The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Eleven
The after-rain air was clean and fresh, and carried the scent of flowers and dirt. He took a deep breath, and felt as if all the frustration in his heart had been washed away.
The young man wearing a tight black tank top stood on a high stone ledge. He had one hand in his pocket, the other wrapped around something long and thin. His gaze lay on the badminton court below the ledge.
The man’s face was handsome and his exposed shoulders were full of strength. The tight tank top outlined his firm chest. If not for his cold smile and vicious gleam in his eye, he would definitely be approached by many forward men and women.
Time passed, minute by second. The man stood still on the spot like a wooden post. Suddenly, the man’s eyes lighted with an excited gleam.
Su Yuyang arrived at the badminton court, panting for breath. He bent at the waist and put his hands on his thighs, taking in great gulps of fresh air.
There were three roads that passed through the Mountaintop Gardens’ entrance, but all of them passed by this badminton court. After that, there was only one path that led to the mountaintop, which was the one under the man’s feet.
People who lived in the area would sometimes scale the mountain for exercise. Most people stopped when they reached the badminton court and didn’t walk towards the mountain peak.
Tang Xuan hadn’t told Su Yuyang the exact meeting place. In order not to miss Tang Xuan, Su Yuyang had intended to walk all three roads that led through the garden’s entrance. Su Yuyang had passed by the badminton court once, but hadn’t seen Tang Xuan, so he had quickly left.
This was Su Yuyang’s second time passing the badminton court. This time, the road he walked was the one opposite the one the man was standing on, so the moment he looked up, he saw the man.
Su Yuyang moved his tired and sore legs, walking with difficulty towards the man. Although Su Yuyang couldn’t clearly see the man’s face, he was very sure that the man was Tang Xuan.
Tang Xuan saw Su Yuyang walking in his direction and didn’t dawdle.
Tang Xuan turned and ran toward the mountain peak. Su Yuyang’s gaze was firmly locked on the running Tang Xuan’s back. Su Yuyang cursed, picked up his legs, and gave chase.
But Su Yuyang had already expended a lot of his strength and he hadn’t rested long. As he gave chase, he lost track of Tang Xuan.
By this time, Su Yuyang had already entered a patch of dense forest. Aside from the rocky path beneath his feet and the streetlights on either side, Su Yuyang couldn’t see any sign of habitation.
“Tang Xuan, get back out here!” Su Yuyang believed it was far enough from the badminton court that the people down there wouldn’t be able to hear him, so he shouted without worry.
Su Yuyang’s voice shocked a flock of birds, which squawked, spread their wings, and shot into the air like arrows.
“Tang Xuan, don’t skulk! I know you’re here!” Like a raging bull, Su Yuyang raised his head and looked around at the trees in all directions. He didn’t find a trace of Tang Xuan up in the trees either.
“Fuck it!” Su Yuyang cursed angrily. “Tang Xuan, didn’t you want to meet me? What are you hiding for? Fuck it, come out. Get out here right now!”
“Aha, aha.” Tang Xuan’s dismissive laughter came from behind. Su Yuyang turned around in shock and saw Tang Xuan leisurely walking towards him.
Tang Xuan gave Su Yuyang a once-over and jeered, “Great Author, you’ve stayed at home too long. All your skills are out of practice. At one time, you represented our school and won first place in a varsity long distance event.”
After the short rest, Su Yuyang’s breathing came a lot easier, but he was still panting a little. Su Yuyang asked with uneven breath, “Where is Xiao Miao?”
The moment Su Yuyang opened his mouth, he asked about Ling Miao. The smile on Tang Xuan’s face was instantly replaced by viciousness. Tang Xuan looked at Su Yuyang, who seemed to be raring to drink his blood and eat his flesh, and said in a low voice, “You want to know where Ling Miao is? Catch me and you’ll find out.” As Tang Xuan finished, he turned and ran towards higher ground.
Without any other recourse, Su Yuyang had to grit his teeth and follow.
Tang Xuan seemed to be leading Su Yuyang in circles in the forest. Sometimes Tang Xuan ran on the fallen leaves and sometimes on the rocky path. After several rounds, Su Yuyang finally discovered this.
“Tang Xuan, we keep circling each other here. What exactly do you want to do?”
Tang Xuan slowly walked up to Su Yuyang. He raised his hand and tried to wipe the sweat from Su Yuyang’s face, but Su Yuyang mercilessly batted him away. Tang Xuan said disappointedly, “I just wanted to wipe your sweat for you.”
“Stop disgusting me.” Su Yuyang looked at Tang Xuan hatefully.
Tang Xuan raised his head and looked toward the sky, but he saw only the dense canopy of leaves.
“There are many satellites in the sky. There are many satellites used for position tracking in the sky, too.” Tang Xuan said words that seemed unrelated to the current situation, but Su Yuyang’s heart seemed to have been struck by something.
“Did you call the police?” Tang Xuan asked calmly, but there was desperation in his eyes.
Alarm bells were going off in Su Yuyang’s head. He kept his cool and said coldly, “I called the police.”
Tang Xuan slowly let out a breath. Tears were actually collecting in his eyes. He laughed in self-mockery: “Indeed, I was too naive. Su Yuyang, why do you think I’m so naive? I still imagined that we could be together. Now, I see… heh. Now I see that I can give you up, but Ling Miao has to die!” Tang Xuan had been holding a long stick wrapped in cloth in his hand, and now he held it horizontally in front of his chest. He pulled at a corner of the cloth covering and slowly pulled it away. As the cloth covered less of the object, the wrinkles in Su Yuyang’s forehead grew deeper and deeper.
Tang Xuan with the knife looked like a demon who would kill without blinking an eye.
Su Yuyang felt worry unlike anything he had felt before. He felt as if his heart had been placed on a red-hot metal sheet. His mind was as muddled as a boiling pot of congee; he couldn’t focus on anything at all.
Tang Xuan looked at the panicked Su Yuyang and ordered, “Su Yuyang, give me your phone and watch, and pull all the buttons off your shirt!”
Su Yuyang understood Tang Xuan’s intent. He handed his phone and watch to Tang Xuan, then yanked all the buttons off his shirt and put them in Tang Xuan’s hands. Tang Xuan put the things into a plastic bag he had pulled out of a trash bin, then tossed them aside without hesitation.
“After all these years, you’ve changed a lot, but you haven’t changed your habit of wearing button-downs,” Tang Xuan suddenly exclaimed.
“Everything about you has changed,” Su Yuyang said somewhat wistfully. “Tang Xuan, I can give you money, and I can be with you…”
“None of that is important any more!” Tang Xuan angrily cut Su Yuyang off. “Su Yuyang, although it’s hypocritical of me to say these things now, I still want to say them.”
“When I broke up with you it was because I could tell you didn’t love me and I didn’t want to waste my time by your side. But after breaking up with you, I’ve been single up until now.
“When I wanted to reconcile with you, it wasn’t only after finding out that you were Shu Yang. I just thought about…”
“What you’re saying doesn’t matter any more.” Su Yuyang used Tang Xuan’s own words against him. “I just want to know where Xiao Miao is.”
“Xiao Miao?” Tang Xuan laughed lightly. “He’s in hell.”