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

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

1. Heena’s words

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

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

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

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

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

2. Memory illusions

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

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

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

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

First, it is related to inaccurate perception.

“Sometimes we see things that aren’t there and miss obvious things that are right in front of us.” Quoted from

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

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

“Our minds try to fill in the missing spaces, often using current knowledge as well as beliefs or expectations.” Quoted from

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

“Researchers have found that people tend to be more likely to remember events connected to strong emotions, but that the details of such memories are often suspect. Retelling important events can also lead to a false belief in the accuracy of the memory.” Quoted from

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misattribution: Have you ever mixed up the details of one story with the details of another? For example, while telling a friend about your last vacation you might mistakenly relate an incident that happened on a vacation you took several years ago.” Quoted from

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. The painter’s ignorance

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

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

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

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

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Painter Of The Night: 📣Breaking news! 📣The painter vanished again! 😨 (second version)

Please support the authors by reading the manhwas on the official websites. This is where you can read the manhwa. 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:

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As the illustration of this analysis is indicating it, the title of the essay is referring to the painter’s departure from the mansion in season 3. For you can anticipate it, I would like to expose my new discoveries before the release of chapter 103. Why? It is because that way, the readers can perceive the new chapter under a different perspective.

1. “All the World’s a Stage”

Since I recognized the importance of clothes in Painter Of The Night, I started paying more attention to the appearances. Striking is that in season 3, the schemers utilized hanboks and shirts to forge an identity. By wearing a yellow hanbok, Min attempted to impersonate Lee Jihwa (chapter 101) so that he could put the blame on his “friend”. But the problem is that he was caught red-handed. Hence he ended up executed. On the other side, the corpse in the well was supposed to be Deok-Jae (chapter 98), although he was wearing clothes similar to the learned sir’s. What caught my attention is the expression Yoon Seungho employed: “pretending”. With such an idiom, he was implying that the servant had not only violated social norms, but also he had been acting. As you can sense, these two situations have one common denominator: playing a role and the clothes served as a disguise. It was, as if both victims of a murder had been playing in a theater play. This explicates why in the fanart, the author is portraying Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho as actors who are working in a sageuk. And this made me think of the famous poem from Shakespeare who describes life as a stage, where a person plays different roles all along his life: an infant, a school boy, a lover, a soldier, etc., until he dies, which is symbolized by an eternal sleep.

I had also detected another parallel between the manhwa and Shakespeare’s other theater piece “Hamlet”, thus I had composed the essay “To be or not to be”. This particular drama was focusing on the question about the meaning of life. Through his character Hamlet, the writer incites the public to question his personality. All along the theater piece, the beholder is never certain if Hamlet’s madness is fake or genuine. Once again, we had the reference to this idea that “life is like a stage” and humans show different sides of themselves. Since the publication of chapter 87, I had already pointed out the presence of theater, with the twist of fate or called “Coup de Théâtre”. To conclude, we should view Painter Of The Night as an application of Shakespeare’s poem and principle. Everything is a stage… and all the characters are playing a role. Nonetheless, this “theater piece” shouldn’t be viewed lightly, for Black Heart, his friends and Deok-Jae paid a huge price for their acting: they made their exit by losing their life. They had played their role, determined by the goddess Byeonduck.

Then I would like to point out that at no moment, the main lead saw the body himself. He was simply confronted with the clothes which resembled a lot to the scholar’s. (chapter 98) Why? From my point of view, they were trying to scare the main lead, to remind him that he could never replace Jung In-Hun in the painter’s heart, to shake his belief. But the problem is that the schemers had missed the right timing, for the artist had already confessed his love for Yoon Seungho and this twice. Therefore the latter couldn’t doubt his lover’s words, and mistake it for an illusion. As a conclusion, the clothes were used tools to trick the couple, they had become costumes!! However, because the author is using karma as poetic justice, this signifies that the hanboks and shirts can serve as a clue to perceive the truth too. The ones who tried to deceive the protagonists with clothes and words, should be fooled by their own manipulations.

2. A new perception of chapter 98

My avid readers will certainly recall the detected principles Byeonduck utilized to develop her story.

  1. The story is going in circle, it works like a kaleidoscope.
  2. There is a reflection within the same chapter: the positive and negative reflection.
  3. Each episode will be reflected in the next chapter.
  4. All seasons are reflected in each other.
  5. The painter and Yoon Seungho share the same fate, hence their actions are similar.
  6. The clothes and shoes are tools to identify a character.

Naturally, you might be wondering how these rules are relevant to the clothes. But note that in episode 98, the lord wondered himself why the hanboks would look so similar to the learned sir’s! (chapter 98) This shows that the lord was able distinguish the real clothes from the imitation. He had not only a good memory, but his eyes were sensitive enough to detect the difference. But how is it about the readers? Did they notice that these maids were different from the head-maid and her colleague? (chapter 94) Their clothes were almost identical, yet their body shapes and the cut of the shirts diverged. That’s the reason why I deduced that in episode 98, the author had the intention to manipulate the manhwaphiles. But in order to escape the trap, the readers needed to look carefully at the characters’ clothes. This was the clue that Byeonduck had left for the readers to discern the truth. And now, look at this: (chapter 98) What was the painter wearing on his way to the bedchamber? White pants with his Mountbatten pink jacket. But how did he show up at the learned sir’s home? (chapter 98) He was dressed differently. 😮 He had changed his pants, put on his scarf and hat. But when he went to the lord’s study, he was not carrying them!! How do we explain the difference? The answer is quite simple. He had returned to his room in order to fetch his clothes. And since Baek Na-Kyum took the lord’s clothes, this signifies that he had the intention to return to the domain. The readers will certainly recall the artist’s behavior, when he had threatened the main lead to leave Yoon Seungho. He had switched his clothes, and put on his old clothes. (chapter 98) Thus if the lord had gone to the study, he would had realized that the painter had not deserted the propriety, for he had not taken his belongings with him. The hat and scarf were signalizing that Baek Na-Kyum considered himself as a member of the Yoons‘ household.

Moreover, because in chapter 98, the artist had tried to hide his presence from the maids at the door of the kitchen (chapter 98), I assume that later he did the opposite (rule 2). He met the maids on purpose. Why? He let them know about his intentions. He was going out in order to visit the learned sir’s home. Finally, remember what he had thought on his way to the mansion. (rule 3) If only Yoon Seungho had left a word… The servants served as his messenger. Hence I am convinced that Baek Na-Kyum must have talked to the maids and told them where he was going!! He copied his lover, yet contrary to him, he must have given a precise information. (Rule 5) This means that he had informed the staff about his departure!! Moreover, in chapter 98, the maids acted, as if they had not detected the painter’s presence while badmouthing Yoon Seungho. (chapter 98) Hence they were portrayed without eyes and with a drop of sweat on their face, a sign for deception. So the negative reflection would be that Baek Na-Kyum had informed the maids, and he had gone to the kitchen for that reason. From my point of view, when he met them, he was already wearing his hat and scarf. To sum up, the artist had never left the maids in the dark. And the clothes are the evidence of the staff’s lie.

Under this new perspective, it becomes comprehensible why the painter lost all his clothes during that night!! If the lord had seen them there, he would have realized that the painter had never deserted the mansion, for he would have taken his own clothes!! It was important that they vanished. First, he lost his hat (chapter 99) Then the scarf was no longer present, when the painter woke up. Then the nobles removed his shirt, socks and pants in the shrine. (chapter 100) And now observe that after Lee Jihwa’s departure, the artist’s clothes except the white shirt vanished too. (chapter 102) Where did they go? The readers saw Black Heart leaving the building, but we should question this: WHY? He never went there to fetch lord Shin, since he abandoned him outside. We all imagined that he left the room empty-handed. But it is true? Now, I don‘t think so. He had to get rid of the clothes in order to mislead the main lead!! A new version of chapter 61 and 97! Furthermore, was Min talking to himself, when he said this? (chapter 101) Because the readers could detect the presence of a shadow in episode 102 , I am now envisioning that Min was not alone outside during that night. In fact, someone had misled Black Heart telling him that lord Jihwa had ran away. However, the unconscious lord Shin should have made him think that Lee Jihwa had fought back… Hence he had not fled, rather betrayed them. Moreover, he was not looking at the direction of the entrance and gate. In fact, he was turning his gaze in the direction to the shrine. (Chapter 101) The tree serves as an orientation for the beholder. But why was someone waiting outside? It was to cover up all the traces of his meddling. Baek Na-Kyum was supposed to vanish during that night, and they had planned to employ his pants and shirt to mislead people… even Black Heart. In my opinion, the invisible hand had already envisioned the nobles’ death. To conclude, the clothes proved my previous theory. The staff had staged the desertion by faking ignorance. (chapter 98) They were waiting for his return to fake their anger and search. And now, you comprehend why the servants mentioned the kisaeng in front of Yoon Seungho. It was to stop him from going to the study… to divert his attention. Under this new approach, the artist’s last words get a new meaning. (chapter 102) Since he had informed Yoon Seungho through the maids about his whereabouts, Baek Na-Kyum was expecting that he would come to his side. I would like the manhwalovers to keep in their mind that the artist was not conscious, when he moved to the shaman’s house. So in his mind, he was not far away from the learned sir’s house. Finally, since he had informed the maids, he could anticipate that the lord wouldn’t get mad at him, and wouldn‘t imagine that he had abandoned him (chapter 101) He trusted his lover’s heart in the end. That’s the reason why Black Heart’s superficial promise had no effect on Baek Na-Kyum. The latter truly believed that Yoon Seungho had been informed. But how could they play such a trick on the couple?

2. The director of the stage

Only one person could expect from the painter that he would switch clothes: Kim! (chapter 86) He had witnessed the argument between the couple by hiding behind the door. Thus in chapter 103, Kim will get the shock of his life… and it is the same for the maids. Yoon Seungho is returning with the painter. And the new trailer reveals that when the lord opened the door, adomestic was standing next to a maid. This is an indication of their involvement, though we need to discern the head-maid from the women in chapter 98. That’s the reason why the moment the maid appears, observe her clothes and try to discern her identity. Is this the head-maid or one maid from season 3? The preview displayed the arrival of the doctor.

The author reveals the butler’s surprise and shock. He never expected his entrance. This shows that the valet is just an actor too, he is not a deity, hence he gets fooled too. But why is Kim reacting this way? IT is because he never asked for the doctor’s request. So who sent the doctor? On the other hand, if the maids are involved and they witness the artist’s return, they have every reason to get worried. Their deception (lying by omission) could come to the light, for Baek Na-Kyum had given his lover an important task. He had to investigate why he had taken so much time before joining the artist’s side. By sending the doctor, they can fake their concern and even divert attention from themselves. Suddenly the connection between the maids and the doctor reminded me of episode 33.

3. The maids, Black Heart and the physician

If you read my previous analyses about the physicians, you are aware about my theory. Byeonduck introduced three different doctors, as their clothes and hat diverge. For me, it is the physician from season 1, for he is dressed similarly. (chapter 103) The form of the beard is also similar. But now, I have another evidence that this doctor from season 4 is not the physician from season 2!!! (chapter 63) The shoes are also different! That’s the reason why in the trailer, the beholders are seeing the physician’s shoes!! He doesn’t possess mituri like the other. Moreover, he is wearing a hanbok under his apron , while the other is dressed more like a commoner, a shirt with pants. And note that in chapter 33, we had the following combination: Min’s party, the visit of the doctor, Baek Na-Kyum’s illness, the maids and Yoon Seungho who “ran away” after his mistake. (rule 1 and 4) (chapter 33) And what had Kim done during his examination? He had not only threatened the physician (chapter 33), afterwards he had even badmouthed him, for he had not given the correct diagnosis. (chapter 33) However, here the butler had simply lied to hide his own wrongdoings: his passivity and silence. And note the doctor’s words addressed to the “beholder”: (chapter 103)

He is lying. The drop of sweat is the evidence. First, he has already seen the painter in a terrible state before. But since he is referring to Yoon Seungho, it signifies that he has already seen Yoon Seungho flustered. Why? Because the doctor from chapter 57 only met the young master, when he was a teenager. (chapter 57) The latter was introduced to Yoon Chang-Hyeon through the butler. The protagonist must have had a doctor in the past. Can you imagine a life without a doctor for 13 years? And this assumption was proven correct after the release. But let’s return our attention to the physician from season 4. What caught my attention is the white bag. Why is he wearing it? It is because he is on the verge of vanishing, he plans to run away. But why? From my point of view, he is the one who provided the aphrodisiac and opium to Lee Jihwa. Besides, in season 1, he had already given the “replenishing medicine” to the valet. (chapter 33) (rule 1-2-3) But why would he do such a thing? Simply, because he had been helping Min. He needed the protection of a powerful lord, since Kim had abused his position by threatening him. After seeing the new pictures from chapter 103, I had this sudden revelation. What did Min do after getting beaten by Yoon Seungho? (chapter 54) He certainly didn’t let his wounds untreated. Thus the next morning his face (chapter 56) looked much better. He had no swelling and the redness was already vanishing. From my point of view, he asked for the doctor’s assistance and that’s how the both came to an understanding. But since Min is now dead, the physician could get into trouble, for he helped the lord and now he is dead. But why am I so sure that the physician is about to run away? Look at all these images: (chapter 44) (chapter 44) (chapter 45) (chapter 100) They are all carrying the white bag on their back… and they are about to depart! Kim wished to leave the propriety with his master under the pretense that he was bringing misfortune to the painter. All this proves that the doctor is far from being innocent. Hence he wishes to run away. However, if he does this, this means that he exits the “play”. So he could die. Moreover, how did he know that the lord would return to the mansion with the wounded painter? I can not answer to this question with certainty. However, I would like to point out that since Min talked to someone in the shadow, it is very likely that this person had long planned Black Heart and his friend’s demise. Nonetheless, the schemers had not foreseen two three elements:

  • the survival of lord Shin (chapter 102)
  • the survival of Baek Na-Kyum, once again…. in season 2, he also almost died (chapter 61) [For more read the essay “No matter what… Baek Na-Kyum must vanish”]
  • the absence of Min’s friend who has always been by his side! (chapter 59) Lord Jang had disguised himself as Black Heart’s friend, the hanboks looked very similar. (chapter 99) (chapter 59) The schemers mistook him for the noble with the mole.

They are trying to repeat the same actions from the past, but the schemers are doomed to fail, for they didn’t listen to The Joker’s advice: (chapter 76) And this observation leads me to present the following theory: father Lee is definitely involved in this new trick! The drama has not ended yet. Why? According to my theory, these domestics didn’t belong to Yoon Seungho’s staff (chapter 61), for the colors grey-white off are only seen at the Lee’s. (chapter 9) (chapter 18, Lee Jihwa’s spy) (chapter 41) (chapter 50) (chapter 100) And now compare these servants to the staff from chapter 97: Their colors are all different reflecting that Yoon Seungho has no control over his staff. But what did the staff do in episode 61, when they manipulated the lord by saying that the painter had run away? One of the domestics offered the scarf and headgear to the lord: (chapter 61) Once again the clothes… All these details are exposing the involvement of elder Lee. He had many reasons to have Min and the painter eliminated. However, there is no ambiguity that he is not working on his own. That’s the reason why I am now wondering if “father Lee” or the shadow sent the doctor to Yoon Seungho in order to witness the painter’s death. Note that the doctor from season 1 came and not season 2. And what had the maids said in episode 33? (chapter 33) Yet, the painter survived, hence the doctor has every reason to run away. His complicity could come to light… on the other hand, the moment he leaves Yoon Seungho’s side, he is no longer protected. The reason is simple. He owns a part of the truth, and what the schemers are attempting to do is the exact opposite: burying the truth so that their act is not discovered. And now who participated in this huge “drama”? The list of the suspects is quite long… Father Lee (chapter 82), lord Yoon Chang-Hyeon (chapter 86), the other physician (chapter 74), “lord Song” (chapter 83), the “fake servant” alias the king (for me) (chapter 37) There is no doubt that a tailor was involved, for he had to create similar clothes, the costumes … (chapter 64) All have one common denominator: the BEARD. They are OLD BEARDED MEN!

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

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

1. The shoes and the weapon

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

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

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

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

2. Identifying the shadows

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

3. Identifying the helping hand

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

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

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

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

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

4. The “trustworthy” disguised man

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

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

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

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

Painter Of The Night: The riddle of the enigmatic covers🔍🕵️‍♂️ (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwa. 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:

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The purpose of this essay is not just to interpret the illustrations for each season, but also to anticipate the future illustration of season 4. However, before revealing my new knowledge, it is important to explain how I came to develop these significations. This means that I will present new pieces of the puzzle “Painter Of The Night”. Everything started with this panel. (chapter 9)

1. The slap and hands

The noble with the mole had a red cheek and a bruised lip indicating that he had been slapped. Yet contrary to the painter, he had wounded on his right side. (chapter 1) This means that no one had witnessed the wrongdoing committed on the anonymous lord. However, it is important, because it exposes how a person committing a wrongdoing could escape scolding and punishment, even from the readers. There was no witness! Only an attentive reader could detect this. Hence you have the explanation why Yoon Seungho suffered for so long. There was either no witness or the persons chose to close an eye and remained silent. Since it was the negative reflection from Baek Na-Kyum’s slap and the main lead had used his right hand (chapter 11), I deduced that the culprit was left-handed. That’s how I could identify the culprit, lord Min. The lord was in reality left-handed. We could observe this in chapter 8 , episode 19 , chapter 33 and episode 43, but also in episode 76 , in chapter 96 , in episode 100 and finally in chapter 102 ! Yet, in other occasions like in episode 33 or 43, or 52 , he used his right hand! Thus one might argue that Min was simply ambidextrous. However, I can prove 100% that Black Heart is left-handed!😮 The evidence is the usage of the bow. (chapter 22) This is how a right-handed man shoots an arrow. On the other hand, we never saw Min using the bow. The bird was already wounded by the arrows, when the scene of the second hunt took place. (chapter 41) However, the manhwaphiles can discover the verity thanks to one detail: the bag of arrows. (chapter 22) As you can see, the bag is carried on the right side, but the arrows are almost touching the left shoulder. They need to be on the other side, since the scholar needs his right hand to grab the item. And now compare the position of Min’s bag. It is inclined in the opposite direction, hence the arrows are visible on his right side! (chapter 41) Thus the noble is carrying the bag (chapter 41) differently from the painter too. (chapter 22) Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why Byeonduck never showed the Joker’s hunting skills. People would have noticed that he is left-handed immediately. She made sure to hide this important fact, thus within the same chapter Min was often portraying as using both hands. In episode 43, he employed his left hand to pour the alcohol in the glass, but then he switched the hand(chapter 43), when he gave the drink to Lee Jihwa.

This raised the following question. Why is he ambidextrous, though he prefers his left hand? It is because he has been conditioned to use his right hand. In Latin, sinister means left. This explicates why left is associated to sinister, dark and bad omen. Thus there exists this superstition that being left-handed is evil or a bad sign!! Till the end of the 20th Century, people in Europe were encouraged to write with their right hand. And now, if you compare all the scenes, where he employed his left-hand, you will detect that he was acting under the influence of his subconscious. In chapter 8, he was lusting after the painter; explicating why he got mad at his friend. Because of his nagging, Min could no longer ask his host to let the painter join the sex party. Therefore it is no coincidence that he slapped his friend with his left hand. Finally, we never saw his departure from the bedchamber! (chapter 9) Here, he was still present, but even before the end of the sex session, he had already vanished. (chapter 9) Finally, when the noble with the mole visited Lee Jihwa, the latter claimed that he had spent a long time at Yoon Seungho’s. (chapter 9), and his friend never denied it. As you can see, the characters made sure to confuse the readers with the change of the chronology. As you can see, it took me a long time before noticing the bruised face (only during season 3), then to bring up the conclusive evidence that Min was the culprit of the slap. Then in the shaman’s house, he took the dildo with his left hand, because he was angry and frustrated. (chapter 100) With the same hand, he pushed Jihwa (chapter 100) too. This shows that he could barely control himself here. And once he faced the main lead’s sword, he got so scared that he showed Jung In-Hun’s glasses with his left hand again. (chapter 102) Due to stress and his strong emotions, he exposed his true self, but since the readers were more focused on the actions and Min’s punishment, they never paid attention to his hand. This contrasts so much to the way the author portrayed Yoon Seungho. She often zoomed on his hands. (chapter 92) The irony is that in this scene, the main lead employed his left hand too, the positive reflection from the night in the pavilion (chapter 43). While here it was to bring him back to reality, in the pavilion, the Joker had the opposite intention: to lure Lee Jihwa to believe in illusions. (chapter 43).

Why did she confuse the readers then? It was to hide an important information, the culprit is left-handed!! And now it is necessary to examine the lord’s nightmare.

2. The hand in the nightmare

If you read my previous analyses about the visions, you are aware of my following observation. The visions represent not only memories, but also predictions. (chapter 74) They announce the future events, though the information is not given properly. On the other hand, since they are memories either, this signifies that they contain insight about the lord’s tragedy. Thus I noticed that the anonymous perpetrator used his left hand to grab his hanbok!! I deduced that the perpetrator in the past is also left-handed!! Secondly, since this vision can also be seen as the announcement of the painter’s second kidnapping, this is no coincidence that Byeonduck created such panels during the painter’s last torment. (chapter 99) However, in the shaman’s temple, Black Heart grabbed Baek Na-Kyum with his right hand. He was trying to manipulate the artist, he was acting. He was not showing his true self. Yet, the vision was revealing the truth: the future mastermind of the last scheme was in reality left-handed!! It didn’t matter, because at the end, the main lead was able to discern the truth. He sentenced Black Heart, for he believed that he had killed his loved one! That’s how I realized why the author would focus so much on the hands and on the distinction between unconscious and conscious! The hand in Painter Of The Night represents the crucial clue to identify the culprits!!

3. The illustrations and the mystery

Because of these new discoveries, I realized the signification of the covers. In season 1, we had the hands in the illustration. The hands were revealing the crime committed against the main lead. The latter was totally passive in this picture. The hands are touching and unclothing the immobile man. It also shows that Yoon Seungho was at the center of the conspiracy, in the past and in the present! The painting in the background indicates the presence of a hidden painter. Thus Baek Na-Kyum was not drawn in the cover. The painter of the night was in truth someone else, the painter from the past! Nevertheless, the main lead was looking at the readers, indirectly at Baek Na-Kyum, the young painter of the night. This describes the arrival of Baek Na-Kyum in his life. Striking is that the painting in the background was destroyed… indicating that the portrayed relationship was no longer existent. This represents another clue that the lord’s suffering is linked to a previous relationship. Then in season 2, the author revealed Baek Na-Kyum as the painter, who had now become the target of the plot. Yet behind him we see Yoon Seungho’s foot. The latter symbolizes the main lead feared to get close to him, but he wouldn’t leave his side. Moreover, this corresponds to the lord’s impulsive decisions, he let his foot guide him. Thus during the first night of the failed gangrape, he walked towards the study and stopped unconsciously, when he was next to the room. (chapter 53) Due to his strong denial, he was strolling not realizing that his feet were under the influence of his subconscious. And it was the same, when he opened the door with his foot at the Lees’ (chapter 67) Nonetheless, I believe that the author had another reason to draw the foot in the cover. The foot prints are the evidence of the crime, and as such the deceptions and the culprits. (chapter 59) (chapter 60) (chapter 61) The shoes were the clues how to recognize the perpetrators and accomplices. That’s why I compared these feet (chapter 59) with those . (chapter 66) My avid readers are already aware of my theory. For me, we have two kidnappers, and one tried to kill the artist! To conclude, Byeonduck left the clues how to unveil the mystery from the past and the present in the illustrations of each season. The paper in the second cover is a reference to the forged letter (chapter 56), but also to the theft of the painting (chapter 56) and the painter’s break! At the end of season 2, he was no longer painting and in the beginning, he had also stopped due to his heartbreak. Simultaneously, we have the presence of water which serves as a connection to season 1 with the ruined painting and to season 3 with the well and drowning. The dark shades were an allusion to the lord’s darkness and suffering. The latter would come to the surface. However, since the cover only showed the lord’s foot, it exposes that the lord would not divulge his traumatic past. (chapter 78) In season 3, this time the main leads were facing each other, they were recognizing each other: their true self! But this stands in opposition to the deceased people without identity! (chapter 94) We never saw the face of the corpses, as they were either covered (chapter 97) or the manhwaphiles could only view the hand, , the back (chapter 97) or the clothes and shoes (chapter 100)! And since Min had disguised himself as Lee Jihwa, it was clear that the deceased shouldn’t be identified by their clothes, but by their faces. As you can see, season 3 was about the face and identity! This indicates that in the past, someone had been not identified correctly!! Why? It is because the main lead has long repressed this memory. He had forgotten his face out of fear and hatred. The only thing the victim remembers is the BEARD, and old bearded men! (chapter 44) And the nightmare exposed the number of persons involved in his suffering: 4 men!! Here, we have 3 men, and don’t forget the left hand from before. (chapter 74) But if I include the painting, then I come to 6 people: the patriach Yoon Chang-Hyeon and the king. This coincides with the cover from season 1: 3 hands indicates 3 people and we have two lovers in the background. Moreover, we shouldn’t forget the peeper, the person Yoon Seungho was looking at. Hence we have 6 people involved in the conspiracy.

But what caught my attention is that the illustration of season 2 and 3 are showing locations: the painter’s study and the bedchamber. Thus I conclude that Byeonduck was revealing the places where a crime was committed in the past and in the present. In the study, the painter lost his virginity, he was bullied or slapped, while in the past, Lee Jihwa stole Yoon Seungho’s first kiss. So in my opinion, the illustration for season 4 should be the gibang, unless we assume that the cover of season 1 is a reference to the kisaeng house! (chapter 1) Anyway, from my point of view, the cover of season 4 should indicate a location which is connected to the town. Why? It is because now I am suspecting commoners to be involved in the lord’s suffering. I have already expressed my theories about Kim, the guard blacks, Heena and the physician. But there are more suspects! Moreover, observe that the kisaeng house is not only visited by aristocrats, but also by commoners. (chapter 99) That’s the reason why I am anticipating a cover with the gibang. It would be the perfect place to find closure for the couple. It is a place where both suffered. Moreover, I think, belongings should serve as an evidence for the identification of the schemers and accomplices. Remember that we had the glasses as the evidence of a murder in season 3, yet I am sensing that the possession should serve to identify the perpetrators from the past and the present. Since the clothes were used to confuse people in season 3, I am assuming that in season 4, they should help to recognize people, but at the same time, it is totally possible that our main leads decide to employ the same method to fool the schemers and accomplices. And now, we have the cover for season 4. Both protagonists are not only facing each other, but also touching each other. They are no longer hiding their emotions and thoughts. This image represents the opposite to the other seasons. At the same time, the author is again referring to the bedchamber indicating that this place is strongly connected to the protagonists’ suffering. On the other side, since the painter is wearing a silk white shirt, it implies that he is not a commoner. This panel indicates that the main lead was able to the true owner of the study and even bed. However, due to the tears, the beholder can sense that this season will be painful as well. Striking is that in the cover, they were either alone, or they were just looking at each other, hence they didn’t pay attention to their surroundings. Consequently, they couldn’t sense the presence of a plot and the schemers. This indicates that the couple is still not prepared to face new schemes. To sum up, the author selected such covers because she had planned to leave clues there about the mystery! But wait… I had outlined that the person who grabbed the young master Seungho was left-handed, and he played a huge role in the main lead’s downfall and suffering! But who is left-handed in this story?

4. The mysterious left-handed

Naturally, I investigated the matter right away. My first suspect was Kim, but he seems to be right-handed! (chapter 12) (chapter 56). But then I noticed that he carried his master on the left side. (chapter 57) Nevertheless, the person threatening the painter was right-handed. (chapter 66) and since it is for me the butler, he was not the person from the nightmare. That’s the reason why I am excluding him from the suspect list. For me, if he was involved in the past, it is because he lit the candles (chapter 74). Furthermore, don’t forget that in his nightmare, the author exposed the presence of plates with 3 candles (chapter 74) which were also used in the shaman’s house. Finally, in this picture, we have a right-handed person. (chapter 74) So Kim could have been the one silencing him with his hand.

Then I realized that Yoon Chang-Hyeon had also switched his hand. In season 3, he slapped his son with his left hand. (chapter 86) Hence his right cheek was red and he had a wounded lip. (chapter 86) On the other hand, at the doctor’s office, he employed his right-hand to keep his son by his side. (chapter 57). Why is there this change? The turning point was the prank in the bedchamber. (chapter 83) During that scene, the father slapped his son with both hands. First with the right (chapter 83), then with the left! Striking is that the author never showed, when the patriarch employed his left hand. The readers could only hear the sound, and see the result of the beating. Both cheeks were wounded. From my point of view, he was conditioned exactly like Min! He was not allowed to use his left hand, but the angrier he got, the less he could hide his true self: he was left-handed and he was a stupid and brutal father!! (chapter 74) However, note that this switch happened after the sexual abuse had started!! That’s the reason why I conclude that he is not the man from the nightmare. For me, the father is symbolized by the painting, just like the pedophile! So where is the left-handed person? So far, the fake servant smoked with his right hand. (chapter 37) On the other hand, I am doubting that Byeonduck will introduce many new characters in season 4. That’s the reason why I believe that the man with the pipe is the real schemer, as the pipe was in the annex. Since Min grabbed Baek Na-Kyum in the shaman’s house, I am more inclined to think that the perpetrator grabbing the young master Seungho by the collar was just an accomplice and not the mastermind. In other words, he was the helping hand.

And there are two persons left that fit the profile of a left-handed old bearded man. The physician!! 😮Notice that he placed his box on the left side and this twice!! (chapter 57) (Chapter 74) I don’t believe in hazard. Besides, the lord had his nightmare during the same chapter. This means that he could have leaked this information about Yoon Seungho to an outsider, like he did with the painter. As the manhwalovers can grasp, the physician is more suspicious than before.

As for the second person, it is none other than the calligrapher!! (chapter 92) Besides, observe that the angry man put the brush on the left side. (chapter 92) The man is left-handed! And what did Yoon Seungho do? (chapter 92) He grabbed him by the collar! Exactly like in the dream!! (chapter 74) Thus I had this sudden idea: the calligrapher could have been Yoon Seungho’s teacher!! The latter became jealous of the young master due to his talent and notoriety. Another possibility is that he was commissioned by the elder master Yoon to write a talisman, a spring poetry, as we have these writings on the door (chapter 44) or patio of his mansion, similar to Heena’s. And since the young main lead suffered so much, it is normal that he doesn’t have such believes. IT is also possible that the young master Seungho played a prank which made the man angry and humiliated. As you can see, I come to the conclusion that jealousy and resent were the reasons why he got involved in the first place. Moreover, we shouldn’t forget that the calligrapher is linked to the kisaengs! He even recognized Baek Na-Kyum, as he called him a peasant. (chapter 92) Yet, he was either perceived as servant, a noblewoman or as a sir so far! He was never recognized as a peasant. Since he could identify the artist, it is also possible that he was also able to identify Yoon Seungho. But he thought that he was not well educated after living as a male kisaeng for so long. From my point of view, the man could have decided to get revenge on Yoon Seungho and participated in his abduction and gangrape!! Thus his karma was to lose his home! (chapter 91) The fact that Yoon Seungho grabbed him the same way than in the nightmare is not random. It was, as if he was getting justice. Honestly, I am more and more suspecting that in the past, Yoon Seungho got raped by commoners! Naturally, I have not changed my mind that the king was behind this plot: to get revenge on the Yoons! Who benefitted the most from the crime? Definitely the king, as he was able to ruin their influence.

Finally, I would like to remind the readers that according to me, the tailor is involved in the lord’s past suffering. However, according to me, there exist two tailors. While the other called the main lead “lord Yoon Seungho” (chapter 39), the other only recognizes him as master Yoon. (chapter 64) This means that the latter knows about the existence of elder master Yoon. Like mentioned above, the calligrapher, the physician, the tailor, the fake servant and the “shaman” from chapter 29 have all one thing in common: the beard!!

5. The other accomplices: the hanbok and the beards

Byeonduck left pieces of the puzzle in the covers in order to unveil the truth about the past and the present. Hence the moment the illustration is released, try to examine it attentively. It definitely gives clues about the evolution of the story, and the evidences concerning the perpetrators and helping hands. My recent discoveries led me to develop the following theory: the involvement of merchants. This man (chapter 83) disguised himself and hide his true identity behind “lord Song”. But is he the king or someone else? He was definitely a pedophile, but since we can’t see his face, it is not certain that it was the king. (chapter 83) Striking is that he is not “smoking here”, yet I had outlined that one abuser was a heavy smoker due to Yoon Seungho’s behavior. (chapter 83) On the other hand, I discovered that the man with the green hanbok was smoking! And why doesn’t the patriarch suspect the king behind the plot? It is because he was never officially banished or sent to exile. Thus he explains his desertion from the mansion as an absence. (chapter 86) Let’s not forget that in season 3, clothes were used to deceive Yoon Seungho, and the authorities played along. Besides, as the painter had become the love interest of Yoon Seungho and Black Heart, it is very likely that in the past, the victim was exposed to two different abusers, but they all hid behind the name: lord Song. Note that during this feast, one man had a moustache beard which is in Painter Of The Night the sign that he is no yanbang, not even chungin, the upper-middle class. He could be a rich merchant. Just because they are all wearing hanboks (chapter 83) (chapter 87), this doesn’t mean that these men belong to the aristocracy. Furthermore, Kim never said “nobles”, he just said “visitors”!! Finally, I would like to point out that since Yoon Seungho lived secluded for 10 years, I doubt that he had the means and the knowledge to be involved in the trade: (chapter 22) This theory of the participation of a merchant got even reinforced, when I made the following discovery. The wooden boxes in season 1 were present at the tailor‘s shop!! (chapter 39) Thus I am deducing that the barn in season 2 (chapter 51) could have belonged to the tailor or the owner of this shop. And note the couple was in the same position than with the kisaeng with No-Name in episode 51! (chapter 51) This was the negative reflection from episode 39: no penetration versus penetration, no interruption versus interruption, no rumor versus rumor etc. And this contrast clearly displays that the tailor shop is involved in Yoon Seungho’s suffering. And the best evidence for this is the nightmare. The main lead’s clothes had a design. (chapter 74) and the readers never saw the protagonist wearing it so far!! So where is this special hanbok? The latter is the evidence of the tailor’s involvement, as he had to create it. To conclude, there is a strong connection between the gibang, the tailor and the trade. And now, you comprehend why I am more than ever suspecting commoners’ complicity in the main lead’s suffering.

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

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

This is where you can read the manhwas. This manhwa is mature. 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:  I also used briefly Doctor Frost again which I highly recommend to my readers. If you want to read more essays about other manhwas, here is the link to the table of contents:

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1. Castration or abandonment?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. The tool for the loss of the topknot

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

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

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

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

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

4. The reason behind the loss of the topknot

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

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

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

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

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Painter Of The Night: The secret behind curry🍛 , apple 🍏and butter 🧈 (second version)

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You are probably wondering about the meaning behind this title, for until now, food never played a role in the story. However, all these words have another common denominator. 😮 The trigger for this essay started, when I discovered the expression “brown-noser” while reading another manhwa. The definition of “brown-noser/brown-nosing” are the following:

Brown-noser: a person who tries to please (esp. one’s boss) so much that their nose turns brown from kissing their ass. Quoted from

Brown-nosing: If you accuse someone of brown-nosing, you are saying in a rather offensive way that they are agreeing with someone important in order to get their support. Quote from

1. Brown-nosing and boot licking

This means that the person flatters or humors somebody in an obsequious manner for personal gain. Striking is that if you look for synonyms, this is what you find

That’s how I discovered why Yoon Seungho started licking Baek Na-Kyum’s ass. In the essay “Painful departures”, I had written that the story was constructed like a kaleidoscope, thus it contained so many reflections. Each incident or notion will be reflected in each season twice and within the same chapter, just like there will be an allusion in the previous or next episode. One might say that in season 1, the manhwaphiles never saw the main lead licking the painter’s ass. So it looked like my interpretation was wrong. However, this is again just an deception. Why? It is because the lord was taking these expressions literally. 😂

The verb “brown-nose” has for synonyms “curry favor”, “apple-polish”, “suck up to”, “get on the right side of”, “to kiss someone’s feet” and “butter up”! Under this new light, the manhwalovers can grasp the other common denominator between the “curry, apple and butter”. They are referring to hypocrisy, power and selfishness. However, in Painter Of The Night, these idioms get a totally new meaning. Yoon Seungho has long internalized that the exchange of favors is based on sex!! He had to do it personally. That’s the reason why he is taking the expressions literally and the painter is responding the same way. Here he is seen as a back-scratcher: (chapter 89) The lord’s back is covered with marks. Yet, he was not brown-nosing here at all, for he was rejecting the lord’s advances. And now, it is time to take a closer look to season 1.

2. Apple and fellatio

When I read the expression “apple-polisher”, I remembered this scene in the woods: (chapter 23) Baek Na-Kyum was seen holding an apple, here it looked like he was indeed polishing the fruit before eating it. Striking is that during that scene, valet Kim was interrogating him. He was acting, as if he was interested in him. It was, as if he was buttering up to Baek Na-Kyum. The purpose was to gain the artist’s trust so that at the end, he would listen to his advices.(chapter 23) However, the reality was that the valet was actually digging for information, spying on the main lead, so that he could create a new incident. As you can see, there were two apple-polishers in that scene, the painter and the butler. This was the reflection within the same episode. While Baek Na-Kyum was literally polishing the apple, the other was just cajoling Baek Na-Kyum in a figurative way. Yet, the former was not truly sweet-talking to the artist. He gave the impression that he was totally honest. And now, it is important to recall what happened to the painter in the next chapter. Jung In-Hun was kissing the painter’s hands.(chapter 24). He was flattering the painter with the hope that Baek Na-Kyum would spy on his account. But the scholar couldn’t succeed with his request. Why? It is because he only kissed the artist’s hands. He never licked his boot or his ass. We could even say that he did scratch his back, but in the wrong way: (chapter 24) In other words, he could never lower himself in front of the low-born. This was too much, explaining why the scholar failed with his request.

Let’s not forget that in the hallway, Yoon Seungho had made the following request to Baek Na-Kyum. (chapter 27) In exchange for saving Jung In-Hun’s life, Baek Na-Kyum was forced to do a fellatio. We could say that the artist was sucking up to the owner of the mansion. But the fellatio is not just an exchange of favors. It is also associated to forgiveness. At the tailor’s shop, the painter had blushed because of Yoon Seungho, The latter had embarrassed him. Thus the lord made the following suggestion: (Chapter 39) This was his way to apologize, though here he was teasing his lover. These were the principles he had been taught, therefore it is not surprising that he applied them for the painter. And now, you comprehend why in episode 71, Yoon Seungho sucked the painter’s phallus in the bathroom, he was also currying the artist’s favors. His goal was not to be pushed away, to be accepted. (chapter 71) He had wronged the painter so many times, that the blow-job was not enough. Thus he licked his ass in the bedchamber. He was hoping to seek his forgiveness. (chapter 71) It was, as if he was lowering his head, the kowtower. In this episode, the lord was on his knees in front of the painter, and this twice. One in the bathroom (chapter 71) and the other time in the bedchamber. (chapter 71) However, his nose didn’t get brown, as the painter is a pure and innocent person. 😉 That’s how I realized why Baek Na-Kyum was sent to the bathroom. His role was to divert Yoon Seungho’s attention from Kim so that the master would forget to ask for the butler’s punishment. In other words, the valet used the low-born to seek his master’s favors. This shows that Yoon Seungho had been taught that the blow-job and the ass-kissing are the means to obtain forgiveness.

And remember what I mentioned previously, the notion “suck up to or kiss ass” will continue to appear in the next episode. This is no coincidence that the author drew such a panel: (chapter 73) He was licking the painter’s foot so that he could keep thrusting. Don’t forget that during the whole night, he behaved like a servant… the one who was “sucking up to Baek Na-Kyum”. (chapter 72) On the other hand, the latter scratched the lord’s back for the first time during that night. (chapter 72) This was the reflection within the same episode, yet the “back-scratcher” was not doing it for his personal gain at all. We couldn’t say that he was currying favor or buttering up Yoon Seungho. He believed that he was just a servant and nothing more. From the outsider’s perspective, he was treated indeed like a favored servant, though in truth Yoon Seungho viewed him more like his new master and lord.

3. Baek Na-Kyum and Kim’s sucking

Episode 71 with the ass-kissing was the positive reflection of chapter 45.

Striking is that in chapter 45, we have an allusion to the teacher’s pet: (chapter 45) In this scene, the lord was acting like a teacher, and the painter was supposed to do a blow-job in exchange for a favor. But since the painter was heartbroken, he was doing it absent-mindedly. Thus the roles got switched. After the noble licked the painter’s ass, and masturbated him anal, the painter was able to confess his pleasure: (chapter 45) This shows that the lord was slowly “currying favors” to Baek Na-Kyum. And this is no coincidence that Kim brought the ink and brushes to the mansion. (chapter 45) Once again, he was acting, as if he was buttering up to Baek Na-Kyum and indirectly to the host. But the reality was that everything was done for Kim’s interest…. On the other hand, we could say that Yoon Seungho was not really different from his surrogate father, for in that scene, Yoon Seungho was more thinking about himself than the painter’s. Yet, there is a slight nuance, the lord was sensing that the painter was not himself. He was talking to him, so licking the painter’s ass was not just done in order to obtain the painter’s support. His true goal was to be noticed and looked by the painter. He desired to have a true exchange of thoughts. Interesting is that by licking briefly the painter’s ass, he indeed succeeded, Baek Na-Kyum started thinking about him afterwards. The irony is that Yoon Seungho was just applying what he had been taught. That’s how I discovered the other reason why the main lead is not suspecting the butler of treason. Contrary to Yoon Chang-Hyeon or the pedophile, Kim was never seen asking Yoon Seungho for sexual favors: no fellatio or no ass-kissing. But this is just a deception, for we could clearly see that the butler is connected to the sex parties: (chapter 33) (chapter 52) He was the one who separated the couple. Because of his intervention, the painter deserted the mansion and got sick afterwards. Then in chapter 50, he revealed the argument between Baek Na-Kyum and Jung In-Hun. Striking is that in that scene, he was standing on the lord’s left side!! (chapter 50) No wonder that Yoon Seungho got furious. Simultaneously, while Kim was acting, as if he was defending the painter’s interest and as such feeling sorry for the painter, this signifies that he was no longer sucking up to his own master. Therefore, it is not surprising that the lord scolded him. (chapter 50) In fact, he should have “buttered up” his master and not pitied the painter. And now, you comprehend why the main lead misinterpreted Kim’s behavior. In his mind, the valet was actually “apple-polishing” to the painter. He had somehow “witnessed” it in the woods. But he had misjudged the situation, in reality he had caught Kim spying. (chapter 23) Unfortunately, the lord was not perceptive at all.

4. The night of Yoon Seungho’s relapse

And this leads me to the following observation. When Yoon Seungho kissed the painter’s ass in season 3 again, it was not done for personal gain. (chapter 80) He enjoyed seeing the painter’s facial expressions and reaction. He looked so shy and pure. (chapter 80) However, during that night, three people were trying to bootlick someone figuratively speaking: the new version of Deok-Jae, Kim and the messenger. Let’s not forget that before the arrival of the messenger, the painter made the following request to the butler: (chapter 79) One might say that he was currying favor to the butler, when he asked the butler about the music box. But what did Kim do? He brought the item to the bedchamber. (chapter 79) But this is not what the painter had actually requested, since the butler said this “I thought”. He had taken the initiative on his own. In my opinion, the painter had just asked that the music box should be brought back to the study. However, Kim brought the expensive present to the bedchamber for one reason. He expected the arrival of the messenger. We could say that he was “ass-kissing” the painter in order to obtain his trust. Kim definitely imagined that Yoon Seungho was sleeping. As you can see, this scene was the reflection of Yoon Seungho’s action in chapter 80. (chapter 80) While Kim had asked the painter’s to clean his face himself, the lord was cleaning the painter’s ass himself. Or we could say that he was polishing the painter’s apples, for he has an apple-shaped buttock. 😂 This clearly indicates that Kim has never washed Yoon Seungho himself. In other words, while Yoon Seungho was totally selfless here, this was not the case for the valet. And this is no coincidence that right after, the new version of Deok-Jae appeared in front of the door calling his master. He was faking loyalty and dedication. (chapter 80) Here, he was acting, as if he was sucking up to Yoon Seungho, but his gaze betrayed him. In my opinion, he had been deceived by the butler, for the latter expected that the painter would open the door. This situation was reflected within the same chapter. Notice what the messenger said to the young master in the study: (chapter 80) He was implying that his father had to bootlick an official in order to hide the incident. And how did the lord react to this? He not only asked the servant to do him a fellatio, but also made an allusion to the sexual favor: (chapter 80) His father must have kissed someone’s ass. But as you already know, Yoon Chang-HYeon is not someone who will do such a thing himself. And this shows that he has definitely used his son in order to obtain favors in such a way. Yoon Seungho had to do fellatios and let people lick his ass for his father’s sake, as he was a uke in the past. This is not surprising that the messenger received such a beating in the end. (chapter 80) He gave an order to the main lead, he threatened him. But actually, he was just a servant. He was not treating Yoon Seungho correctly. Interesting is that he showed more courtesy and respect to lord Lee than Yoon Seungho. (chapter 82) It was, as if the man was hoping to obtain father Lee’s support either. Another interesting aspect is that when the butler approached the wounded emissary, the former was definitely brown-nosing. (chapter 82), until he heard that the scholar Lee had approached father Yoon. On the other hand, his introduction didn’t fool the courier, for he was aware of Kim’s meddling. (chapter 82) In my opinion, Yoon Chang-Hyeon had followed the butler’s suggestion. Since the painter would always sleep in the study alone, he envisioned that the messenger would suggest to the artist to meet Heena. The man could fake that he had been sent by his noona. He was dressed up for that reason!! Observe that the color of the hanbok is similar to this one: (chapter 94) Thus I had this sudden idea. What if the messenger was receiving his karma for beating the painter in the past? Remember how I had deducted that these two men could have been disguised as nobles!! And this new perception would fit my interpretation. But let’s return to our main topic. The courier refused the obsequious and submissive remarks from the butler. He was no fool, for he knew that because of his “plan”, he had become the biggest victim of Yoon Seungho’s wrath. This explicates why the author never revealed the father’s words, because the manhwaphiles would have discovered the valet’s plan and as such betrayal (chapter 82) This means that if father Lee or Yoon Chang-Hyeon are cornered, they could be forced to “ass-kiss” the king.

Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why Byeonduck released such panels on Twitter: Baek Na-Kyum is now imitating his lover. He is also licking the lord’s boot/foot. However, contrary to the signification, he is actually making love to his companion. This has nothing to do with selfishness and hypocrisy. We could even say that at the end of season 3, Yoon Seungho had become the teacher’s pet, the yes-man towards Baek Na-Kyum: (chapter 92) He could never refuse his lover’s requests. Thus in the gibang, he encouraged the painter to stay in the gibang. (chapter 93) It was, as if he was seeking the kisaengs’ support. Thus he chose leniency towards these women, though the latter had insulted him. At the same time, he was not hoping to receive any flattery from the noonas. He was the one “sitting on the painter’s right side”. (chapter 93) To conclude, the lord had been “tamed”, he was apple-polishing Baek Na-Kyum, but not in a negative way. It is the positive reflection of Kim who will act behind people’s back, and definitely use sex for his own advantage. We have the perfect example with the 2 sex marathons. He always let the painter suffer in order to cover up his own wrongdoings. But by allowing the main lead to act this way indicates that he was not helping Yoon Seungho. What people thought as assistance was in truth “brown-nosing”.

Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why Yoon Seungho questioned the painter’s fellatio in the annex. (Chapter 95) In his eyes, the lord didn’t need it, for he was already aroused. Remember in the beginning of the story, Lee Jihwa had to prepare his lover (Chapter 3) Secondly, the painter was in the position not to ask for favors, to suck up to Yoon Seungho. In their relationship, the low-born had the upper hand. Finally, Baek Na-Kyum had done nothing wrong before, so he didn’t have to beg for the main lead’s forgiveness. That’s the reason why the lord was actually rejecting the blow-job!! (Chapter 95) But his teacher taught him this: the fellatio is there for pleasure and sensuality. (Chapter 95) It is the expression of affection and love.

5. The night in the shaman’s house

In my opinion, we should see it as a reflection of Yoon Seungho’s past. Min was also associating sex to favors. (chapter 101) The painter had to do a fellatio to lord Jang in exchange for protection. (chapter 101) The artist was not acting like the teacher’s pet, (chapter 101), hence he needed to receive some lesson. In their eyes, Baek Na-Kyum should have licked their boot, sucked up to them… due to their power and social status. Therefore, it is not astonishing that at the end, they were executed. Why? It is because Min and the others could never “curry Yoon Seungho’s favor”. (chapter 102) Without the painter, the lord had no reason to continue living. Baek Na-Kyum was his source of joy and of strength. Without him, he was powerless. And this leads me to the following observation. Since we have a situation of brown-nosing concerning Black Heart in the shaman’s house, this signifies that we should have a reflection earlier in season 3. And now look at this: (chapter 92) In that scene, Min was indeed “flattering” his ex-sexual partner, while he was rather dismissing the painter. (chapter 92) He was also indirectly currying the lord’s favor. This was the reflection of the night in episode 52 either. However, contrary to season 2, Yoon Seungho had the upper-hand, as the painter had already sided with him. But one might say that this perception of “apple-polishing and buttering up” stands in opposition to my previous statement: sex is like a battle, a fight where there is only one winner. But that one doesn’t exclude the other, since Min had also tried to eliminate Baek Na-Kyum before changing his mind. This truly shows that we had two different philosophies, yet both were evolving around sex. This truly outlines that someone was “consumed by lust” in the end.

6. The Yoons

This means that Yoon Seungho can only discover the butler’s betrayal, when the latter no longer acts, as if he was buttering up to Baek Na-Kyum. But so far, the lord never discovered it. Even when he thought that the artist was dead, Kim gave him the hanbok. This could only reinforce the impression that Kim liked the artist. (chapter 102) On the other hand, Baek Na-Kyum is slowly sensing the valet’s disloyalty towards the aristocrat. (chapter 86) Since the lord could see through Jung In-hun’s true personality, I believe that it is the painter’s duty to grasp the valet’s treason. In my opinion, since he caught Kim having sex with the maid, it is only a matter of time, until he realizes his true personality. In chapter 77, valet Kim had thought that he could rekindle with the owner of the mansion, hence he brought him tea and the medicine. He envisioned that if he acted like a loyal and dedicated servant, he could regain Yoon Seungho’s support. (chapter 77) In other words, he was buttering up to the young master. But observe that in that scene, he never lowered himself in front of the young man. He didn’t go on his knees or he didn’t bow to him either. This attitude exposes the valet’s true personality. He considers himself better than Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum, refusing to admit any crime or mistake. In that scene, he never said YES! In fact, he kept contradicting his master. (chapter 77) Under this new light, the avid readers can understand why he contacted the patriarch in the end. He knew that Yoon Chang-Hyeon would listen to him, for he had been brown-nosing him for years. And the color brown of his shirt is no coincidence. Observe that when the father visited the mansion, he was wearing brown and red… (chapter 86) He envisioned that his elder son would return him the seat and as such he would become the owner of the family mansion again. Why? It is because of the main lead’s words in the library. His so-called respect towards the father was just fake. That’s the reason why the father imagined that he just needed to show up and he would get the mansion back. However, in reality, he should have sought his son’s support, and as such kiss his ass in order to achieve his goal. But the man has never done it himself. He has always been used to being fawned and ass-kissed that it is not surprising that he barged in the mansion. And this is the same for Yoon Seung-Won. The latter might have sent letters in order to obtain his brother’s support, but we can’t say that he was sucking up to Yoon Seungho. Thus it is no coincidence that at the end, the latter advised his brother to follow the father’s principles. (chapter 37) Here, he was implying that Yoon Seung-Won should do fellatios and other things in exchange for favors.

7. Conclusions

After these observations, I come to the conclusion that the sexual actions are not only reflecting the lord’s brainwashing, but also they are revealing what will happen in season 4. The more the couple will follow these principles (apple-polishing, boot licking, ass-kissing, sucking up, teacher’s pet, yes-man…) in a literal way, the more we will see the negative reflections of these actions in the other characters. The butler and the other antagonists will try to curry favors to the pedophile at the couple’s expense. And now, here is the question. Who will do it, fellatio and other things in exchange for favors? Yoon Chang-Hyeon? Yoon Seung-Won? Kim? Or Heena? As you can imagine, I am inclined to think that this should be Heena. Why? I can not forget the scholar’s words in the library: (chapter 40) Moreover, according to me, she used the young master Seungho and her brother to avoid sex. Furthermore, I would like to point out that when the kisaeng argued with her brother, this is what she said to her brother: (chapter 97) Here, she was referring to favors. Yet, shortly after she proposed this to her brother: (chapter 97) It is clear that the agreement was not selfless. No nobleman would spend money and energy for nothing. The noona was hiding the content of the deal to her brother, the negative reflection from season 1. And now, you comprehend why I am sensing that since her deal was to sell her brother in exchange of favors, her karma should be that she has no other mean than to sell herself in order to survive, as she is now on her own. And if this truly happen, this can only reinforce her resent and hatred towards the couple. But we will see, if Heena is the one “sucking up” in season 4.

Finally I would add that though Baek Na-Kyum kept saying “no no”, deep down he meant “yes, yes” and the perfect example was during the second Wedding Night: (chapter 73). But keep in mind, this is related to the painter’s education. He had been raised not only to hide his homosexuality, but also to reject sexuality as such. Naturally, in reality a no means no and nothing else.

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. 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:

It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring:  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

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. ( 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

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.