The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
“Thanks to my assistant Xiao Miao, the friendly sponsor for the character ‘Ling Miao.’ Relax, I won’t treat you badly.”
Indeed, it’s me!
Ling Miao was glad, but it wasn’t long before the elation turned to worry: “Ah, why did Su Yuyang suddenly toss me into his book?”
Ling Miao, did you forget that you made the Great Shu cameo in your book?
To Ling Miao’s knowledge, Su Yuyang didn’t read his novel, so he didn’t think that Su Yuyang was aware of Su Yuyang #2’s existence. If Ling Miao had known that Su Yuyang knew about Su Yuyang #2, then he wouldn’t have found it strange that he appeared in Su Yuyang’s book, but Ling Miao didn’t know!
Ling Miao’s eyes seemed to shoot jets of fire as they scanned the last line of the chapter. He felt that Su Yuyang’s last line needed to be interpreted differently: Relax, I won’t treat you badly. I’ll only torture you ‘til you die.
Ling Miao shuddered and thought: I didn’t provoke you, did I? Why do you suddenly want to torture me to death?
Su Yuyang’s actions had unknowingly touched Ling Miao’s most sensitive nerve. Ling Miao’s gaze swept across the line, ‘Relax, I won’t treat you badly,’ over and over again, his grimace growing.
Ling Miao had originally put Su Yuyang into his book for the sheer fun of it, and after several chapters the main character got what he needed from Su Yuyang #2 and the novel changed its setting. Su Yuyang #2 had done his work and could retreat, but since Su Yuyang was treating Ling Miao like this, Ling Miao had to retaliate, of course.
“He’s just torturing me in the book. He thinks I can’t torture back?” Considering his plan, Ling Miao’s earlier worry vanished completely and was replaced by an inexplicable excitement, as if giving the Su Yuyang in the book some problems by letting Yan Che hit his face was a more joyous event than getting a thousand subscribers.
Writers have one very good avenue for venting, which is to put the person you want to beat up into your novel and let your main character teach them a lesson on your behalf. Although doing this won’t cause any real harm to the other party, consider that hundreds, maybe thousands, of people will see the person you dislike getting hit and you’ll feel good!
Su Yuyang in Ling Miao’s novel was a neutral character. Now that Ling Miao had the thought to teach Su Yuyang a lesson in the novel, Su Yuyang #2 quickly moved toward the antagonists’ camp—so quickly that even a rocket would be left in the dust.
Maybe it was the thought of ‘torturing’ Su Yuyang, but Ling Miao was suddenly motivated. He opened his writing document and his thoughts flowed like a river, his fingers leaving afterimages in the air.
Because the chapters were queued, it was two days later when Su Yuyang saw the chapter Ling Miao had written that day. Because Su Yuyang had a new set of characters, he had used up all his stockpiled chapters. Now he wrote at night to update the next morning and wrote in the afternoon to update at night, so the ‘competition’ between the two now had a large time difference.
Ling Miao had already made up his mind that he was an antagonist in Su Yuyang’s book—a major antagonist—but to use Su Yuyang’s own words, this antagonist didn’t get a lot of screen time but had a substantial effect on the main character.
‘Didn’t get a lot of screen time’ suggested that ‘Ling Miao’ would quickly earn his pay and leave.
As Yan Che and Ling Shuang left Chaotic Stone City, they felt a shadow following them. Yan Che pretended not to have noticed it and continued moving forward as planned until they reached the border of the northwest desert.
“Su Yuyang didn’t send you here to escort us, surely?” Yan Che’s gentle voice came, as if greeting a friend he hadn’t seen in a long time.
Su Yuyang had thought that Su Yuyang #2 would keep his neutral alignment until the character went away, but Ling Miao had made different arrangements. Like this, he would definitely become an antagonist in Ling Miao’s novel.
“That’s weird. Shouldn’t this guy have rushed over here and given me a good talking-to once he noticed he’d made an appearance in Massacre?” Given Su Yuyang’s understanding of Ling Miao, the latter exploded at the slightest spark. Only mud wouldn’t explode at a spark.
To give Su Yuyang credit, he didn’t say this out loud. If he were to say this to Ling Miao’s face, Ling Miao would let him know what exactly “exploded after ignition”—and this would definitely be something carried out in the dark.
Su Yuyang was smart and could guess why Ling Miao was doing this. Controlling the characters in their respective books the two of them would have a showdown without smoke or fire, and without a winner. Ling Miao wrote Su Yuyang into his books to feel better and Su Yuyang continued to write about the character ‘Ling Miao’ purely to cooperate with Ling Miao.
As Ling Miao edited, he noticed that Su Yuyang hadn’t written out his character yet and was tremendously happy. After all, some things were like one hand clapping: if only he played this game, he’d feel petty.
“Su Yuyang, Su Yuyang. Since this is what you want to do,] I’ll play with you. We’ll see who kills who first!”
What was this?? Clearly Su Yuyang was playing along with you!
[Wipes sweat and continues.]
Daily life was not affected in the least by the violence currently occurring in the books. Ling Miao and Su Yuyang conducted their usual routine and their book-war was completely invisible. The only small difference Su Yuyang noticed was that Ling Miao didn’t discuss the events in Massacre of the Nine Heavens with him any more.
Before this, when the two ate dinner, Ling Miao would give Su Yuyang suggestions, but from a point Su Yuyang couldn’t remember Ling Miao had stopped discussing the plot with him. At the start he hadn’t noticed it, but today he suddenly did.
Glancing surreptitiously at Ling Miao who was concentrating on eating, a medium-sized knot appeared in Su Yuyang’s heart. Probably, Ling Miao was the only person who could undo this knot. Ling Miao put his bowl down and looked at Su Yuyang, discovering that Su Yuyang’s gaze was fixed directly on him. Su Yuyang’s resolute expression made Ling Miao’s gooseflesh rise.
Ling Miao shook himself a little to rid himself of the gooseflesh, then swiftly stood up and cleared the table. The rumble of the water heater emanated from the kitchen. Su Yuyang thought for a moment, then decided to go ask Ling Miao after all.
“Xiao Miao.” Su Yuyang opened his mouth but didn’t know how to continue. Asking for feedback from readers was something Su Yuyang had done five years ago. After that, even if he didn’t solicit feedback, it appeared in heaps. Now that he needed to ask to Ling Miao’s face, for some inexplicable reason he couldn’t say anything.
“What is it?” Ling Miao asked blandly.
Ling Miao’s back was to Su Yuyang, so he didn’t see Su Yuyang’s contorted expression. But Su Yuyang didn’t say anything more for a while, so Ling Miao had to raise his voice a little: “Ah, the kitchen’s pretty small. If you don’t have any business, get out, and don’t get in my way!”
“What do you think about Massacre’s last few chapters?”
“The plot’s moving along well and the endings always make the reader want to keep reading.” Ling Miao gave a simple comment, very perfunctory.
Neither Su Yuyang nor Ling Miao noticed that their personalities seemed to have swapped.
Ling Miao was someone who couldn’t conceal his feelings, but this time, he held them in. Su Yuyang was someone who could conceal them and wouldn’t talk about the things on his mind unless it was absolutely necessary, but today he was the first to get anxious.
This had hit a sore spot in Ling Miao, and another unknown emotion was added to the knot in Su Yuyang’s heart. Su Yuyang wasn’t short of breath, but his chest was tight. He needed to find an outlet, so….
Returning to his bedroom, Su Yuyang vented all his emotions into the novel. He happened to have written up to a fight scene and he had something to say, so the fight scenes flowed as easily as riding a cloud over running water, murderous and decisive. He almost didn’t have to think at all. Finishing the chapter, Su Yuyang read it over from beginning to end and was quite satisfied, although there were a few too many typos OTZ (T/N: this ‘OTZ’ and the missing period are in the original text)
As for the person who was getting beat up in this chapter… naturally, it was ‘Ling Miao.’
“Fuck, he beats me up so badly even my childhood love wouldn’t know me. Su Yuyang, you really think I won’t break all your limbs?”
With this back and forth, the two seemed to be using their novels to wage war, but with the development of the plot, Su Yuyang reached the point where he had no option but to kill ‘Ling Miao’ off.
“He’s dead?” As these words left his mouth, Ling Miao felt that his lower jaw had shifted position. He pushed his jaw lightly with one hand and once it had returned to its original place, he slammed down hard on the keyboard: “Fuck you, Su Yuyang, you actually started killing earlier than I did! If that’s the case, I’m not standing on ceremony!”
Although neither party had said out loud that this was a war, Ling Miao still felt that he had lost.
Actually, Ling Miao had also guessed that ‘Ling Miao’ would die soon, but he hadn’t thought Su Yuyang would write this quickly. Looking at the paragraph describing ‘Ling Miao’’s death, Ling Miao felt deeply that Su Yuyang had done this intentionally–fuck it, someone fell from the sky and knocked ‘Ling Miao’ dead! ‘Ling Miao’ was one of the world’s elites, and he was killed by someone falling!
This death was so unjustified. Ling Miao was dissatisfied. He made up his mind that ‘Su Yuyang’ would die slowly and torturously!
A battle without smoke or fire concluded and the end of May arrived.
Su Yuyang got up early, ate breakfast, and left the house—without calling Ling Miao along—this was different from his usual routine. Ling Miao watched Su Yuyang’s departing silhouette, and although he had the impulse to find out what was happening, he also knew the meaning of “curiosity killed the cat.”
Su Yuyang hadn’t left Ling Miao any tasks and Ling Miao wouldn’t find things to do on his own. He went on QQ and a notification lit up in the ‘tasks’ section not long after.
It was a message from Ji Linxi, who had sent Ling Miao news he had anticipated for a long time.
ZeroSecondsAgo: You’re saying your company has an opening?
Ji Linxi: Hu Lin’s overseas for business and handed the interviews over to the assistant manager. If you want to come, do it now. A lot of people apply to this position.
ZeroSecondsAgo: I remember you still have several copies of my resume. Help me reserve a place and I’ll try to settle matters here with Su Yuyang before June.
Ji Linxi: You’re really going to give up the assistant job?
ZeroSecondsAgo: Although the work is easy and the pay’s pretty good, this boss… heh heh, he’s even more of a bastard than Hu Lin. He’s a king among bastards.
Ten-plus minutes later, Su Yuyang returned.
“Xiao Miao, come over.”
Hearing Su Yuyang’s call, Ling Miao trembled and almost deleted what he had just written. He saved the document, and worriedly walked out of the study.