Safety Manual Labor Tips with a Twist of 2D Chapter 60 Part 2

Chapter 60 Alchemy Village

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The meat was tough to chew, but the flavor was undeniably delicious. It had a stronger meaty aroma than beef, with a sprinkling of spicy dry seasonings. The rich fat gave it a satisfying texture, and aside from the meaty fragrance, it also carried a unique freshness reminiscent of mushrooms. Everyone enjoyed it.

Mr. Li finished his own portion in a few bites and shifted his attention to the people nearby. He knew Zhuang Lao wouldn’t indulge him, so he looked towards Lin Yan and the food in his hands.

Lin Yan had a refined appearance and ate gracefully. They had just taken the third bite when he noticed Mr. Li’s longing gaze. Without any surprises, his nurturing instinct kicked in, and he handed it over. “You can have it. I’m not hungry.”

Mr. Li didn’t hesitate and took it, devouring two bites.

Observing his ravenous eating, Lin Yan whispered, “Are you enjoying the taste? Why are you eating so hastily?”

“Are you kidding?” Mr. Li replied. “How could I not taste the flavor? I can even list the spices he used inside!”

Lin Yan: “Then tell me what he used.”

Mr. Li: “Five-spice powder, cumin, black pepper, mushroom powder, and carrot sauce!”

Lin Yan looked at the teenager.

The teenager had a puzzled expression and said, “What are you talking about? I don’t recognize any of those.”

Mr. Li: “……”

Lin Yan burst into laughter, causing Mr. Li’s face to turn red. He rolled up his sleeves, determined to find the cook and clarify things. His sharp teeth intimidated the teenager, who stammered and said that he was indeed the cook…

Mr. Li, whose reputation was in ruins: “……”

After finishing their meal, the three of them hit the road again, still feeling unsatisfied.

Lin Zhaohe also noticed the mounts specially brought by the village chief, two enormous snails standing over two meters tall. They were entirely pink, with cute patterns painted on their shells. Reins were placed around their heads. As the three of them looked at the two snails, silence fell upon them.

“I think we’re quite pressed for time,” Lin Yan delicately pointed out the issue.

“Indeed,” Mr. Li stroked his chin, “but taking a ride wouldn’t hurt.”

However, Lin Zhaohe thought of something else. He asked Zhuang Lao if the meat they roasted earlier was from the mounts, the snails. He wondered what kind of meat it was.

Zhuang Lao asked the teenager, who replied, “Yes, indeed. The meat we roasted for you earlier was snail meat.”

The trio: “……” A snail was also considered a type of cow, so no problem there.

The teenager couldn’t understand why the expressions of the three changed. Oblivious to their thoughts, he continued enthusiastically, explaining how great these “cows” were. They could run fast, eat very little, and if they ever ran out of food, they could serve as backup provisions. Truly an essential companion for home and travel.

Lin Zhaohe fell into silence, surprisingly finding some truth in the boy’s words.

“Oh well, let’s give it a try,” Mr. Li said. “Who knows, it might be faster than walking…”

The three of them climbed onto the snails, with Lin Zhaohe and Zhuang Lao on one and Mr. Li and Lin Yan on the other.

Zhuang Lao took hold of the reins and gave a shout. The snail started to move. Contrary to their expectations, the snails actually moved quite fast. Their soft bodies surged forward relentlessly, and within a few minutes, they had crawled quite a distance.

“Goodbye, goodbye!” Lin Yan waved at the villagers behind them.

“The village chief asked me to tell you to come back early. If you do, he will treat you to beef,” the teeanger shouted loudly.

“Great!” Lin Yan replied. “But no need for beef—”

Lin Zhaohe leaned on Zhuang Lao’s head, looking around in all directions. The snail moved steadily, providing a smooth ride that felt as if they were walking on level ground.

The densely packed mushroom plain from yesterday had transformed into an endless wilderness. Not a single blade of grass grew on the barren land, and even the streams had dried up. At the end of the plain, a bright red sun appeared, hastily rising to the highest point in the sky. In another two hours, it would descend below the horizon.

Mr. Li was studying the route to the Alchemy Village, calculating that at their current speed, they should arrive by tomorrow.

Zhuang Lao said, “Xiao He, be careful not to fall.” He gently stroked Lin Zhaohe, who was lying on his head.

Lin Zhaohe whined and pouted. “No, I want to see what’s ahead.” Zhuang Lao sighed helplessly and said, “Fine, hold on tight and stay on my head.”

Mr. Li looked at the two of them and teasingly said, “Oh my, Xiao Yan, I also want to lie on your head and enjoy the view.”

Lin Yan was puzzled and replied, “But you’re taller than me.”

“I don’t care. Let me lie there for a while.” Ignoring Lin Yan’s reaction, he placed his chin on top of Lin Yan’s head.

Lin Yan was completely bewildered, but being easygoing by nature, he didn’t get angry and let Mr. Li do as he pleased.

So there they were, a dog and a killer whale, lying bonelessly and dozing off while sitting on the snail carriage, swaying slowly forward.

As the sun set and the day turned into night, two radiant moons hung in the sky.

The moonlight was bright, illuminating the surroundings like daylight. Lin Zhaohe fell asleep halfway, but in his drowsiness, he heard Zhuang Lao talking to someone. He groggily opened his eyes, stretched his front legs and yawned, still lying on Zhuang Lao’s head.

“What are these things?” It was Lin Yan’s voice.

“They’re some kind of cocoons,” Mr. Li said. “I think I’ve seen them before…”

Zhuang Lao: “Seems like it’s not tasty.”

Mr. Li: “Huh?”

Zhuang Lao: “Otherwise, you would surely remember it clearly.”

Mr. Li couldn’t refute Zhuang Lao’s statement and had no idea what he had done. Lin Yan let out a painful cry.

Zhuang Lao sneered, “I knew you’d pick on someone with a good temper.”

Mr. Li laughed sinisterly, resembling a villain. “Well, he didn’t put up a fight.”

Zhuang Lao summed him up in one word, “Despicable.”

Lin Zhaohe fully awakened and noticed that the surroundings had changed again. Compared to the previous barren plain, there were now cliffs and steep cliffs nearby. Trees and bushes also appeared on the ground. However, hanging from these cliffs were numerous white cocoons, likely the larvae of some insects.

“Seems like we’re getting close to the Alchemy Village,” Mr. Li said. “These things look familiar. It’s just that all of a sudden, I can’t quite recall.”

“That cocoon is about to hatch!” Lin Yan suddenly spoke up.

Everyone followed his pointing direction and indeed saw a slightly cracked white cocoon. Something inside the cocoon was wriggling continuously, struggling to break free. After a while, two long tentacles emerged, followed by its head, wings, and a gigantic body. It stood on the remains of the cocoon, gradually stretching its body. The onlookers could finally see its appearance clearly.

It was an exceptionally beautiful butterfly, shimmering with a blue hue. Its enormous wings radiated a captivating glow under the moonlight, resembling a starry sky amidst the night. Its mottled patterns sparkled like stars, adorning its wings.

The butterfly slowly fluttered its wings, creating a gentle breeze. Lin Zhaohe’s keen sense of smell caught the scent of flowers, emanating from the butterfly itself.

“It’s so beautiful,” Lin Yan stared at it, unable to help but marvel.

The butterfly soared high into the distance, like a sprite suddenly appearing in the darkness. Its magnificent form drew the attention of those around.

“I remember now!!” Perhaps the butterfly’s beautiful wings triggered Mr. Li’s memory. He clapped his hands and exclaimed, “That’s why I couldn’t recall. I’ve never tasted this butterfly!”

Zhuang Lao: “Is there anything you haven’t eaten?”

Mr. Li: “Absolutelly. I wanted to try it back then, but this butterfly was the mascot of the Alchemy Village. Moreover, it was on the verge of extinction. Since I went there seeking help, I resisted the temptation.”

Lin Yan had nothing to say, contemplating how many conditions must have aligned for Mr. Li to resist that urge.

“Who would have thought there are so many now?” Mr. Li’s cravings resurfaced. He licked his lips, his eyes almost turning green. “There’s no one around here. I’ll go and catch one to taste. It should be fine, right?”

Zhuang Lao: “Let’s discuss it when Lin Zhaohe returns.” He didn’t want to offend the people here.

Mr. Li: “Alright.”

The more vibrant something was, the less appetite it evoked. Lin Zhaohe acknowledged the butterfly’s beauty but had no desire to eat it.

They continued on for a while and came across some people working by the roadside. Some were tilling the land, others were sowing seeds. Complex structures began to appear in the surroundings. However, Lin Zhaohe noticed that most of the buildings were adorned with butterfly cocoons. It seemed that the villagers truly cherished this butterfly.

Upon reaching the village entrance, the three of them, seated on the snail, were stopped by soldiers.

“Where are you from?” the soldier asked warily.

“We’re from the village at the entrance,” Mr. Li said. “I’m looking for the alchemist, Professor Alfarr.”

The soldier exchanged a glance with his comrade, their expressions slightly peculiar. “You know Professor Alfarr?”

“Yes,” Mr. Li replied. “I’m an old friend of his.”

“You came from the village at the entrance? Wasn’t there a vast expanse of mushrooms over there? We haven’t had any contact for half a year,” the soldier said. “Were those things taken care of?”

Mr. Li: “Yes, they’re all gone. Can we enter now?”

The soldier: “Wait, you can’t go! Alfarr has been captured.”

Mr. Li was taken aback. He didn’t expect the person he was looking for to be captured. He was about to say something when he noticed the soldier being tugged at by his companion. The two of them engaged in a brief argument in their dialect, and finally, the other soldier said, “Go ahead, but follow the rules and don’t do anything illegal.”

Mr. Li had intended to reason with them, but unexpectedly, they suddenly changed their minds, saving them a lot of trouble.

“The snail cannot enter,” the soldier pointed at their mount.

It couldn’t be helped. Lin Yan tied up the snail outside the city, and the three of them entered the Alchemy Village smoothly.

Although called a village, it resembled more of a small town, surrounded by steampunk-style metal structures.

Lin Zhaohe spotted a massive chimney from which golden smoke rings continuously billowed. The smoke rings harmonized well with the silver chimney.

Mr. Li said, “It’s strange. How could someone like Alfarr get captured?”

Lin Zhaohe: “Which work is he from?”

“I don’t know,” Mr. Li clearly wasn’t familiar with the 2D world.

Zhuang Lao explained, “He’s a supporting character from ‘Alchemy Storm.’ He’s quite popular. However, this village doesn’t seem to have any direct connection to ‘Alchemy Storm.’ It appears to be a fusion of multiple works, forming this small town.”

In other words, within this small town, there might be protagonists from several different works. Alfarr’s capture didn’t seem so unusual after all.

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