Cerberus’ heart jumped wildly. At this moment, he completely forgot that the last time he was in this room, this youth was arrogantly stepping on him with his foot.
“I will wholeheartedly obey your orders.”
Cerberus would always remember what happened next. Every time he thought about it, he felt as if it was a dream. He remembered his untouchable master actively embracing him. He remembered him burying his face on his shoulder, his soft hair brushing the side of his neck.
Those painfully suppressed but never-gone longings finally broke out with the acquiescence of the other party, and those scenes that Cerberus thought would only ever appear in his dreams actually happened in reality. Mr. Mo’s hands and feet were abnormally cold but his body was still warm, just like how Cerberus had once felt that he was a person without desire, without needs. Then and only then did he finally understand that this unattainability was only for show. Unexpectedly, he could be so sweet.
Although he had been constantly leading him, Mr. Mo was always slightly frowning. It wasn’t until much later did he gradually relaxed into that most pleasurable act. Cerberus remembered every detail of that wonderful sensation, and his heart was overflowing with unprecedented sweetness and palpitation. It was just like a dream.
When he couldn’t hold himself back anymore, Cerberus lowered his head and kissed his lips.
What he really wanted wasn’t this captivating and beautiful body, but Mr. Mo’s love.
The moment Cerberus’ lips touched his, he felt the other party’s resistance, and in the next second, a firm slap landed on his face.
Mr. Mo’s eyes no longer had that misty haze; they were extremely clear. The hand that had been pressed into Cerberus’ back now wrapped around his neck, and he coldly warned, “Don’t do what you shouldn’t do.”
At that moment, reality ruthlessly shattered this dream, and Cerberus finally realized the details that he had deliberately ignored. The master’s inexplicably weak body, his cold hands and feet, his steady voice, the suddenness with which he’d called Cerberus up, and that strangely absurd order.
The blood-ladened reality was placed in front of Cerberus: the person in his arms just wanted a diversion, something to forget his intolerable pain and weakness.
There were no special feelings, no special treatment. From the beginning to the end, he was just a slave, a tool for use.
He was woken up by the person he loved most.
Naturally…how his anger surged, rushing with bloodied and bitter grievances.
Dong Linhai had never seen Victor drinking so crazily. No matter how he yelled at Victor, the other person didn’t respond at all. It was as if, in front of food and alcohol, Dong Linhai wasn’t even worth mentioning.
The anger that had been temporarily dissipated by purification quietly spread once more, accumulating in Dong Linhai’s heart. He finally couldn’t bear it anymore. He took a sudden step forward and swept out his arm, knocking away the swath of food.
The plates crashed to the ground. Dong Linhai’s temple throbbed, and he pointed to the loathsome Victor and shouted, “Stop drinking! Do you still want to go out?! We still need to look for the others!”
Victor ignored him. This kind of disregard completely angered him. Dong Linhai intuitively felt as if boiling blood had entered his head. His eyes became red, and he completely lost all reason. He picked up the empty wine bottle rolling on the ground and smashed it into Victor’s head–
[No one before me, except the eternal creator.]
No matter how angry and aggrieved Cerberus’ heart was, he could only accept this arrangement.
He went from being a slave who was able to survive in a bloodied arena to being the only person who could have such intimacy with his master, all within a year’s time. He was already fortunate enough. His former self would never even dare imagine such fortune. So how could he be sad?
Rather than torturing himself, he preferred to make use of this rare opportunity and take care of his master with all his heart.
Mr. Mo’s physical condition alternated between a state of deterioration and improvement. Whenever he felt pain or discomfort, Cerberus rescued him for the torture that stemmed from the depths of his soul.
This gave Cerberus more opportunities to reach the top. Everyone in the casino knew that he was highly regarded and much beloved by the boss. Only them and the boss’ personal maid, Angela, knew that the relationship between them wasn’t just that of a boss and his subordinate.
The days flowed on like this for half a year. Mr. Mo still refused to permit Cerberus to kiss him. But when Cerberus pretended to be unable to endure and kissed him, his slap wasn’t as merciless as it was that first time.
Cerberus was like the farmer in the story. He found a frozen snake in the icy snow. He wrapped the snake in his clothes and held it against the place closest to his heart. He used his body temperature to warm it, looking forward to the day it would wake up.
When the snake woke up, whether it would give him gratitude or a fatal blow, he didn’t know and he didn’t care.
This was enough.
…But was it really enough?
The voice at the bottom of his heart unceasingly cried out in distress, so much so that Cerberus could not ignore it. Yes, he was not satisfied. He was so greedy, so greedily reluctant to leave this quietly warming relationship. He greedily wanted more, wanting everything that was this young man he called master.
The cards on both sides were opened one after another. The moment Lin Hangzhi saw what was on the cards, his whole body froze in his seat–he’d lost.
How was that possible?! How was it possible?!
Lin Hangzhi stared at the nine cards on the table, and he cried out uncontrollably, “One more game!”
But Mr. Mo was already done with this game. He reached for his walking stick that was leaning against the side of the table, picked it up, and tapped it lightly on the table. “The time is getting late, and I am tired, so let’s stop here. What do you think, Mr. Lin?”
“No! I haven’t won the chips back yet! Those should have been mine!” Lin Hangzhi stood up abruptly and stretched forward, as if wanting to snatch back the chips. A second later, Cerberus grabbed his arm with such strength that Lin Hangzhi felt as if his bones were nearly shattered.
“It’s already over, sir.” Cerberus flipped Lin Hangzhi’s arm over and pressed it to the table. Lin Hangzhi could only awkwardly twist his body. His eyes were flushed as he roared, “It’s not over yet!”
But no one gave him a chance to continue.
Cerberus held his Persian scimitar and pressed the blade close against Lin Hangzhi’s wrist. Lin Hangzhi’s pupils shrank sharply. Before he could scream, the blade sank down and accurately and completely cut into the bone. It sliced through the joints and smoothly cut off his entire right hand.
Blood spurted out, instantly staining the entire tabletop.
The intense pain bloomed across Lin Hangzhi’s eyes, awakening his sluggish reason and giving birth to a trace of clarity. Lin Hangzhi grasped that fleeting weakness, and the greedy madness morphed into clarity.
But it was already too late.
His right hand fell on the table, blood spewing out from the cut like a broken faucet. Lin Hangzhi immediately grabbed a belt from the side and used his teeth to tie it around his upper arm to stop the bleeding as much as possible.
With his heart curled up in agonizing pain, Lin Hangzhi panted heavily as he stared at Mr. Mo. The corners of the young man’s lips were still slightly raised, looking so much like Fu Zhe when he was victorious.
Nearly fainting from pain, Lin Hangzhi gritted his teeth and said his name, “…Morality.”
Mr. Mo–No, Morality’s smile deepened. Behind him, a door appeared, and he stood up, saying, “You are the second person to call me this. Do you know how the first person ended up?”
The bottles of alcohol fell from the wine cabinet and shattered on the ground one after another, making loud crashing sounds. All kinds of alcohol mixed together, flooding the floor underneath the minibar.
Now that Xia Qiongyun’s Truth Speak had completely disappeared, the good fortunate that was overdrawn needed to be repaid immediately.
The wall lamp above his head exploded without warning, and the glass shards hit Lin Hangzhi. A corner of the gaming table began to crack, and the door of the card room broke as the screws suddenly became slanted under its weight. A sparrow flew straight into the window from a distance. It’s head slammed into the glass in an explosion of viscera and brain matter. The sparrow’s corpse stuck to the glass for a few seconds, before it slowly slid down, dragging a scarlet blood trail.
“If you agree to bet, you must accept the loss, sir.” Cerberus shook off the blood on his blade and hung the scimitar back around his waist. He took a step back in the direction of Mr. Mo and looked at Lin Hangzhi, who was now clear headed. As if he was still working in the security team that often welcomed guests, he softly said, “I wish you a good time tonight.”
After saying that, he lowered his head to avoid the water cup that Lin Hangzhi had thrown over, and retreated inside the door. His figure and Morality disappeared from the room.
“Xiao Xia!” Lin Hangzhi bandaged his wrist and large quantities of blood began to flow out again. He needed to find Victor for treatment as soon as possible!
Lin Hangzhi put his severed hand in his pocket and looked at Xia Qiongyun. The other person was also shocked by the severity of this calamity and was trying to get away from him.
Lin Hangzhi strode over and grabbed Xia Qiongyun’s wrist. He said anxiously, “We have to hurry and find Victor!”
“Don’t touch me!” Xia Qiongyun threw his hand away in disgust and moved away from Lin Hangzhi. She still hadn’t broken free from Morality’s trap. Lin Hangzhi’s eyes were fierce as he used his male advantages to press Xia Qiongyun on the minibar. Xia Qiongyun didn’t expect that this lowly mortal would dare treat herself like this and couldn’t react immediately.
In the next moment, Lin Hangzhi lifted his left hand and hit her neck hard, knocking her out.
Lin Hangzhi’s pocket was stuffed with his severed hand, his right wrist was wrapped in clothes, his upper arm was tied with a belt, and Xia Qiongyun was on his back. Amidst the sounds of falling objects shattering and cracking, he struggled to find Victor.
[I am eternal.]
Standing in his dim bedroom once again, Morality let out a small sigh of relief. He threw his walking stick aside and fell into the recliner. The fine beads of sweat on his forehead glistened in the light.
Cerberus squatted down beside him and held his hand. In a low voice full of concern, he asked, “Are you okay?”
Morality shook his head. He had given Worm of Mystery’s remaining soul to Cerberus, and so he was a bit weak due to the lack of nourishment. This time, in order to deal with those intruders who wanted to take him back, he had also forcibly removed his moralities, and this made it difficult for him to endure.
“I’m so tired.” Morality stretched out his hand, and Cerberus immediately held it in his warm palm. Morality had never exposed his own vulnerabilities to others. This fragile and exhausted self, only Cerberus knew.
Cerberus got up, held Morality in his arms, and dropped a kiss on his sweaty forehead.
–Sloth, Envy, Lust, Gluttony, Pride, Wrath, and Greed.
The source of all evil, the original sins and immorality, they constitute he and him.
[Abandon all hope, you who enter here.]
Xixi: My poor Lin Hangzhi. The author always bullies him.
If the phrases in the brackets sounded familiar, it was because they were taken from Dante’s “Divine Comedy. Inferno: Canto III” (as per the author’s note). I hesitated between using an English translation or directly translating the author’s words, but since the English translations seem to all be slightly different, I ended up just translating directly from the Chinese raw (faulty as my translations were). Here is an English translation, taken from Bartleby.com:
“THROUGH me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.
Justice the founder of my fabric moved:
To rear me was the task of Power divine,
Supremest Wisdom, and primeval Love.
Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon, ye who enter here.”