This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents: https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/
As my readers already know, Baek Na-Kyum is linked to the butterfly, hence in episode 1 from Alternative universe, the noble Baek Na-Kyum had such a lamp in his bedroom: However, there’s another reason why the painter is associated to butterflies. It is because the protagonist used an expression with “butterflies”. It all starts in chapter 34, when the low-born witnesses Yoon Seungho’s return which makes the artist’s heart race so much. Just after facing Yoon Seungho in his bedroom with an almost kiss, he rushes to his study. Once arrived there, he wonders why his heart is racing so much and why he feels something in his stomach: (chapter 35). What caught my attention is that we have a similar scene in chapter 72: the painter is also questioning the origin of his physical reaction: . However, there’s a huge contrast between these two situations. First, the painter employs a different expression. It feels more real and precise than “butterflies”. From my perspective, it reflects the artist’s loss of innocence, or better said, his gained maturity. Moreover, due to his sexual experiences, he has a better understanding of his own body. Secondly, the fear has totally vanished, exposing that Yoon Seungho has truly achieved his goal. Finally, the other difference is that this time he is facing the lord himself. Back then, he only pondered about it after leaving the lord’s bedchamber. He was sitting behind the door. And if you recall the whole scene, you’ll notice that the artist’s heart started pounding, the moment the lord entered the bedroom. Moreover, the aristocrat removed his clothes so that the artist could see his back and later his chest. Consequently, I come to the deduction that the artist was so moved by the lord’s presence that his body was reacting immediately. This shows that both protagonists are affecting each other. One gets a huge erection, and the other feels butterflies inside. But more importantly, for the first time, the artist’s conscious was sensing his own body and the sexual attraction towards Yoon Seungho. Another parallel between these two scenes is the presence of the almost kiss: (chapter 34) (chapter 72). In chapter 34, he must have observed how the painter reacted, he was definitely blushing, because he repeats these gestures during their wedding night. Strangely is that when the lord approaches his mouth in chapter 72, the readers don’t witness any “butterflies”, as we can’t hear the painter’s thoughts. However, there’s no doubt that Baek Na-Kyum is excited due to the presence of his reddening and the sweat, very similar to chapter 34. Yet, I believe that the commoner doesn’t realize it yet, because all his energy is concentrated on his mouth. He has to whisper Seungho-Ya.
But there is another explication why Baek Na-Kyum’s butterflies only appear in the last part of the chapter. Until now, the artist had never truly perceived the lord in his entity. Compare this panel with the ones from chapter 31: First, the manhwaphiles can observe the absence of the lord’s face and penis. Then when the lord came closer, Baek Na-Kyum could only see the master’s face. Then the painter was able to view the lord’s phallus, , the chest and the face were hidden by the low-born’s body. It was, as if Yoon Seungho had been cut in parts, and Baek Na-Kyum was exposed to them. In other words, Yoon Seungho showed him parts of his body and not his whole body. The artist should accept them. However, like the noble pointed out, the artist was physically reacting to him: But since the artist was looking at the noble through the mirror, he never got to face the lord’s body in his entity. And imagine that back then, the artist was already aroused by the master’s parts. This signifies that the butterflies in chapter 72 are much stronger.
With this new observation, it becomes comprehensible that the painter is on the verge of having an orgasm by simply looking at Yoon Seungho’s body. This shows that this is more than just a physical reaction, as the lord hadn’t even entered him. The painter was so sexually aroused by the lord’s beautiful body that just the thought and sensation of the penetration was strong enough to have him climaxed. Note that the artist’s exclamation (“oh”) is a signal that he is already feeling an immense pleasure that he can’t control, as he said the same word during his first anal orgasm As a conclusion, the moment Baek Na-Kyum saw the lord’s body with his erected phallus, his sexual desires had reached a new peak. This time, his “butterflies” were much more pronounced. And there’s another difference with the scene from chapter 31. The master’s gaze has softened so much, his eyes are exuding love and tenderness, while in the mirror, the noble’s gaze was colder and more calculating. This divergence is comprehensible, as the lord had to find a stratagem to be accepted by the artist. The use of the mirror was a calculated move, which he had already announced the night before. Moreover, he had been hurt and enraged by the commoner’s escape, hence he couldn’t show the same affection. Finally, he had no idea about his own emotions.
But now, the readers should wonder why the painter never reacted like that before. First, we have to remember that the painter’s body was numb and his mind was poisoned too, so that the noble had to free both. In the first sex marathon, he liberated the artist’s body from his torpor. However, the painterofthenight lovers should recall that this occurred again, after the scholar had killed the artist with his poisonous words (chapter 40). Moreover, let’s not forget that during the second physical emancipation , the commoner was either not looking at him or sitting in a such a position that he couldn’t see the lord in his entirety. Then during their love session at the physician’s, the lord was so closed to the painter that the latter was not capable to look at his lover. Moreover, he was still avoiding the aristocrat’s gaze and face. The lord was also diminished, hence he was in the incapacity to stand up like that too. Besides, Yoon Seungho was afraid of a possible rejection. And during the second sex marathon, the lord was dressed, then later Baek Na-Kyum was no longer facing the noble: (chapter 64). Moreover, when he was able to look at the lord, he was hoping for a kiss, a sign of tenderness, which was refused. Moreover, his mind and body were still influenced by fear.
And now during their wedding night? In chapter 71, Yoon Seungho was sitting the tub, hence the lover couldn’t view the whole body and the erected phallus. He could only sense the erection through his foot. . Once arrived in the bedchamber, the noble was busy making amends, hence he was on his knees. That’s why I believe that we are now witnessing a major turning point in Baek Na-Kyum’s life. From my point of view, with such an experience, the artist will recognize that his affection for his lover is much stronger than he has even imagined. I can’t help myself connecting this scene to the first wet dream the painter had. He was already so attracted to Yoon Seungho that he wished to replace Jihwa and imagined, he was lying under the lord’s body. Just the view and the thought of the noble’s body aroused him so much that he had to remove himself from his trance, the moment he sensed an orgasm coming. This outlines how strong his sexual desires were. But now, it is different, because he is now excited by the lord’s gaze full of warmth and love. This is no longer about sex but about love.
And this observation leads me to the following conclusion. In my opinion, the protagonists couldn’t defeat their surrogate fathers, as long as they hadn’t truly opened their heart to someone else. But after such experiences, Seungho and Na-Kyum will never forget this night. The lord could pleasure his lover so much that the latter had such a climax in one thrust… let’s not forget that the main lead was suffering from erectile dysfunction and felt weak and powerless due to this. He was constantly reminded by Jihwa. As for the painter, he can definitely see that he is no prostitute. He has now even gained a title: “lord Na-Kyum”. The reappearance of the “butterflies” announced Baek Na-Kyum’s final sexual emancipation. In my opinion, he won’t feel shame and embarrassment afterwards, because his lover will be so happy. It is definitely possible that we get a new version of this panel: And imagine what this signifies for the painter. He is able to make someone smile… to make someone happy, which he didn’t see in chapter 49. We shouldn’t forget that the painter had always felt excluded and had abandonment issues. In other words, he saw himself as a burden, but this can only change, if his life gets a new meaning. His presence, orgasms and smiles can make Yoon Seungho smile and happy, this can only give strength and joy to Baek Na-Kyum. Let’s not forget that Yoon Seungho is a reflection of the painter, just like the latter is a mirror for the lord.
Since the butterfly symbolizes resurrection, change, renewal, hope, endurance, and courage to embrace the transformation to make life better, the return of the painter’s butterflies inside marks his final transformation. That’s why I am certain that from that moment, the painter will never feel embarrassed and will only redden due to his attraction for Yoon Seungho.
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