Safety Manual Labor Tips with a Twist of 2D Chapter 23

Chapter 23 Sudden Illness

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What was the name of the female ghost? In order to find her name, the three of them searched the room thoroughly, but unfortunately, apart from some overlooked old photos, there was nothing in the house related to the woman’s identity.

They turned the house upside down, but Lin Zhaohe couldn’t find what he was looking for.

Time passed by minute by minute, and before they knew it, the sun was setting. It wouldn’t be wise to stay in the haunted house at night, so Qi Ming suggested they go back and return tomorrow.

They had no choice but to agree. Lin Zhaohe nodded in agreement.

It was already too late to drive back at this point, so the three of them found a nearby budget hotel to stay in.

The hotel in the town was quite average. They booked a double room and a single room. Qi Ming stayed alone, while Zhuang Lao ended up sharing a room with Lin Zhaohe.

In horror movies, it was always advised not to separate. When Zhuang Lao voluntarily suggested sharing a room, Lin Zhaohe was both surprised and a bit nervous. He secretly glanced at Zhuang Lao and said, “Won’t you feel uncomfortable, boss?”

“I’ll be fine,” Zhuang Lao replied. “It’s getting late, so let’s rest early.”

And so, the three of them went to sleep.

The hotels in the small town weren’t particularly comfortable, but as long as the bed was sleepable, Lin Zhaohe simply freshened up and lay down. He glanced at Zhuang Lao, who was sitting on the edge of the bed, engrossed in his phone, and asked, “Boss, what are you looking at?”

“Watching the footage again,” Zhuang Lao said. “Trying to find some clues.”

Lin Zhaohe: “Then I’ll watch it again too.” He took out his phone and pressed the play button.

Having seen it multiple times already, Lin Zhaohe was practically familiar with every plot twist. Even when the ghost appeared to frighten people, he felt nothing.

That was how it went with humans. The first time, they get scared. The second time, they get scared again. But by the third and fourth time, that sense of terror started to fade away. Even when the ghastly face appeared on the screen, Lin Zhaohe noticed that the wig on her head was slightly coming off.

As he continued to watch, his exhausted nerves relaxed. Lin Zhaohe felt his eyelids growing heavier and couldn’t help but squint.

Zhuang Lao heard a faint sound coming from Lin Zhaohe, and he turned to see his subordinate leaning against the bed, fast asleep. Most people would find it difficult to sleep in a life-threatening situation like this. But Lin Zhaohe seemed to possess an unusual level of mental fortitude, capable of dozing off while watching a horror film.

Gazing at Lin Zhaohe’s profile, a hint of a smile appeared in Zhuang Lao’s eyes. He got off the bed, gently cradled Lin Zhaohe, and adjusted him into a more comfortable position to sleep.

Lin Zhaohe slept deeply, not even having any strange dreams, until the sound of knocking woke him up. He groggily climbed out of bed and skillfully maneuvered past the dining table to open the door.

“Xiao Lin,” the person outside greeted him. “Up so early.”

Lin Zhaohe, still not fully awake, rubbed his eyes and mumbled, “Hmm, what’s up?”

“The people downstairs said you were making loud noises,” he said. “So, I came to check if something happened… Ahem.”

That cough, like a thunderclap, jolted Lin Zhaohe awake from his hazy state. He opened his eyes and saw a familiar face. “Uncle Chen?”

Uncle Chen—yes, it was the security guard who lived downstairs. He stood at the door with a kind yet unnervingly serene expression, looking at Lin Zhaohe. “Xiao Lin, is something troubling you?”

Of course, Lin Zhaohe had something troubling him. He shivered and instinctively glanced at his own ceiling, where a prominent black stain caught his attention. It had grown slightly larger since he last left, almost resembling the shape he had seen on the floor of the haunted house.

Feeling a bit uncomfortable, Lin Zhaohe couldn’t help but cough. He asked, “Uncle Chen, when did I come back? You were guarding downstairs, so you should have seen when I returned.”

However, Uncle Chen shook his head, claiming he had no idea when Lin Zhaohe had returned.

Lin Zhaohe displayed a helpless expression.

“Rest well,” Uncle Chen said. “It’s chaotic outside, so don’t wander around aimlessly.” He seemed unusually alert today, enunciating clearly and exhibiting quick thinking. He treated Lin Zhaohe like a familiar junior as he advised, “It’s too dangerous. It’s better to come back early.”

Lin Zhaohe wanted to say something, but suddenly felt a tickle in his throat and couldn’t help but cough forcefully.

Seeing this, Uncle Chen patted his back gently, remarking on his pale complexion and urging him to rest. Afterward, he assisted Lin Zhaohe to the sofa and left with slow steps.

Sitting on the sofa, Lin Zhaohe felt as though he was truly falling ill. He touched his forehead and realized he had a slight fever.

When was he brought back? Lin Zhaohe pondered sadly. Couldn’t they at least have draped a coat over him before sending him back? The journey was long, and it was easy to catch a cold.

Lost in his melancholy, he heard his phone ringing. Glancing at it, he saw that it was Zhuang Lao calling.

“Did you arrive home?” Zhuang Lao asked, displaying no surprise whatsoever.

“Uh… cough, cough,” Lin Zhaohe weakly responded. “Boss, when did I disappear?”

“I went to the restroom, and when I came back, you were gone,” Zhuang Lao said. “Why does your voice sound so strange?”

“Hmm,” Lin Zhaohe sniffled, weakly replying, “I think I caught a cold… I feel terrible. Am I dying?”

“Wait, we’ll come back right away,” Zhuang Lao said.

Lin Zhaohe sat on the sofa for a while before deciding to wash his face in the bathroom. However, as soon as he entered, he was startled by his own reflection in the mirror. The person staring back at him appeared haggard, with sunken cheeks and a pallid complexion. Even his once pitch-black hair was now intermingled with strands of white, as if he had aged several decades overnight.

Lin Zhaohe stared at the mirror in shock and exclaimed, “Why do I look like this after sleeping with Zhuang Lao for one night? Is he a demon who drains people’s vitality?!”

Luckily, Zhuang Lao wasn’t present at that moment, or he could say goodbye to his paycheck for the month.

Lin Zhaohe crawled back to the bed, resembling a zombie, feeling miserable. Others would be scared for a few days and then meet their demise, but before his demise, he would need to be taken care of…

Zhuang Lao and Qi Ming arrived promptly, but both were taken aback when they saw Lin Zhaohe’s appearance upon entering the room.

“Holy cow, Lin Zhaohe, what happened to you?” Qi Ming’s pupils dilated. “Did you time travel? How did you age so much?”

Lin Zhaohe coughed and said, “Quick, put on your masks. Don’t let me infect you.”

Qi Ming quickly found a mask and put it on, while Zhuang Lao didn’t bother. He walked to Lin Zhaohe’s side and carefully observed his weakened state, furrowing his brow slightly. “How did you end up like this?” 

“How would I know?” Lin Zhaohe cried. “Why is my death so different from that in the movie?”

In the movie, people were scared to death in other places, but he was being transported back and forth like a delivery boy. Why was there such a stark difference?

“On the way here, I talked to the boss,” Qi Ming said. “We both feel like something is off. Could it be that there’s an issue with the source material? Some plot points might have been cut?”

Lin Zhaohe narrowed his eyes slightly.

“Otherwise, there’s no way to explain your situation,” Qi Ming continued. “In that movie, nobody is pulled back to their original location. The female ghost theoretically doesn’t possess that ability unless the movie was edited. We must have watched an edited version.”

This speculation seemed reasonable because it was a horror movie from R-country, and it was highly likely that some scenes had been cut before it was released on the internet. This could also explain why some of the events happening to Lin Zhaohe were completely absent from the movie.

“So, what should I do now?” Lin Zhaohe’s voice was hoarse, not resembling that of a young person in their twenties but rather an elderly man nearing the end of his life. He felt incredibly weak, struggling even to get up from the bed. It was only with Zhuang Lao’s support that he painstakingly managed to sit up.

Zhuang Lao’s embrace was comforting, and he had a pleasant scent about him. Lin Zhaohe leaned against him, like a baby in a stroller, filled with a sense of security being close to his own boss.

Zhuang Lao didn’t mind either and gently patted Lin Zhaohe’s head, providing a soothing touch.

“Please refrain from wandering around in your current state. Stay at home and rest,” Qi Ming said helplessly. “We’ll investigate the woman’s matter and try to locate her ashes before you die.”

“That’s true. Thank you both,” Lin Zhaohe coughed twice.

“Would you like to eat something?” Zhuang Lao spoke warmly. “We can order takeout.”

“Thank you, boss,” Lin Zhaohe expressed his gratitude.

While the three of them were conversing, Lin Zhaohe inadvertently caught sight of the stain above his head. Within that stain, a faintly visible image of a woman’s face emerged. The face had an expressionless gaze, looking down upon him with a mixture of resentment and coldness.

Lin Zhaohe and the face locked eyes for a moment, staring at each other intently.

Zhuang Lao didn’t see anything and asked, “What’s wrong?”

Lin Zhaohe thought to himself that he was already on the brink of death, so why bother about dignity? Therefore, he said, “Boss, I feel a bit cold. Could you hold me tighter?”

Zhuang Lao extended his arms and hugged Lin Zhaohe even tighter.

You see, I have someone holding me. I’m not afraid of you. Lin Zhaohe looked back and shamelessly rubbed his head against Zhuang Lao’s shoulder.

Whether it was Lin Zhaohe’s imagination or not, he had a feeling that after he performed these actions, the expression on the woman’s face became increasingly sinister. It seemed as if she wanted to tear Lin Zhaohe apart if it weren’t for the presence of the two outsiders.

However, Lin Zhaohe didn’t care at all. His small mind was occupied by a single thought: Boss looks really handsome. His face looks so good, both from the front and the side. Boss looks good no matter how I look at him. Let me die in the boss’s arms, hehehe (- ﹃ -)


Lin Zhaohe: Oh no, my head feels itchy!

Zhuang Lao: ?

Lin Zhaohe: It seems like I’m growing a brain.

Zhuang Lao: …

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