Imperial Japan [Part 1]

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At the entrance of Imperial Japan’s only port, a ship was in the middle of passing through the rows of big vermilion torii gates[1] as it entered the dock.

[T/N 1: A torii gate is a traditional Japanese gate commonly found at a Shinto shrine.
A picture of a torii gate]


“How strange…”


Oliver mumbled with a sigh.

The ninja behind Melsa, who had disguised as one of the Rothschild Company’s employees, stepped forward and whispered into her ears.

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“These torii gates are made of magic stones.
The magic within them makes it so that people are unable to see or enter the torii gates if they do not have the permission of the Imperial Family.
Except for this lane with the torii gates, our country’s land is surrounded by shoals with many rocks.
Ships will only end up being stranded if they forcefully advance.
That’s why unauthorized ships can never invade Imperial Japan.“


Looking at how these giant torii gates were extravagantly made out of magic stones, a precious, scarce material in the Kingdom since the ore deposits had run dry, Melsa suddenly felt that Imperial Japan’s isolation policy was the right decision.

Magic stones were limited.

If the information that Imperial Japan had such a large amount of magic stones was made known, it would undoubtedly give rise to man-to-man disputes, wars between countries, and conflicts of all scales.

A conflict between nations had never happened in history.
Maybe it was because almost every country faced the threat of monsters.
Or maybe it was because the countries had hardly interacted with each other as they were separated by the ocean. 

Nevertheless, the consumption and exhaustion of magic stones year by year always had a danger of becoming the trigger of conflict.

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When Melsa was young, she still had the chance to see how magic stones were used as a tool to satiate the nobles’ vanity.
But now, the Kingdom had so little magic stones that some generations didn’t even know of its existence.


The Kingdom’s shortage of magic stones or absence of magicians were not problems that humans could do anything about.

Magic stones were precious in any country, and no one would hand them over easily.
It had already become something that couldn’t be bought, even with a huge sum of money. 

A magician was a blessing.
People could only wait for one to appear. 

The barrier, too, would eventually disappear with time.

Imperial Japan, which was currently suffering from food shortages, wasn’t the only one struggling to survive.
The Kingdom, too, was slowly falling into a survival crisis.



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Imperial Japan was very similar to the townscape Melsa (Yoriko) had seen in period dramas.

Wooden houses, earthen walls, plaster walls, tile roofs, and latticeworks…

Melsa was fascinated by how similar it was to old age Japan.


“Is this… red iron oxide?“


The structure of the buildings was the same as the ones she had seen in period dramas, but the planks were all dyed red.

Melsa only nonchalantly muttered that for she noticed that the color of the buildings was more of a brownish-red than the bright vermillion color of the torii gates at the entrance of Imperial Japan, which were similar to the Inari shrines[2] in her past life.
However, the ninja unexpectedly heard her soft mutters and reacted strongly.

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[T/N 2: An Inari shrine is a shrine where the God of Harvest is worshiped.
A picture of an Inari shrine]


“—*gasp*! To think that you even know what red iron oxide is…“


This pigment was accidentally found in the rubble that surfaced during the mining of magic stones.
Later, it was found that the substance could preserve the buildings from decay, and had insect repellent, durability, and fire resistance effects.
As such, almost every Imperial Japanese house was coated with it.

Although Melsa didn’t ask about anything, the ninja continued explaining that the red roof tiles were glazed before they were heated, and that they also served as a charm against evil spirits.

Imperial Japan was the scarlet country.

It was the land of the rising sun, a sacred country protected by gods.

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