Chapter 681: Let’s end this
Shishio might have seen Shiina’s painting, but he only saw it on the internet and the sketch she usually drew.
As for the real thing, the one she painted during her time in England, it was his first time seeing it.
He knew that it might be cold of him to do this since he didn’t seem to care about her painting, but while Shiina’s painting was good, he had a “Painting Mastery,” which he got in the past. His painting was so good that she asked him to learn under him.
This was also why he had never tried to seek her previous painting since she knew from now on, she would create even more masterpieces which was better than the previous.
Yet he had to say her talent was amazing since he could feel that he was drawn into the painting as if he was inside it.
However, Rita didn’t know that.
When she saw him in silence, she thought he was amazed by Shiina’s painting, yet this was a normal reaction. Whenever one saw Shiina’s painting, one would be amazed, wondering how something like this could be born in this world. Yet while it was amazing, it also crushed the people around her since, by then, they would realize no matter how hard they worked, it would be impossible for them to achieve what Shiina could do.
While Shiina might not have realized it, she had crushed the dreams of many children who studied at the same atelier as her.
Rita was also one of them, but unlike the rest, she still stuck with Shiina since she hoped in the future, she would be someone who could be part of Shiina’s success.
However, it was impossible for her not to envy and hate Shiina since her parents and grandparents told her to stop painting and search for other paths even though she loved painting so much.
Yet even she also understood that love just wasn’t enough.
If love was enough, then why were there many people who had their dream or love shattered?
So, when Shiina told her that she wanted to learn about manga, Rita didn’t hesitate to teach her anything that Shiina needed to do since she hoped Shiina could understand the feeling of crush and failure.
Rita wanted to see Shiina thrashed by reality and understood the despair she felt, yet unexpectedly Shiina succeeded in the manga, and her manga became a best-selling. While she didn’t say it, she also read the manga secretly since it was so interesting.
Yet knowing this made her realize how stupid her action was, and she felt it was time for Shiina to return to England since her talent shouldn’t be used for something such as manga. Instead, she should use it in art where she could become a legend.
As for why she did this, it was because she truly believed that the stage that Shiina should be shouldn’t be in this country. She knew that she was bad since she wanted to see her failure, but she had changed, and she didn’t want to have any regrets anymore, so even if she knew Shiina and Shishio were in love with each other, she believed that they should part since she didn’t want Shiina to waste her time in this place.
“I wanted to show you this painting.”
“This is Mashiro’s painting, right?”
“Yes.” Rita nodded and said, “This was Mashiro’s last painting before she went to this country.” She looked at him and sighed. “Your identity might be special too in this country, but now, you can see how special she is, right?” She took a deep breath and continued. “I read her manga here, and I have to say it is amazing. It is so amazing that even the people in our country have heard about it and bought it. However, I don’t know much about manga, but do you think it is worth it for Mashiro to end her career as a painter?
“As her boyfriend, what do you think?”
He looked at Rita in confusion and asked, “Can I ask you something?”
“When did Mashiro end her career as a painter?”
“Of course not.”
“But she is a mangaka now!”
“Can she not become a painter when she becomes a mangaka?” He looked at Rita weirdly and asked, “And being a mangaka won’t take all of her time. Even if she wants to paint something, no one will stop her.”
Rita looked at Shishio speechlessly since she didn’t think his words were wrong. Instead, he felt it was right since even most painters didn’t paint most of the time. They also had their own lives and also other careers.
No one was asked for a painter to do a painting all the time.
Yet Rita didn’t want to give up, trying to persuade him as if she tried to persuade herself.
“But you can see how amazing this painting is, right? Don’t you think that she shouldn’t waste time on manga? Her time should be used to make her painting better!”
“…I am wrong?” Rita couldn’t accept it and questioned him, “Oh? Then tell me how I am wrong?”
“Do you know why Mashiro wants to learn manga?”
“…because she is interested in making one?”
“Because she wants to develop her painting better.” He shook his head and asked, “Have you seen her painting now?”
Unlike in the original, where Shiina painted Sorata’s room, his room was clear, and she didn’t paint it since his room was quite complex. If she had painted it, she might have caused some of his electrical appliances to become errors. He also prepared a room in his apartment that she could use to paint as much as she wanted to.
This was why Rita couldn’t see Shiina’s paintings on Sakurasou, especially when she had never gone to his apartment.
“Her painting is even better than the one we see now.”
“…really?” Rita looked at him in disbelief.
“Do you think that Mashiro has regressed in this country? No. She has become even better. You might not see her progress, but in my mind, she is in the process of metamorphosis.”
“It’s like a butterfly. When she was in England, she was a larva. Her painting is amazing, but it lacks freedom since England is the only place that she has been. She also stays at the atelier most of the time, and the only people that she has been to are only you or her teachers. It’s amazing, but that’s all. She can’t grow any longer.
“But when she decided to come to this country, she became a pupa. She wanted to become better, but she didn’t know what to do. She thought that by learning about manga, she could become better, and she could create a painting that everyone loved.
“It’s amazing, right? Because of painting, she dares to come to a country that she has never been to, alone with minimum help. In my eyes, she is gambling on her future since whether she can grow into a beautiful butterfly that can fly freely in the air or die in the process no one can tell, but she dares to do it.”
Rita couldn’t say anything and only stared at him in silence while thinking about what she had been doing.
“What about now? Are you sure that she will become a beautiful butterfly?”
“I am not sure.”
“…you’re not sure?” His answer caused her to be dumbfounded, but then she frowned and asked, “Don’t you care about her?”
“I care about her, but to be honest, I don’t care much about her career as a painter.”
“Even if you show me this, I don’t feel anything. Personally, even if she succeeds or fails in her career as a painter, I don’t think too much.”
“You’re so irresponsible!” Rita was furious since Shiina could become a better painter than those who were in history, but this bastard didn’t care.
“I know, but I have never fallen for her because of her painting. I fell for her because of her character, gentleness, kindness, and how she is as a person. Even if she succeeds or loses everything, it won’t change how I feel toward her. I just love her, and I definitely don’t want her to return to England.” He looked at Rita firmly and said, “So, I have to apologize to you that no matter what, I won’t let you take her away from me.”
Rita couldn’t say a single word. While his words were selfish, even if he knew that Shiina might be able to grow even better as a painter when she returned to England, he didn’t want her to go back. Yet she didn’t think he was wrong since a feeling wasn’t in the realm of logic, and he told her his wish and determination, telling her that Shiina was his and he wouldn’t give up on her.
As for the world of painting, or any other things, he didn’t care at all. They could all go to hell.
Once again, Rita had to say she felt quite jealous of Shiina.
However, he hadn’t finished his words.
“But if she wishes to go back to England since she thinks that she can grow better there, I won’t stop her.”
Rita was in a daze and asked, “…even if you don’t want to?” To be honest, she felt guilty at this moment since she knew her wish would make him part with Shiina.
“Even if I don’t want to.” He nodded as he looked at Rita with a gentle smile. He patted her head and said, “So, good luck.”
Her lips twitched since she knew this guy was confident that Shiina wouldn’t agree to her request to go back to England, but he was right. If she was the confidence to bring Shiina back to England, why should she come to him?
It was because she couldn’t bring Shiina to England that she came to him.
“But is that all?”
“What do you mean?” Rita asked in confusion.
“I mean, is that all the reason why you want to bring her back to England?”
His eyes were different from before, and it made her a bit nervous, but she nodded and said, “Isn’t this enough of a reason?”
He looked at Rita for a moment and nodded. “Okay. Let’s go back.”
Rita saw him leave, which made her dumbfounded. “Wait! Wait! What do you mean? Don’t leave me hanging like this!” She could tell that he was about to say something, but he didn’t say anything, which irritated her, especially when she saw his expression as if he knew everything and mocked her.
“Shh… watch where we are.”
“……..” Rita looked around and saw that many people were looking at them. She apologized before following him and urging him to talk.
“Let’s talk in a quiet place.”
“Okay, but I won’t let you go if you don’t talk.” Rita held his hand, so he wouldn’t escape.
Yet why did he feel it was like she was his girlfriend?
However, he could ignore that problem now since he knew this was a time for the conclusion, and he was going to tear apart Rita’s mask, so the problem of this troublesome girl would end.