“Can I ask why?”
“No.” Baal’s answer left no room for negotiations.
Wang Xiaoming hammered his sore knees and changed his position so that he sat on the ground. He said quietly, “I’m not in that kind of relationship with Chang Haitao.”
“Really?” Baal’s laughter was chilly.
Ever since he had been defeated by Lucifer, his severely injured body had remained sealed in the Black Star Pearl. He didn’t know what Lucifer was thinking, but he had suddenly tossed the Black Star Pearl into this human’s body yesterday and then said this human’s love would help heal his body. Though Baal supposed Lucifer wasn’t lying. He just checked and it was true that the Black Star Pearl was using “love” to heal his body, but… at the rate it was going, he’d need a thousand years to get an undamaged toe! And that would only work if the human lived to a thousand!
So Baal had to speed things up.
He did some investigation. Out of everything that Wang Xiaoming loved, the person he loved the most was Chang Haitao. So he decided to take that route and worked on inspiring the most passionate response possible from Wang Xiaoming.
“Not to mention Chang Haitao already has a girlfriend.” As he thought of this, Wang Xiaoming’s heart tightened.
Baal looked at the forlorn human and snorted, “How pathetic.”
Wang Xiaoming hung his head and took the criticism.
“If you want something, go after it with all your might. Have humans fallen so low that they don’t even understand this simple idea?” Baal looked at his own hands. “If you still don’t get it, I don’t mind beating you until you do.”
Wang Xiaoming said, with tears welling up in his eyes, “I’ll work on it in a few moments.”
A few moments really meant a few moments.
Wang Xiaoming felt like there were hot coals underneath his feet as he was rushed into the bathroom to get cleaned and then dragged to the dining room to eat.
By the time he walked out in a state of nausea, Baal looked at him and nodded in satisfaction. “A human’s life is short, so you should value your time even more.”
Wang Xiaoming’s face remained pale and he stayed quiet.
“I said, I dislike it when people ignore me.” Baal’s smile was a drastic contrast to the warm sun outside.
Wang Xiaoming shed a single tear and opened his mouth with some effort to croak out, “Fish bone… stuck… hurts.”
Baal said in annoyance, “Humans are disgustingly fragile.”
Wang Xiaoming really wanted to suggest that, if he was so disgusting, Baal could kick him out so he would never have to see him again! But when he looked into Baal’s handsome but listless face filled with murderous rage, his voice lodged in his throat, just like the fishbone.
After swallowing half a bowl of rice vinegar and another half a bowl of rice, Wang Xiaoming’s throat was finally freed of obstructions.
“Go find Chang Haitao now.” Baal’s patience was wearing thin.
“He doesn’t have class today.”
Baal glanced at Wang Xiaoming.
Wang Xiaoming shut his mouth and walked over to put on his shoes.
Baal suddenly asked, “Chang Haitao is a man?”
Wang Xiaoming’s body jerked and then he nodded silently.
Baal was a bit surprised. “Angels are rarely female so male-male romance is very popular among them. But I thought God learned from this and adjusted the proportions when he made humans?”
After a long stretch of silence, Wang Xiaoming murmured, “But he forgot to set my sexual orientation.”
Baal had nothing to say.
The apartment Wang Xiaoming rented wasn’t too far from the University of A, just three stops by bus.
Wang Xiaoming looked on in terror at Baal just casually standing on the bus as the people around him kept crossing in and out of his body.
He didn’t look transparent at all, and didn’t he say he wasn’t a ghost? So how come…
Baal sensed his confusion and explained calmly, “Only you can see me.”
Wang Xiaoming’s despair obviously triggered something in Baal’s fragile soul. He shouted in angry embarrassment, “You should be honored.”
“Can I ask… why I have this honor?” His voice was quiet. He didn’t want someone to think he was crazy.
Baal thought for a long time before answering, “You’re lucky.”
There should be a “not” in front of that.
Wang Xiaoming looked at the scenery rushing past outside the bus and didn’t have the words to describe the sorrow he felt in his heart.
From the moment he was born, his family had experienced one misfortune after another. When his parents called him a bad luck charm when he was little, he refused to believe it. He had always thought he was just as good as his older brother. In elementary school, he could figure out a problem his brother in fourth grade couldn’t solve, just by studying the textbook. He had been in second grade at the time.
In terms of intelligence, he was far smarter than his brother.
But back then, he didn’t know that aside from smarts, there was a thing called luck. And he really only understood that when he reached middle school.
He’d get his bento from the same place as everyone else, but his would either have a cockroach or be missing a meat dish.
When it came to uniforms, the people in front or behind him would get perfectly fine uniforms, but his would have mismatched sleeves.
As for awards, everyone else would have their name written neatly and beautifully, but his would not only be smudged but also have at least one wrong character. His name was so easy to write, it was almost harder to get it wrong.
From that moment on, he knew that luck really was important.
He finally stumbled his way into a college away from his hometown.
Both he and his family let out a sigh of relief.
Sometimes, being apart was a way to protect everyone. He finally understood the sentiment behind that sentence. Even though life was unfair, he stubbornly believed that as long as he survived the storm, there would be good things waiting for him at the end of the rainbow.
But no matter how hard he believed, he never got his miracle. So he finally acknowledged defeat and began to learn and adjust to a life of little misfortunes every three days and big tragedies every five days.
Unfortunately, it had to be at this moment that his miracle appeared, only to push him towards a darker, deeper, and more terrifying abyss.
“Will you get off on your own or should I toss you off?” Baal’s voice sounded next to his ear.
Wang Xiaoming shoved all his sentimental thoughts aside and jumped off the bus as if the bus was on fire.
The University of A was one of the city’s landmarks and the school was divided into a North and South campus.
Before Wang Xiaoming moved out, he had lived in the North school district.
He walked on the wide school paths with his head bent low. He was a minor celebrity here. One, he was way too unfortunate. Sports competitions, celebrations, dance parties… anywhere misfortune could happen, he’d be part of it. So he became famous. Two, Chang Haitao was one of the MVPs of the school basketball team and a member of the student executive board. He was well-loved wherever he went. As someone who often hung out with Chang Haitao, Chang Haitao’s fame had rubbed off on Wang Xiaoming too.
Luckily, the campus was practically empty at this time.
He jogged into the dormitory.
When he got to the top of the stairs, he started equivocating in his mind. He knew Chang Haitao was the type of person that preferred sweet talk to threats. As for the individual behind him… neither threats nor sweet talk seemed to work. If the two of them fought, Chang Haitao would die a hundred times over.
As he thought of this, the courage that he had pushed to the farthest corner of his body bubbled up a tiny bit.
He intentionally walked to the room next to theirs, hurriedly opened the door, and called out, “Is Haitao there?” Then he quickly slammed the door shut and smiled winningly at Baal, “Looks like he’s not here.”
“Damn you! Misfortune Ming, what kinda joke are you playing first thing in the morning? Wouldn’t Chang Haitao be sleeping in your room? What are you doing looking for him in our room?” Chubby Da Hai’s voice always had the same effect as a megaphone.
Wang Xiaoming met Baal’s chilly gaze and moved slightly backward.
“I don’t want to see the same type of thing happen again. After all, I’m not a nice person.” Baal’s smile made Wang Xiaoming cower in his heart.
Wang Xiaoming silently prayed in his heart that Chang Haitao was spending the night away from campus, even if it was with his girlfriend.
After he finished praying, he pushed open the door to their dorms to find the bed empty.
Chang Haitao stood in front of the mirror, styling his bangs with mousse. He spotted Wang Xiaoming in the mirror and immediately turned around to chide him with laughter in his voice, “You brat, here to apologize? Where are your willow branches? At least bring a cane so I can give you a couple of whacks!”
Wang Xiaoming laughed drily, “Are you heading out?”
“Mmhmm. Xiaoli is coming by in a bit. You didn’t do well yesterday, staying quiet and leaving early. Xiaoli is worried and thinks that you don’t like her. When she comes, make sure you explain yourself to her.”
But it was true that he doesn’t like her. How is he supposed to explain that?
Wang Xiaoming lowered his head and sighed, “Oh.”
“Just like that?” Baal leaned against the door and laughed evilly, “Did you forget what I just said?”
“No!” The chill in Baal’s voice scared Wang Xiaoming into awakeness.
“What no?” Chang Haitao looked at him curiously.
“I’m… uh… it’s not that I don’t like Xiaoli.” Wang Xiaoming stuttered out the first lie he thought of.
“I know. How could you not like someone I like?” Chang Haitao walked over and reached out a hand to ruffle Wang Xiaoming’s head. This was something he always did.
Wang Xiaoming wasn’t tall, just 172 cm. Whenever he was next to Chang Haitao, who was 183 cm tall, he could only let himself be ruffled.
Baal threatened next to him, “If you don’t say it, I’ll do it myself.”
Wang Xiaoming didn’t know what “do it myself” meant, but his instincts told him that it wouldn’t be good for him.
He looked at Chang Haitao’s handsome face and struggled over what to do.
If he confessed without thinking of the consequences, at the very most they wouldn’t be friends anymore. But at the very least, Baal wouldn’t cause any trouble anymore. But if he forced Baal’s hand, then neither of them would have any good days left.
Logically, he knew this to be true. However, emotionally he was still terrified. This was something he had hidden for so many years, he had genuinely believed he’d take it to his grave. Now he had to confess it when he knew it would be impossible…
“Hmm?” Baal questioned impatiently.
Wang Xiaoming gritted his teeth and shouted, “Haitao!”
“I, I…” Wang Xiaoming pinched his thigh, squinted his eyes, and confessed impulsively, “I like you!”
Chang Haitao paused in confusion for a moment and then laughed while admonishing, “Don’t pull this. Don’t think this means I’ll let what happened yesterday go. If Xiaoli comes and you don’t behave yourself, I’ll kick your butt.”
Wang Xiaoming turned to look at Baal, looking pitifully, “I tried, but he’s not interested.”
Baal shoved himself upright and laughed coldly, “If that’s how it is, guess it’s up to me then.”
Wang Xiaoming watched in terror as Baal walked, step by step, towards an unsuspecting Chang Haitao.
Chang Haitao’s entire attention was still on fixing his hair.
He had no idea where he found the courage, but right before Baal touched Chang Haitao, Wang Xiaoming screamed “watch out” as he ran forward and pushed Chang Haitao out of the way.
Chang Haitao’s body slammed into the mirror.
Wang Xiaoming straightened and looked cautiously at Chang Haitao, “Are you okay?”
“What do you think?” Chang Haitao looked up with a smile that made Wang Xiaoming feel as if a bucket of ice water had been dumped on him.