Dragon Devouring Mage Chapter 238

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Dragon devouring mage

EPISODE 119

Kyaaaaak, kyaaak!

The air was filled with delighted shrieks and the odd sounds of frantic movement. Sherbet, having transformed back from a bracelet into a Hatchling, was madly dashing and romping around the inside of the mud hut.

Gyaruruuruuk─!

Pepper, as if responding in kind, crouched and pounced like a wild beast on the hunt, eying Sherbet intently before leaping into the air.

The chase ensued inside the hut, and, caught off guard, Sherbet was swiftly pinned down, playfully crying out while on her back.

Kyaaak, kyaaaak!

Then, Pepper sneakily withdrew.

With the pressure gone, Sherbet acted as if nothing had happened and began to run about the house once again, udadada.

At a glance, it was the raucous scene of two young siblings indulging in their play.

As Russell gained strength, it seemed the youthful dragons did, too.

Turning his back to them, Russell sat on his bed, looking down at the back of his hand.

“Hmm…”

Specifically, he was gazing at the pattern engraved on his skin, a gift from the Kings of Elementals themselves.

Four differently colored circles intersecting with one another, to be exact.

As he peered at it, the words of the Elemental Kings uttered while engraving the pattern naturally floated into his mind.

─This pattern is proof that you and we are bound together.

─Nonsense. It’s not a contract, simply a connection. So…

─…With this symbol, you can summon us to the material realm whenever needed.

─Hey, I’m speaking, aren’t I!

─However, you must be cautious. The chance to call upon us using this symbol’s power only comes once.

─No, I am the one explaining…!

─It’s our form of gratitude to the savior of the Elemental Realm.

─So, as I was saying—!!

Amphitrite’s irritated shouting seemed to echo in the background like background music, but regardless…

The Avatar of the Kings of Elementals.

Even in their avatar form, they possessed the power of an Eighth Circle Master; they were such beings.

‘A symbol that can manifest them in the material world….’

Despite the one-time use, the value of this symbol was incomparable to priceless treasures.

‘I must use it wisely.’

With that thought, Russell lightly waved his hand.

Concurrently with collecting his thoughts, the pattern on the back of his hand faded and vanished.

It was an aspect of the symbol that it wouldn’t appear unless consciously acknowledged.

Having shifted the symbol to an invisible state, Russell then lightly stretched his shoulders, wrists, joints, and muscles here and there.

Click, crackle-.

With each movement, light sounds of bone crackling were heard. He had only woken from a coma a few hours earlier.

His body hadn’t fully recovered yet…

‘I cannot stay cooped up in the Elemental Realm forever.’

The ties with the Elemental Realm were significant, but there were issues in the material world that needed to be dealt with.

‘War…’

Just the word was enough to cause discomfort and heaviness in his chest.

Some scholars argued that human history evolved with war, but…

‘No matter the justification or reasons provided, the wheels rolling atop are still bloodied.’

As one born human, his hopes and efforts could only aim for this wheel of blood to roll towards the enemy nation, not his own.

Of course, there would inevitably be civilian casualties in the process. However, despite this, Russell remained unshaken.

War, after all, was thus, and he had braced himself for the weight of the lives that would be trodden since choosing the path of a ‘War Mage.’

Moreover—

‘The war that may occur this time… is of a different nature than ordinary wars.’

The Empire which tolerated Black Towers and nonchalantly operated vast armies of undead.

Among these were decrepit and rotting corpses of old, but also freshly created undead.

Where those bodies came from needed no debate.

Russell had personally witnessed the terrifying sight of transforming entire estates and nearby villages into undead factories.

Without sufficient preparations, there might even be more blood spilt in that war than any battle could cause.

That was why, despite not being at peak condition, Russell felt an urgency to move.

‘Sigh.’

Having gathered his thoughts, Russell straightened out his clothes and got up from his bed.

‘Come to think of it…’

There was something he hadn’t asked about yet. Russell turned his gaze and inquired to Eio seated beside him.

“Lady Eio, how long have I been bedridden?”

He had felt his muscles and joints were slightly stiff, which usually indicated around a fortnight—Russell was pondering when Eio responded with a fidget of her fingers.

“A month, you’ve been lying in bed for about a month.”

A month.

Twice as long as he had anticipated.

Russell’s expression hardened.

A month.

Not a short time, yet not necessarily long under normal circumstances.

But, given the current situation, it was an exception.

With the possibility of full-blown war with the Empire at any moment, a month was more than enough to be considered extensive in a tinderbox situation.

Feeling anxious even at the thought of half that time, the notion of twice the duration was worrisome.

Perhaps the war had already begun.

In such circumstances, the absence of a Master-ranked power would certainly mean a weakened force for allies.

A shiver of unease brushed his neck, and Russell’s face set into a firm expression.

“I must return at once.”

“Eh?”

Eio voiced confusion at Russell’s sudden declaration, though she offered no protest.

A slight decline in physical condition, but that was all.

Now that Russell had gathered all the power he had gained in the Elemental Realm, there was no longer any reason for him to stay.

Unlike before, when he had needed several days to return, the journey back was far less complicated this time.

The warp gate home was readily prepared by the Kings of Elementals, no extra preparations necessary.

Wooosh─

With a warp, space contorted, and a gate between the Elemental Realm and the material world appeared.

“Through this gate, you’ll be able to return directly to the material world,”

Demeitel informed while Amphitrite slightly pouted.

“It’s not too late to stay a few more days.”

It was clear she cherished the sentiment.

Different from her previous gruff tone, as one of the Elemental Kings, she too felt gratitude towards Russell.

“I appreciate your words, but there may be urgent matters awaiting me in the material realm.”

“Mm, naturally, we cannot hold back someone busy with their affairs,”

Agni nodded in agreement, and Zephyros added,

“Once your urgent matters are resolved, do visit us from time to time, young Dragon King. You possess a pass to our world, and the Elemental Realm will always welcome you.”

“Thank you.”

With a final exchange of farewells to the Kings of Elementals, it was time to depart.

Perhaps it was the rumor of their imminent departure, but a variety of elementals had gathered around the warp gate to the material world.

From the common elementals of the four primary elements to the occasional rarer elemental species.

All were there to witness the savior of the Elemental Realm depart.

“Well then, I’ll be off.”

Leaving behind the gazes of many, Russell and Eio turned and dove into the portal leading to the material world.

Wooosh!

As the red dusk overhead receded, replaced by the encroaching darkness of night, Allen Page sighed deeply while gazing at the sky through a window of the makeshift fairy abode.

“Not today, then?”

His expression could not hide the anxiety.

After pacing back and forth several times, it was about ten minutes later when he finally burst out of his quarters.

Just minutes after leaving, a tall male elf approached Allen upon reaching the elf territory.

“Sir Allen.”

His name was Higneu, serving as the acting leader of the elf tribe in the absence of Arein and Eio.

Despite his youthful appearance, he was rumored to be well over a few hundred years old.

“Lord Higneu.”

Recognizing a familiar face, Allen greeted him, but Higneu merely shook his head silently.

With a heavy sigh, Allen acknowledged,

“As I thought, His Majesty hasn’t returned today either…”

Allen, who held no special bond with the elf tribe, had one simple reason for his extended stay— he had been ordered by the king to retrieve Russell. But Russell had yet to return from the Elemental Realm…

Of course, Allen wasn’t unaware of the situation.

Russell had sustained severe injuries from a battle with a certain entity in the Elemental Realm and was recuperating there…

‘Just what kind of injuries has he sustained…?’

It had already been a month since he had failed to return from the Elemental Realm.

“Russell is also a benefactor to our elf kind. Should our benefactor return, I would immediately inform you, Sir Allen.”

“Understood.”

About to return to his own quarters, Allen paused as a sudden surge engulfed the area.

Waoooosh-!

Allen, having reached the level of a 6th Circle Master now yearning for the 7th Circle, could not miss such a wave.

“The scent of elementals has grown suddenly more potent.”

“And that means…?”

Admitting Allen’s guess correct, Higneu nodded.

“Yes. It appears our benefactor has returned.”

Their footsteps, without hesitation, led them deeper into the woods, towards the source of the magical and elemental vibrations.

Waoooosh-!

As magic pulsed, space warped, and a portal leading to another world was formed.

“That’s…”

“The gateway to the Elemental Realm, isn’t it?”

“At last, is our benefactor and Lady Eio returning?”

The existence of the gate within the village center drew a crowd of elves who began to murmur, and then, at the height of the magical surge…

Whoosh!

Two figures, a man and a woman, emerged from beyond.

Black hair and red eyes, white hair and white eyes— undeniably, the man and woman were Russell and Eio.

“Ugh…”

Dizzy from the passage, Eio staggered, and Russell caught a glimpse of a familiar face. A half-squint and ashen locks…

‘Sir Allen!’

The appearance of someone with little connection to the elves in this location meant—

‘Could it be?!’

The anxiety that had been nipping at him deepened.

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