Mad Place: Smiling ghost 👻 and sinful priest

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. Here is the link, if you are interested in more analyses about other manhwas

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 manhwas. Besides, I need to cover up the expenses for this blog.

After reading such a title, readers familiar with this story will wonder how I came to select such a headline, because it gives the impression that this manhwa contains supernatural elements, while in reality the story is a mystery, or more precisely a crime novel. Besides, the illustration of Mad Place is clearly reflecting this situation. The Korean prosecutor, Gu Sehyuk, has handcuffed and trapped in his arms the suspect Ha Ideun, while holding the keys of the handcuffs in one hand. But if you pay attention to the scenery, you will notice that the district attorney is also trapped, hugged by the chaebol Ha Ideun. Yet, at no moment there‘s a presence of a ghost or a priest.

However, the manhwaphiles should look carefully at the way the two protagonists are introduced and even portrayed. Only through a meticulous analysis, they will realize that both characters are more than just a prosecutor and a chairman‘s son.

1. Ha Ideun: the smiling ghost

And now, it is time to focus on Ha Ideun. (Chapter 7) After viewing such a panel, the readers can only judge him as weird, but funny. Though the main lead is now a murder suspect, he keeps smiling while making requests, and as you can see, his main condition is sex. Because of such a behavior, he can not look trustworthy in the attorney district’s eyes, rather obsessed with sex. It was, as if he was amused by this situation. That‘s even how Gu Sehyuk views him in the beginning of this story. Nonetheless, this is just a deception. The man is actually using the situation for his own benefit. Why? First, his first request is quite serious. He is asking for an investigation. (Chapter 2) This signifies that he needs Gu Sehuyk’s help and power as district prosecutor. And this observation leads me to the following conclusion. He created such an opportunity to approach his target, Gu Sehyuk. How did I come to such a conclusion?

1. 1. The true relationship between Ha Ideun and Gu Sehyuk

The author gave us clues on different occasions. First, he knows the code for the house. (Chapter 12) I doubt that the main lead gave it to the „suspect“, since the latter is under investigation. Secondly, he knows the prosecution officer’s life so well. Observe that he is the one telling the young detective how long Gu Sehuyk will stay at work. (Chapter 12) Moreover, he knows about the death of Gu Sehyuk’s brother and the circumstances of his assassination. That’s why he sent him a picture of the killer, Yoon Gyuho, who had committed suicide right after. Then, the manhwaworms can witness him kissing the prosecutor’s wrist tenderly, a sign of affection. He might have introduced himself as his biggest fan (chapter 2), yet such a gentle kiss expresses more than just admiration. Moreover, I would like to point out the absence of the eyes in the last picture, a sign that the protagonist is here wearing a mask and not entirely honest.

All these elements truly expose that he is well informed about the district attorney‘s life. But since the latter has no idea how he is connected to the „suspect“, the first assumption would be that Ha Ideun has been spying on him like a shadow. A second possibility would be that he was an acquaintance of Gu Sihwan, the assassinated brother, but the prosecutor was left in the ignorance. Yet, I have to admit that I have a different theory. I am actually more inclined to perceive him as a ghost from Gu Sehyuk‘s past, but the latter has no recollection due to his trauma. This means that he would have ghosted Ha Ideun. This theory would also explain why he proposes the deal: sex in exchange for information. That way, he would restore their past relationship. As you can detect, for me the sex scenes in a really good manhwa are not just created for entertainment, they always have a purpose (see Painter Of The Night, The Pawn’s revenge etc.) Moreover, we could perceive the ghost’s behavior in episode 18 as an evidence for this thesis. (Episode 18) Notice that in this scene, the „suspect“ is blushing and hiding his gaze with his hand, while he admits that he did it because of him. In addition, he reminds the attorney district of their actual situation. One sex session means the divulgation of intel. Here, Gu Sehyuk had the impression that he was the only one who got carried away, whereas Ha Ideun was still able to remain rational and calm. Yet, due the blushing and the covering of his eyes, it becomes obvious that the „suspect“ was definitely moved. Besides, Ha Ideun justifies his action with the prosecutor. It is for him or his brother. Then he begs him for his trust. Yet, this is just a theory of mine and you have every right to think otherwise. But one thing is sure: the young man is definitely more close to Gu Sehyuk than the latter is aware.

1. 2. The traces of a spirit

As you could see, I used in two opportunities the idiom „ghost“, when I described his relationship with the prosecutor:

  • to ghost someone one: (slang) to ignore someone, until they go away. This phrase is often applied to failed love relationships.
  • a ghost from (one‘s) past: the reappearance in the present of someone or something unsettling from one‘s past. Quoted from

Yet, at no moment I elaborated why I couldn‘t help myself connecting the chaebol‘s son to a phantom. First, the protagonist is presented as Gu Sihwan‘s shadow (chapter 6), exposing that both characters are similar and in fact related. Furthermore, what caught my attention is that the face of the chairman’s third son is never revealed to citizens, when his arrest is mentioned in the news. In fact, we only get to see a white television screen. (Chapter 1) But this doesn‘t stop here. Later, when the attorney district meets the deputy prosecutor general Na Joohwan, the latter reveals that during a search concerning the existence of a slush fund, he noticed that Ha Ideun’s room was devoid of life. (chapter 8). There was no picture and no cloth. It was, as if the owner of the room was a phantom. Besides, note that we have the presence of white again. The manhwaphiles certainly know the expressions „white as a sheet“, „pale/white like a ghost“. As you can see, these panels reflect these idioms. That’s how I connected the chaebol’s son to a ghost.

Furthermore, if the manhwalovers recall how the young man is described, they will notice that neither the detective and the prosecutors can truly perceive his identity. He is rumored to be consumed by sex (chapter 7), he is not working and he doesn’t own any apartment. In other words, he is living in the shadow, for he has no possession and is not interacting with people. His sexual habits are presented as hearsay. And now, you comprehend why I made this association. That‘s why it is not surprising that at the end of episode 18, Gu Sehyuk wondered about Ha Ideun‘s true personality.

And note again that the young man appears quite emotional, once he is alone in front of the mirror. This truly exposes that their last sex session definitely affected him and he was controlling himself, when he made new revelations.

Another parallel is his words addressed to Gu Sehyuk. First, he confesses to him that he knows the truth. (Chapter 5), while the district attorney is only aware of facts. (Chapter 4) There’s no doubt that the suspect is telling the truth. He is not blinded by agony, like Gu Sehyuk who suffered a lot from his brother’s loss. I will explain the difference between truth and facts more in details later. Besides, let‘s not forget that a spirit is able to see more than humans, because they are detached from the physical world. They can move from one place to another very easily. Therefore they can gain more insight than mortals. As a ghost, he is able to spy and discover new clues.

1. 3. The spirit’s light

Since Ha Ideun is related to the color white, a symbol for purity, wisdom, knowledge and light, it becomes obvious that the young man is in reality more than just a hedonistic and carefree person. Observe this scenery: (chapter 2) The light oozing from the television stands in the protagonist’s back and illuminates the prosecutor. It was, as if Ha Ideun was bringing light into the main lead’s darkness. With his knowledge, he will be able to help to unveil the mystery of his brother’s death. For me, there’s no ambiguity that he has long planned to approach the prosecutor and he knows very well, why Gu Sihwan was murdered. But he can‘t reveal everything at once, because the latter would never believe him. Besides, he needs to prepare the protagonist to face the truth and exactly for this reason, the young man has to investigate himself. Only by becoming the investigator, Gu Sehyuk can discover and accept the verity. Moreover, Ha Ideun has to gain the prosecutor‘s trust. And now the manhwaphiles can comprehend why he is asking for the prosecution officer‘s confidence. (Chapter 15) Therefore he is willing to be investigated and questioned by Gu Sehyuk. He has no problem to get tested. Since he is clean, he has nothing to fear. On the other hand, he is not releasing much information, because he is well aware that his knowledge could generate suspicions among the prosecution office. Observe that once caught in the CCTV, he was immediately turned into a murder suspect. Words can be misinterpreted, hence he is very reluctant to speak so freely. The readers should keep in their mind that each information he gave was related to a concrete evidence (the picture, the bag full of drugs and the knife), (Chapter 15) something that can not be tampered, as long as the district attorney is supervising the investigation. In other words, he is guiding the district attorney to unveil the mystery.

1. 4. The reason for the ghost‘s appearance

And now, you might be wondering why he approached the prosecutor after two years. In my opinion, it is related to his good notoriety. Gu Sehyuk has become famous as a hardliner, as a serious and integer prosecutor. He made sure that the accused would always receive a harsh sentence. Nonetheless, there exists another reason from my perspective. Since Ha Ideun is a „ghost“, this signifies that he is powerless. I suspect that the absence of his life and presence is related to his other brother Ha Sungjoon. (Chapter 2) After analyzing so many manhwas, I discovered that many characters wearing glasses were hypocrites, often manipulative and ruthless. Hence I am suspecting that everything is related to Hasung Group. I believe that Ha Ideun’s powerlessness is related to Ha Sungjoon. Note that in that scene, the main lead showed a disdain towards his brother, when the latter appeared on television. There exists a rivalry and Ha Ideun‘s bad reputation (lazy, consumed by sex) is definitely playing into Ha Sungjoon‘s hands. Simultaneously, it could be a diversion from the main lead‘s part, that way he could deceive his brother and investigate his crimes. The manhwaworms shouldn‘t forget the existence of a slush fund and the sudden increase of benefits from Hasung Group.

Finally, by approaching the district attorney, Ha Ideun is slowly revealing his existence to the outside world. For the first time, his name becomes public. This means, he can no longer be hidden. This is no coincidence that he allows the NFS to take his hair and blood, because that way he can prove his existence. I have to confess that Ha Ideun sounds similar to „hide“. From my perspective, it looks like the protagonist was forced to live in the shadow. And now, with this interpretation, it becomes more understandable why he would make the request to have sex. Through sexual encounters, he has the impression to feel alive. It was his only way to prove his existence. Furthermore, it would give him the perfect excuse to hide his true intentions. He needs Gu Sehyuk’s strength and trust, and through intimacy, he can get his faith and as such justice.

2. Gu Sehyuk: The sinful priest

Now, the manhwaphiles are wondering about the origin of this interpretation. What caught my attention is the protagonist’s behavior. First, he lives like a hermit, keeping his distance from his coworkers and totally disinterested in worldly pleasures. This explicates why after his victory at the trial he refuses to celebrate with his colleague. (Chapter 1) His whole life is revolving around his work as prosecutor, a life full of dedication, humbleness and chastity. He is actually not truly living, just determined to keep his vows. He is making sure that the defendants are all receiving harsh sentence. (Chapter 1) What the other district attorney calls as obsession, is in my eyes the protagonist’s religion.

2. 1. Gu Sehyuk‘s cult

The way I portrayed the main lead reminds me of a priest, and more precisely of a monk: seclusion, modesty, abstinence of worldly pleasure, hard work and virtue are the features corresponding to a ascetic. His cult is to make sure that culprits are receiving their punishment, since he failed to do it with his brother. It was, as if he was trying to absolve his sin towards Gu Sihwan. But if Gu Sehyuk is a priest, then he needs to have a shrine. (Chapter 3) The pictures on the cupboard are representing his „idol“ or „saint“. Since Gu Sihwan got assassinated, he became a martyr and his brother turned him into a „saint“. And now, you comprehend why Ha Ideun is not allowed to touch his deceased brother’s belonging. They are sacred relics. Therefore it is not surprising that the brother’s bedroom is associated to white as well: It was, as if his bedroom was a crypt. That’s why I came to the following interpretation. The mansion, which Gu Sehyuk described as „frozen in time“, is his tempel. Consequently, his residence is intemporal. Because this is a sacred place, he can’t live properly there. At the same time, he feels the intrusion of a stranger as a sacrilege. Therefore the manhwaphiles can grasp why Gu Sehyuk cleaned the house after the ghost‘s visit. (Chapter 3) The tempel had lost his purity. The reason for his transformation is naturally his brother’s murder. The latter suffered so much from it, that he couldn’t move on. This is no coincidence that once he is confronted with the culprit’s face, he gets a flashback, a panic attack. (Chapter 3) But since he is so trapped in his past, he starts suffering, once he encounters Ha Ideun, for the latter forces him to remember his repressed memories.

2. 2. Truth versus facts

Because he lived as a monk, he never got the occasion to get emotional. However, once the „ghost“ touched his wounds from the past, the prosecutor could only get infuriated and upset, and as such became a sinner. This is not surprising that he even got violent. And now, it is time to explain what Ha Ideun meant with this:

(Chapter 4) The hard working man witnessed Gu Sihwan’s murder and caught the culprit at the crime scene. Hence he could never forget his face. But the problem is that memories are never objective. They are definitely influenced by the subject‘s past experiences, emotions and mentality. What Gu Sehuyk saw here could be viewed differently. He views a murderer in this image, while I detect the killer‘s despair and angst through the eyes. From my point of view, the man was not lusting for blood, though he stabbed him 7 times, a sign for rage and madness. And notice that after the crime, Gu Sehuyk investigated the matter from the culprit‘s perspective. Why would he stab his brother 7 times? Why would he do this? In other words, he tried to find out his motivations. But like Ha Ideun pointed out, he was missing something important there: the victim. (Chapter 4) Because he was close to his brother, he had the impression that he knew his brother: he was a smiling and cheerful person with no secret. The picture of his idol exposes Gu Sehyuk‘s blindness. And now, you comprehend why the „ghost“ put it down in the end. This was not the truth, Gu Sihwan hid things from his brother. And this leads me to the following conclusion. Because the prosecutor idolized his brother so much, he couldn‘t discover the truth. Moreover, he acted like every district attorney. They just need to catch the culprit and the case is closed. However, there‘s a huge difference between truth and identifying the perpetrator‘s identity. There was definitely a conspiracy, but the protagonist failed to see this, as he was too obsessed with the assassin. Here I would like to mention my other essay called „Truth and memories: Memorist, Nobody knows, Find me in your memories and The King“, where I elaborated the problematic of unveiling the truth through memories.

Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible, why Ha Ideun switched on the light in the prosecutor‘s residence, which caught the district attorney by surprise. This has a methaphorical signification. He brings the prosecutor closer to the truth, he enlightens him. This explicates too why the spirit entered Gu Sihwan‘s room and grabbed his book. He was violating the sacred place for one reason. He wanted Gu Sehyuk to leave the darkness of his temple and fight for his brother’s rights. (Chapter 4) Why did he have to die? Ha Ideun needs to transform the deceased brother into a human so that Gu Sehyuk decides to look into his brother’s past life.

2. 3. Mad Place

However, Ha Ideun has to change the prosecutor’s way of life as well. He needs to force him to become sinful so that he stops being a monk and the house is no longer perceived as a shrine. That’s another reason why the „suspect“ requests sex as an exchange for information. He is inciting the main lead to become a sinner. That way, the main lead is pressured to drop his role as an ascetic. By turning him into a sinful priest, the latter is forced to question himself. Hence the main lead gets violent enraged in the episode 3 and 4, signs of wrongdoings. Besides, this is exactly what is happening in episode 18. For the first time, he discovers pleasures and is taken by surprise. He wonders why he acted like this. (Chapter 18) In my eyes, this scene indicates that Gu Sehyuk is slowly coming back to life. But the problem is that the main lead has lived like that for two years, therefore he won’t change right away. From my point of view, his „temple“ will become a mad place, because he commits a sin in a sacred place. (Chapter 1) Ha Ideun won’t be able to remove the prosecutor’s religion despite their sex sessions, as long as the truth is not totally unveiled. This is my explanation why Junah chose such a title.

And now, you comprehend why both protagonists are trapped in each other‘s embrace. Both need each other in order to unveil the whole truth. Ha Ideun is definitely lacking power, as he has always lived in the shadow. He needs to become a human in order to get justice, just like Gu Sihwan.

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.

The pawn’s revenge: Hope 🔞

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. Besides, this manhwa is categorized as HARDCORE: 🔞 Here is the link, if you are interested in more analyses about this manhwa and others

Feel free to make some donations/sponsoring:  That way, you can support me with “coffee” so that I have the energy to keep examining manhwas. It would also cover my expenses for the blog.

Readers familiar with The Pawn’s Revenge might be surprised that I selected such a title, because when you read the sypnosis and see this panel, it gives you the opposite impression: dark, asphyxiating, destructive and hopeless.

However, when I read the latest chapter (chapter 21), I couldn’t help myself connecting it to hope, and as such to belief, aspiration and goal. And now, you might wonder how.

1. Kang Hyeon-Won’s memory

First, it is related to Kang Hyeon-Jong, , the missing brother from lieutenant Kang Hyeon-Woo. When the former confides his intentions to his brother (he would like to clean the corruption in the police forces and remove the dirty connections between authorities and the red-light district), the former appears integer, righteous, courageous and determined. This means, he is full of energy and aspirations to achieve his goal.

But what caught my attention is that when Kang Hyeon-Woo recalls his conversation with his brother, we see them discussing it on the top of a hill. Not only they have a perfect view over the city, but also the weather is quite nice. The sky is blue and there are a few clouds. Finally they are sitting in a park surrounded by nature. As you can imagine, in my eyes this scenery is not random at all. This scene is full of symbolism.

The presence of the hill with the perfect view over the city is an indication that Kang Hyeon-Jong had the bigger picture of the situation in his head. He knew what was going on: officer Ahn was working with the hostess Jeon Hee-Seong, and the latter had already planned something out of resent. In addition, he was well aware that many police officers were dirty. Therefore the sight over the city is a metaphor of Kang Hyeon-Jong’s thoughts. The existence of the recorded evidence and his words to his brother truly display Kang Hyeon-Jong as an idealist and pure police officer. He was full of hope and bravery. Moreover, a hill represents the climb to higher attainment, wider view of life or opportunities. Hence it is linked to potential and change either. And now the manhwaphiles can grasp that the detective’s selected place mirrored his state of mind. He was attempting to climb to the top to remove all the corruptive elements.

This perception was also reinforced, when Evy drew this panel combined with the idioms “chance” and “expose this case to the public”. Note the presence of the wooden plank in the bottom. It was, as if the perspective and the wooden plank were the stage, and the city in the background was symbolizing the public. In other words, the scenery was representing the detective’s vision. He was full of confidence and dream here. Moreover, since it is an open air area, you can breathe more easily. This signifies that the scenery oozes a certain relief, liberation and release. The brother could confide to his brother about his intentions and his latest information. He knew that the young detective was trustworthy and would support him. It represented a moment of relaxation for the investigating Kang Hyeon-Jong. Thus the readers see the machines as a symbol for relaxation and entertainment. Since the hyung was disclosing his discoveries and his evidence, it means that the younger brother was his pillar in his quest to clean up the police forces.

But there exists another element for this interpretation. The cloud is linked to future, dream and change, because clouds always move on and their form can change. Besides, since they are close to the sky, the clouds are connected to the gods, the former are bringing messages from the gods. That’s why in certain cultures, shamans would read the clouds and interpret these. And now, you understand why the author created such a scene. The cloud was embodying the detective’s dream and ambition. He was full of hope.

2. Hope versus fear and doubt

In that moment, I realized that the author used the sceneries to express certain ideas and emotions. Remember how Lee Je-Oh reacted after leaving his testimony to Park Gwang-Soo. He expressed his admiration about the murderer. (chapter 2) Note the similarities: We had a nice weather with clouds and a hill in the background. The male prostitute was also full of hope here. He could breathe in that moment, he had lost another violent tormentor to his relief. Therefore I came to realize the existence of the connection between dream and nature contrasting to the city represented as a chicken battery.

And these two scenes (chapter 21-2) lead me to the following observation. The weather and the place reflect the mental disposition of the characters. When Do Seong-Rok killed the first victim, it was night, dark and raining. (chapter 1) Furthermore, he abandoned the corpse in an abandoned area. This scene was quite oppressing and depressing which mirrored the perpetrator’s disposition. Let’s not forget that later the manhwaphiles could witness the murderer’s fears, when he had a nightmare. (chapter 6) Instead of looking up to the sky (a symbol for dream and hope), the criminal looked down. I could bring up another scene: (chapter 16) Both characters are looking down, both hurt and depressed. The prostitute is full of doubts and resigning to her fate. She will do anything in order to survive, and if it is necessary, she will betray and abandon her lover. She announces that she will be definitely ruthless and selfish. She is no longer expecting happiness and relaxation. It’s a fight for her. Besides, in that scene, the city looks lifeless, as there are no plant or people. I would even say, it’s suffocating, for the sky is so dark and clouded. It was, as if it functioned as a lid. As a conclusion, the weather and the scene reflect the character’s state of mind. The blue sky with clouds is linked to hope, while a raining dark grey day is associated to hopelessness, fear and doubts. Thus the town is related to suffocation, loneliness and resignation. Let’s not forget that the characters are all embodying animals (Lee Je-Oh is a goldfish and a dog, Do Seong-Rok is a dog, Jeon Hee-Seong is a snake etc…), but the problem is that they are all trapped in the Janggi game, that’s why they are not free and feel so oppressed. In my opinion, the Janggi board is in reality the city itself. Instead of representing civilization and progress, the town embodies despair, corruption and asphyxiation: death.

3. The couple in the bedchamber

And now, it is time to look again at the episode 21. If you compare the bed scenes with the protagonists, you’ll detect a huge change. The room and the sheets appear so white and pure (chapter 21), which contrasts to this scene for example (chapter 7) where grey was the dominant color. Contrary to the scene in episode 7, the main leads are no longer separated by the sheet, and they are facing each other. As you can sense, the color and the position mirror their increasing closeness and trust. I would say that the main couple is full of hope in that chapter. This is particularly perceptible in this image. Lee Je-Oh is already thinking about the future. He is confident in his skills and intelligence to protect his partner. The presence of relief and aspiration explains why the main leads are tender and caring towards each other. Here, you might argue that we don’t have the presence of nature, hence this contradicts my previous interpretation that nature is a signal of liberation and relief. However, I can refute this argument by pointing out that we don’t see the city here. In my eyes, the room has now become a refuge, a shelter of two wounded and lonely souls. Lee Je-Oh is no longer viewing the bedchamber as a place where he is held hostage. He is now cohabiting with the murderer. Thanks to him, Seong-Rok could sleep much better and wasn’t tormented by a nightmare, though he had killed Ma Jeong-Seok. To sum up, the bedroom shouldn’t be judged as a contradiction to nature. It is the place for privacy and relief as well. Furthermore, the better the bond between the killer and the male prostitute is, the clearer the room appears.

4. Kang Hyeon-Woo’s hope

Due to these last significations (the symbolism of the scenery and the bedroom as a shelter and place to relax and privacy), I come to the final scene from the chapter 21: Kang Hyeon-Woo in his bedroom. The latter is still full of hope as well despite the loss of his brother. He hasn’t given up on his dream and ambition. Consequently he makes this promise to fulfil his brother’s hope. Hence Kang Hyeon-Jong’s uniform hangs on the wall at the end of the bed. It symbolizes the detective’s goal: he is seeking for the truth and eradication of corruption. The bedroom is the officer’s refuge, where he can express his true thoughts and emotions. He doesn’t feel lonely, because he still has the brother’s uniform by his side. It was, as if the latter was still alive and by his side. And if you pay attention to the images, you’ll detect the indirect presence of nature: the wallpaper. It is slightly green and there are flowers. I tried to identify the flower, but I wasn’t sure. For me, it looks like a chrysanthemum which symbolizes longevity, fidelity, joy and optimism. Naturally, this flower has other meanings, but it depends on the color. A white one is offered to the relatives of the deceased as a sign of grief. On the other hand, a white chrysanthemum signifies loyalty and honesty. Striking is that the flower has the same color than the shirt Kang Hyeon-Jong was wearing, when he was confessing his last discoveries and dream. Consequently, I come to the conclusion that the flower in the background embodies the missing brother who is supporting Kang Hyeon-Woo in his quest to find the truth. One might argue that this can only be a coincidence, yet I can bring up the following point. Evy selected for each character a particular flower and color: But like I mentioned above, I am not certain about the identity of the flower on the wallpaper. It could be a dahlia too… If you have any idea or suggestion, feel free to leave a comment.

One thing is sure: the flower represents the brother and the light green could be seen as an allusion to the lieutenant’s actual investigation. He is only at the beginning of his quest: unveiling the truth. He is not aware that his brother’s former partner, Kim Seung-Tae, is also involved. (chapter 20) Though the latter desires to give the lieutenant the impression that he is honest and supportive, in reality it is the opposite. Since he asked the lieutenant for update, though he is quitting his job, this means that Kim Seung-Tae is actually asking for information. In my eyes, he belongs to the team facing officer Ahn and Jeon Hee-Seong.

Since the recorded evidence has not been used against officer Ahn, we can conclude that the opposite team doesn’t have it either, because they didn’t blackmail the former prostitute and her lover. In my opinion, the idealist Kang Hyeon-Jong made a huge mistake. While he was investigating his superior Ahn, he didn’t imagine that his partner was unethical too. Let’s not forget that when the hyung confided to his brother, he mentioned the prostitute’s resent against the brothel crowd. That’s why I think that he must have been digging some information about the origins for her animosity. Koo Jeong-Mo revealed that they did something terrible to her, indicating that this incident was quite important. In other words, Kang Hyeon-Jong must have discovered the existence of this terrible event. And if I recognized the flower correctly which embodies loyalty, this would explain why the officer went missing. He got betrayed by his partner, for he didn’t expect it. All his attention was focused on officer Ahn and the prostitute, because the two were more obvious.

And now, it is time to refer to the second meaning of the cloud. The latter is also related to secret and danger, as it hides the sun. This truly reflects the hyung’s past situation. He wasn’t aware of the deception surrounding him. Furthermore, I have two other reasons to suspect Kim Seung-Tae: the scar on his face and the black clothes, a symbol for death. So by meeting the younger brother, Kang Hyeon-Jong’s partner can hope to find evidences against his enemy and rival Ahn. And now, you understand why the conversation between Kang Hyeon-Woo and Kim Seung-Tae took place outside close to trees. The young officer full of energy and ambition represented a source of aspiration for the former police officer. The latter could get real results in order to get rid of his enemies. Once the officers supporting Ahn are removed, he can place people close to him so that the corruption and as such connections between the authorities and the red-light district remains unchanged.

As a conclusion, the chapter 21 stands for hope, belief and confidence. That’s why I love this manhwa very much😍 and recommend it. The story might be dark and painful, yet the author manages to find the right balance between light and darkness. The killer is the perfect example. He has already dirtied his hands, yet many readers are not condemning him, for he is not doing it out of selfishness, greed and sadism. He was in reality manipulated by the prostitute. And remember my interpretation in “Janggi and life”. In my eyes, only the criminal couple and the detective Kang Hyeon-Woo will be able to destroy this terrible corruption: the revolution is on its way.

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 for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

Painter Of The Night: Tears and predictions 😉

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:

Now, you might wonder if I have not developed an obsession with the tears. This is already the fourth essays about this topic, if I include the analysis about Baek Na-Kyum’s tears. However, remember that in the composition entitled “Tears and characters – part 1”, I had explained that Min’s tear had inspired me.

And now, it is time to reveal my theory. For the first time in the manhwa, we had a combination between tears and humor. Furthermore, just after Nameless had mentioned the intercourse between him and Jihwa, the latter had punched him in the stomach. However, as you can imagine, the lord’s punch didn’t hurt the criminal at all. But since Nameless didn’t desire to embarrass his former sexual partner, he acted, as if he had been hurt. In other words, he wasn’t actually honest, when he said this: “That hurt, my lord”. (chapter 76) For the readers, the situation was transformed into a joke and comedy, exactly like Black Heart pointed out right after. Yet, for the villain, it was a serious situation: “Jihwa had fallen so deeply into sodomy that he had reached to a low-born!” Besides, Min hadn’t been able to taste himself the painter.

And this combination between humor and tears made me realize that at the end of the story, the readers should expect that Baek Na-Kyum or Jihwa will cry out of laughing. Byeonduck’s fanarts are already indicating this, because the artist is always seen laughing with an open mouth. This signifies that Yoon Seungho and Nameless will make jokes and tease their partners. In this picture, the noble is biting the artist’s finger. Let’s not forget that both ukes are always crying so much, when they are sad, angry and pained. It displays that they tear up easily.

Besides, Painter Of The Night indeed contains many jokes and pranks, but there are not perceptible right away. Let me give you another example. (Chapter 67) Nameless excused his roughness with his lack of experiences. But the readers are well aware that The Joker did it from the back with the kisaeng in episode 51 and he has quite a reputation. And when I combined the low-born’s excuse with Jihwa’s reaction, I couldn’t help myself laughing. The latter was so innocent here, for he believed the man. He wasn’t able to recognize why Nameless rubbed him so raw. His description reflected the butcher’s passionate desires. The latter couldn’t restrain himself. His heart had been moved by the aristocrat’s remorse and tears. The criminal could sense his purity despite his horrible intentions. The young master imagined that for the criminal had never done it with a man before, he would be more careful. Moreover, if he had done it with women before, in his eyes, it signified, the lover was quite delicate and tender. In other words, Nameless hid his sexual desires and affection behind a false excuse. We have another indication that the low-born did more than rubbing. He left many hickeys on his sex partner, a sign of possession and passion. For the first time, Jihwa experienced what a love session is, but didn’t recognize it. 😉 Nameless is well aware that the aristocrat has no real affection for him, therefore he has to hide his true emotions behind a joke.

In addition, we have Yoon Seungho who keeps playing pranks (chapter 16: , 74 and teasing his lover (chapter 23) (chapter 75). Nevertheless the latter hasn’t truly recognized his master’s sense of humor due to social norms.

Baek Na-Kyum is always worried about his doctrines and appearances. In chapter 16, he was fighting against his arousal and didn’t want to get caught. In episode 23, he tried to hide the fact that he had stolen the bottle of wine. Then in chapter 39, he was uncomfortable, because the tailor could see the nature of their relationship. In episode 75, he is still in denial that he is hoping for more. Therefore he refuses to admit the truthfulness of his lover’s words. Baek Na-Kyum could only blush, each time he was teased. Consequently I come to the conclusion that the protagonist will only shed tears out of laughing, when he has been able to overcome the social norms. That’s why the moment the artist won’t feel flustered any longer, he can pay attention to his lover’s words and behavior and grasp his intentions. From that moment on, he will sense the main lead’s sense of humor. On the other hand, this can only happen rather late in the story. Furthermore, since Jihwa is very similar to Baek Na-Kyum, for both are trying to follow traditions and are influenced by their peers (Min- Heena), it signifies that the young master will have a similar evolution.

As a conclusion, I am predicting that at the end of the story, the jokers Nameless and Yoon Seungho will make their respective partner laugh so much with their words and gestures that tears will come out. However, so far none of the ukes could enjoy the pranks and comical situations. Both were always very serious, because they are influenced by humorless and austere people: Min, Heena and Jung In-Hun.

Now, I will explain why I perceive them as unhumorous persons. The kisaeng lives in an environment, where she needs to entertain the rich and powerful nobles. That’s the reason why jokes are a synonym for work for the sister. In other words, humor is linked to seriousness. Besides, I think, she has never experienced fun with lightness. She was trained to make the clients laugh. Moreover, I would like to remind that Black Heart is no real jester, as his pranks are always aiming at hurting others, he wants to be entertained in detriment of others. This villain’s humor stands for Schadenfreude which is no real humor. As for the scholar, he is only focused on his dream: getting a high position, that’s why he never interacts with people. He only meets commoners, when he needs them. In other words, he is always very serious and doesn’t understand humor at all. This explicates why he failed to recognize the lord’s sarcasm in chapter 6. He took the compliments as face-value, but if he had paid attention to the tone of the voice and the smirk from the protagonist, he would have realized the situation: he was seen as a joke by Yoon Seungho. 😂

The presence of jokes and pranks truly shows that Painter Of The Night is not just a heavy drama and romance, the story contains humor as well. But the problem is that the jokes are and were never obvious. (see for example the scene with the book in episode 6) Only attentive readers can catch these little details. I have to admit that one of my favorite chapters from the first season is indeed the episode 6 due to the lord’s teasing and cynical remark. It’s because I laughed so much that I fell in love with this character. His sense of irony revealed his intelligence. My readers will certainly remember that my first essays were always about the infamous sodomite, who was greatly misunderstood by the manhwaphiles. And now you know why.

So my question is: Do you like the idea? Do you want to see Baek Na-Kyum and Jihwa crying out laughing?🤣 This would be a perfect ending for me, because this would compensate the readers for the long agony experienced while reading this manhwa. Besides, this would explain why Byeonduck created such happy fanarts.

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 for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

Painter Of The Night: Tears and characters – part 2 (Version with 10 different pictures) – 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:

Now, it is time to focus on Black Heart and his famous tear.  (chapter 76) Contrary to Baek Na-Kyum and Jihwa’s crying, the villain is shedding one single tear while laughing. It looks like he’s having fun and entertained. But if you replace the scene in the whole context, you’ll come to a different conclusion.

1. The context of Min’s tear

He is actually far from enjoying this “joke”. First, he had to witness before that he had been defeated by his rival Yoon Seungho.  He couldn’t separate them. He was so annoyed and upset by the situation that he vomited. In other words, he was green of envy and simultaneously he was green (sickly)🤢🤮 due to his opium consumption. This signifies that he was definitely not in the best mood.

Then in the shed, he hears from Nameless that Jihwa had sex with the criminal behind his back.  Though it looks like this secret puts him back in a good mood, I noticed two details:

  1. His eyes are always closed, especially when the tear comes out
  2. Secondly, his laugh is very short-lived.

2. The closed eyes and the tear

The manhwaphiles should wonder why the Joker has his eyes closed. It can’t be explained with the laughing, as his laugh comes to an quick end (only 2 HAHA), and he is already talking to Jihwa and the commoner. But observe that while mocking his puppet, he avoids eye contact. So why does he have closed eyes? In order to get an answer, I tried to compare it to the previous situations, when he laughed. That’s how I realized that Byeonduck never let the readers see his gaze, when he was laughing.

  • chapter 19: 
  • Chapter 43 
  • Chapter 53: 
  • Chapter 54: 
  • Chapter 69: 

The absence of his face (19, 43, 54, 69) and of his eyes (chapter 53) is an indication that he is actually wearing a mask. That’s why I deduce that the Joker is actually closing his eyes in front of the second leads, for he is attempting to hide his pain and vulnerability. After seeing how Baek Na-Kyum escaped from all his traps (the wine, the sex orgy, the murder, the kidnapping, the gangrape, the rape, the sex at the kisaeng house), he has to discover that he is also losing control over his puppet Jihwa. This can only increase his stress and bad mood. The manhwaphiles should remember how much Black Heart loves using his power and influence over Yoon Seungho’s childhood friend. That way, he feels powerful. This explicates why he punished him in chapter 67. He made sure to scare and humiliate him so that the latter would become obedient again:  .

But during that night, he hears that Jihwa had even violated social norms. His disciple had sex with a commoner. Let’s not forget that the second lead had declared this in chapter 18: 

Jihwa: “Yoon Seungho has fallen into sodomy that he is now reaching for a low-born”.

In my eyes, the red-haired aristocrat was just repeating what Min and the other nobles were advocating. This sexual encounter between the second leads could only infuriate Black Heart, as the latter in reality follows traditions blindly out of fear.

3. Fear and laugh

Here, I need to elaborate the signification of Min’s laugh. In truth, his laugh is not a signal for pleasure and excitement, but the opposite. It reveals his discomfort and anxieties. This means, his laugh is linked to negative emotions and nervousness, which the character tries to mask from the others. Why do I interpret it so? I could use the situation from chapter 53. He has just been punched by Yoon Seungho and he fell onto the ground. This was definitely painful. But notice that though he is laughing, he is hiding his mouth with his hand, a sign that he is masking his true thoughts and emotions. In this panel, the readers are seeing Min the clown as his best. The covered mouth and the absence of the eyes are strong indications that he is not honest at all here. Since he is laughing, we have to imagine, he is feeling the opposite: scared and hurt. But he has to grin and bear it. That’s his MO in my eyes. Furthermore, there exists this famous study organized by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram that revealed people often laughed nervously in uncomfortable situations. People in his study were asked to give electric shocks to a stranger, with the shocks becoming increasingly powerful (up to 450 volts). The higher the shocks, the more the participants were laughing in order to mask their embarrassment and fear. They did it to reassure themselves and give the impression to others that this was normal.

One might argue that in episode 43, Black Heart had no reason to feel discomfort. He was truly making fun of Jihwa’s hypocritical behavior.  But even so, this truly outlines that while he was truly mocking Jihwa in episode 43, the new version of this scene (chapter 76) has to be different. Why? It is because this time, Jihwa didn’t act, like Min had anticipated. In chapter 36, The Joker had made sure that the second lead wouldn’t stick to his promise. He had manipulated him to visit Yoon Seungho’s mansion. In chapter 76, Min has to discover that nothing he had planed worked out. The assassination didn’t take place immediately, then he never involved Min like requested. Finally, Jihwa had even sex with the criminal. That’s why this comparison even reinforced my interpretation that Min’s laugh is more often a sign of stress, anxieties and negative emotions than real pleasure and enjoyment. Consequently I believe that the tear and the laugh are in truth a sign of discomfort, pain and stress.

4. The tear and Black Heart’s comment

But there’s another clue why I believe that his tear is the result of negative emotions.

What caught my attention is the presence of an oxymoron: a comedy of errors. While comedy stands for fun and lightness, error embodies gravity and seriousness. The contradiction indicates the presence of emotions, the noble is definitely torn apart by this revelation. Besides, notice the idiom “you found yourself in” which portrays Jihwa as weak and rather stupid. The words imply that the disciple is a puppet. According to Min, he had sex, because Nameless convinced his disciple to this. He was a victim of circumstances in Min’s eyes. That’s why his words truly exposes a huge reproach. Black Heart’s words reflect that he is very serious in that moment, he is even talking about money.

If I had to rephrase his true thoughts, this would be the result: “How could he let himself be so manipulated to make such a mistake? Is this a joke?” That’s why I believe that Min is not shedding a tear out of joy or out of laughing, rather because he is frustrated and pained. That’s the reason why in the same scene he will lose his temper in front of Nameless, and shows his true face: nasty, violent and arrogant.  And note the contrast of the mouth. The lips are positioned in the opposite way than when he smiles. And now, you understand why Min had his eyes closed. He was hiding his true emotions from the others, as the eyes are the mirror of the soul. Yet during that night he could no longer keep his mask as the Joker.

5. The signification of the tear

Another huge divergence is that unlike all the other characters weeping, he only sheds one tear which is quite significant. This shows that Min’s heart has been wounded, yet due to his true personality, he can’t cry buckets. Let’s not forget that I had already diagnosed him as someone suffering from ASPD (Antisocial Personality Disorder). His lack of empathy is the explanation of his lack of tears.

One might say that this is just a crocodile tear.

This is definitely correct in the sense that the lord fakes his happiness and pleasure, while in my opinion he is masking his hurt, frustration and stress. In that panel, he is definitely a hypocrite, nonetheless I doubt that his emotions are insincere. It is just that he is a crocodile himself, therefore he has never shed a tear before.

As you can perceive, the appearance of the tear is important in my eyes. We have to imagine that until the appearance of the painter Min felt bored to death or better said bored to tears.

“bored to death/bored to tears”: extremely bored to the point of distraction, frustration or irritation. quoted from

That’s why he kept looking for fun and entertainment.  (chapter 66) Striking is that when the lord found Baek Na-Kyum in a terrible situation, he looked excited. In my opinion, the situation was pleasing to his eyes for two reasons. Min could see how Yoon Seungho had mistreated the painter, therefore he sensed that he could have an opportunity to approach the artist. Since Yoon Seungho was not willing to share his lover to others,. Min had only one possibility left: separate the couple. That’s why he found it entertaining. He imagined that his chances to taste the low-born had increased. This explicates why he takes pleasure in the misery of others. He is able to profit from the suffering of others. In other words, he never had to put a lot of effort. Everything was always delivered to him on a silver plate.

But since he was using others to play his games, this means that Min never had to work either. I am quite certain, the readers remember this idiom:

blood, sweat and tears”: a huge amount of effort, dedication and hard work. quoted from

That’s another explanation why he couldn’t shed a tear. Note that during the first season, he made requests to Yoon Seungho (chapter 19, 33). The latter had to bring the painter to the bedchamber in order to show the pictures or to bring him to the sex orgy. Then he asked the same thing during the second season. The host had to fetch his artist. Then he incited Jihwa to hire Nameless and gave him the information about the criminal. Nonetheless he never went there himself. Striking is that the more he lusted after Baek Na-Kyum, the more he became proactive. In chapter 56, he visited his “student” on his own, and made the request to be involved: “Let me in on it”. Then he visited the protagonist’s mansion on his own in chapter 66, this signifies that he was more and more walking around. In chapter 69, we see him waiting at the kisaeng house. He hoped to meet the artist there, thinking that Baek Na-Kyum would want to run away from Yoon Seungho. The fact that Byeonduck portrayed Min walking in so different scenes (52, 56, 66, 76) is an indication that Min is becoming more and more active. In poetry and literature, the walk is often a metaphor for life. That’s why I come to the conclusion that the tear symbolizes Min’s revival. Hence this picture truly mirrors Min’s life before his meeting with Baek Na-Kyum. (quoted from This image is inspired by the song “Beautiful” written by Eminem, because the latter referred to the presence of a mask and act by singing “hide behind the tears of a clown”.

As you can observe, Black Heart is making a similar experience than Yoon Seungho. He is starting to live his true life and as such dropping his disguise: The Joker. And this picture truly mirrors Min’s life before his meeting with Baek Na-Kyum. But old habits are hard to die.  

Min: “What if I said I could have you killed?” (chapter 76)

He threatened the criminal to have him eliminated. His words expose that Black Heart wouldn’t still do it himself, but he would use others. On the other hand, his remark displays a transformation, for Min is now taking responsibility for a person’s death. By becoming more active, he is no longer running away from accountability. This signifies that at some point, he will be responsible for his own actions and words and won’t be able to put the blame on others. Simultaneously, this situation forces him to show his true colors. However, there’s a huge difference between the wealthy main lead and Black Heart. Instead of transforming into a phoenix and shine, Black Heart will turn into a monster, a zombie. Since Min can now feel pain, this indicates that he is alive. I can’t help myself associating him to rotting flesh due to the opium and his nausea. Because of the connection between work and tears, I am expecting that Min will begin to show an interest in the officials and get in touch with Jung In-Hun.

6. The tear and the clown

To summarize, the Joker was always hiding his true self from others. He played The Joker in order to cover up his own anxieties, emotions and thoughts. Then he never had to make any effort. Finally, he always felt entitled due to his social status. Thereby I come to the conclusion that Black Heart was quite similar than Yoon Seungho in the end. He was also living like a ghost, yet he was different at the same time. Since he fears to break social norms, yet resents them deeply, he learned that he had to hide his true self behind a mask. Therefore he became a clown, a Joker who would use others as his puppets and as such toys. But as a clown, he couldn’t show his true emotions, for it was not his “function”.

tears of a clown: A phrase used to describe a person who appears joyful and chipper around people but is actually emotionally distraught. Usually this results from heartbreak or a severely stubbed toe.

This expression corresponds totally to the image from chapter 76: , the clown was in really distressed and wounded, but he had to grin and bear it. He had to keep playing his role of the Joker, until his position as the puppet master got threatened by Nameless’ intervention. This explicates why The Joker had to stop Nameless from talking. The Joker realized that the commoner could have a huge influence over the second lead.

Min: “Such insolence from a filthy, lowly cutthroat…. How dare you, a worthless peasant, question your superior? You’d do well to bite your tongue and keep playing your tricks, jester.” (chapter 76)  

He attempted to humiliate him through insults, but nothing worked on the commoner. In this scene, Min was defeated for the first time, though he managed to keep the red-haired noble by his side.

7. The tear and Min’s obsession

Since I elaborated that Min and Yoon Seungho had so many similarities, the Joker’s tear is another indication that the main lead will also come to cry. Yet, contrary to Black Heart, I am expecting the lord crying a river. In addition, this means that the reason for the appearance of Min’s tear is caused by Baek Na-Kyum, though it happened in front of Lee Jihwa. On the other hand, the manhwaphiles shouldn’t forget that the latter is a different version of Baek Na-Kyum. Therefore we have to imagine that in the past Min became interested in the second lead due to his closeness to Yoon Seungho too. That’s the reason why Min chose to snatch Jihwa from Yoon Seungho. Remember the main lead’s words in chapter 55:

Yoon Seungho: “I brought you here as a new plaything, that’s all…” (chapter 55)

Because the main character and Min are similar, this image is in my eyes an evidence that Min considered Jihwa as his plaything too. First, the protagonist showed an interest in painting, so did Min. The former was close to his childhood friend, therefore Black Heart desired the same relationship between Jihwa and himself. And now, you comprehend why he is determined to taste the painter. Yoon Seungho’s gaze revealed that he was sexually attracted to the painter, and the latter had a similar reaction. Hence Min feels the need to lust after Baek Na-Kyum. But he is making a huge mistake: for he sensed sexual attraction in their gaze, he believes that this is the real foundation of the relationship between the two main leads. Yet, it becomes obvious that Black Heart has fallen in love with the painter, but unlike Yoon Seungho, the Joker is not willing to admit this. He fears the consequences: to be laughed.

But why is Min so obsessed with the main lead? It is, because he envies the protagonist for his way of life. On the one hand, he lives above social norms and doesn’t pay attention to rumors and traditions, hence he has a bad reputation. On the other hand, the nobles keep seeking his company despite everything. Yoon Seungho is attracting attention, therefore the clown can only judge Yoon Seungho as a rival. However, people are mocking him behind his back. That’s why Min can’t truly take the main lead’s place and can only copy him. In my opinion, Min is longing for freedom too, but in a more destructive way.

And now, you comprehend why Jihwa became his disciple. Min was able to earn his trust, which explains why Jihwa admires Min’s relationship with the noble with the mole in chapter 59.

Jihwa: “We have seen each other in the most wretched of states. Of course our relationship is not the same as yours.”

 From my point of view, Min was motivated to take away Jihwa from Yoon Seungho and have the same influence over Jihwa than Yoon Seungho. But even here, Min failed in one aspect. The red-haired noble was always faithful to his childhood friend, therefore their relationship never turned into a sexual relationship. It is possible that first Min was aiming to have him as a sexual partner, until he realized that Jihwa only had eyes for Yoon Seungho. That’s why in the end, Black Heart played with the second lead’s naivety.

However, Min’s obsession over Yoon Seungho is slowly changing. I would say that he is now getting obsessed with Baek Na-Kyum. This would explicate why Min shed one tear in the shed after witnessing the embrace.  He definitely felt agony in that moment, thereby he felt the need to vomit. But since Jihwa’s tears are famous, I can’t restrain myself thinking that Min’s tear was provoked by Jihwa’s betrayal. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. And this leads me to the following conclusion:

Min has now discovered that his influence over Jihwa is in danger, then this means that he has to pay more attention to his student. It is definitely possible that the “mentor” torments Jihwa more than before. But it could backfire on him. At the same time, his obsession for the painter is increasing, therefore I am expecting that Min will be forced to make a choice at the end: who is more important in his eyes? Jihwa or Baek Na-Kyum? And the moment Black Heart selects the painter, the second lead can only recognize Min’s hypocrisy and false preaching. One thing is sure: Min will shed more tears in the future… he will be more and more tormented which will be his karma.

As a conclusion, Min’s tear was a sign of his revival. The tear was triggered due to pain and stress. The puppet master experienced how little control he had over people. However, the master attempted to hide his heartache by masking with a laugh.

There will be a third part. 😉

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 for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

Painter Of The Night: Tears 😥 and characters – part 1 (Version with only 10 pictures)

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:

I mostly used the following website as a source of inspiration:

What caught my attention in chapter 76 was Min’s tear combined with the laugh  (chapter 76) which was totally new in the manhwa. We never saw such a combination: a single tear with a laugh. Moreover, for the first time, The Joker had shed a tear. The manhwalovers will certainly recall that so far, we had tears of happiness (chapter 21) and sadness , (chapter 59) but never tears out of laughing.😂🤣 Therefore I came to recognize the significance of this scene. First, it divulged a lot about Black Heart’s personality, and announced a turning point in his life. At the same time, this observation gave me a new idea, which I will elaborate in the second part. Striking is that until now, I had examined the painter and Jihwa’s tears, yet I had never focused on this topic itself. Hence in this analysis, I would like to study not only the weeping of the characters, but also the absence of their tears.

But before beginning with the real topic, it is necessary to define tears and their origins. There exist three types of tears:

  1. Basal tears: This is a normal and vital function in order to keep our eye moist.
  2. Reflex tears: They are triggered, when you get something in the eye, or when you cut an onion.
  3. Emotional tears: These are the tears, when one is overcome with emotions (sadness, joy, eg.) Striking is that these tears are richer than the two others. They contain proteins and hormones like endorphin. The latter serves to relieve stress. The fact that these tears are richer is important, because like I had mentioned in my analysis about Jihwa (Water and fire -part 1), the red-haired aristocrat’s tears are a signal of the revival of his eyes. From that moment on, he is less blind. That’s why I associated tears to life, especially if you combine it to water. Without water, there’s no life.

1. Tears and pride

The connection between tears and life is relevant, because it explains why Jung In-Hun is never seen crying. He has a heart of stone. Consequently, Byeonduck drew the learned sir next to a rock in two occasions: (chapter 6) and  (chapter 22). The rock is a metaphor of his heart: he will remain cold-hearted. Striking is that even after the humiliation during the hunt, he never shed a tear. He was only frustrated and angry at his opponent and sponsor. His huge ego had been hurt by the main lead’s mockery, but despite his wound, he chose to look up to the sky, apparently waiting that fate/karma would punish the wealthy noble for his wrongdoing. This outlines that the learned sir still believed in his superiority. In other words, Yoon Seungho had not reduced the scholar to tears with his words, which stands in opposition to the second lead’s reactions.

“To reduce someone to tears”: to cause a person to cry through insults, frustration and belittling” quoted from

In chapter 18, the main lead had reduced Lee Jihwa to cry through his reproaches and belittling. (chapter 18)

This huge difference between the two figures (Lee Jihwa and Jung In-Hun) shows that the childhood friend is still a human despite his egoistic and prideful attitude. He was overcome with negative emotions (pain, sadness, frustration and anger), while the other only feels resent and anger. Hence through this expression (“reduce to tears”), the manhwalovers can recognize the connection between pride and tears. And if you compare both situations, you’ll notice that during their argument, the main lead lowered himself and faced his childhood friend.

 This reveals that the true intention of Yoon Seungho was not to humiliate his ex-lover per se. He didn’t desire to show his superiority to him. He had acted in the moment after witnessing Jihwa’s outburst. The former felt betrayed, as the second lead had acted behind his acts on different occasions (the spy, the slapping of Baek Na-Kyum, the ruined painting). Yoon Seungho still showed a certain respect towards his ex-partner by sending him away accompanied with a servant. Note that in the woods, he left the low noble on his knees without looking back. In other words, he showed no remorse towards Jung In-Hun, while it was not the case with Jihwa. There’s no doubt that the noble was indeed moved by Jihwa’s tears. However, it wasn’t obvious, because he didn’t touch his face and wipe his tears. The readers can only grasp it, when they compare both scenes (18-22). Through this comparison, I recognized that Jihwa’s tears were connected to his wounded pride. It becomes even more evident in chapter 21. It was, as if the red-haired second lead had an outburst. We have to envision that he literary burst into tears. 

“Burst into tears: to begin suddenly to cry” quoted from

This explosion of emotions is visible, as the lord ruined his room. He broke out to tears. And note that in that moment he was standing with a sword in his hand, another evidence that his tears were triggered by his frustration and bruised ego mixed with sadness and anger. And now, you comprehend why he represent a negative reflection of Baek Na-Kyum, the latter embodying humbleness and modesty. However, unlike the scholar, Jihwa was slowly learning his lesson and as such changing. Since the low noble’s heart is made of stone, he will never change in my opinion.

Jihwa reached the bottom, when he got confronted by Yoon Seungho at the tavern in chapter 57. He was not only pushed to the ground, but the latter was never able to stand up in front of his friend again, contrary to chapter 18. At the end, the second lead gathered his courage and confessed his love on his knees in front of commoners. And this truly outlines that Jihwa had finally realized that his bond with his childhood friend mattered more than his pride. He had to make a choice and selected affection over his ego.  (chapter 57)

In addition, by comparing it with the episode 18, the manhwaworms can notice a divergence in the main lead’s attitude. Contrary to before, he no longer showed any respect towards his friend. He never lowered himself, but he was forced to sit down by valet Kim. For me, this is no coincidence, the sickness was a good excuse for the butler. If his master sat down, then the public humiliation would be lessened and as such, this would cause less ruckus. Important is that after his answer, Yoon Seungho left Lee Jihwa behind without paying attention to him. He never asked Kim to take care of his former lover. This displays that the gap between them had so much increased that their relationship would never be like before. This was even reinforced by the lord’s words: “Do not harbor any longing for me. There is not the slightest chance of my ever returning such sentiments.” (chapter 59)

Striking is that in the second season, Yoon Seungho was taught the same lesson by the painter. The former had to give up on his title and devalue himself in order to remain by Baek Na-Kyum’s side. That’s why in chapter 71, he called his lover Lord Na-Kyum and treated him as a master after that. But pay attention that the main lead never shed a tears due to his wounded ego. Yet this doesn’t mean that he is similar to the learned sir. In fact, the main character felt more like crying, when he was reminded of his past.  (chapter 56). This signifies that his tears are not related to pride, but to his traumas. The lord can no longer weep due to the constant exposure to physical, mental and emotional pain. However, since he has been taught not cry in the presence of the butler, in chapter 56 it was, as if he was blinking back tears.

“to blink back tears: to try to stop oneself from crying” quoted from

How do I come to this conclusion? It’s because the butler avoided his master’s gaze, when the latter threw the letter (chapter 56) He acted, as if nothing was happening. Furthermore, it was the butler who asked the painter to stop crying after the rape: “Would you stop crying? Your eyes will be sore later”.(chapter 26) And since the painter’s fate is to go through the same suffering than the rich noble, it signifies that the butler must have said the same thing to his master in the past. There’s no ambiguity that father Yoon must have a similar mind-set too.

2. Tears, pain and emotions

As you can see, Yoon Seungho isn’t still capable to cry, as he has long internalized that he is not allowed to show such emotions. In his past, he was coerced to repress his tears. He was forbidden to show any emotion and pain, though he was repeatedly confronted with terrible events (rape, physical and mental abuse, gangrape, drugs, brainwashing, betrayal). This explicates why the lord chose to live as a ghost. If he was a spirit, he could no longer feel emotions and as such pain. I would like to point out the strong connection between emotion and hurt, though the latter is no emotion. It is an emotional experience. However, the chapter 56 indicates a slow transformation, as the lord feels the need to hide his gaze behind his hand and even turn away his head from Kim, like you can observe at the top of the composition. In my perspective, the lord must have sensed something in his eyes, but out of fear and habit, he preferred masking his wound.

2. 1. Baek Na-Kyum the role model

There’s a reason for Yoon Seungho’s gradual metamorphosis. Baek Na-Kyum cried, when he was physically (chapter 11, 25) and emotionally wounded (chapter 11, 41, 42)

Besides, right from the start the noble was moved by the painter’s tears, hence he felt the need to touch his face and wipe his tears.  (chapter 2) And now, you can imagine which idiom I am about to bring up:

“Moved to tears”: to elicit such a strong reaction or overwhelming reaction in one that it causes one to cry. Quoted from

2. 2. The painter as the trigger of emotions

Since the noble was forced to repress his emotions and as such tears, it is normal that in chapter 1, he wasn’t moved to tears. Furthermore, living without any emotion, it signifies that he couldn’t detect and recognize them in chapter 1. He never realized that he was actually showing happiness first and later a certain sadness, when he killed the servant. However, the tears from the painter (episode 1) triggered something in his heart.

 He sensed a slight pain, that’s why he asked him to stop crying. Let’s not forget that right before the artist started shedding tears, the noble reminded him of the death of the servant. He put the whole blame on the low-born, as the latter had lied to him. According to the main lead, the painter was responsible for the domestic’s death. After hearing this, Baek Na-Kyum was moved to tears. This incident is important for two reasons:

  • The tears are connected to empathy. He feels pity and sorry for the deceased man.
  • At the same time, they also express the artist’s guilt. Note that in the shed, the low-born never denied the lord’s statement.

And now, if the manhwaphiles look at the panel again,  they will notice that the noble’s behavior displays remorse and compassion. Hence he asks him to stop crying, while wiping his tears. Consequently, during the night of the rape, we have a repetition of this scene: the lord feels uncomfortable in the presence of the tears (remorse), but also a certain compassion towards the painter. However, when his hand is rejected, the main lead tries to blame the artist for the situation. But this time, Baek Na-Kyum doesn’t accept the criticism and defends his position. Furthermore, he expresses a death wish: “I hate you so much I could die, sir”. (chapter 26) Only now, I truly realize the significance of this scenes. These words pained Yoon Seungho so much that it triggered emotions, which had been buried for a long time. That’s why we witnessed an outburst: “But if I am to be hated, I might as well be hated properly. Don’t you agree?” (chapter 26) But since he had forgotten how to cry, he could only show strong emotions like pain, rage and jealousy through violence.

However, we shouldn’t overlook that the painter had mentioned his death. In my eyes, it truly exposed the lord’s fear. He couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from the painter. If the lord had been able to cry, he would have. But he could only explode and in my opinion, in that scene he hadn’t just murderous, but also suicidal thoughts. This was the first version of this panel, though the lord never expressed it: “If I killed them all, and myself, would it be easier…”  (chapter 55).

By killing the learned sir, he would push the painter to kill himself and the noble would have definitely followed him in his death. And now, you comprehend why in the hallway, the lord wondered about his own reaction. This was totally new to him, he had never felt anything like that before. Simultaneously, the manhwalovers can grasp why we haven’t witnessed the lord’s weeping yet. He needed to feel pain and emotions first. As a conclusion, during that night, the lord felt guilty, empathy, envy, rage and jealousy. Therefore I interpret that by witnessing the painter’s tears, the lord was taught to feel pain and emotions. Hence he stands in opposition to the scholar who chose to vent his anger and jealousy onto the painter, each time he felt humiliated.  (chapter 75) This truly exposes the teacher’s cruelty and ruthlessness. We could say that the painter reinforced his admired sir’s cold-heartedness. Therefore I come to the following conclusion: Jung In-Hun will never feel remorse or empathy. He is destined to become a monster, as his wounded pride will just arouse brutality, resent and thirst for revenge.

3. Tears and indifference

Because of the strong connection between tears and emotions, I realized that the absence of tears isn’t just a sign of heartlessness, but also of indifference. There’s another person who never sheds a tear. It is the butler Kim. When in the pavilion he saw the painter lying on the ground, he was not moved to tears. The only comment he made was: “And here I was wondering why he lent me a horse…”  (chapter 25) This means that he felt no empathy for the painter. However, he is different from the teacher. How? While Jung In-Hun senses no sympathy, the other tries to feel nothing. That’s why he gave his master the following advice: “Perhaps it would be best, if you did not take it to heart…” (chapter 50) In other words, Yoon Seungho should act, as if he had no heart. This explicates why he is annoyed, when he is facing someone in tears. He feels uncomfortable, especially if he is responsible for the incident. From my point of view, after Yoon Seungho got raped, the domestic made sure that the young lord would stop crying by making feel guilty and dirty. “Please!! No… It’s not…!” (chapter 65) Besides, I have the impression that he was turning his back on Yoon Seungho, when the teenager grabbed his shirt. Like I had pointed out above, tears are linked to a guilty conscience. And now, you comprehend, why Kim never cries. He is indifferent, because he doesn’t want to feel any pain and remorse. What is funny is that there exists a slang expression which connects tears to insensitivity:

“Two tears in a bucket” (rude slang): doesn’t matter, who cares. Said to express acceptance of or unconcern for the consequences of something.

And look at this: we always see the butler carrying a bucket around.  (chapter 56) I couldn’t help myself laughing, when I discovered it. I have no idea, if there’s such an expression in Korean. This slang expression comes from “to cry buckets”, which signifies that the person is like a cry baby. This new discovery made me realize that Yoon Seungho played a similar role to his admired valet than Baek Na-Kyum to his learned sir. Since the main lead was constantly facing terrible experiences, due to his cowardice and powerlessness the domestic chose not to take to heart. The more he witnessed, the more unconcerned he became. Therefore I deduce that Kim will never change his mind-set. He will prefer detachment, cowardice and blindness, because that way he is not suffering: neither regret nor heartache.

While Baek Na-Kyum contrasts so much to the valet, it means that Lee Jihwa stands between them. He is a mixture of indifference and empathy. This is particularly palpable in chapter 36. At the tavern, he cries out of frustration and anger, thereby he calls Yoon Seungho an “asshole” due to his wounded pride. Yet at the same time he feels a certain empathy for his childhood friend: “But I… know him best of all… I can… I can understand it all. Everything…” (Jihwa, chapter 36) He knows that he suffered a lot in the past. However, his compassion is quite superficial, because his bruised ego and pain are more important than his ex-lover’s traumatic past. As you can imagine, I am predicting that Jihwa will change in that aspect again. As time passes on, he will show more caring and respect towards others. However, as the readers can anticipate it, Nameless will serve him as role model. Besides, he has already triggered in him the right emotions:

  • regret: “I have ruined it all myself”  (Jihwa, chapter 61)
  • empathy: “…I do. I pity you.” (Nameless, chapter 61)

On the other hand, the noble brings the goodness which was buried in the criminal’s heart to the surface. That’s why I come to the following deduction. Nameless might have not shed a tear until now, but he wasn’t indifferent. Contrary to the butler, he had a job, where he was forced to bury his compassion. In my opinion, he was confronted in a similar situation than Yoon Seungho. The only difference is that Nameless had to witness many wrongdoings committed on people close to him that at some point he chose to stop crying. In other words, Jihwa will teach the commoner to feel emotions (pity, caring, admiration, eg.) again so that at some point, we should expect Nameless to have tears in his eyes. Though he is not crying like the low noble and the domestic, he is not truly devoid of emotions. So far, he used his mask to protect his heart.

4. Tears and diligence

I am quite sure that you are surprised with such a heading. Nonetheless, there’s a reason for this selection. You all know the saying

“blood, sweat and tears”: a huge amount of effort, dedication and hard work. quoted from

What caught my attention is that neither Jung In-Hun nor Kim are seen hard-working. I had already demonstrated in the essay entitled “Jung In-Hun’s worries and problems” that the scholar was more and more stressed, when he realized that he needed to pass the exam in order to get the high position as official. Before he envisioned that the powerful noble would give him a high position without putting any effort. As for the butler, he is only forced to work hard (chapter 12, 25, 33, 56), when he has to take care of the painter. However, if you pay attention to his action, you will notice that he doesn’t work like a real intendant. That’s why I am stating that he is not diligent. He shows no real authority around the staff. He lets them eat the painter’s dishes (chapter 17) or leave the mansion without any permission (chapter 12, chapter 51). Furthermore, Deok-Jae attempted to sell the stolen red dresser. That’s why the worker in episode 29 described the household as hush-hush. There was no real control over the domestics. In my opinion, Kim is not a true hard worker, as he is not taking any responsibility in the mansion. He prefers simple tasks, like sweeping (chapter 65), bringing lunches or announcing the arrival of a guest. And this observation made me realize that the lord started working hard, the moment he desired to woo Baek Na-Kyum. He dressed up, ordered some medicine for excessive drinking, organized two hunts, started strolling through downtown. Yet, this is no real work. And note that Jihwa behaved in a similar way, when he sensed danger from the painter. He also dressed up, had to plant a spy and trespass the mansion on different occasions. From my perspective, Yoon Seungho will start working the moment he behaves like a master. He needs more than just give orders to his staff. He has to control them and pay attention to finances. From my point of view, it is also his duty to take care of them as well, as the head of the mansion. To sum up, he has to learn how to manage the mansion. That’s why I believe that the lord’s tears will only return, the moment all the conditions are met:

  1. hard working
  2. deep emotions which he can not control and repress
  3. emotional pain linked to his traumas
  4. he drops the habit to hide his face, when he is wounded. Like I mentioned above, he still hides his pain and emotions in front of his so-called loyal servant Kim.

That’s why after comparing these 5 characters concerning their “tears”, I realized Jihwa’s true position and Nameless’ role. The second lead is not truly the painter’s negative reflection. Therefore I created a table to summarize my interpretations.

PrideJung In-HunLee Jihwa / Yoon SeunghoBaek Na-KyumNameless
EmpathyValet KimLee Jihwa / Yoon SeunghoBaek Na-Kyum / Nameless
Diligence / hard workJung In-Hun / Valet KimLee Jihwa / Yoon SeunghoBaek Na-Kyum / Nameless

As you can imagine, the persons in the middle were in the beginning of Painter Of The Night selfish, lazy and quite superficial. But as time passed on, they were affected by the painter. The latter with his tears moved the lord’s heart which created a riff between the protagonist and his lover. The latter was forced to cry and as such to change.

And now, you are wondering when I will talk about Min and his tear! As you can anticipate, I can only examine him in the second part. This essay already has more than 3700 words! Furthermore, I haven’t mentioned Heena noona and Yoon Seung-Won yet. As a conclusion, there’s so much to say about the tears, which is no surprise, because many manhwaphiles call this work “PAIN”ter of the night. Many readers are crying buckets while reading this story. 

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: Sex or Love? ❤️ Version with only 10 pictures

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, we will try to answer what the characters have been seeking during their intimacies. Did they want sex or love?

If we look at the first sex session, it becomes clear that Seungho was looking for sex, or more precisely speaking, for excitement and arousal. He wanted to see a new erotic painting so that he would get aroused from it again. That’s the reason why in the chapter 1 he asked to the painter while taking care of the noble:

Chapter 1

This truly reveals that sex as such didn’t create much pleasure in his sexual life. The paintings Baek Na-Kyum created were the only tools that could arouse him. On the other hand, Jihwa has always been longing for Seungho’s love, but used sex as an excuse to get closer to him. He even hoped that at some point his childhood friend would come to fall in love with him. In other words, for Seungho the sex session was more for sex, more precisely for sexual stimulus, while it was love that motivated Jihwa hence he made love to Seungho.

Yet at the pavilion, this situation somehow changed. Seungho showed arousal without any external  (chapter 3) stimulus, his phallus was still erected after Jihwa’s first climax. It looks like Seungho was attracted by Jihwa… so much that his appetite couldn’t be satiated. This gave Jihwa the impression that something had been triggered in Seungho. He was finally appealed to him, this gave him the illusion that his dream had come true. He mistook the excitement as a sign of “love” making him believe that he had now more privileges than the other sex partners. In his mind, the sex at the pavilion was love and even love for him, while in reality for Seungho it was just the discovery of real pleasure in sex. He had finally come to love sex with men. Since he kept seeing the painting in his mind, it was as if he was making love to himself. Hence I interpret that for the powerful noble the sex at the pavilion is a mixture of sex and love. He finally comes to love sex with men and to love himself as a seme. He feels his own attraction.

That’s why he says: “I can’t think of anything else”

  These words truly expose that he isn’t paying attention to Jihwa’s needs and doesn’t focus on giving him pleasure. It was all about his own ecstasy and sexual enjoyment. But since Jihwa is used to Seungho’s selfishness, he didn’t pay too much attention. He was just happy that Seungho had now become a real homosexual and even felt enticed by him. That’s why he acts as if he was a lover after the sex session at the pavilion. Now, imagine his disappointment. In chapter 5, Jihwa comes back only to discover that the attraction and excitement was so short-lived. He can’t focus on him because of the painter, hence he sends the noble away:

In any case, I am not in the mood today. You may leave”. (chapter 5) 

Then later, the young noble is reminded by Seungho that he was just looking for sex and nothing more, while we know for a fact that Jihwa has been longing for his love all this time.

chapter 13

Here, it becomes clear that Jihwa never really understood Seungho’s true motivations behind the sex parties. He really thought that the rich noble was just looking for sex as a diversion and entertainment, while there was another motivation behind all this: the revenge against the father. He never imagined that Seungho was not a homosexual for the start. He must have explained the issues with the arousal that Seungho had no deep feelings for the sex partners. However, deep down, the powerful master was longing for something else: genuine love.

Then we have the “wedding night” in the painter’s chamber (chapter 20-21). During that night, Baek Na-Kyum confessed his “love” for the learned sir. He was longing for his love because he had been rejected by the low noble before (chapter 19). The drunkenness allowed him to express his love based on an illusion and manipulation. That’s why we see him kissing Seungho so tenderly and even embracing him while caressing his back:  (chapter 20)

On the other side, the lord was rather looking for sex. He had been wanting to taste the young man and Jihwa’s words

Yoon Seungho has fallen into sodomy that he is now reaching for a low-born” (chapter 18)  

gave him another justification for this move. Since people kept saying that he was interested in the young man, why shouldn’t he do it for real? That’s why after the long kisses, when he noticed the sexual desires and ecstasy on the low-born’s face due to his blushing and moaning,

the lord suddenly pulled up this butt and removed the artist’s pants quite violently.

These simple gestures reveal his strong desire to have sex with the young man. He is so impatient, he is only focused on his own needs. He has finally the opportunity and is even able to create some arousal in the low-born. He is definitely looking for a good sexual experience with him. However, the long kisses mixed a certain tenderness before are demonstrating that Yoon Seungho was definitely feeling more than sexual desires. The foreplay did last quite some time which was unusual for him. He didn’t even realize the lack of inexperience in the commoner, although he should have sensed it with the innocent confession and kiss. But he is stopped by the commoner who finally concedes to be a virgin. Striking is that Baek Na-Kyum puts his hand on Yoon Seungho’s shoulder while crying,

he is even sitting on his lap. Both are facing each other, their bodies are so close touching each other. Strangely, the noble is not angry at all. He is a little annoyed that his “appetite” has not been fulfilled, yet he doesn’t get angry or violent.

This closeness and the hands on his chest have a calming effect in my opinion that’s why despite his comment showing a certain annoyance, he accepts the tears and the break. Furthermore, this marks the pivotal moment during their “wedding night”. For the first time, Seungho is forced to pay attention to his partner’s needs leading him to create pleasure. Because Baek Na-Kyum spoke about his fear and about being a virgin, Seungho has no other choice to be more careful. And from that moment, if you pay attention to their conversation, you’ll notice that Seungho keeps asking about the well-being of the low-born:

“Why are you so quiet?” / “If you do not tell me… I cannot help you

He makes sure that the other feels comfortable and even comforts him, when he feels pain after the first penetration. And notice that he is hugging the young man, while kissing him. His gaze has totally changed. While in the first part, you could sense pure lust in his eyes, now his gaze is much softer and oozing warmth. He makes sure that his partner takes pleasure and feels good during their encounter. This contrasts so much to the sex scene at the pavilion with Jihwa, where he ignored Jihwa totally and was only focused on himself and his urges. He even apologizes for taking the low-born’s virginity which was preserved for someone else. (chapter 21)

Here, he is smiling and his gaze is full of warmth. For the first time, he has experienced how to make love. He came for sex but found love. By giving ecstasy in his partner, it made him feel good. But this is not the end. Baek Na-Kyum hugs him, which Seungho likes very much. He is feeling warmth and tenderness. Yet, he has to hear the name of the loved one which bothers me. However, he decides to return the huge despite the “misunderstanding”, he wants to give the embrace Baek Na-Kyum is longing for. Therefore he puts him on his lap.

Simultaneously, he asks to be called differently, to let him know that he is not sir Jung In-Hun. He definitely hopes that Baek Na-Kyum will remember calling him “my lord”.

And he kisses the young man with such a gentleness. He is no longer looking for sex but love. That’s why when the low-born confesses that making love to him made him so happy, he can’t help himself to kiss the eye and the tears again.

This gesture shows tenderness and love. He has never heard before that he could make someone happy. He, who has felt so miserable for so long and only saw himself as someone repulsive and terrible, is finally able to evoke genuine happiness. The sincerity moves the lord so much. The tears, the hug, the words have reached his heart. And the climax of their wedding night is when Baek Na-Kyum admits that he likes him by whispering it into his ear, a very sensitive place.

Chapter 21

This gesture and the simple words have an impact on him. So far, he has never been confessed before. All his sex partners were just interested in his body and wealth, even Jihwa, who loves him, was too scared to confess his love for him out of fear that Seungho might reject him for good. For the first time, he felt loved and made someone happy. While he was looking for sex in the beginning, he found love in the end. All this time, he could never connect sex with love. But since he could pleasure the young man so well, he believes that once the man is sober and remembers, he will remember the ecstasy he felt thanks to him. That’s why Seungho believed that the commoner wouldn’t reject him, besides he is used to be sought out. He is well known for his good performance in bed. He thinks that the pleasure felt can move the young man’s heart so that he can switch his place with the teacher. His gestures contrast so much to the first part where he was brutal and rough… in the second part, he is gentle and sensitive. He listens to the low-born’s whispering and sees the tears. His behavior stands in opposition to his attitude at the pavilion with Jihwa where he was blind and deaf. He could only think of his own image from the painting.

Now, if we analyze the sex scene at the pavilion in the chapter 25, we come to realize that here Seungho was expecting to find love. He had imagined that the painter had remembered their night together as Baek Na-Kyum had mentioned that he was keeping something embarrassing in his belongings. Imagine his surprise, when he discovers that the painting was about the masturbation. For Seungho, their first night together was unforgettable hence he is annoyed that the artist has not remembered it. That’s why he tries to repeat the same gestures from that night. He kisses him  (chapter 25

and explains his actions hoping that this would trigger his memories and their love making would be renewed. But none of this happens because he is rejected by the uke. He never expected a violent rejection. He never imagined that pleasure and love are not the same thing. That’s why he decides to force himself onto the poor artist.  He really thinks that his performance will convince the young man to accept him as his partner. So he went to the pavilion in order to find love but it ended up in a violent sex session. Notice that unlike in the chapter 3, he pays attention to the low-born’s reaction. He wants to witness the sexual enjoyment but he only hears and sees pain. He hugs him trying to mimic the same gestures from that night . But he fails and for many reasons. First, he didn’t face the uke but took him from behind, just like he did with Jihwa. So this position doesn’t create intimacy, furthermore he believed that sexual performance was the reason why Baek Na-Kyum cried out of joy during their wedding night. He never thought that feelings play a much bigger part. Actually he has been in love with the low-born right from the start (a growing attraction was there) but since he has never felt anything before, he can’t technically recognize these feelings as love. The low-born went to the pavilion with no expectation and experienced raw sex with such a violence that he couldn’t love the noble. However, like I described it before, the wet dream from the chapter 2 reveals that Baek Na-Kyum desired Seungho so much. He wished that he had become Jihwa and even replaced him. As a conclusion, it started with love and became raw sex for the master, while it was just violent sex for the painter.

In the chapter 31 and 32, it is quite clear that this was all about sex. Seungho wanted him to accept his true sexual orientation, to witness his own sexual enjoyment by seeing his own facial expressions. At the same time, Seungho was still longing for love. That’s why he kisses the man right in the beginning. Sure, he wants to be the cause of his arousal, hence he ensures that he provokes an ejaculation.

Therefore he uses his hand and says this: “This time I will see you get hard for me.

 This is again brutal sex but unlike in the chapter 25, his goal is to give sexual enjoyment to the young man. He has to because if not, the artist would never been able to admit his homosexuality. Hence we can say that the master has learnt his lesson from the rape. He can’t force himself like that, yet he is still quite rough.

On the other hand, Baek Na-Kyum has to accept everything from the master. He can’t reject him as he had promised to do everything he wanted. So the sex with the lord is like a task, an order but at some point, he experiences pleasure in the sex. Furthermore, the noble hasn’t given up on his own sexual needs hence he is not satisfied with one session. This sex marathon is a mixture of love and sex… deep down, the noble is looking for love but he has no idea how to get it. If he is able to evoke ecstasy in the commoner through sex, then he thinks that he will be accepted by the young man. So his sexual performance which made him quite famous becomes his “hindrance” which he doesn’t realize. Besides, he is still quite selfish… it is only, when Baek Na-Kyum has collapsed that he realizes his mistake. And here, it ends with a gentle kiss announcing the change in Yoon Seungho. He can no longer be proud, act like a master. He has to lower himself therefore the kiss marks a pivotal moment in the noble’s life.  (Chapter 32) He has realized that his behavior has not been normal. He is confused hence he doesn’t get angry, when he is criticized by the doctor later. He knows that his emotions made him blind so that he somehow endangered the painter’s life. He must definitely feel guilty but he sees it as his duty to make sure that Baek Na-Kyum can recover.

During that time, he starts sleeping elsewhere. He visits his sex friends and even participates in sex orgies. Here, it is quite clear what the protagonist’s real intention was. He was looking for sex in order to understand what led him to act like a crazy person in the presence of the painter. What was he looking for? During the separation, he makes a huge discovery: sex is not his true motivation, he gets aware that he has been longing for the painter’s attention and affection. Besides, due to Min’s words, he gets aware that he wants Baek Na-Kyum for himself. He is “his”. He knows that now but he has no idea how the artist will react after his recovery. He could definitely blame him for his illness and the sex marathon. Little by little, the main lead is learning to differentiate sex and love. What I mean is that he has learnt that sex is a way to express love, making the partner feel sexual enjoyment and pleasure is making love. It is about to give and not just to take. That’s why from that moment, the seme is focusing on pleasuring the artist. He feels that he needs to wait so that Baek Na-Kyum will come to fall in love with him and will express the need to have sex with him. So he is definitely waiting for Baek Na-Kyum’s move.

But unfortunately, it doesn’t happen like he expected it. Instead of being a love confession like during the first night, the artist is crying. He is so sad and upset that at the end he asks to be hold.

Striking is that Baek Na-Kyum is asking for comfort and love because “being hold” indicates that he wants to be embraced. This is the proof that he is longing for love, yet his mind is very confused. What does he want? Sex or love? The gestures stand in opposition to the words.

On the other hand, the lord is well aware that Baek Na-Kyum can not have fallen in love with him just like that. He knows how deep his love for the low noble was. That’s why he is still hesitating. He doesn’t want to be a replacement, a surrogate like during their “wedding night”. He wants to make the things quite clear.

He will be his sex partner, his lover, the one who embraces him. He feels the huge difference from the love confession in the chapter 20, besides he sees the drawing with Jung In-Hun and he is so turned off. First, he feels the lack of passion and love in the kiss which can no longer be explained by the lack of experience. Besides he realizes that this is related to Jung In-Hun. That’s why he gets jealous and grabs him by the hair.

He is just like during the “wedding night” as his rough side emerges again but this time for a different reason. He is not looking for sex, he wants love but feel that Baek Na-Kyum isn’t giving what he wants. He acts more like a prostitute, someone who is forced to do something. He grabs the Seungho’s phallus without passion, he is just about to be penetrated without any preparation. This contrasts so much to their first night, where Seungho had to be patient and was listening to the uke’s words and moans. So in the noble’s eyes, the young man is looking for sex. Yet the words are reflecting something else which the lord doesn’t realize. All this leads him to think that Jung In-Hun asked him to sleep with him for a favor.

While the lord longed to hear that he was admired and pinned by the young man, he has to listen to a different confession:

That night I spent with you, my lord, that too… My lord, you… you scare me so much, my heart starts pounding…

He finally admits that he remembers their first night together and did it willingly but at the same time, he confesses how scared he is in front of Yoon Seungho. As you can observe, the parallels with their first night are so obvious. He holds the lord again begging him to embrace him, while in the chapter 20 he pleaded the lord to be more gentle. Back then he explained that he was scared because he was a virgin. The hug, the tears, the plead are repeated in the chapter 42 but they are triggered by something else: the huge pain caused by the teacher. The teacher is no longer admired, Baek Na-Kyum wants to be hold in order to overcome the rejection and abandonment. Notice the opposition, in their first night he was so pure, a virgin, and now he has become a prostitute. He has been so hurt that he can’t even say the word “prostitute”. He is accepting his homosexuality and is even accepting the lord as his partner because he has no one to turn to.

Striking is that the noble has a similar reaction than in the chapter 21. He is annoyed but no longer angry. At least, he has been able to obtain something. He is no longer rejected but you can feel his dissatisfaction. He would like to be loved and admired like Jung In-Hun, but this will do now for him.

Chapter 42

And notice that now they are facing each other, Seungho is no longer taking him from behind. This underlines Baek Na-Kyum’s acceptance and willingness. Furthermore, it outlines their closeness and intimacy. While having sex, Baek Na-Kyum can’t help himself taking the hand of the master and puts it on his stomach. “So it’s all the way in…”

Here again, there is a huge difference between the words and the gestures. He speaks like a “prostitute” or someone looking for sex, while with the hand, he shows gentleness and warmth. This time, Baek Na-Kyum is calling Seungho “my lord”. The noble has finally been able to take the teacher’s place for real. And what caught my attention here is that during the wet dream, Baek Na-Kyum wanted to switch places with Jihwa, while in reality the opposite happened. Seungho wanted to switch places with the teacher and become Baek Na-Kyum’s lover. Despite the raw sex which bothers the protagonist, Seungho can’t help longing for love that’s why at the end, he hugs him and kisses him.  (Chapter 42) Here, there is a mixture of tenderness and passion. He is attempting to evoke other feelings in the uke. He actually shows his love for the commoner. While during their first night, the artist cried out of happiness, here the tears are expressing immense sadness and pain. This is the reality: he had never been truly accepted by the low noble. He always saw his social background, a low-born raised at the brothel. He is admitting his sexual orientation which he is now connecting to prostitution. The painter doesn’t see the love in Seungho’s gestures, too immersed in his own suffering. In other words, the lord wanted love here but only got the opportunity to have sex, while deep down Baek Na-Kyum was longing for love but just asked for sex. However, Seungho attempted to shower him with love at the end but the painter didn’t see it, just like during their first night.

As a conclusion, in his mind the lord was seeking for sex and ended up finding love, while Baek Na-Kyum was longing for love and ended up having sex, unaware that his dream of being loved had come true, but he never expected that Seungho would be the one who would come to love him.

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Painter Of The Night and other manhwas: Announcement

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