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Chapter 113 Part 1 - The Mysterious Art Museum

Roseto Valfortore Village (3)

The next dawn.

I got up before sunrise and headed to Lea's house.

It was because the only time I hadn't seen when I observed the house yesterday was from the dim early dawn until the sky was completely bright.

Thinking I am not a genius myself, I climbed onto the wall of Lea's house and took several photos of the dark house with my phone. As dawn approached, light clusters from afar engulfed the house like waves.

It was a scene reminiscent of slowly dyeing fabric with color.

I admired the sight while taking photos in burst mode.


This marvelous spectacle is something nature has granted us all, and I wonder why I never paid attention to it before.

It's so beautiful and impressive.

"So this is why medieval painters painted nature."

I've had this thought occasionally.

Why do modern painters draw incomprehensible pictures instead of beautiful ones?

Why do they try to depict what does not exist?

When I had negative thoughts, I thought it was because they were only chasing novelty.

They struggled to be recognized in a world where if it's not new, it's not acknowledged.

But my thoughts soon changed.

The scientific advancements made by humans have transformed our lives so that we can see everything from a computer or smartphone, without having to travel to another country.

Nature is no longer a wonder to humans.

Human interests have shifted to inner emotions.

Look at the bookstores nowadays.

Compared to 20 years ago, the variety of book contents has greatly increased. Especially books like 'Rest if you're tired' or 'A few good things to do when you're emotionally exhausted' sell well. Perhaps it's because our interests have shifted to managing our own emotions.

As people's interests change, so do the trends in art.

Like athletes, artists also live off the attention of people. As the audience's interests shift, so naturally do the subjects that painters want to depict.

"Still, I find nature beautiful."

It's fine if I'm considered outdated.

If I paint natural landscapes in this era, my work might be ridiculed as amateurish.

But so what?

I'm not painting for an exhibition or a competition.

I'm just trying a small experiment to make the houses of this beautiful countryside village a bit more beautiful. It's better to focus on the painting without any burden on my mind.

The sun fully risen.

Smoke rises from the kitchen window of Lea's house.

It would have been a more fantastic scene if smoke came out of a chimney like a real medieval house, but sadly, such houses don't exist in modern times.

I memorized Lea's house in my mind once more and then headed to the square.

It's still early.

The square is empty except for diligent Augusto, who's sweeping in front of his restaurant and greets me warmly.

"Buenos días, Augusto!"

As Augusto, who's been sweeping, straightens his back and greets me with a bright smile, I feel warmly welcomed.

"Buenos días, Van."

My passport spells my name as Ban, but Italians, or rather Europeans, call me Van. The pronunciation is almost the same, but slightly different at the beginning. Well, it doesn't matter. There's no need to correct them.

Having been here a few days, I comfortably order my usual breakfast menu and sit in the square, resting my chin on my hand, watching the light-drenched square.

As breakfast arrives, Monica joins me.

"Ban, you're up early."

"Ah, Monica. Did you sleep well?"

"Yes, I've been so tired lately that I practically pass out when I get home."

"Poor you. Sit down, you're ordering breakfast, right?"


"Hey! Augusto! One more Black First Menu, please!"

As I point at Monica with my index finger, Augusto understands and signals his acknowledgment.

Monica looks at me and laughs.

"It seems you're getting used to this."

"I adapt quickly."

"People would think you've been here for a year, haha."

"Haha, it's only my fourth day."


Something is enjoyable.

Just waking up in the morning and having a meal in the square.

This must be why people travel. Even a simple act of eating breakfast feels enjoyable on a trip.

After a while, as the menu is served and we start eating, I ask Monica.

"How's the factory construction going?"

"It's in the final stages."


"Haha, Ban. Building a factory is different from painting. The final stages alone will take several weeks."

"Does it take that long?"

"The machinery hasn't even all arrived yet. Actually, what I'm really focusing on is creating a comfortable working environment for the villagers. So, there are quite a few amenities."

"Like a lounge?"

“Certainly a rest space, and also bedrooms for short naps, facilities for meditation and massage, a cafeteria and dining area, and a separate relaxation area on the rooftop.”

“Wow, that sounds amazing.”

“I want to make it a space where everyone would want to work.”

“That’s impressive, Monica.”

“Oh, it's nothing, haha.”

Monica looks more energetic than tired, perhaps happy that the factory is nearing completion. It's nice to see her like this. It seems like what she deeply desired when I first met her is now coming to fruition, and that makes me happy too.

Monica is becoming more and more like the image I had painted of her.

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  1. I thought this was supposed to be Italy? Buenos dias is Spanish, isn't it?