Drawn Mochi Volume 2 Chapter 23.1: Request and Lightning*11

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 The next day. I went to bed, woke up, and had breakfast.


 At the breakfast table, I was asked about progress, so I said, “A phoenix is better than an alicorn, right?” They nodded with a big smile on his face. Yup. So, it is the Phoenix that will be handed to the Dioren family. Done.



 And back in the basement, the first thing I drew was a gem.


 …Yeah. Not the alicorns, not the phoenix, but the gem that would be their home. That one first.


 My teacher said. “Look here, Tougo. You’ve got to do all the preparation you can ahead of time. You have to make the container and the space first.” Incidentally, my teacher had bought a bookshelf at that time, and then cleared out his room to make room for it.


 Then, Teacher said, “If you see a thief and then fix things up, you can’t convey a sense of crisis. If you want to convey this sense of crisis to future generations, you should buy a bookshelf and then clean up your room. …Also, you shouldn’t say that you will build a toilet after you take a dump. Wait, let’s leave the toilet out of it, but you have to make sure you have a “container” or “space” before you start doing things.



 For the Laocles’ alicorn, I painted a pale gold stone. The color of lightning. The color of light.


 …I was a little bit confused with purple. The word “purple lightning” can also be used to describe a creature that carries thunder, so I thought that color would be better for a creature that carries lightning.


 But I thought about what would look good on Laocles, so I made it gold. A golden, transparent stone.


 I also painted an orange stone for Phoenix. The color is like Carnelia’s eyes. Like candied kumquats or honeyed oranges.


 …I was a little unsure, but I put out the jewel for the phoenix into a pendant. I felt that if I didn’t do this, I wouldn’t have an excuse to give it to Carnelia.


 But… No, let’s stop. I can’t think calmly. So, I will not think about the pros and cons of giving a 9-year-old girl an extremely expensive jewelry.



“Tougo! May I come in?” (Carnelia)


“Come in.” (Tougo)



 I had just started drafting the alicorn when Carnelia came in.


 She was looking at the drafts and her face lit up.



“Wow! It’s an alicorn!” (Carnelia)


“Yes.” (Tougo)


“Wasn’t Tougo a summoner? Are you also a painter?” (Carnelia)


“It’s both and neither.” (Tougo)



 Carnelia was staring at the alicorn I was drawing, letting out a sound that I’m not sure if she understood or not.



“…Oh? This one? Why are you soaking the paper in water?” (Carnelia)



 Then she looked at the drawing paper for the phoenix that was being watered and tilted her head.



“Um… I soak the paper in water and stick it tightly to the board. Once it dries, the paper won’t distort or twist even if I apply watercolors later.” (Tougo)


“Oh… I get it! I have played with colored water using the flowers in my garden! But when I put it on paper, the paper got wrinkled.” (Carnelia)



 Yes. I know what you mean. Especially when water is applied to paper that is not watercolor paper, the distortion is quite harsh.


 When I was in elementary school, I used to draw with watercolors on non-watercolor paper in arts and crafts class… but now that I think about it, it was extremely difficult to do.



“It’s amazing. You paint like this?” (Carnelia)


“Yes.” (Tougo)



 She said that the scene of working with watercolors was new to her. She looked at it with sparkling eyes and let out a sigh of admiration.



“…Oh? But where did you get these tools? I don’t think we have anything like this at home.” (Carnelia)


“Yeah. I brought it with me.” (Tougo)


“But you didn’t have it yesterday, did you?” (Carnelia)


“I hid it under my bed.” (Tougo)


“…you were hiding this?” (Carnelia)


“……yes.” (Tougo)



 I thought it was a bit of a bad idea, but as I looked at Carnelia… She eventually giggled and said,


“Then this is a secret! I understand. I will keep this a secret from Brother Santos and Father!” (Carnelia)



 Ah, apparently it’s all right. I was a little relieved.



“It’s okay. They don’t like fun things. So, when I want to do something fun, I would keep it a secret from Father, Brother Santos, and if possible, the lady. I do it all the time.” (Carnelia)


“I see.” (Tougo)


“Yeah! That’s why Tougo and I won’t tell them that I have the picture book! I took this out of the warehouse and haven’t returned it!” (Carnelia)


“Yes. I won’t tell anyone.” (Tougo)



 Carnelia nodded several times happily… And she suddenly caught sight of the pendant that had been left on the desk.



“Oh? Is this also a secret?” (Carnelia)


“Actually…” (Tougo)



 I paused my hand and picked up the pendant.


 Then compare the orange jewel with Carnelia’s eyes. …Yes. It’s the same color.


 After confirming that, I presented the pendant to Carnelia.



“This is yours.” (Tougo)


“…Eh? You are giving it to me?” (Carnelia)


“Yes.” (Tougo)


“But I wonder if it’s right…… To receive such a big jewel.” (Carnelia)


“Yeah. I think I’ll probably need it.” (Tougo)



 When I said that, Carnelia looked a little puzzled.



“If you have a stone like this, if a phoenix appears, you might be able to catch it.” (Tougo)



 …But when I said that, her expression brightened, and nodded.



“That’s right! If Phoenix comes to play with us, they won’t be able to become a summoned beast without a magic stone!” ()



 I don’t know how she took it. She might have thought it was an extension of her fantasy, a kind of make-believe. She might have thought it was a fake stone or something, even as a pendant.


 …But when I put the pendant around Carnelia’s neck and she gave me a big smile.



“Thank you! I will cherish it!” (Carnelia)


“Yes.” (Tougo)



 “Look good, right?”, Looking at Carnelia, who was spinning around on the spot while saying that, I thought, hmm, if it’s this girl, she’ll definitely look good sleeping on Phoenix’s futon.


 …Or, sleeping on a futon with a phoenix.



 After Carnelia left after chatting with me, I went on with my painting.


 I had very little time, so I put some more color on the paper that was still wet and not completely dry.


 The paper that had not completely dried was blotchy when I put thinly dissolved paint on it. After placing a few colors in this way, the colors gradually blended and the entire sheet of paper became colored.



“Did you change the way you painted?” (Laocles)


“I decided to do the groundwork for the base of the painting along with the wetting since there didn’t seem to be much time. And I thought this one looked more Phoenix-like.” (Tougo)



 The Alicorn will not be painted this way. I follow the baselines from the beginning and puts color on it. Alicorn is Laocles’ mount, so I wanted to give it a crisp look rather than a fluffy look. That is why I painted this one this way.


 For the Phoenix, I applied the base color vaguely before the baselines. I’m going to add more colors on top of this, but I think this kind of texture is better for Phoenix. I think a fluffy phoenix is better than a crisp phoenix for a futon.



“Are you drawing two of them?” (Laocles)


“Yes, I can. Yes. Originally, I had to wait a long time for the paints to dry. If I paint two paintings at the same time, I can work on the other work while I wait for the other to dry.” (Tougo)



 I finished the base color on the phoenix and moved back to the alicorn. This one is dry now, so let’s start painting again. For the alicorn, I want to bring out the shiny mane and tail, so I need to pay attention to that.


 And then there’s the body of the alicorn. I made it stouter than a normal horse. This is the horse that will carry Laocles. If I’m going to put a hunk of muscle on a horse, it should be a massive amount of muscle, right? Yeah.



“…Well, looks like you’re having fun.” (Laocles)


“Yes.” (Tougo)



 After all, it’s fun to paint.


 And I’m glad to hear you say, “looks like you’re having fun.”



 I declined lunch that day. I tried to decline dinner as well, but the dinner was brought to the basement.


 So, I had to hide a set of painting materials under the bed in a panic. Oh, that was a close call.



“Here’s dinner.” (Intarlia)



  No, but I probably didn’t have to hide them.


 The person who came to bring dinner was Intarlia Bersch… a former colleague of Laocles.



“Intarlia. It’s been a long time.” (Laocles)



 Laocles was still feeling awkward as he called out. Ms. Intarlia puts the tray with the dinner on the desk while also looking awkward, but then turns to Laocles.



“…are you in good health?” (Laocles)


“Oh. I’m doing well. Barclaed. What about you?” (Intarlia)


“Well, somehow. Oh, you know. I’m doing pretty well these days.” (Laocles)



 I step away from them for a moment. Somehow, I felt like I shouldn’t come between them.



“You have found a new master.” (Intarlia)



 But Intarlia looked at me and smiled, so I bowed a little.



“Yeah. He’s so far from the world that his mind is not here, and he’s fluffy and seems like he’s always about to fly away somewhere.” (Laocles)


“Those seem like a terrible thing to say…” (Intarlia)



 But I can’t argue with that. I’m not sure. I don’t think I am fluffy, but I am absent minded. Yeah, I’m sorry.


 Then Laocles had a little talk with Ms. Intarlia.


 …Really, it was just a casual chat. Well, they can’t afford to talk about the past in a place like this, right?


 But even with that, they both seemed to be having a good time. That’s why I’m happy for them.



 …But while I was looking at them, Ms. Intarlia suddenly turned to me.




“…I would like to ask the summoner, master Tougo.” (Intarlia)




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