The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Hearing the lock turn, Su Yuyang reflexively turned his head. When he saw Yan Li had returned, his eyes didn’t linger. He turned back and continued his conversation on the phone.
Yan Li walked in, went to her room, and changed her clothes. he returned to the living room and didn’t see Ling Miao. She took a second look and saw Ling Miao still frozen in the doorway.
Yan Li called: “What’re you standing there for? Come in!”
“Mm?” Yan Li’s voice made Su Yuyang notice something was off. He glanced at the door and saw Ling Miao hesitating.
“Xiao Miao?” Su Yuyang called out in surprised joy, but his joy didn’t last long.
“Mom, there’s really nothing. He’s not my boyfriend, only my assistant. Really.”
Yan Li had dragged Ling Miao in so he heard Su Yuyang’s words, clear as crystal, but only half of it stuck in his mind.
Su Yuyang was currently on the phone with his mom, but Ling Miao didn’t seem to have noticed this as he walked up to Su Yuyang and said seriously, “Su Yuyang, I’m not your assistant. I already quit. I already quit!”
Ling Miao’s voice was loud. Su Yuyang was about to remind him to quiet down before his mom heard it and misunderstood, but it was already too late.
Su Yuyang’s mom said: “Since he’s quit and doesn’t want to be your assistant any more, then let him be your boyfriend.”
Cough cough—”I…”—cough cough—Su Yuyang must have choked on his own spit because he started coughing violently, his hand falling reflexively on Ling Miao’s shoulder. Ling Miao slapped Su Yuyang’s hand away as if he’d been stuck with a needle.
The ‘pah’ sound was crisp and clear. Su Yuyang didn’t need to look to know that his hand was turning red.
Ling Miao chided: “Take your paws away. If my clothes are dirty, are you gonna wash them?”
Of course, Su Yuyang’s mom heard this too.
Su Yuyang heard his mom say: “Xiao Yu,¹ you don’t wash your clothes? Don’t tire him out. You still should wash your own clothes.”
Ling Miao and Yan Li couldn’t hear Su Yuyang’s mom’s words, but Su Yuyang’s expression could be described as ‘extremely colourful,’ even brighter than an artist’s palette.
Seeing a droplet of sweat roll off Su Yuyang’s head alongside Su Yuyang’s worried and frustrated expression, Ling Miao suddenly wanted to laugh.
“Haha… Hey, Yan Li, why’d you hit me?”
Ling Miao’s teasing words hadn’t even left his mouth when Yan Li rapped his head from behind. Ling Miao clutched his head and was about to protest when Yan Li dragged him into Su Yuyang’s room.
Ling Miao looked at Yan Li, not understanding. Yan Li put her hands on her hips, looking like she was about to start scolding him.
“Are you stupid? Su Yuyang’s on a call with his mom. Do you really have to keep making noise? Also, do you know what his mom most wants? She really wants her son to bring home a boyfriend. From what I know of his mom, you’re already on her ‘potential daughter-in-law’ list.” Yan Li looked at Ling Miao with pity.
Ling Miao glared at Yan Li and thought: Fuck, what’s that expression? You’re supposed to pity me, but you’re clapping your hands and delighting in my misery? Also, don’t think you’re hiding it well– I’m looking at your mouth! Don’t tell me that’s not a smile!
“Nonsense, nonsense, nonsense!” The three words, said in quick succession, perfectly vented all his current feelings. He looked at Yan Li and said bad-temperedly: “Who’s her daughter-in-law? Better you than me! You and Feng Ji, that’s who her daughters-in-law are!”
Yan Li heaved a long sigh and placed her hand on Ling Miao’s shoulder. She said regretfully, “It’s a pity. I like guys, but my chromosomes aren’t XY, so it’s impossible between us. Besides, his parents know his orientation. As for Feng Ji, heh heh… to tell you the truth, I fought Feng Ji for Su Yuyang before, and I lost completely.
“Feng-zi² and Old Su were together before, but now, both of them have put it behind them. Besides…” Yan Li’s words came to a sudden halt.
Obviously, the part after ‘besides’ was the important part. Just as obviously, Yan Li didn’t intend to say it. Ling Miao had no intentions of asking further, since Yan Li clearly wanted to tell him, whatever it was.
Besides, the person who’s walked into Su Yuyang’s heart is you, Ling Miao.
In the end, Yan Li didn’t tell Ling Miao. As she and Feng Ji had agreed, they wouldn’t do anything concrete to interfere with Su Yuyang and Ling Miao.
The door opened and Su Yuyang walked in, sweating.
Yan Li got up to give him the place facing the fan, and Su Yuyang unceremoniously sat down.
Ling Miao had been sitting beside Yan Li, but now that Su Yuyang had sat down, Ling Miao prepared to get up. His butt hadn’t even left the bed when Su Yuyang’s hand pressed down on his own, fast as a bolt of lightning. Then Su Yuyang took ahold of it like he might hold a baby’s hand.
“You came back?” Specks of light shone in Su Yuyang’s eyes like stars glimmering in the night sky. Ling Miao had intended to pull his hand away from Su Yuyang’s, but as he caught sight of Su Yuyang’s hopeful expression he lost his strength.
Ling Miao didn’t know how to reply and he let Su Yuyang continue holding his hand.
Seeing the scene that was very nearly romantic and heartwarming, a secret happiness rose in Yan Li’s heart. She quietly left the room and even thoughtfully closed the door behind her, as if really hoping that something would happen between the two.
“Feng-zi, I tell you…” The moment Yan Li returned to her room she phoned Feng Ji and explained the situation there.
Feng Ji listened and then sighed: “With Ling Miao’s personality and Yuyang’s emotional stuntedness… you want them to understand the true feelings in their hearts? I tell you, dream on.”
Yan Li didn’t expect to be shot down by Feng Ji. She lay on the bed with her leg cocked, saying confidently, “With me around, Old Su will find it very easy to understand his intentions! Mm hm, Feng-zi, wait and see the fruits of my labor. I don’t believe I can’t settle these two in a month!”
Feng Ji brushed aside the black lines³ that had appeared on the side of his head and thought: Yan Li, Yan Li, when did you switch professions to matchmaker? And a matchmaker who doesn’t stick to the script, at that!
Feng Ji didn’t continue this topic of conversation. He changed the subject, saying seriously: “Xiao Li, it’s the 30th. The concert’s on the 1st. Aren’t you going to rehearse?”
“Mm?” Yan Li froze. The tone and the content… didn’t sound like they would have come from Feng Ji’s mouth.
“Fuck, I forgot.” Yan Li jumped up from the bed. “That… Lin-jie’s contacted you, right? I’ll go call Lin-jie back, bye-bye~”
Upon returning to Chongqing, Yan Li had changed her number. Her manager didn’t yet know, so she had gotten in contact with Feng Ji instead—this was typical.
Yan Li contacted her manager and arranged a rehearsal time, then left her room.
Yan Li hadn’t closed Su Yuyang’s door completely—this was so that she could peek.
Pushing open the door just a crack, Yan Li opened her eyes wide to see the scene inside, but she was disappointed—only Ling Miao was in the room.
“What’re you looking at?”
Su Yuyang’s frustrated voice came. Yan Li turned to look and saw someone with half his face swollen walking out of the bathroom.
“You tried to molest him and got punched?” Seeing Su Yuyang’s face, Yan Li patched in with her own imagination what had happened in Su Yuyang’s room after she left.
Some sort of flirtation, some sort of entanglement, some sort of… what would one call it?
Su Yuyang’s face was swollen and his teeth were indistinguishable from the rest of his mouth, but the single sentence from him destroyed Yan Li’s fantasies.
“He said he was your temporary assistant. When you leave, he’ll leave. So I said I wanted to continue employing him, and he can continue staying here. But who knew? The moment I said this, his fist came flying. He said something like, ‘Su Yuyang, you only want to take advantage of me. I’m not here to sell my body.’”
Su Yuyang sat on the sofa, his forehead furrowed as he thought about how to make Ling Miao stay. His eyes were full of self-blame and his faint smile was frustrated.
These expressions, put together on a single face, were extremely bizarre no matter what angle they were seen from, so Yan Li didn’t look at Su Yuyang directly.
Low sounds of laughter came from Su Yuyang, almost like sobs.
“Yan Yan, what happened to me?”
“How would I know?”
She said out loud that she didn’t know, but secretly she had guessed: Maybe you have feelings for your little assistant, but your slow mind hasn’t realized it. Will you only figure it out when you lose him?
“You’ll only figure it out when you lose him?” Yan Li repeated in a low voice.
Su Yuyang saw Yan Li’s lips move but no sound came out, so he asked curiously: “What did you say?”
“Nothing,” Yan Li smiled sincerely, stretched lazily, and said: “I’m going to shower. You figure things out with your little assistant.”
Suddenly, the door to Su Yuyang’s room opened and Ling Miao walked out, puffed up from anger. He retorted, “Who’s his assistant? I’ve already quit.”
“Oh.” Yan Li thought, then amended: “I’ll go shower. You figure things out with my little assistant.”
Yan Li took her towel to the bathroom, leaving Ling Miao and Su Yuyang in the living room.
The atmosphere could be described in one word: awkward.
“Is your face alright?” To soothe the atmosphere, Ling Miao spoke first.
Su Yuyang said indifferently: “Even if I’m disfigured, it’ll be fine. I don’t rely on my face to make a living.”
Ling Miao complained silently: You say it like I rely on my face to make a living.
“Also, why don’t you check before you update?” Ling Miao asked in a lecturing tone.
Su Yuyang watched Ling Miao with confusion. He didn’t know what Ling Miao was referring to or why Ling Miao had this question at all.
“Are you concerned about me?” A possibility occurred to Su Yuyang and his tone grew excited.
Ling Miao hmphed coldly and angled his chin: “I just want to have a good reading experience.”
Su Yuyang laughed and said with embarassment: “I’ll be more careful next time.”
“There will be a next time? Why don’t you go edit!” Ling Miao mock-raised his fist like he was about to punch Su Yuyang, but seeing Su Yuyang’s still-swollen face he angrily put his arm back down.
“We’re not that close,” Ling Miao cut Su Yuyang off.
“Ling Miao?” Su Yuyang called uncomfortably.
“In the future, you’ll still cook?”
“As if you would?” Ling Miao rolled his eyes at Su Yuyang. “In the future, I’ll cook.”
Ling Miao said this casually, but he didn’t give an end date!
Su Yuyang started smiling for no reason.
 Yuyang -> nickname Xiao Yu
 Feng-zi: a diminutive of Feng Ji’s name, like Ling Miao -> Xiao Miao. Feng-zi also sounds the same as ‘crazy,’ and in Yan Li’s thoughts/speech it is written with the words for ‘crazy.’
 Black lines: the vertical ones in manga panels, like this: -_- |||