The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Su Yuyang sat on the edge of his bed, elbows on his thighs. His steepled fingers supported his chin and the flutter of his lowered eyelids created ripples of shadows over his face.
A wind passed by, lifting the curtains high. Su Yuyang felt a chill. He looked up and out the window, but the wind had passed and the curtains had returned to their original position, so Su Yuyang only saw a dark corner.
Su Yuyang walked to the window and pulled aside the curtains. The night wind blew against his face, carrying a slight chill, and his confusion seemed to clear a little. He looked up at the ink-black sky and saw several faint pinpricks of light. He had the sudden impression that the twinkling points of silver were mocking him. As for why they were mocking him, he wasn’t sure either.
He thought back to Ling Miao’s words, specifically, “Su Yuyang, your attitude change towards me… it’s very sudden, and I… I can’t get used to it.” It echoed like a curse in his mind.
His attitude change towards Ling Miao—Su Yuyang didn’t feel that his attitude towards Ling Miao had changed. If there had indeed been a change, it was probably because he now needed something from Ling Miao, but this didn’t seem to be the case from Ling Miao’s perspective.
Fear, confusion, and a thread of something Su Yuyang couldn’t understand seemed to consume him. An unknown emotion enveloped him like a viscous liquid, making it hard to breathe, but at the same time, it wasn’t that he couldn’t breathe.
Su Yuyang was confused again and he suddenly really wanted to find someone to ask what had happened to him.
Thought and action were completed simultaneously. Once the thought occurred to Su Yuyang, he put on a jacket and left the apartment.
Su Yuyang passed in front of Ling Miao like a gust of wind. Ling Miao stood frozen to the spot with his mouth open. Seeing Su Yuyang leave the apartment he rubbed his head and said quietly, “Where’s he going at this hour?”
Su Yuyang drove as quickly as he could.
W&S. Su Yuyang raised his head to look at the gold plaque, then took a breath and walked in slowly.
Business was better at night than during the day, and there wasn’t an empty seat in the café.
The moment Su Yuyang entered, Feng Ji saw him.
“Hey, big boss, how’d you have time to drop in today?” Feng Ji teased.
Su Yuyang huffed and puffed as if breathing hurt him: “I have something to ask you.”
Not ten minutes later, Su Yuyang exited W&S. Feng Ji hadn’t solved his problem, and had instead made Su Yuyang more confused.
“You’re not in love with him, are you?” Feng Ji’s joking voice echoed in Su Yuyang’s ears. Su Yuyang waved frustratedly at the air around his ears, as if trying to chase away Feng Ji’s voice, but it was useless.
Feng Ji folded his arms and learned against W&S’s door. He looked at Su Yuyang’s back and didn’t say anything. There was a hint of a grimace in his faint smile.
When they had broken up, he’d been the one to initiate it, and Su Yuyang had instantly said, “Sure,” the moment he’d finished speaking.
Su Yuyang hadn’t asked why and hadn’t made a fuss. He had just smiled and quietly said, “Sure.” In that moment, Feng Ji realized that Su Yuyang hadn’t ever really been in love with him.
Because Su Yuyang and Feng Ji had lived in the same room, even after they split up they had still seen each other all the time. At first, Feng Ji had avoided Su Yuyang, but Su Yuyang’s attitude toward Feng Ji hadn’t changed in the slightest. Feng Ji then realized: whether it was before they were dating, while they were dating, or after they split up, Su Yuyang’s attitude towards him hadn’t changed at all.
If Feng Ji had even the slightest of lingering feelings for Su Yuyang after the breakup, it was at this realization that he gave up Su Yuyang completely—he was unable to walk into Su Yuyang’s heart.
Memories flooded Feng Ji’s mind and occupied his every brain cell. Feng Ji’s faint smile suddenly turned deviously sweet, anticipation in its curve.
Ling Miao seemed to have successfully occupied a corner in Su Yuyang’s heart, but Su Yuyang hadn’t realized what this meant.
When Su Yuyang had poured out his frustrations to Feng Ji, Feng Ji had frozen for several seconds before he started laughing. Then he slapped Su Yuyang’s shoulder and said jokingly: “You’re not in love with him, are you?”
Su Yuyang’s reply was only: “I don’t know.”
Feng Ji knew very well that where matters such as relationships were concerned, it was best that outsiders didn’t interfere, so he didn’t go on but instead invited Su Yuyang to leave.
“Feng Ji, I’ll leave my car with you and come get it tomorrow.” Su Yuyang handed the car keys to Feng Ji, then pulled his coat tight around himself and walked off.
Before meeting Ling Miao, Su Yuyang had had four boyfriends. He wasn’t a complete blank slate, but only Su Yuyang himself knew that he hadn’t really fallen for any of them. When each of them had mentioned breaking up, Su Yuyang had agreed without really needing to think about it. It’s not that he wasn’t upset; when his first boyfriend broke up with him, he’d been very sad for a while… eh… probably around three days.
Su Yuyang’s first boyfriend was his senior in high school, one year older than Su Yuyang. They had met while organizing a New Year’s party, then worked together on many occasions afterwards. After several interactions, the senior student had started carrying a torch for Su Yuyang and lavished Su Yuyang with attention. Ultimately, the senior student took the initiative to confess and Su Yuyang entered a relationship with him.
Su Yuyang and his senior both lived in rented apartments off campus, so naturally they decided to move in together. After that, the senior student discovered Su Yuyang’s various flaws, and the one that he couldn’t stand most was Su Yuyang’s obsession with novels.
Whether they were eating, shopping, or lying in bed, Su Yuyang’s hands never left his phone, and his eyes were mostly on some novel or other.
The senior student had felt Su Yuyang’s disinterest and someone else was pursuing him, so they broke up amicably and the senior student moved out of Su Yuyang’s apartment.
Now, thinking about it, Su Yuyang didn’t know why he had accepted his senior’s confession. Was it just on account of his senior making a lot of effort to pursue him?
Su Yuyang’s second relationship was in his first year of university.
He had met his second boyfriend during military service. They weren’t in the same company but had been sent to the same platoon, and both of them had similar interests—reading novels—so they had become fast friends. When military service ended, their relationship also gradually changed.
They split up also because of novels. Su Yuyang was too obsessed with them, and that passion—as if Su Yuyang could subsist off only novels—was difficult for Su Yuyang’s second boyfriend to stomach. So he initiated a breakup, and Su Yuyang candidly agreed.
Su Yuyang had actually collaborated with his second boyfriend on a novel, but one hundred thousand words in, it ended due to the breakup. The novel which had made Su Yuyang famous, Heavenly Domain, was the rewrite of this failed novel.
Su Yuyang’s third boyfriend was Feng Ji.
Like the earlier two, Feng Ji had been the one to pursue Su Yuyang. After he confessed, the two got together, then split amicably because of, again, novels.
As for the fourth boyfriend, Su Yuyang didn’t even remember his face, but their relationship had progressed along the same lines as before.
“Love?’ Su Yuyang walked under the streetlamp and the light drew his shadow long, giving him an air of isolation and loneliness.
That feeling is love?
Su Yuyang thought hard about the situations with his previous boyfriends, but none of them were similar to his situation now.
Su Yuyang rubbed his face with both hands, his frustration growing stronger.
A wind blew. Su Yuyang grumbled, sniffled, and quickly walked in the direction of home.
When Su Yuyang returned home, Ling Miao was staring intently at his laptop. Su Yuyang walked to stand behind Ling Miao and watched his actions from behind.
Ling Miao was reading Massacre of the Nine Heavens. At least, Su Yuyang took one look at the laptop screen and assumed that. Now, he realized that Ling Miao was fixing mistakes!
“Xiao Miao.” Su Yuyang put both hands on Ling Miao’s shoulders and called gently. He didn’t realize that his tone was charged with affection.
The sudden call scared Ling Miao so much his heart beat harder. He clutched his chest and said with feeling, “Su-ge, you scared me to death.”
Su Yuyang sat down next to Ling Miao and looked at the laptop as he said, “There are a lot of mistakes in the beginning few chapters, right?”
“Mm.” Ling Miao sighed in resignation. “Su-ge, before this, did you just not check your work when you updated?”
Su Yuyang laughed: “I’m lazy.”
“Right.” Something suddenly occurred to Ling Miao. He turned his head to look at Su Yuyang, saying haltingly: “How did you find the problem in the 850th chapter?”
“Eh…” Su Yuyang dithered for a while. He hadn’t wanted to say, but since Ling Miao had asked he had clearly guessed that Su Yuyang hadn’t found the problem himself. In order to avoid the possibility that Ling Miao would get mad and leave, Su Yuyang had to be honest: “My editor told me.”
Su Yuyang didn’t say he found it himself. Joy flashed through Ling Miao’s heart: at least Su Yuyang trusted him.
Su Yuyang noticed the joy in Ling Miao’s eyes. He raised his hand to ruffle Ling Miao’s hair and smiled indulgently: “What makes you so happy?”
Ling Miao just smiled and said nothing. Su Yuyang sighed, slightly disappointed.
Am I in love with Ling Miao? Feng Ji’s words came back to torment Su Yuyang again. Su Yuyang cursed softly and Ling Miao uncertainly let out a “Mm.” Su Yuyang didn’t clear up Ling Miao’s doubts; he smiled stiffly, then got up and went to his bedroom.
Ling Miao watched Su Yuyang’s departing silhouette and frowned reflexively.
In the next while, Su Yuyang tossed Feng Ji’s words to the back of his head. His attitude toward Ling Miao had changed. To Ling Miao, this was a reversion to what it had initially been.
The discomfort that had pressured Ling Miao had finally vanished, though he still didn’t understand Su Yuyang’s changing attitude.
“Hey, Ling Miao.” Suddenly, Su Yuyang shouted from the bedroom. Ling Miao put down the work in his hands and ran over.
At some point, Su Yuyang had picked up Ling Miao’s habit: whenever he got very angry, he’d call Ling Miao’s full name, and add a “Hey” in front of “Ling Miao.”
At first, Ling Miao hadn’t noticed anything when Su Yuyang called him like this. Then he’d learned the pattern, so now when Su Yuyang called, “Hey, Ling Miao,” he dropped everything he was doing and rushed into Su Yuyang’s room.