As he thought of the danger, William suddenly hesitated. He innocently looked at Lin Yun, hoping he could change his mind.
"Do as I say." Lin Yun remained unmoved.
"Eh, okay..." William could only clench his teeth and agree.
"Now, it's time to use the Runic Shield, no no, not to protect your body. You only have to form the basic arrangements of the Runic Shield, there is no need to completely release it. Like that, that basic Runic Shield will protect your Mana Whirlpool, allowing you to..."
"Cousin, will this really work...?" William asked in an anxious voice while trembling in fear.
But Lin Yun acted as if he hadn't heard him.
He used a commanding tone to direct William through the Spell Backlash while still remaining wary of attacks.
The basic arrangement of the Runic Shield had been completed and the two Wind Blades were ready to be cast.
William ultimately clenched his teeth...
He heard a loud explosion, followed by his whole body shaking. Under the shock, William almost let his magic staff fall to the ground.
But he held on.
He felt a surge of mana pouring into his body. His dry Mana Whirlpool quickly rotated again after he received that quenching mana, familiar power returning to his body once more...
"Ross, you lost..." Feeling the mana filling his body, William felt full of confidence for the first time.
He felt like an upstart who had suddenly gained a large amount of wealth and didn't know how to spend it.
After taking advantage of the Spell Backlash, William used a Counterspell.
Ross was still urging his Endless Spring to recover some mana, so how could he cast anything?
Counterspell had three effects. The first was to interrupt spells, the second was to inflict a short duration silence effect, and the third was to seal a spell. There was no need to explain spell interruption, and the short duration silence was also easy to understand, while the third effect was the most crucial effect. Spells like the Flame Burst that William wanted to cast were the best opportunities for Counterspells, because a Flame Burst being countered would usually seal the entirety of one's fire system spells. For mages specialized with fire spells, it would be like cutting an arm off. Even if William's Crimson Heart avoided the worst, he still felt stifled.
And even though Ross wasn't casting a spell, this Counterspell would afflict him with a second of silence.
Using a Counterspell like this could only be considered extravagant.
But William didn't care.
He wouldn't give Ross any time to react after that Counterspell. He took advantage of that one second of silence to directly cast a powerful Flame Burst.
And he didn't stop at one...
Three Flame Bursts were cast successively, each of them enhanced with a Metamagic: Instant Cast, Empower Spell, Magic Penetration. The three Flame Bursts destroyed the Ice Wall that Ross managed to put up with a lot of difficulty.
It was followed by a Wind Blade piercing through the Ice Fire Shield.
There was nothing after that.
An Icicle was already touching Ross' throat.
"Sorry, I won."
After saying this, William no longer cared about Ross' reaction and scattered the Icicle. He didn't even glance at him before turning to leave the destroyed courtyard with Lin Yun and the Draconic Beastman.
Ross stood there, alone. In the distance, a dozen Great Swordsmen, as well as Great Mage Harvey, were all standing there looking stunned. They had watched the most outstanding genius of the Merlin Family be defeated by William, who was someone of much lower status.
"How was it, Cousin, I did alright, didn't I?" William had already overtaken Lin Yun and revealed a wide smile as he started seeking compliments for his achievement.
"You are talking about that wasted Counterspell?"
"Or maybe those three Flame Bursts that completely lacked coordination?"
"Eh..." The happy William took a blow from Lin Yun's criticism and lowered his head. After a bit, he mumbled, "But I beat Ross Merlin..."
"Yeah, you beat Ross Merlin..." Lin Yun didn't put him down this time. He only nodded with a smile. "Thus, you'll soon become of the focus of the Merlin Family."
"Ah what? Don't tell me you didn't notice? There were at least three Mage Eyes watching the fight. Oh right, there were also the magic fluctuations of a powerful divination spell. I think that your heroic stance must have been shown in a large crystal ball..."
"You mean..." William was suddenly startled. "You mean people were spying?"
"You shouldn't call that spying, they were an audience..."
William's courtyard was already deformed beyond recognition. Even if Lin Yun wanted to live there, he simply couldn't. Thus, they had no choice but to find another place to stay. Fortunately, the Merlin Family Manor was large enough, so it wasn't difficult for William to find another place to live in with his status.
Lin Yun wasn't worried about this.
What truly grabbed Lin Yun's attention were the three Mage Eyes and the traces of the divination spell. If Lin Yun wasn't wrong, those three Mage Eyes had come from three 9th Rank High Mages, one of which might have already advanced to the Archmage realm.
If he guessed right, they should be of the same generation as William Merlin's father, the true core of the current Merlin Family.
It seemed that William would soon get some attention, and not just a bit.
As for those mana fluctuations that seemed to have been emitted from a large crystal ball, even Lin Yun was unsure as to where they had come from.
He only felt that the mana fluctuations emitted some dangerous aura.
Although Lin Yun was only a 1st Rank High Mage, when it came to fighting power, a 1st Rank Archmage like Suyass might not necessarily be his match. Only someone a lot more powerful would be able to make him feel danger.
There might be a 5th Rank Archmage, or perhaps someone even stronger, hidden behind those mana fluctuations...
But it didn't matter, as he had to get to the Merlin Ancestral Land first before thinking about this.
The feeling of remaining stuck at 1st Rank felt terrible.
As he thought of this, Lin Yun stopped brooding on the spectators. He urged William to find a place for them to stay so that they could rest. He would find Ofran first thing in the morning to have him open the Ancestral Land.
"Cousin, this is where my sister used to live. It's been a long time since someone put the place in order. We don't have much choice, so let's just spend the night there for now..." The group of three walked for about ten minutes before reaching a shabby house.
"Ah, err, Cousin..." William seemed to remember something as he opened the door and thus stopped. "My sister took in a girl before and she is now living her by herself, but she is a bit antisocial..."
"Okay, I got it." Lin Yun nodded. What William was trying to say was clear. He wanted to let him know that this girl was a bit special so he shouldn't bother arguing with her if he met her.
After the three entered, they found that this seemingly shabby house was actually clean and spotless. The table and chairs were wiped clean, and not a single speck of dust could be seen on the floor. This didn't look like a place that had been left abandoned for a long time.
"Let's go to the 2nd floor, there should be some vacant rooms there. I also lived on the 2nd floor last time I came," William said while leading them up.
"Hmm?" Lin Yun felt something wrong just as he set foot there.
He felt as if he was being spied on.
At first, Lin Yun thought that the people that were spying on William before were doing it once again.
Lin Yun's expression sank at that discovery.
He didn't mind people watching William's fight. After all, each of the words he'd uttered had gone through runic encryption. Even Ross, who was within hearing range, couldn't understand him, let alone those three Mage Eyes.
But Lin Yun wasn't happy about their continuous spying.
This was naked provocation...
As Lin Yun got ready to search for the Mage Eyes to give the spies a stern warning, he suddenly found out that it wasn't a Mage Eye spying on him, but two glistening eyes.
In the shadows of the stairs, a malnourished and sickly small girl was standing there silently. The young girl was no more than 12 years old and signs of malnutrition could be seen on her pale face. Her hair was also in bad condition. She looked like a small twig that could break in the wind.