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Chapter 24 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

Belle Époque (3)

As Dvořák's grand funeral march crescendos, I open my eyes and deeply mourn the death of a hero in my heart.

And when my consciousness fully returns, I feel that the things happening to me are extraordinary.

Upon opening my eyes, I gaze at the paintings shining on the walls and ceiling.

"This art gallery is making me dream."

But why?

Why does this art gallery, which appeared out of nowhere one day, force me to dream?

Why does this art gallery, where I am the only visitor, continue to operate?

I sit for a long time on the stone sofa, admiring the artworks I hadn't noticed while lost in dreams.

Though I've visited several times, this is the first time I've watched the entire program.

At times, my heart flutters, sometimes I feel sad, and sometimes I laugh; only after watching the entire program do I stand up and bow.

"Well done, and thank you."

I check the time and hurry up. I have a dinner appointment with my family.

My mother and brother live in Onam-ri, Namyangju.

It's not the house we lived in when we were young. Our family lived in Busan when we were children.

It was also our parents' hometown and close to the sea where my father worked on deep-sea fishing vessels.

But after my father passed away, we left the beloved house and moved up to Gyeonggi Province.

My mother chose a place where the sea that took my father away couldn't be seen.

After a long bus ride, I walk towards home, familiar with the village landscape where I've lived for over 10 years.

Despite the slight melancholy from witnessing Alphonse Mucha's death, thinking about earning a good sum and having a delicious meal with my family lifts my spirits.

Our home, amidst newly built apartment complexes, couldn't possibly be one of those nice apartments. I climb the hill and wind through alleys to stand in front of a small house with a gray stone wall.

Rusty iron sheets on the roof to prevent rainwater signal our persistent poverty – this is our family's home.

When I push the green rusted iron gate, it creaks annoyingly, perhaps because my mother, knowing I'm coming, has left it open.

A water pump is visible in the small yard.

We don't use it now, but when I was young, we had to use it for water.

Even now, we still have to bathe in this yard during the winter.

And in the middle of the yard, my mother has neatly dressed my brother Ji-hoon in a wheelchair, ready for an outing.


He doesn't really need the wheelchair, but uses it for convenience when moving with family.

Born without sight, my brother compensates with highly developed hearing, touch, and smell.

He's been turning his head towards me since the gate noise and smiles brightly when he hears my voice.


My brother extends his hand. I walk over, take his hand, and ask,

"Have you been well?"

"Yes, thanks to you. How about you?"

"Me? I'm doing very well."

"That's good to hear."

Our conversation differs greatly from that of other siblings.

We've been close since childhood, as I've lived as my brother's eyes.

However, during adolescence, we did grow apart briefly.

For a moment, I blamed our poverty on my brother.

Although blind, he wasn't otherwise sick, so medical expenses weren't high, especially with government subsidies.

But with our father gone and our mother needing to be with my brother 24 hours a day, it seemed impossible to escape poverty. During my teenage years, I often spoke harshly to my brother.

But he never got angry with me, being the kind-hearted person he is.

Holding onto my long-unseen brother's wheelchair, I asked, "How's mom?"

"She'll take a while, she's getting ready after dressing me," he replied.

Mom was always like that. My brother always came first. And so did I, the child who couldn't see ahead even more than himself. As a child, I thought such a mother was foolish and hated it, but as I grew up, I came to understand how great her love was.

I leaned on my brother's wheelchair, bringing my face close to his.

"Hey, you even put on lotion. Got a girlfriend, bro?"

"Ha-ha, what girlfriend? Mom did it."

"Right, take care of your skin. It's all about the skin for men."

"You too?"

"Me? Of course, I'm quite the catch, you know."

"Sure, even when we were kids, a lot of girls in the neighborhood liked you. Are you still good-looking?"

"Of course, I'd cause a stir in Hongdae."

"Got a girlfriend?"


"What? Ha-ha."

"This body is meant to be loved by the world, can't be tied down to just one woman."

"You're silly, ha-ha."

It felt good to laugh with my brother after such a long time. Ironically, my brother loved paintings. How could he like paintings he couldn't even see? Because I was there.

We never went to art galleries due to our poor circumstances, but I would take him to murals painted by unknown artists and explain them to him. Listening to my descriptions and dreaming of the paintings, he always said, "That must be a beautiful painting, I'm lucky you're explaining it to me. Lucky to have you."

When I wasn't around, he spent his time in bed listening to the radio or reading Braille books. But he always greeted me happily when I returned from school.

Now that I was not around, he would spend his time just with mom. There are things you can share with parents and things you can only share between siblings. He must be lonely.

My brother asked with a smile, "Heard from mom that your work went well?"

Grinning broadly, I replied, "Yeah, I landed a great contract this time. It's not just a contract; it's going to be a significant line on my resume."

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