Safety Manual Labor Tips with a Twist of 2D Chapter 59 Part 2

Chapter 59.2 Inside the cave

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The group of a dozen people wandered around the village and discovered a few more fungal beings.

At first glance, these fungal beings didn’t appear much different from ordinary people. They would even plead for mercy when killed. However, their bodies no longer belonged to the realm of humanity. They had no blood, no bones, only fungal threads. No wonder the areas where they were injured were covered in densely packed mushrooms, concealing any signs of flesh or blood.

Nevertheless, even knowing they were not human, Lin Yan still felt reluctant when seeing them being killed.

It was not until the group explained to him that these were the villagers who had died in their village, now controlled by fungal threads. They mimicked the actions of the villagers to lure unsuspecting adventurers into dangerous places, only to meet a tragic end and become nourishment for the fungal colony. Only then did Lin Yan finally let go of his reluctance.

On the other side, Zhuang Lao and Mr. Li followed Kreel to the cave he had mentioned.

Similar to Kreel’s description, there were no mushrooms near the cave, unlike the ones they had seen on the plain. The mushrooms seemed to be extremely afraid of this place and dared not come anywhere near it.

The air grew increasingly saturated with the distinctive dampness that belonged solely to fungi. Kreel halted in front of the cave and said, “This is it. I can’t go any further.” 

Zhuang Lao and Mr. Li didn’t press him further and asked him to wait at the entrance. The two of them entered the cave.

The soil beneath their feet was moist and soft, the perfect breeding ground for fungi. The cave walls were entwined with densely woven fungal threads. The already dim light became even darker, making it nearly impossible to see. Mr. Li took out a flashlight and muttered, “I don’t like this place at all.”

Zhuang Lao said, “Is there any place you do like?”

“I don’t like mushrooms,” Mr. Li said. “Especially not these kinds of mushrooms that don’t look appetizing.”

The beam of the flashlight illuminated the entire cave. Mr. Li occasionally spotted human corpses in the corners of the cave. These bodies were dressed neatly, and if not for their pale faces, one would almost mistake them for ordinary people. Due to the terrible air quality, Mr. Li couldn’t help but sneeze several times. He rubbed his nose and said, “I feel like I can’t breathe properly.” Zhuang Lao asked, “There are many spores in the air. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. I’m not that fragile.”

The two continued walking further into the cave. The surrounding fungi became increasingly dense, with tangled roots hanging from above, almost touching their heads.

Mr. Li disliked these things, so he had to stoop and keep his head down as they hurried along. Suddenly, Zhuang Lao stopped in his tracks, almost causing Mr. Li to collide into his back.

“We’ve arrived,” Zhuang Lao said.

Mr. Li looked up and saw the mother body that Kreel had mentioned.

In the darkness, a colossal, multi-colored mushroom quietly grew at the end of the cave. Its stalk was as thick as a mature tree, and its cap displayed a vibrant array of colors, adorned with scattered green fluorescent spots, resembling a beautiful galaxy.

Mr. Li stared at it, feeling a bit unsure. “These vibrant colors don’t really whet my appetite…”

Zhuang Lao glanced at him and said, “Why not give it a try?”

Mr. Li vigorously shook his head. “No, thanks. I’ve had my fair share of trying things and ending up dead. Their species is powerful and long-lived, but the only problem is that their members like to eat all sorts of random things. If they have a stroke of bad luck and eat something poisonous, they end up devouring themselves.”

Zhuang Lao reached for his gun and aimed it at the enormous mushroom in front of them. Several shots were fired, and the bullets effortlessly pierced through its stalk, leaving behind a few dark wounds.

After being attacked, the mushroom began to sway and rustle. Suddenly, the air became incredibly murky as layers upon layers of densely packed spores were shaken loose, rapidly permeating the entire space. Meanwhile, Mr. Li heard strange noises and turned his head, only to see the previously lifeless corpses in the cave slowly rising from the ground.

Outwardly, they appeared no different from ordinary people, each of them even holding weapons, their gaze fiercely locked onto Zhuang Lao and Mr. Li.

Zhuang Lao suggested, “Why don’t you eat them all?”

Mr. Li made a disgusted expression and replied, “No, thanks. This group of people doesn’t look appetizing at all.”

Zhuang Lao: “But it would be more convenient this way.”

Mr. Li: “My stomach is not a trash can!”

Zhuang Lao: “I guess it’s not much different.”

Mr. Li: “……”

Mr. Li’s firm refusal caused a slight inconvenience, but Zhuang Lao fired a few shots, hitting the attackers in vital spots. However, they soon realized that these individuals no longer belonged to the realm of humans. The areas where they were struck revealed not human flesh and bones, but a thick layer of mycelium. Their bodies had been hollowed out, occupied by dense clusters of fungi.

Mr. Li acted aggressively, throwing punches and kicks, directly shattering one person into pieces. However, it proved ineffective against them. Although their bodies were broken, they remained alive, their limbs writhing on the ground, which created a particularly gruesome scene.

Zhuang Lao decided to capture the leader first and shifted his focus to the large mushroom behind them.

His gaze hardened as he raised his gun and took aim. In the next moment, bullets fired from the barrel, engulfed in flames, struck the mushroom. Upon contact with the mushroom’s stalk, the bullets triggered a small explosion, resulting in a resounding blast that severed half of the stalk.

The mushroom’s body trembled even more violently, and the number of deceased individuals increased, nearly surrounding the two of them. Among them were some adventurers who had descended from upper realm. It seemed they still retained their abilities from their previous lives. Some even attempted to freeze Mr. Li and Zhuang Lao using ice powers, but due to their sluggishness, the two easily evaded the attacks.

Mr. Li became increasingly puzzled as this group of people surrounded them without showing any intention of killing them. Instead, it seemed they were afraid of causing harm to themselves.

“Strange,” Mr. Li said. “Something doesn’t feel right.”

Zhuang Lao responded, “If something’s not right, we’ll kill it.”

He fired another shot, which possessed even greater force, nearly breaking off more than half of the mushroom’s stalk. The heavy mushroom cap began to sway precariously, threatening to fall.

“Why the sudden fondness for guns?” Mr. Li asked. “I remember you used to rely on your hands.”

“It’s easier to control the force this way,” Zhuang Lao explained. “Bringing down the entire cave would be troublesome.”

Mr. Li: “What’s troublesome about that?”

Zhuang Lao: “Our clothes would get dirty.”

Mr. Li: “……”

With the increasing number of spores in the air, and after killing several small creatures, Mr. Li suddenly felt uneasy. His throat tickled, and he couldn’t help but cough. To his astonishment, he coughed up a piece of mycelium. His face turned pale as he exclaimed, “Oh no—”

“What’s wrong?”

“I’ve inhaled too many spores!” The spores had entered his body through his respiratory system. He could sense something rapidly multiplying inside him, attempting to invade his flesh.

At that moment, a deafening roar echoed through the cave as the mushroom Zhuang Lao had attacked collapsed, creating a cloud of dust. As the dust grew denser with spores, Mr. Li began coughing uncontrollably. “At this rate, I’ll turn into a mushroom too! Let’s get out of here!”

Mr. Li wanted to escape the cave, but the fungal creatures surrounding him showed no intention of granting his wish. They didn’t care about their own lives. They tightly clutched Mr. Li’s body. Despite their bodies being battered and their limbs crushed, their hands remained firmly stuck to his feet.

Mr. Li struggled frantically, like a butterfly caught in a spider’s web. Each time he managed to break free from one hand, another hand would latch onto him. Amid his desperate struggle, he noticed something astonishing: Zhuang Lao remained untouched by the creatures. They unconsciously avoided him, as if they were afraid.

“Why?” Mr. Li was on the verge of collapsing under the weight of these people. Attacking them in the usual way had no effect at all. Their bodies were completely infiltrated by mycelium, devoid of pain or fear of destruction. On top of that, they possessed great strength in numbers. Mr. Li was surrounded layer upon layer, feeling as though he was experiencing the overwhelming force of ants against an elephant.

Zhuang Lao paid no attention to Mr. Li, wearing a solemn expression as he pondered something deeply. Mr. Li was about to lose it and threatened, “If you don’t do something soon, I’ll be forced to eat them! They look really unappetizing. I don’t want them ending up in my stomach.”

Hearing Mr. Li’s frantic cries, Zhuang Lao finally reacted. “The mushroom isn’t its true form.”

“Huh? Then what is it?” 

“It’s a predator.”

The prey was lured into the cave, and naturally, they attack the mushroom. However, the more aggressive the attack, the more spores the mushroom released. In the confined space of the cave, there was nowhere to hide, and the spores were inevitably inhaled. Even if one realized the danger and attempted to leave, they would be impeded by the infected fungal creatures, ultimately becoming one of them.

“Xiao He and the others are in danger!”

“That Kreeler is indeed no good! Zhuang Lao, if you don’t come up with a solution soon, I’ll really have to resort to eating them.” His entire body was entangled with severed limbs, but even so, he resisted opening his mouth. It was evident that he truly didn’t want to consume these things.

Zhuang Lao remained silent as a cluster of green flames ignited at his fingertips.

Upon seeing the flames, Mr. Li was suddenly reminded of an extremely terrifying memory. His pupils constricted, and in a fearful voice, he shouted, “Don’t use that—I’ll just eat—”

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