Painter Of The Night: Baek Na-Kyum’s foot 👣👣

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

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

Announcement: Shocking discoveries has been updated again.

1. The caress on the child’s foot

The author released this picture on Twitter yesterday, and naturally this made many people happy, for Jung In-Hun was stroking Baek Na-Kyum’s foot gently. How could people identify the characters, though we don’t see their faces? Simply by the clothes! The manhwaphiles remember the painter’s grey pants and the learned sir’s favorite color, lavender, (chapter 19) (chapter 68). While many manhwalovers found this image cute , something else came to my mind. A question. Why did Byeonduck create such a panel? One might say that she is showing us the painter’s past. Here, he is a young boy, for his foot is so small. He is carried on the learned sir’s shoulders like a little boy. Due to the presence of the light bubbles, refraction, I deduce that this picture represents a happy memory from the artist. He felt loved and warm in that moment.

2. The strolls

However, what caught my attention is that the young scholar was strolling through the countryside with the boy. In the background, you can see the fields and trees. This means that this scene embodies the positive reflection of this night: (chapter 70) The manhwalovers can immediately detect the contrasts: the visages of the protagonists versus the hand and the foot, day versus night, sun versus moon. That’s the reason why I came to the deduction that this image embodies a happy memory of the painter: sadness versus happiness.

On the other hand, these two situations have something in common: the learned sir is wearing the same clothes (a lavender hanbok) and he is walking through the countryside. But why? In order to get an answer to this, it is important to remember why the painter was forced to follow the learned sir during the night. It is because the artist had witnessed Yoon Seungho’s sequestration and abuse, whereas he thought that his noona had been mistreated. . (chapter 68) This means that Baek Na-Kyum was removed, because he was a witness and could generate a scandal. He is beloved by the kisaengs. However, back then, he got misled due to Heena’s indoctrination and false impressions. When he saw this, he was only looking at his noona, hence he didn’t pay attention to the actions of the black guard. Moreover, he had no idea why Heena and Yoon Seungho were behaving like that. So when the painter recalled Jung In-Hun from that night, he was no longer heartbroken, because the stroll with the scholar came to his mind. (chapter 70). The trigger for this recollection was his farewell to Heena. This time, he could say goodbye to Heena properly by embracing her and giving her a scarf so that she would remember him. In the painter’s mind, after that night, he would never see her again. (chapter 69) In other words, this night represented a closure for Baek Na-Kyum, the end of his abandonment issues. In episode 70, Jung In-Hun had consoled him, he had tried to cheer him up. Thus the learned sir was smiling. Yet, this couldn’t cover the painter’s scar. He felt that he had betrayed Heena, for he had not been able to protect her. It was, as if he had run away. Nevertheless, when this incident occurred, the learned sir had not run away from the gibang, because you could see that Baek Na-Kyum was wearing socks and shoes. (chapter 70) The man had put the shoes on the child, as in the building, the painter only had his socks on. Because of the presence of the socks, (chapter 68), I deduce that this walk must have taken place in a colder season (fall) while in this picture, Jung In-Hun was carrying the painter on his shoulders in the summer. No one would question why the artist had no sock or no shoe, and the manhwalovers can see the shadow of leaves from the trees on the hanbok. One might object to this distinction between fall and summer, because (chapter 70) the trees in the background still have their leaves. This point can be easily refuted, for in South Korea you can find typical evergreen broad-leaved species like camellias and camphor trees. But there exists another reason why I am associating this scene to fall and not spring or winter. It is because this image

represents the reflection from another episode: (chapter 102) In both scenes, the main lead is seen with bare feet. He is also carried by his loved one. But here, it is snowing, hence this signifies that it is winter. On the other hand, the manhwalovers can detect the presence of a purple flower on the right side. This signifies that Spring is on its way. That’s how I came to realize why Baek Na-Kyum is now recalling the learned sir’s gesture from the past.

He felt loved because of the learned sir’s caress, but in my opinion, this affection was superficial, as the warmth was coming more from the sun than from the learned sir.

In reality, this scene was actually exposing the teacher’s fleeting and superficial affection. But how do I come to this conclusion? By simply contrasting this scene with the one from chapter 102. Now imagine the situation in your mind. Both main leads are walking in the mountain (chapter 102) where it is even colder than in the valley, secondly it is snowing and there is no sun, only the moonlight. So the moment Yoon Seungho witnessed that Baek Na-Kyum was alive, he must have recognized the seriousness of the situation. Since Baek Na-Kyum had only a hanbok on, he could die of hypothermia. What he had imagined for himself, death, had terrible consequences. He could be the reason for the painter’s curtains. So in my opinion, he must have warmed the painter’s feet with his hands, a new version of this scene: Through the comparison, the artist can only sense the lord’s selflessness and deep love for Baek Na-Kyum. He will do anything for him. And now, you comprehend why the painter was reminded of the past. Yoon Seungho is slowly taking over the scholar’s role. But this doesn’t end here.

By comparing these two scenes, another contrast come to the surface. Yoon Seungho went to the mountain to bury the painter and to commit his suicide. This means that this stroll is associated to death, while the walk with the learned sir embodies the opposite: life and joy. However, as you can imagine, this is just an illusion. Because the moment the lord realized that his lover was still alive, he made the opposite decision. He is now fighting to remain alive. The painter has become the lord’s source of strength. Without him, Baek Na-Kyum can die and can even become the target of filthy and violent nobles. This means that after this stroll, the lord is forced to give up on his suicidal thoughts for good. Hence I deduce that in this image, the opposite must have happened to the painter. There was a change too: Here, he felt happy and loved… yet at the end, he must have felt guilty. Why? It is related to Heena. According to me, in this scene, she had used the painter as a shield. (chapter 94) His presence was to divert the attention from these men so that she wouldn’t be asked to have sex with them. And since I have already detected that each time, the painter suffered, karma would retaliate, the logical consequence is that Heena got punished for her wrong action. This signifies that while the painter was following the learned sir, his noona was abused in the kisaeng house. This would explicate why later she had no remorse to turn Yoon Seungho into a victim. And don’t forget that the painter was much younger than in this scene. (chapter 68) However, since the painter’s legs are longer than in the image from chapter 94, , I deduce that the scholar went for a walk with the painter, the latter was a little older. And this brings me to the following observation: the scholar’s walks were never random. They had a purpose which stands in opposition to Yoon Seungho’s behavior. (chapter 45) (chapter 75) The latter would let his partner walk through town in order to please him. He would even follow the painter. In other words, it was always for the painter’s sake, and in the mountain, it was the same. But it was not the same for Jung In-Hun, it was for his own benefit. We have the best example in chapter 10: (chapter 10) Here, he desired to separate the couple. Baek Na-Kyum should refuse to paint erotic pictures.

That’s how I come to the deduction that Jung In-Hun had taken away the artist from the gibang on purpose, to separate Baek Na-Kyum from his noona Heena. Hence I am assuming that during that day, something must have happened in the gibang. Like mentioned above, she could have been hurt during the painter’s absence. That’s the reason why the painter developed self-hatred. But there exists another possibility. Since this scene took place during the day, I think that the learned sir didn’t mind of being seen contrary to his attitude in town: (chapter 29) He could definitely meet peasants in the countryside. As you can see, Baek Na-Kyum is wearing clothes for low-borns, hence no one will question why he has no socks and no shoes. The learned sir looks like a generous and humble scholar, who doesn’t care about social status and origins, for he is carrying the painter. This stands in opposition to the stroll during the night: (chapter 70): The artist is dressed with good clothes, he looks more like a young master than a commoner, only the shoes are indicating that he is a commoner. That’s the reason why I believe that during that night, the learned sir was avoiding people. They could have wondered why the young boy was carried in his night clothes outside. From my point of view, this scene is strongly connected to Heena and the suffering in the kisaeng house. The other reason for this theory is that this panel is strongly intertwined with episode 29, where the learned sir had gone on a walk too, but this time without the painter. Here, he had a girl on his laps. (chapter 29) He had already been seen with a girl before who seems to like him either. (chapter 6) Thus I couldn’t help myself wondering if the learned sir was not directly involved in prostitution, bringing girls to the gibang and even covering up for the sexual child abuse. We shouldn’t forget that the pedophile was portrayed as a man consumed by lust who would never pay attention to the time and the hour. (chapter 1) Hence the painter had to leave the gibang during the day as well.

To conclude, though this panel seems to ooze happiness and warmth, I believe in the opposite. It is connected to pain and suffering. That’s the reason why I am convinced that this recollection will help the painter to move on from his self-hatred as well. He won’t feel guilty towards his noona, for she definitely manipulated him, especially at the end of season 3. And this would mirror the lord’s transformation, both are overcoming their traumas: self-loathing and abandonment issues.

3. The learned sir’s hanboks

At the same time, since I realized that the painter embodies memories and is the witness of the lord’s downfall and lord Song’s crimes, I came to the following theory: Jung In-Hun was involved in the torment of people in the gibang, but Heena never realized it. She preferred blaming nobles. Jung In-Hun’s role was to ensure the absence of scandal. Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why the learned sir’s karma was to die incognito. Since he had contributed to cover up and ensure that there was no witness and ruckus, he should suffer the same way. On the other hand, since he contributed to the painter’s happiness, as he was his only friend, I believe that at some point, his death will cause a huge scandal. And before closing this essay, I would like the readers to remind that the teacher didn’t wear all the time a lavender hanbok!! When he first met the main lead, his clothes were rather light green. (chapter 6) (chapter 7) (chapter 7) This change is not random in my eyes. I had already associated the learned sir to a chameleon. This change of color seems to validate my theory that Jung In-Hun had been sponsored by Min, hence we have the light green. Black Heart is symbolized by green. However, the light pigment reflects that he had been abandoned and betrayed. Nonetheless, when he encountered Yoon Seungho, the latter was wearing a purple hanbok. (chapter 6) That’s how the man got influenced and chose to wear his lavender hanboks again. But he never realized that behind the young noble, there was standing the pedophile, someone he had helped in the past. From my point of view, the change of the learned sir’s hanbok was the indication of his betrayal. According to me, the old bearded man (chapter 37) was not a former servant, but the pedophile. So he could have recognized the learned sir thanks to his hanbok… just like the readers did with this picture:

The purple hanbok is the common denominator between the mysterious lord Song (chapter 83), the topknot incident (chapter 1) and the couple. (chapter 102) At the end of season 3, both are now wearing a purple hanbok, though their pigment is slightly different. And what have all these chapters in common?

4. Love and feet

The main leads are bare feet. (chapter 83) According to me, in the painter’s vision from episode 1, the braided man is Yoon Seungho. The absence of shoes and socks was in truth an indication of neglect and abuse, but the warmth and gentleness from that scene deceived the painter: If the learned sir had been so caring, he should have let him wear shoes or socks. Here he was forced to rely on the learned sir. The latter should have ensured for the painter’s education either. He didn’t read a book with him during that day. In reality, the author let us see what true adoration and affection is: (chapter 73) From my point of view, the intimacy in the bedchamber stands in opposition to the teacher’s gesture in the countryside. His caress was just a casual gesture with no real deep meaning in the end. This explicates why he could betray and abandon the artist on so many occasions in season 1 (chapter 11, 24, 25, 29, 35, 40). The learned sir had always prioritized his own interests.

And if my prediction is correct by contrasting this memory to this scene (chapter 102), the painter should realize the difference. (chapter 68) Yoon Seungho’s love is deep and real, it is never changing. And the embrace in the snow confirmed it. (chapter 102) The lord let the painter cry, (chapter 70) talk and ask questions before apologizing and hugging him. The lord never acted, as if nothing had happened, (chapter 102) This was true love and Baek Na-Kyum’s feet always reflect his emotions: (chapter 58) (chapter 80) So now, imagine how the painter must feel if the lord took his feet in his hands! This is no coincidence that there is this saying:

Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.

And now, you comprehend the importance of the foot prints (chapter 100) (chapter 102) and the zooms on the feet: (chapter 53) The couple was following their heart!! But this was not the case with the scholar. Baek Na-Kyum had no other choice than to follow Jung In-Hun.

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

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

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

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

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

1. The red-haired master’s sins

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

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

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

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

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

2. Yoon Chang-Hyeon’s lies

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

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

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

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

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

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: Baek Na-Kyum’s origins

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.

Next to Yoon Seungho’s suffering, Baek Na-Kyum’s lineage represents the second biggest mystery. Thus many readers have already developed their own theory about the painter’s clan. However, the problem is that the author focused more on the noble’s traumatic past than on the painter’s genealogy. We could say that she barely left any clue about Baek Na-Kyum’s origins. The only information we have is this panel: (chapter 01) But after studying the manhwa so closely, I discovered the existence of rules in the manhwa which helped me to dig up new information. I am listing the laws of Painter Of The Night again in order to avoid repeating myself. I will refer to them later in my argumentation (rule 1, 2, eg.). That way the readers can better grasp how I came to new revelations and theories.

  1. The story is going in circle, thus Baek Na-Kyum’s path is similar to Yoon Seungho’s, yet it started much later. The reason is simple. The artist only began suffering the moment the noble’s condition improved. Thus it signifies that when the low-born was outcast and rejected (chapter 94), Yoon Seungho experienced the opposite. (chapter 57) He was admired which created a source of jealousy. While the painter discovered sexuality and his homosexuality very early on, Yoon Seungho was pure, but through incidents he was forced to become a sodomite. While Heena and the scholar tried to repress Baek Na-Kyum’s sexuality, the father pushed his son to have sex out of fear and high expectation.
  2. There’s always a reflection within the same chapter so that we can perceive the characters’ emotions and thoughts.
  3. Each episode is reflected in the next or previous season.
  4. The previous episode will always be mirrored in the next so that every chapter is connected to each other with reflections.
  5. Karma is always retaliating and it will be 1000 times worse. In addition, the son always pays for the father’s sins.
  6. The black frame is indicating either a vision or a memory.

1. Baek Na-Kyum as baby

And now, it is time to return our attention to the image from chapter 1. (chapter 1) What caught my attention is the presence of the black frame related to the servant’s narration. This indicates that this panel and the following represent memories, but they can not be the recollection from the servant, as the latter is just repeating what he has been told. I recognized it while reading episode 101.

1. 1. Comparison between episode 1 and 101

Observe that we have the same situation. A servant was informing Lee Jihwa about the last events: (chapter 101) Striking is that the author used the same method to introduce the memories. First, we see the servant talking before viewing the memories. (chapter 101) And now, compare it to chapter 1: (chapter 1) The order is the same, though the episodes are actually contrasting each other. How? Remember that in episode 1, Yoon Seungho followed the servant’s suggestion, whereas Lee Jihwa refused to do so. The latter chose to run away and vanish.

Striking is that the author added this picture (chapter 101). She was implying that this panel symbolized the vision from the witness, the tailor. This explicates why you see the wall on the left side. The tailor was observing Min in the shadow. This is important, for these images are reflecting the truth, revealing that the servant from episode 101 was actually lying. Thus I deduce that the domestic from chapter 1 was also lying, but contrary to the episode 101, he thought, he was telling the truth. We could say that he was acting as the fake “mirror of truth“. How do I come to this deduction? Simply because the servant in chapter 101 was actually deceiving Lee Jihwa and Yoon Seungho. Note that in the beginning of episode 101, Seokdae tried to defend himself by feigning ignorance. (Chapter 100) He denied his responsibility by putting the blame on someone else („I was told“), yet once facing the young master Jihwa, his declaration exposed his lie. (Chapter 101) He knows something!! Consequently, I come to the conclusion that in chapter 1, the domestic had been deceived about the painter’s childhood too, but he had no idea, while Seokdae was only partially involved in the scheme. The latter had been left in the dark that he could risk his life. (chapter 1) So in episode 1, the servant was not aware that he was lying to the protagonist, when it comes to the painter’s past. However, the domestic with the brown hanbok lied in one aspect, the publication of the book. (chapter 1) One might have the impression that I am digressing from the main topic. Yet the manhwalovers should keep in their mind that the servant from episode 1 served one purpose: to show us the memories of an important witness, someone who watched Baek Na-Kyum growing up. Thus we have three different pictures. First, he is a baby, then a young infant (chapter 1) and later almost a grown-up . (chapter 1) This signifies that the witness was close to Baek Na-Kyum which explains why the domestic trusted the source of his information. However, contrary to episode 101, she never divulged the identity of the witness. It is because the person wished to hide in the shadow.

Another similarity is that a third person is mentioned in the statement in order to give a certain credibility to their declaration. The head-kisaeng or the captain of the guards are the witnesses, but their absence in the image indicates that they are actually used as alibis. In addition, the manhwaphiles will recall that the episode 101 begins with the childhood friend’s sentence (the loss of the topknot), while the domestic got spared. On the other hand, we have the opposite situation in episode 1. (chapter 1) It ends with the domestic’s death, while the incident with the topknot is mentioned in the middle. At the end, the painter is dragged to the mansion. As you can see, both chapters reflect each other. That’s how I had this revelation (chapter 01) It made me realize that this image represented the view of a WITNESS! Someone was present, when the baby was brought to that place. This corresponds to the “dragging“ at the end of episode 1 (rule 2) In the beginning of the story, the adoptive parents (Heena and Jung In-Hun) were not aware of the situation, thus I am assuming that this was different in the past. The “biological parents“ or the “father“ knew about his whereabouts. Hence we need to find out the identity of the witness, though I already gave different clues. He was close the painter and watched him growing up.

1. 2. The fateful place

Moreover where did the domestic deliver the infant? Anyone would say that this was just the house of kisaeng. BUT no, as this panel reveals the entrance of the gibang. (chapter 99) The soil and the position of the pillars of the main gate are different. I can now announce the precise location, and this with certainty. Yes, I discovered the place thanks to rule 4!! (chapter 4) This is the door! You can recognize it thanks to the pillar on the side.

Another detail caught my notice: The shadow of the rooftop on the ground. (chapter 4) Here, the shadow was bigger indicating that it was early in the morning. The painter had just woken up. Consequently, I deduce that the baby was brought to the mansion during the day. This signifies that Baek Na-Kyum was never abandoned! He was entrusted to the owner of that mansion! (chapter 1) You can recognize the gate in the background. This is the domain, which you see when the lord is arguing with the painter in the courtyard. (chapter 4) Pay attention to the background in this picture. And now, you are probably thinking that the owners of that mansion are the Yoons, as we observed the main lead living there. Nevertheless, I had already pointed out that this was not Yoon Seungho’s mansion. This is the Yoons’ domain: (chapter 51) The courtyard is different. According to me, this is the mansion of the Lees. [For more read the essay 360: Lee Jihwa’s special relationship with Yoon Seungho] And since episode 1 and 101 reflect each other, this can only reinforce my interpretation that the Lees are involved in Baek Na-Kyum’s past, for we have Lee Jihwa present in chapter 101. Baek Na-Kyum was brought to the Lees, thus the scholar Lee keeps calling Baek Na-Kyum a peasant! He knows about his true origins. I had always said that the man was revealing his knowledge with his insult. But does it mean that this was the vision from Lee Jihwa’s father?

1. 3. The identity of the witness

(chapter 1) I don’t think so and this for two reasons! (chapter 1) First, the person was keeping an eye on the painter like mentioned above. Secondly, the artist is seen each time with the white head-band! In the last picture, he is seen drawing very young, whereas in this picture, he is much older. (Chapter 2) This item is connected to the scholar Jung In-Hun. Thus the learned sir reminded the artist to have it on his head in chapter 38 (chapter 38). Besides, father Lee views him as a peasant and not a servant. This observation gets reinforced, when you look at the memories from the painter. In his childhood, he was never wearing a white head-band. (Chapter 94) (chapter 87) (chapter 68) (chapter 70) This means that this panel (chapter 1) represents a distorted memory from Jung In-Hun. 😮 The other evidence for this signification is the absence of the landscape. We don’t see the gibang in the background. Striking is that it coincides with the following statement: “we know not of his origins“. From my point of view, it reflects that the scholar has long repressed the true origins of Baek Na-Kyum. He came to adopt this vision that the main lead was a peasant, a servant. Striking is that the painter was seen for the first time with the head-band in this panel: (chapter 94) Thus I assume that it was done on purpose. They used “his girly features“ as a fake excuse to beat him, but the intention behind this violence was to force him to wear the white head-band! As you can see, everything is pointing out that the learned sir and father Lee were somehow involved in this. But I have three more conclusive evidences for this theory. First, it is related to the reflection in chapter 101. (chapter 101) Look where the red-haired master and the servant are! It is in front of the teacher’s home! In Painter Of The Night, there is never a coincidence. This is a sign that Jung In-Hun is related to Baek Na-Kyum’s past and knows his true origins. However, by treating him like a low-born, he came to view him as one. But this doesn’t end it. Remember the rule 2: the reflection within the same chapter. The painter remembered the words from the gibang: (chapter 1) Jung In-Hun would employ such expressions like fiend and sodomy (chapter 18), he was repeating his admired sir’s idioms. Besides, “hell-raiser” is also an indication that the learned sir was a Christian who converted Heena. Thus I deduce that when father Lee received Baek Na-Kyum as a baby, he entrusted him to the learned sir Jung In-Hun who had no connection and no wealth so far. So when the lord described him as such in episode 7, it was not entirely correct. The reality was that the man had been working for the Lees, but he had been “abandoned”. (chapter 75) The scholar was his helping hand explaining why he would appear in this scene. (chapter 68) This was the night of the fake sexual lesson.

And this new discovery led me to the following conclusion. The moment Baek Na-Kyum was forced to wear the white tissue coincides with the loss of Lee Jihwa’s topknot because of rule 5. In my eyes, the painter helped Yoon Seungho to obtain his topknot which occurred after this incident. (chapter 57). However, there was a price to pay for the main lead’s emancipation. Lee Jihwa had to lose his topknot!! (chapter 59) Without a topknot, the red-haired master no longer looked like a real noble. He had lost his position. Hence I believe that the painter was forced to wear the headband. As you can detect, there was a chain reaction linked to the social status: lord or not, low-born or not.

1. Baek Na-Kyum and the gibang

However (chapter 1), since Baek Na-Kyum was so young, he needed a mother to feed him. Thus he was brought to the gibang. And that’s how he ended up in the kisaeng house. This means that Baek Na-Kyum is actually a noble! I would even add that he belongs to the royal family. And this would explain why the painter was forced to wear a headband, the moment Lee Jihwa lost his topknot. We also have the explication why the painter was living in the annex. (chapter 87) He was definitely living in comfort.

Nonetheless, where are the real proofs? First his name! Why was he called Baek Na-Kyum, if he has been abandoned? He should have only a name Na-Kyum. Secondly, why did the main lead let cut his hair? It was to indoctrinate him, to make him realize that he had been abandoned by his parents!! They deceived him with the long hair. It was implied that with short hair, he would be recognized as a boy. (chapter 94) However, the purpose was to let him experience rejection and isolation. It appears to me that his resent for nobles was part of the brainwashing as well! That way, he would never think that he was coming from a noble family. (chapter 94) This means that such a scene was created in order to ruin the main lead’s self-esteem, and naturally Heena who witnessed it was also influenced. Since she was a minor herself, she couldn’t detect the schemes behind such scenes. Don’t you find it weird that the young child was brought to that room? Under this new approach, the learned sir’s neglect concerning the painter’s education appears in a different light. (chapter 6) The painter was never destined to become a farmer. The neglect was done intentionally. And when you recall his words in the library, you can only view his words as pure lies again: (chapter 40) He was never born to be a prostitute, but he was sent there on purpose. Under this new perspective, it becomes more comprehensible why Heena sent Baek Na-Kyum to the learned sir. He was the one who had brought the artist to the gibang, and now he was getting older. One might refute this point, for she declared this: (chapter 68) Nonetheless, the beholder can detect the presence of a drop of sweat on Heena’s cheek. So she was deceiving the artist here. Why? Yes, in her mind, the painter was Jung In-Hun’s son and as such he should become responsible for the learned sir. But she had to lie in order to persuade him to leave the mansion. There’s no ambiguity that the head-kisaeng had no idea about the deal between the Lees and Jung In-Hun.

2. The noble Na-Kyum

But wait… I have more evidences for this theory. The poem from the scholar! Chapter 4 is a reflection of episode 1 (rule 4). (chapter 4) This was inspired by the poetry from Wang Bang-Yeon! (chapter 4) In this poem, the famous author was referring to the death of the young king Danjong who had been killed by his uncle Sejo. Danjong was just a teenager, when he died! As you can see, the text is actually an allusion to royalty and exile. Under this new light, it dawned on me that the scholar Lee had been entrusted to take care of Baek Na-Kyum, but the latter chose to delegate this to the learned sir. There was a reason behind this. For me, he was eyeing at the mansion himself! One might refute this point, for the elder Lee said this: (chapter 82) But note that the man never said that this was his house, just the household of the Lee. Since the artist is related to the king, this signifies that he is related to the elder Lee too, as the family ruling over Joseon belongs to the Lee clan. Hence I am suspecting that Baek Na-Kyum could be the true owner of this mansion. (chapter 1)

“The very night of Danjong’s murder, Sejo’s sleep was haunted by the appearance of Danjong’s mother who denounced him for his evil and left him with this malediction: “You have stolen the throne and killed my son. Yours too shall die.”
When Sejo awoke, he discovered the curse had been fulfilled ― Deokjong (the crown prince and his eldest son) was dead at the age of 20. In fury, Sejo had Danjong’s mother’s tomb dug up and her bones and remains scattered into a river.” Quoted from https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/opinion/2019/11/721_278751.html

If you read the analysis “The Dark Knight”, you are already aware of the importance of a curse in Gothic literature. We know that the lord is right now stigmatized as a bird of misfortune, thus I deduce that when the artist was a baby, he could have been labelled as such too. I am suspecting that he was condemned, for his mother had died by giving birth. (chapter 1) Note that the baby had no hair, so he was only a few weeks old. From my point of view, Baek Na-Kyum could have been sent away for that reason. Either he was perceived as a bird of misfortune (rule 1) or the father wished to protect his son from harm, for he was in a vulnerable position. His mother had died. Within the family, he would be protected. As you can imagine, I am sensing another manipulation and scheme, where the king chose to listen to people. One thing is sure: the artist is no peasant, but a nobleman, I would even say, he belongs to the royal family.

And Yoon Seungho has already detected the painter’s true origins. Thus he keeps removing the headband. (chapter 53) How does he know it? In my opinion, it is because Baek Na-Kyum resembles to the king. The only difference is that he has no beard. This would explain why Yoon Seungho said this: (chapter 55) Why would he get upset? Why would the painter’s face evoke such emotions? He is reminded of his abuser. This is no coincidence that the main lead had such a flashbulb right after, where you could see Lee Jihwa and his father. (chapter 55) They are all related. And now, you comprehend why the author wouldn’t reveal the face of the mysterious lord Song in chapter 83 (chapter 83) We could have seen the resemblance, as in this picture he was much younger. As the manhwalovers can sense, I detected a strong connection between the Lees and Baek Na-Kyum. Observe that the moment Lee Jihwa lost his topknot (the symbol for nobility and adulthood), the painter received a purple/burgundy hanbok!! (chapter 102) The colors are already insinuating that the artist belongs to the royalty.

What the painter considered as a curse (his girly feature) is actually a blessing. Yes, his face is the evidence of his lineage! And now, you comprehend why he was beaten by these people (chapter 94), why he was forced to have short hair and wear a white head-band! (chapter 71) If the pedophile came to the gibang and crossed the main lead’s path, he couldn’t recognize his relative (son or nephew) due to the hair and the clothes. Besides, I am certain that my avid readers can recall my other theory: the painter was stolen as a child. This new interpretation would corroborate this theory. The painter has been robbed of his true identity, he had been kidnapped, when he was brought to the kisaeng house!! Besides, if he is the true owner of the mansion, then this signifies that Father Lee succeeded in his coup d’Etat (rule 1, rule 3). In season 3, we have an attempted “coup d’Etat” with Yoon Chang-Hyeon eyeing at the seat. (chapter 86) Moreover, I would like to point out that we have the topic: siblings’ jealousy. This is definitely possible that father Lee is related to the artist, an uncle for example. Finally, if the painter is the king’s son, this is no coincidence that Baek Na-Kyum suffered so much. He was paying for his father’s sins (rule 5). At the same time, if Baek Na-Kyum has to face the infamous lord Song, as his son/nephew, he is put in a position where he can criticize his father/uncle. How could he abandon him and treat Yoon Seungho like that?

3. Baek Na-Kyum’s murder

I had already detected that the painter was supposed to die in chapter 1. But with this new discovery, I have another explanation for his assassination. Baek Na-Kyum was not only a witness of the pedophile’s crime, but also involved in Lee Jihwa’s humiliation. Furthermore, he was on the verge of becoming an adult. Thus he could claim his inheritance. In my eyes, his existence represented a source of threat for father Lee. The latter had completely forgotten the boy (like the saying: out of sight, out of mind), until the incident with the topknot occurred. Since the learned sir and father Lee had neglected him on purpose, they had another reason to get rid of him. Since Yoon Chang-Hyeon viewed his son as a small adult who should dedicate his time to study in order to contribute to the Yoons’ reputation, it is possible that the painter’s father could have made the opposite decision. He should grew up in a more carefree environment, or maybe he could avoid being affected by a curse. Naturally, the scholar Lee has every reason to remove the painter from Yoon Seungho’s side. (chapter 82) All his past crimes could come to the surface! He had not taken care of the painter, and he had been neglected on purpose. He had committed a crime (disobedience to the king), thus he was a traitor. On the other hand, they could use the last publication as a justification for his death! He had threatened the ruler, he was blackmailing him with his secret. There’s no ambiguity that lord Song had no idea about the true identity of the artist.

And now, imagine this. What if Yoon Seungho had killed the painter? Jung In-Hun and father Lee could frame the main lead for the murder and accuse him of killing the king’s relative. The poem would serve as an evidence for the painter’s identification. The protagonist had committed treason… That way, the patriarch Lee could kill two birds with one stone. Yoon Seungho would be forced to leave his propriety (in chapter 1, he was living next to Yoon Seungho), and even lose the family’s mansion. He would destroy the Yoons totally. There exists this possibility that father Lee had already announced to the lord Song that his son/nephew had been kidnapped and died. (chapter 37) So far, we still have no idea about the cause for the treason: Coup d’Etat or attempt of assassination on the king or spying or murder of a royal member (here Baek Na-Kyum)? There’s no ambiguity that the painting in Yoon Chang-Hyeon’s bedchamber was used as an evidence that the elder master Yoon was eyeing at the throne (chapter 83) imagining that Yoon Seungho through his “marriage” would become the crown prince. Since the author mentioned “torture”, I have the impression that the main lead was brought to the bureau of investigation and got tormented there. He was naturally framed, he had been acting as a spy. He was hoping to become the king’s successor as his “bride”. So once the artist had been executed, the scholar Jung could claim that he had been raising the painter the whole time and receive a huge compensation for his benevolence! Then it occurred to me that the learned sir could have approached the palace for that exact reason: Baek Na-Kyum’s true origins. He had been taken care of the painter, but on the day he went to the court, Baek Na-Kyum published the book where the king’s crimes were painted and as such ruined his plan!!

Anyway, there’s one thing that I am certain. The accusation from the past was revealing father Lee’s true desires. He was power-hungry and greedy, hence he projected his own thoughts and emotions onto the patriarch Yoon. But by running away, Lee Jihwa ruined everything! The scholar Lee can no longer aim at the throne.

And if the king were to face Baek Na-Kyum, he would recognize his relative due to his face, especially he would share some similarities with the mother. Since the painter’s face was wounded at the end of season 3(chapter 102), I am assuming that his visage won’t be bruised again, so that his foot could get hurt, for the lord and the butler had a broken foot in chapter 77. (rule 3) (chapter 77) And that’s how the ruler could discover the truth!! Therefore the culprits would be detected easily: father Lee and naturally Kim, as both knew the real identity of Baek Na-Kyum, but chose to remain silent. Yes, knowledge will become Kim’s downfall in the end. Why do I think so? For me, the feet in this panel are Kim’s (chapter 1), but like mentioned in a different analysis, No-Name got framed for the painter’s disappearance. How did I come to this assumption? It is because the author is often portraying the butler by his feet! (chapter 66: According to me, this is Kim and not No-Name) (chapter 77) Don’t forget rule 1 and 3. Nevertheless, the main point for this interpretation is the way the painter ran: (chapter 4) He made the same sounds than the butler: (chapter 17) (chapter 85) Here he had faked running. Since he had been introduced with his feet in chapter 1, she needed to create reflections later. Finally, I would like to point out this: (chapter 7) Their meeting here is an indication that their past must have crossed before because of rule 1!! Since the painter was so devoted to the learned sir, the valet could only jump to the conclusion that the man had truly taken care of Baek Na-Kyum properly.

4. Conclusions

As a conclusion, the first panel is containing many clues about Baek Na-Kyum’s lineage! Only through long reflection, I could reconstruct his past partially. I am well aware that my perception of father Lee and Jung In-Hun contains more speculations concerning their motivations, since I am still lacking some information. Yet, I am convinced that Baek Na-Kyum is related to the Lees and the king. And the painter ended up in the gibang, because the scholar needed a woman to feed the boy. It was to make sure that the boy was not connected to the household Lee. This would have raised questions, if suddenly a baby had appeared in the mansion. Thus Baek Na-Kyum was entrusted to the noonas through the scholar. There’s no doubt that the painter’s face will play a huge role, for during that time, the scientists didn’t know the existence of DNA! It was not possible to take a paternity test. Besides, the author is always avoiding long narration. She uses “chance” and “coincidence” to deliver much information in a short time! Within 26-28 episodes, she has to give all the answers to the readers, while the story is still going on! And that’s how I realized the importance of the door: (chapter 04) The protagonists’ fate got switched the moment they passed a door. Thus the painter didn’t suffer here contrary to the young master (chapter 68). He might have been sad, yet he was not exposed to violence and humiliation. But here, it was different: (chapter 94) He had entered the room. In my eyes, this door had a special meaning (chapter 4) It is where the main characters’ destiny was affected, hence the lord expressed this: (chapter 4) He recognized that the artist was not a servant or slave, but a free man. His words became a reality. He is not embracing a peasant, but a noble, even a member from the royal family. He was speaking the truth, while all the readers were thinking that Yoon Seungho was a hypocrite. We could say that the main lead was under the influence of the spirits/unconscious, thus he caught the artist right on time. At the same time, “peasant” is again a reference to father Lee which reinforces my theory that the scholar Lee is deeply involved in the couple’s suffering.

As for the scholar, since he never mentioned his involvement in the painter’s life (chapter 1), officially Heena raised him, the readers can grasp why Baek Na-Kyum never considered the learned sir as his “father”. He had been raised in the gibang by the noonas, but not by the learned sir. He was just a companion and a friend, whom he felt indebted and attracted to due to his “gentleness and fake selflessness”. This is not surprising that the servant in episode 1 got executed in the end. The servant had lied, because he had repeated the scholar’s words. And the latter had lied about the painter (chapter 1) He had actually painted animals and nature in his childhood, thus the noonas kept his drawings. (chapter 94) The man had trusted the learned sir’s testimony without verifying the facts. He had not detected the presence of a blackmail! (chapter 1) This truly shows that ignorance is indeed no blessing, and people shouldn’t trust others according to their appearances or social status. At the same time, the servant had forgotten that Yoon Seungho was a noble, though he was dressed like a peasant in the bedchamber. (chapter 1) He was not even wearing a hanbok here, and his head-band was different too. As you can see, both protagonists shared the same experience. They were not treated according to their social status. To sum up, the valet Kim brought Baek Na-Kyum to the Lees, who decided to get rid of the painter by entrusting him to the scholar Jung. And Heena became his accomplice, the moment she became his surrogate mother. Let’s not forget that in season 1 and 2, the learned sir was the only one seen with children: girls. (chapter 6) (chapter 29) and Baek Na-Kyum (chapter 68) This shows that the painter embodies the link between the head-kisaeng and the learned sir. Jung In-Hun had entrusted her the baby.

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: Sex and drugs 💉💊

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

Feel free to make some donations/sponsoring: Ko-fi.com/bebebisous33  That way, you can support me with “coffee” so that I have the energy to keep examining manhwas.

I have to admit that when I chose this title, I imagined that this analysis would be very short, for I mainly desired to talk about Min. However, the more I pondered about the content of this essay, I realized that I should actually include all the drugs in Painter Of The Night. This led me to examine all the other characters suffering from drug addictions. That’s how I made new discoveries again.

1. The drugs in Painter

First, it is important to list the drugs present in this manhwa. We have alcohol (chapter 75), tobacco (chapter 61) and opium (chapter 52).

And because Min and his friends brought opium to the Yoon’s residence and the main lead was present, the readers jumped to the conclusion that the main lead would smoke opium too. (chapter 52) And this perception got reinforced, when the butler confided this to the physician later: (chapter 55) Many readers had the impression that Yoon Seungho had been smoking opium, many went so far to imagine that he had been smoking opium right from the beginning. (chapter 5) However, this was just a lie. Yoon Seungho never smoke opium!!

2. Yoon Seungho’s true addiction

And now, it is time to prove my interpretation. First, you’ll realize the deception, once you read the side effects of opium:

Short term effects may include: 1. euphoria, 2. relaxation, 3. analgesia” quoted from https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/opium/

This drug has a sedative effect, therefore the opium smoker falls into a torpor and semi-sleep. And we know that Yoon Seungho avoids sleep, for he is plagued by nightmares. (chapter 74) Hence consuming opium would even instigate his nightmares. In addition, observe that in chapter 5, Yoon Seungho was never euphoric nor sleepy. He could interact with the painter normally.

Nicotine causes a range of effects on both the body and mind, including:

Decreased appetite

Heightened mood […]

Sweating

Nausea

Diarrhea

Better memory

Increased alertness

https://www.verywellmind.com/nicotine-addiction-101-2825018

As you can see, nicotine increases alertness and memory. Therefore the lord never forgot the words from the painter during the day. They bothered him so much that he kept thinking about his own image: (chapter 05) As you can see, Yoon Seungho had a drug addiction, nitocine.

One might argue that he started smoking opium only later.

And now, pay attention to this image. (chapter 52) The noble in the background was the one smoking opium. Besides, the manhwaphiles will certainly remember how Yoon Seungho behaved in that scene. He heard Min’s words addressed to the painter, he walked straight to Black Heart in order to protect his lover, well aware that Min would invite the painter to join the party. (chapter 52) This means, he was conscious and alert. Besides, we saw him later getting in rage (chapter 53). Here, I would like the manhwaphiles to keep in mind that side effects of opium like euphoria, relaxation and analgesia last for at least 3 to 6 hours. So this outburst of rage is an indication that our protagonist was not under the influence of opium. He was not hallucinating either. He had grasped the whole situation, when he heard Deok-Jae predicting a terrible fate to the artist. In addition, this drug is not considered as a poison inducing psychosis.

opiates are the only sedative drugs that possess an anti-psychotic effect.” quoted from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24563427/

However, this doesn’t mean that an user from opium won’t suffer from any psychotic symptoms. They are more related to withdrawals or to hallucinations due to the big consumption of opium. https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/opiate-addiction/related-topics/opiate-psychosis/

However, one of the side effects of nicotine is heightened mood, this would explicate his outburst of rage and his irritability right after smoking tobacco. (chapter 52) This explicates why he beat Min and Deok-Jae so furiously, he wasn’t acting under the influence of hallucinations. He was perceptive, he had clearly understood the meaning behind the servant and the noble’s words. As you can see, the lord’s mood swings were more triggered by his addiction to nicotine. This explicates why the main lead had such a violent outburst in the shed after the abduction. He had smoked tobacco the whole day. (chapter 61) Remember how I compared him to dormant volcano, here he was boiling internally.

On the other hand, a person consuming opium will show signs of withdrawals 24 hours after the use. And these are the following signs of opioid withdrawal: Anxiety, insomnia, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, shaking, yawning, restlessness, widened pupils, body aches, seizures, hallucinations, body aches, rapid breathing, fast heartbeat and more importantly irritability. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/opioid-withdrawal-symptoms#1

Min shows all the signs of a withdrawal in chapter 76. First, he vomits, but hides it under the excuse, he drank too much. He gets in rage, when No-Name calls him a fool. He can no longer keep his mask contrary to the altercation in episode 41, when Yoon Seungho compared him to a mouse: (chapter 41) Besides, we have another evidence that Black Heart has developed an addiction to opium with the following panel: (chapter 76) The gaze is different, an indication of the widened pupils. Furthermore, his restlessness is perceptible the way he approaches The Joker. This time, he has to meet the criminal personally. We could say that he rushes to meet the criminal. Like he said, he was “running out of time”… (chapter 76) These words reflect his own troubled mind.

However, you can see that the lord didn’t get any sign of withdrawal after that terrible night in episode 52. Yes, he got sick, but it is because he didn’t sleep and he had no clothes on. Therefore he caught a cold. Let’s not forget that he had lived for a week without eating or sleeping properly. But my most conclusive evidence is this panel:

(chapter 74) Observe the painter’s reaction. He is coughing, he doesn’t seem affected by the smoke, while he had a total different reaction in chapter 54: Note the euphoria and the sedative effect on the artist’s face. This explicates why he didn’t push the rapists away.

As a conclusion, Yoon Seungho is not addicted to opium, he never smoked it. The aristocrats chose his place to smoke it, because they wouldn’t be caught by their parents. That’s the reason why the noble said this to Black Heart. (chapter 53) They wanted to smoke this drug there, for no one would interrupt them. But because Yoon Seungho let them smoke opium, he became guilty by association: he was also an opium smoker. And the readers had fallen into the same trap. As you can see, I believe that the author is using the method on the manhwaphiles. They are misled by what they see and hear without questioning the authenticity of the statement.

The manhwaphiles will say that Yoon Seungho has another addiction: alcohol. (chapter 55) However, this is another deception. Yoon Seungho is no alcoholic either!! 😲

I have many evidences for this. First, notice that during the first sex orgy, there was no drink and food offered. It was simply sex!! (chapter 08) So his debauchery was linked to sex and nothing more. He would live for sex and nothing else. Furthermore, the manhwalovers will certainly recall the lord’s behavior in the tavern. He ordered wine(chapter 75), but notice that he never became drunk like the painter. (chapter 75) The main lead can consume wine in moderation contrary to the painter!! Therefore he has no addiction to alcohol.

And this is different for Baek Na-Kyum, who became a drunk after his abandonment. (chapter 1) Notice that each time, Baek Na-Kyum would drink alcohol, he could never stop until he almost lost consciousness and started hallucinating (chapter 19) or he would be so inhibited that he couldn’t walk properly. These were the sign of his addiction. I can’t forget the lord’s words in episode 75: (chapter 75) Here, he saw how the alcohol was affecting his lover’s behavior.

Notice that at no moment during the night (52-53-54), Yoon Seungho walked under the influence of alcohol. His feet were the proof that he never consumed wine to the point he would lose consciousness or started hallucinating. (chapter 53) He was walking straight. When the readers saw the following image, they saw it as a confirmation that Yoon Seungho was a drunk. (chapter 54) But in truth, he took some wine in order to overcome his pain, to give himself some “courage” to go through. He had longed for the artist’s warmth after a week of separation, but he knew that Baek Na-Kyum viewed sex as prostitution. He was alert enough to see the consequences of his decision (chapter 54), therefore he broke the bottle. (chapter 54) This is no coincidence that he destroyed the bottle of wine. He had the impression that this drug was the cause for his “hallucination”, he was seeing the painter in ecstasy which could only remind him of his own past. Besides, he didn’t want his companion to become a shadow of himself: (chapter 54) He recognized the perversion of the artist’s redness and lost gaze. He loved him for his pure gaze and blushing.

For an alcoholic, a single drop of alcohol is a synonym for a relapse. Hence the addicted has to avoid anything related to alcohol, like vinegar or medicine containing alcohol. So when the lord proposed the wine, he had no idea about the consequences of his offer. So imagine his reaction, when he heard this: (chapter 75) The lord was responsible for his relapse!! Naturally, this could only pain the lord, for the latter wanted to make his lover smile. On the surface, Baek Na-Kyum’s words were reflecting the truth, as the master had encouraged his lover to take the soju. Hence Yoon Seungho could only feel accountable for this situation. He decided to act as a mature man who should take care of his lover’s intoxication. On the other hand, during the whole dating, Yoon Seungho always remained clear-minded, this was another indication that he never abused alcohol.

So when he said this to Bongyong (chapter 78), I believe that Yoon Seungho never proposed too much wine to his lover afterwards. He had made the experience that if he did, he would be the reason why Baek Na-Kyum would become a drunk. In my opinion, the painter’s relapse was linked to his own suffering, he was tormented by the idea that Yoon Seungho would abandon him, his affection was not deep. Since they had no longer any sex, he had the impression that Yoon Seungho’s love for him was vanishing. As you can see, the painter’s dependency to wine was linked to his repressed libido and his fear of abandonment.

As a conclusion, Yoon Seungho was never addicted to opium or wine. However, this doesn’t mean that nicotine addiction is no big deal. In truth, this drug is as unhealthy as any other drug. The withdrawals are only perceptible, when a consumer stops smoking. The addiction is never obvious like opium or heroine. In addition, the body doesn’t just get poisoned because of nicotine, but the latter also affects sexuality and as such relationships.

The investigators began to realize that smoking actually became a method of subtle communication for members of the couples being studied. Lighting up gave clues to each partner that it was time to talk, time to give space, or even time to defend yourself because a world-class argument was about to begin. federally funded study is scheduled to go on for another year, and hopefully, will provide methods to help counsel couples how to recognize cigarettes as an abusive third member of their relationship. If couples are going to weed the habit from their lives, the researchers say they will have to find other ways to relate to each other, and more often than just during the familiar after-sex smoke. And of course, as Jordan found, smoking can directly torpedo the sex, too.” quoted from https://www.webmd.com/men/features/want-better-sex

3. The truth behind Kim’s statement

But then why would the butler describe his master as a man addicted to wine and alcohol (chapter 55), if this was not correct? It is related to the situation how the lord became ill: the orgies and more precisely the presence of Black Heart.

What caught my attention is this: (chapter 33) Compare this sex orgy with the following one: (chapter 8) At Black Heart’s party, wine and tobacco were offered, while in Yoon Seungho’s bedchamber you only had books, pictures and sex. Besides, there were more guests. As you can sense, the parties were totally different: austerity versus luxuriousness. Yes, Min wanted to impress his host Yoon Seungho!! He desired to show him what a true sex orgy was. He desired to prove that he was the real hell-raiser, the real king among nobles.

Besides, another detail caught my attention: (chapter 33) The Joker and the bottle of wine!! The manhwaphiles will certainly recall how the villain offered the expensive alcohol to Yoon Seungho (chapter 19). Moreover, I realized that in episode 33, we have a slight change. While Black Heart is seen first with the pipe full of tobacco, (chapter 33), slowly the author brought the villain in connection to the bottle of wine: And at the end, we have this: (chapter 33) The pipe is no longer present, but Byeonduck focused on the bottle. In my eyes, she desired to outline that Min was slowly getting addicted to alcohol. This means, Black Heart is not only addicted to nicotine and opium, but also wine! Notice this:

  • chapter 43:
  • Chapter 83: .

In these two scenes, Min was serving alcohol or encouraging Jihwa to drink! And now, you have an explanation why the red-haired master became a drunk, when he got abandoned by his lover or tormented by the murder plan. Black Heart was the one introducing this addiction to the second lead. And this interpretation becomes more visible, if the manhwaphiles revisit the event around the failed gangrape.

chapter 51

The person laughing so loudly was in reality Min. You recognize him with his green hanbok. So he was visiting his “acquaintance” and was drinking wine there. While the maid thought, the lord would be the drunk one (chapter 51), I believe that Black Heart was the main consumer!! And now, you comprehend why Yoon Seungho fell into debauchery. (Chapter 55) There was this peer pressure coming Min, who loved luxurious parties. But these parties were no longer sex orgies, for the protagonist was no longer interested in sex. He needed to offer something else to his guests: alcohol and food. Therefore the last picture above is actually more deceiving the readers than anything else. It gives the impression that Yoon Seungho was consuming wine all the time, while in truth he was killing time with these parties. He was alert for the most part of time keeping his thoughts to himself.

But like I outlined above, Black Heart was the one who became more and more addicted. First nicotine, then wine and finally opium. But why? Notice that this coincides with his obsession with the painter. He grabbed the bottle of wine (chapter 33), when Yoon Seungho refused to share his painter with him. So when he heard that Yoon Seungho was organizing parties again, he envisioned that his plan had succeeded. Hence he visited the mansion, yet his loud laugh was actually masking his pain. (chapter 51) He was far from happy, for his fixation on Baek Na-Kyum had not disappeared at all. Therefore, it is not surprising that he started drowning his sorrow. However, alcohol was no longer effective, he needed something stronger to dull his agony. That’s how he discovered opium. And notice that when the lord got punched in the propriety, he felt no pain. (chapter 54) He didn’t protect himself, he had no strength because of the relaxing and sedative effect. He even laughed, a sign that he was under the effect of the drug. (Chapter 54)

However, this doesn’t mean that Min left the house happily! All the guests got evicted like vulgar commoners. His ego was definitely hurt, just like the other nobles’. Therefore on his way out, he told Kim that they had been evicted due to Yoon Seungho’s intoxication. He was under the influence of alcohol and opium. That way, appearances were saved. For the butler, the truth didn’t matter. He could just portray his master as a man living in debauchery, so that no one would ever blame him for this! The appearances were against him. He had indeed organized parties, but they were no longer sex orgies.

The most infuriating is that the butler was to blame for this “relapse”. He had made sure that the painter and his lord would no longer be together. Since he had no sex, then he could only offer wine and food. But there’s another point why I don’t believe that Yoon Seungho ever consumed opium. Since this drug was illegal in Joseon, the butler would have to dirty his own hands to buy such a thing. Besides, notice that the nobles brought the drug themselves. (Chapter 52) This shows that the aristocrats had to buy the opium themselves. This was too dangerous to give this task to a domestic, the latter could definitely betray them. So when Black Heart said that the main lead was smoking opium, his true goal was to ruin the main lead’s reputation. And for Kim, it was perfect. He needed his master to have a bad reputation so that he could live his life peacefully.

4. The connection between sex and drugs

In my opinion, Min’s addictions are his karma. He had to pay a huge price for plotting in order to obtain the painter. He became more and more addicted to the wine, and later to the opium, when he thought that his plan had succeeded. In other words, his opium’s addiction is the divine retribution for hurting the shaman. The irony is that his obsession for Baek Na-Kyum never disappeared. In other words, since he couldn’t have sex with the painter, he replaced sex with drugs. That’s how I realized the following connection. Baek Na-Kyum, Jihwa and Black Heart used drugs to cover up the absence of sex and indirectly love. For me, they somehow symbolize a subterfuge, to mask the absence of passion.

Notice that the artist’s libido is strongly intertwined with the paintings, so the moment he could no longer paint, he was forced to become chaste. Hence he started drinking. (chapter 75) This strong connection between sex and drugs gets even confirmed in the same episode. Notice that in that scene, Yoon Seungho had not sex with the painter for a while, and Baek Na-Kyum was definitely missing it. Naturally, his true desire was to get loved by his companion. For the low-born, sex is a symbol of love. Hence he drunk because of Yoon Seungho. (chapter 75) He felt the need to fill the void. But I believe that the incident with Nameless was a wake-up call for the artist. Through the hug and the music box, he realized that the lord’s affection had not diminished at all. And now, you comprehend why the painter is no longer addicted to the wine. He no longer feels awful and fears abandonment…

As for Jihwa, he drank, when he was happy, for he imagined that he would get his friend’s attention again, or when he was sad, for he had been repudiated. Once he got abandoned, he could no longer have sex… (chapter 36) and he drowned his sorrow in wine. (chapter 59) However, this association between alcohol and his lust for Yoon Seungho started changing, after Jihwa had sex with Nameless. Notice that in episode 83, he is no longer looking like a wreck. (chapter 83) He is still biting his nails, a sign of remorse and fears, but he is no longer obsessed with Yoon Seungho. From my point of view, the torments the second lead suffered in the second season played a huge role. He started drinking alcohol for another reason. (chapter 50) This time, he got afraid of the consequences for the murder. As you can perceive it, there was a slight shifting. This shows that the wine became less and less connected to his obsession with his childhood friend, his desire to have him. This explicates why he was so devastated at the end of the second season. Out of guilt and anxiety, he started drinking again. (chapter 76)

And now, we have to wonder why Lee Jihwa doesn’t seem plagued like in the past. (chapter 83)It is because his father got involved again, and visited father Yoon. The second lead imagines that after his father’s intervention, his problems will be solved. He won’t have to fear for his life, for Yoon Seungho will be sent away to his father. (chapter 82) He knows about his father’s plan. If Yoon Seungho is forced to submit himsel