Chapter 49. Hermes (4)
[You became level 25. You obtained the qualification to challenge the Floor Master.]
[You obtained 5 bonus stats.]
[Above those that fly are those that leap through dimensions. You cleared the 21st through 24th floors in under 7 hours. Just your courage, audacity, and swiftness are enough to place you in the ranks of Great Explorers. You have a choice. You can obtain the title 'Hermes' by giving up the three titles obtained from clearing 21st, 22nd, and 23rd floors. Or, you can obtain the title 'Incarnation of Light' by combining the 'Master of Divine Speed' and 'Incarnation of Lightning' titles.]
[Divine Speed becomes level 3. When used, it uses 18 percent of your mana and multiplies your speed by 570 percent for 0.7 seconds.]
[Dash becomes low-rank level 5. You can run swiftly for a longer time without feeling tired. You receive bonuses to instantaneous evasive maneuvers.]
Loretta looked at me with a dumbfounded expression. I smiled bashfully in response.
"It's been two hours."
"Shin-nim... You became level 25 in just two hours... How?"
"I wonder? Hahaha."
When I smiled awkwardly, Loretta puffed her cheeks angrily. She then reached forward with her hands and pinched my cheeks. It didn't hurt at all.
"I was worried. That Shin-nim would go wild without heed to my warning. It was just as I expected, too. Though, I didn't think you'd actually succeed."
"The ghouls couldn't get through my defense."
"Haa, really, what am I going to do with you?"
Loretta let go of my cheeks and let out a deep sigh.
"Do you understand, Shin-nim? Shin-nim just leveled up four times in just 7 hours. I assume you already distributed your level-up stat points. No matter how confident you are in your physical ability, you won't be able to fully bring out the power of level 25 for a while."
"Because of the update, right?"
"Right. I don't even need to ask, but you were planning on going through the 25th floor and challenging the Floor Master right away, right?"
I flinched at her pinpoint accuracy. To be honest, I was feeling quite self-confident after breaking all the way through the 24th floor. I remembered my fight with the 20th Floor Master, and was excited from thinking about the reward I would get for being the first to defeat the 25th Floor Master solo in my first try. I planned to keep running forward... but it seemed my plans were discovered. As expected, after 5 years of watching over me, Loretta knew me quite well.
"No way. You need to rest. Just do some light exercise if you want to work out. For at least 5 hours! Although even 5 hours shouldn't be enough, with Shin-nim's physical ability, you'll at least grow somewhat used to it. Make sure you rest for 3 hours afterwards. Do you understand?"
"I got it, so don't look at me with such scary eyes."
I smiled bitterly. Then, I remembered the message I got when I broke through the 24th floor. The message that asked me to make a choice. I decided to ask Loretta about it since I was curious.
"Loretta, if you had to choose between Hermes and Incarnation of Light, which would you choose?"
"Hm? What an interesting question. Why do you ask?"
Loretta became absorbed in thought. She had her index finger on her cheek and was tapping on it as she thought seriously about my question. It seemed she had soon come to a decision as she told me.
"The incarnation of an element, or a god. Although I'd prefer to choose the element, the other side isn't an incarnation, but a god's name. In that case, there's really only once choice. A god's true name possesses his equivalent power. So Hermes. Hermes is what I'd choose."
"I see. I didn't really understand though."
When I said that, Loretta gave me a cute grin, as if to say 'that's what I thought.' She then asked.
"Where did Shin-nim hear about that? Regardless of which myth, to hear a god's name in the dungeon, you should at least be on the 50th floor... Are you friends with a Gold rank explorer?"
"Ah, no, I've just been told to choose between those two titles."
"You know, between Hermes and Incarnation of Light."
Loretta's eyes quickly widened. Then she grabbed my shoulders abruptly.
"Hermes! Hurry, hurry! Before another miracle happens and some other explorer takes the true name before Shin-nim! Hurry!!!"
"O-Okay! I'll choose Hermes!"
Even as I was being shaken by Loretta, I made my will known. In that instant, a fanfare rang out.
[You became the first explorer on Earth to obtain a god's true name! Congratulations! For accomplishing this Grand Achievement, you receive 3 skill points. Current skill points: 9]
[You obtained the title 'Hermes.' Your speed increases by 15 percent. All stats increase by 5. You obtained the qualification. Your affinity to all elements increases, and your affinity to the wind element increases greatly. Once per day, you can summon 'Talaria' for 10 minutes. Talaria allows you to step in the air freely and even fly. However, when inside the dungeon, you cannot use it for the pure purpose of moving around. As your body familiarizes itself to the true name, more abilities will become open.]
"D-Did you get it? Did you?"
The moment I earned the Hermes title, I felt my body become significantly lighter. Even taking into account two of the three deleted titles that raised my speed by 6 percent, my speed rose by 9 percent. It wasn't too surprising that my body felt so light. Not to mention, my strength and dexterity went up by 5 each as well.
Being able to move 15 percent quicker was nice. That said, it seemed I would need more than one or two days to get used to this speed. In fact, until I grasped my physical ability in detail and knew every little change to it, I felt this ability would do more harm than good for a little while. In exchange, once I got used to the change, the increase in my strength would be incomparable to if someone else received the same ability.
Plus, there was Talaria. It was the name of Hermes' winged sandals. Although it was only for 10 minutes every day, being able to fly had great benefits. Of course, this would also take more than a day or two to get used to.
Most important was the fact that there was more I hadn't unlocked. As my body familiarized itself to the true name... that short statement was crucial. I would be getting more abilities in the future. I was dazed. I didn't even know why I was able to obtain Hermes. It was a title in a completely different league than the titles from the 21st through 23rd floors.
"To think you'd really obtain Hermes's true name. You did it, Shin-nim! You obtained the qualification!"
"Ut! Ah... mm... That's a secret for now."
'As I thought.' I couldn't help but smile. A god's true name must represent something other than just raw stats. I could just slowly find out. If it was necessary to me right now, I knew Loretta would have explained it to me.
Hermes' true name was certainly an amazing ability. But in a way, although it was amazing, it wasn't enough to completely change my identity. It was important that I didn't get too self-confident. Although I might be the first to have obtained Hermes' true name, Earth shouldn't be the only world with myths. In that case, it wouldn't be weird if there were other dungeon explorers who obtained the true names of gods from their myths.
"Why would Hermes appear here? Ah, I see. Hermes is the messenger god, but he is also the emissary who guides deceased souls to the Underworld. Since that's the case, he must have been affected by all the zombies and ghouls that were slaughtered in such a short amount of time. Though, the biggest reason had to be the record speed clears that had never happened in First Dungeon's history..."
"Eh? Ah, it's nothing! Nothing at all, Shin-nim! In any case, congratulations! Hermes' power will be of great help to you in the days to come. But..."
Loretta raised her index finger and advised me in a solemn voice I'd never heard from her before.
"A god's true name is heavy, Shin-nim. Remember that a day will come when you will have to pay the cost of using his name, so don't become too drunk on its power. Thankfully, Hermes isn't a god known for his battle prowess."
"That's something to be thankful about?"
"Huhu, Shin-nim is only a level 25 explorer. It will be hard for you to handle a god's power at that level. In fact, you have a greater chance of falling from losing yourself in its power. It's only because it's Hermes that it would be of help to Shin-nim."
"Am I not understanding because of my low intelligence?"
Although I said that, I did kind of have an idea what she meant. For example, let's say I obtained the true name of Athena, who was known as the goddess of war. I would end up relying on her power more than my own, which would be no different than relying on others' strengths. Even if I tried to find my own style again later, it would be too late. I could only continue climbing the dungeon with something wrong.
On the other hand, Hermes' power was entirely supportive in nature. Using it in battle would only increase my battle prowess. As it needed my strength as a basis, Hermes was indeed an excellent ability.
I couldn't help but be incredibly happy at the fact that my desire to quickly climb the dungeon led to such results.
"Sorry to say this while you're so happy, but there is bad news as well."
When I stared at Loretta fixedly, she put out her hand.
"Before that, I'll need 30,000 gold for the information cost."
"Do I have to buy it?"
"Shin-nim, I always want to keep a win-win relationship with you. Without money, I'm not allowed to open my mouth, and if Shin-nim doesn't hear what I have to say, you will come to regret it slightly."
Loretta was giving me a hint. After all, there had to be a reason why she brought it up in the first place. 30,000 gold wasn't big enough to risk breaking our friendly relationship.
"Okay. Here, 30,000 gold."
Most importantly, with the large amount of gold I had gained from clearing the Event Dungeon, I didn't need to worry too much about spending gold frivolously. Loretta mumbled a quiet 'yes' and took my money.
"The glory of succeeding in the 25th Floor Master solo raid on the first try was taken by a foreign world's Hero 1,500 years ago."
It really was bad news! Like Loretta said, I would have regretted it if I didn't hear it, but I didn't want to have to pay 30,000 gold to hear it! The satisfaction of obtaining Hermes' true name disappeared, and I stooped my shoulders.
"The 30,000 gold was for this piece of information as well as the information about the 20th Floor Master from before. Although it was on credit... with this, Shin-nim and I won't have to receive any penalties. Whew, thank goodness I don't need to hear from that oldie aga... Ah."
Loretta put her hands over her mouth in the middle of talking. I got the feeling she was intentionally doing it to give me some information. When I looked at her with narrow eyes, she stuck her tongue out and said, "ehet." It was so cute that I almost fell for her.
After letting out a dry cough, I asked her.
"In that case, can I know about the availability of the 'first' for 30th and 35th floors?"
"Yep, that'll be 50,000 gold, customer."
... Maybe she really was just hungry for gold. Watching her smile so happily, I imagined myself flicking her forehead.
Translator's note: Be sure to check out this chapter's announcement post!