The scene with the six of them instantly turned awkward.
A-Chang heard how Xiaoli kept throwing verbal digs at Wang Xiaoming and couldn’t sit anymore. After all, he had been the one who dragged Wang Xiaoming over despite the man’s protest. He downed the coffee in his cup in one gulp and said, “We’ve finally made it to the Lake of Love. Let’s go on a boat ride.”
That suggestion instantly gathered exuberant support from the two juniors.
Truth to be told, Zhang Gang had asked A-Chang for a favor to help him get close to Xiaoli, but seeing how aggressive and threatening Xiaoli could be, he wanted to call it quits. It was better to find a girlfriend who was gentle and understanding. After all, who could promise that a relationship in the university would last forever? What if the girlfriend got angry and did something when they broke up… These years, women weren’t the only ones who were afraid of “nudegate”; even men had an easily bruised heart.
Xiaoli didn’t really care.
Xiaoting was actually quite eager and held A-Chang’s hand as they walked up.
Wang Xiaoming walked behind and Chen Jian turned around to ask, “Senior, you’ve done your internship right? Where did you do it?”
“A snack shop.”
Chen Jian paused and said with a smile, “A snack shop is great too.”
As for what was good about it? He didn’t say and Wang Xiaoming didn’t ask.
Chen Jian was walking slowly on purpose, but he had slowed down quite a lot and realized that Wang Xiaoming hadn’t caught up. He turned around and noticed that the man’s steps were even slower than his. Because of their walking rates, the distance between the two had become greater and greater. He couldn’t help but ask awkwardly, “Senior, are you tired?”
If they had sat for half a minute and then walked for half an hour, that question might have made sense. But the truth was they had sat for half an hour and only walked for half a minute.
But Wang Xiaoming still answered self-consciously, “Yeah, I’m so tired. Why don’t you go on the boat rides? I’ll watch from the shore.”
Since the two of them had dawdled for so long, A-Chang came back to ask, “If you’re going to talk, why don’t you talk on the boat? There’s quite a lot of people here and you have to line up. You guys need to walk faster.”
Chen Jian asked, “Where’s A-Gang?”
“Buying tickets.” A-Chang pushed him and said, “Go, men don’t let women line up.”
Wang Xiaoming wanted to follow but A-Chang grabbed him and asked, “What do you think of Chen Jian? Don’t be fooled by his skinness, he’s got muscles, and quite firm muscles too.”
Why did that sound like the guy had a good mixture of muscle and fat and would be quite chewy?
Baal had worn a dark expression and remained silent the entire time, but he was definitely not falling asleep. Wang Xiaoming looked over at him and then chuckled dryly and said, “I’m not buying human meat.”
“Looks like suffering has its benefits. You actually have a sense of humor now.” A-Chang was about to say something when he spotted Xiaoting waving her hand frantically. He hurriedly said, “I’ll arrange it so you and Chen Jian sit together in a bit. If you really want to, you can try. After all, you’ve got an internship and there’s nothing to fear.”
“I get motion sick.” Wang Xiaoming suddenly came up with a good excuse.
A-Chang frowned and asked, “Is that really true?”
“Really,” Wang Xiaoming answered. “Not only do I get motion sick on the boat but I don’t know how to swim either. I can’t even use a floating device, and…”
“Alright, alright, alright, you don’t want to go right? Don’t try to find so many excuses. If you keep going, I’ll suspect it isn’t blood but sand that flows through your body. Alright, I got it. You want to wait for us on the shore right?” A-Chang patted Wang Xiaoming’s shoulder and walked toward the pier.
Wang Xiaoming sighed in relief and looked up at Baal with a charming smile, only to see Baal smiling evilly in the direction of the boat.
“You… are not thinking of teleporting people around, are you?” Wang Xiaoming’s nerves instantly went on high alert.
“No.” Baal’s answer was simple and firm.
Wang Xiaoming asked, dubious, “Really?”
Baal smiled so broadly his eyes squinted into a line and he nodded.
The sunlight shone on his smile, which was brighter than the sun.
Wang Xiaoming could only hear the sound of his heart beating a hundred times faster so that it almost leapt out of his chest.
“Let’s go!” A-Chang called out from a boat with an awning and waved a hand at Wang Xiaoming.
Wang Xiaoming knew that A-Chang was saying this for his benefit, so he hurriedly raised his own arm and waved. Though it was because of A-Chang that his date with Baal turned into a group date, he was still very grateful to the man in his heart. Not only because A-Chang had voluntarily helped him sort out the thing about the internship but more because A-Chang had calmly accepted him despite the fact that he was gay. Of course, when it came to matchmaking… there could be fewer instances of that.
The boat slowly sailed off.
Wang Xiaoming was about to pull Baal away to sit somewhere when he heard Baal give a short whistle.
The boat that was approaching the middle of the lake flipped over without any warning.
That speed and process made it seem like a hand had flipped the boat over.
Everything on the shores of the lake fell strangely silent for two seconds before flurries of shrieks sounded.
Nobody cared about why the boat would randomly flip over during a nice day like this. Everyone cared about the lives on the boat.
Several boats had already made their way toward where the accident had happened.
A series of people jumped into the water.
A lot of the nearby pilots and passengers jumped in.
Wang Xiaoming’s hand tightly gripped Baal’s. “Did you sink the boat?”
Baal shrugged his shoulders. “This doesn’t count as moving them around.”
Wang Xiaoming had no energy left to worry whether that counted as moving people around or not. “Hurry and save them.”
“No.” Baal crossed his arms and said, “You said that I can’t move people around today.”
“Save them!” Wang Xiaoming suddenly shouted very frantically.
Baal frowned and his voice suddenly dropped lower, “Are you making demands of me?”
Wang Xiaoming looked at that chilly expression and felt like something was stuck in his chest, making it almost impossible to inhale.
Luckily, the rescue was underway.
Xiaoli and Xiaoting were fished out, one after the other.
The boat owner and A-Chang also floated out of the water and each swam toward the nearest boats, making this a frightful but not dreadful experience.
Wang Xiaoming slowly exhaled, only to realize that his legs were so weak he almost couldn’t stand and there was cold sweat on his chest and back.
“Is it worth it for people like this?” Baal demanded coldly.
Wang Xiaoming waved a hand. “You don’t understand.”
He suddenly felt tired. Fallen angels and humans had such great differences in their values. To fallen angels, humans were probably as lowly as ants. For them, death was just paying Hell or Heaven a visit and existing in a different form. But for humans, death was the end.
He even suspected that when the day came where Baal didn’t need him or couldn’t tolerate him anymore, the fallen angel would whistle, just like he had just done. A single whistle would end Wang Xiaoming’s life, prematurely terminating the contract between the two.
By the time A-Chang and the others made it to shore, management from the Lake of Love had come and personally offered their comfort and apologies. Towels, hot water, and dry clothes were constantly being shoved into their arms.
Xiaoli and Xiaoting sobbed so hard it was as if they were made of tears.
Zhang Gang and A-Chang had to comfort them.
Wang Xiaoming walked over, deathly pale, and asked, “You guys alright?”
Hardship revealed true friendship.
Those who hadn’t been their friends had rushed out at the first opportunity, but he, their friend, had stood by and watched the scene unfold.
Chen Jian and Zhang Gang’s looks weren’t friendly and Xiaoli and Xiaoting refused to even spare him a glance.
A-Chang tried to smooth things over. “Had I known, I’d have avoided being with you. You get motion sick and don’t know how to swim. You’re useless at the important moments.”
Wang Xiaoming’s ears flamed.
“You saw how we leapt into the water just now, did you get scared by how amazing we looked?” A-Chang joked.
Xiaoting urged from beside them, “What are you talking about? Go get changed or you’ll catch a cold.”
Xiaoli and Chen Jian were already walking toward the bathrooms.
A-Chang quietly patted Wang Xiaoming’s shoulder and said, “You should go home soon. We’ll be going back in a bit and you don’t have to wait for us.”
Wang Xiaoming knew that A-Chang said that for fear of things getting awkward later, so he would have Wang Xiaoming leave first. He couldn’t help but give A-Chang a grateful look.
“Alright, we’re men. No need for this touchy-feely stuff,” A-Chang said. “I still live in the dorms. If you need something, call the dorms. I’m gonna head out.”
Touched, Wang Xiaoming nodded and watched as the man disappeared from his sight. Only then did he turn around to find Baal staring at him without saying a word, as if he were deep in thought.
“I…” He felt very conflicted. He knew that Baal was standing up for him and he shouldn’t blame Baal, but what had happened made that impossible. And the way these thoughts had gone just now made him feel a sense of inexplicable fear. That kind of fear didn’t come from Baal’s personality or morals but from what he had—unlimited powers. Maybe this kind of fear was so weak it was barely detectable at normal times, but when there was conflict, it would be magnified without limits.
“I despise people touching my things,” Baal’s chilly voice sounded.
“Thing?” Wang Xiaoming’s heart suffered another heavy blow.
Baal pursed his mouth and said, “Human, thing, same difference.”
Maybe to him, a human and a thing were the same.
Wang Xiaoming thought in despair and his injured heart wasn’t comforted at all.
“If they hadn’t been human, it wouldn’t have just been their boat flipping over just now.” When Baal said that, it was with clear killing intent.
Wang Xiaoming’s fear snowballed.
He took a deep breath and said, “I know you mean well, but for humans, there will be countless arguments in their lives. Sometimes it’ll be over small things, other times it’ll be over random things. But no matter what, most people wouldn’t solve them using extreme methods. We have laws. To kill someone is against the law, to hurt someone is also against the law. To kill someone in anger just because of a minor setback makes you a cold-blooded murderer!”
He almost shouted the last sentence.
And so everything fell silent again.
Wang Xiaoming awkwardly wiped his face and explained, “I-I was reciting lines from a play. Sorry.” He quickly walked into the nearby bushes.
Baal strolled after him and said, “If you want, they can disappear in an instant.”
Wang Xiaoming felt the strength drain out of him. “I’m human. If I don’t think like a human then I’ll become nothing in the end.”
Baal said dismissively, “So what? You just have to remember that you’re mine.”
Wang Xiaoming asked, “And then? What if you don’t want me one day?” … Oh! What had he said?
Baal suddenly smiled. “So, the thing you’re worried about the most right now is that I’ll teleport you around one day?”
Wang Xiaoming lowered his head and said nothing.
Baal thought about it and offered, “Actually, there’s a really easy way to stop me from teleporting them around.”
“What is it?” Wang Xiaoming looked up and asked.
“Don’t let them bully you,” Baal answered with raised eyebrows. “If you don’t want me to bully them using my methods, then use human methods to bully them yourself. Don’t let me see them walk all over you because that will displease me.”