The Laid Back Hero of Atlas – Chapter 63: A Foe From Home

Keeping our heads down we listened as the Lord’s family arrived. Waiting for permission to raise our heads when I looked up I became quite angry. Sensing this Ruby leaned forward to ask me something.

“Do you know him?”, she asked.

“Yes…he is a murder…”, I said twitching in anger.

“I haven’t been called that in a very long time.”, he laughed, “You must be from America.”

“I am…”, I said gritting my teeth, “What does a bastard like you want with me!”

The guards became quite irritated with me, but he ordered them to stand down.

“He has every right to call me that given my crime in the US. I am sure the others would say the same if they were American.”, he said, “I did take out Honest Abe, HAHA!”

“You gutless coward!”, I said, “You through the US into chaos after that stunt you pulled! We lost progress thanks to your actions…John Booth.”

“Now now, that is all in the past.”, he said, “I don’t expect you to forgive my actions as you seem to be a fan of the North.”

“Just get this over with…I don’t have time to deal with scum like you.”, I said.

“Very well, I brought you here because I have a task I need you to complete. I am aware that you are headed to Dragon Fall’s. A very nice Arms Dealer told us after we extracted the information out of him.”, he said with a grin.

Putting a barrier around my family I took a defensive position in front of them. Something about his grin had me on edge, and I wasn’t going to let anyone get taken as a hostage.

“I won’t-”


“I won’t deny that.”, he said, “I built my land on top of the grave of the former Lord, and thousands of slaves. This country wouldn’t be as thriving without their deaths.”

Wanting to kill him now I restrained myself to prevent a bloody battle out of here.

“Whatever you think of me is your opinion. It doesn’t change the fact I need you to remove the dragons from Dragon Fall’s.”, he said getting to the point, “The Dragons have been terrorizing my trade routes, and I am losing thousands of gold in revenue a month. At this rate I will have to increase taxes, and force the slave population to work harder to regain lost profit.”

I seriously started thinking of returning to Flamoria, and taking my chances in the former capital. Helping a tyrant like him was the last thing I wanted to do. Before I could state my opinion he called in his butler. Yanking beastman children behind him with great force he proceeded to throw them to the ground. Looking at them they were on the verge of death from starvation, overworking, and exhaustion. Reaching out to help one of them up the butler put his foot to the child’s head, and crushed it.

“I think you get my point…”, Booth said, “You will do as I say, and I will consider-”

Dashing in front of him I grabbed him by the throat. Glaring at him I spit in his face.

“You are a son of a bitch! Your no different after being chased like a rat into a barn, and set on fire!”, I snapped, “Apparently you haven’t repented for your crimes against Humanity back on Earth… I will make sure this time that justice is seen through for you!”

Looking at my barrier I felt a slight amount of energy leave his body. Looking back I saw my barrier collapse like a house of cards. Charging forward the guards attempted to seize the women, but Solarias put a stop to that immediately. Changing into her dragon form she blasted the guards with a Fireball hotter than the sun. Brushing away the remaining guards with her tail she terrified the guards. Casually looking at her another wave of energy left him. Suddenly collapsing on the ground breathing heavily Solarias seemed in pain.

“What did you do, bastard!?”, I snapped.

“I forcibly sealed her magic. A dragon without magic will of course die in a few days.”, he said, “Now if you-”

Not paying him any attention I ripped his head from his shoulders enraged. Executing the guards with a sweeping slash his family froze over in shock. Running to the human Solarias I picked her looking her over carefully. Laying her head on my lap I took out a some Ambrosia I had which I had her drink. Letting it do its work she snapped out of her comatose state. Embracing me she gave me a big kiss for saving her.

“This is why you are my husband.”, she said with a smile.

Ruining the moment a voice came from behind us.

“Go figure you’d have some Ambrosia on you. You are a Hero after all.”, Booth said attaching his head again.

Looking back at him he was straightening his neck.

“You’re an undead…”, I said with a sigh.

“Yes, like you pointed out I was set ablaze in that barn. A very nice witch brought me back to life when I arrived here.”, he said.

Looking to his wife I asked if she was the witch.

“No, I killed the witch a few days after I was completely healed. I ended her quickly as she did heal me.”, he said, “A bullet to the head is the quick way to go.”

“You are really a bastard.”, I said holding Solarias tightly.

“Whatever it takes to make things happen.”, he said with a grin.

“I refuse to help you for my family’s sake.”, I said looking at them, “Their safety is my top priority no matter how gruesome your actions are.”

“I see, so they are what drive you.”, he said walking towards us.

Watching him carefully he strode to the window.

“Your family may have you to protect them, but those beastmen in my slave camps won’t.”, he said, “I am not stupid enough to outright kill one of your wives. I couldn’t stop your rampage so therefore I will have to use the beastmen. Bring me some up!”

Dragging some females, and children up he had them on their knees before us.

“I know beastmen have an unspoken bond between each other.”, he said with a grin, “I wonder how long you will hold out to your wives.”

Receiving a sword from one of his guards he executed the first woman in front of us. I wanted to leave immediately because my blood was boiling, however if I did leave he may kill anyone who wasn’t of use to him. Feeling the women pressing against me I felt Dola hug me especially tightly.

“James…please…”, she said.

Standing on my word I didn’t say anything. Moving to the next in line he beheaded the woman’s child as he started crying.

“James…we are begging you…just take the job…”, Dola said tearing up, “Is your pride really worth their lives?”

Lining up for the next one I heard Dola started to cry against my back. Feeling terrible about making them suffer I still couldn’t do it. There was no guarantee he would change a thing if we did the work, and I couldn’t take him out with Holy Magic because he would just negate my magic. Squeezing my hand Jessica, and Ariel looked at me with pleading eyes. Unable to fight them all I caved to his demands.

“FIne…I will do it…”, I said.

Stopping midswing he smiled at me. Handing the sword back to the guard he had the butler take the people away, and dispose of the body.

“Very good.”, he said, “I will ensure that you get to Dragon Fall’s without any issues from the military, or the guards. I expect to hear a good report about the removal of the Dragons.”

Leaving the castle in a crappy mood we stopped at a small village fifty miles from the capital. Booking a room for the night I sat at the bar having a stiff drink. Being the only guests the innkeeper left us to run the place for the night.

“James…I am sorry…”, Dola said, “I didn’t mean too-”

“Just stop…”, I said in a sad voice, “I just want some alone time…”

Nodding the women went to our room for the night leaving me to drink. I was in a sour mood from having watched several innocent people die today, having to help a corrupt ruler, and from not standing on my morals.

“That man brought progress after the war to a halt. Countless lives could have been saved had the President not died that night. Things might have been better for everyone involved”, I muttered, “Now I am helping that man who I doubt will keep his word…”

Grabbing a second room key I stayed in my own room. Bracing the door, windows, and walls with magic I passed out in bed. Waking up the next day alone for the first time I felt kind of relieved. Leaving my room I found the women in gloomy mood. Having a cup of coffee with my breakfast I could tell they were hurting. I knew the cause was me, but the words I needed to say couldn’t leave my mouth. Walking up to me Dola asked how I slept.

“Decent enough. It was a little chilly last night.”, I said.

“We missed you.”, she said cautiously, “We tried to join you, but we couldn’t get in.”

“I put a barrier up so I could think, and sleep alone.”, I said honestly.

“Are you mad at us?”, she asked.

“No, you were only acting out of the goodness of your heart.”, I replied, “I can’t fault you for following your heart.”

I could feel their moods start to improve.

“So was this a one time?”, she asked.

“I don’t know.”, I replied, “I am helping a man who finds killing enjoyable for an empty promise. If you knew his history like I do you would know he is more than likely killing people as we speak.”

“You don’t know that…”, Dola said nervously.

“He is a coward that believes humans are superior to all other races.”, I said, “He looks at others like insects, and without a reason will kill them. That is the kind of man he is. I did my homework on him before we met last time I was up here. He makes a normal practice to rape his victims before cutting them to ribbons.”

Sliding her the file I had on him she read it. Breaking down into tears she looked at me speechless.

“As horrible as it is for me to say it those two were spared from the horrors. Whatever that witch did to him when he arrived turned him into a complete animal.”, I said.

“I didn’t know…”, Dola said, “What have we done…those beastmen think they will be saved. They will actually be fodder for him, and we made you do this.”

Knowing now that they had ended up prolonging the suffering of the slaves they felt terrible. They had thought I was just being stubborn this whole time completely forgetting Darius’ extended family I saved. Embracing me tightly they bawled their eyes out as the false weight of guilt hit them.

“If it was any of you I would have done all I could to save you.”, I said firmly, “I don’t owe those people anything, but I couldn’t watch you suffer.”

The normally lovey dovey atmosphere returned immediately as all of us made up. Trying to take advantage of the situation Fantasia, and Esteria made a suggestion.

“How about we have some good make up sex!?”, they asked grinning ear to ear.

The others were against it, and as a man I definitely wasn’t against it. With no one staying in the inn currently I made sure to be aggressive with everyone in bed. Leaving the next day on a very high note we reach Dragon Falls three days later.

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