The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Thirteen
Thunk. Suddenly, a loud sound came from behind Su Yuyang and an agitated expression leapt to his face. He looked at Tang Xuan and sneered, “Tang Xuan, you’ve nowhere to run!”
“I haven’t thought of running since I found out you called the police,” Tang Xuan said calmly.
Su Yuyang saw that Tang Xuan wasn’t panicking. His heart began to beat furiously as if it would leap out of his chest.
Several rays of white light shot in from outside. After the light, five or six people followed.
The sudden brightness blinded Tang Xuan. By touch alone, he picked up the knife by the bedside and held it against Ling Miao’s body. He waited until his eyes had grown accustomed to the light, then observed clearly the situation inside the house.
Several policemen carrying torches stood on both sides of the house. Feng Ji and one policeman were currently untying Su Yuyang and several policemen were outside the door, awaiting instructions.
“It’s a party in here!” Tang Xuan laughed. His knife was poised at Ling Miao’s neck.
“Tang Xuan, let go of Ling Miao!” a policeman shouted.
Tang Xuan ignored the policeman. He pulled out another knife hidden beneath the bed and cut the leather rope restraining Ling Miao’s hands and legs. Then he picked up Ling Miao and stood in a corner.
Light glistened coldly off the blade of Tang Xuan’s knife. One could tell at a glance that it was extremely sharp. Tang Xuan watched Su Yuyang steadily and said, “Su Yuyang, I… don’t move!” No one could guess what Tang Xuan had originally wanted to say, but the words ‘Don’t move’ were filled with threat. No one could tell whether he was threatening the policemen or Ling Miao.
Tang Xuan bent to Ling Miao’s ear and said, “I don’t mind making an opening in your throat.” As he spoke, the hand holding the knife pressed down a little more. Ling Miao felt something cold at his throat, then pain. Though he couldn’t see his neck, he could guess from Su Yuyang’s shock and worry that he’d been injured.
The shallow cut seeped fresh scarlet blood, but the wound wasn’t deep and the bleeding quickly stopped.
“Tang Xuan, what do you want to let Ling Miao go?” Su Yuyang pleaded. “I beg you, let him go. Let him go.” He walked toward Tang Xuan one step at a time.
The torches thoroughly illuminated the originally dark house. Tang Xuan could see the expressions and actions of every person present. He saw Su Yuyang walking toward him in a panic. He laughed, “Su Yuyang, since you love Ling Miao so much, then go… eh— ah—”
Tang Xuan prepared to deal the killing blow to Ling Miao, but he didn’t expect Ling Miao to bend down and bite his hand. Ling Miao seemed to be thinking Even if I can’t kill you, I’ll take my pound of flesh. He bit down on Tang Xuan not only to vent his anger, but with the determination from knowing he was going to die.
Tang Xuan’s terrible cry echoed through the small house. The knife fell to the floor with a clunk. Before Tang Xuan could react, Su Yuyang grabbed Ling Miao. Just as Ling Miao and Su Yuyang were about to reach each other, Tang Xuan brought the other knife down toward Ling Miao.
Su Yuyang saw the situation was dire. He pulled Ling Miao to him and spun around.
“Ahh—” Su Yuyang let out a low groan and fell onto Ling Miao’s shoulder.
The policemen went up and pulled Ling Miao and Su Yuyang over. Tang Xuan saw that there was no hope of killing Ling Miao and Su Yuyang now. He raised the knife to his own throat. The policeman that was about to subdue him froze mid-motion.
“Su Yuyang!” Ling Miao patted Su Yuyang’s face and called. “Su Yuyang, Su Yuyang, don’t scare me!” Ling Miao called Su Yuyang’s name in a panic, but Su Yuyang didn’t react to Ling Miao at all.
“Su Yuyang, if you’re dead, I’m going straight into Feng Ji’s arms!” Ling Miao threatened.
Feng Ji, who was standing to one side, knew Ling Miao was joking, but he couldn’t help explaining himself to his good friend: “The person I love is An Yan. This dumb cat Ling Miao is too dumb. I don’t have the fortune of having him!”
“It’s good that you know!” Su Yuyang opened his eyes and said weakly.
“You’re fucking messing with me?” It was a line that should have been said angrily, but Ling Miao teared up as he said it. Su Yuyang raised his head and kissed the tears from Ling Miao’s face, saying tenderly, “Don’t cry. It’ll wash away the last of your intelligence. If you get any more stupid than you are now, I won’t want you any more.”
“Screw you,” Ling Miao laughed.
“Ha ha!” Tang Xuan’s terrible laughter broke the heartwarming scene. He looked at Ling Miao and Su Yuyang and said haltingly, “Ling Miao, do you remember what you said to me last night?”
As Tang Xuan finished speaking, he pulled at the knife at his throat without hesitation.
Blood spurted like a fountain and dyed Ling Miao’s world red.
A warm liquid was falling on Ling Miao’s face. He reached to touch it, then looked down at his hand. It wasn’t blood.¹
The words Tang Xuan had spoken before he killed himself now played themselves on repeat in Ling Miao’s mind. Alongside the loop, there was something else: If you want to perform in front of an audience so much, then do it to yourself! If you want to kill someone, kill yourself!
So, he killed himself because of what I said? Ling Miao’s vision went black and he fainted away.