Khalif was faithful to his role as an art broker, and he had taken care of the art trade he had with Princess Veronica himself. Recently, as an art dealer, Khalif’s name has gradually begun to rise and fall in the art world, and artists who want to entrust the sale of their works have come on their own. Although he could be greedy, Khalif acted on behalf of the art trade only to the extent that he could digest it. Just enough not to be greedy and not to have an upset stomach. He kept the line that Elena asked him to do in the beginning. Everything went smoothly. Except for one person.
“I’m worried about Raphael.”
Elena’s face was full of depth when she stopped by the recording room, disguised herself and left the central library. More than Elena had planned, preparations were made to destroy the great house.
But Raphael couldn’t get out of the slump. He had such a genius talent that she believed he would overcome it anytime. However, except when he was teaching Elena, he almost let go of the brush from his hands, so she was very worried.
The cultural destructive power of Raphael’s paintings, which opened the horizons of the new era, was more valuable than any other artwork. She wondered if the influence of only one painting was so great, but it was actually so.
Raphael’s ability to express various techniques and characters has changed the common sense of painting that people have known so far. That one point became a measure of painting, and it was an opportunity for the value of paintings, which had been considered famous until now, to drop sharply.
That’s not all. The symbolic meaning of a single painting was even greater in the sense of transcending the existing paradigm. Intellectuals have begun to question the conventional wisdom of society, which has been tolerated so far. Such an impact would spread to the lowest commoners of the status system. Why should they live like this? It was an opportunity to reveal the complaints of ordinary people, who were robbed and couldn’t say anything.
“… I can’t believe it when I look back. I can’t believe the effect of a single painting was that much.”
If someone had said this, Elena would snort and laugh. It’s only a painting.
But that actually happened.
When Elena arrived at the West Side annex, she visited the studio as usual.
Raphael, who was sitting looking at the white canvas, welcomed her.
“Are you here?”
“Why are you making it so dark? It’s a basement, so it doesn’t light up well. You have to turn it on.”
Raphael smiled silently. Did he think Elena would know? Starting with that nagging, Elena’s time is the only time he smiles.
“It’s a little bright now. Huh? Did you cut your hair? You have your sideburns trimmed.”
“I think I left it too unattended. I cut it neatly, does it look good on me?”
When Raphael asked awkwardly, Elena nodded.
“It’s nice. The girls will follow.”
“It’s good to hear empty words.”
“I’m telling you.”
“I’m not tired of hearing it again. I guess humans are animals that are weak to praise.”
Raphael humbly accepted, but Elena’s praise was not mixed with a single exaggeration. It’s because he can’t take care of myself because I’m stuck in the studio now, but he couldn’t miss anything in terms of my appearance. The glasses with clear features and often used made him look even more intelligent. In addition, she felt it when he was a court painter, but his artist’s unique free and unbound atmosphere had a strange charm that attracted women’s hearts.
“Shall we continue to draw what we couldn’t do last time?”
Elena, sitting in front of the canvas, unpacked the oil paint on the palette and dabbed it with a brush. In order to overcome the shortcoming of lack of basic skills, she was developing her expression skills by making a mockery.
“I’ve been waiting for your compliment.”
Elena was satisfied with her improved appearance even though she drew it. But Raphael was a man of no satisfaction.
“I’m a little disappointed here. When you colored, the paint got clumped up due to too much strain on your wrist. It’s light, but you have to push it with a force that won’t be pushed by the brush.”
“I’ll give you an example.”
Raphael demonstrated on his canvas by putting paint on his brush. It was a color and expression that was clearly compared to Elena to the extent that the compliment just before was overshadowed.
“This is how you do it. Lucia, if you copy it a couple of times, you’ll be able to do it in no time.”
This was the case when he was a court painter, but Raphael was born with genius from his birth, so when teaching others, he tended to think of himself as a standard. In other words, he often misunderstood that he would learn the basics of painting and the way of painting easily thanks to his talent. Because of that, it was difficult to be taught.
“It’s difficult. Could you teach me easily?”
When Elena complained, Raphael seriously agonized and opened his mouth.
Raphael quietly came behind Elena’s back, reached out and wrapped his hand around the one that held her brush.
“I’ll show you a demonstration, so please remember this feeling with your fingertips. You just have to apply force and draw a stroke here.”
“Ah! I think I know how it feels.”
“Really? Remember the feeling and end of the brush…”
At the moment, Raphael’s body hardened. In order to help Elena understand, Raphael, who only thought he had to teach easily, realized that he was very close to her.
“This is how you do it, right?”
Elena was excited as she made fun of the brush, and Raphael swallowed it in vain. As the tip of his nose was almost touching the nape of Elena’s neck, a subtle scent and smell of flesh exudes deeply.
‘I can’t think of anything.’
Once conscious, his body temperature transmitted through the back of his hand, the voice that sounded close as if whispering, and all of Elena’s other things paralyzed Raphael’s senses and made even time slow.
“I’m definitely better than before.”
When Elena turned her head and talked, Raphael’s body hardened again.
“Oh, oh, yes. I think it’s a lot better.”
“Right? I got the feeling!”
The more excited Elena talked, the more her breath reached Raphael. For Elena, it may be because she is happy with the way she expresses herself, but Raphael was insane because he was all conscious.
“I-I think you can practice alone now.”
Raphael swelled unnaturally. It seemed like his heart would burst as he continued doing this. He was going to wash his face as if it would burst.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“It’s just because it’s a little hot. Oh, it’s not a little, it’s very hot.”
Raphael made a hand fan. He wanted to calm himself down and hide his shyness.
“Are you very hot? I think I’m okay. Are you going to have a fever?”
“My face is too red now.”
Elena got up worried and touched Raphael’s forehead.
Raphael was at a loss because of the unexpected contact again.
“You don’t have a fever.”
“Y-you don’t have to worry. Rather, you have to practice repeatedly. That’s how the body remembers.”
Raphael tried to distract Elena from the embarrassment.
“Yes. I’ll practice since you say you’re okay.”
Elena has repeatedly mastered brush painting, recalling her previous senses whether her developing paintings were interesting. Her expression became clearer to see if her skill had improved. Meanwhile, Raphael was also able to find peace.
‘Oh, I can’t believe I’m doing this all the time.’
Deep inside Raphael’s heart, there had been a bud of emotion toward Elena. However, he did not express or show his feelings. It was because Elena might feel burdened with unilateral feelings.
He was nervous that Elena would notice that he was embarrassed by the unintended contact. What if I get caught? Then what should I do? A lot of worries crossed in a short time. Fortunately, Elena seemed to have no idea how he felt.
“Senior, look. It’s definitely better, isn’t it? Oh no, I guess I have a talent for painting.”
Raphael, who watched Elena chatter with excitement, let go without realizing it. The purely joyful appearance of Elena shined white enough to make the illusion that she had just transferred an unstained child that has never been seen in the world.
Elena had beauty that Raphael had never seen or felt before. In any language, in any word, Raphael forced out a vocabulary that could express an indescribable feeling.
Elena, who heard Raphael’s muttering, asked again, wondering if she heard it wrong. Raphael couldn’t take his eyes off Elena like a man possessed by something. Feeling burdened by the gaze, Elena slowly turned her head and avoided it.
‘I can’t lift my face because I’m shy. You’re an angelic, unfamiliar!’
Elena was quite embarrassed by Raphael’s appearance, which she had never seen before. It was after a long time that Raphael, who was staring at Elena, opened his mouth.
“Can I ask you a favor?”
“I’m asking for something, so you set the mood. It’s hard to refuse.”
“I want to draw a portrait of Miss Lucia.”
It was Elena’s side who was embarrassed by Raphael’s cautious but earnest request. A portrait model? It was an unexpected proposal, so she wondered if she heard it correctly.