With victory achieved on the battlefield Lady O'Hare's troops made their way back to Featherstone. Lord Sherringham's forces had done the same, they were defeated but alive. However they had lost all of their swords which had been picked up by Lady O'Hare's forces upon her command. Many were still celebrating their victory and it was obvious that there was going to be a large celebration upon their return.
Lady O'Hare still stood as tall as Jessica at her full height and she was finding the trek back to Featherstone much shorter than she had thought previously. However she needed to slow her pace so that her army could keep up with her. She also made sure that she didn't step on anyone. She had been gigantic for a couple of hours but she wouldn't return to normal until the following day. She could hear a couple of people trying to talk to her but right now they were below her notice.
One thing that she did notice was the fact that the rain had stopped much to her joy. She didn't want to walk in the rain, her gigantic metal glad feet were already sinking into the ground with each step she took. She also felt that she had overdone it a little, she thought that she had made herself too big. If she had been half of her size she thought that the results would have been the same, now she knew that she was stuck like this until the potion worked its way out of her system.
Sir Tucker walked along with the army but he still was not in a celebratory mood. He had killed during the battle and he felt terrible about what he had done. Although it had been in the heat of battle he had still thought that it was murder. Everyone else would say that he had done a good job, practically every knight in history had taken the life of another at some point. However it was still not like the stories that he had heard or the songs that had been sung. It left him with an empty feeling inside which he hoped would go away one day, however when he closed his eyes he could see the soldier falling at his sword. He also saw the soldier that had fallen in the rain of arrows right next to him. He had not been prepared for such a sight and it would most likely haunt him until the end of his days.
"Something on your mind good sir?" asked a female voice from above. Sir Tucker looked up and expected to see Jessica at her full size but it was Lady O'Hare. She was walking very closely by him but there was no danger of him stepping on him or anyone. "You seem to have a lot on your mind."
"That I do my lady," replied Sir Tucker. He was amazed that she was even able to notice him amongst the rest of the army. He was walking right on the edge of the army but still he was impressed.
"May I pick you up, it is awkward speaking to you like."
"If you wish my Lady." Before he could say another word he felt a giant hand come down and grab him. It didn't feel as soft as Jessica's but that mainly because it was still armoured. He felt himself be taken off his feet and he saw some of the other soldiers looking up as he was brought up into the air.
"That's better, it seems that my fortune has turned around since you and your friend arrived at Featherstone. Maybe I should keep you around as good luck charms." She chuckled a little but with her dimensions increased it was more obvious than she had intended.
"I appreciate the offer my lady but when my friend has healed we plan to leave Featherstone, we are on a journey that is close to its end."
"Very well, I could just make you stay but then what kind of person would I be?" It was true that even at her normal size she still had more than enough power to keep him and Jessica in Featherstone as long as she wished. But it seemed that she hadn't allowed such a thing to go to her head.
"There is one thing I want to request if you would be so kind."
"And what might that be?" She was curious to see what he could ask her, she didn't feel that he was owed any favours but she wanted to humour him.
"I request that you allow me to borrow some horses and carts. My friend and I are planning to move a lot of objects and with your help we can achieve this. I promise you that you will be compensated for you generosity."
"Oh and exactly what is it that you're planning to move using horses and carts hmm?" She looked down at Sir Tucker in her hand. She couldn't help but think about what would happen if she dropped him. Such a thing had been impossible for her a few short hours ago but now she felt like the world was at her feet. This was thanks to her size and the fact that she had just won a major battle.
"Err." He didn't want to tell her about the treasure in case she thought about claiming it for herself. He had to think of a way that he could still get what he wanted without the need to tell her.
"Whatever it is as long as it is not my precious iron ore I'll allow you to borrow a few of my horses and carriages. However it will put you in my debt which gold might very well appease me."
"Thank you my Lady." This was exactly what he wanted to hear. If it was merely gold that he wanted he knew that very soon he would have more than enough of the stuff to pay her back handsomely.
"You're welcome, however if you don't mind for now I'll carry you until the army stops to rest. I don't know why but it's just fun being able to carry a man as small as you in my hand. You don't mind do you?"
"If it is what her ladyship wishes I cannot stop her." He was more than used to being carried around by a giant woman. He didn't want to tell her about Jessica's abilities but it did make him familiar with the situation.
Lady O'Hare liked the fact that Sir Tucker had agreed and that he was still being courteous to her despite her size. She thought that he would be afraid of her but she was glad that this wasn't the case. She did like him since he had done everything that she had asked of him and for now had not asked anything in return. His offer had not been cashing in a favour but instead asking a favour of her.
It was a few more hours before the army could stop and rest. By that time it was beginning to grow dark so it was decided that they were to camp for the night and then make the rest of the journey the next morning. This was when Sir Tucker was finally placed on the ground next to the other knights.
There was a small celebration between the soldiers who still had enough energy to celebrate. They talked amongst themselves and there was a lot of laughter between them, unfortunately for them there was no ale to go along with their celebrations. Instead they would have to stay sober until they reached Featherstone. Then they could drink all the ale that they wanted, there was some food distributed between the soldiers. It wasn't much but it would be enough for them to keep going.
Lady O'Hare sat down on the ground and she could see her army. She was happy to see that they were in good spirits, she did feel hungry but she didn't allow herself to eat. It would take away the food that she needed for her men and she didn't think that it would be fair on them. However she knew that it wouldn't be that long before she returned to her normal size. She did look at her hands a few times as she still couldn't believe that she was this size. She was even surprised with the fact that her armour and other personal effects had grown along with her. This had been a welcome surprise since she didn't want to be walking around without any clothes on.
"Are you well my Lady?" asked a voice. Lady O'Hare looked down and she could see Lord Hastings standing right next to where she was sitting.
"I am my Lord," replied Lady O'Hare. She couldn't get over the fact that this normally quite large man seemed so small in comparison to her. "Is there something that you wish to speak to me about or is that all?"
"No my Lady there is more."
"Then please don't keep me waiting my Lord."
"I just wanted to know if you it was really wise using the potion in the manner than you did? Maybe there could have been another way."
"I'm sure that there was my Lord but they would have cost more lives." She had been given a large barrel of water not too long ago and she took a sip out of the barrel. "By increasing my own size I was able to get to Lord Sherringham and force him to surrender with minimum casualties. All you need to think about is that we won and the majority of our army is still intact. We fought well today and you can be happy with the fact that your men fought bravely. I may even allow you to ask a favour of me."
"Well there is one thing I wish. If you would be so kind may I have a single kiss off of your lips?" He paused for a moment as he thought about the best way that he could word his next statement. "I have been an ally to your family for many years and I hoped that it would earn me just one kiss from you my Lady. I have stood by your side, even when many were calling for a man to be in your seat rather than yourself. I saw that you would become a fine and competent leader as I have seen today."
"Your flattery is most appreciated my Lord. Yes you certainly have earned a kiss from my lips but that will be as far as it goes."
"That is all I wish my Lady. I still have my wife."
With that Lord Hastings felt Lady O'Hare's hand grab him gently and lift him up into the air. Unlike Sir Tucker before him he wasn't very used to such a thing happening to him and he was feeling somewhat nervous. However this all changed when he felt Lady O'Hare's warm soft lips. His whole body was encompassed by these lips and it almost seemed unreal to him. However the experience only lasted for a few seconds before Lady O'Hare broke off the kiss and looked at him once again.
"You loyalty and services to me has been rewarded," said Lady O'Hare. She had not enjoyed it as much as she would have liked. Her thoughts drifted to Emily who was still at Featherstone. On more than one occasion she wanted to make their relationship publicly known but there were two major barriers preventing her from doing this. The first that many folks, especially Lords didn't look too kindly on homosexuality. Many didn't accept it amongst their citizens so a fellow high born would not fly well with them. The second was because of Emily's low birth, as Lady O'Hare was a lady she was expected to marry someone of equal or similar rank. Emily was the daughter of a prostitute and she didn't know who her father was. But her mother had taught her the tricks of the trade and it was what had helped her pleasure Lady O'Hare in the bedroom. One thing that she knew for sure was that when they returned to Featherstone that she would be paying her lover a visit. "Is there anything else that you need my Lord?" She looked at Lord Hastings who was still standing in the palm of her hand.
"No that is all My Lady." He bowed his head to her as a sign of respect that he had for the towering Lady.
"Now see to your men, they should be having fun with their commanding officer." She carefully placed him back down on the ground. She watched as he walked away and she had her mind on other things once again. She did consider the consequences on the battle but the most important thing to her was that the lands in dispute now belonged to her once again. It also allowed others to see that she was willing to fight for what she believed to be hers. She had sent a strong and powerful message to all of those who believed her to be incompetent due to the fact that she was a woman.
The army rested until the sun began to rise once again. They began to stir and after a spot of light breakfast they continued on their way to Featherstone. Lady O'Hare had yet to shrink back to her original size and she accidentally scared a couple of the horses as she rose up in the morning. However she would calm them down with a kind hand and a few much deserved apples.
Sir Tucker had not slept that well the previous night. His mind had wondered to the events of the previous day and it still made him feel sick. He also felt somewhat vulnerable, his best friend was not at his side and he couldn't help but feel a little low because of this. There was a giant woman not too far away from him but it wasn't the same as having the presence of his towering yet still gentle best friend. He did wonder how she was and if she was worried about him, he knew her very well and he thought that she was most likely worrying. He could remember when he went for his first delivery to Flea Bay, she had been worried that he would be harmed by bandits. When she saw him returning she didn't wait for him to enter the village. Instead she had grown to her normal size and picked him up along with the horse and cart. She had then gave him a big kiss to welcome him back and she had been more than happy to see him unharmed.
He thought that if she were like that when he returned from his first routine trip to Flea Bay what would she be like if came back from his first battle. He could only imagine and the thought of her was making him forget about the battle the previous day. There was no songs going to be sung about his actions or the fact that he felt like he had lost a small piece of himself in the battle. Instead all the tales would tell how Lady O'Hare turned into a mountainous woman and ended the battle there and then. In a way it was the way that he would have liked.
For the next few hours the army continued to march and it was Lady O'Hare who was the first to notice Featherstone appearing over the horizon. Her newfound height had given her this advantage at least. She was glad to see her home once again because a small part of her had actually been afraid that she would never see it again. She knew what the price of defeat was on the battlefield.
As they came closer everyone could hear some horns being blown which was welcoming their arrival. The army even quickened their pace so that they could return as quickly as they could. Many of them wanted to drink the local taverns dry of their ale. Others simply wanted to return to their loved ones. A few of them even wanted to find some women of the night to perform a few services for them. Many of them even cheered loudly as they approached Featherstone and it allowed the citizens to know that victory had been achieved.
However as they walked closer there was something that Lady O'Hare realised and that was that she was too big for her settlement. She thought that if she walked the streets there would be a good chance that she would accidentally destroy some of the homes there or even crush a few of her citizens. This was not what she wanted and she decided that she would wait outside until the potion wore off.
The rest of the army didn't have this problem as many of them marched into the city with many people lining the streets to welcome them back. Some of the women even kissed the soldiers as they walked by and there was a fanfare from the citizens. It gave them great pride to see their army returning victorious. They had no idea the scale of the battle that had taken place the previous day.
A few of the citizens even went out of the city to see Lady O'Hare who was sitting down just outside of the city limits. She had been brought her own barrel of ale which she had begun to drink. However much like Jessica her new giant metabolism didn't allow her to become intoxicated. Instead she just drunk it to quench her thirst.
The citizens that could see her marvelled over the sheer size of her. They had never seen anyone as large as her and it was unlikely that they would ever again. She didn't mind the attention since it wouldn't last too long.
Despite her size Lady O'Hare didn't give any of them a reason to be afraid of her. A few of the children were even picked up by her so that they could see across the distance like her. For each of them she only picked them up for a few seconds before placing them on the ground once again. She took great care of them since they were children and citizens of Featherstone. She also wanted to enjoy the experience before she shrank back down to her original size.
A few knights were allowed back into the castle. Lady O'Hare had sent a messenger to tell the staff inside to start preparing for a feast. One of the knights allowed inside was Sir Tucker and more or less as soon as he entered he began to look for Jessica. The task became more difficult than he expected, he didn't think it would be that hard to find a woman who was just over eight feet in height but this was not the case.
It took Sir Tucker almost half an hour before he spotted his best friend helping some other serving women dry some clothes off. For the first few moments she didn't notice him as her mind was focused on the task at hand. It wasn't until he cleared his throat that she turned and saw him. In a matter of moments her mind shifted from the job to that of Sir Tucker. Her eyes began to well up.
Before Sir Tucker could say another word he felt himself get picked up by Jessica and embraced in a deep and heartfelt hug. She knew that there were other people watching but she didn't care. She had been worried sick about him and she feared that she would never see him again. She planted her large lips on his cheek and kissed him for a few moments before she stopped.
"You had me so worried," said Jessica. She still held him in the air and Sir Tucker was impressed given her injury. She didn't even be affected by the fact that he was still wearing heavy armour. "Are you hurt?"
"N-No I'm fine," replied Sir Tucker. He was still feeling a little down from the battle but he didn't want to worry her about it. She seemed happy enough just to see him in one piece. "Err did you miss me?"
"Of course I did silly." There were still some tears in her eyes but she was able to crack a smile. "I don't care how accomplished you become as a knight I'll always worry about you." She knew that he might like her saying that but the truth of the matter was that he liked it. He liked the thought of her still caring about his safety even if he became invincible. It was just the kind of person she was.
"That great and all but you could put me down now if you want."
"I would but I don't want to right now." Her smile didn't fade as she gave him one more kiss. When she was done she gently placed him down on the ground. Once again he was having to look up at her, people were staring at them but they didn't care. Such a reaction was practically what they were expecting. She took a better look at him now that she could and she could see that he was quite muddy. "Oh you're all dirty, you need to take that armour off right now so I can clean it."
"Yeah I'll that in a minute, but not here of course." He thought the other women might appreciate seeing him without clothing or armour but he didn't think that Jessica would be that impressed.
"Of course, may I show you somewhere good Sir Knight?"
"Nothing would bring me more joy."
Sir Tucker felt Jessica's enormous hand grasp around his own hand. She smiled down at him before she began to lead him away. She knew that she was leaving the job that she had been working on but she was sure that the other serving girls could pick up the slack for her. She had more important things to worry about.
Within minutes Jessica and Sir Tucker found themselves in another room. It was a small room that did make her feel a little claustrophic and the ceiling was too low for her to stand up to her full height. However she didn't really care as there was a chair inside for her to sit down on. She could hear it groan as she sat down upon it which was an unwelcome reminder of her weight. She knew that she wasn't fat but her size made her much heavier than an average person.
With some care she helped Sir Tucker take off his heavy armour. He couldn't do it by himself and one by one each piece of his armour was taken off his body and placed on the ground besides him. He was still quite quiet as he could feel her long slender fingers reaching into the gaps in his armour in order to take it off. She took great care so that she could successfully take off the armour and not get her fingers trapped. However she could sense that there was something wrong with him. Again it was mostly thanks to the bond that they shared, she could feel something in her mind telling her that he was not entirely happy at that moment in time.
"What's wrong Tucker?" asked Jessica as she continued to help take his armour off of his body.
"It's nothing really," replied Sir Tucker as he didn't really want to go through the details with her.
"You know that you can't lie to me. I know that something's bothering you and I'm not going to stop until I know what it is. You might think I'm being nosey but you know that I'm just concerned about you."
"I-um." He wanted to say nothing but he knew that she wouldn't quit. He gave a sigh as he decided that it was best to tell her. "I killed during the battle and I saw people around me dying."
"Oh I see." She was quiet for a moment as she thought about what he was saying. If he had killed in cold blood she would be very upset with him right now but since it was the heat of battle the circumstances were completely different. "It must not have been a very comfortable thing to see and do."
"No it wasn't. I know that knights are supposed to kill people in battle but it doesn't make it any easier. The songs leave out the part where they shit themselves right when they die." He gave another sigh as the memories replayed in his head.
"How many did you kill?"
"Three or four. I don't like to think about it."
"You don't have to be sorry for that Tucker. You were a knight in the middle of a battle, it might not have been the most glorious thing in the world but if someone came running towards you with a sword you're not expected to stand there and do nothing. If you hadn't done what you did you wouldn't be standing here right now in front of me and you know how upset that would make me." By then she had successfully removed his breast plate and it dropped on the ground right next to her large feet. "I know that it must have been difficult for you and I don't expect you to feel good about it any time soon but you did what you had to do. You had two choices what to do at this exact moment in time, you could have killed someone and be able to stand here with me as I take off your armour. Or you could have not killed them and be killed yourself. Right now you would be lying in the mud somewhere being eaten by the birds. If I were you I know what I would prefer."
"I know." He went to look away from her for a moment but he felt her larger hand gently grab his chin and she turned his head to look at her again.
"Look at me Tucker. You did what you needed to do so you have no reason to be sorry. People die in battles, if they didn't it wouldn't really be a battle." He could feel the warmth and softness of her fingers. "You didn't do a bad thing."
"Then why do I feel like I did?"
"Because you're a good man Sir Tucker Martel. You are probably the most compassionate man that I've ever met. When we were young you were the only child that would play with me, all the other children called me names and yet you stood up for me. Am I surprised that you're saddened by what you did on the battlefield, no I am not. It's because I know that it is the man that you are and the very reason that you're my best friend." By this time the last of his armour had fallen off and she could see him in his linen underclothing. At this point he didn't look that much of a knight. "Did that make you feel any better?"
"Well just think about the fact that when we find the treasure we'll be the richest people in Angleland. Then you won't have to worry about going into battle or anything like that. All your worries will melt away and you can live a life of pleasure." She stood up to her full height and she was careful not to hit her head on the ceiling. "And you will always have me at your side."
Before Sir Tucker could say anything he felt her bend down and hug him. When she hugged him he felt a sense of warmth and safety in her arms. He just closed his eyes and embraced his arms around the much larger woman. The hug lasted for close to a minute and she probably enjoyed it more than he did. She had been worried about him but seeing him back here safe made her feel happy.
Just so that she didn't loom over him she carefully sat down on the chair again when she was done. However this time the chair couldn't support her weight and she fell to the ground. There was a loud thud as she hit the ground and quickly Sir Tucker came to his aid. He tried to bring her back up to her feet but she was too heavy for him. It wasn't until she picked herself up that she was finally able to get back to her feet. She brushed the dust off of her dress and carefully she rose up to her full height.
"Jessica are you alright?" asked Sir Tucker with some concern in his voice. He thought that she might have hurt herself. She still had her broken arm and he didn't want to see her receive any more injuries.
"Yeah I'm fine," replied Jessica as she continued to brush the dust off of her dress. She turned for a moment and looked at the chair which was now in more pieces than she cared to count. "It's just another reminder that I'm living in a world that is too small for me." She turned back to him and she broke a smile. "Remind me that when we're rich to buy a chair for someone of my stature."
"Ok I'll try."
Even Sir Tucker was able to break a smile as he looked up at his friend. She had just suffered a minor accident but yet had taken it in her stride and just laughed it off. He felt lucky to have someone like her in his life and he knew that as soon as she recovered they could continue on to the treasure and become richer than either one of them could truly imagine.