Painter Of The Night: «Thank god 🙏 he didn’t see nor hear a thing about that awful matter »

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The title of this essay comes from the following picture: (chapter 105) „Thank god, he didn’t see nor hear a thing about that awful matter“. This is what Heena said in the original version. [Here I would like to thank my follower @katamins again for her help]

1. Heena’s words

What caught my attention is that in the Korean version, the kisaeng employed the expression „Thank god“, displaying not only her relief but also her religiousness. In my eyes, Byeonduck‘s intention was to expose Heena‘s religion one more time, she is a Christian. Another important aspect is that her statement implies that Baek Na-Kyum can not testify about „that awful matter“, for he saw and heard nothing. The problem is the idiom „that awful matter“ is really ambiguous. Which incident is she referring to? Yoon Seungho‘s crime in the shaman’s house or her „murder“? While many readers only thought about Black heart’s execution, I believe that the noona was referring to her own “execution” as well. Why? It is because the lord refused Baek Na-Kyum to see his own sister. (chapter 105) He desired to spare his heart. To conclude, “that awful matter” is referring to the whole prank and its consequences.

On the other hand, in the English version the kisaeng‘s declaration is more precise. Because of the expression „that terrible day“, it becomes obvious that Heena is referring to her lies and manipulations in the gibang. (Chapter 97) At the same time, the idiom includes the staff‘s tricks as well: the corpse in front of the gate and the maids‘ badmouthing (Chapter 97) (chapter 98), because it happened during the day and at downfall. Due to this expression, the readers can detect the presence of Yoon Seungho’s white lie. The painter had clearly mentioned what he had heard before. (Chapter 104) However, he had been silenced by his lover, when the latter suggested to him to view everything as a nightmare. The lord made the mistake not to listen to the victim and witness.

On the other hand, if we take the noona‘s original testimony into consideration, we get the impression that the artist can not testify about the night of his „abduction“ and the murders . It is because he didn‘t see or hear anything. Since the painter was unconscious, when the lord arrived, the latter truly believes that his companion saw and heard nothing. Thus Baek Na-Kyum has no memory. He knows nothing, hence he can not remember a thing: (chapter 105) With such a contrast, the manhwalovers can detect the link between ignorance and absence of memories. To conclude, in both versions, the main lead is “lying” out of ignorance. This is the positive version of “ignorance is a blessing”. Hence the noona thinks herself safe.

But like I have already pointed out in the previous analysis, the painter was present, when she revealed her complicity. (Chapter 99) It was clear that her brother would meet the noble, as their meeting didn’t surprise her. She was more upset that Baek Na-Kyum was unconscious. (chapter 99) However, her question „What’s wrong with Na-Kyum?“ divulges her hypocrisy and acting. How could she not realize that her sibling had been beaten? (Chapter 99) His head was bleeding, and the black guards were carrying sticks. It was clear that his state was not caused by an illness. To conclude, the calling “lord Jihwa” is the proof of her complicity, though in front of Yoon Seungho it serves as an excuse to portray herself as a victim. (chapter 105) Thus I deduce that Heena thinks, the painter could not witness her acting in front of the scholar’s house, for his head was turned around and he was not moving. She feels secure concerning that night, while I am expecting the opposite. Nonetheless, her past behavior in the kisaeng house represents a source of danger for her. That’s the reason why she has to hide the “attempted murder” from her brother. The moment Heena mentions that she has been hurt, the painter won’t believe her. Why? It is because in the kisaeng house, he has not forgotten her words: (chapter 97) Even if she was “fooled”, the artist can only reproach her stupidity. Remember her harsh words, she had called him stupid: (chapter 97) She had helped Min, and she can not claim ignorance. As you can see, Yoon Seungho was encouraged to hide the “attempted murder” from Baek Na-Kyum for selfish reasons. Therefore it is no coincidence that when the lord visited Heena, he made sure that his lover wouldn‘t see Heena in bed. (Chapter 105) The painter was kept in the dark about her “failed assassination”. It was, as if this had never happened. Yoon Seungho was convinced that if Baek Na-Kyum heard about this, he would feel guilty. Indirectly, he was blamed for her injuries. On the other hand, this decision has huge repercussions. It was, as if Yoon Seungho was erasing the traces of the attempted murder against Heena. It was, as if it had never taken place, which is correct, for it had been a subterfuge. Hence later she can not claim that she has been a victim of the nobles’ brutality.

Finally, I would like to point out that the head-kisaeng was acting as a poor victim in front of Yoon Seungho. Imagine that a month has already passed, but she is still in bed, (chapter 105) though she was not beaten, slapped and punched like her brother. Don’t you find it weird that she remains in bed, though she can still walk? (chapter 105) She has now the perfect excuse to avoid nobles. She has been hurt, hence she can not work. The lord never questioned her attitude, for he wished himself that the painter would take a rest and remain in bed. (Chapter 104) This explicates why later the lord was hugging his lover under the cover. (Chapter 104) Hence I conclude that Heena must have thought the same way about Yoon Seungho. „Thank god, he didn’t see or hear a thing about that awful matter“. He has no idea about her altercations with her brother in the kisaeng house. It is important, because our beloved seme has the impression that the noona has her brother’s best interests at heart, but actually he is wrong. In my opinion, the relationship between Heena and his lover serves as a mirror to his relationship with Yoon Seungwon. So far, the young noble doesn’t suspect his brother to have betrayed him. Note that he blames his father more than his younger sibling.

2. Memory illusions

While reading episode 105, we discovered how Heena was saved. (chapter 105) Yet, this incident was presented as Yoon Seungho’s memory. This panel could be used as an evidence that my theory, Heena was present next to the shaman’s shrine during the bloodbath, was wrong. Nonetheless, this image didn’t make me change my mind. Why? I paid attention to details and judged this rescue as “fake” again. The servants had a drop of sweat on their face, the symbol for deception. Secondly, the kisaeng was wet, while the staff’s clothes weren’t damp. How did they save her then? Besides, where are the foot prints? Moreover, where was the head cover? (chapter 99) Finally, her hands and feet were not tied. So where did the items go? Since we saw her “execution”, we are the witnesses, and as such we know the truth about that “awful matter”, but it is not the case for the lord. This image contains so many errors, hence it can not reflect reality.

This observation led me to the following question: when did the rescue happen exactly? Besides, how could the lord have seen her, when he could barely leave the painter’s side? He spent the whole night with the painter. (chapter 103) Hence he could have never been outside the mansion. That’s how I realized that the author was presenting us a false memory. This means that the manhwalovers are facing an implanted memory. But how could this happen? First, false memory is quite normal and is often of no consequence. But a false memory relayed during criminal testimony might lead to the conviction of an innocent person. As the manhwalovers can detect, it represents a serious problem.

In fact, everyone is prone to false memory distortions, but people with mental illness are more susceptible to “memory illusion”. It is the same for persons who have issues to differentiate between reality and fiction. Since Yoon Seungho is suffering from PTSD and often questions his sense of reality, (chapter 58), it makes him particularly vulnerable to false memories.

But how is it possible to implant fake memories? Let’s not forget that memory is working with associations, as the former is a network of cells. Thus the connections between these cells can been severed. And the moment the cells are reconnected, the brain is trying to fill the blanks. And that’s how false memories can arise. But there exist more factors.

First, it is related to inaccurate perception.

“Sometimes we see things that aren’t there and miss obvious things that are right in front of us.” Quoted from https://www.verywellmind.com/how-do-false-memories-form-2795349

We have the perfect example in episode 105. Because of the butler’s following testimony (chapter 104), the lord and even the readers imagined to see medicine in the white bowl! (chapter 105) Besides, the author had always connected the drug with the tray. (chapter 23) As you can see, the readers interpreted this scene due to associations. Nonetheless, like mentioned in the previous analysis, the different color and the traces on the edge were the evidences that it was ink. (chapter 36) Besides, Heena was in bed indicating that she was still weak. The circumstances led people to have a different perception of “verity”!! Only through the mind’s eye, the manhwalovers can detect that this scene was staged.

Then the other cause is interference. This signifies that as soon as new information appears, it can affect old memories or the reverse. Experience, prejudice and knowledge have an influence on memories.

“Our minds try to fill in the missing spaces, often using current knowledge as well as beliefs or expectations.” Quoted from https://www.verywellmind.com/how-do-false-memories-form-2795349

And this aspect is visible in the lord’s memory either. (chapter 105) Observe that the servant on the right is acting like Yoon Seungho: (chapter 103) The protagonist projected his own thoughts and emotions onto one servant: shock! (chapter 105) Secondly, the kisaeng has the same body posture than the painter after the first abduction. (chapter 61) This was interference by excellence. Besides, emotions can affect your memories. Since the lord was so under shock after witnessing the painter’s unconsciousness, it is not surprising that he imagined to have witnessed this scene. At the same time, when he left the shrine in trance, he could have overlooked the presence of a third person… similar to Lee Jihwa next to the shed. That’s how he doesn’t recall anything from that night except his crime. He didn’t see and hear the person by his side. Where is the sword? Where did he get the hanbok from?

“Researchers have found that people tend to be more likely to remember events connected to strong emotions, but that the details of such memories are often suspect. Retelling important events can also lead to a false belief in the accuracy of the memory.” Quoted from https://www.verywellmind.com/how-do-false-memories-form-2795349

And now, you have the explanation why the lord is blaming his father the entire time and no one else. Finally, I would like to remind the readers that the main lead had tried to commit suicide during that night. Thus he went to the pound. (chapter 102) Therefore it is not astonishing that he imagined a similar scenery.

Another cause for false memory is misinformation. And we have the perfect illustration in chapter 1: (chapter 1) Baek Na-Kyum thought to have seen “Yoon Seungho” as huge sodomite, yet he only connected the name to the face after meeting the lord for the first time. (chapter 1) This shows that the artist had only heard his name without seeing his face before. This explicates why the main lead’s gaze and facial expressions were similar (chapter 1) (chapter 1)

As you can see, Byeonduck left many clues for this interpretation: the noona’s rescue was fake, for it was a false memory. Finally, since the lord was present, when the servants had “discovered” Baek Na-Kyum, the negative reflection would be that he was not gone himself there. Finally, we have the confession from Yoon Seungho, he never saved her. Indirectly, he was admitting that he had not assisted them. (chapter 105)

As you can see, this image was the result of a combination of different events the lord had experienced himself. Hence I deduce that this memory was implanted through suggestions by the servant standing on the left side of the picture. The staff had never searched for the painter, hence one of the domestics had asked his master: (chapter 103)

On the other hand, he only narrated the main aspects, and let the lord fill the blanks. That’s how the lord created a false memory which feels so vivid that it seems real. But I have another proof for this theory. In the previous episode, the lord had tried to implant a false memory into the painter: (chapter 104) My avid readers can certainly recall the rule I had detected: each chapter will be reflected in the next!

But since Yoon Seungho was implanted a false memory, this signifies that it is the same for Baek Na-Kyum too! 😲 One detail caught my attention, the noona’s comment. She had detected that the painter used to feel anxious around Jung In-Hun. (chapter 105) How is it possible? Especially, when the painter said this: (chapter 94) Furthermore, the painter is associating the learned sir to the moon and as such the night. (chapter 94) Thus I am now suspecting that this image is a false memory. But I have another reason to think that the painter’s idolization was more the result of “brainwashing” and as such “false memories”.

The same noona had observed that she had not seen her donsaeng weep like that, since he was 5 years old! (chapter 105) How can she date this incident so precisely? The moment I read her testimony, I discovered that in episode 94 the author had never shown us the painter crying! (chapter 94) (chapter 94) (chapter 94) It was, as if the noonas had never been informed about the painter’s suffering and tears. This shows that Heena has been hiding many things from her colleagues. But there is more to it! The manhwaphiles saw the artist’s tears in his childhood. (chapter 68) But here he was much older!! Under this new perspective, I realized that the following image could have been a false memory: (chapter 68) Heena was misremembering that night, and she was misattributing the painter’s tears. In other words, she was confusing two incidents.

Misattribution: Have you ever mixed up the details of one story with the details of another? For example, while telling a friend about your last vacation you might mistakenly relate an incident that happened on a vacation you took several years ago.” Quoted from https://www.verywellmind.com/how-do-false-memories-form-2795349

And now, take a closer look to the painter’s tears in episode 105: (chapter 105) It is the same facial expression, though the redness around the eyes is more pronounced. This observation confirms that the noona’s memories in the kisaeng (chapter 68) were not reflecting reality. She idolized the scholar’s attitude, while she was portraying herself as the real victim. Thus I started wondering why the painter must have felt anxious around the learned sir. (chapter 105) One might question the veracity of the kisaeng’s testimony, but so far, I judge her as “innocent”, though she definitely helps Heena to fool the couple. In her mind, it is for her brother’s best interests. But let’s not forget that the teenager Yoon Seungho was exposed to sex in a brutal way (chapter 86), so the painter must have made a similar experience. In my analysis “Baek Na-Kyum’s foot“, I had already doubted the “warmth and happiness” of the scene. For me, the zoom on the painter’s foot was the clue for the painter’s suffering. And this interpretation was confirmed in episode 105. (chapter 105) He had run after his lover in socks. While in “Baek Na-Kyum’s foot”, I thought that this memory was true, I come now to a different signification. It was a false memory in order to hide a crime related to Heena. I would like to outline that in the kisaeng’s comment, we have the notion of “shame” and as such “guilt”. First, I thought of rape, but then it could be much simpler. The painter could have witnessed his noona having sex with the learned sir. But because he was too young, he misjudged the situation… as a virgin, she had to bleed. Because he saw blood, he imagined that the learned sir had hurt Heena. This would explain why the artist was afterwards anxious around the teacher. One might think that this is not terrible. But let’s not forget that as a kisaeng, she can not have sex like that. (chapter 105)

“After 1650 some kisaeng were assigned to a specific government office; these were called gwan-gi, and though officeholders were strictly forbidden from having sex with them, in practice they were usually expected and often forced to provide sex to these bureaucrats” Quoted from https://maggiemcneill.com/2013/09/12/the-kisaeng/

Besides, I doubt that the learned sir paid her for her services, hence according to regulations, the couple had committed a wrongdoing. Under this new perspective, it becomes comprehensible why Byeonduck let Heena witness their love session. (chapter 96) A similar situation had happened in the past.But because of her brother’s reaction, his huge tears, she got scared. (chapter 68) Hence my theory is that this image comes from that day, but she repressed it. Due to her guilty conscience and fears, she developed genophobia. Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why later Heena caused trouble to Yoon Seungho in the kisaeng house. Her loss of virginity could have been detected. Finally, it explains why the kisaeng spoke about “fleeting and trivial emotions” (chapter 68) Through suggestions, she had been able to convince her brother that the learned sir was a nice person. This explicates why the caresses and hugs were used to silence the artist. By repeating to her brother, he liked Jung In-Hun, he came to develop such feelings. The kisaeng’s statement implies that the admiration for the teacher was not constant. (chapter 105) Her words represent a contradiction to Heena’s statement. (chapter 46) A change of heart versus “eternity”. This shows that the painter’s decision to go to the learned sir’s house was never his choice. He had simply followed Heena’s suggestion. She was definitely distorting his past. Furthermore I detected a strong connection between love and memory. (chapter 94) If it is a loved one, then it can only be a good memory. Therefore it is not surprising that by saying constantly saying that the painter likes the scholar, he is repressing the bad memories with the scholar (the beating in episode 34, the betrayal in chapter 29, his words in the library and his reproach about his job). So far, he only mentioned one negative incident.

But why did Byeonduck use false memories in her story? It is to make Yoon Seungho remember his true memories, which were repressed. However, in psychology, repressed memories are controversial. This explains why the author from „Memory illusions“, Julia Shaw, rejects this idea.

Research showed that the created memories often had the same theme as whatever the clinician was suggesting. So if the clinician suggested sexual abuse, the client would have memories of sexual abuse. If the clinician suggested alien abduction, the client would remember an alien abduction. And if the clinician suggested satanic ritual abuse, then the client would remember satanic ritual abuse. So this was a huge problem. This has led many psychologists and researchers to adamantly oppose any type of therapy that seeks to recover repressed memories, and they also would testify against any recovered memory in court.” Quoted from https://therapyinanutshell.com/repressed-memories-dissociative-amnesia-ptsd-and-the-memory-wars/

Through Baek Na-Kyum’s suffering, the lord is slowly reminded of his own tragedy. This means, his sexual abuse will come to the surface. At the same time, I believe that the painter is the witness of Yoon Seungho’s past suffering, but he has not discovered Yoon Seungho’s connection to the gibang. For me, the painter Baek Na-Kyum embodies true memories, especially since he is no longer under the influence of Heena.

3. The painter’s ignorance

The irony is that though the painter was kept in the dark about the lord’s intentions, he was capable to detect the verity!! How so? He was using his heart and his mind’s eye. First, though the lord’s sudden embrace had caught him by surprise, he had been able to interpret the true meaning: a goodbye (chapter 105) In the original version, this is what the artist thought:

“Earlier..why did it feel like the LAST…”

The last embrace! He had sensed the lord’s despair and heartache. They would no longer see each other. How do I know that the artist was caught by surprise? It is because he never reciprocated the hug. We have to envision a new version of this scene: (chapter 76) So while the painter was following his lover, the latter turned around and hugged him. Afterwards, he asked him to go to his noonas, for he needed to talk to Heena. Moreover, contrary to Yoon Seungho, Baek Na-Kyum paid attention to time. He was not lost in thoughts or had lost the sense of time (chapter 105) Despite being busy and talking to the kisaengs, the artist couldn’t forget his lover. All his attention was still focused on his lover. That’s the reason why he could catch the lord’s departure right on time. This means that Heena’s words didn’t become a reality. He could grasp the situation correctly, though he has no idea about the lord’s intentions. This has nothing to do with chance! It is thanks to the artist’s intelligence and sensibility.

But while he rushed to the lord’s side, he tripped and fell on his hand. (chapter 105) But the latter acted, as if his hand was not wounded. (chapter 105) He ignored his physical pain and heartache. (chapter 105) This is important, because the stumbling symbolizes the intervention of the gods… We have the perfect example at the end of season 3. The lord fell on his knees in front of the scholar’s house, hence there is a hand print on the snow. (chapter 100) That’s how he refused to view Lee Jihwa as the murderer of his lover, Baek Na-Kyum”. YES, the falling is the real manifestation of CHANCE! How so? I would like the manhwaphiles to keep in mind that chance is the antonym of trick and scheme! The latter are connected to plan and organization. Thus I come to the conclusion that the noble will decide to go to the doctor’s office in order to treat his lover’s hand. (chapter 105) Let’s not forget that Yoon Seungho treasures the artist’s hands so much. Besides, they are wearing the same scarfs than in episode 74. But this is something that the schemers are not expecting. After the start of season 4, I got aware that Yoon Seungho never saw the doctor clearly. When the main lead was brought there, (chapter 57) he was feverish so that he couldn’t pay attention to the physician. Besides, the man never remained by his side. Finally, in episode 74, the man never left the office!! (chapter 74) I conclude that Yoon Seungho never saw the physician for commoners! Besides, I doubt that he remembers him from his childhood. But this is not the same, when Baek Na-Kyum was ill. He met the other doctor twice. (chapter 33) (chapter 103) On the other hand, the artist assumes that the man in the office is Yoon Seungho’s doctor!! He heard his confession: (chapter 57) There exist two physicians in the city at least. That’s how a part of the truth will come to the surface! And who had fetched the doctor? (chapter 103) The staff… I would like to outline that in this panel, Kim was no longer seen next to the couple. (chapter 105), though he was still present here. (chapter 105) So where did he vanish? Probably to the mansion, for he had to warn the domestics that the artist would be returning! But if he left the couple behind, this means that he can’t witness what Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum will do next. And if they don’t go to the doctor, there is no ambiguity that the main lead will send for the doctor again. But according to me, the man disappeared. (chapter 103) To conclude, I am expecting that Yoon Seungho will make a huge discovery in the next episode… just like the painter did in the gibang.

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Painter Of The Night: Heena’s secrets 🔐

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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Recently, Lezhin released a message on Instagram announcing the return of manhwas in hiatus for November. And unfortunately, Painter Of Night was not part of them. 😭 Later, the author announced that due to a surgery, the release of season 4 has been delayed. She apologized, for she couldn’t keep her promise. This means, either it will start at the end of December or in January. Nevertheless, this doesn’t change my resolution to keep analyzing this story, for Yoon Seungho’s suffering and the painter’s past have not been entirely unveiled. Like a detective, I am trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. In this essay, I would like to elaborate my new discoveries concerning Heena which led me to develop new theories.

1. Heena: a mother or a sister?

During season 2, I had trouble to figure out her true identity. Was she the head-kisaeng who had adopted Baek Na-Kyum? (chapter1) Or was she simply the noona? (chapter 70) At some point, I came to realize that Heena had acted as the surrogate mother, but she had never clearly stated that she was the painter’s mother. In other words, his adoption was never official, which explicates why the main lead only considered her as his older sister. This is important, because her ambiguous status can not only generate problems, but also expose her betrayal towards Baek Na-Kyum. Note that in chapter 97, the noona treated Baek Na-Kyum as her “child” who wouldn’t listen to her (Chapter 97), while later she implied that they were both equal, for she employed the personal pronoun “us”. (chapter 97) On the other hand, she used her seniority as status, when she called him a fool (Chapter 97). He lacked experiences, hence he was too naïve, and as such he would trust the protagonist too easily. As you can see, Heena herself had an ambiguous relationship with her brother. Nonetheless, thanks to chapter 93, I got finally a definitive answer about Heena’s true identity. She is indeed the head-kisaeng in the gibang. I realized that the protagonists were invited to stay in Heena’s personal room. (Chapter 93) That’s the reason why the seat of the host was empty and why Yoon Seungho didn’t go there. He would have violated social norms, if he had taken her seat.. Moreover, by doing so, he would have revealed that he knew where the woman was. This could have raised questions.

2. Heena’s study

But how did I come up to this revelation? What caught my attention is the type of the door from that room (rectangles). Its pattern diverges from the ones in the hallway. (Chapter 93) This means that the figures were not sitting in the room shown in the last panel. On the other hand, their voices in the hallway exposed their location. The noonas and Heena were not far away from that door hidden by the veil. That’s how I got aware where Heena’s room was situated. In the last picture, the readers are turning their back from Heena’s study, which is right after the corner. Thus I could recognize the design of the building: ][ In the center, there is this huge hallway with the purple veils, but at its end, on each both sides, there exists a corridor perpendicular to the one with the purple curtains. What the beholder imagined as a door at the end of the hallway, (Chapter 68) was in truth a huge window. How do I know this? First, in this scene, the scholar was hiding a huge white vase with red flowers. Hence I deduced that Jung In-Hun couldn’t have walked through that “gate”, it was just a window. Therefore I assumed that he had to walk past the flowers, either turn to the right or the left. Secondly, observe that next to the lantern on the left, there is a small white panel. This means that the view from chapter 93 was more or less taken from the right corner. Moreover, in the next chapter, Heena is not facing this “window”, when she is in the same building. (Chapter 69) This time, the white vase with the flowers is standing in front of a wall. That’s how I deduced that Heena had to turn to the left in order to go to the hallway. (chapter 69) On the other hand, another element caught my notice. In this picture, (chapter 69) the purple curtain is covering the wall and is very close to the lantern, which is not the case in this picture from chapter 93. (chapter 93) And now, if you pay attention to the curtains in the hallway, you can detect a huge difference. (chapter 69) On the right side, there is no white wall between the purple veils, while it is not the case on the left side. And all these observations (the window in the background, the length and position of the purple veils, the white wall) made me realize that Jung In-Hun and Heena were actually walking in the same direction. At first glance, the beholder has the impression that the learned sir was leaving the building, whereas Heena was supposed to return to her private room. However, as you can see, this is just a deception. Furthermore, what caught my attention is the presence of a tiny window . (chapter 93) which is not present in episode 69. (chapter 93) Since I came to the conclusion that Heena’s private room was on the right side after the corner, I deduce that the kisaeng was not on her way to her room. Moreover, since the kisaeng was walking in the same direction than the scholar, I can only conclude that Heena was actually approaching the entrance of the building. I believe that she had turned around, but the author didn’t reveal this. One might argue that it is possible that in chapter 68, the learned sir could have gone with the painter to Heena’s bedroom. However, back then the latter was not the head-kisaeng. We know this due to the presence of a kisaeng standing right behind Yoon Chang-Hyeon during the sexual lesson. (chapter 86) She was the superior. Moreover, we saw the teacher walking through the countryside during the night. (chapter 70) That’s how I realized that Byeonduck had deceived the readers once again. She was playing with reflections. That’s the reason why I deduced that Heena was not talking loudly by accident in front of Black Heart. (chapter 69) It was done on purpose!! She wished that Min would take care of her brother. Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why the noona has a drop of sweat on her cheek. She is faking ignorance, she is acting, as if she was very protective of her brother. She uses illusion to manipulate people. In reality, she was acting here. One might argue that I am overthinking again. This is not possible, for Heena didn’t know Min at all. Hence she couldn’t manipulate him. The latter had heard of her for the first time in Yoon Seungho’s mansion. (chapter 66) But let me ask you this. How could Heena have never met Min, when she was the head-kisaeng? Secondly, just because the servant had never heard of the noona, this doesn’t mean that it was the case for Black Heart. The domestic assumed Black Heart’s ignorance, just like the readers. Moreover, recently I had detected that Heena had been standing in front of a mansion belonging to a noble. (chapter 46) This was not Yoon Seungho and Lee Jihwa’s mansion, for the gate and walls (chapter 67) diverge. Moreover, Min has been seen in the kisaeng house in so many chapters , (chapter 19) (chapter 59). Here, I would like to point out that in episode 59, Lee Jihwa had visited the kisaeng house on different occasions, for his hair was slowly growing. (chapter 59) Moreover, note that his visits took place during the day and not during the night. Why? It was for privacy and so far, during the day, the manhwaphiles never saw any kisaeng in the gibang. (chapter 1) (chapter 94) Lee Jihwa was not supposed to meet kisaengs. As you can see, Min had strong connections with the gibang, just like Lee Jihwa. Hence Black Heart should have known Heena, for she was the head-kisaeng. But I would like to bring up a more conclusive proof for this interpretation. (chapter 19) This image was showing us that Yoon Seungho was visiting the gibang. However, pay attention to the pattern of the doors in the last picture and the next: (chapter 19) The motive diverges, it looks like the one from the hallway with the purple veils. This means that the party was not taking place in the room shown in the former picture. What caught my notice is the presence of the white vase with the red flowers in front of the building. It was present in each scene taking place in the gibang. (chapter 68) (chapter 69) (chapter 93) For me, the red flowers symbolize Heena noona. This explicates why during the painter’s dream, the flowers were not present. (chapter 87), as Heena was not included in his vision. And this image (chapter 19) made me think of Yoon Chang-Hyeon due to the writing on the wooden planks. (chapter 44) Due to the similarities, I believe that in chapter 19, Byeonduck was actually exposing the ghost head-kisaeng. Exactly like the father, she was hiding. Why? It is because she is involved in Yoon Seungho’s suffering. And now, imagine her reaction, when she hears that Black Heart has organized a feast for the main lead’s honor. The woman could only avoid the main character. And now, you have the explication why Heena as the head-kisaeng was not present during that festivity. It was deliberate. (chapter 19) Striking is that the kisaeng had a similar hair dress than Heena, This is no coincidence. She was acting as the head-kisaeng. The manhwalovers will certainly remember that only two kisaengs had no braided bun or braids: this one and Heena. Look at all the others: (chapter 51) (chapter 93) (chapter 93) (chapter 95) The extravagant hair dress was exposing the kisaeng’s status. And now, you comprehend why the other noona explained the disappearance of Heena during that night. (chapter 93) She was the head-kisaeng’s right-hand. She had to give an explanation why the noona wouldn’t appear in her bedroom.

But let’s return our attention to chapter 19. What did the kisaeng do during that party? She questioned the main character. (chapter 19) But how could she sense that the noble was in a good mood? The latter was silent and not even smiling. (chapter 19) How could she claim this? In reality she was actually spying on him. Heena had no idea why the lord would come to the gibang, especially after suffering there so much. The kisaeng’s task was to dig up information. This visitation must have bothered the head-kisaeng.

3. Heena and Min

According to my theory, Heena was walking in front of the room where Black Heart was on purpose. She wished to push him to remove the painter from Yoon Seungho’s side. Yet one might reject this thought, because it was impossible for her to know about the man’s presence. The entire time she was looking straight (chapter 69), and Min was sitting on the floor in the corner of the room. (chapter 69) She was even turning her back to him. But actually, she could have detected his presence, exactly like I had recognized him: through his laugh!! (chapter 69) And this would actually reinforce my interpretation that the noona was familiar with Min, and her encounter with him was not recent. Moreover, I would like to point out another discrepancy. This is what the kisaeng claimed to Yoon Seungho: (chapter 99) He was wearing a veiled hat, yet in chapter 69, this was not the case. (chapter 69) They could have seen his face, and as such recognize him as lord Min!! The kisaengs claimed that they had no idea, for they couldn’t see his face. But like pointed out, Black Heart was not wearing a veil in chapter 69! So they could identify him properly. People could have noticed that he was impersonating Lee Jihwa. That’s the reason why the villain had to change the hat!! Moreover, in this scene, he was not alone, he had been followed by his best friend, the noble with the mole. (chapter 69) That’s the reason why the trick with the first impersonation failed. Under this new approach, it becomes understandable why in season 3, Min was no longer followed by his friend and why he was wearing the hat with the black veil. They needed to ensure that no one would recognize his face. That way, the impersonation would be perfect, and Lee Jihwa could be framed easily. But this means that Black Heart must have got aware that the head-kisaeng had tried to trick him with her words in the hallway. This explains why in season 3, the woman got deceived herself with illusions. (chapter 88) (chapter 97) This was her karma. She had spoken with ill intentions (to achieve her goal by using a pawn), therefore she couldn’t speak in front of blood. This is no coincidence that her hands were covering her mouth, the opposite of her behavior in the hallway. Moreover, she had acted, as if she was caring for her brother, but the reality is that she cared more for the scholar than Baek Na-Kyum. In other words, the noona and Min were both fooling each other, they were constantly acting in front of each other. Hence when the noona saw the Joker in front of the scholar’s house, she feigned ignorance, while it was the opposite. (chapter 99) Under this new light, Min’s words get a new signification: (chapter 99) He was implying that they knew each other for a long time! The irony is that the manhwaphiles had the impression that their relationship was recent, and his cynical tone contributed to it. Secondly, he called her Heena, a sign that they were close to each other. Note that Lee Jihwa never mentioned her name. (chapter 99) His words even insinuate that Black Heart had just given the following order. The red-haired master should just fetch a kisaeng and in my opinion, Heena was waiting for Lee Jihwa’s arrival to leave the gibang. According to his words, he had no idea about the kisaeng’s identity. But is it true? I have my doubts now, and this for two reasons. Why would he ask about her identity, when he already knows that she is a kisaeng? The drop of sweat on his face is an indication that he is lying. But the problem is to determine if the deception is only referring to “I heard not a word” and to all the questions. Let’s not forget that he knew about Min’s initial intention. The moment Lee Jihwa arrived in the gibang, she just followed him. That way, they would avoid to attract attention, and with her new hair dress (chapter 99), she could no longer be recognized as the head-kisaeng. And this leads me to the following observation. When Heena was sent to the storage room, she actually lost her position as head-kisaeng. (chapter 93) In other words, when Yoon Seungho jailed her (chapter 93), the gibang had lost its “leader”. This explains why this noona as her right-hand had to explain the absence of the owner. (chapter 93). This scene (chapter 93) was actually announcing the downfall of Heena. She was about to desert the kisaeng house. She was giving up on her possessions and her position for “freedom”.

4. Heena and Yoon Chang-Hyeon

Because of the empty seat, I couldn’t help myself thinking of the elder master Yoon. (chapter 86) The latter had been eyeing the throne in the family mansion, but he failed to take over the mansion. This was the negative reflection of Heena. Whereas the kisaeng had a powerful position in the gibang, it was the opposite for the patriarch. He was no longer recognized as the head of the Yoons. Yet, both have something in common. Both lost their position for good, for Heena and Yoon Chang-Hyeon couldn’t take or keep the seat. We could say that both got defeated by Yoon Seungho. In chapter 93, the main lead acted as a respectful and calm master, whereas in the bedchamber he showed no respect to his own father. He talked back and even made fun of him. (chapter 87) This picture stands in opposition to this one: (chapter 93) To conclude, the surrogate mother and the patriarch made a similar experience in season 3. Both got deceived by manipulations and in both cases, letters played a huge role.

On the other hand, the noona chose to give up on her seat and position in order to avoid trouble with justice. The elder master Yoon decided to act the opposite. He made accusations against his son (chapter 94), definitely thinking that he was doing the right thing. He thought that he could never get into trouble. But this is just a deception in my opinion. As for the former head-kisaeng, she has to run away, for she did something wrong! In the past and in the present! She definitely plotted, and she is aware that her actions will have terrible repercussions.

5. Heena’s departure

This means that Heena chose to renounce on her position and wealth in order to save her own skin! That’s the reason why she faked her death. (chapter 99) No one would be looking for her. The problem is that the witnesses of her curtains all vanished. Lee Jihwa ran away, Black Heart got killed with his friends, and the only survivor, lord Jang, was confronted with real corpses in the shaman’s house. (chapter 102) That’s why I come to the deduction that her murder will be questioned. Why? There is no blood contrary to the bloodbath in the shaman’s house and there is no corpse!! Since Black Heart used different corpses in order to deceive Heena and the couple, there is no ambiguity that the head-kisaeng’s curtains will be doubted. Striking is that Heena staged her death out of cowardice and selfishness, while Yoon Seungho made the opposite decision. He was resolute to commit suicide in order to follow his lover in his death. During that night, Heena and Yoon Seungho lost their “home”, but at the end, he found his true home: the painters embrace. (chapter 102) He gave up on everything (fortune, house and life), hence he will be rewarded for all his sacrifices. Under this new light, I am more than ever convinced that Heena has not reached the bottom. Her karma is to be punished for her deceptions and acting!

As you can imagine, the moment I questioned the relationship between Heena and Min, everything appeared in a different light. It becomes comprehensible why Min would whisper to the head-kisaeng, why she didn’t push away his hand (chapter 96) (chapter 96), though he is a noble. Besides, I am suspecting her of suffering from genophobia (fear of sex and intimacy) Their behavior exposes closeness and a certain trust. But how is this possible? It is because she knows that Min is a sodomite, and he is not looking for sexual favors. That’s the reason why she trusted Black Heart in my opinion. Moreover, he is smiling like Jung In-Hun. Therefore it is not surprising that she was speaking like the Joker in chapter 97. Here, the man had actually projected his own thoughts onto Yoon Seungho, and due to her own belief, Heena was more than willing to believe Black Heart. . (chapter 97) That’s how I came to realize why in season 2, Jung In-Hun was mentioned in front of Min. (chapter 52) It is because Black Heart knew Heena! I even believe that he had already met the scholar. Note that the man with the black hanbok was repeating the rumors about the learned sir. And the other questioned the main lead’s action exposing that he had never heard about this grapevine before. Hence I am deducing that the one spreading this rumor could only be MIN!! That’s the reason why he just said this (chapter 52) That means that the noble knew the teacher in the end. Therefore it is no coincidence that Min was aware where the learned sir lived!! (chapter 83) And now, if you connect the two scenes from chapter 97 and chapter 52 , you can only come to the conclusion that Min was the learned sir’s previous sponsor, but at the end he changed his mind (chapter 52). Why? It is because there was an incident in the gibang!! (chapter 01) And who had covered up the incident? Heena, for she was the head-kisaeng! She had lied to her brother by blaming the biggest victim, Yoon Seungho, who was the man with the braid! This image is a real memory of Baek Na-Kyum from that night, yet from far away, the painter couldn’t see the face of the sodomite! This is another secret Heena has been hiding from her brother!

That’s how I realized that season 3 focused on the “face”, the symbol for identity. The readers could never see the face of all the corpses (chapter 94) (chapter 97) (chapter 97) (chapter 101), and even Kim hid his face under a hanbok. (chapter 92) That’s the reason why I believe that in season 4, the visage will play a major role! The couple will recognize people due to the face!! In my eyes, the former head-kisaeng knows the identities of all the persons involved in Yoon Seungho’s suffering.

Hence I am encouraging you to read Painter Of The Night once again under the following theory: Heena and Min knew each other, and Jung In-Hun had already been in contact with Min…. This is no coincidence that Black Heart had to die at the end. Jung In-Hun was killed, after Min had betrayed and abandoned the scholar. If he had kept his words… the murder of Jung In-Hun wouldn’t have taken place. But let’s not forget that according to me, this scene in the gibang (chapter 1) corresponds to Yoon Seungho’s first liberation. This means that the sponsorship was doomed to fail, because the gods would no longer tolerate the abuse. Min’s promise was short-lived, because his dream couldn’t come true. He had no longer any use of the scholar. This truly exposes that Heena told many stories to her brother in the past and in the present, yet only now, (chapter 97) her brother is detecting her deception.

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: Painful departures 👋🩸⚰️

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/ 

It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring: Ko-fi.com/bebebisous33  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.

Announcement: The essay “Powerful fellatios” was updated.

Before elaborating my new discoveries, I would like to repeat the following principles on which the story was developed:

  1. There is always a reflection within the same chapter.
  2. The next episode is mirroring the previous one, naturally with slight changes.
  3. Each season is reflected in the previous and the future one.
  4. The author is working on positive and negative reflections.
  5. Thus the story is going in circle.
  6. Thus the lord’s destiny is reflected in the painter’s.

Like explained before, the reason for this huge amount of reflections is that her story is constructed like a kaleidoscope. Therefore it is not surprising that I keep contrasting many images and chapters with each other. That way, we can get new insight about the past. At the same time, the author can not expose the whole truth for two reasons. We don’t have a narrator, and since it is a manhwa, the narration is really limited. Moreover, Yoon Seungho might confess to Baek Na-Kyum about his traumatic past, yet his testimony will never mirror the entire verity. Why? It is because as a victim, he didn’t know everything. He had no idea what people would think and do behind his back. Since he had no idea about a conspiracy in season 1, 2 and 3, I conclude that it was the same in the past!! Hence it is up to the readers to fill the blanks and as such to solve the puzzle.

Striking is that after the end of season 2, I had examined the topic “farewells” [For more read essay 195 “Farewell” ] which sounds quite similar to the title of this analysis. One might fear that I could repeat myself. However, this is just a deception, for I am focusing now on season 3. With the new panels, I could get new clues about the painter’s departure from the gibang. So far, I had stated this: Heena did it for the painter’s sake. It was to protect him, (chapter 46) This was actually implied by Heena’s words and gestures, yet I had already questioned this, for Heena appeared as dishonest. Now, it is time to expose my new interpretation concerning Baek Na-Kyum’s eviction from home.

1. Exits in episode 94

What caught my attention is that chapter 94’s main topic was departure. How did I come to this perception? First, we have the well which reminded Yoon Seungho of the scholar and his poem. The latter had given the poetry referring to exit to the painter as a farewell gift. Why was the lord thinking of Jung In-Hun in that moment? It is because he had read the letters from Heena and as such her accusation against him. He had killed the learned sir, hence in the lord’s mind, it was only a matter of time until Baek Na-Kyum would bring up the subject and decide to leave him. The letters are not destroyed, for he asked this to the painter: (chapter 94) Yoon Seungho had two reasons to expect such an outcome. First, it was related to Yoon Seungho’s offer to Baek Na-Kyum. (chapter 44) Secondly, Baek Na-Kyum had already showed to the main lead that he could leave him at any moment. (chapter 85) Finally, what mattered to the artist the most was the lord’s love and trust. (chapter 85) He believed in his affection while thinking that Yoon Seungho would keep his promises. But if there was a slight doubt about him, in Yoon Seungho’s mind, the painter would choose his noona over him, like he had experienced it in the study. To sum up, in the gibang, the lord was fearing the artist’s departure. Moreover, when the painter confessed his love to the noble, he was also leaving the scholar’s side. His path was no longer following the teacher’s. Thus when he said this (chapter 94), he was actually biding farewell to Jung In-Hun. He was moving on. Finally, if you include these panels from chapter 94, , the painterofthenight-stans can notice that people are about to leave. In the first image, the young artist is chased away by the comments from the other children. Then the painter is standing in front of his noona Heena, he has just left the side of the sitting nobles. He is definitely crying, he wished to be embraced and taken away by Heena from the room. As for the last picture, we see two “nobles” leaving the painter behind. They are the ones leaving the gibang, for the exit is close. The painter ‘s face had been beaten, hence we could view drops of blood on the ground and the white head-band.

Interesting is that these three departures were all painful. First, Baek Na-Kyum’s heart got broken, for he was excluded by the children forcing him to live in the gibang. After that, he lived in seclusion. The children used their words and gestures to make him leave. Simultaneously, this panel indicates that the painter had left the kisaeng house and strolled through the streets. Then in the second image, the nobles were more aggressive, for they had removed the painter’s pants. As the manhwalovers can detect, the violence was increasing, thus when the painter’s visage was wounded, it represents the high peak of violence against the painter. Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why the author chose not to follow the chronology. In this panel, the painter had still a braid (chapter 94) (chapter 94), but not here. This means that the rejection from the “peasants” happened afterwards. And now, if I include Jung In-Hun’s departure, the latter is supposed to have been killed, it becomes palpable that in Painter Of The Night, departure is strongly associated to blood, desertion, imprisonment and death. But this doesn’t end here.

2. The painter’s departure

I couldn’t help myself connecting this scene (chapter 94) with this physical assault in front of the learned sir’s home: (chapter 99) In these two scenes, the painter got so hurt that he was bleeding. In addition, the painter’s hair was free. In front of Jung In-Hun’s house, the perpetrators had removed his headgear, while in the gibang, the white head-band was on the ground. To conclude, the painter’s short hair was visible. Don’t forget that the short hair was indicating that the artist was an orphan. So by removing the headgear for noblewomen, Min and the black guards made sure to expose that the victim was just a low-born without any family. But let’s return to our comparison. Min was wearing a similar hanbok than the noble in the gibang. Furthermore, the black guard resembles a lot to the aristocrat with the hunting outfit in the kisaeng house house. The painter’s white headband is now serving as a cover for masking the black guards’ identity. As you can see, due to these similarities, I came to the conclusion that this scene (chapter 94) was the reason why Baek Na-Kyum left the gibang. Why do I think so? First, it is related to Heena’s absence.

3. Heena’s role

Where is she? Why didn’t she come and protect her brother? The perfect excuse would be that she was busy with a client. And this leads me to the following observation. Note that in this scene, Heena was standing in front of the door. (chapter 94) She was actually the one hindering the painter to run away. She didn’t act like Jung In-Hun at all (chapter 68). She let her brother hear the laughs from the younger masters. It looks like she is consoling her brother, yet she is not, for she is not embracing him. She is grabbing him by the shirt which reminded me of this gesture: (chapter 97) Hence I deduce that this scene in the gibang (chapter 97) is a reflection of the incident in the painter’s youth. (chapter 94)

Chapter 94 negative reflectionChapter 97 positive reflection
Painter in tears  Painter smiling, even when he gets scared
Heena brings a table with food.Baek Na-Kyum returned to the room in order to fetch the “paper”.
Heena says nothing and feels sorry for the painter –She talks the whole time
She remains next to the door.She approaches her brother in the room.
She grabs him by the shirtShe grabs him by the shirt
BNK wants to be huggedHeena wants to hug her brother, but she is rejected
BAek Na-Kyum believes herBaek Na-Kyum reproaches her to tell stories
Heena doesn’t weepShe is now in tears
Heena definitely portrayed the nobles as ruthless and filthy.Now, she found a nobleman who would help them
Heena stands in front of the entrance.Heena stands in the way to the door.

As you can see, these two scenes share so many parallels that I came to the conclusion that in both cases Heena was stopping her brother from leaving the room. (chapter 94) The table and the kisaeng were in his way. In other words, in this scene, she didn’t let the painter leave the room. However, the huge difference is that contrary to episode 97, she was acting under the influence of her unconscious/subconscious. This means that she was not doing it on purpose contrary to her confrontation with her brother in the annex. Here, she desired that her brother wouldn’t return to Yoon Seungho’s mansion. He should remain by her side and follow her. In chapter 94, she could have acted like the scholar (chapter 68) But she did not. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that she had bad intentions here. However, her passivity caught my attention. She was immobile and silent. (chapter 94) Hence Byeonduck drew her without mouth. Her behavior contrasts so much to this scene: (chapter 65). Thus she gave more the impression of being righteous and truly concerned.

Moreover, another detail caught my attention: (chapter 94) The presence of the moustache beard!! Three of them have one!! (chapter 94) The painterofthenight-lovers will certainly recall Yoon Seungho’s words: (chapter 44) However, there exists a difference between the painter and the lord’s association for beards in my opinion. The latter suffered due to old men wearing a long moustache beard with whiskers. (chapter 82) (chapter 83) (chapter 37)

Noblemen’s grooming styles for facial hair found in thirty portraits handed down from the Joseon Dynasty are as follows. Facial hair is classified into three types: beards, moustaches and whiskers according to its location. Twenty one portraits show that the subjects groomed all three types of facial hair.” Quoted from http://www.rjcc.or.kr/journal/article.php?code=7079

But there exists another style of moustache beard.

The remaining nine scholars also grew and trimmed their moustaches in the 八shape neatly, and had beards in an inverted triangle long enough to reach the lower part of the neck. However they do not have whiskers in their portraits. Quoted from http://www.rjcc.or.kr/journal/article.php?code=7079

Striking is that Kim is also wearing such a moustache beard. (chapter 87) However, so far in the story, this type of moustache beard was only present among commoners and not nobles!! (chapter 39) (chapter 45) (chapter 45) (chapter 64) (chapter 78) Hence I started suspecting if these two persons were truly nobles in the end. (chapter 94) Just because they are wearing clothes destined to aristocrats, this doesn’t mean that they are truly lords. And don’t forget that when the painter was attacked in front of the learned sir’s home, many people were disguised. The kisaeng Heena was dressed like a commoner’s wife (chapter 99), Min was cosplaying Lee Jihwa, the guards were covering their mouths, Baek Na-Kyum had been wearing a expensive scarf and a headgear for noblewomen, (chapter 99) so that he had been mistaken for a young master. (chapter 91). Therefore I came to the conclusion that the painter has repressed the link between the moustache beard and nobles. Since the noona kept saying nobles, what made Baek Na-Kyum shudder in the past were nobles. But the connection between the beard and nobility is existent in the painter’s subconscious. This explicates why Baek Na-Kyum would show such a respect to valet Kim, he would call him sir and listen to him. (chapter 52) However, the more time passed on, the more the butler kept pointing out that he was just a servant, so that this moustache beard is losing its meaning, the symbol for power and nobility. At the same time, the painter met more and more people with beards, like for example the tailor (chapter 74), the physician (chapter 74), Bongyong (chapter 78) and finally Yoon Chang-Hyeon (chapter 87). However, note that when the patriarch left, the main character only paid attention to his gaze and not his beard. (chapter 87) This explicates why Baek Na-Kyum is not mentioning the beard concerning nobility, while Yoon Seungho never made the connection between the old bearded men and Kim, though the latter has now a moustache beard! To conclude, I don’t think that this physical assault (chapter 94) was really done by nobles. Moreover, we shouldn’t forget that the gibang is not only visited by aristocrats, but also by commoners (rich merchants, small shop owners, workers). (chapter 99). That’s the reason why I came to the following theory. These persons wounded the painter on purpose and in my eyes, it was suggested by Heena. (chapter 94) She couldn’t ask nobles to commit such a crime due to her social status, hence she asked the assistance of low-borns. Striking is that the painter was mostly hurt by commoners in the different seasons: The servants (chapter 13), the maid (though not intended) (chapter 36, here the painter is drugged against his will), Deok-Jae , Nameless, (chapter 60), Kim (chapter 66) [As you already know, for me Kim was the one who tried to kill the painter during the abduction], Bongyong (chapter 78), the calligrapher with his insults (chapter 91), the maids with their reproaches (chapter 91) (chapter 98) and the black guards from Min. (chapter 99) The commoners are often the helping hands of the nobles. But as you know, Heena has been denying their existence and involvement. Why? It is because she has been a helping hand herself. Under this new approach, you comprehend why I came to the deduction that Heena had utilized people to make her brother desert the kisaeng house. This is no coincidence that in chapter 97, the painter was accompanied by 2 servants (chapter 97), two commoners who neglected him totally. By the way, the one with the green shirt and white jacket vanished later. He was not seen in the mansion. Anyway, the two domestics wouldn’t even follow the lord’s orders properly, for they never stayed by the painter’s side. And since it is a reflection from chapter 94, I deduce that the two “nobles” acted the opposite. They played their role perfectly to the point that the painter was terribly wounded and he never doubted their identities. They were just nobles! And that’s the point. That way, no person was truly blamed for the incident.

Hence Heena didn’t suggest the painter’s exit right after this incident, she had to wait for his recovery, and naturally she had to blame someone: the nobles!! She played with his prejudices in the end. The first evidence for this theory is that during that fateful night, Baek Na-Kyum didn’t go straight to the teacher’s home, for he first returned to Yoon Seungho’s mansion. This time, she couldn’t convince her brother to follow her suggestion, an indication that the indoctrination was no longer effective. This stands in opposition to chapter 94, where the painter’s self-esteem was ruined. Thus he chose to listen to her advice without resisting. This explicates why during their first farewell, the readers were able to see the painter’s face and the white headband on his head!! (chapter 46) This was the “positive” reflection of this scene: (chapter 94) No matter what… Baek Na-Kyum should leave the kisaeng house. What caught my attention is that she only presented her argument, the moment the painter was about to leave her. Thus he recalled her words when he was on his way to the gibang (chapter 46) and as such to the scholar’s home. (chapter 46) Moreover, I am now doubting that Baek Na-Kyum and Heena were seen in front of the gibang. (chapter 46) Why? It is because of the building and the absence of the cheongsachorong (the blue and red lantern). First, the gibang is surrounded by a wall made of stones! (chapter 19) (chapter 69) (chapter 93) Secondly, there is no window next to the entrance of the building contrary to the image from chapter 46. Consequently, I deduce that Heena had left the gibang with her brother saying that she was meeting a client, and just before entering the mansion, she sent away her brother. This explicates why he had only taken his tools and nothing more. Remember what the noonas said in chapter 93: (chapter 93) She implied that the noona was not present in the kisaeng house, while in reality she was punished, trapped in a storage room. And now, you comprehend why Heena said this to her brother: (chapter 46) He couldn’t bid farewell to his noonas, for he had already left the kisaeng house. But he had no idea that he would be sent away during that day. The other evidence for this theory is that the painter went to his lover’s home before visiting the scholar’s house. (chapter 97-98) Furthermore, the night before, the noona had implied that Heena had left the gibang. Thus I conclude that Baek Na-Kyum was truly abandoned by Heena in the end, but he got deceived by her gentle words and gestures. The physical abuse in the kisaeng house and her kind gestures had played a huge role in this. He could no longer be protected there. She justified this that it was for the painter’s best interests. She knew what the artist truly desired. However, this was not true, as she had manipulated him and she had never asked him. Under this new light, you comprehend how Heena could deceive her colleagues so easily with this statement: (chapter 93) He had suddenly vanished without voicing such a desire before. And note that in chapter 97, she was already acting on Min’s orders, a sign that in the past, it was different. She had done it on her own accord. In the annex, the kisaeng was definitely scared, hence she was trembling. (chapter 97) I have always said that the painter’s departure from the kisaeng house (chapter 1-46) was related to a crime, but the noona was not aware of this, or deep down she knew, but she chose to close an eye to this. Why do I think that this is related to murder? Simply, because in front of the scholar’s house, she faked her death and the painter had been wounded too. (chapter 99) Finally, we have this execution in chapter 1. During that night, Baek Na-Kyum should have died. But let’s return to episode 97. Here, she was resenting her brother. (chapter 97) She was totally unhappy which stands in opposition to chapter 46 in my eyes. Hence she was looking for new tissues at the tailor’s. (chapter 64) This would explain why she never looked for her brother afterwards. This shows that unconsciously, the painter had judged her betrayal and abandonment correctly, but he had been deceived by her argumentation and attitude. In other words, he was in denial.

4. The purpose of these reflections

I believe that these incidents are created to expose the transformation and evolution of characters. Heena felt powerless and scared, when she was young. Due to her anxieties (according to me, genophobia) she made wrong decisions, thus she let the protagonists suffer. She was definitely a victim due to her social status as kisaeng, for it was not her choice to become a kisaeng. Nonetheless, the problem is that in chapter 94, she utilized the painter as her shield. The real victim in this scene is not Heena, but Baek Na-Kyum. She had brought the table and let the painter approach the nobles. Why did they want to confirm, if he was a girl or a boy? (chapter 94) The clothes were indicating that he was a boy!! Moreover, why did she let him approach these men? It was during the night, for he was wearing his night clothes. So he should have slept. In my opinion, she utilized the painter in order to explain why she couldn’t perform her duties as a kisaeng. She was constantly followed by the painter. Simultaneously, she could utilize this incident to portray herself as a victim of violent and filthy nobles. She could lie to her brother, and explain that when he was not with her, she had to bear such an attitude. He would believe her, for he had experienced it once. She was clearly avoiding her fate as a kisaeng. Furthermore, she could explain why she was not working or sharing her bed with the other noonas. (chapter 87) So in this scene, (chapter 68), Baek Na-Kyum had the impression that she was telling the truth. It looked like she was a victim of violence, while in reality, Yoon Seungho was the real victim. He got dragged and tied up! Today, I just discovered another evidence for this interpretation! (chapter 68) The blue skirt is revealing her presence. She is next to the door and observe that there is a table to her right!! Exactly like in chapter 94! But it was much bigger. This means that she left the room. And since the table was not present in this image, (chapter 86), I deduce that Heena explained her desertion by taking away the table so that she had the perfect excuse to leave this room and abandon Yoon Seungho. It was not her business. But if she left the room during that night, she could have followed her brother. But she never did it. She let her brother imagine that she was suffering. (chapter 70) Terrible, right? However, since the painter had been deceived by impressions, he came to believe her version and lies. But there is more to it. Because the artist was so young, he never realized that he could have detected her manipulations!! How? She should have become a wreck… have bruises on her body, but she never had any.

This new interpretation is truly important, because it made me realize why Heena got punished in the storage room. 😮 (chapter 93) Since she excused her vanishing by saying that she had to remove the dishes and as such was busy in the kitchen, it is normal that she was imprisoned next to the kitchen 10 years later!! Here, we can recognize the kitchen by the door made of wooden planks: (chapter 95) But there exist two other evidences why Heena is associated to the kitchen. Remember the painter’s thoughts in the inn: (chapter 75) They let see that he was thinking of Heena, though he spoke of his noonas. However, the presence of religion was introduced with food. (chapter 75) This truly exposes that Heena preferred working in the kitchen. That way, she could avoid sex with the clients. Another interesting aspect is that when she was sitting at the table with nobles, she was not talking to her neighbors. . (chapter 93) She was not even serving the noble next to her. (chapter 93) Once again, she was passive and immobile. Since she was doing nothing, she could hear her brother’s name and turn her head. (chapter 93) Under this new light, it becomes understandable why Baek Na-Kyum didn’t detect her presence in the patio. It was not her usual place. At the same time, the readers can grasp why the artist didn’t mind eating in the kitchen with the maids and felt comfortable around the head-maid. (chapter 46) This was reflecting his past relationship with Heena. And now, you comprehend why Heena never paid attention to the painter’s education. She had not the time and the motivation to do so. She was busy in the kitchen during the evening and night, yet keep in mind that the painter was her excuse to keep her distance from the nobles in the beginning. This explicates why Yoon Seungho crashed the table in the gibang: (chapter 99) This was Heena’s karma. She could no longer use the table as an excuse to betray and abandon a young boy. Moreover, we could see this gesture as a compensation for the past incident. (chapter 68) Finally, the lord could voice his frustration and his resent for the kisaeng who had “deceived” him. Now, I am wondering if during that night, the rice had not been spoiled too. The most important aspect is that she had definitely seen the abduction and sequestration, yet she did nothing. But if the food was spoiled, then I can understand why she acted that way. She didn’t want to be punished. But if this theory is correct, , it depends on if she was involved in this incident or not. Yet I don’t believe that she was responsible here. She preferred Yoon Seungho taking the fall. So she took the table with her colleague and left the room. (chapter 68) How do I come to this idea? It is because there is a progression in the responsibility. But we will see, if the lord’s anger was caused by spoiled rice. One thing is sure: the butler is recreating events from the past. And shortly after the painter’s departure from his noona situated in chapter 46, (chapter 46), we had this incident: . (chapter 47). That’s the reason why I am connecting the kisaeng to the food. And I had already demonstrated that there exists a link between the gibang and the lord’s kitchen.

That’s how I made a new connection between Heena and Nameless. The latter is a butcher, and he was seen in the kitchen. (chapter 60) And now, we know for sure that the chicken blood was used to stage the crime scene in the scholar’s house. (chapter 101) For me, Nameless was behind this prank. It sounded so harmless, but the reality is totally different. Consequently, Heena can become the prime suspect in the scholar’s disappearance. Remember that according to me, Yoon Seung-Won went to the gibang after leaving his brother’s mansion and discovered that he had been deceived. For me, there is no ambiguity that Yoon Seung-Won and lord Song are behind the learned sir’s murder, for both had a huge interest for his vanishing. But in my eyes, Heena is the link between the nobles, lord Song and No-Name, because the kisaeng house is frequented by all kind of people. I have already mentioned that the learned sir must have gone to the kisaeng house after meeting the fake servant. (chapter 38) This encounter took place during the day, however he returned during the night. So he must have spent some time elsewhere. Because of the connection between Heena and the kitchen, I think, she will have to take the fall for No-Name’s crimes. Under this new light, I comprehend why Byeonduck declared that she had no longer planned Mumyeong and Lee Jihwa. Both were already receiving their punishment, when they fled. But since I detected a connection between Heena and No-Name, I am quite sure that she is also responsible for the downfall of No-Name. And don’t forget that during the incident in the bedchamber, we had a party!! (chapter 83) Then I had already demonstrated that the kisaeng had already visited the mansion, for she knew where the painter’s room was. (chapter 65) So she could have worked in the kitchen… helping the other maids. To conclude, the kisaeng had committed the following wrongdoings. She had manipulated her brother with a mixture of belief and prejudices to cover up her own fears and wrongdoings. While in chapter 94, she stopped the painter from leaving the room unconsciously, it was no longer the case with Yoon Seungho, as she was standing in front of the door. (chapter 68) She contributed to his abduction and sequestration. But this doesn’t end here. She was also a witness of his sexual abuse, but she chose to close an eye. Thus she said this to the painter: (chapter 68) For her, sex had become a synonym for torture and death. Her wrong choices reinforced her fears about sex in my eyes. Every time, she decided not to face the truth, she preferred being blind. Thus the goddess chose to punish her by letting her deceived by impressions. (chapter 88) (chapter 66) Here, she couldn’t help her brother, though the “sequestration” was nothing compared to what Yoon Seungho had experienced at such a young age. She had deceived her brother in the past, and now she was put in the same position. She was the fool one. In addition, she was forced to be confronted with reality, because she needed to admit her wrongdoings. Since she was behind this assault (chapter 94), she had to see her brother wounded, the consequences of her lies and manipulations. (chapter 99) Yet, each time she refused to become responsible. She always had a perfect excuse: the nobles were to blame for this, the lord had acted like a spoiled child etc…. In front of the scholar’s house, it was because her brother had not listened to her. Besides, Min was also accountable for this. (chapter 99) She never pointed her finger to the black guards, for she knew that they could reply that she was responsible for her brother’s resistance. She had not been able to convince him to follow Min. She preferred blaming innocent people (Baek Na-Kyum, Yoon Seungho and “Jihwa”) than recognizing her own guilt and her bad choices. Since in the past, she stood in front of her door, her punishment was to remain outside. She could never enter the room (chapter 66). (chapter 96) She even got sequestered herself. (chapter 93), therefore it is not surprising that at the end, she was determined to leave the kisaeng house. But this doesn’t end here. The painter had been denied the right to bid farewell to his noonas a second time because of Heena (again), (chapter 99), this means that her punishment will be that she will never see her colleagues again. Since she faked her death (chapter 99), her karma will be that she gets killed for real. In my opinion, Heena is destined to suffer and die a horrible death. Remember that in this story, karma will be 1000% worse than the crime itself. She will be definitely blamed for the murder of many people. Since she claimed that nobles were filthy and violent liars, her doctrines and belief could be used against her, the moment the police investigate Black Heart’s death. .(chapter 102) She is a Christian, hence she could be accused of sacrilege too. In my eyes, Heena will never be able to bid farewell to her brother again. His words in the mansion will become a reality. (chapter 69) As you can see, I am detecting a progression in her wrongdoings. She is getting more and more involved, though there is no ambiguity that she was deceived herself in season 3. But this doesn’t excuse her crimes, for she refused to listen to her brother and called him an idiot. At no moment, she pondered on the situation. Her decisions were strongly influenced by her emotions (fear, anger and hatred). That’s the reason why I am convinced that if she is not dead (my theory), her attitude towards her brother will worsen to the point that she will call her brother a bird of misfortune! (chapter 68) Remember her metaphor concerning the gibang, it was viewed as a nest. She was already comparing her brother to a bird. (chapter 93) Thus the only thing that is missing is “of misfortune”. And she can only adopt such a belief, for everything she had planned never worked out. She imagined that she could exchange her brother for her freedom (chapter 97) which represented a betrayal of her own doctrines. But the result was that Min was killed, hence her situation can only deteriorate. If she can escape punishment concerning the nobles’ killing, she has then an opportunity to change her situation by putting the blame on her brother. Why? It is because Baek Na-Kyum will be perceived by Kim and the pedophile as the bird of misfortune. They will be reunited by this “belief”. This reinforces my conviction that the departures in season 4 will become very bloody and painful. The irony is that her metaphor with the bird revealed more about her own thoughts than she imagined. She just needed to give him some warmth, feed Baek Na-Kyum, and that was it. He had a bed and he could eat. A smile and a caress on the cheek were enough to motivate the painter. Her affection was fleeting and trivial in the end. However, while writing this essay, I realized why Baek Na-Kyum ended up drawing in the courtyard. It is because this was the only place where he could be in peace. In the room, he got assaulted by the nobles (chapter 94) or he had to witness his noona getting “beaten” by a violent noble (chapter 68). As you can see, the kitchen and the courtyard seemed to be the only place where he was left alone, until he got assault in the courtyard. Naturally, it was only possible during the day. Thus the learned sir had such a memory. (chapter 01)

5. Conclusions

The story is not only reflecting Heena’s metamorphosis and downfall, but also it serves as an example for the painter. Through her, he can grasp why Yoon Chang-Hyeon had such a cold gaze towards his own son. The ruin of their relationship will make him realize why the father could turn his back on his own son, the refusal of admitting his wrong choices and guilt. If he recalls their last argument, he can already notice the change in her gaze. (chapter 97) Fake concern versus anger and resent (chapter 97) The only difference is that here her fury and hatred were addressed more towards Yoon Seungho than the painter. However, gradually she was slowly revealing her anger towards her brother. At the end of season 3, her exit is quite sudden and brutal: staged death! (chapter 99) But by faking her death, she not only hides her desertion, but also she is not able to bid farewell to her brother. He is left behind unconscious, so he can not notice her “death”, while in her mind, she can only remember this image: (chapter 99) Baek Na-Kyum lying unconscious and his head covered in blood. Will she feel remorse and blame herself for his “death”? If she is still alive, it is possible, however the moment she realizes that Baek Na-Kyum escaped death and as such staged his curtains, she can only resent him, for he deceived her. In reality, she was the one who deceiving everyone: Jihwa and the other nobles. To conclude, she played a bigger role in Yoon Seungho’s suffering in the end.

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Painter Of The Night: Happy laughter 😄 and fearful agony 😧

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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What is the common denominator between all these images? The painter’s mouth is wide open. This implies that the painter is laughing! In other words, these pictures are showing a happy Baek Na-Kyum. The laughter is not just a symbol for joy, but also an indicator for social bonding, cooperation and as such social acceptance. Note that in all these scenes, the painter is not laughing alone. He is either facing his lover and the “witnesses” of his marriage.

On the other hand, what caught my attention is that in the story itself, the manhwaphiles never saw the painter laughing in the present!! The only time, he was caught laughing happened during a dream. (chapter 87) Naturally, this vision reflected the past due to the presence of the noonas. But if you read my previous analysis, you are aware that the painter’s nocturne visions are always composed of three elements: memory, nightmare and desires which will come true at some point. The readers will certainly recall the painter’s wish in the bedchamber: (chapter 81) However, here again, this was not real, for he was imagining it. He had restrained himself, for he felt that his actual life was like an illusion. It was too good to be true. Thus I conclude that in both visions, the painter wished to laugh and as such to be happy. And this observation led me to the following deduction. In season 4, the manhwalovers will witness Baek Na-Kyum’s laughter. But this doesn’t end here. All the quoted pictures share another similarity which is the absence of the sound!! There is no HA, HA, HA…. Thus I deduce that in season 4, the readers will even hear Baek Na-Kyum’s laugh!! 🤣

1. Evidences for this prediction

First, I would like to remind my avid readers the following rules: Yoon Seungho’s actions will always be reflected by the painter’s and the reverse. Secondly, each scene in a season will be mirrored in other seasons. Striking is that the readers could witness Yoon Seungho’s joy and laugh in season 1. Thus this means that the painter should laugh in season 4. Interesting is that the author had separated the lord’s laugher in two different scenes. In episode 1, the protagonist had his mouth wide open, because he was so happy to meet his idol. (chapter 1). His mouth was exposing his emotions: happiness. It was, as if he was laughing internally out of joy. Then in the pavilion, the author let us hear Yoon Seungho’s laugh, while we couldn’t see his face. (chapter 25) As you can see, Yoon Seungho was not truly seen “laughing”. This is what we saw right after: (chapter 25) Either the sound was missing, or the readers couldn’t see his open mouth. Then in chapter 51, Byeonduck created an ambiguous situation. (chapter 51) Who was laughing here? The main lead or Min recognizable with his green hanbok? This confusion was deliberate. It was to give the impression that the lord had moved on, he was not missing his partner. This image served to divulge the reality: this happiness was fake. Another interesting aspect is that we couldn’t see the lord’s mouth, for it was too far away. It was more or less drawn from the painter’s perspective who was walking in the courtyard. (chapter 51) The purpose of this trick was to deceive the painter, Yoon Seungho would no longer care for him. However, this trick didn’t work out like imagined due to the maid’s words. She wished that he would remain in the mansion. But let’s return our attention to the laugher in this panel. I would even add that there was no real social bounding, for Black Heart was enjoying about Yoon Seungho’s misery and loss. He believed that the painter had died. And if it was Yoon Seungho who laughed, then this was to mask his pain. Then in chapter 70, he was caught laughing. And observe that the author separated the sound from the face: (chapter 70) Yoon Seungho would even hide his face from the painter, as he was looking down. His laugh was barely perceptible, and when the author revealed his face, Yoon Seungho used his hand to mask his smile. (chapter 70) It was, as if Yoon Seungho was not allowed to smile or to laugh at all. I would even go so far to say that laughers were actually forbidden in the mansion. Striking is that in season 3, for the first time, we could see and hear the lord’s laughter contrary to season 1 and 2.. (chapter 78) This illustrates the progression of the lord’s healing. He was getting happier, and he would interact more and more with people. Yet, in this scene, the lord’s laughter was not loud contrary to the one in the pavilion. Then in the gibang, his laugh was also fake, for he was masking his pain. (chapter 93) Thus the author didn’t let us see his mouth once again. But the painter could see the difference between a sincere laughter and a fake one, as he had already heard and see the lord’s true laugher! Because the lord laughed in all 3 seasons, I could only assume the painter’s laughing in season 4. But I have another proof for this prediction. In season 3, the painter’s laughter was shown in visions (chapter 81, 87) or through the testimony of the maid. (chapter 91) However, the manhwalovers have to envision that, when he caught the pervert with the maid together, he was totally embarrassed. Hence his laugh was fake! In other words, I am doubting that he truly laughed. That’s the reason why Baek Na-Kyum denied to find the situation funny. (chapter 91) As a conclusion, expect a picture with Baek Na-Kyum ‘s laughter reflecting his happiness and sincerity. And this is definitely related to his marriage: I have another proof for this expectation, the lord’s mouth in this scene: (chapter 87) Here, he was making fun of his father, and used the rumors about his imminent marriage. That’s how I realized that in season 3, the lord had often played the role of the Joker (chapter 78-79; 87; 89-90-91), until he was replaced by Black Heart. That’s the reason why I have been predicting that in season 4, Yoon Seungho will play a huge prank on the old bearded men, especially the mysterious lord Song, with his marriage. But while making this connection between the lord’s laughter and the painter’s, I had another revelation: the mouth wide open is not just the expression for laughter, but also for fear and suffering.

2. Anxiety and torture

Look at this image: (chapter 102) There is no HAHA, this shows that this situation is not funny. Yet, Black Heart is still smiling, he is even explaining that they were just playing. However, this smile is totally fake, for he is already scared. Hence he is stuttering. Moreover, he is trying to downplay the whole situation, as he describes it as a game. But the closer Yoon Seungho got to him, the more the villain got scared. (chapter 102) On the other hand, Black Heart’s mouth remained wide open, but it slowly exposed his true emotions. As the manhwalovers can detect, the sound “Haa,” is not expressing joy or happiness, but huge anxieties. Thus I couldn’t help myself thinking that in season 4, the painter’s laughter will be reflected with the heavy breathing from fear and pain. Someone will have a mouth wide open out of fear!! And this connection was already present in chapter 1: (chapter 1) versus (chapter 1) Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho had both flashbacks (chapter 66), while Min was smiling. He was internally laughing, for it found it entertaining. [For more read the essay HAHA Flashbacks”] And this fear was exposed by the sound: HAA (chapter 99) But this doesn’t end here.

The sound HAA is just associated to anxiety, but also to moan. Hence I couldn’t restrain myself thinking that the wide open mouth can not only express pleasure, but also pain caused by TORTURE! Let’s not forget that the painter had been hiding his moaning out of pleasure in the past (chapter 84), but in the gibang, he dropped this habit for good: (chapter 96) This connection between pain, pleasure and laughter appeared in chapter 91, as the story is based on the following rule: there is always a reflection within the same episode. I would like the manhwaphiles to observe this image: (chapter 91) Here, the lord had changed position provoking pleasure to the artist. Before, the maid had laughed so loudly in order to get the painter’s attention. (chapter 91) According to my interpretation, she hoped that Baek Na-Kyum would discover the existence of the kisaeng’s letters so that the painter would feel betrayed by Yoon Seungho. He had ordered to hide the correspondence. But for that, she needed to explain the reason for her loud laughter. Hence she revealed the incident with the pervert. The irony is that due to his pleasure and embarrassment, Baek Na-Kyum didn’t pay attention to her words. He already felt ashamed, after the servant had exposed the situation in the bathroom. (chapter 91) Thus he avoided his lover’s gaze. And note that in chapter 25, the lord laughed, before he raped the painter. (chapter 25) This episode exposes the connection between laugh and pain. Here, you can see that the painter is also screaming out of pain, the negative reflection of Yoon Seungho’s laugh. Baek Na-Kyum’s mouth was wide open. When people are tortured, they will usually scream their pain and fear.

The last image is taken from Dong-Yi, a historical k-drama, which I am employing as a reference. The beholder can detect a huge difference between this scene (chapter 37) and the one from Dong-Yi. The absence of the sound. Moreover, the manhwalovers can not see the mouths from the victims either. The torture was already finished, for they had removed the tools and the „suspects“ were covered with blood. And this leads me to the following observation. The author selected a perspective from far away, and didn’t add the sound on purpose. This shows that the pedophile was not present, when the torture took place. He only arrived afterwards. This exposes his cowardice. Secondly, since I had outlined that the author had separated the sound (HA HA) from the lord’s mouth concerning the laughter, I am quite certain that she will use a similar processes for the torture. Naturally, I am also assuming that torture from the past could be slowly revealed. Consequently, my prediction is that the negative reflection of the painter’s laughter will be the yelling combined with fear and pain. This signifies that people will suffer in season 4 and probably die. Another evidence for this prediction is that the author often focused on the characters’ mouth. And this is what we have: (chapter 77) (chapter 86) (chapter 98) In the last scene, Heena was sort of “punished”, when she confessed to the main lead. That’s the reason why I believe that in season 4, we will see people screaming out of pain and fear. It can be in the present or in the past. The interrogation and torture should be exposed in my eyes contrary to chapter 37. Why? It is because Baek Na-Kyum needs to know what happened to Yoon Seungho to understand him. There is no ambiguity that the painter will suffer again, for in this work “pain” is necessary to change the painter’s mind and heart. Remember that he was “tormented”, when he finally admitted that he believed in his lover’s innocence. (chapter 99) Despite the “torture”, he still claimed that Yoon Seungho was no murderer. Thus I conclude that in the next season, it should be the reverse. Yoon Seungho has to make a new leap of faith believing in the painter’s innocence and purity. Hence I am expecting an arrest in season 4. Finally, we shouldn’t overlook that each word Yoon Seungho said became the truth, so when he stated this (chapter 65), he was already warning the sister. She could face human justice. However, this idiom suddenly caught my attention: “the wrath of humans”. It can be a reference to the authorities, but also to the inhabitants. The latter could get infuriated by the police work and put the officers under pressure or in the worst case, the inhabitants could decide to do their own justice: lynch mob. According to me, many commoners died in season 3. Hence this could upset the town folks who would ask for real justice. And if Yoon Seungho’s fiancée is acknowledged by them, then it will be impossible for the pedophile to use the authorities to achieve his goal, separate the couple and hide his own crimes. Thus his last puppets will have to take the fall. Another important aspect is that when Yoon Seungho warned the kisaeng, Kim was also present, though he still remained in the background. (chapter 65) As you can imagine, I am already sensing a bad ending for Heena and Kim. Striking is that in this scene, while the noona was seen constantly with her mouth wide open, yelling at the host and calling for her brother, the latter was having a flashback. This is no coincidence, especially if you recall that Heena was connected to Baek Na-Kyum’s tears: (chapter 68) (chapter 94) In fact, this reinforces my conviction that the painter’s laughter will be contrasted with people’s moaning and yells out of agony. At the same time, I think that Heena is connected to scandal, but in season 2 and 3, she failed to create a ruckus. Why? It is because in the past, she had helped to cover up the crimes committed in the kisaeng house.

3. Conclusions

Under this new perspective, the manhwalovers can comprehend why I used the following emojis in the title: 😄😧 Both of them have a open mouth, the only difference are the eyes. Out of fear, the eyes get bigger, because the body is in survival modus. On the other hand, when these persons got tortured, they closed their eyes out of agony,

reminding us of the painter’s suffering in the gibang. Yet, the closed eyes and the open mouth is quite similar to the painter’s laughter: The readers can grasp why I made this connection between suffering and happiness in the end.

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: Hunted or wanted? 🏹🩸

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/ 

It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring: Ko-fi.com/bebebisous33  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.

My avid readers are actually aware that Painter Of The Night is constructed like a kaleidoscope. Thus certain incidents keep occurring twice in each season. However, one might argue that this theory is not true, for the author used two hunts in season 1, yet we had no hunt at all in season 2, and only one in season 3.

  • Chapter 22:
  • Chapter 41:
  • Chapter 83:

1. The hidden chases

As you can imagine, I can refute this point very easily. First of all, in the essay „Words“, I had pointed out that in the bedchamber, the lord was acting like a hunter chasing after his prey. I had made this connection, for the main lead would utilize idioms from the lexical field of the hunt. (Chapter 73) (chapter 73) This is important, because the manhwalovers can sense a connection between sex and hunt. This means that the love session in the bedchamber from season 2 should be perceived as a new version of a hunt. And this link between sex and hunting was also present, when Yoon Seungho and Min were in the woods in chapter 41: (chapter 41) In this scene, it looked like Black Heart was trying to make a move on Yoon Seungho, while in truth Min was more obsessed with the painter. (Chapter 41) The expression „spot“ belongs also to the semantic field of chase.

Secondly, the premeditated murder could be viewed as a new version of the hunt. Yoon Seungho was the first one to bring up these two notions together: (Chapter 11) A murder disguised as an accident, the scholar would have been eaten by a tiger. What caught my attention is that No-Name requested from Deok-Jae that he should make the painter leave the mansion. o (chapter 51) It was, as if the rabbit had been chased away from its burrow or the deer had been forced to leave the woods. That way, he would become an easy target for the hunter and butcher Mumyeong. To conclude, we had two hunts in season 2 as well.

As for season 3, the second chase took place, when the painter vanished. Yoon Seungho had to track down himself Baek Na-Kyum. He was like a hunter searching for his prey, following the clues left by the “witnesses”. (Chapter 99) First, he was rushing, but the moment he received the crucial tip from his childhood friend, he approached the den silently, just like a tiger. That‘s the reason why neither Black Heart nor lord Jang nor lord Park detected his presence. (Chapter 101)

2. Yoon Seungho the hunter

Thus I couldn‘t help myself associating Yoon Seungho to a tiger. In one of my first analyses, I had compared him to an eagle and a phoenix, hence this new association seems to contradict my previous interpretation. However, the readers should keep in their mind that each character has been associated to different animals: Min was either a snake or a crow or a magpie, while Jung In-Hun could be perceived as a snake, a peacock or a chameleon. I have already compared the painter to a deer and a butterfly, so Yoon Seungho should be linked to different animals either: the phoenix and the tiger.

This predator is known to be a solitary night hunter, mainly relying on his sense of sight and hearing rather than on smell when hunting prey. This method is also employed by the main character which was particularly perceptible during the last incident. On the one hand, he listened to the words from his staff, the noonas, Seokdae (chapter 99) and Lee Jihwa (chapter 100), hence he had not the time to question the veracity of their claims or sense their manipulations. On the other hand, he could detect the difference between the blood in front of the scholar’s house and inside the building. (Chapter 100). He was following his instincts. Tigers cautiously stalk their target from the rear in attempt to get as close as possible to their unsuspecting prey. (Chapter 101) And the moment I perceived Yoon Seungho as a tiger, I couldn‘t help myself thinking that the main lead was acting like a mother looking for her lost cub!! 🐯 This would explain why the protagonist showed no mercy at all to the nobles. However, the painter is definitely no tiger. In our story, he was symbolized by the deer, which the lord had stabbed with his sword. (Chapter 22) This was an allusion to the rape. Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why Baek Na-Kyum feared the lord so much, because he had to face his strength and fury right away. From the beginning, the painter saw his dangerous side. A deer can only perceive the tiger as a natural enemy. We could say that Painter Of The Night is a love story between a tiger and a deer!😉 This means that the lord finally showed his real fangs, when he felt that his curb or treasured deer had been wounded. (chapter 102)

And this thought leads me to the following observation, the way Yoon Seungho hurts its targets. The tiger will attempt to take down its prey with a powerful bite to the neck and/ or throat. Now, look at this: (chapter 41) The pheasant was strangled, just like Yoon Seungho used to grab the painter by the throat (chapter 48) or the chin (chapter 11). The main lead‘s hand has the same form than the bite, though it can not cut the flesh… which the sword can. Thus we saw the lord using the sword: (chapter 22) (chapter 83) (chapter 102) Even in this panel, the sword resembles a lot to the tiger‘s fang: (chapter 102) Another important element is that this predator usually targets large-bodied preys like boar, deer, humans and not rabbit or pheasant. Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why the main lead went after a boar or the aristocrats in season 3.

“Less than a century ago, tigers and leopards prowled the Korean peninsula and ruled the hours of darkness. Their depredations in the desolate regions were so severe that porters and horse-handlers refused to travel at night ― even in fairly large groups. If they were compelled to travel at night (through the promises of more money or threats of violence), they did so with great caution, brandishing torches, striking gongs, and relying on superstitious beliefs.

According to an old Chinese saying, “The Korean hunts the tiger six months in the year and the tiger hunts the Korean the other six months.” Robert Neff Collection

Quoted from http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/opinon/2019/10/197_276925.html

By comparing all these hunting scenes, I detected the following parallels. The main lead would always do the mercy killing, which stands in opposition to Min or Jung In-Hun. Both disliked dirtying their own hands, it was beneath them to kill the animal themselves. (chapter 22) (chapter 41) We could say that Yoon Seungho was behaving like the tiger, who would always kill his prey in one go. Simultaneously, this reminded me of the status of No-Name, who is according to me a butcher. (chapter 60) The latter belonged to the lowest ranks of Joseon’s society, because killing an animal was a disgraceful job. On the other hand, the butcher No-Name and the tiger Yoon Seungho have something in common: killing is viewed as a necessity. It is either to survive or to end the animal’s suffering or to punish the criminals.

3. Hunting: hobby or work?

That’s how I realized that hunt and murder are similar in this story, for both are mostly presented as an entertainment. Yoon Seungho invited the scholar for a hunt, as it would give the occasion to go to the woods. (Chapter 22). And when Black Heart suggested the artist’s assassination, he always kept laughing, making it sound like a game without any terrible consequence. (Chapter 43) Lee Jihwa would remove a witch, and not a human. (chapter 43) Only Nameless painted it in all its cruelty and brutality. Not only the person would lose his life, but he would lose his identity. (Chapter 60) By removing his eyes and tongue, the victim’s face would change making him impossible to be recognized. And note that his scarf and headgear had been removed as well. It was not a game, but a deadly matter. Why would he do such a thing? The reason is simple. If no one could identify the victim, there would be no investigation. Astonishing is that hunt is a synonym for investigation and prosecution. Hence I am deducing that in season 4, the investigation should be perceived a new version of the hunt. Because of Jung In-Hun and Min, someone will be put on the wanted list. On the other side, Mumyeong’s other job is to entertain people. To conclude, there is a strong connection between killing and entertaining which the main lead destroyed during that night. He reminded the nobles that hunting means taking away a life.

On the other hand, the hunting in chapter 83 looked the exact opposite: (chapter 83) It was far more serious and deadly. The noble was acting like an obsessed and crazy man. There was no trace of fun on his face, only stress and fear. (chapter 83) Thus I am deducing that this chase had been suggested to the main lead in order to release his tension and as such in order to divert his attention from the painter. Naturally, Kim was behind this idea faking his concern for his master. The hunt was supposed to procure pleasure to Yoon Seungho, but it couldn’t, because he was afraid of losing the painter. This explains why he selected the boar as his prey. He was fearless in front of that dangerous animal, for it meant nothing to him. He didn’t mind losing his life… revealing his suicidal disposition which resurfaced later, when the father mentioned the authorities. (chapter 86) (chapter 86) But the moment the servant reminded him to pay more attention to himself (chapter 83), he abandoned the boar immediately. This shows that all this time, Baek Na-Kyum had been on his mind. Therefore it is no coincidence that he rushed home on his horse and looked for Baek Na-Kyum. (Chapter 83) He couldn’t forget that he had scared and wounded the painter in his dissociative state. This shows that the chase had not served its true purpose: entertainment. In reality, the domestics had been the ones suffering the most, for them it was definitely more work (Chapter 84) compared to the past. (chapter 23)

Another important detail caught my attention in this panel: (chapter 83) the hunter had the impression to become a target himself, thus he turned around. His situation coincides with the tigers in Joseon. The latter were hunted down by professional tiger hunters, for they represented a huge source of danger for the local population.

Some of Korea’s most dangerous and ferocious tigers were those that dwelt on the slopes of Inwangsan, just outside the Seoul city walls. These tigers often preyed on woodcutters and firewood merchants traveling to and from Goyang city ― especially at Muakjae Pass. In 1893, at least one tiger was reported to be prowling about Gyeongbok Palace ― probably hunting the tame little deer kept there. There are even claims (probably exaggerated) of tigers stalking Seoul’s gloomy, unlit streets ― the silence shattered by the screams of their unwary victims fighting a losing battle for their lives. When the tigers became too much of a nuisance, professional hunters were summoned. These men were highly respected by Koreans and foreigners for their bravery.  ” Quoted from http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/opinon/2019/10/197_276925.html

To conclude, the hunter can become hunted too.

4. Chased

This is interesting, because the hunter Min became himself a prey to the tiger Seungho. When I started examining this manhwa, I had interpreted this scene as a metaphor for Lee Jihwa’s destiny. (chapter 41) First, I had feared that he might lose his life, then later I had realized that this death was purely symbolic. He would lose his title and family, therefore he would become a commoner. But I had also expressed my doubts that this scene could be a reference to Black Heart, as from chapter 52 on, I had sensed that he would die. But if the pheasant is representing two characters, The Joker and Lee Jihwa, then this means that the deer in chapter 22 (chapter 22) embodies not only the painter, but also someone else. While in the past, I used to believe that it was Kim, now I come to the deduction that it was Jung In-Hun. Note that in this scene, the main lead left the prey and the scholar behind. Both got defeated. By hunting the deer, the learned sir offered this prey to the tiger Yoon Seungho, and this was the painter’s case. Furthermore, the deer was carried back home on a horse (chapter 24) reflecting the painter’s fate. (chapter 25) Who brought the horse to the pavilion? Kim and Deok-Jae! And when the learned sir departed from the mansion, he was followed by the vicious servant and the horse. (chapter 44) Everything is pointing out that the learned sir was like a deer to the hidden hunter. And by losing the painter, the scholar would lose his power over Yoon Seungho, and this is what truly happened. By leaving the main lead’s side, Jung In-Hun died.

(chapter 83) The boar symbolizes not only the nobles like Jihwa, Min, Jang or Park, but also the elders Kim, Lee, Yoon Chang-Hyeon, and as such the king. And if you consider the boar as the personification of the pedophile, the ruler, this means that the moment Yoon Seungho hunted down the nobles, he defeated the ruler in a figurative way. Thus I was wondering if in the end, the main lead would hunt down a human in season 4, Kim or the king. Don’t forget the main lead’s words to the painter: (chapter 11) It could be staged as a hunting accident. In other words, I am expecting a new form of hunt in season 4, a human will be chased, either through an interrogation or through a staged hunt. Since I believe that Kim has been working for the pedophile, we have to envision that both puppet masters will meet their doom in the next season. While the one is prosecuted for murder, the other could be killed during a hunt. Moreover, the manhwaphiles shouldn’t overlook that the king used clothes and impersonation to his advantages in the past, and according to me even in the present. (chapter 37)

Like mentioned in the previous part, Nameless explained to Lee Jihwa that he had to butcher the victim in order to hide the murder. Thus this staged crime scene looked like the scholar had been attacked by a tiger. (Chapter 88) On the other hand, the foot print and the glasses could give the impression that the learned sir had been murdered. However, after adding blood in the fake crime scene and removing the learned sir’s possessions, (chapter 100), the place could be interpreted differently. The inhabitant had been attacked by a tiger during the night. Though the painter had been the prey of these vicious nobles, the real target had been Yoon Seungho. That’s the reason why I had developed the theory that the pedophile had been not only lusting after the young master, but also targeting the Yoons.

Then I noticed an element in this image: (chapter 45) the cobweb behind Deok-Jae. Imagine that this scene took place in the middle of winter, thus the spider’s web got covered by frost. However, this indicates that this room had been abandoned for quite some time. But it is close to the gate. So it should have been the place where the doorkeeper is living. Secondly, I had demonstrated that the shrine had been neglected, for the altar had been removed. (chapter 18) Because of the presence of the cobweb, I started wondering why the author drew it behind Deok-Jae. In my eyes, it is because he was part of the spider’s web. According to me, the learned sir was killed shortly after his departure, and Deok-Jae was a witness of this assassination. That’s why I came to the conclusion that in the past, Yoon Seungho, had caught the attention of the monarch represented by the spider. Since the lord’s fate resembles the painter’s, I am assuming that we should perceive him as a butterfly too. And in order to catch its prey, the spider prepared a web, a web made of lies. Even before the start of season 3, I had declared that right from the start, the young master had been targeted. Thanks to this new parallel, I had another revelation. Remember how I had described the schemers as puppet masters, and they would view people as pawns. As the spider has 8 legs, I am thinking that the pedophile has always been using 8 persons to achieve its goal. Some were aware of the scheme, others were just manipulated. In the past, there were Father Lee, Lee Jihwa, Kim, Jung In-Hun, Heena, Yoon Chang-Hyeon, Yoon Seung-Won and No-Name. So when the story started, I believe that there was a new generation of pawns: Kim, Deok-Jae, Lee Jihwa, No-Name, the noble with the mole, Heena, Yoon Seung-Won and Black Heart. I am excluding father Lee for the simple reason that due to the topknot incident, the scholar was well aware that “lord Song” was no longer judging his family in a good light. He definitely lied low for a while. Naturally, the huge change from the past is that this time Kim had become proactive. But let’s examine Yoon Seungho’s downfall.

Since the main lead was protected by his good reputation, the first goal was to taint his reputation to the point that no one would ever remember him. He was idle, disobedient, but more importantly he was a sodomite. He had to make sure that Yoon Chang-Hyeon would abandon him. The main lead needed to become a “commoner” or “low-born” so that the pedophile could claim him. Yes, the exact opposite of this situation: (chapter 18) That’s the reason why Yoon Seungho was not dressed properly. (chapter 83) If he lived in a shed and had such a simple attire, no one would ever think that he was a noble in the first place. I believe that neither the patriarch nor the ruler had an interest to reveal his true identity. However, the protagonist had to be monitored, for he could try to escape at any moment. That’s the reason why the butler was still tasked to “take care of him”. But by becoming a male night servant for the king, this meant that the other nobles could claim him as well. He had no right. However, since the main lead was a butterfly, he couldn’t get tamed. Hence violence, manipulations and drugs were used to tame the young master. And remember how the spider kills its target: he empties it of its blood. In other word, he sucks all his energy. Therefore it is not surprising that at the end the main lead had become a wreck, and had no light in his eyes. (chapter 57) Naturally, the purge played a huge role in the lord’s suffering reinforcing the huge rift between the pedophile and Yoon Seungho.

In addition, the suicide from the main lead’s mother brought an end to this masquerade. The king could no longer feign ignorance about the main lead’s true identity, and naturally he needed to punish Yoon Chang-Hyeon for his “trick”. He had deceived him, whereas in reality he was well aware of the situation. He had to blame someone else, for he didn’t desire to become responsible for this. Besides, by fueling Yoon Seungho’s hatred for the father, “lord Song” definitely hoped to be judged in a different light. Nonetheless, because the protagonist was abused sexually, physically and emotionally, he could only fear and resent the pedophile, but he could never express it. This was a vicious circle, which ended when the main lead tried to commit suicide himself. (chapter 57)

That’s the reason why I believe that little by little, the pedophile is losing his pawns and as such his legs. The scholar had been abandoned, then later he got killed. Lee Jihwa was punished with the loss of his topknot, then he left town with No-Name. Since the main lead deserted the mansion, the ruler lost control over the protagonist. So he will blame the Lees for that. Heena ran away from the gibang. Then Yoon Chang-Hyeon has no longer any power and connection, he has to rely on his son Yoon Seung-Won or on Kim. But the elder master Yoon played a trick at the end of season 3. As you can see, the pedophile almost lost all his pawns from the past. Finally, Black Heart and his friends got killed. What started like an entertaining hunt became war in the end, for many people died. And this brings me back to Black Heart and lord Jang again.

The nobles are in truth animals. They are dogs, like Byeonduck indicated it. Therefore it is no coincidence that they don’t make a difference between hunting an animal or a human. This explains why lord Shin was abandoned behind in the cold and why Lee Jihwa was compared to a dog (chapter 101). It was not Min’s task to carry a friend… he was just a fellow puppet brought to the shaman’s house in order to entertain Black Heart. This truly exposes that Black Heart never saw in the aristocrats humans. As the red-haired master, he had been considered as the hunting dog, he had fulfilled his function. That’s why he was abandoned. He had helped Min to corner the painter and brought the kisaeng to the scholar’s home. Hence it is not surprising that the wild dogs ended up all dead. They were totally defenseless in front of a huge tiger. This feline is difficult to tame.

As for the painter, Min considered him as an animal that should entertain them. Striking is that the aristocrats’ vocabulary is revolving around violence (“break”, “bloodied”) reflecting their cruel and ruthless nature. (chapter 101) They saw in the sexual violence a new form of hunting. I would even go so far to say that they desired to turn the artist into their pet fulfilling all their desires: (chapter 101) Thus it is not surprising that Yoon Seungho was compared to an animal by his own father in the past. (chapter 83) The pedophile also desired to tame the young master, the beautiful and gentle butterfly. Thus he got brainwashed. He could never refuse anyone, he had to entertain the guests. And now you comprehend why Min said this to the painter. (chapter 101) As a punishment, he was given to lord Jang and his friend. Since Min had captured the artist, he viewed himself as his owner who would give order to his pet. Yet, a deer is a shy, but wild animal, difficult to control making it difficult to be tamed.

Min had turned into a dog, because he had been misguided. He never realized that his biggest wish was to be noticed as a human by the painter. (chapter 99) But this was impossible, for Black Heart never treated Baek Na-Kyum as a man. Hence I come to the conclusion that by meeting the painter, Yoon Seungho rediscovered his true nature: he was a free spirit, a tiger! And guess what… In Joseon, the tiger was perceived as a good talisman to chase away the evil spirit!! (chapter 102) Hence the dogs became the preys of the huge tiger. On the other hand, I am wondering if in the next season, the painter will paint a tiger and show it to his lover. So far, we couldn’t see the pictures from his childhood.

But how could the tiger earn the deer’s trust? It is because he treated Baek Na-Kyum as a human. By falling in love, Yoon Seungho rediscovered his humanity. His beating heart was the reason why he didn’t end up completely as a beast. His art moved his heart and healed his eyes. He could forget the violence and blood from his youth. Yet, at the end of season 3, Yoon Seungho has the impression that he could get hunted down, for he killed the nobles. However, since he spared the kisaengs, Seokdae and even his own staff, people will have the impression that he is not capable to commit such a crime. Why? It is because he has been portrayed as weak-hearted by the butler. He often had a change of heart.

Before closing this essay, I would like to point out that the pedophile is not just a spider, but also a dragon, for he is the king of Joseon. Hence expect in the next season a battle between a tiger and a dragon…

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: Baek Na-Kyum’s origins

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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Next to Yoon Seungho’s suffering, Baek Na-Kyum’s lineage represents the second biggest mystery. Thus many readers have already developed their own theory about the painter’s clan. However, the problem is that the author focused more on the noble’s traumatic past than on the painter’s genealogy. We could say that she barely left any clue about Baek Na-Kyum’s origins. The only information we have is this panel: (chapter 01) But after studying the manhwa so closely, I discovered the existence of rules in the manhwa which helped me to dig up new information. I am listing the laws of Painter Of The Night again in order to avoid repeating myself. I will refer to them later in my argumentation (rule 1, 2, eg.). That way the readers can better grasp how I came to new revelations and theories.

  1. The story is going in circle, thus Baek Na-Kyum’s path is similar to Yoon Seungho’s, yet it started much later. The reason is simple. The artist only began suffering the moment the noble’s condition improved. Thus it signifies that when the low-born was outcast and rejected (chapter 94), Yoon Seungho experienced the opposite. (chapter 57) He was admired which created a source of jealousy. While the painter discovered sexuality and his homosexuality very early on, Yoon Seungho was pure, but through incidents he was forced to become a sodomite. While Heena and the scholar tried to repress Baek Na-Kyum’s sexuality, the father pushed his son to have sex out of fear and high expectation.
  2. There’s always a reflection within the same chapter so that we can perceive the characters’ emotions and thoughts.
  3. Each episode is reflected in the next or previous season.
  4. The previous episode will always be mirrored in the next so that every chapter is connected to each other with reflections.
  5. Karma is always retaliating and it will be 1000 times worse. In addition, the son always pays for the father’s sins.
  6. The black frame is indicating either a vision or a memory.

1. Baek Na-Kyum as baby

And now, it is time to return our attention to the image from chapter 1. (chapter 1) What caught my attention is the presence of the black frame related to the servant’s narration. This indicates that this panel and the following represent memories, but they can not be the recollection from the servant, as the latter is just repeating what he has been told. I recognized it while reading episode 101.

1. 1. Comparison between episode 1 and 101

Observe that we have the same situation. A servant was informing Lee Jihwa about the last events: (chapter 101) Striking is that the author used the same method to introduce the memories. First, we see the servant talking before viewing the memories. (chapter 101) And now, compare it to chapter 1: (chapter 1) The order is the same, though the episodes are actually contrasting each other. How? Remember that in episode 1, Yoon Seungho followed the servant’s suggestion, whereas Lee Jihwa refused to do so. The latter chose to run away and vanish.

Striking is that the author added this picture (chapter 101). She was implying that this panel symbolized the vision from the witness, the tailor. This explicates why you see the wall on the left side. The tailor was observing Min in the shadow. This is important, for these images are reflecting the truth, revealing that the servant from episode 101 was actually lying. Thus I deduce that the domestic from chapter 1 was also lying, but contrary to the episode 101, he thought, he was telling the truth. We could say that he was acting as the fake “mirror of truth“. How do I come to this deduction? Simply because the servant in chapter 101 was actually deceiving Lee Jihwa and Yoon Seungho. Note that in the beginning of episode 101, Seokdae tried to defend himself by feigning ignorance. (Chapter 100) He denied his responsibility by putting the blame on someone else („I was told“), yet once facing the young master Jihwa, his declaration exposed his lie. (Chapter 101) He knows something!! Consequently, I come to the conclusion that in chapter 1, the domestic had been deceived about the painter’s childhood too, but he had no idea, while Seokdae was only partially involved in the scheme. The latter had been left in the dark that he could risk his life. (chapter 1) So in episode 1, the servant was not aware that he was lying to the protagonist, when it comes to the painter’s past. However, the domestic with the brown hanbok lied in one aspect, the publication of the book. (chapter 1) One might have the impression that I am digressing from the main topic. Yet the manhwalovers should keep in their mind that the servant from episode 1 served one purpose: to show us the memories of an important witness, someone who watched Baek Na-Kyum growing up. Thus we have three different pictures. First, he is a baby, then a young infant (chapter 1) and later almost a grown-up . (chapter 1) This signifies that the witness was close to Baek Na-Kyum which explains why the domestic trusted the source of his information. However, contrary to episode 101, she never divulged the identity of the witness. It is because the person wished to hide in the shadow.

Another similarity is that a third person is mentioned in the statement in order to give a certain credibility to their declaration. The head-kisaeng or the captain of the guards are the witnesses, but their absence in the image indicates that they are actually used as alibis. In addition, the manhwaphiles will recall that the episode 101 begins with the childhood friend’s sentence (the loss of the topknot), while the domestic got spared. On the other hand, we have the opposite situation in episode 1. (chapter 1) It ends with the domestic’s death, while the incident with the topknot is mentioned in the middle. At the end, the painter is dragged to the mansion. As you can see, both chapters reflect each other. That’s how I had this revelation (chapter 01) It made me realize that this image represented the view of a WITNESS! Someone was present, when the baby was brought to that place. This corresponds to the “dragging“ at the end of episode 1 (rule 2) In the beginning of the story, the adoptive parents (Heena and Jung In-Hun) were not aware of the situation, thus I am assuming that this was different in the past. The “biological parents“ or the “father“ knew about his whereabouts. Hence we need to find out the identity of the witness, though I already gave different clues. He was close the painter and watched him growing up.

1. 2. The fateful place

Moreover where did the domestic deliver the infant? Anyone would say that this was just the house of kisaeng. BUT no, as this panel reveals the entrance of the gibang. (chapter 99) The soil and the position of the pillars of the main gate are different. I can now announce the precise location, and this with certainty. Yes, I discovered the place thanks to rule 4!! (chapter 4) This is the door! You can recognize it thanks to the pillar on the side.

Another detail caught my notice: The shadow of the rooftop on the ground. (chapter 4) Here, the shadow was bigger indicating that it was early in the morning. The painter had just woken up. Consequently, I deduce that the baby was brought to the mansion during the day. This signifies that Baek Na-Kyum was never abandoned! He was entrusted to the owner of that mansion! (chapter 1) You can recognize the gate in the background. This is the domain, which you see when the lord is arguing with the painter in the courtyard. (chapter 4) Pay attention to the background in this picture. And now, you are probably thinking that the owners of that mansion are the Yoons, as we observed the main lead living there. Nevertheless, I had already pointed out that this was not Yoon Seungho’s mansion. This is the Yoons’ domain: (chapter 51) The courtyard is different. According to me, this is the mansion of the Lees. [For more read the essay 360: Lee Jihwa’s special relationship with Yoon Seungho] And since episode 1 and 101 reflect each other, this can only reinforce my interpretation that the Lees are involved in Baek Na-Kyum’s past, for we have Lee Jihwa present in chapter 101. Baek Na-Kyum was brought to the Lees, thus the scholar Lee keeps calling Baek Na-Kyum a peasant! He knows about his true origins. I had always said that the man was revealing his knowledge with his insult. But does it mean that this was the vision from Lee Jihwa’s father?

1. 3. The identity of the witness

(chapter 1) I don’t think so and this for two reasons! (chapter 1) First, the person was keeping an eye on the painter like mentioned above. Secondly, the artist is seen each time with the white head-band! In the last picture, he is seen drawing very young, whereas in this picture, he is much older. (Chapter 2) This item is connected to the scholar Jung In-Hun. Thus the learned sir reminded the artist to have it on his head in chapter 38 (chapter 38). Besides, father Lee views him as a peasant and not a servant. This observation gets reinforced, when you look at the memories from the painter. In his childhood, he was never wearing a white head-band. (Chapter 94) (chapter 87) (chapter 68) (chapter 70) This means that this panel (chapter 1) represents a distorted memory from Jung In-Hun. 😮 The other evidence for this signification is the absence of the landscape. We don’t see the gibang in the background. Striking is that it coincides with the following statement: “we know not of his origins“. From my point of view, it reflects that the scholar has long repressed the true origins of Baek Na-Kyum. He came to adopt this vision that the main lead was a peasant, a servant. Striking is that the painter was seen for the first time with the head-band in this panel: (chapter 94) Thus I assume that it was done on purpose. They used “his girly features“ as a fake excuse to beat him, but the intention behind this violence was to force him to wear the white head-band! As you can see, everything is pointing out that the learned sir and father Lee were somehow involved in this. But I have three more conclusive evidences for this theory. First, it is related to the reflection in chapter 101. (chapter 101) Look where the red-haired master and the servant are! It is in front of the teacher’s home! In Painter Of The Night, there is never a coincidence. This is a sign that Jung In-Hun is related to Baek Na-Kyum’s past and knows his true origins. However, by treating him like a low-born, he came to view him as one. But this doesn’t end it. Remember the rule 2: the reflection within the same chapter. The painter remembered the words from the gibang: (chapter 1) Jung In-Hun would employ such expressions like fiend and sodomy (chapter 18), he was repeating his admired sir’s idioms. Besides, “hell-raiser” is also an indication that the learned sir was a Christian who converted Heena. Thus I deduce that when father Lee received Baek Na-Kyum as a baby, he entrusted him to the learned sir Jung In-Hun who had no connection and no wealth so far. So when the lord described him as such in episode 7, it was not entirely correct. The reality was that the man had been working for the Lees, but he had been “abandoned”. (chapter 75) The scholar was his helping hand explaining why he would appear in this scene. (chapter 68) This was the night of the fake sexual lesson.

And this new discovery led me to the following conclusion. The moment Baek Na-Kyum was forced to wear the white tissue coincides with the loss of Lee Jihwa’s topknot because of rule 5. In my eyes, the painter helped Yoon Seungho to obtain his topknot which occurred after this incident. (chapter 57). However, there was a price to pay for the main lead’s emancipation. Lee Jihwa had to lose his topknot!! (chapter 59) Without a topknot, the red-haired master no longer looked like a real noble. He had lost his position. Hence I believe that the painter was forced to wear the headband. As you can detect, there was a chain reaction linked to the social status: lord or not, low-born or not.

1. Baek Na-Kyum and the gibang

However (chapter 1), since Baek Na-Kyum was so young, he needed a mother to feed him. Thus he was brought to the gibang. And that’s how he ended up in the kisaeng house. This means that Baek Na-Kyum is actually a noble! I would even add that he belongs to the royal family. And this would explain why the painter was forced to wear a headband, the moment Lee Jihwa lost his topknot. We also have the explication why the painter was living in the annex. (chapter 87) He was definitely living in comfort.

Nonetheless, where are the real proofs? First his name! Why was he called Baek Na-Kyum, if he has been abandoned? He should have only a name Na-Kyum. Secondly, why did the main lead let cut his hair? It was to indoctrinate him, to make him realize that he had been abandoned by his parents!! They deceived him with the long hair. It was implied that with short hair, he would be recognized as a boy. (chapter 94) However, the purpose was to let him experience rejection and isolation. It appears to me that his resent for nobles was part of the brainwashing as well! That way, he would never think that he was coming from a noble family. (chapter 94) This means that such a scene was created in order to ruin the main lead’s self-esteem, and naturally Heena who witnessed it was also influenced. Since she was a minor herself, she couldn’t detect the schemes behind such scenes. Don’t you find it weird that the young child was brought to that room? Under this new approach, the learned sir’s neglect concerning the painter’s education appears in a different light. (chapter 6) The painter was never destined to become a farmer. The neglect was done intentionally. And when you recall his words in the library, you can only view his words as pure lies again: (chapter 40) He was never born to be a prostitute, but he was sent there on purpose. Under this new perspective, it becomes more comprehensible why Heena sent Baek Na-Kyum to the learned sir. He was the one who had brought the artist to the gibang, and now he was getting older. One might refute this point, for she declared this: (chapter 68) Nonetheless, the beholder can detect the presence of a drop of sweat on Heena’s cheek. So she was deceiving the artist here. Why? Yes, in her mind, the painter was Jung In-Hun’s son and as such he should become responsible for the learned sir. But she had to lie in order to persuade him to leave the mansion. There’s no ambiguity that the head-kisaeng had no idea about the deal between the Lees and Jung In-Hun.

2. The noble Na-Kyum

But wait… I have more evidences for this theory. The poem from the scholar! Chapter 4 is a reflection of episode 1 (rule 4). (chapter 4) This was inspired by the poetry from Wang Bang-Yeon! (chapter 4) In this poem, the famous author was referring to the death of the young king Danjong who had been killed by his uncle Sejo. Danjong was just a teenager, when he died! As you can see, the text is actually an allusion to royalty and exile. Under this new light, it dawned on me that the scholar Lee had been entrusted to take care of Baek Na-Kyum, but the latter chose to delegate this to the learned sir. There was a reason behind this. For me, he was eyeing at the mansion himself! One might refute this point, for the elder Lee said this: (chapter 82) But note that the man never said that this was his house, just the household of the Lee. Since the artist is related to the king, this signifies that he is related to the elder Lee too, as the family ruling over Joseon belongs to the Lee clan. Hence I am suspecting that Baek Na-Kyum could be the true owner of this mansion. (chapter 1)

“The very night of Danjong’s murder, Sejo’s sleep was haunted by the appearance of Danjong’s mother who denounced him for his evil and left him with this malediction: “You have stolen the throne and killed my son. Yours too shall die.”
When Sejo awoke, he discovered the curse had been fulfilled ― Deokjong (the crown prince and his eldest son) was dead at the age of 20. In fury, Sejo had Danjong’s mother’s tomb dug up and her bones and remains scattered into a river.” Quoted from https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/opinion/2019/11/721_278751.html

If you read the analysis “The Dark Knight”, you are already aware of the importance of a curse in Gothic literature. We know that the lord is right now stigmatized as a bird of misfortune, thus I deduce that when the artist was a baby, he could have been labelled as such too. I am suspecting that he was condemned, for his mother had died by giving birth. (chapter 1) Note that the baby had no hair, so he was only a few weeks old. From my point of view, Baek Na-Kyum could have been sent away for that reason. Either he was perceived as a bird of misfortune (rule 1) or the father wished to protect his son from harm, for he was in a vulnerable position. His mother had died. Within the family, he would be protected. As you can imagine, I am sensing another manipulation and scheme, where the king chose to listen to people. One thing is sure: the artist is no peasant, but a nobleman, I would even say, he belongs to the royal family.

And Yoon Seungho has already detected the painter’s true origins. Thus he keeps removing the headband. (chapter 53) How does he know it? In my opinion, it is because Baek Na-Kyum resembles to the king. The only difference is that he has no beard. This would explain why Yoon Seungho said this: (chapter 55) Why would he get upset? Why would the painter’s face evoke such emotions? He is reminded of his abuser. This is no coincidence that the main lead had such a flashbulb right after, where you could see Lee Jihwa and his father. (chapter 55) They are all related. And now, you comprehend why the author wouldn’t reveal the face of the mysterious lord Song in chapter 83 (chapter 83) We could have seen the resemblance, as in this picture he was much younger. As the manhwalovers can sense, I detected a strong connection between the Lees and Baek Na-Kyum. Observe that the moment Lee Jihwa lost his topknot (the symbol for nobility and adulthood), the painter received a purple/burgundy hanbok!! (chapter 102) The colors are already insinuating that the artist belongs to the royalty.

What the painter considered as a curse (his girly feature) is actually a blessing. Yes, his face is the evidence of his lineage! And now, you comprehend why he was beaten by these people (chapter 94), why he was forced to have short hair and wear a white head-band! (chapter 71) If the pedophile came to the gibang and crossed the main lead’s path, he couldn’t recognize his relative (son or nephew) due to the hair and the clothes. Besides, I am certain that my avid readers can recall my other theory: the painter was stolen as a child. This new interpretation would corroborate this theory. The painter has been robbed of his true identity, he had been kidnapped, when he was brought to the kisaeng house!! Besides, if he is the true owner of the mansion, then this signifies that Father Lee succeeded in his coup d’Etat (rule 1, rule 3). In season 3, we have an attempted “coup d’Etat” with Yoon Chang-Hyeon eyeing at the seat. (chapter 86) Moreover, I would like to point out that we have the topic: siblings’ jealousy. This is definitely possible that father Lee is related to the artist, an uncle for example. Finally, if the painter is the king’s son, this is no coincidence that Baek Na-Kyum suffered so much. He was paying for his father’s sins (rule 5). At the same time, if Baek Na-Kyum has to face the infamous lord Song, as his son/nephew, he is put in a position where he can criticize his father/uncle. How could he abandon him and treat Yoon Seungho like that?

3. Baek Na-Kyum’s murder

I had already detected that the painter was supposed to die in chapter 1. But with this new discovery, I have another explanation for his assassination. Baek Na-Kyum was not only a witness of the pedophile’s crime, but also involved in Lee Jihwa’s humiliation. Furthermore, he was on the verge of becoming an adult. Thus he could claim his inheritance. In my eyes, his existence represented a source of threat for father Lee. The latter had completely forgotten the boy (like the saying: out of sight, out of mind), until the incident with the topknot occurred. Since the learned sir and father Lee had neglected him on purpose, they had another reason to get rid of him. Since Yoon Chang-Hyeon viewed his son as a small adult who should dedicate his time to study in order to contribute to the Yoons’ reputation, it is possible that the painter’s father could have made the opposite decision. He should grew up in a more carefree environment, or maybe he could avoid being affected by a curse. Naturally, the scholar Lee has every reason to remove the painter from Yoon Seungho’s side. (chapter 82) All his past crimes could come to the surface! He had not taken care of the painter, and he had been neglected on purpose. He had committed a crime (disobedience to the king), thus he was a traitor. On the other hand, they could use the last publication as a justification for his death! He had threatened the ruler, he was blackmailing him with his secret. There’s no ambiguity that lord Song had no idea about the true identity of the artist.

And now, imagine this. What if Yoon Seungho had killed the painter? Jung In-Hun and father Lee could frame the main lead for the murder and accuse him of killing the king’s relative. The poem would serve as an evidence for the painter’s identification. The protagonist had committed treason… That way, the patriarch Lee could kill two birds with one stone. Yoon Seungho would be forced to leave his propriety (in chapter 1, he was living next to Yoon Seungho), and even lose the family’s mansion. He would destroy the Yoons totally. There exists this possibility that father Lee had already announced to the lord Song that his son/nephew had been kidnapped and died. (chapter 37) So far, we still have no idea about the cause for the treason: Coup d’Etat or attempt of assassination on the king or spying or murder of a royal member (here Baek Na-Kyum)? There’s no ambiguity that the painting in Yoon Chang-Hyeon’s bedchamber was used as an evidence that the elder master Yoon was eyeing at the throne (chapter 83) imagining that Yoon Seungho through his “marriage” would become the crown prince. Since the author mentioned “torture”, I have the impression that the main lead was brought to the bureau of investigation and got tormented there. He was naturally framed, he had been acting as a spy. He was hoping to become the king’s successor as his “bride”. So once the artist had been executed, the scholar Jung could claim that he had been raising the painter the whole time and receive a huge compensation for his benevolence! Then it occurred to me that the learned sir could have approached the palace for that exact reason: Baek Na-Kyum’s true origins. He had been taken care of the painter, but on the day he went to the court, Baek Na-Kyum published the book where the king’s crimes were painted and as such ruined his plan!!

Anyway, there’s one thing that I am certain. The accusation from the past was revealing father Lee’s true desires. He was power-hungry and greedy, hence he projected his own thoughts and emotions onto the patriarch Yoon. But by running away, Lee Jihwa ruined everything! The scholar Lee can no longer aim at the throne.

And if the king were to face Baek Na-Kyum, he would recognize his relative due to his face, especially he would share some similarities with the mother. Since the painter’s face was wounded at the end of season 3(chapter 102), I am assuming that his visage won’t be bruised again, so that his foot could get hurt, for the lord and the butler had a broken foot in chapter 77. (rule 3) (chapter 77) And that’s how the ruler could discover the truth!! Therefore the culprits would be detected easily: father Lee and naturally Kim, as both knew the real identity of Baek Na-Kyum, but chose to remain silent. Yes, knowledge will become Kim’s downfall in the end. Why do I think so? For me, the feet in this panel are Kim’s (chapter 1), but like mentioned in a different analysis, No-Name got framed for the painter’s disappearance. How did I come to this assumption? It is because the author is often portraying the butler by his feet! (chapter 66: According to me, this is Kim and not No-Name) (chapter 77) Don’t forget rule 1 and 3. Nevertheless, the main point for this interpretation is the way the painter ran: (chapter 4) He made the same sounds than the butler: (chapter 17) (chapter 85) Here he had faked running. Since he had been introduced with his feet in chapter 1, she needed to create reflections later. Finally, I would like to point out this: (chapter 7) Their meeting here is an indication that their past must have crossed before because of rule 1!! Since the painter was so devoted to the learned sir, the valet could only jump to the conclusion that the man had truly taken care of Baek Na-Kyum properly.

4. Conclusions

As a conclusion, the first panel is containing many clues about Baek Na-Kyum’s lineage! Only through long reflection, I could reconstruct his past partially. I am well aware that my perception of father Lee and Jung In-Hun contains more speculations concerning their motivations, since I am still lacking some information. Yet, I am convinced that Baek Na-Kyum is related to the Lees and the king. And the painter ended up in the gibang, because the scholar needed a woman to feed the boy. It was to make sure that the boy was not connected to the household Lee. This would have raised questions, if suddenly a baby had appeared in the mansion. Thus Baek Na-Kyum was entrusted to the noonas through the scholar. There’s no doubt that the painter’s face will play a huge role, for during that time, the scientists didn’t know the existence of DNA! It was not possible to take a paternity test. Besides, the author is always avoiding long narration. She uses “chance” and “coincidence” to deliver much information in a short time! Within 26-28 episodes, she has to give all the answers to the readers, while the story is still going on! And that’s how I realized the importance of the door: (chapter 04) The protagonists’ fate got switched the moment they passed a door. Thus the painter didn’t suffer here contrary to the young master (chapter 68). He might have been sad, yet he was not exposed to violence and humiliation. But here, it was different: (chapter 94) He had entered the room. In my eyes, this door had a special meaning (chapter 4) It is where the main characters’ destiny was affected, hence the lord expressed this: (chapter 4) He recognized that the artist was not a servant or slave, but a free man. His words became a reality. He is not embracing a peasant, but a noble, even a member from the royal family. He was speaking the truth, while all the readers were thinking that Yoon Seungho was a hypocrite. We could say that the main lead was under the influence of the spirits/unconscious, thus he caught the artist right on time. At the same time, “peasant” is again a reference to father Lee which reinforces my theory that the scholar Lee is deeply involved in the couple’s suffering.

As for the scholar, since he never mentioned his involvement in the painter’s life (chapter 1), officially Heena raised him, the readers can grasp why Baek Na-Kyum never considered the learned sir as his “father”. He had been raised in the gibang by the noonas, but not by the learned sir. He was just a companion and a friend, whom he felt indebted and attracted to due to his “gentleness and fake selflessness”. This is not surprising that the servant in episode 1 got executed in the end. The servant had lied, because he had repeated the scholar’s words. And the latter had lied about the painter (chapter 1) He had actually painted animals and nature in his childhood, thus the noonas kept his drawings. (chapter 94) The man had trusted the learned sir’s testimony without verifying the facts. He had not detected the presence of a blackmail! (chapter 1) This truly shows that ignorance is indeed no blessing, and people shouldn’t trust others according to their appearances or social status. At the same time, the servant had forgotten that Yoon Seungho was a noble, though he was dressed like a peasant in the bedchamber. (chapter 1) He was not even wearing a hanbok here, and his head-band was different too. As you can see, both protagonists shared the same experience. They were not treated according to their social status. To sum up, the valet Kim brought Baek Na-Kyum to the Lees, who decided to get rid of the painter by entrusting him to the scholar Jung. And Heena became his accomplice, the moment she became his surrogate mother. Let’s not forget that in season 1 and 2, the learned sir was the only one seen with children: girls. (chapter 6) (chapter 29) and Baek Na-Kyum (chapter 68) This shows that the painter embodies the link between the head-kisaeng and the learned sir. Jung In-Hun had entrusted her the baby.

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: Fortune-telling 🔮 (second version)

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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After reading such a title, my avid readers are now imagining that the topic of this essay is a prediction concerning season 4. But no… far from it. In this text, I will explain the importance of fortune-telling in Painter Of The Night. But before going into details, it is important to define fortune-telling.

fortune-telling, the forecasting of future events or the delineation of character by methods not ordinarily considered to have a rational basis. Evidence indicates that forms of fortune-telling were practiced in ancient China, Egypt, Chaldea, and Babylonia as long ago as 4000 BCE. Prophetic dreams and oracular utterances played an important part in ancient religion and medicine. Predictive methods of fortune-telling include astrology (interpretation of the movements of heavenly bodies as influences on earthly events), numerology, and the utilization of objects such as playing cards, tea leaves, crystal balls, dice, fire, water, and scattered salt. Fortune-telling as a process of character analysis can take such forms as graphology (study of handwriting), physiognomy (study of facial characteristics), phrenology (study of contours on the skull), and palmistry (study of lines on the palm of the hand). Quoted from https://www.britannica.com/topic/fortune-telling

As you can see, there exist different methods to make predictions, but anyone will say that so far in the manhwa, we only had dreams or nightmares revealing the future.

1. The utilization of objects

However, this is not correct, for the lord had a vision, when he killed the boar. (Chapter 83) But what was the vision telling to the main character? The problem with visions is that their message is never clear. It is up to the fortune-teller. The beholder can interpret the hallucination differently. Here, one might say that the blood let Yoon Seungho see that one servant, in our case Kim, was working against him with 2 nobles: Min and Jihwa. It was already predicting Min’s death, for the blood pond was touching the noble on the right, while the other nobleman with the hat is not connected to the blood. The red-haired master only lost his topknot a second time. This is no coincidence. The vision showed that Black Heart would die by the hand of 2 people, Yoon Seungho the child and Yoon Seungho the adult. Thus Byeonduck created such a panel: (Chapter 102) The lord was in a dissociative state. In his rage, the main lead was brought back to his own past, when he was a victim of gangrape. (Chapter 102) He was acting like in trance, the painter’s bloody face had opened the Pandora’s box. (Chapter 101) Remember his confession in the bedchamber: (chapter 55) Simultaneously, this vision (chapter 83) could display the argument between Yoon Seungho and his childhood friend in front of the scholar’s house. The servant was the witness, and he got spared thanks to the red-haired master’s appearance. (Chapter 100) But if so, this means that the domestic will die, after his master abandoned him and ran away. Remember that the blood spurt is linked to the person without a hat. (chapter 83) Another possibility is that Min was shown in the middle, and he was the puppet of the two elders, father Lee and Yoon Chang-Hyeon. Note that when we saw them in season 3, both were wearing their hat. (chapter 82) (chapter 86) And if I consider that this vision is referring to Kim, then it already announces his doom. Another possibility of interpretation is to say that the boar embodies the king, which Yoon Seungho defeats by removing from his side Lee Jihwa and Min, both were used as tools to control and tame the main lead so that he would remain by the pedophile’s side. This means that the moment he executed Black Heart and cut off the friend’s topknot, he was finally able to escape from the ruler’s claws. And if the noblemen are referring to the elders, the message doesn’t change. The moment the main lead killed Min, he wounded the king so that the elders are affected, one more than the other. And Kim didn’t stop his young master, for the butler thought that with his suicide, he could finally free himself from his task of taking care of Yoon Seungho. With his suicide, Kim would be able to live in peace. He would no longer be tormented by the main lead’s suffering. In his mind, his suicide was the natural outcome of such a long suffering. As you can see, this hallucination can be interpreted so differently. And the more information we will get in season 4, the more precise the interpretation of this vision can become.

Then we have the painter’s vision in the mirror which worked like a crystal ball. Here, the artist saw himself embracing Yoon Seungho which he rejected. (Chapter 28) As you can see, blood and a mirror were used as objects for “fortune-telling“, though the main characters had no idea about their signification. While the painter rejected this “hallucination“, Yoon Seungho had the impression that it was real. Thus he turned around. He imagined that the two nobles were approaching him. (Chapter 83) I have always said that Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum are shamans, but they have no idea about their true identity. This means, none of them considers himself as a fortune-teller, though both have this gift. They have no one telling them about their skills, they can predict the future and even repel evil spirits.

Yet, the nightmares and dreams represent the biggest part of fortune-telling in Painter Of The Night. On the other hand, it is also possible that Byeonduck reveals later that other skills were used in the past (like handwriting or physiognomy), for face-reading was popular in Joseon (see for example the Korean movie The Face reader), and we have the lord’s beautiful handwriting. (Chapter 92). Keep in mind that since the lord wrote a poem in season 3, this means that he must have done it in the past too, but this twice. In season 1, he wrote one, when he switched the paper, yet it must have occurred before, for we had two circles, which corresponds to two full moons. My friend Luzyla brought my attention that in the whole story, Byeonduck only drew one full moon, and this in chapter 1. This announced the beginning of a new circle!! The third one and observe that the moon was far away, very high up in the sky, while the night sky was very dark. (Chapter 1) There was no moon light which I consider as a reference to the painter‘s absence in Yoon Seungho‘s life. Under this perspective, the manhwaphiles understand why in episode 102, Byeonduck drew such a moon. (chapter 102). Their trust and love had been tested, thus I am assuming that season 4 will be the beginning of the 4th circle, where the protagonist will face the main culprit for his suffering: the mysterious lord Song, the king.

2. Dreams and visions

But let‘s return our attention to the dreams and nightmares of the characters, which were reflecting the future. First, the readers can recall all the painter’s wet dreams. They all became true, like I had written in previous analyses. Baek Na-Kyum dreamed of receiving a love confession from Yoon Seungho and being called tenderly (chapter 56), and it became a reality. (Chapter 91) But the artist never accepted these visions, for he was rejecting sodomy and later he was in denial about his affection for the main lead. Yet this is no longer possible. The artist has already confessed and is determined to remain by the noble’s side, no matter what.

Concerning the nightmares, I am quite certain that you remember the lord‘s which is the longest in the whole story. (chapter 74) Here again, we have an allusion to the bloodbath in the shaman‘s house, for the position of the hands reminds us of Black Heart’s reaction before the main lead stabbed him. (Chapter 102) Nevertheless, I believe that this nightmare was already announcing to the protagonist that he would dirty his own hands, and kill people. On the other hand, the readers should keep in their mind that since the story is going in circle, the nightmare was also a reference to the past and Yoon Seungho’s suffering. But the aristocrat was not the only one having nightmares, the manhwaworms will certainly recall Jihwa‘s torment (chapter 50) and Baek Na-Kyum‘s nightmares in the bedchamber. (Chapter 34) and (Chapter 98) In the last one, he believed to see the scholar’s corpse. The artist had even an auditive hallucination. (Chapter 98) This means that a similar situation will occur. Someone will repeat Jung In-Hun’s words. (chapter 98) How could he be with the man who killed his family (for example Heena)?

3. Dream or nightmare?

However, there exists another person who had a premonitory dream, but I just realized it recently! In addition, you are wondering where this dream was. (chapter 45) Yes, in chapter 45!! How did I come to this conclusion? The first clue is the black frame. (chapter 45) Byeonduck always uses it in order to indicate that we are dealing with a memory or a dream. Secondly, in this scene we are supposed to see Baek Na-Kyum with his lover, both kissing tenderly, yet in the same chapter, the author let us see the reality of their interaction. (chapter 45) The painter was more acting like a robot, he was not able to procure pleasure to Yoon Seungho. He was not talented. As you can see, the introduction allowed us to see the dream of a fortune-teller concerning Yoon Seungho and the painter. But wait… (chapter 45) Who is who here? In this image, the artist is lying on the bed, he is recognizable by his slender and smooth leg and his thin foot. The lord is on the top, the beholder can identify him with his bigger and rounder butt. However, in the second picture, their position is switched. (chapter 45) The painter is on the top, he can be identified by his flat chest, while the lord is lying on the bed. Here, we see the artist showering Yoon Seungho with love, giving everything so that Yoon Seungho feels so good. One might argue that this can not be possible because of the lock of hair on the temple. Baek Na-Kyum doesn’t have one. (chapter 45) But don’t forget that we are here dealing with a premonitory dream. In my opinion, the lock of hair is implying that Baek Na-Kyum will be wearing a topknot in the future, similar to this situation: (chapter 87) This means that the person saw in this dream that Baek Na-Kyum would become the lord’s partner, and he would even be dressed like a noble (a topknot and white pants). Don’t forget that in season 2, he was still wearing grey pants and not white. (chapter 46) And this vision came true in season 3: (chapter 79) This is the same position, but from a different perspective. (chapter 45) But who has been foreseeing this scene or better said, who was recalling this dream, as it was a memory triggered by words? KIM! Don’t forget that he was present, when he heard this grapevine about the fiancée. However, I have more evidences for this interpretation. First, I have already pointed out that the butler was the one spreading rumors. (chapter 45) Moreover, it is related to the vocabulary employed by the commoners: black sheep. It is very similar to a bird of misfortune. Besides, who can call Yoon Seungho the black sheep of the Yoon family? The person behind this insult reveals that he knows the family very well. But why would he do such a thing? The reason is simple. This vision for the butler was not a dream, but a nightmare!! 😮 Why? It’s because it was announcing that Yoon Seungho would cut ties with the pedophile, his unofficial “husband”. Kim had made sure that no information about Yoon Seungho would leak to the outside for almost 10 years, the town folks didn’t know lord Yoon at all. But due to Bongyong and his loose lips (chapter 45), a rumor started that Yoon Seungho had a fiancée. Thus Kim chose to spread rumors in the village to kill the grapevines about the existence of Yoon Seungho‘s fiancée with another gossip. He used Jihwa and the incidents in the past… One might argue that it is not possible, because it looks like the rumor about the existence of Yoon Seungho’s sodomy existed before than the presence of a fiancée.

But please now read carefully chapter 45 again. After hearing this rumor, there was a caesura (the title), which we could judge as an indication for a time jump. Besides, this is what we see right after. (chapter 45) The owner of the stand is sitting and he has a white scarf, but in the next panel, the person is standing, and has a red scarf. (chapter 45) Moreover, the headcover on one player is much slightly darker. This is another indication that there could be a time jump between these two panels. But one might argue that the rumors about Yoon Seungho’s homosexuality were existing before the grapevines about the fiancée. (chapter 45) But not necessarily. Imagine, the butler had such a dream, and his memory got triggered, when he heard the commoner talking about the incident with Bongyong for the first time. But don’t forget that the man is a traveling merchant, so in the butler’s mind, the trader would leave the town and as such he wouldn’t be able to mention this to others. But he never imagined that the man would meet his friend. (chapter 45) In order to ensure that no one would take this rumor seriously, Kim made sure to spread the rumors about Lee Jihwa and Yoon Seungho’s sexuality.

First, we could see in chapter 40 that no one knew the lord in town. (chapter 40) His joke with the red dot was not even noticed by the woman and seller of the mirror!! Both were totally indifferent. Though he had made a joke, his action had caused no wave. Besides, we should question why the man would say that even dogs would know about his homosexuality. This implies the intensity of the grapevines. It displays that someone was deliberately leaking this information to the outside. Furthermore, one witness is saying that Yoon Seungho‘s affairs used to stir up the village… when did it happen? (chapter 45) Moreover, which affairs was he referring to? He has no idea about the masturbation in the tailor’s shop and the red dot on the painter’s face. As for Lee Jihwa’s humiliation, it was definitely not leaked to the outside as well. Besides, remember the comment from the red-haired master’s servant. (chapter 41) Striking is that (chapter 45) this statement was immediately denied by one player. As you can see, people were confused for one reason. Someone had spread a different grapevine as counter-measure. But why did Kim do this?

First, no one should be aware that Yoon Chang-Hyeon had been sent away from the family mansion. From my point of view, no one knew that the protagonist had been abandoned by his family and was the owner of the mansion. But this doesn’t end it. I have already pointed out the existence of a fake marriage between Yoon Seungho and the pedophile. In my eyes, the main character has always been the king’s ghost bride. The rumors about the main lead’s sodomy were there to ensure that no one should expect a marriage of the protagonist. The latter was already married, but the king can not claim him. And now, you comprehend why he has hanboks with designs. He was sending him clothes as a reward and a reminder that he was already taken. Note that he was always wearing a hanbok with a design, each time he had kept his distance from the painter. (chapter 34) (chapter 45) Here, Baek Na-Kyum had just returned to the mansion after his second desertion. (chapter 52) The lord had kept his distance from the artist for one week, though I believe that he still came to see him (chapter 51),(chapter 51) for the painter’s scarf was put on the way Yoon Seungho did in the courtyard in chapter 69. (chapter 69) And now, you comprehend why Kim criticized the painter in the courtyard. The lord would come to see him ensuring that he was well covered. The butler had every reason to view this dream (chapter 45) as a nightmare, for the king would get infuriated, and he could vent his frustration on the butler. He had not done his job properly. Observe that in chapter 45, Kim was acting more like the lord of the mansion, as he left the mansion without permission, he also bought ink and paper without the main lead’s knowledge, and even gave an order to Deok-Jae in order to reinforce his jealousy. (chapter 45) Now, I have the proof for this interpretation. The guardian was on his way back to the gate, so why did the valet ask him to bring the items to the painter’s study? Actually, Kim could have done it himself, it is not so that his master was waiting for him or had been requesting his presence. (chapter 45) Now, you are probably thinking that this essay has reached an end. But no… Why?

4. The other definition of “fortune-telling”

As you can see, this term has another signification which is not well known among people. In truth, this idiom is used in psychology. I discovered this, while I was looking for a word describing the butler’s mind-set. Everything started with this thought triggered by these two panels. (chapter 87) What if the butler had been saying the truth? He had no idea what was going on inside the room of the kisaeng house. But as an outsider, he observed this. Nobles were going to and from lord Yoon’s chambers. The readers had the impression that the young master was getting raped in the bedchamber. Yet, like I had pointed out, this is definitely not true, for the teenager was dressed. (chapter 87) We could detect the presence of a stock, this means that in the bedchamber, he was physically abused. And the butler could have jumped to the wrong conclusion, exactly like in this scene. (chapter 77) He had seen the kiss between the two boys, but because of Yoon Seungho’s smile, he had assumed that Yoon Seungho was consenting. (chapter 77) However, like mentioned before, the protagonist was under the influence of a drug. So in his eyes, it was, as if the young boy had been the one kissing Lee Jihwa. Because of this scene, he assumed that the two boys were fooling around. He jumped to the wrong conclusion that Yoon Seungho was a sodomite, something Kim truly abhors. So my idea was that the butler could have made the same mistake concerning the bedchamber: he made an assumption, and he jumped to the wrong conclusion that Yoon Chang-Hyeon was treating his son as a prostitute for his own greed and ambition. Because of these two expressions “assumptions” and “wrong conclusion”, I started researching for this. And this is what I found:

“As a therapist, I define this pattern of behavior as “making assumptions.” Some cognitive behaviorists call this behavior fortune-telling. Fortune-telling is considered a cognitive distortion leading to depression and anxiety. Cognitive distortions are irrational beliefs that have become habituated because they have been reinforced over time. […] Burns discusses the fortune-telling bias as “jumping to conclusions.” He states that people jump to conclusions because of impatience to achieve a resolution to confusing unresolved situations. In haste, people mentally make inferences without adequate supporting evidence. These inferences and conclusions may be negative or catastrophic, but people draw them in order to feel the situation is resolved.” Quoted from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sustainable-life-satisfaction/201909/are-you-guilty-making-too-many-assumptions

Striking is that these persons fortune-telling are trying to fill the blanks by their own thoughts and experiences, in order to control their life, yet they have always negative expectations. This shows that they are motivated by fear. While they guess, they believe to know the truth and to know people, thus they can make rash decisions. And now, you comprehend why Kim always says this: “I thought…” And because they think, they know people, they don’t feel the need to talk to others.

“Assumptions damage our capacity to relate to others. If you are always assuming you know how others think and feel, you stop listening and communicating and leave them feeling trapped or misunderstood. And relationship difficulties, whether at work or home, can lead to low self-esteem and depression. quoted from https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/making-assumptions.htm

This explains why Yoon Seungho felt so lonely in the end. The butler was not talking to him due to his mind-set. But naturally, he had other reasons to do so. He had to hide his own wrongdoings, he had made wrong decisions. He had jumped to wrong conclusions.

But this doesn’t end here. There exist 10 types of cognitive distortions, and in my opinion, Kim has many of them: All-or-nothing, overgeneralization, arbitrary interpretation/interference, selective abstraction, mental filters, jumping to conclusion (fortune-telling and mind reading), magnification and minimization, should statements, labeling, emotional reasoning, discounting the positive. I am not giving all the definitions of these types, for it would be too long. But you can read them in the links I posted below.

All-or-nothing thinking is also known as black and white thinking or polarized thinking. This type of thinking involves viewing things in absolute terms: Situations are always black or white, everything or nothing, good or bad, success or failure.2All-or-nothing thinking is associated with certain mental health conditions, including narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and borderline personality disorder (BPD).3 Quoted from https://www.verywellmind.com/ten-cognitive-distortions-identified-in-cbt-22412

The butler only sees two categories: friend or enemy. There’s no between. Hence if there’s a disagreement, he will view the other as an enemy.

“Arbitrary inference is “the process of forming an interpretation of a situation, event, or experience when there is no factual evidence to support the conclusion or where the conclusion is contrary to the evidence” [1]. https://www.psychologytools.com/articles/unhelpful-thinking-styles-cognitive-distortions-in-cbt/

And this is exactly what the butler did, when he saw the two boys (chapter 77) He ran away, and didn’t question the boys in order to discover the truth behind the stolen kiss. There was never a trial, for he had already acted as the judge and the witness. For him, the perpetrator was his master due to his huge smile, but he had not been paying attention to Lee Jihwa’s facial expressions (blushing) and his actions. In my opinion, he was already expecting the worst in Yoon Seungho, though the butler was not conscious of this. He repeated the same mistake, when he went to the shed in chapter 63. He thought that Yoon Seungho was raping Baek Na-Kyum in the shed, which was not the case. He ran away too, thus he assumed that Baek Na-Kyum would decide to leave the mansion.

And now, you have the explanation why the maids asked this to the butler: (chapter 17) This is an expression that he would often use. We could witness this cognitive distortion (should statement) in front of the shed. (chapter 77) This explains too why Yoon Seungho is called a black sheep, a bird of misfortune. (chapter 87, labelling)

Kim doesn’t accept arguments, for him a quarrel is something negative, as he has the impression that his authority is questioned. He is overgeneralizing, for he views nobles as violent liars. Thus he said this to the main lead: (chapter 68) But here, like I pointed out before, he was excluding himself from this incident. Let’s not forget that he had been the one dragging him to the shed.

I have been describing Kim as a fake shaman for quite some time, and now this new discovery reinforces my interpretation. He is a fake fortune-teller, someone who has mental problems. From my point of view, he had already a negative attitude about the young master, when he met him for the first time. Don’t forget that he only served him for a decade, this means that Yoon Seungho’s downfall coincides with Kim’s arrival. In my eyes, it is related to the description father Yoon had made about his own son. Remember what he said to the doctor: (chapter 57) He had been ill, since he was very young. But the physician mentioned the good notoriety about Yoon Seungho: he was intelligent. Striking is that Kim has never mentioned this. Either he is not aware of this, because he only met the protagonist after hearing the negative comment from the father, or as a person suffering from cognitive distortion, he is only remembering the negative aspects. I had already exposed that this was not related to sodomy, for sexuality was not relevant, when he was just a child. From my point of view, Yoon Chang-Hyeon saw in his son’s questioning and critical thinking a problem. He was not respecting the elders, and Kim is definitely a reinforcer of social norms. From my point of view, the drug administrated was not to treat him for sodomy, but in order to obtain his obedience. We were all assuming that the visit to the doctor must have occurred after the stolen kiss, but it could be the opposite. Why? It is because the physician revealed the valet’s second visit which occurred after the incident in the kisaeng house. (chapter 57) And now, imagine this. What if the purpose of the drug was to make Yoon Seungho submissive? Thus the young boy was smiling, and doesn’t remember the stolen kiss. Striking is that cognitive distortion has an impact on memory, it can create distorted memories. And this would confirm my previous assumption that here, the butler was mixing two memories together. (chapter 65) Since the butler has always been expecting the worst unconsciously, I am suspecting that he is the one who offered Yoon Seungho to the king! That way, he imagined that his master would be protected, unaware that he had never been forced to have sex before. There’s no ambiguity that his cognitive distortions led to Yoon Seungho’s suffering. Hence the father and the king will be quite surprised when they discover the verity. Kim badmouthed the main lead calling him a bird of misfortune, though lord Song views him differently, as he keeps sending him hanboks with cranes and phoenix, asymbol for good fortune.

Due to his fortune-telling and mind-reading, the butler had never confided to the protagonist, he was never close to Yoon Seungho. I would even go so far to say that he even tormented him (see the flashback triggered in chapter 81). He had lied, for he had only told what he had already interpreted. The readers will certainly recall his MO: to mix a truth with a lie!! This is the evidence of a cognitive distortion, though in the past it was not done consciously. His so-called predictions were all fake, for he always made a wrong interpretation! This brings me back to the beginning of this essay. A dream and vision are difficult to discern, and they can have many meanings, but the valet only knew one way how to read them: in a negative way. And when it happened, the valet saw his false predictions confirmed, while in truth he had just mixed causes and consequences. Because he had jumped to the wrong conclusion, he had contributed that the tragedy would take place. Deep down, he knows this, but he is refusing to admit it. This explains why he is plagued by his guilty conscience, as long as the young man remains by his side. Thus he said this to the painter: (chapter 87) He was talking about himself here. For the valet, there’s only one solution: “Out of sight, out of mind!” Hence he hoped that the father would take away Yoon Seungho from the mansion.

5. Baek Na-Kyum’s role

The manhwalovers understand the painter’s personality and role. He stands for hope and change, thus his dreams are always connected to something positive. He stands in opposition to the valet. The artist’s role is to teach the butler a terrible lesson which he will pay with his life in my opinion, as the lord’s vision implied in chapter 83. Kim is just an ignorant servant. He can never make real predictions. In addition, he doesn’t know people at all. How so? Don’t forget that the painter is a butterfly, and the moves from a butterfly are never predictable. The butterfly can have a terrible impact on others, the so-called butterfly effect. Therefore all the valet’s schemes were always doomed to failure in the artist’s presence. (chapter 45) And the nightmare Kim had will become a reality, and this shows that he was never loyal to Yoon Seungho. Here, he saw the lord relaxed and enjoying his time, but this couldn’t make the butler happy for two reasons. He feared the king’s reaction. The latter would never accept being rejected. Secondly, he realized that he would lose his position as the ghost lord. The valet rejected this vision exactly like all the other characters, but this was pointless, since he is fighting against the gods. When the butler had a real vision, he denied its existence, he preferred his own fortune-telling and mind-reading. He envisioned that since these two tools had helped him in the past, he could succeed again.

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.