Xiang Wenxun remained sitting on the sofa after sending Wang Xiaoming away.
After a while, the girl from before hurriedly walked in with the phone. “President Xiang, Mr. Tao is on the line.”
He took the phone and the second he put it against his ear, he heard Tao Le cursing everyone’s ancestors.
“Very energetic,” Xiang Wenxun nonchalantly tossed out.
Tao Le’s cursing stopped, only to be immediately followed by even louder shouting. If Xiang Wenxun listened carefully, he could hear the doctors and nurses attempting to calm Tao Le down. After Tao Le finished venting, Xiang Wenxun asked, “So, what happened?”
“Heaven knows?” Tao Le used a mirror to look at his bandage-covered head. “Who knows if it’ll leave a scar. Damn, such bad luck!”
Xiang Wenxun frowned slightly. He knew Tao Le quite well. Tao Le could make the tiniest complaint sound like the very skies were falling. Why was he so easy-going today and not mentioning that kid at all? But Xiang Wenxun was used to keeping things to himself and he wouldn’t openly talk about many things. So he merely said, subtly, “The guy who came with you today has been hired.”
“What guy?” Tao Le was at first confused. Then he remembered the hillbilly he had met at the front door and asked in shock, “No way? That kid? You blind or something? You’re actually allowing someone of that quality to escort. Are you turning your Silver House into a dumpling restaurant?”
Xiang Wenxun frowned deeper. From the tone of Tao Le’s voice, he clearly didn’t like Wang Xiaoming. But would he let someone he didn’t like into his beloved car? “He’s just here as a server. I saw him come in with you today and assumed you were very fond of him.” He paused. “So he’s not your new toy?”
“He just attached himself to a rich guy in the last couple of days.”
“Dammit!” Tao Le hung up the phone in a fit of anger.
Xiang Wenxun looked down at the phone. After a long stretch of silence, he walked to the security room and instructed the security guards inside, “Rewind to the part where he had just come in again.”
The guards didn’t dare disobey and hurriedly scrubbed the video to that timestamp.
On the screen, Wang Xiaoming slowly got out of the car, made himself smaller, and looked around cautiously before walking toward the elevator.
Then the image cut to the elevator. Xiang Wenxun’s gaze sharpened and he demanded, “Enlarge the image.”
The guard hurriedly cut to the big screen. Wang Xiaoming’s image on the screen was immediately enlarged several times.
Xiang Wenxun’s squinted and looked at Wang Xiaoming’s mouth.
The guard had obviously noticed the same thing. “This guy’s pretty interesting; he’s talking to himself.”
In the image, Wang Xiaoming suddenly raised his head and looked at the camera in surprise and shock. Then he plastered a smile on his face and made an “OK” sign, but immediately lowered his head again.
Xiang Wenxun noticed that Wang Xiaoming’s mouth was still occasionally moving.
All of a sudden, Wang Xiaoming inclined his head, looked down, and pressed both palms against the window, appearing somewhat agitated. It was only when the elevator had reached the top floor that he slowly calmed down and walked out the door.
The security guard asked, “President Xiang, could he maybe have mental problems? Likes to talk to himself?”
“He doesn’t look like he’s talking to himself.” Xiang Wenxun looked at the image of Wang Xiaoming frozen on the screen and said slowly, “He looks like he’s talking to someone.” Because every time after he opened his mouth, he’d pause for a bit, as if listening to someone say something.
The guard looked at the storm clouds gathering on Xiang Wenxun’s face and suddenly felt a cold blast of air hit his back.
Wang Xiaoming followed after the skinny man they called Director Yang and silently examined the walls of the hallway.
Supposedly this was the path to the back of the house.
Occasionally people would pass by them.
Wang Xiaoming recognized some of them; they were the same young men and women who had been on the bus with him.
Those people saw Director Yang and greeted him respectfully, making it clear that Director Yang had authority here.
Director Yang kept walking until he stopped in front of a half-opened, teal-colored door. He pointed a finger inside. “This is the cafeteria, where you guys will be eating.”
Wang Xiaoming glanced at him and felt like the manager had said “you” with disdain.
Director Yang didn’t elaborate and kept walking forward, so he had to keep up.
At the end of the hallway, there was an ivory soap-colored door. Director Yang knocked twice and pushed the door open without waiting for an answer. “We’ve got a newcomer.”
“Weird time of day for a newcomer,” a hoarse voice muttered.
Wang Xiaoming followed him into an office that was about 20 square meters wide.
A muscled man, naked from the waist up, stood up from the sofa as he put on a shirt. His purple and blue striped hair was as messy as a chicken’s nest.
Director Yang turned his body to reveal Wang Xiaoming. “President Xiang personally hired him.”
“Already hired?” When the man stood up, he was at least a head taller than Wang Xiaoming. Even though he was tall, his back was ramrod straight, which immediately made the office room seem so much smaller. “Come over here and let me see.” He waved Wang Xiaoming closer.
Wang Xiaoming walked over in trepidation.
The man suddenly slapped his butt. “I’m not a cannibal. What are you afraid of?”
Wang Xiaoming touched his butt while wincing in pain and looked at Director Yang in shock and fear.
Director Yang felt his mood brighten. “I’m the head director of the Entertainment Department. If you ever think about changing departments, come find me.” As he said this, he smiled meaningfully at the man. Then he turned around and walked out.
The man saw Wang Xiaoming’s hesitation and said with a cold smile, “He’s in charge of those who are for sale. Someone with your qualifications should stay with me and not make a fuss.”
Wang Xiaoming was briefly surprised. Then he fell silent and lowered his gaze.
“I’m the head director of the Service Department. My name is Chu Zhao. You can just call me Zhao Bro.” He sat back down, dug out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket, shook one out, and stuck it in his mouth. Then he slanted a look at Wang Xiaoming.
Even though Wang Xiaoming lacked real-life experience, he had watched enough movies and dramas. He scanned his surroundings and found the expected lighter on the office desk. He understood his role and picked it up, lit a flame, and walked toward Chu Zhao.
Chu Zhao slowly leaned his head forward.
The fire touched the cigarette… and then the flame suddenly shot out and landed on his messy purple and blue bangs!
“Gahh!” Chu Zhao tossed the cigarette aside and started slapping at his head.
Wang Xiaoming was also terrified and he rushed over to pick up the magazine on the table to slap Chu Zhao on the head.
The fire was only extinguished after about five or six slaps.
Chu Zhao slouched on the sofa with one hand pressed against his dizzy head. His eyes were dazed, clearly not done processing the terrifying moment from just before. The “chicken-nest” on top of his head was also a sorry sight. The acrid air, smelling like a mixture of smoke and burnt hair, was like a movie projector that replayed the scene over and over.
Wang Xiaoming’s head couldn’t go any lower and his eyes kept drifting to the door.
Chu Zhao’s gaze slowly landed on him.
Wang Xiaoming quietly defended himself, “I didn’t think the lighter would be this strong.” That flame just then didn’t look at all like it came from the lighter… He suddenly turned to look at Baal standing casually to the side, silent the entire time.
The latter currently had an abnormally cheerful smile on his face.
He thought Baal had been quiet because he had finally sent Wang Xiaoming to the Silver House and felt good about it. He hadn’t realized that Baal was secretly calculating how to play tricks on people. In just a morning’s time, Baal had already caused one person to crash his car and had burned another’s hair. If he stayed, who knew what would happen next?
Out of a sense of humanitarian duty, Wang Xiaoming thought he shouldn’t accept this job.
Even though the benefits were really tempting.
Chu Zhao picked up the lighter that had been tossed to the floor. He extended the arm holding it and carefully tried to light it.
The flame popped out. It was tiny and very normal.
He tried twice, with the same results. “You try it.”
Wang Xiaoming caught the lighter that was tossed at him. Just as he was about to try it with his arms extended, Chu Zhao kicked him. “Do it next to your hair, same distance as I had before.”
Wang Xiaoming sneaked a glance at Baal, eyes full of pleading.
The corners of Baal’s mouth lifted slightly in a non-committal fashion.
Wang Xiaoming then looked at Chu Zhao.
Chu Zhao ignored the tears in Wang Xiaoming’s eyes. All kinds of people had cried in front of him, beautiful people whose crying made others want to weep with them as well. What grounds did Wang Xiaoming have to fake being pitiful? He raised an eyebrow and his gaze spelled out his thoughts: If you don’t dare do it, I’ll break your legs.
The world was definitely a dark place. Wang Xiaoming gritted his teeth and pressed down firmly.
The flame shot out; it was a normal flame. At least Baal knew what to do at critical moments.
Wang Xiaoming had just let out a breath when he heard Chu Zhao demand, “Keep going.”
Wang Xiaoming could only keep trying, time and time again.
Clearly the Big Boss only liked playing a game once. Afterward, when Wang Xiaoming had struck the lighter too many times, Baal straight up sealed the lighter behind a ward so that the flame wouldn’t come out.
Chu Zhao yanked the lighter back and tried it again himself.
The flame shot up, touched his nose, and danced in front of his eyes.
Chu Zhao tossed the lighter as far away as possible.
The room fell strangely silent.
Chu Zhao inhaled sharply and murmured to himself, “Fuck it, isn’t this forcing someone to help the little girl who sells matches?” He lifted his head and looked at the scared Wang Xiaoming in front of him. “President Xiang hired you?”
Wang Xiaoming nodded.
“Why?” Chu Zhao looked at Wang Xiaoming with a devil-may-care attitude, but there was a split-second sharpness in his gaze.
Wang Xiaoming didn’t know how to answer. Should he say it was because of Baal?
“President Xiang usually doesn’t even greet the guests. What about you made him personally hire you?” Chu Zhao saw that Wang Xiaoming was still confused and assumed that he was intentionally keeping something a secret. He had to scoff, “If you don’t want to say, that’s fine. It doesn’t matter who’s supporting you or who’s got your back. As long as you’re under my command, I always treat everyone equally.”
Wang Xiaoming felt touched. He had burned Chu Zhao’s hair and Chu Zhao could still treat him like everyone else.What an utterly forgiving soul.
“So,” Chu Zhao’s foot moved to the cigarette on the ground and he slowly ground it until the yellow tobacco was squeezed out as if it were being decapitated, “I’ll get vengeance for burning my hair, in whatever way you deserve.”
“…” Was it too late to say that the person who had his back was the Big Boss from the Dark games? Wang Xiaoming wondered, terrified.