Since the citizens of Hell all lived for very long, the club was designed to have lots of decorative elements.
Wang Xiaoming followed Baal and the guy whose name he had just learned was Mammon and walked into a round barrel that floated on the pool. It was sort of like a beer barrel. In the middle of the barrel was a small round table with four round grooves. There was a spoon stuck next to each groove.
Mammon asked with a smile, “What would you like to drink?”
Baal answered, “Persian Indigo Emperor.”
“It’s been so many years and you haven’t changed a bit.” Mammon picked up the spoon by his hand and tapped six times on the groove next to Baal. Suddenly, a black hole appeared at the bottom of the groove and a dark brown liquid spewed out from the hole.
Baal used the spoon to taste the liquid and then frowned. “How much water did you dilute this with?”
Mammon asked, “How much water is around us?”
Wang Xiaoming sprawled at the edge of the barrel and watched as the beer barrel he was in slowly drifted away from the banks of the pool, becoming surrounded by the azure waters.
Mammon continued, “The amount of water you see around us is the amount of water that has not been mixed in.”
Baal turned around to ask Wang Xiaoming, “What do you want to drink?”
Wang Xiaoming returned to his seat and looked enviously at the groove in front of Baal. He shook his head and responded, “I can’t eat anything, so let’s not be wasteful.”
Mammon’s smile didn’t change. “Don’t worry, we should come to an agreement soon. Order some good alcohol that we can use to celebrate later.”
Wang Xiaoming looked eagerly at Baal.
Baal demanded impatiently, “Give me your terms.”
Mammon knocked three times with the spoon on the groove. In an instant, a cluster of fuchsia-colored flames shot up from the little black hole and the moment it collapsed back down, it turned into water droplets and gradually filled the entire groove.
Wang Xiaoming was dazzled by the sight.
“Ever since the Titan clan waged war on itself, Hell’s exporting business to the Titans has been greatly affected.” Mammon absentmindedly stirred the fuchsia-colored wine in the groove and continued, “The feud between Light Titans and Free Titans has resulted in many cities changing their flags endlessly. All kinds of minerals have become decorations instead of necessities. Right now, their most popular trading partners are Dwarves and Elves.”
Baal laughed coldly, “Looks like it wasn’t too late for the Titans to get an epiphany.” The Dwarves supplied weapons, the Elves supplied food, but at the most Hell could supply luxury items. Who was more important, who was less important, and who was not at all important became very obvious.
Mammon stopped his stirring motion and ladled a spoonful of liquid into his mouth, tasting it delicately. He said after a long stretch of silence, “For Hell, this is clearly extremely bad news.”
Baal could guess what he was about to say. He toyed with the spoon and asked, “Don’t Heaven and Hell pride themselves on not interfering with the free will of the Nine Realms?”
“Of course.” Mammon set down his spoon and said with a smile, “I have no desire to send the armies of Hell to attack them. I just would like for you to help them realize that Hell is very much a long-term partner that needs their respect and should not be ignored. Though Dwarves can provide lots of technology, if the Titans rely on them long-term, they’d only lose the advantages they have. Their best option is to use the minerals that Hell provides to make powerful magical weapons.”
Baal squinted his eyes. “To depend on the Dwarves or depend on Hell—that’s a choice?”
“Beings will evolve. The result of depending on Dwarves will turn their bodies as small and weak as the Dwarves, but their minds will be simpler. If they choose magical weapons, their physiques would become stronger,” Mammon said self-righteously.
“Inserting ourselves into the internal affairs of the Titans… does Lucifer know about this?”
“Regardless of anything, he shouldn’t know about it.” Mammon gave a meaningful smile.
Baal gave a small snort.
Wang Xiaoming felt like he was listening to a foreign language.
Mammon slowly reached into the purplish-red wine and captured a round, black pearl. A bit of purplish-red wine remained on the surface of the pearl.
Baal’s gaze focused on it.
“This is the new magic I learned. It doesn’t depend on magic but definitely on sleight of hand.” Mammon put the pearl on his palm and let it roll around. “As long as you agree, I’m willing to give you the goods first.”
Baal tapped lightly on the table with his forefinger, his expression making it clear that he had already come to a decision. “And the result of the Titans’ evolution should be…” He emphasized the words “evolution” and “should.”
“The result isn’t important. Commerce is.” Mammon tossed the Black Star Pearl at Baal.
Baal caught it.
Mammon ladled up some wine and celebrated, “Here’s to a happy deal.”
Baal’s lips suddenly lifted and he also spooned up some wine. “Happy deal it is.”
“This is the first time you’ve drank with me.” Mammon glanced at Wang Xiaoming and laughed lightly, “Memorable indeed.” With that, he slowly drank the wine.
Baal tossed the spoon back into the groove. “I just used a spell, not a magic trick.”
Mammon’s hand froze and he had a vague sense of foreboding.
Baal continued slowly, “In your wine.”
Suddenly, Mammon lost the courage to look.
“A present I brought from the mortal realm.” Baal’s gaze turned teasing. “Don’t you want to look?”
“You’re so generous.” Mammon’s face wasn’t as healthy-looking as it had been before. He quickly glanced down at the groove and saw a black bug floating in the liquid.
“It’s called a cockroach. Some humans also call it the ‘little strong one.’”
Before Baal finished answering, Mammon’s figure disappeared.
Wang Xiaoming asked worriedly, “He’ll be alright, right?”
Baal answered, “I really hope the answer is negative.”
Wang Xiaoming, “…”
Baal took Wang Xiaoming’s body out from the frozen space and said, “Let’s solve your problem first.”
Wang Xiaoming asked in surprise, “You want to put my body in the Black Star Pearl? Do what you had done to revive me?”
Baal casually tossed the corpse into the Black Star Pearl. “That method is very convenient.”
“But.” Instantly, Wang Xiaoming didn’t know whether he was touched, grateful, or admiring. “It’s dangerous. Look at me…” He said that and instantly, immediately regretted it. It was meant to persuade Baal, but the way he said it had made it sound like he was blaming Baal.
“Relax, I won’t make the same mistake twice.” Actually, ever since Wang Xiaoming died, he had been self-reflecting on that issue. Because he thought of a very simple solution, so simple that he wanted to capture the author of The Complete Guide to Hell and then beat the author up every which way!
Wang Xiaoming offered, dubious, “Why don’t we ask the other two devil lords to help? Every person has something to contribute.”
“They’re not people. They’re devil lords. Every additional devil lord will only increase the damage.” Baal snorted.
Wang Xiaoming didn’t dare persuade more. Actually, he could tell from the few words that were said that they didn’t have the best of relationships. “Then shouldn’t we find a well-hidden place?”
“Do we need to?” Baal snapped his fingers and everything was immediately surrounded by a light layer of fog.
Wang Xiaoming remarked enviously, “If only humans had this ability.”
“It’d save on housing costs. Houses cost a lot right now.”
“…” Baal tossed the Black Star Pearl into his own body and was just about to take Wang Xiaoming on a tour around Hell’s territory when his entire body froze the moment he moved his feet.
Wang Xiaoming had been staring at him from the very beginning and instantly asked in surprise, “Are you alright?”
A strange expression appeared on Baal’s face.
“What happened?” Wang Xiaoming was so worried he was sweating.
Baal slowly closed his eyes.
Wang Xiaoming didn’t know whether he should rush up to Baal, grab his arm, and shake it vigorously, or just sit quietly and watch from the sidelines.
The time ticked by, second by second, minute by minute.
Wang Xiaoming felt the wooden plank underneath his butt become harder and harder, so hard that his entire body felt off.
Suddenly, Baal opened his eyes and spread open his palm. The Black Star Pearl appeared in the center of his palm and instantly exploded.
All Wang Xiaoming felt was the sensation of being pulled in by giant force and then he knew nothing.
A lot of things flashed across his mind as he was unconscious. From childhood to adulthood, his parents’ cold expressions, his older brother’s mockery, his classmates’ disdain, and his friends distancing themselves… They passed through his life like a parade. Twenty-three years of his life flashed by just like that.
The only thing that remained was Baal, forever haughty, proud, and demanding.
When those black wings spread open behind Baal, Wang Xiaoming didn’t feel fear but rather a sense of incomparable warmth and security.
That warmth and security made him sleep a bit longer before he opened his eyes.
Baal sat across from him, still in his original position. But his expression wasn’t friendly to say the least.
He instantly straightened up. “Are you alright? Are you in your spirit form or have the two parts been reunited?”
Baal remained silent and glared at him coldly.
Wang Xiaoming stood up worriedly and looked Baal up and down several times. “What happened to you?”
“Do you know how long it took for you to repair my body?” Baal finally spoke up.
Wang Xiaoming counted on his fingers. “A month?”
“Do you know how long it took for me to repair your body?”
“Uh…” Wang Xiaoming looked down at his watch. “An hour?”
Baal said, enunciating every syllable, “Fifteen minutes.”
Wang Xiaoming remarked in understanding, “Because you’re a fallen angel, so you’re more powerful.”
“Love has nothing to do with how strong someone is.” Baal answered, practically gnashing his teeth in rage.
Wang Xiaoming thought he understood but really didn’t. “Then it’s because my body was preserved better?”
“…” The reason was because he loved Wang Xiaoming more than Wang Xiaoming loved him!
That reason made him so angry he could explode!
From the very beginning, Baal was certain that when it came to the scale of love, Wang Xiaoming’s weighed heavier than his did. That was because from start to finish, the person who confessed had been Wang Xiaoming. So when the Black Star Pearl exploded, he naturally assumed that it was because his love hadn’t been enough. He never thought the answer would be…
Without a warning, the table split in half.
The water around them gurgled as if it were boiling.
Wang Xiaoming fearfully listened to the spluttering sounds and asked quietly, “So what did happen?”
That sentence seemed to burst the bubble of anger. Baal grabbed Wang Xiaoming’s collar and yanked him hard toward himself. He demanded ferociously, “From now on, don’t you dare love me any less!”
Wang Xiaoming, “…”
Regardless of the process or what the truth was, Wang Xiaoming was still successfully revived!