The audience first gathered by the door and then slowly backed away, finally separating into two orderly lines. This meant that Baal and Wang Xiaoming naturally became exposed.
“Uh, maybe we should move aside?” Wang Xiaoming quietly tugged on Baal’s hand. He could count the number of times he had been stared at like this on one hand and each time had been because he had caused some kind of trouble because of his unlucky streak. The bad memories and the burning gazes around him made him wish desperately he could dig a hole and bury himself in it.
Baal’s eyebrows lifted. “Move aside?” He was actually telling him to move aside for a little blind bat?
Wang Xiaoming watched the anger slowly forming on Baal’s face and immediately realized that his words had the opposite effect. He changed his tune and said, “Can you come to the bathroom with me?”
Baal’s mouth twitched slightly. “Do you think I’ll fall for that kind of stupid excuse?” Especially since there was no lag time between the two.
Wang Xiaoming hesitated and then suddenly crouched down while holding his stomach. He cried out pitifully, “Hurts, it really hurts. I really need to go to the restroom.”
Baal sweatdropped. Even if that was acting, shouldn’t he at least use a bit of skill? That level wasn’t enough to play house.
Applause suddenly sounded.
Someone would applaud that kind of acting? Kindreds had really low standards when it came to acting skills.
But he quickly discovered that the applause wasn’t for Wang Xiaoming.
Amidst the applause, a slender figure appeared elegantly by the door.
The candles on either side of the door trembled slightly, making light and shadow dance on those handsome and flawless features, which gave his beauty a trace of mysteriousness.
Someone called out from the crowd, which was immediately followed by waves of cheers.
Daniel slowly walked in. Every footstep was perfect, just like his features, and graceful.
Out of habit of commenting on celebrities, Wang Xiaoming stood up and scooted closer to Baal’s ears to mutter quietly, “I still think Isefel looks better.”
Baal’s eyebrows practically twisted themselves into knots. “Isefel counts as good-looking?” What was good-looking about a guy who only had one expression? Aside from penguins and Shi Feixia, who else would like that giant block of ice? “I think the guy in front of him is more to my taste.” There really was no way to know without the contrast.
Wang Xiaoming, “…”
Daniel’s footsteps paused in front of Baal and Wang Xiaoming. His curly eyelashes cast a tiny shadow under his eyes, which emphasized the stormcloud on his face. “Who did you two say was better looking?”
“…” Baal and Wang Xiaoming paused.
In order to maintain his elegant stature, Daniel gritted his teeth very discreetly. “Who did you just say was better looking than I am?”
Baal answered, “A jerkass.”
Wang Xiaoming, “…” Baal definitely didn’t say Isefel’s name because he didn’t want to expose his identity. It absolutely had nothing to do with personal grievances. He silently explained Baal’s actions away in his heart.
A very obviously throbbing vein appeared on Daniel’s forehead, but it was quickly suppressed. “What is the jerkass’s name?”
Wang Xiaoming asked with curiosity, “Why do you insist on knowing his name?”
The band member from before jumped out and declared, “Lord Daniel is the most beautiful man in the Kindred Realm aside from Lord Cain! There will never exist another Kindred that is more beautiful. Even among the Nine Realms, only the king of Elves Omedon can measure up.”
The other Kindred members in the bar agreed loudly.
Wang Xiaoming stated, “Aside from Cain… That means number two, right?”
The vein on Daniel’s forehead almost jumped out.
The band members murmured hesitantly, “Lord Cain doesn’t count.” Only the second and third generations had seen Cain’s face.
As soon as fans became obsessed, their eyesight and IQ began to trend in the negative direction.
As someone who had never been a fan and only listened to entertainment gossip, Wang Xiaoming finally experienced that for himself.
Daniel was still focused on Isefel, the rival he had never met before. “You just said that Ise… something looks better?”
Inspiration struck Wang Xiaoming. “He’s a human. You’ve definitely never heard of him.”
“Human?” Daniel examined Wang Xiaoming from head to toe and asked, “How could the Mortal Realm have anything beautiful?”
“…” Though Wang Xiaoming had always been a promoter of peace, he had a strong desire to strike out with his fist at that precise moment.
In contrast to his impulse, Baal was more upfront. He first pointed at the band member from before and said, “I was just preparing to hit him, but now I’ve decided to take care of you first.” His finger moved away from the band member and pointed itself straight at Daniel.
Daniel paused. “What?”
Baal suddenly waved his fist and punched Daniel so hard he flew through the air.
Because he had moved too fast, nobody in the bar reacted even after he put down his hand.
“This,” he calmly answered the question he had just been asked.
The bar was so silent a needle dropping could be heard.
Daniel sat on the ground clutching his stomach, his face filled with disbelief as if he hadn’t woken up from the shock.
The other Kindreds also seem to be caught completely off guard by the plot twist.
“Y-you hit me?” Daniel stared wide-eyed and asked with a tied tongue.
Baal shrugged. “I won’t mind it if you deny it.”
Daniel jumped up forcefully and shouted furiously, “How dare you hit me?!”
The other Kindred members nodded simultaneously.
Baal asked with a frown, “What’s so hard to understand about that?”
The owner stuck his head out and got close to the back of Baal’s head, whispering quietly, “He’s a fourth generation Torredo, an idol from the Camarilla.”
Baal nodded once and then tilted his head sideways. “So?”
“… Nothing.” The owner slowly pulled his head back.
Daniel had already stood up with a thousand angry flames burning in his heart.
The Kindred around them all stared wide-eyed. Kindreds usually took care of conflicts themselves unless the opponent was of a lower rank. In that case they might, out of consideration of their own rank, send another lower ranked Blood Clan member.
The situation in front of them clearly fit the criteria.
Daniel’s nostrils flared slightly. “Sixth generation McAvery?”
Realization dawned upon the other Kindreds.
Aside from McAvery, the clan of madmen, who else would jump rank and challenge their elder—especially a fourth generation that was right below a third generation?
Suddenly, Baal was quite unhappy with the word “six.”
Wang Xiaoming surveyed their surroundings and chuckled awkwardly as he tried to explain, “He didn’t mean it.”
Everyone’s eyes focused on his face as if unable to comprehend how, given the situation they were in, he could… no, he dared to say that.
Wang Xiaoming’s face flamed under those looks.
Daniel slowly opened his mouth to say, “The McAvery clan is either in the Mortal Realm or in the Gloom City. They rarely step foot in the Thirteen Co-City.”
Baal answered arrogantly, “I am happy to step here.”
Daniel answered, “This is the territory of the Torredo clan.”
Wang Xiaoming said in realization, “No wonder you have so many admirers here.”
“…” The vein on Daniel’s forehead finally throbbed visibly. “He’s your Blood Slave?”
Baal’s eyes squinted dangerously. “So what if he is?”
“You’re quite close.” Daniel smiled suggestively. “Rarely do Kindreds have such a good relationship with their Blood Slaves.”
Wang Xiaoming scratched his head. “We take care to communicate.”
“Communicate?” Baal lowered his head and smiled even more suggestively than Daniel had.
Daniel was frustrated at being ignored and his tone turned chilly as he threw down the challenge, “Are you representing the McAvery clan in your challenge to the Torredo clan?”
Both the McAvery and the Torredo belonged to the Camarilla. When Edwin did Baal this favor before, he probably hadn’t thought that this favor would lead to the splintering of the Camarilla. But the McAvery clan didn’t have quite as good a relationship as the Torredo clan among the Camarilla, so if the two really got into a war, the Torredos would have the advantage. That was also why Daniel could declare war outright.
Wang Xiaoming already sniffed out the hidden threat behind that sentence. He feared that Baal’s impulsiveness would cause big trouble for Edwin and hurriedly clutched Baal’s sleeves and answered, “Not at all. We’re just… uh… playing.”
There was no other word to describe Daniel’s expression except for “interesting.” “Play-ing?” He slowly enunciated the two syllables, leaving Wang Xiaoming enough time to take back his own words.
But not only did Wang Xiaoming not refute him, he actually nodded firmly.
Baal suddenly declared, “That’s a very good answer.” It was rare that Wang Xiaoming gave him a satisfactory answer.
Wang Xiaoming sincerely reviewed his actions and wondered whether he had made a mess of things.
“Great. I love playing.” Daniel’s expression completely lost the veil of mysteriousness that he had walked in with. At that moment, his face was filled with the desire to “have fun” with the other party. “How do you want to play?” His hand slowly stroked the place where Baal had struck and the remaining twinges of pain constantly flamed his will to fight.
Baal opened his mouth and, just as he was about to speak, Wang Xiaoming interrupted him, “Poker!”
Daniel frowned. “What?”
“Then how about Winner?” Wang Xiaoming tried really hard to keep the smile on his face.
Baal’s lips moved and then slowly closed.
“Winner?” Daniel looked confused.
Daniel slowly stretched his neck upward. “All those are human games, right?”
Wang Xiaoming thought for a moment and finally realized from where the confusion came. “You don’t know how? Not a problem, I’ll teach you. It’s easy to learn.”
“No need.” Daniel turned around to look at Baal. “Since we’re Kindred, let’s solve the problem the Kindred way.”
“Kindred way?” Baal’s forehead wrinkled and he couldn’t help but imagine two bats twisting around each other and biting each other. “…”
Daniel enunciated carefully, “Let’s play Blood Chess.”
Baal and Wang Xiaoming glanced at each other.
Daniel gave a cold laugh. “Don’t tell me you don’t know how?”
Wang Xiaoming feared that Baal’s jig would be up and hurried to answer, “I don’t know how.”
“Not a problem, I’ll teach you. It’s easy to learn.” Daniel threw back Wang Xiaoming’s words exactly as he had said them.
Wang Xiaoming said apologetically, “Ummm, because I’m quite stupid, so…”
“I’m not playing with you.” Daniel waved a hand at the bar owner.
The bar owner, very understandingly, took out a box from behind the bar.
- 1A type of card game. For rules, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dou_dizhu