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408 Opening the Metal Door, Behind the Doors that Lay Behind I

 Day 69 - 10:22 PM - Padilla, San Jose, Antipolo, Rizal

Mark and Mei stared at each other for a few seconds.

At the same time, they looked away from each other and faced the safe door.

Of course, nothing happened. What would anyone expect?

Mei only had eyes for Mark now. She always observed him, his likes, reactions, his behavior, and what he disliked.

He was not someone who would go after women, at least, not the real world ones.

Mei had seen Mark give out more expressions towards cute female anime characters, but she never saw him make genuine expressions towards real-life women.

If a woman's smell stuck unto him, it was very likely that it was the woman who made a move.

She would not blame Mark for it.

Of course, it would be a lie if she said that she did feel anything. She still felt jealous. However, she would not unreasonably blame Mark and become angry at him.

Other than that, she could not blame the other woman either. What women like her seek at times of chaos like these was protection. To some women, it would reach the point that they would disregard their dignity in order to survive.

Here, there Mark was the strongest person who could give that protection. Furthermore, he did not treat his people in a bad way. The worst that he did was ignoring them or kicking Joseph out of the meeting room, but that was it.

Even if his looks were rather lacking, those aspects were enough to make desperate people flock towards him. There would be no distinction in that whether it be a woman or a man, a child or an elderly, human or not.

Rather, she was proud that a man like than was overprotective of her.

Of course, she was still a bit jealous.

Then, she felt a warm embrace enveloping her body from behind. Her jealousy vanished in an instant.

"So, are we going to open this door?"

Mark asked with his breath tickling Mei's ears.

"Maybe we could," Mei answered. "The girls had been asking to open and explore it since they discovered it. It's just the door is locked and really sturdy to open forcefully."

Mark nodded. Looking at the door, it was not just some cheap-looking hidden passage. It was more like a vault door seen in many post-apocalyptic video games.

"Okay, let's open it."

Mark said which made the little girls cheer.

Mei looked a bit disappointed though as Mark let go of her to open the door.

Mark could not help but smile bitterly as he felt Mei's disappointment. He decided to make up for it later.

"Gege, aren't you going to use Ignis?"

Mei asked as she noticed that Mark did not bring the Demon Sword. Its flames should be the best way to open this thick metal door.

"Hmmm?" Mark looked at her. "I want to try something."

Mark then started to examine the door and find the exact places where the locks were. He actually wanted to just slip in using his [Shadow Mist Movement] and see if he could open it from inside. However, it was tightly sealed that there was no space between the door and the frame at all.

He also noticed that not just the door, the walls around the supposed hidden room were made of thick metal. Mark could not tell but he assumed that this metal was bulletproof, might be shockproof even.

As he estimated where the locking mechanisms were located, Mark held out his hand.

FLOOOM!

A bright orange colored fire burst out from his hand.

Mei and the little girls were surprised.

"Gege, that's..."

"Oh, this?" Mark pointed at the flames on his palm. "These are the original flames that Ignis had. Ignis absorbed my miasma and blood while I absorbed his flames. That's what happened I think."

Actually, Mark was quite unsure of it himself. After all, the naming ritual could already give a random effect to the master and it also went wrong.

What he knew was that while the flames of Ignis became black, he gained to use the original flames Ignis had. Of course, he could also turn it black by mixing miasma in it.

Using the high-temperature flame in Mark's hand, he slowly melted some parts of the door. He needed to adjust the positions at several points as the mechanism was slowly unveiled.

CREEAK!

Finally, the lock was destroyed and the door creaked open.

"I'll enter first okay?"

Mark said as he blocked the excited little girls from entering first.

The little girls behaved and waited for their Papa to enter.

Using his flames, Mark lit up the room as he entered.

There... was nothing.

The hidden room was just a three-meter by two-meter room. There were a few cabinets with books and a couch for reading. Aside from those, there was nothing else.

"Gege, is it fine to enter?"

Mei peeked through the door while holding her flashlight.

"It's okay. Just enter. The room is quite small though."

Mark replied.

Once the five of them were all inside the room, the little girls were a bit disappointed. They thought that there would be something interesting inside. There was nothing but books though. Miracle even tried moving the cabinets and removed the books but saw nothing behind.

"Is this all?"

Mei also looked disappointed by what they found inside.

"Let's look around some more. I don't think that this is all."

Mark said as he started to investigate.

Moving the cabinets and the couch, removing the carpet on the floor, and even removing the paintings on the walls. Unfortunately, nothing was revealed. There was nothing but metal tiles all over the walls and the floor.

Mark then went for the last resort.

Knocking on the walls and the floor.

Mark did not believe that this room was all of it. Looking at the layout of the house, the secure walls, and this hidden room. He deduced that the person that owned this house was rather overly cautious about their security.

This meant that the layout of this hidden room could just be a disguise.

Soon, Mark's suspicion was answered. He was right.

On the set of metal tiles at the corner of the hidden room, the sound made after he knocked was different from other areas.

Once more, he started melting the thick metal tiles with his fire.

"Master~! What is everyone doing?"

Amihan and Aephelia that went for a night stroll came back and saw what was happening. Being away from nature for too long, Amihan asked Aephelia to take a fly around the area.

"Adventure!"

Miracle was the one to answer first which made Abbygale and Iola nod.

EIIINNGGGG!!!

A sound was heard after Mark removed the melted metal tiles. Sure enough, it was a trapdoor with a ladder going down.

Like before, Mark took the lead and went down.

The ladder was quite high. In Mark's estimate, the ladder actually led him even lower than the basement of the mansion.

Reaching the end of the ladder, there was a flight of stairs that lead to a door below.

And... It was another thick metal door.

Mark could not help but scratch his head. This was the third one. For sure, the owners of the house were overly cautious for them to make something like this. It was good that there were no traps so far. If there was, Mark could surely question the sanity of the person that made this.

For several more minutes, Mark melted parts of the third door. As it was safe, he let everyone go down while he worked on the door.

The third door was twice as thick as the first door making it harder to open. It was a pain to melt with his flames.

Finally, the third door was opened. Nevertheless, Mark started to promise in his heart that if there was nothing behind this door or this door was not the last one, he would make this place explode tomorrow.

Fortunately, that was not the case.

Upon entering, what welcomed them was the stale air that was enclosed in this place for too long. Ignoring the bad air, everyone was amazed.

This place was not just an emergency shelter, it was actually an underground bunker.

The whole place was huge. In Mark's estimate, the bunker occupied half of the lot.

"Amihan, manipulate the air to remove the stale gases inside. Some harmful chemicals might have mixed with the air too."

Mark asked the Sylph to remove the bad air and replace it with a fresher one.

"Okay~!"

After Amihan blew the bad air out of the house through the passage they just went through.

Finally, they explored the bunker.

It was a jackpot.

Looking around, there were canned goods that could go on for years, long-lasting food and proper water supply. Aside from food, tools, generators, and even gas barrels were securely stored in one of the rooms in the bunker.

The most amazing thing, however, was one of the rooms at the furthest corner.

Secured cabinets, large boxes, and display cases. All of it was filled with firearms, ammunition, and explosives. Most of it was even illegal in the country. It would make anyone question what kind of people were the owners.

Nevertheless, Mark decided to take back what he thought of the owner of this place. He started to commend them instead. Sure enough, they were prepared for an apocalypse. Although the supply here was not enough to last for a lifetime, it could at least allow several people to live here for several years.

Unfortunately, it seemed that the owners failed to even make it into this bunker. There was no sign that his place had been touched for a long time. If there were people here, Mark would have detected them too.

The outbreak came too suddenly that the owners of the house did not make it. This apocalypse was also different from what could be seen in movies.

Inside the bunker, they also found a modified humvee. This made them question how it was brought here.

"I wonder if the lights work."

Mark murmured as he wandered into a room that looked like a control room. Inside, there was a set of monitors stacked together, several sets of buttons and even the panel of the electricity inside the bunker was here.

Seeing the button to turn on the lights, Mark flipped it.

THUM! THUM!

Everyone squinted their eyes as the sudden brightness blinded them.

Unexpected, there was electricity. However, it seemed that the electricity was only enough to power the lights as other things inside the bunker was still not working. Some of the appliances could be turned on but would cause the lights to dim and flicker.

"Gege, where did this electricity come from?"

Mei could not help but ask.

"Probably, from batteries connected to solar panels. I saw several sets on the roof of the mansion earlier."

Mark then noticed a button that seemed different from the set of buttons that controlled the doors.

He could not help but press it.

As soon as he did, all the lights dimmed.

Then, the girls exclaimed in amazement as the ceiling above the humvee slowly split into two and opened.

The scene outside the opened ceiling was rather familiar. It was the dried-up swimming pool at the back of the mansion.

"This place is amazing."

Mark could only say that in amazement.

In video games and movies, he had seen many things about high-tech bunkers. He did not expect that he would encounter one here.

Rather, who would expect something like this? They just went here to spend the night, after all.

"This really is a jackpot, isn't it, Mei'er?"

Mark spoke.

"Yes."

Mei replied. She was also amazed by what they were witnessing.

And all of these belonged to them.

Mark could not help but hug Miracle and kiss her cheeks for finding this treasure trove.