Dragon Devouring Chapter 179

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EPISODE 90

Cloudy Ring.

Weather Form.

The power contained within was potent enough to fully manipulate the climate and reverse the weather of an entire region.

If desired, he could unleash hundreds, even thousands of lightning bolts to devastate the landscape completely.

Yet Russell refrained from doing so for two reasons:

Firstly, he was well aware of his lack of ability to control such power…

And secondly, ‘At this moment, what’s needed isn’t numerous bolts of lightning, but a single, concentrated and powerful strike.’

By reducing the span of the developing thundercloud, mana consumption was dramatically decreased.

Then, he focused the lightning into one point, enhancing its potency to the maximum.

The resulting Lightning Vortex was so powerful it easily surpassed that of even a mighty 7th Circle spell.

Of course, there were downsides.

Despite reducing the area, it still used a significant amount of magical energy for a single spell.

Moreover, because of its immense and unwieldy power, accuracy was a weakness.

Ultimately, missing the target after bearing such risks would lead to a catastrophic failure.

Nevertheless…

‘This time is an exception.’

The target was a monster vast enough to eclipse the sun. Missing such a colossal figure was out of the question.

RUMBLE—!

A column of light, where the lightning struck, soared into the sky.

WHOOOSH!!

Subsequently, every tree within hundreds of meters evaporated cleanly.

So intense was the heat that not even ash was left behind, let alone charred remains.

The shockwave that erupted from the epicenter sent the surrounding area into disarray.

Trees were uprooted over hundreds more meters, their roots torn from the earth, tumbling across the ground.

CRASH AND RUMBLE!

“Huh, what kind of power is this…”

Nicolo marveled amidst a torrent of dust and sand kicked up by the explosion.

He knew he could produce a similar force if given enough time, but his opponent was merely in his mid-twenties.

A man who had only recently become a 6th Circle Master.

The gap between a Tower Master and a Superhuman should be immense, yet the power displayed here was extraordinary.

Amelia Mervin, recalling some memories about Russell, added belatedly.

“…Artifact.”

She remembered that the man named Russell Raymond had visited the royal vault twice.

However, they did not know.

It was only up to the formation of thunderclouds that the power of the artifact was borrowed.

The condensing and controlling of thousands of lightning bolts into a single point was purely Russell’s own ability.

Had they known, they wouldn’t have been so calm.

“Ugh.”

“…My nose.”

Suddenly, Iowan and Arein clutched their noses.

Was it the smell of the trees burning to ashes, or the stench of the Hecatoncheir’s flesh melting away?

A foul odor rose abruptly, triggering the elves’ sensitive sense of smell.

“Still, with such power…”

Even as the chaos hadn’t yet subsided, Allan Page spoke up, his voice uncharacteristically hesitant. Everyone’s attention was focused.

They looked beyond the dusty veil that had settled over the area.

Though they didn’t expect the giant to fall from this, it certainly wouldn’t be unscathed…

“Hah—!”

“And it’s still standing on two legs after being hit by THAT!”

As if to mock their arrogance.

KU-KU-KU-KU.

The settling dust revealed the slow-raising head of a giant.

The giant’s revealed form was not exactly intact. Its skin, damaged by the intense heat, was continually steaming, and its back displayed scorched wounds as if it had been torn apart.

The trace where the lightning had struck was burnt before any blood could spill.

However, the giant remained unyielding.

Considering its colossal size, the wound was relatively minor.

Was it akin to having a tattoo about the size of two palms on its back?

‘Even a direct hit has only done this much…’

The magical energy expended for the attack was just shy of one-tenth of the total he possessed.

In numerical terms, he could use the same attack more than ten times over.

But…

‘The problem is, even if I repeat it ten times, I won’t take it down.’

A monster worthy of myths. That’s when the change in the creature occurred.

CRACK, CRUNCH—

With a gruesome noise, as if twisting and wringing something, it raised its head.

It moved what seemed to be a hundred arms like clay, moving them into four groups.

Entwining and weaving them into four massive limbs, it spoke.

─Black hair and the power of the dragon bound in magic.

“…?”

─You, what relation do you have with Kim Hyunsung?

‘Kim Hyunsung?’

Russell was perplexed.

‘What is that? An artifact, or something along those lines?’

It was a word born from a completely different language system.

It was nonsensical for Russell, accustomed only to the language of this world, to associate a name with such a word.

─You don’t know.

The creature clenched a fist at Russell’s apparent ignorance.

─Well, it doesn’t matter.

CRUNCH—

The monster’s collective of twenty-five arms, knotted like vines, now formed a massive fist.

─I’ve been reminded of a thoroughly annoying memory. Now prepare to die.

At that moment, the atmosphere – the very landscape before his eyes – was violently displaced.

───────!!!

In an instant.

Within the mere blink of an eye, barely a few moments strung together.

‘─!?’

When Russell regained his senses, he found himself spinning wildly through the air.

His ears rang, and blood rushed up from within.

“BLARGH—!”

After spewing out a mouthful of blood, Russell barely managed to stabilize himself. He landed among shattered tree remnants, hundreds of meters away.

‘…What happened?’

Allan Page’s voice reached him belatedly on the wind.

[Are you alright, Sir Russell!?]

Looking up, he saw giant fists of soil and rock trading blows with the Hecatoncheir.

BANG, BANG, BANG, ──BANG!

With each strike from the Hecatoncheir, the massive earth fists were mercilessly crushed.

Amidst the chaos, Nicolo continuously poured magic, creating new fists and hands as needed.

The others were assisting Nicolo as well.

[Using Olive’s magic and the wind, we’ve established a communication network capable of conveying our voices across long distances. Can you hear me?]

Finally regaining his clarity, Russell spat out the remaining blood in his mouth.

[Ptui─.]

Pressing on his temples, he inquired.

[What… happened?]

[It was the same fist strike that targeted Ms. Amelia earlier. It seems weaker than when it combined all hundred arms, but there’s no delay or physical recoil like before.]

Close proximity to Amelia Mervin saved him from a worse fate.

The mere aftereffects were shocking enough.

‘Am I lucky to be alive?’

[Thankfully, Ms. Amelia and Mr. Nicolo managed to divert it at the last moment…]

Facing such a creature, one with the power to summon storms with its fists, was daunting.

Nicolo’s voice then came through, tense with the urgency of casting spells, occasionally cutting off.

[Are you, okay?]

The gist of his question was understood.

[Yes.]

[The lightning, magic, like earlier, can we do it, again? One, more time?]

He was asking if another lighting spell like the one before could be launched.

[We, can only, dig deeper, into the wound you, made…that’s all.]

‘The only thing we can do now is to exploit the wound you’ve already inflicted.’

[If that’s so, make more wounds, exploit them, much as we can…ack!]

BOOM!

A loud blast jerked Nicolo backward, cutting off his spellcasting, but the message was loud and clear.

[Can you do it?]

[I can, but I wouldn’t recommend it.]

Digging deeper into the wound was not a bad strategy.

But the wound inflicted was shallow.

‘If I could precisely target the same spot, maybe, but…’

Otherwise, it would be the same even after ten tries.

‘It’s impossible for me to precisely control Lightning Vortex and hit the same target at my current skill.’

[Perhaps we should consider a different approach, Mr. Nicolo.]

[A different approach?]

[Yes. There might be a way that could not just hit effectively but might even sever the creature’s life-thread. However…]

A method that might be able to sever the monster’s life-thread?

As Russell’s words spread, the breaths of all those sharing the communication network changed.

[…But we need time. Roughly 15 minutes, even with the fastest casting, it’s about 13 minutes…]

[Hmm…]

The giant had started rampaging intensely, unlike the initial stage of the battle.

Biding time for about 15 minutes against such a relentless foe was not going to be easy.

And…

─Krrrrr.

Whether it was fixation or something else…

Half of its fifty pairs of eyes glared at Russell with burning hostility, unlike at the beginning.

In the worst case, up to a third of the party may suffer irrecoverable damage.

Nevertheless.

[…There’s no other way.]

Amelia Mervin, anchoring the beast’s feet with chains of wind and storm, murmured.

Indeed, there seemed to be no other choice. Moreover, only Russell’s magic had successfully struck the beast.

[We have nothing but to try…]

Allan sighed, seemingly aged years in moments.

[Everyone should’ve heard the plan.]

He broadcasted over the communication network.

[From now on, we buy time for 15 minutes. We must ensure that this giant doesn’t reach Count Russell. We do our best to keep it at bay.]

The only means to potentially turn the tides, the expectations of the entire group weighed heavily upon his shoulders as Russell exhaled slowly.

‘Let’s start by replenishing the depleted mana.’

To actualize the plan he formulated in his mind into a tangible diagram, he required more mana than his total reserves.

‘Dragon Transformation: Partial.’

WHOOSH—

A ferocious surge of mana flowed out like waves around Russell, signaling an ominous start.

Allan Page shuddered, having experienced similar phenomena the day before.

But Russell, having replenished his mana, began to visualize the concept.

What he sought to craft was the Divine Strike capable of piercing everything.

‘Or rather, the Divine Spear.’

“Brahmastra.”

Russell’s changing mana enraged Briaereus.

─You! Indeed! You’re related to Kim Hyun-seong and that damned lizard girl…?!

The roar of the colossus shook the mountains and forests.

───────ROAAAAAR!!!

The Mage Who Swallowed a Dragon.

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