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The Monarchs are an ancient race of monsters who seek to wipe out humanity for their own ends. As a result, they serve as the main antagonists of Solo Leveling.
The Monarchs are human-like beings with monstrous characteristics. They also look significantly different from each other and take after the monster race that they govern.
Eons ago, the Monarchs waged a seemingly endless war with the Rulers. When the Rulers rebelled against their creator, Ashborn defected and joined up with the Monarchs, becoming the Shadow Monarch as a result. Legia was also captured by the Rulers at some point during the war and restrained by mana-absorbing chains.
When the war was seemingly just about to come to an end, Ashborn was betrayed by Baran to the Beast Monarch and went on to easily win the ensuing battle, grievously wounding Baran and prompting the Beast Monarch to flee with his tail between his legs. Enraged by Baran's choice to turn on him, Ashborn brutally killed the Demon King, reducing the number of Monarchs from nine to eight.
About ten years after humanity learned about the existence of magic and monsters, Ashborn hand-picked a human named Sung Jin-Woo as his vessel and had the Architect create the System for Jin-Woo to use as a guide. As Jin-Woo trained hard and raided dungeons left and right due to 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.
Several days after the conclusion of the 4th Jeju Island Raid, the Beast and Frost Monarchs discovered that Ashborn was helping the humans and that it was about time to begin their rematch with the Rulers.
About several months after the events of the 4th Jeju Island Raid, the Rulers gave Legia a way out by spawning a S-Rank Gate in Tokyo. Unfortunately for Legia, he never got his freedom as he was later killed by Jin-Woo. Shortly after this, however, the Monarchs began targeting the human vessels of the Rulers and started with Christopher Reed by brutally murdering him in his home.
Seeking to even the odds with both Baran and Legia dead, the Monarchs continued their hunt for the human vessels of the Rulers by killing Jonas, reducing the number of Rulers active in the human world from seven to six.
After much searching, the Frost Monarch finally tracked down the Brightest Fragment of Brilliant Light in Korea and attacked him on his own after discovering that the Ruler was trapped inside a broken vessel (Go Gun-Hee) and incapable of using his powers to their max. Although Gun-Hee was initially able to defend himself in the ensuing fight without a problem, his body eventually hit its limit, leaving him wide open for the Frost Monarch to impale him through the chest with an ice spear.
Unfortunately for the Frost Monarch, what he didn't know was that the Shadow Monarch had rejoined the Rulers and as a result, was caught completely by surprise when Jin-Woo arrived to kill him. Realizing that he'd been baited, the Frost Monarch nevertheless managed to escape alive by flinging another ice spear at Gun-Hee, forcing Jin-Woo to chose between saving Gun-Hee or fighting him. Although Jinwoo was able to catch up to the spear and deflect it, Gunhee still died shortly afterwards, as his injuries were too severe to heal.
Knowing that there was a large chance of them losing their rematch with the Rulers with the Shadow Monarch fighting against them, the Monarchs regrouped and the Frost Monarch asked the other Monarchs to help him kill Jin-Woo while he was still weak and human. Although the Beast Monarch and Querehsha both agreed to help, the Iron Body Monarch and Yogumunt both refused, as they believed that picking a fight with the Shadow Monarch was suicide without Antares' support.
The Monarchs are the pinnacle of power among monsters, with each one serving as the supreme example of their kind. As they are spiritual beings, they lack organic bodies and cannot descend into the human world without a proper human vessel. Although they share this property with the Rulers, the Monarchs don't lend their powers to their vessels like the Rulers do with theirs. Instead, they completely possess their vessels. While this allows them to use their full power in the human world without a problem, it comes at the major drawback of making them mortal, meaning that they will die if their vessels are killed in the human world.
As a secondary ability, the Monarchs are capable of creating dimensional gaps around their targets. Doing so cuts the target off from the outside world, preventing anyone on the outside from realizing their situation and coming to their aid, and allows the Monarch to kill the target without interruption. Dimensional gaps also prevent sound from traveling normally, as seen when Christopher Reed was unable to hear anything even when he deliberately shattered a wine glass on the ground, and are actually not all that durable despite how useful they are, as seen when Go Gun-Hee was able to shatter one in just a single hit.
List of Monarchs
- Sung Jin-Woo/Ashborn: The Shadow Monarch, the King of the Dead
- Baran: The Monarch of White Flames, the King of Demons
- Legia: The Monarch of the Beginning, the King of Giants
- Frost Monarch: The King of Snow Folk
- Beast Monarch: The King of Beasts
- Querehsha: The Monarch of Plagues, the Queen of Insects
- Yogumunt: The Monarch of Transfiguration, the King of Demonic Spectres
- Iron Body Monarch: The King of Monstrous Humanoids
- Antares: The Monarch of Destruction, the King of Berserk Dragons
|Sung Jin-Woo||Ashborn (original Shadow Monarch)||Legia||Baran||Beast Monarch|
|Frost Monarch||Querehsha||Yogumunt||Iron Body Monarch||Antares|