Drawn Mochi Volume 4 Chapter 11.1: Around the Open Gate*2

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“I mean, twenty requests. Pick your choice and decide what jobs you’ll take and what you won’t, alright?” (Fay)



 …I’m in a lot of trouble right now.


 Fay brought me twenty requests in total.


 Yeah. It’s twenty. I can no longer say “one” or “three”. What should I do? It’s increasing too much all at once.



“Oh well. That’s a lot of requests all at once.” (Tougo)


“Ah, yes. That old lady who was Saphir’s tea-drinking friend seemed to have a very wide circle of acquaintances…” (Fay)



 I see. That old lady… I’m grateful and I’m very happy about it. Yep.



“I’m happy for you. It means you’ve been recognized so widely.” (Fay)


“Yeah… I don’t really like it’s real.” (Tougo)



 I wonder if this is a good thing. I’m definitely not a very good painter, and I think I probably got this request because “watercolors were rare” or “the motif was unusual.” Then there’s “It would be nice to do something like this once in a while” or “I’m in the mood to redecorate”…?


 But still, I am happy to be appreciated and to be wanted, I think. Maybe. I’m kind of confused, perplexed and wondering if this is okay first, but I’m unbelievably happy.



“You get quite a lot of requests for forest paintings. It’s a forest drawn by a forest spirit. I understand how they feel.” (Laocles)


“Hehe. I already have a number of beautiful pictures of forests drawn by the spirit of the forest hanging in my room.” (Croix)


“I have them up in my room too! …I mean, Tougo’s first commission was a portrait for my house!” (Fay)



 Yep. Yep. Yep. Well, what should I do? I don’t know what to do. My mind doesn’t move at all. It’s like I am completely blank and my mind has given up on thinking. What can I do about my head?



“…calm down for the time being. If you want, go to bed. We can go over the request tomorrow.” (Fay)


“But I can’t keep you waiting…” (Tougo)


“Ah, that’s fine. Most of the people who have requested this time are rich and can afford to buy and display the paintings. They’ve got money and they’ve got a lot of time on their hands, so it’s actually a bit of a bure. It would be better to keep the excitement going if you keep it that way.” (Fay)



 I guess that’s the way it is. I have a very strong image that assignments should be finished and turned in as soon as possible, so I’m a bit, well, uneasy…




“Now that I think about it, I have received a request for a picture of an angel, but are Lian and Ange still here?” (Tougo)



 Ah. There was that problem too!



“Please, could you please stay for about three more months? It would be a great help if you guys stayed, but… I guess that’s no good. So, I’ll pay you a salary…” (Tougo)



 At first, I hurriedly asked Lian and Ange to help me.


 The first contract was about two months, so the deadline has already passed!



“Well, even if you say that…” (Lian)


“Well, you can stay until we get through the winter. Even if you two can survive, the winter will be tough.” (Laocles)



 Lian seemed a little hesitant, but when Laocles told him that, he fell silent.



“You wanted to finish the job right away so you could buy Ange back, so there’s no need to rush out of the woods now that you’re both here, is there?” (Croix)



 When Ms. Croix said this, he seemed to become more and more at a loss for words.


 When Lian was at a loss for words, Ange gently tugged at the hem of his shirt and said,



“Um, I like it here. There are fairies here, and the birds and horses are cute. I also like Big Brother Tougo…” (Ange)



 …Big Brother Tougo. Big Brother Tougo.


 I see. Am I Big Brother Tougo?


 I feel happy and a little embarrassed.



“Brother, can we stay a bit?” (Ange)



 And when Ange said that and gave Lian a sad look…



“Ah… if Ange says so, it can’t be helped, so we’ll stay!” (Lian)



 Lian said so too. I did it!



“Also, I’m your slave! You decide how long I’m here! Let me stay as long as you want!” (Lian)



 I’m very sorry about that, but I’m glad anyway. Now I don’t have to deal with the situation where I have a commission to paint an angel and there is no model. …Thank goodness…



“Oh well. I see you have oil paintings in this request.” (Croix)



 I was relieved to know that I would be able to secure a model for the angel for a while longer, when Ms. Croix started to say something like that.



“Here. They want you to paint a forest using oil paint.” (Croix)



 What should I do? I’m not very good at oil painting! I didn’t study enough! What should I do!



“This one says they don’t care what kind of painting material you use. Oh, they say it’s about fairies. This one has a model, so it might be a good choice.” (Croix)


“This one wants a picture of an unusual plant. It’s interesting, isn’t it? But you must have a lot of unusual plants in mind, don’t you, Mr. Forest Spirit?” (Fay)


“Ah, a picture of a rare creature. What should I do? What do they want me to do, draw a unicorn?” (Tougo)



 Well, uh, uh… what should I do, I have a lot to think about, but my head, my head isn’t working properly…




 …while I was having trouble, Laocles tapped me on the shoulder.



“…Go to sleep for now.” (Laocles)



 Yes, I will. Yep. Now. I’m going to bed. Good night. Good night…



 Then I took a nap.


 Fay arrived a little after noon, and I napped in the hammock until about dusk.


 When I got on the hammock, a lot of horses came close to me as if on cue, and then they looked at me like, “What, you’re not out of magic power?” Some would stay while the others leave.


 The Houou perches on a branch by the hammock as usual, hanging its long tail feathers next to my head to shade me from the sun, and the Pipe Fox splits up and becomes palm-sized foxes, filling the space between the hammock and over my body. Even though it’s smaller, it’s still very fluffy because there are nine tails.


 …Then I would fall asleep surrounded by everyone, doze off, and reach the end of the evening, feeling as if I had had a hazy dream.


 I was a little calmer by then, and when I woke up and thought about it again, I was able to think, “It’s just too much work to think about it, so let’s take our time and do it.” Yeah, that’s great. That was amazing.



 That night, I calmly looked at the request list.


 …A picture of a forest painted with oil paints. A watercolor forest painting. A painting of fairies in any medium. A waterside in the forest. An angel. An angel. A brave knight. A picture of a small fruit. The sky. Nude painting. Forest painting. Another forest painting…


 Some people asked for several paintings by themselves, and when I made a list of things to paint, I realized that I had to paint more than 20 paintings.



“That’s a lot of work…” (Tougo)


“Well, that’s why I told you to choose a job. Look, this one seems to be not worth it. I mean, it says they wanted a small painting of a forest, but three gold coins aren’t worth it, are they?” (Fay)


“No, it’s worth it, because the paint and paper are free…” (Tougo)


“No, no, in return for the work.” (Fay)


“If I had three gold coins, I could buy bread and cheese and still have enough change to pay for it. Then it’s more than enough.” (Tougo)



 I still don’t really understand the value of money. I’ve finally gotten a sense of the prices, but… The people around me are Fay, a nobleman, Laocles, a former knight and current slave, Ms. Croix, a former spy and current model, and two angelic children. Yeah. I don’t really understand money.


 However, I don’t think money has anything to do with this. Yeah. Anything is fine, even if it’s free.



“It seems there was a 13-year-old girl who ordered this painting. If she likes my painting and is willing to buy it with three gold coins out of her allowance, I’ll sell it.” (Tougo)



 In the comments section of the order form, she tried her best to write down her impressions of my painting. She saw a painting of a forest at her grandmother’s house. She thought that the painting was a clear, transparent, dazzling forest itself. She had lived in the forest for medical treatment when she was a small child. That she somehow remembered the pleasant memories of that time and became happy…


  If you read something like this, you can’t say no. Yeah.




“Ah, of course, that’s right, you’re this kind of person…” (Fay)



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