Safety Manual Labor Tips with a Twist of 2D Chapter 44

Chapter 44.1 Madam, thank you for the food

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Facing Gu Jueyu’s resentful accusations, the atmosphere grew tense.

Gu Xuyu remained silent for a moment, giving him a cold glance that immediately silenced Gu Jueyu’s outburst.

Gu Jueyu cried out in anguish, but Lin Zhaohe noticed a subtle change in his demeanor. The peculiar charm he had initially exhibited had slightly diminished. His words carried a touch of ethereal grace, though still falling short of the genuine Gu Xuyu. Nevertheless, it brought comfort to Lin Zhaohe.

“Then I’ll go cook,” muttered Gu Jueyu in annoyance. “Honestly, I don’t want to rely on takeout, but they won’t let me eat…”

He had a vastly different personality compared to Gu Xuyu, displaying traits of a diligent and caring partner. He mumbled under his breath, but he never neglected his responsibilities.

Gu Xuyu, his expression devoid of emotion, spoke up. “By the way, Friend Lin, I’m quite curious about how that so-called fanfic work portrays him. Would it be possible for me to read it?”

“Then you need to get Gu Jueyu to explain his background properly. I’ll ask if there’s anyone who matches it.”

Gu Xuyu called for Gu Jueyu and asked him to share his past experiences. Gu Jueyu touched his teary eyes, choked up, and began describing his tragic life. As they listened, Lin Zhaohe and Gu Xuyu’s eyes widened. Once he finished, Lin Zhaohe trembled and said, “Wait, let me inquire.”

He made a phone call to Xiao Ci, giving a brief description of the plot and asking if Xiao Ci had come across this fanfiction.

He didn’t have high hopes, but to his surprise, Xiao Ci exclaimed, “Ah, I know about that! The novel is called ‘Yesterday’s Memories,’ a remarkable work loved by many fans! It was even adapted into a TV drama later!”

Lin Zhaohe asked in amazement, “They made a TV drama based on this?”

Xiao Ci: “They changed the protagonist’s gender…”

Upon hearing the words “changed the gender,” Lin Zhaohe glanced at Gu Xuyu, who was still focused on studying game combos with a serious expression. Lin Zhaohe decided not to inform him about this excessively harsh aspect. After all, not every work could merge with reality.

“Can you still find that fanfiction?” 

“I’ll search for it, but I can’t promise I’ll find it. I’ll do my best.”

Lin Zhaohe acknowledged with a nod and ended the call.

After a while, Xiao Ci actually sent the fanfiction. Lin Zhaohe passed it on to Gu Xuyu, repeatedly reminding him not to take it too seriously as these were all creations by fans and shouldn’t be considered as absolute truth.

Gu Xuyu remained calm and said, “No worries, I just wanted to learn more about Gu Jueyu’s experiences in order to devise a cultivation method.”

Lin Zhaohe: “Alright…”

However, it was clear that Gu Xuyu had overestimated his own resilience. As he read through the stories quickly, cracks started to appear in his calm expression. Unable to bear it any longer, he set down his phone, his hands trembling slightly. “Friend Lin.”

Lin Zhaohe cautiously asked, “What’s the matter?”

Gu Xuyu: “I wonder if it’s possible to find the author of this work? I’d like to have a conversation with them.”

Lin Zhaohe: Is that the face you make when you want to chat? No matter how I look at it, it seems more like you want to wield a knife and slay someone.

Lin Zhaohe quickly tried to calm Gu Xuyu down, explaining that it might have been an unintentional mistake by the author. Besides, in these chaotic times, the author might have already passed away.

After taking a deep breath, Gu Xuyu regained his composure and said, “It was my impulsiveness.” He glanced at the work and then at Gu Jueyu, who was happily cooking in the kitchen wearing an apron. Gu Xuyu continued, “I need to intensify Gu Jueyu’s training!”

Lin Zhaohe: Are you a military drill instructor?

After resting for a few days, Lin Zhaohe’s back wound had mostly healed. He made his way to the company and discussed the cruise ship matter with Zhuang Lao.

From Zhuang Lao, Lin Zhaohe learned that the customer’s situation was quite complicated. They claimed to be on a vacation, but in reality, they were seeking refuge. As for why they needed to seek refuge, it was because the person was an author.

Lin Zhaohe was immediately puzzled upon hearing this. “An author? What happened? Being chased by their own characters?”

Zhuang Lao: “Exactly.”

Lin Zhaohe: “Doesn’t that mean they’re done for?”

It wasn’t surprising for him to have such an attitude. These days, there were too many instances of authors being hunted down by their own characters. People went from initial astonishment to numbness, and eventually, it became a common occurrence.

Just imagine, one day you suddenly found yourself in another world, and someone told you that all the tragic experiences, the desolate life, and the dead companions were just created by someone else, or even worse, that the author wrote it all to seek revenge on society. How could the protagonist, who was already driven to madness, possibly spare the person responsible for penning it all?

As a result, many authors who enjoyed criticizing society fell victim to the characters they created, with very few managing to escape.

“He got lucky,” Zhuang Lao remarked. “He went into hiding before the characters could find him.”

Upon learning that the characters from his novel had appeared in reality, the author became extremely frightened. He found a place to hide and managed to evade their pursuit. This time, he wanted to take a secret trip, fearing any unexpected circumstances, so he entrusted Zhuang Lao and his team to protect him throughout.

Lin Zhaohe: “What did he write?”

Zhuang Lao paused for a moment and said, “The ‘Ghostman’ series…”

Lin Zhaohe: “Damn, the author isn’t dead yet? If I were the protagonist, I’d chop him up first—”

Zhuang Lao: “He’s unbelievably resilient.”

Everyone who had read the “Ghostman” series probably initially thought that if the characters from it appeared in reality, the author would certainly meet his demise.

This series was purely designed to seek revenge on society. The male protagonist encountered countless misfortunes that could be counted on both hands and feet. His parents died, he was bullied since childhood, and the only family he had, his sister, was killed before his eyes. In his journey to become stronger, he met the female lead, only to witness her tragic death during a battle. Readers who believed this was a typical hot-blooded revenge story went mad on the spot. If the author hadn’t been cautious enough to conceal his address and appearance, someone might have already stormed into his house for a real-life showdown.

Lin Zhaohe was also one of the victims among the readers. At that time, he was young and naive, unaware of the wickedness of the world. Under the recommendation of a misguided individual, he innocently read this series without any defense. When he saw the female lead being kidnapped, he even commented on how cliché the story was, questioning why they still portrayed hero rescuing damsel scenarios in this day and age. It wasn’t until the antagonist made a single motion and the female lead’s head fell off…

Lin Zhaohe, while reading the manhua, fell silent.

That night, he stayed awake all night, with bloodshot eyes, catching up with the latest chapters. He thought that following the usual pattern, the female lead would surely come back to life or turn out to be a decoy doll or something similar. However, even in the latest chapters, the author showed no intention of depicting it that way. Instead, another companion of the male lead was kidnapped, and the male lead almost met a tragic end while trying to rescue him.

Young Lin Zhaohe was filled with question marks, trembling as he posted online, asking what on earth was happening in this manhua and if he had accidentally stumbled upon a pirated version.

Unfortunately, the replies he received completely shattered Lin Zhaohe’s hopes.

“Poor soul, a victim of the legitimate manhua.”

“I’ve also been stabbed, but did anyone bother to tell me where the author actually lives? I’m worried that he’s not doing well and I want to pay him a visit.”

“What on earth happened to him to make him create such a revengeful storyline against society?”

“I’m dead inside. I can’t sleep, and whenever I close my eyes, all I see is the female lead’s head falling off.”

Lin Zhaohe couldn’t sleep either. He felt that if he knew the author’s home address, the first thing he would do tonight was buy a ticket and go to his house to have a chat with him.

Eventually, the deeply wounded Lin Zhaohe found solace for his broken soul in another manhua. This manhua, published in the same magazine as the “Knife” manhua, depicted the journey of a dragon and a young girl. It was heartwarming and healing, soothing Lin Zhaohe’s shattered spirit, barely allowing him to let go of the figurative knife in his hand. However, it also led him down an unforeseen path after graduating from university—he began writing his own novels.

As an author himself, Lin Zhaohe couldn’t comprehend why two manhua with such contrasting art styles were serialized in the same magazine.

At the time, as a reader, he couldn’t accept the storyline, let alone the protagonists within it. If the author truly entered the real world, it was unimaginable what the first thing Lin Zhaohe would do—without a doubt, he would personally butcher the author, perhaps even with a decapitation flourish.

“We need to protect the author, right?” Lin Zhaohe murmured. “Well, I really want to have a conversation with him and see what on earth this bastard was thinking to create such messed up stuff.”

Zhuang Lao patted his shoulder in a comforting manner.

Knowing the cruel reality behind it all, the long-awaited cruise trip lost much of its joy. Lin Zhaohe wore a sullen expression while packing his luggage, causing Qi Ming to inquire why he seemed so unhappy. After all, it was practically a fully funded vacation.

Qi Ming joined the trip this time and seemed quite cheerful.

Lin Zhaohe glanced at him and asked, “Have you read ‘Ghostman’?”

Qi Ming’s radiant smile froze on his face. “Why bring up that jinxed thing?” he said. “I followed it from the beginning until the moment her head fell off…”

Lin Zhaohe responded, “Zhuang Lao said that the customer for this trip is the author of ‘Ghostman’.”

Qi Ming raised an eyebrow. “?”

Lin Zhaohe: “Why aren’t you smiling?”

Qi Ming: “????”

With Lin Zhaohe’s explanation, the person with the sullen expression transformed from one to two. As Zhang Xiaoxiao put it, the two of them no longer looked like they were heading to work but more like they were heading to a grave.

“If we’re going to the old ghost’s grave, that works too,” Qi Ming commented.

“Old Ghost” was the pen name of the author of “Ghostman.” It seemed fitting that an author who wrote such heart-wrenching content would choose a name like that.

Soon, Lin Zhaohe, holding the cruise ticket, boarded the ship and, in the VIP lounge, came face to face with the rumored Old Ghost.

“Hello,” Old Ghost greeted them in a timid voice.

Lin Zhaohe and Qi Ming stood frozen in their tracks, staring at the face of the Old Ghost.

Before them appeared a little girl wearing a pink dress. She looked very young, with a round and chubby face resembling a soft bun. The bow on top of her head reminded Lin Zhaohe of Little Red Square at home.

“Are you Old Ghost’s assistant?” Qi Ming struggled to make sense of the situation.

With a sweet smile, the little girl replied, revealing two adorable dimples. “Nope. My pen name is Old Ghost.”

Lin Zhaohe: “…”

Qi Ming: “…”

The two fell into a long silence.

“My real name is Lu Xiaotian, but you can call me Xiaotian,” Lu Xiaotian said, her eyes curving like a sweet candy. “You guys must be employees of Boss Zhuang, right? Nice to meet you.”

Lin Zhaohe and Qi Ming couldn’t bear the contrast and reluctantly managed to utter four words, “Nice to meet you.”

“Juzi wants to kill me,” Lu Xiaotian said. “I can understand his perspective, but at that time, I didn’t know he would become a real person. If I had known, I would have let him embrace me from both sides and have a house full of children and grandchildren.” Juzi was the nickname for the protagonist because his body was once divided into pieces, and the protagonist gained this “sweet” moniker as a result.

[T/N] There’s a pun here, but it’s not funny so let’s just ignore it. Anyway, juzi — orange

It made some sense, but unfortunately, it didn’t provide much comfort to Lin Zhaohe.

Qi Ming: “Why? Why create such a storyline? I thought they were going to get married…”

Lu Xiaotian helplessly responded, “At that time, I had a small disagreement with the editor, and it coincided with my adolescence.”

Lin Zhaohe: “How old were you when you were drawing the manhua?”

Lu Xiaotian: “Thirteen.”

If you enjoy this novel, support the Translator ginevre on her ko-fi account :))

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