Drawn Mochi Volume 4 Chapter 5.1: Operation Capture an Angel*4

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“Hey… what are you doing! Let go!” (Celeste)



 Laocles has lifted the angel onto his shoulders, so the angel cannot descend to earth. Yes, there was no way he could escape from Laocles’ height and muscles.



“Is it this one?” (Laocles)


“Yeah! Thank you! Thank you!” (Tougo)



 I thanked Laocles, and then I thanked the Pipe Fox for his excellent block and sent him back to my pocket.



“Damn, what the f*cky?!” (Celeste)



 The angel was still on a rampage, but Laocles was undeterred. Well, there’s no way any kid could beat a plaster statue.



“Hey, don’t stare at me!” (Celeste)



 When I peered in to see the angel’s face, the angel lashed out and Laocles pulled me away in a hurry.



“…I’ll hold him down, but if you touch him carelessly, he’ll bite you.” (Laocles)


“Yes.” (Tougo)



 Then Laocles held him by both arms and legs, holding the angel on his shoulders. I was so relieved that I could peek at the angel’s face.



“Wha-What is it? If you want to turn me into the guards, do it!” (Celeste)



 I looked into the child’s face. He is dirty with mud, soot, and grime, but he probably has a good face after a good wash. I’m not sure about the color of his hair. Too dirty, this child.


 The aggressively distorted expression on his face is a little scary, but there’s something about it that stirs the heart, something… attracts you.


 And above all… The blue eyes that are glinting on his face!


 Aggressive, obviously wary of me, and yet so beautifully sky blue.


 …yes. Very good.


 This feeling of being wary of humans is very angelic! [T/N: Riiight.]



“What are you smiling at…” (Celeste)


“I’m so happy, very much.” (Tougo)



 The angel started to look scared. Yeah sorry. He must have been surprised. Because he was suddenly caught by a human.



 So, I immediately started scouting the angel.



“Celeste, is that you?” (Tougo)



 When I called his name, the angel was startled and curled to herself. …Ah, did I terrify him? Yeah, it might be scary if someone who you failed to pickpocket around noon grabs you in the evening and calls your name. But I am not a weirdo. [T/N: LOL]



“Umm, Celeste. I want to hire you.” (Tougo)


“……eh?” (Celeste)



 And his fear turned to shock in an instant. I didn’t mean to sound like a weirdo. [T/N: You are. Hahaha!]



“I am a painter. I’m just starting out, but I wanted to paint you.” (Tougo)


“…I-I don’t understand. You’re rich, right? You could buy someone more beautiful at that store.” (Celeste)


“There was no one more beautiful than you.” (Tougo)



 The truth is, Celeste looked a little surprised and then made a face that I’m not sure if it was a look of fear or embarrassment.



“I will give you a proper salary. About a month… No, two weeks is enough. If you come to my house and let me paint you for a while, I’ll guarantee you food, clothing, and shelter during that time. I’ll give you a salary in addition to that. What do you think?” (Tougo)



 Celeste blinked his long, dark, angelic eyelashes and looked puzzled.



“Huh…? What? Why?” (Celeste)


“No, because I wanted to paint you…” (Tougo)


“…Is it your hobby to draw dirty urchins?” (Celeste)


“Well, I’m sorry, but I’m going to have you washed and cleaned. If you clean  up, you’ll definitely be an angel.” (Tougo)


“A-ang…” (Celeste)



 Being called an angel, Celeste fidgeted with an indescribably uncomfortable look on his face. Hmm, he’s really angelic.



 I was satisfied with Celeste’s more-than-expected angelic appearance, and Fay poked me from the side.



“…Tougo. You know… Just in case, I think there’s something else I need to ask you first.” (Fay)


“Huh? What? Costume request?” (Tougo)


“Wait. The first thing is… How do I say this… If-if his parents are not alive, we should talk to his guardian at the very least.” (Fay)



 Ah. That’s right.


 If this child has a “guardian,” we have to talk to them too. Yes, that’s right. I know you have to get the parents’ approval when you use a child model.



“Um, then, Celeste. Your parents are…” (Tougo)



 …However, as soon as I said that, Celeste showed a nervous expression again.


 This is…



“…I think my father will sell me as long as you pay him.” (Celeste)



 …Woah. Well, that’s… um…


 And, anyway, it’s convenient! [T/N: WTF? I mean the weirdo spirit might be leaps and bounds better than an abusive parent.]



“Then let’s go to your house right away!” (Tougo)



 It sounds like a complicated family situation, but for now, let’s stay positive. I caught an angel. I really caught the angel. Yep.



“Wait, wait.” (Celeste)



 …While I was thinking, Celeste called out to me.



“Well, we’re still talking about my salary!” (Celeste)



 Ah, that’s right. It is true that I need the consent of his parents, but what is most important is his own will. If there is a salary involved, we need to talk about the salary as well.



“H-how much will you pay me?” (Celeste)


“Hmm…” (Tougo)



 But I am not good at negotiating salary. After all, the way Ms. Croix was paid was “one house, desired interior included.”



“Tougo. Back off a little. I’ll talk to him from here.” (Fay)



 If I was in trouble, Fay would step forward with a grin… and crouch in front of Celeste.





“How much do you want?” (Fay)



 …He asked in a grand way. As expected of an aristocrat.



“…50 gold coins.” (Celeste)



 And Celeste answered immediately. Umm, as expected of an angel…? [T/N: Really? LOL.]



“Hmm. I see.” (Fay)



 Fay gave a thoughtful look and… then asked Celeste again,



“If I say we’ll give you 50 gold coins to be a model for a painting, will you go with us?” (Fay)


“I will.” (Celeste)



 What a brave angel. …though it seems a little tragic.


“Heh. Is there a reason you need money?” (Fay)



  to which Celeste did not answer the question. And that’s pretty much the answer.



“…Well, no. For now, you will have 50 gold coins. So, how much would your father want?” (Fay)


“I don’t know. I have no idea how much debt he has. Maybe an amount he could be enslaved. He owes money to a lot of people.” (Celest)


“Oh. Debt huh. And if they collect all of it, it’s enough to become a slave. That’s interesting.” (Fay)



 Fay grinned and then asked with a slightly curious face.



“Do you like your father?” (Fay)



“I hope he dies.” (Celeste)



 I will probably never forget the look in Celeste’s eyes at that time.



“Alright. That means… Hmmm.” (Fay)



 Fay thought of something, then scratched his head and looked awkward.



“…Tougo, I need a little consultation.” (Fay)


“Yes.” (Tougo)


“There is a way to catch this guy legally. If you take over the debt of this guy’s parents, you can get him into custody.” (Fay)


“Eh?” (Tougo)



  I asked him about the details, and he said that in essence, “people who can no longer repay their debts” are also eligible to become slaves. And if that person chooses to become a slave, then the people they are supporting will become slaves as well.


 In other words, in this world’s terms, it would be like being on welfare. I still don’t understand the feeling of this area.



“I think it’s perfectly acceptable to say, ‘Give me one of your children as a slave in exchange for a debt.’ You have money, or if you buy him in my name, you have a guarantor of your identity, and they won’t complain.” (Fay)



 I see. For the protection of this child, I guess.



“Even Celeste’s father would have chosen to be a slave if you asked him to pay off his debts as soon as possible.” (Fay)


“On the other hand, why hasn’t he made that choice before?” (Tougo)


“Because as a slave, you can only drink when your master allows you and you can’t go gambling. I’ve heard of a lot of people who have not become slaves for that reason.” (Fay)



 …I see. Yes. Somehow, I understood, that slavery in this world isn’t as bad as I thought.



“Then let’s do it.” (Tougo)


“Wait, wait. You know what? If we do that, that means we can pay his father’s debt in full, right?” (Tougo)



 Yep. We don’t need the money. Let’s do it. I’d paint a hundred gems for it.




“…Depending on the negotiations, I might be able to pay a fraction of what he owes me and get Celeste in exchange.” (Fay)




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