By the time they got to the Silver House, the numbers on his phone showed that it was 3:28pm.
Wang Xiaoming was terrified of being late. As soon as he jumped out of the car he grabbed his box and started to run inside.
Xiang Wenxun’s hand whipped out and grabbed him. “This way.”
The Silver House had a total of six entrances. Aside from the main entrance for the guests, there was one for the employees, one for those who lived in the dorms, one for the executives like Xiang Wenxun, and the last two were emergency exits.
Xiang Wenxun took the box from Wang Xiaoming’s hand and, under the watchful gaze of some of the employees, walked casually over to the entrance to the dorms.
Wang Xiaoming tried his hardest to pretend nothing was happening and hid himself among the people clocking in for work.
The second his foot crossed the threshold, Xiang Wenxun’s gentle voice called out clearly from ahead of him, “Xiaoming.”
The intimacy implied by the name made Wang Xiaoming shiver. He didn’t dare look at the others’ expressions and kept his head lowered as he ran toward Xiang Wenxun.
Xiang Wenxun reached out a hand and grabbed his arm as Wang Xiaoming rushed past. He smiled gently. “No need to rush. I asked Chu Zhao to excuse you for two hours.”
Wang Xiaoming jerked his head up and asked with a trembling voice, “Did you go and ask personally?”
Xiang Wenxun answered, “No.”
Oh that was good. Wang Xiaoming breathed a sigh of relief.
“I had my secretary do it.”
How was that different from a personal request?
Wang Xiaoming was speechless.
As befit somewhere a director would live, even the floors of the Silver House employee dorm shone brighter than that five-star hotel of Tony’s.
Wang Xiaoming followed uneasily behind Xiang Wenxun and tried hard to not make too much noise with his leather shoes.
“This is Chu Zhao’s room.” Xiang Wenxun’s footsteps halted briefly.
Wang Xiaoming looked in the direction he was pointing. A sign announcing room 303 hung against a dark red door.
“Jie’s room is opposite.” Xiang Wenxun pointed to 305 and said, “You should know him.”
Wang Xiaoming remembered the despair and tears on that beautiful face and felt torn in his heart.
“This is your room.” Xiang Wenxun took out a key from his pocket and opened the door without any hassle.
As soon as the door opened, the soft light of dusk rushed to greet them.
Wang Xiaoming squinted his eyes slightly and followed Xiang Wenxun inside.
The French windows directly opposite the door took up an entire wall, giving them an excellent view of the scenery outside.
The furniture in the living room was simple and streamlined. Every kind of electronic device was there and the white furniture was paired with a light brown, striped wallpaper, making the room seem simultaneously naturally cozy and inviting.
With ease and familiarity, Xiang Wenxun pulled the box into the living room. He opened the dark brown curtains and said, “If there’s anything missing in the room, remember to tell me.”
Wang Xiaoming felt like Bilbo did during his first visit to Rivendell. He stood uneasily by the door and mechanically nodded his head.
Xiang Wenxun put down the suitcase and walked to the room opposite of the bedroom. He turned on the light and announced, “This is the study.”
Wang Xiaoming’s eyes lit up.
A pure white computer system drew his gaze like a magnet.
If he had a tail, he’d be wagging it at Xiang Wenxun. After staring at the real Baal for so many days, he missed the Baal in Dark so much.
Xiang Wenxun gave him an understanding smile. “Feel free to use anything in the apartment.”
Wang Xiaoming looked at the brand-new display and asked hesitantly, “I really don’t need to pay rent?”
Xiang Wenxun smiled slightly. “If you needed to, how much would you pay?”
Wang Xiaoming paused as he scanned the room. His original rent had been reduced because he tutored the landlady’s child for free; even so, it had been several hundred. Here… it’d probably be at least a thousand? But his current salary was only two thousand and he needed to save up to buy Baal a PSP.
Xiang Wenxun looked at his troubled expression and burst into laughter. “This is the employee dorm, so of course it’s free for the employees.”
Wang Xiaoming scratched his head. “I’m just an intern.”
“I’ll wait until you graduate.”
Wang Xiaoming blinked in surprise, not sure at the moment to which kind of waiting Xiang Wenxun was referring.
Xiang Wenxun continued, “If it’s not good for you to write the Silver House as the place you’re interning at, you can write another one of my trading companies. You can give the necessary validation documents to my secretary; she’ll take care of it for you.”
Wang Xiaoming was stunned.
He’d almost forgotten about the interning thing and couldn’t believe that Xiang Wenxun remembered it.
As he walked out of the study in a daze, the first thing he saw was Baal standing with his back to the window.
Inky black wings spread themselves out recklessly.
The golden sunlight fell upon those wings and seemed to give them a layer of gold dust.
Wang Xiaoming really felt that the creature who had unexpectedly barged into his life and made demands of him truly was a fallen angel, the noble creature from the legends.
They were from two different worlds and one day, Baal would flap his wings and return to the world from which he came.
And he’d turn back into that unlucky Wang Xiaoming.
He suddenly realized why even though Xiang Wenxun was such a good catch and was so good to him, he would never truly have a place in Wang Xiaoming’s heart. It was because from the very start, Xiang Wenxun wasn’t looking at him. That person could be Baal or maybe even Xiang Wenjie, but never him. So even though he would occasionally get lost in Xiang Wenxun’s tenderness, his subconscious understood this fact very clearly.
All the good luck that he had right now was because of Baal, but Baal would leave one day and this good luck would vanish, just like Baal. In the end, he’d be back to where he started.
“Why don’t you clean up first? Remember your work starts at 6pm.” Xiang Wenxun’s voice interrupted his ruminations.
Wang Xiaoming wiped his face and discovered that his forehead and cheek were both cold. He nodded and tried his hardest to make his lips form a smile.
Xiang Wenxun glanced in the direction Wang Xiaoming was looking. Outside the French windows, the setting sun lit up everything. Even though he couldn’t see, he knew very well that there was a fallen angel there. He could even imagine his expression.
Without changing his expression, he withdrew his gaze and walked out.
Baal watched him leave without a word and then saw Wang Xiaoming walking toward him. The anxiety and frustration that had just welled up calmed down.
“What’s wrong with you?” Wang Xiaoming looked at his wings and asked quietly.
Baal withdrew his wings and said lightly, “Nothing. I just wanted to kill someone suddenly.”
Wang Xiaoming ducked behind the sofa and thought silently that maybe it would be for the best if Baal disappeared suddenly. Even if that meant sacrificing all of his good luck, it would still be worth it since at the very least he’d be alive.
Baal looked at the hair trembling against the back of the sofa and his lips twitched. “I won’t kill you for now.”
“For now?” Wang Xiaoming’s voice trembled so much it could be mistaken for airwaves.
Baal answered, “If you can complete the mission, then I’ll never kill you.”
Wang Xiaoming peeked out from behind the sofa. “You mean… fall in love with President Xiang?”
Baal pursed his lips slightly and said after a while, “Yeah.”
Wang Xiaoming hesitated and then asked quietly, “What if I can’t?”
Baal thought of his body with the single recovered toe and said, “You already did.”
“….Eh?” How come he didn’t feel anything? Wang Xiaoming looked at him in stunned surprise.
Baal said, “But it’s not crazy enough.” He wanted to hurry up and finish this so he could get his body back.
Wang Xiaoming’s mind pictured him chasing after Xiang Wenxun with his hair loose like a madman and shivered. He stuttered out a question, “How crazy are we talking about?”
Baal was stunned. He wasn’t good at explaining these kinds of words, so he could only guess based on what he had seen before.
The first thing he thought of was Isefel and Shi Feixia. When Shi Feixia had gotten injured, Isefel had risked the wrath of God to leave Noah’s Ark and rush to Genesis. So to be crazy in love meant—
He said, “When one party is in danger, the other will risk their life to save the other.”
Wang Xiaoming stated, “President Xiang seems to be living the good life and there doesn’t seem to be a need for me to risk my life and rescue him.” Besides, if someone like President Xiang couldn’t get himself out of trouble, then Wang Xiaoming would just be adding to the body count.
Baal stroked his chin and said, “Looks like I should provide some of that opportunity.”
A frightened Wang Xiaoming hurriedly declared, “Humans are fragile. If you don’t plan this well, it’ll be two lives lost. Let’s talk about it first.”
Baal frowned impatiently and his mind supplied a second example—
Hughes and Gin.
When Hughes had found out that Baal had taken Gin, Hughes had risked everything, even his life.
So Baal said, “When one side is kidnapped, the other will risk their life to save them.”
Again with the risking of lives.
Wang Xiaoming could cry in frustration. “Is there anything that doesn’t involve dying?” He was a human, not a cat with nine lives. Where would he get so many lives to risk?
Baal thought of the last example.
The elf that died for Mani.
“The last kind,” he continued, “is to sacrifice your life for their safety.”
Wang Xiaoming asked shakily, “Doesn’t that still involve putting yourself in mortal danger?”
“Nope,” Baal rebutted, “this time there’s just death. There’s no risking involved.”
Baal walked over to the sofa and looked at Wang Xiaoming, who had curled himself into a ball. He frowned and said, “I said risking lives, not risking your life.”
Wang Xiaoming looked up in surprise.
“You’d be touched if Xiang Wenxun risked his life to rush in and rescue you, right?” Baal’s lips twitched into an evil smile.
“No.” Regardless of why Xiang Wenxun was nice to him, it was indisputable that he was nice. Emotionally or logically speaking, Wang Xiaoming had no reason to drag him down.
Baal asked in confusion, “Why not?” He clearly remembered how insanely happy Shi Feixia and Hughes had been when Isefel and Gin appeared.
Wang Xiaoming lowered his head and said slowly, “Because true love won’t be touched by someone risking their lives to rescue you. True love means being touched by them living happily and safely.”
Baal was stunned.