Dragon Devouring Mage Chapter 241

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Dragon devouring mage

EPISODE.121

─ Russell, sometimes you’re as endearing as anyone could be, and yet at other times, you’re callously indifferent.

With trembling hands, Russell opened Hecate’s letter that began with those words.

The style of writing heavily laced with her usual manner of speaking seemed to echo her voice in his ears.

‘Indifferent?’

Russell could fathom the reason behind her using the word ‘indifferent’ from the following sentences.

─ I presume you think I’ll understand why you’ve gone off to the battlefield. That’s precisely why I’m writing this letter.

“Cough…”

Russell suddenly let out a choked cough as he read the letter.

─ What choice do I have but to accept this, having chosen someone like you? Despite it all, it’s something I must endure.

“Ugh…”

Each following sentence seemed to pierce his heart.

─ Even if you find me loathsome for being so petulant while you head into battle, do try to understand. I just wanted to see your face up close. That’s where my petulance stems from. And…

After a short litany of petulant complaints.

─ Though I have been whining, I am more worried about your wellbeing. I heard you were injured and lost consciousness in combat within the realm of spirits.

I wonder if those wounds have healed, if you’re okay now.

What came next were her heartfelt concerns about Russell’s current state and his safe return from the battlefield.

─ It’s not for me to say, sitting safely within the palace while you march to war, but I will strive with all my might to ensure you come back unharmed.

I will fervently pray for that as well…

─ Please return safely, Russell. My beloved.

The letter concluded with that sentiment.

Rustle.

Feeling remorse for having been indifferent towards Hecate, Russell carefully folded the letter and placed it back into the envelope.

‘After this war, I must meet Hecate first.’

He then applied a number of preservation spells to prevent the letter from being damaged before slipping it into his chest like a talisman.

That’s when something happened.

Sniff, sniff… Sniff…

Disrupting the pleasant mood, a sniffing sound could be heard coming from somewhere.

Sniff, sniff.

It was Mujaho who had approached Russell, sniffing around him.

“Mujaho?”

When Russell asked, Mujaho finally snapped out of it and awkwardly twisted her body.

“Ah, no. It’s nothing, male. It’s just…”

“?”

“The scent of a male from you seems denser than before.”

Having once been puzzled by the meaning of a denser male scent, Russell now understood.

Mujaho made such comments whenever Russell grew stronger or more powerful.

His growth, which Daria and Hemingway aside no one else had noticed, was something even Mujaho, not a magician, had sensed.

Even before acquiring the power of the dark dragon, she had an eerie ability to detect changes in him.

It seemed too simplistic to attribute these changes solely to the power of dragons he had gained.

Rather –

‘The sense of the wild… Instinct would be the appropriate term.’

Reaching that conclusion, Russell adjusted his posture.

“It seems you came just at the right time.”

He spoke to Mujaho, who continued to sniff around him curiously.

“I have some words for you, Lady Mujaho.”

“Uh?”

Mujaho retreated a few steps at the mention of words meant for her, and her ears that resembled those of a wolf perked up.

“Firstly, I plan to divide the army into several groups.”

Considering the existing forces and their arrangement on the frontline, it would be terribly inefficient to crowd over 80,000 soldiers onto a single battlefield.

This was not a decision Russell had made alone.

It was the result of discussions with his staff en route.

Mujaho kept listening with an expression that seemed to ask, ‘What does that have to do with me?’

“One of the groups you will join is the 1-3 Army, under the command of Count Lugen.”

Count Lugen was an old warhorse and a strategic general who had distinguished himself in the last war with the Empire.

That was precisely why he was entrusted with the command of the 1-3 Army.

“Why there? I’d rather be with you, the male…!!”

Russell cut off Mujaho’s protest sharply.

“Having two superhumans over the wall in one place is even less efficient than throwing more than 80,000 troops onto one battlefield.”

Russell had the magical capabilities of an 8th-circle master, and Mujaho possessed an aura comparable to his.

Few within the Empire could pose a threat to either of them.

Barring extraordinary circumstances, there was no reason to deploy all the superhumans to a single battlefield.

‘Although I’m a bit concerned about the strength of the sociators that haven’t yet come to light.’

“Ugh…”

Mujaho hesitated at Russell’s resolute tone, likely more affected by the firmness in his voice than by the logic of his words.

“For now, please follow Count Lugen’s commands.”

“Ah, alright.”

At the sight of a reluctantly nodding Mujaho, Russell warned her.

“If you disregard his command and act on your own without valid reason…”

He needed to be stricter because he knew Mujaho’s confrontational nature could act up at any moment.

“If you do…?”

“There will be no more sparring sessions with you, ever.”

“Damn it!”

Mujaho cursed without thinking, flinching as Russell’s eyes blazed with sternness.

“That’s, I mean…”

Continuing, she scraped her claw against the floor and added,

“It’s not that…”

Watching her squirm without finding the right words to say, Russell added with a small sneer,

“However, if the battle situation changes so radically that Count Lugen cannot issue commands, or if there’s a sound judgment and basis for action, then you are free to act as you wish.”

Of course, he’d have to explain later what that judgment and basis entailed.

“And…”

Mujaho pouted and looked at Russell as if to say, ‘Isn’t there more?’

“If you adhere to the conditions I mentioned, after the war, I will spar with you once a week.”

“Once a week!”

Mujaho’s nostrils flared.

“You promised, male!”

“Yes. If nothing special happens, I will hold a session with you once a week.”

“Good!”

Mujaho exhaled loudly and nodded. It was the moment when the reins were finally put on the wild stallion… no, the wild King of Beasts.

.

.

Triben Fortress.

Standing in the northwest of the Empire, this fortress was known within the Endymion side as the Blood Fortress.

A golden rampart built purely for defense, not as an outlying fort.

Throughout the centuries of warfare, this bastion had seldom fallen.

Even if it were breached after heavy losses, the Empire tended to retake it shortly after.

There were two reasons why Triben Fortress had earned such a nickname.

The first was the vast plain stretching to the west of the fortress.

In order to breach Triben Fortress, Endymion forces had to cross the plain, all the while in clear sight from the high position of those within.

Thus, any form of surprise attack was nearly impossible, as advancing troops suffered severely from magic and arrow barrages.

The second reason was the Empire’s mage tower located near the fortress.

Called the Galmanium White Tower, though it did not harbor any superhumanly strong warriors, it had historically housed three or more masters of the tower, and was home to quite a few mages.

Their combined magic, unfurled from atop the fortress walls, was nothing short of a disaster for the Endymion army trying to cross the plain.

Inside Triben Fortress, the fortress’s lord, Count Mayhem, grimaced as he perused a report sent to him.

“Hmm.”

The unease stemmed from the name at the very top of the report, that of the enemy commander heading their way.

“Russell Raymond.”

Even though he was young, his name as a 7th-circle master was well-known within the Empire.

Not just famous, but he was ranked high on the list of threats to the Empire’s future.

“7th-circle master…”

The Blood Fortress, or the Golden Rampart as it was known, had been breached on several occasions by beings known as superhumans.

Being the fortress’s commander and not worrying would’ve been a lie.

Then, a moment arrived.

“Do not fret, we’ve come to assist.”

Thud, thud –

With a sound of footsteps, a group made their way into his office.

“Master of the Tower!”

The Boar siblings, led by the first, Stro Boar, arrived. Each had been equally blessed with talent, it seemed, for not only the eldest but the second and third were 6th-circle wizards as well.

Their wind magic was known to be as sharp and precise as the scythe of death.

These war mages had proven themselves not just now but also in the wars of twenty years past, earning the moniker of Galmanium’s White Death within the Empire.

Their magic, combined with a contingent of fifty mages from the tower, offered invaluable support.

Count Mayhem lit up with confidence at their arrival but quickly tempered his excitement.

In a heavy voice, he began,

“It’s with gratitude we receive the White Death’s support. But our opponent is a 7th-circle superhuman.”

Indeed, three tower-level mages were a formidable force.

But to claim certainty in purging a 7th-circle archmage was to overstep.

‘Unless the opponent was merely at the threshold of the 7th-circle.’

As Mayhem expressed his concern with doubt, Stro Boar’s second, Wood Boar, reassured him that they hadn’t made grand statements without forethought.

“We understand your concerns, my lord. But rest assured, we wouldn’t boast without reason.”

“Which means…?”

“Recently, our brother has perfected a new arcane magic. It has yet to be revealed to the academic circles.”

“Arcane magic?”

“With this magic, even a 7th-circle master will be put to the test.”

“Truly impressive!”

Astonished by the claim of having crafted a magic to challenge a 7th-circle wizard, Count Mayhem indirectly flattered Stro Boar, who cleared his throat with pride.

“However, to use it, we’ll need to slightly alter our usual manner of combat…”

“…alter how we fight?”

“The magic requires a bit of space to be utilized effectively.”

Listening to the murmured explanation, Count Mayhem muttered with unease.

“My…”

“Is it too difficult?”

“It’s not impossible, but it’s quite a risky plan…”

Should they fail, it would likely cost them the bulk of their forces.

Mayhem colored at the thought, but Stro Boar confidently declared they could neutralize the enemy commander even if things went awry.

“Do not worry. Should things go south, at the very least, we’ll ensure that villain is incapacitated.”

Seeing it as a no-loss proposition – if the 7th-circle archmage could not join the battle, then their own army, bolstered by Galmanium White Tower, would surely triumph – Count Mayhem consented.

“Very well, let’s proceed.”

After some contemplation, Count Mayhem agreed, prompting Stro Boar to approach the window.

“7th-circle, the youngest superhuman of the continent. An impressive title, but still a mere mid-twenties lad. Surely just a hotheaded youth keen on rushing forward.”

He faced the wide plain, looking out at the enemy’s small, dot-like encampment in the distance.

“As a senior in the world of magic, I’ll teach this young pup that magic is not just deep, it requires breadth too.”

Of course, the lesson would come at the price of life.

A sardonic smile spread across Stro Boar’s face as it lingered in his very gaze.

The mage who devoured dragons.

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