Peng Mu raised his brows when Jing Yi didn’t answer. “Is something the matter?”
Jing Yi blushed and hurriedly shook his head. “No, that’s not it.” He rushed to sit down, almost stumbling over the hem of his robe. The smile he gave Peng Mu was half-embarrassed because of his own actions and half-apologetic for how Peng Mu must have felt when he didn’t react. He cleared his throat in an attempt to drive away the awkwardness but felt that it hadn’t really helped much. In the end, he could only try to give an explanation. “To be honest, I was just really surprised by your reaction. You see, I heard what the others said before so … Even though you spoke up for me, I wasn’t quite sure if you would be comfortable with helping me out. Thank you very much. This means a lot to me.”
Peng Mu gave him another nice smile and waved as if it wasn’t a big matter, maybe not even worth mentioning. “Don’t think too much about it. I’m pretty sure the others also didn’t mean it like that. You’re new here. They were just wondering a bit and running off their mouths. As soon as they see that you’re not being a burden to them, they’ll also warm up to you in just a few days.”
Jing Yi nodded. “That’s good to hear. Anyway, even if it wasn’t like that, I could understand that. I probably really don’t seem like I could do a lot around here. But I’ll definitely do my hardest!”
Peng Mu just laughed and then motioned for him to continue speaking. “I think you came over here because you had a specific question in mind. What was that about? If I can shed some light on it, I’ll definitely do so. No need to hold back.”
“Well, this might seem a little dumb to you but I’ve never worked in a field before and I was wondering why we were taking a break right now. Back when I was traveling with a caravan of merchants, they wouldn’t stop until we reached a good place for setting up camp in the evening. Why is it different here?”
Peng Mu didn’t seem as if he looked down on him for this question at all. Instead, he seemed as if he seriously pondered the question to give him an explanation that he would be able to understand. “Well, a caravan needs to cover as much of a distance as it can in one day so they won’t take any breaks if they don’t have to. That is why they normally don’t stop for making lunch and just continue on. Those who are sitting on the carts have probably eaten on the road, haven’t they? And the guards would probably take turns to have a small break and eating a bit, right?”
Jing Yi nodded. He had indeed seen something like that happen while traveling with Si Fen and the others.
“Well, here in the fields, things are different. We have to do our tasks so that they will be of the biggest benefit to the growth of the plants. It isn’t so much depending on ourselves. Right now, the sun is at its highest point so it’s hotter than for the rest of the day. Even if we watered the plants right now, it wouldn’t help much and would just waste water. So at this time, we’ll just take a break and then continue when the sun has slightly lowered on the sky.”
Jing Yi nodded again, feeling that he did indeed understand. “I see. So then this is something that you would do every day?”
“Yes, pretty much. It might be different when it’s time for the harvest but even then, we normally take a short break. When it’s too hot, it would also be draining for us. So if it isn’t completely urgent to take out the plants, we won’t rush into it.”
“Then when will that harvest happen? Is that anytime soon?”
Peng Mu couldn’t help but laugh again. “You’re really curious about all these things, aren’t you?”
Jing Yi’s cheeks flushed again but he didn’t deny it. Anyway, seeming a little curious would probably help with doing the task that Liu Cheng had given him. After all, it was much more likely for Peng Mu to spill the beans about the demon if he just felt that he was a curious person who would like to know about things, wasn’t it?
Jing Yi still felt the need to justify himself though. “Well, I guess it’s not really wrong to say that. Before this, I was working in a teahouse a relative owned. It was only later on that I joined that group of merchants for a while and then came here. So there are a lot of things that I don’t know about yet.
“I feel that I’ll be able to do a better job if I know what is going and what the reasons behind everything are. Maybe I’m thinking too much but I at least want to try and give my best. I feel that I owe that for getting food and a roof over my head.”
“It’s a good attitude to have. I’m pretty sure if you keep this up, you’ll be able to do the tasks around here without any trouble soon.” Looking at the child, Peng Mu felt that his original attitude had been the right one. Just because he seemed somewhat small, there was no need to treat him badly. While he might not be as strong as a grown man, he was at least trying. And if he ended up staying longer, wouldn’t he grow up as well? Until then, he felt that he should help him out a bit. “Right, if the others aren’t treating you well enough, you can just tell me. I’ll help you.”
Jing Yi couldn’t help but be surprised that Peng Mu would just offer to help him out more in the future. This … Wasn’t it a little too nice? It couldn’t be that he was actually searching for a new victim for the demon already, could it?
So far, he had hoped that Peng Mu would actually not know about what was happening and had just been made an accomplice unknowingly. But if that wasn’t true and he was actively helping the demon … Ah, he didn’t even want to think about it.
Even though he had such a fear, he could only give a small smile and nod. Anyway, he had come here to find out the truth for Liu Cheng and make sure that nobody else would come to harm. If that meant uncovering some dark truth, then he would have to live with it.