|“||..An adventure huh? That's right, embarking on an eternal adventure, if that's my fate, then I have to accept it. However, since that day when I began to see all causes and effects from the same height as God... I found out how to play around with fate... cruel fate.||”|
—Zahard to his Data self.
Zahard (자하드; or "Jahad") is the famed "King of the Tower" and the most famous and greatest being residing inside; he is like a god to the inhabitants of the Tower. He is a High Ranker, currently retaining the 3rd spot in the ranking, and the overarching ruler of Zahard's Floors and founder of the Zahard Empire while still conquering the Tower.
After the events of the Hidden Floor, Zahard came out of hibernation and is active once again, making him the highest ranked Active Ranker in the Tower, right above Urek Mazino. Due to his actions, Zahard can be considered the primary antagonist of the series.
In ancient times, when there was no civilization in the Tower, Zahard came into the Tower and built his own empire. Zahard conquered the Tower with the 10 Great Warriors and gained the control of the first 134 Floors from the Floor Guardians. It is said he was the first person to form a contract with a Guardian of the Tower..This conquest is known among the Tower's residents as "The Great Journey". He became king through contracts with the Guardians.
On the day Zahard declared himself the King of the Tower he decided to stop climbing, thus hiding the Key of the Tower that would open the door leading to the higher Floors so that no one could go beyond the 134th Floor. It was later revealed that Zahard had split the Key of the Tower into two parts, the first part of which was turned into the 13 Month Series and the second part became melted rings given to Prince of the Red-light District.
There were two forgotten individuals in the history that Zahard created, however: Arlen Grace and V. Zahard had been in love with Arlen despite V having been engaged to her and having already hated V for their completely different personalities, he became irrationally jealous as a result and proposed marriage to her but to his anger, she refused and ran away and along with V, they created an organization to oppose his desire to stop climbing the Tower. Left with no other choice but to fight his love intrest and former ally, Zahard would engage them in a long civil war which caused conflict between the others who had followed him before they ultimately chose his side. Zahard eventually won and forced them into hiding, branding them as fugitives. While he appeared to have been willing to let them stay hidden, the last straw came when he learned Arlen had a child with V. Still unable to let go of his love for her, Zahard killed the child in front of Arlen in his rage for his unrequited love in what was described as being the most resentful and brutal manner. He would do his best to erase all traces of Arlen and V's existence before he became inactive, stated to be hibernating.
Appearance and Personality
Zahard is unusually tall for a human. He has golden eyes and hair and wears an armor with a long red cape.
Not much of Zahard's personality is known. However, despite being well-respected and famous for all his achievements, to those who know him, Zahard is known to be a cold king. Although he sired the Princesses of Zahard and is known to play favorites with them, he does not consider them truly as his children, as proven by how he is not bothered by how even the ones his favored fought each other to the death and he would not hesitate to punish them for their mistakes. In addition, he even went as far as to create the Ghost of the 13 Month series to kill the princesses who managed to get close just because he had no intention to get married. His firmness as a king is feared by all to the point that even when his orders could cause chaos to the entire tower, they still carried it out of fear.
Zahard is a very calm and disciplined individual, as displayed by how he remained fully composed even after failing to kill Baam, seeing his data-self working with Eduan despite admitting to being surprised by it and also calmly remarking on the space control skill that allowed Baam to escape from his grasp.
Towards those he dislikes, Zahard is shown to be not only able to be ruthless, but also show cruelty, as he took time to taunt Baam after rendering him at his mercy that he will kill everyone he cared for. He even admitted that he relished the chance of killing the son of the woman who rejected his love.
However, Zahard is not entirely without emotions. He was noted to have fallen greatly in love with Arlen and later said he loved her more than anything. After becoming King, he proposed to her and despite the rejection and her declaring war on him, he allowed her and V to go into hiding after she could no longer attempt any rebellion. The fact that she and V had a child was so heart-breaking to him that he angrily killed Baam in front of Arlen and later on relished the chance to do so again. He has not moved on from Arlen despite all she had done to him and has no intention to get married, implying a slightly more positive side to Zahard's coldness; he was true and faithful to the one woman he loved even though his affections were never returned.
Zahard is ranked 3rd which seems poor when reflecting his influence and the splendour of the past (he was firmly the No. 1 Ranker before Phantaminum and Enryu appeared). He is the supreme ruler of the Zahard Empire, but because he is inactive—said to be "hibernating"—the Three Lords handle the day-to-day ruling in his stead. He is technically an Irregular but he is not considered to be one by anyone with the exception of the Floor Guardians.
Zahard is currently resting, leaving the outside activities to his daughters and the Three Lords, but a lot of people expect that the day Zahard is on the move again is the day Zahard Empire expands by another Floor. It's said, after the next shift of the political system, Zahard will be active again and capture the at the very least the 135th Floor.
Of course, more and more people are anticipating the return of Zahard's rumoured 'only son'.
One thing that should be noted is that his chosen Family—the Zahard Family—is the greatest authority in the Tower. Although none of his 'children' are bound to Zahard by blood, he has managed to create and sustain the most powerful and the largest family in the Tower.
Zahard SymbolZahard and his empire are represented by a symbol known as the "Red Three Eyes" (적색삼안, Jeoksaeksahmahn), which consists of 3 eyes and 3 dots; the eyes are above and the dots are below. A similar symbol consisting of 3 eyes, 3 dots, and a cross, was seen in the cave area where Baam was sealed. However, it's unknown what meaning that symbol carries outside of the Tower or whether Zahard's own symbol has any connection to the one seen in Baam's cave.
When Hwang destroyed the scale and stood before the Mirror, the fail-safe Zahard implanted activated and alerted to the danger in the data world, the real Zahard projects himself there, his mere presence causing great pressure to Baam, Eduan and his data self. As Data Zahard is about to give the bracelet to Baam, Zahard fully arrives and reclaims it. Looking at Baam, Zahard is surprised by the fact that Arlen's son, who he had killed, is alive. When Data Zahard asked on what he said, Zahard mocked him for being unaware but is surprised when Eduan arrived to aid his data self, saying it was unexpected as he and the real Eduan are not on good terms.
Zahard turns his attention back to Baam and relishes the fact that he gets to kill the son of the woman he loved but never loved him back and begins slowly and painfully choking him to death. Zahard taunts Baam with the promise of finding and killing every person Baam has met and sending them to meet him in the afterlife. With Baam completely powerless to fight Zahard due to the vast difference in power between them and having only barely won against Data Zahard, who is significantly weaker than the real one, Zahard effortlessly repels the attempts of Eduan and his data self to free Baam but suddenly a space-control skill activates to save Baam but Zahard still has Baam firmly restrained until Eduan used the self-destruct pill to destroy the data world and erase Zahard's digital hand. Zahard questions his data self on why he would aid Baam and after listening to his data self's wish for Zahard to have another adventure, Zahard reveals that having acquired the sight on the same level as God, he has learned how to play with fate and desires to control even destiny to his whim. Deciding to show respect of his data self's decision, Zahard allows Baam to teleport away safely but he takes the bracelet with him so Baam, if he is truly worthy of it, will appear before him again. However, Gustang uses Stingray to steal the bracelet from Zahard but Zahard is unfazed and oddly allows it as the data world collapses entirely.
After the events, Zahard would order the destruction of FUG, clearly as it is the greatest threat to his empire, the murder of all the Regulars who completed the Hell Train, apparently to pressure Baam into becoming more powerful, and finally the destruction of Po Bidau Family, as Gustang had proven to be a traitor, leading to the events of Last Station.
Powers and Abilities
Zahard is an extraordinarily powerful and skilled warrior and the one and only true and great king of the Tower. Although there are very few people to have seen him in combat directly, Zahard's immense prowess and power are well-known and famous throughout the entire Tower regardless and until the arrival of Phantaminum and Enryu, he was the top Ranker in the Tower. "White Sword" Arie Hon, the strongest of the 10 Great Warriors, had recollected "I have fought Zahard ten times and was always defeated, thereby I became his servant". Gustang noted that Urek Mazino, who he himself acknowledged to be capable of destroying the Po Bidau Family, would still not be capable of killing Zahard.
By just investing some of his powers into his daughters, who are not blood-related to him and are selected by a specific set of tests or a specific procedure, alone is sufficient to make them the "ultimate species". At his younger days alone, his power was already tremendous to the point that his data-self was unrivaled as the ruler of the Hidden Floor and he was capable of effortlessly trouncing Baam and the data of Koon Masccheny when she already had acquired his power. He is also stronger than the data self of Koon Eduan, as he himself openly admitted. In his rematch with Baam after his month of training under Eduan, Zahard maintained the upper hand towards the majority of their clash while yet fighting seriously and upon getting serious, despite being initially overwhelmed, he was able to ultimately stalemate Baam using the full power of the Thorn, although he admitted defeat. His current level of power is noted to be dramatically greater to the point his data self noted that the real Zahard can kill both him and data Eduan easily if he wants and he was able to render Baam entirely helpless and would have killed him had he not been teleported out, all the while being noted to be nowhere near full power as it was just a digital version of his true self. According to Urek's sworn enemy, Zahard's data is stronger than himself.
As one of the top Rankers, while his main position may be a Fisherman, he is also proficient in all other positions and can fit them magnificently well too.
Through unknown means, should the scale of the Hidden Floor be destroyed, Zahard would be capable of projecting himself into the digital world to interfere. However, this method causes him to be unable to use much of his power for unknown reasons.
Immortality and Invulnerability: Zahard is immortal just like his other companions but due to an additional specific contract with the Floor Guardians, he is also invulnerable to harm from anyone who came from the Tower; in effect, this means that only an Irregular can kill him - the organisation with the closest possession of the means to do this is FUG.Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Known for many as specifically being a Fisherman with brutish strength, Zahard is apparently a sublime hand-to-hand combatant.
Immense Speed: Zahard's young self has displayed immense levels of speed. He could effortlessly catch up to Baam from a great distance as well as land a hit that critically injured him.
Immense Shinsoo Resistance: When trying to kill Baam, Zahard was able to remain completely unaffected by Data Eduan's attacks, showing tremendous shinsoo resistance, made more impressive by how he was nowhere near full power.
Great Shinsoo Power and Mastery: Zahard is noted to be extraordinarily skilled in the use of Shinsoo and, although he wasn't its greatest user, he is still among the greatest at manipulating Shinsoo. His younger self's level of control could effortlessly create and perfectly control up to 26 Baangs and perform extremely powerful attacks. Baam proved to be unable to match him effectively even with all the skills he had acquired from Koon's training and only with the Thorn powering him was he able to overpower Zahard's data. The level of power Zahard's current self has was so great that his presence could exert sufficient pressure to pin down Eduan and Baam as well as his data self.
- Shinwonryu: A technique learned from the God of Guardians, which Zahard claimed to have mastered, saying that Baam's use of it was sloppy compared to his, Zahard is able to create spheres of Shinwonryu and can make it explode inside himself to make him stronger and to launch powerful attacks.
- Golden Needle from Mystery Island (수수께끼 섬의 황금 니들): Zahard creates a giant golden needle made out of Shinsoo. 
- Zahard Style Air Explosion Iron Fist (자하드식 공파술 금강장): Zahad sends his enemy flying with a strong Shinsoo blast. With this attack, Zahard disrupts the Shinsoo in his opponent's body without touching him. 
- Zahard Style Lethal Move - Rampage (자하드 류 살인기 팡란): a technique used for close combat.
- Zahard Style Shinsu Control Skill - Cosmos (자하드식 신수제어술 코스모스): A technique used with the intention to a cause massive destruction, but it was nullified by Shinwonryu.
- Second Cosmos (세컨드 코스모스)
- Zahard Style Shinsu Control - Golden Bomb (자하드 류 신수제어술 금탄): a projectile technique used by data version of young Zahard in the Hidden Floor.
Due to his famous accomplishments, many of the Tower's inhabitants greatly admire and respect Zahard. However, there are also some envious and trying to rebel against his reign.
Zahard's companions, the 10 Great Warriors seem to be acquired by him through either coaxing or force, as Arie Hon noted that as Zahard had decisively proved himself superior, he decided to pledge himself to him. Although how he held them is unknown, considering the fact he allowed them to start their own families, it is safe to assume he trusts and tolerates them. His personal relationships with them has been shown only by glimpses. He dislikes Koon Eduan and this seems to have begun since his younger days, as their data selves are shown to also not like one another. From how Zahard expressed surprise by their willingness to team up, it is implied their dislike in the future is even worse. However, he still tolerated him enough to allow him to start the Koon Family. He also appeared to hold Po Bidau Gustang in a high regard for his genius, as he agreed to start the election of his princesses when he suggested it. However, at the present, Zahard has shown himself to be suspicious of Gustang's intentions, as he hid the bracelet in the data world specifically for him and was not surprised when Gustang stole it from him. Afterwards, Zahard ordered Gustang's family to be destroyed, showing he is now aware Gustang is a traitor.
He was truly in love with Arlen Grace, noting he loved her more than anything. Although V had been engaged to Arlen, this did not make Zahard give up on his feelings for her and he continued to try to win her heart and even proposed to her, showing his love for her. Even after she refused and despite being outraged at her audacity to start a civil war with him, Zahard's feelings for Arlen remained strong as he spared them from death after he had defeated them allowing them to go to hiding, partially as they no longer can declare war on him but mostly due to residual feelings for Arlen. Zahard was henceforth outraged when he learned Arlen and V had a child and personally tracked them and killed the child but despite being described as to show extreme loathing as he did so, he still did not kill her. He remains ever in love with Arlen to this day, as Zahard does not intend to marry anyone and openly professes that she remains the person he loves the most.
The only one Zahard apparently truly hated out of his companions was V. Zahard hated him not only due to their completely different personalities but also because he was irrationally jealous over V having earned Arlen's heart. Zahard would often quarrel with him so violently that Khun noted only Arlen could stop him. Zahard's anger towards V likely reached it's apex when V got engaged with Arlen and as if to spat on his relationship with Arlen, Zahard boldly proposed to her, showing his lack of care for his feelings. It was very likely Zahard was much more angry towards V for having turned Arlen against him than he was angry at Arlen for rejecting and defying him.
As Baam is the proof of his unrequited love for Arlen and also the love between her and V, it is easily evident that Zahard strongly resents him and had killed him shortly after he was born in what was described as being the most brutal ways. When they meet again, Zahard quickly relished the chance to kill the son of the woman who never returned his love and cruelly tried to kill him in a slow, painful, manner via choking him to death, all the while taking time to taunt Baam on how he will kill everyone he ever met and send them to meet him. However, after learning Baam was able to overpower his data self, Zahard seems to have gained an interest in him, deciding to spare him and also took the bracelet to make sure Baam comes to him.
- Jahad (LINE Webtoons)
Notes and Trivia
- Despite being deemed to have been slumbering, it seems that the rumors of Zahard hibernating are overexaggerated. Proof of this was how he was quick to sense the disturbance in the data world and enter. In addition, he was also aware of FUG and that Gustang had betrayed him by allying with Baam even though Baam never mentioned the organization or Gustang in their confrontation. This would mean that Zahard was merely pretending to not be active while he was actually still awake and just keeping a low profile.
- In addition, the fact that the highest of his forces seem to receive orders from him directly imply that they are aware of this but does not reveal Zahard being always awake to their lower henchmen.
- Strangely, although he implied he was not aware of Baam's revival, as he expressed surprise of him being alive as he had killed him before and referred to him as Arlen's son (which fully confirmed to Baam that he was Arlen and V's son), Zahard seems to hold a level of knowledge of Baam's inner power, as he told his data self he may regret his decision to save him, although he admits he does not fully understand him. It can be assumed that while he is not aware of how Baam got resurrected, he does know him as Jyu Viole Grace and that he has been traveling around the Tower and has been keeping an eye on him through unspecified means.
- Although it's currently unknown, it can be assumed that being the King of the Tower, he has a vast influence and network all around the Tower and henceforth he simply has his connections to survey Baam. Zahard has effortlessly managed to keep up with him as there are lots of people they have met and ignored for not being a threat and considered merely bystanders even though they have watched the team's battles who could easily be working for Zahard. If this is how he is aware of Baam, this can mean he is also aware of the people traveling with Baam in the same way and likely he also knew about FUG from his seemingly vast network. Oddly though, he is most likely aware that Androssi and Yuri have practically betrayed the Zahard Empire, he did not order his forces to kill his rebellious adopted daughters, although it's likely that given Yuri and Androssi are both powerful enforcers of Zahard, killing them would cause too much chaos in the Tower and therefore he is sparing them at least until he can come up with ways to reveal their betrayal and therefore execute them without problems.
- If this is how Zahard is aware of FUG, it is most likely that his connections is how he is aware that Gustang has betrayed him and henceforth why he ordered the destruction of Po Bidau Family. It even appears he has known this early on, as he looked unsurprised upon having the bracelet stolen by Gustang.
- (When introduce himself to Baam as his Regular data on the Hidden Floor) "That's right. I'm the one destined to rule over the very top of this tower. The first and greatest adventurer in this tower with the red third eye on my forehead and a crimson cape wrapped around me. I am 'Zahard'."
- (To Baam) "You don't know where you are from. What a strange kid you are. You are the one who is full of secrets. I am also from the outside. But unlike you, I wasn't trapped anywhere. The place I came from was very vast and spacious. You came from the outside and yet you don't know where you are from. You know about the real me but you don't seem to serve me as a king. Yes, very interesting. It was worth coming here in person."
- (To Baam) "Do you know what it means to become a king? Becoming a king means erasing the people around you. Starting with the people who are the most distant and hostile towards you. Ultimately, you erase people who are closer to you. Then finally, when you have erased the person you love the most, you are alone in the world, and only the one who shines alone can become a king in the end."
- (To Baam) "Nothing beats death when it comes to ending fear, little monster!"
- (To Baam) "You look strange.. Those golden eyes.. I thought I killed you before."
- (To Baam) "Son of Arlene. I can tell just from looking at your eyes. I don't know how you manage to come back to life. But fate is really toying with us. Son of the woman I loved more than anyone. I didn't think I would get to kill you again with my own two hands."
- (To Baam) "Don't be too sad. I'm going to find everyone here and on the train, and everyone you have ever run into. Then once I have killed them all, I will send them to you. So rest in peace."
- (To data of his Regular self) "However. Since that day when I began to see all causes and effects from the same height as God. I found out how to play around with fate. Cruel fate."
- (Talking about Baam to himself) "Go! Leave this place, meet the real me on the outside and ask him for me. 'What made you all change like that?' What on earth has really happened?"