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Chapter 5 Part 1 - The Mysterious Art Museum

A street artist's life changed when he ended up at a mysterious art museum. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Art,Artist,Slice of life,Poor to Rich,Mystery

Lucid Dream Art Gallery (4)

I braced myself for protection, but strangely, I felt no pain.

A man, who had just dashingly grown a mustache and wore a sharply tailored suit, passed right through me.

I turned, startled, to see the man who had just penetrated my form, dashing away behind me.

"Ah, it's just a dream, of course."

To the people I see before me, I must be invisible. Then, I can relax. It's cold; better to go inside and watch comfortably.

The man who passed through me shouts in front of the print shop.

"Excuse me! Can I request work now?"

Brunhoff and Alphonse turn to look.

Even though I'm in their sight, their attention is solely on the man who just appeared. As I thought, I'm invisible.

Brunoff stands up and shakes his head.

"Sorry, but we're not taking job requests. It's the Christmas holiday period, as you know."

"Please! It's urgent. Can't you do something?"

"Haha, sorry. Please come back later."

I sneak into the print shop.

Sure enough, the two inside don't notice my presence. I lean against the warmest wall in the print shop, observing the situation.

The hurriedly visiting man pulls out a handkerchief, wiping sweat as he enters.

"My name is Mikael Dujardin. I'm Sarah Bernhardt's manager."

Brunoff's face, which had been dismissive until the name was mentioned, suddenly hardens.

"Sa, Sa, Sarah Bernhardt's manager?"

"Yes, that's right."

"The famous actress Sarah Bernhardt of France? The greatest theatre actress?"

"Yes, that's right! May I sit?"

Brunoff swallows nervously, offering a chair.

"Please sit down. But could you maybe get an autograph..."

"If you take the job, I can do that for you."

"Ah, taking the job is a bit... All our main artists are on vacation..."

"Aren't you here?"

"No, I'm not an artist. I'm the office manager here, managing this print shop."

Mikael turns to Alphonse.

"And this person?"

Mikael's eyes light up when he sees Alphonse's drawing.

"So, you are an artist!"

Brunoff waves his hands dismissively.

"No, this friend here isn't a main artist, just an assistant."

"An assistant artist? Sigh..."

Mikael looks disappointed, his head drooping.

"This is the only place open at this time."

Alphonse interjects.

"Can we hear what the urgent matter is?"

Mikael sighs.

"Sarah Bernhardt. You know who she is, right?"

Alphonse nods.

"Of course, I couldn't be unaware of France's most beautiful actress. I'm well aware that she's made almost every play a hit."

"Huh, embarrassingly, the play we just put up at the theatre was a flop. Sarah thinks it's because of the poster. As you know, promotional materials are trend-driven, so everyone just copies whatever is popular. Sarah says that's the problem and wants a completely new poster for the next play."

Brunoff interjects.

"Can a poster really make a play unsuccessful?"

Mikael rubs his face, shaking his head.

"Of course not. But the beautiful lady is very whimsical and stubborn. If we don't bring a new poster, she won't take the stage. Then we'd have to pay the venue rental and other actors' fees, incurring huge losses."

Brunoff puckers his lips, nodding.

"Then make a new one. If a great actress like Sarah requests, we should comply. The print shop is closed until the 28th, so come back on the 29th."

Mikael washes his face dryly, his head drooping.

"The performance is... on January 1st."

Brunoff looks incredulous.

"You're starting a performance on January 1st and are asking for a new poster now? Look, it takes days to create a painting. Even if we start right now, there's not enough time to print and post them around the city. Be reasonable."

Mikael bites his lip, realizing the absurdity.

"Are all other print shops closed? Isn't there any open?"

Brunoff asserts, waving his hands.

"It's all the same. Only office managers like me would be left. We take turns on duty due to the high risk of fire from the many machines. But wherever you go, you'll only find general office staff remaining. All the painters have gone on vacation."


Mikael rises from his seat with a look of resignation.

"There's nothing I can do then."

At that moment, Alphonse, who was sitting, speaks up.

"I, I've worked with Ms. Sarah Bernhardt before."

Mikael's eyes widen. He looks down hurriedly and then grasps Alphonse's shoulder tightly, asking,

"Work? What kind of work are you talking about?"

Alphonse pushes up his round glasses with a smile.

"By chance, I drew a poster for the Cleopatra play four years ago."

Mikael's eyes widen as he recalls the memory.

"Four years ago, that's 1890... Yes, yes! Cleopatra! There was such a play! Did you draw that poster?"

"Yes, although I was an assistant back then."

Mikael eagerly says,

"Please do it! You're the only one who can!"

As Mikael shakes Alphonse while shouting, Brunoff interjects.

"Hey, he said he was an assistant painter. What would Sarah say if we bring a poster drawn by an assistant?"

Brunoff's point is valid. Mikael hesitates for a moment, then starts shaking Alphonse again.

"Still! It's better to bring something, even if that's all we have, to handle her temperamental nature! Please, I beg you. I'll make it worth your while! I'll pay double the original price!"

Alphonse, still held by Mikael's hand, sways and pushes up his glasses with a smile.

"Yes, I'll give it a try, Mikael."

I watch them with a faint smile.

I know this event.

Having liked Mucha since childhood, I'm well aware of the Christmas miracle that came to the young and poor but honest and kind Alphonse Mucha in Paris, France, in 1894.

Mucha adjusts his glasses and rises from his seat.

"Where is Sarah now?"

"She's rehearsing at the Renaissance Theatre."

"Shall we go?"

"To the theatre?"


"Why the theatre?"

"Because she's the lead. Surely you don't want a poster without her face?"

Mikael looks stunned, then quickly grabs Mucha's arm.

"Understood! Let's go right away! But how long will it take?"

Mucha smiles gently and says,

"No matter what happens, I'll complete it by the day before the performance."

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