Those Years I Employed Non-Humans as Actors - Chapter 5.2
Luo Huai turned around and saw the tall Director Zhong standing in front of the warehouse door, looking at him.
“I’m here to put the props. Brother Lin told me to put the things here,” Luo Huai honestly replied like the good kid he was. “How strange, where’s Brother Lin? He was still here just now.”
“There’s some problem with the electricity, he probably went to repair the power supply.” Zhong Jiudao lowered his left hand, his index and middle fingers pressed together. If you looked closely at his hand, you could faintly see a fine bolt of lightning crackling around his fingertips.
“Brother Lin can even do that? He’s really an all-round actor,” sighed Luo Huai with admiration.
“Don’t stay in the warehouse for too long, the heavy Yin energy… I mean, the first floor is quite cold, it’s easy to get sick if you stay here for too long. Your room is on the second floor. I’ll take you there,” Zhong Jiudao said.
“You’re giving me a room? Director Zhong, does that mean I can really take part in this movie? Have you really decided to hire me?” Luo Huai excitedly pointed at himself with a beaming face.
Zhong Jiudao nodded. “You have excellent looks, I’m the one who should be honored that you agree to act in this low-budget movie of mine.”
“No, no, my acting skills are very average, I still have a lot to learn from Director Zhong.” Luo Huai happily said, “Thank you for giving me this opportunity, Director Zhong!”
Zhong Jiudao: “…”
This young man was truly just as Qian Duoqun described. He was the type of person who, after being scammed, would even foolishly thank the culprit. If Zhong Jiudao hadn’t come in time just now, Luo Huai’s life force would’ve been sucked away by Steward Lin.
Huai—This character was a compound of the characters ‘ghost’ and ‘tree’1In Luo Huai’s name, the character Huai(槐) is a compound of two different characters. On the left side is 木(mu), which means wood/tree, and on the right side is 鬼(gui), which means ghost.. In the first place, a person with such a name would be prone to attracting unclean things, but Luo Huai’s issue didn’t stop at just that.
Earlier, Zhong Jiudao had checked Luo Huai’s resume. After counting his birth chart, he discovered that the young man had a constitution that was most attractive to evil spirits. Even though he had sternly warned all the ‘power supplies’ in the villa to not harm any humans, there would inevitably be some ghosts who couldn’t resist Luo Huai’s allure.
To be on the safe side, he should give Luo Huai an extra layer of protection.
Zhong Jiudao walked behind Luo Huai and secretly drew a protective talisman.
In order for it to take effect, a protective talisman had to be attached to either the front chest or the center of one’s back. Zhong Jiudao quickly took a few steps to close their distance, planning to stick the talisman to Luo Huai’s back with a furtive pat, making sure to keep his movement as light as he possibly could so that Luo Huai wouldn’t notice anything.
As soon as his palm touched Luo Huai’s back, the young man who was walking in front of him suddenly stopped to look back and said, “Director Zhong, I don’t know the way around the villa, I think it’s better for you to walk in front.”
Due to his sudden movement, instead of the intended light pat, Zhong Jiudao’s hand was now firmly pressed to Luo Huai’s back. Moreover, because of the close distance, his lips almost brushed the tip of Luo Huai’s nose.
Luo Huai was 181cm tall, a height that was considered above average even in the entertainment industry. He was much taller than ordinary people, but it just so happened that Zhong Jiudao was even taller than him. The difference in height resulted in this completely accidental position.
Luo Huai’s body instantly froze, a shocked expression flashing across his face.
Regardless of the awkward posture, Zhong Jiudao dutifully stuck the protective talisman to Luo Huai’s back. Only after he completed the task did he take a step back and nonchalantly said, “You were walking too slowly. I was already right behind you before I knew it.”
Sounding half relieved and half scared, Luo Huai replied, “That’s good, that’s good. I thought Director Zhong was trying to test me on how I would act after a jumpscare, I was worried that my performance might not be up to par.”
Zhong Jiudao: “…”
Thanks to Luo Huai’s silliness, the embarrassing situation was eventually diffused.
With the protective talisman, as long as Luo Huai didn’t proactively approach the ghosts or promise something to them, he wouldn’t be harmed.
Zhong Jiudao had also secretly stuck a protective talisman on Qian Duoqun when they were moving the props together, so these two people should be safe for now…
When they passed by the dining hall, there were eating noises coming from inside.
“This porridge is so delicious!” At some point, Qian Duoqun had wandered into the dining hall and scooped up a bowl of meat porridge, voraciously eating. Behind him, Aunt Yang stood by with a kind and gentle face.
“You must be the cook hired by Director Zhong, right? Compared to ordering boxed meals, buying your own ingredients and hiring someone to cook them is indeed more affordable. It’s healthier as well.” Qian Duoqun gave Aunt Yang a thumbs up. “Aunt Yang, we’ll be counting on you to prepare the meals for the filming crew!”
Zhong Jiudao: “…”
No matter how many talismans Qian Duoqun had on his body, they wouldn’t be of any use if he directly consumed food made by a ghost!
“It’s great that you like it.” Aunt Yang warmly looked at Qian Duoqun with the eyes of someone looking at a little piglet. “Just now, Director Zhong didn’t eat the food I prepared for him. I was worried that he might be dissatisfied.”
“That won’t be,” Qian Duoqun said, “Our crew is so poor, it’s great that we have someone who’s as good at cooking as Aunt…”
Before Qian Duoqun could finish speaking, his head slumped down without a warning, smashing into the bowl as his mouth started to foam.
“Brother Qian!” Seeing this, the worried Luo Huai immediately rushed over to his side. “Brother Qian, what’s wrong with you? Is it food poisoning? I’ll call an ambulance!”
Luo Huai took out his phone to make a call, but Zhong Jiudao promptly stopped him.
“It’s okay, he won’t die,” Zhong Jiudao said through gritted teeth, “He only ate cold porridge.”
“But he’s already fainted and frothing at the mouth?” Luo Huai couldn’t shake off his shock.
“It’s just reflux caused by cold stomach.” As he spoke, Zhong Jiudao turned on the stove and boiled a pot of water. “He’ll be fine after drinking some hot water.”
“Really?” Luo Huai doubtfully asked.
Zhong Jiudao tore a piece of paper, wrote something on it, and burned it with fire. He then threw the ashes into the pot of boiled water and poured it into a bowl.
After that, he skillfully pinched open Qian Duoqun’s mouth with one hand while using the other to pour the water down Qian Duoqun’s throat.
Luo Huai asked, “Why make him drink ash from burnt paper?”
“Plant ash is a type of traditional Chinese medicine, it can treat various illnesses,” answered Zhong Jiudao with a straight face.
Luo Huai was even more confused. “But that’s paper, not plant.”
“Paper is made of plants, once you burn it into ashes, it’ll have the same effect. Look, he’s awake now.”
Sure enough, after drinking the talisman water, Qian Duoqun finally opened his eyes. In a daze, he wiped the foam from the corners of his mouth and bewilderedly asked, “How did I suddenly fall asleep while eating?”
When Zhong Jiudao was still looking for a plausible excuse, he heard Luo Huai say, “Brother Qian, you better stop eating cold porridge from now on, it’s not good for your stomach. It’ll make you reflux and throw up foam, you know.”
Zhong Jiudao: “…”
Very good, it was great that Luo Huai was a shabaitian! Zhong Jiudao was now completely determined to use this actor; even if he had to double his pay, he would still choose to hire him!