Because of his ability to attract misfortune, Wang Xiaoming had the pleasure of enjoying a room of his own ever since he was three years old. He had assumed that sleeping with someone else would mean he’d get insomnia because he wasn’t used to it. But when he opened his eyes the next morning and saw Baal’s familiar black suit, he knew that it actually only took a single second to change his habits.
“Did you know that you snore?” Baal’s voice came from above his head.
Wang Xiaoming’s face instantly flushed bright red and he murmured, “I didn’t know. None of my previous roommates mentioned it. I was probably too tired last night.”
“Too tired last night?” Baal’s voice held a trace of something strange.
Wang Xiaoming recalled their affectionate interactions last night and his face turned even redder. “I-I mean that the game was too exhausting.”
“…” He finally discovered he was making things worse the more he explained. “You slept okay? I didn’t bother you?”
Baal answered, “Very well. Listening to you snoring the entire night has made me realize that… I’m not deaf.”
Wang Xiaoming buried his head in the covers and only revealed his two ears, which were so red they were turning purple.
“I’m sorry,” a muffled apology came from underneath the comforter.
Puzzled, Baal returned, “Can’t you tell that I was joking?”
Wang Xiaoming slowly peeked his head out from the covers. “Huh?”
“You slept very quietly last night, as quiet as a cat.” Baal casually ruffled Wang Xiaoming’s hair.
Wang Xiaoming blinked and then said, “Cats can yowl during heat.”
Baal laughed teasingly, “Then you have a special way of telling me you’re in heat.”
Wang Xiaoming suddenly realized that his words could be interpreted the wrong way and hurriedly waved his hands in the air. “No, I’m not…” Before he could finish, the rest of his words were swallowed by Baal’s mouth.
Ten minutes later.
Wang Xiaoming stood next to the mirror in the bathroom and looked at his swollen lips, murmuring to himself, “How am I supposed to go to work like this?”
“You’re still thinking of going to work?” Baal leaned against the doorframe to the bathroom.
“Of course,” Wang Xiaoming wiped toothpaste onto his lips, “I took an entire day off yesterday. If I don’t go to work today, I’ll be fired for sure.”
Baal crossed his arms and asked, “Do you think Xiang Wenxun would?”
Wang Xiaoming’s hands paused and then he answered, “Even if he wouldn’t, I’d feel bad about staying on.”
Baal had a hard time understanding the way Wang Xiaoming thought. “Do you not know how to take advantage of someone? How to accept things that are freely given? How to get things without working for them?”
Wang Xiaoming turned around and looked at him very sincerely. “Which one of those three descriptions is a compliment?”
Wang Xiaoming thought about it and suddenly asked, “Did you not have to work in Hell?”
Did causing trouble count?
Did seeking revenge count?
Did making schemes count?
Baal decided to ignore that question.
Thankfully Wang Xiaoming didn’t plan on getting an answer. He smeared several layers of toothpaste on his lips to reduce the swelling and then took advantage of every second to run to the kitchen and make noodles.
Baal watched him spinning around like a top and had to remind him, “What’s the rush? It’s still too early for you to clock in.”
Wang Xiaoming opened his mouth and a hardened bit of toothpaste instantly fell off his lips. He bent down and answered while he picked it up, “I have to sweep all the floors in the Silver House today. Director Chu said so last night.”
Baal snorted, “If he dares, I’ll send him to the bottom of the Blood Waterfall.”
Wang Xiaoming asked in confusion, “What’s the Blood Waterfall?”
“A tourist spot in Hell.” It probably counted. When fallen angels first arrived in Hell, a lot of them would go see it.
“That sounds… quite nice?” Wang Xiaoming’s tone was pretty dubious.
“Of course it’s nice. There will be many devils from Hell wanting to be his friend.” Baal gave an evil smile. “But I know they won’t mind having an extra plate of braised meat for dinner.”
Wang Xiaoming pressed his lips together and another chunk of toothpaste fell off. He said with utter seriousness, “I think that Director Chu is a good person.”
Baal smiled and asked, “You know I’m a fallen angel, right?”
Though Wang Xiaoming didn’t know why Baal brought that up, he still nodded obediently.
“So I hate nice people.”
Wang Xiaoming found a different way to try and solve the problem. “Actually, I really do want to sweep the entire Silver House.” As if afraid Baal wouldn’t believe him, Wang Xiaoming said more insistently, “Really.”
“Is that so.” Baal dragged out that sentence.
Wang Xiaoming hurriedly nodded.
“Then I’ll deposit Chu Zhao above the Blood Waterfall.”
Wang Xiaoming didn’t know why Baal loved the Blood Waterfall so much that he insisted on sending Chu Zhao on a tour there. Out of concern for his colleague and superior, he followed up with a question, “There aren’t any demons there, right?”
Wang Xiaoming sighed in relief and immediately heard Baal continue happily, “But he’ll get swept under the Blood Waterfall.”
Wang Xiaoming, “…”
Wang Xiaoming hurried frantically and finally made it out the door at exactly 2pm. When he stepped out, the redness and swelling of his lips had finally died down a bit, so he could relax a tiny fraction.
There were only a few workers on duty at the Silver House since guests rarely visited so early in the day.
Wang Xiaoming made a special effort to ask these workers for a vacuum and a mop. Then he started cleaning from the first floor.
Bored, Baal followed Wang Xiaoming’s busy figure.
Because of the five-meter rule, Baal could only stand there and supervise while Wang Xiaoming cleaned. Luckily, though the dorms of the Silver House were intricate, they weren’t huge. Additionally, in order to ensure that Baal could play games while he slept, Wang Xiaoming had even specially put the bed right up against the wall closest to the hallway.
At that thought, Baal’s lips slowly lifted into a smile.
This human might be a coward and a weakling, foolish and stubborn, but he was considerate about some things. So he’d be willing to tolerate the cowardly, weak, foolish, and stubborn parts of him.
When Chu Zhao walked into the Silver House, Wang Xiaoming was already carrying the vacuum and mop and making his way to the second floor.
Having not seen him in the office, Chu Zhao found out where Wang Xiaoming was from the security room. He hurried over and asked, “What are you doing here?”
Wang Xiaoming slowly straightened his sore back and said with a smile, “Cleaning up. Didn’t you say last night that I had to clean the entire Silver House?”
“…” How was he so obedient? How could he not hold a grudge at all? He… how could he not want any revenge? Chu Zhao felt that the night he had suffered inside the closet had been in vain. More painfully, the first thing he had done was put a resignation letter on Xiang Wenxun’s desk.
Wang Xiaoming saw Chu Zhao look dazedly at him while various expressions flashed across the man’s face. He couldn’t help but ask worriedly, “You alright?”
“Why don’t you resist?” Chu Zhao suddenly burst out. He really couldn’t hold it in anymore. As a troublemaking attempt, this counted as a failure right? The other person had no temper at all.
Wang Xiaoming answered in a daze, “Huh?”
“Don’t you have any angry words about the unreasonable demand for you to clean the entire Silver House?”
At first, Baal had not liked Chu Zhao and kept an intent gaze on the man, prepared to toss him some random place at a moment’s notice. Then he suddenly laughed; it looked like he wasn’t the only one tortured by Wang Xiaoming’s strange way of thinking.
Wang Xiaoming answered, “I had nothing to do the previous days, so it’s normal for me to do extra stuff now.”
How was it normal for someone to clean the entire Silver House by themselves?!
If he hadn’t wanted to see if Wang Xiaoming was setting traps for him before he left for the day, then would Wang Xiaoming actually have taken care of the whole Silver House by himself in one day?
Chu Zhao suddenly discovered that the scariest thing about monsters wasn’t their magical powers but rather their alien way of thinking!
“At least, at least you’re that… haven’t you ever thought of using your magic to do something?” Since he was about to leave anyway, he might as well spill his guts. He looked at Wang Xiaoming’s stunned expression and hurried to promise, “But don’t you worry, I won’t leak who you are. Hey, though even if I leak it nobody would believe it… How could there be that kind of monster in the world?”
Wang Xiaoming looked at him for such a long time that Chu Zhao had started to plan his escape route. The only thing he said was, “Huh?”
Baal laughed uproariously as he leaned against the wall.
Wang Xiaoming turned around to ask, “Do you know what he’s talking about?”
Baal looked at Chu Zhao’s suddenly paling face and nodded slowly.
“He said…” Wang Xiaoming was about to ask when he heard the sound of rapidly retreating footsteps. He turned around just in time to see Chu Zhao retreating with dust blowing out from underneath his shoes.
Wang Xiaoming declared seriously, “The floor is indeed dirty.”
It was the shoes that were dirty.
Baal’s reasons for being unhappy with Chu Zhao increased by one.
In the end, Chu Zhao didn’t manage to escape because just as he took one step outside the Silver House, Xiang Wenxun called, having seen the resignation letter.
So, a certain someone had to carefully sneak his way back into that strange and bizarre building.
In contrast to Chu Zhao’s mental torture, Wang Xiaoming suffered physically.
Except for the ten minutes he had taken to eat, Wang Xiaoming cleaned nonstop. By the time it was midnight, he had only gotten to the seventh floor.
When Baal saw how Wang Xiaoming almost couldn’t straighten his back, Baal finally got angry. “Don’t you know what it means to stop at a reasonable point?”
Wang Xiaoming held the mop with two hands and panted, “I just want to finish what I started.”
Baal slowly started frowning.
In the middle of Chu Zhao’s talk with Xiang Wenxun about the Silver House’s future, he blinked and found himself in the hallway, facing an innocent-looking Wang Xiaoming. “What… do you want?” He gulped nervously. He knew he shouldn’t have been tempted by Xiang Wenxun’s promises of profit and a bright future and agreed to stay. After all, his life was more important than profit and prospects.
Wang Xiaoming chuckled drily, “If I say that I didn’t do this, would you believe it?”
“…” Chu Zhao’s entire face said he didn’t believe it.
“I didn’t do it.” Wang Xiaoming thought and then tried to explain using an easy to understand way, “Actually, it’s because next to me there’s a being that only I can see and nobody else…”
“Okay! I got it!” Chu Zhao feared ghosts more than he feared monsters. After all, all the recent horror movies had ghosts as the villains while monsters were off shooting indie films.
“Then do you… does your friend have any unfulfilled wishes?” Chu Zhao’s smile was very stiff.
Wang Xiaoming looked at Baal.
Baal pointed at the mop.
Wang Xiaoming said embarrassedly, “It’s nothing, but I can’t finish the work for today…”
“Don’t tell me you’re still cleaning up?” Chu Zhao looked around them. “Seventh floor? You cleaned up to the seventh floor by yourself?”
Wang Xiaoming nodded.
Chu Zhao opened and closed his mouth wordlessly and sighed after a long moment, “If we had found talent like you sooner, the Silver House would have saved so much on wages.”
Wang Xiaoming sighed as well, “But I can’t finish cleaning it.”
“… You want me to feel guilty, right?” He had made it sound like Chu Zhao was a slavedriver. “It was just a thing I said. I didn’t really mean for you to clean the entire building. Actually, each floor has its own cleaning staff, you… uh, it’s enough if you clean one hallway a day.”
“Wouldn’t that be too few?”
“No, we prefer quality over quantity.”
“Then which one?”
Chu Zhao thought and then said, “The hallway in front of our dorm. It’ll make it easy to go home.”
Chu Zhao wanted to say something else but he blinked his eyes and discovered that he was back in Xiang Wenxun’s office.
Xiang Wenxun raised his head and gave him a glance, asking without a trace of surprise in his voice, “Did you forget something?”
Chu Zhao slowly sat down on the sofa and patted his still wildly-beating heart. He gave a dry laugh, “Nothing. I just want to wait for you until you get off work.”