The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Ling Miao panted as he stood in the doorway. He considered going into the room, then hesitated again. Seeing this, Su Yuyang laughed: “What are you standing there for? Get me a cup of water.” He shot Ling Miao a look.
Ling Miao took two steps in and picked up Su Yuyang’s cup from the writing desk. “Cold water or hot water?” Before Su Yuyang could speak, Ling Miao made the decision for him: “Better hot water. You don’t like the cold.”
Su Yuyang wanted to say, Just because I don’t like the cold doesn’t mean I can’t drink cold water! But seeing the resolute look in Ling Miao’s eyes, he nodded in silent agreement.
Ling Miao turned and left the room, but Su Yuyang’s gaze lingered at the doorway. Soon, Ling Miao returned with a full cup of water. He hadn’t brought the lid with him, and he was also walking quickly, so some of the water sloshed out and wet his clothes.
Su Yuyang took the cup and took a small sip. Seeing the wet spot on Ling Miao’s chest, he said jokingly: “Your clothes are thirsty, too?”
“Ah?” Ling Miao lowered his head to look, then rubbed his head and said awkwardly: “I’ll go change.” He got up and walked out, but Su Yuyang’s cold voice came from behind him: “Your clothes are in my room, aren’t they?”
Ling Miao froze and cursed silently Fuck. I moved everything else out, but I forgot my clothes!
Ling Miao wasn’t sure when Su Yuyang would wake up, so he had moved basically all his things into Su Yuyang’s room. When Su Yuyang seemed about to wake up, he had moved his things back out, but he had forgotten his clothes in the nightstand. o(╯□╰)o
Ling Miao mechanically turned his head and smiled ingratiatingly. “Ah, Su-ge… you should rest. I’m going to change.” Ling Miao walked to the other side of the bed, retrieved his clothes, and fled.
Su Yuyang watched Ling Miao’s fleeing back, a smile appearing on his face without his knowledge.
Several minutes later, Ling Miao returned.
Su Yuyang was in the same position as before. Ling Miao walked over and turned Su Yuyang’s body to face the other direction, berating him: “Aren’t you tired of lying like this?”
Su Yuyang kept smiling and didn’t say anything. Ling Miao was both angry and happy. He covered Su Yuyang with the blanket and said in resignation: “Forget it. Since you’re sick, I won’t quibble. What do you want to eat tonight?”
Su Yuyang looked thoughtful, and Ling Miao very patiently waited for his answer.
“Congee,” Su Yuyang said with effort.
Ling Miao asked: “Preserved egg lean meat congee, or corn soup, or green bean soup, or pumpkin congee?”
“You decide.” Su Yuyang continued to speak in the manner he did before. He really didn’t have much energy.
Su Yuyang’s current condition made Ling Miao’s heart ache, so he didn’t keep asking. He put the lid on the cup and put it on the nightstand, instructing: “If you need anything, call me. I’m going to write.”
“Stay here beside me.” Su Yuyang glanced to the side. “I remember you have a bedside desk.”
“With you looking on, how can I concentrate on writing? Also, is it really okay for me to write on your bed?” Ling Miao rolled his eyes at Su Yuyang. Su Yuyang was aware of this, and said indifferently: “As you wish, then.”
Ling Miao went out, but came back not even a minute later.
He set up the bedside desk and sat on the bed.
Su Yuyang teased: “With me looking on, how can you concentrate on writing?”
“I’m training myself, all right?” Ling Miao retorted.
A few seconds later Su Yuyang heard the sound of the keyboard. He turned his head, raised his eyes and looked at Ling Miao’s expression of concentration from below.
The sound of the rain outside grew louder, pounding against the glass as if trying to make its way inside. Ling Miao frowned: his train of thought had been interrupted by the rain outside.
“Fuck,” Ling Miao cursed softly. He turned and looked at Su Yuyang and said weakly, ”Writer’s block.”
“Mm?” Su Yuyang looked at Ling Miao in confusion.
Ling Miao took out the detailed outline of Su Yuyang’s feedback on his novel. He laughed in satisfaction, like he was tugging on Su Yuyang’s pigtails: “Su Yuyang, you read my novel pretty closely.”
“I did it out of boredom. Read it and have a good laugh, that’s enough.” Su Yuyang didn’t seem to care too much. He didn’t even ask how the notes had landed in Ling Miao’s hands.
Ling Miao carefully put all the papers back in a stack, then put a binder clip on them. He said treasuringly: “I want to keep all of these.”
Seeing Ling Miao’s childish actions, warmth trickled through Su Yuyang’s heart. It made him happy that Ling Miao treasured the feedback he had taken great pains to put together. Su Yuyang’s hand landed on Ling Miao’s leg, and Ling Miao gave a start and jerked his leg away. Su Yuyang’s hand closed on air and even though his expression didn’t change muh, he didn’t feel too good about it. Ling Miao saw Su Yuyang’s disappointment and regret, packed up his feelings and said gratefully: “Thank you for your feedback. I’m editing according to your suggestions.”
Editing was an extremely painful task and Ling Miao’s novel was more than two million words long. Even reading all day and all night, it’d still take four or five days to finish, and as for editing… that wouldn’t be doable in less than two months.
Seeing Ling Miao haggard from editing, Su Yuyang’s tone grew sympathetic. “It’s more than two million words long. Don’t bother editing. It already failed anyway.”
If Su Yuyang had said this in a mocking tone, Ling Miao would have given him a good scolding, but Su Yuyang had said it sympathetically so Ling Miao couldn’t get mad at all. Ling Miao tapped his own hand with a sheet of paper and said resolutely, “Even if it’s failed, I’m going to finish editing it. Maybe it’ll get popular after it’s done?”
“Maybe.” Su Yuyang didn’t have the energy to retort, but he made a different request. “While you’re editing the novel, don’t update any new chapters.”
Ling Miao glanced at Su Yuyang and said in a strange, hopeful tone: “If I don’t write, I don’t get recommended and I don’t get the effort bonus. If I don’t have money, I can’t eat. Unless I live off you?”
“You can,” Su Yuyang agreed without even thinking about it. The moment he said it he felt it wasn’t appropriate, and under Ling Miao’s amazed gaze he added: “I mean, continue being my assistant, and I’ll pay you. Then you’ll have money, won’t you?”
“Fuck, that’s a completely different meaning from ‘live off you,’ all right?!” Ling Miao made a face at Su Yuyang, who laughed.
Probably because Su Yuyang had laughed, Ling Miao relaxed and also joined in laughing. Suddenly, he thought of something and grinned. “Yan-jie’s concert. Are you still going?”
“Tomorrow, right?” Su Yuyang remembered the time. “Do you think I can still go?”
Ling Miao was slightly disappointed, but remembering that Su Yuyang might still have his ticket he grew invigorated again. Ling Miao asked: “Su-ge, do you have a ticket to Yan-jie’s concert?”
“You want to go?” Su Yuyang’s eyes flashed as he thought: Ling Miao isn’t Yan Li’s fan, right? Why is he so excited? Does he have a secret he can’t tell? Curiosity is human nature, and although Su Yuyang wasn’t a very curious person, since the matter had to do with both Yan Li and Ling Miao his curiosity was completely roused. If Ling Miao didn’t tell him, he wouldn’t give Ling Miao a good time in the next few days.
Ling Miao said secretively: “I want to go see a show.”
“See a show?” The concert wasn’t a play. What show was there to see?
Ling Miao’s words made Su Yuyang even more determined.
Su Yuyang nodded. “I have a ticket, but only one.”
“Su-ge, you don’t want to go anyway, so why don’t you…”
“I suddenly want to go.” Su Yuyang cut off Ling Miao, who took a deep breath like he was about to yell at Su Yuyang. Su Yuyang raised one pleased eyebrow at him. Ling Miao slowly exhaled and pleaded: “Su-ge, I’m begging you. Give me the ticket?”
“You’re not Yan Li’s fan. Why do you suddenly want to see her concert?” Su Yuyang finally revealed his true motive.
“It’s like this…”
Ling Miao recounted in detail the events of Yan Li falling for Ji Linxi, then sending a flower to him, and Ji Linxi’s reaction and response. Then he pleaded again: “Su-ge, I really want to see Yan Li’s reaction for myself when she receives the flower back.”
“This isn’t a reason.” Su Yuyang felt that Ling Miao definitely had some deeper reason, so he didn’t give in.
Ling Miao finally gave up. He said calmly, “I want to stop Ji Linxi.”
“I accept this reason.” Su Yuyang finally gave in, but before Ling Miao’s joy could sink in Su Yuyang twisted the knife: “But I can’t give you my ticket.”
“Motherfucker…” Ling Miao cursed.
Su Yuyang had been watching Ling Miao’s expression closely, so Ling Miao’s excitement didn’t escape his eyes. Su Yuyang also noted the instant the excitement turned to dejection, and dejection turned to frustration. Even though Su Yuyang was secretly happy, his expression remained calm.
Ling Miao had tried pleading once and failed, then tried pleading again and failed again, so he had to throw up his hands in defeat: “Since you’re like that, then I won’t go. It won’t be me who’s upset.”
Unexpectedly, Ling Miao didn’t flare up, but his dissatisfaction was evident on his face. Su Yuyang rolled over to be closer to Ling Miao. Ling Miao was sitting on the edge of the bed and could fall off at any moment, and now that Su Yuyang had suddenly rolled closer he scrambled for balance and almost fell down. He glanced warily at Su Yuyang rolling closer and asked nervously: “Su… Su-ge, what are you doing?”
Su Yuyang patted Ling Miao’s leg and consoled him: “Don’t be upset. Although I can’t give you my ticket, I can give you Feng Ji’s.”
“Ah?” Ling Miao was still a little disbelieving.
“Call Feng Ji for me,” Su Yuyang said affectionately.
Ling Miao dialed Feng Ji’s number and Su Yuyang told him to put it on speaker. Ling Miao was surprised that Su Yuyang would let him hear his conversation with Feng Ji.
“Feng Ji, Ling Miao wants to go to Yan Li’s concert. I’m co-opting your ticket,” Su Yuyang said slyly.
Feng Ji let out a curse, then Ling Miao heard his voice, pitchy with emotion: “I thought Ling Miao was calling to tell me you had died! I didn’t expect that you’d woken up!”
“You really want me to die?”
“Scram!” Feng Ji said ill-temperedly. “If you want the ticket, fine, but give me an autographed book in exchange!”
“Sorry, I can’t. Also, your ticket’s already with me, so…” Su Yuyang didn’t go on, but decisively hung up the phone. It could be surmised that, on the other end of the line, Feng Ji was cursing out Su Yuyang for being despicable.
“Done!” Su Yuyang said with a sense of accomplishment as he looked at Ling Miao, who smiled and said nothing.