Chapter 5:

Professional Interrogations are Boring, so Research Time!

Nol and Voyd: A Quiet Fantasy Life Isn't So Quiet After All!

I sat in a chair, watching a man screaming in pain, but honestly? It was rather boring. Not at all interesting. For that matter, these men barely said anything. We had some difficulty in ascertaining their identities as a result, much less their client. That wasn’t to say that I couldn’t just cheat and analyze them, but I thought that watching a professional interrogation would teach me something useful.

Yet, honestly, it was rather boring to watch. That isn’t to say that it looked like I’d have fun actually participating either. I yawned with tears pooling in the corners of my eyes. Seriously, this was just the kind of thing that someone who could only think of violence would come up with.

It was actually so bad that I ended up taking a nap and even after waking up hours later, it didn’t look like they had managed to get much information at all. I did suspect I knew why they were so tight lipped, but at this rate, it would be days before they spilled any information.

“Hey, Mr. Guard, this isn’t really getting anywhere, is it?”

“Don’t worry Miss, this is just as usual. It typically takes a few weeks to extract information.”

“Indeed, especially if their families are being held hostage, those with stronger familial ties may be more loath to talk. But all we need is one family, right? Then they’ll talk when we interrogate their family.”

“Miss, did you shout that knowing that they will only become more tight lipped if you say that?”

Mr. Guard frowned as he responded to my shout. Indeed, I had made sure to speak fairly loudly to ensure that all the prisoners heard. After all, I had a way better idea of how to extract information. If we had to wait weeks, I imagined that the evidence would quickly disappear. So I continued just as loudly.

“They just have to talk to avoid that, right? We could even make an offer. The first to talk, we’ll bring their family into protection. Every other family will be interrogated in front of them until they expire.”

“Miss, you are an apothecary, right? Not a dark lord?”

“Well, for all intents and purposes, I am an apothecary, but research is my primary goal. Of course, I won’t do anything crazy like force someone to become my research subject, but these guys totally volunteered themselves, right? I should take volunteers where I can.”

The guards around me all visibly shuddered for some reason but I just gave them the most pleasant smile I could. For some reason, several guards took a step back at my smile. I heard strange whispering like, “Hey, there wouldn’t happen to have been a dark lord born recently, right?” and other strange questions. What was a dark lord anyway? I seriously wondered what that might be, but I also felt like they were being just a bit rude.

I gave them my best glare as I considered the best ways to extract the information quickly. If I didn’t care about the mastermind behind the scenes getting away, then certainly taking our time was fine. If the mastermind wasn’t a noble, we could also pursue the mastermind and then get the evidence later; however, I suspect everyone knew exactly who this mastermind was.

The more I thought about it, the more I felt that we needed to quickly we needed to find the evidence. Unfortunately, I was just a victim and not part of the guard, so I couldn’t order them to investigate. Oh, but perhaps I could show off some experimentation. I looked at the guards again and they all jumped back, even reaching for their weapons. Ummm.... rude much?

“That smile is like some horrible monster inviting me to the depths of the abyss.”

“How can a smile be so terrifying?”

“Humans don’t smile like that! She has to be a dark lord in disguise.”

I tilted my head a bit at their whispering. Was I really smiling? I massaged my cheeks to clear any weird expressions on my face before speaking up, “Just so you know, I can totally hear you guys...” The guards all jolted with stiff expressions and perfectly straight backs, looking straight ahead as if avoiding eye contact.

I looked at the prisoner being interrogated and smiled as I took out a health potion before walking up to the prisoner, pouring the health potion on the prisoner.

“I think I’ve seen enough. This interrogation is so inefficient and, if I were to be honest, so boring. I’d like to gather them all up in a single room so I can do some experiments. Perhaps they might be so grateful that they’ll talk.”

“Look Miss, you can’t just stop an interrogation midway through. There are protocols to follow.”

“I let you borrow them, but honestly, by the time you are done interrogating them, the true culprit behind the attack will have destroyed their evidence. We have maybe a few hours at best before the culprit suspects something. Are you trying to let them escape? Are you perhaps working for the culprit?”

“How preposterous! Why would I work against my own country?”

I smirked a little, “Oh? so you are suggesting that, perhaps you actually want to catch this culprit? In that case, let me show you a better way to get information from these volunteers. Believe me, after a little bit of experimentation, they’ll be so grateful that they’ll be begging to tell us everything they know.”

Ummm... why did the guard shiver and look at me like he was seeing some sort of eldritch abomination? Seriously, I have feelings, you know. I am just an ordinary little girl that happens to be able to make potions and loves experimentation.

“So please gather them up for me. I’m sure that they’ll be happy to see the experiments that I’ll perform on them. It will certainly give them a new perspective on life. Oh, and please do sit in on the experiments. I think it would be a good learning experience.”

A few minutes later, we were in a nice open space. Each prisoner was restrained by several guards except the one next to me. Of course, I had taken precautions to sever their muscles so they wouldn’t be moving about.

“So, today, I will be showing you all some of the experimentation that you’ll be receiving. I’m certain that once you see this, you’ll be extremely grateful and want to tell me everything you know. So, let the research begin.”

One of the guards muttered something like, “You know, I don’t know quite what she has planned, but given her confidence, there is still time, you know? If you confess to everything, we might be able to save you from her.”

Ummm.... rude much? They eagerly volunteered themselves, so why would they need to be saved from me? I gave the guard my best glare and he made this strange squeak sound. The other guards were pointedly looking away. Why are these guys so rude? Well, more importantly, I decided to start the experiments.

I held up a mass of wires in my hand and stuffed it into a potion container, then filled the potion container with a health potion before adding thickening potion until I ended up with a more or less solid rock. I took the potion bottle and dropped it, shattering it. Everyone flinched for some reason, but I quickly swept away the shards into my inventory, including the rock of health potion.

I then took out the rock, but without the wire mass, so now I had a rock with holes in it. I held up the rock for everyone to see.

“So, this little rock works the same as my health potions except it lasts longer in exchange for having a weaker effect. I will now cut open my test subject’s heart and insert this inside before healing the subject. This will trap the stone inside the subject’s heart. This stone is porous and will allow blood to flow through even if the stone gets stuck.

“You see, after a certain amount of pain, the heart goes into shock, starts to spasm, and in a worst case scenario, tears itself open. This can lead to death. So to ensure that the test subject does not die, this stone will keep repairing the heart. It might be a little painful, but it will save your life, so this is an important step.”

I paused for a second before realizing my mistake. I ended up speaking like a doctor or something. Fortunately, I was not disconnected from reality and fully understood the meaning of pain.

“Okay, I may have misspoken... It won’t be a little painful, it will be excruciatingly painful and possibly even make you wish for death in a worst case scenario, but don’t worry, it should be relatively painless compared to the experiments.”

Everyone just froze to such an extent that I wondered for a moment if they had turned to stone. They weren’t even breathing. Maybe they were just really eager to see the experiment begin. Nodding, I began to explain my steps as I sliced open the chest, cracking a few bones and discarding them to keep them out of my way. The prisoner screamed a bunch from the process, but this was necessary to make sure he didn’t die.

Next, I prepared some health and antiseptic potions and made a slice into the heart, shoving the stone inside and then immediately flooding the heart with the prepared potions. The cut was too large for the stone to work effectively in the current state and I needed to make sure that the subject did not end up infected.

With that, I used health potions to close the wounds. I nodded, satisfied with the work so far as I brought out a saw, a pick, and some other tools. The screaming was getting a bit annoying, so I decided to first ask if anyone minded me disabling the subject’s voice box for a bit. Nobody seemed to mind, so I did just that. I could always fix that later. I also took out a nice wooden club as an in-case.

With that ready, I began my experiments. First, I removed an arm, and after healing it, showed that the wound was clearly healed. I then reattached it and demonstrated that the arm still worked fine after the reattaching process, then removed it again to show that the arm had indeed properly healed. For some reason, my audience slowly grew paler and paler as I demonstrated my experiments, but I decided that it was no big deal.

Next, I demonstrated that by adjusting the blood vessels and using healing potions, I could attach the arm in other locations without losing the functionality of the arm. One of the guards held his hands to his mouth during that demonstration for some reason. Next, I swapped a leg and an arm to demonstrate that even that didn’t pose an issue.

Finally, I moved the head to the remaining leg. This was a bit of a troublesome process as I needed to be extremely swift. The brain could survive maybe six seconds without blood depending on the person. This meant that I needed to make the swap extremely fast. I prepared the site using techniques to extend the nerves within the tailbone into the thigh, enlarged some blood vessels, and grew them to the inner thigh. After that, I swiftly removed the head and reattached it, connecting the spine and blood vessels in a hurry before healing the rest.

I also carefully made sure that when I healed the neck area up top, I didn’t accidentally seal the esophagus. I made sure that the subject could breath and take in food just fine. Three guards rushed out the room. I wondered if they had been holding it in for a while. I decided I should make sure that the guards were aware that holding it in was bad for the health and that they should make sure to use the bathroom when they needed it.

I was done with the experiment on this subject for now though. Blood loss could lead to death and the subject already lost quite a bit of blood. I decided that further experimentation was too dangerous. Nodding, I smiled at the group.

“So, as you can see, these experiments are extremely safe and the subject is perfectly safe and won’t die from the experiments. So, if you are feeling grateful for being allowed to be part of our experiments, feel free to let me know everything you know. The early ones get to choose which experiments they want to be a part of.”

There was a bit of silence there. What a strange reaction. Weren’t they a bit more excited about volunteering? I mean, they had broken into my home, so they clearly were interested in being test subjects. Maybe I needed to expand my offer a little.

“If you want, I could bring your families here and experiment on them first. I’m sure your families would be very happy to know that you volunteered as test subjects. They’ll be happy, I’m certain, to show off their experimental states to you first. Ah, I’m kind of excited.”

I smiled at the prisoners as kindly as I could. I then noticed that I was pretty bloody as were the tools. I licked my hand a little and noted that the metallic taste was actually kind of nice.

“Oh, this is actually pretty good. I guess if some of you want to be dinner instead of experiments, I can open a spot or two. It will be really easy work. You just lounge around and whenever I’m hungry, I’ll just cut off your meat and then regrow it with potions. Pretty easy job, I’d say.”

For some reason, nobody seemed to be taking my offer. It was a really easy job with a lot of free time, you know. I just couldn’t imagine how anyone wouldn’t want such a cozy job. Well, I supposed getting more research subjects was a lot more important than more food sources when I already had a renewable food source.

Something smelled strange and I noticed growing pools of liquid below several prisoners. And some of the guards.

“You know, I was going to mention it later, but it is very important to use the water closet when you need to. Holding it in is bad for your health and can lead to many health problems. Before attending a long lecture, you should go and use the water closet whether or not you think you need to.”

A few of the guards blushed a bright red and seemed almost in tears while others looked doggedly away. I frowned, but I decided to continue speaking.

“More importantly, I need research subjects. If none of you want to step up, I’ll have to let your families go first. Since you guys volunteered, I hoped you all to be a bit more enthusiastic, but maybe seeing your families working hard will help motivate you all.”

“W-Wait! You can’t do that! My family has nothing to do with this!”

“Oh, but they do. For test subjects, you all seem rather unmotivated, so having your family join you should help with your motivation. A family that works together definitely is a family that is close. Look, the first one of you to tell me the names of everyone here can take their pick at any of the experiments I’m offering. The longer you wait to give me information, the less opening there will be.”

That didn’t seem to really bring out much interest. I sighed at these unmotivated slackers. If they weren’t going to be motivated, they shouldn’t have volunteered in the first place.

“Look, I really don’t want to bring your families into this, so I’d really appreciate it if you could find some motivation to participate before I have to involve your families. To be frank, I don’t really have enough space to fit all your families whole. I’d have to disassemble them and store them carefully and that is just going to waste time that I could be using for other tasks. So... who wants to show me some motivation?”

Complete and utter silence followed my words. I felt like a professor giving a lecture and asking for a student to volunteer to answer a difficult problem. Nobody seemed eager to step up. Well then, I’d just need to pick someone at random. That one seemed a bit too frail, that one looked a bit hard to deal with... Oh, that one looked good.

I pointed at one of the prisoners and beckoned him over. When he didn’t move, I looked at the guard behind him—the other guards restraining him had fled—and kindly asked him to bring the subject over. I also asked for another guard to fetch a chair and some sturdy ropes. Once everything was prepared, I sat the subject in the chair and bound him sturdily so that he wouldn’t be able to thrash about. I looked at the group and announced the second experiment.

“So it is believed that certain parts of the head contain triggers for certain actions. For example, if you touch certain parts, you might induce a person to say things that they would otherwise try to hide. Now, I don’t have a good electric source, so I’ll be using static for this.”

I took out a pair of metal rods and wound some wires around them before attaching them to some cloth, then put some cloth beneath my feat and put the previous cloth under my shoes.

I then put the rods in my pockets and grabbed the saw from earlier, attaching some clips to the saw. I needed to be extra careful for this lest I kill my subject, so I made the saw extra sharp and sturdy with the clip-on edges. I gleefully began the experiment preparation by sawing around the head above the ears. I was careful to watch how much pressure I put into the saw and how deep I cut into the bone.

It was an arduous process as I needed to carefully control my muscles to not pop into the brain once I cut through the bone. I also had to frequently replace the clips as they wore out. Finally, after several minutes of hard work, I managed to pop the cap off the brain. I used some health potions to control the bleeding, then proceeded to explain.

“Okay, so as you can see, this is the subject’s brain. I would like to ask everyone to control their breathing and talk as little as possible. An infection of the brain can be extremely deadly. Now, I will begin to show how various parts of the brain work.”

I proceeded to touch various parts of the brain with the rods and passing some static into the brain, I was able to induce various expressions and emotions within the subject. The subject seemed rather alarmed by the experiment, but I needed to show how various parts of the brain worked.

At one point, the subject screamed in agony, so I figured I must have touched a part of the brain related to sensation. I noted this to the viewers and then continued on as we studied what parts of the brain related to what feelings. Eventually, I found a part that seemed to be what I wanted and so I probed it while asking the subject several questions. The answers horrified the subject’s coworkers, but they delighted me quite a bit as I asked the guards to go fetch the people in question.

At that, the prisoners frantically shouted information at me and begged me to use them for my experiments, but to leave their families out of it. How greedy to want to leave their families out of it, but I didn’t mind seeing as how now I didn’t need to feed a lot more people than expected.

I smiled at Mr. Guard to give him an expression that said, “See, they were extremely grateful for my experiments and gave the information so easily.” Mr. Guard just smiled wryly back at me though. Now, most important was catching the culprit in the act so I looked to the prisoners.

“Now, I need two volunteers. First, who wants to kidnap me?”