Drawn Mochi Volume 1 Chapter 11: Strange Horses and Poachers*5

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 That day, for the first time, I had a stranger in my house.


 Redgarde looked around the house as if he were a curiosity, but I didn’t feel bad about it because he wasn’t a vulgar person.



“Please come in.” (Tougo)


“No, I can’t borrow your bed! I’m not even planning to borrow a bed! I’m just looking for shelter from the wind and rain.” (Fay)



 …and here it is. This person might be able to help the horses living in this forest. I think he should be nice to the horses instead.


 Also, I simply don’t like the idea of letting a first-time guest sleep on the floor.



 And so… I roughly draw a picture on the spot.


 I draw on the sofa. And a blanket.


 Since I have been able to use paints, it has become much faster to paint evenly on the surface. With a single pencil, it takes a long time to paint a surface.


 On the other hand, When I paint a man-made object like a sofa, the paints are a big help.



“Oooh… amazing, it really appeared…” (Fay)


“Go ahead.” (Tougo)



 Since the offer of taking the bed was declined, I decided to offer Redgarde the couch. He is taller than I am and has a decent… stouter figure than I do. So, I made the sofa big enough for him to use comfortably, so… yes, it made the house a little smaller. But that’s okay.



“Even so, I’ve never seen magic like this. Where did you learn this?” (Fay)


“I don’t know.” (Tougo)



 Is this magic in the first place? I don’t know anything about it, so as far as I’m concerned, I can’t answer that question.



 It is more uncomfortable than I expected to have a stranger in my house. I am more restless than Redgarde. He’s already gone to bed, but I’m still tossing and turning, unable to sleep for some reason.


 …It is no good. I can’t sleep. And when I can’t sleep, I want to paint.


 What shall I draw? Well, what I want to draw is…



“Portrait drawing…” (Tougo)



  No, let’s not do that. I’m a little drawn to figure drawing, but I’m not sure I want to draw a sleeping person without permission.


 I think Redgarde must be kind of fun to draw. Even to me, as a man, he has a reasonably good appearance, beautiful hair, and eye color, and above all, he has a nice expression on his face. I’m sure it would be fun to draw her. It would be fun to draw her.


 But I don’t think it would be good to draw him in his sleep. Probably not. It’s just too much work.



 …I’m going to use carrots because I want to feed them to the horses.


 I lit a lamp (I drew a match, too, and it came out, which is handy) and I start drawing the carrots, relying on the light and the moonlight coming in through the window.


 …Speaking of which, I wonder if the horses have decided to live around this house. They are sleeping peacefully under the trees around the fountain or walking around even though it is nighttime. Well, I don’t mind.



“Poachers, huh…” (Tougo)



 Still, poachers, huh? There are poachers in this world, too. The most important thing to remember is that the best way to get the most out of your money is to be prepared to pay for it.


 The feathers of the Pegasus and the horns of the unicorn are beautiful. So, I can understand why others would want them. I can understand the feeling of wanting to poach them and take those by force.


 But I don’t think it’s right… Especially after I’ve petted, cured, rubbed up against, and been ridden by horses. I have feelings for them, and I don’t want them to get hurt, I think.


 I hope… I can solve this. This problem.



 It was morning, and a pile of carrots was made. Redgarde was surprised when he saw the pile of carrots. Well, I was surprised too. Why did I keep drawing carrots all night long?


 Oh well. What’s done is done. I went outside and handed out carrots to the horses, calling out, “Breakfast is ready!” and walked outside, handing out carrots to the horses. …The carrots were well received. I’m glad they seem tasty.



“Oh, this is delicious. What are we going to do with all these carrots? …well, it doesn’t mean it tastes bad.” (Tougo)



 And our breakfast was carrots, too.


 Redgarde was chomping down on a raw carrot. I didn’t have the courage to bite into it, so I cut it into thin strips with a knife and ate it.


 By the way, the seasoning was salt. I thought it might be good to have mayonnaise or something like that, but I decided not to use it because I felt sure that mayonnaise would turn into white paint if I painted with it in my sleepy state.



“I see that we have nice weather, but I did not think it would be. It looks like the spirits aren’t too mad at us.” (Fay)



 Redgarde chomped on a carrot and looked out the window, smiling brightly.


 It’s a sunny lovely day, huh? …But if the “spirit” gets angry, will a storm appear?



“Um, may I ask you something?” (Tougo)


“Hmm? Sure. Go ahead.” (Fay)



 I was curious, so I decided to ask about it.



“What is a spirit?” (Tougo)



 Redgarde looked worried, very worried, but still decided to explain while worrying. He uttered the words that came to my mind.



“Hmmm… Hmm, well, they are creatures more magically capable than humans? No, are they even a creature…? I don’t know.” (Fay)



 From the beginning, I did not understand any of what he said. It was a noticeable cross-cultural barrier.



“Well, it’s like spirits are the forest and the forests are spirits… They live in places like forests and springs… They are sometimes incarnations of forests or springs. Well, they protect the area anyway. They also have much more magical power than humans.” (Fay)



 What is magic power? Probably has some kind of power. Maybe. I can tell from some vague gut-feeling.



“Most spirits don’t like humans. But if they find a human they like, they will help them. The heroes in fairy tales are usually the ones who are favored by the high-ranked spirits and given power. I think they are someone more powerful than a human, different from a human, but more than a little capricious.” (Fay)



 I see. Do they generally settle down around places? In other words, they are similar to the “mountain gods” in Japan.


 In short, I think it is a form of nature worship. No, I can see that there is magic in this world, so it would not be surprising if there really are such “spirits”…



“Oh, yes. The other thing to remember is that genies have a beautiful appearance. The genies in fairy tales are all beautiful men and women. I’ve never seen one in person, so I don’t know what they really look like.” (Fay)


“I see……” (Tougo)



 …But didn’t he mistake me for one? I don’t know what expression I should make.


It seems that Redgarde noticed, perhaps because I was making a face like, “What kind of expression should I make?”



“Oh, about you? Well… yeah. If anyone sees a smiling human bathing surrounded by Pegasi and unicorns, they’d think it was a spirit. That scene was too surreal.” (Fay)



 Oh yeah, that’s right… Well, it’s not that I’m strange, but that the horses are with me that is strange…





 A little over an hour later.



“Thanks for the help! Thank you!” (Fay)



 After a breakfast of carrots and fruit, Redgarde had to leave. He said he would try his best to find poachers again.



“I’m going to find those poachers and beat them to a pulp! I’m not going to let them mess with the horses again!” (Fay)


“Yeah. Good luck.” (Tougo)



 I watched Redgarde leave with a smile on his face and waved off lazily until I could no longer see his brightly colored head behind the trees.





 The horses seemed to really like the carrots. They poke me with their noses and ask for more carrots.


 I’m in charge of taking care of the horses again today. …and also the bird.


 The birds came again today. They came a little later than usual because Mr. Redgarde was there, so I guess they were a little wary of me.


 Well, anyway, this huge robin is coming in happily again today and occupying the fountain. Yeah… it’s fine, nothing to worry about. Go ahead and bathe as long as you like.



 But today… the giant bird seems to have brought something to me.


 As soon as I started to bathe, the bird pecked me and pushed …… something in its beak.



“Huh? Eh? What? This?” (Tougo)



 It was a piece of paper… But…



“I cannot read it.” (Tougo)



 I tried my best to look at the paper that the bird brought to me, but I couldn’t read it. I couldn’t read it, because these letters were different from any letters I knew.


 It seemed to be written in an otherworldly alphabet that, unfortunately, I could not read. The only thing I could make out was that it might be some kind of contract. It’s stamped with something like a seal, and there’s also something like a thumbprint.


 But I don’t know anything more than that… So, yeah, I feel bad for the bird, but I’m going to put this away for a while.


 …but the bird seemed satisfied with that. It seemed to be satisfied with me having the paper, and when it saw that I had put it in my pocket, it chirped and crooned.



 After that, I lay back and relaxed on the bed. I had spent the last few days fainting in order to heal the horses, so maybe it would be better if I didn’t paint anything today.


 However, if I didn’t draw a picture, I would feel itchy, so I thought I should draw something, so I went outside with my sketchbook and a set of art supplies. I wandered around my neighborhood and thought that if I found something I liked, I might draw it.


 Hmm, should I have drawn Redgarde before he left? It was a shame to not make a portrait drawing …




 That’s when I was thinking that.


 The horse came up to me, whinnying.


 And then they pushed me hard with their nose.



“Huh? What?” (Tougo)



 I was pushed along the front of the house, past the spring, and as soon as I got out into the open space… I was scooped up by the horns of a unicorn and carried on the back of a Pegasus.



“……Huh?” (Tougo)



 For a moment, I wondered what this was all about while the Pegasus ran off into the forest with me on their back.



 The Pegasus was fast.


 They were moving through the forest at a breakneck pace, running through the trees without slowing down. And sometimes they would fly.


 Watching the trees in the forest drift away behind me, I can only try to hold on to Pegasus as hard as I can… If I am thrown off, I will definitely die.


 The Pegasus doesn’t care about my inner turmoil and just keeps running.


 …Come to think of it, it seems like they are in a hurry, but they are not flying, where are they heading, or is something happening because they are in such a hurry? It just continued to be carried by the Pegasus.



 About 10 minutes after being carried by the Pegasus.


 The Pegasus I was on finally stopped. And from there onwards, they moved slowly, slowly, like they are moving forward while trying to erase their presence.


 Soon, I begin to hear what sounds like voices coming from behind the trees. I begin to see a little open space.



“Tha—” (Tougo)



 And I retract the words that were about to come out when I see the scene that was there.




 …What was there was the sight of a dozen or so people surrounding two Pegasi and trying to cut off their wings.



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