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.

Mad Place: Contrition of the pure sinner ⛪👨‍❤️‍👨

This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/madplace_en  But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. Here is the link, if you are interested in more analyses about other manhwas https://bebebisous33analyses.com/2021/06/06/table-of-contents-of-analyzed-mentioned-manhwas/ I mentioned the following essays: https://bebebisous33analyses.com/2021/07/24/mad-place-smiling-ghost-and-sinful-priest/ and https://bebebisous33analyses.com/2022/07/06/painter-of-the-night-payback-innocent-or-not-guilty-%e2%9a%96/ and https://bebebisous33analyses.com/2021/06/21/who-are-you-the-significance-of-masks-in-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.

First of all, I would like to thank the author Junah 😍😘 for mentioning my first essay about Mad Place on Lezhin in the creator’s note. Imagine my surprise and my joy, when I saw this. It truly means a lot to me, for I felt that my dedication and work were recognized.

1. Sin versus purity

But let’s turn our attention to the manhwa and season 2. I had already sensed the presence of religion in season 1, and this interpretation got reinforced in season 2. It even became more obvious in special episode 2 which I will elaborate more in details later. In my first analysis about the main characters, I had compared the chaebol’s son to a mysterious ghost and Gu Sehyuk to a sinful priest. The prosecutor’s house was like a temple dedicated to the “spirit” Gu Sihwan and the picture on the shelf served as an altar. And observe that in season 2, the protagonist confided to the suspect Ideun that he had felt the presence of Sihwan’s ghost in the house. (chapter 36) Hence you comprehend why my new title is once again referring to faith and sin. On the other hand, the readers could be surprised by the choice of my new title. How is it possible that a sinner can be pure? This represents a contradiction. I chose this oxymoron for two reasons. Junah ended season 2 with the same contrast: (chapter 44) In this scene, the prosecutor is pronouncing Ha Ideun for “guilty” for murdering Kim Jintaek. (chapter 44) However, in that moment the author chose to show the hand of Ha Sungmin, who is about to remove the mask of Ha Sungyeob. This means that the so-called brother is about to commit a murder on the former CEO, his official father. Thus I am deducing that despite the verdict of the prosecutor, Ha Ideun is actually innocent. The “real guilty” versus the “fake one”.

In addition, observe that when Gu Sehuyk is confronting the suspect Ha Ideun about the charges pressed against him, at no moment the chaebol is worried or scared. In verity, he looks calm and relaxed. (chapter 44) It was, as if a burden had been removed from his shoulder and heart. Furthermore, in special episode 2, the protagonist’s innocence became even more obvious. In his nightmare, Ha Ideun is imagining himself wearing a white bathrobe in a white room. Moreover, he looks busy cleaning himself. If you read my essays about Painter Of The Night, you are probably aware of the signification of white and “cleaning”. It is an allusion to purity and purification. Finally, Ha Ideun said that he would never lie by commision. (chapter 11) Everything is pointing out about Ha Ideun’s innocence.

However, he could be perceived as a “sin” and “sinner”, for he is not wearing the same name than his brothers: Not Sung- but Ideun! His name displays that he is the result of an illegitimate affair. (chapter 39) Hence the reporter Yoo Tae describes him as a bastard, and the official mother Choi Seolhwa doesn’t recognize the protagonist as her son. She doesn’t even call him by his name, but by the expression “the boy”. (chapter 41) He is not part of the family. On the other hand, Ha Sungmin and Ha Sungjoon views Ha Ideun as a relative. (chapter 37) We could even say that Ha Sungmin views himself as his owner, even as a surrogate father, for he was the one who raised the main lead. (chapter 37)

2. Crime or sin?

Nevertheless, I would like the manhwaphiles to keep in their mind two important aspects. First, it is important to make the distinction between a criminal and a sinner. The former belongs to the justice system, while the latter is a religious concept. In the essay “Innocent or not guilty?”, I had already outlined the difference. An accused will never be pronounced “innocent”, in the best case he can be found not guilty. Hence the defendant can still be judged as a sinner. His action or words could be judged as morally wrong or they contributed indirectly to a negative outcome.

In this manhwa, Ha Ideun is suffering from a immense guilt. Therefore he dreams that he will end up in hell. The demons are dragging him to hell. (special episode 2) He feels responsible not only for the death of Gu Sihwan but also for the death of Kim Jintaek. This explicates why in his nightmares, the suspect had the impression that he had stabbed himself the victims. (chapter 21) (special episode 2) The hands covered with blood were the symbol of his guilt. The manhwalovers can comprehend why Ideun felt terrible towards the prosecutor. Thus he constantly apologized to the prosecutor by kissing Gu Sehuyk’s wounds (chapter 13) (chapter 23) or by voicing his apology directly. (chapter 44) However, as you can imagine, the chaebol never killed the brother or the criminal. I have no doubt about it. He shouldn’t blame himself for their death. On the other hand, Ha Ideun is definitely involved in their vanishing. Thus Ha Sungmin blames him for everything. Ha Ideun is perceived as a sinner. And that’s how he judges himself too, therefore he dreams of being sent to hell. So when the prosecutor declares Ha Ideun (chapter 44), we should view it from a religious perspective. In verity, it is the priest Gu Sehyuk speaking to the chaebol. By recognizing his “sins”, the wrongdoer has the opportunity to seek contrition. It will help him to reveal his suffering which has been buried. This is no coincidence that the night before this “sentence”, the main lead begged Gu Sehyuk for his forgiveness. (chapter 44) Only the “priest” Sehuyk can give him the opportunity to confess his “sins” and obtain forgiveness. That’s his fault that his brother died, though the prosecutor is well aware that this is not correct. That’s the reason why I believe that during that night, the chaebol confessed to his lover about his past action, though we didn’t see it. Gu Sehuyk had already voiced that he would trust him no matter what. The other evidence for this interpretation is naturally the suspect’s nightmare in special episode 2. This scene took place right after the sexual abuse from Ha Sungmin. But what sin did Ha Ideun commit exactly?

3. Ha Ideun’s “sin”

This is related to the investigation about the slush fund. (chapter 8) which is linked to corruption and the project Heaventown. With the slush fund, Ha Sungmin could buy politicians and officials in order to buy the golden land in Gwanghae. (chapter 39) Note that in the beginning, Gu Sehuyk was supposed to investigate the slush fund. Yet due to his brother’s death, he was removed from the case, for he was left traumatized. His colleague Na Joohwan took over the case and look how it ended: (chapter 8) They found nothing which is highly suspicious. I am suspecting the smiling deputy prosecutor general behind the cover up. (chapter 8) I have two clues for this theory: he got promoted within a short time, he became deputy prosecutor general, and he is wearing glasses. After reading so many manhwas, I made the following discovery: characters with glasses are hypocrites and even backstabbers. 🧐 [For more read the essay “The significance of masks in manhwas”] Then the reporter Yoo Tae was supported by Ha Ideun to investigate the matter, because he wanted to maintain the good reputation of Hasung Hotel: (chapter 39) Moreover, I would like to point out that 2 years later, Ha Ideun was also monitoring Kim Jintaek, this means that he was again investigating about a case, where the Hasung group was involved. This truly exposes the main lead’s righteousness and purity. He chose to do the right thing, yet each time he failed, for he was powerless. People had to die. Therefore the brother said this to Ha Ideun in his dream. (special episode 2) Both brothers are goal-oriented, yet they both stand on different sides of the law. Ha Ideun stands for law and righteousness, while the other has no conscious. The goal justifies the means. This explains why Ha Ideun would ask Gu Sehuyk as the prosecutor for this case. The latter is famous for his uprightness and pure nature. Only through him, the truth can come to light. Consequently, I am suspecting that the trial concerning the murder of Kim Jintaek will serve as a mean to unveil all the dirty deeds committed by the Ha family. On the other hand, Ha Ideun wished that his family wouldn’t get into trouble: (chapter 40) Why did he make such a request? We have many possibilities. It could be related to Ha Ideun’s goodhearted nature and pride or his fear that Gu Sehuyk could get hurt. So far, people representing a threat to the brother got eliminated. This shows that the main lead was still under the influence of the terrible huyng here.

4. The other “pure” sinner 😉

The irony is that Ha Sungmin has a perfect reputation, because he has a clean record! On the other hand, Ha Ideun is perceived as a man living in debauchery. He would have sex with different men in hotels, he would be lazy. But what is Ha Sungmin’s dream? This panel exposes everything: (chapter 26) his ambition and greed. He would like to dominate the town and even the economy. His mentality is strongly influenced by his mother who appears as ruthless and selfish too. (chapter 41) She is already waiting for her husband’s death. Striking is that at no moment, the villain feels remorse. Why? It is because he has been gaslighting his brother. The brainwashing is detectable in this statement. (special episode 2) If Ha Ideun hadn’t started the investigation and as such betrayed the “family”, then none of this would have ever happened. Gu Sihwan and the informant wouldn’t have died. But as you can imagine, the reality is that his project Heaventown was only possible thanks to crimes (corruption, drug, murder). Besides, I would like to point out that the former CEO Ha Sungyeob only became the president of this group after his other siblings were ruled out. (chapter 39) I am definitely suspecting that there was a battle among the family, and Ha Sungyeob definitely used illegal means to achieve his goal. The oldest sister died in a car accident, and the second brother was judged unqualified. So we could say that Ha Sungmin is actually imitating his “father’s” past behavior, though they are not biologically related. Interesting is that (chapter 25) in this scene, Kim Jintaek revealed that he had been in contact with Sungyeob. He showed no real respect to the elder by calling him “crook”, though I have to admit that I am suspecting that Ha Ideun is not Sungyeob’s son. This truly shows that the family Ha is no ordinary family.

5. Ha Ideun’s confessions and contrition

But this doesn’t explain why Ha Ideun would constantly dream of his hands covered in blood. In my eyes, it is related to the sexual abuse he suffered from his “brother” Ha Sungmin. (chapter 37) In this chapter, it was already implied, and Sungjoon even knew about this. (chapter 37) Junah added the red traces in this panel for that reason. Moreover, Ha Ideun showed signs of PTSD in season 2. On different occasions, he was seen trembling (chapter 34), sweating, had difficulties to breathe (chapter 34), he had a lost and terrified gaze (chapter 33), and he is still suffering from insomnia. He can only sleep after having sex. (Chapter 36) This is an indication that the sexual abuse took place during the night. His panic attacks could get triggered by different elements: a certain position or a specific location. He is also suicidal, displaying his self-loathing. (chapter 21) From my point of view, Ha Ideun had tried to rebell and leave his brother’s side (chapter 35), but he had failed. The stabbing is the proof of his resistance. (chapter 35) Simultaneously, he was forced to remain by his side, for he had wounded his brother. The blood on the stomach was to make the main lead feel guilty. That way, he would remain silent and passive.

After reading season 2, I couldn’t help myself associating him to Yoon Seungho from Painter Of The Night. Both are smiling ghosts, because they are masking their pain and traumatic past. (chapter 26) They could never show their true self. In my eyes, Ha Ideun stabbed his brother during the sexual abuse (chapter 33), as he tried to protect himself, thus the brother has a huge scar on his stomach. (chapter 43) This explicates why Ha Sungmin tied his hands with the belt in the hotel. He made sure that the “brother” would never reject him. It was to control him. The hyung had learned his lesson. Moreover, it was his way to “convince” him to return home. In addition, Ha Ideun was definitely confined, for the nightmare revealed that Ha Ideun was trapped. The most terrible thing is that the huyng made sure to gaslight Ha Ideun. He shouldn’t have stabbed him, he had committed a huge sin against him. That’s the reason why Ha Ideun sees his hands covered with blood in his nightmares. He views himself as a sinner. The dirty hand symbolized his guilt. (special episode 2) Thus the main lead came to internalize that sex between “siblings” is normality. Don’t forget that Sungjoon never intervened. He became an silent accomplice. On the other hand, in his subconscious Ha Ideun is well aware that this is not right. This explicates why he felt safer to have sex with strangers than living with his brother. And now you comprehend why I wrote before that the main lead’s wish (chapter 40) was related to the brainwashing. At the same time, we have now the explication why the main character’s bedroom was so white and empty. (chapter 08) All traces of violence had to be removed and cleaned.

And this observation led me to the following deduction. Since Ha Ideun feels responsible for Gu Sihwan’s death, he decided to comfort the prosecutor by replacing the brother. Because the main lead had sex with his brother, then in his eyes, it should be the same between Gu Sihwan and the prosecutor. (chapter 23) This is no coincidence that Ha Ideun asked how his sexual partner felt about their sexual encounters. It was important that Gu Sehuyk would like it. (chapter 22) That way, the main lead had the impression that he was indeed capable to replace the brother’s loss. However, like pointed out above, Ha Ideun needed the protagonist on his side too, for he wished to unveil the truth about Heaventower and the father’s illness which is connected to the drug. This is no coincidence that sex with Gu Sehyuk was connected to a confession. The sinner was seeking relief from the “priest”, at the same time he was trying to redeem himself by give warmth to the wounded prosecutor. Simultaneously, he was hoping to obtain his forgiveness. This is important, because by interacting with the prosecutor, he came to discover a new form of family. This is not surprising that at some point, Ha Ideun came to question the nature of the relationship between siblings. (chapter 25) Hence I come to the conclusion that by interacting with Gu Sehuyk, the victim adopted slowly a new religion of HOME! Don’t forget that home has different significations: a household, a mansion and a clan. What caught my attention is that Ha Ideun started calling the prosecutor’s house HOME! (chapter 26) This truly exposes that he had moved from Sungmin’s fake religion of home and family. (special episode 2) They are only a family in name and as a family in the picture. In reality they don’t live under the same roof. Under this new perspective, it becomes comprehensible why Ha Ideun feared to return to his brother’s side (chapter 29) and at the end of season 2, he chose to reveal his secret to Gu Sehuyk: the sexual and physical abuse. Therefore it is not surprising that at the end, Gu Sehuyk said this to Ha Ideun. (chapter 44) He was now considering the “suspect” as his “family”. That’s the reason why I believe that this “sentence guilty” at the end of season 2 is just a subterfuge. This can only serve as an excuse to keep him by his side. At the same time, the prosecutor Gu Sehuyk can not be suspected of favoritism, for he is suspecting a chaebol to have committed a crime. The media already reported the case to the public. Under this new perspective, I came to understand why Ha Ideun never tried to defend himself right from the start. He needed to remain a suspect, so that he could influence the prosecutor in his investigations. That way, he could discover that his brother’s case had not been truly solved…. At the same time, Ha Ideun could be considered as a sinner, for he “seduced” the priest Gu Sehuyk to have sex. So far, the man was dedicated to his work, and as such had no sex life.

To conclude, Ha Ideun is on his way to discover that he has been a victim of sexual abuse all this time, and the Ha family can only be viewed as perverted and ruthless. Through his sexual encounters with the main lead, the “suspect” discovered a new form of home (chapter 36) where equity, love and warmth were oozing which stands in opposition to the cold and aseptic “temple” of the Ha. (special episode 2) The hyung was the highest authority and Ha Ideun had to obey blindly. The position of the characters reflects the nature of the relationship between Ha Ideun and his “sexual partners”: hierarchy versus equity.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My Reddit-Instagram-Tumblr-Twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

Painter Of The Night: Fortune-telling 🔮 (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents:  https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/

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.

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

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

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

1. The utilization of objects

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

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

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

2. Dreams and visions

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

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

3. Dream or nightmare?

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

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

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

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

4. The other definition of “fortune-telling”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Baek Na-Kyum’s role

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

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My Reddit-Instagram-Tumblr-Twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

Painter Of The Night: Dogs🐕 don’t wear pants 👖

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.

The starting point of this analysis was this quote from Lee Jihwa. (chapter 12) The mention of a new toy implied the existence of an old plaything. But we know for sure that Yoon Seungho has never possessed anything. He was treated like a male kisaeng himself, for he was not allowed to refuse advances from anyone. (chapter 52) Finally, he was forced to share anything he owned to others. (chapter 52) That’s how I realized that the inner thought from Lee Jihwa was exposing his knowledge. The latter knew about Yoon Seungho’s true conditions. The latter had been treated like a plaything by the pedophile. As the red-haired noble had been raised as an filial son respecting elders, Lee Jihwa saw no reason to change the way Yoon Seungho was “trained”. (chapter 57) Besides, he could only benefit from it. Now, he could have sex to his heart content. He only started playing tricks, the moment he felt that his childhood friend was escaping from his claws.

On the other hand, the author recently explained on a live session that Yoon Seungho’s mother committed suicide, for her son was tormented. However, my problem is that I only heard about this through others. Some stans were saying that Yoon Seungho was getting abused, others would even say, he got tortured. So was it abuse or torture? There’s a slight difference between these two notions. For I was a little unsure about this, I preferred to leave it at “abuse”. But then I realized this. If he had been truly tortured, then he should have traces on his body, they used to break bones… so that they ended up crippled. The readers could witness the way the Joseon authorities tortured people in order to obtain confession. (Chapter 37) On the other hand, since the lord went to the authorities in season 3, I deduce that he must have gone there in the past too, yet not as a victim/plaintiff, but as an accused. Because of this new revelation, I made a new connection: sex and torture.

Striking is that in the father‘s eyes, he was not even a slave, he was like an animal. (Chapter 83) Why? He viewed him like a dog, for he was living in the shed. He even had no proper hanbok and no real hair dress, and the manhwaphiles can certainly remember the idiom: clothes make the man! If he was no man, then he was an animal, a dog. Even his food reminded me of dog food. But why was he living there? (Chapter 83) In this essay, I will answer to this question. As a first conclusion, the lord was not even treated like a male kisaeng in the past, but more like a dog. Consequently, I deduce that when Baek Na-Kyum met the lord in the inn (chapter 1), his status had already changed. He was slowly experiencing emancipation. He was living like a male kisaeng. Thus I conclude that Lee Jihwa contributed to his recovery to a certain extent. (chapter 59) However, don’t get me wrong. I believe that the change occurred thanks to Baek Na-Kyum’s intervention, the new version of this scene. (chapter 68) Their path crossed a second time in the gibang which led to the painter’s expulsion which affected the lord‘s living condition. But let’s return our attention to the lord’s long suffering.

In the past, while reading season 2, I started getting confused about the identity of the abuser. When in the shed (chapter 62) the lord turned into a shadow or ghost from the past, certain gestures were similar to the patriarch‘s. (chapter 57) (chapter 62) This explicates why after reading episode 62 for the first time, I had suspected the father to have raped his own son. Yet this thought was dropped shortly after. Then when episode 77 was released, I realized that in the shed the lord was also reminded of Kim’s betrayal, for the latter would always drag him to the shed. Observe the way he was “carried away“. It was like an “embrace“. (Chapter 77) In episode 77, the readers can witness 2 incidents how the lord was brought to the storage house. (Chapter 77, this is a different situation, for we have different servants except Kim) Therefore in the barn, Yoon Seungho behaved like his surrogate father Kim as well. This explicates why we have the fake embrace and the insincere apology. (chapter 62) (chapter 62) As you can see, the hug from the past was the symbol of violence and hypocrisy. It served to drag the lord to the storage room. And this new observation led me to the following conclusion: Yoon Seungho was copying the behavior from all his abusers from the past: his brutal father, the hypocrite butler and naturally the pedophile. (chapter 62) Hence the protagonist grabbed the painter by the hair. For me, the “mysterious lord Song“ used to hurt the main lead by the hair, when he got angry. How did I come to this interpretation? Note that at no moment we never saw Yoon Chang-Hyeon taking his son’s hair. First, the lord’s head was covered with a hat. (Chapter 57) Even in the bedchamber, he would either slap his son or grab him by the throat. (Chapter 83) (chapter 83) As for Kim, the latter would always restrain the main lead by the shoulders, the fake embrace. (Chapter 57) And now, you comprehend why the lord dragged the two nobles by the topknot. (chapter 8) For a long time, I have demonstrated that this gesture represented one of Yoon Seungho’s biggest traumas. But why would the pedophile do that? One might say that it is because of Yoon Seungho’s resistance and struggling. He needed to punish him for his disobedience. Note that the noble with the mole and Lee Jihwa got humiliated as sanctions. (Chapter 18) However, in my eyes there exists another explanation which I will elaborate in this analysis either. From my point of view, the shed and the humiliation are strongly intertwined. This was particularly visible, when the lord forced Baek Na-Kyum to have sex in the courtyard. (Chapter 64) But why would he do that in the end? It was to train him, to make him obedient. (Chapter 64) Remember how he had declared that the painter was now his sex toy. He should listen to his master or owner. That’s how I came to this deduction. The infamous lord Song is a sadomasochist. In the worse case, he is simply a pure sadist. I am inclined to believe more in the first view. With this, we would have the link between sex and torment. And the picture from the erotic book where you see the bearded man having a braided man on his lap outside indicates that Yoon Seungho was here getting punished. The pedophile loved seeing Yoon Seungho humiliated and in tears. (chapter 01) And now, we have the explanation why the lord could no longer cry and how he came to hate “fake apology”. This was the result of the exposure to the sexual assaults under the form of BDSM.

1. The true nature of BDSM

But what is BDSM exactly?

It’s an abbreviation for bondage, discipline (or domination), sadism (or submission), masochism: sexual activity that involves, for example, tying a partner up, games in which one partner controls another, or giving and receiving pain for pleasure quoted from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/bdsm

This means that BDSM is a role play, where one acts as a dominant and the other as submissive. However, in order to become an act, there must exist consent and agreement. A contract is necessary, for the dominant has to ensure the submissive’s safety. He needs to know the limit between real and fake, and as such when the pain becomes too much to bear and is no longer a synonym for pleasure. The dominant needs to know boundaries. Thus the couple has to have a safety word. Once this word is said, the “punishment or humiliation“ has to stop. This truly shows that BDSM is strongly regulated. Therefore on different websites, you can see many recommendations. One stipulated 10 rules so that BDSM would be enjoyable for the couple: 1. be patient, 2. be humble, 3. be open, 4. be honest, 5. be realistic, 6. be sensitive, 7. be genuine, 8. be healthy, 9. Communicate, 10. have fun. (https://modemworld.me/ds-essays/the-ten-rules-of-ds/) Striking is that during their last love session, the couple was already following these principles, though there was no real punishment. Don’t forget that the painter had sex in front of people behind the doors. (chapter 96) They ended up in the hallway, anyone could see them. Then in another website, I found the following principles:

„What Daddy should do for his little Prince:

1. Help me brush my hair if you’re with me.

2. Help me pick out clothes and food.

3. Take bathies with me sometimes, and showers with me most of the time if you’re here.

4. Hold my hand as often as possible.

5. Call me my preferred words: little, sweetie, prince, puppy etc.

6. Give me treats when I’m good.

7. Punish me when I’m bad.

8. Praise me when I do good. No matter how small the good thing is.

11. Don’t make threats. Punish me if I’m bad, but don’t take things away or hurt me when you’re mad.

12. Never lose your temper because your day is going bad.

13. Always go to bed and get enough rest as much as possible.

16. If I’m sad I like hugs and kisses and pets and nice words.

17. Littles need to know they are loved.

18. Always be honest with me.

19. If I’m being a brat, I want attention.”

20. Don’t ever break promises, ever.” quoted from https://www.wattpad.com/amp/492636426

2. The real and fake sadomasochist

After reading the second list of rules, the manhwaphiles will realize two important aspects. First, the main lead was slowly developing a manual of BDSM without realizing it. Note that after the coerced sex in the pavilion, he desired to take care of the painter personally. He took the horse, and if he had not met the butler on his way to the pavilion, he would have done it himself. (chapter 25) He even brought the hanbok himself. (chapter 26) The lord went so far to take his bath with his lover to clean him. (chapter 59) He made sure that his partner wouldn’t suffer. (chapter 89) Yoon Seungho knew by experience that the rest of semen in the stomach would cause him ailing. (chapter 77) This was the reason why Yoon Seungho had a fever afterwards. Don’t forget that the pedophile used Taoist sexual practices, this means the young boy had a sex marathon each time, he met the pedophile. Thus I interpret the bruise on Yoon Seungho’s eye not only as an indication of resistance, but also as a source of joy for the sexual predator. We have the reaction from lord Jang as the perfect example. (Chapter 101) He blushed, though he could see that Baek Na-Kyum was in pain, the face covered with blood. Remember what the painter did in the pavilion to the main lead: he scratched his face. (Chapter 25) Thus we have to envision that the lord must have reacted the same way and wounded his abuser. And imagine the consequence if he had wounded the king on the face. This could be seen as a reason for a punishment. (Chapter 77) Remember Black Heart‘s warning in the shaman‘s house: (chapter 102)

Under this new light, the readers can comprehend what happened. Because he was the ruler, he expected acceptance. In addition, the king never took care of his “lover” properly, for in the palace, the staff was supposed to take care of everything for him: he would receive the assistance from maids and eunuchs in order to get dressed. This signifies, he must have had the same expectations in the Yoons’ mansion. He always relied on Yoon Chang-Hyeon and the so-called loyal valet. But the father could only resent his own son, for he rejected homosexuality, as it stands in opposition to lineage. As for the valet, the latter was too much plagued by his own guilt that he resented the nobles for his own wrongdoings. He never realized that he was abandoning the young master.

Yoon Seungho learned through the hard way to take care of himself. However, because the protagonist had been traumatized by the sexual fake lesson, I doubt that he could have an erection. Thus the valet went to the physician again in order to get replenishing medicine. (chapter 33) This is an euphemism for aphrodisiac. Thus we had this confession from the physician. (chapter 57) Why did the butler visit the doctor without Yoon Chang-Hyeon? It is because he had been ordered to fetch the aphrodisiac. By feeding him with the drug, they wanted to force Yoon Seungho to accept the advances from the king, and as such to admit his sexual orientation. He was a sodomite. (chapter 65) They faked his “pleasure“ making him feel guity and dirty. That’s how he got tricked. This explicates why the main lead still has no idea of the use of the aphrodisiac.

And now, you have the answer why the king failed to “tame” Yoon Seungho. He did the exact opposite what he should have done. He never followed such rules: respect, health, etc… Lord Song never became responsible for the young boy, thus he never confessed as well. He never apologized for his mistakes or his brutality. (chapter 71) As a king, he couldn’t bow down to a noble. Observe that the roles of “dominant” and “submissive” are not clearly defined between Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum. The lord is the dominant sexually speaking, but note the vocabulary: (chapter 72) (chapter 89) If you pay attention to their interaction, the lord acts like the servant. The reason is simple. If you take into consideration the second list of recommendations, you will recognize that the roles are switched. Outside a sex session, the submissive becomes the “king“, and the dominant has to act like his servant. That way, a certain balance is created. But this was never the case between the pedophile and the teenager. The latter was always reduced to a plaything and at the end to an animal. The pedophile never called the protagonist by his name. (Chapter 1) He was just called “my boy“. And that was it. He never created a real bound with the main lead. Therefore trust was totally inexistent. And because the young noble could only fear the man, he came to hate him to the point he could die. The latter made promises which he never kept!! (Chapter 101) How could he vow to “protect or help“ Yoon Seungho, when the latter was tormented constantly and exposed to violence against his will? And this could only escalate to Yoon Seungho‘s attempt to commit suicide. (Chapter 57) What caught my attention is that Kim needed the help from the other servant to keep Yoon Seungho on the bed. This is relevant, because this reveals that Yoon Seungho had reached an age, when the bearded man was no longer strong enough to restrain the main lead. It is very likely that before killing himself, the protagonist had even tried to hurt the ruler. (Chapter 55) I had this idea, for the story is going in circle, meaning that the lord must have done it before, just like he did in season 3. The possible death from the main lead and probably his own pain must have brought the mysterious lord Song back to reality. That‘s the reason why he sent for the physician‘s assistance. He was encouraged to keep his distance from the young man, just like the latter was incited to stay away from the painter in season 1 (sickness, Min), in season 2 (the scholar‘s insult) and in season 3 (the rough sex session in chapter 81-82). Thus I deduce that the pedophile has always kept an eye on Yoon Seungho and his recovery. In my opinion, the man has not forgotten the main lead at all. Why do I think so? It is because he kept the painting… (chapter 82) a souvenir from their time together, just like Min who stole the painting in the study.

Thanks to the painter, the more time passes on, the more Yoon Seungho changed. Not only he returned to his original personality, but he slowly developed the rules how to play BDSM. He discovered the importance of “consent” after the second sex marathon. Striking is that he got reprimanded by his butler after the love session. This explicates why the main lead never requested the painter in his bedchamber, and only visited him during the night, when he was asleep. (chapter 74) Thus I am deducing that Seungho-Ya will become the safe word between the two protagonists. (Chapter 72)

While Yoon Seungho dresses the painter personally, or he cleans him with his own hands, the king imagined that the butler would take care of everything. Thus I come to the deduction that the king will discover the real reason why his relationship with Yoon Seungho was doomed, and why he could never obtain his heart. Kim had also betrayed him, for he had never revealed his knowledge at the right time. He used paltering to escape punishment. However, I would like not to be misunderstood here. Naturally, lord Song is as much responsible as the other abusers. Why? The king only focused on his own pleasure, and never paid attention to the counterpart, he was totally in denial that he was using violence. Deep down, he knew that this was wrong, for the main lead was just a boy, like the “nickname“ was revealing it. He thought, as the ruler, he could overlook social norms. However, here he had definitely crossed the line. So imagine what BDSM means for a teenager. It is indeed a torture. He must have been definitely scared. And the king must have threatened him too not to share his sexual habits to others. I am quite sure that the ruler was not willing to admit his own sexual habits to others, hence he did it in the shed. It is also possible that he didn‘t mind of Yoon Seungho being described as a licentious man. That way, the king‘s behavior wouldn‘t be criticized. But because Yoon Seungho was sent to the shed, and punished there, the “fathers“ misjudged the real “value“ of the main lead. They truly thought that the king only viewed the main lead as an animal. They took the punishments in the shed as face-value reinforcing their disregard for the protagonist.

Thus I come to the conclusion that the shed was the place where the main lead was exposed to BDSM. This explicates why Byeonduck revealed such an image in a tweet. The noble with the mole is trapped in a shed, and the color purple, a symbol for royalty, is dominant. From my point of view, the author revealed everything in this tweet. On the other hand, I would like to point out that here the man doesn’t look scared or rejecting the use of the bondage or the dildo.

This explicates why Yoon Seungho was so rough in the storage room. (Chapter 63) He was reliving his biggest trauma. Yet, he never went overboard in the shed. Note that the moment the painter called his lover “lord Seungho”, there was a switch. (chapter 63) That’s the reason why the lord changed the painter’s position and faced him. (chapter 63) The lord communicated his feelings and thoughts, and he even made a promise. (Chapter 63) This new perception reinforces my impression that there was no rape in the storage room. The painter kept saying “no“, because he was actually scared about his own reactions. Strangely he felt pleasure, thus he kept having climaxes. He was simply in denial. The irony is that the noble attempted himself to be cruel during the night of the revelation (episode 62, 63, 64), but he failed, because the night at the doctor’s house was still fresh in his memory. He couldn‘t forget the tender embrace from the painter. (Chapter 62) This explicates why he stood up during the penetration, he was forcing the artist to hug him, to clinch onto him. He wanted to relive it again.

As you can imagine, the infamous lord Song knew no boundary. He was simply the worst kind of sado-masochiste. First, this was never an act, the submission and as such violence were real. Why? It was because of his social position. He was the king, yet BDSM is a role play. Moreover, I would like to add the Marquis de Sade as the best illustration. The French philosopher from the 18th Century was arrested due to sexual crimes: rape, sodomy, sex with teenagers, abuses (bondage). We don’t know for sure how far he went, yet there’s no ambiguity that the libertine had definitely crossed the line. I doubt that the man knew about the necessity of rules in BDSM as well. Striking is that his „victims“ were prostitutes and people from the lower social class, while he belonged himself to the old nobility. I am suspecting that the man didn’t truly outlive his sexual fantasies with women from the same social status. Thus I came to the following conclusion: the necessity to distinguish fantasy and reality. My faithful readers will certainly recall that the protagonists had to learn to make this distinction. Consequently, I have the impression that the king didn’t make the difference in the beginning. He thought that he was finally able to outlive his sexual fantasies, not comprehending that this was just an illusion, for the “violence“ was real to Yoon Seungho. Under this new approach, we have the explanation why Yoon Seungho never paid attention to the marks left by the ties on his wrists. (Chapter 63) He had internalized the marks left by the bondage. This is no coincidence that the artist‘s wrist was covered by the bandage, the reflection from the torment in his youth. Under this new aspect, the presence of the bed in the shed was like a magical tool, which helped the lord to not turn into his tormentor. He was just a ghost from the past, and the word “lord Seungho“ worked like a magic spell, which stopped Yoon Seungho from becoming as vicious and cruel as lord Song. Moreover Lord Song sounds very similar to lord Seungho. And this new discovery confirms my interpretation that Kim was the helping hand of the king. He had to provide him with the white bands for the bondage, just like he had helped for the young master’s kidnapping in the gibang. (chapter 86) But don‘t get me wrong. The king sent the main lead to the shed, when he wished to punish him. Yes, he repeated the same actions than Yoon Chang-Hyeon. And what is the common denominator between these two circles? The valet…

Besides, he didn’t treat Yoon Seungho like a slave, but like an animal. One might say that it was not his fault, for he was not aware of the physical and emotional torment from the other abusers. However, the moment he “claimed“ Yoon Seungho as his „partner“ or “plaything“, it was his duty to ensure his safety. Besides, if he truly cared for him, he should have showed more interest in the young master. Thus he became responsible for Yoon Seungho’s suffering. Note that so far, no servant was treated like that in the mansion. Even Soongap from Bongchon Bride was treated much better, until he received his terrible punishment. Soongap was never forced to live in the shed. Under this new light, I see it as another evidence that the infamous lord Song could only be the king! He is the only person who has absolute power in Joseon, and as such knows no “real boundaries“. Furthermore, as the ruler, he is expecting no rejection from his subjects. Anyone watching sageuks (historical Korean dramas), is aware that the Joseon king was never an absolute monarch, for he was always controlled by the officials, ministers, the Queen dowager and the Queen. There were also protocols which he was forced to follow. And we have an indication about the king‘s lack of power and wealth. (Chapter 76) Thus I am assuming that the lord Song must have been frustrated about this contradiction. On the one hand, he was supposed to be the most powerful man in Joseon, on the other hand, he had to rely on the aristocracy. Hence I have the impression that the ruler vented his anger and frustration on Yoon Seungho unconsciously. That way, he could outlive his sexual fantasies, where he was powerful. But because of these terrible sexual habits, the young master could never get treated by a physician. Anyone would have recognized the sign of abuse.

But imagine what it meant for Yoon Seungho, a teenager who discovered sex through the most horrible way! He had been traumatized by the penetration between the kisaeng and the fake teacher. Striking is that the perpetrator and the other adults all reduced sex to penetration, like my friend Luzyla pointed out to me. The dildo and the comments from the nobles (chapter 92) (Chapter 101) are a proof that they never discovered the importance of kisses, embraces, caresses and words during sex. They never recognized that they were denying the existence of love, too obsessed with their heritage and their reputation. The manhwalovers will remember my previous observation. The pedophile had never kissed the main lead. The king like all the nobles had disconnected sex from love. Why? It is because sex was a duty… to continue the lineage. And now, you have the explanation why the pedophile and all the others reduced sex to penetration.

Under this new perspective, it becomes comprehensible why Heena got scared in the annex. (Chapter 96) When she heard the noise (PLOP), she was brought back to the past, when she had witnessed a scene of BDSM, though the violence was real. A similar situation to this scene: (chapter 73) The pictures from the erotic publication are the evidence for this theory. After hearing the description from the butler about the events in the shed, the noona Heena believed to know what had happened in the shed. (Chapter 68) She could see the traces on the painter’s body, and conclude that the valet was telling the truth. However, the butler had been misled himself, for his perception was biased by his past experience. (Chapter 64) The butler thought that the “no“ from the painter was truly real, while the latter was just dishonest. It was the result from the “indoctrination“ from Heena and Jung In-Hun. The valet had been deceived in the end. The humiliation and punishment were not real, for the painter did ejaculate, and back then he was not under the influence of the aphrodisiac. (Chapter 64) This was not like in the past, when the brutality was real. And now, you comprehend why Heena‘s resent towards her brother became more visible after witnessing the love session between the noble and Baek Na-Kyum. (Chapter 97) From my point of view, she had already internalized that the painter would never change, he was already too “damaged“ to change. However, since he was close to Yoon Seungho, he could become in danger, for she knew the connection between the ruler and the main lead.

3. The pants

And now, you are probably wondering why I selected such a title, when so far, I didn’t mention the pants. Nevertheless, my faithful readers will certainly recall my previous analysis “Who is wearing the pants?“ , where I had pointed out about the lord’s habit who kept his trousers for the most part of the time. (Chapter 72) He was copying the habit from the pedophile in my eyes. The latter would never remove all his clothes on his own. As the king, he was used to get undressed by his own staff. Only the teenager as the uke was undressed, unless the lord was accompanied by the other nobles, like in this scene. (Chapter 54) And because the ruler was too focused on his own pleasure, he never got to know the young noble. He only realized too late that he had made huge mistakes. (chapter 37) Because he couldn‘t accept his responsibility, he preferred blaming others: Yoon Seungho, Yoon Chang-Hyeon, the real lord Song, the 3 nobles who got tortured, etc. Thus everyone got punished. He had definitely developed feelings for Yoon Seungho, but he would never admit it, for love was not accepted among nobility and even less between 2 men. However, I don‘t think that the man should be romanticized, for he abused a young boy for almost a decade. He has to be judged as a sexual predator, who hunted down Yoon Seungho to get him. (Chapter 72) Yoon Seungho was his prey.

4. Discipline and sadism

After reading my whole explanation, the manhwaworms can comprehend why Yoon Seungho said this to his childhood friend. (Chapter 59) The main lead was supposed to meet his tormentor in a public place. Yet their relationship was based on “humiliation“! The “king“ loved to punish Yoon Seungho through humiliation and violence. This explicates why Yoon Seungho reacted that way. (Chapter 56) (chapter 57) This is what he experienced himself in the past. And observe that the childhood friend’s biggest punishment was actually his public humiliation, when he confessed and got rejected. (Chapter 59) In my eyes, the king sought to obtain Yoon Seungho’s affection, but he never realized this. He definitely confused it with submission. He definitely imagined that once the teenager would become submissive, he would have achieved his goal. But he was doomed to fail. In his mind, as the ruler no one could ever reject him. Besides, as the ruler, he was allowed to use his power and as such his strength to obtain what he desires. Don’t forget that in Joseon, people viewed all the monarchs als representatives of the gods. The latter would support them. However, since his youth Yoon Seungho had a strong opinion and mind. Therefore he had caused trouble to his father, as the latter viewed his critical thinking as a synonym for a lack of respect for traditions and the elders, the so-called illness from his childhood. Besides, I am suspecting that the lord must have had visions as well, which would contradict the father‘s dreams and expectations. (Chapter 57) Yoon Chang-Hyeon looked down on his son’s critical thinking and came to doubt his words. The author left many clues for this interpretation: (chapter 101) Lord Jang got aroused, when he saw the bloodied lips from the painter. Moreover, Black Heart had brought a huge dildo. (Chapter 101) The item was huge, therefore it could only injure the artist’s anus. (Chapter 100) (chapter 101) Even the noble said that this must have hurt. The painter disliked being bitten in the neck. (Chapter 88) Furthermore, the lord said this to the painter in the study: (chapter 85) These were the words from the pedophile. He was repeating his sexual abuser‘s words. And this proves to me again that the lord was abused in the study, but if he rejected the man, he would be sent to the shed where he would receive his punishment. In other words, Yoon Seungho was punished with sex and violence. And now, you have the explanation why he got gangraped in the end. But the readers should keep in their mind that this was no real BDSM, for the brutality was real. The king couldn’t distinguish between reality and illusion. And this coincides with all my previous interpretations.

  • The importance of acting,
  • The protagonists had to learn to distinguish between illusion and reality
  • The constant switching between lord and servant,
  • The differentiation between conscious and unconscious
  • The repetition of trials leading to punishment (an allusion to BDSM)

Naturally, the king is the biggest hypocrite in the end. He raped the boy, and he knew that. But he could always legitimate his actions with the following excuse. The young boy was a sodomite anyway, for he couldn’t do the deed with a kisaeng. He had brought him upon himself, since he had accepted his offer in the first place. He definitely used religion and philosophy (Taoism) to hide his crimes. By maintaining the harmony between the Yin and Yang, he would live healthy and live longer. But exactly like Lee Jihwa, he was attempting to fool himself and the main lead. And because he made no distinction between real and fake submission, neither father Yoon nor Kim felt obliged to view Yoon Seungho as the king’s official wife or concubine. How could they know that the man viewed the main lead more than just a plaything or a dog? This explicates why Kim had such a memory in the end. (Chapter 65) Kim had brought him to the barn, because Yoon Seungho was punished there. This could only be suggested by the butler, as I don’t think that the king would ask for the owner of the mansion for permission. This room was definitely taboo, no one was allowed to approach the study or the shed. Yoon Seungho was exposed to rough sex, and Kim knew this, like mentioned above. But he never witnessed it himself, he only discovered the aftermath. From my point of view, this scene occurred after the lord’s loss of virginity. (Chapter 65) And now, you have the explanation why he got gangraped in the end. I had always sensed that this was a punishment for Yoon Seungho.

I will stop here, for the essay is already very long. But before ending this, I would add two more aspects. I was still unable to comment about this panel, (chapter 94). Notice that violence was used against the painter to mask attraction. The “girly features“ were definitely perceived as something tantalizing. Thus I perceive this incident as a reflection from the BDSM. It was to push the artist away, to incite him to leave the gibang. Heena feared that he might catch the attention of the pedophile, and it is very likely that she was manipulated by the scholar, her idol.

As a conclusion, this new approach gave me new insight about the pedophile‘s personality. Either he will come to the city very soon or he is already in town and this for two reasons. It is related to Yoon Seungho and Black Heart. There’s no ambiguity that the death of Min who was definitely close to him will force him to intervene directly. In the past, I had developed the theory that Black Heart and his friend with the mole were the king’s new companions. In truth, he will use this incident to reenter the main lead‘s life. First, Yoon Seungho was supposed to have committed suicide. He will ask about Yoon Seungho‘s whereabouts and about the incident leading to his disappearance: the rumor about the protagonist‘s crimes (the death of the scholar and the servants)…. And that‘s how he will discover that Baek Na-Kyum is considered as the main lead‘s bride! From my point of view, he knew about the existence of the painter, yet he must have explained his “bride“‘s behavior like this: (chapter 18)

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.