Nikki and Dal had lived in Preston for a while now and while living there they had found new friends and also realised that some they considered as friends were not who they had made out to be when they first met them. This had not bothered the couple too much, they knew who there true friends were. With this in mind they had done a little more travelling around Lancaster visiting old friends. While taking these short trips it had crossed there minds about moving again but for the time being had decided to put moving on hold, there was more important things that needed attending to and they had become attached to there cottage even though with all the travelling they had not spent an awful lot of time there.
In between there trips out of town Dal could often be seen sat alone in the Kings Corner tavern waiting for his wonderful fiancé to join him for a few light refreshments after a hard days work in there fields. He had started to distance himself from a few in Preston and enjoyed the silence and being able relax after a hard days work. It was during one of these times when Dal was sat there sipping at his mug of ale that he got to thinking that although his life seemed complete with having Nikki in it there was something else still missing. Unsure of what it may be he ordered another ale, looking a little confused he sat there thinking about what he had done with his life so far. He'd done a little good and maybe a little bad at times, there was people that liked him and others that wished they'd never set eyes on him. Taking another swig of his ale he remembers the days of old when he lived in Barnstaple and his time he spent in CRG. Thinking about CRG and the adventures he had with them made him think about all the enjoyable times he had while in KoP. There was his answer to the missing part in his life. When Nikki arrived he explained that he was going to rejoin KoP. Looking at Nikki's face after telling her the news Dal could tell that she was a little worried, she knew that one day he may have to go and fight with KoP and also knew there may be a chance he was killed in one of these battles. Taking hold of Nikki's hand Dal kisses her and reassures her that he will take good care of himself and promised her he would come back.
Life in Preston
Dal woke the following morning and made breakfast for Nikki and himself, over breakfast they discussed more about Dal rejoining KoP. Nikki had thought about it and although still a little worried she explained that she would stand by his decision. Smiling Dal kisses Nikki before setting off to his mill while Nikki went to work on her fields.
Dal had done his milling for the day and before heading off to meet Nikki started to write his application out for rejoining KoP. Happy with his application he summoned a messenger to take the parchment to the Manpower office of KoP. Watching as the messenger set off and was out of sight Dal hoped he had done the right thing. Walking through town Dal met up with Nikki and he explained his application had been sent.
A couple of days had passed since Dal had sent his KoP application and the couple had gone about there daily business as usual, Dal had even been hired by Sir Regal as bartender of the Kings Corner Tavern. One evening while Nikki and Dal was having a couple of beers in the Kings Corner Tavern the door opened and in came the messenger Dal had been waiting for. Approaching Dal the messenger took out a piece of parchment, handing it over and bidding the couple a good evening he turned and left the tavern. Dal looked at the rolled up parchment and then at Nikki, unrolling it he placed it on the table and both began to read. After reading it Dal turned to Nikki with a slight smile on his face "Well my dear it appears I am now back in KoP." Nikki tried a little smile but Dal knew she still never approved fully of him rejoining KoP. Rolling up the parchment Dal placed it in his mantle and went for more beers for Nikki and himself.
The following morning Nikki set off to work in her fields while Dal prepared to start his first day of duties in KoP. While being accepted back in KoP he had also been given the position of Division Commander and was responsible for both Lancaster and Cumberland Knights. There was a lot that Dal had to catch up on since he was last a member of KoP and it took most of the day leaving him only a couple of hours to work that day and leaving him late meeting Nikki.
Over the next couple of weeks Nikki worked her fields while Dal carried on with KoP duties in the morning and then working in his mill or fields in the afternoon.
One evening after the couple had worked they were sat relaxing as they usually did in The Kings Corner Tavern when a messenger entered and passed a parchment to Dal. Curious as to what it was he immediately unrolled it and began reading it. Rolling it back up he looked at Nikki, she could tell by the look on Dal's face that it had something to do with KoP. Taking hold of Nikki's hand Dal explained that he had been asked to take a platoon of KoP Knights to Liverpool due to Wolves Of Sherwood movements around Chester and was to be stationed there with his platoon on standby ready to enter Chester if any trouble broke out. Nikki looked up at Dal and he could see the worry in her face. He knew she wanted to travel along with the platoon and to put her mind at rest he agreed she could travel with them but only as far as Liverpool. If he needed to leave Liverpool and enter Chester then she'd have to wait for his return. Reluctantly she agreed, taking hold of Nikki in his arms Dal promised her once again that he would take care of himself if he was called to fight.
Dal had sent messengers to all that was to be involved in his platoon immediately and waited patiently for messengers and Knights to join his newly formed platoon in Preston. A few days had passed but the platoon was ready and formed. Some of the platoon had travelled from as far as Appleby to join and Dal was impressed by there quick response. There was still a call to travel to Liverpool but because other KoP platoons had already arrived at the towns around Chester Dal gave orders for all in his platoon to rest a night in Preston. While waiting Dal had purchased spare weapons for any in his platoon that were unarmed.
Working one final day in Preston Dal met Nikki as usual and explained that they were going to travel to Liverpool under the cover of darkness. Nikki looked at Dal and told him that she was still going to travel with them to Liverpool. Unsure of what would happen over the next few days Dal gave a little smile and held Nikki tight in his arms.
It was late when Nikki and Dal left the tavern and tonight instead of going home to there little cottage they had a long ride to Liverpool in front of them.
Everyone in the platoon was gathered and making a few final checks the group set off on the road to Liverpool.
Nikki sat behind Dal on his horse, her arms tight around him. He could feel her warm body close to his as they slowly made there way down the road. Dal occasionally glancing behind to make sure everyone in the platoon was still there following him and also looking at Nikki who had started to feel sleepy and was holding him even tighter so she never fell of the horse.
After a few hours of travel Dal could see the outline of the upcoming town, making one last look behind he could see all of his platoon was with him. Nikki's arms were still wrapped around his chest, her head resting on his back. Taking one hand off the reins of the horse he reached for her hand and held it tight as they arrived in Liverpool.
Dal and Nikki spent a few weeks in Liverpool with the platoon and spent there time working on fields in the town and then in the evening after a long day working they met in one of the taverns enjoying each others company, Dal occasionally looking towards the tavern door waiting for the messenger that was to tell him that he and his platoon was needed in Chester.
The messenger never came with orders to continue towards Chester. The threat had moved on and Dal sent out a messenger to KoP asking if he could travel towards Appleby with his platoon and see if he and his platoon could track anyone they had been watching. A couple of days passed and then the messenger arrived with news that the platoon was granted permission to leave Liverpool and unless any new threats happened could disband on arrival in Appleby. Sending out orders to all the platoon that those that never lived in Liverpool should prepare to leave.
The following night all non Liverpool residents of the platoon met in the town square ready to head out North towards Appleby, after a couple of final checks and making sure there was food available for the long journey north they slowly left Liverpool. The first part of the journey would take them straight through Nikki and Dal's hometown of Preston and onto the road between Preston and Kendal. This would be a nice place to rest and watch the road for any of the bandits Dal and his platoon had been tracking over the past few weeks.
Slowly heading north they could see Preston on the horizon, a welcoming sight for Dal normally but he knew this time there wasn't time to stop in town and would have to continue northwards, Preston was in darkness as they passed through. Continuing up the trail towards Kendal Dal turned and looked back to Preston and watched as the town disappeared in the distance. They had spent sometime travelling now and Dal decided that he and his platoon should rest for the night, finding a clearing at the side of the road they set up camp.
The following morning Dal, Nikki and the rest of the platoon were up early and packed away there camp ready to carry on there journey towards Appleby which was still two days ride away. There next overnight stop would be in Kendal. Travelling slowly they arrived in Kendal in the early evening, there was time to relax and have a few beers before resting for the night. After feeding and watering there horse Nikki and Dal made there way to the tavern in Kendal to catch up with old friends. After a pleasant evening in friends and each others company the couple finally decide to go and rest before there final leg of there journey to Appleby.
Morning soon came around, Nikki and Dal decided to take a walk around Kendal and have a look at there old homes before meeting the platoon, it had been a few months since Nikki and Dal had moved away and made Preston there new home. Hand in hand they walked around Kendal, heading to Nikki's old house first.
The garden had become a little overrun with weeds, it wasn't the pristine garden that Nikki used to keep it as anymore. In the corner was a rose bush she had planted which Dal had given to her when they first met and it was in need of a little pruning. Turning to Nikki Dal says "Maybe we can take it home with us to Preston when we pass by next, it will look nice at the front of our cottage". Nikki looked back at Dal with a smile on her face and nods. The couple stood in the garden for a little while, holding each other close and remembering the fun times they had together in Kendal. It seemed like they had only been stood there for a couple of minutes, lost in there memories of the past until it was interrupted by the sound of a horses hooves approaching. Turning around Dal could see a horseman getting closer and heading in the direction of the garden, placing his hand on his hip close to his sword he watched, unsure who it was and why there rush.
The horseman slowed as he approached, Dal took a defensive stance until he heard the voice of the stranger, it was a familiar voice of a KoP messenger "Sir Dal, I have news for you". A nervous look appeared on both Nikki and Dal's faces.
Was it the news that neither of them wanted to hear? The news that there platoon would not be disbanded and would have to carry on with its patrols.
The messengers horse looked weary and tired and above the panting of the horse Dal could barely hear the message he was being told. The messenger then lent forward and passed Dal a piece of parchment, taking it Dal unrolled it and began to read. A smile on his face Dal turned to Nikki, "We will be going home soon my love". Hearing this Nikki rushed over her arms wide open, placing them around Dal's waist he took hold of her and kissed Nikki holding her close and tight.
Still holding each other a voice breaks them appart "Sir I must be on my way". As Nikki and Dal turn they see the messenger heading off into the distance.
The horseman out of sight Dal turns to Nikki, "My love, we have to meet the platoon and pass on the news"