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I am quite certain that people are wondering about the connection between the title and the illustration. In the latter, we have Baek Na-Kyum’s hand holding Yoon Seungho‘s. Yet there is neither word nor sex in the panel, for both are still dressed and there is no speech bubble. Yes, when people read juicy deeds, they were already imagining that I would describe a love session like this one (chapter 96), because of the expression „to do the deed“: (chapter 87) However, the deed is not just related to intercourse, like the manhwaphiles could discover it in chapter 51. With „deed“, Deok-Jae was referring to murder and assassination. As you can see, deed has other meanings than sex. Thus it has for synonyms action, accomplishment and reality!! So when I selected this name for the essay, I was thinking of the relationship between action and word. And this connection came to my mind, when Byeonduck released the last picture, because the painter’s action symbolizes a conversation and as such words.
1. Interpretation of the newest release
As my avid readers already know, it is already possible to understand the symbolism behind this picture by contrasting it to similar gestures. Because the painter‘s hand is above the noble‘s hand, I deduce that the artist was the one initiating the touch. Note that he is intertwining his fingers with Yoon Seungho‘s indicating that he is seeking closeness and intimacy. This detail is important, for the hand is conveying a message: „I feel you. I understand you. I am by your side.“ How do I know this? It is because this gesture corresponds to this one from chapter 88:
1. 1. Reflection from chapter 88
(Chapter 88) By reaching his hand, the painter was letting him know that he was no longer alone in this world. He was not only joining his side, but he was willing to try to understand the main lead. (Chapter 88) This gesture stands in opposition to the situation with Yoon Chang-Hyeon. (Chapter 86) During that fateful night, the father neither talked to his son nor looked at him. He even turned his back to him, when the young master attempted to grab his father‘s hanbok. Both scenes from chapter 88 and 86 have two common denominators: an action accompanied with silence!! Yet, what distinguishes them from each other is the nature of the deed, the action. Alliance and empathy versus abandonment and estrangement! This is no coincidence that after reaching his hand, Baek Na-Kyum started confessing his thoughts and emotions to his lover: (Chapter 88) As you can sense, the hand gesture delivered a message, but the painter still felt the need to clarify the meaning of his hand. He was willing to remain by his side, but he was still afraid of him. He didn’t want to create a misunderstanding, like for example that he wouldn’t argue with him or that his loyalty was now unconditional or total. That way, Yoon Seungho wouldn’t come to view him as a hypocrite or as dishonest, if an argument would appear. Thus he needed words to explain his position. He would remain by his side and attempt to sympathize with him, but he still felt insecure and had doubts. In other words, his action (his hand gesture) was not truly reflecting his mind and heart. (Chapter 88) Hence we could say that there was still a gap between the gesture and the words. He was willing to trust him and to be loyal to him, but not all the doubts had vanished. That’s the reason why the lord hesitated before hugging him. (Chapter 88) Later he even asked his lover not to leave his side no matter what. (Chapter 88) To conclude, the hand gesture in episode 88 was connected to insecurities and as such fear, yet the painter had shown no hesitation to take his hand. The anxiety was not visible.
1. 2. The hand and anxiety
Striking is that when the painter had reached Yoon Seungho’s hand for the first time, his hand was trembling. He was so scared of the main lead that he didn’t dare to take his whole hand. (Chapter 30) His fingers barely grabbed his hand, so when he made the following vow, he was not entirely sincere or better said, truly determined to keep his promise. (Chapter 30) The words were not truly in unison with the gesture either. Therefore he once tried to leave the mansion in season 2. When he pledged loyalty, his intention was to protect his teacher. To conclude, fear has always been present, when the painter took Yoon Seungho’s hand. Even in chapter 88, but contrary to the scene in the courtyard, his hand was not shaking. (Chapter 88) Why? It is because the origin of his fright was different. In the courtyard, he feared for his life and Jung In-Hun’s, whereas in the bedchamber, he was more afraid of the lord’s flashbacks and dissociative states. He had no idea why Yoon Seungho could change so much abruptly to the point that he would hurt himself, not just him. (Chapter 82) This explicates why the artist chose to remain by his side, though the lord had broken his promise. (Chapter 82) On the other hand, in this scene (chapter 82), the lord was grabbing his lover’s hand out of fear. He was recognizing his mistake and was trying to beg for his forgiveness, though he couldn’t express it directly. Striking is that during the lord’s flashback, his hand was trembling as well, grabbing onto his partner’s body. (Chapter 81) It was, as if Baek Na-Kyum was his rescue buoy, helping him not to be swallowed by the darkness. Thus I came to the conclusion that the protagonists’ hand gestures are all connected to anxiety and pain. 😲 Hence I am deducing that in this scene, Baek Na-Kyum is holding his lover’s hand, for he has already sensed the noble’s doubts and insecurities. He is there to comfort and reassure him. He won’t leave his side no matter what. Therefore I deduce that such a gesture can only encourage Yoon Seungho to open up and reveal his traumatic past. This is something that Baek Na-Kyum had always wished in season 3, nonetheless his wish never got granted.
1. 3. Reflection of chapters 97 and 98
And note that Baek Na-Kyum was unconscious, when Yoon Seungho had a flashback and was sent back to the past. (Chapter 102). This would have definitely scared Baek Na-Kyum, especially Yoon Seungho’s haunted gaze. On the other hand, since the painter had been himself the victim of physical and sexual abuse, the artist can only grasp why the noble reacted that way: fear, anger, despair and heartache. The artist had also been desperate, in pain and scared in the shrine, though this time, he had not screamed for his help. Since the lord had not returned to the mansion, how could he expect him to come to his rescue?
From my point of view, the lord has to explain the reason for his behavior from that night, he committed a massacre. Since the couple is in the bedchamber, I come to the conclusion that this image is linked to the painter‘s nightmare too. (Chapter 98) Back then, he had been waiting for his lover‘s return and explanations. He wanted to hear him and get his reassurance and comfort. . (Chapter 98) The latter couldn’t reassure the painter with his hand contrary to the previous night. (chapter 97) Exactly like mentioned above, the painter’s hand gesture is connected to fear and conversation. (chapter 97) Striking is that in the gibang, the lord confessed his biggest fear to his future “spouse”. He feared to lose him, though one of his biggest desires had been finally fulfilled. This means that Yoon Seungho felt even more insecure and frightened than before after receiving the artist’s love confession. That’s the reason why I believe that the new picture is standing in opposition to the scene in the gibang. The lord will feel relief after his admission. As a conclusion, the image is announcing the lord’s confession and the artist will listen to him without any judgement or fear. He will never reject him or call him crazy due to his past action.
1. 4. Reflection of chapter 89
What caught my attention is that the painter had touched the main lead’s hand in another occasion. (Chapter 89) While the painter was sitting on his partner’s lap (chapter 89), he was massaging the wounded fingers. It was, as if he was treating his companion’s wound. Note that after his terrible flashback, the painter had avoided to grab his hand out of fear that he might hurt Yoon Seungho even more. (Chapter 84) Therefore I conclude that the new panel is an allusion to treatment. While in episode 89, the painter was acting as a doctor, in the new image, the young man is working more like a counselor or psychologist. The aristocrat’s hand might not be wounded in that scene, but this is not the case for his heart and mind. So for me, this scene is connected to mental treatment. And by confessing his past, he will get liberated from his burden, released from that darkness. He will be able to finally see the light and to have hope again. As you can sense, I see a connection between episode 84 and this new panel. Note that during that day, the painter was also holding the noble’s hands, but here they were facing each other. (Chapter 84) However, the lord had refused to open up. This is no coincidence that the author had not created such a picture during that chapter. As the manhwalovers can detect, I believe that in that scene, Yoon Seungho will confess and reveal the source of his self-hatred and guilt. As a conclusion, though this image looks very romantic and beautiful, I think that it is accompanied with fear, guilt and agony. The readers could definitely come to cry while the lord’s revelation. Since the painter spoke in chapter 30, 84, 88 and 89, I am assuming that this time, he won’t talk much so that the lord can speak more freely.
But if the manhwaphiles compare all the mentioned scenes, they will realize that the hand gestures were strongly connected to promises or vows. It becomes even more obvious, when the artist criticized his lover for his bad behavior (chapter 82), caused by the panic attack. This is no coincidence that the painter employed the expression „empty words“. His action was not reflecting his words. Thus there exist the following quotes
- “Actions speak louder than words“.
- „Words are from the lips, actions are from the heart“: Rachida Costa.
- „Well done is better than well said“: Benjamin Franklin.
- The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions.” – Confucius
And that’s how I realized the importance of the link between action and words. The former is mirrored in the hand, while the words are connected to the tongue and mouth. Thus I come to the conclusion that when Baek Na-Kyum is holding his lover’s hand, he is no longer scared of Yoon Seungho. Therefore, I deduced that here it was not the case for the noble. Hence I believe that this gesture is to encourage Yoon Seungho to open up, to confess his doubts, guilt and pain. But by putting his hand over Yoon Seungho‘s, the artist is demonstrating that he is protecting him. He will listen to him and remain by his side and this no matter what. As you can sense, I am expecting a new version from that night (chapter 88), and this, although the lord is indeed a murderer. For Baek Na-Kyum, his gesture will have a different meaning: he saved his life and freed him from his torment. Secondly, if the lord reveals the circumstances of his mother’s death, the artist will definitely deny his responsibility in her death, a new version of this scene. (chapter 75) And because I detected a discrepancy between words and gestures, I recognized the presence of another trick from Byeonduck.✨
2. Passivity and silence
What caught my attention is that during the love session from chapter 91, the readers discovered the painter’s likes. While the lord said this to the painter: (chapter 91), the latter denied this with the following statement. (chapter 91) But when did the painter admit that he liked embracing him? In this panel! (chapter 88) That’s the reason why the lord got surprised and moved. As you can see, the author never revealed this whispering to the manhwalovers! The latter had the impression that the lord’s reaction was related to the loving embrace, but it was only partially correct.
This is important, because in this scene, the words were matching the action! That’s the reason why Yoon Seungho could finally accept it as a warm and sincere hug!! The painter was honest towards him. This scene contrasts so much to the love session at the physician’s, where the painter had hugged him, but had remained silent (chapter 62), when the lord had confessed to adore him. (chapter 62) This explicates why Yoon Seungho was so pained in season 2. He got embraced, but there were no words. Consequently, when the painter vanished during that night, the lord could only perceive the embrace as hypocrisy and fakeness. That’s how I realized that the story is developed on the contradiction between words and actions. But not only that, there exists a strong link between silence and passivity. Thus after the abduction in season 2, Baek Na-Kyum remained more or less silent (chapter 62), and as such he was totally passive. He never stood up and begged the lord for his leniency. He stayed there on the bed giving the impression that he was indifferent. That’s the reason why Yoon Seungho got more enraged, for he felt fooled. This means that the absence of words represent inaction… This explains why Yoon Seungho had to corner the main lead in chapter 48 (chapter 48) to say something, as he had sensed his passivity behind his „submissive attitude“. This is no coincidence that during this night, the painter felt extreme pleasure to the point that he peed. Therefore he could voice his wish to Yoon Seungho during the love session from season 2. (chapter 73) That’s how the lord concluded that the painter liked riding him, while in reality such a climax had appeared for the first time, when both were facing each other! (chapter 49)
And this leads me to the following observation. The protagonists were the targets of plots, because both of them had been silenced. By being voiceless, they had been turned into naïve puppets. Their silence corresponds to their passivity. This interpretation helps to understand why the artist was more active in season 1 (chapter 4) than season 2. He was encouraged by his future partner to speak up, yet the moment he got heartbroken, he was left speechless. And note that when the lord played his prank in the bedchamber, he never said anything to his father. (chapter 83) He didn’t move as well. Why? It is because he knew that talking to his father was pointless. However, Yoon Seungho had hoped that with his prank his father would finally see the truth. He had been fooled by Lee Jihwa and father Lee!! But the stupid father never realized it. As you can see, the lord had in that scene long given up to use words, he hoped that his father would see the truth with the prank. Don’t forget that deed stands for truth and reality. He thought that “actions would speak louder than words”, but he was proven wrong. This signifies that in this scene, (chapter 86) Yoon Seungho had acted the opposite, he had tried to speak up, but he had been muted. I am also thinking that the young master must have attempted to converse to his father (chapter 77) here as well, but the lord had not listened to him. Why? It is because Kim had said nothing!! (chapter 77) Silence was considered as an admission. This is no hazard that the butler didn’t take care of his young master. This scene symbolizes the quote “Actions speak louder than words” (chapter 77) The butler had betrayed the young master’s trust, for he had not intervened. He should have defended Yoon Seungho, but no in fact he had sided with the elder master Yoon once again. Not only he had not reminded Yoon Chang-Hyeon of his promise, but also he had assisted the ruthless father by giving himself the straw mat beating! (chapter 77) That’s the reason why the other servant looked down on Kim. Even after hurting his young master, he stayed paralyzed giving the impression that he felt nothing for Yoon Seungho! And this was actually true, for the valet felt more betrayed by the master’s attitude than pained due to the wounded noble. Like mentioned above, he could have refused to do it, but no! This is not surprising that the young master felt pained and angry. Striking is that in this scene, the main lead never said anything… a sign that he was already resigning to his fate! He was no longer resisting! And this leads me to the following conclusion. In season 3, Yoon Seungho was rather passive, hence he didn‘t voice the source of his suffering to Baek Na-Kyum!! However, he was not totally inactive, for he still opened up to the painter at the end of season 3. He was able to express his likes, dislikes and fears, hence Min’s first plot didn’t work out like expected!! And the return of his active attitude was already perceptible in the bureau of the authorities. (chapter 98) Here, he examined the robe and questioned the officer. The problem is that he was still relying on his staff and as such Kim. Therefore it is not surprising that he could still be manipulated by the schemers. Hence I am anticipating a total change in season 4. By conversing with the painter, the lord can only become more proactive to the point that he will be able to ruin the next schemes. I am even expecting a prank from the protagonists in season 4!! But this doesn’t end here. I am deducing that in the past, Yoon Seungho suffered because one tormentor would do things and say nothing, while the other would talk a lot, but act the opposite!! For me, these descriptions fit to Kim and the pedophile. I have the impression as well, that both characters came to switch their behavior. In one circle, Kim did many things, but remained mute, but later he did the exact opposite. I would like to point out that in season 3, he acted this way. He would promise loyalty to the lord, (chapter 77), but backstabbed him in the shadow. Besides, we shouldn’t forget that a narcissist’s words don’t match their action, because they are pathological liars. And so far, I had portrayed father Yoon (overt), Kim (covert) and even Jung In-Hun (overt) as people suffering from NPD. And I am assuming that the mysterious lord Song is not different from them, though I am suspecting that he must be a covert type.
And now, you are probably wondering why I added the adjectives “juicy” and “dry” to the title, while so far, my main focus was “action” through the hand gesture and words. The reason is simple. There exists an Arabian proverb: “A promise is a cloud, fulfilment is rain”. Since in this country, rain is rare, the saying is showing that people make promises easily (cloud), but they never keep their words, for it almost never rain. I found it interesting that it rained, when the butler and the father betrayed both the main lead. Their actions exposed their true colors. (chapter 77) Besides, it also snowed, when the painter got abducted twice, a sign that actually a promise had been broken.
Thanks to the lord’s actions (his obsession and love for the painter), Baek Na-Kyum could finally become owner of his own body and thoughts. That’s the reason why he could pee in the study, the bedchamber and the gibang and this without getting any reprimand, while the painter’s actions could bring the lord’s tears back! Their actions, the hand gestures and the embraces, became fruitful. This means that Yoon Seungho is finally possessing his own body and mind. This is no coincidence that he lowered himself, when he apologized to his lover. (chapter 102) He is no longer following social norms. This could only happen, because the lord had just committed a huge crime. What is the point to respect laws and tradition, when he became a murderer? Any other transgression can only appear as harmless. That’s the reason why I am expecting that Yoon Seungho decides to disregard social norms from that moment on and play a prank on the “villains” of this story.
Before closing this essay, I would like to mention other scenes, where the hand from the protagonists was connected to fear, confession, comfort and reassurance: (chapter 76) (chapter 53) (chapter 87), while the same extremity symbolizes the opposite with the villains and antagonists: violence, silence, submission (chapter 83), hatred and resent (chapter 97) Here, Heena was hurting her brother, because she wanted him to face “reality”. What caught my attention is that we never saw the father’s hand in chapter 86! (chapter 86) Why? It is because it reveals his powerlessness. And this leads me to the following conclusion: the deed stands for reality and honesty, while the words symbolize emptiness, illusion and deception. And now, you comprehend why this work is composed by the dichotomies: dream, words and mouth versus reality., action and the hand. This means that in season 4, the manhwaphiles should try to analyze the thoughts and emotions of the characters behind the hand gestures. At the same time, they can also verify if my interpretation is correct. Is the zoom of the protagonists’ hand connected to fear, confession, empathy and assistance?
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