Dragon Devouring Chapter 159

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EPISODE 80

Click, metal clanking.

A soft sound echoed through.

It was a faint noise that only Russell could hear, the sound of as many as six circles interlocking like gears.

Simultaneously, the imagery he had been building up was completed into a single spell.

Russell Raymond.

Originality.

Falling Sun.

Whoosh───!!

A blazing sun plummeted from the sky to the ground. A bright flash accompanied by sweltering heat incinerated everything around.

The air in the vicinity began to combust at a rapid pace, starting to evaporate.

During the white night, despite it being close to dawn, the surrounding area lit up as if it were high noon.

The light was so intense that even Count Rainkel, who was leading the charge with the knights, had to shield his eyes with the back of his hand.

6th Circle Mage.

Ordinary people might not encounter such a revered being in their whole lives.

Among the bewildered knights, one managed to utter,

“What is…?”

The same emotion spread uncontrollably like a wild fire, indifferent to friend or foe.

Kyik?

Kieeek?

Monsters, lifting their heads, hissed in agony under the intense sun.

Crabs, centipedes, spiders, and crocodile-shaped creatures to swamp goblins.

Russell sneered at the various species of monsters, pouring out incomprehensible screams.

‘It’s already too late.’

The spell had already been completed, and the descent was nearing its conclusion.

Falling Sun was an aggregate of high temperature and pressure energy, made up of pure balls of fire.

The physical force originating from its mass was practically non-existent.

Perhaps that’s why.

When the gigantic sun collided with the surface of the water, there was no deafening crash.

Only the overwhelming heat radiated in every direction.

Shoosh────────!!

It was like casting a heated iron ball into a puddle, as white steam billowed intensely.

────!

Monsters directly hit by the magic disappeared without even leaving corpses behind, let alone a proper scream.

Their bodies had simply melted and evaporated from the intense heat and pressure!

It only took a few seconds to cleanly evaporate hundreds of monsters.

It was indeed astounding, however-

‘If it had ended with just this much, they wouldn’t classify Falling Sun as a mass destruction spell.’

The magic wasn’t over yet.

Rustling─!

The sun that had fallen unraveled like a ball of yarn. The heat radiated, and flames spreading in every direction wrapped around the monsters like tendrils!

A section of the heated swamp began to boil like a hot spring in hell!

Kieeek-!

Grrrrrr-!

Monsters screamed in pain as their skins twisted and melted.

Just one step. Only one grand-scale spell.

Not only had it blown away hundreds of monsters in one go, but it also seriously wounded twice as many.

A one-man army.

‘Regardless of what they say, a Tower Master level mage really can take on an entire army…’

Count Rainkel recalled a rumor he once heard while gulping down his saliva. What if a spell like that had landed in the heart of his domain?

‘Hmm.’

The mere thought sent a chill down his spine; the count shuddered.

But among them, there was one more 6th Circle Mage present.

As the heated air cooled down, and the boiling hot spring settled, Russell muttered inwardly upon seeing Alan completing his spell a beat later.

‘That’s─’

While the magnitude was incomparable to before, the arrangement of the magic power was somehow familiar.

‘─Is that the magic from that time?’

It was the spell that had instantly frozen and stabilized the ground, which had been overturned and split by an earthquake.

That very magic had reached completion within Alan’s inner being and was reborn as a grand-scale spell.

Immediately after, Alan, having completed his spell, overlaid his magic power over the swamp.

Ice Age.

Crack, crackle─!

Starting from where the mana struck, the swamp began to freeze.

The harsh mana solidified the moisture and plants within the swamp, trapping the monsters’ feet.

The temperature, which had been fiercely boiling, plummeted in an instant.

The ancient Ice Age that was said to have driven some of the primeval races into extinction.

It seemed as if glimpses of that Ice Age were reproduced in this era.

Russell realized why Alan had chosen this spell.

‘Did he secure more space for our allies to tread?’

By freezing part of the swamp, the area where their allies could stand had more than doubled in size.

Though Alan’s spell was tactically inferior to Russell’s in potency as a mass destruction spell, it proved useful for strategic purposes.

That was when,

“Heh, heh heh-.”

Count Rainkel, who had been bewildered by the overwhelming scene created by the two mages, snapped back to reality and bellowed.

“Charge! Charge forward!”

Though momentarily stunned by surprise, the count had not forgotten the purpose of coming here.

Following suit, the other knights raised their voices as well.

“Use the ice as footing and advance!”

“Start by cutting down those whose feet are bound!”

“First Battalion! The First Battalion will protect the mages!”

“Second Battalion, follow me and clear a path!”

Monsters and humans.

Both sides became entangled in an instant.

* * *

A chaotic battleground.

Or hell on earth.

No other terms could describe the scene.

That was to be expected; despite gaining the upper hand with their opening attack, the number of monsters greatly outnumbered the humans.

It was inevitable.

The swamp near Count Rainkel’s domain was quite vast.

Considering the size of the swamp and the surrounding wetlands, the area exceeded 1500 hectares (15 km²).

The number of monsters gathered in such an area was beyond imagination─not something that could be wiped out by merely two grand-scale spells.

It was almost fair to say that the swamp had essentially become a stronghold for the monsters.

The human encampment was hence practically engaging in battle on the monsters’ home ground.

Nor could grand-scale magic be used once again.

The fiercest battles were already entangled with both allies and monsters…

‘I’ll need to conserve my mana for the battle against the Hydra.’

Kyiek!

“Die!”

The sounds of battle resounded everywhere.

Not only the shearing sounds of sharp spears and swords slicing through monsters but also the impact of magical bombardments.

Swoosh, splosh, splash!

The monsters’ retaliation was also severe.

Even the lowest-ranking monster, in such numbers, could pose a significant threat.

Whump, thunk!

A crab-shaped monster aggressively smashed its massive pincer like a club, pulverizing one soldier into a pulp, while a crocodile-form monster opened its jaws wide.

It even managed to gnash at a knight’s ankle.

Crunch, crack─!

In just a second’s delay, the ankle protected by the iron boot could be crushed and severed.

At that moment!

A fierce gale blade cut through, carving up the body of the monster that had been biting the knight’s ankle.

Whish, whish─!

Wind Cutter.

Thunk-.

The body of the monster, cleaved into five parts, scattered, and the knight, who had narrowly escaped having his leg severed, heaved a sigh of relief.

“Th-thank you.”

However, Russell, who had saved the knight, had long since left the spot.

Pfft, phwoosh─.

Russell’s form escaped from the frozen surface, gliding low over the water.

Then he swiftly scanned the surroundings.

‘Where is it?’

He was searching for the Hydra. With such commotion, it undoubtedly took notice.

At that moment, something caught Russell’s eye.

On the left periphery of his field of vision.

Shadows appeared on the water’s surface and then the water began to violently churn.

A monstrous creature, easily over ten meters in length, cast a shadow from beneath, wriggling.

No, it was swimming swiftly, making its way towards the flank of the knights.

Whoosh!

With acceleration, the water erupted in a splash.

It was a creature of immense size and weight.

Its mass itself was an effective weapon of destruction. If it collided in its current trajectory, it would undoubtedly cause significant damage to the allied forces.

“That crazy creature…!”

Russell cursed upon seeing it.

It had been lying in wait to attack from the flank.

Sure enough, it was the behavior expected from a monster with more than average intelligence.

Russell clenched his teeth, gathering his mana, calculating the distance between himself and the creature.

‘Too far…!’

The shadow of the creature beneath the water rippled into a tiny dot.

The location of the creature was at the edge of his vision, more than one kilometer away.

‘Can I reach it in time?’

While hesitating, as Russell gathered his mana and began to manipulate the gravity around him, someone reacted faster to the creature’s movement.

It was Alan Page.

Being significantly closer, he was able to sense the disturbance a bit sooner and thus was able to respond.

Whoosh!

A massive ice wall raised by Alan blocked between the allies and the creature.

Roaring thunder!

The water vapor shot upwards.

The ice wall began to crack, and from beyond it, the creature revealed itself.

Bursting through the surface, five heads emerged, and the thwarted creature let out a frustrated roar.

Kyaaaaaaaaaa-!!!

The creature’s rage-infused roar projected the power of the Hydra species, filled with magic, unfiltered.

“Ugh-.”

“Cough…?!”

Several mages reflexively grasped their chests as their circles were rattled with impact.

Regular soldiers, sensing even the faintest trace of dragon blood, paled.

This was the power of the Hydra, one of the monsters known to carry a potent lineage of dragon blood!

But what Russell sensed wasn’t the magic but rather the thought waves contained within.

‘Humans who killed my mother, I won’t forgive you?’

Realizing the reason behind the creature’s assault on humans, Russell urgently shouted out.

“Count!”

“…What is it, Count Raymond?”

“Has a Hydra been previously slain in this swamp before?”

“Before, you say?”

Recalling the ancient records of the domain, the count replied.

“Three hundred years ago, a four-headed Hydra once wreaked havoc in the swamp, so it was hunted down. But why do you ask─?!”

Three hundred years.

The beast must have lain in wait for three centuries, seeking revenge for the death of its parents.

Until it grew five heads and acquired enough strength.

However, Russell did not feel any pity, as the Hydra from three hundred years ago had been a scourge, rightfully hunted down, and so was the current one.

Thus, without hesitation, Russell elevated his mana along with his control over the dragon species.

Whoosh!

.

.

At a distance, a lone figure observed Russell and the Hydra.

Pumpkin-colored eyes and slitted pupils, clad completely in black, with long, raven-black hair─rare on the continent. While watching the Hydra and Russell, his pupils suddenly jittered.

Then, the man spoke.

-Could it be…

A dry, harsh voice, like torn fabric, spilled from the man’s lips.

The Mage who Devoured the Dragon.

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