Drawn Mochi Volume 4 Chapter 12.2: Around the Open Gate*3

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“Um, what about those that steal the money here?” (Fay)


“The fairies are watching. Then the fairies will tell the Treant to block the entrance.” (Tougo)



 And by the way, if any of those kids, like Lian or Ange, come in and try to take a little bit of money… Then I’ve told them that they can miss it if they’re in the mood. Yeah. Well, it depends on the fairies’ mood.



“Anyway, they are very reliable for uninhabited looking creatures.” (Fay)


“Yep.” (Tougo)



 Treants seems to be very laid-back, so being on guard for a long time doesn’t bother them, and I don’t think it will be a problem since the fairies will be there to support them. It would be a different story if there were people who would go out of their way to suppress them by force, but I don’t think there would be anyone who would bring in soldiers to steal a painting.



“…But it looks like it’s deserted.” (Fay)


“Ms. Croix said, ‘If a few stupid thieves enter thinking there’s no one there and they get hurt, it’ll be a good deterrent to other thieves.’” (Tougo)


“Ah, I see… That’s right.” (Fay)



 Since Ms. Croix said it, I’m sure it’s true.



“Well, if that’s the case then it’s going to be fine.” (Fay)


“Yep. I’m looking forward to the customers coming to see the gallery.” (Tougo)



 In short, it is just an unmanned gallery where nothing happens if you are a good person. If someone takes a peek and enjoys it, that’s all that matters, and if someone buys a piece of my work, that will make me very happy.



 I wrote a letter about the opening of the gallery and invited the people who sent me commissions to the gallery.


 If you see something you like, please buy it. If you don’t find something you like and want to order, I will accept your order again.


 …On the first day of the opening, I was at the gallery. Various people came in and enjoyed looking at the paintings, and some of them even bought some.


 A little girl came along with someone who looked like her parents, clutched her pocket money, looked at the pictures, looked at it carefully, decided on one, and said, “This one please!” I was really happy when she said that. And it’s a little embarrassing.



 …But of course, the customers were curious about this gallery.


 They were curious about the fact that there were no security guards, and that they only had to put their money in a basket.



“It’s an unusual format. There doesn’t seem to be any security guards or guides… Is this a gallery that isn’t usually open to the public?” (Customer)



 One of the customers asked me with some concern.



“No. We’re always open.” (Tougo)


“Ah, then does that mean some security personnel will come?” (Customer)


“No. The security personnel are already here.” (Tougo)



 The customer looks at me with a puzzled look, and then looked around. But the fairies are quick to hide and the Treants are pretending to be just trees, so he can’t find them.



“…Are they really here?” (Customer)


“Yes, but only the people who try to steal the painting or do something terrible here will find them.” (Tougo)



 When I said this, the customer tilted his head, selected a painting, paid, and left. Yeah. There are also guides.



  A little later, I received another request.


 The number of requests had decreased considerably from the first one, to about eight. Thanks to this, I have a lot of time to spare, and people from Redgarde seem to be coming to look around the gallery, so I am still happy.


 Incidentally, there were two robberies in the first week or so after the gallery opened, but since then there have been no more.


 It may be because of rumors that “if you do something bad in that gallery, you will be punished”, “there is a monster in that gallery”, or “that gallery must be the favorite of a spirit, and if you do something bad there, the spirit will punish you.



 Then, instead of a painting thief, there was a money thief.


 As expected, a poor child came in around evening and tried to take the money.


 But the kid tried to take all the money that was in the basket at the time… but before he could reach the exit, he suddenly felt guilty and ended up putting all the money back in the basket.


 So, after circling the gallery and looking at the paintings, he eventually left without stealing anything, and the fairies who were watching him deliberated and decided to give the child a silver coin.


 Ange told me that there was such a report, so I decided to prepare some silver coins and candy at the gallery.


 …It seems that when children come to the gallery, the fairies secretly put some candy in their pockets. The fairies seemed to like playing pranks like this, so they were happy with my suggestion.


 Thanks to this, in the three weeks since the gallery opened, I’ve heard things like, “Every time a child enters, they’re receiving candy unknowingly”, “That gallery is liked by a spirit after all,” and “Maybe it’s the work of fairies.” Rumors started spreading and they had more children.


 …It’s kind of fun.



 Candy aside, I’m glad I opened the gallery. It’s kind of nice to have a variety of people look at my paintings, not just buy them. …No, this kind of thinking is probably not a good idea, though. Maybe it’s shallow and greedy to show off what you’ve drawn. I don’t know. I feel guilty for opening a gallery when I think about it…



 I pretend not to feel guilty. I paint a commissioned painting.


 There was one commission for an oil painting, so I’m going to focus mainly on that.


 Oil painting needs time. It takes time for the paint to dry.


 And the materials are more complicated than watercolor. And I am not sure I fully understand them. For now, I bought a set of oil painting tools in the Royal Capital, and I’m using them…


 …I wonder if there is any oil somewhere that dries quickly, doesn’t crack and gives a shiny finish. I’ll look for it next time. But for now, I’m going to paint the forest in oil for the commission.


 I’m not used to oil painting, and sometimes I can’t do it as well as I’d like, but while I’m painting, I’m getting more and more used to it, and I’m getting much better at it that I know I’m doing it right…


 …Yep. It’s fun.



 Then one day I was working on a request.



“Hey! Tougo!” (Fay)



 Fay came again. He’s on the Red Dragon, which means…



“It’s a tough one! Look at this!” (Fay)



 What Fay said and showed me was a piece of paper. It seems like it’s not an order form…



“A letter?” (Tougo)



 What I got was a letter in an envelope, apparently. The white envelope was gorgeous, stamped with gold foil. The seal on the sealing wax is a magnificent emblem… and it looks as if it cost a lot of money.



“…I wonder who it came from?” (Tougo)



 I looked at the sender’s name, but all I could tell was that I didn’t know him. Who is this person?



“Ah, I see, you don’t know…” (Fay)



 Seeing me like that, Fay scratched his head… And told me.



“That’s a noble who owns the biggest territory next to the Royal Capital around here.” (Fay)






“Let’s look inside.” (Tougo)



 I opened the envelope, wondering what kind of letter such a great person would send.


 The letter began with a normal greeting. It’s like, “It’s getting cold.”


 Afterwards, it said about how they saw my painting and liked it. Something like, “I heard that there was a popular artist recently, so I asked around to see their paintings, and I fell in love at first sight with his art.” It’s very concise.


 After that, they asked me if I could come to their estate and work as their painter. They said frankly, “Why don’t you quit the Redgarde family and come work for us?”



 …This is a problem…



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