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Chapter 42 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

Min-young smiles and walks across the hotel lobby and out.

Min-young crossing the hotel’s front garden. Inside, I’m imagining the potential sales of the refrigerators and indulging in happy thoughts.

‘If only 10,000 units sell, I’d have no more wishes. That would be nearly 500 million won available. Maybe I could get a lease on a villa in Seoul? No, in places like Maseok or Paju, I might even get a spacious townhouse.’

A small house with a garden would be nice.

Sometimes, when I’m stuck in the basement painting, I dream of drawing in the sunshine in a house with a garden.

A house where it’s okay to spill some paint on the ground. And a house with a garden where my brother, who can’t go out without Mom’s help, could freely sunbathe.

Lost in my happy daydreams, I suddenly hear Min-young’s voice.

“Do you see that over there?”

See what?

Huh? Where are we?

Oh, what am I thinking? I was in the middle of a business discussion.

Quickly regaining my focus, I look where Min-young is pointing and see a building that resembles a medieval European town hall. It seems to cover about 7,000 square meters, roughly the size of a soccer field. Ah, this must be the new theater of W Tree Hannam that Monica mentioned.

I estimate the size of the theater, which looks more than 90% complete in its construction, and ask,

“How big is it? How many seats does it have?”

“There are 3,000 seats.”

The Seoul Arts Center Opera House has 2,340 seats.

The CJ Towol Theater has about 1,000 seats.

A theater with 3,000 seats is enormous.

Though the theater seems smaller compared to its external size, such theaters typically place the stage at the forefront and the audience in a tiered diagonal arrangement, which isn’t space-efficient.

Min-young points towards the entrance of the theater and suggests,

“Let's go inside.”

I feel a bit excited.

It’s a privilege to see a huge theater not yet open to the public, and I’m grateful for this opportunity.

As Min-young walks towards the entrance, she turns to me and says,

“Oh, and Mr. Painter.”


“How are you handling your comprehensive income tax declaration?”


I’m not familiar with that.

I usually paint portraits and receive cash, so my income isn’t really declared for withholding tax.

Seeing my expression, Min-young advises,

“If you don’t prepare in advance, you’ll be in trouble next year. The money you’ve received and will receive from MG Electronics, combined with the payments from our side, will put you in the highest tax bracket. You might be hit with a huge tax bill next year.”


My dream has always been to pay a lot of taxes, living as a responsible citizen. Hehe, am I about to realize that dream?

Then Min-young adds,

“Based on the current situation, you’re probably in the 40% tax bracket, maybe even 42%.”

I’m stunned again.

What? A 40% tax rate? How can the government take 40% when I’ve been working so hard? I thought it would be around 10%. This feels like an unfair surprise.

Min-young looked at my stunned face and laughed.

“Haha, it’s common. Many people live unaware of tax laws and end up borrowing money in May to pay taxes. If your annual income exceeds 300 million but is below 500 million won, then the 40% bracket is correct.”

Wow, so if I file my comprehensive income tax in May next year, I’ll lose 40% of my money? Crazy, what about my house? My townhouse?

“Is there a way to reduce taxes?”

She must know, right? It seems obvious she would.

Min-young, seeing the desperation on my face, smiles again.

“Be careful with general tax accountants who promise tax reductions; it can often lead to heavy penalties. In your case, setting up a corporation might be most effective.”

“A corporation?”

“Yes, you can’t handle this job alone anyway. How about hiring one or two employees and establishing a corporation?”

I know what a corporation is, but I have no idea how to set one up.

Min-young continued to laugh at my clueless face.

“Haha, I’ll attach someone to help you. You just need to prepare the documents they ask for.”

“Thank you. But, won’t it cost money?”

“It does, for the deposit and establishment fees. About 50 million won should be enough.”

Min-young spoke of 50 million won as if it was a trivial amount. To her, it might be, but not for me.

She added,

“But in the long run, the tax-saving benefits are more significant. It’s better to do it, especially since you’re likely to succeed more in the future.”

Looks like I have to do it. My dream of owning a townhouse is getting pushed further into the future. Mom, brother, just wait a little longer. I’ll definitely get us a nice house.

As Min-young opened the door, she advised,

“You’ll need at least one employee, so start thinking about a junior or friend from art school who might be suitable for the job.”

A friend or acquaintance?

My only friend is Yeong-ju...

Ah, right, Yeong-ju. She’s been fussing about wanting to paint.

But what’s Yeong-ju’s current salary?

Can I afford to pay her that much?

I’d have a clue if I had been a boss before, but this is all new to me.

Would she even agree to work under me?

Well, I'll have to try talking to her over some grilled tripes.

Min-young, passing through the massive lobby of the theater, opens the splendidly decorated red velvet doors of the performance hall and says,

"Here it is, the new theater of W Tree Hannam, Catacombs."

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