Killing intent emanated from Baal’s pupils.
He should have killed him.
His mind was taken over by that phrase.
But at the sight of that face, which was pale to the point of turning blue yet refusing to turn the eyes away, the fingers that wanted to apply pressure actually ached.
Baal suddenly let go and scoffed, “Want me to fall in love with you? Good, I want to know how you’d figure out if I truly love you or am just pretending to love you.”
Wang Xiaoming put a hand against his hurting neck and walked cautiously behind the sofa before breathing out a sigh of relief. He said softly, “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t have strangled me.”
Baal glared at him coldly. “You think hiding behind the sofa means I can’t catch you?”
“At least it’ll be harder than with me in front of the sofa.”
“You seem to be talking more than you used to.” Baal pursed his lips. “Did Shi Feixia promise you something to make you think you have the right to make demands of me?”
Wang Xiaoming hesitated over whether to pretend something like that happened so that Baal would at least be wary.
“You best not.” The next thing Baal said made him completely disregard that thought, “Shi Feixia is the human I hate the most. If you get too close to him, don’t think I’ll fall in love with you!”
Wang Xiaoming really wanted to say that it wasn’t important whether Baal loved him or not; it was more important that he not be forced to love Baal.
But after his brush with death, his courage meter had been wiped clean, so he gave a friendly smile in response to Baal’s threats.
“What are you laughing at?” Baal was even more unhappy. “Was it true?”
“No,” Wang Xiaoming hurried to deny, “Shi Feixia only told me about the Black Star Pearl.”
“Nothing else?” Baal squinted. According to his memory, Shi Feixia belonged to the type of people who would love for the world to be thrown into chaos. He wouldn’t just stand by and do nothing. He thought for a moment and then said threateningly, “Don’t tell me he was the one who thought of the condition to make me fall in love with you?”
Wang Xiaoming’s expression froze and he denied unnaturally, “Of course. Not.”
“Has anyone ever told you that you are terrible at lying?” Baal looked down at him.
Wang Xiaoming lowered his head and said sadly, “Yes. Elementary school, middle school, and my high school teachers have said so.”
Baal looked at him wordlessly.
Wang Xiaoming pressed his toes against each other. “I didn’t think there’d be no improvement after so many years.”
“Being consistent could be a good thing.”
Wang Xiaoming looked up at him in stupefaction. “You’re comforting me?”
“I’m comforting myself.”
“Didn’t you want me to fall in love with you?” Baal’s lips formed a devilish smile. “Then I should at least come up with a few good points, right?”
Wang Xiaoming tried really hard to think. “I’m really unlucky.”
“Is that a good thing?” Baal raised an eyebrow.
“But not so unlucky that I’ll kill someone.”
That was how a war ended without shots being fired.
Nobody talked about falling in love again, but Wang Xiaoming could clearly feel Baal becoming friendlier toward him. At the very least, Baal stopped threatening him with his fists all the time.
Wang Xiaoming spent both days of his break trying to recover from his injuries but the strangulation marks took longer to vanish than he had anticipated. In order to cover that up, he made a point to wear a black silk scarf with his shirt.
Sharky’s comment was, “So cool. Xiaoming Bro, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone make black look as handsome as you do.”
Coincidentally, Chu Zhao walked by wearing a black shirt.
Sharky covered his face and declared, “I remember now! It’s Director Chu!”
Wang Xiaoming, “…”
Sharky was about to turn around and leave when Xiang Wenxun walked out of the elevator wearing a black suit. He could have wept. “What day is today? Why are all the bosses wearing black?” He started looking himself up and down to see if he had any black accessories that would let him join in the fun.
Wang Xiaoming saw how hard Sharky was looking and took out the ballpoint pen he had in his pocket.
Sharky accepted the ballpoint pen but said, “It’s blue.”
“But it writes in black.”
For that entire night, both the palms and the back of Sharky’s hands were decorated with giant black circles.
Afterward, his colleagues asked him sarcastically why he didn’t draw black circles around his eyes.
Sharky answered seriously, “There’ll be consequences if you cosplay as a panda.”
After he had escaped from dying by Baal’s hand, Wang Xiaoming learned a new rule of life. That was: Fight for what you wanted instead of waiting around stupidly for it to fall from the skies.
So Wang Xiaoming, who had been feeling bad about having nothing to do, decided to go on the offense.
As Sharky patrolled the building, he suddenly discovered a familiar figure bent over the floor in the hallway.
He walked over quietly and was about to speak up when that person turned around first and gave him a smile.
“Xiaoming Bro?” Sharky’s eyes became wide.
Wang Xiaoming smiled in greeting. If Baal hadn’t told him, he wouldn’t have noticed Sharky closing in.
“Xiaoming Bro, what are you doing here?” There was even a broom that should have been thrown away a long time ago. Sharky was very surprised.
“I’m sweeping the floor.” Wang Xiaoming looked at the bare floor and felt very accomplished.
Sharky looked at the floor that was very clean on either side and asked humbly, “Did Xiaoming Bro start from the front or the back?”
Wang Xiaoming, “…”
Sharky noticed his look and hurried to say in a jovial manner, “Ah, actually it’s quite important to sweep the floors.”
“Right?” Wang Xiaoming picked up the broom and decided to continue.
“Ah, wait!” Sharky cried out.
Wang Xiaoming looked up in confusion.
Director Chu had instructed, time and time again, to never let Wang Xiaoming involve himself in the Silver House’s affairs. If he let Wang Xiaoming sweep the floor on his watch, he might have to go home in disgrace tomorrow. But he couldn’t say that outloud. Sharky was very frustrated and thought he was just a bit unlucky. There were so many floors, why did Wang Xiaoming have to choose his?
Wang Xiaoming said, “I’m closest to you, so I came here to help you especially.”
“Ah?” For the first time, Sharky felt like his compliments had achieved the opposite effect.
“Relax, I’ll make sure to sweep everything very clean.” Wang Xiaoming patted his shoulder.
“Actually, I have something I want to discuss with Xiaoming Bro,” Sharky said mysteriously.
“Is it urgent? If not, then let me finish sweeping and then you can tell me?”
“Urgent, very urgent!” Sharky grabbed his broom and said, “Let’s find somewhere private.”
Wang Xiaoming had no choice but to let himself be pulled into the stairwell.
Sharky noticed Wang Xiaoming looking around the stairwell and asked curiously, “What are you looking at Xiaoming Bro?”
“Uh, nothing.” Ever since he had interrupted Tao Le and Jie last time and then got involved in a bizarre argument, he felt a strong dislike for stairwells. “What did you want to discuss with me?”
“Uh, it’s like this.” Sharky lowered his voice and said, “Someone told me that Ming and Mr. Tao were… doing that in the dressing room.”
“That? What’s that?” Wang Xiaoming was utterly confused.
Sharky got frustrated and put down the broom so he could press his thumbs against each other, “Like that, that.”
Baal couldn’t stand it anymore and declared huffily, “It’s either kissing or sleeping with each other. What use is going ‘that’ or ‘that’?”
“Ah?!” Wang Xiaoming’s eyes flew open in surprise.
Sharky hurriedly gestured for him to be quiet.
“Uh, and then?”
“And then Jie walked in.”
When it came to the young man with a turbulent life, Wang Xiaoming felt a bit of pity and empathy so he was especially interested. “So what did he say?”
“What could he say? He was basically expressionless, but my heart…” Halfway through, Sharky realized he had made a verbal error and hurried to say, “Xiaoming Bro please keep it a secret and never say that I told you.”
Wang Xiaoming saw his nervous expression and comforted, “Sure.”
“Oh.” Wang Xiaoming waited for a while and didn’t get anything else so he asked, “So?”
“So what?” Sharky was very confused.
“Didn’t you say you had something to discuss with me?”
“So the thing you wanted to discuss with me…” Wang Xiaoming really couldn’t understand what they needed to discuss when it came to the drama between Tao Le, Jie, and Ming.
“I just wanted…” Sharky stuttered out, “To tell you about it. Uh, and hope you can keep it a secret for me.”
Wang Xiaoming seemed to understand his feelings. “Of course. It’s hard keeping a secret.”
“If there’s nothing else, then I’ll go back to sweeping.”
Sharky pulled at his hand and said sincerely, “There’s something else.”
“My mom called me last night and said my dad’s cooking has gotten worse and worse.”
“And my cat’s poo is green. Do you think it’s sick?”
Once Sharky started talking, he nattered on for close to eight hours. By the time the shift change rolled around, both he and Wang Xiaoming sighed in relief.
Though he hadn’t done a lot of sweeping that night, Wang Xiaoming still felt exhausted. His mind was filled with “my mom,” “my cat,” “my aunt,” “my other aunt,” “my grandma”…
Such that he was still in a daze when he returned to his dormitory. Only when he got to the door did he discover that someone was waiting for him.
Jie gave a slight smile. “Could I bother you for five minutes?”
His smile was as gentle as a breeze, which woke Wang Xiaoming up instantly. “Of course.”
“Actually, I just came to tell you something.” Jie said slowly, “The first is, I’ve already handed in my resignation to President Xiang tonight.”
“Ah?” Wang Xiaoming instinctively wanted to ask him to stay, but then he remembered that it wasn’t really a good position and he should encourage Jie to leave it.
“The second is,” he paused, “thank you. If it wasn’t for you, I might still be mired in that weird circle I made for myself and not know why I’m alive. Actually, it wasn’t a question of whether to forgive him or not. The real question was whether I could still be together with Tao Le.” He slowly continued, “The question has been dragged out for long enough that I think it’s time for me to give up.”
Wang Xiaoming remembered Sharky telling him about Tao Le and Xu Yiming getting it on yesterday and thought it was right for Jie to get out. “So what’s your plan?”
“Go home.” Jie smiled as if a weight had been lifted from him. “I can finally go home.”