The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-three
Xie Ruoyan walked in front of Ling Miao. Even though Ling Miao’s expression was resentful, he still accompanied Xie Ruoyan without incident. Seeing the two appear before him, Su Yuyang’s jaw dropped.
“Yuyang, is your jaw unhinged?” Xie Ruoyan teased.
Su Yuyang shut his mouth and stammered, “No… nothing. Why is Xiao Miao with you?”
“He…” Xie Ruoyan let out a faint laugh. Ling Miao huffed and cut off Xie Ruoyan. He snapped, “Met him on the way back.”
Ling Miao was being stubborn and Xie Ruoyan didn’t call him out. Ling Miao was hostile toward him, so if he called Ling Miao out now and Ling Miao turned on him, Su Yuyang, being caught in the middle, would have a hard time too. Xie Ruoyan glanced at the time and asked, “Do you have plans for the afternoon?”
Su Yuyang and Ling Miao spoke at the same time. Xie Ruoyan pretended not to have heard Su Yuyang’s voice and said regretfully, “Since you’re going to write, I won’t take up any more of your time. The book signing starts tomorrow morning at 9:30. We’re about done for today, too, so I’ll take you both back.”
Su Yuyang grimaced as he said, “Alright,” while Ling Miao looked at Xie Ruoyan approvingly.
In some ways, Xie Ruoyan was to Ling Miao’s liking. But Ling Miao couldn’t yet tell if Xie Ruoyan was friend or foe, so he wouldn’t express any of his goodwill toward Xie Ruoyan.
Su Yuyang didn’t want to write at all. They had come out to have a good time—why did he have to write?!
The patter of keyboards echoed through the room alongside Ling Miao’s frequent cursing. Su Yuyang turned his head to look at the busy Ling Miao and asked, “Xiao Miao, how much longer will this dungeon take?”
“Five minutes.” Ling Miao was fighting his way through a large dungeon which he and his guild had already been battling for twenty minutes. Su Yuyang lay on the bed and sighed, “Five minutes ago, you said five minutes more…” If Ling Miao turned his head now, he would definitely see Su Yuyang’s aggrieved look and his unspeakable despondence.
Su Yuyang was very familiar with the dungeon Ling Miao was tackling; after all, he was the one who had created it. Now he regretted making that pocket dimension so large and complicated.
Ten minutes later, Ling Miao’s guild exited the dungeon and divided the loot. The team leader asked if they wanted to head to the next dungeon. Ling Miao glanced at Su Yuyang, who was idle, and had the sudden impulse to call Su Yuyang to play with him.
Su Yuyang was happy to accept Ling Miao’s invitation and the two passed the afternoon playing video games.
After dinner, Ling Miao resumed dungeon crawling while Su Yuyang took up his laptop and forced himself to write.
Su Yuyang had a new patron, and his usual protocol was to make an additional update for them. So he was currently rushing the additional update.
Like this, the two pushed the matter of Xie Ruoyan to the back of their minds. Ling Miao wasn’t willing to mention him while Su Yuyang was afraid to mention him.
Su Yuyang did not sleep soundly that night because Ling Miao kept moving.
When they woke in the morning, Ling Miao looked at Su Yuyang’s bloodshot eyes and said in surprise, “Fuck, Su Yuyang, what happened to your eyes?”
Su Yuyang looked at the culprit, yawned, and said, “Not used to this place, so I didn’t sleep well.”
Su Yuyang appeared exhausted. Xie Ruoyan looked Su Yuyang over thoughtfully and smiled. “Yuyang, did you sleep well last night?”
Su Yuyang knew that Xie Ruoyan was imagining some unsavory scenarios and didn’t bother to explain. He entered the car, leaned against the seat, and began to catch up on sleep. Ling Miao and Xie Ruoyan’s eyes inadvertently met and sparks flew everywhere. Ling Miao dismissively turned his head away, got in beside Su Yuyang, and possessively held Su Yuyang’s hand.
Xie Ruoyan only found Ling Miao’s actions childish. He smiled and didn’t take Ling Miao’s challenge to heart at all.
The car moved smoothly. Ling Miao stared at the buildings outside the window and suddenly became wary. He said coldly, “This isn’t the route we took yesterday.”
Xie Ruoyan explained, “We’re picking someone up first.”
The car stopped in a residential area.
As Xie Ruoyan’s car stopped, a youth wearing casual clothes and a smile walked over. He opened the passenger side door and got in, saying as he fastened his seatbelt, “What took you so long?” There was complaint in his tone, along with a hint of whining.
Xie Ruoyan said indulgently, “I asked you to come with me, but you insisted on lazing in bed and now you say I’m late. What justice is there in this?”
“Hmph,” the youth huffed, then he noticed the two people in the back seat. His gaze slid over Su Yuyang and Ling Miao’s faces, his calm expression indicating that he had already known others would be in the car.
At the venue, Ling Miao shook Su Yuyang awake.
Seeing the crowd lining up outside the venue, Su Yuyang exclaimed, “Fuck. There are so many people.”
Xie Ruoyan went to park the car and Su Yuyang and the others took out their documents and entered the venue.
The hall was deserted. Aside from the workers, only the authors participating in the book signing were there.
While the venue remained empty, Ling Miao went to visit the booths of all his favourite authors.
By the time Xie Ruoyan came in, Ling Miao was just getting the signature of the last author.
The moment Ling Miao saw Xie Ruoyan walking towards Su Yuyang, he took his book and rushed back. But before he had reached Su Yuyang’s side, a surprising scene unfolded before his eyes.
Xie Ruoyan turned around, went up to the youth, and hugged him. Ling Miao had just arrived beside the two of them and he heard Xie Ruoyan say to the blushing youth, “Follow me closely. Don’t get lost again.”
Fuck, what is the meaning of this?
Su Yuyang looked at Ling Miao with a smile, satisfaction flashing in his eyes as he seemed to say: Look, I told you that Xie-ge has no intentions towards me, right?
Ling Miao received Su Yuyang’s satisfied gaze and glared back, stamping his foot in dissatisfaction.
“Let me introduce you. My lover, Lin Ming.” Xie Ruoyan was looking at Ling Miao as he spoke, his meaning extremely clear: I have a lover. Don’t worry that I’ll snatch your Su Yuyang away.
Lin Ming smiled shyly, his ears redder than red beans.
Ling Miao awkwardly touched the back of his head and smiled. “Ling Miao. Su Yuyang’s lover.”
“Not hostile towards me any more?” Xie Ruoyan looked at Ling Miao and raised an eyebrow.
Ling Miao shrugged. “When enemies understand each other, there is no enmity any more. I apologize to you for my earlier behavior. Some things happened that made me sensitive. I hope you won’t hold it against me.”
“That’s good. When will you be going back? We should have a meal when you’re free,” Xie Ruoyan suggested.
“We’re planning to stay for a few more days before going back,” Ling Miao said, clearly planning something.
Su Yuyang understood Ling Miao’s meaning. The two showed sly smiles and Xie Ruoyan, looking at them, shuddered.
Once the book signing started, Su Yuyang was like a wheel on a car: he wasn’t idle for a minute. Xie Ruoyan was maintaining order around the booths and also had to take care of Lin Ming, who had no sense of direction, and he was already perspiring heavily. Only Ling Miao stood to one side idly, looking like he was about to fall asleep.
A soft snoring started up. Su Yuyang turned to look. Ling Miao had fallen asleep in a chair.
A fan of Su Yuyang who was waiting for his signature saw this. Even though she outwardly remained calm, her heart was thudding. Looking at Su Yuyang’s gentle eyes and his indulgent smile, the identity of the man who was sleeping to one side needed no further explanation from Su Yuyang.
“Great Shu, your boyfriend fell asleep. It’s cute.” The fan suddenly spoke up, pulling Su Yuyang’s attention back.
In a panic, Su Yuyang knocked the books to the ground. At the thud, Ling Miao was startled awake.
“Su Yuyang, what happened?” Ling Miao pouted and asked blearily.
“It’s not a problem.” Su Yuyang guiltily lowered his head and continued signing.
A shadow appeared at Su Yuyang’s side. Su Yuyang turned to see Ling Miao standing to one side, organizing the books that had been knocked into disarray.
Probably because his lover was at his side, Su Yuyang was encouraged and his signatures grew noticeably faster. Even though his hand was cramping, he wore a faint smile.
When the book signing concluded, it was nighttime and the sky was dark.
Su Yuyang collapsed into a chair and rubbed his cramping hand. “Now I think that my previous decision not to participate in the book signing events was a good one.” Su Yuyang said the words like he was finally free.
“Might I have a signature, please?” A timid voice came. Su Yuyang cried in his heart, the tears almost submerging his body, but he still smiled and said, “Sure.”
Looking up at the person in front of the table—fuck, who would it be, if not Lin Ming? And Ling Miao stood beside him.
Xie Ruoyan had gone to do his work and handed Lin Ming to Ling Miao to take care of. Ling Miao stuck close to Lin Ming and didn’t leave even an inch of space between them.
When Xie Ruoyan returned he saw Lin Ming’s contented smile and asked curiously, “What happened that made you smile so happily?”
“I got an autograph from the Great Shu, look!” Lin Ming showed Xie Ruoyan Su Yuyang’s signature as if he was presenting a treasure. Xie Ruoyan looked at the signature, then gave Su Yuyang a grateful look.
Lin Ming suggested they eat dinner at home, and Su Yuyang and Ling Miao indicated that was fine.
Ling Miao and Lin Ming were busy in the kitchen while Su Yuyang and Xie Ruoyan tidied the table in the living room. Their faces showed their happiness.
Su Yuyang sighed, “Now that I met you again, it feels like we broke up only yesterday, but it also feels like our relationship was in a previous life.”
Xie Ruoyan looked at the two busy in the kitchen and asked worriedly, “Did Xiao Miao have a bad experience?”
Su Yuyang briefly recounted the events with Tang Xuan. Xie Ruoyan suggested that Su Yuyang tell Ling Miao about his previous boyfriends as a precautionary measure. Su Yuyang counted on his fingers; aside from the one whose name he didn’t even recall, Ling Miao had met all his previous boyfriends. Thinking about it again, there was no need for this.
Around the dinner table, the laughter didn’t cease. The four interacted like longtime friends, talking and laughing late into the night.
On returning to the hotel, Su Yuyang lay on the bed and Ling Miao lay down beside him Ling Miao wrapped an arm around Su Yuyang’s waist and said possessively, “Su Yuyang, you’re mine, and no one can snatch you away.”
The two were still immersed in sweetness when Ling Miao’s phone rang at a terrible time.
Looking at the unknown number on the screen, Ling Miao hung up out of habit. Before long, the number called back again. Ling Miao frustratedly answered it.
“Ling Miao, this is Hu Yueyuan…”