Dragon Devouring Mage Chapter 259

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Dragon devouring mage

CHAPTER 130

Scratch, scratch.

With each movement of his fingertips, a rough sound echoed ceaselessly. It was low but clear enough to fill the personal tent assigned to Russell. The sound came from the pages of the book in Russell’s hand turning. The noise of paper scraping against paper was quite harsh, but it was to be expected since what Russell held was no ordinary book – it was a grimoire. Moreover, it contained spells of the 8th Circle. It’s only natural for objects to weather with time, and high-level grimoires inscribed with 8th Circle magic were no exception.

“Hmm…”

As he turned the pages with careful touches, Russell’s eyes deepened automatically. Perhaps it was because he had restored Hellfire and, through it, completed the “Decisive Technique”. It seemed as though his understanding of 8th Circle magic had improved tremendously since his mind absorbed the magic theories written in the grimoire as easily as a sponge soaks up water. Sentences that would have taken dozens of readings to understand before, now clicked with just a few glances. Formulas that once required hours of pondering and validation were now analyzed in mere minutes.

A few hours later, after closing the last chapter of the grimoire, Russell let out a long breath.

“Hoo──────.”

It was a refreshing and satisfying exhale, letting go of the old. After a while, Russell brushed his fingers over the grimoire’s cover and murmured,

“About half way through, perhaps…”

His voice was nonchalant. If other mages had heard it, they would have gasped in disbelief in the same spot. A grimoire wasn’t something one could fully master in just one reading. Depending on the level of the grimoire, it could take days or even years to truly understand its contents. Especially so for grimoires of the lofty 8th Circle of magic.

Yet, here was Russell stating that he had understood about half of the grimoire with just a few hours of reading. His claim, however, was sincere and held not a hint of exaggeration. While it might be difficult to express understanding in numbers, he felt that he had indeed grasped about half of it.

As if to prove the truth of his words, Russell looked outside through a window in the tent and mumbled,

“I wonder if I can finish it by tonight.”

He had started reading around evening, but now darkness had spread across the sky, and stars shone brightly. It was well past midnight – time when others would be asleep in preparation for the next day, but…

‘There’s no need for me to do the same.’

Russell closed his eyes and began to carefully pump mana through his circuits.

Woong…

Mana flowed out of the circuits, swirling around Russell’s body, etching lines of light all over him. The mana roads within him, now vastly clearer compared to when he had first returned, were the product of his Wizard Body and Overload. The magic he had learned to make up for a mage’s weaknesses was now at its peak, also helping to alleviate his fatigue.

Now accustomed to this flow of mana, Russell quietly divided his consciousness. With his heightened mental strength, he split his consciousness in two – one half continued to manage the mana while the other revisited the contents of the grimoire.

‘Let’s see…’

Tssst-tssst…

As the lingering stiffness and fatigue began to dissipate, the contents of the grimoire swirled in his mind. Before long, the tumultuous theories and formulas began to find their rightful places.

“Hmm…”

As if meticulously completing a puzzle with thousands of pieces, Russell savored the process. His demeanor was unconcernedly serene despite being in the heart of the war’s tumult.

Of course, there was a reason behind Russell’s actions.

‘In three days.’

That was the time needed for the allied forces to assemble. The imperial army also had not made any significant moves yet. Russell thought of this period as the calm before the storm. Everything was suppressed, tightly wound, ready to burst. When it did, its magnitude would be uncontrollable.

Russell intended to raise his capabilities to their utmost before then.

‘Supplementing the lacking magical theories and thereby enhancing my skills as an 8th Circle mage.’

With that firm resolve, some of the mana coursing through his body radiated outward, causing the flame of the nearby lantern to flare up.

Whoooosh!

* * *

Over time, the troops scattered along the western front gradually began to gather in the center. Among them were not just the ferocious Mujaho and the beastkin but also…

“It’s been a while, male!”

…Eo and Arain, leaders of the fae folk, had arrived as well.

“Lord Russell!”

“The benefactor!”

The timing of the two factions joining forces created a problematic situation. As it happened, the merging of the two forces coincided almost perfectly. Russell, inadvertently caught between Eo and Mujaho, found himself in a precarious situation.

“This little ear-flapper?”

“King Mujaho still speaks quite bluntly.”

Sparks seemed to fly between the two as they caught each other’s eye.

Superhuman.

Eo was on par with a Sword Master or a 7th Circle mage and had also acquired the power of a Silver Dragon. Mujaho’s power was even greater. Her prowess alone rivaled that of an 8th Circle mage, and she had also inherited the power of a Black Dragon. A real fight between them would be catastrophic, with repercussions severe enough to cause a natural disaster.

Sighing, Russell stepped in between the two.

“It seems best for both parties to calm down for the moment.”

A gentle force from Russell created a wall between the two, and sensing his now slightly changed presence, Mujaho’s ears perked and twitched.

“You, male…!”

The infusion of power from having completed the “Decisive Technique” and holding the Dragons’ sanctity had altered his presence. Mujaho quickly noticed the change, and Russell showed a small hint of surprise.

‘Sir Knight…?’

That she would notice what his own mentor had not. Was it due to the power of the Black Dragon she inherited? Or perhaps it was a beast’s intuition?

Whichever the case, it wasn’t something to be taken lightly.

“There will soon be ample opportunity for you to express your vigor.”

“Hmm…”

After contemplating Russell’s words for a moment, Mujaho’s interest piqued, only to become offended by a sudden thought.

“Listen here, male. Do you take me for some woman crazed for battle…?!”

Before she could finish her outburst, Russell shrugged nonchalantly and turned away.

‘Arain has joined, which I expected, but Eo being here too…?’

He slightly bowed to Eo and Arain, acknowledging their presence.

“Thank you both for joining the battle. It wasn’t an easy decision.”

Endymion had given a part of the Great Forest to the fae as their new home in exchange for their support in the war. However, this didn’t necessitate both leaders of the elfkin, the current and the next Mwenner, to participate in the conflict. The support of just one side would have already been a significant force, and while having both on board was a boon for Endymion…

‘The Mwenner, the leaders of all elfkin, are akin to kings or queens to humans in this era without High Elves.’

But here they both were, ready to fight with a considerable number of fae. Reading Russell’s expression, Eo spoke up.

“The fae may love peace, but that doesn’t mean we avoid fighting when necessary.”

Her calm voice soothed those listening.

“Besides, we’re up against heretics and the undead who violate the natural order, aren’t we?”

Determined not to be outdone, Mujaho snorted from beside him.

“Hmph. Don’t forget that my kind and I are here as well, male!”

Both were powerful allies Russell could count on.

Therefore, Russell genuflected once again with sincerity.

“Thank you all for lending your strength.”

* * *

“Huuh-.”

Russell exhaled deeply, adjusting the cuff buttons on his wrist. In front of him floated a full-length mirror conjured by magic and a grimoire in mid-air.

Scratch, scratch.

The pages of the grimoire turned on their own, an application of telekinetic magic; Russell didn’t want to waste even a moment’s time fixing his attire.

‘The time is soon.’

As he turned the pages and steeled his resolve, the battlefield awaited – where hundreds of thousands of soldiers would crash into each other, and superhumans would showcase the extent of their skills and capabilities.

A mountain of corpses and sea of blood.

Mountains would be made from bodies, and seas from bloodshed.

But what Russell sought to gain from this battlefield was not merely the lives of the undead.

He had fought through wars and surmounted death numerous times in the past, but this battle was on another scale entirely. That’s why Russell too was bracing himself.

‘Drenched in blood from head to toe, ready to bear the load on my shoulders.’

He might not be able to remember the face behind each life taken by his hands. However, he felt it was only proper etiquette to at least remember the fact that they were there.

After taking some time to tidy up and gather his determination in his own way,

“Your Highness.”

A voice called from outside the tent.

“It is time.”

The mentioned ‘time’ referred to a council meeting where the commanders of the armies and the superhumans would gather.

Over the past several days, most of Endymion’s troops, which had been dispersed along the western front, assembled here.

Not only Endymion’s forces, but also the states of Kiel and the Najz Alliance.

Over the years, these small nations, which had been oppressed by the Empire, sent their forces one after another.

‘Overt fifty with a few more tens of thousands added…’

More than a hundred thousand additional troops had been gathered beyond the initial expectations. Including the Empire’s forces and the undead they had collected, the combined strength of both armies would easily exceed a million.

‘Once this meeting concludes, the battle begins.’

Perhaps they too sensed the anticipation as Russell moved through the camp; the military spirit surged wildly among the soldiers.

The sense of being at the heart of a powder keg ready to explode at any moment – plus, what was with this subtle anxiety gnawing at him these past few days?

Russell shrugged off the unsettling feeling and stepped into the tent prepared for the meeting.

Thud.

“Have you arrived?”

Beginning with his mentor, Daria Snowwhite, who sat in the highest seat, all the members of the command looked up at Russell.

The Magician Who Devoured a Dragon.

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