The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
The typos and grammatical errors in this draft were forgivable, but even the main character’s name was spelled wrong, and in more than a few places at that. Ling Miao was furious. If not for the file metadata indicating that the last edit to this document had been made yesterday, Ling Miao would have thought Su Yuyang was pulling another prank on him.
It was noon by the time Ling Miao finished editing yesterday’s draft. Ling Miao hurriedly packed up his things and went to the kitchen to cook, but was waylaid by Su Yuyang.
Su Yuyang handed Ling Miao a piece of paper. Ling Miao glanced at it quickly and frowned. “What do you mean by this?”
“Can’t you read?” Su Yuyang smiled. “It’s there in black and white. From now on, you are to clean my room and wash my clothes.”
“Hey, Su Yuyang.”
Su Yuyang didn’t respond. He folded his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall as he waited for Ling Miao to finish.
“I cook and edit for you every day, but you’re not satisfied, and now you even want me to do laundry and clean your room for you? Do you really think you hired a nanny? But wait, Su Yuyang, there’s more! Did you even discuss this with me? What gives you the right to decide everything on your own? Let me tell you, Su Yuyang, don’t go thinking I’m an easy target just because I have nowhere to go.” Ling Miao leaned in a little more with every word he said, and by the time he was done he was almost on top of Su Yuyang.
“Ling Miao…” Su Yuyang was about to remind Ling Miao to back away a little when Ling Miao lost his balance and fell onto Su Yuyang.
Ling Miao weighed over 130 pounds. Slammed between Ling Miao and the hard wall, Su Yuyang felt like he had sustained internal injuries. More importantly, Ling Miao’s lips were plastered against Su Yuyang’s face.
Ling Miao used the wall as leverage to get back on his feet. He lowered his head and rubbed at his lips with the back of his hand; he didn’t dare look Su Yuyang in the eye, so he didn’t see Su Yuyang’s complicated expression. He said in embarrassment, “That…”
“So you really are interested in me.” Su Yuyang’s eyes narrowed and he stared at the top of Ling Miao’s head with a teasing expression.
“Scram!” Ling Miao yelled.
Hearing his shout, Su Yuyang was sure that Ling Miao had returned to normal.
Su Yuyang lowered his head to look Ling Miao in the eye. A faint smile hung at the corner of his lips. To Ling Miao’s eyes, the smile seemed mocking.
“Fuck, what the hell are you laughing at? You need a serving of humble pie—so laundry and room cleaning will still go to the cleaning lady, yes?”
“Ling Miao, did you fall asleep?” Su Yuyang laughed coldly. That was definitely an honest-to-god sneer.
Ling Miao cursed softly and shot Su Yuyang a cold look. However, Su Yuyang seemed unaffected, as though he was standing behind a shield. He took the piece of paper he had handed Ling Miao earlier and nailed it to the wall. “Ling Miao, remember one thing: you’re living in my house right now.”
“So what if I’m in your house?”
Ling Miao wasn’t stupid. Under the influence of his intense rage, however, his reason had fled the material world.
“Idiot,” Su Yuyang said, as if frustrated at Ling Miao’s incompetence.
“Idiot?” Ling Miao repeated, but his tone was charged, full of gunpowder ready to explode. Su Yuyang’s eyes glinted; he knew that he had thoroughly provoked Ling Miao. But Su Yuyang also knew very well that Ling Miao’s temper was quick to flare and also quick to fade, so his expression remained calm.
“I’m an idiot? Who’s the idiot here?” Ling Miao brandished his hands like he wanted to claw Su Yuyang to pieces. “Never mind that your draft was full of typos and grammatical mistakes, you even spelled the main character’s name wrong! Twenty thousand words! I had to look for them one by one! Do you know how hard that was?!”
Su Yuyang’s eyes seemed to grow two sizes. Ling Miao expected Su Yuyang to call him stupid again, so he quickly added: “Don’t tell me to find and replace, even if I did that I’d still have to look word by word…”
“Idiot,” Su Yuyang gritted his teeth and spat out the word. “Ling Miao, did you pay attention while editing? How do you not know that the main character changed his name and identity? Now you’re telling me to my face that my main character’s name is wrong? Ling Miao, are you not an idiot?” After his short rant, Su Yuyang was somewhat out of breath. He gulped at the air and another question occurred to him: When Ling Miao was yelling at me, he didn’t run out of breath. Is he just used to it?
Su Yuyang was usually very easygoing, and even his occasional serious words had not made Ling Miao’s ears ring like they were ringing now.
Once Ling Miao finished processing what Su Yuyang had just said, he had an epiphany and asked dumbly: “Yan Luo changed his name and identity?”
“Are you even paying attention to the text?” Su Yuyang felt genuine regret—he shouldn’t have hired Ling Miao based solely on his cooking skill.
Ling Miao was a good cook but not a good assistant.
Should I find a new assistant?
“I… I didn’t read yesterday’s update.”
Under Su Yuyang’s glare, Ling Miao’s legs gave way. If not for the chair behind him, he would’ve fallen to the floor.
“Ling Miao, you’re eating my food and living under my roof. If you can’t even edit properly, then what other tasks can I trust you to do? Do you think I hired an assistant just to cook and edit for me?”