Safety Manual Labor Tips with a Twist of 2D Chapter 17

Chapter 17 Wrath

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Lin Zhaohe had been to Yunnan before. When he went there, it was during July or August. A group of young and energetic guys went up the mountain to pick mushrooms and cooked a large pot of them at a guesthouse. After eating, he had the chance to witness such an impressive scene.

His few close friends were talking about people paddling dragon boats everywhere and even claiming to have grown wings like dragonflies stuck on bamboo poles.

At that time, Lin Zhaohe didn’t eat much and didn’t react much. Being the only survivor, he watched his friends’ entire recovery process.

Lin Zhaohe could never forget the moment when his good friend lay in bed, struggling to breathe with an oxygen mask on, and asked him what had happened. Lin Zhaohe said, “You got poisoned by mushrooms.” His friend weakly responded, “No, that’s impossible. It must be… we used too little garlic…”

Lin Zhaohe: “…” Can you please stop blaming everything on yourself?

“It’s not poisoning, it’s ghosts…” At that moment, Zhang Xiaoxiao, just like Lin Zhaohe’s friend who got poisoned by mushrooms, pressed his body against the wall like a gecko. “Can’t you see it? It’s right in front of us…”

Lin Zhaohe thought to himself, “I didn’t eat mushrooms, so how can I see anything? In this remote and poor place, even an ambulance can’t come in. The symptoms of this poisoning are so severe, there might be no hope.”

Although thinking that Zhang Xiaoxiao was beyond help, Lin Zhaohe still decided to give it a try. He climbed out of the muddy coffin and braved the pouring rain to reach Zhang Xiaoxiao, intending to pull him off the wall.

Zhang Xiaoxiao was scared, tears streaming down his face. If it weren’t raining, you could clearly see his face covered in snot and tears. He was still firmly held by that thing, unable to move, when he saw Lin Zhaohe rushing towards him, desperately trying to save him.

The monster seemed angered by Lin Zhaohe’s actions and let out a sharp roar. Its other hands attacked Lin Zhaohe, but without exception, they went right through his body.

This situation made the monster even angrier, but it couldn’t do anything to Lin Zhaohe. So, the head, covered in eyes of various sizes, suddenly turned towards the villagers kneeling on the ground.

It’s all because of you—the ones who brought this thing here. Zhang Xiaoxiao, at that moment, understood the meaning behind the monster’s gaze.

The village chief, kneeling at the front, showed a panicked expression upon witnessing this scene. Having lived in the village for nearly ninety years, he knew well the horror that followed when their revered deity became angry.

The village chief knelt on the ground, trembling and repeatedly bowing. The villagers behind him lost their festive spirit, becoming like rigid sculptures, mindlessly repeating the same actions.

Lin Zhaohe had no idea what was happening. He exerted all his strength and finally managed to pull Zhang Xiaoxiao off the wall.

Because of the force, both of them fell to the ground and got splattered with mud.

Zhang Xiaoxiao trembled all over, struggling to stand up and urgently shouted, “Run!”

Lin Zhaohe was puzzled, “Aren’t we concerned about them? The mass poisoning is severe.”

Zhang Xiaoxiao almost burst into tears. Now he understood that Lin Zhaohe really couldn’t see anything.

He was terrified by the scene before his eyes. The villagers kneeling on the ground, their backs bulging, something was breaking out from their backs.

“Zhang Xiaoxiao?” Lin Zhaohe was completely unaware of the situation.

“W-What is that…” Zhang Xiaoxiao’s legs went weak. He wanted to run, but his feet seemed rooted to the ground. Through the rain, the kneeling villagers appeared as cocoons birthing monsters, with white things breaking through flesh and floating out. Upon closer inspection, they were unmistakably paper figurines identical to the villagers’ appearances.

Lin Zhaohe: “Are you going to leave or not?” He couldn’t see anything except the villagers kneeling on the ground and a completely petrified Zhang Xiaoxiao.

Countless paper figurines, responding to the monster’s summons, emerged from the bodies of the villagers. They seemed to have their own consciousness. Even after crawling out of their flesh, they continued to kneel on the ground, trembling with fear.

The monster let out a howl, grabbed one of the paper figurines, and with a sound resembling the tearing of real paper, it tore the paper figure apart.

In the instant when it tore the paper figure, the owner of the paper figurines also disintegrated into a pile of shredded flesh.

This scene completely exceeded Zhang Xiaoxiao’s capacity to comprehend. He smelled the scent of blood in the air, his eyes rolled back, and he fainted.

Lin Zhaohe was completely confused. In his eyes, the villagers were bowing their heads, taking out paper figurines from their pockets, and someone tore their own paper figurines, then collapsed to the ground. There was no terrifying imagery throughout the entire process.

He wasn’t particularly brave, but there was nothing frightening about the scene before him. Lin Zhaohe glanced at Zhang Xiaoxiao, thinking that he must still be suffering from poisoning.

Next, one after another, the villagers in front of him tore apart the paper figurines in their hands. Lin Zhaohe, noticing that they hadn’t noticed him, quickly lifted Zhang Xiaoxiao on his back, intending to quietly slip away. However, just as he had taken a few steps, the village chief spotted him…

“Catch him, kill him, offer him to the deity!” The village chief’s hysterical voice resounded loudly. His eyes were bloodshot, resembling a deranged monster. “Kill him, kill him, it will surely appease the wrath of the deity!”

Lin Zhaohe felt a sense of impending danger.

As expected, the village chief’s command seemed to be the last straw. The villagers kneeling on the ground suddenly erupted, rushing towards Lin Zhaohe.

Lin Zhaohe took a sharp intake of breath. He couldn’t possibly defeat so many people, but there was no way out in the surroundings. Helplessly, Lin Zhaohe had no choice but to run towards the cave in front of him…

The villagers showed fear towards the cave and hesitated at the entrance, unwilling to follow. Gasping for breath, Lin Zhaohe set Zhang Xiaoxiao down. “If you’re so capable, why don’t you come in?”

Village chief: “If you’re so capable, come out!”

Lin Zhaohe: “I’m not capable. You come in and bite me!” He had a smug look on his face, provoking the village chief to the point where his eyes turned bloodshot, wishing to kill and devour Lin Zhaohe.

Lin Zhaohe was exhausted as well. Zhang Xiaoxiao appeared to be strong, but who knew he couldn’t withstand the poison? Even the 90-year-old village chief managed to stay strong. Lin Zhaohe collapsed first, feeling ashamed for his insurance company. The more he thought about it, the angrier he became. He slapped Zhang Xiaoxiao twice and shouted, “Wake up! Brother, you’re supposed to be at work! Sleeping on the job means losing money!!”

Upon hearing the word “money,” Zhang Xiaoxiao struggled to wake up. “Money, I need money…”

Lin Zhaohe: “…” It seemed that having a second child indeed brought great pressure.

Zhang Xiaoxiao struggled to wake up, but when he saw the scene before him clearly, he felt that it would have been better to remain unconscious. He was now lying in the lair of the monster, with walls pulsating with flesh and peculiar symbols. The monster stood right in front of them, its head covered in countless eyes, almost within reach. It felt as if with a single step closer, they would catch a whiff of the foul odor emanating from its mouth.

Zhang Xiaoxiao’s heart was struck with a heavy blow, and he began to wail uncontrollably. “How did we end up here… Brother Lin…”

Lin Zhaohe was baffled. “If we didn’t come in, we would have been beaten to death by the people outside.”

Glancing outside, Zhang Xiaoxiao noticed that most of the villagers were already dead, with only about a third remaining at the entrance. Their menacing and ferocious gaze resembled that of the monster before them.

Zhang Xiaoxiao swallowed the words in his mouth and choked out, “So, what do we do now?”

Lin Zhaohe scratched his head. “They seem reluctant to come in, so let’s wait. Qi Ming and the others should come up with a solution.”

Thus, a stalemate ensued. The villagers dared not enter, and Lin Zhaohe and Zhang Xiaoxiao dared not go out.

Zhang Xiaoxiao cowered behind Lin Zhaohe, feeling more vulnerable than ever before. The creature roared in front of Lin Zhaohe, clearly infuriated by his disrespect. However, it was powerless to harm Lin Zhaohe, and in its lifetime, it had never experienced such humiliation. It could only vent its frustrations on others.

Why hadn’t the monster killed him? Zhang Xiaoxiao wondered. Could it be that he, too, hadn’t fulfilled any special conditions? He looked at the villagers standing outside and the paper figurines at their feet, and a startling theory formed in his mind… Could it be that these paper figurines were the true essence of the villagers? Had they made some sort of pact with the monster, gaining longevity in exchange, while their decaying bodies could be replaced by paper figurines?

Lost in thought, Zhang Xiaoxiao suddenly heard a commotion from outside, as if something had happened.

Lin Zhaohe wondered curiously, “Huh? Why did they leave?”

Zhang Xiaoxiao lifted his gaze and indeed saw the villagers turning and hurrying away, their postures filled with panic and alarm. It seemed that something had occurred.

Earlier, when the wrath of the evil deity was unleashed, they weren’t allowed to escape, but now they were fleeing like rabbits… What could have happened?

“I’ll go out and take a look,” said Lin Zhaohe.

“Let’s go together. I don’t want to stay alone with this thing,” Zhang Xiaoxiao added.

The two of them exited the cave and found that there were no villagers standing on the platform. The remaining people were all lying on the ground. Lin Zhaohe went over and felt their breath, shaking his head. “They’re gone.”

“Why did they run away?” Zhang Xiaoxiao asked.

“I don’t know,” Lin Zhaohe said, “Hey? Why is there light at the foot of the mountain…” He looked in the direction of the mountain’s base and saw a blaze of lights. He remembered that when he had just climbed the mountain, there wasn’t a single lit lantern in the village. But now, it was brightly illuminated.

Zhang Xiaoxiao said, “That’s not right, it can’t be lamps.”

Lin Zhaohe also realized this and let out a gasp, inhaling a breath of cold air. “Is it on fire?”

Indeed, it was ablaze. The small mountain village had turned into a sea of fire. All the lanterns and paper figurines hanging on the subdistrict were engulfed in flames. Even with pouring rain, the fire showed no sign of diminishing. On the contrary, the flames grew higher, casting a crimson hue over half the sky.

The wooden structures, combined with the oil, became the perfect fuel for the fire. Amidst the firelight, countless shadows rushed in like moths to a flame, seemingly attempting to salvage something.

However, they clearly failed because from the cave behind Zhang Xiaoxiao, there came a piercing howl. He turned his head and saw the monster rushing out of the cave, its entire body consumed by burning paper, gradually turning to ashes.

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