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Chapter 136 Part 2 - The Mysterious Art Museum

A street artist's life changed when he ended up at a mysterious art museum. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Art,Artist,Slice of life,Poor to Rich,Mystery


I felt my face would burst from embarrassment, but I knew why Irina said such things.

After her performance in Korea, Irina received tremendous praise from the critics. The critics from other countries where she performed afterwards did not hold back in their high praises for her playing.

Since she would sometimes call me, her voice bright with gratitude, I knew well the meaning behind her words now.

“It's all because you performed well, Irina.”

Irina smiled broadly and stood up.

“Then, I’ll see you at the launch event tomorrow, Ban.”

“You’re leaving already?”

“I have another appointment.”

“Performing here too?”

“No, I have a dinner date with the Prime Minister of Italy.”

Wow, a world-class pianist even dines with the Prime Minister. Truly impressive.

“Oh, I see. You should go, then.”

“See you tomorrow, Ban.”

After Irina left, silence returned to the hotel room.

I went to the room with the bed, lay down, and sighed while looking at the ceiling.

“It's nice to be famous, but it feels too suffocating.”

I rolled around on the bed, mumbling to myself.

“Is this the life of a star?”

Giggling, chuckling.

I spent a long time laughing alone in bed, reciting what sounded like lines from a teenage melodrama.

* * *

Boom, boom, bang, bang.

The heart-stirring sounds of bass and drums.

Models walking on the stage under the dazzling lights.

Nearly 600 key figures and journalists from the fashion industry.

Actually being in a place I’ve only seen on TV feels surreal.

Moreover, Irina is sitting next to me. Here I am at an Italian fashion show, sitting side by side with a world-renowned pianist. Is this even real?

Many of the journalists are taking pictures of the fashion show, me, and Irina sitting next to me.

With continuous flashes going off, it's impossible to even pick my nose. It's uncomfortably maddening.

“Is this the life you always live, Irina?”

She turns from watching the show at my question.


“Those people there.”

She sees the journalists I’m gesturing to and smiles.

“Don’t worry about it. It might be unavoidable at first, but you’ll get used to it eventually.”

“Phew, it’s stressful knowing someone is staring holes into me like that.”

Irina grins and says,

“As uncomfortable as you get, the value of your paintings will rise.”


Well, that's good, I guess.

Irina nods at me and asks,

“Did you see the article yesterday?”

“I can’t read Italian newspapers.”

“Ah, right.”

“What was in the article?”

“Ban, have you ever painted a portrait for someone in southern Palermo?”

I remember the honest face of the taxi driver who had driven me and nod.

“Yes, I drew a portrait of his wife instead of paying the taxi fare on my way to the cathedral.”

“So it was true.”

“Why do you ask?”

Irina smiles slyly and turns her gaze back to the fashion show.

“It seems a tycoon from the south wants to buy that painting and has been looking for that man.”

“The portrait? What’s the point if it goes to someone else?”

“Haha, all the masterpieces we are looking at were painted for others, after all.”

“Ah, well, that's true. But the person is still very much alive.”

“Haha, right. Apparently, he absolutely refused to sell it. I heard he was a poor man.”

“Yes, he was a friend who was not well off.”

“There was an interview where he said he wouldn’t sell it even for double the price the tycoon offered.”

“Haha, that guy is something else.”

“He’s smart.”

“The guy?”

Irina turns back to me and says,

“He knows that if he holds on to it, its value will keep rising.”


So, the conclusion is more gilding on my face. Ha, it's hard to keep hearing this.

Well, anyway, I appreciate that he values my painting. But I wonder how much that tycoon offered for the painting? It would be awkward to ask, wouldn’t it? I’ll have to find out secretly later.

Then, Irina taps me on the shoulder.

"Ban, look over there."


The models strutting on the stage.

I notice the stage's LCD screen, continuously filled with provocative images, suddenly changes. Simultaneously, a wave of astonishment ripples through the crowd.

‘That's my painting.’

Painted in the store.

Two of my paintings are being displayed on the large screen, creating a truly magnificent scene.

A journalist suddenly widens his eyes, staring at the center of the screen, and shouts,

"The one at the end of the forest path! Isn’t that the black lotus pond painted in the main store?"

Murmurs rise among the people. Irina, also intrigued, stares at the paintings for a while and then laughs.

“Does this mean that at the end of a contemporary brand, there's a luxury brand? That’s impressive.”

“No, it’s not that. I just wanted to highlight that while beauty can be appreciated up close, there’s an even greater beauty waiting in the distance.”

“Haha, but people will wear the Aqua brand while eagerly awaiting the day they can don the Black Label, just like in that painting.”


Is that how it's interpreted?

I’m not sure. That's different from my intention, but all art takes on entirely different meanings once it leaves the artist’s hands, open to everyone's interpretation.

As the crowd’s attention and interest focus on the paintings for a few seconds,

All the models that had appeared so far flood the stage at once.

More than thirty models make a round of the stage and then position themselves in front of the screen, starting to applaud towards the entrance.

Then, the audience stands up, joining in with a standing ovation.

I also stand up and join the applause, noticing Monica appearing with a bright, excited smile.

“Wow, she looks even more beautiful today.”

A standing ovation from 600 people, including journalists.

Among them, the models, the audience, and Monica, who is sending applause in our direction.

I silently wish for her business to prosper.

Just like the portrait I painted for Monica when I first met her.

I hope for a future where she smiles as brightly as in that painting.

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