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Chapter 77 Part 2 - The Mysterious Art Museum

I reflexively turned my head and sprang up from my seat.

At the office door.

Yeonjeong, who was moving something, had spilled trays and dishes on the floor. The broken dishes were scattering on the floor, but Yeonjeong's eyes were elsewhere, her hand covering her mouth, frozen.

I saw the beautiful ice beauty standing at the office door and muttered in a hesitant posture.


Is this a dream?

This is our office in Paju, why is Irina here?

I rubbed my eyes and looked at the situation again.

Yeonjeong, Jiyeon, Jiyong, Youngju – all of them frozen in place. The huge bodyguards were inspecting the interior, while the employees, unable to move, just stared at Irina's face.

I need to get a grip.

What is this situation?

I greeted the bodyguards, familiar from seeing them daily at Irina's practice, with a nod and approached her.

"Irina? Weren't you leaving tomorrow? What brings you to Paju?"

Irina smiled softly and said,

"After practice ended, Jung Hoon didn't come to see me, so I came myself."


What does that mean?

The employees' heads all snapped towards me. What misunderstanding are you guys having?

I asked, confused,

"What do you mean?"

Irina grinned and said,

"I wanted to eat delicious Korean food introduced by Jung Hoon before I leave Korea tomorrow."


So, it was about food, of course.

I laughed awkwardly and said,

"There can't be a tasty place here... haha."

Then, Youngju suddenly interjects,

"Let's go to Shimhaksan!"

Huh? Why suddenly to the mountain?

Jiyeon joins in,

"Brother, take her to that acorn dish place we went to last time!"

Oh, acorns... Ah, that place with acorn jelly, pancakes, and acorn noodles. I've been there once with the kids.

I asked Irina,

"Do you know about acorns?"

"Acorn? Of course."

"There’s a restaurant that makes food with that. Do you want to go?"

Irina asked, incredulous,

"You eat acorns? Then what do the Korean squirrels eat? If humans eat that too."


I guess that's a perspective a foreigner can have.

Well, let's just take her out.

As I was about to leave the office with Irina, I suddenly felt a burning gaze and turned around.

All four employees were glaring at me.

It feels like if I go alone, I might not return from a journey across an impassable river.

It's 5:30 PM. It's not time to leave yet, but I guess it's fine for one day.

And Seo Youngju, that girl, is spitting fire from her eyes. I really might die if I just go.

I asked Irina,

"Can the employees come too?"

The office, about to burst with unbearable tension, dramatically relaxed. Irina glanced at the employees and smiled brightly.

"Of course."

Phew, that's a relief. I guess I'll survive.

The murderous intent in the employees' eyes faded.

As we stepped outside, I saw the car Irina arrived in and the bodyguards' cars.

Youngju decided to bring the kids in her car, and I alone got into Irina's car. So this is the car a world-famous pianist rides. What kind of car is this? Rolls Royce? It's my first time seeing it, but it looks incredibly stylish.

The bodyguard opened the car door.

I was awestruck by the interior.

Sitting on the seat, which must cost millions, I'm amazed by the incredibly soft cushioning. Irina, seated opposite, laughs at my expression. Feeling embarrassed as if caught acting like a country bumpkin, I give an awkward smile. Irina then says to me.



"I'm really thankful to you. Thanks to you, I was able to recreate my performance from the Berlin concert. Well, I will be able to do so in the future."


"How did you come up with that idea?"

I didn't have enough time to study Chopin.

I focused on studying Irina's performances.

Chopin's music might seem like it's okay to disrupt the rhythm, but it's actually not. Music is ruined when rubato is used as a cover for lacking rhythm or for the sake of showing off.

I managed to recreate the art of timing that Irina once achieved, perfectly syncing with the swaying of leaves and branches and the timing of raindrops. This became her metronome during performances.

"Haha, well. It's all because Irina is amazing, and I was able to perform seeing that."

After all, isn't that something not just anyone can do?

Irina looks at me quietly and then says.

"But I feel sorry for you."

"What for?"

"Your art is incredible, but it's not getting the attention it deserves. You should be receiving much higher recognition than you are now."


That's right, I saw it in the article earlier too. Just one line mentioning that digital media art was also presented at this concert.

"It doesn't matter, if people didn't see it as art, then it's understandable."

Irina bristled in response.

"That's not right!"

I looked at Irina, who was getting angry on my behalf, and smiled.

"What I wanted wasn't for my paintings to get attention. It was for my art and your music to synergize and create a new realm of art. That was my goal. Whether my paintings are seen as non-art or art, I don't care. If my art has changed someone, that's proof enough that it's art."

Irina was speechless for a while after hearing my words. She then smiled broadly and said.

"You are a true artist, Junghoon."

Haha, even if it's just flattery, it feels good to hear.

Step by step, I'm moving forward, and one day, everyone will recognize me as an artist.

That's enough for now. My client recognizes me, and that's all that matters.

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