Safety Manual Labor Tips with a Twist of 2D Chapter 22

Chapter 22 Life if full of Ups and Downs

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The eight building was in a corner of the residential area. The beauty swiped open the door and asked which floor they were headed to.

Lin Zhaohe: “Didn’t someone get murdered here before? We’re here to investigate.”

Hearing this, the beauty said, “Oh, I heard about that too. It was a woman who got killed, and they haven’t caught the killer yet.” She walked up to the elevator. “If I remember correctly, it’s the 18th floor.”

“Exactly.” Qi Ming nodded.

The two followed the woman into the elevator and saw her press the button for the 18th floor.

Just then, Lin Zhaohe’s phone rang. It was a call from Zhuang Lao.

“Hello, boss,” Lin Zhaohe greeted.

“Got the information. It’s Building 8, Apartment 17A-2,” came Zhuang Lao’s voice, sounding somewhat distant through the phone.

“Huh? Wasn’t it the 18th floor?” Lin Zhaohe found Zhuang Lao’s description a bit strange.

“Didn’t something happen there?” Zhuang Lao explained, “There’s no 18th floor in the complex anymore. They changed it to 17A for all apartments.”

As he finished speaking, the elevator chimed, signaling their arrival at the 18th floor.

Lin Zhaohe couldn’t shake off the feeling that the surroundings had become a bit colder, or was it just his imagination?

Qi Ming stood motionless inside the elevator.

Lin Zhaohe held the phone and turned his head, looking at him inexplicably, his eyes questioning what was wrong.

“Don’t you feel like this person looks more and more familiar?” Qi Ming whispered.

“Familiar?” Lin Zhaohe glanced at the woman standing silently outside the elevator, waiting for them to get off. His arm suddenly broke into a layer of cold sweat… The person in front of him resembled more and more the appearance of the female ghost he had seen in the movie before she died.

“Let’s go,” the woman said, “We’ve arrived.” She grinned, revealing her teeth, “Don’t you want to take a look inside?”

“Damn it!” Qi Ming cursed loudly and frantically pressed the close button on the elevator, but no matter how hard he pressed, the elevator doors wouldn’t budge.

Water started dripping incessantly from the woman’s body, and where her pupils should have been, there were now only two dark holes.

“Help! Help!” Lin Zhaohe’s hair stood on end in fear, and he frantically pressed the elevator button with Qi Ming. The elevator finally started moving, and the few seconds of descent felt like an entire year.

Finally reaching the ground floor, the two of them rushed out of the elevator, their legs carrying them as fast as they could, without saying a single unnecessary word.

Lin Zhaohe and Qi Ming ran all the way to the entrance of the residential area, and when they saw that the woman hadn’t chased after them, they finally stopped, panting heavily.

“Damn it, scared the hell out of me, scared the hell out of me,” said Lin Zhaohe, “That thing was waiting for me here—”

Qi Ming wiped his sweat. “Good news, it must be the 18th floor of Building 8 in this complex.”

Lin Zhaohe: “Thank heavens, thank heavens.”

Qi Ming: “Bad news is, you’ll have to go back there later.”

Lin Zhaohe: “…” He would rather watch a hundred more anime shows about magical girl transformations than ever touch another horror film.

“Let’s wait for the boss and go together,” Qi Ming suggested. “He said he’s also at the entrance of the residential area.”

The two of them, feeling a chill in their bones, stood under the sun, waiting for Zhuang Lao.

As Zhuang Lao saw the expressions on their faces, he knew they must have encountered something supernatural. “I just asked the people around here. A few months ago, a corpse was indeed discovered in the residential area. It had apparently been decomposing for a long time. They couldn’t find the killer, so the community arranged for a burial in a nearby cemetery. It seems that the danger level isn’t very high.”

These days, encountering dead bodies was becoming too common. You couldn’t even tell if the culprit was a person or some other creature. All you could do was wish for your own safety.

“Not many people watch these kinds of movies, so its clout is definitely low,” Qi Ming said. “Otherwise, with Lin Zhaohe’s progress, we could already be serving the banquet.”

Lin Zhaohe: “I remember in the movie, she could only kill people one by one. According to this logic, the two of you should be pretty safe.”

Qi Ming: “Indeed.”

“Let’s take advantage of the daylight and go see.” Zhuang Lao glanced at his watch. It was 1 o’clock in the afternoon, and there was still a long time before it got dark. It was a relatively safe period.

In order to save their own lives, Lin Zhaohe reluctantly agreed, even though he didn’t fully agree. With a heavy heart, they returned to the place they had investigated before.

This time, no one opened the door for them. The three of them waited for a while until someone finally came down from the residential building. It was an old man, not as scary as before.

The old man wasn’t particularly interested in the three of them. When he learned that they wanted to go to the 18th floor, he said that someone had recently died there, and it was very ominous. He advised them not to go.

Of course, Lin Zhaohe didn’t want to go, but for the sake of his own life, he had to grit his teeth and go ahead.

The elevator ascended slowly and stopped at the 17th floor.

The door to 18-2 was originally locked. Lin Zhaohe tentatively twisted the doorknob with his hand, unexpectedly managing to open it.

The door creaked softly, revealing the interior furnishings. It looked exactly like the rooms in the movie. Perhaps due to lack of occupation for a long time, the room was filled with a musty odor. Although the windows were wide open, the sunlight seemed unable to penetrate, giving off a chilling sensation.

On the wooden floor, a dark stain stood out conspicuously. This stain was identical to the one on the ceiling of Lin Zhaohe’s apartment, only darker in color. One could imagine the slow process in which the corpse of the woman left its mark here.

Death, decay, the remnants of life—this was manifested in the stain before them. The woman’s resentment gathered here, cursing every innocent passerby. Lin Zhaohe carefully bypassed it and ventured further into the room.

In the movie, the protagonist found the killer and burned the female lead’s body. However, even so, the final scene of the movie hinted at her lingering presence through the water stain on the melted refrigerator, resembling a human form.

Lin Zhaohe had no other options. He could only try to save himself following the protagonist’s methods.

The three of them began searching the room together.

The room was remarkably neat, showing no signs of a crime having occurred. Judging from the traces inside the room, it was evident that someone had lived there for a long time.

Lin Zhaohe found the protagonist’s photo album in the room. In the album, there were a man and a woman, both smiling brightly. The woman on the right, with long hair and a white dress, had a radiant smile on her beautiful face. She was the same person Lin Zhaohe had seen downstairs just now. As he looked at the woman’s smile in the photo, he remembered the creepy expression with which the female ghost had stared at him earlier. Spine tingling, he quietly set the album aside.

“Could the man have returned to his hometown?” Qi Ming asked. “Or should we follow the protagonist’s method?”

In the movie, the protagonist himself was a police officer and used his connections at the police station to locate the man. However, they weren’t as fortunate as the protagonist, so they had to find another way.

“I have some bad news,” Zhuang Lao said calmly while searching. His next words made Lin Zhaohe’s eyes widen in shock. He said, “The protagonist of the movie ‘Ghost Stain’ has also come here and died.”

Qi Ming: “…Huh?”

Lin Zhaohe: “Died? What do you mean? Did he get killed by the female ghost in the real world?”

“Yes,” Zhuang Lao replied. “I just received the news and had it verified. The protagonist has indeed passed away, and the ghost’s husband is also gone.”

Qi Ming and Lin Zhaohe were left speechless.

“So, it proves that the method from the movie is not effective,” Zhuang Lao said, his slender fingers gliding across the tabletop, wiping away a layer of dust. His tone was nonchalant, but the words sounded like a death sentence to Lin Zhaohe. “However, I suspect that the protagonist may have made some mistakes, leading to his demise in the end.”

“What do you mean?” Lin Zhaohe quickly asked.

“Perhaps what he burned wasn’t the female protagonist’s body,” Zhuang Lao said. “In the movie, it has mentioned that the killer escaped after committing the crime. Due to lack of evidence, he wasn’t brought to justice. The female protagonist was an orphan, and with no family left, her body wouldn’t receive proper treatment. At the very least, no one would buy her a grave.”

It made sense. Unclaimed bodies without any relatives were usually cremated directly. They would be stored in the crematorium for a period of time. If no one came forward to claim them, they would undergo eco-friendly disposal, reportedly used for tree planting.

The woman’s situation was unique. She was probably cremated after being dissected, but considering she had no living relatives, her disposal method would be similar to that of a homeless person.

Lin Zhaohe remembered in the movie how the protagonist found the woman’s grave in a desolate area and dug up her body… Could it be that it wasn’t her body at all?

“Most likely not,” Zhuang Lao analyzed. “It could be someone else’s body, or it could simply be his hallucination. In any case, logically speaking, this aspect is questionable.”

“So, he died? How did he die?” Qi Ming asked.

“No records,” Zhuang Lao replied. “There are too many deaths to keep track of.”

After the merging of worlds, there was no safety to be found. Casualties and deaths had become commonplace. People went from being alarmed at every little thing to becoming numb and accustomed to it.

“Now this is great,” Qi Ming said helplessly. “Lin Zhaohe, you’ve become the protagonist of the second part. Any thoughts?”

Lin Zhaohe cried out in pain, “I just wanted to stay alive. What did I do wrong? Okay, enough with the jokes. Where is the female protagonist buried? Any leads?”

“That’s relatively easy to find out,” Zhuang Lao said. “It would be best to find her name inside the house and then determine the time of her death. That way, we can narrow down the search. She doesn’t have a name in the movie, and there’s no grave marker either.”

“Oh, that’s right. They didn’t mention her name in the movie,” Lin Zhaohe realized. “And the grave the male protagonist found also didn’t have a name on it!” No wonder Zhuang Lao suggested that he might have burned the wrong body. His boss was so attentive to these details. He was truly impressive.

Lin Zhaohe then praised, “Boss, you have such keen observation skills!”

Zhuang Lao’s movements slightly paused, and he glanced at Lin Zhaohe. “Or maybe you’re the one who’s more observant.”

Qi Ming: “…Are you two talking about the same thing?”

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