《Fairy Forest》 changed to 《Elf Forest》. I feel like I’m gaining a weird following by translating this novel. .. My brain’s dead, I can’t edit this chapter any further.
「Isn’t what you just said way too strange?」
Right now me and Kamina Eno are sitting in a car, I think the person driving is her father… In front of her father I don’t dare to repeat what she said in the room
「How did you find me? You didn’t even know which room it was.」
It’s appeared again, this feeling…
「What a convenient feeling, is this a feeling or a superpower?」
「Feeling, or superpower?」
I let out a sigh, being pulled away by Kamina Eno like this, I can already guess what thread will appear in the forum next.
“Creep Lolicon Aoba Oku Has Already Successfully Brainwashed Bishoujo Transfer Student Into His Private Domain.”
I indeed do not mind people calling me a lolicon, rather this is an approval of me, but randomly accusing me of violating normal girls also makes my head hurt.
「Your name is Aoba Oku, right?」
Sitting at the front driving, father… No, Kamina Eno’s father suddenly speaks, with Kamina Eno messing with me I was nearly about to call him dad.
「Ya, my name is Aoba Oku.」
「Actually the one who wants to see you is namely my father.」
「Is it Ando-sensei?」
「Yes, he just happened to come to Tokyo this time. Hearing that you’re also in Tokyo and that you’re even Eno’s classmate, he wanted to see you.」
So it’s Ando-sensei who wants to see me, and I thought Kamina Eno’s parents wanted to meet me…
「So that’s how it is.」
「I’ve heard father mention you before, he says you are his star pupil, the most talented child he’s ever seen.」
Please don’t casually use “most” Ando-sensei! It’s definitely because you said it like this that your granddaughter came looking for me in displeasure!
「I… I wouldn’t go so far, Classmate Eno is a lot more amazing than me.」
「Eno is indeed very good at drawing, the illustrations she draws for me have always received the praise of the readers.」
「I know, right, the illustrations she draws… Huh? Illustrations? Why is Classmate Eno drawing illustrations for you Ojisan?」
「Didn’t Eno tell you, she part-times as an illustrator.」
「I know, I hear that she not only draws game illustrations for《Monster ***ter》, she also draws illustrations for the light novel currently with the best sales in the market, 《Elf Forest》.」
「She draws illustrations for my light novel.」
I’m a bit stupefied, this middle-aged ojisan in front of me calmly said an amazing fact.
「Writing light novels is my hobby in my spare time, 《Elf Forest》is what I wrote when I had nothing to do.」
「… Ojisan, you’re the author of《Elf Forest》, Shimura-sensei?」
「Ya, my full name is Kamina Shimura.」
Can this world still be saved? The best selling, most welcomed light novel currently on the market is actually written by a middle-aged ojisan? You need to know that 《Elf Forest》isn’t some sort of light novel about society or a mystery light novel, it’s purely a fantasy light novel! The depictions of the appearances of the various elf subraces within the novel and the battle between them has always been enjoyed and talked about by readers. The readers all guessed that the author was definitely a male high school student immersed all day in all sorts of fantasies… Now only the gender is right!
「What’s wrong, Aoba?」
「Nothing… I’m having a bit of a hard time taking this in. I actually also have work drawing illustrations for a light novel, so I have some understanding of light novels. Even though it’s very rude of me to say this, aren’t people who write light novels usually young people, how come you enjoy writing light novels and moreover can even write so well?」
「Haha, so you’re also an illustrator Aoba. In regards to why I wrote《Elf Forest》, if I have to say then it’s probably because of my dream when I was young.」
「Yes, when I was still in school my father, that is your Ando-sensei always hoped that I would learn drawing with him and then participate in competitions winning awards.」
So Ando-sensei had this kind of expectation for his son.
「But I was honestly too dull, even though I started learning drawing from my childhood, by the time I was in high school I’d only learned the basics of drawing. The drawings that I drew were always judged by Father as empty and tasteless, they didn’t have the slightest trace of artistic conception, what I drew were just lines and colours.」
So strict… After all his father is Ando-sensei.
「And at that time I had actually already grown tired of drawing, in my opinion there was nothing more agonising than holding a brush and facing a blank paper. At that time I started writing some stories without Father knowing, because compared to trying to draw as best as possible what was in my head on a blank sheet of paper using the form of a drawing, I hoped more to compile them into stories using detailed words. But in the end the novel that I secretly wrote was discovered by Father, at that time I who was immature got into a big argument with Father and he angrily ripped apart the novel that I wrote at that time.」
This feeling of his dream being ripped apart must have made young Shimura-ojisan feel a great deal of pain.
「From then onwards I not only completely abandoned drawing, I also abandoned the writing that I love. I started learning business, for a better education I went to an overseas university, and it was also in university that I met Eno’s mother.」
Mentioning Eno’s mothers, Shimura-ojisan’s face becomes very gentle.
「Afterwards I started a very long struggle, after my business slowly steadied down I wasn’t that busy anymore. And so in my free time I thought of my dream when I was young, since it was my dream when I was young I didn’t want it to change in nature, so I started writing light novels that young people like to read. At first the light novels I wrote were not popular, a lot of people all critiqued my books saying they were old-fashioned and couldn’t keep up with the times. So to be able to write better light novels I started reading the works of others, after reading up to a certain stage I picked up my confidence again and wrote 《Elf Forest》.」
So the current best-selling light novel actually came to be like this. The main character of《Elf Forest》, the elf Andrew is also an elf with a dream, no matter what setbacks he encounters he won’t give up on his dream. I hear a lot of people say that light novel authors will all pour their own emotions into their own novels, I believe that the male protagonist written by Shimura-ojisan is actually a projection of his inner heart.
「Shimura-ojisan, you really are amazing!」
Hearing my sincere veneration and admiration, Shimura-ojisan smiles faintly.
「This is just the boring life experience of a middle-aged ojisan, if you learned anything from it then I didn’t waste my breath. Oh right, don’t you also draw illustrations Aoba, which light novel do you draw for?」
「…《Moe Battle Wars》」
「Um… That light novel famous for being full of illustrations and young girls?」
Even though Shimura-ojisan’s words are very subtle, I can still understand that he isn’t a very big fan of the moe loli light novel Sena writes. Moreover this so-called “full of illustrations” is basically the same as a fairy tale with pictures, the illustrations and content for 《Moe Battle Wars》are basically half and half.
「It is indeed that one…」
「I’ve heard other authors comment that the person who draws illustrations for this light novel must be very amazing. After all he can actually handle even such a big workload, so it’s you Aoba. You really are like Father says, very amazing.」
「My drawing speed is actually pretty fast, that’s why I can just barely take this job.」
「The work and pay of illustrators is calculated by the number of illustrations right, then even though you work a bit harder the compensations is also able to slightly make up for it right?」
Only this really gets me in the gut… When I signed, because I was still a rookie the pay for each illustration was a lot lower than other illustrator colleagues. Even though right now my speed drawing illustrations is very fast and the quality is pretty good, the contract from that time still hasn’t expired yet, so even though I’ve drawn so many illustrations, the pay isn’t that much higher compared to other illustrators!
「It’s not bad I guess… It’s about enough for my expenses living in Tokyo by myself.」
「I see, then that’s very good, when I was your age I still had to rely on the living expenses given by my family, compared to you I really do feel a bit ashamed.」
Shimura-ojisan is also a very friendly person, I have a good time chatting with him in the car. Sitting beside me, Kamina Eno also finds it interesting listening, in a happy atmosphere Shimura-ojisan arrives at the house. His house is very big and makes me a bit surprised.
「Then I’ll drive the car to the garage, Eno you bring Aoba over to your grandfather.」
Afterwards I follow Eno and enter the living room of this big house, there I see Ando-sensei whom I haven’t seen for a long time.
「Long time no see Ando-sensei!」
Ando-sensei doesn’t look any different from the last time I saw him, time did not leave more marks on his body.
「You’re finally here Oku-kun, you’ve grown a lot after not seeing you for so long.」
「So many years have passed by after all, of course I would grow a lot.」
「Are you living alone in Tokyo right now?」
「Have you gotten used to it?」
「It’s not bad, this is actually all thanks to Ando-sensei teaching me how to draw when I was young that I can now rely on it to find a job to support myself.」
「Hahaha, that’s your own hard work Oku-kun, what’s your job right now?」
「I’m an illustrator right now.」
At this time I notice Ando-sensei clearly wrinkle his brow.
「An illustrator… again.」
「What’s wrong, Ando-sensei?」
「Oku-kun, do you still remember telling me when you were young that you were going to become a great artist like the likes of Picasso and Van Gogh?」
「Ando-sensei suddenly saying my dream in the past, it’s pretty embarrassing.」
After all Kamina Eno is right at the side, suddenly saying this kind of arrogant dream of mine when I was young is really super embarrassing.
「No, I’ve always firmly believed that you have this possibility Oku-kun.」
Ando-sensei really is like how Kamina Eno said, isn’t his evaluation of me way too high?
「Do you know, you are the most talented child I’ve seen in my entire life.」
「You’re over exaggerating Ando-sensei.」
Ando-sensei heavily slams the table.
「Exaggerated? No, it’s not exaggerated at all! I know your talent very well, drawing really is extremely dependant in talent. No matter how hard they work, people without talent are unable to cross that door, and you are a person who started walking with that door as your starting point. 」
I’m stunned by Sensei’s words.
「When I was young I also once thought that as long as I worked hard enough I would succeed, but continuing to work hard until old age, besides an improvement in my drawing technique I haven’t had any other elevation. I told you when you were young, a drawing created by a true artist must possess artistic conception, the better a drawing is the more people will be fascinated by it, but my drawings only possess style and not spirit. In their lives, the majority of artists are only able to reach my level and then accomplish nothing, but you are different, your talent matched with your hard work, in the end you can definitely become a true artist.」
Ando-sensei’s words are powerful and heavy.
「And yet right now you make me very disappointed, actually going to be some illustrator. This sort of unorthodox path is simply unable to fully display your talent and is moreover unable to elevate you.」
Listening to Ando-sensei lecture me for so long I finally find the chance to object.
「But isn’t Kamina Eno also an illustrator? She’s still a very amazing artist.」
I look towards Kamina Eno, she doesn’t have any expression towards my words.
「Eno is indeed an illustrator, but she is only doing this part-time, moreover she’s drawing for her father, her main goal is still to become a true artist. But right now you’re different, you probably have illustrator as your only goal, right?」
I do not speak.
「You’re completely wasting your talent like this!」
Wasting? Even though I don’t understand the so-called “my talent” Ando-sensei speaks of, I do understand that this so-called talent has indeed provided many conveniences for when I draw illustrations. In the eyes of many peers, I who doesn’t need to draw drafts am an abnormality.
If I give up on the job of an illustrator and devote myself to learning true drawing with the goal of becoming an artist like the likes of Van Gogh, maybe one day I’ll really be able to reach Ando-sensei’s expectations of me. But, I wonder, is that really what I want right now?
Once upon a time I did indeed have this dream, at that time I studied hard everyday for this dream. I didn’t feel tired at all, this was the drive that my dream gave me. Even though I’ve already neglected drawing for many years now, didn’t I just hear Shimura-ojisan’s story in the car, didn’t he also pick up his childhood dream in middle age and then work hard until he ultimately succeeded? Maybe as long as I’m willing to work hard it isn’t too late either.
The scale in my heart starts to slowly tip towards one side.
No, wait, there’s definitely somewhere that’s wrong, is this what I learned from Shimura-ojisan’s story? Is this the answer that I got?
I instantly understand.
「Ando-sensei, maybe you’re right, but, I’m still going to become an illustrator.」
Ando-sensei’s pretty mad from my words.
「Foolish! I’ve already spoken up to this point, do you still not understand? You’ll only destroy yourself like this!」
「No! I firmly believe that my choice is correct!」
My thoughts become very clear in an instant, there is no long a hint of confusion in my heart.
「Then tell me what meaning this sort of childish action of yours has!」
「This is faith!」
I firmly say these three words. That’s right, this is faith, this is my “faith”, read as “faith” written as “loli”! Ando-sensei is stunned by my words.
「That I would engage in the work of an illustrator is not abandoning drawing, but because I feel that this is the true path that belongs to me!」
「Indeed becoming a great artist was once my dream, but at that time I still hadn’t incorporated the element of “faith” into my dream!」
That’s right, what Shimura-sensei’s story made me understand is faith. Why would Shimura-sensei fall out with his father for writing novels and then completely give up on drawing? He was carrying the attitude of “Rather to die honourably than to live dishonourably”, he won’t allow any impurities to be mixed into his dream. His writing dream is filled with his faith, he believes in how to convert his thoughts into words to tell the readers, he believes that gentle and subtle words are more compelling than apparent drawings, this is the reason that I understand of why he has to start writing even in middle age.
「I like my work right now, because right now becoming a great illustrator is my true dream! My faith is incorporated into this dream!」
My faith is lolis! Drawing which has not lolis is empty and tasteless!
「Dreams without faith are all empty and hollow!」
I shout to Ando-sensei at the top of my lungs, that’s right, this is my answer! Because I am a lolicon with a firm faith!
Lolis are my heart, lolis are my life!
If my world is without the faith called “Lolis”, then even if I stand at the peak of drawing I will only feel cold. And yet even though right now I’ am just a regular illustrator, with them accompanying me, being able to see them display their figures and bring happiness to even more people, that is enough!
Ando-sensei looks to be very tired, but he is smiling at me, what I want express has already been fully conveyed to him.