•[A/N - Everyone was complaining about the whole monologue, which I understand. I went a bit too far with it so I will try not to repeat it again, here's the next chapter, hope you enjoy. Also, please read Author's Note at the end.]•
With my resolve affirmed and my body ready to act, I quickly thought up a plan.
I could see them still 'enjoying' her, causing guilt to rise up my chest due to my own hesitation.
They were already about to take her chastity. The centaur had already used some sort of magic to revert to a more human form, only keeping two horse legs and....another horse part.
I could see Atlanta panicking and I had no time to plan, since I had wasted it. I couldn't just throw an explosive at them and kill Atalanta as well, and I don't have the accuracy to use a bow properly yet.
So, I gritted my teeth and improvised.
Leaning my hand into my sleeve and grabbing one of the 3 remaining makeshift explosive fireworks, I threw it upwards with all my strength, not towards them, but rather towards the camp made of wood, and more importantly, leaves.
The small pouch erupted with the force of a small grenade as the makeshift camp exploded. The small fire previously residing inside the camp ignited the now falling leaves and wood along with the explosion, basking the clearing in a blanket of smoke.
"""Eh!""" The centaurs yelped in shock.
But they barely had time to think as my last two magic dolls flung their bodies towards the two centaurs by Atalanta's side in a mad suicidal dash.
The two dolls leap right towards the two centaur's hinds before erupting with enough force to tear down a wall.
Two explosions rang out, as two centaurs died, their now previous insides had blanketed the final remaining centaur in blood.
The dolls had suicide bombed them right from behind under the cover of smoke using my last two explosive pouches.
Fortunately, the smoke cover lasted just long enough for my reinforced body to charge in from the bushes with the force of a ram. I had my sword out in front of me, prepared to be thrust as Chysia drove right through the chest of the final centaur standing over Atalanta.
His unconstrained shock barely had the time to snap out after my strike, "Wha—!"
Before I twisted my reinforced hands holding onto the blade, shredding the previously immensely confused and now dead centaur's guts into puddy.
I could hear the adrenaline charged beat of my chest slowly ease out into relief as the now dead centaur's body fell motionless against me.
I couldn't help but feel a sense of satisfaction as the animal wearing the skin of man perished by my own hand, his blood stained my blade as I pulled it out with the ease of a hot knife in butter.
The corpse fell to the ground behind me as I turned around to look at the small girl tied to the floor with a look of absolute disbelief in her eyes, but I could also see some relief hidden within alongside paranoia.
I bent down onto my knees, severing her bindings as she kept still from shock, before slowly lifting her into my arms like a bridal carry.
Her initial shock began to wear off as she stared into my eyes with confusion and distrust. She most likely couldn't even understand the events that occurred, she was only a child, most likely not even in the double digits of age yet.
I gave her a warm smile, one that I hoped would ease the trauma of this day from her,
"It's alright now, you're safe."
After killing the three animals, I left their bodies to rot in the grass and be the feed of scavengers, in my opinion, they deserved no burial.
I then took Atalanta away from the area, I didn't want her to have to suffer any more trauma from this day and thought it best to just leave.
Unfortunately, it was at the cusp of night, and I wouldn't have time to get us somewhere safe, especially in this far more dangerous era.
But, some things had to take priority, with Atalanta's shivering form in my arms, still covered in stains of white. I headed to a nearby stream of water I heard with my reinforced ears instead.
The entire time she never spoke, her eyes dull but I could still see the small strands of light within them that brought a small smile to my lips.
'.....I'm glad I decided to save her.' I thought with a sense of satisfaction.
I then held her frame in my arms even after arriving at the stream, she still kept still, completely unresponsive. I had to wash her myself, rubbing the grimy sins of the day off her feral and petite body.
The whole time she still stood quiet and unresponsive, I held back a grimace at the thought of how badly this would affect her.
I soon shrugged it off as I helped dry her body before I took out some of my last possessions from within my bag, one of the somewhat clean pair of clothes I took from my room after fleeing Athens.
I couldn't help but notice how they still seemed over sized on her small body, but I hoped they at least provided her some warmth.
The sun had gone down at this point, as the sounds of the forest had taken root, the chirping of bugs and swaying of leaves. A normal man would most likely feel a sense of danger in the air from the dark forest lit only by the light of the bright stars.
But, for some reason, even after all the events that had taken place today, I felt warm, like as if the forest was my home and the creatures of the night wouldn't dare to offend me.
With that thought, I once more lifted the small girl into my arms and held her against my chest as my back crawled up against a tree.
I covered her in my arms in an attempt to bring her some comfort, as I slowly felt her shaky breaths grow more steady and the nightmares of the day transfer into the sleeps of night.
Alright, I hope this chapter was satisfactory compared to the last one. I tried to get into the action a bit more in this one and wanted to show that Icarus was a rather clever thinker, but more so than that, I wanted to show that he had a rather good heart.
I wanted to make him a normal person, who honestly just was trying to live his own life, mostly minding his own businesses but still good enough to help others.
I don't plan on giving him a hero complex but I want him to feel realistic. Sometimes, people just want to do good things. He is still a person from the modern era, hence he has modern values, at least for the most part.
About the last chapter, a lot of people hated the inner monologue but I made it to show that Icarus is a normal person, not accustomed to risking his life for others, but he still wanted to do it regardless because he believed it was the right thing to do.
Remember, he's only in the body of a (strong) seven year old with pretty much no combat experience while relying on tricks, he can't just throw his life onto something and always expect to come out on top.
I want Icarus to be someone who will do what he chooses to do because he believes it the right thing to do.
But, he will change further down the story, so don't worry too much if it's not to your liking.
Anyways, I hope you leave a powerstone if you enjoyed the chapter and comment for suggestions below.