Jinx: Caught in the act! 🎬

Please support the authors by reading the manhwas on the official websites. This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/jinx_en  But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. Here are the links, if you are interested in the first work from Mingwa, BJ Alex,  https://bebebisous33analyses.com/2021/06/21/who-are-you-the-significance-of-masks-in-manhwas/  and the last essay about Jinx “Tell me something I don’t know” Here is the link where you can find analyses of other manhwas.

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Announcement: The essay “Two worlds” has been updated.

1. Kim Dan’s jinxed life

Once again the readers were upset, for the young doctor became again the victim of misfortunes. Imagine that his wounds on his face had almost vanished (chapter 16) that he received new ones. (Chapter 16) The worst is that this would have never happened, if his path had not crossed Heo Namwook’s. Yes, the loan shark has finally a name!! (chapter 16) Moreover, in that moment the loan shark had to hear that Kim Dan was moving out!! (Chapter 16) Two bad lucks in one go! It was, as if Kim Dan’s life was jinxed! Because the young man is so pure, the manhwaphiles’ heart could only be broken, when they witnessed the abuse from Heo Namwook and his minions.

2. Violence and pain in Jinx

And this observation leads to the following questions. Why did Mingwa write such an episode? What is the purpose of the doctor’s suffering? Is the author a sadist? The first answer could be that she wants to turn Joo Jaekyung into a hero saving his damsel in distress. Many readers saw the parallel between this image from Jinx (chapter 16) and Painter Of The Night (chapter 101) Both ukes and semes are put in a similar situation. That’s the reason why many are hoping that Joo Jaekyung punches the villains and makes them suffer so much that they decide to keep their distance from Kim Dan. But by making a connection to Painter Of The Night, the manhwalovers didn’t realize that they had found the reason why Mingwa is making her protagonist suffer. 😲 Nevertheless, I wouldn’t like to be misunderstood. I am not saying that the author copied Painter Of The Night. Far from it… It’s just that both works are inspired by the same philosophies, Buddhism and Taoism, which are deeply rooted in Korean society. In Painter Of The Night, Baek Na-Kyum had to suffer for two reasons. Through pain, he was forced to drop all the doctrines he had internalized. This means, he learned to become more honest, to face truth… At the same time, by making him suffer like Yoon Seungho, Byeonduck wanted the lord to be confronted with his repressed traumas! As you can see, pain and suffering are not gratuitous. They have a function.

3. Kim Dan’s karma

And now it is time to return our attention to Kim Dan. The latter is exactly like the painter. He is still full of prejudices. The readers could notice his biased perception, yet only through the mind’s eye. However, since he is not violent, they didn’t catch him in the act contrary to the goddess Mingwa. Hence she confronted him with reality. First of all, when the doctor noticed his recovery, he actually blamed Joo Jaekyung for his wounds. (Chapter 16) Sure, his anus had been wounded, but notice that the cream was given for the bruises on his face. (Chapter 16) That’s the reason why he thought of the cream after seeing the fading of his black eye. However, the champion had never punched him!! This was the work of the loan shark and minions. As you can see, chapter 16 was built exactly like episode 11. Kim Dan was hopeful again, and was viewing his relationship with the champion as the worst thing in his life. Compare this scene (Chapter 11) with this statement: (Chapter 16). He still portrays the athlete’s actions as terrible. Striking is that he saw the kiss as something negative, while the fighter had actually listened to his plea: (Chapter 14) If the physician had to reproach something to the boxer, it should be the rough sex before and not the kiss. The boxer had done it, because he had realized how fragile Kim Dan was. This was for Kim Dan’s sake. Yet, thanks to the kiss, Joo JAekyung discovered that he could get pleasure and provoke pleasure much quicker. But according to Kim Dan’s words, it looked as though the kiss was the worse, hence Mingwa chose to confront him with reality: (chapter 16) At the same time, these words are strangely similar to the ones in the athlete’s bedroom. (Chapter 13) This is not random. Back then, he was denying his own pleasure. In episode 16, Kim Dan is now facing cruel reality. Moreover, the readers could detect the doctor’s pleasure, when he got eaten up by Joo Jaekyung. (Chapter 15) To sum up, Kim Dan is not only dishonest to himself, but also rather ungrateful towards Joo Jaekyung. The latter is definitely no angel, but he is changing for the doctor’s sake. The latter doesn’t recognize the sportsman as his savior yet. Let’s not forget that without his money, he couldn’t finance the halmoni’s treatment at all. Naturally, he is not totally oblivious to the fighter’s generosity. (Chapter 16) However, exactly like in episode 11, he was forgetting that the real source of his misery is Heo Namwook with his minions. Their encounter was a reminder, and Kim Dan has now the chance to see Joo Jaekyung as his “knight in armor”. (Chapter 16) But I doubt that he will view him as a hero after that. He still has a long way to go… for the author announced that Jinx would be much longer than BJ Alex. And it is the same for the champion, the latter has a long way to go before turning into “Prince Charming”. This signifies that as long as Kim doesn’t get rid of his prejudices about Joo Jaekyung, a spoiled rich brat who is obsessed with sex, he will keep suffering. Why? It is because Kim Dan has a huge role to play in Joo Jaekyung’s life, to discover his hidden traumas and give him what he has been missing all along: attention and affection. Something that money can never buy!!

This interpretation could be detected in episode 16. The physical therapist had started wondering why the athlete had kissed him. (chapter 16) This was the first time he showed curiosity about the champion and his motivations. The problem is that he stopped pondering on this question. Hence “karma” retaliated. As you can see, the doctor has to learn to pay attention to the athlete’s personality (question the motivation behind his actions) so that he can discover his mental issues. Like in real life, no human is perfect, Kim Dan has his faults. The problem is that because he is a victim of violence, his mistakes are less noticeable.

Another detail caught my attention. When Heo accused him of being a prostitute, he had the following flashback. (Chapter 16) This corresponds to their first sex session. Why didn’t he think of the latest intimacy? It is because he is slowly accepting his relationship with the champion. However, this night represents the loss of his virginity, which was accompanied with pain and anxieties. For me, this night symbolizes the “prostitution” as its best, because if he had not done it, he would have never been paid. But now, he has signed a contract with Black Teams, which doesn’t include the sex services. Everything is off the record and Kim Dan offers other services (massages, physical consultation etc). This explicates why the word prostitution triggered this image. This also exposes that Kim Dan is gradually accepting it as one part of his job, the champion’s physical therapist. This explicates why he had this sudden thought: (chapter 16) This truly exposes that he had the upper hand in their relationship. That’s the reason why Kim Dan gets confronted by his own fears and reality: (chapter 16) Is his relationship with Joo Jaekyung really prostitution or more a boss-employee relationship?

4. Joo Jaekyung’s true position

From my point of view, the doctor has another flaw. He is not used to ask for help. Besides, he dislikes receiving pity. (chapter 10) Hence he never explained his situation to Joo Jaekyung which created a misunderstanding. On the other hand, I would like the manhwaphiles to keep in their mind that Kim Dan never had a real friend, which is different from Joo Jaekyung. While many view the boxer as a terrible man, they are forgetting that despite his roughness, he is able to maintain a good relationship with Park Namwook, coach Jeong Yosep. (Chapter 16) and the gay doctor. One might say that it is related to his money. Episode 16 confirmed my previous suspicion that Joo Jaekyung owns Black Teams. (Chapter 16) How could Joo Jaekyung decide the amount of the salary and even send the salary in advance without consulting his manager? Since Team Black Inc. transferred the money, it implies that the fighter has a saying in the expenses, transactions and the income. He is not an employee of the club. However, imagine that Joo Jaekyung let his coach admonish him (Chapter 7) Hence his true position among Black Teams is not obvious. He doesn’t act like the club owner. But I have another evidence for this interpretation. Heo Namwook represents his negative version. Thus the author created similar images: (chapter 16) (chapter 16) And imagine that Park Namwook asked him to go to the doctor’s house twice. (Chapter 16) Though the man is famous and powerful, he is not using his position to delegate tasks to others. I would even say, in Black Teams, there exists no hierarchy. Hence Park Namwook appears as “the head” of Black Teams, yet he was not involved in the discussion about the expenses (salary, advance). He takes care of the paper work (contracts, uniforms). This displays that in reality, the celebrity is not “arrogant” per se. He shows humbleness in different situations. He cooked for the doctor, and brought him to his penthouse. Since Kim Dan had no person close to him except his grandmother, it is not surprising that the young doctor is not confiding to the athlete. From my point of view, Joo Jaekyung is Kim Dan’s jinx and lucky charm. As long as he doesn’t trust the sportsman, he will suffer.

And since Heo Namwook is the negative version of Joo Jaekyung, this signifies that he embodies the opposite values of the champion: arrogance, selfishness, no empathy at all. But above all, he is just a nobody!! The best example is when Kim Dan begs Heo Namwook not to hurt his halmoni. Notice he grabbed the leg of the minion: (chapter 16) This scene mirrors the one from episode 10: (chapter 10) Nevertheless, observe what the loan shark did to Kim Dan. He stepped on the doctor’s hand with his foot. (chapter 16) Thus I deduce that when the champion notices that his physician has been wounded, he could cause trouble to the loan shark. But Heo Namwook will refuse to admit this, and could put the blame on his minions. There’s no ambiguity that he will never take responsibility for his actions, the opposite to Joo Jaekyung who didn’t deny his wrongdoing. (chapter 13) That’s the reason why Heo Namwook uses minions in the end. They are his helping hands so that he doesn’t need to do much. Finally, Heo Namwook is the one suggesting the rape. (chapter 16) What caught my attention is that the money was transferred to his private account: (chapter 16) Since Joo Jaekyung is able to separate his private wealth from the account from Black Team, I detected that the loan shark’s “company account” is his private account. And now, you have the explanation why Heo Namwook views Kim Dan as his slave and property. He is the one working for Heo Namwook. But the latter should have two accounts. Why?

“Although having two bank accounts appears inconvenient, you shouldn’t use a personal account for your business finances primarily because it can affect your legal liability. […] But, if you mingle your finances, a court can potentially go after the individual running the company because it looks less like you’re running a separate entity and more like you and the corporation are one and the same. […] For example, using a separate business account makes it much easier come tax time, as you will need to file your business income and expenses separately from your personal transactions. Differentiating personal expenses from business expenses when they are in the same account can be time consuming and cumbersome. ” Quoted from https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/are-you-still-using-your-personal-bank-account-for-your-business#:~:text=Although%20having%20two%20bank%20accounts,to%20a%20personal%20bank%20account.

While many readers are envisioning that Heo Namwook’s best punishment would be beaten, I came to the following conclusion. One of his karmas should be to be facing legal issues, like for example tax evasion!! Let’s not forget that he yelled at Kim Dan that money meant everything to him. (chapter 16) Thus his karma should be that money becomes his jinx! He gets into trouble because of money! 😂 I have to admit that I was even thinking about a complaint against Heo for hurting his own physical therapist (compensation for the damages). Anyway, going after the company Heo means ruining Heo’s life!! On the other hand, I believe that first the athlete wishes to keep a low profile. One of my followers @jaeekyung_ had even the impression that this panel was announcing the arrival of the champion. If so, this means that he heard them calling his company a whorehouse. (Chapter 16) As the owner, he can only feel insulted. But we don’t know if he heard this comment. We will see.

5. The identity of the assailants

When Joo Jaekyung had discovered that his sex partner had been beaten, according to my interpretation, he assumed that Kim Dan had been assaulted and robbed in his home. The latter couldn’t provide security. And now, the athlete is faced with reality. (chapter 16) Finally, he is able to see their faces. But what does he see? Kim Dan is on the verge of getting raped. (chapter 16) This is more than just theft or burglary. Remember what Joo Jaekyung had said during their first encounter: (chapter 4) Now, he is discovering the ugly side of sex and even “prostitution”: the sexual abuse. The protagonist can’t misjudge the situation, for the doctor is bleeding and bruised. (Chapter 16) His body is even restrained. As a boxer, the champion is used to judge quickly the seriousness of the situation. In his mind, “prostitution” was not connected to violence and exploitation, he always saw it as a win-win situation. Thus this encounter lets him see reality. Yes, Joo Jaekyung is also put in a similar situation than the doctor, following the Taoism’ principle, the harmony between yin and yang. His believes and prejudices are slowly removed as well. In his mind, poor people are responsible for their own misery, for they lack strength, knowledge and good judgement. When he first met the doctor, he called him a ”wimp”, for he was trembling and in tears in front of him. But now he can grasp why Kim Dan would have such a reaction. He was beaten by three people. This scene can only prove the champion’s bias all wrong! Here, Kim Dan is suffering because of others!! He is not keeping his promise, (chapter 16) not because he is not reliable, but because he is sequestrated. Though the fighter was upset and complained, (chapter 16) he still chose to fetch the young man! Any other employer would have fired Kim Dan for such an incident, but the main lead chose to discover the reason for his absence. We don’t know how much the champion listened to their conversation, but one thing is sure. He intervened, the moment Heo Namwook and his minions were about to commit a crime. They can not say that Kim Dan is a prostitute, or the latter has to pay his debts as excuse, for this doesn’t justify their action. That’s the reason why he asked them this: (chapter 16) He can confront them with reality.

Striking is that he announced his presence to the loan shark and his minions. (chapter 16) Why? It is to deescalate the situation. We have to envision that the doctor is like a hostage, hence the athlete should rather negotiate with them. Contrary to Yoon Seungho, who never said a word and started stabbing lord Jang, Joo Jaekyung is quite calm and level-headed. That’s the reason why I don’t think he will punch these terrible men (though I wished deep down he would). However, this doesn’t signify that he feels indifferent to Kim Dan’s fate. Imagine for him, Kim Dan is like Sleeping beauty, and he liked so much seeing his aroused face, there is no ambiguity he is upset. (chapter 16), when he sees that his lover’s body is once again covered with bruises. Besides, he has definitely not forgotten the doctor’s warning: (chapter 13) (chapter 16) The evidence for his anger is the usage of “the hell”. Furthermore, I would like to point out that Joo Jaekyung is first a strategist. He is not using violence blindly, for he is not traumatized like Yoon Seungho. Finally, his affection towards the doctor is not so deep that he would get blinded by his affection. These are the reasons why I believe that Joo Jaekyung will save his doctor in a different way. Since he asked these men to identify themselves, Heo Namwook has to explain that Kim Dan has to pay off the inherited debts! For Joo Jaekyung has been raised that money can solve everything, he could decide to pay off the debts to Heo Namwook. That way, he would attach Kim Dan to himself. However, the champion will discover that his “solution” didn’t solve the problem!! Why? It is because Heo Namwook would have no longer any source of income. I had described him and his minions as parasites. Furthermore, I am suspecting that Heo Namwook will feel humiliated after this encounter. Let’s not forget that he enjoys displaying his power, and for the first time, he met someone stronger than him. He couldn’t do what he desired. In my eyes, the author has planned to create different encounters between Joo Jaekyung and Heo Namwook which will reflect the evolution of the relationship between the sportsman and the other protagonist. There will be an escalation. Right now, the fighter is a professional who will not risk his career for the doctor.

While Joo Jaekyung criticized Kim Dan for living in such a house, (chapter 10) this new situation can only make him realize how wrong he was. He will believe that he couldn’t move out due to the loan shark. (Chapter 16) But this is not entirely the truth, as you already know it. His main reason was his halmoni and his promise to her.

Another important aspect is that the champion is wearing a cap, a sign that he is disguised. Therefore I doubt that the loan shark and his minions will recognize the champion. Hence the loan shark will come to the conclusion that the intruder is not brave enough to punch them. One thing is sure. Heo will also suffer from karma, and will view the athlete as his jinx which can provoke such Schadenfreude for the readers.

Finally, I also believe that this scene will incite Joo Jaekyung to question his sexuality and Kim Dan’s. How rough can he be in the end so that Kim Dan is no longer in denial about his libido and pleasure?

Since I compared Heo Namwook to Joo Jaekyung, this signifies that his minions have their positive reflections and that would be Oh Daehyun (Chapter 9) and Potato. (Chapter 9) Thus I am expecting the visit of the loan shark with his minions to the club Black Team!! One of the minions had threatened to break Kim Dan’s knees, thus his karma 😈 (Chapter 16) should be … As you can see, we just need to wait for „divine retribution“. You caught me in act… I am already imagining all sorts of punishments for these 3 guys: beating, trouble with justice, loss of money, abandonment and betrayal of the minions or 😈 Joo Jaekyung sets a trap. They “become members” of Black Team! While these three men imagine, they are going to a whorehouse, the moment they realize that due to their membership, they can get punched by the members of Black Teams, they come to regret to have signed the papers!! Similar to the loan!

To conclude, I am full of hope. After each suffering, there is the return of peace and light! That’s how we should read this terrific manhwa.

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Painter Of The Night: The shadow 👤 behind the shrine ⛩️

Please support the authors by reading the manhwas on the official websites. 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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Lezhin Korea released a few panels from season 4, thus we could discover that lord Shin got into trouble. He is on the ground, his face bruised and bloody, while he is asking an anonymous man for help. He is mentioning the shrine. As he is wearing the same hanbok, we can definitely assume that this scene takes place during the same night. The irony is that each time Byeonduck offers a new piece of a puzzle, she also creates a new riddle or mystery. How did the young master get wounded in the first place? And who is the person facing lord Shin?

1. The shoes and the weapon

First of all, I would like to point out that this image confirmed my results from my ongoing investigation. The author is using the shoes and clothes to give clues about a person‘s identity. Thus I was definitely right to say that during the abduction in season 2, there were two perpetrators. (Chapter 59) (chapter 66) The size and length of the protections and the cords around the pants were different. Besides, the masks were also different due to the form of the mouth.. (Chapter 61) (chapter 61) Finally, I had also detected his presence next to the barn because of a time jump. First, the manhwaphiles saw Lee Jihwa sitting on the floor, (Chapter 60), then shortly after he was standing at the entrance of the storage room holding a fireplace poker! (chapter 60) His position indicated that the young master had shortly left the building. However, the readers had not witnessed his move, for the author had diverted their attention by exposing the character‘s inner thoughts. He was recollecting the past, while talking to himself. (chapter 60) However, how did the fire poker end up in his own hand? The last time this tool was seen, it was in the kitchen. (chapter 60) As you can see, each image has its importance! However, I doubt that the upset aristocrat had this sudden idea and returned to the kitchen and take the fire iron. His mind and heart were definitely elsewhere, while such an action exposes the intention of hurting someone. Jihwa was acting, as if he was in trance, the moment he saw the hickey and heard the painter’s scream. His long lasting stupor was visible in this image. (chapter 60) That’s the reason why I had developed the theory that someone was hiding in the shadow, next to the barn and observing the evolution of the event. [For more read the essay “No matter what… Baek Na-Kyum must vanish“] For me, it could only be Kim. The latter had put the fire iron in the young man’s hand with the hope that he would strike Baek Na-Kyum. My conclusion was that he was not just involved in the painter’s abduction. However, all these were minor circumstantial evidences. Now, I found more concrete proofs for this hypothesis. Thanks to the new release, I can corroborate my assumption! 😱 The fireplace is the evidence of his involvement during that night! Why would Byeonduck zoom on the furnaces? (chapter 57) It is because they serve as a clue for unveiling the truth. (chapter 60) And now take a closer look at the stove in the storage room! (chapter 62) It is the same furnace! 😨We all assume that the lord prepared the fireplace, because he put his clothes on his lover. But is it true? We were all jumping to this conclusion, but actually we never saw it. Our brain was led to fill the blanks. (chapter 61) Finally, the readers were all assuming that the butler had never entered the storage room due to this image and his action before. (chapter 61) But is it true? He could have opened the door before, and go to the lord in order to explain his intervention. Faking his concerns for the painter. Why would he place the fireplace there? He wished that the warmth from the fire would wake up the painter. Hence he remained close to the gate of the storage room. That way, he had a reason to visit his master. Moreover, the author exposed that the valet had been keeping an eye on his master for a while too. (chapter 62) Because the valet went to his master, we got the impression that the valet had followed his master’s instructions. (chapter 61) In fact, this request could be perceived differently. The lord had seen the butler’s intervention, hence he expressed this wish. From my point of view, the butler must have brought the fireplace to the barn, and he left the poker there on purpose. I am quite certain that some people will think that I am again exaggerating. But why did the butler put a fireplace with a fire iron in the lord’s room, when the coal was not properly lit? (chapter 86) Compare the fire to this one: (chapter 62) But note that in the furnace, there was a fire iron too. (chapter 88) Consequently, I am suspecting that Kim had expected an outburst from Yoon Seungho. The latter could hurt his father with the fire iron. But none of this happened, for the lord preferred playing a comedy.

But let’s return our attention to the fireplace in the storage room. My theory would explain why Kim encouraged his master to go to the barn. (chapter 61) He hoped that Yoon Seungho would become so enraged due to the betrayal that in his violent outburst, he would grab the tool and wound the artist!! Thus he said this the next morning: (chapter 65) He had expected that the lord would hurt the main lead. But how was he supposed to harm Baek Na-Kyum in the end? With the fire iron… This signifies that he had been present in the barn during the abduction, and even knew the place of the sequestration. Thus he took the furnace and the fire iron to the shed.

And now, you have the explanation how lord Shin was wounded. He got beaten with a fire iron! This explicates the cut on his nose. Compare his face to the painter’s who got wounded by wooden sticks. (chapter 99) The painter’s head was bleeding, but his face and nose remained intact. (chapter 99) Besides, this theory also explains why the shrine is set on fire. (chapter 103) The fire iron is connected to a stove. Finally, I would like to outline the absence of the furnace in the shrine, though it was very cold outside. (chapter 99) So when the lord said this to his lover (chapter 88), we could interpret it the following way. It was once again a vision from the future, he was seeing from lord Shin’s perspective the betrayal. To conclude, I am sensing many parallels between the noble’s death and the night of chapter 86/87/88.

But I have another evidence that the butler had been spying on Jihwa and No-Name. How is it possible that Lee Jihwa had such a vision? (chapter 60) (chapter 60) At no moment, he was told that his childhood friend had been brought to the physician’s. He just heard him leaving. Moreover, the joker never mentioned the place where the couple was fooling around. (chapter 60) He didn’t even admit that he had seen them himself. These were memories from someone else! One might assume that these could represent the criminal’s recollection, but I don’t think so. He arrived much later to the physician’s house. If he had been present right from the start, he could have kidnapped Baek Na-Kyum on his way to the restroom. (chapter 59) To conclude, the person with such memories (chapter 62) had been at the doctor’s office before. This stands in opposition to the false memory the red-haired master had in the study. (chapter 43) Here, he had visited the place, hence he could imagine what had happened, though he never saw their encounter according to me. [For more read the essay “The liars in front of the mirror of truth: Lee Jihwa and Yoon Chang-Hyeon”] This explains why he created a false memory. However, in chapter 60, it is simply impossible for him to have such a vision, for he was not there. And in the propriety, only two people could know about their love session, the doctor and naturally the valet. For the latter is constantly seen with the bucket of water, I conclude that this can only be the butler. (chapter 58) He had left the bucket of water in the patio! But note that when the painter left the room, the item had simply vanished. (chapter 59) The painter was not supposed to detect his presence.

2. Identifying the shadows

Since I recognized the presence of a third person involved in the kidnapping from season 2, I come to the deduction that we have in this scene 3 people. And if the release is not changing, and these panels are still framed in black, this signifies that the readers are dealing with remembrance again. So we could say that we are seeing the event from the perpetrator’s perspective. But we will see. On the other hand, why am I so sure about the presence of 3 people? First, don’t forget that the story is going in circle, thus the author is working with reflections. The manhwaphiles will certainly recall that lord Shin had been made unconscious by No-Name, when he had approached Lee Jihwa. (chapter 100) The manhwaworms can grasp the similarities. Back then, the lord had refused to help Baek Na-Kyum, thus he was even encouraging Lee Jihwa to return to the shrine. Hence he had acted as a willing accomplice and perpetrator. Thus his karma is to be denied any assistance, he is punished the same way than his friends, Min and the other nobles. Finally, observe that the red-haired master (chapter 100) was lowering himself in front of No-Name which reminds me a lot to lord Shin’s situation. However, the naïve yangban is not suspecting the person facing him. He has the impression that the latter will listen to him and assist him. Thus I deduce that he was assaulted by someone else, the third person… I am excluding 2 people with the beating, for the noble was not unconscious in contrast to the scene in front of the scholar’s house. Besides, this person was not strong enough to kill the noble and had not tied him up either. (chapter 66) (chapter 99) Lord Shin was still conscious, and he could still run away, until he met this mysterious person. Why do I think so? It is because lord Shin is not suspecting the one standing in front of him. If they were together, he would have recognized the betrayal. From my point of view, he didn’t see them together. And I have another evidence for this interpretation. This picture is a reflection from this one due to the presence of the shadow. (chapter 88) Abandonment and rejection versus embrace and acceptance. And what had Yoon Seungho said during that fateful night? (chapter 88) (chapter 88) But while the painter was exposed to sexual abuse, lord Shin had indeed left his friend’s side. In my eyes, lord Shin embodies treason. As you can see, I conclude that lord Shin is about to get assassinated and from the person he expected the least. Why? It is because no one has to realize that lord Shin ran away from the shaman’s shrine. (chapter 102) He was a survivor. The opposite from this scene. They faked the painter’s desertion, (chapter 60) hence in episode 102 they had to mask his escape, for this would have exposed the involvement of other people, like Lee Jihwa, the doctor with the drugs and Heena. And now, you have the explanation why the shadow hidden behind the tree had put mattresses on the soil. The desertion and survival from lord Shin should not be detected. But who is this person facing the weak lord? And who is the third person who hit the young man? First, I would like to answer the second question.

3. Identifying the helping hand

We have to suspect a rather frail person who can be reckless and even stupid. As you can envision it, I am now suspecting the kisaeng Heena. Not only her philosophy allows her to be blinded by hatred, but also she witnessed herself her brother’s terrible condition. (chapter 99) Secondly, the moment she hears from someone that she got betrayed, for her brother died, she could definitely resent Min and his friends. But one might argue that she was killed by the two guards, or if she is alive, she was held captive by them. However, it is important to recall the following rules: the clothes and shoes are revealing the character’s identity. Both men are not wearing robes. Besides, they are not wearing black shoes like the other black guards! Yet, note all the black guards from chapter 7, 64/65 and 86 were wearing black shoes (chapter 7), (chapter 65) or boots (chapter 86), a sign for a high position. They even had all a sword. Why would the guards from chapter 99 use a wooden stick? In my eyes, it is because they are no real black guards. Besides, I detected that one man had a scarf similar to the butler’s, from lower quality. Thus I am suspecting that these two men are more servants than trained black guards. In other words, they are commoners. This would explicate why they didn’t know how to tie Heena properly. Her mouth was not covered, her feet were not tied. Thus they covered their face. That way, Baek Na-Kyum wouldn’t recognize them. And if he were to survive, then he could blame it on Yoon Chang-Hyeon, as their uniform was similar. During the assault, he couldn’t pay attention to such details and question their true origins. Besides, don’t forget that so far, the beating was tasked to the staff: (chapter 13) (chapter 77) As you can see, the wooden stocks were present during the first straw mat beating.

Under this new light, the manhwalovers can grasp why their face was masked. If they had to be identified, then by the clothes… that way they could mislead the investigation and frame innocents. We could detect their involvement in this scene, (chapter 101), but here Min thought that he was capable to frame the Lees. The other evidence for this interpretation is the presence of two servants during the main lead’s hunt, while he was wearing the suspicious boots. (chapter 83) As you can detect, I see a strong connection between the new panel and the hunt from chapter 83. And here we have 3 people again.

But let’s return our attention to the kisaeng who I am suspecting to be behind the noble’s wounds. What caught my attention is that the woman has always been involved in kidnapping and immobility (being tied up). She was present, when the lord was dragged and tied up. (chapter 68) She was again a witness, when her brother was tied up in the bedchamber. (chapter 66) Finally, when her brother was on the verge of getting abducted, she saw him lying unconscious with a bloody face. However, she never considered it as an abduction, for his hands and feet were not tied up. (chapter 99) That’s the reason why she blamed him with her questions. She implied that he shouldn’t have fought back. As you can see, I detect a common thread between Heena and her presence in different scenes: sequestration and a bloody face. But this doesn’t end here. When the young painter got beaten in the gibang, there was a furnace on the left side. (chapter 94) For me, this incident was to push the painter to leave the gibang and as such to listen to Heena’s suggestion. Furthermore, the man on the left side was wearing a white headband, though he was dressed like a noble in a hunting outfit! The hair dress and his moustache [for more read the analysis “Painful departures”] led me to the following assumption: He was just a commoner in the end, impersonating a noble.

The other clue for Heena’s involvement in lord Shin’s demise is her presence in chapter 88. (chapter 88) She was supposed to discover a crime scene. But what did she do? She didn’t report it to the authorities. Why? It is because the schemers implied that she would never get justice. As a kisaeng, she was totally powerless.

Thus the moment someone tells her that her brother died by the hands of nobles, the young woman’s hatred for yangbans can only increase. At the end of season 3, Yoon Seungho and even the shadow behind the shrine believed that the painter had died too. Consequently, the painter was just given a purple hanbok, and the main lead went to the mountain. Since the protagonist was under such a shock and pain, he never pondered why there was a person helping him. He was behaving like Lee Jihwa during the night of the abduction, the hanbok was put in his hand. The sword, the scholar’s glasses and even the painter’s clothes vanished from the shrine. (chapter 102) This is the evidence that someone had manipulated the crime scene. The clothes from the painter could serve as evidence of her brother’s curtains. Heena could come to the conclusion that Min had gone back on his words, and her fake death, which had definitely shocked (chapter 99) and bothered her, could only be perceived as real at the end. But this means that while Yoon Seungho had murdered the nobles, there was someone hiding in the shadow , exactly like in season 2. He had not stopped the execution either. He could have faked his late arrival and the shocked lord would have even believed him. This time, the man in the shadow had covered the bloody traces and had thought that the noble outside had died from cold. (chapter 61) And according to me (chapter 61) the second Joker (Kim) had tried to murder the painter, but he had failed, for he had covered the painter’s head. (chapter 66) However, his new attempt to have the painter vanished failed again.

4. The “trustworthy” disguised man

What caught my attention are the pants. The form and color remind me a lot of the painter’s. (chapter 97) It could be the same, though I have my doubts. Secondly, I suddenly got aware that the painter had 3 different grey pants at least. (chapter 4) This one had a cut just below the knees, though the color is much brighter. (chapter 84) This is the third one I detected, as the shape of the pants diverge once again. This explicates why Baek Na-Kyum chose to change his clothes before leaving the mansion. (chapter 85) And because his pants are very similar to the painter’s, I deduce that he must be close to Baek Na-Kyum or at least he has a spy informing him about the artist’s clothes. Compare his pants to other servants: (chapter 97) (chapter 61) (chapter 67) (chapter 67) Their pants have either a different pigment (white, black, khaki, or light grey) or the shape is different. That’s the reason why I am assuming that the person was wearing these trousers on purpose. A new version of this scene: (chapter 98) The only difference is that the disguised person is alive contrary to the corpses in the wells. But the problem is that the shoes are betraying him. The boots resemble a lot to Yoon Seungho’s which the latter utilized during the hunt. (chapter 83) What did the lord see back then? Three shadows, two men wearing a gat and one caught in the middle with a topknot. Since I consider Yoon Seungho as a shaman, I believe that this vision was not only referring to the past and the incident in the shrine. It exposes the immutable truth, the involvement of three people, either. This is no coincidence. Thus imagine one moment that this illusion was referring to lord Shin’s murder. He is about to get murdered because of a new conspiracy. From my point of view, the man is disguising himself. However, I doubt that he is wearing the lord’s boots. The latter could be “couple boots”, just like the lord and the painter had couple hats. (chapter 91) And note during that day, Baek Na-Kyum was called sir due to his hat and clothes. (chapter 91) However, if the woman had paid attention to his shoes (mituri), she would have realized that our beloved painter is just a low-born. One might think that I view Kim as the one facing lord Shin. Strangely, I am suspecting the involvement of someone else. One thing is sure. The person in front of lord Shin is disguising himself, and the latter trusted the man in front of him. But his misfortune was not to identify correctly the person, for he didn’t detect the contrast between the clothes and the shoes. And the author left us another clue that disguise plays a huge role in our protagonists’ suffering. Why is Kim wearing a gat with a headband for nobles, when he is dressed like a servant? But there is another detail what caught my attention. He is wearing a bag. It was, as if he had packed his belongings before leaving the mansion. This means, he is taking his brown hanbok, but he is not wearing it. He reminded me of Deok-Jae. (chapter 44) (chapter 54) But the readers should question themselves this: why did Kim dress like this in the first place? From my point of view, the schemers have already planned to frame Baek Na-Kyum for the murder of the nobles and even of Jung In-Hun. Kim is trying to separate the couple so that the artist can be arrested easily and sentenced immediately. By burning the place, the evidence that Baek Na-Kyum was a victim vanished. That’s how they can manage to turn a victim into a perpetrator. They wanted to erase every trace of the crimes, but then the return of the painter will force them to change their plan. The fire can help them to turn Baek Na-Kyum into a scapegoat. That’s the reason why the anonymous shadow is wearing clothes similar to the painter’s. No one should recognize him. Later, Baek Na-Kyum can be “identified” as the culprit. And any blood trace on his clothes could serve to incriminate the painter. They could use the resemblance of the clothes as a proof for his crime. That’s the reason why lord Shin had to die in the end. And if lord Shin never doubted this person, I am suspecting that the latter is working with the authorities. Kim is not the only suspect, for according to me, there always exist a conspiracy of 3 and even 5 people. This observation leads me to create a list of suspects. First of all, Yoon Seungho’s confession to the learned sir should help us to determine the schemers and culprits. (chapter 44). A synonym for old bearded men is “elders”. The latter are supposed to serve as role models. That’s the reason why the young man didn’t suspect the man. With his beard, he must have oozed “responsibility” and even “selflessness”. But who are the suspects?

  • The officer from the bureau investigation is definitely involved. Thus he misled Yoon Seungho. Besides, observe that the officers are connected to fire! (chapter 94) Secondly, his explanation implied the involvement of a physician. (chapter 98) Though he had been found in a well, the lord’s comment insinuates that “Deok-Jae” had been stabbed. Striking is that the lord didn’t show any interest in the violation of clothes and the servant’s death. This reaction surprised the yangban which left him speechless. It is important, because this shows that the schemers were trying to direct the lord’s attention to a certain person: Lee Jihwa. They were trying to instill the thought that Lee Jihwa had planted a professional spy in his household. And after his betrayal, Deok-Jae had run away with the money earned from his work.
  • The physician: What caught my attention is that the author focused on the fire place at his office. (chapter 57) Why? There has to be a reason. I don’t believe in coincidence in Painter Of The Night. Furthermore, observe that both men, Kim and the doctor, were sitting in the kitchen, similar to Jihwa and No-Name. (chapter 57) Finally, the painter met the Joker again on the same day he visited the physician. (chapter 75) Finally, why was the doctor never brought to the mansion again after his last visit in chapter 57? And it looks like he was not there to treat Baek Na-Kyum. The latter is suffering from PTSD. Thus the painter had a nightmare. Hence I have the impression that the butler’s intervention and suggestion to Yoon Seungho will fail. The lord won’t be able to leave his side. Moreover, I would like the readers to recall that when Baek Na-Kyum got sick, a different physician was fetched. (chapter 33) Different clothes displays a different identity. From my point of view, the doctor doesn‘t want to be connected to Yoon Seungho. Finally, don‘t you find it weird that he was not by his side in chapter 57? He literally abandoned the young master in the room with the painter (chapter 57), though the latter was a patient too. He had a wounded wrist. The physician should have controlled Yoon Seungho’s fever, brought him water and even an infusion. His absence and passivity caught my attention. So what was he doing in the kitchen? Finally, the doctor is also connected to the shaman. Not only he mentioned him, but also there is the symbol of shamanism in his kitchen. Why did the gods want our couple to have their first “true” love session at the physician’s office? Somehow, it was to confront him with the truth. Finally, don’t you find it weird how Kim reacted (chapter 82), when the new version of Deok-Jae made the following suggestion to Kim: (chapter 82) Hence the doctor is not off the hook, quite the opposite.
  • Father Lee: he has a huge motivation to eliminate not only the painter, but also Min. The latter had denunciated Lee Jihwa’s crime to Yoon Seungho. Since I judge father Lee as someone suffering from Machiavellianism, he certainly plotted something behind Yoon Seungho, and not only once, but at least twice. Moreover, someone could have divulged to the patriarch that Black Heart had been responsible for the loss of his son’s topknot and his manipulations. Besides, Black Heart had witnessed the altercation between the Lees and Yoon Seungho (chapter 67), and discovered Lee Jihwa’s sodomy which was supposed to be a secret. The father is well aware that the main lead’s suffering is linked to the young master’s sexual orientation, which the father had always denied. His involvement could be detected, when he allowed one of his servants to be dragged to the gibang. (chapter 99) Finally, The Joker also heard father Lee’s humiliation and powerlessness. (chapter 67) He never asked for the authorities’ assistance, for his son’s crime could have come to the surface. And since there was a ruckus in the gibang, where his name was mentioned, he had another reason to kill lord Shin. With his disappearance, his son’s “crimes” would be buried. Moreover, his son never went to the bureau of investigation to clear his name. (chapter 101) Thus the fire could be seen as a desperate measure to cover the Lees’ culpability.
  • Because people are violating code dress, and they are wearing similar clothes to deceive people, I think that we should include the tailor in the list of suspects, but the one I am referring to is the one from chapter 64. (chapter 64) He can play a huge role by making a false testimony, as he can recognize the clothes ordered by the clients.
  • Finally, I would like to include these two men. (chapter 37) The latter had already disguised himself in season 1, and due to his age, no one would suspect his real nature or power. Then we have this faceless man from chapter 83: (chapter 83) I am not including Yoon Chang-Hyeon in this list, for he is not intelligent and cunning enough to develop such a plan. For me, he is just a pawn. Thus he never intervened on his own. He was always pushed by others’ suggestions. Yet, there is no ambiguity that the elder Yoon will be involved in a new plot.

To conclude, I am suspecting many people involved in lord Shin’s struggle and curtains. Thus expect in season 4 new plots again. Finally, I would like to underline the butler’s hypocrisy one more time. While he keeps saying to his master that he is a bird of misfortune, why is he remaining by his side? Dedication or love? I have my doubt, for he keeps badmouthing him. If this “curse” was true, how come that he did not suffer like the painter? And note that he has a drop of sweat on his face, the symbol for manipulations and lies. In my eyes, the words from the publication are reflecting the butler and Heena’s philosophy. Why? Both are trying to hide their own wrongdoings and bad choices. They are still in denial to admit their responsibility.

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: “Promise me 👄 you’ll never forget me because … 🥺”

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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As the readers can see, the title consists of an unfinished sentence. I did it on purpose for two reasons. First, it would have been too long. Secondly, it would have revealed the central topic of this essay. The name of this composition is in truth a quote from A. A. Milne. The manhwaphiles can see that I would like to analyze the new pictures released from Lezhin inciting me to present new interpretations, theories and predictions.

1. Yoon Seungho and Sleeping beauty

Interesting is that on February 1st the Korean company tweeted this image. The manhwalovers could barely see Yoon Seungho’s face, for he was surrounded by darkness. When I saw it, my first thought was to associate the protagonist to “Sleeping beauty”. He had the same expression than in the bedchamber, when he was sleeping totally relaxed. (chapter 87) He was not tormented by a nightmare, like the painter discovered it in chapter 38: And the darkness reminded me of the forest of thorns and as such of the curse put on the princess. The darkness, the metaphor for the forest of thorns, is the reason why the lord felt trapped and suffocating in his torment. (chapter 86) This contrasts to the princess’ situation, for the latter had no idea about the existence of the prison. It only appeared, when she fell asleep. Moreover, in this picture the obscurity is slowly disappearing announcing that the main lead is about to wake up, he is on the verge of being released from his curse. This signifies that the protagonist is slowly returning to life, allowing him to be able to fight back, the moment he is confronted with reality. He will be able to voice his thoughts and emotions contrary to his past lethargy.

In the fairy tale from Charles Perrault and the brothers Grimm, the princess was put to sleep for 100 years in order to avoid the terrible curse that the wicked witch had placed on her. Originally, she should have died, but thanks to the intervention of one fairy, the curse could be modified and attenuated. Instead of death, it was just “sleep”. My avid readers can already detect the similarities, as the young master’s martyrdom lasted 10 years. Not only the numbers are similar, but the idiom the lord employs to describe his past life is related to sleep: “nightmare”. (chapter 86) This shows that he had problems to distinguish illusion from reality. Why? He had long internalized that nightmare is real world. Hence any pleasant event could only be judged as dream and illusion. This explicates why the lord still feared that the painter’s love confession was a chimera. Besides, I had already pointed out that till the lord’s final suicidal attempt linked to the painter’s love and death, the lord was not truly living. I had compared him either to a dormant volcano or to a zombie. It is relevant, because thanks to the artist, the noble is learning that realism is not just made of betrayal, agony and torment. Happiness can still exist in real world, but in order to achieve happiness, the person has to work! That’s the reason why the American dream combines happiness with zeal and commitment. Therefore the main lead could only end up suffering, for he remained passive till the end of season 3. Therefore, till the end of season 3, he was not able to detect his true enemies and anticipate their moves.

Consequently, both characters, the lord and Sleeping beauty, have another common denominator. They couldn’t determine their own fate due to the intervention of others: the fathers, the “fairies”, the prince/king and the fortunetellers. Yes, sleeping beauty is connected to horoscopists. Actually, the fairy tale “Sleeping beauty” has its origins in the story “Sun, Moon, and Talia” from the Italian author Giambattista Basile. In this narration from the 17th Century, the so-called talented astrologers, tasked by Talia’s father, had predicted her future.

“at length they came to the conclusion that she would incur great danger from a splinter of flax. Her father therefore forbade that any flax, hemp, or any other material of that sort be brought into his house, so that she should escape the predestined danger.” Quoted from https://sites.pitt.edu/~dash/type0410.html

However, the lord’s attempts were a failure. The young woman couldn’t escape her terrible destiny, for she was left in the dark. Moreover, Talia was raped 😨 during her sleep by a king who was already married. Due to this encounter, the cursed protagonist got pregnant, and gave birth to twins, Sun and Moon. Under this new perspective, the readers realize that this panel is actually announcing the content of season 4. The lord’s rape will come to the surface! Furthermore, my avid readers can notice another parallel with the manhwa. I had already compared the main characters from Painter Of The Night to the moon and the sun. For Yoon Seungho, the painter symbolizes the sun and as such life, for he was slowly bringing him light, warmth (chapter 63), love and happiness in his nightmare. In his darkest moment, he voiced a wish, which exposed the return of hope. This corresponds to the spark of faith, the gradual return of trust in his life. On the other side, Baek Na-Kyum came to view his lover as the moon giving him light and hope during the night again. (chapter 94) I would like to point out that the artist has always associated this satellite to a source of joy and love, like we can detect it here. (chapter 94) Finally, Talia could get liberated from her curse thanks to her children. The splinter of flax got removed from her finger, the moment the babies were sucking on them. This signifies that she got revived thanks to love and life. Moreover, she woke up, the moment the source of her pain was removed. This observation leads me to the following conclusion: the noble can only be completely freed from this darkness, the moment his suffering is removed and as such revealed!! This means that Yoon Seungho will be able to voice his misery and denunciate the crimes he was exposed to. He will be able to identify the persons responsible for his suffering. He might know a name, lord Song, but he has no idea about his true identity. That’s how his burden will be erased. Like mentioned above, the noble’s physical and sexual assault will be brought up to light. That’s the reason why the new image announcing season 4 is so dark. They represent a reflection from Yoon Seungho’s past and torment.

Nonetheless, we should focus on the positive aspects, the gradual vanishing of the blackness. Hence I see this dark picture in a good light. It actually symbolizes peace, hope and faith. This explicates why once I detected the painter’s hair in this image, I imagined that the lord was sleeping with Baek Na-Kyum while holding him in his arms. At the same time, he was smelling his hair, a new version of this scene: (chapter 38) I thought that the couple would share the bed, thus the lord could relax. He felt protected by his lover. In other words, I was already envisioning that this scene is a reflection from chapter 97/98, for the couple had not been able to sleep together. (chapter 97) However, the moment Lezhin published the second panel, I realized that this illustration was referring to a different element in the same scene: separation. Thus I deduce that the embrace during the sleep must have happened before, for the noble’s eye has no dark circle. He looks rested and relaxed.

But let’s return our attention to the comparison between sleeping beauty and our beloved seme. The king was actually cheating on his wife, hence he only stayed in Talia’s home for a certain time. He not only hid the truth from her, but also made an empty promise, he would bring her back to his kingdom!

In the meanwhile the king remembered Talia, and saying that he wanted to go hunting, he returned to the palace, and found her awake, and with two cupids of beauty. He was overjoyed, and he told Talia who he was, and how he had seen her, and what had taken place. When she heard this, their friendship was knitted with tighter bonds, and he remained with her for a few days. After that time he bade her farewell, and promised to return soon, and take her with him to his kingdom. And he went to his realm, but he could not find any rest, and at all hours he had in his mouth the names of Talia, and of Sun and Moon (those were the two children’s names), and when he took his rest, he called either one or other of them.” Quoted from https://sites.pitt.edu/~dash/type0410.html

And that’s how she became the victim of another plot, the queen got jealous and chose to get rid of Sun and Moon before targeting Talia herself. And this shows that deceptions and conspiracies stand in the center of this fairy tale! At no moment, the main lead heard the truth from her father or her future husband. Thus she couldn’t protect herself correctly, just like she could never anticipate her enemy’s moves. And that’s exactly what happened to Yoon Seungho. He was left in the dark the whole time, while people made empty promises to him. When Kim revealed Yoon Chang-Hyeon’s promise, the butler was implying (chapter 77) that he was doing it for the noble’s best interest. He insinuated that he was protecting him and he should trust him and his father. But this was not true, for he had not revealed the truth to Yoon Seungho, the stolen kiss. (chapter 88) This image was mirroring the past, someone had made the promise to the young master that he would “stay by his side”, implying that he would protect him, but he had failed to keep his words, for he had trusted more in others’ comments. (chapter 88) Because of the tragedies, the main figure got blamed, and as such he got cursed. He was a bird of misfortune, while in reality he was the main victim. In “Sun, Moon and Talia”, the perpetrator and the accomplices, the king and the astrologers, they all got scot-free. I am certain that it was the same in Yoon Seungho’s past. And because there are astrologers in this fairy tale, I am more than ever convinced that a shaman played a huge role in the young master’s downfall.

Yet there exists a huge difference between Painter Of The Night and the Italian story. Contrary to Yoon Seungho, Talia was not conscious, when she got sexually assaulted. She was left in the dark about the true origins of her motherhood. That’s the reason why she didn’t suffer from PTSD or better said from nightmares while asleep. She could never make the connection between the rape and the birth of Sun and Moon. She just saw them, and fell in love with them, as they marked the end of her solitude. The king never described the intimacy as a crime, it was portrayed as a normality. Thus her sleep is not connected to pain and nightmare, rather to a blessing and peace.

2. Memories and farewells

What caught my attention is that the king from “Sun, Moon and Talia” never saw the sex as a crime. Why? From my point of view, it is related to his position. As the ruler, he can do whatever he wants. Yet, the reality is that he is bound by traditions and religion. Yet, he chose to disregard them. Moreover, the most surprising is that he actually forgot his encounter with Talia for a while.

In the meanwhile the king remembered Talia, and saying that he wanted to go hunting, he returned to the palace, and found her awake, and with two cupids of beauty. Quoted from https://sites.pitt.edu/~dash/type0410.html

It exposes his selfishness and superficiality in the end. He was not truly motivated by love, rather by lust. It took him more than a year before returning to her side. And that’s how he discovered that he had now heirs! This explicates why he made such a promise to the young mother (bringing her to his realm with her kids), though he still remained passive afterwards. He had been able to continue his lineage, thus everything was fine. The fairy tale is actually exposing the king’s flaws and sins. In my eyes, his behavior is reflecting the pedophile’s from Painter Of The Night. Moreover, the ruler vowed faithfulness to Talia, when he announced that he would bring back her and their children to his realm. But he knew that it was not possible, for he still had a wife. This means that the king couldn’t live with Talia together. His time with her was limited, hence he justified his vanishing with “hunting”. Yes… another parallel with the lord’s attitude. (chapter 83) In Painter Of The Night, the hunts were always used to provoke a quarrel and as such a separation, but it never worked. This is important, because this shows that the couple from the Italian story had to separate. It is now time to reveal the whole quote from Milner:

“Promise me you’ll never forget me because if I thought you would, I’d never leave.”

His words indicate the difficulty of departure. In order to overcome the distance, one needs absolute trust in the partner’s love and loyalty. And this situation is actually reflected in the second picture released from Lezhin. Byeonduck is now announcing the separation arc. Since Yoon Seungho is closing his eyes while kissing Baek Na-Kyum’s eye, I come to the interpretation that the lord is trusting blindly his lover. He is not doubting the artist’s affection. There is no ambiguity that he is also embracing his lover. He is actually making here a promise to the painter. This is what Lezhin wrote on Twitter:

시샘달 하루부터 닷새까지. 매일 정오 찾아 오겠노라, 약조하마. From the first day to fifth day, I’ll come to you every day at noon, in the morning (translated by papago).

He will not only return to him, but also he is telling the time of his return!! This means that the lord has now regained the notion of time! Kim, whom I consider as a new version of Chronos, is no longer controlling the main lead, because he is no longer owner of his time. The panel with the text is already displaying the butler’s loss of power. To conclude, this panel represents the positive reflection from this scene: (chapter 97) Back then, the lord was scared, for he still doubted the artist’s love confession. It was too beautiful to be true! However, back then, the artist never doubted his own resolution, thus he gave comfort to his lover by giving him his hand. (chapter 97) (chapter 97) At the end, the lord expressed the following wishes: (chapter 97) In other words, he desired that the painter would follow his requests and as such he should vow him loyalty and trust one more time. The irony is that the lord was actually the one breaking his vow, for he left his lover without saying goodbye. Thus I conclude that in this scene, the characters have switched their position: Yoon Seungho is no longer doubting the artist’s sincerity and loyalty, for he could witness with his own eyes the abduction and the sexual assault. Yet, the painter is in tears, because he is already missing his lover. The tears doesn’t just represent agony, but also longing. What caught my attention is that the drawing is very similar to this image: (chapter 78) This means that the lord is smelling his partner’s hair helping him to remain strong and calm. He is now trying to memorize his lover’s odor so that he can forget this stench, a remain from the past: (chapter 86) This can only help him to defeat his “opponents”. Finally, in different analyses, I had already interpreted that Baek Na-Kyum was embodying memory, whereas the lord stands for truth. The image is actually a reference to recollection and as such honesty. There is no ambiguity that both men are trusting each other, but the painter is crying, for he fears for his lover’s life either. Yoon Seungho is leaving him in order to protect him in my eyes. And this leads me to the following deduction. When the lord is about to leave, Baek Na-Kyum is not left in the dark contrary to episode 97. He knows the whole truth, for the lord must have confessed to him. We could say that he is not leaving without a word (chapter 97). Furthermore, this signifies that the artist doesn’t need any longer to rely on the explanations from others. Thus the artist will keep his promise (chapter 88), though he won’t be by his side physically! They are no longer relying on the butler and his “information”. The trick played at the end of season 3 won’t work on Baek Na-Kyum any longer. He will no longer be swayed. And the promise made by the lord is the reason why the painter will remain loyal. He will stay at the place he is living and wait for his lover’s return. He has no question either.

Many manhwalovers might be unhappy about this evolution, for they love watching the couple living together. But keep in mind that this is totally necessary, because this will push Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho to create paintings and even poems. This can only incite them to recall their past moments together. A new version of this scene: (chapter 23) (chapter 24) In other words, this announces the return of Yoon Seungho’s passion for painting! And it is the same for the painter. The erotic picture should reflect their love for each other, created based on memories. At the same time, this can only push the noble to demonstrate his talents to others refuting all the negative rumors about him: he is intelligent and possessing his whole mind. Furthermore, this can help him to reminisce his tragic past, what led him to his downfall and suffering. This signifies that he will be able to confront his past and his memories. He will be able to identify the rape, and Kim already exposed the truth to Yoon Seungho, when the former suggested him to ensure the painter’s consent. This shows that Kim was well aware of the sexual abuse, but he chose to never divulge the verity. On the other hand, the pedophile thought in the past that the young master would never forget him due to his position, thus he had no problem to leave Yoon Seungho behind and make no real promise. Departure was never painful for him… hence this quote (“Promise me you’ll never forget me because if I thought you would, I’d never leave.”) will become a reality for the mysterious lord Song, but it is already too late. In fact, the gods punished him by making Yoon Seungho suffering from amnesia. He is not attached by loyalty to the pervert.

Yoon Seungho’s vow with Baek Na-Kyum diverges so much to the monarch’s behavior from “Sun, Moon and Talia”. The latter broke his promise on so many levels. First, he hid the queen’s existence to the protagonist. But this doesn’t end here. He left her behind without making sure that her family was protected. He thought that this secret would guarantee her safety. However, in the story, the king couldn’t help himself revealing the secret and that’s how the queen discovered his betrayal and infidelity. I would like the readers to keep in mind that back then, polygamy was considered as a huge sin in Europe. Note that at the end, the legal wife was the one who brought the “princess” to the kingdom and this for a trial. So where was the king? He was often busy eating! We could say that he didn’t keep his promise out of laziness and even naivety. He allowed that Talia was accused of infidelity and witchcraft, for she had seduced him. He only appeared at the end of the fairy tale. He only voiced regret and put the blame on the queen, while in reality he was the main culprit for this situation.

“The king suddenly appeared, and finding this spectacle, demanded to know what was happening. He asked for his children, and his wife — reproaching him for his treachery — told him that she had had them slaughtered and served to him as meat. When the wretched king heard this, he gave himself up to despair, saying, “Alas! Then I, myself, am the wolf of my own sweet lambs. Alas! And why did these my veins know not the fountains of their own blood? You renegade bitch, what evil deed is this which you have done? Quoted from https://sites.pitt.edu/~dash/type0410.html

The manhwalovers can detect many similarities with Painter Of The Night. The ruler will never recognize his crimes and even wrong decisions. He neglected Yoon Seungho, but chose to put the blame on others. First, the young master, then the patriarch Yoon Chang-HYeon, the kisaeng, “No-Name” and finally Lee Jihwa. At some point, it will be the butler’s turn. On the other hand, since no one of them was willing to recognize their own fault and involvement, they preferred blaming the victim, for the latter was the only one without a voice. Thus Yoon Seungho is accused of being consumed by lust, he was neither faithful, while in truth, he had no saying from the start. (chapter 57) That’s the reason why I believe that when an incident occurred during that night (chapter 83), the main lead was framed. He got accused of a crime, whereas he had been the true target in reality. There is no ambiguity that the abusers doubted the protagonist’s loyalty and integrity, for they were themselves untrustworthy. They all knew that they had lied and deceived the young master at some point.

And this leads me to the following conclusion. The separation is necessary, since the story is going in circle. Back then, the “pedophile” couldn’t stay by the young master’s side due to his duties. Thus he could only appear, when he was “hunting”. This means, the painter is put in the same situation than his lover in the past. However, the huge difference is that Yoon Seungho came to hate the mysterious lord Song! He never wished his return… However, since he had lost the notion of time, he could only live in fear. That’s how he came to develop insomnia. This explicates why the man trained the protagonist to have a sex marathon, for his time in Jemulpo was limited. Thus I deduce that the pedophile never bid farewell to Yoon Seungho and barely talked to him as well, unless he gave orders. In my eyes, he relied on others: Yoon Chang-Hyeon the kisaeng, Yoon Seungwon and Kim. Yet, deep down, the perpetrator was well aware that he was abusing the young master. But he chose to close an eye, until an incident occurred. That’s the reason why he could never trust the male kisaeng in the end. As a conclusion, season 4 symbolizes the opposite to the past: acceptance, love, faith, closeness, verity and transparence despite the return of darkness. This explicates why the illustration is quite “easy” to interpret despite the blackness.

3. Interpretation of the second panel

It is possible, if you compare the image to others. This picture contrasts so much to this one:

  • prank – seriousness
  • light – dark
  • smile – tears
  • Yoon Seungho made sure that the painter stayed by his side, he even stopped him to retrieve the music box, while now the lord has the opposite intention. He is now the one leaving the painter.
  • The small gap between the main leads indicating that despite their closeness, there still existed a wall between them. This displays that in the new illustration, the distance is no longer existing. Both are fully trusting each other. The lord must have confessed what happened to the painter at the end of season 3, and the painter must have also explained how he came to leave the mansion. In other words, both revealed many secrets concerning the last incident,

That’s the reason why I come to the following deductions. They are biding farewell outside. The painter followed him to the door. However, here the lord is not suicidal at all. In fact, the promise represents the source of strength for Yoon Seungho. The latter has to remain alive in order to protect Baek Na-Kyum, definitely a new version of this scene: (chapter 11) However, there is no ambiguity that the painter can only fear for his lover’s life. The closed eye contradicts the haunted gaze in the shaman’s house. (chapter 102) Despite his closed eyes, he is now able to discern the truth, and it is the same for the painter. Their Third eye is now fully awakened.

But the most important detail is the lord’s kiss on the artist’s eye. The lord had already done it in the past. When he kissed the artist there for the first time, the latter was unconscious. (chapter 21) This gesture symbolizes the epitome of the noble’s affection and the desire to give “happiness”. Then in the bedchamber, he did it in order to console his partner. (chapter 82) With his kiss, he was asking for his forgiveness. This means that the kiss on the eye serves as reassurance and comfort either. Thus we had this scene in the study: (chapter 84) The lord had kissed his lover there, because he was voicing his attachment and desire to redeem himself and to comfort the artist. As you can see, it was a combination of all the previous significations. Yet, the lord had not grasped the “gravity” of his “wrongdoing”. Thus the kiss was associated a certain playfulness in the study. As a conclusion, this image symbolizes the reality. Both are aware of the truth, willing to face it together. The lord is attempting to console his lover, to reassure him that everything will be alright. He is sorry, for he is making him cry again, but this separation is necessary. It was, as if he was seeking Baek Na-Kyum’s forgiveness. He is honest and serious. He is now capable to face reality. But there is more to it. The new image contrasts to this one too:

  • light -dark
  • happiness – sadness
  • sun – moon
  • the hand with a foot – the couple’s faces

This contrast confirms my previous signification: this happy moment in the painter’s childhood had been short-lived, because he had been left in the dark. While he was with the scholar and was happy, something terrible must have happened to someone close to the painter. It reinforced his guilt and abandonment issues. Besides, I had already outlined that this scene must be connected to a departure, a “farewell”. [For more read the essay “Baek Na-Kyum’s foot“] In the past, I had assumed that it was related to Heena, but it could be linked to the gibang in general. Another kisaeng could have vanished suddenly. That’s how I realized why the painter came to love the moon and night! I recognized that many wounds in the painter’s life had occurred during the day: (chapter 94) (chapter 94) (chapter 34) (chapter 11) (chapter 19) He came to feel more safe during the night, until he met Yoon Seungho in season 1. From that moment on, his night life got slowly affected. That’s how he discovered that night could be associated to pain and agony too. Yet, deep down, he still felt safe by the noble’s side. As you can see, the new illustration is reinforcing my theory that this image is not just mirroring a happy moment in the painter’s youth. The latter actually symbolizes illusion and deception, whereas the dark panel oozes reality and honesty.

And all this leads to the final conclusion: the last common denominators between Sleeping beauty and Yoon Seungho are vengeance, greed and jealousy. That’s the reason why Talia came to be arrested and falsely accused. Nonetheless, none of the characters realized this. The cursed princess in the Perrault’s or the Grimms’ version had no idea about the intervention of the witch/fairy who had felt insulted either. This is the reason why the Yoons’ reputation got ruined. The couple can only discover these elements, when someone witnesses such a scene and reports it to the “schemers”, and as such to the “mysterious lord”. The latter can only be upset, for the young man has never acted this way with him.

“Promise me you’ll never forget me because if I thought you would, I’d never leave.”

Yoon Seungho can leave his lover’s side without fearing his sudden vanishing. He is exactly thinking like Milner. However, these words stand in opposition to the butler’s philosophy: (chapter 51). Hence the butler could perceive this promise as a betrayal from Yoon Seungho. The latter is slowly forgetting the valet, he is no longer seeking his assistance and his side.

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 / A Sip Of Poison: A Question Of Perspective: The loss of the topknot 💇🏻‍♂️ (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwas. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/sip_poison This manhwa is mature. 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/  I also used briefly Doctor Frost again which I highly recommend to my readers. https://www.webtoons.com/en/mystery/dr-frost/list?title_no=371 If you want to read more essays about other manhwas, here is the link to the table of contents: https://bebebisous33analyses.com/2021/06/06/table-of-contents-of-analyzed-mentioned-manhwas/

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.

1. Castration or abandonment?

Anyone reading my previous analyses about Painter Of The Night will certainly recall that I had perceived the loss of the topknot as a castration. Why? In Joseon, the topknot was given to men the moment they became adults and this Coming-Of-Age ceremony took place just before a marriage. [For more read the essay “Coming Of Age”] In other words, no topknot meant no marriage and as such no responsibility and maturity. However, this is important to recall that the loss of the topknot was brought up in a different context. It was mentioned for the first time in the painter’s statement. (Chapter 1) When Baek Na-Kyum remembered his noona’s words about Yoon Seungho, he connected it to the loss of his future lover’s topknot. Here, the gesture had a different meaning. By cutting off his hair, the father was acting, as if he was abandoning his son. According to social norms, the hair was considered as a heritage from the parents. So if Yoon Chang-Hyeon had truly done it, the latter was showing that he was no longer considering the main lead as his son. While the rumor about the haircut gave the impression that the elder master Yoon was a honest and honorable noble, anyone can perceive the elder master’s action differently: the father is a coward, a selfish, ruthless and disloyal lord, especially the moment it is revealed that Yoon Seungho was abused sexually, physically and mentally. Let’s not forget that the protagonist used to live in the shed, for he was viewed as an animal. His situation reflected the father’s betrayal and abandonment. It doesn’t matter if he had been manipulated, because in the end, he made the decision to treat his son as a slave. He refused to send for a physician. To sum up, the loss of the topknot in this rumor would be judged as the epitome for cruelty and intolerance!! This shows that the loss of the hair in Painter Of The Night has actually many significations: castration, mercilessness and abandonment.

Then it occurred to me that the painter has been cutting off his hair all this time because of his noona. (Chapter 94) In this scene, the painter was rejected by the children, for he had no braid. Due to his hair dress, he was recognized as orphan immediately. The justification was that that way, the artist would appear more boyish. But by mentioning the loss of Yoon Seungho’s topknot, Heena was actually revealing that she knew the true signification of the haircut: abandonment and intolerance. Her words to her brother exposed her hypocrisy, though she attempted to portray the elder master as respectable. One might argue that when Na-Kyum was just a child, she had suggested the short hair, for she had good intentions. But after this experience with the children, the noona should have grasped the wrongness of her decision. She should have admitted her bad decision and stopped the painter from cutting his hair. Moreover, don’t forget that Na-Kyum was just a young boy, so the haircut must have been done by Heena herself. This shows that her gesture actually divulged her future behavior: she would betray and abandon the painter constantly (season 1, 2 and 3). At the same time, since the painter was seen with short hair in chapter 68 , this indicates that Heena kept cutting Baek Na-Kyum’s hair. So even in the past, she was betraying her brother, though the latter never realized it. The loss of hair could never be viewed as a sign of love or empathy, for it contributed to the painter’s abandonment issues and his self-loathing. He was suffering as an outcast and due to his girly features. The men in the gibang could mistreat him, for he had no long hair or topknot. Why? (Chapter 94) He had no parents or guardians protecting him which is true, for here he was exposed to violence. Heena, as the head-kisaeng, had not protected him at all, she must definitely have portrayed herself as powerless. Yet as a slave of the state, she was belonging to the king. So she had connections to officers and the court. In my eyes, the head-kisaeng made sure that the artist could never get a topknot, and as such he would never be able to become a “noble” or even a man. Hence Baek Na-Kyum was constantly called boy (Chapter 56) (Chapter 59) (chapter 66) and treated as one too. This observation made me realize that Heena’s belief could be used as an explanation for her action (cutting off his hair): she hates nobles so much that she didn’t allow her brother to have a topknot. But why would she do that? My idea is that deep down, she resented him, for he was a free man, while she was a slave. It went so far that he was encouraged to wear a white headband, the symbol for servitude, though he is no slave! To conclude, the loss of hair in Joseon should be perceived as a brutal and harsh punishment. Without a topknot, one is left unprotected, is not viewed as an adult. But this stands in opposition to Yoon Seungho’s action in front of Jung In-Hun’s home. (Chapter 101) Here, the lord had spared his friend’s life.

2. The loss of the topknot: Symbol for forgiveness?

As you may have noticed, I often use other manhwas as a source of inspiration for my interpretations concerning Painter Of The Night. In the story “A Sip of Poison”, the main lead, the prince Nan-Woo (Chapter 23) cuts off the hair of the general Woo Jong Han, because he had committed crimes. First, he hid the fact that his sister had had a child before getting married to the emperor, which was actually a huge sin. The future Empress should have been a virgin. To sum up, he had committed treason, for he had allowed his sister to become Empress unrightfully. Then the field marshal had treated his niece as a slave violating social norms. (chapter 34) That way, he assisted his sister to become powerful by covering up for her crimes (silence and passivity). She had killed many people to hide her previous relationship and to increase her power. Striking is that the prince still spared Baek-Ha’s uncle, and this for many reasons. First, the latter had not only saved both protagonists, the empress’ illegitimate daughter Baek-Ha and the prince Nan-Woo, but also had admitted his sins. Secondly, he was thinking of his wife Baek-Ha who is kind-hearted. He knew that his death could upset his bride. (chapter 26) But there is more to it. Nan-Woo didn’t spare the man out of benevolence. (chapter 26) He had a role to play. By cutting off his topknot, the general lost his “power”, he became the prince’s pawn! Nan-Woo wished to use the uncle in order to get rid of the Empress. (chapter 23) That way, the protagonist wouldn’t even have to dirty his own hands. On the other hand, we could also say that Nan-Woo was forcing the Empress’ brother to undo his bad decision. (chapter 23) Since he had protected his sister Seo-Ha out of affection, it was normal that now he had to show no mercy towards her. By presenting Baek -Ha to Nan-Woo, the general was well aware that the future ruler would recognize the female lead’s origins due to her resemblance to her mother. Therefore, we could interpret that Nan-Woo had spared the general, for the latter had switched sides and expressed the wish to undo his wrongdoings.

As you can see, Woo Jong Han shows many similarities with the second lead from Painter Of The Night: he was an accomplice of the real culprit, as he never intervened. He is connected to the notion: pity, knowledge, silence and passivity. Because Seo-Ha was his sister, as a dutiful older brother, he felt obligated to protect her. He was not blinded by greed like his donsaeng. This explicates why on the one hand, he saved Baek Ha’s life, on the other hand he still treated her as a slave in order to hide his sister’s wrongdoing. He felt torn between his obligation towards his younger sister and his empathy for his niece, Baek-Ha. Consequently, it is no coincidence that he once warmed her feet with his hands after the young girl had complained about her cold feet. Moreover, she received an education contrary to all the other slaves. He was caught in the middle, exactly like Lee Jihwa who had an attachment towards the main lead, yet he was still bound by social norms to his father. He needed to protect the family’s reputation. So when I saw this scene, (chapter 23) I couldn’t help myself thinking of Lee Jihwa and Yoon Seungho. How could the latter view the loss of a topknot as a gesture of leniency? (Chapter 101) It is because he must have witnessed it himself in the past. I have already pointed out that Yoon Seungho would imitate people, especially his tormentors. So where did he learn from? I believe, Yoon Seungho copied it from someone… and this can only be “lord Song”. And now, the first loss of Lee Jihwa’s topknot can be perceived in a different perspective. The red-haired master was well aware that he had been spared, when he had lost his hair for the first time. (Chapter 101) He knew deep down that thanks to his friend, he had been able to escape the worst. Since he had been spared once, he was well aware that this time, the ruler would show no leniency and would ask for his head, as the main lead was no longer protecting him. Remember what the lord had whispered to Baek Na-Kyum: (chapter 88) (chapter 88) By cutting off the friend’s hair, he was showing that he was abandoning his friend. He was leaving him behind, and Lee Jihwa was forced to face lord Song alone. (Chapter 83) This time, he had not his father by his side either. The latter could not protect him too. I had already voiced this theory before, as it would explain why Lee Jihwa is masking the man’s face. And note that Nan-Woo from A Sip Of Poison cut off the topknot, as he is already acting as the future ruler. Another important detail caught my attention. Just before receiving his sentence, Woo Jong-Han made an oath, (chapter 23), he swore loyalty to the future emperor. This signifies that the topknot also symbolizes faithfulness, especially because it is connected to marriage. Thus I deduce that when Lee Jihwa lost his topknot for the first time, he was already judged as disloyal. Hence it is no coincidence when the antagonist screams that he would become the target of lord Song’s fury.

But the red-haired noble could never reveal the king’s meddling, as his relationship with Yoon Seungho was a secret. Hence he needed to blame someone: The Yoons! I had already exposed that the words from the noble with the mole were ambiguous and as such deceiving. (Chapter 59) First, lord Yoon could be a reference to the father and not only the son. Secondly, he implied that he had witnessed the scene, yet in reality he could have been referring to the outcome: the friend’s hair cut, just like the noona had only seen the hickeys on her brother’s neck. She had never witnessed the sex session. The noble with the mole assumed the perpetrator’s behavior, rage, based on the hair loss. Moreover, he could have been telling the truth: he had never seen Yoon Seungho so angry before, as the latter used to be weak in the past due to his social status: he was a male kisaeng due to his braid. This explicates why the noble with the purple robe would give an order to the host (chapter 8) He felt himself superior to Yoon Seungho, and never expected “disobedience” or “rage” from the protagonist. Striking is that the lord didn’t vent his anger onto him, he first smiled before grabbing him by the topknot. (Chapter 8) A simple change of hair dress had transformed the main lead. This exposes the gods’ intervention in this story. They let the man with the mole see the wrongness of his manipulations. Since he had stated that he had never seen the man so angry, his words became a reality in 3 occasions: chapter 8 like mentioned above, chapter 53 , for he was not present, chapter 57 in the inn. Here, he chose to run away, yet despite everything he still helped his friend Black Heart, for he was present in the gibang. (Chapter 69) Under this new light, this panel from Twitter get a total new meaning: The aristocrat knew about the true identity of “lord Song”, and he had indeed never seen the man so angry that he would cut off the topknot of a noble!! This means that the fate of the noble with the mole should be to end up as the lord’s new plaything. In other words, he takes over the main lead’s previous status. He becomes the male kisaeng and ends up living in the shed like the protagonist in the past where the pedophile vents his rage and resent him for his tricks. But we will see.

Another important detail caught my attention: the noble with the mole judged the loss of the topknot as a harsh punishment (chapter 59) Furthermore, he associated it to abandonment too. (Chapter 59) Yet, observe the drop of sweat. This exposes that neither Min nor the noble with the mole were expecting that Lee Jihwa would be spared!! They acted, as if the loss of the topknot couldn’t be a sign of mercy. But observe what Lee Jihwa was recalling, when the “friend” was talking about abandonment. (Chapter 59) He was by the protagonist’s side! This means that lord Song had spared Lee Jihwa’s life, for he had been present, when Yoon Seungho was suffering. Till the middle of season 2, no one was aware of the fallout between Lee Jihwa and the protagonist. None of the incidents in season 1 was leaked to the outside, hence the “pedophile” was not officially aware of the red-haired master’s wrongdoings. But the loss of hair in front of the learned sir’s house becomes the proof that the main lead has now left his friend’s side. He will be blamed for his suicide. Therefore it is not surprising that the young master chose to run away. (Chapter 101) He knew that the ruler would show no leniency or understanding. Thus the noble with the mole’s karma should be to keep his topknot. That way, he will realize that if he had lost his topknot like Jihwa, his torment would be short-lived and as such it was a sign of mercy. But in this image, it doesn’t look like it. He will suffer for hours and even days before even losing his life. Now, he will be able to see and experienced how enraged or lenient the culprit for the loss of Lee Jihwa’s topknot was towards the antagonist.

The manhwaphiles should keep in their mind the following two rules: the painter’s fate mirrors the lord’s, since the story is constructed like a kaleidoscope. And now, look at this: (chapter 27) The painter had saved his teacher’s life, and later the lord had restrained himself from hurting the scholar in the courtyard despite Jung In-Hun’s lies and lack of respect (he had touched the man’s shoulder). (Chapter 30) Here again, the scholar had been spared. Then in episode 53, the painter had embraced the lord to stop him from killing Deok-Jae. This means that Yoon Seungho must have also saved people in the past by using his body, and this twice, for I had detected the presence of two circles: Yoon Chang-Hyeon and Lee Jihwa. That’s the reason why the father could survive the purge, and why Lee Jihwa only lost his topknot. And the heroine from A Sip Of Poison can serve as an example. (chapter 26) The red-haired noble was able to escape death thanks to Yoon Seungho. But Lee Jihwa had to hide from others that he had been punished by the king, hence Father Yoon and Yoon Seungho got blamed (chapter 1 and 59). And now, you have the explanation why father Lee accepted to receive the main lead in his mansion. (Chapter 1) As long as the latter was living there, the Lees had nothing to worry. The main lead was protecting them from the king. However, the manhwalovers should keep in their mind that Nan-Woo had showed mercy to the general for his own interests. He should become his helping hand in order to obtain the throne. Hence I come to the following deduction: neither Nan-Woo nor the “perpetrator” had cut off the topknot out of real leniency. This shows that for these characters, the loss of the topknot is not the symbol for forgiveness which is not true for the last incident with Lee Jihwa. (chapter 101) Why? It is because the main lead had no intention to use his friend as a pawn. There was no pledge of loyalty… in truth, in this scene, Yoon Seungho was truly cutting ties with the second lead.

But if the pedophile chose to employ the young master after the loss of the topknot, what was his role? In my opinion, it was to keep Yoon Seungho by his side. The pedophile had slowly recognized that he could never separate these two boys, and without him by his side, Yoon Seungho would still reject him. In my eyes, the main lead had followed his friend. Under this new light, the manhwaworms can comprehend why father Lee accepted to let the main lead stay in his mansion. He could secure his position, yet pay attention that despite the topknot, he was still dressed so poorly. (chapter 1) Even the headband was different. This was no coincidence. He should never develop confidence and act as a lord. That’s how I recognized the following pattern. In front of the painter who looked like a minor, the main lead was forced to act like an adult. Thanks to the painter, he was encouraged to mature. Simultaneously this meant that at some point, while living with the Lees, the elder master Lee had to be confronted with the truth: his son’s sodomy.

Under this new light, it becomes understandable why Heena and Kim called the main lead a bird of misfortune. (Chapter 86) The reality was that the pedophile was the bad omen, but they couldn’t insult the king. Hence the young main lead became the scapegoat, people couldn’t separate the pedophile from Yoon Seungho. The “mysterious lord Song” would never give up on the protagonist. No matter what he would keep him by his side.

But like pointed out in an earlier analysis, Black Heart and his friend were definitely the reason why the red-haired master had to lose his topknot. From my point of view, this is related to this night, (chapter 1) and Lee Jihwa had no idea about it. Hence the painter got framed. On the other hand, Black Heart and his friend had to spy on Lee Jihwa in order to know about his ignorance concerning their “prank”. At the same time, they could only get intrigued, why the mysterious lord Song would behave that way, though he had been treating the main lead as a male kisaeng. Towards Yoon Seungho, he was quite selfish and cruel. The discrepancy in the treatment (mercy versus ruthlessness) could only surprise the young nobles. And this observation led me to the following question. Why would Heena mention the topknot to her brother in order to manipulate him? The kisaeng was well aware that he had witnessed the sex party in the kisaeng house, for this image represents a memory from the artist. It is to divert his attention: he should never connect Yoon Seungho to the braided man!! If he had a topknot, then he could never be the one doing the fellatio to the man with the purple hanbok!! But if the painter had pondered a little more, he should have realized his noona’s lies. She mentioned the loss of a topknot, but yet the smiling hell-raiser still had a topknot: (chapter 1) Moreover, we shouldn’t overlook the publications with the braided man: (Chapter 1) Baek Na-Kyum was not supposed to recognize the identity of the man having sex with the bearded man. From my point of view, Heena made sure to confuse her brother. Lee Jihwa’s humiliation became Yoon Seungho’s stigma. He became the culprit. Since in the past, the main lead had been blamed for everything, the perpetrators and accomplices chose to follow this “tradition”, because so far, they had been able to cover up their crimes. But thanks to the painter, it is no longer possible. Why? It is because the painter’s hair dress will serve as a mirror of truth: the absence of a topknot due to the braid and the hair cut will be perceived as an evidence for abandonment, cruelty and huge wrongdoing. This won’t be seen as a gesture of mercy or leniency by the two protagonists, for they suffered because of it!! That’s the reason why I am thinking that the pedophile’s karma should be the loss of the topknot which he viewed as a gesture of mercy and tolerance. But without the topknot, he is actually “castrated”, and as such humiliated for he can not wear his golden sangtu. Yet, contrary to Lee Jihwa’s haircut, the loss of the topknot should not be judged as the symbol of mercy and forgiveness, in fact, the lord would officially cut ties with him. That’s how the mysterious Lord Song would be taught an important lesson: he was a huge hypocrite and a violent and ruthless pervert.

3. The tool for the loss of the topknot

Once again, A Sip Of Poison inspired me. The prince Nan-Woo asked his assistant Yoon (chapter 23) to give him a knife: (chapter 23) before grabbing Woo Jang-Hon by his topknot (chapter 23). Hence the hair fell between the men. (chapter 23) And now, let’s return our attention to Painter Of The Night. Compare the position of the aristocrat’s topknot after Yoon Seungho had punished his friend. (chapter 101) It was behind him!! Thus I deduce that he had used the sword, when Lee Jihwa had approached his friend. But wait… in season 1 and 2, Byeonduck drew scenes with a knife:

  • Chapter 18: And what had happened before? Yoon Seungho had dragged his friend by the topknot before stabbing the amateur spy. This is no coincidence.
  • Chapter 57: When this chapter had been released, I had assumed that this must have happened, when Yoon Seungho had lost his topknot! As you can see, I had already connected the knife to the loss of the topknot incident.
  • However, note that the weapon was used to threaten the painter (chapter 66)

That’s the reason why I am assuming that when Lee Jihwa lost his topknot for the first time, the mysterious lord Song must have used a knife and cut off the young master’s hair. Hence Byeonduck created such a picture where Lee Jihwa was put in a similar situation: (chapter 18) It was to trigger his memory. I am even assuming that the butler must have given lord Song the knife before while remaining in the shadow. But I also think that after the incident with the loss of the topknot, the pedophile must have also threatened him. If he were to reveal anything about this incident and his identity, then he would lose his head. So imagine Lee Jihwa’s reactions in chapter 101. (chapter 101) He had now faced a sword and not a knife contrary to the past. Therefore it is not surprising that the young master got so scared and chose to flee. Lee Jihwa had betrayed lord Song by telling an anecdote from the past. He had more or less leaked the name “lord Song”. (chapter 83) (chapter 101) For the first time, he had been confronted alone with the sword directly. There was no one and nothing to protect him. When Yoon Seungho had barged in his bedroom, Lee Jihwa had fled behind the folding shield. Furthermore, his father and the domestic were also present. (chapter 67) This shows that till season 3, Lee Jihwa had never been exposed to real justice. There was always someone ready to intervene for him. And now, you comprehend why the red-haired master felt no remorse to blame his friend for his humiliation in the past. He must have thought that if he had not been in his bedchamber during that night (chapter 59), he wouldn’t have lost his topknot. Moreover, he could also use the other incident in the bedchamber as a justification. If Yoon Seungho had not dragged him there… (chapter 83) This explicates why Lee Jihwa said this to Black Heart and his friend: (chapter 59) The antagonist had witnessed his friend’s humiliation and suffering in the past, just like Yoon Seungho had been present, when the first topknot incident occurred. From my point of view, the lord must have even protected Lee Jihwa. But the problem is that Lee Jihwa was just receiving his punishment in delay for the stolen kiss and his lies (chapter 77) He had kissed him without his consent, thus he got “castrated”. Let’s not forget that the main lead was forced to become a male prostitute, an uke, for he had not been able to perform, to have an erected phallus. On the other hand, Lee Jihwa had done nothing wrong in the bedchamber (chapter 59), for he was consoling his friend, so the loss of the topknot appears as a harsh punishment. Moreover, it looks unfair, for the real perpetrators and accomplices got scot-free. Yet, this is just an illusion. Min and his friend were punished too. They got “castrated” too!! How so? It is because from that moment on, they were not allowed to treat Yoon Seungho as a uke, a male kisaeng. (Chapter 1) This means that the painter’s vision was turned into a reality. That’s the moment Yoon Seungho got turned into a seme. Now, Black Heart and the noble with the mole should become his “playthings”, which signifies that they had switched positions. In my opinion, the pedophile had decided to no longer share his “companion” to others. As you can see, they got punished too, but since this was not painful, they never realized that they were receiving their karma. This was a symbolic “castration”. Under this new approach, it becomes understandable why Min was so obsessed with Yoon Seungho, why he wished to “fuck” Yoon Seungho in a figurative way. This is what he had desired in the past, in the gibang, but he had failed. Thus we have this gesture from Black Heart in the woods. (Chapter 41) Due to the incident in the kisaeng house, Min had lost his privileged position with the king. Hence he got jealous. He could no longer screw” the protagonist, while he had to watch the lord’s slow ascension. To sum up, the loss of Jihwa’s topknot led to the “symbolic castration” of the infamous couple: Min and the noble with the mole.

But it is time to return our attention to the knife and the loss of the topknot. First, it is relevant to remember the following rule. Baek Na-Kyum will through the path than the main lead’s. Since the painter has been constantly cutting his hair, he never had the chance to get long hair and as such a topknot. And the lord was in a similar situation. He only got his topknot very late… but the only difference is that he had a long braid the entire time. This hair dress was the symbol of his servitude. (chapter 57) Hence the author drew slaves with braids constantly. (chapter 77) And now, you comprehend why the pedophile cut off Lee Jihwa’s topknot! The latter had been blamed for the lord’s change of hair dress. (chapter 59) Because of this, Yoon Seungho had become a lord, a noble. That’s the reason why we are not able to distinguish the main lead’s hair dress properly, neither in the last picture and in this one: (chapter 57) The hair was short or not? Now, I don’t think so. The mystery of Yoon Seungho’s suffering is linked to the hair dress, yet the readers shouldn’t realize it too quickly. According to me, he still had the braid, until the doctor questioned why Yoon Seungho still had no topknot. (chapter 57) Don’t forget that in each visit of a physician, the latter would question the butler: (chapter 33) (chapter 55) And who had given him the topknot? Naturally… Kim! Because he didn’t want to be perceived as someone who was violating social norms. However, there is no ambiguity that he hid his responsibility. That’s how Lee Jihwa and his “servant” got framed. They were responsible for giving the main lead the new hair dress. On the other side, I still believe that Yoon Seungho must have lost his hair too, but only once to the difference of Baek Na-Kyum! My reason is simple. Since the painter and Lee Jihwa lost their hair, and Yoon Seungho’s destiny is mirroring his lover’s, it signifies that the lord’s hair must have been cut too. But who did it? Let’s not forget that when Yoon Seungho punished his friend in front of the scholar’s home, (chapter 101) the loss of the topknot had four significations: admission of a sin, mercy, forgiveness but also ABANDONMENT! He was cutting ties with his childhood friend. So he must have known the last meaning, but from a different source, as the first incident represented a sign of leniency. Consequently, I ended up with the following theory. Yoon Seungho must have cut off his own hair, yet he had been manipulated by Kim. Let’s not forget that the painter continues cutting his own hair and there is no sign of trauma linked to such an event. He had been encouraged to lose his hair by his noona. From my point of view, this must have happened between these two scenes: (chapter 77) and this one (chapter 83) The length was almost the same, yet 3 or 4 years had passed in the main time. Let’s not forget that this scene represents the patriarch’s abandonment (chapter 77) and Kim had also experienced rejection from Yoon Seungho (chapter 77) in that scene. For the butler, this gaze could be judged as betrayal and abandonment. Under this new perspective, it becomes comprehensible why the main lead was encouraged to blame and resent his father. If this theory is true, Kim pushed the main lead to cut off his braid, he did it out hatred and anger towards the Yoons. This would mask his own manipulation and culpability too. At the same time, the pedophile could benefit from it. The main lead was now an orphan, thus the bearded man could use him like he wished. I have an evidence for this interpretation. This is what Baek Ha said to her husband: (chapter 23) Being slave meant being orphan. The pedophile could feign ignorance about the main lead’s true origins. If he truly cared for him, he just needed to ask this: papers! (chapter 24) This shows that in Painter Of The Night, all the elders were depraved and violent hypocrites. Like mentioned above, the pedophile had a huge interest to keep the main lead as his slave, thus he was turned into an orphan and asked to keep a braid. And Yoon Seungho’s mother could do nothing, for the son had cut off his own hair, a huge symbolic act. He was no longer considering her his mother. But because of his status as slave, the pedophile could never trust the main lead. Then the suicide from the mother put an end to this farce. Hence lord Song could tell his sex partner that he had become the head of the Yoons and let him “have” the properties, while it was never his intention to let him become responsible. If he had become a lord, he could escape from his claws. He needed him to remain in an infantile and dependable state.

Since I detected that rumors often become a reality, I deduce that after the lord’s vanishing, Heena’s words will come to the surface and become the verity: (chapter 1) While in the past the father could judge this grapevine as positive, for he was portrayed as a honest and respectable man, the town folks will perceive him as the opposite: cruel, depraved and selfish. And this because of the false accusation: (chapter 94) By framing the elder master Yoon, Kim can deny any responsibility in the loss of hair of Yoon Seungho and in the messenger’s death. It was the father’s doing. The nobles like the Lees and Yoon Chang-Hyeon are now accountable for the corpses. In the gibang, Yoon Seungho never killed anyone and he even spared his friend, though the latter had kidnapped Baek Na-Kyum. Finally, the town folks are now aware of Lee Jihwa’s homosexuality and his relationship with the protagonist. So I believe that people will jump to the conclusion that father Yoon had turned his elder son into a sodomite and sold him him to the Lees which is not false too. The king has a reputation to maintain and he needs scapegoats in order to hide his involvement and his crimes from the past.

4. The reason behind the loss of the topknot

And before closing this essay, I would like to point out another similarity between A Sip Of Poison and Painter Of The Night. Though Baek -Ha is the daughter of Nan-Woo’s enemy, the prince couldn’t hurt her in the end, for she saved him: (chapter 33) (chapter 33) She not only treated his wounds, but also helped him to overcome on his guilt. He felt responsible for his brother’s death, for Nan-Woo had attempted once to commit suicide on the battlefield, and his brother had sacrificed himself to protect him. He was definitely plagued with remorse, self-loathing and shame. And that’s exactly what Baek Na-Kyum has been doing too: by simply loving him so selflessly and purely. Finally, Baek-Ha’s fate made him realize the Empress’ immense culpability. She was so greedy and selfish that (chapter 34) she had abandoned her own child! Thus he was freed from his hatred and guilt. Nan-Woo was able to perceive the wrongness of this social norm which was common in Joseon: the child is responsible for the parents’ sins! (chapter 33) Being an orphan outlined her innocence. And since I have already connected Baek Na-Kyum to the mysterious lord Song, I am quite sure that the painter will have a similar attitude than Baek Ha: (chapter 33) He will feel responsible for Yoon Seungho’s martyrdom. And if he is truly his son, his abandonment can serve an evidence of his innocence. On the other hand, the readers shouldn’t forget that his surrogate parents, Jung In-Hun and Heena, played a role in lord Yoon’s torment as well. Thus he can only indebted towards his husband.

Chyomchyom and Byeonduck explained perfectly why the protagonists would suffer so much: ambition. (Doctor Frost, chapter 225) With this picture, the manhwaphiles can detect the presence of the endless vicious circle, the ouroboros, which I had described as a kaleidoscope. The absence of empathy in both stories was the reason why no one stopped the main perpetrators. Woo Jang-Hon felt guilty, for he had raised his younger sister who had become a monster. Kim felt deep down guilty, but chose to reject his responsibility by putting the blame on others. Out of fear, he preferred hiding his wrong decisions and later wrongdoings. And now it has become his MO. This distinguishes him from the general who chose to put an end to his guilty conscience and paid for his crimes.. (chapter 34)

To conclude, the loss of the topknot has many significations: punishment, castration, loss of power, servitude, guilt, abandonment, absence of protection, cruelty, betrayal, but also freedom, loyalty, leniency and forgiveness. As you can see, the gesture is associated to opposite notions: servitude versus liberty, betrayal versus loyalty etc…. as it depends on the perspective.

Thanks to Yoon Seungho, Lee Jihwa was able to free himself from his guilt and he could liberate himself from social norms (peers pressure, his father’s expectations,) and his shame due to his sexual orientation. Before losing his topknot, he had admitted his sins to his friend and it also indicated his loyalty towards Yoon Seungho. And this was the same for the general. The latter could finally find peace in his mind and redeem himself. Yet, now, he is no longer a powerful general, he is just the puppet of the prince. However, the moment the red-haired aristocrat lost his topknot, he was no longer the king’s puppet. Therefore he was no longer useful for the mysterious lord Song. That’s the reason why the antagonist got aware that he shouldn’t expect any forgiveness or mercy from “Captain Hook”. No matter what he would say, he would be suspected of a crime (chapter 101) and this because of the first incident with the topknot!! Since Black Heart and the noble with the mole had been able to avoid punishment after this incident in the kisaeng house (chapter 1), he assumed that he could repeat his actions!! But he got proven wrong, for he ended up losing his life.

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Painter Of The Night: “A change of heart or the whims of these nobles“

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.

While examining characters from Painter Of The Night under the aspect “a change of heart“, I had realized that this idiom was a reflection from No-Name’s philosophy: “the whims of nobles”. This signifies that the commoner views the aristocrats as spoiled children. They are lacking maturity and backbone. It was, as if they had no conviction and as such no conscious. To conclude, in the criminal’s mind, the nobles are all selfish and irresponsible persons. And now, you are probably wondering why I am writing another text about back-pedaling. There exists the danger that I could repeat myself. However, thanks to the last analysis “A change of heart❣ “, I recognized that this “leitmotiv” played a central role during the second season, especially during the night of the failed gangrape. Thus I decided first to revisit this day and night and analyze the characters. This means that Min, Yoon Seungho, Baek Na-Kyum and the nobles will be in the center of the examination. This is relevant, as chapter 101 is a reflection from that night (52-53-54).

1. The painter’s change of heart

What caught my attention is that the butler actually criticized the painter for his behavior. He was behaving like a spoiled child. (chapter 52) He implied that he was behaving like a noble. This means that the valet was reminding the artist of his social status. Therefore it is not surprising that the low-born put back the white head-band. It was a reminder of his position in the mansion. On the other hand, if you pay attention to the domestic’s reprimand, you will detect the contradiction. He was encouraging the main lead to become proactive and visit the lord. However, by giving such an advice, Kim was misleading the painter, because a servant is not supposed to act on his own. He has to wait for his master’s order. And now, you comprehend why the valet could violate the main lead’s privacy in the past. He legitimated his trespassing by faking care and kindness. Therefore it is no coincidence that the artist chose during the same day to visit the lord’s bedchamber. He didn’t have a change of heart per se. He was just following the butler’s instructions. He was just a servant in the mansion, and he should act like Kim wanted him to behave: anticipate the lord’s desires. However, like pointed out before, a real servant is not supposed to think and act on his own. On the other hand, the reprimand from Kim had a positive effect, because for the first time, the artist was reminded that he should also pay attention to Yoon Seungho’s needs and wishes. Through the valet’s words, Baek Na-Kyum could realize that the noble was also a human before a lord. To sum up, he helped him to see the person Yoon Seungho behind his title. From that moment on, the low-born perceived Yoon Seungho as a man. Therefore it is not surprising that after witnessing the tongue kiss between Min and his lover, he started wondering about the motivation behind the noble’s behavior. (chapter 52) He began to show an interest in his master. What kind of man is his lord? Who was he exactly? (chapter 52) But since the butler had insinuated with his reproach that the painter should anticipate the lord’s desires and needs, the former had the impression that it was just about to provide services and nothing more. He was his duty to serve the owner of the mansion. And now, you comprehend why the painter denied the main character’s affection. (chapter 54) He thought that the lord’s rescue was motivated by his pride and his duties. As a lord, it was his obligation to keep his staff under control and to ensure safety. Deok-Jae was usurping Yoon Seungho’s authority. He had no right to ask the painter to leave the mansion. (chapter 53) As you can see, the servant perceived the artist’s attitude as a change of heart, whereas it was not right. The painter had long decided to remain in the mansion. Due to the butler’s reproach, he had been reminded that he was now a servant and as such belonged to the staff. Therefore he was bound to the main lead with his vow and as such to this household. Kim never realized that he had actually ruined his own scheme due to the contradiction of his manipulations. No wonder why Baek Na-Kyum was already loyal to Yoon Seungho. To sum up, the painter started seeing the main character not only as his real lord, but also as a man. Under this new light, I come to the conclusion that during that night, the painter had indeed a change of heart. He had truly accepted Yoon Seungho as his master. This explicates why Baek Na-Kyum didn’t get upset after the second sex marathon. It was the lord’s right to do whatever he wanted. Thus in the study, the artist perceived Deok-Jae’s bullying, Min’s kiss and insults as a violation of codex. (Chapter 53) The lord was the lord and host, thus he deserved respect from his staff and guest. That’s the reason why the painter didn’t stop his master, when the latter punched Black Heart or simply followed the lord to the bedchamber. He had no right to object, for he was now a servant. And because he considered himself as a part of the staff, he felt obliged to protect Deok-Jae from the lord’s anger. He was acting as a “WE“. On the other hand, he had no right to interfere in the fight between Yoon Seungho and Min. He could only try to protect his lord’s honor by denying Yoon Seungho’s affection for him. (Chapter 54)

The “change of heart” showed that the painter took his decisions seriously. He could no longer run away or show his pain, for he was simply a servant. In other words, Kim’s intervention was the reason why the painter had a change of heart. However, the butler had expected to achieve the opposite. He desired the painter to see Yoon Seungho with other lords so that he would feel betrayed. He would view it as unfaithfulness. He would get hurt and desert the mansion. But the valet had overlooked one aspect: only nobles can act like that. Kim implied that the painter was behaving like one, while in reality he was just too wounded to notice the special treatment. Besides, observe that the valet was actually speaking the truth. The artist had indeed been spoiled by the lord, and he had never recognized it. Due to the head-maid’s comment, he had suspected that his privileged situation was the result of the main lead’s attachment, but due to the joke and Deok-Jae’s insult, he had come to a different interpretation. Finally, the separation let him see that the lord meant a lot to him.

2. Yoon Seungho’s change of heart

Striking is that in the third season, Kim tried to achieve through his puppet Min the same goal with their prank. They imagined that when the painter would hear the news about the scholar‘s death, he would get upset and would suspect that Yoon Seungho was behind this. Kim relied on the painter‘s memories and past experiences. He had seen the lord‘s jealousy, which had pushed Yoon Seungho to go after Jung In-Hun. (chapter 27) But instinctively, the painter had sensed the main lead’s transformation. He would no longer use the sword. Since chapter 35, the artist has never seen the lord with the sword again, not even after the hunt in the third season. (chapter 84) Furthermore, he would rather use his hands. (chapter 92) To sum up, the artist never saw him carrying a weapon since season 1.

Another important detail is that Baek Na-Kyum never witnessed the main lead leaving the bedchamber with his sword, when the messenger visited the study. And when he returned to the bedroom, he also came back empty-handed. (chapter 82) This means that Yoon Seungho’s bedchamber is not related to the sword. So he has never seen the lord wiping his weapon either. (chapter 1) For the painter, Yoon Seungho’s bedchamber is associated to painting, sex and books. Nothing more.

This is important for two reasons. When the lord got upset during that night (chapter 52-53-54), he just left the room angry. (chapter 52) I have always compared the main lead to a dormant volcano and the pipe was a sign that the lord was boiling in the inside. (chapter 52) Another important aspect is that the lord never threatened the nobles with a sword later, though he got mad, when he saw the painter getting touched by other men. (chapter 54) He threw a bottle and asked them to leave, but he didn’t evict them like the noble with the mole (chapter 8) and Lee Jihwa in episode 18. They were not grabbed by the topknot and dragged through the courtyard. (chapter 54) He simply told them to leave and the nobles followed his request. (chapter 54) The only thing he did towards nobles was to humiliate them, but that was it. Besides, these incidents were never leaked to the outside world.

If you observe the progression of Yoon Seungho’s behavior, you will notice how little by little the brutality vanishes. First, we have this (chapter 53), then Black Heart is punched several times (chapter 54) But note that Min doesn’t lose a tooth like Deok-Jae. The next morning, Min’s face is not so bruised to the point that he is not recognizable. (chapter 56) From my point of view, the painter taught an important lesson to Yoon Seungho during that night: (chapter 53) He reminded him that life is precious. Thus I consider this night as another turning point. The lord had a real change of heart, and not just a fake one like in this moment: (chapter 52) Here, he was simply following social norms and as such behaving like Lee Jihwa. This reveals that the main lead had no faith and as such no true conviction. As a good host, he is supposed to provide his guests with the best care and attention. Since Min was expressing his wish to taste the painter, the noble was pressured to give in. The manhwaphiles can now detect the parallels between chapter 52 and 100. (chapter 100) The use of social norms and peer pressure to achieve his goal. But why did he not react like in the first season, when he threw out the noble with the mole? It is because Min had not given him an order. (chapter 52) He had just reminded him that as a noble, he should pay attention to etiquette. If he favored Baek Na-Kyum too much, he would send a wrong signal. Furthermore, the Joker had implied that the painter’s sudden visit was a sign that the painter was longing for sex. (chapter 52) As you can see, Min also played with social norms. He reminded Yoon Seungho of his duties as a lord and host. Striking is that he criticized the main lead for being weak. In the past, he used to act differently. (chapter 52) He would share his things. It was, as if Yoon Seungho was lacking strength and determination. In other words, he implied that Yoon Seungho had a sudden change of heart. (chapter 52) The precious treasure was a synonym for weakness. That’s the reason why Yoon Seungho gave in, he had a change of heart, for he didn’t want to appear vulnerable. However, by acting like that, he exposed his vulnerability. Observe that after the bedchamber, he denied the existence of his heart. He was not in love with the artist. (chapter 53) However, all the incidents during that night forced him to admit that he was wrong. How? IT is because he saw himself in the painter. (chapter 54) He wanted to be seen as a human and man, but since his youth, he had been denied to live like a human. Through the reflection in the painter’s face, he rediscovered his humanity. Humanity is a synonym for benevolence. Therefore it is not surprising that the lord became a human, the moment he had accepted his heart. For he was a human, he should treasure life. This is no coincidence that the lord confessed the next morning. But because he had behaved like a beast during that night, he imagined that the painter was horrified by his violent behavior. He had treated him like an object and not like a human. Thus he anticipated that the painter would run away after his first love confession full of “contempt and pain”. However, from my point of view, he never realized that Baek Na-Kyum already viewed him as his master and as a human. He was definitely upset, when Yoon Seungho had chosen to bring him to the bedchamber and offered him as a plaything to his guests, but he didn’t throw some tantrum for one simple reason: he was just a servant in the household. It was not his right to criticize the lord. Under this new light, you comprehend the painter’s words in the bedchamber: (chapter 55) He had done something wrong from a moral point of view, but he had not violated social norms. Besides, the painter had not seen his violent outburst as a huge abnormality, he had protected him from Deok-Jae. Then he had defended his honor, when Min had insulted him. As a conclusion, the lord found his true heart during that night, and learned that life was precious. But Yoon Seungho’s lessons were not over. He needs to learn that even a bullying domestic didn’t deserve to die. Notice that he showed no concern for the deceased person. (chapter 98) This is none of his business. Min has a similar mind-set. What should he feel concerned about the death of a peasant? (chapter 99)

As a first conclusion, the lord also had a change of heart during that night. He adopted a new philosophy: love. Therefore it is not surprising that the noble used “sex” as a punishment after the so-called desertion. He was claiming the artist as his “favored servant”. He would never let him go. Hence the use of violence kept vanishing. Observe that once confronted with his father, he never retaliated, though he had voiced the following threat: (chapter 82) He stated that he would kill his father. But none of this happened. Therefore, I come to the following conclusion. Yoon Seungho won’t use the sword in the shrine to kill people. (chapter 101) The worst what could happen is that he cuts off their topknots. But I have to admit that I am more than ever convinced that he won’t do anything. I am not expecting that he will punch the nobles there, for he won’t have much time. His lover’s life looks in danger. No, like I already mentioned many times, he will take away the painter and bring him quickly to the physician. By acting like that, he will show his strength to the other nobles. He doesn’t fear people’s gaze.

3. Min’s change of heart

The villain’s behavior embodies perfectly the Joker’s description: a whims of these nobles. He is always looking for fun and pleasure. He seems to know no boundaries. His friends are no different. Therefore it is no coincidence that the painter was called a brat. (chapter 101) This expression revealed the aristocrats’ mentality. They are actually projecting their own thoughts and emotions onto the artist.

But let’s return our attention to Black Heart. The latter has a huge sense of pride. He gets irritated, thus he feels the need to retaliate. Striking is that in episode 52-53-54, he was the only one who had no change of heart. He was determined to taste the painter. First, he cornered the main lead so that the host would give in. However, note that shortly after the main lead’s disappearance, he followed him. (chapter 52) One might say that he couldn’t simply wait. Yet I believe that he wanted to make sure that the host had no change of heart, once alone with the artist. However, the moment he saw the painter embrace the lord, he could only get envious. He couldn’t resist the urge to kiss his lips. (chapter 53) Yet, he had to pay a huge price for this. He got punched. (chapter 53) Thus I have the impression that Black Heart must have resented the painter for his wounds and humiliation. Notice that he bragged to his partners in crime about the kiss (chapter 101) Nevertheless, he also deceived his peers, because he was only beaten half to death, after mocking the painter and such his host. He was omitting to his partners in crime the insult towards the protagonist. And this shows that Min had never forgotten this incident. Naturally, he resented more the main lead, yet he definitely blamed the painter. Therefore it is not surprising that Min was actually quite rough with Baek Na-Kyum. (chapter 101) It was, as if he was paying back the artist for his past pain. However, what caught my attention is that he doesn’t show any pressing urge to taste the artist which stands in opposition to his past behavior. It was, as if he had a change of heart. It looked like his obsession for Baek Na-Kyum was quite superficial. He let his friends to enjoy the artist first, hence we could say that he acted as the pimp. Why? My first theory was that he was still calculating about Yoon Seungho’s arrival, though I am more and more inclined to think that this was more the butler’s plan, and Min was left in the dark. Remember my interpretation: the purpose is to prove that the main lead is a lunatic. And if he killed noblemen, he would get arrested immediately. And we know for sure that the butler resents nobles. From my point of view, Min was expecting that time would be in his favor. He imagined that he had time. However, because the painter resisted and fought back (chapter 101), Min had to pay more attention to Baek Na-Kyum, thus he no longer paid attention to the door which he had left open.

We can’t say that Min’s interest was just a caprice. He had to deploy a lot of energy and resources to capture the painter. It took him time and effort to achieve his goal. He even confessed to the painter that he went through a lot of trouble because of the trick. (chapter 101) But there’s one thing that he is not expecting: the painter might die! How so? It is because in the first season, Min had also been left in the dark about the artist’s poor physical condition. He was never informed that the artist had almost lost his life. This explains why he made such a suggestion: (chapter 33) He has always been taught that there exists a difference between low-born and noble, therefore he came to view commoners’ life as less precious. He never saw them as humans. They were first commoners. Their life is not fragile either, for there are much more commoners than nobles. Yes, I have the impression that Black Heart is receiving his lesson. Commoners are humans too, and not just playthings. What if Baek Na-Kyum dies? He will never be able to taste him.

Thus I am predicting that the nobles will cooperate with Yoon Seungho. The nobles won’t even stop the main lead from carrying his lover. Why? It is because they are receiving another lesson too. If the painter dies, they will get into trouble. Remember Black Heart’s words: (chapter 43) The death of a commoner has to look like an accident, but in a shrine, this is no accident. Notice that he lied to Jihwa in front of the scholar’s house. (chapter 99) He was well aware that the authorities would investigate the matter. Besides, the corpse was left in a well in town, which couldn’t go unnoticed by the commoners. The latter used that well. The police bureau was obligated to find a culprit because of the scandal of a corpse in town. Black Heart envisioned that he could escape punishment by letting Jihwa take the fall. However, if the painter dies, he can not blame the childhood friend. He is responsible for this mess, and Yoon Seungho clearly heard and saw him. (chapter 101) What we are witnessing is that the peasant’s life has become very precious, even to Min. He saw this whole staging as a huge prank, but now he is forced to face reality. This is no longer fun, because the artist is no longer reacting. (chapter 101) Everyone is expecting that Yoon Seungho will resort to violence and punish the aristocrats. But no… look at their facial expressions. They are no longer laughing or smiling. Finally, I would like to point out that this chapter is a reflection of chapter 33. We have here only 4 of the 8 gay dogs (chapter 33) And what had happened during that episode? Baek Na-Kyum was seriously ill, thus the doctor was fetched. And remember what the physician had said: (chapter 33) For the first time, Min and his friends will learn to value a peasant’s life, because if he dies, they are all in big trouble. This time, Yoon Seungho can no longer be blamed for the wrecked state of the painter contrary to chapter 66. The noble won’t be suspected, for he created such a ruckus in the gibang and town about his lover’s disappearance that his death would get noticed immediately. From my point of view, Yoon Seungho will carry himself the painter to the doctor, he knows where the office is. And now, you are wondering that this doesn’t sound like a harsh punishment. But don’t forget that Min brought the scholar’s glasses to the shrine. Either he never questioned the origins of the glasses and never investigated if Jung In-Hun was alive. Or he discovered the truth, but it didn’t matter to him. However, now there are the glasses of the scholar in the shrine. Min was just so obsessed with Baek Na-Kyum that he viewed everything as a prank. Besides, we have to envision that if the learned sir was alive or not, it was actually none of this concern. He was just a tool for his own entertainment. Furthermore, he used a body from a commoner revealing his lack of respect for humans. (chapter 101)

I definitely consider Min as a fool. And since he tried to frame Yoon Seungho and Lee Jihwa with a murder, his karma would be that he becomes the scapegoat for the learned sir’s curtains. Imagine that Jung In-Hun is not a peasant, but a respected scholar. Therefore Black Heart could get really into trouble,. In addition, I am expecting that the sex orgy in the shrine will be discovered creating a huge chaos in town. Thus Min and his friends’ reputation will suffer a lot. Since Kim is counting on his master’s violence and rage, he needs witnesses to prove that his master is a lunatic. Hence I have the impression that Kim will bring investigators to that place, a new version of chapter 96, where the butler led the policemen to the gibang.

But there’s one thing that Kim miscalculated: Yoon Seungho’s change of heart. Since the butler believes that all nobles are violent liars, he expects that the lord will follow this saying. But he failed to notice the main lead’s transformation. He never sensed that the lord was getting less and less violent, he would manage to control his negative emotions. Finally, by sparing the nobles, Min can definitely testify against Kim. Notice that Min used the pronoun “we”, this means that he was not alone in this scheme. (chapter 101) He could have a change of heart, especially if he has problems with the authorities, and reveal that the Yoons are behind this and used Kim. As you can see, I am convinced that Min will play a major role in the butler’s demise. Don’t misunderstand me. I am not expecting that The Joker will feel suddenly really remorseful, but the possibility of losing the painter will shock him. Moroever, as a coward, he will avoid any responsibility. In the second season, he betrayed Lee Jihwa. Thus I am expecting another backstabbing. The difference to the first abduction is that the childhood friend was the only one responsible for the crime. However, this time the prank implicated many helping hands: Heena (she is still alive in my opinion), the staff, the Yoons, the Lees and Kim. Therefore it is possible that Min denunciates the persons involved in the prank. As a conclusion, I have the impression that in the next episode, we will have another “change of heart”, but this time in a good way. I would like the manhwaphiles to keep in their mind that Black Heart had a change of heart after that long night: (chapter 56) From that moment on he could not longer give up on tasting the painter. Then in the third season, he wished to keep the artist by his side. (chapter 99) That’s the reason why he was no longer in rush to have sex with Baek Na-Kyum. As time passed on, the Joker gave up on the painter’s assassination. So he is getting reformed! Surprising, right? And the painter’s sickness will be a wake-up call for him! (chapter 101) And this would be the butterfly-effect. Baek Na-Kyum’s body has healing effect, the royal touch… and look at where the Joker’s hand is!! On the painter’s heart!! This is no coincidence. This means for me that Black Heart’s hand will play a huge role in the next chapter. While the lord and the painter started seeing each other as humans during the night of 52-54, it’s now the Joker’s turn to view the painter as a human and no longer as a peasant or a low-born. This outlines one more time how title and vocabulary can influence mentality. Hitler used to call Jews “cockroaches” or “parasites”, thus they were not considered as real humans.

As you can see, I am still full of optimism. Why? The reason is simple. As a teacher, you always need to be optimistic, though it is sometimes hard. But witnessing transformation and little progresses are the rewards in this job. Therefore hope is necessary.

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