The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-one
Su Yuyang and Ling Miao’s days could be described as ‘calm as water.’ They squabbled less than before, but the sound of typing in their room never ceased. Sometimes it was because they were writing, other times because Ling Miao was gaming.
Occasionally Ling Miao’s groans would rise into the air while Su Yuyang leisurely watched him complain. Of course, Su Yuyang also sometimes touched Ling Miao’s waist and blew into Ling Miao’s ear so that Ling Miao couldn’t concentrate on writing at all.
“Su Yuyang, where are your hands going?” Finally, Ling Miao exploded. He caught hold of a certain someone’s hands which were wandering about his waist and fiercely glared at the man.
Su Yuyang disappointedly retracted his hands and said unhappily, “All day you’re either writing or gaming. I’m bored and lonely!”
“Scram!” Ling Miao said angrily. “If not for some bastard whose hands were itchy and deleted my drafts, would I need to write so frantically? Fuck, fuck, fuck!” Ling Miao slammed the keyboard hard, flames of anger dancing in his eyes. Su Yuyang guiltily picked up a book and pretended to read. Ling Miao called, “Hey.”
Su Yuyang’s hand jerked and the book fell directly onto Su Yuyang’s foot. The book was as thick as the Modern Chinese Dictionary and it was a hardcover book at that.
“Ow!” Su Yuyang cried out in pain. He squeezed out two tears, sniffed, and said aggrievedly, “It hurts.”
Ling Miao huffed, “You deserve it. It’s retribution for your itchy hands!”
“I really didn’t delete your drafts on purpose,” Su Yuyang explained for the umpteenth time. “I thought those were resources I had downloaded. Why didn’t you name your drafts properly?”
“Su Yuyang, don’t do this while I’m not in a good mood…”
Alongside Ling Miao’s shouting, Su Yuyang’s phone rang. He gestured for Ling Miao to be quiet and said softly, “It’s from Yu-ge.”
“Hmph!” Ling Miao folded his arms and turned his head away. Su Yuyang internally cried nonstop.
“Yu-ge, what is it?” Su Yuyang said with a hint of gratefulness. None of his earlier grievance could be seen in his bright eyes.
Mu Yu said: “I wanted to confirm your trip details. What time are you getting to Guangzhou? The organizers will send someone to greet you.”
The book signing!
Su Yuyang slapped his forehead. He had never attended a book signing before and these past few days had been so relaxed he had completely forgotten about it. If not for Mu Yu’s reminder call he might only have remembered it when he saw blog posts about the book signing event.
“This…” Su Yuyang wanted to say something, then stopped.
Mu Yu laughed. “You forgot?”
“I’ll book us flights now.” Su Yuyang scooted over to Ling Miao’s side and asked Ling Miao to book a flight for him, but Ling Miao said, “I knew you’d forget. I already booked them.”
“Really?” Su Yuyang asked in surprise.
“Udon worry.”¹ Ling Miao indicated for Su Yuyang to move aside then continued to immerse himself silently in the patter of his keyboard.
Su Yuyang asked Ling Miao, “Xiao Miao, when did you book the flights?”
Ling Miao rolled his eyes at him. “The day you agreed. We leave the day after tomorrow, in the morning.”
“The morning flight the day after tomorrow,” Su Yuyang told Mu Yu.
“Ling Miao’s more reliable than you are,” Mu Yu assessed.
Su Yuyang flushed and explained, “I’m getting old and my memory is going.”
“You can’t be older than me!”
“Heh heh.” Su Yuyang laughed embarrassedly. Mu Yu and Su Yuyang made small talk for a little while more, then hung up.
After Su Yuyang hung up, a question that had troubled Su Yuyang for a long time now surfaced in his mind: Why is Ling Miao looking forward to this book signing so much?
Su Yuyang had asked Ling Miao, who had answered, “Some authors I like will also be attending the event. It’s a rare opportunity, so of course I must go get their autographs.”
“I’m not the only author you like?” Su Yuyang’s tone was aggrieved.
Ling Miao stared at the ceiling, speechless, thinking: This guy’s possessiveness is this strong?
Ling Miao huffed, “I like many authors. Like Haphazardly Chopping Wood, Professional Struggling Writer of 18 Years, and Chaos Paste. Of course, my favorite author is Shu Yang, and my favourite person is Su Yuyang.”
Although Ling Miao had listed him at the very end, wasn’t the last performance always the most important? Su Yuyang suddenly placed his hand at the back of Ling Miao’s head and, while Ling Miao was stunned, quickly lowered his head to place his lips over Ling Miao’s.
“Mm!” Ling Miao let out an unhappy noise. Su Yuyang pretended not to hear. He kissed Ling Miao passionately as if he wanted to make Ling Miao melt. Ling Miao slowly let down his resistance, his hands encircling Su Yuyang’s waist.
“Xiao Miao.” Su Yuyang’s voice was low as he called Ling Miao in anticipation.
“Mm?” Ling Miao hummed through his nose, his dazed eyes meeting Su Yuyang’s agitated ones.
“Xiao Miao.” Su Yuyang called Ling Miao’s name, his kisses moving from Ling Miao’s lips to Ling Miao’s nose, the corners of Ling Miao’s eyes, Ling Miao’s forehead, and Ling Miao’s ears.
The room was silent aside from the breathing of the two men which was gradually growing heavier.
Suddenly, a phone rang. The originally pleasing music now seemed piercing and Su Yuyang let go of Ling Miao with a muttered curse. Ling Miao touched his face; it was burning.
“Fuck, what is it?” Ling Miao also guessed that without the ringing, he and Su Yuyang would already be lying on the bed.
Cough cough. Ling Miao raised his eyes to Su Yuyang, who had ‘I am very vexed’ written all over his face.
Su Yuyang glanced at the display. The call was from Feng Ji.
“What does this guy want?” Su Yuyang tousled his hair in vexation and asked in an unfriendly tone, “What’s the matter?”
“Xiao An has finally agreed to travel the world with me. One year’s vacation time—you’ll give it to me now, right?” Feng Ji said excitedly.
Su Yuyang’s eyes flashed and he teased, “Surely you didn’t call me the moment Xiao An agreed, right? What are you so anxious for?”
“Before Xiao An regrets it.” Feng Ji’s laugh was very satisfied. “I’m planning to leave next week. When will you and Ling Miao come to familiarize yourself with the shop?”
“I’m going with him to Guangzhou the day after. Let’s talk again when we have time,” Su Yuyang replied.
“Get in contact with me when you come back.” Su Yuyang could hear the disappointment in Feng Ji’s voice but he had no choice.
The mood was ruined and Ling Miao seemed to be shying away from him, so Su Yuyang sighed and opened his computer.
The next day, Ling Miao got up early to pack. Su Yuyang sat like a boss to one side watching Ling Miao pack. Thankfully he didn’t instruct Ling Miao to do things, or Ling Miao might have tossed the suitcase at Su Yuyang’s face.
The weather in Guangzhou was good when they arrived.
Following the instructions Mu Yu had left, Su Yuyang got in touch with the person who was assigned to greet them.
Looking at the person who had come to receive them, Su Yuyang was briefly stunned. He looked familiar but Su Yuyang couldn’t remember his name at the moment. Su Yuyang searched desperately through his mind but nobody in his recollection matched up to this person in front of him.
The man who had come to receive them was similarly stunned. He looked Su Yuyang over, and though he also felt that he had seen Su Yuyang before he couldn’t remember where.
Ling Miao stood to one side observing the two and interpreted their thoughtful gazes as flirtation. It had to be said that Ling Miao wasn’t overthinking it; the atmosphere between the two was definitely strange.
Cough cough. Ling Miao coughed twice and introduced himself: “I’m Shu Yang’s lover, Zero Seconds Ago.”
Everyone present knew each other by their online names, and after this they might not meet again, so Ling Miao didn’t mention his real name. The man was stunned and laughed, “I’m Xie Ruoyan, here to greet Shu Yang.”
“Xie Ruoyan?” Su Yuyang frowned. Then he looked at Xie Ruoyan in shock and said, “You’re from Chongqing, you once attended high school at XX school, and you’re gay.”
Although Su Yuyang was asking, his tone was certain. The moment Su Yuyang spoke Ling Miao’s eyes narrowed. Under Ling Miao’s calm exterior, one hundred thousand ‘fuck you’ horses were thundering by. Su Yuyang’s words—“you’re gay”— almost made him curse out loud.
Fuck, this isn’t your ex-boyfriend, right? That was what Ling Miao wanted to say.
Xie Ruoyan’s mouth fell open, surprise in his eyes. He thought: Shu Yang not only writes fantasy novels, but knows magic too? On second thought, he was probably overthinking it. He calmed himself and asked curiously, “How did you know?”
Su Yuyang sighed; he was slightly disappointed. Now that Su Yuyang had sighed and indicated that he was disappointed, Ling Miao got angry.
“Hey, Su Yuyang, he isn’t your ex-boyfriend, right?” Although Ling Miao’s words were dismissive and he was smiling like it was all a joke, Su Yuyang felt cold. He felt as if someone had put him into a freezer. The thing was that Ling Miao was right!
“Xie-ge,” Su Yuyang called, smiling.
Xie Ruoyan seemed to have been splashed with cold water. His face twitched and he stiffly raised his arm to gesture at Su Yuyang. “You’re Su Yuyang?”
“Xie-ge, long time no see.” Compared to Xie Ruoyan’s shock, Su Yuyang seemed much more calm. Even his tone of voice didn’t change.
Ling Miao’s eyes narrowed and he said with a grin, “You’re ex-classmates?”
Su Yuyang eyed Ling Miao’s smiling face. The dangerous air emanating from Ling Miao’s body made Su Yuyang shudder. Xie Ruoyan noticed something was wrong and hurriedly said, “Plane travel is tiring. I’ll take you both to the hotel.”
Xie Ruoyan didn’t say a word the whole way there. Su Yuyang stared at the scenery outside the window while Ling Miao stared at Su Yuyang.
To Su Yuyang, Xie Ruoyan was not only an ex but also his first relationship. It’s said that feelings from the first relationship were the hardest to extinguish, and Su Yuyang’s feelings for Xie Ruoyan were very complicated. When Xie Ruoyan graduated the two broke up, and although Su Yuyang had kept all of Xie Ruoyan’s contact details, he had never thought they would meet again, and in front of his current lover at that.
The atmosphere was so heavy it was hard to breathe.
At the hotel, Xie Ruoyan took Su Yuyang to his room, briefly summarized the afternoon’s proceedings, and left.
Ling Miao stood at the window, from which the hotel’s main entrance could be seen.
He watched Xie Ruoyan’s car leave then turned to question Su Yuyang. “What is your relationship to him?”