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Chapter 117 Part 2 - The Mysterious Art Museum

"So, this is what Mitai looks like, huh? How tall is he?"

I sketch on the wall of a house in a quiet back alley, looking at a photo I received, and ask Lea. As I make a gesture to measure the height, Lea brings a chair and marks a line on the wall.

"Ah, about this tall? Not very tall, right? Okay, let's start again."

Lea grins broadly.

Although her whole body is covered in paint from smiling, she looks happy.

It's the first time Lea has had the chance to paint pictures to her heart's content, and her face is full of satisfaction.

Of course, even for me, who makes a living through art, this is the first time in ten days that I have painted so many large murals, so it's impossible for a child to have such an experience.

After stirring the brush in the bucket, shaking it well, and dipping it in paint, I say,

"Look, only a third of this house gets sunlight in the morning. You saw it too, right?"

Lea nods vigorously and claps as I paint the light with diagonal strokes over the sketched house.

For the past ten days, Lea has followed me around, clapping and cheering every time a picture is painted. She hasn't really been helpful, just fetching water in a bucket or cleaning used brushes, but Lea's presence has made this tedious task less boring.

After working all day long, I massage my neck with my left hand and turn my head.

"Ah, I'm so tired after painting all day."

Painting murals is different from studio work, where you adjust the height of the canvas to your eye level. Since you can't move a mural's canvas, you often have to paint for a long time either on a ladder or crouching down.

As I crouch to paint the lower part of the flower bed, my neck and shoulders stiffen, making me move constantly. Lea, with her round eyes, sticks to my back and massages my neck with her fern-like hands.

"Haha, that tickles, Lea. Even with your strength, the massage isn't effective. Haha! It's ticklish."

Lea's earnest massaging efforts are adorable.

If it means having a daughter like this, it makes me want to try marriage once in my life.

I thought I had missed the chance for marriage in this life, but now it seems like it might not be such a bad idea.

While Lea and I are playfully painting, I hear someone speaking Italian.


Huh? As I turn my head, I see a lady with a tray of cookies and cool juice.

"Ah, is this for me to eat? Thank you."

I quickly take the tray from the lady, set it on the ground, and sit cross-legged. Lea imitates me and sits down. Westerners usually can't sit cross-legged, but she's young and flexible, I guess.

The lady who handed us cookies and juice now stands in front of the barely started painting, smiling broadly.

She seems pleased, even though she can't tell what's being painted, and talks to herself. I can't understand her words, but from her tone, it seems like she's grateful for having a painting done on her house.

Interestingly, Lea responds to the lady's words and relays them to me. The problem is, she speaks and translates in Italian. Does she think I understand?

I chuckle at the cute child's actions, grab a chunk of cookie, pop it into my mouth, and gulp down the juice.

"Okay, Lea, you sit and eat the rest. Uncle will continue working. I need to go to Milan soon, and I have to finish the paintings people asked for before I leave. Let's go."

As I lean forward to get up,

The lady looking at the painting suddenly shouts,


Huh? Mitai? Wasn't that the name of the person in the photo the lady said was her son?

I look up and see a man running from afar. Mitai quickly runs up and embraces his mother, sharing the joy of their reunion. He must have returned today.

As I watch the reunion of the two with a contented heart, I stand up with cookie crumbs all over my mouth and ruffle Lea's head, who is pulling up her pants and puffing.

"Okay, first assistant. Shall we continue our work?"

Did she understand? Lea nods vigorously and hands me a brush from the palette.

"Great! We'll finish everything before leaving the village! Let's go, first assistant!"

The evening in the village.

Unlike usual, the village buzzes with life as the day comes to an end.

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