George blew some of the soup elsewhere after hearing the question.
" Ha?" He smirked while sipping a bowl of tinolang manok in a rush.
" You're not answering me." Magee curiously waited for his answer.
Baldur and Albrecht were just looking at each other.
" I worked in a community hospital, as a nurse."
" Wow! that's why you're good in first aids. You are lucky. Hmm, I haven't even finished my philosophy, but still, I'm grateful."
" Nevertheless, your course is nice and besides after the war, you can still continue and finish it." George added.
" That depends if how open-minded his husband would be." Baldur reacted.
Nothwitstanding the calmness of the place and how delicious the breakfast have been but George neither choked or spilled his food every time the brothers would talk for their sister's life and pre-marriage plan.
" I don't know why you're talking about those things, they're too heavy to think about. Anyway, the thing is, how's Dad?" Magee asked everyone.
" Haven't heard of him yet, but I guess he's on his way going down here. He's monitoring some spy working for the invaders."
" Its a tough job, indeed. So how is it going on now. Why you guys brought me here? Its blessing in disguise that I also like the place but there must be a reason for bringing me around, isn't it right?"
" We'll hide you here first, after orienting you in three days. You will be alone for a month without any contact of us. You have to survive and this is the safest place."
" Oh, heavens." Magee glanced blankly outside the window.
" What are you...planning to do. Aren't you afraid here being left alone?"
" Somehow, but I'm sure all of you will help me learn some few things to live by here before you go. You are all soldiers, people closed to you must think twice before they hold your collars down without considering your oath for duty. Our country, ideals, the people, our fight, are more important than being selfish. I must survive.
The guys were speechless and immobile as she collected their empty wooden plates, soup bowls, forks and spoons.
" Are you just seriously okay, no hurt feelings?" Albrecht crosschecked.
" Yes, as long as you would teach me on how to lock the two big heavy horizontal rocks that I guess are heavier than me." A cynic point from her.
" Enough." George went up to the balcony while Albrecht and Baldur followed.
" What do you think? She's not even arguing nor disagreeing."
" Interesting, she's not easy to deal with. Can we not just bring her back and make here the way she wants. Oh no, I'm getting hooked up by overthinking." Baldur bowed his head.
" Let's relax first and we'll leave tonight. I guess George is right." Albrecht suggested.
The siblings went inside to their old rooms and George was left alone in the balcony. He was overlooking on a small river away from the spring with a crystal water flowing, teeming with white stones on its labyrinth. The water was very inviting just as the fogs enveloped the place even at daytime. While communing his sleepy thoughts with the nature, he has heard some small steps on the stairs going up then stopped in an empty room where the map was laden. She thought George slept too so she was busy pointing her index finger on interesting areas
" She's lookin' at the map."
" What is she thinking? I'll try yo ask her if she can swim, according to Baldur, the other exit here needs to follow this river bed, going to the sea. It could be her way out if emergency occur."
" Hi!" George disturbed her from being too serious pointing to different spots and legends on the map.
" Oh, I thought you were relaxing with my brothers. Hmm, what are you up to?"
" Just curious if do you know how to swim?"
" No, I honestly don't know. But its okay. I'll try my best to learn on how to swim."
" But we can stay for days and teach you that."
" Why worry. I think you're all in a hurry to leave here. Besides, I know you're all busy for the attacks."
" Hmm you're upset."
" Excuse me, I have to look around nearby. Stay here and get a sound sleep before you leave tonight."
She hurriedly left and he saw her running away, following the small path towards the closed old entrance. He was doubtful of her so he silently followed. She stopped after running at around eight hundred meters path.
" Huhuhu! Huhuhu!" She sat on a rock fronting the old cave and throwing tiny stones on its hole where later she moved backwards and George saw a brown-black dog angrily moving towards her with bulging reddish eyes, salivating on its gnashing teeth. He would have shouted but she took something on her leg and waited for the dog to attack. He hurriedly ran as fast as he could to rescue her upon finding out the dog's dead body beside Magee. Outrageously, she was still holding the dagger buried on the dog's bloody chest while she had scratches' traces and noticeably, her left hand was filled with bloodstains too.
" My God! Magee, wake up, don't close your eyes." Then he carried her going back to the house.
" Don't get my dagger..." She whispered.
" Yes, yes, just hold it, we're almost there, I'm running! hang on! Baldur! Albrecht! wake up! Get me some herbs around, its a dog bite, she's attached by a wild dog, get me some herbs, c'mon, hurry up!" George was yelling to catch their attention and sibling soldiers did not anymore used the stairs but they got down out of the balcony to get some herbs.
" Brother, how about this." Albrecht asked Baldur while with his trembling hands.
" Yeah, yeah, it's 'serpentina' leaves, that's it, add some more leaves to give her an overdose of that, let's say twenty regular leaves. Those were venomous wild dogs, quick! go up now, run! wash the leaves first and let her chew some of those while I boil water downstairs."
While in the bedroom, George stripped some portion of her blouse scratched by the dog's claws and used a small towel to remove the blood covering on her neck part and below as he washed her hand with water ang gogo. He tried to check his bag if he brought some medicine but to no avail. But suddenly, he was surprised when she slapped him on his left cheek before she collapsed.
" Why oh why!" Albrecht was shocked upon seeing a patient just slapped the rescuer.
" Its nothing, it's trauma-related. That's why I transfered the dagger on her left hand otherwise it could have hit me. She passed out because of tension and exhaustion, the dog was too heavy and she gave her strength. What's those leaves?"
" Serpentina" Is it just good for snake bites?"
" Its also good for dog bites, Baldur reminded me on this." Albrecht said.
Baldur came in and brought a mug with boiled water and he soaked the leaves into it waited until the water turns out green.
" I will lean her body on the pillow, wait, and give me a spoon please, she can't drink that through the mug, its too hot." George was sweating.
" Magee...Magee...wake up, sip this herb, c'mon, wake up."
She slowly opened her eyes and sipped the spoonful of it. At first she spilled it and almost vomitted. But George helped her drink the rest until she had sweat.
She'd slept after sweating too much and George didn't have any option but dressed her through the consent of the brothers. George also tied two big wounds on the left arm, its where she used as a shield when she was attacked and the other wound was on her right elbow.
" Good that she has that dagger. Who gave it?" Baldur asked.
" I gave that to her. But I never knew that she's always bring it and even made a purse of it on her right leg."
" Gracious Lord! she's really my spartan sister, good that she had it." Albrecht smiled exhaustingly before he sat facing his head on the ceiling. This day isn't a joke, I almost died upon hearing your yells where I thought was just part of my dream. What if, she's alone here experiencing this? huh! I have to relax first, I need to think a lot."
" She stabbed the dog's chest and even bury the entire dagger on its chest."
Baldur ran outside and went to the site where Magee was attacked.
" My God...this isn't a joke. Its quite big and the pangs were terribly scary, I guess, this is the oldest vagrant here. She only stabbed her once, but it was a full blown catch." Baldur pulled the stray dog in front of their house.
" Whoah! Is that the culprit? that's too big!" Then Albrecht went down to closely see it.
" Baldur, can you estimate if how many kilograms that evil dog is?"
" Maybe around fifteen kilos, I guess so."
" Gosh! look at the talons! its a killer dog! I could not imagine our little rascal has slaughtered it!"
" I'm a combatant but when I saw her being attacked I was so scared. I don't know why, its a terrible attack. I was just following her after being upset and she just cried there when that dog horrendously attacked.
(...to be continued)
"George, if you won't mind me asking, hmm, before you joined in the warzone, what was your career?"