The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Ling Miao resembled a storyteller, only the story he was telling was that of his own inner world. And unlike some other storytellers, when he got to the exciting parts he didn’t slap the table and say in a raised voice, “To find out what happens, tune in next time…” to leave the audience with a sense of anticipation.
Ling Miao had asked Su Yuyang if he wanted to go on listening. Su Yuyang met Ling Miao’s eyes, and inexplicably he felt that Ling Miao’s bright eyes had been covered by a thin layer of fog. He couldn’t see the emotion behind it, just like he didn’t know why Ling Miao was saying these things today.
Su Yuyang didn’t answer Ling Miao’s question but replied with one of his own: “You… Why are you telling me this? This isn’t like you.”
“Then what is like me?” Ling Miao asked with a smile. “If I scolded you to within an inch of your life, is that ‘like me?’ People have many sides, and they show different ones when they’re feeling different things. When I make a scene, it’s because I give a damn, but now… mm, it’s not that I don’t care, but that I care too much. Su Yuyang, you make fun of me again and again. I’ve had enough. What do you take me for?
“To use you as an example: you were the successful writer I admired, then you became my boss. I have respect, dislike, and frustration for you, but what about you, for me?
“When we first met, I thought you were a pretty cool guy, but when I found out you were Shu Yang, I was disappointed and angry.
“Having lived with you for a while, putting aside the things I did do wrong, what have you done aside from purposely trying to make me angry?
“I’m your personal assistant, not a toy you use to relieve your boredom.
“Even if you treat me like a toy, I can’t do much about it. You’re my boss after all, right?”
”I…” Su Yuyang didn’t feel very able to retort, because he had indeed intentionally provoked Ling Miao on more than one occasion. He liked to see Ling Miao angry. Hearing Ling Miao’s heartfelt words, Su Yuyang was momentarily speechless. He did admit that he was wrong, and an apology generally wasn’t a difficult thing to do, but the words died on his tongue and he couldn’t speak them however he tried. It was as if, the moment he opened his mouth, his relationship with Ling Miao would change, and he wasn’t sure if this change would be for the better.
Ling Miao saw Su Yuyang stop himself from speaking and smiled comfortingly, patting Su Yuyang’s shoulder: “Su Yuyang, if you find it hard to do, no need to do it.”
“A life full of domestic squabbles is colorful, but, Su Yuyang, have you ever considered my feelings? Su Yuyang, I hope that we can be like a normal employer and his employee.” Ling Miao looked at Su Yuyang hopefully. “I’ll do my part, and you get your attitude toward me straightened out—if you have a genuine complaint, I’ll take up the challenge,but you, on the other hand, mightn’t be able to take the outcome.”
Ling Miao was no longer the old Ling Miao, who looked weak and panicked when he encountered a problem, or waved his claws when somebody stepped on his tail. Su Yuyang stared dazedly at the person in front of him, and a phrase appeared in his mind: he’s been reborn.
Su Yuyang was unwilling to move his gaze from Ling Miao, as if he hoped to find a trace of the old Ling Miao in the person before him now. But he failed—aside from the face, he couldn’t find any other similarities between the two.
“Xiao Miao…” Su Yuyang softly called Ling Miao, who hummed in response, but Su Yuyang didn’t say anything more. The two gazed at each other and neither spoke.
The atmosphere was heavy and Su Yuyang’s breathing grew harder. Ling Miao’s face was blank, but his eyes were crinkled in a smile which seemed to mock Su Yuyang.
Su Yuyang had the air of someone who had lost to a top-tier professional. He sighed in defeat and placed his hand on Ling Miao’s shoulder, vowing: “I promise not to intentionally provoke you again, but if there’s something you don’t do well, don’t blame me for being heartless.”
Ling Miao nodded, then watched Su Yuyang return to his room.
The moment Su Yuyang’s bedroom door closed, Ling Miao deflated like a balloon. He slumped bonelessly over the sofa like a starfish, his breathing ragged like he’d just run 1km (⅔ mile). Beads of perspiration rolled down the side of his face, which was as white as if he were terminally ill.
“Fuck, I actually did it.” Ling Miao stared at the ceiling, his vision slightly blurry.
If Su Yuyang had gone all out, Ling Miao would’ve been massacred by his tactics, so the best way was to first restrict Su Yuyang’s abilities. To do that, Ling Miao would have to be several times stronger than him. For the sake of a peaceful life, Ling Miao had no choice but to put on this front. It looked like the outcome was decent. Even though Ling Miao was only acting, his words were heartfelt—they were sincere words he hadn’t had the courage to tell Su Yuyang to his face before.
“Su Yuyang’s temper and looks aren’t scary, so why is it that my legs go weak when he glares at me?!” Ling Miao wiped at the cold sweat on his forehead and thought dejectedly: If I hadn’t hatched a plan, I’d have had no chance in the future! Seeing Su Yuyang’s guilty face really feels damn good!
If Ling Miao hadn’t been already using all his concentration to try to breathe, he certainly wouldn’t have been able to hold back a laugh.
After returning to his bedroom, Su Yuyang didn’t turn on his computer or the lights. He lay on the bed and thought over every sentence Ling Miao had said, but the line, “Su Yuyang, I came back for you,” kept jumping out to confound his thoughts.
Su Yuyang frustratedly rumpled his hair. If Ling Miao weren’t outside, he’d scream to relieve his frustration.
Hearing someone’s heartfelt words, especially heartfelt words concerning oneself, was, on some level, torture to Su Yuyang. In Ling Miao’s eyes, he was someone who toyed with others. What couldn’t be denied was that Su Yuyang had indeed considered using Ling Miao to make his life more exciting and had actually done so. Though Su Yuyang didn’t think he’d done anything untoward, when it was said out loud, even he wanted to call himself despicable.
Suddenly, Su Yuyang thought about his conversation with Feng Ji earlier that day.
Feng Ji had asked him if he wanted to use something other than novels to spice up his life. At the time Su Yuyang had said, ‘Other than novels, there’s really nothing that I can sit still long enough to finish doing.’ The laughable thing was that he’d already been using Ling Miao to make his life more interesting.
“Using Ling Miao to make my life more interesting? Maybe it’s not really that, but… ah, ah, ah, this is so frustrating! I haven’t been this frustrated in a long time.” Su Yuyang ran both hands through his hair until it resembled a chicken’s nest, and he didn’t stop there but went on to punch his pillow. If someone who didn’t understand the situation were to come in now, they might think Su Yuyang had just been dumped.
“Yuyang, maybe you should change your way of life.”
“Maybe you should find someone to live with.”
Feng Ji’s words returned again. Su Yuyang felt his strength leave him; he didn’t have the energy to think about anything else. Thinking of these words and recalling Ling Miao’s face, Su Yuyang gradually fell into darkness.
The second day, something went wrong with Su Yuyang’s biological clock. Ling Miao finished preparing breakfast and Su Yuyang still hadn’t gotten up, so Ling Miao had no choice but to go into Su Yuyang’s bedroom and pull the covers off him.
Ling Miao opened Su Yuyang’s bedroom door, and the sight that met his eyes was Su Yuyang spread-eagled on the bed.
Su Yuyang hadn’t changed into pajamas last night so he was still wearing the clothes he had worn during the day.
Ling Miao looked at the pillow on the floor and exclaimed in surprise, “Fuck me, this guy tosses and turns a lot while sleeping.”
Ling Miao thought: the floor isn’t very clean. In order to give Su Yuyang no excuse to make him wash the entire set of sheets, Ling Miao picked up the blanket and pillow on the floor and placed them in a pile at Su Yuyang’s side.
Su Yuyang had been tortured by Feng Ji’s words to no end. Even when he was asleep he couldn’t escape them, so he hadn’t slept well all night.
Ling Miao shook Su Yuyang’s arm, trying to wake him up. Su Yuyang cursed, the words indistinct so that Ling Miao couldn’t tell what they were, but Ling Miao knew it wasn’t anything nice, so he got even more persistent in his attempt to wake Su Yuyang. Su Yuyang sat up with a jerk, glancing around with difficulty. He let out a toneless snort, and against all Ling Miao’s hopes, fell right back down again.
“Hey…” Ling Miao pointed at Su Yuyang as if intending to lecture him, but remembering that Su Yuyang couldn’t hear him, he swallowed the words in his throat, annoyed.
“Su Yuyang, Su Yuyang, get up and eat breakfast.” Ling Miao patted Su Yuyang’s face. Hearing the pat-pat-pat sound of his palm making contact with Su Yuyang’s face, Ling Miao’s heart became unbearably light.
But… Ling Miao decreased the frequency of his blows because he discovered that he had left a red patch on Su Yuyang’s face.
“But I didn’t use that much strength?” Ling Miao thought doubtfully, his hand returning to touch Su Yuyang’s face.
“Ah, this bastard’s skin is pretty good. Smooth and supple, it’s pretty nice to touch.” Ling Miao caressed Su Yuyang’s face, fingers tracing circles on his cheeks.
Su Yuyang said, “Mm,” and his forehead furrowed. Ling Miao didn’t know if he had dreamed something that frustrated him or if Ling Miao’s actions had left him unable to continue sleeping.
“Don’t disturb me.” Su Yuyang suddenly raised his hand and smacked Ling Miao’s back. Ling Miao momentarily stopped moving his hands. Su Yuyang’s hand on Ling Miao’s back suddenly exerted strength and pressed Ling Miao toward his chest.
Ling Miao didn’t react in time. His forehead connected with Su Yuyang’s chin, and as as bone struck bone Ling Miao let out an ‘Ah’ sound of pain.
“Mm.” Su Yuyang turned his head, his lips unconsciously brushing Ling Miao’s forehead.
“Fuck.” Ling Miao cursed softly and struggled to get up, but Su Yuyang pressed him down again.
“Someone who’s sleeping has this much strength?” Ling Miao asked himself. “Is this bastard intentionally giving me a hard time again? Didn’t he promise he wouldn’t mess with me any more? He would hit his own face? Would Su Yuyang do something like that?”
Ling Miao was still answering his own questions when Su Yuyang rolled over.
“Damn it!” Ling Miao cursed again.
As Su Yuyang rolled over, his body covered half of Ling Miao’s own. Ling Miao, whose torso was weighed down by a heavy object, felt as if his bones were about to snap.
“You bastard Su Yuyang, I @$%^&…” Ling Miao silently went over all the curse words he knew, then added Su Yuyang’s name at the end. He was even a little out of breath by this point.
Since I can’t escape, I might as well sleep.
Thinking this, Ling Miao yawned and shut his eyes.