Dragon Devouring Mage Chapter 222

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Dragon devouring mage

EPISODE.111

Using the Warp Gate to return to the capital, what awaited Russell was a summons from the royal family. It was an urgent call, allowing no time for rest or preparation. Perhaps it was because they couldn’t afford to idle Russell’s superhuman-level power as they were on the brink of war, though not directly engaged.

Daria, Russell’s master, was escorting him. Compared to when they last met, she looked a tad more fatigued. But that couldn’t be helped. With the Tower Master on the battlefield, Nicolo maintaining the supply line, and Hemingway organizing reinforcements—magic security in the capital was virtually left to her alone.

Despite the situation, she had not set aside any of her existing duties, so even if she didn’t tire physically, mental fatigue seemed inevitable. Aware of her own condition, Daria muttered as they walked along the garden path within the castle walls.

“People say we need to bask in the sunlight to live, and here I am strolling with my youngest disciple at lunchtime after so long. This is nice.”

Her words were also meant to lighten the mood. Though Endymion wasn’t directly engaging in open warfare, an allied nation was under attack. The current wars could at any time ignite the fuse for a full-blown conflict with the Empire.

Perhaps because of this, an odd tension lingered not only in the capital but within the royal castle as well. The stern faces of the knights passing by, as well as the quieter than usual maids and pages, were not mere delusions.

“Besides that…”

While assessing the atmosphere, Daria suddenly turned around, continuing to walk backward.

“It seems you’ve properly found what you were looking for.”

Perhaps due to reaching the 8th Circle, Daria, who had not easily revealed her skills to Russell, had effortlessly grasped his current abilities. This time was no exception. Her eyes, which swept over Russell’s body and settled near his heart, sparkled with curiosity.

“Even before we left, he was barely at the mid-7th Circle level, but now his magical power has somehow reached the 7th Circle Master level.”

Unless there was a wall he hadn’t yet encountered, wasn’t his power not much different from that of a 7th Circle Master?

“I was just lucky,” Russell said bitterly. Indeed, he did not believe all he had achieved was solely due to his efforts. He was fortunate to be born as a descendant of the Otherworld’s savior and to inherit what the Dragon King left behind.

While effort was part of his journey, he couldn’t deny the role of luck.

At that moment, “thud!”

“Ugh!”

Suddenly, stars flashed before his eyes. It was a strike too swift for even a superhuman to react to, yet there was no malicious intent. Daria, his master, had landed a playful smack.

“You speak as if you’re spoiling yourself with luxury only to defile the chamber pot.”

“Eh?” Russell was taken aback.

Her rhyme was too crisp to be considered an admonishment. Daria’s lesson was not over yet.

“No matter how high-quality the mineral you acquire, turning it into a fine sword entirely depends on the blacksmith’s effort and the flames he stokes. Likewise, the power you hold wouldn’t have been possible without your own hard work.”

Daria stopped retreating and lightly tapped Russell’s solar plexus, having casually approached him.

“Stand tall, lad. You are recognized by none other than Daria Snow White and have been accepted as my disciple. If you’re not remarkable, then it’s my fault.”

She chuckled, seemingly amused by her own words.

Realizing his master had read his thoughts and was addressing his concerns, Russell quietly laughed, feeling a sense of comfort.

“Master.”

“Hmm?”

At Russell’s call, Daria tilted her head, and he calmly replied.

“Thank you.”

“All of a sudden? What are you thanking me for, you silly boy?”

Though she spoke dismissively, Daria may not have felt bad after all. She shyly turned her head to hide a blushing face.

* * *

Just a few minutes later, Daria and Russell arrived at the Grand Council Chamber, located at the heart of the royal palace. A meeting room of vast size, accommodating top bureaucrats from various departments as well as great lords from the capital’s vicinity.

As a noble of the capital, Russell had frequented this room with various promotions. Yet today, the chamber’s atmosphere was graver than usual, the air heavy and somber.

Perhaps it was because Hecate, who sat on the regent’s throne, was deemed too inexperienced to face the great trial of war on her own.

“We have arrived.”

At the highest seat of the Grand Council Chamber sat the king, who was believed to have retired from the front lines. Hecate sat next to him.

“Flame Tower’s Daria Snow White greets His Majesty the King.”

“Flame Tower’s mage, Russell Raymond, greets His Majesty the King.”

Following his master, Russell bowed his head according to law and courtesy, then glanced around the room to gauge the atmosphere.

“Your Majesty, has something happened?”

It was natural for the mood to be solemn during wartime, yet it felt even heavier than at yesterday’s meeting. Something beyond the prediction of Daria, a critical power and linchpin of the kingdom, had occurred in the short time it took to travel from the Flame Tower to the council room.

At Daria’s question, the king sighed deeply.

“Just a few minutes ago, a report flew in from Kiel.”

It was clearly a harbinger of bad news.

* * *

Boom!

With the explosive force of a wall collapsing, the ground shook as if hit by an earthquake. Amidst the violent trembling, a huge shockwave emanated from the impact, causing sharp rocks to jut out haphazardly.

War Hammer.

The shockwave was the work of an Endymion superhuman aura practitioner, Arex Kailen, wielding a literal heavy war hammer.

No undead, no matter how regenerative, could withstand such destructive force. But…

“Heavy breathing.”

The one holding Arex back was not a mere undead horde, but rather feared adversaries from Britannia—a superhuman.

Indeed, not one, but two.

“Damn detestable creatures!”

Arex ground his teeth, whether filled with grit or fragments of broken teeth, it was hard to tell.

His huge stature, appearing like four grown men stacked together, was long drenched in blood. Charred flesh and singed fur reeked foully. Most notably, a puncture wound through his left shoulder was causing significant trouble.

‘It’s just a tiny wound the size of a finger… yet I can hardly move my whole shoulder.’

But of course, for his shoulder was pierced not by an ordinary blade, but by the spear of lightning itself. Likely, residual currents were still gnawing at his nerves and joints.

Krrrrrrrrr…

As the dust settled, two men slowly emerged from the debris of shattered undead. A middle-aged man wielding a sword in each hand and an elegant old man with long white beard. They were Aura practitioners, Jia Vol Nihil and Walter Pigrett, both prominent figures of the Empire.

“To still have so much strength despite such wounds. Certainly, the tenacity of Endymion’s folk is not to be underestimated,” Walter remarked, impressed by Arex’s resilience.

Jia Vol responded, “Yet he won’t last much longer, perhaps about thirty minutes at most?”

“Hah. It’s your habit to grow complacent once the upper hand is gained, I’ve told you time and again,” Walter chided lightly.

“So what?”

As far as they were concerned, Arex was insignificant compared to their casual conversation. After all, although Arex had more experience as a superhuman, he was at a stylistic disadvantage against these two.

‘Fast swordplay with dual swords and a mage specializing in lightning magic…’

With such adversaries, it was inevitable for one who chose power over speed, like himself, to face incompatible confrontation—especially when facing not one, but two of them.

‘I must retreat.’

But to do so, he had to overcome the formidable foes before him. Drawing on extensive battle experience, Arex gripped his war hammer tightly.

The fierce fighting spirit seemed to crush the surroundings as the hammer in his hand started to spin menacingly.

The air became turbulent, and nearby rocks and dust tumbled violently, obscuring vision. Such power, seemingly beyond mere physical might, was what made one a superhuman.

Yet the two foes in front of Arex were also at the threshold of superhuman capabilities.

“Ready for more?” Jia Vol asked, seeing the storm brewing.

“Persistent bugger!”

The two countered without panic. Jia Vol crossed his twin blades in a T-shape, drawing forth energy, while Walter converted the magic pumped from his heart into lightning, enveloping his fingers.

Crackling sounds echoed as Arex’s storm reached its zenith. As the destructive force infused the hammer, he swung down with all his might!

From the gale, Jia Vol intervened with a swift slash—a predatory beast biting into its prey—and in that moment, Walter unleashed a torrent of lightning bolts following the path drawn in the sky.

“Strike now!” At Walter’s signal, the lightning bolts met the storm, crackling violently as they wrapped around it.

Arex bellowed in an almost bear-like roar, overcoming the stabbing pain of lightning magic and slamming the centrifugal force-laden hammer onto the ground.

The impact sent shockwaves out in a fan shape, the ground billowed like a tidal wave, sweeping wildly across the area—a monumental moment of destruction!

The swirling debris and dust became even more intense than before, blocking visibility entirely.

“Cough, he’s trying to blind us and then sneak an attack?”

“Ignore the parlor tricks!”

The two prepared for any follow-up assault, and the sound of a signaling horn reached their ears, signifying retreat.

Moments later, as the vibrations subsided, the aftermath unfolded through the settling dust.

“Retreat, retreat!”

“Fall back! Regroup!”

Soldiers weaved their way past undead, retreating and reorganizing, and…

“Hah!”

“Retreated, has he?”

Where Arex once stood, amidst the grotesquely crumpled ground, there was no sign; only a puddle of blood remained, evaporating from the lingering heat of lightning.

Ssshhhhh…

* * *

“That was the first item in the report that just arrived,” the king explained, updating them on the situation involving the Mage Who Swallowed the Dragon.

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