It must be true that when one door closes, another opens. Just when Wang Xiaoming felt like he was stuck between a rock and a hard place, an opportunity landed in his lap. The resumes he had submitted, without regard to the position, finally garnered a response.
A newly opened management training company called him to schedule an interview.
Wang Xiaoming looked at the address he had just written down like a prisoner looking at an escape route. The desire in his eyes was as blatant as could be.
Baal laughed coldly on the side.
This laugh, which sounded like it came from the heavens or hells and not the mortal realm, immediately pulled Wang Xiaoming’s thoughts back to reality.
“Remember the choices?”
Wang Xiaoming reflexively answered, “My cousin or the Silver House.”
Baal raised his eyebrows and glanced down at the piece of paper in Wang Xiaoming’s hand.
Wang Xiaoming immediately hid the paper behind his back and chuckled dryly, “But I can only buy a computer when I find a job.”
“Is this you… negotiating?” Baal squeezed his eyes into a sliver.
Wang Xiaoming laughed appeasingly, “Of course not, but the work at my cousin’s hotel is already gone, so…”
“So you’re choosing your cousin.” Baal only heard what he wanted to hear.
Wang Xiaoming, “…”
Baal propped his chin up as he thought, “Hmm, though your cousin is still lacking, at least he’s a human. You can make do with him as a lover.”
Wang Xiaoming didn’t want to make do, he was not casual like that!
Wang Xiaoming wept in his heart. Even if, without his knowledge or understanding, he had developed some strange feelings towards a boss like Baal—he meant feelings beyond defeating him in the game—at least he had hidden them so well that he didn’t even know about them. Why did Baal have to dig them out, make a fuss over them, and then push him away?
Baal took in the sight of Wang Xiaoming standing there like a lost duckling and felt anger course through him. He said coldly, “After the interview, we’re going to your cousin’s hotel.”
Wang Xiaoming jumped in surprise. “To do what?”
“To develop feelings.”
Since Baal bit out every word from gritted teeth, Wang Xiaoming understood that it was time to shut up.
The interview went better than Wang Xiaoming thought it would.
The manager wasn’t local and asked a few basic questions about himself and local customs. He must have fit right in since the manager started talking about the company afterward, stuff like the company culture and future direction.
Those questions almost put Wang Xiaoming to sleep, not to mention Baal.
Instead of clocking in first thing at work in the morning, you had to change clothes and go out for a jog. This was because the company not only needed a clever mind but also a strong body.
When the manager finished saying that, Baal chimed in casually on the side, “He’s right. If debtors or enemies come calling in the future, you can run faster.”
Wang Xiaoming, “…”
The manager then expressed admiration and respect for their country’s culture. He made it a rule that every worker must, after work, read aloud a section from the Four Books and Five Classics1四书五经, literally Four Books and Five Classics, refers to a set of classical texts that most students in the ancient times had to study in order to take the exams. For more information on the texts, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Books_and_Five_Classics before leaving. In addition, there would be exams at the end of the month based on the content they read that month.
Baal didn’t have anything to say about this, but maybe it was because he didn’t understand what the Four Books and Five Classics were.
Wang Xiaoming continued being speechless.
If the manager hadn’t mentioned salary and job responsibilities at the end, he would have thought that he’d gone back to elementary school. Oh no, this was private school in the ancient times.
“Your income is based on a salary plus commission.” When it came to money, the manager no longer ceaselessly spewed out words. Instead, he talked slowly and logically, “The base wage is 800 and the commission is mainly based on how well you do in a month. Of course, we won’t force you. A lot of places now force their employees to achieve a certain goal or they start deducting from the base wage. Our company doesn’t do that kind of stuff.” He saw the disappointment in Wang Xiaoming’s face at the 800 base wage. He immediately said, “Don’t think 800 is too little. When you really start doing this job, you’ll find that the base wage isn’t real; it’s all about the commission.”
“The base wage is fake?” Wang Xiaoming’s eyes turned as round as saucers with astonishment. He was already bitter at the base wage of 800 yuan and now the manager was telling him that was fake?!
The manager swallowed his words and then explained slowly, “I’m saying that when you familiarize yourself with the work, the base wage will only be a very small part of your income.”
800 was a very small part?
Wang Xiaoming’s eyes slowly lit up.
The manager had seen that kind of light many times before and knew it was the sign of a fish about to take the bait. He put in more effort and said, “Though our office is new, our company has a good reputation. If you do well, earning five to six thousand a month is a small matter. Our employees average about ten thousand a month, that’s normal.”
Average of ten thousand?
Wang Xiaoming’s heart thumped wildly.
Because Wang Xiaoming’s heart was beating so loudly, Baal could hear it clearly. He suddenly felt that if money were a person, then there’d be no problem. Based on how Wang Xiaoming was acting right now, it was easy to imagine him falling in love with it and not letting go, no matter what.
Under the persuasive powers of the manager, Wang Xiaoming finally gave in.
The manager saw another fish fall into the net and smiled happily. In order to demonstrate how civilized they were, he personally walked Wang Xiaoming to the exit, patted him on the shoulders, and said, “You won’t regret choosing our company. This will be the starting point of all your dreams!”
Wang Xiaoming looked at the manager’s face, which was all smiles, and a thought flashed across his mind — this wasn’t some kind of bogus company, was it? But fortunately, they didn’t ask him to put down a deposit, so it probably… wasn’t?
He puzzled over it while riding the elevator down and realized that Baal was being quiet too.
“Uh, can I not go see my cousin?” He asked Baal thoughtfully as they walked out of the elevator.
Baal’s glance swept over him.
A chill ran up and down Wang Xiaoming’s spine. “I’ll, I’ll go.”
“Lie down.” Baal suddenly demanded.
Wang Xiaoming looked at the lobby filled with people coming and going, as well as the casual glances coming from the security guard, and asked tearfully, “Here?”
“Is there a problem?”
He was not a pushover who would lie down anywhere. If he lay down right now, he’d definitely get tossed out as a mental patient. Wang Xiaoming gritted his teeth and said, “Too many people.”
Baal thought about it and then single-handedly formed a ward.
The sounds around them disappeared.
Wang Xiaoming looked at the empty hall and the empty street outside the glass windows and asked in surprise, “Where’d all the people go?”
“This is my ward, a space that belongs to me. Of course they can’t come in.” Baal nodded his chin at the sofa in the lobby, “Now, go lie down.”
Wang Xiaoming dragged his feet and asked uncertainly again before he lay down, “This is really an independent space? Not you using some kind of hypnotism to trick me?”
Wang Xiaoming settled down after he saw the obvious impatience in Baal’s eyes.
After Wang Xiaoming lay down, Baal performed a routine check on the Black Star Pearl.
Wang Xiaoming was clearly becoming used to this gesture and didn’t laugh quite as badly as he did the two times before.
“Nothing.” Baal withdrew his hands in disappointment. Looks like it had to be human. Stuff like money didn’t work on the Black Star Pearl.
“Nothing?” Wang Xiaoming looked at him cautiously and asked, “Is your body no longer in my heart?”
Baal laughed coldly, “Are you that eager for my body to disappear?”
Wang Xiaoming couldn’t understand his reaction. Wasn’t Baal the one who wanted all traces of himself gone from Wang Xiaoming’s heart and wanted Wang Xiaoming to fall in love with someone else? How come Baal looked like Wang Xiaoming was out to murder him? He probed cautiously, “Is that a good thing?”
“You think this is good?” Baal frowned. Though there was a light in his eyes, it was the glint of anger.
“Not good, not good, not good…” Wang Xiaoming knew well enough to keep denying it.
“Hmph!” It was bad enough that his body was sealed inside the Black Star Pearl; if it suddenly disappeared, that would really be… Baal didn’t have the words to describe such a horrible scenario.
Wang Xiaoming sat up and snuck a glance at him, “Are we still going to find my cousin?”
“Of course.” Baal glared at him. “And the sooner the better.”
“This soon.” Baal snapped his fingers.
When Wang Xiaoming came to, he found himself sitting in the lobby of Tony’s hotel.
It was about two in the afternoon and the lobby was empty, so Wang Xiaoming’s sudden appearance didn’t draw anyone’s attention.
He was the one who was badly scared.
“Hurry and find him.” Baal urged.
Wang Xiaoming stood up in a daze. He had taken just a few steps when a tall and slender beauty walked over to him and smiled at him. “Sir, may I help you with anything?”
“I’m looking for my cousin.” Only after he finished the sentence did Wang Xiaoming realize how flawed his answer was.
Surprisingly, the beautiful woman didn’t laugh at such an uninformative sentence. She prodded again gently, “Is your cousin a guest at the hotel? Do you know which room he’s in? Or maybe what his name is?”
“Oh, he’s the front office manager. His name is Tony.”
“… Tony?” The beautiful woman paused and then smiled again. This time, it wasn’t the professional and polite smile of before but a much warmer and friendlier one. “Tony is in a meeting with the head manager on the third floor. Are you his younger cousin?”
“Yup.” Wang Xiaoming nodded.
The beautiful woman quickly scanned their surroundings and, when she realized that nobody was looking their way, she hurriedly pinched Wang Xiaoming’s cheeks. “You’re so cute.”
Wang Xiaoming’s face immediately flushed red.
Even though he was gay, he didn’t consider himself to be effeminate.
Baal had been standing soundlessly beside him, but now he asked suddenly, “You still like women?”
Wang Xiaoming immediately shook his head.
The beautiful woman thought he was complaining about her behavior and laughed quietly, “A pinch won’t cause you to lose a pound of flesh. Don’t be so serious, little cousin.”
Just as Wang Xiaoming opened his mouth to explain, he heard Baal say coldly, “If you don’t like them, then don’t waste your time.”
The scene before Wang Xiaoming’s eyes blurred for a moment and then the beautiful woman landed on the other side of the lobby as if blown there by a huge gust of wind.