Peng Mu tightly furrowed his brows. A reason to kill these men? He couldn’t come up with a single one. He was but a simple field worker. The things he needed, were taken care of at the place he worked. Sometimes, there would be some arguments with the others but as fast as they came, they would also be gone already. There was no deep-seated hatred, no irreconcilable grudges. Killing somebody … He wouldn’t even think of that in his dreams.
If he had to think of a reason that would make it justifiable to want to kill somebody, then he could only refer to the plays that were sometimes shown in the town at the big festivals.
There were stories about people who were seeking revenge for someone killing a relative of theirs and sometimes there were tales of cultivators that would do something like that because of grudges on behalf of their martial brothers or sisters or maybe in the name of their sect but Peng Mu had trouble understanding this kind of thing. After all, that was not the world he lived in. He refused to believe that it was Yawen’s world either.
He shook his head, denying the idea from the get-go. “No. No, that can’t be. She didn’t even know them.”
Shen Qiang looked at him thoughtfully. “Are you sure about that?”
Peng Mu nodded. “Yes, definitely. I told her about them and she never indicated that she did. Even if she lied to me, what about the others? They knew that I was seeing her. Certainly, they would have said something if they knew her as well. At least one of them should have done so.”
Shen Qiang couldn’t deny that that was true. It would indeed be strange if neither side had ever mentioned this. If it was just her, then he could still say that maybe this was because she was a demon. But since the other field workers hadn’t said anything either, that couldn’t be the case. No, it seemed that she really hadn’t known them.
He thought for a while, not rushing to make any kind of decision. Anyway, some things just couldn’t be hurried. After a while, he felt that he had grasped onto an important point: “You said that you told her about them?”
Peng Mu nodded, not feeling that that would be any problem. “Of course. I told her about how my days were just like she would tell me about how she got along with the people in the town and what she was doing when we hadn’t seen each other for a while. That was normal.”
Shen Qiang nodded, feeling that he might have found the key to this puzzle. “You get along well with them, didn’t you?”
Peng Mu’s expression turned bitter. “Yes, I did. Everybody did. Neither of them was a person that one wouldn’t like. They were very good. It’s a pity that things ended like that. Especially if I consider how we parted ways.”
“Why that? Did something happen?”
Peng Mu sighed deeply, for the first time not thinking about Yawen. “You can say it like this. Somehow, I’m really unlucky in that regard. A few days before they died, we actually had an argument each. While I was able to make up with two of them more or less, with the last one, it happened right the day before. In fact, it could even be that he had died just a few hours later. Anyway, we only found him the next day because it was a free day then. So nobody from our group went to the field.”
Shen Qiang’s brows drew further together. By now, he was almost certain of the conjecture he had made before. “Is it possible that each time one of them died, it was around one of your free days?”
Peng Mu raised his brows in surprise. “That’s true. How did you know?”
Shen Qiang gave a wry smile at that. “I’m afraid that you will not like what I have to tell you.”
Peng Mu looked at him in confusion but just waited for him to explain. Anyway, he couldn’t change whatever it was.
“Normally, the four of you got along very well. But then, you argued. It was shortly before your free days each so it was likely fresh in your mind by the time you could leave the fields. Since you talked with Yawen about everything, you will likely have mentioned those arguments as well.”
Peng Mu frowned. “What are you trying to say?”
“I’m saying that maybe this was the reason she decided to kill them. To be honest, I’m not sure if I can understand her reasoning but as I see it, it could be that she felt that these people treated you badly after you told her about what had happened. Thus, she went and maybe confronted them. And depending on the outcome, they finally died.”
Peng Mu wildly shook his head. “That can’t be true!” No, he didn’t want it to be true. If it was … then wouldn’t he have been the reason that all of them died? He didn’t want that! It was bad enough that they had died and that they had parted on bad terms. But to imagine that he might have been the actual reason behind that … No. No, he couldn’t accept it.
Shen Qiang sighed. He could imagine that it was very difficult to accept this. But, unfortunately, he felt that this was the truth. “It might be hard to imagine but with demons, something like this is not too unexpected.
“Sometimes, they will go to great lengths for the people they are close to. Murdering for them … It is not impossible. In fact, I’ve also seen the reverse. A person that they previously seemed close to but finally set them off and died in no time. That is just the way it is. It is in their nature. An instinct if you so will. I’m afraid that … your Yawen was indeed a demon.”