Drawn Mochi Volume 4 Chapter 10.1: Around the Open Gate*1

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“…So, there’s one picture of the forest at night, one of the forest during the day, and two pictures of angels. And one picture of a knight.” (Fay)


“Isn’t that a lot?” (Tougo)



 Fay brought me the requests, but they suddenly increased. What should I do?



“Oh, my goodness, it increased so suddenly. I wonder what happened.” (Tougo)


“Well, a customer came to Saphir’s place and saw the painting in the entrance hall and thought it was very unusual. This style of painting is very novel.” (Fay)



 Come to think of it, watercolors are a little rare. Hmmm.



“Saphir was very proud of his painting and told them that if they wanted to contact a painter, they should ask the Redgarde family for their painter.” (Fay)


“…So, five at once?” (Tougo)


“By the way, there are three customers. One of them wants two pictures of the forest and an angel. The other one wants one angel and the other a knight.” (Fay)



 Woah… what should I do? troubled. I never thought this could happen.



“So, what do you want to do? For now, the number of people is more than I expected, so I’ve decided to just listen to their request and then have them stay in the guest room of the house for the moment.” (Fay)



 Um… um, what should I do?


 What should I do!?



 …I couldn’t stay anxious forever, so I moved on to Redgarde’s house. We were in a hurry, so the Red Dragon took us straight on the super express direct flight. Hmmm, fast. The Houou flies fast enough, but the Red Dragon is faster.



“…I’m feeling nervous.” (Tougo)


“I see. You are quite nervous, aren’t you?” (Fay)



 Yes, I am. Maybe.



“Well, take it easy. Alright?” (Fay)



 Well… If I could do that, I wouldn’t have any trouble.



 After that, I sat with Fay and Laocles in the Redgarde drawing room, nervously watching the guests sitting in a row across from us.


 One of them was a well-dressed man. He was smiling at me. The other was a man a little older than Mr. Saphir. He too was looking at me with interest. And the last one is an old lady. She is looking at me happily.


 I felt nervous when I was being watched… It makes me very nervous.



“He’s our painter, Tougo Uezora. He’s young, but he’s very good.” (Fay)



 Fay introduced me and I bowed to everyone. I bowed, and the three customers also bowed to me.



“…But well, this guy hasn’t been working for a long time. I’m worried if he can draw five pictures all at once.” (Fay)



 Fay told me what I was most worried about without hesitation. And to those words, the customers also nodded with faces saying, “I guess so”.



“…So, Tougo. How about it? Can you make five paintings?” (Fay)


“Well, I can somehow manage if I have time.” (Tougo)



 But fortunately, all of the motifs in this commission were ones I had drawn before. I don’t have to go hunting for angels or buying plaster statues. Especially, the forest painting is like painting my own hand, so I don’t have to worry about that.



“Oh my, really! I’ve already ordered three pieces, is that all right? Oh, of course, I’m not in a hurry. It could be done even after six months.” (Old Lady)


“Yes, I think I can manage that.” (Tougo)



 I answered, and the old lady shook my hand happily. Yes, I think I can manage that. If I could get six months, it would be more than enough. Even three weeks would be more than enough. This is the advantage of watercolor painting.



“We are going to have a baby soon. I wanted you to paint one of the angels like the one at Saphir’s place.” (Man)


“I can do it. Don’t worry, the models are still there, so I can paint one.” (Tougo)



 This time, we’re starting from the point where I finished catching the angel. After all, I’ve been drawing angels since Mr. Saphir’s request, and I’ve gotten used to it, so I think it’s okay.


 I answered, and the man shook my hand and smiled.



“I wanted to get a painting of a knight who will protect our house as a good luck charm. Well, we have a business, so it would not be good to be too ostentatious, but your painting is soft and warm, and I would like to hang it where I can see it. I thought it wouldn’t be rude to our customers if I hung it where they could see it.” (Well-dressed Man)


“…I don’t know if it will be a good luck charm, but I think I can probably paint a picture of a knight like that, too. I have a model for a knight as well.” (Tougo)



 There are angels, but there is also a knight. I am glad to be in a forest with many models. I think it is difficult to make a picture that can be used as a charm, but I will give it my best shot.


 This “picture of a knight” may be the most difficult. After all, I have never painted Laocles as a charm. …Well, I’ve been asked to draw Laocles many, many, times, so I think I’ll probably be fine. I’m sure it’ll be fine.


 The well-dressed man thanked me with an affable smile, shook my hand and waved it.



 Then I decided to ask the customers to write an order form.


 I had to get them to document what they wanted, the size of the painting, the color scheme, and the deadline for delivery… Or else all five could get mixed up.



“…Are you sure you want to accept all five requests?” (Laocles)


“Eh, yeah…” (Tougo)



 While the customers were filling out the order forms, Laocles asked me secretly.



“Did I do something wrong?” (Tougo)


“No, I don’t mind if you want to do it… But aren’t five paintings a burden?” (Laocles)


“Not really, because I’ve been drawing about four pictures of angels in a week.” (Tougo)



 In other words, if I was allowed to draw whatever I want, I can draw about five pictures in about two weeks. Even for commissioned paintings, if I have about four weeks, I can do five paintings. I think I can do five commissioned paintings in about four weeks. There is no problem.



“…Come to think of it, you did.” (Laocles)


“Yep.” (Tougo)



 If I had been asked to do five things I didn’t like, I would have had a hard time. But painting is fun, and it doesn’t bother me. The only thing I’m a little worried about is that I might get sick of painting while I’m doing this. …I’ll think about it then. For now, I’m having fun. That’s alright.



 Soon, the customers finished writing their order sheets. It seems that everyone is a laid-back person…. They set fairly long deadlines, so it’s easy for me.


 Thus, I received the order for five paintings, brought them back home, and immediately started to paint them.



 On the same day, I started painting angels. I had been painting angels for a long time recently, so it was perfect. I finished two preliminary sketches with the same momentum.


 One was for a man who is a friend of Mr. Saphir’s. That is, for a baby to be born. In other words, it is a picture for a newborn baby. So, I draw another picture of a happy-looking angel. This time, however, she asked me to make the picture livelier, so the angel is in a flower garden instead of a bed nest.


 Two angels weaving a crown of flowers surrounded by colorful flowers. The wreath is for the newborn baby. In this way, I would like to congratulate the newly born baby. …By the way, Ms. Croix is the instructor for making the flower crowns. Thank you for your help.


 The other angel picture was a picture of an angel in the forest, so I painted a picture of an angel sitting and smiling on a high tree branch in a picture full of greenery.


 The client was an old lady. The old lady likes the forest, I was told. There used to be a forest near her house, and she used to play there. The old lady told me that the forest has been cut down to be developed.


  After I had painted two pictures of angels, I went on to paint two more pictures of the forest that the old lady had asked me to paint.


 The daytime forest has a bright green hue, while the night forest has a calm hue.


 For the night forest, I thought it would be nice to draw fairies and horses gathering around bamboo that collected moonlight… but I thought that the “forest” the old lady had in mind would probably not include the bamboo, so I decided not to do that.



 Instead, I decided to paint the forest at night with fairies fluttering and glowing among the ordinary trees. Yeah, they look like fireflies.



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