Drawn Mochi Volume 4 Chapter 10.2: Around the Open Gate*1

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  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.



  It took about 15 days from the time I received the request to complete the four paintings.


 This time, I had to redraw one more picture of the forest because I was not satisfied with it after I finished the next one, and I had to make several rough sketches of the angels before I started the rough sketches to think about the composition. What a surprise.



 The last one was a picture of a knight. The composition was already decided. The image was perfect.



“…is that really me?” (Laocles)


“Yes, I’m sure. There is no better knight than Laocles.” (Tougo)



 Laocles seemed to have some reservations about being the model for the painting.


 He is the best-looking model with his armor, sword, and shield on. The original plaster statue is even more gallant, and I think he would look very heroic if I painted him.


  but this time the commission is for a “soft knight”. It will be a good luck charm, but not threatening. I wanted to make a picture like that… So, I asked Laocles to remove his helmet.


 He is holding his helmet with his shield arm and his other hand is on the hilt of his sword. I asked Laocles to look at me and smile a little.


 In the wind, the knight has a not-so-stern expression on his face as he removes his helmet and stares at me.


 …It’s a good non-threatening charm, isn’t it? It is a picture of a knight who is not about to fight but is always ready to fight if necessary.


 Now I just need to work on the painting a bit. I would use a lot of blotting and blurring, and give a vague finish to the picture, without drawing the light too clearly. I feel that this creates a softer atmosphere and softens the bravery and swagger of the motif.


 The overall smoky, blurred colors blend with the background, creating a somewhat unrealistic picture. This also makes Laocles look less “human”. If there were a god of war, he would probably look something like this.



 …This is how I finished all the commissioned paintings in about twenty days.



“Okay. Let’s go deliver it right away.” (Tougo)


“Wait. Don’t do it this soon.” (Laocles)



 I was about to write a letter to the Redgarde family to deliver the paintings when I was stopped by Laocles.



“Let them wait a little longer; you can give them a couple of months of waiting.” (Laocles)


“…shouldn’t the sooner be better?” (Tougo)


“If they find out you can draw at this speed, it could cause trouble later.” (Laocles)



 …Trouble? Is that what it is? Hmm…



“Wait at least one more month. If you deliver the painting after that, there won’t be a single complaint.” (Laocles)



 If Laocles says so, I’ll do it. As for me, I would like to deliver the blessing and charm as soon as possible, but I don’t necessarily understand what Laocles says. …I’m sure he has a better sense of the world than I do…



 I drew a picture for a month when I had some free time. Yep. Of course I will.


 …But besides painting, I worked a little. Well, forest maintenance.


 I was worried that the forest’s barrier might be a little unstable because I ran out of magic once and collapsed, so I went to the ruins again to repair the barrier.


 However, I think I worried a little too much. The barrier was perfectly normal, and when I poured magic power into it to maintain it. It actually became more energetic. Hmmm, I may have overdone it.


 And then there is the maintenance of the creatures in the forest.


 I have the forest in my mind, so I know what’s going on in the forest, but I thought it would be better to actually meet them. So, I went around the forest and said hello to all the creatures living in the forest.


 Rabbits, deer, birds. Snakes and mice. These forest creatures did not run away when they saw me. They came close to me, sniffed me, crawled into my hands, or came up to me and rubbed against me. Apparently, they knew that I was a spirit of the forest. Clever.


 I spend a leisurely time looking at and painting their pictures, being cuddled by them, and watching and painting Lian and Ange covered in rabbits on my behalf.


 I’m not sure what to say, but a vacation for a month is a bit… Well, refreshing. What I’ve been doing hasn’t changed much, but I feel like I’ve been able to have a vacation when I’m ready to work, or I’ve been able to have a more balanced schedule. …It’s a strange feeling.


 Two months after receiving the request.


 …It was almost winter. It was very cold that day. Come to think of it, the temperature has been getting too cold to bathe in the spring lately. I see. So, there are seasons in this world, too? Does that mean it snows? I imagine fairies flying through the air with snow would be beautiful, horses walking with their hoof prints on the snowy ground under the moonlight would be beautiful, and angels playing in the snow would be beautiful. I want to paint them.


 But first, I need to make my house warmer. Horses are probably cold, so I would like to build stables for them, and maybe a birdhouse or rabbit den.


 And I need a bath. It’s time to implement the showers we had at the inn in the Royal Capital. I want people to take warm showers and soak in bathtubs to stay warm, sleep well, and stay healthy.


 …With that thought in mind, I was finally writing my “I’ve finish painting the pictures” letter.


 Putting the letters, I wrote for the three clients in an envelope and seal the seam with wax. And finally, press the seal and I am done.


 …When it came time to for me to send the letter, Ms. Croix said, “At least put a seal on it. You have to look your part.” So, I made one.


 The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word “sealing wax” is a red wax on a white envelope, but red is Fay’s color, so I decided not to use it.


 When I discussed this with Fay, he advised me to use white. and he gave me a dark blue letter set. So, I drew out milk-colored sealing wax and pure white ink, and wrote a letter with it. When white ink runs on dark blue letter paper, it looks a little starry sky-like. Fay is so stylish.


 I gave the finished letter to the Houou. The Houou will then fly to the Redgarde house, and Fay’s summonerd beasts will carry it from the Redgarde house onward.


 I wonder if I should send out a summoned beast or some other summoned beast to send the letter from the forest. …One of these days.


A few days after I sent the letter, a date was set for the delivery of the paintings. And I gave the painting to each of my three customers and got paid for it.


 …forty gold coins each. The smaller picture was twenty gold coins, but the larger one was 40.


 160 gold coins for the five paintings.


 What can I say?



“Thank you very much. Now I can see the forest while I drink my tea, and when I go to sleep, the forest is next to me at night. Plus, it’s so nice to have an angel at the door.”(Old Lady)



 The old lady who ordered three paintings this time was very happy to hear that. It’s nice to be appreciated.



Hey, may I introduce you to my friend? I think she will like your paintings.” (Old Lady)


“Eh, yeah. I don’t mind…” (Tougo)


“Oh, really? Well, I think my friend is going to commission you soon. If you could, could you take her up on it.” (Old Lady)



 The old lady shook my hand and left. …Yep.


 Well… It’s a pleasure. I’m glad to hear that. It doesn’t really feel real, though.



 A few more days later.



“Hey! Tougo!” (Fay)



 Fay came to the forest again on the Red Dragon.


 …Then Fay said.



“Requests!” (Fay)



 Fay produced a bundle of order sheets. Yep. A bundle.


 …Apparently, there were an awful lot of requests.



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