Sir Tucker was sitting in the inn and he was drinking some much needed ale and eating a nice warm meal. He was having to use up some gold that he had earned to pay for all of this but he didn't mind. He had more than enough gold to spare and after everything that had happened he thought that he earned all of this. Each bite he took was like a breath of fresh air to him as he began to eat away.
The others in the inn let him be and just went away on their own business. Some were just talking amongst themselves while others were playing games where the winners might just walk away substantially richer. He could even hear some of the people there singing to one another in their drunken happiness. They were far from the best singers in Angleland but Sir Tucker was able to phase them out, it would take a few drinks for this to be possible but he could still do it easily enough.
One thing that Sir Tucker did keep in mind was to make sure that he didn't overspend his money. He was no fool and he kept an eye out on just how much he was spending, the last thing he wanted to do was to give away the money that he had just earned. Then he would truly be a fool.
There was one thing that did catch Sir Tucker's attention, he could overhear some people on the table right next to him. They were telling stories to one another and one in particular seemed to sound familiar. It was about a giant woman being spotted in various places over Angleland. They described her as being tall enough to reach the clouds and powerful enough to move mountains. She was described as being a horrible monster who could crush a man as easily as she could draw breath. He heard them saying that hundreds of men had died trying to kill her but none had succeeded.
Sir Tucker found this story to be ridiculous. He knew that they were talking about Jessica but almost everything they were saying about her was pure fiction. He thought that she would be horrified by what she was hearing if they were there but rather than making a scene of it he just let it slide.
If he had picked up a fuss then things might have gone very badly for him. For starters there were four of them where he was only one and from the looks of them they knew how to handle a sword. He was confident that he might have taken one or two down by himself but the truth was that he couldn't beat all four of them. Plus senseless violence wasn't something that he liked to see never mind instigate it.
Sir Tucker just wondered if there were any stories about Jessica that painted her in a positive light. He had seen her do more good than he ever could and if just one of these stories stated this he would be happy. He did wonder how she was getting on but he thought that she was more than capable of looking after herself.
After a while of being in the inn Sir Tucker took a walk around the village to see if there was anything going on. Sitting in the inn all day did get pretty boring and he wanted to see if there was anything interesting happening. Such a place as this was surely to have something that might be worth noticing. However a small sleepy village would not be too farfetched for him to believe.
The weather outside was overcast but he took little notice of this as he continued to move through the village. All he could really see was people just going about their daily business and practically none of them took much notice of him. There were a few people selling some things on the street but none of them were selling anything that he really wanted. If anything it seemed that the village wasn't really that interesting at all. In a way that was a good thing because it meant that there wasn't going to be any nasty surprises. He had enough of those to last him a good long while. Now all he really needed to do was wait a little longer before setting off to meet Jessica again.
One thing that Sir Tucker did notice while walking through the village was that there were a few people who were playing a game which involved kicking a ball through what seemed to be a goal. It was supposedly a new sport which was beginning to take route in Angleland, it looked to be quite fun but rather than taking part he just sat on the side lines and watched like many other people.
From what Sir Tucker could see there were two teams who were split into five each. They were playing the newly invented game and while he was watching he was trying to work out just what the rules were. The first one that he noticed was that only two particular people were allowed to handle the ball while the rest of them could only kick it. Even then the people who were allowed to pick up the ball could only do this in a certain area of the field. When the ball was kicked into the goal the team would gain a point and it was obvious that the team with the most points won the match.
Rather than being a competitive match it was more like a bit of fun between all involved. This did make things a little more enjoyable for everyone watching since the teams were having fun more than anything else. There was even another man in the game who wasn't playing for either team. He was just there so that he could make sure that everyone was sticking to the rules.
Everyone cheered with each goal that was scored and Sir Tucker couldn't help but cheer despite who had scored it. Eventually however the game was stopped and although everyone had lost count with what the scores were since it had all been for fun no one really seemed to mind.
With the game now over Sir Tucker took his leave and made his way back to the inn. He did wonder if there was anything going on and as soon as he entered he saw two men having a drinking contest. One man was a very large muscular man who looked to be able to drink an entire ocean. The other was a slender man who looked like a small gust of wind would have been able to push him over. If anything this looked to be a no contest between the two but Sir Tucker overheard just how much both men had drunk. For someone the size of the slim man he would have been knocked out by the alcohol by now but he was still sitting there drinking each drink as they came.
On the other hand the larger man seemed to be having more difficulty holding his drink. He looked over at the slimmer man and he couldn't believe that he was still going. He would have called afoul long before now if he hadn't been certain that they were drinking the same ale. Both of their drinks were being poured from the same jug and while the larger man was struggling the slimmer man drank it as if it were water. Neither seemed to be backing down any time soon.
The people watching were already taking bets on who would win. At first the larger man was the odds on favourite but as people could see that the slimmer man was taking an advantage many of the bets were turning to him. Rather than having an aggressive stance or even a drunken one the slimmer man remained calm and collective. He thanked the innkeeper for each cup of ale that was poured before drinking its entire contents. He would have to wait for his opponent to finish his drink before another one could be poured.
Eventually the larger man finally had one drink too many and collapsed onto the table. There was a loud cheer from the crowd along with some disbelief when the slimmer man was declared the victor. Once again rather than outright celebrating the slimmer man took it in his stride and thanked everyone for watching.
Sir Tucker saw that the slimmer man didn't seem to look like the norm in Angleland. He was a relatively short man with a shaven head and he wore a yellow robe with simple sandals. Other than that he seemed to carry no other possessions besides a small pouch of gold which was tied to his belt. His face also seemed to be quite strange in comparison to that of the average man in Angleland. His face was not of anyone that he had ever seen and his skin was slightly darker than the average man.
Eventually Sir Tucker asked one of the people in the inn who this slim man was. He stated that the slim man's name was too difficult to pronounce and that he was from a land far away from Angleland. He had travelled here over a long period of time but he had not stated what his intentions were. He had been mocked by the bigger man but rather than resorting to violence they had engaged in a drinking contest that Sir Tucker had just witnessed. Other than that little else was known about the man.
Before Sir Tucker could take another good look at the slimmer man he had already paid for his drinks and left. It was a very odd occurrence but rather than finding out exactly who this man was he decided to just allow him to go by his business. Sir Tucker felt that he couldn't gain anything through meeting him and that the man most likely just wanted to be left by himself and to go on with his business unimpeded.
Instead Sir Tucker just bought another ale, it was beginning to get late and on the morrow he would go and meet up with Jessica again. He did consider booking a room but he wanted to keep as much of his money as he could since he didn't know how long it would be before he had anymore. Of course he was expecting to become the richest man in Angleland very soon but for the time being he had to watch his money.
Instead he decided to sleep near a hedge just outside of the village. It wasn't the most comfortable of places to sleep but at least sleeping there it was free. He just looked up at the stars and thought of Jessica. He wondered how she was doing and he didn't realise that she too was sleeping under a plant. Where he was sleeping under a hedge she was still sleeping under a tree. He had no idea of her injuries and the fact that for the next several weeks she couldn't grow.
Instead Sir Tucker slowly drifted off to sleep and he was in a land of nothingness until he woke up the next morning. The sun was shining bright and it was very warm, much warmer than he had anticipated. It also took him a few moments to realise that this was the day that he was to meet up with Jessica again.
Before heading out to where he had agreed to meet her he decided to go back into the village so that he could find some much needed supplies such as food and water. It wasn't too hard to find what he was looking for and he made sure not to spend too much. He only purchased the basics and nothing more.
With his much needed supplies Sir Tucker began to walk towards where he had agreed to meet with Jessica. This was just outside of the entrance to the third trial and to him it felt like a long time has passed since they had completed it. A lot had happened for both of them and it almost seemed like a lifetime ago. Both had been involved in life and death situations which had changed them both.
Some miles away Jessica was also waking up but her arm still ached and it was just another reminder of her broken arm. The first thing that she felt was hunger but rather than give into it she knew that she had to keep going. She knew that there was still a bit of a distance for her to go before reaching the meeting point.
Unfortunately Jessica's back was also aching after sleeping on the ground. She tried to stretch herself to make it feel better but unfortunately it wasn't working very well for her. She would just have to deal with it for now.
One thing that she was glad about was the weather which was also very warm. There wasn't a cloud in the sky so another rain shower was unlikely. If she had gotten caught again she didn't know if she would have been able to find anywhere that she could have used as a shelter. She had been able to calm one bear but if she had run into another she didn't think that her luck would have been able to hold. It was just something that she would have to keep in mind, she had been lucky for now.
Jessica continued her walk and thankfully for her the giant size footprints were still in the ground. It might take some time before they were filled but for the moment they were a great marker. She knew that as long as she followed them she would reach the meeting point and finally see Sir Tucker once again.
The anger and frustration that she had felt towards him after their argument seemed to have dissipated by now. All she wanted to do was to meet up with him and just hug him dearly, he meant more to her than life itself and she just wanted to put their disagreements behind them. She didn't realise just how much he truly meant to her before this little separation of theirs. She also knew that what Sir Tucker had said was true, if they had continued to speak to each other when they were both angry it would have led them to say things that they would later on regret. At least now when they met again she felt that they could speak to one another as rational human beings.
One thing that Jessica could hear was the birds singing to one another in the nearby trees. It was a pleasant sound to her and it made her think about whenever birds would land on her when she was at her normal size. When she was that big the birds looked no bigger than insects to her. She would never force them off of her unless thought that it might cause her to lose concentration.
Right now she really wished that she grow to her normal size just so her trip would be much shorter. It was one of the few times that she actually liked being big but she was torn between the two sizes. When she was at her smallest she might be at least two feet taller than the average man but at least she could do more normal things such as being able to go inside a building or eat a relatively normal meal. At her full size she might look like a monster but she had found many advantages to the size. Above all else her full size was her true height as the gods had dictated, when she shrank she felt like she was hiding her true self.
Jessica was lost in her thoughts and wasn't really concentrating on where she was going. Because of this she almost walked into a tree, she was just able to stop herself before she actually impacted it. If she had of struck the tree she wouldn't have hurt herself that much but she would have been embarrassed more than anything else. She was just glad that no one was around to see what had taken place. If she did she probably would have blushed until she was completely red.
After a few more hours of walking Jessica felt fatigued again but she knew that she wasn't far from the meeting point. She could almost see it from where she was although it was still a few miles away. She knew that Sir Tucker would be surprised to see her walking towards him at this size. He would have thought that she would be her normal size to cover more ground, she would tell him about her cast a little later after their first greetings to one another. She thought that he might have had a boring time without her, she had no idea about the hardship that he had been through during their separation.
On the flip side Sir Tucker had no idea about what had happened to Jessica. He had nearly completed his own walk to the meeting point and like Jessica he had slept quite rough that night. However he was more used to sleeping on the ground than her so to him it wasn't that big of a deal.
He did eat a little food to get him up and going before he started his walk. He did check his person just to make sure that he still had all his personal effects. The last thing that he wanted was to have been robbed during the night. Thankfully everything was in order so he could go on his journey unimpeded.
One thing that Sir Tucker did miss about Jessica was the fact that she could carry him to wherever they needed to go. It certainly made walking from one place to another much faster and he didn't even need to walk anywhere. Plus the view that he could see from her shoulder was more than anyone could ever hope to see. It was something that he missed but the knowledge that Jessica was there was what made those kind of moments truly special to the both of them.
Unlike Jessica Sir Tucker's walk to the meeting place was not as far. He would make it within a good hour or so. He did look out to see if he could see her as he walked, at her full size she could be seen from quite a distance. At least then he would know that she wasn't far from him.
Eventually Sir Tucker reached the meeting point and he saw that Jessica wasn't there yet. Rather than getting worried he just sat there and began to wait. Since he didn't know how long he would have to wait he decided to practice some more of his swordplay. There was no one around to be a sparring partner or anything that he could strike so he decided to use his imagination instead. He kept a firm grip on Juggernaut along with his sword as he pretended to fight against another opponent.
Not only did Sir Tucker practice his strikes but he also wanted to practice with his blocking. He pretend that his opponent was striking him so he would lift up his shield as if he were blocking the attack. He remembered the stance that he had to make to ensure that most of his body was being blocked by the shield.
As he practiced time around him seemed to slip by as he wasn't paying attention to just how long he was practicing for. He had been at it for a couple of hours before he heard something that caught him by surprise. It was someone calling his name and when he turned he saw Jessica standing a short distance from him. Both of them stood there in silence for a few moments until Sir Tucker put his sword and shield away.
Before another word was spoken the pair walked towards one another and they each found themselves embracing the other in a hug. They had only been apart for three days but it had felt like it had been years. Unfortunately they had to break off the hug when Jessica gave a small cry of pain from her arm.
"Are you alright?" asked Sir Tucker with a lot of concern in his voice. It was rare that he heard Jessica in agony.
"I'll be fine," replied Jessica as she tried to downplay just how much the hug had hurt her arm. "Is everything alright with you? I was worried about you." This time it was her turn to show concern.
"There was no need for that." He gave her a confident smile and placed his hands on his hips. "I'm a knight of the realm now, I can look after myself although your assistance would have been greatly appreciated a few times."
"Why what happened?"
"I'll explain later, there's a village not too far away from here that we can have a proper talk. Besides you look pretty hungry and a nice warm meal is just what you need." He smiled at her again but this time it was one that showed compassion.
"That sounds lovely and I have a lot to tell you as well. But can I have a rest first, I've walked a very long way." She was very tired and one of the last things that she wanted was to go on another long walk
"Yeah sure and as soon as you're rested you can grow and then we'd get to the village in no time." He had no idea about her injury and just assumed that she could still grow. With how they had met up he thought that their relationship had repaired to the point where she would carry him.
"Actually that's something I can't do for a while." There was disappointment in her voice as she couldn't be her true self. "For now don't ask me why, like you I'll explain everything when we get to that inn later. I've had quite an eventful time while we've been apart and it has really taken a lot out of me."
"Ok that's fine." He did become concerned but he would allow her to tell him in her own time.
Jessica sat herself down on the ground and allowed herself to rest before having to walk again. She knew that she couldn't rest for that long as once again it was getting late and darkness would cover the land before long. She did feel happy however as she was with Sir Tucker once again, she thought that he looked stronger than he had done before and even a little more confident.
Sir Tucker sat down besides his friend and he remained on her right side. He did begin to hear a loud growling sound, this wasn't a dangerous animal that was stalking them but instead was Jessica's stomach. She was hungrier than she would have liked to have admitted but she kept it to herself. Sir Tucker on the other hand knew that she was hungry so he gave her a couple of apples that he had bought in the village. Jessica thanked him before eating the apples.
As soon as Jessica began to eat the apples she discovered that she couldn't stop and after very few bites both apples had been consumed. They were not enough to satisfy her hunger but it was enough to make her a feel a little less hungry than before. It would take a lot of food to satisfy her but the gesture that Sir Tucker was more appreciated than he realised. She could see that he did truly care about her.
Before standing back up using her good arm picked out the map that she had kept in her dress. It had been right on her back and this had allowed her to have the use of her arm without worry about carrying the map. Without reluctance she passed it over to Sir Tucker who was more than happy to receive it. The first thing that he did was unfold it so that he could see the location of Three Man's Treasure. Previously he had not had an opportunity to look at it but now that he could see it he truly felt that he was one step closer to achieving their quest.
Eventually Jessica had rested as much as she wanted and the pair began the walk to the village. Sir Tucker still didn't know why she just didn't grow and make the trip much shorter but if she told that she couldn't he had no choice but to believe her. It was an inconvenience to him but he knew that he would know all when they sat down at the inn and ate together once again.
Sir Tucker was thinking about what he was going to say to her. He was going to tell her about the triumph that he experienced fighting a man much larger than him in unarmed combat. There was also the sadness of when he had reached Kermit's home to find that the older man's wife had died shortly before. His thoughts were with Kermit and he just hoped that things would turn out for the best for him. Kermit had suffered a great loss but his life wasn't over, he still had much to live for and he needed to realise this before he could properly move on.
As they walked Sir Tucker and Jessica did have a little small talk and she mentioned how she was almost soaked through thanks to the rain that had happened the previous day. At that time Sir Tucker had been inside and thus well sheltered from any rain unlike his best friend who had stayed in a cave.
Sir Tucker did mention about the slim man that he had seen winning the drinking contest. It was not so much that he had won but the fact that the slim man looked completely different to anyone that he had seen before. He knew of other lands far away with people and culture that people of Angleland would see as being odd. Jessica did think that if she had faced him in a drinking contest that she would have won, her size gave her great metabolism when it came to drinking.
After a couple of hours of walking they eventually saw the village a short distance away and for both it was a relief. Jessica had burned off all the energy that she had gained through eating the apples. She was now very hungry again and she was looking forward to a nice warm meal that Sir Tucker had promised to her.
Sir Tucker took Jessica to the inn and as she entered a few people turned their heads when they saw the very tall woman entering. It looked a little funny seeing a woman tower over a knight by around two feet. They ignored the stares and just went to the innkeeper to order some food. Jessica would have liked to have ordered something small but her hunger demanded that she eat something more substantial. Eventually she did order enough to easily feed three people but Sir Tucker didn't mind this. He still had more than enough money to cover the cost.
As soon as the food was ordered they sat themselves down at a table. The stool that Jessica sat on creaked under her weight but for the time being it held her weight. Now that they were at the inn they felt that they could talk to one another about what had happened while they had been apart from each other. They hadn't fully decided whether to remain together for the quest but at least now they could talk to one another. Their anger had completely subsided so now they could be more rational.
"Now that we're here shall we start discussing some important business," said Sir Tucker. He had placed his sword on the ground so that he could sit more comfortably. "I will allow you to start."
"Thank you," replied Jessica. She gave a sigh as she prepared for what she was about to say. "We've known each other for many years and I think it is as impossible for me to think of how my life would be without you as you think about a life without me. On this quest we have seen and experienced things that many people can only dream about. Unfortunately along the way we have encountered some problems. We have both been very angry at each other but what we have is more important than that." She gave a sigh as she continued on with what she was saying. "When you had sex with Gwen I won't lie when I tell you that I felt betrayed. I was the one who was supposed to be your first but yet your first turned out to be some demi-goddess who has an attitude problem. However why you did it is something I can't help but feel was honourable. You thought that you would lose me forever and only by doing what you did you thought that you would save me. Better still you told me about what had happened, most men would have kept it to themselves but you actually told me despite the fact that I had the power to easily crush you. That was something that took true courage and I forgive you for what you did and I really hope that we can move forwards from that. However the blame for what happened between us is my own fault as much as yours, numerous times you have told me that you can look out for yourself and yet I've stepped in and took care of things for you. Believe me your safety was all that I was concerned with but now I can see that you're no longer the boy who used to play with sticks. You're a full-fledged knight who has more than earned his title. I see now that you no longer need my full protection but that doesn't mean that I won't be there to help you along the way. You are more than a capable man but there are times when even the most capable people need help from their friends from time to time. I know what I did to you was wrong when I knocked you out but believe me I had the best of intentions and your anger towards me was just. I now ask, no I beg for your forgiveness. I was wrong to do what I did and I can only hope that you forgive me for my deeds."
Sir Tucker sat there for a few moments and allowed everything that Jessica had just said to him to sink in. She had just poured her heart to him and he could see that she was truly sorry for what she had done. Also the fact that she had forgiven him was a huge relief for him. He too had been sorry for what he had done and now he was seeing that she was looking passed it. He went to say what he wanted to say but he saw the innkeeper approaching them with the food that they had just ordered. This broke his train of thought as both of their hunger began to win out.