Wang Xiaoming looked at him in a daze for a long time and then murmured, “All of a sudden, I don’t want to die. I really don’t want to die.” He said it quietly as if he were imagining himself with white hair and breathing heavily in bed while struggling to stay alive.
Baal felt at a loss from the sudden remark. “Considering that it’s human nature to be materialistic and to fear the future, very few people want to die.”
Wang Xiaoming answered, “But before, I often felt that even if I died one day, it’d be okay. At least, my parents and older brother wouldn’t have to suffer because of me.”
Baal asked, “Now you feel different? Even if you don’t die, they won’t suffer?”
“They’d probably still suffer.” Though he had met a fallen angel and the two of them seemed to be becoming lovers, he never felt like his misfortunes would vanish. He said very, very quietly, “But I’d miss you.” When he first met Baal, he had wished with all his heart that he could blink and make Baal disappear. He had never thought that one day, he wouldn’t be able to bear leaving him behind.
Baal’s gaze became gentle but it quickly moved elsewhere. “Relax, if you truly went to Heaven or Hell, I’d definitely go visit you.”
Wang Xiaoming asked worriedly, “Do you think I’ll be going to Heaven or Hell?” Though he hadn’t done anything bad, there were quite a few people who’d been dragged down by his bad luck.
“Whatever you like,” Baal answered. “I’ll send you to wherever you want to go.”
“But there’s no hurry. I still want to spend several decades and think things over.” Wang Xiaoming cautiously looked at Baal’s hands, for fear that Baal would send him to Nirvana… oh wait, to Heaven, if the mood was right.
Baal turned around to the ball toss machine. “This is quite nice.”
Wang Xiaoming asked nervously, “What do you want to do?”
Baal snapped his fingers and then spread his palm out, “I didn’t do anything.”
“Where did the ball machine go?” Wang Xiaoming looked at the suddenly empty spot.
“What does that have to do with me?” Baal prepared to head out.
Wang Xiaoming leapt forward, pulled at his hand, and asked, “You didn’t send it to the dorm, did you?”
Baal asked impatiently, “So what if I did?”
“That’s stolen goods.” The saying went “cheaters come in pairs, thieves stay with their plunder.” Great, now they had plunder too big to hide.
Baal replied, “Do you think I’ll let them find it?” He snapped his fingers in succession several times.
So that ball toss machine blinked like a flashlight, there and then gone, in front of Wang Xiaoming’s eyes.
Baal frowned and asked when he saw Wang Xiaoming walk away, wobbling, “What’s wrong with you?”
Wang Xiaoming walked over to the bar and inhaled the dessert. He sipped at the drink and said, “Let’s go home?”
Baal asked very seriously, “Did you fall in love with me a bit more tonight?”
The liquid that Wang Xiaoming spewed out passed straight through Baal’s body.
Baal’s expression became hard to read. “Lie down.”
Wang Xiaoming looked around and discovered there was just the cold floor. “Here?”
Baal lifted an eyebrow.
Wang Xiaoming set down the drink and then avoided the spilled drink on the floor with a doleful expression before slowly lying down on the ground.
Thankfully, the Silver House’s heating system worked quite well, so even though the floor was marble, it didn’t feel cold.
Baal put his hand on Wang Xiaoming’s chest.
Xiang Wenxun’s name on the Black Star Pearl had faded even more. His own name had also faded, but it shone with a faint silver light and the font hadn’t changed at all.
His body seemed to be recovering at lightning speed.
Now he could see an entire leg and a calf that went up to the knee.
Baal said in satisfaction, “Tell Xiang Wenxun that we’ll come every day.”
Then wouldn’t he have to take time off every day?
Wang Xiaoming hesitated over how to dissuade Baal. He was already embarrassed enough heading to work just to wait for it to end. If he didn’t even go to work… then wouldn’t he lose his salary?
“Actually, dates should be varied. Just like eating the same dish would be tiring after a while.”
“Didn’t you say that you just want to find one person and love him for your entire life?” Baal asked unhappily.
“That’s a different matter.” Wang Xiaoming didn’t think Baal would remember the words he had said so well. In addition to surprise, there was also joy. “Uh, of course there would only be one lover, but you can’t eat the same dish every day. It’s like eating too many lamb chops will lead to stinking like mutton.” … Oh, what was he saying.
“Then do you have any other good ideas?”
Two gentle knocks came from the door before it was pushed open from the outside.
The server walked in and looked in surprise at Wang Xiaoming lying on the floor. “Mr. Wang, are you feeling unwell anywhere?”
Only then did Wang Xiaoming realize that he was still lying on the ground. He laughed drily, “Nothing, I’m just doing some sit-ups. Uh, I’ve gamed too long and my waist is sore and my back hurts and my legs are spasming. So, it’s all better now.” He hurriedly stood up.
The server blinked. Why did that “waist is sore, back hurts, and legs are spasming” sound so familiar?
“Uh, I think…”
“President Xiang has also arranged for fireworks on the top floor for you. Please follow me.” The server inclined his head and turned around to lead the way.
Wang Xiaoming shivered violently. The childhood memories of being burned by fireworks flashed through his mind.
“Not going?” Baal very much trusted Xiang Wenxun’s plans now, so he turned around to urge Wang Xiaoming.
Wang Xiaoming sighed and followed quietly behind them, hoping the fireworks would come with a designated lighter.
But clearly, reality was not as pleasant as fantasy.
Wang Xiaoming looked wearily at the empty space and the pile of fireworks that had clearly been left behind. He walked over in resignation, grabbed one of them, and placed it in the middle of the empty space. Then he took out the lighter.
The second the flames lit up, fear overtook his heart.
He looked at the fuse on the firework and hesitated over whether he should stick his hand out.
The flames went out.
He sighed in relief.
“You can’t even light a fire?” Baal was extremely speechless.
“It’s just the wind.” Though he had always been weak and useless in front of Baal, Wang Xiaoming didn’t want that image to stick around. He took a deep breath and reached out with a trembling hand.
The second the flame and the fuse touched, he yelped and ran off.
After running about eight or nine meters, he turned around but only saw a pitch black night sky. He asked in surprise, “Where’s the firework?”
Baal said lightly, “If you don’t like it, then don’t light it. Nobody is forcing you.”
Wang Xiaoming walked back, hanging his head as he said dumbly, “But I want you to see.”
“Fireworks in the mortal realm are just vulgar things made by humans. Where’s the beauty in them?” Baal said disdainfully.
But the game machines were also man-made.
Wang Xiaoming’s eyebrows shook but he knew in his heart that Baal had only given up because of his fear. Baal had clearly been looking forward to it just a while ago. “Uh, do Heaven and Hell not have fireworks?”
“The more common thing in Hell would be fireworks from battle.” Baal crossed his arms. When he stood on the top floor and looked down at the ground, he seemed like a king surveying his kingdom. “There are no fireworks in Heaven because those supposedly holy angels prefer natural scenery.”
“Colorful clouds rolling past.” When Baal answered, a trace of longing flashed across his face.
“Baal,” Wang Xiaoming couldn’t resist the urge to ask, “supposedly fallen angels fall for a reason. What was yours?”
Baal’s expression froze and then he said after a while, “I wasn’t happy.”
That counted as a reason? Wang Xiaoming didn’t know what to say.
“No matter how beautiful or pure Heaven is, it’s still a place made up of countless lies and suppression.” Baal said coldly, “Because that is the closest place to God, it doesn’t tolerate change. If you didn’t like it, there were only two solutions. Hold it in or leave.”
Wang Xiaoming asked in understanding, “So you didn’t get used to it?”
“I just despised singing the same song, doing the same thing, seeing the same people, and saying the same things over and over, year after year,” Baal responded. “They do have peace, but it doesn’t come from their hearts. It’s just habit. They even despise new clothing styles.” At that, his expression filled with anger and bitterness.
Wang Xiaoming licked his lips and asked, “When you were in Heaven, were you in the business of making clothes?”
“You fell because business was bad?” His expression just then was too much like someone complaining and whining after a business had failed.
Wang Xiaoming gathered up his courage to say, “The mortal realm is pretty good and there is a lot of demand for clothing. I think you might do great things here.” He made the declaration and then waited expectantly and seriously for Baal’s reaction.
Baal only had two words to say in response, “Go home!”
Wang Xiaoming walked slowly with Baal through the hallway to their dorm.
Wang Xiaoming was in no hurry to go back but he also didn’t think it would be a bad thing to go home. He knew that, no matter where he was, Baal would be by his side.
“Move aside!” Rapid footsteps came from behind him.
He turned his head around to see Chu Zhao rushing at them with a hand over his arm. When Chu Zhao caught sight of him, he suddenly stopped in his tracks. “Were you the one who threw the firework that randomly appeared?” Aside from Wang Xiaoming, he really couldn’t think of another person with the same weird abilities.
“Uh…” Wang Xiaoming looked at the giant hole that was burnt into Chu Zhao’s clothing and slowly gulped.
“Congratulations, you’re getting your wish. Starting from tomorrow, you can have all of the floors in the Silver House,” Chu Zhao declared coolly and then ran into his own room without waiting for Wang Xiaoming to respond.
He opened his door, threw himself inside, and shut the door.
Because of how special his neighbor was, the speed at which Chu Zhao went inside his own home was becoming faster and faster.
Then he pressed an ear against the door and listened as the footsteps drew closer and closer. His heartbeat also sped up.
Actually, the firework hadn’t burned him, but these random bursts of supernatural occurrences really frightened him, so he wanted to use this instance as a warning. Of course, whether the warning was for himself or the other person… that depended on Mr. Monster’s mood.
Wang Xiaoming’s footsteps got closer.
He heard the sound of his heart galloping in his chest.
The footsteps stopped… right by his door.
Chu Zhao almost broke the door handle he was holding. He covered his mouth with a hand and waited for a long time without hearing any further movement from the other person. Finally, he couldn’t stop himself from running into the bedroom and shutting the door.
For the first time, he felt his bedroom of twelve square meters was too empty.
He hesitated by the closet for a while and, in the end, couldn’t overcome his inborn fear of monsters. He gritted his teeth and crawled inside.
No matter what, at least get through today. Worst came to worst, if push came to shove, he’d quit tomorrow!
The closet door was pulled shut from the inside.