Drawn Mochi Volume 5 Chapter 9.1: A Stormy Competition*3

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“It was amazing. The more I looked into it, the more interesting stories I found.” (Croix)


“I’m amazed you were able to do the research.” (Tougo)



 When I said that, Ms. Croix winked, smiled, and said, “The details are secret.” I’m curious, but maybe this mysteriousness is what makes her so attractive…



“She’s been in several noble families. She was hired to paint under the name of an aristocrat, and when their name became famous, she was kicked out. That’s how she lived.” (Croix)


“Look, there’s a painting in the museum. You see, there is a painting by Orin Hulk in the museum. That was painted by Lila Raswald, too.” (Fay)



 …I see. That painting in the museum in the Royal Capital was her work.


 Indeed, they are similar. It has something in common with the painting of the stormy forest. The style is quite different, and the motifs are almost the exact opposite… but I am sure that the feelings that are put into them are similar.


 They both feel lonely, pained, scared, and desperate. That’s how similar it is.


 I see. She did that…



“If I extort people using this, I think I can get you a few houses if you like, but will that do?” (Croix)


“Eh, what? No, I’m fine, well…” (Tougo)



I think Ms. Croix said something scary, but I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear it. Yep…



“…That’s right. It seems her mother passed away before she was taken into the care of the Brompa family.” (Croix)


“Eh?” (Tougo)



 …Perhaps it’s because I’ve only heard about it through a report, but it doesn’t really make sense to me. However, just listening to it makes me feel like there’s a hole in my chest.



“Until then, she has been drawing pictures on behalf of nobles, but this time she introduced herself as ‘Tougo Uezora’ without being asked. I’m sure she had some kind of plan.” (Croix)


“……I see.” (Tougo)



 Maybe there was a change in her emotions, and if she was relying on her mother for emotional support, she might have lost that support and all at once everything is destroyed… Anyway, something must have happened. I think so.



“And then there’s the Brompa family. Well, as I expected…” (Fay)


“I heard that son over there tried to call himself Tougo Uezora.” (Croix)



 …I am starting to get a little overwhelmed, so please wait.



“So, you’re saying that the Brompas’ son wanted to be Tougo Uezora, but he couldn’t paint at that level, so he had Lila draw it for him…?” (Laocles)


 It’s no good, I don’t really understand what they’re saying. Why? Why did they want to be me? And did they want to be me with the help of others? What does this mean?



“Oh, I can see how confused Tougo is… Well, I feel the same way too.” (Fay)


“Yep. Well, it’s beyond my understanding.” (Tougo)



 I don’t know anything. The phoenix chick is flying inside my head. That’s how I feel. Chirp, chirp…


As I was holding a Phoenix Chick Obon dance in my head, Laocles told me from the side.



“…So, the plan was to have Lila paint the picture as Tougo Uezora, and then later the son of the Brompa family would come forward and say that he painted that picture himself?” (Laocles)



 Oh, so that’s how it was. Then, somehow, I understand the logic. I don’t know how I feel. It was the first time that I had ever been so confused by people’s feelings.



“Well, that’s probably true. It’s quite thoughtless, but… the stupid son of a nobleman might be like that.” (Laocles)



 Fay looks like he was sick. Yeah… Fay is also the son of a nobleman. But I know Fay isn’t a stupid son. He’s okay.



“…However, she could have refused any number of offers like this. In fact, it seems that Lila herself was enthusiastic about calling herself Tougo Uezora.” (Croix)



 I see. Well… Brompa’s son wanted to be me, and he asked Lila to draw a picture for him.


 Lila herself was onboard with that…? Hmm…?



“…Tougo seems confused.” (Fay) (Fay)



 This is confusing. How can it not be confusing? I don’t know how anyone feels about this. I don’t know how Brompa’s son feels, and I don’t know what Lila is thinking. I mean, even if Mr. Brompa himself knew that his own son would do something like this, would he not stop him…? Is this normal among the nobility?



“Oh, that’s how it is. By the way, where did you hear this from…?” (Tougo)



 At any rate, there are a lot of things I don’t understand, so I asked, hoping to reduce one thing I don’t understand.



“Bronpa’s stupid son himself. Ms. Croix bumped into him on the street, took him to a bar, let him drink, got him drunk, and he bragged to everyone about it…” (Fay)



 …Wow. That’s… Um, wow…



“…Well, that’s how I asked, but since I heard it from the man himself, I’m sure it’s correct.” (Croix)



 Ms. Croix is such a professional. Yep…



 Anyway, after hearing Fay and Ms. Croix’s report, I became even more confused.


 But… one thing is for sure: I want to meet Lila again.


 I want to hear what she has to say. Why did she do the ghost-painting thing all those years? Why was she so eager to become an employee of Mr. Brompa’s family? I would like to ask her about those things, and more than anything, I would like to ask her about her paintings.


 I would also like to ask about the painting of Arashi no Mori. Also, the picture of the royal capital from “Orrin Hulk.”


 I also want to hear about her painting of the stormy forest. And also, the painting of the Royal Capital under “Orin Hulk”.


 If her paintings, which are full of sharp, desperate, lonely, cold, and scared… feelings, are her own expression, then she is like a storm.


 …For that reason, I have to paint.


 The person I am now is “Lila Raswald.” I need to draw a picture that is worthy of the name and a storm-like person and win the contest…





“Hey, Fay. I wonder how I can make a drawing that will be accepted.” (Tougo)



 I don’t know which picture will be selected.


 According to Lila, whether or not someone gets selected is determined by a person’s name, so if that’s the case, what should I draw when aiming to get selected?



“Well, you…umm.” (Fay)



 Faye and I began to worry together. I’m not sure what to do. I guess so. If the criteria of the museum is the name, then I don’t know what the criteria of the competition is either.



“…Yeah. There’s no point in just thinking about it!” (Fay)



 And Fay came to that conclusion.



“Tougo. I can’t see a future where you’re going to get selected during the competition.” (Fay)


“Yep. Me too.” (Tougo)



 Yes, that’s right. I have never painted a picture with the intention of winning an award, so I don’t know what to expect. And I heard that the criteria for winning an award is a little strange in this world, so I don’t know even more.


 So, it’s useless to think about it. Yep.



“You can draw whatever you want. Yes, it’s a good idea, so go ahead and enjoy it.” (Fay)


“Yes. I will.” (Tougo)



 That’s why I decided to draw pictures as I like. There’s nothing I can do. I’m not cut out to be successful with my drawings, and I don’t seem to be very good at getting praise from other people.


 However… Even so, I would be happy if someone saw what I drew and thought it was good.


 I would be happy if I got selected.



 From that day on, I immediately started drawing.


 Although it was late at night, I started drawing because I wanted to draw.



I already knew what I wanted to paint. I have seen it, so I can paint it. All I have to do now is to move my brush.



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