The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Nine
“Tang Xuan.” Su Yuyang hatefully recited this name. “I should have guessed it was him. Aside from him, who would kidnap Xiao Miao?” Su Yuyang squatted on the floor in self-blame, saying regretfully, “I shouldn’t have let him go alone to the supermarket. If I’d been with him, Tang Xuan wouldn’t have had the chance to strike.”
“Why do you have so many regrets?” Feng Ji said gently. “The most important thing now is to find Tang Xuan and save Ling Miao.”
“Right, find Tang Xuan.” After Feng Ji’s reminder, Su Yuyang’s thoughts were less confused than before.
As if carefully planned, Su Yuyang’s phone rang just as he pulled it out in order to contact Tang Xuan. The incoming call was from an unknown number.
“Hello?” Su Yuyang’s voice trembled.
“Have you gotten the package?” Tang Xuan said in challenge.
Hearing Tang Xuan’s voice, the fire of anger instantly flared in Su Yuyang’s heart. He bellowed, “Tang Xuan, let Xiao Miao go!”
Quiet laughter emanated from Tang Xuan’s throat, full of mockery. Su Yuyang’s breathing grew heavier just listening to it. He could feel himself on the edge of breaking.
“Tang Xuan, you fucking talk to me!” Su Yuyang yelled into the phone, his voice so loud he might bring the building down around them. Tang Xuan’s manic laughter grew louder and he said viciously, “Tomorrow morning, nine-thirty, at the Mountaintop Gardens. I’ll wait for you there.”
“Tang…” Su Yuyang was forced to swallow his words as the other party hung up. He looked at the words ‘Call ended’ on the screen. With no other outlet for his anger, he threw the phone at the ground to vent.
His repressed regret was awakened again by Tang Xuan’s call. Su Yuyang, who had been teetering at his breaking point, finally couldn’t control his emotions any more. With all his strength he gave an ear-splitting yell. Feng Ji’s heartbeat rapidly quickened in his fright.
An Yan looked worriedly at Su Yuyang. He moved close to Feng Ji’s ear and said, “Boss, aren’t you going to console him?”
Feng Ji rubbed his temples and said in frustration, “Aside from catching the person who kidnapped Ling Miao and putting him in front of Su Yuyang and giving him a good beating, what can soothe his heart which has gone off the rails?”
Su Yuyang must have been tired. After he quieted down, he sat unmoving in a corner, his ordinarily clear eyes covered with a sheen of deathly stillness. Tears glistened in his eyes.
Feng Ji walked to Su Yuyang’s side and placed his hand on Su Yuyang’s shoulder. He squeezed gently. “What did Tang Xuan say?”
“Tomorrow morning, half past nine, at the Mountaintop Gardens.” Su Yuyang repeated Tang Xuan’s words.
“The Mountaintop Gardens?” Feng Ji said softly, his brow furrowing thoughtfully.
The Mountaintop Gardens was a park, but it was located in a dense forest halfway up the mountains and it contained many twisting and hard-to-walk pathways. Aside from a small badminton court, there were few signs of habitation.
Tang Xuan had arranged to meet Su Yuyang at the Mountaintop Gardens and it definitely wouldn’t be at the badminton court.
No one knew what could happen in a dense forest. If Tang Xuan acted cruelly, no one would even know how Su Yuyang and Ling Miao died.
“Very obviously, Tang Xuan has a plan,” Feng Ji said worriedly.
Su Yuyang took a deep breath. He raised his head to look up at his good friend, whose face showed concern. He smiled: “No matter what his plan is, he has Xiao Miao, so I have to go.”
“I think it’s still safer to call the police.” Feng Ji again suggested Su Yuyang call the cops. This time, Su Yuyang wasn’t as decided as he was last time. He said uncertainly, “I’m worried that Tang Xuan will jump the gun and do something to hurt Ling Miao.”
“He already kidnapped Ling Miao. Is that not jumping the gun enough? I’m worried that if you keep delaying, Ling Miao really will get hurt,” Feng Ji advised patiently.
Su Yuyang shook his head. “Tomorrow I’ll go meet Tang Xuan and we’ll see then.”
Su Yuyang got up and walked to the door.
An Yan watched Su Yuyang dejectedly leave, then saw Feng Ji watching Su Yuyang with a helpless expression. He asked curiously, “Boss, what’s up with you two?”
“It’s not something between us, it’s a guy being silly,” Feng Ji said in frustration.
“Fucker, if you don’t call the police, I will, all right? At that time, no need to thank me!” Feng Ji exclaimed helplessly.
Su Yuyang left W&S but didn’t go home. Like a wandering spirit, he drifted to the Mountaintop Gardens.
He climbed from the foot of the mountain to the mid, then without stopping, continued to rush toward the mountaintop.
Without warning, rain began to drift down from the sky. It fell with soft sounds upon the layered leaves.
Su Yuyang walked aimlessly on the trail. The rain passed through the canopy onto him and a chill seeped into his skin.
If Ling Miao were around he would put a jacket on Su Yuyang then keep nagging.
So Su Yuyang thought.
Since Ling Miao had entered Su Yuyang’s life, Su Yuyang rarely noticed the weather. If there was rain and wind, Ling Miao would give him more clothes and add a blanket; if it was hot, Ling Miao would considerately place a short-sleeved shirt by his pillow. He never had to worry about the household chores because Ling Miao was there for everything. Although Ling Miao still dyed his white shirts in all colors when he washed them and still left water on the floor…
Su Yuyang thought about the myriad things Ling Miao did for him. A sudden, inexplicable fear engulfed him and he slowly squatted on the ground, curling up into himself to keep his body warm.
Without Ling Miao, surely Su Yuyang’s world would collapse?
The raindrops slowly grew larger. Su Yuyang’s shirt was already soaked through.
Su Yuyang inhaled sharply, unsteadily stood up, and continued moving forward. But he didn’t move to the other side of the mountain; he turned around and went back down.
He couldn’t falter now. He was going to save Ling Miao.
Ling Miao wasn’t sure when he had fallen asleep. When he woke up, he was impressed by himself: Fuck, I slept so soundly.
Ling Miao opened his eyes and looked around carefully. He found something strange: the thing covering his eyes had been taken away! The gag in his mouth had been removed, too. Even so, his limbs were still secured.
Ling Miao inwardly cursed: If you’re going to free me, free me completely! What’s the deal with keeping my hands and legs tied!
But Ling Miao was still pretty excited to be able to see.
The interior of the room was still dark. The only light came from the high, small rectangular hole in the wall.
“You’re awake?” A ghostly voice drifted from somewhere and Ling Miao turned his head, trying to see where Tang Xuan was. Suddenly, cold light flashed past Ling Miao’s eyes. That seemed to be the light glinting off a knife.
Tang Xuan was currently sitting under the rectangular hole and Ling Miao was so shocked he gave a full-body flinch. Tang Xuan was holding a knife, waving it in the light. It gleamed and Ling Miao shrank away as he saw it.
“I’ve asked Su Yuyang to meet tomorrow morning.” Tang Xuan’s voice, devoid of emotion, exploded like a silenced grenade in Ling Miao’s head.
Ling Miao asked warily, “What are you going to do?”
Tang Xuan sneered. “What do you think I’m going to do?”
Ling Miao didn’t say anything. Actually, he wanted to say, “You’re going to kill me,” but if Tang Xuan replied, “As you wish,” he’d choke to death on his own spit.
Tang Xuan raised his hand and glanced at the time. He said with anticipation, “It’s nine in the evening. We still have twelve and a half hours.”