“Relax, they’ll take you,” Baal reassured.
“Why?” This was the first time Wang Xiaoming heard words of comfort from Baal.
Baal answered, “Because I know how to possess someone.”
Wang Xiaoming stepped off the bus and tilted his head to look up at the big building that was a dozen floors high. He swallowed subtly. “So luxurious.” He thought it would be like a KTV but, now that he looked at it, it was more grandiose than most five-star hotels.
Baal proclaimed, “It’s so-so.”
Wang Xiaoming asked curiously, “Is Heaven more luxurious than this?”
Baal answered, “Compared to the mortal realm, there are many more luxurious places in Heaven and Hell.”
When he thought of Hell, Wang Xiaoming would think of its 18 levels. He asked in stunned confusion, “Why is Hell so luxurious?” Was it to tempt the souls of the damned?
Baal glanced at him, as if he had asked a ridiculous question. “Even the citizens of Hell have to do something during the day and be entertained.” Besides, when it came to desire, Hell’s citizens had much stronger desires than their heavenly counterparts. Mammon was an example.
Was Hell different from what he had imagined?
Wang Xiaoming asked again, “Do you think I’ll go to Heaven or Hell when I die?”
Wang Xiaoming felt happy and guessed he wasn’t too bad of a human being.
“You’re only suited for that kind of place,” Baal explained.
He should have known better than to ask that kind of question of someone who was clearly a fallen angel. Wang Xiaoming let out a dry cough and reiterated, “I’m going to say this now, I’m just here to apply as a server.” He was worried that Baal would get excited and directly sign him up for sale.
Baal raised an eyebrow. “Whatever. My goal is to find you a lover.”
Wang Xiaoming walked, speechless, to the front door.
The front entrance of the Silver House was clearly designed to fit its luxurious image. The door was a transparent hexagon, cut as if it were a jewel, that reflected sunlight in all different directions.
Wang Xiaoming squinted his eyes. “This is painful. Is this really pretty?”
Baal answered, “Humans’ sense of beauty is the same as their abilities.”
Naturally, Wang Xiaoming didn’t take that as praise. He practically squinted his eyes shut and groped all around the door for a doorbell or some mechanism to open it.
From behind him came the unexpected sounds of tires scraping against the asphalt.
Wang Xiaoming looked back just in time to see a silver sports car fishtail and drive straight toward where they stood. He watched in horror as the car got bigger and bigger in his field of vision, showing no signs of slowing down.
Baal stood on the sidelines and contemplated whether to move the car to the roof or inside the building.
The sports car suddenly braked. With an ear-piercing screech, it stopped barely three or four centimeters away from Wang Xiaoming.
Wang Xiaoming felt cold sweat on his back.
The car door opened and a tall man with light gold hair and sunglasses stepped out in obvious displeasure. He put one hand on the car door and demanded, “Are you an idiot? Don’t you know how to dodge a car coming at you?”
Wang Xiaoming answered honestly, “I forgot.”
The tall man’s sunglasses weren’t very dark, so Wang Xiaoming could see him roll his eyes. “Are you here to apply?”
Wang Xiaoming nodded.
“Didn’t you look at yourself in the mirror?” The man said sarcastically, “Even if you don’t look in the mirror, you should at least look at the standards of the Silver House.”
He hadn’t thought the Silver House was this stringent with their servers too.
Wang Xiaoming felt even more self-conscious. “I couldn’t find anything on a Baidu1百度 (Baidu) is the equivalent of Chinese Google. search.”
“Bai-Baidu?” The man wiped his brows. “This is a members-only club, not a supermarket. Freaking Baidu.”
Wang Xiaoming lowered his head.
“Nevermind, it’s a waste of time talking to a hillbilly like you.” He looked at his watch. “Move aside; I’m going in.”
Wang Xiaoming moved aside as instructed.
The man got in the car, drove up to the door, and honked twice.
That crystal-like entrance vibrated twice and then slowly rose up.
The man stepped on the gas pedal and his body jerked once just as he was about to drive in. Sleepiness crashed over him like a wave and he quickly lost consciousness.
Wang Xiaoming looked on wide-eyed as Baal disappeared into the man’s body and then waved at him. “Get in.”
Baal’s gaze pierced through the man’s eyes and his sunglasses to land on Wang Xiaoming’s face.
Wang Xiaoming could only shuffle into the car.
After he got in, the car remained where it was.
Wang Xiaoming watched as Baal touched this and that and asked worriedly, “Do you not know how to drive?”
“Says who.” Like an arrow let loose, the car suddenly bolted forward.
Inside wasn’t the hall that Wang Xiaoming had imagined. Instead, it was a garage even more splendid than the lobby of any five-star hotel.
A dozen luxury-cars each rested in their individual ports, surrounded by tiny fairy lights.
Wang Xiaoming watched as the car drove toward the car ports as if it had lost its mind; he couldn’t hold back a scream.
Suddenly, the car stopped.
Wang Xiaoming looked at the person beside him, heart still hammering in his chest.
“Get off.” Baal’s voice was extremely calm.
Wang Xiaoming didn’t dare protest and immediately got off.
Immediately afterward, he saw Baal get out from the car as well. “Let’s go.” Baal indicated the direction of the elevators with his chin.
Wang Xiaoming scanned the surroundings nervously, only letting out a breath when he didn’t see anyone. Then he followed closely behind Baal.
The elevator had stopped on the first floor, so they got in just as soon as he pressed the button.
Wang Xiaoming looked at the fully transparent elevator and asked worriedly, “Do you think there are cameras here?”
“There’s one right above you,” Baal answered casually.
Wang Xiaoming instinctively raised his head and saw the black camera pointed right at him. “What do I do?” He was so scared that he felt the hairs on his arm stand up.
“Smile, make the OK sign.”
Wang Xiaoming reflexively followed instructions.
Baal smiled in satisfaction and said, “Tch, sometimes you are like the hellhounds. Although your claws aren’t sharp enough, at least you’re obedient.”
Wang Xiaoming was a nervous wreck and didn’t have the time to respond to Baal’s teasing. He kept staring at the number pad on the elevator. “What floor do we want?”
“The top floor,” Baal answered. “The bigshots are always on the top floor.”
Wang Xiaoming pressed down and the elevator immediately started to rise.
Suddenly and without warning, the sports car slammed into a car port and rammed itself against the back-end of the car parked inside.
Wang Xiaoming asked in shock, “What did you do?”
Baal shrugged, “I didn’t do anything.”
Wang Xiaoming’s face was full of disbelief.
“I just let the car revert back to how it was before you got off.”
“But you definitely parked the car just then.”
“I stuck the car inside a zone using a ward,” Baal explained carelessly, “and then I took the ward off when we left.”
“…” Wang Xiaoming looked at the sports car in sympathy. Then he saw many people flooding out from below them and running toward the car. Because the elevator rose quickly, he couldn’t tell what kinds of people they were.
The elevator stopped.
The door slowly opened; a doll-like, cute young woman stood by it and asked him, with a smile, “Sir, could you please verify your ID number for me?”
Even though she hid it well, Wang Xiaoming could still read the suspicion and caution in her eyes. Then again, anyone would be weary of someone like him suddenly appearing in a place like this. He forced himself to step up and say, “I’m here to apply for a job.” In response to the young woman’s look of surprise, he clarified, “As a server.”
The young woman didn’t say anything and simply asked him to sit on the pure white leather sofa in the round reception area. Then she turned around and walked toward the back of the room.
Wang Xiaoming looked at the fuzzy, pure-white carpet under his feet and very carefully moved forward.
Thankfully it was a sunny day; while the soles of his shoes were dusty, the dirt wouldn’t get stuck on the carpet.
When Xiang Wenxun walked out, he saw a young man wearing a cheap gray shirt bending down to pat away the dirt on the carpet.
“You’re applying?” He walked over and sat down on the sofa opposite the young man. The staff downstairs said Tao Le had brought the young man, but he hadn’t followed the young man out of the car. Not only that, but Tao Le had actually driven his car into a car parked in the garage. While he wasn’t seriously hurt, he was bound to get stitches on his head. The young man in front him had clearly seen Tao Le crash his car but wasn’t anxious at all…
Separately, these things meant nothing. But put them together and they looked weird no matter what.
What was his relationship with Tao Le?
Xiang Wenxun speculated in his heart but his face showed none of his confusion, as if he really was there only to do an interview. When Wang Xiaoming had sat back down on the sofa, Xiang Wenxun began asking little by little about his academic experiences and goals.
Wang Xiaoming had started off feeling like he would die from nervousness, but when Baal sat down nonchalantly next to him, his constricted heart began to gradually relax. He answered the questions truthfully. No matter what happened, at least Baal would be there.
“So, you’re here for an internship?” Xiang Wenxun had gotten the run down on Wang Xiaoming, but only felt even more confused. He knew Tao Le’s tastes very well: they were either icy beauties or fiery beauties, very extreme. The one in front of him couldn’t be described as a beauty. If he was, it’d be a “wooden beauty.” “You wouldn’t mind telling the school that you interned at the Silver House?” Xiang Wenxun knew the Silver House’s reputation on the outside very well.
Wang Xiaoming didn’t know how to answer that. He had thought about the salary, the environment, and the duties of the job, but he had not thought about that.
Xiang Wenxun saw how lost he was and didn’t ask anymore. He changed the topic, “How did you meet Tao Le?”
Wang Xiaoming wanted to ask who “Tao Le” was but Baal reminded him just in time, “The sports car guy.”
“We met by the front door.”
Xiang Wenxun frowned. “The door of the Silver House?”
“Mmhmm.” Wang Xiaoming answered despite his conscience, “I said I was here to apply for a job and he brought me in with him.”
What had Tao Le eaten to break his brain?
Xiang Wenxun didn’t bother hiding the disbelief in his eyes. “People who want to apply here come through the metal door on the side. Tao Le should know that very well.”
Wang Xiaoming didn’t know what relationship the sports-car guy had with the Silver House, but based on what the guy in front of him said, sports-car guy probably wasn’t simply a regular customer.
Xiang Wenxun saw Wang Xiaoming had fallen silent and then said, “But since Tao Le brought you in, I’ll hire you. Our salary is 2000 a month—that’s the base. You can keep the tips from the guests; no need to turn those in. Our working hours are from 4pm to 12:30am. Of course, if there are special circumstances that require you to stay, there’s overtime pay. Your off-days are to be determined, but I can promise that you get off twice a week. You won’t get holidays off but you’ll get three times the pay.” He paused. “As for the other benefits, we’ll talk when you become a permanent employee.”
Wang Xiaoming subconsciously swallowed. For the first time, he felt like coming to the Silver House was the right decision.
- 1百度 (Baidu) is the equivalent of Chinese Google.