The Monarchs (군주) are an ancient race of monsters who seek to wipe out the human race. As a result, they serve as the primary antagonists of Solo Leveling.
At the dawn of time, when light and darkness was all that existed, the Absolute Being split the light to create the Rulers and split the darkness to create the Monarchs. As the Monarchs were born to destroy the world and the Rulers born to protect it, it wasn't long before they engaged in a devastating war with each other.
Eons later, when the Absolute Being was ousted and murdered, the Rulers used tools containing fragments of his power to hunt down the Monarchs and were able to capture the Monarch Legia alive, tipping the tide of the war in their favor and giving them a solid shot towards victory. Realizing this, the Shadow Monarch Ashborn reached out to the Monarchs and offered his help. As they had no other viable choice, the Monarchs reluctantly accepted him as their new ally.
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 betray him and ambush him with their armies. Although Ashborn easily defeated both Monarchs and killed Baran in retaliation for his treachery, his shadow army was nearly annihilated.
Deciding to seek revenge against the Beast Monarch, Ashborn went into hiding to revive his army, allowing the Rulers to finally win the war and forcing the Monarchs to escape to the cracks between worlds. At some point after this, however, Ashborn returned and Antares, the strongest Monarch, gladly allowed him to rejoin their ranks, as the other Monarchs were still weakened from their loss to the Rulers and needed time to restore their powers.
Centuries later, the Monarchs tried to vanquish the human world in order to rebuild their armies and the Rulers attempted to stop them to save the human race from certain extinction. When their efforts failed, the Rulers used a tool created by the Absolute Being called the Cup of Reincarnation, which had the power to turn back time 10 years, in order to give them a second chance. Unfortunately, this only prolonged what seemed to be inevitable, as the human world would always be destroyed regardless of which side won the war and regardless of how many times the Rulers turned back time.
Several days after the Jeju Island S-Rank Gate was finally cleared, the Beast Monarch picked up traces of the Shadow Monarch's power on Jeju and traveled there to make sure. Along the way, he bumped into the Frost Monarch, who had picked up on Ashborn's trail as well, and the two of them agreed that it was about time to start their rematch with the Rulers.
Several months after the events of the 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 killed by Sung Jinwoo, the vessel of the Shadow Monarch. At the same time, the Monarchs initiated their hunt for the Rulers in the human world and killed Christopher Reed, the strongest hunter in America and one of the seven Rulers' vessels.
On the last day of the conference, the Monarchs killed Go Gunhee, the second strongest hunter in Korea and another Rulers' vessel, but not without discovering that the Shadow Monarch had found his human vessel and turned against them. Realizing that this development could completely derail their plans to win the war, the Monarchs regrouped to decide their next move. Ultimately, three of the Monarchs (Beast, Frost, and Querehsha) decided to go ahead and try to kill Jinwoo before he fully absorbed Ashborn's powers, while the other two (Iron Body and Yogumunt) refused to help and opted to wait for Antares to return instead.
- Immense Strength
- Spiritual Body Manifestation
As they are spiritual creatures and lack organic form, the Monarchs cannot descend into the human world without suitable human vessels, a property that they share with the Rulers. Unlike the Rulers, however, the Monarchs completely possess their vessels and essentially steal their vessels' bodies for themselves. Although this technique allows them to exert their full power in the human world, it comes at the cost of making them completely mortal, meaning that they will die if their human vessels are killed in battle.
- Antares: The Monarch of Destruction, the King of Dragons
- Ashborn: The Monarch of Shadows, the King of the Dead
- Baran: The Monarch of White Flames, the King of Demons
- Beast Monarch: The King of Beasts
- Frost Monarch: The King of Snow Folk
- Iron Body Monarch: The King of Monstrous Humanoids
- Legia: The Monarch of the Beginning, the King of Giants
- Querehsha: The Monarch of Plagues, the Queen of Insects
- Yogumunt: The Monarch of Transfiguration, the King of Demonic Spectres
|Frost Monarch||Iron Body Monarch||Legia||Querehsha|