The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
“Did you think my surname was Lin?” Ji Linxi laughed unkindly: no wonder Yan Li had called him ‘Linxi’ from the start.¹ She had thought that was his full name.
Yan Li knew she’d made a moderate faux pas, but embarrassment flashed across her face for only a split second before she returned to her usual confident self.
Linxi, Linxi. Since she had already gotten used to it, she wouldn’t bother changing what she called him. As for what Ji Linxi thought…
Ah, he won’t dislike me just because of what I call him, right? That’s not right. I’m not close to him, so why am I thinking about it so much? But I’ll feel uneasy if I don’t think about it—very uneasy in a lot of ways. Motherfucker, it’s the feeling of one hundred thousand ‘fuck you’ horses thundering through my heart.
Countless thoughts flashed through Yan Li’s mind. Every time a new one appeared, the frustration on her face intensified. Ji Linxi watched her, baffled.
“You’re not agonizing over what to call me, right?” Ji Linxi’s smile reached his eyes, the upward turn of his lips mesmerizing.
Yan Li huffed heavily as if conceding Ji Linxi’s point. Ling Miao asked curiously: “It’s just a name. What’s there to agonize over?”
Ji Linxi and Yan Li rolled their eyes at him at the same time, provoking Ling Miao to cry out: “Damn, you two don’t have to be so in step, you know? Or do you just have a spiritual connection when it comes to tormenting me?”
Yan Li hummed and said with satisfaction: “Maybe we’re this in step about everything.” Strands of sweetness wrapped Yan Li’s heart, but she simultaneously noticed a scent of danger. This danger was about Ji Linxi.
It’s like… I have feelings for this guy! Thinking this, Yan Li reflexively smiled. Ling Miao couldn’t stand it any more: “Yan-jie, your smile’s too cloying! Put it away, put it away.”
Yan Li picked up a tissue and tossed it at Ling Miao, saying: “‘Too cloying,’ you say. I think you’ve eaten too many sweets!”
“How do you know I meant sweet and not oily?”² Ling Miao teased.
Ling Miao gave a long and meaningful smile. His gaze hovered between Yan Li and Ji Linxi, as if Ji Linxi and Yan Li were a loving couple currently displaying affection in front of him!
Yan Li turned to ask Ji Linxi: “Ji Linxi, do you think my smile is sweet or oily?”
Ji Linxi was surprised that Yan Li would turn the conversation to him. He stared at Yan Li, carefully considering, before saying: “Sweet.”
“Do you like it?” Yan Li asked casually.
Yan Li’s words instantly froze the atmosphere in the car.
Ling Miao’s gaze continued oscillating between Ji Linxi and Yan Li. The difference from earlier was that he was now completely shocked—surely Yan Li didn’t have a crush on Ji Linxi?
Ji Linxi’s expression hadn’t changed too much; he probably wouldn’t be perturbed even if the sky fell. Hearing Yan Li’s question he smiled faintly: “As long as your fans like it.”
Yan Li froze. This question was an objective one: even though there were two choices, there was only one answer. But Ji Linxi had twisted the question into a subjective one and given an answer from his heart.
Yan Li had forgotten that if the question was objective, she should have laid out the choices, not hidden them.
Ji Linxi had given Yan Li an unexpected answer, but Yan Li kept the conversation going. She asked: “Will you become my fan?”
“Are you an architect?” Ji Linxi retorted.
“Don’t you listen to music?”
“So, listen to my music. Maybe you’ll like it.”
“I’m busy lately.”
“Then I’ll download it for you.” Yan Li’s childish actions rendered Ji Linxi incapable of responding. Looking into Yan Li’s sincere eyes, he didn’t know how to reply.
Ji Linxi had encountered a problem he had never met before, and he had no one to talk about it with. His forehead furrowed.
Yan Li looked at Ji Linxi with a smile, as if enjoying a work of art.
Ling Miao leaned back in his chair. Listening to Ji Linxi and Yan Li’s idle chatter, he suddenly felt sleepy.
How much free time do these two have? Ling Miao’s gaze gradually grew unfocused. As he was about to go to the God of Sleep, a ringtone sounded at just the wrong time. Then came Yan Li’s panicked voice: “Lin-jie, are you here?”
“Traffic jam on the highway. Where are you? Are you safe?”
Yan Li glanced around at her surroundings and verified that there were no suspicious people before saying: “I’m outside Feng-zi’s store. I didn’t see anyone following me.”
“I don’t know what time I’ll be there. If I’d known I’d have asked you to come over,” Yang Lin said dejectedly.
Yan Li was secretly joyous: The longer you take to get here, the better.
The moment Ling Miao opened his eyes he saw Yan Li’s scheming smile. He shuddered, then pulled at Ji Linxi’s clothes. He pulled out his phone and typed: Yan Li’s interested in you?
Ji Linxi’s eyes went wide, then narrowed again. He squinted at what Ling Miao had typed and recalled his encounters with Yan Li, which weren’t many in number. Ji Linxi wasn’t sure either exactly how Yan Li felt about him. He took the phone and typed: You’d have to ask her.
Ling Miao: “You can’t feel it?
Ji Linxi: How many times have I met her? If I said she has feelings for me, would you believe it? Either way, I don’t believe it.
Ling Miao: Can’t say for sure. Don’t forget, the heaven-defying concept of ‘love at first sight’ exists.
Ji Linxi: Love at several sights still doesn’t compare to love growing over time.
Ji Linxi seemed to be implying something but Ling Miao didn’t understand it, and he didn’t want to give Ji Linxi a chance to get one up on him, so he pretended to understand and replied: Love growing over time? Heh heh, Linxi, didn’t know you were that sort of guy.
As Ji Linxi saw these words Ling Miao thought his face went green. Compared to Ji Linxi’s implications, Ling Miao’s meaning was simple, violent, straightforward, and deep.
Ji Linxi: You’d better go think about your novel. Hey, when you asked me to dinner, did you mean stay in the car all day?
Ling Miao: Wait till Yan-jie’s gone and then we’ll talk, alright? It’s not right to leave her in the car alone!
Ji Linxi: You could wait at Su Yuyang’s house
Ji Linxi typed this far, then stopped. He’d guessed why Ling Miao had asked him to dinner. He didn’t pass the phone to Ling Miao because he hadn’t finished typing, but Ling Miao saw that he wasn’t typing any more and was confused.
Ling Miao touched Ji Linxi and asked quietly: “What’s up?”
Ji Linxi continued typing where he had left off: Ling Miao, did you ask me out to avoid Su Yuyang?
Ling Miao snatched the phone and scowled at Ji Linxi, saying angrily: “Do you really have to say it out loud?!”
“Since I’ve already said it, what are you gonna do?” Ji Linxi said, playing the rascal.
Ling Miao clutched his phone and considered using it to knock a hole in the head of the person sitting opposite him so he could take a look to see if something was wrong with its internal structure.
Yan Li had finished her phone call. She tossed the phone on the dashboard, yawning as she said: “My manager’s stuck in traffic on the highway. We might not make the rehearsal today.”
“I see.” Ling Miao’s tone could be described as: dejected.
Yan Li was also conflicted. Heavy traffic on the highway was normal, and even a traffic jam lasting two hours wasn’t out of the ordinary. Ling Miao really did not want to waste the entire day here. Mostly because the atmosphere in the car was very tense and Ling Miao was afraid that staying in here would make him explode and die.
“I’m thirsty. Asking Feng Ji for some water.” As if running from trouble, Ling Miao got out of the car and shot toward W&S. Ji Linxi sat there, not leaving; however, he also felt awkward staying, so he pretended not to have seen Yan Li’s hopeful glance. Even as Yan Li hoped sincerely, Ji Linxi flung open the car door and left.
In the moment Ji Linxi ran out the door, Yan Li felt that her soul had flown away with Ji Linxi. She was about to open the door and chase after him when her hand stopped mid-motion.
Who is he to me? Why do I care about what he does? But if I don’t catch up with him, I won’t be able to stand it.
Fuck you, Ji Linxi! Am I contagious? Why’re you running so fast? Yan Li thought aggrievedly. Am I that scary? Ji Linxi, I will find you and get to the bottom of this!
Having found an open-and-aboveboard reason, Yan Li put on her cap and sunglasses and got out of the car as if she owned the place.
As the familiar silhouette entered Feng Ji’s field of vision, he almost choked on his coffee. He violently coughed several times and immediately invited Yan Li to the second floor, then tossed after her a certain person who had been leisurely enjoying good food in a corner.
Seeing Yan Li sitting on Feng Ji’s bed, Ling Miao wanted to cry!
Miss Demands-a-lot, could you really not just wait in the car for your manager?
He silently wiped away the tears in his heart and grinned: “Yan-jie, do you have any instructions for me?”
“Where’s Ji Linxi? I want to see him!” Yan Li resembled a spoiled princess. Nobody dared to defy her orders, no matter how unreasonable.
Ling Miao went downstairs to look for Ji Linxi, all the way thinking about what Ji Linxi might have done to offend Yan Li, but he couldn’t come up with anything. Ji Linxi could guess why Feng Ji had suddenly dragged Ling Miao off, and when Ling Miao came back and invited him up to the second floor he wasn’t too surprised. But what Ling Miao asked after that did surprise him.
Ling Miao asked: “What on earth did you do to offend Yan-jie? I feel like she has bad intentions toward you.”
Ji Linxi replied candidly, “Nothing.”
Ji Linxi’s candor was not faked. He really couldn’t think of how he had offended Yan Li, aside from being unfriendly the first time they met.
Yan Li had looked for Ji Linxi to talk about life and Ling Miao had felt awkward standing to one side, so he didn’t follow Ji Linxi upstairs.
Feng Ji walked over holding sweets. Ling Miao raised his head and looked at him, not understanding: “What’s the matter?”
“I think you’re here avoiding something.” Feng Ji wasn’t inquiring, but stating a fact.
Ling Miao’s hand froze around his cup. He admitted it, as there was no need to lie to Feng Ji: “Feng Ji, you should buy a lottery ticket. Indeed I’m here to avoid something.”
“Do you want to talk about your feelings toward Su Yuyang now?” Feng Ji seemed to have changed the conversation topic, but Ling Miao instantly understood—this was what Feng Ji had wanted to ask all along. This was the real subject.
“My feelings toward Su Yuyang?” Ling Miao took a deep breath then sank into his memories.
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 Calling someone by just their first name is informal and reserved for friends. People typically call someone they just met by their surname + first name.
 the CN word for ‘cloying’ is used in both the word for ‘sweet’ and the word for ‘oily’, in a food context.