The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
The moment Su Yuyang’s “woof woof woof,” conveniently mentioning @WriterZeroSecondsAgo, was published, a certain group Su Yuyang was in went into a frenzy.
Chaos Paste: Everyone look at Shu Yang’s microblog! He lost a word sprint, he finally lost a word sprint! [ROFL][picture of Shu Yang’s microblog]
Haphazardly Chopping Firewood: Fuck me, I’m gonna look.
Color Setting: Really! I want to go see who it is and instakill him!¹
Shu Yang: You all really… ah, I lost by one word. One word!
Chaos Paste: One word is still a word. Shu-shu, I just want to say it: you finally lost! Your perfect winning streak is finally broken! [Scatters flowers]
Blue Lake: You all have a lot of time on your hands? [Facepalm]
Shu Yang: Exactly. You all have so much free time? I’ve written 3600+. You all go write!
She-se: Don’t you call yourself 6000WPH? How did you lose that badly?
Eh, didn’t you all see? The person Shu-shu mentioned was called ‘WriterZeroSecondsAgo.’ If I’m remembering right, Shu-shu’s assistant is called ‘ZeroSecondsAgo?’
Blue Lake: I understand.
Chaos Paste: I understand.
Shu Yang: What do you understand?
Blue Lake: You like your assistant, so you lost on purpose to make him happy?
Mu Yu: Lake, how many words do you owe me? Color, did you break your update streak yesterday? Paste, what on earth have you been writing these past few days, do you figure that just because you won’t get drawn and quartered, you’ll just phone it in? And you, Haphazard, where’s the new book you promised me? I haven’t seen hide nor hair of it, do you want me to take my laptop to your house before you write the outline? And…
Enter Mu Yu, who instantly landed an area-of-effect killing blow. Aside from Shu Yang, every other writer under him was insta-killed and the group chat went silent.
Pale Twilight: Yu-ge,² I’m glad I’m not under you.
An Yuan: Heh heh, really?
Pale Twilight: The elder is in the house. I’m retreating. Shu-shu, rest in peace.
The group chat was quiet and Mu Yu started a private chat with Su Yuyang.
Mu Yu: Does your assistant know about your personal matters?
3000WPH: He knows.
Mu Yu: You’re not worried about him?
3000WPH: Since I employed him, I need to trust him. From past experience, he won’t spread my personal information. Fuck it, it’s just that I like guys, but I have to hide it and be afraid that people will find out. I haven’t done anything to be ashamed of.
Mu Yu: Society’s like that. But I’m just worried it will get out.
3000WPH: We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. You do know that I already have plans to come out of the closet, but because of your advice I’ve delayed it with no end in sight. Also, did you need me for something?
Mu Yu: Demonic Song Defying Heaven’s tie-in game is about to go into beta. Do you want a copy?
3000WPH: Not much interest.
After thinking, Su Yuyang added another line: Give me one then.
Mu Yu: Didn’t say you weren’t interested?
3000WPH: My assistant might. I saw him playing Heavenly Domain yesterday.
Mu Yu: ……
Mu Yu: When I get it, I’ll Q you.³
Ling Miao had beat Su Yuyang, but only by one word, so he was both thrilled and aggrieved. In addition, this chapter was a complete mess. Ling Miao gradually came to understand that word-sprinting was just asking for trouble.
“Ah,” Ling Miao sighed in frustration. “Su-ge, why do I always want to delete everything I wrote in a word sprint?”
“Because you concentrated only on speed,” Su Yuyang explained. “Once you do a few more and get into practice, you’ll find that even 3000 words is a trivial matter.”
“Fuck, who’ll I word sprint with?” Ling Miao rolled his eyes at Su Yuyang and added silently, If I word sprint with you every day, that’s more pressure than a mountain!
“Ling Miao, are you on QQ?” Su Yuyang stuck his head over and asked.
“I’m on,” Ling Miao said lifelessly.
“I sent you a group chat invite.”
The moment Su Yuyang finished speaking, Ling Miao received the invitation. He clicked on ‘accept,’ and entered a group called ‘Permanently Curing Procrastination.’
Ling Miao saw the member list and almost peed his pants, then thought: This is the Great Author Group.
The so-called ‘Great Author Group’ was just a bunch of friends who got together to word sprint and chat, but most of the members were called ‘Great Authors’ by others, and by and by this group received the name ‘Great Author Group.’ This was an external name—internally, they called themselves ‘word sprint group.’ As for why the editor was arbitrarily in it—that was Su Yuyang the admin’s doing. He had invited Mu Yu in for stability.
“I feel like I’ve grown a duck egg on my head,” Ling Miao touched his chest and said. “Su-ge, did you drag me into the Great Author Group in order to terrify me, a no-name?”
“Great Author Group? It’s just a word sprint group. Go read the rules.”
After tossing Ling Miao to the wind, Su Yuyang picked up his laptop and left.
Ling Miao’s arrival aroused a lot of curiosity, but the moment the group saw Ling Miao’s name they knew Ling Miao’s identity—he was Shu Yang’s assistant. Some friendly and very curious girls came forward to chat with Ling Miao and try to get some information about Su Yuyang from him.
Fuck me, did Su Yuyang push me into a lion’s den? Ling Miao looked at his flashing QQ notifications and silently asked Su Yuyang.
“Hey, Su Yuyang, are you fucking messing with me?” Ling Miao’s pleading shout came.
Su Yuyang was wondering why he could hear so clearly when he turned his head and saw Ling Miao standing in the doorway.
“It’s just word sprinting. How am I messing with you?”
Ling Miao showed Su Yuyang the messages from the girls on QQ. It satisfied Su Yuyang that Ling Miao hadn’t replied to any of them.
Shu Yang: Everyone, Xiao Miao’s here to word sprint. If you want to know about me, ask me directly.
Su Yuyang sent this message to the group. Somebody replied: Even if we ask you, you won’t say anything. And you don’t let us talk to your assistant either. Hey, Shu-shu, cut your worshipers a break, won’t you?
Shu Yang: Hey—this is a word sprint group, not my fangroup! [facepalm]
Mu Yu: Everyone has a lot of free time, of course.
With the appearance of the Big Boss, the group chat quieted down again. Su Yuyang asked the group: word sprint, the loser posts ‘I’m a submissive’ on my blog. All the usual rules apply. I mean, everyone who loses. Sign up now, we start at six o’clock. Xiao Miao, you have to participate.
ZeroSecondsAgo: Great Shu, at six o’clock I’m making dinner.
Shu Yang: Then eight o’clock. Everyone okay with that?
Myriad ‘that’s fine’s later, Su Yuyang turned to Ling Miao again. “Weren’t you going to make dinner? Why are you still standing there? I’m hungry.”
Having eaten and drunk his fill and having won his word sprint with Su Yuyang by a single word, Ling Miao was currently extremely motivated. Before opening his document, he even trash talked Su Yuyang: “Su-ge, you’re a submissive!”
Su Yuyang replied: “You’re definitely submitting.”
Losing to Ling Miao’s no big deal, but I definitely can’t lose to the guys in the group. Having made up his mind and learned his lesson from earlier, Su Yuyang stayed in his bedroom for the nighttime word sprint.
Without Ling Miao around to disturb him, Su Yuyang’s inspiration flowed like a stream.
An hour later, Su Yuyang reported a number that made everyone’s jaw drop: 8028!
Ling Miao swallowed. He couldn’t help but suspect that Su Yuyang had intentionally lost during the day!
“Fuck me, he looks down on me that much?” A lightning bolt seemed to shoot across Ling Miao’s head, its silver light striking down his confidence completely.
Ling Miao wasn’t at the bottom of the heap, but that didn’t make him the slightest bit happy. His brain buzzed, and he only came to his senses when someone from the group reminded him to post on his microblog.
After posting, Ling Miao lay bonelessly on the sofa. He wanted to ask Su Yuyang whether or not he had intentionally lost the word sprint earlier that day, but something seemed to be blocking up his chest and he couldn’t make a single sound.
Color Setting: Shu-shu, how much chicken blood did you sacrifice?
Shu Yang: I just didn’t want to lose.
Blue Lake: You don’t want to lose, so you write 8k in an hour. That’s a new record in this group, right?
NeverBreakingUpdateStreak: I looked at the stats and that’s true. Shu Yang, you’re not giving your sworn brothers a chance (╯‵□′)╯︵┻━┻
Shu Yang: Calm down, calm down.
The word sprint group chat was the active window, so Ling Miao didn’t have to click in to see what they had said.
Ling Miao didn’t say anything. He stared at Su Yuyang’s ‘I just didn’t want to lose.’ This line was gradually pushed to the top of the page and disappeared from view.
Closing the chat window, Ling Miao stood up and walked to the balcony. He held the railing and leaned his body over.
The chilly night air battered Ling Miao’s cheeks and something seemed to be blowing into his face.
Ling Miao’s heart was confused. He had thought that he and Su Yuyang could coexist normally, but Su Yuyang would—intentionally or not—change the rules from time to time, and without negotiating with Ling Miao.
“What exactly are Su Yuyang’s feelings towards me? Sometimes he’s cold, the way he’d treat a stranger, and other times he’s gentle, as if toward a lover. Sometimes he’s like a schoolteacher.” Ling Miao’s brain was like a tangled pile of hemp. He looked at every strand, trying to find where it began, but the start of the strand of hemp seemed to be playing hide-and seek with Ling Miao, and no matter how Ling Miao tried to find it he couldn’t tidy up the situation.
“Maybe it’s a circle,” a surprising idea occurred to Ling Miao.
Quick, cut it.
This was the only way Ling Miao could think of, and to ‘cut it’ meant…
Leaving Su Yuyang, once and for all.
But first, before leaving, Ling Miao needed to find a job.
Su Yuyang didn’t know that his thoughtless actions had caused Ling Miao so much damage that Ling Miao was actually thinking of leaving.
Su Yuyang and Ling Miao’s life continued to proceed at a steady pace, with not a single wave in between.
The people in the word sprint group seemed to like word sprinting with Ling Miao, and every time someone called a word sprint someone would mention Ling Miao, but Ling Miao seemed to have turned off mention notifications. So, when they were trying to get Ling Miao to word sprint, they’d mention Su Yuyang.
After entering the word sprint group, Ling Miao just lurked. Even if someone mentioned him, he wouldn’t emerge, and then he’d be called out by Su Yuyang. That, and Ling Miao almost always appeared together with Su Yuyang. So aside from Lake x Paste, another ship emerged: ShuMiao.⁴
Sometimes Su Yuyang completely didn’t understand what this shipping behavior was about. Even if these people weren’t homosexual, they’d flirt performatively on their microblogs and in the group. But the moment any news regarding homosexuality appeared, they’d start saying this and that about homosexual people—bottom line being that that they didn’t support it.
Su Yuyang pinched the bridge of his nose. He felt very tired.
Among Su Yuyang’s classmates, there were a few that knew he liked guys. If his photo and phone number were to be made public, he believed his homosexuality would also be leaked. He didn’t want his life to be disrupted by his sexual orientation, so he’d hidden behind a computer monitor and kept himself safe in his tiny closet.