Dragon Devouring Mage Chapter 210

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Dragon devouring mage

EPISODE.105

“It’s quite the peculiar mountain.”

A perilous mountain path, where a single misstep could lead one to plummet thousands of feet below.

Muya Ho muttered in wonder at the sight at the end of that path.

“Doesn’t it look like a small hill has been turned upside down on top of a cliff that’s been cut horizontally?”

Indeed, as she described, at the end of the solitary path was a flat expanse of rock.

And at the end of that rocky plain was a new peak, bulging out more prominently.

It was as if a small peak had been placed on top of a large one.

The small peak on top had a completely different terrain compared to the large one below.

‘Below is a rocky mountain, while above is a lush hill…’

Moreover, there was a thick mist atop the plain. Though he well knew that the lower part of the peaks was often enshrouded in clouds, termed a “sea of clouds,” he hadn’t anticipated that such a high peak would also be shrouded in fog.

This detail was not recorded in the book he had consulted beforehand.

‘Is this just an ordinary mist, nothing special…’

As Russell pondered, a voice of urgency came from Muya Ho just as he was about to step toward the fog-bound forest.

“A male!?”

“Mistress Muya Ho?”

Turning around, he saw Muya Ho struggling as if entangled in the fog.

It was as though the mist was purposefully preventing her from entering.

‘Could it be…?’

A thought flashed through Russell’s mind and, with a tense sound, veins popped on Muya Ho’s forehead.

“This damn mist!”

Although it was unlikely she intended to tear apart the mist with sheer force, with someone like Muya Ho, one could never be sure.

“Mistress Muya Ho.”

Her movement halted by the firm tone of Russell’s voice.

“Hmm?”

“Would you step back a few paces, if that’s alright?”

“Um, okay. Male.”

Heeding Russell’s words, Muya Ho obediently stepped back.

Surprisingly, as she did so, the mist that had bound her dissipated like melting snow.

“Indeed.”

“Do you have any idea what this is about, male?”

With bewildered eyes that alternated between the mist and her own limbs, Muya Ho asked.

“Yes. It seems this mist was intended to prevent anyone but me from entering the forest.”

“Huh?”

“So… would you wait here for a while, Mistress Muya Ho?”

“Hmm.”

Despite the clear displeasure on Muya Ho’s face, she soon nodded in agreement after a moment of frowning.

“No other way, huh. ugh.”

Her assent was accompanied by a groan.

“Thank you.”

Thus, Russell left Muya Ho behind on the rocky plain at mid-mountain and continued his way through the mist for a while.

Swoosh.

The nature of the magic that surrounded the mist changed.

‘What is…?’

Surprised by the sensation, Russell widened his eyes. It wasn’t a hostile magic, but the form of the magic woven into it was astonishing.

‘Transforming a warp gate into the form of a mist?’

Magic shape transformation, or altering the nature of magical energy, was something any mage of the tower master level and above could do.

Some talented mages could even showcase such a feat from the 5th circle.

However, it was unexpected that even magic like a warp gate could be altered in this manner.

‘Is it because it is a stationary spell, a mist that lingers in one place, that this was possible?’

Realizing there was a world of magic he had not known, Russell observed the flow of it closely to grasp even a fragment of that realm, and then – tsk, tsk, tsk.

The world around him began to slowly change.

When he came to his senses again, the place where Russell now stood was…

‘A labyrinth?’

He found himself in the heart of a massive labyrinth, Labyrinthos.

[Ho ho ho. The little master has finally entered the labyrinth.]

The owner of the voice let out a chuckle, seemingly amused by the spectacle he was observing.

Then, blinking two gem-like beautiful eyes, he spoke.

[Indeed, whether the little master will be able to pass the test and reach where I am… ho ho ho.]

If it were up to him, he would skip all the tests and welcome the little master, but that was not possible.

The trials set before the master were all prepared by the previous master, the grand Dragon King.

All she could hope for was that the little master, who was still incomplete, wouldn’t give up halfway through.

May he─

[─show the fortitude of stone. Ho ho ho.]

‘How much time has passed…’

Russell sighed as he glanced over the lengthy stone walls that stretched along both sides.

Much time had passed, far beyond what could be counted on one hand.

Having lost track of the days after about ten days, he had long since forgotten to count.

Nevertheless, despite so much time passing, the labyrinth seemed to have no end.

‘How vast is this labyrinth?’

He couldn’t simply fly over the walls to break through the labyrinth.

Russell had tried.

But…

‘As I increase in altitude, the walls grow just as much.’

They must have forbidden such shortcut methods. And it was not only those methods that were blocked.

‘It wasn’t a wall that could be demolished with force either–’

Even the spells Gáe Bolg and Falling Sun, and the 7th-circle spell Inferno, which he had concentrated and fired at one spot, all evaporated in the blink of an eye upon contact with the wall─

‘What’s curious is that I can strongly feel the flow of time, yet I’m not hungry or sleepy…’

The Rule of Threes.

Normally, people could survive three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food, right?

Of course, beings who had transcended human limits could endure much longer without air, water, or food.

But that didn’t mean they wouldn’t feel hunger or thirst.

‘Yet, I feel neither hunger nor thirst here.’

Russell once experienced a similar type of space.

‘It was a relic from the mythological era discovered a few years ago.’

The space inside that relic was exactly like the current one.

This meant there was a high chance that time here flowed completely differently from the outside world─

‘The question is how long this labyrinth continues.’

Despite the bitter smile, Russell hurried on.

To escape this seemingly endless labyrinth…

Time flowed like water, ceaselessly moving on.

This was true even within this mysterious labyrinth.

One day, two days, three days, four days… and then ten days.

The ten-day cycle repeated itself numerous times.

‘Is it… still not over?’

Even though he assumed the time inside was different, he couldn’t help but feel anxious after so much time had elapsed.

How different it was, he couldn’t say, which meant he also had no idea how many days and nights had passed outside.

Maybe a week, maybe a fortnight.

‘Or maybe… more than a month has already gone by.’

With that thought, Russell let out a long sigh.

Additionally, what made him feel increasingly exhausted was the blinking green window beside him.

[Do you wish to give up the labyrinth? Y/N]

[If you give up, you can leave the labyrinth.]

It seemed that every time his mental exhaustion peaked, this notification would appear as if sensing his tiredness.

“Huff–”

Seeing the notification, Russell shook his head. He was briefly tempted, but he quickly dispelled it.

‘No.’

As he wandered the labyrinth for a long time, Russell discovered a few things about himself that he had not known before.

One of those was that deep down he was a War Mage, and his desire for power was greater than he could have imagined.

‘There’s no longer a reason to seek power…’

He chuckled ironically to himself. The reason for his past quest for power was twofold: to restore his family and to avenge his father.

In other words, now that those goals were mostly achieved, there was no reason for him to crave more power.

Moreover, as a 7th-circle great magician, he possessed enough status to be well-received anywhere on the continent.

And yet.

Despite all this, Russell’s inner drive as a War Mage – his longing for power – was not diminishing; instead, it was intensifying.

He wanted to ascend to higher realms.

Having embarked on the path of a magician, he desired to surpass the 8th circle and reach Transcendence, the so-called end of magic.

Magic Path (魔道).

He wanted to see the end of that path or better yet, reach it himself.

That thought had been constantly surfacing in his mind.

With this thought as his motive, Russell turned his head.

Ignoring the tempting green window that blinked as if to lure him.

‘Perhaps at the end of this path, I may gain another form of power.’

As had always been the case up to now.

In other words, to obtain the power beyond this, in the end, he had to break through this labyrinth.

‘Giving up now would only be a fleeting escape from the present difficulties.’

Dispelling the creeping temptation and reaffirming his resolve, Russell took a heavy step forward.

Thump!

The sensation of his foot falling was heavy as if a boulder had dropped, spreading from his foot to his entire body.

Craaack, creaaak!

Responding to his step, the ground beneath his feet split like a spiderweb.

Crumb-b-b-ble!

The labyrinth’s floor collapsed beneath him, and Russell’s body began to fall into the depths.

‘What’s suddenly happening?’

Before he could feel surprised, the notification sounded.

[You have proven your steadfast will, as firm as rock.]

[The trial of the labyrinth is concluded, transferring to the dwelling of the Gwanryong (巖龍).]

‘Gwanryong?’

The Gwanryong, like the Thunder Dragon (雷龍) being a subtype of the Fire Dragon (火龍), and the Cloud Conqueror Dragon (운정룡) being a subtype of the Thunder Dragon, was also a subtype belonging to the Sand Dragon (沙龍).

Whereas a typical Sand Dragon possessed scales similar in color to rocks and sand, Gwanryong featured an array of scales in various rock formations, didn’t it?

Thud!

As Russell’s feet, still in freefall, touched the ground, the creature spoke to him.

[Ho ho ho. An aging old dragon like me greets the little master.]

Its massive body reminiscent of mountains bore scales shaped like varied types of rocks.

‘Basalt, granite, slate, andesite, tuff…’

From igneous to metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, it was covered with scales that matched the descriptions from books to a tee.

[Even though there is not much time remaining… would you care for a cup of tea? Ho ho ho.]

—The Mage Who Swallowed a Dragon

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