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Chapter 35 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

 Mrs. Kang's expression softens.

“Whether you're a street artist or a famous one, to your father, you’re already a proud son who’s achieved his dream. I can guarantee that.”


The conversation seems to be heading in a strange direction.

But as long as there's a conversation, it’s fine, right?

Mrs. Kang asks.

“Is your mother still around?”

“Yes, she’s healthy.”

“That’s a relief. Your mother, enduring those harsh times alone, raising you to this extent, is admirable.”

The conversation turns to my mother, and I suddenly feel disarmed. I laugh awkwardly and scratch my head.

“Our mom, she’s really incredible.”

Huh? It seems like Mrs. Kang is growing fonder of me. Am I mistaken?

Mrs. Kang leans forward slightly and asks.

“What makes her so remarkable?”

Just mentioning her brings tears to my eyes.

The most beautiful yet saddest word in the world, ‘Mother’. My throat tightens as I try to say it.


I pause to gather my thoughts. Mrs. Kang waits patiently, not hurrying me.

“I have an older brother.”

Mrs. Kang nods.

“That's fortunate. A strong prince for a lonely mother, having two of you.”

“My brother is visually impaired.”


Mrs. Kang's eyes widen, seemingly surprised.

I reminisce about the past and avert my gaze slightly.

“Luckily, we live in a country with decent welfare, so we received basic living assistance and a disability pension. But as I entered high school, expenses increased, and mom brought home work she could do there, earning money all night to care for my visually impaired brother.”


“Gluing eyes on dolls, assembling pizza boxes, wrapping candies for kids. Ah, do you know those? Little stick candies that kids eat?”

“Like Chupa Chups?”

“That's a big brand. I mean those nameless candies sold in stationery stores.”

“Hmm, I’ve seen them.”

“They sell for 100 won in stationery stores, but the wrapping is done manually. Do you know how much she got paid per piece?”

Mrs. Kang thinks for a moment.

“If the retail price is 100 won, the manufacturing cost would be around 30%... maybe 2 won?”

I laugh bitterly.

“It wasn’t even in won, but jeon. She got 5 jeon per piece.”

5 jeon for wrapping one candy.

To Mrs. Kang, that must sound like a unit from her childhood. I was shocked to learn that even wrapping a whole basket wouldn’t earn two thousand won when my mom told me this.

Mrs. Kang doesn’t seem too surprised but clucks her tongue in sympathy.

“Tsk, tsk, your mother went through a lot. She’s healthy now?”

“Yes, fortunately.”

“But from what I know, art school is expensive.”

I’ve heard this countless times. Quit art school and start earning money because we're poor.

“Yes, it’s costly. Tuition is enormous, not to mention the costs for materials, books, and those who take lessons could spend up to two thousand a semester.”

Mrs. Kang doesn’t speak, but her eyes ask. How did I manage the fees?

I smile sheepishly.

“I received a full scholarship for all four years.”

Surprise and pride flicker across Mrs. Kang's face.


“Haha, yes. But I still had to work two part-time jobs a day to pay for books and materials, though fortunately, I graduated on time.”

“That’s remarkable.”


Warmth begins to seep into Mrs. Kang's previously cool, cultured eyes.

“What kind of part-time jobs did you do?”

“Ah, I stuck to what I learned. Painting. I painted murals in rural villages upon request from city or county offices, and also worked on a legitimate website selling replica paintings. Ah! Don’t get the wrong idea, it was all legal.”

“Go on.”

“I also taught at art academies for college entrance exams and children’s art schools. In winter, I did snow sculpting at ski resorts. I was involved in stage art for theater productions in Daehangno, but that didn’t pay much... Haha.”

Mrs. Kang claps softly.

“That’s remarkable, especially for someone so young. It must have been hard to balance that with studies.”

“Haha, you flatter me.”

I don’t fully understand what’s happening, but the conversation flows smoothly. Good, I've achieved my initial goal.

Then, a housekeeper appears at the end of the hallway and speaks cautiously.

“Madam, your time is up.”

What time?

Oh no! The allotted time has already passed?

Mrs. Kang nods at the housekeeper and stands up. She glances briefly at my notebook. As I quickly cover it, she smiles and says,

“I enjoyed our talk today. Shall we meet again at the same time tomorrow?”

“Yes, Mrs. Kang. Thank you for your time.”

“Take care, and please have the housekeeper see you out.”

After Mrs. Kang leaves, the housekeeper escorts me to the door. I look dazed.

What just happened? I managed to garner her interest and the conversation went well.

‘But what do I have to show for it?’

It feels unsettling to have shared so much about myself without gaining any information in return.

Indeed, she's no easy opponent.

Before leaving the gate, I glanced back at the mansion and chuckled to myself.

'Well, is today just my day?'

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