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|“||I am the record of your bitter struggle. I am the evidence of your resistance. I am the reward for your pain. I am death, I am eternal rest, and I am also terror.||”|
Ashborn (아스본) was the King of the Dead and the original Shadow Monarch.
Ashborn was a huge, muscular shadow with glowing flame-like purple hair, glowing purple eyes, two curved black horns, and sharp claws. He wore a set of jet-black armor that covered him from head and toe and a long, flowing black cape.
As he was originally a Ruler, Ashborn cared greatly about life and did not look down on humanity as a lesser race. He also had a profound desire for peace and was tired of the endless war between the Monarchs and the Rulers, leading him to eventually entrust both his ambitions and his powers to a human in hopes of putting an end to the bloodshed once and for all.
As the strongest Ruler, Ashborn originally fought alongside the rest of his brethren in a bloody war with the Monarchs. When the Rulers turned on their creator, Ashborn defected and joined up with the enemy as the Shadow Monarch. As a result, the tide of the war changed and just when it seemed like the fighting would finally end, Ashborn was suddenly betrayed by Baran, who attempted to kill him with the Beast Monarch's help. Due to how much stronger he was compared to them both, however, Ashborn easily defeated the two Monarchs in the ensuing battle, prompting the Beast Monarch to leave Baran behind and flee for his life.
With Baran smashed up into the side of a wall and too injured to move, Ashborn angrily demanded to know why the Demon King had betrayed him. When Baran refused to talk, Ashborn brutally murdered him by crushing his head in one hand.
Eons later, Ashborn hand-picked a human named Sung Jin-Woo as his vessel and had the Architect create the System as a guide for Jin-Woo to use. As Jin-Woo trained hard and raided dungeons left and right out of his desire for strength, Ashborn gradually granted him more and more of his power through the System, allowing the former to level up at an extremely rapid pace.
When Jin-Woo reached level 100, the Architect invited him back to the Double Dungeon so that Ashborn could possess him as his vessel and finally descend into the human world. However, as Ashborn had no intentions of possessing Jin-Woo and actually wished to transfer his powers to the human instead, he chose to betray the Architect by granting Jin-Woo his black heart and locking the Architect out of the System. At the same time, Ashborn also allowed Jin-Woo to view his memory of murdering the real Baran for betraying him during the first war with the Rulers.
As the Shadow Monarch and the Greatest Fragment of Brilliant Light, Ashborn was the strongest Ruler and one of the strongest individuals ever created, second only to Antares in raw strength. His power was also so immense that the other Monarchs feared him for it, as demonstrated when the Frost Monarch immediately attempted to escape after running into his vessel (Jin-Woo) in the human world.
- Power Bestowal: Ashborn was able to grant his powers to a suitable human vessel. However, due to how much power he wielded, he had a very hard time finding a worthy vessel for himself.
- Immense Physical Prowess: Ashborn was ridiculously strong, to the point that he was able to brutally overpower both Baran and the Beast Monarch at the same time and effortlessly crush Baran's skull in one hand, bursting his left eye and killing the Demon King on the spot.
- Ruler's Authority: Ashborn was able to telekinetically move and control objects.
- Shadow Extraction: Ashborn was able to extract a being's shadow from its corpse to add to his army. He was also able to use this skill over a large radius, allowing him to extract hundreds of shadows at once.
- Shadow Exchange: Ashborn was able to instantly swap places with one of his shadows regardless of range.
- Shadow Preservation: Ashborn was able to preserve his shadows in storage and monitor them by perceiving their senses.
- Monarch's Domain: Ashborn was able to buff the strength of all of his active shadows by 50% in battle.