Dragon Devouring Chapter 162

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EPISODE. 81

* * *

The Slaying of a Colossus.

According to the records, the first superhuman who devised “La Mancha” supposedly pierced a mountain with a single spear throw, creating a long cavern in its wake.

The spear technique included in La Mancha, true to its name, possessed the power to pierce even a colossal god.

Of course, Russell did not possess the same aura or strength as that superhuman.

However—

‘What I lack in strength, I can make up for with magic.’

He had the ability to patch things up as needed.

Destroying mountains was unnecessary, nor did he require the same level of power as that superhuman.

All that was needed was enough force to penetrate the six-headed hydra!

The fire spear launched from Russell’s hand spewed flames.

Thud—!

The force of the strike resonated throughout the structure.

The hydra, with its near-undying regenerative capabilities, screamed in agony as the fire spear burrowed into a gap that its regeneration could not reach.

[Aggghhhhh—!]

[It hurts, it hurts—!]

[It’s hot—!!]

Yet, Russell’s true magical prowess had not yet fully revealed itself.

If it was the spear technique that had pierced the creature’s wounds, it was now time for the magic to demonstrate its true worth.

‘Disperse, Explode—!’

Boom!

A deep crimson flame exploded from the inside of the hydra. The intense heat seared its muscles, scorched its bones, and melted its lungs.

It didn’t stop there—it burnt through the blood vessels leading to the heart!

Flames whooshed and crackled!

Gáe Bolg.

This magic, created by Russell, was also a testament to his direct growth as a mage.

It was only natural for his abilities to grow alongside him. Now in his sixth circle, the Gáe Bolg he conjured wielded power that was on another level entirely compared to when it was in the fifth circle.

A single deployment could melt a vast meadow into a puddle with its power.

And there were twelve layers of it overlaid.

Whoosh!

It took but an instant for the hydra’s insides to become a blazing inferno.

Aaaaaagh!

Suffering from the pain of its body roasting from the inside, the creature belched smoke from its innards through its maw.

It flailed wildly, twisting its massive frame.

Like a beast struggling to extinguish the flames engulfing its body, it instinctively rolled its body across the ground in desperation.

However, it wasn’t an external fire it could smother; it was an inner blaze that wouldn’t be quelled by such actions.

The real problem, however, lay elsewhere.

Rumble, grumble—

As the ten-meter behemoth thrashed about, the earth beneath twisted and churned.

A single lash out toppled several trees into splinters, and its heads flew off, wreaking havoc in the area.

The destructive force brought down a moss-covered hillock in the middle of the swamp.

Crash!

If left unchecked, catastrophic damage would ensue, leading Alan to muster his magical power.

Squeezing every bit of power from his six circles, he poured mana non-stop into the mana rod, creating an immense wall of ice.

Bang, bang, bang, crash!

Aghhh!

The thick ice wall collided with the massive body, causing shockwaves to echo within it.

Each impact left the ice wall trembling, as if it were about to crumble, cracks spreading across its surface.

Snap, crack—

Then, suddenly, with a metallic sound, dozens of iron chains shot towards the sky, slicing through the water.

Using the sand iron buried beneath the muddy swamp, these weren’t ordinary chains. They were heavy with the earth’s gravity, wrapping around the hydra’s entire form.

Clank, clatter—

The chains interlocked, their sharp metallic sound grating on the ears.

Under normal conditions, the hydra would have shrugged off gravity with its formidable magical defense and torn the iron chains apart.

However, grievously wounded and close to death, the hydra no longer possessed such strength.

[Grrrrr—!]

[I curse you! I shall curse you all!]

[I am His devotee, and He has shared His power with me—!!]

[Upon His arrival, your pitiful lands will face their end!]

The beast spewed unceasing curses and venom, but that was all.

‘Devotee? Him?’

Russell tilted his head, catching a few keywords in the creature’s babbling.

It was an implicit admission of someone behind the scenes.

After a few more minutes of non-stop cursing and smoke, the creature’s body collapsed.

Thump—

Ssshhh—

The water from the swamp rippled and receded. The hydra had finally collapsed, its life force fully exhausted.

With the death of the hydra, its dominion over the other beasts also dissolved.

Kiiik?

Kiieeek?

Creatures that had been locked in a deadly struggle until moments before now let out confused cries.

As if asking, “Why were we risking our lives fighting here?”

Kik, kieek—!

Then, upon facing the sodden soldiers with their spears and swords, they scattered in panic.

The enemies had already lost the will to fight any longer.

Besides, these creatures had dwelled in this vast swamp long before.

‘It makes no sense to hunt every beast in this vast swamp…’

It was unlikely for them to assemble unless another monster like the hydra appeared.

“Do not pursue!”

Count Rainkel, watching the scene unfold, raised his sword high.

“Spend the time you would chase them better attending to comrades, brothers! Transport the seriously wounded to the rear, and swiftly report the less severely injured!”

He roared, stopping the soldiers from chasing the beasts.

“The monster that threatened our domain has been felled by the hands of two young heroes of the kingdom!”

“And we have successfully protected the tomorrows of our families, our neighbors—!”

“This day’s battle is our victory!”

Though not eloquent, the count’s heart-felt proclamation resonated deeply. The soldiers echoed in unison.

“Hooraaaaaah—!!!!!!”

The roar, thunderous as if to ensure the news of today’s victory would reach the entirety of the count’s domains.

─────!!!

* * *

“I truly thank thee, Count Raymond, Sir Alan.”

Having concluded the successful subjugation, Count Rainkel addressed Russell and Alan as they were returning to their domain.

“Without both of you, who knows what would have become of my countship…”

He added.

“The count and Sir Alan are the benefactors and heroes of this Rainkel countship, of all our people.”

Once more, it was clear that the man was no orator.

But precisely for that reason, his sincerity was palpable.

Regardless, neither Russell nor Alan enjoyed being the focus of such fervent gazes.

Alan gave an awkward smile.

Russell cleared his throat with a cough.

“Ahem.”

Seeming to seek conversation elsewhere, Russell steered the topic in a different direction.

“It will be a busy time ahead, no doubt.”

Upon Russell’s remark, Count Rainkel nodded with a bitter expression.

“That is true…”

Nineteen had died, twenty-two were seriously injured—all casualties from this subjugation.

Including those with minor injuries, the numbers would more than double.

There was much to be done—the care and compensation for the injured, and repairing the severely damaged walls of the count’s castle.

Not least of all, the overall morale of the domain after the hydra’s attack needed to be uplifted.

“Fortunately, we have a substantial reserve of funds set aside for famine relief. Those should keep us afloat until the lake is fully decontaminated.”

The count internally listed all the tasks needing to be completed as they approached the future.

“We can also sell some reserves to finance the reconstruction of our castle walls.”

His voice was calm, despite the need to tap into such significant reserves all at once.

“One might think it regrettable to disburse such assets at once…”

At the sound of these words, a fifth circle wizard following them, Reiman, mumbled inaudibly, and Count Rainkel shrugged nonchalantly.

“These reserves were set aside precisely for such an occasion. Since they belong to the people of my domain, not me, there is nothing to lament.”

Following his murmured sentiment, he continued.

“More importantly…”

“If it’s not too much trouble, might I ask you to stay a few more days in our domain?”

Now that the task of hydra subjugation was complete, it would not be strange for the dispatched wizard contingent from the capital to leave at any time.

Yet, Count Rainkel was requesting them to stay a little longer.

“We’re thinking of throwing a festival, using some of my personal wealth to brighten up the realm, especially the afflicted areas. So, please…”

Explaining to the inquiring Russell, the count spoke.

“…It would be an honor if our heroes, who saved the countship, would grace the festival with their presence.”

.

.

“Look out over there!”

“Rock falling, get out of the way—!”

Crack, rumble—

Drawn by the sudden loud noise, Russell looked out the window to see people busily repairing the domain.

As strength was applied to a wooden lever, a rock embedded in the side of a house was gradually pried loose.

Elsewhere, carpenters scurried from roof to roof repairing damages, and women and children bustled about bringing food and drink amid the restoration.

Soldiers and citizens worked together in harmony to mend the domain—a scene almost unbelievable considering the recent attack.

Additionally, with rumors of the count funding a festival, a throng of merchants gathered at the city gates, creating a bustling marketplace.

Russell’s lips curved slightly upward as he observed the warm atmosphere.

‘A domain, huh…’

He thought of the domain he had been granted by the king, the County of Raymond.

Although technically under his charge, he left management to several mayors—he didn’t want to appear interfering with their successful administration and had refrained from visiting…

‘Seeing Count Rainkel’s domain makes me want to pay mine a visit.’

After returning to the capital, if there were no special matters, he decided he should make time for a visit.

Just as Russell was contemplating this, the festival, as mentioned by Count Rainkel, began after a few days had passed.

.

.

The lively music and raucous voices originating from the village flowed through the open window into the inner corridors of the lord’s castle.

With that in the background, Russell adjusted his attire.

Behind him, Alan and the other members of the wizard contingent stood at attention.

Once their preparation was complete, Russell signaled a servant, who reached out.

Clunk—

As the servant pulled the door handle, the bright light inside the banquet hall spilled outside.

And soon after, the servant bellowed.

“Enter the Morningstar Count, head of the capital’s wizard contingent, and his party—!!”

The sonorous announcement drew all eyes within the hall to the entrance.

.

.

Beneath the serene moonlight, atop the highest spire, stood a figure watching the scene.

Clad entirely in black with dark hair, a heavy shadow enveloped the surroundings, with eyes reflecting the glow of amber, reminiscent of a reptile.

– A human festivity.

The man murmured indifferently as he stepped forward with dry steps towards the hall of the gathering.

Thud, thud.

The Dragon-Devouring Mage.

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