Ling Miao uncertainly opened the earlier text.
“Hello, I’m Shu Yang. After making my assessment, I have decided to hire you as my personal assistant. Your next steps are to open your email inbox and carefully read the contract I have sent you. Then read it again. If there is nothing you disagree with, please print and sign it, then bring it to the Heartfelt Words Coffee House at ***** (Address). When you are there, call me.”
When Ling Miao finished reading the message, the instant noodles in his hand hit the ground.
“Aah, the noodles all broke!” Ling Miao felt his heart shatter piece by piece with a patter-patter sound. But, surely, it shouldn’t be the instant noodles you’re worried about now?
Exactly! Soon, things like instant noodles will be far from me! A job! Ha ha, I am about to get my first job. Of course, I’m very excited!
But Ling Miao’s joy did not last long—en route to his apartment, his cellphone was stolen!
Back at his apartment, Ling Miao was melancholy for a while before he mustered up the courage to borrow money from Ji Linxi.
After buying a new cell phone and getting a new SIM card, Ling Miao’s heart stung and stung again. It was so painful that he almost cried. There went next month’s income.
Nursing the little bit of sadness, Ling Miao cursed under his breath as he walked towards his apartment. As he passed Heartfelt Words Coffee House, he saw a familiar person.
“Yu Yang?” Ling Miao was somewhat surprised. “Why is he here?”
Yu Yang was looking at his laptop with complete focus and did not notice the uncertain gaze from outside at all.
Ling Miao watched Yu Yang. Today’s Yu Yang seemed very different from the Yu Yang he remembered.
The Yu Yang in his recollection gave the impression of being relaxed. Today’s Yu Yang was someone people would not want to get close to.
Yu Yang’s face resembled a block of ice. His stoic expression was an invisible, untouchable barrier that blocked out everything in the outside world. His fingers flew relentlessly over the keyboard at a speed which made Ling Miao want to cut off his own hands. I highly suspect he was an octopus in his past life!
Yu Yang’s hands occasionally stopped. Whenever this happened, he would frown, a few seconds after which he would relax, and then, again, the flash of his fingers would leave afterimages.
Ling Miao was transfixed by Yu Yang’s hands. When a waiter approached holding coffee, he immediately saw Ling Miao standing outside the shop. The waiter thought for two seconds, placed the coffee by Yu Yang’s hands, and left, but not without first looking Ling Miao over.
The waiter walked to the counter and leant down by his boss’ ear to whisper, then pointed at Ling Miao. The boss’ gaze swept past Ling Miao and landed on Yu Yang. Seeing Yu Yang drinking coffee, he gave instructions to the man at his side, then walked toward Yu Yang.
“Yu Yang,” the boss called lightly. Yu Yang raised his head at the sound. Seeing who approached, his stony expression suddenly melted, and the upward curve of his lips was very gentle.
“It’s been a while since you came here.”
“It has indeed been a while since I came, but you know that I don’t go outside unless I have business.” Yu Yang leant backwards and lounged in his chair; soft sunlight fell onto his shoulder, creating an even more indolent image that seeped into the air. A sly look shot through long narrow eyes. He was like a fox waiting for its prey.
The boss knew Yu Yang well, and seeing Yu Yang’s expression, he knew that someone was about to run into bad luck.
“I’m waiting for someone…” Halfway through his sentence, Yu Yang stopped. The boss followed Yu Yang’s gaze and saw Ling Miao hurriedly turn around.
“Ling Miao!” Yu Yang stopped Ling Miao with a shout. Ling Miao pretended not to hear and kept walking forward with his head bowed.
Ling Miao was about to vanish from Yu Yang’s field of vision. The boss said, meaning well: “My shop has good soundproofing. From inside you can’t hear anything going on outside, so… Hey, the broken cup is going on your tab!”
He did not know if Yu Yang had heard him. By the time he finished speaking, Yu Yang’s silhouette had already disappeared.
“This guy. He has a crush?” The boss was lost in thought, then discovered with joy that Yu Yang had not turned off his laptop!
“Ah, I’m bored anyway. I’ll read the novel.”
The boss had not even scrolled to where he had left off in the story when he heard an earth-shaking shout. “Feng Ji, if you dare touch my laptop, I’ll break all your limbs!”
Feng Ji was the name of the Heartfelt Words Coffee House’s boss, but Ling Miao only knew one Feng Ji, and he was the male protagonist of The Demonic Song Defying Heaven.
“Feng Ji?” Ling Miao pronounced softly. “That’s the same name as the main character of Demonic Song Defying Heaven.”
“Oh, Demonic Song Defying Heaven’s main character is this guy’s namesake.” Yu Yang caught up to Ling Miao and pulled him into the shop. Ling Miao was pressed into a chair before he had even finished processing Yu Yang’s words.
Ling Miao finally realized what Yu Yang had told him and said in a low voice, “What the hell is your relationship with the Great Shu, really?”
Feng Ji murmured, “I’ve known him for about seven or eight years, I guess. As for our relationship… strangers—housemates—lovers—friends. That’s about right, isn’t it, Yu Yang?”