Translation of this article.
Imperia (The Empire)
An unified nation formed by the Imperial Capital and its neighboring areas. Almost the entirety of the Empire's population lives in the Imperial Capital.
The Imperial Capital itself is divided in four large parts: [Tenmon], [Chimon], the [Colonies] and the [Old Capital].
The Empire itself is a community ruled by a constitutional monarchy that has Her Majesty the Empress at its very core.
The Imperial Diet
The Unified Empire was formed a long time ago, after the era of the rivalries between warlords had come to an end.
The people ended focusing more on civil and scientific matters than on military ones, and thus their government system ended going down that same path.
It was during these times that the third Empress established a political era of legendary proportions that ended up being called [Despotism for the People].
By skillfully employing carrot-and-stick policies, the third Empress ended winning over even the hearts of the people that resided in formerly hostile nations.
The ideology behind this was: "Let us prosper together, so our joint growth will lead us to a future without wars, a future where we won't ruin the lands of each other".
As a result, science and technology ended up having the most important role for the government.
This was especially true because the Ra Cielans seemed to have as a distinctive feature that they would at some point in the future abandon this planet and migrate to a more wonderful land.
Therefore, the government would need to invest a significant amount of funds for the migration project, but as long as they were able to design convincing enough policies, the citizens of the Empire would fully support them.
It was thus that the government ended up being entrusted to two organizations: [Tenmon] and [Chimon].
Currently, Tenmon is the ruling faction, so the current political capital that serves as the Empire's center is located in a Tenmon city floating at about 100 Km above the surface.
If Chimon were to become the ruling faction, it would be necessary to relocate the political capital.
Tenmon and Chimon
The two organizations called Chimon and Tenmon have a structure that has pretty much no equivalent when compared to the organizations existing in our current Earth.
This is because they are global-scale organizations that have characteristics of a religious group while also having the role of research institutions.
Additionally, both Tenmon and Chimon also have political organization elements.
Furthermore, they also have the attributions of a resident registration network system, and a credit limit network used for credit cards.
And they are also organizations each led by a chief that possesses absolute powers.
There are several reasons for both organizations being so multifaceted, but the greatest one among them would be the Genoms.
We will now describe both of them in detail:
While Chimon's history is quite old, it wasn't called by that name long ago.
Its official name is the [Imperial Genometrics Synchronization Mediation Institute].
The history of Chimon started [with the establishment of a mediation organization to segregate humans and Genoms in order to maintain the greatest prosperity possible for them both].
Currently, a human must register with Chimon whenever they Synchronize with a Genom, so they possess detailed personal information on everyone that has Synchronized with a Genom.
But given that few people have Genoms nowadays, this fact has little significance.
But given anyone can establish contact with a Genom easily thanks to the civilization's advancement, this gives Chimon a conspicuous amount of power.
This is all because they possess information on almost all the citizens of the Empire, which naturally gives them a great power.
And given that everyone became able to Synchronize with a Genom in recent times, this made Chimon into the most powerful organization in the world.
However, these glory days didn't last for long, as Tenmon developed the [Cielnotrons] shortly later.
In less than ten years, around a 80% of the people ended up leaving the Genoms and started using the Cielnotrons, which caused the start of Chimon's decline.
While Chimon ended gaining a sense of danger from how the people accepted the Cielnotrons developed by Tenmon, they predicted a far worse crisis would be coming and thus tried to instruct the people.
Said crisis was that by using the Cielnotrons, the Genoms would be driven to the brink of extinction.
The Genoms they had coexisted with for several centuries and millennia saw their numbers greatly decrease in just these ten years.
And as if it wasn't enough, Tenmon was already reaching the point of developing a third generation terminal (the Ar nosurge Tube).
Given Tenmon's self-righteousness, the Chimon couldn't avoid gaining a determination to put a stop to their activities.
Chimon is a truly serious organization, yet it still is one where the religious atmosphere is quite strong.
Respecting the ancestors and giving great importance to the traditions. While Chimon has come to consider the cycle of life a research topic, this is because they both fear and respect nature itself.
The basis of the Chimon's way of thought is that the balance maintained by the nature should never be broken by the humans.
It is due to this attitude that they have gained a reputation of a [Stubborn Father] among the citizens.
And what made life so convenient for everyone at the end of the Sixth Age was the appearance of the Cielnotrons, which was the main cause for most of the young people to leave Chimon.
Tenmon's official name is the [Imperial Astronomy Quantum Wave Theory Laboratory].
It has a rather short history.
The reason why Tenmon was established was because the Empress at the time (Ion's predecessor) was still Synchronized to a Genom, and having received an oracle from the Genom Cosal, she ordered to build a tube that served as mediator between lifeforms and machines in order to allow Genoms to freely use great powers.
This was done to speed up the Life Salvation Project [Ark Project] that Chimon was implementing back then, so it could be called a [scientist association created to accelerate the implementation of the [Ark Project].
In other words, it was an organization created to gather the most advanced technologies and allow the people to migrate in the shortest time possible.
As their specialties include the universe and time-space, they are an organization that has its basis on quantum mechanics.
At the time of its foundation, Tenmon couldn't act independently and instead worked as an affiliate organization of Chimon.
This was because the [Life Salvation Project] as it was back then required the fusion of [science and technology] and the [magical power of the Genoms] to be carried out.
Additionally, since the [Life Salvation Project] was a maximum priority topic that concerned the whole of humanity, the government was also deeply involved in it.
So despite Tenmon being such a gigantic organization, they didn't really have much of a good reputation among the normal people (or better said, the people weren't really familiar with them).
This was because a project of the level of a planetary migration should have been ridiculously oversized to the people, and it gave them a strong impression that an unknown research institution was taking care of implementing it.
Also, since they naturally couldn't receive a large support from the people, they legally were nothing more than a burden to one wing of the political advisors, which caused almost all of Tenmon's proposals to get rejected.
However, there was a certain event that completely changed their role from working in the shadows to being a forefront in the world's affairs. Said event was the development and spreading of the [Cielnotrons].
Cielnotrons are devices that can also be called [artificial Genoms]. Furthermore, they are also more convenient than normal Genoms in several ways.
The most relevant ones are that they don't need a First Harmonics, and Cielnotrons can also adapt to the humans that Synchronize with them, and that they are made with the capability of changing forms to suit their owners' preferences...
The Cielnotrons were extravagantly hyped as the next generation of Genoms, and in less than ten years, almost all humans had switched over from the Genoms to the Cielnotrons.
At the same time, Tenmon's influence greatly grew in the political field.
Unlike Chimon, Tenmon was originally a group of engineers that was put together by the Empress.
And unlike them, since they didn't hold any ancient or evil traditions, they didn't have any ideas that served to shackle them.
. They prized the most being able to freely research and having an environment that allowed them to do so, so being bound down by old concepts wasn't a good way of thinking to them.
Given these characteristics, the organization ended gaining an explosive popularity among the younger people that lived at the end of the Sixth Age, all of which were accepted into Tenmon.
And actually, the Cielnotrons require their users to register into Tenmon, but the process for doing so isn't as severe or complicated as the ones required by the Chimon.
This [modern feeling] they had was also a factor that greatly fascinated the people.
The Problem Concerning the Cielnotrons
After the Cielnotrons first appeared, the relationship between Tenmon and Chimon sank to the worst possible level.
And so, for them both to maintain the justice they each believed in, they never dropped the confrontational attitude they had from that point on.
This became especially true for the intensity of the warnings the Chimon gave about Tenmon.
The first warning was that the natural cycle was being destroyed due to humans and Genoms stopping their interactions with each other.
In truth, the Genoms were driven to the brink of extinction after the people switched over to using the Cielnotrons.
Additionally, they were unable to use the Cielnotrons to mentally train themselves in the way they did via the interactions with the Genoms.
The spirit that had been passed down for several millennia since time immemorial was rapidly disappearing.
In contrast, the Tenmon thought that this was no more than the consequences of the changes brought by time:
"Neither we humans nor the Genoms existed several million years ago, and most likely neither will exist after a few million years.
There is nothing [immutable] among everything that exists in this world.
If the Genoms go extinct due to the appearance of the Cielnotrons, that is because nature willed so for it to happen.
And it is because we humans consider ourselves as a part of nature, and this is just a result of the actions nature has taken.
So to give an example, what difference would their extinction have from us humans going extinct because the Sun started emitting 10000 times the quantity of gamma rays it emits currently?
That the hearts of the people have moved from using the Genoms to using the Cielnotrons wasn't because we forced them to do so.
They are just making use of the [minds] nature has provided them with."
As for the second warning, it took place when the Tenmon unveiled that they were researching on the creation of a next generation Tron (the Ar nosurge Tube).
The Ar nosurge Tube was created under the assumption it would be possible to use it to harvest energy from outer universes.
Once they learned about it, the Chimon felt an impending sense of doom.
The problem of the Cielnotrons and Genoms was still a matter within their jurisdiction that also was entangled with several other irregular components, but this second problem was something that would only and truly bring sadness to this world.
The Ar nosurge Tube was said to be able to harvest unknown energies from outside of this formed universe, which meant it also was filled with dangers that were unprecedented for this universe.
This universe was formed by itself, and it existed as cycle within the energy that maintained it.
If any energy from an outer universe was added in and it broke this universe's balance to the point where it could never be restored to its original form, who would take responsibility for it?
The reply that the Tenmon gave to these concerns was simply the following:
"If the universe was such a fragile existence that its balance could be destroyed by anything that we did, it would have turned into a mess and disappeared a long time ago, correct?
We are a part of nature, so our actions themselves are also the actions of nature. That we are going to attempt linking with the outer universes is just how the plants emit oxygen and the Sun runs on nuclear fusion.
And if that ended having poor results for our universe, it would just mean that the linkage with the outer universes wasn't a success.
And we are also constructing it because we are filled with questions about unknown regions like these are.
By challenging these mysteries and uncovering new truths is that we grow, that we find a purpose for our lives..."
These arguments always ran on parallel lines, and they went on until the very last moments of the Sixth Age.
And by the time the Sixth Age was coming to its end, these two senses of righteousness ended creating factions that were mainly composed by intellectuals.
This controversy was ultimately the cause behind the shortening of the Planet's life and why the people were forced to wander through space as refugees.
Imperator (The Empress)
The title of Empress refers to the person that has become the Representative of the Planet.
If we had to say what makes her special in Ar Ciel's terms, it would be that she has been bestowed a spiritual frequency that goes beyond the 11 MHz threshold that serves as the emotional limit for the humans.
Additionally, she becomes capable of singing Songs that would be unthinkable for humans with normal voices due to inheriting special vocal cords.
In this world, [only women] possess the necessary qualifications to become Empresses.
The Empress brings about all sorts of festivals in order to bring stability to this world.
However, these festivals aren't just for appearances' sake, as they all actually have their own effects.
Additionally, the Empress is bestowed a Genom only she can Synchronize with, so said Genom has actually been at the side of many generations of Empresses.
However, the current Empress has substituted that Genom with a [Cielnotron].
The Empress-exclusive Genom is also a Genom that can't be handled by any normal human (though the same is true for the Cielnotron the current Empress uses).
As mentioned previously, the Empress can sing with a voice possessing a register higher than that of the normal humans.
It is due to this that the Empress-exclusive Genom is a Genom that desires only a vocal range as wide as the one possessed by the Empress, and why the Songs she sings have extremely powerful effects.
In short, this world would be unable to keep itself together if the Empress' power disappeared.
It is due to this that despite the Empire having become a modern nation where wars don't exist, the Empress still holds the entirety of the world in her hands, although as a constitutional monarch.
This is why the people give so much support to the Empress despite sounding so much like a despot.
Another reason for this is because the coronation ceremony for the new Empress has a special characteristic to it, which allows the candidates to easily gain support from the populace.
While the Empress position is partially hereditary, the "might makes right" saying also has a place in this.
Of the many Empress generations, at the least three had the custom of having children.
And of them, at least 15 of these children ended succeeding their mothers as the next Empresses.
Therefore, usually the child with the most dominant genes will be the one that will become the next Empress.
The Imperial Succession Ceremony (The Harsh Trials for Crowning the Empress)
The Empress is always a woman, and the title is passed down when the previous Empress bestows the Imperial Vocal Cords upon her chosen successor.
However, the candidates to Empress must go through extremely rigorous trials before they can receive the Vocal Cords, so the path to becoming Empress is filled with hardships.
The Trials are always conducted before the public.
The candidates are made to dress as beautifully and ornately as possible, before being made to stand in front of the public eye.
And it is then, with the candidates standing before a large public in a large place similar to a stadium, that the Imperial Trials commence.
This day is every bit as exciting for the Ra Cielans as the first day of the Olympic Games is for us.
The rules for the Ceremony are extremely simple.
The candidates will be stripped of every title or status they hold at the time the Trials start, and as long as they participate in them, they will become part of the lowest social standing people among the Ra Cielans.
The Imperial Princesses must struggle during the three years under these conditions using only their own power and abilities, and they must go back to the Imperial Palace only when the three years have passed.
Once they have returned to the Palace, a referendum will be carried out throughout the entirety of the Empire, and the candidate who gets the highest number of votes will be crowned as the next Empress.
During these three years, the candidates won't be provided with money or any sort of identification. They won't be accepted anywhere either, and they will have no special privileges over anyone or anything.
It is due to these reasons that being able to charm or gain the favor of the people in some way is one of the most important points to staying alive for the duration of the Trials.
The starting point for the Princesses is generally before a rush of people, which means they must get away from a large fight before they can do anything.
This happens generally because the people want to show their support for the candidate they have chosen, as the Princess will give them a chance at a successful life once she becomes Empress.
Everytime after an Empress has been crowned, she will bring forth the people that greatly helped her out during these three years and give them some sort of cordial protection as a token of her appreciation, like a job in a high position or allowing them entrance into the Imperial Palace.
It is due to this that the people act so stubbornly and cling to the candidate they see as more likely to become Empress while no important information about the Princesses has been disclosed to the public.
It is at this point that the Trials have started. Therefore, the first task for the Princesses is commanding the people and placating the ruckus that resulted from their first public appearance.
And depending on how smoothly the attempts at tranquilizing the populace go, they might be able to gain many allies, so having a good start also makes a tremendous difference for how the Trials will turn out.
The first year generally doesn't bring much in the way of worries to the Princesses. Having no supporters generally has no meaning because they have no one at their side to start with.
However, as time goes by, the people start to learn and understand more each Princess.
And the people will change their minds about the Princesses relatively quickly and start supporting another one.
This why if a Princess finds herself lacking the appropriate charisma, she will have next to no supporters and might even end up appearing in public completely alone.
And generally, if a Princess ends up lacking charisma to such a point, she will be tormented by the people whenever they find her.
As much as the people might incessantly praise the Princesses, their support will vanish instantly if any sort of scandal happens before them, and they will even try to eliminate her when they start hating even the fact that she exists
It is pretty much impossible for a Princess that has lost all her charisma to continue living, all due to the fact that they have been stripped of all social privileges for these three years.
The Princess' Cloth
Well then, there is an item called the [Princess' Cloth], which is an extremely important element in these Trials.
This is a square cloth of around two square meters that is coiled around each Princess when the Trials begin.
This Cloth is the only method they have available for proving that they are legitimate Imperial Princesses.
Naturally, if they lose the Cloth, they will relinquish their privilege to become Empress. However, keeping a piece of the Cloth will be enough for them to retain said privileges.
As for how much, just retaining one square centimeter of the original Cloth until the end should be enough, and the rest can be used however they want.
The scraps of the Princess' Cloth actually have a very important role in allowing their owner to survive for these three years.
That is because the scraps allow the Princess to exert absolute authority over the normal people.
If they have a piece of the Princess' Cloth, if the Princess that gave them the scrap ends up becoming Empress, that person will be given a great power that will be proportional to the size of the cloth scrap.
Therefore, Princesses should use their Cloths in the most intelligent way they can.
Should they use it for business, as a token of gratitude, broken in large scraps to give to a small number of people, or broken in small scraps to give to a large number of people?
How much should they use at the start of the Trials, and how much should remain at the end? And would it be possible to push away the cunning away that aim to get a piece of the cloth for themselves?
The usage of the Cloth is one of the things that makes the Trials such a large test of political strength.
By the way, it is a taboo for a person to possess Princess Cloths obtained from multiple Princesses. It isn't legally forbidden, but it is unacceptable popularly speaking.
Generally speaking, when a person receives a scrap of the Princess Cloth, they are forced to throw away the pieces of the Cloth gotten from another Princess.
Of course it should be a simple enough task for a person to hide something like this, but if anyone from their comrades found out, in the best case scenario they would get half-killed.
The People's Reaction
Now well, these Trials that might as well get called [a Three Year-Long Festival] are also a very special time for the people.
However, the number of people that can actually have direct contact (even if it's mostly for ulterior motives) with the Imperial Princesses is only a few.
Most likely, the number of people that get to directly interact with them wouldn't reach even a 10% of the total population. The rest of the people wouldn't do so either because they wouldn't be interested, or because they would be interested but gave up on the idea (such as neither Princess catching their attention or such other reasons).
As for why such a comparatively large number of people are liable to give up on it, it would be because the people that actually manage to establish contact with the Princesses generally are exceptional ones possess strong powers, are exceedingly smart or are incredibly rich, of which there are many in the world.
If they get themselves involved into the Trials in a clumsy manner and end up encountering a painful situation, they would be in a tremendous risk of losing even their current peaceful lifestyle.
However, the people have methods for judging the Princesses, which are the [rumors], [news broadcasts] and finally, [surrounding them at a distance and looking at them].
So if a Princess accepted having a solid guard of people around her or an inexhaustible amount of funds to sustain herself during the trials, this would greatly unsettle the people.
For example, if it were the case that the group that guarded a Princess were actually members of the mafia, this would cause the people to refuse to vote for her.
Whether she ultimately will become the Empress or not depends entirely on the 90% of people she doesn't have any sort of contact with during the Trials.
Therefore, it's compulsory to use the head in order to find out how leave a good impression upon these people.
The taboos that exist throughout the course of the Trials don't change at all from the ones the people have for their normal lives.
Crime is strictly forbidden to begin with, but said prohibition is enforced more harshly during these times.
So for example, if someone that committed a crime happened to be related in some way to a certain Princess, that Princess would have to bear responsibility for the crime instead.
Situations such as a murderer having a piece of the Princess' Cloth among their possessions are pretty much hopeless, and generally the Princess that owned that Cloth will find herself deprived from her right to become Empress.
Therefore, it's normal for the Princesses to show at least on the surface a fear of causing conflicts.
And since their sympathizers should also understand this (that if they start fighting, they'll only bring disadvantages upon the Princess they support), sympathizers generally don't fight each other in public.
Even the Princesses themselves, no matter how stupid or lacking on intelligence they might be, know better than to carry out maneuvers that would ultimately cost them their right to become Empress without thinking things through.
And if it were the case that one of the Princesses was disqualified, it wouldn't be hard to imagine that said Princess and her most zealous fanatics would carry out life-risking plans in order to eliminate the other Princesses.
About the Genoms and Cielnotrons
The registration and usage of the Genoms and Cielnotrons on the candidates' part is recognized during the Trials. However, their transference is not allowed.
Therefore, it is forbidden to provide a candidate directly with either a Genom or Cielnotron.
(Legally speaking, a person must send first an application to either Tenmon or Chimon when they are transferring a Cielnotron or Genom respectively. This simply means that their transfer to a candidate is not allowed).
Furthermore, selling Cielnotrons to them is also forbidden. So essentially, candidates are theoretically incapable of obtaining a Cielnotron for as long as the Trials last.
As for why using a Genom is ok but a Cielnotron is not, this is because finding a Genom and completing a First Harmonics with it is already a trial on its own.
Therefore, previous Candidates to Empress always went on their own to find a Genom and secure their help, since their chances to win would increase more the faster they found a Genom.
As for the Cielnotrons, they actually made their first appearance as part of the Imperial Succession Ceremony during the current Trials.
Therefore, while there was quite a large amount of discussion among the committee, they finally decided on banning altogether the usage of Cielnotrons during the Trials.
The reasoning for this was that [Cielnotrons were very easy to obtain].
Tenmon greatly opposed this resolution, but since it emanated from the Imperial Household, they were unable to overturn it.
The Participation of Tenmon and Chimon
Among the Princesses, there have been many had high-ranking officials from Tenmon and Chimon as their fathers.
In these case, it has never represented a major problem for the entirety of the Tenmon and Chimon organizations, or at least of their support factions, to support their respective Princess.
However, there was one matter that was decided to be forbidden: neither the people employed in the mother cells of Tenmon and Chimon, nor the Imperial Household itself and all their family members have the right to vote in the elections regardless of how much they support their respective candidate.
If we were to compare it to Japan, it is the same thing as forbidding the politicians and their families from voting, or doing the same to bureaucrats from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and their families.
There is no way to hide something like this from happening, but still the police agencies keep a watchful eye during the three years of Trials in order to deal with the supportive actions and crimes anyone could carry out.
Judge and Logger
Before the Trials commence, the current Empress must make all the participants in the world's politics at the moment: Tenmon, Chimon and the Imperial Household, reach an agreement.
Among the matters included in the agreement signed by all these participants, there are the fact that they can't get themselves involved with the Princesses currently undergoing the Trials, and the gathering of the observation logs by the Genoms during that time.
In other words, unless all the involved parts reach a consensus on these two specific points, it will be impossible for the Trials to commence.
It is due to this agreement that the special Genoms called Loggers must always make accurate reports on the Genoms whose hosts the Princesses have established contact with.
Additionally, the Loggers also have the duty of reporting any suspicious activities said people might be engaging in.
Loggers make their reports to a human called the Judge, and based on them, the Judge must decide wether it is necessary to intervene on the events happening in the Trials or not.
The decisions taken by the Judge are absolute, so the Genoms conspiring with their hosts in order to forge the reports is deemed as an unacceptable action.
So given the hosts and Genoms that have accepted these terms will be under periodic surveillance by the Loggers, they won't be able to plot sinister designs for as long as the Trials last.
Since this disconnects the Princess from the current political situation, this makes the Trials into a situation where they must survive among the common people while relying only on their own strength and abilities.
It goes without saying, but these Trials are all for the people to choose the Princess that best embodies all the qualities the people need in a leader, which are [charisma], [political strength], [strategic thinking], [endurance], [decisiveness] and [luck].
Additionally, the fact that they are make to be always interacting with the normal folk prevents the occurrence of frictions or coup d'etats from the people toward the Empress they have chosen, all with aims to preserve a peaceful society.
The Special Situation that Happened Only in the Final Trials
In Ion's time, there was a definitive difference from the Trials that were conducted for the previous generations, which was that while Genoms were the ones that collected the observation logs due to their neutral and impartial stance, this point slightly changed for the current Trials.
This was because the previous Trials occurred still while the Genoms were at the height of their prosperity, but when Ion's turn came, her Trials ended also being the first Imperial Succession Ceremony in which the Cielnotrons would be used.
Therefore, the [observation and agreement] role the living Genoms had up to this point would now be carried out by the Cielnotrons.
However, Chimon disapproved these actions and insisted that living Genoms should be the ones that carried this duty, as per the traditions that had been kept so far.
Tenmon just retorted by pointing out that the Genoms' stance wasn't neutral anymore.
As a result of these discussions, it was decided that the observation would be carried out both by the Genoms and Cielnotrons, and if the information from both sides showed no inconsistencies, they would both be taken as accurate reports.
While this might seem as a way to strengthen the guard for the Trials at first sight, it was something that actually happened due to dire conflicts that Tenmon and Chimon were immersed into.
And it was also true that the Genoms weren't neutral anymore at this point: as the Trials were also an important element of the fight in which their very survival was risked, distortions began showing up in the roles they were carrying out.
And since none of this reflected on the surface (because the Genoms had the Loggers on the other side), all of the fighting between both factions happened in the shadows.