Drawn Mochi Volume 5 Chapter 9.2: A Stormy Competition*3

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 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.


  It has been a long time since I painted. I paint without looking at the motif. I’m not very good at painting from memory. I prefer to paint by looking at the real thing.


 However, I felt like it would go well this time. Yep. I’m sure it’ll go well.


 I took one of the candies from the jar, popped it into my mouth, and immediately began to draw.


 …The candy tasted like peach. Delicious.



 The first day was a rough draft, or rather a rough sketch. I drew many drafts, chose the one I liked, put some colors on it, thought about whether or not it would go as I had imagined, and finally decided on the composition of the picture.


 On the second day, I finally started to work on the paper and even watered it on the same day. The forest was cold like winter, but the air was dry, and the watered paper dried without a hitch.


 From the third day, I started to add color little by little. Step by step, I was sure to apply the colors as I imagined, because I didn’t have the real thing in front of me.



 …And so, for about five days, I shut myself up in the house and painted. I didn’t have to see the real thing, so I just stayed in my room and drew.


 Sometimes Laocles would come in my room and bring me food, and when I ate it, he would throw me into the bath, and when I got out of the bath, he would throw me into bed. Yup. Thanks again…


 What can I say, it was a new experience for me.


 It was the first time for me to paint a complex picture without seeing the real thing, and it was also the first time for me to not leave the house for five days.


 Drawing pictures without seeing the actual thing was like having a dialogue with what was inside my head and heart. I ask myself, “What do you think about this place?”, and when I get a reply that says, “Maybe it’s better to do it this way,” I think, “Okay,” and then I draw it. That’s what I was doing, so even though it was watercolor, it took 5 days.



 That’s how I was able to finish drawing the picture for the competition.


 When I was satisfied with the completed painting, Laocles, who came to check if I was alive, looked at me, looked at the painting… and then said, “It’s good” and laughed.


 Yeah. I think it’s good too.



 So, I took the painting to an art museum and exhibited it under the name “Lila Raswald.”


 The museum staff looked a little confused, but it couldn’t be helped.



 After I finished exhibiting, we walked out of the museum. After that, I went to the park behind the museum… and found a familiar horse-drawn carriage parked there, and Lila was there.



“Lila!” (Tougo)



 When I called out to her, she turned towards me, looking extremely surprised.



“…w-what?” (Lila)



 I ran up to her, who seemed completely alarmed, and reported to her.



“I submitted a painting. With your name.” (Tougo)



 When I reported that, Lila looked surprised again.



“…Did you really do that?” (Lila)


“Yep.” (Tougo)



 Yes. I really did it. So I nodded firmly, and Laila looked puzzled and stunned.



“You shouldn’t have taken that seriously. Why would you do that?” (Lila)


“Why……?” (Tougo)



 I’m in trouble if you ask me why. But I definitely wanted to try it. I wanted to know exactly what it felt like to draw a picture under someone else’s name other than your own.



“Well, it’s mostly because of you. Don’t you feel any anger toward a painting exhibited under your name?” (Lila)



 Anger. Um, anger? …Hmm.



“I forgot.” (Tougo)


“Y-you forgot…” (Lila)



Maybe it’s not that I don’t have anger, I guess. Yeah. But I forgot. I think I had forgotten that I had those feelings. I was so moved by her painting before I forgot getting angry…



“…You’re really weird.” (Lila)


“Yep. You told me that in my dream too.” (Tougo)


“A dream? A dream…” (Lila)


“You were in my dream. ‘You’re weird!’ You said that to me in a loud voice. You were standing alone on a main street in the capital during a storm, and I got caught in the storm and blown out of the forest.” (Tougo)



 Then I started talking about the dreams I had, and then suddenly I thought, “Maybe I don’t need to talk about this,” or maybe people will think I’m weird because I talk about things like this. I thought about this and stopped talking halfway through.


 …However, by that time Lila was already gaping, and then she started laughing.



“…What? Were you caught in a storm and blown away? Floated?” (Lila)


“Yep……” (Tougo)



 Somehow, I suddenly felt embarrassed. What was I talking about?


 However, Lila seemed to be having fun even with me, and instead of chuckling, she then started laughing out loud.



“Ahaha! That sounds like you! You look like you could be blown away by the wind!!” (Lila)


“I am not that light…” (Tougo)



 …Do I look that light? I’m a little shocked.



 Lila laughed for a while, but then she suddenly looked embarrassed.



“…You said you wouldn’t do anything about me until the competition was over, right?” (Lila)


“Yes.” (Tougo)


“Then what are you going to do after the competition is over? Are you going to tell Master Fay and prosecute Lord Brompa?” (Lila)


“Hmm…” (Tougo)



 After the competition.


 …Hmm. That’s a problem.


 As for me, I don’t mind that she was using my name, well, I don’t mind that much, or… I thought, “I should care, shouldn’t I?” but I don’t it at all, like it’s someone else’s business…


 But, of course, what she’s doing is wrong. So, she has to stop it. Besides, if it might cause trouble to Fay and the others.


 But… Umm.


 I was torn. I was very worried. On the way, Lila asked, “I-Is there a reason you’re so worried…?” She started to also look worried, but still thought about it… and came to a conclusion.



“…If that happens, I’m worried that you might have to stop painting.” (Tougo)



 I decided to discuss everything with her.



“……eh?” (Lila)


“Yeah. That’s why I’m worried. What should I do?” (Tougo)


“…That’s not something you should consult with me, you know?” (Lila)


“Is that so?” (Tougo)



 I think about it for a while, but I think it would be better to ask Lila.



“It seems like I can’t make a decision because I don’t know what will happen to you… So, I’m thinking that if I knew your situation, I might be able to move around a little more easily.” (Tougo)


“So why am I even involved in this? Why do you need to make a decision while worrying about me?” (Lila)


“I can’t help it because I’m curious. That’s just the way it is.” (Tougo)



 Since I’m interested in her. I can’t make decisions that might be bad for her. It can’t be helped because I’ve already noticed it. That’s how it is. That’s just how it is.



“You seem to think it’s okay for Fay and Mr. Brompa to fight. Why is that?” (Tougo)


“Why…?” (Lila)



 Lila seemed quite troubled. I knew it was probably something she wouldn’t want to say, so I remained silent and waited.


 …After waiting for a while, Lila let out a sigh and said,




“Just to end it all.” (Lila)



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