May 24th, 2023
The exhibition, which was splendid and also dynamic in various ways, has ended successfully. The artworks at the exhibition were enough to attract numerous interests from tourists, and especially the joint performance of the Lirus Orchestra and Matrics Theater Group was excellent enough to leave a mark in history.
In addition, the director of the Matrics Theater Group, who had been shrouded in mystery until now, attracted the world’s attention when it was revealed that he was a demon. However, as the director himself said, he was merely an artist, and there was hardly any discrimination against him as a demon.
Instead, since all the doubts about how such a splendid production was possible were cleared up, the interest in the Matrics Theater Group became even stronger. Also, the masterpiece “Life,” presented by the Lirus Orchestra, proved why they are world-class masters with their outstanding skills.
After all the attractions that left a lasting impression have ended, people praised the Minerva Empire and the Michelle Territory. Despite the tight preparation period, they demonstrated how technically superior they were.
Especially for the Minerva Empire, they made a profit almost to the level of a surplus, not just breaking even. Although they were behind the Ters Kingdom culturally, they presented another type of culture through this festival.
A culture that is not enjoyed only by a specific class, but one that everyone can enjoy.
Just this alone made the Minerva Empire extremely happy. Of course, the Ters Kingdom cannot sit idly by. The Ters Kingdom has declared that the next exhibition must be held in their capital, and although the Minerva Empire may be disappointed, they have handed over the baton.
As a result, when the festive atmosphere began to die down, the following happened.
Inside the office of the publisher who had signed a contract with Xenon’s Biography. The boss sighed heavily as he looked at the documents showing the sales figures for the month, feeling overwhelmed. The documents contained records before and after the exhibition.
Not only did sales plummet when Xenon’s Biography hiatus began, but they almost hit rock bottom when the manuscript was stolen. Although the company’s scale was large enough that even hitting rock bottom did not cause much damage, taking into account the maintenance costs, it was still a serious loss.
Furthermore, as the investigation into the theft incident revealed tax evasion, a huge fine was imposed. Fortunately, thanks to the fact that they had signed a contract with Xenon’s Biography, they were able to avoid severe penalties, but it was still a painful loss.
If you only look at it this way, it is no surprise that the publishing company is struggling. However, for some reason, after the exhibition was held, sales increased again.
Most of the tourists who attended the exhibition were fans of Xenon’s Biography, but there were also those who were not. In addition, there were many people who were deeply moved by the performance and bought the original work to read it.
Above all, thanks to Isaac releasing the Kair Side Story, sales were steadily increasing. As a boss, he felt an uneasy reality of ups and downs.
‘I’ll have to somehow manage to keep the downward trend steady during the hiatus period…’
When it comes to rowing a boat when water comes in, that’s important, but what’s more important is when the dark times come. It’s not now, but it’s the darkness that’s yet to come.
And the CEO is in the midst of bracing for those dark times. In addition to the massive fines imposed for tax evasion, they have to consider the salaries of employees and the operating expenses of the printing press. If even one of these falters, the company may crumble irreparably.
Fortunately, thanks to Xenon’s Biography and the exclusive contract, the government may provide support, but even that is uncertain.
‘Why the hell did that thief steal the manuscript… ugh, this is driving me crazy.’
After the manuscript theft incident, the company bought a new safe, but it’s like fixing the stable after the horse has already run away. Moreover, since the culprit tore the safe off the wall, the publishing company will never be able to handle another original manuscript, and Isaac will never take the risk to send the manuscript unless it’s for a new publication.
‘Only two years to go. We just have to hold on for two years until Xenon’s Biography comes back, even if we have to shut down the printing press…’
The CEO was planning for the future in his head.
Thump! Thump! Thump! Clank!
“CEO, breaking news!”
Someone rushed in and opened the door so violently that it almost broke. Startled by the sudden intrusion, the CEO could only be dumbfounded.
The person who opened the door was Matthew, who had been working steadily since the last manuscript theft incident. The owner was worried that Matthew might retire after experiencing such an event, but Matthew quietly showed up for work as usual.
Of course, that was one thing, and this was another. The owner calmed his startled heart and shouted at Matthew without knocking.
“What kind of rudeness is this? Even though it’s you…!”
“Forget about that and read this first! It’s a letter from Xenon!”
“What is this…?”
The owner’s eyes widened rather than pounding, and then he turned his gaze to Matthew’s waving hand. In his hand was an ordinary letter. It was slightly crumpled due to his haste, but the owner didn’t care.
A letter from Xenon. With just this one piece, the owner ordered Matthew with a raised voice.
“Give it to me right now! Is it really from Xenon?”
“Yes! Here, please see the handwritten signature! These unreadable characters are Xenon’s handwritten signature!”
Trembling, the owner received the letter from Matthew. He quickly rolled his eyes and checked the handwritten signature. A handwritten signature is the way Isaac writes his name in “Hangul,” not his name from a past life, but the name he received after being reborn into this world.
The owner, who had a hunch that it was indeed Xenon’s unique signature, quickly tore open the envelope. There wasn’t a trace of Matthew having read the letter and gone straight to the owner’s office.
Finally, the contents of the letter were revealed, and the CEO began to read the letter slowly with trembling eyes, without any excuse. Depending on the contents of the letter, the publisher’s fate could be affected.
[Hello, dear readers. I am Xenon, the author of Xenon’s Biography. Recently, I was surprised to hear that an exhibition for Xenon’s Biography is being held in my hometown where I was born. I only told the artists that they could use my works as they pleased, but I had no idea that there would be an exhibition.]
At first, the letter expressed surprise at the exhibition being held. However, the noteworthy point here is the “hometown” mentioned. Although it was only speculation until now, through the contents of the letter, one thing became clear: Xenon may be from the Minerva Empire, and perhaps even born in the Michelle Territory.
The CEO was briefly excited to learn this surprising fact, but then maintained his focus and continued reading.
[So, I visited the Michelle Territory out of curiosity about how the exhibition would be held, and to visit my hometown after a long time. It was a place that had no name decades ago, but now it was called the Michelle Territory, which was new to me.]
The CEO’s prediction was correct. Xenon (Isaac) is from the Minerva Empire, specifically from the Michelle Territory. Although the Minerva Empire explained that they held the exhibition in the Michelle Territory because the capital was overcrowded, there will inevitably be suspicions now that Xenon is from there.
However, it is forbidden to jump to conclusions as it could be a mere coincidence. The CEO pondered on the Michelle Territory where the exhibition was held and asked Matthew.
“Matthew, when did the Michelle territory started being managed directly by the lord?”
“Huh? Um… It hasn’t been that long, probably not more than ten years…”
“Ten years, huh…”
In this letter, it is mentioned that the author left their hometown some time ago. And people estimate Xenon as an elderly sage, so these words carry a lot of weight.
However, people have no idea that Isaac’s claim is fake. Isaac simply threw out a bait knowing that people were estimating him as a sage.
Isaac had already made up his mind to turn the Michelle territory into a cultural hub, and had obtained his parents’ approval to mention his place of origin. Since he could potentially increase the prosperity of the territory through his hiatus cancellation, there should be no problem as long as he doesn’t get caught too quickly.
‘The Minerva Empire sure is lucky.’
Of course, the boss was not fooled. When he brought the manuscript for the first volume, Hawk came to the publisher and had a personal conversation with the boss. They were already each other’s business partners, so there was no need to be surprised.
The boss simply wondered why he was given this bait, but quickly passed it off as unimportant. Whether Xenon threw the bait or not, it had no bearing on the CEO.
What was most important to him had not yet been said.
[When I arrived in the Michelle territory, I was able to see many works of art. Not only paintings, but also sculptures, plays, and music… Among the paintings, Hectopascal Kick by Karl Zvazsa was my favorite. The scene was just as I had imagined it in my head. Most of the artworks I had seen so far dealt with profound themes, but Mr. Karl’s work was a fun and impactful piece that was also absurd. The reason I am writing Xenon’s Biography is to give readers ‘fun,’ and I really liked it.]
In addition, the letter praised the artists one by one, revealing evidence that the author attended their exhibitions, and even mentioned how listening to the performance of the Lirus Orchestra and watching the Matrics Theater Group’s play had purified their soul and was the best performance of their life. The CEO felt increasingly uplifted as they read the letter and focused their eyes on it.
This alone was sufficient to make the author’s publishing company a spokesperson for Xenon. They had already become a spokesperson by conveying what Xenon wanted, but people were still wary after the incident of the stolen manuscript.
However, with just this letter, they could resolve all of those issues. And the value of their company would skyrocket.
As the CEO envisioned a rosy future in their mind, the letter mentioned pouring water into a nearly dried-up river.
[I have realized again through this exhibition how much you all love my work and how much my work is loved. I originally planned to take a hiatus for resting, but this exhibition has flared all the emotions that were buried in my heart. Thanks to this, I have made a decision. I will reverse my decision to take a two-year break.]
“I will reverse my decision to take a two-year break.” This one sentence felt like a lifeline from heaven to the CEO.
Moreover, not only for the CEO but also for all the readers in the world, it was the most wanted announcement – that the serialization of Xenon’s Biography would resume.
The CEO gazed at the letter with a moved expression. Although there was an explanation that, due to personal circumstances, the release of the new book would be delayed and it would only come out once every three months at most for the next year, it didn’t matter to the CEO.
Just reversing his hiatus and resuming his serialization was more than enough to make him overwhelmed with emotion. With trembling hands, he stared at the crumpled letter and read the last paragraph.
[Everyone, culture is undoubtedly beautiful, but if you don’t know about it, it’s just a well-made product. I hope that Xenon’s Biography will remain as a culture that everyone, regardless of gender, age, or social status, can enjoy. Even those who attended the exhibition were too busy enjoying the festival to notice anything else. Although I cannot tell you where I live, what I do, or who I am due to personal circumstances, I hope to visit that place every time the exhibition is held. I will now step back, wishing all my beloved readers divine blessings. Thank you.]
The long, drawn-out letter had finally come to an end. However, the CEO stood stiffly without any reaction, making Matthew, who was standing next to him, worried. He called out to him in a cautious voice.
“Call the reporters from the newspaper immediately.”
The CEO’s expression, which had turned away from the letter, was as gentle as that of a saint.
“And let’s give everyone a bonus in this month’s salary.”
Xenon’s Biography resumes its serialization instead of taking a hiatus. Just the news of its return was enough to cause a frenzy among all Xenon’s Biography fans in the world.
Although many of them learned that Xenon hailed from the Minerva Empire, specifically the Michelle Territory, their attention was focused more on the resumption of the series rather than this fact.
This aspect of the news attracted more interest from the country’s leadership than the fans.
The Minerva Empire issued a statement expressing its pleasure at the news and mentioning Xenon’s place of origin, while the Ters Kingdom retorted that the Minerva Empire was just making a fuss over nothing.
However, the situation worked in favor of the Minerva Empire when Xenon (Isaac)’s signature was revealed. Already, they began to work towards turning the Michelle Territory into a cultural center and taking a leap forward to develop their cultural influence.
Thus, with just one letter sent by Xenon, or rather Isaac, the world was abuzz once again, and someone unexpectedly reaped the benefits.
“Are you the painter mentioned by Xenon? I was curious to see your work, so I came to find you.”
“Oh, that’s me…”
“Do you have any other works? If Xenon finds it interesting, we’d like to see it too.”
“Just a moment.”
With a red beret typical of an artist and an apron to prevent paint from splattering, a unique droopy mustache and large blue eyes, the person that, according to Isaac, resembled Mario.
The painter who drew the Hectopascal Kick, a small artist, was Karl Zvabasa. Not only was Karl’s work mentioned in Isaac’s letter, but it was also expressed as interesting, which naturally drew attention.
Karl had been an ordinary, unknown artist until now, but with just one mention by Xenon, he became a famous person in no time. Thanks to this, he was greatly surprised by the sudden appearance of people who came to his house.
He had thrown himself into the art world with the ambition of bringing joy and laughter to people, but he had never made any income from it. Moreover, he was a commoner who was neither noble nor rich, so he starved day by day and devoted himself to painting.
However, his love for the Xenon story was sincere. He focused mostly on scenes that occasionally exploded with humor than expressing Sakran’s demise, which resulted in the Hectopascal Kick. Although it may seem ridiculous, it was satisfying for Karl, so he exhibited it at an art exhibition. Of course, since he was anonymous, he did not attract much attention.
“Um…excuse me, everyone? Could you come back in a moment? I’m not ready to receive guests yet…”
“Hmm. This is rude. If you’re interested, come visit Gheto the artist. We have our family invitation here.”
“Please come to our mansion too. It’s not far from here, so it’s easy to find.”
“We would also like to…”
Karl was confused by the flood of visit requests, but he accepted each invitation one by one. This kind of treatment was extremely awkward for someone who was unknown and poor.
Finally, with piles of visit requests, Karl stood there stunned for a while even after entering his house. He couldn’t tell if this was a dream or reality.
But when he entered the house, Karl could sense the distinct smell of paint that stimulated his sense of smell, and then realized it was reality. It was just a scene from Xenon’s Biography that he had drawn, but suddenly he had become famous in a short period of time for the artwork that gave everyone fun and laughter, not just for a specific class of people. All thanks to Xenon, who happened to like it.
Karl looked at the canvas that he had just stopped drawing. He was drawing another scene because he was so happy that his name was mentioned in Xenon’s letter. He had just drawn it as fan art, but an unexpected situation had arisen. Karl blinked and muttered quietly to himself.
“W-what’s going on here…”
Meanwhile, Isaac, who didn’t even know that he had created another genius in the art world with just one letter of his own, asked Marie.
“How long are you going to stay at our mansion?”
“I want to stay here for the rest of my life, don’t you?”
They were enjoying their not quite yet married life with each other.