Drawn Mochi Volume 1 Chapter 17.2: Scarlet Dragon*4

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 I’m not sure if I’m being naive. I hadn’t thought about what would happen if I couldn’t get out of here.



“Heh, that’s great. Well, if you’re willing to bring us out, I’d appreciate it. By the way, I’d be very grateful if you could send me back with my body in one piece, okay?” (Fay)


“Are you scared? My bad, as expected, incompetent nobles have stupid things to say.” (Man)



 The laughter echoes on the other side of the iron bars. Redgarde responded with a smile (not his usual grin) and waited patiently for the iron bars to be unlocked.



 And then. One of the people outside the jail bent down, key in one hand, and touched the lock with the other…


 *sizzle* and.



“Hot!?” (Man)



 A moment later, he screamed. …Of course. Because he carelessly touched the lock that had been heated all along, he got burned.


 The key fell from the burned man’s hand to the floor with a clink. At the same time, the other two became furious.



“You, what are you doing… Uwaa!?” (Man)



 But two fireballs immediately followed one to each of them. Two fireballs were aimed… at the faces of two of the jailers.


 As expected, their faces were hit with fire, but it was not enough to kill them. However, both of them cover their eyes and scream.



“…you bastard!” (Man)



 And then the first person who got burned by the lock punched through the bars.


 …But, before the arm reaches Redgarde. He deftly shot his long legs through the iron bars and kicked the person.



“Alright! It’s the key!” (Fay)



 In front of the three people crouching outside the prison, Redgarde reached through the bars and picked up the key.



“Wait, Tougo. I’ll open it right away!” (Fay)


“Eh, hey, the heat.” (Tougo)


“That’s not a problem.” Fay



 Redgarde chuckled as he said this and touched the lock, inserted the key, and removed the lock without any problem.


 …The jail door opens.



“Well, they say I’m incompetent, but I’m somewhat resistant to fire. …So, let’s go, Tougo! Let’s get out of here!” (Fay)



 Redgarde looked back at me and grinned.



 …That’s when it happened.


 I think something transparent flew in the air.


 The transparent something sliced through Redgarde’s side just as he was getting out of jail.



 Splat, blood splashes. Seeing that reminded me of the Pegasus when their wings were cut off. Even then, it was bright red. The blood was spilled, splattered, a bright red.



“Oh no…!” (Fay)



 Redgard-san threw a fireball in return, but immediately after, a large transparent snake attacked and bit Redgarde.



“Redgarde!” (Tougo)



 There was no response to my shout. Bitten by the serpent, a limp Redgarde was lifted to near the ceiling.



“Really, it seems that I might have been a bit violent. Though It seems that you want to be hurt so much.” (Snake Magician)



 Then came the sound of footsteps and a human’s voice. I remember… The water serpent, this person’s voice, and the way the person who appeared was wearing a hood over his head. It was this man and this snake that first caught me.



“B-bas-tard…” (Fay)



 Redgarde stared at the man who had come up to his feet. But the hooded man only scoffed at him.



“Don’t worry. I won’t kill you yet. Though, I’m sure… you’ll be asking me to kill you soon enough.” (Fay)



 The hooded man glanced at me as he said this.


 He looked at me, still at the door of the jail, and laughed again.



“You don’t have to look like that. I’m not going to kill you either, because you seem to be useful. I’ll take good care of you… as long as you behave yourself.” (Snake Magician)



 He said so in a gentler tone… but then, with that voice, it suddenly turned cold and low, he continued like this.



“If you don’t want to get hurt, stay there and be quiet.” (Snake Magician)



 And the prison was locked.


 The sound of footsteps and a serpent slithering away. And finally, there was the creaking sound of the wooden door moving, then the banging sound of the door closing, and that was it.


 …it became quiet.



 It didn’t seem real. I can’t understand what happened.


 But it is real. Redgarde’s blood spilled on the floor proves that it happened here.


 He was badly injured. And he was taken away. Something absolutely wrong is happening. Something that probably shouldn’t have happened.


 …what should I do?


 I want to do something about it, but I can’t think of anything to do about it. My vision is blood red, but my mind is just blank.


 I am afraid of everything. I am afraid of what might be happening to Redgarde right now. I’m afraid, but I can’t stop thinking about it.


 I don’t know what to do. What should I do? What can I do to turn this whole horrible thing around? I want to pretend it didn’t happen at all. I want to pretend that nothing happened, but I lack everything to make it happen.



“If you don’t want to get hurt, stay there and be quiet.” The words he said to me, the low, cold voice, are still echoing in the back of my ears.



 I’m scared. The thoughts about “pain” are scary. I absolutely hate it. But. But!





 Because I want to turn everything upside down for convenience.


 Because I want to do something about the unmanageable.


 Because even a piece of it is possible.


 Because dreaming is free.


 Because in this world, I am surely allowed to do so.



“Even if I die, I will not stop painting.” (Tougo)



 Because I am such a person.



 The canvas is this floor. The paintbrush is my finger. The paint is …… blood.


 I take a drop of Redgarde’s blood on my finger and start painting.


 I have already decided what I am going to paint.


 A dragon.


 Let’s draw a dragon. A dragon in the color of blood.


 The color of blood, the color of fire, the color of… Redgarde. Scarlet. I draw such a dragon.



 On the gray stone floor, I slide my finger wet with blood. The blood extends and becomes a line. Brightness and darkness appear in the blur. It gathers and makes the figure of a big dragon.


 The reference is the Redgarde family crest, which was shown to me earlier. The figure of the dragon that was there.


 Then there is the figure of the “dragon” in my imagination, and later, a horse.


 The body of a four-legged creature. body. The muscles and bones under the skin. I drew the red dragon using all the knowledge I had inside me and all the imagination I command.


 Because it is a dragon, it has wings. It has scales and sharp fangs. It has horns, and a long tail, and, as in the coat of arms, it is enveloped by a blazing fire.


 It has a stout frame. Yet supple. …Oh, yes. I am sure it would be very beautiful if it flew in the sky. The red color would be beautiful against the blue sky. It would be perfect for the sunset sky. When it flies on a rainy night, it would probably spit out flames to brighten up the sky.


 As I built up these images in my mind, I reflected them on the floor.



“Oh……” (Tougo)



 But halfway through, I ran out of blood. I had already used up almost all of what was on the floor.


 But no problem. Not enough paint? Then get it out! I have red paint running through my body, too!


 I use the knife that Redgarde left with me. I slide the blade of the knife boldly inside my left arm, and after a hot pain, the red paint comes pouring out.


 I immediately began to continue painting the picture with it.



 The pain did not disturb me. Something much bigger than the pain was driving me.


 Perhaps it was impatience, perhaps it was fear.


 But more than that, it was an ideal, a possibility, a hope… a yet unnamed impulse.


 I had to draw it. If I don’t draw it, it will be scary.


 I have to draw it. I might be able to turn this situation upside down.


 I have to draw. That’s what I’m living for.



“……it’s fun!” (Tougo)



 It’s fun. Painting is fun.


 I found myself laughing.


 Laughing, I added red paint and rubbed it on the floor with my fingers.


 The dragon is completed. The dragon that only exists in my mind comes to this world.



 At last.


 I scooped up the last drop of Redgarde’s blood and finished drawing the eyes of the dragon.



 As soon as I finished drawing the pupils, all at once my strength left my body and I collapsed on the floor.


 Perhaps it was because I had been concentrating so hard all the time, but my heart felt strange. My breathing also felt strange. My eyes were fluttering.


 My fingertips are cold and trembling. I’m cold. …but I’m sweating.


 I try to catch it with my hand so that the sweat doesn’t fall on the picture I just painted, and I realize…


 There was no picture on the floor.



 In an instant, my vision brightened.


 A terrible sound. And then the stone fragments raining down. The light that illuminated them was the color of fire.


 A roar resounds above my fallen head. The plumes of flames illuminate the surroundings.


 …The eyes that look down at me as I look up… I saw the color of warmth, endlessly scarlet blood.



 The ceiling has been broken through. The sky is jet black.


 And under the jet-black sky, there was a scarlet dragon… spreading its wings, roaring in the sky, and breathing flames brighter than the moon.



 The dragon was staring at me. I couldn’t move my body, so I only moved my eyes and looked up at the dragon.


 …The dragon bent down and brought its face closer to me. Every single scale that covers their face, their big mouth, their fangs that can be seen through the gaps, and above all, the sharp glint in their eyes. They were all very beautiful.



“……nice to meet you.” (Fay)



 The dragon heard my voice, looked at me a little strangely, and then …… stuck out its bright red tongue and licked my cheek. That tickles.


 From the other side of the dragon, you can hear people’s noisy voices in the distance. A big dragon suddenly appeared, so they must be really surprised. It’s a little fun when you think about it.



“Hey, there’s a voice on the other side, there’s something I need your help with. There’s someone I want you to help. Someone with a color like yours.” (Tougo)



 When I said that while staring into the eyes of the dragon that was near me, the dragon blinked as if to say, “I know,” and took off the next moment.



 Immediately after the dragon took off, a strong wind blew up and I closed my eyes.


 Then the wind died down, and when I opened my eyes again… the dragon was a little further up in the sky, spitting fire at the water serpent.


 …everything would surely be all right.


 As soon as I thought that, I felt at ease and …… more and more strength left my body. But it was a pleasant feeling of weakness. I was filled with a sense of accomplishment, and I was having fun.



“…it’s fun, it truly is?” (Tougo)



 After all, drawing is fun.



 I closed my eyes thinking that.



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