The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
As Ling Miao passed in front of Su Yuyang, Su Yuyang’s expression changed drastically. Tang Xuan noticed the change in Su Yuyang’s expression and followed Su Yuyang’s gaze to where a young man was placing an order.
Tang Xuan didn’t make the connection that the man was Zero Seconds Ago. He took one glance at Ling Miao, then looked away.
Before, Tang Xuan and Su Yuyang had chatted a lot, most of which was Tang Xuan probing whether Su Yuyang still had lingering feelings for him. After several exchanges, Tang Xuan was sure that Su Yuyang didn’t have any leftover feelings for him, but that didn’t stand in the way of him asking to get back together. Quite the reverse—he felt that this was a prime opportunity to get to know each other anew.
“Yuyang.” Tang Xuan suddenly took Su Yuyang’s hand. “All this time, there’s something I’ve always regretted.”
A smile flashed across Su Yuyang’s eyes. Tang Xuan was finally getting to the point. Going by his gestures, the words that followed wouldn’t be a good time for Su Yuyang!
Su Yuyang slowly pulled his hand from between Tang Xuan’s own. He picked up his coffee and took a small, deliberate sip. “If you have something to say, say it.”
While Su Yuyang spoke, he diverted some of his attention toward Ling Miao, who seemed completely indifferent. Ling Miao’s expression was calm; he didn’t seem to blame Su Yuyang for leaving him behind to meet another man. At least, that was how Su Yuyang consoled himself—Ling Miao didn’t know Tang Xuan’s identity, so he was able to sit there quietly. His being there was certainly a coincidence.
Su Yuyang thought this far and let out a breath. He made new plans—the moment Ling Miao’s expression showed even the slightest change, he would take Ling Miao and leave immediately. As for Tang Xuan, he could go to hell!
Ling Miao seemed to notice Su Yuyang looking at him. He turned his head and smiled faintly at Su Yuyang, then turned away again. Su Yuyang’s heart began pounding hard; the cool look in Ling Miao’s eyes was stirring his emotions.
Does Ling Miao know something? If he knows about my and Tang Xuan’s relationship, knowing him, he wouldn’t be this calm, would he? Not right, not right! The more Su Yuyang thought the more he noticed the difference in Ling Miao today. If he was at W&S just by coincidence, then when he saw me here why didn’t he seem surprised… that’s fine, but he even pretended not to know me. Did he already know that I was here? At this point, Su Yuyang turned to look at Feng Ji, who had been keeping an eye on the situation. Unsurprisingly, the moment Su Yuyang turned he met Feng Ji’s eyes. Feng Ji furtively lowered his head and pretended to be busy.
“Feng Ji!” Su Yuyang was howling in his heart. He only prayed that Feng Ji hadn’t told Ling Miao about his relationship with Tang Xuan.
“Yuyang, your face is so pale. Are you not feeling well?” Tang Xuan asked with concern and tested Su Yuyang’s temperature with his hand.
Su Yuyang batted Tang Xuan’s hand away from his forehead and said dismissively, “I’m fine.”
Su Yuyang edged backward, as if to increase the distance between himself and Tang Xuan. Tang Xuan seemed not to have seen it. He stirred his coffee with the spoon, but his hands weren’t steady and a lot of the coffee slopped out.
Clink—the crisp sound of the spoon hitting the tea dish.
Tang Xuan folded his hands on the table, his eyes on his thumbs rubbing the webbing between his thumb and fingers. “Yuyang, all these years I’ve regretted one thing very much, and that’s breaking up with you back then.” Tang Xuan paused. Seeing that Su Yuyang was neither repulsed nor interested, he continued. “After breaking up, I thought about looking for you to reconcile, but you had gotten together with Feng Ji. Then we graduated, and found a job, and I left the area…”
“If you really wanted to reconcile back then, you’d have contacted me long ago. You have my number and could have gotten in touch at any time. You don’t have to come out now and pretend.” Su Yuyang cut Tang Xuan off and laughed coldly. “Tang Xuan, I already have a lover.”
“You really love him?” Tang Xuan felt that Su Yuyang was joking. “Yuyang, I understand you. We’re best suited to each other. We can do things you like together, and we can…”
“He also can…” Su Yuyang noticed a change in Ling Miao’s expression. He prepared to clear the air with Tang Xuan, then take Ling Miao and leave. Then he noticed Ling Miao coming over.
Ling Miao pulled out the chair beside Su Yuyang and sat down. He picked up Su Yuyang’s coffee and drained it in one go. He pursed his lips and said disdainfully, “Su Yuyang, you came out for coffee without me knowing. This coffee doesn’t taste too good—of course, that could also be because the air here isn’t good. Tsk tsk. Something’s polluting the air.”
Ling Miao’s words were pointed and Su Yuyang laughed inwardly: Xiao Miao, your needling is too unpracticed.
Tang Xuan had observed all of Ling Miao’s motions and words as well as Su Yuyang’s expressions, and guessed the identity of the uninvited person: Zero Seconds Ago.
“May I know who you are?” A friendly smile lay on Tang Xuan’s face as he started plotting how to make Ling Miao lose face in front of Su Yuyang.
Ling Miao glanced at Tang Xuan and his expression didn’t change, but he was laughing out loud in his heart: Motherfucker, he looks like a dead fish. Going by appearances, I leave him more than ten blocks in the dust!
Ling Miao didn’t answer Tang Xuan. Su Yuyang looked at Ling Miao gently, and both treated Tang Xuan as if he were empty air. Tang Xuan’s smile grew forced. Just as he was about to lose his smile, Ling Miao finally spoke. “Who are you?”
“Tang Xuan, Su Yuyang’s boyfriend,” Tang Xuan challenged.
“Tangyuan?”¹ Ling Miao looked at Tang Xuan in surprise. He sized Tang Xuan up, then needled: “You’re so skinny. If you’re still called tangyuan, what will the tangyuan do?”
“You…” Tang Xuan’s smile had completely vanished.
First round, Tang Xuan loses!
Tang Xuan inhaled and was about to refute Ling Miao when Ling Miao glanced at him and said dismissively: “You’re just Su Yuyang’s ex-boyfriend—an ex-boyfriend is an ex-boyfriend. In front of me, the official boyfriend, everyone who has gone before me is just garbage.” Tang Xuan bit his lower lip and spat out two words: “Oh, really?”
Ling Miao sat up straight, a smile hanging at his lips. He exclaimed, “If all of Su Yuyang’s ex-boyfriends are like you, then I should indeed dump him. Hey, don’t get excited. I don’t want to dump him—if I dump him, where do I go to find another Su Yuyang? Besides, the boyfriends Su Yuyang found after you are all quite all right, which proves that he was just blind when he was with you.”
Hearing Ling Miao’s words, Su Yuyang couldn’t sit still any more. He lost his balance and almost fell onto the floor. Feng Ji had arrived at some point. He caught Su Yuyang and fortunately saved him from disaster.
Tang Xuan constructed his rebuttal in his head, but before he could speak Ling Miao piped up again. “Ah, tangyuan…”
“Mm?” Tang Xuan answered reflexively.
“Feng-ge, do you serve tangyuan?” Ling Miao turned to ask Feng Ji.
Feng Ji didn’t realize the meaning of Ling Miao’s words and replied, “I have glutinous tangyuan. Do you want some?”
“I’m hungry. I want to eat tangyuan.” Ling Miao rubbed his stomach and said apologetically.
“Since you’re hungry, let’s go home.” Su Yuyang was worried Ling Miao would say more things he couldn’t respond to, and quickly pulled Ling Miao in the direction of the exit.
Tang Xuan quickly caught hold of Su Yuyang and showed a pitiful look: “Yuyang, let’s go back together!”
Ling Miao looked at Su Yuyang like he was watching a show. Su Yuyang mercilessly threw off Tang Xuan’s arm: “Tang Xuan, you were the one who dumped me in the first place. Now you have the nerve to ask me to come back. Do you have the right?” As Su Yuyang finished, he caught Ling Miao’s fingers with his own and walked out of the shop.
Su Yuyang’s mocking expression lingered in Tang Xuan’s mind for a long time. He seemed to hear his supervisor’s mocking voice again. Various mocking words rushed at him from all directions, pushing Tang Xuan toward the door.
Su Yuyang, Su Yuyang, I won’t let you go! A savage smile spread over Tang Xuan’s face, his gaze locked on Su Yuyang’s departing back.
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 Rice balls (‘tangyuan’) sounds close to ‘Tang Xuan’