Wang Xiaoming only realized what he had said after he finished relaying the message. He thought Baal had said he was a fallen angel the first time they met? And Wang Xiaoming was sure he had seen the pair of black wings, so how did Baal suddenly become an Unseen?
Tony, on the other hand, didn’t think much of it. He asked, “If that’s the case, can he let me down first?”
Wang Xiaoming put his questions aside and turned to look at Baal.
Baal waved his hand.
The “painting” known as Tony dropped down from the wall.
“Oof!” Tony knelt on the ground for a while before supporting his waist with one arm and standing up slowly. “I’ll remember to write ‘Expensive item, be careful’ on my face for the next time.”
Wang Xiaoming asked in surprise, “You mean you want to be plastered against the wall again?”
“Nevermind. Mr. Unseen, just pretend I made a joke.” Tony rubbed his waist and breathed out. “Did you say he was looking for Hughes?”
Wang Xiaoming heard how naturally he mentioned Hughes, without a hunt of surprise, and asked curiously, “You mean you know him?”
Tony spread out his hands and said, “Since we’ve both encountered such an extraordinary thing, why don’t we share information and consider it an exchange?”
Upon hearing that someone had the same kind of experience—and that someone was also his cousin—Wang Xiaoming’s heart immediately swelled with an emotion best described as having found a comrade. He tried to swallow his excitement and nodded vigorously.
“Actually, about half a month ago, I came across a mysterious hotel. I worked there for about a year, which was the equivalent of a week in mortal time, as their front hall manager.” Tony interrupted Wang Xiaoming’s attempt to ask questions, “Nevermind how time exchange works there or why it happens. It just happens.”
Wang Xiaoming shut up.
Tony continued, “That hotel is named Noah’s Ark. Only then did I realize that themortal realm was just one realm in the Nine Realms and humans were just one of the world’s several highly intelligent species. A lot of the species we see in movies really do exist—like fallen angels, vampires, dwarfs, werewolves, titans, Unseens.” He paused and his gaze wandered around the room. He cautiously said to the air in front of him, “What I mean is that I was very ignorant before. I mean no insult to the Unseens.”
Baal’s lips curved. If Tony could see, he would have been able to figure out that the look in Baal’s eyes meant “it doesn’t matter if you insult them.”
“But I’m not really familiar with him. Hughes is the Unseen representative. Back then, I would often hear a voice by my ear but not see anyone…” Tony’s voice stopped and a strange look crossed his face.
Wang Xiaoming pressed, “And then?”
“…Then?” Tony seemed to wake up from a dream and laughed drily. “Then my time was up and I came back.”
“Time was up?” Hope rose in Wang Xiaoming’s chest. “You mean there was a time limit to your strange experience? And when time’s up, those strange things will go away?”
Tony answered, “No, I’m saying that there’s a limit to how long you can work in Noah’s Ark. Uhh, this Unseen friend of yours who got stuck in the mortal realm because of an accident… What kind of accident was it?”
Wang Xiaoming turned around to look at Baal.
Baal watched Tony’s every microexpression with an amused look and then cracked a smile. “It looks like I’ll have to take back everything I said.”
“Ah?” Wang Xiaoming asked in confusion. Baal had said a lot of things; had he been bullshitting this entire time?
“Humans are a tad bit more useful than I had imagined.”
Wang Xiaoming subconsciously took a step back. There was an ancient saying, “Someone who offers you compliments or bribery without reason is motivated by evil.”
Because Tony couldn’t see Baal, he paid close attention to Wang Xiaoming’s every move. When he saw Wang Xiaoming suddenly take a step back, he jumped up and hurriedly hid himself behind Wang Xiaoming, only showing half of his face. He asked, “What’s going on?”
Baal smiled and said, “He’s finally figured out that I’m not an Unseen?”
Wang Xiaoming’s spine stiffened. Sure enough, Baal had pretended to be an Unseen just then. There must be a trap here.
The one thing Tony couldn’t stand was silence, so he prodded Wang Xiaoming’s back and said, “Hurry up and tell me!”
“Pwahahahaha!” The poking made Wang Xiaoming burst into a fit of laughter.
Baal’s face darkened to the same shade as the bottom of a burnt pot.
He couldn’t see Tony’s expression, but it probably didn’t look much better.
Wang Xiaoming realized that his laughter was inappropriate and apologized, “Sorry, I’ll hold it in next time.”
For god-knows-what-reason, Tony poked him again.
Thus another one of those “pwahaha” laughs rang out throughout the quiet room.
Wang Xiaoming’s and Tony’s heads were practically buried into the carpet.
Baal said calmly, “Intermittent laughter is no fun. Do you want to get it out all at once?”
Wang Xiaoming tried hard to keep a straight face and shook his head vigorously.
Tony saw the movement and realized the boss wasn’t happy. He awkwardly said, “I was just trying to lighten up the mood.”
Wang Xiaoming turned around to glare at him.
Baal took a deep breath and kept reminding himself that the two wastes-of-space still had value and that he needed to be patient and he probably shouldn’t crush them. After about 30 rounds of that, it finally became true. He said, “Since he’s discovered that I’m not an Unseen, I’ll be upfront. Find Shi Feixia and I’ll let you go. Otherwise… hmph!”
Wang Xiaoming jumped in fear. He didn’t know why Baal was so obsessed with Shi Feixia but he knew that Baal’s inherent obsessiveness was on par with an evil spirit’s. He could tell from the way Baal kept forcing him to start a romantic relationship.
Tony listened to Wang Xiaoming relay the message and his expression turned ugly, “You’re not an Unseen?”
Baal’s calculated smile fell and surprise flashed across his face. “You didn’t realize?”
“Should I have known?” Tony confusedly asked. Baal was transparent, right?
Baal was speechless. He had assumed that Tony had realized the obvious logic gap of the claim: He couldn’t hear Baal. Looked like he’d overestimated humans after all!
As a translator, Wang Xiaoming had to bear the weight from both sides. “That, I didn’t say he found out.” It was your own fault for assuming things. After suffering under Baal’s glare, he couldn’t help but to protest on his own behalf.
“If he didn’t find out, why did he pause when he got to the Unseen?” Baal was angry.
Tony explained, “I just remembered things about Noah’s Ark and it made me sentimental.”
“Who gave you permission to be sentimental while I’m talking?!” Baal was furious.
Wang Xiaomoing’s performance wasn’t very faithful.In fact, Wang Xiaoming’s voice had been as quiet as a mouse’s the entire time.
That meant Tony wasn’t scared and could still answer calmly, “You didn’t say I couldn’t.”
Baal clenched his fist tightly. This was a sign that he was about to punch people.
Wang Xiaoming preemptively protected Tony’s head.
And then Baal’s fist swung out—
Wang Xiaoming cried out in pain.
Tony was scared stiff. “What happened? What happened? Did you break your arm or your leg? How many ribs did you break? Did any of them puncture your lungs? How much blood have you lost?”
“Sorry to disappoint, but nothing’s broken.” Wang Xiaoming slowly lowered his hands and touched the area where he had gotten hit. He looked at Baal in frustration. “Why did you hit me?”
Baal answered unapologetically, “Because I couldn’t reach him.”
Wang Xiaoming responded, “But you clearly had just put him up against the wall.”
“… Thank you for reminding me.”
And so Tony was hung on the wall again.
Wang Xiaoming looked up at the sky, “…”
Tony looked at the back of Wang Xiaoming’s head, “…”
They heard the sound of footsteps walking toward the office.
Baal decided to end this quickly. “Tell me where Shi Feixia is or I’ll kill you.”
Tony asked, “Who are you?”
Both of them had started speaking at the same time. Poor Wang Xiaoming had to pass along Baal’s message and also answer Tony’s question, “He’s Baal, a fallen angel.”
Tony’s eyes glinted, his head drooped, and his bangs fell forward, covering his forehead along with all the emotions on his face.“Shi Feixia went traveling after he came back from Noah’s Ark. He’ll be back in a few days.” He lifted his head suddenly and had tears falling down. “As soon as he comes back, I’ll let you know. I’m scared of dying and my cousin is also scared of dying, so please, please don’t kill us!”
Wang Xiaoming opened his mouth and, in the end, he didn’t have the courage to stop it. In front of an evil boss like Baal, he could only save himself. As for the thing about Shi Feixia… he’d cross the bridge when he came to it.
He thought that and buried the guilt deep in his heart.
Baal listened to Wang Xiaoming’s retelling of the conversation and nodded satisfactorily, “If you cooperate, I’ll let you go.”
“It’s both of us…” Wang Xiaoming pointed to himself on the side.
Baal glanced at him coldly.
Wang Xiaoming quickly lowered his head again.
The footsteps stopped.
Without knocking, someone abruptly pushed the door open.
The heavily made-up middle-aged woman, whom they had met by the elevators, stood fuming by the door. Then she saw Tony slowly slide down from the wall.
Wang Xiaoming saw Baal start to leave and called out, “Walk slowly and wait for me.”
The middle-aged woman watched in stunned surprise when Wang Xiaoming yelled at the air as he passed by her.
When they were about to reach the front door of the hotel, Wang Xiaoming heard a familiar shriek coming from the office of the front hall manager.
His cousin had the ability to handle and explain this mess away. Wang Xiaoming silently expressed his trust in Tony and then left without a backward glance.
Ever since he tactfully conveyed how impossible love-at-first-sight was, Baal didn’t mention the three-day deadline again. But Wang Xiaoming’s days didn’t improve. That’s because Baal realized how boring and tedious it was to work at the management training company.
That realization slowly turned into dissatisfaction and then became a company-wide disaster.