Leona saw that the tome on the Ancient Muserian language was rather thick and pried open the front cover, waving a hand in front of her face to fight off the cloud of dust that had shot up from the pages when it was opened. Leona then glanced at the front page and scanned it until she saw something of interest. This tome had been written by a Crocus Magicka University professor named Henry Rosetta over fifty years ago!
The blonde wondered if the Professor Henry Rosetta who wrote this book was any relation to the Crocus Magicka University emeritus Albert Rosetta, the former professor who had patiently tutored her in Court Heiromesh up to the Expert level. Whether there was a connection between the two was something that she would have to find out later because right now she needed to start reading the tome while she still had an attention span. But first she wanted to change into something more comfortable. Leona strode over to her closet, took off her green, gold, and white outfit top, and slipped on her recently purchased green athletic shirt while PG-13 looked away. The shirt was still a perfect fit for her that did not expose anything nor cling to and accentuate her chest to an unacceptable level. Now that her clothing was changed she shut the closet door and walked back to the desk, where she flipped to the first page and began reading Henry Rosetta's lengthy tome on the Ancient Muserian language.
-Three hours later, Midnight-
It was midnight when Leona closed the book after giving it a good try and making it just over halfway through the 1,000-page work. The book was a difficult one to read because it made numerous references to people, places, and events that Leona had yet to learn about. It had not included any sort of references aside from the Works Cited pages, meaning the book had been written by an academic for an audience of fellow academics who were already familiar with the material. However, Leona had not totally wasted her time reading the book because she had managed to make it through the 200-page "short" history of the Muserian people and their culture and had learned quite a bit about the people who had created the Focusing Stone.
She had learned that the Muserian people of Desierto had established their kingdom roughly 200 years before King Saarghon had come to power and managed to unite all of Desierto under his rule. Their kingdom placed a high value on science, mathematics, medicine, and other scientific fields and greatly valued the scholars who worked in those fields. The Muserians also greatly valued their mages; mages formed the backbone of the Muserian army and supported traditional soldiers in battle and in sieges. Mages protected soldiers with defensive shields that could repel arrow, spear, rock, and the spells of enemy mages. Mages healed wounded soldiers whenever trained doctors were in short supply.
Museria also had an entire library dedicated to science called the Palace of Knowledge, which housed parchments and stone tablets that contained everything that the Muserians had ever learned about science, technology, mathematics, medicine, astronomy, and other scientific fields. Scholars all over Earthland debated whether the Palace of Knowledge was real or just a myth because no one had found any proof that it ever existed; the only "proof" was in the accounts of what few Muserian sources had managed to survive the centuries. Those accounts had all pointed towards King Saarghon as the culprit behind the palace's disappearance.
Any definitive proof concerning the location of the Palace of Knowledge was lost when King Saarghon's forces invaded Museria and took over the kingdom, destroying its libraries to clear the path of Saarghon's version of events. Museria had fallen far from the halcyon days when it ruled half of Desierto; by the time it was conquered Museria had entered a decline due to a series of incompetent rulers and a mysterious decrease in the birthrate of people who could use magic. Despite these dire setbacks Museria managed to resist conquest thanks to the mages it could find and train. Working in concert with Museria's royal army, these devoted mages doggedly kept King Saarghon's armies at bay for over seven years before finally being overwhelmed in a pitched battle at an unknown place in Eastern Desierto. Surviving accounts of the battle described the Muserian army as "being swallowed by the sand" once King Saarghon himself took to the field with his royal bodyguards.
Leona wondered if that was a reference to the magic sword Sand-Splitter, the golden curved sword that was rumored to have once belonged to King Saarghon. Months ago during one of her many jobs in Desierto she had found and given Sand-Splitter to the Sultan of the Tri-Council City after being "commissioned" to recover the mythical weapon on his behalf. Legend had it that any mage who held the weapon could command the sands of Desierto to do their bidding. Leona had not had the time or inclination to learn about the sword since she had been busy with numerous other tasks, but reading that account of the battle motivated her to learn more about the magic sword some time in the not-too-distant future. Perhaps a visit to Jobaasa's Rare Tomes was in order.
Professor Henry Rosetta hypothesized that as invading armies stood outside the gates the last King of Museria had ordered all parchments, tablets, and books with any references to the Palace of Knowledge destroyed so that King Saarghon could learn of its existence and get his hands on the kingdom's most advanced discoveries, but since the professor had no solid evidence to prove or disprove his hypothesis it remained simply a hypothesis. It still caught Leona's attention because if she could find something that proved that the Palace of Knowledge was real she could make a name for herself as something other than a fighter. But before she could indulge in fantasies of exploring a long-forgotten temple hidden in the desert, she had to first find more scholarly sources on Museria, King Saarghon, and Ancient Desierto and read them before taking off to Desierto on a search for the Palace of Knowledge. That task could come later... right now Leona really needed to sleep.
Shutting the book and standing up from her chair, Leona started preparing to go to bed. While she was not ready to become a full-time scholar, the Wizard Saint felt that she was starting to make modest strides towards learning more about the past and thus being able to understand the significance of some of the desert artifacts she had heard about during her travels. Before she went to Jobaasa's Rare Tomes she would have to thoroughly read the Works Cited pages and write down a list of pertinent books to purchase so that she had an idea of what she was looking for. Again, that could wait.
The Wizard Saint really needed to sleep.
[Post Word Count: 1,169]
[Total Word Count: 1,750/1,000]