"Fight poison with poison? Do you think we're that easily fooled‽"
"Bro, just give me some money to fix my phone display and I'll leave."
"You think you can make this go away with a discounted ticket? No way!"
After several minutes of arguing, there were still no visitors who showed any intention of entering the Haunted House. They stayed firmly outside the gate as if the entrance was a line of minefields. They were so terrified that even Chen Ge could not help but sigh. "No one dares to come in just to give it a try? My Haunted House is not even scary; if you don't believe me, feel free to check the online reviews."
As he said so, some in the crowd really did do that.
"Indeed, all the reviews say the place is not scary."
"The only good thing about it is apparently they hire a pretty lady to play the ghost."
"Then, shall we give it a try?"
Yet another long wait later, finally someone stepped forward. "Bunch of cowards, this is just a Haunted House, how scary can it be? I've seen plenty of human carcasses; do you think I'll be afraid of this?"
The person who stepped forth was a bushy-browed young man with a crew cut. He looked rather unassuming.
"Bro, stop joking with us. Even bluffing has a limit to it."
"Just how old are you? Yet you want us to believe you've seen real human carcasses?"
"We're all scaredy-cats here, so why are you lying to us?"
Just as the voices of derision gathered, a rather soft but firm voice cut through the cacophony. "He's not lying. Facing human carcasses is indeed a daily business for people like us."
The crowd turned toward the voice, and they saw a tall, slender woman in a sun hat and a white dress walking over from the park entrance. Her facial expression was cold, and it was as if she carried a personal air-conditioner with her because the temperature around her felt rather low.
"Senior!" The young man bounced like a rabbit toward the woman, attempting to help her with her bag, but he was deterred by a wintry glare from the woman. He stood where he was, all flustered with an awkward yet polite smile on his face.
"Wait, did you just call her senior? You two are still students?" Chen Ge's attention was also drawn to these two young people.
"We're Forensic Science students from Jiujiang Medical University. My name is He San, and this is my senior, Gao Ru Xue." The young man smiled at Chen Ge. "The video you uploaded last night has been shared on our school's forum, and my senior decided to pay this place a visit after watching it."
"That unapproachable beauty is a forensic doctor?"
"Although, her presence does match her profession nicely."
"Miss, how about we be friends..."
The male visitors started to crowd around the woman. Acting as her guardian, He San merely smiled and said, "I don't think you all understand what you're getting into. The other morning, my senior cut open some toads or rats, but right after washing her hands, she happily sauntered over to the canteen to have braised meat completely unaffected; when she passed the lab late last night and saw the bodies soaked in formaldehyde, she yawned and greeted them nicely. Listen to my advice and measure yourself. The number of men she has operated on is probably higher than the number of girls any one of you have held the hand of."
This unique introduction had achieved the result he wanted; instantly, a two-meter radius emptied around the woman.
Chen Ge also felt a mounting headache upon hearing the young man's introduction. It was not easy for him to finally finish the Nightmare Mission and receive the reward, but the first challenger his updated Haunted House received was a pair of forensic science students. Since their degree was in forensic science, naturally, they would have a fear threshold higher than most!
"Can we go in now?" The woman strode impatiently to stand before Chen Ge. She was already tall, but in her heels, she was practically on the same level as Chen Ge.
"The original ticket price is twenty, so with the fifty percent discount, it'll be ten. Before we go in, I would like to provide the Haunted House's background and a warning." Chen Ge remembered the tips provided by the black phone. One of the three important features of a Haunted House was its plot and background. It would help the visitors get into the mood.
"First, an introduction. Even though many online reviews say my Haunted House is not scary, as a responsible proprietor, I wish to divulge to both of you some facts. The ground we're on was the largest mass grave in Jiujiang city fifty years ago. Thirty years ago, due to city planning, they flattened the graves and built the Jiujiang City Hospital on the site. What happened next you can easily find out on the internet. The hospital was forced to close down due to the frequent occurrence of many incidents that could not be explained, and my Haunted House is a remodeled hospital building that was behind. It still hides many secrets that concern the ill-fated hospital."
After that, Chen Ge pointed at the warning sign beside the main entrance. "No entry to visitors with a heart condition or vascular disease. Visitors above twelve and below sixteen have to be accompanied at all times by their parents or guardians. If there are no questions, please follow me."
Chen Ge pulled open the black heavy drapes, closed the rusted gate, and led He San as well as Gao Ru Xue down the dark corridor.
"Since they cannot share the same room in life, they'll share the same grave in death. This is a local urban legend that has been passed down for many generations.
"Ping Jianghou wished to set up a Minghun for her son who unfortunately passed away too soon. Therefore, she invited a fortune teller to take a look at her son's life and fortune map before finally pinpointing a girl as the perfect candidate to accompany his son in death.
"However, the girl already had someone else in her heart. To make her submit, Ping Jianghou killed her lover by shoving him into a lake and threatened the girl's parents' lives.
"Finally, to protect her parents, the girl agreed to marry a dead man.
"Red and white candles stood side by side, a wedding coupled with a death. After the girl was sealed in the coffin and buried alive, many weird things started to happen to the Ping household.
"The statues of bronze chicks started to bleed, and the paper dolls burned for the dead were found blinking. And every midnight, a woman could be seen wandering the halls.
"The scenario that you'll be experiencing this time is called Minghun. The set is completely open; you can go anywhere you wish, but you need to locate the correct exit in less than fifteen minutes. If you wish to surrender, stand under any of the available cameras and scream for help; I'll fetch you." Chen Ge stopped at the second-floor entrance and bowed. "Enjoy."
"That sounds interesting, but if you think that's enough to scare me, you're sorely mistaken," He San rambled shamelessly while he hid behind his senior. His lips said he was not afraid, but his feet seemed screw shut to the ground, unwilling to move.
In comparison, Gao Ru Xue was more collected. She entered the scenario wordlessly.
"Senior, wait for me!"
After the two visitors entered, Chen Ge locked the front door entrance and called Xu Wan. "Xiao Wan, our guests have entered, be prepared. Also remember to put your earpieces in."
After giving all the necessary orders, Chen Ge returned to the main control room. This small room was where he could see the different cameras and where he could control all of the set-ups.
"I really didn't think I will be using this music so soon since it does sound a bit dark, but since they're not normal visitors, I have no choice!" Chen Ge turned on the audio system and put the Black Friday music on repeat.
With everything in place, he sat before the monitor watching He San and Gao Ru Xue closely. If anything weird happened to them, he would rush in to save them immediately.