|“||In FUG, there are those who have a grudge against 10 Families and Zahard, those who envy what they possess, and those who want to change the Tower. A Slayer is a god who fulfills their wishes... hang in there, my god.||”|
—Hwa Ryun to Viole
Hwa Ryun (화련, Hwaryeon; or "Hwaryun") is Viole's Guide but is also the Guide for FUG's Rankers notably Ha Jinsung. It was revealed that she went into the Floor of Death first, instructing another Red-haired lady to lead the way for Yuri and Koon's team.
Hwa Ryun is a member of the Red Witch species known for being Guides and currently a member of FUG. Evan Edrok briefly encountered her during the Submerged Fish Test and was shocked by seeing her, although Hwa Ryun and Evan don't actually know each other.
Appearance and Personality
Hwa Ryun has red hair and red eyes. She is usually depicted wearing a pink sweatshirt with a hood, a black skirt with red legging and some type of a mask covering half her face (due to losing one eye). She is a quiet person who says little and she has a gloomy and ominous aura. She is also quite manipulative, considering she was able to trick Koon Aguero Agnis into falling for Yu Han Sung's plan to "push" Ho into taking some action against Rachel.
In Part II, she's depicted as mischievous and teasing, as she clearly mocked the Viole impostor and repeatedly called him "Pig". She almost always smiles in mischief and probably a little bit of arrogance. Yeon Yihwa sees her as creepy when they first meet.
She also tends to be extremely blunt, caring very little about being considerate for another person's feelings; though this could be considered her way of spurring a person on. Which leads her to seem very harsh, especially during moments like when she reprimands Viole after they gain passage onto the Hell Train.
After the game she was assigned the Wave Controller Position. Later she is part of Yu Han Sung's plan to "push" Ho into taking some action against Rachel. During the final examination, she is seen passing by Evan causing him to have a shocked expression, making one wonder how Evan knows her. After the final examination, in a flashback to before the Crown Game, she is revealed by Yu Han Sung to be a Guide and told to assist Rachel. After the final examination at night, she asked Rachel: "How is it? The feeling of having walked this path?". She apparently knew Baam was still alive and left her for the boy.
Viole went to meet her on the 21st Floor, at a karaoke box which was being extorted for money by a Viole impersonator. Hwa Ryun provoked the Viole impersonator, having fun with the situation. Viole easily took care of them. Yihwa burst in, thinking that Viole was causing trouble. Ha Jinsung entered the scene and was confused about the additional person to their FUG meeting. Yihwa attempted to attack them for being FUG, so Viole knocked her out in order to prevent her from getting herself killed. They all ended up going to Viole's house where they introduced themselves to Viole's team. Eventually, each of them made their own excuses to leave until it was just Wangnan and Hwa Ryun. Hwa Ryun revealed that Viole was an Irregular who was being threatened into doing what FUG wanted. Wangnan was outraged by this and resolved to help Viole.
After the Flower of Zygaena test, Hwa Ryun easily manipulated Yihwa into helping Viole by saying that an elite would attempt to correct her family's wrongs. Wangnan later approached her for guidance, knowing that she was a Guide. He realised that she told him that Viole was an Irregular because he would be able to reconnect Viole to his friends. Hwa Ryun made a remark that implied that his motives could be altruistic or selfish, calling him the "Prince of the Red Light District". She told him that if he wanted to reunite Viole with his friends, they must climb to the 30th Floor and participate in the Workshop Battle.
Before the Workshop Battle, Hwa Ryun traded places with Yuto to become part of FUG's team.
During the One Shot, One Opportunity test, Hwa Ryun confronted Leesoo and Vespa. While she was fighting them, Vespa managed to distract her and Leesoo took the opportunity to attack her with his weapon. Viole then showed up to help her. In order to prevent Leesoo from recognizing him, he tore off a part of Hwa Ryun's black robe (we can see her blushing in the background). Later, Hwa Ryun attempted to assist Viole in his fight against Amigochaz, Vespa and Leesoo. Vespa got annoyed and engaged her in combat. Meanwhile, Viole was taken aback after seeing the amount of progress made by Amigochaz. Vespa took advantage of his momentary surprise and attempted to attack him. Hwa Ryun jumped in the way, being stung by Vespa's weapon. As a result, she was poisoned. In the end, she was saved by Viole, who retrieved Vespa's honey jar, which contained the antidote for the poison.
When Viole was taken in the Thorn chamber, she guided his friends to summon him and save him from being molten. She helped her side of FUG, by using the other side of FUG's plans against them, so that Viole acquired the Thorn.
After the events of the Workshop Battle, she was seen sat in a room. She had pre-emptively known that Baam would ask her for her help, which Koon noticed. After Koon agreed to the deal, she offered her help and told them of the Hell Express on the 35th Floor.
She called all of Tangsooyook to the meeting room to discuss the Hell Express and everything regarding it. Afterwards, she suggested that the team splits away from Viole so that everyone can strengthen without relying on Viole, to which Wangnan and Koon agree upon. As the team left Hwa Ryun noted to Koon that he now had more time and space to hunt down Rachel but he retorted that Hwa Ryun was also his enemy before leaving.
She appeared from her room, with Rak, on the Residence floor and greeted Viole and his allies. Once inside their room, Boro asked her if she was the one affiliated with FUG as he had many questions but Hwa Ryun replied that she would answer his questions later as a game was about to begin. They watched on as the game to decide the last seven Regulars commenced and Boro accusingly asked her who she was and Hwa Ryun replied that she was with FUG and also a Guide before explaining that all the carnage was due to FUG wanting something on the train and they would do anything to achieve their goals. Then, after Ha Yura arrived and ended the fighting and game with her presence, Boro told Hwa Ryun that they should talk and she agreed.
The next day when the tournament began Hwa Ryun and Boro talked tactics with the team and told them to be most wary of Ha Yura. Hwa Ryun then watched the game, "Crazy Yellow Ball" from above on the sides. During the game, Koon Ran and Novick came up to her and, after initially being suspicious of why she was there, they discussed Viole's impending victory with the skills he possessed. Then, after the two left, Hwa Ryun witnessed Viole overcome Ha Yura by partially using some of the Thorn's power, something which she called pathetic.
After finding out that the tournament had been a trap and after the Regulars involved had figured out a way to catch Ha Yura, Hwa Ryun appeared and told them all that she would guide them through the emergency exit maze.
Using her power as a Guide to lead the Regulars through the maze, Hwa Ryun helped to navigate both Beta and Edin Dan as well as her own group through the maze and eventually they managed to get out. However after being told the elevators had been broken they were left in a pickle. Fortunately, Viole came up with a plan to reach the Entrance floor anyway and the group soon caught up with Ha Yura in the guardian's room. As they all attempted to catch Ha Yura, the girl used a remote to turn Mirotic back on allowing her and her teammate to escape.
Hwa Ryun then used her power as a Guide to show Viole a path past Mirotic, which the latter took allowing them to eventually catch up to Yura and her teammate. The teammate then challenged them to allow Yura to escape again but Boro arrived and took him on instead, allowing Viole and Hwa Ryun to catch Yura once more. Viole shouted her down until Daniel Hatchid arrived and provoked Viole with his introduction. After Daniel challenged Baam to a "match", Yura fled up the stairs with Hwa Ryun chasing after her. Hwa Ryun noted that she wouldn't be able to catch up just by chasing her and decided to try something else. By using her staff as a foothold, she leaped across and cut Yura off but, before she could engage Yura, Angel appeared and took her on. After Angel dropped a bombshell about Emile's power, Hwa Ryun tried to put up a fight but she was greatly overwhelmed by Angel's metalfish and severely beaten. However, instead of killing her straight away, Angel decided to take Hwa Ryun as a hostage and she was subsequently taken on to the Train with them.
Inside the train, Hwa Ryun was constantly being kept under supervision. She was then called to help Rachel's group when they couldn't solve the maths puzzle that was preventing their continuation. With Hwa Ryun solving the puzzle easily, the group moved into the room where they encountered Bloomer guardian but, with Hwa Ryun's guidance, they defeated the guardian and opened the door sealing Hoaqin's first part.
After Hoaqin's introduction, they all left the room and ran into Yeon Yihwa and Ja Wangnan. Hwa Ryun told them to flee but instead, they two decided to attack causing Wangnan to almost get his hand severed. The two were then captured alongside Hwa Ryun where they then witnessed Rachel's group completing the 36th Floor stage test of the Hell Train.
As the train was heading towards Wooden Horse station, Hwa Ryun asked Rachel why she was allowing her freedom. Rachel replied that Hwa Ryun was not a threat as long as she had Emile and explained her goal on the Hell Train. After being teleported by the conductor of the train, she internally identified him as Pedro the Death Eye, and questioned his motivations. She was also shown to briefly display annoyance when Viole noticed her some time after she actually appeared next to him.
After reuniting with Viole she announced to the team that from that moment on Viole would be taking care of all of the battles himself. When met with opposition to the idea, she harshly lectured Viole on how his actions once meeting Rachel had put everybody else in danger, and told him that acting so selfishly made him no different from Rachel. Though quite brutal, Viole seemed to take those words to heart.
After Viole was taken by the "god" of guardians, she had a brief conversation with Koon, wondering why he was so calm despite Viole's situation. He replied that he had no choice but to accept it, and stated that if something went wrong he would always regret leaving Viole in her hands.
After three weeks, Viole returned to the group and they eventually made it to the 4th stage just in time.
After the events of the Dallar Show Evan Edrok approached Hwa Ryun and said they both need to chat, before discerning that she was acting as Baam's Guide. Hwa Ryun confirmed that and Evan asked for whose sake she was doing it for. Hwa Ryun responded by saying she wasn't doing it for anyone's sake, as Baam was walking down a completely new path that no-one had ever walked, and all choices would be made by him.
Shortly after, Hwa Ryun met with Ja Wangnan who blamed himself for not catching Cassano and allowing Vicente to be absorbed into Hoaqin. The Guide recalled that as long Wangnan remained on the Hell Train another opportunity would arise for him. However, such an opportunity would provoke another crisis that would cost him the life of one of his teammates.
To be added.
Powers and Abilities
She fights using Shinsoo to enhance her strength and speed and also uses a gold staff that can fly and attack using Shinsoo. Her staff might be made of high purity Suspendium, so it can float. This staff is also pretty durable as it was able to endure a strike from Koon in Part II and even make the latter's hand bleed. However, because she is a Guide, her fighting skills are quite low compared to her peers.
Regardless, she has been shown in Part I to go even against Androssi, someone of E-rank level at the time and in Part II, she was able to effortlessly block Koon's instant strike. Her level of skill was further highlighted by her performance while fighting Vespa during the One Shot, One Opportunity game when impersonating Yuto; she uses a dual-bladed weapon and manages to adequately go toe-to-toe with Vespa before being overwhelmed by multiple offenses against her. As such, it should be noted that she has more experience than those of Koon's generation, hence how she is able to fend against them regardless of her status as a Guide. Despite all this, she was still no match for Reflejo or Angel.
Guide's Power: As a Guide, Hwa Ryun has the ability to see the paths in the Tower and navigate someone on the paths they can take. For example she was able to navigate the apparently unnavigable maze as well as lead two people through the maze with what seemed like little effort. She was also able to show Baam a path that would allow him to get through the Hell Train's illusory gatekeeper without taking any damage. However her power can be distorted and she can be misled by Emile, a special device created by the Workshop.
- She told Baam that Karaka boarding the Hell Express was likely. He did indeed.
- She told Prince that he would definitely die on the Hell Express (though that might have been comic relief). He died.
- She warned Baam that many of his teammate would die; likewise she warned Wangnan that as long as he would remain on the train one of his teammates was doomed to die. The death of Hon Akraptor and Prince make these claims true.
Notes and Trivia
In one of the chapters of the flashback, she is shown with both her eyes intact. And when she was among the Regulars waiting to take Lero-Ro's barrier test, she was depicted as having covered her whole face with a jeweled mask. However, after her eye was injured by Baam, she covered it with an eye patch. It's unknown if her eye has since recovered. It should also be noted that regardless of her eye's condition, she actually does like her eye-patch.
- Hwa Ryun's species is Red Witch known for their bright red hair and for being Guides.
- SIU wrote that she was the most beautiful woman of the Season 1 Regulars. He further stated that this was a foreshadowing, the importance of which has yet to be revealed.
- Hwa Ryun and Evan Edrok do not know each other.
- Though Hwa Ryun refers to Baam as "My God" like FUG subordinates are known to do towards a Slayer, in the original Korean she says it with informal language, making it sound more like a pet-name than a sign of devotion.
- Her name means "inferno wheel" when translated from Korean to English. It could also mean "lotus flower".
- She was technically failed on the 2nd Floor and is no longer a Regular. She is still able to journey through the Tower and climb Floors as she wills thanks to her Guide position. She therefore does not take Floor tests.
- She is the only Guide (besides Yuto) who is a Regular (despite having been disqualified on the Second Floor technically).
- If Khun is an elite who is good with petty tricks, Hwa Ryun is more like the one who pulls strings from behind and possesses dark secrets.
- (To Twenty-Fifth Baam) "As promised, all that you seek, all that we desire, is prepared up there. On top of the Tower."
- (To Wangnan) "6 years ago we met a boy on the test floor capable of making our dreams come true. Frankly speaking, we have been waiting for him for a long time. Who opened the door? Who is free from the contract? Who will fill the Tower with the blood of the King? Baam, the Irregular. When he reaches the top, everything in the Tower will change."
- (Talking about Viole to Wangnan) "Then what should we do? Should we just leave him alone? Then who will make our wish come true? Will you? I'm sorry but it doesn't look like you can do what we want either, we are in the same boat. Sympathy and justice are not always the answer. Anyone can talk about "Justice". We don't think it's right either that God gave him such destiny."
- (To Wangnan) "Why are you so shocked? Did you really think we were nice people?"
- (To Yeon Yihwa) "How does it feel to see the dark side of the family that you were so proud of? If I were you, I wouldn't lay down like that. I would think of what I could do to make things right. Isn't that what the "Elite" should do? Well, it might be too much for a girl who can't even cook for herself."
- (To Jyu Viole Grace) "You seem happy. It's just as that ajussi, Ha Jinsung wanted. He told me to let you know if you want to keep this happiness, get stronger. Soon, a great calamity will come. In you current state, you don't stand a chance. If you want to be happy, become strong enough to protect your happiness. Then you can go back to kick the asses of those guys up there who put you in danger. Become stronger, Viole."
- (Talking about Rachel and Twenty-Fifth Baam) "I guess it's all wrapped up, but soon, a new story will begin. She is a being that not even the Guides can foresee. Like you, a being that is most foreign to the Tower. A being that can change the Tower. If you stand before her once again, Baam, what will you decide?"
- (To Baam) "This journey won't end soon. I don't know what the FUG wants from the train, but whatever it is, the fact that you need to get more powerful doesn't change. Not only physically, but also mentally. You have got to get stronger. Only then, you will be able to climb up the Tower on your own and stand tall before Rachel."
- (To Baam) "You may think that you are going up the Tower with a different objective from others, but in my opinion, you are the one who is chasing after stupid things while not thinking about others. Don't you think it's about time that you start caring about the people around you?"
- (Talking about Baam to Evan Edrok) "I didn't create that path for anyone's sake. The path which that boy now walks is simply the path that he walks. It's a path which no navigator can create. One which no one has travelled before. A completely 'New Path'."