Drawn Mochi Volume 3 Chapter 15.2: Honey Trap and Trap Breaking *10

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 …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.



“…amazing. I’ve seen many paintings of nude women in the capital, but this is the first time I’ve seen one like this.” (Croix)



 I see… Are you okay with this? Did I deviate a lot from the intent of the commission? But the request was something like, “I’ll leave the size of the painting, the materials, the composition, everything to you,” so this is fine. I’ll take that as a good thing.



“It’s nice, this… Are you really going to give this to the Scheele family? It’s a waste.” (Croix)


“Well, that’s what they asked me to do…” (Tougo)



 However, Ms. Croix doesn’t seem to want to give this painting to the Scheele family. I’m happy that you liked the picture that much, but…



“…I’ve decided. I will use this picture as decoration in my new house.” (Croix)


“Eh?” (Tougo)



 I was troubled by Ms. Croix’s words, Ms. Croix smiled and said with a captivating smile.



“I’ll get this painting from the Scheele family, instead of a severance pay.” (Croix)



 And so, the promised two months were up.


 It seemed as if those two months had passed in a blink of an eye.


 And the last of the two months was an exchange… at the Scheele house.



“Hello, it’s been a while!!” (Tryphen)



 We were welcomed at the place where we were invited. Mr. Scheele looked the same as ever, with an affable smile on his face.



“How was my Croix?” (Tryphen)


“Yes, she was very nice. I filled four sketchbooks just with her.” (Tougo)



 The sketchbooks I filled were not very many sheets of paper, but even so, I did a lot of drawing. Yes, I did.



“I’m glad you liked it. Come on, Croix. You, too, should thank Mr. Tougo Uezora.” (Tryphen)


“Yes. Thank you very much. I am very happy that you drew me so beautifully.”



 The smile that Ms. Croix smiles at me is not a perfect one, but a forest-like one. It makes me happy, and I can’t help but smile back.



“So, the painting you asked me to do…” (Tougo)


“Oh! I’ve been looking forward to it. How did it turn out?” (Tryphen)



 I asked Laocles, who was carrying the framed paper, to remove the cloth covering the frame. I wondered if I had over done it for this presentation.



“Oh……?” (Tryphen)



 …And then, looking at the watercolor in the frame, Mr. Scheele looked a little surprised.



“This… it is a very unusual style of painting. The composition is also something you don’t see very often…” (Tryphen)


“Yes, it is, in my opinion, the best nude painting I have ever seen.” (Croix)



 A unicorn and a beautiful woman bathing in a spring in the forest. The strong sunlight shines through the trees, glistening on the surface of the water and on the skin of Ms. Croix. …I did well. I’m satisfied.


 However, Mr. Scheele must have imagined something different. He tilts his head a little. … Well, it’s okay. Maybe he didn’t care about the picture. He would not have complained about the pictures, since his goal was to send Ms. Croix to me.



“Hmmm, excellent. No, it is a good and refreshing picture. By the way, is that a unicorn in this picture?” (Tryphen)


“Yes. There are many such horses near my place.” (Tougo)



 I like this horse, which is so dignified that it looks like a knight while it is bathing with Ms. Croix. I guess Mr. Scheele is curious about this horse because it is a rare horse, but, well, it doesn’t matter.



“Well, then, I guess this completes the request.” (Tryphen)


“Yes. Thank you very much.” (Tougo)



 When I bowed, Mr. Scheele bowed politely and offered us to stay the night, but we declined and decided to leave the Scheele house. Mr. Scheele probably would have kept us if Fay had been with us, but since it was just me and Laocles, he easily let us go. I was glad.



“Well, Tougo. See you later.” (Croix)


“Yes.” (Tougo)



 On my way out, I waved to Ms. Croix who was seeing me off… And I left the Scheele family with Laocles.



 I waved to her as I left. …After that, we had already decided what we were going to do.



“To the inn first?” (Tougo)


“Yes. The northernmost room, on the first floor. If it’s not available, Fay will take the room next to it…” (Laocles)



 We headed for the inn as instructed by Ms. Croix.


 The capital is large, and there are many inns. And there are many magnificent buildings. However, the one that Ms. Croix had pointed out to us was a small, cozy building.


 We entered the inn and headed for the room that Ms. Croix had told us.



“Oh. You are already done?” (Fay)


“Yes.” (Tougo)



 Fay was waiting for us in the room, so we met up with him.


 When I entered the room, there was a tree outside the window, just as Ms. Croix had said, so I put a green cloth on the branch. Now we are ready to go.


 All I have to do now is to wait for Ms. Croix to come here.



“Ms. Croix, will she really be okay?” (Tougo)


“I don’t think you need to worry. If she has lived her whole life as a spy, she should be able to handle it without any problems.” (Laocles)



 Laocles told me that, but I was still worried about her.


 What if she could not resign amicably from her position as a spy of the Scheele family? What if they think that Ms. Croix betrayed them? What if Ms. Croix gets caught and is locked up somewhere to prevent her from leaking information? …I worry about a lot of things.



“…well, wait for her. If you can’t wait, go to sleep. You’ve been up all night lately, right?” (Fay)


“I can’t sleep at all, not in this mood.” (Tougo)


“If you can’t sleep, go to bed and get some rest. It is a long way from the capital to the Redgarde territory. The Alicorn can fly in the sky, but it still takes a lot of energy to ride.” (Laocles)



 Yes. I know. Even if I worry here, it doesn’t mean that Ms. Croix’s situation will improve.


 …I’m going to go to bed myself before Laocles throws me. It’s a strategic retreat.



 So I was in bed, in a daze, surrounded by the Houou and Pipe Fox. Fay was sleeping soundly in the bed next to me, and Laocles was sitting comfortably in a chair waiting.


 …hours passed, and then, when evening came.


 The window rattled.


 I jumped out of bed in a hurry and put both the Houou and the Pipe Fox into the jewel and bamboo tube so that we could leave immediately. …and a few seconds later.



“Good evening. I’m here.” (Croix)



 Ms. Croix entered through the window!



“Are you okay?” (Tougo)



 I hurriedly rushed over to Ms. Croix and offered her my hand into the room through the window.


 Ms. Croix was unexpectedly agile and didn’t seem to need my help at all… But she took my hand and smile happily as she entered the room.



“Yes. I’ve resigned safely.” (Croix)



 Ms. Croix said so and laughed with a nice smile.



“And I got this one, too.” (Croix)



 …And in the luggage that Ms. Croix had in her hand, there was a long, thin cylinder. When she opened the lid of the cylinder and let me look into it, it was the watercolor painting I had drawn. Apparently, she pulled out the drawing paper from the picture frame, rolled it up, and put it in a tube.



“I’m glad you made it here safely.” (Tougo)


“Yes. There is no reason for me to stay at the Scheele’s mansion.” (Croix)



 I’m glad Croix is safe. Honestly, I’m happy that she brought her picture. …After all, I am satisfied with my own drawing, so I have a feeling that I want it to be in the hands of people who will cherish it.



 And so, I was happy with Ms. Croix’s escape and arrival, but it seems that we can’t relax, yet.



“…well, I’m sorry, but can we hurry up? I resigned, but it wasn’t a completely amicable resignation.” (Croix)




 Oh, as expected, I guess.




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