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Chapter 111 Part 2 - The Mysterious Art Museum

After a brief silence over the phone, Youngju finally spoke.

-Amazing, kid.

“Who is?”

-Are you playing coy with leading questions? It is you, who else? Do you want to hear more detailed praise?

“No, it's not that. I genuinely don’t know what you find amazing.”

Yeongju took a moment to breathe, then spoke in an embarrassed voice.

-It’s because you always give your best.


-Honestly, I’m not super rich, but I was born in a family where my parents are still with me, I have my own house, and I can pursue what I want. But that’s not the case for you, right?


-From a perspective of desperation, it might seem natural for you to put in more effort, but when you actually start working in society, it's not that simple. No matter how desperate, breaking free from the circumstances you were born into is incredibly difficult. But Jeong-hoon, even while you were studying hard, you worked part-time when others were resting, to support yourself.

That was true.

I was always looking for work, even while I was doing my graduation project.

On nights when I had to stay up working, I couldn’t do art-related jobs, so at 3:30 AM, I went to the agricultural market, loading and transporting vegetables to other markets. It was a job that paid 30,000 won for just an hour and a half of work, which was perfect for me when I urgently needed money for living expenses.

I never told anyone about this menial job, but Yeongju saw it all.

Yeongju's voice echoed over the phone.

-No one can point fingers at you and call you a pride-swallowing businessman. If there’s someone like that, let them come forward, I’ll make sure they regret it.


-You’ve taken responsibility. Everything that happened to your family wasn’t your fault, yet you provided them a harmonious family life. It makes me feel pathetic that I still struggle without my dad’s help. You’re taking responsibility for everything. I think that’s amazing, Jeong-hoon.

Those were kind words.

I was momentarily moved to tears, but Yeongju’s next words made me laugh.

-Is that enough? I’m getting goosebumps, so let’s stop with the mushy talk?

“Haha, okay. Thanks for saying that.”

-Hang up, kid. I need to work.

“Okay, I’ll call you again.”

-Stop calling! It’s annoying!

The call ended abruptly.

But I was still smiling after the call ended.

I could sense the embarrassment hidden in Yeongju’s last words.

“I’m really thankful.”

I have a friend who understands me. How happy is that?

Putting down the phone on the table, I rested my chin on my hand and gazed at the dark square.

‘Yeah, I can’t say I’m fully settled yet, but I’ve found a steady source of income. It might be good to try something that doesn’t pay, just for a while.’

You can’t be treated as a true artist just for doing art that doesn’t make money. But there’s definitely a difference between not acting at all and trying something.

‘But what should I do?’

I have to start looking for something.

I sat there until Augusto closed his restaurant, just staring at the village, lost in thought.

Before starting the job for Monica, pondering how to spend the next three weeks.


The next morning.

Have I gotten used to the time difference?

I did sleep lightly, but when I woke up, it was just past eight in the morning.

Compared to yesterday, when I had to wake up at dawn, my body was noticeably more adapted.

After washing up, I went out for a morning walk and saw the village enveloped in fog.

“Huh, Haah.”

The rural fragrance and fresh air entered and left my lungs. Breathing in and out, I enjoyed this pleasant air like the hikers going up the mountain, swinging my arms around while walking along the path next to the church.

In the distance, I saw a boy and his father, who was dropping him off at school.

Sophia and Lea were waving them off. It seems like the same morning scene every day.

I stopped to watch the cute Lea and smiled, then suddenly thought her house looked very pretty.

The orange roof was built in a style similar to Korean tiles, but the color-faded ivory walls gave it a warmer feel. It was a single-story house.

Just as I was admiring the beautiful house, the morning sunlight, hazy until then, changed. It was hidden behind clouds.

I opened my eyes wide, watching the colors of the house change.

‘The roof, walls, windows, even the sky reflected in them. All the colors are changing.’

I knew this theoretically.

But I had never observed it like this before. Such dramatic changes in color - why do we never notice this in our daily lives?

So this is what it feels like.

Monet saw this and wanted to capture it.

Monet's eyes.

Many artists agree that his eyes were different.

The world he saw was this radiant, never dull with its myriad of changes.

Lost in thought while looking at the house, the car with the boy drives off, and Lea, holding Sophia's hand, spots me. The child sees me, smiles broadly, and waves her hand frantically.

Distracted from my thoughts by Leah's cute gesture, I wave back in greeting.

As I approached Lea, still holding her mother's hand, I nod to Sophia and crouch down in front of the child, gesturing towards the wall.

"Leah, are you going to draw today?"


"Over there, are you going to draw?"

Making a gesture as if drawing on the wall, Leah finally understands and nods with a big smile.

I smile back and extend my hand to her.

"Shall we draw together, little angel?"

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