<Author's note: The things (racism, sexism, political views, etc.) depicted or mentioned in this story do not reflect the real world and are purely coincidences. If they do, please keep in mind that they are simply for world-building and are only work of fiction. Thank you for your understanding.>
Somewhere in the heart of Burrow City.
Nathan stepped outside of a boutique shop for children and was holding a dismembered S2 and N1 by the neck on each hand.
It took him quite a while to find a clothing shop because he has never been to Burrow city so he wasn't familiar with the city's layout.
Zita was sitting down on top of a car outside and sipping juice as she played with the three [Grade D] Long Daggers, a Sword and an axe floating around her.
When she saw Nathan, she put down her juice, got up and jumped right in front of him.
She had a big smile on her face.
She was clearly happy with her new-found strength.
In fact, all of her fears vanished that she was so relaxed.
She even forgot about her wet pants.
She also started to think that the adults back at the Government Shelter who prohibited her from going out to level up were nothing but a bunch of worrywarts and the only reason they stopped her and the other children to go out and level up was because they wanted to control them.
And the worse part of it all, she also started to forget how her other parent died back at the airport at the hands of the zombies and thought that if her parents just let her level up back then, things would've been different.
'I'm going to leave once he sleeps,' she thought.
Nathan threw the two zombies on his hands in front of her.
Zita sent the sword that was floating around to her hand as she approached the S2 first.
She steadied her feet so as to not lose balance and held the sword up with two hands before striking down.
She became Level 21 and a [Blue] Treasure Chest appeared next to the S2.
"Did you level up?"
"Good. We were lucky there was an S2."
If anyone would hear anyone speak such words, many would spit on that person.
Unfortunately, there were people like Nathan who were thriving in the zombie apocalypse because of their powers.
"There's a [Blue] Treasure Chest~!"
Also, after spending a short amount of time with Nathan, Zita somehow developed a taste for treasure chests.
At first, she was really excited whenever a treasure chest appears.
Now, the [Green] Treasure Chest dropped by the Ranks 1s became unappealing to her because there were so many items that they didn't bother to pick them up.
Except for the potions and weapons, Nathan would comment that the drops are "trash" and they didn't have enough space to carry them all.
In fact, even the [Blue] Treasure Chests were starting to become unappealing to her as well.
"Kill the other zombie first so that we can extract the nucleus right away."
Zita pouted and said, "Okay~"
She beheaded the other zombie and she didn't level up.
But it also dropped a treasure cheat, a [Green] one.
She then let go of the sword on her hand and let it float around her as she quickly went to open the [Blue] Treasure Chest first.
It was only a [Double Slash] spellbook.
There was a disappointed expression on her face and she said under her breath in Iskaldian, "Strashk."
She then went to open the [Green] Treasure Chest in an unenthusiastic manner.
It was a [Grade D] Giant Axe.
Her eyes shinned.
Out of all the weapons they dropped tonight, she never saw this type of weapon. And the largest axe she has seen was the [Grade D] Large Axe that Nathan uses from time-to-time.
She immediately tried to pick it up to play with it for a minute before discarding it.
When she raised it, she tumbled down along with the axe.
"Uwu… It's so heavy~"
Nathan just finished extracting the nuclei from the two zombies when he turned to her.
"Kid, stop playing --"
Nathan stopped what he was saying when he saw the [Grade D] Giant Axe.
Back at Cram City, before he entered the Divine Tower, he dropped a [Grade D] Giant Axe but he didn't bother to pick it up and use it because it was too big for him to carry around so he just stuck with his [Grade D] Large Axe.
But now with his new height, thanks to the [Artifact] Divine Blood he has taken, he was searching for weapons like this.
A great example would be the [Grade D] Great Sword which he looted from that fat man back at the Saint Holy Child Hospital.
"Mister, take a look at this big axe. It's bigger than yours."
Zita she lifted it from the ground using her skill [Lift] and then grabbed it.
She then deactivated her skill on it and tried to swing it.
She lost balance and fell to the ground.
"Uwu~ It's really so heavy that I can't swing it properly!"
Nathan squinted his eyes.
Even before he entered the Divine Tower, he already suspected something concerning longer and heavier weapons.
'So even if you have high STR, if your body's height or weight or both is lower compared to the weapon, swinging it would cause you to lose balance due to the momentum. Back then, even though my height was 6ft and exercise and I was also getting stronger as I leveled up, I couldn't tell for sure. But seeing this right now confirms that my suspicion was indeed correct.'
Zita got up, activated her skill, lifted the weapon and grabbed it.
She then started swinging it around without deactivating her skill.
However, her movements seemed so stiff.
'It looks like the axe is the one swinging her instead of the other way around…' Nathan thought. "Kid, stop playing around and give me that axe."
"Okay," she said and passed the [Grade D] Giant Axe using her skill [Lift].
Nathan grabbed it and absorbed it into his [Artifact] Gold Spatial Finger.
He then took out two flashlights and gave one to her.
"Let's pick some clothes. Remember, be sure to pick up at least 5 shirts, 5 pants, 5 shorts, 5 undies, 5 pair of socks and 2 jackets…"
He glanced at her chest.
"... and 5 sports bras as well."
"After this, we'll find a place to rest," he said as he raised his thermal vision goggles and switched on the flashlight before entering the children's boutique shop.
"Okay," she said as she followed behind and did the same thing with her thermal vision goggles and flashlight.
Nathan suddenly stopped.
Zita also stopped.
He turned to her and asked, "Kid, do you already have your 'Lady Business #3'?"
"Lady Business #3?"
"Your period, your menstruation."
Zita's pasty white cheeks turned red and she held her head down.
"Do you understand me?"
"Snok…" she whispered something that Nathan couldn't hear.
She raised her head and said, "I said no!" before marching inside the boutique shop in embarrassment.
Nathan chuckled and shook his head.
'I guess whether it's a child or adult and whatever the ethnicity, asking about a woman's period is and will always be a sensitive topic…'
He suddenly remembered back when he was still living with Karen.
Aside from doing household work, he was also in charge of grocery shopping.
He remembered the first time he bought sanitary napkins for her at a grocery store.
He was so conscious at that time when he was at the women's section because there were people staring and giving him weird looks because he had long hair, a goatee, a muscular body, was 6ft tall and was wearing black.
He remembered being so confused with the selection of products because there were too many brands to choose from. And aside from the fact that there were tampons and sanitary pads, the sanitary pads themselves also had two different groups. One group had "wings" while the other group didn't have any.
After 3 minutes of checking out the products, he finally mustered up the courage to grab two packs of sanitary pads with the most beautiful wrapping design -- one with wings and the other without -- and asked one of the salesladies nearby.
When he talked to her, he tried his best to look as non-threatening as possible and carefully explained his circumstance to not appear like a creep.
She smiled at him and explained to him the difference and recommended him which brand was better.
In the end, he bought the brand she recommended and the one with wings.
When Karen came home later that day and saw the brand that he brought, she didn't say anything. But he assumed that he bought the right one because she didn't say anything and used them.
Since then, every time he visits that grocery store to buy groceries and sees that saleslady, they would smile and nod at each other.
'Hmm… I never asked for that woman's name. I wonder if she's still alive…'
'Well… At least I won't have to worry about this kid's tampons for now but still, I have to pick some if I ever come across just in case.'
He went over to Zita to see how she was doing.
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