Ling Miao returned to his apartment and lay straight down on Ji Linxi’s bed. The dark room was so quiet that Ling Miao could hear his own breathing.
Ling Miao looked at a strip of light on the ceiling. The light was from a street lamp, shining in through the window. The light intertwined with the shadowy surroundings. Ling Miao knew very well that the light was not moving, but his eyes insisted that the light was gradually changing, and it eventually came to a stop in the shape of a man’s face.
“Yu Yang.” Ling Miao whispered the man’s name. “Yu Yang… why the hell did I suddenly think about him?” Ling Miao almost shouted. Ling Miao could not calm down even after yelling because this guy, Yu Yang, refused to leave his thoughts.
“Ah. Why do I keep thinking about him? Did he poison me?” Ling Miao sat up and kept running his hands through his hair. He looked as though he would not be satisfied until he had torn all of his hair out.
“Yu Yang, he’s a little strange.” Ling Miao recalled some of Yu Yang’s strange behavior during their interactions. “At the restaurant, when he was cooking, he only opened the pot twice to add water. When he took the lid off, I didn’t smell anything. Was he there to interview or was he just passing through? Could it be that he’s the Great Shu? Or the Great Shu’s friend? But he didn’t seem at all like he was the Great Shu!”
“What’re you howling about? The moment I walked through the door I could hear you yelling,” Ji Linxi said, his voice clear and cold. Ling Miao gave him a sidelong look and said irritably, “I met a nutcase at the interview today. At first, he seemed all right. But then… but then when he talked, he kept blowing into my ear. It was annoying.”
“Annoying? I thought you would be happy.”
“Like hell!” Ling Miao flipped Ji Linxi the bird. “I’m not wasting time talking to you. Writing it is!”
“Ah.” He opened his document, and sighed. “Great Shu, Great Shu. Why do you make yourself so mysterious?”
Why did Shu Yang insist on being so mysterious? Because some things could be used by others as weapons to attack oneself.
“Hrrrgh—” After eating and drinking his fill, the man could not hold back a satiated burp. He eyed the two remaining untouched dishes of food and the empty plate of the boiled slices of meat he had finished off. The boiled meat was Ling Miao’s work. The man shook his head slightly, twice.
He tapped his left hand rhythmically against the table. With his right hand, he moved the mouse and clicked open a document.
It was Ling Miao’s application form.
“Ling Miao, Ling Miao.” The man murmured Ling Miao’s name, and clicked open two other application forms.
“Lin Su, Ye Jin.” The man rubbed his temple. His face was locked into a frown, as if he was making a difficult decision.
This man was the fabled holy dragon¹ whose head could be seen and whose tail could not, the Great Shu Yang—real name Su Yuyang.
Before the interview, Su Yuyang had already had a strong impression of Ling Miao. This was because Ling Miao was the only one among the applicants who had called him a bastard.
“The Great Shu is always so secretive. People want to see him but can’t. He’s a bastard!” That was what Ling Miao knew about Shu Yang.
Su Yuyang thought about Ling Miao’s earlier performance, and his good impression of Ling Miao improved a little bit more. He thought about it in more detail. Aside from Ling Miao, the impressions the other people had left were already fading from his memory, including those of Ling Miao’s last two competitors.
“This person Ling Miao appears sharp, but his brain isn’t right. On the surface, he knows everything he should know, but in reality he is very simple. Sometimes, he is too simple, to the point of seeming stupid.”
“Ling Miao sort of understands me and understands my work. He seems to be a writer of web novels. In that case, he likely knows how to publish chapters. He can edit and upload for me. Most importantly, he cooks well. I won’t have to order takeout for every meal any more. Ah, I’m scared every time I see the delivery guy’s frightening expression.”
As Su Yuyang imagined eating delicious food every day after he hired Ling Miao, and not having to face the delivery guy with the fierce expression, he even got a bit emotional.
He made up his mind. The next morning, Su Yuyang sent out the text message he had written several days earlier. Naturally, the recipient was Ling Miao.
The notification woke Ling Miao up. After the notification bell rang, he continued to sleep, and kept sleeping until one o’clock in the afternoon.
With his eyes half-closed, Ling Miao walked unsteadily to the bathroom. He had completely forgotten about the earlier text.
Ling Miao felt hungry. He opened a cabinet and reached for the instant noodles, then remembered that he had already eaten them all.
“Goddamn it. I should’ve bought a box of noodles when I went out yesterday.” Ling Miao closed the cabinet door with annoyance.
He put on his clothes and yawned as he left the house.
Before he went to the supermarket, he checked his savings. There were less than four digits in front of the decimal place, and in the hundreds place was a 3.
Ling Miao knew the nearby supermarket well enough to be a shopping guide. The moment he entered the supermarket he instantly cut a path toward the instant noodle section, and took two packs of every flavor. He thought for a moment, then picked up a pack of ham sausages.
A month’s worth of food in hand, Ling Miao was satisfied as he walked toward the cashier.
As the cashier rang up the bill, he looked at Ling Miao with surprise. Ling Miao coughed in embarrassment before handing over his card.
The cashier handed Ling Miao a receipt. Ling Miao glanced at it and was about to sign when he heard a text message notification. Ah, withdrawals go through so quickly.
Ling Miao left the supermarket and walked back to his apartment holding a big bag of instant noodles.
“Two unread messages?” Looking at the notifications, Ling Miao was somewhat surprised.
Two unread messages. One was from the bank notifying him of his withdrawal. What was the other?