Drawn Mochi Volume 5 Chapter 11.1: A Stormy Competition*5

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 …The day of the competition results announcement arrived.


 I entered the museum a little nervous.



 In the center of the museum, there was an announcement of the competition results and an exhibition of the winning works.


 I went first to the most prominent place, the place of the Excellence Award, and looked…



“…It was no good.” (Tougo)



 What I saw there was not a painting that I had done, nor was it a painting that Lila had done. A painting that looked like some kind of abstract painting was displayed with an award of excellence tag next to it.



“Ah… Well, that was a shame.” (Fay)


“Yep.” (Tougo)



 Fay patted me on the shoulder with a deeply disappointed, slightly unconvinced look on his face.



“What painting is this?” (Laocles)


“Well… That’s what abstract paintings are like…” (Croix)



 Laocles and Ms. Croix also looked up at the award-winning picture and made the same faces as Fay.


 …Even though I dared Lila, I didn’t win. Everyone had high expectations for us, but I didn’t win.


 That’s very frustrating.



“……eh?” (Tougo)


“Hmm? What happened?” (Fay)



 Am I feeling frustrated?


 “I wonder what happened,” I thought to myself. It’s been a long time since I’ve had this kind of feeling… and maybe it’s not a good feeling. It’s not that I’m greedy or anything, it’s just that…


 …No, but I feel frustrated now. I’m certainly frustrated. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. But I’m frustrated.


 It’s a fresh new feeling.



 I walk around the room with this fresh, slightly hazy feeling. Among the paintings on display, there were a few that I enjoyed looking at. Yes. Much, much nicer than the usual museum exhibits.





“Oh… well, let’s just say it’s okay. The museum did a good job here.” (Croix)



 Then, where Ms. Croix pointed, in a corner with a rather crude tag that says “Honorable Mentions.”


 …Lila’s picture and mine were displayed side by side.



“Did they put them side by side? If that’s the case, then the people at this museum know how to play it smart, too.” (Croix)



 Lila’s painting is of a stormy forest. Cold, lonely and scary, it is a picture looking up at such a forest from below.


 …And my painting is a picture looking down on the forest from above. In the stormy forest, a girl with chestnut hair and indigo eyes, is a painting where she is shouting, “You’re weird!”


 I knew that Lila’s painting was painted from her subjective viewpoint, so I decided to paint Lila objectively. They are the same painting, just from different points of view.



“Since Tougo’s painting is here, Lila’s painting also looks a little brighter.” (Fay)



 In Lila’s picture, Lila is not there. Naturally. Because it is drawn from her perspective.


 But… At this one, she was probably looking up at the sky and saying, “You are weird!” and she laughed. I drew my picture because I wanted it to be like that.


 …The two paintings were displayed side by side, so the guests were looking at them with a lot of excitement. …I think they probably looked at them more than the picture that won the Excellence Award. I was a little embarrassed and a little happy. Also, I feel proud, I guess you could say.



 …Then, after we had looked around at the competition’s award-winning works.


 Along with a woosh, someone screamed.



“Oh. Are they already here?” (Fay)



 Fay muttered with a smirk.


 I couldn’t help but smile a little as I quietly moved away to the end of the aisle.




 With a thud, the Ryuu enters.


 Ryuu enters the museum with a stern expression and a stern growl.


 Screams go up everywhere. The sound of cracking glass is heard everywhere. I told Ryuu not to break the artwork, so I think it’s probably okay.


 …Ryuu entered the museum majestically, and in front of the horrified people… Took the name tag next to a painting in his mouth and tore it off.



 Ryuu keeps tearing off the name tags. They are tarring them into pieces and throwing it, tearing it into pieces and throwing it. The people in the museum were screaming, but there was no way they could complain to the Ryuu. With everyone watching or fearing him, Ryuu leisurely walked around the room and tore off all the name tags.


  After Ryuu’s long, long body had completely gone around the room.


 Ryuu now returned the way he had come, and put the nameplates back in place, dexterously and appropriately.


 More and more, the name of the artist and the paintings fell into disarray. The people could do nothing but watch with blank stares until Ryuu finally put all the nameplates back together and left.



 …I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the name tag that Ryuu had haphazardly put back.


 Next to the picture Lila drew, there is a nametag for “Lila Raswald”. And next to my drawing was the nameplate of “Tougo Uezora”.


 The nameplate, which had been messed up, had made to their true position!



 While I was feeling somewhat happy to see the nameplate returned to its correct position, Lila came in. She had also come to see the results of the competition.


 When Lila saw that the painting that won the Excellence Award wasn’t hers, she let out a sigh, but she didn’t seem particularly regretful, and walked towards me with a somewhat resigned look on her face…



“……eh?” (Lila)



 Seeing the picture with the correct name tag and us smiling beside it, Lila was puzzled.



“What, what is this? What’s going on? Did you do this?” (Lila)


“No, I didn’t. The Ryuu came and took off all the nameplates and put them all back on again.”


“Huh… Ryuu?” (Lila)



 Lila was stunned, but when she saw the commotion around her, she had an expression that said, “It seems like something happened here.”


 …It was at that time.


 The sound of rain suddenly became stronger.


 When we looked out of a nearby window, there was a fierce storm outside.



“……beautiful.” (Lila)



 Lila looked at the raindrops slapping against the windowpane, the swaying trees beyond, and the people running away in the rain. …Then she looked beyond them at the Ryuu climbing swiftly up into the leaden sky



“Is that a dragon?” (Lila)


“Yep.” (Tougo)



 The dragon let out a single roar and disappeared behind a thick curtain of clouds and rain. But Lila kept looking in the direction Ryuu had disappeared.



“…I feel kind of weird. I feel somewhat refreshed.” (Lila)


“Yep. That’s good.” (Tougo)



 We then sat down in a chair in a corner of the museum to talk, watching the museum staff hurriedly trying to put the nametags back on.



“That dragon is silly. If that’s what he intended, it feels very sarcastic.” (Lila)



 …Yeah. I think it’s intentional. I simply asked, “I’d like you to summon a storm to the museum,” and explained the situation, but Ryuu perfectly summoned an incredible storm. That dragon must be quite sarcastic. Maybe though.



“I’ve never seen my name attached to a painting before.” (Lila)


“Really?” (Tougo)


 I was a little surprised to hear Lila say that. She said it was her first time… I mean, she had never had any work published under her name before.




“…It can’t be helped. If I submitted it in my name, it wouldn’t make any money.” (Lila)



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