Bai Zhi would have been less surprised to see Temperance Gentleheart.
The possibility that Late Night Kitty would dare enter the Mirror World had never even crossed his mind.

After all, all she had done so far was ride the coattails of the more competent Players.
For her to enter such a terrifying place on her own initiative was impossible—she didn ’t have the mental fortitude.

But he had underestimated how far she was willing to go to overcome her fear, even to the point of injuring herself, though her eyes welled with tears at the stinging pain.

Such courage and keen insight! Respect, Kitty.

Bai Zhi stuck a thumb up at Late Night Kitty with a resolute expression.

”I, Black&White, hereby declare you a chad! ” ”

Late Night Kitty did a double take.
”…Could you please take this seriously? This is the most pain I ’ve ever been in, and I don ’t know how long I can hold it—we have no time to waste! ”

As she caught the sounds of movement coming from somewhere upstairs, Late Night Kitty glanced toward the stairwell worriedly.
The excruciating agony coming from her arm had temporarily dulled her sense of terror, but inevitably also made it hard for her to focus.

”Got any weapons in your Inventory? ” Supporting himself with his left hand, Bai Zhi struggled to his feet.
”That zombie upstairs is a very formidable foe, but if you could keep it distracted, I just need two minutes and we can wrap up this Newbie Run. ”

”Weapons, weapons… ” As Bai Zhi bored a hole into her with his intense gaze, Late Night Kitty thought about it, tapping the flat of the paring knife into her palm.
”W-well, I have a broom, a mop, and…
and a clothes rack—things I brought with me from my dorm, before the quest started. ”

She was greeted by silence.

Finally, Bai Zhi asked, ”Can you handle a chainsaw? ”

nope. ” Kitty shook her head vehemently.

Bai Zhi sighed.
”…Change of plan.
You hold on to this bottle of gasoline.
I ’ll get Stitch over there to focus on me, while you run as fast as you can, directly up to the rooftop level where you ’ll see the cursed Right Arm.
Douse it with the fuel and blaze it.
Think you can do that? ”

To himself, he thought, Well, if this doesn ’t work, we ’re dead meat, so…

guess, I… ’ll try? ” Late Night Kitty ’s eyes darted around nervously.

”Do or do not.
There is no try. ” Delivering the line with a note of finality, Bai Zhi shot a sharp look at the girl before charging upstairs.

The zombie seemed to be patrolling the area near the stairwell on the rooftop.
He would need to lure it away for Late Night Kitty to do her job safely.

Bai Zhi positioned himself at the stairwell on the second floor, steeled himself and placed his left hand on his chest.
Clenching his right hand into a fist with his fingers facing upward, he extended it toward the lumbering creature.

With a flick of his wrist, up popped a defiant middle finger.

In the world of martial arts, there were two legendary styles—the Sol Finger* and the Lion ’s Roar.
There was once a martial arts master who spent 30 years developing a way to combine the two styles, and now, Bai Zhi was carrying on his legacy.


The reply came swiftly, in the form of a guttural, rage-filled roar.

Meanwhile, Late Night Kitty took a moment to gather her courage, then with a deep breath, she dashed toward her objective with the paring knife in one hand and a broom in the other, looking oddly like an intrepid knight on the way to defeat the dragon.

It had been a crazy day.
She had searched an abandoned villa for the parts of a dismembered corpse with nothing but a flashlight—creepy, but manageable.
Then, she had to hurt herself on purpose, for the first time ever, and though the pain had shocked her to tears, she had suffered it bravely.
However, to have to pour gasoline over a corpse, even a part of one, then set it on fire was the last straw, and Late Night Kitty ’s lip quivered as she desperately fought the urge to bawl.

Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined that she, who still slept with a night light on, would end up doing something this extreme today, but at last, relief seemed close at hand.
As the flames greedily consumed the right arm of the corpse, the fabric of the Mirror World began to fracture, and she felt the same sensation that she had when crossing into the Mirror World earlier.
She opened her eyes to see the living room, gloomy as ever, but normal, with no unnatural red light.

”Finally… ”

Mustachio was tending to the fire and watching over Temperance Gentleheart when the insidious cold that had wormed its way through their bones suddenly dissipated, like fog under the morning sun.
A wave of relief ran through him, and with a gigantic sigh, he fell backward, crashing butt-first on the cold floor.

A second ago, he had been sure it was lights out for them.

With the curse of the black markings also lifted, a wan Temperance Gentleheart checked the time on her phone with trembling hands.
no, ten minutes to dawn. ”

”Told you, the Newbie Run is basically a test to see if Players have what it takes to do the job.
Once you know what they ’re looking for, it ’s a piece of cake. ” said Bai Zhi calmly, despite having to prop himself up with the hiking backpacks, too exhausted to even stand.

”But we couldn ’t have done it without…
uh… ” He smirked as he glanced at the figure beside him, who was gripping her injured arm and weeping from the pain.

It was clear to him that Late Night Kitty was not only a scaredy-cat who was afraid of the dark, but also pitifully sensitive to pain.

”Do you want any medicine? I have some. ” With a grunt, Bai Zhi forcibly squashed the wave of exhaustion that welled up from deep within him.
Retrieving a first-aid kit from his Inventory, he said, ”I know you were trying to use pain to overcome fear, but you didn ’t have to hurt yourself this badly…
You cut yourself nearly to the bone! It ’s a miracle you didn ’t hit an artery…
Come on, let ’s stop you bleeding to death. ”

”I didn ’t expect the knife to be that sharp! I ’m definitely giving them a bad review after this— H-hey, hey, what are you doing with that stapler?! ”

As a teary-eyed Late Night Kitty raised her head, the sight of the tool in Bai Zhi ’s hands so alarmed her that her whole body tensed, drying her eyes instantly.

”Stopping the bleeding, like I said. ” A puzzled Bai Zhi held up the stapler as he explained his first aid technique.
”Clean the cut, staple it shut, wrap it all up in duct tape—works like a charm. ”

”Look, I fixed my own arm the same way, so rest assured, it works.
It just might… sting a little.
Be a good girl now, stay still.
If we delay any longer, you ’ll pass out from blood loss.
You ’re a chad now, remember? Chads aren ’t cowards! ”

’Y-you ’re the chad! Your whole family are chads! No, I don ’t want— Don ’t come any closer!!! ”

Temperance Gentleheart and Mustachio watched them in exasperated silence.

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