This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents: https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/
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The starting point of this analysis was this quote from Lee Jihwa. (chapter 12) The mention of a new toy implied the existence of an old plaything. But we know for sure that Yoon Seungho has never possessed anything. He was treated like a male kisaeng himself, for he was not allowed to refuse advances from anyone. (chapter 52) Finally, he was forced to share anything he owned to others. (chapter 52) That’s how I realized that the inner thought from Lee Jihwa was exposing his knowledge. The latter knew about Yoon Seungho’s true conditions. The latter had been treated like a plaything by the pedophile. As the red-haired noble had been raised as an filial son respecting elders, Lee Jihwa saw no reason to change the way Yoon Seungho was “trained”. (chapter 57) Besides, he could only benefit from it. Now, he could have sex to his heart content. He only started playing tricks, the moment he felt that his childhood friend was escaping from his claws.
On the other hand, the author recently explained on a live session that Yoon Seungho’s mother committed suicide, for her son was tormented. However, my problem is that I only heard about this through others. Some stans were saying that Yoon Seungho was getting abused, others would even say, he got tortured. So was it abuse or torture? There’s a slight difference between these two notions. For I was a little unsure about this, I preferred to leave it at “abuse”. But then I realized this. If he had been truly tortured, then he should have traces on his body, they used to break bones… so that they ended up crippled. The readers could witness the way the Joseon authorities tortured people in order to obtain confession. (Chapter 37) On the other hand, since the lord went to the authorities in season 3, I deduce that he must have gone there in the past too, yet not as a victim/plaintiff, but as an accused. Because of this new revelation, I made a new connection: sex and torture.
Striking is that in the father‘s eyes, he was not even a slave, he was like an animal. (Chapter 83) Why? He viewed him like a dog, for he was living in the shed. He even had no proper hanbok and no real hair dress, and the manhwaphiles can certainly remember the idiom: clothes make the man! If he was no man, then he was an animal, a dog. Even his food reminded me of dog food. But why was he living there? (Chapter 83) In this essay, I will answer to this question. As a first conclusion, the lord was not even treated like a male kisaeng in the past, but more like a dog. Consequently, I deduce that when Baek Na-Kyum met the lord in the inn (chapter 1), his status had already changed. He was slowly experiencing emancipation. He was living like a male kisaeng. Thus I conclude that Lee Jihwa contributed to his recovery to a certain extent. (chapter 59) However, don’t get me wrong. I believe that the change occurred thanks to Baek Na-Kyum’s intervention, the new version of this scene. (chapter 68) Their path crossed a second time in the gibang which led to the painter’s expulsion which affected the lord‘s living condition. But let’s return our attention to the lord’s long suffering.
In the past, while reading season 2, I started getting confused about the identity of the abuser. When in the shed (chapter 62) the lord turned into a shadow or ghost from the past, certain gestures were similar to the patriarch‘s. (chapter 57) (chapter 62) This explicates why after reading episode 62 for the first time, I had suspected the father to have raped his own son. Yet this thought was dropped shortly after. Then when episode 77 was released, I realized that in the shed the lord was also reminded of Kim’s betrayal, for the latter would always drag him to the shed. Observe the way he was “carried away“. It was like an “embrace“. (Chapter 77) In episode 77, the readers can witness 2 incidents how the lord was brought to the storage house. (Chapter 77, this is a different situation, for we have different servants except Kim) Therefore in the barn, Yoon Seungho behaved like his surrogate father Kim as well. This explicates why we have the fake embrace and the insincere apology. (chapter 62) (chapter 62) As you can see, the hug from the past was the symbol of violence and hypocrisy. It served to drag the lord to the storage room. And this new observation led me to the following conclusion: Yoon Seungho was copying the behavior from all his abusers from the past: his brutal father, the hypocrite butler and naturally the pedophile. (chapter 62) Hence the protagonist grabbed the painter by the hair. For me, the “mysterious lord Song“ used to hurt the main lead by the hair, when he got angry. How did I come to this interpretation? Note that at no moment we never saw Yoon Chang-Hyeon taking his son’s hair. First, the lord’s head was covered with a hat. (Chapter 57) Even in the bedchamber, he would either slap his son or grab him by the throat. (Chapter 83) (chapter 83) As for Kim, the latter would always restrain the main lead by the shoulders, the fake embrace. (Chapter 57) And now, you comprehend why the lord dragged the two nobles by the topknot. (chapter 8) For a long time, I have demonstrated that this gesture represented one of Yoon Seungho’s biggest traumas. But why would the pedophile do that? One might say that it is because of Yoon Seungho’s resistance and struggling. He needed to punish him for his disobedience. Note that the noble with the mole and Lee Jihwa got humiliated as sanctions. (Chapter 18) However, in my eyes there exists another explanation which I will elaborate in this analysis either. From my point of view, the shed and the humiliation are strongly intertwined. This was particularly visible, when the lord forced Baek Na-Kyum to have sex in the courtyard. (Chapter 64) But why would he do that in the end? It was to train him, to make him obedient. (Chapter 64) Remember how he had declared that the painter was now his sex toy. He should listen to his master or owner. That’s how I came to this deduction. The infamous lord Song is a sadomasochist. In the worse case, he is simply a pure sadist. I am inclined to believe more in the first view. With this, we would have the link between sex and torment. And the picture from the erotic book where you see the bearded man having a braided man on his lap outside indicates that Yoon Seungho was here getting punished. The pedophile loved seeing Yoon Seungho humiliated and in tears. (chapter 01) And now, we have the explanation why the lord could no longer cry and how he came to hate “fake apology”. This was the result of the exposure to the sexual assaults under the form of BDSM.
1. The true nature of BDSM
But what is BDSM exactly?
It’s an abbreviation for bondage, discipline (or domination), sadism (or submission), masochism: sexual activity that involves, for example, tying a partner up, games in which one partner controls another, or giving and receiving pain for pleasure quoted from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/bdsm
This means that BDSM is a role play, where one acts as a dominant and the other as submissive. However, in order to become an act, there must exist consent and agreement. A contract is necessary, for the dominant has to ensure the submissive’s safety. He needs to know the limit between real and fake, and as such when the pain becomes too much to bear and is no longer a synonym for pleasure. The dominant needs to know boundaries. Thus the couple has to have a safety word. Once this word is said, the “punishment or humiliation“ has to stop. This truly shows that BDSM is strongly regulated. Therefore on different websites, you can see many recommendations. One stipulated 10 rules so that BDSM would be enjoyable for the couple: 1. be patient, 2. be humble, 3. be open, 4. be honest, 5. be realistic, 6. be sensitive, 7. be genuine, 8. be healthy, 9. Communicate, 10. have fun. (https://modemworld.me/ds-essays/the-ten-rules-of-ds/) Striking is that during their last love session, the couple was already following these principles, though there was no real punishment. Don’t forget that the painter had sex in front of people behind the doors. (chapter 96) They ended up in the hallway, anyone could see them. Then in another website, I found the following principles:
„What Daddy should do for his little Prince:
1. Help me brush my hair if you’re with me.
2. Help me pick out clothes and food.
3. Take bathies with me sometimes, and showers with me most of the time if you’re here.
4. Hold my hand as often as possible.
5. Call me my preferred words: little, sweetie, prince, puppy etc.
6. Give me treats when I’m good.
7. Punish me when I’m bad.
8. Praise me when I do good. No matter how small the good thing is.
11. Don’t make threats. Punish me if I’m bad, but don’t take things away or hurt me when you’re mad.
12. Never lose your temper because your day is going bad.
13. Always go to bed and get enough rest as much as possible.
16. If I’m sad I like hugs and kisses and pets and nice words.
17. Littles need to know they are loved.
18. Always be honest with me.
19. If I’m being a brat, I want attention.”
20. Don’t ever break promises, ever.” quoted from https://www.wattpad.com/amp/492636426
2. The real and fake sadomasochist
After reading the second list of rules, the manhwaphiles will realize two important aspects. First, the main lead was slowly developing a manual of BDSM without realizing it. Note that after the coerced sex in the pavilion, he desired to take care of the painter personally. He took the horse, and if he had not met the butler on his way to the pavilion, he would have done it himself. (chapter 25) He even brought the hanbok himself. (chapter 26) The lord went so far to take his bath with his lover to clean him. (chapter 59) He made sure that his partner wouldn’t suffer. (chapter 89) Yoon Seungho knew by experience that the rest of semen in the stomach would cause him ailing. (chapter 77) This was the reason why Yoon Seungho had a fever afterwards. Don’t forget that the pedophile used Taoist sexual practices, this means the young boy had a sex marathon each time, he met the pedophile. Thus I interpret the bruise on Yoon Seungho’s eye not only as an indication of resistance, but also as a source of joy for the sexual predator. We have the reaction from lord Jang as the perfect example. (Chapter 101) He blushed, though he could see that Baek Na-Kyum was in pain, the face covered with blood. Remember what the painter did in the pavilion to the main lead: he scratched his face. (Chapter 25) Thus we have to envision that the lord must have reacted the same way and wounded his abuser. And imagine the consequence if he had wounded the king on the face. This could be seen as a reason for a punishment. (Chapter 77) Remember Black Heart‘s warning in the shaman‘s house: (chapter 102)
Under this new light, the readers can comprehend what happened. Because he was the ruler, he expected acceptance. In addition, the king never took care of his “lover” properly, for in the palace, the staff was supposed to take care of everything for him: he would receive the assistance from maids and eunuchs in order to get dressed. This signifies, he must have had the same expectations in the Yoons’ mansion. He always relied on Yoon Chang-Hyeon and the so-called loyal valet. But the father could only resent his own son, for he rejected homosexuality, as it stands in opposition to lineage. As for the valet, the latter was too much plagued by his own guilt that he resented the nobles for his own wrongdoings. He never realized that he was abandoning the young master.
Yoon Seungho learned through the hard way to take care of himself. However, because the protagonist had been traumatized by the sexual fake lesson, I doubt that he could have an erection. Thus the valet went to the physician again in order to get replenishing medicine. (chapter 33) This is an euphemism for aphrodisiac. Thus we had this confession from the physician. (chapter 57) Why did the butler visit the doctor without Yoon Chang-Hyeon? It is because he had been ordered to fetch the aphrodisiac. By feeding him with the drug, they wanted to force Yoon Seungho to accept the advances from the king, and as such to admit his sexual orientation. He was a sodomite. (chapter 65) They faked his “pleasure“ making him feel guity and dirty. That’s how he got tricked. This explicates why the main lead still has no idea of the use of the aphrodisiac.
And now, you have the answer why the king failed to “tame” Yoon Seungho. He did the exact opposite what he should have done. He never followed such rules: respect, health, etc… Lord Song never became responsible for the young boy, thus he never confessed as well. He never apologized for his mistakes or his brutality. (chapter 71) As a king, he couldn’t bow down to a noble. Observe that the roles of “dominant” and “submissive” are not clearly defined between Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum. The lord is the dominant sexually speaking, but note the vocabulary: (chapter 72) (chapter 89) If you pay attention to their interaction, the lord acts like the servant. The reason is simple. If you take into consideration the second list of recommendations, you will recognize that the roles are switched. Outside a sex session, the submissive becomes the “king“, and the dominant has to act like his servant. That way, a certain balance is created. But this was never the case between the pedophile and the teenager. The latter was always reduced to a plaything and at the end to an animal. The pedophile never called the protagonist by his name. (Chapter 1) He was just called “my boy“. And that was it. He never created a real bound with the main lead. Therefore trust was totally inexistent. And because the young noble could only fear the man, he came to hate him to the point he could die. The latter made promises which he never kept!! (Chapter 101) How could he vow to “protect or help“ Yoon Seungho, when the latter was tormented constantly and exposed to violence against his will? And this could only escalate to Yoon Seungho‘s attempt to commit suicide. (Chapter 57) What caught my attention is that Kim needed the help from the other servant to keep Yoon Seungho on the bed. This is relevant, because this reveals that Yoon Seungho had reached an age, when the bearded man was no longer strong enough to restrain the main lead. It is very likely that before killing himself, the protagonist had even tried to hurt the ruler. (Chapter 55) I had this idea, for the story is going in circle, meaning that the lord must have done it before, just like he did in season 3. The possible death from the main lead and probably his own pain must have brought the mysterious lord Song back to reality. That‘s the reason why he sent for the physician‘s assistance. He was encouraged to keep his distance from the young man, just like the latter was incited to stay away from the painter in season 1 (sickness, Min), in season 2 (the scholar‘s insult) and in season 3 (the rough sex session in chapter 81-82). Thus I deduce that the pedophile has always kept an eye on Yoon Seungho and his recovery. In my opinion, the man has not forgotten the main lead at all. Why do I think so? It is because he kept the painting… (chapter 82) a souvenir from their time together, just like Min who stole the painting in the study.
Thanks to the painter, the more time passes on, the more Yoon Seungho changed. Not only he returned to his original personality, but he slowly developed the rules how to play BDSM. He discovered the importance of “consent” after the second sex marathon. Striking is that he got reprimanded by his butler after the love session. This explicates why the main lead never requested the painter in his bedchamber, and only visited him during the night, when he was asleep. (chapter 74) Thus I am deducing that Seungho-Ya will become the safe word between the two protagonists. (Chapter 72)
While Yoon Seungho dresses the painter personally, or he cleans him with his own hands, the king imagined that the butler would take care of everything. Thus I come to the deduction that the king will discover the real reason why his relationship with Yoon Seungho was doomed, and why he could never obtain his heart. Kim had also betrayed him, for he had never revealed his knowledge at the right time. He used paltering to escape punishment. However, I would like not to be misunderstood here. Naturally, lord Song is as much responsible as the other abusers. Why? The king only focused on his own pleasure, and never paid attention to the counterpart, he was totally in denial that he was using violence. Deep down, he knew that this was wrong, for the main lead was just a boy, like the “nickname“ was revealing it. He thought, as the ruler, he could overlook social norms. However, here he had definitely crossed the line. So imagine what BDSM means for a teenager. It is indeed a torture. He must have been definitely scared. And the king must have threatened him too not to share his sexual habits to others. I am quite sure that the ruler was not willing to admit his own sexual habits to others, hence he did it in the shed. It is also possible that he didn‘t mind of Yoon Seungho being described as a licentious man. That way, the king‘s behavior wouldn‘t be criticized. But because Yoon Seungho was sent to the shed, and punished there, the “fathers“ misjudged the real “value“ of the main lead. They truly thought that the king only viewed the main lead as an animal. They took the punishments in the shed as face-value reinforcing their disregard for the protagonist.
Thus I come to the conclusion that the shed was the place where the main lead was exposed to BDSM. This explicates why Byeonduck revealed such an image in a tweet. The noble with the mole is trapped in a shed, and the color purple, a symbol for royalty, is dominant. From my point of view, the author revealed everything in this tweet. On the other hand, I would like to point out that here the man doesn’t look scared or rejecting the use of the bondage or the dildo.
This explicates why Yoon Seungho was so rough in the storage room. (Chapter 63) He was reliving his biggest trauma. Yet, he never went overboard in the shed. Note that the moment the painter called his lover “lord Seungho”, there was a switch. (chapter 63) That’s the reason why the lord changed the painter’s position and faced him. (chapter 63) The lord communicated his feelings and thoughts, and he even made a promise. (Chapter 63) This new perception reinforces my impression that there was no rape in the storage room. The painter kept saying “no“, because he was actually scared about his own reactions. Strangely he felt pleasure, thus he kept having climaxes. He was simply in denial. The irony is that the noble attempted himself to be cruel during the night of the revelation (episode 62, 63, 64), but he failed, because the night at the doctor’s house was still fresh in his memory. He couldn‘t forget the tender embrace from the painter. (Chapter 62) This explicates why he stood up during the penetration, he was forcing the artist to hug him, to clinch onto him. He wanted to relive it again.
As you can imagine, the infamous lord Song knew no boundary. He was simply the worst kind of sado-masochiste. First, this was never an act, the submission and as such violence were real. Why? It was because of his social position. He was the king, yet BDSM is a role play. Moreover, I would like to add the Marquis de Sade as the best illustration. The French philosopher from the 18th Century was arrested due to sexual crimes: rape, sodomy, sex with teenagers, abuses (bondage). We don’t know for sure how far he went, yet there’s no ambiguity that the libertine had definitely crossed the line. I doubt that the man knew about the necessity of rules in BDSM as well. Striking is that his „victims“ were prostitutes and people from the lower social class, while he belonged himself to the old nobility. I am suspecting that the man didn’t truly outlive his sexual fantasies with women from the same social status. Thus I came to the following conclusion: the necessity to distinguish fantasy and reality. My faithful readers will certainly recall that the protagonists had to learn to make this distinction. Consequently, I have the impression that the king didn’t make the difference in the beginning. He thought that he was finally able to outlive his sexual fantasies, not comprehending that this was just an illusion, for the “violence“ was real to Yoon Seungho. Under this new approach, we have the explanation why Yoon Seungho never paid attention to the marks left by the ties on his wrists. (Chapter 63) He had internalized the marks left by the bondage. This is no coincidence that the artist‘s wrist was covered by the bandage, the reflection from the torment in his youth. Under this new aspect, the presence of the bed in the shed was like a magical tool, which helped the lord to not turn into his tormentor. He was just a ghost from the past, and the word “lord Seungho“ worked like a magic spell, which stopped Yoon Seungho from becoming as vicious and cruel as lord Song. Moreover Lord Song sounds very similar to lord Seungho. And this new discovery confirms my interpretation that Kim was the helping hand of the king. He had to provide him with the white bands for the bondage, just like he had helped for the young master’s kidnapping in the gibang. (chapter 86) But don‘t get me wrong. The king sent the main lead to the shed, when he wished to punish him. Yes, he repeated the same actions than Yoon Chang-Hyeon. And what is the common denominator between these two circles? The valet…
Besides, he didn’t treat Yoon Seungho like a slave, but like an animal. One might say that it was not his fault, for he was not aware of the physical and emotional torment from the other abusers. However, the moment he “claimed“ Yoon Seungho as his „partner“ or “plaything“, it was his duty to ensure his safety. Besides, if he truly cared for him, he should have showed more interest in the young master. Thus he became responsible for Yoon Seungho’s suffering. Note that so far, no servant was treated like that in the mansion. Even Soongap from Bongchon Bride was treated much better, until he received his terrible punishment. Soongap was never forced to live in the shed. Under this new light, I see it as another evidence that the infamous lord Song could only be the king! He is the only person who has absolute power in Joseon, and as such knows no “real boundaries“. Furthermore, as the ruler, he is expecting no rejection from his subjects. Anyone watching sageuks (historical Korean dramas), is aware that the Joseon king was never an absolute monarch, for he was always controlled by the officials, ministers, the Queen dowager and the Queen. There were also protocols which he was forced to follow. And we have an indication about the king‘s lack of power and wealth. (Chapter 76) Thus I am assuming that the lord Song must have been frustrated about this contradiction. On the one hand, he was supposed to be the most powerful man in Joseon, on the other hand, he had to rely on the aristocracy. Hence I have the impression that the ruler vented his anger and frustration on Yoon Seungho unconsciously. That way, he could outlive his sexual fantasies, where he was powerful. But because of these terrible sexual habits, the young master could never get treated by a physician. Anyone would have recognized the sign of abuse.
But imagine what it meant for Yoon Seungho, a teenager who discovered sex through the most horrible way! He had been traumatized by the penetration between the kisaeng and the fake teacher. Striking is that the perpetrator and the other adults all reduced sex to penetration, like my friend Luzyla pointed out to me. The dildo and the comments from the nobles (chapter 92) (Chapter 101) are a proof that they never discovered the importance of kisses, embraces, caresses and words during sex. They never recognized that they were denying the existence of love, too obsessed with their heritage and their reputation. The manhwalovers will remember my previous observation. The pedophile had never kissed the main lead. The king like all the nobles had disconnected sex from love. Why? It is because sex was a duty… to continue the lineage. And now, you have the explanation why the pedophile and all the others reduced sex to penetration.
Under this new perspective, it becomes comprehensible why Heena got scared in the annex. (Chapter 96) When she heard the noise (PLOP), she was brought back to the past, when she had witnessed a scene of BDSM, though the violence was real. A similar situation to this scene: (chapter 73) The pictures from the erotic publication are the evidence for this theory. After hearing the description from the butler about the events in the shed, the noona Heena believed to know what had happened in the shed. (Chapter 68) She could see the traces on the painter’s body, and conclude that the valet was telling the truth. However, the butler had been misled himself, for his perception was biased by his past experience. (Chapter 64) The butler thought that the “no“ from the painter was truly real, while the latter was just dishonest. It was the result from the “indoctrination“ from Heena and Jung In-Hun. The valet had been deceived in the end. The humiliation and punishment were not real, for the painter did ejaculate, and back then he was not under the influence of the aphrodisiac. (Chapter 64) This was not like in the past, when the brutality was real. And now, you comprehend why Heena‘s resent towards her brother became more visible after witnessing the love session between the noble and Baek Na-Kyum. (Chapter 97) From my point of view, she had already internalized that the painter would never change, he was already too “damaged“ to change. However, since he was close to Yoon Seungho, he could become in danger, for she knew the connection between the ruler and the main lead.
3. The pants
And now, you are probably wondering why I selected such a title, when so far, I didn’t mention the pants. Nevertheless, my faithful readers will certainly recall my previous analysis “Who is wearing the pants?“ , where I had pointed out about the lord’s habit who kept his trousers for the most part of the time. (Chapter 72) He was copying the habit from the pedophile in my eyes. The latter would never remove all his clothes on his own. As the king, he was used to get undressed by his own staff. Only the teenager as the uke was undressed, unless the lord was accompanied by the other nobles, like in this scene. (Chapter 54) And because the ruler was too focused on his own pleasure, he never got to know the young noble. He only realized too late that he had made huge mistakes. (chapter 37) Because he couldn‘t accept his responsibility, he preferred blaming others: Yoon Seungho, Yoon Chang-Hyeon, the real lord Song, the 3 nobles who got tortured, etc. Thus everyone got punished. He had definitely developed feelings for Yoon Seungho, but he would never admit it, for love was not accepted among nobility and even less between 2 men. However, I don‘t think that the man should be romanticized, for he abused a young boy for almost a decade. He has to be judged as a sexual predator, who hunted down Yoon Seungho to get him. (Chapter 72) Yoon Seungho was his prey.
4. Discipline and sadism
After reading my whole explanation, the manhwaworms can comprehend why Yoon Seungho said this to his childhood friend. (Chapter 59) The main lead was supposed to meet his tormentor in a public place. Yet their relationship was based on “humiliation“! The “king“ loved to punish Yoon Seungho through humiliation and violence. This explicates why Yoon Seungho reacted that way. (Chapter 56) (chapter 57) This is what he experienced himself in the past. And observe that the childhood friend’s biggest punishment was actually his public humiliation, when he confessed and got rejected. (Chapter 59) In my eyes, the king sought to obtain Yoon Seungho’s affection, but he never realized this. He definitely confused it with submission. He definitely imagined that once the teenager would become submissive, he would have achieved his goal. But he was doomed to fail. In his mind, as the ruler no one could ever reject him. Besides, as the ruler, he was allowed to use his power and as such his strength to obtain what he desires. Don’t forget that in Joseon, people viewed all the monarchs als representatives of the gods. The latter would support them. However, since his youth Yoon Seungho had a strong opinion and mind. Therefore he had caused trouble to his father, as the latter viewed his critical thinking as a synonym for a lack of respect for traditions and the elders, the so-called illness from his childhood. Besides, I am suspecting that the lord must have had visions as well, which would contradict the father‘s dreams and expectations. (Chapter 57) Yoon Chang-Hyeon looked down on his son’s critical thinking and came to doubt his words. The author left many clues for this interpretation: (chapter 101) Lord Jang got aroused, when he saw the bloodied lips from the painter. Moreover, Black Heart had brought a huge dildo. (Chapter 101) The item was huge, therefore it could only injure the artist’s anus. (Chapter 100) (chapter 101) Even the noble said that this must have hurt. The painter disliked being bitten in the neck. (Chapter 88) Furthermore, the lord said this to the painter in the study: (chapter 85) These were the words from the pedophile. He was repeating his sexual abuser‘s words. And this proves to me again that the lord was abused in the study, but if he rejected the man, he would be sent to the shed where he would receive his punishment. In other words, Yoon Seungho was punished with sex and violence. And now, you have the explanation why he got gangraped in the end. But the readers should keep in their mind that this was no real BDSM, for the brutality was real. The king couldn’t distinguish between reality and illusion. And this coincides with all my previous interpretations.
- The importance of acting,
- The protagonists had to learn to distinguish between illusion and reality
- The constant switching between lord and servant,
- The differentiation between conscious and unconscious
- The repetition of trials leading to punishment (an allusion to BDSM)
Naturally, the king is the biggest hypocrite in the end. He raped the boy, and he knew that. But he could always legitimate his actions with the following excuse. The young boy was a sodomite anyway, for he couldn’t do the deed with a kisaeng. He had brought him upon himself, since he had accepted his offer in the first place. He definitely used religion and philosophy (Taoism) to hide his crimes. By maintaining the harmony between the Yin and Yang, he would live healthy and live longer. But exactly like Lee Jihwa, he was attempting to fool himself and the main lead. And because he made no distinction between real and fake submission, neither father Yoon nor Kim felt obliged to view Yoon Seungho as the king’s official wife or concubine. How could they know that the man viewed the main lead more than just a plaything or a dog? This explicates why Kim had such a memory in the end. (Chapter 65) Kim had brought him to the barn, because Yoon Seungho was punished there. This could only be suggested by the butler, as I don’t think that the king would ask for the owner of the mansion for permission. This room was definitely taboo, no one was allowed to approach the study or the shed. Yoon Seungho was exposed to rough sex, and Kim knew this, like mentioned above. But he never witnessed it himself, he only discovered the aftermath. From my point of view, this scene occurred after the lord’s loss of virginity. (Chapter 65) And now, you have the explanation why he got gangraped in the end. I had always sensed that this was a punishment for Yoon Seungho.
I will stop here, for the essay is already very long. But before ending this, I would add two more aspects. I was still unable to comment about this panel, (chapter 94). Notice that violence was used against the painter to mask attraction. The “girly features“ were definitely perceived as something tantalizing. Thus I perceive this incident as a reflection from the BDSM. It was to push the artist away, to incite him to leave the gibang. Heena feared that he might catch the attention of the pedophile, and it is very likely that she was manipulated by the scholar, her idol.
As a conclusion, this new approach gave me new insight about the pedophile‘s personality. Either he will come to the city very soon or he is already in town and this for two reasons. It is related to Yoon Seungho and Black Heart. There’s no ambiguity that the death of Min who was definitely close to him will force him to intervene directly. In the past, I had developed the theory that Black Heart and his friend with the mole were the king’s new companions. In truth, he will use this incident to reenter the main lead‘s life. First, Yoon Seungho was supposed to have committed suicide. He will ask about Yoon Seungho‘s whereabouts and about the incident leading to his disappearance: the rumor about the protagonist‘s crimes (the death of the scholar and the servants)…. And that‘s how he will discover that Baek Na-Kyum is considered as the main lead‘s bride! From my point of view, he knew about the existence of the painter, yet he must have explained his “bride“‘s behavior like this: (chapter 18)
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