The Laid Back Hero of Atlas – Chapter 22: A Terrifying Carriage Ride

A few days after the mysterious disappearance of the nobles food started reappearing in the market. The large number of people who poured into the market was astonishing. The fourteen of us looked down at them from our vantage point on the roof tops.

“It’s nice to see the people smiling again.”, Amber said with a pleasant expression.

“For now anyways…you know these people don’t have a lot of money.”, I said, “They have been heavily taxed in the name of war funds.”

“War funds?”, Dola inquired.

“Money that the citizens have to so the troops get fed, are properly equipped, and get paid for their services.”, I informed her.

“Is it a lot of money?”, she asked.

“Normally it shouldn’t be. Sadly the King took advantage of the situation, and took more than he should have.”, I said patting her head, “From what the innkeeper said a lot of children have been sold off to pay the tax…”

Looking down at the children her age she became quite upset. Looking at me she asked if that ever be an option to me. Firmly shaking my head no I informed her I couldn’t ever do that she smiled. Leaving the area we returned to the inn where a messenger was waiting for me.

Having secretly taken most of the valuables from the corrupted nobles the Black Market merchants were in quite a generous mood with me. Asking what they could do to aid me I simply asked for a pair of eyes to monitor the King. I said I needed to know when he was going to flee so I could jump him. Instead of asking me to pay a small charge for it everybody said they’d happily give me the information once they had it. Not more than a few hours later a man appeared. Judging by his clothing he was from one of the weapon merchants employees.

“I have news for you.”, he said, “The King intends to flee this evening under the cover of darkness. The castle staff is currently in the process of loading valuables into the royal carriage.”

“Thank you for the report. Could you ask your employer to accidentally cause a disturbance to block the exits out-of-town?”, I said handing him a small bag of precious gems.

With a nod he ran off to make the arrangements. With that settled all that was left was to find the best places to ambush him, and setup for it. Looking over a map of the city lay out we found a great choke point. There was a bridge in the center of town that the carriage had to go through. All other possible paths were too narrow to get the carriage through. Deciding on that for the assault point Ruby raised a question.

“So how do you intend to bring the carriage back? Once your onboard they will more than likely crash, or lose control of the horses.”, she asked.

“Ah, one of you Heroines will have to chase after us in the van.”, I said, “You four have driven before, right?”

“Yes…not with that much horsepower though…”, Cirius said nervously.

“That is a simple fix. I made a secondary key that limits the output to three hundred brake horsepower.”, I said, “I knew better that to expect you could handle it right off the bat.”

“Oh, thanks.”, Ruby said with relief, “Is it difficult to drive?”

“Want to test drive it?”, I asked.

“If you don’t mind…”, they asked politely.

Looking back at them I realized one hadn’t spoken this time. Asking Ruby if something was the matter with the Heroine she nodded.

“Cindy has a weak immune system. She has a bad cold right now so she can’t talk.”, Ruby said.

“Ah, alright.”, I said with a nod.

Taking the wan out of the city I parked it in an open field so they wouldn’t accidentally hit anything. Lilian, and Circius opted out of driving it as they had previously failed to notice it was a stick shift. Ruby meanwhile was eager to burn some tires. Sitting next to her I watched her drive around with relative ease. It was a bit of a learning curve learning to handle a larger vehicle than she was used to, but in the end she did a good job. When it was Cindy’s turn she motioned for me to take a seat in the drivers spot.

Following her request I sat down only to have her slide between my legs grabbing hold of the steering wheel. Seeing their comrade play dirty she could only give them a smug grin in response. Asking her if it was because she was nervous about driving she nodded. Taking her hand gently I spent the afternoon getting her comfortable with driving the van. With two people able to drive the van I parked it in an alley near the assault zone. Deciding to get some rest back at the inn we returned only to pass out soundly in our bed. Around 9pm we got up to get ready for the raid. Arming ourselves with Lucilla’s technology she gave everyone a basic rundown of how to operate them.

As the moon disappeared behind the clouds the few spots of light that we could see reflecting off the clouds were from fires across the city. It appeared that the Black Market merchants were burning a few building down most likely rundown ones. With people going to be around to put them out it was almost a guarantee that the King was going to head this way. As I waited for our ally on the inside to light a lantern for us I asked Susan what the chances were of him taking any of his family. I didn’t want to kill any innocent women, or children if at all possible.

“I would say almost zero percent chance of that. We were expendable objects to him so I doubt he will take anyone with him.”, Susan said.

As I nodded at her reply Lilian spotted the lantern in one of the towers. Getting into my position I waited in the darkness for the carriage. Twenty minutes later I spotted the carriage, but for some reason something was off. Under normal circumstances the King should take things slowly as to not alert the populace, but in this case the carriage driver was driving like a mad man. As he flew under the bridge I jumped onto the roof of the carriage. I heard the van start-up, but then it was followed by a loud crash.

“Ruby…”, I mumbled with a sigh.

“What are you doing trying to kill us!!!”, Amber snapped.

“Sorry, I had it in reverse…haha…”, she said throwing it into gear.

Taking off after me she caught up without issue. Honking the horn at the carriage to get him to poke his head out that never came to pass. Instead his head came flying out of the carriage window hitting the windshield. Looking to the front I realized the carriage driver had been dead for a short while already.

“Who beat us to the punch?”, I thought.

Bursting out of the roof of the carriage a man in a black cloak appeared in front of me. Instantly recognizing the cloak as the same one the demigod wore I instantly went on the defensive. Not expecting me to be there my opponent was easily pushed back. As expected I wasn’t able to do anything to him because my sword wasn’t strong enough. Switching my job to Fire Mage I smashed my fist into his gut. Unleashing a massive torrent of fire I threw a flurry of blows at him. Knowing full well that it was a long shot I hoped that magic infused attacks would do some damage. Thankfully after only seven hits my gamble paid off. I felt one of his ribs crack from my fists so I went in for a bigger attack. Before I could hit him though I felt two more presence drawing near.

Backing off two more people in black robes appeared. Clicking my tongue in disappointment I knew this fight was now way out of my favor. Clearing the city gates now the three of them attempted to flee.

“Not on my watch!”, I said casting my spell, “Fire Prison!!”

Massive walls of fire enclosed us reaching heights of fifty feet, and a depth of ten feet. I knew from experience that this level of magic was effective deities thanks to reading a few books on the subject. Tossing my camouflage off I activated my God of War blessing evening the playing field. I was still at a numbers disadvantage, and I didn’t have a good class to mix with it being a Fire Mage right now. Still I was banking on having high fighting power in this form to win me the fight. If I could kill that bastard I would be satisfied with that at least.

Leaping forwards with a War Hammer my original target tried to block. Sadly for him this weapon was a god’s weapon meaning it would harm a demigod like normal. Smashing into his shoulder I felt it snap like a twig. Grabbing him by the neck I threw him across the way into the wall of fire. Changing gears I switched to the next target which was already drawing their sword. Switching to a battle-axe I slid their blade down the pole of the battle-axe before swinging it at them. Trying to dodge by rolling out-of-the-way I used the momentum to bury the axe in their skull as they stood up. With one person remaining I smashed the person’s head pulling the axe out.

“You bastards have some nerve showing up here! Your comrade is responsible for the death’s of several hundred men, and two of my best friends!”, I said as flames poured out from between my armor, “I won’t let any of you touch a single hair on any of my family! You pissed off the wrong Hero, and now you will pay the price!!”

Dashing out of the fire the now scorched demigod stood in my way. Throwing their cloak off I realized the person I had been attacking had been a woman. Looking at me completely worn out she looked like she had something to say. Not waiting to hear an excuses I charged forward about to bring the axe down on her. Before I could though the person who should have been dead held back my arms. Surprised they could do this so easily I glanced back at them.

“We aren’t your enemy!”, they said, “We want-”

“I don’t want to hear it!!”, I said, “The fact that several hundred people died because you bastards think your better than everyone else is bullshit!! Someone has to put you back in your place, and that someone is me!!”

Shaking them off me I swung the axe at the uncloaked woman. This time instead of grabbing me the person knocked me away with their leg. Drawing my normal rifle I shot them several times in the chest. The bullet easily tore through them thanks to enhancing them with my blessing. Leaping rushing them it was over for them in an instant. With a flick of my wrist I brought the axe down on them. Screaming at me to stop the uncloaked woman watched as I beheaded the now hopefully dead demigod.

“One down!”, I said leaping at the remaining two.

Fallen to the ground in fear both of the were backing away from me. I had no sympathy for them as it was their kind that needlessly killed those soldiers like it was nothing for all I knew they were his comrade who had come here to destroy the city. I made it quick as I executed both of them with one powerful swing. Watching their heads roll I released the Fire Prison, and my blessing. Falling to my knees exhausted Amber, Ruby, and Susan helped me back to the van. I was thankful I hadn’t taken serious damage this time, but I would still be a mess for a few days.

“You really did it this time.”, Amber said with a pleasant smile, “I am thankful you told us the plan this time so we didn’t have to worry as much. The fact that you beat three this time means you should be able to beat him, right?”

“No, I got the feeling that they were weaker than him. I still think we need that sword for safety.”, I said, “At the very least one of you could also use it if I was unable too.”

“Makes sense.”, Sapphire said with a warm smile, “Go ahead, and take a nap.”

“Oh no…”, I said forcing myself to sit up, “We are going back to the inn, and having some skinship. My exhausted body could use some cuddle time with everyone.”

Everyone happily agreed without complaint so we returned to the inn for the night. The next day with some help from the women we headed for the castle to see the spoils of our hard work.

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