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

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

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

Brown-noser: a person who tries to please (esp. one’s boss) so much that their nose turns brown from kissing their ass. Quoted from https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=brown-noser

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

1. Brown-nosing and boot licking

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

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

The verb “brown-nose” has for synonyms “curry favor”, “apple-polish”, “suck up to”, “get on the right side of”, “to kiss someone’s feet” and “butter up”! https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/brown-nose https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/suck%20up%20to Under this new light, the manhwalovers can grasp the other common denominator between the “curry, apple and butter”. They are referring to hypocrisy, power and selfishness. However, in Painter Of The Night, these idioms get a totally new meaning. Yoon Seungho has long internalized that the exchange of favors is based on sex!! He had to do it personally. That’s the reason why he is taking the expressions literally and the painter is responding the same way. Here he is seen as a back-scratcher: (chapter 89) The lord’s back is covered with marks. Yet, he was not brown-nosing here at all, for he was rejecting the lord’s advances. And now, it is time to take a closer look to season 1.

2. Apple and fellatio

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

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

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

3. Baek Na-Kyum and Kim’s sucking

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

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

4. The night of Yoon Seungho’s relapse

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

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

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

5. The night in the shaman’s house

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

6. The Yoons

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

7. Conclusions

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

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

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Painter Of The Night: The rise of the dragon 🐲

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

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

1. Yoon Seungho the king

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

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

2. Yongwang

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Dragon and imoogi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Dragon king and expulsion

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

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

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

5. Nightmare and dream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Painter Of The Night / Payback: “Innocent or not guilty?“⚖️

This is where you can read these manhwas. Payback: https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/payback_en Painter Of The Night: https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that these manhwas are 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 concerning Painter Of The Night:  https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/ Here, you can find more analyses about other manhwas: https://bebebisous33analyses.com/2021/06/06/table-of-contents-of-analyzed-mentioned-manhwas/

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. It would also cover my expenses for the blog.

In daily life, people view the idioms “innocent” and “not guilty” as synonyms. However, from a legal standpoint, there exists a difference. Innocent signifies that a person did not commit the crime, whereas not guilty means that the prosecution could not prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that a person committed the crime. Therefore, the court does not pronounce a defendant as “innocent” but rather “not guilty”. Thus the prosecution’s task is to bring up as many evidences as possible to prove the guilt of the accused. At the same time, I would like the manhwalovers to keep in their mind that that innocence stands in opposition to sin and not just to crime! So technically, someone might have not committed a wrongdoing, but he can have acted reprehensively. This signifies that we are dealing here with moral and social norms. Thus a sin is not judged by the court, but by gods and people. This explicates why the legal system never says “innocent”, but “not guilty”. This nuance could be perceived in two different manhwas, Payback and Painter Of The Night. Some readers might question the purpose for such a study. In my eyes, it helps us to perceive the characters under a different light.

1. Lee Yoohan, innocent or not guilty?

In the story Payback, the main lead Lee Yoohan had a dark past. He had dropped out of school (chapter 1), and he was no longer living with his single mother and brother Lee Hansoo. He described himself as a small but confident delinquent, as he used to work for a loan shark in order to earn money very easily. (chapter 1) And one day, his brother Lee Hansoo met him in order to ask him for money. Their mother was sick and they needed to pay the hospital bills. Lee Yohan agreed to help, thus under pressure, he chose to threaten a debtor’s son. Observe that the main lead chose to use a knife and take the child as hostage. He was walking on a thin line between legality and crime. As you can see, Lee Yohan was no saint. But it didn’t matter to him so far, for he had no faith at all. He refused to believe in karma. (chapter 1) He was definitely a disillusioned teenager, therefore he was not thinking about the future. However, the fact that he became totally reckless during that day indicates that he still valued his family. He might not have been close to them, but he still cared for them. That’s the reason why he agreed to accept the brother’s request. We can sense his worry here. (chapter 1) When the borrower was confronted with such a ruthless behavior, he warned the main lead: (chapter 1) However, since he had given up on his dreams and had no hope, Yohan didn’t take the threat seriously, until he was confronted with reality. (chapter 1) The same man killed his brother Lee Hansoo in front of the main character. The man had acted like that, for he had lost everything: his home and as such his family. I would add that he had failed to protect his son. Out of despair and anger, he decided to retaliate, to make the young man suffer, like he had been hurt before. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. The assassination was like a wake-up call for Lee Yohan. From that moment on, he turned a new leaf. (chapter 1)Why? He considered himself as the murderer of his own brother. (chapter 2) In his eyes, it was, as if he had killed himself the brother and his own mother! (chapter 27) He recognized that his actions had been the trigger for the debtor’s crime! At no moment in the manhwa, the main lead blamed the real culprit, not even his own mother who had given up on him. He admitted that in the end, it had always been his own choice to live like a thug! Striking is that he considers himself as responsible for his mother’s death, as because of his terrible way of life, he had caused her worries. As you can see, Lee Yoohan could not be considered as guilty for his relatives’ death, but he had definitely his share of responsibility in his family’s suffering.

Striking is that the young man paid off all his debts, as he saw them as his way to atone for his sins. Thus he never allowed himself to rest. How could he enjoy life, when he was a sinner? In his mind, he needed to suffer, but at the same time, he could never grief for the loss of his mother and brother. He had not the time for that. That’ the reason why Yoon Jae’s best friend asked him this: (chapter 27) No, he didn’t cry, hence the owner of the club wept for him. (chapter 27) He could sense Lee Yohan’s agony. He had lost his family at such a young age, he might have been a sinner, but anyone could sense his affection and conscience! He might have lived like a thug, but he was not a bad person per se. It is just that he had made wrong choices, just like the man who had stabbed his brother. In the main lead’s eyes, it was not karma, like the culprit said: (chapter 1) This means that Lee Yohan still refused to believe in divine punishment. Therefore it is not surprising that the protagonist punished himself so hard, and accepted his suffering without objection. He was not allowed to feel warmth and affection. (chapter 15) Thus he rejected the advances from Yoon Jae. In chapter 15, we could sense that the main character was preoccupied about the existence of god. Was there a divine punishment or not? (chapter 15) And Yoon Jae denied such a thing, but added then: (chapter 15) But is it not the same? Yes and no… For Yoon Jay, if someone acts badly towards another person, the former will be treated the same way. On the other hand, each kindness will be returned. But one might argue that the gods can interact through humans and use them as pawns to give people their karma. And this is what we are discovering in Payback. Lee Yohan helped Yoon Jae and even showed him a crying man. The famous director Yoon got moved by the main lead’s tears (chapter 15) proving that not all humans were cold and distant. They could express regret and admit their mistake. For the first time, Yoon Jae discovered warmth and sensitivity.

Lee Yohan would have kept punishing himself and putting a distance between himself and others, if his path had not crossed the famous actor Song Myungshin again! One day, he overheard a conversation between the artist Song Myungshin and his manager, and discovered the truth about the whole incident. The actor had been himself threatened by the debtor, so in order to save his own skin, he designated the younger brother to the future murderer. (chapter 1) The most terrible thing is that the actor had been helped constantly by the protagonist. Since the former had a dream of becoming an actor, the “thug” was generous to help him financially and emotionally. The assassination worked for Song Myungshin, for he had planned to steal the money from Lee Yohan. (chapter 1) That’s the reason why he didn’t even call the police. The murder would divert the main lead’s attention from the theft. When Lee Yohan heard this confession, he got upset for two reasons. Song Myungshin showed no remorse and a total indifference towards Lee Hansoo and the main lead. (chapter 1) But most importantly, he never suffered any karma. In fact, he could benefit from his sins and crimes. This could only reinforce his impression that there was no god out there giving punishment to the sinners. The actor took pride of his bad action, as he decided to take Song Yohan as his stage name! Yohan was a reminder that thanks to him, he could enter the entertainment scene. As a conclusion, karma hasn’t punished the actor Song Myungshin yet. Therefore Lee Yohan was determined to take his revenge. What he didn’t realize is that his first encounter with the other main lead would help him to achieve his goal: to give “punishment” to Song Myunshin. So he didn’t know yet that the gods were aware of this injustice, thus they let him meet the famous director Yoon Jay. (chapter 15) On the other hand, the existence of Lee Yohan gave the director hope, he could smile again and as such find happiness. The rabbit announced the return of innocence in Yoon Jae’s life. In other words, the two main leads were quite similar in their disposition: both had been wounded by their past, and had no hope. And thanks to the famous and powerful director Yoon Jay, the main lead is slowly starting living again. Little by little, he is interacting with people again, helping others, though he never does it openly. The best example is the actor Lee Hansoo who has the same name than his own brother. (chapter 6) In this scene, he refused to be addressed as hyung, as in his eyes, he didn’t deserve such a title. He had not acted like a hyung to his true little brother.

To sum up, Lee Yohan is a sinner, and he is not denying his responsibility for the loss of his family. For me, he punished himself too harshly. He never believed in karma, he saw that everything was related to his own choices. He had trusted the wrong persons in the end. And now, the gods are rewarding Lee Yohan’ for his remorse and new leaf. What made me smile while reading this manhwa is that when the former thug met Yoon Jay, he was wearing a rabbit costume with Jihwaha! (chapter 14) I couldn’t myself thinking of the antagonist Lee Jihwa, for he was put in a similar situation.

2. Lee Jihwa, a criminal or a sinner?

When in chapter 101 Lee Jihwa heard the report from Seokdae, he said that he had done nothing wrong, as he had never committed such crimes: (chapter 101) Indirectly, he was claiming his innocence. Thus the servant suggested to the young master to go to the police bureau in order to clear his name, but the young master refused to do so. Why? The problem is that Lee Jihwa couldn’t prove his innocence. And deep down, the childhood friend knew this. How could he prove that he was not involved in the scheme, when Min visited him (chapter 100) on different occasions, and both went to the scholar’s home together? Yes, this time Min’s threat had become a reality. (chapter 76) He could no longer back out. He couldn’t put the whole blame on the Joker, because this means that he would have to admit his own complicity. Yes, Lee Jihwa was trapped. He could sense that he had been framed by Black Heart, but the former couldn’t claim his innocence because of his knowledge! That’s how I realize why the young man was punished this way. Remember how he had blamed his childhood friend for his misery, and had used his knowledge as a proof for his reproach! (chapter 57) (chapter 57) Thanks to his knowledge, he was above any reproach, while it was not the same for Yoon Seungho. The latter was indeed ignorant, for he had forgotten many things. Consequently, the gods chose to punish Lee Jihwa for his arrogance and passivity. Now, he knows, but this doesn’t help him at all. Hence he decided to forget! This means that he behaved like Yoon Seungho, who repressed everything. The only difference is that contrary to the childhood friend, the main lead had been a real victim the entire time. Thus the second lead imagines that once he forgets and runs away, he will be able to escape punishment. However, he is wrong, for by choosing oblivion and desertion, he has to give up on his name Lee and identity. He can still be addressed as Jihwa, like you could see above. Yet, we have to question this. Is Lee Jihwa truly innocent like he claims it?

According to our modern legal system, he would be accused of complicity and of non-assistance to a person in danger, and this in four cases! First, when he arrived in front of Jung In-Hun’s house, he saw the painter wounded. (chapter 99) But what did he do? Nothing. Secondly, he witnessed how the kisaeng was dragged away to get killed, though it was staged. Here again, he did nothing. (chapter 99) I would even say that he even faked ignorance, because he was lying. The drop of sweat is the clue for this interpretation, besides Min contradicted his testimony in the shaman’s house later. (chapter 100) He had contacted the antagonist on many occasions, so he had heard from Black Heart before. It was never out of the blue. He knew about the existence of the plot and its goal: Taste the painter and kill him. He had been informed a long time ago. Then in the shaman’s house, he saw the painter dead in his vision, hence he pushed The Joker away and fled. (chapter 100) He turned his back on Baek Na-Kyum. But that means that he abandoned the artist once more time. In three occasions, he was well aware what was happening and he could have intervened. Yet, he let it happen. Besides, he handed over the drugs and dildo to Min. As you can see, he was never an innocent person, but not just a sinner. He was an accomplice. And he knew this, thus he couldn’t go to the bureau of investigation. Min was well aware of this. (chapter 101) Naturally, his crime was nothing compared to Min’s.

On the other hand, since he didn’t participate actively in the plot, he never hurt the painter or Heena himself, Lee Jihwa views himself as innocent. But inaction is still action. Thus I still don’t think that the antagonist recognized his own sins. Why? It’s because he called himself a victim later. (chapter 101) He didn’t see why he should die, when in his eyes, he had done nothing! And the antagonist’s prophecy became a reality. (chapter 50) By fleeing, he didn’t stop his friend from committing a murder. Thus he is responsible for their deaths. And he knew that Min and the other nobles would die. (chapter 101) He chose to save his own skin instead of saving their life, though here he was more fearing the king‘s reaction. During the same night, Lee Jihwa got tested 4 times, and each time, he refused to help. That’s the reason why the gods chose to punish him by making lose his title and name. He will become the culprit of a mass murder, he killed Black Heart and the other two nobles. And this would reflect the truth, for the red-haired master didn’t intervene. He could have acted like Baek Na-Kyum (chapter 53) and even follow his friend. And this distinguishes him from Lee Yohan so much. The latter recognized that each decision he made had consequences. And note that the idiom “choice” was connected to silence and assistance. (chapter 76)

As you already know, for me, Lee Jihwa had already imagined that the artist was dead. Because Yoon Seungho trusted the childhood friend, he came to believe the same. The gods were showing the red-haired master the future: he would become a huge sinner, he would have blood on his own hands, though he never did the deed himself. (chapter 50) It was, as if he had murdered the nobles himself. The gods were teaching him a lesson: Knowledge and passivity are crimes. In other words, Lee Jihwa became a sinner and a criminal because of this night. And this because he refused to face reality.

One might refute this perception, for the young master had been left in the dark concerning Min’s plan. (chapter 83) But was he really ignorant here? I came to a different interpretation recently. How? First, why does the second lead have a drop of sweat in the last picture? This is an indication for a lie. But there exist stronger proofs. Don’t forget the following rules: there’s always a reflection within the same chapter, and each chapter is reflected in the next. In the antagonist’s memory, Lee Jihwa was portrayed as someone who would disobey his father! (chapter 83) He would trespass the house of the Yoons and enter the shed, even the lord’s bedchamber! (chapter 83) As you can see, Lee Jihwa was acting as a rebellious son in the past. He was not respecting social norms and the elders. This signifies that we have the exact opposite in the present. Observe the seasons: summer versus winter. Thus I come to the following deduction. He is following the order from his father, he is not dragged (chapter 83), but he brought Min there. Why would Min say this? (chapter 83) Why would he come to see the mess? His words are indicating that someone must have told him about the scholar’s death. Since we saw this, (chapter 83) we thought that when the plotters came, Min was leading the way. But if we take into consideration chapter 76, we realize that back then the childhood friend brought Min to Nameless’ barn. (chapter 76) Thus it could have been the same! Lee Jihwa had brought Min to the scholar’s house, then Min was the one giving the signal to leave the humble dwell, just like in chapter 76. The red-haired master let Min meet The Joker, before Min was the one asking Lee Jihwa to follow him, when he realized that Nameless refused to help him. (chapter 76) So when we view this, (chapter 83), we should envision that the roles were switched, when they went to Jung In-Hun’s house. Besides, keep in mind that in season 1, Black Heart had been the one giving the information to Lee Jihwa. (chapter 43), so from my point of view, we could have a similar situation, someone had asked him to bring lord Min to that mansion! It can not be Min… From my point of view, Lee Jihwa was acting on his father’s orders. That’s the reason why Lee Jihwa never entered the mansion, and he told Min the story about the incident in the bedchamber. Father Lee had been the one who brought it up first. (chapter 82) Why would Lee Jihwa suddenly mention this story to Black Heart, when he had remained silent the entire time? Even Min wondered about this! (chapter 83) Another clue for this signification is the vocabulary of Black Heart. The latter is speaking like father Lee: lunacy (chapter 82) (chapter 83), Baek Na-Kyum is called as a peasant (chapter 82) (chapter 92). Finally, don’t forget what Min said about Yoon Seungho. (chapter 83) This shows that Black Heart stands for social norms: respecting the elders. But he never realized that in verity he was getting fooled by the Lees. We saw where the main lead was living in the shed, but did Lee Jihwa say this to Min? No, I don’t think, he mentioned it… he was left in the dark about this, just like the readers were not informed, when lord Song was mentioned by Lee Jihwa. (chapter 83) But Min was not naive like Jihwa, he knew that once involved, someone had to pay for the subterfuge and crime.

As you can see, Lee Jihwa was repeating his wrongdoings from the past, he was betraying not only his childhood friend, but also Min and as such lord Song, for he revealed his identity. The only difference is that Min had indeed manipulated and betrayed first. But this doesn’t change the fact that Lee Jihwa stands fake loyalty. It is just the result of his education. He was influenced to follow his father’s instruction. Yes, the story is repeating itself, and father Lee was trying to use someone in order to cover up his son’s crime. One thing is sure: Min was well aware that Jung In-Hun had been killed, but he was informed that the crime scene in the scholar’s room had been staged. In my eyes, Black Heart never realized that he had become the pawn of Kim and the Lees. Father Lee’s goal was to turn Yoon Seungho into a murderer, but he had no idea that Kim had himself planned to have Lee Jihwa killed. Father Lee thought that he could recreate the situation from the past, when the Yoons were framed of treason. Back then, the main lead got blamed, but now everything is different. How so? The noble didn’t act like planned. He never used violence against the kisaengs (chapter 93) (chapter 99), the servant Seokdae or even his son Lee Jihwa. The loss of hair was the proof of his leniency. (chapter 101) Each time he spared them. How can father Lee claim that the main lead is behind the murder in the shaman’s house? Secondly, his own son vanished which will be considered as a sign of culpability. Finally, lord Shin is a survivor and his last image is that he got unconscious, when he spoke to Lee Jihwa. This means, Lee Jihwa will become a criminal! Because of this situation, I am hoping that the red-haired master will reflect on his own actions and decisions. He followed the elders’ advice blindly and paid a huge price for this. He would never get loved by the main lead. He came to lose everything: his home, family and title. He is now a commoner. From my point of view, father Lee will be forced to cut ties with his son in order to save his own skin, but it is also possible that he even loses the mansion. (chapter 82)

To conclude, Lee Yohan and Lee Jihwa are both sinners, yet the red-haired master is an accomplice of a murder, for he never intervened himself. While the thug still has a “clean record”, it is not the same for the second lead. Moreover, the main lead from Payback has a better understanding of sin and crime, but this is also normal, for he is growing up in a different environment. In Joseon, the sons had definitely less choices. Due to the big influence of Taoism and Confucianism, the juniors were asked to follow the orders from the elders blindly. Black Heart thought that he was really smart and cunning, while he was not. In truth, he was the perfect reflection of Joseon nobility and society: following social norms blindly and never questioning the elders. Thus he copied their behavior. He obviously listened too much to Kim and other adults, therefore it is not surprising that at the end, he paid for his wrongdoings with his life. All the schemers in this party were too arrogant and miscalculated.

As you can imagine, I prefer Lee Yohan known under the name of Lee Baekwon, for he never denied his responsibility. (chapter 27) On the other hand, contrary to Lee Jihwa, he grew up in a poor environment, thus he had to work in order to live. He could never live carefree like the spoiled only son of the Lees. Finally, I would like my readers to question themselves this: Will Lee Jihwa come to admit his responsibility in the death of the nobles and in Yoon Seungho’s suffering? I have to admit that I am hoping for his return, for the two friends need to have a proper talk, and according to me, Lee Jihwa apologized or at least expressed regret in front of his friend, thus he got spared. Yet, I would like very much to see such an apology to the main lead. But before his departure, he still viewed himself as a poor victim who had been wrongly framed exposing that he had not grasped the true nature of his wrongdoings. (chapter 101) So working for a living will teach him how to become responsible and strong!

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. The utilization of objects

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

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

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

2. Dreams and visions

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

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

3. Dream or nightmare?

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

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

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

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

4. The other definition of “fortune-telling”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Baek Na-Kyum’s role

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

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

Painter Of The Night: A guided tour of Yoon Seungho‘s domain🏡

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.

When I recognized that this room (chapter 1) was not the lord’s bedchamber, because the author had placed it in this building (chapter 1), I realized that we should pay more attention to the location of the rooms. From that moment on, I tried to make a map of Yoon Seungho’s propriety. With this new insight, I made many new discoveries. Thus in this essay, I will guide you through the lord’s domain, although we will have to make a short trip to town as well. 😉In addition, I would like to point out that I am still missing some elements, like for example the exact location of the library. I have some suspicions, but I can not guarantee it for 100%. Before starting the guided tour, I would like to list the different buildings: the lord’s bedchamber, the stable, the shed, the servants’ bathroom, the shrine, the painter’s study, the kitchen, the scholar’s room, the pavilion and finally the library. The starting point for the orientation is the main gate. (chapter 68)

1. Yoon Seungho’s bedchamber

It is facing the main gate and it is situated on the other side of the courtyard. (chapter 25) As you can see, on the side we have a tree which is visible from the patio. The foundations for the patio are in water. (chapter 83) If you combine both images, you will realize that this basin has nothing to do with the pond where the pavilion is. In addition, the terrace attached to lord’s bedchamber has a view on the building where the lord and the painter were held captive in the shed. (chapter 74) Another important aspect is that there’s a yard behind the bedchamber and the patio. (chapter 12) This explicates why Lee Jihwa could drag the spy amateur and interrogate him. (chapter 13)

2. The shed

It’s situated on the right of the main gate and stands perpendicular to the lord’s bedroom. (chapter 77) This signifies that the building is facing the servants’ bathroom which stands on the other side of the courtyard. This explicates why you see the washroom in the background (chapter 64), when the protagonists caught Kim spying on them in the courtyard. As the manhwaworms can view, the lord’s bedchamber and patio stand behind Kim’s left shoulder.

3. The stable

Yes, I could get a clue about its whereabouts. (chapter 25) It is placed outside the mansion, for the lord entered through the main gate. This explicates why you view the patio juxtaposed to the painter’s study in the background. The building has no foundations in water. (chapter 25) Besides, you can see the tree in the background (chapter 25) which is situated next to the well and the servants’ washroom. Since the lord brought the hose in the courtyard, this means that the pavilion is located in the opposite direction. This observation is important, for the lord is standing at the entrance of the mansion: (chapter 98) So he is not far from the stable.

4. The servant and the lord’s bathroom

From the gate, you have to turn to the right and walk by passing the well and the tree. The servants’ bathroom is the background. It is situated on the left of the propriety, behind the patio located next to the painter’s study. (chapter 51) This information is important for two reasons. First, the bathroom is not far away from the well and secondly, there is no other room or building next to the washroom. However, right behind the building, there exist some stairs. (chapter 19) And now it is necessary to outline why the location is really relevant. It is related to the incident with the sword. Observe that when Kim left the restroom, he encountered the lord outside in the courtyard. That’s the reason why you see the tree and the wall in the back. (chapter 26) This detail made me question this: How could Yoon Seungho fetch the sword within a few minutes, though the bathroom is far away from the bedchamber or any other building? (chapter 26) That question confirmed my previous theory: the butler was listening to their conversation. Thus Byeonduck created such a panel. (chapter 26) Since the lord had brought some clothes for the painter, this signifies that Kim had returned with the sword, but he hid in the shadow. Observe that the lord is going to the right, though on this side we have the stairs. On the other hand, this is where the butler was standing. So on his way out, the noble met Kim and the latter handed him over the weapon expecting the noble to kill the artist. Kim couldn’t imagine that Yoon Seungho’s jealousy would make him target the learned sir, especially because the other was in his bedroom, far away from the bathroom. And that’s how I recognized a new pattern. Remember my previous interpretation: the painter is the lord’s reflection. However, in the first season, it was not entirely correct. Why? Because Yoon Seungho was mostly the valet’s reflection. But as time passed on, the artist’s personality affected the aristocrat’s. That’s the reason why the butler started making false predictions. And the manhwaphiles need to question themselves where the learned sir was staying and how Yoon Seungho could walk through the courtyard without any interruption. (chapter 27) However, to answer this, this signifies that I have to leave the servants’ bathroom.

On the other hand, the location of the servants’ bathroom plays an important role in another aspect. Look at this scene. (Chapter 25) The lord was taking a bath after the forced sex. Observe the quality of the wall and now compare it to the bathroom in the second season: (chapter 70) There was wood and windows, but no wall. (chapter 26) This means that the butler prepared the bath for his lord in the servants’ bathroom!! Thus I conclude that only after the abduction, the lord could wash himself in the master’s bathroom which is located elsewhere. I assume that it is situated not far away from the bedchamber, which is on the other side of the courtyard. (chapter 70) (chapter 70) The readers can detect trees in the background and on the left side a multi-level terrace. (chapter 12) This means that the lord’s bathroom is situated on the left of this picture, but it is not visible. However, in the last panel, you can see a well indicating that the domain has two wells. This confirms that the owner’s bathroom must be on the other side of the bedchamber, closer to the wall and the terrace with grass. They usually built bathrooms close to a well in order to lessen the burden of carrying water. This is not anodyne at all. Why? Through this incident, Baek Na-Kyum discovered the lord’s real bathroom. My readers will certainly recall my theory about the incident with the “pervert”. After Yoon Seungho’s return from the hunt, Baek Na-Kyum was sent to the bathroom in order to assist his lover. So where did he go? Naturally to the noble’s bathroom, where he caught the maid having sex with the butler. In other words, Kim was bathing in the lord’s bathroom!! A new version of this scene: (chapter 71) A huge violation of laws!! The servant manipulating the painter hoped that Kim would be punished, for he had heard that the painter was a traitor. He expected that the low-born would tattle on Kim to his husband, but unfortunately for him, nothing happened. I hope, you can now situate the two bathrooms in the mansion.

Before leaving the lord’s bathroom, I would like to explain why Byeonduck drew such images in episode 70 which were quite confusing! (chapter 70) Observe that the houses have thatched roofs. This means that the painter and the domestic are walking through the streets of the city. But why? It is because the butler had given the instruction to let the artist leave the mansion. Kim imagined that once outside the propriety, the painter would run to his sister. In his eyes, he had faked obedience and respect in front of Yoon Seungho. (chapter 69) The valet had been projecting his own thoughts onto Baek Na-Kyum’s: (chapter 87) This means that the servant had indeed disobeyed the lord’s instructions. That’s the reason why the domestic asked Baek Na-Kyum to follow him in a different direction. (chapter 69) And now, you comprehend why the servant was mad and frustrated. During their stroll through town, the painter followed him blindly and absent-minded. Thus he never ran away. I couldn’t help myself laughing after this revelation. The painter was so lost in his memories that he never paid attention to his surroundings. (chapter 70) And if you reread episode 70, you will detect a time jump. It is because the domestic had realized that this walk was totally pointless. The artist had not left his side. They returned to the mansion, and note that in that scene the artist was carrying towels . (chapter 70) contrary to this last panel: (chapter 70) The manhwaphiles can now grasp why the domestic was so angry and slammed the door. (chapter 70) He had the impression, he had lost his precious time because of the artist. However, the man never recognized that the main person responsible for his “hard work” was the butler. Because of this scene in episode 70, people, including myself, were a little confused about the lord’s propriety. Where was the painter exactly? (chapter 70) The manhwalovers can comprehend why the domestic was lying here. He was hoping that the painter would run away. And now, it is time to return to the mansion and to the servants’ bathroom. From that building, I would like to show you the shrine.

5. The shrine ⛩

You are probably surprised that I could also locate the shrine, though it was only mentioned in the third season. (chapter 85) For that you need to take the stairs next to the servants’ washroom and walk through the gate: (chapter 19) That’s the building Jung In-Hun visited in episode 18, thus you had this view. (chapter 18) He was already standing on the stairs. In the background you can see the patio situated next to the artist’s study and on the right of the building the main gate. So the learned sir walked through the gate and reached this building: (chapter 18) The wall is separating the shrine from the servants’ quarters and kitchen. And what did Jung In-Hun find in this building? (chapter 18) The altar had been removed. This signifies that the scholar was the witness of the butler’s sacrilege. The latter showed no respect to the lord’s ancestors. Striking is that the learned sir acted the same way. (chapter 18) He showed no respect, because he was too focused on himself and his envy. (chapter 85) This means that the butler had been expecting Yoon Chang-Hyeon’s arrival, thus he had rearranged the altar so that no one would notice his disrespect. The smaller tables are put on the floor contrary to episode 18. However, if you contrast the two images, you will detect one divergence: the absence of the folding shield. Secondly, observe that the second black name plate has no incense. Therefore the elder master is only bowing in front of one plate name and not the other. (chapter 85) Besides, the second altar is not put in the center of the shrine. A sign that the second altar is neglected. Thus we need to question ourselves where the folding shield was before.

6. The painter’s study

It is situated in the building where the second patio is. (chapter 51) The study is situated, where you can see the two small windows. In the first season, there were two possibilities to access to his room. You could access to it through the door on the side which stands next to the lord’s bedchamber. This means that the lord has a view on the entrance to the smaller courtyard. However, one detail caught my attention. During the first season, the gate to the smaller courtyard was closed. (chapter 10) (chapter 12) (chapter 19) The other access was through this hallway. (chapter 19) This explicates why the lord dragged his friend by the topknot to the courtyard. (chapter 18) But wait…. In the second and third season, this is what you see: (chapter 67) (chapter 78) The gate had been closed, while the main lead asked to always keep the gate next to his bedchamber open. (chapter 68) That way he could keep an eye on the painter, in case he would run away. And now, you comprehend how Lee Jihwa could enter the painter’s room without getting detected. He used the same entrance than the learned sir. (chapter 19) Thanks to this new discovery, I can confirm my previous interpretation. Kim had encouraged the artist to run away in episode 12: (chapter 12) He had made sure to keep the gate closed. He envisioned that the artist would leave through the open door, but no… out of habit, Baek Na-Kyum used the door next to the bedchamber. (chapter 12) But when he faced the master, he got scared, thus he turned around and went back to the study. This explicates why the lord got the impression that Baek Na-Kyum had been caught trying to run away. (chapter 12) Naturally, here the artist wasn’t lying, when he said that he was taking a short walk. He had the intention to do so, but since he was back in the smaller courtyard, his words were not reflecting the truth. However, he had acted like that out of fear, and not because he desired to run away. And observe that the lord made sure that the door remained open! And note that in episode 13, Yoon Seungho didn’t return to Lee Jihwa’s side right away. During his absence the red-haired master had even time to meet the amateur spy. That’s how I realized why the lord vanished. He must have asked the valet to keep the gate between the bigger courtyard and the smaller one opened. It’s even possible that Yoon Seungho requested from the butler to take care of the painter’s wound. Knowing the butler, I am not trusting this statement, for he needed an excuse to approach the artist without getting suspected. However, if my theory about the lord’s order is correct, then this signifies that Kim disregarded his order, since in episode 19, it was closed again. (chapter 19) The painter, heartbroken, was sitting on the threshold of building. (chapter 19) As you can see, on the left there’s the patio juxtaposed to the artist’s study. This means, we have the servants’ bathroom on the left. And now, you comprehend why No-Name refused to kill the painter in the mansion. The only access to the study was through the gate situated next to the bedchamber. In other words, the moment Yoon Seungho closed this door (chapter 19), he protected the painter. Besides, I noticed something else. Yoon Seungho could move walls and create new rooms. (chapter 18) Note that above the characters’ head, there is a wall. This is even more visible in chapter 53: Under this new light, I came to realize the importance of the closed gate. This represented a disgrace, yet the moment the gate to the bigger courtyard was kept opened, this revealed the closeness between Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho. And since the painter’s fate is the same than the aristocrat’s, this means that the butler must have done the same in the past. The moment he closed the gate, Yoon Seungho was exposed to danger and his father couldn’t even notice it.

But the study is not the only room in the building. (chapter 18) As you can see, on the other side of the hallway, there is another room which has a yellow floor. (chapter 19) In episode 84, the painter was sitting next to this room. (chapter 84) This explicates why Yoon Seungho didn’t find his lover right away. (chapter 84) He was not sitting next to the study, but behind the room facing the study. Imagine that the building has a form of U. The study is located on the top of the U on the left, while he was sitting behind the bedchamber situated on the right of the bottom of the U. I hope, this description is understandable. This is important, because now you can locate the kitchen ( chapter 84). It is visible thanks to the jars. Besides, in the last panel you can detect the presence of a building on the right. It is the shrine.

7. The kitchen

You can see the kitchen in the following picture. (chapter 12) The kitchen is detectable thanks to the big wooden door in the smaller courtyard. However, I am quite certain that there’s a second access to the kitchen. (Chapter 46) They need to have an easy access to the jars situated in the backyard close to the walls. Moreover, observe that the backyard is elevated. (Chapter 46) This corresponds to the terrace covered with grass in the background. (chapter 12) This means that from the kitchen, if you follow the wall, you can pass by the lord’s bedchamber. And if you follow this path, you will discover the pond with the pavilion.

8. The pavilion and the library

As mentioned above, the terrace covered with grass leads to the pavilion. This means that the scholar walked along the wall. (chapter 10) (chapter 10) However, if you pay attention to the last image, you will detect the presence of a building. (chapter 10) Here, it is even more visible. This can not be the lord’s bedchamber, for the foundations are different. They are not in a huge basin. From my point of view, we are seeing here the library. This would explicate why the author created such a panel: (chapter 77) This is a view from the window, as the manhwaworms can see the rain falling. But it is totally dark. Why? It is because the drops are falling in the pond. Besides, let’s not forget that this building was also shown during the night of the forced sex. (chapter 25) This means that the pavilion and the library are located on the north-west side of the propriety behind the shed and not far away from the lord’s washroom. Nevertheless, this localization is not 100% sure. And since in Jihwa’s domain (chapter 3), there was an exit close to the pavilion, I assume that there must be one in the lord’s propriety. This explicates why the valet questioned him about the artist’s whereabouts. (chapter 25) He thought that Baek Na-Kyum must have run away. And now, you are wondering how this is relevant to our story. It is related to Jung In-Hun and his sleeping quarters.

9. Jung In-Hun’s bedroom

We know for sure that his room is close to an exit (chapter 27), for the bearded domestic appeared so suddenly. Another fact is that it is not far from a corner because of this panel: (chapter 50) Furthermore, I would like to point out the presence of the two trees. And now take a closer to this picture: (chapter 12) You can see the two trees. One stands next to the well which corresponds to the tree on the left and another stands behind, which corresponds to the tree on the right. (chapter 50) In other words, the learned sir’s room was placed on the other side of the smaller courtyard. This means that when the butler and the maid brought the lunch to the painter in the study, you could see the learned sir’s room in the background. (chapter 11) This also explicates why Jung In-Hun went through that hallway, when he left the painter behind. (chapter 19) He was returning to his bedchamber.

That’s how I realized two major points. First, the scholar was involved in the incident with the ruined painting. 😨 First, remember what the learned sir told to the painter: (chapter 10) But he was walking in direction to the study, while the pavilion is situated on the other way. He was turning his back on the pond, when he was standing in the courtyard. (chapter 10) Yes, it was similar to the artist’s white lie in episode 12. The latter had hoped to take a stroll, but once facing the lord, he had turned around. Here, we have the exact opposite. The scholar had actually finished his stroll. Besides, don’t forget that in that scene the gate next to the lord’s bedchamber was close. This means that the learned sir dragged the artist far away from the study. Is this a coincidence? I doubt it. Let’s not forget that the scholar was convinced that the lord was admiring him, thus he definitely judged the artist as a rival. Besides, since his bedroom was facing the study, he could have heard the noise from the room. (chapter 11) Besides, the doors were opened. This means that the scholar could have heard the noise. Moreover, the manhwaphiles should remember that he had requested from the artist a promise just before. (chapter 10) Finally, what did the maid state? (chapter 11) She was not lying, for he needed to cross the courtyard to go to the pavilion. However, her words implied something else. From my point of view, the scholar had been informed about the wrongdoing. Another possibility is that he had seen something. Anyway, he knew something was about to happen. Consequently he dragged the painter away and later he just needed to feign ignorance. He acted, as if he heard and saw nothing. In his mind, he would get rid of a rival. He counted on the painter’s selflessness and huge sense of loyalty. So the butler ordered the straw mat beating, but he never expected that the servants would perform it in front of the bedchamber. (chapter 13) He had overlooked one small detail: Yoon Seungho was no longer the young master, but lord Yoon. So the moment the lord was confronted with the sentence, he stopped the punishment right away. This means that Jung In-Hun heard definitely about the incident and did nothing afterwards. At the same time, thanks to this new insight, I could find the explanation for the butler’s late arrival in the learned sir’s bedchamber. (chapter 50) This time, Kim knew how the master would react, once he disclosed Deok-Jae’s insult and the conversation between Jung In-Hun and the painter. He expected him to rush to the learned sir’s room. During that time, he sentenced Deok-Jae to the straw mat beating. Since the lord was away from the bedchamber, the latter wouldn’t see the punishment. He arrived on delay on purpose to keep him there for a while. Yes, this was the negative reflection from episode 11/13.

To sum up, the new real discovery is that the scholar played a role in the incident with the ruined painting. But karma retaliated immediately. (chapter 18) He was confronted with the fact that Yoon Seungho treasured Baek Na-Kyum so much that he would humiliate a noble who would hurt his beloved artist. (chapter 18) He would even caress his cheek. (chapter 18) which could only fuel the scholar’s jealousy and envy. (chapter 19) He was forced to face reality: the lord had tricked and even used him. Finally, the readers should question this scene. Why was the scholar standing in the courtyard? (chapter 35) His room is situated on the opposite site of the courtyard. Moreover, it was the morning, so I doubt that he had gone to the library. From my point of view, the teacher had been manipulated by the butler whom he definitely trusted!! He had been encouraged to show to Yoon Seungho that the painter was only obeying him. In my eyes, the teacher wanted to remind the lord this: (chapter 30) If he desired to have the painter, he needed to treat Jung In-Hun better. Therefore you can grasp the noble’s comment: (chapter 35) He never realized that the painter and himself had been played. The main leads were treated both like puppets, but the scheme failed, for the artist was slowly realizing that the teacher’s concerns were quite superficial. He would no longer follow him blindly. Therefore he stayed in front of the gate. On the other hand, the scholar was unaware that Yoon Seungho could become violent, for the former had never seen the lord with his sword. (chapter 27)

And this leads me to the incident with the sword. Yoon Seungho didn’t know exactly where the learned sir was resting, thus he walked through the hallway and once in the smaller courtyard, he entered the building (chapter 11) from the side. That’s the reason why the learned sir heard these noises. Steps on the parquet and the closing of a door. (chapter 27) The jealous and angry noble was searching for the schlar. And now, you comprehend why Baek Na-Kyum got sick. He had to run almost naked through the courtyard (from the servants’ bathroom) and he had not even the time to dry his body. (chapter 27) With the localization, we can explain why the couple was standing at a corner, for the house is built like a square. But the domestic dragged the scholar away and brought him to the backyard. (chapter 27) This truly exposes Jung In-Hun’s naivety. He believed that he was cunning, but in truth he was not. He always put his life at risk, though he imagined that only the artist would suffer. Yet, he never recognized it. And because of these new discoveries, my theory that the learned sir is indeed dead got reinforced. Moreover, he showed no respect to the ancestors.

10. Conclusions

Why did I give myself so much trouble for this? It is because through this examination, we can more insight concerning the lord’s suffering. First, the closed gate between the study and the bigger courtyard indicates that the butler played a bigger role in the lord’s downfall. Since the young master Seungho lived in the study (chapter 77), I deduce that Yoon Seung-Won must have lived in the scholar’s bedroom. Therefore he could see and hear things. Moreover, if the door was closed, Yoon Chang-Hyeon had no view on the movements in the smaller courtyard. I am already imagining the worst. The butler could drag away the young master unnoticed. Or he could even put the wall on the one side (chapter 53), and close the door on the other side, and no one would detect the presence of an intruder, while saying that he had received orders from Yoon Chang-Hyeon. When the messenger was present, he had put down this wall, and opened the door on the other side, so that Yoon Seungho couldn‘t see the man‘s departure from the bedchamber. (Chapter 82) This explicates why the background is different from this one. (Chapter 78) The lord was standing on the other side of the building.

Note that Jihwa could enter the propriety without the owner’s knowledge in episode 10, but people in the courtyard could see it. When Byeonduck drew such a picture, (chapter 10) she revealed how the antagonist entered the study. He had used the other entrance (chapter 19) and avoided to walk in the big courtyard.

Striking is that when the childhood visited the mansion without the lord’s authorization a second time, the door was open. In addition, the head-maid and the butler were standing at the gate leading to the bigger courtyard. Why? (chapter 17) The answer is simple. The head-maid had chosen to inform her master. But Kim was standing in the way of the maid. He had stopped her from going to the main lead. And now, you comprehend why the valet chose to close the door later again. (chapter 19) (chapter 19) The valet expected that as a good host, Yoon Seungho would investigate the matter, and as a good “butler”, he would lead his master to the kitchen by using the other entrance. Thus the lord would see with his own eyes the painter sitting with the bottle. (chapter 19) He would catch him red-handed. But the lord believed to know already the truth, and showed understanding. (chapter 19) Therefore he protected the artist. As a conclusion, the readers need to pay attention not only to the location of the rooms, but also to the walls and the doors. The walls can be removed, as for the doors they can be closed or opened.

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

Painter Of The Night: Silent light 🕯 and noisy darkness (second version)

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

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.

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

1. Lord Song‘s letter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Quarrel and darkness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. The painter and the darkness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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