The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Yan Li retorted: “What does it have to do with Su Yuyang that I asked you to be my assistant? Or is it that you can’t leave Su Yuyang behind, so whenever anyone associated with him appears in front of you, you subconsciously think Su Yuyang sent them? Ling Miao, do you think so highly of yourself or do you think so badly of Su Yuyang?”
Yan Li wasn’t giving Ling Miao a hard time. Her calm voice only spoke fact.
Ling Miao stared at his toes in silence. Ji Linxi wanted to speak up for him but also didn’t want Yan Li to misunderstand, so he didn’t say anything. Yan Li sat down again, picked up her chopsticks, and didn’t stand on ceremony. Ji Linxi glanced at her. Seeing her wolf down the food he couldn’t help but to mock: “Are you the reincarnation of a hungry ghost?”
“Don’t know anything about a hungry ghost or reincarnation.” Yan Li chewed her food, oblivious about her image as she said, “But I can tell you for sure that I’m very hungry. Fuck, for the sake of my figure I haven’t eaten a good meal all year. My manager already doesn’t like me coming to Su Yuyang’s place because the moment I get here I can’t control my appetite and he can’t contact me. A month’s rest means I gain ten kilos¹ and then I have to spend another month losing weight. In total, that’s two months of work time wasted. Heh heh. So you understand.”
Yan Li’s smile was childlike. The pure joy in her eyes infected Ji Linxi, whose cool attitude towards Yan Li was shaken.
Yan Li cleaned the plates on the table at lightning speed and gave a satiated burp at the end. Ji Linxi couldn’t hold back his laughter: “Aren’t stars concerned about their image?”
Yan Li rolled her eyes at Ji Linxi, her gaze like that of a teacher looking at a slow student. She wiped her mouth with a tissue and said happily, “Preserving image depends on the time, location, and people present. Here, what do I have to care about?”
Yan Li had shown Ling Miao and Ji Linxi a side she showed only to her closest friends. Her actions shocked Ji Linxi.
“Done eating?” Ji Linxi glanced at the table.
Yan Li said, satisfied, “I’m done. I’ll go wash the dishes.”
Yan Li offered to wash the dishes. Ji Linxi looked at her as if witnessing a miracle. Yan Li expertly stacked the dishes and bowls from big to small, then picked up the chopsticks on the table. Under Ji Linxi’s shocked gaze, she walked to the kitchen carrying the dishes.
Ji Linxi anticipated the sound of breaking dishes, but it didn’t come, and his esteem for Yan Li rose another few points. Not long later she yelled: “Linxi, come over and help me!”
Strictly speaking, this was only the second time Ji Linxi had met Yan Li. To call someone using such an intimate form of address after only having met twice—Ji Linxi mentally gave her the label of ‘very familiar with others.’
“What happened?” Ji Linxi answered as he walked to the kitchen. Seeing Yan Li on her toes, arms reaching to put the plates back in their cabinet, Ji Linxi realized why Yan Li had called him here.
With his additional height, Ji Linxi very easily put the plates back where they should be.
Yan Li was frustrated for a while by Ji Linxi’s height. Several beads of sweat appeared on her forehead and she raised a hand to wipe them away, her breath slightly heavy as she said, “Thanks.”
“Yan Li, I find that you’re not as… mh, irritating… as I imagined.” Ji Linxi assessed.
From the start, Ji Linxi had faced Yan Li coldly. Now, he flashed her a slight smile and Yan Li felt as though her world had opened from a freezing winter to a warm field where flowers bloomed in spring.
Through the window, a piercing ray of sunlight landed surreptitiously on Ji Linxi’s shoulder, giving his faint smile a radiant color. Yan Li felt a little floaty, as if she’d had too much to drink. She stared at Ji Linxi with a silly grin. His face seemed stoic but could actually show many expressions. The reason for Ji Linxi’s smile had long vanished, but he didn’t understand what Yan Li was smiling about, so he just continued to smile along with her.
Both sides were unable to read the intention of the other, but were smiling because they were looking at each other. A strange atmosphere filled the cramped kitchen.
Maybe that atmosphere could be called ‘ambiguous.’
Ling Miao didn’t know what had happened between Ji Linxi and Yan Li. His thoughts had long been led away by Yan Li’s words: “Maybe you can’t leave Su Yuyang behind.”
“Is it really that I can’t let go of Su Yuyang?” Ling Miao kept asking himself. “But I had no regrets at all when I left, and I don’t have any wish to go back,” he answered himself. Several seconds later he raised a new question: “Then why is it that whenever someone linked to Su Yuyang looks for me, I immediately think it’s Su Yuyang asking me to go back? Can I really not let go of Su Yuyang?”
After all the questions had flashed through Ling Miao’s mind, he returned once again to the starting point.
Ling Miao was like someone walking on a treadmill. No matter where he picked as a starting point, he’d return to it eventually. This wasn’t what Ling Miao needed or wanted.
“Su Yuyang, Su Yuyang, why do you keep bugging me and not letting go?” Ling Miao suddenly lay down on the table, drawing on the table with his finger in frustration. If one could see Ling Miao’s lines, they would definitely form the words Su Yuyang.
“Aah—” Ling Miao ruffled the hair on his own head as if he wanted to pull it all out.
Hearing the commotion in the room, the two people in the kitchen came to their senses. Yan Li blinked and asked in fright: “Why is Ling Miao screaming so terribly?”
In the time it took Yan Li to speak Ji Linxi had vanished before her eyes. She couldn’t help thinking: “These two, surely they aren’t…? Mmhm, something’s up!” Yan Li’s ‘nosy cells’ began to run amok again. If Ji Linxi had seen her expression, the image she had worked so hard to change would have collapsed again.
“Hey, wait for me!” Yan Li followed swiftly.
Yan Li walked into the room to see Ling Miao lying on the desk and Ji Linxi sitting on the bed. Ji Linxi said: “Fuck, I thought there was a thief in the house.”
“Wha–?” Yan Li thought she’d heard wrong, but immediately after Ling Miao said: “Hey, Linxi, you’re only worried about your laptop but not about me?”
Tsk tsk, look at you acting all pitiful like a wife who’s been dumped, Yan Li silently exclaimed.
She wasn’t done exclaiming when Ji Linxi’s voice broke through her train of thought.
“You can still yell, which proves you’re fine, right? On my laptop there’s a new program for the company. It’s a trade secret. If I lose it, I can’t afford to take responsibility,” Ji Linxi said with trepidation.
“I’m a living, breathing person. Compared to those inanimate things, I should be much more important, right?”
This guy’s a bastard boyfriend! The moment Yan Li’s train of thought started it just didn’t stop.
Ling Miao’s thought processes were sometimes less acute and sometimes shockingly incisive. Normally Ling Miao would have noticed Yan Li shipping him and Ji Linxi, but this time Ji Linxi was the first to notice.
Ji Linxi instantly caught sight of Yan Li’s affectionate expression. He’d seen it a lot in the office, so the moment he saw it he understood what Yan Li was thinking.
Ji Linxi secured his laptop, stretched lazily and said: “You’ve eaten and drunk, dumb cat, now go shower with me.”
“You’re a man. Everything you have, I have too. What’s there to look at?” Ling Miao said with a disgusted expression. “Also, you don’t like men, but you like to shower with men?”
Ji Linxi shrugged to indicate he thought it was a pity.
Though Ji Linxi was watching Ling Miao when he shrugged, Yan Li felt that Ji Linxi was doing this for her eyes. But… it was indeed a pity.
Hey, your euphemistic explanation was because of that? I can’t even put on my shipping goggles?³ I started down this train of thought and now I can’t stop, alright? I’ll run away crying!
Now imagine the various emotions in Yan Li’s heart; the conflict, the frustration, the desire to cry.
Ji Linxi went to the bathroom and Yan Li finally turned her attention to Ling Miao.
Ling Miao’s pitiful look made Yan Li mad, so she decidedly kicked Ling Miao twice: “Hey, who’re you playing dead for?”
“For you,” Ling Miao said weakly.
Yan Li sat beside Ling Miao and asked kindly, “What’s the matter?”
“I was thinking about whether it’s true that I can’t let go of Su Yuyang.”
“Ah?” Yan Li was first shocked, then she laughed out loud. She patted Ling Miao’s shoulders and consoled: “Why are you thinking so much? You’re making yourself uncomfortable, isn’t that masochistic? Or do you like hurting yourself?”
“You’re the masochist!” Having been provoked by Yan Li, Ling Miao instantly revived. He said proudly: “I don’t have masochistic tendencies!”
“Am I good at healing you, or were you not that hurt in the first place? You revived so quickly.”²
Ling Miao’s attitude had changed so quickly that Yan Li gave him a silent word of praise.
“I’m not you. I don’t lose blood every month,” Ling Miao replied without pulling his punches. Yan Li huffed and reminded: “I let you come back to pack your things. You’ve eaten and drunk your fill. Now won’t you get to work?”
“Yes, yes, yes. I’ll pack immediately.”
Having been yelled at by Yan Li, Ling Miao momentarily assumed the expression of a maid being bullied by her mistress.
As Ling Miao wouldn’t be staying long at Su Yuyang’s place, and this place was also close to Su Yuyang’s place, he only took a couple of changes of clothes and his toiletries.
Ling Miao packed his things and yelled to Ji Linxi who was still in the bathroom: “Linxi, I’ll stay this month at Su Yuyang’s house. Tell the landlord I haven’t moved out.”
“Yo, you really do have that guy in your heart!” Ji Linxi walked out of the bathroom wearing only a pair of big pants, wet hair sticking to his skin, drops of water rolling down his chest and glimmering like crystals under the sunlight.
J Linxi picked up a dry towel hanging on the balcony and casually towelled his hair. Water shot everywhere.
Everything Ji Linxi did replayed in slow motion in Yan Li’s mind. Her eyes were fixed on the water droplets sliding down Ji Linxi’s chest, and the not-very-defined six-pack on his abdomen…
Yan Li didn’t look any further downwards. She turned her head and pulled at a corner of Ling Miao’s shirt: “Let’s go.”
Yan Li didn’t realize that Ji Linxi had already memorized her expression.
 10 kilos: 22 pounds
 Shipping goggles: looking at two people’s interactions and being biased towards interpreting them romantically
 They are using video game terminology. Also, the word for heal means ‘add blood’