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.
Now, you might be wondering if the scar mentioned in the title is related to Yoon Seungho’s tragic past. It could be interpreted so, yet I had something else in my mind. I wanted to focus on the scratch Yoon Seungho got from Baek Na-Kyum before raping him. The scar or wound is visible from the chapter 25 to the chapter 32.
It is just a small wound, nevertheless this scuff has so much meaning. First, remember my statement that sex sessions should be comprehended as fights. Until the chapter 25, the main lead came out victorious. It is also the same, when he had an altercation with the nobles. He was even able to drag two aristocrats by the topknot and another was forced to kneel down in front of him. All the three lords were not even able to retaliate or defend themselves.
All of them were put on the ground, while he stood. When they tried to hurt him with their words by mocking him about his infamous reputation, the lord wasn’t even battered for one second. He remained calm and sovereign, since he is totally immune concerning his bad notoriety. My explanation for this indifference and calmness is quite simple: his bad fame is just a cover hence the master can’t take these attacks personally. It was as if their poisonous words were targeting a different person. The infamous hell-raiser is not him, he is not a man consumed by lust and uneducated.
Furthermore notice that there is also a certain MO, when his counterparts try to injure and defeat him with their arguments. The powerful lord stabs back with a real weapon. In the chapter 18, he injured the amateur spy instead of his friend and during the hunt, the wealthy noble stabbed the deer, showing his counterpart that such words don’t affect him at all. In fact, they have the opposite effect. Instead of retreating, he retaliates immediately with composure. Striking is that the person involved in the dispute is never hurt personally illustrating that the protagonist is always in control of the situation. He shows no emotion at all, he is quite levelheaded. This outlines that during all these altercations, he was not harmed once.
However, after the slap and rejection, the main character receives for the first time a wound. This signifies that he is battered, physically and emotionally. This scratch mirrors the protagonist’s agony. That’s why he becomes more aggressive and he starts losing his temper.
He is no longer controlling the situation contrasting so much with the quarrels with the other nobles. In his dispute with the aristocrats, he was always two steps ahead of them, here he can’t predict the artist’s reaction. If we compare the scene at the pavilion with the others, we’ll note that this time, their respective position doesn’t diverge much. The lord is not standing unlike in the past, he is on his knees underlining that here the master’s superiority has diminished.
The gap has been reduced significantly, Yoon Seungho’s physical strength is the only explanation for the small divergence. The painter’s body is just weaker hence he is below the lord. He might be submitted physically but not mentally. Besides, notice that despite being grabbed by the hair, the artist doesn’t admit defeat and retaliates by criticizing him for his bad actions.
This time, the reproach is so personal hence the main character’s heartache can only increase. At the pavilion, the aristocrat is never detached and levelheaded. After hearing the admonishment, he is so enraged and emotional because in this instant, the argument truly bruises him that’s why the author zooms on the noble’s face. Baek Na-Kyum is not attacking the man with a bad reputation but the person in front of him: “you, sir!” The seme is literally left speechless as the reproach is correct. The aristocrat can’t deny the truth, he knew that the love confession was addressed to Jung In-Hun. Since he can’t refute this point, he needs to hurt the man physically. He pushes his head to the floor in order to shut his mouth. These are definitely the words he didn’t want to hear, since he wanted to become the loved one. He doesn’t want to admit defeat and keeps fighting. He is determined to win this fight that’s why he chooses to force himself on the painter. He is definitely not thinking clearly revealing that in this moment he is not two steps ahead like in the past. Observe the difference in his reactions. The low-born is the only one who is able to batter Yoon Seungho. That’s why the scar on the face is so significant. It embodies the master’s injuries.
We could even say that the presence of the wound on the lord’s face foreshadows his first defeat. Even if he rapes him afterwards, the main character has never the last words because at the end, he can only hear the painter whispering the scholar’s name. As a conclusion, even when he forced himself on the low-born, he didn’t win the fight. The painter kept thinking about another man in his presence. Yoon Seungho acted more on his instincts, he had the habit to perceive sex as a fight, hence he chose to treat this like in the past. Yet, it ended in a disaster. Therefore we can clearly understand why later the protagonist reflected on his behavior at the pavilion. He had never behaved like that during an altercation: losing his temper, letting his emotions taking control of his mind.
There is a reason why this wound caught my attention. First, this was due to the scene in the bathroom. The lord is showing more concern towards the painter’s face and eyes than to his own face. He even prefers wiping the tears on Baek Na-Kyum’s face. I interpret this scene the following. The master’s own injury and pain signify so little compared to the artist’s pain mirroring the deepness of his feelings for Baek Na-Kyum. Furthermore, I sense that he could have viewed the scratch as a sign of a small loss, as a reminder that he had been battered for the first time.
Besides at no moment the readers see him putting ointment on his wound, yet he acted differently, when it came to the painter’s cut in the chapter 12. The protagonist sent his own valet to treat the painter’s injury. On the other hand, when the valet Kim mentions the graze on his master’s face, he looks like lost and later the servant even receives a deadly gaze. So this shows that the noble is well aware of the existence of this wound but prefers not treating it. While he is taking his bath, he even remembers the events at the pavilion revealing his pangs of conscience. This underlines that he doesn’t care about his appearance and his own pain. Hence I conclude that he never treated his wound. Why? Like I mentioned above, he could have perceived this as a reminder of his first loss. Another possible interpretation could be that the lord was not admitting defeat. Treating the graze could be judged as a sign of retreat. Just like in a real fight, the aristocrat considered it as a small injury so that the battle was not lost in his eyes. Despite the terrible agony, Yoon Seungho was still fighting for the painter’s acceptance and love. He wanted to become his lover. Notice that the last time the readers can observe the scratch is in this picture. (chapter 32)
So the scratch on his face wasn’t that deep because in about two days, it was no longer visible. At the end of the sex marathon, Seungho’s face is back to normal. We could say that the disappearance of the graze mirrors the saying: time heals wound. But there is more to it. The first defeat did affect the lord but not for so long because he fought back. The sex marathon is the proof of his refusal to admit defeat. However, this struggle has other consequences. The physical and emotional pain caused by the dispute might have lessened overtime, as he was able to get the painter to pledge alliance and submission (chapter 30). But the outcome of this battle are the deep pangs of conscience which is far worse. These were much bigger than in the bathroom. Therefore the lord’s gaze reveals his shock and negative inner emotions. He finally grasps that he might have been able to defeat the painter physically but this struggle could cost the artist’s life. All this coincides with the disappearance of the scar. The self-reproaches symbolize that the nature of the wound has changed, the scar was just the beginning of the lord’s transformation. Now, he is forced to pond and reflect on his bad actions. He tried to bury his remorse by having sex with others (chapter 33/34) but simultaneously he did think deeply about the reasons why he had acted so differently from all the previous quarrels and why he was so obsessed with the painter. The challenge with Min was the trigger for the lord to return to Baek Na-Kyum’s side, he preferred facing an infuriated man than losing his “possession” to another.
As a conclusion, the small scar is full of significance. It disappeared because this wound means nothing to the trauma experienced in his past. Here, the scar is much deeper. Moreover Baek Na-Kyum might have rejected and hurt him but his words were true and honest hence the pain was different compared to the actions caused by betrayal. His own father backstabbed and abandoned him, whereas the painter confronted the lord directly with the truth. That’s why the master could never win this dispute as truth and honesty were always present. Through their quarrel, the lord learnt his lesson and was forced to change in the end, whereas this won’t be the same with his father. The eldest son will never forgive his father, just like the lord forgave the artist for the wound. He never reproached it to the painter as he was well aware that he was responsible for the grasp.
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