The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Tang Xuan’s appearance had indeed affected Ling Miao and Su Yuyang. His appearance had let Ling Miao and Su Yuyang understand their relationship better and drawn them closer together. If Tang Xuan knew that his looking for Su Yuyang had actually improved Ling Miao and Su Yuyang’s relationship, he might vomit blood onto his computer monitor.
Su Yuyang and Ling Miao continued their peaceful lives as if Tang Xuan had never appeared. Every day they word sprinted and squabbled. Occasionally, Su Yuyang would go to the kitchen and ‘help’ Ling Miao under the pretext of trying to learn to cook. Ling Miao’s assessment of this: “Damn it, you’re here to make things difficult for me, aren’t you?”
From the above one can tell that Su Yuyang is a kitchen murderer. As long as he was there, Ling Miao’s dishes would either be burnt or have too much salt.
Several incidents later, Ling Miao warned Su Yuyang severely: “If you come into the kitchen when I’m cooking again, you’re sleeping under the overpass!”
Due to going home and participating in the Authors’ Gathering, Ling Miao and Su Yuyang’s chapter stockpiles had run out. So, these past few days, both of them practically lived in the little black house. They stockpiled about a week’s worth of drafts before Ling Miao relaxed. Of course, Su Yuyang’s stockpile was more than three times’ Ling Miao’s own, going by days.
It was rare that they didn’t have to scramble for chapters. For the past week Ling Miao had gotten up early every day to churn out his chapters, so he decided that the next day he’d let himself sleep until he woke up naturally.
But plans don’t survive contact with reality. Early the next morning, Ling Miao was awoken by a phone call.
Ling Miao let out a string of curses at the caller before even seeing the display.
Su Yuyang had gotten used to waking up past nine. Hearing Ling Miao’s sleepy curses and asked curiously, “Who’s calling that you’re cursing them so badly?”
Ling Miao ruffled his hair and said, upset, “Who kno…” The word ‘knows’ hadn’t left his mouth completely when Ling Miao’s complaint instantly changed to surprise. “Tofu?”
“Tofu? What tofu? Are we eating tofu this afternoon?” Su Yuyang asked in confusion.
Ling Miao didn’t explain anything to Su Yuyang. He slid the answer call button and asked with hesitation, “Tofu, you called me so early in the morning. Do you want to meet irl?”
Su Yuyang heard the words “irl meetup” and his ears immediately perked up. He walked over and leaned down by Ling Miao’s ear to try to hear what Tofu was saying, but Ling Miao very decisively rolled over on the bed to avoid Su Yuyang’s eavesdropping.
“Haven’t you been on the forums these few days?” Tofu’s anxious voice came. “Though it’s nothing major… ah, can’t say it’s nothing major, either. It’s got to do with Shu-ge’s reputation. You’d better get on the forums and take a look.”
“Exactly what happened?” Tofu was so anxious that Ling Miao couldn’t follow his train of thought. Besides, this matter had to do with Su Yuyang, which woke Ling Miao up completely. He glanced at Su Yuyang and asked hurriedly, “Tofu, quickly explain exactly what happened.”
“Someone made a callout thread in the forums. He’s saying that Shu-ge’s Heavenly Domain plagiarized an unfinished book of his. He linked his novel and a comparison. The book’s published earlier than Heavenly Domain and the contents in the comparison match up. Although there are only a hundred thousand words in that book, some of Heavenly Domain’s setting and plot, even some of the content, matches that book’s. And…”
“Tofu, I’ll get on the forum and look,” Ling Miao said before Tofu could finish. He needed to see and understand this with his own eyes before he could retaliate.
Ling Miao grabbed Su Yuyang’s laptop and put it in front of him. Su Yuyang saw Ling Miao’s panicked look and the worry in his heart intensified. He sat by Ling Miao’s side to see what Ling Miao was doing, but Ling Miao shoved him away.
“Su Yuyang, I’m hungry.”
“I’ll steam some buns.” Su Yuyang knew that Ling Miao was intentionally telling him to go, so he went to the kitchen and put some buns in the steamer. He didn’t go back to the room.
“It was a call from Tofu.” Su Yuyang suddenly remembered who Tofu was. He knew how to contact Tofu, too. Su Yuyang joyfully reached for his phone and was about to go on QQ to contact Tofu but,tragically, he had left his phone in the room.
Would it arouse Ling Miao’s suspicions if I went back to get it now? Su Yuyang mused.
Through the open door, Su Yuyang glimpsed Ling Miao’s deep frown.
“Looks like he’s encountered a thorny matter. But why didn’t he tell me?” Su Yuyang was momentarily engulfed in confusion.
“Fuck!” Ling Miao cursed angrily. He was so riled up he didn’t keep his voice down.
Hearing Ling Miao’s curse, Su Yuyang awoke from his confused reverie. Then he remembered that he still had buns steaming in the kitchen and rushed to the kitchen to turn off the stove.
The water in the pot had boiled off. Fortunately he had realized in time.
Ling Miao wasn’t in the mood to eat steamed buns, but Su Yuyang still brought the steamed buns in.
While setting the steamed buns down, Su Yuyang took the opportunity to glance at the laptop’s screen.
“Xiao Miao, I’ll put the steamed buns here. Eat them while they’re hot,” Su Yuyang said softly. Ling Miao said, “Mm,” in response.
Su Yuyang used to trawl the web novel discussion forums, too, but he hadn’t logged into his account in three or four years and he wasn’t sure if his account was still useable.
After setting the steamed buns down, Su Yuyang quietly took his phone and left the room.
Ling Miao would find out if he got in touch with Tofu, but not if he went on the forum. As for which thread Ling Miao was looking at—Su Yuyang surmised he would have to check the threads one by one and determine that from the thread contents.
The forum still looked like it did four to five years ago: users needed to log in before they could post questions.
Su Yuyang put in his username and password but was notified that the username or password was incorrect.
“The username or password is incorrect?” Su Yuyang was surprised. He recalled very clearly that the account name was the combination of his and Tang Xuan’s surnames, and the password was his birthdate…
Suddenly Su Yuyang understood.
Both he and Tang Xuan knew the password to the account and the email address the account was tied to. Su Yuyang tried to log into the associated email account, but he already knew the outcome—the username or password is incorrect.
Tang Xuan had taken away Su Yuyang’s web novel forum account. Su Yuyang didn’t think that was such a big deal, but his dislike for Tang Xuan grew considerably.
It was inconvenient to register a forum account on mobile, but Su Yuyang was anxious to know what had made Ling Miao both panicked and angry. With no other recourse, he got in touch with Tofu.
Su Yuyang found Tofu’s ID in the fangroup and sent Tofu a message in a separate window.
3000WPH: Tofu, you called Ling Miao today?
Tofu Box: Mm. Uh… you’re the Great Shu?
3000WPH: I’m Shu Yang. But ignore that for now. I want to know what you told Xiao Miao.
Tofu Box: He didn’t tell you about such a big thing?
3000WPH: He didn’t tell me. Looks like he doesn’t intend to tell me before the matter is settled. I saw him on the forums looking at a thread, and I wanted to go look, too, but someone hacked my old handle, so I came to ask you.
Tofu Box: This… Some guy on the forum is saying your Heavenly Domain plagiarized his book and he uploaded a lot of evidence. Now everyone is fighting in the thread. I only just found out today when I checked the group, then I got in contact with Xiao Miao. Great Shu, can I add you on QQ?
Su Yuyang didn’t reply to Tofu’s message. Tofu stared dejectedly at the screen but a moment later he understood: The Great Shu is probably busy dealing with the plagiarism matter.
“Heavenly Domain was plagiarized?” Su Yuyang had more or less guessed who had posted the thread, but he didn’t wish to step up and explain the situation so soon.
“Xiao Miao, I think you can handle this matter.” Su Yuyang thought: Since Ling Miao isn’t willing to tell me I’ve been attacked, that means he can handle this properly.
Now that Su Yuyang had stopped worrying, he accepted Tofu’s friend request, then tossed his phone to one side.