Since the landlady had given back the rent and the deposit, Wang Xiaoming finally had some spare money in his hands.
A little bit more than four thousand yuan. Wang Xiaoming figured that they could move up the purchase date for the PSP.
Suddenly a crash came from the study.
Wang Xiaoming’s brain cells also crashed against each other. He immediately rushed into the study and saw that both the display and the computer tower were in one piece on the floor.
Baal explained, “I got killed again.”
He paused and then elaborated, “I didn’t destroy the computer.”
“…” Wang Xiaoming could almost see the four thousand yuan in his hands turning into a notice of debt. He leaned against the doorframe and calmed his racing heart. He couldn’t figure out how much the desk cost, but he figured it wouldn’t be cheap based on Xiang Wenxun’s taste.
Baal became unhappy when he saw that Wang Xiaoming stayed quiet. “Are you yelling at me in your heart?”
“No.” Wang Xiaoming waved his hand listlessly. “I’m calculating how long I’ll have to work to pay off the desk.”
Looking at the frown on Wang Xiaoming’s face, Baal suddenly felt like he was in the wrong. It was as if he were a kid whose every whim was indulged and still made unreasonable demands and caused trouble everywhere.
Dammit, who said anything about Wang Xiaoming paying for it? Baal believed that the fox-like Xiang Wenxun would never get upset over a desk. On the contrary, he might even deliver wechan entire roomful of desks for Baal to smash in order to please him.
The more Baal thought about it, the more vexed he became. Before, he had smashed both Heaven and Hell and neither Michael nor Lucifer had said anything about payment.
—They just worked together to beat him half to death.
Wang Xiaoming decided to remove the PSP from his mental shopping list. He had thought that four thousand yuan meant he had a bit of savings. Now he figured out that the four thousand yuan belonged to a repair shop; he just didn’t know what to repair.
Baal tried very hard to elevate his position. “Hmph, this is just a small investment. If you successfully fall in love with…” After a brief pause he continued, “I’ll give you whatever you want.”
Wang Xiaoming asked, “If Xiang Wenxun and I really become a couple, won’t it be him that gives me anything I want?”
Baal choked on his words.
Countless emotions battled for dominance in his eyes. In the end, they all formed a dangerous glint. “Do you think he can give you everything you want?”
Wang Xiaoming had no idea why Baal looked so angry.
“I can give you the entire mortal realm! Can he do that?” Baal exuded a more forceful attitude.
Wang Xiaoming was scared witless.
Baal declared arrogantly, as if he stood at the top of the world and looked down on everyone, “In this world, only I can give you everything!” His wings of black feather unfurled soundlessly and blocked both the window and the light streaming through it.
Wang Xiaoming was entirely hidden in the shadow of those wings. He blinked his eyes and then blinked them again, saying in a trembling voice, “I don’t want the entire world.” He didn’t want to turn into the Asian Hitler; that would be terrifying.
Baal’s wings slightly retracted. “Then what do you want?”
“I want…” Wang Xiaoming’s eyes glinted. Ever since birth, though he’d never admitted it, he knew very well that he wanted a lot of things. Love from his parents, affection from his brother, acceptance from his friends… and endless luck. But all of these whirled around his head and left no trace. In the end, the thing that was stuck in his vocal cords, that got blurted out, was, “I want to spend eternity with someone I love.”
He could give him the entire world, but someone he loved—dammit, wasn’t that still Xiang Wenxun?
Baal suddenly felt a sense of defeat, something he had never felt before. He had just sworn up and down that he could give Wang Xiaoming everything that Xiang Wenxun couldn’t and then Wang Xiaoming had handed him this answer.
Wang Xiaoming looked at him cautiously. “What’s wrong?”
Baal gave him a cold glance and withdrew his wings. He walked over to the sofa in the living room and sat down.
Wang Xiaoming hated silent feuds. When he lived with roommates before, if anyone’s face darkened and stayed quiet, he’d feel miserable.
He tried to open up a dialogue with Baal several times but got rejected by Baal’s cold face each and every time.
The silent feud continued even as he got ready for work.
During this time, Wang Xiaoming went online and placed an order for an ordinary computer desk. As for the remnants of the old desk, he cleaned them up as best as he could and decided to take them to the furniture market someday to see if the desk could be repaired or if he could buy something similar.
Wang Xiaoming walked out to go to work.
Baal intentionally kept five meters between them.
Wang Xiaoming could only leave the door open until he walked out slowly. As he was closing the door, he heard a door clicking shut a couple of doors away.
Chu Zhao’s figure stiffened slightly as he locked his door. He adjusted his expression several times and then turned around. “Going to work?”
Wang Xiaoming nodded and observed Chu Zhao’s expression. Though he had said he was sleepwalking this morning, his body language and expression, and even his voice, had been too stiff. Instead of sleepwalking, Wang Xiaoming thought he looked more like a zombie.
The more he watched, the more self-conscious Chu Zhao became. He pretended to shout, “What are you looking at? Do you want to be late?”
Wang Xiaoming looked at him walking forward awkwardly and called out, “Director Chu.”
Chu Zhao’s legs turned even stiffer and he almost began frogmarching.
“Director Chu.” Wang Xiaoming ran up a few steps.
Chu Zhao cried for help in his mind but asked with a serious expression, “What is it?”
Wang Xiaoming was startled by Chu Zhao’s frigid expression. “You-your shoelaces are untied.”
Chu Zhao glanced down. “That was intentional.”
Wang Xiaoming backed off and watched him walk away.
Then it turned to speed walking.
After about eight or nine steps, he suddenly fell forward with a yelp.
Wang Xiaoming walked slowly up to him.
Chu Zhao looked up in anger. Screw the demon. He was a big man and it’d be embarrassing if word got out that he got scared by a pig in human skin! Chu Zhao took a deep breath and prepared himself for the confrontation.
He didn’t count on Wang Xiaoming saying before he got the chance, “Director Chu, I know you’re doing this on purpose.”
Work was boring as usual, especially since the temperature of the office could rival that of Antarctica ever since he and Baal had gotten into the silent feud.
When Sharky came to make his report, Wang Xiaoming made a point of holding him back and asking tons of questions.
Toward the end of the questions, Sharky bizarrely felt that something was staring at his back. Cold sweat emerged on his forehead as if it were a fountain.
Wang Xiaoming saw how white his lips were getting and asked worriedly, “Are you alright?”
Sharky shivered and gave a dry laugh. “It seems to be a bit cold in here.”
Wang Xiaoming looked silently at Baal.
Baal snorted and turned his face toward the ceiling.
“Go do your work.” Wang Xiaoming walked Sharky to the door.
Sharky felt honored beyond reason and advised earnestly as he left, “If you feel cold, please tell me. I’ll go get a blanket.”
Wouldn’t the goofing off be too obvious if he grabbed a blanket and fell asleep during work hours?
Wang Xiaoming thought back to the first time he met Chu Zhao and wondered if maybe that was tradition?
After Sharky departed, there was just him and Baal staring at each other in the room again.
Wang Xiaoming thought that this wouldn’t do. Instead of keeping things to themselves, they might as well say it. Even if it might sound ugly, it’d be better than second-guessing each other.
He tried to put some words together and said after a period of consideration, “I’m sorry.”
Baal slowly moved his head so that he could face Wang Xiaoming.
“I know that to you, I probably seem weak and unambitious.” Wang Xiaoming finished and was about to take a breath before continuing when Baal laughed coldly and said, “Not ‘probably.’ Try ‘definitely,’ ‘absolutely,’ and ‘undoubtedly.’”
Wang Xiaoming’s heart shattered all over the floor.
Baal looked at him disdainfully. “What did you want to say?”
“I forgot.” Wang Xiaoming ran back to the desk and sat with his legs curled up on the chair as he silently licked his wounds.
He had a temper now?!
Baal’s expression darkened another shade.
The room’s temperature dropped to a new low. If there were penguins here, they’d be frozen to death.
Baal’s inclination for violence, the one he had tried to control, now demanded to be freed.
How could he, a fallen angel, tolerate this kind of insolence from a human?!
He stood up and walked slowly over to Wang Xiaoming.
Wang Xiaoming seemed to sense the danger and turned around to look at him in shock.
The office door slammed open.
Sharky ran inside, sweat dripping, and crossed Baal’s body. He reached the desk and panted breathlessly, “They’re fighting!”
Wang Xiaoming reacted instantly and dug out his phone. “Should I call the police?”
“No,” Sharky pounded his own chest, “it’s…”
“Ah, I got it. We call Feng Bro.” Wang Xiaoming hurriedly looked down and tried to find Feng Bro’s phone.
“No,” Sharky cried loudly. “President Xiang and Mr. Tao are fighting. Director Chu told me to fetch you.”
“Ah?” Wang Xiaoming was shocked. He absolutely could not imagine how someone like Xiang Wenxun fought.
But he understood after three minutes.
This could not be called a fight. This was more or less Xiang Wenxun beating the shit out of Tao Le.
He watched Tao Le stumble upright and then saw how Xiang Wenxun knocked him back down with a single punch without even blinking. Wang Xiaoming also suspected that he was at the scene of a movie shoot.
Besides him, Chu Zhao, and Sharky present, there were also Jie, Jiang Xueyan, and Xu Yiming.
Xu Yiming tried to rush in a couple of times and Chu Zhao held him back every single time.
Chu Zhao held tightly onto his arm and said, “Enough, they’re already fighting like this. Don’t get involved.”
Xu Yiming was so worried he was about to cry. He stared at Jie and demanded, “What the f*ck are you standing around for? Are you cosplaying a gravestone and waiting for someone to carve their eulogies? Go and help?!”
Chu Zhao got angry. “What kind of mentality is that! You can’t go yourself so you encourage others to go make more trouble?”
Xu Yiming was about to go crazy. “F*ck it! I want to go break up the fight, break up the fight I say!”
Chu Zhao didn’t believe it. “Have you seen a mediator look more excited than the people fighting?”
Xu Yiming quickly calmed down. He rubbed his face and forced a smile on. “Now do I look like I’m about to go break up a fight?”
“Not at all.” Chu Zhao still wouldn’t let go. “You look like you’re about to die with them.”