The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
On returning home, Ling Miao didn’t make a scene like Su Yuyang had expected, but he wasn’t as cold as he’d been at W&S, either. He acted normally, to the point that Su Yuyang wondered if Ling Miao had had his soul stolen from his body.
Ling Miao brought dinner out. Seeing Su Yuyang in a daze, he tapped Su Yuyang and said gently, “Su-ge, it’s dinnertime.”
The dishes Ling Miao had made today were all from Su Yuyang’s list, but when Su Yuyang saw the plate of Yuxiang shredded pork,¹ pain flashed across his face.
Taking the bowl and chopsticks Ling Miao handed over, Su Yuyang had to hold back tears as he stretched his chopsticks towards the Yuxiang shredded pork.
“Su-ge, what’s the matter?” Ling Miao asked worriedly.
Su Yuyang clasped a portion of the shredded pork with his chopsticks and transferred it to his bowl, eating it slowly with the rice, one bite at a time.
Su Yuyang hated spring onion to the point that even the smell of spring onion made him nauseated, but today he had to swallow it down.
Su Yuyang now deeply understood what it meant to sleep in the bed one made.
Su Yuyang had asked for Yuxiang shredded pork. He had asked even knowing that Ling Miao would definitely put spring onion into the shredded pork, instead writing beside the dish name: Don’t add spring onion.
Mm. His addendum wasn’t very readable if one didn’t have a magnifying glass at hand.
Ling Miao saw the conflict and restraint between Su Yuyang’s brows. The corner of his lips quirked upwards, but his face was blocked by his rice bowl and Su Yuyang didn’t see his secret happiness.
That’s right, Ling Miao had seen Su Yuyang’s addendum.
Having known Su Yuyang for a while, Ling Miao had long been aware that Su Yuyang didn’t like spring onion, and for a period of time he hadn’t added spring onion to the dishes he made, but clearly Su Yuyang hadn’t noticed. As for today—since Su Yuyang had asked for Yuxiang shredded pork and intentionally written an addendum that resembled an eye exam, Ling Miao just pretended he hadn’t seen it.
If the events from this afternoon hadn’t happened, Ling Miao might’ve followed Su Yuyang’s addendum, but having experienced what happened this afternoon, Ling Miao wouldn’t let Su Yuyang have his way. Besides, he was certain that Su Yuyang wouldn’t give him a hard time. So Ling Miao added an extra helping of spring onion to the Yuxiang shredded pork dish, which ordinarily already contained a lot of it.
Su Yuyang, you want to eat spring onion, right? Then eat your fill, heh heh.
Yuxiang shredded pork was very delicious and Ling Miao was in a good mood, so he ate an unprecedented three bowls of rice. The shredded pork with extra spring onion, originally prepared for Su Yuyang—Ling Miao finished it all off.
Ling Miao saw that Su Yuyang’s bowl was still more than half full of rice and said in faux-grievance: “Su-ge, today’s food isn’t to your liking?”
Su Yuyang waved a hand. A bean-sized drop of perspiration rolled down his temple as he smiled and said, “It’s fine.”
“That’s good that it’s fine. I’ll go wash the dishes.” Like a busy bee, Ling Miao went to wash the dishes immediately after dinner. He finished washing the dishes, then washed Su Yuyang’s clothes from yesterday.
Seeing Ling Miao’s busy silhouette, Su Yuyang lay on the sofa and thought, wanting to cry: I really dug my own grave! I just wanted to see Ling Miao mad, but I was unlucky instead.
When Ling Miao gets mad, that angry look like he wants to blow a few holes in me but has to endure it is very interesting. Pity, I don’t know if I’ll get to see it again in the future.
As Su Yuyang thought along these lines, time slipped away minute by minute.
Ling Miao finished his chores and sat down on the sofa. He intentionally sat down heavily so that Su Yuyang, who was sitting on the sofa, was bounced upwards.
Su Yuyang’s train of thought was thus interrupted by Ling Miao. A hint of worry flashed across Ling Miao’s face, but he didn’t show it. Ling Miao said softly, “Su-ge, did you check this afternoon’s update?”
“Hm? You’re around to do the updates now. What do I need to check?” Su Yuyang answered worriedly. “Unless you don’t want to continue this job?”
“Nope,” Ling Miao smiled ingratiatingly. “These job conditions are good, and the work isn’t a lot, so for now I don’t want to lose it. But, do you know why I came back?”
“Mm?” Su Yuyang was confused again.
Ling Miao looked out the window. The sky hadn’t darkened completely, but the streetlights lining the roads had already come on. Ling Miao said, as if reminiscing: “When I left, I felt that I was walking in a fog. I walked in the direction I thought was right, but I never considered whether this direction was actually right, until Ji Linxi said something to me the night I came back.”
Ling Miao had brought up Ji Linxi again. Every time Ling Miao mentioned Ji Linxi he’d smile faintly, as if they really were together.
Ji Linxi didn’t like men and Ling Miao didn’t like men, but…
Su Yuyang really didn’t like Hu Lin very much, but he did agree with one thing Hu Lin had said: That’s what I said, too, before realizing my orientation.
Before I knew I liked men, I also thought that I liked women—Hu Lin’s words could be translated thus.
Su Yuyang felt like someone had pinched his heart, hard. The bitterness that flowed from the bottom of his heart threatened to engulf him.
He was somewhat dissatisfied with this outcome, but…
Su Yuyang was still immersed in an inexplicable grief when Ling Miao interrupted his mourning.
“Do you remember why I left?” Ling Miao’s voice was dreamy, as if coming through a misty haze.
Su Yuyang shook his head and forced a smile. “Sorry, forgot.”
“Heh.” Ling Miao laughed and Su Yuyang couldn’t tell if it was mocking or frustrated. “I made a mistake in that day’s update, and you joked that I was an anti-fan sent to smear your name. I admitted my mistake and you said you’d said those things to scare me. At the time, I really wanted to punch you so hard you wouldn’t be able to tell north from south, but I restrained myself—if I hurt you, who the hell’s gonna update Massacre of the Nine Heavens, huh?
“I already wanted to leave at that point, but before I left I had to make you pay a tiny price, so while you were showering I took the chance to turn off the hot water.
“I didn’t leave quietly. I waited until you came out and made sure I saw you getting angry, then I very satisfactorily quit.”
“Who’d have known that in your rush you forgot to take your things with you, and under my temptation you had no choice but to come back,” Su Yuyang said with pride.
Ling Miao glanced at him and didn’t comment, but Su Yuyang had already seen in his eyes mockery and… surprise?
“Will it kill you not to interrupt me?” Ling Miao said, annoyed.
Su Yuyang laughed awkwardly. Actually, listening to Ling Miao describe his inner feelings was pretty interesting, wasn’t it?
Su Yuyang thoughtfully put a glass of water in front of Ling Miao, who took a sip to wet his throat and then continued: “I won’t mention how happy I was to see your hand get injured. I used Linxi’s microblog to reply, heh heh, you probably didn’t even see it. I won’t go into what it said.
“After being happy, I was also pretty worried…”
“Worried that Massacre of the Nine Heavens would stop updating?” Su Yuyang couldn’t keep himself from interrupting. Ling Miao glared at him, then rapped him on the head with his fist.
Su Yuyang timidly shank back. Ling Miao changed his position and said languorously: “Surprisingly, it wasn’t Massacre of the Nine Heavens not updating I was worried about. The first thing I worried about was actually that the likes of you wouldn’t be able to shower or wash your clothes, and that you’d pop the boils and get an infection.
“If Linxi knew what I was thinking, he’d probably laugh a lot, then say, ‘if you’re so worried about the Great Shu, then go back and look after him!’
“As for what I think… if I went back to take care of someone who couldn’t even tell his die-hard fan from an anti-fan, it means I probably left my brains at the door.”
Ling Miao picked up the water and took a small sip, sorrow appearing in the smile on his face.
“I started job searching again and put aside the matters with you. What I didn’t expect was that you’d take the initiative to call me—even though it was me who left the job, you did say you wanted to chase me away, right?” At this point, Ling Miao pulled out his phone and opened one of the texts Su Yuyang had sent him.
The text was only one line: your drafts are still here, come back.
“When I saw that text, my first reaction was, Fuck, this bastard Su Yuyang’s actually using my drafts to threaten me. If I meet him outside, I have to give him a good beating.
“Of course, I wouldn’t hurt your hand,” Ling Miao teased. With difficulty, Su Yuyang pulled up the corner of his lips and gave Ling Miao a forced smile.
Ling Miao gave Su Yuyang’s shoulder a hearty slap and said indifferently: “It’s nighttime. If you can’t laugh, then don’t try to laugh, or I’ll mistake your ugly face for your dead ancestor come gallivanting.”
Su Yuyang didn’t say anything and continued to respond to Ling Miao only with his smile. Ling Miao suddenly pushed Su Yuyang away and made a show of sliding down off the sofa. He said with fright, “Su… Su-ge, don’t scare me. I’m timid.”
Su Yuyang jabbed Ling Miao’s forehead and joke-scolded: “Who’s scaring who? Also, if you didn’t want to come back, why did you come back? Are the drafts really so attractive?”
Ling Miao turned his head to look at Su Yuyang. The fear on his face changed visibly to a gentle smile.
Ling Miao sat at Su Yuyang’s feet and took a long, slow breath. Su Yuyang lowered his head to look at Ling Miao, who was radiating indolence, and his hand moved of its own accord to Ling Miao’s head, gently caressing the strands of hair.
Ling Miao let Su Yuyang touch him and another set of words appeared in his mind.
“Linxi said that you weren’t using the drafts to threaten me. ‘He probably couldn’t think of another way to get you to go back, so he’s using the drafts to tempt you back’—those were his words. I seem to have gotten the same answer from you.
“He also said that you trusted me one hundred percent, so even when you hadn’t known me well you gave me your author’s dashboard to manage, but I not only let down your trust but also showed no remorse.
“When he said that, I felt that I was a sinner who couldn’t be forgiven.
“So I came back—Su Yuyang, I came back for you.”
Su Yuyang, I came back for you.
As if a replay button had been hit, Ling Miao’s voice repeated the same words over and over again by Su Yuyang’s ear. Su Yuyang’s lips moved and disbelief showed in his eyes.
Su Yuyang’s change didn’t escape Ling Miao’s eyes, who had been closely watching him. But Su Yuyang’s surprise was somewhat unexpected—Ling Miao had thought that Su Yuyang would mock him and give him a hard time.
“Do you want me to go on?” Ling Miao asked.
Su Yuyang blinked. In the instant he opened his eyes again, he saw Ling Miao faintly smiling as if mocking him, temptation lurking amidst the mockery.
 Yuxiang shredded pork: a Sichuan dish