The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Ji Linxi knew Ling Miao had gone for an interview. Seeing that Ling Miao hadn’t returned for a while, he had assumed that Ling Miao had gone out for dinner with his new colleagues, so he was surprised when Ling Miao appeared at the door. But the woman beside Ling Miao surprised him even more.
Ji Linxi wasn’t surprised that the woman was Yan Li; he was surprised that Ling Miao brought a woman home at all. Dumb cat, since when do you have a girlfriend?
Ji Linxi quickly recovered from his shock and said calmly: “I thought you weren’t coming back for dinner.”
“Yan Li, my temporary boss.” Ling Miao briefly described Yan Li’s relationship to him. Ji Linxi looked at Ling Miao, perplexed, and thought: Temporary boss? You sure she’s not a temporary girlfriend? Eh, a temporary boss can also be a temporary girlfriend!
Ji Linxi’s expression was still stunned, but his eyes were teasing as he glanced at Yan Li. Ling Miao figured out the reason for Ji Linxi’s attitude change before Yan Li did: “Linxi, you’d better focus those runaway thoughts on your work. Yan Li’s really just my temporary boss, and I’m her temporary assistant.”
“An assistant job again?” Ji Linxi wasn’t too satisfied with Ling Miao’s choice, but since Ling Miao had already accepted it, Ji Linxi couldn’t interfere and could only wish him well: “Hopefully you’ll stick it out longer this time.”
“Just a month.” Ling Miao awkwardly rubbed the back of his head.
Ji Linxi was speechless, but Yan Li expressed her dissatisfaction: “Are you just going to leave your guests outside?”
Ji Linxi glared at Yan Li and laughed: “I didn’t bar the door and not let you in or anything. But I indeed don’t welcome uninvited guests.”
Ji Linxi’s cold tone and dismissive gaze would have made anyone want to punch his face in, but looking at his gentle smile, the violent anger in Yan Li’s heart mysteriously quieted down.
Ling Miao didn’t know if anything had happened between the two of them but Ji Linxi had never been cordial to Yan Li, so this turn of events made him curious.
Ji Linxi had been carrying a knife when he came out, which Yan Li hadn’t noticed but Ling Miao had. So Ling Miao was sure that Ji Linxi had been in the midst of making dinner. He showed Yan Li into the bedroom and poured her a glass of water, then turned and went into the kitchen.
“Linxi, you haven’t eaten?” Ling Miao found a suitable topic of conversation and the sound of Ji Linxi chopping vegetables stopped. Ji Linxi turned to look at Ling Miao and said ‘Mm’ tiredly.
Ling Miao went over. Seeing the messy stove, he patted Ji Linxi’s shoulder and pulled him aside: “If you go on like this, the cucumbers will turn to mush.” He took over the cooking, leaving Ji Linxi with arms folded over his chest and leaning against the cabinets, as if trying to learn by watching.
In the past when this happened, Ji Linxi would return to the bedroom to lie down and wait for dinner. Today he was acting unusually. Ling Miao turned and asked, “Is it because of Yan Li?”
Ji Linxi didn’t answer, so Ling Miao turned to look at him curiously. “You don’t have any beef with Yan Li, right? If so, why are you so cold to her?”
“No beef, but I don’t want to get too close to her to save me trouble down the road.” Ji Linxi’s abrupt explanation conveyed clearly to Ling Miao that he knew Yan Li was a celebrity, and that should he get too close to her and the paparazzi find out, he’d have a bad time of it.
This worry had also crossed Ling Miao’s mind but there was one fortunate out—as long as Yan Li didn’t go out, who would know she was in Su Yuyang’s apartment?
What Ling Miao found strange was that Ji Linxi recognized Yan Li.
Ling Miao narrowed his eyes at Ji Linxi, whose forehead furrowed. He knew that whatever Ling Miao was about to say wouldn’t be nice.
“Linxi, you recognized Yan Li at once. You got Monkey fire eyes?”¹
Ling Miao’s lips curved into a smile so wide it almost split his face in half. Ji Linxi was speechless. He rolled his eyes, walked over, and jabbed Ling Miao’s forehead, explaining: “Dumb cat, I advertised a product she was the spokesperson for.”
Yan Li was getting bored sitting in the bedroom. Thinking that there was no one else in the house for now, she left the room. As she passed by the kitchen door, she heard Ling Miao say her name, so she put her ear to the door to eavesdrop on their conversation. She was surprised that Ji Linxi had recognized her at a glance.
Just because Ji Linxi didn’t make a big deal out of recognizing her didn’t mean that other people wouldn’t. Yan Li was worried in hindsight: she had followed Ling Miao upstairs without thinking twice. It was fortunate that there was no one else in the house or she’d have had to shower in several tons of distilled water to clear her name regarding her relationship with Ling Miao.
“Linxi, bring the food out.” Ling Miao passed Ji Linxi the plate of cucumber sprinkled with seasoning. On hearing this, Yan Li swiftly returned to the room and sat down.
The door opened and Ji Linxi walked in holding a plate. Yan Li picked up her cup of water and took small sips, her gaze periodically flickering upwards to look at Ji Linxi.
Ji Linxi watched Yan Li thoughtfully, so Yan Li lowered her head so that Ji Linxi couldn’t see her expression.
Ji Linxi’s gaze didn’t leave Yan Li for a long time. He didn’t say anything, either, which made Yan Li panic. She slammed the cup on the table, angling her head upwards to meet Ji Linxi’s searching gaze and said angrily: “What are you looking at? Never seen someone drink water before?”
Ji Linxi’s expression didn’t change but his tone got a little bit colder: “I’ve never seen anyone use someone else’s mug and then forbids the owner of the mug from looking at it.”
“Hm? The mug is yours?”
Ji Linxi picked up the mug and looked it over, telling Yan Li definitively: “I use the same type as Ling Miao, but I’m sure this is mine. It’s got my signature on it.”
“Do you want my autograph?” Yan Li said, as if offering up a great treasure.
Ji Linxi froze. He hadn’t thought a star such as Yan Li would take the initiative to autograph something for him, but he also wasn’t interested.
“I signed the cup to differentiate it from Ling Miao’s. If you want to practise your autograph, I can call the landlord. I think he’d be very happy to sell your autograph.” Ji Linxi said the mocking words in a bland tone, his bright eyes unmoving.
Yan Li’s attention had long been drawn to Ji Linxi’s clear eyes, so no matter what he said, she didn’t react. Not because she didn’t care, but because she simply hadn’t heard.
Ji Linxi blinked, cutting off Yan Li’s gaze.
“What were you saying?” Yan Li asked apologetically.
Ji Linxi smiled: “Nothing. I’m not your fan, so your signature means nothing to me.”
Yan Li wasn’t a prideful person, but the only people she had come into contact with in the last few years were the people she worked with or her fans. They had one thing in common, which was that Yan Li was the center of their world. She was used to people liking her and doing everything for her, and also used to rejecting people. Even though she was a carefree person, Ji Linxi’s rejection still upset her.
Fortunately Yan Li was a pretty calm person and she didn’t stay upset long.
Dissatisfaction dissipating into the wind, only Ji Linxi’s smiling face remained in Yan Li’s mind. Clearly she had misinterpreted Ji Linxi’s sneer as an actual smile.
Ji Linxi looks a bit slow, and gives a first impression of, ‘I’m dumb and can be bullied by anyone, please take advantage of me.’ But anyone who talks to him can tell that this is a front—he is actually pretty smart. Yan Li’s lips curved into an elegant smile which resembled a crescent moon hanging in the sky.
Ling Miao and Ji Linxi walked in carrying food, but neither of them carried utensils. Yan Li asked awkwardly: “Do you have a bowl and some chopsticks?”
Ji Linxi crossed over to the table where there was a plastic bottle, took a pair of disposable chopsticks, and tossed them in front of Yan Li. Then he went to the other table, picked up a lunchbox, and set it before Yan Li.
Yan Li looked at the things in front of her, aware they were utensils Ji Linxi had provided for her, but…
“Not to your liking?” Ji Linxi asked with his mouth full.
Yan Li separated the chopsticks and asked calmly: “This is your lunchbox?”
“Our roommates aren’t around. I wouldn’t give you their things to use,” Ji Linxi explained coolly.
Ji Linxi had planned to eat alone so he hadn’t prepared many ingredients, but Ling Miao had made three dishes and a pot of soup.
“Mm!” Yan Li’s eyes went wide. She pointed at the Yuxiang shredded pork and said: “The shredded pork is good. You made it?” Her words were directed at Ji Linxi.
Ji Linxi raised his head to tell Yan Li with his eyes: He made it.
Following which Yan Li stopped speaking.
Ling Miao shoveled rice into his mouth, staring at Yan Li and Ji Linxi all the while and thinking: Do these two really have some unspeakable secret? Can’t be right. Yan Li seems to have it out for me. Is Su Yuyang doing something behind my back again? Maybe it was Su Yuyang’s idea in the first place to have Yan Li ask me to be her temporary assistant.
The moment Ling Miao thought about Su Yuyang he seemed to turn into a lit firework. If not extinguished in time, he’d explode brilliantly.
Ji Linxi saw the change in Ling Miao’s eyes. He reached out to tap Ling Miao’s head with the wide end of his chopsticks, asking casually but very worriedly: “Dumb cat, what’s the matter now?”
“Nothing,” Ling Miao said irritably.
From Ling Miao’s tone it was clear that something was on his mind. Yan Li casually followed up: “Sure you’re alright?”
Ling Miao glanced at Yan Li and stuck his chopsticks ferociously into his rice bowl, then took several bites of rice as if he were hiding behind the bowl. Yan Li awkwardly lowered her head, not wanting to look at Ling Miao but also not wanting Ji Linxi to discover what she was thinking. She turned her attention back to the food.
Yan Li’s chopsticks had just touched the stack of Yuxiang shredded pork when Ji Linxi’s chopsticks flew onto the scene and knocked the pork away.
Yan Li slammed her chopsticks on the table and yelled: “What the hell is wrong with you two? You’re either wearing a sour expression or getting in my way. If I’m a thorn in your eye, why did you let me in?”
“Did I ask you to come?”
Ji Linxi continued to eat leisurely as if Yan Li wasn’t shouting. Yan Li couldn’t very well pick up her chopsticks and keep eating, but she couldn’t just leave, either, so caught between a rock and a hard place, she stood to one side watching Ji Linxi and Ling Miao eat.
Ling Miao put down his bowl and met Yan Li’s fiery gaze. He asked in a low voice, “Did Su Yuyang ask you to give me the assistant job?”
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 This is referring to the Monkey God from the popular novel Journey to the West, who has super-vision that can tell the truth from pretense or disguise.