Drawn Mochi Volume 5 Chapter 1.1: The Mochi Drawn is a Forgery

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 That day I went to my teacher’s house again. These days, as I am getting close to the entrance examinations, I study exclusively at Teacher’s house.


 My parents seem to think I’m studying at the library. And even if I’m not in the library, it seems like they don’t have any particular doubts as long as my mock test scores continue to improve.


 So, I go to Teacher’s house. As usual.


 …However, that day was a little strange.



 A car was parked in front of Teacher’s house. I could see there was someone inside, but I didn’t pay attention to it and passed by the car, thinking they were probably waiting for someone in the neighborhood or looking at a map in the car.


 I went straight to the gate of Teacher’s house and proceeded to the front door, where I pressed the doorbell. I was no longer hesitant to press it, and it made the usual ringing sound, but I couldn’t hear Teacher’s voice for a long time.


 …I wonder if he’s away. However, I think Teacher is usually at home at this time.


 Just when I was wondering… Suddenly, someone called out to me.



“Hey!” (Voice)



 When I turned around, I saw two people getting out of the car I had just left. They opened the gate and walked toward me with a beaming smile.


 One is a woman. The other is a man. The woman is wearing a suit, and the man is a little more roughly dressed. …I wondered who they were.



“Are you Mr. Unuki’s child?” (Voice => Woman)



 …Yes, I got nervous when the woman called out to me.



“Oh, but Mr. Unuki, he’s not married, right? So… Um, are you a relative?” (Woman)


“Is Mr. Unuki at home? I would like to meet him. He didn’t come out even when I rang the doorbell. I was waiting there for a while… Maybe he’s not home?” (Man)



 They laughed a little and said various things to each other, and then they closed the distance by half a step. Immediately I take a step back, but what’s behind me is the front door of Teacher’s house. [T/N: We finally have a name for Teacher.]


 …If Teacher doesn’t answer when the doorbell is pressed, Teacher probably didn’t answer because he didn’t want to. In other words, these are the people Teacher doesn’t want to meet. In that case, I can’t let these people through.



“…Why do you have to answer? Who are you people anyway?” (Tougo)



 I don’t know, but these people, who seemed to be trying to meet Teacher even though Teacher didn’t want to meet them, looked a little troubled when I asked them that.



“Um, I’m a person related to his work…” (Woman)



 …What should I do about? Should I ask them where they are from, or should I ask them further? But I don’t think Teacher wants to see them. So how do I get rid of them?


 I don’t want Teacher to have to meet someone he doesn’t want to meet because of me. I don’t want to cause trouble. Even though I’ve already borrowed part of his house, I can’t afford to take more.



“Hey, hey. You’re noisy.” (Teacher => Unuki)



 As I was troubled, the front door immediately opened. Teacher stared at the people standing in front of me with a look I had never seen before.


 Then, Teacher looked at me and smiled bitterly.



“…hey. You come in. Pass me the baton.” (Unuki)


“But.” (Tougo)


“I’d like you to make me a cup of tea while you’re at it. I don’t care what kind of tea you have. There might be some mysterious tea in the back of the drawer, so, well, you can make anything you find. Please leave this to me.” (Unuki)



 Teacher lifted his long arm, which was holding the door open, and quickly pulled me out from under it and into the doorway.


 I felt sorry for him, but I knew that I would not be able to make things better if I stayed outside any longer, so I decided to be quiet and prepare tea as he said.


 I could hear voices talking behind the closed front door, but I turned away and headed for the kitchen of Teacher’s house.



“Ah, well done. I’m finally home.” (Unuki)



 After a while, Teacher finally came into the house.



“Um, sorry.” (Tougo)



 He looked a little tired, and I apologized to him, thinking that it was useless to say anything else.



“If I hadn’t come here, you wouldn’t have had to deal with those people.” (Tougo)


“Maybe. But I don’t care. It would have been more boring if you hadn’t come instead of having to deal with those people.” (Unuki)



 As expected, Teacher smiled without seeming to be bothered by it. …Yes, I knew he’d say this, so I’m even more sorry.



“…Truly. I can’t believe I’m making you look like this. I feel like throwing salt on them, but unfortunately, I’m out of salt. So, if I were to throw something, I’d use soy sauce… Or rather, I’d get it as a souvenir from the Himalayas or the Andes or somewhere. There was this mysterious salt. It was a useless and fancy piece of rock salt. Like this, the kind that would make an ace weapon in World War IV.” (Unuki)



 World War IV… In other words, it’s a block of salt that looks like a rock.



“It can’t be helped. I’ll try to find it and scrape some off…” (Unuki)



 Teacher rummaged around in the kitchen cupboards and eventually pulled out a pinkish lump from one of the cupboards. It is certainly stone-like. It was beautiful, with some clear areas and some cloudy areas, sparkling and gem-like.



 Then Teacher began to scrape the salt. With the file-like tool that came with the salt.


 The sound of grinding was heard. Each time he did this, the salt either turned into a fine powder, or broke off at the right place and fell into small chunks, or whatever, onto the plate laid out below.



“Wow, that’s a lot of work. I don’t want to have to do unnecessary work because of those guys. It’s time to throw some salt on those guys…” (Unuki)



 Teacher swears to the air, working the file as hard as he can, fighting the lump of rock salt.



“…Um, who were those people from earlier?” (Tougo)



 While looking at Teacher, I asked him.


 Judging from the people I saw earlier, I thought they were probably people related to Teacher’s work, but… It seems like Teacher doesn’t like them.


 I asked him about it, and he looked like he was thinking about it. I’m sure he’s trying to figure out how to explain it in a way that is concise and within the bounds of what is safe to say to me.



“Oh… Well, they are people from work. They’re very dedicated. I turned down one job they didn’t like that, and they came over to my house to make me reconsider.” (Unuki)


“…I was asked if I was Teacher Unuki’s child?” (Tougo)


“Yeah, well, I guess so. What did you say?” (Unuki)


“Why do I have to answer?” (Tougo)



 I couldn’t say, “Yes, I am his child.” If I were his child, how old would he have been when he got married?



“Hahaha! That’s great! You did a good job! I’m sure it would have worked well against them! If someone like you could look at them with the eyes of a suspicious person, I’m sure they’d realize how impudent they were! No wonder they were so weak earlier!” (Unuki)



 I see. It would be great if I could be of help too.



“Well, I’m sure those guys were very enthusiastic, but they really have a poor way with words.” (Unuki)



 …Suddenly, Teacher let out a sigh and began to talk, fidgeting the file in his hand. He’s probably in the mood to complain a bit, so I listen.



“They do their best to tell me how they feel, but nothing they say moves me. They don’t seem to have much of an idea of what to say to get me to move. I’ve been bombarded with their feelings so much that I’m getting a little fed up with them. To the extent that I have to use my answering machine.” (Unuki)


“I see.” (Tougo)



 I remember that. I can understand what he is trying to say.



“Words that convey feelings and words that move others do not necessarily go hand in hand. But there are very few people who understand that. There are too many people who believe that if they keep telling people how they feel, the other person will change. I want to tell them that it’s your ego talking, but that kind of thing basically doesn’t get through to people like that. It’s really unreasonable.” (Unuki)


“I agree.” (Tougo)



 I nodded in agreement from the bottom of my heart, and Teacher nodded deeply back.



“…Well, that’s just the way it is. No matter how much they tell me how they feel, I have no desire to cheat, and I have no desire to fight a battle that will not be duly appreciated.” (Unuki)



“Cheat?” (Tougo)




 I asked, a little startled, and with a bitter look on his face, he began to scrape more salt again.



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