Under the Oak Tree - Chapter 107
Max dragged herself enough to move out of the cabin quickly. She ordered the servants to make a fire to boil water and then to bring it into the cabin. The servants immediately gathered wood to create a fire pit in front of the hut, took a large pot out of the carriage and rushed to the nearby spring.
Ruth finished treating the knight’s wound and scrambled out of the cabin to retrieve his sack of herbs. He faced Max.
“Have you ever dealt with an injured person?”
Max shook her head. She was not going to lie at such a critical time. Ruth nodded and seemed to have expected it.
Ruth took out a few small packets and pushed them out to her.
“This powder is a hemostatic agent. It helps to clot blood. The patient’s clothes are carefully cut with scissors to reveal the wound, cleanse with clean water and sprinkle this powder. Then press it with a clean cloth to stop bleeding.”
“Wha-what about using hea-healing magic…” Max was shocked to hear the procedure. She had thought this could taken care of by magic. Besides, Ruth was known for this very thing!
“I cannot cure all of them with my abilities.” Ruth explained. “Ten people with serious injuries is my limit. We have to treat the remaining directly.”
Max realized that she could not just sit on the sidelines and watch anymore. There was no time to hesitate, She picked a packet trying to hide her fear. With trembling hands, she repeated the instructions in her heart one by one, opening the packet to look inside.
At that time, Ruth handed her another packet.
“The dried leaves are an antidote. If anyone has a purple swollen wound or a fever, please put this in their mouth and have them swallow it. Call me if they are unconscious and you have trouble feeding them.”
“Y-yes” She nodded with a grave look as she committed the words to her memory.
“I’m sure some of the servants have experience in dealing with the wounded. You don’t have to be so nervous, if you give them simple instructions, they should be able to take care of the rest.” He emphasized to reassure her and took the rest of his sack back in the cabin.
After Muttering a short prayer, Max turned towards the servants who were boiling water over the campfire. She was able to barely pass on the simple instructions Ruth left her to the servants. They went into the cabin and barracks straight away each carrying the prepared utensils, linen, and a bowl full of boiling water.
The anxious Max followed the maids to the barracks. The maids were already familiar with treating the injured. She followed them around as they tended to the injured people, trying to help in any way possible. Some had suffered minor injuries, but a majority had wounds that were strange and unusual.
Twelve men in humble clothings who seemed to be loggers, seven soldiers and if those in the other cabin were included.., there were well over forty injured.
It was her first time seeing so many injured people, she had to crack down her fear with immense willpower. Repressing the urge to run away, she leaned over to the nearest guard. The man was almost unconscious.
Max hesitated. She looked at the blanket covering his body. The beast must have bitten his leg. His right thigh was soaked with blood. She swallowed her nausea and brought scissors to his dirty pants. The old-looking guard groaned. She thought she had hurt him more and pulled her hand back. However, she braced herself and cut along the length of his right pants.
The wounds in sight were terrible. His flesh was torn and dug up, and black blood clots were tangled around the injury like mud. Repressing the desire to scream, she wiped the gasp with clean linen moistened with water, as directed by Ruth.
The guard wriggled like an earthworm in salt water upon touch. It took a long time to wipe all the blood off. After disposing off the blood-soaked linen, with trembling hands, she sprinkled the blood-clotting powder on the wound. She then grabbed a fresh cloth, nervously wrapping it around his thigh.
Although she had treated only one person so far, her shoulders became stiff, and cold sweat ran down her back.
Is this really how it is done?
Max stood up from her sitting position, looking down at the guard with anxious eyes. If she simply followed Ruth’s instructions, everything should be fine, she reassured herself. She repeated his words over and over in her mind and walked toward the next man in a shaky gait.
Each one had a horrific and terrible appearance. One man had a broken arm with the bone protruding from the skin. Another man had his face stained with blood most likely from hitting his head.
Max took care of a man with a head injury first. The damp and slippery texture made her feel sick and dizzy, but she could barely hold herself from fainting. She came here to help those in need, not to be a hindrance.
She washed his wound, sprinkled the powder, and then bandaged him. It was fortunate the blood coagulated. Max sighed in relief glancing at her servants. Everyone was taking care of someone in a similar way. She could relax a little and as she moved on to the next person, a thin hand unexpectedly held her back.
“Do not touch him. We need to set the bones first.”