34 2.18

"Rich people are scummy." Li Guiren says as he peeps through a small hole in the wall. On the other side is a room filled with mostly older men in very expensive suits and clothing. There was two women there too but it wasn't like they were dressed any more practical. Silks and scarves and diamond watches... it was like the peak of rich douchery had all gathered here to complain about the poor interior design.

"Aw," Jia Hyson pats him on the head, "that's not true, there are a bunch of non-scummy rich people like..."

He looks at the other four ghosts.

The scummy prestigious scholar gay homewrecker Zhou He: '...'

The scummy rich second generation cheater Bai Honghui: '...'

The scummy rich two-faced businesswoman Xia Cuifen: '...'

The scummy rich torturer slash black magic murderer Xu Xia: '...'

The scummy rich pervert Jia Hyson: '...'

"Ahem," Jia Hyson coughs lightly, "What I meant to say is that money does not necessarily make you scummy Xiao Ren. There are many poor people that are no good as well."

Li Guiren blinks at him with wide trusting eyes. "Oh, okay," he nods obediently. It made sense. His dad wasn't very rich but many of his girlfriends called him scum as well. He was glad he had Wei to help him understand.

Bebe: 'Congratulations scum host for chipping away a child's faith in humanity.' (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧

The scummy host Jia Hyson: '...' Wow, he can feel the pure malice coming from that emoji.

Jia Hyson had been very indecisive about his revenge plan. There were too many people to take care of and too many things he wanted to do ah. So he came up with a plan.

Separate them!

With the room containing Li Guiren in the middle, the rooms on each side held at least ten cultists who had been lead by either Bai Honghui or Xia Cuifen. Obviously some came as a group and some alone, with them not necessarily arriving at the same time so it wasn't too difficult to arrange them in this manner. There were also the ambitious early birds like Zhang Wei who, hehe, were in the basement courtesy of Zhou He.

"Zhou He, how many people are in the basement?" Jia Hyson questions.

Zhou He pushes up his glasses, looking very much like a professional secretary, "Three. Should I start the game now?"

Jia Hyson shakes his head, "Go steal a fourth person in the crowd while they're distracted later. Then you can start."

The scholarly ghost smiles, not a trace of elegance befitting an intellectual was there, only an excited bloodthirsty cruelness. The other three ghosts shuffle agitatedly, they also showed their eagerness to play.

As befitting of his favorite saying 'two birds, one stone,' the cultists served many purposes for him. The most simplest purpose was appeasing Jia Hyson and Bai Li Wei's resentment for obvious reasons. Another was appeasing the basement ghosts sans Xu Xia. After all, while they have decided to do their best to ignore Xu Xia to forgive her is nigh impossible, the best thing Jia Hyson can give them is a chance to vent their grievances through others. Like how an abused child turns into a bully to feel better about their own situation, it's a cycle of malicious destruction.

It may not be exactly healthy but hey, as evil spirits they thrive off this sort of thing, so it'll also nourish and strengthen themselves while ironically helping them mentally cope, at least in regards with living with Xu Xia. Ah psychology. It's a good fucking thing Jia Hyson has a strong understanding of typical character psyches and thought processes. Hah, he really should've pursued psychology when he was younger.

Bebe: 'Bebe shudders to imagine host as a psychologist.'

Jia Hyson: 'I like to imagine if I was one I would be like that hot foreign therapist on that one show. You know, with the cooking and cute scruffy consultant with an empathy disorder?'

Bebe: '...You fucking mean the H*nnibal show don't you.' 눈_눈

Jia Hyson: 'Hehe do I~?' (∩❛ڡ❛∩)

Anyway, with so many cultists everyone got to have a go. Not only was it very healthy for the ghosts, it improved camaraderie, relieve stress, helped them polish their skills, try out and learn new strategies and best of all enjoy themselves! It was a win win!

Bebe: '...' Why does this sound like opening up a health resort or planning a corporate retreat or something?

Ten minutes after the appointed time, people were becoming uneasy and impatient. The feeling of being crowded in only heightened their displeasure and uncomfortableness. Some of the more intelligent people were already suspecting a trap, however, they were also cautious and knew that just the possibility of the evidence against them being true was enough to make them stay.

"Where is this fucking guy?" Someone curses. "I have a meeting tomorrow morning that I can't get out of."

"Whoever he is, they aren't very smart to bring so many of us here," one of the woman, a socialite called Xiong Ting sniffs disdainfully. "Isn't obvious we can like, overpower him with numbers?"

The other woman, Wu Xiaoli, a sweet looking secretary belonging to the chairman of one of the top rice production companies in China, looks at her nails and rolls her eyes at Xiong Ting. "Do you really think he would have brought the evidence with him when we meet him? Honestly."

Xiong Ting glares at her, "What did you say bitch?"

"I'm saying not all of us has the same... thinking as you," Wu Xiaoli smiles sweetly, "It's a compliment, after all many people always say 'simplicity is the best'."

It wasn't just this pair of ladies, many people were breaking out into soft spoken arguments, engaging in battles of wits and words. Jia Hyson wanted to shake his head at it all. The power of the horror movie genre was really too good.

In a story world, the world will not only do its best to fill in the plot holes the author fails to explain, it will also do its best to conform to the author's intent. For example the original Can't Stand the Heat was ultimately a romance genre, therefore many tropes will be ingrained and influence people's decisions such as Drake's choice to play 'secret identity', Lex Grey and Daniel Green's 'opposite attracts' love affair, or Maddy and Jacob's romance which goes along with the idea that 'love is found in the most unexpected of places'.

Now, with the Demon House world being of the horror genre, one that was written with the underlying message that humans can be no better than the monsters under your bed, obviously the quality of people in this world had declined drastically. There were more bullies, backstabbers, liars and cheaters. The only innocent people are either dead, victims or too ignorant to realize their whole family are serial killers or something.

Out of the thirty or so cultists, a large amount were rich, corrupt and arrogant. The lower class were two-faced, greedy and secretly resentful of their more prestigious 'friends'. In short, out of thirty, twenty-nine of them were fucking cowardly bitches. The only possible exception is the veteran who was in the other room who, so far, has only sat quietly in the darkest corner with his head down.

The others in the same room as the veteran also behaved a little abnormally around him, giving him a wide distance and ignoring him. It made Jia Hyson curious. If this was a horror movie, the veteran, also known as Su Shian, would most likely play the competent supporting lead, the tough hard as nails guy with a history he regrets and tries to compensate for by using his life to save the protagonist. Alternatively he could be the psycho type who ends up making an even bigger mess in the chaos just for the sake of entertainment, the type who enjoys bloodshed and seeing people at their worst.

Of course, both those character archetypes are typically loners, it's hard to imagine them as cultists. Jia Hyson was honestly baffled by what this guy was even doing here so he choose to personally play with this particular room. When he gets bored he'll go around to see how the others are doing but he's got Bebe filming everything to watch for later anyway. He's even gone so far as to ask for an IOU to get a reality filter accessory for Bebe's cameras so he can get actually re-live their tortures with the best 4-D experience system technology can offer.

Aiyah, the future is so great! Can even film such amazing snuff films ah.

Bebe: '...That is certainly not the purpose of the reality filter.' First it's Host wanted to film him and Drake's lovemaking sessions and now Bebe has gone to record some snuff video footage. Bebe hates that it misses the porn now. At least it could naturally block it with censoring, however, gore can be important on the job so unless it gets an update specifically for violence it can't block the processing of such despicable visual information.

Anyway, everyone has their areas in the house. Zhou He has the basement with the early birds. Xu Xia has the hallways and bathrooms for the people who manage to escape. Xia Cuifen and Bai Honghui takes the room with the pair of girls, now dubbed Room A, and Jia Hyson has the room with the veteran, Room B. Li Guiren is in the room in between which has been blockaded by furniture for safety reasons. Everyone is very excited.

"There seems to be another person entering the house," Xu Xia suddenly announces, as the owner she has the most sensitivity in regards to the area. Both people and ghosts would have a hard time masking their presence with her around. After all, she was the true area boss.

"Bring them to my room and Zhou He can take the opportunity to take someone from there." Jia Hyson immediately decides. Then, pandering he looks at Li Guiren and with soft coaxing voice full of affection he asks. "Xiao Ren, which one do you think should go with Brother He? It has to be someone noticeable but not too noticeable ah,"

Li Guiren stuck his tongue out thoughtfully as he peered into the room Jia Hyson is in charge of. He hesitated for a moment before deciding, "The man in an orange shirt."

Since everyone else are ghosts they merely stuck their heads through the wall to confirm who he's talking about. Sure enough there was a somewhat boisterous and talkative middle aged man in a bright rather tacky orange shirt. Curious, Zhou He asks, "Why him?"

"It's ugly," Li Guiren instantly replies. Then looking at everyone's blank faces he further explains with the innocence of a child, "The shirt. It hurts to look at. He should go to the basement and die."

Jia Hyson: '...Oh my god.'

Bebe: '...So it turns out fashion is a crime.'

The ghosts: '... As expected of the Boss' kid. He's too hardcore.'

So, when the newcomer was shoved into Room B, Zhou He whisked the orange shirt man away. All ghosts had unique specialized skills to a certain extent. Now that they were close with Jia Hyson, Bebe could see their most basic stats. It isn't as comprehensive as looking at a protagonist's but it was enough to see their current skillset and give a good estimate on their power level.

Zhou He for example didn't have much in the way of offensive power but has a good grasp on Transparency and also holds a unique skill called Spirited Away which makes it easier for him to move things around unnoticed. He's also good with illusions, able to inflict the feelings he had experienced under torture to others. Given that he was considered the 'mastermind' out of the trio, Xu Xia had indeed given him a large variety of, cough, punishments so this skill was rather terrible in itself.

Xia Cuifen was more combat effective, she had Hair Control which seems to be the case for most female ghosts honestly, she had some psychic strength, and she had something called Seven Sinners which seems to smother the logic in a people's brain and enhance one of their sinful desires. The greedy become greedier, the lustful become even more so, etcetera. This is probably because before death she had been given various drugs that played with her mind and put her in various humiliating situations.

Bai Honghui was probably the tamest in terms of power level and skills. Out of the three in a way he was the most innocent so the punishments were only extremely severe when he tried to escape but mainly it was whipping and various other 'normal' methods that he had endured. Compared to being inflicted constantly with methods like drugged out humiliation, ball-crashing and insects bathing, it really was nothing. Since he hadn't suffered as much compared to his other two companions his resentment levels were not high enough to earn himself a special skill or if he has one, he hasn't been able to exhibit it. Currently, at most his psychic powers were a little stronger and he was better at solidifying his human form.

And Xu Xia… well, as the boss, is obviously OP as fuck. Mirror World, Friends Forever, Shatter, Heart's Illusion, Dark Mirror World, A Thousand and One Curses, Prophetic Disaster, Swallowing Glass, Five Senses of Fakery... these sort of ominous sounding skills are just a few she has. It's so fucking scary that Jia Hyson was pretty sure he had gotten a fear boner the first time he saw it.

Bebe: ఠ_ఠ '...why.'

Jia Hyson: 'Knowing that it's almost impossible for me to get hard emphasizes how scared I am.' •̀.̫•́✧

Bebe: 'Wha- no it doesn't!' This goddamn shitty host can still be so perverted even when impotent! (┛ಠДಠ)┛彡┻━┻

Anyway, the moment the newcomer was stumbled in, Jia Hyson made his move and slammed the door shut loudly making everyone jump.

"Hey! No need for that!" Someone complains. "The blackmailer hasn't even come yet,"

The newcomer's face was pale and sweating though, "That wasn't me!" He defends, he had felt something was wrong since he stepped in here and now the sudden slamming of the door only heightened his fears. Turning around he runs up to try the door handle, however, unbeknownst to him, Jia Hyson had already jammed it with hair on the other side. "Oh my god it's locked!" He shouts in a panic, "we're locked in!"

Everyone in the room with him immediately rushes up to try. Even if they were all corrupt officials type cannonfodder or maybe because they were, their self-preservation instincts were all relatively strong. "Fuck! He's right!" "We're trapped?!" "Shit, shit, shit!"

"Everyone out of the way," a burly looking man says, once the crowd complies he runs up to the door and tries to body slam it down. However despite the bad conditions of the door it stayed firm. Unnaturally so as the door clearly made a cracking sound.

Suddenly the burly man howled, stumbling back from the door only to fall onto his ass groaning in pain. For a moment no one understood what was wrong but the people closest to him gasped in shock and horror as they realize thin black, hair like needles were poking out of the burly man's body, blood was starting to slowly leak from the places. Not even his face was spared and he was bleeding in one eye.

Jia Hyson who has a thing with needles to the point he swore to never get a piercing in his original life: '...ugh oh no that's really gross actually.'

Luckily the other cultists seem to agree and they backed away from the door. Someone retched in the corner of the room. No one was helping the injured and man, like the door they had retreated from him as if he had the plague.

"Please..." the injured man gasps, "I just need to take them out... take... Ah.... take them out!" Because he must have closed his eyes when slamming himself against the door, the needle in his eye also caught onto his eyelid making the fragile skin tear awfully when he opened his eyes. The blood there was pouring out as well as some clear liquid from the inside of the eyeball.

Jia Hyson who really couldn't look at him anymore: 'Oh my god you cold hearted fucks take it out already! Even though I planned this how did I somehow receive so much damage ah QAQ'

Finally someone knelt down and cautiously began to pull one of the hair needles out, however as he began to tug it the injured man howled in agony. It was because Jia Hyson had purposely manipulated the hair not only to strengthen to the point it could pierce flesh, but to also make a hook at the end of it so taking them out will not be easy.

When the first needle was finally, excruciatingly pulled out, a fingernail sized chunk of flesh was pulled out with it. By then the burly man had long fainted from pain and the person who had pulled it out had thrown the needle away as if it was poisonous and ran to the other side of the room to cry, hands trembling.

The room had become silent and solemn, people were afraid and angry but no one knew what to do with such high strung emotions. Then distantly they began to hear the sounds of screaming and wailing.

"Wh-what it is going on?!" A young man in a business suit shouts as a particularly shrill scream cuts through the air. Jia Hyson winces, it was definitely one of the women, there was no way these men could hit such a piercingly high note.

An older looking gentlemen was staring up at the ceiling and began to yell loudly, "I have money and connections, do you know who my father is?!"

Jia Hyson: '...It turns out the first person to use the typical rich second generation lines is a man older than half of the room.' It wasn't very important but it felt a little disappointing ah.

Like chickens soon everyone also began to cluck and squawk around loudly saying similar words lines. Some were threatening, some bribing, some a weird mix of both. Jia Hyson quite liked it, he even got Bebe to write down some of the more creative ones. Cannonfodder lines were so cliche nowadays, it was important to find new ways for them to speak in order to gain a little interest in them. It was nice to meet these real life Draco Malfoys in such a situation really.

After the shouting finally died down a little Jia Hyson decides to make a move. His possession ability was not high but it was not low either, plus he has more experience in this sort of manipulation since he inhabits a doll's body often. Taking advantage of the burly man's unconscious state he slides into his body and opens his eyes with a wide smile.

Luckily, due to the dissonance between spirit and body, the pain the burly man experienced could not be felt or Jia Hyson certainly would not have chosen this method. Still in his crumpled position on the ground, Jia Hyson begins to laugh, softly at first then louder and louder attracting everyone's attention.

Because his skill in possession was not good Jia Hyson also couldn't access things like a person's memories or use their voice, so when he laughed he laughed using Bai Li Wei's soft raspy young voice making it seem especially eerie and off.

"Z-Zhong Tian," Someone stutters as they back up against the wall. At this point every wall was covered in rich men despite mere minutes ago being disdained by said men for being too dirty and moldy. "Zhong Tian what's wrong?"

"Money? Connections?" Jia Hyson asks, voice soft but under the tense silence it felt as loud as any scream, "What use is this to me?" making the body sit up he twists the burly man, Zhong Tian's head to face the other who named him. An audible crack was heard from his neck as his head bent disjointedly. Jia Hyson smiles even though the metallic taste of warm blood was seeping up his throat, he lets it fall out his mouth unnerving the crowd further, "All I want is to play with you a little ah?"

It turns out, Jia Hyson was wrong. Men can produce higher pitches than woman. Damn.

After the screaming died down, Jia Hyson deigned to open his, or well, Zhong Tian's mouth again. Honestly, if the amount of screaming didn't indicate a high surge of negative energy Jia Hyson really… no, wait, he still doesn't appreciate it either way. Whatever. They're all going to die eventually, let them scream.

The veteran, Su Shian, didn't scream though. He was pale and a little shaken but not as obviously terrified as everyone else. Even the negative energy leaking out of him was the equivalent of a leaky tap compared to the rest. It sort of pissed Jia Hyson off.

Like, like somehow going to fucking war was on the same level as a ghost haunting situation. Not that he looks down on veterans and thinks going to war is easy shit, but like, you know, this is clear evidence of the otherworldly man! And the otherworldly is about to fuck you up! React!

Noticing Jia Hyson's heated gaze on him the veteran looked up and suddenly it was Jia Hyson's turn to go cold.

Grey eyes, silver and metallic like a gun, met his own reddened ones, their gazes clash and for a moment Jia Hyson's chilled deadened heart trembles.


Next chapter