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

This is where you can read the manhwas. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/sip_poison This manhwa is mature. 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/  I also used briefly Doctor Frost again which I highly recommend to my readers. https://www.webtoons.com/en/mystery/dr-frost/list?title_no=371 If you want to read more essays about other manhwas, here is the link to the table of contents: https://bebebisous33analyses.com/2021/06/06/table-of-contents-of-analyzed-mentioned-manhwas/

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1. Castration or abandonment?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. The tool for the loss of the topknot

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

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

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

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

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

4. The reason behind the loss of the topknot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. The red-haired master’s sins

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

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

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

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

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

2. Yoon Chang-Hyeon’s lies

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

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

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

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

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

Painter Of The Night: The puzzle with the paper 📜 📨 (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 essay “The secret behind curry, apple and butter” has been updated.

Here, I would like to thank my friend Luzyla for her latest observations which made me realize the existence of a new connection!! Before elaborating my new discoveries, I would like to repeat the following principles on which the story was developed:

  1. There is always a reflection within the same chapter.
  2. The next episode is mirroring the previous one, naturally with slight changes.
  3. Each season is reflected in the previous and the future one.
  4. The author is working on positive and negative reflections.
  5. Thus the story is going in circle.
  6. Thus the lord’s destiny is reflected in the painter’s.

That’s the method I am using to unveil the mystery behind Yoon Seungho’s past and as such behind the painter’s.

1. Baek Na-Kyum’s apology

Everything started with this panel. (Chapter 5) Baek Na-Kyum was apologizing for his past behavior. He had insulted the main lead because of the poem. And his words sounded really similar to the butler’s in the library, for they both employed the same expressions: “That day” and “I spoke out of”. (Chapter 77) Striking is that the painter employed the expression “hand”, while the valet talked about “turn”. Why did they do that? It is because when Kim was caught committing a crime, he turned his head! (chapter 68) Thus in the library, the butler excused himself in front of the lord by using the following expression: “spoke out of turn”!! On the other hand, the painter had used his hand, (chapter 4), therefore he described his wrongdoing with the following expression “out of hand”. In my eyes, his words indicate the interference of the butler. Furthermore, the two men had a drop of sweat, a sign that they were not truly honest. (chapter 77) Both were apologizing, as they had wronged the noble. As you can imagine, the similarity in the excuse is no coincidence. The proof that both incidents are reflections is that they have another point in common. The wrongdoings of the low-borns had taken place in front of a gate. The butler had disobeyed his master (chapter 68), and the painter had assaulted the lord by trying to retrieve the poetry. (Chapter 4) Because both characters had violated social norms, showing disrespect towards a noble, (chapter 04) the consequence was that two people were pushed down, the black guard and Baek Na-Kyum. (Chapter 4) In other words, since Yoon Seungho had punished the butler due to the incidents in episode 67/68, I deduce that episodes 67/68 were reflections of episode 4/5 as well!! This corresponds to the rule 2 and 3.

1. 1. Yoon Seungho, the commoners and the Lees

But this doesn’t end here. When the lord caught Kim’s wrongdoing, he was returning from the Lees’ mansion (chapter 68). Since this is the positive reflection, I am deducing that in chapter 4, Yoon Seungho was actually returning to the domain of the Lees, as it should mirror the opposite. (chapter 4) Let’s not forget that just before the great entrance of Black Heart and the protagonist in chapter 67, this was what the author showed us: (chapter 67) And now compare the building to this one from chapter 1: (chapter 1) Under this light, my theory that Yoon Seungho was living with the Lees in the beginning of the story gets reinforced and even validated. In season 1, Yoon Seungho had sex with his friend in the pavilion so that the father and the staff could see the truth: the young master Jihwa was a sodomite. But since we saw Yoon Seungho in that building in episode 1, we jumped to the wrong conclusion that this was his house. But actually, from chapter 12 on, the author was showing us that we had been deceived. This was the lord’s house, and note that there is no building in the big courtyard contrary to the domain from chapter 67 and 1. (Chapter 12) (For more read the essay “Lee Jihwa’s special relationship with Yoon Seungho”) Then in season 2, the main lead forced the elder Lee to hear what he had been denying all this time (Chapter 67), while in chapter 3, he could only witness it from the patio. On the other hand, Yoon Seungho had been proactive during their sexual encounter, hence the father could only blame the main lead for his son’s debauchery. The intimacy in the pavilion was in verity hiding Yoon Seungho’s huge traumas. But due to Lee Jihwa’s confession in the inn, the red-haired master’s reputation got ruined in town and this must have definitely reached the father’s ears. Striking is that when Yoon Seungho confronted Lee Jihwa with his crime (abduction of a person from his household), the red-haired master ran away and hid behind the folding shield. Thus he never apologized to his friend. And it was the same with the elder Lee. The latter knew about his son’s wrongdoing, for he accused the intruder immediately. (Chapter 67) As you can see, the absence of the excuse from the uke and his father outlines that chapter 67 is a reflection of episode 5 and 77. I detect a pattern, chapter 5 contains a superficial apology, chapter 67 no apology and chapter 77 a fake excuse again. Furthermore the manhwalovers can recognize that in the same episode (episode 5), the antagonist Jihwa had indeed wounded the painter with his insult too, a reflection of episode 4. (Chapter 5) This confirms that chapter 5 is connected not only to episode 77, but also to chapter 67/68. We have the same elements: an incident linked to a door (chapter 67), insults towards the main leads, a wrongdoing, the allusion to love (chapter 67), a punishment, but also the absence or presence of an apology. But all of these episodes have other similarities: hypocrisy and arrogance. The Lees were looking down on Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho (chapter 5-67), while in episode 77, it was the butler who yelled and criticized the noble. (chapter 77) By detecting a reflection between these chapters, I had a new revelation.

1. 2. The lord and the papers

In addition, if the manhwaphiles compare the scene with the painter’s excuse (chapter 5) to the scene with the butler’s (chapter 77), they can detect the fourth parallel: Yoon Seungho’s correspondence. 😮 How is it possible, as in episode 5, the noble never wrote a letter? In fact, he gave the poem to the black guard for the investigation. On the other hand, it looked, as though Yoon Seungho had written a letter (chapter 5), while it was not the case. As you can see, anyone seeing the black guard leaving the owner’s study could have had the impression that the lord had written a letter. This means that this mistake must have taken place later again due to the rule 2! The manhwalovers could discover the deception in chapter 37/38!! (chapter 38) That’s how Jung In-Hun got misled. (chapter 38) Yoon Seung-Won had never received a letter, but the ruined painting. The readers only discovered the trick in the final episode, when the father was looking at the picture. And this connection between a letter and a painting was reflected in season 2. While Min stole the painter’s last creation (chapter 56), Jihwa sent a forged letter (chapter 56). Striking is that the butler was the one who received the paper before delivering it to his sick master. These two scenes (38-56) indicate that the valet is related to the correspondence. Moreover, he was seen delivering the message to Yoon Seungho in the courtyard. (chapter 35)

All this proves that in chapter 5, the butler had seen the black guard departing from the study with the paper in the hand, and he had jumped to the wrong conclusion that his master had written a letter. Therefore right after this conversation, the lord’s table vanished. (chapter 5) It was, as if he was not allowed to write any letter. So where did the table go? To the study!! What caught my attention is that after the first painting (chapter 2), the table had been removed from the study, just like the papers. (chapter 4) This was no coincidence. It had been sent to the lord’s bedroom, but after the lord had tasked the black guard, it was no longer there. This is the indication that someone was interfering with Yoon Seungho’s habit to take a brush. And this can only be Kim. As you can see, the appearance and the vanishing of the small table is the element which was reflected in chapter 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. And now, look at the scene where Lee Jihwa met Min. (chapter 67) The table had also disappeared. And when did it happen? (chapter 21) The noble had ransacked his own room with his sword. And what did we see in that episode? A paper folded in a book. (chapter 21) In other words, the First Wedding night is also a reflection from these chapters (4/5, 67/68, 77), for it contains the same elements: (chapter 20) an incident with a door, someone is pushed down, a wrongdoing committed against Yoon Seungho (theft), an apology (episode 19) and the importance of the table. According to me, the valet had put the expensive wine on the painter’s table on purpose. To conclude, I see a connection between episode 4/5, 19/20/21, 67/68 and 77.

And now. you are wondering if I am not drifting away from my initial statement, the painter’s apology. However, I would like to remind the readers that in order to write a letter, a person usually needs to have a table in order to write properly. So imagine the butler’s reaction, when he hears from Yoon Seungho this: (chapter 77) He can not trust his words, especially since he views the nobles as violent liars. Why? It is because there was this huge table. This is no coincidence that right after the valet betrayed the main lead and wrote a message to the patriarch. That’s how I had another revelation. The butler is symbolized by the table! Thus he was often seen with this small table (chapter 11) (chapter 17) To conclude, when the butler saw the black guard leaving the mansion, he believed that his master had sent words to someone! That’s the reason why he removed the table and returned it to the painter’s study.

(chapter 5) However, this was just the poem!! This confusion between a letter and a poem should be reflected in season 3 according to rule 3. That’s how I came to the conclusion that when the painter returned to the annex and took the poem, he was actually taking a letter (chapter 97) written by Yoon Seungho, but he envisioned that this was the Spring poem! (chapter 97) We had the same situation. Black Heart had stolen the Spring poem, and the noonas had deceived the protagonists by faking admiration in front of an empty paper. (chapter 93) Since the paper in episode 93 was empty, I could only come to the deduction that this paper contained words!! (chapter 97) Another evidence for this theory is the color of the paper, for the second doesn’t have a shade of pink. Then I suddenly recalled that the artist had received two calligraphies, the one from his beloved and the other from the old bearded man. (chapter 92) The latter’s work was a copy of Yoon Seungho’s poetry, the repetition from chapter 4. Hence you comprehend why I deduce that the paper in the annex was different from the Spring poem. So during that night, Yoon Seungho left a note to his lover, and that’s how the butler discovered that the artist could not read Chinese, for he saw his master writing in hangeul. But there exists another evidence for this interpretation. Baek Na-Kyum had wished this: (chapter 97) The goddess was actually fulfilling his wish, when she reminded him of the Spring poem.

And that’s how I realized why Kim had suggested to his master that two servants should remain by Baek Na-Kyum’s side and bring him back to the mansion. The reason is simple. The two domestics were to divert the artist’s attention, that way the painter wouldn’t read the letter. If the domestics were present, they could give some information to the painter without revealing too much. (chapter 97) If the lord had mentioned in the letter that they had found the corpse of Deok-Jae, the painter would have believed him. However, as you can envision it, the butler and Min were determined to generate a misunderstanding, to create the illusion that the scholar had died. Consequently, the servants deceived the main lead by omitting the existence of the paper. They had not delivered the message properly.

In other words, the letter is connected to a painting and a poem, yet each time, the paper was stolen or misused. Striking is that none of the main characters noticed the switch or the vanishing. We could say that this was Yoon Seungho’s karma for stealing the painter’s belonging. (chapter 4) His own poetry got stolen. But let’s return our attention to episode 5. Since the lord had given the poem to the black guard, this signifies that the lord no longer had the sijo. Therefore he had to write the poem again in order to mask the disappearance. In my opinion, he must have copied the original poetry for the artist in order to prove that he had not been lying. Hence the paper looked different. And this brings me back to the painter’s apology in the patio. (chapter 5) Why did the painter apologize to Yoon Seungho in the end? How did he come up with such an idea? It is because this had been suggested to the artist by Kim. This explicates why he was speaking like the butler. The latter had actually made a huge error, when he advised the artist. Why? It is because he was mixing cause and consequence. In the valet’s mind, the lord had kept the message, for the painter had offended him. So if he were to confess his wrongdoing, the lord would return the poem, and after that, it was just a matter of time, until the painter would desert the propriety. However, the lord had stated this: (chapter 04) That’s the reason why he had taken it in the first place.

Since Kim had been the one suggesting to the painter to beg for forgiveness with the hope that he would get back his poetry, it is normal that Kim was present, when the poetry was returned. (chapter 7) But where is the sijo now?

In my eyes, Kim had witnessed how the paper had left the property in the past, and he had not intervened. Why? It is because of the black guard. (chapter 65) Moreover, I believe that in chapter 65, he had collaborated with the noona. He had shown her the painting of Baek Na-Kyum, while in the study there was a blank paper. As you can see, in season 2, we had again this connection between a painting and blank paper. But let’s return our attention to chapter 5. The black guard was acting on the order of someone else, Yoon Seungho was not the one hiring him. The butler hates ruckus, his MO is to lie low and act in the shadow. If he had retrieved the paper, the man could report it to the master of the black guard. On the other hand, he could have asked the warden about his master’s request. He just needed to say that he desired to assist him, similar to this situation. (chapter 82) Thus I conclude that when the lord returned the paper to Baek Na-Kyum (chapter 7), Kim must have realized his error. He had mistaken the poem for a letter!! This explains why he repeated the trick with the younger master Seung-Won. But unfortunately for him, he was caught by the teacher who asked the painter about the letter the next morning. (chapter 38) Baek Na-Kyum could have realized that the butler had acted behind his master’s back. The problem is that during that evening, the lord had indeed written a letter to his brother (chapter 36), but the moment the latter interrupted the couple (chapter 37), Yoon Seungho chose to hide it. But why is it important? It is because if the painter had mentioned the paper given to the younger master to Yoon Seungho, the latter could have noticed the valet’s meddling and wrongdoing. On the surface, it looked like Kim had written himself a letter to the younger master. In other words, in episode 37/38, the butler gave the impression that he was a spy, for he was acting without his master’s permission. He had even left the propriety, as he was standing outside in front of the gate. Don’t forget that during the meeting, the brother had mentioned that he had sent him many letters (chapter 37), and there is no ambiguity that Kim had intervened. Here, the lord had said nothing, for he imagined that Kim had done it to protect him from his family.

According to my theory, Yoon Seungho was living with the Lees, and as such Baek Na-Kyum had to trespass the propriety in order to retrieve his tools and vanish!! (Chapter 4) But on his way out, he met Yoon Seungho who had just missed the painter’s departure. But there, he discovered that the main lead had stolen his poetry. (Chapter 04) Therefore he was forced to return to the mansion. At the same time, Yoon Seungho was encouraged to come back to the propriety too. He had to keep an eye on the painter. He couldn’t be so sure that the poem was strong enough to keep Baek Na-Kyum by his side. Therefore it is not surprising that in episode 5, Yoon Seungho was seen sitting in front of the window smoking. (chapter 5) He was looking at the gate and as such making sure that the artist’s departure would be noticed. By sending the low-born to the Lees’ mansion, Kim was encouraging the painter to commit a crime: trespassing! But the artist was fortunate, for he was not caught by the lord of the mansion, who preferred hiding due to the ruckus caused by his own son. 😉 As for Yoon Seungho, he came back to the mansion and saw the empty study. Kim just needed to say that the low-born had left to the Lees’ mansion. This is important, because this indicates that in chapter 4, the couple missed each other first! And this situation was repeated in season 3, precisely in chapter 98, when the lord returned from the bureau of investigation (chapter 98)! The lord arrived just after the painter’s departure. And who was with the main lead? Kim. As you can see, the lord’s luck seems not to be on his side, for Baek Na-Kyum had just left the propriety. Once again… the lord was standing in front of the gate!! As for season 2, this time, it was Kim’s fate to miss his master. (chapter 56) The reason for this punishment is simple. He had sent away the artist to the study just before Yoon Seungho regained consciousness. The latter didn’t see that the artist had taken care of him during that night. Thus the butler’s karma was not to notice his master’s departure which stands in opposition to chapter 4 and 98. And note that all these chapters have the paper as common denominator. So imagine the butler’s surprise in episode 4, when he witnessed the artist’s return to the mansion followed by his master. He had sent away Baek Na-Kyum with the hope that the artist would desert the town for good, but no…

2. Kim’s hidden action

Kim must have been intrigued. Why did Baek Na-Kyum come back? He had witnessed the execution of a servant, then he had been abducted before getting imprisoned in the storage room. Finally, he had been threatened and forced to paint an erotic picture. Hence Kim felt the urge to discover the reasons for the painter’s behavior. In other words, he must have interrogated him, the older version of this scene: (chapter 23) The first similarity is the allusion to his bag. The butler was actually thinking that during the hunt, the painter would decide to run away. That’s the reason why he asked about his belonging, for in the past, he only wished to vanish after retrieving his tools. Naturally, the artist saw no harm in the butler’s question and answered truthfully. He must have narrated the argument in the courtyard about the poem. Yoon Seungho had kept the sijo, consequently the painter had used his hand to take it back and had by mistake removed the lord’s hat. Thus Kim must have told him that he just needed to apologize. But one might say that this is just a story imagined by me. The manhwaphiles never saw such a scene. But don’t forget the existence of the reflections. I have definitely an evidence for this theory. Since the butler had manipulated the painter in chapter 4 in order to get rid of this uninvited guest, his karma was to receive a new guest!! (chapter 7) This is not what the valet truly desired at all. He wanted to live in peace. But now, he had three new people he had to serve: Jung In-Hun, the painter and his own master Yoon Seungho who had lived for quite some time in the Lees’ mansion. He had to work!! And note that in this episode 7, we have the following elements:

  • The arrival of a guest, exactly like in episode 4-5; 67/68 and 77.
  • a paper
  • the library
  • a reference to “love”
  • the first appearance of Kim
  • The existence of a deal which is also present in chapter 4 and 77
  • The connection between the letter and a poem (chapter 5-77)

This truly shows that during that night (chapter 77), the valet chose to write a letter in order to denunciate the protagonist. As you already know, attack is the best defense. Exactly like in the courtyard, he badmouthed a noble, this time he must have compared Yoon Seungho to the younger brother Yoon Seung-Won. The latter would succeed with the civil service examination and bring glory to the Yoons, whereas the main lead would only live like an idle sodomite.

Through this contrast, another detail caught my attention. (chapter 7) How did Yoon Seungho know that the learned sir had no connection and was poor? Who had told him that? One might think that this can only be the butler. However, Yoon Seungho had tasked the black guard to investigate and not Kim. Yet, there is no ambiguity that the latter definitely played a role in this investigation. Why? It is because of the expressions the main lead was using: “hardly knows”, “determination”, “labor in vain” which resembles to the valet’s vocabulary, though he embodies the opposite: ignorance, hesitation and laziness. The aristocrat’s description about the teacher is actually questioning the main lead’s actions. If Jung In-Hun was portrayed as poor and powerless, why would he sponsor such a scholar? He would gain nothing. Moreover, with such a portrait, the speaker is implying that only through connections you can achieve greatness. These words are actually exposing the meaningless of the civil service examination. In other words, this description was already insinuating the existence of sodomy, sex in exchange of favors. And this negative depiction of the civil service examination was exposed once again in the gibang. (chapter 93) It was a futile dream. When I had analyzed episode 93, I had explained that the speech from the main lead was influenced by the butler. As you can see, the lord’s narration (chapter 7) was mirroring the valet’s mentality and meddling. He had tried to stop his master from visiting the learned sir the day before. However, I don’t think that Kim is only responsible for this negative characterization of Jung In-Hun in episode 7! Why? First, we never saw the return of the black guard, but when the main lead visited the learned sir’s mansion, he was followed by another one! (chapter 6) There was a switch. That’s how I had this revelation. Heena is the missing link between the learned sir and the protagonist. And observe that in episode 93, we have the same elements again:

An empty paper which is confused with the poem

The incident with the door: (chapter 93) This time, Heena is the one standing behind closed doors, while it was Yoon Seungho in chapter 77

The reference to the library:

The allusion to Kim

The presence of love and affection:

The lord got badmouthed

The fake apology: (chapter 93) In chapter 99, the noonas still lied to him.

An invitation (chapter 93), which was also present in chapter 4/5, 7 and 67/68 and finally 77 ! Since episode 93 is a reflection of episode 7, I could only come to the conclusion that Heena was the one standing behind the black guard! Besides, I had already discovered that Heena was associated to the table as well (see chapter 94 and 68). She represents the link between the butler and Jung In-Hun. She had already collaborated with the valet in episode 65. So from my point of view, she must have received the scholar’s poem with Yoon Seungho’s request. But what could she do with it? Keep it? No… her interference would have been noticed. Hence I believe that the kisaeng was not acting on her own. She was following the orders from the mysterious “lord Song”. At the same time, I think that she is also connected to the Lees. This would explicate why the black guards would change between episode 1, 5 and 6. Finally, according to me, the learned sir had connections to elder Lee, for he had seen the baby Na-Kyum at the gate. (chapter 1) [For more read the essay “Baek Na-Kyum’s origins”] There is no ambiguity that these words (chapter 7) were not reflecting the verity.

In other words, she had been working for two people, just like the butler was turning Yoon Chang-HYeon against the son and the reverse. Both stands for disloyalty. Therefore it is no coincidence that the kisaeng was seen with different black guards in chapter 64. On the other hand, the readers should keep in their mind that the black guard can be seen as a double-edged sword. They can serve as protectors, but also as “spies and as captors”. They could report Heena’s actions to the nobleman who had hired the black guards. Finally, the manhwaphiles will certainly recall the butler’s statement: (chapter 55) Who was lord Song’s contact person then? In the past, I used to think that he was the one receiving the letters. But now, I have a different opinion. I believe, it is Heena! Why? It is because Kim couldn’t identify lord Song’s writing. According to me, Yoon Seungho was sent to the gibang in order to entertain the mysterious “lord Song”. Thereby I am assuming that the kisaeng would receive a word from lord Song and have the main lead fetched from the mansion by the black guards. Heena and Yoon Chang-Hyeon are the only ones seen with black guards, I am excluding the main lead, as he was always more or less their prisoner. As you can see, there is a connection between the noona and the Yoons.

3. Heena and the letters

First, I would like to point out that the kisaeng mentioned letters twice in season 2. (chapter 68)(chapter 69) and in season 3, the noona sent messages to her brother herself. In two different chapters (chapter 91), she is related to papers. (chapter 97) Logically, the noona in connection with the letter should be present in season 1. Secondly, when the woman appeared for the first time (chapter 64), she was accompanied with 2 guards, which is quite similar to the lord’s situation in chapter 1. That’s the reason why I believe that she didn’t keep the learned sir’s poem. Her betrayal could have been noticed and this was the first time that Yoon Seungho was making such a request.

So where is the teacher’s sijo? It was received by the mysterious “lord Song”. That’s how he discovered that his ex-lover was showing an interest in the learned sir. This is important, because the poem will serve as the evidence to identify the murderer behind Jung In-Hun’s death. On the other hand, one might refute this idea, for the teacher was seen in his bedroom with the paper. (chapter 21) But if you look more closely at the paper, you will realize that it resembles a lot more to this one due to the marble effect. (chapter 7) Nevertheless, the paper looks damaged in the previous panel. But this could be the result of anger, like this. (chapter 56) This would follow rule 3. Then according to rule 2 of the kaleidoscope, elements from one episode will be constantly mirrored in the next chapters. And what did we have in episode 19? A larceny… the bottle of wine vanished. Then in episode 20, the lord stole the scholar’s identity, while he stole the painter’s virginity. Hence the lord apologized to the painter for his wrongdoings. (chapter 21) And above I had already demonstrated the connection between the First Wedding Night and chapter 5 and 77! Here the lord was imitating the pedophile’s behavior, hence you comprehend why I think that lord Song was the recipient of the poem. I would like my readers to keep in their mind that the learned sir’s sijo was referring to a painful departure, the loss of a loved one and despair! The beholder could have the impression that the author was suicidal due to the mention of the well and the torment of the mind. Thus I am now assuming that the “mysterious lord Song” will consider the sijo as a farewell, the lord chose to commit suicide and his death was related to Jung In-Hun’s curtains. Why? It is because Heena wrote letters to her brother where she accused the main lead of killing the learned sir. Moreover, Yoon Seung-Won had definitely mistaken the painter for the learned sir. (chapter 37) His position revealed that the main lead trusted the artist. It was, as if he was treating him like his wife. (chapter 97) And from my point of view, these messages were never burned. That way, Kim can put the whole blame on the kisaeng and her brother!! The butler can even reveal how Yoon Chang-Hyeon had harassed the son and tried to frame him for the death of his messenger.

But since “lord Song” was behind the scholar’s murder, he can only retaliate against Lee Jihwa and Min’s friends. Why? Because he will deny his responsibility in the crime, though he was the one who ordered it! Exactly like in the past. He had never assumed any responsibility, he always let others take the accountability. He needs to find a culprit in order to vent his fury. If they had not brought up the learned sir’s assassination, then Yoon Seungho “could have lived” in peace. To conclude, when the lord gave the paper to the black guard, the pedophile had the impression that the main character was rekindling with him, for he was asking for his help. He was far away from him. In his eyes, he had contacted him, “lord Song” alias the king!! And now, it becomes understandable why lord Song sent hanboks and asked Min to organize parties for Yoon Seungho!! It is because the pedophile believed that the main lead was no longer pushing him away or had accepted him. This is not surprising that little by little, the main lead’s hanboks became more and more beautiful. Don’t forget the following rule, the painter’s situation will be mirrored in the lord’s. Thus in chapter 34, Yoon Seungho returned with a hanbok covered with cranes (chapter 34), and shortly after the painter was sent to the tailor. But during that night, the pedophile and Yoon Seungho had missed each other due to Baek Na-Kyum. He was not dead. So when the painter received new clothes, it was the same for Yoon Seungho. Yet, the pedophile was gravely mistaken. Why? The sijo had been stolen, and as such it was never addressed to the pedophile. Furthermore, it is because the lord was suffering from memory loss. Moreover, I believe that the main lead is not aware of the true identity of his sexual abuser. In his mind, it is just lord Song. But this doesn’t end here.

According to me, the main lead wrote a letter to his lover in the gibang. This signifies that someone else must have done the same due to rule 1 and 2. The reference of the Spring poem in chapter 97 indicates the presence of a letter in the previous episode or the next! From my point of view, Min must have asked the kisaeng to contact “lord Song”!! And don’t forget that in season 2, we had a forged letter. (chapter 57) And who was behind this? Black Heart’s friend. But then it came to my mind that Black Heart had stolen the Spring poem… so he could have sent the paper to lord Song and the latter would have mistaken it as a letter from Yoon Seungho, the latter was reaching out to him. He was wishing him luck!! So imagine that when the man arrives in Jemulpo, he imagines that the main lead is waiting for him only to discover that Yoon Seungho vanished. He wished to die because of the loss of a loved one. And that’s how he will recall the poetry of the learned sir… the reflection of this night!! (chapter 94) In episode 4, the lord had laughed about the sijo, but it was no longer the case in the kisaeng house. In my eyes, the pedophile will go through the same experience. Yes, the effect of the kaleidoscope. He will perceive the learned sir’s poetry under a different perspective. Only in that moment, he will realize the suicidal tone in the sijo. He will question how Yoon Seungho could become so desperate and suicidal so suddenly. And now, you comprehend why Heena was trembling in front of her brother, and why she had planned to leave the gibang that night!! She was aware of the arrival of “lord Song”. She knows how cruel and ruthless he can be.

And Lee Jihwa’s words will become a reality. (chapter 101) Blood will flow… The proof for this expectation is that chapter 67, 77, 82 and 93 are all referring to punishment. Kim had been beaten in episode 77, while the kisaeng was imprisoned in the storage room. Moreover, we have the use of the sword in episode 21 and 67… and during these nights, the protagonists had made love to each other.

4. Father Lee’s message

Since the Lees are connected to paper in the form of the paintings and the letter, (chapter 5, 10, 15, 17, 56), I had suddenly this question! Why didn’t Lee send a word to Yoon Chang-Hyeon? Why did he have to visit him during the night? (chapter 82) (chapter 82) It is because he didn’t want to leave any evidence of his intervention. No one should notice that he had paid a visit to the patriarch either. His visit should remain a secret. He was actually afraid of getting detected. The reason is simple. He was fearing the person standing behind Yoon Seungho, lord Song. He had two reasons for this. First, he could see that Yoon Seungho was no longer treated like an animal or male kisaeng. (chapter 67) He was even better dressed than his own son. The hanbok was exposing the support from the “pedophile”. Secondly, the main lead had threatened him. (chapter 67) Here, the lord had just insinuated that if something like that happened again, he would go to the authorities. However, since this threat was rather ambiguous, the patriarch Lee could only interpret it that way. The main lead would report the incident to the “mysterious lord Song”, alias the king. And father Lee knew that he could get into trouble. Furthermore, since these elders are all hypocrites and liars, there is no doubt that father Lee feared that the protagonist wouldn’t keep his words. That’s the reason why he approached the father. He hoped that Yoon Chang-Hyeon would intervene and impose his will onto his son. He would tame the main character. In other words, episode 82 is a reflection of chapter 4/5, 19/20/21, 67/68 and 77. The first common denominator is the allusion to letters. The messenger’s words revealed that Kim had contacted the elder Yoon, for he already knew his name, though the latter had never met the domestic. Secondly, the “letters” were delivered orally: (chapter 82), and even in person: Father Lee and the emissary. Third, the elder Lee badmouthed Yoon Seungho by mentioning the incident from chapter 67, and refused the invitation of his host (chapter 82). Finally, he called Baek Na-Kyum a peasant exactly like the main lead in front of the gate: (chapter 82). But more important, the old bearded man expressed this fear: the loss of his family home! (chapter 82) And remember that I had detected the presence of the Lees’ mansion in episode 4 and it was also present in chapter 21 and 67! And what had the butler done during these chapters? He had tried to chase away the painter and as such Yoon Seungho. The latter was not supposed to live in the Yoons’ domain. And this will be the Lees’ karma to be driven out of their own house!

5. Conclusions

And now, you comprehend why the sijo from season 1 has not appeared yet. The couple will be able to identify the culprits with the “letters”, the poems. Remember the kisaeng’s words: (chapter 97) The absence of the messages was the evidence of the main lead’s wrongdoing. However, the moment the letters resurface, they will expose the noona’s lies. It doesn’t matter, if she had been deceived. She chose to trust the butler, without verifying the facts. To conclude, the poems will serve as proof for the crimes and I would even go so far to say that the papers, mistaken for letters, are the tools to expose the truth. Yoon Seungho had never contacted lord Song, for he hates him to the core. He is connected to his suffering and martyrdom, therefore he can only view the man as the bird of misfortune, while the latter had the impression that he was now getting closer to the main lead. Consequently, he considered him as his crane! But this man is exactly like Min, totally dishonest and irresponsible. I couldn’t help myself thinking of this folding shield again: (chapter 83) It vanished, and as such it was stolen. Did the mysterious lord Song take it away in order to force Yoon Seungho to paint? The older version of this scene: (chapter 4) And remember that the “paper” is also connected to paintings. However, since this is a reflection of episode 4, I am more inclined to think hat the real purpose was to take the picture and the man had never the intention to return it. Naturally, at some point, the man had a change of heart concerning the main lead, for thanks to him, he could outlive all his sexual fantasies. And this leads me to the following conclusion. The moment, Yoon Seungho sees this painting again, he will recognize the identity of the thief. To sum up, the paper is the proof of wrongdoings, thereby we have this publication: (chapter 1) The paintings were illustrating that the pedophile was having sex with a minor.

PS: I have still so much to say about the comparison between chapter 5 and 77 and the “paper” that I will write another analysis about this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Brown-nosing and boot licking

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

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

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

2. Apple and fellatio

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

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

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

3. Baek Na-Kyum and Kim’s sucking

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

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

4. The night of Yoon Seungho’s relapse

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

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

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

5. The night in the shaman’s house

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

6. The Yoons

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

7. Conclusions

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

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

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: Happy laughter 😄 and fearful agony 😧

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.

What is the common denominator between all these images? The painter’s mouth is wide open. This implies that the painter is laughing! In other words, these pictures are showing a happy Baek Na-Kyum. The laughter is not just a symbol for joy, but also an indicator for social bonding, cooperation and as such social acceptance. Note that in all these scenes, the painter is not laughing alone. He is either facing his lover and the “witnesses” of his marriage.

On the other hand, what caught my attention is that in the story itself, the manhwaphiles never saw the painter laughing in the present!! The only time, he was caught laughing happened during a dream. (chapter 87) Naturally, this vision reflected the past due to the presence of the noonas. But if you read my previous analysis, you are aware that the painter’s nocturne visions are always composed of three elements: memory, nightmare and desires which will come true at some point. The readers will certainly recall the painter’s wish in the bedchamber: (chapter 81) However, here again, this was not real, for he was imagining it. He had restrained himself, for he felt that his actual life was like an illusion. It was too good to be true. Thus I conclude that in both visions, the painter wished to laugh and as such to be happy. And this observation led me to the following deduction. In season 4, the manhwalovers will witness Baek Na-Kyum’s laughter. But this doesn’t end here. All the quoted pictures share another similarity which is the absence of the sound!! There is no HA, HA, HA…. Thus I deduce that in season 4, the readers will even hear Baek Na-Kyum’s laugh!! 🤣

1. Evidences for this prediction

First, I would like to remind my avid readers the following rules: Yoon Seungho’s actions will always be reflected by the painter’s and the reverse. Secondly, each scene in a season will be mirrored in other seasons. Striking is that the readers could witness Yoon Seungho’s joy and laugh in season 1. Thus this means that the painter should laugh in season 4. Interesting is that the author had separated the lord’s laugher in two different scenes. In episode 1, the protagonist had his mouth wide open, because he was so happy to meet his idol. (chapter 1). His mouth was exposing his emotions: happiness. It was, as if he was laughing internally out of joy. Then in the pavilion, the author let us hear Yoon Seungho’s laugh, while we couldn’t see his face. (chapter 25) As you can see, Yoon Seungho was not truly seen “laughing”. This is what we saw right after: (chapter 25) Either the sound was missing, or the readers couldn’t see his open mouth. Then in chapter 51, Byeonduck created an ambiguous situation. (chapter 51) Who was laughing here? The main lead or Min recognizable with his green hanbok? This confusion was deliberate. It was to give the impression that the lord had moved on, he was not missing his partner. This image served to divulge the reality: this happiness was fake. Another interesting aspect is that we couldn’t see the lord’s mouth, for it was too far away. It was more or less drawn from the painter’s perspective who was walking in the courtyard. (chapter 51) The purpose of this trick was to deceive the painter, Yoon Seungho would no longer care for him. However, this trick didn’t work out like imagined due to the maid’s words. She wished that he would remain in the mansion. But let’s return our attention to the laugher in this panel. I would even add that there was no real social bounding, for Black Heart was enjoying about Yoon Seungho’s misery and loss. He believed that the painter had died. And if it was Yoon Seungho who laughed, then this was to mask his pain. Then in chapter 70, he was caught laughing. And observe that the author separated the sound from the face: (chapter 70) Yoon Seungho would even hide his face from the painter, as he was looking down. His laugh was barely perceptible, and when the author revealed his face, Yoon Seungho used his hand to mask his smile. (chapter 70) It was, as if Yoon Seungho was not allowed to smile or to laugh at all. I would even go so far to say that laughers were actually forbidden in the mansion. Striking is that in season 3, for the first time, we could see and hear the lord’s laughter contrary to season 1 and 2.. (chapter 78) This illustrates the progression of the lord’s healing. He was getting happier, and he would interact more and more with people. Yet, in this scene, the lord’s laughter was not loud contrary to the one in the pavilion. Then in the gibang, his laugh was also fake, for he was masking his pain. (chapter 93) Thus the author didn’t let us see his mouth once again. But the painter could see the difference between a sincere laughter and a fake one, as he had already heard and see the lord’s true laugher! Because the lord laughed in all 3 seasons, I could only assume the painter’s laughing in season 4. But I have another proof for this prediction. In season 3, the painter’s laughter was shown in visions (chapter 81, 87) or through the testimony of the maid. (chapter 91) However, the manhwalovers have to envision that, when he caught the pervert with the maid together, he was totally embarrassed. Hence his laugh was fake! In other words, I am doubting that he truly laughed. That’s the reason why Baek Na-Kyum denied to find the situation funny. (chapter 91) As a conclusion, expect a picture with Baek Na-Kyum ‘s laughter reflecting his happiness and sincerity. And this is definitely related to his marriage: I have another proof for this expectation, the lord’s mouth in this scene: (chapter 87) Here, he was making fun of his father, and used the rumors about his imminent marriage. That’s how I realized that in season 3, the lord had often played the role of the Joker (chapter 78-79; 87; 89-90-91), until he was replaced by Black Heart. That’s the reason why I have been predicting that in season 4, Yoon Seungho will play a huge prank on the old bearded men, especially the mysterious lord Song, with his marriage. But while making this connection between the lord’s laughter and the painter’s, I had another revelation: the mouth wide open is not just the expression for laughter, but also for fear and suffering.

2. Anxiety and torture

Look at this image: (chapter 102) There is no HAHA, this shows that this situation is not funny. Yet, Black Heart is still smiling, he is even explaining that they were just playing. However, this smile is totally fake, for he is already scared. Hence he is stuttering. Moreover, he is trying to downplay the whole situation, as he describes it as a game. But the closer Yoon Seungho got to him, the more the villain got scared. (chapter 102) On the other hand, Black Heart’s mouth remained wide open, but it slowly exposed his true emotions. As the manhwalovers can detect, the sound “Haa,” is not expressing joy or happiness, but huge anxieties. Thus I couldn’t help myself thinking that in season 4, the painter’s laughter will be reflected with the heavy breathing from fear and pain. Someone will have a mouth wide open out of fear!! And this connection was already present in chapter 1: (chapter 1) versus (chapter 1) Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho had both flashbacks (chapter 66), while Min was smiling. He was internally laughing, for it found it entertaining. [For more read the essay HAHA Flashbacks”] And this fear was exposed by the sound: HAA (chapter 99) But this doesn’t end here.

The sound HAA is just associated to anxiety, but also to moan. Hence I couldn’t restrain myself thinking that the wide open mouth can not only express pleasure, but also pain caused by TORTURE! Let’s not forget that the painter had been hiding his moaning out of pleasure in the past (chapter 84), but in the gibang, he dropped this habit for good: (chapter 96) This connection between pain, pleasure and laughter appeared in chapter 91, as the story is based on the following rule: there is always a reflection within the same episode. I would like the manhwaphiles to observe this image: (chapter 91) Here, the lord had changed position provoking pleasure to the artist. Before, the maid had laughed so loudly in order to get the painter’s attention. (chapter 91) According to my interpretation, she hoped that Baek Na-Kyum would discover the existence of the kisaeng’s letters so that the painter would feel betrayed by Yoon Seungho. He had ordered to hide the correspondence. But for that, she needed to explain the reason for her loud laughter. Hence she revealed the incident with the pervert. The irony is that due to his pleasure and embarrassment, Baek Na-Kyum didn’t pay attention to her words. He already felt ashamed, after the servant had exposed the situation in the bathroom. (chapter 91) Thus he avoided his lover’s gaze. And note that in chapter 25, the lord laughed, before he raped the painter. (chapter 25) This episode exposes the connection between laugh and pain. Here, you can see that the painter is also screaming out of pain, the negative reflection of Yoon Seungho’s laugh. Baek Na-Kyum’s mouth was wide open. When people are tortured, they will usually scream their pain and fear.

The last image is taken from Dong-Yi, a historical k-drama, which I am employing as a reference. The beholder can detect a huge difference between this scene (chapter 37) and the one from Dong-Yi. The absence of the sound. Moreover, the manhwalovers can not see the mouths from the victims either. The torture was already finished, for they had removed the tools and the „suspects“ were covered with blood. And this leads me to the following observation. The author selected a perspective from far away, and didn’t add the sound on purpose. This shows that the pedophile was not present, when the torture took place. He only arrived afterwards. This exposes his cowardice. Secondly, since I had outlined that the author had separated the sound (HA HA) from the lord’s mouth concerning the laughter, I am quite certain that she will use a similar processes for the torture. Naturally, I am also assuming that torture from the past could be slowly revealed. Consequently, my prediction is that the negative reflection of the painter’s laughter will be the yelling combined with fear and pain. This signifies that people will suffer in season 4 and probably die. Another evidence for this prediction is that the author often focused on the characters’ mouth. And this is what we have: (chapter 77) (chapter 86) (chapter 98) In the last scene, Heena was sort of “punished”, when she confessed to the main lead. That’s the reason why I believe that in season 4, we will see people screaming out of pain and fear. It can be in the present or in the past. The interrogation and torture should be exposed in my eyes contrary to chapter 37. Why? It is because Baek Na-Kyum needs to know what happened to Yoon Seungho to understand him. There is no ambiguity that the painter will suffer again, for in this work “pain” is necessary to change the painter’s mind and heart. Remember that he was “tormented”, when he finally admitted that he believed in his lover’s innocence. (chapter 99) Despite the “torture”, he still claimed that Yoon Seungho was no murderer. Thus I conclude that in the next season, it should be the reverse. Yoon Seungho has to make a new leap of faith believing in the painter’s innocence and purity. Hence I am expecting an arrest in season 4. Finally, we shouldn’t overlook that each word Yoon Seungho said became the truth, so when he stated this (chapter 65), he was already warning the sister. She could face human justice. However, this idiom suddenly caught my attention: “the wrath of humans”. It can be a reference to the authorities, but also to the inhabitants. The latter could get infuriated by the police work and put the officers under pressure or in the worst case, the inhabitants could decide to do their own justice: lynch mob. According to me, many commoners died in season 3. Hence this could upset the town folks who would ask for real justice. And if Yoon Seungho’s fiancée is acknowledged by them, then it will be impossible for the pedophile to use the authorities to achieve his goal, separate the couple and hide his own crimes. Thus his last puppets will have to take the fall. Another important aspect is that when Yoon Seungho warned the kisaeng, Kim was also present, though he still remained in the background. (chapter 65) As you can imagine, I am already sensing a bad ending for Heena and Kim. Striking is that in this scene, while the noona was seen constantly with her mouth wide open, yelling at the host and calling for her brother, the latter was having a flashback. This is no coincidence, especially if you recall that Heena was connected to Baek Na-Kyum’s tears: (chapter 68) (chapter 94) In fact, this reinforces my conviction that the painter’s laughter will be contrasted with people’s moaning and yells out of agony. At the same time, I think that Heena is connected to scandal, but in season 2 and 3, she failed to create a ruckus. Why? It is because in the past, she had helped to cover up the crimes committed in the kisaeng house.

3. Conclusions

Under this new perspective, the manhwalovers can comprehend why I used the following emojis in the title: 😄😧 Both of them have a open mouth, the only difference are the eyes. Out of fear, the eyes get bigger, because the body is in survival modus. On the other hand, when these persons got tortured, they closed their eyes out of agony,

reminding us of the painter’s suffering in the gibang. Yet, the closed eyes and the open mouth is quite similar to the painter’s laughter: The readers can grasp why I made this connection between suffering and happiness in the end.

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: Nightmare Inn 🏨🍚🍜 (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.

In the essay “Breakups, chagrin and alcohol” I had outlined the parallels between Baek Na-Kyum and Lee Jihwa. Both would use alcohol to numb their pain after the separation from their loved one. Thus the painter and the red-haired noble went to the inn and became drunks. (chapter 1) (chapter 36) In addition, after realizing that each location is associated to a certain event in the past, I came to the conclusion that the inn represents no exception. Hence the tavern is full of symbolism too.

1. The significance of the tavern

If the manhwaphiles can recall all the scenes where the inn appeared (1, 12, 36, 56, 57, 59, 75, 92), they get aware immediately that this place is connected to breakups and more precisely to abandonment and rejection. This signifies that the place embodies longing too, for the “betrayed” one is still missing the partner. I also noticed that in all these scenes, there were 3 people! In episode 1, we have the servant, Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho. In episode 12, Jihwa, the servant from the Yoons and the noble with the mole. (chapter 12) In episode 36, we have Min, Lee Jihwa and the noble with the mole. (chapter 36) In episode 57, the noble with the mole got replaced by Kim: (chapter 57) In episode 59, the tavern owner asked No-Name to take away Lee Jihwa (chapter 59) And in episode 92, Black Heart joined the couple (chapter 92). The only exception seems to be the scene in chapter 75: (chapter 75) However, this is just an illusion, for the ghost Jung In-Hun was present. And even before, the painter kept thinking about Heena noona. As you can see, the painter’s words were influenced by his “surrogate parents”, the third party. But let’s return to the major parallel: the confession leading to a rejection.

In the inn, the red-haired noble suffered a huge humiliation, when he confessed his feelings for his childhood friend and got rejected. (chapter 57) Though Yoon Seungho had punished his friend for his forged letter, he still listened to his confession before rejecting him properly. He gave an explanation why he would never reciprocate the affection towards his friend. (chapter 59) What caught my attention is that Lee Jihwa perceived the rejection as abandonment, while in truth the protagonist was not truly cutting ties with him. The real traitor was someone else: the noble with the mole, who ran away, when Yoon Seungho confronted his friend. (chapter 57) In that scene, the young master Jihwa had drunk before the arrival of his friends, though he was in full possession of his mind. (chapter 56) As you can detect, in this scene, the author employed the following elements: confession, sanity, tears, sadness, rejection, alcohol and abandonment.

Then in episode 1, the painter was sad, because he was forbidden to paint. At the same time, he could no longer live with the learned sir. Thus he said this to Yoon Seungho in the tavern: (chapter 75) He was heartbroken due to the loss of his passion and his loved one. At the same time, he was plagued by guilt. He felt responsible for Jung In-Hun’s failure. This is important, because it shows that guilt is another common denominator. In chapter 57, Yoon Seungho was guilty for the antagonist’s suffering.

Striking is that in episode 75, the painter was drunk again. (chapter 75) Why? It is because he was also rejecting the lord. He couldn’t give him his heart, for the lord had such a fickle nature. (chapter 75) He was responsible that the painter wouldn’t get close to him. He was judged as not trustworthy. At the same time, the painter’s confession in the tavern mirrors that Baek Na-Kyum was not delirious. Despite the influence of the drug, he could think and speak properly about his feelings and thoughts, similar to Lee Jihwa in chapter 57. To conclude, in season 2, the commoner and the red-haired noble were not stoned during their confession, which stands in opposition to the First Wedding Night:: (chapter 21) And this common denominator reinforces my theory that when Yoon Seungho got kissed in the study, he was not in full possession of his mind. (chapter 77) As you can see, the drug is not only strongly associated to rejection and broken heart, but also to delirium and insanity.

And now, look at the lord’s reaction, when he was approached by Min in the inn: (chapter 92) Min was voicing his longing for Yoon Seungho, he was implying that he had been abandoned by the protagonist. However, note that the lord utilized water to reject Black Heart! (chapter 92) It was, as if the noble was now crying. The water was displaying the hypocrisy of Min, the “fake tears”. He was not missing the main lead at all, in reality he was yearning for the painter’s gaze. Thus he expressed this in the shaman’s house: (chapter 99) Striking is that when the lord with the green hanbok complained to his acquaintance, he was also acting as if he was guilt-tripping Yoon Seungho. According to his words, the protagonist had abandoned him. It was, as if he had completely forgotten him. (chapter 92)

The most astonishing is that just after splashing Min with water, the protagonist justified his action. Min had lost his sanity. (chapter 92) It was, as if he wanted to bring him back to reality, similar to this gesture: (chapter 102). He explained Black Heart’s attitude with the alcohol. Due to the liquor, Min had become insane and obscene. He was speaking about sodomy in a public place. Striking is that the Joker was portraying himself as a man consumed by lust. He needed the lord’s phallus to feel good. That’s how I detected another similarity: the presence of sex and sensuality in the conversation!

  • Chapter 1:
  • Chapter 12: Here, the idiom “toy” was implying sex, though the main characters had not sex together yet.
  • Chapter 36:
  • Chapter 57:
  • Chapter 59:
  • Chapter 75: Here, the painter’s reproach was connected to the lord’s change of behavior. He was no asking for sex, but the painter was actually longing for Yoon Seungho’s warmth and phallus. (chapter 74) As you can see, Baek Na-Kyum was craving for sensuality. But he couldn’t voice it like Min! He was paying attention to social norms.

Hence I deduce that this place is also connected to homosexuality.

2. The tavern in the torment

The allusion to insanity made me realize that the tavern is connected to torment and as such nightmare. The painter had become like a zombie, when he met Yoon Seungho, and Lee Jihwa was also devastated to have lost his lover and friend. (chapter 36) He kept crying, as he couldn’t bear the separation. At the same time, he explained his weeping with the main lead’s past. He was a pitiful creature, for he suffered a lot. Indirectly, he was comparing himself with the main figure. He had gone through a lot too.

Later, when the childhood friend confessed to the protagonist, he brought pain to his friend, for the latter had to hear so many reproaches. He was responsible for his misery, he was so pitiful , (chapter 57) On the other hand, with this blame, Yoon Seungho was constantly reminded of the pedophile, lord Song. Thus Yoon Seungho replied this to the antagonist: (chapter 59) He couldn’t even pronounce his name out of hatred and pain. And now, you comprehend why I chose “nightmare inn” as title. This place is connected to Yoon Seungho’s torment and not just in season 2. In my eyes, something must have happened there which changed the lord’s fate for a decade. The other evidence is this: the forged letter from Lee Jihwa requested from the main lead to meet lord Song in that place. (chapter 56) And observe that Kim never doubted the authenticity of the encounter. (chapter 56) This signifies that the pedophile must have gone there in the past. 😮

One might argue that the tavern is not related to nightmare and torment, for Lee Jihwa visited the tavern in order to celebrate the success of his trick in the manhwa. (chapter 12) There was no breakup or rejection in this scene. There were no tears either contrary to the other chapters. Yet, this is just an illusion. The celebration was based on the suffering of Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho!! Both had been wounded. Then I realized that this scene mirrored Min’s words in the other taven: “Having fun at Yoon Seungho’s expense”. But more importantly, in Lee Jihwa’s mind, this sentence represented the separation of the couple. Due to the ruined painting, the lord felt rejected and betrayed. (chapter 12) Thus in the red-haired aristocrat’s mind, Yoon Seungho would turn his back on Baek Na-Kyum and abandon him. He would imitate the painter. A betrayal leads to a betrayal. There is no forgiveness. That’s the reason why Lee Jihwa never anticipated that he would get abandoned after getting caught in the study. So far, Yoon Seungho had always forgiven him! (chapter 18)

But why? It is because Baek Na-Kyum had revived the lord’s long lost passion: painting! It was bringing colors and as such light in his darkness. If he were to send away the artist, he would lose his soul forever. He would remain trapped in the nightmare forever. This truly exposes that Lee Jihwa hadn’t truly grasped the significance of painting in Yoon Seungho’s life. In his eyes, it was just an important hobby. (chapter 14), whereas in verity, this passion was essential and even vital for Yoon Seungho. In his subconscious, the lord sensed the healing effect. This would make him smile and provoke emotions and arousal!

3. The presence of the Joker

I discovered another similarity between all these scenes: the presence of a trick! You are probably surprised by this connection, but don’t forget that “trick” is a synonym for “conspiracy, deception and illusion”. And the joker embodies these values, especially if you consider Painter Of The Night as a new version of Batman and The Dark Knight.

In chapter 1, I had explained that the painter was supposed to get killed in the inn. Thus the tavern got closed for the night. It is also possible that the lord went there after the curfew. (chapter 1) There was no witness for these reasons. No one should notice the execution of the commoner Baek Na-Kyum. Secondly, the book had been switched. The lord had shown this to the butler (chapter 1), but when Yoon Seungho interrogated the artist, he exposed a different publication: (chapter 1) It was, as if the painter was forced to deny to be the author of this book. There is no ambiguity that the servant had lied to Yoon Seungho, just like the painter was not entirely honest with Yoon Seungho. In my eyes, the painter had not noticed the divergence. As you can see, the meeting was staged. Unknown people were involved in this encounter so that we could say that the protagonists were just pawns during this scene.

In episode 12, the trick had taken place in the mansion, yet the manhwaphiles shouldn’t overlook that Lee Jihwa had been incited to get revenge on the noble with the mole. (chapter 12) The drop of sweat on his face clearly indicates that he was just feigning ignorance. This exposes that the noble with the mole was deceiving his friend and as such betraying him.

In chapter 36, Min definitely lied to the young master Jihwa. (chapter 36) He was inciting the antagonist to return to the mansion so that he would catch the couple having sex together. That’s the reason why Black Heart made such a comment in the pavilion of his friend: (chapter 43) Yet, this trick didn’t work like Black Heart had anticipated. Why? He imagined that the red-haired noble would resent his friend for his abandonment and betrayal. The reality is that the antagonist reproached The Joker for his lies, he had been manipulating him. (chapter 43)

But let’s return to the scene in the tavern. (chapter 36) The noble with the mole remained silent, but he was well aware of his friend’s manipulations. This indicates that he had become his accomplice. We could say that he helped to create an illusion.

In chapter 56, the childhood friend had forged a letter, forcing Yoon Seungho to go to the inn. However, this time the trick was discovered. (chapter 56) Simultaneously, the butler deceived the tavern owner. He portrayed the red-haired master in such a negative light that she had no compassion for him. (chapter 59) She wished to get rid of him as soon as possible. Thus she asked the Joker to take care of him. (chapter 59) This truly exposes the talent of Kim’s manipulative nature. The tricks are exposing the hypocrisy and lack of loyalty among the characters.

In season 3, the manhwalovers could perceive the presence of 2 Jokers: Black Heart who faked that this meeting was just random. (chapter 92) However, he had been informed about the content of the paper, for he could already determine the genre of the text without seeing the writing. At the same time, he also deceived the couple by taking away the Spring poem. (chapter 92) We never saw him returning it. As for the second trickster, it was naturally Kim who hid under the hanbok which had a similar color than Jung In-Hun’s. (chapter 92) He desired to remind the painter of the existence of the scholar. However, this trick failed too. Why? It is because just before the painter had seen a kisaeng wearing the same robe. (chapter 92) He was just reminded of his noonas, and not just Heena and Jung In-Hun. Furthermore, the butler had overlooked another aspect: Yoon Seungho had been wearing a similar hanbok. (chapter 78) This means that the painter was no longer associating the lavender color to the learned sir. Slowly, the main lead was replacing the teacher and as such, he was moving on from his crush. Thus such an attitude could be perceived by a malevolent eye as indifference and hatred. My avid readers can already understand who I am referring to with such a statement. However, we are all aware that the painter is still loyal towards the learned sir. (chapter 94). Nevertheless, I would like the painterofthenight-stans to take a closer look to this image: (chapter 92) Yes, the couple was sitting in an inn eating sweet potatoes. When I saw this panel for the first time, the man in black caught my attention. His presence puzzled me, for he was standing next to a kisaeng working in the inn. This is totally unusual, for no noble would remain immobile close to the fire place and as such the kitchen. Secondly, he was not wearing his gat, indicating that he was violating social norms. [For more read the essay Coming-Of-Ages] Back then, I had thought that this was the scholar. However, the latter would always pay attention to his appearances. Moreover, he embodies social norms, so he would never move around without his hat. Was he a Joker spying on the couple? For me yes, especially if you take into consideration that there were always 3 people in each scene taking place in the inn. One thing is sure: Min had been informed about the painter’s desire for a Spring poem and his visit to the calligrapher. This means that during their stay in the tavern, the painter had talked constantly about this. So the kisaeng could have heard about the content of their conversation. One might argue that this stay stands in opposition to the other scenes. In this inn, there was no tear, no alcohol and no “betrayal”. But the manhwalovers shouldn’t forget that during that scene, the lord was actually rejecting the suggestion of the painter. The former saw no reason why they should look for the calligrapher!! Yoon Seungho was on the verge of breaking his promise, a “betrayal”. The irony is that he was so annoyed by the painter’s words, that at the end he gave in. (chapter 91) He was on the verge of losing his “sanity”😉, for the painter kept talking how important it was to protect from bad luck! As you can see, this scene is not different from the others: insanity, longing, trick, betrayal and rejection! The absence of tears and alcohol is easily explainable. The painter was not heartbroken, he just saw this as a necessity. Furthermore, this scene made me realize that the tavern is connected to arts. In almost all the mentioned chapters, the characters implied the erotic publications or arts. The spring poem is compared to a drawing by the painter, the calligraphy reminded him of snow flakes. Once again, the exception of this element is chapter 36! Here, Black Min and Lee Jihwa were only referring to sex and nothing more. (chapter 36) This outlines that sodomy had replaced the lord’s original passions: poetry and painting. Yet, the manhwaphiles shouldn’t forget that in chapter 36 the author had included a scene with painting. This is no coincidence that during the same night, the lord took the brush and created a orchid on his lover’s stomach. (chapter 36) From my point of view, Lee Jihwa was aware that his friend had been forced to renounce on his passions. Thus he said this: (chapter 36) To conclude, there is a strong connection between the tavern and arts. The manhwaworms will certainly recall that many kisaengs would start working in taverns, once they reached a certain age. And look at this: (chapter 74) I had already explained in a different essay that in chapter 75, the painter had been thinking about his noonas and in particular about Heena, because he had seen the kisaeng. Thus he kept thinking about his sister’s words: (chapter 75) However, observe that in chapter 92, he was so focused on the Spring poem that he didn’t see the kisaeng in this tavern. (chapter 92) Thus I come to the conclusion that the schemers must have played a similar trick later. However, this time, there was not just one kisaeng, but two! Moreover, these were still active kisaengs which is visible due to the colors of their hanboks. (chapter 92). That’s the reason why I am more than ever convinced that the man in the black hanbok was connected to Min.

Thus I am deducing that in the past, one of the characters in the tavern got deceived by his companion. And here, I am thinking of the patriarch Yoon Chang-Hyeon. In my eyes, he must have committed a wrongdoing there, but he never realized it. I would even add that he never recognized that his mistake would have terrible consequences for his family and in particular for Yoon Seungho. This explains why the location embodies guilt either. Moreover, don’t forget that according to me, the mysterious lord Song must have visited this place in the past.

4. Humiliation

By contrasting these scenes, I came to recognize another pattern: pride which led to humiliation. In chapter 1, the lord executed the servant, for he had “fooled” him. His honor had been soiled. (chapter 1) In chapter 12, the childhood friend praised the main character. He had acted like a true lord with the sentence. (chapter 12) Furthermore, the noble with the hunting outfit had been avenged, so his honor had been restored. In chapter 36, the red-haired master had first acted like a prideful master. (chapter 36) He would only forgive his friend, if the latter would come to see him. Furthermore, when the latter confessed to his friend, he threw his pride over board: (chapter 57) He was willing to accept this humiliation, if in exchange he could rekindle with Yoon Seungho. He hoped by lowering himself that his friend would come to save his honor. He wouldn’t reject him due his title and social norms. Yet, his dream didn’t come true, so we could say that he had the impression that he was sent to hell. Then in chapter 75, the learned sir’s pride had been wounded because of the erotic paintings. (chapter 75) As for Black Heart, he got insulted in the tavern. He was splashed with water. And what did the noble with the green hanbok reply to this insult? He announced that he would seek revenge on Yoon Seungho (chapter 92) Lee Jihwa was also full by resent and revenge, when he realized that the lord had made love to the painter after he had been rejected. (chapter 60) Thus shortly after, the young man had a weapon in his hand (though according to me, this tool was placed by Kim) (chapter 60). His intention was to kill the painter, though here he was just acting on affect. As you can see, the inn is in reality connected to a crime, and the desire of revenge! Don’t forget what Yoon Seungho said to the messenger: (chapter 80) According to his words, he had insulted the king by not utilizing the correct title. BUT we shouldn’t take this declaration as face-value, for the main lead is just repeating what he has been told. I have always said that the pedophile had been motivated by revenge and lust. The latter had been humiliated! Now, for the first time, I see a strong connection between the tavern and the wrongdoing linked to the mysterious lord. But what is the common denominator between all these scenes? CONFESSION! In chapter 1, Yoon Seungho confessed his admiration for the artist. In chapter 36, Lee Jihwa admitted the existence of a secret and his friend’s torment. In chapter 57 and 75, both ukes confessed their love (the main lead and painting). On the other hand, confession has a different meaning: admission of a crime! Thus I am suspecting that “lord Song” got rejected in this place. Thus he felt humiliated and his thirst for revenge took over. And it is related to arts!!

5. The guests in the inn

First, we have the presence of the noble with the mole who keeps wearing a purple outfit. The color reminds me of this guest. (chapter 83) This reinforces my conviction that lord Song visited the tavern once.

Secondly, I detected the presence of a servant in the inn: 1, 12, 57, 59 and 92. In episode 59, I had already pointed out that a servant from the Lees had visited the inn, for there were foot prints in the snow. (chapter 59) Then in chapter 75, we should consider Baek Na-Kyum as a servant due to his clothes. (chapter 75) And now, if you take into consideration that the servant from episode 1 and 12 were acting on Kim’s behalf, you will realize that the servant in the past can only be KIM. And he was present in episode 92. (chapter 92) Furthermore, according to my observation, he was working with No-Name during the night of the abduction. This means that Kim witnessed something. And since he is seen tattling to Min, I come to the conclusion that he denunciated someone!! This represents the confession of a “crime”. And this can only be the Yoons in my opinion. Servant in episode 1 had spied onto Baek Na-Kyum, and the servant from episode 12 had also reported to Lee Jihwa. Kim in episode 57 and 92 left the mansion without permission, and this was the case for the domestic in episode 12 either.

What caught my attention is that Min got more and more involved with the tavern. In chapter 12, his friend was the only one present. Then in chapter 36, he appeared for the first time. There he faked his understanding and concern for Lee Jihwa (chapter 36) In season 2, the Joker didn’t follow the red-haired master to the inn, yet there is no doubt that he sent the noble with the mole in his place. As you can see, the noble with the mole was Min’s emissary. He was supposed to manipulate his friend to follow Min’s request. Min knew about Lee Jihwa’s hesitation. (chapter 57) Thus he vanished, when he saw Yoon Seungho’s reaction. He realized that the protagonist could detect his presence. He feared that Yoon Seungho could recognize that they were the ones behind the letter of lord Song. Finally, in chapter 92, Black Heart joined the couple for the first time there. He definitely hoped to drive an edge between them. He hoped to get the attention from Baek Na-Kyum in the end. But he never succeeded. Thus I came to realize that Black Heart was preparing the arrival of the mysterious lord Song. The latter will replace Min.

6. Conclusions and predictions

The tavern doesn’t just symbolize confession, longing, rejection and abandonment, but also it is strongly connected to a wrongdoing. Thus the place is connected to humiliation, guilt and punishment. Moreover, I also discovered the link between the inn and arts. Consequently, I came to the following conclusion: everything started in the tavern which led to Yoon Seungho’s downfall and suffering. THUS the title is NIGHTMARE INN! Observe that Lee Jihwa’s reputation got ruined within a day after Kim spread this rumor about him: (chapter 59) His despair was fake, hence he was abandoned by the inn owner. This would explain why no one remembers the lord’s past good reputation. (chapter 57) This incident mirrors the past, the only difference is that the main lead was totally innocent contrary to Lee Jihwa, who had been partially responsible for his friend’s suffering. Under this new perspective, it becomes understandable why the author would start the story more or less in the tavern. But since the place is associated to sanity versus insanity (losing the wits), I am suspecting that the “wrongdoing” from the patriarch never deserved such a “punishment”. This sentence was out of proportion.

Because I made a connection between Heena and lord Song, I am expecting that we will see them there at some point. For me, there is no ambiguity that the woman is not dead. Besides, the painter needs to confront his noona about her lies and manipulations in the past and present. Heena, as a former kisaeng, could earn her living by working in the tavern. (chapter 01)

Finally, let’s not forget in this place, the painter had been betrayed by the noona and the scholar. How could Baek Na-Kyum live as a drunk, when he was no longer painting? Moreover, keep in mind that the vow was connected to erotic paintings. (chapter 34) Technically, he could paint other things (plants, animal etc), like in his childhood. Hence I have the impression that he had been pressured to become a painter of erotic paintings… the former version of season 1. And for me, Heena was behind this. Yet, the painter confessed in the tavern that he could no longer paint. (chapter 75) This means that he had forgotten how to paint nature or landscapes, and this reminds me of Yoon Seungho’s destiny. Note that he first started drawing erotic paintings (chapter 23) before drawing the orchid! (chapter 36) So when the painter was heartbroken and sad, drowning his sorrow in alcohol, someone had to pay for the bills and for me, this can only be the head-kisaeng. In my eyes, Heena and Jung In-Hun knew how and where the painter was living, but this was not their problem.

As a conclusion, expect another confession and rejection in the tavern, when season 4 is released. At the same time, I have the feeling that the authorities will get involved in this place. Why? Because of this: (chapter 1) and the element “confession” which is associated to crime. Back then, there was no witness and this scene took place during the night. No ruckus!! People in Joseon were not allowed to walk during the night due to the curfew. This stands in opposition to these scenes: it was not too late, thus the tavern was not closed yet (chapter 59) And this made me realize that the scene in the tavern from season 3 took place during the day contrary to season 1, while in season 2, we have both: the day and the night! Thus I am expecting that two scenes in the tavern will take place, one during the day and the other during the night in season 4. Let’s