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Chapter 114 Part 2 - The Mysterious Art Museum

Murals require a lot of paint.

The paints Monica had requested arrived with construction materials at my house last night.

Carrying a large paint can filled with mural paints in my bag, along with brushes and a palette in the pockets, I put on my work apron and headed to Lea's house.

Lea, who seemed to have been waiting for me, was sitting on the same wall as yesterday, looking in the direction of my house. Seeing me, she hopped down excitedly to let me know she was there.

Lea struggles down from the wall and runs toward me.

It seems she wants to help with the paint can in my hand.

"Lea, it's too heavy for you to lift."

The mural paint weighed more than 3kg.

It was too heavy for Lea, who didn't look like she weighed more than 20kg.

Lea, stubbornly insisting on carrying it herself, eventually gives up due to its weight. Seeing her cute attempt, I take out a palette and brushes from my bag and hand them to her.

"How about carrying these instead?"

I could have just put them in my bag, but I didn't want to disappoint the child who wanted to help. Lea smiles brightly, feeling like she has helped.

I touch Lea's rosy cheeks and say,

"Let's paint today, shall we?"

"Che vuol dire?"

"We'll paint your house and your family."

"Potrebbe ripetere?"

Ah, this is frustrating. It was easier to communicate in the dream world of the museum.

It would be great to rip off the wall and enter the museum dream to paint, but that's impossible from the start.

I had Monica buy a child's work apron in town ahead of time and put it on Lea. Initially confused, Lea claps her hands and twirls around happily when she sees we are wearing the same apron.

"Do you like it?"

"Questo mi piace! Questo mi piace!"

I still don't understand what she's saying, but her reaction seems positive.

I squat down, prepare the paint, and take out a brush. Lea, without being told, brings water in a bucket, struggling due to her small size. The half-filled bucket isn't much, but it's still helpful.


She looks up at me as I call her name.

I pick up a brush, stand in front of the wall, and say,

"The first thing we'll paint is your house at dawn. But there's no one around because everyone in your family is asleep at this time."

"Che vuol dire?"

"Your family, Lea, Sofia, Vittorio, your dad."

I didn't catch her dad's name. Lea seems to understand when I list her family's names.


"Yes, papa. What's your dad's name?"

"Papa? Gabriel."

"Oh, that's a nice name. Later, we'll paint a morning scene of Gabriel taking Vittorio to school."


Lea doesn't understand me, but I talk as if she does. If she's curious, she can ask in the dream.

"Monet was a painter who captured the impression of nature. But Lea's house is where people live in nature. The meaning of a home is not in nature, but with family. So, I should paint the impression of both nature and life."


I wink at Lea and say,

"Manet was a painter of life's impression. Now, I'll combine the works of both artists to capture the impressions of life and nature. You can look forward to it, Lea."


7 PM.

Gabriel, who had picked up his son from school after playing soccer with friends on the playground, was driving home when he asked,

"How's school?"

"Good, it's fun."

"You still enjoy soccer?"

"Yes, but lately I've been wanting to play baseball. But the kids in our neighborhood don't know about baseball."


"Yes, and we need equipment, but there's nowhere to buy it."


Gabriel thinks he should look for a glove and ball when he goes to town next time.

Just a few months ago, buying a glove for his son seemed an unattainable dream, given their financial difficulties. But not anymore. Monica, who had left the village to study ten years ago, had returned after achieving great success, building a large factory near the village.

Initially skeptical, the villagers, including Gabriel, became construction workers for the factory. Shocked by its size during a visit, Gabriel joined the construction and is now receiving technical training to work there.

His son had to wait for him at the school playground, but he didn't seem to mind. The family was becoming more prosperous, and Gabriel had regained his smile.

Feeling grateful to Monica, Gabriel smiles and says,

"Alright, when we go to town next month, I'll buy you a glove."


"Yes! But you have to listen to Mom, eat well, and play nicely with your sister."

"Lea doesn't play with me."

"Why? I’ve told you to play with your sister. You have school, but Lea is at home all day. Don’t you feel sorry for her?"

"It’s not that, Dad."


"Lea has a new friend."

"A friend? There aren’t any kids her age in the neighborhood."

Lea is the second youngest child in the village, with the youngest still being a baby. So, Lea has no one to play with when the other children are at school.

Vittorio chuckled and said, "That man, the painter Mom talked about."

"Ah, Ban?"

"He plays with her every day now. When we go home, she talks about that man the whole time during meals."

Gabriel was aware of that. Listening to his daughter's chatter at the dining table was part of being a father. His daughter, Lea, had been endlessly talking about the painter from the East for the past few days. She must have taken a liking to him.

"Haha, well. It's good that she has made a friend. And since Monica brought him, he must be a good person."

Gabriel, usually wary of strangers, viewed Ban favorably, probably due to his positive feelings towards Monica.

It was completely dark when Gabriel finally arrived home. As his son got out of the passenger seat, he said, "Go ahead inside, I’ll park the car near the square and come back."


"Vittorio? Did you hear me?"

His son stood frozen, just outside the car, staring blankly.

Wondering what was happening, Gabriel opened the window and leaned out, only to be surprised by the sight of their home, making a similar expression as his son.

"What is this."


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