A Storm Over Okehazama Redux: A Sengoku Japan TL

Part 37: The Battle of Lake Chinchaycocha, and the Fall of Huanuco
December 5th, 1572

Lake Chinchaycocha

An army comprised of Spanish soldiers and allied native Warriors was making its way towards Lake Chinchaycocha from the North. The fate of the viceroyalty of Peru was dark indeed, the loss of Lima left Huanuco as a nearby center of Spanish Administration in the area.

The overall commander was the Marquis of Canete, Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza, with Francisco Alvarez de Toledo as his co-commander. Mendoza was speaking with one of his commanders, Pedro de Villagra. [1]

“Damn that foolish Count, it is bad enough you were forced back from Chile but now he lost Lima to a bunch of Indians and mercenaries from the Far East? If it was not for the fact other people can support this story I would have assumed he was drunk.” Francisco remarked.

"You are being too harsh on His Illustriousness, it is not like he could have expected this to have turned out the way it did. These Indians are heathens and butchers, but fools are the last thing we should consider them, they’ve managed to gain several advantages but god willing we will stop them here." Pedro replied.

“He was the one who left that Indian emperor frustrate him and gain power and now we risk losing our chance to save these heathens from their ways. That fool better not be making a mistake sending us here. Regardless I at least have faith in his Excellency."

"At least we agree on that."

From the south, the Incan Emperor Titu Cusi led his own army to engage the Spanish including the force of Japanese mercenaries from the Hojo clan The emperor was convening with his strategists as well as the foreign leaders in his camp.

"Our scouts have reported the Espanakyu are advancing towards us And there is a chance they could move around the lake, whatever happens, we cannot take any risks." The Sapa Inca had stated before turning towards Ataw. "Ataw, I am aware of the prince's forces are small, but ask the prince what he and his brothers can do what with such numbers?" [2]

"Lord Ujinori, The Sapa Inca requests your advice, the Espanakyu are heading towards our position."

"I am unfamiliar with how these Spanish fight but if we are heading near the Lake they could circle around it and threaten us, perhaps we should Send a smaller Force around the other side just to make sure that they do not try anything."

Ataw had told the Sapa Inca and the Sapa Inca expressed is approval saying the idea had merit. The Sapa Inca split his forces into his main Force what consists of Infantry a few detachments of cavalry, more than 2,000 firearms and two-thirds of the Japanese Mercenaries. The Sapa Inca had managed to loot the armory of Lima as well other Spanish settlements, and the second and third waves of the Inca forces were armed spears and swords and wearing pieces of Spanish armor.

The forces of the Sapa Inca sent around the lake consisted of infantry both armed with traditional weapons and firearms as well as the remaining one-third of the Japanese Mercenaries and were to go round the lake to meet any possible Spanish advances.

The Main Spanish force had only a few thousand Spanish Soldiers mixed with guns and swords, the rest of their forces comprising at least 7,000 of native warriors. Both sides started off to skirmish exchanging gunfire arrows and slings, before engaging in hand to hand fighting. The Spanish kept their own men in reserve, leaving most of their native allies to engage the enemy first.

The fighting between both sides had started out as an intense clash of axes, clubs, and spears. The Spanish-aligned natives had outnumbered the Inca’s initial forces and had the advantage, however, the Inca’s initial forces were far from defeated, and the fighting had bogged down into a stalemate. [3]

On the other side of the lake, Pedro de Villagra’s forces were on their way to flank the Inca army. and they had spotted off in the distance an Inca force not too far away.

It seems the enemy had the same idea. Pedro thought before turning to one of his captains. “Have the Cavalry take up the center and keep everyone on a slow pace when we get close enough will charge them." Pedro ordered.

"Yes, commander."

The Inca forces to around the lake were lead by Iskay a Waranqa Kuraka of the Incan army with a with another noble Ninan as a sub-commander responsible for five Pachaka Kuraka, and along with three hundred Japanese under the command of Hojo Ujitada. [4]

“Espanyaku Kawallu incoming! these Yapanqi know of these beasts and how they are used in the open, have one of the interpreters ask them what should we do.” Iskay said to Ninan. [5]

"Horsemen are coming at us in the open noble one, My commander wants to know what we should do." The interpreter said in a hurried tone.

"I can order my spearmen to form a defensive position, and I can have my gunners shoot at them." Ujitada said unsure of the outcome

"Noble Commander, I am not a tactician but wouldn't these guns be too slow to make a difference?” The interpreter's words caused Ujitada's eyes to widen.

"You are right!" Ujitada said excitedly I could have one man fire while another reloads. Can your units do the same?" [6]

“They can try, I will inform the commander.”

The Incan and Japanese quickly sent their firearm units to the fore and adopted a tactic to have one rank fire while another reloads.

Seeing this a cavalryman dropped back to report to Pedro de Villagra.

“Commander, the Indians, and Haponese have sent their arquebusiers at us, should we stop?”

“Bah, we will ride them down before they can even fire, keep advancing!” Pedro said dismissively before returning to the rest of his soldiers. “The rest of you pick up the pace we are nearly on top this scum.”

The Incan and Japanese forces had managed to get off a disorganized series of repeating volleys on the advancing cavalry. The Spanish cavalry was met by the erratic gunfire but it had managed to at least blunt the momentum. The initial cavalry that did make it was attacked by Japanese spearmen, however, the rest of the cavalry arrived with the Spanish forces quickly behind them. The Incan forces pressed on to meet the Spanish attack.

The main engagement saw the Inca’s first wave of forces gradually pushed back as the second wave began their advance. To help their second wave the Sapa Inca gave orders for the detachments of cavalry to attack the flanks of the Spanish forces.

"Francisco, tell the men we assist the Indians will not let them or their mercenaries win this day!" The Marquis had shouted.

The Spanish and the rest of their native allies joined the battle, which allowed them to hold the line. The Spanish and their allies had managed to slightly Force the Indians back and creating gaps in their ranks. When it looked there was a chance they could win the day Horns started to blare out. Fransisco saw before him an unfamiliar sight. Warriors in full armor wearing flags on their backs armed with what he could make out to be pikes, bows, and swords at their sides had begun to charge. The flags themselves carried strange symbols and what looked a triangle made of four triangles, Francisco figured they were the Haponese. [7]

Their numbers were small but the Haponese attacked in the gaps the Spanish and their allies had previously opened. Francisco’s native allies were unused to the long spears and blades of the Haponese and were being cut down and driven back. Francisco’s own men fared slightly better with their armor able to stop their attacks. The Sapa Inca’s cavalry had come from the flanks to attack the flanks while their archers had started firing into the gaps. causing the Spanish native auxiliaries to begin to retreat.

Seeing the commotion Francisco turned towards the Marquis“Your Excellency, we risk being overrun, should we retreat?”

“No, we shall pull back and regroup, and get someone to deal with that damn cavalry.”

“Understood Your Excellency,” As Francisco left the Marquis turn towards a man who he trusted to deliver a message

“Alvaro, you are to tell Pedro’s forces to regroup with mine.”

“Yes, your Excellency,” Alvaro said riding off around the lake.”

Around the other side of the lake Pedro’s force had gained an upper hand. Iksay was talking to Ninan about what their next move would be.

“I want you to send whatever soldiers we have left into the fray. Tell Prince Ujitada to join them.”

“Is this wise?” questioned Ninan.

“It does not matter, we must protect the main army!” Iksay ordered.

Pedro was in the thick of the fighting sword and shield in hand when he found himself face to face with what looked to be one of the mercenary princes. He wore a wide helmet with a silver crest that looked like three triangles surrounding one in the center. The prince was armed with a two-handed sword that did not seem like the heavy two-handed swords back home. Pedro barely had time to react before being driven on the defensive, but help had arrived in the form of allied warriors both native and the few Spanish that accompanied him, but the warrior struck down two of his attackers before pulling back.

However, rather than retreat more foreign warriors appeared and forced the Spanish attack back. The Spanish forces began to pull back to regroup in response. Before they could plan their next move a horseman had ridden up from behind. Pedro had recognized him as Alvaro.

“Commander you and your men are to pull back. His Excellency intends to establish a more defensive position.” Alvaro stated, however, he was met with a look of indignation

“To hell with this!” Pedro shouted, We’ve lost Peru and Santiago to savages and his Excellency thinks we should just pull back!”

“You would defy an order from his Excellency and the Viceroy who acts in the name of His Majesty! You could get yourself killed.” Alvaro said shocked to hear what he was saying.

Before their argument could continue further a volley of shots ran out, with shouting soon following. To Pedro’s horror, the Indians and their allies had begun to counter-attack.

“We will not run from them.” However instead of a rallying band of brothers Pedro saw most of his soldiers and allied natives retreat, with many getting on what horses still remained. Pedro was soon faced by the mercenary prince and his soldiers. The prince had uttered a cry that sounded like "Hachiman." and slashed at Pedro’s left shoulder which was not as well protected as his chest, Pedro tried to parry with his shield, but suffered a shooting pain from the wound. Taking advantage of this the prince had moved around and struck Pedro’s legs before he could react the prince had brought his sword down decapitated Pedro as the rest of the forces who stayed with Pedro were soon killed as well.

The remnants of Pedro's forces had soon met up with the Marquis. It was pathetic sight 150 horses carrying 300 men, and 100 more exhausted behind them. Garcia approached one of the men, where is your commander?"

"He would not listen and did not flee, we do not think the heathens took prisoners." Upon hearing this Garcia crossed himself, before turning back towards the solider. "Tell the rest of those who survived to rest."

"Yes, Commander."

"Francisco, you may think I am mad for suggesting this, but it is clear we cannot win, we should surrender or else we are just throwing away the lives of our soldiers and allies."

Francisco gave Garcia a dumbfounded look. "How can we trust the heathens not to betray us, or just kill us?"

"I will send out an envoy if he comes back and their King accepts we make peace, if not we fight to the last."

A messenger had ridden out from the Spanish lines towards the Incan camp.

“Your Majesty, the Marquis wishes to surrender to prevent further bloodshed.” The Sapa Inca could only glare at the man before him.

“I will only accept his surrender in person, leave me.”

Upon hearing this the messenger rode back to the Marquis.

“Your Excellency, the King will only accept your surrender in person!” The messenger exclaimed.

The Marquis showed no signs of hesitation at this information. “Very well I shall meet him.”

The Marquis rode up to the Incan army and found himself face-to-face with the Sapa Inca, who seemed to stare at him with a cold rage in his eyes.

“You wish to surrender your forces to me!” The Sapa Inca said with contempt in his voice.

“Yes, we cannot win this battle, and to try and retreat could see many good men killed, we wish to ask for mercy.”

“You have the nerve to ask me for mercy? Why should I offer mercy to the scum who stole my people's lands, imposed your god, killed my uncle, my brother, and killed my own father right before my very eyes! I should have you and all of your people killed.” The Sapa Inca’s voice retained the same harsh tone. [8]

“Kill me if you must, but please do not kill my men or the people in the cities and villages.” Garcia said hoping the Emperor would be merciful.

December 7th, 1572

Huanuco, Peru

Huanuco found itself surrounded by an Incan Army, it was given an ultimatum to surrender. Presented with the capture of the Spanish force sent to defend them. The City surrendered.

The Viceroy of Peru, the Count of Nieva, Diego Lopez de Zuniga was brought out to be executed. The Sapa Inca had let Hojo Ujinori decapitate the man. As the Count of Nieva saw his would-be executioner come towards him grew enraged. "I do not care if you cannot understand me you slant-eyed snake, there is a special place in Hell for traitors like you!" Curses had continued to stream from the viceroy's lips until he was executed. Titu Cusi had given an order that all people in Huanuco where free to worship what god they believed in, but they would they be his subjects. This was met with little resistance.

Later that night Hojo Ujinori, his brothers and their forces were gathered in a local area to rest.

"Brother, if we are done with aiding this Saipa Inca, are we able to even get back home?" Ujimitsu had said what Ujinori was thinking.

"Yes, we lost several regular soldiers, not that their lives were not important. When we get back we need to inform The Shogun and tell him to advise larger units, not to mention organized contracts." Ujinori replied.

"We can worry about that later, for now, we should celebrate, we can as strangers to a foreign land under false pretenses and still we emerged victoriously and we have Hachiman to thank for this outcome." Ujitada said. [9]

"Indeed." Ujinori replied letting his young brother's more optimistic spirit win out.

For now, the Hojo would feast and then begin their journey home.

[1] The first two are the Eight and Eleventh viceroys of Peru, while Pedro was a commander of Spanish forces Chile during the Mapuche War.

[2] The Inca did use Spanish weapons and armor under Manco Inca at one point.

[3] Incan weapons, that would be used in the local area, even if there would be some variance in them.

[4] The Inca had their military forces organized into specific units of ten, one hundred, one thousand, and ten thousand led by a Chunka Kamayuq, Pachaka Kuraka, then Waranqa Kuraka, and Hunu Kuraka respectively.

[5] Spanish Cavalry in Quechua

[6] This is a reference to the Oda tactics at the Battle of Nagashino, although OTL was nowhere near what it is usually portrayed as the Takeda had only one unit of Cavalry.

[7] I apologize if the description of a Yari seems inconsistent, they could be as long as pike and used in a similar fashion, but also short enough to be used as a spear.

[8] Titu Cusi was the son of Manco Inca a previous Sapa Inca who killed, who himself was a son of Huayna Capac, and thus a half brother to Atahualpa. Both Manco Inca, and Atahualpa were killed by the Spanish. Sayri Tupac the prior Sapa Inca before Titu Cusi had died of disease but Titu Cusi suspected he was poisoned.

[9] A Shinto God of War, with an important Shrine located in Kanto.

I'm sorry if this is later than intended, but I wanted to at least show how bad things had gotten for the Spanish in Peru.
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I do intend to get back to Tensho Embassy, but does anyone have suggestions on what I should with the Reformation, while I am looking for a more religiously divided France, and maybe a more tolerant England, I'm still unsure with what to do with the rest of Reformation in Europe.
Part 38: The Tensho Embassy in Rome, The Tensho Embassy in Venice Part One
January 18th, 1574

Rome, Papal States

The Tensho Embassy had arrived in what they knew as the city of Rom, the holy city for the Kirishitan faithful, and once the capital of a great empire. Harukata and his men would spend two days exploring the city, seeing various fancy residences, but also noticing thugs, and prostitutes and other unsavory elements. On the third day the Tensho Expedition would meet with the Chief Abbot of the Kirishitan religion.[1]

“Your Holiness, I am honored to meet in you person. I come as an interpreter for a mission from the Far East.”

Lord Harukata, this is Chief Abbot Guregori.[2]

“I have heard of them, they are known as the Heroes of Iapon to many for their actions against the Turks, yet what would bring such men around the world”

“Your eminence this is Duke Harucata Suey, retainer of Lord Ouche Yoxinaga, in the service of both the King of Japan Imagawa Yoximoto, and the Emperor Ohemache. They are here to find out more about our land and ways.”

“Do they intend to convert?” Had given a slight smile only to be met by a disappointed look.

“No, they still wish to keep their pagan ways.” He had said to the Pope’s disappointment. “They are curious about the fact I and other priests ultimately answer to you, they had problems with their own clergy, and they do not want to have trouble from our clergy.”

“What would they have to fear from the word of the lord?” The Pope asked curious

“Peasant rebellions, and religious violence. Tomas said sternly These people follow a strange mix of their own paganism, and the teachings of the Boutta, but their temples have no central authorities just like the heretics. Some teachings of the Boutta emphasize something close to our monasticism and asceticism, others like the Blessed Land were much more popular among the masses, where one only need have faith in repeating the name of the Amedaboutta. One such Blessed Land group such group was the Ikoiche who seized power in the lands of Caga and Satsu, who ruled from their fortress monastery of Icheyama Honganji. Other monasteries engaged in conflict with each other around the capital leaving violence in their.

“I heard that Iapon was divided and torn by war, but even their monks are warriors as well?”

“Not all of them, but harsh times saw harsh measures. The King has recently united the land of Iapon and any places of worship be it ours or theirs must be registered and have their worshipers counted. That was among many reforms the King had instituted, but he was interested in lands that me and my brothers in the faith had come from, which explains this expedition.”

“Then please ask what does the King of Iapon think of our faith."

Tomas said the Pope’s words to Harukata. “The Shogun has his suspicions, although he and I both are curious as to what this protesting heresy is.”

“Their king is suspicious, and they are curious about the heretics.” Tomas had said

“Tell him we have no intention of causing trouble in his lands, and tell the Jesuits they had better not do so.”

“His Holiness says that he wishes to cause no trouble in your lands.” Tomas said.

“Then what of the actions of Furanshisuko, he was personally summoned to the capital to be rebuked by the Shogun himself. I know how you priests operated using trade as a pretext, and pretended to adopt our customs, but I never thought this order of yours would send someone so disrespectful. Is our land to be at the mercy of whoever this Chief Abbot sends?”[3]

“No I was planning to inform His Holiness of this incident.” Tomas said quickly before returning to face the Pope

“Your Holiness, there was an incident with Francisco Cabral and his opposition to some of the accommodations we have made. He did not like having to wear the silk robes of their monks, or the lack of meat in their diets. The King of Iapon, who himself was once one of these monks was outraged and forced Francisco to change into a robe on the spot.” The Pope had audibly gasped.[4]

“That fool could undo all of our work in spreading the Lord’s word. Please tell this Duke that I will keep this in mind, we must speak more of this mission in private.”

“His Holiness says he shall keep in this mind to insure such an incident like that never occurs.” The skeptical look on Harukata’s face did not change.

“Then what about these heretics, what makes them so distasteful, and we can we expect them to arrive to try and find converts in our land as well?”

“Damn it, the Iaponese still wish to know about the heretics, and if they will arrive in their lands soon.” Tomas said to the Pope.

“What exactly do Iaponese know about the heretics?” Pope Gregory said with a slight worry in his voice.

“The Iaponese only know that the heretics are opposed to our faith as the one true way, and to them that is confusing. While they did have monasteries that clashed with one another and several creeds that have only recently emerged, they do not value one of these creeds as the sole faith of their land. This conflict is not something they wish to be pawns in, and so intend to hear out both sides.”

“It is understandable but unwelcome. Do you believe we have anything to fear about them converting if they learn more about the heretics?”

“No, the Heretics are too far away, and would not make too ground in converting them, but I feel the Iaponese would have an understanding eye towards them.” The Pope took Thomas's words with some relief

Harukata continued to hear both men talk before Tomas had turned towards him “His Holiness says the heretics seek to create their own authority where faith alone is the only path towards salvation with no actions or higher or so they claim. So far they have only succeeded in stirring chaos and rebellion through the many realms of this land. Regardless of your thoughts on this conflict, it should not spread towards your land.”

“So you say, but it is the Shogun himself who must make this decision.”

“Lord Harukata, I would like to talk to this Chief Abbot of this faith, I came with your expedition for a reason.” Harukata turned to face the monk.

Harukata had told Tomas of Bansho’s intention, to which the Pope had agreed but requested to do so tomorrow. However before Tomas had left, the Pope had requested his presence.

“Your Holiness?”

“These are difficult times we live in, Anglia and Francia are watching against religious violence and are possibly seeking a common cause against the Hapsburgs. The Turkish menace to the east is still a threat despite everything that has happened, and God only knows what the Grand Duke in the east planning. Whatever happens make sure these men pagans or no, do not cause any trouble, even if they are known as heroes of our most righteous hour.” The Pope had stated hoping for the best.

“What am I to do If they show favoritism towards the heretics?” Tomas asked.

“Have the Jesuits keep track of any expeditions if they can, but surely we cannot reasonably expect them to do much here in these lands? How exactly did the battle with Turks play out?”

“We arrived because the Duke had want to observe their naval tactics. The Iaponese style of naval combat was to build want amounts to floating castles that see their conflict resolved with boarding actions. Our ship had sailed to close and since the Fortunado bore a stylized cross that being the Ouche family’s coat of arms, two Turkish ships attacked us. Fortunately most of the crew that was were trusted warriors from the land of Amanguchi, who experienced in naval warfare, fought back against the Turks with fury, although having cannons on our side helped as well.”

“What was happening with the rest of the battle?”

“From experience I do not know, from what I have been told we arrived when the Turks were losing and their left wing under Uchali was retreating. Our attacked galvanized the forces of Signore Giovanni who began to attack. Uchali himself attacked our ship himself to buy his fleet time to escape, and he and the Duke engaged in single combat, with the Duke emerging victorious after the battle the men began to cut off the enemies heads as is their custom.” Tomas said leaving Pope Gregory visibly disgusted.

“So this intervention was more fortune than a race of miraculous warriors touched by the grace of God as some people would say?” The Pope had said to a dumbstruck Tomas

“People believe that?” Tomas said shaking his head, at which the Pope allowed himself a small smile. “I trust you are aware despite what people may say, our faith’s influence in Japan is limited. We have only made serious ground in Amanguchi and its surrounding lands, none of the dukes or former kings of their lands have so far converted.”

“So can we expect this expedition to at least keep our faith in the King’s good graces?”

“It is hard to say Your Holiness. the Duke, Harucata is as ruthless as they come. He overthrew the prior king of Amanguchi who he was a friend of Ouche Yoxitaca since childhood or so the rumor goes, and installed the King’s maternal nephew Otomo Haruheday, who took the name of his uncle’s clan becoming Ouche Yoxinaga as in their custom. The Duke ruled the clan, in all but name until King Yoxinaga kidnaped the Duke’s son with the ensuing conflict between the two ending when they surrendered to King Yoximoto. As I have said before the Duke is suspicious, provided we do nothing to arouse his suspicions our mission to Iapon should be secure.”

“Do you know where does this expedition plan to go next?”

“Yes to Venice, Francia and then Anglia, before they intend to head home.”

“If you can find any clergy please keep them informed of what has happened with the expedition. Is there anything I should about this Pancho before meeting with him?” The Pope had asked one last question before Tomas had begun to set out.

“I will see to it Your Holiness. As for Pancho he is a patient man, willing to listen for hours.

January 26th, 1574

Venice, Republic of Venice

The word of the Tensho Embassy’s arrival saw them greeted to much fanfare when they arrived in Benecia. While the few Europeans in the expedition had heard of Venice, not a one of them had actually entered Venice before. The Fortunado had arrived in Kannaregio where they saw a welcoming party led by an old man, but plenty of people gathered around. [5]

“Greetings , I am glad we can meet again under less chaotic circumstances. On the behalf of His Serenity Alvise Mocenigo I welcome you and this “embassy” to Venice.” Sebastiano said.

“Likewise Signore. Am I to be worried about what words have spread about the embassy to the Doge?

“I have personally told His Serenity of their bravery, if I feel it was utter madness for them to sail too close to a naval battle, it helps your leader killed one of the more infamous marauders himself. It made for quite the tale here, but His Serenity knows as well as you and I that their arrival was no miracle. His Serenity wants to allay his concerns this could be some form of an invasion, and also give his personal thanks.”

Tomas sighed. “I told them not sail too close, now I have to dispel all manner of wild tales. I can only pray that this does not make our travel to the land of Inghilterra difficult lest they are seen as agents of His Holiness.”

The Tensho Embassy had moved across Kannaregio to the Doje’s Palace. Marveling at some of the sites they saw such as an ornate bridge that connected the sections of the city known as Sanmaruko and Sanporo. As the embassy moved around the city they learned that Benecia was a city of merchants run by a council of powerful families with their leader the Doje being elected.

The Tensho Embassy with Harukata, Tomas and several retainers arriving in a room known as the Sekudo room. In this room they saw a an old man dressed in an ornate robe with shells that adorned the from wearing a red hat with the fabric on its rear end raised up, which they assumed was the Doje. He had a small smile, along with him was a younger man in front of him and a woman near his side.

“I am Tomas, priest and interpreter for the Duke Harucata Suey who is the leader of this expedition sent by the King of Giapon, Yoximoto Imagawa in the name of their Emperor, Ogemachi.” Tomas stated introducing the embassy.

“I am Ruggiero, interpreter for His Serenity Alvise Mocegeniro, His Serenity, wishes to offer his gratitude for unexpected arrival and aid of your warriors.” the young man said.

“Please tell His Serenity we are honored.” Tomas said the same words to the rest of the embassy and they gave a formal bow in response.

“Ruggiero, I would like for the opportunity to speak with Tomas myself.”

“Are you certain, Your Serenity?” The younger man asked, slightly taken aback.

“Yes,” Ruggiero had stepped aside.

“Tomas, I hope the embassy has enjoyed the city so far?” Tomas repeated the words to the embassy.

“Benencia is like nothing I have seen before, it is astonishingly beautiful.” Harukata remarked without a hint of contempt.

“I have been to Sakai and see why your traders called it the Benenica of the East. Although I must admit I am unsure if I can call Benencia the Sakai of the West since they seem so different, despite their similarities.” Bansho said.

“Signore, Sebastiano told me about you and your embassy’s exploits I am curious, they were apparently quite used to the ship, and fighting boarding actions. Are their similar such ships and tactics in the land of Giapon?”

“Not originally, the House of Ouche had through fortune and tolerance manage to come by shipwrecks and marooned sailors, and learned how to build and operate ships with their help. The Duke and his men are retainers of this house Ouche As for the fighting style, the Giaponese decide most of their naval battles with boarding actions, and prefer close quarters combat.” Tomas said choosing to omit the more coercive measures brought about by Harukata.

“I see, are the people of Giapon Christian?” The Doge asked.

“A few have seen the light of The Lord Your Serenity, but many remain pagans who follow the teachings of the Boutta whose followers are divided into sects place emphasis on certain teachings, with some incorporating the local gods.”

“Hmm it is slightly disappointing but, better heathens than the Turks." The Doge remarked with a small smile on his face." If you do not mind my asking What exactly would bring these men across the world?”

“A desire for reassurance, as they could see foreign people and foreign faiths as sources of their conflict to their lands, and so wish to learn of them and our faith, and if they are threats. The land of Giapon was much like lands of Germania are now, divided by war and at times torn apart by faith.” Tomas, explained.

“So they seek to prevent such things by visiting these lands for new information?” The Doge assumed.

“Yes, Your Serenity.”

“Then these men need not fear from us, unless they decide on anymore questionable heroics.” The Doge explained as the woman sitting next to him began to lean towards his ear. “My beloved wife wishes to know what sort of cultural arts are practiced within your lands, and what sort of plants grow there.[7]

“The Giaponese enjoy dance, poetry, ceremonial arrangements especially having to do with a drink called Chai, and a game of His majesty’s preference Quemare. Giapon itself as a land with many beautiful flowers and herbs such that they have their own style of medicine called Campo.”[8]

The conversation would continue, but the Tensho embassy would not leave Venice so soon. A conversation had broken out a group of Turkish men within Venice.

“The strangers from Jiaponya are here in this very city. What are we to do?”

“We must visit them and give word to the Sultan himself, before they leave.”

[1] Rome had a problem with criminals and prostitutes, that returned under Gregory XIII.
[2] Pope Gregory XIII born Ugo Boncompagni.
[3] Francisco Cabral
[4] Francisco Cabral was a Jesuit who did not care for adapting to Japanese way as his predecessors did, here he does not do so and gets rebuked by an angry Yoshimoto.
[5] Venice was a city with seven sections, While Sebastiano refers to Sebastiano Venier, who was the Venetian commander at Lepanto, and in OTL a future doge
[6] The Shield Room, occasionally a room for the Doge to receive guests
[7] The woman is the Doge's wife Lordana Marcello, a woman noted for her intelligence and interest in Botany, which saw her worked used as presumably palliative cures during the 1575 plague in Venice. Lordana would have died in 1572, leaving Alvise Mocegeniro depressed as a result.
[8] Japan had it's own take on Chinese herbal medicine called Kampo.
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Should I aim for making any ATL art, ie a western style painting of Sue Harukata? I've admittedly toyed around with the idea, but since I'm limited to pixel art it seems a daunting task, I'd like to put out a new map of the world with my next update, even if I always seem to be apologizing for the lack of a strict schedule on my end.
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Part 39: An Impromptu Meeting, The Tongsinsa of 1574

January 27th, 1574

The Tensho Embassy found themselves faced unexpected visitors. They approached wearing turbans, with modest robes. A man with a gut had slightly stepped forward, but this scene had started to gather many curious onlookers and with them several guards.

"Hello, I would say friend but I am unsure where your people stand with my Sultan. I am Hizir Orhanoglu, I am but a simple merchant, but I had figured myself and my fellow merchants, should find out information about this strangely armed embassy." The man called Hizir had said to Tomas with an accent. [1]

"I must inform Lord Harucata."

"My Lord, these Turuko want to talk to us, they are obviously unsure about our intentions."

"I take it they are not happy about our actions with the Sacred Ikki." Harukata said knowing Tomas reaction, who shot Harukata an annoyed glare. "I will hear them."

Suppressing the urge to sigh, Tomas turned towards the Turuko merchant. "My Lord is willing to listen to your questions."

Upon hearing this a man dressed in armor gathered near the rest of the guards, watching both parties.

"He has my gratitude. If you are a diplomatic mission, why did you assist in a battle against our forces and if the rumors are true kill Occhiali?"

"My Lord was curious as to how our peoples engaged in naval combat and if it was different from their style of combat." Tomas words left Hizir and the impromptu Turkish delegation in stunned silence.

"Is this some form of a perverse joke? You expect me to believe that your embassy sailed near a large naval battle to observe, and close enough to actually be attacked? What is next will your embassy observe conflict on by straying close to it as well, or maybe they are curious if lovemaking is different in this land, instead of their own, will they observe that too?" Hizir's words only caused Tomas to finally sigh, and the crowd that gathered around them to laugh.

"I had tried to stop them from doing something suicidal." Tomas said defensively.

"Clearly they did so regardless. My apologies, but I do not feel you should go any further and lead a church as is your faith's custom, you are clearly a terrible shepherd," Hizir remarked to more laughter from the people around them.

"I grew up in Seville, and could hardly lead my childhood friends. I suppose it was a sign from God that if I were ever to end up shipwrecked in a foreign land only to lead the natives back to my home, that I would be forced to face parts of a great Turkish armada for my lack of charisma."

"It must be true, then God does work in mysterious ways, for I expected to simply trade wears for the Sultan, not play emissary to demon worshiping people who supposedly steal people's souls." Tomas only blinked in response. What exactly is the faith that these people follow, I heard they are either idol worshipers or apparently followers of your faith."

"This is not a simple question to answer. We have made some converts, but they follow both parts of their traditional religion and the teachings of Boutta, and are neither allies or enemies of any of the sovereigns in these lands." Tomas's words had caused Hizir to feel a strange mix of relief and sorrow.

"Priest, why do these Turuko, or just the peoples of these lands in general care so much about what faith we follow?"

"The Turuko are followers of a prophet called Mahouma, it is complicated. They claim to follow the same deity as we do, they even believe in Iesu even if he is not the son of Our Lord we have had much bloodshed between our followers as out late." Harukata had raised an eyebrow before taking a deep breath.

"This is not complicated, this is just foolishness! Harukata shouted. Your peoples fight with one another over what might as well be trivial differences in their own faiths, that seem to spring from close enough sources. At least back home the monks kept their conflicts among themselves, even if it was as pointless as which interpretation of which sutra to follow."

"This 'foolishness' has seen people kidnapped and enslaved!"

"Are you sure that is not just a political struggle given a different face?"

"I refuse to talk more about this subject if you are going to take it so lightly!" Tomas said showing rare anger "Are there any other questions you intended to ask?"

"Yes, do they intend to spread their faith to our lands, or do they have anything better to go spread?"

"My lord wishes to know if your people will spread your faith to their lands, or if they wish to trade with them?"

"My people in particular? No. Although the are other brothers of our faith in other lands who may do so. Have you overstayed your welcome there?" Hizir replied, his last statement, in particular, saw a mocking smile on his face.

"No, My lord finds what he sees as our "enthusiasm" for religiously motivated violence quite foolish."

"I have a few more questions but I would like for you and lord to sign the document we have prepared to bring back to the Sultan." Hizir said carrying a quil and inkwell

"Doesn't this land have a better way to write than just bird feathers?" Harukata remarked.

"No, but truth be told I was never really all that good writing in your script myself." Tomas said in response.

The meeting had ended on amicable enough terms and the Tensho embassy prepared for the last two stops on their journey.

February 20th, 1574

Istanbul, Rumelia Elayet, Ottoman Empire

Solitary laughter had erupted from the Sultans throne room. Sultan Selim with his Grand Vizir Sokollu Mehmed Pasha.

"Curiosity, mere curiosity, an entire fleet lost, not by the will of Allah but because of the insane curiosity of men from the Far East." Sultan Selim said in a semi-delirious state as he stopped laughing.

"That is correct, My Sultan." Hizir had said cautiously. "These Jiaponca have had contacts with the Dhimini, but they are heathens, apparently just idol worshipers with no real concern for what happens here."

"Is that so? It is a bitter comfort that comes from the most unlikely of sources." Selim remarked, "Please see to it, that this man is rewarded." Selim said to his Grand Vizier.

Sokollu Pasha and Hizir had begun to walk away from the throne room. "Thank you, Your Excellency, for hearing me out as more than someone telling tall tales."

"I would expect a merchant to at least be honest most of the time, but I am impressed with your initiative in helping clear up the situation with these strangers nonetheless, as unlikely as it seems. If I may be honest with you this situation has at least taken some worry off the Sultan's mind, that he can deal with more urgent situations." Hizir took Sokollu's comment as a compliment.

"I am uncertain of what news travels through these halls, and I have no time for gossip, trying to compile all of the insane stories on these foreigners were quite daunting in and of themselves. Come what may my father and grandfather were subjects of the house of Osman, and my sons and grandsons will be as well."

"I am reassured to hear about your loyalty, but kind of stories did you have to listen."

"That the Jiaponca worshiped demons, or they a nation of Dhimini brought in to save them from us, and even they steal people's souls through cutting off the head. All they are heathens with a few dhimini converts, and they having come from a war torn land wish to know if we or the infidels intend to cause chaos in their lands."

"Hmph, they have caused enough chaos here." Sokollu remarked on the irony of the Jiaponca mission itself causing that which they wished to avoid in their land in the lands of others.

March 12th, 1574

Muromachi Palace, Kyoto, Yamashiro Province

Shogun Yoshimoto had received guests from Chosen. Yoshimoto had delayed the prospect of asking the Chosen government to send an embassy for at least several years to stabilize the country. However, in this age where the nation would look outward for its own future, it would be prudent to give their western neighbor reassurance. [2]

Before the Shogun stood three men wearing black wide-brimmed hats they were emissaries from Chosen, along with them was an interpreter. They were Hwang Yun-Gun, Kim Seong-Il, and Ho Seung. [2]

"Lord, I present to you on behalf the King Senzo Ki Yungiru, as a chief ambassador with Kimu Son'iru, and Ho Son as vice ambassador and recording secretary." The interpreter said with a little hint of an accent.

"I am glad you accepted my request for an embassy even if it is quite late. Please before we begin negotiations, let us eat, I hope you enjoy the meal some of the food has been made with inspiration from the Nanban."

The Joseon interpreter repeated this to the delegation who raised their eyes in curiosity.

"Hmph should we be insulted they are willing to serve us the food of these Barbarians?" Kim whispered.

"Can we really call them the barbarians, if they at least eat meat?" Hwang asked with a slight smile.

This caused the Korean delegation to share a small chuckle as various meals were presented before them. the meals had ranged from the typical food of the land, rice and various prepared fish, including some that seemed to be covered in a strange shell, as well as tea. All present had begun to eat the food that was prepared for them.

Ho Seung had tried the strange fish and found it quite contradictory in texture if still surprisingly tasty. He turned towards the interpreter to ask the Shogun what kind of food it was.

"If he must know, the dish is tenpura a Nanban recipe, it is quite popular if bland, in my opinion, I prefer our more traditional foods myself, but I hope it is to your liking." [3]

"Ho, says he finds the new food delicious, if strangely contradictory."

The banquet had continued on until all of the participants were finished.

"I trust this meal was to everyone's liking?"

"Yes, they quite enjoyed the meal."

"I am gladdened they approve. I called for this meeting because I wish to offer both my reassurances to your sovereign and trade." Yoshimoto said.

"Then what of these "Red Seal" warriors that can be bought and sold. His Majesty may be concerned" Hwang had asked with a slight tone of suspicion.

While I have lent my approval to have our warriors offer their services abroad, I have no desire to wage war, our land had seen chaotic."

"Then what happens if they take part in a nation's internal struggle, or are even hired by rebellions?" Hwang asked.

"It is part of the reason why I would like to engage in trade, these Red Seal units are soldiers equipped and trained by each clan personally I would not foist off brigands and bandits to other lands, but before they are sent out contracts are to be signed with official representatives. I have no interest in disrupting another nation's internal politics."

When the interpret repeated the Shogun's words Hwang urgently turned towards his co-ambassador and court scribe. "Gentlemen I know we have disagreements on who is pure, but whatever happens we must not let our disputes come down to recruiting Ilbon-eo warriors to solve them." [4]

"Do you believe things will get that bad?" Kim asked, surprised by Hwang's statement.

"No, but I would rather they not if we can help it." Hwang said.

"If I may make a suggestion perhaps we should, at least accept the offer of normalization and trade and report this back to His Majesty."

"Then how should we describe the Ilbon threat?"

"We must at least describe what their sovereign plans to do with this "Red Seal" system. Whether or not he is honest in his intentions we may not know."

"My Lord we thank you for hospitality and we shall make sure His Majesty hears of your offer of trade and good relations." the interpreter said, while the ambassadors bowed.

April 8th,1574

Hanyang, Kingdom of Joseon [5]

The Tongsinsa had returned from Ilban, and made their way to the capital to present their findings to King Seonjo. Along with the King where several ministers including Yi I, Jeong Cheol, and Ryu Seong-ryong. Sitting on a throne was Seonjo himself, a man of only 22 summers of age, who requested the ambassadors present their findings personally. [6]

"Your Majesty." the ambassadors said bowing at the same time.

"What concerning news do you have to report from Ilbon?" The King asked, with Kim motioning Hwang to speak first.

"The sovereign of Ilbon, Yosimoto of the Imagawa clan wants to engage in trade and normalize relations. Yet he is also allowing his countrymen to partake in what can only be called a mercenary system where Ilbon-eo warriors would be trained and equipped by their clans. They would be regulated by carefully worded contracts."

"But we are uncertain if this means they are willing to wage war. Their sovereign says that they do not want conflict and is trying to pacify his own land after a long period of conflict. Perhaps that is why he wants to send them abroad." Kim remarked.

"Very well, what is your opinions." The king had asked.

"This could be a troublesome development, if left unchecked, perhaps we should send more expeditions to Ilbon" Yi I said.

"Your Majesty, perhaps we should invest in defenses, and possible training for new troops to defend the South." said Ryu.

Jeong Cheol stepped forward. "Your Majesty surely we have more to go off on than mere suspicions?"

Annoyance crossed the King's face. "That is enough, the Ilbon-eo could be a threat, if we do not take them seriously. We shall build some defenses in the south, and you three are going to make more frequent visits to Ilbon" the King said referring to the Tongsinsa.

The Ambassador's outwardly smiled, and thanked the King for this new task, for they dared not show the horror that crossed their minds, until they were alone.

[1] There were Turkish merchants in Venice.

[2] These missions where know as Tongsinsa to the Joseon and Tsūshinshi to Japanese were a series of missions between Joseon Korea and Japan of the Ashikaga and Tokugawa. These men were the ambassadors of what would the 1590 Tongsinsa to Japan to gauge Hideyoshi's intentions.

[3] Tempura was one of the many things that made their way from Japan from Europe, Portugal in particular. ATL instead of it coming from Nagasaki, it comes from Yamaguchi instead.

[4] Joseon was plagued by political infighting due to its court culture. At first, there were two factions, the bureaucrats vs the scholars. The scholars eclipsed the bureaucrats but various splits started due to issues with court appointments, in this case, the split has yet to happen is between what would be known the as the Eastern and Western factions. The Westerners were scholars who served during the reign of Myeongjong, (1534-1567), while the Easterners came to power under Seonjo the current king, who saw themselves with as uncorrupt. Hwang Yun Gil was a Westerner, with Kim Seong-Il and Ho Seung as Easterners.

The OTL embassy with Hideyoshi was during a time where both factions really disliked the other and could have either made the Imjin War better or worse for Korea. Hwang believed the Japanese were a threat while Kim believed they were not, Kim's views won out for a time. That would be part of a larger trend of the scholar factions, obstructing, splitting, purging and counter purging against each other.

[5] Modern day Seoul

[6] Seonjo invited many prominent scholars to head the government, these men chief among them.
Part 40: Map of the World 1574
Okehazama World.png

So as far as changes go there's not much.

The Americas: The Incan Empire under Sapa Inca Titu Cusi has actually managed to gain de-facto independence. As a knock-on-effect, the Spanish have lost influence in what would be Chile as well as Peru.

Africa: The Ottomans have been left reeling in North Africa with the loss of the Beys of Algiers and Tripoli from official orbit. the Hafsids and Saadi's have managed to make a few gains at their expense

Europe: The only change is Cyprus is now under the Rule of Yusuf Naci, a personal friend of Sultan Selim, and the only nation both ruled by a Jew and with religious toleration for all.

Asia: With India what was Guarjar in Light Kakhi is now white, having it as a single state did not really do much political justice, then again I can only really do much in India in terms map making given the sheer amount of varying states, especially with no clear hegemon. Gondwana is now Gahra-Mandla and that is Light Khaki.

In East Asia, the Nyugen-Trinh alliance has pushed the Mac Dynasty back to Cao Bang in what would be Vietnam. In response, Mac Mao Hop has turned to the Wanli Emperor for protection.

If there is anything I can do to make the Map better please let me know.
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Part 41: The Sapa Inca Begins to Build a New State, The Return of the Hojo Expedition
January 6th, 1573

Lima, Incan Empire

Lima, seized by the Inca had become something of a temporary capital, even it was not preferred by some traditionalists over Cusco or even Vilcabamba, but it would prove useful for the new state. The Sapa Inca had an Elderly priest brought before him, the man was cleanshaven and wore a black robe with white underneath. The Sapa Inca knew him as Jeronimo de Loayza a Head Priest of this faith the Espankyu brought with them. [1]

"Your Majesty, I am honored to be brought before you in person, what do you request of this humble man of God." The priest had said cautiously.

"Your Blessing, Your Excellency was it?" Those words caused a look of surprise to cross the archbishop's face. "You lead a Suyu of your of faith, but you are not necessarily loyal to the king of Espanyanku?" [2]

"No, but His Holiness may not approve." Jeronimo said with worry clear on his face and in his voice.

"Then I would request a proclamation, I want to inform your faithful they may worship your faith in peace but that I am the sovereign of these lands, they may render what they owe to your god, but in this world, I am their ruler now."

"Your Majesty, do you intend to convert since you seem interested in the world of the Lord?" Jeronimo asked hoping for some kind insight into the heathen emperor's thoughts.

"No, even if your faith has some interesting elements, I still do understand all of it to truly figure out how to incorporate it into our society. Jesus seems to be some kind of son of Viracocha, but why would Viracocha forsake one of his sons to be killed in such a horrifying manner?" Jeronimo considered protesting, but it may have offended the Emperor and he did not wish to risk his wrath for he had heard enough stories of the emperor's quest for vengeance. [3]

"Very well your majesty, but I am glad your willing to keep an open mind, to the word of the Lord." As their conversation ended Jeronimo saw who he knew to be a messenger, and the heathen princes, with ornately dressed Indian women behind them. Did the Sapa Inca marry several of his daughters to these men? I suppose it matters not, I have news to bring to the Pope and His Majesty, who I suppose is no longer my majesty. God give me strength. Jeronimo thought as he had left the room.

The Sapa Inca had requested for Ataw, his newly appointed representative to Yapan.

"I am here as you wished, Sapa Inca." Ataw said.

"Are those ships prepared for the journey?"

"Yes, Sapa Inca, I am more concerned for some of the crew that you plan to send your daughters included, I hope they are prepared for the journey. traveling to Yapan involves crossing rough waters, and it will take almost half of a year." Ataw's words gave the Sapa Inca cause to worry.

"Will they be able to make it back to Yapan safely?" The Sapa Inca

'We still have good navigators, to navigate the seas, and we are still stocking on the necessary supplies. I hope I can keep communication between your daughters and their husbands to be understandable. Although I must admit, their leader will not be amused by this turn of events, I may find my life at risk for these events are all my doing."

"I am certain you could explain this situation as to avoid the wraith of this Supreme Commander and you are now an emissary of our people and I doubt the princes would let you get killed."

"I can only hope so," Ataw said unsure of what would happen.

March 27th, 1573

Oe Maru

The Oe Maru was out at sea and leading the remaining four ships towards home, the Ouchi Maru was to their knowledge still in Berucruzu. Hojo Ujinori and his brothers had gotten to know their new wives, while Ataw was joined by several Incan courtiers to record the mission including those that had descended from those who married the foreign invaders. The Incan party of 24 was held in a section of the crew quarters.

Kusi Sisa sat with her sisters, Qispi Nina, and Sami Aichik. [4]

"I am unsure what I hate more the fact we are to be sent off to foreign lands, or this awful journey itself?" Kusi said having felt sick looking at the waves.

"I will not forgive Ataw for this, even if his actions have driven the invaders back, If I had wanted to be married, we could have stayed in Cusco." Qispi Nina said.

"At least my husband gave me lovely poetry." Sami said trying to brighten the mood.

"That you cannot even read, and that he probably had help with." Qispi said with a wry smile across her face.

"How would you know?" Sami asked with a mixture of defensiveness and curiosity.

"I saw him talking with one of his brothers, My husband to be exact, who apparently found yours to be lacking in skill and laughed as he read it aloud."

"Hmph, as long he does not need help with other things I could care less." Sami remarked with a smile on her as Kusi gave her a revolted look.

"Sister please, I came down here to not feel sick." Kusi remarked as her sisters laughed. "Their diet is enough to get used to, I have heard they do not eat meat, and subsist off fish and this gohan which reminds me of kinuwa, along with other things from the sea." [5]

"It is not as strange as their clothing, the designs look simple, and there are few colors to them, and they do not seem to have much in the way of ornamentation." Sami remarked

As their conversation continued, the other end of the Incan quarters saw several men huddled together they had lighter skin and facial hair.

"Sir Martin I cannot believe your Uncle had sent us here." one of the men had said.

"We should be thankful we are not killed as traitors because of our fathers."

"My Uncle has bemoaned the Indian peoples and their lack of writing, he sees a use for even if some deem us half-blooded mongrels," The man named Martin said staring bitterly at the women, one of whom gave a bitter look back. [6]

July 10th, 1573

Odawara Castle, Sagami Province

Momentous news had reached the Hojo Clan, their warriors had returned from the Far West. However such news bore strange and ill tidings, the sons of Hojo Ujiyasu came back with foreigners, but they were red-skinned and looked nothing like the Nanban, and claimed to have an ambassador with them. Hojo Ujitada and his brothers, their wives and Ataw had arrived in the main hall of Odawara Castle.

"My Sons, I am pleased you have made it home safely," Ujiyasu said with a small smile. "However, these reports are concerning, you bring back foreigners, including an ambassador and who are these women?" Ujiyasu's tone grew sharper If they are what I think they are I can only be disappointed, hmph you travel across the world to put down some rebellion, and come back with some women, the person who hired you, and other red-skinned foreigners?"

"M-M-M My Lord," Ataw said, his as the color started to leave his skin.

"Well, what is it?" Ujiyasu said impatiently.

"They were not sent to put it down, but to help it succeed." Ataw said to a mix of silent retainers including other sons of Ujiyasu and Ujiayasu's growing anger, as his hand began to hover over his blade. "They succeeded. My liege an Emperor from the west, the Son of the Son God Inti, has sent me as an ambassador and three of his daughter as wives for your sons. A look of shock and anger crossed Ujiyasu's face.

"You ignorant, lucky, fool! You had better hope Yoshimoto does have you killed for this!" Ujiyasu took a deep breath. "We will be heading to Sunpu to see the Shogun, and we are to leave in three days." Ujiyasu said trying to compose himself. "I can only hope for your sake this has not jeopardized the Ouchi clans envoy, although I would not weep tears at Harukata's death." Ujiyasu said before turning towards his sons with a sadder expression. "I sincerely apologize for my suspicions and comments to your wives." With Ujiyasu making a bowing gesture before turning towards his sons. "Our name is at risk, we were the ones who first tested this new system, to sail across the seas and fight in foreign lands and what have we to show for it? You were deceived into aiding a rebellion."

"Father if I may say so?" Ujitada interjected hoping to calm his father down.

"Very well, my son."

"We were deceived into helping revive an empire. It all depends on perspective. Whatever may come we must make sure the Shogun refines this system, so that nothing like this ever happens again."

UJiyasu only sighed. "I can only hope the Shogun sees it that way."

July 16th, 1573

Sunpu Palace, Suruga Province

The Hojo delegation had entered Sunpu to much speculation and fanfare. Upon entering Sunpu Palace proper they received an audience with the Shogun, to explain their situation.

"Am I to understand, that you willingly misled these men to what could have their deaths, for an idea even your leader had no knowledge of?" Yoshimoto remarked, seeing how what could be a more 'productive' use for some of this land's warriors was blatantly used in a way he did not consider.

"Yes Lord." Ataw said meekly.

"So now this Saipa Inka desires official relations with us, giving you a mission here and sending three of his daughters married off to the sons. All the while, we know nothing of what has happened with expedition across the seas." Yoshimoto said, his sharp glare being the only feature on his face betraying anger before he turned towards Ujitada. "Did you and your warriors have any chance to reverse this misfortune?" Yoshimoto said wonder if the Hojo had added this rebellion on purpose.

"No, My Lord. We were led to a large Yinca force and left with little option but to help take the city of Rima, so we were sent to a mock a battle to gain their trust. Even if we decided to reveal their plan they could have surrounded the city. As far as we were concerned we sent from what was called a rebellion to, a war, our only concern was survival. It was not as if we had betrayed our actual employer." Ujitada said giving Ataw a small look.

"Then that settles it, any future Red Seal units must be upheld to a strict written agreement, if it is broken then they are to leave. As for this Saipa Inca, we will tolerate this embassy, but we are by no means allies even if he owes his victory to men from our land."

"I understand Lord. This scheme of mine has not endeared to me to many of those that had traveled with me to this land, Lord Ujimasa or his family, or to you. I desire to be fully honest during my time as an ambassador. The Saipa Inca does not expect an alliance but is fascinated by your land."

"How so?" Yoshimoto was curious as to what these Yinca could possibly know of them.

"I have told the Sapa Inca of how your land's emperor is also the descendant of a sun deity, and that there are many mountains in your lands, similar to ours." Ataw said hoping to raise the Shogun's interest The Saipa Inca is also curious about the larger world. Before my time, the Land of the Four Realms knew very little outside of it. Now there is an entire world across the seas that from experience we know is not friendly, but now we have a chance to experience it. Provided the greed of the Lord of Ezpana can be tamed." Yoshimoto kept an interested but neutral expression.

"Then may you be a better ambassador then you are a merchant, for you risk expulsion from this land if another incident occurs."

"Understood, Lord." Ataw said before he moved towards one of the men who looked at him with anticipation.

"Honored ambassador," the man said with no hint of reverence. "What did this King say."

"Sir Martin, Yoximoto, their King is displeased with us but will allow us to stay provided we do not make another offense. I can give you the exact wording later."

The Incan delegation waited for the Hojo to be allowed to leave, and would proceed to stay several days in the seat of Imagawa power.

[1] This man was the Archbishop of Lima.

[2] A Suyu is a province or administrative division, at least how the Inca would understand the divisions of the Catholic Church. The Incan Empire was known as Tawantinsuyu or land of the four regions.

[3] I'm toying around with the idea of syncretic faith of the Inca and Christianity, maybe with some aspects of Shinto thrown in. Viracocha was the original supreme god of the Incan pantheon, who created the world, and was used to help reconcile the mainstream Incan faith and Christianity. Inti the sun god, or at least who represented aspects of the sun, was Viracocha's son.

[4] These women are fictional. I'm not certain if Titu Cusi had issue, even considering the Inca did practice polygamy.

[5] Gohan is any cooked rice dish, while Kinuwa is Quinoa which grew in the Andes region was apart of the Incan diet along with meat and seafood depending on the region.

[6] This man is Martin Alonso de Ampuero, his mother was Quispe Sisa an Incan princess who married Pizzaro and helped the Spanish win the Battle of Lima. He and the Incan princesses share Huayna Capac as a common ancestor, as a grandfather to Martin, and a Great-grandfather to the Princesses.

This chapter idea came to me as something to bridge the gap, because it occurred to me with the Korean chapter Yoshimoto referred to the Red Seal system as if it had already been tested when it occurred to me the Hojo forces should be home by then. The Incan state I'm conceiving of is naturally going to have some Spanish elements incorporated into it. Next Chapter I want to dive into France, England, and the situation in Dai Viet.
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Part 42: The Tensho Expedition in France and England, The Twelfth Emperor's Plot.
March 8th, 1574

Paris, France

The Tensho Expedition had finally made its way into Pari, along with them was a local priest named Yuyustace who acted as an interpreter in Furansugo. Their arrival was expected and they were led to the Tairureisu palace near a river called the Senu. They had heard rumors of violence and unrest plaguing parts of the country and had seen several fights break out during their stops along the coast. [1]

The expedition was led towards a long and narrow building, that seemed less impressive then what they had seen in prior lands. They entered the building and were directed to towards the throne room. However, they heard shouting that was unintelligible to most of them.

"We are willing to recognize His Majesty's son as King, yet His Majesty must respect our faith. We have heard the stories of conflict here." the man said with a thicker accent.

"Likewise we have heard the stories of repression over there."

"Ahem, if you would excuse us, I do not know if you are ministers or minstrels," Yuystache said causing both to turn around with a sneer on their faces, but their sneers were soon turned to shock. "We are embassy on behalf of the King of Iapon. We are to see the Royal Majesties."

Both men had led the embassy towards the Court.

Francois II sat upon his throne, his health was better in recent years, next to him was his wife, Marie, with their children two sons Henri and Jacques a daughter Anne, with his mother and the Henri Duke of Guise, as well as the Count de Arran, and his sister-in-law in Catherine attendance as well. Supposedly he was supposed to receive an embassy from the land of Japon, from what could be gathered they came from a nation from the Far East and their king was curious about the world had sent them here. Francis only hoped that these pagans, would not add on to his already considerable troubles, his "dear" brother in law Charles the banished dauphin of Espagne wanted his and his cousin-in-law Elizabeth's support. [2]

However, his musing stopped as he saw the sight in front of him strange men with yellow skin, black hair, and brown eyes, although even stranger he noticed a man with skin color close to his and a man with dark brown skin among them. Most of the men wore robes, some with various symbols on them, while some in the back wore armor. They did not wear shoes but some kind of wooden footwear with a divider between their toes. The one who looked to be their leader wore a strange form of armor that came in many colors, that seemed to be a mixture of cloth and metal and wore black headgear with a white sash tied around it. Their hairstyles varied some wore their hair in top knots, a few had hair past their shoulders, and several had the center of their heads shaved.

A priest had stepped forward bowing' Your Majesties, I am Eustace I present to you Duke Suay Harucata in the name of the House of Ouche, and the King of Iapon, Yochimoto of the House of Imagawa. The man known as Harucata had bowed along with the rest of his followers.

"Tell them that I welcome them and that I hope your journey has been pleasant. I have heard many stories of your embassy, and hope to find out more about your people." Francois saw a second priest start speaking in a language he had never heard before, only for one who he assumed was Harucata to reply back. The Second priest had started talking in what Francois had recognized as Latin "Lord Harucata says likewise."

"I am glad this Lord is interested if you do not mind my interjection." Francois said with a small smile to the second priest's shock.

"Your Majesty, I am sorry, I have no knowledge of French and would find it rude to impose, I am Tomas. I was sent along with this embassy from the lands of House Ouche in the province of Nagato." a few whispers had broken out, while Francois had raised an eyebrow.

"You have been to this land of Iapon?" Francois said with a more surprised to his face. "How exactly are they governed?"

"Each province in Iapon governed by a great lord and his descendants, these noble families are flexible about their leadership, the head of a family may retire and let one of his sons take over. Their great lords have smaller noble families or collateral branches, that serve as retainers and owe their allegiance to them. These Great Lords answer to the King, who is below their Emperor, but in reality, the king holds the power of the state." Tomas had explained.

"Interesting, what exactly did your peoples wish to learn from us?" Francois said.

"My Lord has heard of the conflict between various nations such as yours, and the House of Hapsburg, and is curious to what it means."

"What do they know of the religious conflicts of late?"

"They know of the divisions between us." Tomas said making note of both Catholics and the followers of Luther and Calvin in court. They do not wish to see such conflicts spread to their land because their own faith had smaller-scale conflicts. The Iaponese follow the teaching of the wiseman known as the Boutta depending on the location various temples housed sects dedicated to following some aspect of the Boutta's teaching, some that incorporate local gods. These temples are closer to the Calvinists in that they have no head authority save the local priest. The land of Iapon was so war-torn that even these priests took up arms and they turned their temples into strongholds, and mustered armies among their congregations and priests, carrying all manner of arms." Tomas last remark drew some laughter from Francois

"A mighty fortress is our god, yet their gods or god have their own fortresses," Francois said in a singsong voice. "I am glad things have not yet gotten to that point here. Tell them that Hapsburgs are a Catholic family who rule powerful realms, they are seen as a powerful ally to the Grand Abbot, but they have enemies in other Catholics, especially in me for they have land that should be rightfully mine. You've come to a land in rather difficult times." [3]

"This Hapusuburugo clan is powerful that they are considered a threat by many believer and non-believer alike. It is not unlike home, save for the fact they have the backing of the Chief Abbot, and that they rule over of many different people, The Orandese, the Ezpana, the various peoples of Italria, Osutoria, and, Hangari. They the led the Scared Ikki against the Turuko, however, we would only have to concern ourselves with Firipu of Ezpana, which all things considered he seems to tolerate us." [4]

Francois noticed the Count of Arran, move slightly forward, and begin to speak.

"I would like to ask the Duke, if he or his people have any preference for the word of the Lord, regardless of creed." The Count's words drew a sharp look from the Duke of Guise.

"These men, in particular, do not care for either creed. One lord remarked that the only good things that came from us were our guns, our ships, and tempura. What happened in the Gulf of Patras was unintended, by the time we arrived the Turks were already losing. The Duke's lord, the Lord Ouche and his family where long-time patrons of the church. However other lords have not been so receptive."

"I see, that will give some people reassurances." Francois said.

"Am I to assume these men have been seen as some form of a story like Prestor John? Some lost bastion of the faithful out to strike at the heathens, and as of recent heretics? The King had sent us on a mission to learn, not to take sides in these conflicts."

Francois had inwardly felt more relaxed, the Ecossais were insistent that if Henri were to become king their choice of faith would have to be respected, at least the Count could relay this information back home, lest they believe he would use these foreigners to somehow force them to be Catholic. Francois had noticed the Iaponese had brought chests with them and had proceeded to move them forward. [5]

"His majesty Yoximoto wishes to offer you various gifts from his land." Tomas had said as two members of the embassy had brought out what appeared to a suit of armor, two swords, two sets of drinking vessels, a bow and quiver along with what appeared to be a small ball.

Francois stood up to looked at what was given to him. The armor was black with what appeared to be red cloth wrapped around some parts of the armor, which itself seemed comprised of plates and chainmail armor. The sets of drinking vessels were different in coloration, one set had solid colors, while the other appeared to have been broken and repaired with gold between the pieces. Tomas had noticed the king staring at the set with gold between the cracks.

"I hope you do not mind the Iaponese call it Kinsuge, they see the beauty in things that are transient, this is a more recent style of art that arisen in their country." [6]

"It is fascinating, even if I am curious as to what may be drunk in them here," Francis remarked.

"They have a drink called Chai, although I supposed any liquid will suffice. The only other gift of note is this Quemari ball, which is a pastime of the King and his heir. It is a non-competitive sport, were using only their legs knees, back, and head they keep this ball up in the air between multiple people."

"Please tell his majesty, he has my thanks for these gifts. However, I am feeling ill at ease, from no fault of your or this expedition and would like to retire." Francis said in a slightly tired voice attracting stares from. Please feel free to stay for as long as you need to. Francois said slowly standing up.

"I understand your majesty I shall inform the Duke and his men." Tomas said before turning back towards the delegation.

"It seems his Majesty is unwell and wishes to take his leave. He hopes you are not offended."

"We are not. I figured he seemed unwell. So now we are to visit this Reienai Erisabesu, as strange as this concept is."

When Francois had begun to move toward his chambers he had motioned for both the Count of Arran and Duke of Guise to join him, and Marie had moved close to join him.

"My Love, are you alright?"

"Yes," Francois said in a normal tone of voice. "I only wished to send out a message to your cousin before this embassy left for Angleterre." Francois said to Marie looking at the Count of Arran. "Lord Arran, I know you intend to head back home, could you please send this message to Her Majesty in England.

"I shall Your Majesty, I just hope this does not become habitual, I did not come here to play courier."

"You have my thanks. Tell her majesty we have nothing to fear from the Heroes of Giapon, they are not allies of the Hapsburgs, and I wish her luck in dealing with Charles."

March 17th, 1574

London, Kingdom of England

Queen Elizabeth sat awaiting the embassy from Japon to arrive she had received the news from the Earl of Arran. They were a curiosity to many if a deadly one if their actions in the Medditarrean and rumored actions in the New World were to be believed. Along with her was her son Gustav, Nils his tutor. William Cecil and Francis Walsingham. Along with them were three of the five rulers of Ireland she intended to have rule the Provinces of Ireland The Earl of Ulster Shane O'Neil, The Two Gerald's as Elizabeth remembered them the Earls of Kildare and Desmond. Much to her chagrin, Gus had taken to Earl O'Neil, apparently liking his boisterous nature. The Archbishop of Canterbury was the last to arrive before the delegation made their way to London. [7]

Before Elizabeth stood a man wearing a Catholic priest's robe, drawing a chilled expression from most present in the room. The looks of disdain turned to looks of surprise as all present began to see the embassy behind the man. They had mostly yellow skin save two, only one of whom seemed to be able to not stick out, with the other one having dark brown skin. As far she could see most of them wore robes with various crests aborning them, their leader, and several others wore armor and carried two swords across their waists, even their choice of hairstyles were strange to the court.

"You stand, before Her Majesty Elizabeth by the Grace of God Queen of England, France, Ireland, and Sweden, Defender of the Faith

"Your Majesty I am Tomas, an interpreter on of behalf of Duke Harucata Suay, who was sent by His Majesties the King of Giapon, Yoximoto of the House of Imagawa and the Emperor Ogemache. I thank you for allowing us to visit your Court." The man named Tomas had said.

"I am honored that your embassy would seek to visit us, although I must admit being curious as to why."

"His Majesty Yoximoto wished for us to visit the most important states of these lands, having heard about them from the foreigners that arrived in his lands. While His Majesty does not believe anything significant will come of this embassy he does wish to keep his nation aware of the wider world."

"You are a priest, and you interpret for this expedition, do the people of Giapon hold any reverence for the His Holiness's views?"

"No, while our missions did reach this land of Giapon, they found little success they are largely heathens. Each province in the land of Japan was ruled by various noble families, who each had their own laws, until his majesty. Only the Lord of the house of Ouche backed the Church, these men are his men, but only a few themselves are Christian. His Majesty has made it explicitly clear that he does not intend to choose a side with our faith, nor allow such conflicts to spread to his land."

"His Majesty takes a cautious stance. I have learned that this embassy's land had suffered from violent insurrections, even revolts lead by priests." Elizabeth remarked.

"I suppose nothing could stop one of the more interesting stories from reaching you. Yes, the faith of the Giaponese is decentralized, each branch of their faith has to be accepted by their King or their Emperor. However, when civil strife engulfed the nation, various temples looked to their own defenses, and one branch even attracted popular uprisings. It was a time when local lords held most of the power in the land and the king was weak."

"Then how did His majesty overcome this situation?" Elizabeth asked.

"The King in question was not His Majesty. The King of Japan is not like most Kings, the king owes his power the various lords of the provinces, and the prior family of kings, the Ashecaga were left powerless, as the various nobles followed their own laws while paying lip service to the King. In order to be considered King a family had to trace their lineage to the house of Minamoto and by extension the Saywa Emperor. His Majesty's the House of Imagawa was one such family, and had led his army to oust the previous king. The Emperor himself approved of the change as he saw as a chance for the return of Imperial authority, so it is not seen as a usurpation."

"It is not an all too unfamiliar of a story." Elizabeth said noting how it did not seem too different from her own family's rise to power.

Elizabeth noted she situation of Giapon was a bit too familiar for her liking perhaps, there could be something gained if someone was sent to this distant land. She had heard of a young man with an interest in navigation, who had finished his education at Oxford and was temporarily in London before planning to return. Elizabeth noticed the Duke whispering to Tomas.

"Your Majesty the Duke is curious as to why you are ruler to one land, yet married to the ruler of another? He is curious if it is some common trend in this land, as such a thing would be impossible in their lands."

"It is not common, but an extraordinary circumstance of the times." Elizabeth remarked not wanting to cause controversy, over those still sore about her marriage in the first place. An idea had quickly formed in Elizabeth's mind. "Would the Duke mind if we sent an emissary of our own along back with you?"

"Thomas raised an eyebrow before sighing. "My lord, Her Majesty wishes to send an emissary along with us, this may present us with problems if the Spanish intend to search our ship. Religiously I am not comfortable with this idea of letting heretics visit and spread their ideas, but I supposed that matters little."

"We are not here to smuggle goods, who we take along on our way back is none of their affairs. As long as it is not too many people it is fine, they may be in our land for at least several years. If any of your fellow priests have not made a noticeable impact, what a can few of them do?"

"Cause unrest or at least conflict when they arrive." Tomas's words were brisk and sharp, while Elizabeth could not understand them, perhaps this angered the man.

"On their own accord or due to provocation? Either way, this would fit with Yoshimoto's desires." Harukata said with all intent of ending the discussion.

"The Duke accepts, but only a few people can be brought along." Tomas finally replied

"Very well, Please inform his lordship we will look to gather the right people within a few days." Elizabeth replied

Elizabeth was presented with a series of gifts some that seemed for the most part novel. After the embassy had taken their leave. She approached by William Cecil, however before he could speak a familiar if more solemn voice.

"Your Majesty, my son has a request." It was the Earl of Ulster.

"What is his request?" Elizabeth asked as a young man stepped forward.

"Your Majesty I would like to volunteer for this embassy. These people from what I can tell seem quite similar in some respects to the people of our land, and if I may be so bold my religious background could at least keep any clergy in Giapon from getting too suspicious." The young man said.

"Who are you?" Elizabeth asked, knowing Shane had many sons

"I am Hugh, MacShane, your majesty." the young man replied kneeling. [8]

Elizabeth sensed an opportunity. "I am placing you in charge of this mission to Giapon, its purpose is to generate goodwill and learn more about these people. If anyone is to you are to present yourself as a scion of the house of O'Neil, an important family in the administration of the Kingdom of Ireland on my behalf. This mission will not have many people with you, so remain cautious."

"I am honored, Your Majesty."

"Your Majesty, is this a wise idea?" Shane asked, worried but not trying to overtly question Elizabeth's order.

"Yes, it will allow a much clearer view of our realm to be presented to the King of Giapon in case the Habsburgs do want to use them as foreign soldiers. I have faith in your son." Elizabeth responded hoping to keep Shane at ease. Elizabeth had dismissed her court, but William Cecil remained.

"Your Majesty, I must echo the Earl's sentiments." Cecil remarked in a confused tone

"There might be a way to finally keep Ireland under control if we can learn from anything from Giapon."

"You think elements of their administration would work in Ireland?"

"It might, it at least allows us to prevent any ill rumors being spread about us, and gain more information on this New World if they must travel through Spanish Ports, and it could provide goodwill with our Irish subjects.

Three men were walking down the Pool of London with a small cart of supplies, one with a noble bearing, next to a man him with a humble, but frantic look about him, and behind them a gruff but armored warrior carrying a large sword. They reached the ship there were supposed to be board.

"Why would Her Majesty choose me of all people? I wanted to learn more about navigation, and now Her Majesty sees me fit to go travel with the son an Irish Earl to visit the land of these Giaponese." The frantic man said only getting a sharp look from the armored man, and a shrug from the noble. "If this land is supposedly like your own, Lord could you have not just gone home?"

"You can just call me Hugh, Well Richard, It would not have made sense, much like you wanting to study navigation and voyages yet unwilling to undergo to experience a voyage of your own?" the Earl's son said getting a small chuckle from the armored man behind them. "Besides, think of the tales and information you could tell the Skinner's not to mention everyone else in the realm." Hugh said trying to cheer the young man up.[9]

Tomas was near the gangplank of the Fotunado. When he had seen three men with a cart make their way towards them. He only recognized one of the men, he looked young with red hair, brown eyes, and a small beard. He must have been some kind of nobleman. The man looked at him with recognition and a small smile.

"Mr. Tomas was it. I am Hugh son of Shane, of the house of O'Neil. I am honored that the Duke would allow us to come along." As if on cue Shane saw the Duke come into view behind Tomas. "With me are is my retainer Cathan son of Manus, and Richard Hakluyt." Shane saw Tomas then speak with the Duke.

"The Duke welcomes you aboard, you are to be sleeping in the foreigner's cabin on the ship, at least this part of the journey." Tomas said as two guards came over to bring them to the cabin. Once inside they saw two other men, in a cabin that had enough space.

"Hello I am Diogo and this is Luis." One of the men said unsure if they could be understood.

"I am Hugh son of Sean, of House of O'Neil. Technically I am a son of a Lord, but you need not adopt any formalities, This man behind me is Cathan he does not speak Latin." Sean replied.

"Well met, I am Richard Hakluyt of Hereford."

"If this is your first journey across the seas, You have a lot of things to worry about. I was lucky to survive a shipwreck in Camboja past the East Indies long after I lost sight in my right eye." Richard could hardly hold his enthusiasm. [10]

"You went to the East Indies?" Richard asked with excitement.

"Yes, even to the land of the Moors south of my homeland Portugal and Spain. A good ship is fine, but good sense is better. The last thing you want to do is anger too many of the natives, cannons are only helpful if you are far away from them and on a ship. I've never been to the Americas myself but I supposed it is the same there.

This conversation continued as the Fortunado made its way out of London.

May 8th, 1574

Dong Kinh, Kingdom of Dai Viet

The air around the recently recaptured capital was thick. Despite the Mac usurpers being forced on the run to the Ming, Emperor Le Anh Tong did not feel any less like a figurehead, as he sat on his throne as if it were but a mere chair, for that it is what it might have well been. The Trinh and Nguyen families still held power, and he feared they could easily have him replaced, after all, they fight for their own power in the guise of serving the nation, and they control the armies. What could he possibly do in this situation? Was he supposed to be nothing more than a prisoner in a golden cage, instead of an actual ruler? The Emperor's thoughts were disturbed by the arrival of a servant. [11]

"Your Majesty please forgive the interruption." the man said bowing, as the emperor's uncaring expression remained on his face.

"It does not matter, there is no need to trouble yourself with ceremony. What news do you bring?" The emperor asked in a monotone expression.

"I only bring this letter from the young man you sent to investigate the trade ship from Nhat Ban." the man said handing the letter to the Emperor, before leaving. [12]

Dearest Father,

I have found a most peculiar ship from the land of Naht Ban, they wish to offer us trade goods, and more importantly a special service. The Naht Ban have been rumored to be a land of warriors and seek to maintain peace in their lands but sending some of these warriors abroad. We could use men, not because our people lack martial spirit, but because they could be loyal in defending the state against the usurper in Cao Bang and any other like-minded ilk. However we must use caution for this could undo us all if we are not careful in using these warriors to their utmost potential, for they use all manner of weapons at their disposal as well as a supposed willingness to follow their master into death.

Sincerely, Your most daring son,
Le Nganh

A smile had now crossed the Emperor's face, perhaps he found the nation's, and his salvation after all. However his son was right, one wrong move could see him killed, they would not say he was killed, perhaps he would die in an accident or he lost the will to live and committed suicide. His countrymen could be worse vipers than the meddlesome Ming to the North. [13]

[1] More localization France, the Tuileries Palace the current royal residence in France at this time period and the Seine River.

[2] With Francis II surviving and having an heir or three, the future of France and Scotland is uncertain. France's division are not as bloody OTL but there is no clear outcome, largely because what to do with Reformation is something that I'm trying to work out. The Count of Arran, better known as the Earl of Arran, was a key Protestant figure in Scotland. The Duke of Guise a member of powerful catholic Guise family.

[3] A joking reference to the famous hymn by Martin Luther

[4] The lands of Italy, Austria and Hungary.

[5]The Essocais are the Scots. Scotland was a staunchly Reformed kingdom.

[6] Kintsugi was a recent for the time, style. Japanese saw imperfections and flaws as something that should be embraced, so some broken tea sets were mended with gold.

[7] Francis Walshingham was Elizabeth's secretary and her spymaster. The Two Geralds are both Gerald Fitzgerald. One the 11th Earl of Kildare, the other the 15th Earl of Desmond.

[8] Hugh O'Neil is Hugh Gaveloch O'Neil, a son of Shane O'Neil. Not to be confused with the Hugh O'Neil who fought Nine Years War and killed this Hugh O'Neil.

[9] While Cathan is fictional, Richard Hakluyt was an English writer and a student of navigation with a strong interest in colonizing the America's here he's much younger and has not gotten his Master's yet, but he's taking William Adam's place as first Englishman in Japan.

[10] Luis de Camoes was wounded in Morrocco and shipwrecked in Cambodia managing to preserve his epic The Lusiadas.

[11] The Le Dynasty of Dai Viet was in its later years, a figurehead to the real power of the Trinh and Nguyen families and their armies.

[12] Vietnamese for Japan.

[13] How Emperor Le Anh Tong was killed in OTL.

I apologize if this has been one slow burn of a timeline. I've been trying to keep the embassy not so repetitive, but I've been at a loss on what to do with the Reformation.
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You know, while the delegation is in England, it might be nice if they watched one of the local plays, since this is around Shakespeare's time, when not only the bard but plenty of others were producing plays. It would be interesting to see their thoughts on the structure of the plays, as well as the actual plot and content of a play, since a lot of them draw on mythical and historical elements of Western civilization.
Just caught up, pretty interesting set up with Japan joining the exploration/trading game. Don't know much about Japanese history, so this TL has also helped me brush up on what little I learned from the original Shogun Total War game.
You know, while the delegation is in England, it might be nice if they watched one of the local plays, since this is around Shakespeare's time, when not only the bard but plenty of others were producing plays. It would be interesting to see their thoughts on the structure of the plays, as well as the actual plot and content of a play, since a lot of them draw on mythical and historical elements of Western civilization.
I have considered actually using what happened at the Gulf of Patras for an ATL Othello, or even an adaption of it, considering Othello takes place during the Ottoman invasion of Cyprus. I have also considered a more Japanese inspired King Leer or something close to it, basically a reverse Ran. Aside from that, I may want to experiment with Japanese plays like Atsumori making their way westward, although seeing some aspects of Western theatre come to Japan is interesting considering plays about the lives of rulers or even certain conflicts like Tenbun and Shinano disturbances. I've considered tying in Shakespeare himself, but he was only active from 1585 and was baptised in 1564, so he would only be 9 by the time the embassy arrived.

Just caught up, pretty interesting set up with Japan joining the exploration/trading game. Don't know much about Japanese history, so this TL has also helped me brush up on what little I learned from the original Shogun Total War game.
I'm glad it can be some value. Japanese history for this period does tend to focus far too much the Eastern clans, like the Oda, Hojo, Takeda, Uesugi, and Tokugawa. Hell, the Original Shogun basically makes Eastern Japan pushovers, when the Shimazu and Mori would have to contend with likes of the Ouchi, Otomo, Ryzuoji, Amago, Chosokabe, Miyoshi and Ukita clans. Hell one of my contained POD's which might be cheating is the Mori defeat at Itsukushima, which basically left them as subjects of the Ouchi. Shogun II is at least better in the representation of clans.
Interesting and unusual TL.

I think that with the loss of part of the Inca Empire could be very probable the reprioritization of the exploration and colonization of the 'peripheral' areas bigger than OTL. Especially those belonging to the Southern Cone seaboard and the Río de la Plata or even the Amazonas basins. Given that through the Uruguay and Paraná and its watersheds (which belong to the former) would allow to the colonists and/or the willing to would be conquerors Spaniards both in their recently formed territories of 'Terra firma' (Province of Terra Firme) and/or in Spain/Iberian Peninsula (officials,as well as, at least, some of the royal advisers, for America...I think that would have been the chance that be established the aim reach the Andean region (with its now its both mythical or rumored and known to has great riches) and, given time, to connect the areas of Spanish/Iberian settlements.

Finally, I think that the Japanese after the naval battle and with the news and rumors that would be spreading from the European courts; they probably would be considered as enemies of the Ottoman Empire. Besides that with the confirmation, through the embassy, that (aside China) there is an european level power in the Far East. I would expect that, given enough time, a greatly increase of the European interest and of course for the great powers the will to attempt to set up a commercial relation with the East and the Empire of Japan.
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Interesting and unusual TL.

I think that with the loss of part of the Inca Empire could be very probable the reprioritization of the exploration and colonization of the 'peripheral' areas bigger than OTL. Especially those belonging to the Southern Cone seaboard and the Río de la Plata or even the Amazonas basins. Given that through the Uruguay and Paraná and its watersheds (which belong to the former) would allow to the colonists and/or the willing to would be conquerors Spaniards both in their recently formed territories of 'Terra firma' (Province of Terra Firme) and/or in Spain/Iberian Peninsula (officials,as well as, at least, some of the royal advisers, for America...I think that would have been the chance that be established the aim reach the Andean region (with its now its both mythical or rumored and known to has great riches) and, given time, to connect the areas of Spanish/Iberian settlements.

Finally, I think that the Japanese after the naval battle and with the news and rumors that would be spreading from the European courts; they probably would be considered as enemies of the Ottoman Empire. Besides that with the confirmation, through the embassy, that (aside China) there is an european level power in the Far East. I would expect that, given enough time, a greatly increase of the European interest and of course for the great powers the will to attempt to set up a commercial relation with the East and the Empire of Japan.
The Embassy had made an effort to try and curb the rumors, especially because there are some powers that really do not care for Hapsburg ascendency. I have started with some European interest in Japan, right now it is small scale. Reprioritization is a possibility for Spain's colonies, I supposed the increased attention could offset being separated from a tenuous connection to the rest of Spain's New World colonies.
Should I aim for making any ATL art, ie a western style painting of Sue Harukata? I've admittedly toyed around with the idea, but since I'm limited to pixel art it seems a daunting task, I'd like to put out a new map of the world with my next update, even if I always seem to be apologizing for the lack of a strict schedule on my end.
Yes! You absolutely should!
Part 43: The Death of Takeda Nobutora, The Ming Intervene in the South
May 7th, 1574

Tsutsujigasaki Palace, Kai Province

A solemn affair had gathered many to the Castle of the Takeda. Takeda Nobutora had fallen ill and was close to death. The Imagawa, Hojo, Oda and various clans from Shinano had made their way to visit the former lord of the Takeda to pay their final respects. Nobutora was surrounded by his grandchildren, including the young lord of the Oda.

"It warms an old man's heart like mine to see so many fine young men among my family. Especially since many of you are leaders in your own right."

"Grandfather you honor us."

"You don't need my praise, for you know it in your own hearts." Nobutora said softly.

"You never said such things to me, Grandfather." Nobutada said with mock outrage, causing some in the room to laugh.

"That it is because you will always be a brat to me." Nobutora said to even more laughter.

However, watching from a distance was Takeda Shingen an almost forlorn look on his face.

"Brother are you alright?" Nobushige asked.

"I figured I would never see him again, and yet here he is almost on his deathbed."

"Father? You have not spoken to him since the five years he returned?" Nobushige asked with a look of surprise.

"No, not for any length of time." Shingen responded with no real concern in his voice

"Then what are you going to tell him, Brother there may not be another time to do so."

"What am I to say Nobushige? 'Oh Father I understand why you wanted me replaced with Nobushige and I forgive you?' I am not sure if he still resents me for that, and I still have not forgiven him."

"Whatever you wish to say, you should say it soon."

Some time had passed as Shingen made his way towards his father's sleeping mat. Nobutora sat up, as Shingen had sat next to him.

"Ah Harunobu, are you here to see me one last time before I die?" Nobutora maintaining the strength to be annoyed despite his age and health.

"Need you be so callous, Father?" Shingen replied with no less annoyance.

"Do not mind me I am a bitter old fool outdone by his son and grandson. I suppose you were right to betray me after all." Nobutora said with bitter remorse.

"I betrayed you because were arbitrary in your punishments, and attempted to replace me with Nobushige." Shingen remarked as an air of silence soon followed.

"It is a wonderful feeling to know I'll spend my last moments hearing my son gloat against the 'tyranny' of his foolish father. I figured Nobushige was an intelligent and capable leader and not as reckless as you. At least I will die in Tsutsujigasaki." Nobutora remarked gruffly, as Shingen only laughed in response.

"I was willing to be ruthless to achieve my goals, but always made sure I did not make the same mistakes as you." Shingen said whatever pride in his voice turned to sadness. "My own firstborn rises up against me for not backing Yoshimoto, and my own punishments could be harsh. Does this make me an equally foolish son if you are a foolish father?" Nobutora could only chuckle.

"Harunobu, you may never forgive me, but I am proud of what you have accomplished." Nobutora said with a small smile on his face. However, that smile had soon become a look of sadness as well. "Please Harunobu," Nobutora said trying to fight back tears. It was a sight Shingen had never seen. "Whatever happens, make sure Yoshinobu is better than either of us." Shingen felt his father embrace him as tightly as he could. It was a strange feeling that Shingen had not felt in many many years.

"I shall, Father."

"like an old wounded bear
I return home for winter
to sleep one last time"

"I like it, even if I am not one for poetry, I'll have it written down" Shingen remarked with a small smile

A smile crossed Nobutora's face. "Hm, I wonder if Ujitoyo would appreciate this perhaps I shall tell him in the morning."

Come the next morning, Takeda Nobutora had died in his sleep.

June 8th, 1574

Beijing, Beizhili Province, Ming Dynasty

Zuli Yizhao was summoned by the Wanli Emperor to his personal chambers.

"Ah Uncle, even though you do not care to be called that. I have requested you for a reason. The King of Dai Viet requests our help against the Le rebels, and I wish for you to lead my forces."

"Is that so your Majesty, I am not much of a general, but I will try my utmost."

"The rebels have hired warriors from Riben to fight for them." The Emperor stated causing Yizhao to raise an eye before a realization hit him.

"So you wish to what little knowledge of my country's ways of war I have to help?"

"I trust you, despite the Grand Sectaritat's objections."

"I am honored, Your Majesty."

"Uncle, need do you be so formal all the time?" The Emperor said light-heartedly

"Yes, I do not wish to be seen as a threat." Yizhao said to the Emperor's shock.

"You fear a bunch of old men in robes? Some of them do not even have their genitals!" The Emperor said laughing as if he had the funniest joke, only for Yizhao to frown causing the Emperor to stop.

"Your majesty, my own family were made powerless by old men in robes, although at least the old men used swords and not words. My brother had chosen to die for his chance at freedom, and at least gave me a chance to finally be free of that place." Yizhao's words caused sadness to cross the Emperor's face. Your Majesty, you must not be upset, the sadness I have gone through has given me the opportunity to be apart of your family." Causing the Emperor to smile.

As Yizhao left the Emperor's chambers he was confronted by Grand Secretariat Zhang Juzheng.

"Ah General, I hope your new assignment is not too much for you." Zhang said in a way that gave off the impression of insincerity.

"No, I had assisted in fighting the pirates along the coasts"

"Hm, I do wonder if you could have saved your dear brother with your new-found skill, I suppo-" Before the grand secretary could finish he was met with a punch to the stomach with Yizhao.

"You may say whatever you wish about my brother in private, but I will not let you dishonor his memory!" Yizhao said while the minister caught his breath to recover from the blow.

"Barbarian! Do you think just because you have married an Imperial daughter, and have the confidence of the Prince Regent, that people are not aware of your plots you hide behind simplicity?" [1]

"Plots? Are you mad?" Yizhao was indignant. "I have seen enough gilded cages in my life! If it was not for my responsibilities to His Majesty and the nation, I would have continued to study Dongmi." [2]

"Hmph, demon worshipper."

Both men quickly left to return to their respective duties.

[1] Yoshiaki or Yizhao had managed to marry Princess Jiashan after the untimely death of her husband Xu Congchen. The Prince-Regent is Zhu Zaizhen, Prince Jinggong son of Emperor Jiajing who died in 1564, but he lives, largely because I could not find how he died.

[2] While Yoshiaki was an abbot, it was a temple that combined Shingon and Hosso teachings. Shingon with one such school known as Dongmi was looked down upon by the educated Ming upper class.

This update is shorter, I hope no one minds if this is more fluff than substance in my opinion.
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Part 44: The Mac Dynasty Fades, The Balance of Power on the Steppes Shifts, The Return to Beracruzu
July 7th, 1574

Heishui River

The smell of black powder filled the air, as cannon and guns fired between river ships. In one such riverboat, Mac Mau Hop and his family were fleeing to the Ming. The Le dynasty had outmaneuvered them and driven them out of Cao Bang, along with their Naht Banh mercenaries. What few ships loyal to the Mac dynasty were pursued by the Le forces.

One the other side of the river there were Ming forces waiting along the shore.

"So it is as bad as that messenger claimed." Yizhazo said to his second in command Qi Jiguang. [1]

Turning towards one of his riders "send forces to receive the Emperor's ship and a few cannons to drive their attackers off!"Yizhao shouted.

The Ming forces quickly moved to clear a path for the Emperor's ship while several cannons fired on any remaining pursuers.

Only one riverboat had made it across bearing the character for the Mac Dynasty in red, out of it stepped a hurried procession of men, women, and children.

The small group was taken to meet Yizhao. Yizhao had found it odd that the Emperor himself seemed not much older than His Majesty. [2]

"General we are eternally grateful for your assistance even if you could arrive soon to prevent us from being driven out." The Emperor said although Yizhao could not help but felt that he was being blamed.

"It is unfortunate Your Majesty. What would you like us to do?" Yizhao asked.

"If it is possible, I would like to see the Emperor myself and explain that I no longer wish to claim the throne, of what was once my own nation." The Emperor to the shock of the Ming forces.

"You are certain of this?" Yizhao had wondered if he had gone insane.

"Yes, do you find it strange that if one's home is no longer appealing, you should look elsewhere if you can?" The Emperor expressed a sentiment all too familiar to Yizhao.

"Perhaps I should not, I too come from elsewhere, ironically my family ruled Riben once." Yizhao saw the Emperor stop and stare

The staring continued, but not for too long before the started laughing.

"Life is quite a strange thing General, I hope your new home has treated you well?" The former emperor asked.

"It has Your Majesty."

The Ming army began their march towards Beijing with the Mac Dynasty remnants in tow.

August 6th, 1574

Moscow, Tsardom of Russia

I cannot believe it has come to this. The father's health worsens and I must look to placating the Tsar, because they are more reliable than the House of Osman.

The figure was surrounded by a procession of guards, as he approached the Kremlin, and eventually made his way to see the Tsar.

"White Tsar, I am Sherdan, I have come on behalf of my the Khan of Crimea [3]

"Ah, it is good to see you, how fares your father?" The Tsar said in a polite tone, ignoring the seldom-used title.

"He is ill but has tasked me with arranging for a treaty of support." Ivan took on a somber mood.

"You have my condolences about your father." Ivan then quickly changed back his original tone. What did he wish to propose?"

"My father has lost faith in the House of Osman and wishes to look toward you for support." Sherdan said as he noticed the Tsar mulled over the proposal.

"How can we trust you, nothing had stopped you from raiding our lands before. In fact just several years ago your father and the Turks had attempted to seize Astrakhan." The Tsar said stern but with his eye's narrowed in a mix of suspicion and anger.

"The Turks are becoming more trouble then they are worth. My father fears they will try to meddle in our politics soon if things get desperate." The Tsar's stern face hardly changed. "We are willing to direct our raids elsewhere if you protect from us the Sultan and do not meddle in our politics." Sherdan offered.

"I am willing to accept this proposal, but I want your father's clan to be aware, I will not tolerate your Khanate returning back to the Turks."

"He shall know of your demands and your condolences," Sherdan said, as the Tsar offered a small smile.

"Please, I do hope you intend to stay for the night it would be rude to have you come all this way and have to leave during the night." Ivan offered.

"I shall, White Tsar, I thank you for this hospitality."

October 8th, 1574

Beijing, Beizhili Province, Ming Dynasty

The Wanli Emperor sat on his throne to receive Mac Mau Hop and General Yizhao's report with the Grand Secretariat by his side.

"So the situation was unsalvageable by the time you arrived?" The Emperor asked, trying to ignore that this Emperor was not too older than himself.

"Yes, being able to safely retrieve the Emperor, was the only successful part of this expedition." Yizhao had said kneeling before the Emperor.

"Is there any reason why sent you have four of five units of the army back to their homes?" Yizhao suspected this was prompted by the Grand Secretariat.

"I did so because I felt it would be unnecessary to have a large army march all the way towards the capital.

"Very Well." The Wanli Emperor said satisfied with this explanation before turning towards the former Emperor of Dai Viet.

"Your Majesty, I hope that the journey here was too difficult, and I apologize my forces were unable to arrive later." The Wanli Emperor said.

"It cannot be helped, you General treated me with the utmost respect. I if you must refer to me as someone important, Lord Ma will do."

"I am pleased to hear it, Lord Ma"

The Grand Secretariat had leaned in to whisper something in the Wanli Emperor's ear.

"You must excuse me, Lord Ma, I must convey with my ministers in private. One of the guards can show your family to a temporary living arrangement."

"Thank you, Your Majesty,"

As the former Emperor left, The Grand Secretariat faced the Emperor.

"Your Majesty, what do you wish us to do now regarding the so-called Emperors in the south?"

"If you feel it is prudent Grand Secretariat, send an envoy and recognize them as only Kings."

"It seems like a wise course of action, Your Majesty."

"General, I would like for you to help Lord Ma and his family settle in.

"I shall, Your Majesty." Yihzao bowed and left the Emperor's throne room.

The Wanli Emperor had sent for some courtiers to prepare a diplomatic mission.

November 3rd, 1574

Veracruz, New Spain

The Fortunado had only arrived in Beracruzu only one day ago, and the crew was resting up to prepare for the journey to Akapulko.

And one of the more enclosed cabins of the ship Harukata was being read to by Diogo de Cuoto, with a translator to interpret.

“The Duke dismaying of his Lords weaning martial virtue, Found himself with no other option but to call upon another member of the family to help preserve the house of Ouche.” Diogo said narrating what he had written of Harukata.

The Interpreter read the words back to Hakata who returned a look of skepticism and said words Diogo could not understand.

“My lord is curious as to why anyone would want to read about him.” The interpreter said.

Back home there are many who would be fascinated to learn more about your people. I simply wish to write a book of those who are most interesting, His Lordship is among those people especially if one is leading an expedition of his people across what was hereto unknown seas.”

“Very well continue.” Harukara continued to listen to Diogo's narration.

Elsewhere on the ship, Hugh Gaveloch was sitting with Cathan and Tomas.

"Your Giaponese is improving Lord Hugh." Tomas said approvingly

"I have you to thank for that. Although I am trying to understand why some of the men call me Oni Oniru." Tomas gave a small laugh.

"That will be up for you to find out," Tomas said to Hugh's disappointment.

"My Lord," Hugh noticed it came from Cathan. While Hugh did make attempts to teach his bodyguard the language of Giaponese, he preferred to speak in their native tongue to keep things private.

"Yes, Cathan." Hugh was concerned about what could trouble his guard.

"Are we truly prepared to head out this far?" Cathan asked.

"Who can say, We've already gone farther than anyone back home. I supposed the danger is now crossing the sea at the other end of this land." Hugh replied getting an uncertain look from Cathan.

"I hope so." Cathan weariness did not leave him.

"Has the crew treated you well?" Hugh asked hoping to change topics.

"Yes, although it is nice to finally eat something that isn't this Ah-ross. How can people eat those tiny things, especially with two wooden sticks?" Hugh laughed at his bodyguard's misfortune before his bodyguard joined in.

In a few days, the Tensho Expedition would begin the march to Akapulko.

[1] Mac Mau Hop was born in 1560, so he would only be 14.

[2] Sherdan was one of the Khan of Crimea sons in OTL he died at the battle of Molodi as a consequence of Crimean-Russian conflicts, namely the Sack of Moscow since Russia has nothing to distract it from the south, such events do not happen. White Tsar was a seldom-used title by some Tatar Khan to address some Russian Tsars.

Apparently it was used to paint Ivan the Terrible as something close to a Ghenghisid Lord, even though Ivan preferred styling himself as a Roman Emperor. Whether or not your willing to believe that Ivan the Terrible traces his descent through Ghenghis Khan from his mother, it would be something close to the Timurids, a leader claims the authority to safeguard the Mongol Empire but not claim it for themselves.

As far as a descent from Ghenghis Khan goes. Ivan the Terrible's mother was Elena Glinskaya, whose family the Glinski's supposedly trace their lineage to Mamai, who married the only daughter of Berdi Beg, who himself was an 8th generation descendant of Ghenghis Khan through his son Jochi.
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Part 45: The Tensho Expedition Concludes
January 8, 1575

The Ouchi Maru

The Ouchi Maru had departed Alkapulko more than a half a month ago.

"So this Lord Harukata really is not anyone to cross lightly?"

"Not anymore but I still keep an eye around him. He was a vicious man. That story you told me is not the whole truth. He left out forcing the late Yoshitaka and his son to commit suicide." Tomas said receiving gasps from most of the table.

"That does not sound too distant from back home. Family conflicts could get very personal. My father fought my uncle to become Duke of Ulster."

"Your Queen, allowed that to happen?" Tomas asked raising an eyebrow in curiosity.

"My Queen? Hah, there isn't much Old Sibeal-" Hugh had begun to say, only for Richard to slam his fist on the table. [1]

"Lord O'Neil, I will not have you defame our majesty like that to foreigners!" Richard responded in English.

"Our Majesty? Forgive if I see my father as more the Lord of the O'Neil, then some fancy title by some distant Queen." Hugh was irritated at what seemed like an unnecessary outburst.

"Then can you at least keep these opinions between me, you, and your guard?" Richard said gesturing to the three of them.

"Fine," Hugh said in English. "Before I was interrupted." Hugh took on a somber expression I regret to say with the most utmost of sorrows felt by any man on God's earth, that Her Most Royal and Dignified Majesty has been unable to her rein in some the cruel brutes that pass for my countrymen." Hugh declared in the most tragic tone he could muster.

Richard first only glared, then slowly began to chuckle himself as Hugh began to laugh as well. Tomas had starred as the rest of the table began to laugh as well.

"Regardless, Diogo, I would not be so shocked at some of the stories you may hear. I still wish you luck." Tomas said to get the situation under control

"Thank you."

"How do these Giaponese look upon us Christians?" Richard said trying to broach what could be an awkward topic, considering he was talking to a papist, who was likewise talking to a heretic.

"They usually do not care as long as you do not provoke them. We've kept by Lord Harukata to make sure the Ouche had guns and sailors who knew how to crew what they called Nanban ships. Several other priests persisted in criticizing their ruler's polygamy and idol worship and found themselves fined. When they persisted, they were killed by 'bandits'." Tomas emphasized the last word.

"Jesu, you do not mean to tell us, that-."

"We were basically enslaved under the pain of death?" Tomas asked rhetorically.

Tomas gave a small chuckle.

"Yes. forgive my mood but it takes a certain kind of person to try and make the best of some horrible situations. Originally I had traveled to India, where I had to preach to the slaves as abominable as the practice was, however since they were heathens no one cared, I suppose God has seen fit to give me what I deserved.

"But if you had no power to stop them is it really what you deserve?" Richard asked trying to reassure the priest to remain on his good side.

"Vincent of Huesca was martyred when refused to submit to an overwhelming evil, not having power is no excuse to let evil prosper," Tomas said solemnly. [2]

Taking note of the forlorn mood of the table, Tomas quickly smiled.

"So as long you do not act like fools you should be fine. That and I would get to know some of the local warriors, a few good guards can save your life."

April 21st, 1575

Sunpu Palace

The Tensho Expedition had finally arrived in Sunpu. Outside Sunpu were the two leaders on the Tensho Expedition, Sue Harukata, and Saigo Sumitaka, Tomas along with the five foreign guests that came to visit.

"When we enter, you are to only speak when addressed, the Shogun expects a report first and foremost."

"Yes Lord," the five men had said in unison.

The Tensho Expedition had arrived before Shogun Yoshimoto. In the little over three years that comprised their voyage, Harukata had noticed the Shogun seemed slightly older.

Harukata proceeded to bow, and the rest of the embassy had followed suit.

"Lord Harukata, first and foremost I am glad and your crew has returned safely." The Shogun had said but noticed that there were five other foreigners, along with the priest that was sent along with them.

"Thank you, Lord Yoshimoto. I had heard what the Hojo had gotten themselves involved with. Thankfully it did not impact the expedition too seriously."

"Tell me, what have you learned from the West?"

"Most importantly there are many lands beyond those of Ezpana and Portogaru and that the Kirishitans divisions are almost reminiscent of home in their potential for violence. Whatever the motives of these peoples they are no threat to us. However, due to an admitted miscalculation, we ended fighting a battle against a people called the Turuko. Our assistance was small but notable enough to give us a reputation as warriors." Yoshimoto's eyes slightly widened.

"It was not a disastrous first impression was it?"

"It made some parts of our journey difficult. The Turuko are followers of some holy man named Mahouma, they and the Kirishitans claim to follow the same diety. They are engaged in a conflict with what can only be described as a Hapusuburugo Clan who rule many realms. By unintentionally aiding the Hapusuburugo Clan their enemies were wary of us."

"Did this mistrust persist?" Yoshimoto asked

"No, in fact, our last destination Igurando had sent along a small delegation to join, we also received another two from the land of Potarugaru." Harukata said guesting towards the five foreigners.

"Can they understand us?" Yoshimoto assumed they would not be brought here otherwise, but wanted to make sure.

"Yes, shall I have them introduce themselves?"

"Yes, I am curious to know their reasons for coming here."

"The Shogun wishes for you to introduce yourselves."

Yoshimoto noticed that at least four of them stood there talking in a language he could not understand. The Fifth one, a large man with black hair and gruff facial features remained silent. After a few moments, the red-haired man came before him first.

"I am honored to meet you Great Lord, I am Hyu Oniru son of Shon, the Lord of Clan Oniru. I am on a delegation from the My Lady, Reienai Erisabesu. Along with me is my retainer Kansan, and Rekardusu another envoy sent by My Lady who has seen fit to send us to learn about you and your people." Yoshimoto was left paused in thought. [3]

'His Lady?' "I welcome you to my land, although I hope you do not mind me asking, your nation is ruled by a woman?" Yoshimoto asked.

"Yes, Lord. My Lady rules in her own right after the deaths of her father and brother." Hugh and though it best to keep the details of His Majesty's ascension short.

"I apologize it is a curiosity."

"Some noble families are smaller than others, Lord from what I have heard of this land it has plenty of its own curiosities," Hyu responded before moving back.

Taking it as a cue, the other two foreigners had moved forward.

"Lord, I am Diogo no Kuoto, this is Ruisu no Kamose. We are on behalf of Our Lord, Rei Sabasutao of Potugaru. We were sent to learn more of your land, I am a chronicler of sorts, and Ruisu is a poet."

"I suppose you are in luck, this land has no shortage of poets or stories."

"I hope we can learn much from one another." Diogo replied before returning back.

"Indeed," Yoshimoto said before turning to Harukata. "Lord Harukata I would like for you and your crew to stay a few days, so we may figure what should be done with our five guests."

"Understood my Lord. Are we allowed to take our leave?"

"You may."

Four Hours Later

Later that night Harukata was summoned to meet the Shogun.

My Lord, you wished to see me?

"Yes. What exactly do you know about our new visitors, and is it anything concerning?" The Shogun asked.

"Nothing more than I have already said, although the one known as Rekardusu is one of these protesting heretics, and the noble Hyu claims to come from a people not too dissimilar from ours at in some political aspects."

"What about the larger man?"

"Hyu claims the man is a hatamoto or some garu-grasu, the other two are scholars but noted men back in their country." [4]

"Have they decided how they intend to make their way across the land"? Yoshimoto asked.

"Not yet My Lord." Harukata stated.

"I'll see If I can gather some of my own retainers," Yoshimoto remarked.

"You do not wish for them to wander around supervised?" Harukata was curious about the Shogun's seeming generosity.

"No, especially when admittedly unsavory elements have taken up the Emperor of Dai Vieto's offer."

"Unsavory elements?"

"Yes, wild men and bandits are banding together to leave for Dai Viet so they can serve the Emperor as bodyguards. The Hojo's actions have spurred many into going into new lands to get rich. It does not help, that some enterprising Daimyo has allowed these miscreants to leave in exchange for giving up their hideouts and if they come back to vow to never commit any crimes." [5]

"Can this cause a loss of face?"

"It is hard to tell. Rumors of conflict are brewing between noble families and the Emperor."

"How many joined initially?"

"The Miyoshi, Atagi, and Sogo sent one small sonae each so anywhere from 900-1500 men. The Emperor did request them to help assist against his enemies, he just never specified whom." Yoshimoto stated.

"Should I feel responsible for this?" 'Damned foolish Hojo' Harukata believed the Hojo were responsible for this.

"No, no one could have foreseen this horrible success, at least for this idea so far. I hope you sleep well your first night home," Yoshimoto said giving a small smile.

"Anything beats being on that boat any longer, My lord." Harukata said before leaving.

[1] Sibeal is Irish for Elizabeth.

[2] Vincent of Huesca was an old Christian martyr.

[3] Kansan was the closest I could get to Cathan, the only other choice might have been Kasan, which might too sound to Kaa-san which would refer to one's mother.

[4] Closest transliteration I think of for a Gallowglass.

[5] Wildmen are Kabukimono or crazy people who were warriors and people who used to dress in all sorts of garish colors and styles to stand out or act like anything close to gangs of youths to bandits. Oda Nobunaga in his youth ran with such a group and it contributed to his moniker Fool of Owari. Kabukimono also helped influence the early styles of Kabuki theatre.

So it has been a roughly seventeen update plot, that lasted for more than a year. I hope I can make the payout worth it. Next update I intend to visit the Ottoman state in Iraq and a slowly simmering conflict in the Netherlands starts to heat up.
Part 46: Turmoil Brews in the East and West
April 28th, 1575

Dirbyakair Elayet

Hizir Bayberbayli was sitting with Orhan Corbaci from one of the local ceemat Janissary fortresses. The lands were being raided by the traitours Bayezid and his vile spawn. [1]

"Damn that so-called prince. the levies I raised might as well have been chasing spirits. We could not find a sign of him. I do not understand why the Sultan is preparing to send a force to assist in Krim, and not kill these damn traitors," [2] Hizir's complained.

"I have heard the Sultan intends to send an invasion force as soon as the crisis in the Krim ends," Orhan said, unused to being a gossip.

"In the name of Allah, the most merciful may that crisis end decisively in our favor, I have to make sure the Bashi Bazouks are well compensated, and the Timarli and their followers are ready when we actually have to fight," [3] Hizir gave a deep sigh.

"Allah willing, I shall make the other units are notified. One day these snakes shall strike too far, and I shall cut off their heads," Orhan Corbaci vowed before leaving Hizir to manage his own forces.

May 16th, 1575

Baghdad Ottoman Sultanate

Sultan Bayezid was faced with something that should have been, he was receiving a report from his eldest son Osman's wife Pari Khan Khanum [4]

I never cared for my son's choice of wife, yet here she was helping to administer the realm. Perhaps I should write the Shah a letter that perhaps our children were not as foolish as we believed.

"Your majesty, the surveys have sent back the troops we have for an eligible muster, from the townspeople, the accurate numbers for the tribes-people in our lands is still uncertain. We have a significant growth in the Peshtunlari who came with you from the east," [5]

"Are the Arapliar and Kurdiliar content as well?" [6]

"Yes, Sultan,"

"How are our finances?"

"The previous tax systems are operating fine, although we may wish to keep an eye on the administrators,"

Before Pari could continue, a haggard but smiling man had arrived flanked by two guards.

"My Sultan, Prince Osman has returned, and is on his way to the palace!" [7]

"I look forward to his return, does he bring any pressing news?"

"Nothing, that he does not wish to tell you himself,"

Some time had passed before a young man dressed a rough armor with a beard had entered the main chamber, with a small smile on his face.

"Father, it is good to see you,"

"Likewise my son, the messenger you sent had said you had news for me?"

"Yes, Cousin Abdullah is arriving to confront us,"

"Cousin?" Bayezid said with a confused look on his face. "You mean to tell me Selim's heir did not have his brothers killed?" This was truly a strange turn of events as fratricide might of well have been a family tradition.

"It would seem so," Osman said with no other explanation.

"This is uncertain news, I know not if Abdullah is more of a warrior than his father, not that your dear uncle was much of a leader," Bayezid said the last words with clear disdain.

May 10th, 1575

Wien Austria

Maximilian the Second, Holy Roman Emperor, and Archduke of Austria questioned why had he even brought up this topic in the first place. He was having a discussion with his wife Maria of Spain in Katerburg Palace. [8]

"My Love, do you not think you are going to far this time?" Maximilian knew that for his wife this was less of a question and more of a statement.

"No, My cousin has let this rebellion become a problem, and now your Nephew their figurehead has sought the aid of Angletierre and Francia. The church must be reformed, the heretics have fought and are willing to fight again. I do not want more bloodshed, but the Low Countries will remain in our family even if I must make concessions with Carlos,"

"My father intended for the Netherlands to go to my brother's line," Maria kept a stern look on her face.

"And I have no desire of changing that, I could ensure that Carlos becomes a Grand Duke of the Netherlands,"

"Why not make him a king if you sympathize with the heretics that much?" Maximillian felt his patience become tested more than usual as Maria grew angrier. [9]

"I cannot make him a king for that goes against the laws of Empire. I have only come to this as a solution because your brother insists on cracking down on the heretics," [10]

"These heretics back a murderer!" Maximillian had news that his first cousin was troubled, and his wife seemed no more willing to disown his, then the man's own father.

"Yet one person's murderer is another savior from tyranny. The Duke of Alba was all accounts a good solider, but the executions were uncalled for, especially since he did them in Carlos's name," Maximilian tried to keep an open mind, surely his cousin would not kill without good reason.

"How is my brother supposed to feel about your betrayal?"

"That is enough, we shall speak no more of this," Maximilian said but had gotten no reply, knowing this conversation would go nowhere.

Maximilian saw Maria storm out and began to wonder would one of Johann Georg's daughters make a fine wife for his currently unmarried son. It surely must be an easier situation than what he was currently faced with. [11]

[1] Beyberbayli and Corbaci, are a provincial governor and head of military unit respectively. This fits with the Usual Ottoman name scheme of name and title. Ottoman Janissaries were divided into ortas or groups which fell under three categories Ceemat which the frontier troops, Boluk which were the Sultan's guards and Seymen smaller guard units.

[2] Krim is Crimea

[3] Outside of the Janissaries the Ottoman Army was comprised of a mix of feudal landowners, the Spahi and their armed followers, and irregular soldiers who were paid in plunder from tribes to armed mobs like the Bashi Bazouk.

[4] Pari Khan Khanum was a daughter of Thamsap, who had an interest in bureaucratic affairs and had managed to become influential in her own right when her father became ill. In this timeline, she fell in love and married the eldest of Son of Shezade Bayezid, Orhan.

[5] Turkish for Pashtuns. Eventually, Bayezid had moved from the Persian court to fight on the frontiers for several years before returning to cause trouble in Iraq and had brought Pashtun soldiers and tribes with him.

[6] Turkish for Arabs and Kurds, who comprised a substantial portion of the population of Iraq at this time, along with several generations of Turks.

[7] The second oldest son of Bayezid.

[8] The current Holy Roman Emperor and his first cousin and wife, Maria of Spain. Katerburg Palace was the original name of the Schonbrunn Palace.

[9] The only Noble Titles of importance allowed in the Holy Roman Empire was King of the Romans and King of Bohemia. It was the reason why before there was the Kingdom of Prussia, there was the King in Prussia. Grand Duchies are a recent European development, with only the Grand Duchy of Tuscany appearing in 1571.

[10] Maximilian was quite reformed minded and even attempted to promote allowing priests to marry, which put him at odds with his wife. However, when Infante Carlos died he moderated his stances. Because Carlos is still alive Maximillian is still reform-oriented.

[11] The current Margrave of Brandenburg.

The next chapter is going to take us to the South West Islands, or what would have been the Philippines.