The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Five
The dark room was like a large paper box closed on all six sides. Fragments of light shone through narrow cracks into the room, where the faint outline of a person moved.
Piercingly bright light shone from a corner and a computer chimed as it started up.
Tang Xuan slowly sat down with a cup of coffee. The screen illuminated his pale and twisted face.
“Hss—” As he sat down, he moved the tender part of his abdomen and he could not hold back a low groan. He leaned against the back of his chair and opened a browser window.
Su Yuyang’s clarification thread had been posted publicly so everyone could read it, including Tang Xuan. To other people, this thread was meant as an explanation. To Tang Xuan, this thread was meant as a slap in the face. Though hitting Tang Xuan’s face had also made Su Yuyang’s hand hurt—after all, every action is met by an equal and opposite reaction.
This morning, Tang Xuan and his supervisor had fought. Tang Xuan had hit his supervisor, who had fired Tang Xuan without a second thought.
Tang Xuan wasn’t resentful—in fact, he was somewhat satisfied. After he got the 15 million from Su Yuyang, he thought, he’d buy up this little company and let the supervisor have a taste of being humiliated every day.
Tang Xuan left the company. When he got home he quickly packed his things then went to find Su Yuyang. As he got to the ground floor of Su Yuyang’s apartment, Su Yuyang and Ling Miao just happened to walk out. Tang Xuan was curious what the two were going to do, so he followed them without a sound.
It wasn’t clear to Tang Xuan why Su Yuyang and Ling Miao had gone to find Feng Ji, but when Su Yuyang and Ling Miao left W&S, he continued to follow them.
Though Ling Miao and Su Yuyang seemed to be in a hurry, their hands were still tightly linked. It gave Tang Xuan the feeling that no one would ever be able to separate them.
He wouldn’t stomach this!
It should have been him standing at Su Yuyang’s side! Even though he had once given Su Yuyang up, Su Yuyang should now be his!
Why was the person Su Yuyang chose not me? I’m the only one who can stand at his side!
Dissatisfaction, hatred, and countless other negative emotions accumulated within Tang Xuan. He was like a balloon into which a pump kept pumping air, heedless of his ability to withstand it.
A loud explosive sound became the words, ‘Su Yuyang,’ and emanated from Tang Xuan’s mouth.
The person in front of Tang Xuan didn’t slow down; his legs moved faster beneath him and his stride grew longer. As a result, even though he was still holding onto Ling Miao’s hand, the two eventually separated.
“Hey, Su Yuyang, are you bullying me for having short legs?” Ling Miao panted as he yelled at a certain someone who was walking quickly. That person was forced to stop.
Su Yuyang turned around and his gaze fell without hesitation on Ling Miao.
At Tang Xuan’s side his hands curled into fists, his angry expression radiating murderous intent. Su Yuyang seemed to have noticed this because he used his body to shield Ling Miao…
Tang Xuan looked at the popular threads on the forum’s main page. His gaze landed on a thread titled ‘I Am Shu Yang’ and his reminiscence abruptly stopped.
The words ‘I Am Shu Yang’ were especially glaring. Tang Xuan narrowed his eyes like a hunter whose long-awaited prey had finally taken the bait. A crafty smile lay on his face.
“Finally can’t sit still?” Tang Xuan sneered as he picked up his coffee and took a big gulp. The black coffee slid down his gullet and reinfused him with life. A hoarse laugh sounded from his throat.
Tang Xuan skimmed the contents of the main thread. Su Yuyang’s narration was fairly calm; throughout the entire thread there wasn’t a single exclamation mark.
“Su Yuyang, my next move—you’d better prepare to take it.”
Tang Xuan dragged the scrollbar to the bottom and entered a number in the reply box.
“Aah—” Tang Xuan let out a short groan. It had to be said that Ling Miao’s punches from that afternoon had indeed hurt him. He had intended to go to the doctor and get Ling Miao landed in jail, but considering the next step of his plan, he restrained himself.
Tang Xuan looked at the bruising on his stomach and a vicious look shot over his face: “Ling Miao, I’ll repay you tenfold, a hundredfold for these two punches!”
Through Tang Xuan’s anticipation, Ling Miao’s unease, and Su Yuyang’s thoughtfulness, the night passed peacefully.
The first thing Ling Miao did on waking up the next morning was to get on his phone to check the replies on the forums.
Ling Miao had just tapped on the thread when a hand landed on the screen. Ling Miao’s back was to Su Yuyang’s chest so that there was no space between their bodies. It was hard for him to turn around so he lowered his head and bit the back of Su Yuyang’s hand.
“Aah—” A piercing scream broke the silence of morning. Su Yuyang looked at the back of his hand bearing Ling Miao’s teeth marks and groaned, “If you’re hungry, go make food! My hands are for making money for you to live off, not for you to eat.”
“Scram. Who wants to live off you?” Ling Miao said angrily. “LIke I don’t earn money? The monthly payout from my novel is enough to pay the utility bills!”
“Yes, yes.” Su Yuyang encircled Ling Miao’s waist with both arms and kissed Ling Miao’s hair. He said gently, “Xiao Miao, I’m hungry.”
“Let me go. I’ll go make breakfast.”
Su Yuyang could hear Ling Miao’s resentment. He consoled: “Ling Miao, I know you want to see if Tang Xuan has replied, but is it really important whether he replies?”
“He even stoops to using Yan-jie to threaten you. A despicable person like that—you’d better be careful.”
Ling Miao huffily got out of bed.
Su Yuyang must have been provoked by the words “despicable person.” He recalled when he had first met Tang Xuan.
At that time, Tang Xuan had been pure and demure with a natural friendliness. When he spoke he was carefree and his every action drew the eyes of others.
Tang Xuan now…
Su Yuyang couldn’t tell what had changed Tang Xuan and he didn’t know what Tang Xuan would do next either. All he could do now was do his best to stop Tang Xuan.
Su Yuyang picked up the phone Ling Miao had left by his pillow and unlocked it. His eyes landed on the clarification post he had made.
The thread had grown several pages since yesterday. Su Yuyang started from the last page and worked backwards, and on the third from last page he saw ProfessionalHoleDigger.
Tang Xuan’s reply contained only the number 3 and a string of ellipses.
“Meaning three days?” Su Yuyang looked at Tang Xuan’s reply and Tang Xuan’s vicious face from yesterday surfaced in his mind.
Ling Miao made breakfast and came over to call Su Yuyang. Seeing Su Yuyang’s deep frown, his heart sank too.
“Did Tang Xuan say something?” Ling Miao asked worriedly.
Su Yuyang raised his head to look at Ling Miao and sighed. “He’s reminding me that we only have three days.”
“So what do you plan to do?” Ling Miao curled his hands into fists.
Su Yuyang walked over and hugged Ling Miao. “My plan? My plan is—if it’s time to eat, then we’ll eat. If it’s time to drink, then we’ll drink. Every day, write a little and read the forums…”
“Su Yuyang!” Ling Miao’s shout cut short the words Su Yuyang had clearly meant as a joke. Su Yuyang caressed Ling Miao’s hair like he was smoothing fur: “As for this matter, it’s not big, but it’s not small either. The key is Tang Xuan—if he doesn’t post, then nothing will happen…”
“Then you intend to give him the 15 million?” Ling Miao rolled his eyes at Su Yuyang, his lips protruding so far out in a pout they could reach the sky.