Dragon Devouring Mage Chapter 240

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Dragon devouring mage

EPISODE.120

A military parade was underway in the capital’s park, in anticipation of the impending war with the empire. The park buzzed with soldiers participating in the parade, as well as a throng of onlookers who had gathered to watch. It was understandable as every soldier there was someone’s child, parent, or friend. Amidst the commotion, a sudden red lightning bolt struck from the sky, and from within it, a man with black hair emerged.

Among the citizens living in the capital of Endymion, there was none who did not recognize him. A murmur of recognition spread through the crowd amid an awkward silence.

“That hair…”

“Russell… Russell Raymond, His Grace the Duke!”

“The Duke has returned!”

His sudden arrival may have been unintended, but he inadvertently became the star of the parade. Among those most shocked by Russell’s appearance were Daria and Hemingway.

While others might not have noticed, as mages who had reached the 8th Circle, they could sense the immense magical power hidden within Russell’s body.

“Huh… Just a month in hiding, and he’s reached the 8th Circle?” Hemingway clicked his tongue in disbelief.

Daria muttered unconsciously, “Insane…”

Despite being his youngest disciple, there was no other way she could express the situation.

Aware of all eyes upon him, Russell bowed his head in embarrassment, and said in a soft voice, “I apologize for the concern I caused Your Majesty and everyone here due to my inadvertence.”

The King, who had thus far worn a confused expression, finally smiled at Russell’s words. From the platform, he addressed Russell, saying, “Well, the return of the Duke safe and sound at a time like this is truly fortunate. Now, as the commander of the 5th Army…”

Just as he was about to continue the parade, Daria’s lips twitched subtly. A message spell flowed into the King’s ear, and his eyes widened in shock. Unable to hide the trembling of his hands, he seemed to say without words, “Is this true?” Daria and Hemingway exchanged nods, confirming his silent question.

“Lastly, I appoint the Duke of the kingdom, Russell Raymond, as the commander of the 5th Army,” the King announced after regaining his composure.

The 5th Army commander—an overwhelming position with nearly a hundred thousand soldiers under his command. Russell could feel the weight of the responsibility on his shoulders as he bowed once more.

“Yes, Your Highness. I, Duke Russell Raymond, accept your command!”

His robust response echoed, and as Russell looked up, he could see the King’s lips moving slightly.

Though silent, Russell had no difficulty in interpreting the motion of his lips.

-Considering the timing, we won’t announce it publicly, but congratulations on reaching a new level.

The youngest 8th Circle mage on the continent. If the news spread, it would undoubtedly elevate not only Russell’s stature but Endymion’s national prestige as well. In normal times, the palace would have made a grand announcement.

However, the situation was different now—they were on the brink of full-scale war with the empire. Remaining unannounced could be more advantageous under the current circumstances. This was King Alfonso Latmos’ assessment, and Russell agreed,

‘A card that might take our enemies by surprise.’

Until he revealed his power himself, the enemies would assume Russell’s abilities were that of a 7th Circle master.

After this brief commotion, the parade resumed as planned. Amelia Merwin, leading the White Tower mages who used wind magic for swift transport, would be in charge of logistics.

“Chieftain Hemingway Melville, as the commander of the capital’s defense forces, I will faithfully fulfill the heavy responsibility granted by His Majesty,” Hemingway declared, concluding the formalings just as the wind rushed in as if on cue.

Whooosh!

The wind flapped only the flag of Endymion behind the platform, as if manipulated by some unseen force. But the buoyed spirits of those who witnessed the earlier parade ignored this sight.

Thump, thump, thump, thump…

As the King stepped forward with the drumbeat, the flag flapping in the background, he bellowed,

“All forces—”

Thump.

“—advance!”

With the King’s proclamation, the military spirit surged.

Woaaaaaaah!

Lancers and armored soldiers marched down the capital’s main street.

The tens of thousands of soldiers, who had gathered inside the capital for the parade, now took their steps in sync.

Clink, clank, clank…

With each step, their armor clicked in a harmonious rhythm, and at their head rode the five appointed commanders.

The war against the empire, a long-standing foe.

Citizens waiting for news of victory turned their gazes toward the soldiers and commanders.

As the overall commander and leader of the 1st Army, Daria took the lead and turned to Russell.

“The rest of them might be aware, but you, the youngest, may not know,” she said, “Though we’ve become commanders through our strength, our real role is not simply to command.”

The title of commander was given due to rank, but the actual role was to be carried out by the staff officers below, and each commander was granted autonomy and authority to act independently, Daria explained through mouth and messaging magic.

“Do you understand what I mean? You rascal.”

A superhero, as it were, was one who could turn the tide of a single battlefield on their own.

Depending on the situation, they could face and checkmate an enemy’s superhero or head to a battlefield without one and flip the situation by themselves.

Superheroes had the power to greatly influence the course of war.

The rights to autonomous and independent action meant trusting each superhero to make their own judgments in the field.

“Yes, Master.”

Russell nodded.

“To move with the legion but not be engrossed in a single battlefield or situation, I understand to observe broadly and act accordingly.”

Daria chuckled at Russell’s response.

“You still have spirit.”

Aware of the others, she quickly scanned her surroundings before asking through a whisper spell:

“Insane…”

“Yes?”

Caught off guard by the unexpected insult, Russell was about to bristle when laughter reached his ears via magic.

“Those guys might be oblivious, but you can’t fool my eyes.”

The “those guys” Daria referred to were the other commanders who had failed to notice Russell’s rapid growth.

“Indeed,” Russell began, spurred on by his mentor’s interest to share his recent experiences.

With the city gates still ahead and plenty of time to converse, he recounted the events that had transpired.

“Huh, an Outer God… so there really are gods from beyond our world, just as mentioned in ancient texts…”

Every mage’s natural curiosity was piqued by the unknown.

“I’ve recorded what happened in the Spirit Realm and with the Outer God with magic, so I’ll show you later.”

Pleased with his apprentice’s foresight, Daria laughed merrily.

“Good job. Thanks to you, I’ll be busy after the war as well.” The research on the Spirit Realm and the Outer God would certainly occupy her for decades to come.

Although they ended their conversation with laughter, Daria’s expression was grim.

‘Another fortuitous event…’ While most people might encounter it once in a lifetime, around that boy, they seemed to happen with unusual frequency.

As much as Russell had fully embraced and realized these fortunate events through effort, Daria couldn’t help but recall an Eastern proverb if she watched his journey: “Though the net of Heaven has large meshes, it lets nothing through.”

As a mage who valued reason and theory, she wasn’t one to blindly believe in concepts like destiny or fate, but she couldn’t easily dismiss the anxiety kindling within her.

‘If only…’ If there truly were such things as Heaven or fate…

‘I hope that if the moment comes for this child to shoulder his own karma—’ Her apprentice should not have to bear it alone.

Daria secretly harbored this wish.

After leaving the capital, each army headed in its directed direction. Hours after setting out, Russell’s 5th Army did the same.

“All forces halt. We rest here tonight,” Russell commanded, noting the setting sun in the distance.

While haste to the battlefield was crucial, preserving strength and maintaining condition before combat were equally important.

As the preparations for the encampment were made, the sight of nearly a hundred thousand soldiers setting up camp was a spectacle in its own right.

As the barracks were erected and the evening meal prepared, a visitor arrived at Russell’s quarters.

“Hey, male.”

It was Muyaho, the King of the Beastmen, who had joined the war effort.

Tinkle…

The sound of the bell attached to her ankle was both weighty and powerful.

‘That’s…’ Russell recognized the magic within the bell—it was that spiral spear which had caused them so much trouble on Kuril Island the night before, a gift from the dwarves, more appropriately termed a Giant Spiral Spear.

Shifting his gaze from the bell, Russell inquired, “What brings you to my quarters, King Muyaho?”

Flustered, Muyaho scratched one foot with the other and replied half-heartedly, “Well, I haven’t seen you in a while, and I’ve got an errand to run…”

An errand? Before Russell could ponder, Muyaho growled with sudden ferocity, “Actually, thinking about it makes me mad. Was it only on special occasions that we kept in touch? Huh?”

Chuckling at her hearty demeanor, Russell was met with her typical ‘kya ha ha’ laughter as she entered.

“But seriously, male, are you alright?”

“About what?”

“That female…”

Muyaho trailed off, then groaned with frustration.

“The princess… my big sister. I suppose you didn’t have time to speak to her face-to-face.”

Although they had made eye contact during the parade, it was all. Naturally, he was somewhat concerned.

Nevertheless, given the circumstances, Russell had no choice but to respond, “I’m sure… the princess will understand.”

“She will understand, but…!”

About to raise her voice, Muyaho hesitated. Why was she getting so angry over this? It wasn’t even her concern.

“Stupid male…”

Perhaps as a ‘female’ herself, she was irritated by the ‘male’s’ apparent lack of sensitivity.

“Grr. That’s why I came looking for you, male.”

Pouting, Muyaho reached inside her chest pocket, revealing an object amidst Russell’s bewildered gaze.

It was a letter, sealed with the princess’s distinct insignia.

“Hmph. Don’t expect me to make these kinds of deliveries often; it ends today.”

With that declaration, the Beast King, driven by the same unpredictable energy that stirred within her, exited just as abruptly as she had arrived, leaving behind a message that would yet sway the fate of nations and the heart of the wizard who had dared to consume a dragon.

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