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.
In the first part, I listed all the scholar’s rules Baek Na-Kyum had to follow. These laws were part of the coercive persuasion perpetrated by Jung In-Hun.
- The artist can’t be associated to sodomy.
- He is not allowed to paint erotic paintings.
- He can’t admit to be a homosexual.
- He isn’t permitted to have sex with a man.
- He is not allowed to concede that he feels pleasure, when he has an intercourse with a man.
- He is not authorized to question the teacher’s words and actions. He has to obey him blindly.
- He is not permitted to fall in love with another man.
Then I explained that the more time passed on, the more the painter violated the scholar’s rules because of Yoon Seungho’s actions. At the end of the chapter 21, we can say that Baek Na-Kyum has already broken rules 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. But he could use the excuse of being drunk in order to diminish his “wrongdoings”. Furthermore, the seme was the one responsible for this. If he hadn’t acted as Jung In-Hun, nothing would have happened. That’s the reason why Baek Na-Kyum blames the noble for this. By doing so, he can keep denying his homosexuality and he would have kept following the teacher’s regulations. However, like I explained in the first part, Baek Na-Kyum wasn’t innocent either, he did know what was happening. By acting as if he was seeing the scholar, he had the excuse to forget this night. Besides, the painter was the one confessing first and not the other way around. We shouldn’t forget that the aristocrat didn’t respond to the kiss immediately. He still hesitated for a few seconds.
Besides, at different moments, the low-born’s behavior did rock the rule 6 (chapter 8, 10, 19) but each time, Jung In-Hun always had the last word. In the chapter 8, Baek Na-Kyum had to hide the deal. In the chapter 10, the hypocrite had to remind the painter to listen to his words (not to paint erotic paintings) and in the chapter 19, we saw the low-born objecting to the noble’s accusations. But like I mentioned above, Jung In-Hun’s power over the commoner is immense and deeply rooted in the painter’s mind.Imagine that with only one hand, the low aristocrat was able to create some distance with the artist. The latter stopped approaching his learned sir after this gesture. Then, the teacher argued with Baek Na-Kyum that with his explanation, he was questioning his abilities.
Here Jung In-Hun is already implying that this is not the artist’s place to doubt the scholar’s talents. He even ends the discussion, when the painter objects that he never meant to criticize him.
Notice that the scholar not only showed his disapproval but also abandoned him, nonetheless the painter accepted the scholar’s rejection. He never followed him and obeyed without expressing his pain.
Since he never fought against the teacher after that, it reveals that the regulation 6 represents the central hindrance, the biggest wall. Baek Na-Kyum had already been abandoned once, so this was nothing new. However, this abandonment is just short-lived as later the noble realizes that he needs the artist’s help (chapter 24).
This explicates why the main lead Yoon Yeungho had to use more and more his power and strength in order to remove these regulations one by one. The rape represented the peak of the noble’s force, yet he failed to destroy this guideline completely. At the pavilion, the commoner conceded his love for a man (an indirect coming out) so he violated the rule 3. The artist still whispered the low aristocrat’s name so that we can say, the painter remained faithful to his “learned sir” so he ensured that the law 6 wasn’t broken.
The sex marathon might have removed the rules 3 and 4 completely, however Jung In-Hun’s authority was never challenged. In other words, Yoon Seungho was forced to use his position and his physical strength to have the painter submitted to him. While the lazy readers only perceive the strength the protagonist exerts on Baek Na-Kyum, they fail to recognize that the seme’s struggle is actually helping the artist in the long run, whose mind and body are imprisoned. Due to the lord’s actions, the painter is triggered to admit his own sexuality and his pleasure.
As a conclusion, Baek Na-Kyum has to free himself from the scholar’s doctrines and if Yoon Seungho wants to obtain his love, he needs to remove all the regulations set by the terrible aristocrat, especially the regulation 6. If Yoon Seungho was only physically attracted by the artist, he would have dropped him. That’s why we can definitely affirm that the protagonist is already in love with the painter, their first night together marks the beginning of Seungho’s love for the commoner. That’s why there is a trace of a hickey left on the painter’s neck visible during the forced sex. (Thank you @Slam_ for this observation) Therefore he views the painter as his “wife”. Only his love for Baek Na-Kyum could give the main character the strength to keep struggling. That’s why he doesn’t admit defeat, although the low-born hurt him over and over again, although he was once on the verge of giving up on him (chapter 35). Let’s not forget that back then, he saw how Jung In-Hun was flirting with his “wife” who kept blushing due to the scholar’s caresses. However, he didn’t do it because he saw the painter not following the double-faced man. That’s why I would like to examine the following chapters under the following aspect: Baek Na-Kyum’s attitude towards the rule 6 because Yoon Seungho’s struggle is strongly connected to this doctrine.
In the chapter 29, I see another important moment, where Baek Na-Kyum is questioning his admired sir’s action. During this chapter, the artist asked the scholar to run away together. This is quite interesting because for the first time, the commoner voices his true thoughts and emotions in front of Jung In-Hun without being pushed to do so. Here, it shows that their relationship has changed, the painter is not really the teacher’s servant. He acts as a friend and advisor, they are more on equal footing. Therefore the low aristocrat is obliged to embrace the artist. We know how much the noble abhors to be close to commoners hence we can imagine how he must have felt in this scene. He disliked it very much but he had to because he needed the painter’s help. He didn’t want to give up on his dream to get a high position, even if it meant to give up on his moral standards and doctrines. The powerful noble Yoon Seungho might have not been present but his shadow was present in the conversation. Due to the powerful noble’s action, the artist had made decisions on his own and even begged Jung In-Hun to listen to his request: flee from that mansion because he feared for their life. So while Yoon Seungho is fighting for the artist’s affection, the other is struggling because of Jung In-Hun’s special status: he represents the artist’s highest authority, yet as you can observe, this pedestal is shaking more and more.
Consequently I came to the realization that the chapter 30 marks a pivotal moment in the relationship between Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho affecting his bond with Jung In-Hun. We should remember that in this chapter, the innocent man is pledging his alliance to the protagonist thereby the rule 6 (“He is not authorized to question the teacher’s words and actions. He has to obey him blindly”) becomes disturbed.
Now Baek Na-Kyum has two lords to show his loyalty hecne he’s caught between a rock and a hard place. Here, he might not dispute his learned sir’s actions and character, yet he has to listen to two different people.
Notice that the more Baek Na-Kyum lives by the seme’s side, the more he starts questioning the scholar’s behavior. This is quite important since it indicates that Baek Na-Kyum is jolting more and more on the rule 6. Let’s not forget that Baek Na-Kyum was truly hurt and disappointed, when the valet Kim told him that the scholar never asked about his health. . The sex marathon might have caused the painter’s sickness, however it helped the artist to question his learned sir’s action. In the picture above, he is criticizing his admired sir and he even wondered why the noble showed no reaction after witnessing how he was dragged away by Yoon Seungho. The teacher’s indifference pained him to tears.
Then in the chapter 35, he even asked the scholar for an explanation reflecting a progression. The artist views himself as good enough to ask about the aristocrat’s reason. He is perceiving the low noble more and more in a different light in the chapter 35, especially when he hears the noble declaring that he would have never spent money for him. Baek Na-Kyum even replies that he was seriously ill, however Jung In-Hun shows no real concern. He still thinks that a few caresses will be enough to get what he wants. He is so used to the painter’s submission. He abandoned him twice, nevertheless the artist always viewed him as his master and never questioned his past actions (chapter 1, 19: the several abandonments). That’s why he doesn’t feel the need to put much effort in his deception. In the scholar’s mind, the painter is still his servant. He just needs to remind him of his task and the low-born will obey him. That’s what he is expecting. However during this scene, the intellectual didn’t pay attention to the change in the artist’s attitude. The fact that the latter asked him why he never visited him and the commoner even replied that he was seriously ill, these were clues of Baek Na-Kyum’s transformation. But since Jung In-Hun is too selfish and was himself under pressure because he realized that he might end up with nothing, he didn’t catch these details. The picture of painter standing in front of the door with his head down reflected his second pain and disappointment.
He is starting distancing himself from Jung In-Hun. The law 6 is more and more shaken, until he finally lies to Jung In-Hun. Since he has already vowed to treat Yoon Seungho as his master, he can’t betray his second lord, the famous sodomite. The second reason for his dishonesty is that the seme’s vulnerability did move his heart, hence he could only hide the truth. Moreover, I would like to add another cause for the artist’s lie. Since Jung In-Hun had been acting as if he knew nothing of the real relationship between Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho, he couldn’t accuse the painter of lying. As he was the man who developed this doctrine where homosexuality is considered filthy and vulgar, the low noble couldn’t mention it because this would signify that he had been manipulating the painter and the latter would have got aware of it. So the regulations set by the teacher became the reason why neither Jung In-Hun nor Baek Na-Kyum could be honest. If they had been frank to each other, then this would have meant that the scholar had been violating himself his own laws and his authority would have not only been tarnished but also doubted. This would have displayed that the scholar has been acting as a pimp. I hope, this is understandable.
The most interesting aspect is that Yoon Seungho could never experience how the artist started questioning the teacher’s power and authority (chapter 29, 34, 35 and 38). So in his eyes, the scholar’s influence over the painter seemed to be intact. And now we come to the final act of the painter’s challenge. This was again triggered by the main lead’s question: who will be responsible for him? Yoon Seungho expressed his doubt that the artist wasn’t truly selfless like he claimed. These remarks made the latter ponder, as he felt that Yoon Seungho was correct with his statement. He did hope that the teacher liked him. So he was indeed bothered until he felt the need to interrogate the scholar himself. Since I listed the teacher’s doctrine, now the manhwalovers can judge this episode differently. I have to admit that in the past I only examined the chapter 40 under the aspect “fate” and “prostitute”, hence I wrote before that Jung In-Hun revealed his true personality because he was pressured, angry and jealous. First, he realized that the promise made by Yoon Seungho is fake. Moreover, he resented the artist because the wealthy noble favored the latter so much (new clothes, the room next to the master, the right to spend the night with the lord, invitation to the pavilion and to the hunt etc), while the rich aristocrat somehow neglected him, a noble too. Furthermore the hypocrite was asked by a commoner to take his responsibility.
However, now I sense that this wasn’t just an outburst. I would like to say that the teacher had another intention with his behavior. Their conversation shows that Baek Na-Kyum is challenging the lord’s authority. He is questioning the scholar’s actions. That’s why this time, the teacher looked at the low-born’s face and showed his true personality. He let the artist see his gaze and you know that the gaze serves like a mirror. Hence in that moment, Baek Na-Kyum saw his own reflection in the teacher’s gaze for the first time. We shouldn’t forget that the painter could never see his own reflection in the teacher’s face (chapter 2) (chapter 7) and this was deliberate. The commoner could only witness the teacher’s smile. The painter interpreted his fake smile that he was liked and accepted by his learned sir. However, the moment the artist confesses his love, he is confronted with a terrible image of himself in the scholar’s gaze. The eyes reflect the image of a prostitute, which wounded the low-born so much that he became blind. He couldn’t bear this reflection, yet he failed to recognize that the gaze never reflects the truth, as the the eyes contain a lot of subjectivity. Here, the low noble could reveal how he viewed Baek Na-Kyum, someone unworthy and despicable. And the final words said by the low aristocrat cause the artist to become deaf as well. He is so traumatized that he is like paralyzed and let the noble leave the library without being able to argue. That’s why he has this negative perception of himself.
Why did the teacher act like that?The teacher used his gaze and words to remind him of the rule 6. Since he is just a whore, he is in no place to doubt the noble’s skills and actions. He has no right to ask the teacher that he should be responsible for the painter. It was his way to demonstrate his power over the painter and force his submission. He, as a noble, stands higher than him, a whore. The rule 6 had been rocked and Jung In-Hun needed to remind the painter that he has to follow his doctrine unconditionally. The scholar needed to put the commoner back to his rightful “place”. Let’s not forget that the artist has been indeed challenging his authority so by turning him into a whore, the poor man is made so low that he is not allowed to express his own wish and thoughts. Remember what I wrote above: Jung In-Hun is so used to abandon and hurt the artist that he still believes that the artist will still remain his person. He is no longer his student, his spy or his servant but he is just his prostitute. As a whore, he robbed him every right and that’s why in the chapter 44, the teacher still thinks that he can use the painter. In his mind, his last trick must have turned Baek Na-Kyum into a submissive person again and he knows it that’s why he still thinks, he can use the commoner as his pawn. He might have abandoned the artist for a third time, he has the impression that the low-born will always follow his orders like in the past. Despite each rejection, Baek Na-Kyum welcome him with open arms (chapter 7 and 24) so he still believes that he has the upper hand and he is still controlling the low-born. That’s why he leaves the artist without biding goodbye. He doesn’t need to keep the pretense but knows very well that the painter has stopped rebelling after destroying his identity and personality for good. With this new interpretation, I come to a different judgement about Jung In-Hun.
I thought, he was just arrogant and stupid to lash out on the painter in the chapter 40, yet now I only see his viciousness. He knew what he was doing with his words. He wanted to destroy the painter’s spirit intentionally and he did achieve it. Now, Baek Na-Kyum believes the scholar’s words: He is a prostitute because he felt pleasure with Yoon Seungho and has accepted his homosexuality. The poor man is associating sodomy with prostitution. The reason for his resignation is that he did see a confirmation in the learned sir’s eyes. However, the admired sir did make a mistake. By leaving without saying goodbye, the artist decides to cut ties with his former teacher that’s why he asked the butler Kim to get rid of the painting. Since he is just a prostitute, he no longer needs to be associated with the scholar. The teacher would never see his talents and appreciate his creation. He did cut ties with the scholar as he considered himself unworthy.
However, the poison hasn’t been removed from the artist’s mind. The servants view him as a servant doing some sexual favors to their master, Deok Jae calls him a and even the lord told him that he was an easy conquest. He can’t escape from this new prison, a hell created by the gaze from others.
If we look at the evolution of the relationship between Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho, we will notice that the lord had to exert force in order to break a wall, the rule 6 hasn’t been removed yet. It is still present in the painter’s mind so the noble’s rough actions seem to confirm this continuity.
Since the protagonist noticed that his partner is acting and has become blind and deaf (each nice gesture he did for him was somehow denied), he wants to use the painter’s body in order to trigger some reaction. My impression is that Yoon Seungho wants to corner the artist again so that the latter expresses his true wish, his goal is to trigger his instinct of survival.
You. Survivors need to learn to put themselves at the center of their lives. After structuring their time around the abusers’ demands, it can be difficult for survivors even to remember their own opinions and wishes. Abusers convince their victims that their opinions are stupid and wrong, leading victims to change the way they view themselves and the world. https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/invisible-chains/201512/recovery-after-controlling-relationship
From my point of view, Yoon Seungho wants the painter to put himself at the center of his life. I’m quite sure that these words Baek Na-Kyum said must have hurt the noble. The latter’s wishes only matter, the artist has no wish and emotions on his own. For the noble, Baek Na-Kyum was never his servant but his bride, while the latter had the impression that this is what Yoon Seungho wanted: a prostitute. That’s why the noble turns around the painter so that he can no longer see the master’s gaze. It is pointless because the low-born is no longer using his eyes and ears to perceive the reality. He relies too much on others (Yoon Seungho, the head-maid, the servant Deok-Jae, Jung In-Hun). Through pain and pleasure, he might realize that he is a person on his own, he has an identity but for that, he needs to exist and express his wish, emotions and thoughts.
Fear and pain can trigger the painter’s survival instincts. We know for sure that the noble wants the painter to cry . He believes that through pain inducing his tears, the painter could finally reveal what happened back then. He witnessed it with the rape and the fellatio. Each time, Baek Na-Kyum retaliated with his brutal honesty. The master prefers getting hurt than seeing his partner as an empty shell. As a conclusion, Yoon Seungho is willing to risk his relationship with his lover so that the man can finally drop his stuporous state. The main lead knows that the scholar is responsible but he has no idea what really happened.
I am hoping that this sex session will mark the breakthrough and the rule 6 will truly destroyed so that the poison spread by the vicious aristocrat is removed entirely. Let’s not forget that Yoon Seungho was willing to wait for the painter’s love in the past (chapters 36-41). So once the artist has entirely dropped the scholar’s doctrine (1-6), the lord will wait for Baek Na-Kyum’s love. As you can see, the sudden employ of force is no longer surprising in the retrospective, it represents a continuity. Violence seems to be needed in order to remove the brainwashing. This is interesting because this approach is indeed questionable, however back then there was no psychologist and Yoon Seungho is entering a new territory.
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