Drawn Mochi Volume 3 Chapter 12.1: Honey Trap and Trap Breaking *7

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 From that day on, I started to have Ms. Croix doing forest-like things.


 However, I didn’t really understand what exactly forest-like things meant, even though I said so, myself… So, I decided to take a walk in the forest with Ms. Croix for the time being.



“For now, go ahead.” (Tougo)


“Oh, thank you…” (Croix)



 Ms. Croix was apparently not used to walking in the woods, so I asked one of the horses to carry her for a bit.


 The horses were very willing to be ridden, so some of them took turns carrying Ms. Croix… By the way, some of the other horses carried me and Laocles.


 …These horses seem to be especially fond of women and was a little reluctant to let Laocles and me ride them. yes. No, it’s good that you gave us a ride.



“Um… where are we going?” (Croix)


“Well… I’ve asked the horses to go to the places they recommend for the moment.” (Tougo)



 However, these horses, aside from the ones carrying us, are extremely enthusiastic about carrying Ms. Croix and taking her to a particularly beautiful place in the forest… well, it’s an optional riding tour.



 The horse is rocking us leisurely, and we are enjoying the forest.



“I’ve never been to this part of the forest before.” (Tougo)


“Oh… but you live in the forest, don’t you?” (Croix)


“Yes, I do. We usually only go around the house. But I should have gone for a walk earlier.” (Tougo)



 The forest I know is surprisingly small.


 From where I was when I came to this world to where I am now. From your current house to a giant bird’s nest. Then from home to Fay’s house. I only know these three plots of the forest.


 So, I was able to look at the forest with an unexpectedly refreshed perspective.



“There are quite a few flowers blooming over here…” (Tougo)


“Yes. It’s beautiful.” (Croix)



 I saw flowers that I had never seen before, and I thought to myself, “This forest is really quite large.”



“Oh, butterflies.” (Croix)


“What? …Oh, it’s true. But it’s strange. It’s a pitch-black butterfly.” (Tougo)


“Is it darker than your eye color?” (Croix)


“Yes, maybe even blacker than my eyes. It’s not a crow swallowtail… I wonder what it is.” (tougo)



 Then, I also found a butterfly. I thought it might be a Crow Swallowtail, but it was different. It looked like a black lacewing butterfly, so it was probably a butterfly from another world.


 Come to think of it, this was the first time I had found a living butterfly in this forest. I have found dead ones and used them as paints.



“The color of Laocles… is similar to the color of the flower’s eyes. It’s the color of a chick.”


“…Are my eyes chick-colored?” (Croix)


“Yeah. Ms. Croix’s eyes are… yeah. Above us.” (Tougo)



Laocles looked a little unhappy about the “chick color,” but when I pointed up, they looked up. Ms. Croix looked up as well… and found cool leaves, shimmering in the sunlight and swaying in the wind.



“It’s green.” (Croix)


“…yes, it is.” (Tougo)



 Ms. Croix looks up and then smiles.



“You think my eyes are beautiful, don’t you?” (Croix)


“Yeah. Of course. You’re beautiful all over, but I think your eyes are special.” (Tougo)



 The bright green color is an accent color in Ms. Croix’s mind, and it’s really cool. I have Japanese hair and eyes, so I don’t have any color or anything… Maybe that’s why Ms. Croix looks so beautiful.



“Oh, it’s fruit. Stop for a second.” (Tougo)



 After a while, I found some fruits growing on the tree.


 …These fruits looked familiar.



“My first red.” (Tougo)


“…what is that?” (Laocles)


“Yes, it is. The first red color I ever used in this forest was the juice of these berries.” (Tougo)



 That’s right. This fruit was the one I used when I materialized the cherry tomato right after I materialized the drawn mochi. I see. Maybe a bird or something dropped these fruits.



“Let’s try some. …Oh, is it poisonous?” (Tougo)


“…don’t eat it if you don’t know.” (Laocles)



 Just to be sure, I asked Laocles before eating it, and he stopped me.



“Hey, Ms. Croix. Is this poisonous? I think it’s probably not poisonous because it’s a fruit that birds eat.” (Tougo)


“Huh? No, they are not poisonous, but…” (Croix)



 Ms. Croix seemed surprised at being asked so abruptly, but she answered.



“…But it’s not very delicious, is it?” (Croix)



 And her words that followed… Surprised me.



“Have you ever eaten them?” (Tougo)



 Because, Ms. Croix, for some reason, looks the way she is… she doesn’t look like someone who eats fruits from the forest.


 She looks like the kind of person who eats beautifully cut fruit… No, she looks like the kind of person who eats beautifully cut ‘fruit’ with a silver fork. Yes, that’s the image I have of him. That’s the kind of image I have.


 So, I was very surprised to hear that he has eaten “not so tasty” nuts before.



“Um… when I was a little girl.” (Croix)



 While I was looking surprised, Ms. Croix also answered in such a tone that made me little more surprised and confused.


 …It happened before.



 I’m a little worried about M\s. Croix’s condition, but for the time being, I’m worried about the fruits.



“So, it’s not poison.” (Tougo)


“Yes. It’s not poisonous. But it’s not delicious…” (Croix)


“Thank you for the meal.” (Tougo)



 Ms. Croix was surprised, but I tried the fruits.


 …I tried the berries… and found them to be slowly getting sour, with little sweetness and a watery taste. They were also astringent. It tasted like that.


 Sure enough, it doesn’t taste good.



“…I see from your face that it doesn’t taste good.” (Croix)


“Yes…” (Tougo)



 It’s a taste that makes your lips pucker. Yes. Not even a bit delicious.



“It’s not delicious, so maybe you shouldn’t have eaten it…” (Croix)



 Ms. Croix said and looked a little worried and puzzled about my actions.



“Maybe, but eating something that doesn’t taste good is probably food for the heart…” (Tougo)



 But it’s also important to me.



“Food for the heart?” (Croix)


“I need to do something useless. It is for the heart. …Yes, that’s what my teacher taught me.” (Tougo)



 Eating the fruit of this tree was definitely a waste and something I didn’t need to do. There is no doubt about that, but still, surely, these things feed my heart.


 The leaves on the trees are a beautiful color through the sun, the flowers are the color of chicks, the butterflies are flying, and I can eat the fruits that don’t taste good.


 Maybe it’s all unnecessary, because it’s all food for my mind.



“Let’s take these fruits home.” (Tougo)



 I quickly pick some of the fruits from the tree and put them in my bag. I made this bag as something like a fake weapon, but it’s quite nice because it’s really useful in times like this.



“Huh? Are you going to eat those?” (Croix)



“Um, I don’t want to eat them, I want to use them as paints.” (Tougo)




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