|“||Don't you ever set foot in Korea. I'm not saying this for my son's sake, I'm saying it for yours. You will never rest in peace, even in death.||”|
Sung Il-Hwan (성일환) was a Korean S-Rank Hunter and Jinwoo's father.
Il-Hwan was a handsome and muscular middle-aged man with gray eyes, shaggy black hair, and slight facial hair. When using his powers or agitated, his eyes glowed bright yellow.
During his time on the run, Il-Hwan wore a tattered brown cloak over a ragged white undershirt, white bandages on both hands, baggy black pants, and a pair of black boots. In contrast, before he went missing, Il-Hwan sported a much cleaner look and was pictured wearing a brown jacket over a simple black undershirt.
Il-Hwan cared deeply for his family and had little tolerance for those who tried to harm them or get in the way of his mission, as displayed when he brutally beat Hwang Dongsoo to a bloody pulp for trying to murder his son over petty reasons. He was also selfless and merciful, as he went out of his way to save the innocent people who were caught in the crossfire of his battle with Hwang and chose to spare Hwang's life even though he could have easily killed him.
Around ten years prior to the events of the main storyline, Il-Hwan got trapped inside a dungeon during a raid, leaving his family to presume him dead and his wife to raise their children on her own. Before he could die of starvation, however, Il-Hwan was found by the Rulers, who made him one of their seven vessels and gave him the mission of killing the new Shadow Monarch, who was soon to be born. As he didn't have a way to escape back home, Il-Hwan had no choice but to accept their demands.
Nearly a decade after his disappearance, Il-Hwan returned to the human world and resurfaced inside a dungeon on American soil, where he was met by a squad of A-Rank hunters. Believing him to be a monster, the squad members attempted to kill Il-Hwan, but he effortlessly swatted their attacks aside and knocked them out. The Federal Bureau of Hunters arrested him in the aftermath, but due to his poor English and the fact that a human had never come out of a dungeon before, they suspected him of being a magic beast with the memories of a human and brought in Hwang Dongsoo to figure out for sure.
Unfortunately, due to Hwang's antagonistic attitude, the interrogation ultimately went south, with Il-Hwan easily defeating him in a fight and causing an explosion that completely demolished the Bureau's HQ. Realizing that he was better off completing the mission on his own, Il-Hwan warned Hwang never to set foot in Korea again and went on the run.
After luring the Frost Monarch to America by deliberately leaving behind mana traces, Il-Hwan attempted to fight and kill him, only to be forced back by the Monarch's superior strength. Their clash resulted in a massive explosion of energy and although it's not made clear if they continued fighting afterwards, Il-Hwan later escaped the scene unscathed.
Several days after the Rulers spawned a S-Rank Gate in Tokyo, Il-Hwan learned that his target would be there and traveled to Japan so that he could finally complete his mission. Much to his horror, however, Il-Hwan discovered that Jinwoo was the new Shadow Monarch and could not bring himself to kill his own son.
Fortunately, the Rulers started to have a change of heart and came to accept the new Shadow Monarch as their ally, especially after they witnessed him kill Legia. As a result, they eventually gave Il-Hwan the new mission of protecting the new Shadow Monarch, which he was more than happy to accept.
During their investigation of Christopher Reed's murder, the Bureau discovered mana traces within the ruins of his home that were very similar to Il-Hwan's. As a result, they came to consider him as the primary suspect in Chris' murder and issued a red notice for him during the International Guild Conference, exposing the truth to Jinwoo that his father was still alive.
When three Monarchs appeared in Seoul to hunt down and kill Jinwoo, Il-Hwan arrived in the city shortly afterwards. After Jinwoo killed Querehsha and two surviving Monarchs attempted to finish Jinwoo off for good, Il-Hwan jumped in and slammed his foot into the Beast Monarch’s face, sending him flying into the Frost Monarch and causing the two of them to crash through several buildings.
Il-Hwan initially fought well against the two Monarchs, as he was able to send the Frost Monarch flying with just a kick and cause the Beast Monarch intense pain by stabbing him right through the jaw. Unfortunately, this did not last, as the Frost Monarch was able to turn the tables by summoning a massive ice storm and slicing off Il-Hwan's left arm as a result. Beaten, Il-Hwan braced for death, but before the Frost Monarch could land a fatal blow, Jinwoo finally returned from death with his true powers and easily dispelled the ice storm. Knowing that his son could handle the rest, Il-Hwan then fled while Jinwoo dealt with the Frost Monarch.
After finding shelter, Il-Hwan realized that he had used too much power in his battle with the Frost Monarch and that his body was literally crumbling away as a result. Accepting his fate and noting to himself that he had done enough, Il-Hwan prepared for the end. However, Jinwoo then showed up and asked Il-Hwan why he had just vanished without a word.
With little time left, Il-Hwan recounted to his son as to what happened to him after he got trapped in the dungeons, and how the Rulers had found him and entrusted him with their mission. He then tearfully embraced Jinwoo, noting that he had grown well, and apologized to his son for not being a better father right before his body dissolved into shards of light and floated away in the wind.
After the Rulers used the Cup of Reincarnation one last time at Jinwoo's request, Il-Hwan was brought back to life without his memories of the original timeline and was converted into a firefighter.
As the vessel of a Ruler, Il-Hwan was one of the strongest hunters in the world.
- Immense Strength: Il-Hwan possessed immense physical strength. As a testament to this, he was able to send the Beast Monarch flying with a single blow and easily stab right through his jaw, causing him severe pain. He was also able to smash the Frost Monarch into a nearby building and stun him for a significant amount of time with just one well-placed kick.
- Immense Speed: Il-Hwan possessed immense speed. As a testament to this, he was able to dodge and counter the Frost Monarch's and the Beast Monarch’s attacks at the same time, and deflect the Frost Monarch's barrage of icicles with little trouble.
- Immense Durability: Il-Hwan possessed immense durability, as displayed by how he was able to keep moving normally even after losing his left arm.
- Stealth: Il-Hwan was able to camouflage with his surroundings and hide all traces of his presence, essentially turning himself both physically and magically invisible.
- Ruler's Authority: Il-Hwan was able to control and move objects via telekinesis.
- Spiritual Body Manifestation
- Solo Leveling Webtoon: Chapter 166
- Solo Leveling Webtoon: Chapter 56
- Solo Leveling Webtoon: Chapter 111
- Solo Leveling Webtoon: Chapter 131
- Solo Leveling Webtoon: Chapter 140
- Solo Leveling Webtoon: Chapter 162
- Solo Leveling Webtoon: Chapter 164
- Solo Leveling Webtoon: Chapter 165
- Solo Leveling Webtoon: Chapter 178