Drawn Mochi Volume 5 Chapter 3.1: Painting Excursion*2

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 When I was told that it was a fake, I was kind of at a loss for a response.


 I was troubled, and the other person began to look at me as if to say, “That’s not the reaction I was expecting.” Behind “Tougo Uezora”, his friends were also looking a little troubled.


 Hmm… Perhaps I would have been better able to understand the situation if I asked the people behind him rather than asking “Tougo Uezora” in front of me.



“Hey, why don’t you say something, fake!” (Boy)



 But the “Tougo Uezora” in front of me doesn’t want me near his friends behind him. Hmmm. I see. I’m in trouble. Besides, now that I’ve been told to say something, I might as well say something. Let’s see.



“…Are you Tougo Uezora too?” (Tougo)


“Eh?” (Tougo)



 At any rate, I asked him about what I should have asked first. He looked at me with a very disappointed look on his face.



“No, I just wondered if we share the same name…” (Tougo)


“W-what are you talking about! You’re probably a fake! You’re trying to deceive people by pretending to be Tougo Uezora!?” (Boy)


“Even if you say that…” (Tougo)



 I’m finally in trouble. Does it even matter? They even have the same last name. In fact, I think that’s where the problem lies.


 No matter how much he says, He’s Tougo Uezora, and he’s probably not Uezora Tougo… Hmm.


 …The more I think about it, the more I don’t understand.


 What I don’t understand is why the boy in front of me calls himself “Tougo Uezora”. I wonder what he feels, and under what circumstances makes him use my name.


 The people behind seem to understand the circumstances around here, but “Tougo Uezora” is a bit of a hindrance when I go to ask them. …Then.



“Well, why don’t we talk alone?” (Tougo)



 It might be better to ask him himself first. In an environment where he is comfortable talking.



“…just the two of us?” (Boy)


“For some reason, you seem to find it difficult to talk when there are people behind you.” (Tougo)



 When I whispered softly to him, who had a quizzical look on his face, he was a little confused… Then he turned around and said to his friend behind him.



“I’m going to talk to this guy. You guys go home!” (Boy)



 …Yeah. For now, the negotiations have been concluded.



 Then, “Tougo Uezora” and I went into a nearby café. This is where I had breakfast with Fay.


 …As soon as we entered the restaurant and took our seats, Ms. Croix and Fay entered the restaurant. Then they casually sat down at a table near us. Very professional.



“Excuse me, one sparkling juice.” (Tougo)



 And I told the waitress what I ordered. The one Fay was drinking before. I was curious about the taste, so I ordered it.



“What about you? Would you like something to drink?” (Tougo)


“Eh, ah… Then, the same.” (Boy)



“Tougo Uezora’” seemed confused, but he ordered the same thing as me. Yeah. I think it would probably be easier to talk if we had a drink.


 …And while waiting for the juice I ordered to be delivered, “Tougo Uezora” was fidgeting. He tried to talk about something and closed his mouth shut, and then he tried to talk again and kept his mouth shut again.


 Well… I don’t know what they are thinking because I don’t know their situation or their feelings, but from the looks of them, they seem uncomfortable. Yep.


 And if they’re feeling awkward, it probably means that… Well, maybe we’re not just two painters who happen to have the same name. Maybe.



“…Um, can I ask your name?” (Tougo)



 I’m going to ask them their names while I wait for my drink. Otherwise, I can’t even call them by their name.



“No, it is, Tougo Uezora.” (Boy)


“Your real name, not your pseudonym.” (Tougo)



 When I said that, he looked lost, looking deflated, and reluctantly said,



“…Lucien Pubour.” (Boy => Lucien)


“I see. Nice to meet you, Lucien.” (Tougo)



 As soon as I greeted him, the waitress brought me some juice. I say thank you, take it, and place the glasses one by one in front of me and Lucien.


 Put my lips around the end of the straw and took a little sip, and to my surprise, it was a carbonated drink. I see. There is a carbonated drink in this world, too? I was surprised. It was indeed a sparkling juice.


 As I was sipping the juice, enjoying the citrusy taste and the carbonation, Lucien didn’t touch the juice, but stared at me and said,



“…You are?” (Lucien)


“Eh?” (Tougo)


“Your name.” (Lucien)



 Oh, I see. He asked me to give my name, but I already did.



“Uezora Tougo. My real name. I don’t really use a pseudonym.” (Tougo)



 I replied, and Lucien looked a little frightened and kept his mouth shut.


 …Did I make him nervous? Hmm.



“Um, I have no intention of suing you or anything like that.” (Tougo)


“Eh?” (Lucien)



 So, when I first told him that, Lucien looked surprised. …Fay and Ms. Croix in the seats next to me also looked surprised. Yeah, sorry.



“But I want to hear the reason. I’d like to know why you’re painting under the name ‘Tougo Uezora’. Can you tell me?” (Tougo)



 Lucien seemed to be quite worried. However, by the time I had finished drinking more than half of the juice, he finally managed to start talking.



“I’ve already told my friends that I’m Tougo Uezora.” (Lucien)


“…Why again?” (Tougo)



 I guessed that his friends must be the ones who were behind him earlier, but I didn’t know why. When I asked him about it, Lucien looked very uncomfortable and said looking defeated.



“I thought that Tougo Uezora–no one would find out if I used that name…” (Lucien)


“I see…” (Tougo)



 Even if they didn’t find out, wouldn’t it be better if he didn’t come forward? Well, I don’t know why he used my name in the first place.



“Um… do you paint pictures?” (Tougo)


“I don’t paint.” (Lucien)



 Oh, I see… Well, no, I don’t understand even more!



“N-not at all?” (Tougo)



 When I didn’t understand, Lucien suddenly started saying,



“How much do you want to have you paint a picture in my name for me? I can hire you on behalf of the Pubour family!” (Lucien)



 …No, I really don’t understand!



“Well, first of all, I can’t go to your house, because I’m with the Redgarde family.” (Tougo)


“Then how much money!?” (Lucien)


“Also, I don’t need money. I don’t really need it.” (Tougo)



 When I answered, Lucien’s face contorted as he looked down at the juice on the table.



“…But I’ve already told my friends that I’m Tougo Uezora and that the pictures I painted are getting popular in the capital.” (Lucien)



 It’s been a while since I received an answer that didn’t really make sense, but… I can’t help it. If I only get answers like this, I’ll have no choice but to make assumptions.


 I thought about it… And came to a conclusion.



“So, you took my name because you wanted reputation?” (Tougo)



 As soon as I said that Lucien glared at me.



“…Is that wrong?” (Lucien)



“Well… I don’t think it’s a good thing though.” (Tougo)



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