Chapter 462: Let the Hope Passed On
Chapter 462: Let the Hope Passed On
Nigel took a deep breath with a complicated expression, “I’m not the ‘young genius painter’ they preach. I’m a humble, inferior, and hypocritical person who lives by selling his dreams and passions.
“From then on, I made up my mind that I would never rely on the Paper Princess to sell and dispose of my scraps, just like how I made up my mind to not rely on the support of my parents for a living. This made my life, which was still affluent, immediately changed. It was pretty challenging. When I was earning my living expenses, I finally realized… If I only rely on my own capability, I will never grow to this level.
“Even if my family is willing to provide me with money for food and lodging, even after I settle down into a stable life, and even after I can practice as hard as I do when I live outside… It already costs a large amount of money just to buy canvases and paints necessary for practice.
“When I really couldn’t draw anymore, I was forced to start selling scraps. At that time, people would say that my talents were exhausted, and the masters would publicly criticize my painting attitude for being too perfunctory.
“Countless people would reprimand me. People who had bought my paintings had also written to express their disappointment. However, only I know that these scraps were my true level. Even the masterpieces that touched people’s hearts were regarded as perfunctory works by them.
“But every one of my paintings is painted with all my strength… I really didn’t… I didn’t treat it perfunctorily…”
After he finished speaking, he sighed deeply, “It’s just that I’m too incompetent… that’s it.”
This was not a story worth hearing.
The story was covered with tears and dust.
Just thinking about it made him tired.
“And then?” After a brief silence, Annan asked softly, “How did you break free from it and become a famous painter?”
“It’s a long story,” Nigel said slowly. “When I was at my worst, I found an old book. It’s written on the ritual of how to summon the Venerated Skeleton…”
Hearing this, Annan and Lin Yiyi raised their heads and looked at each other.
They had keenly captured something.
Jiu Er immediately interjected, “And then? Did you use the ritual?”
“No, because my mother warned me that the ritual was fake.”
Nigel shook his head, “When everyone scolded me, I finally returned home in embarrassment. But beyond my expectations… My parents did not laugh at me, nor did they force me to be a wizard.
“I also hesitated for a long time and finally gave up this opportunity. I chose to trust my mother and admitted my lack of talent. So I found a job doing accounting and went out to work.
“I don’t want to take the Paper Princess for granted. She is my deity and my idol. But I also don’t want to live off my parents. Since I ran away from home back then, I didn’t have that face of continuing painting at home as if nothing happened.”
He took a deep breath and said solemnly, “I finally… chose the Elegant Elder.”
“The Elegant Elder?”
“Yes. Since my mother said these false deities’ rituals have hidden scams, I sought an upright deity for help. I put the worst and best paintings in my two years of career, together with my painting habits and many doubts, into a letter and sent them to the Elegant Elder through ritual.
“I didn’t plan to get a response… but in the end, I didn’t expect that the Elegant Elder actually wrote me a reply.”
The middle-aged painter sighed, “I doubt that I am someone who is pitied by the deities.
“Although the letter was full of contemptuous insults and criticisms, everything in it was an accurate comment. He circled every questionable part of my painting with a mean comment. But to be honest, his evaluations were straight to the point. In addition, there was also a painting repainted by the Elegant Elder himself, which was about my most dissatisfied painting. Honestly, that was the most beautiful painting I had ever seen.
“I will cry every time I read this letter. I question if I have the talent for painting and whether I want to go down this journey… But I gritted my teeth and practiced along with the criticism of the Elegant Elder. At that time, I really made significant progress.
“I just endured the humiliation, read the Elegant Elder’s revisions over and over, and practiced over and over again. I even memorized every sentence of the letter at the end. It took me 8 years to digest the Elegant Elder’s criticism. And at the time, I was 30 years old and took over my father’s job.
“I was still painting as an amateur, and no one knew… People had even forgotten the viscount’s treasure ‘Nigel’, who was famous ten years ago. Some people suspected I had committed suicide, so the poor artworks I sold were instead regarded as a painting that made a genius painter commit suicide. Their value increased ridiculously. The appreciation value was much more expensive than my proud works.
“I tried my best and spent a year painting an artwork that I was most satisfied with. Then, I sent it again to the Elegant Elder, but he soon painted me a better painting with a new criticism. But my faith could no longer be destroyed by him — I just wanted to be a famous painter. To be famous again when everyone had forgotten me, to become rich by painting, and to return the favor from the past to the Paper Princess.
“So I did another four years of penance under the advice of the Elegant Elder. I again sought approval from the Elegant Elder and was reprimanded. This was repeated twice. In the year I was 44, the Elegant Elder finally wrote me back.
“—He said, ‘It looks like a pass. Let’s try and see if you can sell the painting’.
“I burst into tears.”
Nigel Elliott said in a hoarse voice with deep emotion, “So after 20 years of absence from the art world, I made my debut again.
“My goal this time is simple. I want to become the painter with the most money first and return to him the money the Paper Princess once gave me with interest. Then I want to imitate the Paper Princess to travel worldwide and use my paintings to record everything I see. Ultimately, I will give up all my wealth and go to Denizoya to serve art for the rest of my life.
“Now, I have completed the first goal. After I met the Paper Princess, I gave the Paper Princess my house in the capital, all my deposits, and cash as gratitude. After all, I am now not short of money because I can at least make a living by painting.
“Next, I’m going to travel around the world. The first stop is the Coldwind Fortress in the province of St. Felix. First, I want to see the legendary cold wind rumored to cut the flesh directly. Second, is it really possible to pour water into ice in Coldwind Fortress?
“I’m going to see what the Frost Beasts are like, and I’m going to see if I see if the world changes after I’ve been drained of all positive emotions.”
Annan felt Nigel’s eyes shining brightly.
It was a brilliance similar to the light in his eyes.
Today, Nigel could be called a real painter.
“Austere-Winter Dukedom is dangerous,” Annan warned in a low voice.
Nigel smiled, “I’m not going to die. My life is still precious. When I’m about to die of old age, I will sponsor a few poor students who love painting and pass on what I have learned in my life to them—
“—I will pass on the kindness that the Paper Princess gave me in the past, the hopes and dreams that she gave me.”
The eyes he looked at Annan… There was no trace of love between men and women in the eyes that looked at the Paper Princess through Annan.
Instead, it was a glowing longing.