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I am the record of your bitter struggle. I am the evidence of your resistance. I am the reward of your pain. I am death, I am eternal rest, and I am also ‘terror’.

—to Sung Jin-Woo, Novel: Chapter 220

Ashborn (그림자 군주 망자들의 왕 아스본) is the former Shadow Monarch. He was extremely powerful, being the Greatest Fragment of Brilliant Light and equalling the power of the Monarch of Destruction.

History

Ashborn[1] was the Greatest Fragment of Brilliant Light. In other words, the Strongest Ruler. When he, along with the other Rulers and the enemy Monarchs, were made, their purposes were set. To have war with one another and win. Eventually, the Rulers found out that the Absolute Being made the Rulers and Monarchs to fight each other for his own amusement. Angered and filled with grief from the gruesome war, the 7 out of 8 Rulers killed the Absolute Being. Ashborn was the only one out of the Rulers that was still loyal to the Absolute Being and tried to protect the Absolute Being against the angered Rulers, but he was outnumbered and killed, watching his faithful soldiers get swept away.

After 'dying', he realized that the Absolute Being planted a failsafe inside of it's most faithful servant, him, for when everything went wrong. A powerful and terrifying power capable of ending everything. The power of Death.

After waking up, he discarded any remains of his previous life, tearing off his wings and forging a mighty armour out of the surrounding shadows and making a brand new army of Shadow Soldiers. He joined the Monarchs to combat the Rulers.

When victory was nearing, 2 Monarchs betrayed him out of fear, attacking him with the combined forces of the Rulers and 2 Monarchs, driving him to near annihilation. This resulted in the death of 1 of the 2 Monarchs, with the other 1 running away.

Shortly after this, 4 Rulers along with their armies approached the weakened and vulnerable Ashborn. But instead of killing him, they kneeled and asked for forgiveness. Ashborn, in a mentally and physically weakened state, asked the Rulers to kill him out of spite, but to no avail. Emotionally torn, Ashborn disappeared and stayed neutral. Eventually, with the damage of the 2 Monarchs betraying Ashborn and 1 Monarch dying at his hands, the scale of power tipped, and the Rulers had won. The defeated Monarchs and their remaining armies hid in the gap between dimensions, biding their time and empowering their armies.

After some time, Ashborn appeared before the Monarchs, and was embraced back by the Monarch of Destruction despite Ashborn's and the Monarch of Beastly Fang's past.

In the Monarch's plan to take over earth, only 2, Ashborn and Antares, the King of the Dead and the Dragon Emperor was unable to find a human host strong enough to handle their indescribably mighty powers. The Architect promised to aid Ashborn find a human host, however, no being was able to handle Ashborn's powers. Not the human with high sensitivity to Mana, not the human with superior physicality, not the human with amazing mental ability. None of them was able to handle the power of Death. Ashborn and the Architect's plan was to find a human for Ashborn to completely possess and control.

The Architect kept on trying to find suitable hosts, but Ashborn found one first. Sung Jin-Woo. A human who always stayed close to death yet escaped it's grasp every time. Ashborn chose Jin-Woo.

With the help of the Architect, the Architect kickstarted the beginning of the series and gave Jin-Woo a fragment of the power of Ashborn. The Architect installed the game System, a means for a human, of the human species who loved to play games, to become stronger to better handle the terrifying powers of Ashborn. However, Ashborn betrayed the Architect. When Jin-Woo obtained the 'Black Heart', he was supposed to be controlled and possessed by Ashborn. But Ashborn, who had been watching Jin-Woo since the beginning, who had been with Jin-Woo through his hardships, did not. Ashborn became close to Jin-Woo, and enjoyed his time with him far too much and did not want to lose him. Instead, he chose to assimilate with Jin-Woo. When this happened, Ashborn had become Jin-Woo, and Jin-Woo had become Ashborn. The 2 were now one.

Later on, when Jin-Woo was 'killed' by the Monarch of Beastly Fangs, Ashborn appeared before Jin-Woo, revealing all the information above to him. After that, he gave Jin-Woo a choice. To eternally be in a peaceful illusion of a world where he could have everything and anything, or to wake up to the harsh reality, and fight the enormously powerful Monarch of Destruction and his armies. Of course, Jin-Woo chose the latter. With that decision, Ashborn went into an eternal and peaceful rest, from which he had desired long ago, and Jin-Woo had received the full power of Ashborn, and was the new Shadow Monarch.

References

  1. Ashborn's name is subject to different translations such as the name [Osborne].
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