Drawn Mochi Volume 3 Chapter 15.1: Honey Trap and Trap Breaking *10

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 …Two weeks later. I continued to draw Ms. Croix as usual, and while I was at it, I “feed” Ms. Croix.


 I played in the forest and gathered fruits. I was surprised to see the huge bird coming to bathe. …Ms. Croix had grown accustomed to the forest.


 Then… I felt like I was being careless, but I let him out, the Pipe Fox. Ms. Croix seems to like fluffy creatures, so I thought she would really like a Pipe Fox with its bushy tail.


 Just for the fun of it… the Pipe Fox was clever enough to come out of the jewelry. It was also in a “bigger form”.


 I was surprised. When it first came out, I was so surprised that I thought “I must have gotten something wrong” when I first saw it. …But it seems that the big fox, which is about as tall as my waist when it is sitting, is a transformed form of the Pipe Fox. [T/N: he’s like Mugetsu from xxxHolic.]


 Yeah, if you think about it, the Pipe Fox can obviously fit into a bamboo tube that is smaller than you, so it was not surprising that it could change its body size at will.


 …No, when you think about it, there’s nothing really strange about a summoned beast coming out of a jewel.


 My teacher said that in the mythology of my original world, there are even dogs that come out of the horns of things. They say it’s called the Tindalos Dog [T/N: Lovecraftian monster]. It seems to be a mythical creature from an unknown place… Well, since there are such things, I don’t think there’s anything strange about creatures that come in and out of jewels, creatures that enter bamboo tubes, or Pipe Foxes that change body size. It’s not too late for myths to have become reality.


 …And that larger-than-usual Pipe Fox ox seems to have become a favorite of Ms. Croix’s. Sometimes she brushes the Pipe Fox’s tail with a brush. The Pipe Fox seemed to feel good when he was brushed, and he was purring happily.


 When Ms. Croix heard his cry, she said, “You’re a fox with a very strange cry…”. …eh? Aren’t foxes supposed to cry “kon”? [T/N: In Japan foxes say “Kon”, like someone coughing or clearing their throat.]



 …and after that. Two weeks until the deadline.


 I finally decided to draw the commissioned picture.



“Well, then I’ll draw it.” (Tougo)


“Oh~… You’re not feeling shy anymore?” (Croix)


“…To be honest, it’s still a little embarrassing.” (Tougo)



 Ms. Croix chuckles at my reply. She was laughing and happily stroking the unicorn in the spring.


 …The composition of this time may not be appropriate to call it a nude painting.


 This time, the pose is of Ms. Croix, waist-deep in the spring, leaning over the unicorn, stroking the horse’s neck, while looking at me and laughing.


 In other words, the lower half of her body is hardly seen on the canvas. Her legs and buttocks are in the water. [T/N: That’s cold. Literally.]


 And since I asked her to lean her body back at an angle, I only painted her face, arms, back, and armpits. I think this is not as dangerous.


 of course, even if the composition of the picture is like that, it is not hard if I only look at the back and armpits…



“Ah, wait, you have to stay still.” (Tougo)



 Horses are smart, but they don’t like to stay still. Sometimes they start circling around Ms. Croix or start nudging her with their noses.


 Then Ms. Croix will move, too, and I can see the, uh, you know.


 If I concentrate on drawing… I probably won’t be embarrassed, but if the horse starts to move and so does Ms. Croix, my concentration is also broken, so… Yes, it’s a little embarrassing.



 I finished the preliminary drawing quickly because I couldn’t keep Ms. Croix immersed in the water for a long time.


 The rest of the work is from memory, and then the lines are set and… drawing paper is water-soaked on the board.


 …Nude paintings have a strong image of being oil paintings. But this time, I decided to do it with watercolors.


 The reason is that I wanted to meet the deadline for the commission, but more importantly, I thought I could create a light, transparent, and fresh impression instead of losing the heaviness of the oil paintings.


 …I tried to paint nudes this time without the seduction.



 I wanted to depict the sunlight filtering through the trees, so I used a clear contrast of light. I left the areas directly exposed to the sunlight pure white and the color of the paper, placed a thin layer of color on the areas that glowed weakly through the leaves, and painted the shadows darker and more vivid.


 The surface of the water, in particular, has a large difference between areas that reflect the light strongly and areas that are in shadow. However, if I make only the water surface high contrast, the eye will not be drawn to Ms. Croix… so I made the shadow of the water surface lighter.


 Perhaps there is a way to make the light on the water surface weaker. However, in this picture, the area of the horse is quite large. Moreover, the horse is close to Ms. Croix. And since the horse is originally white.


 …I decided to make what I wanted to show the clearest by making the color of Ms. Croix darker and more vivid.


 Especially more vivid colors in her green eyes, which are darkly shadowed by her bangs and eyelashes. I wanted to make sure that the viewer’s eyes would focus on her face and expression rather than her body.



“…Have I become like the forest?” (Croix)


“Yes.” (Tougo)



 While I was coloring, Ms. Croix, who was taking a break, looked at the drawing paper and chuckled.


 And Ms. Croix suddenly said.



“Yes. Then I look forward to working for you.” (Croix)



“Eh?” (Tougo)



 I was surprised at the sudden decision. I almost dropped my brush, and then hurriedly regained my grip on it.



“…really?” (Tougo)


“Yes. Really.” (Croix)


“Are you sure?” (Tougo)


“I’m sure. Well, I’ve decided.” (Croix)


“What about your old job? You didn’t hate it, did you?” (Tougo)


“Well… I didn’t hate it, or rather, I changed in a way that I couldn’t hate it. And even if I didn’t hate it, I didn’t particularly like it.” (Croix)



 I see. Is that how it was? If that’s the case… I think Ms. Croix must have had a hard time up until now.



“And in ten years, I won’t be able to do this job the way I’m doing it now anyway.” (Croix)


“Eh, why?” (Tougo)


“Because I won’t be young anymore. Only as a young and beautiful woman can use charm magic effectively. When I get older, I will be forced out of work.” (Croix)



 …it’s a tough world. Since you’re such a beautiful person, I’m sure you’ll be beautiful no matter how old you are, but I wonder if that’s not the case.



“So… well, I had to change my way of life at some point anyway. I don’t think I can get a proper job until now, so… I thought I would either die in the field somewhere, or someone would stab me to death.” (Croix)


“Eh?” (Tougo)



 Please don’t die! It would be a waste!



“…Well, you’re the kind of boy who makes a face like that when I say, ‘I am going to die.’ It might not be a bad idea for me to stay with you.” (Croix)



 Ms. Croix looks at my face and smiled.


 That smile was very much like a forest.



“But please let me have the greatest luxury, okay? It’s going to cost a fortune.” (Croix)



 She poked me on the cheek along with a seductive smile, the kind she might use at a late-night party.



“Of course! I’ll build you a very nice house and I’ll even make some furniture for you! You can even go shopping. We could even pick out a lot of clothes and build you a dressing room… And I’ll even get you lots of jewelry to decorate you.” (Tougo) [T/N: Tougo became a sugar daddy/patron.]


“Oh, my goodness. That sounds wonderful.” (Croix)



 Yes. I’ll take this opportunity to design a house, too. I might even enjoy making furniture. I’m not sure about clothes, but I’d like to try. Also, I might take this opportunity to design jewelry.


 What should I do? Thinking about it makes me excited. I’m getting excited, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it properly…



“And… there are lots of horses. Lots of trees. There’s also bamboo. Birds appear, and the Pipe Fox seems to like you…” (Tougo)


“…what should I do? It sounds more appealing here than it did earlier, which means it was already too late for me, isn’t it?” (Croix)



 …As I look at the smiling Ms. Croix, I think I’d like to get her food for her heart first, more than clothes and jewelry.



 Then I took my time and finished the commissioned nude painting.



“What do you think?” (Tougo)




 For the time being, I want the model to see her painting, so I show the completed picture to Ms. Croix. As Ms. Croix looked at her picture, her face suddenly brightened.




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