that childish phase to rest.”
“It is okay to move on, but there was nothing shameful in the first place either.” The chief of staff shook the orc’s hand in manly friendship. “Go, and weeb no more. You are born again, a new man.”
“I don’t understand what I’m seeing,” Knight Kia said.
“Because you lack the necessary genius,” Vainqueur replied since she probably had only square root nine in intelligence. Apparently, from what the dragon understood, they belonged to the same ancient, secret brotherhood; and Manling Victor had officially left it through a primitive ritual.
Since the orc had fought on the side of the goblinoids, the manlings mistook the friendliness for an alliance and did the sensible thing; fleeing in all directions, with their enemies on their tail.
“Are you this rabble’s leader?” Vainqueur asked the orc, before glancing at his motley army.
“Oh no, I’m just the herald.” The greenskin barked orders to goblins, who scampered away, “I called the boss. We were winning that battle anyway, and seeing a dragon buddy-buddy with us probably helped even more.”
Vainqueur didn’t have to wait for long, until the vermin’s leader showed up, backed up by a cadre of armored ogre bodyguards.
Much to his surprise, the leader wasn’t an orc or a giant, but a tiny female goblin, wearing exquisite golden armor and a strange, half-gun half-sword weapon. An older goblin with a red cloak and iron teeth followed her, immediately hiding behind an ogre at the sight of Vainqueur.
“Vic?” the goblin leader asked, recognizing the Vizier.
“Vic!” The goblin immediately moved to hug Vainqueur’s chief of staff. “Good to see you! You traded your horse for a zmey? Nice!”
“I kept both,” the Vizier replied, summoning his nightmare horse with a snap of his fingers. “Although she’s still as cranky as ever.”
“About time you marked me,” the horse grumbled.
“Vic, you know this goblin?” Kia asked, worried.
“Yeah, we went to school together! We were rivals in everything!” Manling Victor whistled at the goblin’s armies. “And you have your own army now!”
“I wanted to dominate the continent first, but then I remembered the lessons of the [World Conquest] course.” Goblina pumped her chest. “Don’t conquer landlocked areas first, or the heroic nations will invade you! Start with isolated islands! One week later I raised an army and invaded these shores.”
“So you’re going to take over with a horde of monsters?”
“Oh no, no, I will do it the Vizier way. March on the capital, seize the emperor ‘for his own protection’—and my legitimacy—then declare myself Shogun Regent. I will rule in his name through military force, claiming the credit for everything that goes well and blaming the emperor for what doesn’t.”
“You were the most promising of all of us,” Manling Victor said, a tear of pride in his eye.
“Vic, you always bested me at magic, but who aced the [World Conquest] classes? Uh?” The goblin pumped her tiny fist. “My friend, join me. Together, we can bring order to this lawless land. With your magic and my army, we will be unstoppable! I will give you riches, and all the emperor’s harem!”
“No poaching my chief of staff!” Vainqueur defended his property.
“Then ally with me!” The goblin offered, speaking like a tiny dragon. “Help me conquer these lands, one overlord to another! One day our bloody alliance will rule the WORLD!”
Vainqueur barely paid attention, his attention captured by someone else.
His eyes had set on the older goblin, trying to hide from him behind a just as terrified horned red ogre. “Have we met?” Vainqueur asked, the critter too shy to answer. He looked familiar.
“It’s my Daddy and advisor,” Goblina said. “He served a dragon like you!”
The cloaked old goblin looked incredibly uncomfortable at these words. Somehow Vainqueur knew he had seen him somewhere. He smelled familiar, but all goblins looked the same...
“What? Revise your poor judgment!” Vainqueur insisted, but the screen disobeyed him.
“I’m sorry, Vainqueur had a terrible experience with goblins in the past,” Manling Victor told Goblina.
“I swear, one day I will track the cowards who abandoned me in my sleep and eat them all,” Vainqueur replied, the old goblin pissing on himself as if it concerned him. “Now, about this offer of alliance…”
“It’s very interesting, but we have a war of our own,” Kia said hurriedly, ever the killjoy.
“Yes, we believe our enemies have started recruiting local fairies,” Manling Victor told Goblina. “We came to investigate.”
“The fairies?” The goblin cackled in laughter, before snapping her fingers. “Vic, don’t worry, we got that covered.”
A group of orcs approached with a familiar bottle, showing it to Vainqueur’s group.
“Is that the bottle of Mot?” the dragon asked, letting smoke out of his nostrils as he recognized the cursed item.
“I got the idea when Vic told me about it!” Goblina declared, knocking on the bottle. “I had my mages replicate them, and we started using captured fairies to provide energy instead of powerstones.”
“You keep tormented fairies as power batteries?” Manling Victor asked, highly impressed.
“We don’t ‘torment’ them. We just beat them half to death, then we catch them, and sometimes we make them fight. I cannot allow fairies to disturb my fair and benevolent iron rule. Two rulers cannot ta—” The goblin quickly caught herself as Vainqueur’s gaze turned sharper, sensing that she might utter a cursed word, “take tribute from the same peasant.”
“I see that someone paid attention to [Peasant Mathematics],” Manling Victor said. “Could you give us a few of these bottles?”
“Sure. If you help me conquer the island. You don’t have to stay long; with you and your dragon master on our side, this war is as good as won. Just burn a few castles, raise the dead, and help me invade the capital with an army of fiends.”
“We could do that.” The Vizier turned to his master. “I mean, we already did it once with Port Vainqueur.”
“You are seriously considering helping a goblin overlord take over a civilized nation,” Kia noted disapprovingly at Vainqueur’s chief of staff.
“Paladin?” Goblina asked Victor with a voice full of disdain.
“She’s really nice when you get to know her.”
“I don’t think that’s what Deathjester meant when he said ‘screw the law and paladins too.’”
“You cannot help a goblinoid army take over!” Kia insisted to Vainqueur. “It is inhuman!”
“But not indragon,” Vainqueur replied.
“They will enslave and exterminate all humans from the island for all we know!” The [Paladin] pleaded for her kind.
“Is that true?” Vainqueur asked the goblin. “Slaves are an insult to minionship.”
“I vouch for Goblina’s honor,” Manling Victor said. “She won’t enslave anyone. She will conscript all species as her minions equally.”
“Like me?” Vainqueur asked, pleased that he had inspired imitators.
“Yes, but she will be more heavy-handed.”
“I have a dream,” the goblin conqueror spoke up. “Where all people of the world will be united under my rule. A world where goblins can have minions of their own too!”
“As long as you respect the dragon code of minion deontology, I see nothing wrong with it,” Vainqueur declared.
“I will modernize this country,” the goblin overlord said, putting hands behind her back in a strong pose. “We will build factories, educate the masses in a government-friendly way, and provide jobs to everyone so my war machine can remain fully functional.”
“Yes, she’s just going to do what the local emperor already does, but better!” Victor argued to Kia.
“We do not have time and helping her will destroy your nation’s reputation with civilized ones,” the knight said, running out of dragon arguments. “How do you think Gardemagne will answer when they learn a nation of monsters helped another topple an empire?”
“But if we form an alliance, we could gain her help against the fomors. Right, Goblina?” Victor asked the goblin overlord, who nodded furiously.
“You have both good arguments, but you forgot one key element,” Vainqueur decided. He alone remembered the first reason for this world tour, and why he had started adventuring at all. “Goblin, I have one question alone.”
He raised his hand and snapped two claws together.
The goblin warlord asked for a pen and a scroll, wrote down a number, then showed it to the dragon.
Three days later, they had conquered the country.
For a crown, and a mountain of coins.