This is where you can read these manhwas. But be aware that these manhwa are mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents concerning Painter Of The Night: https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/ Steel Under Silk: https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/steel_silk If you want to read more essays about this manhwa or others, here is the link to the table of contents: https://bebebisous33analyses.com/2021/06/06/table-of-contents-of-analyzed-mentioned-manhwas/
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The chapter 7 confirmed my previous interpretation concerning the signification of the Korean title: Blade and flower. The main lead Lee Yeonjo is indeed the flower. However, since I am not speaking Korean, I had no idea about the meaning of his name. (chapter 7) The young man is associated to the lotus flower.
1. Purity and corruption
This is very important for two reasons. First, the lotus is associated to purity and beauty indicating Lee Yeonjo’s function in the story. He will catch the attention of many characters, especially of lord Chang and Kwon Hee-Ryang so that he will be constantly on their mind. Striking is that after seeing him, the governor couldn‘t forget his face. (chapter 7) After their first meeting, the governor was already dreaming of having sex with the slave. Secondly, since the lotus flower emerges from murky water, the latter could be perceived as the symbol of the court in Hamheung-castle. Therefore the court is portrayed as a place full of corruption. Because of the darkness of the place, Yeonjo’s purity can only outshine and captivate the semes’ attention. One might say that he is far from pure, for the former noble is selling his body. On the other hand, his soul and heart have remained intact. He did it for selfless reasons. It was for his brother’s sake. It demonstrates his humbleness and dedication. He was willing to give up on his pride, if it meant to save his brother. Even later, he only accepts the order from headman Choi, once he recognizes that it is his only possibility to approach his enemy. He showed great reluctance in the beginning, for he despises homosexuality. He had never imagined that Kwon Hee-Ryang liked having sex with men. (chapter 7) This truly displays his innocence and purity. But there’s more to it. The particularity of the lotus flower is that it blossoms during the day, but once the moon appears, the lotus flower closes, but re-blooms the next morning entirely dirt-free! This can be perceived as a metaphor for Yeonjo’s future development. In my eyes, the sex sessions during the night will represent the main lead’s fights. During the night he will be far from pure and innocent, this can only be judged as an allusion to sensuality. However, this means that Lee Yeonjo will never lose his “beauty and purity“ despite these sex fights, for the next morning, he will come out as pure and innocent.
2. The scholars and the flower
At the same time, his name Yeonjo (“lotus shines”) betrays his origins. (Chapter 7) He comes from a former noble family. How so? First, the lotus is strongly intertwined with Confucianism and Buddhism.
“In both Confucianism and Buddhism, the lotus flower is seen as a symbol of honest poverty and virtue associated with an aloofness. Poverty and virtue come from the fact that lotus flowers grow in muddy and dirty waters, yet it still has such beauty.” Quoted from https://www.korea.net/TalkTalkKorea/Spanish/community/community/CMN0000004263#:~:text=In%20both%20Confucianism%20and%20Buddhism,it%20still%20has%20such%20beauty.
Consequently, the plant came to represent the upright and faithful scholar. This new meaning was based on Chinese wordplay—lotus (lian) and uprightness (lian) which are homonyms. This explicates why during the Joseon period, Korean neo-Confucian scholars loved having quadrangular ponds with lotus flowers in their propriety. Under this new light, the manhwaphiles can comprehend why in the Painter Of The Night, all the domains from the nobles (the Lees (Painter Of The night, chapter 3), the Yoons (chapter 10) and the Mins (chapter 33) have a square pond with a pavilion and lotus flowers. The pond was supposed to represent the owner: a upright and faithful scholar. 🙄 And this made me laugh, because this was the place where crimes and sins were committed. Jung In-Hun asked Baek Na-Kyum to disrespect his sponsor, to become disobedient and as such disloyal. Besides, he lied, manipulated and wounded the main lead (chapter 10), whereas Min, Yoon Seungho and Lee Jihwa had sex there. (chapter 25) All of them were far from righteous and humble scholars. That’s how I realized why the pavilion in Painter Of The Night symbolized emancipation. It was where the main protagonists got purified thanks to the lotus flower. Why? The answer is simple. The lotus flower embodies rebirth, regeneration and enlightenment. (Chapter 3) This coincides with the main lead‘s enlightenment. In the pavilion, he could perceive his sex appeal and attraction. Let’s not forget that Yoon Seungho had discovered sex through sexual abuse, and was blamed for the sexual desires from the pedophiles. Furthermore, with this new discovery, the manhwaphiles can grasp why Lee Jihwa sent his friend there. (Chapter 3) That way, the second lead could appear as an integer and down-to-earth noble. 😂 But no, it had the opposite effect: the lotus flower revealed the true nature of the relationship between the red-haired master and his friend: it was purely sexual. He loved having sex with Yoon Seungho. Furthermore, it also exposed Jihwa‘s true reflection: he was a homosexual. This signifies that the pavilion and the lotus flowers exposed the decadency of the aristocracy in this story, while they cleaned the protagonists. In my eyes, only Yoon Seungho among the aristocrats has the disposition of becoming a true scholar. Finally, it explains why the video had such a scene: Here, the lord is portrayed as a humble and righteous scholar. Because of this new discovery, I felt the need to examine the color of the lotus flower in the main lead‘s pond. What caught my attention is the following: the reflection of the patio. It gives the impression that the water is clean! However, the lotus flower needs dirt to grow. Furthermore, since the painter embodies water, I am questioning if the lotus flowers had enough water. Notice the huge gap between the level of water and the bridge. This explicates why the flowers are just raising above the water contrary to this picture. The manhwaphiles can notice the presence of the long stems. I would even say that now the number of pink lotus flowers has increased, for now they are visible on the right side of the bridge which contradicts to the picture from episode 10. Another important detail caught my attention: the color of the flower. It is a pink lotus flower.
„Pink Lotus Flowers are said to be the true flower of the Buddha. A budding pink Lotus Flower symbolises a person whose awareness is beginning to expand, while one that has reached full bloom represents a full sense of enlightenment.“ quoted from https://www.happybunch.com.sg/blog/lotus-flower/
The color pink is made by combining red with white. The color red contributes to the need for action while white brings the potential for success to the table. The combination of passion and power (Red) with purity and completeness (White) results in some of the most beautiful hues of pink. With this in mind, think about the various shades of pink. Psychologists often associate the color Pink as a sign of hope, positivity, warmth, comfort, and a sense of security. Pink is often used to diminish (or at least reduce) feelings related to anger, neglect, aggression, or even a sense of abandonment. quoted from https://www.whenyougarden.com/pink-lotus-flower-meaning/
Under this new approach, the manhwaphiles can grasp the painter’s function in Painter Of The Night. He is the pink lotus flower too. During the night, he cleansed the lord and showed his true nature (a huge libido), but the next morning, he was still as pure and innocent as before. Don‘t forget that the two main leads reflect each other. This means that the artist should be perceived as the sun too. Baek Na-Kyum could bring out Yoon Seungho from the darkness, the muddy water! Without any sun, the lotus flower can not emerge and shine. I conclude that the two protagonists have a dual nature: the lotus flower and the sun.
As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so, I, born in the world, raised in the world, having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world.”-Buddha quoted from https://www.whenyougarden.com/pink-lotus-flower-meaning/
Because of the strong connection between the lotus flower and Buddha, I come to the conclusion that Yoon Seungho‘s fateful encounter with the painter will bring him closer to religion, and make him drop his nihilistic vision he adopted from his surrogate father Kim. In my eyes, he will become truly enlightened.
3. Lotus and revenge
And now, it is time to return our attention to Steel under Silk. When Lee Yeonjo revealed his name, the praise from the sharp and intelligent Kwon Hee-Ryang lets transpire the true thought from the governor. (chapter 7) He knows that the young boy was never born as a slave! But he is masking his new gained insight behind his compliment. Therefore it is not surprising in episode 12, the governor confronts the slave with the truth. He is well aware about Lee Yeonjo’s identity. The official killed his father in the past!! By mentioning his father’s death, Kwon Hee-Ryang is showing to Yeonjo that he won’t succeed with his revenge. The governor is no fool. Let’s not forget that the young man had planned to approach the official during his sleep in order to kill him. (chapter 6)
Some might think that the lord is a real snake, for he is tormenting the young man with his harsh words! On the other hand, the serpent is associated to seduction and deception due to his role in the bible: the animal lied to Eva and Adam which led them to be banished from the garden of Eden. Nevertheless, as you can recognize it, Kwon Hee-Ryang is doing the opposite. He is telling the servant the uncomfortable truth. He knows very well the hatred and resent from Lee Yeonjo. Besides, the readers should keep in their mind that Yeonjo’s desire for retribution was strongly intertwined with his suicide. He knew that with such a goal, he would never escape death. He might be still alive, but he is not truly living. This explicates why the young man didn’t protest, when the governor’s assistant announced that the staff should get punished for their misbehavior (bullying the main lead). Lee Yeonjo didn’t ask for justice. Thus Kwon Hee-Ryang had to step in and defend the victim from the injustice. (chapter 2) In fact, he got upset because of the official’s benevolence. (Chapter 2). Anyone in his place would have been happy and thankful. This signifies that he would have preferred getting flogged and even being hurt over true justice! This shows how deep his resent is, but also how much he is neglecting his own body. All his thoughts are revolving around payback and as such his imminent death. Then, when he cut his finger, he showed indifference again. He didn’t treat the wound, indicating that he was not treasuring his own body. This attitude could only catch the official’s notice. That’s why I believe that the confrontation in the jail should be perceived as a wake-up call for the young man, similar to the “words“ from that fateful night. (Chapter 1) Here by saying this, he was encouraging the boy to fight back and not accept his fate.
Another important detail is the lord‘s attitude during that night. First, he was wearing a white hanbok. (Chapter 1) In Joseon, the color white was traditionally used for funeral. He was dressed for the occasion: there would be death during that night. Secondly, he walked through the courtyard searching for father Lee. This means that he had chosen to kill the scholar himself. He had not sent his guards or minions to do it. In other words, he was showing a certain respect towards Lee Yeongjo‘s father. (Chapter 1) This exposed the main lead‘s true personality. He doesn‘t mind dirtying his own hands, he is taking responsibility for his own decisions. Finally, Lee Yeonjo was just a young boy back then. He had no idea about the political context and circumstances of this purge. He perceives the king and his governor as the villains (chapter 7), for he lost everything during that night. Yet, he has no idea what kind of official his father was and why this massacre took place. Lee Yeonjo needs to distinguish the difference between the father and the official. Besides, observe that the slave is seeking revenge, and not justice. From my point of view, this second confrontation with cruel reality is necessary to put this tragedy in the bigger picture. In my eyes, it is related to the hojok. (chapter 2) If not, the king would not have mentioned the service done from 5 years ago. As a conclusion, the lotus is about to discover the reality of the murky water, while Kwon Hee-Ryang doesn’t appear to be a snake.
At the same time, I started wondering which color Yeonjo was associated: white, pink, blue or purple? From my point of view, the slave is connected to the purple lotus flower. Why? First, it is because of his white skin and blue eyes. Combined together, we have violet. (Chapter 8) In addition, he is wearing a purple shirt. (Chapter 8) He is surrounded by rats, a metaphor for the dirty water and as such the corruption in the palace. And what is the meaning of the purple lotus flower?
A lotus flower, in general, symbolizes fertility, compassion, spiritual enlightenment, impurity. The purple lotus flower has a unique existence because it represents the Noble Eightfold Path of Mysticism. It is represented by the eight petals and how the lotus flower grows from first the deep mud to the sunlight, and then blooming for three days is a beautiful fragrant purple flowers. The purple lotus, in particular, is unique, and the color changes according to the sunlight, the moonlight, and the temperature. This gives it a glowing and magical effect of transformation. Quoted from https://www.petalrepublic.com/purple-lotus-flower-meaning/
This means that this flower is even more powerful than the pink lotus flower. This signifies that Lee Yeonjo will rediscover his original personality, he will metamorphose and give up on his suicidal thoughts. Simultaneously, the presence of the purple lotus flower indicates that it will clean the whole place and bring destruction to the hojok and others. As a conclusion, the lotus flower implies the main lead’s transformation (like for example acceptance of his sexual orientation), just like it will change others. He will find a new purpose in his life: fight for justice. So far, his thirst of revenge is connected to suicide and despair. Since his father is judged as a traitor, it is also possible that Kwon Hee-Ryang proposes him a deal. He could clean his father‘s name. But we will see.
4. Lord Chang’s true nature
In the third part, I had compared Kwon Hee-Ryang to a snake, and concluded that on the surface, he was not behaving like the animal from the bible in front of the slave: lies and deception. On the other hand, what did lord Chang do, when the young man got bullied? He blamed the main lead! Why? Notice that when the administrator arrived, he caught Yeonjo fighting. (chapter 1) This could only reinforce such a prejudice. Another reason for this misjudgment is his assistant’s report. (chapter 1) The protagonist was portrayed as the one causing trouble, while in truth it was the opposite. The source for the ruckus was the noble’s favoritism towards the main lead. To sum up, lord Chang was viewing the main lead in a negative way. This interpretation is even corroborated in chapter 7:
“I hope no trouble finds him for these few days I’m away”.
His words are implying that the main lead is somehow responsible for trouble. However, the noble never realized that his indecisiveness is one of the main issues in his relationship with the main character. Since he used the brother’s sickness for his own advantage, and could obtain the slave’s body so easily, he never tried to understand Yeonjo. He knew about his hatred(chapter 7), yet he didn’t attempt to ease the main lead’s heart and mind by removing the source of his negative emotions: the injustice he felt for the loss of his family and name. But why does he resent lord Chang? Simply because as the administrator for the construction, he represents the king‘s authority. The huge gap between Lee Yeonjo and the official becomes more visible, when the protagonist changes his attitude so suddenly. The lord never tried to seek the real reason behind the sudden change of heart. Why should he, since he was gaining something? (chapter 7) He had a reason to believe in his lies so easily. (chapter 2) He imagined that since the young man was accepting him as his sponsor and benefactor after the brother’s death, he was getting closer to obtain Yeonjo’s heart. Because of Lee Yeonjo’s attitude towards sodomy (chapter 1)(chapter 7), it is quite obvious that the idea of prostitution was brought up by lord Chang. In exchange for medicine and special treatment, Lee Yeonjo could help his brother. So this offer was a temptation which could only lead to issues. The young boy’s reputation suffered. That’s the reason why we shouldn’t underestimate lord Chang’s personality. He might act gentle and caring, but behind his kindness hides real selfishness. On the other hand, the submissive slave was acting in front of the administrator, so that we should question ourselves if with this suggestion, Lee Yeonjo was not acting as the snake.
When the protagonist announced that he had a change of heart, the administrator had no inclination to doubt his words. He hoped that the main lead would come to fall in love with him. It was just a matter of time. Yet it was clearly a delusion, for the simple reason that lord Chang is not assuming his own sexuality. First, the readers should pay attention to the location of their sexual encounter: a library!! (chapter 5) It was not in his own place. The noble was not becoming responsible for his sexuality and their relationship. This explicates why the lord said that he was hurting the servant. (chapter 7) Thus I come to the conclusion that lord Chang is behaving similarly to Lee Jihwa. He is yearning for Lee Yeonjo’s love without risking anything, he prefers maintaining his good reputation.
In addition, note that he used the festivities as a justification to switch his shift (chapter 4), while he could leave the banquet by saying that he had an office duty. No one would ever question his disappearance. That way, he wouldn’t be caught with the main lead. Naturally, the staff has ears and eyes, so that they can not be fooled. That’s the reason why he got bullied by the workers. However, lord Chang will never be confronted with the rumors, for he is a noble. (chapter 7) Due to their social status, the servants are not allowed to show their disapproval. This explicates why Yeonjo became the target of the grapevines. (chapter 6) Only him will be judged and looked down. The last comment lets transpire that if the “lotus” had not been there, lord Chang wouldn’t have asked to have him as a boy toy. Note that he is portrayed as the seducer. In their eyes, he is the snake.
5. The true nature of the snake
As you can see, the introduction in the bedchamber was the starting point for the governor to investigate the servant’s origins. (chapter 7) He knew, he was a fallen noble, and he had been hired to spy on him. (chapter 7) This shows that the lord is never taking anything for granted. In my eyes, he is always questioning the intentions of his counterparts. That’s the reason why he can anticipate his enemies’ moves. He is always asking why. Therefore I perceive this scene as an important turning point in the protagonists’ relationship. (chapter 7)
5. 1 Yoon Seungho a snake?
One of my followers even pointed out that Kwon Hee-Ryang was so cunning and perceptive that he appears as scary. Compared to him, Yoon Seungho looks so naive and even stupid for not being able to detect his acquaintances’ lies and anticipate their moves. But this is totally normal. We have to envision that Yoon Seungho was held captive for 10 years, and he was brainwashed. He lived for 10 years as a male kisaeng. He was never confronted with politics. Therefore he is lacking experiences, and has no knowledge of the “real world”. Kwon Hee-Ryang had to fight to climb the social ladders and get close to the monarch. The scars on his body and face are the evidence of his dedication and strong will. Since Yoon Seungho was portrayed as an innocent and simple-minded man, I realized that he must not have been the real author of the fake promise to Jung In-Hun. (chapter 7) Kim must have suggested him this scheme. But he had no idea that he was inviting a snake into his realm. We imagined that the butler didn’t know the learned sir, for the main lead had no idea about the man. Nevertheless, their path had crossed in the past: in the gibang. (chapter 68) How could the protagonist have paid attention to the learned sir, when he got caught by the black guard? (chapter 68) Kim represents knowledge from the past. He must have remembered Baek Na-Kyum and Jung In-Hun in the past. And what did he see? A caring and gentle man… so he thought that if the scholar met the infamous Yoon Seungho, he would worry for the painter and take him away. But no… he accepted the invitation. He imagined that he had not heard the rumors, thus he spread rumors about the lord. (chapter 10) He envisioned that this would upset the righteous learned sir. However, this was used to scare the low-born… When the incident with the ruined painting occurred, and the scholar didn’t intervene, the butler imagined that Jung In-Hun was protecting himself, and the painter would resent him for his passivity. Yet, the painter remained in the mansion. The assistant sensed the strong bound between these two men, so he thought that Jung had indeed feelings for Baek Na-Kyum, but he was just powerless. He projected his own thoughts onto the learned sir: “He couldn’t do anything”. That’s the reason why he let him see the rape. Everything was done to scare the teacher who had such a good reputation. Then he suggested that he should see a shaman, he hoped that the man would ask about Yoon Seungho so that the shaman would tell him that the main lead was a bird of misfortune… but Jung asked for something else: digging up the past. Notice that on the day, he was supposed to meet the former servant, the main character was given the sword (chapter 35). Striking is that he let his master see the artist with Jung In-Hun in the courtyard. Here, the scholar was again coming back from the pond! So he was not learning. However, the stroke and the gentle words from the learned sir had one purpose: they were to remind to Yoon Seungho that the artist would only listen to Jung. He was the real master. Yes, this was the reflection from episode 30! (chapter 30) And in both situations, the learned sir had escaped the noble’s wrath. In my eyes, the real target in episode 35 was the scholar. The latter was supposed to die along with the painter, but it failed. Under this new perspective, it becomes so understandable why Yoon Seungho couldn’t detect the schemes. As a lotus flower, he was still pure and innocent. He could never be the snake.
And now, we know how Kim could trick Yoon Chang-Hyeon and earn his trust: he could compliment him while laughing behind his back. (chapter 6) Here, the lord was actually imitating the butler. And this shows the stupidity of Kim’s move. Why? (chapter 7) It offered indirectly a comeback for the Yoons to the palace. Furthermore, Jung In-hun seems to have succeeded the first round of the civil service examination. This is important, because this means that if Jung In-Hun is indeed dead, his disappearance will definitely involve the intervention of the authorities. Because Yoon Seungho was so innocent to plan great schemes, I can only assume that the readers were witnessing the scheming nature from the butler. And this leads me to the following observation. If the butler Kim is indeed a “snake”, this doesn’t mean that he was evil right from the start. He had a rebirth as well, but he just chose a different path. He decided to ensure that he would live in peace, and if his peace is in danger, then he can bite! And now, you comprehend why Kim felt threatened by Baek Na-Kyum. His presence could lead to the following discovery: Yoon Seungho was not a bird of misfortune, but a beautiful lotus flower! And once this lie was detected, his power based on deceptions and half-truths would get ruined.
Thanks to the painter as the lotus flower, the lord could slowly regain his freedom. But like mentioned above, the main lead is the lotus flower as well, thus Byeonduck created such a picture. This explicates why Baek Na-Kyum got purified first!!
5. 2 The snake: an evil animal?
So far, I have been describing the serpent as something negative. It is connected to the Fall of Man: lies and seduction. Nevertheless, the snake shouldn’t be perceived as something negative entirely. He embodies knowledge. Moreover, this animal has something in common with the lotus flower: it symbolizes “rebirth”.
“Snakes represent life, renewal, and rebirth. Over a period of time, snakes accumulate dirt and grime on their skin but they have the unique ability to shed their skin to get rid of the filth. Due to this quality of the snake, many people use it as a symbol of self-renewal. Just like the snake, if we are ready to shed off the past, we can rid ourselves of what was holding us back and be born again. Additionally, in many ancient cultures the snake has represented a rebirth of the physical body. For instance, in ancient Greek mythology, god Asclepius, who has a snake on his staff, is believed to remove diseases and restore the body.” quoted from https://symbolsage.com/symbols-of-rebirth-and-their-meanings/
This is relevant, because this means that the meeting between Kwon Hee-Ryang and Lee Yeonjo is announcing a rebirth. When the warrior entered his life for the first time, he brought death and destruction (chapter 1), now I believe that we are about to witness the opposite. The young slave needs to get a new goal in his life. the revenge was associated to death.
What caught my attention is the official’s comment. (chapter 8) He has the intention to treat him as his boy toy, to keep him by his side. Anyone reading this can only get upset. He is viewing the protagonist as a plaything. But the manhwaphiles should recall that contrary to lord Chang, the governor is planning not to hide their relationship. He will improve his situation, whereas it was not the case with lord Chang. Besides, I don’t think that in the bedchamber, the official was aware that the young man rejects homosexuality. Secondly, the manhwalovers should keep in their mind that the boy was sent there to spy for headman Choi. So with such an offer, Kwon Hee-Ryang hoped to deceive his enemies, letting them think that their plan had succeeded and the governor was blinded by his lust.
As for lord Chang, the latter might have given Yeonjo medicine or excuse him from work for the brother’s funeral (chapter 1), but he was still working for the bureau of construction. Lord Chang as his superior never sent him to another department. He only used his connection, when the young man asked for this favor. This shows that the administrator never had the intention to change anything. He imagined that with the brother’s death, the young man would still have sex with him. This explicates why the main lead rejected the sweets from the noble. (chapter 4) This was not real kindness, for the food would never contribute to improve his living conditions. Yeonjo was still treated like a prostitute. (chapter 7) The administrator might be acting, as if the slave was his lover (chapter 5), but this was behind closed doors. These words were just more or less lip service: (chapter 5) He still had leave him behind because of his work. Besides, the main lead was now acting, as if he was accepting his work as a “prostitute”. In exchange for the help, he had now to serve his benefactor. In the open, I doubt that the lord would like to be seen together having sex. Moreover, don’t forget that Yeonjo is called the son of a traitor, which could be another reason for lord Chang not to make their relationship official.
This stands in opposition to the governor’s attitude. Kwon Hee-Ryang feels no shame and embarrassment for his sexual orientation. Therefore he has sex outdoors. (chapter 4) He didn’t even mind being seen. He even made fun of Gisook, one of the men supporting the hojok. (chapter 4) That’s the reason why I believe that Kwon Hee-Ryang’s promise was honest. (chapter 8) If he became his boy toy, he would be “protected”. No one would dare to bully the slave. And now, you comprehend why Lee Yeonjo got badmouthed and bullied. (chapter 1) (chapter 6) People knew the nature of the relationship between lord Chang and Lee Yeonjo, but since the lord had never made an official statement, people could only conclude that the young man was selling himself for favors. However, the reality was the exact opposite. Lord Chang had been using his social status and wealth to obtain what he desired the most: sex. (chapter 4) He hoped to obtain the lotus’ love. Another important contradiction is the mark bite. While the noble with the dark circle did it without Yeonjo’s knowledge (chapter 5), Kwon Hee-Ryang did the exact opposite. (chapter 8) He was marking the slave as his possession, but he was making sure that the slave was well aware of this. (chapter 8) Since the governor is the son of the concubine, he came to resent social norms. This explicates why he doesn’t follow social norms. Consequently, it is not surprising that he doesn’t hide his sexual orientation. That’s the reason why I believe that the official will play a huge role as the uke’s mentor. He might be a snake in Yeonjo’s eyes, yet he is totally misjudging the man. He is not relying on his status and power, he knows that he needs to be prudent and observant in this hostile environment. That’s the reason why he can perceive people’s personality quite well. It looks like he is looking into their eyes so that he can detect their thoughts and emotions. That’s the reason why I come to the conclusion that the governor and the administrator are both snakes, but they stand for different values. Brutal honesty versus gentle hypocrisy.
Kwon Hee-Ryang is very seductive, but also gentle (chapter 7), for he pays attention to his counterpart’s well-being. He noticed the wound, he kissed Yeonjo before the sexual encounter in order to set the mood (chapter 8), while lord Chang did the exact opposite. First rough sex (chapter 5), then after the climax he showered the main lead with tenderness. (chapter 5) But don’t get me wrong. The governor can be rough in sex as well. Moreover, the latter is indeed a dangerous man, and he shouldn’t be underestimated. As you can detect, I fell under the spell of Kwon Hee-Ryang, and I am looking forward for the evolution of the couple’s relationship.
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