Painter Of The Night: The liars 🤥 in front of the mirror of truth 👺 : Lee Jihwa and Yoon Chang-Hyeon (second version)

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

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Announcement: The essays “Sex and passion” and “The puzzle with the paper” have been updated.

I selected these pictures as illustration for this essay for two reasons. On the one hand, the couple was still in denial about their true desires. Both wished to be embraced and loved by the other, yet in this panel they still feared to voice their own wishes. Why? It is because they dreaded disappointment and betrayal due to their painful past experiences. In other words, they were lying to themselves. Therefore it is no coincidence that at the end of season 3, the two protagonists were confronted with separation and real lies! They had waited for a sign from their partner, hence their karma was to wait and lose the right time. (chapter 102) The painter had confessed too late, for the schemers were already pulling the strings in the shadow. To conclude, the main leads’ self-deceptions were connected to love and time. The importance of self-manipulation leads me to the next observation. All the antagonists and villains were liars, because they were also deceiving themselves. They refused to admit their own fears and flaws, therefore they chose to commit a wrongdoing and manipulate others in order to hide their true thoughts. This means that not only the crime was covered up with a deception, but also the manipulation was hidden by another lie. This means that the list of their sins increased. Therefore it is not surprising that the gods chose to confront the liars with the verity, as they kept refusing to admit their sins. Now, it is time to focus on the antagonists and villains’ manipulations and the scenes where they were facing the mirror of truth. However, the readers are probably wondering where the mirror of truth is. The answer is simple. The mirrors of truth are not only the two main figures, but also Kim and Min, though they are their negative reflections. Remember that in Snow White, the item led the evil Queen to her doom, for the latter refused to accept reality. At the same time, the mirror of truth was not entirely honest either, for it never explained the definition of “Beauty”. In other words, it lied by “omission”. I realized that I can not examine all the antagonists and villains in one text, as I am so detail-oriented. Consequently, I selected Lee Jihwa and Yoon Chang-Hyeon first, for both characters’ lies are strongly intertwined.

1. The red-haired master’s sins

The manhwaphiles could witness his first wrongdoing in the study. He had kissed Yoon Seungho without his consent. (chapter 77) The problem is that he had been caught by the butler. Thus the door was open. The door is full of symbolism. It can represent opportunity, but also imprisonment. Simultaneously, the door embodies the passage from one world to another in religion and literature. In the analysis “The window, the door, the air and their signification”, I had explained that in Painter Of The Night, the door embodies the passage between the conscious and the unconscious. This means that when all the villains are confronted with the mirror of truth, they are standing on the doorstep. That’s why the reflection is linked to the open door. The characters are forced to face their own repressed desires and anxieties. Hence I deduce that the room symbolizes memories too, which means that we are dealing with repressed memories. In our first case, since Lee Jihwa was seen in the study, this means that when he got caught, he tried to deny his responsibility in the seduction. That’s how he started being in denial of his wrongdoing. Thus out of fear, he left his friend behind and as such he buried the incident in his unconscious. He tried to forget it. He convinced himself that he had seen the friend’s smile. This was the evidence of his “statement”, yet this was just an illusion. However, before he ran away, he lied to the butler too. He told him that the one who had kissed him had been the main lead. So not only he lied to the valet, but also to himself. That way, he was avoiding to feel guilty. There were two lies, and both were used to covered up his own wrongdoing. But the one who had been smiling, was in reality Lee Jihwa, as he had the impression that his dream had been fulfilled. Thus the author revealed the young master’s blushing, the expression of happiness. (chapter 77) However, since he had been caught by the valet, he was facing the butler’s visage. And what did he see in his facial expressions? Shock and horror!! That’s how Lee Jihwa realized the gravity of his sin and chose to blame his friend. Thus I imagine that he must have blushed again and this time out of shame and embarrassment. It is very possible that in that moment, he must have copied the valet’s facial expressions before leaving Yoon Seungho behind and lying to the butler. Why do I think so? It is because the butler had made such an expression in front of the barn, when he had been caught. (chapter 64) And what did the main lead say? (chapter 64) Since the painter seems to have forgotten it, I deduce that it was the reverse for Lee Jihwa which explains why he felt so guilty in the end. As for the butler, when he had barged in the study, he had committed a wrongdoing himself. He should have asked for the main lead’s permission, but he did not. Consequently, he decided to believe in Lee Jihwa’s deception. One hand washes the other. He was covering up the guest’s sin, while the latter was doing the same thing for the domestic, though I doubt that Lee Jihwa truly realized it. Simultaneously, Kim had the perfect justification to hide the violation of social norms. He had caught the main lead red-handed, hence no one would question his own action. As you already know, I associate the butler to Pilatus, therefore he is connected to the bucket.

And since the childhood friend had been able to avoid punishment by lying and putting the whole blame on his friend, he learned that he could get away by deceiving others and by putting the whole blame on his friend. I would even add that with this incident, he was taught another lesson: Silence and burying the truth. Note that he never came clean, he never exposed the truth to his friend or to the elders. That’s the reason why from that moment on, Lee Jihwa became a hypocrite, but deep down, he felt guilty and ashamed, for he couldn’t outlive his sexual orientation due to the horrified expression. He had to hide his homosexuality in front of others, hence later he had sex in the barn with Yoon Seungho. This explains why the spirits chose to confront Lee Jihwa with the truth on different occasions in season 1.

I could mention the argument between the main lead and the red-haired master. (chapter 13) However, in my eyes, this doesn’t represent the biggest confrontation with the mirror of truth. For me, it is the altercation in episode 17, for it took place in the same place than the aristocrat’s crime. When the red-haired master looked at the picture, he was suspecting that the painter had seduced his friend due to the insinuations by the staff. And his fear reached the peak, when he saw the painter’s reaction: (chapter 17) As you can see, in this episode, the gods were recreating the same situation: a servant had witnessed how the two men “were fooling around” (chapter 16), though this was definitely not the case!! And this is exactly like in the past, Yoon Seungho was totally pure and innocent. And what was Lee Jihwa’s reaction? A slap! (chapter 17) This is what Yoon Seungho had experienced in the past. Yoon Chang-Hyeon had definitely abused him. (chapter 57) Thus the main lead’s cheek was bruised. Then exactly like in the past, Lee Jihwa accused someone else of committing a crime. In the past, it was his friend, in the present it was Baek Na-Kyum. Both were portrayed as immoral seducers. (chapter 17) These words were exposing the verity about the past. Lee Jihwa was admitting in front of the painter that his friend would never act like that, and as such he had not attempted to woo him in the past. Striking is that in front of the painter, the red-haired master was misinterpreting the incident. Why? It is because he was influenced by his past experiences. Since he had lied twice, he jumped to the wrong conclusion that it was the same in the present. And back then, he had even achieved to fool Kim. Therefore he couldn’t allow himself to be fooled like the butler. That’s the reason why he couldn’t imagine that someone was innocent. (chapter 17) He was a liar in the past, so it must be the same for the painter. Yet, this was the negative reflection from the past. Thus his karma was to get caught by his childhood friend. Striking is that this time, he was put in his friend’s place. He was turning his back to the door. Moreover, due to his anger, he didn’t hear Yoon Seungho’s steps and the opening of the door! (chapter 17) But the childhood friend refused to face reality in that moment, and as such to admit his guilt and responsibility. Why? It is because he had committed another crime in the past. This is related to the bedchamber incident. (chapter 83) However, here he had been caught by his father, hence I believe that this confrontation represents mainly the elders’ punishment. As for Lee Jihwa, despite the humiliation and abandonment in chapter 18, he refused to give up on his friend. (chapter 18) One might say that he was motivated by love, yet I think that it is related to his denial about his sexual orientation. And this coincides with his lack of honesty. He had not confessed his own sins and lies yet. Therefore (chapter 36) he presented himself as a pitiful creature, as he was sharing the protagonist’s suffering due to his knowledge. However, this was not empathy, just sympathy. The person only feeling sympathy will always put a distance between himself and the counterpart. There‘s a “I“ and “you“, but no „we“. The person might come to pity the other, yet he won‘t intervene and help. He will just understand and that‘s it. (chapter 36) This panel is the evidence for this interpretation. Lee Jihwa never used the personal pronoun “we”, even during the abduction. (chapter 59) [For more information about sympathy read the essay “Sympathy for the devil”] Hence the gods let him meet the mirror of truth a second time: (chapter 43) Based on this panel, Lee Jihwa had more or less barged in the study, but his presence was detected too late! One detail caught my attention in this picture, the presence of the light reflected on the door. Hence I assume that the main lead detected the presence of a witness because of the light!! (chapter 43) Let’s not forget that the room was dark, when they were having sex. (chapter 42) He was still looking at his lover’s face, when he perceived the change of the light. Hence he turned his head in direction of the light reflected on the door. My friend Luzaly brought my attention to this detail. The couple was turning their back to the door before. (chapter 42) The form of the light reflected on the door doesn’t come from behind the gate (chapter 43), for this is what we would see: (chapter 97) And now, you comprehend why I came to the deduction that Lee Jihwa had witnessed the love session not from this door, (chapter 43) from a different point. This explicates why once again, the lord couldn’t see the identity of the so-called “peeper”. Besides, don’t forget that the author is working with reflections, as such this means that the second lead must have been placed differently. But this doesn’t end here. I would like to point out that during that evening, the main lead had left the door wide open, when he confronted the artist. (chapter 41) However, in the next episode, Byeonduck showed us a slight change. (chapter 42) The door was now close. This means that the butler had intervened at some point. This was the negative reflection from episode 20. (chapter 20) This time, the main lead had not requested for more privacy, for he had not detected the presence of his right-hand. And this leads me to the following conclusion. Since this is not the door (chapter 43) which had been opened by Lee Jihwa, it is impossible for the second main lead to have witnessed this embrace from this perspective. (chapter 43) I am even suspecting that he didn’t view this scene at all, because logically, the light should be coming from the other side!! But on the other side, there is no door!! (chapter 49) But there is the window…. And now, you comprehend why Yoon Seungho never investigated the matter with the “door”. It had never been opened in the first place. But how could Lee Jihwa imagine such a scene? (chapter 43) It is impossible, for he confessed later that he knew about the friend’s longing for an embrace! (chapter 57) However, here it is necessary to remind the readers of my previous character’s examination. I had described Lee Jihwa as trapped in a dark room, because he had lost his auditory and visual sense due to his guilt!! This was the price to pay for his sins. He had imagined to see the friend’s smile and he had lied to the butler. And since in episode 17, his visual senses were triggered (the painting, the painter’s facial expressions), I deduce that in chapter 42/43, this time Lee Jihwa was confronted with the mirror of truth through words. Through the window, he could hear the moaning of the couple, hence he couldn’t see the painter’s sadness. Moreover, this is what the painter said: (chapter 42). It sounded like he was indeed seducing the main lead. As for the embrace, he couldn’t hear it, but someone had heard the longing from the painter. (chapter 41) In other words, the butler had helped Lee Jihwa to spy on the couple and had even divulged what he had heard from before. Naturally, he had deceived the red-haired master by omission. He never mentioned the existence of the scholar and the painter’s broken heart!! One might argue that this is not possible. I am again overthinking. But I would like to outline the existence of the following rule on which the story was created: the reflection within the same episode. How did Black Heart manipulate the red-haired master in the pavilion? Through words and that’s how the childhood friend came to envision this scene: (chapter 43) The gods were punishing Lee Jihwa for his lie: his friend’s smile!! But I have more evidences for this theory. First, it is important to pay attention to Min’s words, when he manipulated Lee Jihwa. First, he portrayed the painter in a pejorative light with the idiom “indecent life”. (chapter 43) Moreover, the noble employed the personal pronoun “we”, which is not typical for the selfish and hypocrite villain. This means that he was repeating Kim’s words. Then he added how the couple would have sex in the barn (chapter 43) (“vulgar roll in the hay”), but this was not true. However, this is what had happened in the past with Lee Jihwa. The latter would have sex with his childhood friend in the storage room. This explicates why Lee Jihwa came to believe in Black Heart’s words and manipulations. With such a description, he was reminded of his own past!! Therefore it is not surprising that Lee Jihwa had such a vision. (chapter 43) This is what he had wished in the past, and what he had done too: he had seduced his friend and smiled… and he had been caught! In other words, Kim was actually viewing the red-haired master as an immoral witch: (chapter 43) Moreover, since this night was a reflection of the first Wedding night, this means that the author left a clue there. And now, look at this… (chapter 21) The windows!! As you can see, the door is not the only place to spy or interrupt intimacy. Secondly, we should have reflections of the spying through the window in season 2. (Chapter 49) In this episode, the light in the study had suddenly vanished, and this is what we had before: (Chapter 49) This darkness exposed the presence of someone outside. Then in episode 70, the author drew a panel focusing on the window and the bougies. (Chapter 70) I had already suspected back then, that someone was listening to their conversation, and with this new discovery, Lee Jihwa hearing the love session from the window, this interpretation gets reinforced. Furthermore, in chapter 96, the main lead had explained the opening of the door with this: (chapter 96). This signifies that in the past, the lord had explained the sudden opening of a window and the vanishing of the candle light with the wind during the night of chapter 49.

But why was Lee Jihwa confronted with the mirror of truth? It is because he was still dishonest. He kept deceiving himself and refusing to admit his wrongdoings. In the inn, this is what he had said in front of the nobles: (chapter 36) The reality is that he couldn’t cut ties with his friend. He had lied in the past, therefore he got manipulated in the present. And since he was confronted with his auditory and visual senses in season 1, he was put in a similar situation in season 2. However, there was a slight change, now the red-haired master was confronted with a real crime: murder!! The darkness of the room and the silence from Yoon Seungho and the painter were referring to the master’s loss of senses and his guilt. Deep down, the young master knew that the assassination was not right. And note that the aristocrat had this nightmare in his own bedroom confirming that the room is the symbol for the subconscious. Finally, in season 3, Lee Jihwa got confronted with another uncomfortable truth: his friend’s sexual abuse. Lee Jihwa had acted, as if this stolen kiss was nothing. However, due to his silence, he let his friend get raped. And he knew about this, but he chose to close an eye to this. First, Lee Jihwa refused to share his friend with the painter (chapter 18) implying that in the past, he had to share Yoon Seungho with other men. But since he had declared that the main lead had never taken an initiative, this signifies that the protagonist had no choice in the selection of his partners. He had not the right to refuse anyone, not even the red-haired master. Hence the latter got furious and angry, when he was rejected for the first time. (chapter 5) Therefore it is no coincidence that in the shaman’s house, he was put in the same position than Yoon Seungho. He couldn’t select his partner (chapter 100), he had to rape Baek Na-Kyum. This is no coincidence that the Joker was standing in front of the door. He was pushing the young man to face his repressed memories and lies. That’s the reason why exactly like in the pavilion (chapter 43), Black Heart coerced the antagonist. He used words to manipulate the second lead, but there is a huge difference. The shaman’s house was representing the young noble’s unconscious and as such his true personality, while it was not the case in the pavilion. The room in chapter 43 was more embodying the Joker’s unconscious. Why? It is because Lee Jihwa was speaking the truth in that scene. (chapter 43) He reproached Black Heart to have deceived him. On the other hand, the scene in the shaman’s house corroborates my interpretation that Lee Jihwa had not seen the embrace from chapter 42, for Black Heart was voicing the butler’s thoughts and emotions. (chapter 100) This shows that during the night of chapter 42/43, the valet had intervened. Thus Min was acting, as if he was a victim in the recent past. He had been deceived by Lee Jihwa’s lies by omission or commission. This is what had happened in the past. Besides, I realized that when the man confessed the incident in the bedchamber (chapter 83), Min couldn’t see the whole story. He had to rely on the second lead’s words. Just because we could observe the whole scene, this doesn’t mean that this was the case for the character. It is very likely that Lee Jihwa left details out, especially as he portrayed himself as a victim. Due to the narration, Min could have been misled. He could have envisioned that the childhood friend was living in the study and had dragged his friend to the bedchamber. Hence you comprehend why I consider it as another evidence that Lee Jihwa didn’t view the love session in the study from chapter 42 with his own eyes. He had to rely on his ears and naturally Kim played a role before Black Heart’s intervention. The servant hoped that Lee Jihwa would decide to do something…. in other words, he had been gradually manipulated by Kim and Min to hire an assassin. That way, he could be blamed for the murder of the scholar. He would become guilty by association. And the one pulling the strings behind the scene can only be the mysterious lord Song, for he can no longer interfere directly, though I am certain that he was not aware of the butler’s own meddling. Why? It is because in the past, Kim had never become proactive like that. Moreover, I think that even in the past, the man was not omniscient and omnipotent either. He over-estimated his own abilities, and didn’t recognize that he had been fooled himself either.

But let’s return to the scheme in the shaman’s house. The young master Lee was now cornered, for he had kept denying his own wrongdoings: the sexual assault with the stolen kiss and the lies by omission and by commission! What caught my attention is that the antagonist associated the sexual abuse with murder! (chapter 100) This is no coincidence, for the sexual abuse is the reason why Yoon Seungho’s heart and soul got destroyed. This had the same effect than killing someone, especially if the person is so innocent and pure. Because he recognized the truth, he had the courage to abandon and betray Black Heart. That’s how he could redeem himself in the end. (chapter 100) At the same time, this is not surprising that Lee Jihwa met his friend and admitted his wrongdoing. For the first time, he didn’t remain silent and chose to intervene!! I also believe that during that night, he apologized to the protagonist before vanishing. In other words, Lee Jihwa had to face 4 different mirrors of truth, until he was able to admit the verity. He was responsible for Yoon Seungho’s suffering. He had lied, therefore he got deceived, until he had no other choice to confess his guilt and sins.

2. Yoon Chang-Hyeon’s lies

In episode 77, we discover from the butler the patriarch’s following promise to Kim: (chapter 77) He would do anything to cure Yoon Seungho implying that he wouldn’t mind spending money for the main lead’s treatment. However, the truth was that he refused to send for the physician, when the young boy was sick after the straw mat beating. (chapter 77) This means that he broke his promise. Striking is that the vow to the butler was introduced in connection to the patio!! When the readers hear this promise, this is what we see shortly after. (chapter 77) Secondly, the elder master Yoon was seen shortly after there. (chapter 77) That’s how I realized that the elder master was connected to this patio in front of the building. Thus Byeonduck showed us him in this place in the gibang (chapter 87) Finally, there exists the flashbulb from Yoon Seungho’s memory: (chapter 55) My avid readers will certainly recall how I had claimed that this scene was representing Lee Jihwa and father Lee. I am not changing my mind, but I would like to point out that this story is built like a kaleidoscope and as such, each image is actually a reflection. Thereby I come to the conclusion that in this panel, the young boy and the elder are in verity embodying 4 people: the boy is Lee Jihwa and Yoon Seung-Won, as for the elder, it is father Lee and the elder Yoon. Why? It is because the punishments were related to the Lees’ behavior and words. There is no ambiguity that elder Lee intervened to protect his son’s reputation. In other words, father Yoon was seen in the patio in chapter 55. Then when he visited the physician, he remained outside too contrary to the main leads. (chapter 57) It was, as if the elder master had nothing to hide, for the domestic and the butler could hear him. However, the latter got deceived. There is no ambiguity that the valet and the young master trusted him. On the other hand, the valet was the one who introduced him to the physician, like we could see here. (chapter 57) But what does it mean? First, it shows that Yoon Chang-Hyeon was never seen in the bedchamber!! In other words, his power was fake. This interpretation gets validated, when I use the confrontation between Heena and Yoon Seungho. (chapter 65) In that very same place, the protagonist had been insulted and could do nothing, for neither Kim nor his staff intervened. And this perception reinforces my perception that the patriarch has always been delusional and arrogant, over-estimating his own power. Moreover, the lord was not honest either. (chapter 65) This shows that the patio is connected to violence, hypocrisy, deceptions and offenses.

Moreover, the patio in front of the bedchamber where anyone can see and hear the elder Yoon reminded me of the learned sir who selected the pavilion to incite the painter to disobey his host and sponsor. That’s why I started suspecting Yoon Chang-Hyeon again, if he had not manipulated the butler in the past and this on purpose. Moreover, since in Painter Of The Night, the room embodies memories and the unconscious, I deduce that the patio is exposing Yoon Chang-Hyeon’s true personality. He lacks not only integrity, but also knowledge. Let’s not forget that knowledge is acquired through reading and experiences. But in the patio, there is no book… and the person can only witness what is happening in the courtyard. This means that the view is limited and the person is not interacting with people. This explains why the man is stupid and superficial. Because of this new discovery, I had another revelation!!

According to the main lead, only his grand-father had a government post. (chapter 7) Then in the study, Yoon Seungho confessed that his father had been dismissed from his post which contradicts the previous statement. (chapter 80) But how did Yoon Chang-Hyeon obtain his office then? Then the expression “follow in his footsteps” caught my attention. That’s how I realized that the elder master never passed the civil service examination!! In truth, he failed terribly. How can I be so sure about this? First, the civil service examination consists of different tests. Secondly the idiom from Yoon Seungho indicates an gradual rise in the grandfather’s career which is not reflected in the lord’s confession to the messenger. Finally, in front of the mirror of truth, the father voiced the following wish: (chapter 86) This expectation exposes that this had not happened in the past. But why didn’t he expect this from Yoon Seungho earlier, though the latter had such a good notoriety? It is because he desired to be admired himself. He viewed himself as the Yoons. Thus he said this to his son: (chapter 86) This means that he was using his own sons for his own career, though he claims that he is doing for the Yoons’ notoriety. In other words, the patriarch’s position was obtained through sexual favors. But since the king was the sponsor, there is no ambiguity that at some point, the elder master must have started dreaming even bigger, similar to the scholar: (chapter 18) Hence I have the impression that he must have acted, as if he was the king’s relative. Hence he asked to be called by a certain title. This could only infuriate the mysterious lord Song, for the latter was hiding his sodomy and debauchery behind closed doors. No one was supposed to make a connection between him and the Yoons. However, I don’t think that the elder master Yoon had planned everything from the start. He had definitely been misguided, for in season 1 and 3, we could see that he was believing blindly what people would say to him. He never doubted his son’s words, when the latter said that Yoon Seungho had given him such a paper. (chapter 44) And it is the same with father Lee. That’s the reason why I still think that he had been manipulated. He was pushed to sell his own son, thinking that the Yoons would benefit from it. However, this was just a delusion, as he was dependent on the monarch’s benevolence.

Therefore I came to realize that the confrontation in the bedchamber in chapter 83 was actually organized to mock the elder master, but not only by Kim. (chapter 83) Here, he was confronted with reality. His power came from prostitution and nothing more! From my point of view, this scene was a reflection of the night in the study with Min: (chapter 53) But Yoon Chang-Hyeon refused to admit it, it went so far that he was denying his relationship with Yoon Seungho. He was just an animal. (chapter 83) The reason why I am connecting it to episode 53 is because of The Joker’s smile which reminded me of lord Song’s evil smirk. The man had a view to the patio, hence he could see who could enter the bedchamber or not. And observe that when the brutal father was in the bedchamber, the main lead never replied to him. This could only reinforce the man’s delusion and greed. That’s the reason why Yoon Seungho had to live in the barn and was not dressed properly. The elder master Yoon was avoiding his son for this reason. He was closing an eye to the truth. And that’s how he could convince himself that Yoon Seungho was just a sodomite. In other words, he came to believe his own lies, while in the beginning, he had definitely been deceived himself. To sum up, his evolution stands in opposition to Lee Jihwa. Instead of suffering from guilt and shame, he came to adopt this philosophy, Yoon Seungho is responsible for everything. His hatred towards the protagonist could only increase. But reality caught up with him during the same night! He ended losing his power, as all the noble families supporting him vanished. He had promised to cure his son, he ended up as a wreck. His health deteriorated, hence he is much thinner now. (chapter 87) He was paying the price for his lies about the cure. Furthermore, the manhwaphiles will realize that he is no longer seen in the patio. (chapter 44) This explicates why he refused to bid farewell to Yoon Seung-Won from the patio. This means that he chose to live in the bedroom, totally cut off from the world. And this leads me to the following observation. Once he met his son after such a long time, he refused to accept the verity. He was responsible for the situation and for Yoon Seungho’s suffering. This shows that his self-manipulations can no longer be removed. He remained once again totally delusional, thinking that the treason was just a subterfuge! (chapter 86) Why? It is because the young lord was supported by the “king”. But since he had cut ties with the main lead in the past, treating him like a servant, there is no doubt that the pedophile doesn’t view Yoon Chang-Hyeon in a good light. Hence the son became the true owner of the mansion. In the bedchamber, the father was confronted with the consequences of his decisions and lies. He had lost everything: his position as the head of the family, the propriety, the wealth and the connections. Thus he was left speechless. (chapter 86) But when he arrived in the study, this is what he saw. This picture revealed his greed and ambition (chapter 86), but he would never admit it. This is no coincidence that the open door is reflected with the shadow. He claimed to contribute to the lineage of the Yoons, but like mentioned above, he was only thinking about himself. This scene shows that he was eyeing for the throne, and this must have happened in the past too. That’s the reason why I believe that he did sell his son to a pedophile for his own greed and ambition, but he never admitted it. He used the family and traditions to hide his ruthlessness and selfishness. When the father was on the verge of leaving the study, he expressed his regret that he shouldn’t have saved his son. (chapter 87) This was another self-deception. Without the main lead, the latter would have lost everything. Note that he is living comfortably in the house in Hanyang. So if the young master were to disappear, I doubt that the mysterious lord Song will allow the father to take over the mansion. His regret implied that he shouldn’t have sent for a doctor. This is important, because this signifies that he will be punished the same way, it will be even worse. No one will be by his side to protect him and to save him… no one will request for the physician’s assistance. Similar to the broken promise in the patio: (chapter 77) Moreover, the father acted, as if he was decent and righteous (chapter 87), while Yoon Seungho was compared to a monster! (chapter 86) The outcome of his lie can only be that he will be perceived by people as a monster, as an immoral father who had no conscience at all. How do I come to this conclusion? First, the painter could see right through the father’s gaze. (chapter 87) He was a cruel and resentful father. Moreover, the lord’s words always become a reality. Hence the father can only be condemned as the licentious and depraved degenerate. (chapter 86), the black sheep! Furthermore the moment Yoon Chang-Hyeon loses the house in Hanyang, he has no place where he can hide himself from public gaze. He can only ended up as a powerless outcast. I am suspecting that since he longed to be admired and fawned, he could end up committing suicide, for he is unable to tolerate people’s rejection and insults. To conclude, the father refused to admit his guilt and wrongdoings till the end. Even cornered, he chose to avoid reality, preferring to trust father Lee and the butler’s lies. Why? It is because he envisioned that by removing the main lead, he could take over the mansion, and act, as if nothing had happened, as if Yoon Seungho had never existed. The gods will fulfil his wish so that he can be confronted with reality. Besides, note that the patriarch never stopped his son from kissing the painter, he even followed him to the seat. (chapter 87) This shows that deep down, the man was not truly against sodomy and prostitution. The father resented the son, for he could only achieve “glory” through debauchery and sodomy. I believe that the elder master Yoon was thinking like this: “no matter what” the Yoons’ power and notoriety must increase. In the bedchamber, the man exposed his true personality, while in the patio he was just the fake image of a powerful, decent and righteous man. This explicates why it took the teenager so long to realize the father’s betrayal. (chapter 55) In the patio, the son still trusted the patriarch. In reality, Yoon Chang-Hyeon needed admiration in order to feel alive. In other words, his credulity, arrogance, superficiality and narrow-mindedness were the causes for the downfall of the Yoons and the main lead’s suffering. We could say that the folding shield in his bedchamber truly reflected his personality. (chapter 82) He was just an empty shell, his knowledge, experiences and possessions were just an illusion.

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 rise of the dragon 🐲

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

It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring: Ko-fi.com/bebebisous33  That way, you can support me with “coffee” so that I have the energy to keep examining manhwas. Besides, I need to cover up the expenses for this blog.

1. Yoon Seungho the king

After the end of season 1, I had been contacted by many followers asking me about the possible ending of Painter Of The Night. Many feared for a depressing ending, as Byeonduck had declared that the protagonists would be happy on their own. In their mind, this meant that the protagonists wouldn’t end up together. My reply was that the couple would become happy without getting too dependent on each other. I meant Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum would come to give a new sense to their own life, and their love would help them to have a goal and purpose in their life. And that’s how real couples live. Thus while examining season 1 closely, I came to imagine that Yoon Seungho would become the king and Baek Na-Kyum his painter. As you can see, very early on, I connected the noble to royalty. Why? First, we had the lord outlining his powerful position in front of the painter. (chapter 11) Secondly, I had associated the main lead to the eagle which is the symbol for the kings and emperors in Europe. He was seen here flying (chapter 30), and his fingers reminded me of the eagle’s claws. (chapter 18) And this perception got even reinforced, when I saw this panel: (chapter 52) In this scene, he was sitting like a king surrounded by his “court”. The hanbok had such a design that I couldn’t help myself associating it to Joseon’s monarchy.

However, I have to admit my mistake, for this interpretation was strongly influenced by my own culture and as such European history. Yet, here we are dealing with Korean and as such with Joseon culture. Hence the symbol for Joseon’s dynasty is not the eagle, but the dragon. That’s why when I saw this new image on Twitter , I had another revelation. On the one hand, it actually confirmed that Yoon Seungho was somehow destined to become a king, yet he is not represented by the eagle or the phoenix, but by the dragon. Hence the moment I saw this image, one idiom came to my mind: Dragon king!

2. Yongwang

Because of this sudden association, I decided to look more into it. Thus imagine my surprise, when I discovered this:

https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2022/10/113_324712.html

Yongwang, or Dragon King, is a deity of the river or the sea, overseeing peace in the house, good health and longevity in the family, the harvest, catch and safe sailing. Yongwang is also called Yongsin (Dragon God).

Communities worshipped Yongwang as a water god, holding divine powers to control rainfall. Dragon King worship is closely related to the contemporary practice of staging rituals at village springs or wells that are believed to be dwelling places for Yongwang. Around the country there are also legends regarding dragon springs and dragon wells, created by a dragon that brought rain to repay humans by turning wasteland fertile, which shows that Yongwang is closely related to farming. […] In shamanism, Yongwang oversees not only fishing, but the souls of those who have drowned and died. In the worship of household gods, it is a deity that oversees peace in the household, good health and longevity in the family, the harvest, catch and safe sailing.

Among rituals held for Yongwang in the home by women, the most widely spread is yongwangmeogigi (feeding the dragon king), also referred to as yongsinje (dragon god ritual) and gaetje (fishing ritual). This ritual can take place in three different venues: First is a private well in the backyard; second is the communal well, where, in some cases, a spring ritual (saemje) is held, then water from the well is brought to the home and placed in the kitchen or on the sauce jar terrace for the Dragon King; […] https://folkency.nfm.go.kr/en/topic/detail/2618

The moment I read this article, I couldn’t restrain myself making the parallels between Yoon Seungho and Yongwang. First, the deity in the background reminded me of Yongwang. (chapter 100), though this deity is always accompanied with a dragon and in this picture, the readers couldn’t see one. However, it is possible that the author didn’t desire to reveal too much.

“his most distinctive traits are that his beard, moustache and eyebrows are (usually) “spiky,” protruding in sharp points, sometimes resembling coral, and his eyes are often bulging out like those of a fish. He most often holds the banya-jinju (般若眞珠, flaming pearl of wisdom, a type of ma-niju 摩尼珠), but sometimes a branch of coral or a sword.” quoted from http://www.san-shin.org/EKB-Yongwang-DragonKing.html  

Secondly, we have a strong connection between rain and the main lead’s situation and emotional state. It rained, when the lord had sex with Baek Na-Kyum. (chapter 21) Why? It is because the lord was happy. These were the tears of happiness, which Yoon Seungho couldn’t express contrary to the painter. And this is no coincidence that in chapter 58, it started snowing, when the couple was making love: (chapter 58) And we had the same weather, when Yoon Seungho saved his lover. (chapter 102) The weather was expressing the main lead’s emotions: tears of happiness or sadness. We could say that the lord has the “power” to move the sky.

Furthermore, the well plays a huge role in this story. Many people are found dead in a well (chapter 97), and according to me, the messenger was drown there. (chapter 94) In addition, my theory is that Deok-Jae and/or Jung In-Hun’s body were placed in a jar in order to hide the murders. For me, the jar plays a huge role in Painter Of The Night… thus Byeonduck created such a scene in season 2 (chapter 46) and we have so many jars next to the pond: (chapter 94) [For more read the essay “The secret behind the library”]

Furthermore, this story takes place in Jemulpo, a town situated next to the sea, and Yongwang’s realm is supposed to be in the sea. (chapter 91) This is no coincidence. To conclude, all these elements (rain, jar, well, soul of a deceased), connected to the dragon king, are present in Painter Of The Night. Thus I came to the conclusion that Yoon Seungho is like Dragon king. This reinforces my conviction that the main lead is not only connected to shamanism, but also embodies royalty. So he might not be the king of Joseon, but he is powerful in his own way, though he is not aware of this. And note that the moment he wished to commit suicide by drowning in the pond, he was brought back to life. (chapter 102) Water is his true element.

In different temples, you can discover Yongwang accompanied with a woman. She is also dressed in royal clothes with a small crown. What’s unclear is if she’s another Yongwang or if she’s his wife. And this could be a reference to the painter, who will become Yoon Seungho’s bride, but his true identity will remain hidden.

What caught my attention is that the rituals concerning Yongwang are held by women, which stands in opposition to the shrine and Confucianism. (chapter 85) This means that in the Yoons’ mansion, people didn’t venerate this god. And since the aristocrat made such a statement to the elder Yoon Chang-Hyeon, (chapter 86), I have the impression that in season 4, we will assist to a real ritual to ward off evil and back luck, leading the tormenting souls to the afterlife peacefully.

And this leads me to the following observation, the dragon in Korea and Joseon is perceived as a good omen! He would bring good fortune.

Since the release, I realized that the decorated tree (chapter 100) and this altar (chapter 100) were exposing the presence of a ritual. However, my problem was that I couldn’t determine exactly the nature of the ritual. But by making the connection between the dragon and good fortune, I had now more clues. I have to admit that I can not be 100% sure for this, but this is what I found:

Yonggyeong (Kor. 용경, Chin. 龍耕, lit. dragon’s plowing) is a custom observed on Dongji (Kor. 동지, Chin. 冬至, Winter Solstice) in which people tried to predict the outcome of farming for the upcoming year based on the direction and angle of cracks on the surface of a frozen pond. The custom is also known as yonggari (Kor. 용갈이) or yong-ui batgari (Kor. 용의 밭갈이), both meaning ‘plowing by the dragon.’ When ice covers a pond, there is often a crack that divides the ice sheet into two halves, as though a field were divided along a furrow left after plowing. This phenomenon was considered a trail left by a dragon and, therefore, interpreted as having divinatory power concerning farming success in the year ahead. […]

According to another custom referred to as dongbok (Kor. 동복, Chin. 凍卜, lit. ice fortune-telling), on the eve of the year’s first full moon (the fourteenth of the first lunar month), people left two bowls of fresh water out overnight and positioned them north and south of each other. The next morning, they examined the ice sheet that appeared in the bowls and tried to predict the success of farming in the northern and southern regions.  quoted from https://folkency.nfm.go.kr/en/topic/detail/4622

The timing fits to our story, and we have the presence of bowls in front of the deity in the yard. In my eyes, the shaman had prepared a ritual for the dragon king, and was praying for the success of the farming. Don’t forget that it takes place just before Spring. Consequently, this is not surprising that the lord got connected to peasants and this very early on. (chapter 4) (chapter 6) (chapter 82)

This observation leads me to the following conclusion: Yoon Seungho, as a new version of Dragon King, will bring luck to the commoners and peasants. He will help them to improve their living conditions (education and good farming). As you already know, I consider Yoon Seungho as a representative of Sirhak. [For more information read the essay “The scholars’ fight”] And now, you comprehend why very early on, I expected that Yoon Seungho would become a king. He doesn’t need to become a real “king”, yet there is no ambiguity that his fate is to become famous as a spiritual and fair leader.

3. Dragon and imoogi

That’s the reason why I started looking for more information about the dragon. As the readers could see through the deity, this mythical animal is strongly connected to water!

What caught my attention is that the Korean dragon has no wing, yet it can still fly and he has no beard!! But more importantly, this creature is a combination of different animals: the body of the snake, the antlers of the deer, the forehead of the camel, the nose of a pig, the ears of the cow, the claws of the hawk, the scales of the carp, the fist of a tiger and the eyes of the rabbit! He contains all the strongest features of these animals:

  1. luck for the pig
  2. strength for the tiger
  3. elegance of a deer
  4. stubbornness and resistance of a camel
  5. compassionate and giving nature of a cow
  6. the constant change, the metamorphosis of a snake (cycle of death and rebirth)
  7. the rapidity of a hawk
  8. fertility of a carp
  9. the abundance of the rabbit by sharing its eyes

In other sources, I read that the Korean dragon had also features of the dog, the frog and the sheep. But why does this mythical animal possess so many features from different creatures? It is because this powerful, God-like creature embodies the love and respect Korean people have for the natural world. I would even say that he represents nature, and as such he stands for harmony and justice. By being sharing features of different animals, he can understand their life. This is not surprising that the Joseon kings utilized this animal as their emblem. It symbolizes their power (omnipotence and “immortality”) while substantiating their ability to be fair and just rulers. 

Striking is that we have an allusion to these animals in Painter Of The Night. First, the lord was able to kill the boar (chapter 83) and the deer (chapter 22). Then the lord compared Baek Na-Kyum’s eyes to a rabbit. (chapter 78) Since both resemble each other, I deduce that the main lead has the same eyes, the rabbit’s. Like mentioned above, he utilized his fingers similar to claws: (chapter 18) He would fly like a bird, though he has no wing (chapter 30). His fists in this scene reminded me of a tiger’s: (chapter 54) One might argue that this signification is totally impossible, for the lord doesn’t have the body of a snake. This point can be refuted very easily. What is the major characteristic of a snake is molting. A regularly recurrent event during the activity period of all snakes is the shedding of the skin. This coincides with the lord’s change of clothes. The latter reflected his downfall and rising. Furthermore, this animal is linked to death and rebirth. My avid readers are already aware that I had detected different scenes, where we could witness the lord’s spiritual death and rebirth, like for example in the shed: (chapter 62) When he discovered his misjudgment the next morning, he felt like dead. He no longer saw himself as a lord, but came to view the painter as his new lord : (chapter 66) As a conclusion, Yoon Seungho shares so many similarities with the dragon that I came to view him as one. This explicates why even after getting married, he will never wear a beard! The change of dresses and hair dresses of Yoon Seungho represents the different social status in Joseon society: young master, painter, male kisaeng, slave, peasant, executioner, servant, lord, concubine, “wife”/husband” etc. Moreover, since I had detected parallels between the protagonist and the legend of Dangun, this could only reinforce my conviction that Byeonduck is referring to old tales and religions (and as such Dragon King) in her story. The author has already stated that she won’t create a story with the couple set in our time, and this becomes understandable, if she is constantly referring to old traditions and myths.

According to different sources, the Korean dragon is not born as such. They were once said to be Imoogi , a giant lizzard that resembles sea serpents. They exist several different versions on how Imoogi become Dragons. One said it would take a thousand years for them to become a dragon, while another says they must catch Yeouiju (star) falling from the sky. Thus in temples and in pictures, the Korean dragon is also always represented with a ball.

Another theory that exists and sounds the most logical to me, says that Imoogi was born in a place where living and dead intermingled. It was created in cave where thousands of people were stuck due to war in 420AD. As more and more people started to die in the cave, their intense agony and suffering led the foundation for Imoogi’s birth and therefore it symbolizes destruction and sadness. Imoogi controls the power of birth, death and rebirth. Ouroboros, a symbol of wholeness/infinity is also represented by a snake(serpent) eating its tail.” quoted from https://rtaori60.medium.com/imoogi-the-great-lizard-aca02c6c9b1e

Since it takes 1000 years for an imoogi to transform into a dragon, we have 10 years of suffering in Painter Of The Night. For me, this is not random at all. This means that after chapter 102, Yoon Seungho turned into a real dragon! This corresponds to his Coming-Of-Age. That’s the reason why I don’t think that he will be manipulated again like in season 2 and 3! My avid readers are already aware of the presence of ouroboros in this manhwa. For me, Kim symbolizes the imoogi and Ouroboros! He could never turn into a real dragon. But why does the imoogi need to wait for so long ? Some say that this is a curse, other traditions hold the idea that Imoogi are “pupae” or “larvae” of dragons. And they will become full-fledged and full-fledged dragons after being in the ocean for 1000 years. This signifies that time, experience and patience are essential for this transformation. Thus not every imoogi can become a dragon in the end, and that’s Kim’s fate. He was not able to recognize Yoon Seungho as his “yeouiji”. The shaman’s house reminds me of the cavern (chapter 102), and thanks to the painter, Yoon Seungho’s soul was able to escape this “mental prison”.

And this leads me to the following aspect: Baek Na-Kyum is the lord’s Yeouiji, his fallen star fulfilling all his wishes. That’s the reason why the dragon is never seen without his star. One might say that this is exaggerated. However, my avid readers should remember that I had associated the painter to a star, the sun, in previous essays, even before making the relation between the dragon and Yoon Seungho! This explicates why the lord is carrying his lover like his bride (chapter 45) (chapter 102), similar to the dragon in the picture above. His “star” serves as his guide, support and his source of life. Thus when the main lead confessed to the painter for the first time, the sun entered the bedchamber (chapter 55) and as such his heart and mind.

Therefore I come to the conclusion that in season 4, the readers will witness a clash between two dragons, the king and Yoon Seungho! The fight between the fake and the real dragon! Thus when the author released this panel recently, (Twitter), she was actually announcing the arrival of the monarch in Joseon. Hence you comprehend why I selected such a title, the rise of the dragon. “Lord Song” can no longer hide his true identity.

4. Dragon king and expulsion

My readers will certainly recall that the starting point of this essay was this expression “dragon king” which came to my mind, when I saw the recent publication. Why? First, the main figure was wearing the gonryongpo (곤룡포), where dragons are sewn on it. This hanbok is the everyday robe for the king which explains why the latter is always wearing the red robe all the time he appears in front of people. Hence I made this association in my mind: dragon king. When Byeonduck published this image, , she was naturally creating a new story, another Alternative Universe. The student Baek Na-Kyum who got bullied by the classmate Deok-Jae was suddenly sent back to Joseon, and appeared in front of the king’s bedchamber, Yoon Seungho.

Striking is that this panel resembles a lot to this picture which the author hasn’t used yet: The painter is sitting inside a room, while Jung In-Hun is standing outside. Nonetheless, the position of the characters are very similar. This indicates that the author’s new alternative story is actually inspired by the main story!! This can only reinforce my perception that Yoon Seungho in the main story is associated to royalty. However, since it is a reflection, I deduce that this image is the positive reflection of this scene: How did the learned sir react here? He criticized the painter by stating that this was “filthy”. In this scene, the characters are caught by surprise, but it becomes obvious that there is no disgust or expulsion. In fact, the fall of man took place before, for Baek Na-Kyum was sent to Joseon. In this encounter, I detect attraction and curiosity. Hence I come to the conclusion that in the original story, when this scene took place, , Yoon Seungho was far from being living like a king. As you already know, according to my interpretation, the protagonist was treated like a male kisaeng. That’s the reason why I believe that this scene played a huge role in Yoon Seungho’s liberation, the physical expulsion from hell in the end. Since in the parallel story, the student experienced time-travel and as such rejection and expulsion, I conclude that in the main story, Yoon Seungho must have made a similar experience! But this doesn’t end here, as the readers should keep in the mind the following rule: The painter’s destiny reflects the lord’s.

On the other hand, the manhwaphiles will complain that so far, Yoon Seungho has never appeared as a dragon. Yet, we shouldn’t overlook that the phoenix is the symbol for the Queen in Joseon. (chapter 50) (chapter 52) This means that the mysterious lord Song was actually claiming the main lead as his wife in the last scene. Min and his friends were sent there in order to entertain the protagonist, but they failed. This explicates why the next day, Black Heart was seen with a hanbok of lower quality. (chapter 56) It was, as if Min had been compensated for his bruised face by the mysterious lord Song. However, for the pedophile, Black Heart was just a concubine, and not his main wife! Hence the hanbok had not such a detailed and expensive design. This would explain the villain’s jealousy. And now, if you look back at the hanboks from the main lead, you will recognize his ascent. First, he is wearing green, which is similar to Yoon Chang-Hyeon’s color. At the same time, his hat resembled a lot to Kim’s. (chapter 1) Then later, he is mostly wearing blue which is actually the color of the Crown prince. (chapter 11) Yet, his robes initially have no design. Slowly, the lord is wearing colors and designs that are actually reserved for a king: blue, red, black and purple. This constant change of hanboks symbolizes the “snake molting” and as such his transformation and rising. This is not astonishing that on the night of the bloodbath, he had such a hanbok: (chapter 102) Here, he was no longer acting like a noble, but as a ruler. Don’t forget that according to me, the mysterious lord Song had proclaimed the main lead as his unofficial Queen by giving him hanboks with phoenixes. However, naturally, this was never mentioned to Yoon Seungho directly. Why? It is because Kim usually selects his clothes. However, this rise was not natural, as the lord had no real saying in this matter. The real metamorphosis took place in the shaman’s house, when the lord was sent back to the past and as such the darkness. (chapter 102) The moment he left the “cave”, he went to the mountain and surrounded by the wind and water, he changed into a dragon. This expulsion corresponds to the final release, the lord’s mind is finally freed from the darkness, while I believe that this scene is linked to the lord’s physical liberation. .

5. Nightmare and dream

Above, I had mentioned that the painter was the dragon’s fallen star and the love sessions were strongly connected to the weather. If so, why did it snow, when the learned sir left the mansion? (chapter 44) It is because the main lead was thinking that the painter would actually run away. Thus the door was left opened, and he was wearing warm clothes. Yoon Seungho never imagined that Baek Na-Kyum would remain by his side. Yet, during the previous night, the lord had consoled his lover by embracing him.

Furtheremore, the manhwalovers could also wonder why the lord had a nightmare in the bedchamber after their second love session? The painter’s presence should have brought relief. Moreover, during that night, there was no rain. (chapter 71) But this can be refuted easily. First, don’t forget that during this love session, the lord was acting like a servant pleasing his new lord. So this had nothing to do with Yoon Seungho’s feelings like sadness or happiness. He was determined to keep the painter by his side, and ignoring his own feelings. He never expected the artist to reciprocate his feelings. Secondly, Yoon Seungho’s nocturne vision is not just a nightmare, but also a DREAM! Yes, you are reading this correctly. Only recently, I discovered that all the artist’s visions are a combination of 3 elements: memory, nightmare and dream! I will give you three examples as illustration, for I am slowly running out of time.

Chapter 28: This vision is a combination of these three elements: memory, nightmare and dream. This had happened during the First Wedding Night (memory) (chapter 21), then we have a similar situation in chapter 49: , , but the painter was rejecting this future. Hence he considered it as a nightmare.

  • Chapter 34 : Memory ; nightmare the lord becomes a ghost and confronts the painter with his biggest fears (admitting his attraction, passion for erotic paintings and homosexuality) and dream (The painter’s true desire was that the lord would kiss him, he was deeply longing for his lips, yet he was still in denial in this vision.
  • Chapter 98: Memory, for the painter was remembering the corpse in the courtyard, a dream, as he wished the return of his loved one . He hoped that the lord would take care of him personally. Naturally, the “spirit” is the nightmare .

Since the lord’s fate and personality are similar to the painter’s, I could only come to the conclusion that the lord’s vision in the bedchamber is not just showing the past and the future horror. It also exposes the lord’s dream and hope! 😮

So where were his desires visible? First it was about breaking free from his jail… (chapter 74) This had already happened, but the lord had not grasped the significance. (chapter 53) Besides, he had not opened the door himself. Even when he went to the scholar Lee and opened the door with the his foot, the lord still felt trapped. (chapter 67) Then in season 3, he could break a door, but it was thanks to the painter. (chapter 96) This shows that the lord’s wish to get released had not been fulfilled so far. In my eyes, it is connected to the torture Yoon Seungho suffered and as such to the purge organized by the authorities. That’s the reason why I deduce that the lord will break a door in season 4, and this won’t be by accident and it will be witnessed by many people contrary to chapter 53, 67 and 96! The broken door will reflect the lord’s rise and power, and no one will be able to stop this. In my eyes, this wish is connected to the door in the servants’ quarter. That’s how his imprisonment started.

Moreover, the protagonist was voicing his thoughts, the reproach to Kim and his father! They had abandoned him. (chapter 74) The “dragon” wished to see Kim and his father, and confront them! And this did take place in season 3. Yoon Seungho confronted the butler with his attitude and betrayal (chapter 77), but this argument was just short-lived. He still viewed the valet as a hard-working and trustworthy person. He had just made bad decisions. Then in the bedchamber, the lord could blame the father for his suffering: (chapter 86) As you can see, the lord’s wishes were granted, but the nocturne vision was so difficult to grasp that neither the readers nor the main lead could interpret the message correctly immediately. Besides, the nightmare was mostly silent. But this doesn’t end here.

(chapter 74) In this image, he is floating in the air… a sign that his status is changing. At the same time, this shows that he is escaping from the hands. They are trying to drag the main lead down. Thus I come to the conclusion that the vision was announcing the lord’s transformation (into a dragon) and as such his “rise”. Note that in this image, he is still a teenager, but in the following panel the protagonist has already become an adult. (chapter 74) Simultaneously, the vision also displays the lord’s expulsion from “hell”, the sex orgies (chapter 74). the hands are trying to bring him back. This image displayed that Yoon Seungho would become powerful, and the hands wouldn’t be able to contain him any longer. The pink is a reference to the painter, and not just to the gibang! Thanks to the painter, Yoon Seungho is changing so that he will be able to face the KING, but not only him!! This is what the dream was telling him too. Thus we have this image: (chapter 74) Simultaneously, the dream showed that the lord wished to see this painting again, though deep down, he blames this image for his suffering. As you can see, the vision was revealing the tormented disposition of the lord. He was switching from nightmare to dream and the reverse… a mixture of anxieties and desires.

However, pay attention that the painting was standing behind Yoon Seungho, when the hand grabbed him (chapter 74) This signifies that he was approached by someone from behind, he had not noticed that the “door” had been opened. Thus he never expected his apparition. For me, this perception demonstrates that the painting is not the real cause for Yoon Seungho’s suffering. Since he had turned around, I came to recognize that this scene stands in opposition to the situation in the painter’s nightmare: (chapter 34) The painter had been able to witness the entrance of the ghost contrary to Yoon Seungho. The latter was caught by surprise. This image illustrates the lord’s biggest fear. That’s how I realized that his biggest nightmare is not the pedophile in my opinion, for the main lead in Baek Na-Kyum’s “nightmare” (chapter 34) stands for attraction, honesty and love… thus it should be the opposite in Yoon Seungho’s nightmare: repulsion, betrayal and resent! He fears to admit the truth, the biggest traitor is Kim, but he is still in denial. He has repressed the terrible betrayal from Kim, just like the painter’s, though I think that the biggest traitor in Baek Na-Kyum’s case is not really Jung In-Hun, but Heena. This would explain why Heena noona was not present in the terrible vision in chapter 34. This is not random that we don’t see the face of the owner’s hand. Naturally, the king was involved in this betrayal, for Yoon Seungho is caught between the hand and the painting. He was trapped between two forces.

This means that Baek Na-Kyum will help Yoon Seungho to face the truth: Kim is a traitor and the king is the pedophile. The vision is indicating that the butler will betray him again in the future, backstab him one more time… However, this time he will recognize his action. Why? Because this time, there is light in the room… as Baek Na-Kyum symbolizes the Yeouiju, the fallen star helping the dragon. If the author presents another dream from the main lead, we will definitely get new clues. And this brings me to the following conclusion:

Yoon Seungho had been portrayed as a bird of misfortune on purpose. (chapter 86) In reality, he was a dragon, who could bring luck and fortune to the person who would cherish him. This is no coincidence that the pedophile sent hanboks with the crane (chapter 34), (chapter 45) In his eyes, the main lead brought him luck, as all his wishes got fulfilled, and he was never caught committing a sacrilege or crimes. However, since the presence of Baek Na-Kyum by Yoon Seungho’s side, it looks like nothing is going like planned. The main lead is not only drifting more and more away from him, he even left everything behind. That’s the reason why I believe that the dragon, the king, will vent his anger on many people in season 4, a new version of this scene. (chapter 30), but much more brutal and violent!  While this “dragon”, the king, stands for court, and as such civilization and immobility, the Korean dragon embodies nature and hope for commoners who dreamt of ascending the ranks! This is not surprising that Baek Na-Kyum is slowly ascending the ranks, while in the past Kim was acting as the unofficial lord of the Yoons’ mansion.

As a conclusion, in season 4, expect a battle between an “imoogi” and dragons. In addition, it becomes obvious that the winners will be our beloved couple. Since Yoon Seungho was turned into a “dragon”, I am more than ever convinced that he will act like in season 1: confident, perceptive, smart and cheerful! He can not longer be used like a pawn, for the “dragon” can not be tamed! And removing the falling star would signify the dragon’s death!

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: Silent light 🕯 and noisy darkness (second version)

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

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As you can see, this new analysis is quite similar to the last two, as I am paying attention to sound and silence again. Nevertheless, there exists one huge difference to the previous essays. I am combining these elements to the darkness and the light. I had already pointed out the contrast between the noble and the painter‘s nightmare. While Yoon Seungho‘s bad vision starts with the appearance of the light (chapter 74), it is the opposite with the painter. (chapter 98) Furthermore, the silence in the noble’s nightmare took over the moment the candle was switched on. That’s how I recognize a new pattern. The combination between silence and light plays a huge role in the story, for it helps to unmask the traitors. Under this new observation, I decided to revisit certain chapters.

1. Lord Song‘s letter

As you can see, I am reexamining chapter 56, and more precisely the scene in the bedchamber. What caught my attention is that contrary to the other chapters, Byeonduck didn’t choose to repeat the ending of episode 55. (chapter 55) The chapter begins in medias res (chapter 56), which means that there’s no introduction, the story starts in the middle of the action. And now, it is important to question ourselves about the intention of the author. Why did she change her MO? I found the answer the instant I realized the importance of the two following aspects. The light… and the sound, in this case: HAA… (chapter 56) In the past I used to think that this scene had occurred early in the morning. But now, I am thinking otherwise. In truth, right after receiving the letter, the butler went to the bedchamber directly and woke up his master!! This signifies that this scene took place during the night. But how did he do it? He just needed to remove the light from the bed and lit other candles. That’s the reason why the candles are positioned like during the night of the brother’s visit. (chapter 56) Besides, the manhwaphiles should remember the way the room was enlightened, when Baek Na-Kyum was keeping company to his lover. (chapter 55) It was quite dark. (chapter 55) And strangely, the main lead could sleep comfortably. He was not plagued by a nightmare. (chapter 55) He could even sense the artist’s presence unconsciously, therefore he confirmed his affection for the painter. And now, you can imagine what happened. Once the valet received the letter, he went to the bedchamber directly and sent Baek Na-Kyum back to his bedroom under the pretense that he would take care of his master himself. However, the moment Baek Na-Kyum had left his side, the valet lit more candles (chapter 74) and positioned them far away, which triggered the lord’s nightmare. But why? It is because the light creates shadows like this one. (chapter special episode 3) Note that there’s no candle placed next to the entrance of the lord’s bedchamber for that reason. The noble only feels comfortable, if the light is situated close to his face, because that way he won’t see any shadow. Thus we have such a scene in the first season. (chapter 35) The candles are always placed next to his bed. And now you comprehend why the lord moved to the patio during their first night together. (chapter 38) He didn’t want to disturb the painter in his sleep, for he needs light during the night, but only next to him. This explicates why Yoon Seungho woke up from his nightmare right away, when the bougie had been blown out. (chapter 74) But how did it happen? Was it the work from the wind or the candle was extinguished by the protagonist’s heavy breath or was Kim behind this? Because I had no answer before, I had not mentioned this observation. Fortunately, my friend Luzyla came to my rescue and gave me the answer which I totally support. Kim must have intervened during that night, because for the first time, the nightmare was becoming more precise. But how did she confirm my suspicion? It is because the butler had this image, when he tried to convince the painter that nothing would change. This panel (chapter 87) represented the butler’s memory. This means that the butler must have seen him from the outside. He didn’t want the painter to discover the lord’s suffering. And it worked, for the lord never let this transpire to the painter after that night. And now, you comprehend why the butler had to make sure that the couple would no longer sleep together at the end of the second season. But let’s return our attention to episode 56.

So when the butler placed the candlestick on the commode, he caused a flashback to the main lead. But the valet knew about this. However, he chose to feign ignorance and must have said something similar: (chapter 34) The entire time he acted, as if Yoon Seungho was fine, for he was conscious. Then he gave the letter to his master and knelt far away from him while looking down. (chapter 56) On the surface, it looked like Kim was showing great respect to his lord. Yet the reality was totally different. He was avoiding his gaze and didn’t want to be near him. The butler’s attitude explicates why in chapter 86, the lord pushed the artist away. (chapter 86) The former has long internalized that he is scary and dirty. Yet the truth is that the butler’s gaze reflects his hatred, for he considers him as responsible for his own misery. Don’t forget that he is tormented in the presence of Yoon Seungho. The latter is a reminder of his own sins. To sum up, for Kim, the reason for his distance and avoidance is simple. He doesn’t want to be confronted with Yoon Seungho’s suffering, for he is refusing to admit his own guilt. The protagonist already knows about this unconsciously. Thus he hid his gaze the entire time. (chapter 56) The first “HAA” weren’t laughs, but the sign of a panic attack. Yes, for the first time the manhwaphiles discovered the lord’s health issue (flashback), but no one truly grasped, not even me. I had imagined that his heavy breathing was related more to pain and his illness. I only recognized the existence of the panic disorder in episode 66, though I was already aware of his PTSD.

In the scene from chapter 56, the valet was following his own philosophy: (chapter 86) He pretended he saw and heard nothing. But how can I be so sure that it was the night? Simply because all the windows were all closed. Thus Byeonduck drew such an image: (chapter 56) Besides, observe that there is more light in the bedchamber, when the butler entered the room later: (chapter 56)

Another important detail is this. Kim was supposed to fetch the medicine for his master, yet when he was kneeling in front of the lord, the manhwalovers can detect the absence of water or teas. (chapter 56) So where is the medicine? But this question only came to my mind, as soon as I realized that this conversation took place during the night.

And now, it is important to determine the purpose of his intervention. Why would he lit the bougies and awaken Yoon Seungho, fully aware that this would trigger a panic attack? Simply because of the letter from lord Song. (chapter 56) He wanted to wash off his hands on this. The moment he conveyed the message to the master, it was no longer his responsibility. If lord Song had truly sent the missive, then Kim could say that this had been his master’s decision to refuse to follow the request, if they were confronted for their disobedience. This means that Kim was lying, when he said, “I am sure lord Song will understand”. He was just expressing an expectation, but there was no guarantee that the mysterious man would be very understanding. In addition, one idiom caught my attention: “If” This was a condition and not a real statement. Kim never said that since Yoon Seungho was ill, he could refuse the invitation. This signifies that the valet refused to confirm the noble’s illness. It was Yoon Seungho’s choice to say if he was feeling ill or not. To conclude, he refused to assume any responsibility. And now, you comprehend why Byeonduck added a drop of sweat on the butler’s face. This was showing his discomfort and deceptions. The man didn’t want to be associated to the noble and become responsible for him.

That’s how I realized another aspect: Kim has always been acting, as if he was helpless. “He couldn’t do anything!” However, this scene exposed his huge hypocrisy. He could have comforted his master with words here and offer real support. He was totally silent in that matter. He chose to occult the flashback. On the other hand, he was definitely good at lip service, for many readers saw his words as genuine concern. People had even the impression that Kim was oozing responsibility, calmness and rationality. But this was not the case, deep down he was so scared, thus the moment the name was spoken, he had some difficulties to swallow his saliva. (chapter 56)

This explicates why at no moment, Kim was willing to protect Yoon Seungho. (chapter 56) The former would give him suggestions, but Kim never made a promise that he would help him as a witness. Note the absence of the personal pronoun “I”, whereas “you” is constantly used. The only time he employs “I” is concerning belief and expectation. But his cowardice doesn’t end here. Once he was asked about the artist’s whereabouts, (chapter 56) he proposed to fetch the boy. Why? It is because the butler didn’t want to be confronted any longer with the lord’s panic attack, though he had been the one to trigger it! But he didn’t care, for his true goal was to save his own skin. Should lord Song get angry, Kim could definitely use the truth to his advantage. He had delivered the letter right away, and the noble had been well enough, since he woke up and read him the content. (chapter 56) 🙄 Under this new light, I couldn’t help myself shaking my head, when I read this from the butler. (chapter 56) His words implied that the lord had woken up on his own, whereas in reality the butler was the cause for this. Kim knew that his master would never go back to sleep after their conversation. This explicates why the candlestick was placed again at the head of the bed. (chapter 56) I can envision that the valet had left his lord behind under the pretense that he should go back to sleep, for he was still sick.

Then I wondered myself why Yoon Seungho would read the missive loud. It is because he believes that the butler can not read. However, what he doesn’t know is that the man can read calligraphes. This explicates why he handed over the letter immediately. He couldn’t keep it, for if the invitation was true, he could have been blamed. And this is important, because in the third season, we have the reverse situation. Kim let the maids deal with the kisaeng’s letters so that if anyone had to become responsible for them, it would be the maids and the lord, but not him. However, as you can envision, Kim must have talked to the maid similarly: “I am sure lord Seungho will understand.” And since the butler got away with it in the second season, it was the same for the maids. Why? It is because it creates the illusion that the maids were taking the lord’s best interests into consideration. However, they had become the painter‘s companions. This means that they had betrayed him. It was not their position to act on their own. As you can see, the maids had a similar behavior than the butler‘s. What caught my attention is that the aristocrat was viewing Kim as accountable for the actions of the staff. Yes, this was the result of Baek Na-Kyum’s desertion and abduction. The moment he used the painter as shield for his own safety and to cover up his disobedience (chapter 68), his fate was strongly intertwined with the artist’s. But it changed, when the lord heard that Baek Na-Kyum was blamed for his insomnia and he hadn’t been able to meet the artist during broad light (chapter 79), he punished Kim. It was, as if the butler had failed to protect the artist. And because the painter‘s visit to his bedchamber had taken place during the day, it revealed his loneliness. That‘s the reason why I believe that this conversation pushed the lord to give the maids to the artist. They should become his ladies-in-waiting so that he had someone he could talk to. However, Yoon Seungho never let the butler know about the true reason for his punishment. He used the father as subterfuge. Finally, we shouldn’t overlook the valet’s pledge: he swore that he would serve the lord. (chapter 77) This means that he was now judged as accountable for his actions in front of Yoon Seungho. However, Yoon Seungho made a huge mistake, because the moment he brought up the father, he was acting as if Yoon Chang-Hyeon was the owner of the mansion. He was now Young master and not Lord Yoon. Yet, his duty was to be a loyal domestic to the protagonist. And now, you comprehend why Kim was reminded of the past, it is because he was put in the same situation than in the past. And what did he do? He made the exact same decision. He sided with Yoon Chang-HYeon, but there existed two divergences from the past. The first difference is that the elder master would listen to his words, and the second is that he lied to his master. (Chapter 77) Here, he was pledging loyalty to Yoon Seungho. Moreover, he is viewed as the eldest servant in the mansion, this means that he is accountable for the staff’s words and actions. However, Kim is making a terrible mistake, for in his mind, past, present and future are the same. (chapter 87) But this is totally incorrect, for the lord is now an adult. Thanks to the painter, Yoon Seungho is on the verge of entering adulthood. Observe that the butler vowed his loyalty to young master Seungho. By calling him “young master”, he treated the protagonist as an infant, but this is no longer possible. This was perceptible, when the main lead met his father. (Chapter 86) He refused to acknowledge him as the owner of the mansion. He took the seat in front of his father. He was now acting as the lord Yoon.

2. Quarrel and darkness

SLAM! What is this sound? I am quite sure that you can recognize it immediately. A door has been opened quite violently. (chapter 85) Strangely is that in that scene, we never heard any STEP, STEP, STEP like here: (chapter 97) There was no sound, therefore I deduced that Kim didn’t run to the study. However, observe that the butler is breathing heavily. It was, as if he was out of breath: HUFF HUFF. (chapter 85) So why would he fake his breathlessness? I am quite certain that you already have the answer. He was hiding the fact that he had been spying on their conversation, which I had mentioned in one of my previous analyses. However, there’s more to it. The other and major intention is to give the impression that he did everything he could for his master. In other words, he is creating the illusion that he could do nothing against the father!! (chapter 87) Yes, that’s his other principle to justify his cowardice, his fear of responsibility. He implied that he had rushed to his master’s side right away to alert him. If asked, he could legitimate his passivity by saying that the father had barged accompanied with 2 guards. But why didn’t he get caught by the protagonists? Simply because he is no longer caring a light contrary to the first season. (chapter 20) (chapter 25) (chapter 36) The night had already fallen, when Yoon Chang Hyeon was present in the mansion. If the butler had carried a chandelier, the painter or the noble would have sensed his presence. Thus I deduce that the butler’s function in the protagonist’s suffering was to lit the room, the moment the pedophile and other sexual abusers approached his prey. That’s the reason why his nightmares are triggered by the sound of a lit bougie and the light accompanied with shadows.

However, this is just an illusion to think that Kim is always carrying a torch. I believe that the butler has more often moved around without light than with. Why? That way his spying activities could not be detected. In truth, he used the light to fake his loyalty and obedience. Even in the first season, he walked in the propriety properly without any candle: (chapter 26) This scene took place in the courtyard. This is the bathroom for the staff which you can see in the background (chapter 30), the grey building with grey bricks. And it happened again in episode 32, in episode 55 and chapter 64: And now look what we have in the third season: (chapter 77) (chapter 82), (chapter 94) and (chapter 98) He is no longer carrying any light, not even for his master. Why? It is because he can spy without being detected. Thus he approached the messenger only after the main lead had left the study. Don’t you find it weird that he acts as if he knew nothing (chapter 82), while he presents himself as the senior domestic in the mansion? (chapter 82) This represents a contradiction. If so, he should have been informed immediately. Thus I come to the conclusion that this scene reveals his incompetence and betrayal. Did he aid the messenger, when the latter got beaten? No, he only made his appearance, after the incident had occurred. And this is not surprising that the other domestic looked down on the butler. (chapter 82) He already knew that he had betrayed his own master through the letters. So I doubt that he viewed Kim as trustworthy. Another important element is that when the butler is seen in connection with the light, he speaks much more, while in the darkness, he remains silent. This is naturally connected to his spying activities. Simultaneously, the words coming from the butler often appear as empty. They remain quite superficial, for the butler is always putting conditions. “If there is anything I can do…”. That’s the reason why the butler doesn’t feel any real concern for the main leads in the end. This is not his business. And now, you are probably wondering why I used “quarrel” in the heading. It is because in episode 85, the butler had heard the argument between the couple. This is relevant, because the butler chose to recreate the same situation in episode 98!! 😲

(chapter 98) In this image, Byeonduck portrayed the servants arguing. They are stressed and screaming at each other: “I told you”. They give the impression that they are trying to do anything for their master. Nevertheless pay attention to the previous image: (chapter 98) The light is coming from the butler’s back. How is it possible, since there is no torch next to the gate? (chapter 98) Besides, you can see their shadows in the ground. And there is no street light either. (chapter 98) In reality, the light comes from the mansion. The domestics are carrying torches behind the door. Thus you can perceive some light coming from the top of the gate. But wait…. (chapter 98) Where is the sound in this panel? There’s only silence except the butler’s voice: “Young master”. If the domestics were so worked up looking for the whereabouts of the painter, then their voices would have been visible in this image. But no… there’s nothing. And this observation leads me to the following conclusion. The butler is trying to fool his master by repeating the prank in front of the study. The servants are supposed to fake their dutifulness. Yes, they are all acting, when the door opened abruptly. (chapter 98) But what are they staging? A fake research, but more they are acting, as if they would do anything for their master and as such as if the painter’s desertion was something they couldn’t stop. YES, the staff is following the butler’s principles. They act, as if they were powerless, there’s nothing they could do. (chapter 87) The painter deserted on his own. And now, you comprehend why the revelation occurs at the door. The gate symbolizes the butler’s deception and hypocrisy.

And observe that the gate could have been opened much sooner. The servants were all waiting for the lord’s return so that they staged this fake search. It was, as if the butler had given the signal by saying “Young master”. (chapter 98)

However, Kim never expected that his students would listen to him too well. 😉They even copied his words. (chapter 98) By using the idiom “damn brat”, the servant reveals that he looks down on the painter. This can give the impression that the latter has been bullied, which is not wrong either. All the servants, including the maids, pushed the artist to leave the mansion. They also abandoned him in the bedchamber, which is something similar to episode 56!! (chapter 98) The women knew that the artist wasn’t feeling well. But they never sent for the doctor and gave him any true comfort. They kept criticizing him. Yes, all the servants bullied the artist. The butler never realized that through his badmouthing, the staff would imitate him. They would chatter idly and fake concern, yet Kim is actually silent in front of his master. He just says the minimum, for the most part, he has to feign ignorance. He acts, as if he was blind and deaf, but in front of the staff he behaves the exact opposite. And this huge gap makes it possible to perceive his conniving personality. However, the main lead didn’t pay attention to the insult („damn brat“), as they had faked their concern. The lord had the impression that they had indeed done their best, hence the main lead felt the need that he had to do the research on his own. (Chapter 99) He believed them.

But why did Kim play such a prank? It is because he had succeeded once. (chapter 85) First, his tricks had not been perceived. Secondly, he had not been punished, though he had disobeyed the lord’s order. (chapter 86) So the valet had the feeling that nothing had changed. However, like I mentioned it above, he never realized that his fate was now linked to the painter’s and as such he was responsible for his well-being. Thus he got surprised with this new kind of order. For the first time, the valet was tasked to investigate outside the propriety. (chapter 98) In town, he can not really fake his obedience and honesty, for his lies can be perceived more easily. He has no control over the town folks. If the lord were to ask the tailor, the latter would definitely reveal that the body was not found in a well in town.

The domestics had to blame someone… and it can only be the kisaeng Heena. The latter is an outsider, she is not part of their “community”. Exactly like the butler had blamed Yoon Chang-Hyeon for his powerlessness.

How did I come to this interpretation? It is because of this scene. (chapter 98) Many readers, including myself, were quite confused first. However, note that there’s light coming from the building. From my point of view, this is the gate. However, this scene took place before the arrival to the mansion. I believe that this scene represents the moment, when the lord left the office of the investigator. But I can not be 100% sure. However, one thing is sure. Byeonduck wanted us to notice the importance of the light and the silence. The lord was pondering deeply, thus he didn’t pay attention to Kim. But now, the noisy domestics brought the main lead back to reality. (chapter 98) The death of the servant does concern him, for it affected the artist. I view this scene as a reflection from the previous chapter, where the gates were left wide opened. (chapter 97) The painter didn’t run away immediately. He remained quite some time in the domain, therefore after the last tragedy, the lord will have the time to ponder about the painter’s question. (Chapter 102) Yoon Seungho was separated from his lover for so long, because he had been deceived. It is only a matter of time, until he realizes that he had been deceived by his own staff. At some point, he will view the staff accountable for their misdeeds.

3. The painter and the darkness

Since I had detected a connection between the darkness and the painter’s nightmare, I realized that the artist must fear the darkness. This is perceptible, when you realize that the painter had problems to fall asleep (chapter 38) and he woke up in the middle of the night. (chapter 84) However, the lord got the opposite impression, for when he entered the study, the painter was sleeping on the floor in the dark. (chapter 02) This explicates why he would always extinguish the candles. (chapter 97) However, he never realized that the painter could only fall asleep in the dark, because he always sensed his lover’s presence. This means that when he reached the aristocrat’s hand, it also gave him some comfort. (chapter 97) Because the artist’s fate is similar to the noble’s, I deduced that this fear is connected to the artist’s past. Why does he fear darkness? It is linked to the vanishing of the candle light!

What caught my attention is that the painter’s dreams are all connected to light. (chapter 6) (chapter 34) (chapter 87) Thus in episode 56, Baek Na-Kyum had this vision too. (chapter 56) In the past, the painter used to sleep with the candle night on. For him, the light gave a sense of safety. There’s no ambiguity that he wouldn’t sleep alone, though we have to imagine that the noonas would leave him behind at some point, if they had to work. Thus I came to the deduction that the candlelight was to create the illusion that he was not alone.

However, observe that in the latest nightmare, the darkness appeared with the entrance of the scholar. (chapter 98) And it was the same in the nightmare of the first season, though it was a little changed. The darkness appeared, for the ghost Yoon Seungho was confronting the painter with the truth. He liked painting erotic pictures of sodomy, which contradicted the scholar’s preaching. (chapter 34) Finally, since the butler is a reflection from the learned sir, this signifies that he is also connected to light.

That’s how I came to develop this theory which is connected to the painter’s past. Why did Baek Na-Kyum appear in this scene? (chapter 68) What made him looking for his noona? What if the bougie was blown out during his sleep and Jung In-Hun was behind this? Byeonduck said that the scholar’s attachment to the boy was genuine, nevertheless there is no doubt that the learned sir was a greedy person. Maybe he woke up, because he detected the absence of warmth, as the noonas had left his side. Hence the painter sensed the abandonment in his sleep, which made him wake up. Consequently, he started searching for his noonas and he opened the door. No one would suspect a young child opening the doors in the kisaeng house. But by opening the door, the artist caused a ruckus, people could hear a protesting child in a room. And during that scene, the artist met Yoon Seungho who was captured by the guard!! This memory represents the night of the sexual lesson. Observe that the color of the hanbok corresponds to the one lying on the floor. (chapter 86) This means that the one trapping Yoon Seungho was not Yoon Chang-Hyeon, for the latter had a green hanbok. Besides, I started wondering why Jung In-Hun carried away Baek Na-Kyum and left the gibang with him. (Chapter 70) Why would he do that? He could have bring him back to his chamber!! Why walk through the countryside and for a long time? It is because he was not allowed to be in the gibang. Remember that he used to sleep in the annex. (chapter 87) From my point of view, Baek Na-Kyum would have heard Yoon Seungho‘s struggling. Besides, we need to question ourselves this: Why is the annex empty?

To sum up my theory again. Jung blew out the candle during the night, the artist woke up and went looking for his noona. He opened the door, when the young master Seungho was protesting. Thus, as soon as they left the gibang, the young noble got tied up, and the „sexual lesson“ was supposed to take place. They used the incident to use violence on the main lead. There’s no doubt that Yoon Chang-Hyeon must have feared for a scandal. Then the father left the building and returned home. (chapter 87) He entrusted Yoon Seungho to Kim. But in my opinion, during the same night, the young noble was dragged to the annex, where the pedophile was waiting for him with probably other guests. That‘s the reason why Jung had to spend a long time outside the gibang. Maybe that‘s how he received his position as teacher. Remember the commoner’s remark: (chapter 29) People believed that he had already passed the exam, while it was not the case. Then I started wondering this. Why does the painter associate the learned sir to the moon? It is because the learned sir would visit him during the night. (chapter 94) The light from the moon comforted the artist, it became his companion, for the artist still feared the darkness. However, since the painter described that he would always cry because of his noonas, I am sensing that the scholar must have dragged the artist quite often outside the gibang. And this could coincide to the sexual abuse Yoon Seungho was exposed to. Kim said that the sexual abuse took place in the bedchamber. (chapter 87) But is it true? I have my doubts about it. By making such a statement, he is putting the blame on Yoon Chang-Hyeon. Note that the start of the sexual abuse began in the kisaeng house. The more I am analyzing, the more I am sensing that the elder master was just a stupid, selfish and violent father. However, if this had happened in the gibang, then he was as guilty as the kisaeng and the other helping hands.

As a conclusion, the painter came to fall asleep in the dark thanks to the lord’s presence. Thus we had this scene: (chapter 50) Both give each other comfort and warmth so that they feel safe. Maybe the FWOP; FWOP sounded like a lullaby to the artist’s ears. (chapter 49) 😂

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Painter Of The Night: Love and Sex 👨‍❤️‍👨 (second version)

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

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When I examined the sex scenes from the first season (see the analysis “Sex or Love?), I realized that each character had different expectations from the sexual encounters. They were either looking for sex or for love, but each time they were not able to express their desire and even to recognize the distinction. Why couldn’t they sense the difference? It is related to the way the characters were raised.

1. Sex and philosophy

On the one hand, Baek Na-Kyum was taught by the learned sir and Heena noona that sex and as such homosexuality was dirty (chapter 34), only spiritual love was allowed (chapter 19) (chapter 68). This signified that in his education, not only sex was prohibited, but also sexual desires were denied. Although love was expressed through hugs (chapter 66) (chapter 68) and caresses (chapter 10) (chapter 68), they were devoid of sexuality. The painter experienced love, but was not allowed to experience sexuality. He was only authorized to paint it for the scholar’s sake. On the other side, Yoon Seungho was raised the opposite: love was not allowed, as it was a sign of submission and weakness. Sex was permitted, because it was considered as a fight in order to defeat his opponent. These were the butler’s doctrines. That way, he could still have a connection to the main lead. If he came to love someone (the pedophile), the lord could definitely abandon the valet and reveal his betrayals. In other words, he used pity as a way to tame the lord. At the same time, sex also served to gain some benefit, as it was an exchange of favors (giving versus receiving), (Chapter 71). I connect this philosophy to the king and indirectly to the butler. With sex, the nobles could exchange some favors. These huge divergences in the mindset explicate why there were so many misunderstandings between Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum, as their education diverged so much.

2. Sex and prostitution

Yet, despite the contrast, both educations had something in common: prostitution. Heena noona hates sex, because it is related to her work. The scholar rejects it, for it is beneath him. He expects the low-borns (Baek Na-Kyum and Heena noona) to become his prostitutes, if it’s necessary, while he can maintain his image of a proper scholar. Father Yoon used his son as a prostitute, and the main lead realized it after his father’s betrayal and abandonment. This explicates why “prostitution” stands in the center of the second season. For Baek Na-Kyum was brought to the mansion against his will, but he received certain privileges, his status was never clearly defined. Although Yoon Seungho thought, he had won the battle (chapt45), as the painter had accepted him as his sexual partner, he had to realize slowly that he was wrong. He imagined that since the artist had remained by his side and was accepting to have sex with him, he had achieved what he wanted: in his unconscious it was to be loved. Yet, it was just an illusion. The painter saw himself as a whore and the master as a man consumed by lust. As you can see, the noble was forced to judge the nature of the sexual encounters differently. He had associated sex to love due to their Wedding night, therefore he imagined that the moment the painter was accepting him, the problem was solved. He would be able to relive this wonderful moment, but however nothing like that happened. He felt never satisfied, as there were no feelings at all. Hence he even had sex during the day, believing that the artist’s lack of experience was the problem. (Chapter 45) While the lord became Baek Na-Kyum’s sexual emancipator, the painter became the lord’s teacher for love. This explicates why the low-born forced the lord to question his own identity and feelings.

But let’s return our focus on the common denominator: prostitution. As long as the painter chose to stay, because he had a roof over his head and could eat properly, we could definitely say that till 49 his stay at the mansion was indeed closer to prostitution than a master- servant relationship, because the commoner was never treated like a domestic. He only had sex with the lord and had some privileges. (chapter 46) He was never asked to do other work, although the artist tried to change his situation. Since he was behaving like a whore, he felt that he had no right to express any thought and emotion. He couldn’t show any pleasure. That’s why there were no feelings in their sex encounters, and the lord could sense the difference. Consequently, when the lord realized that he was still perceived as a man consumed by sex (chapter 48), he changed his behavior. He acted like a real client at the brothel (chapter 48), but at the same time he cornered the painter to have multiple climaxes in order to let him experience that he liked having sex with him. (chapter 49) As you can observe, the lord linked sensuality to love. If he could provoke ejaculations, then it meant that the artist was definitely feeling something for him. However, the moment the lord liberated the painter from his pejorative perception about himself (he is a prostitute), the painter reacted the exact opposite. Now, he was the one using Yoon Seungho, the latter was his plaything. (Chapter 49), his prostitute, for he was the one procuring pleasure to Yoon Seungho. As you can see, the roles had been switched. This means that now the painter had the upper-hand in their relationship. We could even say that the noble was willing to accept his fate. (Chapter 49) Yet there was a difference from the past. Yoon Seungho would feel pleasure as well. This is not surprising that Kim chose to intervene and separate the couple right after. Without sex, the painter had no power over the master. That’s the reason why the butler revealed his knowledge the morning after. The protagonist had to hear from his butler the real cause for Baek Na-Kyum’s passivity and torpor: (chapter 50). Through this revelation, the lord was indirectly confronted by his own reflection: he was indeed asking from Baek Na-Kyum sexual favors in exchange for his stay at the mansion. That’s the reason why the lord had a “relapse“ and kept his distance from the painter.

3. Abstinence and love

However, because Yoon Seungho was now associating sexual pleasure with the painter, the noble was no longer able to have sex at all. Don’t forget that Baek Na-Kyum symbolizes love. Seungho-Ya 😉 couldn’t even get an erection with a fellatio given by someone else. (chapter 52). This was important, because for the noble, it meant that he could no longer have sex with other partners. Without sex, the lord was forced to question himself and ponder on the true nature of his relationship with Baek Na-Kyum. He felt jealousy during that night, he was very protective as well. (Chapter 52) His sexuality had already become an expression of his love, although the main lead was still unaware of his own feelings. That’s why I come to the conclusion, chapter 52 was actually revealing Yoon Seungho’s monogamy, although it looked the opposite. And this becomes truly visible, when the gangrape was about to occur. He felt no urge, when he was with the guests, yet the moment he brought the artist to the bedchamber, he couldn’t stop himself from kissing his loved one. (chapter 54) He was definitely longing for his warmth. This explicates why the noble got so infuriated, when he was confronted with the consequence of his bad decision: (chapter 54) the artist was on the verge to be no longer monogamous, as he would be tasted by other aristocrats. In this scene, the lord would have indeed become a client and pimp, if he hadn’t chased away his guests. Although the painter was indeed upset afterwards about this incident (chapter 55), deep down he sensed that his master had protected him. This night was important for the main lead: he was forced to admit his own feelings for the painter. Therefore, we could say that the issue with the prostitution was solved after chapter 54. Yoon Seungho thought that the moment he confessed, the painter would get scared and run away, but it didn’t happen. Why? Love among men and especially between a brutal noble and a commoner, was a taboo, like Min had underlined. Secondly, if the lord had indeed feelings for him, he had behaved like a beast during that night. He had mistreated Baek Na-Kyum. In his mind, the artist would never accept him.Besides, the painter had clearly denied the affection from the main lead. In his eyes, the painter’s words were indicating a rejection. (chapter 54) Thus I conclude that Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum had come to an implicit agreement: they had a master-servant relationship (chapter 56), although Baek Na-Kyum started perceiving himself as a domestic from chapter 51 on again. He kept following the head-maid and Kim (chapter 51) in order to help them. Therefore the readers could witness the return of the white headband in chapter 52: his task was to paint for his master. (Chapter 52)

However, this new situation didn’t last long due to the artist’s abduction. The lord thought that since he had properly confessed to his servant (chapter 62) here, he whispered to Baek Na-Kyum that he adored him), he would bind the artist to himself.

4. The real relapse: sex, the symbol of submission

Nevertheless the commoner disappeared making Yoon Seungho think that the moment he revealed his vulnerability, he got betrayed and abandoned. This explicates why the noble punished the artist, when he was found. Since they had a master-servant relationship and the artist had run away, this meant that Baek Na-Kyum was rejecting the lord’s love. Hence he could only treat him like his sex toy (chapter 63), exactly like he had wished in chapter 49. The only difference is that this time, the painter was here for the lord’s pleasure. The roles had been switched again. As the manhwaphiles can perceive, the noble and painter had a similar reaction: they both tried to deny the existence of love in their relationship. That’s the reason why the noble stopped the artist from confessing: (chapter 63) They just had a sexual relationship which could provoke pleasure, but that was it. But in order to ensure that the artist wouldn’t run away again, he used sex to “tame“ Baek Na-Kyum. If the main lead could procure multiple climaxes to the artist, then the latter was forced to admit that only Yoon Seungho could be his “partner“. This explicates why the noble kept pointing out how the artist would react to his lover’s body. (Chapter 63) (chapter 64) He was moaning and would ejaculate constantly thanks to the main lead. Yet, during this second marathon, the noble was actually deceiving himself. (Chapter 62)

5. Love and servitude

Although he treated the painter like a servant, as the latter was asked to paint, Yoon Seungho couldn’t help himself cleaning Baek Na-Kyum and bringing him to his bedchamber. (Chapter 65) This shows that the painter had gained a new position: he was indeed a favored servant. He was allowed to spend the night in his lover’s bed and he could see the lord getting dressed. (Chapter 65) The slight change was that now the main lead was aware of this. This truly exposes the lord’s affection for the artist. He might have treated him like a plaything in the shed, in reality he had attempted to show “his skills“ as a lover. He had licked him, bit him and the painter had felt pleasure, though he kept saying no! This is not surprising that Yoon Seungho had denied the kiss in the study. (Chapter 64) Because that’s how he had been deceived that night in the study. (Chapter 49) Baek Na-Kyum had silenced him with the kiss, as the main lead was about to protest. (Chapter 49) When he mentioned the kiss, the symbol for love, in his confession, it was connected to sensuality and not affection. Hence he didn‘t kiss him at the end of the second marathon. As a conclusion, by bringing the artist to his bedchamber, the lord never realized that his action was betraying his words from the night before. They were definitely more than 2 naked bodies. The lord trusted the painter so that he could lie down next to him in the bed. (Chapter 65) Striking is that Heena noona’s intervention destroyed their terrible but short-lived master-servant relationship, because the noble was faced with the truth: he had brought back the artist to the mansion against his will. (chapter 65) What caught my attention is that the painter’s disappearance mirrored the lord’s wrongdoing. Lee Jihwa and the main lead had both kidnapped the artist. That’s why I believe that when he heard Heena’s words in the study (chapter 68), the noble could only come to the following conclusion: he could only let the painter choose his destiny. But the moment the artist decided to remain by his side, he needed to change Baek Na-Kyum’s position in the mansion. He was no longer a servant, but a noble guest. Hence the lord tied the scarf like aristocrats did. (chapter 69) Consequently, we could say that the painter had a similar status than Jung In-Hun. Yet, there was a huge difference: the owner of the mansion was now acting like the painter’s servant. Hence Deok-Jae’s words came true: (chapter 46).

6. Nobility and love

From chapter 69 on, there were two masters in the mansion: (chapter 71). Why? It is because the lord made the decision that the painter chose him, then this means that he became his wife, though at the end of season 2, he was not thinking about marriage yet. He was not aware of this perception. By becoming his official partner, the spouse obtains the status of his husband: nobility. This explicates why the lord ate with his lover (chapter 74) and allowed him to smoke. Then in season 3, he gave him ladies-in-waiting in order to give him some company. (Chapter 78) He even gave him the music box, which was mistaken as a dowry. However, the problem is that the painter was still fighting his own feelings for the protagonist due to Heena noona’s words and past experience with the scholar. He feared that this new situation was too beautiful to be true, hence he thought that the lord’s feelings would fade away. But there was another reason for doubting the lord’s affection: there was no sex. (chapter 74) The painter had come to associate sex with love too. Yet, the moment he relived his trauma, he only found comfort and safety in the lord’s embrace. (Chapter 76) The main lead didn’t reject the painter’s urge for a hug in front of commoners. At no moment, Yoon Seungho felt embarrassment. He treated him like a special treasure. That’s how the painter came to realize that Yoon Seungho‘s love for him was true and genuine. Consequently, he decided to rely on him and to trust him. That’s why in this panel, the painter closed his eyes: (chapter 76) We could say that he was reminded of his own past. When he was a child, he sensed love through hugs and caresses. Since the painter could feel the lord’s genuine affection and warmth, he recognized that even when there was no sex, love was present. All his senses made him perceive the lord’s love: (chapter 76) His words showed his care and concern, then he bought him an expensive music box. (Chapter 76)

7. The symbols for the couple‘s love

But by accepting the noble’s affection, the painter was also incited to question his affection for Yoon Seungho. On the other hand till chapter 94, he hadn’t voiced it yet. As you can see, the abstinence at the end of season 2 and the beginning of season 3 had a important function. It helped the painter to admit the existence of love and more precisely the lord’s affection for him, a reflection of the lord’s situation in season 2 (50-54). Simultaneously, it meant that the painter could no longer deny his attachment to Yoon Seungho too. Therefore it is not surprising that in the bedchamber, when the artist tried to initiate a kiss, it could be perceived as the start of a love confession. (Chapter 80) And now, you comprehend why the painter didn‘t confess during that night. He got interrupted. The kiss was the symbol for their love. Thus it is no coincidence that just after his confession,. (Chapter 94) the painter initiated a long and sensual kiss with his “husband“. (Chapter 95) Since the painter had received caresses and embraces in his childhood, he came to view the kiss as the symbol for true love. And note that the kisses exchanged in the gibang were full of passion and love. This was the perfect combination of love and sex. (Chapter 95)

On the other hand, the lord had developed a different preference: the locked gaze, the warm embrace and the joined hands. Thus when he confessed his affection for the painter in the kisaeng house, observe what he did: (Chapter 96) This shows that Yoon Seungho has always longed for a pure and spiritual love in the first place. His sexual preferences were already palpable in the last love session (season 2): (chapter 72) We could say that he discovered all his sexual preferences thanks to the painter.

Thus my prediction in the first version that the painter would express his love through sex later came true. He tried to initiate it with a kiss. He was moved by the lord’s loving gaze and smile. (Chapter 80) But he failed due to the intervention of the butler and other schemers. Besides, the whispering of „Kyumah“ could only make his heart race. Let’s not forget that his painting in the sand (chapter 1) externalized his own philosophy: love and sex can’t be separated. Note that the couple is is hugging and kissing at the same time! 😍 This picture will represent the peak of their love! Striking is that when the couple confirmed their mutual affection, they did in the kisaeng house, the symbol for prostitution. This truly exposed that Yoon Seungho had been treated like a male night servant in the past. .

As you can imagine, I am expecting a new version of this love session. (chapter 72) in the next season, for the painter is still calling his lover “lord Seungho“ (chapter 99) (chapter 102) This means that he is still viewing himself as a low-born. But note that contrary to the past, Baek Na-Kum is now wearing a hanbok and he has no other clothes. Thus I am deducing that the painter’s next lesson is to drop his notion that he is a commoner. He will be taught to view himself as an equal to Yoon Seungho. Only when he has internalized that there is no gap between him and his lover, then he will be able to address him as “Seungho-YA!“ At the same time, both protagonists will come to realize that they can express their love differently. Poetry, painting and more importantly through their desire to protect their loved one. The lord will start protecting Baek Na-Kyum more actively, just like the painter will decide to show more interests in his lover’s skills and past life. Baek Na-Kyum will feel responsible for the bloodshed in the shaman’s house. In my opinion, the lord will confide to him what happened to Min and the other nobles. I am assuming this, for the lord remained silent, when the messenger of his father came to the mansion. He didn’t want to scare his lover because of his brutal outburst. (chapter 84)

8. Sex, passion and confession

What caught my attention is that unlike in the first season, where characters came to find love and had sex or the reverse, the second season presented each sexual encounter as a sex session, but at some point love came to the surface.

  • chapter 45: The trigger for the change is the noble’s words. The latter keeps talking to the painter asking for an reply. Hence in my eyes, there are glimpses of love the moment Baek Na-Kyum said this: It sounded like a confession, hence the seme became more passionate:
  • chapter 48/49: Here the lord acted like a client. Yet, notice that the lord is speaking again forcing to express himself. And the moment the painter cried and started voicing his own opinion, the sexual encounter was affected. (Chapter 49) The lord comforted the artist and hugged him: (chapter 49) An expression of love and affection, but the painter rejected it, as he mistrusted his own judgement. He couldn’t help thinking of the learned sir’s fake embrace. Striking is that despite the rejection, the painter kissed and hugged back his lover (chapter 49), which made the lord believe that he could only get embraced by the painter, if they had sex.
  • This explicates why in chapter 63, the lord forced the painter to hug him: . Although the second sex marathon starts like a pure sex session, the moment the painter calls Yoon Seungho differently, the lord’s attitude changes. The painter is turned around and faces his lover, a sign that they are getting closer. Striking is that again through their conversation, the painter is pressured to think about his own emotions. However, due to his own insecurities and fear, the noble still can’t trust the artist’s words, therefore there’s no confession. As you can see, love was not absent, it is just that both main leads were in denial.

Naturally, the night in chapter 58 and 70, 71, 72 and 73, are different. Although in chapter 58, the noble confessed and made love to the painter, he was also cornering his lover. The latter was not really able to move. He was trapped under his body, the lord was blaming him for turning him into a wreck. (Chapter 58) Thus he should become responsible for him. Yoon Seungho was unconsciously trying to push the painter to reciprocate his feelings, an imitation of Lee Jihwa‘s confession. Nevertheless, the painter remained silent, therefore it meant that his love was still denied. That’s why it stands more under the sign of dream and illusion. Consequently, the night in chapter 70, 71, 72 and 73 contrasts so much to the one from chapter 58. This time, it symbolizes the lord’s pure love. As such, the sex is already a real expression of love. That’s why the lord asked to be called intimately: Seungho-Ya (chapter 72) On the other hand, this love session was strongly intertwined with the notion of forgiveness and punishment as well. This is important, it reveals that Yoon Seungho had internalized that sex was the expression to redeem himself. He had been tasked in the past that if he desired to obtain “forgiveness“, then he should have sex. And by comparing all these sexual encounters, I came to the following conclusion: the lord’s words definitely contributed to change the nature of the sex session, just like the hug.

And observe that the lord started hugging the painter more often outside sex, but the painter could never sense his affection. In chapter 49, he judged the warmth as fake. In chapter 66, he had a flashback, hence he couldn’t witness his lord’s attention and care. But the lord discovered this kind of embrace, when he helped the painter in chapter 53: That’s how the noble experienced the embrace as a source of comfort and affection. Therefore you can comprehend, why I wrote above that the painter was teaching the lord how to love properly, but also why the embrace became the symbol for love in the lord‘s eyes. He had never been embraced before by a man. And Lee Jihwa had recognized the true signification of this gesture, when he spied on the couple (chapter 43). That‘s how he knew the friend‘s biggest desire: and was deeply hurt after this discovery (Chapter 57) However, this shows that Yoon Seungho is a quick learner, because he knew what to do, when the painter was in pain and destress. At the same time, it explains why he could fake the embrace in chapter 62: This hug stands in opposition to the one at the end of season 3: (chapter 102) The artist was forgiving his lover! Love represents selflessness, tolerance, forgiveness, warmth, affection and assistance which is transmitted by the embrace. Now, you understand why Yoon Seungho was still not satisfied after the sex session in the study, he was longing for the hug. (Chapter 84) In his unconscious, he knew that if the artist hugged him, he would have forgiven him. But he had no idea about it, thus he couldn’t suggest this. So far, he had experienced the embrace from the artist while having sex. Deep down, he had already internalized the embrace to forgiveness. So we could say that the absence of the embrace in this scene was the lord‘s punishment for the fake hug in the shed. And the painter let him discover the true nature of a warm embrace: (chapter 88) This is not surprising that this hug was not connected to sex at all. Yet it moved the lord so deeply. As the manhwalovers could sense it, season 3 was focused on love and sensuality. During that season, the couple was able to voice about their sexual desires and their preferences. (chapter 91)

As for the lord’s addiction to grab the artist’s hand, we have to envision that it is related to the lord‘s huge trauma. (Chapter 86) No one close to him had grabbed his hand in order to show their support. This gesture in the picture embodies abandonment. On the other hand, the painter had been the first one to take his hand and to swear “loyalty“. (Chapter 30) The joined hands were repeated in season 3 , the only difference is that this time, Baek Na-Kyum was doing it willingly. (Chapter 88) The symbol for support, company and responsibility.

As a conclusion, the dichotomy between love and sex in the relationship between the protagonists is no longer existing at the end of the third season. Both have come accept their love for each other. But it already started vanishing at the end of season 2. Although the painter had not confessed properly yet, the return of the embrace and his request for help are strong indications that Baek Na-Kyum was now accepting his affection. He was now trusting the noble, hence he revealed an important clue about the abduction.

Consequently, I am predicting that in season 4, we will see a new erotic painting of the couple, the symbol of their affection which will stand in opposition to the ones from season 1. It won’t be about conquests and as a tool to procure an erection for the nightly activities. That’s the reason why I am now expecting only one erotic picture: the document of their official union. (chapter 1) versus chapter 41 (chapter 41) Under this perspective, it becomes understandable why the couple neglected these pictures. They were all devoid of affection, it was more about prostitution and battle! And here is now the question? Where are these drawings?

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 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 Ghost and the embrace 💞

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

As you can imagine, the embrace between the two protagonists stands in the center of this analysis, because we had so many pictures with a hug, like these two: (chapter 76)Yet, the peak was reached with the following picture, for Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho seemed to have merged as one: The readers can barely detect the painter’s presence: only his head and hand are visible indicating the depth of their intimacy and closeness. However, the title is mentioning the presence of a ghost. The latter can not be Yoon Seungho, because the panel above announces his official wedding with the commoner due to the presence of the red and blue lanterns called Cheongsachorong. These are used for wedding ceremony in Joseon. Therefore who is the ghost? And why do I perceive the existence of a spirit in this chapter? But before revealing the identity of the ghost, I would like to expose the reason behind such a title. While focusing on the embrace, I came to the following observation.

Each time Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho embraced each other, I detected the presence of a ghost. During the second season, we had 6 real hugs:

  • chapter 49,
  • chapter 53 ,
  • chapter 62 ,
  • chapter 66 ,
  • chapter 71,
  • chapter 76.

While comparing all the hugs, I will determine the ghost’s identity each time. In chapter 49 the painter was reminded of Jung In-Hun due to the warmth exuding from the main lead. The painter couldn’t restrain himself from thinking about that fake embrace (chapter 29), therefore he chose to push away the wealthy aristocrat out of fear that he might get hurt and betrayed again. The commoner judged the embrace and warmth as a deception. This means that the low noble as a “spirit” was the reason why both protagonists couldn’t get closer. The low-born was only acknowledging Yoon Seungho as his sex partner and nothing more. Striking is that in episode 76, we have a reference to the hug from chapter 49, as the position of the painter’s head in this image resembles a lot to this one: (chapter 49). Yet the outcome is different, as the manhwaphiles can witness how the painter moves his head closer to Yoon Seungho’s. Moreover, the artist’s gaze is truly looking at his lover. We even have the impression that the artist is smelling the lord’s scent in order to reassure himself. Although the manhwaphiles couldn’t enter Baek Na-Kyum’s thoughts this time, they could perceive the change of his attitude. The embrace is no longer judged as fake. This signifies that the ghost Jung In-Hun has vanished for good, which is even reflected in a different panel: (chapter 76) The lord allowed the low-born to embrace him in front of people, whereas the scholar had to ask the commoner to follow him in a deserted alley. (chapter 29) The low noble feared people’s gaze, his attitude truly showed that he didn’t want to be connected to Baek Na-Kyum. His action was definitely a sign of hypocrisy and cowardice. That’s why in chapter 76, the painter could only come to the conclusion that the lord’s embrace was genuine and the lord’s feelings were not trivial. Moreover, the main character never pushed his lover away(chapter 76), he even lowered himself and sat down on the ground for a while, so that Baek Na-Kyum could calm down. Imagine, when the powerful lord arrived to the place where the main character had a panic attack, everyone was bowing in front of the noble. They didn’t even dare to face him, yet when he saw his lover trembling, the master lowered himself and attempted to help his partner. However, his gestures led to be misinterpreted in the beginning, hence a shop owner started interfering. However, he was stopped with a frightful gaze: Besides, when the noble kept calling the protagonist in an informal way (Na-Kyum-Ah), people could realize his real intention. He meant no harm. In fact, he was treating the low-born like a precious treasure, who needed help. By calling his name Na-Kyum-Ah, the main lead tried to reassure his lover. Hearing his name made the low-born realize that he wasn’t attacked by the jester. This explains why the artist immediately embraced his companion. (chapter 76) Thus we could say that “Na-Kyum” had finally become a magical word like Seungho-Ya. Another contrast to the scene in episode 29 is that the way the low noble called Na-Kyum. (chapter 29) The former teacher was just caught by surprise, hence “Na-Kyum” was said more or less randomly. On the other hand, Yoon Seungho used this name as a sign of intimacy. He desired to give comfort and warmth to his lover. And now, you understand why Baek Na-Kyum hugged his lover by instinct. With his embrace, the protagonist would feel safe, which contrasts so much to the one in chapter 29. Back then, after the hug the learned sir brought the artist back to the mansion, although the low-born had run away out of fright. He mostly feared for the scholar’s life (chapter 29) thus he tried to find him. And now the mansion has become the painter’s home, just like the lord’s embrace. It is a synonym for comfort, warmth and safety. Another huge contrast is that for the first time, the painter asked for Yoon Seungho’s help directly. (chapter 76) Imagine that so far, he has never relied on others. Even as a low-born, he was willing to save others (Jung In-Hun or Deok-Jae or Heena (chapter 65). Surprising is that when he was bullied by Deok-Jae, he never complained and asked for the head-maid’s assistance or his lover’s. His attitude to never rely on others was even more perceptible in his escape in chapter 46. The cause for this behavior is linked to his abandonment issues. Due to his past, he was forced to only rely on himself. Nonetheless, in chapter 76 he changes his attitude. This shows that he is now opening up. That’s why his head rests on the lord’s shoulder completely. (chapter 76) This is a sign of trust, Baek Na-Kyum is willing to trust his lover. By comparing these 2 hugs, I come to the conclusion that Jung In-Hun has been totally removed from the painter’s mind as well. This embrace and marriage represent the scholar’s defeat. From now on, he won’t be able to use the painter as his pawn, because the latter is no longer attached to him. The lord’s love for Baek Na-Kyum can not be used as a weakness, since the low-born is reciprocating the affection. That’s why I would say that this panel (chapter 76) embodies the learned sir’s loss. There’s no one separating them, not even Heena noona who was the last person defending the scholar and as such representing his interest. So was Jung In-Hun the ghost I was referring to? Yes and no… because there’s more to it. That’s why it is important to examine the other embraces.

In chapter 53, the ghost was Yoon Seungho himself, since he was considering himself as a spirit. (chapter 53) However, the painter’s hug made him realize that he was a human after all, and that his fists and punches could definitely hurt his precious painter. Unlike in chapter 76, the painter’s voice couldn’t calm down the vengeful spirit(chapter 53), hence the gentle boy needed to intervene directly. The lord was definitely deaf to the artist’s words. Striking is that here again, we had the presence of danger, the painter feared for Deok-Jae’s life. Moreover, despite his fear and shaking hands, (chapter 53)the commoner chose to protect the vicious servant, but Yoon Seungho too. He desired him not to let his emotions blind his behavior. The gentle and selfless man didn’t even ask for help, he stopped the noble with his body twice: first his face, then he hugged him. Striking is that in chapter 62 and 66, we had a similar situation. One of the protagonists was behaving like a ghost. In chapter 62, Yoon Seungho, who was reliving his traumatic past, almost became a demon (chapter 62), whereas in chapter 66 the artist had a flashback, hence he wasn’t himself. (chapter 66) This meant that in both episodes, neither the aristocrat nor the commoner could sense the lover’s comfort and warmth. (chapter 66) Both of them didn’t feel safe and displayed extreme fear due to betrayal and abandonment.

But let’s return to the embrace in chapter 53, because this incident has another common denominator with the embrace from episode 66 and 76, the presence of a certain witness: Black Heart. There’s no doubt that the vicious noble felt extremely jealous in both episodes (53-66). The manhwaphiles should envision that despite his rage and his terrible behavior, the artist was willing to embrace such a man, which could only make Min envious. Moreover, the low-born showed courage and even strength. He didn’t reproach anything to his sexual partner. He just attempted to calm him down. Then even after seeing how poorly the main lead had treated the artist, the latter chose not to leave Yoon Seungho’s side. Min was definitely certain that after waking up, Baek Na-Kyum would follow his sister and come back to the kisaeng house. (chapter 69) That’s why he was waiting there. He imagined that the boy would be delivered to him on a silver plate, yet nothing like he had expected happened. In chapter 76, we have a new version of chapter 53. However, when Black Heart witnesses the painter’s second embrace, he can detect the huge difference. (chapter 76) This time, the artist is seeking his lover’s warmth and love. There’s no fear related to the “monster”. While in the past (53-54) The Joker mocked Yoon Seungho for his affection, here he can’t do it at all. The noble is not denying anything. In fact, he accepted the low-born’s embrace without feeling shame or embarrassment. He didn’t pay attention to the town folks, he just followed his heart. While in chapter 54, Min was able to separate the protagonists with his mockery and words (chapter 54), in episode 76 Black Heart is truly defeated. And by contrasting these two scenes, it becomes obvious why Yoon Seungho assaulted his guest back then. The noble was in fact punishing The Joker for insulting his lover, as the latter was just reduced to his status: a low-born. He had no name and as such no identity. The powerful aristocrat didn’t do it in order to protect his honor, but the artist’s. At no time, the main lead was afraid of losing his reputation, he is well aware of his bad notoriety. Thus this shows that in chapter 54, the one who feared more social norms was indeed Baek Na-Kyum, which was still visible in chapter 75. That’s why the commoner denied the lord’s affection. (chapter 54)The expression “it can’t be” was referring to permission and social rules. No wonder why the noble felt so hurt in the end and retaliated. He misunderstood the artist’s rejection.

What caught my attention in chapter 76 are Black Heart’s behavior and words. First, he notices that he is too late. (chapter 76) He imagined that time would work for him, as in his mind, no one would ever stay by Yoon Seungho’s side. That’s why he didn’t hurry the second abduction. The latter had such a terrible reputation (mood swings, his huge rage, his violence), yet nothing could pressure the artist to leave the mansion. Even his noona was not able to convince him to follow her and to return to the kisaeng house. However, when he saw the couple in front of the tailor’s shop, his jealousy and greed reached a new peak. That’s why that night he had planned to visit Nameless. He wanted him to abduct the artist a second time. The expression “time is running out” outlines The Joker’s urgency. He couldn’t wait any longer, as he could witness how close they had become within 2 weeks. And if you look at the panel above, you’ll detect the presence of a shadow, in other words, a ghost. However, this is the jester Nameless looking at the couple. When the painter faced the joker (chapter 76), the ghost from his nightmare (chapter 61), the painter got so panicked that he got paralyzed. Only the lord’s embrace could calm him. As you can see, the commoner denominator between 53 and 76 is that the presence of a terrible ghost. The latter pushed the artist to embrace his lover. This time, he needed himself protection. However, Nameless was not the only ghost witnessing the protagonists’ embrace. Lord Min has already become a ghost himself in my opinion. First, he is wearing a black hanbok which I am associating to death. Moreover, because he threatens the criminal to kill him (chapter 76), I view The Joker as a grim reaper. What caught my attention is his reaction, when he saw the heartfelt hug. He had to vomit and this is no coincidence. (chapter 76) Observe that the color green is connected to two reactions: “to be green with envy” and “to be green” (sickly). Besides, we have in French “être vert” as a synonym for fuming, furious and disgusted. Hence it’s not surprising that it exist these emojis: 🤮🤢. Both contain green. That’s why I believe that when Min saw the embrace between the protagonists, he got so upset and disgusted that he felt the urge to vomit. It was definitely a mixture of envy and rage. However, he had to lie to the others in order to hide his “weakness”. (chapter 76) For me, there’s no ambiguity that The Joker was not honest here. First, he has no dark circle and red eyes like Jihwa who definitely drank again. (chapter 76) Besides, has Black Heart ever apologized to others? No. He didn’t even care, when he smoked opium in front of commoners. When he was asked to stop it, (chapter 52), he never expressed a real apology, he rather criticized the other for ruining the good mood and his fun. Besides, he looks down on low-borns and even Jihwa… (chapter 76) so why would he apologize? It is, because he is slowly recognizing that his urges for Baek Na-Kyum are not linked to sex!! When he saw the hug, he could recognize the affection between the two lovers, and he felt powerless. Moreover, he envied Yoon Seungho even more than before. Let’s not forget that Min fears social norms despite his nihilistic tendencies. In this scene, the main lead showed courage and genuine affection, something that The Joker can’t do. Till chapter 76, he thought that he had been bewitched and he only felt the urge to have sex with Baek Na-Kyum. In other words, he wasn’t honest to himself and to the others. Until now, he had always imagined that once he had tasted the artist, his thirst would be satisfied. But the warm and tender embrace made him realize that he was wrong. Consequently, when he saw the hug, his envy and jealousy reached a new peak. He had to vomit. This signifies that the resent from chapter 53 became much stronger and obvious to the point that others could detect it now. Hence he has to lie. But in my opinion, he had another reason for vomiting. From my point of view, while the main lead spent his time drinking and reading, Min was busy smoking opium. Let’s not forget that Byeonduck portrayed Min with such a hanbok (chapter 56) and the pattern reminds the readers of opium smoke. Contrary to Yoon Seungho who only smoked it once during that terrible party, Min chose to keep smoking opium. First, the manhwaphiles could detect that he enjoyed the kick in chapter 52. (chapter 52) Secondly, the hanbok was another indication. Finally, I perceive the lord’s nausea in chapter 76 as another evidence for Black Heart’s opium addiction. Vomiting/nausea are listed as side effects of opium. From my point of view, when he saw the happy couple in the street (chapter 74), he chose to smoke one pipe in order to relieve his frustration before visiting Jihwa and urging him to contact Nameless. This was a new version of chapter 56. That’s why they came both to meet the criminal. (chapter 76) Hence I come to the conclusion that Min is slowly turning into a ghost himself, losing his mind due to his addiction to opium and at the same time due to his greed and obsession for Baek Na-Kyum. The embrace in chapter 53 led to the kiss and indirectly it was the trigger for Min to change his original plan. (chapter 56) Therefore I deduce that this second embrace is forcing him to change his plan again. From my point of view, he is no longer interested in tasting the painter once and have him killed afterwards. Black Heart is now determined to take away Baek Na-Kyum from Yoon Seungho. He is definitely longing for the artist’s love. He has every reason to be so jealous. The painter showed such a loyalty and courage. He is no longer fearing people’s gaze unlike in the past. Then, he even forgave his lover for his violence and mistreatment. Slowly, Min is showing his vulnerability in front of Jihwa and as such losing his power over him. He is definitely less laughing. As a conclusion, in chapter 76, the ghost Jung In-Hun vanished for good, while a new one appeared: Black Heart, who is now dressed like a grim reaper. However, there’s a huge difference, because Min has never entered Baek Na-Kyum’s mind and heart. He has no chance at all.

But wait… you might now wonder why I have not mentioned the hug from chapter 71 yet. Where was the ghost? Note that in this panel, the artist is portrayed without eyes. This insinuates that the artist is somehow blind. Secondly, we have this picture where the manhwalovers could see the lord’s footprints. (chapter 71) My explanation is the following: Baek Na-Kyum wasn’t sure how to judge the lord’s behavior. Imagine that in the morning, his lover had tied him up, while in the evening he was so gentle and calm. That’s why I believe that in this hug, the artist wasn’t certain how he should perceive the lord’s embrace. He knew that it was no longer fake, but like he explained it much later… how long would Yoon Seungho have feelings for him? Therefore I believe that in this scene, Baek Na-Kyum viewed him as an illusion, a spirit who could give him warmth and comfort. (chapter 71) Note the difference with the following picture: (chapter 76) First, the painter’s gaze is much softer and less questioning. In addition, the position of his head is different which exposed that they are much closer now. Besides, let’s not forget that the embrace took place before the long love session. The artist’s reaction was totally normal.

As a conclusion, the last picture from chapter 76 displays two major developments. (chapter 76) The protagonists are no longer separated by their fears and issues. The ghosts in their mind and heart have finally disappeared. That’s why they are portrayed like one here. However, there are now other shadows and ghosts surrounding them, the ones who would do anything to destroy their relationship, like Min, Jung In-Hun and father Yoon.

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 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 Fool 🤡 in love 😍❤️‍🔥 (third version)

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

Announcement: I updated the essay “Painting and desires – part 3”

Like I already pointed out in the essay “Animals of misfortune”, chapter 74 is a new version of chapter 40, for there are similarities in the topics (responsibility and jealousy) and the situation. The main leads are on a date again. However, I didn’t examine a particular scene in details: the walk on the street. Hence this will be in the center of this analysis and by contrasting the two scenes, the manhwaphiles will discover the protagonists’ state of mind reflecting the evolution of their relationship.

After leaving the physician’s, the lord is strolling in front of the painter (chapter 74), exactly like in the past. (Chapter 40) On the surface, it looks like a repetition. Yet, the first contrast are the steps. While in chapter 40, lord walks away and the painter remains immobile first, in chapter 74 the young man is following the lord step by step. This illustrates the progression of their relationship. Yoon Seungho is like his guide and the commoner just follows him, full of trust.

Moreover, in the two scenes, we have a prank (chapter 40) (chapter 74). However, the trigger for the joke is diverse. In chapter 40, he got jealous, while in chapter 74 he was curios. And this comparison between the two pranks led me to realize that the red dot on the forehead had another signification. In my first interpretation about the chapter 40, I exposed that the red dot on the forehead was the symbol of marriage, the bride would wear such a sign. However, if you recall that Yoon Seungho described the painter as a fool , the red dot is also a reference to the Third eye, the chakra. In other words, when the lord put the red point, he hoped that the painter would experience an awakening. By meditating, he would introspect himself and get new insight. That way, he would no longer be foolish. And exactly like the main lead wished, it truly happened. Through the lord’s critical thinking triggered by rhetorical questions , Baek Na-Kyum realized that he was indeed hoping for more, although he claimed the opposite during the conversation. (Chapter 40) That’s why after pondering, the artist visited his teacher and expressed his wish for the first time that he would like Jung In-Hun to become responsible for him, like the former had promised. As you can see, the red dot and the questions did cause an Awakening. But it was a brutal waking up, as the painter discovered how the learned sir truly viewed him: a prostitute and nothing more.

But why did the lord play this prank, not recognizing that his gesture was totally ambiguous? According to him, he was just hoping that the painter would meditate, while in his unconscious, he was already claiming the artist as his “wife”. The reason for this prank was that he got jealous and annoyed, when he saw the artist smiling by simply thinking that the scholar would pass the exam soon. Imagine, the commoner was walking right behind him, yet Baek Na-Kyum was not mentally and emotionally present. His thoughts were directed at the scholar. This is not surprising that Yoon Seungho resented his lover. In the aristocrat’s mind, this signified that the painter was not even enjoying his time with him. He preferred thinking about the learned sir than talking or looking at his lover. In other words, he was standing behind the lord absentminded. And the lord sensed it, hence he looked behind. How did he notice it? It is because the artist didn’t keep asking about the date. There was a silence after the question. And when he saw the blushing accompanied with a huge genuine smile, Yoon Seungho was hurt that he couldn’t help criticizing his lover. Note that with such a comment, the noble is not interested in initiating a conversation, he already knows what the low-born is thinking. And if you contrast this to the scene in episode 74, you’ll detect a huge difference. Although the artist is absentminded as well, he is already meditating about his lover and his relationship. The lord’s back (chapter 74) is the trigger for him to ponder. And this shows the noble’s increasing influence on Baek Na-Kyum. Meditating is definitely the lord’s favorite occupation so far. In addition, this shows how much the aristocrat means to him. All his thoughts are now directed at Yoon Seungho. Therefore we have to imagine this. While Baek Na-Kyum is walking, the lord notices that he is just walking lost in his thoughts. Hence he throws him the hat as a joke. On the one side, he definitely wants him to be present mentally and emotionally, like in the past. On the other hand, note that unlike in the past, there’s no reproach, in truth he desires to discover what the artist is thinking. This is one of the biggest wishes Yoon Seungho has ever had: (chapter 49) The lord always felt the need to share what was in their mind. Now, I can truly grasp why it’s a dream for Yoon Seungho. Remember when I described how the lord lived for so many years in the darkness. He only knew that he existed through his mind and thoughts. But during this whole time, he could never communicate his thoughts to anyone, he felt terribly lonely. This explicates why he had such a huge desire to communicate with the painter. He felt closeness in their soul, which he could detect in the art. As you can see, although the noble detected that his lover was lost in his thoughts, he no longer reprimands him. In fact, he voices curiosity. Moreover, he is no longer claiming that Baek Na-Kyum is transparent contrary to chapter 40. There’s a reason for that. The artist has changed so much as well. He is indeed applying his lover’s philosophy: introspection and meditation. And this leads me to the next observation. There is a huge difference between these two scenes: the chronology.

Chapter 40Chapter 74
criticism no reproach
Prank Introspection
Questions: why? Prank
Introspection Open question

This meditation at the beginning displays the artist’s maturity. However, if you pay attention to Baek Na-Kyum’s thoughts, you’ll notice that he is not meditating about himself, but about his lover. (Chapter 74) He recalls all his actions, and he notes the lord’s selflessness and humbleness. And this truly exposes that now the roles have been switched. The so-called foolish one is Yoon Seungho, but the latter has long forgotten his own words. On the other hand, Baek Na-Kyum is the one wishing more, he is definitely not content with a kiss from time to time, while Yoon Seungho is thinking like the artist in the past: (chapter 74) versus (chapter 40). What caught my attention is the significance of hope. Yoon Seungho is definitely no longer hoping for a love confession, which makes me think that in chapter 58, he wasn’t entirely honest. He still had that dream, this explicates why he mentioned Jihwa. He envisioned that the artist would get jealous. But the artist remained silent. Then he confessed twice (“I adore you” and ) in order to push the protagonist to reply to his confession. He definitely dreamed that if he confessed, the painter would feel pressured to return the affection. That’s why the painter was trapped under the noble and the latter was grabbing the painter’s hand. (Chapter 58) His gestures illustrated the pressure made on the artist. But the master never got a reply. Thus it elucidates why the noble got infuriated after the painter’s disappearance. He might have admitted his defeat, nevertheless he hoped for a confession, as a new form of allegiance. That way, Baek Na-Kyum was obliged by his words. However, in chapter 74, the only desire the noble has is to exchange their thoughts. He has truly given up on his dream. When in chapter 49 the master voiced this wish for the first time, he was lowering his expectations. That’s why I believe that this indicates that Yoon Seungho is no longer hoping for more. He is so in love, and the past Yoon Seungho would call him: a fool!

However, there’s a huge difference between episode 40 and 74. Contrary to the actual Baek Na-Kyum, Yoon Seungho was acting under the influence of his unconscious and he wasn’t aware of this. That’s why he never realized the signification of the gesture with the red dot. He had no idea that he was already in love and he was longing for the painter’s confession. On the other hand, the painter is already aware that he has developed some feelings for Yoon Seungho. He even admitted to his noona that he would think a lot about the noble (chapter 68), which is a similar attitude to the past Yoon Seungho. The latter was confusing the heart with the mind, however the low-born has been just afraid of admitting his affection.

Striking is that in his reflection, Baek Na-Kyum senses that he’s hoping for more. (Chapter 74) The repetition of “nothing more” is an evidence for the painter’s longing for more. There’s no doubt that his wish is physical intimacy, because for the artist sex is a synonym for love. Consequently, he stands up during the night in order to look at the lord’s bedchamber from far away or he is awake, (chapter 74) when the noble visits his study. All this exposes that he is longing for the lord’s warmth. A simple kiss is enough to make the painter blush, but not enough to satisfy his “thirst” for affection.

When the lord plays the prank with the hat, Baek Na-Kyum’s attention returns to his lord standing in front of him. When he sees the noble smiling and showing curiosity, he is definitely moved. From my point of view, he is slowly realizing his true affection for Yoon Seungho. That’s why his eyes are bigger than before, like in this panel. (Chapter 74) He is literally glowing. He is enjoying this moment with the noble, hence he stares at him so intensively. And this represents the biggest contrast to the chapter 40. Back then he didn’t truly enjoy the walk with the master. He was either embarrassed or thinking about the scholar. At the end, he was even called “a fool”.

From my perspective, this scene (chapter 74) marks a turning point in the painter’s love life. He is on the verge of accepting his feelings, for the noble. That’s why we have the color of the rainbows, a sign for hope. He has made up his mind for three reasons. First, he has just admitted that the lord has changed. This signifies that he recognizes that Yoon Seungho is trustworthy. Secondly, he views the noble’s huge and genuine smile. I believe that this was one of the triggers for Baek Na-Kyum to face his love. Let’s not forget that in the past, the commoner was definitely affected by the scholar’s smile. (Chapter 7) Secondly, as the lord is the mirror of the artist and the former once expressed the wish to see the painter’s smile (chapter 63), I deduce that Baek Na-Kyum has a similar mentality. As long as he can make someone happy, he is really touched and thankful. The manhwaphiles should reminisce that the painter has always felt as a burden and had abandonment issues. But there’s another important reason for Baek Na-Kyum to be so affected by Yoon Seungho. For the first time, someone is wishing to know his thoughts. (Chapter 74) Imagine, in the past the scholar reprimanded him (chapter 10) or silenced him with a caress. Heena noona had a similar atttitude, she never asked for his opinion, when she sent him away. (Chapter 46) The painter is realizing that the only one who is treating with great respect is the noble. First, the lord eats his meals with the artist in his room, giving the impression that Baek Na-Kyum is the host and the lord his guest. Secondly, the lord allows him to speak freely. Thus the painter is so moved to the point that he is about to recognize his affection for Yoon Seungho. But then he remembers Heena’s words: (chapter 74) he would be a fool, if he followed his instinct and heart. This leads me to the conclusion that Baek Na-Kyum restrains himself in the last moment and doesn’t reveal his true thoughts. When he recalls his sister’s warning, I interpret that he is refusing to have a leap of faith. However, he is not recognizing that he has already changed. He might deny his attachment to the master, yet the tailor is not blind: (chapter 74) Baek Na-Kyum’s behavior is acting like a man in love. This change of behavior is the sign of his slow transformation, but he doesn’t realize it. This explicates why he doesn’t pay attention to his surroundings and shows no embarrassment. He no longer cares for reputation or appearances. What truly matters for him is Yoon Seungho, the foolish one who is not asking for more. Besides, since the chapter 40 was about responsibility, it implies that Baek Na-Kyum is not willing to become responsible for Yoon Seungho, still too afraid of getting hurt. He has been a fool in love in the past with Jung In-Hun, he fears to re-experience it.

Another divergence is that this time, the lord is declaring the commoner as his wife consciously, that’s why he chose such a headgear, which is reserved for women. Contrary to the past, this significant gesture is noticed by the tailor, that’s why we see him whispering. (Chapter 74) There’s no ambiguity that he will mention it to the other shop owners, creating some new gossips. However, I don’t think, town folks will condemn the lord, because he has definitely changed. After the disappearance, there was no scandal any longer and the aristocrat didn’t organize any sex party. He had settled down for good. Consequently if the artist disappears for a second time, I doubt that the tailor will believe in his escape. He saw how they flirted in front of his shop.

However, as you can imagine, I believe that “their blossoming romance” can be interrupted. We have Min monitoring their moves and after watching them from afar, his envy and jealousy will reach a new peak. In this scene, he was sensing that his chances to get Baek Na-Kyum were diminishing. He could definitely sense that the relationship between the protagonists had changed. Baek Na-Kyum was not keeping his distance from Yoon Seungho. He even accepted the hat without protesting, while in the past he rejected the lord and remained distant to him. (Chapter 54) And in the first version, it came to my mind that we could have a new version of this scene due to the Joker’s arm and hand. In chapter 52, the lord was protecting the painter with his arm and hand, which became true in chapter 76. The lord’s hug gave Baek Na-Kyum a certain comfort and safety. The existential fear could slowly disappear.

Due to the last terrible experience, the noble is slowly realizing that he needs to pay better attention to his surroundings and enemies. As a fool in love, he must recognize that he is behaving the same way than Baek Na-Kyum in chapter 40: (chapter 40) After the fake abduction, he had not investigated the matter, though the painter had mentioned one detail: (Chapter 76) For him, the incident had been resolved, but he never imagined that in reality, he had not solved the problem at all. The real mastermind was Min. Hence after the last tragedy, he is tasked to investigate the circumstances which led to the bloodbath in the shaman‘s house. (Chapter 102) He knows the perpetrator, he is himself the murderer, but what he doesn’t know is how it came to this. The painter’s question is actually inciting the main lead to investigate the matter, and as such to discover the helping hands. Lee Jihwa blamed Min, and the latter reproached the red-haired master. But the Joker asked him this: (chapter 102) How come that Black Heart had the learned sir’s glasses? He has now to prove his reliability and trustworthiness towards his partner. He should become more proactive, if he wants to protect his loved one better. My final conclusion is that in chapter 74, we don’t have one fool in love, but two! The painter has unfortunately forgotten Min’s confession in chapter 52. If he hadn’t thought too much about Yoon Seungho due to the separation and been surprised by Min, he would have realized that his life was in danger. Both protagonists are so in love that they don’t realize that their special relationship represents a threat to others, especially to people who stand for social norms and traditions. Simultaneously, their scandalous relationship is a source of envy for others, as Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho were able to break free from the shackles of social customs and hierarchical society. The couple becomes a symbol of liberty and true love … no wonder why The Joker is so envious. Because both were two fools in love, they couldn’t detect the enemies around them and the existence of the plot. On the other hand, the last tragedy brought back the two lovers to reality. They needed to pay more attention to their surroundings.

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 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: “Love💘 , embrace and caress👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨” (second version)

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

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In my last analysis entitled “The Light in the Heart”, I had portrayed Baek Na-Kyum as someone whose recovery and transformation were completed due to the number of white candles next to the painter’s head. (chapter 70) 3 symbolizes perfection and completion. But I have not entirely explained how the artist could overcome his traumatic past and even find closure. So far, I elaborated that the missing farewells played a huge role in the painter’s trauma, as they triggered his abandonment issues. Thanks to Yoon Seungho’s decision, the artist was allowed for the first time to bid farewell to his noona properly. (chapter 69) But there’s more to it. In my opinion, the physical touch, in the form of caress and embrace, played a huge role in the painter’s traumatic past too. However, before starting to explain this element, I need to elaborate how it came to this.

First, I have to admit that I had problem to discern the true nature of the relationship between the painter and Heena. She is acting like a mother, although the protagonist describes her as his older sister. (chapter 70) Then thanks to my readers @_Winnie_L_ and @AkaiHikariChan who pointed out, the kisaeng is definitely too young to be the mother, I got a new revelation. Since Baek Na-Kyum is a reflection of Lee Jihwa, it means that the commoner was raised by an absent parent too. That’s why we don’t see the head-kisaeng at all. She is also like a ghost, the female version of father Lee. (chapter 67) Thus we have two possibilities. Either the head-kisaeng is someone else and Heena noona took over her role, or Heena noona became the head-kisaeng, but she never claimed Baek Na-Kyum as her son. Thus the painter ended up with a ghost mother. On the one hand, Heena noona acted like a sister in front of him and she requested from him to be called “noona”, on the other hand, she behaved like a mother towards Baek Na-Kyum. Observe that Heena is the only one with a name. The only difference is that the head-kisaeng relied on the kisaengs to raise the low-born, whereas the noble Lee employed his domestics. This explicates why Heena noona started acting like a mother. But this caused her to struggle due to her young age. She was so overwhelmed with this task, that she had to rely on the scholar. And there is a reason why the kisaeng trusted the low noble so much. She was not just blinded by her own feelings (chapter 68). Her decision was influenced by her past experiences and fears. The head-kisaeng judged the learned sir as a good and responsible man. And how could he win her trust? Since the story is constructed like a kaleidoscope, this means, we must have a new version of this during the first season. In my opinion, the scene with the worker is the repetition from the past. (chapter 29) First, observe that the young girl is sitting on the teacher’s lap and the learned sir is holding a book. So if someone saw this from far away, the beholder would think that the scholar is reading the book to the child. It even gives the impression that he is actually teaching the young girl to read. But note that in this scene, the low noble is in reality talking to the commoner. For the young girl, it means that she is forced to sit and do nothing. That’s why she turns her her head to the learned sir wondering what he is expecting from her. (chapter 29) What is she supposed to do? Observe that he replies to her interrogating expression with a smile, yet he doesn’t give her any instruction. I would say, he treats her like a doll. And now, replace the young girl with Baek Na-Kyum, and the latter has to sit there for a while. You can easily grasp why the painter could only fall asleep. (chapter 70) In front of the kisaengs, the scholar created the illusion that he was teaching, while in truth he just saw it as a diversion. This explicates why he utilized this idiom to Yoon Seungho. (chapter 6) Diversion has two meanings:

  1. something that takes your attention away from something else: Shoplifters often work in pairs, with one creating a diversion to distract the staff while the other steals the goods.
  2. an activity you do for entertainment: Reading is a pleasant diversion. quoted from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/diversion

This outlines that this expression is far from anodyne. While we all associated “diversion” to the second significance, the low noble meant the first meaning. In the past, I used to think that the scholar was hoping for the artist to doze off so that he would spy on the guests at the kisaeng house. He was talking to the noonas with the boy on his lap in the hope to discover “secrets”. However, since I realized that Jung In-Hun was the one who brought the baby to the gibang, he had many reasons to go to the kisaeng house. He could hope to get connection to powerful nobles and even get information. However, from my point of view, since he had entrusted the artist to the noonas, he knew that the gibang was the perfect place to hide secrets as well. Remember that the conversation in this precise chapter was about “secret and protection”. (chapter 29) And now the scene at the kisaeng house can only be perceived in a new light. (chapter 68) Jung In-Hun must have come to an agreement with a rich noble and made a deal with him. The presence of the painter was no coincidence, and it diverted attention from the real target of abuse: Yoon Seungho, who got dragged away. The painter and the other noona thought that Heena had been the victim of violence from a noble, but she was not. She served as diversion. Too blinded by her prejudices and own fears, the young woman wasn’t able to perceive the true nature of the learned sir. While she saw the scholar as a hero, because he hugged the painter and took him away from this terrible place, she never questioned the scholar’s attitude. If he had been a true hero, he would have rescued her and not abandoned her. She never got aware of his betrayal. In other words, the scholar helped to create a secret. This explicates why the learned sir is well aware of the nobles’ fear. In his eyes, they all have something to hide.

But let’s return to our first observation: the head-kisaeng neglected her adopted son, for she was too overwhelmed with the huge responsibility. The manhwaphiles should remember that neglect is a form of abuse and it can lead to the loss of senses. That’s why I described Lee Jihwa as blind and deaf. With this new interpretation, I come to the conclusion that Baek Na-Kyum had the same fate. Moreover, his mind’s eye couldn’t get developed. Due to his abandonment issues, he desired to grant Heena’s wishes. That way, he wouldn’t be rejected. However, this couldn’t fill the void. That’s the reason why Baek Na-Kyum drew a lot of paintings as a child. (chapter 1) Here, the witness was lying, as he was distorting the past, the painter wouldn’t draw erotic pictures constantly. The head-kisaeng didn’t take care of her son and during the day, the noonas were all resting so that the painter was on his own. This panel illustrates the painter’s isolation and loneliness. At the same time, I envision that the scholar visited the kisaeng house during the night so that he could approach the noonas, explicating why the boy would doze off too. Moreover, painting was a way for the painter to cope his loneliness and his loss of senses. As a conclusion, the painter was not only suffering from abandonment issues, but also from neglect which made him more and more dependable on Heena noona and the learned sir.

Yet, this doesn’t end here. Each time, Heena noona was confronted to violence, she sent away the painter. He was not just forced to leave his noona’s side, he had to leave the house as well. He ended up in the countryside (chapter 70) , in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by water and rice fields. While some might view these panels as quite idyllic, I interpret these as the opposite: Baek Na-Kyum had no roots and no roof over his head. He couldn’t even find a refuge, which reminds us of the scene in the first chapter: (chapter 1) This picture exposes the painter’s lack of attachment. He has no home, no wall to protect him… there’s only emptiness surrounding him, which contrasts so much to Yoon Seungho’s situation, who lived in a prison. Hence I understand now why Baek Na-Kyum is determined to remain by Yoon Seungho’s side. (chapter 68) For the first time, he has a room for himself, and even if he is pushed away, he can express his sadness and seek comfort in his room: (chapter 41) and (chapter 52). Note that each time, he was unhappy, he was requested not to cry (chapter 26) (chapter 68: he is sent away due to his tears) (chapter 70) If you pay attention, you’ll notice the only one allowing the painter to voice his wound and to shed his tears is indeed Yoon Seungho. Each time, he desires to know the cause for Baek Na-Kyum’s tears. (chapter 1) The difference is even palpable in chapter 26: He left him some space and time to cry, hence when he returned, he didn’t say: don’t cry. He just makes this comment (chapter 26). And like I underlined it before, the lord is always focused on the reason for the artist’s tears. This led to the confrontation: who is responsible for his heartache? (chapter 26) Sure, in the bathroom, Yoon Seungho is still very rude, however he never employs the negation. Nonetheless, the low-born could never perceive this divergence, as the nuance is not so obvious. This explicates why in chapter 41, the artist misjudged the noble’s intervention. When the latter wanted to see his face and as such his tears, (chapter 41) the former refused to do so, because he anticipated that the lord would ask the same thing: stop crying. However, the master wanted to know the cause for his agony, which is totally different. This scene is really important, because it shows another issue. Baek Na-Kyum was never allowed to cry. His tears were associated to annoyance and burden. That’s why he desired to be left alone in the end. He feared that if the lord saw his tears, he would be requested to stop crying. And this fear of letting his tears coming up explains why the painter hid his eyes with his arm during the physical abuse. (chapter 34) Under this new approach, we understand better (chapter 68) why the lord chose to retreat. Here, the master saw the commoner’s tears with his mind’s eye and realized that he needed to give him some space and time again. But more importantly, he never entered the room, giving him some privacy. He learnt an important lesson here: solitude doesn’t stand in opposition to distance and abandonment. In this scene, Heena noona never requests from the painter to stop crying, she just wipes his tears with her hand and caresses her brother’s cheeks. (chapter 68) In my opinion, she hoped that if he voiced his emotions, he would follow her. She had an interest in this, that way she could express her disapproval and use her authority to force the painter to obey her. (chapter 68) What the noona didn’t realize is that the main lead’s decision to respect the low-born’s needs (crying and not entering his room) was the reason why Baek Na-Kyum selected him in the end. There’s no doubt that the lord was associated to home for good, because he is the first one who allowed him to cry and to have a room, where he could seek refuge after getting hurt. Under this new light, the readers can better grasp why Baek Na-Kyum is healed now.

However, my examination is still not finished. I had portrayed the commoner as suffering from the loss of sight and hearing due to his neglecting mother/noona. But this doesn’t mean that he had lost his body too. Since he was deprived of these two senses, he had to rely on the physical touch in order to compensate his isolation. And now, you understand why the learned sir and Heena noona had such power over him and why the young boy was so submissive. They used the caress and the embrace as a way to impose their will. That’s how they got so close to Baek Na-Kyum, explaining why the commoner would lose his voice after all (speech ability). He became submissive in his desire to please his loved ones. He saw in their caresses and embraces a sign of affection. He was not wrong, but their attachment was linked to their own interests. Thus their love was rather superficial.

What caught my attention is that the kisaeng stroke the painter’s cheeks, (chapter 46) when the latter was sent away, But she didn’t hug her brother. Why? It was to stop him from protesting. (chapter 46) But I would even go further. I don’t think that Heena noona used to embrace her brother. This perception was somehow confirmed in season 3. (chapter 94) Here, the infant hugged his noona, but she didn’t return his gesture. Moreover, she hadn’t stopped the laughing nobles as well. Furthermore, (chapter 66) note the huge distance between the two characters in the last panel. This is no coincidence, therefore I perceive the embrace in chapter 66 in a new light. (chapter 66) It was the first time that Baek Na-Kyum got embraced by his noona. And all this, thanks to Yoon Seungho. In my opinion, the kisaeng got really scared and concerned for her brother. And there’s a reason for this lack of worry. She relied too much on Jung In-Hun. Her false perception is particularly visible, when she claims . (chapter 68) Why does she expect this? From my point of view, her words imply, she must have helped the learned sir in the past: one thing is sure. She was not entirely honest with her donsaeng here, as the manhwaphiles can detect the drop of sweat. But more importantly, we have to question ourselves if the gibang was not used in the past to spread rumors about the Yoons again, and Jung In-Hun could heard something. I am even envisioning that she must have reported conversations to him, a new version of chapter 24: Remember that in that scene the painter doesn’t comprehend the meaning behind this order. If this theory is true, then she never saw the consequences of her action, similar to her brother in chapter 24. If she truly did it, she must have justified this, because the learned sir needed it, she was responsible for him. This would explicate why she is surprised that the artist is responsible for the learned sir. Anyway, due to her assistance, she expected from Jung In-Hun that he would take care of the painter. There’s no doubt that she loved the scholar, and since the boy had entered the kisaeng house due to the learned sir, there is a high possibility that Heena noona got close to Baek Na-Kyum for that reason too. That way, she hoped to earn the scholar’s acceptance and admiration. Since the painter was left alone and longed for love, the latter could only rely more and more on Heena noona, especially due to the incidents where Baek Na-Kyum was wounded. (chapter 94) She created a dependency, while simultaneously, she would delegate her responsibilities on the other noonas. Heena noona became the painter’s mother, yet she was never one officially. Consequently, I believe that her bond was not entirely selfless, which became truly visible in season 3. Let’s not forget that the kisaeng was portrayed as quite rude and selfish in certain scenes. The way she hugged her brother was not tender in my eyes. (chapter 68) For me, her real “admiration” was for the learned sir, therefore it becomes understandable why she wasn’t bothered, if Jung In-Hun asked for her help in exchange for taking care of Baek Na-Kyum. According to my theory, the learned sir had brought himself the baby to the gibang, this means that in chapter 46, he could only accept the kisaeng’s request. He had no other choice, for in Heena’s eyes, they were somehow related. From my point of view, Heena noona hoped that Jung In-Hun would even assist her and help her to leave the gibang. But this never happened. In my opinion, there exists another reason why the painter was sent to the learned sir. And it is related to Yoon Seungho, the erotic paintings and the pedophile.

The kisaeng helped the scholar, while the latter assisted her with her burden: raising a boy. From that moment, a toxic relationship started, which could only affect the young boy. This would explicate why she accepted that Jung In-Hun would leave her behind while getting beaten. For this kind of incident recurred, we have to imagine that the low noble and the kisaeng contributed to add another artist’s trauma: the abandonment issues and the loss of home.

From that moment, he was forced to roam around with the scholar during the night. (chapter 70) And now, we have to question ourselves why the kisaeng chose to send away the painter in the end. From my point of view, it wasn’t really to protect him… since Baek Na-Kyum was now an adult, the role of the scholar was no longer necessary. First, the artist was supposed to be literate. At the same time, the low noble couldn’t take him any longer, when the kisaeng got hurt again. This kind of diversion was no longer possible. The man was old enough to intervene, hence not only he could have defended his sister, but also he could have investigated what was happening in the gibang. That’s why Heena sent him away to the scholar and observe that the noonas were not even informed. (chapter 46) Why? Because she knew that they would have questioned her. Moreover, the noonas might have convinced the donsaeng to stay in the gibang. In my eyes, the noona thought that she was doing it for her son’s best interest, while in reality she had other motives to ask the painter to leave the gibang. Unconsciously, she desired to leave that place too. From my point of view, she dreamed that the learned sir would take her away at some point. This interpretation was proven correct in season 3. (chapter 97) In exchange for her services, she had to bring Baek Na-Kyum to Min, the noona would be able to escape the gibang.

Therefore it is time to focus on the learned sir again. Exactly like I had anticipated, the low noble blamed the painter for his inability to read: he would doze off , while in reality the low noble made sure that the artist would fall asleep. Besides, if the painter was awake during the night, this signifies that he had to sleep during the day. And in order to obtain the painter’s assistance, he noticed that the low-born was sensitive to physical touch: the scholar chose the hug. That’s why we see him embracing the young boy in chapter 68 or piggybacking in chapter 70. We have to envision that first he embraced him in front of the kisaeng, then once they had left the town, the noble would change the position. Yet, I believe that Heena had here romanticized this embrace. It represents a distorted memory mixed with fantasy. What caught my attention is that in both hugs, the noble could hide his face and in particular his eyes. At the same time, the learned sir wasn’t faced with the commoner’s tears and sadness. He could feign ignorance. (chapter 70) But this could only work, until the painter entered adulthood. After that, he could no longer use the boy as tool and diversion. Even if the learned sir’s affection was genuine in the beginning, the nature of their relationship could only change, for the learned sir had kept using him in the past. It had become a habit.

Envision this: his ties with the kisaeng house were cut off. And since he had never taught the painter to write and read properly, Jung In-Hun was cornered. Moreover, there is no ambiguity that the learned sir started viewing Baek Na-Kyum as a burden, this means that at some point Jung In-Hun must have felt the exact opposite of this: (chapter 44)

And since the scholar has always disdained the commoners, he could only abhor the idea to keep hugging the artist. The latter was now a grown-up. Hence he used the erotic painting as an excuse to abuse Baek Na-Kyum physically. That way, the noble was no longer obliged to caress or embrace the painter. However, because of this method, he destroyed the painter’s body symbolically. (chapter 34) And this leads me to the following conclusion: the painter ended up in the same state than Yoon Seungho’s. Both lost their senses and their own body. And now, you can comprehend why the main lead can’t cry yet. The return of his tears will mark the end of the transformation and his recovery.

Nonetheless, let’s return our attention to the scholar and his relationship with the painter. If the manhwaphiles pay attention to the progression of the first season, they will notice the increasing intimacy between Baek Na-Kyum and Jung In-Hun. First, it started with a stroke (chapter 10), then in chapter 24 he touches his shoulder and kisses his hands. (chapter 24) With my new interpretation, you can comprehend why he did this. He tried to use the same method from the past: he knew that physical touch would make the artist submissive. And the climax was reached in chapter 29 with the fake embrace and the betrayal: (chapter 29) From that moment, it went down again. We returned to patting (chapter 35) and strokes (chapter 35) and finish with this final touch of the painter’s cheek: (chapter 38) And the physical interaction reflects the learned sir’s loss of power. Despite his attempts, he was not able to obtain the artist’s submission like in the past. That’s the reason why he could only resent the artist. We have to remember that the low noble really detested this physical intimacy, hence he would tighten his jaw or grind his teeth. (chapter 24) Note that in many panels, we never see the scholar’s facial expressions, but there is no ambiguity that he could never truly hide his disdain. But the painter was still blinded by his “admiration” for Jung In-Hun. However, after the argument at the library, the painter lost his sight and hearing again. He was too wounded by the final blow.

And now, you understand why Yoon Seungho’s actions (seeking intimacy) could only help the painter to recover. First, he had been able to remove the poison from the artist’s mind before the backstab in the library. The lord had encouraged Baek Na-Kyum’s critical thinking. This explicates why after the scholar’s betrayal, the painter’s independent mind resurfaced first. (chapter 46) Then the readers witness the return of the artist’s 5th sense (touching) in chapter 49. That’s the reason why the noble could finally get the painter’s attention afterwards. For me, the touching has always been the most important sense in his life, which explains why Heena and Jung In-Hun had such control over the low-born. Then in chapter 52, we assist to the revival of the artist’s sight: (chapter 52) And now you comprehend why Heena and Jung In-Hun were defeated. The hug in chapter 66 helped him to satisfy an important need: he was truly embraced while getting comforted. Simultaneously, the hug is not entirely related to the kisaeng, but to the study. Remember that we never saw her hugging him before. At the kisaeng house, he didn’t feel like he truly belonged there, and Heena would always send him away due to his cry. While Heena anticipated with this embrace, the painter would follow her like in the past, she experienced a shock. Now, the painter was no longer blindly listening to her suggestion. And now, you understand why she kept touching the artist. She was trying to influence the painter through the physical touch. Under this new light, I understand why she said this after all: (chapter 68) Yoon Seungho is famous for intimacy, then this would signify that she would lose control over the painter forever. This explicates why Heena noona is not respecting her brother’s wish in the end. And if you compare the two farewells between the kisaeng and the main lead, you will detect a huge progression: (chapter 69) They hug each other here, the painter can get closure, because this is just a goodbye. The noona asks him to send letters, this means that she is telling him that he is not abandoned. This night was important, because the painter’s abandonment issues got treated. Hence it is no wonder why the painter could move on from the past during the same night.

And now, it is time to come to the final part, the significance of the painter’s memory in chapter 70. From my point of view, we should perceive as a new version of chapter 34: Back then, he recalled the repressed physical abuse. However, his conscious dismissed it again. However, this time it is different. The painter in possession of his whole body is reminded of the scholar due to Heena noona’s farewell. The closure he got by bidding her farewell triggered a long repressed memory too. The learned sir was the one who consoled him in the past. And while he recalls that night, the adult Baek Na-Kyum realizes that the scholar’s care was not fake in the past. He would keep him company and talk to him, he was his companion of the night. However, for me, this scene outlines his superficiality and indifference. He diverts his attention so that he wouldn’t feel sad any longer. But it was, as if he was ignoring his sadness, for he wouldn’t talk about the incident. (chapter 70), He would even smile making him look indifferent. (chapter 70 Then he makes the following reproach: he was lazy. (chapter 70). For me, during that night the artist realizes that despite the huge blow in the library, Jung In-Hun had not been bad to him all this time. He had good memories. This means that he was able to take his distance and look back at his childhood under a new perspective. The learned sir had been there for him in the past. In this moment, when he saw the moon, he was reminded of the learned sir. It might not follow him specially, but it is always there. (chapter 70) The learned sir will always be a part of his life, as he belongs to the past. As you can see, in this scene, Baek Na-Kyum was moving on. Therefore I interpret this scene as a real breakthrough. The painter is no longer under the influence of the scholar. The latter can not longer manipulate him like in the past [though now I believe that he is dead], and this revelation was triggered by Heena noona and her embraces. But at the same time, he is not rejecting or resenting the man. And this interpretation becomes even more visible in season 3: (chapter 94) His heart and mind are now in peace. He is no longer suffering from a guilty conscience. And this truly exposes that the artist’s abandonment issues were created by Heena.

Under this new interpretation, the scene at the bathroom becomes another significance. The lord decided to let the painter feel and see his affection. He chose a different approach: caressing the finger and the hand tenderly, then the chin before kissing him. (chapter 70) However, what caught my attention is that his touch is never to shut the artist’s mouth. Observe that he lets the mouth open, while he caresses the hands, the chin and even after kissing the painter. (chapter 70) He has the right to speak, while Heena noona and Jung In-Hun used the embrace and caress as a way to render Baek Na-Kyum mute. And since the affection through physical touch was a way to win the painter’s heart, there is no doubt that Yoon Seungho is on his way to win his heart. Now, the painter is finally looking at him and the scholar’s influence has been finally erased. Baek Na-Kyum is now totally over Jung In-Hun, as he has now only view him as a companion and friend, and nothing more. He is no longer his idol. In other words, the low-born has finally found closure. In episode 70, his heart is free.

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