Nikki and Dal had already been on one trip and had returned to Kendal to collect goods, the first leg of there travels had took them to Preston, Liverpool, Chester, Beeston and Manchester. They had enjoyed the travel so much that they had already planned there second leg of travelling this time it would keep them away from home a lot longer than the first time.
On the first trip Dal had met old friends including his ex wife Sanja while he was in Beeston, it was nice to see her again after such a long time and both Nikki and Dal had made new friends.
On arriving in Manchester Dal had hoped to meet his sister and introduce Nikki to her but unfortunately he could not find her, maybe next time they pass through they'll all be able to meet and spend a night in the tavern catching up. Also Dal was disappointed to find that he had missed his good friend Aisafe who had travelled to Liverpool for a spot of fishing. Dal however did meet an old friend Laylali who remembered how much he liked to poke people in the tavern and presented him with a brand new poking stick.
The second leg of travelling was about to begin and would take the couple to Preston first on business. After collecting a little food and the goods that were needed Dal loaded them onto his horse. After a few final drinks in the tavern Nikki and Dal were all set.
Helping Nikki on to the back of his horse he mounted also and they set off on the road to Preston. After a couple of hours travelling the pair were getting tired and decided to set up camp just outside of Preston. Making a makeshift shelter the couple settled down for the night, even though the couple was tired from the journey so far they sat and talked for a while making plans for the rest of there trip. Eventually Nikki was getting a little too tired to talk so Dal took off his Mantle and wrapped it around Nikki resting her head in his lap he sat there and watched her fall asleep. Dal knew there was only a couple more hours till sunrise and settled down next to Nikki for a little sleep. He knew that they didn't have far left to travel before they arrived in Preston.
Waking early in the morning Dal is still a little tired, he looks at Nikki still sleeping and rather than wake her goes out to water and feed his horse. As he finishes he hears rustling behind him and turns to see Nikki. "Good morning my love, are you all ready to set off to Preston?" he asks her. Looking back at him she nods her head.
They made sure that they'd not left anything behind and everything was packed and mounted Dal's horse for the short trip to Preston.
Setting off towards Preston Nikki holds on tight to Dal, the journey the night before had been uneventful and they had not passed any other travellers and Dal was wondering if the road would be as quiet today as they slowly made there way to Preston.
On the approach to Preston the couple decided to take a little break on the outskirts of town. Dismounting they could see Preston in the distance, it was a welcoming sight for them. Both had made friends there and even though it was only a few days previous it would be nice to see the welcoming people of Preston again. Sitting there for a while the couple eat and talk.Eventually they decide it is time to carry on to Preston.
Its not too long and they arrive, as they pass The New Hope of Preston Tavern Dal notices a familiar horse tethered up outside. Its Aisafe. Before finding a place to stay Dal decides that they should go and see Aisafe. It had been a while since the friends had met. After meeting Aisafe and introducing Nikki to him the three of them sit chatting and catching up on events. Its soon time for Nikki and Dal to find a place to stay and so leave Aisafe but not until Dal had bought him a couple of beers to keep him going.
Later Dal went down to The New Hope of Preston Tavern to conduct the business that he'd arranged and one of the reasons for coming back to Preston. Nikki and Dal had spoke earlier and decided to stay a day in Preston and so both found work. They would continue to travel the day after.
Nikki and Dal slept well and after eating decided to have a walk around town, while looking at the market Dal noticed a nice pair of shoes and decided to purchase them as a gift for Nikki.
Aisafe had travelled the night before and Nikki and Dal decided that they would head out of Preston. Manchester was going to be the next town on there travels. Hopefully Dal would see his sister while in town this time.
Later before packing and preparing to travel the couple went to The New Hope of Preston Tavern for a couple of beers before there journey ahead of them. Dal pulled out a parchment and laid it on the table, it was a map he had drawn up on his travels over the years. They both looked at the map and Dal started to tell Nikki some of his tales from his travels. There was a lot of towns on the map that Nikki had not been to and Dal promised that he would eventually take her to all the towns as well as find other towns that could be added. After talking for a while they finally came up with the destination for there travels. Drinking down there final beer they collected there belongings and mounted Dal's horse and headed out of town towards Manchester.
Reaching the outskirts of Preston Dal stopped the horse and turned to Nikki, smiling he asks "Shall we stay another night here in Preston?" Nikki replies "Yea lets stay one more night a lot of good people here." Turning the horse around they head back into town and head back to the tavern. After spending the rest of the night in the tavern enjoying each others company it was finally time to leave and get some rest. They still had a lot of travelling to do if they were ever to reach there final destination.
Waking up nice and refreshed Nikki and Dal have a walk around town taking in the market and making sure that they have food and other goods.
The tavern was quiet today and they decided that they would leave Preston early, it was nice seeing new friends again but there was a lot of travel to cover. Bidding everyone farewell they head on the road to Manchester.
As they set off along the lane out of town Dal glanced back towards town. He liked Preston and would like to visit again soon, there was a lot of friendly people in Preston.
It was a nice evening for travelling, as they continued the sun finally set and they could see the moon was bright in the clear sky lighting up the road ahead of the couple. Dal had travelled this road many times and was familiar with all of its twists and turns. Slowly they made there way towards Manchester passing only a couple of lone travellers. Dal was excited as they travelled, he had twice lived in Manchester and was considering moving there a third time with Nikki after they had finished there travels.
As they got closer to Manchester they reached the forest and Dal pointed out a couple of nice secluded spots around the forest, dismounting from his horse and after helping Nikki down he tethered the horse to an old oak tree. Hand in hand they stood at the edge of the forest looking down towards town, turning to Nikki he asks "Tomorrow would you like to come back for a picnic?" Nikki stands looking into Dal's eyes "Sure I'd love to" was the reply. They both turned back to look down on the town, it was a beautiful sight and one Dal had not seen for some time. The moon was high above Manchester now shining down. After a little while it was time to head into town. Untethering his horse Dal holds it in one hand while holding Nikki's hand and they walk into town.
Arriving in town the couple head towards the taverns. Both Nikki and Dal enter the taverns hoping to see Aisafe and Dal's sis Ama. After a search of the taverns and town Dal can find no trace of either of them. Looking a little sad Dal turns to Nikki "Looks like we missed them." Sitting having a couple of beers together Dal is approached by a stranger. "I believe you are looking for your sister." Dal turns to face the stranger, a curious look on his face. "Do you have news were my sister is?" he asks. The stranger drops a piece of parchment on the table and leaves the tavern.
As we wait in our prearranged place we hear A commotion from the townspeople, words fly out, accusations ring, We cannot believe what they spew out. Ama we really should get started to Barnstaple if what we hear is true, much Hardship lies ahead. Ama replies; Yes we need to leave fast and now let me get A note off to my Brother. As I fetch some parchment we hear more chatter that the wolves are everywhere, Staying calm I return and sit close as My Lovely Ama pens A note to Her Brother,
Dal we have waited to meet Nikki and you But Ais thinks it's best we push off now, He hears words that Exeter is surrounded by Heathens, And knows what he must do. I hope we can meet up inside Somerset or further on. your loving sis Ama
Reaching across the table Dal picks up the parchment and begins to read. After reading it he passes it to Nikki to read "Looks like we missed them" he says. As Nikki reads Dal thinks where they should travel to next. Things seem to have changed now after reading the letter. Should they carry on travelling as planned or meet up with Aisafe and Ama. Not knowing exactly where Ama and Aisafe were he knew they were headed in the same general direction as Nikki and himself. Passing another beer to Nikki the couple carry on drinking, talking over a few more beers they decided that they would carry on there travels as planned for now. There final destination wasn't too far away from were Ama and Aisafe was heading.
Dal we have waited to meet Nikki and you But Ais thinks it's best we push off now, He hears words that Exeter is surrounded by Heathens, And knows what he must do. I hope we can meet up inside Somerset or further on. Your loving sis Ama
Finally it was late and they decided that they should go and get some rest. Saying there goodbyes to others in the tavern they headed out.
Nikki was first up in the morning and had already been to the market to buy some goods by the time Dal woke. While Nikki prepared for there picnic Dal went and made sure the horse was fed and watered. On his return Nikki was already set with the picnic. They set off towards the forest to find a nice quiet spot for there picnic. After looking at a couple of places Dal had pointed out the night before they finally decided on a nice little clearing in the trees.
Laying out the food they had brought, along with a little wine the couple sat there enjoying each others company and talking about the travels so far. Both Nikki and Dal had had a great time travelling together, and the travel had only just started really. There was still plenty of travelling left to do. Soon the wine was gone and so was most of the food, starting to pack things away Dal turns to Nikki and says "I really enjoy your company I hope we can be together for a long time to come" Turning to face Dal, Nikki smiles and nods her head.
Arriving back in town they start to pack and prepare for travelling. Tonight they leave town and head south towards Beeston.
Leaving Manchester the couple head along the road to Beeston. It was another nice evening for travelling and the journey was quiet. It hadn't been so long since they had travelled this route except the last time it was in the opposite direction on there way home on the first leg of travelling.
Arriving in town the couple go to find a place to stay for the night. After unpacking a few of there goods Nikki decides to rest for a while after the trip. Dal made his way to the tavern for one of his favourite pastimes drinking. Sitting in the tavern Dal hears news that Sanja has left town. It appears he keeps missing everyone over the last couple of days. Sitting enjoying a few beers and chatting to locals he waits for Nikki.
Not long later and Nikki arrives, she had brought there map with her and lays it on the table. Looking at it they start to think about there next destination. Dal points out a couple of towns on the map he was sure Nikki would like. While looking he also remembers about meeting up with his sister and the note he had received from her. Turning to Nikki "For now we will work here in town a day and then decide where we travel next" Dal says with an uncertain look.
Leaving the tavern they are greeted by a messenger on horse back who passes Dal a note. Taking hold of it and thanking the horseman Dal begins to read. Nikki looks at Dal and can see he is clearly upset with what is held in the note. Not wanting to pry into what was held in the note Nikki links his arm and leads him towards there accommodation for the night. Part way across the town square Dal turns to Nikki "My love at this moment I am torn between old friends and new ones, we will still work but may have to change travel plans" he says then takes hold of her hand and leads the way.
Dal never slept very well from the bad news he had been hearing over the last couple of days but Nikki and himself went out and found themselves jobs. Jobs secured they headed to the market and Dal finally smiled a little when he managed to secure some meat for Nikki and vegetables for himself. Things may have been changing finally.
Dal still had a lot of things on his mind, and Nikki could see that. Looking towards him and smiling she says "My love, things will work out no matter what we decide to do." These words of reassurance made Dal remember how lucky he was to have Nikki with him and finally made him remember that there was more important things to think about rather than worry about others all the time. Smiling back Dal takes Nikki in his arms and kisses her "I know my dear. Lets continue our travels as planned." he replied.
It was decided, they would travel as normal to there planned destination, packing away goods ready for travel the couple still had a few hours before they needed to set off and decided to take a walk to Beeston's forest.
Walking hand in hand to the forest it was a lovely day, the birds were singing and there was chatter from the workers working in the forest. Spending time together enjoying quality time was what they both needed. It took there minds off events which had happened recently. A pleasant afternoon was spent at the forest and they were both sad when they had to make there way back to town and get ready to travel again.
Packing the rest of there goods they were set for travel. Even though this time in Beeston had not been as enjoyable as the last they were both still sad to see the back of the town. Heading south the couple set off for another evening of travelling.
It wasn't long before they left Chester County and entered the County of Stafford. Their next stop was going to be Stafford town. At last, when their leg-weary horse was beginning to stumble a bit, they saw the outline of Stafford on the horizon. Not wanting to tire the horse anymore they dismounted and slowly they continued into town on foot, on arrival they found an hostel costing them £1 each for the night.
The horse was still tired from all the travelling and while Nikki went to market before everything was packed up for the evening, Dal stayed behind and fed and watered him. Nikki came back with news that the market wasn't one of the best stocked markets they had seen, thankfully they both still had food with them. The market had been checked and the horse was recovering from the rest, it was now time for Nikki and Dal to go and relax for a while.
Walking to the town square Dal recognizes a familiar tavern, Il Mantello Dell 'Eclissi tavern owned by an old friend of Dal's. A little smile appears on his face has he remembered the times he spent with Anto in Barnstaple and also in Beeston. Seeing this, Nikki gives Dal a curious look. Dal smiles and says to Nikki, "Lets go and have a drink my love and I'll tell you all about it."
The couple enter The Prancing Knot Tavern, it was very quiet and they find a table in the corner. Dal looks at Nikki, looking back she is curious of the tales that she will be told. Ordering beers for them both Dal then sits back holding her hand and starts to tell Nikki about the good times he had way back when he lived in Barnstaple and also the not so good times after he moved North. The beers flow and Dal tells Nikki about his past, laughing and joking, the couple have a wonderful evening. Looking at the time Nikki reminds Dal that they still need to go and get some rest. Finishing their beers they head back to the hostel for the night.
It's early morning and Dal is awake before Nikki, looking down on her sleeping he smiles and decides he best go check on the horse. Leaving Nikki to rest, he feeds and waters the horse who is looking somewhat rested as well. As he stood there grooming his horse, Dal feels a pair of hands rub his back and making there way to his chest. Smiling he knows that it is Nikki and turns to her and kisses her and holds her close to him.
It was a nice day and they decide to go and have a look for jobs. Arriving at the Town hall they see all militia posts are still available and that the only other jobs on offer are those being offered at slave wages. Not liking the wages offered they decide it is best that they continue on their trip.
Leaving Stafford they carry on south towards Birmingham, this will be the first fruit town they have visited on travelling and will give Dal a chance to put his ladder to use. He had not used it for a while, the last time was on a trip to Appleby with Nikki.
As they travel the road is quiet, a lone traveller and a small group they pass not far from the edge of town. Riding into town they pass the orchard, it was a nice sight, different to all the forests the couple had seen over the last few days. Slowing as they pass Dal turns to Nikki "I'm in no need for fruit but I'll go and get you some fruit later." Kissing Dal's neck she replies "Ok my darling."
Finally they arrive in the centre of town, it was a busy town. The market was busy, lots of people going about there daily business. Dismounting there horse they tether it outside a tavern. Dal looks at Nikki and she has smile on her face. Dal knew this look, it was the one she gave when she liked something, smiling back he says "Ok we only just arrived but I know you like it here already, lets stay a couple of days." The smile on Nikki's face grows as she replies "Yea lets."
After looking around town Nikki and Dal decide its time for rest after the travel, waking up fully rested both Nikki and Dal decide its time to explore a little more. Heading off they see a lot of horses in town. Looks like there a few Lords and Ladies in Birmingham. Again the couple head towards the market and see a nicely stocked market still. There was no need to purchase many goods because they'd already decided to stay in town a couple of days. Hopefully the taverns were as well stocked as the market, and that was there next destination. Looking around there was so many taverns to choose from, finally they decided on The Silver Ark Tavern and over they headed, entering it was nicely decorated and the people inside seemed pleasant enough. Dal not being very patient had already eaten when he woke, Nikki however had a little more patience and while Dal ordered the beers she asked for the menu. Nikki showed Dal the menu with a little smirk, he looked and wished he had waited to eat. Steak and Salmon on the menu and reasonable prices. A pleasant afternoon was spent in the tavern meeting a few of the locals, but it was soon time for work. Nikki found work on a local farmers field and Dal made his way to the orchard to pick some fruit. After an hard day working the couple headed straight back for rest.
A night of rest they woke nice and refreshed, Dal went and checked on the horse. Dal returned and they discussed what they were going to do today. They liked Birmingham, so decided that it would be another day in town. Nikki again went to find work, while Dal made his way to the orchard. His ladder was finally getting the use it was made for.
Meeting up in the The Silver Ark Tavern early evening they met more of the locals. Birmingham was a friendly town. Steak and Salmon still on the menu. They both liked the meals on offer in this town. Sat there drinking and getting to know people they looked at each other, so happy to be together and making new friends. Soon it was time for them to leave, another wonderful day spent in Birmingham. Bidding everyone goodnight they left the tavern.
Dal wakes bright and early, leaving Nikki to sleep he checks on the horse. All done he heads to the town hall to check on the jobs. Seeing a few jobs posted he wonders if Nikka will want to stay another day in town. Returning to her she is just waking up, after a little breakfast they sit down and discuss there plans for today. They decide that it will be another day in town.
Nikki heads for town to find work and Dal goes for a quick beer before heading for the orchard. While in the tavern he is asked a few questions from the locals, one question in particular grabs his attention. Listening intently he decides that he may take the challenge. Not wasting anytime Dal leaves the tavern and sends messengers to a couple of his good friends trying to track down the information needed for him to claim the reward.
Messengers sent Dal made his way to the orchard for another day of fruit picking. As he makes his way back to town he meets up with Nikki who had finished working for the day. Time to relax a little they head to the tavern.
Eating, drinking and having fun the couple had a very pleasant evening. Although they both like Birmingham very much it was time to carry on there travels and head off to pack there goods ready for another night of travelling.
Everything packed and loaded onto the horse they say a few goodbyes to new friends and get set to leave town
Leaving Birmingham they set off on the road, looking at the signpost as they leave town it says "20 miles to Warwick". Atop of there horse Nikki holds tight to Dal as they travel slowly down the road. Rounding a corner they see the town of Warwick just minutes away. This was another new town for Nikki and as she looked on and saw the town she held Dal even tighter, feeling Nikki holding him so close he knew this was going to be another town that they would both enjoy. Approaching the town square they head for the water trough, first water the horse then the couple will quench there own thirst.
Entering Ye Old Wood Shack Tavern there is a wonderful atmosphere, nice and friendly people. Dal recognises the bartender, a friend he met in Manchester some time ago. Nikki and Dal find seats and sit to rest there weary bodies after there travel. After a little discussion it is decided that they will stay in town and find work. All the travelling was taking its toll on there available funds.
Rested they head out to find work, there are a few jobs posted at the Town Hall and they successfully find work. Collecting there wages after a hard day in the fields they head back into town for something to eat. Entering the tavern they take a look at the menu, Dal orders beers for them both and they decide on a nice steak each.
The food here was gorgeous and they both enjoyed there meals, the beers kept flowing, enjoying another new town together and each others company. They sit talking and gazing into each others eyes, taking hold of Nikki's hand Dal says to her "Would you care for a dance my dear?" With a loving look on her face Nikki replies "Of course I'll dance with you." Gently kissing her hand Dal leads her to the open space in the centre of the tavern. Holding each other close slowly they dance. They dance for a while, smiling at each other it is soon time for them to leave and rest for the night. Saying there goodbyes they leave the tavern.
After having a restful nights sleep the couple get up, looking outside they see the sun shining and can hear the birds singing, it was a beautiful morning for a walk. Hand in hand they walk around town, Warwick was a nice little town. Passing the town hall they decide that they would check if there are any jobs before making any plans on staying in town another day. There are a few jobs posted so the couple apply, may as well stay another day and make money before carrying on. With work found, it was time to go and earn the money.
Dal was the first to finish work and goes to see Nikki, she is nearly done and he decides to take a rest, sitting down on the soft grass he leans against a tree stump. Sat there watching Nikki work he takes out an old piece of parchment, with a smile on his face he writes and then places it back in his pocket. Nikki finishes her work and collects her wages. Walking back into town they go and check the horse has enough water and food for the rest of the day. With everything sorted it was time for them to relax for the rest of the evening.
It was going to be another evening for them in Ye Old Wood Shack Tavern. It was lively tavern and there was new faces that they'd not seen the previous evening. Settling down they order food and beers. After discussing there plans for the next part of the trip Nikki decides it is time for her to go and get a little rest. Promising not to be too long Dal kisses Nikki before she leaves the tavern.
Dal orders another beer and sits talking to a couple of the locals, it was starting to get late and Dal decided that he would have to leave also and get some rest, bidding everyone goodnight he heads to the accommodation he was sharing with Nikki. As he leaves the tavern he his greeted by a messenger on horseback. Is this the information he had been waiting for when he sent messengers while in Birmingham?
Looking at Dal the messenger speaks "Sir Dalriada, I have news for you from Kendal." Taking out a piece of parchment from his pocket he passes it to Dal. Slowly he unrolls it and begins to read it.
Standing there silent for a moment, his expressionless face. It wasn't the news he had been expecting but nevertheless it was news that he knew he would hear soon. Rolling the scroll back up and putting it in his pocket he thanks the messenger and sets off to tell Nikki the news.
Arriving back Nikki is asleep, looking down on her she looks so sweet sleeping. He never really wanted to wake her but he just knew he had to tell her before he could sleep. Gently waking Nikki she looks up at Dal a tired look but a smile on her face and she says "My darling I was just dreaming of you." Bending down Dal kisses Nikki "My love I have news." Nikki sits up in bed Dal sits beside her and fumbles in his pocket for the parchment. Taking it out of his pocket shows it to Nikki. The smile on Nikki's face turned to a big grin and she flung her arms around him.
Wrapping his arms around Nikki, Dal smiles and looks into her eyes. "My darling you really mean a lot to me and no one has made me feel like this." He then stands up and again reaches for his pocket pulling out another piece of parchment. Nikki sits with a curious look on her face, Dal smiles and hands it to her.
Stood there looking at Nikki, he watches her read it, the curious look fading and a look of great joy appear.
"My love, you are so sweet. Thank you, I feel the same" Nikki says still with a big smile on her face. Taking hold of Dal's hand she pulls him down to sit on the bed beside her and kisses him. Locked in each other arms they lay back to get some rest.
Waking early in the morning still holding each other, they lay there for a while discussing what they were going to do today. Travel or work. Even though most of there time in Warwick had been enjoyable there was times when it wasn't so it was decided they would hit the road again later that afternoon. There was still for a quiet stroll together and so they set off towards the forest. Reaching the forest they follow a deserted path through the forest.
Enjoying the afternoon together away from the busy town with no work and nothing to worry about, they listen to the sound of the birds singing and animals frolicking in the undergrowth. But like all good things it as to come to an end and they start to make there way back into town. Once in town Dal feeds and waters the horse ready for the journey ahead of them. The couple mount the horse and head out of town.
Leaving Warwick the couple head north on the road to Birmingham. They'd both liked the town and had decided they would pay it another visit. Slowly they followed the road meeting a lone traveller. Passing the orchard as they approach town it was nice to see fruit again. Arriving in Birmingham the couple head for the tavern after there journey for a little refreshment. Sitting talking they discuss staying in town for a couple of days. It was getting late and they decided to rest for the evening.
Waking early in the morning Dal decided he would pick fruit, taking his ladder he headed for the orchard while Nikki went to the town hall and found work. After a day in the orchard and field the couple met in the tavern. Ordering meals it was nice to eat some fine food, drink and relax in each others company.
After a couple of hours and it was time to leave, Dal had thought about selling the fruit he picked but instead he stored them for something he had planned. Reaching the accommodation they where both tired and needed to rest, laying next to each other they talked a little and decided they would stay another day in Birmingham.
Nikki was the first to wake and looking out of the window it was another sunny day. Not wanting to miss any of the nice weather she sat on the bed at the side of Dal and gently woke him. Kissing him as he slowly came around, he smiled at Nikki and looking up into Nikki's eyes he was has happy as he could be. Nikki smiled back and again gently kissed him. Sitting up Dal lent towards Nikki and gently kissed her neck while running his fingers through her hair. He knew today was the day for what he had planned.
After checking on the horse and taking a stroll through town it was soon time for finding work. Dal told Nikki he was going to go to the orchard and set off but as she watched him leave he wasn't heading in the direction of the orchard, a little curious she went and found work. An hour later Dal passed her working in the field and he wasn't just carrying his ladder but something bulky as well. Getting more curious she shouted to Dal who just turned and waved to her and then carried on his way towards the orchard. By now Nikki was wondering what Dal was up to, they had planned to meet after work in the town square instead of the tavern, something else that wasn't what they normally did.
After finishing work Nikki went to meet Dal but there was no sign of him, looking around she couldn't see the horse either. Waiting patiently for Dal she wondered if something was wrong, wasn't like him to be late. Just as Nikki was about to go to the tavern and wait for Dal she caught a glimpse of a horse and rider heading in her direction. "Was this Dal?" she wondered. As they got closer she could see that it was and she began to smile but wanted to know why all the secrecy and why he was late.
Dal approached Nikki and dismounted the horse, without saying a word he took her in his arms and kissed her. Still wondering what was going on Nikki looked at Dal. "I have something for you my darling" Dal said and then helped Nikki onto the horse followed by Dal. Turning the horse around they head towards the orchard. As they approach Nikki can see underneath a tree in the shade away from the sun close to the orchard a blanket covering something. After they both dismount, Dal removes the blanket revealing a selection of meat, fruit and wine.
As they both sit down Dal takes the bottles of wine that had been chilling in buckets of water and pours them both a glass.
Looking at Nikki he smiles "My love, I know a couple of weeks ago I asked you a question and you answered me. But now things are different I would like to ask you the same question" Kneeling on one knee he takes Nikki by the hand gently kissing it he looks at her and asks "Will you do me the honour of being my wife?"
Looking back at Dal a smile starts to appear on Nikki's face "My darling Dal the answer is the same as when you first asked me. Yes." The couple lean towards each other kissing and holding each other, a big smile on both there faces. They then raise there glasses of wine.
Sitting for a while in each others company enjoying the food and wine its finally time to pack up and head to town. Mounting the horse they make there way back.
Arriving back in town the couple head for rest, while on the picnic they had decided they would stay a few days in Birmingham. They both liked the town and now officially engaged they just wanted a few days together alone to enjoy each others company before continuing there travels.
Over the next few days, the couple stayed in Birmingham. Nikki working and Dal picking fruit. Each night after work the couple spent some quality time with each other in the taverns of Birmingham making new friends at the same time. The people of Birmingham were a friendly bunch and the longer Nikki and Dal stayed in town the harder is was becoming to leave. Both were strangers in town but the offers of help from locals just kept arriving.
Another day working and Nikki and Dal meet in the Le Smoothy Café for a little light refreshment and the good company of locals. Sitting down Dal orders the beers, they sit talking and discussing there plans. Not long and they are joined by the bartender Vaz and his Lady wife and tavern owner Crazyssmarta. A pleasant evening is spent in the tavern and more offers of assistance are given. Politely Dal refuses and explains that Nikki and himself are staying in Birmingham for a couple more days and are considering moving there. It was nice that people would offer complete strangers reduced priced goods for there travels, something Dal knew you never came across very often. Finally it was time to leave for some rest, bidding everyone goodnight Nikki and Dal leave.
Nikki and Dal woke early and decided to have a walk around town, they had enjoyed there stay in Birmingham but as they walked they decided it was time to set off on there travels again. They were sure that they would be back one day. Maybe sooner than some people thought.
Packing all there goods and loading them on there horse they were nearly ready to travel, Nikki wanted one last look at the market for any bargains before setting off so while Dal fed and watered the horse she went to the market. Dal prepared the horse and while waiting for Nikki to return was approached by a stranger "Greetings, I have heard about your happy news and may have some goods that may interest you" he said to Dal as he took a silk handkerchief out of his pocket, laying it down on the side of the water trough he carefully opens it. Looking at the goods in front of him Dal decides to make a purchase. The stranger thanks Dal for the trade and leaves passing an empty handed Nikki on her way back from the market.
"Nothing you wanted from the market my dear?" Dal asks as Nikki returns, with a shake of her head he was given his answer. Taking hold of Nikki's hand he helps her on the horse. Turning the horse around they head north out of town towards Stafford. As they travelled, they soon arrived at Stafford a lot earlier than they had anticipated. They enter town and Dal turns to Nikki "We are making good time shall we carry on till sunset?" he asks. With a smile Nikki replies "Sure my love."
Without even stopping they continue straight through town heading north still. After a couple of hours the sun starts to go down in the distance and looking at each other they know its time to find shelter for the night because they'll not make it to the next town before the sun has set. Finding a nice clearing near the road they set up a makeshift shelter, Nikki tethers the horse while Dal finds some wood to make a little fire.
Settling next to the fire Dal takes hold of Nikki's hand and holds her close to him gently kissing her, "My love I have something for you to celebrate our engagement." he says taking out of his pocket a pendant and chain.
Nikki smiles at Dal as he puts the chain and pendant around her neck and fastens the clasp "Thank you my darling Dal." she says. Dal smiles back and Nikki takes hold of him in her arms and kisses him. Holding each other they sit for a while in front of the fire happy to be in each others company. The fire starts to fade and both Nikki and Dal are getting tired, "Its time for us to rest" Nikki whispers to Dal. Making sure the final embers are out they retreat to the shelter for some sleep.
Waking early and having a little to eat Nikki and Dal decide they will set off and hopefully they can make it back into Lancaster by next sunset. Setting off north they head towards the border of Chester County and the town of Beeston.
The journey is quiet passing only a couple of travellers they pass through Beeston and carry on towards Manchester. Soon they can see the town on the horizon and the sun is still high in the sky. Slowing down they enjoy the sights and sounds as they pass the border into Lancaster.
Arriving in Manchester the couple head for the tavern after there long tiresome journey. It was nice to be back in Lancaster County and Manchester again. Taking a seat they sit and talk to old friends for a couple of hours catching up on the gossip and telling tales of there trip so far. Slowly people drift away and it is time for Nikki and Dal to get some rest. Bidding the few remaining people goodnight they head off for well a deserved sleep.
Waking early Dal decides to leave Nikki to sleep and heads off to feed and water the horse. Sat on the side of the water trough with the horse drinking beside him Dal takes out a piece of parchment and starts to write, rolling it back up he places it in his pocket. Leading the horse to the tavern he tethers it outside and heads back to Nikki. Arriving back Nikki is awake and has prepared breakfast. Sitting down to eat Dal takes the parchment out of his pocket and passes it to Nikki.
Nikki takes the parchment from Dal and starts to read, a smile on her face she says "Thank you Dal." Rolling it up she places it with the rest of her belongings. Finishing breakfast, its decided that they will find work and stay a day in Manchester. Heading for the town hall there are plenty of jobs on offer and both are successful in finding work. Setting off the couple spend the day hard at work. Collecting payment at the end of the day they go and relax in the tavern.
Dal orders beer from the barkeep for Nikki and himself, sat there looking across the table at Nikki he smiles and takes hold of her hand. "My love we have travelled a lot over the past weeks, lets head to Preston tomorrow and spend a few days there and rest." Smiling back at Dal Nikki replies "Sure, it has been exhausting at times."
A night of rest and the couple wake up nice and refreshed, packing all the goods onto the horse they prepare to leave Manchester and head to Preston. Saying a few last goodbyes they take the road north to Preston.
The journey to Preston was quiet only meeting a couple of travellers as they approached the edge of town. Arriving in town they see the familiar sight of the New Hope Of Preston tavern, in need of a little refreshment they enter and are greeted by the welcoming faces of Sonnie, Daximus and a couple of other residents. Ordering beers all round Nikki and Dal take a seat next to old friends. Sitting talking Dal explains that they had decided to spend a few days in Preston. The conversation soon changes from Nikki and Dal's visit to town and staying in Preston. Nikki and Dal look at each other and say they'll certainly consider it.
After talking for a few hours catching up, people were getting tired and Nikki and Dal needed some rest and wanted to think about what people had said to them. Buying one final round of drinks they leave the tavern. Slowly they walk hand in hand across the town square, the moon high in the sky it was a pleasant evening. Checking on the horse before they finally go for sleep Dal turns to Nikki and asks "Tonight was a really lovely evening, what do you think of moving to Preston? We made some really nice new friends and also met old ones as well."
A little pause and Nikki replies with a smile on her face "Sure lets move, but we have a couple of weeks to make plans for our move." Dal nods in agreement knowing that the couple will need to tie up a couple of loose ends before they finally sell up and make the move. Taking hold of Nikki's hand Dal escorts her back to there accommodation.
Waking to a new morning the couple were excited at the decision to move and only hoped they could move as soon as possible. Preston hadn't been there first choice of towns to move to but after visiting a couple of times and meeting old and new friends it seemed the ideal town to move to.
Setting off to find work, they slowly walk through town, greeting people and telling those that never knew about there decision to move. A lot of people where happy that Preston would have two more residents within the next couple of weeks. Reaching the Town Hall both apply for jobs and set off for work they are hired for.
Late afternoon the couple have finished work and meet in the New Hope Of Preston tavern. Sitting they discuss and begin to work out when would be the best time to sell there goods and make the move. Dal sits there looking at the figures and tries to work out how much money is needed, smiling at Nikki he shows her his calculations. It was going to be another week in Preston before they finally make there last visit to Kendal.
Over the next few days Nikki and Dal took it a little easy, most days were spent working in the morning then socialising in the evening meeting more of the citizens of Preston and making new friends. The longer they stayed in Preston the more they knew it would be a nice town to live in. The couple knew that Preston had been through some trying times over the last few weeks but things looked to be picking up now and they would do the best for the town when they finally move.
Another few days had passed and Nikki and Dal had started to settle in Preston but had also been planning when they were to return to Kendal and had decided that they would start there travel north sometime over the weekend. They planned to sell there fields once in Kendal and pack the rest of there belongings and leave the town for good and make a new life together in Preston.
Over the last couple of days they had heard a lot of good news while sitting in the New Hope Of Preston tavern. There had been two engagements and a third may also be announced. It was certainly a nice town to be in.
Sitting in the tavern for a couple of hours its was soon time for the couple to head out and find work, even though town was small there was still plenty of jobs on offer daily. Arriving at the Town Hall they look at the jobs that are being offered and both are successfully hired. Late afternoon they meet to discuss there day and spend a relaxing day together.
Waking early the couple had decided that today they would set off on there travels again, soon after breakfast Dal sends for a messenger. Waiting for the messenger he writes a note that he and Nikki want posting in Kendal Town Hall -
Corn Field for sale
Wheat Field for sale
The messenger arrives and Dal hands him the note and asks him to get to Kendal as fast as possible and post it. With that Dal thanks him and watches as the messenger heads out of town towards Kendal.
Clearing up from breakfast Nikki and Dal decide to take a walk around town, this was going to be there last day in Preston for a few days. It was a lovely day, the sun was shining in the clear blue sky, birds singing in the trees. Calling at the market they make sure they purchase a couple of loaves of bread each for the trip north.
As it got near to lunchtime they decided to call in the tavern for a bite to eat before they had to leave to pack. Entering there was a lot of chattering about weddings, it was the Lady Ledge and Lady Bluberri discussing there wedding plans. Sitting down the couple order some beers, it was nice to see happy people and hoped they would be back in time for the weddings.
This page was last updated on: July 6, 2010
After a nice afternoon Nikki and Dal realise that it is time to pack and prepare for there long journey ahead of them. Bidding everyone farewell they leave the ladies to talk about there wedding plans. Before packing Dal makes sure the horse is fed and watered, with the horse sorted they pack the little belongings they have on the horse. Mounting there horse they head towards the taverns for one last drink with friends before leaving town. Late afternoon and it is time for the couple to leave and set off out of town. After many wishes of safe travels they untether there horse and take the road north towards Kendal. Waving goodbye to everyone they set off.
Travelling slowly north till the sun starts to set, after passing a small group of travellers they look for a place to rest. Finding a nice little spot at the side of the road the couple dismount and tether there horse up. Sitting on the soft grass they lean against an old oak tree and Dal covers them both with his mantle. Holding Nikki close to him the couple sit and rest for the night.
Waking early the couple set off on there way to Kendal, it had been a few weeks since they were last in town. Arriving early morning town was quiet and decided to have a look around. The messenger Dal had sent had posted his note in the Town Hall and both Nikki and Dal was glad he had arrived in town to post it before they arrived in Kendal. Walking around town they saw the market was being set up and there was fine array of goods on offer. Purchasing a little food for the day they headed for the tavern. A little time was spent in the tavern before they had to go and see if they could both find work. Back at the town hall they both successfully found jobs and went to work the fields they had been hired for.
After a day working Nikki and Dal met in the tavern once more to plan what the next day would bring. They sat most of the night discussing there plans and decided to stay a night in Kendal. Leading Nikki from the tavern Dal escorted Nikki to his home, it had been a while since Dal had slept in his own bed and the first time Nikki had stayed at his humble home.
Waking in the morning, Dal sees Nikki laid at the side of him, smiling he goes to make them both breakfast. Breakfast is almost ready and as Dal sets the table Nikki walks into the kitchen, a smile on his face Dal says "Morning my dear, I hope you slept well." Nikki smiles back and takes a seat at the table.
Still smiling Nikki replies "Yes my dear," Nikki started to eat breakfast while Dal poured them both drinks. It was nice to have a home cooked meal for once, with all the travelling they had done they had lived off tavern meals and they just never tasted the same.
With breakfast out of the way it was time to look for work and the couple head for the town hall. Dal was going to go to the market for wheat but all the travelling left him short of funds to get his mill running again. At the town hall they see there are plenty of jobs posted and also their fields are still advertised there. Finding work they set off to there jobs.
Late afternoon Nikki comes running to Dal who is waiting outside his home, a big smile on her face. "Mi amor, I've sold my field. I'm all set for moving." Smiling back Dal can see how excited Nikki is about moving and holds her in his arms and kisses her.
Dal was just as excited as Nikki was about moving. Taking hold of Nikki's hand leads her inside for some lunch. Sitting down to eat they discuss there next plans and decide that the following day they would set off to Appleby for a little fruit picking while they wait for Dal's field to sell. With travel plans sorted and lunch out of the way they head off to the tavern for a while. Since being back in Kendal they had barely seen anyone apart from those passing in the street.
The tavern was quiet at first but wasn't long before they saw old faces and a lot of new faces. Sitting a while making more plans and discussing there travels it was soon time to retire and get a little rest. Heading towards Dal's home hand in hand the couple had enjoyed the evening.
They both woke early in the morning, there wasn't a lot to pack, they'd only been back in Kendal two days and still hadn't unpacked everything. Nikki prepared a little breakfast while Dal went to fetch the horse after it had been watered and fed. Loading everything up they were ready to set off to Appleby to pick a little fruit. Helping Nikki on the horse the couple set off north to Appleby.
They travelled slowly to Appleby, they'd travelled this road before and the last time they had been to Appleby was when they first started to have feelings for each other and fell in love so Appleby was a special town for them both. Arriving in town they found a place to stay for a few nights, early next morning while Dal was picking fruit he received word that his field had been sold and the money was ready for collection. Meeting up with Nikki in the afternoon they decided it was time to return to Kendal. They had wanted to stay a little longer in Appleby, but they had a new life to start together in Preston and with everything sold they were ready to make the move.
Setting off back to Kendal the couple arrived the next morning after travelling overnight, collecting together all of there money and goods they were finally ready to make the move from Kendal to Preston. With everything packed they spent a couple of hours in the tavern before making the two day trip south. Setting off at dusk the couple were a little sad because there journey was coming to an end but overjoyed at the same time about the new start they were making together.
Arriving safe in Preston it took a couple of days for them to settle in, they found themselves a nice cottage to share and both managed to purchase fields, Dal also purchased himself a flour mill. They were now officially residents of Preston.