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Chapter 22 Part 2 - 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

The value of a talented painter's work increases over time.

If someone gave me a time machine and I could go back to the time of Van Gogh, I'd probably empty my studio deposit to buy all the paintings he put out on the street. Even if not right away, I could sell them later for tens of thousands of times their value.

Hugging the sales contract to my chest, I smiled happily

I stared blankly at the six yellow bills inside the ATM machine and then burst into laughter.

Without realizing it, I started to wiggle my hips when I caught the bank security guard giving me a strange look. Hurriedly gathering the money without even counting it, I ran out of the bank and sat on a nearby bench, where I recounted the 300,000 won five times.

"Uhaha, uhaha."

The person who comes to mind in my happiest moments.

I wanted to see my dad's face smiling down from heaven, so I looked up. The harsh sunlight made me squint, but it didn't matter. I was too happy today.

"Dad! You're watching, right?"

Your son has finally done it.

I don't know if I can keep it up, but I've taken the first step.

Mom would be happy, right? You too, Dad?

I kept my promise to you, Dad. Will you praise me?

All I want is a word from you.

Good job, my son. You're brave.

Just to hear that. But I'll never hear my dad's voice again. A somber mood briefly surfaces, but is soon suppressed by my joy.

I called my mom first.

"Mom! Your second son."

-Oh, our Junghoon. What's up? You sound cheerful.

"Mom, let's have dinner together tonight."

-What? Sure. What time will you be home?

"Not home, let's go out."

-Why spend unnecessary money? Let's just eat at home.

"I'll buy beef today."

-What? How do you have money for that?

"Ha ha, anyway! I'll see you later with my brother. I have to bring him, so I'll come to the house!"

-What? Junghoon, what's going on?

I quickly told a rough story to my mom, who sounded worried, to avoid her fretting over the possibility of me getting into dangerous or illicit activities for money.

-Oh my! Really? You really signed a contract with MG Electronics?

"Yes! I start working at the headquarters from tomorrow."

-Oh my, hallelujah! Thank God.

Mom was genuinely happy.

I felt again that my family is the only one who can truly rejoice in my success without any jealousy.

Mom laughed happily for a while and then hung up, saying she would see me in the evening.

Actually, I wanted to give my first big earnings to my mom.

But the reason I live separately is to maintain my mom and brother's eligibility for basic living assistance. If a large sum of money goes into Mom's account, we could lose that eligibility.

There will definitely come a time when I can pull my family out of this quagmire with a stable income, not just a one-off. Hearing Mom's laughter-filled voice makes me happy.

Just wait a little longer, Mom. I'll make sure to treat you well.

The next person I thought of was my only friend, Young-Ju.

But I hesitated to call her.

I didn't win a prize in the contest, but Young-Ju did. If she knew that I was the one who got the contract, she might feel disappointed. She's a friend who wishes me well, but I didn't want to brag over the phone.

In the end, I couldn't call Young-Ju and while searching for someone else to share my joy with, I suddenly thought of that art gallery.

Such a foolish guy.

I had forgotten the person who helped me the most.

I'm not sure if I can dream again, but if I'm a human being, I should at least try.

After carefully placing the cash in my wallet, I ran to the art gallery.

It took no time to arrive at the art gallery, which is quite close to our house. After checking the gallery's sign and opening status, I immediately bought a ticket and ran downstairs.

The underground gallery was still deserted.

Since I didn't have any baggage today, I sat comfortably on the central rock sofa and waited for the paintings of the twelve constellations. Suddenly, I realized I had slept for a long time.

'Will I fall asleep again, even though I'm not tired?'

The gallery wouldn't force me to dream.

The moment when the constellations of the twelve zodiac signs stop could also be a kind of hallucination that I created myself.

Perhaps it's a process to justify the dreams I want to have?

Anyway, everything I've experienced is probably the desire hidden within my subconscious.

Most of the time, I came here exhausted from painting portraits all day. So, it's natural to doze off.

But today, I'm not sleepy at all. I was tense yesterday, so my body feels languid, but I don't want to sleep more.

I was gazing at the program, resting my chin in my hand.

Then, the Zodiac paintings began to appear on the wall.

“It seems I won’t dream today. There will be another chance later, right?”

As I looked at the Zodiac paintings with a half-resigned expression, the lights started to come on in the constellations. It seems it wasn’t an illusion; I must have fallen asleep watching them.

Then, all the lights blinked, and Pisces lit up.

At that moment, I dropped my head slightly, like dozing off while studying.

‘What? Sleepy again after 12 hours of sleep?’

When I raised my head and looked forward, I found myself standing in Alphonse Mucha’s bedroom.

‘Here again.’

Surely, this isn’t real, right?

The vitamins Youngju gave me to eat weren’t just nutrients but hallucinogens, were they? No, that can’t be it, right?

"Cough! Cough!!"

Harsh coughing sounds.

Awakened by the rough coughs that seemed to nearly choke the breath, I quickly checked the calendar in the dark room. Seeing the date on the calendar, I scrunched up my face and clutched my forehead.

‘July 13, 1939.’

It's the day before Alphonse Mucha's death.

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