Dragon Devouring Mage Chapter 253

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Dragon devouring mage

EPISODE 127

Despite the day not yet fading, in the depths of the forest where sunlight couldn’t reach, there was a damp marsh. And within that marsh, amidst the depths, lay a cave brimming only with darkness—a darkness so thick that one could scarcely make out anything before them. It was then that a rustling sound was heard, accompanied by a faint disturbance.

“……”

In the enveloping darkness, a man sat with visibility so poor, he couldn’t distinguish what lay ahead. The disturbance had been the sound made by the man as he seemed to sense something and flinched. ‘Is this…?’ A sensation, albeit fleeting, that had made his heart, which should have been cold and deadened by magic, pulsate—a presence that instilled in him a sense of awe. ‘Could it be…?’ It was certainly the divine presence of some being.

The man began to move slowly. He lifted his head that had been buried between his knees, stood up from where he was sitting, and walked out of the cave. Splish, splash. As he took his steps, the water pooled on the floor of the cave began to stir, and upon finally leaving the cave, the man shifted his gaze.

“Haha…”

Looking upwards towards the sky, he saw a shaft of sunlight piercing through the woods that should have been engulfed in total darkness. “Hahaha…” At last, he could escape this accursed fate. The realization brought forth tears that ran unwillingly down his cheeks.

Then suddenly.

Whooosh—

A gust of wind blew from somewhere, making the man’s black hair flutter gently. This had all occurred in a forest somewhere within the empire concurrently with the moment Russell manifested his Fiery Spear Lance.

───────────Whoosh!

Along the palm of Russell’s hand, a red flame grew into the form of a spear. This was Russell’s very own “Finishing Move,” created using the image and power he had cultivated over time by restoring an ancient and forgotten spell, Hellfire. Among these, the Fiery Spear Lance was named as the second form. ‘It isn’t necessary to use a Finishing Move against this opponent…’ The opponent was a mage with skills comparable to a 7th circle master. However, for testing his newly created Finishing Move, there couldn’t have been a more perfect match.

Thinking this, Russell spun the Fiery Spear Lance in his hand, leaving a fiery trail that drew circles like afterimages. Given that it was a spell created by altering the form of Hellfire, the contained heat was terrifyingly intense. Yet, the surrounding temperature didn’t rise, nor did the atmosphere boil, thanks to Russell’s success in completely containing the heat of Hellfire within the form of the spear.

‘That’s impossible…’ Count Heizen trembled. Goosebumps spread across the back of his hand. Although no heat escaped, the presence of the magical power within the Fiery Spear Lance was palpable. It felt as if he was facing the sun itself!

At barely past his mid-twenties, had he managed to surpass the 7th circle and reach the 8th? “That cannot be. As long as he is human… as long as he is a person, it’s impossible!” Shock can often paralyze or shatter one’s rational mind, and that’s precisely what happened to Count Heizen. Since the inception of magic, there was an unprecedented result—a record not even found in the mythical era—that was rapidly breaking down a mage of the 7th circle’s intellect.

“Dieeeee!!!”

Count Heizen’s fear-filled scream elicited a powerful magical response. Swish! Seven circles rotated all at once, producing a majestic echo. Thump, thump, thump—With a pain that turned his head white, Count Heizen’s Finishing Move began to take a new form. Lava erupted from the ground, split open his back, and formed six wings.

As the heat poured out, mirages appeared and the earth seemed to crumble whole, quake, and shake. The ground burst open, and columns of lava shot upwards like geysers. The impact when they reached high up in the sky and fell back down scattered a rain of magma.

Along with that, Count Heizen’s perception rapidly expanded. An aspect never seen before in the Count’s Finishing Move. A fear that whitened his head had sparked madness that mingled with his magical power to create this result. Possession by Flames—a state akin to Running Fire, being swept up in strong fire and consumed by magic. Count Heizen’s current state was indistinguishable from that of Running Fire as termed in the East.

Had he not met his fate in such a way. Had he properly trained and grown to face situations such as this. Perhaps Count Heizen could have reached the 8th circle. Perhaps he would have completed his current, somewhat flawed, magic. But.

Whoosh!

Russell swung his spear with great force. “Ugh…!” In that moment, Count Heizen’s body vibrated, and his waist buckled. “Gah….” Hector’s eyes became bloodshot, his veins bulging, and saliva dripped as his knees slowly bent. His trembling fingertips, the blood vessels in his eyes bursting, ‘My… my magic…?!’

Magical power was severed strand by strand, relentlessly lashing against the Mana Road. The repercussion caused the seven circles to shriek in agony. Magic was akin to a second body for mages. It felt as though his limbs were being torn apart one by one. Yet even more painful was the severance of his connection to the magic he had been linked to.

“No, could it be…?” Count Heizen vomited blood at the thought that had come to mind. “Blargh-!” Splat! The lava lake that had supported him was long dried up. His knees now touched a puddle of his own blood.

With trembling that began at his fingertips and spread throughout his body, he shifted his gaze. Looking up at the sky, he murmured, “Did you… did you steal my magic?”

Indeed.

The spear, extending from Russell’s grasp and piercing the sky, had at its tip a mass of magma rotating in a massive sphere across the sky—Whoosh! Despite being suspended high above, the lava sphere emitted immense heat. The illusion that a sun had suddenly descended loomed, its shadow casting a weight on the land beneath.

“The flames of hell are among the strongest flames in the world.” Russell’s calm voice resonated. “The Fiery Spear Lance is forged from that very hellfire.”

The power held by the Fiery Spear Lance was the absolute control over fire attribute magic. ‘Which means…!’ Russell, wielding the Fiery Spear Lance, essentially possessed an overwhelming advantage in any confrontation with mages who followed the lineage of the Red Tower.

‘Kuh…’

Of course, it was not easy to wield such great power. The magic was so potent because it had almost reached the 8th circle, even if Heizen’s. Despite having used the Fiery Spear Lance to seize control of his magic, the expenditure of magical power was not negligible. And its consumption of both magical and mental energy continued even now.

‘In its current incomplete state…’

He was only able to seize it because the magic was not fully formed. ‘To try to take control of a fully realized 8th circle magic would be too much as of now.’

Even if he succeeded, the strain would not be minor. ‘There is still much to improve or amend.’

Among his original magic, it still sat at the pinnacle—the very first “Finishing Move” he had created. That there were so many deficiencies was a harsh truth, and it would be greedy to expect immediate perfection.

Nevertheless, Russell allowed a faint smile.

He could feel another power within his Finishing Move, the Fiery Spear Lance. This power had accidentally been imbued during its creation, likely thanks to thinking of Brahmasthra. Russell had identified this power the previous day, after the decisive battle with Boreas of the Celestial Bow.

‘The divine nature of the Dragon Emperor…’

The Fiery Spear Lance was imbued with the divine nature worthy of reverence from all dragons. Understanding how to fully harness this power could raise the completion of the Fiery Spear Lance to even greater heights.

‘Let’s finish this.’

With a short sigh, Russell wrapped up the situation and swung the Fiery Spear Lance. The giant ball of magma, which had been swirling ominously, dropped toward the earth.

Whoosh!

The colossal jade flame plummeted, evaporating clouds in its trajectory instantly. With a hiss, everything in its vicinity vaporized at a rate faster than it could burn, and the unfallen flames still caused the earth to melt and bubble.

In the land filled solely with scorching heat, there erupted sand. And as parts of the jade flame that had cleanly cut through the sky touched the ground, the blinding red light was followed by a massive explosion.

───────Boom!

“……”

“……”

For a moment, all other sounds ceased. Soldiers who had been frenziedly swinging their swords and halberds on either side suddenly came to a halt. Inevitably, the power exhibited by the jade flame was far beyond any human imagination.

An impact crater hundreds of meters in diameter formed, as the ground was visibly dented inward. Beyond the crater’s edges, hundreds of meters more terrain had split and warped as if struck by an earthquake—the aftereffect of the explosion. Even more astonishing was that within the crater, the lingering heat was so intense that winds passing over it instantaneously turned into hot gales.

It was safe to assume that the inner parts of that pit were no different from a fiery hell. The prowess of both the magic Heizen had conjured and Russell had seized was indeed formidable.

No mage, even a master of the 7th circle, could be expected to survive a direct hit from such a powerful attack, let alone in a state where every strand of their mana had been severed. Considering the heat that the jade flame possessed, it was likely that not a single piece of flesh, not even a bone fragment, would remain without vaporizing.

The nearly tens of thousands of soldiers on the battlefield were unable to speak a word. Someone swallowed audibly during the silence, and with a slight movement of his lips, Russell commanded, “Activate the Crown of Solomon.”

Flash—

A silver-white crown appeared just above his shoulders, and Russell felt his diminished magical and mental energies rapidly replenish. He pressed his temples, glanced around, and saw countless pairs of eyes staring at him, a chaotic mixture of reverence and fear in their gaze.

There was a response to their stares.

Another power dormant within him.

The divine nature within him as the Dragon Emperor seemed to swell a bit in response to their gaze. Slowly but surely, steadily yet imperceptibly…

The Mage Who Devoured a Dragon.

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