"We did it!" cried King Yuri to his cabinet, as he came back in from addressing the ecstatic masses "We finally did it! boy, those bastards in Samarkand sure put up a fight, but we beat them!

The ministers and of the state, assembled around the massif cedar reunion table applauded as His Majesty sat down on the intricately ornate silver chair at their head. From the ludicrously high ceiling, the gold and blue banners of the Great Mazoku Kingdom were hanged. Outside, from the gate that led to the Royal Balcony, one could hear the cheering and see the fireworks from the overjoyed crowd in the streets; and it was noon, so you can imagine how that must have been.

"At last" said the military advisor "Those Mongols got what was coming to them"

"Yes" said the foreign advisor "They treated me in the most ghastly manner when I went there to declare war on them… It's a good thing that's over with!"

"And all thanks to my chariots" said the military advisor with a superior grin.

"And my barracks" added the domestic advisor.

"Yes, your barracks too" said the military advisor. "I guess… you're lucky I'm in a good mood"

"You know, I was against this war at first" said the science advisor "But it is rather satisfying to finally be able to color the whole world pie chart in blue; of course" he then muttered under his breath "it would be more satisfying if we'd actually invented maps"

The Mazoku King saw him murmuring, but he wasn't displeased; instead he tried to cheer him up. He couldn't bear to see his cabinet unhappy; for a conquering, warmongering racial supremacist he was a very agreeable guy.

"Come on" he said, knocking on the elderly philosopher's shoulder "Don't be downhearted. We should be happy! We've been at war with those guys for, what, two hundred years?"

"Two hundred and four" corrected the science advisor.

"Two hundred and four, whatever" said King Yuri "The point is that, finally, the entire known world is under our control! Everything from Old France to the Far East and from the steppes of Russia to the sources of the Nile River; isn't that great?"

"They kicked me out of diplomat school for saying that the only sound diplomacy was to declare war on everyone" said the foreign advisor "I bet they're regretting it now…"

"Yeah" said the domestic advisor "Three cheers for the Great Mazoku Kingdom!"

"It would be appropriate" said the military advisor.

"Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!" they cried in unison; it was all very jolly.

But then, there was a long, awkward silence. The cheering had finished uncomfortably fast…

Everyone was looking at each other without saying a world. You could almost see the tumbleweed rolling over the table… of course, it would have been a golden tumbleweed, but a tumbleweed nonetheless.

"Shouldn't the game be over by now?" said the King.

"Yeah" said the domestic advisor "I was wondering too"

"Apparently" said the military advisor "There's still more civilizations"

King Yuri looked him in the eyes, stunned.

"You mean there's more land to the West of Europe?"

"Do you see the animation going off, Your Majesty?" said the military advisor.

"No" said the King "No, I do not"

"Then it's probably that" said the military advisor.

"So, then" said the King, obviously befuddled "What do you propose we do, gentlemen?"

"Well" said the science advisor "In case of complete domination of the known world and failure to win, the player's hand-codex recommends two courses of action"

"Which are?"

"Seeking out and destroying the enemy by exploring the whole world… or building a spaceship"

"Building a spaceship?" said the King "How's that going to help?"

"In the same way putting a phalanx on the Alps completely blocked the traffic between eastern and western Europe" said the military advisor.

"Point taken" said the King "Very well, then; be that as it may: Gwendel, marshal a trireme and send it across the Atlantic; Gunter, invent said trireme and then have your men research Banking so that we can invent spaceships; and you, Conrad, start an irrigation program go colonize the steppes of Eastern Russia"

"Steppes, your Highness?" said the domestic advisor.

"Steppes?" said the King "Did I say steppes? I'm very sorry… I meant temperate plains with habitability apparently equal or superior to Central Europe. Now come on, everyone! The mystery civilization isn't going to conquer itself!"

"Yes, your Majesty" said the ministers; and in a hurry they all begun to exit the room.

"Except for you, Wolfram" said the King then "I want to ask you something, personally…"

The foreign minister was on the point of exiting when the King had thus addressed him, and turned back.

"Yes?" he said.

"I trust you" said King Yuri in a grave tone "Tell me; do you believe these mystery civilization guys are something we can take on?"

"Sincerely?" said lord Wolfram.

"Sincerely" said King Yuri

"Well, sincerely" said Lord Wolfram "I'd like to tell you that as the Great Mazoku Tribe, we can submit anything that comes our way, because we're just that much better… But… I… I just don't know."

The King looked at him:

"Oh" he said finally "Is that so…"

"I'm afraid it is"

And they were serious for a moment; but then, King Yuri broke the silence, and it seemed as though he was back to his usual cheeriness:

"Well" he said with a smile "It's no use being worried; you know, we've had Religion ever since we researched it when I accidentally pressed enter after we invented Invention I was trying to fast-forward through the civil disorders caused by the Hanging Gardens' becoming obsolete; and I've always wanted to see what the JS Bach cathedral looked like. Now that we have peace, do you think we should build a wonder to get this off our minds?"

"It sounds like a capital idea" said Lord Wolfram "Civilization points are never wasted, especially with two content citizens per city."

"Well then, let's do it" said King Yuri.

"Yes; let's" agreed Lord Wolfram.

And parting, they left.