After spending a few minutes performing calculations while walking around the altar, Lin Yun determined that the altar had no effect on the entire array. The only effect was to increase the speed at which Black Iron Beastmen progressed, and it had no effect on humans.
It was because of this that the altar was able to remain in the Radiant Fort for so long. Even if the Radiant Fort was breached, the Black Iron Beastman wouldn't let this altar suffer from any damage.
With a wave of his hand, Lin Yun dispatched some of his mages. The group surrounded the altar and took it apart in less than three minutes. Under this altar was a pitch-black hole. From standing at the entrance and looking down, one couldn't tell how deep the passage was. The rich Abyssal Aura transformed into a thin plume of smoke that kept spreading.
On the other side, when Wagner saw Lin Yun suddenly gathering subordinates, he immediately withdrew back to his room, but he then left his room and sneakily moved towards the next room over.
'Damnit, Mafa Merlin suddenly gathered all his subordinates! Is he planning on starting a war? No good, I have to hide before I get pulled into this. Hiding in my room wouldn't work, but it'll be harder to find me if I hide in the next room.
'I'm only an 8th Rank Archmage... Without my army, I won't be able to beat those muscle-headed Beastmen.'
Wagner chuckled mischievously as he planned on secretly entering the next room, but he barely took two steps before a shadow suddenly appeared.
A loud explosion echoed as the earth shook. Wagner looked up and saw an impatient red-skinned Beastman holding a warhammer smiling awkwardly at him.
"Errr, Xiuban, right? Why are you blocking my path?"
Xiuban looked impatient as he reached out to grab Wagner's collar.
"Damned scoundrel, you actually dare to make Lord Xiuban personally invite you? Pah, I'm scolding you, what about it? Sir Merlin said that we are going to explore some ruins and that you should follow."
Wagner looked a bit uncomfortable as he awkwardly twisted his body, wisely not asking if he could be put down.
Facing this monstrous Beastman at such a distance, Wagner clearly understood that a simple pinch would be enough to shatter his skull. He could be crushed just as easily as an ant, so he was careful not to say anything that might infuriate this red-skinned Beastman that already found him unpleasant.
Xiuban carried Wagner like a chick and put him down at the center of the Radiant Fort, where Lin Yun threw them a quick glance.
"Good, everyone arrived, let's go. Kurumu, you will be in charge of defending the Radiant Fort. If someone invades, just kill them directly, there is no need to think too much."
Wagner originally wanted to ask something, but when he heard Lin Yun's ferocious words and saw the group of mages leaking killing intent, he judiciously chose to remain silent and well-behaved as he followed behind.
But seeing that pitch-black passage that seemed to lead into the Abyss, Wagner's neck shrank as he appeared reluctant.
Lin Yun led Reina, Xiuban, Enderfa, and the puppet, as well as Wagner, into the passage, while his cousins and the mage army remained at the Radiant Fort.
After entering the passage, Lin Yun immediately cast ten Mage Eyes, Detect Magic, Detect Undead, and Detect Life in succession.
He was surprised by the results of the detection spells: There was no magic reaction, and there were no living or undead lifeforms.
But after walking down the stairs, Lin Yun understood why there weren't any defensive measures.
The straight passage leading downward suddenly forked into three paths. Lin Yun frowned and had three Mage Eyes enter them.
But after flying more than ten meters, the response from the Mage Eyes sharply declined, and the sight coming from them Mage Eyes rapidly became fuzzy. After twenty meters, they no longer had any response at all.
He summoned three Rock Puppets, but the result was the same. After going through twenty meters, the connection was severed. The remnant of the connection left let Lin Yun know that the three Rock Puppets hadn't disappeared, but rather, there was great interference within those paths.
There was only one way to progress: picking a path and going through that seemingly ordinary maze without using magic.
This seemingly simple passage completely removed the opportunity to use magic.
Lin Yun waved his hand and several floating pieces of paper appeared. He then held his quill and quickly made some calculations, using the Magic Array to help. The written data was extremely concise, with only some key pieces of data that went straight to the point.
After a minute, Lin Yun walked towards the left path.
Someone that didn't think much about it might just assume that the central path should be the continuation of the original path. Someone a bit smarter would be more cautious, and the first reaction would be that the left side seemed suspicious. As long as they had that kind of suspicion, the probability of choosing the left path would be very small, so there was a bigger chance that they would choose between the middle and right paths.
Lin Yun put down his quill after finishing his calculations and frowned. The master of these ruins seemed to have an outstanding ability to peer through people's minds.
When faced with a maze that restricted magic, ordinary mages were prone to follow their instincts. If he hadn't already studied the Radiant Fort's array, Lin Yun also wouldn't have chosen the left path.
But with all the data and clues, combined with the angle, position, and length, the left passage was the only one that should be leading to the correct place below the Radiant Fort.
The quantity of calculations needed to determine this was simply astronomical. Another Artisan without a Magic Array would need an entire day to determine the correct path, and that was with the premise that they had the complete data from the Radiant Fort and its array.
Just one passage held such a seemingly simple yet disastrous choice.
Moreover, he didn't need to think about it to know that the other two passages definitely had mortal dangers of some sort. Lin Yun's forehead was covered with cold sweat. He was now even more certain that the ruins were Bill George's ruins. Only someone who had experienced so many tribulations early on in life could arrange this kind of simple yet treacherous maze.
Lin Yun used a Mage Eye and a Rock Puppet to explore a bit ahead of him, and still not feeling relieved, he opened a Hell Gate and summoned an Imp, using force to control it to find a path ahead of him.
No one understood why Lin Yun had become so excessively cautious.
But after following Lin Yun for a long time, they knew that there were very few situations where Lin Yun was so cautious, so none of them dared to take it lightly. Even the most simple-minded Xiuban was well-behaved and remained silent in the back.
They didn't go far before running into another intersection, which split in three again. Lin Yun made detailed calculations for a dozen minutes before figuring out that the correct path this time was the right side.
Wagner followed with a puzzled look, not understanding why he took so long to make his decision, nor why he was cautiously using three different methods to scout ahead.
'This is being too careful, isn't it? Wouldn't it be fine to just use an elemental lifeform to check out a path and discover any dangers ahead of time? That way you can just avoid that path. Mafa Merlin is really overly cautious... A Mage Eye and a Rock Puppet were insufficient for him, and he actually took the risk to open a Hell Gate to summon an Imp...'
After going through seven intersections, on the 8th intersection, they encountered three identical paths. Everyone was used to it by now and took the initiative to stop, waiting for Lin Yun to calculate the proper path.
After calculating, Lin Yun still cautiously cast a Mage Eye and had the Rock Puppet walk a dozen meters ahead.
There was nothing dangerous within that path, and both walls only had reinforcement runes. It looked no different from the previous path.
At least through the Mage Eye and the Rock Puppet, it looked no different.
But, as if facing a great enemy, Lin Yun forcibly controlled that badly behaving Imp and had it explore over twenty meters ahead to check the path.
There had been no changes when going through the first seven paths, but there suddenly was a change now. The Rock Puppet and the Mage Eye didn't trigger anything, but when the Imp went through the passage, some of the runes suddenly transformed, and the original reinforcement runes arranged themselves and combined into new runes. In an instant, the passage was filled with numerous Fire Bolts.
Several red flaming rays, as thick as fingers, shot out, forming a dense net in an instant. And the most frightening part was that there wasn't just one net, but several dozen nets spread every ten centimeters.
That sinister, drooling Imp was shot by three Fire Bolts, and a burnt smell immediately spread throughout the passage.
The Imp didn't move when it first suffered that attack, but when it twitched a bit, its body passed through the net of flaming rays and was instantly cut to pieces.
A large amount of purple blood sprayed out before evaporating from those burning hot Fire Bolts, and the Imp's body turned to ashes...
Lin Yun faintly frowned, a flash of understanding visible in his eyes.
'Sure enough, it's Bill George's style. That guy who suffered tribulations and depression at the start of his life loved this kind of trap that people would unconsciously fall into and be shocked by before their deaths.'