The Thing That Will Bring Ruin to Imperial Japan [Part 1]
“Then, can I have one sack of rice?“
Seeing that the Emperor and the Shogun had eaten up the spaghetti napolitan, Melsa put forth her request with a grin.
All the Imperial Japanese people in the room almost rose to their feet from shock.
“Y-You prepared that amount of relief supplies for just one sack of rice?!“
Imperial Japan’s nearly empty storehouse was now full of the relief supplies from House Stuart.
So we have been overly stingy for merely one sack of rice? …No, if you only want one sack, then say it from the start!!! The Imperial Japanese people began to feel awkward over their earlier dramatic reluctance.
“Are you sure you didn’t get the unit wrong? Perhaps you meant one koku?“
[T/N 1: A koku represents the amount needed to feed a man for a year.
1 koku is equivalent to approximately 180 liters or about 150 kilograms (330 lb).]
Actually, one koku doesn’t feel like a fair exchange either… The Shogun confirmed it with her again, thinking that although Melsa had mastered Imperial Japanese splendidly, she might not have known about more detailed vocabularies, like units of measurements.
“…We certainly cannot take that much when Imperial Japan is suffering from a food shortage.
Oh, but I need to clarify that I meant one sack of white rice, not brown rice.
This is the one point I cannot compromise on.” Melsa laughed bewitchingly.
The Emperor and the Shogun were immediately rendered speechless. This is not a fair transaction at all.
The other party gave us enough food for Imperial Japanese people to live without starving for more than half a year.
And what we give in return is one sack of rice and dried bonito?
“A-Are you alright… with just that?“
“Of course, we would like you to send us a certain amount of rice every new rice season from now…“
The concept was the same as hometown tax.
[T/N 1: ふるさと納税 (furusato nouzei) Hometown tax is a tax donation system launched in 2008 in Japan to correct the imbalanced tax revenue between urban and rural areas.
In this system, people can make a monetary donation to a city of their choice, and the city will send them goods worth 30% of their donation in return.]
Without mutual benefit, a method like this wouldn’t last long.
The faces of the people on the Imperial Japanese side visibly darkened.
She had accomplished her promise to get rice.
Because samurais would never go back on their own word, Melsa ended the topic without any reservation and moved on to what she had been curious about.
“Speaking of which, about the food shortage in Imperial Japan… It’s not actually caused by the bad weather, is it? Because no other requests for aid have come from Balitu or other countries close to Imperial Japan.“
“Moreover, the number of people I saw on the road leading to the imperial residence bothers me a little… No matter how many of the Kingdom’s people make a rare sight here, it was too big of a crowd.
It’s as if all citizens are gathered around the Edo Castle…“
Imperial Japan was not a big country.
Even if this area was the capital city of the country, it was abnormally packed with people.
When Melsa looked deeper into the town beyond the main street, she could see many rows of hurriedly-built shacks.
Having met the Emperor, the Shogun, and Imperial Prince Tasuku, she was very sure that they wouldn’t make an unbalanced policy like not distributing food to the countryside.
So when there was nothing wrong with the policy, but most Imperial Japanese people had still flocked to the urban area, it must have been because of other problems, and not just the bad weather.
At least, that’s what Melsa believed.
“You said that you are just an interpreter… but you’re sharp.“
She got to the heart of the problem after walking through the streets just once.
The ninja who had been on stand-by on the ceiling, Momochi, suddenly appeared.
“Your Imperial Majesty!!! Let’s tell the Kingdom the truth.
Melsa-sama is a trustworthy and reliable person.
I’m sure she can help us!“
“…Momochi, don’t say the impossible.
This is already an irreversible situation we cannot recover from.
If we talk about it, we will only give her unnecessary worries.“
“Momochi, Imperial Japan is about to perish…“
” ” ” “…!!!” ” ” ”
At the Shogun’s words, the close attendants couldn’t help but shed tears of regret.
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