490 Systemless Karmic Retribution

    The researcher of the Soul Clan kept punching the barrier that was trapping her, unaware of why the man in glasses could neither hear, or see her. The thought of him being in on the kidnapping would have crossed her mind, had the guards not been acting the exact same way, looking for her in every room of the residence with diligence.

    "Is this something I will have to expect to happen often in the future?" Asked Daniel with irritation while sitting onto one of the now clean chairs.

    The man with glasses looked at the empty residence with alertness, but after failing to notice any kind of suspicious activity, he turned to look at Daniel, and said with a sheepish tone, "I assure you this is a special occasion. As I have told you, this has never happened before." Even when answering to Daniel, he never stopped going through the residence's many rooms, checking for the presence of any source of power or small formation left active despite his initial request of deactivating them.

    Luckily for Daniel, none of these cultivators had any form of comprehension towards the essence of spacetime, whose nature was composed of both space and time, but appeared as a kind of essence completely different, and almost impossible to notice without at least a basic knowledge of it. To the eyes of an inexperienced individual, a formation created with the essence of spacetime would be completely undetectable, and to their senses, the area it occupied would appear like normal empty space.

    "So you say, but it is an awful coincidence that this happened only weeks after my arrival." muttered Daniel while trying to hide his spatial ring within one of the spatial pockets he had created on his clothes. The man with glasses noticed Daniel's actions, and interpreted them as him being protective of his research, so he did not pursue it. Instead, he took a seat in one of the free chairs placed next to the one that Daniel was using, and waited in silence.

    Around ten minutes later, the guards regrouped in the main hall, where Daniel and the researcher with glasses had waited without speaking a word to each other. This silence was broken by one of the guards, who approached the man with glasses, and said, "There is no trace of active formations in the residence. She isn't here."

    The man with glasses nodded in understanding before standing up, bowing politely in Daniel's direction, and saying, "My apologies. We will take our leave now." He then left in a hurry before Daniel could have a chance to complain about their action, or the situation.

    Throughout this whole encounter, the young woman hadn't stopped screaming, or attempting to escape for even a single moment. Her state of mind became less stable by the second, and filled with pure horror the moment the man whom she believed to be her saviour, had left the house, convinced that she wasn't there. Once alone with Daniel her shoulders slouched, and she fell on her knees, but this horrifying moment of realization only lasted a moment, as that was all it took for Daniel to reactivate the dozens of cloaking formations to hide the insides of his residence, and walk in her direction.

    "We were interrupted the very moment you were about to answer my question.." he said while moving a chair in front of the woman's cage, and sitting on it. He then crossed his arms and legs, and added, "I am all ears."

    Seeing the smug expression on Daniel's face caused the young woman to instinctively spit in disgust. With her hatred towards Daniel more powerful than anything he had inflicted upon her, she instinctively decided that she would never talk. Instead, she said, "Come on then, brat. Do your worst. I have lived longer than all of the people you have met combined. Even if you had the power to kill me, I would welcome death with open arms."

    Daniel nodded in agreement. He knew that someone who had lived as long as a researcher of the Laboratory would not care about death, and that was even more true for the members of the Soul Clan, whose consciousness would simply be reborn along with their spirit in the spiritual world, where they were virtually immortal. If that was not enough to take away Daniel's intimidation value, the young woman was at the late godhood stage, and therefore, much more powerful than he was. If not for his comprehension of the spacetime and her lack of an awareness that a fighter would have, he wouldn't have been able to capture her to begin with.

    Nevertheless, Daniel was never one to improvise.

    "That is true. I cannot kill you." he said with a matter-of-fact tone. However, while to the young woman it appeared that he was considering whether what he had done had been a good idea or not, or whether to let her go, Daniel casually waved his hand, and activated the formation that was trapping her. This formation focused all of the dark essence present in it to focus around her head, and absorb something very specific. That was a portion of her consciousness.

    The young woman staggered in response to the faint pain she had felt at the back of her head, but after a moment, this pain disappeared, and she regained her composure.

    "That was.. Ten thousand years of memories, lost forever." He then added.

    Initially the young woman looked back at Daniel with confusion, but as she went through her memories, she quickly realized that in the infinitely long film of her life, were now a number of holes which added up to around ten thousand years of memories. These memories were lost forever, and she could not picture them no matter how much she tried.

    Daniel knew very well that the threat of violence would not be an effective strategy to these people. However, thanks to the time he had spent in the Laboratory, he had realized that there was something that these researchers cared about more than their own lives, and that was their knowledge. Luckily, Daniel's comprehension of dark essence had helped him take care of stronger entities more than once before.

    "WHAT DID YOU DO!?" shouted the young woman with pure anger. Within the ten thousand years of memories loss was an immense amount of knowledge, some of which had helped her research to that very day.

    Daniel shrugged his shoulders, and said, "I only wanted to erase a thousand years. I don't exactly have full control of what I can take out of you, since you are stronger than me.. I'll try to be more precise from now on."

    "No! STOP!" she uttered in panic as he once again waved his hand with a casual motion, which  activated the dark essence within the formation, and this time, erased over thirty thousand years of random memories.

    A similar, and yet stronger headache flared up in the mind of the young woman, who was now conscious of what it indicated. "Wait! WAIT!" she said as the pain dimmed while looking at Daniel with a crazed expression.

    Daniel ignored her, and instead, observed her reaction. He then said with a carefree tone, "I don't know what you are forgetting, but it must be pretty important. Let's try one more time." As he finished speaking, he waved his hand a third time, taking a few more thousand years out of the memories of the young woman.

    At this point the young woman was dumbfounded. It did not appear that Daniel cared about receiving an answer to his question. He was simply torturing her, with no apparent reason. This degree of unreasonable behaviour destroyed any form of mental resistance she had built in her years of "justified" atrocities, and sent her back to a time where she was weak and helpless.

    Naturally, Daniel was not enjoying this, as there was a chance that the memories he was randomly erasing would contain the information he needed, but he needed to appear unreasonable enough for her to find no way to give an half answer, or even worse, to give him a convincing lie that would lead to his death. He could not allow either hope or hate to spawn within her heart.. He needed her to be in a state of pure desperation.

    After the third attempt, Daniel stood back up and left the room, almost as if bored of what was happening, and leaving the young woman to quantify the degree of what she had lost.

    When Daniel came back, around two hours later, instead of listening to the answer that he was so ready to give, he once again forced the dark essence within the formation to erase a portion of her memories, taking away more than fifty thousand years at once.

    "Enough.. Please stop.. I'll talk." Said the young woman with a crazed expression.

    "All of this talk about you answering, and yet I still know nothing. I wonder how many times before you'll learn." Said Daniel with disappointment. He then started to move his hand in the same casual motion with which he had commanded the formation to erase so many of her memories in the last few hours.

    This time, however, before he could wave his hand completely, the young woman blurted out, "I-I don't know the name Yaqi, but the Head Soul asked me to.. He asked me.. Something about a newcomer, about helping him in his research however he needs it." As she spoke, the young woman appeared confused. The memories that she had lost were not linear, and instead, were small fragments that were split through the entirety of her life. This had led her to be unable to recall small details, like for example, pieces of conversations.

    From a simple look the young woman knew that Daniel wasn't satisfied, so before he could once again remove a portion of her precious memories and knowledge, she continued, "He was a big shot from the clan, and we were tasked with reserving a residence in the purity district for him to use.. But we were never told what his research was about. It is the building marked with the number eighteen. That's all I know, I swear!"

    After the woman answered Daniel's question, he continued to pry by asking what level of protection was present in his facility, or what level of power would be alerted in the city in case he tried to break in. To these questions the young woman answered immediately, scared that a moment of hesitation would trigger Daniel's psychopathic tendencies that would lead to a loss of even more of her precious memories.

    Once in possession of all the information he needed, Daniel ignored the young woman, and moved towards the entrance of his facility.

    "Wait! Where are you going? I told you what I knew! Free me, I won't say a word, I promise!" She said in a hurry.. but her words fell on deaf ears.

    While erasing a portion of her subconscious, Daniel had been able to see fragments of her memories. In these fleeting images he had seen millions of tortured souls, beasts and humans, which were provided to her as test subjects, and consumed faster than a sheet of paper. If not for this level of brutality and disregard for life, Daniel might have erased her mind and allowed her spirit to go back to its dormant state, where it would be placed in another being the moment they would be born, but even if she came through with her promise to stay quiet, due to what he had seen, Daniel had decided that this good-looking butcher deserved much worse than simple reincarnation, and a place in the underworld.

    What she deserved was to be trapped into the spacetime formation for the natural duration of her life, forced to see people come and go in that facility where she was trapped, while hoping that one of them would happen to possess Daniel's abilities, and would be able to free her.. only to be ultimately disappointed, and be forced to face another eternity trapped.
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