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Chapter 84 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

Holding a Solo Exhibition (7)

I was conflicted watching Henri introduce himself with a sly yet hearty laugh.

‘What’s with this dream? I just can’t get used to it.’

I thought I knew when and how I get sucked into these dreams. The expectation that no one would see me was shattered. This dream, seemingly refusing to allow any preconceptions, still feels strange.

Henri raises his hand and shouts.

“Arian! Bring me the usual!”

A waitress, standing afar, nods understandingly and goes to fetch the drink. How often must he have been here to be able to order ‘the usual’?

‘This man, his mind and health deteriorated due to alcohol, eventually leading to his confinement in a mental hospital.’

I know his future.

‘What if I can change this man’s future?’

Is it even possible?

No, should I even try?

Henri, wiggling his hips, moves closer to me.

“Hey, Ban. You’re Japanese, aren’t you?”


“Where are you from? Can’t you tell me about Japanese art? What I've seen are just crumpled pictures that came with Japanese trade ships.”

Artists in Europe at that time, enchanted by the unique charm of Japanese art, hadn’t seen proper artwork.

Japan, exporting tea sets to Europe, would wrap them in any paper to prevent breakage. The Ukiyo-e (浮世絵) drawings on these wrappers captured the artists' interest, presenting a style of art they had never seen before.

“I’m not Japanese.”

Henri looks disappointed, his eyes dimming.


Is it because he’s handsome? Despite his physical impairment, I find him quite likable. I don’t want to disappoint someone with such an expression.

“I come from a country right next to Japan. So I know quite a bit about Japanese art.”

Henri’s face brightens up again.

“Really? Great! Then, what country are you from?”

“Daehan... no, Joseon.”

“Joseon? Never heard of that country before.”

“It’s known as the land of the morning calm and the nation of the white-clad people.”

“Oh? Do they have art there?”

“Of course.”

“Is it similar to Japanese art?”

“No, it’s more akin to Chinese art, but like Japan, it has developed its own unique style.”

“Ah! The world is vast and my knowledge so limited. I hope I get the chance to see Joseon's art someday.”

“Someday, you might.”

Of course, not during your lifetime.

France, too, was one of the countries that plundered our cultural heritage in the late Joseon period. It wouldn’t be hard to see our art here. Saying this makes me feel dirty. Well, it’s not this person’s fault, so let's move on.

Henri asks me various questions about Japanese art. Considering the era, the Japan that traded with Europe was in the Edo period. I explain about artists relevant to that time.

“Kitagawa Utamaro’s 'Beauties of the Present Day', Toshusai Sharaku’s 'Actor Prints', and Katsushika Hokusai’s 'Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji' are considered masterpieces. The features of these paintings are…”

While I explain Japanese art, Henri, usually a chatterbox, listens intently, his face serious. He likes to be humorous in front of others, but he’s serious about art. I nod, recognizing Henri as I had only read about him in books.

When the drinks arrive, Henri fills my glass and asks.

“You seem quite knowledgeable about art. Are you an artist?”


“Really? A painter from Joseon, you say?”

Hmm, am I a painter from Joseon? What’s with this strange nuance, like I’m a fourth batter from Joseon?

“Well… I suppose so?”

Clap, clap! Henri applauded loudly.

“Excellent! Marvelous! I can't be happier! This dwarf has found great fortune today! Ha-ha! Listen! I'll take care of the drinks today! Do you have a place to stay?”

“········· No.”

“Great! You haven't booked a hotel yet, right?”

“·········Yes, that’s… right?”

“My house is nearby. How about you stay at my place tonight? I'd like to see and learn about Joseon's art.”

Wow, am I going to stay at his house?

But can I sleep while dreaming? I've never tried that before.

Henri grabs my arm and urges me.

“Say yes! Right now!”

“Ah… well, okay.”

After all, I don't have anywhere else to spend the night.

And I don't know when I'll wake up from this dream.

‘Just going and disappearing when I wake up from the dream, that's all.’

As soon as I give my consent, Henri jumps onto the sofa with his short legs and starts dancing joyously.

"Oh là là là là!"

I don't like having guests at my house other than family. What's so exciting about this?

I laughed at his ridiculous dance.

"People will think you're strange, Henri. Stop it and come down."

"So what? I'm just a dwarf roaming these hills anyway!"


Why does he keep belittling himself?

I waited for him to stop dancing and called out to him as he sat down with a pleasant expression.

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