This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.
Right from the start, the main lead is introduced as a strong, confident and powerful person when he is cleaning his sword.
In this scene, the lord oozes charisma and doesn’t reveal any weakness. Even his position reinforces this impression, since he is sitting on a pedestal, higher than the servant and far away from him. Besides, the way the domestic is bowing illustrates the high respect the lord requests from him: strict obedience and deference. The master is quite frightening, especially when you hear him announcing that blood might be spilled, while he wipes his weapon. The beholder senses the dangerousity and the lack of mercy exuding from the noble. Yet as time passes on, we discover that this is just a facade and in different situations, the readers can detect his insecurities and fears.
One of his biggest fears is naturally the discovery of his family’s secret related to his past as a victim and scapegoat. He doesn’t want anyone to know what happened to him in the past because he doesn’t want to be reminded how powerless and weak he was back then. During his brother’s visit, Yoon Seungho was reminded of his trauma, when the latter was asked by Seung-Won to show concern for his father’s health and even pay him a visit. First, his fist is clenched indicating that there is resent, frustration and even hatred. However, his hand and wrist are shaking revealing a certain fear. Seungho doesn’t want anyone to witness his vulnerability and weakness. Notice in the last drawing that the leg is hiding the main lead’s hand and wrist from Seung-Won’s view. So his words contrast so much to his actual disposition. He is not calm at all, nonetheless he is willing to let the painter to see his shaking fist. Here he is definitely acting in front of his brother. The image of the shaking fist actually represents Baek Na-Kyum’s perspective. The beholder is discovering through the uke’s eyes that Yoon Seungho is not superhuman like in the beginning. Yet, the brother never got to see this sensitive side.
And this explains why our main character was so attracted to the artist very quickly. He, the master of deception and acting, meets someone who embodies honesty and naturality. He was defenseless in front of this kind of behavior because this implies spontaneity and unceremoniousness. Seungho was always caught off-guard, he could never really predict the painter’s actions. Sure, one time he anticipated that the painter would try to escape hence he took the poem, nevertheless he never imagined that Baek Na-Kyum would even try to take it back. His “talented hand” became his weapon.
That’s why his cool and fearless attitude started to crumble down the moment he met Baek Na-Kyum because the painter’s attitude provoked so many emotions. Due to his lies, daring comments and actions, the lord was never able to remain passive and indifferent or even to act properly. The usual distance between him and the servants in the first scene disappears right after due to Baek Na-Kyum. The latter was touched the moment they first met. Like I mentioned it in another analysis, their first encounter marks a change in the lord’s life. He is actually inviting the low-born to enter his personal space. From that moment, Yoon Seungho kept touching him. Either he wiped the tears on the artist’s face (chapter 1) or he caressed the hand with his cheek (chapter 2) or pushed the low-born
or slapped him(chapter 11). Baek Na-Kyum intruded his personal space physically or emotionally . I also believe that the hypnotic gaze helped the commoner to come closer to the lord, just like it served to unleash the commoner’s unconscious.
All this outlines that Yoon Seungho made sure that no one would ever enter his personal space before and Baek Na-Kyum represents the exception. This explicates why Jihwa was doomed to fail as he acted like his childhood friend. All of them were fake, creating a certain illusion which none of the participants recognized as unreal. Jihwa knew the painful past, however he never thought that Yoon Seungho’s deception would hide his biggest wish: to feel loved and accepted. Though the main character is well aware of the nobles’ “disguise”, he never saw the true feelings of Jihwa for him, even if his love for Yoon Seungho is rather shallow and selfish. Jihwa was not willing to admit their sexual relationship so openly.
One might wonder how this is possible to stipulate that no one has ever entered his personal space, when he had so often sex and with so many different sex partners. They had to come closer to him physically. However, if you look at the paintings, you’ll sense the distance between the main lead and his sex partners.
First, there is always a gap between Jihwa and the noble’s head. They are never shown kissing. In the second picture, although the bodies between the seme and the uke seems to be physically closer due to the penetration, the presence of the other uke creates a barrier. The protagonist is almost kissing the second uke, while he is penetrating the other. Both sex partners are not able to taste the lips and the phallus at the same time. As you can note, there was no real intimacy in these sex sessions. His body and his phallus were his armor and weapon. Like I had written before, we should see these sex sessions as a fight and war among nobles. The bed was the podium where a fight was simulated. This explains why Jihwa and Min decided to have the painter killed. As a conclusion, the lord created a fake image of himself as a powerful and self-assured noble with a strong stamina which no one ever questioned. All this underlines how big his fear is to reveal his vulnerability and sensitivity. His strong stamina was the result of drinking a lot of replenishing medicine (aphrodisiacs), no one has been really suspecting that he was no homosexual right from the start, even the readers were fooled by Byeonduck. The lord is a master of deception hence he could only fall for someone who symbolizes the opposite: naturalness and unrestraint. You all know the saying: opposite attracts.
Since the lord falls for the painter’s honesty and naturality, it becomes clear why he is so desperate to get the pure love from the low-born. He used all the means at his disposal in order to feel loved: the special treatmentand favoritism, then his sexual charisma ,
his strength ,
his power through threads and finally his sexual experiences. None of this worked. Only by giving up his position as a noble and lord, he is able to be accepted by the painter. With the fellatio, Yoon Seungho is willing to appear weaker in front of the low-born. This position reflects his change of mind. He had already noticed that Baek Na-Kyum was moved, when the latter saw him at his lowest point. This explicates why the lord has no problem to reveal his vulnerability in front of the uke, when Seung-Won appears. Later the protagonist even requests to the commoner to share his bed with him. By hugging him so closely he showed his true personality.
He was the one who relied on the painter and not the other way around. Moreover, the power has been shifted: Baek Na-Kyum is the one in command as he has the cover and not the lord. The commoner has turned into the master, while the noble is the servant. Moreover when he “begged” the low-born to stay with him, the latter was sitting, whereas the former was standing. Each time, Byeonduck made sure to have the spectator recognized the switch of position. The lord knew that he would get nightmares during that night. There is no disguise and deception from his part. He is literally naked in front of the artist. He had dawned to him that naturalness and sensitivity could be the only tool… That’s the reason why Seungho chose to reveal his weaknesses. However, we shouldn’t forget that Seungho is not manipulating here the low-born, his deep feelings were the cause for all of this. The kiss at the end of the sex marathon marked another pivotal moment in the noble’s life. His love was so strong that he was willing to lower himself to hydrate the exhausted painter.
But there is one problem if the low-born becomes his sex partner and the noble reveals his vulnerability. It could expose the noble’s weakness to others and turn him into a target. That’s why in the chapter 30, he wants to know what really happened after the low-born escaped. How could Baek Na-Kyum be willing to return to the mansion with Jung In-Hun, when he knew about the bad temper of Yoon Seungho? What made him return, when it was clear that he had definitely run away? Pay attention to the seme’s questioning. Here, he wants to know if the low-born came back because of the low noble’s request, if he has been asked to sleep with the powerful lord in order to get some info. That’s why he keeps questioning the teacher’s words.
Then he adds this comment after hearing that the teacher only mentioned the erotic paintings.
The protagonist is reminding the artist of the still valid thread. Jung In-Hun could lose his life, just like the low-born if he doesn’t comply to his wishes. Yet, this exchange reveals an important element. The angry noble doesn’t want to sleep with the commoner because the latter has been asked. In other words, he is not looking for someone selling his body, a prostitute. Sure, in this scene he still uses his prideful attitude linked to his social status to get his wish fulfilled, nonetheless it truly illustrates the noble’s longing for a genuine relationship and the fear that the nature of their relationship might become corrupted.
This fear becomes more palpable in the next chapter 31. He ensures that this was the truth without the interference of the teacher. He might still act here as a powerful noble, however he is already emotionally weakened. He can no longer hide his emotions for the uke, however Jung In-Hun is too arrogant and too stupid himself to realize Yoon Seungho’s deep love for the low-born. How could such a powerful person fall for a commoner? This defies any common sense for this order society. His worry that Baek Na-Kyum might become a prostitute is deeply graved hence the noble is not sleeping with the uke after renouncing his position as master in their relationship. The main lead just pleasures the painter and waits for his change of mind and heart. This constant fear resurfaces in the chapter 41. The sudden request accompanied with tears and a certain resignation leads the noble to think that Jung In-Hun has now asked him to have sex with him. Like I mentioned it before, Baek Na-Kyum had internalized the teacher’s words and come to believe that he was indeed a prostitute. All his actions contrast to the spontaneity and the naturalness Baek Na-Kyum exuded before. He was no longer fighting and his gestures were stripped of warmth and genuine sensuality. Yoon Seungho saw the behavior of a prostitute in front of him, resigned to his fate… selling his body which is not what the noble is looking for. At the end, he was convinced that despite the tears, Baek Na-Kyum was doing it on his own accord because the commoner has never been able to lie and hide any ulterior motives. There is a reason why Yoon Seungho fears so much this idea that the painter might sell his body and it is related to his own father. The latter sold his own son in order to save his own skin and as such treated his son as a prostitute, while he was himself the pimp. Now, you understand why he wasn’t willing to sleep with the artist.
As a conclusion, the biggest fear of the powerful master are that Baek Na-Kyum only sleeps with him out of obligation, like a prostitute, which is connected to his own trauma. Then he dreads that people might come to know his past and vulnerability. The majestic lord’s walls around him were destroyed by the painter through his honesty and naturality contrasting to the seme’s way of life where there are only deception and artificiality. On the other hand, this also reveals the biggest wish of our main character: he wants to be loved genuinely by Baek Na-Kyum and he knows that nothing in the world except tenderness and care can buy the painter’s affection. Neither power nor money could impress the painter. In order to get his heart, Yoon Seungho needs to unveil more himself, to be totally naked in front of the uke. He is intelligent and educated which the painter never got to see. He only saw his obsession for sex and erotic paintings so far. However, Byeonduck has already insinuated that his education will play a bigger role later because of this picture.
For the first time, Baek Na-Kyum visits the lord’s chamber where there is no sex session. For the first time, he sees the lord writing. So far, he was either smoking or having sex or hunting. Yet, this aspect doesn’t catch the painter’s attention because he has to control his erection and secondly he has been requested to paint an erotic picture. So sex is not totally absent in the room.
Little by little, the noble is introducing him to literature and education. Here, he doesn’t include the artist in his letter or poem, but in the chapter 40, he is willing to read for him. And let’s not forget that the returned poem in the chapter 7 could be a different poem but Baek Na-Kyum failed to notice it. Hence just like Baek Na-Kyum, the readers will discover a new side of our protagonist in the future, like f. ex. his refined sense of poetry which was just implied in the chapter 4.
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