The next morning Sir Tucker was the first to wake up as he anticipated the events of the day. He was so close to completing the quest that he could practically taste the gold in his mouth. He was practically counting down the minutes from when he and Jessica would go from peasants to being the richest people in Angleland.
However one thing that Sir Tucker noticed was that he could barely move. This was because once again he was in the arms of Jessica who was still fast asleep. It happened so regularly that he wasn't even surprised anymore. He didn't try to break out of her grip because he knew that it was impossible. Even in her sleep she was still too strong for him and all he could do was wait for her to wake up.
It took roughly an hour for Jessica to wake up and she let out the biggest yawn that Sir Tucker had ever seen. It was only then that she let go of him and then sat up. She stretched her incredibly long arms and then she looked at him with a smile on her face, it had been a nice thing to wake up to.
"Morning sleepy head," said Jessica after she had finished stretching. "Did you have a nice sleep?"
"Well I didn't sleep too much last night," replied Sir Tucker. "I know it sounds childish but I was very excited for today and I just couldn't really sleep." He smiled up at her. "You understand don't you?"
"I guess." She didn't want to admit that she was a little excited as well. Despite her excitement she had slept like a log the previous night and she had been happy to have her comfort object while she had been sleeping. "But I don't know about you but I'm starving again, did you want some breakfast before we set off?"
"F-Fine." He didn't particularly want to but he knew that if they skipped out on it that they might not have the energy that they needed for the final leg of the quest. Also he knew that when Jessica was hungry almost nothing could stop her.
For the next several minutes the pair prepared some food that they had brought and ate it relatively quickly. Sir Tucker just wanted to be done with it as soon as he could just so that they could achieve what they had been desiring for some time. He did have to wait for Jessica to finish off hers but she didn't take too long.
When Jessica was finished she was able to keep a burp down and she stood up to her full height. Even though he had seen it countless times seeing her standing up like that always seemed to take his breath away. It was just another reminder to him that his best friend was not like other women. She was up and raring to go and her own excitement did make her grow a little but not enough for Sir Tucker to notice.
When they were both ready they made their way towards what seemed to be a fairly large hill that was a short distance away. They brought the horse and cart along with them just so that it could be closer to the entrance. That way they wouldn't have to travel far to place the treasure in the cart.
Sir Tucker looked at the map closely and he could see some writing appear on it. There seemed to be quite clear instructions on how to find the entrance to the treasure's location. All that needed to be done was to find a trio of trees that were of different species growing right next to each other. It seemed a little odd to have such a clear message but neither of them were complaining about it.
It didn't take long for them to find these trees which included an oak tree, birch tree and an apple tree. It was very unusual to find these three trees growing right next to each other, however it was the clue that they had been looking for. It meant that the entrance was practically right next to where they were.
Eventually when Jessica placed her foot down on a small patch of ground near the trees she was surprised to hear that it was hollow. Sir Tucker investigated and discovered a thick slab of stone that was covering a large hole. It was too heavy for him to move but it was not for Jessica who easily picked up the slab and placed it to one side. An increase of size was needed but as soon as it was moved she quickly shrank back down to her smallest size once again.
It was then that the pair saw what seemed to be the entrance that they had been looking for. They could clearly see a stone staircase that could take them all the way down. Sir Tucker took the lead and Jessica followed behind him but as they went down they began to find themselves once again in darkness. It didn't take long for everything to be pitch black and both took great care in how they walked. If either of them tripped over it could cause them a lot of problems.
Eventually they reached the bottom of the staircase but there was still no light to be seen. Sir Tucker felt Jessica's large hand hold onto his shoulder just so that she didn't lose him. Neither of them could see a thing and there was a small amount of fear that both of them felt as they continued to walk.
"Are you still with me?" asked Sir Tucker. He could feel her hand but he wanted to be sure that it was her. He didn't want to imagine what else could be lurking there in the dark amongst them.
"Yeah I'm still here," replied Jessica. Her voice came from directly behind and above him. "Hopefully it won't be..." Suddenly there was a thud and this was followed by a small shout of pain from her.
"Jessica what is it?" He was afraid in case something terrible had just happened to his best friend.
"I hit my head on something." She then used her free hand to touch what she had just struck her head on. It seemed to be some kind of doorway and as she had expected it wasn't made for someone of her stature to walk through comfortably. "There's some kind of doorway here I'm sure of it."
"Great then we're going in the right direction." He had already stepped through the doorway and since he had gone through comfortably he hadn't noticed in the dark. "Are you alright anyway?"
"My head's ringing a little but I should be fine." Could still feel some pain and she knew that she was going to have a bruise after this was all said and done. "Well with my height you would have thought that I'd be used to this by now."
"Well I don't think that we have too much further to go. I can practically taste that gold now, just you wait."
"Somehow I still think that we're way off."
"Oh ye of little faith." It was around this time that he noticed something at the end of the corridor that they were going down. It was a small amount of light and it was exactly what he and Jessica had been hoping to see. "Look do you see that over there?"
"I would if I could see where you're pointing."
"That light right ahead of us can you see it?"
"Yeah I can see it." It took her a few moments to see it properly and she thought that it was definitely the way forward. However with such a vast amount of treasure only a short distance away she did consider that there could be some kind of danger that went along with it.
"Then what are we waiting for?"
"I wouldn't be too hasty Tucker." Her hand firmly grabbed his shoulder and it prevented him from moving too quickly. "I still think that we should be careful, who knows what could be there."
"Easy, lots and lots of treasure." He slightly rubbed his hands as he knew that they were within touching distance of their goal.
"There could still be traps down here. We might have completed the three trials but that doesn't mean that it's going to be easy."
"Of course it is, why would anyone..." Just then he almost fell down what seemed to be a large hole. In the darkness neither of them could see it and he would have fallen but Jessica still had her hand on his shoulder. When she had felt him fall forwards she naturally tightened her grip around his shoulder to prevent him from falling. It might very well have just saved his life.
"What happened there Tucker?" There was a small amount of panic in her voice as she thought that they were in serious danger.
"I don't know. I almost fell down something." He placed his foot forward and there was definitely a hole. "Thanks for the save."
"No problem." She did smile but it was so dark that he wasn't able to see her. "How deep is it?"
"From the looks of this very deep." He had a small piece of metal in his pocket from their trip to Featherstone. He dropped it down the hole and the waited for the sound of it striking the ground. It did but not after several seconds of silence. "Very deep."
"Is there any way around it?"
"Maybe, just give me one moment." Carefully he moved to the far side where the wall was located. He then faced his back to the wall and carefully shuffled along. He was expecting to find the hole once again but this time it seemed that he was getting across without falling down it. He soon realised that he had discovered a way to get around it. "Jessica, I found a way. Lean against the wall and then shuffle along."
Jessica did what she was told as she leaned against the same wall as Sir Tucker and began to shuffle along. She was a little nervous but she did what he had told her and it didn't take her long to catch up with him. He had eventually stopped when he was sure that they had cleared the hole.
No sooner had both of them cleared the hole the tunnel lit up as if it were magic. Unfortunately for the first few moments this blinded them as their eyes had adjusted to the darkness and now that everything was bright again it was too much for them to see. It took several moments for their eyes to finally adjust to the light.
When their blindness finally subsided they could both see that the hole behind them was actually quite small. It was just large enough for someone like Sir Tucker to fall down but it was too small for Jessica. They took the sudden appearance of light as a good sign that they were getting closer to the treasure.
"Great we can see again," said Sir Tucker. He was still a little dazed but he could see clearly once again.
"And I can stand up with confidence," replied Jessica. She had noticed that the ceiling was just high enough for her to stand up straight. "For a moment there I thought that we would never find our way."
"Well when you have someone like me you'll never lose your way." He heard her chuckle for a moment but he also took the map out of his satchel. He unravelled it and began to see if there were any more clues. He did see some writing appear on it and he began to read it. Jessica did look over his shoulder but unfortunately she wasn't very good at reading. "Seems that we're almost there. According to this there's a wall that we'll encounter but by inserting the map into the slot we should be able to get through."
"That's helpful, if we had known this location and had this map could we have just skipped the trials?"
"I doubt it, maybe it somehow knows that the trials were completed. I doubt that it would just accept any poor sod with the map."
"I hope that you're right."
The pair continued on but now it was much safer simply with the fact that they could see where they were going. However although Sir Tucker was feeling confident Jessica wanted to remain vigilante. There was still the chance that there was some kind of booby trap but so far everything had gone well.
At one point they did come to a wooden gate but it was no problem that couldn't be solved easily. However that did change when they reached what seemed to be a dead end. The wall was very thick and Jessica didn't have enough room to grow large enough to break it down. But they figured that this was the moment that they needed to use the map to get through to the other side.
Carefully Sir Tucker placed the map in a small hole inside of the wall. He watched as it began to glow for a few moments and then much to his surprise the map disappeared from view. They had no idea what had happened to it but it was obvious to them that it would no longer be any help for them.
Suddenly the wall began to open up much to their relief and within seconds it was wide enough for them to step through. They soon found themselves in a fairly large room which had higher ceilings and some writing on the wall. It didn't seem large enough to be a treasure room but it was still larger than the tunnel that they had just moved through.
"Is this it?" asked Sir Tucker as he began to look around. He was hoping that this wouldn't be the end of their quest.
"I don't know," replied Jessica. She began to look around and in the corner she could see what seemed to be a small pool of water. She didn't think too much of it but she began to see some of the water rising from the pool. "Tucker watch out!"
Sir Tucker looked to where Jessica had just pointed and he could see what she had just seen. There was water rising from the pool and it was landing on the ground right next to it. It began to form a humanoid figure and by this point Sir Tucker had even drawn out Juggernaut as he was ready for a fight.
Within seconds the water had formed into a humanoid figure along with what seemed to be its own sword. However it was not yet finished, it began to cool itself down and the water began to turn into ice. This caused its body to become solid and icicles grew out from its body. It was even able to form a face that was not helpful on the eyes.
"Jessica I've got this one," said Sir Tucker as he also held onto his shield. He had no idea whether he was going to be victorious or cut down in seconds.
"O-Ok," replied Jessica. She wanted to step in front and take out this creature herself but she respected his wishes. She had seen him become a competent knight over the course of the quest and she thought that he could do this himself. "Just be careful alright." She did feel that she still needed to show concern.
"Relax, I'm on this."
With that Sir Tucker stepped forward and he had his sword and shield well in hand. Although he seemed to be overly confident he was in fact eyeing up his opponent. It was definitely like nothing that he had fought before but he still felt that he would be able to win through his skill. He did wonder if Jessica would remain on the side lines, she was staying there for now but if the duel went against him she would most likely step in before he was seriously injured.
It was the creature that took the first strike as it went for a strong slash towards Sir Tucker's face. However his shield came up just in time to block it but it had caught him somewhat by surprise. It caused some pain to his arm but it would not be enough to put him out of action for the fight. He did respond with his own slash that cut through the ice of the creature's arm and severed it completely.
To Sir Tucker he felt that victory was now assured, but much to his horror he saw the creature beginning to regrow the arm that it had just lost. The severed arm on the ground had melted away and within seconds the new one had finished growing. It was almost like Sir Tucker had done absolutely nothing.
Jessica looked on in fright as well as she too had seen what had just happened. She became worried as she could see that the battle would be much more difficult than either of them had originally anticipated. It almost seemed impossible to defeat an opponent who could practically recover from any injury.
Before Sir Tucker could say anything to Jessica he was attacked once again by the creature. He was able to block the strike and respond with his own slash. However this too was blocked by the creature's ice sword. There was a high pitch ring as the metal came into contact with the hard ice.
Sir Tucker kicked the creature in the midsection sending it back for a moment. This created a small amount of space between himself and the creature. He took the opportunity to run at it like a charging bull. His shield was right in front of him as he rammed the creature into the wall with great force.
Such a blow would have been enough to knock any man out but the creature remained on its feet although there was a loud cracking sound.
Before the creature could recover from such an attack Sir Tucker used Juggernaut to chop off its head with one mighty swing. As its head bounced off the ground Sir Tucker backed away for a moment and he hoped that he had done enough to secure victory. Under normal circumstances a decapitation was enough to kill practically anything. Much to his horror he could see that it was beginning to regrow its head. Both he and Jessica gasped with surprise as they watched it's head growing back.
Rather than waiting around Sir Tucker struck again and chopped off its head as it was still growing back. He began to strike at various other points on the creature's body as was trying to put it down once and for all. He wasn't even aiming for any particular area but rather just trying to make sure that the creature didn't get back up.
After around a minute of this flurry of attacks Sir Tucker had tired himself out and he thought that he had done enough to secure victory. There was nothing left of the creature except for a few blocks of ice on the ground and some water. He began to take some deep breaths as he tried to recover.
"Is it over?" asked Jessica who still watched from the far end. She had not interfered just like he had requested.
"I hope so," replied Sir Tucker as he quickly looked over to Jessica. However when he looked back at what remained of the creature he could see it reforming once again. "Crap it's coming back."
Both of them were powerless but to watch as the creature reformed once again. Within seconds it was back to the way it had been before and it didn't seem to have taken any damage whatsoever. This made both Sir Tucker and Jessica become very nervous as they could see that this was not going to be an easy fight.
Sir Tucker had done everything that he could to defeat this creature but nothing had worked. He considered allowing Jessica a chance to fight but he didn't think that it would be a good idea. There wasn't enough room for her to reach a decent size and she wouldn't be able to grow large enough to survive a stab wound to the chest. He could see that Jessica was about to step forward in order to fight.
"Jess stay back," said Sir Tucker. From the tone of his voice Jessica could tell that he wasn't playing around.
"But I can help," replied Jessica. She still thought that her size was the key to victory in this battle.
"No Jessica, the last thing I want is for you to get hurt." He turned his head to her briefly so that he could see her. "Don't worry I have this one, I promise."
Jessica wanted to say something in response but the truth was that there was nothing that she could say. Instead she just nodded and took a step back. She might not like it but she had to let Sir Tucker do this by himself. She felt powerless to do anything but to watch, however seeing him fight was a sight to behold for her. All she could do was pray to the gods that his sword would find the mark.
Sir Tucker continued to battle against the creature and although he was blocking all the creature's attacks he could feel himself becoming more and more tired. His attacks were having no effect on it as it was more or less instantly recovering from any wounds that it received.
He began to see that he couldn't defeat it through traditional means. Much like the guardian in the second trial he thought that there was some kind of hidden trick to defeating the creature. He would briefly look at the walls around the room in order to see if there were any clues. He didn't have time to look at them as he was constantly having to fend off attack after attack. However he was not helpless, he did turn his head towards Jessica for a brief moment or two.
"Jessica there is something that you could do for me," said Sir Tucker as he blocked another blow. His attention was on the creature once again but he thought that he could still speak to his friend at the same time.
"What is it?" replied Jessica who expected him to ask her to fight the creature for him. Already she had grown around half a foot in anticipation.
"I need you to check the walls to see if there's anything that can stop this thing." He slashed once again but the creature blocked it easily. He was very tired and he didn't know how much longer he could keep this up.
"But I'm not very good at reading."
"Don't worry about it, I know that you can do it. Besides I think it's mainly pictures anyway." He blocked another attack and he could feel his arm becoming numb. "I don't know how long I can keep this up."
Jessica quickly got to work and she couldn't see much on the wall directly behind her. It was featureless and showed nothing of interest. Quickly she began to move around to look at the other walls in hopes of finding something, however the more that she searched the more she thought that there was nothing. She knew that Sir Tucker couldn't last much longer and depended on her.
Eventually Jessica did notice a stone on the wall that seemed out of place. Instinctively she pushed it and she looked over to the creature, she hoped that it would have done something to help but for the moment nothing seemed to have happened. However Sir Tucker was able to slice off its arm, it didn't seem like much at first but they noticed that the creature didn't regrow it like before.
Sir Tucker saw his opportunity and sliced off the creature's other arm and then it's legs. After it was down on the ground he chopped off its head once again and he watched it roll along the floor. It melted away much like before but instead of reforming it began to move back towards the pool from where it had come and it seemed to be gone for good. This was a huge relief for both of them.
"W-we did it," said Sir Tucker. Fatigue began to get the better of him and he almost fell but Jessica was quick to keep him on his feet. Even with all of his equipment on he still didn't seem all that heavy to her. He looked up at her as she showed a concern look on her face. "Thanks Jessica, I couldn't of done that without you." He watched as she began to smile down at him.
"Don't worry about it, you would have done the same thing for me." She could see just how tired he was and she was tempted to just pick him up and carry him but she thought that he wouldn't want her to do that.
"Come on Jess, we're almost there now."
No sooner had he said this the wall opposite them began to open up. It was a clear indication that they had completed the challenge and thus were allowed to continue on. Sir Tucker felt that they were within touching distance of the treasure and that it would only be a couple of minutes until he was blinded by gold.
Sir Tucker couldn't walk by himself for a short while so Jessica supported him as he walked. They found themselves going down another tunnel which thankfully was already lit up for them.
Each step that they took seemed to bring them closer and closer to their goal. Jessica didn't seem to be as excited as Sir Tucker. In a way her own quest had come to an end, in her mind the gold had never been important but instead just to make sure that her friend had gotten through safely. Since their quest was close to an end all that she needed to do was to make sure that he and whatever gold they found made it back safely.
"Thank you Jessica," said Sir Tucker as they walked through the corridor. There didn't seem to be any traps but it didn't mean that they could let their guard down.
"For what?" replied Jessica.
"For everything, I wouldn't have been able to get here by myself. I probably would have failed some time ago."
"Don't worry about it, I told you when we first started that I wasn't going to let you go by yourself. At least now we're almost at the end of this quest and then we can make our way back home."
"Yes with hopefully several tons of gold along with us."
Eventually they came to another wall but unlike before they could clearly see a switch on the wall right next to it. On the wall was written the words 'Riches Of The Ages, Enter If You Must.' This was a clear indication that this was the treasure chamber and just the sheer sight of it gave Sir Tucker a second wind. He quickly walked towards it and he looked at it for a few moments.
The writing itself seemed to be written in gold and this was just another indication that the treasure was inside. Without any hesitation he pressed the switch on the wall, at first nothing seemed to happen but slowly they began to hear a grinding noise. His excitement grew as the grinding became louder.
Eventually the door itself began to rise and both Sir Tucker and Jessica waited to see the treasure on the other side.