The moment Ji Linxi opened the door, he smelled something familiar. Then he heard a well-known noise, and he didn’t need to look to know that Ling Miao was eating instant noodles.
“You eat this every day. Careful you don’t become a mummy,” Ji Linxi reminded good-naturedly.¹
Ling Miao chewed at the noodles, resentment written all over his face, as if the noodles between his teeth weren’t food but Su Yuyang.
Ling Miao’s thoughts showed completely on his face. Seeing the situation, Ji Linxi casually asked, “Your first day at work and you’ve already quarrelled with your idol?”
“Don’t mention that bastard to me!” Ling Miao ferociously stuck his chopsticks into the bowl of noodles. “It’s fine that he took advantage of me, but he treated me like menial labor! He lives on the tenth floor, and has no elevator. I carried three big bags of things from the first floor to the tenth and he didn’t even help me. And, even worse, he has no food at all in his house. No seasonings, and he wants me to make food? He’s intentionally poking fun at me. I…” Ling Miao took a deep breath, then picked up more noodles with his chopsticks and stuffed them in his mouth. “I could talk about his evil deeds for three days and three nights and still not be done. The mere mention of him makes me feel like the sky’s gone dark.”
Ji Linxi glanced outside the window. Heh, the sky is dark.
“Oh, so compared to being used as menial labor and being poked fun at, being taken advantage of is a small thing?” Ji Linxi said pointedly as he looked at Ling Miao. His tone was ambiguous and pregnant with meaning.
“Fuck, what’re you looking at me like that for?!” Ling Miao bowed his head again and ate the noodles in enormous mouthfuls, but Ji Linxi could see that the bases of Ling Miao’s ears were red.
“Ling Miao, you actually really enjoyed being taken advantage of by your idol, yeah? Hm, now that I think about it, maybe it was love at first sight once you met the Great Shu,” Ji Linxi analyzed.
“Go to hell,” Ling Miao said without conviction. Ji Linxi’s words—he agreed with the first half, but the second half…
Wait, what’s this “I agree with the first half”? Exactly when did I say I agreed?
After finishing dinner, Ling Miao began writing. Ji Linxi glanced at Ling Miao and sighed.
Ling Miao’s impression of Su Yuyang wasn’t very good, but Su Yuyang’s impression of Ling Miao was the opposite.
Su Yuyang stared at the white space in his document. Two hours had passed and he hadn’t written a single word. Luckily, he had several drafts saved, so he didn’t have to worry about not being able to update.
For the past two hours, nothing from the novel had occupied Su Yuyang’s brain. In his mind was only Ling Miao, a hazy existence bathed in sunlight; Ling Miao, irritable after having been kissed; Ling Miao’s brilliant red lips.
Su Yuyang’s face was expressionless. Thoughtfulness showed in his bright eyes, but the trembling of his Adam’s apple revealed his unease. The whole scene was somewhat strange, but it also gave off an air of calm comfort. It was similar to Su Yuyang’s heart: at odds with itself.
“Ling Miao’s personality—some might consider it good, others might consider it bad. It’s not the kind I like, but he draws a lot of my attention.Today I intentionally bought a lot of things from the supermarket and made him carry it all, and his expression of being angry but not daring to say it—I actually suspected he wasn’t Ling Miao.” In Su Yuyang’s mind, images of Ling Miao surfaced: Ling Miao climbing the stairs after returning from the supermarket, Ling Miao asking Su Yuyang to share the burden and Su Yuyang refusing. Even though Ling Miao was already huffing and puffing, he still cursed Su Yuyang softly.
None of this, nothing was at all within Su Yuyang’s expectations.
Su Yuyang liked to see Ling Miao waving his claws. Every time that happened, Ling Miao would give off an air of, “Even if I don’t kill you, I want to leave bloody scars on your body”. Thinking of this, Su Yuyang couldn’t hold back any longer.
“Ling Miao, Ling Miao. Tomorrow will come soon, won’t it.”
Su Yuyang stretched lazily and re-focused his attention on his novel. Just then, his phone rang: it was Ling Miao.
“Xiao Miao?”² Su Yuyang called Ling Miao intimately.
Ling Miao shuddered and shot back, “Don’t be so familiar. You’re giving me goosebumps and making me want to vomit. Just call me Ling Miao.”
“Ling Miao… Xiao Miao, what is it?” Su Yuyang didn’t care about Ling Miao’s attitude at all. His mouth was on his own face, so he would call Ling Miao whatever he liked.
“I…” Su Yuyang’s form of address shocked Ling Miao, who inhaled deeply, grit his teeth, and said, “Su-ge, what do you want to eat tomorrow morning?”
“As long as you’re the one who makes it, anything’s fine.” Su Yuyang’s tone was gentle, and Ling Miao felt goosebumps rise on his skin, again.
Su Yuyang generally got up at nine o’clock in the morning. He walked out of his bedroom and the first thing he saw was Ling Miao curled up on the sofa, catching up on sleep.
“Ling Miao?” Su Yuyang gently shook Ling Miao, but what he got in return was a hard slap. Ling Miao rolled over and prepared to continue sleeping, but he rolled in the wrong direction. Furthermore, Su Yuyang intentionally didn’t catch him, so Ling Miao rolled directly onto the floor.
“Ah, that hurts!” Ling Miao’s forehead crashed into the ground. He cried out in pain and also woke up from his doze.
Ling Miao sat on the floor and rubbed at the bruised spot. His eyes landed on Su Yuyang, who was hiding a smile at the corner of his lips, and an inexplicable rage rose in his heart: “Su Yuyang, you did this on purpose, didn’t you?!”
Syu Yuyang didn’t say anything, which made Ling Miao even madder. “Heh, you’re very happy to see me make a fool of myself, right? Right. Next time I’ll sleep my fill before coming over. As for whether you go into shock from low blood sugar, who knows.” Having said his piece, Ling Miao got up, picked up the thermos on the coffee table, then walked out the door.