The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
The door to Su Yuyang’s room was ajar.
Ling Miao peered through the crack in the door to observe the situation inside. He saw Su Yuyang sitting ramrod straight in front of his computer, finger rolling the scroll wheel on his mouse like he was browsing a webpage.
Ling Miao took a deep breath and slowly pushed open the door.
Ling Miao carefully walked to Su Yuyang’s side. Su Yuyang heard footsteps, turned his head and glanced at Ling Miao, then turned back. When Su Yuyang glanced at Ling Miao, Ling Miao’s breathing almost stopped. Then Su Yuyang turned his gaze back to his computer, and Ling Miao’s heart suddenly went cold.
What did Su Yuyang call me here for?
Ling Miao didn’t know what to expect. He subconsciously glanced at the page Su Yuyang was browsing, and when he saw the content on the page, his heart skipped a beat: Damn, surely there weren’t mistakes in the update again?
After returning to Su Yuyang’s house after the last time when his mistake had led to Su Yuyang misunderstanding him, every time Ling Miao uploaded a new chapter he would immediately scan it for mistakes. In order to reduce the error rate to a minimum, Ling Miao checked every chapter at least three times. So he was confident that the new chapter was completely free of mistakes. Of course, there was the possibility that his eyes had crossed and he just hadn’t seen clearly, so now he had to stand properly by Su Yuyang’s side.
Ling Miao bowed his head and waited for Su Yuyang to pass judgment, but ten minutes passed and Su Yuyang hadn’t done anything. The wait was excruciating. Ling Miao’s breathing had slowed, but the simmering unease hastened his heartbeat. Worried that his heart would burst out of his chest and he’d die, Ling Miao became resolute. He grit his teeth and raised his head in preparation to attack first, but the moment he did so he was met with Su Yuyang’s amused smile.
I’ve been played? Flashed through Ling Miao’s mind. Before he could react, Su Yuyang laughed lightly: “Ling Miao, you didn’t think I was going to scold you, did you?”
“Aren’t you?” As the words left his mouth, Ling Miao instantly felt he’d been too cowardly. He glared at Su Yuyang and grit through his teeth: “Su Yuyang, why the fuck are you messing with me?”
“Did I say anything?” Su Yuyang blinked, innocence written in his eyes.
He thought it over again. Su Yuyang really hadn’t said anything at all. He had only called Ling Miao over, and Ling Miao, because of past experience, had subconsciously assumed that Su Yuyang was going to scold him, so…
“Fuck.” Ling Miao cursed himself. “This goddamn reflex!”
Su Yuyang didn’t miss Ling Miao’s frustration and dejection. Su Yuyang’s upturned lips pursed and his facial muscles also twitched slightly. Ling Miao caught Su Yuyang’s expression from the corner of his eye. He raised his hand in annoyance, but Su Yuyang had already recovered his usual expression.
“Is it very fun to mess with me?” Ling Miao had already drawn his conclusions about Su Yuyang’s actions. If Su Yuyang didn’t have a reasonable explanation, Ling Miao would probably find something for Su Yuyang to keep him very busy for a while.
Ling Miao’s reaction clearly conveyed his meaning to Su Yuyang, and Su Yuyang also understood. He patted Ling Miao’s shoulder and indicated for Ling Miao to sit down.
Su Yuyang picked up a stack of papers from the table and handed it to Ling Miao. Ling Miao glanced at it: it was a contract. Su Yuyang then picked up another two sheets of paper from the table. He pressed one on top of the contract and instructed: “Mail the contract for me, then go to Feng Ji’s place to find me.” Then he placed the other sheet of paper on the stack. “This is the ingredient list for tonight, look and see if anything is missing. After mailing the contract, go buy groceries.”
“That’s it?” Ling Miao opened his eyes wide and said in a surprised tone.
Su Yuyang nodded.
“Fuck you, Su Yuyang.” Ling Miao jumped up off the bed and held up the contract like he was about to bring it down on Su Yuyang’s head. Su Yuyang smiled serenely and said candidly: “Don’t ruin the contract.”
Ling Miao let out a cold ‘hmph’ and said with annoyance: “It’s just mailing a contract! Couldn’t you have said that earlier? Why’d you have to drag it out? I thought I made some kind of unforgivable mistake!”
Seeing Ling Miao’s reddened face, lips quirked high, and aggrieved expression, Su Yuyang frowned: “Did I take this joke too far?”
Ling Miao caught the remorse in Su Yuyang’s eyes, and the frustration in Ling Miao’s heart died down a lot.
“That…” (Ling Miao)
“Actually….” (Su Yuyang)
Ling Miao and Su Yuyang spoke at the same time. Their gazes, trained on each other, naturally met. In that instant of eye contact, Ling Miao quickly turned his head away. Su Yuyang opened his mouth, a hint of disappointment flashing across his eyes.
“Actually, I asked you here for one more thing aside from mailing the contract.” Su Yuyang cleared his throat and said solemnly, “This morning’s update, please check it again.”
“What?” Hearing Su Yuyang’s words, Ling Miao’s hand shook. The contract almost fell on the floor.
Su Yuyang caught the contract, then directed a long and meaningful smile at Ling Miao and walked out of the room.
Ling Miao’s eyes moved with Su Yuyang. He watched Su Yuyang walk to the front door, then watched Su Yuyang put on his shoes, then watched Su Yuyang open the door and walk out.
The door was about to close when Su Yuyang pulled it open again. He looked at Ling Miao and asked doubtfully, “Aren’t you coming?”
“I… have stuff here at home I haven’t finished. You go to W&S first. I’ll mail the contract and get groceries, then I’ll go over.”
“Stuff here at home?” On hearing this, Su Yuyang felt something he couldn’t name trickling through his heart.
The exterior gate shut with a clang. Ling Miao took a deep breath and fell onto Su Yuyang’s bed.
He clutched his chest and waited for his heartbeat to gradually stabilize, then sat up.
The computer was still on, the browser displaying the newest chapter of Massacre of the Nine Heavens.
“This morning’s update, please check it again.”
Su Yuyang’s words passed through Ling Miao’s mind. Ling Miao set the contract aside, took a deep breath and grabbed hold of the mouse. The cursor immediately listed to one side, then trembled on the screen.
My hand’s shaking. Ling Miao couldn’t understand it.
Whether from fear or worry, the moment Ling Miao started reading from the first word of the first sentence, he read the chapter with a concentration he had never had before. When the scrollbar had almost reached the end of the page, he still hadn’t discovered any mistakes.
Ling Miao’s gaze froze and his hand trembled even more violently. He had reached the last paragraph of the chapter. At the start of the paragraph were the words “Xiao Miao”—and this was not the name of a character in Massacre of the Nine Heavens.
“Xiao Miao, you can see this paragraph, can’t you? We’ve lived together for about two months. These two months, with you around, my life has become more than just writing. I feel that my days aren’t as dry as before. You’re a competent assistant. Thank you.”
If it weren’t for the last two sentences, this paragraph would be like a confession. If the last two sentences were changed to, “Go out with me,” it’d be a proper confession. But this was just a thank-you from a boss to his assistant. Even so… warmth trickled through Ling Miao’s heart. His previous disappointment, grievance, and anger dissipated into the wind because of these words.
Ling Miao opened a browser window and logged into his work microblog.
Shu-ge @ShuYang, I saw what you wrote. But, you can save your thank-yous. Something practical would be better, like raising my salary or something.
What’s ‘give an inch and take a yard?’ Just look at Ling Miao to see.
After posting, Ling Miao glanced at the notification indicator at the top-right corner, which instantly made him dizzy.
Ling Miao’s work account got many notifications from Shu Yang’s fans every day. Whether mentions or private messages, today’s were much more than usual. On seeing them, Ling Miao nearly fainted. Motherf–er, what are these?? He and Su Yuyang were innocent!!!
Cough, cough, that—Su Yuyang’s words had indeed been a little ambiguous. Ambiguous words, plus minds that liked to run away with themselves—paragraphs featuring co-protagonists Su Yuyang and Ling Miao began to fly, and Ling Miao…… really wanted to cry!
Su Yuyang occasionally flirted with other successful novelists on his microblog for the publicity, and Ling Miao had been happy to gawk from the sidelines. Sometimes Su Yuyang was even next to him when this happened and he’d tease Su Yuyang about it, but he never ever thought that one day he’d become a popular ship with Su Yuyang.
At all of this, Ling Miao could only sigh: “High society is really messy.”
Ling Miao closed out of his blog. The words of gratitude to his assistant that Su Yuyang had secretly added were once again displayed in front of Ling Miao, and Ling Miao considered deleting them.
“If I delete it, will it be like denying what’s right in front of my eyes? That sort of blindness?” After thinking it over, Ling Miao decided to close the window—what he couldn’t see couldn’t vex him, so to speak.
Ling Miao glanced at the time and realized he’d dithered around the house too long. Su Yuyang’s phone call also arrived at this time.
“I’m coming right away,” Ling Miao said before Su Yuyang could say anything.
Su Yuyang said, “Mm.” Ling Miao asked, “Is there anything else?”
“I saw your blogpost.”
Ling Miao’s heart thumped hard: That post was purely a joke. Su Yuyang can see that, right?
“That… actually, I’m fine whether or not you increase my salary…” Ling Miao’s words were genuine. What Su Yuyang was currently paying him was enough for him to live. Besides, Ling Miao lived in Su Yuyang’s house and his food was paid for by Su Yuyang, so he didn’t really need money for much.
“Heh, what’re you worried about?” Su Yuyang laughed lightly. “Oh, also… mm, just get here first. I’ll wait for you.”
The call cut off and Ling Miao’s hand froze in the air still holding the phone.
I’ll wait for you.
I’ll wait for you, again.
The moment Su Yuyang said these words to Ling Miao, they became a curse on Ling Miao.
Su Yuyang’s voice echoed in Ling Miao’s head. Gradually, everything else he’d said became muffled, and only the words “I’ll wait for you” were etched deeper and deeper into his mind. Ling Miao could almost see Su Yuyang’s smiling face: gentle, relaxed, a little bit indulgent.
The phone slipped from Ling Miao’s hand and gave a loud thunk as it made contact with the floor. The sound jolted Ling Miao awake. Looking at the phone lying on the ground, Ling Miao felt as if his heart were dripping blood. He hurriedly picked up the phone and checked that it was functioning, then packed up his feelings and walked out of the house.
“What the hell kind of medicine is Su Yuyang hawking today?” Thinking of Su Yuyang, Ling Miao’s emotions got confused again.