Back in the mortal realm, Peng Mu had slowly started to tell Shen Qiang about his relationship with Yawen. At first, he wasn’t even sure if it was a good idea to say these things so he hesitated quite a bit but the longer he talked, the more he couldn’t stop. Even though some time had already gone by, he hadn’t even been able to start mourning her. Now, that he was finally able to speak about her without people telling him what kind of vicious creature she had been and how missing her was ludicrous, he felt a lot better.
It didn’t take long for him to tell everything from how they had met and how they had gotten along to finally even Yawen’s death. He knew that the person in front of him had to do with that guy who had killed her that day. Still, he didn’t bother to make anything sound better than it had been. He just told the truth.
“And that’s how things happened.” He looked up at Shen Qiang, waiting for him to react.
The demon hunter slightly furrowed his brows, not quite sure what to say at first. From the things that Peng Mu had just told him, it really was hard to see her as a demon. But then again, that was what the demons wanted, wasn’t it? Anyway, he could understand his pain. Losing a loved person was always difficult. But it was even more difficult if you suddenly were supposed to see them as something completely different. “That can’t have been easy.”
Peng Mu huffed. “How could it have been easy? I guess it is hard for you to imagine.”
Shen Qiang shook his head. “From the way you’ve described her, she was a lovely lady. I don’t think it is strange to fall in love with somebody like this.”
Peng Mu looked at him, obviously not having expected this. “You mean … Do you believe she was just human?” He couldn’t help but be excited at that thought. He really wished that it was like this. He didn’t want to see her as anything but that. He wanted her to always remain the Yawen he had known, that gentle woman he would seldom see but always fondly remember.
Shen Qiang didn’t answer directly. Instead, he gave him a questioning look. “Do you believe she was merely a human?”
Peng Mu already wanted to say that she certainly had been but then he thought back to the way she had behaved on her last day. Obviously, there had been more to her than he had understood previously. “I guess I don’t. But I don’t think she was a demon either. I’m sure that there’s another explanation. A good explanation for why she was like this. And I’m sure that if he hadn’t attacked her first, then she wouldn’t have done anything.”
Shen Qiang nodded. “That could very well be. Demons — or whatever she was — often live among humans for a long time without being detected. It depends a lot on how well they fit in. I guess that’s your Yawen was the kind of person that managed to fit in quite well. Thus, neither you nor anybody else noticed and she could just continue like this. Since nothing happened all this time it could have very well been that things would continue like this.”
“And is that bad? Did she deserve to be killed for that?” He really had a hard time accepting that.
Shen Qiang shook his head as well. “If it was was merely that, then naturally, she didn’t. But … If what you said is true then there is a certain chance that she was the one who killed those men in the fields. And for that, she does deserve to suffer the consequences. Wouldn’t you say so?”
Peng Mu wasn’t able to look at him. If she had … But who was to say that she had? “Nobody saw anything, nobody knew anything. Shouldn’t she have a trial first? But he just came and killed her. She couldn’t even explain herself. Could that be right?”
“I know that must be horrible to imagine and it was certainly even more horrifying to watch. But you are still treating her like a human. Demons are … different from us even if they don’t look like it from the outside. Of course, one could put them to trial like anybody else but it is a little difficult. Because they are a different race after all. They have different values than us, different ideals. Putting them through a trial, even though the idea is good, would it really be fair to them?”
Peng Mu shook his head. “Even if it wasn’t, it is still better than just killing them.”
Shen Qiang nodded even though he wasn’t too sure about that. Sure, looking at it from the perspective of that Yawen, that certainly would be the case. The same was true for this man. He wanted to be with her. But other than these two, there were still other people out there, people who would inevitably suffer when a demon was allowed to continue to roam free. But, unfortunately, most people who weren’t demon hunters had a hard time grasping that fact. He also didn’t feel like he should say this to Peng Mu considering the situation he was currently in. It wouldn’t help him and he likely wouldn’t believe it either. Thus, he might as well not say it at all.
Peng Mu looked at him, seeming a bit uncertain. “Do you think that there’s a chance she really did this? That I just didn’t know her well enough?” Normally, he wouldn’t even dare to think about that but considering that Shen Qiang had truly listened all the time and seemed to be willing to actually talk with him, he felt a bit different about him. Thus, he dared to finally voice the nagging doubt in his mind.
Shen Qiang sighed. “As I said: Demons are different. Most say that they are vicious creatures but I guess in their own minds, they don’t see it like that. They just … differ too much from us as that we were able to live side by side. Maybe in her mind, she had good reason to kill these men. But I guess you will know that better than I.”