Drawn Mochi Volume 5 Chapter 8.1: A Stormy Competition*2

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 So, while Laocles was boarding up the windows and I was going around informing the animals and building shelters for them, night came, and the storm broke out. It was carried over to the next day.


 I couldn’t wait to spend the night, and first thing in the morning I went to ask Ryuu for a favor, which they agreed to with surprising ease. But instead, for some reason, they made me eat the berries again, and I became a balloon ready to burst. After that, I had to wait in the dragon’s den for about two hours until the storm started. But that was all there was to it, so…



 Then I was shown on the dragon’s back where the dragon was going to summon the storm.


 When the dragon swam in the sky and left the cave, it would spin around on top of the forest and growl, like it was chanting something. After a few minutes, black clouds began to gather there, and then rain started pouring down.


 It’s nothing that I expected. It was more like a wild and violent rain. It was winter rain, so it was cold and a bit piercing.



“……wow!” (Tougo)



The stormy forest seen from above was a strange sight. The swaying trees look like waves. The mist from the rain droplets looked like waves breaking in the water.


 So, this is what it looks like from a dragon’s point of view. Amazing. I can see that only the forest is hit by the storm. Outside of the forest, nothing is happening, if anything, there are even places where the sun is reaching us.


 The storm was an event far below, and felt far away.



“Um, I want to see it from below. Let’s go down.” (Tougo)



 I thought it would be no good if I didn’t go into the forest… Into the storm. Otherwise, I won’t be able to understand what she drew.


 When I asked the dragon to take me down into the forest… an amazing view also awaited me.



 First of all, the moment we entered the storm, the rain was pounding down on me.


 The rain and wind were blowing against me, unobstructed, as I was just on the dragon’s back.


 And even after we entered the forest, the intensity of the rain and wind remained almost the same.


 The wind blew sharply and coldly. The rain was pouring down in sporadic amounts. The ground was already muddy, and muddy water splashed on the rain.


 The trees blocked the rain, and it was supposed to be weaker than before, but it still hit me quite strongly.


 The moist rain makes me feel the strong scent of the forest, but in the face of such strong wind and rain, the calmness of the forest is nowhere to be found. Listening to the rustling of the trees and the sound of rainwater, I felt as if I was alone in the world.


 I was completely wet, exposed to the wind, and bitterly cold. The cold is cutting into my skin, the wind is making me barely able to stand, the rain is making it hard to see what’s in front of me, and I’m all alone and lonely.


 …Suddenly, I looked up and saw the sky is leaden, covered with thick clouds, and no light is visible. It was supposed to be early afternoon, but in the dark forest, as if it was evening or night, the rain and wind were relentlessly taking away my body heat, but there was nothing to keep me warm but me.


 Instead of looking up at the sky, I look ahead.


 The rain dripping from my bangs and falling on my eyelashes blocks my vision. I can’t see well. I can’t see well, but if I don’t look, I can’t draw.


 I have to get out of this place as soon as possible. I’m freezing. So I need to look, learn, and learn to draw quickly.



 …I was so anxious that I couldn’t move my head. My eyes don’t work well either. However, I was thinking that I had to get out of this storm as soon as possible.


 At that time… I suddenly thought.


 I wonder if Lila saw a storm like this too.


  The stormy forest is not something you can see very often, unless you ask a Ryuu to summon a storm.


 However, her drawings were wonderful. Stormy Forest is very similar to what I’m looking at right now. I don’t think I can draw it unless I actually see it.


 In that case… Was she also in this storm?


 I wonder what she was thinking at that time.


 Or… I thought, maybe she’s still in the storm she painted.



 I was all wet and cold and freezing, my fingers were not moving well, my head was getting fuzzy, and I was very cold. …Then Ryuu slithered in, took me in their mouth, and flew away.


 Ryuu dropped me in front of the house and flew straight to their cave. By then, the storm had abated, and it was a gentle drizzle.



“Thank you!” (Tougo)



 I called out to the dragon, and it responded with a light swish of its tail. Well, that was a cool response.


 …Then I sneezed loudly and hurried inside the house. If I don’t warm up quickly, I’ll catch a cold… [T/N: Do spirits even get human ailment?]



“Quickly take a bath.” (Laocles)



 …And when I went inside the house, I found Laocles standing there like a Nio. Apparently, he had prepared a bath for me. I was picked up by Laocles and carried to the bathroom, where I was thrown into the bath with my wet clothes still on.


 Heave ho! …Hmm, Laocles does have some similarities to Ryuu.



 I was soaking in the hot water with my clothes on, and it gradually warmed up. Then my fingers started to tingle, so I unbuttoned my shirt and belt, took off my clothes, and got warm again.



 The temperature in the bathtub had dropped dramatically because of my entry, but the bathtub area is a magic tool. I can reheat it, so it will be warm again soon. Well, I’m glad I chose to take this bath.


 I took a long, relaxing bath, thinking that I must have been cold to the core, and looked like a jellyfish with a submerged towel in the bathtub. Then I left the bath and returned to my room.



“Brother Tougo, here!” (Ange)


“Thank you.” (Tougo)



 There, Ange and the fairies were waiting for me with cups of tea. The cup contained milk tea. When I accepted the cup, it was warm. It was warm, a warmth that had been difficult to recall when I was in the storm.


 I sat down in front of Laocles at the table, sipping the rather sweet milk tea.



“Did you find out something?” (Laocles)


“Yeah. It was really cold.” (Tougo)



 I answered him, and Laocles looked a little puzzled and sipped his cup of milk tea. He then frowned a little. I think it’s probably too sweet for him. It couldn’t be helped. It’s milk tea made by Ange and fairies.



“I was in the house, and it was pretty terrifying. The storm that just hit. The wind was making the walls flap and the windows were rattling. It sounded different from when it was raining.” (Lian)



 Lian also expressed similar thoughts while drinking milk tea. I see. …I wish I had experienced the storm that can be felt inside my house.



“Well… if you learned something, that’s fine.” (Laocles)


“Yep.” (Tougo)


“Go to bed early today. It seems like Fay and Croix will be coming back tomorrow.” (Laocles)



 Oh, I see. Then maybe we can ask them something about Lila.



“Okay. That’s right… Achoo.” (Tougo)


“Brother Tougo sneezed!” (Ange)



 Yeah. I sneezed. …My body has warmed up nicely, but it seems like I still have the remnants of the cold weather, and my nose is running a bit and I’m sneezing.


 …Yeah. I’m going to bed soon. Let’s sleep and try not to catch a cold. Then, I’ll probably start painting tomorrow. However, I might catch a cold, which would be an embarrassing consequence.



 So I decided to go to bed in the evening and go to sleep.


 The bed was fluffy, soft, and warm. I feel calm when I sleep wrapped around it like a sushi roll.


 I had a strange dream.



 I dreamed of a storm. Let’s see, there was a big storm and I was stuck in the woods.


 I was caught in the rain and wind and couldn’t move at all. It’s as if I’m frozen in place. The pressure of the wind is painful. I can’t breathe.



As I was being blown by the storm, I suddenly felt like my body was being released… I was floating in the air. Well, will I be blown away? Where will I be blown to? I don’t know what to say, this feeling. Am I so fluffy that I could be blown away by a storm…?



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