Painter Of The Night: Landscapes and its signification

This is where you can read the manhwa.   But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.

In this short essay, I will examine the signification of the landscapes we had in chapter 64. In this episode, we have two panels, first this one. What caught my attention is that before Byeonduck added the first picture with the moon, the manhwaphiles behold Seungho looking up at the sky. And this is no coincidence, as the first image represents the lord’s state of mind. The dead tree indicates the absence of life. Furthermore, the moon seems so distant, underlining that during that night the main lead is not himself. The absence of light in the buildings exposes his pain and the loss of hope: his heart is no longer beating. This stands in opposition to the picture from the first episode, where there were a full moon, a huge amount of trees with leaves and light in the building. Striking is the difference of the perspective reflecting how the main lead perceived himself: he was a spirit denying the existence of his heart, hence he was free and never considered himself trapped in the domain. However, in chapter 64, the lord is finally recognizing his mortality and his imprisonment. Notice the emptiness of the property exposed by the immense empty courtyard. It was, as though the buildings served as walls and boundaries symbolizing his prison. The lord is now starring at the sky wishing to feel free. And now, you understand why the author always gives us such panels. They help us to comprehend the main lead’s emotions and thoughts. He feels here empty, powerless, lonely and cold. However, this doesn’t mean that he is dead, his heart is just frozen. He is in the same state than Baek Na-Kyum’s after the scholar’s rejection and abandonment. As for the falling snow, they are the noble’s tears. He is not only too sad to cry, he is also incapable to do so. Due to his trauma, he learned to turn his heartache and sadness into rage and violence. And the sound coming from his voice symbolizes his pain. He can’t find any word how to describe his emotions. And now, the manhwalovers can sense why the lord is not so witty and full sarcasm like in the first season. Since he has ignored his heart for so long, he forgot how to grasp his feelings and as such to express them. That’s the other reason why he becomes violent in the end. Many researches proved that there’s a connection between brutality and lack of words. People with less vocabulary will attempt to voice their thoughts and feelings from the body. This explains why small children tend to cry loudly and threw some tantrums, when they are dissatisfied and angry. Therefore I believe that at some point, the painter will help the main lead to display his true talent: poetry. From my point of view, the noble is so educated, smart and sensitive that once he knows how he is loved by the painter and as made so many good experiences in this area, he will be able to show his love for the artist through poems.

And now, it is time to focus on the second panel. Surprising is the change of perspective again. This time, the beholder is gazing at the mansion from the sky. Besides, the moon seems closer too. And just like before, it is important to take the previous panel into consideration. The lord is refusing to kiss the painter and moves away his head from the low-born’s. From my point of view, the landscape represents the lord’s perspective. For him, the painter is just an empty building oozing emptiness and coldness. Furthermore, there’s a huge gap between the beholder and the mansion indicating the deterioration of the relationship between the two protagonists. The home the main character imagined to have found in the artist seems to be an illusion. He is no longer expecting anything from him. The abandonment and betrayal made him think that his dream was just a chimera and nothing more. But what the noble doesn’t realize is that he is actually seeing is actually a reflection of his own thoughts and emotions. Moreover, he is actually the one who is afflicting his loved one due to his insecurities and lack of trust. Notice that during this night, it is snowing the whole time underlining the depth of the noble’s sadness. And there’s no doubt that this drawing illustrates Yoon Seungho’s perspective. Simultaneously, we could also say that the falling snow could be the painter’s tears as well. He can no longer cry, he has been wounded terribly by Yoon Seungho, when the lord stopped himself from kissing him. I have to admit that I couldn’t help myself connecting this image to the one from chapter 21: Observe the contrast. Due to the perspective, the manhwaphiles sense the intimacy and closeness exposing the change of the lord’s feelings for the artist. While I once wrote that the rain symbolized the painter’s tears (tears of happiness), I would like to add that the rain was also a metaphor for the noble’s tears. He was feeling happy, was able to exude warmth and tenderness. And let’s not forget that the artist is the mirror of the master. Baek Na-Kyum’s tears represented the noble’s tears who couldn’t cry. That’s why he was so sensitive to his crying. He felt the same emotions, yet his eyes were unable to show this expression: sadness and wound. And now, the readers understand the signification of the chapter 64. Since it stands in opposition to their Wedding Night, it reflects the low point of the relationship between Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum. However, there’s no doubt that they will move on from this. First, we have the painter’s fighting spirit and resistance. He was even willing to risk his life in order to protect Deok-Jae and received a huge slap. So it is definitely possible that the painter won’t be so devastated like in chapter 40. Let’s not forget that this character always forgave the protagonist for his wrongdoings, he never held any deep grudge. Furthermore, he has been able to sense the lord’s affection for him. The latter confessed twice and even expressed that the painter’s happiness meant a lot to him. Moreover, there’s no doubt that the noble will feel huge pangs of conscience, especially if Kim, with the help of the physician, is able to make him recognize the truth: Baek Na-Kyum never abandoned him. Since the heart is frozen, I believe that he will be able to use more his intellect. As a conclusion, the manhalovers shouldn’t lose hope in the main couple. The frozen heart will start beating again, the moment he senses the painter’s warmth and 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: Valet Kim: a dog 🐶 , a matchmaker or a father? (third version)

This is where you can read the manhwa.   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:

As painful as the chapter 64 was, it revealed a lot about Kim’s personality and his relationship with Yoon Seungho. Therefore I decided to focus on the butler. On the other hand, this is not the first analysis I wrote about him. So far, I had described him as the helping hand and the best man. Then in other essays, I had compared him to a dog, to a matchmaker or even to a surrogate father. But who is he really, and more precisely, what is the true nature of his relationship with the lord?

In order to answer this question, it is important to gather all the info we have about him. Valet Kim is the servant who served the main lead since the latter was a young teenager. This means, he saw the sensitive and intelligent boy growing up into adulthood. (chapter 57) And if we look at the picture, the manhwaphiles can detect that Kim seemed to have the teenager’s trust. This is visible thanks to the domestic and Yoon Seungho’s gestures. They are talking to each other in a very natural way. We can conclude that they were close, especially if I include this panel in my examination. (chapter 57) The way the boy is looking up at Kim indicates that the main character is quite attached to him. And because of this scene, the manhwaworms could sense the domestic’s qualities: care, trust, affection and loyalty. But what many readers failed to realize is that servant Kim is actually following father Yoon in reality. This means that the elder master trusts this domestic. The latter is even the one who introduced the physician to the lord of the mansion. (chapter 57) That’s why I come to the conclusion that the butler Kim was in fact loyal to the elder master and not to Yoon Seungho. He might have had an affection for the teenager, yet in truth he serves the head of the family. And notice that valet Kim is still giving the expensive medicine to the protagonist, although this was ordered by father Yoon. (chapter 57) But more importantly, the manhwaphiles should question themselves about the nature of this medicine. It is a drug to mess up with the main lead’s health? And this clue reveals that Kim is not working for Yoon Seungho. One might argue that Kim is just following father Yoon’s orders, but the latter lives so far away, hence the eldest master has no control to threaten the butler. Hence Kim could have stopped feeding the medicine, especially after knowing how father Yoon treated the son. In other words, it looks like his loyalty to father Yoon is still intact. This is palpable in two occasions. (chapter 35) In this scene, the valet gives an order to his master and not an advice, since he employs the verb “must”. Why? Because he thinks, the letter was sent by the elder master. And Yoon Seung-Won knew that Kim was loyal to their father. Hence when he sent the letter, he used his father’s name and authority, but in order to maintain the illusion that father Yoon was the author, the brother also requested that valet Kim would bring back himself the reply. The deceitful brother used not only the butler’s fidelity to his advantage, but also gave the impression that father Yoon cared somehow for the black sheep. It was, as if the elder master was trying to rekindle with his older son. The readers can sense more his loyalty to the elder master, if they compare his reaction, when Yoon Seungho received the fake letter from lord Song.(chapter 56) Here, the domestic got scared, by just hearing the name. Nevertheless, he gave his master the advice to postpone the meeting due to his health. Yet, observe how he hides his discomfort and fear to his master by suggesting to postpone the meeting which exposes that he is hiding his true emotions. He justifies his advice by faking concern for his lord. Hence the lord can only have the impression, he is protecting his interest. Striking is that since we saw him scared, we have the impression that he is brave enough to propose not to the follow the invitation. My initial impression was to think that he got afraid of the name lord Song due to the lord’s traumatic past and he feared for his master’s mental health condition. However, the moment the valet realizes that the noble is on his way to meet this aristocrat, he gets so scared that he leaves the mansion immediately. So he doesn’t want them to meet. (chapter 56) Then in chapter 57, the butler expresses his worries concerning father Yoon. He doesn’t want the elder master to hear the news about Jihwa’s public confession, as the servant is well aware of father Yoon’s mentality. (chapter 57) He seems concerned for Yoon Seungho again. He knows that the head of the family hates homosexuality. He witnessed how the father separated Jihwa from Yoon Seungho with the excuse of an illness. He was present, when the teenager was imprisoned in the mansion. (chapter 57) One might question his loyalty to father Yoon, since the butler chose to remain by Yoon Seungho’s side after the topknot incident. However, I could respond that the valet saw it as his duty to keep an eye on the elder son on behalf of the head of the family. From my point of view, valet Kim decided to follow Yoon Seungho for other reasons than true loyalty to the protagonist. In the past, I used to think that he felt guilty for the main lead’s suffering. But I had to review my judgement. If he truly felt remorse, then he should have treated the eldest son differently in the mansion. Yet, he let him become a head-kisaeng. Moreover, the guilty conscience only resurfaces the moment he is confronted with a situation reminding him of his wrongdoing. (chapter 65) This shows that he has been successfully repressing it. In truth, he did it out of selfishness, while faking affection and loyalty to the Yoons. The readers shouldn’t forget that the head of the family decided to leave the main domain and live in the countryside. Therefore he abandoned the mansion to his eldest son. By remaining by Yoon Seungho’s side, butler Kim was ensured to have a quiet life. The man was a wreck, hence he couldn’t manage the mansion. (chapter 57) Furthermore, as an infamous hell-raiser, no powerful noble would be interested in him. When the purge occurred, the son had become the sacrifice and scapegoat, hence he was forced to remain at the property. And now, you can grasp where the butler’s loyalty lies. He is faithful to the mansion and property, and not to Yoon Seungho or father Yoon in reality. This explicates why he lies to Seung-Won and tries to stop him from entering the lord’s chamber. As Seung-Won is only the second son, he is not considered as the lord of mansion, while father Yoon is the senior and is supposed to be the head of the family. Because he is bound to the domain Yoon, he is definitely acting more like a dog than like a matchmaker or a father. He is able to find his owner very quickly, as if he was following his scent. (chapter 57) He barks like one, when he yells at Deok-Jae. (chapter 47) He is also sent to fetch the painter, when the latter is somehow “abducted” by the scholar. (chapter 24) But the most conclusive evidence for this association is his rapport to the door. He is always shown next to an opened door or even often stands on the door threshold. (chapter 64) (chapter 45) Since dog owners often put the sign “beware of the dog” on their door, you understand why I see it as an evidence that the valet is more as a dog than anything else. The butler is the guardian of the mansion, watching out for the owner’s safety. However, here we should comprehend it in a figurative sense. On the surface, the butler is looking out for the reputation of the Yoons, while in truth he is just focused on living a peaceful life far from trouble. (chapter 65) That’s why in chapter 45, he let the false rumors circulate in town, because his relationship to a commoner is not revealed. This would cause a real scandal. On the surface, it looks like Kim cared for his lord and as such for the Yoons. (chapter 64) The dog is not only a symbol for loyalty, but also it represents obedience and secrecy. He knows what is happening in the mansion, but he won’t let it transpire to the outside world. Therefore I deduce that valet Kim is quite similar to Jihwa. He knows the main lead’s whole past and tragedy, but he doesn’t truly feel sorry for the main character, for if he revealed the truth, because it would expose his culpability. (chapter 12) Simultaneously, he uses his knowledge to his own advantage, similar to Jihwa, although the latter was manipulated by Kim’s lies. And if you take into consideration the role played by the dog in different mythologies, you’ll note that they all have something in common: they are guardians of the realm of death, like for example Anubis (Egyptian) or Cerberus (Greek). And since I interpreted the mansion as Yoon Seungho’s prison and compared the master to a zombie, until he met the painter, the manhwalovers can now understand the butler’s real function. He is actually the guardian of the realm of death for the lord. To sum up, he is contributing to the lord’s misery and loneliness, as he keeps him bound to the domain and family. Moreover, the gentle valet is aware of his true role, as he has internalized the social norms. As a domestic, he is supposed to serve his master with respect and obedience, which he does on the surface. However, the reality is different, as he lies to him on multiple occasions. Hence he needs to act in the shadow. Why? The real goal of the butler is to live a peaceful life without any big responsibility. As a guardian of the kingdom of death, Kim is the one who allows people to remain by Yoon Seungho’s side or not, but since the painter is affecting the noble’s life, Kim can only perceive the painter as his enemy and source of danger. Yoon Seungho might decide one day that he would like to leave the property and join the capital.

And now, you are wondering why I believe that the butler feels guilty, but don’t forget that his bad conscience is not the real reason for staying by Yoon Seungho’s side. In my opinion, he is the one who abandoned the main lead, as he didn’t protect him from father Yoon and from the rape. Like I mentioned it above, the teenager trusted his butler and showed him his affection, therefore he must have considered him as his surrogate father. Yet the moment the former needed his help, the latter chose to do nothing and remained loyal to father Yoon. The young man must have felt abandoned and betrayed. How do I come to this conclusion? First, his attitude in chapter 64 shows him in a negative light. Out of fear and shock, he runs away and leaves the painter to a terrible fate. (chapter 64) This is not the first time that the butler had a similar reaction. In chapter 26, he tries to calm down the painter asking him to stop crying, and when the latter criticizes him, the domestic decides to leave the bathroom with the excuse that he needs to fetch him new clothes. (chapter 26) (chapter 26) He is leaving the artist behind, as he doesn’t want to be confronted with his wrongdoing: his passivity and cowardice. Then when he meets the protagonist in the main way, he sees his cold and distant gaze. So he knows that his master is in a bad mental condition, yet out of fear, he still leaves the artist behind, well aware that something bad could happen. That’s why he chose to intervene in the shadow (like for example, sending a servant to the scholar) so that I am now convinced that he even witnessed what happened to Yoon Seungho, but chose to close the door. There’s a reason for this assumption. First, he is connected to an opened door. Secondly, there’s this incident with the door in chapter 16. (chapter 16) The butler chose to open it in secret, because he desired to remain anonymous, so that his loyalty wouldn’t be questioned. As soon as it was opened, he ran away without looking back, fearing to see what was happening. That’s the butler’s trauma in the end. Back then, he chose to remain passive and close the door leaving his young master behind. But Yoon Seungho caught his terrified expression, which he can never forget, that’s why he pointed it out to the painter. (chapter 64) (chapter 64) He resented valet Kim for his betrayal and abandonment. That’s why I believe, in that scene, Yoon Seungho is using the same words than his rapist from back then. (chapter 64) In this scene he is reliving his own traumatic past, the first rape. And after it had occurred the first time, the valet must have told him this: (chapter 23) This idiom exposes his attitude, he will act, as if he knew nothing. And since I revealed that father Yoon trusted Kim and the latter was loyal to him, I am now quite persuaded that father Yoon is responsible for the sexual abuse of his son first. Striking is that my theory was confirmed in chapter 65 and 74. However, the valet acted, as if nothing happened, while the teenager was blamed for letting the servant see the rape. (chapter 65) It is even worse than I had anticipated, because he was even asked for assistance, but the valet turned a blind eye. The advice (“ignorance is a blessing”) expressed by the butler exposes his complicity. The valet became the willing helper of a rapist. In his eyes, he couldn’t stop it, as he was just a domestic. (chapter 65) Since Kim never revealed the secret of the “so-called conversion therapy” leading to the sexual abuse, father Yoon trusted his loyal servant. That’s the reason why he accepted to leave Kim behind. He knew that he would do anything to maintain the reputation of the Yoons. Furthermore, this trauma explains why the master keeps having sex outside the storage room. He is well aware that the servant will never remain there, hence he asks him in a cynical way if he wants to become a peeper. (chapter 64) Now, I can understand why Yoon Seungho has such abandonment issues. For him, valet Kim was his father, as the latter was nice and caring for him. Yet during the rape, he did nothing, as he was just a servant. And now, you understand why he feels that he has been backstabbed by his two fathers, why the main lead is using his position to keep a boundary between himself and Kim and why he is using his right as lord to keep the painter by his side. He has internalized that being a lord can protect him from pain and vulnerability. In his delirious fit, he believes that he can get what he wants. Back then, he was just a young master and not the lord of the mansion, and Kim was just a domestic. After coming to this perception, I see the chapter 64 in a different way. The chapter 64 exposes the valet’s cowardice, culpability and selfishness, hence I judge the lord’s behavior in a different light. The monster is the result of the betrayal and abandonment from two fathers, and both decided to avoid reality and see the consequences of their choices. Notice that father Yoon ran away just like the valet. But the chapter 64 could mark a turning point in Kim’s life in my opinion, as he sees the consequences of his silence. That’s why the valet decides to accept the new situation: (chapter 65) Baek Na-Kyum is now the lord’s companion, while in the past he used to plot against him. In that moment, the valet recognized that ignorance is not a blessing, because this doesn’t erase the event. Observe that Kim has a similar approach than Jihwa again. Since the painter returned to Yoon Seungho’s side, the noble has now the feeling that nothing happened. For the first time, Kim sees the true face of his master (chapter 64), and the former contributed to this due to his passivity. Now, he is facing reality, seeing the consequences of his inaction. However, the butler’s resignation doesn’t is short-lived. It even looks like the butler didn’t learn his lesson, he chose to turn an blind eye to that terrible night finding fake excuses, (chapter 65) even blaming the physician for remaining silent. And since Byeonduck has this approach that only pain can lead to changes, we have to imagine that Kim will have to suffer this time.

The chapter 16 exposes that Kim was well aware of his master’s action and decided to intervene. One might question the valet’s motives. If he intervened, why did he help the painter in the end? This would contradict my earlier interpretation: the butler is a dog and as such, he is obedient to his master. However, let’s not forget that he is a guardian of the Yoons and their reputation. By separating the commoner from his master, he ensures that Yoon Seungho’s reputation doesn’t deteriorate much more. Kim hates uproars, as they represent a source of danger for his life. As you can detect, the butler is determined to protect the Yoons’ notoriety, but out of selfish reasons. The manhwaphiles should remember that in chapter 17, he asks the maids not to approach the study like that. He is determined to keep everything under cover. He disapproves the master’s actions, as they are going against social norms. As a noble, he shouldn’t have a sexual intercourse with a low-born. That’s why he let the boy desert the mansion after the rape. He didn’t do it for the artist, but for his master’s respectability, because if this was known, then the valet’s good life would be in danger. Kim has deeply internalized social norms, any deviation represent a threat to his peaceful live. Moreover, he would attract attention again. But when he witnessed the master’s despair and fury after the escape, where all the servants had to suffer the result of his decision, he chose a different strategy. Back then, I described him as his matchmaker. He tried to present his master in a better light so that the artist would have a change of heart and accept Yoon Seungho’s advances. However, now I have to admit that I have a different judgement. He was not a real matchmaker, he was trying to turn the painter into a favored servant so that the appearances would be maintained. He decided to use a similar strategy, the aphrodisiac as a first step. And with all these new discoveries, I come to the deduction that the butler was a real accomplice of father Yoon’s schemes. If they became close sexually, the painter would become a servant and take over his role as close assistant. That way, his presence in the lord’s bedchamber could be explained. That’s why he lets the painter attend the noble during his illness and even allows his presence, when the doctor is here. In other words, he would like to hide the scandalous relationship with the low-born under the pretense that he is just a favored servant.

Now, you can comprehend why the butler let Deok-Jae sell the expensive dresser . (chapter 45) First, it symbolized that the painter was more than just a favored favor. But more importantly, he never cared about the item, since (chapter 65) He knew that the noble wouldn’t pay attention to it, since it was broken. His passivity and silence explain why the servants could talk behind their master’s back and spread gossips, sell his things and even not follow his orders. (chapter 32) Kim has no real control over the staff, although he is the right-hand of the master. His indifference and his fear for responsibility explains his lack of authority. That’s why in chapter 63, he doesn’t even attempt to correct the maids talking badly about Baek Na-Kyum, although he already knows that there’s more to it. His silence should be considered as a sign of admission, reinforcing the servants to think badly of the painter. The painter is a liar and betrayer. I have to admit that Kim’s passivity really annoyed me in that scene. (chapter 63) He is indeed a hypocrite, a selfish person, (chapter 64) although he doesn’t look like one. No wonder why the lord felt so betrayed and abandoned, and hates hypocrisy the most. He stands in opposition to Jihwa in the end. While the one did nothing, the other acted too much out of selfishness.

Furthermore, with this perception, the manhwaphiles comprehend why the domestic never tried to convince the painter directly that he was not a prostitute. Since the latter was no longer refusing his lord, then in his eyes he had achieved his goal. There’s no huge difference between a favored servant and a prostitute. Both are not allowed to refuse the sexual advances from the partner. They have no rights, their pleasure doesn’t matter. That’s why he saw no need to reveal the conversation between Jung In-Hun and Baek Na-Kyum. He only disclosed it, the moment he saw his master was able to get closer to the painter and the latter had overcome his heartbreak. Besides, this explains why he criticized the painter in chapter 52. He was not fulfilling his role as favored servant. (chapter 52) He was not the “wife”, the mistress of the house, just a servant. As you can observe, the butler is someone who abides to rules very strongly, he can’t accept a relationship between a low-born and a noble. That’s why I come to the conclusion that Valet Kim never understood the real needs of his master in the end. He never grasped that the noble was missing love and couldn’t cope with his betrayal in the end, because for him love is not important, only a peaceful life. And with this new approach, it becomes understandable why Yoon Seungho was never repulsed by the low-born. Since his childhood, he felt closeness to a commoner, and considered Kim as his father.

But after the abandonment, Yoon Seungho had learnt a terrible lesson. Kim was just a domestic. This explains why there’s no intimacy and closeness in the present situation. Their actual conversations are very limited, the master gives orders or asks questions, but he never expresses his feelings or thoughts in front of the butler. He even hides his sadness and pain in front of him. (chapter 56) He trusts him to a certain extent, because the valet took care of him, while he was delirious. The domestic even stopped him from committing suicide. (chapter 57) Yet their relationship was never the same like in the past. For the lord, Kim decided to remain by his side out of loyalty and duty, nothing more. That’s why he is so adamant to remind the domestic of his actual position. (chapter 50) This explicates why Yoon Seungho can’t trust Kim’s words in the end. (chapter 62) In his eyes, he betrayed and abandoned him once, therefore it is definitely possible that he is lying. The longer the lord lives with the artist, the more he senses that Kim shouldn’t be trusted. This explicates why the lord’s relationship with the valet is deteriorating. In season 1, he never doubted Kim’s words, but now it has changed. The painter’s genuineness makes Yoon Seungho detect the butler’s fakeness and hypocrisy. And since the lord threatened him with the sword, I am envisaging that he will do it, the moment he feels that his loyal butler betrayed him.

That’s why I come to the conclusion that valet Kim didn’t consider Baek Na-Kyum as his new adoptive son and when he “defended” him, it was always because of social norms, because of the master’s rights and position . Notice that after Deok-Jae had played the “prank”, Kim criticized him and mentioned Yoon Seungho. His gesture could have affected the master. (chapter 47) This explicates why the vicious servant never got punished in the end. Baek Na-Kyum was not considered as Yoon Seungho’s official partner, he was just a favored servant. This explains why he has no protection either and he could get kidnapped so easily. There was a motive behind his nice gestures. He desired Baek Na-Kyum to feel comfortable, so that he wouldn’t become greedy and not ask for more rights. He noticed his talent, when he saw his painting in chapter 44, hence he realized that painting meant a lot to him. Therefore he bought materials for him. (chapter 45) The purpose of this action is simple. On the one hand, he gave the impression that he was protecting Yoon Seungho’s interest, on the other hand he was pushing the jealous servant to plot something so that Baek Na-Kyum would disappear. Kim was well aware of Jihwa’s visit in chapter 43. He knew that the second lead would do something out of jealousy. Kim needed the painter’s submissive attitude, as this could only affect his lord positively, turning the mansion into a golden cage. And while I envisaged that the shock Kim experienced during that night would make change his mind, (chapter 64) chapter 65 even destroyed this expectation. He remains the same, because his philosophy is: (chapter 65) Sure, he feels guilty again, as he tries to justify his silence and passivity with fake excuses. (chapter 65) Yet, his guilt is towards Baek Na-Kyum, that’s why he is reminded of the past and his own cowardice. However, since he has always run away from responsibility, his remorse was never strong to make him reflect on his own behavior. Back then, he didn’t help his young master and remained silent and now the story is repeating itself. By connecting both events, it becomes obvious that Kim hasn’t changed at all. There’s a reason for that. He never suffered himself, like both main leads did. And like I wrote, for the author, pain is the driving force that pushes people to change.

As you could observe, valet Kim has internalized the values of his time and his social status. He liked Yoon Seungho, but not to the extent of considering him as his adoptive son. For him, he was just a commoner and a servant of the Yoons. Therefore he saw it as an act of disobedience, if he had protected Yoon Seungho back then and defied the master of the mansion. One might argue that he couldn’t have stopped it due to his vulnerable status. Yet people shouldn’t forget that Kim chose to remain, not only passive but also silent. Moreover, father Yoon trusted him so this means that the valet was his eyes and ears. He could have act behind his back. The result was that he became an accomplice of the perpetrator. By covering up the scandal, he contributed to Yoon Seungho’s misery. He chose reputation over a young boy, who truly loved him. That’s why the noble feels so insecure, even a commoner was not willing to show his love for him. The latter preferred covering up the crime, as reputation and norms seemed to be more important than a person’s life. He wanted to stay out trouble. And now, it is too late, as there’s a scandal which Kim couldn’t prevent. As you can see, no one in this manhwa is free from mistakes and huge flaws. Many admire the valet Kim for his loyalty and his secrecy (acting behind the lord’s back), yet under this new perspective these actions leave a bitter taste, because they all contributed to the misery of the two protagonists. In fact, I realize that this was done on purpose. Kim deliberately chose to ruin their relationship. But even if you can’t perceive Kim’s evilness, let’s not forget this saying, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, which would also fit the butler’s character. He means it well, yet his choices are terrible, as he prioritized the wrong values. Furthermore, willing helpers play a huge role in a dictatorship. Their excuses can be fear and cowardice, but also their adherence to the wrong values. Moreover, this truly exposes that internalizing social norms blindly can not be right, because people need to question them in order to bring positive.

That’s how I judge this character now. For me, Kim is not a father, but a black dog, the guardian of the realm of death. Hence the lord couldn’t come back to life. With this new interpretation, his death seems more imminent. By dying, the butler contribute to the lord’s emancipation. The latter can finally leave the mansion, his prison. It was the place where he lived a hell.

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: The phoenix, the crane and the butterfly (Serene Bird) – third version

This is where you can read the manhwas. But be aware that these manhwas are mature Yaois, 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: Here is the link, if you are interested in more analyses about other manhwas:

Thanks to comments from readers, I realized that I had overlooked certain aspects. And now, you understand why I keep asking my readers to give me some feedback. The remarks can definitely help me to improve the quality of my analyses.

After reading chapter 64, I have to admit that I needed a break to heal my broken heart. This chapter was the most painful to read. Because of this, I couldn’t help myself thinking of the work from Marquis de Sades again, Justine or the Misfortunes of Virtue. On the one hand, I was happy to see that my association to this work was correct, which I had sensed very early on.

1. Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho’s misfortunes

On the other hand, this means that the manhwaphiles have to prepare their heart, as the misfortunes and agony are definitely a part of this manhwa. However this doesn’t mean that I consider Yoon Seungho’s love for the painter as doomed. It is just that they will have to overcome many obstacles and as such enemies. And now you are wondering why I was reminded of this novel from the 18th Century in episode 64? First, the author displays such a violence linked to sex. Then the brutality during the sex makes the main lead suffer so much. Furthermore the sex in episode 64 is linked to immorality, shame and shock. The manhwaphiles will detect the absence of love and warmth in the intercourse, as there is no fire and light in that episode. The pleasure is only connected to pain and humiliation.

Here, sex is connected to perversion and corruption, while the painter symbolizes purity. And now you know the origin from the idiom “sadist”. The French author from the Enlightenment has become “famous” due to his grotesque sexual scenes, very similar to the sex scenes in chapter 64. Here, the lord shows indeed sadistic tendencies. He takes pleasure that the painter ejaculates, when he is in an embarrassing position. He feels no guilt and remorse, when he sees Kim’s presence and shocked face. Hence this episode confirms my theory of father Yoon’s rules and the indoctrination Yoon Seungho was exposed to. Here, the lord wants to submit the painter sexually. In other words, the former would like to wreck the painter, reverse the situation from chapter 58. He wants to eliminate the painter’s purity with this huge amount of sex. The more he has sex, the more he will destroy Baek Na-Kyum’s virtue and innocence and as such obtain his submission. He has the impression that by acting like that, he will get what he desires, not realizing that he is achieving the opposite.

And now you understand why the night in the storage room is a combination of the rape at the pavilion, the sex marathon and the sex session in the painter’s study in chapter 41-42.Here, the painter expressed the wish that the penetration should be deeper, he even asked for more roughness. All these sex scenes oozed sadness and violence. While in chapter 63, love was still present, the opening of the door marked a turning point. Kim’s presence triggers a memory deeply buried in the lord’s unconscious: Yoon Seungho’s first rape and the butler’s betrayal and abandonment. While all the readers, including myself, loathed Yoon Seungho for that terrible behavior, I only recognized afterwards why the lord changed one more time. He became even crueler and more brutal in that episode due to the valet’s appearance and presence. (chapter 64). This actually displays how wounded and betrayed the young master experienced the whole situation. He loved the butler so much, so that he must have felt his betrayal and abandonment as the worst he ever had lived. He was so shocked that he repressed it.

That’s why the concentration of these chapters was painful for the readers too. Therefore we can definitely say that Baek Na-Kyum’s fate resembles a lot to Justine’s. But since he is going through the same experiences than the noble, it signifies that Yoon Seungho suffered the same fate. I would even say, he went through worse situations, as his torment lasted for many years. The innocent protagonist experiences one misery after another one like Yoon Seungho, but in a much shorter time. The other divergence is that despite the suffered physical and sexual abuse, the painter is able to remain pure because of love. And now you are wondering how it is possible that the main lead can remain so pure after this new sex marathon. It is related to the lord’s confession in the shed. It looked like rape, but in reality it was difference. The painter was not really pushing Yoon Seungho away.

However, there are two huge differences between these two works. First, I think, we have two “Justines” in Painter Of The Night: the commoner and the noble Yoon Seungho. We could even say, that even Jihwa and Nameless are Justine too. Nevertheless, I would like to point out that Yoon Seungho and Lee Jihwa represent Justine’s sister, Juliette, too. The latter chose to drop virtues and used sex to climb the social ladders. In the French novel, the sister never made bad experiences (rape, torture, etc.), because she chose the easy way out. She wasn’t bothered to sell her body. But as I pointed out earlier, Yoon Seungho was exposed to violence and sexual abuse, therefore it is totally comprehensible why at the end he surrendered and chose to live like “Juliette”. Let’s not forget that in the French novel, Justine dies at the end, but through her death, her sister chooses to change her way of life. She becomes a reformed woman, a nun and dedicates her life to virtue. Now, you can see the parallels between the two works: Yoon Seungho died as Justine and became Juliette, until he met the painter Baek Na-Kyum. Because of the new Justine, the lord was slowly transformed, until he chose to abandon everything and become the artist’s domestic, in other words, the Joseon Justine’s worshipper.

2. The cranes

And it is the same for Jihwa as well. Let’s not forget that the two ukes are connected to the crane: (chapter 45) (chapter 43) While Baek Na-Kyum’s problem is sex, Jihwa’s struggle will be crime, like trespassing, abduction and murder. Like I had already mentioned it in another analysis, crane is connected to happiness, honor, longevity and good fortune. However, this doesn’t signify that the person embodied by the crane encounters good fortune. Due to Baek Na-Kyum, the second Justine, the red-haired aristocrat is forced to change and Nameless becomes his guide.

Let’s not forget that in the manhwa “Serene bird” the main lead Yoo Chung makes a similar experience. He also meets tragedies, one after another. That’s why Jihwa will play a different role than the commoner. Jihwa’s fate will be connected to justice, but he will suffer and his tormenter and liberator will be Nameless. The red-haired aristocrat is ignoring true moral values like charity, selflessness and justice, while his unconscious has not forgotten it. This will be his inner struggle, while Baek Na-Kyum was rejecting sex, connecting it to something dirty. Furthermore, unlike in the French novel from the 18th Century, where evilness and injustice win at the end, as the heroine dies, the manhwaphiles witness in the manhwa the spiritual death of the culprit, Yoon Seungho. This is represented by the following panel:

There’s no light, only darkness. The lord is no longer represented by the white candle, but again with the yellow bougie on a chandelier like at the beginning. (chapter 5) This marks the return of his older self, but a worse version, as there is no light. The yellow bougie on the candelabra is a symbol for coldness, frigidity and selfishness. Yet, since there is no light in chapter 64, the absence of light is a metaphor for the non-existence of life. In other words, we are witnessing the death of the phoenix. When I say that this is his spiritual death, it signifies that the lord’s heart is no longer beating for the painter. He closed his heart, and since the heart was in possession of his mind, this means that neither his heart nor his mind are alive. Yet, the manhwaphiles shouldn’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that Yoon Seungho’s love for Baek Na-Kyum vanished for good. It’s just that his self-hatred has taken over his mind and heart, therefore he is not able to give any love and warmth to his lover.

3. Yoon Seungho as Juliette

But let’s go back to our comparison to the French novel. Since Yoon Seungho torments the painter, we could think, he is a villain like the surgeon Rodin. However, this is just a deception, like I exposed above. The main lead is now Juliette, the sister who chose to live the opposite way of Justine after their separation. She became a libertine and used sex in order to climb the social ladder. She became rich and powerful. However, after meeting Justine again by chance, Juliette discovers her sister’s tragic fate, which affects her so much. When the libertine even witnesses Justine’s terrible death, the latter gets struck by lightning, Juliette decides to become virtuous and enters a nunnery, where she becomes a very famous nun, receiving the admiration from many ladies. Out of love for her sister, she decided to dedicate herself to virtues. And now, you comprehend why I believe that Yoon Seungho will have a similar reaction in the end. He will change for the better and fight for commoners, which was already visible in chapter 6. Now, you understand the signification of chapter 64. The latter doesn’t reveal his true personality, the violent and obsessed side to the painter, but the violence and betrayal he was exposed to, which led to his murderous and suicidal tendencies. His behavior is the result of the sexual abuse and the coercive persuasion. For me, it is clear that the lord actually reveals his self-hatred, therefore he is so rough and brutal towards the artist. He is reliving the past, and more precisely the first rape which marked the start of his suffering. And due to the brutality and the words of the rapist and his accomplice (chapter 65), he came to hate himself. That’s why the disappearance of the light shouldn’t be judged as something negative in the end. The lord has finally shown his actual mental disposition: a man full of insecurities and self-hatred, which the painter could hear and see. On the other hand, like I said, this is not his true personality, as he was forced to change and abandon all virtues.

4. Kim and the scandal in town

For the first time, the main lead confronts the butler with his past actions. He let him see what he went through during that night, when Kim chose not to open the door. That’s why Kim is so shocked and ashamed. But instead of assuming his responsibility, he acts exactly like in the past. He acts, as if nothing was happening and runs away. The only difference is that he can not make the painter feel guilty. This is important, because Baek Na-Kyum is not pushed to repress the incident. The painter won’t forget his behavior… exactly like during the night of the rape at the pavilion. Back then, he only reproached that he never revealed the truth. Yet during that night, he experienced his cowardice and abandonment. The painter is very sensitive concerning abandonment.

In my opinion, Kim always reflected to his master the following image: He was just a poor lord due to his tragic past, hence he was misunderstood. He could use memories to his advantage, hence the noble could only trust his butler. There’s no doubt that Kim had not forgotten the sensitive and kind teenager. He was willing to use his brutal behavior to his benefit. He could divert attention from his own misdeeds in the past. Yet in episode 64, he is confronted with the lord’s darkness directly for the first time, a heritage from father Yoon: he witnesses the true consequences of the lord’s hypersexuality. This time, he is affected, because he sees it himself.

Moreover, I would even say that the lord’s self-destruction is palpable, not only in front of the barn and in the painter’s study, but also in the town. The inhabitants are discovering the truth: Jihwa’s words became reality and as such truth. That’s how the town folks will judge it too. They will condemn the lord Yoon like Jihwa, because they became the victims of lord’s fury and despair. Due to his obsession with the painter, his domestics behaved like ruffians towards the inhabitants. This is quite similar to the scene in chapter 30, where his staff had to experience the lord’s brutality. We have to understand them. They were desperate to please their master, as they feared his brutality. They didn’t want to experience another huge beating. And the tailor plays a huge role in the birth of the huge scandal. With his small action, he will trigger a huge storm, so that the lord’s reputation as alpha and king will be literally destroyed. Therefore from my point of view, we are witnessing the lord’s gradual death. Despite his bad reputation, the inhabitants never avoided Yoon Seungho in the past, as he had money and connections. However, we shouldn’t forget the incident in chapter 54, where he evicted the nobles. The latter will no longer respect the powerful lord, and the chapter 64 announces that the protagonist will first lose the inhabitants’ support. He will truly become an outcast. One might argue that he already had a bad reputation as hell-raiser, yet with this scandal, there’s no ambiguity that no officials and no merchants will like to be connected with him. But this situation is just short-lived, because after the scandal, the main lead becomes tranquil again. The absence of a new scandal for 2 weeks and his attitude towards the painter in chapter 76 display that Yoon Seungho is able to get the town folks’ support like in the beginning. They definitely judge him as a reformed man. This explicates why the shop owner is still showing respect towards the master. (chapter 76)

5. The candle and painting

However, I believe that in chapter 64 Yoon Seungho has not reached the bottom yet. Why? First, he has not realized the consequences of his action yet. He literally destroyed the painter, and not with sex, but with his refusal of kissing the painter: What caught my attention is the absence of the painter’s blushing and the disappearance of tears. These two panels represent the final blow to the painter. And he will remember this gesture, just like he could recall the embrace and kiss from chapter 42. That’s why the yellow candle is also a metaphor for the painter. I believe that he didn’t cry after that night. And the manhwaphiles can note the vanishing of the painter’s physical reactions, if you compare it to the sex scene in the barn or in front of the storage room. The painter is still blushing and ejaculates. And the interpretation from my previous analysis was correct. The scene with the storage room is a combination of the sex marathon and the chapters 40-41-42. Here, the absence of the kiss is similar to the scholar’s words: However, there are two contrasts. First, the outcome will be different. Secondly, the lord treats the painter as his plaything now, and not as a prostitute. Notice the parallels. We have the return of the yellow candle on a candlestick, then the treatment is similar to the first chapter, where Baek Na-Kyum was kept captive in the barn. In chapter 1, the room was bright contrasting to the darkness in the storage room in chapter 62-63. Back then the main character was intelligent and cunning, as he was not aware of the influence of his heart. From chapter 62 on, the lord is no longer in possession of his smart and bright mind, as the darkness of his heart has taken possession of his mind. Yet, since the painter was able to hear and see the lord’s love on two occasions, the artist will recover from the wound afflicted during that night. Unlike the scholar, who never declared his love for him and just hoped that he would change into a person without a sex life, the noble expressed his wish to be the cause of the painter’s happiness. Therefore the new version of chapter 40 will have the opposite outcome. The painter’s spirit won’t be so devastated like before. He has already experienced the noble’s love. On the other hand, the painter stopped painting after that night. From my point of view, this second marathon has affected his creativity. He couldn’t paint due to his injury, but he remembered the orchid from Yoon Seungho. In my opinion, the lord’s words from that night must have left a deep impression on him so that he won’t be able to paint erotic paintings. I am more inclined to believe that Baek Na-Kyum’s new picture in the third season will be a different topic. Remember my theory that Yoon Seungho was a painter in the beginning, but his father ruined his talent. In my opinion, we should expect a similar phenomenon. Due to the sex marathon, the painter will be encouraged to paint something else. Since the orchid from Yoon Seungho caught his attention and he drew himself an inauguration painting, I come to the conclusion that the painter will choose a different topic for his works. That’s how he will shine as a phoenix. This would explain why the sheet of paper remained white during that night. (chapter 64)

After that night, the low-born’s love for the noble is affected. Baek Na-Kyum has discovered his own huge sexual appetite. Based to my interpretation, the painter serves as the aristocrat’s mirror. By making the painter suffer the same fate, so that the latter becomes a new version of Yoon Seungho, the protagonist will perceive his own reflection. Hence he has the impression that he is a man consumed by lust, and in his denial he tries to blame his lover. (chapter 75) And now, you grasp why the author is tormenting our main lead. His function is to liberate Yoon Seungho, but for that, he needs to go through the same pain and wounds. By destroying the artist, he kills himself in the end. This explicates why the yellow bougie represent the two protagonists in chapter 64: Hence we could say that the painter is a phoenix as well. And by turning the artist into a zombie, Yoon Seungho will be cornered to accept the reality. He is indeed a man obsessed by sex. This interpretation was confirmed with chapter 66. (chapter 66). There’s no ambiguity that in that moment, Yoon Seungho blamed himself for the artist’s flashback, until the abduction was unveiled. But the artist experiences a rebirth… as a painter. He won’t create any erotic painting in my opinion forcing the noble to create erotic pictures. But naturally this is just a theory. The reason for this is that we have the presence of the brushes under Yoon Seungho’s head. (chapter 64) It was, as if Baek Na-Kyum was passing his task to the main lead.

6. The crane’s vision

By announcing the presence of a zombie, I couldn’t help myself to connecting it to Jihwa’s nightmare. His dream became real. I perceive this scene as the evidence that Jihwa’s role is quite similar to the artist’s. The latter’s dreams always turned into reality. But there’s more to it. Now, I comprehend the meaning of the following images differently. The painter’s dead gaze is the reason for the main character to have dark eyes. Observe that the noble’s hand is holding the painter’s head, indicating that the lord is responsible for the artist’s spiritual death. The darkness of Yoon Seungho’s heart was brought to the surface due to Jihwa’s action. Due to his misdeed, he caused the noble to become oblivious of the truth, his gaze is covered by a shadow. As you can observe, the new episode gives us the opportunity to perceive Jihwa’s prediction under a new light. That’s why Baek Na-Kyum is able to move on from the scholar.

7. Yoon Seungho’s indoctrinations: the cause of his death

And you all know the reason why the master is so determined to deny, that he is a man consumed by sex and believes that he is not worthy to be loved. He has been brainwashed by his father, just like the painter. Yet their path was different. Whereas the artist was forced to abstinence and to reject his own sexual orientation, the aristocrat was forced to prostitution for his father’s sake. The latter turned his mansion into a brothel, since he was such a prude hypocrite. When the purge occurred, the father saved his own skin by betraying and abandoning his son. For the first time, Yoon Seungho was confronted with reality and as such his own reflection. The father never loved him, in fact he despised him, hence the latter developed self-hatred and a phobia of his own reflection. But he adopted his father’s point of view due to Kim’s influence, just like Baek Na-Kyum did after the low noble told him that he only considered the low-born as a prostitute. That’s why he kept fooling around with men. And the chapter 64 was another revelation: the lord’s hypersexuality. It became really visible in this picture. It was, as if the artist was asked to paint an erotic picture, while having sex, because the sexual act was not even enough for the lord’s libido. This sexual disorder is the result of the father’s coercive persuasion. If you look up, you will discover that sexual trauma can definitely lead to hypersexuality.

“There are several causes that can explain hypersexual behaviour: a psychological trauma related to affection, love or desire, but also an emotional shock such as depression, etc.” (translated by me),%C3%A9motionnel%20comme%20une%20d%C3%A9pression%2C%20etc.

With this quote, it becomes obvious why the lord is so convinced that he can’t be loved. Imagine that just by reading the title of this article “Hyposexuality and Hypersexuality Secondary to Childhood Trauma and Dissociation” I can link the other psychological disorder I had diagnosed in the master with hypersexuality And now, we know why the main lead needed stimuli all this time and why he chose to live in debauchery in the end, which his physician had criticized. He had to in order to mask his mental issues. However, I believe that after the public disgrace, the main character, misguided by his “mentor” Kim, thought that he could take revenge on his father by becoming the exact image his father hated. In his mind, he would hurt and humiliate his father, at the same time, this control about the rumors gave him the impression that he was indeed a spirit. The reality was totally different. Father Yoon might have lived in exile, yet his reputation was still intact, whereas Yoon Seungho was treated like a head-kisaeng.

Due to the second sex marathon, Yoon Seungho is forced to admit that he was wrong. That’s why after realizing his huge mistake, he gives up on all the doctrines taught by his two fathers. Simultaneously, he realizes that he can only make love to the painter, if the latter desires it. He can no longer impose his will onto Baek Na-Kyum. The irony is that by acting so, he is definitely breaking a taboo. He is not hiding his love for another man, and not hiding it behind social norms, like: sex is a battle. Once the fight is won, there’s an exchange of favors.

As a conclusion, after that night, Yoon Seungho is no longer confusing sex and love. He has adopted the painter’s original point of view. Sex is an expression of love. That’s why he will shine as a phoenix. He will represent Baek Na-Kyum’s philosophy and fight for these virtues: hard work, dedication, forgiveness, empathy, equity and liberty.

7. The butterfly

And now, you are wondering why the title is referring to the butterfly, as so far, I only talked about the phoenix and the crane. Why did I come up with such an association, when the second season happens during the winter? My reason is quite simple. The image of the butterfly is present in the manhwa under two aspects, first we have one panel with a butterfly in the special episode: Secondly, I couldn’t restrain myself thinking about the butterfly effect. While many readers were mad at Yoon Seungho for his brutality and ruthlessness in chapter 64, they seemed to have forgotten that everything happened because of Jihwa’s action. The latter let the painter kidnapped. Nonetheless since he was returned, in Nameless and the red-haired aristocrat’s mind, nothing had happened. A small change, and yet it destroys the fragile relationship between the two protagonists, affects the bond between Yoon Seungho and Kim and ruins the lord’s image in the town. Jihwa’s greed and jealousy led to the main lead’s self-destruction. Sure, the lord is not innocent either. Therefore he will be punished. The main lead loses everything: Baek Na-Kyum’s trust, his “life” and even his position as lord of the mansion. Their “spiritual” death is his punishment. That’s why I believe that Jihwa has not met his karma yet. He will definitely suffer just the painter and will be punished. So far, he has not been exposed to physical and sexual violence, that’s why I am now predicting this. The relationship between Jihwa and Nameless won’t be romantic. Jihwa will see the butcher’s true face at some point.

And now, if you recall the whole story, you’ll observe a certain pattern: the butterfly effect is always linked to the painter and Jihwa. The main lead is affected thanks to Baek Na-Kyum’s works and once they meet, the artist affects him and his life. A small creature, like the butterfly, brings huge transformation to the people around him: Jung In-Hun, the valet Kim, the servants, Deok-Jae, the nobles and Jihwa. Note that in chapter 8, Min met the artist for the time and awoke lust and desires in him. That’s why he started challenging the main lead. And since Jihwa is the noble version of the painter, we can conclude that Jihwa plays a similar function in the end. He brings transformation, positive and negative, just like Baek Na-Kyum, but to Nameless and Yoon Seungho. And this is no coincidence that the butterfly is a symbol for transformation and temporality.

Butterflies are deep and powerful representations of life. Butterflies are not only beautiful, but also have mystery, symbolism and meaning and are a metaphor representing spiritual rebirth, transformation, change, hope and life. The magnificent, yet short life of the butterfly closely mirrors the process of spiritual transformation and serves to remind us that life is short.,%2C%20change%2C%20hope%20and%20life.

This explains why the beautiful insect is associated to death in the end. There’s this belief that the butterfly represents the soul of deceased people, the loved ones. That’s why some people think that butterflies are messengers from the afterlife, the souls are communicating to them through butterflies. Let’s not forget that butterflies are attracted to light and fire, and we all know that one of the main lead’s element is fire. However, fire can kill a butterfly, if the latter becomes too close to the flame. And now, you understand why I connected this candle with the one from the special episode. This bougie represents the true form of the painter: white because of purity and innocence and the butterfly as a sign of his true power. He is the one who brings transformation and rebirth! The butterfly is the cause for the rebirth of the phoenix. His selflessness causes him to lose his “spiritual” life. He follows the lord till the end, never rebelling which contrasts to the painter’s behavior during the first season. He won’t even try to run away after that night, as he will keep his promise. However, this new vow is not without consequence.

This time, someone will have to abduct him in order to free him from this hell, and this prediction seems to become true. (chapter 69) Due to this panel, it becomes obvious that Heena noona will behave the same way than Jihwa in the end, though the roles have been switched. Her brother has been seduced by a witch and he needs assistance. She will do anything in order to save her brother, unaware that she will be the cause for her brother’s misery. While I thought in the past that Kim embodied the saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, I came to recognize that this bible quote fits Heena noona’s personality. And this would definitely reinforce my interpretation that the kisaeng is a Christian.

So while the readers envisioned that the kisaeng introduced at the end of the episode would become Baek Na-Kyum’s savior, (chapter 64), she played a different role in the end. She instigated fear in the painter and confronted him with a negative reflection so that the artist stopped opening up. He never revealed his true emotions and thoughts in front of Yoon Seungho. Even the influence of the wine didn’t push him to confess his affection, contrary to chapter 21. In other words, Heena noona is no emancipator, just like Kim. Note the pattern, the butler’s stans hoped that he would become the painter’s helping hand, but he never did. When he encouraged the painter to leave the mansion, he was well aware that Black Heart was waiting for him at the kisaeng house.

The chapter 64 announced a huge turning point in the noble’s life, his death. In other words, it forced him to face reality. The master was no longer a boy with a tragic past, but a monster. And let’s not forget that the tailor revealed the identity of Baek Na-Kyum in chapter 64. He made an allusion, that the low-born was the anonymous artist who became famous with his erotic paintings. And due to this final panel, I come to the conclusion that Baek Na-Kyum’s departure from the brothel was linked to the success of his career as a painter and his homosexuality. They chose Jung In-Hun, as he was a low noble with no wealth and connections. From my point of view, the adoptive mother or sister wanted Baek Na-Kyum to remain in the shadow. We can assume that she imagined, by living with the scholar, the painter would keep painting, but he wouldn’t be able to outlive his sexual orientation. There’s no doubt that Heena noona imagined that he would be abused. And the appearance of the kisaeng with two guards signifies that Baek Na-Kyum is indeed connected to power in the end. Since I consider him as a phoenix, this could be an indication that he could be more than just a filthy low-born, like Jihwa and Jung In-Hun imagined.

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Painter Of The Night: The night of revelations – part 3 (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwa.   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:

It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring:  That way, you can support me with “coffee” so that I have the energy to keep examining.

In the first part, I had compared the chapters 62-63 to the scene at the pavilion in order to outline the progression of the OTP’s relationship and to announce Yoon Seungho’s imminent emancipation. However, due to the length of the first part, I didn’t get to mention that the scene in the storage room is also a new version of the sex marathon.

1. The signification of sex marathon

Back then, the lord used the mirror for the painter so that the latter would see his own appearance and realize the existence of his body. The true purpose for the sex marathon was to force the painter to accept his sexual orientation, and as such Yoon Seungho as his sex partner. It was, as though the master had employed the mirror for a hypnosis session. (chapter 31) Consequently in chapter 34, the painter sensed a change of perception about his body after the sex marathon. For the first time, he detected his heartbeat and the butterflies in his stomach, which were triggered by the main lead’s presence. (chapter 34) The parallels can be observed by the absence of the eyes of the protagonists in certain panels. Compare the picture with the mirror (chapter 31) with the following one: (chapter 63) Striking is that the character represented with eyes plays the role of the liberator for his sex partner. Due to the sex marathon, Yoon Seungho had helped the painter to free himself from his torpor, since due to the coercive persuasion, the artist had come to deny not only his sexual orientation, but also the existence of his own body. That’s why he could no longer admire his learned sir like before after the sex marathon. By recognizing the existence of his own body, the painter couldn’t feel the same attraction towards the teacher. And since the sex marathon played a huge role in his healing process, we have to imagine that the sex scene in the barn has the same signification for Yoon Seungho. He is on his way to be liberated from his self-hatred, but as you can imagine, it will be a painful process. Back then, the painter got ill and the lord ran away from his responsibility. That’s why this time, the blinded person will be the one suffering from the sex marathon: he will feel like dying, when he realizes that he wounded his lover blinded by his prejudice and anxieties.

2. Comparison between the two sex marathons

Nonetheless, there’s a huge difference between the two scenes. Unlike the painter, the aristocrat never denied the existence of his body as such, he just judged his body as a weapon and a armor. This explains why in the latest episode, the noble is so rough with the low-born. He is trying to defeat the painter, so that the latter will accept his submission, and won’t leave his side. He is too afraid to lose the artist, especially if he hears a love confession from him, that’s one of the reasons why he interrupts him. (chapter 63) He has no guarantee that this is true, and love is like a leap of faith. This isn’t something that you can grasp or see. Besides, he would have no control over him, if he accepts the confession. Loving means taking risks, which is linked to fears. This displays how much the master has been brainwashed. Since the painter disappeared in his mind, he came to acknowledge his father’s doctrines one more time before dropping them completely, when he discovers the truth.

The second sex marathon announces the imminent noble’s death. Contrary to the first one, Yoon Seungho has no idea about this. Unlike in the first marathon, he made only emotional decisions, which is normal. The manhwaworms shouldn’t forget that unlike the artist, who remained only one year with the scholar, the noble has been exposed to violence and indoctrination for years. And now, you can understand why I perceive father Yoon as another dictator, like Jung In-Hun. Power and strength are all what matter in their eyes. Finally, the main lead can’t imagine that his dream became true, that he is loved, since he considers himself as a monster. In other words, his self-hatred hinders him to lose his last principles taught by his ruthless and immoral father too. Therefore the lord uses his status as lord to claim the painter. (chapter 63)

As a conclusion, the “therapy session” for the main lead is still ongoing. From my point of view, the ending scene represents a turning point in the hypnosis session. The lord has already revealed his feelings and thoughts (chapter 63), so his love confession to never let the painter go symbolizes one of the last principles Yoon Seungho has internalized. As a master, he can decide about the painter’s fate. So if we consider this scene as a hypnosis session, where is the mirror? As you can imagine, the painter’s face and gaze serve as a mirror for the lord, where he can perceive himself. Therefore the last image shows our protagonist looking closely at the painter’s face and his eyes. (chapter 63) Unlike in chapter 55 or 58 or 62, he is no longer avoiding the artist’s gaze. And there is no doubt that what he will perceive is a different reflection he had received, when his father betrayed and abandoned him. This will help him to forget the father’s gaze engraved in his heart. The latter was full of hatred and resent, which the main lead internalized. And with this new interpretation, the chapter 63 appears in a different light. It gives the manhwaphiles hope.

3. The repercussions of this night of revelations

And now, you understand why Baek Na-Kyum didn’t leave Yoon Seungho’s side after this night. Though the lord acted like a common brute, the painter was able to see his soul through his gaze and sense his agony through his words. (chapter 63) With this strong “confession”, the artist’s own fears were addressed too. Let’s not forget that the artist has terrible abandonment issues either. The master’s words left a deep impression on him as well. That’s why he could use the same words the next morning. (chapter 65)

Then in the first version, I wrote this:

“On the other hand, we shouldn’t forget that after the sex marathon, the artist got so sick that some servants had already envisioned that Baek Na-Kyum would die. Therefore, we have to prepare our heart that Yoon Seungho will suffer, just like the low-born. I am expecting a return of his suicidal thoughts, when he realizes that he failed as lord and couldn’t even protect his lover.

This took place, exactly like I had predicted. The noble was definitely pained and destructive after discovering the truth. He ransacked his own bedroom out of anger and despair. (chapter 69) He had ruined his relationship with the artist. Because he refused to make the leap of faith in the shed, Yoon Seungho decided to make the opposite choice. He let the painter decide about his own fate, yet he was definitely living in agony. The wounded, fearful and desperate gaze revealed his turmoil. (chapter 69) In my eyes, the absence of the lord’s eyes during the night of revelations stands in opposition to the lord’s gaze full of expressions in chapter 69. Note that in that episode, the author always drew his eyes, underlining that now the noble was using his own eyes finally. He is no longer relying on Kim and his information. I was also right that this night would affect Yoon Seungho’s relationship with the valet, yet I didn’t expect, it would unveil his true personality. For me, this second sex marathon was a real eye-opener: it made me recognize Kim’s hypocrisy and cowardice. From that moment on, I could no longer view him as a real father figure.

4. Betrayals, pain and sex

And since the painter’s gaze and facial expressions will play a huge role in the master’s healing process, it signifies that the artist won’t show any disdain or repulsion, in fact the opposite: acceptance. But how is it possible, when the master behaved like a rough sex-maniac in the barn, the very same image the aristocrat kept denying? The response is very simple. If you compare the scene in the barn with the chapter 40, which includes the incident at the tailor shop and at the library, the similarities will become so obvious that after the contrasting, you will realize the true meaning of this confrontation in the storage room.

Therefore I would like to point out all the common denominators in both scenes, accompanied with comparisons and observations:

  1. The length of the scene: 4 chapters (39-40-41-42). If we include the whole chapter 40, then we can add the chapter 39, since in chapter 40, the painter leaves the tailor shop and in chapter 41, we have a flashback with the scholar and the request of Baek Na-Kyum to get comfort from Yoon Seungho. And it looks like we will have two episodes in the storage room (62-63-64-65).
  2. The use of flashbacks (chapter 40) (chapter 62)
  3. The terrible wound afflicted on the protagonist: In chapter 40, Baek Na-Kyum is the one who gets wounded by his former teacher, which leads the artist to hurt the main lead as well in chapter 41. He rejected his concern and yelled at him. In chapters 62-63, the positions are switched. Yoon Seungho is the one upset and pained, since he is convinced that the artist abandoned him, therefore his anger is aiming at the commoner. Yet, the true culprit of his wound is his childhood friend Jihwa. Simultaneously both have a common point: Baek Na-Kyum gets hurt, because he becomes the target of Yoon Seungho’s anger, while in chapter 40, he is backstabbed by his admired sir and used the master to get some comfort. Yet, the situation is similar, as the real culprits of the wound never witness the consequence of their actions and words.
  4. Sex: tailor/painter’s study versus barn: The intensity diverges here. We had a romantic date in chapters 39/40 and a painter acting like a prostitute in chapter 41 due to his pain. Sex was used in order to cover the emotional wound and in chapter 62/63, it is the same. The roughness in Seungho’s behavior during the intercourse displays his wound and need for embrace, yet he can’t ask for warmth and love, since in his mind, the painter will never open his heart to him. (chapter 63) And if we take the chapter 41/42 into consideration, the painter did request that the lord should be particularly rough. (chapter 42) As you can see, the chapter 40 can not be really detached from the sex scene which follows the teacher’s betrayal. Another contradiction is that the painter is just asking the lord to stop, since Baek Na-Kyum is exhausted, while the aristocrat believes that the commoner is pushing him away, begging him to let him go for good. (chapter 63) But this divergence comes from the fact that this scene is a new version of the sex marathon, which I mentioned above. Back then, the painter made a similar request. As conclusion, the violence of the sex in chapter 62-63 is strongly connected to an emotional wound, a repetition of chapter 41/42. And in my opinion, the artist understood the situation and the lord’s motivation. Hence he doesn’t feel badly about Yoon Seungho. Notice that the next night, Baek Na-Kyum doesn’t think badly of this sex marathon.
  5. The question of responsibility: In episode 40, the lord desires to become responsible for the painter, while the latter desires the low noble to be his “guardian” and keep his promise. (For further explanations, you can read my analysis about chapter 39-40). In chapter 63, the powerful noble is using his right to claim the painter and as such, he becomes his guardian.
  6. An interrupted confession (chapter 40) (chapter 63) What caught my attention is the contrast between the two declarations. While the artist’s feelings for his admired sir seem to be very strong (I adore you), his words don’t really correspond to his affection, because his feelings have already diminished. He did lie to his teacher and protected the main lead in chapter 38. That’s why the “I adore you” should be judged as an exaggeration. It was, as though the painter desired to convince himself and his teacher that he was still attached to him. Besides, he needed to persuade him not to abandon him, after hearing so many reproaches. This observation leads me to the conclusion that Baek Na-Kyum made up his mind to still follow his teacher out of loyalty despite the harshness of Jung In-Hun’s words. On the other hand, the author used a litotes (“I do not dislike you”), implying that in fact his attachment is much stronger. And this is exactly what happens during this scene. Despite the harshness, the painter is forced to question his true feelings for the main lead and recognize them. He is even willing to confess, yet he is stopped. I doubt that Yoon Seungho would have perceived it as a love confession, as he hates meek words. I can use this panel as a reminder: (chapter 48). Yoon Seungho is exactly like the painter, he loves strong and metaphorical confessions, like “you’ve made me a wreck” or “I will never let you go”. But let’s return our attention the scholar and Yoon Seungho. Both nobles act the same way. Both can’t accept the artist’s declaration, yet their motivation diverges. The teacher finds it disgusting to be connected to a commoner, whereas Yoon Seungho is too afraid of being lied. He has the impression that this dream can never come true. Yet, while contrasting them, we see the painter’s determination who is willing to overlook the reproaches expressed before by both aristocrats. And he remains faithful till the end. That’s why he waited for Jung In-Hun at the gate in episode 44. He needed to see with his own eyes, how the learned sir had truly abandoned him. This represents another explication why the low-born didn’t react like Kim and Min anticipated. He didn’t follow his sister out of loyalty, compassion and a certain trust. However, Heena noona was able to sow seeds of doubts.
  7. A betrayal and abandonment: In chapter 40, the low noble refuses to take his responsibility and breaks his promise. (chapter 40) In this picture, the scholar leaves the painter behind, a metaphor for his abandonment. He even repeats this action, when he leaves for the capital. In chapter 62-63, Yoon Seungho sees in the commoner’s escape a rejection and betrayal. (chapter 62) This panel illustrates the thoughts of the protagonist: the commoner has turned his back on him.
  8. The recurrence of the question: “why” (chapter 40) (chapter 40) (chapter 62) (chapter 63) In both cases, the aristocrats questions the commoner’s motivations for his actions. While Jung In-Hun’s interrogation serves him as an occasion to break his promise by putting the blame on Baek Na-Kyum, the other character is more curious to know about the reasons for his desertion. From my point of view, this shows the noble’s desire to comprehend the painter better. And this illustrates that his obsession with the “why” is well meant. Why is he pushing him away? If he knows the cause, he could find a solution in order to bring the painter to his side.
  9. The importance of the commoner’s smile: (chapter 40) The painter became happy, when he heard that the civil service examination would take place soon. He immediately thought of his learned sir and envisioned that this would please his former teacher. Jung In-Hun’s excitement became the painter’s joy, this is how the painter was thinking in that scene. (chapter 62) (chapter 63) In the scene in the barn, there are two smiles, the first one is a cynical one. However, if the manhwalovers pay attention to Baek Na-Kyum’s smile, his gaze is missing. The absence of his eyes indicates that this picture represents the lord’s mind. Hence the smile full of “schadenfreude” and sarcasm mirrors the noble’s smile, the one he uses in front of people. We had an example in chapter 6, when he made fun of Jung In-Hun, because the latter fell so easily into his trap. However, in the second panel, the master reveals his biggest wish: he would like to smile genuinely too. If he sees a gentle and honest smile in the painter’s face, he will also return the smile. This shows the lord’s humbleness and desire to become honest and genuine to someone. He would like to make such a facial expression, something he has long forgotten. In the end, I believe with these words, the aristocrat would like to drop his mask of deception.
  10. The hope of both protagonists: (chapter 40) (chapter 29) By contrasting both panels from chapter 40, the readers can detect the painter’s lie. He expects something from the low noble. He is indeed hoping that Jung In-Hun will keep his promise and he will take his responsibility for him, since the painter supported him. In chapter 63, the noble confesses that the words said by the painter (going home together) gave him hope that he had achieved his goal, that the painter would smile for him one day.
  11. The painter’s fate: In chapter 40, Jung In-Hun declares that despite his efforts, Baek Na-Kyum has been destined to remain a prostitute. (chapter 40) Now, it looks like the lord is determined to keep him by his side, his fate has been also defined by another noble. The painter seems to have no saying in the end. Yet, there is a slight difference. Here, the main lead doesn’t consider Baek Na-Kyum as a prostitute, but as his sexual partner and lover. Yet, in both cases, he is treated like an object, a possession. This explains why the artist has no right to make a decision. So his “fate” has barely improved. Yet, there is definitely a huge difference between the two nobles. Whereas the scholar wanted to use him for his own benefits, while the other’s dream was not to get any concrete advantage: the commoner’s happiness will make the lord happy. And because of this divergence, the lord will realize that his order (chapter 63) stands in opposition to his wish. If his true goal is to make the painter happy, then he needs to let him go so that the artist can make his own decision.
  12. The jealousy is also present in both chapter. The lord witnesses the commoner’s smile in chapter 40 and gets so jealous, which the master is referring to in chapter 63. He wished to have been the cause of the artist’s smile. And Jung In-Hun is definitely jealous of the low-born due to Yoon Seungho’s care for him. He had to witness how a commoner was treated so well, unlike him, who is a noble. (chapter 40) The former had Yoon Seungho’s attention all the time, and we all know that Jung In-Hun’s desire is to get attention and admiration. Striking is that the comparison enlightens the materialistic and narcissistic side of Jung In-Hun, while Yoon Seungho appears purer. He is just content with a smile. Besides, he would like to be the source and recipient of Baek Na-Kyum’s smile, whereas the other wishes to get favors (clothes, a room closer to the lord’s chamber, the favor to spend the evening in the bedchamber etc). That’s why by contrasting both chapters, the protagonist’s purity and simplicity become even more palpable, which is hidden due to the violence employed during that confrontation.
  13. The role played by the hug: In chapter 40, Yoon Seungho hugs the painter in order to protect him. Furthermore, if we take the chapter 41 into consideration, since we have a flashback of the incident at the library, then the readers can recall that in this episode, Baek Na-Kyum was so heartbroken that he asked from Yoon Seungho to be embraced. He needed a shoulder as solace and comfort. The low-born literally begged him, while crying to be hold in his arms, but the noble didn’t know how to respond to this request. (chapter 41) He only knew sex. In chapter 62, the lord hold the artist in his arms, only to betray him afterwards. The warmth is faked. (chapter 62) Yet, if you pay attention, you’ll observe a second hug in the barn: (chapter 63) The painter is forced to cling onto the master. This position reflects the lord’s intention. He desires the painter to depend on him. Hence the hug is no longer a fake one, but the expression of longing. As a conclusion, the embrace mirrors Yoon Seungho’s need and is indeed connected to warmth, despite the rather cold expression.
  14. In both scenes, an important character reveals his true personality in front of the painter. This signifies that this figure shows his true thoughts and emotions. In chapter 40, Jung In-Hun unveils, how he judges the commoner, (chapter 40) while in chapter 63, it is the turn of our seme to reveal his expectations and desires. (chapter 63) Yet, unlike the low noble, the master keeps describing himself in such a negative way (f. ex. he is pathetic, a fool),(chapter 62) while the scholar calls the artist a fool (chapter 40) and a liar. Sure, when Yoon Seungho says “pathetic”, it could be perceived, as if he was insulting the low-born. Yet, like I had mentioned it before, since he is talking about himself right after, his description (pathetic) is in fact more addressed to him. He is still masking his true thoughts a little. (chapter 63) And here, we see his cynical smile accompanied with a gaze expressing agony. This stands in opposition to Jung In-Hun’s coldness and disdain, who shows neither pain nor compassion. . (chapter 41) He is just jealous, furious and repulsed. Yoon Seungho is seeking closeness and uses sex in order achieve his goal, therefore he is is refusing to stop. He is so desperate to remain intimate with the painter, while the other noble has only one thought: keeping his distance from the low-born.
  15. The importance of the gaze: The learned sir’s gaze was almost deadly for the painter. And this is accompanied with an indifferent facial expression and cruel words, hence the artist’s heart could only get wounded by such an assault. They were almost fatal for the painter. (Chapter 41) In the scene at the storage room, the painter’s face (chapter 63) and words (chapter 63) have a huge effect on the upset protagonist. They trigger the noble to open up and reveal himself. That’s why the chapter ends with a face to face: the aristocrat is not decided to look at the painter’s eyes directly.
  16. Then we have reproaches addressed to the commoner: Not only he is a liar, but also he is a scheming traitor. (chapter 40) (chapter 62) (chapter 63) The irony is that in chapter 40, the scholar is correct. The artist did lie to him, while it is the opposite in chapter 62-63, hence the Yoon Seungho’s reproaches are not valid. Baek Na-Kyum just didn’t tell him the truth, the existence of the kidnapping. Yet, despite the correct observation of the artist’s lie, the low noble’s words are full of falseness. They reveal his true thoughts and emotions. He is quite manipulative, by blaming the artist. With the lie, he can justify his criticisms. He resents the painter for his origins and his so-called immoral behavior. However, let’s not forget that the scholar actually asked the innocent man to sleep with Yoon Seungho in order to obtain information, but because he revealed nothing, he has become a whore according to the teacher. Here, the latter’s hypocrisy reached his climax, exposing that all his reprimands are unfounded in reality. Jung In-Hun is just jealous and infuriated, because he perceives the painter’s lie as a disobedience. And defiance means punishment, that’s the reason why he wounds the commoner with his words. What caught my attention is that despite all the reproaches expressed by Yoon Seungho towards the artist, the master is not willing to cut ties with Baek Na-Kyum. In fact, despite his wounds and the imaginary betrayal, he is willing to overlook all this, because his need and dependency are greater than the injuries the painter afflicted on him. In other words, he is accepting the painter with all his misdeeds and indirectly his flaws. What a statement! And now, the manhwaphiles can better grasp the true meaning of the lord’s confession. His words mirrors his true thoughts and feelings: his roughness, his despair, his possessiveness, but also his willingness to accept Baek Na-Kyum as a whole. He doesn’t care for his social background nor for his desertion. As long as he remains by his side, this is enough for him. Sure, with this kind of statement, he doesn’t promise him to give any special treatment. Since he utilizes his status as lord, this means that he can treat him however he likes, just like during the night. Nevertheless, the manhwaphiles shouldn’t forget that right before, the lord let the painter see his expectations. He will be satisfied, if he is granted to perceive a genuine smile on the painter’s face. In other words, he gave him the solution for the future.
  17. The location: the library versus the barn. Both rooms are closed and without any window. Yet, I detect two huge differences between them: the presence of light and warmth. While the library oozes a certain clarity (chapter 40), the grange exudes darkness. One might argue that this is related to the time. Baek Na-Kyum visited the teacher during the day, whereas the protagonist arrives during the night. Yet, I see another signification in the contrast. The purity of the white in the library illustrates the clarity of the teacher’s mind. He might be jealous, yet he is in possession of all his skills. He knows how to direct the conversation, how to embarrass and hurt the artist. Notice that during their conversation, there’s no real exchange, the teacher is leading the discussion. Baek Na-Kyum is barely able to finish his sentences (chapter 40), while the scholar held a speech about the low-born’s flaws and his terrible social background. Imagine that the teacher doesn’t allow the artist to finish his confession nor to reply to his origins. He leaves the library, before the artist has the opportunity to say something, so that his words are final and represent the truth. (chapter 40) As a conclusion, there’s no real exchange of opinions, and the teacher used his status as noble and teacher to shut the painter’s mouth. The latter is neither allowed to speak nor to make any claim. During this discussion, the room with its light reflects the true personality of Jung In-Hun: manipulative, cold, heartless but most importantly cruel and ruthless. (chapter 40) He uses his power over words to wound his rival, the one who is receiving the lord’s attention. The teacher didn’t employ physical violence to injury the low-born, but this doesn’t mean that there’s no violence. Byeonduck is actually here referring to the saying: words can kill. The scholar used his words to destroy the artist’s personality. And now, you comprehend the symbols behind the color and clarity. The library reflects the coldness of Jung In-hun and his mental abilities. And pay attention that there is neither candle nor fire at the library, a metaphor for Jung In-Hun’s heartlessness and coldness. With this new approach, the scene in the barn appears in a different light. The darkness of the room symbolizes the lord’s darkness in his heart and mind. He is not truly himself. He also wounds the painter with his words, (chapter 62) yet it is not entirely deliberated, he is another person. That’s why the moment he regains some of his senses, his face seems brighter, just like the room. The change is visible, if you contrast the two following pictures (chapter 62) (chapter 63) That’s why I believe that we should perceive beyond the harshness and sexual force employed by the lord. He is totally different from the scholar. And more importantly, his position in the room reflects his mental and emotional disposition. Yoon Seungho is turning his back to the light and as such to the truth, (chapter 63), yet he still manages to let transpire a certain warmth, which explains why the painter never expresses a reproach towards his lover or pushes him away. He just asks him to stop, because he is exhausted. He has a similar behavior during the next night. He keeps the lord at a certain distance, as he fears his own emotions (chapter 71) and Yoon Seungho’s outburst (chapter 70). Furthermore, when the painter is able to calm down the main lead by calling his name “Lord Seungho” and showing a blushed face, the aristocrat initiates a real conversation and lets the painter the opportunity to reply. There’s a real conversation, although it is interrupted the moment the artist desires to confess. (chapter 63) The lord can’t face the truth, he is in denial. But at the end, despite his relapse, he is finally able to voice his deepest desires: He wished the painter to show him a smile. And unlike the scholar, he doesn’t feel dirty or disgusted to touch a commoner. There’s no gap between them, unlike at the library, where the painter attempts to approach the low noble, only to be pushed away and left behind. And remember that at the end, they are both facing each other: (chapter 63)

The beholder can observe a switch of the positions. Notice that the lord is no longer standing above the painter, like in chapter 62 or during the chapter 63: (chapter 62) (chapter 63) Now, the painter stands at the same eye level with the master reflecting that the gap between them has diminished. Like I pointed out above, Yoon Seungho is forcing the artist to hold him, implying that he desires the low-born to rely on him. Hence the words gives us now another perspective. The first interpretation was to say that he is ordering, as a lord, the servant to remain by his side, in reality he is revealing his dependency and his need. That’s the reason why his last words should be judged in a more positive light. He is insinuating that the painter has much more power than it seems like.

As a conclusion, by contrasting the behavior of the two nobles in both scenes, the brutality in chapter 63 is diminished and lets transpire that the powerful protagonist is less vicious and hurtful than the teacher, although Yoon Seungho is revealing his dark side. The painter is able to perceive the agony and the despair in his lover. At the same time, the main lead shows to the painter that his person affects the noble in a positive way. That’s why you can now comprehend that I am less perceiving this chapter in a negative light. And this comparison was definitely correct, because it explains why the painter was reminded of the learned sir the next night and felt no longer a heartache. (chapter 71) There was a “love confession” in the barn, but the lord didn’t use the typical expression for that: and . (chapter 63) Baek Na-Kyum could no longer be in denial that the noble was in love with him.

After this analysis, I recognize that Byeonduck is a master of deception. She is asking from her readers to question appearances and behavior. People should detect disguised cruelty and brutality, words and manipulations can be as mortal as physical violence. I am not saying that Yoon Seungho did nothing wrong, it is just that he is not entirely responsible for this situation: the coercive persuasion, his disorders, his huge insecurities and his self-hatred are the causes for his brutality. He stands in opposition to Jung In-Hun, whose words and moves were all calculated to destroy the painter. Yet, the artist was able to distinguish between the seem and real. This explicates why he is able to move on and to rely more on Yoon Seungho. (chapter 76). The only problem is that Baek Na-Kyum is still fearing his own emotions for the infamous noble. Therefore he has not confessed yet, which will be the reason why both main leads will suffer again. The painter has just opened up and is not trusting Yoon Seungho entirely.

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.

Painter Of The Night: Brothers (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwa.   But be aware that this manhwa is 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:

In this analysis, I will focus on the main lead’s brother, Yoon Seung-Won, who has just appeared in three chapters since the beginning: 37, 44 and 55. On the surface, it looks like it is impossible to get much info about this character, yet this impression is incorrect for two reasons. First, I have already written two essays about this character, showing that by examining the panels and his words more closely, we could definitely analyze his personality and judge him. and (Unfortunately, these compositions are the lest read essays)

Yet, back then, I had only two chapters to examine and now, we have a new panel, where the younger master appears. Secondly, the more we get to know Yoon Seungho’s past, the more we discover his family and as such the brother as well. I have already determined that Yoon Seungho’s traumatic past is not related to one incident, but he was exposed to abuse over a long period. I have even developed the idea that his father abused him sexually. Therefore, with this new knowledge, the behavior of Seung-Won needs to be reexamined. In my first analysis, I had questioned his role in the protagonist’s suffering: Was he an accomplice, an innocent or a pawn? And once again, this question will be in the center of this composition.

Back then, I had the impression that in this panel, we were seeing Yoon Seung-Won as a teenager: (chapter 55) Many readers were able to recognize the younger master trying to walk into Yoon Seungho’s direction, while the latter was lying on the ground. Why? It was, because of the brother and father’s gestures. Father Yoon stopped his younger son to join his brother’s side with his hand, while Yoon Seung-Won’s foot is moving. Due to these actions, the manhwalovers saw it as a good sign from Yoon Seung-Won’s part. The latter desired to help his brother, yet their mean and strict father requested him not to. It looks like Yoon Seung-Won had some affection for his older brother in the past, yet the father ruined their bound. However, what the manhwaworms shouldn’t forget in this panel are the two following aspects:

  1. This incident marked the beginning of Yoon Seungho’s trauma, which caused all his disorders. We should keep in our mind that when the lord confessed that he was sent back to his past, each time he saw the painter’s face expressing rejection, he was reminded of the moment, when father Yoon chose his younger son over him. This incident is strongly associated to jealousy, and the love triangle between the scholar, the artist and the protagonist was the trigger. The rejection from Baek Na-Kyum in chapter 25 made him think of the moment, when father Yoon pushed him away and even showed a disgusted face, while he could observe the father favoring Yoon Seung-Won.
  2. Father Yoon was teaching the younger master a lesson: his brother should be treated like a commoner, a servant. He had no right, hence he was just a possession. Since I have already established that Yoon Seungho was exposed to coercive persuasion and to physical abuse, this scene can serve as a proof that the young boy witnessed the violence used on his brother. Besides, the young boy saw, how the older brother was kept captive in the mansion for a long time. Even with a certain age gap (6 – 7 years), Yoon Seung-Won was old enough to understand that the father imprisoned his brother, when the latter was a teenager. (chapter 57)

Hence I can definitely state that Yoon Seung-Won was not ignorant of the harsh treatment his brother was exposed to. I believe that this panel represents the moment, when the main character lost his topknot. (chapter 55) It is also possible that during that event, the young man was punished with a straw mat beating, while the cut of the topknot represented the climax of his public humiliation and abandonment. Yoon Seung-Won looks like a teenager, since he is dressed the same way than his older brother was. (chapter 57). It was, as though father Yoon had chosen to replace Yoon Seungho with his second son, and was determined to see Yoon Seung-Won as his future heir. However, I believe, the special treatment started before this. Anyway, the younger master was old enough to witness the public humiliation and to comprehend the implication. He might have not known the whole truth behind the incident with the topknot (the plot and the purge), yet since the lord’s suffering is not connected to one incident, but happened over a long period, I doubt that Yoon Seung-Won was totally oblivious of his brother’s misery. I believe the opposite in reality.

On the other hand, it becomes comprehensible why the younger master didn’t intervene back then. He was just a teenager and had no power to protest or contest his father’s decision. (chapter 55) He was weak and vulnerable, just like his elder brother had been at the same age. He had to follow his father. Yet, this panel is important in my opinion for two reasons. It shows that Yoon Seung-Won was taught the same principles than his brother’s: strict obedience to the father and treat people like pawns and possessions, in particular Yoon Seungho. Secondly, we have to imagine that in the past, the main lead must have followed blindly his father’s orders in order to get recognition and acceptance, till he was treated like a commoner and a monstrosity, hence the dimension of the father’s abandonment and betrayal becomes significant. Imagine, he did everything in order to please his father (even prostitution), only to be left behind and treated like dirt. No wonder, why Yoon Seungho became jealous of his brother and why he felt so hurt by his father. This explains his obsession with the question mark: “why?”. Why did his father make such a decision, why did he choose Yoon Seung-Won over him?

The younger master had done nothing like him, yet he was never treated like him: captivity, abuse and prostitution. Even if the theory of the incest is wrong, there is no doubt that Yoon Seungho was exposed to a huge amount of violence from his father, like the bruised face displays it in the following panel. (chapter 57) What the protagonist failed to understand is that his father must have blamed him for the loss of his big dream. There’s no doubt that the father resented his son deeply, because he explained the source of his failure in the plot with his son’s behavior, especially if the main character became the tool for his own survival.

Finally, since I have already assumed that the main lead tried to flee the mansion once, the younger master must have heard about it as well and seen his father’s reaction. That’s why I come to the conclusion that by living by his father’s side, the younger brother became an accomplice in the end. At the same time, his thinking must have been influenced by his father’s words and behavior. Since the older brother was conditioned, then the brother must have been taught as well. Yet the methods diverged. While the one was the object of coercive persuasion, the other was a witness of that teaching. Since the main lead was treated harshly by the father, Yoon Seung-Won learnt the following lesson: his older brother is just a tool, a possession used for the family’s power.

Consequently, the lord’s words in chapter 37 mirrors the truth: (chapter 37) The younger brother was taught his father’s principles too, but unlike Yoon Seungho, the younger brother is NOT living according to their father’s rules. This means that he is living differently. And now we have to question this: how is his life different?

The first reply would be that he is no homosexual. Yet now with the new knowledge, I perceive the master’s words under a different perspective. Here, he is not just talking about sodomy, but also about prostitution. One of the father’s rules I could determine was: sex is a battle and as such an exchange of favors. That’s the reason why Yoon Seungho became the infamous hell-raiser, the biggest sodomite of Joseon. In his mind, he is applying his father’s principles to the extreme in order to humiliate his father and to point out his hypocrisy. And now, I believe that the prostitution took place in the mansion, hence the doors were closed. That’s the reason why the protagonist became a prisoner, as he could expose what was happening in the domain. The huge mansion became a brothel in the end. Envision the irony of the situation: while Baek Na-Kyum was truly raised at a brothel, where he was loved and treated like a real son, the other had to experience the opposite. On the surface, he was a noble living in comfort and surrounded by servants, in reality his position was the opposite. He was just a whore for the father’s interest. Since the father despised sodomy, the latter had another reason to act in the shadow. Now, we know for sure that the sexual abuse occurred during the nights explaining the protagonist’s insomnia. This signifies that the father didn’t abuse his son sexually, but he allowed it for his own selfish interest. One thing is sure that the young man was sexually assaulted for a long time and the perpetrator was the mysterious lord Song. Nonetheless, I am certain that the main lead’s traumas are linked to constant sexual assaults, prostitution, physical violence, and since everything happened at the mansion, there’s no doubt that the younger master knew about the existence of sex sessions and the role played by his brother. That’s why we need to take another look at the picture:

Here, he is telling the brother that it is his turn to follow their father’s doctrines. This can only be right, as Yoon Seungho as the eldest son had to live according to these doctrines first. Now, Yoon Seung-Won should become a whore, if necessary. And notice the brother’s embarrassment. He avoids his brother’s gaze. He can not deny it, for if he did, he would have to reveal the true identity of the “pedophile”. Hence the younger master is humiliated. The younger master can not argue with this point. That’s the reason why I come to the conclusion that the brother has already internalized his father’s values: Yoon Seungho should keep working for the family, like he did in the past. He should use his connection. He is truly viewing his brother as an accessory for the family’s benefit. And it is time to examine the chapter 37 one more time. In the first composition, I had demonstrated that the brother was selfish, insensitive and quite arrogant, since he never asked his brother about his well-being. All his business mattered. But I can add more layers to his description and it starts with the way he was introduced.

(chapter 37) The younger master sent many letters to Yoon Seungho, while using his father’s name. While the loyal valet had the impression that these letters were written by the elder master, the protagonist was well aware of the subterfuge. He could recognize his brother’s writing. That’s why he burnt the letter without reading the content. And this interpretation can be confirmed with the character’s confession in chapter 37. (chapter 37) However, I can bring up another evidence for this conclusion: the fake letter from lord Song. (chapter 56) The forged message was a new version of the letter in chapter 35. And under this light, we can judge the character in a rather negative way. He is acting like Jihwa, using his knowledge of the past to his advantage. He desires to use his father’s power over his elder brother to achieve his goal: getting the support from his older brother so that he can please his father.

From my point of view, Yoon Seung-Won attempted to get in contact with his brother in order to get connections, and as such to obtain a high position as an official, he wanted to take the easy way. Since the family’s power was declining(chapter 13), Yoon Seung-Won was asked by the father to restore the family’s influence. But since he had witnessed how his father obtained his support, he thought, he could employ the same method: using Yoon Seungho. One might argue that the poor boy is pressured now by father Yoon and the weight of the expectations can be extremely burdensome. However, here I would like to point out that unlike the main lead, Yoon Seung-Won was never trapped in the mansion and not hindered to participate in the service civil examination. Furthermore, he was never exposed to any kind of violence. He was allowed to roam freely, yet in my opinion, all this time the younger master relied on his father’s power and influence. Seeing that the letters didn’t provoke any reaction, the young noble paid the lord a visit, as he was pressured by the time. And what caught my attention is that once asked about the motive of his visit, he replied to the main character: (chapter 37) He mentioned his father directly, but he never answered to the question properly, since he didn’t announce the true reason for his visit. Why? Since he used the name of his father in the letters and in the conversation, I can only deduce that the brother knows the true power of father Yoon over the main character. He is actually playing with the protagonist’s fear and he knows it too well. Notice his hands: they show a certain discomfort, indicating that he is well aware of the signification of his words. One might argue that he has been pressured by the father and he is just a pawn. To this, I can only retort that he is doing the same to his brother. By asking him to visit their father, he is not just requesting from his brother to reconnect with their family, but also to submit himself to father Yoon. In other words, the elder master could utilize Yoon Seungho’s connections and wealth for their family’s interest. Besides, this would signify that the father would become the main lead’s pimp again. As the new head of the family, father Yoon could decide to treat his eldest son like in the past. And if my theory of the incest is correct, then this means that Yoon Seung-Won is asking his brother to relive a hell again. This is not surprising that the lord gets upset and becomes cynical: (chapter 37) Who would accept such a suggestion after getting treated like an sex toy, a prisoner and as a pariah at the end? And now envision that Yoon Seungho has been exposed to physical and sexual abuse because of his father. This scene reveals the selfishness and cowardice of the brother. This is not surprising that the lord clenches his fist, and his hand is shaking: there’s definitely fear due to the father and anger towards his brother. Yoon Seung-Won knows his father’s rules, but he doesn’t desire to apply them, as he is well aware of the meaning. And now the following panel gets another significance: He desires to have a private conversation and suggests his brother to send away the painter. His reason is simple: he would like to appeal to his brother’s compassion, he must be in a rather difficult situation. His father is now relying on him. But since the master of the mansion is not following this suggestion, the brother chooses to mention the father. The illness is an excuse, but Yoon Seung-Won is determined to maintain his image as a loyal and honorable son. Yet, like I pointed out earlier, the true intention with the father’s evocation is to put Yoon Seungho under pressure. And now, I would like to bring another evidence that the younger master is well aware of his brother’s fear in front of their father. He witnessed the constant abuse, and as such he noticed and internalized the brother’s anxieties. Remember that the moment Jihwa heard that the brother had visited Yoon Seungho, Jihwa chose to rush to his childhood friend’s mansion. Why? He knew that Yoon Seung-Won’s visitation would torment the main lead and provoke nightmares, indicating that this must have happened in the past well. And since the main lead is connecting his brother to his past trauma, then this reveals that the younger master is related to the protagonist’s suffering. Why? In my opinion, Yoon Seung-Won must have been favored all this time, whereas the powerful noble was just treated like a servant. In other words, even if the younger brother was weak as well, he never tried to help his brother behind his father’s back. This explains the resent from the protagonist. He can never consider him as a relative. Let’s not forget that when the elder master moved from the house, only valet Kim remained by the main lead’s side, showing that all the other servants sided with Yoon Seung-Won and the father.

Therefore I come to the deduction that the younger master has been negatively influenced by his father. He definitely treats his brother like a possession, acts as a righteous person (chapter 37), while in reality he is just a hypocrite. I would even add, he is quite immoral. He lies about the illness, fakes letters in the sense that he uses his father’s name and authority. Then he utilizes social norms (“the right thing”), though he is well aware what the visit would mean for his brother. I also perceive an evidence of father Yoon’s influence in the younger master’s behavior: his words and behavior. Remember that I connected the lies to the protagonist’s dissociative episodes, indicating that the elder master must have punished his eldest son, when he imagined that he had been lied to. Observe the reaction Yoon Seung-Won has, when he realizes that Kim has been lying to him: (chapter 37)He gets outraged and yelled to the butler, although he is not the lord of the mansion. Striking is that he would have opened the door(chapter 37), if the painter hadn’t screamed through the door. Not recognizing the voice from the inside, the young man got surprised and stopped. And this single gesture outlines his disrespect towards his elder brother in reality. I had already observed his selfishness and lack of sensitivity, but with the new elements, I can definitely determine that the younger brother has indeed internalized father Yoon’s values. He treats servants and commoners like people with no right. His tone is quite strict, authoritative and rude. (chapter 37) This is not surprising that he requests his brother’s assistance in the end. He has experienced it first hand, has envisioned that through his father’s influence, he could manipulate the brother and get benefit from his increased fortune and influence. However, this time the lord didn’t follow his suggestion, since he has already started moving on. In fact, the younger lord was mocked through the main character’s following suggestion: Yoon Seung-Won should also live according to their father’s principles.

And now it is time to pay attention to the letter given by the valet Kim. In the first analysis, I had perceived his smile as a sign of his naivety. (chapter 37) But now, I would add another layer to this description. This picture could be judged as an evidence of his ruthlessness too, like my follower @nonoboy-oops suggested it. He exposes a certain satisfaction, although he used the lord’s fear of father Yoon for his own benefit. In his mind, he has achieved his goal and it doesn’t matter the way he obtained it. The manhwaphiles should remember that the lord had even difficulties to breathe and speak properly after the visitation, indicating how much the main character suffered during that conversation. (chapter 38) This reinforces the immorality and ruthlessness of the brother’s suggestion. With the letter, Yoon Seung-Won has the impression that in the end, the main lead bent to his will. This means that he is ignoring his brother’s reproach and rejection. But since the brother used their father’s name in order to approach his brother, it looks like, it was Yoon Seung-Won’s decision to utilize the brother. Even if this idea is not correct, and the father did use the younger son as a pawn to approach Yoon Seungho, this doesn’t diminish the atrocity of the younger master’s gesture. He is not just a pawn, but a real accomplice, because he knows his past but prefers his own comfort over his brother’s life. However, let’s not forget that during their conversation, the younger brother never spoke in the father’s name, like for example: “Father Yoon desires to reconnect with you and asks for a visit from you”. Even that way, the father’s honor would have been maintained, since the main lead was asked to pay a visit to their father unofficially. My final point for this interpretation is the importance of reputation in father Yoon’s eyes. The latter chose to act behind closed doors and maintain his image as a respectable aristocrat. By sending letters to his eldest son who is well-known in the mansion as an infamous sodomite, his image as strong lord is kind of tarnished. He is the one asking for help from his son… a humiliation in his eyes. Now, you can better comprehend why I believe that Yoon Seung-Won is not just a pawn in reality.

But let’s return our attention to the letter given to the younger master. I can’t imagine that the second character didn’t take a look at the content of the paper handed over by servant Kim. Since his visit was connected to a request concerning him, the paper was concerning him too, even if it was possibly addressed to the father. That’s why I am now thinking that Yoon Seung-Won must have seen the damaged painting. There is no doubt that his visit is connected to sponsoring and only Yoon Seung-Won can request his brother’s help and support. That’s the reason why I believe now, he looked at the content of the message. And now, if we take this approach into consideration, then this means that when he gave the letter to his father, he knew how the former would feel. Father Yoon would get mad at Yoon Seungho for his defiance, insult and disobedience. The latter was violating his rules. That’s why he said this to the servant. By putting the blame on his older brother, he excuses his father’s behavior for not showing more concern for him. He didn’t leave the bedchamber in order to bid farewell, because the lord had been troubled due to Yoon Seungho. The latter serves again as an excuse to save the appearances. By giving the ruined painting, Yoon Seungho was indeed determined to provoke his father. He shows him his hypocrisy and the consequences of his principles. At the same time, the ruined painting illustrates his message: the Yoon family will never get a benefit from his sexual performances (“damaged image”).

But what about Yoon Seung-Won? Why did he deliver the letter? If the letter was addressed to his father, then he had to. But if he was acting on his own, it becomes a different story. However, in both cases, he must have known the content. And with this approach, we can imagine why the younger master chose to give it to his father. First, he acted as a loyal and obedient son, reinforcing the prejudices the father has about his eldest son. Besides, he could be hoping that the father gets so infuriated that the latter decides to take action and employ his impressive strength and aura to oblige the eldest son to bend to his will. Yoon Seung-Won can only benefit from this. Let’s not forget that the father is still paying attention to his son’s moves, like Kim mentioned it in chapter 57.

As a final conclusion, Yoon Seung-Won doesn’t appear as pure and innocent, as his handsome face suggests it. He was already paying attention the painter’s presence and curious about his identity, since he was sitting by the master’s side, as if he was his companion. (chapter 37) Here, he envisioned that the lord’s companion was a noble due to the green hanbok. He is definitely more than just a pawn, in my eyes he has become a willing helper of father Yoon’s dictatorship, since he could profit from his situation. He is like an indoctrinated child, since he behaves like his father in a certain way. On the other hand, he has not completely lost a certain sense of morality. Since he is showing a certain discomfort during the conversation in chapter 37, it displays that he recognizes the wrongness of his request. But his interests are prioritized over his brother’s well-being. Another aspect is that he is not so brutal compared to his model, Father Yoon. But he has a common denominator with the elder master. He is also quite naïve. Hence Yoon Seungho could see right through his brother and his lies, just like the father. The master of the domain was well aware of the true purpose of his younger brother’s visitation: sponsoring. In the end, the younger master is forced to take the exam, like the scholar Jung In-Hun. I had imagined that their paths would cross, unaware that the learned sir would die before. There’s no ambiguity that Yoon Seung-Won would get annoyed and humiliated to hear that his brother chose a scholar with no connection and wealth over him.

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.

Painter Of The Night / Dine With A Vampire: Yoon Seungho’s obsession and its origins (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwas. But be aware that these manhwas are 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:

Due to the title, I am quite sure that you are all expecting that my focus in this essay will be about Yoon Seungho’s last confession, since his last action and words remind us more of obsession than of love. First he corners the painter against the wall, making him visualize what his future situation will look like. He won’t be able to escape from Yoon Seungho’s control and monitoring. The lord will always stand within his reach. Secondly, the expression “I will never let you go” indicates that the rich main lead will cling onto him, he will remain sexually close to him. That’s why they are still connected through their bodies. By clinging onto the artist, the aristocrat reveals his dependency. He can’t live without the painter, hence all his thoughts are revolving around him. This definitely looks like an obsession. The reason is simple. Baek Na-Kyum has now given a certain sense in his life, his presence makes him feel emotions, positive and negative. In my opinion, the artist made him feel less lonely and empty. Consequently, he can’t bear the thought of being separated from him. This exposes that the core issue has not been solved: his Dependency Personality disorder which is strongly connected to his abandonment issues. Since the butler had become his helping hand, the lord’s statement “I will never let you go” lets transpire a change. The lord is now dependent on Baek Na-Kyum. It was, as if he had just replaced the butler with the painter.

However, what the readers shouldn’t forget is that the master’s behavior is actually unveiling his own past and mirroring his past traumatic experiences. The main lead is acting the way he was taught, or even I would even say, the way he experienced it himself. There’s no doubt that he is replicating father Yoon’s gestures. The first evidence for this deduction is the way he grabs the artist’s neck in chapter 62. (chapter 57) Let’s not forget that he was trapped in his own house, like the doctor pointed out in chapter 57. In other words, his moves were controlled and he was forced to remain by his father’s side as well. However, I realized at the end of the second season that these traumatic experiences are not just related to father Yoon. This night from chapter 62 to chapter 65 exposes all the crimes the young protagonist was exposed to. First, we have the imprisonment (chapter 61) (chapter 74). Then he was raped in the shed and butler Kim was a witness who betrayed and abandoned him. (chapter 65) Hence, later the main lead questions the butler’s appearance and interruption: (chapter 64) That’s why I come to the conclusion that the main lead isn’t just utilizing the same expressions and actions from his father’s, but also from all the perpetrators: the rapist in the cabin and his main sexual partner, the king. (chapter 74) Consequently, I come to the conclusion that this statement mirrors the king’s obsession for Yoon Seungho. Yet, unlike the main lead, the monarch was unable to keep his “promise”, as his obsession, blindness and selfishness led him to make terrible decisions. He ended up destroying the young man, hence he was forced to send him away. (chapter 57) The protagonist had lost his sanity and there’s no doubt that the king didn’t want to be confronted with his own wrongdoings. In the first version of this essay, I had assumed due to Yoon Seungho’s behavior, that the latter had been sexually abused by his father. This theory was developed based on previous observations, like for example, Jung In-Hun, as a new version of father Yoon and the painter’s surrogate father, seemed to be a pedophile due to his strange behavior in chapter 29. However, now I believe that the real sexual predator was the king himself, who was definitely an old-bearded man. Since he is mentioned in episode 76, it becomes more obvious that Yoon Seungho’s tragic fate is intertwined with the monarch. Therefore I deduce this. The king is a combination of Jung In-Hun and father Yoon. He’s an arrogant, stupid, selfish, emotional, violent, jealous, impulsive and obsessive man. Why? First, jealousy is a common denominator between the two fathers, like it is palpable in the following panel: Hence the eldest master Yoon had to diminish his son’s good reputation by describing him as ill. However, if I hold this theory, the nature of the king’s jealousy gets a different signification. He decided to held the teenager captive in the palace, so that the son would stop attracting attention from other men. That’s why no one knows their special relationship. As for father Yoon, the house arrest was justified with the excuse of illness, because he couldn’t stand the idea that his son’s notoriety was better than his own. However, when the first rape occurred in the shed, the eldest master Yoon saw an occasion to use his eldest son in a better way: a prostitute. The manhwaphiles should keep in their mind that the learned sir witnessed the artist’s rape. This means that father Yoon must have been aware of the king’s preferences. For him, it looked like the perfect solution. He didn’t need to do anything, yet he would get benefit from this exchange of favors. Through Yoon Seungho, he could get more power and influence thanks to the monarch’s support. One might argue that the father hates sodomy, hence he can’t have sold his son to the king. In chapter 1, we hear from the painter that father Yoon cut off his son’s topknot in public because of sodomy. Yet, the disgust for sodomy is not a real argument in reality. In order to collaborate my theory, I will introduce another manhwa called “Dine With A Vampire”, created by Pangin and Pinko. The characters serves as an example.

Here, the antagonist Kwon Sungha is in a hidden relationship with his former best friend Joo Sooin, although the former hates homosexuality. Just like Jung In-Hun, Sungha is a hypocrite. Yet, he abused his schoolmate physically and sexually for so long that at the end, the main lead became a shadow of himself, a zombie. Therefore there was no light in his eyes. Kwon Sungha resents the protagonist, because he can’t accept his own sexual orientation and blames the poor uke. That’s why the antagonist is rough and violent during the intercourses. He even shows some sadistic tendencies, because he enjoys it very much, when the victim is crying due to pain. Therefore it signifies that each time the main character sheds some tears, his behavior will incite the seme to become more brutal. As a result, it is better to repress tears.

The reason for his violence is simple. This represents his antipathy for sodomy. He has internalized it so deeply that he can’t hate himself due to his huge ego and selfishness. He can only turn his resent towards the object of his obsession. He sees in Sooin the cause for his deviation and his “misery”, as he can’t live normally and follow the social norm which is that homosexuality is repulsive. That’s why in the end, Kwon Sungha gives such a negative reflection towards Sooin. What the victim sees in the abuser’s eyes, is only resent and the image of being a monster, while in reality Sooin is not perceiving his own true reflection, but the picture the former friend has about Sooin and homosexuals in general. This explains why the main lead has such a low self-esteem and self-hatred as a result. He despises his own image and has the impression, he is not lovable. He has the feeling that he is nothing worthy, hence he has no goal in life. He has given up on himself, since he sees no hope and no way out. Each time, he tried to run away, he was caught and tormented even more than before. His life is already controlled by Sungha, who tells what he has to eat, how he has to dress and when he should come home. The villain is ruling Sooin’s life like a vicious tyrant.

Hence when Sooin has sex with the vampire Park Chi-Hwan, who helped him to get rid of Kwon Sungha, the uke is triggered by the vampire’s word and is reminded of his past experience with Kwon Sungha. He is reliving his past. Notice how he avoids the other main lead’s gaze. He hides his eyes behind his arms and apologizes to his lover. He is already imagining that he will get punished. His behavior is so conditioned that in order to escape a punishment, he apologizes, although he knows that Sungha is dead. Even in his sleep, he is plagued with nightmares.

The villain views sodomy as filthy, therefore he rejects any intimate and tender gesture from the uke. As a conclusion, Sooin is not allowed to touch him. As you can envisage, Sooin is never kissed nor hugged. However, despite his hatred for sodomy and the abuse, he is not willing to give up on his sexual partner. He is so obsessed with Sooin that he even envisions to keep him captive in a cage, though he plans to marry a woman coming from an influential family. The irony is that after getting betrayed by the main lead, the former “lover” is not questioning the reason behind the treachery. In fact he blames Sooin for everything. He reproached him that the latter never smiled in front of him, but now he is giving his smile towards another man. The antagonist, who has now become a vampire himself, definitely perceives the uke as his possession. The description of Sungha’s behavior indicates that Sooin was his obsession, but not his love.

And now it is necessary to summarize all the elements indicating that Sooin has been abused sexually, physically and emotionally:

The lack of light in Sooin’s gaze, his self-hatred, a negative image about himself, plagued with nightmares, words can trigger the victim and he is reliving his past, his entire life is controlled by the abuser, the attempts to flee, the lack of warmth and tenderness, punishment if the abuser is angered, the feeling of being trapped, living a hell. Like I described, Sooin had become a zombie, was no longer living his own life.

And now, I am quite sure that the manhwaphiles will recognize these symptoms in Yoon Seungho’s behavior. And this is no coincidence that Yoon Seungho is so obsessed with the painter’s tears. Due to the repetitive abuse, the main lead had to stop crying, if he didn’t want to infuriate his father and later the king. That’s the reason why he can no longer cry and Kim and the noble asked the painter to stop crying. Moreover, the main character is dressed like his father. Both wear a robe with long sleeves without any pattern and even the color is quite similar in the beginning. This shows that he has internalized not to draw attention through his clothes. However, the moment he wants to impress the painter, he starts wearing a different color (blue), like in his youth. And the more time passes on, the more he dresses up in order to attract the artist’s attention, which is already visible in chapter 23. This evolution displays that his original taste for clothes was influenced by the abusive sex partner. Striking is that the beautiful hanbok in chapter 52 reminds us of the king, as the phoenix is a symbol for the Joseon monarch. That’s why I am more and more convinced that the traumatic past causing abandonment issues is caused by the father and the Joseon monarch. And it becomes more understandable, why the lord could only fall for the painter during their Wedding night and desired to renew this night. He was hugged for the first time and he was the source of happiness of his partner, something he has never heard before. Neither his father nor his “sexual partner” embraced him. Why? In my opinion, it is linked to the way the lord was offered to the king. Due to the position of the candles, it looks like the noble’s fate is already determined. He will be a sacrifice for the monarch. He will become his plaything. However, in order to ensure that the favored courtesan would never get power over the monarch and would remain under the control of his father, the latter had to indoctrinate his son. Thus the father created these rules: sex was just a battle and the teenager was not allowed to confess. Then I remembered the scholar’s words: Striking is the word “courtesan” in this picture. It’s here linked to the kisaeng-house, however the expression as such implies the royal court. This definitely shows that there’s a strong connection between the brothel and the palace. Since the learned sir mentioned it in Yoon Seungho’s library, I am more than ever convinced that father Yoon transformed his mansion into a brothel in order to train his son as a future courtesan. Let’s not forget that the nightmare in chapter 74 takes place in the mansion: We never see the palace, only the hands of the nobles. That’s why I come to the deduction that father Yoon must have asked the noble families close to him for help. They were supposed to train his son. After getting drugged and gangraped, the noble’s strong will was broken. The father did it intentionally. He needed to turn him into a obedient puppet who would never make any request or even try to escape from his father’s claws through the king. That’s why I believe that when he went to the capital, his heart had already died. He was in a similar state than Baek Na-Kyum in the beginning of the second season: passive and submissive. Since we have two rapes with the painter (one is planned), I assume that the lord had this terrible fate:

  1. The rape in the shed
  2. The gangrape leading to the sexual education as prostitute:
  3. The second rape which I associate to the king : that’s why he couldn’t yell or defend himself. Who could help him in front of the most powerful person in Joseon? He was like a low-born next to the monarch.

However, like Sungha from Dine with a vampire, the king was a very possessive and jealous man who hid his homosexuality. Nevertheless, I guess, he got fascinated by his plaything that at some point, he wanted to possess the main lead’s body and heart. Let’s not forget that Yoon Seungho’s obsession in the beginning of the second season was this: And since we have a repetition in the story, it means that this must have happened in the past. Besides, I doubt that father Yoon would have questioned such a behavior. He definitely hated Yoon Seungho’s strong will. Consequently, I believe that the king must have had a similar attitude. He wanted to obtain the main lead’s love, yet unlike Yoon Seungho, the king became violent and angry by such a submissive behavior, which could only contribute to the protagonist’s silence and fear.

From my point of view, father Yoon was too simple-minded to realize that among the palace, there were rivals and enemies who would target his son. Since I have developed the theory that Yoon Seungho’s painting had been stolen by Jeong Seon, his special relationship to the king could have been perceived as a source of threat for the painter. The theft could have been discovered. I had stipulated as well that a painter could have been kidnapped and killed, especially if we take into consideration Nameless’ words who seems to know how to deal with artists: (chapter 60). Besides, the readers should remember that the main lead tasked the artist to paint his sexual intercourses, therefore it is definitely possible that Yoon Seungho’s request was influenced by the king’s. The latter could have had the desire to have his sexual intercourses with Yoon Seungho portrayed as well. However, since father Yoon hates sodomy and doesn’t want to be associate to this, he had every reason to hate the painter. The pictures were a proof of the eldest master’s hypocrisy.

Moreover, it is also possible that the main lead tried to escape from his hell, but he was betrayed and abandoned. The fact that his description of the flee is so vivid makes me believe that he could have done it himself once. He thought, he had succeeded, before he was caught, because he had been betrayed by the person whom he trusted the most: Kim. Moreover, the main lead had another enemy in my opinion: the culprit of the first rape, as the latter had not been caught. There’s no doubt that in the shed, Yoon Seungho is acting like father Yoon and the king. Both mistreated him, but were unable to give him love, whereas they expected from him total obedience and even attachment.

To sum up, when the lord was brought to the capital, he was confronted with a bearded man again, hence the second rape occurred. That’s why the king thought that the teenager had lost his virginity to him. Let’s not forget that during the Wedding night, the lord never expected this, therefore I am expecting the opposite with the king. The latter imagined that they would send him a virgin. Besides, it is a custom to send virgin concubines to the ruler.

I have to admit that this idea came to my mind, when I wrote the essay “The birth of the zombie”. This panel symbolizes the purge which the main lead witnessed. It started with the following question: Why would the monarch eliminate the families close to the Yoons? In my opinion, someone revealed to the sovereign that the protagonist had been trained by the nobles close the eldest master Yoon. They had tainted his sex partner and even ruined him, although there’s no ambiguity that the ruler’s attitude (jealous, violent and possessive) contributed to this evolution: the main lead was slowly becoming a zombie. From my point of view, there are three persons who had a desire to destroy Yoon Seungho and through him his father: the culprit of the first rape (my theory is now that it was father Lee), the butler who witnessed it, and like I mentioned it above, the artist who stole Yoon Seungho’s work. This leads me to the following conclusion: the butler could have revealed it to the king, faking his care and concern for his master. “Imagine… the poor boy was gangraped by the families close to father Yoon.” But he never mentioned the training, as Kim’s MO is always to tell half-truths. This would divert attention from the other perpetrators. When the king confronted Yoon Seungho, the latter couldn’t reveal what had truly happened, because this would mean that his father was involved. Hence he remained silent, which was perceived as a confession. As a revenge for the dirty trick, the ruler ordered the purge which the main lead had to witness. The latter was so devastated that he was literally destroyed. The king didn’t expect such a reaction, hence he sent him back to the mansion, only to hear later that father Yoon had punished his own son. The latter believed that the main character had betrayed him by revealing the indoctrination and prostitution.

And now, you are wondering about lord Song. From my point of view, when Kim realized that Yoon Seungho was suffering from memory loss and had even forgotten his relationship with the king, the butler decided to use lord Song as the scapegoat for the lord’s suffering. He created fake memories, a mixture composed of half-truths. Father Yoon and lord Song were blamed, while the real perpetrators for Yoon Seungho remained hidden.That’s why he doesn’t want them to meet. He never expected that the noble would write a letter to his master, although the letter was fake. Lord Song was definitely father Yoon’s rival. Another possibility is that it was indeed lord Song who had decided to betray lord Yoon and expose the plot. But like I mentioned it above, I am suspecting that this is just another lie from the valet. For that, he used the main lead’s situation in order to divert father Yoon’s attention. Father Yoon was too mad at his son, hence he didn’t realize that in the mean time, the other noble had revealed the plot to the king. Therefore the father could only resent more his son and chose to punish him by betraying a second time. He abandoned his son and punished him in the worst way: not only he castrated him, but also he ruined his reputation for good. That’s why the terrible reflection is engraved in Yoon Seungho’s memory. Under this new approach, it becomes understandable why the butler encouraged Yoon Seungho to lead a life in debauchery. That way, he wouldn’t attract the king’s attention: The latter had killed many people due to his obsession for Yoon Seungho, whom he treated very poorly: full of mistrust and violence. The latter was not able to take care of the young man properly.

It is also possible that after the purge and huge revelation, the king decided to offer Yoon Seungho to his officials as retaliation. Observe that we often have two events of the same nature: two rapes, two incidents with the door, two “escapes” etc. Since the protagonist had been tainted, then he was nothing more than a prostitute which led to a real breakdown. Hence the young man was sent away from Hanyang. One might argue that this theory is not possible, since I had already stipulated that the king was obsessed with Yoon Seungho. How could he offer him to his officials? Let’s not forget that Yoon Seungho almost did it, when he got rejected in chapter 54: If he was so obsessed with the main lead (mind and heart) to the point he wanted to keep him away from others, then he would have never used him as a whore. However, even this point can be refuted. First, even Jung In-Hun, who hated homosexuality, was willing to betray his own doctrines for his own interests. Let’s not forget that in the other manhwa “Dine with a vampire”, the antagonist has no problem to use his sex partner for his own interests. In one incident, he makes sure that Sooin interrupts him with his girlfriend, so that the villain is not forced to have sex with her. At the same time, he uses this as an excuse to punish the uke. Furthermore, I portrayed father Yoon as especially greedy and ambitious, hence despite his jealousy and obsession, he had a big dream. Besides, he hates sodomy so by using his son as a prostitute, he can remain clean and perceives his son as dirty, since he is the source of his “misery”. As for the king, notice that the latter doesn’t have a bad reputation. This shows that his sexual orientation and even perversion is a secret. The king could have a similar attitude than Sungha: he hates homosexuality, but he can’t stop his urges. So for his own career, father Yoon taught his son that sex is a battle, therefore he described love as a weakness. However he made him believe that if he obeyed him, then he would benefit him: . He requested that his son would never fall in love with a man so that he would have the upper hand in front of the king. Only the father was somehow able to control him. That way, he would bind his son’s mind and heart to him. This would explicate why the lord chose to become as a ghost in the end. Imagine, he had been ripped apart by his own father and by the king. The body was possessed by the other nobles, while the father was still possessing his mind and heart. He had no freedom at all. After writing this, I feel so horrible. Father Yoon was definitely ruling his son’s life and the monarch tried to change this, but failed as he was himself too selfish, violent and ruthless.

This theory also explains why valet Kim wondered about father Yoon’s reaction in chapter 57. First, this indicates that the eldest master Yoon is still paying attention to Yoon Seungho’s behavior, and Kim is well aware of it. Imagine that Yoon Seungho used his bad reputation as a notorious hell-raiser in order to torment his father, yet the latter never intervened. This signifies that he could bear the humiliation, because the truth had not been unveiled. The father turned his own son into a black sheep, a sign that there’s actually something wrong in a family. However, it becomes a different story, when he hears that Jihwa has already confessed in public. It means that his son could definitely fall in love and this could also reach the king’s ears. If the lord maintains a terrible reputation, then no one will try to become his partner, hence the king’s position remains untouched. Notice that Kim is worried that the elder master hears about the confession, indicating that he is well aware about his doctrines. Love is a taboo. I doubt, he is referring to sodomy as such, because it is well known that Yoon Seungho sleeps with men. As a conclusion, this panel reveals that the lord was keeping an eye on his son all this time. Since he never meddled before, in his eyes, his son’s rebellion was nothing to worry about. Consequently, this is not surprising that the father and Seung-Won imagined that once asked by them, Yoon Seungho would obey and help them, because he had always done it before. Yet, this time, the main lead refused.

Although the damaged painting wasn’t sent to his father by the father, it is important to examine its signification. In fact, the painting showed the main character having sex with other men. For the first time, father Yoon was confronted directly with his hypocrisy. In the past, he was never present, when he sold his son, hence in his eyes, he was still someone honorable. However, the painting confronts him with his true nature: He was his son’s owner and pimp. In other words, the father is facing reality. He let men to touch his own son, while in his mind, he justified his action by saying that he was an educated man. He thought, he still possessed his son’s mind and heart. He became infuriated, because he had the impression that he was losing the control over his son. Yet, since this is a threesome, it still looks like Yoon Seungho is just fooling around. And with this theory, his love for the painter gets a different significance. For the father, it would mean the end of his ruling over his son’s life. He would lose Yoon Seungho as his pawn for good. He would use the low status of Baek Na-Kyum in order to separate the lovers, while in reality he would try to regain ownership over the main lead.

If we take this aspect into consideration, then the story gets another dimension. Byeonduck would show us, how a sexual abused victim becomes a perpetrator himself later, which is often the case. And this would explicate why the lord never acted before towards his sexual partners. He might have cut Jihwa’s hair or dragged them by the topknot, yet he didn’t rape them. And since the painter is a low-born, he is put in the same situation than Yoon Seungho in the past, vulnerable and defenseless against the authority of the king, the supreme lord. And remember that he asked the painter to call him “my lord”, and his sex partner might have requested the same calling. However, when the painter whispers “Lord Seungho” for the first time, it pushes the main lead to act differently, like I pointed out in the former analysis. In this perspective, the chapters 62 and 63 get another signification. The painter’s expressed apology is the expression Yoon Seungho used himself in the past, when he had displeased his father and the sovereign, or even worse, when he got caught after his escape attempt. This would explain why he saw it as a confirmation for the painter’s flee. He was definitely sent back to his past, therefore he turned into the shadow of his father and the king. That’s why when the painter started confessing, he stopped him, because back then the lord had a similar reaction. He proclaimed, he loved the man, while deep down, he only feared and even detested him. We know for sure that the main lead has never been in love before, father Yoon ensured this. That’s the reason why his third love confession resembles more to an obsession than to love. This is how the king treated him. And read the last two chapters under the perspective that the king is Yoon Seungho and the powerful noble the painter, now you understand why Kim has the intention to intervene this time. He knows why the noble is acting like that. Then we understand why the lord chose to become blind and deaf to the truth, as he was reliving his own past and he knew very well what he had done back then. The painter’s words can only be lies, since he was forced to lie in front of his abuser. Therefore he can not use his brain like during the first season. As for people asking a punishment for Yoon Seungho’s wrongdoings, I can only reply: if my theory is true, then the man needs therapy more than anything else. He is a perpetrator, because he has been conditioned by his father and the king, and since he is willing to change and even shows remorse, he needs help more than anything else.

I have to admit that my initial intention in this essay was different, although I chose the title “Yoon Seungho’s obsession”. While reading the last two chapters, a detail caught my attention: his obsession for the painter’s motivations. (chapter 62) Then in chapter 63: In fact, I noticed that the lord was fixated on “why”, although he doesn’t use it constantly, he often makes allusion. It is already palpable in chapter 21, when the lord wonders about the artist’s reaction: With these words, the lord is actually questioning the reason for the painter’s behavior. Why did he push away the lord before? The artist replied that this had nothing to do with him, he didn’t dislike it. Then in chapter 40 and 41, he pushed the painter to question his own motivation. Why would he support his former teacher? What does he expect from him? Then we have the chapters 45 and 47, where the main character keeps asking about the artist’s reason for his behavior. Why did he remain by his side? Why is he so indifferent and submissive unlike in the past? I judge it as his obsession and there’s a reason for that. Sure, one might say that he would like to know why the painter stayed by his side. He is so desperate to be loved, he is still wishing to feel loved. However, there’s another motivation behind this obsession. In my opinion, this obsession to the “why” is related to his past and as such to his father and the king. He saw his negative reflection in his father’s eyes, the man he wanted to please at any cost. He must have wondered why his father tormented him so much, why he betrayed him, why he lied to him, why he was so fixated on him, since he had the impression that he was unlovable and even a monstrosity. The lord must have been young back then to perceive his father’s true motivations: jealousy, obsession and his immense greed and ambition. And after being sent to the capital, he met a similar person: the ruler who didn’t treat him better.

By meeting the painter and falling in love with him, the lord is forced to reflect on his past and indirectly on his father’s behavior. I perceive the recurrence of the “why” as a sign that Yoon Seungho is changing. He definitely affected the painter with his critical thinking, just like the artist affected his life as well. Both are forced to question themselves. Slowly, the aristocrat is liberating himself from his father’s claws and the king’s obsession. However, in order to transform totally, he needs to realize that he is making Baek Na-Kyum suffer the same bad experiences than his father did. At the same time, he needs to remember that the king was just a selfish and possessive monster. The image he saw in the king’s gaze was the reflection the ruler had for himself: too selfish and arrogant to resent himself for being a sodomite. Hence the words lord Seungho said to the painter didn’t reveal Yoon Seungho’s obsession, rather the king’s. But the latter betrayed and abandoned him, when he discovered that he had been lied to. This observation explicates why the protagonist’s so determined to use his position as lord to claim the painter as his possession. Experiencing this terrific experience, where he couldn’t escape from his father and the king’s tyranny, he came to the conclusion that his position as a lord and master was the only way to protect himself from danger and misery. If he was a powerful lord, then no one would be able to abuse him like in the past. That’s why it is urgent that the lord realizes that his approach is wrong. He needs to get rid of this doctrine: relationship is a balance of power. The moment he is no longer a lord and he treats Baek Na-Kyum as his real lover, he can experience the artist’s happiness and love. As a final word, I would like to point out that the main lead is not a new version of his father or the king. He is definitely different, since he doesn’t see the artist as dirty and filthy, though he is a commoner. Besides, he was caring enough to give up on his own bed, pay the visit of the doctor and the expensive medicine for him and even wash the painter himself after their intercourses. And this actually shows that when he was the uke, no one cleaned him. He had to do it himself. That’s how he learned the basics.

That’s why I believed that Yoon Seungho could redeem himself and could change for the better. Just like Sooin from Dine With A Vampire, the main lead must find a purpose in his life, must gain more confidence and realize that he is lovable. More importantly, he has a different disposition: he has always reflected on his own actions, whereas I suspect it is not the case for the king and the eldest master Yoon. In my eyes, both seem to blame others for their own misery. Even after leaving his abuser behind, Sooin hadn’t still found his place in life. He thought that his only value was to give blood to the vampire, therefore he refused to become a vampire. His goal in his life was to help the vampire, however this could not be right. Sooin and Yoon Seungho needed to love themselves, so that they could become independent and love their partner. The moment Yoon Seungho treated the painter with respect, the latter showed more confidence again. He could play pranks again. As long as they were full of insecurities, they could never love their partner properly.

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: The night of revelations – part 1 (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwa. 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:

The story doesn’t progress much in chapter 63, as it is still the same night, where the painter is with the main lead in the storage room. Yet, this doesn’t signify that there’s no change in the relationship between the two protagonists. In fact, we could say that this is the night of revelations. In chapter 63, the manhwalovers get to hear two love confessions, although their form diverges: Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho’s. Here, the painter is on the verge to admit his affection for the lord, yet he is stopped by Yoon Seungho. The latter can’t believe his words, he only trusts the painter’s physical reactions. As for the master’s love confession, it couldn’t appease the readers and please them, since they were upset with the way the main character was treating the painter. The reason is simple: they identify themselves with the painter and as such, they would never accept abuse, which is totally normal. However, I believe that it is important to read this manhwa with a certain detachment and analyze the main lead’s words very carefully. The portrayed brutality overshadows the lord’s words, hence his opening up and gradual transformation doesn’t catch the readers’ attention. That’s why I will focus on the lord’s behavior and words in this essay, because through them, the artist discovers new aspects about his lover.

1. Interpretation of the landscape during that night

But before starting with the analysis of chapter 63, I would like to examine this night, in particular, how Byeonduck introduced it. This panel comes from chapter 62, and here what caught my attention is the dimension of the house compared to the sky and the moon. In the former similar pictures, it was the opposite. (chapter 33). Besides, the moon was rather in the center of the image. Here, the satellite seems so far away, while the mansion occupies the biggest part of the image. Since I had interpreted that the house is a metaphor for the painter and the moon for Yoon Seungho, this picture reflects the importance of Baek Na-Kyum in the aristocrat’s life. Baek Na-Kyum represents his whole world. However, since the moon is so small, I sense that this reflects the lord’s emotional and mental state. Yoon Seungho isn’t really himself, he is lost in his fears and insecurities.

2. Yoon Seungho the master

Another possible interpretation is the coming disappearance of the moon, announcing the rebirth of the phoenix. Furthermore, the moon is so distant illustrating the gap existing between the two lovers. At the same time, the huge mansion also reflects the cause for the distance between them. One is a lord, a noble who can treat the artist as he pleases, since the former is a servant. And this issue is actually visible in chapter 62 and 63. Yoon Seungho is using his right as master to define their relationship. That’s why he expresses his firm refusal to let the painter go on two occasions. And if you compare the two idioms, you’ll observe a progression, the increasing determination of Yoon Seungho to keep the painter by his side. In the first sentence, Yoon Seungho puts “That” as first, which indicates how much the artist means to him: he can not permit the artist to leave him. On the other hand, we could say that this sentence mirrors Yoon Seungho’s treatment towards the artist. The latter is considered as a possession, an object (“that”). I would even add that this sentence illustrates his actual position. Baek Na-Kyum has no right, hence he is not even mentioned here. The lord doesn’t say here: “I can’t allow you that”. Then in the second sentence (“I will never let you go”), the personal pronoun “I” appears first showing his strong will to make it happen. His needs are prioritized and the painter has to submit himself. The personal pronoun “you” referring to the low-born is used as an object, once again the expression mirrors their relationship: the one is a master and the other a servant. As the manhwalovers can detect, both sentences have something in common: it revolves around permission, reinforcing my conviction that the noble’s one of major issues in their relationship is his status.

This third love confession is strongly connected to his status as master. And there’s a reason for this sort of love declaration. In his eyes, he has no other way to keep the painter by his side. He is not expecting a sense of loyalty or duty from Baek Na-Kyum, as he believes, the latter ran away. As the lord of the mansion, he is the one with the upper hand.

Nonetheless, in the last panel, Yoon Seungho reveals his true thoughts and feelings, demonstrating that he is definitely opening up. For the first time, he shows his need for the painter. So far, he had never attached himself to others, even confessed a certain dependency on others, though he was definitely relying on Kim and his knowledge. On the other hand, he has always perceived the painter as a servant in the end, despite his claim that he didn’t consider him as such. (chapter 47) In my opinion, the painter could definitely confront him with his own lies, just like he did in chapter 26.

3. Yoon Seungho’s love confessions

And now, if we compare the aristocrat’s “love confession” in chapter 63 to the previous ones, we can detect a huge progression. (chapter 55) (chapter 58) and (chapter 63)

First, the manhwaphiles can observe that when the lord admitted his love for the artist for the first time, he kept his distance from the painter. The physical separation indicates his fear to reveal his true emotions. He definitely views this as a weakness and has the impression that he is exposed to danger. He is definitely protecting his heart by maintaining a space between them. In the second love declaration, the noble trapped the painter under his body displaying his fear that the painter might run away after a love confession from him. As you can observe, both love confessions had a huge difference. On the one side, the master encouraged the low-born to desert the mansion by opening the door and keeping his distance from Baek Na-Kyum. During the second love confession, Yoon Seungho was no longer willing to accept the artist’s escape. Since he had admitted his feelings and as such his dependency, the painter was forced to remain by his side. He had no other choice than to obey to his master.

However, both scenes have a common denominator. During these moments, the noble avoids the artist’s gaze. In chapter 55, he looks down, and in chapter 58, he only whispers it to the artist’s ears. Even when they are physically so close, the lord is attempting to hide his face on the painter’s chest. (chapter 62) For the first time, he hears Baek Na-Kyum’s heart, yet he is not ready to face the artist. This illustrates his huge insecurities. The main lead fears his own reflection. Nevertheless, in episode 63, this is totally different, as for the first time, the lord is looking at Baek Na-Kyum’s face directly, while admitting his dependency on the commoner. There is no physical distance and the master is starring at the artist and waits for his reaction. But here, he comes out as a strong person, because he utilizes his position as a master. This gives him the strength to face the painter. Yet, this is not what the latter desires too. He doesn’t want to be treated as an object or as a servant. That’s why I think, a real discussion is needed here. Does he really love him or does he just view him as a domestic? Furthermore, being in love is not a weakness and that’s what the low-born needs to show him. As you can observe, the lord utilizes now his position so openly to face his loved one. Only as a master, he has the power to claim Baek Na-Kyum as his partner.

Striking is that when the lord declared his feelings for the artist for the second time, he never said these words: I love you. Instead, he chose this: He admitted his defeat. Since he had lost the battle, he had become a wreck, making him very vulnerable. Whereas we all took it as a metaphor, the noble meant it literally. And now, we see the result of this defeat: he is indeed a wreck, hence he is blind and deaf. Moreover, it looks like the lord is unable to use his brain and notice the bruise on the painter’s wrist. He is emotionally unstable, because he had been forced to reveal his affection and vulnerability (dependency). According to his father’s doctrine, sex is a battle, therefore by confessing his love, he surrenders. And now, you understand why his father gave him such a role, absence of love is a synonym for independency and liberty. By attaching himself to the artist, he is in truth trapped himself. Now, the manhwaphiles can grasp, why the noble acted like that. The lord already viewed himself as a servant and object due to his love for the artist, but he was refusing to accept his position. In other words, he was in denial. That’s why he acts like a lord so openly.

On the other hand, by abandoning this rule (absence of love), we have to imagine that the lord must feel confused. He still thinks that every relationship is a balance of power and the painter’s confession did reinforce this impression. Remember that the artist treated the master as his sexual object, the one who will give him pleasure. The master could only perceive it as a power of force. Yoon Seungho doesn’t know, this is not correct, as he has never experienced it differently. Power relationship was the nature of his rapport with his own father. Just like he said, he has been living according to his father’s principles. In other words, the noble is no different from Baek Na-Kyum in the end. He was also exposed to coercive persuasion. This explicates why his last resort is to use his status as master to force Baek Na-Kyum to remain by his side. This is the only power he has over the commoner in his eyes. He is no longer expecting to be loved by the painter. Simultaneously, he is also revealing his true position: he is no longer free, dependent on the low-born.

4. Sex and power

Nevertheless, you can sense his powerlessness despite the use of his physical strength during this night, which the manhwaworms can detect in the following panel: The reason for his frailty is that in reality he is longing for something else. He wanted to obtain the painter’s love, hence he desired to be gazed with admiration and to see a smile on the painter’s face. However, he has no hope any longer. Just like I wrote it before, a confession from the painter was just a dream that would never come true. And his “escape” confirmed his doubts. Their magical night was just an illusion, and he became a victim of deception. The more he made positive experiences, the more he doubted his senses and reality. But the cause for this lack of trust and confidence is his self-hatred, which I had already pointed out. And now, I understand why he chose to impersonate the scholar. That way, he could feel love for the first time. By replacing the scholar, he could drop his self-hatred, for he was someone else. However, he got caught in his own trap. After this first experience, he longed for more and hoped for a renewal. But he imagined that by having sex would be enough, and realized the falseness of his belief. He imagined that his wealth and power would impress the artist, but he was proven wrong. His self-hatred is the reason why he is blind and deaf in the end. He has the feeling, he is not lovable. Yet, like he states, he was never able to receive a smile from Baek Na-Kyum. This shows that he would have treasured a smile from the low-born, revealing that despite owning the artist’s body, he has no control over Baek Na-Kyum’s heart and mind in the end. The tragedy is that he didn’t witness that his confession made the painter blush. He was definitely moved and happy. The rich main character’s impotence in front of the artist explains why he is using his sexual potency to submit the commoner. This is no coincidence why the lord is particularly rough in chapter 63. He is trying to compensate his impotence by using sexual power. Many readers could sense that this chapter was a new version of chapter 25, the rape at the pavilion.

However, this time, it is different for many reasons. First, the artist didn’t reject the lord, unlike in chapter 25. Here, the lord is reminding the artist, how he behaved during that night. He scratched his face and pushed him away. He even confessed that he loved the scholar Jung In-Hun. This panel reveals that the lord could never forget that night. He still remembers the rejection, which left a deep wound reinforcing his self-hatred. Yet, since the lord is wearing his mask of deception, we shouldn’t take the last sentence as face-value. If you recall that night at the pavilion, you could see, how mad, sad and pained the lord was for the rejection and how much he disliked the situation. He did feel remorse for his action later. That’s why I see this comment as a proof that he is surprised by the lack of resistance from the artist. He was expecting a different reaction.

The second difference I noticed is the following. Since the painter declared that they had just a sexual relationship, the master is using this aspect to torment the painter. Because they are just two naked bodies and he is a lord, he can treat the partner as a toy. He has the right to do so. It was, as if Baek Na-Kyum was getting punished for his lack of honesty in chapter 49 due to his fear. His lack of trust caused the lord to mistrust the painter either. This is the second wound Yoon Seungho is confessing. The lord imagined in chapter 25 that if they had sex again, then the artist would come to accept him and even love him. Back then, the lord had no idea, what he was expecting exactly. He couldn’t tell that he was looking for love. In his mind, he was longing for admiration in the gaze, for a smile and for a blushing face. He had the hope that he could get, what he desired, if they renew their Wedding night. Here we have the opposite. He is so convinced that he is not loved and will never obtain the painter’s heart, although this time, Baek Na-Kyum is truly loving him. Yet both incidents unveil the lord’s major flaw. The lord is again too dwelled in his own thoughts to perceive reality. He has lived for too long as a spirit in his mind that he is not able to see the truth in front of him.

The third divergence is that there’s actually a misunderstanding. While the painter is just asking the noble to stop, because he is exhausted and fears to show pleasure, the lord has the impression that Baek Na-Kyum is rejecting him totally, begging him to let him go forever. That’s the reason why the noble replies later that

5. “Never”

And now, you can understand what my next point will be: the word “never”. Striking is that this idiom is constantly present in Yoon Seungho’s mind. Here, it is implied due to the utilization of the different tenses (simple past – present). When he rejected his childhood friend, there was an allusion to never too (“not the slightest chance of ever”). And in chapter 63, it appears twice. This unveils the lord’s true mind. He will never be loved. However, while revealing his true thoughts, he expresses a positive emotion for the first time. He felt joy due to the painter’s words This is a huge step for the lord, which doesn’t escape Baek Na-Kyum’s notice. The painter is indeed surprised and moved in my opinion, although he doesn’t have the time to reply to this admission. The fact that the painter is looking at Seungho’s eyes without any fear or disgust indicates for me that Baek Na-Kyum is slowly grasping the noble’s state of mind. For the first time, he is discovering the lord’s insecurities and wounds. In the past, it was different, since the artist was himself blind and deaf due to Jung In-Hun’s abandonment and betrayal. He also avoided his lover’s gaze and didn’t pay attention to his words (chapter 49) Besides, during their rough sexual encounter, the painter’s mind is neither polluted by the scholar’s doctrines nor influenced by his negative emotional state. Even the idiom “never once” outlines the lord’s despair and pain. I believe that the artist is able to sense that the noble was in a similar situation than himself. Besides, let’s not forget that the artist heard about the main lead’s past from the doctor.

6. The significance of the shed scene

In the first version, I had voiced that the painter wouldn’t react, like the lord had anticipated and I was proven correct. When he got the opportunity to leave the mansion, Baek Na-Kyum refused to follow his sister. In my opinion, their interaction in the shed was the reason for his stay, while every one imagined that this would be the cause for his departure. Imagine the irony. Kim, Min and Heena all saw the wrecked Baek Na-Kyum, therefore they could only see it as mistreatment. Nonetheless, the painter heard, saw and sensed the lord’s despair and affection during this intercourse. Besides, observe that in the following picture, Baek Na-Kyum is neither avoiding nor fearing the aristocrat’s gaze. I couldn’t help myself connecting this to the scene in chapter 52, where the artist was wondering about the lord’s impenetrable gaze and his indifferent expression. By showing himself entirely, with his self-hatred and longing for love, the artist was sensitive enough to comprehend the lord’s state of mind. That’s why I see here another difference to the scene in chapter 25. This time, there is a real conversation, even if there’s a misunderstanding from Yoon Seungho. The lord is communicating his thoughts and emotions, although the conversation doesn’t start right away. In fact, the chronology differs. First, they have rough sex, but the moment the painter whispers Lord Seungho, the latter decides to turn around the artist and face him. This is the first time that Baek Na–Kyum calls him like that in his presence. This did catch his notice. Then when he detects the painter’s blush, he starts talking but this time, this is no longer a dialog of the deaf. This time, the lord is listening more to the artist’s words, exactly like I had anticipated. When the picture of a blushing Baek Na-Kyum was briefly released, I couldn’t restrain myself from associating this picture to the scene in chapter 35, where the lord decided to give it another try, after witnessing the painter’s blushing. After hearing “Lord Seungho” and seeing his red face, the lord is opening up, however his doubts and self-hatred are too deeply rooted in the aristocrat to have a huge revelation. He can’t believe that the painter is in love with him…. especially after the lord made him cry so much. That’s why at the end, he prefers relying on his status as master to claim the painter. His deep lack of confidence is strongly intertwined with the idea of happiness. He has the impression, he will never be able to make someone happy. The importance of the artist’s smile in his life illuminates two aspects:

  1. Yoon Seungho had no goal in his life before meeting the low-born. He was just living as a ghost. After their Wedding night, the noble hoped that he would become the source of happiness for someone. Making his partner happy would become his goal.
  2. He saw no meaning in his life. He was just the source of misery, shame and hatred. If he is able to make someone smile, then his life has a sense. That’s why he can start living properly.

As a first conclusion, the chapter 63 announced the coming breakthrough and this interpretation is proven correct. The painter was able to get a glimpse of Seungho’s true thoughts and emotions and accept it. He was no longer in denial about his lover’s adoration. After this night, he was more struggling with his own feelings. Exactly like I had predicted, this final transformation was accompanied with a tragedy and with huge pain. Yoon Seungho had to admit that his self-hatred led him to commit wrongdoings towards his loved one. Hence he was forced to give up on his title. He could no longer be a noble, as he had behaved like a “savage”. On the other hand, the painter had proven his “nobility” by remaining faithful and loyal despite the harsh treatment. Baek Na-Kyum’s empathy, endurance and courage pushed the lord to get rid of the terrible reflection the aristocrat had about himself. As the painter’s servant, Yoon Seungho is less pressured and he has the artist as role model.

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.

Painter Of The Night: Fire and darkness : Valet Kim – part 2 (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwa.  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:

In the first part, I pointed out that the butler Kim was acting more and more on his own, leaving his role as servant behind. In other words, as time passed on, he was behaving more and more like Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho’s guardian. Striking is that guardian has two significations:

1. a warden –

2. “Guardian” means the person who, under court order, is the guardian of the person of the child or the public or private agency with whom the child has been placed by a court. This means that the guardian is responsible for the well-being of the child.

The irony is that in the first version, I used this word “guardian” to describe the butler, though I had the second meaning in my mind. For me, it was a synonym for surrogate father. But after chapter 65, my perception about valet Kim changed dramatically. Yet, the more I examined the manhwa, the more I could already discover new symbolisms related to the butler. I only realized in chapter 62 the true role played by valet Kim in the manhwa. In this terrible but terrific episode, two panels stroke my attention making me recognize, Kim would play a huge part in the noble’s liberation from his prison. To sum up, he would contribute to his release. Nonetheless contrary to the first version, the butler would free him against his will. How did I come up to this idea of the release? Observe the following panels:

What do they have in common? Yes, Kim is linked to doors, but more precisely to open doors. And now, if the manhwalovers recall all the episodes, where the valet appeared, they will confirm this observation. First, it starts with the episode 7 . Then in chapter 11, he is seen in three different panels, standing next to an open door. And notice that in the second drawing above, he even opens the door in order to bring the meal to the painter’s study, where his master wishes to eat. And this picture announces his future role as doorman, because he is the one, who opens the door in chapter 16. In my essay about Deok-Jae, I had explained, how the latter had used the valet to stop Seungho from having sex with the painter. The jealous servant had manipulated the butler letting him think that the lord was alone and had asked for him. Since Byeonduck liked the tweet where I mentioned his involvement, I saw it as a confirmation for my theory. However, during that incident, the loyal butler hid his identity in order to escape a possible punishment. His master could have punished him for opening the door without his consent and order. Hence he ran away. Simultaneously, the valet hoped that with the open door, the painter would be able to escape, and no servant would get punished except Baek Na-Kyum who had run away from him. He chose anonymity to cover up his wrongdoing. In this moment, he had become the invisible hand, which I noted as well, when I examined his involvement during the night of the rape. Note that Kim was the one, who allowed the painter to run away, yet he hid his participation again, as he was never present in the panels. Then I could add this panel from episode 56 , episode and episode 67: He kept opening the door.

But in order to prove my theory that Kim is a porter and as such Yoon Seungho’s jailer who will be forced to release him, I’ll bring up more pictures. But I won’t respect the chronology of Painter Of the Night, because I will need to examine certain scenes necessary for my interpretation. We can sense the connection between Kim and the door opening in chapter 37, where he attempts to stop Yoon Seung-Won from opening the master’s door . And this is no coincidence that the butler didn’t want the door to be opened. Since the lord was no longer acting like an obedient child , the valet recognized that he needed to keep Baek Na-Kyum by his master’s side so that the latter would become obedient again. This meant that the butler desired to offer the low-born as a plaything to his lord. That’s why the artist was drugged and had to be imprisoned next to Yoon Seungho. Then in chapter 17, Byeonduck created such a panel: In this scene, the butler kept the protagonist’s door closed. He acted, as if he had opened the door, while in reality he had never delivered his master the food. In this scene, the butler was indeed acting like a prison warden. And this observation led me to the following conclusion: the butler is only connected to door opening in the presence of Baek Na-Kyum. Therefore in episode 44 he waits by Baek Na-Kyum’s side in front of the open door. In this scene, the butler hoped that he would run away and abandon his master. He imagined that after the betrayal and abandonment from the scholar, the artist would be so heartbroken, that he would desert the mansion. Remember the noble’s words in that chapter: Why should he stay, if the learned sir had betrayed him?

During the second season, Byeonduck even used this function more obviously. In chapter 45, he is seen twice on the threshold of a building. And note, in the second panel he enters the mansion by pushing the door. And in this episode, the butler’s actions were related to the artist. Therefore I am presenting this theory. Kim would like the low-born to disappear from the mansion in the end, consequently the open door is a visualization of this mindset. That’s why we had this panel in chapter 67: Baek Na-Kyum’s presence in the mansion caused more trouble for the valet. He was indeed the artist’s warden. However, for the painter’s fate mirrors the master’s, this signifies that Kim played a similar function towards his master. He was his guardian, and as such his jailer. Moreover, I had connected the painter to the door which implicates that the noble would be associated to the door as well. And this means that little by little, Yoon Seungho’s position was affected. He would no longer be connected to the window, but to the door opening. This explicates why the open door is more and more related to the wealthy main lead.

But in order to be able to leave his prison, the protagonist had to not only remove the butler from his side, but also to open the door himself. And if you pay attention to the lord’s position to the door in the second season, you’ll remember certainly these panels:

  • : the noble opened himself the door and note that during that incident, Kim was not present!! This scene was important, as it already announced the lord’s liberation. This explicates why the second season ends in the town: He is now free just like the artist. The mansion is no longer a prison, but a home. This stood in opposition to the end of the first season, as it symbolized that the painter was trapped too. Since Yoon Seungho couldn’t leave the mansion, the painter became a prisoner as well.
  • Chapter 47: The door was open, but the readers never see him opening the door. He remained in the bedchamber too.
  • Chapter 48: He went to the painter’s study on his own, indicating that he was moving now more freely. Let’s not forget that during the first season, he often was accompanied by Kim (chapter 20 , chapter 22 the hunt , chapter 25 ). He was keeping an eye on his prisoner while faking he was there as his protector.
  • In chapter 50, the manhwaworms viewed him on the threshold of the scholar’s room. Here, the artist was not present, but he was the main topic of the discussion. What caught my attention is that the door was wide open, yet the lord was standing far away from the door. The readers didn’t even see him opening the door. Furthermore Kim’s position changed gradually, because he came closer to his lord and even entered the room. And the switch of position reflected his change of attitude. In the last picture, he was giving his lord an advice. He was no longer acting as the submissive and obedient servant, but as his advisor, which annoyed Yoon Seungho. Hence the lord has to remind him of his true position: he is just a domestic and not an advisor, a place reserved to a noble. But despite his scolding, the noble did listen to his “loyal butler”. With his words, he persuaded his master to keep his distance from the artist. Out of pity, the noble should resign. And now you comprehend why the noble had a relapse after this conversation. The butler was able to keep him in his cage. That’s why we never see him leave the room, a symbol for his cage. And this interpretation reinforces my theory that Kim was indeed responsible for Yoon Seungho’s Stockholm Syndrome. The chapter 50 truly showed that despite his social position, the butler saw himself superior to his master. He was not just the lord’s right-hand, but his heart and his mind. He got closer to his master and even gave his opinion, though he had not been asked. He had in reality usurped his position. To sum up, behind his submissive attitude, he behaved the exact opposite.
  • And now, if you compare the scene from chapter 50 with the pictures from chapter 62, you’ll detect the progression: The butler was outside of the shed, entered the room, while the noble was standing in front of the threshold. His face was in the darkness, because he was misled by Kim’s words. Triggered by the idiom “I do not believe”, the main lead was encouraged to think that he had been betrayed and abandoned by the artist, for belief and knowledge stands in opposition. However, their position mirrored the noble’s liberation. His mind was still trapped in the cage, but his body was slowly moving towards the door. Besides, let’s not forget that in that scene again, the noble had also opened the door, but the manhwaphiles couldn’t witness it one more time.
  • And the manhwaphiles can grasp the signification of the incident in chapter 64: The noble was actually overcoming his trauma. He opened the door which was strongly connected to his rape from his childhood. (chapter 65) Back then, the butler had not opened the door symbolizing that the domestic was covering up the crime. He only opened the door after the incident and made sure that this secret would remain in the room. (chapter 65). Consequently, he had to blame the victim and make him feel guilty. By reliving his trauma and exposed to his biggest fear, the lord was able to move on. This explicates why he had sex with Baek Na-Kyum in the open afterwards. This was strongly connected to his huge guilt caused by the butler’s manipulations after the first rape. He needed to show that there was nothing wrong and he shouldn’t feel guilty. Yet, there’s no ambiguity that this action was done unconsciously. While the painter was using the closed door to hide his sexuality and homosexuality, the closed door for Yoon Seungho represented the noble’s trauma: the first rape which marked his road to hell. This elucidates why the butler is associated to the darkness which is perceptible in the following panels: (chapter 33) (chapter 37) (chapter 62) (chapter 65) His face or body is always standing in the shadow. This explicates why he often works in the shadow. This is an evidence that the butler is related to darkness.
  • But the final liberation from his jailer happened in episode 68: This is no coincidence that the noble was even seen opening the door. The butler was able to escape a punishment from his lord with his words (pity for the painter and his terrible portrait resembling his father), yet at the end the butler ends up in the backyard. Note the absence of the door, a sign of his loss of power. He has to lie low, as the main lead is no longer trusting him. This picture represents the butler’s position. He kept his master captive, but the moment the latter liberated himself, the butler could no longer rule the courtyard. That’s why he lives in the backyard which was already announced in chapter 65. Out of fear for his life, he prefers living in a secluded area. Yet, this doesn’t mean that this is the end for Kim… the noble has not discovered his multiple betrayals yet. Remember that the lord has not even recovered from his amnesia.

However, this essay is also referring to light. Striking is that the butler is linked to light as well. How is it possible? In chapter 20, Kim was the only witness of their “Wedding night” and strangely, he was standing next to the open door with a light. And his connection to fire is even shown in another scene. (chapter 36) The domestic is not only related to the open door, but also to light. Light is often associated to knowledge and wisdom, hence the philosophical movement in 18th Century in Europe is called “Enlightenment”. The philosophes and scientists desired to transform their society and government into better ones, bringing technological progress, knowledge, especially liberty and equality to people. They wanted to free the people’s mind from obscurantism imposed by absolute monarchy and Church. On the other hand, you’ll notice that Kim’s light is covered by glass or paper. (chapter 25) This is important, for it symbolizes that the butler is not only possessing knowledge, but also he is not sharing it. Moreover, the readers shouldn’t forget that Church in Middle-Age was the owner of knowledge. Only clergy could write and read. Universities were in the hands of clergymen. Besides, in many religions, candles are used for prayers. I can’t help myself thinking about Karl Marx’s quote: “Religion is the opium of the people“. Therefore I come to the following conclusion. Kim is also a priest, but he embodies the Church from Middle-Age. Since I am a teacher in European History, my readers can understand why I am drawing parallels between the butler and Christian Church from Middle-Age.

These were the functions from Church in Middle-Age:

  • a protective and social role: Charity towards the poor (chapter 68), care of the sick (chapter 33) (chapter 57), channelling the violence of the “bellatores” (those who fight) thanks to the Peace of God and the Truce of God. Remember how he stopped his master from killing Jung In-Hun in chapter 27 by sending the white-bearded domestic.
  • judicial role: ecclesiastical justice. This means that the clergy could order the arrest of heretics, but for that the religious institution needed the intervention of the local lord. That’s why we have this scene: (chapter 65) The lord is the butler’s sword. While the butler was judging the physician, Yoon Seungho was presented as the executioner of the sentence. Besides, the Church could also exercise seigneurial justice on its lands. Therefore the manhwaphiles could witness how the valet gave a punishment to Deok-Jae: clean up the mess. (chapter 47) Both sentences had a common denominator: hypocrisy, because in the first case, the butler was covering up his own participation and in the second case, the vicious servant didn’t feel remorse after that sentence.

Economic role: the Church became rich thanks to its levies (the tithe), donations, and the role of landlord that it held on its lands, while preaching humbleness and selflessness. You could detect the butler’s power and wealth, as he could dress up like a noble (chapter 45) (chapter 57) and even walk around without his master’s authorization.

Cultural role: The Latin language was preserved by the Church. The Church taught through libraries and scriptoria. And knowledge is power, that’s why Kim keeps preaching this philosophy: . Ignorance is a blessing for him, since he could manipulate his master and the staff, a similar attitude of The Church from Middle-Age.

Political role: the power of the king is sacred. The threats of excommunication displayed the power of the Church on the political life and on Kings. In The Holy Roman Empire (Germany), Henry IV. got excommunicated by the Pope Gregory VII in 1066 which marked the beginning of Investiture Controversy. I won’t go into details, but this battle between the German Emperor and The Pope was important, as it was to determine which authorities was higher: The temporal authorities (King/Emperor) or the religious institution (The Pope). In the long run, the Church could only lose its power. It started with the Renaissance and the invention of letterpress printing which allowed people to have access to books and as such to knowledge. But the increasing loss of power of The Church reached a new peak with the new philosophical current Enlightenment. And if you pay attention to the protagonist, you could perceive a parallel between the fear of excommunication in Middle-Age and Yoon Seungho’s abandonment issues.

And this comparison made me realize this. Kim is also a priest, but he should be more associated to the Middle-Age and as such obscurantism. This explicates why he is alone and dislikes sex and homosexuality. That’s the reason why why he is single reminding us of the vow of chastity and his video was in black and in white: a combination of darkness and light. Besides, as a priest, it explicates why he is a reinforcer of traditions and social norms. Just like the Church in Middle-Age, he knows a lot but he keeps it to himself. He only reveals certain elements, when it serves his own interests. From my point of view, his “knowledge” is used for deception. The light is a diversion, he only revealed semi-truths or he was paltering, meaning that he delayed to expose the truth to his master. We had the perfect example in chapter 50. When he explained the content of the conversation in the library, he created the impression that the painter had not chosen his master. He has not run away, as he was wounded. The truth is that he had indeed selected Yoon Seungho as his master. He had remained by his side, though the door was wide open. Kim never exposed the event at the door in chapter 44 and the escape in chapter 46. He couldn’t divulge this, since this would represent a confession of his crimes: encouraging the artist to leave the mansion or not following his master’s order properly. That’s why I see here another confirmation that Kim’s knowledge and light is a symbol for his manipulations. Furthermore, the lamp doesn’t ooze warmth, a sign that there’s no genuine affection between the domestic and the main leads.

One might argue that in chapter 25, Kim is associated to a closed door, hence this would refute my theory. However, if you look carefully, the nice servant is actually opening the door, visible thanks to the sound. In fact, this image mirrors Kim’s actual situation and disposition. He tried to bury the truth, and it ended in a disaster. Here, he was running away, because he didn’t want to face his guilt. At the same time, this image reflected his role in the manhwa: He was the jailer and the invisible hand, which would pull the strings in the shadow, helped the painter from the shadow for his own interests and not for Baek Na-Kyum’s sake. That’s why I judge the chapters 62-63-64 as a new version of that fateful night in the first season (25-26-27-28). This significates that Kim contributed to Yoon Seungho’s release with his actions. Let’s not forget that in chapter 29, he remained silent and was sweating, because in his mind, the scholar and the painter were now on the run. They acted, as if they had no idea. And this situation occurred again in chapter 64: He feigned ignorance and blindness, nonetheless the truth is that he recognized the nature of the incident. He was reminded of the past. That’s the reason why the butler’s memory resurfaced in the next morning. The only difference to the first season is that during the sex marathon the liberation was not physical, but mental. The noble was freeing himself from the shackles from his past.

However, the most significant connection to the open door occurred in chapter 35. Here, he opened not only the door, but also the windows. Furthermore, he even let the door open while tidying his master’s room. Whereas this scene didn’t seem to have a huge signification, it became a different meaning now, when we associated the valet to a warden. Due to Kim’s actions, the lord witnessed the intimate interaction between the scholar and the artist in the courtyard. By opening the window, the lord was confronted with a certain reality. Despite the sex marathon, he hadn’t won the painter’s heart, as the latter was still affected by Jung In-Hun’s gestures and words. But Kim did it on purpose: the so-called light and knowledge created the illusion that the painter was unfaithful. In fact, Seungho could never witness the low-born’s several disappointments. Due to Kim’s intervention, the lord became so jealous and infuriated, that he grabbed his sword, ready to kill the artist. In my mind, the lord was also suicidal here. However, nothing happened back then, as the artist didn’t leave the mansion. Like lord Seungho pointed out, if he had stepped out, he would have killed him. This scene had another signification: the lord was slowly getting closer to the mansion’s door. And since the valet was by his side, he saw his master’s jealousy and insecurities. The latter was again on the verge to become mad and suicidal. The domestic recognized, how desperate and dangerous the aristocrat was during that morning and hoped, the noble would kill Baek Na-Kyum with his own hands. This situation happened again in chapter 61: However, this time the lord’s murdering tendency was triggered by the servants’ statement: he had run away. The assistant had in reality manipulated the staff. He had learned that he could no longer feign ignorance like in the past (chapter 29). Hence he used belief for his scheme. That’s why I believe that in chapter 62, the butler chose to influence his master directly , for the first attempt to manipulate him through his domestics had already failed. The lord hadn’t killed the artist, but brought him back to the mansion. At the same time, it becomes comprehensible why Kim is also associated to light, for belief is a synonym for religion. With “belief”, he is able to manipulate people, therefore Jihwa keeps repeating “I know”. He believes that he possesses knowledge, while in truth he knows nothing, for he can not understand the main lead’s suffering.

And now imagine, the protagonist had the impression that the artist had left his side, although this time he had confessed for real. Since the artist was no longer refusing his advances and even called his name during the night, he came to the conclusion, that the artist must have faked everything, which is even worse than before. And now, the manhwaphiles can comprehend why I came to the idea that the valet would be linked to the opening of the door. Notice that during the last two chapters, he entered the room and spoke to his master. (chapter 61) (chapter 62). In the last picture, he was even siding to the artist, since he was kneeling next to Baek Na-Kyum. Not only his words, but also his position seemed to reflect his thoughts. But this was a subterfuge. It looked like he was defending the artist, while in reality, he was encouraging his master to “believe” his “fears”. No wonder why the lord was infuriated. Deep down, he sensed that he was pushed to punish the painter for his betrayal and abandonment. The aristocrat threatened him with a terrible punishment. He might lose his tongue, if he kept encouraging his mistrust towards Baek Na-Kyum. In my opinion, the butler feared that his involvement in the abduction could be revealed. Remember my observation that the butler covered up NAmeless’ traces. This is not surprising that the butler kept looking at the door and visited his lord later. (chapter 61) The reason for his visit was the painter’s reaction. This time, the domestic could observe the artist was still alive, but more importantly he could move freely in the shed. For me, although it appears like Kim was showing concern for the low-born, the reality was that he was worried about his own safety and survival. Baek Na-Kyum could reveal how he got abducted and the noble might question his butler’s whereabouts and actions.

In the first version, I had predicted Kim’s intervention which turned out to be true and false at the same time. He approached the barn, but he didn’t help the poor commoner. This night revealed his true personality: his hypocrisy and cowardice. Exactly like I had envisaged, he had been a witness of the noble’s first rape, but he chose to forget this event. If he didn’t take it to heart, he wouldn’t feel terribly guilty. In that chapter he truly acted like a prison guardian, and we could say that in truth the light was only following him and not the main leads. Under this new aspect, the manhwaphiles can grasp why Jung In-Hun and Kim are so similar. Both are like priests using social injustice and social norms to their own advantages. That’s why they were seen together in chapter 7: Both represented the darkness of the mind. The readers will certainly recall that the scholar is not attempting to teach the commoners and Baek Na-Kyum properly. And this leads me to the final conclusion: Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho are in reality the light and fire (chapter 57) (chapter 62), this explicates why the lord could find the door and open it.

But he couldn’t open the painter’s study in chapter 68 for one simple reason. Baek Na-Kyum had to do it himself too. Yoon Seungho had liberated himself thanks to his lover. The painter had to make the same experience. By opening the door and not following his sister, he was making the following statement to the protagonist: he was no prisoner, he had chosen Yoon Seungho as his master. Moreover, he was accepting his homosexuality and his relationship with the main lead.

On the other hand, the butler’s retreat in the backyard doesn’t mean a complete defeat for the domestic. He still represents a source of danger for the two protagonists. That’s why I have the feeling that he could collaborate with the scholar, for I believe that their desires will be aligned. First, Yoon Seungho could abandon the learned sir so that Min approaches the scholar. Since Kim’s biggest wish is to remove the painter from his master’s side, he will work again for Black Heart.

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: “Fire and darkness – valet Kim – part 1” second version

This is where you can read the manhwa. 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:

The main topic of this essay will be the butler Kim, as I believe that he will play a huge role during this fateful and tragic night. However, before writing any prediction, it is important to analyze the evolution of his relationship with Yoon Seungho. The gradual change of their bond explains, why there’ll be a confrontation. As we are about to witness a turning point in the main lead’s life, it signifies that this will affect Kim as well. That’s why in the first part, I’ll focus on the change of Kim’s attitude towards his lord, before imagining a possible continuation of chapter 62. From my point of view, the rebirth of the phoenix, which is another clue for the fire, is strongly connected to valet Kim, because the latter represents a part of his past. In order to get reborn, you need to cut ties with the past. Yet, at the same time, the servant is connected to the future [see for that, the essay called “Past, present and future – part 3”], as he keeps scheming. Consequently, I come to the conclusion that the butler will be the trigger for the lord’s final metamorphosis, whereas Baek Na-Kyum is the cause for Yoon Seungho’s change.

In my first essay about Kim entitled “The helping hand”,

I had described, how the butler would act as if he was helping his master from behind the scene. Nevertheless, initially he disapproved the main lead’s desire to have the painter as his lover, hence he advised Baek Na-Kyum not to remember anything. He didn’t desire Baek Na-Kyum to recall their Wedding night, because if he did, this could definitely affect Kim’s position. Striking is that with his advice, he acted as a father rejecting the son’s choice for his partner. But he couldn’t do it so openly due to his social status: he is just a servant, a commoner, therefore he has no right to meddle in his master’s life.

What caught my attention is that during the terrible night of the rape and its consequences, the valet played a huge role. First, he was the one who brought the low-born to the pavilion, just like he was the one who had to fetch him and bring him to the bathroom. Hence he became the only witness of his master’s wrongdoing. However, like I mentioned it before, the butler is responsible for the forced sex due to his words. First, he gave the impression that he showed concern for him, when he discovered the scar on his face. Secondly, once he met him in the hallway, he didn’t dare say anything and even avoided his gaze. He looked definitely uncomfortable and even scared by him. Why? It is because for the first time, the butler had to face himself his master’s mood swings. So far, the painter had been the only one facing the noble’s bad temper. In my opinion, when the butler claimed that he feared his master, he was definitely lying, for he had always been his right-hand. That’s why he never criticized his lord before. He didn’t have the need to do. However, Kim’s position got affected with the rape. Due to his involvement, he triggered the lord’s trauma, hence he was confronted with the lord’s terrible mood. Therefore many readers and me included thought that Kim’s words from chapter 12 were true. Yet, the reality is different, as this situation only appears in episode 25 and 26. Hence he decides to act behind his master’s back after his last meeting in the hallway. He got surprised by the lord’s action, nevertheless he knew that the lord’s emotional state hadn’t returned to normality. The butler recognized that the main lead was still boiling inside due to his anger and pain, though his expression was cold and detached. Kim sensed that another fight between the master and the low-born would occur, since the latter couldn’t calm down and even reproached him his silence before. Because the painter was brave enough to resist the noble (the scar) and criticize the butler, the latter could already imagine the artist’s reaction. Furthermore, the domestic knew about the existence of the love triangle, since he had heard the artist’s love confession addressed to his learned sir. As you can observe, each time Kim was the only witness of Yoon Seungho’s actions and wrongdoings. First, he impersonated the scholar and slept with someone, who seemed not to love him. Secondly, he forced himself on the painter in order to obtain what he was longing: love. Yet, at no moment, the butler criticized his master, he chose to remain silent. One might say that he was in no position to express his opinion, as he is just a servant. However, like I described it in the analysis “The birth of the zombie”, the lord relied on Kim’s suggestions and actions all the time. This explicates why the head-maid keeps asking for Kim’s help and advice. (chapter 17) (chapter 65) For he could act as his advisor, this means that he could have told the truth to his lord. There’s no doubt that through his conversation in the woods, he recognized that there could be a misunderstanding between Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum. Yet, he chose not to reveal this information, because that way, he would create a situation, where the lord would be rejected. In other words, the scene in the pavilion was a new version of the Wedding night. Besides, the manhwaphiles should recall that the butler played a huge role there as well, because he created an incident: the disappearance of the expensive wine.

But let’s go back to the reprimand expressed by Baek Na-Kyum towards the servant who seems so gentle and caring. Since Kim has never told the artist the truth, the former can be accused of lying by omission. Kim envisioned that if the past was buried and never mentioned, then it was, as if nothing had happened. And this reminded me of Nameless’ behavior and thoughts. Since the painter had been sent back to Yoon Seungho, it was, as if no crime had been committed. In other words, the criminal is actually trying to bury the truth as well. He is also asking the victim to lie by omission. Unlike the loyal servant, Nameless threatened the painter. And now, you can understand why my connection to chapter 26 was correct in the end. However, there’s a huge difference between Nameless and valet Kim, both representatives of the future. The butler wasn’t feeling sorry for the victim and the perpetrator at all, while it’s the opposite for the hired assassin: (chapter 60) (chapter 66). Valet Kim only fakes concern and care, because his motto is: The contrast is surprising, because one would expect that after spending so much time with Baek Na-Kyum and his master, he should have come to like or pity them.

This explicates why hearing these words, the butler could only feel guilty. Hence he didn’t reply. To be more precisely, he was almost left speechless, because he was stuttering. At the end, he just added that he would bring him new clothes. With his lack of response and his desertion from the bathroom, it is clear that the servant was running away, for he didn’t want to face his own responsibilities. He was literally leaving the artist’s side. The change of clothes was a good excuse for him not to witness Baek Na-Kyum’s tears. I am quite certain that the low-born’s reaction must have reminded Kim of Yoon Seungho’s past as well. Striking is that both characters, Kim and Yoon Seungho, were annoyed by his cry and tears. Why? It is because the tears Why? It is, because the tears expose the wound and represent the proof of a misdeed. And their common reaction leads me to the following deductions:

  1. The main lead was asked not to cry, when he was wounded in his past. No one provided him comfort as well. His father had already rejected him and the valet thought, it was not his business to do so. He was just a servant in the end.
  2. During the first and second season, we encountered a wounded main character, who could only become infuriated or laugh in a cynical way. Remember his reaction, when he received the fake letter. He was hiding his eyes from his assistant, while he was somehow laughing. In this scene, it becomes visible that the lord is hurt, and this represents a proof that Kim must have requested from him to stop crying in his youth too. The noble has already internalized the gesture: he is not allowed to show his tears in front of his assistant. Moreover, although he is deeply wounded, he can’t shed tears, since he has long forgotten how to do so. And this was for me another clue that the main character must have encountered so many bad experiences that he could no longer cry. This assumption was proven correct, when Byeonduck allowed the readers to witness the noble’s nightmare: his past is indeed very tragic and painful. (chapter 74) The absence of the noble’s tears made me realize this: Yoon Seungho stands in opposition to his childhood friend. While the latter could cry so easily, the other lacked the ability to do so. Yet, the protagonist compensated his disability with his mind’s eye. (chapter 3) Thanks to his invisible mind’s eye, the lord was able to reflect on himself and recognize his wrongdoings. Unlike the red-haired aristocrat, the protagonist felt huge pangs of conscience very early on, while it took his friend a long time to recognize his mistake. He was the one responsible for losing his lover.

Now, you might criticize me for mentioning all this, while I had written above that valet Kim was in the center of this essay. The reason for this is the following: I believe that the tears will be the symbol of Yoon Seungho’s rebirth. Since Jihwa expressed regrets for the first time, I have the feeling that we will see the lord crying at some point. And remember that I had already announced that Jihwa and Seungho were put in the same situation, hence we had two similar panels. (chapter 61) (chapter 62) And observe that the moment, Jihwa realizes his huge mistake and expresses remorse, he drops his doctrine about the distinction between nobles and commoners. He doesn’t mind being embraced by a low-born, even a criminal. Notice what Yoon Seungho is experiencing happens the next night after Jihwa’s emancipation. Since we had a scene with three persons in the woodshed, then I had the feeling that in the grange, we could have a scene with 3 people as well (past, present and future). So I predicted that this night would have the same impact for the powerful protagonist, yet that his rebirth would be accompanied with pain and a tragedy. And my predictions were correct: during this night, the third person in the shed is the perpetrator of Yoon Seungho’s rape which was witnessed by the butler.

And now, let’s return our attention to the so-called loyal butler. Once the latter saw his master returning to the bathroom, he detected that a terrible incident would happen. Therefore he must have witnessed how the lord went grabbing his sword. This explicates why he made sure that the scholar Jung In-Hun would leave his room. He sent the white-bearded servant in order to lure the teacher outside the building, so that his master wouldn’t be able to kill him. I mean, why would the domestic answer to his question during the night, while we clearly saw that the teacher was already lying in his bed before? My first explication was that Kim was trying to help his master, because the scholar’s death would have caused a real scandal. Nevertheless, my interpretation has changed. He did it in order to secure his position: if Yoon Seungho had killed a noble, he could have been persecuted and as such the butler’s fate would have been affected. There’s no ambiguity that after the rape, Kim knew how his lord was thinking and feeling. However, if you read the manhwa, you’ll never see him acting behind the scene. You come only to this observation after examining the chapters carefully. The sudden appearance of the old servant who asks the low noble to follow him outside, while the former wonders about this action. Besides, I had clearly pointed out the theory that the assistant must have been responsible for the painter’s first escape. It was his first direct involvement, and his disobedience could have been noticed by his master. We have to envision a new version of this situation: Kim encouraged the painter to flee by telling him where the scholar was. (chapter 12)Since the butler had always acted in the shadow, he imagined that he would success like in the past. Yet, he never expected that Jung In-Hun would ruin his plan. While the valet acted as a selfless and genuine person, the learned sir behaved the opposite. However, their attitudes have something in common: fakeness and selfishness. There’s no doubt that the butler envisioned that he could act like in the past, thus history is repeating itself. Yoon Seungho had been exposed to the same situation, where he was abused sexually and couldn’t escape. Yet, contrary to the past, neither the painter nor the scholar acted like the butler had anticipated, because the valet didn’t judge the scholar’s personality correctly. He thought, the former teacher would fear for his life after hearing from the painter that his life was in danger. He never anticipated that as a low noble, he would mistrust the low-born’s statement. And if you pay attention to the evolution of the story, you’ll notice that Kim’s actions are gradually revealed during the first and second season. During the night of the forced sex, Kim acted behind the scene, yet the chapter 29 marked a turning point in the butler’s life. He got punished for his betrayal, although the protagonist got unaware of this: Why? For he was the lord’s right-hand, he was forced to beg for Yoon Seungho’s forgiveness. All the staff expected this from the valet, since he was the closest assistant to Yoon Seungho.

The domestic had imagined that once the artist had deserted the house, Jung In-Hun would follow him after hearing from him about the events of the previous night. His involvement was visible the moment he remained silent, while Deok-Jae claimed his ignorance about the whereabouts of the low noble. Kim never refuted the vicious servant’s words, when the latter spoke in his name (“we”). Notice that Kim was sweating and looked pale, indicating a huge discomfort. He never imagined their return, just like he never expected the noble’s outburst. Nothing could stop him, he became so infuriated and violent that he wasn’t even spared. Why this miscalculation? From my perspective, it is related to the butler’s judgement about his master. In his mind, Yoon Seungho is just a man consumed by lust, hence he envisioned that the painter was just a plaything. He believed that once out of the sight, out of the mind.

That’s why from that moment (chapter 30), he changed his strategy and chose to treat the painter as his master’s sex toy or prostitute. Hence he provided the artist with an aphrodisiac, so that the painter would get an erection in the lord’s presence. Due to the sex marathon, Baek Na-Kyum almost lost his life, hence he thought that if this sexual intercourse was renewed: the noble couldn’t restrain himself and would have sex with the artist, until the latter dies. Consequently, he brought back the artist to the lord’s bedchamber just before the commoner woke up and he portrayed his lord in a positive light. Yoon Seungho had taken care of him himself and had left the house, because he felt so guilty. As a conclusion, he decided to use the lord’s thirst for the painter to get rid of Baek Na-Kyum. Observe that he never asked for his master’s approval for the aphrodisiac. He already started giving orders on his own: Deok-Jae was asked to let the painter leave the mansion, then he bought the expensive medicine. But since he was just a butler, he used the closeness to his master to obtain what he wanted. This exposes that Kim already abused his position, in season 1. He claimed to the doctor that his master would have given his approval, because he knew that the aristocrat would never investigate his moves and whereabouts. However, we all know that Yoon Seungho’s desire is to be loved for himself and not because of his status, wealth or a trick. When the valet went so far to buy ink and brushes for the painter, it gave the impression that the butler was caring and gentle. Yet, this scene revealed the butler’s deceptive personality in reality. He spent his lord’s money without asking. He left the mansion on his own and I doubt, his master was aware of his actions. Then he kept sending Deok-Jae to the artist’s study so that the vicious servant would get more and more jealous. If you examined Kim’s behavior more carefully, you would notice that he was acting more and more on his own, to the point that he was no longer waiting for his master’s authorization. That’s why he brought the painter to the physician. (chapter 56) (chapter 58) Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why the lord questioned his presence at the physician’s While many readers, including myself first, thought, was attempting to bring them closer and as such to play cupid in the end. The reality was the opposite. He always created misunderstandings and problems.

In the past, the butler had always acted as his advisor and assistant through his suggestions, but it was no longer possible. The more time passed on, the more the master recognized that the butler was overstepping his boundaries. The aristocrat was slowly distancing himself from Kim. Hence each time the domestic acted above his position, his master got angry and reminded him of his own position. And now, if the manhwalovers compare both panels, they will note the increasing of violence expressed by Yoon Seungho. While many resented the protagonists for his brutal words, they actually indicate that the main lead is already sensing the manipulative side from the butler. Let’s not forget that in chapter 62, Kim declared this: “I believe” stands in opposition to “I know”. For the domestic is well aware that Yoon Seungho has huge insecurities and as such has an immense mistrust, he will never listen to Kim’s words. By saying “I do not believe”, the valet was influencing the noble to imagine the opposite. From my point of view, he wanted the main lead to kill the painter. Why do I believe this? First, the panel above illustrates that Kim’s head and body stand in the dark. That’s why Yoon Seungho’s face and eyes are in the shadow as well. Secondly, chapter 62 should be a new version from an episode in the first season. The painter was sent to the shed in episode 1. And look what do we have here: A sword! And remember that I have already pointed out that there’s a strong connection between the butler and the sword due to chapter 1, 26, 35, and 50. That’s why I come to the deduction that Kim desired to get rid of the painter through his master’s sword. Hence he said those words: But it backfired on him. He was the one who got threatened with the sword. That’s why the domestic kept monitoring the door of the shed. (chapter 61) (chapter 62) (chapter 64) He was curious to know if the lord had executed the low-born. As a conclusion, Kim represents the darkness, which is totally understandable, because he embodies Yoon Seungho’s traumatic past.

In chapter 50, the weapon was cutting the book and as such Jung In-Hun, yet the noble was definitely angered by Kim’s words, and his gesture was not random. In chapter 62, the menace was much more precise: he would cut off his tongue. This exposes the gradual loss of the butler’s manipulations. From chapter 62 on, Kim is no longer protected from his master’s fury and criticisms. Yet, at the same time, we could observe why the lord’s threads became more visible. It was related to the servant’s words. While in chapter 50, Kim was quite reserved and his advice was full of respect, in chapter 62 he is no longer hiding his true thoughts. Here he is openly making a statement and “criticizing” his lord indirectly. Kim is slowly leaving his status as domestic, he is acting more and more as a senior, just like Yoon Seungho called him “the old man” in chapter 23. As the manhwaphiles could observe, during the second season, the valet is more and more perceived as a servant and no longer as a surrogate father. This means that from chapter 50 on, Kim and the lord just have a master-servant relationship and nothing more. On the other hand, the domestic has always considered Yoon Seungho as his puppet, although he didn’t show it so openly before the appearance of Baek Na-Kyum. There’s a reason for that. Yoon Seungho never tried to have a relationship and never fell in love before. Until his encounter with the painter, Yoon Seungho only had eyes for his butler. First he was with him, when the latter was still innocent and sensitive. He knows his past and secret. In the main lead’s mind, Kim remained by his side out of loyalty and concern. While in the first version of this essay, I imagined that Kim would stop his master from committing another wrongdoing out of worry and care, I only realized my mistake, when the chapter 64 came out. In my opinion, this was a deliberate decision from Byeonduck. She wanted us to hope that Kim would help the painter, only to discover his cowardice and selfishness at the end. However, if you reread the story again, the abandonment and betrayal were predictable in reality. Why? In two occasions, he didn’t intervene… the Wedding night (chapter 20) and the sex marathon (chapter 33). However, each time the painter had to pay a huge price for Yoon Seungho’s misdeeds. In chapter 33, he was more concerned that the painter would reveal his involvement in the escape. This explicates why Kim declared this in chapter 65: He had tried to harm the commoner through his master, but his scheme always failed. As for the remorse, they were always short-lived, like we could in the same episode: The lord was in reality the fire and because Kim spoke to him in chapter 62, the noble was full of mistrust and pain.

And notice that Kim’s attitude towards the painter was never free of criticisms and order. (chapter 36) He dared to scold Baek Na-Kyum blaming him for his relapse. He reprimanded him for acting like a master. He reminded him of his own status: He was just a low-born, hence he should approach the lord. Kim could do so, because both are commoners and the butler stands above the artist. Nevertheless, don’t forget that in that scene the lord had guests. Making such a suggestion was not the right thing to do: it would expose him to danger… one of the nobles could request the artist as a sex partner. That’s why I come to the conclusion that Kim had intended to create a situation where the artist would get gangraped during the night of Min’s visit. That way, Baek Na-Kyum would get so upset that he would flee the house. In other words, this would have become a new version of the night of the rape. Yet, Yoon Seungho protected his lover which Kim hadn’t anticipated.

To sum up, the fire in the cabin symbolized the lord, hence he couldn’t transform totally into a vengeful ghost in a long term. Despite the valet’s manipulations, the lord did follow his heart, hence he provided some warmth for his lover. Kim was the darkness, consequently the noble turned his back on the light, but he could still feel some warmth through the painter’s words and genuine facial expressions.

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: “Fire and darkness: Baek Na-Kyum” (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwa. 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:

In this essay, I will focus on the painter’s situation and emotions during the sex session in the barn. After reading it for the first time, all the readers had a very negative perception of this sex session due to the verbal violence and the roughness.

In the first part, I compared Yoon Seungho to a demon coming from hell, asking for pain and blood from the person who hurt him the most recently: Baek Na-Kyum. The vengeful ghost has the impression, he is living in hell, since he has been lied, betrayed and abandoned by the painter. Because of his immense suffering, the lord’s heart is set on taking the artist to hell as well. The main lead’s goal is not just to torment the low-born like hell, but also to keep him by his side in the end. Behind his madness, Byeonduck lets transpire the noble’s dependency on the painter. He doesn’t want to be alone. This becomes very obvious in the following panels. First, Seungho attempts to diminish his love confession: By using an antiphrasis “in the heat of the moment”, the noble is actually saying the opposite, which he doesn’t realize. He was serious and meant it for real. Besides, the depth of his affection for the commoner is truly unveiled, when he expresses his despair and powerlessness in the following panel. The first statement outlines not only the limitation of the master’s strength and control (“I would never have been able”), but also the irremediable outcome (“Never”). It exposes Yoon Seungho’s exasperation and dependency on the artist as well. This explains why Yoon Seungho was infuriated and wounded and was deaf to any reasonable argument. And the last panel reminds me of the scene in chapter 30, where the noble beat his staff, as his order had not been truly followed. In fact, he was expressing his powerlessness and despair. However, this time he can’t criticize his servants for the escape, since he was the one next to Baek Na-Kyum. This explicates why the lord is only targeting the artist with his violence, while he criticizes his own thoughts. He could only blame himself and the artist for his agony, anguish and frailty. He had the feeling that everything he did was for nothing. Moreover, he has no control over the artist, reminding him of his own powerlessness in his childhood. That’s why he resents the artist so much in the end. Through his actions, he is sent back to his past, where he was a victim due to his powerlessness. Now, you understand why Yoon Seungho is always reliving his trauma, because love exposed him to abuse and betrayal. It also made him incapable to control the events. However, Seungho has no idea that love knows no bound and escapes any control. Just like in faith (a leap of faith), love is a bet where the person trusts unconditionally and there’s no guarantee that love will remain the same and the person will never be betrayed. That’s why I perceive Baek Na-Kyum as the lord’s teacher in love matters. Seungho is discovering the true nature of love, which is always accompanied with pain and uncertainty. Yet, the real basis of love is trust. Nevertheless this chapter displayed the noble’s lack of trust in Baek Na-Kyum. Due to his own insecurities and self-hatred, he will always doubt the artist’s affection. So in order to change this situation, the noble must be confronted with a dilemma, where he will be forced to make a real choice. Does he really love the painter without expecting anything in return? If so, then he needs to trust him unconditionally.

But let’s return our attention to the initial thought: Yoon Seungho is determined to punish the painter for his lies, betrayal and abandonment. The reason for this terrible behavior is simple. The noble is himself so tormented, because he was reminded of his own past again, where he was hugged and lied, before being backstabbed and left behind. As you can detect, the lord is mirroring the sins he was exposed to. Therefore Yoon Seungho faked a warm hug and misled Baek Na-Kyum with the false apology. The lord remembered the artist’s warm embrace during their second love session and came to the false conclusion that Baek Na-Kyum was acting and everything was an illusion. It was even worse than a dream, because everything was fake. That’s the reason why Yoon Seungho is so wounded and blind to the truth. What he saw, heard, felt and touched wasn’t real and genuine, but counterfeit and artificial. The manhwaphiles can comprehend better the master’s fury and heartache. He was manipulated by hypocritical gestures. And now you understand why the lord comes to the following deduction: why fake love and warmth? There’s no need for that. Consequently, he just needs the painter for sex and nothing more. This time, the roles are switched. The master will use the commoner as his sexual toy.

Like I had mentioned it in the first part, the noble was so wounded by the painter’s words during that night and now he is determined to hurt his lover, just like he did. With these observations, I deduce that the main lead is actually reflecting every word and gesture from the painter in order to afflict pain. And since the noble is denying the necessity of affection and respect between him and his lover, the manhwaworms have the feeling that a second rape is about to occur reminding us of the scene at the pavilion.

However, I believe that this sex session shouldn’t be perceived as rape, especially if you compare it to the scene at the pavilion. The lord had the same gestures and facial expression: anger mixed with pain and sadness. And this comparison between these two chapters makes us comprehend the real value of this rough sex session. First, this time the painter remembers their love session at the physician’s. Moreover, he is well aware that Yoon Seungho confessed twice. Here the lord said that he adored Baek Na-Kyum, but the latter never replied to this confession. Then the noble added this: Therefore, the artist can perceive the lord’s despair and pain in the end. Baek Na-Kyum’s silence and passivity were the reasons for the lord’s insecurities. The artist never expressed anything expect that it felt good. Note that in the barn the commoner is not rejecting Yoon Seungho contrary to the past: There’s no slap coming from the artist: He doesn’t struggle or crawl away from his lover: Moreover, he has an erection and he ejaculates after calling his lover: This stands in opposition to this rape scene in chapter 25. Remember that at the pavilion, the lord raped the artist hoping that if he submitted the low-born, then he would obtain what he was seeking: love. Back then, he was confusing sex with love. However, it turned out as a failure, since the artist whispered his learned sir at the end and had no erection. Sex could never change the artist’s feelings. This explicates why we can’t judge the rough sex session in the barn as a rape. The moment the artist whispers lord Seungho and has a climax, the noble turns him around, a sign that from sex they are moving to love. So when the artist faces his lover again, he apologizes a second time, yet this time it is different. The main lead has realized that he did wound Yoon Seungho with his silence during that night and in the barn. He never gave any real explication for his disappearance. That’s why in chapter 63 the nature of their interaction changes: there are more feelings, when they face each other. On the other hand, it never becomes a real love session, as the noble rejects Baek Na-Kyum’s confession. He can’t trust his words, that’s why he interrupts the artist. But since he only knows sex in order to keep the painter by his side, he can’t stop the intercourse. He has to fight his “opponent”. And now, the chapter 48/49 gets a new signification. Back then, the lord had witnessed how the painter reacted during their sexual intercourse. He got so many ejaculations pleasing the noble so much that he couldn’t help smiling and commenting on it. After the artist’s confession, Yoon Seungho made love to the painter for a long time, because he knew that he was pleasuring Baek Na-Kyum. As you can sense, the noble’s sexuality became dependent on the painter’s pleasure. Hence the lord imagines if they have sex for a long time, Baek Na-Kyum won’t leave him. That’s why he repeats his thoughts from episode 49: With his last words, I perceive the last vestiges from his father’s doctrines: sex as a tool and battle, where there exists no love and attachment. His mouth, influenced by his conscious, is unaware of the real change and is deceiving his own owner. In fact, Yoon Seungho has already been defeated by the powerless painter and his real defeat was exposed during their second love session: Here, his heart was admitting his surrendering, hence I come to the conclusion that this sex session shouldn’t be judged as a rape. The painter is recognizing that with his silence and indecisiveness (he wondered about his feelings in the barn), he hurt the lord. However, the artist still hoped to get a kiss from his lover at the end which he didn’t get. This contrasts so much to the scene in the pavilion: the forced sex started with a kiss. Yoon Seungho hoped to find love and he only got sex without pleasure. In the barn, it is totally different. He asked for sex, sensed love at some point, but the painter couldn’t really confess, as he had no idea about his feelings. He had just realized that he didn’t dislike Yoon Seungho. That’s why it ended with sex again.

And this is truly a sign that in this dark room, Baek Na-Kyum started sensing his own feelings for Yoon Seungho which is symbolized by the fire. Confronted with pure sex, Baek Na-Kyum got aware that he didn’t like the idea of pure sex and being treated like a sex toy. The lord coldly applied his words from that night in chapter 49, yet this time Baek Na-Kyum was there to pleasure the noble. The latter felt that sex was the only thing he could do in order to attach the painter to himself. However, the painter got exhausted and wanted to take a break which led to another misunderstanding. The lord mistook the rejection from Baek Na-Kyum as a new abandonment. Hence Yoon Seungho imagined that he needed to make a wreck of the painter in order to make him surrender.

But the problem is that while hurting the painter, Yoon Seungho was not realizing that he was himself betraying the artist. For the second time, the artist was hugged, while the warmth was fake, just like the false excuse. For the second time, he was betrayed and lied to, while embraced. He had been deeply hurt by Jung In-hun’s betrayal in chapter 29. He could never forget the scholar’s hypocrisy in his gesture (chapter 49), and in chapter 62, the master is even crueler, because he is misleading the artist, making him believe that his apology is accepted. Yoon Seungho is indeed a master of deception. Poor Baek Na-Kyum!! He had already a hard time to accept that the lord was in love with him, and now the noble is in denial and even becomes violent. However, contrary to the hug in episode 29, Baek Na-Kyum is not entirely blameless. His lack of response during that night and his silence in the barn (he never gave any explication, Yoon Seungho was willing to hear anything) made him recognize that the lord was also in pain behind his anger. While the scholar abandoned him after his betrayal, Yoon Seungho is claiming the opposite, he will make sure that Baek Na-Kyum never leaves his side. Despite the pain and rage, the noble can’t give up on the painter.

The fire in the storage room symbolizes the feelings from the protagonists in the end. Although both are wounded, the painter is slowly recognizing his affection for his lover, while the lord reveals his real source of happiness and his biggest wish:

Now, you can understand why I chose the title “Fire and Darkness”. The noble’s darkness and fire will affect the artist so much that once the former recognizes his mistake, he will feel terrible due to his huge pangs of conscience. And this is not surprising that at the end, the main lead let the artist choose his own fate. Yoon Seungho made the necessary leap of faith and decided to trust Baek Na-Kyum and show his affection for him. After the second sex marathon and the revelation of the kidnapping, Yoon Seungho is forced to recognize that his own negative feelings pained his companion terribly, almost causing a terrible tragedy: the loss of his loved one. This incident definitely opened his eyes: first he needed to demonstrate his trust in the painter in order to be trusted.

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: “Crime and Punishment – part 3”

This is where you can read the manhwa. But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.

In the first part, I mentioned that Yoon Seungho was a combination of Svidrigailov and Raskolnikov. In this essay, I’ll underline the parallels between the main leads from Painter Of The Night and Crime and Punishment in order to define Yoon Seungho’s future path. The affinities are not random, as both works are actually portraying a society shaken in the grip of decadency, injustice and misery.

Before starting the comparison, I need to introduce briefly Rodion Raskolnikov. He is a poor 23 years old student, who has a loving mother and sister by his side. Yet he had to drop his studies due to his financial struggles. The young man is unfortunately influenced by Nihilism, a mode of social criticism in Russia in the 19th century. This political doctrine didn’t acknowledge any constraint from society on the individual, refusing any religious, metaphysical, moral or political absolute. In other words, for Raskolnikov, he is neither bound by family, nor restrained by laws, social norms and faith. Hence he perceives himself as superhuman. This mentality leads him to plan the murder of a pawnbroker. With this crime, he wants to prove the veracity of his belief. He stands above society. However, what he never expected is the torments following the crime. His guilty conscience represents the center of Dostoevsky’s novel, showing there exists another form of punishment, the stress, doubts and anxiety of trying to avoid punishment and later his remorse.

Due to his crime, he alienates himself more and more from others to the point that he finds his actual situation unbearable. This makes him realize the emptiness of his belief and his actual true condition: he is a human after all and no superhuman. The torments of his guilty conscience pushes him to confess his crime to Sonya, a prostitute. He imagines that their situation is similar, because as a whore, she lives on the margins of society too. She would stand below society, while he would stand above it. However, he recognizes his mistake, since she is sacrificing herself for her family. So her so-called sin, a symbol for selflessness, stands in opposition to Raskolnikov’s, the climax of selfishness. But thanks to Sonya’s love and support, he decides to confess to the authorities and with time he comes to accept himself as a man. In fact, only Sonya’s love was able to move the protagonist to drop his contempt for humanity. We could say that the superman transforms into a human, recognizing his true condition: full of flaws and in no way extraordinary, compared to others. Simultaneously, he becomes more humble and caring.

His condition as superhuman explains why first Rodion pushes away anyone trying to help him to the point, he ends up completely alienated from society. The start of his growing isolation is the result of his pride and intellectualism. The young man considers himself superior to others, so that he can not relate to anyone. Because of this mentality, he views people as tools and uses them for his own interests. He is cold and detached, since he differentiates people into “ordinary” and “extraordinary” which legitimates him to judge them if they are valuable or not for society. Because the pawnbroker abuses her position to let people suffer, Rodion Raskolnikov decides to eliminate her. He justifies his murder as an utilitarian act, he helped society to get rid of someone with no value and utility. Yet, Sonya as his “teacher”, forces the main lead to question his nihilistic belief in the end.

As a conclusion, the Russian protagonist has the impression that he is very different from others, he stands above everyone because of his intelligence and his belief. But at the end, he is forced to drop his doctrine and is transformed into a human, able to love and admit his wrongdoings. He rediscovers his humanity and as such he loses his arrogance.

Striking is that his portray is very similar to Yoon Seungho’s. Both are anti-heroes because of their actions. While the Joseon version commits rape and kills a servant without blinking an eye, the other murders a pawnbroker by justifying it as an utilitarian act. Because Rodion Raskolnikov didn’t expect the presence of a witness, he is forced to assassinate the sister. The student is even brutal in the way he kills the two women: they are both cut by a axe. The protagonists’ wrongdoings symbolize the epitome of selfishness and violence and both legitimate their actions with a reason. In Yoon Seungho’s case, killing the servant was to demonstrate his power demanding respect as he had been lied to. He could do so because as a lord he had the right to decide about his servant’s fate. Then concerning the rape, Yoon Seungho imagined that if they had sex again, the painter would submit himself and acknowledge his superiority. As you can observe, both wrongdoings are related to power and superiority, very similar to Rodion’s philosophy. However, there is a huge difference. Yoon Seungho is entitled to think so because of his actual social position. He stands indeed above others due to his family’s origins and his wealth, whereas the Russian main character is just an impoverished student, who considers himself superior due to his intelligence and skills. Nonetheless they are quite similar in their mentality. Since the Russian student considers himself as superhuman, it means, he is closer to a god than to “normal, mortal” humans. And now, if you focus on the main character from Joseon, you’ll detect a parallel. In the beginning, the lord considers himself as a spirit hence he lives detached from others. This signifies that he doesn’t acknowledge the existence of his body. Since he is only living through his mind, his body is only a tool to defeat his enemies. That’s why he is so cold, distant and indifferent towards others which reminds us of Rodion’s personality. One is a superhuman and the other a spirit, hence they feel so superior to others. Furthermore, the lord was also influenced by his intellectualism. Since he had read so many books, he had the impression, his immense knowledge was surpassing all the other nobles. However, the irony was that he could never show his education and his free spirit as he was totally alienated from society. And his isolation is also visible in the manhwa.

What caught my attention is that he seldom leaves his mansion and if he does, it is always related to Baek Na-Kyum. The latter forced to change his habits. He had to go to a tavern (chapter 1), then he visited his friend Jihwa at dawn (chapter 3) or visited the low noble Jung In-Hun and later strolled through downtown with Baek Na-Kyum (chapter 40 and chapter 45) As you can observe, the painter is the one, who puts an end to his alienation from society, although the lord is not aware of this. We have to question ourselves if the hunts are not the result of Baek Na-Kyum’s positive influence on Yoon Seungho too. It is definitely possible that the latter felt the need to hunt because he was so happy after having experienced their “Wedding night” (chapter 21) and sharing his bed with the artist for the first time (chapter 38).

And now, if we look at the reasons why the protagonist hired the artist in first place, the manhwaphiles realize that it is connected to his unconscious but also to his conscious. In the first case, his gaze and heart were moved by the warmth and love exuding from the images. In the second case, the master wanted to have his victories immortalized. Moreover, the paintings would serve as a proof of his own existence as a spirit. Finally, he couldn’t bear the thought that he could never get new paintings, he needed stronger stimuli. That’s why he told to Baek Na-Kyum in chapter 55 . Note the similarity with Rodion’s thinking. The low-born’s function was first defined by his utility. Yoon Seungho desired to use him as his new toy in order to entertain himself. Striking is that even the words outline the lord’s loneliness and burden. He wasn’t happy at all, he needed distraction. Therefore, I perceive, Yoon Seungho’s brutal honesty as a proof of his own overestimation. He considered himself so superior and level-headed, while in reality he was deeply hurt and isolated. He was deceiving himself. Besides, he could never show his education to others which explains why his own image diverges so much to the one Jihwa and the others have about him. He never recognized the real nature and consequences of his actions. For him, he was just focused on fighting the nobles, while for others, it looks like he was obsessed with sex. Yet we all know that he never felt sexual pleasure before seeing his first portray with his sex partner. What caught my attention here is that the lord doesn’t even acknowledge the artist as human, he is a toy. He has neither rights nor feelings. And this cold and detached judgement corresponds to the lord’s mentality from back then. He was just a ghost hence he didn’t need to pay attention to others and their feelings. They were just tools for his own interests.

Just like Rodion who saw himself as a superhuman in the beginning and accepted his true condition at the end (being a normal man), I see a similar evolution here. Little by little, the noble is transforming into a human. He is slowly dropping his doctrines and belief one by one:

  1. It started with the liberation of his body, the lord realized that with his body he could feel pleasure. Everything is related to his self-hatred. Thanks to Baek Na-Kyum’s picture, the lord was able to perceive a different image of himself. His gaze, as a mirror of his soul, revealed attraction and beauty. In my opinion, Yoon Seungho stands in opposition to Raskolnikov here, because the latter never hated himself in the first place. In fact, we have a reversed situation. Rodion comes to hate himself with the mental torture and the realization of his wrongdoings and true personality. Yet, just like with the noble from Joseon, the main lead from Crime and Punishment comes to accept himself again thanks to Sonya’s love.
  2. Then when the aristocrat tasted the painter for the first time, he experienced love and warmth for the first time as well. He met someone who could love someone else spiritually. Secondly, the main lead discovered sensuality too. That’s why he was no longer interested in having sex with other nobles and was waiting for a renewal of this wonderful encounter. In that moment, the master’s heart was determined to gain the artist’s love, while he was thinking that he was just asking for a spiritual love through a lovely gaze. However, the main lead believed that his decision had been made by his mind. He rationalized and justified each action rationally, until he was confronted with reality.
  3. In that moment, he could no longer repress his emotions, which he had been numbing all this time with the wine and smoke. The rejection reminded him of his traumatic past hence he couldn’t control his outburst. He felt helpless, angered and painted therefore he couldn’t decide rationally. He acted on impulses. Yet this terrible experience made him realize at the same time that he was powerless. Neither his force nor his caring side (he brings his own robe himself) could move the painter’s heart. And if you observe the lord’s behavior, you’ll notice how he makes decisions more and more on affect (from chapter 25 to chapter 33). His emotions are clouding more and more his judgement. It was, as if his heart was taking possession of his mind or his mind was put off. Nonetheless, the readers observe the return of his rationality, which is linked to his huge pangs of conscience. Because of the painter’s sickness, he was faced with the painter’s fragile constitution. Since he was a spirit, he hadn’t taken into consideration the painter’s true condition. The latter was a human and could die. That’s why the lord felt such huge pangs of conscience. Reality was showing him that his dream (spiritual love) was just an illusion. And his remorse and guilt remind us of Rodion, this is his actual punishment. He is forced to change in the end, although he is not really realizing the gradual metamorphosis. That’s why he had sex with nobles again. He imagined that since it was just an illusion, he could return to the way he lived before. However, he was wrong. Notice that between the chapter 33 and 34, we observe the return of Yoon Seungho’s rationality. Once separated from the painter, he realized Baek Na-Kyum’s importance in his life due to Min’s challenge. What caught my attention is the words he said to Min. He declared the painter his possession (“what’s mine”). Yet, this time the lord was seeing the commoner more than just an object, he was his servant. Like I explained in the first part, Yoon Seungho didn’t realize, he was considering him as a servant. His unconscious and heart desired him to be a free man, while his mind was treating him as a domestic. During this evolution, we have to keep in mind that the lord was still denying the existence of his body. That’s why he had problems to comprehend his negative feelings (f. ex. chapter 27), he was unable to distinguish his mind from his heart and couldn’t discern the contradiction between his words and actions. Therefore I come to the conclusion, the lord was still living like a spirit in chapter 48 and could only be offended by the painter’s words: “He is a man consumed by sex”. In his eyes, he was never a man but a ghost. All this time, I had imagined, he was only bothered by the expression “consumed by sex”. However, I perceived it a differently now. He was annoyed too that he was perceived as a human.
  4. However, it changed the moment, the painter decided to accept him as his sexual partner. In that moment, the noble was cornered. If he couldn’t share his mind with the painter, then at least they could connect physically. Back then, I considered this decision as the following: he was lowering his expectations. He was giving up on the painter’s heart, which is only partially correct. In my opinion, this choice was actually important, since it meant that the lord was accepting the existence of his body. He was renouncing on his identity as a spirit. Soul and body were now together. He was becoming a human. Furthermore, it also signified that he was no longer forcing the painter to become a spirit (“share their mind”). He had imagined that if he was gazed by Baek Na-Kyum, like he desired, then the artist would recognize his spirituality and the existence of his good and impressive “soul”. However, this didn’t work like he had anticipated, because the next morning he was told that the artist viewed himself as a prostitute. So now he was trapped in his new body but couldn’t even connect physically with the painter. That’s why he had a relapse but this time, it was different. He needed to numb his body, as he desired the painter so much but he couldn’t even touch him. That’s why he had no sex with nobles, but consumed drugs. What caught my attention in this scene is the absence of Seungho’s response to Min’s questioning and mocking. It was, as if his body was present and his mind elsewhere. From my perspective, this symbolizes that the mind and the body are still separated from each other, mirroring the struggle between the conscious and unconscious. This signification explicates why the noble behaved so differently. In one moment, he was cold and detached, willing to offer the painter to his guests, although he was infuriated, and the next moment, he was protecting him from the vicious servant. Yet, the result of his bad decision was caused by the dichotomy between mind and body. The noble might have acknowledged the existence of his body but he was still denying the existence of his heart. If he had feelings for the painter, then this meant that he was a human after all.
  5. That’s why the moment he recognized his huge mistake in chapter 54, he decided to give up on the painter. He was finally accepting his condition as a human. No man would ever love someone like him. He was selfish, brutal and very emotional, putting the blame on the painter. His reasoning was so that the commoner would run away. As you can see, I consider the first love confession of the master as the end of the separation of body and mind. The lord has finally accepted his condition: he is a man made of flesh and blood with a soul. However, he still considers himself as a noble, something he has internalized due to his father’s principles. So from a spirit to a ghost inhabiting a body to a noble, the lord’s condition has changed a lot. However, his transformation is not complete.
  6. But since he considers himself as a noble, the status of Baek Na-Kyum hasn’t changed yet. He is still viewed as a servant. That’s why he imagined that the artist had remained by his side out of duty. And now the chapter 58 marked another turning point, the lord was finally giving up on the following doctrine. He admitted his defeat, the painter had won the battle and the lord was no longer a victorious champion. The artist was so powerful that his master became a wreck. However, note that the notion of battle has not entirely vanished, the struggle is still present. He is willing to love the painter selflessly, but he expects respect for his gestures. And now, imagine how he must have felt, when he is told that the painter escaped and was even suicidal, since he abandoned the warm clothes. Yoon Seungho had the impression that he had been rejected again. That’s why he was on the verge of killing Baek Na-Kyum and himself. He had the impression, all his changes had brought nothing. It was, as if it was never enough. So he sent the painter to the storage room and chose to calm down. Notice that his emotional outburst is quite controlled and short-lived, compared to the first explosion of negative emotions (chapter 25). Only one word can bring him back to reality. This shows that little by little, the lord is learning how to control his heart and find the right balance between his mind and his heart. When he starts smoking again, he is trying to dominate his urges. However, let’s not forget that he gave his robe to the painter, revealing that his love for the painter is still intact. What caught my attention is that he is not running away either or trying to numb his pain with drugs. He seems more collected. And since his mind was in the second part of the series more clouded than before, I believe that we will see a different master in the next chapter. He won’t react like in chapter 26, when he couldn’t even handle a small gesture of refusal. . As you could observe, the rebirth of the phoenix hasn’t occurred yet. The lord is slowly accepting his condition as human, seeking for love and companionship. Just like Rodion who could change for the better, the main lead is transformed thanks to the painter. Only he could transcend the protagonist’s philosophy, his contempt for humanity. Baek Na-Kyum ignites the lord’s desire to live normally and to show his true side: he is in fact caring and sensitive. Yet, the lord has still a lot to learn: he needs to give up on their master-servant relationship. In fact, I have the impression, he is using it now, because if he didn’t, he would have no connection with the artist in his mind. What he hasn’t realized yet is the change of the artist’s gaze. Since the painter is rejecting him, he can only act as his lord. That way, the painter can’t cut ties with him entirely. However, this situation puts the noble in a difficult situation: if he loves him, why would he punish him like that? If he loves him why would he treat him like a servant? I am expecting a good outcome in the next chapter. Both sides will be forced to define the true nature of their relationship. Nonetheless, there’s no doubt for me that Yoon Seungho will renounce on his title at some point. So if he spends the night in a storage room, we could interpret it as a symbol of his renunciation and humbleness. His desire to stay by his lover’s side is stronger than his pride and his principle taught by his father. The end of his journey will be, when he has found the right balance between his mind and heart. He will become a real man, a human full of knowledge and positive emotions. This signifies, he will be at peace with himself. However, as long as this metamorphosis continues, the lord’s mind and heart will be too busy to focus on his enemies. As a conclusion, Yoon Seungho’s path is resembling Rodion’s, both are characters destined to recognize and accept their humanity thanks to the support of the love of their life.  

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