Drawn Mochi Volume 5 Chapter 5: Painting Excursion*4

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“Wanna go see an art museum today?” (Croix)


“Let’s go.” (Tougo)



 I said yes to Ms. Croix’s suggestion and decided to go see the art museum that day.


 I have some things I want to paint, but I have to be there in the evening to see the colors of the stained-glass windows with the evening sun shining through… So, there is no problem if I stay at the museum until then.


 So, I headed to the museum with Ms. Croix and Laocles.



“…amazing.” (Tougo)


“Because it’s the Royal Museum.” (Croix)



 I see. Royal. So, it’s a museum built by a king. Yes, the name alone is amazing.


 But what is more impressive than the name is the museum itself. The building itself is like a work of art. The marble columns are inlaid with gold, the glass windows have beautifully crafted window frames, and the shadows that fall when light shines through them form a beautiful pattern.


 The ceiling of the lobby as soon as you enter has a gorgeous chandelier. On the floor, there are tiles of several different colors arranged in a pattern. …This is amazing.



“You haven’t even gotten to the artworks yet.” (Croix)


“Buildings can also be works of art.” (Tougo)



 I looked around and thoroughly enjoyed the scenery of the museum, remembering that this was how I felt when I entered the Royal Castle. In the meantime, Ms. Croix finished the reception, and we were able to enter the museum.



 …The museum was amazing.


 There were many paintings on display, many sculptures, and much to learn.


 There were a few watercolor-like paintings, and I especially learned a lot from them. I too would like to be able to move the blotches more as intended…


 I’m still practicing oil painting, so I have the feeling that I haven’t fully analyzed the technique when I look at it. I want to do more oil paintings before I come back to see them again.


 Then… There were some strange paintings that weren’t watercolors or oil paintings.


 I wondered what they were… and found that they were “magic paintings”.


 …They were made by crushing magic stones into a powder and using it as paint. …They used a variety of coloring materials, such as slime, dragon saliva, and phoenix tears, etc., to create the paintings. It is said that they are painted with magic, not with a brush.


 If the magic can be controlled properly, the colors will move according to one’s own image and become a painting they imagined. They say that murals in the Royal Castle were created in this way.


 I don’t understand it. But I am very interested in it. I’ll try it next time.


 I think the most important discovery in this museum might have been the magic paintings. No, there were many other things, and I also learned a lot about watercolors, …as expected, when I find a new art material, I can’t help but be happy… don’t I?



 I had my head full of magical paintings, but as I went around the museum, …I found something that caught my attention.



“…I wonder what criteria are used to collect the pictures here.” (Tougo)



 Somehow, the styles are all different. You could say that there are many different kinds of things, but… I wonder if it’s really okay to keep some of these in the museum? There are also things like, well, once people say it’s that kind of art, that’s the end of the discussion.


 However, rather than being an intentional expression, there are some paintings that seem like it’s due to a lack of skill…



“…They say that the ones displayed around here are ‘paintings by great artists’.” (Croix)



 Ms. Croix explained while sighing.



“In short, it’s a picture drawn by nobles.” (Croix)



 …Well, what does that mean?


 While I was looking troubled, Ms. Croix said with a slightly dissatisfied look on her face.



“In other words, it’s not because they’re good or bad, but because they’re paintings of aristocrats, that they’re in the museum.” (Croix)



 …Then I looked around at the paintings in the museum and had mixed feelings.


 There are some paintings that are displayed in the corner that I really like, and there are some that are in a glass case in the middle of the room… that are not as good.


 Of course, there are many wonderful paintings by painters from aristocratic backgrounds. In particular, many of the magical paintings using magic stones were done by painters from aristocratic backgrounds, perhaps because they could only be done with a large capital. It’s so much fun.



The painting of the Royal Capital by a man named “Aurin Hulk” is especially good. It is a powerful, even frightening picture, and it has an imposing, slightly burned-out look, as if to say, “Look, this is the Royal Capital.” Yeah. I really like this. I get the feeling that this is how the capital looks to this person, which is nice.


 …But, after all, it’s not all like that.


 There are so many pictures that I don’t particularly like. It just doesn’t click with me, or I don’t think it’s particularly attractive.


 In fact, there are often paintings in which the shadows are unevenly colored, the light source is off, the placement is not quite right, or there is a subtle lack of persuasiveness to the picture. “Did this person really look at the motif and draw it?” That’s what it feels like.


 Hmmm…I wonder if it’s wrong to judge art by its quality. I think it is too arrogant to think, “They are not as good as me,” or, well, I should be humbler. But on the other hand, there is still a part of me that thinks, “Even a painting like this can be displayed in the middle of a museum.” …I have very, very mixed feelings.



“…I’m a jerk.” (Tougo)


“What are you saying all of a sudden?” (Croix)


“Umm…” (Tougo)


 How can I say… I learned a lot and it was more than worth coming here, but… I had mixed feelings about visiting the museum.



“…Tougo!” (Croix)



 I was surprised when Ms. Croix suddenly called out to me as I was walking out of the museum.



“Are you all right already? You didn’t respond to my call.” (Croix)


“Eh, ah, sorry.” (Tougo)



 …It wasn’t that you suddenly called out to me, it was just that I didn’t react. Sorry.



“You are kind of spaced out, you know.” (Croix)


“Yep…” (Tougo)



 I was asked this by Ms. Croix and Laocles, and although I was a bit hesitant, I decided to talk to them…



“Did something happen? You’ve been like this since the museum.” (Croix)


“You just said, ‘I’m a jerk,’ what was that?” (Laocles)



 Ms. Croix and Laocles began asking me, I was a little hesitant, but decided to talk to them.



“…There were pictures drawn by nobles on display, but I just couldn’t feel that they were acceptable.” (Tougo)



 Yeah. They are not convinced. And I’m not satisfied with what I don’t understand, or rather, I feel like it’s a bad thing to not be satisfied with something…



“I kind of hate the fact that I look at some of those pictures and think, ‘That’s not good enough.’” (Tougo)


“…I see.” (Laocles)


“I think it’s okay if they’re bad, to think that they are bad…” (Croix)


“It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that I can’t find the good points in it. I think it’s too dishonest and arrogant to call it bad.” (Tougo)



 As I explained, both Laocles and Ms. Croix nodded their heads, each with a look that said, “That’s how he thinks, huh?” I’m glad to hear that my thoughts have been conveyed to them… I’m glad.



“So, when I thought that even a painting that wasn’t very attractive to me might be very attractive to the people in the museum, such as the king, I started to lose confidence in my own eyes, or rather, where did my confidence come from? I don’t know if I should be at all.” (Tougo)


“…You doubt your own eyes before you doubt the eyes of others, don’t you?” (Croix)


“I think it’s purely because he’s an ‘aristocrat’ that he’s held in such high esteem, you know? I don’t think it has anything to do with whether the picture is good or bad.” (Tougo)



 Yeah. Hearing them say that my head became even more confused.



“The painting we saw that you didn’t agree with was displayed in the middle of the museum. So, you believed that means it’s highly regarded, but if that’s the case, you wondered how it was evaluated…” (Croix)



 …How was it evaluated?


 I feel like I’ve been worrying about this ever since I came to the capital.



 …I started drawing again in the evening. A stained-glass painting with the setting sun shining through it.


 But somehow, I just can’t seem to put any energy into my brushstrokes. My mind is foggy, and I can’t concentrate on the painting.


 What is evaluation? I don’t know what they want, I don’t know what criteria they use to evaluate, I’m not satisfied with the way the paintings are arranged in the museum, I hate myself for not being satisfied with it, and I can’t help but feel that people want the kind of evaluations that the museum has. I don’t know, and in the end, I don’t really know what Tougo 1, Lucien, or Tougo 2, the man, were thinking in the end… Hmm.



“Tougo. The fairies have stopped.” (Croix)


“Yep…” (Tougo)


“Brother Tougo, uh… Are you okay?” (Ange)


“Yep…” (Tougo)


“The fairy is trying to take off your clothes!” (Lian)


“Yep. Huh?” (Tougo)



 I was startled by Liane’s sudden voice, and then I found about five fairies working to unbutton my shirt, and I hurried to stop them. No, you can’t do this.



“…Are you worried about something?” (Lian)


“Yep. A little.” (Tougo)



 When I answered Lian, who looked at me worriedly, he looked a little troubled… He was a little worried, and then timidly started speaking.



“Is that problem something I can help with?” (Lian)


“Hmm…” (Tougo)



 Maybe not. But the way Lian looks when I said that he can help me a little.





“Yeah. I need your help.” (Tougo)


“I-I see!? Then, what should I do!?” (Lian)


“For now, I want you to sit there.” (Tougo)



 I gave instructions to an enthusiastic Rian, and he sat down in front of me.


 So, I started drawing with pencils.



“…um?” (Lian)


“Oh, please don’t move.” (Tougo)


“Oh, oh… Huh?” (Lian)



 It seems that Lian finally noticed something after I started drawing him.



“…Will this solve your problem?” (Lian)


“It won’t solve anything fundamental, but it will cheer me up.” (Tougo)



 …And so I completed a pencil sketch of a boy looking a little sulky under a stained-glass window in the setting sun.


 I felt a little better, perhaps because I had changed my mind and concentrated on the drawing. I’m satisfied.



 …After that, I spent the entire time I was in the Royal Capital drawing pictures.


 I painted stained-glass windows in the evening sun, bakeries on the outskirts of town, dimly lit back streets, large mansions, people passing by on the main street, you name it, I painted it.


 Then, on the evening of my last day in the capital, I returned to the inn with Lian and Ange, carrying a sketchbook that had completely run out of paper and a stack of paper that had been torn apart.



“In the end, Tougo 3 didn’t come.” (Lian)


“That’s right.” (Tougo)



 I nodded in return as Leanne looked a little disappointed as we walked along the sunset road.



“So that means we’ll have to go directly from here?” (Lian)


“Umm… I was told that Fay and the others might get in trouble if I did that…” (Tougo)



 …If possible, I would have loved to have met and talked with Mr. Tougo 3 in person if possible, but unfortunately I could not meet him in person.


 If that’s the case… I guess it would have to be a discussion at the nobleman’s house.


 It’s going to be a big deal, and it’s going to cause Fay even more trouble than she already has, but… hmm.



“I’m back.” (Tougo)


“Welcome back.” (Fay)



 …However, as soon as I returned to the inn, Fay, Laocles, and Ms. Croix were waiting for me with a slightly grim look on their faces.



“Tougo. Can you go with me, immediately?” (Fay)


“Uh, yes.” (Tougo)



 I was wondering if something bad had happened… Fay said this.



“It seems that Tougo Uezora’s painting is being submitted to a competition.” (Fay)



 Fay and I headed for the building behind the museum.


 Fay walked toward the museum staff, who were waiting for us.



“Oh, I’ve been waiting for you. Um…” (Staff)


“For now, show me the picture. I’ll have Togo Uezora himself take a look at it.” (Fay)



 Fay said, and the museum staff nodded and led us to the back of the museum.


 …And as we continued onward, we eventually arrived at a place that looked like a warehouse.



“We are here.” (Fay)



 The museum staff then pointed out a spot and turned the light on there.



“…Tougo. Could you please confirm?” (Fay)


“Yes.” (Tougo)



 Then, at Fay’s urging, I quietly peered into the picture.



  There was a picture of a forest.


 It was a picture of a stormy day or something like that.


 It was gray, smoky, and the trees were bent and bent by the wild wind.


 It was painted using a strange technique that looked very similar to watercolor, but didn’t look like watercolor at all.



 The name tag attached to the painting reads “Tougo Uezora.” Naturally, it was in handwriting that wasn’t my own.





 It feels strange…



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