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I am the record of your struggles, the evidence of your resistance, and the reward of your sufferings. I am death, I am eternal rest, and I am also terror.

—Ashborn to Sung Jinwoo, Chapter 162 (Webtoon)


Overview

Ashborn (아스본) was the King of the Dead and the Monarch of Shadows. He was also the strongest Ruler and the Greatest Fragment of Brilliant Light.[1]

Appearance

Ashborn was a huge, muscular shadow with glowing flame-like purple hair, glowing purple eyes, two curved black horns, and sharp claws. He also wore jet-black armor and a long smoky black cloak, and wielded a pure black sword.

As a Ruler, Ashborn was a burly white knight with large white wings, long silver hair, and glowing white eyes. He also wore silver robes with light tan armor and a grayish-blue cloak, and wielded a white sword with a light tan guard and a gray hilt.

Personality

Ashborn cared greatly about life and had a benevolent attitude towards humanity. 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. At the same time, however, he was blindly loyal to the Absolute Being and continued to fight on the latter's behalf even after learning the truth behind his existence.[2]

History

Eons ago, Ashborn fought alongside the other Rulers in a devastating war with the Monarchs at the behest of their god, the Absolute Being. When his brethren rebelled against the Absolute Being for using them as pawns for his own entertainment, Ashborn was the only one who remained loyal and attempted to stop them. However, despite his efforts, they easily defeated him and left him for dead.

As his injuries were fatal, Ashborn believed that it was the end for him and prepared for death. However, before he could die, he discovered that the Absolute Being had hidden a monstrous power inside his body and promptly activated it, transforming himself into the Shadow Monarch. Now back to full health and even stronger than before, Ashborn returned to the battlefront to continue the fight. But by the time he got back, he found out that he was too late, as the rebellion was already over and the Absolute Being was already dead.

After the Rulers captured Legia, Ashborn realized that the Monarchs would lose if he didn’t step in and decided to offer his help, an offer that they quickly accepted. Unfortunately for Ashborn, even though he managed to stabilize the power balance and keep the war going, his overwhelming powers earned him great fear from both sides and eventually led two Monarchs, Beast and Baran, to turn on him. Although Ashborn easily defeated both Monarchs in battle and killed Baran in retaliation for his treachery, his shadow army was nearly annihilated in the process.[3]

Right after he killed Baran, the Rulers descended in front of Ashborn and asked him for his forgiveness. Although Ashborn initially refused to accept their gesture of peace and furiously demanded that they kill him so that they could finally win the war, the Rulers persisted in their plea and Ashborn was so emotionally overwhelmed that he couldn’t give them an answer. Deciding to seek revenge against the Beast Monarch instead, Ashborn left the battlefield and went into hiding to rebuild his shadow army, allowing the Rulers to finally defeat the Monarchs and force them into hiding. At some point after this, however, Ashborn returned to the Monarchs and Antares, the strongest Monarch, was quick to welcome him back to their ranks, as two of the Monarchs were lost and the rest were still greatly weakened from their loss against the Rulers.

Centuries later, when the Monarchs launched their assault on the human world, Ashborn followed them out of his own desire to find his place in the universe, as he had never felt like he belonged in the chaos world. At the same time, he also started looking for a suitable human vessel with the help of the Architect and spent years searching with little luck until he came across a human named Sung Jinwoo.

D-Rank Dungeon Arc

Ten years after the seven Rulers initiated their plan to prepare the human world for their war, Ashborn picked Jinwoo to be his host over the Architect's objections and started to slowly train him into a vessel strong enough to fully absorb his powers through the System.

Double Dungeon Arc

When Jinwoo reached level 100, the Architect invited him back to the Double Dungeon so that Ashborn could take control of him as his vessel. Unfortunately for the Architect, however, Ashborn had no intention of taking control of Jinwoo as his vessel and wished to transfer his powers instead to make Jinwoo his heir. As a result, he chose to betray the Architect by locking him out of the System and giving Jinwoo his black heart.[4]

Monarchs War Arc

When Jinwoo was killed by the Beast Monarch in battle, he was seemingly transported back in time to when the System first chose him as its Player. As he still retained both his appearance and powers, Jinwoo initially believed that the entire experience was real. However, after speaking to an alternate version of Go Gunhee, Jinwoo eventually realized that it was all just an illusion and yelled at whoever was casting the spell to stop wasting time and show himself. Much to his surprise, the spellcaster turned out to be Ashborn.[5]

Deciding to keep things as brief as possible, Ashborn introduced himself and explained to Jinwoo everything he needed to know, including his backstory and the reason why Jinwoo was chosen to be his human vessel. Once he was finished, Ashborn offered Jinwoo two choices: to either live inside his personal fantasy world for eternity or finish his fight with the Monarchs. Naturally, Jinwoo chose the latter option and Ashborn bid him farewell as he ascended back to reality.

Abilities

As the strongest Ruler and the Shadow Monarch, Ashborn was one of the most powerful individuals in existence, second only to Antares in raw strength.

  • Immense Strength: As the strongest Ruler, Ashborn possessed incomparably immense levels of physical strength. As a testament to this, he was able to brutally overpower two Monarchs at once and pop Baran's skull like a grape with one hand.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability
  • Power Bestowal: Ashborn was able to grant his powers to a suitable human vessel.
  • Ruler's Authority: Ashborn was able to telekinetically move and control objects.
  • Shadow Extraction: Ashborn was able to extract shadows from the corpses of his enemies and add them to his army.
  • Shadow Exchange: Ashborn was able to use shadows as portals to travel vast distances in an instant.
  • 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.

References

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