The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
It wasn’t surprising that Yan Li had made an appearance at the Authors’ Gathering as the spokesperson for the online game adaptation of Demonic Song Defying Heaven. After all, one of the objectives of this gathering was to promote the game.
Yan Li’s appearance was a pleasant surprise but Su Yuyang’s appearance was astonishing. This guy never showed his face! What demonic wind blew him here today?
The video of Yan Li and Su Yuyang’s duet of ‘Demonic Song Defying Heaven’ quietly and quickly spread through the Internet. Some of Su Yuyang’s die-hard fans heard the news and quickly visited the website to view Shu Yang’s performance. The thread on the web novel forum stayed at the top of the first page and never dropped.
Ling Miao was the person who had posted the thread. The video included the backstage preparations and the performance onstage. As for what happened after he rushed onstage—Ji Linxi had filmed it for him.
“Isn’t this Su Yuyang?” Tang Xuan looked at the man on the screen and the water he had been drinking sprayed out of his mouth onto the computer monitor. Hs eyes bugged out so wide they almost rolled out of his face.
Tang Xuan hadn’t spoken with Su Yuyang since they graduated university, but Su Yuyang’s appearance hadn’t changed much in these few years, so when Tang Xuan saw the face on the screen he immediately recognized the man in front of the camera as Su Yuyang.
Su Yuyang, a person he knew and yet was also a stranger.
Tang Xuan and Su Yuyang had met during university military training. They weren’t in the same platoon, but they were in the same company and even stood next to each other. Regarding Tang Xuan and Su Yuyang—the two had become friends due to novels, and then had grown to understand each other deeply. Tang Xuan’s feelings toward Su Yuyang had also changed from platonic to romantic. He had been worried that Su Yuyang would detest him before he confessed, but after he found out that Su Yuyang also liked men, events logically culminated in the two of them pursuing a relationship.
But Su Yuyang’s obsession with novels made Tang Xuan unsure if Su Yuyang had agreed to be with him out of love or in order to discuss novels in depth. The second reason was laughable!
That’s right. Tang Xuan was Su Yuyang’s second boyfriend.
Tang Xuan watched Su Yuyang in the video and internally lamented. At first, he and Su Yuyang had started co-writing a novel, but it had been abandoned only 100,000 words in due to their breakup. After that, he had written several books on and off, but all of them had flopped, without exception. Now he looked at Su Yuyang. His first book Heavenly Domain had secured his place as a successful author; his second book Demonic Song Defying Heaven had solidified it completely; and by the third book he was a publicly recognized legendary writer.
“Tang Xuan, you’re watching videos on the clock? No bonus for you this month!” The supervisor’s strict voice came from behind. Tang Xuan turned and saw his supervisor’s jaundiced face.
Tang Xuan glanced back at his screen. The video was black, but a voice was still coming from it. A person yelled, “Hey, Su Yuyang!”
“If you want to watch this video so much, should I put you on a long leave so you can watch your fill at home?” The supervisor threatened.
Tang Xuan slowly let out a breath, moved his mouse to the top right corner of the browser, and clicked the ‘X.’
The supervisor huffed and turned to leave, jeering as he did: “So what if you see someone being successful. Your own books, no one reads them…” Tang Xuan didn’t hear the remainder of what was said but he grit his teeth and clenched his fist for fear that he would accidentally punch his supervisor.
The supervisor knew that Tang Xuan wrote novels because he had caught Tang Xuan printing his contract. He had not only searched out Tang Xuan’s novel, but had also sent the site address to the entire office. From then on, the supervisor would needle Tang Xuan whenever he saw him, and would always use the greeting, “Great Author Tang Xuan, when do you intend to go full time?”
The entire office knew that Tang Xuan and the supervisor did not get along. No doubt, this was due to the event three years ago when Tang Xuan completed a case which had stumped the supervisor for a long time. Ever since then, the supervisor had looked for ways to keep Tang Xuan down. In order to talk more conveniently with Tang Xuan, he moved Tang Xuan’s desk to right under his nose. Someone advised Tang Xuan to quit and that person was later fired. Since then, most people who were friendly with Tang Xuan gew distant from him, until he became a lonely presence in the office.
Tang Xuan opened his case file and continued doing the work the supervisor had assigned. Seeing the tiny print, Tang Xuan glared at the supervisor hatefully and the supervisor bellowed, “What are you looking at? Have you finished your work?”
Tang Xuan tapped away at the keyboard and thought about how Su Yuyang was living now. He could not help but sigh: If I hadn’t broken up with Su Yuyang back then I’d be living an idyllic life now even if I didn’t work! Then he thought about the supervisor’s perpetually dark face, how his colleagues had distanced themselves from him, and Su Yuyang’s annual income… as the various imaginings piled up, Tang Xuan had an audacious idea—he would look for Su Yuyang, and reconcile with him!
Though he knew Su Yuyang had a new boyfriend, he believed that since Su Yuyang had chosen him once, even so many years later, he still had the charm to make Su Yuyang choose him again!
Now that Tang Xuan had made up his mind, his mood improved. He fantasized about the life he would have, free of burdens, once he reconciled with Su Yuyang. He really wanted to laugh out loud and inform the entire office: Fuck it, I’m going to leave these terrible and regimented days far behind!
“Aah—” Something hit Tang Xuan’s head and he cried out in pain. He reflexively turned to look at the supervisor, whose smiling face turned dark as soon as he saw Tang Xuan. He had picked up the packaging of a product close at hand and tossed it at Tang Xuan: “What are you looking around for? Go and do your work!”
“Fuck it. When I reconcile with Su Yuyang, I’ll buy your entire company and make you call me grandpa every day!” Tang Xuan thought angrily and reluctantly continued filling out the form.
When Tang Xuan got home, he lay down and didn’t move a finger. But thinking of Su Yuyang, whose whereabouts were unknown, he sat up like a wind up toy.
He took out his phone and pulled up Su Yuyang’s number.
Tang Xuan hadn’t called this number since they broke up. He wasn’t sure if Su Yuyang had changed his number. Or perhaps Su Yuyang had already forgotten him completely.
His thumb hovered over the call button. The surety Tang Xuan had felt in the office had completely dissipated. He was worried that Su Yuyang would refuse to meet with him. He was even more worried that Su Yuyang had forgotten him.
The screen darkened. Tang Xuan saw his tired expression reflected in the screen and he imagined he also saw his supervisor’s nauseating expression and heard his supervisor’s mocking laughter.
He unlocked the phone again and hit the call button.
A pleasant ringing came from the receiver. Tang Xuan’s entire body shook, as if someone was shaking him.
Su Yuyang and Ling Miao were currently watching the video Ling Miao had recorded. At the part where Ling Miao went onstage, Su Yuyang’s phone rang.
Su Yuyang’s phone was beside Ling Miao’s hand. Su Yuyang asked, “Who’s calling?”
“Tang Xuan?” Hearing the unfamiliar name, Su Yuyang’s forehead furrowed. He didn’t remember this person.
Ling Miao noticed Su Yuyang’s conflicted expression and asked, “If a name’s showing up, it’s a contact in your phone. It’s someone you know, right?”
“Tang Xuan.” Su Yuyang murmured this name to himself over and over, and suddenly his expression grew grave.
He took the phone from Ling Miao and walked out, panic on his face.
Ling Miao observed Su Yuyang’s actions from one side and noticed his confusion, his panic, and his unease.
Who exactly was Tang Xuan?
Ling Miao’s heart clenched and unease began to roil within him.
Several minutes later, Su Yuyang came back.
“What happened?” Seeing Ling Miao trembling from head to toe, Su Yuyang asked worriedly.
Ling Miao forced a smile. “Nothing. Oh, yeah, who was that?”
“An old friend invited me to meet tomorrow,” Su Yuyang said casually. “Tang Xuan likes novels, too. We once started co-writing one, but we didn’t finish it. Don’t watch the video any more. Let’s sleep.”
As they lay down, Su Yuyang murmured to himself: “Tang Xuan hasn’t contacted me in a long time, and the moment he got in touch he wants to meet alone. What reason would he have to look for me?”
Co-wrote a novel before? Could it be that person? Haven’t been in contact for a long time, meeting alone.
In his downtime, Ling Miao had heard Feng Ji talk about Su Yuyang’s dating history. Su Yuyang’s second boyfriend had co-written a novel with Su Yuyang, but it was discontinued when the two broke up. Was this Tang Xuan Su Yuyang’s second boyfriend?
Ex-boyfriend, haven’t been in contact for a long time, suddenly got in touch, and wants to meet privately…
Ling Miao thought a lot about this and the more he thought the more chaotic his mind became.
Was he looking for Su Yuyang to reconcile?
Ling Miao lay in Su Yuyang’s arms with his eyes wide open, unease intensifying in his heart.
Ling Miao didn’t know when he fell asleep. When he woke up, the person beside him was gone and the place where he had lain was cold. Clearly, Su Yuyang had been gone for a while.
Did Su Yuyang go to meet Tang Xuan? Ling Miao shot up into a sitting position on the bed.
“Su Yuyang, you must be at home, right?” Ling Miao tore off the blankets, stepped barefoot on the ground, then searched room after room for Su Yuyang. He even checked the storeroom, but Su Yuyang wasn’t there.
“Right, phone!” Ling Miao picked up the phone by his side and dialed Su Yuyang’s number.
A familiar ringtone came from the bedroom. Ling Miao followed the sound. Su Yuyang’s phone was vibrating on the nightstand and the screen read, ‘Home.’
“Su Yuyang, where the fuck did you go?” Ling Miao yelled, holding Su Yuyang’s phone.