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.

6 thoughts on “Painter Of The Night: “Fire and darkness: Baek Na-Kyum” (second version)

  1. I have to admit I doubt a fire ! But the way you described it I’m really hoping for that to happen 🤣 how I wish Nakyum try to kill himself so the Lord realize how much he was cruel and violent with both his words and actions toward the painter. There is no doubt that only with his words and fake embrace Nakyum will be deeply hurt emotionally. Let’s not forget that some times before he was screaming in agony the lord name while living the kidnapping like hell, only to wake up in another hell locked up.. and then when being hugged, when Seungho say “it is my fault” Nakyum is ready to sob really hard in his arm (what he was waiting all this time; warmth and protection) to discover that this was all fake, pushed and pinned with force.
    The lord is so focused on his wounds that he does not realize how violent he is. He is stabbing Nakyum heart brutally. This night will leave an impact on him for sure. The lord will regret it deeply.
    The possibility of SH not being able to get hard is plausible. While in agony how can he get hard? While being so hurt ?
    And the worst is that he does not know that Nakyum is starting to love him 🥲 that’s cruel author nim .
    But I love the angst and anxiety we have here, the more sad the more happy after .
    It’s also possible that Kim will help the artist this time. He already seemed to hesitate when he heard the painter screaming.
    Our hero! Please save them both

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you about the fire scenario. I’ve always thought that if BNK actually grew a pair and decided to commit suicide it would be by slitting his wrist or stabbing himself; I mean YS has swords everywhere so that wouldn’t be hard to believe. But to be honest, I think this possible rape, which we know is coming, might force BNK to turn evil. When the scholar comes back he might actually take him up on his offer to betray YS, while also plotting a way to hurt the scholar as well. The only problem with this theory is that throughout the series, BNK hasn’t shown any gumption in my opinion. He just takes whatever treatment from anybody which could be because of his past growing up in a prostitution house. He has no backbone for a man, especially in this time period, he doesn’t even have the resolve to be harsh towards people of his status let alone people higher than him. Ultimately I feel like his naivety is going to get him killed, and YS will probably go crazy over him and they’ll just become a dark story the townspeople and aristocrats tell warning against homosexuality and loving outside of your status.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The reason why Baek Na-Kyum never retaliated is simple: he represents love, a selfless love that no one in this time period could understand. I doubt, the painter will act like you proposed, turning evil. IMO, Seungho will become his sword, making people pay for their “sins” towards the painter, the moment the lord has finally perceived the truth: he is indeed loved.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. there’s also a possible way, Nakyum get unconscious while being pinned, not by the force of SH but by the trauma he lived in the kidnapping . Mentally his mind could not been able to support all the harms happening to him, unable to progress all and decide to fall . What do you think ?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bello, i hope to Express myself well, since spanish os my mother language.
    First of all, thank you for your analysis. I have read almost all of them, i love very much your work.
    Well.. this chapter was devastating. I dont know how the author will make these two characters connect with each other after all of this. I think Nakyum will have some kind of depression. I dont know… but i think this is too much for him, and the Seungho’s words will surely afffect him.
    Im still thinking about Seungho’s question: WHY. Its repeated a lot in several chapter…is like all Seungho wants to hear is “i love you” from Nakyum, or something like that.
    Maybe, Nakyum will finally tell him, but i dont think Seungho listen anyway.
    Its so painful… i hope they can solve this. I hope Nakyum can say anything, he has a very sharp tongue when he want, and i want Jiwha, Min, and even Seungho pay for all the things that they did to Nakyum.
    Saludos 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lately, I am disappointed by this manhwa. I don’t understand the author’s choices anymore. I am still reading it because I keep hoping it will get better but so far, it’s the opposite. In an ideal scenario, SH will stop his assault on NK and decides to let him leave. He will give up on him as simply as that and it will be a huge evidence of his character development (and his true love for NK). Then, NK will have no other choice but leaving without even trying to explain himself. Once out of SH’s mansion, I can see Min getting close to him trying to take advantage just to punish SH. Before the worst happens, SH will get to know what really happens with kidnapping and he will try to get NK back.

    Liked by 1 person

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