Advent of the Three Calamities
Chapter 168: Trauma bonding [2]

"Did you manage to find anything?"

A stern man with greasy hair and a round belly greeted Javier by the end of the main hall of the inner area of the bunker. He was the main secretary of one of the Post Leaders stationed at the bunker.

To be precise, he was the secretary of the Black Hound Guild.

"No, nothing yet."

Javier answered while taking off his gloves. Turning back to stare at the door that led to the room where the cadet was currently detained, he pursed his lips.

".....I tried using a little bit of force, but he didn't budge once."

"Then clearly, you haven't used enough force."

"I don't know about that."

Recalling what he had done, Javier pursed his lips. To him, he had certainly used a lot of force.

Despite that, the cadet didn't react.

Perhaps the method he had used was the wrong one.

"Do we have any information on the cadet? Something that I can use perhaps?"


The secretary thought for a moment before answering.

"We do, but they are not in the bunker. As far as I know, he comes from the Evenus Barony. A rather small up-and-coming Barony, and that he's the current Black Star."

"Anything about his family?"

"No, again. That information isn't with us. If we were outside, I'd be able to get you what you want."

"I understand."


The secretary grasped both sides of his shoulders, bringing his face closer to him.

"....You need to understand how important the information is. People are currently suffering. We need to get to the bottom of the situation. You don't know who will be the next one to fall. It could be me, you, or your children."

At the moment his children were mentioned, Javier's expression turned sharp.

"You're right."

"I know I am."

Finally letting go of his shoulders, the secretary looked around.

"Don't worry about the methods that you use. Just try your best to get information out of him. Time is of the essence. I need you to hurry up the process."


Just as Javier was about to leave, he recalled something and turned back.

"You said that I don't have to worry about my methods, right?"

"Yes, don't worry."

"....From what I know, he's a rather important person from Haven. Do you think they'll let it slide if we do something to him?"


The secretary smiled.

"Don't worry. We'll handle the consequences. They're merely an Academy. Their power amounts to nothing when compared to the Guilds."


The interaction ended there. Turning around, Javier looked to his assistants and put his gloves back on.

"Bring me my tools."


Following that, he went back into the room.


"It's me again."

Sat behind the desk, the cadet slowly raised his head to meet his gaze. He looked somewhat lethargic, but his expression looked just as calm as it had been before.

Staring at his expression, Javier's face scrunched up.

'Let's see if you'll be able to remain like that after I'm done with you.'


The door behind him opened and several tools were brought in from sharp knives to hammers.

Javier made sure to display each tool on the table.

He wanted to see if the cadet would falter, but instead, throwing a glance at the tools, the corner of the cadet's lips lifted up.

Though he didn't say a word, it became clear to Javier that he wasn't scared.

Javier further clenched his teeth before turning around to address his assistants.

"Tie him up."


Coming down behind the cadet who showed no resistance, his assistants quickly tied him down to the chair.

The process took no longer than a few minutes.

"We're done."

"Leave the room, now."

Javier dismissed them with a wave of his hand.

He needed to be alone for this next part.


"I said leave!"

Irritated, Javier shouted, startling the assistants.


Though confused, the assistants quickly dispersed, leaving the room alone.


Before long, it was just the two of them. Grabbing one of the knives, Javier traced his finger over its body.

".....I really don't want to do this to you. If possible, I'd like to keep this exchange a painless one. Tell me what you know about the situation, and I'll let you go. How does that sound?"

"You'll let me go?"

Finally, the cadet spoke.

Staring into his hazel eyes, Javier nodded.

"Yes, I will try my best to get you out."


"I promise you."

Javier tried his best to put on the most heartfelt expression he could make. In reality, it wasn't up to him. But he wasn't lying when he said he would try his best.


The cadet remained silent for a moment before he shook his head.

"You're lying."

His expression changed as well, raising his head to glare at Javier.

"I can tell when someone is lying from just a glance. You're definitely going to try your best to help me, but ultimately that decision won't be up to you, will it?"


Javier's expression frosted over and his grip over the knife tightened.

He was just about to start his session when the cadet's expression turned fierce.

"You think you can do shit to me with that little thing? Heh."

Laughing, he brought his face forward.

"....I've lost my mother when I was young."

Spit flew out of his mouth as he spoke.

"My father, who is the leader of a large barony hardly ever had time to take care of me. I've only had to rely on myself to take care of myself, and my brother. This little pain is nothing compared to what you're about to subject me too!"

Javier's hand, which was about to move, suddenly stopped after hearing his words.

His expression stiffened, and he felt a certain pain in his chest. It dug into his heart, making it hard for him to remain calm.

Those circumstances,

They sounded an awful lot like that of his children.


His chest trembled at the thought.

'No, this isn't the same.'

However, he still needed to do a job.

Putting the knife down, he made sure the glove fit him perfectly before bringing his fist down to the cadet's face.


As he punched, he heard a scrunching sound. It came from the cadet's nose, and blood flowed down from it. Not minding it, he brought his fist back and punched again.


The entire time, he made sure to keep his face straight.

However, that proved to be difficult.


Laughing with each punch, the cadet showed no signs of being affected by his punches at all. In fact, he seemed to be thriving in them.

"Do it! Punch me harder!"

But that wasn't the worst part.

For some reason,


"This is nothing compared to the pain I suffered when my mother died!"

Each and every word,


"This is nothing compared to the neglect I've suffered under my father!"

Hurt more than the punches he threw at the cadet.


"He is the one who killed my mother! That bastard...!"

Javier flinched, and his fist paused.

With bloodshot eyes, the cadet screamed.

"If only he did his damn fucking job as a husband and father! Coward! He's a coward! Cow—"



The last punch didn't strike the cadet. No, it was directed towards the metal desk.

Silence took over the room shortly after that.

"Haaa.... Haaa... Haaa..."

Javier took heavy breaths.

Raising his head, he looked at the cadet. With his head lowered, he looked unresponsive.

"Haaa... Haaa..."

Breathing heavily, Javier removed the glove and stepped back.

"I... It wasn't."

Massaging his head, he ruffled his hair into a mess before clenching his teeth. Taking a look at the cadet, he took a deep breath and proceeded to go out of the room.

He needed to take a breather.


The room plunged into silence the moment he left.

That was when the cadet's body finally moved as he slowly raised his head.

The madness from before was long gone.

Drip! Drip...!

With blood dripping down from his nose, he coldly stared at the door.

Squench, squench.

Gradually, roots sprouted from the ground, covering his legs and finally stopping at his torso.


Julien murmured,



——At the same time.

Outer Area of the Bunker.

'I need to find out more about the tree.'

Aoife headed towards where the Post Leaders were. Because of her status, the guards stationed didn't stop her along the way and allowed her to enter the Inner area of the bunker.


The moment she entered, all gazes fell on her.

Aoife could feel tremendous pressure coming from each and every one of the individuals present, but she didn't let that affect her.

Compared to what she had experienced before, they were simply small fries.

No, they were small fries.

"How is the situation?"

Looking around, she found a seat at the edge of the room. There weren't many decorations, with only one table in the middle and a lamp.

In the middle of the table were several files.

"This... We still aren't sure yet."

A young woman Aoife recognized answered.

'Post Leader of the Thorn Rose Guild. Penelope Injark.'

"....From what we understand, this isn't a disease. However, we also don't know what it is. It doesn't seem to be poison or a curse. We've run a lot of tests, and we've yet to find anything to explain the situation."

"Is that so?"

Aoife frowned.

The situation was turning out to be a lot more complicated than she thought.

"But it's not like we don't have any leads."

She went on to say, catching Aoife's attention.

The others looked at her, but none stopped her.

"Tree of Ebonthorn."


Aoife had a hard time keeping her expression from changing.

"Tree of Ebonthorn? What is that?"

".....We don't know. It's strange. None of us know."

Penelope answered with a frown.

Looking around, her gaze stopped on a tall man with long brown hair, well-shaped brows, and red eyes.

'Karl Jashmire. Post Leader of the Black Hound Guild.'

Aoife knew him too.

She didn't have good feelings about him.

The Black Hound Guild wasn't a Guild with a good reputation. They were known for their ruthlessness, and if not for the fact that they provided results, the royal family would've already done something about them.

Opening his mouth, he spoke.

"This is usually my area of expertise, but I've also never heard of such a creature before. I suspect this is a lie from the cadet, trying to make us waste time on some nonsensical information."

His words were met with a wave of agreement.

"We're wasting time looking for something that is not there."

"I also think this is a lie to make us waste time."

"It's fine."

Karl raised his hand to quiet down the room.

"....I've already got a few people to properly investigate the cadet. We'll know soon enough if he's lying or not."

"Properly investigate?"

Aoife asked with a frown. For some reason, she started to have a bad feeling.

And as expected, she wasn't wrong.

"Don't worry Princess. He should spill everything soon. I also made sure to tell them to not break him in the process. You can trust us."

Chapter 168: Trauma bonding [2]
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