It seemed like an eternity since either Sir Tucker or Jessica had spoken a word. For the first time ever Jessica was looking at a seemingly gigantic Sir Tucker. However she knew that he was normal size and it was her that was actually tiny. In the space of a minute she had gone from being over two hundred feet in height to only around an inch and a half. To her the scales had been completely reversed, normally she was used to being the gigantic person who many feared for the wrong reasons. Now she was the small one and afraid of the world around her. For her entire life she had been big but now she was small and this scared her more than she liked to admit.
There was one thing that Jessica did take some comfort in and that was the fact that she was in the hand of Sir Tucker. She knew that he wouldn't be harmed and that he would do anything he could to help and protect her. She was definitely at a very fragile stage and she feared that she might not survive it.
Sir Tucker also felt like the scales had been reversed. He had gotten so used to looking up at Jessica that he thought that it was the way of the world. Now that he was looking down at her and she seemed so small it was like she was a toy for a child. He couldn't feel the weight in his hand and he wondered if this was how she felt when she was lifting people at her normal size.
"J-Jessica," said Sir Tucker. This was all he could say as he looked down at Jessica who seemed to be in a state of panic. "W-What happened?"
"I don't know," replied Jessica. She was looking at her hands and she was still trying to comprehend what had just happened to her. She even looked at her body and she could see that it was all in proportion but just at a shrunken state.
"You don't need to remind me." She crossed her arms but she seemed to be more upset than angry. "When I grew passed my normal size I must have done something and it caused me to become... well this."
"Maybe if you take off your dress you'll grow back to normal." He knew that this would still be gigantic but it would be better than her being this tiny. She didn't even answer him and she just took off her dress. It dropped down to the ground and she was standing in his hand completely naked. He did like what he was seeing but he kept his thoughts to himself. But the results were less than enthusiastic as Jessica remained the same size. She looked up at him and there were tears rolling down her face.
"It's not working, I'm still tiny." She looked down and placed her face in her hands. She continued to cry and she didn't even care that she was naked. She sat down and she seemed to be inconsolable. It was until Sir Tucker's gigantic finger came down to her than she actually acknowledged the world around her.
"Please don't cry Jessica. You know that I don't like seeing you upset."
"Can you make me big again but at least large enough to live a normal life?" She knew that he couldn't but she needed to vent out some of her sadness and frustration. She saw him looking down at her and he had a concerned face.
"No I can't but this isn't the end. Maybe your body just went passed its limits so to speak. This happens because your body basically needs to rest, hopefully you'll grow back to your former size."
"Y-you really think so?" She had wiped away some of her tears from her face. It was a small ray of hope in what seemed to be a dire situation.
"I'm sure of it. It might take a while but I'm sure that you'll be growing before you know it. I can't have a friend that I look up to if she's not taller than me." He smiled at her in the hopes that this would cheer her up. She was wiping the tears off of her cheek and she looked up at him.
"Well for now I guess that I can look up for you." She tried to smile as well but her sadness prevented her from doing this.
"Oh boo hoo to you!" said a voice. This was when Sir Tucker turned around and both her and Jessica could see Gwen standing not too far away from them. After everything that had happened they had forgotten about her. For a moment they were afraid as she walked towards them. "You might be small but I've become insignificant." She was just as sad as Jessica but she was more filled with rage than anything else.
"Gwen you're still here?" replied Sir Tucker with surprise. He was hoping that he wouldn't have to deal with her again.
"Of course I am, but your situation is nowhere near as dire as mine. I've come from being a demi-goddess all the way down to a pitiful mortal." She looked at her hands for a moment ad she began to truly grasp the fact that she could now be killed. "And it is all your fault!" Her words were very stern and angry. She seemed to be taking all of her frustration out on the pair.
"Don't get pinning any of this on us Gwen." He was standing firm and he knew that she couldn't crush him like she could have earlier. Jessica remained in his hand and she seemed to like the fact that he was standing up to Gwen. However for the moment she kept quiet, although Gwen didn't have the power that she once had she was still much larger and stronger than her. "How exactly was that person who stripped your powers?" He had gathered that her powers were gone simply from the fact that she mentioned she was mortal now.
"How quaint of you." However she found this more annoying than cute. "That person that you mentioned is no mere mortal but one of the gods that you worship. She thought it would be so fun to take away my powers and leave me in this pathetic form."
"I think I might have seen her somewhere before."
"What? Where?" She quickly marched to Sir Tucker and got very close to his face. "Where did you see her before? Tell me right now before I..."
"Before you what?" There was a slight amount of aggression in his voice. He had been afraid of her for too long and now that she was a normal she couldn't make demands of him. "If you haven't noticed that you're not exactly in a position to threaten anybody." He took a step back and looked down at Jessica in his hand. "Are you alright?" She nodded back at him and she didn't want to admit that she was afraid. The world seemed a much more terrifying place at her size. He then looked back up so that he could see Gwen. "I'm not going to tell you anything until you at least apologise."
"I will destroy everything you hold dear. I will ensure that your family name ends on this day." She was blowing hot air more than anything else, a few minutes ago she would have been able to perform such a task but now she simply didn't have the power to do such a dreaded thing.
"Apologise!" He was putting his foot down on the situation. He knew that forcing her to apologise was probably more humiliating than he couldn't imagine for her. Even Jessica was sternly looking at her.
Gwen grumbled for a moment and she couldn't believe what had happened. Everything that she thought made her better than mortals had all been removed and now she was just like everyone else. She crossed her arms and looked at the pair for a moment, she wanted to kill them but in this weak body of hers she wouldn't be able to do this. Jessica wasn't the problem but she knew that Sir Tucker was a skilled swordsman. She had gotten the best view in the world as she had literally been attached to his armour. She had been somewhat impressed but until now she had never really appreciated it.
In the end Gwen crossed her arms and she knew that she would have to admit defeat. She could see that Sir Tucker was sticking to his principle and that he wouldn't be telling her anything unless he apologised. She was tempted to grab Jessica and take her hostage but it was too risky. There was also the fact that she could be killed now and that terrified her more than anything else.
"Ok I'm sorry," said Gwen. To her this was the most embarrassing thing that she had ever done but if it meant taking a step towards regaining what she had lost she was more than willing to do it.
"Now that's better," replied Sir Tucker. He could tell that she wasn't being entirely genuine but it was probably going to be the best that he would get. "So you want me to tell you where I saw the goddess?"
"Yes I do, tell me right now."
"That didn't sound very nice. Besides you forgot to say the magic word."
"What there are spells to go along with this? You never demonstrated any kind of magic on this quest."
"I meant please."
"Please?" This word seemed to be alien to her. She had heard it a few times but she didn't know exactly what it meant. "So if I say this word you'll magically tell me what I want to know?"
"It's nothing to do with magic. It's all about being nice, if you ask me if I can please tell you where I saw the goddess I might tell you."
"I don't see much point but if it gets the job done it seems I don't have a choice." She took a deep breath and she couldn't believe that she now had to breathe in order to survive. "Please tell me where you saw her."
"You're improving." He thought for a moment and he wondered if telling her was the best course of action. He didn't see much harm in telling her since he didn't think that it was real. "Well when Jessica and I had a falling out I ate a mushroom which made me see things that didn't make sense. Near the end of my little trip I saw the goddess who took your powers away from you. I was even able to speak to her."
"Oh she's always doing something like that." There seemed to be some annoyance in her voice. "She likes to directly speak to mortals when they're not sound of mind. It really gets on my nerves. What did she say to you?"
"She said that I had something very precious and that I should never lost it." He then looked down at Jessica again. He knew that she was the precious item that the goddess had spoken of and he hoped to never lose her.
"That's it?" She was hoping that the goddess would have mentioned something that was much more substantial. Unfortunately at this point it seemed like Sir Tucker's information had been useless. However there was one little detail that she did want to know. "What mushroom did you eat?"
"I don't remember. It was one I just found on the ground and it made me go on that little trip."
"Ah useless!" She seemed to be angry again but she was more annoyed than anything else. "I'll find it myself." She began to walk away and she didn't take much notice of the pair. She was determined to get her demi-goddess status back no matter the cost. She also knew that she only had around fifty years to do this before she died of old age. For a mortal this was a long time but to her it was like a fraction of a second. She had lived for countless years before this and she saw that her own death was creeping closer with each passing second. She could feel her body aging and there was nothing that she could do to stop it. This terrified her more than anything else.
"Wait!" Sir Tucker brought his hand forward towards her but already she was walking away. It seemed like Gwen wanted nothing to do with them and she began what was going to be a long search for the mushroom that she was so desperate for. He looked down at Jessica in his hand and she seemed to be less upset than she was before. She wasn't happy by any means but she was at least not crying anymore. "Do you think we should go and stop her?" He knew that even after everything that she had done Gwen might still need their help in some way.
"No," replied Jessica. She crossed her arms and looked towards where Gwen was walking off to. "She'll tire herself out before long and then she'll probably want help from us. But whether we give it to her is another matter entirely."
"That doesn't sound much like you."
"Well after everything she's done I can't help but want to see her face some punishment. I nearly lost my head because of her."
"But do you really want her to eat a poisonous mushroom?"
"I guess not." She gave a sigh. "Ok we'll go and get her back but I have a feeling that we'll regret this."
Quickly Sir Tucker moved towards Gwen. She was not out of sight yet and there was something else that he noticed as well. The horse and cart that they had brought from Featherstone was still there. Despite everything that had happened it still remained where they had left it and this was a welcome relief for them. It meant that they still had some means of travelling long distances without the need to walk.
After a few minutes they did eventually catch up with Gwen. She was looking around on the ground in search for any kind of mushroom. Unfortunately for her she couldn't find any and her search was more out of desperation rather than anything else. When Sir Tucker saw her crawling around on the ground in search of the mushrooms he couldn't help but feel some sympathy towards her. She had once been what many would consider a majestic being but now she had been reduced to this.
"You're not going to make any progress like that Gwen," said Sir Tucker when he approached her. She didn't even bother looking towards him as she continued her search anyway.
"I don't care," replied Gwen. "All that matters is I find the mushroom so that I can see her again." She didn't bother trying to say the goddess's name since she had lost her powers she couldn't speak her name anymore.
"You're going to be here for years doing that. Jessica and I are going back to Featherstone, we can give you a ride there and maybe there's someone who can point you in the right direction. Plus you'll have somewhere to sleep."
"Sleep?" She was confused for a moment and then she realised what he was talking about. "You mean that thing that you do every night where just lie down and close your eyes for several minutes?"
"Yeah that's it. Now that you're mortal you'll be doing the same thing every single day. Plus you're going to need to eat and drink like the rest of us. If you stay out here you'll starve to death, if you come with us there might be some help for you."
"I suppose you have a point there." She was going to call Sir Tucker a mortal again but since she was a mortal herself now it would be ill fitting. She did stand up and look towards Sir Tucker and Jessica. "Very well you can take me back to Featherstone but if you're not going to help me with my search then our paths will divide once we have reached our destination."
"Nothing would bring me greater joy." He and Jessica would definitely be happy if they never saw Gwen again after the trip.
A few minutes later the trio found themselves on the cart and the horse was pulling it away. Gwen sat on the left of Sir Tucker while Jessica sat on his right shoulder. She wanted to be as far away from Gwen as she could. She also felt a little unsafe on Sir Tucker's shoulder, when it had been the other way around she had always tied some of her hair around him so that he in a sense had a safety rope. Unfortunately for her Sir Tucker's hair was too short for her to wrap around herself. Instead she just kept a firm grip on him and she hoped that he wouldn't make any movements that could cause her to fall.
Sir Tucker had more than enough skill to drive the cart. He had done this numerous times when he had been delivering various items from his family's blacksmith. To him it reminded him of home which he had missed more than he would like to admit. Unfortunately he wouldn't be returning with the treasure that he had been hoping for. In his mind he would at least return as a knight.
Three Man's Treasure was strapped to his belt and it jingled every time he moved his leg. The treasure definitely was much smaller than he expected. He hoped that there was some kind of hidden value to them but he thought that they would most likely just regular gold coins.
Jessica was still taking in the world around her. For as far as she could remember she had always felt that the world was too small for her. Now she felt that it was too big and she couldn't help but feel a little scared. She still feared that she would never grow and even if she did that something might happen to her before she grew back to her normal size. She even remembered the feeling of when she had gone beyond her normal size. Her body had felt heavier but she also felt more powerful than she had before. Punching Gwen had even caused her more joy than she would admit although she did nearly break her hand in the process.
Jessica was even uncomfortable with the knowledge that Gwen was sitting not too far away from her. After everything that had happened she still didn't trust the former demi-goddess. She had caused the pair nothing but trouble since they had first met her and she just wanted to be rid of her. She normally never liked to think that she didn't want to see someone ever again but for people like her she was willing to make an exception.
"I don't like this," said Jessica. She was too small to reach Sir Tucker's ear but her voice was quite enough so that Gwen couldn't hear her.
"What don't you like?" replied Sir Tucker. His voice was no more than a whisper and it was clearly heard by Jessica but not by Gwen.
"I don't like her being with us. I have a terrible feeling that she's going to try and harm us in some way."
"You've seen her now she's powerless. Besides when we reach Featherstone we'll never have to see her again."
"But until then I'm still worried. I'm not big enough to protect you anymore, I don't know if I ever will."
"I've told you time and time again that I am more than capable of looking after myself. Plus without her powers Gwen is just a normal maiden. You don't have to worry about her, I'll protect you from her and I'll ensure that nothing else hurts you. I swear on my honour as a knight."
"Thanks I appreciate that." She still didn't feel entirely safe but she knew that with Sir Tucker protecting her that she didn't have to worry too much about her safety. However the world was a very scary place where even a common insect now looked to be a threat to her. She remembered wishing that she could be small but this was far smaller than she would have liked and now she just wanted to regain her former stature. She didn't even mind if she grew up to her normal size and had no means of shrinking smaller. She felt that it would be better than this.
For the next several hours the trio travelled in silence until night finally fell upon them. In his experience Sir Tucker knew that it was too dangerous for the horse to travel at night so they stopped for the night. Each of them were hungry so a quick supper was in order, they still had plenty of food left and although they were eating for three it was more like they were eating for just two. Sir Tucker did make sure that the horse was properly fed and had some water.
Within minutes a fire was started and Sir Tucker began to cook. Jessica was too small to cook and even when she had been larger cooking was not her greatest talent. Gwen on the other hand didn't know how to cook. She never had any need to and until today she never truly had a need to eat. She had eaten in the past but never because her body had actually needed it.
As usual Jessica remained close to Sir Tucker. She didn't want him to leave her alone at any point with Gwen. Neither of them trusted her and Jessica still felt fragile at her size, however she did find an upside to being so tiny. When she was given some food it looked gigantic in comparison to her. Normally when she ate she was afraid of not eating her fill, on numerous occasions she had eaten all of her food and still felt hungry. This time it didn't seem like it was going to be a problem.
Gwen sat opposite Sir Tucker and Jessica. She had hardly said a word and she just ate what was in front of her. For the first time ever she actually felt hungry and after being told that food would satisfy this hunger she wanted to eat as much as she could. She did almost burn her mouth after trying to put the food in her mouth without blowing it. Again for the first time she had felt something that was hot and she was able to feel pain which had caught her completely by surprise.
Gwen couldn't fathom how a person was having to live like this. The constant need for food and the fact that there were so many different things that she needed to do every day. She had to constantly remember that she needed to breathe and she was beginning to feel tired for the first time ever as well. Before things such as fatigue, hunger, thirst and many other human aspects had been completely alien to her. Now she was having to feel them every moment of every day.
"How do you deal with all of this?" asked Gwen as she looked over to Sir Tucker. This was the first words that she had said to either of them since they had begun their trip back to Featherstone.
"Deal with what?" replied Sir Tucker with some confusion. He had been eating his foot and Jessica was sitting on his knee. She had a small piece of food which was almost as large as she was.
"With everything. I've experienced numerous things for the first time today and I didn't like any of it. It's enough to drive me insane and yet you mortals live like this every single day. How do you deal with all of it?"
"It might seem like a lot for you now but believe me you'll get used to it. Before long you'll love being a mortal."
"There's nothing to love about being a mortal." There was a tear rolling down her face as she felt how hopeless the situation was. "You're born, grow old and then you die, what kind of life is that when it isn't infinite?"
"Well since we live such short lives it allows us to appreciate everything more since we don't last forever."
"But you're going to die? How do you go through life knowing that one day you're just going to drop dead?"
"It is something that people don't tend to think about. If you constantly think about dying it'll lead to an early grave."
This was not a satisfactory answer for Gwen and she just ate along with Sir Tucker and Jessica. Eventually the food was eaten and it was time for everyone to get some much needed sleep. In the past Sir Tucker was used to sleeping in Jessica's hand or hair to keep himself warm. This time Jessica was sleeping in his hand to stay warm. At her size the world did seem scary but it was at least a little safer that she was with him.
Gwen couldn't sleep for a while. It was something that she had never done before and she gazed up at the night's sky. She could see all the stars above her and she knew that the Gods were watching her and most likely laughing at her as well. She found this to be incredibly annoying but now she had no way of getting to them. She was stuck in the mortal realm and without her powers and immortality she truly felt like she was nothing. However eventually fatigue did get the better of her and she closed her eyes and finally fell asleep.
Everyone was up relatively early the next morning and Jessica claimed that she had grown the previous night. Sir Tucker didn't think that she had despite her claims, he thought that if she had grown it was so small that he didn't notice it. It would be her first step to regaining her former size.
Gwen was less than happy to be waking up. She had been dreaming for the first time and she much preferred her dream world over reality. There she still had her powers but in reality she was stuck in the weak form that she had been cursed to. This continued to annoy her to no end.
After a quick breakfast the trio were on their way again and within a few hours of riding Featherstone could finally be seen over the horizon. For all three of them it was a relief and Sir Tucker in particular was glad. He hoped that this visit wouldn't end in the disappointment that he felt after finding the treasure.
With each step the horse took towards Featherstone the city seemed to grow larger. For Gwen she just wanted to get off and find someone who could tell her about mushrooms, she felt that the sooner she found what she was looking for the sooner that she could regain her immortality and powers. She looked at Sir Tucker and Jessica but she knew that she couldn't harm them. She did blame them for what had happened but she simply didn't have the strength anymore.
Slowly the horse pulled the cart into Featherstone, as expected it looked no different from when they had left. There were still a few people who were celebrating the battle that had taken place but most had gone back to their work. There was no fanfare of their arrival or any kind of celebration. To everyone they were just weary travellers that were looking for a place to stay for the night. However they had tasks that they needed to complete and all three of them hoped that they would leave Featherstone happier. However if life had taught them anything it was that things don't always turn out the way that people want and quite a lot of time reality is much more complicated than fantasy.