Dragon Devouring Mage Chapter 215

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Dragon devouring mage

EPISODE.108

Deep into the night, under the thick veil of darkness, moonlight serenely sprinkled down around midnight. Where Russell stood was in the midst of a spacious garden that opened up amidst its surroundings. It was the garden located behind Hubert’s mansion—a garden of a private residence indeed, but one owned by a mage of tower owner rank. Consequently, the garden’s size was by no means modest.

Russell gauged the garden’s expanse, recalling the previous day when Ioa had transformed into the Silver Dragon. Nodding slowly to himself, he thought, ‘This should be more than enough, right?’

Although Pepper had the ability to freely adjust her size, it was better to be cautious. If, by some chance, she had transformed into a dragon and forgotten that ability, it would be a serious problem.

Having appraised the area once, Russell immediately began drawing upon his magical power, creating a ring of fire in the process.

Woosh—

Inside the fiery circle, space began to distort like a mirage, a phenomenon that occurred when the boundaries between the material world and the spirit world blurred.

Woosh—

The ring of fire then expanded to several meters in diameter, revealing the creature on the other side, a dragon with an incredibly vast form. Along with the sensation that the temperature around them had risen by ten degrees, Pepper stretched out her lengthy neck from beyond the fiery ring.

Grrrr—

Reuniting with her contractor—or rather, her new master—Pepper seemed delighted, rubbing her enormous head this way and that against Russell. ‘It seems strength isn’t the only thing that’s grown; her mentality remains the same.’

She seemed more like a pet than a dragon, causing Russell to chuckle to himself before reaching out to stroke the giant snout, assessing Pepper’s changed form. Her body had grown several times larger, and she now had four pairs of wings, her appearance more regal like a true dragon than the sleeker form she once resembled.

However, she was not entirely the same as a typical dragon.

‘Her body is semi-transparent.’

Perhaps because she was based on a spirit, like other spirits, she possessed a translucent form. Her appearance was reminiscent of a red garnet, and at times, it seemed to flicker like flames.

‘And her power is…’

Grrrrrr—

‘Similar to my own?’

Although she hadn’t reached the mastery of the 7th circle, which could be considered the ancestral level of magic associated with dragons, it wasn’t an extraordinary level of power. However, this was a misconception often held by the public. Not all dragons possessed such power from birth. Usually, they absorbed mana over a long period and grew into their power, with only ancient dragons over 10,000 years old truly reaching that level of power.

In fact, there are records that only ancient dragons possess power that could be considered at the level of the “master of magic.” It was said that freshly mature dragons were only around the 7th or 8th circle.

Considering Pepper had absorbed only the power of a hatchling contained within an egg…

‘She’ll grow stronger in time.’

Whether or not Pepper grasped Russell’s thoughts, she was already happily licking his face with her lengthy tongue, a strange feeling despite her efforts to adjust the force.

“Enough.”

Grrr—

Russell stopped Pepper’s behavior and asked, “You’ve definitely grown stronger in size, but can you still do everything you used to?”

Grrr?

Pepper cocked her head in response, but Russell received a clearer message from her than before. Although it was different from human language, the meaning imbedded within was unmistakable.

“Can you change your size like before, or transform into a spirit for fusion?”

Grrr!

Pepper nodded as if it were obvious.

Whoosh—

Her body was then enveloped in a great flame, gradually shrinking in size.

Woosh—

When the immense blaze finally simmered down to a small campfire, a tiny Pepper, about the size of a small cat, toddled out.

Gyah!

As if to ask if this was small enough, she cried out and fluttered her even more adorable wings before deciding that Russell’s head was her rightful place and settled there.

Grrr, Gyah.

The little creature wriggled around on his head as if the seat made her uncomfortable, using her paws and tail to shuffle around before curling up comfortably.

As Russell had originally thought, despite acquiring more strength and size, nothing else about her had changed. He let out a soft chuckle as he glanced up at Pepper sitting atop his head.

“Shall we head somewhere more spacious?”

Gyuu—?

With Pepper on his head, Russell headed to a vast plains area located outside the royal city’s walls. Despite being under Hecate’s “strict orders” not to leave the vicinity of the royal city…

‘It’s not like we’ve gone beyond a radius of five hundred kilometers.’

They couldn’t very well test Pepper’s powers right in the middle of the city’s streets.

‘First, we’ll test her flying ability.’

With that thought, Russell addressed Pepper, still nestled on his head, “You can come down now and return to your original size.”

Grrr—

Pepper immediately jumped down, landing neatly on Russell’s shoulder, her body once again engulfed in light.

Whoosh—

Transforming back into the grand dragon form, Pepper tilted her head, understanding Russell’s intent and offering him a considerate gesture to board comfortably.

Grrr—

As soon as Russell mounted, Pepper unfolded her four sets of wings. With a great flap of her wings and a burst of kicked-up dust, Whoosh!—Pepper was already soaring high in the sky.

Vertical ascension that defied the laws of physics; such movements weren’t possible by wings alone. It was more appropriate to consider it some form of divine power dawned upon awakening as a dragon.

Moreover—

‘Her already remarkable flying capability seems to have improved overall.’

──────────!

Air tore before sound, leaving a white trail across the night sky like footprints on a snowy field. Surpassing the speed of sound, along with effortless twists and turns without braking…

With such abilities, solo riding on Pepper to bomb enemy lines and return seemed far from impossible.

‘If flying enveloped in spirit armor proves equally effective…’

Grrr—!

As if reading Russell’s thoughts, flames traced along Pepper’s entire form, turning into a majestic robe-like form around Russell.

Whoosh—Fwoosh!

Russell kicked through the air, breaking the sound barrier, as spacial folds seemed to push away in front of his eyes. A slight smile curved on his lips.

‘While slightly inferior to Pepper’s direct flight…’

It was still an overwhelmingly superior flying capability. Ordinary (?), or rather, most other superhumans (?) couldn’t match Russell’s aerial prowess.

After having flown around the skies near the royal city fused with Pepper for some time, Russell’s body suddenly shot upwards with incredible speed.

Whoosh—

Air pushed aside by the rising heat caused clouds to evaporate, revealing a stunning night view.

A beautiful sight.

Taking in the downpour of moonlight and starlight for a moment, Russell calmly descended back to the ground.

Tap—

Landing on solid earth, he faced the beautiful night sky with a faint smile, having thought about something during the flight.

* * *

A few nights later, a pillar of fire erupted from the royal castle amidst an unusual commotion.

Whoosh—

Naturally, the cause of the fire pillar reaching high into the sky was none other than Pepper and Russell. They had taken off vertically from the center of the royal castle. However, unlike usual, there was someone else riding with Russell on Pepper.

“Ha—”

Hecate accompanied Russell, momentarily overwhelmed by the sudden high-altitude flight before the night sky showered with moonlight and starlight unfolded before her eyes.

A truly magnificent spectacle.

“The view beneath me makes the royal city look miniature, with the beautiful night sky stretched above,” Hecate exclaimed in awe, despite her confusion.

Without Russell’s single hand supporting her waist from behind or his magical barriers blocking the winds, enjoying such a view in comfort wouldn’t have been possible.

After savoring the night sky for a while, Hecate finally spoke in a subdued voice, “To think this was the reason you asked for time in the middle of the night…”

Looking at Pepper, who was flying with them, she mumbled, still puzzled, “What in the world is this creature, though?”

It resembled a dragon, but not quite like those recorded in history, especially the oddity of the transparent, flame-like body.

That was to be expected since a Spirit Fire Dragon was a second-generation dragon, quite different from the conventional ones.

Responding to her question, Russell lightly tapped Pepper’s lengthy neck.

Grrr—

“She’s a spirit I’ve contracted with.”

“Spirit?”

At that moment, she recalled a piece from a report about Russell. Hadn’t it mentioned a contract with a mutant Fire Spirit that bore a resemblance to a dragon or a wyvern?

“If I’m not mistaken, it shouldn’t have grown this big according to the report—”

Russell shrugged his shoulders lightly at her puzzled look.

“She’s grown somewhat since then. And—”

“—?”

“I’m going to increase the altitude a bit more.”

“Uh!”

Before she could react, arms well-toned for a mage pulled Hecate in close once more. It was a gesture ensuring she wouldn’t fall, making her face grow hot.

‘If you pull me in this suddenly…’

“What do you think?”

Half a breath after his question, Hecate tried not to reveal her flushed face as she replied, “What exactly do you mean?”

“The night sky.”

Only then, did she regain her senses and broaden her view, capturing the now much closer moon in her eyes, seemingly within reach if she just extended her hand.

“You’ve had many tiresome duties as the Regent, so I thought it would be nice for you to see this sight. Hecate.”

Russell’s voice tickled her ear.

“Indeed, it’s as refreshing and beautiful a scene as I’ve heard.”

She nodded readily.

“However, if you thought this would soften my heart, that would be a grave mistake.”

Hecate’s reply was firm, causing Russell to flinch involuntarily.

“But…”

Her voice then whispered into his ear.

“It wasn’t too bad.”

Her words dispersed in the wind.

There, under the watchful gaze of the moon and stars scattering their solemn light, the night bore witness to the two in embrace.

The Mage who Swallowed the Dragon

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