It wasn’t every day that Nero decided to indulge in a silly bet with some co-workers from one of his jobs, but he thought it was fine every once in a blue moon. This bet in particular was to get through the entirety of a popular haunted house in West City. Almost everyone Nero knew was ranting and raving about it and how creepy or scary it was. In all honesty he was somewhat curious to go on his own accord but the bet made it sweeter. He’d go in, totally conquer it and get some Zeni in the end. Easy enough, right?
Nero hopped off the inter-city bus and wandered down the road to the attraction’s address. He didn’t know what he expected, but what he saw was the most hilarious, showy and corny attraction. No wonder everyone was so fond of it, it looked like lots of fun! “Pfheheheeh, wooow, so spoooooky” Nero snickered to himself as he moved forward into the surprisingly long line to enter the attraction. ’Looks like I’ll be waiting for a good ten minutes...’ He thought to himself while looking over the building from where he was waiting. There was something rather strange about this place, and Nero couldn’t quite put a finger on it...
Earthlings were strange, they found ways to make fun from everything, even things that should never be fun. Jumping off a cliff? Tie a rope to your belt and have at it! Spicy food that hurts your mouth? Let's keep making hotter and hotter ones that hurt even more! A house is haunted by the spirits of the dead? No worries, we'll make an attraction out of it! Karon could never understand them.
The ghost hunter noticed the haunted house because of a simple poster, of all things. An advertisement for a 'Monstrous Mansion' that looked more like an average sized building. He would have turned his nose up at it, laughed, and been on his way, except...humans had a holiday for this sort of thing, didn't they? Ghosts, monsters, magic, sweets, all of that? This wasn't the season for that, he was pretty sure. A lot of things escaped Karon's notice in the mortal world, but gaudy holiday decorations on every street corner would have been hard to miss. Something more had to be going on here, if there was a haunted house running now. So off the ogre went, through the streets of West City.
He had only turned the corner when the smell hit him. The acrid stench of undeath that he was well attuned to by now, but that most mortals didn't notice. This had to be the right street. Sure enough, there was a surprisingly long line snaking out from the 'mansion'. They'd put cobwebs up on the windows and everything, it certainly looked like a fake amusement...but Karon's nose didn't lie. He considered sneaking around the back and busting in a window...but decided on the path of least resistance, and got in line with everyone else. He was only standing there for a second when he realized something, and leaned forward to tap the shoulder of the person in front of him, a young man with long red hair, "'Scuse me, kid? You couldn't spare some change for a ticket, could ya? I left my wallet in my other pants."
This hybrid wasn't usually one to go to things like haunted houses or scary attractions with no real good reason in mind, she often declined going to many even when growing up. But now she had a reason. Cheesy or not some of these places did tend to rake in a good scare from some people and with being scared comes fear. Fear was something she needed and she wasn't about to pass up a chance to get some without having to do the work for it herself. This one in particular had been quite the talk at uni even for a while and fliers of it were easily found. She noted where it was exactly, packed her pulsing purple gem into a pouch bag before setting off to the haunted houses location in West City.
When she finally arrived there was already a long line waiting to enter the house. At first this perked her up, more people, more scares right? But the house was, well, more corny then anything else really. How could anyone get genuinely scared by this? Morticia would squint her eyes at it briefly before deciding to line up anyway, she'd come all this way she may as well continue. Lining up she did notice a few somewhat familiar faces here and there, and although the ogre in front of her in the line wasn't one of them she did catch some of what he asked the person in front of him. She'd pull up her little money pouch she had slung over her shoulder and unzipped it a little, brushing her fingers over the gem which caused a slight wince before pulling out some of the change she'd brought with her, she always made sure to pack a little extra, just in case. "Hey, sorry to butt in, but I have some spare change you could use if you need it" She'd offer out her hand with the change in it to the ogre while offering a small smile at the same time. She didn't know him yet, sure, but she still wanted to help where she could.
While waiting in line, Nero continued to look at the strange mansion. He got closer to figuring out what exactly weirded him out about the place just based on instinctive intuition more than anything concrete like any sort of sixth sense. However, his train of thought was politely derailed by someone tapping him on the shoulder— to whom Nero turned in order to get a look. “Hm?” Nero was greeted with the sight of a blue middle aged man with a single horn; an Ogre from what Nero could tell.
Now, Nero wasn’t by any means rich, but he was decently well off given his dedication to several odd jobs. “Sure man, no biggie.” As he rummaged through his jacket pockets for some spare change to offer, a familiar face arrived next in line— one of the people that frequented the sports sports complex back in Central City! “Oh, hey there. Morticia, right? Hows the boxing stuff going?” Nero waved before glancing back over to the mansion and snickering.“You gonna go in too? Ready to be- fpfhrheeheh, totally spooped?” He could barely contain himself. His opinion on the attraction was pretty obvious at this point. Morticia also offered to help the Ogre too, so everything was easily sorted for them if her charity was also accepted. “Nice, we can both help you out.” Nero smiled to the two.
Of course, they still had about six minutes left of waiting at the back of the ludicrously long line (or suspiciously long line depending on one’s perspective). “Jeez, just how popular is this place, it looks so dorky... Almost too dorky?”
Surprisingly, his help didn't come from the man in front of him, but someone behind him. A purple hand appeared over his shoulder, offering the small amount of zeni needed for admission, and he accepted it before he even turned to see who was giving him the change. When he did turn, it was with a casual grin slapped across his face and a, "Hey, thanks, miss...?" He trailed off, prompting her for a name, but the redhead beat him to it. The two were apparently friends. Acquainted, at least. The ogre took a half-step back to he wasn't outright blocking the two of them, "Morticia, huh? Alright. Well thanks, Morticia, I appreciate it. I'm Karon, if we're doing names. And you, Red?" He nodded down at the young man in front of him.
Karon turned his gaze up to the haunted house as they slowly crept along through the line, and gave the two friends a moment to catch up with each other. The place was puzzling to him. If a location was genuinely haunted, the ghosts weren't usually amicable to having their presence exploited for cash. And it wasn't like the ghosts would run the haunted house themselves...right? What use would a ghost have for money?
"It is a bit too dorky, isn't it? Like it's trying too hard to look...fake." He replied without taking his eyes off the house, "What do you two think, anyway? Do you believe in ghosts? Think there's any truth to this kinda stuff? I try to keep an open mind, myself." He was lying, of course, which would be obvious to anyone that knew even a little bit about ogres. Ghosts weren't a matter of belief, they simply -were.- But he was curious to see what their responses would be.
By the time she offered some zeni to the ogre, a familiar face was also in the action of doing the same. "Nero! I'm kinda surprised to see you here" When he asked about the boxing stuff she'd laugh lightly and rub behind her head, "Oh it's getting there, getting better each time I practice, or at least I hope I am" She'd offer a small wave back, he might not be a friend exactly but he was a friendly face. "Yeah, I kept hearing about it and wanted to see what all the fuss was about, judging by the look of it though.. I'm not sure I see why it's so popular" She frowned at the building for a moment, the line was pretty big at this point and had already been when they got there, did people really just enjoy overly cheesy fake haunted houses? Or was there more to this? Maybe it was actually scary on the inside and the outside was to try and play everyone into a false sense of security? She supposed she was about to find out either way.
"You're welcome, Karon!" She'd return the smile with one of her own, glad names were being introduced first this time around after having first met Nero at the sports area a while back. She'd give Nero time to introduce himself to Karon after the ogre asked for his name, casting a glance to the house they were waiting to enter again. Nero was right, it seemed almost too dorky. "Do you think maybe it just looks that way on the outside to trick us or something? I'm not really sure why it'd be this popular if it looks this corny in full" Morticia placed a hand to her chin in thought before looking back to Karon after he asked about their belief in ghosts. "I believe in them, I think there's plenty of truth, and if this is a real haunted house too I'm not so sure any ghost would be appreciative of this set up they have going on" She knew she wouldn't be if she were a ghost, that was for sure. "Seems a bit disrespectful, but that's if there are any ghosts here anyway"
With the other guy’s admission fee sorted thanks to Morticia being slightly quicker, everything was gravy. Introductions were in order! “The name’s Nero, by the way.” He nodded to Karon. ’To be honest, Red isn’t half bad... Pretty sure my ancestor Habana was called Red for some reason.’ Nero thought to himself before giving his attention to Morticia. “Yeeaaah, I’m basically here on like, a dare, I guess? If I get through the place I get some Zeni stuff for it, but I don’t actually care yanno.” Nero shrugged. It was nice to hear Morticia was progressing in her boxing too. “Practice makes progress.”
The trio’s attention was back on the ‘spooky’ mansion, they all had a similar feeling about it. “Yeah, I agree. There has to be a catch. I’m certain there is, now that I’ve seen it for myself.” Karon and Morticia both made a good point; the establishment was trying incredibly hard to look goofy, but it could also be some kind of fake-out tactic... In all honesty this made Nero all the more excited, curse his inner Saiyan instincts!
“Do I believe in em? I believe in ‘em about as much as water isn’t wet.” He smirked, bit of a science joke there. “Which is to say; yeah I know they exist. Don’t know too much about them though. I’d wager— as Morticia just said— that if a place like was for realsies haunted, that they wouldn’t be ok with being used for profit when they’re probably suffering immensely. Could just be really convincing illusory magic and trickery, that’d be best overall for everyone.”
With all of their discussion going on, the three soon reached the front door ticket-master— a happy yet obviously jittery Zoonamite teenager, their voice cracked with the obvious twangs of puberty. “H-heYy therE, welcome to MoNso’s MysTerIous ManSion; it’S only fiVe Zeni foR admisSion, just pAst the door we have the main waiTing roOm, giFt shOp and caFe, the main evenT starRts In FifteeN m-minutes.” Nero nodded and payed his fee. “Alright, thanks.” With that, Nero went inside to the main room and waited patiently for the other two.
Karon looked back down at the man in front of him (apparently named Nero) as the line moved along, then back over his shoulder at Morticia. A little smirk spread over his face as he heard their opinions on the haunted house, and ghosts in general. He couldn't help but chuckle at the purple woman's comment, "Disrespectful? You might be giving ghosts too much credit there. Some do the whole mournful, tortured spirit thing, and I guess that's kind of sad, but a lot of them just like to cause trouble. They wouldn't care one way or another how their house was decorated," He looked back at her and gave a conspiratorial wink, "Assuming there were actual ghosts here, of course. But I bet there's not." There was a playful tone to his voice, like he obviously believed otherwise but didn't quite want to say it aloud.
He gave his money to the Zoonmite at the door, and though his voice got a smile out of the ogre, he at least didn't laugh at the poor kid. He followed in after Nero and leaned on the wall next to him. Now that they were inside, he took a pair of sunglasses (blue rimmed, of course) and popped them on his face. It probably looked strange, someone putting on sunglasses when they got -indoors-, but from Karon's perspective, he could see the divine text inside the lenses as he scanned the area. There wasn't anything in this first room that he could see, but something was still strange.
"Magic isn't a bad idea," he replied to Nero without looking down at him, "Wouldn't surprise me, really. And that'd make everything much easier. But if it is something more..." he glanced down at the man then, and frowned at the '17' that popped up in his lenses, "...How're you in a fight? Can you throw a punch?" That little smirk was back. He did enjoy potentially spooking mortals out, "Not that you'll need to, but you never know."
Morticia seemed laughed lightly hearing Nero was basically here because of a dare "Oooh, I see, heh, well it looks like it'll be an easily won dare then" Either way he seemed fine though. She nodded at the practice makes progress part, "Wouldn't of progressed very far a while back if it hadn't of been for your help though" It was pretty true that she only got back into boxing again after the injury rather quickly thanks to Nero helping her out, and some other things too of course, but Nero's help was still very appreciated.
On Nero's "water isn't wet" comment, the hybrid took a moment to think on that remark before having a kind of light bulb moment, like what he said did actually make sense it just took a minute to click. Nero seemed to agree about the respect part, Karon made an interesting point to it though. "That is a good point, but how can you be sure?" Maybe he knew more about ghosts then she originally thought? She caught his wink though and smiled lightly though, to be fair he had a point too who was to say what upset a ghost and what didn't? Maybe she would find it rude if she was one, but she wasn't. As for if there were any real ghosts here or not, she nodded, really doubting the possibility of any real ones being here, "Guess we're about to find out!"
It wasn't long after that they reached the front door and the ticket master that was there. The way his voice cracked reminded her of high school and when some of her classmates experienced the same, she didn't laugh, she knew he couldn't help it but she did feel a bit bad for him. After Karon and Nero paid their fee's and moved ahead, she followed suit, softly thanking the ticket boy as she headed in after them to the main room. Noticing that Karon had put on a pair of sunglasses she seemed a bit confused, "Uh, if it's okay to ask, what're the glasses for? Aren't sunglasses for outside?" She figured it would just make it harder for him to see around inside with them on, so surely he had reason for them?
She found his next questions a bit confusing but figured they were probably aimed at Nero to answer. Fight though? In a corny haunted house? She'd stretch out her batty wings and take a look around the main waiting room, wondering exactly how this experience was going to go.
“Eeeyup, easy as pie from what I can tell.” Nero gave a casual shrug before smiling— he was more than happy to hear that Morticia was doing so well with her training. It wasn’t every day that conversations turned to ghosts and the technicalities thereof. The others made solid points; though in Nero’s mind there was an easy distinction. “See, I think it's disrespectful for the departed that just want closure before they pass on. If there are spirits just kicking up dust for no reason, causing trouble like the garden variety street punk then they’ll get their just desserts all the same.” Nero posed this as food for thought, but despite the ogre’s playful yet knowing tone there was a chance there were just no ghosts of either kind here at all.
In the end, they were about to find out for themselves as Morticia said. The three of them respectfully didn’t bring any attention to the voice of the young Zoonamite, and as a result the Zoonamite let out a relieved sigh, taking a deep breath— it would be easy to assume that they were anticipating being given a hard time. The Zoonamite teen silently mouthed an immensely grateful ‘thank you’ to the trio while their attention was still on him.
The interior of the attraction was appropriately dingy looking and it smelled like a mix between haphazardly chosen clashing scented candles and damp moldy wood. Magic or not, the theme here was super rock solid. “Hm?” Nero glanced over to Karon. Noting the Ogre’s odd fashion choice in wearing sunglasses indoors, the Saiyan quirked a brow; obviously intrigued— but Morticia ended up inquiring first so Nero saw no point in doubling up on that. “I mean, I know how to. I just... Don’t anymore.” He spoke bluntly, with a very light speckle of annoyance and sadness.
Jun 9, 2021 20:55:38 GMT -6
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