Dragon Devouring Mage Chapter 219

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Dragon devouring mage

EPISODE.110

Boom!

At that moment, Russell was fiercely engaged in a battle to control the chill that had flowed into his body.

‘What kind of energy is this…?’

The energy that began freezing his mana circuits upon invasion and rampaged violently was, in itself, reminiscent of a wild beast.

However, Russell’s counterattack was formidable.

He transformed the mana throughout his body to align closely with the fire attribute while tirelessly working to rein in the wild energy.

Boom, boom!

Every collision between the energies sent powerful shockwaves rippling through his body.

Boom!

With each shockwave, Russell’s body shot up into the air and fell repeatedly, as though he was a bouncing stick.

‘Ugh…’

Blood trickled down the corner of his mouth, and Russell gritted his teeth.

The pain was so intense it felt as if his consciousness would vanish at any moment, but he intuitively realized that if he lost his focus now, he would be in an irreparable situation.

He had to endure somehow.

A failure would certainly result in his death as an ice statue in the depths of an underwater cave no one could find.

Boom, boom-.

Meanwhile, the two energies continued to clash relentlessly, scattering shockwaves throughout his mana circuits. Amidst this, a thought crossed Russell’s mind.

‘If shockwaves are going to keep happening anyway…’

Why not use these shockwaves to his advantage? That was the thought that occurred to him.

Others would have dismissed this as nonsense, a mere boast.

But Russell was different.

‘Carefully guide the chill.’

While pretending to be at a standoff, he slyly created an opening and guided some of the chill into it.

Not too much, just enough that he could handle.

The area Russell directed the chill toward was a particularly fine part of his mana circuit.

Known in the East as the “fine veins,” these were like complicated webs that branched out from the main arteries, spreading intricately throughout his body.

While the thin and narrow pathways didn’t seem important at first glance, penetrating these fine veins throughout his body was more significant than one might imagine.

It might not have mattered at a lower level, but as one’s proficiency increased, the extent to which these fine veins were cleared greatly affected their ability to control mana.

Even Russell himself had not yet fully cultivated all of his body’s fine veins.

‘I’ll take this opportunity to break through the fine veins.’

Russell resolved and quickly diverted a part of his magical power.

He thinned it out like a pulled thread and repeatedly directed his energy into the fine veins where the chill had entered.

─Crack!

The collision of the two energies produced a sound like a distant thunderclap.

The amount of energy colliding in the fine veins wasn’t much, so the noise wasn’t too loud.

‘Guh!’

However, while the sound was faint, the pain Russell felt was beyond imagination.

As expected.

The shockwave had shattered the barriers blocking the fine veins.

Suddenly, there was a dizzying sensation, followed by cool relief.

Walls had crumbled, and energy freely flowed through newly connected pathways that had been obstructed before.

‘It’s working─!’

A mix of numbness and refreshment filled him, and Russell clenched his fist in his mind.

The initial idea of using the recoil from the collisions to clear the fine veins had proven to not be as fanciful as it might seem.

Furthermore, if he continued to consume power in this way, eventually he would be able to harness the main current of the rampaging chill.

It was a situation with double the reward.

Subsequently, Russell continued to repeat the series of actions.

Deliberately guiding the chill toward the fine veins, he then used the recoil from that collision to break down the barriers.

The fine veins were already delicate and thin compared to the main mana circuit.

Moreover, there were countless numbers of these fine veins, intricately stretching throughout his body.

The procedure required not only careful manipulation but also a considerable amount of time.

Thump, thump, thump-.

Soon, the sounds of both large and small collisions emerged throughout his body, and Russell lost track of time.

He fell into a state of selflessness.

.

.

Approximately two months after Russell had left the capital, it was late at night when the moon, once hanging low, now reached the zenith of the sky.

“Ugh…”

Hecate, still buried in a backlog of work, groaned and readjusted her posture.

One side of her hip was sore, presumably from sitting cross-legged for too long.

‘I need to fix this…’

She was aware of her poor posture, yet as soon as she focused, she would revert to sitting that way out of habit.

Next to her, heaped like a pile of documents, were countless papers.

They were the documents she had taken on when assuming the position of regent.

To be precise, she had intentionally taken on the role.

As a regent replacing the monarch’s duties, the volume of work was naturally immense.

It was necessary to understand the enormity of Endymion and all the reports from the many domains within it.

In addition to administration, diplomacy, taxation, and a host of other issues to attend to, this was the work of a king or, in her case, the work of a regent standing in for the king.

However, if one were to ask if it necessitated losing sleep for more than a month… certainly not.

The workload was so enormous because she had personally taken on so much in order to quickly adapt to the position of regent.

The current state of affairs also played a role.

‘One cannot simply overlook the internal affairs of the Empire.’

As if to highlight this situation, many of the documents before her were intelligence reports from the Empire.

Some were about strange phenomena related to the cultists occurring throughout the Empire, as Russell had said.

And most were…

‘The battle for power among the Imperial Princes.’

Reports detailed vicious encounters between the factions of the Second Prince and Fourth Princess in the Cobalt Plains, listing the casualties and severely wounded on both sides.

The reports continued, noting that the situation was currently at a stalemate.

Other reports revealed numerous skirmishes in the Bemont Mountains, presumed to be clashes between the forces of the First and Third Princes…

‘Also, the aims of both parties appear to be…’

‘The majority of the Empire’s superhumans have maintained silence thus far, assessing whether they are simply observing the situation or if they have other plans in motion…’

These had been the contents of intelligence up to just a short while ago. However, a report received twenty days earlier had turned the situation on its head.

‘The Imperial Great Swordmaster, Piwell Roynan, has publicly sided with the Fifth Prince…’

‘With the Fifth Prince’s forces overwhelming those of the Sixth Princess, at the forefront are unidentified Black Knights…’

‘The Third Prince’s forces have been annihilated by the Fifth Prince’s side!’

Until now, the Fifth Prince, often deemed the weakest contender, had suddenly emerged as a dominant force.

Seemingly from nowhere, he had recruited a host of formidable unknown warriors into his ranks.

The subsequent actions of the Fifth Prince were utterly overwhelming.

‘The Fifth Prince beheads the First Prince who surrendered with a white flag!’

‘The Second Prince and the Fourth Princess unite against the Fifth Prince. Following the ensuing battle, five thousand dead…’

It was virtually certain the Fifth Prince had come closest to the throne.

Then, a few days later, another intelligence report shook all of Endymion.

‘The Fifth Prince publicly declares the recognition of the Black Tower.’

‘The Black Knights leading the Fifth Prince’s forces are revealed to be Death Knights created with the power of cultists…’

The entity that had facilitated the cultists’ maneuvers within the Empire.

The identity of that entity was now starkly exposed to the world.

.

.

Cultists.

Otherwise known as black magicians, they were despised across the continent as public enemies for their abominable and horrifying practices.

In other words, their presence was unwelcome anywhere on the continent, not just in Endymion.

Perhaps it was due to this.

For the cultists, the Black Tower was an unattainable wish, a dream.

Yet, the Fifth Prince, who was now nearly confirmed to take the throne, had recognized the Black Tower.

It was tantamount to acknowledging a connection with the cultists.

As expected, there was an uproar in the Empire’s magical realm.

It was natural for many Tower Masters, who had thus far been silent, to take action.

Among them was Rodric Armstrong.

The Eighth Circle Mage of the Empire and the one who prevented Nicolao from taking the name of the Rock Tower – the most powerful mage of the Imperial Tower lineage.

They say the stone castles he erected could withstand the tidal waves of Hemingway and even endure the flames of Daria, albeit for a moment.

And now, his aged body was thrust from the sky to the earth below.

His vaunted stone castles had long since crumbled into heaps of sand.

Kwagagaang!

With a loud explosion and a cloud of dust rising high, the flapping of wings echoed.

Flap-.

In complete darkness, the fluttering black membrane wings, black hair, and pale skin adorned with eyes filled with hatred.

The figure that appeared seemed to be a man in his thirties.

Yet it was this man who had overwhelmed Rodric Armstrong, an Eighth Circle Mage.

Swoosh-.

Dust raised by the flapping of wings was swept away in an instant.

The deep crater spanning tens of meters and the writhing form of Rodric inside, now like an insect, were all brought into stark view.

The man identified as Gillian descended rapidly toward Rodric.

Then, with a heavy stride, he stomped down on his back.

Crash, crackle!

“Kahk!”

The pain of a crushed spine!

Rodric screamed as though his life depended on it.

His limbs flailed instinctively, trying to escape.

But…

His legs had already been gruesomely torn away at the knees by something or someone.

And watching this scene were Rodric’s disciples and the allied Tower Masters, each covered in blood and dust, sitting on the ground with looks of despair.

With the next move of this man, Gillian, Rodric’s life or death now hung in the balance.

At that moment, everyone heard a voice:

“Stop.”

A voice, young and unexpected, halted Gillian’s actions.

“Let’s leave it at that for now. Gillian.”

The voice, devoid of discernible emotion, made Gillian involuntarily clench his teeth.

Creak-.

Hiding his distorted face beneath his hanging hair, Gillian withdrew the foot he had placed on Rodric.

“Hmm.”

The young voice accompanied a small noise as its owner stepped out of a palanquin.

That ornate palanquin seemed as if an entire throne had been carved out to make it. The boy who stepped out must have been no more than sixteen or seventeen years old.

Descending leisurely from the palanquin, he walked towards the pit, then with a savage grip, he caught hold of Rodric’s hair.

Craack!

“Why engage in such a futile act, Rodric, my lord? Had you simply not involved yourself in the princes’ disputes and served whomever became Emperor, things would have been so much simpler.”

The tone was mocking or perhaps one of regret, ambiguous to the listeners.

Rodric locked eyes with the boy, involuntarily closing his mouth.

“─!!”

Gray despair flowed from the eyes of the boy, seeming to tarnish the world.

Beyond that despair lay an abyss with no visible end.

“You, you’re not the Fifth Prince.”

Rodric spoke, his voice trembling, completely drained of strength, ensuring the words would not echo outside the pit.

The Fifth Prince was a tender soul, so tender-hearted that he’d refuse to pluck a single flower from the garden he cherished, opting to admire it without inflicting harm.

The Fifth Prince he knew would never have such an expression in his eyes.

At Rodric’s words, the boy inhabiting the shell of the Fifth Prince let out a small chuckle and murmured.

“How did I…?”

“…?”

“I’ve already consumed him.”

A deeply twisted, almost grotesque smile curled up one side of his lips.

Another fortnight passed, and yet another piece of intelligence reached Endymion.

‘The victor in the Imperial succession is the Fifth Prince.’

‘The Fifth Prince ascending to the throne is a certainty, with the coronation to be held in a week…’

The ruler of the Empire had changed.

A magician who devoured the dragon.

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