Dragon Devouring Mage Chapter 264

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Dragon devouring mage

EPISODE.132

“Heh….” Upon hearing Russell’s subsequent remark, Duke Mason chuckled inwardly in disbelief. “A scouting battle, hm?” The youth before him was merely in his mid-to-late twenties. That such a young man would speak to him in this way was beyond his wildest imagination. Yet, among others who could not fathom it, this young man before him truly had the right to make such a claim, as their levels of strength were essentially equal. Any minor error could link directly to defeat – a perilous tightrope walk indeed. Duke Mason felt a chill run down his spine with a sweat, but finally nodded in agreement. “Yes, time to end the scouting phase.” The battle forthcoming would be of the kind to alter landscapes and rewrite maps in a single strike.

To the onlookers, it must have seemed a bout to shake the very heavens. But for the two transcendents who had reached lofty heights, it was little more than a light warm-up. Evident in Russell’s unchanging aura as he stood there. With a roar, eight circles spun, sweeping away dust in the surrounding area with their majestic mana surge. The overwhelming density of mana created such pressure that the ground beneath seemed to groan under its force. Crunch, crackle!

In response, a force erupted from Duke Mason’s body, pushing back against Russell’s aura. The clash of powers sparked, creating a spectacle of electric frenzy. Like Russell, Duke Mason activated the artifacts he possessed, and though the Heavenly Bow Boreas was no longer in his hands, he had other treasures at his disposal. “Hermes’ winged shoes.” Barely had the mana been injected when green wings sprouted from the heels of the shoes – the very footwear once used by Hermes, the Olympian messenger god. Merely by wearing them, one could speed across the winds, climbing the air as if it were stairs. Affirming this truth, Duke Mason’s figure lifted slightly off the ground.

Then, along the lines of his shoulders, a brilliant halo emerged, forming rings of light. Fwshhh! The halo burst forth with brilliance comparable to sunlight, and from it, Russell felt the scorching heat and a holy presence so familiar that it must have belonged to the divine realms of Olympus. “This must be the divinity of Olympus… if it’s the sun, then…” As if to prove his assumption, Duke Mason reached out his hand, seizing a portion of the light ring that flowed around his shoulder. His movement resembled that of an archer drawing an arrow from a quiver. A part of the light ring then stretched out, transforming into the form of a lengthy arrow. “The Arrow of the Sun God, Apollo.” Apollo was a deity known for both the sun and archery. Channeling the power of this legendary artifact, Duke Mason pulled the bowstring, eyes locked onto his prey. “Let’s see you dodge this.”

The divine arrow, renowned for its unerring accuracy, surged toward Russell in an instant.

Swoosh!

When did it start to go awry? “Don’t get drawn in!” “Stay sharp!” “Maintain formation and don’t get caught up in it!” The flow of war had begun to twist into something strange. “Do you wish death upon yourself? Fall back!” “Don’t approach any closer!” The clash of mere hundreds of transcendent beings began to take precedence over the conflicts involving hundreds of thousands of soldiers.

This peculiar phenomenon was, however, natural to the inhabitants of this world, where monsters capable of summoning storms with magic, sending down lightning, and reshaping mountains with swords had always been part of the landscape. It was instinctively known by all present that maintaining formation and using the expanded battlefield appropriately was the strategy to follow, as the outcome of the battle hinged on the success or failure of these colossal figures.

“Kyahahaha!” “A monster, that woman is…” “She’s practically a beast.” Two imperial Sword Masters clashed with Mu Ya-ho, constant in their struggle, despite their transcendent might. Her resistance against two such powers spoke volumes of her monstrous strength. Waves crashed and earth split open incessantly, shooting forth steaming underground water geysers as light cascading down from the sun clove the ground, and in reply, elven arrows assailed the rear of the imperial troops. Whamm! A continuous natural disaster paid no heed to respect for life.

Despite it all, neither side retreated, instead charging with more ferocity and tainted intent. “Slay them, slay them!” “Push forward─! Tighten the front lines!” For both nations, the majority of their forces were committed here in this all-out battle. The moment either side faltered, the tide would turn to the enemy. A slip could mark not just the battle’s end, but would cause their national fortunes to tremble as well.

Boom— Hours later, one of the dominating forces of magic began to slowly dissipate. Where there once was a raging magical firestorm now stood only a fragile ember susceptible to the slightest breeze.

Two grand mages who symbolized their respective countries: Roderick, who had become an Archlich, and Daria, fought to a close. Gwaaaaa! Engulfed in a colossal tree of flames, the Archlich writhed, bound by its roots. With every twist of its body, the roots burrowed deeper, binding and burning it further. The robe he wore had long been reduced to tatters amid the fierce battle. The Archlich’s skeletal body clanked hideously as it struggled in vain—its last desperate effort. Soon enough, the vines would locate and shatter the life force vessel sustaining him. Regardless of his might, the Archlich wouldn’t remain animate without the core of magic that sustained his existence.

As she witnessed this, Daria exhaled deeply, “….He’s done for.” Her groan was sincere and uncharacteristic. But it had to be said. It had been hours of nonstop combat, not just any combat, but one that upheaved the earth within kilometers. The clouds that once covered the sky had evaporated from the released heat and force of the shockwaves. Even with her vast mana comparable to oceans, Daria could not help but feel exhaustion—the consequence of arduous battle against a formidable foe evidenced by Daria’s own condition. Her pallor had turned ghostly from blood loss, and a gruesome wound tore through her flank. What she truly desired was to use her flaming magic to sear the wound closed.

‘But that would surely cause me to faint.’ Even for a mage of the 8th circle, losing consciousness on the battlefield was akin to defenselessness, vulnerable to even a single blind strike. And overshadowing the gaping wound at her side was her left arm, which was mangled beyond recognition. The bones of the arm—ordinarily allowing for only three points of articulation—were twisted manifold, the shattered remnants breaking through the skin, with droplets of blood trailing down to the puddles formed beneath her contorted, blood-soaked boot.

—Goa… As Roderick’s last breath left him, “Ugh,” Daria wavered violently as dizziness struck. It was then that a gaunt forearm appeared from nowhere, catching her as she fell. “Even without help, I wouldn’t have fallen.” Daria responded tersely to Hemingway’s timely support, albeit begrudgingly finding comfort in his assistance contrary to her snarky words.

A silence ensued before Hemingway finally broke it. “You’ve done well.” Bubbling magic flowed from his palm, enveloping Daria’s wounds. The froth concentrated around her mostly destroyed left arm—a manifestation of his originality magic, Healing Springs. Though the magic wouldn’t fully heal her wounds, it would prevent them from worsening. “Thanks for nothing.” “I shall treat you to tea and sweets when we return. I’ve heard from the tower’s new recruits about a cafe that’s opened recently with quite delightful confections.”

A cafe near the spire… Already familiar with it, Daria chuckled lightly and shook her head. “I’ve grown tired of sweets, old man.” Hemingway’s eyes shook violently at her statement, aware of the significance sweets held for her. “That is…” As Daria scanned the battlefield, from Vermillion Ulzen to Hubert and Russell, her gaze lingered upon her students, each engaged in their own ordeal. “Haven’t they grown? It’s time to let them go,” she murmured. Then, with a sorrowful edge to her voice, “If I don’t let go, the child won’t find peace either.” Hemingway hesitated to respond to her forlorn declaration, and Daria continued before he could. “So, instead of sweets, how about a simple meal?”

Bewilderment agitated his eyes anew. An exchange of words veiled beneath her curtain of hair, Daria swiftly changed the subject. “That old man Roderick… his magic felt strange.” “He was always a peculiar one.” “No, not that, you old burn!” With a hint of irritation, she looked down. “While I could understand the dark magic due to his transformation into an Archlich, there was also a horrendous, alien energy mixed within…” “Alien and horrendous energy?” Hemingway echoed. “That’s right. Though it was subtle within his magic, it felt otherworldly…” Daria, renowned to be among the strongest mages on the continent, wasn’t one to be mistaken. “I had suspected this wasn’t just a war driven by simple machinations…” “Now, I have no idea what could be behind all of this.”

Their expressions hardened in unison, and in the next moment, the magic around Russell exploded wildly. Russell Raymond, employing a decisive technique, invoked the Third Form: “Nine Dragon Divine Fire Protector.” The mage who devoured the dragon.

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