Baal discovered that he despised Xiang Wenxun more and more. The disdain mostly came from the guy never saying anything without a hidden agenda. In other words, he was always observing and calculating. That kind of calculating behavior was practically part of his instincts.
Actually, Baal didn’t dislike those with a calculating mind. Sometimes it was far easier to get along with clever people than stupid people. As long as there was no conflict of interest, clever people could, at any given moment, go along with what you were thinking and say what you wanted to hear. Maybe it was meaningless behavior but it was part of human interaction. It was just like how he never wished for clever people to come and save him when he was hunted in both Heaven and Hell.
But he disliked Xiang Wenxun.
The calculating gaze Xiang Wenxun gave him was like a dog having designs on a plate of meat. That kind of sensation angered him very much.
Wang Xiaoming saw that Baal wouldn’t say anything and couldn’t help but remind him, “What did you want to say?”
Baal pressed his lips tightly together. He suddenly felt that even if Xiang Wenxun hadn’t completely guessed what he wanted to say next, the man had guessed most of it and, in fact, had arranged for this outcome.
Wang Xiaoming saw Baal’s face darken and asked fearfully, “You, you’re going to do it again, are you?”
Xiang Wenxun leaned against the chair and asked with a smile, “Mr. Baal sent me back to the office the last time. I think, this time, he might want to send me back to the cafeteria?”
Baal clenched his fist. “As you wish.”
So, Xiang Wenxun disappeared in front of their eyes again.
Wang Xiaoming asked in disbelief, “You came here for this?”
Baal sat down without care and crossed one leg over the other. “He’ll be back.”
Baal shrugged and said, “As long as his brother hasn’t woken up, he’ll be back like a good boy to keep talking to me.” Lucifer, Michael, Raphael… all the tricky beings he had met before were a thousand times worse than Xiang Wenxun. They couldn’t do anything to him, so he didn’t believe this human could do anything either.
At that thought, his mood brightened.
Wang Xiaoming was dizzied by Baal’s seesawing between anger and happiness. He asked, “What exactly did you want to discuss with President Xiang?”
“You,” Baal answered casually.
Wang Xiaoming said in surprise, “You’re not going to have him and I…”
“What about you?” There was something dangerous in Baal’s gaze.
Wang Xiaoming hesitated and said, “Nothing.”
Had he fallen in love with someone else in such a short amount of time?
Baal recalled the faint words in the Black Star Pearl and actually thought that was very likely. So he demanded without a second thought, “Lie down.”
“Again?” Wang Xiaoming was resigned to his fate. How come the frequency of these “lie downs” was increasing? Should he think about bringing a mat with him so he wouldn’t dirty his clothes?
Baal waited until Wang Xiaoming lay down on the sofa in the office and then reached out a hand.
It was still only his big toe that shone with light.
Baal was a bit dissatisfied and then looked at the Black Star Pearl to discover that the names carved on it hadn’t changed.
The dissatisfaction increased.
Wang Xiaoming watched his expression and cautiously asked, “Could I ask what exactly it is that you’re checking for each time?”
Baal glared at him and demanded, “Why don’t you like me more than just a bit?”
The blood seemed to rush from Wang Xiaoming’s feet all the way to his head. He opened and closed his mouth several times before squeezing out, “Huh?”
“A human like you should consider it an honor among honors to like me.”
Wang Xiaoming said again, “Huh?”
“So, from this moment on you must fall in love with me with every fiber of your being!”
“Ah!” This time it wasn’t a question but an exclamation! The sound was akin to the howl important people would make when they were murdered in TV shows. Besides, the expression on his face could absolutely not be described as joy.
Baal squinted his eyes. “What kind of expression is that?”
Wang Xiaoming blinked. “The sensation of being hit by gold falling from the sky.”
Though it was vulgar to compare a fallen angel to gold, Baal more or less accepted it since gold was very valuable.
Then Wang Xiaoming foolishly said, “I feel like I got killed.”
When Xiang Wenxun had strolled back from the cafeteria and walked into the office, he saw Wang Xiaoming plastered against the wall like a salamander. His face and limbs were firmly glued to the wall.
He had probably heard the sound of the door opening and tried hard to look back. “President… Xiang.”
Xiang Wenxun adjusted his sleeves and asked with a smile, “Are you practicing yoga?”
Wang Xiaoming’s eyes shifted until only the whites of his eyes were visible. “No, no yoga.”
“Measuring your height?”
“Listening to gossip?”
Xiang Wenxun pulled out a cigarette and toyed with it before raising an eyebrow and asking, “Do I need to contemplate further?”
Wang Xiaoming rolled his eyes back and slowly said, “I… I’m taking my weight.”
Xiang Wenxun actually nodded without any surprise. “Yeah. Your entire weight is on the wall and it didn’t collapse. You’re not heavy at all.”
Baal heard the back and forth and suddenly lost interest in playing with Wang Xiaoming. He let go disinterestedly.
As soon as Wang Xiaoming was free, he immediately jumped far away. In contrast to the wall, he thought the wide-open center of the room felt more secure.
Baal said threateningly, “You can still be plastered against the floor.”
Wang Xiaoming sat on the chair and curled his legs up against himself.
“What does Mr. Baal want to discuss with me?” Xiang Wenxun took out a lighter from his pocket, looked at Wang Xiaoming, and then asked, “Do you mind if I smoke?”
Wang Xiaoming hurried to answer, “I don’t mind.”
Xiang Wenxun’s gaze searched behind him and asked, “What about Mr. Baal?”
Baal answered, “I mind.”
Wang Xiaoming asked in slight surprise, “You can smell the smoke?” Since Baal never ate, he had always assumed that Baal’s features could only be used to talk.
Baal asked, “What does me minding or not have to do with whether I can smell it or not?”
Wang Xiaoming answered, “Cause and effect.”
Baal’s gaze darkened.
Wang Xiaoming understood and shut up.
“Mr. Baal minds?” Xiang Wenxun casually put the lighter down on the desk.
Baal said, “Tell him that I am going to amend the terms of our contract.”
“Why?” Wang Xiaoming was surprised.
Baal’s lips twitched upward but not in a smile. “You like the original contract?”
Wang Xiaoming had a sudden premonition that if he said yes, he’d definitely be plastered against the wall… no, the ceiling!
“I’m just curious.” Wang Xiaoming didn’t dare say more and stuck to being the messenger.
Xiang Wenxun smiled and asked, “Then how is Mr. Baal thinking of changing the terms?”
Baal answered, “Simple. Cancel it.”
Wang Xiaoming stood in shock.
Xiang Wenxun could pretty much guess what Baal had said based on Wang Xiaoming’s expression. He lowered his eyes and glanced at his hand on the desk. “Does Mr. Baal want to cancel the contract?”
Wang Xiaoming had just processed the shock and was shocked again.
Baal raised an eyebrow. Originally, he and Xiang Wenxun had been in a mutually beneficial relationship of equals. But now Xiang Wenxun’s value had disappeared and Baal had the upper hand. Naturally, he could do what he wanted. Truth was, he looked forward to watching Xiang Wenxun’s face change.
“Okay.” Xiang Wenxun’s expression remained the same.
Wang Xiaoming swept his gaze back and forth between Xiang Wenxun and Baal, a little unused to the sudden change.
He could understand Baal single-handedly canceling the contract since he was the kind of guy who ignored everyone else. But Xiang Wenxun accepting it so easily was very much out of his expectations. He had thought that for the sake of his brother, President Xiang would not give in so easily, no matter what.
Xiang Wenxun asked, “Was there anything else?”
Wang Xiaoming looked at him unblinkingly, as if trying to find any trace of unwillingness on that face. But there wasn’t any.
He wore his usual expression. Actually, from the moment he met Xiang Wenxun, Xiang Wenxun had worn the same smile. Gentle and polite, utterly proper. He had almost thought that loss of composure by his brother’s bedside that day had been a hallucination.
Xiang Wenxun saw how he stood there stupidly without answering and asked the question again.
Baal’s lips were pressed into a thin line.
Wang Xiaoming came back to himself and said haltingly, “Then when would it be convenient for me to resign?” He knew very well that the reason he had become the manager of the housekeeping division was because Xiang Wenxun had believed that Baal could save his brother. Now the contract was cancelled and his preferential treatment must also be cancelled.
“Resign?” Xiang Wenxun clearly hadn’t thought that and asked in surprise, “Why? If it’s because of the salary or the position, tell me and I’ll make arrangements.”
Wang Xiaoming looked helplessly at Baal. He was discomfited by Xiang Wenxun’s unconditional demonstration of goodwill.
Baal gave a cold laugh. “If someone wants to be generous, why don’t you accept it?”
Wang Xiaoming debated for several moments and said, “I want to continue being a regular intern in the housekeeping division.”
Xiang Wenxun asked, “Because of Chu Zhao?” He knew exactly what Chu Zhao had been doing.
Wang Xiaoming hesitated but quickly denied it. “It has nothing to do with Director Chu. It’s just that I don’t have any work experience and I can’t even remember what facilities are on which floor. It’s really not right…”
“You should know that every year, many students graduate from college right?” Xiang Wenxun interrupted him.
Wang Xiaoming nodded.
“A lot of undergraduates graduating from management have a hard time finding a position like yours.” Xiang Wenxun said his words neither quickly nor slowly, but rather with a force that made people believe him.
Wang Xiaoming nodded again.
Xiang Wenxun’s eyes looked deep into his and said, “This is a chance.”
Wang Xiaoming slowly said, “Chances should be left to those who are suitable for them.”
“I think you’re suited for it.” Xiang Wenxun pointed an index finger straight at him and said firmly, “I believe in you.”
A small voice inside reminded him that Xiang Wenxun said these things not just to comfort him but because of other reasons. His abilities, academic experience, and work experience didn’t stand out and he couldn’t have been chosen for no reason. But, without a question, Wang Xiaoming became hot-blooded at the sound of that “I believe in you.”
“I won’t disappoint you!” Wang Xiaoming heard his own voice as he answered with firm determination.