The knock

The Gloss family was like any average family in Lobina. The house was just moderate, the noise was just that of the rattling of the pans and the aroma of baking filled the air. Bread, cake , it was just so relaxing. The lights were on and the rattling continued until it came to a pause.

"So, when do you go across, Grandpa?" The voice came from the kitchen, it was that of a young lady. 

She raised her voice for her Grandpa, who has his eyes strained on a couple of scrolls, to hear her.

"Soon enough. I am just worried that I might leave you again. Business now and then, I could almost say, business got more of me than you do at times." He blinked, not liking it.

Diamant walked to him, placing the baked food on the table for him. She had her hair packed in a ponytail and her black eyes sparkled as they flickered towards her Grandpa's wrinkled face. She set the food lightly, then ran to fetch a glass of water from the kitchen while she tucked her stubborn black hair behind her ear. 

"But no, Grandpa. No business, no food. No food, no baking!" She smiled as they both settled down to eat.

"That will be cruel on my granddaughter who loves baking." He smiled.

"You look better now or should I say, you look 40." She said grabbing a cup of water to prevent her from choking.

"Am I supposed to remind you that I am way over 40?" He questioned jokingly, knowing his granddaughter's tricks to get him to smile more.

"I know, I know. I am just saying" She laughed then suddenly looked thoughtful. 

"I wish I knew them, my family. I wish they didn't die in that ship wreck. It must be hard for you, Grandpa. You won't leave me, right? Grandpa Gloss, promise me that you will never leave me."

At that moment, something flickered in his eyes, something embedded with secrets, a look she never understood, never asked.

"I promise that I will never leave you, my little gem." He said.

They smiled at each other and went back to their food.

"It will be your birthday in a few days, what present shall I get you?" Grandpa Gloss asked while he eat loudly.

"And here I was thinking you would surprise me!" She clapped dramatically.

His smile dropped and he paused eating.

Her eyes filled with worry, "Don't worry Grandpa, after this talk I will still act surprised when you give me my present."

He looked back at her with a smile, "That does it. So tell me, what do you want?"

"I can't think of anything yet. I just want to send the flowers over the river in remembrance of my parents and spend the whole day reading a book."

"My little gem..." He cooed with affection in his eyes. "ever so considerate."

They were enjoying their grandfather-granddaughter moment then there came a knock.

It was silent, so silent that it would have been missed. Then it came again and again, till it stopped suddenly. Grandpa forgot how old he was and forsook the rule of Diamant always getting the door. He took a few hasty steps before using his stick to aid his pace, it wasn't a long walk to the door anyway. Diamant thought the intruder must have left considering how silent it was. She was surprised when she heard hushed argument at the door, then it became silent.

Grandpa slammed the door angrily but he had a letter in his hand, Diamant ran to him. He read the letter and his face was suddenly filled with fear and rage. He must have been arguing without reading the letter.

"What?! What is it, Grandpa?" She asked hurriedly with worry as she helped him to the nearest chair. 

They have had to move from several places to another without her being entirely sure of what was chasing them.

Although Grandpa Gloss had always claimed that they were traders jealous of the luxurious profits he made but she wasn't convinced by that at all. Grandpa made no luxurious profits! For such little coins why threaten a person death? This was all so confusing.

Right now, looking at her Grandpa with those looks he had during the days they had made their unplanned trips, she feared for their fates... and their baked food. She hadn't even eaten the food halfway. What a disturbing knock!

Yet her fear and worry surpassed her hunger and she heard herself asking again, pleading to know, "What is it? Please, tell me."

"They are coming."

He said, when he finally got his voice back. "They are coming for us again. Pack whatever you may, I will also go to my room. We shall have to make another trip like always tonight."

Diamant nodded, she obeyed without hesitation. This like it would go on forever. They always had to run, to hide, to leave.

They were always been chased.

Within a short time, they were in the carriage, the little they could pack in it with them. The horses didn't look ready and their only servant, Rider, was so shocked about the trip that he only agreed because he had no where else to go.

"How fast can you get us out of here?" Gloss asked, tensed.

"Aiye sir! Fast? Nay. The road is such a dark, can hardly see a light. Lanterns do no good for such darkness in the sky. This pace, may as well sir, keep us all from danger." He concluded.

"We are already in danger." Gloss muttered under his breath.

"He is right, Grandpa. Our haste might kill us." Diamant held his hand " Before sunrise, we would be out of the village. We can rest a little and continue our journey afterwards, we don't want to tire the horses." She said reassuringly with a smile, even if she didn't understand what was going on, never understood what this was really about. 

In the midst of his worries, he accepted.

Some distance further, Rider suddenly stopped the horses. Grandpa tried to raise an objection but he couldn't when he looked out from the carriage. There was a distant light coming towards their direction, everything was silent for a moment then the ground started to shake. The realization of what was happening came like a bolt of lightning to them all. The village was under attack, a bigger village had brought war upon them.

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