Drawn Mochi Volume 5 Chapter 1.3: The Mochi Drawn is a Forgery

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 I’m still not comfortable with trying to get recognition.


 …Is it because I’m not loved that I resist trying to get recognition? If so, do I want love? Well, I guess that’s not a good thing after all.


 But… The time may come when I’ll understand. Yep. Someday, I’m sure.



“Well, that’s enough salt. Or rather, no more. My hands are threatening me with muscle pain if I go any further.” (Unuki)



 Before long, a small pile of salt grains and small lumps had formed on the plate in front of Teacher.



“When I look at it like this, I feel a sense of accomplishment. It was worth all the hard work. It is truly the crystallization of sweat and tears. …No, this expression is not good for salt. It was supposed to be a fancy rock salt, but it turned out to be some kind of dirty-looking pile of sodium chloride.” (Unuki)



 Huh, hmm. I see. The use of words is difficult.


 Teacher looked at the pile of salt that just became crystallized sweat and tears… And suddenly said,



“By the way, I asked you to prepare some tea, but we didn’t drink it. I forgot. Tougo. What about you?” (Unuki)


“I haven’t had it yet. I forgot all about it.” (Tougo)



 That’s right. I was preparing tea. I had completely forgotten about it.



“Hahaha. In that case, let’s have it right away. Hmm…” (Unuki)


“There’s a pot of barley tea.” (Tougo)


“I see. Barley tea. Barley tea that has been brewed for less than an hour is good. It has an authentic taste…” (Unuki)



 While saying this, Teacher poured the barley tea that I had just left the barley tea bag in and hot water from the barley tea pot into a cup…



“…Wait a minute, Tougo. What kind of tea is this?” (Unuki)



 He looked at me strangely. …Well.



“Um, I put in a bag of barley tea, but… It was in the back of the drawer. Um, wasn’t that barley tea?” (Tougo)



 I found something in the back of a drawer that looked like something resembling tea inside a fabric, so I thought, oh, it is old barley tea, so I tried making tea with it…



“…Tougo. Thank you. You are the best.” (Unuki)



 Teacher looked back at me slowly, with a smile on his face when he was trying not to laugh and drank the tea from his cup.



“By the way, this tea is also great. It has a rich aroma. You can definitely taste the flavor. It’s very good.” (Unuki)



 Saying this, he came to me with a pot of barley tea and opened the lid of the pot to show me what was inside.



“And this is not barley tea, but a soup stock packet.” (Unuki)



“…I’m sorry. I made a mistake.” (Tougo)


“No, no, no! I told you, it’s great! Haha, well, I was pleasantly surprised all at once! I knew you were the best! …Oh, let’s put a little salt in here. It’s going to be a soup. Let’s see… This is just right, just right. I see. So that’s what I was grinding the salt for!” (Unuki)



 The teacher was laughing as he dropped the freshly shaved salt into the cup and drank the soup stock.



“Salt is better used for food than for throwing. This is the effective use of salt!” (Unuki)



 Teacher said so, and I took some of the broth. I also get a little salt. …It’s surprisingly tasty.



“I think I’ll mix about 10% of soup stock packet into my barley tea packet from now on, just to remind myself of this delightful feeling from time to time…” (Unuki)



 I think you should not do that.



  I shouldn’t do that, but then sometimes the barley tea we drank at Teacher’s house would become soup stock.


 But each time we enjoyed it, so maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.




 Volume 5: With Love from a Continent with a Lake with Floating Islands




 A few days after receiving the letter from Mr. Saphir. Fay has been doing a lot of research for me.



“Tougo, I’m getting a bad feeling about this.” (Fay)



 And then he reported he had a bad feeling. …I see… A bad feeling, huh? Oh no.



“For now, from what I’ve researched, there are about three ‘Tougo Uezora’ in the Royal Capital right now.” (Fay)



 …I have increased. Oh no.



“Brother Tougo, are there a lot pretending to be you?” (Ange)


“Yeah, it seems like that…” (Tougo)



 We were just in time for a snack, so Fay and I sat around the snack table and talked.


 Today’s snack is fairy madeleines. It seems that madeleines were created as a result of research on the cookies that came from Mr. Saphir’s house. …I wonder why. Did they really make cookies? Well, I like bite-sized madeleines because they are both cute and delicious.



“What are you going to do with them? They…” (Lian)



 Lian also ate a madeleine and said in disgust. Yes, that’s right. I’m appalled, aren’t I? I’m not just stunned… I have a more complicated feeling. I wonder what this is.



“It looks like even the fourth and fifth Tougo will appear.” (Fay)



 I don’t like it. I don’t know what to say if they increase any more than this… Hmm, I have mixed feelings. I don’t know why I don’t like it, but I do.



“Well, that’s true. As for Fake Tougo 1 and 2, They are just saying, ‘I’m the actual Tougo Uezora.’ It’s not like they are painting, either. They just call themselves ‘Tougo Uezora’. It’s just a shame.” (Fay)



 …No, I don’t get it at all. What does it mean to pretend to be me when they don’t paint? What does that mean? I mean, why do they call themselves me?



“…I think Fake Tougo3… he might be a little tricky.” (Fay)



 However, Fay lets out a deep sigh.



“It seems like he’s under a noble’s protection.” (Fay)



“Noble’s protection?” (Tougo)



 What does that mean?



“In other words, he called himself Tougo Uezora, a popular artist, and used his accomplishments and fame as a springboard to become the personal artist of a powerful aristocrat.” (Fay)



 …Hmmm. Does that mean that he got a job by falsifying his career? That is not good. Not against me, but against the employer.



“By the way, which noble family is he under?” (Tougo)


“The Brompa family. In short, it is a family that is a high official in the royal castle. They don’t have a domain, but they have money and power.” (Fay)



 I didn’t know there were nobles like that. I’m not sure if it’s like the family of Mr. Scheele… who was Ms. Croix’s former employer.



“That’s troublesome.” (Tougo)


“Right? Well, it’s a bit troublesome… They are bigger than our house…” (Fay)



 Hmm…I can understand that it is troublesome.


 If we make a move, we might lose to someone who has the backing of a strong noble, and if that happens, the Redgarde family will be in trouble…



“…How are Tougo’s drawings treated by those scammers?” (Laocles)



 When I was having trouble, Laocles looked like a plaster statue, and asked Fay about it.



“Well, I heard that Fake Tougo 1 and 2 said something like, ‘I’m the one who painted them, but I sent them to the forest to hide my identity, before I sold them.’” (Fay)



 Fay replied, and Laocles looked more and more like a plaster statue. Hmmm, that’s tough…



“I still don’t know much about Fake Tougo 3… Is he pretending that he drew what Tougo drew, too, or is he treating Tougo as the fake…” (Fay)


“…I see.” (Tougo)



 Hmm… The more I think about it, the more I don’t understand what they are thinking.


 What on earth do they want?



“…Well, that’s fine. First, let’s deal with Fake Tougo 1 and 2.” (Croix)



 While I was getting confused, Ms. Croix smiled and said so.



“Oh. Ms. Croix, can you do something?” (Tougo)



 …Oh, Ms. Croix, you have a smile that doesn’t look like the forest. This is a smile under the chandelier. It’s a smile adorned with jewels, or rather, the face of a back alley in a city at night, illuminated by streetlights. Yes, this one is so much closer.



“Yeah. Leave it to me. That kind of thing is my specialty.” (Croix)


“I will rely on you.” (Tougo)



 Apparently, Ms. Croix came up with something. By the way, I haven’t come up with anything. I don’t know what people who pretend to be me think.



“Tougo. Would you like to go on a short trip to the capital? To draw a picture in the capital’s plaza.” (Croix)



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