Painter Of The Night: “Crime and punishment – part 2”

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 my first part, I had briefly described, how the manhwa Painter Of The Night has similarities with the Russian novel “Crime and punishment”. The anti-hero Dorion Raskolnikov, a poor student, is plagued with a guilty conscience after committing two murders. One might think that the student killed the pawnbroker due to his terrible financial situation, yet in reality it is different. Since the protagonist considered himself superior to others, developed the idea of superior humans, who were not bound to society norms and rules. Consequently, he justified his crime as an utilitarian act. However, during the assassination, he was forced to kill the pawnbroker’s sister, as she witnessed his misdeed, already revealing that he was no god. Moreover, after committing the crime with a certain brutality, he started feeling guilty, reminding him more and more of his true condition. He was just a human after all, like all the others. The burden of remorse became so heavy that he felt the need to confess. First, he admitted his crime to Sonya, a prostitute, and finally to the authorities.

Like I mentioned in the first part, Jihwa reminds me a little of Dorion Raskolnikov because of his terrible guilty conscience. Yet, there is a huge difference between them. Dorion Raskolnikov is a nihilist and he is totally alienated from society, which is not the case for Jihwa. The latter trusts people, especially his fellows from nobility. That’s why he talks to his friend and Min about his special relationship with his childhood friend.   His immense trust is palpable, when he takes their words as face-value (chapter 37). That’s why despite their similar situation, the burden of a crime, Jihwa’s torment is different in reality. He is not planning a murder because he considers himself superior to others or due to his philosophy. In fact, he feels remorse and suffers anxieties, even before the murder has taken place. And this reveals his purity in a certain sense. His conscious knew very well the gravity of the crime but his heart, blinded by his selfish desires and his trauma, chose to ignore it. Therefore Rodion’s course diverges so much from Jihwa’s path. While the former discovers his true condition and reconnects with his humanity, the red-haired noble will lose his innocence, chased away from Garden of Eden, and the readers will witness his transformation into an adult, into a real man.

It all started with a simple sentence. Although Jihwa had the impression, it was just a suggestion, in fact it was an order, as lord Min was using the imperative tense. And this is no coincidence. The snake had to deceive the naive noble by letting him think that he was making a choice. In order to seduce to commit a sin, Black Heart tried to diminish the gravity of the wrongdoing with the idiom “Just”. First, it creates the illusion that this is an easy solution to his difficult situation. Secondly “Just” is so short and yet so deceptive, because it hides the horror of reality. The most interesting part is that during that meeting, the second lead acts like a child. He doesn’t speak with the personal pronoun “I” but “we” showing that he is not differentiating himself from the others. It was, as if he considered Min and the others as his parents and had not his own identity. He is not able to make the decision on his own. This scene shows his lack of maturity. Sure, he questions Min’s words with this interrogation. Realizing that his first attempt was not successful, Black Heart knows how to trigger the naive man by turning Yoon Seungho into a victim of a low-born, a seducer bewitching his friend.That way, Min gives the lord a justification, he will do it as an utilitarian act and save his friend from the greedy commoner, while in reality Black Heart is well aware that jealousy is actually the real reason for the assassination. And here, I see another similarity with Dorion’s justification. The latter used his nihilistic philosophy for the murder, while in truth, it was a gesture of selfishness and arrogance, since he believed he was above law and faith.

However, since the murder didn’t take place, then it means there’s no crime and as such no punishment. It looks like Jihwa was able to maintain his innocence and purity. And that’s exactly how Nameless is thinking. The criminal’s words have an impact on the aristocrat, leading him to think that nothing happened. However, both are totally wrong. The abduction was a crime and the horror the painter was exposed to and what he had to hear and fear, will leave terrible marks in the painter’s mind. Let’s not forget, how he was suffocated till he fainted and Byeonduck truly outlined the gravity of the misdeed. sure, this image comes from a nightmare but it is influenced by his traumatizing experience. This will definitely leave a huge trauma on Baek Na-Kyum, which will be followed by nightmares. And Seungho will realize, how his loved one was hurt and since he was exposed to a similar situation, his thirst for revenge and punishment will be definitely huge. Besides, he will blame himself again. First, he was unable to protect the painter from the nobles, and secondly he punished him himself, though he was truly innocent. That’s why I am expecting a purge, organized by the protagonist. However, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying, he will act like with his staff. He will use his power and connections.

Since there’s a crime, there’ll be a punishment. And in this chapter, the manhwalovers can observe Jihwa’s “immaturity” once again. “It [the murder] is of no consequence”. Observe that Jihwa didn’t renounce on the assassination, because he realized the real gravity of the crime. Nameless described the killing as horrible as possible so that he would get a shock, unable to face the brutality of reality, and it worked. However, Jihwa decides to give up, as he recognizes the futility of the action. He will never obtain, what he really wanted. And for me, the expression “it is of no consequence” shows Jihwa’s lack of maturity. The abduction and the horror he was exposed to made him run away, while the painter couldn’t. While Jihwa was able to escape and to vomit to overcome the shock, Baek Na-Kyum never had the chance to do so. So there will be consequences, which neither Jihwa nor Nameless are expecting. Why? First, Nameless has the impression, Jihwa acted as a jilted lover and imagined, he had acted on an impulse. That’s why he feels sorry for him. He looks like he was a passionate and genuine lover. Nonetheless, he has no idea what the red-haired noble did to his childhood friend and why Yoon Seungho rejected him. But more importantly, he is not aware of Min’s participation and manipulation. He has no idea that Jihwa was the puppet used to hurt Yoon Seungho, so that the latter would be humiliated and lose his place as alpha among the nobles. Remember what I wrote before, Min gave Jihwa an order and nothing else. So when he visited the noble in chapter 56, he actually reminded him to give the order for the murder. At the same time, Min knew that there would be an abduction, as Min had recommended to make it look like an accident. Notice that when he asks to be part of the plan, he is acting, as if he was only a participant and Jihwa was the mastermind. He wants Jihwa to take the blame, in case something goes wrong. However, since he is using the imperative tense, this signifies that Min is giving an order and this is really important in my opinion. He is truly a puppet master, letting people think that they make their own decision, while in reality he corners them and forces them to decide what he really wants. Even Seungho fell into his trap in chapters 52-54.

While Nameless doesn’t know about Min’s involvement and request, the red-haired noble is unaware that his hands are already tainted by blood. Yes, he is responsible for Deok-Jae’s death. And in my opinion, the servant’s death will become a tool for Yoon Seungho’s vengeance and justification for punishment. Let’s not forget the friend’s words during that dinner: Even Min could face punishment, if they are caught which reveals Yoon Seungho’s true power. However, Black Heart dismisses the point by saying that they just need to make it look like an accident. However, the way Deok-Jae was killed doesn’t look like an accident. Since the condition is not met, this means, Yoon Seungho has a justification to go after them. And now, here is the question: who will be framed for the crime? Jihwa could definitely been betrayed by Min, which will symbolize Jihwa’s Fall of Eden. However, there is another possibility that Jihwa doesn’t face any punishment immediately and someone else becomes the target. Let’s not forget that in “Crime and punishment”, a painter is framed and we have a false confession too.

I have the impression that the noble with the mole could become Yoon Seungho’s target. Why do I come up with this idea? First, Jihwa seems to admire the relationship he has with Min. Besides, the red-haired aristocrat seems very close to the man dressed in purple. The latter visited him after the humiliation suffered in chapter 8, so did the second lead after discovering Yoon Seungho sleeping with the painter in chapter 43. So they both confide to each other. Secondly, let’s not forget that Byeonduck’s work contains a certain pattern. Min challenged the main lead twice during the first season (33-41) and the second season (52-54). Then Jihwa was humiliated once in season 1 (chapter 17-18) and it occurred in chapters 56-57 in season 2. Yet, the man with the purple role was dragged away in chapter 8 but nothing has happened to him yet. Imagine Jihwa’s reaction, if something like that happens to his friend. He will definitely agonize, because he will feel responsible for his friend’s misery and will blame Min for abandoning him. The admiration expressed above outlines his innocence one more time. Finally, Crime and punishment is also my source of inspiration. Due to a false confession and accusation, Dorion decides at the end to confess his involvement. And this could definitely happen in Painter Of The Night. Jihwa takes his responsibility and decides to confess the crime. This would turn him truly into a man. But okay, this last part is just a speculation.

Nevertheless, right now, Jihwa has no idea that his decision to abduct the painter has consequences, just like Nameless is not considering an abduction a crime. Both are living in an illusion, though Nameless believes, he knows the world so well. Their short-lived peace will end soon and the comfort experienced with Nameless will leave a bitter taste first, the moment Jihwa hears about Deok-Jae’s death and its consequences. There’s no doubt that Jihwa will resent Nameless for the murder. He already criticized him for involving the vicious domestic in their plan. I believe, Jihwa will blame him for this and Nameless will confront him with his initial decision. He was hired to kill someone. Even if the money was returned, it doesn’t mean that everything is erased. Jihwa made the decision to hire Nameless and as such, he needs to take his responsibility.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: “It all started with…”

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 are wondering why I chose such a title, because it offers so many possibilities. And that’s exactly the reason why I selected this title. I didn’t want to reveal immediately the real topic of the subject. Furthermore, I desired to look at the manhwa under this aspect, since it helps the readers to get a new understanding of Yoon Seungho’s actions and behavior.

It all started with a painting, which caught Yoon Seungho’s attention and aroused him so much, that he became slowly dependent on the erotic pictures made by Baek Na-Kyum to the point that he had to use them all the time. However, the moment Baek Na-Kyum stopped publishing, the addicted noble realized his terrible situation. He needed to have the creator by his side, since he couldn’t give up on his “addiction”. The paintings had become his drug and the moment the author stopped publishing, it made the lord recognize, that he needed to become the supplier. He couldn’t remain a buyer, since he was put in a vulnerable and insecure position. Therefore we could say as well, it all started with the painter’s vow.

Because of Baek Na-Kyum’s resignation, the lord suffered immensely, yet simultaneously the latter didn’t want to change his habit for his nightly activities. That’s why he had to find the source of his addiction: the anonym artist. And now, the first image gets another dimension. His smile not only expressed his happiness, but also exposed his intoxication at the same time. In other words, his euphoria was more artificial, as he was in the presence of his drug. This explicates why the lord was so self-centered and selfish in the beginning. He was prioritizing his own needs. Don’t get me wrong… I am not saying that his feelings for the low-born were not genuine, it was actually a combination of both. His unconscious had sensed the painter’s sensitivity and felt a certain closeness, yet because of his debauchery, the lord had perverted it and was behaving like a drug addict. Now, it becomes more understandable why Yoon Seungho had already announced a death sentence, in case his wish didn’t get fulfilled, and why he became so “bloodthirsty” after the rejection. Just like a drug addict who becomes violent, if he is unable to get his drug, he felt the urge to release his anger. It was, as if he was in withdrawal and couldn’t bear the thought, he hadn’t obtained what he desired. So when I compare the painter and his work to a drug, it puts the low-born in a bad light. Nonetheless this is not my intention at all. For me, the painter represents his cure in reality. Let’s not forget that the powerful aristocrat’s heart has been poisoned, corrupted by his father, therefore in order to get cured, he needs to find another “poison”, it’s like fighting a poison with another poison.

First, the painter confronts him with his own reflection (beautiful, attractive), which he has never experienced before. This drug is even more addictive than before, procuring new sensations. He becomes so high that he can’t control his erection and feels the need to have sex so early. We see here the lord intoxicated by the new drug. It did release him from his prison, his self-hatred. Moreover, it helped him to see more clearly for the first time. His eye in his mind was now free from any corruption. Nonetheless the next day, he is faced with a different image. More precisely, his ears have to hear a terrible truth. Now, he is a man consumed by sex, which causes him to become pensive and depressed. He is no longer feeling the urge to have sex with Jihwa. And now, the manhwaphiles comprehend the true nature of the new drug: the painter’s gaze is liberating the lord’s senses, very similar to Jihwa. This is not surprising that the first two paintings he makes show our lord looking at the painter. Imagine, in the second image, he even has two sex partners by his side, yet his attention is directed at the creator and not his partners. This painting exposes their locked gaze and their growing intimacy. Baek Na-Kyum’s gaze has become the lord’s obsession, his new drug. The paintings Baek Na-Kyum creates exude warmth, beauty and naturality which stands in opposition to the world, where the lord is living: fakeness, superficiality, distance and coldness. But the lord’s attraction towards the painter increases so much that he would like to taste the artist. In other words, if he devours Baek Na-Kyum, he might get high again because the pictures are no longer enough to satiate his urges. Now, you can understand what this means. Having sex with the low-born signifies, he is “increasing” the dose. Note that this coincides with the third painting, where he is looking at Jihwa and not at the painter. During that night, he asked the commoner to join them. He was clearly expressing his interest in the artist. The locked gaze was no longer satisfying. This is also not surprising that the next day, he has no problem to cut ties with his long-time lover Jihwa. The artist has slowly replaced the sex partners. Without realizing it, the lord is becoming monogamous. Observe that from chapter 16, he has no nightly activity at all, contrary to the past. He makes a relapse in chapter 33, due to his guilty conscience. However, the moment he realizes that some nobles, especially Min, are looking at his “drug”, he recognizes what it really means, if he came to lose his new “drug”. His life and situation would be worse than before. Baek Na-Kyum’s gaze only belongs to him, hence he is willing to face a negative reflection.

Notice that the moment he is no longer obsessed with the paintings but with the artist’s love, he is no longer interested in his nightly activities. After chapter 21, he waits for the painter. He has already become monogamous. The long awaited picture serves a different purpose. Yoon Seungho would like to have a proof that he is loved by the painter. The image no longer represents his victory over a man and as such the noble he despises, but the mark of their love. He doesn’t feel the need to get aroused by the pictures.

Striking is that the moment he has sex with the artist, he discovers a new world: love and warmth. That’s the reason why this night still haunts his mind till the chapter 58. It all started with an innocent kiss but most importantly with the painter’s hug. Notice that the moment the painter confesses to Seungho, he puts his hands on his shoulder and then he kisses him. But this doesn’t end here, later he puts his hands around his shoulders. For the first time, the noble is embraced. And now, if you look at all the sex sessions he had with Jihwa or the others, the main lead was never truly hugged. [I am not quoting the paintings again which could be added to this list] One might argue that in the first panel, the sex partner is hugging the main lead from behind. However, this gesture reminds us much more of a fight than of a real embrace, corroborating my initial interpretation of sex sessions. In truth, they are battles, where the ukes are the defeated ones. It looks like the noble is restraining the protagonist from moving. It’s, as if he was trapped. From my perspective, there is always a distance between him and the sex partners, especially in the threesome. The lower part is focused on Min, while the mouth is busy kissing the other aristocrat. Yet Seungho’s chest, eyes and mind are neglected. Striking is that the main character is portrayed with no arm exposing his incapacity to hug anyone. And now, you understand the importance of the hug. During their first night, the painter keeps hugging the lord, although his gesture is quite reserved in the beginning. This ignites a desire in Yoon Seungho, the latter feels the need to return the embrace and hug the artist. Yet, the more time passes on, the more the low-born holds the noble more tightly. The painter voices the wish to be embraced. That’s why the former puts him on his lap. You can sense that Yoon Seungho is willing to fill the gap and feel as close as possible to Baek Na-Kyum. He hugged him on his own first, yet the artist was the one embracing him fully at the end. That’s why we could say that it all started with an embrace, the real cure. The painter’s gaze accompanied with the hands on Seungho’s shoulder created a new euphoria. This explicates why he was so obsessed with that night, why he attempted to renew this wonderful experience. In chapter 25, he tried to hug the painter from behind but failed terribly. This was a gesture of defeat and submission and never an embrace full of love. One might argue that the noble had already hugged the painter before, hence the artist’s hug during their Wedding night can’t mark the start. Yet, if the manhwaworms look at the way the master held the commoner in chapter 16, they’ll notice that the lord is hugging Baek Na-Kyum from behind. He was definitely restraining him from leaving his bedchamber, like a predator catching his prey. Sure, there’s no doubt that there exist emotions behind his gesture. Nonetheless, the hug was more under the influence of the unconscious. Consequently it is different from the night in chapter 19. Here, the lord was more looking for sex, whereas in chapters 20 and 21, it was a mixture of sex and love. However, at the end love became triumphant and the lord was no longer interested in sex.

And now if you perceive the painter’s gaze and hug as “drugs”, you can imagine why Yoon Seungho became so infuriated, hurt and violent at the pavilion. Like a person on withdrawal, he couldn’t control his emotions and behavior. Once he became sober, he realized his mistake. His mind had become clearer again. In my perspective, the “cure” helped him to release his emotions, which he had been repressing for so long. This explicates why he was reminded of his tragic past and relived his traumatic experience. He had decided to become numb in order not to feel any pain. The problem is that the moment he discovered love, he was not recognizing that he was allowing his heart to feel pain as well. Love and pain can’t be separated.

With this new perspective, it becomes understandable, while the lord hugged the artist while bathing. He became addicted to the hug. The problem was that the painter seemed to have forgotten their lovemaking. On the other hand, the lord couldn’t forget the painter’s arms therefore he often grabbed the artist’s arm (chapter 22) (chapter 30), as if they were a treasure to him. The roughness vanishes gradually, for the lord changes for the better as well. But more importantly, in the following gestures, the readers can sense his desire to hug the artist. And as time passes on, the gesture becomes more obvious and pronounced. It started with an arm, then it was the chest, until it became a real hug. However, the real climax is reached in chapter 58. This time, the aristocrat in love is holding him so tightly with his both arms. There is no gap between them, the artist is no longer putting some distance with his head, unlike in chapter 49 (third panel above) or the lord is grabbing the neck to make sure that the artist keeps kissing him (second panel above). Yet, while they make love , the lord is no longer holding him and gazing at him, he is just grabbing his hand and whispering his love confession. This signifies that the lord has truly given up on his dream and has accepted reality. The painter’s gaze and hug were just an addiction and he is admitting that he will never be loved. He will see this night as a wonderful illusion but he won’t feel any anger, despair and pain after that night. We could say that the lord has finally defeated his inner demons and addiction. He is free from his past and can now use his mind clearly. Baek Na-Kyum purified the lord so that the latter has truly become selflessness and no longer needs sex. He won’t organize any sex session or any party with wine and opium. In my opinion, the last debauchery symbolized his final relapse. Observe that during that week, he had no sex and wasn’t even aroused, when a noble gave him a blowjob. Sex has become irrelevant thereby we can conclude that his transformation is complete. He has become a truly reformed man. And as much as it pains me that the lord won’t look for the artist right away [that’s my theory and since Byeonduck liked a tweet where I expressed this], I believe, this picture symbolizes something positive too. The lord’s mind and heart are at peace. Now, he can think and see lucidly and once he discovers Baek Na-Kyum’s painting and the tools left in the study, he will recognize his mistake.

And because it started with a hug, it becomes comprehensible why the lord loved hugging his lover. In reality, he wished to be embraced too and the hug in chapter 16 externalized his deeply repressed desires. This is not surprising that a hug from the painter could stop Yoon Seungho’s rage and fury. Imagine his emotions, when the low-born did this. In that scene, the master was acting like a monster, nevertheless it didn’t stop the artist to embrace him despite the slap and his ugly behavior. But for Baek Na-Kyum, it was the same as well. He also longed to be embraced hence for him, their Wedding night represented a dream, where he could express his desire and experience what he wanted to have. He wanted to express his love, shower his learned sir with his affection. Strangely, it started with a hand forcing the low-born to accept him as his new master. However, notice that the painter’s hands become more decisive and grab more firmly Yoon Seungho’s wrist in chapter 42. This reflects the evolution of their relationship. The painter is here accepting the aristocrat as lover. Simultaneously, he is touching the place where the lord’s unconscious is voicing his desires. And this gesture triggers the lord later to put him on his lap, attempting to embrace him. And the more the lord hugs the painter, the more the latter is affected by it. The reason is simple. Just like the main lead, the commoner was deprived from warmth and love for so long and receiving it for the first time, this could only move the main lead. The manhwaphiles should remember that the artist asked the master to hold him in chapter 41, exposing his need for comfort and embrace. Yet back then, the lord was confusing love with sex hence he couldn’t give correctly what the painter desired. He was not able to distinguish the difference. In truth, both were lost persons mixing up sex with love due to their terrible fathers.

Nonetheless the latter rejected the affection from Yoon Seungho in chapter 49, as he had been reminded that a hug could be fake. So he was still doubting the protagonist’s feelings. The significance of the embrace explicates why the low-born is affected in chapter 58. He keeps blushing displaying his emotions. He is really loved, displayed by the lord’s words and gestures. That’s why the hug is reciprocated but it is too beautiful to be true. Consequently the noble doubts its existence.

But because it all started with a kiss with a hug and love confession, we have to imagine that the artist will feel the same need than the protagonist in chapter 22. He will long for his lover’s arms, especially after that terrible experience. That’s why I am convinced that the moment Baek Na-Kyum returns to the mansion, he will definitely try to embrace Yoon Seungho, missing his warmth and protection so that we have a new version of the hug in chapter 53.

As a conclusion, we have two protagonists deprived from their own body due to their fathers’ abuse. Finally, both were able to find what they had been longing for a long time. And since the lord is no longer a man consumed by sex, he will be able to show his love differently, supporting his love in his education and his talent. Yoon Seungho will become his sponsor and drop the surrogate father for good.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: The painter’s gaze

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.

The more episodes we get and the more I examine, the more meaningful certain panels become after reading the novel again. Let me give you an example. After analyzing the significance of candles, I noticed the symbolism of the following image. In chapter 30, the candlestick falls on the ground due to Baek Na-Kyum. The latter has been placed on the cupboard by the protagonist, because the latter wants to corner him and limit his resistance. As you already know, the yellow bougie on the candlestick embodies the noble. Since there is no light, there’s no warmth and yellow outlines his selfishness, reflecting his actual disposition and behavior. He is anything except loving and warm. The fall of the candle represents his inner turmoil. The painter’s escape upset him so much that he was destabilized. He felt so powerless, as he couldn’t stop the low born’s desertion. It was, as if his world had been turned upside down. Neither his force nor his word nor his thread could break the artist’s strong will. Although he stands here, we have to envision, he is actually behaving like an angry child, who threw himself on the ground, screaming and gesticulating, as his desire has not been fulfilled. Therefore he could only express his frustration and despair by venting his anger and pain towards his staff. And the fact that the candle falls on the ground because of the artist is the metaphor for the real cause of the lord’s negative emotions. Let’s not forget that Seungho was the reason for the painter’s departure, just like the aristocrat is the reason why Baek Na-Kyum brings the candle down from the cupboard. Now, you understand why the author would use such an image, although it doesn’t contribute to the evolution of the story. Therefore it becomes obvious that the manhwalovers should pay attention to each picture and analyze it in order to discern a possible meaning. Yet, it is the same if a certain panel doesn’t appear, though it should in a sense, as Byeonduck had used the same type of pictures with little alterations. Now you are wondering which image should have appeared but didn’t in a certain episode. Let me give you a series of pictures and try to find the common point.

(chapter 21) (chapter 25) (chapter 39) (chapter 42) (chapter 45) (chapter 50) (chapter 54)

After looking at the different pictures, you have already noticed the common denominator. Yoon Seungho is always gazing at the painter’s eyes and facial reactions. Even in chapter 25, where the manhwaworms are not able to distinguish the lord’s eyes, they have to imagine that the latter is somehow attempting to look at the artist’s gaze from the side.

What caught my attention is the difference of the size of Yoon Seungho’s eyes. First, his eyes are more open in chapter 21 than in chapters 39, 42 and 45, giving the impression that the more time passes on, the smaller his eyes are until the chapter 50. Here, they are even more open than in chapter 21. Yet, there’s a huge difference. This time, the painter is deeply sleeping hence there’s no reflection in the painter’s gaze. From my perspective, the smaller his eyes are, the more uncertain he is about the artist and somehow fears the reflection. Hence he has his eyes wide open in chapter 50, since he knows that the painter is asleep. He doesn’t have to fear his gaze. And now here is the next question: why is he so obsessed with the painter’s gaze? The answer is quite simple and I am quite sure that many readers already know the answer. This brings me to the following explanation. We heard from the main lead that he wished to be gazed like Baek Na-Kyum looked at Jung In-Hun. In my opinion, he experienced the artist’s tender gaze during their first night together which moved his heart so much, though he didn’t realize it right away. This was the gaze he wanted to receive and this was his reaction. The painter was blushing and his eyes were half-open but he looked directly at him exuding desire and love, thereby the aristocrat felt desired and loved for the first time. So until chapter 49, he hoped to relive the same gaze and facial expression (blushing) but it never truly occurred again. This explicates why he was happy, when the artist would redden in his presence. He had the feeling that he had progressed and was getting closer to his dream. Yet since he had been rejected many times and had made huge mistakes (chapter 25, 26, 30-32), he would rather glimpse at Baek Na-Kyum, already pleased that the painter was no longer rejecting him and even showed a certain pleasure like in chapter 39.

However, the turning point in Yoon Seungho’s life is the night where he felt rejected, although the artist didn’t mean it that way. His eyes are wide open, there’s no blushing, rather fear or doubt. In other words, Baek Na-Kyum’s eyes and facial expression oozes the exact opposite of their wedding night. This was, as if Yoon Seungho was confronted with reality. He will never be loved by Baek Na-Kyum. Out of heartache and fury, he made a wrong decision. After recognizing his huge mistake, he decided to confess without looking at the painter ever again. He truly feared his gaze. Imagine, the artist had made such an expression that in his mind, the low-born’s gaze could only get colder and more resentful.

Remember what I wrote in the beginning. In certain scenes, a panel should have appeared but didn’t. Observe that we don’t have any similar picture during the sex marathon. The noble closes his eyes, when he kisses the commoner. Why? Here, he is only looking for his own satisfaction. He feels frustrated and wants to fulfil his own wish and desires. Then later he only looks at him through the mirror for a while but he is more focused on the painter’s reactions. The main lead wants the sex partner to accept his homosexuality and him. After that, the rich protagonist is more interested to feel ecstasy without paying attention to the painter’s facial expression. That’s also the reason why the noble doesn’t notice the artist’s poor health condition. Therefore the absence of such a picture during the sex marathon outlines the protagonist’s selfishness. Only after realizing that the low-born is sick, he changes his attitude and gives him a tender kiss with water. Yet here Yoon Seungho is not starring at the painter’s gaze, he is rather focused on his reaction.

But the absence of Yoon Seungho’s gaze directed at the painter’s doesn’t only occur during the marathon sex but also during the renewal of their wedding night. Here, pay attention to the way the lord kisses the painter. He always closes his eyes. It is because he still fears his gaze and has already resigned that he will never receive such tender expressions. But most importantly is that when they both climax, the lord is not forcing the artist to look at him, contrary to chapter 21. He is just whispering to him, while the painter is looking on the other side. Therefore the noble doesn’t witness what is happening in front of his eyes. Note the contrast between this night and their first night. Here, the noble grasps the painter’s chin in order to force him to look at him and to recognize his true identity. He is apologizing, yet deep down he was voicing his wish. He desired the painter to recognize and accept him. On the other hand, in chapter 58, he makes love to the artist, without looking at his facial expressions or gaze at any moment. His head is never above the commoner’s, never facing his eyes. Therefore I conclude that Yoon Seungho has already given up on his dream and hope. In his mind, he will never be loved the way he wanted before and all this because of that terrible night where the painter looked at him so shocked and distant. For him, this night is like a dream, an illusion caused by his illness.

Therefore I believe that in the next chapter, this picture will stand in opposition to the one in chapter 22. The gaze will be cold again, he won’t say a word. There’s no doubt that the moment he realizes what truly happened, he will become so infuriated that he will retaliate. Yet this time, the victims of his anger won’t the domestics in his mansion, but the nobles. And if I am wrong, so be it, however I explain why I came to this conclusion.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: Past, present and future – part 5

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 last part, I’ll examine father Yoon and his relationship to time. I have to admit that there are more speculations as we have barely seen him so far, yet all of them are based on observations. First, we still don’t know his first name. Secondly, he has been mostly presented through the testimonies of characters until now:

  1. Baek Na-Kyum in chapter 1 by his father” [missing part],
  2. Kim in chapter 35,
  3. Yoon Seung-Won and Yoon Seungho in chapter 37,
  4. an older servant in chapter 37
  5. this time, through a memory from the main lead in chapter 55
  6. the physician in chapter 57

Yet, he is only seen in one chapter directly, the episode 44.

This signifies that we have never heard his voice and seen his true face as it was always through the gaze and words from others. That’s why we have almost the impression to be dealing with a ghost. Moreover, their description is rather uncomplete and doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole truth, as they don’t possess all the information. Yet the readers have one advantage compared to the fictive persons. They see father Yoon through the drawings so that we can see his gestures and get more knowledge about him. The panels represent reality and past that’s why I’ll study them more closely.

However, because of his indirect introduction, I believe to recognize a certain pattern. Since he is mostly introduced through others and everything revolves around the past, I am connecting him to the past. First, he is the reason why Yoon Seungho suffered so much to develop a trauma and had nightmares. Nonetheless, I sense that his cruel behavior towards his eldest son is related to the past as well. First, we know for sure that Yoon Seungho’s grandfather was an official and he must have had a high position because Jihwa described that the Yoons were declining and he was referring to the father. If there is a downfall, it signifies that the Yoons had quite a high position. Striking is that the main lead is not mentioning here his father at all who was also working for the government according to the testimony of the commoner. Therefore we need to ask ourselves why Yoon Seungho is not mentioning it. The first deductions would be to say that he is no longer acknowledging his father or it is related to the purge which he wants to hide too. Since father Yoon was forced to withdraw from his post, just before the purge occurred, there’s no ambiguity that father Yoon is related to the plot. Yet, despite all these reasons, I feel that there’s more to it. I detect that father Yoon’s post could have been different from the one his father had, something not worth mentioning it. This would explain why his first name was never mentioned and his post is not described. He never made himself known as a good official, his name never got noticed. Imagine, father Yoon doesn’t get the high position he thought he deserved and feels betrayed. Because of his father’s power and reputation, he could have felt entitled to get the same high position like his relative. Because of his hurt pride, he resented the king (or other officials). And now, you can imagine how I perceive the father. I believe that he is a combination of Jihwa and Jung In-Hun. Jihwa was obsessed with the past and vented his anger towards others through his hands. Note that father Yoon is also using his hands to express his negative thoughts or feelings.

In chapter 44, his hand is not only shaking due to anger. He is clenching his fist exposing a certain brutality. If the son had been there, the former would have used violence against him, Yoon Seungho was indeed provoking him. And this negative judgement about father Yoon is confirmed much later, in chapter 57. Here, he grasps his son’s neck and squeezes it so much that he leaves marks on Seungho’s neck. Furthermore, the young boy’s face is covered with bruises. Besides, Byeonduck added the sound of the grasping indicating the speed and force father Yoon employed on his son’s neck. This was never a tender gesture, it exposed frustration and resent. Since he is using his hands in the same way than Jihwa’s and he is connected to the past through the reports made by the character, I believe that he is associated to the past. However, unlike the naive red-haired noble who is wishing to go back to the past, where he was living carefree and had a good relationship with Yoon Seungho, I think that father Yoon has a different judgement about the past. He actually resents the past. He felt humiliated or hurt, then he needed to get revenge.

So let’s return our attention to my first assumption. Let’s envision, father Yoon felt humiliated because he hadn’t received the official post he was eyeing. Due to the past, he couldn’t overlook this incident and his resent started growing so much that he started plotting. At the same time, he imagined that he was entitled and destined to achieve greatness that’s why he could only resent his eldest son. In this panel I see a proof of his jealousy because Yoon Seungho’s good reputation is introduced with his so-called illness simultaneously. Note that his sickness is just reported by the father, yet the doctor has never been able to diagnose it. For me, there is no doubt that father Yoon used the son’s illness in order to diminish his good reputation. He didn’t want to get overshadowed by his own son. Imagine his frustration, based to my theory, not only he had not received the position he desired and requested but even Seungho’s notoriety was surpassing his own. Let’s not forget that khaki is the color of dragon’s eye hence I concluded that the father was judging himself as a dragon, while he was not in reality.

And since I expressed the idea that father Yoon must have this idea that he was destined to achieve greatness, then he is very similar to Jung In-Hun. Why do I think so? First, if you look at his chamber,, you’ll notice the presence of books on the shelves which reminded me of Jung In-Hun. [In case you don’t know, in psychology it is recognized that the way you decorate your house, it reveals your personality.] Remember that we often see Jung In-Hun surrounded by books. The latter even follow him to his bed. Observe that the books are piled up and are put next to decorations revealing that they are actually used as decorations. It was, as if father Yoon wanted show off his education by displaying his collection of books. Since there are a lot of decorations, it also indicates his need to expose a certain wealth. In other words, I judge him as arrogant and superficial as well. Finally, the way he puts the books and decorations in display exposes his controlling nature. The display of the shelves gives us the impression that there is a certain order.

But since he is very similar to Jung In-Hun, then this means that he is unable to have a great overview of the situation and to perceive people’s true nature. Furthermore, this signifies too that he is blind to his own shortcomings and his hypocrisy, not recognizing that he used sodomy and prostitution, although he hated it. Just like the scholar, he was betraying his own narrow-minded principles. Because of his lack of discernment, he misjudged Jihwa and Seungho’s personalities and had the impression, they were sick, either too nice towards commoners or were homosexuals. It is definitely possible that this is related to tears. The father disliked seeing tears in the children, a sign of weakness and femininity in his mind. Another clue for this theory is Yoon Seungho’s behavior towards the scholar. He realized the teacher’s true nature immediately and could fool him so well. From my perspective, the main lead recognizes Jung In-Hun’s true character because he had already met such a character before, it was his father. That’s why he said such words towards Jung In-hun in the woods. He knew that his father was thinking like that, felt great satisfaction to humiliate him. Furthermore, this would explain why Yoon Seungho was always reminded of the past, when Baek Na-Kyum was rejecting him. Imagine, the lover would choose the despicable “father” over him. One might argue that the person he recognized in Jung In-Hun could be lord Song. However, it is not possible, as there is no fear and he is definitely not afraid of his father. Seung-Won might use his father’s name in order to ask his brother to reconcile with their father, but Yoon Seungho doesn’t change his mind at all. He burns the letter, sends a ruined painting to his father, mocking him as he knows how he hates sodomy. He is treating the scholar the same way than father Yoon. He has no respect for both of them and looks down on them. He is now strong enough to stand up against his father.

And since he is very similar to Jung In-Hun, I come to the following conclusion, he is a terrible judge of characters. My theory is the following: father Yoon believed in lord Song and relied on him a lot as the latter was always stroking his ego, while the latter planned to use father Yoon in order to climb the social ladders. Lord Song could have come from low nobility but had great ambitions. After betraying him, the father was forced to use his son to escape the purge and instead of blaming the right person, he actually resented his son. He had failed him in his eyes.

That’s why I believe that this scene will play a huge part in the future. First, not only Seungho refuses to support them but also he got more wealth and power than him. Father Yoon must disdain his eldest son terribly. He got “punished”, while in his mind his son succeeded. Since this delusional man full of arrogance didn’t learn his lesson from his mistakes, his disdain and hatred for Yoon Seungho must have reached a new peak the moment he received the damaged painting. Imagine how he must have felt, this was such an affront coming from his eldest son. Therefore I envision, father Yoon decides to work against his son again. He has been betrayed and humiliated by his son, then the latter must pay for this. First, he will hear that Seungho is sponsoring a low noble, hence in his mind, Jung In-Hun must be so good that he will plan to snatch him away from his rival, unaware that he got played by the scholar and Yoon Seungho. The former teacher will be abandoned by the protagonist sooner or latter and once approached by father Yoon, Jung In-Hun will decide to use the father, unaware what awaits him in reality. As you can imagine, I am already anticipating the real downfall of father Yoon. He never realized that he was the author of his own misery, he destroyed his own future by hurting his brilliant son due to his own blindness and arrogance. Since we never got to see father Yoon’s face, I am more and more convinced that he wears glasses, just like the teacher. And if this turns out to be true, then my interpretation of the glasses will be confirmed. As you can detect, I believe, we will have a repetition of the past, the father attempting to get revenge but failing miserably, too obsessed with the past and his so-called destiny.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: “BADUM, BADUM” and its implications

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.

Like I explained it in the first essay about the alternative universe of Painter Of The Night, the first special episode helped me to understand much better the original version. In this essay, I’ll explain my newly gained knowledge.

Everything starts with the following panel. Here, the noble Baek Na-Kyum is running away. His heart is making the sound “thump, thump” and his face is red. Why? He is leaving the market place in a hurry because his eyes saw Yoon Seungho for the first time. However, on the surface it looks like he is just avoiding an embarrassing situation. His escape seems to be caused by his shame. He has been caught in the act saying something nasty, since the commoner smirked to him after hearing his bad comment. However, remember that first impressions can be deceiving. For me, the moment their eyes meet, the innocent man’s faces blushes. Note that his reddening is actually stronger than when he was looking at his crush, his servant Jung In-Hun. Then you have to imagine that his heart starts racing, a sign that he is physically attracted to the infamous low-born but we don’t see it yet. In my opinion, his reactions are not just the results of shame, when the manhwalovers witness the aristocrat’s heartbeat and his blush while running. One might argue, this is related to his speed, as he rushes to his home. However, during the night in his bed, Baek Na-Kyum’s heart is still beating strongly, displaying excitement, just like the reddening has not vanished yet. He showed a similar reaction, when he was dealing with the merchant. He was enthusiastic too, imagining that he would get paid a lot. However, the sound of the heartbeat (“thump”) diverges in the escape scene. The explication is simple. The arousal was masked by the run therefore the “badum/badum” turned into a “thump”, yet we have to imagine, it was already present. Once back home, the racing of his heart and his blush never stopped. Even lying down, he is still agitated, aroused and can’t calm down. He can’t forget Seungho’s face, engraved in his memory so that he is able to create a masterpiece.

Consequently, I come to the following interpretation. Baek Na-Kyum’s body reacted immediately to the commoner. He blushed and his heart raced but everything was masked by his external behavior. This overlap explains why the noble won’t be able to distinguish his true feelings but he will link it to embarrassment and shame. Besides, it occurred twice.

Striking is that even the presence of blood running down from his nose didn’t repel the aristocrat. The latter overlooked the red cheek as well because he was so fascinated by Yoon Seungho’s sex appeal, especially his gaze. In other words, the bruises couldn’t diminish his charisma so that the noble’s sexuality was awakened in a second. His heart made noises which only Baek Na-Kyum could hear. Surprised by his own reactions which he can not control, he runs away to hide his emotions. He has no idea why his heart is racing like that which scares him. He has never been confronted with such a situation before.

And this scene made me realize that in the original, Baek Na-Kyum’s heartbeat was only witnessed in chapter 34 and 35 and not before. In this image, the manhwaworms hear the painter’s heartbeat for the first time which is actually triggered by Yoon Seungho’s return. He is so surprised by his physical reaction that he is left speechless first. Observe that the racing of his heart is accompanied with his blushing face, just like in the alternative universe. The painter gets agitated as he can not control his body and his heart. He would like to hide this from the noble and gives a good excuse for his departure. The lord needs his bed hence he has to return to his own room. As you can see, the desertion in chapter 34 resembles a lot to the one in the first episode from the alternative universe. Since he can’t control the racing of his heart, he wonders about its cause and nature. He associates it to fear because he has always trembled in front of his lord before, while his noble version will always link it to embarrassment. Yet he notices the difference as he feels some butterflies inside. As the scene at the market resembles a lot to the chapter 34 and the special episode introduces their first meeting, it gives us another dimension of their true relationship. The painter was attracted to him right away and through Yoon Seungho, his real sexual appetite was awakened. But why don’t we witness the racing of the painter’s heart before, when it was clear that he was attracted to him physically before? He had wet dreams, erections and felt the need to masturbate before.

In my opinion, it is related to the coercive persuasion and it consequences. Due to the abuse, Baek Na-Kyum’s body had been imprisoned. In other words, he was no longer the owner of his own body. Therefore I see in the return of the heartbeat a proof that the real target of Jung In-Hun’s violence was not truly homosexuality but sexuality in general. He made sure that the painter would no longer feel his body, this explicates why he became a drunk. We could say, he transformed the low-born into a zombie, a living corpse. Since Baek Na-Kyum could no longer feel his body, he needed to cover up the loss and the numbness with alcohol. And now, you understand why Baek Na-Kyum’s love for the low noble was so “pure” and spiritual, his mind was the only thing he could use, since he had been deprived of his own body and as such his heart. Hence when Byeonduck created this wonderful panel, she gave us a clue that the first day dream represented the first step of liberation of Baek Na-Kyum’s body. Nevertheless, this only happened during a dream, hence his body was only superficially liberated. The biggest hindrance was his mind because it was also poisoned by the scholar’s doctrines. The wet dreams were relevant as it announced the return of his senses. There, all his senses were triggered and awakened. Slowly, he was regaining control of his own body. And now imagine what the painter must have experienced that he decided to give up on his own body.

Thanks to his encounter with Yoon Seungho, his imprisoned body got released. His senses are gradually returning to life which explains why he masturbates for the first time in chapter 9. And the racing of his heart marks the pivotal moment in Baek Na-Kyum’s life. He is finally the owner of his own body and he can decide whom he can love. That’s why he can be disappointed in his teacher (chapter 35) and even lie to him in chapter 38. The reason for the return of his heartbeat is the sex marathon where he was confronted with his own image. There, he saw his own pleasure and felt it as well. However, the shock was too big hence he fell ill. With this new revelation it becomes understandable why Yoon Seungho met so much resistance in the end. He had to fight on two different levels: liberate the painter’s body and mind. It was not just about denial of his own sexual orientation, but sex in general. At the end of the first season, he had succeeded to free the painter’s body but that was it. The second “confrontation” in chapters 48/49 marked the last battle where the painter’s mind is finally freed. This was the new version of the sex marathon. Observe the parallels and divergences between the two pictures: Their positions are similar, the lord’s gaze is also directed towards the artist, yet there are two huge contrasts. First, in the second picture the readers witness Seungho’s gaze full of agony. Moreover, he can not truly see the artist’s facial expressions as there is no mirror during this night. So he is imagining that he is afflicting pain on the artist and feels remorse but he senses that this is necessary, whereas it is not true like the painting exposes it later. The noble pleasured the painter and his refusals were just the last wall of defense in his mind.

And now his confession in chapter 41 gets a new dimension. For the first time, he mentions his heart in front of the lord and voices his fear. Note that he is associating fear to his heart pounding illustrating that he hasn’t understood its signification. This was actually a love confession but the master couldn’t perceive it as such because it started with a reproach: “you scare me so much”. And now, if you look at the confession in chapter 49 where he speaks again about his heart , the connection between fear and heart racing has finally disappeared. On the other hand, the artist reduces it to a physical attraction. When their eye meet, he gets aroused, exactly like I had described with the scene from the alternative universe. This evolution exposes his lack of discernment. He is still unable to interpret the heartbeat “badum, badum” correctly. Therefore I don’t think, we can say that Baek Na-Kyum was denying his own feelings. It is just that he never understood what his heart pounding meant. And the source for his misinterpretation is the feelings he had for his teacher, just like in the alternative universe. Observe that this expression is only connected to his eye and not his body. Jung In-Hun is handsome but that’s it. He doesn’t feel the need to hug or touch him. He is already content with buying him glasses. This reminds me of Courtly love (Minne in German and Amour courtois in French) from European Middle Age. It is a literary conception of love that emphasized nobility and chivalry. Medieval literature is filled with examples of knights setting out on adventures and performing various deeds or services for ladies because of their “courtly love”. There is no sex, their act of loving is purely mental. As you can imagine, this was just fiction, just like in our manhwa. In both versions, Jung In-Hun is in fact associated to dream and not reality. The cat is the one that brings back the noble Baek Na-Kyum to reality. That’s why his courtly love for his learned sir is doomed to failure. It is just an illusion, a fiction because it doesn’t reflect people’s true personality. The characters in Medieval literature were portrayed as heroes, dedicated to their lady and people, while knights in reality were often the opposite. They were just soldiers and killed women and orphans for their lord. And notice that once the pure main lead recalls all the good deeds Yoon Seungho did for him, the heart pounding resurfaces accompanied with the blushing. He is still denying the lord’s feelings but since there was a confession, the painter will be able to connect his heart racing to love. The good deeds have nothing to do with sex, yet his body is still reacting therefore you can comprehend why in the next chapter 60, he screams Yoon Seungho’s name begging him to save him. The kidnapping was just the trigger for him to recognize that his lord had already entered his mind and his heart.

The tragedy is that Yoon Seungho has still no idea why the painter rejected him so many times before. He took it personally, whereas in reality the true cause was the brainwashing and trauma left by the abuse. Honestly, I am looking forward for the moment the powerful protagonist realizes the true nature of the relationship between the vicious teacher and his student. And the special chapter from the alternative universe revealed the importance of the painter’s heart beat in the original. If he had not been brainwashed and abused, the artist would have fallen immediately for the noble. However, his affection for him has always been destined not to come to realization right away. The character is always doomed to confuse love with fear or shame. On the other hand, it illustrates the complexity to discern emotions, when it comes to true love.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: Fate or liberty? 🗽

This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents:  https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/ 

It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring: Ko-fi.com/bebebisous33  That way, you can support me with “coffee” so that I have the energy to keep examining manhwas. Besides, I need to cover up the expenses for this blog.

I was really pleasantly surprised with the alternative universe of Painter Of The night, because it wasn’t at all what I had been expecting. I had imagined that Byeonduck would give us a modern version due to her drawing with Yoon Seungho wearing a mask. So what is her alternative universe? It’s the same period, but the social status have been switched. On the left, I selected pictures from the original story and on the right from the alternative universe.

Now, it is Yoon Seungho and Jung In-Hun’s turn to be commoners, while Baek Na-Kyum is now the only son of a noble family which means the pressure and expectations from his family must be high. By switching the positions but at the same time, keeping certain elements from the original story (f. ex. Baek Na-Kyum likes painting sodomy), Byeonduck gives us clues about the original story as well, which were never directly revealed. Consequently, this version made me realize two things. First, thanks to this episode, I gained more insight about the original story which I’ll explain in another essay. Secondly, Byeonduck gives us a new dimension of the relationship between Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum. The author is showing us that not only Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho are fated to fall in love with each other but also their love story is supposed to be an example that love knows no boundaries. Their affection is the result of nature and society will never been able to stop it. This special episode reinforces her original message: homosexuality is no disease but a natural phenomenon. Besides, by switching their roles, the author outlines that the social gap between them will always be present in their relationship no matter where they live but they will overlook it in the end. Their affection is strongly intertwined to scandal, yet it won’t matter. By using the idea of destiny, the special episode with the alternative universe reveal that their choices are not free in reality, their decisions are all influenced by their disposition and environment. While reading the special episode, I couldn’t help myself connecting this story to philosophy and different currents in philosophy: Free will versus Determinism.

This is the second time that I am referring to philosophy. In another analysis, I had explained that Yoon Seungho was a libertine and represented the ideas from Enlightenment where reason and critical thinking were in the center of this movement. In other words, the powerful protagonist belongs to the libertarians (“free will”). By guiding the low-born, he liberated him from traditions and social norms. That’s why at the end, the painter makes his own decisions. He chooses to remain by his lord’s side despite the terrible night in chapter 53 and the first brutal confession. That’s why we could say that the original version advocates free will, whereas the special episode represents the other current: determinism, where there exists no real freedom. Interesting is that the moment the first episode from the alternative episode was released, many fans realized the similarities between the original Painter Of The Night and the alternative one. Let me give you an example: (Chapter 55) As you can observe, the drawings and the character’s actions resemble each other a lot. It was as if the protagonists had no choice but to turn their heads. It was already planned and designed, just like Oedipus who couldn’t escape his fate. By drawing similar panels, Byeonduck gives us the impression that their destiny and actions have already been predetermined. Baek Na-Kyum will run away or blush or have a crush on Jung In-Hun. They have to accept and embrace their destiny which will be full of pain but also full of love and tenderness. And now, let’s take a closer look at the special episode.

Here, fate appears in two forms. They first meet by coincidence and secondly thanks to the intervention of the cat. Coincidence is a proof that they have no control over their life and love life. It was, as if the invisible hand of gods had decided to have them met. Yet, determinism doesn’t use the idea of gods or of an exterior force leading the characters to encounter each other. If you pay attention to the way they meet, you’ll realize that their decisions, influenced by their liking and living conditions, were the reasons why they met in the street. The noble Baek Na-Kyum was strolling in that part of the town because he wanted to sell his erotic paintings. So because of his hidden hobby, he is led to go to a part of the town where commoners live. In other words, the protagonist enters Yoon Seungho’s world. On the other hand, Yoon Seungho as a low-born catches Baek Na-Kyum’s attention due to his unusual attitude. He shows neither remorse nor fear in front of the angry aristocrat. He is very defiant. That’s love at first sight. However, this is true love as sexuality is immediately included, while his affection towards Jung In-Hun was more related to the innocent and pure love of a child. Striking is that Yoon Seungho is exposed for his scandalous relationship with the son of a noble family showing that he doesn’t care about social status and distinction between nobility and commoner. It is also the same for the painter who sells his erotic paintings in order to buy glasses for his servant. This shows that right from the start, Baek Na-Kyum has not truly internalized the hierarchical society and it is the same with the strong-willed commoner. They might not belong to the same social class but their mentality is in reality similar. Besides, they have both a strong libido and a certain sexual fantasy. Yoon Seungho is willing to have sex anywhere (f. ex. in the woodshed) and after meeting the impressive and attractive seme, Baek Na-Kyum becomes so inspired that he creates a threesome. The painting could be seen as another evidence that the painter had to create such a work. There’s no real free will in the end. However, the idea of a threesome indicates that the innocent noble has indeed a kinky side which was triggered the moment he met Yoon Seungho’s eyes. And now, it explains why Yoon Seungho was destined to meet Baek Na-Kyum outside his mansion in the original manhwa. He had to meet him at the tavern because it was the commoner’s world and since the noble was interested in the painter, he couldn’t just send for him. The latter could refuse but in his presence, Yoon Seungho imagined that the artist would never dare to reject the offer.

However, unlike the seme who doesn’t fear the rumors about his reputation, the noble prefers hiding his true thoughts hence he repeats exactly what his crush says about homosexuals. In other words, Baek Na-Kyum seems to have a predisposition to follow social norms, although in his heart, he doesn’t acknowledge societal hierarchy. He lives in his own bubble in my opinion. That’s why I come to the conclusion that Baek Na-Kyum’s inner conflicts will always represent one of their problems in the evolution of their love story. The noble will suffer pressure from his family and his servant Jung In-Hun who will betray him, making the main lead discover what love truly is. But because of their affinities, they were destined to be together.

This determinism is also visible with the appearance of the cat. Due to his love for cats, the noble is led to a woodshed where he witnesses Yoon Seungho having sex with someone else. Note that the cat is the reason why he feels pleasure for the first time and why he gets caught in the end. If the cat had not appeared, then he would have never discovered the sexual intercourse. If he had never liked cats, he wouldn’t have played with him. Furthermore, he was strolling through the district where commoners live as he was on his way to sell his new painting. His so-called choices could only lead him to the place where the attractive seme was. This was no real coincidence again. Now, why a cat?

In my opinion, the cat with the herb symbolizes nature which stands in opposition to society and its social norms. That’s why nature leads the protagonist to awake his sexuality and discover his sexual attraction for the seme. While in the original version, we had a fight between unconscious (dream) versus conscious (reality), we have a fight between nature versus society which is actually the same. Freud called the unconscious (“Es”) which is strongly linked to naturality. Baek Na-Kyum’s fight will be to accept that he has always been attracted to men and he has fallen in love with Yoon Seungho due to his charisma. By interacting more with him, he will discover that they share many affinities in the end. Like I demonstrated above, their mindset is quite similar. Furthermore, this new version confirms my interpretation: the seme will be or is Baek Na-Kyum’s real muse. And since it is their destiny to be together, then the commoner will come up with a thread again. Due to the painting and the tools he left behind, Yoon Seungho will be able to discover Baek Na-Kyum’s identity and the latter will be blackmailed. Notice that the merchant knows his true identity. The painter will have to work for Yoon Seungho, yet the reason will diverge. The commoner has already set his eyes on the artist, since he hasn’t really forgotten him. He remembers his face (“your eyes off”) and his words (“dirty buggery”). Their attraction was mutual and he needs to create a reason. As a conclusion, the introduction of the alternative universe makes us realize the dimension of determinism which is strongly linked to Nature (sex, cat). Baek Na-Kyum’s choice will be to acknowledge that his love for the seme is stronger than social norms, so that we can say, even if there exists determinism, there’s a certain liberty. Yet it is much more limited than it looks like as our decisions are influenced by our environment, experiences and past.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: Past, present and future – part 4 (second version)

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 other parts, I concluded that Jihwa and Seungho were more persons of the past. Nonetheless due to the painter they were forced to change and live more in the present. On the other hand, Min was linked to the present, however because of his fateful meeting with the artist, he was also forced to focus on the future. The cause for his transformation was his desire towards the artist kept growing. He wanted to taste him but couldn’t as Seungho represented the biggest hindrance. Then I saw Nameless and valet Kim as persons personifying the future since both were strategists and made plans for the future (forcing the separation first, later bringing them together, forcing Jihwa to face reality and no longer live in an illusion) for the main characters. However, there were two figures left: the scholar and father Yoon. In this essay, I will examine Jung In-Hun and his relationship to time, just like I did with the other characters.

Jung In-Hun is a teacher who comes from low nobility hence he possesses no connection and wealth. Because of his actual poor situation, he keeps dreaming of his future With these two pictures, it becomes obvious that he is imagining a time where he will live like the rich protagonist. Therefore the first impression would be to judge him as a person symbolizing the future. However, if you pay attention to his words, you’ll notice that he is speaking in the present (“can count”, “has”, “do not have”) The enumeration doesn’t just expose his greed and envy but also outlines his strong connection to the present because he also employs two senses, the touching and the sight. This reinforces the impression he is somehow living in the moment. This scene is really important as it shows that the present plays a huge role in his life. I come to the first observation that this is his source of inspiration, the present leads him to dream of a future where he will be different. Envy, jealousy and resent are his generators, strongly intertwined with the present.

Furthermore, if you observe his interactions with others, you’ll note that Jung In-Hun keeps utilizing the present for the most part of the time. I chose first the following panels. (chapter 6) (chapter 10)(chapter 29) Therefore for me, Jung In-Hun is a person of present. And now here is the next question. What do these pictures have in common, excluding the present as tense? What caught my attention is though present is the utilized tense, he is actually referring to the past (“are still not painting”= didn’t paint /”does such things ” = didn’t do) or to the future (“are destined” = will be). The best example for this would be this panel. Notice that he is already thinking about the future, planning to use the painter, yet he speaks in the present. Strangely is that after realizing the importance of Baek Na-Kyum, he chooses not to bid farewell to his former student. Any normal person would recognize that he needs to treat the painter better from now on but no, he does nothing like that. Because of the contradiction between the different parts of time, I sense a confusion between past, future and present. My first explication is the following. In the scholar’s mind, his future is a certitude, that’s his fate. He is destined to have what Yoon Seungho has. Therefore, we could say, the present represents not only his strong motivation but also his future. In his eyes, his fate is to become rich and powerful. Thereby this is not astonishing that he talks to Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum about fate, path and destiny.

Simultaneously, we could say that he is not really living in the moment, as past and future are confused with the present. This explicates why he thinks about the future, while talking in the present.

The irony is that he was tricked by his favorite tense, the present. If the manhwaworms read again the episode 7, they will realize that time played a huge part in the deception. We shouldn’t forget that the learned sir needs to learn in order to pass the second examination. And like I had demonstrated it before, he only realized his mistake, the moment he discovered the existence of the deal (chapter 19). In his mind, he had already achieved his goal, the moment the main lead proposed to sponsor him. He didn’t recognize that the lord’s words were just an empty promise as he needed to pass first the civil service examination. He didn’t see the trap as the lord was talking in the present, for him a sign of destiny and certitude. First, the main lead implies that the scholar is an intelligent person (“are” is omitted), while he thinks the opposite. Secondly, he fools the arrogant man that he will succeed with the examination since he employs “when” and not “if”. The condition is disguised behind the idiom “only that”. As you can detect, Yoon Seungho is selling these as facts, while it was not the case. Due to the tense, Jung In-Hun was manipulated and fell into his own trap. He thought, he was deceiving the protagonist, whereas it was the opposite and his major mistake was the employed tense: present. Moreover, note that in chapter 18, he only used two senses: the sight and the touching. But he isn’t employing his mind or better said, his brain, limiting his own skills. That’s why he couldn’t perceive the deception. Since he is so certain about his path, he doesn’t really have to utilize his knowledge and his brain. This explicates why he is a lazy person in the end and couldn’t become successful before.

Since I outlined how the doubled-faced character would confuse present, past and future as his fate is already determined, this is not surprising that he is neglecting the present in reality. His present is different from reality, it stands under the sign of destiny. It is his path to climb the social ladders. Therefore he resents his real present, confronting him with reality. He has nothing. Now, you understand why I associate the learned sir to the present, meaning that he has some similarities with the low-born and the vicious lord Min.

However, as you can envision, he is different from the painter and Black Heart for different reasons. In my eyes, he personifies the negative version of Min. While the latter is a carpe diem person who enjoys the present by taking advantages of others for his own pleasure but is still envious of the main lead, the scholar is never satisfied with his current situation and resents everyone: Yoon Seungho, Baek Na-Kyum and the commoners. His real present is a constant reminder that he has not fulfilled his destiny. He doesn’t desire to be associated to commoners, although his clothes in the beginning don’t diverge so much from peasants’, while he wishes to resemble to the powerful main lead due to his wealth. As a conclusion, Baek Na-Kyum is the only satisfied with the present due to his modesty and selflessness. He has been accustomed to his social status. Due to his past, he knows what he should expect from the world which outlines that even if he was hurt in the past, he could move on but learnt from his bad experiences. Therefore he stands in opposition to Jung In-Hun who seems to have no real past and has not learnt from his mistakes at all. Now, you understand why. Since it is his destiny to have a high position, he doesn’t need to focus on the past or on the real present. That’s why he never reflects about his own actions and words, hurting the low-born, without noticing it. For him, fate will always play in his favor, yet by acting like that, he reveals gradually his true colors.

Striking is that his common past with the low-born is just briefly mentioned. He only taught him to read and write. Then he adds this: It was, as if they had no special relationship, except that the artist only caught his attention as he would follow him around and drew something immoral and vulgar. By reading it for the first time, the manhwalovers have the impression that the purpose of the scholar’s words is to undervalue Baek Na-Kyum, while emphasizing his own good personality. The artist is someone with an unappropriated behavior, whereas he was a man of virtue, a role model, because he punished the low-born for his erotic paintings.

Yet, we could interpret the idiom “once” differently. He has already forgotten what he really inflicted on the low-born. His coercive persuasion meant nothing to him hence he is overlooking the impact of his actions. In other words, in his mind he just did it once. And if you pay attention to the teacher’s behavior, it really appears that he has no real recollection of the physical abuse he did on the painter. When he meets him again, he acts as if nothing happened before. One might argue, he is just faking everything which is also correct hence this could be no real sign that he truly forgot the coercive persuasion. However, if you observe his behavior during the first season, you’ll realize that this is actually Jung In-Hun’s MO. In chapter 40, he almost killed the painter with his words, yet the next morning he still believes that he can still use him as his pawn… just like he did in the past. It was always like that, each time Jung In-Hun hurt the artist, the latter would still remain faithful. In chapter 29, he already betrayed which the artist sensed but once they arrived the mansion, the artist was still willing to sacrifice his own life in order to protect his admired sir from the infuriated and jealous lord. Let’s not forget that he never changed his attitude towards him after the coercive persuasion therefore the teacher wrote a bad poem. It becomes clear that he took the commoner for granted. In my perspective, this reasoning is simple. Since the low-born’s destiny is to be a prostitute after stopping painting, the ow noble imagined that he didn’t need him in the first place. However, now it diverges. In chapter 44, it becomes obvious that the scholar plans to use him as a prostitute. It was as if in his eyes, their paths were now connected. The low born will help him to achieve his goal. And this explicates why he doesn’t say goodbye to the artist. He can’t imagine that the low-born might change his mind and feelings. He is so sure of his “affection” and his power over him. He believes in his destiny hence he doesn’t need to pay attention to the commoner, the latter will play his role.

Nonetheless, it becomes obvious that because of his strong belief of destiny, Jung In-Hun is ignoring reality and as such present. He is neglecting the fact that Baek Na-Kyum is truly changing. He noticed his lie hence he punished him for his “betrayal”, unaware that with these exact words, he unveils his true personality. He is in fact the one who backstabbed him first violating his own doctrines.

Another point for my interpretation why Jung In-Hun is strongly connected to the present as he often acts on impulse. Due to his jealousy, he decided to beat the painter forcing him to vow to never paint again. He didn’t want to see how a low-born could become successful, destroying his own dream and belief: the low noble is destined to achieve greatness. By doing so, he didn’t recognize that he condemned himself to remain working as teacher in the end. As Baek Na-Kyum’s guardian, he could have used his popularity and even claimed to have a right to get his money earned through the paintings but he couldn’t bear the thought, he was living next to someone talented, mirroring his own lacking. Out of resent and jealousy, he abused the painter physically and mentally, that’s one of the reasons why he is describing it as a single event. He acted on impulse, until his anger and resent disappeared. And this attitude never changes. In chapter 10, he persuades the painter to stop painting hoping to get rid of a rival, unaware that he is actually ruining his own career and chances. Then in chapter 22, he forgets that Yoon Seungho is his sponsor and insults him by describing him as someone with no education, since he has been mocked for his poor talent. To his surprise, Yoon Seungho isn’t hurt by his words, in fact he retaliates right away. He is in no place to criticize his benefactor, especially when he has no real talent. Observe that the powerful lord is teaching an important lesson to Jung In-Hun, he needs to pay attention to the real present as it can affect his immediate future implying that his fate and big dream are nothing sure. By using a conditional sentence, he demonstrates that present is no guarantee for certainty as it is bound to a condition. I perceive this scene as another evidence that he lives in the present, an unreal one nourished by his vanity and his arrogance, which is an illusion in reality. The cause for this is that he believes in destiny. Each time, he gets disappointed and hurt, he unleashes his fury and the painter becomes his target. Notice how furious and violent he was after the hunt. He hurt the painter, until he regained his senses and recognized that he needed to treat the low-born differently, since he was relying on his relationship to his sponsor. In other words, not only he is neglecting the present due to his belief of destiny but he is so caught up with the present that he is always damaging his own career. Like my follower @SpringDayYum noticed it correctly, in reality Baek Na-Kyum symbolized his future, although he is also a person of the present. The latter was determined to do anything for him, willing to break his vow for his learned sir’s sake. As a conclusion, he never realized that he could have achieved his destiny by supporting the painter in his work. He would have gotten recognition for becoming his guardian and chose not, proving that fate and destiny are never determined. Choices are relevant and influence life.

Another interesting aspect is that he is not paying attention to his own changes. He starts acting like a pimp and even a prostitute, betraying his own doctrines, too consumed by his dream and his desire to secure his future. That’s why I have already predicted, he will become a prostitute [for furthermore information, read the following essay: https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/painter-of-the-night-jung-in-hun-a-new-version-of-bel-ami/ ] Nevertheless he will only recognize it too late, especially the moment he faces the painter and the latter realizes how his learned sir secured his position.

Note that when the double-faced man meets the powerful protagonist for the first time, he describes his job as a diversion showing that his occupation is to pass time which reminds us of “carpe diem” philosophy, living in the moment. Nonetheless there is a huge contrast as it is not linked to joy of life and pleasure. He only has negative emotions. That’s why for me, his mind isn’t truly directed towards the future. In fact, he is always jealous of others, especially of the artist and Yoon Seungho. Another evidence that he is a person of the present can be perceived in the scholar’s following words: He has been waiting indicating that he has been actually doing nothing at all. In order to be judged as a person focused on the future, the teacher should have made plans for his career but he doesn’t. He is so different from Kim and Nameless. Both anticipate reactions and try to move things in the right direction, they have strategies, like giving an aphrodisiac for example or postponing the murder. Therefore I would say that the scholar is trapped in the present, while he dreams of his destiny, which is in reality an uncertain future. His dissatisfaction is the reason why he would like to change his situation but he has no idea how. He lives in an illusion that the world owns him something and at some point, it will happen.

Therefore we could say that he is not a man of foresight which is symbolized by his glasses. Like my reader @nonoboy-oops pointed out to me, “the glasses symbolizes his being unable to look as far into the future due to his selfish ways”. Since he is short-sighted, it signifies that he can only see what is really close to him. That’s the reason why he uses people and tricks that are near him, another indicator that he is strongly linked to the present. Finally, I interpret his bad sight as another evidence that he is lacking knowledge. He has a very bad overview about his real situation hence he makes bad decisions. He is unable to perceive people’s true nature as well. He doubts Seungho’s intelligence and education, although he could have sensed it, after discovering the existence of the deal. He is not capable to recognize Baek Na-Kyum’s talent too and jeopardized his own ascension by forcing the painter to drop painting. And his blindness is actually reflected in the panel above. The manhwalovers can only see one eye. Back then, I interpreted that he was hiding his true thoughts. As you can note, this single image offers so many possibilities. It shows his underhandedness and hypocrisy, simultaneously his lack of foresight and knowledge as he can’t see everything. It was as if he had lost one eye and perceives the world in only one dimension. Two eyes are necessary in order to judge distance which is a metaphor for predicting the future. As a conclusion, this image illustrates his lack of foresight and “blindness”.

Since he resents the present so much as it doesn’t correspond to the image he has in his mind, he seems to be similar to the red-haired aristocrat, who hates his actual situation wishing to go back to the past and projecting it as a possible future. Jung In-Hun has also developed a sort of escapist attitude. However, there is a huge difference between them. Jung In-Hun is neglecting the past that’s why we only have one flashback of the teacher in the first season. He is not learning from his mistakes, allows his emotions to cloud his judgement and jeopardize his future career. There is no doubt that the moment Jung In-hun returns to the mansion asking for more support, the painter will ignore his plea. He has definitely cut ties with his learned sir. As for Yoon Seungho, the moment he knows his affection is returned, he will drop the former teacher for good. He doesn’t need him any longer as he was just a tool to force the artist to work for him. Baek Na-Kyum will create beautiful erotic paintings, inspired by their mutual love. Like my follower @Denize59542085 suggested it, we have to expect that the artist will create a new big picture like in chapter 2. However, this time the noble will look directly at his lover, there won’t be any distance between them and the artist will gaze at his loved one tenderly, a gaze full of warmth, admiration and love proving to his lord that he is worthy to be loved.

Because of all the changes, Jung In-Hun will be forced to find a new sponsor and since he caught attention by getting help from Yoon Seungho, I am quite sure that father Yoon will imagine that he can approach the former teacher. And that’s how he will meet his true destiny: becoming a prostitute. I know, these are just predictions from my part but there were already clues about this evolution, like I explained in the other essay mentioned above. The scholar won’t escape his fate in my opinion, his punishment for all the wrongdoings he inflicted on Baek Na-Kyum.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: “It cannot be”

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.

This sentence is expressed by Baek Na-Kyum and Jihwa because both have problems to accept their new situation: the powerful noble Yoon Seungho is in love with the painter, a low-born. Consequently he rejected his former sex partner and childhood friend Jihwa. However, this expression describes my own feelings as well after imagining the evolution of this story. What will happen next? Will Jihwa choose the death sentence or send him to Min or send him back to Yoon Seungho? Since I have already observed that Byeonduck likes using elements and even chapters from the first season with divergences, I started thinking about the elements and episodes she could use. Then I came up with a certain idea but it sounded too beautiful to be true: „It cannot be“. That’s why in this essay, I’ll present my own continuation of the story with the hope, it will come true but well aware that this is more wishful thinking. Yet, like I pointed out above, this fantasy is inspired by the first season hence I’ll explain my reasoning for this continuation of the story, a dream.

As you know, I’ve always feared for Kim’s life and imagined his death as in my perspective, it would not only bring the two protagonists closer than before but also force to plan for the future. However due to the chapter 60, I have a different impression now. Not I am giving up on the idea, yet in my opinion, it won’t happen soon. For me, it is obvious that the red-haired noble won’t give the order to have the painter killed. First, Jihwa’s remorse and anxieties were the reasons why Nameless detected a certain sensibility in his client. If he decided to taint his hands, the assassin would no longer perceive him differently from all the nobles he met asking him for a crime. That’s why there’s only one outcome: the aristocrat will change his mind. Yet this is not enough because not killing him doesn’t signify necessarily that the low-born will be released. He could be sent to Min so that Jihwa would put the blame on Min and wouldn’t assume any responsibility while Nameless is trying to teach him the opposite. Therefore I don’t believe that the former „thief“ would accept such a decision. Furthermore, his lesson was to show him the reality of murder, the gravity of the crime. When he proposed another solution for the commoner, the criminal also outlined the terrible consequences of the sentence. Handicapped, Baek Na-Kyum would lose his life in the end, unable to earn a living. Jihwa might get away with it, yet he will be burdened by the knowledge that he is responsible for the painter’s misery. The crime doesn’t represent the end of his suffering but the beginning, as he will be the only one who knows what happened to the artist. The knowledge as such will be a heavy price to pay. As you can detect, for me Nameless is trying to change his client’s mind without imposing his opinion. The commoner might become his hands but Jihwa’s mind will be tainted and indirectly his hands. That was the message of his unconscious but Jihwa chose to ignore it. Fortunately, the criminal voiced exactly what Jihwa’s righteous mind was expressing. Hence I come to the deduction that Nameless has already planned the best outcome for Jihwa. That’s why I came up with the following ideas. Either he will send away the artist, making him disappear. This explicates why he wanted the painter to be abducted outside the mansion. Since Nameless has already killed Deok-Jae, he could use his body while faking Baek Na-Kyum’s death (“no one can recognize him”). So far, nobody has noticed Deok-Jae’s disappearance and his death is quite recent so his body must still be well preserved due to the winter. Another possibility is that Nameless has already decided to send back the painter to Yoon Seungho and will frame Deok-Jae for the crime. Many servants have already noticed his jealousy and the latter disappeared so suddenly. The second idea is actually my favorite because it fits Nameless’ good heart and sensibility. He must have realized the painter’s modesty and honesty. It can not be, it is too beautiful to be true. A criminal is helping our OTP!!

We have to imagine that the criminal had more than one month to observe Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum’s life. He must have witnessed the commoner’s escape (chapter 46) but chose not to intervene as he was sure that Jihwa felt uncomfortable with the idea. Moreover, he must have heard about the gossips in town how the noble suddenly changed for the better. He was a reformed man desiring to settle down which couldn’t escape the former convict’s notice. Besides, Nameless must have noticed that valet Kim would even buy materials for Baek Na-Kyum. Note that this is not the first time, the butler is doing it again for the painter (“Again?”). And if the ex-thief didn’t observe him personally, I am quite sure that Deok-Jae must have told him how the valet would take care of the low-born, just like he disclosed him the situation in chapter 51. Consequently the criminal seems to be the second person who had the best overview about the whole situation, especially since he is not directly involved, like Jihwa, Deok-Jae or Baek Na-Kyum or Seungho. A noble is deeply in love with a low-born and doesn’t care about social norms, something quite unusual.

But let’s go back to the vicious servant who played the spy and traitor. For me, there’s no doubt that he must have complained to the assassin about valet Kim as well. Why do I think so? First, we witnessed Deok-Jae’s resent towards the butler in chapter 45, he even insulted him. Why is there this animosity in this scene when it was not like that in chapter 29? Observe that Deok-Jae speaks in Kim’s name in the end, since he utilizes the personal pronoun “we”. Furthermore, the manhwalovers can sense that Kim has literally the vicious servant’s back, since he stands behind him. I would even add, I detect Kim’s confidence in the vicious servant, when the valet even entrusts the bought paintbrushes and ink stone to Deok-Jae. He even calls him “my good fellow”, a sign of respect and trust. He doesn’t get upset, when Seok-Jae is rather cold and angry, indicating a certain patience and tolerance. He even puts his hand on the servant’s shoulder, a gesture illustrating his reliance and closeness towards Deok-Jae. For me, they are quite close because when in chapter 47 Kim gets mad at him and yells that he should clean up the mess, it looks like Deok-Jae got away pretty easily, although he insulted his master. Their close relationship is in my opinion one of the reasons why Deok-Jae thought, he could ruin the rice, imagining that he wouldn’t get caught and if the painter would ever complain, then he would have Kim’s support. Notice that when he is confronted with the wrongdoing, the mean domestic even justifies his action by wailing to Kim, although the latter is his superior. He shows no fear and respect that’s why I believe that Deok-Jae had always seen in the loyal butler a backer. And now, you might wonder why I write about Deok-Jae and Kim’s relationship, when the main topic of this essay is how the story will evolve. This is quite simple: Nameless explained to Jihwa how he was able to kidnap the painter without getting caught. He faked an escape. And remember, we had two escapes in the first season: chapter 4 and chapter 29. While the first one corresponds to the departure in chapter 46, the second is definitely a new version of chapter 29, where the artist ran away as he feared for his life and his teacher’s. Both disappearances are linked to danger and life. And what happened back then?

In my opinion, Kim allowed the artist to run away because he had seen how his lord was behaving. He raped the poor low-born, would even grasp his sword to eliminate a low noble but fortunately he was stopped. Remember how I pointed out that the white-beared servant had been sent by the butler in order to save Jung In-Hun’s life. Consequently I deduct that with the valet’s complicity, Deok-Jae let the commoner vanish. They were reunited by one goal: Baek Na-Kyum should leave the mansion, yet their motivation diverged. The domestic with the green jacket saw in the artist a rival, while the loyal assistant didn’t see their relationship with a good eye due to the love triangle. Kim thought, he was acting for both’s best interests. Yoon Seungho would forget Baek Na-Kyum, he had acted like that because the commoner had refused his advances. This explains why Deok-Jae utilizes the personal pronoun “we”, when Yoon Seungho asked him about their disappearance. In the domestics’ mind, the aristocrat would also join the artist in the departure after hearing the artist’s words. Kim never anticipated his lord’s reaction. That’s why he begged for the staff in the end as he felt somehow responsible for the beating. Kim never envisioned that the surrogate father would bring the artist back to the mansion, sealing the painter’s life to Seungho’s mansion. From that moment, the butler realized that it was too late, he got aware of his lord’s feelings for the painter. He was present, when the protagonist flew towards the painter. His feet were barely touching the ground. And that’s the moment when Deok-Jae started resenting valet Kim. He had been the one who received the worst beating. On the other hand, the butler must have felt guilty towards Deok-Jae hence he wanted to show his trust and a certain closeness to his accomplice “my good fellow”.

As you can imagine, I am expecting a new version of chapters 29 and 30, the return of Baek Na-Kyum’s mansion. Notice the parallels between the chapter 30 and 60. In both scenes, Seungho is standing on the terrace looking outside . Yet, there are three huge differences. First, Kim is not by his side. Secondly, Seungho’s back is no longer turned to the main door but facing the exterior. This is quite important as it unveils the change of his attitude. Now, he is more facing the world as his eyes are no longer directed towards his servants and the interior. Only the return of Baek Na-Kyum made turn his head to the door, a metaphor for the world. Third, the author doesn’t let us witness Seungho’s gaze, unlike in chapter 30. If you compare both scenes, you’ll note a huge contrast. There’s no longer any fury and rage. Even if the cover has been removed quickly, exposing a certain nervousness, he is not agitated like in the past. That’s why I had the impression that he looks more resigned as the panel reminds me of his mouth in chapter 35, where he was on the verge of giving up. Because of this association, I have the feeling that this time, the noble won’t throw any tantrum and vent his rage on his staff. I came to this idea that this is his turn to believe that this magical night with the painter was just an illusion due to his fever. Let’s not forget that this time, he didn’t clean the painter’s body like he did in the past. Furthermore he hasn’t yet viewed the last painting the low-born made which showed that the painter never saw their night in chapter 49 as something terrible. His mouth and facial expression revealed pleasure. Therefore I imagine that he won’t be looking for the painter right away. But what he fails to recognize is that there was a witness of their magical night, valet Kim who put their shoes next to each other. That’s why I believe that valet Kim will be the one bringing back the painter, assuming his new role as surrogate father for Baek Na-Kyum therefore we would have a new version of chapter 29. Besides, the readers shouldn’t forget that Kim took a similar role in the past. In chapter 24, Baek Na-Kyum was kind of abducted by Jung In-Hun and Kim was the one who discovered his disappearance and fetched him. The other reason why I believe that the gentle and caring domestic will become the painter’s rescuer is that he always visits his lord’s room during the night and he must have seen the painter’s missing shoes. In my opinion, Nameless could anticipate Kim’s actions and envisioned that he would look for the missing painter. Imagine his reaction, when he discovers the painter. The latter is in a poor state and is reminded of the night of the rape where he had to fetch the hurt low-born. He will console the artist, hug him and bring him back to his lord as quickly as possible. And once they arrive at the mansion, Baek Na-Kyum will be the one running into the lord’s arms. We would have a new version of chapter 30, yet the role would be switched. The artist would be the running one so that he would reveal to the staff that he is no longer staying there because he has been forced but he is also in love with Yoon Seungho. Imagine the aristocrat’s reaction. His dream would become true, while he had thought that this would never happen. However, even if Nameless is using Deok-Jae’s body, they need another accomplice because the painter witnessed the discussion. That’s why I have already imagined that the criminal might frame Min and could use the incident with the painter in order to punish this terrible noble. For me, there’s no doubt that the criminal resents the nobility in general. First, he has two tattoos indicating his past and it is clear that he must have suffered some injustice as well. So why not use Yoon Seungho’s hand to get revenge. First, I think, the incident with the nobles’ expulsion must have reached his ears too. Besides, Min is not someone secretive. Deok-Jae would be framed as someone working for Min and we would have a purge, just like in the first season.

And with the painter’s return, Yoon Seungho’s love for his painter would become official, creating a scandal and forcing father Yoon to meet his son as he can’t accept that Seungho is living with a low-born, an affront for him. At the same time, the staff would no longer look down on their master because they judge the painter differently now. So what do you think about this continuation? Does it sound too beautiful to be true? Will you also say “I cannot be”?

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: Fire and water – part 1

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.

If you read the analysis entitled “Starry Night versus Cloudy Night”, you are already aware of the character I’ll study in this essay. It’s about the lord Lee Jihwa. Thanks to the terrible but terrific episode 60, I could finally comprehend the protagonist in his entity.

He is very similar to the painter therefore in one of my former analyses I described him as Baek Na-Kyum’s noble version and this perception is even confirmed in chapter 60. The noble says the exact same words than the artist, like my follower @Denize59542085 truly noticed. One might say that the repetition of the same expression is just random. However, if the manhwalovers contextualize the situation where these words are spoken, they will realize that both are facing the same situation. They are trying to deny the truth as their mind and heart can not accept the reality: Yoon Seungho is in love with a commoner, the painter Baek Na-Kyum. But one might appeal that this is nothing new as I had explained it before. However, if my readers recall the picture I chose to validate Jihwa’s similar attitude in the past, they will note that back then he expressed it differently. He was utilizing the imperfect due to the conditional sentence, a mixture of past and future linked to hope and dream. As you can observe, the use of tense has now switched. He is utilizing the present because he is now confronted with reality and as such with the present, personified by the painter. The presence of the hickey on Baek Na-Kyum’s neck is an irrefutable evidence of Yoon Seungho’s love for the artist. Like I had explained before, the artist is a person living in the present hence he embodies this time. On the other hand it is not the same with the noble. So the reason behind the artist’s doubts are different. It’s like a dream has come true, while for the red-haired aristocrat, it was, as if his dream and hope had been destroyed. And notice that right after seeing the hickey, he gets so shocked that he falls back on his butt and even moves away from the low-born. The shock was so huge that he has no energy left in his legs. Moreover, it was, as if the second character was trying to run away from reality, his eyes couldn’t take the blow. But his nightmare doesn’t stop here, he has to hear the painter’ scream for his lover. As you can sense, Jihwa’s senses are all confronted with reality. His own eyes saw the hickey, his own ears detected the intimacy between his ex-lover and the low-born. He can’t escape from the truth which he has been attempting so hard to avoid all this time. Now, his eyes and his ears are hurting him as they are revealing him the reality.

Because of this specific scene, I suddenly came to the following realization, the reason why Jihwa has been wearing hats with veil. I have to admit that back then, I had a different explanation, a more logical one but when did he wear them? Do you remember? Each time, it was related to a wrongdoing: destroying a painting (10), visiting Seungho’s mansion without an invitation as he wanted to investigate the painter (17), hiring an assassin(43), showing the killer the target (50) and visiting the criminal in order to remind him of his task. (51). The rational answer would be to say that he was wearing it in order to hide his identity. But in reality, there is a diverse motivation. The hat with the veil is used in order to cover his eyes and ears. While wearing such an item, he can avoid to be confronted with his crimes. His eyes can’t really see, just like his ears can’t really hear. This explains why he never questioned himself and his actions which I always criticized. Since he was veiling his eyes and ears, he was not facing the present and could escape from any responsibility. I would even add that this item reinforced his negative disposition. He would justify his actions with the past (f. ex. taking revenge on the behalf of the noble with the mole and accusing Seungho to be the cause for his evil actions) and would rejoice if they worked out. Observe that he only hears about the straw mat beating through his spy but he never witnesses the actual event. Hence he never sees the outcome of his decisions and actions. It would have been the same in chapter 17, if Seungho hadn’t intervened.

And this leads me to the next observation: the lord has never been using his own eyes and ears in the end. He uses his servants , the spy he hired, Min and rumors . Concerning the second panel, it indicates that Jihwa has truly no idea about Seungho’s real power and wealth and is more relying on hearsay. Here, Jihwa is confusing the elder master’s situation with Seungho’s. The latter might have a bad reputation but his power is far from declining. This explicates why his brother contacted the protagonist in the end, he desired to get his support. The last picture is relevant as it outlines why Jihwa would always perceive Seungho as a man consumed by lust. He never witnessed how the lord would sleep with other men as he was never present. He could never judge with his own eyes that Seungho was actually fighting with other nobles rather than enjoying having sex with them. Fooling around implies pleasure which was never the case. In fact, with this statement it becomes clear why Seungho always had sex with Jihwa separately. Jihwa made sure to never be confronted with other aristocrats, preferring avoiding reality. It didn’t help him in the long term because he always heard Seungho’s conquests through others and this could only reinforce his prejudice. In other words, these private sessions could only increase the gap between them. Jihwa could never understand his childhood friend as he was influenced what people were saying because he never saw it himself. That’s why he got hurt in the end, he only got his knowledge by hearsay.

Besides, by getting info through other people exposes that the character is somehow relying on others but at the same time, he is not really connected to them as his attention is more focused on the hearsay than the counterpart’s life. Furthermore, note that getting info through channels is always delivered later. What is present becomes the past once it reaches the recipient. [They didn’t have modern media back then] Now, you can comprehend why Jihwa was never living in the present. He was trapped in the past and the future in the end. Therefore I conclude that his attitude illustrates pure escapism. And now the readers can imagine why Jihwa sent the fake letter to his childhood friend and hurt him. Sure, he had no other way to contact him as the protagonist had cut ties with him entirely and could only rely on gossips. The manhwaphiles should remember that the letter arrives after the lord had started living in debauchery again for one week. I have the impression that due to this change, Jihwa had the hope that Baek Na-Kyum had finally lost his master’s favors. By reminding Seungho of their common past, Jihwa had the illusion that this past would be good enough to get together again. But the most important is that after sending the letter, Jihwa was never confronted with Seungho’s pain and reaction as he was not present. He could never see it with his own eyes therefore he could justify his action and blame the recipient of the letter.

What caught my attention is a certain expression Jihwa keeps using: “I know you”. This idiom underlines that Jihwa is just using knowledge but neither his heart nor his eyes nor ears to understand him. He might know things but he can’t feel as he is himself deprived of his own senses. He’s deaf and blind in reality, very similar to the artist’s attitude in season 2 from chapter 45 to 49. In my opinion, Jihwa’s behavior reminds me of this picture with Baek Na-Kyum: A man without his head as his mind is full of prejudices and he is not even using his own eyes and ears. That’s why his so-called love for Seungho is shallow as he shows no true compassion. One might refute this argument by saying that the noble saw the lord’s nightmares. However, if you pay attention to this scene, you’ll notice that they are related to the past and not to the present. Jihwa was never a witness, when Seungho was directly wounded emotionally and physically. He could only observe the consequences of his suffering (the trauma), yet he knew nothing about their origins, only a name: lord Song. His knowledge is very limited, yet it gave him a certain feeling of superiority, explaining why Jihwa always considered himself as special. First, he knew certain things about his past as they were childhood friends. Secondly they had sex alone and finally Seungho always forgave Jihwa’s wrongdoings. The reason for this is quite simple: both were living in the past, yet it changed the moment Baek Na-Kyum entered the two figures’ life, the person symbolizing the present. Let’s not forget that the protagonist’s tumultuous relationship with his friend got affected the moment the low-born created his first work. The sex at the pavilion affected not only Seungho but also Jihwa. While the former had come back to life without noticing it and saw a different image about himself, the other had the impression that he had been able to stimulate his friend for the first time and this gave him hope that he was closer to his dream.

From that moment, his life could never be the same. Nonetheless, the readers couldn’t truly realize the huge impact, even myself. I mean, I had detected a certain change, yet I had not entirely grasped the whole signification, the importance of Jihwa’s eyes. Since I have come to the deduction that the lord was deaf and blind before, I consider that the red-haired character’s gaze was actually dead in the past. Consequently the noble never relied on his own eyes. No wonder if Seungho couldn’t fall in love with his friend as he could never see himself reflected in Jihwa’s eyes. This explicates why the first drawing shows Jihwa with closed eyes. At the pavilion, Jihwa discovered through his body Seungho’s desires first (the kiss, then licking his ear). Pay attention that he only looks at his friend’s phallus the moment he feels it on his butt while proposing to help his friend to get aroused. So the change in Seungho’s behavior provoked a transformation in Jihwa either. He had witnessed himself the metamorphosis with his own eyes but all this was triggered by the physical interaction first. Strictly speaking, Jihwa has always used his own body to compensate the loss of his eyes and ears. Through his body he had the impression, he wasn’t entirely lifeless. Due to the sex at the pavilion, the aristocrat decided to behave differently and use more his own eyes.

That’s why when the red-haired protagonist visited his friend in chapter 5, he felt confident and started using more his own eyes for the first time. But pay attention to the way he uses them.Only now I comprehend why the lord could see the painter’s virginity. Let’s not forget that in this scene, Jihwa touches Baek Na-Kyum’s body. So he is not relying entirely on his gaze. Like I mentioned above, the noble lived more through his body and his hand helps him to sense the painter’s virginity. Let’s not forget that the character has learnt himself through his own body to detect sexual experiences. From my perspective, he sensed through his hand the painter’s shyness, that’s how he discovered his secret. He acted as if he was a man with a bad sight. But he was not only blind before, he was also deaf therefore in the same chapter, he doesn’t hear Seungho’s annoyance about his bad reflection, he is a man consumed by lust. In my opinion, Jihwa lived through his other senses (taste and touch) to feel alive. And that’s one of the reasons why he drinks so much in the end. Happy or not, he drinks. Strangely is that in chapter 8, Jihwa has just bought an erotic picture but he looks at it without taking any pleasure. And this is important as it shows that his eyes are not sensitive, they are starting to come back to life. That’s why he can not be deeply moved by Baek Na-Kyum’s paintings in reality. For me, it becomes clear that due to the appearance of Baek Na-Kyum in Jihwa’s life, the noble is forced more and more to use his own eyes and ears, especially after hearing from his friend about the locked gaze between Yoon Seungho and the low-born. Hence we see many zooms on his gaze in chapter 13, 14 and 15 underlining that he is forced to use them. He has to witness with his own eyes the attraction between the two main leads and attempts to change it.

Since he had internalized this escapist attitude, he had to wear a hat with a veil for his wrongdoings. With this new interpretation, it becomes more comprehensible why Jihwa wasn’t bothered that his friend had cut his topknot, when he got upset. Because he was blind, he could never see his hair cut with his own eyes, grasp the signification of the gesture. He had to touch it literally to realize the consequence of his wrongdoing, he had to sense it with his hand.

Since I have already described the character’s gaze as dead in the past, the appearance of the mirror in chapter 3 gets a new dimension: His eyes are absent and observe, he is touching his body in order to detect the marks left by the main lead. And the manhwaphiles should remember that one of the mirror’s purpose is to help the beholder to perceive his identity. Unlike his friend, he is not avoiding the mirror but since he is blind, he can’t perceive himself and needs his hands to see. And it is quite similar in chapter 41: here he’s holding himself the big spoon that’s how he can see his own reflection the water. I hope, you can understand why I can not examine each scene where Jihwa’s eyes play a huge role. However, with this new discovery, I would like to incite the manhwalovers to read the manhwa from the start and pay attention to Jihwa’s eyes and ears. But because he has been deaf and blind for so long figuratively speaking, it is not surprising that Jihwa is a selfish person. He is trapped in his own world where his interactions with others are restricted and his world is linked to the past. That’s why he can’t live in the present. Who would like to be reminded of his disabilities?

And now it is time to explain the significance of Jihwa’s tears. They are very different from the painter’s. The latter symbolize purity and innocence, while in the noble’s case they signalize the return of his sight. In other words, he is also coming back to life. Water is a symbol for life because without water there is no existence. One might refute this idea because we witness Jihwa’s tears before the painter’s introduction in their life. Yet, the beholder will recognize that the noble’s tears are barely visible. The tears don’t flow down the cheeks like in the latest chapter. From my point of view, this scene is very important as it explains Jihwa’s obsession with his friend in the end. In his presence, he was able to feel something, it moved his heart to the point to have some tears in his eyes. But he didn’t see with his own eyes, Jihwa detected it through his body and especially his hands. Note how Seungho is holding his hand on his friend’s shoulder and he is looking down. Both have no eye contact. Yet, this was enough for the red-haired aristocrat. Due to Seungho’s behavior, Jihwa sensed that he was feeling alive because of the appearance of tears. Yet it only appeared when his friend was in pain. That’s why Jihwa had to hurt Seungho in the end to feel existent. If the latter was wounded, he would feel a certain compassion and he would have the impression that his eyes and ears were not dead. A really vicious circle. But for me, there’s another explanation why Jihwa has become obsessed with his childhood friend. From my point of view, he must have witnessed something terrible, it is definitely possible that it is linked to guilt. In his unconscious, he feels responsible for his friend’s misery. But there is more to it in my opinion. I believe that because he had lost his soul (the gaze dead), Jihwa desired to live through his friend’s life. He hoped to see himself in his friend’s gaze so that he would have the impression to exist. In his mind and heart, Seungho’s love for him would help him to recover his sight. He was dependent on him in the end,

But let’s return our attention to Jihwa’s tears. The quantity of tears continues increasing illustrating more and more that Jihwa is changing. However, the return of his tears signifies that he is forced to live more and more in the present. And now if you pay attention to his weeping, you’ll notice that he often closes his eyes or uses his hand to cover his tears (observe the position of his hands here) or hide his tears with the veil of the hat or bury his head so that the tears are not visible These gestures represent his resistance to accept reality. He is not able to face reality and the present hence he urges Nameless to kill the painter very soon. It was as if he tried to hurry the time so that the murder would happen very quickly.

And since I have described Jihwa who refuses to use his own eyes, the manhwalovers can grasp how poitnless Seungho’s warning was in the end. How is it possible for a blind person to see a line?

Finally, it also explains why Seungho’s words were rejected or even forgotten by the childhood friend. He couldn’t believe his own ears that the main lead would never be together with him. That’s why in the cabin, he is still in denial, until the criminal confronts him with the reality. Striking is that once the noble complains about his incompetence, he shows him the kidnapped painter. which leaves him speechless. Striking is that right after, the noble hides away from the commoner. First, he turns his back to Nameless and even hides his eyes behind his hands. Another sign that he is still avoiding the present and the terrible situation. Then he confronts the commoner and observe that he is talking about the past again, using it as an argument. He criticizes Nameless for not doing his job illustrating that he is not taking any responsibility. But what the aristocrat fails to recognize is that Nameless is acting as the mirror, the mirror of fact, reality and truth!! His good heart made him detect the aristocrat’s guilty conscience hence he first postponed the murder hoping that Jihwa would change his mind. However, it didn’t work hence he reminded him of the severity of the crime but the latter didn’t really budge, despite a certain hesitation. Each time, he urged the commoner to hurry up and finish it. I believe that’s how Nameless recognized that Jihwa would never see any responsibility after the crime despite a certain guilt. He sensed that Jihwa would become just like all the nobles who order a murder and then frame and blame low-borns for their wrongdoings. And this escapist attitude concerning the hit was present right from the start. What caught my attention is that in chapter 43, when Min incites Jihwa to kill the low-born, the upset noble is not using the personal pronoun “I” but “we”. He is including the others with his question. It was as if he wanted them to share the responsibility. Sure, Min was the one who brought it up, yet Jihwa could have refused. This question also unveils a certain hesitation. In my opinion, he’s hoping that they will stop him. However nothing happens like that. Min shows no remorse. My point is that even if Jihwa was reluctant to commit the murder, he was the one who made the decision in the end and hired Nameless. Through their different meetings, the commoner recognized the presence of guilt but simultaneously the lack of sense of responsibility. Hence Jihwa is forced to look at his victim and his misdeeds by Nameless. But just like the mirror in Snow White, the mirror is also speaking and even letting him hear that he is no longer innocent as he played a key role in the target’s capture. He is no longer innocent, even if he had no idea about it. The irony here is that Nameless is using the same strategy than Jihwa but in the opposite sense. Ignorance is no blessing in the end. Even if he was unaware, he has become part of the plan, a sort of accomplice. Therefore he is already accountable for the future event. As you can see, the commoner uses the exact two senses which Jihwa refused to use in the end: sight and hearing. But he even provoked the aristocrat by describing what his friend had been doing after he left him leading him to verify his saying. As you can observe, Nameless is manipulating him for his own good. We all know that he wasn’t truly blind and deaf but since he was hurt, he chose to act as if he was blind and deaf, turning him into a selfish and lonely person. But Nameless doesn’t stop here with the confrontation.

In order to force him to make a decision rationally, Jihwa needs to hear the scream from the victim, to sense the victim’s fear and tears in order to grasp the gravity of his decision. He needs to hear from the commoner what could happen to the target. His descriptions are so vivid that Jihwa can vizualize the consequences of his decision. He can no longer escape from this. That’s why the door in his back is so small. He has already committed so many wrongdoings but he still has an option to escape. He can drop the project. Let’s not forget that he would have killed the painter in affect if Nameless hadn’t stopped him. The criminal wants him to make a decision with a clear mind, similar to the painter who stepped out to clear his mind and face the reality. He is not allowing his client to act on his emotions. He recognized that Jihwa was again using the future, attempting to escape from the present and reality again. That’s why Jihwa’s eyes and ears play a huge part in chapter 60. Only here, I was able to recognize Jihwa’s real blindness and deafness, both related to his past and explaining why he was so obsessed with his friend. As a conclusion, the lord Lee Jihwa was not really living. Yet this was not so perceptible like with the main protagonist for his smiles and clothes gave a different impression. In other words, he is a mixture of the two protagonists: the painter due to his tears and his naivety and the powerful master Yoon Seungho due to his attitude towards life, his refusal to live in the present, escaping from reality.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: Starry Night versus Cloudy Night

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.

Before starting exposing the topic to this essay, it is important to remind the manhwalovers that for me, Byeonduck’s drawings about the landscape and the sky have always conveyed a certain meaning. In my perspective, they always represented the characters’ thoughts and feelings which reminded me of the expressionism movement. Therefore I wrote the following analyses: Drawings and emotions (part 1-part 2- part 3). And in order to comprehend the following study, it is necessary to have read the part 3, where I examined the moon position and its relationship to the nature. https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/08/06/painter-of-the-night-drawings-and-emotions-part-3/

As you can imagine due to the title, my focus in this analysis will be on two drawings where the moon appeared. In chapter 58, the manhwalovers could admire this wonderful panel where the moon shone brightly next to the stars and the sky was filled with beautiful snow flakes mixed with stars, while the lord was making love to Baek Na-Kyum. This picture exuded magic and peace of mind. Yet in chapter 59, the readers are viewing a different night sky although it is happening during the same night. The moon is closer, nonetheless covered by clouds. Moreover, the stars are not visible and the snow flakes are less recognizable. We have the impression that there’s some wind due to the multitude of points and the clouds around the moon. It was as if the wind would push the clouds away from the moon and the snow from the roof was blown away by the wind. It was as if the clouds were trying to hide the moon. Since not all the snow flakes are coming from the sky, the few visible are the ones falling from the sky. From my perspective, there is a mixture of snow fall and wind-swept snow indicating that there’s a certain restlessness. As you can sense, we have a panel oozing calmness and clarity first and the other image emanating confusion and restlessness. Why is it so different, although it is the same night? As you can imagine, there is a reason for that and you might have already found the answer.

Before starting studying the second panel, I would like to remind my readers about the interpretation I made about the first panel posted in the analysis “Yoon Seungho’s love confession: Dream and reality”.

“This represents the painter’s gaze at his lover, as Seungho is embodied by the moon and the night sky. The moon shines brightly and the stars are even visible. This picture oozes a certain warmth as the beholder can distinguish the snow flakes very well. For me, this picture mirrors the painter’s thoughts. Now, he is able to recognize and enjoy the lord’s affection.” 

However, what caught my attention first is the distance of the moon, especially if you compare it to the picture from chapter 59. Although the satellite glows so strongly, it looks so far. Yet during that night, the two protagonists were actually getting closer. Consequently we have to wonder about the reason for this gap. But the answer is quite simple if you recall that this image represents the painter’s perspective. Thereby the distance symbolizes the painter’s thinking. We shouldn’t forget that the latter has problems to accept the obvious. It is so incredible that it can’t be true, that’s how he thinks. For him, the noble is so powerful and stands so far above him, while he’s just a low-born who was raised at a brothel. Even a low-noble like Jung In-hun looked down on him and now an aristocrat from a higher position is loving him, it sounds so unrealistic. It was, as if this reality was just a mirage. As the manhwaphiles can sense, the gap reflects the painter’s internalization of norms and values.

The other striking detail is the disposition of the buildings and their respective roof. They don’t serve as a border, rather the opposite. It was as if there was an imaginary road leading to the moon and the trees were showing the way to the painter. The tree tops remind the spectators of fingers pointing to the moon. Furthermore, for the second time, we have the presence of nature in such a panel, while it was rarely in the past. Besides, if you compare it to the first image (chapter 4), you’ll notice that the tree is facing the roof. I interpret the position like this. Back then, the artist had to choose between his conscious (social norms), embodied by the roof where he denied his homosexuality, and his unconscious (his true desires), symbolized by the tree. The moon, a representation of Yoon Seungho, stood in the middle creating this inner conflict in the painter. And even so, the presence of civilization was more dominant than anything else. In the second picture, nature is barely visible (only water with some lotus), while we have two pavilions. However, in the drawing from the chapter 58, the readers can detect the switch. Nature is getting more importance as it occupies more place in the drawing. The number of trees has significantly increased. Furthermore, the roofs are covered with wood/ hay hence we don’t sense the presence of culture in this picture. We even have the impression that the trees are coming from the roof. With the former meaning, I deduce that the painter is no longer repressing his desires, is acknowledging his sexual orientation, yet the second roof symbolizes the remaining of social values. Since Baek Na-Kyum is still in denial due to the huge social gap, this becomes more understandable why he has issues to accept the truth. To summarize, we witness the flourishing of nature, which is strongly connected to the artist. And this is no coincidence. For me, it was, as if nature had been able to defeat civilization, society and its traditions. The lord’s love for the artist is a symbol for nature. Besides, according to my interpretation, the painter is associated to Earth hence to nature. The presence of the trees are a clue for this. Thanks to this magical night, the artist and the lord are slowly reconnecting to their true self. This explains why the lord can sleep peacefully and the painter is thinking very carefully and calmly. The presence of the trees, connected to the roof and representing Baek Na-Kyum’s emotions and sexual orientation, are now a real part of his identity. In other words, his conscious is slowly integrating these values. In my perspective, the starry night illustrates the painter’s transformation. Little by little, he is getting stronger as he has been able to find a roof over his head, a real home.

And striking is in chapter 59 Baek Na-Kyum is going outside in order to ponder about this magical night. It was, as if he wanted to clear his mind and think calmly, proving to me that the peace of mind is not just associated to Yoon Seungho but also to the artist. He is recalling all the good deeds the lord did to him. Therefore you can now understand why the first picture radiates peace of mind and beauty. Furthermore remember, in chapter 44 we had snow fall too and back then, I had pointed out that in Korea watching the first snow fall with the loved one has a huge signification. It means your wish will come true and it will be a real and deep love. Hence we could say that the snow fall during that magical night announces that Seungho’s dream will come true. Or the snow flakes could also symbolize the painter’s affection for the noble because snow flakes are similar to water drops and remind us of Baek Na-Kyum’s tears. Due to his tears, we know that the character’s personality is a water element. Yet, since he is denial, his love for the master has not become fertile (hence snow), while during their first night in chapter 21, it rained as his dream had come true. Let’s not forget that water is connected to fertility and life. But in chapter 21 this rain had a negative connotation, since it was linked to storm (the sound of a thunder). So it was pouring down, illustrating that this rain was not fecund and didn’t emanate tranquility. All these observations lead me to the following conclusion: the Wedding night had created a turmoil of emotions in both people. Yoon Seungho got swayed away by his feelings, when he was showered with love by the artist, while the latter was swayed away by the sensuality discovered through his first sexual experience. However, since both were not honest to each other and themselves, this night was an illusion causing chaos in the end. This is not surprising that at some point, this night led to a catastrophe, the rape at the pavilion.

And now, if the beholders look at the starry night, they’ll note that the panel contains so many messages:

  1. The lord is no longer denying or hiding his affection therefore the moon is shining brightly,
  2. The snow flakes reflect a certain joy coming from the painter
  3. The painter is finally living his sexuality freely
  4. He is now gazing at his lover and is able to perceive his affection.
  5. The tree tops are trying to reach the moon, displaying that the painter’s unconscious desires the lord’s closeness but simultaneously the artist is also getting closer to Yoon Seungho, which already announces what happens in chapter 60. Here, the artist is screaming asking for Yoon Seungho’s help. Surprising is the way Baek Na-Kyum calls the main lead, it’s Lord Seungho!! This is no longer “master Yoon” or “my lord” but he is utilizing his first name!! And this detail didn’t escape Jihwa’s notice. He knows, this unveils a certain intimacy between his ex-lover and the low-born. Imagine, so far, Jihwa only called his friend Seungho, when he was upset: chapter 15 and 17!! He was forced to address him as lord/master Yoon all the time.
  6. Both are slowly rediscovering their true nature, healing each other
  7. However, the commoner needs to accept that there’s nothing wrong to love someone from another social status and even defy traditions.

Besides, I would like to point out that due to my interpretations, I discovered that the painter’s personality contains earth-water elements contrasting to Yoon Seungho’s nature. For me, the noble is a combination of fire and air. Remember my comparison to a volcano and my association to the eagle, but the best proof is the phoenix. The phoenix embodies both as the rebirth of this mystical bird is related to fire: reborn from its ashes. Note, this is what I found about the combination of earth-air:

Earth and water in combination leads to something very sensual and moody indeed. Without any of the distancing possible from the light elements, this personality is easily drawn into the sensual, the exotic, and the new. While earth does mitigate some of water’s tendencies towards mutability, this combination is still somewhat unpredictable, particularly if water edges out earth as the dominant force. The combination of deep-felt emotion and links to the senses makes this person very tied to the world as it is, as well as its experiences.” quoted from http://aelfhame.net/~darkhawk/elem2.html

Sure, I have to admit that I am no psychologist but striking is that this description really fits our innocent man so well. His huge sensuality and unpredictability are the features what caught the aristocrat’s attention. Besides, he lives in the present which corresponds to the following words: “tied to the world as it is”. As for the lord, the author gives the following description:

Air and fire together make for a very powerful, logical personality. With a complete lack of heavy elements, this person can easily detach from mundane living and apply himself to what needs to be done with the full force of fire’s energy. Additionally, air mediates fire’s somewhat scattered tendencies by channeling them through logic, so that while an air/fire person may be working on any of a number of things, all with full energy and force of will, it is in a reasonable progression, and nothing important will get left behind. While this person is not necessarily deeply involved with the physical world, more often applying his force of will to the mental, he is generally practical, because leaving things be that have to be dealt with will only cause problems later. quoted from http://aelfhame.net/~darkhawk/elem2.html

It fits the protagonist so well too: detached (the impression, he is a ghost) and he keeps his distance from people, powerful, logical, strong willed and practical. Baek Na-Kyum can ground more the lord, while the latter give him more support, education and energy. And now, it makes perfect sense why they fit so well to each other, as they create a certain balance. And you might wonder if I didn’t drift away from the topic, since my analysis was about the two panels. However, the readers should recall that we have the wind and clouds in the second panel: air and water elements.

And now, it is time to analyze the second image with the moon. Here, the moon seems closer, then why, since Yoon Seungho rejected his friend? The answer is quite simple. This image represents Jihwa’s perspective. That’s why this picture oozes restlessness. The red-haired noble always felt that he was so close to the main lead, until the commoner appeared therefore the moon appears closer. But this is just a delusion from Jihwa. Now, he has the impression that his ex-lover is disappearing from his life. Therefore we could say that the clouds embody the painter in the aristocrat’s eyes. Hence he is the cause for the separation. If he was removed, then the moon would remain by his side and their closeness would return. That’s how the second character views this night, especially after being humiliated and rejected. But the reality is that the clouds are actually a representation of Jihwa. Therefore, the clouds represent a boundary. It was as if the clouds would circulate around the moon, trapping it. Why do I interpret it like that? It is because of two elements: the composition of clouds which are made of water and air and expressions concerning clouds.

If you know water cycle, you are well aware that evaporation plays a huge part in the formation of clouds. The heat from the sun is the cause for evaporation. As you know, Jihwa is also weeping a lot, hence his first element is also water. However, unlike the commoner, his second element is fire. First, we shouldn’t forget that the noble has always been wearing yellow and orange clothes reminding us of the sun and heat. And if you put fire and water together, you have evaporation. And this is what I found about the combination of fire and water:

Probably the most “unstable” combination of elements is fire and water. Both of these are elements given over to passions of some sort or another, and without the possible mitigations of any of the other elements, this combination has a tendency to go a bit overboard. Emotions are never felt more deeply than by someone who is fire and water, as water’s depth is powered by the sheer force inherent in fire. However, these emotions are prone to change, often without warning, and without apparent reason. Problems tend to phase a fire/water, as their general inclinations are either to blast through or flow around them Ñ and these approaches are fairly contradictory. Others often have trouble dealing with this seeming indecision on the part of this sort of personality, as well as their extremely changeable nature. quoted from http://aelfhame.net/~darkhawk/elem2.html

And just with the two protagonists, this description fits our character. I had already pointed out a certain superficiality in Jihwa’s love (depth of the affection mixed with changes), the tendency going overboard can be viewed with the pranks he played (the ruined painting, the letter, the insult leading Seungho to cut his hair) and his huge switch of moods. Remember in the chapter 12, the manhwalovers saw him really happy and 30 minutes, he was enraged I could include the new episode here. During the same night, he is devastated and lifeless then once he sees the captured painter, he is full of rage and yelling, although he was complaining before that the criminal hadn’t done his work. That’s why we see the constant mood swings in the noble, however they have a different origin than Seungho’s. Nevertheless since both have fire elements in their personality, this is not surprising if they often clashed in the past. And because the cloud embodies the aristocrat, it is important to know its signification. The cloud is the symbol of the ephemeral and impermanence which can not help the main lead to get grounded. Just like the rain and the snow, the cloud is also linked to fertility as it brings water but it can also bring destruction (typhon) or hope (“silver lining”). Now, you understand why Jihwa and the painter are so different, although they both have water in their personality.

Secondly, we have many expressions in French or in English linked to clouds which actually mirror the red-haired character’s nature. He’s living in the clouds signifying that he is ignoring the reality and is rather dreaming (similar to living in cloud-cuckoo land which means to be in an unrealistically idealistic state). As I had pointed out in another former analysis, the aristocrat neglects the present, therefore he never paid attention to reality. He was always hoping of becoming Seungho’s official lover. That’s the reason why I described Jihwa as someone trapped in the past, while his mind was looking at the future, dreaming of an uncertain prospect, living in an illusion. Another expression is having the head in the clouds (another allusion to dream and illusion) or being in cloud 9, which was sometimes palpable in Jihwa’s reactions. His extreme overjoy could turn into extrem despair, like the manhwaphiles could witness it in chapter 43. The way he was dressed exposed his joy and anticipation to be reunited with Seungho. He was already imagining himself being embraced by him, when he saw the lord having sex with the painter. Then he got so upset, jealous and enraged that he would yell and burst into tears at his friend’s pavilion. Then a cloud on the horizon refers to a bad omen, something bad is about to occur and we know that each time, Jihwa approached his childhood friend, something bad happened to the painter later because his feelings had been wounded by his childhood friend before (chapter 5 -> 11; chapter 15-> 17; chapter 57->60). And now it becomes more understandable why Jihwa appears so emotionally unstable, a characteristic of people with a combination of water and fire. Since I have determined that the cloud is a visualization of Jihwa in Seungho’s life, it becomes clear that the following panel has now a different signification. The clouds are circulating around the moon, trying to clinch onto it. The clouds were the reason why the moon couldn’t glow, at the same time, the cloud could never be satisfied with Seungho’s interaction as the warmth from the moon is colder and can never warm up clouds. Both hindered each other to move on. Striking is that in the picture above, it looks like the clouds are moving. It seems that the wind is blowing away the clouds. It could be definitely be perceived as a signal that the clouds are removed slowly from Yoon Seungho’s side, thanks to the wind.

And here is the next question: What does the house mean here? Who is symbolizing the wind? I believe now, you are smart enough to fill the blanks. Nameless has a personality combining earth (roof) and air (wind). Observe that the roof stands in the way, it was already separating the red-haired noble from his childhood friend. Let’s not forget that this panel appears, when the lord is still kneeling down thinking about the last words from his ex-lover. Furthermore, we often see the criminal in the cabin (chapter 51, 59, 60) . Striking is that the light in the cabin is slowly disappearing. The more time passes on, the darker it becomes exposing the evolution of Jihwa’s situation. His world is getting darker as he is more desperate and emotionally wounded.

As for the wind, it is a constant companion of clouds giving them a certain permanence and foundation. The wind helps the cloud to move on. Let’s not forget that in reality, clouds are composed of air and water therefore I see it as another sign that Nameless will help Jihwa to become a different person, give him more stability which is confirmed in chapter 60. He stops the noble from hitting the artist, led by his instincts therefore he takes away the weapon. Exactly like I had explained, he will become Jihwa’s hands but since the noble is now forced to make the decision himself, he will have to bear the responsibility for his decision. If he hadn’t witnessed this, the desperate aristocrat would have refused to be accountable for the crime. The criminal detected the guilty conscience consequently he postponed the murder hoping that the aristocrat would change his mind. In my opinion, he believes that the noble won’t be able to express the death sentence. In two occasions, he underlined the severity of the wrongdoing (chapter 51, 60) which is a clue for me that the butcher doesn’t want the noble to have his hands tainted. Observe that during the last scene, the criminal proposes other alternatives: death or turning Baek Na-Kyum into a handicapped person who can never tell what happened.

Furthermore in different religions the wind is considered as the messenger of the gods, exposes the presence of divinity. Therefore, I believe that Nameless is the one who will bring a huge change in the life of all the main characters, forcing them to switch their perception about life and their life. Notice that before Jihwa was trying to attack the painter, he was still using conditional sentences revealing his desire to deny the reality. By coercing the noble to make a choice, he is forcing him to live in the present and to admit the huge responsibility for the action. And the moment he chooses to have the painter killed, we have to imagine that the door will close and the closing door will symbolize the choice of Jihwa selecting darkness. The commoner stands on the opposite side as his hands and world are already tainted with blood and full of darkness. Yet, he doesn’t desire the naive but impulsive noble to choose this side. By underlining the gravity of the crime, he wanted the noble to follow his pangs of conscience. Therefore you comprehend why this panel was already announcing the role played by Nameless , separating Jihwa from Seungho’s side, forcing him to change his mindset and confront him with reality. That’s why when you read the description of persons with air and earth elements, you’ll recognize Nameless: thoughtfulness and caution.

“Earth when combined with air in an individual makes for someone well-versed in contradiction. Air lends a certain amount of caution and thoughtfulness to the earthy pursuit of sensation and experience. On the other side of the coin, earth forces air to interact with the world as a whole, not allowing it to deny the value of the senses. If this sort of personality can resolve this particular internal conflict, then it is quite well versed in being able to apply concrete meaning to thought, or rationality to the matters of existence and enjoyment in the physical world.” quoted from http://aelfhame.net/~darkhawk/elem2.html

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: Past, present and future – part 3 (second version)

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. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents:  https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/

In the first two parts, I described how all the main characters had a special relationship to time. Baek Na-Kyum is a Carpe diem person, while Jihwa and Seungho were more living in the past and couldn’t escape from it, until they met the painter. Hence the latter affects the protagonist so much that at the end, he adopts the artist’s mentality and lives in the present. Finally, Nameless was portrayed as someone symbolizing the future, but who would confront Jihwa with the present so that the latter would stop dreaming about an unrealistic future. While composing the second part, I realized that all the other characters have a special rapport to time as well. Therefore in this third part, I’ll focus on the remaining characters and examine which part of the time (past, present or future) represents them the best. However, I would like to remind my readers that this is my own perception. Naturally, I will elaborate it with evidence, but people can disagree with my interpretation. Like always, this essay is to trigger a discussion and at the same time, it helps the manhwalovers to judge the characters better and discover them under a divergent aspect. In this essay, I’ll focus on two characters: Valet Kim and Min.

I’ll start with valet Kim, who was one of the favorite figures after Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho. However, I have to admit that after chapter 63 and 64, I could no longer perceive him as a genuine gentle and caring butler. In my eyes, he embodies the epitome of cowardice and selfishness due this panel: He doesn’t care about his lord or the painter, for only his interests matter. Since Kim has been following his master for a long time, he is well aware that the former is suffering and still living in the past. Striking is that when the butler portrays his lord to the painter in chapter 12, he talks about Yoon Seungho’s past and present: But before, he elaborates that he still fears his lord after living with him for so many years. Hence it looks like the assistant is more linked to the present. However, this is only partially true. In reality, valet Kim has a strong connection to the future too. Why? First, if you contextualize his words, you’ll notice the existence of a purpose behind his comment. On the surface, the readers have the impression that the butler wants the painter to accept his new situation and perceive his master in a different light. Nevertheless, the order of the lord’s description is important. First, he explains his master’s terrible past, only to underline the consequence. Yoon Seungho has a terrible temper. Note that the lexical field employed by the valet is revolving around fear. This is especially perceptible, if you pay attention to the following picture: Note the painter’s reaction. He is scared, because the treatment with the ointment is presented like a threat and an order. The reality is that Yoon Seungho showed great care by sending his own valet, but due to the valet’s expressions, the lord appears more overbearing and threatening. That’s why I come to the conclusion that Kim is instilling fear in the painter, and if you pay attention to the protagonist’s attitude later, you’ll notice that he is indeed afraid. Hence he bows to the owner of the mansion, not out of respect but out of scare. Kim’s words were pretty effective, yet when he suggests to Baek Na-Kyum to go out for a walk, he is actually hoping that the artist will run away. How is it possible? Kim was present, when Baek Na-Kyum somehow defied his lord and even refused to obey him. (chapter 11). He will do anything for the noble except painting, and this even after getting slapped and insulted. Kim had observed the rebellious side from the artist. From my perspective, Kim hoped that by saying that the lord had mood swings and Baek Na-Kyum should accept his fate, the latter would make the opposite decision. While the first impression is to think that Kim desires to reconcile Baek Na-Kyum with the lord so that their relationship can improve, the reality is totally different from my perspective. Let’s not forget that Kim is someone from Yoon Seungho’s past, who knows his traumas very well, but doesn’t do anything to change his master. Since the latter is living in the past, Kim has been focused more on the present. Yoon Seungho should never change and behave like a child, so that he needs to relying on his butler, who became his eyes and ears.

One might argue that Kim is just a domestic, and the lord is indeed brutal. Yet the former is considered as his right-hand, hence he occupies a high function at the mansion. Moreover, if the lord was such a terrible master, how is it possible that the maid talks behind her master’s back, not fearing to get betrayed? Even an outsider commented that there was no real control in that household. The servants could speak about Yoon Seungho behind his back and contribute to the gossips. The lord wasn’t even offended, when the door of his bedchamber was opened. He never investigated the matter. Finally the staff even didn’t take his order (keeping an eye on the painter) seriously, when asked. That’s why the painter could escape. Baek Na-Kyum’s appearance in the mansion revealed the master’s laxity. Note that so far, the staff has got punished only once, because they had obviously ignored his order. The gossips and the bad remark from the maid truly exposed that Yoon Seungho had no real authority and respect among his staff, and he was not such a terrifying master. Hence the butler’s words about the lord as a terrible master should be judged more critically.

Since I demonstrated that Kim was planning ahead by inciting the painter to react in a certain way, I come to the conclusion that the valet uses his knowledge from the past in order to anticipate the future. His true goal is that the present doesn’t change. His lord should act like he had been living so far, as a head-kisaeng. Kim’s mindset is that his master is not allowed to cause any scandal and trouble, he has to keep his horrible reputation as an infamous sodomite. That way, father Yoon’s reputation remains untouched, although he has been sent to exile. He excused his departure by using his eldest son as black sheep. But in my eyes, Kim has another reason for this. Anyway, that’s why the butler is somehow focused on the future as well. He needs to ensure that the “present” doesn’t change, yet what the valet fails to recognize is that it is already too late. The situation started changing the moment Yoon Seungho saw the erotic books. From that moment, the lord began relying on them, hence he needed to meet the painter. In other words, the real intention behind Kim’s actions is now to return to the past, as the present has already changed. Therefore he is looking into the future.

Kim as symbol for the future is illustrated the best with the following pictures: He is worried about the consequences of the painter’s escape. Let’s not forget that he helped Baek Na-Kyum to flee and the lord could definitely uncover his involvement. Hence he is worried. Nevertheless on the surface, it looks like he cares for the painter and the consequences of the sex marathon. As you can sense, in both interpretations he is already thinking about the future. And now, if you recall all the valet’s actions during the two seasons (until the chapter 68), you’ll realize that he has been working all this time for the future, while in truth he is determined to go back to the past. He wants to change the current situation, he would like the lord to behave like he used to. Consequently, I will try to list all his decisions showing that they are all related to the future.

After witnessing their first night together, valet Kim gives the following advice to the commoner. He should forget about the past. He is pushing away the commoner, making sure that this doesn’t happen again. The valet doesn’t desire that Baek Na-Kyum gets close to his master, because this would mean that he would lose his position. While in the past, I had imagined that Kim wished the protagonist to take over his role, I am thinking the opposite now. Only his life matters, and as such he was definitely benefitting from his position as butler. He could order medicine and buy items without being questioned. Since in chapter 39, the tailor requested a confirmation about the order, this truly exposes that Kim had a certain authority and power. Moreover, in chapter 45, with only one gaze, the butler is able to silence the tailor. The way he is dressed and acts shows a man behaving like a noble (the hat, the hanbok and the headband), hence the tailor follows his recommendation. For me, the advice from chapter 23 was actually a warning, the painter shouldn’t use the “wedding night” in order to get closer to Yoon Seungho and become powerful. Note that Kim was wondering why the painter was joining them during the hunt. The lord was showing Baek Na-Kyum such a great respect, treating him like a honorable guest to the point that the main lead stopped him from falling. The butler was definitely worried about his own future, the painter could decide that once he had won the lord’s favor and heart that he needed to get rid of his rival: Kim. As you can observe, Kim represents the present, but a different kind: the status quo… the immobility which stands in opposition to Baek Na-Kyum’s present. However, like I have already outlined, Kim’s “present” is in reality the past. Moreover, he has another reason to separate the main leads. If it was known that Yoon Seungho had a relationship with a low-born, this would create a scandal, which the valet abhors. He hates ruckus, because he has no control over this kind of incident. Kim, as a butler, has a legitimation to be close to his master, but for the painter it is different, for their relationship is sexual and affectionate. As the manhwaphiles can sense, Kim’s philosophy and time contrasts so much to Baek Na-Kyum’s, which becomes more obvious during the second season. The moment the main character reflects on himself, he begins to attempt to understand the noble, while Kim doesn’t truly ponder on his own actions. He sways them under the rug, he needs to forget them.

However, because Kim is too focused on his own interest, he definitely misjudges the situation. He envisioned that if the painter ran away, the problem would be solved, because just like Jihwa, he imagined that Baek Na-Kyum was just a toy in his master’s eyes. Yet after witnessing his lord’s uncontrollable rage in chapter 30, he has to face reality. It’s too late. The lord couldn’t bear to be separated from Baek Na-Kyum, hence he chooses to change his strategy. Since Seungho is so determined to keep Baek Na-Kyum by his side, he has now to turn the painter into a favored servant, a prostitute who is only there to please his master. That’s why the moment the commoner wakes up, the butler communicates what the lord has done for him and complains that Yoon Seungho has not returned home for a while. While he fakes concern for his master, his true goal is that the artist remains in the lord’s bed. In his mind, the moment Yoon Seungho returns, he will see the painter and will desire to have sex with the artist. Note that the painter has barely recovered. This shows that the valet is hoping that his master will be like in chapter 30: selfish and greedy… so consumed by lust that the artist will pay the price. Note the huge contrast between the chapter 12 and 34. In the previous episode, the master was portrayed as a terrible man with mood swings, now Kim’s words imply the opposite. His master has been feeling guilty and he remained away, as he couldn’t face the painter, which is actually true. With these words, his intention is quite clear: he is attempting to put his lord in a good light, the latter feels remorse and he did everything he could in order to help the painter to recover from the illness. First, he underlines all the good deeds he did, then he speaks for his lord’s regrets hoping that this would move the low-born’s heart. Why? Kim desires to ensure that the low-born is no longer pushing away Seungho, and it really worked even in a short term. But more importantly, it looks like he is working for his master’s interest, which explains why initially I misjudged the butler’s true intentions. However, here the butler is actually forcing the artist to accept his new situation: a servant whose role is to please this master and nothing more. He has no right and he just needs to listen to Kim’s words. This explicates why the valet let the painter drink an aphrodisiac in chapter 36. The butler is well aware that if his master sees the erection, he will act upon it. Therefore I deduce that in the valet’s mind, Yoon Seungho is indeed a man obsessed with sex, but he will make sure that he remains that way. He has an interest for this situation, the noble doesn’t pay attention to his surroundings and what the staff and Kim are doing behind his back. And this interpretation that Kim is only accepting the painter as a favored servant is confirmed in chapter 52: He is just a servant, and not a spoiled child, therefore he needs to do everything in order to please Yoon Seungho. This explicates why the painter puts on the white headband again. However, if you pay closer attention to the valet’s words, you’ll notice a contradiction. How can Baek Na-Kyum be a spoiled child, if he waits for the master to call? A spoiled child would refuse to follow a request… and would do whatever he pleases which is not the painter’s case. He was even so submissive to the point that Yoon Seungho complained about it.

More importantly, why does the valet say this, when he is well aware that Yoon Seungho has guests each day? One might say that he is infuriated, because his master had a relapse and he blames the artist for this situation. However, we shouldn’t forget that the butler was the one who separated the couple by revealing the incident at the library. Moreover, what triggered the lord to become so infuriate that he visited the scholar’s room? Like I had explained in a different analysis, my theory is that Kim used the painting with Jung In-Hun in order to arouse jealousy in Yoon Seungho. We know for sure that the butler has the painting. And we never saw him destroying it. Striking is that in chapter 52, the butler’s words make an allusion to the future. The painter has to take the initiative, he has to approach the noble on his own. And this shows that behind this reproach, the butler has definitely an intention, he would like to change the situation. But it is in order to improve their relationship or to separate the couple? Note that in chapter 50, the butler seems to speak for the artist’s interest. The poor boy has been insulted, hence the lord should distance himself from him. But in chapter 52, he defends the lord’s interests. Baek Na-Kyum has been ignoring Yoon Seungho’s feelings. As you can see, Kim’s MO is to play the protagonists’ interests against each other. This explicates why his true nature is difficult to perceive. He always made sure that the couple would never get closer by defending the interest of the partner over the other’s. And each time, he switched sides. Thus for me, in chapter 52 Kim is attempting again to make the artist leave, a new version of chapter 12, but this time with a different approach. Yoon Seungho has already forgotten him, he doesn’t see him as a special treasure, just a plaything. When he sees the main lead with other men, then he will realize that he means nothing.

Let’s not forget that the moment he saw his lover kissing Min, he got upset. From my point of view, Kim imagined that after witnessing such a scene, he would get upset and leave the mansion. However, this didn’t turn out, like he had expected. Why? Because of his strong will… once he makes a decision, he won’t change his mind at all. I would even say that Baek Na-Kyum embodies true loyalty, contrary to the butler who fakes loyalty, whereas he is only working for his own interests. With this new interpretation, it explains why Deok-Jae was in the painter’s room. He had seen the painter approaching the master’s room, hence Kim and Deok-Jae imagined that he would run away due to his wounded heart, especially if the lords would treat the boy as their prostitute.

I could add many other examples that the valet is using his knowledge from the past in order to plan for the future, so that the painter embodying the present would disappear from the lord’s side. Note that he buys the medicine even before the painter has already recovered. He plans it right away which shows that valet Kim always thinks about the future. And notice, the moment the commoner is feeling better and sleeps in his own bed again, the latter has to drink that potion under the pretense that it is for his health (chapter 36). Then the assistant gives the painter advices on how to behave in front of the lord indicating that he expects from him that he won’t talk to his master under the pretense that his master is not in a good mood, whereas it was the opposite. The noble had happily discovered that the painter was no longer rejecting him, because he was planning to paint their last session. The truth was that Yoon Seungho was just tired. By telling him how the protagonist is feeling, he is definitely hoping that their time spent together will end up in a sex session, so that the noble still remains oblivious to his surroundings.

Then in chapter 45, he signalizes to the tailor not to reveal the lover’s identity illustrating again that he is always thinking about the future. He doesn’t want his master to become involved in another scandal, just like he doesn’t desire the painter’s true position to become known. The moment the lover’s identity is revealed, then it signifies that Baek Na-Kyum has become the official partner, hence his disappearance would definitely lead to an investigation and cause real trouble. As long as Baek Na-Kyum remains just a favored servant, this signifies that his social status is very fragile and he can lose his position at any time. Simultaneously, when he brings the paintbrushes and the ink stone, he is not in reality showing true care for the painter, he is just forcing Deok-Jae to see the painter’s privileges so that his jealousy will be triggered. Note that he keeps asking Deok-Jae to bring the materials… Consequently, this is no coincidence that he acts on his own without asking his master. The latter is now more focusing on the painter and as such the present, hence he is unable to predict people’s actions.

What caught my attention is that the butler gives his lord’s advices revealing that he has indeed a privileged position. Furthermore, it indicates that the domestic is actually confident and doesn’t fear his master, far from it. He only becomes livid, when he hears that lord Song would like to meet his lord. Note the contrast between the previous panel and this one: As you can detect, the butler is showing no fear at all. He even gives the impression that everything is done for his master’s well-being and future. He is determined to make him happy. But in that moment, we have to question: what about the painter’s interest then, which he defended in chapter 50? Notice that in the last two panels, he uses the future tense twice (will, shall), another sign that he is linked to the future. However, he is not working for his master’s future, in reality he would like to go back to the past, which reminds us a lot of Jihwa’s mentality. However, there’s a huge difference between them. Jihwa wanted to go to the time, when both were quite cheerful and innocent, while Kim prefers the recent past, the time before the painter’s appearance. The other difference is that he doesn’t wait, just like the second lead. He makes plan and anticipates people’s movements. He observes his surroundings in order to judge their personality so that he can take advantage from this knowledge. Striking is that when the loyal butler converses with the doctor, he can’t help mentioning elder master Yoon and his reaction While it looks like he feels concern, the fact that he covers his mouth is a strong clue that he is actually not expressing his real thoughts. He really hopes for the eldest master’s intervention. Observe that he employs the idiom ” hope” and the latter is strongly connected to prospect. And the final proof is visible in chapter 58 where his presence is only revealed through the bucket of water. He left it outside, when he heard what was happening in the room. My initial impression was that he didn’t want to disturb Yoon Seungho, well aware that the latter would overlook his illness and exhaustion out of love for Baek Na-Kyum. The butler knew something important was happening between his lord and the painter, since he had witnessed Jihwa’s confession during the same day. He sensed that this could trigger his master to make a similar move. But since I judge Kim as an enemy of Seung-Kyum, he had even more reason for not disturbing them. He would give them the impression that they were safe and nothing would happen. However, for Kim, this love session represented a threat to his position. He would no longer be able to act as Yoon Seungho’s advisor and confident.

And after bringing so many evidences, we have to ask why the valet Kim is so strongly connected to the future. The answer is quite simple: he is Yoon Seungho’s surrogate father. However, he represents a certain type of parents, the ones who refuse to accept that their children are growing up and trying to find their own way. Kim has to make sure that his “son” fails, so that he will return to his side, blaming the whole world for his bad experiences, while in reality the father made sure that the son wouldn’t succeed and would get wounded. Moreover, since both protagonists are now both living in the present and are not even thinking about their common future, he takes advantage of that situation. And this observation leads me to the following deduction. Therefore I feel that Kim’s death will be necessary for Yoon Seungho so that the latter can start thinking about his future and his lover’s. As long as Kim is by their side, the noble will never focus on the future.

The manhwaphiles should recall that we have another person embodying the future and it’s Nameless. Yet the criminal and the butler are representing two different kind of futures: responsibility versus dependency and irresponsibility. Nameless forces Jihwa to leave behind the past and move on, whereas the servant stands for Yoon Seungho’s past, hence he can only reject the present: Baek Na-Kyum. The valet would like his master to remain dependent on him, which stands in opposition to the lord’s wish. The latter would like to become responsible for his lover, the painter, indicating that Yoon Seungho had already started thinking about the future in chapter 40.

And now, it’s time to examine the second character, lord Min. As many of my followers have already predicted, Black Heart is living in the moment. And this mentality is really palpable in the following: This picture illustrates that he prioritizes pleasure over anything else. I would even add that we have here a rather negative form of carpe diem as he takes pleasure at the detriment of others which is not the case with Baek Na-Kyum. Unlike the commoner, the aristocrat is full of jealousy, greed and envy. That’s why he keeps coping Yoon Seungho: his interests, his clothes and his lifestyle. He stands in opposition to the artist’s modesty and humbleness. If you look again at the image, you’ll note that the laughing aristocrat enjoys smoking opium and doesn’t even hide it. He shows no concern about people’s opinion or moral norms. Furthermore, he doesn’t even care who bought the drug. He takes it as it pleases him. And if the manhwaphiles recall the whole first season, they will remember that pleasure was in the center of lord’s life since his first appearance. He liked the erotic paintings but because he imagined, the author was an old man, he never showed more interest. This exposes that he has never tried to discover the real identity of the creator and let his prejudice make the decision. He enjoyed the erotic publications, but that was it. One might say that since Black Heart is determined to overthrow Yoon Seungho and he is very manipulative, he could be perceived as a person focused on the future. However, if you pay attention to his schemes, you’ll recognize that they are never planned in the long run, rather decided in the moment, because he felt like it. It starts with the chapter 33, where he challenges Seungho by asking him to bring the painter to them. He manipulates the crowd, yet he acts more in the moment, since he acts in such an ostentatious way. He doesn’t hide his intentions. The lord is no fool, he’s well aware of the significance of Min’s words and its outcome but he chooses to overlook it. And here it is again related to pleasure. He would like to taste the artist. Another clue for the lack of real planning appears in chapter 37. Here he lies so obviously and a careful person would have verified his saying. If Jihwa had really investigated, he would have realized that this was no longer true. But Jihwa, really naive, bought his lies and took his words as face-value. This explicates why Min is so amused, when Jihwa appears in tears in chapter 43 at his friend’s pavilion. He had imagined a different reaction, indicating that he wanted to play a prank and mock Jihwa. Notice that even if he incites the red-haired noble to have the painter killed, he never monitors Jihwa’s moves. He never ensures that his acquaintance has indeed hired the killer. He believes that his manipulations will work, underlining that he is not really planning carefully. I would even say that the lord is even overestimating his skills and power. And this becomes even more visible in chapter 52 and 53. First, he is not even capable to hide his involvement in the murder. He literally reveals the truth in front of the painter because he can’t control his emotions. He is definitely caught by surprise. If he was a real strategist, he would have hidden his cards much better. Fortunately for him, the lord was more focused on protecting Baek Na-Kyum in the moment that he didn’t hear the guest’s comments. This observation leads me to the following deductions. Min is strongly influenced by his emotions: either by his jealousy or his desire to enjoy or his pleasure to hurt others. This explicates why this character keeps provoking his host to the point he gets beaten. He doesn’t even care, for him it was fun to make Seungho angry, to humiliate him… but note that no one witnesses Seungho’s humiliation. In his eyes, he had won the game hence he smiled. Yet this is only partially correct because at the end, Seungho put an end to his manipulations. Min’s victories are only superficial, as his plans never truly succeed. He never got to taste the painter in chapter 54. Notice that in chapter 55, Min even reveals his intentions to Jihwa. His desire to taste the painter has grown so strong that he requires Jihwa’s assistance. The trigger for this change is the new erotic painting of Baek Na-Kyum he saw during that night. Note that he is not doing anything on his own. He has to use “hounds” in order to catch his prey, exactly like during the hunt. This displays how much Min values pleasure over caution therefore he should be just considered as a lazy mastermind who lets others do his dirty work.

Since Jihwa is now confronted with the present and forced to make the decision himself, his choice is already linked to Min. Exactly like I had anticipated it, the red-haired noble didn’t decide to eliminate the painter. Hence thanks to Nameless’ good heart, Jihwa chose to send back Baek Na-Kyum to Seungho, however this means that he had disobeyed his master and surrogate father Min. That’s why the latter is forced to become more proactive in the end, he needs to plan something in order to achieve his goal. He can no longer live in the present, he needs to develop new strategies so that he can taste the painter. That’s why in chapter 69, Black Heart is seen dressed like Jihwa. Due to his second failure, Min is forced to change his habits and become more directly involved in the schemes. And this will be his weakness, as he is not a good strategist in reality. Like I had pointed out above, his manipulations are more born in the moment, which we could observe in chapter 66 again. The Joker is still unaware that a servant disappeared and he just revealed Jihwa’s crime in order to punish his pupil. However, this means that if Baek Na-Kyum disappears or gets hurt again, the noble won’t believe that Baek Na-Kyum was trying to run away from him. There will be terrible consequences, and his friend warned him about this.

As a conclusion, Kim and Min’s relationship to time was changed. While the latter is more and more forced to focus on the future to achieve his goal, the other has to make plans so that Yoon Seungho can keep living trapped in the past.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My instagram-tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

Painter Of The Night: Past, present and future – part 2

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.

I explained in the first part how Jihwa would always use the past as justification to be in Seungho’s life and project himself into the future with his childhood friend therefore he would always be dissatisfied with the present. Even worse, he would even neglect it, not realizing that people close to him were utilizing him for their own benefit. The best example is Min who knows exactly how Jihwa ticks. Consequently the former is able to manipulate him and incite him to commit a murder. Then I pointed out that the red-haired noble’s state of mind would stand in opposition to the painter who embodies the present. Therefore I would like now to examine why they are so different and why Nameless embodies the future which I only elaborated briefly in the first part.

Let’s start with the artist. He is connected to the present as he lives in the moment. I could describe him as a carpe diem person. Yet it was not just visible in chapter 59. We had different clues all along, like in chapter 1. Back then, he manifested to Seungho that he was just painting in order to survive, a strong indicator that Baek Na-Kyum was not dreaming of becoming rich or famous. His goal was quite modest and simple. Then the readers surely remember the chapter 46 where he admitted to the head maid, he had once run away. He elaborated his reasons for his return and remain at the mansion: Note that here again, he is utilizing the present underlining one more time he is not thinking about the future. The past pushed him to make this decision and observe that during his escape, he expresses no reproach towards his adoptive mother or to Jung In-Hun. He just remembers their nice gestures, the caress on the cheek and the teacher’s smile, or her last words. So when he describes his situation to the head maid, it shows that he is satisfied with the moment as he has a roof over his head and is able to eat.

And his reasoning explains why Baek Na-Kyum has never brought up Seungho’s past wrongdoings (the forced fellatio, the rape, the slaps, the threads, the grabbing) after that terrible night. We could say that this is related to his pledged alliance in chapter 30, where he declared that he would do anything Seungho would ask him. For him, this signified that he could never reprimand his master for his actions. Consequently, this exposes that the artist took this vow very seriously. But there’s more to it, as in chapter 55, although he questions the nature of lord’s love for him, he has never criticized him for that night afterwards, although he could have, since he could have been raped. In fact, he has never brought it up, while the lord was actually expecting resent and rejection the next morning. He even confessed in such a way that he imagined that the artist would escape. But to his astonishment, the artist had remained by his side. Besides, note, it is not even present during the memories!!! Then when they meet again, he takes care of him and wants to make sure that Seungho feels more comfortable. I have the impression that he is not using the past because he has no ill intention towards others and he doesn’t want to play the victim either. Moreover, I believe, in his eyes bringing up the past doesn’t change his actual situation: he was abandoned and that’s a fact. He accepts his fate as painful as it is therefore he doesn’t blame anyone either. Now, you understand why I associated Baek Na-Kyum to the present in this panel and why Jihwa embodies the past.

And now, if the readers look again at Baek Na-Kyum’s memories about the past in chapter 59, they were surprised that the painter somehow recalled that Yoon Seungho even took care of him after their first night together. And it shows that Baek Na-Kyum knew somehow that he had slept with Seungho but preferred repressing it for two reasons. First, he wanted to keep the image that he had not violated his learned sir’s doctrines. Secondly he lives in the present hence it should remain in the past. Consequently it was better for him to lie to himself and to others that he had no memory, while the manhwaphiles are aware that he saw glimpses of it and now this panel is a proof that he knew deep down what had happened.

However, it was different for Yoon Seungho who had discovered sensual love. This night had left such a deep impression that he desired to relive this. Observe how close the lord’s head is touching the painter’s. He is embracing him as if he didn’t want to be separated. He was never so close to Jihwa, if you look at the different paintings and at the following picture as there was always a distance between them.

We could say that the noble had enjoyed the moment with the artist, which he never had before as everything was related to his past (resent against his father and the nobility). Because of that experience, the lord began envisioning a future, something he had never made before. He projected himself with the painter in the future. He desired to feel loved and see the expressions the painter had made during that night again. However, he never imagined, he would struggle so much in front of Baek Na-Kyum’s strong will and resistance. And if you pay attention to the powerful protagonist, you’ll observe that little by little, he is giving up on the future. It starts, when he lowers his expectations. In chapter 49, his future is now to enjoy his sexual encounters with the painter, never hoping that they will share what they have on their mind. As you can observe, he is gradually adopting the painter’s philosophy: enjoying the moment. Thanks to the painter, he has been able to move on from the past but he is no longer projecting a future too. Therefore he rejects Jihwa by saying that he will never reciprocate his feelings. He has given up on the future hence he can stipulate that Jihwa and him can never be together in the future (“ever”). Actually the climax is reached in chapter 58 which chronologically happens after Jihwa’s love confession and his rejection. When the master confesses his feelings for the low-born, he declares to his lover, he is no longer expecting a love confession from him, it will remain an illusion. He is now embracing the painter’s philosophy. He is living in the moment, enjoying his time with him. That’s why I perceive this second wedding night stands under the sign of present too. The lord wants to love the painter selflessly and is expecting nothing in return. That’s the reason why the lord can sleep more peacefully during that night. He started moving on from the past before and is no longer dreaming of an uncertain and even impossible future. In chapter 35, the lord spent a terrible night as he was thinking how to reconnect with the painter (another reference to the future). These aspects are relevant in my opinion because it explicates why the lord hasn’t paid attention to his lover’s real desires or future yet. We know for sure that the low-born wanted to be able to read and write. He felt very embarrassed, when Seungho exposed his illiteracy. And now you understand why Baek Na-Kyum was left unprotected in the end. Because the lord was living more and more in the moment, he neglected the future and as such a real protection for his lover. As you can observe, in the beginning Seungho was a man living in the past but thanks to the artist, he transformed into a different person. And with Jihwa by his side, he could never move on from the past as the latter kept reminding him about it with the hope, they could be together one day. The problem was that with these actions, Seungho could never dream of any future as Jihwa kept him trapped in the past.

But after showing the difference between Seungho and Jihwa, it is time to return our attention to the artist. When Baek Na-Kyum is thinking about the love confession and his actual situation, he is able to recollect all the nice gestures Seungho did for him: asking for the doctor and buying for him the expensive medicine, giving him the warmest room, feeding him so well, giving him nice clothes, making sure that he is not wounded etc….

Now, we can definitely say that Baek Na-Kyum is no longer blind and deaf, since the pain caused by the scholar’s abandonment and betrayal vanished completely. Imagine, Jung In-Hun appears in just one memory and his words are used in order to outline Seungho’s kindness. This implies that Jung In-Hun has no impact in his life now, especially since the commoner dropped his doctrines for good. Yet it looks like he doesn’t resent his teacher at all, as he no longer thinks about him or feels the need to get revenge. And if he remembers him, then he associates him to fakeness. So this doesn’t signify that Jung In-Hun will have the same effect, when he returns to the mansion, in fact it means the opposite. The scholar has no power over the painter any longer, just like the memories proved it. Consequently the former teacher will experience a terrible surprise, when he returns, as Baek Na-Kyum will no longer treat him like his admired sir. I would even say, he will keep his distance from him. The scholar is actually expecting that the artist will forget his betrayal and abandonment, just like he did in the past. He still has the impression that he will be able to use Baek Na-Kyum like he did before. As you can observe, the painter is really forgiving in the end because despite the inflicted pain, he is not looking for revenge. Why is he like that? In my opinion, his positive attitude is strongly connected to the way he lives. He lives more in the moment hence he never holds grudges (Carpe diem), which contrasts so much to Jihwa’s behavior who utilizes it for his advantage. Observe that the noble brought up the past for his confession twice. Each time, he reproached his childhood friend’s behavior: a “manizer” and “reckless”. As you can observe, the past is used by Jihwa as a point for his defense or as legitimation for his wrongdoings. And this different behavior explains why Jihwa is constantly frustrated and dissatisfied with the present. The past could help him but only to a certain extent and his major flaw was that he was projecting himself into the future. He dreamt of a certain future with Seungho, showing a certain greediness and ambition. Hence he was unable to understand his friend’s pain and suffering as his desire prevailed, contrasting so much to Baek Na-Kyum’s humbleness and modesty, who only wanted to survive by painting. We could say that Baek Na-Kyum has always been more forgiving than any other character.

Therefore I have come to the deduction that Baek Na-Kyum will definitely show the same attitude towards Jihwa like he did with Seungho. At some point, he will forgive him for his kidnapping and the terrible treatment he suffered afterwards. Let’s not forget that the artist is now the one discovering the past and heard that Jihwa was considered sick as well. And this is no coincidence. For me, the artist will come to understand what Jihwa and Seungho went through and help them to move on. Like I pointed out above, the commoner has always been able to move on from the past and has never held deep grudges. For me, the artist will serve as a model for his lover and will show him and Jihwa what true forgiveness means. But I have to admit that this is more a prediction, yet based on my observations and interpretation.

But I have another explication why the painter is not clinging onto the past. It’s because if he does, he will feel hurt and he is not wrong. Jihwa and Seungho were and are trapped in the past hence they are still suffering and inflicting pain to others. Sure, the last betrayal was really so painful for the artist that he felt like he had died. The prostitute was the painter’s empty shell. However, when Seungho used sex and stimulated his body, the artist remembered that he was still a living human. His physical reactions made him realize that he felt pleasure and he was reminded to live in the moment. That’s why the low-born’s confession should be judged as another evidence of the painter’s philosophy.

Since the low-born is no longer thinking about the former teacher as he has no resent, the manhwalovers can deduce that the commoner has a bigger and more pure heart contrary to Jihwa’s. And when he is thinking outside in the cold, as if he wanted to clear his mind, he is relaxed and remembers carefully all the good deeds his lord did to him. Although he has problems to accept the obvious, the master has loved him for a long time, he blushes because he is definitely moved. Notice that even in that moment, he is not thinking about the future. What does it mean if Seungho loves him and confessed to him? How will their relationship change? At no moment, he is projecting himself and the lord in the future. And while looking at this panel, I couldn’t help myself connecting to the following picture from chapter 1. Thanks to the lord, the painter has also transformed. Instead of being drunk and not thinking, he has been able to paint and is thinking on his own. Now, he is not lying on the ground but sitting straight while pondering. He is still on his own but his solitude is here chosen and not forced. He left Seungho’s side in order to reflect about the master’s confession and love. And this is no coincidence that the painter’s former position is now mirrored by Jihwa’s. The latter is the one who has been rejected and abandoned by his surrogate “father”/lover. Their positions are quite similar, yet the only difference is that Jihwa is not even sitting on the wood. He is still kneeling as he has problems to process the rejection. He is in denial, although he remembers Seungho’s words. Since we know that he values the past so much, it is quite normal that Jihwa chooses to repress his friend’s explications. And now, you can imagine what I am about to tell. The chapter 59 is a new version of the chapter 1 which makes me think that something bad is about to occur, since we had the servant’s death in that episode. Another clue for this prediction is the color of Jihwa’s robe, when he faces the captured painter. He is wearing a black or dark grey cloth. One might argue that this is just reflecting Jihwa’s mood, as he has just been pushed away. He feels like dying, yet I judge it a little differently for Jihwa is not the one who chose the cloth, unlike in the past. This time, Nameless gave him the robe.

What caught my attention in the scene between Jihwa and Nameless is that even in front of the criminal, the red-haired aristocrat keeps talking about the past. First, he criticizes the commoner for not fulfilling his task. Then he reproaches the painter and wishes that the boy had disappeared. But what Jihwa failed to realize is that Nameless did it for a certain reason. He had noticed Jihwa’s anxieties and huge pangs of conscience. Right from the start, he started biting his nails and it got even worse, it was a clear sign that he was fearing the future. Nameless also saw how he would drink in order to ignore his remorse and fears. Even in chapter 51, Jihwa talked about the past (his drinking habit etc) again and while he is sitting in that cabin, he has the same attitude. Nameless must have noticed that the lord is always blaming others (the assassin, Baek Na-Kyum etc) and avoiding the present. That’s the reason why he brought him to the painter directly. Nameless has become the teacher Jihwa needed. The commoner is actually teaching him to live in the present hence he is put right in front of the painter. He needs to face the consequences of his own decisions. If Jihwa decides to eliminate the painter, then he will become responsible for the murder and his hands will indeed be soiled by blood. By asking him to murder the artist without being present, Jihwa can put the responsibility on the butcher but here, it is different. He will witness the direct repercussion of his words. He can no longer blame the low-born as he has already caught the painter. He is confronting the noble with the present. And observe that once with the terrible situation, he is indeed left speechless. I doubt that Jihwa will decide to kill Baek Na-Kyum. He will remember that Min wanted to taste the low-born and could choose to take revenge differently. By catching Baek Na-Kyum, Nameless shows to Seungho that the latter can’t live in the moment either as he has many enemies surrounding him. Nameless is a reminder that carpe diem has its faults too. The protagonist needs to prevent any mishap and attack in the future. That’s why I consider Nameless representing the future. I have to admit that I am even thinking that Nameless could be planning some revenge, behind all the crimes he committed which would contrast so much to all the other characters. As for Jihwa, his suffering has only started in my opinion as it resembles to the painter’s situation in chapter 1. He will definitely suffer much more and since the painter’s dream came true, we have to imagine that the noble’s nightmare could become a reality too. Observe that the characters’ position coincides strangely to the ones in the nightmare. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that the painter will die but something terrible will happen during that night and it will affect Seungho terribly. I have always sensed that the loyal valet Kim could die and this fear is stronger than ever now. Yet, Jihwa could send the artist to Min. But even so, after the public confession and rejection, if the painter were to disappear, the lord would suspect Jihwa immediately but even the other nobles. Let’s not forget that Jihwa used rumors twice (chapter 18, 57) among the nobles. There is no doubt for me that Yoon Seungho will get upset and he will never accept that Baek Na-Kyum ran away, especially after that night where the artist accepted his confession and allowed him to love him. However, he won’t react like in chapter 30. He will blame himself for the first time. Unfortunately the future will be revealed in the next episode.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: Past, present and future – part 1

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.

Chapter 59 marks a turning point in Baek Na-Kyum and Jihwa’s life and both are linked to Yoon Seungho. Since this night represents a pivotal moment in their life, it means that their past will play a huge role in their decision and these made during that night will affect their future for good. This explains why we get many glimpses from the past, like Jihwa’s relationship with Yoon Seungho contrasting to the painter’s with the powerful noble. Due to their memories, the painter and the red-haired noble reflect about their actual situation, the present. As the manhwalovers can imagine, I chose the following illustration for this essay for a certain reason: we have three people and each of them represents time. Jihwa embodies the past, the painter the present and Nameless is the future. The latter will play a huge role in both characters’ life because he is the one who will eliminate the painter, if Jihwa desires it. We could say, the criminal symbolizes not only Jihwa’s future but also his bloody hands. Let’s not forget that Jihwa is already responsible for Deok Jae’s death, although he has no idea about it. Furthermore, the big commoner will also affect Yoon Seungho’s life, since the latter has a special relationship with Jihwa and Baek Na-Kyum. Because Yoon Seungho has a similar function than Jung In-Hun (unfulfilled Jihwa’s love interest mirroring Baek Na-Kyum’s adoration for the scholar), I can imagine that the criminal will first perceive Yoon Seungho as an enemy, in particular since he plans to protect Jihwa. And now, you understand why I selected this title. I’ll examine this chapter under the aspect of past, present and future.

Let’s start with the present where Baek Na-Kyum and Jihwa are in denial about Yoon Seungho’s feelings. Whereas the one was confessed, the other was rejected. Yet both characters have the same reaction, they are struggling to accept it. Nonetheless there’s a huge contrast between both dismissals. While the artist is using the present “It can not be”, the red-haired aristocrat utilizes the past (“wasn’t”) and indirectly the conditional, since he expresses a wish. As you can observe, Jihwa is not living in the present, either in the past or in the future. This is not surprising because Jihwa has always used the past to hurt Yoon Seungho in order to stay by his side, hoping to become his official lover one day (future). We have three evidences for this statement. First, the manhwalovers will recall the letter Jihwa sent to his friend in the name of lord Song. Here, the aristocrat claims that he has been forced to use the past (“bygones”) for he had no other choice. It was the only way to reconnect with his former sex partner as he had been the one pushing away his friend. Because of his belief that commoner are vermins, he couldn’t bear the idea to share his lover with a low-born. Secondly, there is the incident with the cut of a topknot. Jihwa’s hair was cut off by Yoon Seungho, when the former said something terrible so that the main lead recreated the incident with the topknot unconsciously, unable to control his rage and pain. Now, we know for sure that Jihwa must have triggered the lord’s following bad memory . When the protagonist explained in chapter 55 how he felt to the painter, he was actually referring to the rape. When he got rejected by the painter at the pavilion, the painter’s reactions and gaze triggered such negative emotions in Yoon Seungho. He was reminded of his past and the incident with the topknot. Like I had explicated in another analysis, this scene from the protagonist’s past is deeply intertwined with jealousy, rejection, fear of abandonment and his self-hatred due to the negative reflection perceived in the father’s gaze. Hence we have to imagine that Jihwa must have said something about father Yoon, abandonment and Yoon Seungho’s negative image which could only trigger the lord’s fury. The negative reflection is already implied with the idiom “common brute”. As you can observe, the red-haired aristocrat utilizes his knowledge of the past in order to hurt his lover and in my opinion, it was related to Seungho’s abandonment issues. The third evidence for Jihwa’s preference to use the past is visible in the following panel. But why is Jihwa always referring to the past and utilizes it to wound his so-called loved one? In my opinion, Jihwa is well aware that Seungho is suffering from abandonment issues and uses his fear and wounds to maintain his relationship with him. Notice in the last panel the expression “similar things”, this signifies that Jihwa must have intervened much more than the readers have ever witnessed so far. My explication is that each time the red-haired noble feared Seungho had a preference for a certain sex partner, he would get so jealous that he would make sure to get rid of the rival and would torment Yoon Seungho, even threaten to abandon him too. This would explain why Yoon Seungho always forgave Jihwa in the end, as he was the only one who had remained by his side so far. Imagine, Jihwa was even willing to get humiliated if in the end, the friend would maintain his relationship with him. At least, Seungho showed reactions towards him and not indifference. And now, it makes sense why Jihwa was never present at sex sessions with other nobles. He wouldn’t have been able to handle the situation, he would have suffered from immense jealousy. I guess, Yoon Seungho must have conceded to be his exclusive sex partner, when they met that’s why they were always alone. This observation leads me to the following deduction: Jihwa and Seungho had both abandonment issues and the red-haired character used the friend’s weakness in order to hide his own anxieties and abandonment problems. And since the red-haired aristocrat kept backstabbing Seungho (see the incident with the topknot and his insult “common brute”, the letter), it becomes clear why the main lead didn’t distinguish his childhood friend from all the other nobles in chapter 57. One might argue that he was just referring to the letter and Black Heart’s insult here. Yet, now we know for sure that the former sex partner wounded his friend even before the appearance of the painter in their life. Because of his friend’s bad actions, the main lead could never reveal his vulnerabilities out of fear that his loved one would use it as a weapon to hurt him, something he had even experienced with his childhood friend. Jihwa did contribute to his loneliness as the former wanted him to rely on him, to look at him. This also explains why Seungho could never sense Jihwa’s attachment for him.

But let’s return our attention to our second lead. The latter always feared to be abandoned as well. Since he has no family, I have the impression that Jihwa’s tragedy is also linked to father Yoon as the latter declared to the doctor that his son’s friend was also suffering from the same illness. This would explain why the protagonist would feel somehow responsible for him and always forgave him in the end. But by forgiving him, the master contributed to Jihwa’s childish and spoiled behavior. He never asked him once to take responsibilities for his wrongdoings. Jihwa knew, he would be forgiven.

For Jihwa, Seungho was his home therefore he wanted to become his partner. This explicates why he could never accept the thought to share him with others. Just like Seungho was trying to overcome his trauma with sex sessions (defeating the nobles, taking revenge on them), Jihwa was also attempting to cope with his trauma but in a different way: he wanted to be loved by Yoon Seungho. The latter was also hoping to see admiration, love and warmth in his friend’s eyes, dreaming he would see the same gaze Yoon Seungho had in the past but directed at him this time. And now you understand why Jihwa is so obsessed with the past. It was, as if he wanted to return to the past before the tragedy occurred but this was and is impossible. At the same time, his hopes made him project himself in the future. He would get loved by his friend as he was the only one constant lover in the main lead’s life. And now, it becomes more comprehensible why the aristocrat played with time. In his mind, time would help him: the past and the future were his motivations. The consequence of this mindset is that Jihwa was never satisfied with the present, the current situation where he saw Yoon Seungho fooling around with other men. But since his anxiety was his real motivation, he never tried to understand what motivated his friend to act the way he was. He couldn’t see beyond the image of the man obsessed with sex.

And now, you might wonder where the evidences that Jihwa has been traumatized. The first clue are the doctor’s words. Jihwa was declared sick, just like Seungho. In my opinion, with this statement, something bad must have happened to Jihwa, yet his suffering was different to Seungho’s therefore his insecurities are expressed differently. He was never exposed to gangrape and prostitution. The second proof appears when Jihwa declares to his friends this : The expression “the most wretched of states” is an indication that Jihwa must have been suffering as well and Seungho knew about this hence he was always willing to forgive his friend’s pranks and stabs. Even the noble with the mole points out that after such a humiliation and fight, the person would distance himself from the offender for good. But Jihwa justified his behavior by pointing out that he had a special position in Seungho’s life without revealing too much. He was connected to Yoon Seungho by their past and knew about his nightmares and his insomnia. Jihwa knew that lord Song was responsible for this and this made him superior and privileged. Besides, he could feel a certain empathy to his childhood friend, like the noble’s tears prove it. But because of his own trauma, he could never love the friend selflessly hence his empathy was limited in the end. In other words, they had a very toxic relationship. Seungho could never escape from his traumatic past as Jihwa kept reminding him.

However, the dynamic changed the moment Yoon Seungho met the painter. The master felt first a connection with the artist through his art and when he saw him for the first time, he fell in love with him, unaware of his own feelings. From my perspective, Jihwa saw in Baek Na-Kyum a potential thread very early on, therefore he examined the painter in chapter 5and was pleased to discover that the low-born was a virgin, thinking that the main lead was only interested in experienced lovers. Consequently he felt reassured first. However, due to Seungho’s rejection in the same night and his friend’s comment, Jihwa realized his mistake. Besides, he was upset that the lord had organized a sex session again and decided to ruin the painting. He knew that Yoon Seungho would get very angry and had already envisioned that Baek Na-Kyum would get punished. And this shows that Jihwa’s prank was not the only plot he did behind his friend’s back. He knew exactly which trigger he could pull in order to infuriate and wound his lover. Observe that Jihwa is comparing the painter to a toy. These words are relevant for two reasons. First Jihwa tries to diminish the importance of the protagonist’s sex partners. They are just toys, while in reality he considers them as rivals. Consequently, he needs to make sure that they are just toys for his lover and nothing more. In his mind, they are no humans, just pawns for the friend’s distraction, he is trying to reassure himself in the end. But in my opinion, his mouth is actually contradicting his own heart, as he was never satisfied with the situation that Seungho had many lovers. He felt really upset and betrayed hence in his heart, he always resented his childhood friend which he finally admitted in his love confession.

Now if you pay attention to Jihwa’s actions, you will notice a certain pattern: insecurities, jealousy, afflicting pain to the so-called loved one, entering Seungho’s house without any invitation (chapter 10, 12, 17, 43), planting and using a spy (chapter 10, 13,17, 18), sending his own servant in order to dig for more info (chapter 41), trying to isolate Seungho from others perceived as rivals. In one of my former analyses about Jihwa, I described his love as superficial and selfish. But now, with this new chapter, I have come to the following judgement. The red-haired noble is suffering from obsessive love disorder which actually fits my interpretation about this character. The latter has a corrupted heart hence his love for his childhood friend is selfish and impure. [read my analysis called White versus Black] This is what I found about this disorder and its symptoms:

  1. Low self-esteem/a tendency of needing excessive reassurance
  2. Obsessively talking about their loved object: observe how Seungho is always the topic of Jihwa’s conversation (chapter 3, 8, 12, 17, 37, 41,43, 51, 57, 59). Even alone, his thoughts are all focused on his friend. He buys an erotic painting, although you sense his lack of interest for that picture. He looks at it rather bored.
  3. Making repeated calls, texts, and/or faxes to the love object (unannounced visit, like in the chapter 12; the sudden visit in chapter 43, the letter in chapter 56)
  4. Unwanted intensive attention to the love object
  5. A tendency to have extremely good or bad (not balanced) feelings about someone (see his hatred for the painter and his love for Seungho justifying all the wrongdoings)
  6. A tendency to focus on only the positive or the negative aspects of their loved one: Jihwa keeps pointing out his flaws (“common brute”,
  7. Trouble focusing on work, recreation, socializing, or other aspects of their lives outside of the object of their affection: notice, his interactions with Min and the noble with the mole are all evolving around his loved one. He keeps drinking (chapter 12, 37, 41, 51, 57, 59)
  8. Attempts to monitor or otherwise control their love object’s life and activities: hired spy, asking his servants to dig info about Seungho’s movements through the servants
  9. Excessive joy, to the point of relief, when able to get in touch with or be with their love object: (we never saw his face on the way to the mansion here but based on his robes, we can definitely assume that he was happy. He imagined that because of the brother’s visit, he had a reason to pay him a visit and they would reconcile) quoted from https://www.medicinenet.com/confusing_love_with_obsession/views.htm

Remember what I wrote about this jealous and impulsive character: he is the noble version of the painter, yet the difference is that his heart has been corrupted. However, just like Baek Na-Kyum, he has been brainwashed but his doctrine diverges from the painter’s. Jihwa was forced to look down on commoners in my opinion, just like the artist was coerced to disdain homosexuality. And like I mentioned above, his fear to be abandoned and isolated are the reason why he holds onto Seungho. In other words, he wanted Seungho to be responsible for him, hence he kept his childish side. However, the rich protagonist could never become responsible for him as he was himself immature and selfish due to his own trauma. And the lord’s forgiveness never helped Jihwa to change, even reinforced his bad habits. And imagine his feelings, when Seungho described him as very similar to Min, Jihwa saw himself cornered. He needed to use his love for him as a justification for his wrongdoings. By confessing in public, he hoped, the lord would finally become responsible and accept his feelings. Besides, observe that in his confession, he even utilized the past again as legitimation.

As you can observe, Jihwa had abandonment issues, felt immense jealousy and obsession to the point to hurt Seungho in order to remain by his side. Therefore I come to the following explication that Jihwa is not really in love with his friend. The second lead doesn’t really know and understand him that well in the end, which Seungho outlines, when he rejects his ex-lover. The red-haired aristocrat just knows a little bit of his past but doesn’t truly comprehend Seungho’s suffering. He just saw the symptoms but is not aware of the real source of his nightmares (the true events). His obsessive love disorder stands in opposition to the painter’s pure adoration. While Jihwa only saw his friend’s flaws, the artist was doing the opposite. He idealized his learned sir to the point that he was used. With these two examples, Byeonduck clearly illustrates what true love really means: accept a person with his qualities and flaws and being selfless. Real love shouldn’t make someone blind as it can only lead to disappointment.

And now, the manhwalovers understand why the painter disrupted their toxic relationship and forced the protagonist to cut ties with Jihwa for good. Both were somehow abandoned hence they clinched to each other. But Jihwa is still blind, he has never learnt to take responsibility for any wrong action, since he always blames his childhood friend or the painter which is repeated in this chapter again. If the painter was removed from his childhood friend’s side, then everything would return to normality. For the red-haired aristocrat, there’s only one explication why he has been rejected and the protagonist has definitely cut ties with him for good. For Jihwa, Baek Na-Kyum is responsible for his failure. And without him, a future with the childhood friend would become possible again. However, Jihwa is not only blind to his own shortcomings, he is also definitely deaf, just like the painter was, when he lost his surrogate father. Note that Seungho made it clear that he would never love him and he should give up on this illusion. The lord declared that they had no future together but Jihwa is unable to accept and represses these words. He prefers blaming someone like he has always done in the past. And in my opinion, the past is the reason why Jihwa never reflected on himself and questioned people’s actions, words and intentions. It served as justification for his actions, overlooking that he is neglecting the present. Therefore he couldn’t see that he is being used by Min, when the latter suggested to hire an assassin in order to get rid of the artist.

And now, it is time to focus on the painter who is also struggling with his current position. While Baek Na-Kyum’s conscious has problem to accept the obvious as he repeats the same expression, we shouldn’t forget that he states this after recalling all the things the lord did for him: he gave up his room for him, he sent the doctor for him, gave him expensive medicine but he even cleaned himself the painter after each sex session. And this picture is actually revealing what happened after their first night, as we see the painter’s swollen eyes, while he is asleep. Striking is that when the head maid of the kitchen announced him that the lord would care for him very much, he couldn’t believe his own ears so that he had to ask her for a confirmation. this displays how his mind was refusing to see and hear what his heart and unconscious was already sensing. There’s a reason for his resistance. The manhwaphiles should remember that the painter’s conscious has always represented his strength but also his last wall of protection. This explains why it took the noble a very long time to be able to remove the doctrines imposed by Jung In-Hun on the low-born. At the same time, his unconscious was always the one telling the painter what he truly wished deep down. Consequently, we witness how Baek Na-Kyum dreams of Yoon Seungho’s love confession first but when it happens, his mind can’t process it. It’s too crazy to accept this truth. But if you pay attention, despite his reluctance to accept the obvious, his face is red showing how much these memories and this reality affect him. He is definitely moved. This reminds us of the lord’s attitude who denied his feelings for the low-born. We could say that Baek Na-Kyum is experiencing a similar situation. And the flashbacks reveal the disappearance of the scholar’s influence in Baek Na-Kyum’s life. He only appears once and just as a reminder. Back then, the low-born felt a little hurt by Jung In-Hun’s comment and now, he feels nothing. He just remembers his words and nothing more. Slowly, the painter is accepting the reality that Seungho loves him and has cared for him for a long time.

And now, if we compare these three panels, you’ll observe the huge contrast in the way the ukes are affecting the main lead. Observe in the first picture how Seungho has already removed the cover, while he keeps Jihwa at a certain distance. Sure, he is not pushing him away, yet he is not allowing him to embrace him. His hand and arm stand between them, as if there existed a wall between them. This is not the case with the painter. First, the lord is hugging Baek Na-Kyum very tightly, he is still refusing the cover, yet he is able to lie down. I am quite sure that after that night, he felt more refreshed and relaxed as he had been able to sleep a little, even if he had a nightmare. And now, in chapter 59, there’s another huge progression. He is lying next to the painter, accepting the cover and he doesn’t sense his lover’s caress on the cheek. For the first time, he is deeply sleeping. Sure, one might argue that he is sick, yet I doubt that the illness explains everything. In my opinion, the fact that Baek Na-Kyum accepted his confession and made love in that room could only make him happy. For the first time, someone accepted him without criticizing or blaming him. He was allowed to be himself and to show his vulnerabilities without getting hurt. Jihwa never saw the real signification of Seungho’s gestures, when he spent the night with him. Since he is overlooking the present, he had the impression that this night together had brought them closer, while it was not the case. Seungho had sensed that Jihwa couldn’t give him the comfort needed. But since Jihwa had spent one night with him, it became a memory and a justification to claim that he knew his friend better than everyone else.

As a conclusion, in chapter 59, Jihwa’s past with Seungho reveal a lot about the nature of their relationship and Jihwa’s personality. This is very important because I was able to understand why Yoon Seungho could never open up to Jihwa and why the latter would hurt his childhood friend. In my opinion, the chapter 59 marks a turning point in the main characters’ life. This is not just about Jihwa but also Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: Yoon Seungho’s love confession: Wreck

This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents:  https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/

It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring: Ko-fi.com/bebebisous33  That way, you can support me with “coffee” so that I have the energy to keep examining manhwas. Besides, I need to cover up the expenses for this blog.

After the release of chapter 57, I had predicted that we would have a new version of chapter 39-40 in the next episode and I was right. However, so far, I examined the love confession by comparing it to their so-called “Wedding night” and came to the conclusion, this wonderful night stands under the sign of reality. First, Yoon Seungho has now resigned to expect no confession from the low-born and considers it as just a mirage, an illusion. Moreover, there’s no confusion about the lord’s intentions and the lover’s identity due to the presence of the light and the painter’s clear mind. (chapter 58) Finally, Baek Na-Kyum’s deeply repressed desire and dream becomes a reality, his lord is in love with him. But since this wonderful chapter should be considered as a new version of the events related to the tailor shop, we need to examine chapter 58 under a different aspect: responsibility which was the main topic of chapter 39-40. [Here, this is my analysis about these chapters https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/responsibility-an-analysis-of-the-chapters-39-and-40/ ]

Back then, the lord made it clear that he wanted to take his responsibility for the painter and this in two occasions. First, it occurred at the tailor shop. Later, it was on their way back home. He put a red dot on the artist’s forehead, a sign that he was taking Baek Na-Kyum as his bride. (chapter 40) (chapter 40) However, we have now to understand that this gesture was under the influence of his unconscious and the lord had not recognized his own feelings for the painter so far. He was more under the impression that he was making decisions rationally. Furthermore, he was not taking the painter’s feelings into consideration, since he was well aware of Baek Na-Kyum’s “adoration” for Jung In-Hun. In other words, this gesture signified that Yoon Seungho would become Baek Na-Kyum’s husband and companion, even if the artist was not in love with him. Now, you might be wondering why I focus first on the red dot than the event at the tailor shop. There’s a reason for that. Here, the topic “reliability” is more developed and plays a huge role in their relationship.

In that scene, Baek Na-Kyum declares that Yoon Seungho is the cause of his reddening, when the lord couldn’t help noticing it and even emphasizing it. (chapter 39) Here, he accepts the blame, because he has now a reason to have some sexual interactions with the painter. Consequently, he proposes another fellatio (chapter 39) under the pretense of forgiveness, which the artist refuses by objecting that he is not blaming the noble at all. Notice that the painter is forced to become the accountable one and take the blame for the whole situation. And this shows that in that scene the lord is actually the one with the upper hand as he uses Baek Na-Kyum’s shyness and embarrassment in order to tease him and actually obtain what he has been longing: intimacy with Baek Na-Kyum.

Yet, the real cause for all the speech about responsibility is that the lord was jealous. When he entered the shop, he saw the artist’s red face, while the tailor’s hands were touching the sex partner’s body and misunderstood the cause of the reddening. Out of jealousy, he wanted to embarrass the commoner and at the same time to claim him as his lover in front of the tailor. (chapter 39) However, when the boy apologized to the lord and claimed that he was responsible for everything, the noble noticed the painter’s erection which could only arouse him. (chapter 39) In my opinion, the painter’s reaction must have been triggered by Seungho’s offer for a fellatio. Observe that, while he’s whispering to the painter, the latter’s face blushes again, but more importantly, there’s a sudden light in the artist’s eye. (chapter 39) One could argue that this was due to his shyness, however his visage was already red before. Besides, the lord had done it before and we have to imagine that it must have given pleasure to Baek Na-Kyum. Imagine, what it means for the master. This time Seungho is somehow sure that the painter is finally excited due to his presence hence he chooses to push the things even further, and sends the tailor and Kim away. He desires to seize the opportunity. As a conclusion, the painter’s erection leads him to kiss the artist. But since the painter is now stating that he is to blame for all this, the noble can ask him afterwards to take his responsibility. (chapter 39) He needs to satisfy him as he is now excited too. As you can observe, there was a shift of responsibility at the tailor shop. However, the lord shows a certain reliability as he just asks for a foreplay because of his concern that the painter could feel uncomfortable afterwards. (chapter 39) As a conclusion, the lord showed signs that he was willing to be responsible for the low-born, although at the end, the artist ended up as the one who had to become the accountable one. In order to compare both scenes (39-58), it is necessary to list all the important elements present in the chapters 39-40 again:

  1. The artist’s blushing
  2. Yoon Seungho’s jealousy
  3. The aristocrat’s willingness to become responsible for the painter
  4. Forgiveness
  5. The painter’s accountability for Yoon Seungho at the end
  6. Baek Na-Kyum’s erection noticed by the lord serves as a signal to initiate a kiss and have a foreplay at the tailor shop
  7. The lord’s desire to take Baek Na-Kyum as his bride, despite knowing that the painter is not in love with him

And now it’s time to focus our attention on chapter 58 and the lord’s confession.

The first parallel between the two scenes is the kiss. Notice that the aristocrat is also triggered to initiate a kiss, however this time the signal is not an erection, but the painter’s words combined with his red face: “home with you”.

Chapter 58

As you can sense, Yoon Seungho kisses the painter in the both scenes, as he has perceived a change in the low-born, as if he had finally accepted him. However, there’s a huge difference, as in chapter 58 physical attraction is no longer in the foreground. In fact, feelings are in the center now contrasting to the scene at the tailor shop. We could say that back then, this chapter marked a turning point in Baek Na-Kyum’s life, as he was no longer rejecting the lord’s advances and even showed a physical response to Yoon Seungho’s flirting. This stands in opposition to chapter 58, where the lord keeps rejecting the painter and even treats him like a servant.

Chapter 58

It was, as if the roles had been switched. Baek Na-Kyum is the one cornering the lord, since he continues showing care for the aristocrat and overlooks the harsh tone and gestures from the sick protagonist. Remember that in episode 39, Seungho pushed the artist against the wall reflecting their actual situation. (chapter 39) And now, it’s the opposite: Seungho is against the wall as he can no longer deny his feelings for Baek Na-Kyum.

Chapter 58

As a first conclusion, the panel above reflects the painter’s real position. The latter has actually the upper hand in their encounter and conversation, and his power is so immense that one word is enough to generate hope in the master. He had given up on the painter, yet the words “go back home with you” sounded so sweet to his ears and eyes that he had to admit defeat and succumb to his need to kiss the commoner. Sex is here not present at all. The lord detects that Baek Na-Kyum has developed some attachment to him, he considers him now as someone from the same home and family. These words lead to the kiss and notice that the painter’s blushing contributes to their continuation of their flirting and seduction. But now, you might ask where the topic “responsibility” is present in chapter 58, when it is not used at all.

We have the topic “responsibility”, disguised under the following expressions: (chapter 58) Note that both idioms have a similar connotation: destruction (ruins, wreck) and blame (you/don’t). However, Jihwa’s words contain reproach and resent indicating that he is not enjoying his situation. Since the main lead is to blame for Jihwa’s misery, the former should become responsible for him. As the manhwalovers can detect, Jihwa’s confession has a different signification. Jihwa is recognizing his defeat, which indicates that he indeed associates affection for weakness and a sex/love session as a fight. He never confessed before, because he didn’t want to surrender but preferred his childhood friend being the one. Jihwa was hoping that due to his loneliness, the main character would seek comfort by him as the only one remaining loyal by his side. That’s why he pushed away any possible rival before. (chapter 59) Consequently, Seungho would come to develop an affection for him and confess to him. This is the other reason why Jihwa was thinking, time would work for him and kept waiting, but got only frustrated, as his situation never changed until chapter 3-4. That sex session at the pavilion gave him hope (chapter 3), which explains why he treated the painter so arrogantly and even barged later at Seungho’s house in the chapter 12, a behavior which Seungho disapproved. The red-haired noble had imagined, his status had improved and he was on the verge of becoming his official lover. This analogy between love and demise/defeat is important, because it truly shows how much Jihwa and Yoon Seungho had internalized these values and why it took the lord a long time to confess to the painter properly. Therefore, when the red-haired noble admits his attachment to his childhood friend, he knees in front of his childhood friend, a symbol for defeat and submission. (chapter 58) Simultaneously, this explains why Jihwa’s words reflect resent and selfishness (chapter 57) contrasting to his humble position. He forgives the friend for hurting his pride, but he is pressuring his friend to accept his feelings, because he is responsible for his “ruined state”. (chapter 58) And now, if we contrast it with the main lead’s confession, we discover a different state of mind. The lord is definitely admitting his defeat as well, yet he is not blaming Baek Na-Kyum, in fact he is enjoying his actual situation. There’s a certain admiration for the “you” who has turned him into a wreck. The word responsibility has a different signification here. It’s no longer blame or accountability but maturity and trustworthiness. He’s no longer paying attention to his pride, there’s no resent. His only joy is to be able to show his love for the artist, since the latter is allowing him to express his feelings through words and actions.

Striking is that the noble utilizes the idiom “wreck” in another moment in his confession: (chapter 58) After reading it for the first time, the reader would judge “wreck” in a rather pejorative light. On the surface, it seems that the lord is referring to the painter’s drunkenness, yet it gets a different meaning after reading the whole chapter. Moreover, it becomes more obvious that the noble judges “wreck” as something admirable, since “wreck” is combined with absolute. Despite his terrible state and his first rejection, the artist was determined to confess no matter what. He was brave and strong, although he looked terrible at the same time: drunk, desperate and full of tears. Yet, at no moment he blamed his “learned sir” for succumbing to his feelings or saw his love as something terrible. Unlike Jihwa and Seungho so far, he was true to them. It was so pure that the lord could only be impressed. That’s the reason why he wanted to mock him in the first place, as he had been taught that love is a synonym for weakness and surrendering to feelings was like admitting his inferiority and his defeat. This explicates why the lord was haunted by the pure and genuine kiss in the first place, it was something new. (chapter 58)

Therefore the lord comes to a different conclusion than Jihwa at the end. He has decided to act differently, although both share something: their honesty. Just like Jihwa who finally revealed his true thoughts and emotions, the main lead does the same. He is brutally honest. (chapter 58) He expresses his thoughts and emotions hoping that this would move the painter. As you can observe, responsibility is in the center of this chapter but unlike in the past, the meaning has changed. The protagonist finds the artist trustworthy. Here, feelings are important and unlike in the past, the lord is now decided to succumb to his feelings without feeling any humiliation or resent. He is actually rejoicing his situation, as the painter has acknowledged and accepted his love for him, when they make love. He is now allowed to love him without any expectation, but at the same time he is asking the painter to take responsibility for him: (chapter 58) Now, Baek Na-Kyum is the one who has been entrusted with the lord’s feelings, which is very similar in the chapter 39. Back then, the low-born was somehow “responsible” for the lord’s erection. Now, he has to consider the noble’s attachment for him. As for Yoon Seungho’s jealousy which led to the speech about responsibility in chapter 39, it’s Jihwa’s love and jealousy which forces the lord to initiate the kiss. Furthermore, when he mentions the scholar, the main lead lets transpire the former teacher is the cause for his suffering. He was haunted by the kiss and the simple and emotional confession of Baek Na-Kyum. His first confession made a wreck of him (chapter 58), tormenting him but now, he has changed because he is no longer hoping that the painter would ever return his affection. The wreck has a different signification. There’s no blame but acceptance and the willingness to submit himself to the low-born. Hence “wreck” should be perceived as a synonym for “responsible” like in chapter 39-40, yet with a different meaning. At the same time, Seungho is hoping that the painter will accept him as his partner, although the commoner has not confessed yet, which corresponds to the scene with the red dot. However, this time the roles are switched. This time, Seungho is asking him to be responsible for him, although the artist hasn’t made any love declaration towards the powerful lord.

Simultaneously we shouldn’t forget that Yoon Seungho is also giving what the low-born has always longed for: love. He is realizing the painter’s wish, unaware that the low-born’s dream has changed: he is now dreaming to be loved by Yoon Seungho. I would like to remind here that the speech and the painter’s blushing are the reasons why the lord keeps pushing further and further in his wooing, just like in chapter 39. Nonetheless this time, he overlooks his own discomfort (his poor health condition) in order to fulfil the painter’s wish.

As you could sense, in this chapter sex doesn’t signify fight any longer but expression of love. That’s why we could say that sex is no longer present, while it was not the case in chapter 39. Here, the lord makes love to Baek Na-Kyum and since they belong to the same house, the painter needs to be the one responsible for the lord’s condition. He is the reason why the lord has changed and transformed into a wreck, yet he is not resenting Baek Na-Kyum, quite the opposite. He has finally been able to convey his feelings and was not pushed away, unlike in the past. Besides, he is loving the artist selflessly, hence he is able to find peace of mind and to sleep without having any nightmare. He’s truly relaxed as he doesn’t sense the painter’s caress. (chapter 59) For the aristocrat, Baek Na-Kyum embodies trustworthiness, therefore he can rely on him now and unveil his true self, full of vulnerabilities. In my opinion, the lord was a wreck in the past but now, he embodies the opposite. He has found his true self again, a very sensitive and gentle person, who likes to be honest and is able to open up and trust someone. In my opinion, the wreck is an allusion to the rebirth of the phoenix.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My Reddit-Instagram- Tumblr-Twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Legs That Won’t Walk: Who is Kwon Soo-Young? -part 1 🥊

This is where you can read this manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/legsthatwontwalk But be aware that these manhwas are mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. Here, you can read the other essays I wrote about this manhwa: https://bebebisous33analyses.com/2020/07/05/painter-of-the-night-legs-that-wont-walk-illusion-and-reality/ https://bebebisous33analyses.com/2020/07/13/legs-that-wont-walk-first-impressions/

On the surface, this question looks very simple. The readers would reply that he’s the protagonist of Legs That Won’t Walk, since the title is actually referring to him. He’s a former boxer walking on crutches. Furthermore he’s Song Ji-Sung, Lee Min-Hyuk and Park Tae-Seung’s love interest. However, this question can have a second meaning. It’s about the main lead’s personality. What kind of person is Kwon Soo-Young in reality? This question is actually not random since Park Tae-Sung is the one wondering about the former boxer’s disposition. He even asks this question twice showing how much the mafia boss cares about the main character. Even the second lead Min-Hyuk is also confused about the handicapped main lead. Why is there this confusion about Kwon Soo-Young? What caught my attention in this manhwa is the way Kwon Soo-Young is addressed. He’s called a son, a creditor , more or less a baby-face, a fucking cripple , a crippled bastard, a rat, a kid, a hyung, a boyfriend, a lover or a weak spot. Besides, he is compared to a dog or to a toy, to a bunny or to a cat. And these different names and comparisons are very important because they are related to Kwon Soo-Young’s appearance and the impressions he makes on people. Since everyone judges him differently, the nature of their relationship diverges. Now, you understand why I chose such a title. In this essay, I’ll examine the way the main lead is perceived and treated which unveils a lot about the other characters’ personality as well. We could say that the main lead serves as a mirror as he reflects his counterparts’ true state of mind. But since he is the one interacting with many different people, I’ll divide this essay in two parts. In the first part, I’ll focus on three characters and in the second on Song Ji-Sung and Park Tae-Seung because their relationship with Kwon Soo-Young can be compared so well.

Now, let’s start with Kwon Soo-Young’s father. The manhwaphiles might be astonished that I am mentioning him first as he never appears directly. We only see see him through the protagonist’s memories. However, the former is the reason why the former boxer meets the loan shark and mafia boss Park Tae-Seung. Furthermore that’s how the main lead is introduced formally: What caught my attention is that the father uses his son’s name in order to get money without reimbursing the credit. So the protagonist’s just a name for the father, a tool used for his own interests. He hasn’t changed at all, since in the past he used the son as a punching ball too. He used to release his frustration on Soo-Young.

And this explains why the latter is no longer acknowledging him as his father. As you can observe, the father never treats him like a son, either as a name or a punching ball. And due to the abuse experienced in his childhood, Soo-Young has never experienced real love and has always felt abandoned and lonely. As a first conclusion, the readers can only feel empathy for the protagonist due to the father’s ruthlessness and greed. Because of his terrible past, Kwon Soo-Young became a man full of resent and rage who tried to use box in order to vent his anger and frustration but always failed pitifully because he lost all his fights.

The second person who keeps calling the main lead with nicknames is one of the villains, the leader working for Park Tae-Sung. As you can detect, he keeps insulting Kwon Soo-Young. For him, he’s either a rat, a kid or a cripple. He isn’t just looking down on the main lead but he also resents him. He has many reasons for his attitude. First, Park Tae-Seung refused to help him by saving one of his minions, while he hired a creditor. Secondly, the former boxer has been personally hired by the mafia boss, a huge sign of favoritism, especially if you consider that this leader must have been working for a long time with the mafia boss. Finally, he stands on crutches, displaying a lack of strength. For the leader, he can only be a weak person, not worthy to work for the clan. In the leader’s mind, Park Tae-Seung must have gotten weak, since there’s only one explication for this recruit. Soo-Young must have begged for leniency. Therefore this doesn’t give a good impression about the mafia boss and can only push this leader to question Park Tae-Seung’s authority. It was as if he had exposed a certain vulnerability, since he felt pity for the handicapped man. And this is not surprising that in chapter 23, he joins Ki Kang-Il’s side indicating that he has decided to betray the mafia boss. Striking is that he becomes himself the “rat”, the one who betrays his boss because he was dissatisfied with his decisions.

However, when this leader meets the former boxer for the first time, he experiences a big surprise as the protagonist doesn’t accept the insult like that and is even willing to defend his honor. He’s well aware that with a high number of minions, he is destined to get beaten, but he doesn’t mind at all. He has been used to such hardship, on the other hand he shows a real resistance and fighting spirit impressing Lee Min-Hyuk, the witness of this unfair fight. Striking is that the leader even gets beaten, he is so enraged and humiliated that he demands for Soo-Young’s death, reinforcing the gap between Park Tae-Sung and the leader. Imagine, the man who insulted the boxer for his handicap is defeated and has to witness how he loses another minion and the others are punished harshly by Kim Sang-Cheol. The irony is that all the insults (kid, rat, crippled bastard) are in reality reflecting this leader’s personality. He definitely acts like a spoiled child and becomes a rat in the end. He behaves like a jerk, when he sends his minions to kill the main lead as there’s no fair play. While the main lead mirrors the true personality of the gang leader, at the same time he shows his true color. Soo-Young is the exact opposite of the criticisms expressed by the leader. He is mature and loyal because the man with the crutches protects Lee Min-Hyuk from a flying knife. At no moment, his handicap was visible during the first fight. He might have been beaten, yet the others got injured as well. The true victor was indeed Soo-Young, he was even able to impress Lee Min-Hyuk. The latter is indeed very surprised as he witnesses a fearless man able to bear any injury which marks the start of his infatuation for Kwon Soo-Young. And this explains why the leader decides to join hands with Ki Kang-Il in the end. Since Park Tae-Seung is supporting Soo-Young and the latter defeated him twice, he needs to get revenge on both protagonists. He decides to become the traitor, the rat.

And just like I implied before, there’s a huge change in Lee Min-Hyuk’s perception about the protagonist, reflected in his description and names about Kwon Soo-Young. Initially the minion with the cute face describes the main character as a baby-face. This indicates a certain lack of respect. In his eyes, the man seems to be lacking of experience and maturity. He seems to question his boss’ decision, however it changes when he discovers the former boxer’s strength. When he witnesses how the man with a baby-face never shows any fear or even pain in front of danger, Min-Hyuk addresses Soo-Young differently. After getting rescued, the minion starts calling the main lead as hyung. It doesn’t display just respect but also closeness, as if they had become brothers. He is even now perceived as the one with maturity and experience. However, as time passes on, their relationship evolves. The main lead feels so comfortable with the smiling minion that he considers him as a friend and invites him to his house. For him, Min-Hyuk represents the first friend he has ever had after meeting Song Ji-Sung and Park Tae-Seung. What the hero doesn’t realize is that the man with the cute face is already eyeing him and would like to woo him. The reason for Soo-Young’s mistake is that the blond-haired man continues calling him hyung, giving him the impression that nothing has changed. As the manhwalovers can sense, the meaning of hyung has switched, there’s a certain endearing connotation now. First, Min-Hyuk saw a strong and brave man in Soo-Young, but he got mesmerized, when he discovered a new side of his hyung: his vulnerability and his sensitivity. He never imagined that the main lead could be so sweet and weak simultaneously. He only recognized it, when he witnessed the kiss exchanged between Park Tae-Seung and the protagonist, when the latter was paralyzed due to a panic attack. This event left such a deep imprint in Min-Hyuk’s mind that we could say that this represents a turning point in Lee Min-Hyuk’s love life. He can’t forget that image. From that moment, he wants to see Soo-Young’s vulnerable side again. In my opinion, this is important as Min-Hyuk has gone through a similar experience. So far, people fall for his pretty and cute face, however they should be careful as the blond-haired man is not a good guy per se. Even his former boyfriend calls him a bad guy and the way he has sex with Dong-Hyun truly illustrates his roughness and selfishness. He’s quite brutal hence people should be careful with first impressions or appearances. [See my other analysis about Legs That Won’t Walk called First impressions] On the other hand I feel, the minion must be bothered that people only judge him by his pretty face and not perceive him correctly: he is definitely strong and talented with the knife. He can definitely be ruthless, visible during his two sex sessions with Dong-Hyun. He gives order, forces his sex partner to remain silence, pressures him to make a fellatio. Observe that the main lead is judged by his disability but like Min-Hyuk discovered it, he is everything except handicapped. That’s why I think, Min-Hyuk feels a certain connection with the protagonist, as they are put in a similar position. Simultaneously, I sense another cause for the attraction. Imagine, Soo-Young is a strong and fearless man, and if the latter became Min-Hyuk’s lover, the thug with a baby-face would have the feeling that he is dominating a strong alpha, able to turn Soo-Young into a sweet and vulnerable man. He would feel quite powerful. This is quite palpable in this panel. The fellatio is definitely a sign of submission. The most striking is that although he witnesses the special relationship between Park Tae-Seung and his hyung, he has decided to ignore this and make a move on the former boxer. That’s why he doesn’t confirm to his former boyfriend that his boss has a boyfriend. For him, Soo-Young can’t be his boss’ boyfriend because he desires him himself. As you can see, Soo-Young’s designation plays a huge role for Min-Hyuk. And in my opinion, the question from his acquaintance serves as a trigger for Min-Hyuk to make a move on the main character. Since Soo-Young is neither living with Park Tae-Seung nor working for him, his status has not been officialized. That’s the reason why he visits his hyung at the bar/brothel and keeps him company there. But strangely, the thug also reveals a new side of himself in front of Soo-Young. Note that after seducing him, he kisses him quite tenderly and for a long time. Another aspect which caught my attention in his attempt to woo the main lead is his desire to perceive Soo-Young’s words as signs that the latter was attracted to him. The innocent protagonist who has never had a true friend in his life was just saying things because he wanted to bound with him as a brother and nothing more. His words express his interest, care and his need to treat his new “brother” properly. I would even say, the minion even projects his own feelings towards Soo-Young, when he asks the bodyguard if he has feelings for him. He wanted so much to be seen in a good light by Soo-Young that he considered the words “cute, handsome” as a signal that the bodyguard would be interested in him. However, this was just his wishful thinking. We shouldn’t forget that he was present, when he witnessed the effect of Park Tae-Seung’s kiss on the former boxer. He saw how the kiss calmed down the latter revealing that his boss could affect Soo-Young so much. The kiss unveiled that Park Tae-Seung had a very close and special relationship with the former boxer. But even so, he tries to repress this event and even refuses to admit that he has already lost the fight, when the rumor is circulating that his boss has a boyfriend. He continues denying the truth.

This was definitely his karma as he did the exact same thing to Dong-Hyun, having sex with him while thinking about Soo-Young and never recognized how wrong it was towards the lover. When it happens to him, he even wonders if he is getting punished. The irony is that he could have realized that Soo-Young was not calling him, when he said “hyung”. Let’s not forget that “hyung” is a designation for an older brother/older close acquaintance and we all know that Lee Min-Hyuk is 22 years old, whereas the former boxer is 26 years old. Hence the blond-haired man can never get called “hyung” by Soo-Young. It was as if the mark “hyung” which the minion chose for his admired “sir” has now become a burden and curse. Soo-Young will always perceive him as his friend or younger brother (dongsaeng), in other words Soo-Young will only remain his hyung and nothing more. And even at the end, he still refuses to admit defeat. He even acknowledges Soo-Young as his boss’ lover

, yet he is definitely not giving up. He is determined to win Soo-Young’s heart and his cold gaze underlines his strong will. And this love triangle will definitely affect Min-Hyuk’s relationship with his boss. Remember that the former was full of admiration for Park Tae-Seung, even saying that he was a role model and someone the organization needed. Therefore I believe, this admiration will change into rivalry and competition. Let’s not forget that Min-Hyuk is as ruthless as Park Tae-Seung, which was displayed the way he had sex with Dong-Hyun. Furthermore the author described the minion as someone who would work with knives pretty well and the mafia boss killed a thug by throwing a knife in a single attempt as well. What the blond-haired thug fails to recognize is that the label “hyung” is one of the causes for his failure. The other causes are that Min-Hyuk was defeated in his fist fight with the former boxer and he has never revealed his ruthlessness in front of Soo-Young. Consequently, the latter can only consider the minion as his “dongsaeng” who needs to protection. Min-Huyk’s first impression on the bodyguard explains why Soo-Young doesn’t sense danger from Min-Hyuk.

As a first conclusion, Soo-Young is more just than a former boxer and the labels he receives reflect a lot about the characters using these designation. And like I demonstrated, the designation “hyung” becomes a burden to Lee Min-Hyuk.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: The Best man (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter  But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents:  https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/

As you can imagine, with this title, I am referring to valet Kim. He’s the only one who was present, when the two protagonists confessed. In chapter 20, he stood next to the door, as he was following his master with the light. He heard the painter’s confession addressed to the scholar. Thus he was well aware that his master was seizing the opportunity to make a move on Baek Na-Kyum, which he could only disapprove. That’s why he remained there, until the lord reacted to his passivity. This explains why Yoon Seungho had to order him to close the door by whispering. With his command, the noble forced him to obey him. Here, their dynamic changed. In that moment, the loyal valet became just a servant who needed to listen to his master’s orders. And his presence during their “Wedding night” marked a turning point in the butler’s life as well. From that moment, he started acting more and more like a surrogate father or mother, though the noble treated him more and more like a domestic. This opposition is really perceptible in chapter 50: But let’s return our attention to the first season. After witnessing this “Wedding night”, the butler never divulged this incident to others. The manhwaphiles should question the cause and the signification for the butler’s behavior. He couldn’t approve such a relationship for two reasons. First, this would create a scandal. For Kim, this meant that the other aristocrats would distance themselves from Yoon Seungho, since the butler has already internalized social values. Totally isolated, the noble would become more vulnerable. Therefore he could become the target of other aristocrats. In my eyes, Kim had imposed his own philosophy on Yoon Seungho: knowledge is power, but he needs to lie low. (chapter 23) That’s why I come to the following conclusion: Kim might have been the Best man, yet in reality he was refusing to acknowledge this alliance. And now, the readers can grasp why he said those words in chapter 23. He was acting like a father disapproving the partner’s choice of his “son”. Hence he tried to advice the painter not to remember that night His rejection was quite simple. He saw in the painter not only a source of trouble, but also a threat to his position. If the artist became the lord’s official partner, the valet would lose his position as the master’s right-hand. This explicates too why Kim favored Jihwa and why the latter was so jealous and never satisfied with his position. The red-haired aristocrat never recognized that Kim was one of the reasons why he couldn’t get closer to his childhood friend. The childhood friend sensed that he didn’t have the lord’s confidence. All his knowledge came from the butler’s revelations: (chapter 36) (chapter 59). The second lead is only aware of a name and of the prostitution.

From my point of view, the butler never acted like a father before, until Baek Na-Kyum appeared. The valet was pushed to reveal his closeness to his master (chapter 12), before he decided to act like a father. Consequently, the more time passed on, the more the butler meddled in the life of both protagonists. Because of the organized escape, the lord became so infuriated and hurt that Kim was not even spared from the beating(chapter 30). This action was clearly reminding the butler that he was in the end just a servant. Hence Kim resigned and had to support his lord’s choice. Yet, what he did is the following: he attempted to turn the artist into a prostitute or “favored servant”. At no moment, Baek Na-Kyum should be recognized as the master’s official partner. Therefore he asked the doctor for an aphrodisiac for the painter, or he hid the information about the incident at the library (chapter 50). He had to ensure that the noble would never recognize the nature of his feelings for the painter. This explicates why he criticized the artist for acting like a spoiled child (chapter 52). When he asked him to visit the lord’s chamber, he was reminding the artist of his situation: he was just a servant. Simultaneously, he wanted him to go to Yoon Seungho’s bedroom in order to witness that he had no special status, he was not a treasure. He incited the artist to see with his own eyes the master’s debauchery and feel disgusted. He hoped with such a situation, the artist would run away. Kim was well aware that the aristocrat was starving for love. In other words, till chapter 58, the butler was denying the existence of the Wedding and their union. He refused to be their Best man.

But in order to create a riff between the two main characters, the butler had to act like a surrogate father towards the painter as well. By acting so, he would get his trust and could manipulate him. This explicates why valet Kim kept helping the painter by taking care of him or defending him or buying material or by hiding his special status from the town folks. On the surface, it looked like the butler had adopted him. Yet, if you pay attention to his actions, you’ll realize that none of these actions were helping the artist. Deok-Jae didn’t get punished and got the opportunity to insult the victim. The “ghost fiancée” was stigmatized as a person consumed by sex, just like his lover. He brought the painter to the doctor without his master’s authorization. He was abusing his position exposing his true mindset. Therefore this created the impression to Yoon Seungho that Baek Na-Kyum could escape. (chapter 58)

As you can note, the servant acted like a surrogate father to both characters in order to achieve his goal: separate the couple and maintain his position as the master’s right-hand. Because Yoon Seungho was his master, the butler couldn’t scold him or disapprove his actions so openly. Hence he had to act in the shadow. He didn’t report the argument between Jung In-Hun and the painter, because he knew how the lord would react. He would become so furious that he could create a scandal. By revealing it as late as possible, he gave Yoon Seungho the feeling that he had not been chosen in reality. Baek Na-Kyum had remained by his side, as the scholar had just abandoned the painter. On the other hand, he could behave like a father towards the painter more openly, for as their status is similar. This explicates why he reprimanded Baek Na-Kyum, and never did it towards Yoon Seungho.

Since he was present right from the start (chapter 16 and chapter 20 , he could sense that Baek Na-Kyum could become his master’s wife. That’s why I consider him as their Best man, but it was against his will. And in chapter 58, the manhwalovers didn’t see him, but he was definitely present, when the lord confessed to the painter. Yes, in this panel the bucket of water is an allusion to valet Kim. In chapter 56, the butler was carrying himself a bucket. Besides, remember what Baek Na-Kyum said in chapter 57. The assistant was supposed to fetch water, and observe the smoke coming from the bucket. It indicates that Kim has just left it there. Hence this means that he must have heard Yoon Seungho’s confession: This means that he witnessed how the painter was no longer rejecting Yoon Seungho. The artist might have not confessed, but this was enough for the butler. The latter could sense that it was only a matter of time, until the artist falls for his lord. The latter had finally opened up and revealed his vulnerability. When I saw how the shoes were aligned, my first impression was that Kim was responsible for this. I judged this simple gesture as a act of thoughtfulness and respect. Yet, if you look at the disposition of the shoes, you’ll realize that they are placed so that the owners can put immediately the shoes on, as if they would leave the place very soon, a sign for disapproval in my eyes. Yet, he didn’t interrupt them. Whereas one might say that Kim desired to respect their privacy and even supported his master by not stopping him, it could be interpreted differently. Here, he acted, as if nothing was happening. He was again denying the existence of their union. This explicates why he never mentioned the night to his master in chapter 62: (chapter 62). He could have talked to Yoon Seungho that he had heard how the artist had reacted to his confession. In other words, he was still refusing to become their Best Man, though he had a second chance. He knew how much the artist meant to him and because he was sick and shouldn’t have sex, Kim recognized the signification of that moment. And the last panel mirrors the evolution of Kim’s position. He’s getting further away from his master. That’s why he is invisible. He is in reality the invisible hand, the puppet master who played with Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum’s fate. However, this panel reveals that he is no longer able to act like before. He can no longer control them, as he doesn’t perceive them correctly. His judgement is influenced by his own experiences and social norms he has strongly internalized. He only judges this love session as another sex session. The lord is so obsessed with the painter that despite his illness, he has sex with him: an addiction. For me, he didn’t interrupt them out of respect. He wanted this incident to remain unknown. He refused to acknowledge their relationship. This signifies that he rejected to be their Best man.

Striking is that when in chapter 70, the servant brought the painter to the bathroom (chapter 70), he was acting on Kim’s order. Due to the way the domestic closed the door, you could sense that he was resenting the artist. (chapter 70). The latter had created so much trouble in two days: his supposed escape and the kisaeng’s appearance. However, by “playing cupid”, the servant was actually acting as their “Best Man”. In my eyes, he hoped, the artist would stop rejecting his master. There’s no doubt that after this night, the staff was happy. This explicates why Kim ends up in the backyard. The head-maid and the male servants have come to realize that Baek Na-Kyum is playing an important role in their master’s life. (chapter 51). (chapter 64) After each disappearance, the staff would get into trouble. This leads me to the following conclusion: The real Best men are Yoon Seungho’s domestics, for they accept this union and relationship.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My instagram-tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

Painter Of The Night: Yoon Seungho’s love confession: dream and reality

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 demonstrated the importance of the hands in Yoon Seungho’s love confession. When the latter grabs the painter’s hand and interlaces his fingers with the painter’s, he desires to convey his affection properly, even before saying anything. But this gesture just marks the beginning of the renewal of their intimacy. However, in this chapter we have a sort of repetition of their Wedding night. Hence, we need to ask ourselves why it came to this, although the lord is physically diminished. The kiss and the caress of the hand are just signals and not the real explanations, especially after the readers recall the protagonists’ long separation and the terrible night which could have led to a catastrophe. What is motivating Yoon Seungho to overlook his own exhaustion and to create a magical night? Striking is that before the release of episode 58, I had predicted the following:

“Therefore we should expect a renewal of this scene: a hug, the reference to a dream and a love confession. […] Back then, Baek Na-Kyum was doubting if all this was true therefore I am expecting that this time, there will be no insecurity from his part. He will accept it as a reality which will make him happy. And he will shed tears of happiness again.” quoted from https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/10/25/painter-of-the-night-corruption-versus-purification/

And my vision turned into a reality. The manhwalovers could witness the return of the painter’s tears because he was so happy.

The painter’s dream of being loved by Yoon Seungho has become a reality. But the reality is even better than the illusion. It actually surpasses the vision because in the dream the painter isn’t facing his lover and the former doesn’t even cry out of happiness. Moreover, he keeps refusing the lord’s advances. Besides, he is much more passive than in the reality where the painter continues moaning “my lord” while blushing and holding the lord’s hand. He even expresses his satisfaction and even gets an orgasm, when he hears the lord whispering such erotic and passionate words, while in the illusion, he got so scared that he decided to wake up. He was still rejecting the lord’s confession.

Observe the contrast between the reality and the dream. Yoon Seungho in chapter 58 is physically and emotionally much closer to Baek Na-Kyum than in the vision. There is no gap between them as their hands and their bodies are touching each other. Even their heads are even closer. Furthermore, the confessions diverge as the word “quite” stands in opposition to “wreck”. The manhwalover can sense a certain reluctance in the second declaration (“I am quite fond of you”), while Yoon Seungho uses a hyperbola (“a wreck”) in order to emphasize his feelings for the painter. His love is so deep that it has weakened him. However, the seme is neither complaining nor blaming the painter for his poor situation. I would even say that he admits to his vulnerability. By comparing them, you can now understand why the painter could only cry at the end. Not only his dream had come true but it was even better than his unconscious had shown him. This magical night is much more passionate and beautiful than the vision which explains why the painter sheds tears out of happiness.

And this is no coincidence that Baek Na-Kyum makes this wonderful experience. It’s the lord’s real intention during this night, although he hadn’t planned it right from the start. Consequently unlike in the chapter 21, where the painter doubted it in front of Yoon Seungho if this was an illusion, there’s no room for ambiguity at the doctor’s. First, the artist is not drunk. But the most important aspect is that the master makes sure that this will feel so real. He ensures that all the painter’s senses are activated:

  1. The touch with the hand and their bodies
  2. The taste with kisses
  3. The visual: he puts him again on a pedestal and very close to his face so that the artist would see his gaze and facial expressions
  4. The hearing: he keeps talking to the painter

By awakening the painter’s senses, Yoon Seungho ensures that this night will leave a deep impression on the painter so that it sort of “haunts” him as well. However, like I mentioned above, the master has not planned it right from the start, he is more acting on his instincts, until he confesses. Then from that moment, he wants to create such a magical night. And this is no coincidence that just like during their Wedding night, there are two phases in this wonderful “reality”. In the first season, I demonstrated that first their relationship was more influenced by sex, then later by love. Here, I would say the categories are different: dream versus reality. For me, we have Yoon Seungho’s dream and its influence, then the return to reality and its consequences.

Striking is that until now, I have not explicated yet, where the lord is determined to generate a magical night. The first thought would be to say that he desires to win the painter’s heart and obtain a confession as well, which unfortunately doesn’t occur here. But this is not correct in my opinion.

First, the lord clearly expresses that he has more or less given up on getting a confession from the painter due to the expressions “Briefly” and “still lingers, like a dream”. He is no longer hoping to have his desires fulfilled. For him, it is just like a mirage, a fata morgana which can never materialize. And this is important because it contrasts so much to the night in the chapters 20-21. Back then, he had the impression that his dream had come true hence after that wonderful night, he tried to chase after it, to reexperience it but always failed. Notice the other contrast, here the allusion to the dream is at the beginning, while in chapter 21 Baek Na-Kyum’s reference to the dream ends their first Wedding night. And this is not surprising as here, the night in the chapter 58 symbolizes reality, whereas the night in chapters 20-21 was a mirage, an illusion. Yoon Seungho is decided to live in the reality. As a conclusion, his reality is that the painter won’t love him back, he is no longer expecting it. That’s why we can’t say that he is making love to the painter in order to win the painter’s heart. What is his goal if he is no longer hoping to get a confession? My answer is to love the painter selflessly and without any expectation.

But for that answer, I need go back to the point where everything starts in order to elaborate my interpretation. When the commoner announces to the protagonist this , the latter senses that Baek Na-Kyum has finally accepted him as a part of his life and even consider him as a part of his family “home with you”. For Yoon Seungho, it’s such a surprise because it’s now clear that Baek Na-Kyum no longer views him as a man consumed by lust but as a companion (“With you”). This represents such a huge progression because in the chapter 49, the main character who already lowered his expectations came to the compromise that they would just maintain a physical relationship hence sex was the only thing connecting them and nothing more. However, with these words “home with you”, the commoner truly reveals that his judgement about his “lord” has changed but the aristocrat has no idea about the extent. This is the return of hope and this is relevant as hope is often used as a synonym for dream. That’s why he laughs first, he can’t believe his own ears and eyes. It was as if his dream has come true. Therefore he initiates the kiss in order to taste the water. But he’s not rejected at all hence he keeps pushing a little further. From my point of view, he is impulsive, acting in the moment. He has no clue where all this could lead. However, he can’t accept this “dream” as a reality. That’s why he stops at some point questioning his own behavior. This reminds us of the lord’s words in the chapter 20 and 21, where he described the painter as delirious. However, this question reflects the lord’s insecurities and fears. It’s too beautiful that this can’t be true. Notice that he is wondering about his actions towards the painter which are all related to love and warmth: kissing, holding hands, hugging him so tightly, caressing the painter’s butt. And this question marks the return to reality and resignation.

I have to admit that when I read his question, it gave me the impression that the lord was rejecting affection because he was showering the low-born with his love… as if affection was a sickness and only fever could cause such a warm and caring behavior. And from my perspective, these words truly illustrate how love and affection are frown upon among the nobles. I might be overinterpreting it but, remember that during their first night, the lord kept criticizing the painter for his lack of experience and poor skills underlining that only skills matter. This is how Jihwa and Yoon Seungho were raised hence the red-haired aristocrat hid his feelings behind the appearances and sexual experience and it must be the same for the protagonist too. Therefore I come to the observation that only rationality, manipulation and calculating are allowed among nobles, while feelings are disdained, considered as weaknesses. Hence for nobles, sex is a synonym for fights and the readers assist to prostitution among nobles. Let’s not forget the sex sessions Yoon Seungho organized are in reality an exchange of favors. Therefore Jihwa could claim that he had used Yoon Seungho in the chapter 18. The only difference is that unlike in the past, Yoon Seungho is no longer following his father’s orders, his former pimp. So the lord is doubting his actions. Is it correct to act like that? Is it correct to follow his feelings and to even dream of being loved? Since the master has already encountered many rejections, he can’t help himself doubting what is happening right now. That’s why he stops and decides to confess what his dream was all along and how it came to life. Yet simultaneously he makes it clear that he is not really hoping to get confessed. However, when the painter hears this, he is surprised and blushes even more which the lord witnesses. In order to make the painter understand what he felt, he recreates the event of that night. He kisses him the same way the painter kissed him back then. That’s the reason why he talks about that night and what it really meant to him. He wanted to mock the painter for his lack of experience, yet it affected him so much that he couldn’t forget the painter’s love confession, gestures and words from that night.

And since this night has haunted him, it is clear that the noble has never forgotten too that the painter was longing to be loved back then.

There was indeed a certain despair in Baek Na-Kyum’s words, visible with the interrogation which ends with suspension mark revealing a certain frustration too. The lord even heard that the painter was doubting their intimacy. It was so good that it felt so unreal.

Hence if Yoon Seungho gives Baek Na-Kyum what the latter has always desired, feeling loved and feeling pleasure during their intimacy, then this could become also the lord’s source of happiness, like the saying, what makes him happy makes me happy. Imagine, until now, the lord’s dream was to get the painter’s affection but this signified that he was prioritizing his own interests. He was selfish in his desire because his true goal was to get love in reality. Theoretically