Upon receiving the interview result, Chu Li was requested to go to work at the start of the next month. She used the remaining half a month to find a place in the city to settle down. The location was a little remote and was only 40 square metres but it was better than a single apartment, and like a new bride she eagerly awaited for the start of April.
The night before she officially entered the company, Chu Li didn’t sleep well. She sent the good news of her entering Yuan Yue Publishing to all her friends and families. She even secretly told the writer Little White Lotus that she had fangirled over for ten years of her lofty ambition of producing the best book.
Regardless, her heart was full of her future in the circle, finally she could experience the joy of stepping in.
On the second day, as the sky brightened, Chu Li bounced up and had a shower and cleaned herself up. She then followed the pre-planned route that she secretly studied and deng deng deng (cute sound effects) arrived at the first floor.
From the first floor lobby of she passed the Yuan Yue Publishing’s display cabinet of works, Chu Li could not resist slowing down to have another look: a Publishing House, only works that are the best have the opportunity to show up in the display cabinet. Chu Li hopes that one day she could also have a book or even a few books that she worked on inside the display cabinet.
………….. an hour after she made this wish she finally knew the bones of reality.
Chu Li followed the other successful interviewees into the conference room, waiting for the head of each respective department to come and get them. She was internally very moved– at this time, she felt like she was dreaming and didn’t dare believe that she had now become one of Yuan Yue publishing’s editors. She realised that that each person around her had their names called and were taken away, leaving her by herself again. As she started to feel uncomfortable, she finally saw a person walking in high heels not far away, she slowly pushed open the door and came in.
After seeing clearly the person’s face, Chu Li who was internally moved changed to “What the fuck!”. The person who came in was the person that day who looked like they wanted to go home and eat; the lady that asked her one month 1800, do it or not.
It truly deserves to be the first of April (April Fools), the scene had the corresponding festival effect. Chu Li only stared at the leisurely late lady who did not seem surprised to see that that conference room only had one person who had stupidly raised their head to stare at her. In an unhurried manner she stood in front of Chu Li: “Chu Li?”
Chu Li made a “hua” sound and bounced up from her seat: “Hello, I am–”
Lady: “My name is Yu Yao, Moonlight’s new Chief Editor. Welcome to joining our editorial department.”
Chu Li was dumbfound for a while: “Moonlight?”
Wasn’t it Star Trails?
Yu Yao raised a delicate brow.
Chu Li: “Moonlight ah! Very happy!”
Yu Yao lowered her eyes and ignored the strange noises. She took out a contract and opened up to the first page. Using an even and unwavering voice she said: “The trial period is two months, both parties have the rights to call a stop, so you can leave whenever you want; I can also determine whether you can become regular employee. Intern salary is set at 2500 yuan, 100 yuan for perfect attendance, everyday there is a food compensation 10 yuan. After all, we are in a sunset industry and it is hard to make money. You don’t have any problems right?”
Chu Li’s heart was full of black question marks, her mind was full of L Jun’s brain washing that sounded like “Quickly going bankrupt ah, quickly going bankrupt ah”. She smiled with difficulty when receiving the contract: “…………….No problems, really, Moonlight ah, very happy!”
The contract was signed just like this.
At this time, Chu Li was already so poor that she could not buy the train ticket back home to clutch her mothers big thigh to become a weevil or the useless failure that she was.
(T/N: Weevil are thought to be little parasites who are useless)
Ten minutes later Chu Li stood in the corridor where she got lost and bumped into the fox. The little blackboard was still there except the office was no longer empty, inside had five to six people seated.
Outside the office door there was a fish tank, the fish tank had ten or so little parrot fish, as Yu Yao went in she placed a fish in. Chu Li felt that the parrot fish that trembled into the tank was a little like herself.
Spotting a new colleague arriving, the people in the office were eerily quiet, they awkwardly opened their eyes to give Chu Li their greetings.
“Ah new person right? I didn’t even know that they were recruiting people at this time, are they going to cram people in? Really, it is already clearly crowded. Look the spot beside me needs to be given out, where can I put my bag now ah. It’s only on the weekend that I can go to the Fendi outlet store!”
A: Deputy Editor Lao Miao, looked a little gay and really didn’t look male, he was about thirty years old, he looked like he knew how to do make makeup. Lao Miao was the main person responsible for Moonlight Magazine’s short story section. According to what was introduced, some of the authors that he was working with included Zhou Chuan, Heng Su, He Ma all of this years big Gods…. Lao Miao’s position was just under Yu Yao’s position. Next to Chu Li:
“You must be an editor right? I’m the art editor A Xiang, en, just this.”
B: Art Editor A Xiang wore dark rimmed glasses, loved to laugh and seemed like a nice person.
“My last name is Li, you can just call me Lao Li.”
C: Art Editor Lao Li, male, thirty years or so, looked quite old fashioned.
“New person…I am also considered half a new person, you can call me Xiao Niao (little bird).”
D: This person entered Yuan Yue’s editorial department earlier than Chu Li by half a month, she had long curly hair, dressed in a Mori Girl Style, spoke really quietly and easily blushed. All the new colleagues style’s were different, the only thing that they were similar in was their indifference.
(T/N: Mori Girl Style: https://j-fashion.fandom.com/wiki/Mori_Girl)
This is probably the magazine department that would make those with social phobia feel better.
Chu Li secretly made complaints in her heart as she sat down next to the assigned position near Lao Miao. The smell of male cologne wafted up her nose. She turned her head to give Lao Miao a once over, and then she met his gaze. She sat straighter calling out: “Deputy Editor!”
Lao Miao: “No need to refer to me so bureaucratically, Lao Miao is fine.”
Lao Miao spoke while casually giving her a page full of URL’s and passwords telling her that her job for the day was to have a look at the official microblog for Moonlight and then organise the exclusive submission mailbox that has reader’s private messages. Pick the ones that are important and make a copy of them.
Lao Miao: “If there is something that you do not understand, you can ask.”
Chu Li: ” En Ok!”
Judging from your tone, if I really dared to ask a question you might really break my neck.
Chu Li really wanted to ask if the submissions mailbox was only for submission, but judging from Lao Miao’s attitude she probably should choose to close her mouth and do her job quietly, when a question comes up swallow it into her stomach. The mailbox was full of things, what does it mean to “have value” and what does it mean to “not have value”?
…. But quite quickly she would understand what he meant.
As soon as she opened up the Magazine’s mail box, the number 99 showed up in front of her eyes, blinding them. Quickly scanning over them she realised that the submissions for the magazine weren’t just submissions. Out of twenty submissions there would only be eight that were serious, the remaining were all rubbish. The submissions could be separated into three different categories:
First Category: Simply asking for directions:
“This great one hi, I just want to ask if this is the mailbox for all the submissions?”
“Is this the manuscript mailbox?”
“Where do the manuscript submissions go?”
“What is your manuscript fee and how do you submit it?”
–In order to deal with these types of people Chu Li replied each message with: Hi the manuscripts can be sent to this mail box, thanks (≧ω≦)！！！
Second Category: Selling Manuscripts:
“Hello, I am an author, I just want to ask if I can contribute to the magazine with a pen name like this: [March, I stood by the classroom window and saw the afterglow of the setting sun pouring in from the window. The playground outside the window seemed to be isolated from the tranquillity of another world, and the fine dust was scattered in time.]…”
“Hello, I have the sample for the start of a draft, I was wondering if I could get some advice from a big editor for it: [A person will always eventually become a person, this road will only have me remaining here alone. I will hold onto my valuable memories while walking and stopping down this road. Remembering all the good things that he had, but I am afraid that one day when I walk to the end of the road I will realise the things that I was afraid of forgetting were things that were already forgotten. Fear consumes me….]”
“Hello, I was just wondering if you collect poetry and prose? Here is an example: [The moon is clear the shadows return, a few people return under the peony..]”
(T/N: My poetry translation skills are a bit wishy washy so here is the original for you to have a look at: 【明月清空月影归，牡丹花下几人回】……”
–For these types of people, Chu Li’s heart went from “Wow” to “Fuck” to finally fatigue and without expression as she chose to ignore them.
The Third Type of people ask if a writer has died or not—this type of angle is difficult. Chu Li contemplated whether or not to reply, she turned to ask Lao Miao who sat next to her….
Chu Li extended her neck, and made her voice quiet: Lao Miao, I just want to ask, when these customer’s say that ‘I am Meng Lu’s fan, Moonlight Magazine’s first issue featured our great one’s short story. Why has my writer not shown up again, where has she gone,’ how should I reply ah?”
The mouse in Lao Miao’s hand ‘ka ka’ed’ for a while before stopping: “You can say that apart from you who likes the Meng Lu person, there no other people who want to see this writer. The reason that the author Meng Lu doesn’t appear in our magazine should be for this reason.”
Chu Li: “….”
Chu Li: “There is also this one, regarding Zhou Chuan. How tall is Zhou Chuan, what types of books does he normally like? Does he give reading list suggestions for new authors or middle school students?”
As soon as Chu Li finished speaking, it became really quiet in the editorial department. For some reason Boss Yu also raised her head to look at Chu Li– it was like she asked Lao Miao what colour underwear he was wearing today.
Chu Li: “??”
Chu Li’s heart thumped, she felt that there was something not quite right. She awkwardly laughed before trying to remedy the situation: “These questions aren’t too bad right? It is rumoured that Zhou Chuan is quite good, normally these questions are also asked on his Weibo. He even sometimes answers them, if the magazine department asked–”
He should reply right?
Without waiting for Chu Li to finish speaking, Lao Miao let go of the mouse, he spun around on his chair to face Chu Li. The person on the chair raised his leg while regarding Chu Li. He suddenly smiled, waving his hand at Chu Li: “Here you go.”
Chu Li stood up uncomfortably going behind Lao Miao, she casually had a look at his messages and found the one labelled as Zhou Chuan and typed the message in.
[Miao Miao: Hey Zhou Chuan Teacher, we have a new person who wants to ask you a question. Please reply ok? How tall are you? What books do you normally read? Do you give reading list suggestions for new authors or middle school students?”
After Lao Miao finished typing the message his hands left the keyboard.
A few seconds later, Chu Li nervously watched the computer screen for the reply—
[Zhou Chuan: Are you bored?]
[Zhou Chuan: Wanna get blacklisted?]
[Zhou Chuan: Chinese Student Reading List? Long Yang 18 moves]
Lao Miao: “Look.”
Chu Li: “……….”
After taking another look.
Chu Li: “This cannot be Zhou Chuan.”
Lao Miao watched Chu Li like he was caring for the mentally retarded.
Hello, if you like my work please consider donating some Kofi to a coffee deprived lil foxy. I will be posting early access Chapter’s on Kofi for members~~