+ -

Chapter 125 Part 1 - The Mysterious Art Museum

Rossellini (7)

On a national road in southern Italy.

Vehicles covered in dust travel through a beautiful natural environment, with farmlands on both sides.

The words 'Vogue Italia Press Vehicle' are prominently marked on the exterior of the vehicle.

A young man in the driver's seat fiddles with a camera on the passenger seat, remarking, "Why would they build a factory here, in the countryside? It's not even suitable for a logistics center, and delivery must be costly."

Looking in the rearview mirror, he sees a woman in horn-rimmed glasses on a laptop in the back seat.

"We're about to find out. We're dealing with Monica Rossellini. She's the reason Alessandro Cucinelli's company became the giant it is today. The editor-in-chief told us to thoroughly investigate, so that's what we'll do."

Pushing her glasses up, the woman glares at the driver, "You didn't leak information to your journalist friend again, did you?"

The driver hastily denies, "No, it's already common knowledge in the industry. Isabella, you're too suspicious."

Isabella kicks the back of his seat, "Suspicious? It's a fact. Remember last time you spilled our article source over drinks with a friend, Romano?"

"Ha, that was years ago. Let it go," Romano pleads.

"Don't you dare let our story get scooped, or you're dead," she warns.

Romano retorts, "It's not me! Plus, everyone knows Monica's moves in the Italian fashion industry!"

Isabella falls silent, conceding Romano might be right, and looks out the window.

"There's a story here," she muses. "Monica returned from Korea to launch her brand, choosing a factory in a rural southern village. There must be something hidden. Smells like a juicy story."

Romano, joking about the smell, then notes the village, Roseto Valfortore, approaching.

Isabella examines the village information, "It's a rural village in Apulia, 54km from the capital, mostly agricultural, suffering from population decline for 50 years. Despite offering 5000 euros and free houses for settlers, the population fell below 900. It's a hopeless village, likely a ghost town now."

Romano, looking at the scenic but outdated village, listens as Isabella continues, "If people didn't return because they disliked farming, perhaps they'll return now with the textile factory."

Stepping out of the car, Isabella and Romano are surprised. The village, bustling with people and adorned with beautiful murals, contradicts their expectations. Romano marvels at the vibrant square, filled with about 100 people engaging in various activities.

Isabella, puzzled, wonders, "A ghost town?"

Romano reassures her, "No."

As Isabella speculates about the village's transformation, Romano learns from a call to their company that the village is indeed Monica's hometown.

Isabella licks her lips, sensing a great story, "People love a good story. A businesswoman sacrificing profit for her hometown's revival. This could be a hit, especially with the village so lively. If true, this story will be a smash."

Romano's eyes light up at the prospect of a scoop. He comments on the murals, which weren't mentioned in their research.

Isabella admires the impressive murals, "These beautiful paintings depict the village. You can see how the village changes throughout the day."

Wondering if Monica is responsible, they continue to explore the village's newfound vibrancy.

“They might have done it as part of a village reconstruction project, hoping that those who left the village would return.”

“Let's dig into it.”


The two of them slowly walked towards the restaurant in the square.

As the unfamiliar faces appeared, the locals, who knew most of the people around, cast their gazes at them, but Isabella, with her typical journalist's sly smile, nodded her head in greeting as she sat down in the restaurant and raised her hand to order.

“Here! Two espressos, please.”

A familiar face peeks out from the kitchen, it’s Mr. Augusto.

He looks at the strangers for a moment, then brings the coffee on a tray to the table, saying,

“Hello there, welcome to our village.”

“Oh, thank you.”


Romano quickly pulls out a business card.



“Yes, we came to cover the story after hearing that Monica Rossellini set up a factory here.”

“Oh, that.”

Isabella quickly pulls up a chair and says,

“Can we talk for a bit?”

After checking the restaurant situation, Mr. Augusto nods his head.

“Well, I can spare a moment.”

Isabella opens her laptop and asks,

“Thank you, I heard this is Monica's hometown.”

“That's right, she was born here and lived until she was sixteen, then moved to Florence.”

“Do you know why Monica specifically chose her hometown to set up the factory?”

Mr. Augusto smiles warmly.

“Monica always wanted to rebuild her hometown. She didn't intend to turn it into a bustling city but hoped for a lively village like it was when she was a child, where people who left could return.”

Isabella and Romano nod at each other, their assumption confirmed. Isabella clenches her fist under the table.

‘Yes! This is a scoop.’

Read ahead by supporting me on Ko-fi. Access 5 advance chapters with the Doddle Dabbler Tier ($8) or 10 advance chapters with Artist Apprentice Tier ($15) or 20 advance chapters with Master Artisan Tier ($25) For every $15 collected on Ko-fi, I will release an extra chapter. Choose your tier by clicking the 'Support me' button! Join our discord server for latest release updates and novel discussions. Rate and review this novel on NU to help people find this novel. Bonus chapters on reaching milestones. Happy reading!

Post a Comment