As it turned out, the general gist of Liu Cheng’s plan wasn’t that difficult: Jing Yi was supposed to infiltrate the herb field by pretending to be a new worker who had been hired to make up for the ones they had lost. Then, he was supposed to get close to Peng Mu and gain his trust. Or, well, rather than giving Peng Mu a favorable impression, it should probably be said that he was supposed to catch the eye of the demon behind him. Then, he would certainly be chosen as the new victim and somehow meet the demon.
Jing Yi didn’t have any trouble getting the first few steps but he wasn’t quite sure about the later ones. “It shouldn’t be a problem to become a worker in that field. I guess we could even make up a story about how you need more time for your investigation so I’ll have to stay here and will do that work to make it up to the merchant. He can also pitch in to make it more believable.
“I also think that I might be able to get close to Peng Mu since I’ll be new there and would need to get close to the other people already working there. It wouldn’t be strange at all to approach him and show some curiosity. But … What about the demon? How am I supposed to know who it is? I mean, I don’t know anything about them.”
Liu Cheng nodded his head. “I know. Which is why it is dangerous. For now, I can only conclude that this demon is likely appearing in the shape of a woman. She should have seduced that Peng Mu but that is all I can tell. You have to know that demons are able to change their forms at will. So it could very well be that when this demon appears in front of you, they will not be that woman. In other words, you always have to be on guard.”
Jing Yi nodded. That part was obvious. “But … Then what about after that? I mean she is supposed to attack me, isn’t she? What should I do then? I won’t be able to win over her, will I?”
Liu Cheng scoffed. “Of course not. If it was so easy, do you honestly believe any of the men on that herb field would have died? Winning over a demon is never easy. They’ve good physical skills and also magical abilities. A normal mortal will never be able to contend against them. It will need a cultivator or a practitioner for that. Since you haven’t been able to become one yet, you won’t stand a chance either.”
Jing Yi’s lips twitched at that. In other words, he wasn’t any better off than the other people working on that herb field. They were all in equal danger. “But if that is the case, then how do you expect to catch the demon with that? That’s what I don’t understand.”
Liu Cheng lightly shook his head. “You don’t have to worry about that. I’ll take it from there. Just focus on the first part of the task.”
Jing Yi wanted to continue asking but Liu Cheng already stepped back to the door and cupped his fists to say farewell. “I will go and arrange everything necessary. You can take some time to prepare yourself mentally. I guess that you could leave for the herb field tomorrow already. At the very latest, it should be in two days’ time so that the news can spread first. After that, you’ll have to focus on this task completely. Is that all right with you?”
Jing Yi still didn’t quite know if he was happy with this but since Liu Cheng didn’t seem to want to explain anymore, he could only nod for the time being. Maybe Liu Cheng just didn’t want to worry him too much about something that might not even happen. It could be that he wanted him to first go to the herb field and then see how things went. If he wasn’t able to achieve even the first part, then there wouldn’t be any reason to tell him at all, would there? Thus, this might just be something he did to not overburden him.
Explaining it to himself in this manner, Jing Yi nodded. “Yes, it’s alright. I will try my best.”
Liu Cheng nodded and then left, going to the merchant to organize everything.
Jing Yi remained alone in his room, wondering just how things would turn out. He did feel that it was the right thing to do in this situation but he still couldn’t quite imagine how things would turn out.
Would he be able to help? Would he make things even worse? He had no idea. But, in a way, he felt that this was also an opportunity. He had always wanted to be a hero. He had decided to become a cultivator later on. Now, he was involved in something that could probably be called a mission. This was an invaluable experience that might give him some kind of insight. He should treasure it and not be too afraid.
Thinking of that, Jing Yi did as he had originally intended and went to bed after washing up. Starting from tomorrow, the task he had to do would be much harder than the just physically demanding tasks he had been doing for the past few weeks. This time, his life might very well be on the line. That was something he would have to be mentally prepared for.
If he managed to do that, then he was sure that his future endeavors would be much more successful. Anyway, to be able to achieve it this time, he would need to be well-rested so he couldn’t stay up too late, worrying needlessly.