This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.
Striking is that when I started writing this morning, I had no idea that my topic would fit with chapter 70. What caught my attention in chapter 69 was the way Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum bid farewell to Heena noona, his sister, which contrasts so much to the scholar’s goodbye. Therefore I decided to compare them, and then I realized that there existed other farewells. In the manhwa, we have seven different sendoffs:
- The first goodbye occurs in chapter 35, when the learned sir is decided to visit the former servant from the Yoons household. While the painter follows his teacher, he doesn’t realize that Jung In-Hun is leaving the mansion, until the low noble caresses his cheek and reminds him of his duty. Then he closes the main gate in front of Baek Na-Kyum who is deeply disappointed and hurt.
- Yoon Seungwon is sent off by the butler, when the former leaves his brother’s mansion. (chapter 37)
- The younger master Yoon is leaving his father’s home in order to go to Hanyang (chapter 44)
- Jung In-Hun is departing from his sponsor’s propriety for the capital (chapter 44) after taking the first round of the civil service examination
- The painter is leaving the kisaeng house on Heena noona’s order. (chapter 46)
- Heena noona with her brother and his lord (chapter 69)
- In chapter 70, Baek Na-Kyum recalls an important goodbye from his youth. Back then, the young boy was sad and upset after departing from Heena noona. He had been entrusted to the scholar Jung In-Hun.
What do these adieux have in common?
|Chapter||People involved in the farewell|
|35||Baek Na-Kyum, Jung In-Hun, Yoon Seungho, Kim|
|37||Yoon Seungwon, Yoon Seungho, Kim and Baek Na-Kyum|
|44||Yoon Seungwon, father Yoon, Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum through the painting|
|44||Jung In-Hun, Yoon Seungho, Baek Na-Kyum and valet Kim|
|46||Heena noona, Baek Na-Kyum, noonas and Jung In-Hun|
|69||Heena noona, Yoon Seungho, valet Kim and Baek Na-Kyum|
|70||Heena noona, Jung In-Hun, Baek Na-Kyum and the moon|
Observe that all seven goodbyes are revolving around four people, although the adieu was just between two persons. Moreover, the main leads, Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum, are always involved. You might argue that in the seventh case, it is not possible. But I would like to remind my readers that I have already associated the main lead Yoon Seungho to the moon. Furthermore, the teacher’s words about the moon (“fond of you”) are mirrored in the lord’s confession from chapter 56. Therefore, we could say that he was present in the farewell as well, because the scholar kept referring the moon to the innocent boy. Since I have already pointed that in each departing two people got involved, this means that their relationship is strongly intertwined with other bonds. Relatives or acquaintances affect the farewell.
Striking is that the way they part from each other exposes the true nature of their relationship. In the first case, the scholar just faked his concern for the artist’s health, whereas he desired to use the commoner as spy. That’s why he gave him an order “you ought to head back in” and the painter couldn’t argue. Moreover, the learned sir asked him to keep his promise, he needed him to work for him. What caught my attention is the silence from the painter. At no moment, he can speak and bid farewell, and this is understandable due to the noble’s remarks. Although the commoner wasn’t the one leaving, he had the impression that he was abandoned. This explicates why the artist was wounded by this departure. Striking is that this scene was observed by the main lead and his butler. While the noble felt himself betrayed and abandoned, he was indeed relieved in the end that Baek Na-Kyum had remained by his side. Consequently, the first departure was marked by disappointment and heartache from the protagonists. Both felt helpless, as they had no saying in this. Since the closed gate resembled more to a jail gate than a real home, I come to the conclusion that both main characters were trapped in reality. This explains why the lord feared the painter’s departure. He had the impression that if the latter set a foot outside, the noble would end up alone again. Another aspect is that this farewell forced the aristocrat to leave his room and window, he had to run to the gate… a desperate measure to stop this moment.
Now it is time to examine the next goodbye. The brother was officially on the verge of departing from his brother, but the host was not present. Hence there’s no real goodbye. Since the main lead didn’t show him any respect by following him to the gate, the younger master was just followed by the butler. Moreover, the latter gave him in his master’s name a letter, like the younger master had requested it in the morning. From my point of view, the brother’s smile is an indication that he believed that his personal visitation had been successful. By pressuring his brother, he had finally been able to get the reply he desired. But the reality must have hit him hard later, because in the end, he just got a ruined painting of sodomy. And this explicates why the father ended up receiving the paper from his younger son. In other words, Seungwon decided to get revenge on the humiliation. Besides, I also think that he hoped that with such a gesture, father Yoon would make the decision to pay his rebellious son a visit and have him punished for his lack of respect. But what Yoon Seungwon seemed to overlook is that when he barged into his brother’s mansion, he showed no real respect either. Imagine, he even desired to open the door of Yoon Seungho’s bedchamber. Hence, it is not surprising that the eldest brother didn’t follow his brother to the main gate. He didn’t feel obliged to pay his respect to Yoon Seungwon. To sum up, in this farewell, both characters were quite rude to each other, and Yoon Seungho showed no leniency towards the younger master, as the latter had violated the social norms first. This animosity was even encouraged by the valet’s intervention. And let’s not forget that in that scene, Yoon Seungho chose the painter over his brother. He asked him to remain by his side, because he was too upset and wounded by Yoon Seungwon’s sudden appearance and selfish request.
In the third case, Yoon Seungwon was waiting for his father, but since the door remained closed, he decided to depart from home. There’s no doubt that this must have indeed disappointed Yoon Seungwon. His father still chose to focus his attention to Yoon Seungho instead of him, hence he kept looking at the closed door. Yet before leaving he blamed his oldest brother for his father’s lack of concern and respect. Striking is that the main lead was not present, yet through his mention, the brother gave the impression that Yoon Seungho was still part of the family despite the incident with the topknot and the long separation. Yet, Yoon Seungwon felt bothered that his own father didn’t even pay attention to customs. He didn’t send off like a respectful and dutiful father either. From my perspective, it looks like the younger master was trying to cover up the lack of father Yoon’s manners by making the main lead responsible for this. We shouldn’t forget that the main character was considered as the black sheep of the Yoons. At the same time, the younger brother was attempting to make himself look good, because unlike the head of family, the former paid his respect to his father before. With a single panel, we can conclude that Yoon Seungwon is acting, as if he was a honorable and dutiful son, contrary to his older brother, who upset father Yoon so much that the latter forgot his duties. The irony is that while the younger master talks about his brother, the latter has no opportunity to contradict this, as he is not present. On the other hand, the brother’s words are somehow true, because the father is indeed infuriated due to the ruined painting. On the other hand, the younger master played a role in this as well, because he was the one wo delivered the painting. Moreover, like I have already underlined, I am no longer thinking that Yoon Seungho entrusted it deliberately to his brother as an affront for the simple reason that Yoon Seungho still fears his father. Let’s not forget Yoon Seungho’s words addressed to his brother. Here, he reminded him that he was living according to their father’s principles, showing that despite the abandonment and betrayal, he never dared to drop his father’s doctrines. From my point of view, the ruined painting was given by Kim on purpose, to incite the father to intervene. Besides, we shouldn’t forget that the “letter” was delivered after the brother had parted from Yoon Seungho. Hence the main lead never got to see what the butler did behind his back. Another evidence for this misdeed is the absence of the valet’s eyes. Since Kim had told his master that he needed to deliver an answer personally, the butler used this request to his advantage. And Yoon Seungwon is too naive to realize that he has been misled, that’s why he is also represented without eyes. The manhwaphiles should recall that in this scene, the younger master was humiliated, as his elder brother didn’t send him off properly. Why should he give a letter under such circumstances? And if we compare the three goodbyes, we will detect the recurrence of discourtesy and the missed opportunity of saying goodbye properly.
In the fourth case, we also have the absence of a third person: the painter. Yoon Seungho invited the teacher to bid farewell to his former student through his rhetorical question, but Jung In-Hun didn’t care. In his eyes, he was just a low-born, and the former didn’t need him at all. Striking is that the low noble paid his respect to his sponsor out of obligation and nothing more. As long as Yoon Seungho was useful, then the learned sir would have to be polite and respectful. That’s why he bowed in front of the wealthy aristocrat. In other words, the scholar’s bow is fake which stands in opposition to the artist’s bow in chapter 69. More importantly is that in this fourth farewell, the artist didn’t get the opportunity to bid farewell properly to his former teacher too. Neither Jung In-Hun nor Kim had informed him about the time of his departure. Striking is that in that chapter, the rich main lead was the only one who desired to make the painter happy, hence he suggested the low noble to depart properly from the low-born. What caught my attention is the opened door in front of the painter. Why was the door left open like that? The manhwaphiles should remember that in that scene, Kim was already aware of the discussion between Jung In-Hun and Baek Na-Kyum at the library. And with this new approach, it becomes clear, Kim was hoping that the artist would leave the place, since he had been insulted and abandoned by his teacher. He had no reason to remain by Yoon Seungho’s side. Besides, we shouldn’t forget the noble’s words addressed to the learned sir: In other words, Kim was just waiting for the low-born’s departure, and in order to push the painter to leave the mansion, he made sure that he wouldn’t see Jung In-Hun leaving. This would reinforce the betrayal and abandonment issues the painter had felt due to the scholar’s attitude and words before. Moreover, we shouldn’t forget the parting between Jung In-Hun and his former pupil in chapter 35. Note that in both farewells, the young man had no saying. In the first incident, he got caught by surprise and in the second goodbye, the learned sir was already gone. Since this closed door contrasts so much to the open gate in episode 44, and in both chapters Kim was present, I come to the deduction that the butler was observing the low-born in the shadow. In his mind, if the door was left open, the artist would leave without saying goodbye to anyone. Striking is that despite the previous desertion and wound, Baek Na-Kyum was still showing respect towards his learned sir, indicating that despite his heartache, he was willing to overlook everything. There’s no doubt that the missed goodbye did increase the artist’s abandonment issues. And here again, I detect the lack of respect towards the main leads. The scholar might have bowed in front of Yoon Seungho, yet he rejected the noble’s suggestion and even started plotting behind his back, how he would use the painter for his own benefit.
And it is time to focus on the parting between Heena noona, the artist and the noble. Striking is that for the first time, the lord left his room and walked towards the painter and his guest. In other words, he was showing her a huge respect and as such biding her farewell. He even acted as a real host, because he offered to send her off with a servant from his mansion in order to guarantee her safety. And if you keep in mind that he did nothing for his own brother, and the latter is a noble, while Heena noona is just a kisaeng, you’ll detect how much the lord has already changed. He is definitely determined to keep the artist by his side, hence he is aware that he needs to show him a different side from him. He definitely heard the painter’s confession, because in chapter 70 Yoon Seungho asked the low-born directly if he was afraid of him. And with this new approach, the main lead did succeed. Baek Na-Kyum was able to recognize the lord’s leniency and honorable attitude. And contrary to the scholar’s bow in chapter 44, the artist is sincerely showing his respect towards his master. On the other hand, the disrespect is still present here. The one showing a rude attitude is the guest, the kisaeng. She keeps questioning the lord’s authority and personality. However at no moment, the aristocrat doesn’t lose his temper. In fact, he even retreats, until the kisaeng’s brother intervenes to stop her. Another huge difference contrasting to the departure of chapter 35 and 44 is the change of attitude of both protagonists. While with the scholar, Baek Na-Kyum could say nothing and had to resign to his fate, in chapter 69 he is the one speaking. Unlike in the past, he is the one sending off the loved one. But there’s more to it. Not only he can decide about his noona’s departure, but also he can choose the way he bids her farewell. He can hug her, he takes his time and smiles. For the first time, he feels that he is not left behind, but he can determine his fate. Imagine in the past, he used to be sent away by his noona and he couldn’t protest. but the worst is that he even had to leave the kisaeng house and walked through the countryside. Try to put yourself in his place: Each time, he could never say goodbye and had to leave the place. He got carried away, when he was young and later, he was simply ordered to leave the kisaeng house without biding farewell properly. In this adieu, the kisaeng’s words and the panel indicated that he was ordered to leave the kisaeng house without his noonas’ knowledge. With her rhetorical question, she forced the painter to resign to his fate. Besides, the readers can one more time notice that in this scene, the artist remained silent as well. As a conclusion, the painter’s abandonment issues are related to the fact that he was forced to leave and he couldn’t take his time to bid farewell properly. He was either caught by surprise (35, 44, 46) or simply too powerless (68,70). In other words, neither Heena noona nor Jung In-Hun respected the painter’s wishes. Sure, the head-kisaeng sent him away in order to protect him. Yet like I underlined it before, she was definitely too overwhelmed with her situation. With these observations, I deduce that the moment the lord chose to respect the painter’s will despite his own insecurities, the painter could only select him. For the first time, a person was willing to listen to the low-born’s voice. And the moment Yoon Seungho treated Heena noona with respect and even allowed the painter to bid farewell properly, his behavior could only reinforce the painter’s choice. In other words, he gave the power to the painter to determine his fate and as such reinforced his certainty. For the first time, Baek Na-Kyum was able to send someone away and not the other way around. He could also choose his fate. Simultaneously, the painter helped the powerful aristocrat to witness with his own eyes that he was not left behind and was selected. Both helped each other to overcome their abandonment issues. And this explains why after the departure, Baek Na-Kyum remembers the past. Back then, he was hurt because he had been dragged again from his noona. The scholar tried to console him by saying that the moon was always by his side, but this couldn’t truly comfort the artist. And because in chapter 69, the painter experienced for the first time a real good farewell, he could only recall this incident. But unlike in the past, the moon appears differently. In my opinion, this scene is important, as it symbolizes that Baek Na-Kyum is finally able to perceive the lord. And for the first time, he looks at the satellite with a certain fascination. He stands still and doesn’t sense the coldness. For me, this panel announces that the painter has finally perceived the lord’s presence. I would even say that the picture implies that Baek Na-Kyum is slowly accepting the existence of Yoon Seungho in his life. Unlike in the past , he is not sad and not thinking too deeply as well. The lord is indeed replacing the scholar, the painter doesn’t need his comfort any longer. Why? Because unlike in the past, the powerful noble allowed him to part from his sister properly, which the teacher never did. Remember what I had denunciated in a former analysis: the scholar hid behind the boy in order to avoid any responsibility for the brutal incidents at the kisaeng house. In other words, the teacher is responsible for the low-born’s abandonment issues. What Jung In-Hun never imagined is that he was right about the moon. Yoon Seungho, represented by the moon, has fallen in love with him. However, if you recall that the adieux between Yoon Seungwon, father Yoon and the main lead, you will notice that the aristocrat has not overcome his abandonment issues yet. How could he, since the father left him behind after humiliating him like that (incident with the topknot)? He never had the opportunity to bid farewell to his family properly, since the latter treated him with disrespect. And this explicates why Yoon Seungho asks the painter not to push him away at the end. The missed goodbyes were the reasons why both main characters were deeply hurt in the past, both victims of circumstances due to the actions of selfish and ruthless people.
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