Chapter 50. Hermes (5)
"The 30th and 35th floor's first achievement have been completed as well by the same Hero from 1,500 years ago."
"How unfortunate, Shin-nim. Luckily, the next one is... oops."
For a piece of information worth 50,000 gold, it made me feel nothing but emptiness. However, from Loretta's 'accidental' follow up, it seemed the 40th Floor Master's first had not been taken. That was enough. Until then, I'd refrain from being too adventurous and focus on obtaining the Floor Master slayer title. Afterwards, I could 'master' the 40th Floor Master.
The only problem left to solve now was to break through the 25th floor and join Ellos and Palludia.
As the 25th floor had a mix of zombies and ghouls just like the 24th floor, I could easily get through it. However, as it also had a Floor Master room, I could not obtain a title from clearing it. When I arrived in front of the Floor Master door, I stopped and contacted Ellos.
"Ellos, are you on the 25th floor?"
[Mm, yeah. I'm near the end. I'll be at the 'door' soon. What about you? Can you really come here on your own? We can party with you if you want.]
"I'm in front of the door. The 25th floor's."
Ellos went silent for a while, then continued after laughing.
[I see. You are a 'Hero' after all. I'll hurry, see you in a bit.]
I then contacted Palludia.
"Palludia, it's Kang Shin."
[What? I told you not to contact me before reaching the 25th floor.]
For someone who said that, she answered extremely quickly, as if she'd been waiting. As I didn't want get on her nerves, I only said what I wanted to say.
"I'm on the 25th floor."
"I don't lie."
[... Okay, good job. Huhu, Shina you liar. As I thought, rather than you, he prefers...]
I felt like I had heard a familiar name. However, Palludia said it was nothing.
[I've been on the 25th floor since two weeks ago! But because I was busy with my world's war, coincidentally, really coincidentally, I couldn't enter the dungeon for a while. My first time challenging the Floor Master will be with you. You should think of it as an honor!]
"That reminds me of the first time we fought the Orc Lord."
[Don't bring that up! That was a long time ago. I'm no longer a little kid!]
If I looked at all the messages she sent me until now, she was undoubtedly still the same little kid. Of course, I didn't say that to her either.
"Ellos says he'll be here in a bit. Let's wait for him and we can challenge the Floor Master together."
[Okay. Hey, I heard you stayed in the 5th floor for over 3 years. Are you sure your skills haven't turned rusty? Since you'll be in this Palludia Gren Ehuir-nim's raid party, I won't allow stupid, orc-like things!]
"I also climbed to the 25th floor in under a year. Palludia, you've heard of my Crown Prince nickname, right?"
Palludia snorted. In that instant, I felt my blood boiling.
"Don't laugh! It's not funny!"
[O-Orc is Crown Prince... Pfft, pff.]
"Eeeek! I'm not an orc anymore, you little kid!"
[I'm not a little kid either! Boo, boo! I'll be the one to judge whether you're still an orc or not, so look forward to it!]
"Fine! I'll also be the one to judge whether you're a little kid or not! Hmph!"
In the end, we ended our conversation after a little argument. Ah, I forgot to ask why she wanted to party with me after so long.
This childish crown princess really was unpredictable. She started an argument when we first met, she charged at the Orc Lord with just her staff because her friend was killed, and she added me to her friend list even though she seemed to hate me.
I would find out soon enough. Since I promised Palludia, it felt wrong to fight the Floor Master before I met up with her and Ellos. What should I do now?
Upon thinking about it, the answer was clear. It was to use the Event Dungeon Entrance Ticket I got from the 24th floor and clear the dungeon.
[Event Dungeon Entrance Ticket: Giant Zombie's Attack
An entrance ticket to an Event Dungeon. If ripped in half, it allows up to two people to enter the Event Dungeon. Recommended level: 25-30.]
Looking at the description, I felt conflicted. Should I contact Palludia again? No, wait, was I high? Why would I enter a dungeon alone with that yappy little kid? With that, I erased the thought from my head. What other choice did I have? Ellos was still trying to get to the door... What about Shina? No, Shina shouldn't even be at the 20th floor yet.
In the end, father was the only choice I had. He was the only person I could fully trust to cover my back.
[What's up, son?]
"What floor are you on, father?"
[I'm on the 25th. Why, do you want to party with your father? I refuse. My contribution will go down if I party with you.]
Since his reason for saying no was a roundabout way of praising me, I felt a bit embarrassed. Scratching my head, I continued.
"I have an Event Dungeon Entrance Ticket."
[Hurry up and invite me to the party.]
Father's attitude took a complete turn. What fervor, greed, and initiative! Though I didn't want to admit it, I took after him too much!
After accepting my party request, father appeared. He was wearing the same clothes as when he was in Yeungdeungpo's Event Dungeon. The only difference was that he was wearing the bracelet he earned as reward on his right wrist.
"Oh, what an excellent spear! Where did you get it?"
"Ah, mm, a named monster dropped it."
I didn't think he'd ask that right away! Father's eyes sparkled at the word 'named monster.'
"Named monsters, I love those guys. I wish they appeared more often. They have a nice tactile feeling too, when I hit them."
"You're probably the only one who wants to fight them because you like the feeling of hitting their flesh. Anyways, are you ready?"
"Yeah. You see, I cleared the 24th floor pretty quick and got a 'One Who Dashes Through Graveyards' title. It lets me deal 20 percent more damage to all undead monsters with physical bodies. Amazing, isn't it!?"
"Oh, it is, father!"
I didn't tell him I received a similar title as well as a god's true name. I knew how to care for father's pride. I was a filial son, unlike my childish father!
After confirming that we were in a party, I ripped the entrance ticket in half. In an instant, the surrounding scenery melted. If Earth's Event Dungeons could be entered through Gates, entering an Event Dungeon in the dungeon was like us being on TV and someone changing the TV channel with us still standing in place.
Eventually, the surroundings stopped warping and we found ourselves on a plain with arrows raining down.
We quickly struck the arrows flying toward us and surveyed the area. It was a battlefield. Soldiers wearing different armor were stabbing each other with swords, while archers and magicians were attacking from long-range even at the cost of hitting their allies. It was a place where humans slaughtered humans. When I realized this, I got a dull headache and my breathing became rough.
'Snap out of it, Kang Shin! Don't let something like this scare you! How can you become the world's strongest if you're so weak?'
No matter how I tried to regain my composure, it was true that I was in an incomprehensible situation. Shouldn't I be in an Event Dungeon?
"Who are you!?"
I saw a soldier attacking me with his sword as he asked for my identity. As I couldn't kill another human being, I lightly parried his spear and sent it flying. The spear then landed about 20 meters away, piercing one of the corpses lying on the ground. At least, I hoped that it was a corpse. I entered an Event Dungeon, I didn't want to suddenly become a murderer.
"Father, let's get away from here for now. We'll be targeted if we stay here."
Soldiers from both sides came after us like fire ants. We sent each of them flying as we ran. As we were like erasers making the part of the battlefield we were in empty, everyone on the battlefield began to eye us.
"Who are they!?"
"Kill them first!"
Even if the soldiers hit me, they would not even be able to scratch me. However, the magicians were a different story. It was why I was quickly trying to escape this battlefield.
"Didn't the entrance ticket say 'giant zombie's attack'?"
"Yes, it did."
"Then what's this? Are these people even real?"
"Don't ask me, son. Your father isn't that bright either."
Because I felt like I was getting stupider the more I talked with father, I stopped thinking altogether. If I knew this would happen, I would have asked Loretta more about Event Dungeons. Was my intelligence not done updating? Just how rarely did I use my brain... ah, a fireball!
"Father, dodge it!"
Father lightly swung his spear and shot out a shockwave. The fireball collided with the shockwave and exploded, killing the nearby soldiers.
Although a countless number of people were already dying in this battlefield, I became annoyed after finding out people had died from the fireball father exploded. I barely held in my desire to curse aloud. Although these soldiers were trying to kill us, I couldn't help myself from how I felt.
At that moment, a message rang out.
[You obtained 70 gold.]
"... Father, these guys are monsters."
"I heard it too."
At least, I did not know any human that dropped gold when they died. Although I had faced numerous humanoid monsters, I didn't think the dungeon would actually send humans as monsters. I suddenly felt that this Event Dungeon had a terrible personality.
"Son, they were created when we entered the Event Dungeon. They aren't actual humans, so you don't need to feel sorry."
"You don't need to worry about my mental health, father. I know fully well what they are. I just don't like the fact that I have to kill them, when they are so much like humans."
"Then do you want to get away from here first? Going by its name, a giant zombie should appear eventually."
"Yeah, let's... Thanks, father."
"Don't say that. It gives me goosebumps."
"Actually, I got goosebumps too from that."
As we both scratched the goosebumps on our skin, we hurried off the battlefield. Although there were soldiers coming after us like flies, we took care of them softly as we made our escape.
Eventually, we reached a place where the shouts of the battlefield became faint. It was only then that we realized how big the battlefield was. From the hill we were on, we could see the battlefield stretching out across the horizon.
In the vast plain without even a single hint of greenery, the corpses of soldiers were piled up and blood flowed like a river. Although I had seen a lot of monster corpses, they couldn't match up to the cruel scene of humans killing other humans. We had escaped the battlefield, but the fight continued. It seemed it would not end until one side was completely eliminated. Just how many people would die here? 100,000? 200,000?
"After monsters appeared on Earth, do you think the conflicts between different countries increased or decreased?"
When I was watching this scene blankly, father asked me. After thinking about it for a little while, I answered.
"Wouldn't it have decreased? After all, we have to fight against the monsters."
"It increased. Countries that shared borders began fighting as they claimed that the other country should be responsible for cleaning up the monsters that appeared on their borders. Countries that had low military strength, but high-valued monsters, were invaded by stronger countries for their monsters, and the ability users of the weaker countries then joined to fight against the invaders. Although it did not lead to full scale war in most cases, there are places where small conflicts expanded into much bigger ones."
Father went silent for a bit, then continued.
"Human greed draws blood of other humans. This much hasn't changed. I won't tell you to do something stupid like trying to stop it, but become stronger. Otherwise, you'll be swept away by human greed one day."
"Of course. I plan on becoming the world's strongest."
"Your father will still be the world's strongest."
"It will be me!"
There, we had a minor battle. I had come to add another win to my name.