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Chapter 102 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

From a New World (5)

5:30 in the morning.

I stopped by Milan, but I just can't seem to get used to this time difference.

Since Italy is 7 hours behind Korea, it would be around lunchtime there. I tried to go back to sleep, but my eyes were wide awake, so I got up and called Youngju first.

-Is that you, Junghoon?

It's quiet early morning here, but where Youngju is, it sounds busy.

“Hey, any issues at the office?”

-What issues would there be? We’re handling the orders well, no problems. Where are you?

“Oh, I’m in Monica’s hometown village.”

-Not Milan?

“No, came here yesterday.”

-It’s not rural, is it?

“Yeah, why?”

-Are there hotels?

“No, I’m staying in a separate house. There are many empty houses here.”

-Don’t tell me you’re staying with Monica?

“Nah, Monica’s place is quite far from here. There’s no parking. She often has to go to the factory.”



Hmm, she seems relieved for some reason.

-What time is it there?

“5:30 in the morning.”

-You crazy, go to sleep.

“Haha, seems I’m not adjusted to the time zone.”

-Yeah, that can be tough. You’ll get used to it in a few days.

“Did you struggle with jet lag when you studied abroad?”

-Of course, it took me about a week to adjust.

“Ugh, I have to do this for another week?”

-If you don’t like it, just stay up all night. You’ll crash and adjust the next day.

“Haha, I’ll keep that in mind.”

I guess we miss each other since we see each other daily. I talked with Youngju about trivial things. I learned he was having lunch, and after catching up on the company and the team, 30 minutes had passed, and dawn was breaking.

I called mom yesterday, so I'll skip today. I stretched in bed and opened the curtains.

It’s still not sunrise; the sky is slightly bright but still dim. I went downstairs, washed my face, brushed my teeth, threw on some training clothes, and left the house. I didn’t want to stare at my phone since I can only watch Italian TV here, and it seemed a waste of time.

I went out for a walk and to look around the village.

The village at dawn is no different from last night. It's still deserted.

“It seems even more peaceful than I heard.”

I heard that about 900 people live in the village. I remember when I first painted Monica’s portrait, there was news that the village population had fallen below a thousand.

‘How can a village with 900 people be this empty?’

I trudged down the slope, passing the church and reaching the square I visited yesterday. There are houses scattered along the road, but no signs of life.

‘Maybe there will be people around when it gets brighter.’

Then, a little way off, I saw a man leaning against a parked car. He was smoking but looked up, surprised to see me.

‘Italian morning greetings.’

Recalling what I had memorized for such sudden encounters, I awkwardly raised my hand and said,

“Bon giorno, piacere.”

The man took the cigarette from his mouth and seemed about to say something. Just then, a boy about seven years old came out of the house with a backpack.

The man stubbed out his cigarette, helped the boy into the car, and then looked at me, saying,

“ci vediamo, e stato un piacere conoscerla.”

What did he say?

He waved his hand, probably a greeting.

The man drove off with the boy, probably taking him to school. Something like ‘see you later’, I guess.

“Phew, at least it’s not a ghost town.”

What's with this strange sense of relief?

As I was about to head back to the square, I stopped seeing a cute little girl, about five years old, toddling out of the house and squatting on the ground.

She wore a pink T-shirt, red pants, and sneakers. The girl sat on the steps, looking at the ground. I saw white stones scattered around, and there were drawings on the ground.

She had rosy cheeks, chubby, blonde hair, and blue eyes.

Having learned not to touch children's heads in foreign countries, I squatted beside her, met her eyes, and greeted,

“Bon giorno.”

The girl, searching for stones to draw with, turned her head at my greeting and looked like she was about to cry. I panicked and waved my hands,

“No, I'm not a weird uncle, just saying hello.”

The girl, teary-eyed and pouting, ran back into the house.

Sitting crouched, I watched her leave and then stood up, licking my lips.

“First time seeing an Asian person?”

She looked about five, so that might be possible.

I probably would have been scared too if I saw a Westerner for the first time at that age.

Scratching the back of my head, I looked down at the child's scribbles and smiled.

‘Brings back memories.’

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