Tyranny of Steel - Chapter 856
While Berengar was returning home from his journey to the Great Pyramid of Giza. Itami was busy hiding away within her own quarters in a state of total depression. Inari's boon had cleared her mind up, allowing the young empress to have many memories of her past life that she had completely forgotten until now.
Sitting on Itami's desk were blueprints, chemical equations, and educational materials for subjects that had faded from her mind over the years. As well as three divine artifacts that she had been experimenting with over the past six hours.
Yet currently the woman was sprawled naked on her bed, with a bottle of sake in her hand. Her crimson eyes glared up at the ceiling of her quarters as she thought about all that had happened in her past life. A very vivid image of the only man she had ever truly loved played in her mind.
Julian was a stubborn and arrogant ass who commonly treated her past self as nothing more than a nuisance. However, she knew that deep down he was just a man with a wounded heart, too afraid to get close to anyone. Despite these flaws, there were times of genuine warmth.
However, what was currently floating in her mind were two scenes that she knew had never happened, and yet they were as clear as day. Despite knowing that these memories were false, they held a massive emotional sway over her heart, and caused immense confusion in her mind.
In the first of these two memories, Itami is watching Julian graduate from Westpoint. When after receiving his diploma, he approaches her, and confesses that he understands her feelings. He seems flabbergasted, as if he had never noticed until this very moment. And yet, despite the moment that should be the happiest in her life, the bastard rejects her, saying that it is simply too late for them to have a relationship.
If this weren't confusing enough, the second memory that she knows to be false, is one where she was married to Julian, and pregnant with his child. He returns home from a long deployment alive and well, where the two of them share a wonderful meal together in a state of absolute bliss.
Yet in the end, Julian says goodbye, and leaves behind an ominous message, saying that the time they had spent together had allowed him to gain some closure, and that he pitted the fact it took him two lives to realize what could have been.
Upon repeating these words over and over again, Itami took another swig from her bottle, drowning away her sorrows with the intense flavor of alcohol. Tears streamed from her eyes, the notion of being rejected by the man she loved, and then abandoned by him while she was pregnant with his child was too much to handle. Was this really the fate she would have suffered had she actually confessed her feelings to the dense idiot?
Unlike Berengar, Itami never really had the time to properly process the grief she had over her past life, nor did she have a string of lovers to help her through the process. Aside from her annoying mother and overly affectionate sister, she was all by herself in this world, surrounded by potential enemies.
Itami was too drunk to realize that perhaps the goddess implanted these "memories" in her mind, as a hint about the other reincarnator's true identity. Instead, she saw it as a potential fate, the result of her actions had she actually pursued her affections in her past life.
The only thing these two memories caused was an overwhelming sense of confusion in Itami's mind, and a perpetual longing in her heart. Though she did not know why things ended so horribly within these false memories, she simply wished she could go back to her old life and rectify her mistakes.
After drinking and crying by her lonesome for some time, Itami finally rose from her bed, upon hearing a knock on her door. She slowly walked over to it, with a defeated expression on her flawless face, before opening the door just slightly enough that her face was revealed. When she saw the smiling face of her little sister, she slammed the door shut and called out to the girl in a shrill voice.
"Not now, Momo!"
Despite these words, Momo forced her way inside, what started as a chance to chaotically drop in on her sister, and make her life more difficult, was now a cause for concern, by the stench of Itami's breath, and the look on her face, she had secluded herself in her room, doing nothing but drinking and crying for the last six hours.
Obviously, something was terribly wrong and because of that, Momo was quick to console her precious big sister. However, upon opening the door, and realizing that Itami Riyo was completely nude, Momo flushed in embarassment. Before chastising the woman for her appearance.
"Nee-chan, put some clothes on!"
In response to this, Itami merely scoffed, before falling onto her futon, and pulling the covers over herself. She was not in the mood to chat right now.
Momo realized that something was seriously wrong with her sister. Itami never acted like a child, and yet here she was screaming and throwing a tantrum while buck naked. Her lips quivered as she struggled to address the root of the problem.
"Nee-chan, is this about a man?"
Itami froze beneath her covers, and said nothing, merely sulking as she did so. Momo merely sighed in defeat when she saw this. She had no idea who was causing her sister such grief, but she internally swore that whoever the bastard was, she would never forgive him.
Instead, Momo merely approached the desk, which contained her sister's blueprints, educational materials, as well as the Imperial Regalia of Japan, which were, in reality, divine artifacts. Momo knew very little about science, chemistry, and engineering. You could say she had a basic high school level of education like most of the people in the Itami domain had learned under Riyo's rule.
However, as the light of the sun reflected upon the mirror, it began to shimmer, and under its light, Momo was able to gain a much greater understanding of the material than she normally would have.
With a sense of divine inspiration, Momo quickly looked at the book that Itami had written labeled Biology 101, and after studying a random section of its contents for several minutes, made a comment about the material.
"Hmmm... so there are microorganisms everywhere called bacteria, and some of these bacterium can cause food to spoil? Where did you learn this?"
Itami was about to curse her sister for intruding upon her session of grief. However, when the girl started speaking about biology, she could not help but wonder just how her airheaded sister had comprehended what was written in the book. Itami quickly hopped out of her bed and grabbed hold of Momo's shoulders before interrogating the girl.
"Momo, you understand what I wrote here and the meaning behind these words?"
Momo gazed at her sister in shock. It was as if she was a completely different person. However, she slowly nodded her head before commenting on her sudden source of inspiration.
"I don't know what it is. Normally I would have no idea what these words even mean, but for whatever reason, I understand it!"
Itami unknowingly stepped forward into the light reflected from the mirror and instantly felt herself overwhelmed with the same sense of divine inspiration that her sister was undergoing. She quickly looked at the mirror and identified it as the likely culprit which was causing this strange aura.
This mirror was one of three pieces of the Imperial Regalia of Japan that Itami had inherited from the imperial family after she slayed them and took their place. It was known as Yata no Kagami and was supposed to represent the virtue of wisdom. After hearing from Inari that the Imperial Regalia were actually divine artifacts, she had been experimenting to find out their uses, but without proper instructions, it was easier said than done.
However, what she was experiencing right now was perhaps a temporary state of heightened intelligence, and she was not the only one undergoing this change. To put this in the terms of RPG elements, it was as if the Yata no Kagami had an area of effect that caused those within it to undergo a temporary buff to their intelligence.
When Itami realized this, she broke out into a state of uncontrollable laughter, causing her little sister to worry about her, which she vocally expressed.
"Nee-chan, are you alright, you are worrying me right now!"
However, Itami merely nodded her head with a fat grin on her pretty face when she heard this. After calming her heart, she kissed her sister on the forehead before thanking her.
"Thank you, Momo. If not for you, I would never have figured out how this damn thing works. Now I can finally compete with that bastard!"
Unlike Berengar, who had a national network of scientists, engineers, and other scholars. Itami had a small elite corps of such brilliant minds, however their education was lacking, largely because until recently, Itami could not recall all of her memories. Because of this, she was severely behind Germany in terms of pretty much every metric.
Now she could have her scientists and gifted students bask in the light of the Yata no Kagami, and wield divine inspiration as they rapidly progressed their understanding of science and education. This would allow the Japanese Empire to quickly fill the gap between them and the Reich in terms of educated minds within their societies.
Though Itami would not be able to catch up to Germany as an equal, she would now be able to create a society that could cause immense difficulty to the Germans should they attempt a conquest of her Empire. All she needed to do was make Germany bleed enough to bring them to the negotiating table. With this divine mirror, she could now achieve that goal. Thus, on this day, Itami Riyo, the Empress of Japan, had gained a valuable tool in the fight against her rival reincarnator.