Only Villains Do That

Only Villains Do That

by Webbonomicon

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

While waiting on an Akihabara train platform one day, ordinary high schooler Yoshi Shinonome was suddenly plucked from his normal life in Japan and whisked away by a beautiful goddess to Ephemera, a world of magic and adventure, to serve as her Hero and drive back the evil Dark Lord.

This is not his story.

Standing nearby at the moment Yoshi was isekai'd was a man named Seiji - a rude, cranky, misanthropic musician who was not at all pleased to find himself also snatched up and transported to Ephemera by the goddess's wicked sister, Virya.  According to this self-proclaimed Goddess of Evil, the whole fantasy adventure thing was a game she and her sister played to stave off the boredom of immortality, and since the good goddess, Sanora, had picked her Hero...well, Virya needed a Dark Lord. 

A grown man with his own career and ambitions, Seiji has no interest in playing.  Unfortunately for him, the call to adventure was not a request.  Now, he must conquer Ephemera and defeat the Hero...or Virya promises to make him beg for the release of death before granting it.  Playing along for his own survival, Seiji nonetheless is under no illusions who his true enemy is, and it's not the naive young would-be Hero from his own world.

Placed in an impossible position, Seiji must make enough progress toward world domination to keep his sadistic patron goddess off his back, but not so much that he can't strike an accord with the forces of Good and convince the Hero Yoshi that it's the goddesses who are their mutual enemy.  Forced to embrace Evil without being too evil, Seiji walks the razor's edge, building his forces and biding his time till he can get revenge on the goddesses and be free of them, his only certainty that he will not be getting out of this with his hands clean.

A Dark Lord's gotta do what a Dark Lord's gotta do.

Updates Tuesday and Friday.

Most Patreon tiers get to read one chapter in advance of the public release!

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Word Count (15)
1st Anniversary
Top List #200
Table of Contents
142 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
1.1 In Which the Dark Lord Technically Doesn't Push a Girl in Front of a Train ago
1.2 In Which the Dark Lord Bends Over Backwards ago
1.3 In Which the Dark Lord has the Run of the Place ago
1.4 In Which the Dark Lord Lets His Little Light Shine ago
1.5 In Which the Dark Lord's Home is His Castle ago
1.6 In Which the Dark Lord Meets the Gang ago
1.7 In Which the Dark Lord Takes a Walk in the Woods ago
1.8 In Which the Dark Lord Goes to Town ago
1.9 In Which the Dark Lord Makes a Friend ago
1.10 In Which the Dark Lord Immediately Unmakes a Friend ago
1.11 In Which the Dark Lord Dresses for the Part ago
1.12 In Which the Dark Lord Takes a Level in Bard ago
1.13 In Which the Dark Lord Experiences the Horror of Self-Awareness ago
1.14 In Which the Dark Lord Plans Ahead ago
1.15 In Which the Dark Lord is Responsible for a Workplace Safety Violation ago
1.16 In Which the Dark Lord Gets Down to Business ago
1.17 In Which the Dark Lord Plays with Fire ago
1.18 In Which the Dark Lord Meets his Match ago
Bonus 1 In Which the Paladin Gets the Party Started ago
1.19 In Which the Dark Lord is Brought to Justice ago
1.20 In Which the Dark Lord Brings Refreshments ago
1.21 In Which the Dark Lord Ministers to the Poor ago
1.22 In Which the Dark Lord Pets the Dog ago
1.23 In Which the Dark Lord Wheels and Deals ago
1.24 In Which the Dark Lord Gets Cooking ago
1.25 In Which the Dark Lord Unilaterally Declares Naptime ago
1.26 In Which the Dark Lord Gets Hot and Steamy with Aster ago
1.27 In Which the Dark Lord Almost Makes a Spectacle of Himself ago
Bonus 2 In Which the Hero's Harem Go to Bible Study ago
1.28 In Which the Dark Lord Chews the Scenery ago
1.29 In Which the Dark Lord Gets Played ago
1.30 In Which the Dark Lord Takes the Kids to the Park ago
1.31 In Which the Dark Lord Passes the Time ago
1.32 In Which the Dark Lord Lights Up the Town ago
1.33 In Which the Dark Lord Hangs Out with the Boys ago
1.34 In Which the Dark Lord Attempts to Civilize the Natives ago
1.35 In Which the Dark Lord Stews in His Own Juices ago
Bonus 3 In Which the Broker Plays Both Ends Against the Middle ago
1.36 In Which the Dark Lord Gets Cornered ago
1.37 In Which the Dark Lord Brings Down the House ago
1.38 In Which the Dark Lord Repaints a Barn ago
1.39 In Which the Dark Lord has Breakfast at Dusk ago
1.40 In Which the Dark Lord Baits the Hook ago
1.41 In Which the Dark Lord Pokes the Bear ago
1.42 In Which the Dark Lord Hunts for More Bears to Poke ago
1.43 In Which the Dark Lord Takes Responsibility for Once ago
Bonus 4 In Which the Emperor Speaks to the Dead ago
1.44 In Which the Dark Lord Needs a Nap ago
1.45 In Which the Dark Lord Sends a Message ago
1.46 In Which the Dark Lord Lets the Hate Flow Through Him ago
1.47 In Which the Dark Lord Breaks and Enters and Breaks ago
1.48 In Which the Dark Lord Takes a Leap of Faith ago
1.49 In Which the Dark Lord Shows a Lady a Good Time ago
1.50 In Which the Dark Lord is Just Getting Started ago
Bonus 5 In Which the Hero Falls ago
2.1 In Which the Dark Lord Gazes Into the Abyss ago
2.2 In Which the Dark Lord Makes it Rain ago
2.3 In Which the Dark Lord Plays to a Captive Audience ago
2.4 In Which the Dark Lord Passes Judgment ago
2.5 In Which the Dark Lord gets the Lay of the Land ago
2.6 In Which the Dark Lord Outsmarts Himself and No One is Surprised ago
2.7 In Which the Dark Lord Has a Brilliant Idea ago
2.8 In Which the Dark Lord Avoids at Least One Cliche ago
2.9 In Which the Dark Lord Almost Gets Away With It ago
2.10 In Which the Dark Lord Tries Something He Saw in a Movie Once ago
2.11 In Which the Dark Lord is Adopted by a Pack of Feral Noblewomen ago
2.12 In Which the Dark Lord Uses Someone's Tragic Backstory as a Sleep Aid ago
2.13 In Which the Dark Lord Learns About Unintended Consequences ago
2.14 In Which the Dark Lord is the Lesser Evil ago
2.15 In Which the Dark Lord Realizes His Mistake ago
2.16 In Which the Dark Lord Suffers the Little Children ago
2.17 In Which the Dark Lord Closes In ago
2.18 In Which the Dark Lord Seizes the Means of Abduction ago
2.19 In Which the Dark Lord Spreads it Around ago
2.20 In Which the Dark Lord Confronts the Face of Evil ago
2.21 In Which the Dark Lord Has His Work Cut Out for Him ago
2.22 In Which the Dark Lord Lays Down the Law ago
2.23 In Which the Dark Lord Does Not Bring Home the Bacon ago
2.24 In Which the Dark Lord Gets to Know the Neighbors ago
2.25 In Which the Dark Lord Comes to Dinner ago
2.26 In Which the Dark Lord Spills the Tea ago
2.27 In Which the Dark Lord Goes Visiting ago
2.28 In Which the Dark Lord Enrolls Some Nobles in the School of Hard Knocks ago
2.29 In Which the Dark Lord Rages Against the Machine ago
2.30 In Which the Dark Lord Gets His Hands Dirty ago
2.31 In Which the Dark Lord Battens Down the Hatches ago
2.32 In Which the Dark Lord Gets Cut Down to Size ago
2.33 In Which the Dark Lord Realizes He Should Dial it Back and then Doesn't ago
2.34 In Which the Dark Lord Has Questions ago
2.35 In Which the Dark Lord Speaks Softly ago
2.36 In Which the Dark Lord Carries a Big Shtick ago
2.37 In Which the Dark Lord Catches Up on the Gossip ago
2.38 In Which the Dark Lord Leaves an Offering ago
2.39 In Which the Dark Lord Gets Some Help ago
2.40 In Which the Dark Lord Destroys ago
2.41 In Which the Dark Lord Puts His Foot Down ago
2.42 In Which the Dark Lord Gives Peace a Chance ago
2.43 In Which the Dark Lord Catches a Break ago
2.44 In Which the Dark Lord Loses Patience ago
2.45 In Which the Dark Lord Wears the Pants in the Relationship ago
Coda: In Which the Call is Heard ago
Bonus 6: In Which the Ranger Springs a Trap ago
Bonus 7: In Which the Chancellor Schemes ago
Bonus 8 In Which Aster Has to Instigate the Talk ago
3.1 In Which the Dark Lord Steps in It ago
3.2 In Which the Dark Lord Descends ago
3.3 In Which the Dark Lord Has an Idea. An Awful Idea. The Dark Lord Has a Wonderful, Awful Idea ago
3.4 In Which the Dark Lord Finds His Sparkle ago
3.5 In Which the Dark Lord Helps ago
3.6 In Which the Dark Lord Makes the Call ago
3.7 In Which the Dark Lord Cleans Up ago
3.8 In Which the Dark Lord Gets Taken For a Ride ago
3.9 In Which the Dark Lord Shakes on It ago
3.10 In Which the Dark Lord Keeps the Peace ago
3.11 In Which the Dark Lord Gets the Bad News ago
3.12 In Which the Dark Lord Gets No Respect ago
3.13 In Which the Dark Lord Bends the Knee ago
3.14 In Which the Dark Lord Does the Right Thing, Sort Of ago
3.15 In Which the Dark Lord Presses the Big Red Button ago
3.16 In Which the Dark Lord Gets a Second Opinion ago
3.17 In Which the Dark Lord Will Cross that Bridge When He Comes to It ago
3.18 In Which the Dark Lord Comes to the Bridge and Blows It Up ago
Bonus 9: In Which the Scout Commences Counter-Revolutionary Activities ago
3.19 In Which the Dark Lord Lays it All Out ago
3.20 In Which the Dark Lord Rethinks His Position ago
3.21 In Which the Dark Lord Confronts His Nemesis ago
3.22 In Which the Dark Lord Gets a Warm Welcome ago
3.23 In Which the Dark Lord is Too Late ago
3.24 In Which the Dark Lord Gets Schooled ago
3.25 In Which the Dark Lord's Personnel Decisions Come Under Scrutiny ago
3.26 In Which the Dark Lord Receives a Delivery ago
3.27 In Which the Dark Lord Tries Diplomacy ago
3.28 In Which the Dark Lord Signs Up for Disaster ago
Bonus 10 In Which the Lads Unravel a Mystery ago
3.29 In Which the Dark Lord Unburdens Himself ago
Bonus 11 In Which the Boss Leans In ago
3.30 In Which the Dark Lord Goes to Hell and Gets a Souvenir ago
Bonus 12 In Which the Party Greets the Guest of Honor ago
3.31 In Which the Dark Lord Almost Wins ago
3.32 In Which the Dark Lord Yields ago
3.33 In Which the Dark Lord Takes Over ago
3.34 In Which the Dark Lord Plays Queenmaker ago

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hakatri gin

I love to read stories about quirky MCs done right, in here we have a character carefully picked for being an arrogant asshole who believes himself to be above everyone

If you had to live near him he would be absolutely insufferable, but positioned against a world full of brutish assholes and self righteous heroes we can actually root for him

The MC is half japanese and half american, which allows him to throw otaku culture and pop culture references with ease, and he is an interesting subversion of the regular isekai MC, in a sense he subverts the mold so much the mold becames whole again

He is not an otaku loser dreaming about becoming OP in another world... nope, he is stuck at a dead-end job and dreams about movig to murica to become a sucessful musician... so he is a retailer loser dreaming about becoming an OP musician in another country, and that is a completely different thing (or so he says)

He knows about videogames, pop culture and anime but constantly tells himself is just superficial knowledge that doesnt make him an otaku, nope, he just happened to absorb it by cultural osmosis via not being surrunded by otakus all the time, yep, he simply happened to stumble upon that knowledge, capisce?

He actually has a social life, he goes outside, he meets people... and so far there have been no mention of friends or family BUT HE IS NOT A LONER LOSER OK?

Instead of embracing the spirit of justice and good his mean spiritedness is the vehicle that can enable him to grow as a person, by helping him channel the assholeryness required to change the new world for the better, even if he has to crush them first

There is also the fact that if he manages to improve this world by taking it over, then it means he was right all along, his desire to fix the world pairs perfectly with his desire to validate himself as superior to everyone

Being an asshole is his method, and the world is so grimdark it works, the world building is prety nice too, with an angle of floating islands and alien ecosystem that feels absolutely fresh, so far crafting, architecture, cuisine and economy have been heavily affected by the environment, making those alien ecosystems a functional part of the world, instead of merely flavored background

The magic system is nice too, very straightforward to avoid info dumps, but with enough space to abuse it in the name of OPness

In a kind of meta the goddess choose such an ass to be her dark lord because she was bored of the regular flavours of good versus evil and wanted something more snarky and self absorbed, thats the audience this is made for: people who already had enough dosis of common heroes and villains and want to read something more focused on the style of the execution


Some immediate thoughts (as of 1.44)

Reviewed at: 1.44 In Which the Dark Lord Needs a Nap

(note; I'm not good with reviews. I don't like writing reviews. But I wanted to try, and I sincerely hope my opinion comes across accurately... enough.)

I'll admit - I'm a bit difficult with novels. I tend to immediately flee from anything that creases me the wrong way with its writing style - and I damn near did with this, just because the constant 'Only In Japan' lines (though clearly intended to be frustrating) and a few minor things bugged me - but, gladly, I didn't.

Few books actually grab me enough to binge through them, but this did. The concept is solid and would do great for a funny satire, but this was so much more than I was expecting from it. The worldbuilding actually manages to be unique in a genre where that's superfluous - no offence intended, I swear -  and feel real, harrowingly so. I'll admit the descriptions didn't give me the clearest visual on Ephemera, but they're not what I focused on so that's likely on me. The intricacies of the society, the people, the technologies, the politics - it's such a fascinating blend of alien, 'realistic' (mhm, not quite the word I want, but I can't put my finger on a better one) and JRPG-ish - which I thought I'd have to just grin and bear with, but the fact 

all of those elements are just the sisters' grubby hands ensuring they have leverage on everything? Now that's just plain neat.


Not to mention the characters. 'No man is a prophet in his own country'; and a nihilistic sardonic asshole can (try to) be one just on the advantage of a stockpile of historical, sociological and political anecdotes he has selectively misremembered over the years, and the overconfidence of his modern man mindset. I just love that. Pity to everyone to everyone that has to deal with him, lol. I still feel for Seiji, though (for everyone, really, but he's the one we get the most insight on.) and I'm honestly terrified to know where, exactly, his future characterisation is headed. It's a good sort of terrified, though.

The progression of the story is what stands out the most. Thanks for abusing my gut with those traumatic punches, appreciate it. More seriously - it's looking like we're in for the long run with this, and like everything is going to come back with consequences.

Typos are rare but present. I'm not a native English speaker myself, so I don't have much to comment on grammar wise - doesn't feel my place to.
The style still bugs me a little - a few line cuts seemed needless, and the spaced-out paragraphs work for online novels, I guess, but I'll never get used to them. It's still good, I'm just particular with these things. Some awkward-sounding 'Also's and 'Anyway's, and I'm not sure that MANY f-bombs are required to get the point across, but nothing that matters much to anyone. I appreciate the narration's ability to seamlessly flow from comical to tactful to horrifying, however. That is some quality skill.

With my best wishes to the author. This is really good, and my attempt at sounding half professional may not convey it, but I had a wide, passionate grin on my face all throughout, starting from chapter 22-ish, if memory serves. I'm invested in this horrible saga hook line and sinker, no matter what other fresh hell unfolds from and upon North Watch.


For those who are familiar with his work elsewhere, D.D. Webb delivers once again on his strongest points - banter and worldbuilding. With a focus on a delightful asshole of a protagonist, the world of Ephemera brims with potential.

Style: My cup of tea. Well read on the style's tropes without being bogged down by them, the text flows delightfully.

Story: Intriguing. It's not by far the first time we see things from Evil's perspective, but what we have is a smidge rarer: uncaring evil here concerns Evil itself.

Grammar: No grammar errors of note. Seiji has a verbose speaking style, but you can somewhat tell that's more due to character than thesauritis on the author's part.

Characters: They're great! Shinonome invokes my pity, Seiji my laughter, and the rest... You'll have to read for yourself.


Yes, I know "Oh look, all 5 stars, this must be a real critical reader, huh?". Listen, I've been around the block when it comes to stories like this, my total Xianxia reading time (if counted on hours) goes into the several months and it's dwarfed by my time with manga/ light novels, to the point I've seen all kinds of seemingly fresh takes fall flat, and this hasn't happened here. Webb knows his stuff, and delivers. Give it a read, won't you?


The title of a story is somewhat false advertising. The MC doesn't act like a villian or even an anti-hero. Instead, the MC is a closer to well-intentioned asshole, which makes him basically a hero compared to other people in the world.

Apart from that, it's the Youjo Senki premise done in a fantasy world. A basic, interesting premise if done well — the self-sabotage, occasional moments of brilliance followed by lucking into undeserved or unintentional success, the usual shebang. Only Villians Do That checks the usual boxes, although it's hard to say that it does those things particularly well.

You have the usual gaggle of followers, except that their only reason for following the MC boils down to the MC being less shitty than everyone else in a crapsack world. You have the usual protagonist cheat powers, except that the powers are barely explored. But what really kills the is the pacing. 45 chapters in and the MC has gotten nowhere fast. 5 chapters in and he's gotten himself a castle and a handful of followers. 40 chapters later he's still in the same keep, with the same handful of followers (the whores don't count), except that he's now spending his time fighting backwater criminals that he's antagonized for no benefit. It's not even the interesting sort of criminal warfare, either — it's the sort of story where the MC sets in motion contrived plans that only works because the plot says it must.

Credit where credit is due, the worldbuilding is good. Good worldbuilding can't single-handedly carry a story though.


More on character development than plot focus.

Reviewed at: 2.39 In Which the Dark Lord Gets Some Help

Unlike other novels, this one focuses more on character development and interactions (e.g. more emphasis on dialogues ) than the plot. We have reached past 1400 pages and yet the story is moving in a snails' pace, in addition to people conversing with each other back and forth excessively that takes up mutiple paragraphs in a chapter that doesn't really progress the story at all, and is better off ommitted and turned into a description. With things going like this, there are stories that are progressing faster in relation to the pages even with walls upon walls of descriptive text than this one. I think a healthy blend of interactions that both fleshes out the character while also pushes the plot forward is good.

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It leaves bitter taste. How to say it? I just dont like it in the end. This one adopted a lot of quirks of other stories but together with it adopted many flaws. Its 2 main issues for me are

1) isekai world itself is unlikable, author hates it and protagonist hates it and everyone living that world kinda hates it. I as a reader come to hate it to, it is bland, typical "bad world" where everyone is either a "bad guy", or a cynical victim and there is nothing smart or interesting about it. Rapists gonna rape, guards gonna take bribes, bandits gonna bandit, victims going to wait for a help with revenge, you know the drill. Why would i want to return to it at all?

2) Everyone just acts and thinks like a modern person from europe/usa. Sometimes it seems that i am reading a western set up in the world of magic. This plagues a lot of novels but here it does full damage.
There also are more small things but to hell with it.
Why im writing this at all is because author made a damn good job with keeping reader's attention and pace of the story healthy. Thanks for a read! I just cant bring myself back to it.


So I've read up to 1.19 and it's been enjoyable. There is a lot of playing off the usual tropes of a badly written isekai, its well written and the MC can be cleverly cunning. However, the MC's bitterness can be annoying. He is a self-aware misanthrope and the author is deliberate about his flawed perspective but it's still grating, although it is improving as the story continues. Also, there is a lot of fun, unique world building but the setting of women's roles as limited to housewives, whores and adventurers and randomly pulling out rape threat scenes comes off as a a blunt tool of lazy writing to remind the reader that the world sucks and setting up a foil to show off the MC's decency. I think that stuff comes standard in a lot of web novels along with a lot of other poor writing, where most of this fic is quite well written and the 'rape as a emotional hook' plot device comes unexpectedly. I'd give five stars but those two flaws nearly made me stop reading. I'd encourage people reading this review to bear with it if that stuff also bothers them, as the rest of the fic has good characters and a slow burn, promising plot so far.




Webb is an experienced web novelist although this is his first story on RR itself. Having read some of what is to come and spoken with him during the drafting of this story, I am excited for what is to come.

I know from his prior work that he has impeccable grammar and is amazing and writing a wide variety of characters with different views, voices, motivations, and styles to existing.

I am looking forward to reading more as should all of you.

Andre Scott

This isn't bad, really. The plot and world are interesting. The MC is ok. The reason I quit is no one seems like a real person. They all seem like exercises in how the same person might react given a slightly different background and circumstance. They don't have distinct voices or vocabulary.


I've really, really enjoyed this one. Is the MC wrong a lot of the time? Sure. Is the MC's heart in the right place? Absolutely. Is the MC going to succeed? Honestly, not sure. The story would be good if he did or didn't, and it's been a long time since I've enjoyed a good story where the MC suceeding wasn't the make-it/break-it.

Would recommend this one if you're looking for an entertaining and sometimes shockingly moving story