Solo Leveling: A Powerful New Shadow Is Key to Defeat the Monarch of Destruction

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Solo Leveling Chapter 167 by Chugong, Dubu and h-goon, available in English now on Tapas.

It wasn't easy taking down three Monarchs -- in fact, Jinwoo died in the process -- but the new Shadow Monarch did it and now he has to face his biggest foe yet: Antares, the Monarch of Destruction. In Solo Leveling, Antares and Jinwoo's predecessor go a long way back. In the war against the Rulers, he and Ashborn had led an army of shadows and dragons together. When Ashborn returned from hiding after he was betrayed by the other Monarchs, he and Antares joined forces once more.

Now that Jinwoo has resolved to protect humankind, he and Antares are going to stand on the battlefield again, but on opposing sides. Jinwoo is undoubtedly powerful and has won countless battles with his shadow army, but what chance does he have against the King of Berserk Dragons? It is possible that his chances have become far more favorable with a new ally's arrival in Chapter 167.

Still recovering from the aftermath of the Monarchs' attack, Seoul didn't get much of a reprieve before another gate opens up. All of the Hunters gathered before the gate, anticipating the fight. However, Jinwoo stopped them from launching their attacks when he realized who exactly was emerging from the gate. It was an army filled with thousands of shadows of monsters, dragons and soldiers.

One of the shadows stepped out from the ranks and approached Jinwoo. Sinking to his knees, he introduced himself as Bellion, Grand Marshal. Besides having full control over his Shadow Monarch powers, Jinwoo also inherited Ashborn's shadow army. With Ashborn's former soldiers pledging their allegiance to Jinwoo, plus his own sizeable army of shadows, he now stands a good chance at defeating Antares. This scene is also symbolic of Jinwoo fully stepping into his role as the Shadow Monarch.

solo levelling

As the Grand Marshal of the former Shadow Monarch's army, Bellion is one of the oldest shadows, has been through his share of battles and has fought alongside Ashborn. He has seen the strength of the Monarchs, including Antares, and his experience will be key to strategizing their plan of attack. But it'll take some coordination for the two armies to work as one since Jinwoo has a different style of fighting than Ashborn, which is why they still need to train together despite the fact that the shadow army is essentially immortal.

Jinwoo split his massive army into two so they could simulate a battle and get a sense of how the other side fights. Eager to prove his loyalty to Jinwoo (and possibly somewhat hurt that he may lose his position as Jinwoo's right-hand soldier), Beru challenged Bellion to a fight for the title of Grand Marshal. Before he became part of Jinwoo's army, Beru was the Ant King who killed nearly every Hunter that ever tried to fight him. When he became a shadow, his powers did diminish but even then, Beru is one of the strongest and most loyal soldiers in Jinwoo's army, managing to defeat several enemies single-handedly. Of the two of them, who will win in this bout? Will it be Beru's speed or Bellion's strength?

At first, Jinwoo had faith that Beru would be the one to come out on top but to his utter surprise, Bellion pulled out a broad sword that can extend and curve like a whip. This gave him the ability to pull out powerful yet flexible attacks from every direction, making him a dangerous and terrifying opponent. Beru can't get close to Bellion without getting shredded into pieces by his weapon. Bellion isn't just strong; he's just as fast, if not faster, than Beru. With Bellion joining the ranks, Jinwoo's chances of saving the world just got that much higher.

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