The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Ling Miao froze. Had Ji Linxi noticed something?
Su Yuyang was calmer than Ling Miao and didn’t panic at Ji Linxi’s probing. Analyzing Ji Linxi’s words, he could tell that Ji Linxi had noticed nothing.
Su Yuyang raised his eyebrows and looked at Ji Linxi with a challenge in his eyes. “Something that’ll make you unhappy.”
“Oh yeah?” Ji Linxi laughed coldly. “Then I’ll wait to see it.”
Ji Linxi left the room and Ling Miao said with trepidation, “I’m shocked. Has Linxi seen through our plan?”
“Even if he saw through our plan, does that make it unworkable? Besides, me and Yan Li—he can tell at a glance that it’s an act, no?”
Ling Miao looked at Su Yuyang in shock and scolded, “Why didn’t you remind me earlier?”
“It’s not that I didn’t remind you, but that you’re stupid!” Su Yuyang jabbed Ling Miao’s forehead and Ling Miao stepped on Su Yuyang’s foot in retaliation. Su Yuyang’s cry of pain reverberated through the room.
The second day, Ji Linxi woke Su Yuyang and Ling Miao.
Under Ji Linxi’s teasing gaze, they walked into the dressing room.
Yan Li had already changed clothes. She wore Han attire in river-blue—the outfit the female protagonist of Demonic Song Defying Heaven usually wore.
Su Yuyang hadn’t described the female protagonist’s appearance in detail, but he grew inexplicably excited seeing Yan Li before him now. It was as if the character from the book was standing before him now—or perhaps Yan Li’s appearance now was the one he wished the protagonist in his book to have.
“Very pretty!” Su Yuyang said in approval.
Yan Li mischievously blinked and said invitingly, “Is this the Luo Ying in your imagination?”
Su Yuyang smiled and didn’t say anything. He took the clothes Ling Miao handed him and headed for the changing room. Su Yuyang’s outfit was also Han attire, but because they were pressed for time, his wasn’t tailor-made and the fit was large on him.
Su Yuyang’s costume was black, like Feng Ji’s in Demonic Song.
Yan Li had finished her makeup and now she stood to one side watching Su Yuyang do his. Ling Miao took photos.
“Xiao Miao, don’t put them online!” Su Yuyang had guessed what Ling Miao was about to do and instantly cried out to prevent it. Ling Miao said aggrievedly, “I’ll post them only after you’re done, how about that?” Then he turned the camera on Yan Li, who looked into the viewport with a cold, arrogant look on her face.
“Yan-jie, let’s take a photo together!”
“Sure! Remember to send it to me!” Yan Li reached out as if holding Ling Miao’s neck and Ling Miao pretended to be choking.
While Ling Miao and Yan Li were having fun taking photos, Su Yuyang watched their reflections in the mirror and smiled helplessly. His gaze was drawn to Ji Linxi, who was standing in the corner, and a crafty expression shot through his eyes. Since Ji Linxi had come in, everyone had completely forgotten him, whether intentionally or not.
Ji Linxi stood in the corner, his hands curled into fists at his sides. The veins in the back of his hands popped and he seemed as if he were trying hard to suppress something.
An employee came in to remind the performers that they should prepare to go onstage and Ji Linxi made a noise to indicate his existence.
“A-Li, three minutes to showtime.”
Yan Li didn’t seem to have heard Ji Linxi. She didn’t even reply. She said to Ling Miao, “Xiao Miao, remember to record later!”
“Don’t record my ugly side, or you’ll get it when we get home!” Su Yuyang intentionally put the emphasis on certain words. To one side, Yan Li teased, “Oh, you two have exciting night lives!”
Ling Miao felt his face burning. He was about to grab Ji Linxi and leave, but thinking of his own plan he forced himself to change direction and walk toward the auditorium.
The intro to Demonic Song Defying Heaven started up and Ling Miao could feel his blood pumping.
“Under the setting sun we walk, and the sky suddenly changes. Bound by the word of our contract, our lives are fated to be extraordinary.” Yan Li’s clear bright voice came from one side of the stage. By the time the first verse had ended, she was standing center stage.
“The plot gradually surfaces. Truth begins its long slumber. Alone I search but find no trace. Who will share this world with me?” A rich and deep man’s voice came from the other side of the stage, harmonizing with Yan Li’s.
“Kill! Escape the chains of fate. Kill! Break the walls between spaces. The music of a thousand souls, become one song that defies the heavens!”
The last part was sung together, and the atmosphere created by the two seemed to break through to the sky. Many people at the scene were shocked. On the big screen, an image of Yan Li and Su Yuyang was displayed. Yan Li’s presence surprised many people, but even more were wondering who the person singing the duet with her was.
“Damn, that guy’s good looking!” Suddenly, Ling Miao heard two women at the table behind him discussing. “Do you think I should go ask him for his number?”
My man, and you want to get involved with him? You’re not worried I’ll go after you? Ling Miao had his phone raised, recording the performance. After he finished internally cursing the women he began internally cursing himself: Fuck, people do go by appearances. If I’d known I wouldn’t have let him go onstage! Now he’s getting ogled by women! No, I have to let everyone know that this guy is mine!
With this thought, Ling Miao almost rushed up onstage. That is, he would have, if Ji Linxi hadn’t caught Yan Li and kissed her.
“Fuck, what just happened?!” Ling Miao was shocked. He hadn’t noticed himself getting distracted, hadn’t seen what happened on stage. Only when the crowd started shouting in surprise did he get his wits back, and then he saw Ji Linxi kissing Yan Li.
“Uh…” The announcer, who happened to be Mu Yu, pushed his glasses up awkwardly.
Su Yuyang walked to Mu Yu’s side intending to defuse the situation, but Ji Linxi spoke first: “Su Yuyang, I know what you’re trying to do. Yes, I’ve fallen for Yan Li. I know you did it on purpose, but when I see you being intimate with her I can’t stand it! And then I remember your relationship with Xiao Miao. Su Yuyang, you’d better go back to your Xiao Miao!”
Ji Linxi had said this into Su Yuyang’s ear. Mu Yu must have heard a little, but everyone else heard nothing.
“Good evening! I’m Yan Li!” Yan Li’s gentle voice came. Probably because Ji Linxi had kissed her in front of so many people, her heart was panicking and her voice trembled a little.
The moment Yan Li started speaking, she attracted most of the attention. Seeing everyone’s eyes on her, she said, panting slightly, “My boyfriend got jealous when he saw me with another man. Don’t blame him, everyone.
“Today, I’m here as the spokesperson of Demonic Song Defying Heaven’s tie-in online game. I took on this role, not only because I like this book very much, but also to support my good friend Shu Yang. He’s here today, too.”
As Yan Li spoke, she held her arm out and pointed toward the man in black Han attire beside Mu Yu. “The man who sang Demonic Song Defying Heaven with me just now is the book’s author, Shu Yang!”
“He’s Shu Yang! He’s so handsome. How can he be gay?” The woman behind Ling Miao was talking again.
Fuck! If he wasn’t handsome, why would I have my eye on him?
Ling Miao thought fretfully, then on impulse he rushed up on stage so quickly the security didn’t even have time to react.
“Hey, Su Yuyang.” Ling Miao’s voice suddenly came, his tone fierce. The successful author saw that Ling Miao seemed to want to eat him and thought, What did I do wrong now?
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