The Laid Back Hero of Atlas – Chapter 9: The Fallen Hammer

“Damn it!”, I said switching my job to Fire Mage.

Using my magic I increased our heat output barely taking us out of the projectile’s path. Sadly one of the other balloons didn’t fare so well. Taking a horn to the basket the occupants were run through with no resistance. I had hoped it would have been one of the other Heroes, but my luck wasn’t that great. A loud cracking sound came from the dam as the walls began to collapse from the water pressure.

“Get on the other side of the dam! When the dam breaks it won’t be able to follow us!”, I shouted to the other balloons.

“Fuck off! We can handle this ourselves!”, the Heroes said.

Shaking my head at their stupidity I took us out of the area. If the idiots wanted to fight something like that from the air more power to them. I wasn’t stupid enough to try it as it was suicide from the air.

“Hesta, take the binoculars and look for a place to land. We won’t hear the end of it if we don’t help them…”, I said facepalming, “I am getting really tired of rescuing these military, and Hero idiots.”

The four women nodded in agreement as Hesta spotted a place to land. Safely landing in a small field Almina, Amber, and I leapt out of the balloon to tie it down. Looking back at Hesta, and Susan I told them to defend the balloon so we could retreat if necessary. Nodding they told us to hurry off to save the morons. With a nod the three of us ran towards the Behemoth. By the time we were close we found that the other two balloons had already crashed. Finding the three Heroes locked in combat I realized their guards were nowhere to be found.

“They are dead…”, Almina said pointing to one of the Behemoth’s feet.

Under its right front foot the arms of the surviving guards were poking out from the dirt. Telling Almina to take out its eyes she took to the trees, and disappeared. Amber, and I ran forward as I fired off a shot from my rifle. Pegging the Decay in the throat the bullet ripped through its hide, and scared it enough to break its attack. As it turned to us two arrows flew over our head hitting it straight in both eyes. Blinded by the attack the Decay went berserk stomping around like terrified bull. Caught off guard by the sudden behavior change the Heroes froze in place.

“Move damn it!!”, I shouted.

When the three Heroes didn’t move I ran over, and tackled the two nearest Heroes. Knocking us into a crack in the ground I was going to move on to grab the last one, but I was too slow. Crushed under the feet of the Decay he screamed out till we heard a crunching sound. Afterwards nothing, but silence filled the area. Poking my head out of the crack I watched Amber shoot a bolt of lightning at it. Hitting the lodged arrows the electricity ran down the optical nerve frying its brain. Collapsing on its side dead I sighed with relief.

“Alright it is safe too-“, I said before looking at the two female Heroes, “Are you okay?”

Before I knew it both of them were hugging me tightly bawling their eyes out. Both of them were shaking like leafs terrified of what had just happened. Trying to get them to move neither one would release me. Giving up on getting them to move I opted to carry them. Taking off in a dead run Amber, and Almina stared at me with blank expressions. Both were irritated with the current carrying situation both of them made me swear I would make it up to them. Agreeing to it they returned their eyes forward as we crossed the river bed. Next to us the dam gave way spilling out millions of gallons of water that rushed down the river. Realizing we weren’t going to make it in time I made the decision. Grabbing the two females Heroes I threw them to the river bank before throwing Amber, and Almina.

Just before the water was on me I shouted, “Get them back to camp! I will find you guys!”

Before they could give me a response I was swepted away by the rushing water. Amber, and Almina desperately cried out to me, but I was already gone. Angered that I saved the four of them before protecting myself they turned to the female Heroes in anger.

“Get up you sacks of shit!”, Amber said kicking them in the side, “We are leaving with, or without you.”

Hearing this the two women stood up, and followed them to the balloon. Seeing that I wasn’t with them Hesta, and Susan asked what had happened. Throwing the two Heroes into the basket both Almina, and Amber proceeded to beat both of them.

“These assholes…if they had only listened to James we could have left without problems.”, Amber said tearing up, “The dam burst as we were crossing a second time. Had these two idiots been moving we could have crossed in time, but James had to carry them since they were scared shitless! He saved the four of us before getting swept downstream.”

Hearing what happened Hesta, and Susan glared at the Heroes as they cut the ropes. Sheathing the knives they joined in the beatings as they gained altitude. When they couldn’t swing anymore they started crying. The Heroes looked at them confused by the sudden change in the atmosphere.

“I swear if he dies because he had to save your sorry asses I will kill you!”, Amber said.

The other three women agreed wiping their tears away. Cautiously asking them why they loved me so much they asked if it was because I was good in bed, or maybe because I was rich. Shaking their heads adamantly they gave the Heroes a simple answer.

“He cherished us like no one ever has, or ever will.”, Amber said with smile, “His top priority was always making us happy which at times isn’t easy. He never gave up on us, and no matter if we had to stay in a small inn, or in a cave he made it as comfortable as he could for us. Even if it meant he had to sleep on the ground while we stayed on a mattress made of comfy branches.”

Almina nodded as well confirming this fact. As the mood became dark Hesta heard something on the ground below. Peeking over the edge Hesta lit up, and started shouting to Amber to lower the balloon. Looking over the edge Amber spotted me sunning along the river bank incinerating a few Decay that were chasing me. Without hesitation she let some hot air out dropping altitude. Tossing me a rope Almina braced herself for when I would jump on. When the balloon was only ten feet off the ground I leapt into the air, and used my fire magic to launch myself into the basket.

As I had no means to know who was where in the basket I ended up crashing into Susan. Enveloped by soft air bags I sighed with a peaceful smile. Before I got up I heard the flames from the balloon increase as I felt the other three women jump onto my back. Squeezing me nearly to death the women started insulting me for almost throwing my life away. Unable to say a word of complaint to them I let them vent till they were satisfied. Rolling off of Susan the four of them snuggled up with me as we floated back towards the wall. Looking at the Heroes they were puffing their cheeks in displeasure. My four women saw them as well before narrowing their eyes.

“Shit bags like you aren’t allowed!”, the four said without hesitation.

“We don’t like him!”, they quickly replied, “The lovey dovey atmosphere you five are giving off is very annoying. Please stop it at once!”

The four shook their head defiantly saying they would throw the two Heroes overboard if they didn’t change their attitude. While the two groups of women argued I peeked my head out of the basket.

“So…who is steering this thing?”, I asked.

“I set it to return to base.”, Amber said.

“Oh…wait!! It has a setting like that!?”, I said surprised.

“Yes, military crafts like this have that pre-enscribed on the magic guidance circuit.”, Hesta explained.

Nodding I decided to relax after being thrown around in the river. The four of them happily cuddled up before falling asleep with. Arriving back at base a few hours later we gave George the news. The other Heroes started shouting at me about how I could have let Henry, the other male Hero, die like that.

“It wasn’t his fault…”, the two female Heroes who were there when it happened said, “We didn’t listen to his warnings, and got Henry killed. Had he not come back for us we would have perished as well.”

“Lilian, is your head on straight? Cirius, are you thinking, or are you falling for him?”, Thomas said.

“No!”, both of them quickly said, “We are just telling the truth since he saved us.”

Not wanting to hear them argue I pressed George about deployment. He said that things were progressing smoothly, and that we would be leaving in a few hours. Thanking him we parted ways returning to the van. Arriving at the van the women went to push me inside, but I let out a groan. Stopping their plans they removed my shirt exposing my injuries.

“James!!”, Amber said smacking my face, “If you are injured you should’ve said something! Is anything broken?!”

“No, I just smacked into a couple of trees before getting out of the river.”, I said, “A little rest, and I should be fine.”

“Bull!”, Amber said as she started healing me, “As your lover I won’t here any of it! We will heal before taking a nap. You can’t snuggle with us all beaten up like that.”

Nodding in agreement the others started healing me. Thanking them with a kiss on the lips they nodded with satisfaction once my injuries were healed. Climbing into our bed I made sure to give them extra love for healing me. Burying them in my arms we took a short thirty minute nap. When we woke up it was time to join the assault party. Joining the Heroes in the front of the party George lead us several miles out to the forest on horse back. Bringing up the rear the men wheeled twelve cannons along in case a Beohemoth was in the area.

“What do you think our chances are?”, George asked bringing me up to him.

Ensuring we had ample distance between everyone else I gave him my honest opinion.

“Considering I am almost one hundred percent sure the one remaining male Heroes will screw this up I am estimating roughly forty percent chance of success.”, I said.

“That low?”, he asked.

“I have a feeling Thomas will break cover before we are ready. When that happens it is likely we will have to go into an all out assault.”, I said, “My goal was to use distance as a buffer, but he will fuck it up.”

“I can have my men hold them back.”, he said.

“And risk having them tell the King you held them back to make me look better? We both know you are screwed either way.”, I said with a sigh.

“Yeah, I forgot they are petty enough to do something like that.”, he said as we arrived at the hot site.

Getting the cannons into their places George sent out several scouts. Their task was to determine enemy numbers, troop deployment, and if any Behemoth’s were in the area. When Thomas complained about the lack of action he left with the scouts. George told him that if they blew the scouts cover he would leave him behind. Laughing at him the Heroes blew it off like it was a joke. With the men gone I noticed the two women I saved earlier today were acting pretty friendly with my girls. Seeing this George laid it on real thick.

“Oh my, seems like you will have two more high-ranking people in your bed.”, he said with a grin.

“Like hell I will.”, I said, “All of them are idiots.”

“That may be true, but they have pretty smoking hot bodies. Some of my men would gladly give their lives up for just one go with them.”, he said, “You might get it multiple times.”

“Shut up you dirty pervert!”, I said, “If my women hear you they will put us both in the ground.”

He laughed as he walked away to get his men ready. Joining the women they were still in high spirits so I knew they hadn’t been discussing adding them into our party. When I asked what they were talking about they replied it was about clothing, food, and future plans after retaking part of Flamoria. Taking them at their word I suggest we find a place to hunker down for the next few hours. Finding a sheltered spot away from everyone else the girls took a nap while I kept watch.

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