They didn’t need long to arrive at the town that Liu Cheng had mentioned in his letter. After all, the place they had cleaned up previously had been close by. Thinking of that, Shen Qiang slightly furrowed his brows. Did this hint at something bigger going on behind the scenes? It certainly seemed possible.
Normally, there would be one, at most two demons in an area and making trouble. That alone was enough to give the normal people a headache and often even rendered the deity sects helpless because the demons were too cunning to be caught by anybody who hadn’t been trained to fight them.
Now though, there had been three instances relatively close to each other. It was an unusual coincidence at best but a dangerous possibility at worst. What if those demons were working together? The kind of chaos and pain they could bring … He didn’t even want to imagine it.
Shen Qiang clenched his hands, thinking of the loss he himself had suffered at the hands of these creatures. If he could spare at least one other person from having to lose their loved ones … He would give anything for that.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before raising his chin and motioning toward the town’s square. “Senior martial brother Liu found the demon in this place. Swarm out and check for traces of any other demons or any casualties that were caused by this one. Remember to stay in groups of two and never leave each other’s sight. Your own safety is important.”
“Yes, senior martial brother Shen.” The disciples nodded and then hurriedly formed pairs before swarming out.
Shen Qiang gave a faint smile. Thankfully, these juniors were so obedient. While they were supposed to make experiences and being in mortal danger was definitely an experience all demon hunters would make sooner or later, he felt that it didn’t have to be now. No, they still had some time until they needed to face this harsh truth.
He waited until the last of them had left before he also went to investigate. Contrary to these juniors, that he had only sent to search for possible traces, he went directly to the source of this matter.
Reaching the small house with the courtyard on the outskirts of the town, his heart felt heavy. At first glance, nobody would be able to guess that a demon might live in this place. In fact, it seemed like a tranquil one that would be very fitting for a small family to move in. It was a pity that things had instead ended up like this.
He held back a sigh and then opened the gate, stepping into the courtyard. His gaze brushed over the traces of blood on the ground, then to the splinters of wood being strewn about and the remainders of a plank lying to the side. This demon obviously hadn’t gone down without a fight. He hoped that senior martial brother Liu wasn’t injured.
Shen Qiang lightly touched the weapon at his side to reassure himself and then silently inched closer to the house while continuing to survey the rest of the courtyard. He couldn’t see anything that would point to demonic activity. This one had really hidden deeply.
With that thought, he reached out to open the door, only to stop when he heard sounds from inside. Shen Qiang paused and then remained still, listening intently.
There were steps and they were coming closer to the door. He narrowed his eyes and then soundlessly moved to the side, pressing his back against the wall while he kept his eyes trained on the door, his fingers curled around the hilt of his sword.
A moment later, the door opened and someone stepped out. It was a young man, maybe in his late twenties or early thirties judging from his face but he walked slightly hunched over as if a big weight was resting on his shoulders.
Shen Qiang slightly tilted his head and let go of the weapon at his side. This person … he couldn’t feel anything demonic about him. He couldn’t even feel danger from him. Instead … he couldn’t help but think that this man seemed a little pitiful.
Shen Qiang hesitated on what to do, not wanting to just call out, but he also felt that this man might be able to give him some information. While he did, the man had already made his way to the center of the courtyard. If he still didn’t call out now …
Shen Qiang closed his eyes for a moment and finally still did it. “That, excuse me …”
The man flinched and then whirled around, staring at Shen Qiang vigilantly. When he saw the way he was dressed, his brows furrowed and there was rage in his eyes. Rage, and a deep-seated pain that made Shen Qiang unable to continue speaking. Just what had happened here?
Needless to say, this person was none other than Peng Mu who had stayed in this house to take care of Yawen’s matters. Seeing somebody that reminded him of Liu Cheng, the person who had killed the love of his life, he naturally wasn’t happy.
Shen Qiang awkwardly cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, I …” He didn’t quite know how to explain himself and could only look away. “I didn’t want to intrude. I just noticed those traces on the ground and wanted to ask what happened here. Then … I was afraid when I heard steps from inside.” It was partly the truth and partly a lie but right now, he just couldn’t bring himself to be completely honest. Somehow, he felt that it wouldn’t be a good idea. So maybe it would be best for the time being to keep it vague until he understood the situation better. That way, he would achieve more.