The question bothered Baal all night long. When Wang Xiaoming got up the next day, Baal was standing on the balcony, looking down at the people walking by with an expressionless face.
Was the Big Boss interested in how humans lived?
Wang Xiaoming looked at Baal’s profile and, without knowing why, he thought about loneliness.
Baal suddenly turned around.
The pale morning light fell upon him and gave his black, curly hair a slight golden tint.
Actually, if you ignored his behavior, ignored the disdain and arrogance on his lips that he didn’t bother to hide, and just looked at his face, he did seem like an angel.
Wang Xiaoming silently said in his mind. He hadn’t met too many good-looking people in the real world. Chang Haitao was considered the Department Prince1系草, literally Department Grass. 草 is the title usually given to the most handsome male student., but he appeared too ordinary and inexperienced when compared to Baal.
“Humans…” Baal said slowly and drew Xiaoming’s thoughts to him.
“Are definitely stupid.” Baal’s mouth curved. When he smiled coldly, his eyes and face telegraphed his sense of superiority and disdain toward the mortals.
Wang Xiaoming breathed a sigh. How could he ever have thought Baal was interested in human lives? Whether it was in the game or in reality, Baal… would always be the Big Boss humans fought against.
“You’re not going to ask me why?” Baal was dissatisfied with Wang Xiaoming’s silence.
So Wang Xiaoming had to ask, “Why?”
“Because—” Baal turned around to look back down, “—that man is stealing money from a woman.”
A big boss was gossiping about the business of mere mortals?
Out of curiosity, Wang Xiaoming cautiously walked over. But he was careful to maintain distance when he approached Baal. Below them was a little breakfast stand. The woman Baal was talking about was the owner of the stand and her breakfast stand was famous around here. “They’re husband and wife.”
“It doesn’t count as theft if it’s between husband and wife?”
“Uh, maybe, he has an emergency.” Wang Xiaoming actually knew the couple. The husband was a gambler and did, in fact, often steal his wife’s money. The wife probably knew about it because she would often put a bit of money there so that her husband had the opportunity. In other words, this was a classic case of being a willing victim to the crime2一个愿打一个愿挨, literally “one being willing to hit and the other willing to take the hit”, often used to describe situations where a perceived wrong is being done to someone who goes along with it.. Wang Xiaoming didn’t understand the wife’s feelings, but he was still moved by the whole thing.
He was suddenly curious. “Is there theft in hell?”
Though theft wasn’t considered one of the original seven sins, fallen angels had committed so many sins that they probably weren’t innocent of this crime. Or was hell like a prison, where a petty crime like theft would only get you looked down on?
“Of course there is,” Baal answered matter-of-factly.
“Then why are you acting so… uh… surprised?” Maybe it was because Baal was in a good mood today but Wang Xiaoming couldn’t help asking a few more questions.
“I didn’t say that fallen angels, other than me, aren’t stupid.” Baal strode arrogantly into the room.
Wang Xiaoming finally realized that Baal had classified everything as one of three categories —
Wang Xiaoming ate his breakfast in a subdued manner. He considered calling Tony to ask about the job. He had replayed the talk yesterday over and over in his mind and had to admit that Tony was right. In this day and age where jobs were scarce compared to people, it was good to find a place to plant himself. As to what would happen in the future, that could be planned later. After all, changing jobs wasn’t something new these days.
With his mind made up, he couldn’t wait. He cleaned up the table and, just as he reached for the phone, it rang.
He picked it up. It was Tony, who said that thing about the job had to wait because the opening at the hotel had just been filled. Tony probably sensed that Wang Xiaoming wasn’t in the best of moods and offered him a few words of simple comfort.
Wang Xiaoming hung up the phone, and he felt like someone had poured a bucket of cold water on the flames in his heart. His enthusiasm faded.
“Did you ever consider him?” Baal’s voice interrupted.
“Ah?” Wang Xiaoming was still in the middle of despairing and couldn’t keep up with the conversation.
“Don’t forget, you only have three days.” Baal slouched against the sofa and crossed his legs. “I don’t mind counting today as the second day.”
Wang Xiaoming finally realized what Baal was saying. He said in shock, “But he’s my cousin.”
“So what?” Baal’s face indicated he didn’t care.
“But, but, but…” Wang Xiaoming stuttered out several “buts” before violently choking out, “That’s incest.”
Baal flicked his fingers lightly on the sofa and asked, “Do you know how Eve came into being?”
“She was Adam’s seventh rib.” Even though this sounded ridiculous, considering Baal could turn into a fallen angel, it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility. Wang Xiaoming had gradually started to accept the stories in the Bible. Maybe there really had been a flood in the past and maybe there really was a ship called Noah’s Ark.
Baal continued, “If you know you can have children with your ribcage, what else is impossible?”
Having heard Baal’s interpretation, Wang Xiaoming also felt that everything was possible in this world. After all, didn’t the Big Boss from the Dark game come to the real world?
“Once you’ve selected a target, you need to go for it.” When Baal thought of his body’s rate of recovery, he wished fervently that Wang Xiaoming would fall in love with everybody in the world. And it had to be the loyal, “till-death-do-us-part” kind of love too.
Baal squinted his eyes.
Wang Xiaoming swallowed, “I don’t have any feelings for him.”
“Do you still like Chang Haitao?” Baal frowned. Even though he didn’t like Chang Haitao, if Wang Xiaoming was stuck on him, then he wouldn’t object. After all, he was only interested in repairing his body.
“I, I, I’m not …” Wang Xiaoming hesitated and couldn’t finish the sentence.
Wang Xiaoming didn’t know how he felt about Chang Haitao right now. Before Baal appeared, Chang Haitao had been a very large part of Wang Xiaoming’s life. During every meal and even in his sleep, Wang Xiaoming couldn’t help but think of Chang Haitao and what he was doing at that moment.
But ever since Baal appeared, his life had been uprooted. Terror became the main theme of his life. He spent every waking moment observing Baal: trying to figure out whether he was in a bad mood, whether he wanted to hit someone, and what he meant by what he said.
It wasn’t that he didn’t think about Chang Haitao. But every time he thought of Chang Haitao recently, it was accompanied by regret. If he hadn’t randomly met Baal or if he hadn’t fallen in love with Chang Haitao, then Chang Haitao would still be in school right now, having the time of his life with Xiaoli. Maybe they would have broken up one day but it definitely would not have been like that.
When he previously thought of Chang Haitao and Xiaoli, waves of pain would crash through his heart. But now, it was more regret than anything.
“Lie down,” Baal commanded.
Wang Xiaoming lay down without protest. After all, no matter what he said or how he fought back, the result would be the same.
Baal’s hand slowly crept towards his heart.
Wang Xiaoming bit down and struggled not to laugh.
Baal saw that Chang Haitao was taking up less and less space in Wang Xiaoming’s heart and withdrew his hand slowly. “If you can’t fall in love with someone in three days, I’ll kill you.” He didn’t have much patience to begin with, and the many years of waiting had worn through most of it.
Wang Xiaoming immediately curled his legs up and moved from one end of the sofa to the other.
Baal’s gaze followed him and he said, word by word, “I’m not joking.”
“Can I ask why?”
This wasn’t the first time he asked the question and he didn’t expect an answer. But surprisingly, Baal gave him one. “Because my body is in your heart.”
Baal’s body was in his heart?!
Wang Xiaoming sat on the sofa in the same position for an hour.
That sentence… should he be taking that literally or figuratively?
If literally, then it meant that Baal, a big and tall fallen angel, was currently inhabiting his four-chambered heart3两房两室, literally “two-bedroom and two-rooms”, which is a reference to the human heart having four chambers. In Chinese, the four chambers of the heart are written as 右心房 (right atrium)，左心房 (left atrium)，右心室 (right ventricle)，左心室 (left ventricle). Hence the two “房” and two “室” pun.?
If it was figurative… then he had a crush on Baal?!
Wang Xiaoming was completely shocked.
After spending an hour on the sofa, he spent another hour on the balcony.
In the end, he came to the following conclusion: he must have devoted too many and too passionate emotions to Baal, the boss while playing the Dark games. It’d disturbed Baal himself, so now he was here with all his bottomless rage.
Because Baal believed that a stupid human was not worthy of being in love with him.
So Baal needed Wang Xiaoming to fall in love with someone else… Based upon his experience living with Baal in the past two days, that was completely plausible.
But, didn’t he like Chang Haitao before? Wang Xiaoming pressed a hand to his forehead and could not find the answer to that question. Or, in his heart of hearts, had Chang Haitao been a ruse this entire time?
Wang Xiaoming’s head hurt badly.
Because in his past 23 years of life, he had never heard of or even considered someone falling in love with a character in a game. Especially a boss who looked fierce and savage.
Anytime he thought of how Baal had antennae in the game, his head hurt even more.
“If you really don’t like your cousin, there might be another way.” Baal finally acquiesced after seeing how conflicted Wang Xiaoming was.
Wang Xiaoming tensed up the moment he saw that Baal had come out, “What way?”
“Go to that place called the Silver House.” The corners of Baal’s eyes lifted upwards along with his eyebrows. “Aren’t there a lot of men there?”
But those were all male prostitutes.
Wang Xiaoming was frightened. Even if he was interested in someone from that place, he definitely couldn’t afford to keep him. He said quietly, “I don’t want to go.”
Baal’s gaze gradually chilled and he said, “Are you trying to negotiate with me?”
“No, I’m just—” Wang Xiaoming hemmed and hawed as he stared at the ground, “—trying to find another way.”
“Your cousin or the Silver House, you choose.”
Since when did his cousin become the same level as the Silver House?
Wang Xiaoming sighed, his mind a tangled mess.
PenguinStel: I so hope Baal suffers from pushing his shou towards other men!! Grr!
- 1系草, literally Department Grass. 草 is the title usually given to the most handsome male student.
- 2一个愿打一个愿挨, literally “one being willing to hit and the other willing to take the hit”, often used to describe situations where a perceived wrong is being done to someone who goes along with it.
- 3两房两室, literally “two-bedroom and two-rooms”, which is a reference to the human heart having four chambers. In Chinese, the four chambers of the heart are written as 右心房 (right atrium)，左心房 (left atrium)，右心室 (right ventricle)，左心室 (left ventricle). Hence the two “房” and two “室” pun.