After spending a day at the office, Wang Xiaoming returned to his dorm. He wasn’t physically tired but was mentally strained. A lot of things had happened during the day that made him think. Even now his brain was still buzzing and he wished he could just step into the bedroom, throw the covers over himself, and ignore everything as he slept.
But his strange streak of unluckiness came into effect.
Just as he walked into the hallway, he heard the bang bang of something bashing on a door.
The soft orange lights above his head seemed to tremble as a result of the sound.
Wang Xiaoming gentled his footsteps and slowly walked over.
Outside 305, Tao Le was hitting the door as if caught up in a mad frenzy. Anyone could smell the stench of alcohol on him from five meters away.
Wang Xiaoming recalled that when Xiang Wenxun walked him around that afternoon, he had said that 305 belonged to Jie.
“Come out! You come out of there!’ Tao Le raised his leg and kicked the door.
Luckily the door was solid wood and didn’t budge a single centimeter under that force.
“Junjie…” Tao Le pressed his head against the door and whimpered. He kept murmuring Jie’s name over and over.
Wang Xiaoming awkwardly stood there and felt that it wasn’t right to step forward but neither was it right to remain there.
Baal laughed coldly from behind him. “Humans are weird.”
Wang Xiaoming turned around to look at him.
“Is that false?” Baal looked at Tao Le’s shaking figure scornfully. “Incapable and cowardly, only able to make messes for everyone else.”
Wang Xiaoming said after a long moment of silence, “That’s because we can’t discard our emotions.”
“Discard your emotions?” Baal’s eyebrows twitched. “You still can’t let go of your feelings for Chang Haitao?”
Wang Xiaoming paused. Come to think of it, he’d been at the Silver House for so long and rarely thought of Chang Haitao anymore. Even if he did, it was with regret, regret that he couldn’t say a proper goodbye to his best friend in college.
“See, not being able to discard one’s feelings is not the reason,” Baal continued. “The main reason is that humans are born with a sense of possessiveness, regardless of whether that thing had belonged to them or not. This kind of desire to possess quickly breeds jealousy, envy, anger… humans are born sinners.”
“No!” Wang Xiaoming didn’t know why he felt angry when he heard Baal scold humans. He knew logically that he shouldn’t argue with Baal. No matter what Baal said, Wang Xiaoming should pretend that he hadn’t heard anything, that it was just wind brushing against his ear. Because fallen angels and humans thought differently and it would be meaningless to take anything Baal said seriously. But when he was actually faced with the scenario, his rationale flew out the window and he spouted words of rebuttal like a firecracker.
He didn’t dare look at Baal.
But if he had, he would have seen that Baal’s expression was not at all the same as what he had imagined. At least, it wasn’t the anger that preceded him becoming furious.
Baal frowned and, just as he was about to say something, he heard Tao Le shout angrily at Wang Xiaoming, “What are you saying? What do you understand? What do you mean by ‘no’! It’s yes, yes!”
This was what people meant by saying they were on two different channels.
Wang Xiaoming looked at him in a daze, unsure of how to react.
Tao Le paced back and forth before suddenly sliding down onto the floor with his back pressed against the door. Tears welled out from his eye and trailed down the stubborn but remorseful face until they disappeared into his shirt.
“Junjie… I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” He finally started saying something else besides “Junjie.”
Wang Xiaoming looked at Baal. He had no experience when it came to things like this.
Baal asked generously, “Would you like for me to get rid of him?”
“No need.” Wang Xiaoming got scared. He had almost forgotten that Baal had just one way of solving this kind of problem.
Baal crossed his arms against his chest and lightly drummed his fingers against his arm. He asked, “Or do you want me to move the one inside the room to outside the room?”
“That won’t be necessary either. Actually, it’s bad to constantly move people around,” Wang Xiaoming said vaguely. It was his greatest fortune that Chu Zhao didn’t suspect him but he knew his luck wouldn’t last. Jie and Tao Le weren’t Xiang Wenxun either; they couldn’t calmly sit down and discuss terms with Baal if they knew they had run into something like that.
Baal asked, “So you’re going to stand here the entire night and watch him cry?”
Wang Xiaoming’s eyes lit up. “Can you get me inside my room?” Come to think of it, he had never been moved by Baal.
If he could do that, would he use his hands against Wang Xiaoming every time?
Baal raised both of his eyebrows. “You really want me to get you back to your room?”
Wang Xiaoming nodded. He was really tired and desperately wanted to go to his room and sleep.
Baan demanded, “Turn around.”
Wang Xiaoming followed the instruction to the letter and was a nervous wreck. He didn’t know what teleportation felt like. Would it go dark like the computer shutting down? Or would his entire world be turned upside down? Or maybe he wouldn’t feel anything and he’d be inside his room?
“You ready?” Baal smiled evilly from behind him.
Wang Xiaoming nodded.
Baal extended his leg and kicked!
Wang Xiaoming flew forward and collapsed on top of Tao Le.
Tao Le slowly raised his head.
He also slowly turned around.
Eyes swollen from crying met eyes squinted half-shut in pain.
Wang Xiaoming laughed drily, “I’m just passing by.”
He wanted to slowly stand up but Tao Le suddenly grabbed his collar and yanked him upward. “I remember you!”
A heavy stench of alcohol greeted Wang Xiaoming and made him turn his head away in discomfort.
“You were together with Junjie last time…” Tao Le suddenly pushed him against the wall and stared furiously at him with bloodshot eyes. “It’s because of you that Juniie is ignoring me!”
Wang Xiaoming had no other choice but to ask quietly, “Are you sure it’s not because of you?”
“How could it be because of me!” Tao Le howled in fury, spittle falling mercilessly on Wang Xiaoming’s face.
Wang Xiaoming looked pleadingly at Baal.
Baal gave him an unempathetic glance and said clearly, “It’s not good to constantly move people around.”
Tao Le suddenly lowered his head and cried against Wang Xiaoming’s shoulder. As he sobbed, he cried out, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…”
Wang Xiaoming grabbed his shoulder and tried to push him away. But he couldn’t do it after several attempts and had to resort to saying awkwardly, “I forgive you. Please stop crying.”
“I’m sorry. If I had known things would turn out like this, I would have died before going abroad that year! Junjie, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” Tao Le’s tears soaked Wang Xiaoming’s entire shoulder.
The tears made everything sticky and caused him great discomfort.
Suddenly, the door to 305 opened a crack.
Wang Xiaoming straightened up and was about to tell Tao Le when heavy footsteps sounded from the other end of the hallway.
The crack quickly closed up again.
It was Xu Yiming who walked by. When he saw Tao Le leaning against Wang Xiaoming, fury shot up in his eyes but disappeared without a trace in a second. He walked by as if he didn’t see them at all.
He lived in 307, right across from Wang Xiaoming.
The key rustled against the door and accompanied Tao Le’s quiet sobs in a Symphony of Tragedy in the Hallway at Midnight.
When his door opened, Xu Yiming walked in without a backward glance and then slammed the door violently!
Wang Xiaoming’s heart leapt to his throat.
The symphony ended with the drums of fury.
Baal saw that Tao Le was still collapsed against Wang Xiaoming and finally got impatient enough to ask, “How long is he going to stay like that?”
Wang Xiaoming thought about it and asked, “Could you move him back to his own place?”
Baal countered, “Do you think I know what corner of the earth he lives in?”
Wang Xiaoming was still debating when Baal snapped his fingers.
The weight against him immediately disappeared and Wang Xiaoming asked nervously, “Where did you move him to?”
Baal answered, “Somewhere with a bed.”
Two hours later.
Chu Zhao dragged his weary body back to his room. Since he’d essentially taken over Wang Xiaoming’s role, he had to manage the housekeeping division himself. This meant that after listening to the reports from the Service Department he had to write the reports for the housekeeping division. He was busier now than at the end of the year.
He opened the door and was about to take a bath when the sound of loud snoring came from his bedroom.
Chu Zhao looked at the decorations in the living room and then the sign at the door and confirmed that it was his room. He immediately rushed in and turned on the lights, yelling at Tao Le who was asleep to the point of drooling, “What are you doing in my room?!”
The sound of louder snoring answered him.
Chu Zhao looked at the wall and suddenly remembered that his next-door neighbor was an unknown kind of demon. Maybe he should be glad that a person just randomly appeared in his room and instead of having someone randomly disappear from his room.
He sighed, grabbed his pajamas, and walked into the bathroom.
Life had to go on.
As soon as Baal got back to the room, he ducked into the study to play Dark. More than a fondness for the game, he was interested in the game because it showcased the kind of anger that humans, but not him, could feel.
Since he had a record, Wang Xiaoming spent about a bathtub’s worth of saliva to describe how valuable this computer was.
In the end, Baal was defeated by his nagging and reluctantly promised that even if he had to destroy it, he’d make sure to leave its outer shell intact.
Wang Xiaoming estimated that he had enough money to repair the computer. Only then could he fall asleep.
The next morning, it took him three minutes to remember where he was and what he was doing there. Then he got up and went about his usual morning routine.
There were eggs, fresh vegetables, and fruits, as well as milk, in the fridge. Clearly, those had been put in by Xiang Wenxun ahead of time.
Wang Xiaoming made himself a fried egg and also poured a glass of milk. The doorbell rang just as he was about to go into the study to see how Baal was faring.
Someone who’d come by now… could it be Xiang Wenxun?
Wang Xiaoming’s emotions were complicated. At the moment he didn’t know how to define the relationship between himself and Xiang Wenxun.
They were superior and subordinate, undoubtedly.
Being lovers was a bit beyond his imagination, though Xiang Wenxun had always described them this way.
Wang Xiaoming suddenly thought of a word—benefactor.
Maybe this word was a bit outdated right now, but Wang Xiaoming absolutely saw Xiang Wenxun as his benefactor. He gave him work and also shelter.
He adjusted his outlook and opened the door.
But it was Jie who stood there.