This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents: https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/
It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring: Ko-fi.com/bebebisous33 That way, you can support me with “coffee” so that I have the energy to keep examining manhwas. Besides, I need to cover up the expenses for this blog.
Announcement: The 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.
This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents: https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/
It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring: Ko-fi.com/bebebisous33 That way, you can support me with “coffee” so that I have the energy to keep examining manhwas. Besides, I need to cover up the expenses for this blog.
Announcement: The essay “The secret behind curry, apple and butter” has been updated.
Here, I would like to thank my friend Luzyla for her latest observations which made me realize the existence of a new connection!! Before elaborating my new discoveries, I would like to repeat the following principles on which the story was developed:
- There is always a reflection within the same chapter.
- The next episode is mirroring the previous one, naturally with slight changes.
- Each season is reflected in the previous and the future one.
- The author is working on positive and negative reflections.
- Thus the story is going in circle.
- Thus the lord’s destiny is reflected in the painter’s.
That’s the method I am using to unveil the mystery behind Yoon Seungho’s past and as such behind the painter’s.
1. Baek Na-Kyum’s apology
Everything started with this panel. (Chapter 5) Baek Na-Kyum was apologizing for his past behavior. He had insulted the main lead because of the poem. And his words sounded really similar to the butler’s in the library, for they both employed the same expressions: “That day” and “I spoke out of”. (Chapter 77) Striking is that the painter employed the expression “hand”, while the valet talked about “turn”. Why did they do that? It is because when Kim was caught committing a crime, he turned his head! (chapter 68) Thus in the library, the butler excused himself in front of the lord by using the following expression: “spoke out of turn”!! On the other hand, the painter had used his hand, (chapter 4), therefore he described his wrongdoing with the following expression “out of hand”. In my eyes, his words indicate the interference of the butler. Furthermore, the two men had a drop of sweat, a sign that they were not truly honest. (chapter 77) Both were apologizing, as they had wronged the noble. As you can imagine, the similarity in the excuse is no coincidence. The proof that both incidents are reflections is that they have another point in common. The wrongdoings of the low-borns had taken place in front of a gate. The butler had disobeyed his master (chapter 68), and the painter had assaulted the lord by trying to retrieve the poetry. (Chapter 4) Because both characters had violated social norms, showing disrespect towards a noble, (chapter 04) the consequence was that two people were pushed down, the black guard and Baek Na-Kyum. (Chapter 4) In other words, since Yoon Seungho had punished the butler due to the incidents in episode 67/68, I deduce that episodes 67/68 were reflections of episode 4/5 as well!! This corresponds to the rule 2 and 3.
1. 1. Yoon Seungho, the commoners and the Lees
But this doesn’t end here. When the lord caught Kim’s wrongdoing, he was returning from the Lees’ mansion (chapter 68). Since this is the positive reflection, I am deducing that in chapter 4, Yoon Seungho was actually returning to the domain of the Lees, as it should mirror the opposite. (chapter 4) Let’s not forget that just before the great entrance of Black Heart and the protagonist in chapter 67, this was what the author showed us: (chapter 67) And now compare the building to this one from chapter 1: (chapter 1) Under this light, my theory that Yoon Seungho was living with the Lees in the beginning of the story gets reinforced and even validated. In season 1, Yoon Seungho had sex with his friend in the pavilion so that the father and the staff could see the truth: the young master Jihwa was a sodomite. But since we saw Yoon Seungho in that building in episode 1, we jumped to the wrong conclusion that this was his house. But actually, from chapter 12 on, the author was showing us that we had been deceived. This was the lord’s house, and note that there is no building in the big courtyard contrary to the domain from chapter 67 and 1. (Chapter 12) (For more read the essay “Lee Jihwa’s special relationship with Yoon Seungho”) Then in season 2, the main lead forced the elder Lee to hear what he had been denying all this time (Chapter 67), while in chapter 3, he could only witness it from the patio. On the other hand, Yoon Seungho had been proactive during their sexual encounter, hence the father could only blame the main lead for his son’s debauchery. The intimacy in the pavilion was in verity hiding Yoon Seungho’s huge traumas. But due to Lee Jihwa’s confession in the inn, the red-haired master’s reputation got ruined in town and this must have definitely reached the father’s ears. Striking is that when Yoon Seungho confronted Lee Jihwa with his crime (abduction of a person from his household), the red-haired master ran away and hid behind the folding shield. Thus he never apologized to his friend. And it was the same with the elder Lee. The latter knew about his son’s wrongdoing, for he accused the intruder immediately. (Chapter 67) As you can see, the absence of the excuse from the uke and his father outlines that chapter 67 is a reflection of episode 5 and 77. I detect a pattern, chapter 5 contains a superficial apology, chapter 67 no apology and chapter 77 a fake excuse again. Furthermore the manhwalovers can recognize that in the same episode (episode 5), the antagonist Jihwa had indeed wounded the painter with his insult too, a reflection of episode 4. (Chapter 5) This confirms that chapter 5 is connected not only to episode 77, but also to chapter 67/68. We have the same elements: an incident linked to a door (chapter 67), insults towards the main leads, a wrongdoing, the allusion to love (chapter 67), a punishment, but also the absence or presence of an apology. But all of these episodes have other similarities: hypocrisy and arrogance. The Lees were looking down on Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho (chapter 5-67), while in episode 77, it was the butler who yelled and criticized the noble. (chapter 77) By detecting a reflection between these chapters, I had a new revelation.
1. 2. The lord and the papers
In addition, if the manhwaphiles compare the scene with the painter’s excuse (chapter 5) to the scene with the butler’s (chapter 77), they can detect the fourth parallel: Yoon Seungho’s correspondence. 😮 How is it possible, as in episode 5, the noble never wrote a letter? In fact, he gave the poem to the black guard for the investigation. On the other hand, it looked, as though Yoon Seungho had written a letter (chapter 5), while it was not the case. As you can see, anyone seeing the black guard leaving the owner’s study could have had the impression that the lord had written a letter. This means that this mistake must have taken place later again due to the rule 2! The manhwalovers could discover the deception in chapter 37/38!! (chapter 38) That’s how Jung In-Hun got misled. (chapter 38) Yoon Seung-Won had never received a letter, but the ruined painting. The readers only discovered the trick in the final episode, when the father was looking at the picture. And this connection between a letter and a painting was reflected in season 2. While Min stole the painter’s last creation (chapter 56), Jihwa sent a forged letter (chapter 56). Striking is that the butler was the one who received the paper before delivering it to his sick master. These two scenes (38-56) indicate that the valet is related to the correspondence. Moreover, he was seen delivering the message to Yoon Seungho in the courtyard. (chapter 35)
All this proves that in chapter 5, the butler had seen the black guard departing from the study with the paper in the hand, and he had jumped to the wrong conclusion that his master had written a letter. Therefore right after this conversation, the lord’s table vanished. (chapter 5) It was, as if he was not allowed to write any letter. So where did the table go? To the study!! What caught my attention is that after the first painting (chapter 2), the table had been removed from the study, just like the papers. (chapter 4) This was no coincidence. It had been sent to the lord’s bedroom, but after the lord had tasked the black guard, it was no longer there. This is the indication that someone was interfering with Yoon Seungho’s habit to take a brush. And this can only be Kim. As you can see, the appearance and the vanishing of the small table is the element which was reflected in chapter 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. And now, look at the scene where Lee Jihwa met Min. (chapter 67) The table had also disappeared. And when did it happen? (chapter 21) The noble had ransacked his own room with his sword. And what did we see in that episode? A paper folded in a book. (chapter 21) In other words, the First Wedding night is also a reflection from these chapters (4/5, 67/68, 77), for it contains the same elements: (chapter 20) an incident with a door, someone is pushed down, a wrongdoing committed against Yoon Seungho (theft), an apology (episode 19) and the importance of the table. According to me, the valet had put the expensive wine on the painter’s table on purpose. To conclude, I see a connection between episode 4/5, 19/20/21, 67/68 and 77.
And now. you are wondering if I am not drifting away from my initial statement, the painter’s apology. However, I would like to remind the readers that in order to write a letter, a person usually needs to have a table in order to write properly. So imagine the butler’s reaction, when he hears from Yoon Seungho this: (chapter 77) He can not trust his words, especially since he views the nobles as violent liars. Why? It is because there was this huge table. This is no coincidence that right after the valet betrayed the main lead and wrote a message to the patriarch. That’s how I had another revelation. The butler is symbolized by the table! Thus he was often seen with this small table (chapter 11) (chapter 17) To conclude, when the butler saw the black guard leaving the mansion, he believed that his master had sent words to someone! That’s the reason why he removed the table and returned it to the painter’s study.
(chapter 5) However, this was just the poem!! This confusion between a letter and a poem should be reflected in season 3 according to rule 3. That’s how I came to the conclusion that when the painter returned to the annex and took the poem, he was actually taking a letter (chapter 97) written by Yoon Seungho, but he envisioned that this was the Spring poem! (chapter 97) We had the same situation. Black Heart had stolen the Spring poem, and the noonas had deceived the protagonists by faking admiration in front of an empty paper. (chapter 93) Since the paper in episode 93 was empty, I could only come to the deduction that this paper contained words!! (chapter 97) Another evidence for this theory is the color of the paper, for the second doesn’t have a shade of pink. Then I suddenly recalled that the artist had received two calligraphies, the one from his beloved and the other from the old bearded man. (chapter 92) The latter’s work was a copy of Yoon Seungho’s poetry, the repetition from chapter 4. Hence you comprehend why I deduce that the paper in the annex was different from the Spring poem. So during that night, Yoon Seungho left a note to his lover, and that’s how the butler discovered that the artist could not read Chinese, for he saw his master writing in hangeul. But there exists another evidence for this interpretation. Baek Na-Kyum had wished this: (chapter 97) The goddess was actually fulfilling his wish, when she reminded him of the Spring poem.
And that’s how I realized why Kim had suggested to his master that two servants should remain by Baek Na-Kyum’s side and bring him back to the mansion. The reason is simple. The two domestics were to divert the artist’s attention, that way the painter wouldn’t read the letter. If the domestics were present, they could give some information to the painter without revealing too much. (chapter 97) If the lord had mentioned in the letter that they had found the corpse of Deok-Jae, the painter would have believed him. However, as you can envision it, the butler and Min were determined to generate a misunderstanding, to create the illusion that the scholar had died. Consequently, the servants deceived the main lead by omitting the existence of the paper. They had not delivered the message properly.
In other words, the letter is connected to a painting and a poem, yet each time, the paper was stolen or misused. Striking is that none of the main characters noticed the switch or the vanishing. We could say that this was Yoon Seungho’s karma for stealing the painter’s belonging. (chapter 4) His own poetry got stolen. But let’s return our attention to episode 5. Since the lord had given the poem to the black guard, this signifies that the lord no longer had the sijo. Therefore he had to write the poem again in order to mask the disappearance. In my opinion, he must have copied the original poetry for the artist in order to prove that he had not been lying. Hence the paper looked different. And this brings me back to the painter’s apology in the patio. (chapter 5) Why did the painter apologize to Yoon Seungho in the end? How did he come up with such an idea? It is because this had been suggested to the artist by Kim. This explicates why he was speaking like the butler. The latter had actually made a huge error, when he advised the artist. Why? It is because he was mixing cause and consequence. In the valet’s mind, the lord had kept the message, for the painter had offended him. So if he were to confess his wrongdoing, the lord would return the poem, and after that, it was just a matter of time, until the painter would desert the propriety. However, the lord had stated this: (chapter 04) That’s the reason why he had taken it in the first place.
Since Kim had been the one suggesting to the painter to beg for forgiveness with the hope that he would get back his poetry, it is normal that Kim was present, when the poetry was returned. (chapter 7) But where is the sijo now?
In my eyes, Kim had witnessed how the paper had left the property in the past, and he had not intervened. Why? It is because of the black guard. (chapter 65) Moreover, I believe that in chapter 65, he had collaborated with the noona. He had shown her the painting of Baek Na-Kyum, while in the study there was a blank paper. As you can see, in season 2, we had again this connection between a painting and blank paper. But let’s return our attention to chapter 5. The black guard was acting on the order of someone else, Yoon Seungho was not the one hiring him. The butler hates ruckus, his MO is to lie low and act in the shadow. If he had retrieved the paper, the man could report it to the master of the black guard. On the other hand, he could have asked the warden about his master’s request. He just needed to say that he desired to assist him, similar to this situation. (chapter 82) Thus I conclude that when the lord returned the paper to Baek Na-Kyum (chapter 7), Kim must have realized his error. He had mistaken the poem for a letter!! This explains why he repeated the trick with the younger master Seung-Won. But unfortunately for him, he was caught by the teacher who asked the painter about the letter the next morning. (chapter 38) Baek Na-Kyum could have realized that the butler had acted behind his master’s back. The problem is that during that evening, the lord had indeed written a letter to his brother (chapter 36), but the moment the latter interrupted the couple (chapter 37), Yoon Seungho chose to hide it. But why is it important? It is because if the painter had mentioned the paper given to the younger master to Yoon Seungho, the latter could have noticed the valet’s meddling and wrongdoing. On the surface, it looked like Kim had written himself a letter to the younger master. In other words, in episode 37/38, the butler gave the impression that he was a spy, for he was acting without his master’s permission. He had even left the propriety, as he was standing outside in front of the gate. Don’t forget that during the meeting, the brother had mentioned that he had sent him many letters (chapter 37), and there is no ambiguity that Kim had intervened. Here, the lord had said nothing, for he imagined that Kim had done it to protect him from his family.
According to my theory, Yoon Seungho was living with the Lees, and as such Baek Na-Kyum had to trespass the propriety in order to retrieve his tools and vanish!! (Chapter 4) But on his way out, he met Yoon Seungho who had just missed the painter’s departure. But there, he discovered that the main lead had stolen his poetry. (Chapter 04) Therefore he was forced to return to the mansion. At the same time, Yoon Seungho was encouraged to come back to the propriety too. He had to keep an eye on the painter. He couldn’t be so sure that the poem was strong enough to keep Baek Na-Kyum by his side. Therefore it is not surprising that in episode 5, Yoon Seungho was seen sitting in front of the window smoking. (chapter 5) He was looking at the gate and as such making sure that the artist’s departure would be noticed. By sending the low-born to the Lees’ mansion, Kim was encouraging the painter to commit a crime: trespassing! But the artist was fortunate, for he was not caught by the lord of the mansion, who preferred hiding due to the ruckus caused by his own son. 😉 As for Yoon Seungho, he came back to the mansion and saw the empty study. Kim just needed to say that the low-born had left to the Lees’ mansion. This is important, because this indicates that in chapter 4, the couple missed each other first! And this situation was repeated in season 3, precisely in chapter 98, when the lord returned from the bureau of investigation (chapter 98)! The lord arrived just after the painter’s departure. And who was with the main lead? Kim. As you can see, the lord’s luck seems not to be on his side, for Baek Na-Kyum had just left the propriety. Once again… the lord was standing in front of the gate!! As for season 2, this time, it was Kim’s fate to miss his master. (chapter 56) The reason for this punishment is simple. He had sent away the artist to the study just before Yoon Seungho regained consciousness. The latter didn’t see that the artist had taken care of him during that night. Thus the butler’s karma was not to notice his master’s departure which stands in opposition to chapter 4 and 98. And note that all these chapters have the paper as common denominator. So imagine the butler’s surprise in episode 4, when he witnessed the artist’s return to the mansion followed by his master. He had sent away Baek Na-Kyum with the hope that the artist would desert the town for good, but no…
2. Kim’s hidden action
Kim must have been intrigued. Why did Baek Na-Kyum come back? He had witnessed the execution of a servant, then he had been abducted before getting imprisoned in the storage room. Finally, he had been threatened and forced to paint an erotic picture. Hence Kim felt the urge to discover the reasons for the painter’s behavior. In other words, he must have interrogated him, the older version of this scene: (chapter 23) The first similarity is the allusion to his bag. The butler was actually thinking that during the hunt, the painter would decide to run away. That’s the reason why he asked about his belonging, for in the past, he only wished to vanish after retrieving his tools. Naturally, the artist saw no harm in the butler’s question and answered truthfully. He must have narrated the argument in the courtyard about the poem. Yoon Seungho had kept the sijo, consequently the painter had used his hand to take it back and had by mistake removed the lord’s hat. Thus Kim must have told him that he just needed to apologize. But one might say that this is just a story imagined by me. The manhwaphiles never saw such a scene. But don’t forget the existence of the reflections. I have definitely an evidence for this theory. Since the butler had manipulated the painter in chapter 4 in order to get rid of this uninvited guest, his karma was to receive a new guest!! (chapter 7) This is not what the valet truly desired at all. He wanted to live in peace. But now, he had three new people he had to serve: Jung In-Hun, the painter and his own master Yoon Seungho who had lived for quite some time in the Lees’ mansion. He had to work!! And note that in this episode 7, we have the following elements:
- The arrival of a guest, exactly like in episode 4-5; 67/68 and 77.
- a paper
- the library
- a reference to “love”
- the first appearance of Kim
- The existence of a deal which is also present in chapter 4 and 77
- The connection between the letter and a poem (chapter 5-77)
This truly shows that during that night (chapter 77), the valet chose to write a letter in order to denunciate the protagonist. As you already know, attack is the best defense. Exactly like in the courtyard, he badmouthed a noble, this time he must have compared Yoon Seungho to the younger brother Yoon Seung-Won. The latter would succeed with the civil service examination and bring glory to the Yoons, whereas the main lead would only live like an idle sodomite.
Through this contrast, another detail caught my attention. (chapter 7) How did Yoon Seungho know that the learned sir had no connection and was poor? Who had told him that? One might think that this can only be the butler. However, Yoon Seungho had tasked the black guard to investigate and not Kim. Yet, there is no ambiguity that the latter definitely played a role in this investigation. Why? It is because of the expressions the main lead was using: “hardly knows”, “determination”, “labor in vain” which resembles to the valet’s vocabulary, though he embodies the opposite: ignorance, hesitation and laziness. The aristocrat’s description about the teacher is actually questioning the main lead’s actions. If Jung In-Hun was portrayed as poor and powerless, why would he sponsor such a scholar? He would gain nothing. Moreover, with such a portrait, the speaker is implying that only through connections you can achieve greatness. These words are actually exposing the meaningless of the civil service examination. In other words, this description was already insinuating the existence of sodomy, sex in exchange of favors. And this negative depiction of the civil service examination was exposed once again in the gibang. (chapter 93) It was a futile dream. When I had analyzed episode 93, I had explained that the speech from the main lead was influenced by the butler. As you can see, the lord’s narration (chapter 7) was mirroring the valet’s mentality and meddling. He had tried to stop his master from visiting the learned sir the day before. However, I don’t think that Kim is only responsible for this negative characterization of Jung In-Hun in episode 7! Why? First, we never saw the return of the black guard, but when the main lead visited the learned sir’s mansion, he was followed by another one! (chapter 6) There was a switch. That’s how I had this revelation. Heena is the missing link between the learned sir and the protagonist. And observe that in episode 93, we have the same elements again:
An empty paper which is confused with the poem
The incident with the door: (chapter 93) This time, Heena is the one standing behind closed doors, while it was Yoon Seungho in chapter 77
The reference to the library:
The allusion to Kim
The presence of love and affection:
The lord got badmouthed
The fake apology: (chapter 93) In chapter 99, the noonas still lied to him.
An invitation (chapter 93), which was also present in chapter 4/5, 7 and 67/68 and finally 77 ! Since episode 93 is a reflection of episode 7, I could only come to the conclusion that Heena was the one standing behind the black guard! Besides, I had already discovered that Heena was associated to the table as well (see chapter 94 and 68). She represents the link between the butler and Jung In-Hun. She had already collaborated with the valet in episode 65. So from my point of view, she must have received the scholar’s poem with Yoon Seungho’s request. But what could she do with it? Keep it? No… her interference would have been noticed. Hence I believe that the kisaeng was not acting on her own. She was following the orders from the mysterious “lord Song”. At the same time, I think that she is also connected to the Lees. This would explicate why the black guards would change between episode 1, 5 and 6. Finally, according to me, the learned sir had connections to elder Lee, for he had seen the baby Na-Kyum at the gate. (chapter 1) [For more read the essay “Baek Na-Kyum’s origins”] There is no ambiguity that these words (chapter 7) were not reflecting the verity.
In other words, she had been working for two people, just like the butler was turning Yoon Chang-HYeon against the son and the reverse. Both stands for disloyalty. Therefore it is no coincidence that the kisaeng was seen with different black guards in chapter 64. On the other hand, the readers should keep in their mind that the black guard can be seen as a double-edged sword. They can serve as protectors, but also as “spies and as captors”. They could report Heena’s actions to the nobleman who had hired the black guards. Finally, the manhwaphiles will certainly recall the butler’s statement: (chapter 55) Who was lord Song’s contact person then? In the past, I used to think that he was the one receiving the letters. But now, I have a different opinion. I believe, it is Heena! Why? It is because Kim couldn’t identify lord Song’s writing. According to me, Yoon Seungho was sent to the gibang in order to entertain the mysterious “lord Song”. Thereby I am assuming that the kisaeng would receive a word from lord Song and have the main lead fetched from the mansion by the black guards. Heena and Yoon Chang-Hyeon are the only ones seen with black guards, I am excluding the main lead, as he was always more or less their prisoner. As you can see, there is a connection between the noona and the Yoons.
3. Heena and the letters
First, I would like to point out that the kisaeng mentioned letters twice in season 2. (chapter 68)(chapter 69) and in season 3, the noona sent messages to her brother herself. In two different chapters (chapter 91), she is related to papers. (chapter 97) Logically, the noona in connection with the letter should be present in season 1. Secondly, when the woman appeared for the first time (chapter 64), she was accompanied with 2 guards, which is quite similar to the lord’s situation in chapter 1. That’s the reason why I believe that she didn’t keep the learned sir’s poem. Her betrayal could have been noticed and this was the first time that Yoon Seungho was making such a request.
So where is the teacher’s sijo? It was received by the mysterious “lord Song”. That’s how he discovered that his ex-lover was showing an interest in the learned sir. This is important, because the poem will serve as the evidence to identify the murderer behind Jung In-Hun’s death. On the other hand, one might refute this idea, for the teacher was seen in his bedroom with the paper. (chapter 21) But if you look more closely at the paper, you will realize that it resembles a lot more to this one due to the marble effect. (chapter 7) Nevertheless, the paper looks damaged in the previous panel. But this could be the result of anger, like this. (chapter 56) This would follow rule 3. Then according to rule 2 of the kaleidoscope, elements from one episode will be constantly mirrored in the next chapters. And what did we have in episode 19? A larceny… the bottle of wine vanished. Then in episode 20, the lord stole the scholar’s identity, while he stole the painter’s virginity. Hence the lord apologized to the painter for his wrongdoings. (chapter 21) And above I had already demonstrated the connection between the First Wedding Night and chapter 5 and 77! Here the lord was imitating the pedophile’s behavior, hence you comprehend why I think that lord Song was the recipient of the poem. I would like my readers to keep in their mind that the learned sir’s sijo was referring to a painful departure, the loss of a loved one and despair! The beholder could have the impression that the author was suicidal due to the mention of the well and the torment of the mind. Thus I am now assuming that the “mysterious lord Song” will consider the sijo as a farewell, the lord chose to commit suicide and his death was related to Jung In-Hun’s curtains. Why? It is because Heena wrote letters to her brother where she accused the main lead of killing the learned sir. Moreover, Yoon Seung-Won had definitely mistaken the painter for the learned sir. (chapter 37) His position revealed that the main lead trusted the artist. It was, as if he was treating him like his wife. (chapter 97) And from my point of view, these messages were never burned. That way, Kim can put the whole blame on the kisaeng and her brother!! The butler can even reveal how Yoon Chang-Hyeon had harassed the son and tried to frame him for the death of his messenger.
But since “lord Song” was behind the scholar’s murder, he can only retaliate against Lee Jihwa and Min’s friends. Why? Because he will deny his responsibility in the crime, though he was the one who ordered it! Exactly like in the past. He had never assumed any responsibility, he always let others take the accountability. He needs to find a culprit in order to vent his fury. If they had not brought up the learned sir’s assassination, then Yoon Seungho “could have lived” in peace. To conclude, when the lord gave the paper to the black guard, the pedophile had the impression that the main character was rekindling with him, for he was asking for his help. He was far away from him. In his eyes, he had contacted him, “lord Song” alias the king!! And now, it becomes understandable why lord Song sent hanboks and asked Min to organize parties for Yoon Seungho!! It is because the pedophile believed that the main lead was no longer pushing him away or had accepted him. This is not surprising that little by little, the main lead’s hanboks became more and more beautiful. Don’t forget the following rule, the painter’s situation will be mirrored in the lord’s. Thus in chapter 34, Yoon Seungho returned with a hanbok covered with cranes (chapter 34), and shortly after the painter was sent to the tailor. But during that night, the pedophile and Yoon Seungho had missed each other due to Baek Na-Kyum. He was not dead. So when the painter received new clothes, it was the same for Yoon Seungho. Yet, the pedophile was gravely mistaken. Why? The sijo had been stolen, and as such it was never addressed to the pedophile. Furthermore, it is because the lord was suffering from memory loss. Moreover, I believe that the main lead is not aware of the true identity of his sexual abuser. In his mind, it is just lord Song. But this doesn’t end here.
According to me, the main lead wrote a letter to his lover in the gibang. This signifies that someone else must have done the same due to rule 1 and 2. The reference of the Spring poem in chapter 97 indicates the presence of a letter in the previous episode or the next! From my point of view, Min must have asked the kisaeng to contact “lord Song”!! And don’t forget that in season 2, we had a forged letter. (chapter 57) And who was behind this? Black Heart’s friend. But then it came to my mind that Black Heart had stolen the Spring poem… so he could have sent the paper to lord Song and the latter would have mistaken it as a letter from Yoon Seungho, the latter was reaching out to him. He was wishing him luck!! So imagine that when the man arrives in Jemulpo, he imagines that the main lead is waiting for him only to discover that Yoon Seungho vanished. He wished to die because of the loss of a loved one. And that’s how he will recall the poetry of the learned sir… the reflection of this night!! (chapter 94) In episode 4, the lord had laughed about the sijo, but it was no longer the case in the kisaeng house. In my eyes, the pedophile will go through the same experience. Yes, the effect of the kaleidoscope. He will perceive the learned sir’s poetry under a different perspective. Only in that moment, he will realize the suicidal tone in the sijo. He will question how Yoon Seungho could become so desperate and suicidal so suddenly. And now, you comprehend why Heena was trembling in front of her brother, and why she had planned to leave the gibang that night!! She was aware of the arrival of “lord Song”. She knows how cruel and ruthless he can be.
And Lee Jihwa’s words will become a reality. (chapter 101) Blood will flow… The proof for this expectation is that chapter 67, 77, 82 and 93 are all referring to punishment. Kim had been beaten in episode 77, while the kisaeng was imprisoned in the storage room. Moreover, we have the use of the sword in episode 21 and 67… and during these nights, the protagonists had made love to each other.
4. Father Lee’s message
Since the Lees are connected to paper in the form of the paintings and the letter, (chapter 5, 10, 15, 17, 56), I had suddenly this question! Why didn’t Lee send a word to Yoon Chang-Hyeon? Why did he have to visit him during the night? (chapter 82) (chapter 82) It is because he didn’t want to leave any evidence of his intervention. No one should notice that he had paid a visit to the patriarch either. His visit should remain a secret. He was actually afraid of getting detected. The reason is simple. He was fearing the person standing behind Yoon Seungho, lord Song. He had two reasons for this. First, he could see that Yoon Seungho was no longer treated like an animal or male kisaeng. (chapter 67) He was even better dressed than his own son. The hanbok was exposing the support from the “pedophile”. Secondly, the main lead had threatened him. (chapter 67) Here, the lord had just insinuated that if something like that happened again, he would go to the authorities. However, since this threat was rather ambiguous, the patriarch Lee could only interpret it that way. The main lead would report the incident to the “mysterious lord Song”, alias the king. And father Lee knew that he could get into trouble. Furthermore, since these elders are all hypocrites and liars, there is no doubt that father Lee feared that the protagonist wouldn’t keep his words. That’s the reason why he approached the father. He hoped that Yoon Chang-Hyeon would intervene and impose his will onto his son. He would tame the main character. In other words, episode 82 is a reflection of chapter 4/5, 19/20/21, 67/68 and 77. The first common denominator is the allusion to letters. The messenger’s words revealed that Kim had contacted the elder Yoon, for he already knew his name, though the latter had never met the domestic. Secondly, the “letters” were delivered orally: (chapter 82), and even in person: Father Lee and the emissary. Third, the elder Lee badmouthed Yoon Seungho by mentioning the incident from chapter 67, and refused the invitation of his host (chapter 82). Finally, he called Baek Na-Kyum a peasant exactly like the main lead in front of the gate: (chapter 82). But more important, the old bearded man expressed this fear: the loss of his family home! (chapter 82) And remember that I had detected the presence of the Lees’ mansion in episode 4 and it was also present in chapter 21 and 67! And what had the butler done during these chapters? He had tried to chase away the painter and as such Yoon Seungho. The latter was not supposed to live in the Yoons’ domain. And this will be the Lees’ karma to be driven out of their own house!
And now, you comprehend why the sijo from season 1 has not appeared yet. The couple will be able to identify the culprits with the “letters”, the poems. Remember the kisaeng’s words: (chapter 97) The absence of the messages was the evidence of the main lead’s wrongdoing. However, the moment the letters resurface, they will expose the noona’s lies. It doesn’t matter, if she had been deceived. She chose to trust the butler, without verifying the facts. To conclude, the poems will serve as proof for the crimes and I would even go so far to say that the papers, mistaken for letters, are the tools to expose the truth. Yoon Seungho had never contacted lord Song, for he hates him to the core. He is connected to his suffering and martyrdom, therefore he can only view the man as the bird of misfortune, while the latter had the impression that he was now getting closer to the main lead. Consequently, he considered him as his crane! But this man is exactly like Min, totally dishonest and irresponsible. I couldn’t help myself thinking of this folding shield again: (chapter 83) It vanished, and as such it was stolen. Did the mysterious lord Song take it away in order to force Yoon Seungho to paint? The older version of this scene: (chapter 4) And remember that the “paper” is also connected to paintings. However, since this is a reflection of episode 4, I am more inclined to think hat the real purpose was to take the picture and the man had never the intention to return it. Naturally, at some point, the man had a change of heart concerning the main lead, for thanks to him, he could outlive all his sexual fantasies. And this leads me to the following conclusion. The moment, Yoon Seungho sees this painting again, he will recognize the identity of the thief. To sum up, the paper is the proof of wrongdoings, thereby we have this publication: (chapter 1) The paintings were illustrating that the pedophile was having sex with a minor.
PS: I have still so much to say about the comparison between chapter 5 and 77 and the “paper” that I will write another analysis about this.
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.
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/
Feel free to 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.
I have to admit that when I chose this title, I imagined that this analysis would be very short, for I mainly desired to talk about Min. However, the more I pondered about the content of this essay, I realized that I should actually include all the drugs in Painter Of The Night. This led me to examine all the other characters suffering from drug addictions. That’s how I made new discoveries again.
1. The drugs in Painter
First, it is important to list the drugs present in this manhwa. We have alcohol (chapter 75), tobacco (chapter 61) and opium (chapter 52).
And because Min and his friends brought opium to the Yoon’s residence and the main lead was present, the readers jumped to the conclusion that the main lead would smoke opium too. (chapter 52) And this perception got reinforced, when the butler confided this to the physician later: (chapter 55) Many readers had the impression that Yoon Seungho had been smoking opium, many went so far to imagine that he had been smoking opium right from the beginning. (chapter 5) However, this was just a lie. Yoon Seungho never smoke opium!!
2. Yoon Seungho’s true addiction
And now, it is time to prove my interpretation. First, you’ll realize the deception, once you read the side effects of opium:
“Short term effects may include: 1. euphoria, 2. relaxation, 3. analgesia” quoted from https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/opium/
This drug has a sedative effect, therefore the opium smoker falls into a torpor and semi-sleep. And we know that Yoon Seungho avoids sleep, for he is plagued by nightmares. (chapter 74) Hence consuming opium would even instigate his nightmares. In addition, observe that in chapter 5, Yoon Seungho was never euphoric nor sleepy. He could interact with the painter normally.
Nicotine causes a range of effects on both the body and mind, including:
Heightened mood […]
As you can see, nicotine increases alertness and memory. Therefore the lord never forgot the words from the painter during the day. They bothered him so much that he kept thinking about his own image: (chapter 05) As you can see, Yoon Seungho had a drug addiction, nitocine.
One might argue that he started smoking opium only later.
And now, pay attention to this image. (chapter 52) The noble in the background was the one smoking opium. Besides, the manhwaphiles will certainly remember how Yoon Seungho behaved in that scene. He heard Min’s words addressed to the painter, he walked straight to Black Heart in order to protect his lover, well aware that Min would invite the painter to join the party. (chapter 52) This means, he was conscious and alert. Besides, we saw him later getting in rage (chapter 53). Here, I would like the manhwaphiles to keep in mind that side effects of opium like euphoria, relaxation and analgesia last for at least 3 to 6 hours. So this outburst of rage is an indication that our protagonist was not under the influence of opium. He was not hallucinating either. He had grasped the whole situation, when he heard Deok-Jae predicting a terrible fate to the artist. In addition, this drug is not considered as a poison inducing psychosis.
“opiates are the only sedative drugs that possess an anti-psychotic effect.” quoted from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24563427/
However, this doesn’t mean that an user from opium won’t suffer from any psychotic symptoms. They are more related to withdrawals or to hallucinations due to the big consumption of opium. https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/opiate-addiction/related-topics/opiate-psychosis/
However, one of the side effects of nicotine is heightened mood, this would explicate his outburst of rage and his irritability right after smoking tobacco. (chapter 52) This explicates why he beat Min and Deok-Jae so furiously, he wasn’t acting under the influence of hallucinations. He was perceptive, he had clearly understood the meaning behind the servant and the noble’s words. As you can see, the lord’s mood swings were more triggered by his addiction to nicotine. This explicates why the main lead had such a violent outburst in the shed after the abduction. He had smoked tobacco the whole day. (chapter 61) Remember how I compared him to dormant volcano, here he was boiling internally.
On the other hand, a person consuming opium will show signs of withdrawals 24 hours after the use. And these are the following signs of opioid withdrawal: Anxiety, insomnia, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, shaking, yawning, restlessness, widened pupils, body aches, seizures, hallucinations, body aches, rapid breathing, fast heartbeat and more importantly irritability. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/opioid-withdrawal-symptoms#1
Min shows all the signs of a withdrawal in chapter 76. First, he vomits, but hides it under the excuse, he drank too much. He gets in rage, when No-Name calls him a fool. He can no longer keep his mask contrary to the altercation in episode 41, when Yoon Seungho compared him to a mouse: (chapter 41) Besides, we have another evidence that Black Heart has developed an addiction to opium with the following panel: (chapter 76) The gaze is different, an indication of the widened pupils. Furthermore, his restlessness is perceptible the way he approaches The Joker. This time, he has to meet the criminal personally. We could say that he rushes to meet the criminal. Like he said, he was “running out of time”… (chapter 76) These words reflect his own troubled mind.
However, you can see that the lord didn’t get any sign of withdrawal after that terrible night in episode 52. Yes, he got sick, but it is because he didn’t sleep and he had no clothes on. Therefore he caught a cold. Let’s not forget that he had lived for a week without eating or sleeping properly. But my most conclusive evidence is this panel:
(chapter 74) Observe the painter’s reaction. He is coughing, he doesn’t seem affected by the smoke, while he had a total different reaction in chapter 54: Note the euphoria and the sedative effect on the artist’s face. This explicates why he didn’t push the rapists away.
As a conclusion, Yoon Seungho is not addicted to opium, he never smoked it. The aristocrats chose his place to smoke it, because they wouldn’t be caught by their parents. That’s the reason why the noble said this to Black Heart. (chapter 53) They wanted to smoke this drug there, for no one would interrupt them. But because Yoon Seungho let them smoke opium, he became guilty by association: he was also an opium smoker. And the readers had fallen into the same trap. As you can see, I believe that the author is using the method on the manhwaphiles. They are misled by what they see and hear without questioning the authenticity of the statement.
The manhwaphiles will say that Yoon Seungho has another addiction: alcohol. (chapter 55) However, this is another deception. Yoon Seungho is no alcoholic either!! 😲
I have many evidences for this. First, notice that during the first sex orgy, there was no drink and food offered. It was simply sex!! (chapter 08) So his debauchery was linked to sex and nothing more. He would live for sex and nothing else. Furthermore, the manhwalovers will certainly recall the lord’s behavior in the tavern. He ordered wine(chapter 75), but notice that he never became drunk like the painter. (chapter 75) The main lead can consume wine in moderation contrary to the painter!! Therefore he has no addiction to alcohol.
And this is different for Baek Na-Kyum, who became a drunk after his abandonment. (chapter 1) Notice that each time, Baek Na-Kyum would drink alcohol, he could never stop until he almost lost consciousness and started hallucinating (chapter 19) or he would be so inhibited that he couldn’t walk properly. These were the sign of his addiction. I can’t forget the lord’s words in episode 75: (chapter 75) Here, he saw how the alcohol was affecting his lover’s behavior.
Notice that at no moment during the night (52-53-54), Yoon Seungho walked under the influence of alcohol. His feet were the proof that he never consumed wine to the point he would lose consciousness or started hallucinating. (chapter 53) He was walking straight. When the readers saw the following image, they saw it as a confirmation that Yoon Seungho was a drunk. (chapter 54) But in truth, he took some wine in order to overcome his pain, to give himself some “courage” to go through. He had longed for the artist’s warmth after a week of separation, but he knew that Baek Na-Kyum viewed sex as prostitution. He was alert enough to see the consequences of his decision (chapter 54), therefore he broke the bottle. (chapter 54) This is no coincidence that he destroyed the bottle of wine. He had the impression that this drug was the cause for his “hallucination”, he was seeing the painter in ecstasy which could only remind him of his own past. Besides, he didn’t want his companion to become a shadow of himself: (chapter 54) He recognized the perversion of the artist’s redness and lost gaze. He loved him for his pure gaze and blushing.
For an alcoholic, a single drop of alcohol is a synonym for a relapse. Hence the addicted has to avoid anything related to alcohol, like vinegar or medicine containing alcohol. So when the lord proposed the wine, he had no idea about the consequences of his offer. So imagine his reaction, when he heard this: (chapter 75) The lord was responsible for his relapse!! Naturally, this could only pain the lord, for the latter wanted to make his lover smile. On the surface, Baek Na-Kyum’s words were reflecting the truth, as the master had encouraged his lover to take the soju. Hence Yoon Seungho could only feel accountable for this situation. He decided to act as a mature man who should take care of his lover’s intoxication. On the other hand, during the whole dating, Yoon Seungho always remained clear-minded, this was another indication that he never abused alcohol.
So when he said this to Bongyong (chapter 78), I believe that Yoon Seungho never proposed too much wine to his lover afterwards. He had made the experience that if he did, he would be the reason why Baek Na-Kyum would become a drunk. In my opinion, the painter’s relapse was linked to his own suffering, he was tormented by the idea that Yoon Seungho would abandon him, his affection was not deep. Since they had no longer any sex, he had the impression that Yoon Seungho’s love for him was vanishing. As you can see, the painter’s dependency to wine was linked to his repressed libido and his fear of abandonment.
As a conclusion, Yoon Seungho was never addicted to opium or wine. However, this doesn’t mean that nicotine addiction is no big deal. In truth, this drug is as unhealthy as any other drug. The withdrawals are only perceptible, when a consumer stops smoking. The addiction is never obvious like opium or heroine. In addition, the body doesn’t just get poisoned because of nicotine, but the latter also affects sexuality and as such relationships.
“The investigators began to realize that smoking actually became a method of subtle communication for members of the couples being studied. Lighting up gave clues to each partner that it was time to talk, time to give space, or even time to defend yourself because a world-class argument was about to begin. federally funded study is scheduled to go on for another year, and hopefully, will provide methods to help counsel couples how to recognize cigarettes as an abusive third member of their relationship. If couples are going to weed the habit from their lives, the researchers say they will have to find other ways to relate to each other, and more often than just during the familiar after-sex smoke. And of course, as Jordan found, smoking can directly torpedo the sex, too.” quoted from https://www.webmd.com/men/features/want-better-sex
3. The truth behind Kim’s statement
But then why would the butler describe his master as a man addicted to wine and alcohol (chapter 55), if this was not correct? It is related to the situation how the lord became ill: the orgies and more precisely the presence of Black Heart.
What caught my attention is this: (chapter 33) Compare this sex orgy with the following one: (chapter 8) At Black Heart’s party, wine and tobacco were offered, while in Yoon Seungho’s bedchamber you only had books, pictures and sex. Besides, there were more guests. As you can sense, the parties were totally different: austerity versus luxuriousness. Yes, Min wanted to impress his host Yoon Seungho!! He desired to show him what a true sex orgy was. He desired to prove that he was the real hell-raiser, the real king among nobles.
Besides, another detail caught my attention: (chapter 33) The Joker and the bottle of wine!! The manhwaphiles will certainly recall how the villain offered the expensive alcohol to Yoon Seungho (chapter 19). Moreover, I realized that in episode 33, we have a slight change. While Black Heart is seen first with the pipe full of tobacco, (chapter 33), slowly the author brought the villain in connection to the bottle of wine: And at the end, we have this: (chapter 33) The pipe is no longer present, but Byeonduck focused on the bottle. In my eyes, she desired to outline that Min was slowly getting addicted to alcohol. This means, Black Heart is not only addicted to nicotine and opium, but also wine! Notice this:
- chapter 43:
- Chapter 83: .
In these two scenes, Min was serving alcohol or encouraging Jihwa to drink! And now, you have an explanation why the red-haired master became a drunk, when he got abandoned by his lover or tormented by the murder plan. Black Heart was the one introducing this addiction to the second lead. And this interpretation becomes more visible, if the manhwaphiles revisit the event around the failed gangrape.
The person laughing so loudly was in reality Min. You recognize him with his green hanbok. So he was visiting his “acquaintance” and was drinking wine there. While the maid thought, the lord would be the drunk one (chapter 51), I believe that Black Heart was the main consumer!! And now, you comprehend why Yoon Seungho fell into debauchery. (Chapter 55) There was this peer pressure coming Min, who loved luxurious parties. But these parties were no longer sex orgies, for the protagonist was no longer interested in sex. He needed to offer something else to his guests: alcohol and food. Therefore the last picture above is actually more deceiving the readers than anything else. It gives the impression that Yoon Seungho was consuming wine all the time, while in truth he was killing time with these parties. He was alert for the most part of time keeping his thoughts to himself.
But like I outlined above, Black Heart was the one who became more and more addicted. First nicotine, then wine and finally opium. But why? Notice that this coincides with his obsession with the painter. He grabbed the bottle of wine (chapter 33), when Yoon Seungho refused to share his painter with him. So when he heard that Yoon Seungho was organizing parties again, he envisioned that his plan had succeeded. Hence he visited the mansion, yet his loud laugh was actually masking his pain. (chapter 51) He was far from happy, for his fixation on Baek Na-Kyum had not disappeared at all. Therefore, it is not surprising that he started drowning his sorrow. However, alcohol was no longer effective, he needed something stronger to dull his agony. That’s how he discovered opium. And notice that when the lord got punched in the propriety, he felt no pain. (chapter 54) He didn’t protect himself, he had no strength because of the relaxing and sedative effect. He even laughed, a sign that he was under the effect of the drug. (Chapter 54)
However, this doesn’t mean that Min left the house happily! All the guests got evicted like vulgar commoners. His ego was definitely hurt, just like the other nobles’. Therefore on his way out, he told Kim that they had been evicted due to Yoon Seungho’s intoxication. He was under the influence of alcohol and opium. That way, appearances were saved. For the butler, the truth didn’t matter. He could just portray his master as a man living in debauchery, so that no one would ever blame him for this! The appearances were against him. He had indeed organized parties, but they were no longer sex orgies.
The most infuriating is that the butler was to blame for this “relapse”. He had made sure that the painter and his lord would no longer be together. Since he had no sex, then he could only offer wine and food. But there’s another point why I don’t believe that Yoon Seungho ever consumed opium. Since this drug was illegal in Joseon, the butler would have to dirty his own hands to buy such a thing. Besides, notice that the nobles brought the drug themselves. (Chapter 52) This shows that the aristocrats had to buy the opium themselves. This was too dangerous to give this task to a domestic, the latter could definitely betray them. So when Black Heart said that the main lead was smoking opium, his true goal was to ruin the main lead’s reputation. And for Kim, it was perfect. He needed his master to have a bad reputation so that he could live his life peacefully.
4. The connection between sex and drugs
In my opinion, Min’s addictions are his karma. He had to pay a huge price for plotting in order to obtain the painter. He became more and more addicted to the wine, and later to the opium, when he thought that his plan had succeeded. In other words, his opium’s addiction is the divine retribution for hurting the shaman. The irony is that his obsession for Baek Na-Kyum never disappeared. In other words, since he couldn’t have sex with the painter, he replaced sex with drugs. That’s how I realized the following connection. Baek Na-Kyum, Jihwa and Black Heart used drugs to cover up the absence of sex and indirectly love. For me, they somehow symbolize a subterfuge, to mask the absence of passion.
Notice that the artist’s libido is strongly intertwined with the paintings, so the moment he could no longer paint, he was forced to become chaste. Hence he started drinking. (chapter 75) This strong connection between sex and drugs gets even confirmed in the same episode. Notice that in that scene, Yoon Seungho had not sex with the painter for a while, and Baek Na-Kyum was definitely missing it. Naturally, his true desire was to get loved by his companion. For the low-born, sex is a symbol of love. Hence he drunk because of Yoon Seungho. (chapter 75) He felt the need to fill the void. But I believe that the incident with Nameless was a wake-up call for the artist. Through the hug and the music box, he realized that the lord’s affection had not diminished at all. And now, you comprehend why the painter is no longer addicted to the wine. He no longer feels awful and fears abandonment…
As for Jihwa, he drank, when he was happy, for he imagined that he would get his friend’s attention again, or when he was sad, for he had been repudiated. Once he got abandoned, he could no longer have sex… (chapter 36) and he drowned his sorrow in wine. (chapter 59) However, this association between alcohol and his lust for Yoon Seungho started changing, after Jihwa had sex with Nameless. Notice that in episode 83, he is no longer looking like a wreck. (chapter 83) He is still biting his nails, a sign of remorse and fears, but he is no longer obsessed with Yoon Seungho. From my point of view, the torments the second lead suffered in the second season played a huge role. He started drinking alcohol for another reason. (chapter 50) This time, he got afraid of the consequences for the murder. As you can perceive it, there was a slight shifting. This shows that the wine became less and less connected to his obsession with his childhood friend, his desire to have him. This explicates why he was so devastated at the end of the second season. Out of guilt and anxiety, he started drinking again. (chapter 76)
And now, we have to wonder why Lee Jihwa doesn’t seem plagued like in the past. (chapter 83)It is because his father got involved again, and visited father Yoon. The second lead imagines that after his father’s intervention, his problems will be solved. He won’t have to fear for his life, for Yoon Seungho will be sent away to his father. (chapter 82) He knows about his father’s plan. If Yoon Seungho is forced to submit himself to his father, he won’t be able to use his wealth and power to attack him. That’s the reason why he is no longer looking like a wreck. In other words, he is well aware what is going to happen to his friend. He witnessed the abuse, but he doesn’t care, for his “life is in danger”. 🙄 As for Min, he looks more healthy again (chapter 83), for he had to plot in order to achieve his goal. He needed to find a new puppet, lord Lee, and as such he needed to make a good impression. He had to become proactive and become more directly involved. Hence he needed to be more alert.
As for Yoon Seungho’s addiction, it becomes obvious why Yoon Seungho smoked in the past. It was not related to sex, but to his inner turmoil. He had to calm down his frustration and negative emotions. Notice that only he smoked during the day, a sign that this was not connected to sex at all. However, it started changing too. Yoon Seungho felt the need to smoke while having sex with the painter (chapter 45), for he felt something was missing. Consequently, this is not surprising why Yoon Seungho had a sex marathon in the shed after smoking the whole day. It was to contain his rage, but also to mask his strong desire for the painter. What caught my attention is that after their love session, the main lead started smoking again, exactly like in the past. (Chapter 74)However, there is a huge difference. In my opinion, he was trying to control his sexual desires. Remember the quote above: nicotine has a huge effect on libido. That’s another reason why Yoon Seungho was so chaste in the study: (chapter 74)
However, what caught my attention is that during the third season, we never see Yoon Seungho smoking. Though he hurt the painter and felt terrible, he decided to leave the mansion in order to hunt. He wanted to vent his anger and hide his anxieties: (chapter 83) This observation is important, for it shows that he is no longer using tobacco to hide his inner turmoil. That’s why I believe that Yoon Seungho’s addiction was originally linked to his traumas. It was his way to “anesthetize his emotions”, he had the impression that he would become more clear-sighted.
5. Personality and drugs
I have to admit that when I started preparing this analysis, I tried to discover why Min, who is a psychopath, would come to consume drugs. That’s how I discovered that personality indeed plays a huge role.
The Five-Factor Model of Personality
The Five-Factor Model of Personality is a group of five broad trait aspects that help explain personality differences and people’s behavior. The five traits include:
Extraversion- is when someone enjoys being around other people more than being alone.
Neuroticism- is the tendency to be in a negative, stressed, or anxious emotional state.
Agreeableness- is a set of characteristics perceived by others as being sympathetic, warm, kind, and considerate.
Conscientiousness- is being careful or diligent, hoping to do a job or task successfully, and to take obligations seriously. Conscientious people tend to be organized and efficient.
Openness to Experience- indicates how open-minded a person is, and is characterized by being imaginative and curious, and enjoyment in trying new things.
Generally, those who use drugs or alcohol are characterized by having high Neuroticism, high Openness to Experience, low Agreeableness, and low Conscientiousness.quoted from https://www.fortbehavioral.com/addiction-recovery-blog/personality-traits-related-to-drug-use/
After reading this quote, you can recognize that Black Heart has a predisposition for addiction. He fits the following profile: “high Neuroticism, high Openness to Experience, low Agreeableness, and low Conscientiousness”. He loves experiencing new things (chapter 52), he is always seeking entertainment (chapter 66), a sign that he is not hardworking. He is very sensitive to criticisms, which was underlined in chapter 83 one more time. (chapter 83) Therefore I tried to find out if persons suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder could be suffering emotionally, though they are supposed not to feel any pain and empathy. And yes, such persons are definitely not happy, for they are often lonely.
“psychopaths may be unhappy due to the quality of their interpersonal relationships. Romantic relationships and friendships are critical to happiness. […] The results from our studies suggest that people with high levels of psychopathic tendencies are generally unhappy. They show low levels of positive emotions and life satisfaction, and high levels of negative emotions and depression. Further, this unhappiness is partially explained by the poor quality of their romantic relationships. ” quoted from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-happiness-doctor/201701/are-psychopaths-happy
This explicates why Min was so obsessed with Baek Na-Kyum. (chapter 9) He felt lonely, and hoped that the artist would give him the same gaze, when he looked at the protagonist. He had already snatched Lee Jihwa, but the latter was too obsessed with his childhood friend to look at him in a different way. Min was definitely longing for love, but he could never admit it. Striking is that Min picked his “bride”, exactly like the psychologist Love described it:
“For instance, Love notes that individuals high on the psychopathy spectrum prefer friends who contribute to their volatile lifestyles, such as criminals, fellow thrill-seekers, or ego-feeding suck-ups. Teaching psychopaths how to form healthier, more positive, interpersonal relationships with emotionally stable individuals, however, may help to reduce their antisocial behaviors.” quoted from https://qz.com/819283/can-people-who-have-psychopathic-symptoms-feel-love-or-be-truly-happy/
And now, you comprehend why Min was dissatisfied with Lee Jihwa in the end. The latter was a delinquent, a selfish man who desired Yoon Seungho’s constant attention. He could never give him the attention and love Black Heart was longing. (chapter 66) Hence he could only view the second lead as his puppet. That’s why The Joker had to use “drugs” to mask his emptiness and longing for affection.
On the other hand, the Five-Factor Model of Personality explicates why Yoon Seungho never fell into debauchery so deeply. First, he didn’t have many addictions despite suffering for a decade. His tumultuous sex life was influenced by the brainwashing and his traumatic past. In my opinion, the principles from Taoism were another reason why the protagonist never became a drunk or desired to smoke opium. Then he reads books, but no one knows this except the butler. Finally, he definitely worked hard, for he could gather wealth and create connections. From my point of view, the enemies are definitely underestimating his power.
As a conclusion, when in chapter 52 we had this cold war between Black Heart and Yoon Seungho, we didn’t assist to a sex party, but to a drug party: tobacco, opium and wine. There was no sex at all!! Hence Yoon Seungho had no erection… however, they attempted to turn this into a sex orgy (chapter 54), but fortunately they failed. Thus when I look again at this sex orgy (chapter 8), I can only view this as quite harmless: this party reflected the main lead’s purity. He is definitely no hell-raiser!! The real one is Black Heart, but father Lee has not realized it yet, for he believes in reputation and rumors. Since Min was able to keep his name intact, the lord Lee trusted in the noble’s integrity. He never discovered that his son was under the influence of a vicious and perverted man. I would say now, Jihwa is supporting a murderer. (chapter 83)
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.
This won‘t be a long analysis like “The end of the vicious circle”, for my main purpose here is to try to reconstruct Yoon Seungho’s terrible past, and as such its chronology.
1. The incident in the study
We know now for sure that the starting point of Yoon Seungho‘s downward spiral was the incident with Jihwa.
Chapter 77: The young boy was caught doing something immoral, though like I elaborated it in my previous analysis, there‘s no doubt, the main lead was drugged, and Jihwa had been somehow manipulated. While some might see two teenagers fooling around, I have a different perspective. Then I came to realize why the perception from the manhwaphiles diverges so much. It is, because the readers are actually projecting their own thoughts and expectations. Hence this is normal that certain readers are still expecting something innocent and pure. Yet, since I believe, Yoon Seungho was never a sodomite from the start, but was turned into one, for me the smile and gaze from Yoon Seungho in that scene seemed so fake and artificial, especially if you compare it to this one: (chapter 57) versus (chapter 77) In the first one he oozes innocence and affection, in the other he’s in ecstasy, roofied. However, we have to envision that this smile could have just been a projection of the butler, which means that this represents a distorted memory. Like I explained in my previous essay, the noble has the same gaze than the painter under the influence of opium and alcohol.
“Date rape drugs make a sexual assault, including rape easier in one or more ways, such as:
- making a victim more compliant and less able to say no
- weakening a victim so they are unable to resist or fight back
- making a victim fully or partially unconscious
- weakening a victim’s inhibitions, so they consent to sexual activity they may otherwise decline” quoted from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320409#types
And if you pay attention to Yoon Seungho, he was not active at all. He was behaving like the painter in chapter 54.
2. Kim’s past actions
Observe the butler‘s actions. He opens the door without announcing himself. But remember the butler’s MO, it is to delay to deliver the information. We could observe this on different occasions like chapter 44 or 50. He never told the painter about the scholar’s departure(chapter 44), just like he only reported the conversation between Jung In-Hun and Baek Na-Kyum many weeks later. (chapter 50) That’s why I come to the conclusion that he never ran immediately to father Yoon in order to report the incident. The butler just needed to inform him later. While in the past, I used to think that he had used rumors again as an excuse, I have now a different perception. For me, it was someone else badmouthing the main lead, well aware that father Yoon feared gossips the most, (chapter 50) an older version of this image. This explicates why Yoon Seungho had regained consciousness and could fight back against the servants, when he got dragged to the shed. (chapter 77) Besides, observe that the main lead was sequestrated in the storage room on two occasions at least.
3. The shed and study
Hence Yoon Chang-Hyeon ordered to drag the young boy to the barn. (chapter 77) However, since it happened twice, I am deducing that this was not the case for the second time. But if you pay attention to Yoon Seungho‘s bedroom, you will notice that he was living in the actual painter‘s study. (chapter 77) And this means that the intelligent noble was in a privileged situation. Remember Jihwa’s words: (chapter 05) With this remark, the noble expressed a certain annoyance, for he would live next to Yoon Seungho. This truly shows that the painter’s room was a sign of Yoon Seungho‘s favoritism towards the low-born. So if the main lead had such a good reputation and was even favored by the eldest master, this signifies that he could only attract people‘s gaze. Thus some persons definitely envied or resented him, like Yoon Seung-Won and father Lee. And it occurred to me that the younger master had every reason to feel jealous of his elder brother. He might have had the impression that his father had no eyes for him. In other words, he could only benefit from such an incident. If his brother lost his father‘s favor, then he imagined that he would get noticed by his father. As you can imagine, I believe that someone must have poisoned Yoon Seung-Won‘s mind. From my point of view, only a grown-up could have access to the drug. I can‘t shake the butler‘s philosophy from my mind: „Ignorance is a blessing“! The person behind the plot knew about the children‘s weaknesses (innocence, longing for love and recognition, desire) and decided to use them to his advantage.
4. He is not in his right mind
But then suddenly it occurred to me that chapter 77 is a reflection of episode 5. Note the resemblance. Jihwa talked here about virginity by opening the commoner’s shirt. The manhwaphiles will certainly remember that during that night, the noble got rejected, for the lord’s mind was elsewhere! And here we have a proof that Yoon Seungho acted differently in the past. His mind was elsewhere due to the drug, but he didn’t stop his friend. Observe the similarity between the gestures: (chapter 5) (chapter 77) The young boy’s head stood above his childhood friend, exactly like with the painter. Jihwa also removed the shirt, but since the low-born stopped him, this signifies that Yoon Seungho had the opposite reaction. He was allowing his friend to kiss and touch him. However, the young noble couldn’t enjoy this moment, as the butler arrived so that the red-haired aristocrat ran away and abandoned him. Very early on, I had elaborated that Jihwa must have done something to his friend and ran away in order not to get caught. I had come to this deduction due to the incident with the door and the painter’s worries. He feared to have been seen.
5. The reflections in the kaleidoscope
That’s how I recognized a certain pattern in this story, the final proof that the story is built like a kaleidoscope:
- chapter 05:
- Chapter 16: Here, the artist was imitating the red-haired aristocrat’s actions in the past. The only difference is that he was the passive one!! Striking is that both chapters have something in common: one is always seducing the other, and the latter isn’t accepting the advances. In addition, the masturbation was not disclosed to anyone, yet someone notified Jihwa about the painter’s late return.
- Chapter 17: I judge this episode as a reflection from chapter 5, for the gestures are similar: the hand on the painter’s shoulder. Furthermore, the readers will note the presence of the sweets, the butler carrying food, but he’s avoiding the lord’s chamber. At no moment, he reports Jihwa’s trespassing, his master only discovers the assault, for he hears the commotion. The artist wouldn’t have been slapped, if the staff had immediately announced Jihwa’s visit. Striking is the aristocrat’s confession: (chapter 17) Other common points with chapter 77: “seduction”, the violence of the noble, his rage because he feels that the painter is lying and had lost his virginity with Yoon Seungho. Besides, I would like to point out that the lord only discovered Jihwa’s assault through the gossip. He came too late, hence he couldn’t stop Jihwa from insulting and slapping the low-born.
- chapter 50: Jihwa was living in anxieties that he needed alcohol, an indication that in the past he must have struggled as well. We have to imagine that back then, he feared that his father Lee would hear about this incident, but father Yoon never let transpire the incident to the outside world. From my point of view, father Lee must have denied his son’s actions, but the aristocrat with dragon’s eyes was no fool. And remember that I used the same chapter to outline that Kim communicated the information to his master in delay. Note that in this episode, time was essential. Both figures were struggling. While the one hoped, the murder would be done soon to put an end to his suffering, the other had the impression that he was running out of time. He couldn’t change the artist’s heart and mind, too wounded.
- Chapter 57: The visit to the physician showed us the lord’s past. Back then he got hurt by his father, but he was still looking fine. More importantly, he still trusted his butler. Father Yoon requested some medicine, for he believed that his son was not right in his mind. The physician presented the box full of drug which Kim has been giving to his master since his youth.
- Chapter 66: Here, Min arrived unannounced at the mansion and could observe in the lord’s chamber what Yoon Seungho had done. Here, he revealed the so-called culprit for the painter’s disappearance. The common denominators are: the delayed disclosure about the crime, the servants not doing their job and gossiping, the passivity of the butler.
- Chapter 67: After the main lead had discovered the crime disclosed by Min, he rushed to father Lee’s mansion and caused a commotion. What caught my attention is that we had again an incident with a door. In addition, Jihwa couldn’t run away. He was trapped in the room, yet he refused to face his friend. The other similarities are another rejection and the delayed arrival of father Lee putting the blame on Yoon Seungho.
And now pay attention to the number of the episodes: 05 – 16 (1+6 = 7) – 17 (1/ 1+6) – 50 – 57 (50+ 1+6) – 66 ( 5+1/ 5+1) – 67 (6 / 6 + 1) – 77 (1+6 /6+1) Here we have the kaleidoscope. For me this is no coincidence. But more importantly, all these chapters contain seduction, but also rejection, resistance and the presence of drug.
6. Jihwa’s dream
And by putting these chapters together, we get finally the evidence that Jihwa was the boy in the protagonist’s room. Then it came to my mind why the red-haired master was still unhappy in his relationship with Yoon Seungho. When he was wooing his friend in his youth, he saw the friend’s smile and gaze and imagined that he had been accepted. (chapter 77) I also believed that he had to envision this smile from Yoon Seungho to justify his action. An older version from this chapter: (chapter 19) That’s why Jihwa was blushing the whole time. His dream seemed to have come true!! But unfortunately, they got interrupted. But he didn’t realize that this “dream” was just an illusion, and he had been played. Because he had opened the friend’s shirt, he noticed his virginity. That’s why he had an eye for that. (chapter 5) He had gained this experience with his friend. Since I see some parallels between chapter 77 and the first Wedding Night, which stands for illusion and dream, it becomes even more evident that Yoon Seungho had been drugged and both young boys got played. During all these years of separation, the second lead kept his virginity intact for his friend. Once the main lead got betrayed and abandoned, Jihwa saw finally that his dream could come true. Since Yoon Seungho’s gaze had haunted him for so long, he hoped to obtain the same gaze, as in his mind it was the symbol of love and affection. Besides, he had another reason for approaching his friend. Since he had caused his downfall, deep down he imagined that if they became a real couple, then he could do as if the time of their separation had never happened. They would live, as if nothing had happened.
And now, you comprehend why Jihwa was so sure that his friend would never purse and seduce another man! (chapter 17) Yoon Seungho had never done it to him. Remember my observation: the main lead had been totally passive in the study due to the drug. In fact, he had never rejected anyone, (chapter 52) because he had been trained as a kisaeng. And these observations made me recognize another important aspect: Jihwa, exactly like Baek Na-Kyum, has never discovered that sex could be a form of violence. From my point of view, the chapter 77 shows us that sexual assaults can take many different forms. Using a KO-drug is definitely a crime, but due to Jihwa’s lack of experience, he couldn’t recognize the true nature of the situation.
That’s why I believe that Jihwa will still help Min, because he feels bound to him by secrecy. He is acting like the butler, he wants to survive and not get caught, that’s his driven motivation. However, he will be cornered and forced to make a decision: save his own skin or help someone. In my first version, I had written that the moment he discovered Min’s actions, he would be able to judge the situation correctly this time. And this expectation became a reality. (chapter 100) Black Heart taught Lee Jihwa an important lesson, the importance of consent. Someone can be forced to sex, which the second lead never truly grasped. He had to pay a huge price for the stolen kiss and his betrayal 10 years later. Interesting is that Lee Jihwa ran away, because he rejected to be responsible for the painter’s death, a synonym for Yoon Seungho’s curtains. (chapter 100) This is what I had also written in the first version.
However, as you can imagine, I am expecting a growth from the second lead. He will make the opposite choice than Kim, save the painter, while I am more than ever convinced that the butler won’t change his bad habit.
7. The chronology
But let’ s return our attention to chapter 77. When the butler opened the door, the second lead ran away leaving his friend behind. But Kim didn’t report the incident right away, he started spreading some rumor. Why? It is because we have the presence of rumors in chapter 17, 50, 57, 66 and 67. And notice that 17, 57, 66 and 67, he never stopped people from gossiping, while in chapter 50 he revealed the intel as rumor.
Since all the episodes involve the unannounced visit of a noble (17, 50: here Seungho barged in the scholar’s room, 57, 66, 67), I could only come to the conclusion that father Lee was the one who paid a visit to father Yoon, and revealed the incident by naturally putting the whole blame onto Yoon Seungho. But unlike in chapter 67, father Lee visited discreetly the mansion, as he feared gossips. That’s why the physician mentions that Jihwa was supposed to have the illness (chapter 57), but he could never identify the issue. And now, you comprehend why father Lee was red, totally embarrassed (chapter 67), for he was well aware of the truth. We have many possibilities here. Either someone leaked the info to the father secretly, or the son must have confided to him about the incident. Remember that in chapter 68, the painter confided to her his deepest fears and struggles. Let’s not forget that the son had hired an amateur spy in order to be updated about the events occurring in Yoon Seungho’s mansion. Consequently, I am inclined that the incident must have reached father Lee’s ears, and in order to maintain his respectability, he preferred covering up the commotion by blaming the elder son Yoon.
Since father Lee had intervened and Kim chose to reveal the “truth”, father Yoon could only perceive the incident as a truth. Consequently, father Yoon ordered his servants to drag Yoon Seungho and to confront his son. From my point of view, father Lee was questioned as well, but as you can imagine, he covered up his own son’s action. Since everyone was pointing the finger at the main lead, no one sided with the young boy. In other words, he got not only blamed, but also framed.
Right after he asked his staff to drag him to the shed as a punishment. But as you can imagine, Yoon Seungho couldn’t have any idea why his father reacted like that, for he had been drugged. He had no recollection, hence he denied the existence of the incident. However, the father chose to believe Kim, as he had the crowd. Imagine his reactions: the main lead had to hear from him what he had supposedly done. I would like to point out that victims of rape due to KO-drug suffer from immense guilt, as they showed no resistance or even seemed to “enjoy” the incident.
The valet gaslighted the poor boy by making him feel guilty (chapter 77), but despite his harsh and cruel words, the young protagonist chose to continue trusting him and his words. Let’s not forget that Kim claimed that his father would fix his “problems”. (chapter 77) From my point of view, the young master was determined to show good will and to listen to Kim’s advice.
Because he was sent to the shed and we see the straw mat beating right after, we have the impression that this was the punishment he received for this incident. But this was an illusion created by the author. Why? First, when the father visited the doctor, the young boy was still looking fine. He had such a rosy complexion, and still admired and trusted the butler. However, the main lead’s gaze changed after the straw mat beating. He recognized that he had been betrayed and abandoned by Kim. Observe the slight movement of the iris. First, the iris is directed at Kim, then it moves in the opposite direction. By looking away, he clearly unveils his inner thoughts and emotions: he has been betrayed and abandoned by his butler. He resents him, yet until that moment he was still willing to trust despite the multiple betrayals. He is disillusioned.
But there’s another indication that the straw mat beating didn’t occur right away. It is, because of the following panel: (chapter 55) First, there’s no rain. Secondly, Yoon Seungho was feverish and his eyes were so bruised after the harsh punishment that I doubt he could still see clearly the boy’s gesture so from faraway. So for me, that’s the moment when he is dragged into the courtyard and not during the straw mat beating. In the past, I used to think, it was Yoon Seung-Won, but then after the latest episode I started doubting it. However, like one of my followers reminded me that Byeonduck had confirmed about Yoon Seung-Won’s identity. Yet, observe that the lord and the boy have no face. Why? It is because the two persons embody not only Yoon Chang-Hyeon and Yoon Seung-Won, but also father Lee and Lee Jihwa. The scholar Lee was the one who had asked for the flogging! That’s the reason why he said this to the lord years later: (chapter 82) This statement proves that he had done it before! Furthermore, the red-haired master is connected to the straw mat beating. (chapter 12) This explicates why Lee Jihwa resented the brother and the father, for in his eyes they were responsible for his childhood friend’s suffering. And since the father had done it once, then he had no problem to order a second flogging or straw mat beating, just like the king Yeonjo who punished the Crown Prince Sado so brutally. So because the eldest master next to Seung-Won is dressed differently in chapter 77: (chapter 77) I could only come to the conclusion that these two panels are not referring to the same incident.
From my point of view, Yoon Seungho received the second straw mat beating after the rape!! And this means that Kim had been present, but he had not intervened. (chapter 65) Here, he had been brought back to the past. Remember the past mirrors the present. In my eyes, the rape of the main lead occurred at the same time than the painter’s. It took place in fall. So when did Baek Na-Kyum get sick?
It was after the first sex marathon! He was dragged to the bedchamber and due to the long sex session, he got sick. Notice the parallels:
- he is so wounded, but the father refuses to call for a doctor (chapter 33)
- it is raining, and the painter got sick due to the wet clothes (chapter 27/29)
- Father Yoon abandons his son and leaves him behind. He doesn’t even carry his son himself. (chapter 33) Note that Yoon Seungho called for a doctor, he even carried himself to the study and waited there, until the doctor had given his prescription.
And now, the manhwaphiles comprehend why I came to this interpretation.
What happened is the following. Once he had been abandoned by the father, the rapist could approach him and have sex with him. Kim heard the boy’s resistance, but he chose to remain outside, until the man was finished. (chapter 65) I am quite sure that the butler’s passivity was justified that it was done for the main lead’s sake. However, once it was over, the butler was forced to see the consequences of his bad choice. But the valet refused to become responsible and gaslighted the young master again. If he had not kissed Lee Jihwa, if he had put his prick in the hole etc… The main character had still acted like a dog and a cat, and this time he reported it to his master directly so that the latter came to the conclusion that Yoon Seungho was still useful for him. Or the eldest master knew about it anyway. But the main lead never got to discover that Kim had heard him outside the room, but had remained silent and passive.
And now, you comprehend why Yoon Seungho was so hurt and disappointed by Kim. Kim never protected him or even defended him at all. He made sure that the young boy would be blamed and should feel guilty or he remained paralyzed and speechless. He never rushed to his care. And since father Yoon speaks “chambers”, this means that the protagonist had already become the lord Song’s “favored servant.” But he had not reached the bottom, he needed to become a kisaeng. In my eyes, the young boy got punished, as he was still refusing his role as „favored servant“. And now, you comprehend why Kim threatened the doctor in chapter 33. The latter had reminded the butler of his own wrongdoings: (chapter 33) Back then, he not only followed his master’s requests, but also he did nothing at all. He stayed immobile and shocked. (chapter 77) I believe that when the valet looked at the young boy’s gaze and perceived his own true reflection (a disgusting and fake domestic), the man was surprised. He never imagined that he would be judged differently: (chapter 67) The main lead must have thought similarly. But due to the long exposure to abuse and to the drug, Yoon Seungho repressed these thoughts and emotions.
8. The beneficiaries
So if my theory is correct (Yoon Seungho was drugged), we have to question ourselves. Who benefitted the most from the protagonist’s downfall?
- Yoon Seung-Won: he could finally obtain the study next to his father’s bedchamber. He would finally get some “recognition”. And note that the brother got dressed exactly like the main lead. He had finally reached his goal: he was the better son.
- the pedophile
- Father Yoon: I am convinced that the father made a deal with the rapist. Now, the author has revealed that it was Yoon Seungho in the kisaeng house (chapter 68). Father Yoon imagined that if he had sex with a kisaeng house, he would be cured. However, something happened in the gibang. The young boy refused which forced the nobles to intervene. Yoon Seungho got dragged and tied up by the black guards. Naturally, father Yoon could only jump to the conclusion that with such a rejection, Yoon Seungho was admitting his homosexuality. This could only reinforce the prejudices the father had about his son. The irony is that with such an attempt, father Yoon exposed that he was a man obsessed with sex. He never understood that sex is strongly intertwined with love and warmth. Thus I deduce that father Yoon never associated sex to affection. For him, it was either a synonym for power, submission or duty as the noble has to make sure that he has sons to continue the legacy. With this new insight, I come to the conclusion that the man was totally fooled by his surroundings and most importantly by the rapist. Everyone lied out of selfishness and cowardice, and let the young boy take the whole burden. Hence the father truly believed in his son’s homosexuality and out of resent and contempt, when he saw an opportunity to use his son for his own career, he was trained as a kisaeng. In my eyes, this idea was definitely suggested by the pedophile, though I doubt that he was directly involved in the incident in the kisaeng house. And the man dreamed of bringing greatness to the Yoons with his “connections”. However, this was just a pyrrhic victory, as both Yoons lost more than they gained, for the rapist hadn’t kept his promise.
That’s why I believe that the younger brother was indeed involved in the first incident misguided by the rapist, instilling his jealousy, an older version of Min and Jihwa. But the young son never imagined that his father would treat his brother like that. The panel from chapter 55 exposes Yoon Seung-Won’s guilt and silence. But as time passed on, he could still benefit from this. He finally got recognition from his father. (chapter 86) But it was in detriment of the Yoons’ power! The father lost everything, yet the younger master didn’t suffer much from it first, until he reached adulthood. Now, the father was putting his whole hope on him, and that’s how Yoon Seung-Won realized the existence of such a burden. That’s the reason why he contacted his brother again. He hoped to get an office through his brother’s connections and power. Remember that Baek Na-Kyum’s real torment started with the arrival of the learned sir to the mansion. Hence the moment “lord Song” came to the propriety, he started scheming to achieve his goal: he was bewitched by the young protagonist, he needed to taste him. However, from my point of view, the pedophile had sent the butler for this exact purpose. He must have definitely known how Kim would behave in there. I have already exposed that for me, the butler represents the poisoned gift from chapter 19. (chapter 19)
But since the whole tragedy was caused by delayed information, I deduce that timing is essential, especially when it comes to “justice”. Since the “accomplices” and “perpetratrors” never got punished, they imagined that they had escaped human justice. However, karma was waiting for them. Jihwa was never happy, though he had become the main lead’s lover. Why? It is because he had to live with his guilt. Moreover, he had wished to obtain Yoon Seungho’s love. In other words, he was living an illusion. The brother didn’t gain anything in the end, as his comfortable life and good reputation were based on Yoon Seungho’s suffering. Secondly, father Yoon almost lost everything. However, I doubt that all of them learned their lesson, just like the pedophile. This explicates why Yoon Chang-Hyeon schemed again in season 3. (chapter 94) He hoped to appear as a good lord, while his son had mistreated his own messenger.
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.
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. The significance of communication
In the essay “Respect and love” I demonstrate that both protagonists aren’t honest to themselves, exposing their lack of self-respect. This is one of the reasons why they keep disregarding each other. While they are hurting each other, they force each other to question their own action and words simultaneously. Hence the readers are witnessing their transformation. Little by little, the protagonists mature and turn into adults. They become more responsible. Their growth coincides with the development of attachment and the realization of their affection. At the same time, this evolution is strongly intertwined with the painter’s sexuality. The latter is making his first sexual experiences, which leads him to slowly accept his homosexuality. Yet he still fears his own strong libido and as such his love for the noble. Therefore till chapter 68, the artist is still dishonest with himself. As the manhwaphiles can see, the painter’s honesty is linked to respect and love. Striking is that both values are dependent on communication.
- “Love without communication is impossible”. from Mortimer Adler
- “Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” from Fyodor Dostoevsky
2. Communication and relationship
With these quotes, it becomes obvious that communication represents the foundation of a good relationship, where there exist respect, love and trust. Silence or lies stand in opposition to communication, because they create a false perception or an illusion. Since manipulators employ lies by commission or omission, the latter can be judged as weapons. Moreover, unsaid things and deceptions display a lack of trust. That’s why the relationship between the noble and the low-born can only stabilize, the moment they talk to each other properly. Once Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum reveal their true thoughts and emotions to each other, they not only show trust, but also can discover the true personality of their lover. However, if you pay attention to the evolution of the story, you’ll observe two details:
- Yoon Seungho is the one who keeps talking, revealing his desire to exchange thoughts with the painter. This explicates why the lord was so hurt in chapter 49. He wanted to communicate (“share what’s on our mind”) with the low-born, but the latter refused, because he just considered the noble as a sex toy to procure him pleasure out of fear to get hurt and deceived again.
- The painter is only opening up once confronted with sex and his own sexual desires.
3. Words, sex and its impact on relationship
Now, I would like to elaborate more these observations, hence I will start with the first chapter as illustration. The manhwaphiles should remember that at the tavern, Yoon Seungho was very talkative. (Chapter 1) He expressed his genuine admiration for Baek Na-Kyum’s talent and creations. Yet, at no moment the painter noticed the compliments. He had been forced to touch the loins, which shocked him, and then he remembered the lord’s bad notoriety. Therefore all the lord’s good words fell on deaf ears. The painter was more concerned with appearances and rumors than anything else. That’s why the conversation failed. Since Baek Na-Kyum was not interested in the main lead’s feelings, he feigned ignorance first, and lied at the end. Striking is that their first conversation was connected to books and sex, therefore this already limited their exchange. Moreover, this first chapter clearly reveals the lord’s interest in the low-born. He not only sent a domestic for the investigation about the mysterious creator, but also asked about his recent whereabouts. And curiosity usually initiates a conversation. But there’s more to it. From my perspective, the main lead felt no longer satisfied with the erotic pictures. He wanted to share his emotions and thoughts, when he looked at them. However, he had no one to talk to, so in his mind, if he met the artist, he could come into a conversation with the creator. That’s why he wanted to invite him in the end. The painting of sex sessions would give him the perfect occasion to discuss with someone.
And observe, when the first session starts, he can’t help himself talking to the artist, while Jihwa remains silent, as he doesn’t pay attention to him. If you read the story again, you’ll sense the master’s strong desire to communicate. When the painter arrives in the bedchamber in chapter 8, the lord welcomes him warmly with a huge smile and speech. (Chapter 8) Observe the contrast. The main lead doesn’t reveal his anger towards the noble with the mole, it is not worthy for Yoon Seungho of giving him an explanation for the humiliation. He just smiles (Chapter 8) before grabbing him by the topknot. His words and behavior truly display a huge respect and a desire to exchange thoughts and observation.
Moreover, when the master is not talking during the sex sessions, then he is in a locked gaze with the artist. (Chapter 8) This mirrors the noble’s need to talk and now, you understand why the main lead had to evict the aristocrat with the mole in the end. By requesting to send away the commoner, (Chapter 8) he was more or less asking from the host to remain silent. (Chapter 8) The latter just had to focus on the guest’s sexual desires which confirms my interpretation that the main lead is treated like a head-kisaeng. Since the noble showed him no respect, then the main character didn’t need to respect him either. But more importantly, the protagonist made sure that he would be treated the same way. He also wouldn’t listen to his words, because the noble with the mole didn’t want to hear him speaking either. Therefore the door is closed, before the man can protest. As a conclusion, the aristocrats only visited him for sex or other pleasures and nothing more, while the noble had to remain quiet. Hence we have a silent main lead in his relapse: (chapter 52) However, even here the manhwaphiles can notice the transformation. The guests are no longer here for sex, just for smoking opium and drink wine. That way, the noble doesn’t feel lonely.
And Jihwa was not different from the others. Like Yoon Seungho described it to father Lee, (chapter 67) the childhood friend would only visit him during the night (“used to”). However, it changed the moment the main lead paid a visit to the red-haired noble early in the morning (chapter 3). After that, Jihwa realized that he could also go to his friend during the day (chapter 5 and 12 ). And now, you comprehend why the lord questioned his presence in the morning and why he assumed that his visit was related to sex in the end. It looks like Jihwa never showed an interest in the lord’s thoughts and emotions too. And there exist two reasons for that. First, he had the impression he knew everything about his lover. (Chapter 57) Secondly, there was a risk that the main character could talk about the past and as such mention Jihwa’s betrayal. The lord’s emotions (sadness, anger, pain) represented a huge burden to the red-haired master. (Chapter 59)
This illustrates that the lord was never allowed to express his thoughts and emotions, until the artist arrived at the property. And now the readers can comprehend why Yoon Seungho said this in chapter 18: (chapter 18) Thanks to the artist’s presence, Yoon Seungho had been able to talk and people would actually pay attention to his presence and words. They started listening to his words. Imagine, one word and the straw mat beating was stopped: (Chapter 13) No wonder, why he thanked the painter in chapter 18. He could only be happy, when he confronted his childhood friend, as there was a real exchange for the first time. (Chapter 13) Argument is also a form of communication, and it happens between people in a relationship. Not only his words were finally noticed, but also he was able to draw lines to Jihwa. By influencing the host with the hope, Yoon Seungho would send away the painter, the childhood friend didn’t recognize that he was attempting to turn the protagonist into a puppet, therefore he could only fail. Moreover, Jihwa had no idea that Yoon Seungho’s true desire was to get close to someone, to engage a honest conversation. Therefore the main lead could only reject the friend’s words and proposition. As a conclusion, with the painter’s arrival, the lord’s words were little by little listened, he was able to communicate more with others: Jihwa, the nobles and the staff. After scolding the maids in the kitchen (chapter 38), the head-maid started showing her respect to her lord. But more importantly, he gave her the order personally to bring the painter’s lunch to his study. (Chapter 46) He could finally voice his thoughts, everything happened thanks to the painter. This explicates why Yoon Seungho kept seeking the artist’s proximity, although the latter kept rejecting him (his escape, his lies, his refusal to paint for him etc…). He had realized that his living conditions had improved despite the struggling with the low-born.
His strong desire to communicate exposes that he had no companion by his side. In my opinion, Yoon Seungho justified his existence as a free spirit in order to hide his loneliness and emptiness. It was his explication why the nobles and Jihwa wouldn’t listen to him and disrespect him. Yet, the real cause for this situation was his traumatic past, where he had been forced to silence. Moreover this explains why he never paid attention to intruders in the end. He didn’t have the impression, he would truly live in that mansion. Besides, because people were supposed to visit him during the night for sex, then he was never expecting visitors during the day. Hence he spent his days smoking in front of the window. (Chapter 5) This outlines the main lead’s isolation and loneliness. Simultaneously, with this new approach, the readers grasp why Yoon Seungho couldn’t anticipate to become Min’s target in the end. He noticed Black Heart’s envious gaze , (chapter 8) but he didn’t envision what jealousy and greed would provoke. In my eyes, he couldn‘t identify these emotions properly.
The problem is that Baek Na-Kyum refused to converse with the lord. In chapter 4, the artist didn’t allow the main lead to express his opinion about the plagiarized poem. (Chapter 4) He was not worthy to comment this poetry, as he was just a man consumed by lust. However, the commoner never asked why the noble would judge the poem so poorly. He already assumed that he was just making fun in order to humiliate the scholar, while in reality the noble wanted to reveal the author’s true personality: Jung In-Hun was just a deceiver. And since he had been hurt by the painter’s comment, he retaliated too: since he was just a commoner, he had no right to criticize the lord.
And now, it is time to focus on the second aspect: Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum only started communicating properly through sex. The reason is simple: the painter was only honest, when his unconscious revealed his true desires. Right from the start, the artist was sexually attracted by the lord, but he kept denying it. However, the aristocrat did notice the painter’s genuineness in the sex sessions, which could only reinforce his strong attraction towards the low-born. He loved his art, and now he saw that someone was truly perceiving him. (Chapter 2) Baek Na-Kyum was the first who made the main lead realize the existence of his body. For the first time, he felt attraction through the gaze and saw something beautiful in himself. And what was the lord‘s immediate reaction? He started talking about his thoughts, though this was more a monologue than a discussion. (Chapter 3) (chapter 3) Exactly like the painter, Yoon Seungho began talking while having sex. He even formulated his first desire in front of his childhood friend: (chapter 3) And now, you comprehend why his relationship with Lee Jihwa was doomed to fail. The red-haired master was more focused on sex and his own sexual emancipation than his lover‘s well-being. (Chapter 3) He never asked him why he was behaving so differently. He didn‘t notice that the lord was more communicative.
4. The first real conversation
But let’s return our attention to the main couple. The real conversation between Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum only starts in chapter 16. Nonetheless, the only one talking is Yoon Seungho. He keeps asking questions about Baek Na-Kyum’s sexuality, waiting an answer from the artist:
Here I only selected a few inquiries from the main lead, however what caught my attention is that with his behavior, the noble was putting the artist under pressure. The latter remained silent, but the beholder detect how these questions affect the artist. They actually excite him in reality. Why? It is because the lord’s words incite the painter’s imagination. Note that in the second panel above, he is describing the sex session. And the painter gets really excited, when the noble says this: (chapter 16) On the surface, it looks like he is sulking, the reality is that he is already fighting against his urges. The hand is trembling due the arousal. While you have the impression, he is bothered by Yoon Seungho, the truth is that the artist is getting more and more excited due the lord’s picturesque questions. Funny is that in this scene, the aristocrat is the more innocent one. He plays with the head-band and his “innocence” is truly visible through his facial expressions too: . What is the painter’s real sexual desire? We have the answer in this panel: Getting violated by a stranger! In the wet dream in chapter 6, (chapter 6) a stranger in form of a shadow enters the artist’s room. The lord’s identity is only discovered at the end. But in his fantasy, the main lead was even grabbing him by the hair. It was definitely not a tender gesture. He was even caressing him against his will. And note that when Yoon Seungho questions when he got the most excited to the point that he had difficulties to breath, the commoner remembers this image and not the strokes. (Chapter 16) As a conclusion, the artist is actually a person who likes BDSM. This explicates why the painter’s trembling hand was grabbing the shirt in chapter 12 while facing the lord. He was hiding his erection (chapter 12) triggered by fear. This new interpretation explains why the artist painted the sex at the pavilion in the end. (Chapter 41) If the forced sex had truly traumatized him, he wouldn’t have been able to do so. Furthermore, he questioned the authenticity of the lord’s affection, when he recalled the moment, he was offered to the other nobles. He was upset and offended. (Chapter 55) Yet he didn’t even think about the scene at the pavilion for one minute. This means that Baek Na-Kyum only accepts the main lead as his lover. Fear and pain are not perceived as something negative, they can evoke pleasure.
In chapter 16, Yoon Seungho got the painter so excited that he felt the need to run away in order to hide his erection. Striking is that when the lord starts masturbating him, the commoner starts blushing and crying. But these tears and reddening are not the expression of pain, they express the opposite: pleasure. (Chapter 16) Moreover, he didn’t get angry at Yoon Seungho for touching his phallus. He got more scared that someone had seen him enjoying the masturbation and I would even say, getting grabbed by force. Therefore the lord got an erection and was so happy at the kisaeng house. Finally, he had been able to talk to the painter. He even got to receive a honest answer for the first time, where he was even called “my lord”: (chapter 16) To sum up, Baek Na-Kyum showed a certain respect to the main lead in this chapter. But more importantly, the master was in a good mood, because he kept thinking how he could procure pleasure to the commoner.
5. The secret meaning of „no“
However, he felt a little insecure at the same time, because the commoner had kept saying “no”. That’s why during their first Wedding night, the lord asked him about his first sexual experience: (Chapter 21) The painter reveals the truth by replying that he enjoyed it very much, it felt like a dream. As you can see, chapter 21 was a reflection of the episode 16: we had a discussion, where the lord tried to initiate a conversation, tears of joy connected with pleasure, the lord asking to be called “my lord” and the realization of a dream. But we have another evidence that despite his words, he wanted the main lead to continue: (chapter 16) The commoner’s hand is placed on the shoulder indicating that he is pushing Yoon Seungho to his side. He could have tried to remove the lord’s hand on his phallus, but he didn’t. The hand was even trembling from pleasure. That’s why the second sex marathon shouldn’t be judged as a rape in my opinion, although the painter kept saying no too. First, the painter makes the exact same expression than in chapter 16: (Chapter 63) And even the lord notices that the painter is getting more and more excited by the roughness. He keeps describing how the painter is reacting below (chapter 63) which can only increase Baek Na-Kyum’s arousal, as his words are again very graphic. Note that the lord’s pictorial “filthy” expressions affect the painter deeply, exactly like in his second wet dream: (Chapter 63) Therefore I come to the conclusion that in chapter 63, the painter is not crying, because he is really hurt and angry at the main lead. These are tears of pleasure mixed with pain, which is linked to BDSM. That’s why he keeps blushing the whole time. (Chapter 63) This explicates why he kept ejaculating, despite saying “no” or recognizing that there was a witness. He felt no longer scared or embarrassed, like in chapter 16, where he ran away to hide. With this new version of the sex marathon, the painter truly discovered his sexual preferences. Therefore, when we see this (chapter 63), we shouldn’t project our own emotions into the artist: pain and disgust. Remember this: the painter felt his blood running hot, when the lord grabbed his hair violently in his wet dream. (Chapter 6)
And now, you understand why the artist is scared to admit his affection to the main lead. (Chapter 68) He is still scared and embarrassed of his own sexuality. It must have felt strange in that historical period. What caught my attention is that we have two chapters where tears are mixed with pleasure and happiness (chapter 16-21), while we have two chapters where the tears are associated to pain and sadness (25-26; 41-42). Besides, in the last sex session from the first season, the painter was the one asking the lord to be quite rough! (Chapter 42) Yet, the noble couldn’t help himself showing tenderness and affection at the end with the passionate kiss. As a conclusion, the second sex marathon contains all these elements: sadness, pain, pleasure, anger and happiness.
6. Yoon Seungho‘s desires
And it is the same for Yoon Seungho. He likes BDSM and cosplay. That’s why he plays with the head-band (chapter 16), and in chapter 35 he accepts to be a servant or in chapter 49 a sex toy. Due their different sex sessions, he discovered that he likes being rough too. Therefore he couldn’t enjoy, when the painter was so passive. He recognized that he took pleasure, when the painter was showing resistance too. (Chapter 63) This explicates why he couldn’t stand the expression “I like it”. This was too insipid. So when he became rough in chapter 48, he truly hoped to provoke tears of happiness caused by the sensation of pleasure. (Chapter 48) However, since the painter ended up crying and criticizing the lord, he had the impression, he had failed. As you can see, the lord might have had a lot of sexual experiences, yet with the painter, he entered a totally new world: full of warmth and love, yet there was pain connected to pleasure as well. This explicates why he could open up and reveal that his real dream was to make the painter smile (chapter 63), which contrasts so much to Baek Na-Kyum’s dream: cry of happiness.
I deduce that Yoon Seungho discovered BDSM through the painter, and we should see this as a treatment for the sexual abuse. First, he is put in the same position than lord Song. Thus he learned that sex could only be enjoyable, if there was consent. (Chapter 79) Hence people saw the sex session in the shed as rape. Nonetheless, the manhwaphiles shouldn’t forget that Baek Na-Kyum was living in the mansion as a servant. Hence according to Joseon’s social norms, he was in no position to reject the main lead. However, for Yoon Seungho, it was different, for he was a young master. He had a title that was supposed to protect him. Consequently, the main lead can reproach the mysterious lord Song that he never asked for his consent and he would even treat him like a male kisaeng!
However, we shouldn’t forget that right from the start, the lord was seeking for a companion to share his thoughts and emotions. Due to the sex sessions, their honest conversations were limited to sex. First, they started arguing, because their couple had started on the wrong premise. Both were not honest to themselves in reality. Through their discussion, they were forced to listen to each other: chapter 25-26. Yet without any confrontation, they were not able to converse properly. Both of them were hiding something out of fear and pain, that’s why the conversation in chapter 47 failed too. As you can sense, their physical connection was never satisfying for the lord, he always hoped for more and tried to initiate conversations (chapter 35, 39-40, 41, 42). Both needed to learn to trust each other, but it was not possible because of their lack of self-respect.
7. Kim as a fake mediator
Remember that the aristocrat desires to talk to the painter right from the start, and later he wants to share his meals with him. And each time, Kim intervenes. First, he manipulates the lord to visit the artist in his study, well aware what Jihwa has already done. Then in chapter 50, he finally reveals the content of the conversation between Baek Na-Kyum and his scholar. And this conversation happens right after the lord asked to take his meal with the artist. He made sure that their interactions would only be limited to sex. In my opinion, Kim started meddling between the two protagonists, because that way he could refrain them to communicate directly to each other.
“There is only one rule for being a good talker – learn to listen” from Christopher Morley
That way, the butler hindered the painter to discover Yoon Seungho’s true personality. If they didn’t have an opportunity to talk, then the artist couldn’t learn through listening. That’s why the use of aphrodisiac in chapter 36 was actually an act of sabotage. The manhwaphiles shouldn’t forget that in chapter 35 the lord tried to discover the painter’s likes and offered the latter to join him to his room. But in order to ensure that there would be no conversation, Kim warned the artist about the lord’s bad mood. (Chapter 36) While, it looked like he was protecting the painter, he was undermining their relationship. He was actually using triangulation.
Triangulation is an approach used by many different people who share one thing in common: insecurity. As a result, they’re willing to manipulate others in harmful ways to get what they want or feel a sense of security in a relationship. Quoted from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-triangulation-in-psychology-5120617
I had described the protagonists as insecure, and Kim could sense these anxieties and took advantage of it. And this is no coincidence that the painter’s love confession took place in the gibang. Kim was not present, and he could only join them much later. As a conclusion, Kim made sure that there would only be sex between them and nothing more. But when he realized that sex would bring them closer, as they started communicating, he separated the couple. They should no longer have sex together. First the valet used the conversation in the library as a justification, (chapter 50) Then he utilized the lord’s misconduct in the storage room. He should wait for the painter’s visit in his bedchamber. (Chapter 75) However, the valet could never stop the progression. The irony is that their first deep conversation took place outside the mansion. (Chapter 39) Once again, the lord had a teasing attitude, yet he was gentle and considerate. This is not surprising that due to their interaction, Baek Na-Kyum started listening to the lord. He took his questions and advices very seriously (chapter 40). Thus he confronted the learned sir about his future. As the painterofthenightphiles can detect, by communicating they began trusting each other more, and as such showing more curiosity and understanding to their counterpart.
After the kidnapping, the butler imagined that the lord would kill the artist for his abandonment, yet it didn’t happen. In reality, the lord prepared himself the painter’s bed. Then when he went to the barn in order to see what was happening, he heard and saw a painter saying “no”, while the lord was quite rough. So in his mind, after this sex session, the painter would be scared of the lord and would run away. What he saw was violence because of the past. Note when he tried to manipulate the master, he mentioned the main lead’s rape at the barn. (Chapter 68) With these words, he was implying that the low-born suffered the same fate than Yoon Seungho, because it looks like that on the surface. He imagined that he would achieve his goal (sending away Baek Na-Kyum) by using his knowledge, but in my opinion the opposite happened, like I had expected. What caught my attention is that the butler only mentioned Yoon Chang-Hyeon (chapter 68), as he had sent the painter to the storage room like his father. Yet, at no moment he made an allusion about lord Song, though he saw the sex in the barn as sexual abuse. He was thinking of the pedophile’s crime. He couldn‘t bring up the pedophile for two reasons: As a domestic, he can‘t badmouth the king. Secondly, he has to blame the father, as his own responsibility in Yoon Seungho‘s suffering would come to the surface. Remember my theory: Kim was the one brought the young master to the king thinking that the latter would protect Yoon Seungho.
Yet the problem with BDSM is that the couple needs to set the rules first, and these are strongly intertwined with “respect and love”. They have to communicate. That’s why the moment the painter accepts his affection, he is forced to recognize his own sexual preferences. This is no coincidence that in the bedchamber, Baek Na-Kyum voiced his desires after vowing loyalty to his lover. (Chapter 88) Furthermore, the chronology is important. The painter communicated first his thoughts and wishes, before they initiated the love session. (Chapter 88) This contrasts to the sex session in chapter 48/49. The lord had used sex in order to force the painter to share what was on his mind. Finally, in the gibang, the painter had talked a lot about his childhood to his lover before kissing his lover. (Chapter 94) They had a long conversation, where the lord could ask questions. This conversation ended with a love confession. (Chapter 94) This is important, because sex had now a different function. Sex was now a real form of communication, they would share what was on their heart. With their bodies, they would convey emotions. They would use the hand (chapter 88) or the kiss (Chapter 95) so that no misunderstanding would be created. Therefore it is not surprising that even during their love session, they would keep talking, and even express their desires: (Chapter 96) And observe that even after the love session, they continued sharing what was on their mind and heart: (chapter 97) And now, you comprehend why the schemers had to separate the couple! From this moment on, they would communicate constantly, and this outside sex. Thus when they are in the mountain, they can speak freely. (Chapter 102) They are no longer a noble and a commoner walking together, but a real couple. They are equals sharing their happiness and pain.
However, this doesn’t mean that their love story ends here. This marks only the beginning, because the lord has so much more to show to the painter. Their love will keep growing and affecting other aspects in their life. Moreover, they are now paying attention to what is happening around them (chapter 102) Here, the painter wished to understand why they were separated for so long. This means that Yoon Seungho has to discover the circumstances which led to this tragedy. That‘s how they will realize that the enemies are close to them. The lord has to recognize that he needs to share everything, like for example the discovery of Deok-Jae’s corpse. (Chapter 97) As you can see, the topics of their conversation will diverge more and more. I do think that he was incited to let the painter sleep in order to „protect“ him. Yoon Seungho needs to recognize that warning and drawing lines are not enough to protect the loved one. He will have to take real measures to turn his statement (taking responsibility for the painter) into a reality: he will have to fight for his right to happiness. Taking the civil service examination only represents one step. Furthermore, appearances can be deceiving. The pure artist is not so “innocent” in the end. He has definitely met his match in Yoon Seungho, though I believe that his role is to heal Yoon Seungho from his PTSD and give him closure. And this can only happen, when the victim of sexual abuse confronts his perpetrators, the old bearded men!
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 Tumblr-Reddit-Instagram-Twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.
Feel free to 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.
I would like thank Luzy again for her observations, because her comments inspired me a lot.
What caught my attention is the idiom employed by the painter to describe the wealthy main lead: a man consumed by lust. These words were pronounced, when the commoner criticized the main lead for mocking the poor quality of the poem. Since he was just a man obsessed with sex, he had no right to make fun of the poetry and author. He was worse than Jung In-Hun in his eyes, as he lived in debauchery. Striking is that the low-born kept seeing the lord that way until chapter 47: (chapter 48) But strangely, the main lead never realized it, until each time the commoner had to externalize it. How did he not see it before, and how didn’t the noble recognize that the artist hadn’t changed his perception about him in the second season? Thus I will try to answer these two questions in this essay.
I had exposed that Yoon Seungho feared his own image due to his self-hatred. Consequently, it meant that he had to rely on others to get a reflection about himself. However, we have to imagine that neither Kim nor Jihwa nor the other nobles gave him a honest portrait. They had no interest to reveal that he was a man obsessed with sex. Why? It is quite simple. Yoon Seungho’s mansion had become the kisaeng house for sodomy, and Yoon Seungho was the head-kisaeng. If you read the story from the start again, you’ll detect how the main lead is actually disrespected by his peers the whole time. Jihwa enters the lord’s mansion unannounced on multiple occasions (chapter 5here, no servant is sent to announce the noble’s arrival, which is quite rude; chapter 10, chapter 12, 17, 43). He acts, as if he owns the place. Moreover, the noble with the mole requests from the host to send away the artist (chapter 8). He acts, as if he had a saying in this, nevertheless he is just a guest and not the owner of the house. Moreover, he requests the whole attention from the main lead, as though the latter had to follow the guest’s desire. . No wonder, Yoon Seungho got infuriated and ejected the man. The painter’s presence revealed the disregard the noble had for the host. Striking is that even after getting dragged by the topknot, the aristocrat demanded an explanation for this humiliation. He didn’t realize his wrongdoing. This is not surprising that the Joker’s friend noticed the change in the protagonist. (Chapter 8) For the first time, the protagonist didn’t allow his peers to look down on him and requested more respect.
In chapter 19, Min invited himself at Yoon Seungho’s house in order to taste the expensive wine. (Chapter 19) He imposed himself upon the main character, yet Yoon Seungho didn’t feel upset. In fact, he just accepted the suggestion by a silence. It was, as if the protagonist was not allowed to refuse the invitation. More surprising is the place where The Joker suggested this: the brothel, an indication that the Yoon residence is considered as the noble kisaeng-house. I would even say, his mansion is the real place for pleasure and vices. And now, you comprehend why Yoon Seungho was pressured by the nobles in chapter 33. In the past, he would have given in, yet this time he showed them that there was a line not to cross. (Chapter 33) Imagine what would have happened, if the noble had followed their suggestion. The artist would have indeed turned into a prostitute.
From my point of view, the young nobles considered the protagonist as their head-kisaeng, he entertained them and allowed them to do immoral things (sodomy, wine and opium), while they could maintain their respectability and honor. Yet, since a kisaeng belongs to the lowest cast, it signified that the lord could get mistreated, exactly like a kisaeng. Besides, only the lord got the bad notoriety, he was a hell-raiser, because the aristocrats desired to hide behind him. He was their scapegoat and shield for their debauchery. He actually embodied all the vices the aristocrats were doing in secret. And now, you understand why the guest in chapter 53 told Min, he wanted to having fun without ruckus. (Chapter 52) In Yoon’s residence, there was no parent or authority to interfere. This explicates why father Lee blames the main lead for his son’s sodomy. He corrupted Jihwa, while in reality Jihwa treated Yoon Seungho like his possession and his personal concubine. He was the one visiting his place and not the other way around, like a husband visiting his “wife” (chapter 67) explicating why Jihwa could only get infuriated and jealous. The “husband”, treated like a concubine, was unfaithful. The second lead was even perceived by the town folks as the mistress (chapter 45), in other words the mistress of the house (the second definition: a mistress is a person of authority and power). This explains why he could trespass the mansion, like he desired. He considered Yoon Seungho’s mansion as his property, where he could enter at any time.
But if he was the real mistress of the house, why didn’t he stop Yoon Seungho from fooling around with men? Why didn’t he act more responsibly? First, the young man was blind and deaf, hence he couldn’t truly grasp what was going on. Secondly, he was too afraid to confront the friend. Remember that he always played tricks behind the lord’s back. Besides, we shouldn’t forget that Jihwa was himself treated like a servant by Min. If the mistress is disregarded, then the head-kisaeng can only get mistreated. Moreover, the second lead never realized that the nobles’ behavior contributed to the lord’s bad sexual habits. The manhwaphiles should remember that the second lead blamed the main character for fooling around (chapter 57), yet his friend was the one participating to the sex session. At no moment, he reproached him his behavior. In Jihwa’s eyes, only Yoon Seungho was responsible for this due to his past. Yet, he never tried to change the situation. I would like to remind the readers that the origins of Yoon Seungho’s bad notoriety are quite complex. Many people had an interest that Yoon Seungho focused on sex and nothing more: Yoon Seungho (he wanted to hurt his father), father Yoon (covering up his cowardice and own misdeeds), lord Song (making sure that the main lead doesn’t retaliate), Kim (leading a peaceful life and covering up his own wrongdoings), the nobles… and in the end Jihwa. The latter always wounded the main lead by using the past in order to attach the protagonist to him due to his neglecting father. Since the second lead had obtained a certain control over Yoon Seungho, he saw no reason to change. He could outlive his sexuality and have sex any time he wanted. Sure, his dream was to obtain the childhood friend’s love, yet he never saw the urgency, because he believed that time would help him. For him, there was this hope that at some point, the main character would confess. Yet, with Baek Na-Kyum’s appearance in Yoon Seungho’s life, the fragile balance was destroyed due the sex at the pavilion. For the first time, Yoon Seungho felt true desires and pleasure. This detail is important, because it truly outlines that Yoon Seungho was living like a head-kisaeng. He had sex without feeling any pleasure, just to serve others.
And now, it becomes understandable why the noble claimed the artist as his possession in two occasions (chapter 8 and 33). First, he voiced that the low-born would only paint for him. (Chapter 8) He was clearly demonstrating that he would never accept to give up on the painter. Slowly Yoon Seungho started asking respect for himself from others. In reality, he is a noble and he is quite rich through trade. This explicates why lord Min used the wine as an excuse to come to Yoon’s residence. He couldn’t ask the main lead, if he could borrow the painter. Furthermore, this statement and the humiliation revealed that Yoon Seungho was no longer a pushover. Hence Black Heart was more careful around the main lead. From my perspective, The Joker imagined that if the lord got drunk with the expensive bottle, he wouldn’t notice the artist’s disappearance. However, because the wine was stolen, Black Heart couldn’t achieve his goal that’s why he asked for a harsh punishment for the theft. Besides, Yoon Seungho showed no interest to organize a sex session any longer. His eyes were already set on Baek Na-Kyum. Since his initial plan failed, and the lord was no longer organizing parties, then he could only use the sex sessions as an excuse to see the painter. (chapter 33) (chapter 52) Everyone among the aristocrats did see the main lead as a head-kisaeng, who had to please her guests. Thus Byeonduck created such panels indicating that the nobles had always taken advantage of Yoon Seungho. (Chapter 54) They look like conniving creatures. Their wish would get granted in the detriment of the host. And now you comprehend why the lord got so angry, when he saw this. (Chapter 54) It was not just a reflection of his own past as an uke, but he saw his actual reflection. His house was a brothel and nothing more, and his guests were taking advantage of him. That’s why he got so infuriated and evicted the aristocrats. They truly showed no respect to him. It took many months for the lord to recognize this. And now you comprehend why he abhorred the idea of prostitution. He wasn’t even realizing that he was still doing it. Therefore Yoon Seungho could only come to the conclusion in chapter 55 that he needed to confess. First, this night made him realize that all this attempts in the past were to win the painter’s heart. Yet he was well aware that with his last action, he had almost sold his loved one to nobles, thereby the painter could only reject him. Besides, he had another reason to expect this outcome: his self-hatred.
Under this new interpretation, the manhwalovers comprehend why the household had a terrible reputation. (Chapter 29) Since a kisaeng belongs to the lowest class in Joseon society, the servants could look down on their master. Despite his title, he was living like a head-kisaeng, therefore the staff showed no respect towards their lord. (Chapter 32) This explicates why they didn’t follow his order, when he asked them to keep an eye on the artist. Nevertheless, as time passed on, the noble started acting more like a lord, hence the head-maid accepted his reprimand and decided to treat him differently. That’s why she bowed to Yoon Seungho in chapter 46. (chapter 46) And by comparing the two last pictures, the readers con detect the butler’s absence. the latter was responsible for the past situation, because he didn’t want to get into trouble. As long as the lord was acting like a head-kisaeng, providing entertainment for the local aristocracy, the valet could lead a peaceful life and definitely sway his misdeeds under the rug. Moreover, he could even use the master’s authority and act like a lord.
But let’s return our attention to The Joker. When the main lead stated this: (chapter 8), he was looking at Min, for he viewed the noble’s envy in his gaze. Since the artist was not allowed to paint for others, then the only possibility left for Black Heart was sex. If the painter joined their sex orgy, then he could achieve his goal: taste the commoner. Therefore you comprehend why The Joker is determined to kill Baek Na-Kyum. If he kills him, then Yoon Seungho is left with nothing. He is like in the past: he becomes again a “head-kisaeng” with no right. But as you can imagine, the Joker is deceiving himself. I doubt that he would be satisfied with just one session.
The problem was that Yoon Seungho never sensed that he was treated like a prostitute, because they created the illusion that he was the alpha among the sodomy community. (Chapter 33) The lord fell for this illusion, and he would have never realized it, if the painter had not entered his mansion. I also fell for this illusion myself for a while, calling him an alpha, while he was disrespected the whole time. However, this doesn’t mean that the main lead is powerless. He has indeed connections to the government (exactly like the kisaeng-house) and he is definitely rich, because he is a trendsetter. Min keeps copying his clothing and the master’s windscreen is the same at Min’s pavilion and the noble with the mole. That’s why Yoon Seungho never got to see his true reflection. In his mind, he was either busy reading or fighting with nobles, while in reality he was having sex for the most part of the time. Moreover, no one truly gave him a true reflection, since they had no interest to switch the situation.
And this negative reflection is also palpable in the paintings Baek Na-Kyum created, yet curiously the rich main lead never saw this image reflected in the pictures for many reasons. First, his unconscious noticed something else, the painter’s desire, so that the lord acted differently towards the artist. (Chapter 2) Therefore the main lead’s gaze in the picture mirrored the image of a man showing true interest, warmth and beauty. Later, he only got to see the ruined painting, which triggered a huge anger, hence he didn’t pay attention to the image. Then in the third picture, (chapter 16) he was no longer interested in the creation, since Yoon Seungho had already started wooing the commoner. (Chapter 16) Here the second lead was exploring an unusual position. Although the protagonist could have noticed this reflection “man consumed by lust”, because Black Heart commented it as lewd, he still didn’t observe it. His gaze and mind were all focused on the painter and his face. Then in chapter 41, he never saw the multitude pictures of him having sex with the low-born (chapter 41), because his gaze was only focused on the inauguration drawing with Jung In-Hun. (Chapter 41) And the moment the painter accepted him as his sex partner, he showed no interest in the paintings. However, he got annoyed, when he saw the first new creation. (Chapter 47) It was unfinished, and it gave the impression that both of them were acting like whores. That’s why the lord was indeed a little annoyed and made the following remark: (chapter 47) And it is in this chapter that he gets to discover his reflection… or better said, Baek Na-Kyum hadn’t changed his judgement about him, which provoked the next crisis. With the last painting, Baek Na-Kyum reproduced the situation, where the master was focused on provoking reactions in his partner in order to force him to abandon his torpor. (Chapter 52) Therefore the beholder couldn’t detect any love and affection in this drawing, only the attempt to incite pleasure. This explicates why Min described this as salacious, and had the feeling that the commoner was only interested in sex either.
Striking is that in the first painting, Baek Na-Kyum used a big wallpaper (chapter 2), while he only used small sheets of paper later. In my opinion, this is strongly connected to the return of the repressed sexual desires with the low-born. What also caught my attention is when he painted all the situation, when he had sex with Yoon Seungho having sex, the characters have no facial expression. It was, as though the lord was treating the commoner as his sex toy at his disposal. And that’s how the painter explained the rape. (Chapter 41) For him, every action from Yoon Seungho was caused by his obsession for sex, while the lord was trying to win his heart.
And while comparing all the creations, I recognized that they reflect not only his image as man consumed by lust, but also the disappearance of Yoon Seungho’s past life as sodomite and head-kisaeng. First, the huge painting with Jihwa is ruined, exposing that the latter is losing his control over his childhood friend. (Chapter 2) Simultaneously, Baek Na-Kyum destroyed it because of his jealousy (under the influence of his unconscious). The manhwalovers shouldn’t forget that in that wet dream, he wanted to take Jihwa’s place, attracted by the lord’s huge penis. Yet, he justified it with his doctrine. Furthermore, the second painting with Jihwa is created on a small sheet of paper reflecting the loss of the red-haired noble’s influence.
Later, when Jihwa ruined the painting with the threesome, the result was showing that Yoon Seungho’s life as head-kisaeng was starting vanishing. (Chapter 44) from that moment, the protagonist was no longer hosting any sex orgy which led Min to take over this role. Jihwa’s gesture symbolized that the childhood friend was not allowed to fool around with other men. However, he was quickly replaced by the painter. Let’s not forget that in the noble’s mind, Jihwa was just visiting him for his own sexual desires. He never recognized the childhood friend’s feelings. He had no reason to see otherwise, since the second lead treated him poorly. (Chapter 59) That’s why, after having sex with Jihwa, the “head-kisaeng” neglected his guest and went directly to Baek Na-Kyum for the painting in chapter 15, because the noble is already interested to taste the artist. At the same time, the low-born got his first sexual experience with the main lead. (Chapter 25) And here, the lord couldn’t perceive his own image as man consumed by lust, because his gaze was looking at the painter’s expression. This exposed the lord’s desire to see the attraction for Yoon Seungho in the painter’s eyes. His eyes were always focused on the painter the entire time, revealing that he was longing for more than sex. He wanted to see a mutual attraction… in reality, he wished to see a painting oozing warmth and love, exactly like in the publications he bought. And note that Yoon Seungho never got to see the last drawing, because his heart was too wounded by the distance. He hated so much the idea that the artist considered himself as a prostitute, while all this time, Yoon Seungho was just longing for love. Striking is that the ultimate picture is a blank sheet of paper mirroring the transition. (Chapter 65) Here, the lord has finally cut ties with his past. This marks the start of a new life and the painter will reflect his rebirth. But as you can see, the multitude of pictures (chapter 41) only mirrored the painter’s perspective about the main lead. For him, he was just a man obsessed with sex, while in truth he was just longing to get love. The problem was that the protagonist had never been taught how to show love. Furthermore, Kim made sure that the artist would only see this image. That’s why it took Yoon Seungho a long time, before he realized that he needed to recreate the Wedding night, so that the artist would be able to perceive his true feelings. For me, there’s no doubt that at some Baek Na-Kyum will create a huge painting with the main lead, and the low-born will be represented as well. Both will be portrayed with facial expressions exposing confidence and love. I am even predicting that Baek Na-Kyum will paint a new inauguration portrait with Yoon Seungho, which will contrast so much to the one with Jung In-Hun, where the commoner had no face and as such no identity.
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 the support.
While reading chapter 53, I discovered a mistake in comprehension, hence I had to change different analyses (BNK’s confessions, part 1 / realization part 1). Thus I had to revise Hearsay part 1 as well. I have to admit that it was a little more difficult for me to be accurate back then. I didn’t have all the info since the second season hadn’t ended yet. Furthermore, I would like to thank my reader Sol Lopez for her input and correction. [This truly shows how much I appreciate that people leave comments on my blog, this exchange of ideas and thoughts helps us to grasp the characters much better, so keep posting on my blog] Thanks to this follower, now I can definitely understand Yoon Seungho’s actions from chapter 50 to 53. Therefore I need to go back to chapter 49. What I mistook for Baek Na-Kyum’s thoughts was actually the lord’s thinking. (Chapter 49) This is important because for the first time, he is acknowledging his body as a part of himself. This indicates that in the past, he considered his body as a part of his mind, he only viewed himself as a spirit existing through his mind. This explicates why he abhorred the idea to be associated to the image of a man consumed by lust. (Chapter 5) That’s why in this scene he couldn’t get erected in Lee Jihwa’s presence, chapter 5] Remember what I said about him: he was like a zombie and this was indeed correct. He lived through his mind therefore he read so many books and owns a huge library. From this observation, the manhwalovers can now better grasp why he never cared about his bad reputation as hell-raiser. The image he had about himself was so different from what the beholders saw. He considered himself as a free spirit. Besides, this interpretation confirms my statement in the analysis “The heart and the mind” as well where I explained that he confused his heart with his mind. Since he never considered himself as a man but as a spirit, he couldn’t recognize the existence of his heart. This explains why he makes such a mistake in chapter 53. Moreover, I feel that my association of the eagle was so point on either, as the latter flies high in the sky. That’s the reason why this bird symbolizes free spirit.
(Chapter 49) During that night, he chose to acknowledge the existence of his body. This signifies, he couldn’t realize before that his heart had always been the trigger for all his actions concerning the painter. In other words, he always rationalized every decision he made in the past. I suspect that his trauma is the first reason why he refused to recognize the existence of his body. This could reinforce my belief that the protagonist had been raped in the past. The other cause for his denial was after the terrible experience he had, the aristocrat decided to view his body as a tool to harm others and to protect himself. These were his secrets. He’s just a spirit and his body his armor.
2. Yoon Seungho‘s transformation
Therefore I come to the conclusion that when he had this huge revelation, he was also coming back to life. He might have been hurt by the painter’s rejection, they were just sex partners and nothing more, yet in this moment he decided to follow his heart but thought, it was just his body. He was no longer a free spirit but a man made of flesh and blood. Therefore we can see in the next chapter (episode 50) this tender scene: (chapter 50) His mind was no longer controlling his body, he acted on his impulses. He let his heart do what it wanted. He no longer ponders like in the past. This explicates why he confuses the mind with the heart. We could say that he was deceived because of all the time he spent thinking. Imagine his reaction when he realized after making that decision that the painter was no longer reacting. He got scared that the painter had fallen sick again, he imagined for one moment that this was a repetition of the incident after the sex marathon. Now, you might be wondering why I bring up this scene again. I would like to point out that in chapter 32, when he said (chapter 32) he was already living under the illusion that he was just following his mind. He made the decision consciously that he would have more rounds with the painter, whereas in reality, he already was under the influence of his heart. He felt unsatisfied with the first round as he had just forced the painter to acknowledge his sexuality. Deep down, he wanted Baek Na-Kyum to accept him as his “husband” but despite the painter’s facial expressions and his climax, the noble sensed that there was something missing. So he kept having sex with him until the painter felt sick. In chapter 49, it was different, as he had already learnt to pay attention to his lover. Nevertheless, this indicates that the lord’s learning process was not complete. During that night he finally accepted the existence of his body. On the other hand, this also illustrates that he was slowly giving up on the idea that the painter could ever open up to him. Striking is that both made a similar decision during that night. While the painter chose to accept the lord only physically, the lord made the same decision. That’s the reason why in the end, I believe that when I confused the noble’s thoughts with Baek Na-Kyum’s, it doesn’t change much, as the thoughts are quite similar. Both acknowledge the existence and influence of the body. We could say that their expectations were aligned. This outlines how similar the two characters are. Both were living under the influence of their minds. One was brainwashed, while the other chose to live as a spirit in order to avoid any pain. Nonetheless, I believe that he was also brainwashed.
Yoon Seungho thought that he would be content with his actual situation. He could have sex with him without any other expectation. But the reality was different: the moment he accepted his body and as such his heart, he was already dying. (Chapter 50) His mind might have chosen to resign, yet his body was telling the opposite. His heart wanted more, but his wish was denied by Kim. The author revealed that Kim was selecting the lord’s hanbok. Consequently, I am deducing that the butler had predicted how his master would feel. His heart would be bleeding. Notice that the valet Kim only tells him the truth, after the lord is dressed up and not before. They meet at the scholar’s chamber, when he discovers that Baek Na-Kyum only views himself as a prostitute, hence everything changes. Now he can’t even let his body lead. If he did, then he would make the painter feel dirty. In other words, he would hurt him. (Chapter 50) How strange that the moment he comes back to life, he has to die a second time, he can’t let his body take the lead. That’s why he remembers the painter’s sleeping face. His mind is telling to distance himself from Baek Na-Kyum, yet his heart is showing him something else: the painter. (Chapter 50) The man gets torn due to the conflict. Therefore I have a different interpretation of the last panel. One might say that he becomes a ghost again. It was as if he was vanishing again… disappearing in the books. (Chapter 50) This symbolizes his second death. Thus we have the black and red hanbok indicating death and blood. However, he can no longer become a spirit like before. Due to the acknowledgment of the existence of his body, he can only transform into a shadow. In addition, he can no longer return to his former self: a spirit. His image has now changed, from a spirit to a shadow. How strange… Since I am an optimistic person, I still perceive a positive progression. He is slowly coming back to life, despite the hurt and pain. He is slowly materializing himself.
One might say that his concession (chapter 49) was the first step of his distancing from the commoner. This is only partially true, because he makes an important discovery before: he is indeed a man of flesh and blood. Although he confuses the heart with the mind, we shouldn’t forget that during that night the aristocrat recognized the existence of his body, This means that he is indirectly accepting the existence of his heart. All this will help him to understand what love is. In other words, he is one step closer to the truth. His body existed for a moment and at some point, he will come back to life for real, the moment he realizes that the painter is returning his affection. For me, this realization marked a turning point in the lord’s life despite the setback. Another observation is the lord only needs to distinguish the mind from the heart. As a conclusion, chapter 49 helps us to understand why there was a regression in the relationship between the painter and the aristocrat. On the other hand, it explains why the lord also couldn’t return to his older self too.
In chapter 51, we hear through the maid that Yoon Seungho has now returned to his older self. This is only partially correct again. Sure, he had somehow died for a second time after hearing about the incident. Kim was not telling the truth, for he only mentioned the scholar’s betrayal after the painter had had a change of heart. He was no longer perceiving himself as a prostitute. Nonetheless, Yoon Seungho couldn’t live like in the past, where he used his body as tool, because before he had acknowledged his body and even wanted to let his body take the lead. Furthermore these words implied that he could only react to the painter. That’s why he was a shadow of himself. People were upset because they imagined that the main lead would organize sex sessions like in the past. However, he couldn’t have sex like before, as his body could only accept the low-born. The painter was no longer a prostitute, so was the lord either. He could no longer use his body as a tool, for he was no longer a spirit. That’s why he invites many lords and spends his time drinking or even smoking. He was trying to numb his body, he needed to do that as he was masking his broken heart and soul. He couldn’t allow his body to feel the pain. But without the painter, he couldn’t take the lead. Thereforehe was entirely dressed in chapter 52 and had no erection, (chapter 52) when he got a fellatio. His heart was telling him that he could only get attracted to the painter, therefore he doesn’t feel the need to have sex with his guests. Striking was his passivity as a host. He said nothing and did nothing except smoking. He was not taking the lead literally speaking contrary to episode 8. Since he was only a shadow of himself, there was no real desire. At the same time, it also explains why he remained passive to Min’s attacks. The latter was acting like the guest of honor, and as such taking the lead. There was no fire in Yoon Seungho to fight back and this illustrates why he gave in in the end. (Chapter 52) Simultaneously his body was indeed taking the lead in his chamber too. The moment he discovered the painter’s presence at his door and even heard his guest’s words, he couldn’t help himself to react. (Chapter 52) That was his heart pressuring him to kiss Black Heart. He wanted to protect the artist. He simply let his body take the lead. To conclude, the lord‘s resolution in the study became a reality.
This proves that his body didn’t really die in chapter 50, he was just deeply hurt. His body was now acting on his own. Despite his relapse, his mind/heart still revolved around his “former lover”. While in the past, I used to think that this laugh belonged to Yoon Seungho, I realized that it was in reality the Joker’s laugh. However, this doesn’t change anything. (Chapter 51) Baek Na-Kyum from far away had the impression that this was his lover’s laugh. The lord was masking his wounded heart with these fake parties. Either he laughed so loudly in chapter 51 or ignored his guest’s remarks in chapter 52. (chapter 52) In the last picture, he still wondered why the painter came to his side, he must have heard about the rumors. But since Black Heart understood the lord’s actions perfectly, he kept rubbing salt into the wound so that the host finally gave in. (Chapter 52) Here, since his mind was the authority making the choice, I come to the conclusion that the lord was admitting his defeat. His retreat was explainable, as the main lead was no longer a free spirit, but just a shadow of himself. Notice that we only see the door opening violently, as if the noble was indeed a ghost. (Chapter 52) Nonetheless, there was a certain rage and brutality in his gaze. Thereby he might have been defeated in that moment, yet.he had not lost the war. Why? It is because he was boiling internally. He was furious. His mind chose to give in to prove Min’s words wrong. But why? It is related to his brainwashing and past trauma. He shouldn‘t take it to heart. (Chapter 50) If he does, it will bring him only misery. And in the bedchamber, it looked like Kim‘s words were correct. Black Heart had bothered him so much that the only solution he had was to give in. That way, he would no longer be bothered. He would be left alone and find his „peace“. However, deep down, he was so annoyed and angry. Notice that his rage changed him. He became proactive allowing his body to take the lead.
3. The conflict between the mind and the heart
However, the moment he left the chamber, his feet led him elsewhere. He was not looking around, his gaze was looking straight, just like his steps were guiding him to a different room. Strangely, he was indeed following his body and not his mind. The mind made the decision to bring the painter back, the body chose not. That’s why he stopped the moment he heard the scream from the painter’s room. That’s how the readers discovered the contradiction. That’s also the reason why this manhwa is not easy to understand after first reading.
I also detected another opposition between chapter 52 and 53. The lord refused to ignore Min’s disguised attacks and even gave in, because he had no reason. However the moment the lord discovered that his loved one was bullied physically and emotionally, he turned into a beast and beats the servant Deok Jae. He proved Black Heart‘s statement right. Baek Na-Kyum was precious to him.
The artist was indeed the light igniting the fire or better said, the heart making the lord live. What caught my attention was this drawing:
We barely sees the lord attacking the vicious domestic. He is indeed represented like a shadow. The noble materializes himself the moment he stands next to the painter. In front of others, he is a shadow, but he turns into a vengeful ghost, when the painter appears close to him. Baek Na-Kyum is the reason why Yoon Seungho becomes a man of flesh and blood, why he uses his strength against another man. The main lead is not only allowing his body to take the lead, he shows some fighting spirit again. Strangely, we never really see the lord’s beating the servant
Either the manhwalovers hears his voice, sees a glimpse of his robe or a tooth rolling on the floor.
This illustrates my interpretation: the noble had transformed into a shadow, but in the presence of the painter, he comes back to life and shows a fighting spirit. This explains why he intervened at the door with the kiss and why he attacked Deok Jae, when he discovered the assault on his lover. His love for the painter allows him to reconnect with his body. He feels the need to protect his loved one and to punish the servant for his wrongdoings. Therefore the hug in this chapter is so meaningful: (chapter 53) He feels warmth coming from Baek Na-Kyum. This also helps him to feel that he is more than just a shadow, he is a man in reality. Furthermore, the painter didn’t even resent him for the slap but instead even embraced him. (Chapter 53) He wasn’t even forced to hug him like that. The noble got shocked because he had hurt the painter again.
He acted on his impulses and the result was that he wounded his loved one. He must have felt agony for one second, until he got embraced. The hug could calm down the beast, as the latter felt the affection. Furthermore, note how the low-born is even burying his face on the lord’s shoulder. That’s the reason why the latter touches Baek Na-Kyum so tenderly.
From my perspective, Yoon Seungho wants to remove the white headband, which he always felt as burdensome. It truly represents a hindrance between them. However, he doesn’t have time to enjoy his time with Baek Na-Kyum as they are disturbed by Black Heart. Despite the embrace and the tenderness, the noble still doesn’t understand his own emotions.
He still thinks, the mind and heart are the same. He hasn’t even realized that he is no longer an empty shell in the past. In chapter 52, his mind was busy pondering on Baek Na-Kyum, while his heart was racing the moment he detected the artist‘s presence at the door. He couldn‘t let Min see the artist.. That’s why Min, the cunning fox, becomes his teacher in chapter 53. He teaches him that his heart is influencing his actions. However, he does more than just teaching. He is actually mocking him the whole time. He compares Yoon Seungho to a killjoy. He should have wounded the servant much more, it would have been more fun. Then he describes his love for the boy Na-Kyum as a weakness
We have to imagine that the noble is making fun of him here, because he listens to someone and the worst is that this person is a low-born. The latter symbolizes humanity and seriousness, while Black Heart stands for brutality and fun. He is no longer independent and strong. Min is laughing at his host and the “lesson” is actually a series of humiliating remarks. The kiss even represents the climax of the challenge. (Chapter 53)
The reason for all this is that Min senses the lord’s weakened condition. He thought that the painter had died therefore the lord had returned to his older self. Yet he anticipated that the man would only be a shadow of himself and he could seize the occasion to usurp the throne. Yet, the problem is that the painter isn’t dead. So the lord has not lost his strength for real. He might have lived like a shadow for a week, yet the mere presence of the painter brings back the lord to life.
In the final panel, what caught my attention is the way the lord puts his hand on the painter’s head. His hand covers the artist’s ear. It was as if the aristocrat didn’t want him to hear Black Heart’s words. So does it mean that he doesn’t want the painter to discover his weakness (liking him)? From my perspective, I doubt it. His instinct is to protect his lover from Min’s poisonous words. Let’s not forget that the host knows Min’s personality: he likes saying poisonous and hurtful things. Seungho is well aware of the painter’s innocent disposition. He almost got killed by the scholar’s words so this could happen again. Yoon Seungho’s body ensures that the painter is protected. He will do anything so that the latter doesn’t get wounded. What sounds like a weakness in Min’s words represents the opposite in my opinion. The lord is no longer a spirit, but a man full of flesh and blood, when he is next to the low-born. Just like the painter became an empty shell for a while, the same happened to the lord, yet the length is different. The distancing lasted for one week.
People kept asking if the lord would deny this or not. Yet, what mattered the most was that Yoon Seungho had finally discovered the existence of his heart through Black Heart’s words. What he mistook for his mind all the time was actually his heart. Since he had initially recognized the existence of his body, he could no longer live like before.
4. The return of the shadow
Striking is that in the shaman‘s house, we have a reflection of this scene. However, the roles are switched. This time, the painter is Black Heart‘s teacher. Since the Joker viewed life as a game, he saw blood and pain as entertaining, the gods decided to teach him a lesson. In the study, Min had reproached his host to be a killjoy, he should have beaten the domestic to death. (Chapter 53) Thus in the shaman‘s house, the lord fulfilled his wish. He wouldn‘t stop because someone had asked him to. (Chapter 102) As you can see, Min was put in a similar situation, the only difference is that he was now the target of the protagonist’s fury. The gods decided to reveal to Black Heart how wrong his thinking was. A life of a commoner is not different than the noble’s. Yoon Seungho‘s heart got broken, the moment he saw the painter‘s bloody face. (Chapter 102) Therefore he transformed into a shadow with a bleeding heart. (Chapter 102) This is no coincidence that Min couldn‘t stop the main lead. How can a human influence a shadow? It is impossible. As you can see, Min‘s joke in front of his friends came to bite him in the end. (Chapter 101) In the shaman‘s house, he was not beaten to death, but stabbed to death. This was the usual punishment for a noble. The irony is that because the painter was unconscious, he couldn’t stop Yoon Seungho. The latter let his body take the lead and committed murder. He couldn’t act differently, as he had lost his reason to live. The main lead had once again confused the mind and the heart. This explicates why he couldn’t detect that the painter was just unconscious. And that‘s how Min became a spirit.
Today, I’ll examine the trailer announcing the new start of the second season. First, I would like to thank my follower @Dream Island for mentioning my blog on youtube because thanks to her (I assume so), my blog is more visited than before. I don’t know how many times I watched the trailer but it made me so happy since we are able to get a few glimpses of the second season.
Byeonduck tweeted the link for the trailer, the korean version, too where you could get a better view on one image from the trailer. First, I worked on the korean version until the English version was released. Hence the release came much later. I had to change the pictures and give more explanations. Here, I have to thank my follower @seunghohoe for the translation and the update because without this person I wouldn’t be capable to write that much. In other words, I am examining the trailer and the images from Lezhin where you get to see two more drawings from the second season.
We see how a naked Yoon Seungho carrying a person enveloped by the lord’s robe from one chamber to another. There is no ambiguity that Baek Na-Kyum is in the noble’s arms, especially if we read the comment. Since the latter is covered with sweat, you can imagine what happened before. They had sex and now the artist seems to be exhausted, even sleeping because his arms are hanging. So my assumption is that the master is bringing his lover to his own chamber. Let us not forget that there is only one door separating his room from the master’s room.
Now, you are wondering why he is wrapped with the noble’s cloth. One could say that he wants to hide the painter’s face, his identity. However, I doubt that because of his behavior in the first season. Let’s not forget that he generated gossips with his visit to the tailor shop intentionally. He knew that the tailor would spread the rumor, especially with the foreplay at the shop, hence he wasn’t surprised, when Min asked him about the painter in the episode 41. This was actually his answer to the challenge in the chapter 33. He used the hunt in order to warn the challenging noble Min. That’s why Min is now using Jihwa in order to hurt Yoon Seungho as he wants to dethrone the alpha in the sodomite community and become the new king.
Since there is no secret about the partner’s identity, especially when there are so many rumors circulating about the fiancee,
there exists another reason for enveloping the painter in his robe. In my opinion, the master wants to ensure that the painter doesn’t get sick again due to exhaustion like the last time. Let’s not forget that he got huge pangs of conscience because of the sex marathon. The low-born spent 10 days in the master’s bed before recovering from the illness. (Chapter 33) This image represents a flashback from the chapter 33, where our protagonist recalled the artist’s terrible face, while he has to hear the other aristocrats describing the person he loved. The memory outlines that this incident left a deep impression on Yoon Seungho that he could still remember the painter’s sick face. Therefore the protagonist wants to keep his painter safe, in the warmest room in the mansion where the noble can attend to the commoner’s needs (giving him water, cleaning his body). I even anticipate he will do everything himself. However, we shouldn’t forget that the master’s deepest wish is to share his own bed with the uke. Only with him, he can finally relax and sleep. We all know that the lord is suffering from insomnia since he hasn’t overcome his trauma from the past.
Now, if we pay attention to the other two drawings from Lezhin, we can recognize the bodies of Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum.
Both are in the master’s bedchamber recognizable due to the folding screen in the background. Since the legs from the man lying on the floor are thinner, we can guess that this is the painter, whereas the lord is on his knees. I assume that both are kissing. However, in the second picture, the position are switched.
You might wonder why? The breasts are more muscular, while the man on the top has a smaller chest. The other clue is the short dark hair (in the right corner on the top). First, I thought the person was not wearing a topknot but the lock is indicating otherwise. However, I am still maintaining that the painter is on the top because not once we saw a lock of Seungho’s hair while having sex. His coiffure was always perfect. So for the first time, the readers are witnessing the painter caressing the lord’s chest.
Remember that in my manual, I had declared that we should pay attention to the artist’s hand because it signalized a change in the low-born’s emotions and state of mind. Here, it looks like the commoner is taking the initiative revealing Baek Na-Kyum’s growing feelings for Yoon Seungho. Imagine how the master must be happy in this situation, he always longed to be loved, to sense warmth. Now the manhwalovers can envisage, the commoner is little by little making the noble’s dream come true. No wonder, if Yoon Seungho treats Baek Na-Kyum as his bride. But my impression is that both images could be from two different smut scenes indicating the progression, the painter becomes more and more proactive during their sexual encounters. This scene will happen much later in the second season. This is my prediction. Seungho will ask the painter to wear a topknot so that the social gap will completely disappear. In my opinion, this is connected to the improvement of Baek Na-Kyum’s education. The moment he is really literate, he can be judged as a noble.
Simultaneously the comments are revealing a lot about the attitude of people about this extraordinary couple.
“About that fiendish first son of master Yoon. Yoon Seungho.” “From what I hear, he’s met his match”.
We have to remember that in the past the seme was introduced as a hell-raiser, he always had different sex partners, even went to sex orgies but he could never get taken. No noble was able to get his affection or even attract his attention. In other words, he had a very bad reputation. The irony is that now, a low-born, has been able to conquer the powerful lord’s heart. Imagine the humiliation for all the aristocrats who were his sex partners once. They must feel insulted and I detect that these rumors will cause more resent and hatred among the local nobility. And the reader can sense a certain disdain towards the innocent lover in this remark “he’s met his match”. He is just fiendish like the eldest son Yoon. The people are looking down on Yoon Seungho and the painter, the second comment could be expressed by nobles. Hence I envisage that Jihwa’s plan might receive more support, because so far, only three aristocrats were involved: Min, Jihwa and the man with the mole on the cheek. The other guests left, when it became too dangerous.
What I mean is that with this kind of negative rumors, Jihwa will feel consolidated with his decision, since he thinks that he is acting for his childhood friend’s benefit. With Baek Na-Kyum by his side, the seme is even more mocked and secluded than before. Once the painter is killed, Yoon Seungho’s reputation won’t worsen any longer and the seme will return to his side to heal his wounds, this is what the red-haired man is thinking. Jihwa is not realizing that he is just a tool and he is not helping his friend at all. He didn’t even question how Min could give him the info about an assassin right on the spot. This indicated that Min must have used the killer himself before. But Jihwa is so stupid and blinded by his arrogance and entitlement. As a conclusion, the rumor in the pictures will accelerate the attempted assassination. There is no ambiguity that the artist will survive but this will be a painful process for our both protagonists.
But let’s go back to this wonderful picture. Here, Seungho is revealing his gentle side and concern for his lover as he keeps looking at him while walking. So why is he moving the painter? Bringing him to his own bed is full of symbolism. He makes a statement to the servants: this is his lover and partner. Baek Na-Kyum is even called the lord’s fiancée. While the gossipers are making fun of Yoon Seungho, they are right at the same time, the powerful noble truly views Baek Na-Kyum as his bride.
So the more Baek Na-Kyum is seen in the noble’s chamber, the more it sends the message that the painter is his “wife”, like he announced it in the chapter 40 in the first season. (Chapter 40) By placing the red dot on the forehead, Yoon Seungho made the painter look like a bride. This wasn’t just a joke, he really wanted to assume his responsibility and become the painter’s “husband”. The rumor circulating now confirms my explanation about his actions.
Then if we take a closer look to the noble’s robe, we notice two things, the presence of the burgundy color and cranes as pattern.
This is what I wrote about the cranes:
In many cultures cranes symbolize happiness, honor, longevity and good fortune. In some areas they are even said to be mystical, magical, or holy creatures. Strictly speaking, the crane is a sign of good luck.
Jihwa was the one who had such birds as pattern on his robe for that’s how he perceived himself, whereas he was just a pheasant. However, I doubt that Yoon Seungho is viewing himself as a crane since we never saw him looking at his own reflection in the mirror. For me, he associates the painter to a crane, the one who brings him happiness and good fortune. That’s why he is carrying Baek Na-Kyum so carefully because he pays attention to his lover’s health condition. Yoon Seungho has learnt his lesson and he is someone who reflects a lot about his actions and behavior, unlike Jihwa and Jung In-Hun. That’s why I can not understand why some readers keep calling him a psychopath. He is admitting his mistakes and learning from them, he is able to prioritize the painter’s interests.
Burgundy: a dark purplish red, it is more sophisticated and serious and less energetic than true red. It indicates controlled power, determined ambition and dignified action and is often favored by the wealthy. https://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/
The reappearance of the burgundy reinforces my impression that the master has come back to life, however he is still less active as he is only focusing on his lover and keeps refusing meddling in politics. So from my point of view, this scene has to happen before the attempted assassination. I hope, my assumption is correct. He thought, warning Min and cutting ties with Jihwa would be enough but he is underestimating the nobles’ stubbornness and the viciousness. Min and Jihwa believe that their titles are a protection and Yoon Seungho won’t retaliate. In the worst case, Jihwa will become the scapegoat and Min can remain untouched as he is not the one who hired the assassin. They all think that Yoon Seungho’s mercilessness could only affect the commoners, yet they never heard him saying that humiliating a noble excited him, (chapter 18) when he felt nothing as the straw mat beating occurred. For him, this was a normality, although I am somehow suspecting that he wasn’t entirely honest. It did affect him because his admired painter had been hurt. Nevertheless, when in the chapter 18, Yoon Seungho felt excited and as such alive due to the breakup with Jihwa, he showed his beastly instincts. And if we recall the whole first season, the manhwaphiles will notice that Seungho showed excitement, when he humiliated the nobles. Let us not forget that he humiliated not only Jihwa, but also his friend (the man with the mole), Jung In-Hun and Min. He revealed his true personality in the woods, where he was the one who killed the deer and the pheasant… therefore I assume that terrible things could/will happen to the nobles in the woods. (Chapter 41) They all underestimated Yoon Seungho because they only judged him as “a man consumed by lust” and a “hell-raiser”. He has been hiding his cards and claws very well all these years in order to protect himself. He is definitely keeping an eye on what is happening at the capital. And this was already visible in the first season with following image:
He has shadow guards and they visit him during the night. The existence of the shadow guards indicate that the powerful noble has a huge network and can get info very quickly but can give secret orders too, like f. ex. eliminate annoying aristocrats. He doesn’t need to hire someone from the market place. And this is how Yoon Seungho will intervene after Baek Na-Kyum gets hurt.
But let’s go back to my favorite picture from the second season.
Burgundy is associated to red and as such to blood. Here, it occupies the biggest part of the drawing underlining its importance. Hence I consider burgundy as a bad omen as well, there will be a carnage… and the nobles won’t be spared. Baek Na-Kyum, enveloped in the burgundy cloth, will be the cause and trigger for the purge. But since his head is wrapped, it appears that Yoon Seungho will never allow the painter to witness this. He knows how sensitive the artist is, he already fainted, when a mere servant was executed. Imagine his reaction, if he viewed the execution of nobles. Hence this picture should be judged as a foreshadowing of the future events. Yoon Seungho will retaliate in the shadow, not in the open but he will be ruthless, in particular to people who betrayed him, like Jihwa. Remember that my theory is that Yoon Seungho created this image of hell-raiser in order to divert attention and deceive his enemies, even his family. My prediction is that the revenge will occur in the woods and he will use his shadow guards for that.
Finally, I would like to point out the contradiction between the comment by the gossipers and the lord’s behavior. They are describing the master as a man obsessed with sex, making fun of him by calling the painter “his fiancée”, whereas the readers are the only ones knowing the truth. He is just a man in love taking care of his loved one, showering him his care and affection so that the painter will love him deeply in return. These comments reveal how deceived gossipers are, they have no idea that they are laughing at someone that is much more perceptive, intelligent and powerful than they think he is. That’s why I called Yoon Seungho the master of deception many times. He was able to create such a fake image of himself that they don’t perceive his dangerosity. He is like an eagle waiting for the right time to attack, as long as the crows don’t bother him too much, he can let them play… however, if he, as an eagle, becomes the target, he will ensure that the leader of the crow colony will be erased.
Now, we have this image where both protagonists are walking on the street. Striking is that the noble is wearing a very festive robe, a combination of pink and black. This illustrates that the relationship with the painter has improved, the pink indicates that the master is in love, yet he is trying to hide it under the black exterior robe. At the same time, he put this apparel on in order to impress his lover. Before, he never really paid attention to his appearance but once in love, he acts differently. He knows that neither power nor wealth could ever buy the painter’s heart. He has to use different means in order to earn his trust and love: making sure that he is well treated by the servants, listening to the artist’s words, treating him like the master in their relationship.
What caught my attention in this scene is that Baek Na-Kyum is walking by the lord’s side. If you compare to the chapter 40, when they were returning to the mansion from the tailer shop, the low-born was just following the noble. He was walking behind him all the time. (Chapter 40) This symbolized that there was still a gap between these two men. Now, it is different. Baek Na-Kyum stands next to him so that we can say the painter’s status has been elevated. The artist is also dressed with expensive winter clothes that’s why the social disparity is less visible. Only the hairdressing reveals that Baek Na-Kyum is no lord. However, little by little, the crevice between Yoon Seungho and his loved one is disappearing. Now, we have to wonder why the painter at the end of the trailer turned his head.
What caught his attention that he stops paying attention to Yoon Seungho? Maybe he heard the killer doing a show and this made him curious.
I even had this thought that the man dancing could become a new motive for a painting. Imagine the irony… the assassin is portrayed by the painter while doing a show, whereas the man is waiting for the right opportunity.
But that’s just an idea and this would create an occasion for the painter to divert his topics and improve his talents.
As a conclusion, although we could only see a few glimpses of the new season, it was already enough to confirm many observations from all my analyses written about the first season. Simultaneously, the manhwaphiles could notice the changes of Baek Na-Kyum’s behavior so that his relationship with Yoon Seungho improves to the point that he becomes the official bride in the rumor, although he is mocked there. He is shown caressing the lord’s chest, taking the initiative in their sexual encounter. Moreover this is definitely a slap for Jihwa who waited for so many years for his friend’s love.