The steward had talked with Liu Cheng several times already, mostly detailing what had happened on that herb field, so he wasn’t surprised at all to see him again. “Demon hunter Liu, please come inside.” Right now, the man had returned to the small house not far from the herb field where he was living with his wife and son.
Liu Cheng Cheng bowed and then went inside with him, sitting down in the seat that the steward offered to him. “Steward, let me go straight to the point: I am currently assuming that this whole incident is related to one of the people working in the field or somebody they are close to.
“Can you tell me whether one of them has acted strange lately? Or maybe if you wouldn’t say that anybody acted strange, if someone behaved somewhat differently from before?”
The steward who had just wanted to make some small talk and offer some snacks and tea was stunned into speechlessness. He took a few moments to come back to himself and then sat down in front of Liu Cheng, pondering the question deeply.
He knew that this was of utmost importance. Several people had died on the herb field or close by recently. That definitely wasn’t something that he wanted to see to continue. If it did … Who was to say that the next person wouldn’t be his son or wife or maybe even himself? And even if it wasn’t, he didn’t want to see any of the people he had known for years die so senselessly.
“To be honest, I haven’t noticed anything like that. Everybody seemed just like normal. It’s just that they got a little nervous after these things kept happening. It was still somewhat alright after the first one. After all, everybody thought that it was just an accident. But when the second one happened, people couldn’t help but feel that there had to be more to this. And then with the third one …” He shook his head.
What else was there to say? The people were worried. And with everything that happened, they would become even more worried, wondering if they would be the next one. That was especially so since the ones who had already died didn’t seem to have anything in common. And by holding fast to this idea that all this had to be the doing of a demon, they scared themselves even more.
Liu Cheng nodded, not too surprised by this response. The common people very seldom paid attention to this kind of thing. Especially not if there wasn’t any reason to do so in their eyes. They would hardly notice the minute differences a demon would show when it started to expose its tail.
“Well, for the next few days, do me the favor of keeping an eye on this. If you notice anything, please tell me immediately. Also, I’d like to speak to some of your people.”
The steward nodded. “Of course! Just tell me who you want to see and I’ll arrange it immediately.”
“One of the workers in the field should be called Peng Mu. Is that right?”
The steward nodded again. “Yes, we’re calling him Xiao Mu. Should I get him for you?”
Liu Cheng shook his head. “Not yet. What do you know about him?”
The steward pondered for a while. “Well, he came here when he was still quite young. He is an orphan without any family left. The Master took him in back then because he was sorry for him. Since then, he’s been either helping around the house or in the field.”
“Is there anybody he is especially close to? Does he have a wife?”
The steward shook his head again. “No, not that I know of. He definitely isn’t married.”
“Then could he have met somebody that he is interested in?”
The steward grew even more confused when Liu Cheng continued to ask about this specific person. Was there something wrong with Xiao Mu? “If there is, then I don’t know about that. You could probably ask the others who are normally working close to him. I can call them over.”
Liu Cheng hesitated for a moment but then nodded. “Very well, I guess it would be a good point to start.” This Peng Mu was naturally the person that he assumed to either be the demon or be acquainted with a demon. What the steward had just said made him feel like that even more.
If he was a demon, then coming here under the guise of being an orphan would be a good idea since it would make people lower their guard around him. He could stay here for a while, get used to the situation and then start with this horrifying plan. One after the other, he would kill some of the workers, without a doubt ever falling onto him. After all, people trusted him.
Even if he wasn’t the demon himself, the chances that the demon was affiliated with him were very big. Somebody who had a family and many friends was much more difficult to approach and much more difficult to use for their own gains. After all, they would have the input of others who might notice that what they did was wrong. Somebody in that Peng Mu’s situation might not have that.
Regardless of how Liu Cheng looked at it, this person was suspicious. He was sure that he had gotten it right but he naturally wouldn’t skimp on continuing his investigation. Still, the result probably would be the same. Then, he would soon be able to finish this mission and save the people on the herb field from this scourge.