By the next day the village was slowly shrinking behind the pair as they walked away from it. They were carrying some food that they had bought while they were there and it was a little heavier than they had expected. Jessica could still remember when she had been in the market. She had seen most of the people staring at her when they had walked passed and one of the store owners even made a comment that she had found hurtful. Rather than striking the offender she had just walked away.
Sir Tucker had been vigilante at the market as well as he thought that someone might try and steal his money from him. It had happened to him before and it was an experience that he wasn't keen on repeating. At least with staying by Jessica her size was intimidating for most people and they tended to stay away.
The food they picked up included some fruit and some salted meat. The meat wouldn't taste particularly nice but it would last them a while and Jessica promised that she wouldn't eat as much as usual. They didn't know how long it would take them to reach civilisation again on their trek to Three Man's Treasure so the food was going to have to last them a while. They did have the option of picking fruit along the way.
Unfortunately the weather didn't look like it was going to be nice for long. Although the sun was shining there were plenty of black clouds in the sky which was clear that it was going to rain very soon. They wanted to make as much progress as they could before the rain came down upon them.
Much to Sir Tucker's annoyance they were not travelling as fast as he would have liked. Unfortunately due to Jessica's injury she still couldn't grow in size so she couldn't carry him and walk in minutes what would take a man a day. Her health was his concern however and he didn't want to do anything that could seriously jeopardise her health. He was acting as her protector which she appreciated. For her it was nice knowing that there was someone looking out for her for once.
After a few hours of walking the pair eventually came to a wooded area. Rather than going through it they thought that it was best to go around but as they walked they began to hear something coming from inside. At first it wasn't intelligible but after a few moments Jessica could tell that it was someone calling out for help. Sir Tucker couldn't really hear it and he wanted to continue on but Jessica wouldn't let him. She refused to leave someone in danger and he knew that he couldn't change her mind.
With some reluctance Sir Tucker went inside of the forest with Jessica closely behind him. The canopy of the forest was very thick so it was hard for him to see, the light from the sun was struggling to get through and gave the forest a dark and eerie appearance. Sir Tucker was not intimidated at all, he thought that he could deal with anything that came their way.
"I've got a bad feeling about this," said Sir Tucker as he took a few steps forwards. He knew that they were famous last words but he still spoke them anyway. He felt that the situation at hand called for it.
"There's nothing to be afraid of," replied Jessica. She was still listening out for the cries for help. She couldn't hear it very well but she could still hear it. "There's someone who's depending on us."
"I think we should be cautious, there's no telling just what could be here. It's so dark that we might not see danger until it is too late."
"There's nothing that she be able to trouble us. You're a mighty knight and although I might be stuck at this size for now I'm still stronger than a normal person. They wouldn't stand a chance against us."
"Right now I wish that I had your confidence." Juggernaut was in his hand as he was waiting to strike it against anything that he viewed as a threat. Just because he was being vigilante didn't mean that he could panic.
Slowly but surely the pair made their way towards where they could hear the calls for help. It seemed like the call of a child and with each step they took it sounded like the voice was getting louder. Eventually they got close enough for Jessica to shout out towards the child. There was no response besides the words help me over and over again. This made Sir Tucker suspicious as he thought that this might be some kind of trap. However he couldn't turn back without Jessica who he knew wouldn't leave until she knew that the child was fine. She had scared a few in the past with her size and she didn't wish that to happen to any other child even though in her case it had been unintentional.
Besides the calls for help Sir Tucker was listening for anything else that should give them some concern. This whole situation seemed to be very suspicious, they had been walking quite deep into the forest and so far they hadn't seen this child who was still calling out for help. Jessica seemed to be blinded by her desire to help people in need that she wasn't seeing the suspicious things taking place around her. That's what she had Sir Tucker for who was constantly looking around.
One thing that they didn't notice however was that there was a blowpipe sticking out from one of the bushes. They were waiting for the time to be just right when they quickly blew on the pipe and this shot forwards a dart that went flying through the air. The dart struck Jessica in her good arm but to her it was no more than a bee sting. It did cause her a bit of pain but she began to feel her body becoming a little heavier.
This was when Sir Tucker decided to turn around and just as he did another dart came towards him but this one struck his shield. This had not gone unnoticed as he saw the dart landing on the ground by his feet. This was his first indication that they were under attack but he didn't notice another dart come from behind and strike him in the neck. Unfortunately that section was unarmoured and he felt his body becoming heavier and his vision was beginning to blur. It was only a few moments after that before his head went crashing into the ground along with the rest of his body.
"Tucker!" shouted Jessica as she realised what was happening. She too was under the influence of the drug that had knocked Sir Tucker out but she was able to shake it off much easier than him.
Unfortunately for Jessica she felt another sting as another dart pierced her skin and injected her with the drug. This only made her slower but she still tried to tend to Sir Tucker as quickly as possible. She knew that they were under attack but her main concern was her best friend. She felt another dart strike her but this time it was on her cast so it deflected away from her.
Their attackers were surprised with what was happening, the darts that they had fired were strong enough to knock a man out in seconds. Jessica had received two already and was still on her feet. They fired more darts at her and three additional darts found their target. With five darts in her now Jessica was more than slow, she was feeling lightheaded and she felt that she could collapse at any moment. However instead of falling she just kept went to tend to Sir Tucker instead.
She didn't realise that she had enough of the drug in her system to kill a bear and it was only her size and strength that had prevented her from falling. This however was nullified when a sixth and final dart went into her back. Finally her body had absorbed too much of the drug to keep her conscious and she felt the world around her go black. She fell and hit the ground hard. Thankfully there were no injuries but the last thing she saw were some feet coming closer to her. She could see two pairs coming towards her but she couldn't do anything to stop them as everything around her faded away.
When Jessica woke up she felt very sick. There was one part of her body that ached her more than her arm and that was her head. She slowly began to sit herself up but as she did she felt her breakfast coming back up and she vomited the contents of her stomach right on the ground. The smell of it wasn't too pleasant and she noticed that her body was still feeling very heavy. Her vision had yet to fully come back but she tried to get back up to her feet but for the time being that was impossible.
As her vision began to return to her she noticed that she was still lying in the forest. However she could tell that she had moved from where she had fallen. She could see that she was relatively close to a small stream that flowed inside the forest but that wasn't the most distressing thing for her. What she was afraid to see was the fact that her best friend was nowhere in sight.
More than once Jessica tried to call out for him but she had no voice to do this. The drug that was in her system still had a tight grip around her and prevented her from doing almost anything. However her metabolism was burning through it much faster than a normal person but the sheer quantity inside of her made it difficult for her to move.
Suddenly she began to hear a couple of voices around her and for the moment she couldn't hear exactly what they were saying but she thought that they sounded surprised. She suspected that they were surprised by the sheer fact that she was awake. They knew how many darts she had taken and the fact that she was even awake so quickly after taking so much of the drug.
Cautiously one of the men began to step towards her in order to inspect her condition. Unfortunately he came too close and she was able grab him by the ankle and easily pull him down to the ground. She began to get herself back up but she felt a strong strike to her back. She didn't feel much pain but that was thanks to the drug. She couldn't properly see the men around her but she didn't need her sight to be completely there in order to protect herself from danger.
Instinctively Jessica began to grow but quickly she felt her arm squeezing in the cast as it refused to grow with the rest of her body. This caused her pain and quickly she shrank herself back down to normal. Since her size increase had only been a few inches before she was forced to shrink no one had actually noticed.
"W-where is he?" asked Jessica in a relatively quiet voice. This was all that she could muster out for the time being but she was close from being finished. She found herself being given the strength to get back up to her feet.
The two men around her took a step back when they saw her at her full height. They had seen her from a distance but seeing her up close like this was something else entirely. They were very intimidated to look up to a woman who stood at over eight feet in height. They had heard about a giant woman recently but they thought that it was a stupid story purely to entertain people.
Rather than being struck in the back again this time Jessica was struck in the back of her knee that made her fall down in a heap. She was able to pick herself up a little but the two men were in a state of panic. They had used all their darts knocking her out the first time and they didn't have any left to try and knock her out now. One of the men tried to kick her in the face as she was down. Unfortunately for him she grabbed his ankle and was able to throw him to one side.
By this point self-preservation was all that was on Jessica's mind but the more she fought the more of the drug burned out from her body. Her sight was returning more and more and she could see that these men. They were both much shorter than she had expected and much skinnier.
They looked to be quite malnourished and it was obvious that their tactics were not with overpowering people but instead to simply take them down quickly and stealthfully with their weapons. However Jessica seemed to be stronger than they had originally anticipated as she was overpowering whatever they threw at her.
With what strength that she had she picked up one man by his neck and brought him up to her level. She didn't squeeze his neck so that he was able to talk to her. He seemed to be scared enough and people being afraid of her always made her sad. However she was still annoyed and wanted answers.
"Where is he?" asked Jessica in a somewhat aggressive voice. Her anger seemed to be bubbling over.
"Who?" replied the man. He was trying to play dumb but she wasn't in the mood for his games. He felt her grip around his neck tighten and it almost seemed like she could snap it with ease.
"Don't play games with me. Tell me where my friend is right now!" The last word that she had muttered was much more like a shout. Despite the fact that she was a gentle person she thought by using her size to intimidate was better than using her strength to hurt him. She had no intention of causing him any real harm but her mood wasn't the greatest and something bad would happen.
"Oh him, I don't know." There was some nervousness in his voice as he was beginning to struggle to breathe.
"You're lying to me. If there's one thing that I hate its people that lie to me." Rather than increasing the grip of her hand she stared him in the eyes and it only increased his fear. "Tell me where he is now or else I won't be held responsible for my actions."
"Seriously I don't know where he is. He was taken away before we could get to you and I don't know where he is."
"Who took him?" She could tell that he probably wasn't lying and that probably scared her more than the man was at this moment in time.
"The scavengers dragged him away, if I were you I would forget about him for your own sake. We were just going to rob you, they however would do much worse than steal your belongings."
"Which way did they go?"
"That way." He pointed in a particular direction that led further into the forest. The next thing he felt was the ground beneath him as Jessica released her grip and allowed him to fall to the ground. He quickly staggered up to his feet and he was easily a good two and a half feet shorter than her.
"Now you and your friend get out of my sight right now and if I ever see you again I won't be so nice."
The second man had gotten back up to his feet and they both began to run as far away from as they could. She gave a sigh of relief as she saw them leaving and when she looked in the direction that they had pointed out she began to wonder. She thought that the man might have been lying to her but it was a risk she was going to have to take anyway. She didn't want to lose him so soon after they had come together again.
Jessica's first step was a rocky one as the drug was still being burned out of her system. She felt that her legs were very wobbly and they seemed like they would give out on her at any moment. It was a scary thought for that to happen but she pushed on nonetheless with Sir Tucker's life being on the line.
She was still recovering however as her head still ached and every now and again the world around her felt like it was spinning. Whatever she had been drugged with was powerful and it was a miracle that she was on her feet so quickly. She did feel guilty about what had happened since it was her decision to go inside the forest but she couldn't dwell on this now. She accepted that she could feel guilty afterwards but until then she had to keep her head in the game and find Sir Tucker before it was too late. She thought that these Scavengers might scavenge more than people's belongings.
As Jessica continued to walk she thought that she was getting her strength back as the drug continued to wear off on her. Fortunately it didn't seem like it would be long until she was back to full strength but she was still light on her feet. She staggered every now and again and she had to use a tree from time to time to support herself. If she had anything left in her stomach she would have brought it back up.
The drug that she had been injected with was originally from a flower that grew inside of the forest. Quite a lot of healers would use it to help put people to sleep when they were going through certain healing sessions. It was also used by hunters who wished to bring their prey in alive but large doses of it would be enough to kill a person. For that reason only people with significant training with it were allowed to use it.
Jessica's body was fighting the drug as best as it could but it was still taking time for it to completely burn out of her. Her metabolism was unlike anyone else's in Angleland and it was one reason why she could never get drunk no matter how much she drank. It also prevented her from receiving most illnesses although it didn't help her too much when it came to physical injuries. The best that her metabolism could do was prevent her wounds from being infected. This was not thanks to her size but rather the potion that had been used on her as a baby to save her life.
She could still hear the birds singing in the trees but she couldn't see them when she looked up. She couldn't even tell what time of day it was or even how long she had been asleep for, this only added to her frustration. More than once she was tempted to just grow and have her arm break out of the cast but she knew that it would only cause her more harm than good and she just continued on.
One thing that she did notice on the ground were footprints and she saw this as a positive sign. She hoped that they would lead her to Sir Tucker so that she would be able to rescue him, she knew that she had let him deal with his own defence but she felt that this was a different circumstance altogether. He had been knocked out just like her and she believed that he was defenceless.
"Come on Jessica just keep going," said Jessica to herself as she felt like she was going to collapse a couple of times. "If you fall now Tucker is as good as bed, that's if it's not already too late."
Suddenly Jessica saw someone walking towards her. At first she thought that it was one of the Scavengers who had taken Sir Tucker. She was ready for a fight but her body wasn't, she was still feeling the effects of the drug. She was more likely to fall over than actually be able to hit anyone. She was just too stubborn to admit that she was in no shape to be fighting anybody.
As the figure claim closer Jessica began to pick up speed as she wanted to face this figure as soon as possible. But as she got closer she began to see that the figure was none other than Sir Tucker. At first she believed that her eyes were playing tricks on her but as they came closer she realised that it was actually him. She was completely speechless but she did hear him call out of her name.
"Tucker is that you?" asked Jessica as she was still unsure with what she was seeing. Her head was still all over the place.
"Yeah I'm here," replied Sir Tucker as he approached her. She almost fell but he was able to grab her and help support her before she went down to the ground. This was a great effort for him but using all his strength to keep her upright. "I thought I might be looking for you for a while but I see that luck was on my side."
"Thank the gods I found you." She smiled at him and she was beginning to support her own weight. "But what happened to you? I heard that the Scavengers had dragged you away. I was worried about you."
"I told you that you didn't need to worry about me." He smiled at her although he wasn't as steady as he would have liked. Just like Jessica he was still fighting the effects of the drug but he hadn't be exposed to as much as her so he was having an easier time. "I can take care of myself."
"But how did you escape?" She was still in disbelief and she thought that he must have had a harrowing story to go with this escape.
"Escape? What are you talking about?"
"I was told that you got taken by the Scavengers."
"And who told you a crazy thing like that? I just woke up and tried to find you. There were no scavengers or anything like that. I was just lucky to find you so quickly."
"What?" She began to feel a small amount of anger inside of her as she realised that the two men had indeed lied to her and like a fool she had fallen for it. They had simply told her that Sir Tucker was in danger just so that they could get away from her. She guessed that they must have had to work together to carry her away so they had simply left Sir Tucker where he had lay. "If I get my hands on that pair I swear..." She couldn't really finish off her sentence as she was just annoyed and she didn't want to do anything that she might regret. However she was happy to see that Sir Tucker was fine.
"They're gone now and that's what's important. We're together once again and nothing else really matters."
"Y-you're right." She gave a sigh as she calmed herself down. She didn't need to become so angry over what had happened. She didn't like to think what might have happened if she hadn't of woken up so quickly. One thing was for sure was that if she saw them again they would soon regret it. "We're both safe but did you find out who was calling for help?" She still thought about the child's voice they had heard before.
"No I didn't but I'm pretty sure that it stopped shortly after we were attacked, most likely it is some kind of trap that we fell for."
"Fooled again." She gave a sigh as she was disappointed with herself for falling for another trick. She began to think that she wasn't as intelligent as she had thought. She was going down the lines of the classical stereotype of a really big and strong person who wasn't very intelligent.
"Don't beat yourself up over it. You did what you thought was right and in my book that's always a good thing."
"Thanks Tucker." She was able to stand properly under her own strength. "You always seem to know the right thing to say to make me feel better." She gave him a smile and she was tempted to hug him but she didn't want to collapse on him.
"Well they don't call me Sir Tucker the Compassionate for nothing." He struck another of his poses which he only ever seemed to do for her.
"They don't call you that." She chuckled as she knew that he was trying to be like a classical knight from fantastical tales.
"They might do one day. Or maybe they'll call me by another name like Sir Tucker the Brave or Sir Tucker the Mighty. Just as long as it's not something like Sir Tucker the Flamboyant or Sir Tucker the Slow." He began to shudder for a moment. "None of those names would do."
"Very well my brave knight." She then chuckled even more and he could see that his efforts to make her feel better had actually succeeded. This made him feel happy and it was just another moment that the pair had together. "If you wouldn't mind may I bestow you your title."
"Nothing would give me greater joy my lady." He bowed to her as if she were a high born lady. To him she was a lady in every sense of the word.
"In that case I dub thee Sir Tucker the Constant." She smiled at him and he lifted his head up and looked at him with some confusion.
"The Constant?" He was very confused with the title that she had given him. To him it didn't make a lot of sense but he knew that his friend would explain to him why she had named him that,
"Of course because you've been a constant in my life. You were always there for me and you've always made me feel better about myself. Plus I don't think any other knight has that name."
"Well I do admit that it is unique." He stood back up to his full height. Even so he was only at her chest which was a better view than he would admit. "Very well my lady from this day I will be Sir Tucker the Constant, knight of the realm and personal friend to Jessica the Kind." He held out his hand to her, he made sure that it was his left hand so that her right hand could grab it. "May I lead you out of this forest so that we may continue on with our quest? Between you and me I've had enough of it for one day."
"Nothing would bring me more joy good sir knight."
Gently Jessica gabbed onto Sir Tucker's hand and although it was much larger than his and it was not lady like to have larger hands than a man. However this meant nothing to the pair as they began to walk away. It was like they had been back at Morgan where Sir Tucker would pretend to be a knight and Jessica be a lady who needed help. However this was not a game as they were both adults and Sir Tucker had truly become a knight. Jessica might not have been a lady but she still needed help and her best friend was the only one who could help her.
The pair just continued their walk through the forest and they knew that each step they took brought them closer and closer to the end of their quest and hopefully to the wealth and glory that they had been seeking.