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Manhwa / Cavalier of the Abyss

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more darker than the original
Cavalier of the Abyss is the sequel series to Immortal Regis by creator Ga On-Bi. The story returns to that of the mystical world of Chaos but brings in a new protagonist, the rash revenge-driven undead named Xix against the brutal Immortal Regis of Chaos, Nex, who was once known as Jae Hyuk. Meanwhile various factions of the Regis' court and outside forces seem to be attempting to moves around the same time as Xix attempts assassinating Nex.

What happened in the past to make Chaos and Nex this way? Who or what is Xix and the origin of his mysterious abilities? What is the Clan of Night that wants to see Caladbolg unsealed?

Tropes found in Cavalier of the Abyss:

  • Admiring the Abomination: Oski in a nutshell.
  • Anti-Hero:
    • Nex is a cold, bitter, ruthless, jaded tyrant! He's also trying to prevent Caladbolg and followers from bringing ruin to both worlds. This includes ordering entire villages executed because even one is infected.
    • Xix is driven by his desire for revenge against Nex and is not afraid to play dirty, but a good person at heart.
  • Anti-Villain:
  • Apocalypse Maiden:
    • At one point in the flashback Nex is told that if chooses Serin in the coming Sadistic Choice, all hell will break loose.
    • Siana winds up being this for Banaan Village.
  • Arranged Marriage: Yuan and Ninurta have one just set up at he beginning of the series It doesn't last.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Word of God states that Nex is second in power only to Caladbolg.
    • Yuan's parents, Yongje Yeonoh, Head of the Serpent Clan and his wife, Lady Seo.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Xix and Just surprisingly.
  • Badass Family: Nex/Jae Hyuk's family is this. Nex, Serin, Caladbolg, Ninurta Noah, Ouroboros aka Just, Xix and Siana. Iffrita and Miya are no slouch either. All noble houses are this for varying degree.
  • Badass Normal: Biryuna of Serpent.
  • Berserk Button: Nex displays varying degrees of tolerance for the usual antics that go along with politics and court intrigue (i.e. plots, deceit, back-room deals, etc). Openly rebel against him however, and all bets are off; He will kill you, and anyone else who tries to stop him. Thus-far, the only person to press this button and survive is Xix, and only because the palace was attacked right as Nex was about to decapitate him. That Xix is his long lost son may explain Xix's continued existence.
    • Seeing Siana get stabbed by Ninurta set off Xix's.
  • Betty and Veronica: Iffrita and Serin to Nex. Yuan and Siana to Xix.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family/Royally Screwed Up: And how:
    • Nex is a cold, jaded tyrant with a sadistic side who massacres villages on a regular bases, doesn't even blink when Xix threatens to kill his son's fiance, and has Serin, previously his one true love, tied up in an eternal nightmare.
      • Nex is convinced that he's surrounded by people who want to use or back-stab him. And he's right.
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    • Serin is locked in a box, heavily sedated, and subjected to an eternal nightmare, punishment for a major betrayal that has yet to come to light. Nex, however, cannot bring himself to killing her. Which of Nex's children she did or did not give birth to while running away from him are a major plot point. Implied for Siana, Ninurta, and Xix so far.
      • Nex has practical reason of not killing her. As undead he needs her blood from his necromancer aka Serin. Confirmed by Nex himself.
    • Caladbolg, supposed God of Chaos who possesses and continues to identify as Jae-Hoon, Nex's little brother. Due to this, a large plot point is how there's no clear distinction between both personalities. Even though he is the Big Bad he comes off far more compassionate than Nex, acting as a foil. Later it is shown he has taken Siana under his wing, who he confirms is his niece.
    • Iffrita, Nex's wife and the queen, once sweet and a total ditz, now a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. She secretly hates the Demon clan for executing her mother as a political pawn, it's implied that she manipulated the events that led to Serin's internment and the razing of the Banaan village, and in court she's constantly maneuvering to get herself as close to Nex as possible. She may or may not have taken Ninurta from Serin and implanted her own traits to pass him off as her son.
    • Ninurta Noah, the prince and purportedly the son of Nex and Iffrita, although Nex is said to have accepted him without actually checking if this is true; it's implied he's actually the son of the queen and Mikhail Noah, as he bears little resemblance to his father. Nex is not that fond of him, and when he is captured by a dragon-bourn Siana, Nex orders his men to fire at him and declares him a traitor when he defends himself to survive. Currently allied with Caladbolg of the Night Clan and possibly became Romantic Runner-Up to Xix, as his failed arrange marriage with Yuan but is shown to be developing ties with Siana. It's shown in later chapters he may in fact be Serin's child, taken from her and imprinted with Iffrita's dna to pass off as hers, and both the fact that Just uses his blood successfully for the blood seal ritual and becomes an undead after dying proves he is actually Nex's son after all.
    • Ouroboros, also known as Just, claims to be the son of Nex and Serin as part of a ruse by Serin's father, and is a Manipulative Bastard who takes sadistic pleasure in tormenting his "brother" Ninurta and really anyone he can get his hooks into.
      • Ouroboros is also the creation of Oski and brother of Skoll, the wolf demon sealed inside Xix.
      • Technically all the beasts are related to Caladbolg, as they are created out of fragments of him.
    • Xix: An Undead and Heartbroken Badass whose entire village was massacred at Nex's orders, thus he has a vendetta against Nex and made a deal with Oski to gain power to try to kill Nex. He is completely thunderstruck when he discovers that he may be Nex's son after a blood ritual. This is after Nex defeats, tortures, and nearly kills him. He was left at the village by a beautiful woman in flashbacks drawn looking like Serin and left with her family's magical artifact Semek. He was actually killed and then resurrected by Siana in previously mentioned massacre. After said resurrection, he proceeds in a daze to tear out Siana's heart and take it into his own body.... then we learn of a prophecy saying that Jae Huk's first son with Serin would be lost to him. The revelations with Ninurta just complicates his potential origin.
      • Also the host of Skoll, a wolf demon created by Oski related to Ouroboros the snake demon.
    • Siana: Childhood Friends with Xix, and member of the Night Clan. She is also necromancer and like Xix is implied to be the long lost child of Serin and an unknown Night Clan member that Caladbolg/Jae Hoon is convinced is Nex/Jae Hyuk. Xix thought she died when his village was destroyed, but in truth a post-resurrection haze Xix tore out her heart to took it into his own body. Afterward her body was taken by Caladbolg and he had his forces work to save her. She reappears later in the present aligned with Caladbolg, and they believe each other to be uncle and niece. Her true body is with the Night Clan and she normally interacts via replicated one her consciousness is tied to.
    • Miya: The only one to get away from this relatively clean. Indisputably Nex and Iffrita's daughter, she is a sickly little girl who cannot even comprehend how messed up her family is. Xix, Ninurta and Nex all care for her deeply (the former initially in opposition to his own vendetta) the fact that she actually looks like Nex often causes people to draw comparisons with how Ninurta does not.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: What happens when they're pushed too far. Mainly applies to Nex, Iffrita and Ninurta.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Yeonoh Yongje.
  • Biting the Handkerchief: Queen Iffrita did this when she knew Just was strong contender to be throne therefore Nex's biological son. She also did this when she was captured on account Ninurta's treachery but because she had no handkerchief she bit her hands and lower arms.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Xix and Yuan. Also Ninurta and Siana to an extent.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Siana initially seemed very much a Bit Character regulated to flashbacks.
  • Cock Fight: Xix and Ninurta engage in one more than once, the first time over Yuan. Second and nearly every time there after over Siana.
  • The Corruption: Apparently the Night Clan can corrupt anything from the plants, animals and people nearby, unintentionally.
    • The levels of corrupt seem to vary as some are completely consumed and horrific monsters and others like Rana who are afflicted with the taint that causes some illness with the threat of Body Horror transformation and/or death looming over them.
  • The Corrupter: Caldabolg quickly turns Rana into a vessel by taking away her fear.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the previous series Immortal Regis.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: During the flashback Caladbolg. Just as well.
  • Doting Parent: Yeonoh
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Rana, once possessed by a Caldabolg fragment, quickly starts talking about how she isn't afraid anymore and how she was the goddess of the twisted space they were in.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Xix and Nex are both undead who have good martial art skills such as Tae-geuk. Nex has Depore while Xix has contract with Skoll.
  • Establishing Character Moment: As Nex, the first thing we see Jae Hyuk do is ruthlessly order the purge of a village of suspected rebels — men, women, and children alike are all put to the sword. He also chops off the arm of a soldier who questioned his orders. He's not so sweet anymore.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Serin apparently betrayed Nex in the past; the scar on his back came from when she literally back-stabbed him. Just to twist the knife further, she was also pregnant with one (or more) of his children at the time.
    • There's a lot of evidence that the betrayal was orchestrated by Iffrita, and that Nex has long harbored suspicions about it.
    • Siana really took Ninurta stabbing her at Cal's orders hard since it reminded her of the time with Xix.
  • Evil Former Friend: Thanks to the backstory this comes a lot for various characters especially with Nex.
    • Iffrita given her sweet nature during the flashback can be considered this.
    • Seon Yu from Immortal Regis and Nex both consider each other this.
  • First-Episode Twist: Somewhat later then the first episode but it's not until Chapter 4 that Nex is confirmed to be Jae Hyuk.
  • From Bad to Worse: Well, one fragment of Caladbolg was bad for everyone? Rana ends up being possessed by the second one.
  • Girl Meets Ghoul: Xix and Yuan.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Played With. Many people who are well off both in current era or flashback wear pretty clothes. But you are rather "poor", you have to be content with plain dress like Rana, her brother and Banaan-era!Siana.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Between Nex and the forces of Chaos vs Caladbolg and the Night clan.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Nex mainly but truthfully most/all the characters at one point, except Yuan and Miya.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Poor Xix get not just utterly defeated by Nex, but lost all spotlights to him as well!
  • Human Shield: Played straight Ninurta takes his blind companion Rana hostage to avoid capture by Serpent guards. He escapes with her into the main palace where he drops her but encounters the Head of the Serpent clan, Yongje Yeonoh. Then subverted Ninurta is dominated by Yeonoh in the fight and before Yeonoh can finish it he notices if he performs his next attack he will hit Rana who is hiding behind the area where Ninurta is standing and halts his attack, Ninurta not even realizing Rana was behind him, throws out one of his attacks to counter what he thinks is coming, striking Yeonoh in a way he couldn't have done before when Yeonoh had his defenses up.
  • Incest Subtext: Caladbolg, Nex, Siana, Xix, Miya, Just, Ninurta... to name only a few affected by this. A large problem is due to how this is a story of a really messed up family in-fighting and the fact that we don't know for certain who is related to who. Chapter 125 didn't help matters at all.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure: Whenever Nex finds Night Clan Corruption in a town, he has the inhabitants slaughtered; no exceptions. Somewhat justified as The Corruption spreads like a wildfire if it's not stamped out in a hurry.
  • Kissing Cousins: When incest actually did become canon, with Iffrita and Mikhail Noah.
  • Knew It All Along: Nex has known about Ninurta not being his son because of a prophecy all along.... the truth is a little more complicated.
    • Likewise, Ninurta knew that Rana had a fragment of Caladbolg inside of her all along. He was keeping her close to him so he could take her to him and have him treat her taint.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: Used a great deal in this series.
    • The fact that a undead can't survive without their heart Xix is captured and later watches his own heart destroyed early in the series at chapter 10, leading to what should have been Skoll being let lose and his death. Instead he turns up fine seemingly with his heart intact. It isn't until dozens of chapters later in chapter 67 that we found out it is probably because he had two hearts within him since becoming a Undead.
  • Lonely at the Top: Nex lives this trope, as the only person he really trusts is Depore. The tragic part of this is that Nex is actually an inverse of this trope. He never wanted power, much less the position of Regis, but was basically shoehorned into it due to circumstance and the actions of others interfering with his life.
  • Love at First Sight: Just claims this as the reason he's hiding Siana with some creepy undertones as well.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Xix and Nex are related by blood somehow, and there is a lot of evidence to suggest that Xix is actually the long lost child of Jae Hyuk and Serin. Though this might be a Red Herring, as Siana, who is equally if not more implied to be Serin's daughter and has the necromancy to prove it, resurrecting Xix and him taking her heart. Then again, Ninurta turns out to be an undead and a prophecy stated his first son would be lost to him, so really it's anyone's guess at this point. Neither Xix or Nex are particularly happy about this.
  • The Magic Comes Back: When Chaos and the Night connect, magic becomes available to those who lost to during the initial splintering. For people like Yuan who were already gifted, it makes them even more so.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Ninorta. Heklaroth's prophecy about "Nex only has one son and child's mother is Serin" is common knowledge. Hence, he is suspected being a child of Iffrita and her former fiancee. Ninorta himself fears if the rumor is true and dodged the blood test as result.
  • Morph Weapon: Ghost Fire/Will o' wisps when used by the Night Clan
    • Diffor still counts but Nex rarely has need to use her in such a way anymore.
  • Not as You Know Them: Nex takes this Up to Eleven, going from sweet and driven but arguably naive young teen hero to an evil, sadistic, jaded anti-hero.
    • Most major characters from the previous series have made appearances here, more or less along the same lines, but Seon Yu has flipped allegiances to Caladbolg following another one of Nex's (apparently many) massacres.
    • Iffrita is notable as well. Although she never appeared in the previous work, an extended flashback from two years after Immortal Regis shows how she wasn't always an utter manipulative bitch.
  • The Nose Knows: The Kirin Clan, Seon Yu's clan, can identify blood by smell.
  • Papa Wolf:
    Nex: Don't touch my daughter.
  • Pater Familicide: Nex kills Iffrita and tries to kill both Ninurta and Xix multiple times.
  • Please Wake Up: Cal after Siana is stabbed by the knife he gave Ninurta to return her to her real body and she won't open her eyes.
    • Nex after Ninurta kills himself because he killed Iffrita. This is before we found out that he's actually an undead.
  • Rivals Team Up: Xix and Just
  • Rival Turned Evil: Iffrita and Serin were once friendly rivals for Jae Hyuk's affection, and she even declared that he should "follow his heart" and supported Serin at one point, against her father's (and surprisingly, Serin's father's) wishes. Today? She hates the Demon clan, and especially Serin, with a passion, and it's implied she had a heavy hand in getting Serin imprisoned. Later, it's revealed she took Serin's son and passed him off as her own in the form of Ninoorta.
  • Sadistic Choice: For Jae Hyuk: To save Serin, or protect the anchor supporting all of the Abyss.
    • Oski later gives Xix one: His own life in exchange for a dying Yuan's, or personally accomplishing his revenge against Nex. Yuan interrupts Xix's accepting of the former by making the deal herself.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: All of Ninurta's efforts to save his mother, which drove more than half of the story, end in failure. He ends up watching her die in front of him.
  • Shipper on Deck: Just about everyone from Miya to a dragon goddess ships Xix and Yuan.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Translators are inconsistent in this regard. Xix or Jyi? Miya or Mitra? Osky or Oski? Diffor or Depore? Ninoruuta's name has many variation.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Nex and Serin. Their relationship is... complicated.
    • Xix and Yuan. One is orphan, the other is a princess. At first.
  • Supporting Harem: Complete with incest subtext! All the ladies love Nex but he loves Serin most of all, and Xix has a minor harem too but is clearly being set up with Yuan, yet he still has feelings for Siana.
  • That Man Is Dead:
    Diffor: Jae Hyuk...
    Nex: Diffor. You know I threw that name away a long time ago.
    • In the same vein, This is Nex's attitude towards Caladbolg. His brother is dead, and that... Thing is just an imitation.
  • Triang Relations: So many! The main one being between Xix, Yuan, and Siana. Especially as Xix still is not over his childhood friend despite her reappearance as Forgotten Friend, New Foe. Inverse of First Girl Wins. Xix also is envious of the brief relationship Ninurta and Yuan had. Siana also seems to have the beginning of a Fire and Ice Love Triangle involving Ninurta and Xix.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Nex, A.K.A. Jae-Hyuk as shown in Immortal Regis.
  • Villainous Friendship The series has quite a few great example, but in particular the friendship between Caladbolg, Siana and Ninurta is notable.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Seon Yu to Owen and Nex. He joined the Night Clan because the quarantined his home and led to the point that his entire race was wiped out. Nex does that often in fact.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Xix calls out Ninurta after the later attacks the Serpent Clan's capital and seriously wounds Yongje Yeonoh. Unsurprisingly given Xix's Anti-Hero history in the story he gets called out on Protagonist-Centered Morality by Ninurta immediately afterward.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 125 had the reveal that Ninurta is an undead, meaning he was Nex's son who was lost to him because of because of what he's done, and the Night Clan is getting ready to invade. At the same time, Serin has finally woken up.
  • Yandere: The flashback arc reveals Iffrita planned to set Serin up to get Nex to herself. Caladbolg is also an excellent example, with how he is obsessed with his brother, to the point of wanting to remove Serin, and how he also happily tries to turn Siana's childhood bully into an abomination.
  • Yonkoma: As a Print Bonus at the end of some chapters, usually has a lot of Lampshade Hanging.
  • Younger Than They Look: Owen is technically in Nex's age group but doesn't look it.