There was a loud gasp as everyone heard Lord Nostory state that Jessica was going to be his champion during the trial by combat against Tucker. Tucker himself couldn't believe what he had just heard. He couldn't believe that Lord Nostory would stoop so low to actually have him battle Jessica for his own freedom. Unfortunately he knew that once he declared that he wanted a trial by combat there was nothing that he could do to revoke the claim.
Everyone else inside the court also couldn't believe that Lord Nostory had chosen Jessica to be his champion. They knew that she was very tall but they had never heard of a woman being a champion during a trial by combat. It was not uncommon for a woman to be one of the parties involved by never as a champion. They were unaware about Jessica's true size and the fact that the dress she wore actually made her small enough to fit into a building although door frames were still a minor problem.
The judge looked at Lord Nostory and wasn't quite sure what to make of it. He had found it highly irregular that he would choose a woman to defend him. Many would consider him a coward but there was still a chance that Jessica wouldn't be his champion. She had to agree to be his champion so the important question had to be asked.
"Miss Jessica Snape," said the Judge as he looked down at the tall woman from up on his podium. "Do you agree to be Lord Nostory's champion in the trial by combat?"
"I do your honour," replied Jessica as she stood up to her full height. There was still no emotion in her voice and she was completely under the influence of the spell that stopped her from acting independently. Inside she was shouting at the top of her lungs, saying no but her body was not her own and she couldn't stop herself as she agreed. "I will represent my soon to be Lord husband in the trial by combat."
"Very well by the laws of the land Miss Jessica Snape will represent Lord Hector Nostory, the first of his name in the trial by combat against Mr Tucker Martel who has decided to be his own champion. The trial by combat will take place tomorrow morning on the grounds of the Castle of July. The combatants may have any handheld weapons of their choosing if they are available. The trial must take place with no interference or else they will face harsh penalties. This court is adjourned." He banged his gavel on the podium and stood up to climb back down to the ground.
People began to grumble as they got up to leave but Tucker just stood there completely dumbstruck about what had just happened. Never in a million years did he think that he was actually going to be battling his best friend. He knew that when she grew to her normal size that he didn't stand a chance against her. Even with Juggernaut he didn't think that it would do him much good. He would barely be able to reach her but above all he didn't want to harm his best friend. She had helped him so many times over his life that he couldn't bear the thought of actually harming her.
Tucker also thought about his own safety. At her full size she could crush him like an insect and he didn't have much defence against that. Even if she didn't stomp him she could pick him up and crush him with only using a small proportion on her strength. He had seen her move farm animals as if they were made of feathers. Worse still she could swallow him whole with minimum effort. He knew that Jessica would never actually eat a person but since she was being controlled through the necklace she was capable of doing more or less anything. He didn't think that he would survive. If he were to back off now it would be an admission of guilt and he would be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Even though Tucker was standing still he felt a strong grasp on his shoulder and when he turned he saw that one of the guards had grabbed his shoulder. This meant that they were here to lead him away, most likely he would be taken back to the room in the castle where he would be able to rest. One thing that Tucker did have at his advantage was that he could demand to have his armour and Juggernaut returned to him.
Quickly Tucker was taken out of the courthouse and taken back to the castle and the room where he was more or less a prisoner. Since his guilt had not been proven yet he was still allowed to have decent accommodation. This was the only comfort that he had but he dreaded the trial by combat the next morning. He didn't think that he would survive and he only had two options. Fight and die at the hands of his best friend or give up there and then and be executed shortly afterwards. He was being forced to pick the lesser of two evils and he more or less made his decision.
Tucker more or less decided there and then that he was going to compete in this trial by combat but he still didn't have much intention of surviving. He wanted to survive but he didn't want to hurt his friend, she had always protected him and he still had a belief that she would not harm him. No matter how much of a grip that Lord Nostory had on his friend he knew that she wouldn't harm him. They had too much history together and they had always been good to one another.
Monica was waiting inside the room for him and she was happy to see his return. This presented somewhat of a dilemma in her mind. If he had been found innocent he would have been set free and he most likely would have been on his way. If he had been found guilty he would have been sent back down to the dungeons where he would stay and rot. She had already brought a cup of water up to the room and she gave it to him. She could see that he was not in the best of moods and she could tell that the day's events had not gone his way. She did not ask anything however, that was not her role, she was only allowed to speak when she was spoken to unless it was of a matter of utter importance.
Tucker sat in his room in silence for some time before he could mutter any words. He looked over to Monica and he had a command for him. She waited for him and she was somewhat glad for the interaction.
"Monica I need you to give Lord Nostory a message," said Tucker. "I want my armour and sword returned to me so that I can battle his fiancé tomorrow morning. By law he has to comply."
"As you wish," replied Monica as she stepped out of the room, she had to duck slightly to get through the door but she still continued to walk.
Tucker felt a little bad about how he had just worded the command. It sounded like he was willing to fight Jessica when in truth he wasn't. He was trying to keep himself as far away from the fact that he was going to be battling her as much as he could. He didn't want to hurt her and he was even beginning to think that he couldn't actually hurt her. At her normal size her skin would be very thick and he already knew that an arrow strike was nothing more than minor inconvenience to her. She had been fired upon by arrows in the past and they had not been able to pierce her skin. Juggernaut would probably be different but even so he didn't think that it would do him much good. Besides she could crush him before he got anywhere near slashing her.
In his own chamber Lord Nostory had no worries about the next day. By now night had fallen and Jessica was lying in bed awaiting her soon to be husband. On her face she also seemed to have no worries about the next morning but inside she was terrified. She knew that it was most likely going to end with Tucker's death and then she would have nothing else to live for. Not just because her best friend would be dead but also because she knew that she was responsible it would destroy her inside. She would see herself as the monster that many had called her in the past.
Lord Nostory himself was actually looking forward to the next morning since he wouldn't have to worry about Tucker anymore. He was extremely looking forward to seeing his soon to be wife grow to her normal size for the first time in his presence and kill a man that he considered to be his enemy. The whole city would see her at her full size and would be able to bask in her glory. This was something that Jessica really didn't want to do but as she had no free will there was nothing that she could do.
"How do you feel about battling the man that you used to call a friend?" asked Lord Nostory as he poured some rich wine into a golden cup. He was also going to pour some more wine into a second cup for his wife to be.
"I feel nothing my love," replied Jessica, she was still under the influence of the spell so she couldn't say any other answer.
"Good, this time tomorrow Tucker Martel will be dead and we can make plans for a wedding unlike any other Angleland has ever seen. Every Lord and Lady will be invited and even the King and Queen will come, you will don a gown that will make you look more beautiful than the goddess Trianne herself. You will be the envy of every man, woman and child in the world."
"That makes me glad my love."
"And so it should." By now he had finished pouring the wine and brought them over to Jessica. He sat on his bed and gave her the cup to drink, normally he would have one of his serving women do this task but since it was for Jessica he wanted to do the deed himself in some way of making her happy. "I have no doubt that you are physically the most powerful woman in Angleland but after our marriage you will also be one of the wealthiest and politically powerful women in all the land. You will provide me with sons who will be worthy of being my heirs and daughters that should hopefully be as tall and beautiful as you. Nothing can spoil what we have."
"I agree my love. I will be counting down the days until our wedding. I will make you happy in any way possible."
"There is one thing you could do to make me a little happier right now. Increase your height a little, not too much, just a few inches will do."
"As you wish." She took a sip of the wine and it was definitely the best wine that she had ever drunk. Unfortunately she didn't have the will to actually enjoy it as she increased her height by half a foot. Since she was sitting in the bed the change wasn't as much as one would expect but watching her grow did excite Lord Nostory more than he would like to admit publicly. "Have I pleased you my love?"
"You have in more ways than I could possibly describe." He drank from his cup of wine and instead of taking a sip he drank the entire contents in one go. "Now shall we get some sleep, you have a big day tomorrow and I don't want lack of sleep to ruin your prettiness."
Jessica had no choice but to comply as she also drank the rest of her wine. When she had finished Lord Nostory took the cup off of her and placed it on a table right next to the bed. A huge smile came upon his face as he couldn't wait to sleep with the amazon that was Jessica. He had been wanting to do something like this for as long as he could remember and now that he actually had a woman who would do this for him every night he felt that his final victory was complete.
Lord Nostory climbed into his bed and wrapped his arms around Jessica's long body. His touch sent a chill down her spine but she still couldn't react to him in the way that she wanted. She would have loved to have pushed him away and take Tucker out of the castle and the city. Unfortunately right now those actions were beyond her and she had to put up with him touching her. She hated every moment that she was by his side and she wanted to throw up but discovered that she was unable to. She was experiencing a living nightmare that she saw no escape from.
The next morning Tucker was the first to wake up, it was not yet dawn and his room was still in darkness. His mind needed a few moments to adjust to exactly what was happening and he soon realised that he was only a couple of short hours from having to battle his best friend. This left a sinking feeling in his stomach and he wondered exactly how the day would finish off. He thought that most likely Jessica would literally crush him and she would be lost to him forever.
One thing that Tucker did take comfort in was that his armour had been brought to him but Juggernaut would not be brought to him until the actual trial by combat. Lord Nostory didn't want him using it to try and make an escape. Tucker was able to put on his own armour but he knew that it would give him little protection against a giantess who was over one hundred and twenty feet tall.
He had no stomach for any breakfast and just sat quietly in his room for what seemed to be an eternity. His leg was shaking as he hated to admit just how nervous he was. He tried not to give into his fear as a knight should be brave at all times. He remembered the lessons that he had been taught by the late Sir Thomas Parker. He could see his mentor looking down at him from the heavens and he didn't know whether the old man would be either proud or disgusted with how he had been doing.
After a couple of hours there was a loud knock on the door. Tucker looked towards it and it soon came open and he could see a very tall man who was well armoured and he looked to be formidable himself. Despite his fearsome appearance he was not the man that Tucker was going to face that day. His opponent would be both the largest woman that he had ever seen and but also the one who had been the only person that he had considered to be his true friend. He didn't think that the kingdom of Angleland would be the same after this trial took place.
"It's time!" said the well armoured man as he looked towards Tucker.
Tucker didn't say a word as he got up to his feet and followed him through the castle. There were a few guards who followed him as well to ensure that he didn't attempt an escape. Tucker was feeling more nervous with every passing moment as fighting his best friend was drawing closer and closer.
By the time Tucker stepped outside of the castle and onto the grounds he saw that hundreds of people had come to attend the trial by combat. None of them were aware that Jessica was a towering giantess who had her height restricted by her dress. Only a simple thought could turn her from an amazon into the giantess that brought fear to many despite her gentle personality.
As Tucker looked at the crowd many were shouting offensive words to him but he was able to block them out since the thought of fighting Jessica was an even greater worry in his mind. He could see Lord Nostory on an elevated seat with Jessica sitting right next to him. She was wearing her dress once again and there she was wearing no armour. He didn't expect her to wear any armour since she more or less didn't need it and with the added fact that the armour wouldn't grow along with her. The sudden entry into the sunlight had blinded Tucker for the moment as his eyes had to adjust to the light. He lifted his hand up to help stop the sun going into his eyes until they had adjusted.
Lord Nostory stood up from his seat and stepped onto the stage that had been set up specifically for him. There were many guards on the stage to prevent anyone trying to get on to harass Lord Nostory. He seemed to be very pompous as he walked a couple of steps forward so that he could address the crowd. He waved his hand in the air and the entire crowd fell into silence.
"My happy citizens," said Lord Nostory in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear him. "I thank you for attending this trial by combat between Mr Tucker Martel and the soon to be Lady Jessica Nostory. Many might question why I have chosen my fiancé to be my champion in this trial but I have the just cause so the gods will spare her. Mr Martel is charged with attempting to take my life, he has chosen a trial by combat to try and prove his innocence. He has also chosen to fight with his sword Juggernaut while by fiancé has waved away any weapon." With that one of the guards walked up to Tucker, he was carrying Juggernaut and he passed it to him. Lord Nostory would have preferred that Tucker not have his sword but he couldn't deny him right to the weapon. He also thought that even armed with Juggernaut that Tucker didn't stand much of a chance. "The rules are simple, the two combatants will battle until either one party backs down or a champion is dead. By the end of the trial we will know which side the gods favour." He turned to Jessica who was still sitting in her seat. "My love, it is time."
Lord Nostory held his hand out towards her and she gently grabbed it as she stood up to her full height. She bent down and gave him a kiss before she carefully made her way down from the stage and into the area where she was going to be fighting Tucker. The area was especially big at the request of Lord Nostory and was easily large enough for Jessica to grow to her normal size and still have room to move. Even he didn't want to see his citizens crushed by a giantess.
Tucker stared at Jessica for a couple of moments and he was still in disbelief that he was actually going to fight her. He wanted nothing more than to run up to her and hug her, she had always been his pillar of hope for him whenever he was down but he knew that if he tried she would likely kill him on the spot. She stared blankly back at him but there was a tear rolling down her cheek as her inner self cried.
A bell tolled indicating the start of the battle and Tucker didn't even try to move towards Jessica. He saw that immediately she had begun to grow and everyone in the crowd gasped as the saw the tall woman growing bigger and bigger before their very eyes. A few of them even screamed in terror but as Jessica grew she never took her eyes off of Tucker. He lowered his sword as he had to face the fact that he was going to have to face a full size Jessica. Every inch that she grew was like another knife stabbing into Tucker's back.
By the time that Jessica had reached her normal height many of the crowd were in complete terror of the giant woman who stood before them. Some thought that she was going to try and crush them all but they found themselves too sandwiched in the crowd to actually escape. Hey were stuck there and would have to watch the trial whether they wanted to or not.
By far the most nervous person in this area was Tucker who was having to face a towering giantess who could easily crush him. Almost instantly he knew that he didn't stand a chance in this fight but he still couldn't surrender. He would not give Lord Nostory the satisfaction that he had won.
Almost immediately Tucker saw Jessica's foot hover above him and as it came crashing down he had to dive out of the way so that he wasn't crushed. The ground shook a little as Jessica's enormous foot came into contact with the ground. This had scared even more people but for Lord Nostory he had an enormous smile on his face. The trial had started exactly like he had expected and he thought that soon Tucker would be no more.
Numerous times Jessica's foot came crashing down above him but each time he was able to dodge out of the way. He had a couple of opportunities to attack as well but chose not to since he didn't want to hurt his best friend. There was one thing that he noticed as she tried to stomp him. Her foot didn't seem to be coming down as fast as he thought that it would be, he thought that if someone was trying to crush a bug they would move their foot faster than Jessica did now. He knew that her additional size didn't affect her intelligence and he saw it as a good sign.
"Please Jessica don't do this," begged Tucker as he took a moment to look up to the towering giantess that was his best friend. He was hoping that there was still a small part of his friend in there.
Lord Nostory was happy to sit in his seat and watch as Jessica continued to try and kill Tucker. He had not noticed that she was slower than she should be and he couldn't help but become excited by what he was seeing. It was the first time that he had seen Jessica at her normal size and he knew now more than ever that he had picked the right woman to be his wife. Not only was he marrying what he thought to be the most beautiful woman in all of Angleland but also a woman who would be the ultimate bodyguard. No enemy would dare get close to him while she was around.
At no time did Jessica focus on the crowd or even truly acknowledge them. Her focus was entirely on Tucker and she bent down and tried to punch the ground. Her blows were light since she didn't want to risk breaking her hand on the ground. Her size did give her amazing strength but even she wasn't resistant to breaking her hand like any normal person. It was a sign that she wasn't invincible.
Jessica's hand even came close to grabbing Tucker and in his panic he slashed his sword cutting the palm of her hand. The cut was not very deep but it still caused her a small amount of pain and Tucker realised that he had just hurt his friend. He felt sick inside but a small part of him told him that he had done it purely out of self-defence but it still didn't make him feel any better.
This made Tucker drop Juggernaut out of disgust of what he had done but before he could make another move Jessica's other hand came down and grabbed him. In no time at all he was lifted up in the air and brought up to her level. For the first time in his life he was actually scared to be picked up by Jessica. He thought that he was close to meeting his ancestors in the afterlife. He had absolutely no defence against her strength and he thought that his life had come to an end.
"Jessica it's me Tucker your best friend," said Tucker as he tried to use his words where his skills had failed him. He was hoping that his best friend was somewhere trapped inside and that he could somehow bring it back to the surface. "Remember when we used to play hide and seek together, you always seemed to find me no matter how well I hid. I always thought that you had cheated but those were our happiest days. This isn't you Jessica, the Jessica I knew would never do anything like this." He suddenly felt her grip around him tighten and much of the air in his body was squeezed out. "Please Jessica, you're my best friend and you're the only person who was able to put up with me and my silly dreams. You even came with me on my quest for Three Man's Treasure."
It seemed that Tucker's pleas were falling onto deaf ears as he felt Jessica's grip tighten. The life was being squeezed out of him and she was only using a fraction of her mighty strength. She was squeezing him tighter every few moments and Tucker couldn't defend himself. Even if he had Juggernaut in his hand he would not use it against her, even if it were to save his life he still couldn't hurt his friend.
The crowd had seemed to have gotten over their initial fear of Jessica and instead cheered for her as Tucker seemed to be nearing his end. They might not have seen what they had expected but it was still entertaining for them to watch. Lord Nostory was the one who was enjoying the most since he was seeing his fiancé in action. He thought that he was mere moments from being rid of Tucker Martel. He admitted that Tucker had gotten further than he had expected but he was going to fall, just like everyone else who had tried to stand against Lord Nostory.
Tucker knew that he was only mere moments from falling unconscious or even worse, if Jessica tightened her grip on him any further he would be a dead man. He was on his last legs and he knew that if he didn't do something quickly he would die. Unfortunately he had realised before the start of the trial that he was in an unwinnable situation. He had only one option to try and save himself.
"Please Jessica," begged Tucker once again in one final attempt to convince his friend to stop crushing him. "I love you."
Tucker had not really expected anything to change but he definitely felt her grip around him loosen slightly and when he looked in Jessica's face he could see more tears rolling down her cheek. He didn't know exactly what was happening but it seemed that it was giving him a few more moments of life.
"T-Tucker?" replied Jessica stuttering with her words and they were the first truly independent words that had come out of her mouth since Lord Nostory had placed her under his spell.
Suddenly the necklace around her neck began to glow brightly and Tucker had to close his eyes so that he wasn't blinded by the light. Jessica screamed out in pain and even Lord Nostory had taken notice of what was happening. For the first time since obtaining Jessica he actually felt nervous. He wanted to make a move but found himself unable to stop himself from looking what was happening.
The glowing lasted for several seconds before subsiding and Jessica began to breathe heavily. She dropped to one knee but she didn't drop Tucker, her tight grip had transformed into a gentle one and he was no longer in pain. Jessica began to sob uncontrollably and she looked at the seemingly tiny man in her hand. He was still trying to catch his breath after being crushed in the manner than he was and she knew that she was responsible, she was the one who had been squeezing him and she looked at him as if he was about to end their friendship.
"Tucker I'm so sorry that I hurt you," cried Jessica as her mental wounds were coming to the surface. "I could see what I was doing and yet I couldn't stop myself. I almost killed you and I couldn't stop."
"It's alright Jessica," replied Tucker trying to comfort her the best way that he could. "It's not your fault."
"I know it's not." She looked towards Lord Nostory who was still in his seat but rather than being excited he was now feeling a wave of terror. Almost instantly all the sorrow washed away from her and she felt anger take over her body. "IT'S HIS!"