Dragon Devouring Mage Chapter 254

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Dragon devouring mage

EPISODE.127

Sighing deeply, Russell dusted off his hands after recuperating his mental strength.

Whoosh!

With the last embers flickering out, the Fire Point Spear vanished from sight. Perhaps it was the flow of mere seconds or minutes that allowed this?

“──────Die!”

Accompanied by someone’s curse, the commotion once again spread across the battlefield, and cries filled with murderous intent and violence erupted from all directions.

A rotational battle (會戰), where tens of thousands of soldiers clashed. It was nothing short of a miracle that the formations between the Imperial troops and Endymion’s forces still held.

Just a bit more time, and the situation on the battlefield would undoubtedly devolve into a chaotic melee.

If that happened, the casualties wouldn’t be only amongst the enemy but would reach uncontrollable levels even within the allied ranks.

‘Finish it before then.’

With that thought, Russell took a slow breath.

He summoned the Wood Dwarves, an originality magic from his mentor, Daria, using scattered weeds and dry twigs on the plains as a medium. Soon, they would become his very own legion.

Flarack! Flarack, flarack!

As if to prove his magic power was no less than that of an 8th circle master, 777 dwarves came to life — precisely the same number as his mentor, Daria.

“Ugh, Aaagh!”

“What is this sudden─!?”

Flarack, flarack!

Amidst the abrupt chaos, the dwarves leaped into the ranks of the Imperial army, followed by Russell’s swift hand gestures.

The moment he formed the incantation, a bizarre pattern emerged, and tremendous magic energy roared through the gaps between his fingers and palms.

It was a spell of destructive power that allowed War Mages who had reached a certain realm to be dubbed ‘One-Man Legion’, capable of obliterating thousands of soldiers with a single cast.

Woooommm!

Accompanied by a sonorous roar from eight circles, the massive combat magic was about to reveal its prelude.

“Over there…!”

A low murmur was heard nearby, followed by a gentle tremor of the ground.

──────────Rumble, rumble.

It was as if the sound of thousands of horsemen galloping across the plain. The irregular beating of the earth’s pulse; with it, a black tide became visible from beyond the horizon.

No, not a tide.

An undead legion, numbering too many to count.

The stench of death and decay wafted from ancient corpses, a palpable violation of the natural order that dead beings should not come back to life.

The ominous aura that only the undead, those who defied this order, could exude weighed heavily on the atmosphere.

Chills ran down necks and arms as Baron Donovan and his staff shouted in alarm.

“That is…!”

“Where did they hide all those undead!”

At first glance, the undead forces appearing matched half the size of Endymion’s army, and more seemed to be racing from behind to join the ranks!

‘The vanguard consists of Death Knights and Phantom Steeds, …and those are Abominations.’

Russell’s eyes shone keenly as he watched the undead.

The combination of a Death Knight capable of using Sword Qi with the speed of Phantom Steeds was nothing less than a terrifying weapon in their own right.

He could see dozens of Death Knights, and there were more than twice as many Abominations.

To Russell, such numbers were of little significance, but the problem lay with the regular troops.

At that moment,

“Your Highness!”

Baron Donovan called out in haste, prompting a fleeting look of contemplation in Russell’s eyes.

They had gained the upper hand by defeating Count Heizen, one of the enemy commanders.

If they could tolerate some casualties among their own, they could decisively crush the enemy and secure victory.

Russell’s deliberation did not last long.

The answer he must choose had been clear from the beginning.

“Everyone, retreat!”

The voices of Donovan and his staff followed.

“Retreat, and reform ranks!”

“Do not incur unnecessary casualties!”

Bwuuuuuum!

Dong, dong, dong, doom, dong.

The signals for retreat — the sound of hornpipes and drums — reverberated through the air.

“Fall back!”

“Clear the fields! The undead are coming!”

Commands spread like ripples, the soldiers began to retreat rapidly.

Yet the withdrawal process was far from peaceful.

While the camp had not completely collapsed, a melee was already unfolding at the front, and Imperial troops were certainly not just spectating Endymion’s retreat passively.

“Hold them!”

“Kill them!”

“Where do you think you’re running, coward!”

As the commotion unfolded, the undead forces relentlessly advanced closer every moment.

Then, at that moment, a bright blue magical light shone amidst the thick clouds that filled the sky.

Cloudy Ring. Weather Form.

Rumble!

Astonishingly, countless streaks of thunder traced circles in the sky, crashing down.

Gwarrrrr!

The thunderhead’s aim was the head of the undead swarm crowd flooding towards them!

“His Highness’ magic!”

“His Highness is buying us time!”

The thunder that summoned the lightning was Russell’s doing.

A grand-scale magic prepared to break the spirit of the Imperial army was unleashed without hesitation upon the heads of the undead!

Gwarrrrr!

With dazzling brilliance, the world flickered incessantly.

Thunderstorm.

One of the most powerful spells of the 8th circle, Russell replicated it with his own hands.

Each bolt of lightning possessed the force on par with that of Keraunos (Κεραυνός).

The concentration of dozens of these catastrophic bolts had transcended the level of mere lightning.

It was Plasma.

The undead struck by this force vaporized on the spot without a chance to utter a scream.

The scale — thousands.

Had that spell been directed at them instead of the undead, they could barely fathom their fate.

“…Eek!?”

The overwhelming spectacle had many Imperial soldiers quivering as if seized by seizures.

Many who had been chasing the retreating Endymion forces even stopped in their tracks, completely forgetting to continue.

Fear and panic.

The awe (敬畏心) had once settled, but now the dread within it waxed once more.

Regardless, Russell, at the very heart of it all, was already preparing his next magic.

‘It’s impossible to hide the fact that I am an 8th circle mage any longer.’

After using the incapacitating and decisively revelatory Thunderstorm, he had no reason to hide any longer.

‘Then─!’

Resolved, Russell waved his arms without hesitation, flinging his magic up high into the sky.

Kuwaaaaaah!

Following this, the split earth soared high upward.

In a single surge, the risen earthen wall crossed and separated allies from foes.

It was a spell once wielded by Nicolas Machiavelli, Tower Lord of the Royal Capital’s Ivory Tower, that Russell replicated on his own volition.

While it lacked the grandeur of a fortress as compared to Nicolas’, that couldn’t be helped.

Nicolas was an expert who had honed his earth magic for decades in the Ivory Tower.

But the strength and scale of the wall, even compared to Nicolas’, lacked nothing!

Dududududududu!

Whoooa, grrrrrrrrr!

Banshees and zombies.

Ghouls and skeletons.

Death Knights and Phantom Steeds.

And up to the Abominations.

These undead armies, composed of all kinds of undead, pushed right up to the base of the earthen barrier when suddenly…

Kwang!

With a booming sound, the towering wall of earth collapsed upon them.

Tons, even dozens of tons of debris, rained down on the heads of the undead and the Imperial troops alike.

Kuwaaaaaah!

────────────Kuwaaaaaah.

A colossal cloud of dust soared high into the sky.

With the towering wall reaching hundreds of meters, the collapse left a pile of rubble that resembled a vast rock hill from a distance.

Even for the undead, it would be difficult to remain intact under such a massive collapse.

Some would have their heads crushed and be motionless, while others, with every bone shattered, could no longer move.

Of course, the higher-ranking undead like Death Knights might have withstood the impact, but─.

‘It’ll buy us some time, at least.’

To continue the pursuit, they now needed to vault over the rubble.

“Ugh, Uggh…”

“Save me…”

“There’s no feeling in my leg…”

Ignoring the moans of the surviving Imperial soldiers trapped in the debris, Russell turned away and leaped after the retreating Endymion army.

* * *

Three days later.

After concluding the battle and retreating, Endymion set up camp in the rear.

It was necessary.

It had been a large-scale frontal assault, leading to a messy battle; they needed to take stock of their losses and reorganize their forces.

Perhaps because Russell had created a barrier of debris, the undead did not pursue them.

‘Three hundred dead, more than triple that wounded… and out of those, at least five hundred with serious injuries…’

Russell mused as he walked, recalling the report received days prior from Baron Donovan.

No matter how accustomed one was to the battle death, as a commander of the allied forces, he couldn’t help but feel responsible for the loss of his troops.

Eventually, Russell’s path led him to an area where several white tents had been set up close together.

The smell of medicine and alcohol teased his nostrils even before he approached, marking the place where they treated the injured soldiers.

Russell’s reason for coming here was simple.

While Russell was fighting Count Heizen, Hubert had been dueling a tower-level magician from the Empire. He had now, at long last, regained consciousness.

“Brother.”

Murmuring with concern, Russell heard Hubert’s voice from beyond the white canvas.

“Come in.”

Entering, Hubert was propped up in bed with his arm wrapped in bandages. His formerly worn monocle had been replaced with a clean new one, possibly having been damaged during the fight.

“Are you alright?”

At Russell’s question, the corners of Hubert’s mouth twisted.

“I’m disappointed you had to ask.”

“Excuse me?”

“Is it polite to ask if the victor is well? I expected more from you, disciple.”

He smiled, the curve visible beyond the new monocle. An uncharacteristic joke from him, spilling with an ease one might never have expected from Hubert.

“Well, yes,” Hubert chuckled to himself. “I’ve taken plenty of hits, but turned that bastard to ash and buried him into the ground. Not a bad deal at all.”

His light laughter hinted at a previously unseen ease amidst speaking of his own achievements.

“Brother, could it be…?”

Struck by a possibility, Russell’s asked with abrupt urgency.

“Exactly as you think, disciple.”

Hubert confirmed with a smile.

“While not certain… it feels like I’ve at least found the beginning.”

His eyes twinkled like stars beyond his monocle, dazzling with a hint of new discovery.

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