Drawn Mochi Volume 4 Chapter 5.2: Operation Capture an Angel*4

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“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)


“Hmm… But I don’t see much point in doing that.” (Tougo)


“Well, if you don’t have to think about money, then yeah… But, I think it’s definitely easier for you to do this. Making someone who doesn’t want to be a slave a slave… Well, it’s the right thing to do, but… it’ll probably buy you some unnecessary resentment. What are you going to do?” (Fay)



 I see. If I take over the debt, I can get Celeste legally. And Celeste’s father will be a legitimate slave. For that amount of money, he would be guaranteed food, clothing, and shelter.


  I would have to take care of Celeste from now on, and Celeste’s father would not want to be a slave because he wants to drink and gamble, and if I make them both slaves, well, I would not be what Fay calls a “softie”.





“…do you want to leave your father?” (Tougo)


“Very much.” (Celeste)



 When I asked Celeste herself, he gave me such an answer.


 Really. …then the plan is simple.



“I see. Well, I’m sorry, but I’m going to take over all your father’s debts and make you and your father my slaves. So… will you become my temporary slave?” (Tougo)



“I’ll let you go right away. When the painting is finished… I will release you in about two months. I will also pay you 50 gold coins. Until then, I will give you food, clothing, and shelter. It may be a little inconvenient since you will be living in the forest, but I will do my best to make it as comfortable as possible.” (Fay)



 As much as possible, we will explain the conditions properly. If not, it would be unfair.



“If you want to come back to the Royal Capital afterward, I will send you back. If you want to live outside of the Royal Capital, we can help you with that. If you want to stay in the forest, I’ll be happy, but I won’t force you to stay. I will help you do what you want to do. What do you think?” (Tougo)



 Hearing that, Celeste made a troubled, confused face.



“W-what are you, you, just now…why are you so concerned about me? I’m a kid you just found, right? And I am a pickpocket. Why should you care?” (Celeste)





 That’s certainly true when you say that.


 I was happy to find a model, but more than that, I felt …… uh, I don’t know. I think it’s too dishonest to say goodbye after he becomes a model, and I don’t think of myself as an adult, but I think this child is young enough to be called a “child”. and I want him to be as happy as possible, especially if there are children who want to be away from their parents. I’d like to help them.


 …Above all, because I appreciate this strong, beautiful-eyed angel as a model and as a child.



“There is someone who has been a great help to me. I was very happy to have a place where I could share my meals, learn things, and spend time at his house… He told me that the reason why he did that to me was because he ‘appreciated’ me.” (Tougo)



“He said we were the same kind of people and that it was interesting to watch. He also ‘appreciated’ that he liked what I drew.” (Tougo)



 I was evaluated and got a place to live.


 I was given a place because I was told it was for a solid reason, not out of pity or conceit. I was given a place by my teacher as a fair reward for my evaluation.


 I don’t think it was a favor at all, but I’m sure I’m very happy to have been there.


 I know what it’s like to have nowhere to go.



“I also appreciate you. You’re a great model, and you have captivating eyes. I’d like to help you. I hope that’s good enough.” (Tougo)



 Now it’s my turn.


 I also want to “appreciate” someone.



 After that, Celeste was silent for a while. He hung his head and stayed still… That’s why I also waited patiently.


 In the meantime, the strength of Laocles’ grip gently loosened. Even so, Celeste didn’t run away, so we waited patiently…



“…well, if you’re going to make me and my father your slaves to cover our debts, don’t be too sure you’re not going to be tripped, okay? That old bastard is going to make a sucker out of you if he thinks he can.” (Celeste)



 Yes, he gave me some advice.



“…Um, I mean, is it okay? Will you be my model?” (Tougo)



 After confirming that, Celeste stared at me hard and said,



“Can you give me money? Of course, apart from the debt, you must properly pay me 50 gold coins. That is the condition!” (Celeste)



 …I am happy to hear such a brave reply.


 This bravery! He is really an angel!



 Then we went all over the Royal Capital, visiting moneylenders here and there to make contracts on Celeste’s father’s debt.


 The money I had set aside to buy models at the slave shop came in handy here. Yup.


 …and managed to gather most of the debts before night fell.



“…You guys have a lot, huh?” (Fay)


“Right? This is the kind of man he is. You’ll be in trouble if you are not careful.” (Celeste)



 Celeste worked very hard to gather the debt. This kid seems to know a lot about backstreets and moneylenders. Like Ms. Croix.


 …No, maybe this would have been faster if Ms. Croix was here…



“Excuse me.” (Tougo)



 So, we headed to Celeste’s house.


 It’s an old house, not very big one, across a narrow alley in a back street. It’s a little leaning. And maybe the roof is leaking.



“So loud…” (Man)



 And then, as we were knocking on the door, a man came out and looked at us and gave us a startled look. Well, would you be surprised if there was me, a nobleman, and a plaster statue standing there?



“Who are you?” (Man)


“Nice to meet you. I’m Tougo Uezora. I’m a painter of the house of Lord Redgarde.” (Tougo)



 Giving myself a much more proper title than “I’m a spirit of the forest”, I greeted someone who seemed to be Celeste’s father. Then Celeste’ father looks around at us suspiciously.



“…why is a painter here?” (Man)


“Well, I want to draw your son.” (Tougo)



 Celeste’s father glances at Celeste behind us, then looks at me appraisingly.



“Huh. And?” (Man)



 …”And?”, I’m in trouble. But it certainly came here. Just saying “I want to draw” doesn’t convey my point.



“So, I came to ask for your son.” (Tougo)



 So, I argued. Fay said, “Why would you say that…?” but it can’t be helped. I want to get what I want.



“That’s no good. If you take Celeste with you, I’ll be in trouble.” (Man)



 However, Celeste’s father smiled as he said that.



“He is my only family, you know? I can’t just let you take him away. How can I let you take my beloved son?” (Man)



 Then, the moment Celeste’s father said that, Celeste muttered lowly. “How can I be the only blood relative?”


 …I think there must be something wrong. However, I hesitate to ask about complicated circumstances on this occasion.


 That’s why… I remember what Celeste said earlier.



“Don’t let him see your weakness,” he said.



“Well, if you want me to lend you my beloved son, why don’t you show me your sincerity? I’ll think about it, depending on what you give me.” (Man)


“…Is that so? Then here it is.” (Tougo)



 I glared at Celeste’ father. Do your best. Then, while remembering one of the few argument with Teacher (with someone at his work), I said.



“I bought all your debt. Look. It’s your signature. Don’t tell me you don’t recognize it. I may look mild-mannered, but don’t let that fool you into thinking I’m just a carefree painter, so If you look down on me and don’t talk to me properly, you’ll be in big trouble.” (Tougo)



 I held up the contract of the debt signed by Celeste’ father, then with the other hand, I pulled Celeste toward me.



“Both you and your son will be slaves. On top of that, I will take him. If you have any complaints, say it. I have my rights.” (Tougo)





 Teacher was embarrassed to have me witness the argument, but now that argument is useful.




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