Drawn Mochi Volume 5 Chapter 2.1: Painting Excursion*1

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 Draw a picture in the plaza of the Royal Capital.


 …In other words, what Ms. Croix is talking about is… A street performance?


 That’s… Umm.



“Oh. It’s good, isn’t it? You know, Tougo, when you went to the Royal Capital, you didn’t have time to do much painting, did you? Like the castle?” (Croix)


“Yep.” (Tougo)


“You can see the castle clearly from the plaza! You can paint as much as you want!” (Croix)



 …Yeah. That’s very good.


 I’m not sure what Ms. Croix’s intentions are, but… Simply going to draw a picture of the Royal Capital sounds like fun. I might try it.



“So, let’s go on a scouting trip to the Royal Capital for about 5 nights and 6 days! Right? You can spend the 5 days just painting pictures!” (Croix)


“Yes!” (Tougo)



 If that’s the case, please do.


 …Yep. I’m looking forward. Since we’re leaving the forest, let’s go paint a lot of things outside of the forest. I’m not sure what Ms. Croix is trying to do, though. Also, I’m going to leave the fakes alone…



 So, we came to the Royal Capital.


 As expected, about half a year has passed, so it seems that Ms. Croix has also decided to lift her exile in the Royal Capital. …Still, she has a good enough disguise. It was the secretary-style when I went to Mr. Argent’s house. Yeah, she’s completely different from Ms. Croix in the party, so I don’t think people who knew her as Ms. Croix when she was in the capital won’t notice her.



“Well then, you can start here.” (Croix)



 Mr. Croix brings us to the plaza in the center of the Royal Capital, where she smiles, assembles a folding chair, and points it out to me.



“Please sit, Tougo.” (Croix)


“Um… Yep.” (Tougo)



 I sit down, then grab my sketchbook that Lian brought and the pencils, eraser, and watercolors that Ange brought.



“…Can I draw a picture here?” (Tougo)


“Yes. Well, preferably in watercolor. I like those clear, beautiful pictures, but… well, you can draw it any way you like. It’s best if you have fun painting.” (Croix)



 I’m happy to do it. I understand. …Well, it’s kind of hard to do oil paintings in a place like this, but I want to record the colors here, so I’ll probably use watercolors anyway.



“If you want to move…well, it’s okay if it’s just a little bit. Just make sure you can see the three lampposts on the street from your position. And if you feel the urge to move around more, to paint something else, just let me know. I or Laocles or Fay or Lian or Ange will be in the plaza, so just ask someone.” (Croix)



 …Well, it doesn’t seem that we’re all going to be in the square all the time. …Well, it doesn’t seem that we’re all going to be in the plaza all the time.



“It would be weird if we all stayed in the plaza all the time.” (Croix)



 I see. Is that what it is? Well, if that’s the case…



 Then I started to paint. From the plaza, I could see the Royal Castle clearly. I sketched while looking at it.


 …The forest is full of natural things, so it’s a bit refreshing to draw an artificial object like a royal castle.


 Especially the castle here, although it is man-made, the shape of the castle has been changed by nature… The color of the dull wall, a little rusty fence, stone material with a little crack, such parts, so it also has a little complexity, it is very nice.


 At first, I was concerned about Ms. Croix and Laocles who were nearby, but then my attention was drawn only to the castle. I couldn’t help it. Such a beautiful motif doesn’t come along very often.



 I moved around a little to look at the parts of the square that were hidden by trees, but generally, I continued to paint on the spot.  I moved around a little to look at the parts of the plaza that were hidden by trees, but generally, I continued to paint on the spot. Of course, as Ms. Croix told me, I would move within a distance of about three streetlamps from where I was. Of course, it wasn’t a problem even if I didn’t move that much.


 …Anyway, it’s fun. It’s very enjoyable. A painting excursion to the Royal Capital is the best! I had thought that the things in the forest were random in shape and that their curves and uneven colors, which are not found in man-made things, are appealing… but there are plenty of random things in the town, too. The more I look, the more I discover.


 I want to record every single shade of the cobblestones in the plaza. I want to be able to capture the glare of the splashes from the fountains. I want to paint the shadows of the children playing around in the plaza, the way the shadows move and spin with the children, the hem of a woman’s long skirt swaying in the wind, all of it.


 Oh, there are five more days like this. How wonderful!


 Of course, I have to think about the return time, and I will probably have to sleep in the middle of the five days, but even so, that’s about 120 hours, simply calculated. With that much time, would I be able to do more than a few watercolors?



 I immediately got out my watercolors and began to add color to the rough sketch of the Royal Castle painting. I brought a sketchbook with me that didn’t need to be watered down, in anticipation of what was about to happen. The sketchbooks I brought with me are the ones that don’t need to be watered down, the ones that are stiffened on all sides so that when you want to use a new sheet of paper, you have to use a paper knife to remove the paper.


 I brought three of these so I can paint other things while the paint dries. It’s great!


 Even though I say I have plenty of time, I want to paint plenty and plenty in that plenty of time I have, so I have to do it well. …Hmmm, with a place this nice, five days might not be enough time to paint it all…



 And so, when I was about 30% of the way through the painting of the Royal Castle, I heard,



“You’re good at that, aren’t you?” (Voice)



 I was a little surprised when a calm voice came from beside me. I was so focused on the painting that I didn’t notice that someone was approaching.


 That person… The old man was probably out for a walk. He was dressed like that, and he was probably not an aristocrat. That’s what it looks like. Yep.



“Um, thank you.” (Tougo)


“If you don’t mind, can I take a closer look?” (Voice => Old Man)



 When I thanked him, the old man smiled and said so. Naturally, I handed my sketchbook to the old man.



“Wow…that’s a great thing. I don’t know if the drawings are good or bad, but yes, they are good. …Oh, am I saying the same thing as before? Hahaha. I’m sorry, I’m not good at describing.” (Old Man)


“I-It’s alright…” (Tougo)



 I stutter a bit, not knowing what to say at a time like this. Should I thank him again? Or something else, something witty?


 …However, it seems that the old man was satisfied with my drawings. When he returned the sketchbook to me, he said, “I’m sorry for interrupting you. Good luck!” and went back to his walk.


 Well… That was new. Yep.


 It’s very, very new to have a passerby look at my painting. …And I was praised. Yep…



 I felt fresh and continued to paint the Royal Castle. At the same time, I also started painting the fountain in the plaza. While the paint dries, I’ll make progress on the rough sketch of this one.



“Wow, it’s beautiful!” (Child)



 …Then, children came over.



“Wow! It’s a picture of the castle!” (Child)



 The painting of the castle is already 60% colored. I plan to add more details in the future, but for now, all the colors are recognizable, and some shading is in place. The children seemed to be amazed to see it.



“Oh, no, you can’t do that! You shouldn’t mess it up… I’m sorry, for my children.” (Woman)



“No, it’s okay.” (Tougo)



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