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I started researching violins on the internet.
The first thing I learned was that they were ridiculously expensive?
The violin itself is crazy expensive, so is the bow, and the case they go in is expensive too.
On the internet shopping mall, I searched in order of highest price and looked in the middle but it was still about 10 grand.
It said it was was from the 19th century from Italy or something like that in the description.
For someone trying to learn it for the first time, having a violin like this would be like putting pearls on a pig.
Well, who cares, I’m drowning in money.
As a complete newbie me, I went ahead and ordered the $10,000 grand violin.
When I get good, I’ll buy the most expensive one.
I just went ahead and called the seller and asked for expedited delivery.
“Yes, we can send it right away.”
As I was a buyer purchasing an expensive item, the seller was very compliant.
“As long as it’s a good product, I’ll order right away.”
“Well, if you do we’d be grateful. No need to worry about the product. If there is a defect in such a grand item, that would be a problem.”
Then that takes care of the violin, now back to surfing the web.
In the Bucheon area, I’m looking for a violin instructor.
There are rather a lot of specialists looking for jobs so it wasn’t hard.
It was a woman’s voice. Some name brand music school was listed in the blurb and her voice sounded about that age.
“You teach violin? I am calling in regards to your blog message.”
“I am a complete noob, and I have a child from out of the country and she is pretty good.”
-Oh, does the child speak Korean?
“None at all. She can’t even say my name.”
The woman laughed.
-I understand. First, I’ll meet and see the level and then decide.
-When should I come by?
-Excuse me? Oh, yes, what time today?
“Would 8 pm work?”
Hmm, rapid events indeed. Having money makes things this easy.
A few hours later, the delivery came by and dropped off the violin.
Bella, who had been in her room excitedly playing the violin, ran out.
“Look at this.”
Bella’s eyes shined bright and she touched my violin.
She tried to lift it and put it under her chin but it was too big and she couldn’t get the grip right. Haha, even that is so cute.
But she persevered and managed to lift the bow too.
“How is it?”
I raised my thumb and asked. Bella nodded her head and raised her thumb the same way.
Hmm, seems good.
We fidgeted with the violin together and while Min-jeong prepared dinner for us.
Today was a feast too and I told Min-jeong.
“You must be tired. Make it simpler from now on.”
“I have the Korean food cooking certification skills exam so I am practicing for it. Once I get the certificate I’ll start cooking simpler meals.”
“I’m sure you’ll get it. You’re so good.”
At my compliment, Min-jeong put on a bashful expression. What, why is she like this. Not cocky like before.
We ate and then watched some TV and at 8 pm, the tutor I called arrived.
“Please, come in.”
Min-jeong greeted the music tutor.
Min-jeong glanced at me with narrow open eyes. Here it is again, that blocking instinct.
But the music tutor was a noticeably beautiful woman, so she’s right.
With long straight hair like Min-jeong’s was before she cut it, with clear features, it all made for an innocent looking face.
“Rest easy. I’ll go bring some snacks, yubo.*
(TN: An endearing way of calling someone ‘honey’. Usually only used by married couples though. Pronounced yoh bo.)
At Min-jeong’s words, I flinched and nodded my head.
“Uh, okay, do that, yubo.”
“Your wife is a beauty.”
“She is very young.”
“Yes, she looks young for her age.”
But really, she is young. She is only in her early 20’s.
Min-jeong probably has her ears raised in the kitchen and was listening to this conversation.
I introduced Bella and then started the lesson.
“You must start from reading music.”
“And Bella is about a Suzuki level 2.”
“What is a Suzuki?”
After listening to the explanation, it is the most famous 10 book violin instruction. I wonder if it is easy to level 3 and then incredibly difficult henceforth?
It is such a popular teaching material that it is also used among amateurs to discern talent amongst them.
I learned to read the music.
Bella, who had been listening on the side, followed like a parrot to the teacher. It suddenly became a simultaneous Korean lesson.
I was hard at work taking notes as I went along and Min-jeong brought us snacks and with lynx-eyes looked at the teacher and me.
Like that, the 2-hour lesson was over.
“How many lessons would you like a week?”
Asked the teacher.
“Is every day possible?”
“Um, every day?”
“Yes, I will pay handsomely.”
The teacher consented.
Now that I had learned how to read the music, it was full on and the fun violin learning began.
The violin is a disgustingly difficult instrument. Even just making the sound isn’t easy. But still, the teacher was surprised.
“How did you learn so fast?”
“Is this fast?”
Having practiced a week and it being a feat to make one good sound, it made me dubious.
“You are very quick. The reason office workers attempt the violin as a hobby and give up is because of the time it takes to make the proper sound.”
Is that so?
What a cursed instrument.
I now realized how great violinists are.
“Bella is incredible.”
I mumble while looking at Bella, who was playing with ease by my side.
Bella opened her eyes wide and I gave her a thumbs up to say that she’s the best.
Bella gave a big smile.
“Ugh, so cute.”
The teacher was smitten too.
With two flames of life being given to her every day, Bella has become energetic and her violin skill made daily progress.
Even an amateur like me could see the daily progress.
It was as if the skill that was suppressed because her disease is now in full bloom.
Bella, with joy that her fingers are moving as she wants now, excitedly played the violin.
2 weeks passed by like this.
I asked Sylph for noise reduction and practiced the violin like crazy on the terrace.
‘If someone sees, they’ll think I’m crazy.’
For real though, sometimes Min-jeong looked at me with eyes like that.
But this is training.
More so than training with martial arts, raising the reflex skill level is the profit.
The ability to move the body at will.
In some ways, it can be said that it is the most fundamental martial art.
The violin is the fastest training method to raising that skill level.
‘It will definitely work.’
Intermediate level 1 reflex was being used, which is why my violin skill was improving so much faster than the average person.
So that is why I must practice the violin as hard as I can, so I can raise my reflex level.
I did a lot of drastic exercises in the elf village. But timing every finger correctly, delicately moving, that kind of movement is a first for me and it makes it a very high difficulty level training.
“Oh, oppa, aren’t you going to work?”
“Yea, I don’t have to work.”
“You’re going to become a violinist?”
“No, this is a hobby.”
“What hobby are you doing like you’re possessed?”
“Because it’s fun.”
Min-jeong worried about me, playing the violin all day like an unemployed man.
But there were results.
2 weeks later, I played the last gavotte in the Suzuki book 1.
“How in the world…”
The teacher looked like she couldn’t believe it.
Bella, with a face full of surprise, also started clapping.
“Am I a fast learner?”
“Too fast! Mr. Hyun-ho, you are a genius, a genius! Why did you not take up music to begin with?”
“Uh, not sure.”
At the teacher’s strong reaction, it makes me feel shy.
I moved right onto Suzuki book 2’s first piece, Judas Maccabeus.
A crazy learning speed.
Bella exploded into tears. She collapsed to the floor and kicked her legs and cried.
Odin made a bitter smile.
Today is December 31.
It was the day Bella goes back to Denmark.
Her father Odin came to get her personally, and Bella was crying saying she doesn’t want to go. She has grown quite attached to us during that time.
While Min-jeong soothed Bella, Odin came out with me to the terrace and we had a conversation with just the two of us.
It is because no one can hear us speak in the Arena language.
“It has been a long time since I’ve seen Bella sob like that.”
“She’s grown very attached. I’m upset about it too.”
“I am glad.”
“Even as she cries and resists and tantrums, I can tell Bella’s health has improved quite a bit. I can tell in one glance that she has gotten much better.”
“Thank you very much.”
Odin held my hands tight.
“I think she has gotten much better but I don’t know that it will heal her disease.”
“I will observe the results and if needed, I may request your assistance once more.”
“Then next time, I shall see you in the Arena.”
We went with them to the Incheon airport to see Odin and Bella off.
Before Bella left, she stayed in Min-jeong’s arms and sobbed. A cute little girl, miserably crying, it made our eyes naturally water too.
On our way home, Min-jeong said.
“Wasn’t Bella so cute?”
“Hing, I want a daughter like that too.”
“… shall I give you one?”
Min-jeong chuckled aloud at my bad joke.
Thankfully, that talk ended there.
Somehow, I feel that bit by bit that Min-jeong was wanting to get married and it made me nervous.
Right now, I don’t have the capacity to think of things like that.
I don’t know when I will die and I don’t want to leave a family behind.
We spent the new year together and in the middle of January, Min-jeong started going to work at her cousin’s company in the Gasan digital district.
The days of leisurely sticking together and playing have ended.
“Darn, the good days have gone.”
“To eat and live, you have to work.”
“Hmph, oppa, you can be responsible for me.”
“Now now, one must be responsible for one’s own life.”
With a slightly disappointed face, Min-jeong left for work.
Dear girl, even as a joke, if I say I’ll take care of you, the atmosphere will somehow start feeling like we need to get married. That won’t do.
Being alone, the training became easier. I did the training I was unable to do because Min-jeong might have seen.
In an instant, I felt my body lift and I was suddenly standing in front of the mu ren zhuang.
“Weapon Neilson H2, Divine Protection of the Wind.”
I held the dual pistols in both hands and the Divine Protection of the Wind activated.
I lightly took a step and quickly moved from left to right and hit the mu ren zhuang.
Dodging between the stick arms while twisting my hands to target the mu ren zhuang. I repeated these movements like a machine.
Jumping using and using the wind, I instantly increased the distance. I leapt again and shortened the distance and aimed again.
In the time it took to blink, I flew to the opposite side and kicked the sandbag while aiming the dual pistols at the mu ren zhuang at the same time.
While pouring sweat, I finished the training and afterwards, I practiced the violin. I got rid of the sound with Sylph and repeatedly played the pieces I had learned thus far.
The playing of a violin was not easy so even a bit carelessness while practicing is very obvious.
I’m already doing it so I look at the next piece I’ll be learning.
-Reflex (synthesis skill): know how to move your body well.
*Intermediate level 2: In all actions requiring body movement, possess prodigious abilities.
I lifted the violin and bow and shouted out.
Yes, the reflex skill level was raised.
A fairly high level intermediate level 1, I raised it in a month so it’s a pretty impressive result.
Playing tag with the elves and fighting zombies on the cliffside, I went from entry level 5 to intermediate level 1 and that took a long time.
‘It seems a new training that I’ve never done before will be of more aid.’
When I get good at the violin, I thought I’ll pick up another instrument.
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