The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Yan Li didn’t say a word. After returning to the room, she just sat on the bed and played a video game. Ling Miao thought that she had pulled him in because she had something to say to him, but not only did she say nothing, she was playing her game as if he wasn’t there.
Ling Miao opened his mouth to speak and heard Yan Li yell: “Control the BOSS’s Hatred attack, Nanny, quick, heal! And you, little guy, where are you going? The boss’s Hatred attack might change target! Ah, finally, it’s done. Let’s split the equipment.” As Yan Li completed the dungeon, her mood also got much lighter. Even her words seemed to float: “I’ve done this dungeon every day for half a month. I finally beat it! Heh heh. Ling Miao, do you want to play too?”
“Er… if nothing’s the matter, I’ll just go.”
Video games. Since arriving at Su Yuyang’s house, Ling Miao hadn’t played many video games. On the few occasions he did play he was just running support for his gamer friends.
“If you don’t want to play, I won’t force you. If you want to go out, I won’t stop you, either. But are you sure you can face Su Yuyang right now?” Yan Li’s words seemed to have flipped a switch in Ling Miao, who froze. Yan Li continued, “Ling Miao, I don’t really understand you. To be precise, I don’t really understand what you’re thinking. If you like him, say it. If you keep it to yourself, you’re not the only one who suffers.”
“I’m afraid.” The syllables left one by one through Ling Miao’s teeth.
“Being afraid is not a reason,” Yan Li laughed. “I like Ji Linxi, and I’m saying it out loud. Do you think I’m not afraid? But, I don’t know what I’m afraid of. Or should I say, that’s not fear. You’re just nervous. If you can’t say it out loud, you can do it another way. You’re writing a novel, aren’t you? Write what you want to tell Su Yuyang into the book, and I’ll make him read it when the time comes.”
“Surely I don’t need to tell everyone, right?” Ling Miao had indeed considered writing his confession into his book before. Although it didn’t have many subscribers, it was pirated, and confessing in the book would mean confessing in front of all his internet friends. It’d be fine if he succeeded, but if he failed he would have no way of facing Su Yuyang.
“Dumb cat!” Yan Li sighed.
Yan Li had promised Su Yuyang not to say anything about his feelings for Ling Miao so she had to hold it in, but hiding this information was genuinely burdensome.
Heavens above, why did I dig a hole and jump in?
Yan Li stared at the ceiling and silently mourned.
“Yan-jie, I’ll leave now.”
“I have something to ask you.” Yan Li looked at Ling Miao hopefully. “When Ji Linxi got the flower, how did he react?”
Ji Linxi’s reaction? The question troubled Ling Miao. If he told the truth, it’d be a blow to Yan Li, but if he lied, he’d be letting her down. Conflict.
“How should I say…” Ling Miao ruffled his hair and looked hesitant.
Yan Li slammed the keyboard and said, enunciating each word: “Tell it like it is.”
“It’s a long story.” Ling Miao briefly described Ji Linxi’s reaction and suggested: “Yan-jie, sending flowers to Ji Linxi is a total waste. I guarantee that the ones you sent are currently lying on the ground.”
“What?” Yan Li looked at Ling Miao in disbelief, but her shock only lasted a short while before she said with satisfaction, “As long as he didn’t throw them in the garbage.”
“The wastepaper bin at his feet isn’t big enough for your flowers,” Ling Miao hemmed and hawed as he stuck the knife in deeper.
“Hmm, I don’t believe I can’t move him!” Yan Li’s fighting spirit grew stronger and her tone grew more resolute. Compared to her, Ling Miao had given up before the battle even started.
As if influenced by Yan Li’s fighting spirit, Ling Miao suddenly thought of a way to confess to Su Yuyang. But the thought didn’t linger long in his mind before it was cut off by a shout from Su Yuyang.
“Su-ge’s calling me. I’ll go first.” Ling Miao ran out like a gust of wind.
Hearing footsteps outside the door, Su Yuyang raised his head to look at Ling Miao entering. He instructed, “I’ve sent you the drafts through QQ. Just like before.”
Ling Miao was about to say, “I’m not your assistant now,” but he looked at Su Yuyang’s tired face and quietly sat down.
Time slipped by, minute by minute.
Ling Miao stared intently at his laptop, scrutinizing every word and every punctuation mark. Su Yuyang was still writing, and occasionally glanced up and caressed Ling Miao’s hair with his eyes. Gradually, Su Yuyang spent more and more time daydreaming. He stared at Ling Miao in a daze, and stared at his draft in a daze, and stared out the window in a daze.
“Alright!” Ling Miao said briskly. Su Yuyang froze, his stunned gaze meeting Ling Miao’s tired eyes. Su Yuyang said lovingly: “Don’t write today. Just looking at your face I can tell you’re tired.”
“If I don’t write, can I live off you?” Ling Miao said without a second thought.
Su Yuyang put both hands on Ling Miao’s shoulders and said sincerely: “If you’re willing, you can live off me for a lifetime.”
“So, you’re willing?” Su Yuyang’s eyes shone with anticipation and excitement. His hands trembled. Ling Miao had lowered his eyes to his feet, and it was impossible to tell what he was thinking.
Does Su Yuyang really like me or is he messing with me? Ling Miao felt as if he had fallen into a giant whirlpool. Willingness and unwillingness pulled him in opposite directions, and he felt that he was about to be torn in half by the violent force.
For a long time Ling Miao didn’t say anything, so Su Yuyang assumed he was unwilling.
Su Yuyang’s hands fell from Ling Miao’s shoulders. Ling Miao’s head shot up. The disappointment in Su Yuyang’s eyes was hidden behind his bitter smile. He patted Ling Miao’s shoulders and said, as if explaining himself: “It’s nothing. Also, it’s time to prepare dinner.”
Ling Miao glanced at his watch. It was neither late nor early.
Since Su Yuyang said to prepare dinner, Ling Miao would prepare dinner.
When it was time to take off, Ji Linxi packed up his laptop and walked toward the office door.
“Ji Linxi, you forgot your flowers!” A well-intentioned colleague reminded him.
Ji Linxi turned and glanced at his colleague, saying coolly: “Just leave it there.”
Hu Lin was staying behind to take care of some matters, so after the rest of the office had trickled out, he was the only one still in the office.
He put down his work and strode toward Ji Linxi’s workstation. The bright red roses entered his field of vision and he saw red, a fire burning in his heart.
“Ji Linxi!” Hu Lin picked up the flowers Ji Linxi had put on the ground, crushing the soft petals in his grip. His hand tightened as if he was squeezing, not the flower but, the neck of the person who had sent it to Ji Linxi.
Had Hu Lin given up on Ji Linxi? He had, but he also hadn’t.
Hu Lin hated Ji Linxi because Ji Linxi had heartlessly rejected him! But today Ji Linxi had received flowers from someone else.
Everyone knew what roses symbolized. Ji Linxi had accepted someone’s flowers, so even if he’d left the flowers on the ground and forgotten them, it made Hu Lin jealous and made his hatred for Ji Linxi grow deeper!
“Ji Linxi, since you didn’t accept me, don’t even think of accepting anyone else! Ji Linxi, just wait. If I don’t get back at you, I’ll change my surname to yours!”
Ji Linxi returned to his apartment. His housemates watched him with meaningful expressions—the sort that signified nosiness.
Ji Linxi looked confused. His housemate pointed at his bunk and said, “The florist sent it this afternoon. You weren’t here, so I signed for it.”
This bouquet was even bigger than the one Ji Linxi had gotten at the office. It completely occupied his bunk.
As usual, a card was attached. Ji Linxi opened it and read it: the contents were the same as the one he got at the office. Are you willing? Yan paid for these.
Ji Linxi put down the things in his hands and rushed out the door, making a call as he did so.
“You don’t have to do this.” The moment the call connected, Ji Linxi spoke as fast as he could. “The more you do this, the more repulsed I feel. We can be friends, just not boyfriend and girlfriend. You like me, but that doesn’t mean I have to like you. Sending me flowers every day has really disrupted my life. I respect your life, so please respect mine.”
Ji Linxi said all of this in one breath and panted a little when he was done.
Listening to Ji Linxi breathing hard, Yan Li frowned. You really aren’t willing to even talk to me a little longer?
Yan Li took a deep breath and said, not giving up: “Then I won’t send flowers. Tell me, what should I do?”
“You can do nothing at all.” Yan Li’s tone made Ji Linxi inwardly panic, but what Yan Li had said suggested there was room for compromise. “Yan Li, let our relationship progress naturally. Not all love grows from friendship, but I think that love that grows from friendship is strongest.”
“And also weakest,” Yan Li said, as if throwing a tantrum.
Ji Linxi smiled awkwardly and didn’t continue.
The next day, Ling Miao finally didn’t need to go up and down ten floors of stairs anymore, but he had a new task: he needed to pick out a very, very good tablet.
Ling Miao had found it strange when Yan Li instructed him to do it. Did Yan Li do art?
Once Ling Miao had chosen one and Yan Li came to pay, the address she filled in informed Ling Miao who it was for.
This tablet was a gift for Ji Linxi!
Ji Linxi already had a tablet, but as far as Ling Miao knew it was gathering dust in a corner.
Ling Miao also didn’t know how Yan Li had learned that Ji Linxi drew.
“Don’t tell Ji Linxi the tablet is from me!” After paying, Yan Li instructed gravely.
Ling Miao raised his hand. “Yan Li, I swear I won’t tell Ji Linxi that the tablet is from you.”
Even if I don’t say, he’ll figure it out! Yan-jie, if you’re going to send something this valuable, surely you need to wait a while?
Ji Linxi received it the next day. It was sent to his office again.
After he removed the packaging and saw what was inside, he almost dropped the tablet. Although tablets all looked about the same, their prices differed a lot, and the invoice happened to be right on top!
“Ji Linxi, I didn’t know you were rich!” A colleague came by to give him a hard time. Ji Linxi’s forehead furrowed deeply. He looked at the invoice worriedly.
“Take this away!” Ji Linxi lowered his voice. His icy tone passed quietly through the air, making everyone in the office shiver.
“I didn’t give it to you for free,” Yan Li had already thought of how she was going to refuse. “I want you to draw the cover for my new album, and the art for the lyric book too!”
“Take it away!” Ji Linxi’s voice grew colder.
“Bring it yourself!” Yan Li also didn’t give in. She would also get to see Ji Linxi, whom she hadn’t seen in a while.
Ji Linxi picked up the tablet and invoice and and hurried out of the office, but suddenly a black shadow appeared on the ground in front of him.
Everyone in the office held their breath, not daring to make a sound, worried that their temperamental boss would turn his ire on them.
“If you leave, don’t come back!” Hu Lin pointed at the office door and said implacably.