The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Ling Miao and Su Yuyang’s interactions seemed to have returned to normal, but Ling Miao still preferred the days from before, when he didn’t have to word sprint with everyone.
In Ling Miao’s words, that would be: “Fuck it, I have to word sprint with the Great Authors every day, and get tortured by the Great Authors every day. Anyone who’s not a masochist wouldn’t be happy with this, right?”
Word sprinting had its benefits—Ling Miao’s draft stockpile, which would usually run out if he didn’t write for two or three days, was now more fulsome. Now, he wouldn’t have a problem even if he didn’t write for a week. If Su Yuyang didn’t ask him to word sprint, he’d definitely rest for two or three days.
A pity. Ling Miao’s wishes didn’t often come true, and now Su Yuyang was knocking on his door again.
“Ling Miao, Color is organizing a word sprint. You in?” Su Yuyang asked in a somewhat unfriendly tone.
Su Yuyang’s voice was sleepy, as if he’d just been woken up. Of course, the person who woke him had been Color Setting.
“What time do we start? I have two chapters I haven’t uploaded.” After a thought, Ling Miao added: “Yours.”
Su Yuyang yawned and said, “Three o’clock. You have ten minutes. Go and prepare, and you can upload the chapters after the word sprint.”
Ling Miao glanced at the time and immediately tabbled over to his own writing document.
Actually, Ling Miao didn’t want to word sprint with the group. That group had a WPH of about five or six thousand words on average, which was much better than Ling Miao’s speed of less than two thousand words. But if he didn’t war with Color Settings and the others, he’d have to word sprint one-on-one with Su Yuyang. After thinking about it, it was much less pressure to word sprint with Color Setting and the others. So Ling Miao happily decided that as long as anyone in the group wanted to word sprint with him, he’d agree without a second thought.
Su Yuyang dragged his tired footsteps toward the bedroom. Ling Miao heard the sound of slippers hitting the ground, and as the sound gradually disappeared, Ling Miao returned his gaze to his laptop.
Whether it was because Color Setting and the others had had enough of Su Yuyang, or Su Yuyang himself didn’t want to word sprint with them, Su Yuyang almost never participated in Color Setting and the others’ word sprints since Ling Miao joined the group.
Ling Miao didn’t notice this, but Color Setting and the others did. So when Ling Miao posted another “woof woof woof” microblog post, Haphazardly Chopping Wood finally couldn’t take it any more and asked Ling Miao.
Haphazardly Chopping Wood: Xiao Miao, is something the matter with Shu-shu?
Haphazardly Chopping Wood: Then why does he never word sprint with us any more?
ZeroSecondsAgo: Is that weird?
From Ling Miao’s perspective, not word sprintring was normal. Word sprinting… looking at the 140 ‘woof’s, Ling Miao seemed to be looking at 140 Su Yuyangs clutching their stomachs and laughing while pointing at Ling Miao.
Ling Miao was still letting his thoughts run wild when someone in the group expressed puzzlement.
Blue Lake: Do you know, he used to be the most enthusiastic in the group about word sprinting? He set up this group in the first place for word sprinting, though later its usefulness as a word sprinting group decreased.
Chaos Paste: Ah, I just went to look at the word sprint records Color uploaded and compared them to when Xiao Miao joined the group. I made an important discovery!
Blue Lake: If you’ve got something to say, spit it out. Stop hemming and hawing—do you want to get hit?!
ZeroSecondsAgo: There’s quite a lot of info in that sentence.
Blue Lake: Mm?
Looking at the words that appeared on his screen, Ling Miao realized that a pair of eyes that looked beautiful, but hid knives, were looking at him. He reflexively flinched.
ZeroSecondsAgo: That… Great God Chaos, what did you find?
Chaos Paste: Since the second day after you joined the group, Shu-shu hasn’t participated in a single word sprint!
Ling Miao didn’t think this was a big deal. He was about to reply when something clicked in his brain.
Ling Miao stared at Chaos Paste’s last sentence, and a hypothesis of his seemed to have been confirmed: Su Yuyang, the bastard, really just wanted to make only Ling Miao’s life miserable!
“Good on you, Su Yuyang, is it that fun to torture me? Do you get a thrill out of it?” Ling Miao was on the verge of picking up his keyboard and rushing to Su Yuyang’s room.
Just as Ling Miao was unplugging his keyboard, Su Yuyang spoke in the group chat.
Shu Yang: I just don’t want to torture you all any more.
Blue Lake: Tcheh, as if we like being tortured by you.
Color Setting: Exactly. But you’ve lost before too, so you have nothing to be smug about.
Ling Miao didn’t look at what came next. He kept Su Yuyang’s “I just don’t want to torture you all any more” on his screen.
Ling Miao read Su Yuyang’s words over and over. No matter how many times he read them, he felt that the ‘you all’ in Su Yuyang’s words didn’t include himself.
All right. If Su Yuyang knew Ling Miao’s thoughts, his first reaction would definitely be to jab Ling Miao’s forehead 140 times, then add a scolding, “Idiot.”
Su Yuyang’s thoughts were nothing like what Ling Miao imagined.
Under specific circumstances, Ling Miao had a one-track mind. Once he’d made up his mind about something, it was hard to change it. Regarding the various things Su Yuyang had done to him, Ling Miao first took the position that Su Yuyang had ill intentions toward himself, so if any little piece of evidence appeared that could corroborate his argument, he’d become 100 percent certain of this conclusion.
Ah, Su Yuyang is pretty pitiful—he was maligned by Ling Miao just like that..
Su Yuyang did have reasons for not word sprinting.
The pitiful Great Shu Yang was currently holding back his desire to sleep while reading a novel—Ling Miao’s—writing on a piece of paper as he read the chapter.
By Su Yuyang’s hand were two stacks of paper. One stack contained sheets that had had been drawn and written on, which, on closer look, resembled the detailed outline of a novel with some annotations in the margins. The other stack was plain paper, which Su Yuyang was currently resting his hand on as his pen left scribbles on them.
Su Yuyang had been keeping an eye on the novel Ling Miao was serializing. Although Ling Miao’s novel was a mediocre trend-following piece, he discovered that Ling Miao’s setting and plot had many good points. As for why Ling Miao was still struggling, Su Yuyang could only attribute it to Ling Miao’s poor writing.
If the same outline were given to Su Yuyang to write, Su Yuyang could admit he’d do better than Ling Miao in three aspects. Those three aspects were written down on the stack of paper.
Su Yuyang rubbed his tired eyes and clicked on the next chapter.
These past few days, Su Yuyang had spent all his free time making Ling Miao this detailed outline, so his reading speed had already caught up with Ling Miao’s update speed.
The chapter Su Yuyang was reading had been published a few minutes ago.
“When Yan Che and Ling Shuang reached Chaos Stone City, the sky had gotten fully dark.
“At night, Chaos Stone City looked like a great crouching beast. If anyone provoked it, it would instantly wake up and swallow the invader down, using its teeth to grind them to bits.
“Yan Che weighed the jade scroll in his hand, uneasiness furrowing his brow.
“Ling Shuang tilted his head and asked, “You’re still considering?”
“Yan Che put the jade scroll back into the space bag and sighed, “Regardless of whether Su Yuyang…””
Su Yuyang was reading Ling Miao’s novel. In the new chapter an unexpected character name had appeared—Su Yuyang.
‘Su Yuyang’ wasn’t as commonplace a name as Zhang Three, Li Four, or Wang Five.¹ Surely any of those names could be shoved into the book as filler?
Ling Miao, you tossed me into your book as a cameo?
Su Yuyang had also put his good friends into his books as cameos before, but that had been a wager for losing a word sprint. Su Yuyang had put that successful author into the book and then tortured his character a lot.
With a little doubt, a little anticipation, and a little annoyance, Su Yuyang kept reading.
“Yan Che put the jade scroll back in the space bag and sighed, “Regardless of whether Su Yuyang is willing to hand over the three volumes of Calming Heart, this jade scroll belongs to the Su family. It feels like we’re being led by the nose…”
“Yan Che hadn’t finished speaking but Ling Shuang had already understood his meaning.
The following scene described how Yan Che and Ling Shuang met Su Yuyang and posed their request to him.
Eventually, the Su Yuyang in reality came to a conclusion: The Su Yuyang in the book was born to a wealthy family, but didn’t seem spoiled in the least. He seemed crafty—he was an antagonist.
Su Yuyang was pretty satisfied with this cameo, and began to anticipate Ling Miao’s update the next day.
“Mm?” Su Yuyang suddenly thought of something and he wasn’t sleepy any more.
After pulling up the login screen for author dashboards, Su Yuyang input Ling Miao’s account name.
“If I do everything myself, everything will turn out great,” Su Yuyang hummed as he clicked open Ling Miao’s update for tonight.
Having finished reading the chapter, Su Yuyang had only one word to say: Motherfucker!
Su Yuyang could describe this chapter thus: One hell of a plot twist!
At first, Su Yuyang had thought that Su Yuyang in the book (henceforth referred to as Su Yuyang #2) was an antagonist, but after reading this chapter Su Yuyang understood that Su Yuyang #2 was a sucker!
What kind of plot development is this?
Su Yuyang really wanted to pull Ling Miao over and ‘give him pointers,’ but that’d reveal the fact that Su Yuyang had gone on Ling Miao’s author’s dashboard. At that time, Ling Miao would have leverage over him and he’d not only have to suffer Ling Miao’s flying spit, he might not be able to enter Ling Miao’s dashboard in future.
After thinking it over, Su Yuyang suppressed the dissatisfaction and regret in his heart and continued to write the detailed outline.
If the same outline was used but Su Yuyang was the writer of this novel, one of the three aspects he’d be better than Ling Miao at was the transitions.
Ling Miao’s transitions were very stiff. If it were just in one place it wouldn’t be noticeable, but there were many of them so they became a problem. If a reader couldn’t read smoothly, of course they’d abandon the novel.
“Let’s hope Ling Miao isn’t rotten wood,”² Su Yuyang’s confidence in Ling Miao fell a little more.
While Su Yuyang was tidying Ling Miao’s novel and writing the detailed outline, Ling Miao was browsing various prominent job sites, and also asking Ji Linxi to watch out on his behalf for jobs he could do.
Ji Linxi: Did you pull a muscle again?
ZeroSecondsAgo: Su Yuyang keeps finding ways to pick on me! I really fucking cannot do this anymore. Ah, Linxi, actually, having Hu Lin for a boss isn’t that bad, right?
Ji Linxi: If that thing at W&S hadn’t happened.
ZeroSecondsAgo: Either way, about Su Yuyang… as soon as I find a job I’m leaving here, so look out for me, will you?
Ji Linxi: Stupid cat. [Sigh]
ZeroSecondsAgo: Fuck! What’s up with you lately?
Ji Linxi: I think I should start job hunting, too.
Ling Miao continued chatting with Ji Linxi a while longer, then Ji Linxi went offline to work.
Ling Miao looked at Ji Linxi’s darkened profile picture and thought about Ji Linxi’s words. He could only sigh to himself.