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Chapter 43 - 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

Artist Company (4)

As soon as the door opened, I thought I was dreaming again.

An illusion of stepping into a grand theater that could have existed in late 19th-century Austria.

The white stone railing crossing the center of the audience seats is already a work of art.

The floor is covered with red carpets, and around the audience seats are private seats for VIPs.

The private seats are divided into five floors, each set separated by a wall, with a table placed comfortably in the middle of each pair of seats.

The stage in the center, like the floor, is draped with red velvet curtains, and appears to span at least 200 pyeong* in width. It's spacious enough for global musicals like Cats or Phantom. [T/N: One pyeong is equivalent to approximately 3.31 square metres or 35.58 square feet]

If people from the past were shown this, they might think it was built by the 18th-century Habsburg monarchy due to its impressive interior.

The theater, built in the Baroque style like a royal exclusive theater, boasts ornate columns and a circular ceiling that exude luxury, grandeur, and opulence.

But with such a lavish atmosphere, what's with this theater's name?

Catacombs? Isn't that a term for underground tombs?

Surprise and curiosity. Minyoung looks at my mixed expression of interest and smiles proudly.

"The name is a bit strange, isn't it?"

"Yeah, it's incongruous."

Minyoung leans on the back row seats, looking around the theater.

"Catacomb combines the Latin 'cata' (among) and 'tumbas' (tombs), meaning 'among the tombs'. In ancient Rome, this referred to underground tombs, and in modern times, it's used for any structure of caves and rooms underground."

So, why name such a beautiful theater that?

Responding to my curious gaze, Minyoung continues with a smile.

"Many believe Christians created them while hiding and worshipping there to avoid persecution, but actually, they used pre-existing tombs as shelters. What caught my attention was what these Christians did here."

What else could there be besides memorial services for the deceased in these underground tombs? I'm not sure.

Minyoung continues her explanation.

"While hiding here, the Christians created the earliest Christian art, such as frescoes. So, this place is where the first Christian art was born."

Ah, of course not all art, but a branch of art originated here. That's why they named it so.

"Do you hope for new art to emerge here too?"

"Something like that, haha."

Catacombs are a common theme in mystery and horror. Many tales associate them with hell. While everyone focuses on the ominous name, this person sees the art born there. She's certainly extraordinary.

An enormous theater.

At first glance, it seems luxurious, but a closer look reveals its rough edges. The eye-catching red and lavish colors of the carpets shift to the walls and ceiling, which are just painted white, giving a desolate feel.

Minyoung points to the walls between the VIP seats.

"See the walls between those VIP seats?"

Several walls, about 30 meters high and 3 meters wide, are visible. They look like pillars separating the VIP seats.

Is that where I'll be working? The pillar-like walls are only on the right side, eight in total.

Eight 30x3 meter walls.

Though they're separate sections, there's an advantage in being able to paint different concepts on each. But without a unifying theme, the walls will feel disjointed.

I quickly run a simulation in my mind, recalling pictures of Austrian theaters, thinking about how any work would blend well with this interior.

Moreover, eight times 30x3 meters is quite a large area.

If placed separately, they would form an excessively tall picture, but if laid horizontally, they would span the length of one side of a school wall. This means I could demand a high price for the construction.

As I'm calculating in my head, Minyoung's voice breaks my thoughts.

"I was originally going to assign you there."

Huh? Originally? So, not now?

Looking where she's pointing, I turn to Minyoung. She meets my gaze and smiles.

"Always warm to her children but cold to others, our mother. A painter who found hidden love in her heart through two months of persistent effort seems suitable for a bigger task."

A bigger task?

I look at the opposite wall. Like the right side, there are the same number of walls between the VIP seats. Could she be assigning those too?

Wow, what should I charge for this? I've never done anything like this before, so how would I know? If only Yeongju were here. With her experience working at the Seoul Museum of Art, she would've been great at negotiating this.

Then, as I'm looking at the opposite wall, I feel a tapping on my shoulder.

Turning around, I see Minyoung shaking her head with a smile.

What does that mean?

Min-young flicked her index finger and then pointed upwards with it.


Min-young wriggled her eyebrows and pointed upwards again.

What's up there?

I followed her finger pointing to the sky and froze.

A massive circular ceiling, so large I couldn't even begin to estimate its size.

The ceiling, where a grand chandelier will be attached later, reveals several black holes with exposed wires. My eyes fluttered as I muttered, "Could it be the ceiling..."

Minyoung, beside me, looked up and said, "A corporation. We need to establish it quickly, don't we?"


Sizzling sounds filled the air as the delicious fat from the grilling intestines was released. The clinking of soju glasses being filled could be heard.

This place, filled with delightful sounds, was a popular grilled intestines restaurant in Hongdae.

Sitting there, Yeongju stared at me, mouth agape as if her jaw would drop.

"You'll swallow a fly," I joked, pretending to shove the tongs in my mouth, which brought Yeongju back to reality as she smacked the tongs away and gulped down her beer.

"Chug! Ugh!"

"Would you do this in front of visitors to the gallery?"

After graduating, Yeongju went abroad to study. When she returned and we met for drinks, I was surprised.

She had always worn paint-stained jeans and dirty aprons, staying up all night on assignments.

Yeongju, who had become a refined beauty after her return, had even slapped me when I jokingly asked if she had surgery in America.

I couldn't understand why such a pretty person behaved that way. She casually wiped the beer foam from her mouth with her sleeve.

"So, have you been deceiving me since the MG competition?"

"There's no deception."

"Really? When you congratulated me on the award, were you working behind my back?"

"No, Monica visited that afternoon. I only knew about the competition rejection when I called you."

Yeongju squinted at me suspiciously.



"Torturing me?"

"No torture. And why so dramatic?"

"If I eat all this delicious intestine alone, could you stand it?"

"That's torture? Eat it all."

"Did you eat?"


"Not hungry?"

"Very hungry."


I smiled at Yeongju, "I'm rich, man. I can buy my own."


"Yes, it's my dream to be rich and annoying."

"Wow, annoying."

"Ha, I've always mooched off you, so I'll pay today. In fact, I'll pay for life."

Yeongju had always been a great help. Not a rich daughter but from a middle-class family, she worked part-time but didn't have to spend on living expenses as she lived with her parents, always paying for meals and drinks. A friend worth buying grilled intestines for a lifetime.

Yeongju sipped soju with her eyes wide.

"Isn't it obvious? You're becoming my boss."

I excitedly asked, "You'll join me?"

Yeongju finished her drink in one gulp, slamming the glass on the table with a thud and burst out, "Every day, I think of quitting but never miss a day of work. Those bastards, filling the top positions with their kin and connections. And they don't value educational background? Honestly, our university is good enough to confidently hand out business cards anywhere."

Hmm, that's strange. Not to brag, but our university alumni are always recognized.


Yeongju opened a fresh bottle of soju with a resigned look, "I heard a senior say, do you know how many graduates from our university enter society each year?"

At least a thousand, I guess. Different departments, but our university isn't the only one; other famous universities also graduate similar numbers every year.

Yeongju drank another glass and said, "Graduates are everywhere. If we consider educational background in hiring, it would be endless. Honestly, it's better this way. Then judge by ability. If educational background doesn't matter, why do connections matter? Damn it."

I had nothing to say. I hadn't experienced corporate life, and offering clumsy sympathy didn't suit me.

After cursing and drinking two more bottles of soju, Yeongju spoke soberly, "Hey."


"Will you make me call you boss?"

"If I ask, will you?"


"Yeah, thought so."


"I won't ask."


"How much will you pay? The W Tree Hotel theater ceiling job should provide steady income for over a year."

"How much is your current salary?"

"State secret, man."

"I'll match it, your current salary."

"Pay more, stingy."

"I need to know how much to pay more."

"State secret."

"How can I pay more, you fool?"

Yeongju waved it off, "Forget the salary for now. What's the company name?"

"No name yet. Haven't established the corporation."

"Let's decide here."


"What's the problem? Two founding members are here."

I look at Yeongju, her face flushed with the beginnings of drunkenness, and ponder.

‘Now that I think about it, choosing a company name is also a task.’

What should I name it?

It’s my first company. I want it to have a really cool name.

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