Dragon Devouring Mage Chapter 247

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Dragon devouring mage

EPISODE 124

Amidst various rumors circulating within the military camp due to the sudden appearance of a dragon’s form, it was only natural for many eyes and questions to turn towards Russell. However, Russell himself, the subject of the rumors, simply let out a wry smile without offering any answers.

‘I want to answer, but, there’s nothing I know…’

One thing was for sure, something had changed within Russell since that day. [???] Of course, he hadn’t yet realized what exactly that change was.

Sensing the strange looks of his staff officers, Russell cleared his throat lightly.

“Ahem.”

Russell continued, as if to shift the topic.

“Let’s begin the meeting to discuss our future actions.”

Having captured the Trieven fortress and crossed the Empire’s borders, they had to establish a strategy in anticipation of the Empire’s retaliation.

“I shall speak first.”

Speaking for the staff officers, the eldest among them, Baron Donovan, opened the discussion.

“Considering the current trend of the war and the imperial army’s movements from our intelligence, the possibility of a large-scale battle doesn’t seem very likely.”

While he moved the small flag figures on the map back and forth—each flag representing about 500 troops—first, the red flags representing the imperial forces were widely placed along the border in a linear formation.

“Concentrating our forces to break through at a single point is one strategy, but there is a high chance that we might get surrounded deep within enemy territory. So…”

Next, he moved the blue flags representing their forces, suggesting an alternative.

“It might be better to distribute our forces like this. Your Majesty.”

“Um…”

Russell’s eyes quickly scanned the map. His observations leaned towards a strategy of widespread occupation rather than a rapid march to trample the enemy’s capital—a suitable military deployment for battling across an expansive area. For a small nation, the former strategy would be much more efficient.

‘But against the Empire, indeed this method is far better.’

Upon seeing Russell’s nod, Baron Donovan continued with a smile.

“Also, I have a separate request for your Highness.”

“A separate request?”

“Yes.”

Pulling a slim dossier from his pocket, Donovan placed it before Russell.

“I wish for your Highness to move with a special detachment.”

As Russell flipped open the first page, he saw various red dots painted across the map of the Empire.

“Is this…”

“These are the locations of the imperial army’s supply bases. If your Highness leads a detachment to neutralize these, it will cause supply issues for them.”

A stable and smooth supply chain is a basic tenet of war. Should they manage to sever that, the morale of the imperial forces would surely waver. And it seemed as though there was a bigger gambit involved in this operation.

“It’s not just about raiding supplies, but also about instilling unease in our enemies.”

Most supply locations were deep within the Empire’s territory. If a detachment could raid these locations, it would create constant anxiety within the imperial forces, fearing an attack from behind at any moment.

Baron Donovan, with gleaming eyes, offered his reasoning for his request.

“Yes. That’s why I ask for your Highness to take command of the special detachment…”

Only someone capable of infiltrating enemy lines unnoticed and surviving in the heart of the enemy territory should perform such a task.

“There is a list of candidates suitable to accompany your Highness.”

At Donovan’s next words, Russell reflexively turned to the next page of the dossier. About a dozen names were listed on the thin paper, and one at the top caught Russell’s eye.

─Hubert Maximal, a war mage of the Flame Tower.

It was a name all too familiar to him.

***

Days later, before the rear support unit arrived. At dawn, a group left the encampment, each clad in nondescript ash-colored robes.

Whoosh-

A gust of wind blew back the robe of the young man leading the group, revealing his fluttering black hair and steady eyes emitting a red glow.

***

In the depths of night, under the heavy cloak of darkness, a group made its way up a steep cliffside. Balancing as if walking on flat ground, they countered the gusting wind with magical energy streams and defying gravity, showcasing the pinnacle of magic.

The climbers, all moving with ease, revealed their identities: they were none other than Russell’s select group of mages from the Andimion special detachment. Among the ten members, even the weakest was a 4th Circle mage capable of their own worth.

While swiftly scaling the cliffside, a man with pince-nez glasses spoke up.

“With your Highness…”

“Even though we’re on a mission, you may speak casually.”

Hubert chuckled and nodded in response.

“It’s been quite a while since I’ve been on a mission with the priest.”

“Since the incident with the Kingdom of Kiel… How many years ago was that?”

“Kiel…”

As Hubert reflected on the past, his eyes involuntarily deepened.

“Years have passed, yet the situation has barely changed since then…”

“…?”

“Until the moment I left on that mission, I believed I could be a pillar of support for the priest.”

Despite being on the same 5th Circle, his own experience and knowledge far exceeded his own. But the mission revealed that, contrary to his belief, it was Russell who provided support, having faced off almost equally against a superhuman.

Years later, it remained the same.

‘The priest has reached the superhuman realm, while I have been at a standstill…’

While advancing to the 6th Circle meant he wasn’t at a complete standstill, compared to Russell’s rapid growth, it felt akin to being immobile.

It wasn’t jealousy or envy towards Russell, but rather a personal frustration.

Understanding Hubert’s sentiments, Russell spoke up.

“Though you might not be aware, brother, you have always been a solid pillar for me.”

His voice, low but clear, cut through the rising altitude and howling winds to reach Hubert.

“…?”

“If you weren’t there, I would have been chased away from the Academy long ago.”

Or perhaps he would have left of his own will. His earlier time at the Academy, devoid of even the slightest talent, was brutal—yet he clung on due to the burden of reviving his family.

It was Hubert’s guidance that made that enduring period bearable.

“Brother, you’re also my teacher.”

“Is that so…”

Hubert trailed off, then smiled faintly. A brother and a teacher—a peculiar relationship, but he could sense the sincerity in Russell’s words. Then, at that moment:

Click-

Russell, the first to reach the cliff’s summit, peered down on the other side.

“There it is.”

Just as he said, amidst the darkened ravine surrounded by the cliff’s form, the shadowy figure of the imperial supply base became visible. No torches or lanterns were lit at the base.

Whatever their intentions, Russell and Hubert’s eyes sparkled like a hawk’s. Their magic allowed them to see clearly even beyond the dark.

Hawk-Eye.

“They must have a reason for not lighting fires.”

“Light is of no importance to the dead.”

Surprisingly, the base was guarded by a mass of undead, who didn’t rely on sight to find their enemies; thus, no need for torchlight.

“Considering the narrow escape routes in the ravine, perhaps we should unleash a barrage of flame magic right now…?”

As Hubert began to suggest a plan, Russell stopped him. Still with hawk-like eyes gazing into the ravine below, he said:

“Even in war… Shouldn’t we retrieve what we can?”

Looting and plundering—since the guards were undead, there was no guilt to be had. With mostly high-ranking mages at their disposal, access to extra-dimensional spaces would be easy.

‘If we store the spoils there, it’ll do for now. And if we keep repeating this, surely…’

Russell concluded his thoughts with a faint curl of his lips.

Crunch-

The numerous bones crunched underfoot, remnants of the undead that had recently thrashed about.

Crunch, crunch-

Surrounded by a bone-strewn landscape akin to a graveyard, Hubert muttered:

“That’s the fourth supply depot now.”

He opened an extra-dimensional space to collect the surrounding imperial army’s materials, continuing:

“The plunder so far is enough to feed and clothe several divisions for a month.”

As indicated, this was the fourth time Russell’s detachment had raided the empire’s supplies, amassing an unimaginable quantity of spoils.

The volume was so vast they had to consider rejoining the main force due to space constraints within the extra-dimensional spaces.

“The real question is how long the empire will fall for this ruse.”

“Indeed.”

The raids had happened four times now. Unless the empire’s forces were foolish, they would surely have taken precautions.

It was at that moment.

……………………………………………..

………………………………………………….Scream!

“─?!”

Russell, in the process of storing a spear-sword into his extra-dimensional space, felt a strange sensation.

‘That sound… like a tightly pulled string snapping…?!’

Immediately, the magic power in the area surged, enveloping the sky as though a storm was about to break.

Roar-!

.

.

Within a distant forest, shrouded in darkness, a robed figure watched the turbulent sky with a grimace.

“I’ll kill them right there. The Endymion vermin….”

Riiip, Twang────.

As the stretched bowstring was released, from the heavens…

────────Boom!

A massive, arrow-like storm shot down.

『Sky Bow, Boreas』

The divine weapon, nicknamed the “bow of storms that never misses,” released its divine power without restraint.

Boom!

The Dragon-Devouring Mage

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