The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Eight
Su Yuyang hadn’t even the strength to raise his phone. He put it on speaker, then slid the answer call button.
“Hello…” Su Yuyang dragged his voice out, sounding exhausted.
“You sound like you just fought a war.” The man’s voice was low, a teasing note in his tone. Su Yuyang must have been tired out of his mind; he felt that the man’s voice was familiar, but he couldn’t recall who it was. He turned his head to look at the name of the person he was speaking to and was shocked—it was Mu Yu.
“Yu-ge, we were moving things,” Su Yuyang said after a short pause. He had recovered some and his voice was a little stronger. “What’s up?”
“Is Ling Miao better?” Mu Yu asked.
Su Yuyang thought doubtfully, Yu-ge’s concerned for Ling Miao’s health out of nowhere. Something is up!
Su Yuyang smiled and said, “He’s much better.”
“It’s like this. Massacre of the Nine Heavens’ tenth volume is about to go on the market. The publishing house wants you to attend their book signing event
¹ on the 15th of July in Guangzhou, and asked me to ask if you’d be willing to attend,” Mu Yu said awkwardly. Even though Mu Yu seemed hesitant, Su Yuyang still heard Mu Yu’s hope in his words.
Su Yuyang had been a writer for five years and had published many books, but he never attended book signing events, whether they were organized by the web novel site or the publishing house. He had received several invitations to book signings in the beginning, but after he repeatedly refused them, people had stopped inviting him. Now, another invitation had come. It was probably because he had revealed himself, and the publishing house thought that he might be willing to participate in this book signing event, so Mu Yu had been tasked with asking him.
Su Yuyang thought about it and deemed it more prudent to refuse.
The matter with Tang Xuan had affected Su Yuyang greatly and he was worried that he would be putting Ling Miao in danger again.
“Sorry, Yu-ge, I won’t be able to go,” Su Yuyang said apologetically. “I’m still really worried about Ling Miao and can’t travel far.”
“Oh, is that so.” Mu Yu was a little disappointed, but he quickly regained his calm: “If you can’t go, then I’ll inform the publisher.”
“Why can’t you go?” Ling Miao suddenly asked.
Su Yuyang had put the phone on speaker, so Ling Miao had heard his conversation with Mu Yu loud and clear. At first Ling Miao had thought Su Yuyang would agree, but contrary to his expectations, Su Yuyang had refused.
Hearing Ling Miao, Mu Yu seemed to see the light at the end of the tunnel and continued to listen quietly.
Su Yuyang said worriedly, “I’m worried about you.”
“I’m fine right now,” Ling Miao refuted. “Besides, there’s nothing wrong with going out to have a little fun. If you coop yourself up at home all day, you’ll grow mushrooms.”
Su Yuyang could tell that Ling Miao was looking forward to attending the book signing. He looked as if he was about to go on a date with his beloved.
Fuck, will his ex show up at the signing event? A terrifying notion surfaced in Su Yuyang’s mind, but he quickly reassured himself. He was Ling Miao’s first relationship!
Su Yuyang was outwardly silent, but his mind didn’t have a moment’s peace. The moment he denied one imaginary scenario, another one appeared. It disquieted him.
From Ling Miao’s perspective, Su Yuyang was expressing his position through silence. I’m not going. What can you do to me?”
“Hmph!” Ling Miao huffed heavily and Su Yuyang was shocked back to his senses. He asked, “What’s the matter?”
Ling Miao said stubbornly, “This book signing—whether you go or not, I’m definitely going!”
“Are you going to a meetup or to see your lover?” The words escaped Su Yuyang’s mouth without passing through his brain, and as they reached the air Su Yuyang felt as though he’d seen the apocalypse.
“Seeing my lover?” Ling Miao repeated this line, an aura of danger emanating from his narrowed eyes. Su Yuyang’s heart skipped a beat. He looked at Ling Miao, who had gone silent, and mentally constructed words preparing to explain himself.
“Seeing my lover, my ass! I think you’re the one going to meet your lover. You’re pretending to reject the invitation but really you just don’t want me to follow you because you’re worried I’ll get in the way, yeah?” Ling Miao’s shouts were like a thunderstorm and Su Yuyang couldn’t defend himself at all.
“Xiao Miao, Xiao Miao, don’t get worked up. I was wrong, alright?” Su Yuyang pleaded. He seemed about to get on his knees to ask to be spared. “You looked like you were really looking forward to it, like you were looking forward to a date. I got worried and overthought it.”
“You have a healthy imagination.” Ling Miao was quite satisfied with Su Yuyang’s explanation and his anger faded.
“So are you going to the book signing?” Ling Miao’s smile held a threat as he asked. Would Su Yuyang dare to say no? Did he dare? If he did, wouldn’t that indicate he was guilty?
So he said, “I’m going!”
The words were as resolute as a dying man’s last words.
“I’ll notify the publisher,” Mu Yu’s surprised voice came, then the call was cut off.
Su Yuyang and Ling Miao had been speaking in dialect, and Mu Yu hadn’t fully understood, but Su Yuyang’s tone more than illustrated the problem.
“You didn’t hang up?” Ling Miao asked in shock.
Su Yuyang said wistfully, “I thought he hung up. Our quarrel just now, he heard everything?”
“I’m fine with it?” Ling Miao turned around dismissively and began to pack his things.
The closet in Su Yuyang’s room took up an entire wall, but Su Yuyang really didn’t have many clothes.
“Top is mine, bottom is yours.” Ling Miao divided the space, then tossed Su Yuyang’s clothes on the bed.
“You have an issue with that?”
“If not, pack quickly!”
The two fussed around for a long time before the closet was orderly.
At the top of the closet was Ling Miao’s T-shirts, and in the lower half were Su Yuyang’s button-downs. On the left, their trousers were placed side by side. Looking at the full closet, Su Yuyang’s heart also felt full. He hugged Ling Miao and kissed him: “Now I feel like this is home. Our home.”
Ling Miao replied, “That’s right. Our home.”
The sky gradually darkened. Ling Miao glanced at the time—it was 6:30pm and time to make dinner.
“Ah,” A sigh came from the kitchen.
Su Yuyang was still admiring their shared closet. Some things were bugging him so he moved them around, then took a photo.
Hearing Ling Miao’s sigh, Su Yuyang asked, “What is it?”
“We didn’t get groceries!” Ling Miao said in frustration. “I don’t want to go downstairs right now. We’ll have instant noodles tonight.”
Su Yuyang indicated he had no objection.
The instant noodles in Su Yuyang’s house were the ones Ling Miao brought over initially. He had thought they would sit until they expired, but now they were going to eat them after all.
After cooking the noodles, Ling Miao fried two eggs.
Su Yuyang pulled out his phone and kissed Ling Miao while the other wasn’t looking. With a snap, a portrait of happiness was captured.
“I brought him home,” Ling Miao read out the words Su Yuyang had typed in.
Su Yuyang turned and laughed. He added three photos: him surprise-kissing Ling Miao, a photo of them at dinnertime, and a photo of their closet.
Ling Miao grabbed Su Yuyang’s phone, tapped the screen a few times, then returned it to Su Yuyang.
Su Yuyang looked at the new blog post and felt like crying. “Are you trying to tire me to death?”