The angered men who moved about like hungry wolves, hushed for a while as they heard his voice. It was like a cool antidote to the venom of anger and alcohol intoxication which now seeped into their systems. Despite the darkness which were lighted only by their torches, they recognized his voice. And his voice was like a balm to their heated spirit. They didn't just respected him but also adored him for the wonders he wrought into their lives and in their place.
In just few days of his immersion into their village, they learned so many things and most of it were about health and proper hygiene. They were like infants who were patiently taught with the basics of everything. Volunteer nurses spread into the village and taught them diligently the details of healthy practices such as the use of serving spoons, the proper way of washing their children, sterilizing their equipments and many others. Most of all, they already had a closer and inexpensive place to go to everytime they were not feeling well.
Aside from that, their children were given great care and importance. Everyday, they were gathered into a place and were taught with the basics of education. Next year, their children could already have the formal education as the structure of their school was already in progress. A small district hospital is already erected and truth be told, their lives would no longer wilt like morning glories during the night. However, there was one thing that would make it complete, the reconciliation between them and the beautiful witch.
"Let Manong Isko go and don't ever touch a single strand of his hair." His firm voice had commanding authority in it that the men stepped back on its track.
"But doctor, how can we let him go? He ridiculed us and turned our effort to reconcile with the goddess into a joke!" Someone from the crowd dared to protest and spoke out the silent stand of the crowd.
"Leave the witch to me. I'll find a way to solve this problem and if needed, if the benefit outweighs the risk, I'll deal with her."
The crowd began to grumble, some in favor of him and some against Manong Isko. Some of them even doubted in his ability to deal with a supernatural power. They could not doubt at all that he could excel in the world of science and medicine but not against the power of the other world.
"I have the answer as to why some of you are suffering from abdominal enlargement and pain. It's because one of your elderlies who may have passed away now are infected with Hep B virus."
"Hep B virus? What's that?" The crowd asked in unison. They had not heard about it before.
"I'll give lectures on that tomorrow but as of now, I'll just give you an overview about it. Your great, great grandfather may had been infected with it. Through sexual intercourse, he passed the virus to his wife and his wife passed it to their children when they gave birth. The cycle repeats and that is why your number increase."
The crowd gaped in awe at this new information that the noise broke again. They began recalling about how it probably started, who were the members of the family and how they struggled in their deathbed until they gave their last breath. They remembered how their skin became dry and jaundiced and how they agonized in pain. They remembered how their abdomen became so large and how they vomited blood before they died. It was such a horrible scene and it scared them to their bones.
"Where did they get the virus?"
"It's from blood and body fluids of the ones infected in it. Few examples are through sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, sharing of utensils such as when you share glass with the ones infected with the disease during your drinking sprees."
The crowd was hushed once again in deep silence as they began to realize the truth of what he said. Suddenly, a veil of truth dawned upon them. They, themselves, and their unhealthy practices were the creators and the causative agents of their diseases. It was such a shame that they all blamed it to the beautiful witch. That's perhaps why Goddess Maria left them. It's perhaps because of their distorted beliefs against her. Or, is she really real? Does she really exists?
While they talked and argued among themselves like people in the marketplace during its peak hours, discussing the matters they just learned from Dr. Michael, a sound of the car from the mountain stopped them from their bantering. Dr. Michael also stopped from his conversation with Manong Isko and looked up towards the direction of the coming vehicle. They were standing and leaning their backs on the bumper of Manong Isko's car.
Not long after, the sound of the car got nearer and louder and after few seconds, its image emerged from a curve. It was a white car and the reflection it got from the moonlight and some of their torches, made it glisten like some magical objects from the fairyland. The villagers looked up in awe and their hearts were all in accelerated modes as they saw the door from the driver's seat opened.
"Here she is!" exclaimed Manong Isko.
Almost everyone around heard Manong Isko exclaimed. Dr. Michael instantly got uncomfortable and his racing heartbeats suddenly became audible. He saw her feet coming down and then her long legs. At the sight of it, Michael's heartbeats pounded even harder that he couldn't seem to hear his reasoning anymore.
A loud sound was then heard as she slammed the door close. In the eyes of everyone around, her image was then totally displayed before them, making their eyes pop out and setting their heartbeats into a complete mess.
She stood tall in her white stilletos and her slender shape was hugged by a tight-fitting white dress which ended high above her knees. Her brown, soft curls were cupping her face and dear skies, her face looked so angelic! Under the moonlit night, her eyes shone softly against all of them and her gaze seemed to draw all their eyes towards her. She was so inviting and they couldn't take their eyes off her. Her dazzling beauty was so breathtaking and they all felt that they were not looking into a human being but a goddess. And too late they realized, that she could be the beautiful witch!