The Laid Back Hero of Atlas – Chapter 3: The Forges White Hot Flames

The crew was eager to start this project for one reason alone, difficulty. Repeatedly making the same weapons over, and over again grew tiresome for them. As this was a totally new mode of transportation to them they were eager to show their skills. Dumping the materials out on the workbench they were all in disbelief.

“These are all the highest purity ores you can find!”, they said looking everything over, “Where did you get all of this!?”

“Through my travels we have gone many places, and through it all I gathered all of this.”, I said.

Drooling like a wolf about to eat a deer they immediately got to work. They were going to handle everything aside from the engine. Making a cast of the engine in special magic sand I started getting the mix ready. For this engine it would be a mix of Mythril, Adamantine, and Orichalcum that if my calculations were correct could easily produce nearly 3,000,000 break horse power. Of course I would have to build an equally badass venting system as the engine would get extremely hot. Mixing the metals carefully together in the smelter I poured the molten metal into the mold. Carefully pour the other bits like gears, transmission case, and pistons I then waited thirty minutes for the metal to cool.

Now I know most people would say that I could have melted the metal anywhere you’d be wrong. The heat necessary to melt these metals was far greater than even a fire dragon could ever generate. With this in mind I had done research into finding a forge that could generate the necessary heat. According to my findings only three such locations existed, and only one on this continent which was here. Breaking the molds I pulled the pieces out, and did a thorough sanding on the items with magic. Satisfied with the items I started assembling the engine, and transmission.

As I built them I felt like someone was watching me. Looking behind me a young woman was watching me intently. Before I got up to see what she wanted some of the crew started shouting at her. Quickly disappearing into the front office spaces I gave up on her. By the next morning the dwarves had built the frame enough that I could mount the transmission, and engine in the vehicle. Filling the cooling system, transmission, and oil tank with dragon blood I started the engine with magic. For the first few fires the engine struggled, but then after four pops it ran smoothly. Amazed by this the dwarves immediately started examining the engine.

“You are an amazing smith without a doubt!”, they said praising me.

“Sadly this is about all I can do. Making the panels, frame, and other parts exceed what I am able to produce currently.”, I said.

Leaving the shop at around 4am I made my way to the inn where the girls were. After a quick shower I fell into bed quickly scooping up both of my lovely companions. The next morning I woke up around ten to both women wearing beaming smiles on their faces. Suggesting we go to eat breakfast we got changed, and left for the afternoon. According to the blacksmiths it would be at least two days before they finished the project. Wandering around town we walked into the Adventurer’s Guild to see what news was currently going around.

“James, look at this.”, Almina said pointing to the latest news about the ongoing war with the Decay.

Getting halfway through the report I stopped, and walked away. Chasing after me the two of them asked what was wrong. Thinking back Amber quickly remembered something, and explained it Almina.

“The commander that lead that army was a dear friend of his…”, Amber said looking at me.

Charles van Verwest a man I met just before Amber started following me. At the time he was nothing more than a run of the mill officer in the military. After learning who I was he made no attempt to capture, and instead bought me a drink. We sat there for hours talking about our lives mostly the lack of romance at the time. I ran into him many times afterwards as he climbed the ladder in the military till he became a general. Around that time was the last I saw of him.

“James my dear friend, I fear that my time is growing short in this world.”, he said, “Unlike you the other summoned heroes have yet to kill more than a few creatures. Since their progress is so slow the military is having to ramp up, and pick up the slack. You have been a major asset to the military by keeping the bigger monsters in check so without the knowledge of the king we stopped pursuing you.”

“So that’s why the assassins have stopped.”, I said sipping on my beer.

“Yes, now though things may change. I have been given orders to try, and retake a portion of Flamoria as the continent needs the land for farming.”, he said clenching his fist, “Had those damn good for nothing scumbags done their job right we wouldn’t have to do this suicide mission.”

A few months before this conversation Atlas sent it’s Heroes to defeat a Decay Horde that had poured into Flamoria. The Heroes had managed to defeat them mostly in part to the military, but they failed to check for nesting sites. Having missed that major step it was only three weeks later that the nation became overrun with the Decay. I had moved in to help the fighting, but two people can only do so much against so many enemies. Managing to save the royal family, and at least thirty percent of the population I lead them back to Atlas their supposed ally. When Flamoria’s King begged Atlas for help they turned a blind eye to them saying they were on their own. Leaving his wife, and two daughters in my care he lead the remaining military might he had back towards his capital. They didn’t make it more than twenty miles across the border before being completely wiped out. In addition, as the former Flamoria citizen’s were now leaderless they were forcibly enslaved by Atlas.

“So many people died for our goddamn king’s greed!”, he said slamming his fist on the bar, “That bastard does nothing, but search for the former royal family. Had you not hidden them away I am sure they’d have become his play toys.”

“I take it the king knows your opinion of him, and is sending you out as punishment…”, I said.

“Yes, I was the only one who tried to stand by our pledge to the Flamoria King. Now I am to take back the land our King says he gave up without a fight!”, he said turning to me, “I have a favor to ask of you if you wouldn’t mind.”

“Seeing as how I owe you quite a lot for favors, and information I will do what I can for you.”, I said.

That promise was now being called upon, and I wasn’t happy about it. The promise was that if he should fall in combat that I take my place as a True Hero, and give the people hope. As the other Heroes weren’t going to do it I was the one who had to step up to the plate.

“Damn it all…”, I mumbled, “All I want is a peaceful life full of beautiful women. I don’t want political power, or even to be filthy rich. All I ever wanted was to make harem, and make each woman smile. Going to war for Atlas isn’t going to make that happen…as it stands now hundreds are going to die by the end of this year from starvation.”

Flamoria had been the breadbasket of the continent. Thanks to the volcanic activity thousands of years ago the land was extremely fertile. Having lost it to the enemy the food supplies for the continent dropped forty percent. Importing food to remedy the issue only made things worse as the market prices became out of reach for most people leaving them to starve. Even now looking around this city it was evident what the famine was causing. Children that were almost completely bones fought over even the small scrap of food. Fathers toiled away working three to four jobs just to make enough to get a few food items for their families. Those families who either had no husband, or whose husband was already worked to death sometimes whored themselves out attempting to be of use.

Thanks to my hard work killing dangerous, and rare monsters my party was very well off. We still lived sparingly though saving the coin for a rainy day. Whenever we entered a new city we donated coin to the local temples trying to help the communities as best we could. Most of the time though they would turn us away because I was seen as a Rouge Hero. The few temples who did accept our coin were those who knew all the good I had done trying to make my life easier.

“James, maybe we should return to the inn. I get the feeling not everyone in town likes us very much.”, Almina said.

Looking around I could see all the angry faces staring at us. As we looked healthy, fit, and well off the locals must have thought we were nobles. Shaking off their gazes we went to the blacksmith to see how things were going. Having completed the frame they were taking a break as they waited for the special glass to arrive. Seeing us the dwarves called us over to brag about my design.

“We have a favor to ask of ye.”, the lead blacksmith said, “The remaining materials…could we keep them as payment instead of gold?”

“Sounds fine to me. I couldn’t use them for anything else anyways.”, I said.

Thanking me for the materials they started celebrating. Watching them pat each other on the back I spotted the same girl from yesterday again. Meeting my gaze she dove back into the front office once again. Shaking my head we left the blacksmith shop so I could drop the two girls off at the inn before returning to the shop again. By the time I arrived they had finished installing the glass, and were now working on running the crystal wires through the vehicle. As my turn hadn’t arrived for making final adjustments I decided to figure out who the woman was that kept diving into the office. Walking down the hall I peeked my head into the office only to find a single woman sitting at a wooden desk. Entering the office she immediately became nervous.

“Any reason you are afraid of me?”, I asked.

“You aren’t a normal Hero.”, she said, “Your god blessing is very different from the others…”

“You met them?”, I asked.

“Only once. They were in a parade when I saw them.”, she said.

“So then, you must have the ability to see blessings then.”, I said narrowing my eyes, “I’d appreciate it if you kept quite about it. No need to start trouble for no reason.”

“I won’t.”, she said with a smile, “For a human to have been blessed by gods we demi-humans pray to is an honor in my mind. You aren’t as arrogant as the other Heroes either. The way you work the forge, and do your casting shows you respect the trade. My father sees that as well so he has taken a liking to you.”

“In my book no job is too small, or meaningless to do. If I had the skills I’d make the vehicle myself, but I don’t have the skills.”, I said.

Walking up to me I realized just how small she was height wise. Being six-foot tall myself I guessed she was maybe three-foot, or less. Locking the door, and closing the curtain she looked at me with a smile.

“I wish to see exactly why the God of War, and the Goddess of Annihilation chose you.”, she said, “Most humans see them as false gods so I wish to see why they selected a human.”

As I hadn’t done anything with a dwarf before I was hesitant at first. After seeing her naked body though that disappeared completely. Accepting the offer I made her regret offering herself to me. By the time I was satisfied she was stuffed like a turkey on thanksgiving. Cherishing this moment she wore a funny face that was a mix of pleasure, ecstasy, and happiness.

“You gonna be alright?”, I asked.

“Yes, I think I will recover.”, she said staring at her lower half, “You really are an animal.”

With a slight chuckle we parted ways as she had achieved her goal of figuring me out somewhat. Returning to the inn I got lectured as usual for my behavior by both girls.

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