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    Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3552
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,529,025

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 22nd September 2020, 9:54 pm

    Job Details:

    Job Sign-Up: Page 27, Post Number 665


    Last edited by Leona Jarnefeldt on 22nd September 2020, 10:43 pm; edited 1 time in total


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3552
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,529,025

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 22nd September 2020, 10:42 pm

    -Silver Wolf Guild Hall, Leona's Room-

    Having arrived at Silver Wolf Guild Hall less than four hours ago, Leona had just finished folding up all of her freshly laundered clothing from her lengthy adventure in Midi under the watchful eye of PG-13. She had just put them away in her closet when she heard knocking on her room door. Wearing a white tank top and "chocolate chip" desert camouflage shorts and no boots, Leona answered the door to find a staff member standing on the other side holding a manila envelope.

    "It's for you, Guild Mistress. It came in from Desierto less than an hour ago." The middle-aged man said to her. Leona looked at it and saw an old-fashioned red wax seal with C.M.U. stamped on it.

    "Thank you." Leona replied. The man nodded and went on his way, leaving the guild mistress to read the contents of the envelope. She walked to the desk and carefully opened the red wax seal, then carefully reached inside the manila envelope and gently pulled out a letter. It was on Crocus Magicka University stationery and was addressed to her from a Dr. Edward Crouch.

    Leona recognized that name. He was the "old money" professor that Dr. Anna had warned her about. He was the one who she claimed saw little place for women in academia other than as secretaries. Leona gently opened up the letter and began to read it.

    "Dear Wizard Saint:

    I'm working a site in Central Desierto that you helped explore a few months ago and we've discovered an ancient archives. Ordinarily I'd go explore it myself since I don't need a skirt-wearing tart like you prancing around ancient ruins, but the sultan insisted that I contact you for help with this find. Since the sultan signs my paychecks, I'll give the man what he wants. Meet me at the site as soon as you can and don't be late! Also, keep your mouth shut and don't tell anyone where you're going because the sultan wants secrecy!

    You can do that, right? I hope so... if you know what's good for you!
    " The letter read. Leona frowned. This Dr. Crouch guy sounded like a real jerk and that was just in his letter to her. She was sure that he was even more unpleasant in person.

    Leona walked over to her closet and dug out her blue, gold, and white outfit, her green, gold, and white outfit, and her khaki cargo pants. She then dug out her white, green, and blue athletic shirts. She finally took out her black bike shorts to wear under her skirt so that Dr. Crouch could not complain about her wearing a skirt if the wind picked up.

    She selected her white athletic shirt and blue, white, and gold skirt to wear for the trip along with her black bike shorts. PG-13, who had been standing near her desk, turned his head while Leona changed and turned it back once she had put her clothes on. She then grabbed a pair of socks and her boots and put them on, making sure that Ses Revanche was in its concealed sheath in her right boot.

    Leona then put on her Argent Gloves and grabbed her Silver Longsword, putting the sword belt on and securing it. She then packed all her clothes in her backpack and put the letter in her desk drawer under her Daggerbook, which was still in its protective box inside her desk drawer. She lingered for a moment and looked at the sleek laptop.

    Maybe one day she would get a chance to sit down and actually learn to use the laptop.

    Until that day came the Wizard Saint would have to keep working, especially when it involved one of the sultans of the Tri-Council Cities. When the sultan said "Jump!" Leona was supposed to answer "How high?" Leona went around the room one last time to make sure she had everything, then bade PG-13 goodbye and left her room behind. She was going back to Desierto for the first time in almost three months.

    -Central Desierto, three hours later-

    Landing on the outskirts of the walled camp, Leona dismounted Winged Lion and dispelled him, then slowly approached the gates with her job notice in hand. The double gates opened and Leona was escorted in by members of the royal army. As soon as she was inside the double gates were closed behind her and her escorts.

    -Inside the camp-

    Leona was escorted past the tents of the workers and royal army soldiers and eventually reached a pair of rectangular canvas tents marked Crocus Magicka University in stenciled black letters. Standing outside of one of them was a skinny old man with white hair, gold-rimmed glasses, a long-sleeved khaki shirt, khaki cargo pants, and brown boots. He turned to her and spoke.

    "Took ya long enough. What did you have to do, stop to put on some lipstick?" The man asked snidely.

    "I had just gotten back from Midi a few hours ago when I got-" Leona began to explain herself before he rudely raised a hand to cut her off.

    "Excuses, excuses. You're a Wizard Saint. You're supposed to be the best that the world of mages has to offer, but I'm not impressed with you." The man continued to chastise her for being "late" even though she had just gotten the letter from him not even five hours ago.

    "Anyway, I'm Doctor Edward Crouch. I'm the one who asked for your help, but only because the sultan suggested that I do so. And don't you forget that!" The man introduced himself. Leona was not entirely surprised that the man could not hold off on his verbal abuse long enough to at least be polite to her. She decided to take the high road and be polite to him.

    "I'm Leona Jarnefeldt, the Wizard Saint of-" Leona started her introduction before the doctor raised his hand to cut her off a second time.

    "Yeah, yeah. You're the Wizard Saint of Courage. We know. We've all heard the stories about your exploits. Most of which had to have been exaggerated." He brusquely said to her before taking yet another cheap shot at the mage. The blonde took a deep breath. It had not even been five minutes and she was already starting to dislike the man. Working with this man was going to be quite a challenge.

    [Post Word Count: 1,076]
    [Total Word Count: 1,076/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3552
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,529,025

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 24th September 2020, 12:09 am

    -Inside Dr. Crouch's tent-

    Leona walked into the rectangular tent reserved for Dr. Crouch and noticed a map on old-fashioned corkboard positioned diagonally in the far right corner. In the center as she came in sat a wooden table that boasted neat stacks of books and notebooks filled with neat handwriting. Dr. Crouch closed them to deny Leona a look at their contents and muttered about the Wizard Saint being a "spy" for "that upstart Dr. Anna" who was "struggling to stay relevant" after she could no longer coast on her "accidental" discovery of the Lestreki temple. The blonde was starting to think that Dr. Anna had a good reason for saying what she did about the man.

    "I suppose that I'll fill you in on what you need to know about the archives we uncovered." Dr. Crouch said like he was doing the Wizard Saint a favor... which he was. She had just learned about them being discovered today. Still, he had a tone of disgust and annoyance on his voice like he had been forced to clean up after a household pet.

    "We found a lot of scrolls and stone tablets written in an ancient language named Court Heiromesh. You've probably never heard of it because you spend a lot of time on your iLac just like all the other young people nowadays." He continued the briefing. Leona politely rebutted that point.

    "Actually, I'm sort of familiar with Court Heiromesh, Dr. Crouch." Leona politely argued. He looked at her.

    "I was taught Court Heiromesh up to the Expert level by Professor Emeritus Albert Rosetta." Leona informed him. The doctor did not show any type of emotion or response. Instead of replying to Leona's statement he continued with the briefing like the Wizard Saint had not even spoken to him.

    "We've found a lot of records pertaining to the reign of King Saarghon. There are so many that we're still working on collecting them all. That's where you come in." The academic said to her. Leona took an interest in that. Maybe he needed some help translating some of them.

    "Don't get too excited. I don't need help translating any of it. I just need help carrying them. Unlike you, I actually paid attention during Professor Rosetta's lessons when he was teaching at Crocus Magicka University. As a result I have a complete mastery of Court Heiromesh." He informed her bluntly. Leona's heart sank. This man was so unpleasant that she would rather spend time with her mother than deal with the belittlement that she was receiving from Doctor Crouch.

    "Now go help my assistants carry those records! And try not to drop any of them! They're far more valuable than you are! The Magic Council can make more Wizard Saints, but they can't make authentic documents from the reign of King Saarghon!" He ordered harshly. Leona swallowed her frustration at being treated so poorly and obeyed. Dr. Anna had said that the man had a good side and showed complete loyalty to those few people he called friends. So far Leona was not seeing any of it.

    -Inside the mine, inside the archives-

    Leona walked into the archives, which were well-lit by the same type of lanterns set down by the archaeological team when Leona had first explored and cleared the mine of its undead denizens. She walked into the archives, which was in the form of a large square room that was covered wall-to-wall in ancient stone bookshelves filled with scrolls and clay tablets. The shelves had been labeled in bold numbers and letters with sandwich board signs next to them. Inside was a small army of khaki-clad young people working under the supervision of middle-aged men. One of them, a short, portly, and bespectacled old man who reminded her of Tempest Avian, looked up and spoke to Leona.

    "Ah, if it isn't Miss Jarnefeldt herself coming to join us! Welcome, welcome!" He greeted her jovially. The young assistants all stopped what they were doing and looked at Leona like she was Samira Nassar. Expressions of surprise and joy filled the air of the archives. Unlike when she had met Dr. Crouch, Leona felt like these people were actually glad to see her.

    "Hi there. Dr. Crouch sent me down here to help carry some of the records back to the tent. Where do I need to start?" Leona asked the older man. He pointed her to the far left side of the archives that was labeled A7.

    "OK, I'll start there first." Leona said. The man fished out a pair of white cotton gloves from his side pocket.

    "Please don't forget to wear these, Miss Jarnefeldt! You'll need them to avoid your body's natural oils from soiling the records!" He said to her. Leona took off her Argent Gloves, placed them in her backpack, and put the white cotton gloves on. She then went to the left side of the room and started work at the central shelf.

    The first object that caught her eye was a clay tablet that had been baked to preserve what was recorded on it. Her curiosity took over and picked it up and read it. It was a record of the amount of wine consumed at the coronation banquet of King Saarghon. The amount was not recorded in liters or gallons, but in another measurement entirely, a measurement that was something she could not translate because the scribe's pen had messed up one or two of the letters. Leona was not sure what that translated to, but she was sure that Dr. Crouch could put together the missing pieces.

    Leona held it carefully in her hands and carried it out of the archives. Once she had taken it to the collection point she returned and looked for another clay tablet. She found one sitting to the far left and picked it up. She began to read it and found that this one recorded how many loaves of bread were served at the king's coronation banquet. The number was around three hundred.

    "I see that you're reading the tablets." A voice behind her said. Leona yelped and jumped so hard that she nearly threw the tablet into the air, managing to cling to it with her fingertips. She hurriedly improved her grip and clung on tightly to it, then turned around to find the owlish professor looking at her, his glasses gleaming in the lantern light.

    "I apologize for scaring you, Miss Jarnefeldt. I just could not help but to notice that you can read the tablets." The man apologized to Leona.

    "It's fine. And yes, I can read some Court Heiromesh. I learned how from Professor Emeritus Albert Rosetta." Leona explained how she had learned to read the ancient language. Unlike Dr. Crouch, this man actually seemed impressed.

    "Ah, Emeritus Professor Rosetta! I know him and I knew his father Henry. Henry was absolutely fascinated by Ancient Desierto, so much so that he wrote an entire book on the subject." The man said to her. Leona recognized that name from her studies back at Silver Wolf Guild Hall.

    "I read Henry Rosetta's book Ancient Desierto." Leona added. The older man smiled.

    "Ah, yes, Ancient Desierto! That's quite a lengthy book. It's lengthy and tends to go on and on in places, but it's quite informative!" The older man briefly talked about the book with Leona. He then looked towards the entrance to the archives and turned back to the Wizard Saint.

    "We'll have to talk about it later, Miss Jarnefeldt. Dr. Crouch is due for a visit any time now, so you'd better get busy!" He said with genuine concern. Leona took the hint and carried the tablet to the tent, then came back in about seven minutes later to find more tablets to take back to the tent and place at the collection point marked out for items from Shelf A7.

    [Post Word Count: 1,322]
    [Total Word Count: 2,398/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3552
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,529,025

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 24th September 2020, 1:07 am

    -In the archives, one hour later-

    After an hour of work Leona had completely cleared out the middle shelf of Shelf A7 and was working on clearing out the bottom shelf when Dr. Crouch himself paid a visit to check on the progress in the archives. Leona made it a point to avoid stopping to browse at the contents of any of the tablets in her presence so that he could not accuse her of "slacking off" or some other offense. He seemed to not need too much reason to bash the Wizard Saint, which was probably because she was a woman and in his privileged worldview women did not have a place in academia except as secretaries to Crocus Magicka University faculty like himself.

    Leona found another clay tablet and struggled not to read it around the irascible doctor of archaeology, but he must have seen her take a peek because she heard rapid footsteps approach from behind and stop at her right shoulder.

    "I told you to CARRY the tablets, NOT to read them! You can't read Court Heiromesh anyway! Well, maybe you could if you actually paid attention in class, but you didn't pay attention! Since you don't have an education that's why you're working for me!" He raged at her. Leona was starting to question whether this man really had a good side to him at all. During their time together he had done nothing but hurl thinly veiled insults and constant jabs at her. Leona silently took a breath.

    "Yes Doctor!" She said obediently, stifling her growing sense of frustration and rising to her feet to ferry the tablet to the collection point. The doctor glared at her the entire time she was in the archives and she could feel his eyes burning a hole in her back as she left to do his bidding. Leona should have let the abrasive academic know that she was here only on the behest of the sultan, but that would do her no good. He would just twist that into a reason to throw her off the job. Leona would grin and bear it for as long as she could.

    -Twenty minutes later-

    Leona had come back from taking a tablet that recorded the amount of beer consumed at the coronation banquet and was relieved to see that Dr. Crouch had gone back to his tent. The older man who had been so kind to her was waiting.

    "Don't take it personally, Miss Jarnefeldt. Dr. Crouch is an older man with very few friends. He's nearing retirement age and he's not taking it very well." The man said with sympathy for both the Wizard Saint and the irascible doctor. Leona looked around before speaking in case asking about Dr. Crouch could actually summon him.

    "Is he... is he always this... short-tempered?" Leona dared to ask. The older man chuckled.

    "I'm afraid he is, Miss Jarnefeldt. I've known him since we went to Crocus Magicka University together over fifty years ago. Edward's always been... temperamental. He's quick to anger and even quicker to believe that he's superior to everyone." He answered.

    "I was told that his family has served on the university's faculty almost since its founding." Leona said to the man.

    "Yes, yes it has. And that's where most of his attitude of superiority comes from. He feels that a tenured professorship is his birthright and that no one should challenge that. Or challenge him, for that matter." Came the answer. He looked over his shoulder to make sure that Dr. Crouch had not come into the archives before speaking again.

    "I'll tell you more later, Miss Jarnefeldt. We should get back to work. Dr. Crouch doesn't care much for what he perceives as laziness." The man warned her. Leona nodded and went back to work clearing out the bottom shelf of Shelf A7 while he went to supervise some students working on the far right shelf directly opposite the one Leona was working on.

    -Two hours later, in the archives-

    Leona had completely cleaned out Shelf A7 and had moved to the left of it to work on the middle section of its neighbor Shelf A6. The Wizard Saint was getting a bit tired from the work, but her mind was getting dull from the sheer tedium of the task. She had known from personal experience that academic research was not nearly as thrilling as lacrima shows and movies had made it out to be. It was slow, meticulous work that frequently took years, even decades, to have any payoff. It also involved a lot of time in the library, something that Leona was not very good at doing... yet.

    Leona had just picked up a clay tablet when she heard footsteps behind her and to her left. Her heart filled with dread. It was Dr. Crouch!

    "Have you forgotten what you're here to do, Wizard Saint?" He asked her pointedly, calling her out in front of everyone gathered in the archives. She picked up the tablet and walked towards the exit with it firmly in her hands. Leona's urge to knock him back to Ancient Desierto with one of his beloved tablets was growing by the moment.

    "Good girl." He said in a deliberately condescending way. Leona had to just keep walking before she did something really stupid. With the way he was behaving it was no wonder he did not have many friends.

    After a seven-minute absence Leona returned to the archives and found that the doctor was still there as if he were waiting on her. Leona dreaded that. She wondered what aspect of her life or appearance he would insult now.

    "Well, it took you long enough to get back. You're a Wind mage. Wind mages are supposed to be fast!" He lambasted her perceived sluggishness. Leona ignored it and went to Shelf A6 to retrieve another clay tablet and he took out a golden pocket watch.

    "You need to learn to work faster, Wizard Saint. Just so you don't lollygag all day, I'm going to start timing you. I'm going to give you five minutes to pick up a tablet and come back to get another. I want you coming and going at five-minute intervals." He said to her slowly as if she were a child.

    "If you fail to keep to a five-minute interval even once, I'm taking you off of this project and telling the sultan to find me someone who actually knows what they're doing!" He barked a threat at her. Leona knew better than to balk, so she hurried to the bookshelf, picked up a tablet, and set off at a run with it.

    "Good girl." He repeated in the same utterly condescending voice he had used earlier as she hurried by. Leona's dislike was growing stronger by the moment. She needed to keep her temper under control, but Dr. Crouch was gleefully tap-dancing on every button that threatened to set the blonde off.

    [Post Word Count: 1,166]
    [Total Word Count: 3,566/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3552
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,529,025

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 24th September 2020, 10:23 pm

    -Two hours later, inside the archives-

    Leona had managed to keep the pace that Dr. Crouch had set for her. She had cleaned out Shelves A6 and A5 and was now working on A4. Leona's dislike of the man was growing by the second. Why was he being so harsh on her? Why was he more lenient with the other professors and their assistants?

    Leona picked up a scroll and hurried past Dr. Crouch, who glared at her every time she entered and exited the room to take a record to the collection tent. It seemed like he was going to stand there and time her for the duration of the job. Leona did not know what she had done to piss him off other than exist and be a woman, but whatever. She was only putting up with the doctor's incredibly rude behavior because the sultan was the real client and letting him down could spell trouble for her home village and its allies.

    Leona ran back in three minutes later and collected another one, then hustled out of the room under the burning gaze of the doctor. Her legs were holding out so far, but she was not sure how much longer she could keep up this blistering pace. She was sure that Dr. Crouch was just watching and waiting for her to falter and fail so that he could kick her off of the job and badmouth her to the sultan, fellow faculty members of Crocus Magicka University, and anyone who would listen about how lazy and inept the Wizard Saint of Courage was. Leona was not going to let some old professor with a bad attitude destroy the reputation she had worked so hard to build. She would outlast him even if she had to run all night to do it.

    -Two hours later, inside the archives-

    Leona hurried back in to collect the final clay tablet from Shelf A3 before moving on to work on clearing out Shelf A2 and saw that the doctor was still standing there with the same stern facial expression he had given her four hours ago. Leona was starting to become worried about the elderly man's mental health. Just what had women done to him to make him treat her like this?

    "Keep going, Wizard Saint! You know what will happen if you slack off!" Dr. Crouch shouted "encouragement" at Leona. The blonde clenched her teeth and kept running. She hoped that he would eventually grow bored with his sadistic game and move on, but she doubted it. Someone filled with so much hate towards women would not easily grow bored with having one of Earthland's most powerful women at his mercy. It seemed like he was a vampire of some sort, a vampire who drew sustenance from the misery he inflicted on women.

    Why was this happening to her?

    -Two hours later, inside the archives-

    Leona had cleared out Shelves A2 and A1 and was now halfway through Shelf A8 and the professor was still standing there with his left hand on his hip and his golden pocket watch in his right hand. The Wizard Saint was starting to hate and fear the man in equal measure. She was beginning to hate him for his needlessly harsh treatment of her. She was beginning to fear him because of how his hatred of her motivated him to stand around and time her long after most people would have either given up or left a crony to do it.

    "Keep going, Wizard Saint! I want this entire section clear before you leave! I know you're used to easy work, but while you work for me you're gonna earn your paycheck! You won't be able to charm your way out of doing your share of the work with me!" Dr. Crouch berated her. Leona wanted to punch his lights out so badly. Since when was fighting entire packs of werewolves or fighting entire gangs of bandits who wanted to kill her "easy work"? Had he ever set foot into the world beyond the ivory tower he was born into?

    Leona stifled the urge to throw a Mach Straight into his face and kept going, gathering up another clay tablet and running with it out of the archives. Her legs were starting to hurt, but she had to keep going or he would seize the opportunity to dismiss her from his service and trash her reputation. He had better be thankful that she was a Wizard Saint and a Guild Mistress and had a reputation to protect... if she did not have those holding her back the abusive professor would have likely gotten a faceful of fist by now.

    -Two hours later, inside the archives-

    Leona had cleared out shelves A8 and A9 and had started work on A10 when Dr. Crouch spoke to her again with yet more "encouragement."

    "It's amazing what you can accomplish when someone keeps you on task, huh?" The professor asked the Wizard Saint in a voice dripping with condescension. Leona ignored it and kept moving even though her legs were practically screaming at her to stop. The blonde had no idea how she had managed to run for a little over eight hours without collapsing and dying from sheer exhaustion. She needed to keep it up because she still had about ten more shelves in her section to clear out and her self-appointed taskmaster would be watching every moment of the time.

    Leona was starting to hate every minute of this job. Once she had powered through this one she was going on a vacation far away from Desierto... and Dr. Crouch. Maybe she should spend that time studying for her Expert-level Court Heiromesh exam or learning to use her Daggerbook. However, she doubted that she would be that productive after surviving this nightmare of a job. She would probably just want to lay around and do nothing for the next three days once she got back to Silver Wolf Guild Hall.

    -Inside the archives, two hours later-

    Leona came back to finish clearing out Shelves A11 and A12 and was beginning to work on Shelf A13 when a miracle finally happened. Dr. Crouch sighed and left the room for a few minutes! Leona was so glad to see that her tormentor had finally left that she nearly paused to catch her breath, but she was pretty sure that he was still timing her and was just waiting for her to pause for a moment so that he could catch her "slacking off" and fire her. The Wizard Saint took a deep breath and hurried to the collection tent with still another scroll in her hands.

    She was not sure if she was going to make it for much longer, but she had to try.

    -Inside the archives, eight hours later-

    "Well, you've finally cleaned our your section of the archives! It took you long enough!" Dr. Crouch finally "congratulated" Leona for competing the task he had given her. When he said that she would clear out her assigned section before she left, he had meant it. After the brief break two hours ago he had returned to the archives just to keep her "on task" because he was worried that she would "get lazy" without him there to supervise her. Dr. Crouch had let the other workers leave without their entire section being cleared out but insisted on staying to watch Leona complete her work.

    "How does it feel to actually put in a day's work? Have you ever been this tired before?" He asked mockingly. Leona just clenched her teeth. If thoughts could kill, Dr. Crouch would have been reduced to a puff of crimson mist several hours ago.

    [Post Word Count: 1,294]
    [Total Word Count: 4,860/11,000]


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    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
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    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 24th September 2020, 11:30 pm

    -The next day, inside the archives-

    After a grand total of six hours of sleep Dr. Crouch had personally awakened Leona for her to "get ready to put in another honest day's work." The blonde had seriously given thought to "accidentally" punching him in the face for being so rude as to shake her right shoulder multiple times and actually kick her in the backside when she did not get up. Leona was not happy with her literal rude awakening, but she had no choice but to get up and keep working. After shaking herself awake Leona hurried to get to the archives in time to avoid another tongue-lashing.

    "Oh, look who finally decided to join us! I'm glad you could find the time to join us for another day of work!" Dr. Crouch sarcastically greeted Leona, who felt absolutely awful. He pointed her out to the students and other faculty working on the right side of the archives. He probably expected them to join him in putting her down, but instead they gave Leona sympathetic gazes.

    "You'll have another day of hard work ahead of you. I know that's a new experience for a lazy tart like you, but some of us actually have to work for a living. You can't just flaunt your body at men and expect them to do your work for you!" Dr. Crouch roasted Leona. Leona just then noticed that the tail of her white athletic shirt had rode up during the night and exposed her midriff. The back of her skirt was also a bit wrinkled from riding up, exposing part of the right side of her bike shorts. The embarrassed blonde quickly straightened out her shirttail and smoothed out her skirt.

    "You're a Wizard Saint. I'd expect you to have higher standards than those you've demonstrated, but I guess the Magic Council made you a Wizard Saint based on looks. Or maybe you gave them other services in exchange for the title." He snidely hinted that she had gotten the title based on her looks or she had exchanged sexual favors for it. The Wizard Saint's face turned beet red with anger. Seeing that the fecal matter was about to hit the oscillating air device, the owlish professor whom she had spoken to yesterday quickly came to the Wizard Saint's aid.

    "Edward, please. That's enough. What has she done to you to deserve such harsh treatment?" The man asked, using the doctor's first name. The slender old academic

    "Carlton, you know that I've got a lot riding on the success of this dig. I'm almost at retirement age and the vultures are circling. The younger professors can't wait to see the back of me so that they can take my place!" Dr. Crouch asserted. Carlton took a deep breath. Leona saw an apologetic look flash across his face and the shorter man open his mouth before Dr. Crouch spoke again.

    "I know that that Dr. Anna upstart wants nothing more than to see me gone! She's declared war on older men like me. She thinks that we're old men clinging to our privilege and need to retire so that the faculty can get some new blood and new ideas!" He ranted. Leona could easily see where Dr. Anna was coming from when she claimed that he was privileged. Carlton was trying to deal with the man as a friend and an equal, but Dr. Crouch was not letting him get a single word in.

    "That Wizard Saint's the tool she used to make her discovery of the Lestreki Temple! That blonde tart made the discovery, NOT Dr. Anna! But Dr. Anna can't be happy with what she's found. She's gotta sabotage her rivals so that she's the one at the top of the mountain and everyone's standing beneath her! She's not gonna build her career at my expense because I'm not going to let her!" Dr. Crouch fumed. Carlton took the opportunity to try and get a word in.

    "So you think that Miss Jarnefeldt is a spy sent by Dr. Anna?" The owlish man asked his colleague.

    "YES!" Dr. Crouch shouted.

    "And you think that Miss Jarnefeldt is a saboteur sent by Dr. Anna to deliberately ruin your dig site by working slowly and otherwise making you look bad?" Carlton asked again.

    "YES! EXACTLY!" Dr. Crouch shouted his agreement, unsettling both his older colleagues and their student assistants with the fervor in which he believed that the Wizard Saint and Guild Mistress of a guild dedicated to research was a spy and a saboteur sent by Dr. Anna to ruin him.

    "She's not going to ruin MY work! She won't steal my research! I'll run her ragged! I'll make her so miserable that she'll beg me to let her leave, but I won't let her leave! I'll make her regret ever taking orders from Dr. Anna!" Dr. Crouch yelled. Leona had had just about enough of the elderly academic's nonsense. Just what the Hell was his problem with her? What led him to believe that she was a spy out to ruin him?

    "Edward, enough." Carlton said to him softly. The angry doctor continued to rant about how Leona was out to sabotage his expedition so that he would be forced to retire early and Dr. Anna and the younger professors could move up.

    "Edward, ENOUGH." Carlton said more forcefully.

    Dr. Crouch continued to rant even further and suggested that Carlton had gone over to Dr. Anna's camp just to help Leona sabotage him. The owlish man had had enough.

    "EDWARD! ENOUGH!" He shouted forcefully. Leona took a step back and so did the students working in the archives. The Wizard Saint was surprised that such a short and pleasant man could get so angry. Then again, he had gone to school with the taller man and had known him for decades. Carlton had had plenty of time to get tired of Dr. Crouch's abrasive manner and uncontrolled superiority complex.

    "DON'T YOU TALK TO ME LIKE THAT, MR. ADAMS! I WON'T TOLERATE TREACHERY FROM YOU TOO!" Dr. Crouch shouted back. The shorter professor stood his ground.

    "EDWARD! JUST LISTEN TO YOURSELF! YOU'RE NOT MAKING ANY SENSE!" Dr. Adams pleaded. Dr. Crouch put his hands over his ears and stormed out in front of a stunned Wizard Saint, several stunned professors, and a lot of stunned graduate assistants. No one dared to move. No one dared to even breathe. After a few tense minutes Dr. Adams took a deep breath and turned to everyone.

    "I apologize for what you had to see and hear, everyone. Dr. Crouch can be so temperamental. Shall we continue to collect the records from these archives?" Dr. Adams asked everyone. No one dared to leave, not after such a fiery display from the short and pleasant man. Leona got back to work and hurried of her own accord, not because someone was timing her and threatening to dismiss her if she moved too slowly for their preference.

    [Post Word Count: 1,170]
    [Total Word Count: 6,030/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
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    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 25th September 2020, 12:33 am

    -Two hours later, inside the archives-

    It had been a little over two hours since the polite and friendly Dr. Adams had exploded at Dr. Crouch for the latter's abrasive attitude towards and endless verbal abuse of Leona. Dr. Crouch was nowhere to be seen, which was just fine by Leona. She was glad that Dr. Adams had intervened when he did or she was likely going to deck Dr. Crouch for suggesting that she had exchanged sexual favors with the Magic Council in order to be named the Wizard Saint of Courage. As it turned out, Dr. Adams' verbal fusillade had done more damage to Dr. Crouch than any of Leona's spells or punches could.

    The atmosphere in the archives was a lot more relaxed and pleasant now that Dr. Crouch was not verbally abusing the Wizard Saint every time she entered the room. Leona was still moving quickly to collect records and take them to the collection tent, but no one was timing her and no one was threatening her with dismissal should she falter. The blonde was still afraid to slow down because despite what had happened Dr. Crouch was still the head of the archaeological team and could return at any moment to assert his authority in dramatic fashion.

    Leona had just returned from taking a clay tablet found on Shelf A-22 to the collection tent when Dr. Adams faced her and spoke.

    "Miss Jarnefeldt, could I have a word with you alone?" Dr. Adams requested. Leona's face went pale.

    Was she about to get the ax?

    "C-certainly, Dr. Adams!" Leona replied in the affirmative. She walked over to him and listened to what he had to say.

    "Miss Jarnefeldt, I can't help but to notice that you're still running back and forth even though you're not being timed. You don't have to do that anymore, not while I'm here. You can stop running." Dr. Adams assured her.

    "But isn't Dr. Crouch still the head of the archaeological team?" Leona asked him. The owlish man nodded.

    "Yes, but he won't be back, not for the rest of the day. Dr. Crouch is a moody man. When someone of equal rank calls him out on wrongdoing, he goes back to his tent and sulks for hours. Or he retreats to his office. But the idea's the same. Whenever he does that, I take over." Dr. Adams informed her. Leona was not very surprised that a man who was so vicious when he was in control of the situation stomped off to his tent and sulked whenever a peer called him out on his rude behavior. Leona did not comment on Dr. Crouch's character and let the doctor speak.

    "So you don't have to run anymore, Miss Jarnefeldt. You can slow down and walk at a normal pace." Dr. Adams assured her. Leona finally breathed a sigh of relief.

    "Thanks, Dr. Adams." Leona thanked the man for his intervention and his kind behavior towards her.

    "It's no problem. And I won't get angry if you peek at the contents of a scroll or clay tablet. Us professors are supposed to encourage budding young scholars in their studies, not hold them back." Dr. Adams assured her that he would not get angry if the Wizard Saint let her curiosity tempt her from time to time. Leona was glad to hear that.

    "Thanks." Leona thanked him before getting back to work, this time at a much more reasonable pace than the one Dr. Crouch had set for her yesterday. The Wizard Saint went to work with renewed hope that maybe this job would end a lot better than it had started.

    -Eight hours later-

    Leona had returned to the archives from a meal break to find Dr. Crouch waiting for her with a sinister smile and Dr. Adams nowhere in sight. Her stomach immediately turned a flip. She was not liking this situation at all.

    "Did you enjoy your break, you spy?" Dr. Crouch asked her.

    "What happened to Dr. Adams?" Leona asked him.

    "He got recalled to the university. Now I'm in charge here and will be in charge for the remainder of this expedition." He said calmly. Leona was filled with dread. He had obviously pulled strings to get the good doctor recalled to the university so that no one would challenge him ever again.

    "And when I'm in charge, I expect you to work. There won't be any more breaks for you. From now on you're working from sunup to until I tell you when you can quit." He told the Wizard Saint her amended schedule from here on out. Leona moved to protest but he put his right index finger to his lip.

    "Hush, child. An adult's talking to you. And when adults talk children are supposed to be quiet and listen." He said to her condescendingly. Leona clenched her teeth.

    "I'm putting you back on five-minute intervals. I expect you to work and work hard for once in your lazy, worthless life. And if you don't, I'm throwing you off the site and right onto your lazy, worthless ass." He told her exactly how things would go. Leona could not believe that she was taking this abuse, but she had no choice. Silver Wolf's welfare came before her own.

    "NOW GET TO WORK, YOU LAZY TART!" Dr. Crouch bellowed at her and pulled out his golden pocket watch. Leona hurried to begin cleaning off Shelf A30 on the right side. It seemed like some cosmic entity hated the Wizard Saint and wanted her to suffer. Leona was going to do plenty of suffering under the unblinking, hate-filled gaze of Dr. Edward Crouch.

    -Four hours later, inside the archives-

    "How does it feel to work for a living, you lazy tart? Don't you wish that you'd gone to school so that you could be like me? Don't you regret not paying attention in class in whatever backwater school you went to?" Dr. Crouch asked the sweating Leona, who hurried past him and to Shelf A34. She had six more shelves to clear before the archives were completely cleared out. She was not sure that she would survive to see the job completed.

    Leona quickly found and picked up a clay tablet and hurried off under the sadist's burning gaze. True to form he found a new way to insult the blonde every time she passed by him.

    "You wouldn't cut it at Crocus Magicka University, you lazy tart! I wouldn't have you in any of my classes! I WOULDN'T EVEN HAVE YOU IN MY UNIVERSITY!" He raged at her, obviously enjoying the power he had over her. Leona continued to weather the abuse he was dishing out for the sake of Silver Wolf and for her reputation. The Wizard Saint was not sure how much more of this treatment she could take. Something had to give.

    [Post Word Count: 1,150]
    [Total Word Count: 7,180/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
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    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 25th September 2020, 6:18 am

    -The next day, inside the archives-

    Leona had thought that the suffering would end when she had finally cleared out the archives after a lengthy night shift, but she was wrong. She had gotten another six hours of sleep before a swift kick in the backside roused her from the sandy floor of her tent. When she returned from the lengthy night shift somehow her cot had gone "missing", but she doubted that its disappearance was coincidental. She was sure that Dr. Crouch had had it taken away as a petty way to get back at her for having the temerity to still be on the archaeological site without begging him for mercy. She was not going to beg this petty tyrant for anything.

    At least he had had the decency to leave her clothing and weapons alone.

    Leona had changed her shirt to the blue athletic shirt and had put on her Argent Gloves and Silver Longsword before hurrying to the archives. Dr. Crouch had selected a special task for her to perform today.

    When Leona finally got there it was completely empty except for him, the lanterns that had provided lighting inside the ancient archives, and her. She shuddered to think what task he had for her today. Was she going to be assigned to count and bag dust molecules for the collection tent?

    "Today I want you to stay down here and earn your keep by protecting the archives." He said to her with malicious glee. Leona blinked. With all the scrolls and clay tablets removed and taken to the collection tent, what was there to protect down here? If he really wanted her to protect something, why not just put her outside the collection tent? Then she remembered what he had said yesterday and recalled his "reasoning" for acting as he did.

    Dr. Crouch had thought that Leona was a spy for Dr. Anna, so he was deliberately keeping her away from the artifacts so that she could not report what he had found to Dr. Anna.

    "If I catch you out of this room without my permission, you're getting kicked off of the site and thrown right back into the desert you came from. There you can crawl back to your desert hovel in the middle of nowhere. Maybe your mommy will take you back in so that you can be a waste of space somewhere else." He said to her. Leona's teeth clenched. Now he was going too far. He had made the same mistake that Chef Ramsey had, which was to insult her heritage.

    "Now be a good little girl and stay in the corner where you belong while the adults work." He said to her and laughed at his own terrible joke as he left her in the empty underground archives by herself with nothing but sandwich board signs and lanterns for company. Leona's dislike had now officially turned to hatred. She seethed in the darkness as she wished for little more than to put this astoundingly arrogant asshole out of her misery.

    -Four hours later, in the archives-

    Leona had taken to walking the perimeter of the room to break up the monotony of having to "protect" an empty archives filled with nothing but empty stone shelves, sandwich board signs, and glowing lanterns. At first she hated the job, but now she had grown resigned to it, if only because it had given her a welcome respite from the relentless verbal abuse heaped on her by the vengeful doctor who no long had anyone willing or able to keep him in check. The Wizard Saint looked like a mythical guardian of the underworld, which for all intents and purposes she was. While walking around she spotted something that looked like a coin that she and the archaeological team had missed sitting near the back of the middle section of Shelf A30.

    Curious as to what it was, Leona abandoned her patrol route and walked over to Shelf A30 and tried to pick up the coin. She reached out with her fingertips and tried to pick it up multiple times but each time met with failure. After five successive attempts she grew flustered and tapped on the edge of the coin as she tried for a sixth attempt. She heard a soft CLICK and the sound of stone grinding on stone. Then she fell onto her backside as the floor in front of shelves A30 and A31 descended and gradually dropped down to form a set of stairs that led to a set of stone double doors marked with an image of a king sitting on his throne.

    Leona was simultaneously excited and upset. She was excited that she had found something new that even Dr. Crouch with all of his vaunted intelligence and superiority had not found. Then she was upset because she would be denied credit for the discovery and shoved off to the side to do some make-work menial task while the doctor got to bask in the glory.

    "Are you still down here? I hope you're not asleep!" Dr. Crouch's voice called out to her. Leona, still stunned by what she had just found and the unexpected fall, remained sitting on the floor. Dr. Crouch discovered her sitting on the newly uncovered stairway.

    "Sitting down on the job? How lazy of you! Just when I thought that you couldn't give me a worse impression of you, you find new depths to drill to!" He berated her while oblivious to that she had just found. Leona frowned. She had had just about enough of his attitude. Ever since she had gotten here he had heaped abuse on her for being a woman. Now he was so blinded by his animosity that he did not even notice the floor beneath his feet until he nearly fell down the stairs.

    He staggered in mid-insult and recovered to find himself standing lower than the sitting Wizard Saint. He turned around and found the stone double doors with the king sitting on his throne. He then rushed up the stairs without a word... until he got to the exit.

    "I'VE FOUND SOMETHING! I'VE FOUND SOMETHING!" He shouted. Leona stood up and frowned. The credit had been stolen from her and now she would be shoved off to the side so that the doctor could crow about what he had "found" and how superior he was to everyone else. Oh well. Being a Wizard Saint was not all about earning personal glory.

    -Ten minutes later-

    Leona had watched the stone double doors at the bottom of the stairs in case a small army of the undead was waiting for the doors to be opened. She heard a noise and looked up to see Dr. Crouch and a small army of graduate assistants walk into the archives. He immediately pointed towards the stairs and began to crow.

    "I found these stairs while that lazy Wizard Saint sat on her behind doing nothing! They lead to a new, previously undiscovered section of these archives! I'm glad that something told me to come back down here and check on this worthless girl!" He crowed to his subordinates. They looked towards Leona and gave her sympathetic glances. They likely knew that the elderly academic had bragged about leaving the "lazy tart" to stand in the corner while adults worked. They also likely knew that he was shamelessly stealing the credit for her find. Unfortunately they were in no position to challenge the egomaniac's assertions lest he pull more strings to send dissenters back to Crocus Magicka University like he had done to Dr. Adams.

    The graduate students dutifully filed by the thoroughly annoyed Wizard Saint and down the stairs while Dr. Crouch stood triumphantly next to Leona.

    "Be a good little girl and stay up here while the adults work." He repeated his command from earlier before chortling to himself and walking down the stairs. Leona hoped that he would fall down the stairs and land on that enormous ego of his, but then its size meant that he would bounce right back up none the worse for wear and still full of himself. The blonde just could not catch a break today.

    [Post Word Count: 1,375]
    [Total Word Count: 8,555/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
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    Posts : 3552
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
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    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,529,025

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 25th September 2020, 7:35 am

    -In the archives, two hours later-

    After having her discovery stolen from her by the egotistical Dr. Crouch, Leona stood at the foot of the stairs and watched Dr. Crouch and a small army of graduate assistants try to figure out how to open the double doors protecting whatever was hidden downstairs. She heard the doctor puzzle over the meaning of the image of the king etched on the double doors. If he was so incredibly smart, why had he spent the past two hours stuck on the puzzle? Leona, knowing that her help would be rejected just because it was she who had offered it, kept quiet and let the doctor puzzle this one out. If he was so smart he could figure this out on his own without any help.

    "What does this image mean?" Dr. Crouch asked aloud. Some brave soul spoke up.

    "I'm thinking that it's King Saarghon and-" The brave male graduate assistant, a young man with short red hair, posited.

    "I knew that, you simpleton! I know that it's King Saarghon! He's the first king of a united Desierto and the first man to ever institute an archive of any sort in this region! If you can't tell me something I don't know then keep your mouth shut!" Dr. Crouch snapped. Leona felt sympathy for the brave graduate student who had even tried to help the man. She also saw that Dr. Crouch was an equal-opportunity asshole who would verbally abuse anyone who was not him.

    "C'MON YOU DOLTS, THINK! THINK! USE YOUR HEADS FOR SOMETHING OTHER THAN HAT RACKS!" Dr. Crouch implored them. Leona's opinion of the man was sinking by the second. If there was a good side to him, then it was buried under tons and tons of ego and superiority complex.

    "Maybe the door needs us to do something special to open it?" Another brave graduate assistant, a youth with short black hair and glasses, suggested to the doctor. The man turned around and blasted the hapless youth with another torrent of volcanic fury.

    "You don't say! You're a veritable genius! I NEVER WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT!" Dr. Crouch sarcastically tore down the young man, who visibly shrank.

    "USE YOUR HEADS! YOU'RE GRADUATE ASSISTANTS, FOR ISHGAR'S SAKE! YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE BEST THAT CROCUS MAGICKA UNIVERSITY HAS TO OFFER, BUT YOU'RE ACTING LIKE A BUNCH OF KINDERGARTNERS WHO NEED ME TO HOLD YOUR HAND EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!" Dr. Crouch fumed at his hapless helpers. Leona wanted to go down there and punch some sense into the man, but that would be assault. Instead she watched the hapless graduate assistants endure the tongue-lashing in silence. Dr. Crouch sure loved to hear himself talk because the lecture lasted for at least five minutes of constantly insulting their intelligence.

    After that tongue-lashing cowed everyone into fearful silence one brave soul walked over to the door and began to examine it before pausing.

    "I need a lantern, please." The youth called out. Leona picked the one next to her up and took it down to him while the other graduate assistants parted for the Wizard Saint. He took it and began to examine the door for any clues such as a carved phrase. He soon found one under the image of King Saarghon, who was looking at the viewer and demanding obedience.

    "I see something carved in Court Heiromesh. It says to "Kneel before the king and praise him." He reported to the doctor. The old man flew off the handle with tiresome predictability.

    "TELL ME SOMETHING I DIDN'T KNOW! I TOOK COURT HEIROMESH COURSES UNDER PROFESSOR ALBERT ROSETTA AND I CAN READ IT JUST FINE!" He fumed. At this point Leona had had enough of his shit. As much fun as it was to watch the great and mighty Dr. Edward Crouch squirm, she was tired of watching him abuse people who were just trying to help him. She read the inscription and recalled a similar one on one of the doors that led to the archives.

    "Going to open the door, are we? How do you plan on doing that?" Dr. Crouch asked mockingly. Leona ignored the asshole and recalled what had to be done. She got down on both knees in front of the door and spoke.

    "PRAISE BE TO KING SAARGHON, RULER OF ALL THE SANDS!" She offered praise in passable Court Heiromesh and touched her forehead to the floor in homage to the image of the long-departed king. The double doors opened up to reveal another room of wall-to-wall stone shelves filled with scrolls and clay tablets. The graduate assistants marveled at the find while Dr. Crouch stood with his lower jaw scraping the floor.

    "What- how- how did you- you didn't go to univer- HOOOOOW?! HOW DID YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO?!" Dr. Crouch sputtered in frustration. He had just been humiliated by the same young woman he had spent the past two days berating as a "lazy tart" and knew it. Leona looked him in the eyes.

    "You're welcome." She said to him while maintaining eye contact. The man sputtered in impotent rage before storming off up the stairs and leaving the graduate assistants to fend for themselves. Leona silently watched the man-child storm off up the stairs and turned back to see the same redhead who had been lambasted by the sarcastic doctor minutes ago take on the mantle of leadership and try to rally his fellows.

    "Well, these items aren't going to carry themselves to the collection tent. C'mon guys! Let's do this!" He tried to rally them to finish the job. Lacking any other authority figure to follow, they rallied around him and he led them into the new section of the archives. Leona followed them to help out and to provide security in case any undead guardians left here by King Saarghon were lurking in the newly discovered area.

    -In the hidden area-

    Leona and the redhead stood at the entrance, which had been lit by a pair of lanterns borrowed from the surface. While the other assistants went to procure more lanterns to light the new area he faced her and spoke.

    "I'm glad you knew how to open this door because it would have taken hours, maybe even days to pry it open." He said to her appreciatively.

    "Come to think of it, I'm curious. How did you know how to open the doors?" The youth asked.

    "I helped explore the area leading to the archives. There was a door that was opened by doing what I did, kneeling and praising King Saarghon in Court Heiromesh." Leona answered politely.

    "OK, that makes sense now." He said, thoughtfully gazing into the darkness that the lanterns did not touch.

    "You know that Dr. Crouch is gonna be pissed at you for showing him up, right?" The youth inquired. Leona looked at him.

    "I'm fine with that. I know he's mad at me because I helped Dr. Anna with her big discovery. I'm also a young woman who's in a position of power and dresses in a way he doesn't like. I can bear his anger just as long as you guys get the job done." Leona answered casually, tempering her words because they would inevitably make their way back to Dr. Crouch. Then it was her turn to look pensively towards the darkness for a moment.

    "If Dr. Crouch would let me, I'd help him with his discovery." Leona added. Her words echoed in the darkness before fading, lost to their intended recipient now and forever. Even if the irascible academic was here to hear what she had said she would just be wasting her breath. She was certain that the egotistical Dr. Crouch would rather gnaw his left arm off than let her help him with anything on "his" archaeological site.

    [Post Word Count: 1,313]
    [Total Word Count: 9,868/11,000]


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    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


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    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 30th September 2020, 8:33 pm

    -Inside the newly discovered archives, two hours later-

    In the absence of Dr. Crouch three of the most senior graduate students formed a triumvirate to provide guidance and instruction to their less experienced fellows while Leona was an unofficial advisor and head of security. Since she had no clue how to organize things she let the triumvirate lead while she helped out when needed and kept an eye out for trouble. None of them had heard from Dr. Crouch ever since he had stormed off after Leona had unintentionally showed him up outside the door to the new section, an absence which she was not upset about.

    Ever since she had gotten here Leona had been treated with hostility and suspicion and did not know why, but the doctor's outburst to Dr. Adams had told her why Dr. Crouch was suspicious of her. He had believed that Leona was a spy and saboteur sent by Dr. Anna to ruin his reputation by deliberately slacking off and otherwise not living up to her potential. Nothing Dr. Adams said could convince Dr. Crouch that that was not the case and when the shorter doctor stood up for Leona he was "recalled" to Crocus Magicka University, no doubt at Dr. Crouch's insistence. After Dr. Adams' recall Leona was subjected to more verbal abuse and a small amount of physical abuse by being kicked in the backside to wake her up after pulling twelve and fourteen-hour workdays carrying ancient records to the collection tent.

    The abuse continued when Dr. Crouch claimed credit for the discovery of the staircase that led to the hidden archives the team was now working in. He was no doubt enjoying the idea of grossly mistreating a Wizard Saint and getting away with it. The verbal abuse continued right until the great and mighty Dr. Crouch failed to open the door to the hidden archives. When the frustrated doctor started heaping abuse on his graduate assistants Leona stepped in and opened the archives for them by reading and interpreting the inscription on the door, then kneeling and paying homage to the king as the inscription bade the reader to do.

    After that demonstration that the Wizard Saint of Courage was not lazy and was not totally uneducated like she was made out to be, the university-educated doctor lost his temper and stomped off to his tent, leaving the graduate assistants and the Wizard Saint at loose ends until the redheaded graduate student who had incurred the doctor's wrath for failing to open the door rallied his fellows to continue the work. Leona offered her aid with the endeavor and now work was continuing slowly but surely.

    The graduate assistants were not abusive like the doctor, which was a definite plus. Instead of making snide remarks about her level of education or her work ethic the triumvirate valued her as part of the team and treated her as an equal, not an inferior. Leona was silently observing the students at work and was always willing to lend a hand when it was needed. The blonde's anger towards the doctor was starting to slowly dissipate, but part of Leona still detested him for his hostile behavior towards her and some of his snide remarks about her work ethic, education, and her desert heritage. In particular she resented how he threatened to kick her off of the job site and send her "crawling back to whatever desert hovel she came from" so that she could "go back to her mommy" and "be a waste of space there" instead of on "his" site.

    Letting go of the ill feelings before they consumed her, Leona focused on what she was doing. That task was helping clear one of the shelves alongside a pair of graduate students who were clearly in awe of her. They stopped frequently to steal a glance at the Wizard Saint of Courage like they could not believe that she was actually working alongside them. She believed that they had never expected to see a Wizard Saint in person, only on the front of a magazine or on social media sites. Wizard Saints were often the stuff of legends, but Leona was standing right beside them and she was very real.

    The trio had finished clearing off the middle section of Shelf B30 and were taking the records to the collection tent before coming back to work on the bottom section of the shelf, which was laden with clay tablets. So far the work was going well thanks to the work environment being quiet and somewhat enjoyable because Dr. Crouch was not there to rain down abuse on everyone present for one perceived fault or another. It would be many more hours before the archives were clear, but the work was proceeding at a good pace and everyone was getting along, which made the work a lot easier. She then realized she had been handling records without cotton gloves and thought of a way to fix that glaring mistake. When she dropped off the records she would hurry back to her tent and get her cotton gloves and backpack so that she did not leave her Argent Gloves where a vengeful Dr. Crouch could steal them.

    -Three hours later-

    The group had cleared about ten of the forty shelves in five hours of work. They were not the fastest work team in the world, but they were doing well considering the lack of "official" leadership from Dr. Crouch. None of the triumvirate and none of the students had heard from him in hours, but just like last time Leona was not upset about his absence. The Wizard Saint was glad to finally be able to work without a hostile doctor of archaeology watching her every move and timing her work because he felt she was a "lazy tart" who needed someone to stand over her so that she would stay on task.

    Leona would not mind if Dr. Crouch stayed in his tent the rest of the time she was here. His absence meant that she could work without having to deal with constant verbal abuse. His absence also meant that everyone else could get some work done without having to walk on eggshells around him.

    [Post Word Count: 1,044]
    [Total Word Count: 10,912/11,000]


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    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 1st October 2020, 1:56 pm

    Leona was helping the graduate students clear Shelf B34 of a lot of clay tablets. The Wizard Saint picked one up and began to read it before catching herself. She was afraid that Dr. Crouch would come storming in at any moment and catch her reading the tablet before beginning one of his patented tirades against the "lazy tart" who had not gone to Crocus Magicka University. The angry doctor of archaeology would come in with a new tirade aimed at the blonde's clothing, work ethic, education (or lack thereof), place of birth, or anything else he could think of to insult her. Leona did not understand what led him to think that deliberately and repeatedly antagonizing a Wizard Saint was a good idea, but Dr. Anna was right on the money when she warned her that Dr. Crouch could be abrasive and difficult to work with.

    "What's recorded on that tablet?" A voice asked from behind. Leona nearly jumped forward when she heard the voice and barely kept her grip on the tablet. When she recovered from the unpleasant surprise she turned around and found the redheaded graduate assistant looking at her with a smile.

    "Um, it's about... about..." Leona sputtered awkwardly as she began to glance over the contents of the tablet and learn what aspect of ancient court life had been recorded on it. The blonde read over it and began to blush. Furiously.

    She had picked up a tablet detailing the number of women in King Saarghon's harem!

    "What is it?" The redheaded member of the triumvirate asked.

    "It's... it's about King Saarghon's harem. This list has the names of twenty-five of his favorite concubines and how many times he had visited each one." Leona replied frankly after getting over the initial embarrassment of learning what the tablet she was holding discussed. The redhead laughed a little. Leona read on and learned that in addition to the names of the king's favorites, it also listed expenses associated with each woman and how often the king visited them.

    "Seriously?" He asked in disbelief.

    "Yeah, seriously. Here, take a look." Leona replied, showing him the tablet to prove that she was not making things up. He took it into his hands and read for himself. The redhead began to laugh harder as the Wizard Saint was vindicated.

    "You just found King Saarghon's list of favorite concubines!" He said between fits of laughter. Leona was mortified. She had just handed Dr. Crouch a heaping pile of ammunition to be used against her. If he wanted to he could credit Leona with the list's discovery so that he could paint her as a degenerate who was interested only in uncovering the sexual conquests of ancient rulers instead of a mage who was trying to become a serious scholar. Leona silently prayed that Dr. Crouch would stay away while the ramifications of her discovery would blow over, but the Wizard Saint's prayers were destined to go unanswered because the man himself walked into the room.

    "What's so funny?" Dr. Crouch asked the redhead. Leona was dying inside. When the doctor got his hands on the list her humiliation would be complete.

    Why did ignominious things like this always happen to her?

    [Post Word Count: 540]
    [Total Word Count: 11,452/11,000]


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    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 2nd October 2020, 9:29 am

    Job Details:

    Job Sign-Up: Page 29, Post Number 711


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    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 2nd October 2020, 11:11 am

    The redheaded graduate student handed the list to the doctor and the older man began to peruse it. Leona was dying inside. This was the one time that she did not want to be credited with finding something and it seemed like she was going to get the credit whether she wanted it or not. Whether he knew it or not, Dr. Crouch held her career as a budding scholar in his hands.

    "Ah, I see. This is a list of King Saarghon's most favored concubines. Interesting." The doctor commented as he continued to read. The redhead and Leona looked towards the doctor and waited for his opinion on the find.

    "King Saarghon had quite the appetite for carnal pleasures, if this tablet is to be believed." The doctor gave his opinion on the contents of the tablet. The redhead hesitated for a few moments before asking something.

    "Doctor, do you think that King Saarghon really had such appetites or do you think that he was just playing the game to keep his throne?" The redhead asked the doctor. The doctor lifted his head from the tablet and the youth recoiled. Leona dreaded another verbal beatdown on the redhead for the crime of not being Dr. Edward Crouch, but the man's response was surprisingly mild.

    "I'm not sure, Roger. The court of the king was a viper's nest of intrigue, if some scholarly works are to be believed. He was but a simple farmer who rose to greatness on the power of his armies and was a fish out of water in the regal atmosphere of the court. The nobles wanted greater power in his kingdom and he had to play the game to keep his throne... and his head." Dr. Crouch said to the graduate assistant. Leona could identify with the "fish out of water" comment. She was a fish out of water when in the company of more refined Wizard Saints like Nessa Cordelia Lux, Serilda Sinclair, or Johann Von Weiss. She was a fish out of water in the company of Samira Nassar, the "first among equals" of the Wizard Saints. Leona was working on solving her lack of social skills, but she was always conscious of her humble origins and felt painfully self-conscious around her Wizard Saint peers, even if they were kind towards her.

    "He kept the nobles busy with banquet after banquet, poetry contests, and other activities designed to keep them too busy vying for his favor and plotting against each other to plot against him. As you could imagine, it was quite the balancing act. It cost the king a lot of money to keep his head." Dr. Crouch explained to the redhead, whose name was revealed to be Roger.

    "Didn't Professor Henry Rosetta suggest the same thing in his book Ancient Desierto?" Leona dared to ask the doctor. The blonde expected to be verbally beaten down for having the temerity to speak to him after unintentionally showing him up earlier. Instead his response was mild.

    "I believe that you're mistaking Ancient Desierto for another book such as Professor Thomas' book From Farmer To Monarch, Miss Jarnefeldt. Still, the fact that you know about Professor Rosetta's book is interesting." He replied in a clear backhanded compliment. It was all that Leona could do to keep her jaw from hitting the floor. He had addressed her by her actual name instead of as "lazy tart" or "little girl" or some other derogatory name. While she could not help but to feel a little insulted by the backhanded compliment concerning her knowledge of scholarly literature, she would gladly take "mild and somewhat insulting Dr. Crouch" over "intentionally abrasive and verbally abusive Dr. Crouch" any day.

    "I've read Ancient Desierto. It took me almost an entire week and a lot of coffee, but I read it. It's quite interesting, especially the part about King Saarghon's rule and the Muserian revolt that led to the king's downfall." Leona explained that not only did she know of the book, she had actually read it from cover to cover. The doctor seemed mildly impressed by that admission and did not make a snide comment about her education level. Instead he continued to speak to her in a calm voice.

    "As much as I admire the man for his dedication to scholarship, his book is a bit ponderous to wade through at twelve hundred or so pages. And with the way it's written it's definitely not for laypeople." He said about Professor Rosetta's book. Leona silently concurred with that assessment. It was a doorstopper that could easily inflict blunt force trauma if used as a weapon. After making that assessment he handed the tablet back to Roger.

    "Take this back to the collection tent, Roger. Meanwhile, I would like Miss Jarnefeldt to follow me to my tent." Dr. Crouch requested of Roger and indirectly requested of Leona. Both youths complied with the doctor's request and followed Dr. Crouch out of the archives. Leona wondered what exactly Dr. Crouch wanted with her.

    -Inside Dr. Crouch's tent-

    A few minutes later Leona and Dr. Crouch were standing inside the doctor's tent and facing each other. Dr. Crouch stood behind his table and Leona stood in front of him. She wondered what he had to say to her.

    Maybe he had picked this venue to tear into her verbally, but for the past few days he had done so in public where people could see him mistreating a Wizard Saint and getting away with it. Why was he changing tactics now?

    "I've got something I want to say to you, Miss Jarnefeldt. I've been thinking about this for the past several hours." Dr. Crouch said to her. Leona did not like the sound of that. What new insults had he come up with in the several hours since they had last spoken?

    "I may have sold you short." He said to her flatly. Leona's jaw nearly dropped. Did he just give her a sort-of apology?

    [Post Word Count: 1,002]
    [Total Word Count: 1,002/11,000]


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    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 3rd October 2020, 11:26 pm

    "I sold you short, Miss Jarnefeldt." Dr. Crouch repeated. Leona was just as stunned this time around as when he had first told her that. What did he mean by that?

    "I assumed that you were an uneducated tart who was sent by Dr. Anna to make me look like a laughingstock. But you're not. A few hours ago I had a few of my graduate students do some research on who you were and learned that you're the real thing. While your Court Heiromesh grammar is passable at best, I see that you're serious about archaeology." He said to her in a calm voice that sounded almost apologetic. Leona was still angry about all the abuse he had unjustly heaped on her, but she was willing to hear him out. She remained silent and let him continue to talk.

    He paused for a moment and looked at the table. He seemed to be filled with regret about something in his past. The elderly man then looked at her with a tired facial expression that showed a lot about what the man had been hiding under his curmudgeonly exterior.

    "Dr. Adams is right, Miss Jarnefeldt. I'm an old man who's nearing retirement age. I've only hung on this long because my family's been on the faculty since Crocus Magicka University's founding. I'm trying to hold on until I make one last discovery, something to leave to the university besides a reputation for being the irritable old asshole who won't retire, in the words of a former student of mine." Dr. Crouch admitted that the colleague he had had recalled to the university was right about him.

    "But I'm getting tired, Miss Jarnefeldt. I'm getting tired. I should have retired years ago, but I wanted to make one last discovery before my time's up. I'm not sure if I'm going to make it." He added. Leona continued to listen in silence as he found the words to express how he felt.

    "I was afraid that you'd take all the credit for what we found here. I was afraid of your fame, your popularity among the young people." Dr. Crouch explained why he had felt such animosity towards her. Leona blinked.

    "Why do you think that I'd steal the credit for what you found?" Leona asked him.

    "I'm wanting to make a major discovery before I retired. When the sultan requested that I hire you for help, I was afraid that you'd take the credit from me by virtue of who you are. You're a Wizard Saint who's known all across Earthland. A lot of young people are fascinated by you, the desert girl who came from very little to seize power and fame with her own two hands." He explained to Leona. Once he had explained it that way she was starting to understand why he was afraid that she would steal the credit even if that was not her intention. While Leona was still angry about the insults, that anger was beginning to slowly fade now that he had given reasons for his attitude beyond "you're a woman and you're inferior to me!"

    "I don't want to take the credit that's yours. I'm just here to help you with the exploration and recovery of the records. That's all." Leona calmly assured him. He looked at her.

    "I heard you say something to that effect from one of my students." He said to her calmly. Leona blinked. She was glad that she had thought before she had spoken after he had left. He took a deep breath.

    "I'm thankful that you didn't decide to verbally tear me down like I did to you, Miss Jarnefeldt. I know that I'm not very popular among the students as it is. They think that I'm just a privileged old bully who screams at them for the slightest mistake and intentionally holds down anyone smarter than me. They also think that I get a kick out of demeaning women like you." He confessed to her that his popularity was almost non-existent. After the way he had treated her and the other graduate students she could see why his students did not like him. Again she kept her thoughts to herself and let him speak.

    "I know that I could have been a much better doctor of archaeology than I have been, but I'm afraid that it's too late for me to change. My students dislike me and even my own peers can barely stand me. After what I said and did to you I'm surprised that there wasn't a mutiny." Dr. Crouch made another admission to the Wizard Saint. Leona was surprised to hear the last part. She knew that a lot of the students had sympathy for her, but she did not know that she was that popular. She did not know that there was a risk of mutiny to begin with.

    "I'll admit that I'm more than a little angry about what happened, but right now that doesn't matter. I'm willing to help you with the work in the archives, but only if you want me to. It has to be your choice as to whether I help or not." Leona put the ball squarely in his court. She was not going to continue helping him if he did not want her to help for fear of her stealing the credit for "his" discoveries. If he wanted her to help, she would continue to help. If he wanted her to get lost, she would go away and do something else like visit her home village or go back to Silver Wolf Guild Hall and catch up on paperwork or learn to use her Daggerbook.

    Dr. Crouch looked at the table in front of him, then the central table full of books and notebooks, and finally the map on the corkboard before looking at her. He seemed tired and just wanted things to be over with regardless of the outcome. Whether he got to make a big find and retire in triumph or Leona took all the credit and relegated him to obscurity before he retired did not seem to matter to him anymore. He just wanted all of this to be over with.

    [Post Word Count: 1,040]
    [Total Word Count: 2,042/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
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    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 4th October 2020, 8:46 pm

    The elderly doctor sat in silence for a few minutes. He had stared at the books on the center table and the map on the corkboard as if silently appealing to them for guidance on the right choice to make. He looked at the map one last time and then looked at the Wizard Saint.

    "I'd like your help with this project, Miss Jarnefeldt. I'd like you to help me just like you helped Dr. Anna with her project." He requested in a calm voice. Leona listened to the appeal and saw that it had been made of his own free will. Now the Wizard Saint would accept the request for help of her own free will. There was no sultan forcing them to work together. It was an accord between two individuals who had agreed to cooperate on something of importance for both of them.

    "I'll help you to the best of my ability." Leona replied. The verbal and physical abuse was officially in the past now. She would help him to the best of her ability and make sure that he got his big discovery before retiring... if that was what he wanted to do. Maybe she had gotten played like a cheap kazoo, but if Dr. Crouch was playing her that would entirely on him. Leona would help in good faith and chose to believe that he had asked for her help in good faith.

    "Thank you, Miss Jarnefeldt." Dr. Crouch replied with gratitude. Leona left the tent and left the doctor sitting at his table with something resembling a small smile on his face. Maybe he was happy to have finally made a decision on the subject. Or maybe he had successfully played her to avoid the consequences of deliberately antagonizing a Wizard Saint. She did not know and she did not care because she had work to do.

    The archives were not going to clear themselves out, after all. The graduate students would need her help to clear the archives and to defend them should some undead defenders rise to chase the archaeological team out of the archives. However, they had not found any spaces where undead soldiers could reasonably fit, so where they would come from was a mystery to the blonde.

    -The next day, Leona's tent, 8:00 A.M.-

    Leona got off of her cot that had been mysteriously returned to her tent while she was at work and looked for her backpack. She had worn the same skirt two days in a row and needed to change it. Leona found her backpack and rummaged through it, carefully unpacking the meager clothing she had brought and finding her green, gold, and white skirt near the bottom. She set it to the left of the pack and neatly packed the rest of her clothes back inside, setting aside her green athletic shirt as well. Even though she did not pack very much clothing, there was no reason the Wizard Saint could not be color-coordinated with what she had brought.

    Leona set them aside and decided to go take a shower before she changed. It had been a couple days since she had last showered and she did not want to go around looking like she lacked knowledge of basic hygiene. Leona carried her change of clothing with her and left the tent to take a quick shower before she changed into her basic but color-coordinated green athletic shirt and green, white, and gold skirt.

    -Leona's tent, 8:20 A.M.-

    Wearing her sort-of new green outfit, Leona strode into the tent and left all of her dirty laundry except for her bike shorts beside her backpack. She found and put on her sword belt and white cotton gloves. Having everything she needed, she left the tent to go help clear out shelves B36 through B40 and then help on the left side of the archives.

    -Inside the hidden archives, 8:35 A.M.-

    Leona walked into the archives a little later than she had wanted to be and found the students and Dr. Crouch hard at work. Dr. Crouch raised his head from a clay tablet and looked directly at her.

    "Hello, Miss Jarnefeldt! We've been making a bit of progress and have found quite a few interesting records related to King Saarghon!" Dr. Crouch greeted her warmly. Leona was concerned. Where had the real Dr. Crouch gone to overnight?

    Had he been kidnapped and replaced with an imposter?

    Choosing to go with the flow, Leona greeted him with a raised hand and a hopeful heart. She saw khaki-clad students streaming in and out of the archives holding records from Desierto's past.

    "Where do you need my help, Dr. Crouch?" Leona asked him.

    "The students over at Shelves B15 through B30 could use a hand." He replied calmly, pointing the way for her benefit.

    "OK, I'll go help them out." She replied. She walked over to the shelves in question and noticed that there were a few clay tablets left, so she grabbed one and took it into her hands, setting out for the collection tent at a brisk walk. Thankfully she was not being held to five-minute intervals today.

    Leona and the students assigned to that section continued combing the shelves and taking tablets and scrolls to the collection tent. After about twenty minutes Shelf B15 was clear of items, so they moved on to B16 and started work there. The atmosphere in the archives was busy, but there was no undercurrent of fear like there had been a couple of days ago when Dr. Crouch was tearing Leona apart verbally. It was a calm and quiet atmosphere with the occasional quiet discussion of one of the records to break the silence.

    -One hour later-

    Shelves B16 through B20 had been cleared, so the workers assigned to the left began work clearing out Shelf B21, which was full of scrolls that had been untouched for centuries. Leona carefully lifted one off of the shelf and slowly and carefully made her way to the collection tent with it. While she was curious as to what was written on the scroll, she did not dare stop to open it and read it because she liked the peaceful mood that prevailed and did not want to anger the doctor by slacking off when she had promised to help him to the best of her ability.

    Leona carefully took the scroll up the stairs and towards the collection tent. Maybe one day she would find out what information the scrolls and tablets had recorded on them. That would have to wait... first the archaeological team had to get all the records back to the university for analysis in a safe and sterile climate-controlled environment.

    [Post Word Count: 1,123]
    [Total Word Count: 3,165/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Posts : 3552
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
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    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 9th October 2020, 9:45 pm

    -Inside the archives, five hours later-

    After the very last shelf had been cleared, Dr. Crouch called everyone into a circle around him. The students gradually gathered around the doctor and Leona followed suit, deliberately standing on the outer edge of the circle since she was not a student at the university. Once everyone had assembled the doctor spoke to them all.

    "Nice work, everyone! All of you did a good job in collecting the records and ensuring that they made it to the collection tent safely!" Dr. Crouch complimented everyone on a job well done. None of the students dared to speak a word of gratitude or clap. Leona kept her mouth shut. Neither the students nor the Wizard Saint knew how to react to a Dr. Crouch who was not berating them for one flaw or another.

    After a few seconds of uncertain silence Roger finally spoke up.

    "Thanks, Doctor." Roger said simply, perhaps not wanting to ruin the mood by laying it on thick. Following the redhead's lead, the other students nodded and made murmurs of approval. Even Leona got in on the celebratory mood and nodded along with the others.

    "While we still have a lot of work to do, the hardest part's been done. Now we need to work on translating the records on behalf of our patron. I'm sure our royal patron will be pleased with our work!" Dr. Crouch continued. Leona kept quiet about the sultan. She was sure that he would appreciate everything that the university's archaeological team had done for him... for now. The sultans tended to have short memories and had an attitude of "What have you done for me lately?"

    "Now let's go back to the surface and get started with the translating work!" He said to the students. The students murmured expressions of agreement and started heading out of the archives and towards the surface. Leona waited and brought up the rear along with the doctor himself. She was glad that he was no longer verbally abusing everyone, but she was not sure how long the peace would last. Maybe he had really changed after their conversation and was trying to make sure that his legacy was not entirely a negative one.

    Leona would just have to wait and see how Dr. Crouch's new attitude was received by the students. She was willing to give him a chance. Leona and the rest left the archives and made their way to the surface to begin the next phase of the work for the sultan.

    -Inside Dr. Crouch's tent-

    Leona had been called into Dr. Crouch's tent a second time and she stood before the man exactly as she had done the first time they had spoken. He was sitting behind the table and Leona was standing before him waiting for him to speak. Dr. Crouch seemed to be in a good mood because a slight smile was on his face.

    "I appreciate your help this far, Miss Jarnefeldt. You did a great job helping my students collect the records and transport them to the collection tent safely." Dr. Crouch complimented her for her work to date.

    "Thanks, Doctor." Leona said simply. She was not sure what else she had to offer the archaeological team because both the doctor and his students knew the Court Heiromesh language, so her services as a translator were not exactly in high demand. She would wait and see what the doctor had to say before she considered herself out of a job.

    "Now that we've moved them all to the collection tent, I'd like for you to watch over the collection tent to make sure that no one steals any of the records." Dr. Crouch requested. Leona nodded. She could do that.

    "While my students have a good grasp of Court Heiromesh, if they need your help with a translation, feel free to help them if you can." Dr. Crouch authorized Leona to help his students if they needed it. She was surprised by his about-face. Days ago he had insisted that she could not read Court Heiromesh and now he was giving her permission to help with translation work if his students needed help.

    "If they need my help I'll be glad to help out if they need it." Leona assured the doctor that if her help was needed that she would give it. He smiled again.

    "Great!" He said to her with audible happiness. The worries of hours ago appeared to have faded now that all the records had been collected and placed in the collection tent for translation. He had reasonable confidence that he would get to make a big discovery before he retired and left the world of academia behind.

    "I'll be on my way then." Leona said to him, turning left to leave his tent. Dr. Crouch held up a finger to get her to wait a moment.

    "One last thing, Miss Jarnefeldt." He said to her. Leona paused and turned to face him.

    "Thank you. Thank you for helping me." He thanked her for deciding to leave the mistreatment in the past and help him with his work.

    "No problem." Leona said to him before leaving the tent and heading to begin her new assignment of watching over the collection tent and the ancient records contained within it. She was glad that she had managed to keep from saying or doing something that she would regret later. While not all unpleasant people would change like Dr. Crouch had, the fact that Dr. Crouch had changed from openly antagonistic and dismissive to openly friendly and supportive of the Wizard Saint had made the intense effort it took to restrain herself worthwhile. Aside from the pragmatic standpoint of denying Dr. Crouch a reason to make her look bad and denying him a gift-wrapped chance to bash Silver Wolf, it had also made Leona look like the better person by refusing to take the bait and sling insults back at the doctor. Thanks to her self-restraint Dr. Crouch had been converted from an enemy to a friend and now that their conflict had been resolved they could work with each other without the atmosphere of hostility that had darkened the last few days and had threatened to destroy their working relationship.


    [Post Word Count: 1,050]
    [Total Word Count: 4,215/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
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    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
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    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 13th October 2020, 12:25 am

    -Inside the collection tent, six hours later-

    Leona had stood inside the collection tent watching over the valuable records from Desierto's past and making sure that no harm came to them or the members of the archaeological team who were translating and organizing them according to their contents. One long table at the left of the tent was filled with records waiting for translation. A second long table in the center was where the records that were being translated sat while the team did its work. A third long table on the right was where the records were sorted according to their contents and carefully organized so that records of one type did not mix with another.

    The work went without a hitch. No one needed to ask Leona for help and no one tried to make off with any of the records of Desierto's past. She was not sure if it was because of the royal army's presence or because it was the Wizard Saint of Courage who was guarding them... perhaps it was a bit of both. While Desierto's numerous outlaw gangs were always looking forward to a fight with Leona, the average person was likely intimidated by her reputation and did not want to court disaster by making her angry.

    While she stood watch she noticed that some of the team members stole glances at her, glances that held a mix of curiosity and fear. Some saw her as a living legend and could not believe that she shared the same tent as them. Others saw her as less of a person and more as a force of nature that was not to be trifled with. Leona was not as fearsome as her name and reputation led people to believe, but people chose to treat her like she was to be feared and venerated in equal measure.

    Dr. Crouch entered the tent and Leona saw through the open flap that it was nighttime. The elderly scholar entered the tent and looked at the progress that the team in charge of translating and organizing the records had made. He smiled a little before speaking to the team.

    "Nice work, everyone. You did a great job today. I say we call it a night and start work again tomorrow morning." Dr. Crouch said to all the workers. The students paused for a moment and looked at the doctor. Apparently they were unused to him acting pleasant towards them... Leona was not used to it either, but the students had been subject to his unpleasant behavior for far longer than she had.

    After a few moments the students murmured expressions of agreement and began to slowly file out of the tent after finishing what they were working on or tidying up their workstation for the next day. Leona noticed that Dr. Crouch stayed behind and she stayed behind too. She was sure that her duty had not ended just because the official workday was over. When the doctor of archaeology turned to her she knew that her work was only beginning.

    "I have something to ask of you, Miss Jarnefeldt." He started. Leona looked into his eyes as he spoke.

    "Would you mind staying in the tent overnight and making sure that the records don't get stolen or destroyed?" Dr. Crouch asked her. Leona did not have to think too hard about her decision.

    "Of course, Doctor." Leona replied in the affirmative. She was going to keep her promise to help him to the best of her abilities even if it meant doing a little overtime. By the end of the job he was going to learn that she was not a saboteur sent to make him look bad.

    "I hate to make you do this after all the work you've already done for me. But I don't want this chance to be stolen from me." Dr. Crouch said. Leona was not sure if he was serious or just trying to guilt trip her into staying and putting in more hours of work, but the Wizard Saint chose to believe that he was acting in good faith. Besides, she had already set aside her grudge for the mistreatment and was acting in good faith.

    "It's no problem, Dr. Crouch." Leona assured him. He made eye contact with her and spoke.

    "Thank you, Miss Jarnefeldt." Dr. Crouch said before turning and leaving the tent, leaving Leona to watch over the treasure trove of records pertaining to Ancient Desierto. Alone in the collection tent, Leona borrowed an empty chair and sat down to begin a long night of watching over the records. It was going to be a long and challenging night, especially without ready access to coffee.

    -Eight hours later-

    Leona had started off the night strong but was barely conscious by the time that the students filed in to resume work on translating and organizing the records. She had put the chair back in place four hours ago and had walked around the tent in five-minute intervals, a number that caused her no small amount of distress due to unpleasant memories of being forced to hurry by the doctor under threat of being kicked off the site. She had walked around the tent mainly to stay awake, but it also had the benefit of assuring her that no one had slipped in and made off with any of the scrolls or tablets. Now Leona was barely able to stand, but stand she did.

    Dr. Crouch entered the tent behind his team and took a brief inspection tour to make sure that everything was in its rightful place. Satisfied that everything was where it should be, he then spoke to the weary Wizard Saint.

    "Well done, Miss Jarnefeldt. I'll take over from here. You go sleep for awhile. If anything happens and we need your help I'll let you know." Dr. Crouch complimented the Wizard Saint before giving her permission to leave and get some sleep before the night shift. Leona wished that she could shrug it off and act like she did not need sleep, but she needed sleep before the night shift.

    "Thanks, Doctor. And if you need my help don't hesitate to ask." Leona said before leaving the collection tent and heading back to her own tent to get some much-needed sleep. She was glad that the doctor was acting much more friendly towards her than he had a few days ago. She was also glad that he was not mistreating his students anymore. Maybe he had turned over a new leaf after all.

    [Post Word Count: 1,096]
    [Total Word Count: 5,311/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Lineage : Nemean Lion
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    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3552
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
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    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,529,025

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 19th October 2020, 1:26 pm

    -The next day, eight hours later-

    Leona woke up feeling like she had risen from the grave but woke up nonetheless. Collecting records for roughly six hours plus having to work eight hours protecting the ancient records had made the Wizard Saint weary and once she finally got to stop moving and actually sleep she took the opportunity. She only wished that she could sleep longer because having to get up made her feel like she had been hit by a freight train. However, she had a job to do. Leona forced herself up off of the cot and hurriedly assembled a "new" outfit out of her blue, white, and gold regenerating outfit before hurrying to take a shower.

    She really needed to expand her wardrobe.

    She would have to throw that on the pile of things she had to do.

    -In the collection tent, fifty minutes later-

    After having taken a shower and dressed Leona arrived in the collection tent to find the team hard at work translating and cataloging a new batch of ancient records for their royal patron. She would have been here slightly earlier had she not dropped back by her tent to grab her Argent Gloves in case some heavy lifting needed to be done. Leona looked for Dr. Crouch and found him standing on the right side of the tent near a collection of boxes that had been sealed up and prepared for transport. There was a triangular stack and then two sitting off to the side.

    "Ah, Miss Jarnefeldt! It's good to see you this early in the morning!" The man greeted her without a hint of sarcasm. Either he was being sincere or Leona was too groggy to see the sarcasm. Leona chose to continue to believe that he had turned over a new leaf, if only because he needed her help on this project and to avoid a mutiny by his students.

    "Hi there, Dr. Crouch. Do you need my help with anything?" Leona asked him. He pointed towards the boxes he was standing next to.

    "Yes, Miss Jarnefeldt, there's something I can use your help with. These boxes have already been filled with records for the sultan's collection. I need someone to carry them to a tent for me so that the sultan's men can begin ferrying the collection back to the sultan and we can show that we haven't been playing around out here. I'm a bit short on manpower at the moment, but I heard you Wizard Saints are miracle workers. If you could somehow carry them for me I would appreciate it." He answered. Leona looked towards the five crates and put on her Argent Gloves. Since the Argent Gloves gave her a twenty-ton lifting capacity, they would be no problem for her to lift and carry. The only question she had was which tent they needed to be carried to. There were plenty of them in the tent city that had sprung up within the confines of the wooden walls that surrounded the dig site.

    "OK. Where do I need to go with the boxes?" Leona asked him. While waiting for his answer she walked over to the first box, leaned down, got a firm grip on it, and lifted it with ease. Dr. Crouch's jaw dropped and so did those of the teams working in the tent. Leona was amused by that and could not hide her amused grin. Even after demonstrating some of her abilities it seemed like the ornery scholar was still selling her short.

    "I'll show you the way, Miss Jarnefeldt. Follow me." He said to her and took the lead. Leona obeyed and followed behind the doctor with her cargo in tow. Thanks to the power of the gloves the crate was about as heavy as an average paperback book.

    -In the camp-

    Dr. Crouch had held the tent flap open while Leona walked out with the crate in her arms. Leona walked out and Dr. Crouch took the lead to where they needed to go. While they were walking through the camp he spoke to the Wizard Saint.

    "I'm glad you're helping me with this project, Miss Jarnefeldt." He again thanked Leona for her help so far. Leona shrugged her shoulders the best she could.

    "It's no problem, Dr. Crouch." Leona assured him. She was a Wizard Saint. She took jobs big and small, exciting and mundane.

    "I'm amazed that you can lift such a heavy crate without any problems. It's at least thirty pounds, if not more. It'd normally take three or four physically fit men to carry it and you're holding it like it's nothing." Dr. Crouch said in amazement. Leona, while she was many things to many people, was not a superwoman. It was all in the gloves.

    "It's the gloves I'm wearing that allow me to carry such heavy objects like they're nothing. They're a treasure given to me by a race of cat people I helped once. I wear them practically everywhere I go." Leona replied. She had just disregarded Kaede's advice of not giving away secrets to potential enemies, but if anyone had paid attention to her career they would know that good gear played a large role in the Wizard Saint's success. Leona also did not want to give Dr. Crouch the false impression that she could lift impossible weights by herself without special assistance. Dr. Crouch took the disclaimer rather well and continued the conversation.

    "I see. Still, it's an impressive feat all the same. It's a feat beyond anything I can do." He replied calmly. He then shifted gears to another topic.

    "A couple days ago you said that you took Court Heiromesh classes under Professor Emeritus Albert Rosetta." He started the next topic. Leona nodded.

    "Yes, Doctor. I took them almost a year ago. Professor Rosetta's a good man and a good teacher who goes out of his way to make the lessons understandable." Leona praised the Professor Emeritus. She recalled his gentle nature and appreciated how he did not raise his voice and make a scene when she nearly fell asleep during the last Court Heiromesh lessons she had taken. Instead he took it in stride and continued with the lesson as if nothing happened. Maybe Professor Rosetta was afraid of angering a Wizard Saint in her own Guild Hall or maybe he really was that nice a guy... she chose to believe the latter.

    "You took them almost a year ago and you still remember his lessons? I'm impressed. Court Heiromesh is a hard language to learn." Dr. Crouch praised Leona for remembering what she did of the ancient language.

    "Professor Rosetta is just that good at what he does. If he could teach me Court Heiromesh, he could teach anyone." Leona said in a self-deprecating tone. That was not false modesty. Anyone who really knew Leona could tell Dr. Crouch that the blonde was not the sharpest tool in the shed. Her mother could tell Dr. Crouch that Leona was not a good student because her mind wandered frequently and she tended to mix things up or forget them entirely. Samira Nassar could tell him how scatterbrained Leona could be.

    [Post Word Count: 1,203]
    [Total Word Count: 6,514/11,000]


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    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 23rd October 2020, 10:57 am

    "Yes. Yes he could. Professor Rosetta is a good teacher... and a good man. A far better man than I am." Dr. Crouch confessed to the Wizard Saint. Leona knew exactly where he was coming from. She felt that there were a lot of mages who were better people than she was.

    Serilda Sinclair, Mythal Ragnos, Nessa Cordelia Lux, Samira Nassar, Johann Von Weiss, Mura Kensho... all of them were better people than Leona would ever be. She had spent over half her career scrambling to catch up to them when they had already passed far beyond her reach. Even if she managed to equal them in power she would never equal them in intellect, social skills, or reputation. Trying to equal them was futile, but Leona kept going anyway because she wanted to feel like her career had not been wasted, that leaving the desert village she called home was not a mistake. She had to have something to show for her life besides pyramids of bandit skulls.

    The Wizard Saint had studied an ancient language and had helped on a few archaeological sites in the past, but that did not make her an archaeologist. She wanted to go to the next level and become an archaeologist herself instead of being someone else's assistant for the rest of her career. However, taking that step would mean that she would have to have the grades and the money to go to a university. Leona would also have to study hard for at least the next four years without interruption, which was something she could not do as a Wizard Saint or a Guild Mistress. Both sets of duties did not end just because she was a student.

    Leona knew that even if she had official documentation of her passing the village school by the skin of her teeth her grades were not good enough to get into Crocus Magicka University. Even if she had the official documentation and the good grades to get into the university she would encounter other problems. One of them was that there might be other "old money" professors who looked down on upstarts like Dr. Anna and herself, professors who might not so easily be won over like Dr. Crouch was won over. Another problem was that there would inevitably be those who believed that Leona got into the university thanks to her titles, the influence of Dr. Anna or Dr. Crouch, or any other reason than the fact she had legitimately earned admission to the university. Leona had faced many challenges in her career, but she was not quite ready to face the numerous challenges of academia.

    However, if Leona wanted to become an official archaeologist in her own right instead of riding the coattails of other archaeologists or being their assistant now and forever, she would have to commit to getting a university education and earn a degree. To do that she would have to give up her titles and study hard with no room for error. Leona was not ready for that kind of commitment yet. She had worked too hard to get what she had just to give it all up for a risky endeavor that might not pay off at the end of it all. While it was true that nothing in life was gained without risk, Leona felt that right now it was best to be content with what she had rather than give up a sure thing and gamble on an uncertain future.

    "Say, Miss Jarnefeldt, have you ever considered going to Crocus Magicka University?" Dr. Crouch asked her. Leona could not hide her surprise at the question and gawked at the man. Days ago he had exclaimed that she would not be fit to be a secretary at "his" university, let alone a student.

    "I've briefly considered it, but I'm not sure if I'd be good enough for the university." Leona replied truthfully. The fact that she had only considered going for the past minute or two was not something that the doctor needed to know.

    "Why not?" Dr. Crouch asked.

    "I was educated in a village school in a desert village. I don't think that any official documentation of my education exists. No transcripts, no diploma, nothing. Without those documents I'd just be wasting my time trying to get in." Leona answered truthfully as they continued towards the tent. Dr. Crouch hmmm'd.

    "Yes, that lack of documentation would make the admission process difficult." He admitted to her. Leona was a bit disappointed but not entirely surprised by that.  She was hoping that if she chose to attend that there was some way that she could earn admission like taking a special test.

    "I also wasn't a very good student. I don't do well in a traditional school setting. I'd waste not only my time and money but I'd also waste the professor's time, time they could spend on teaching someone smarter than me." Leona admitted further. Again she could hear Kaede screaming at her all the way from Midi and telling the Wizard Saint not to hand potential adversaries ammunition to use against her, but it was better to be honest with Dr. Crouch so that he did not get any wild ideas like pulling strings to get her into the university. Dr. Crouch looked at her like she had lost her mind, but then gave her a small smile.

    "I must admit something, Miss Jarnefeldt. When we first met I thought that you had an inflated ego because you were a Wizard Saint and I set out to tear you down based on my personal feelings, not facts. I was wrong about you. While your honesty could get you into trouble with the less scrupulous, I appreciate you being honest instead of lying to me about your qualifications." Dr. Crouch admitted that he was wrong about the blonde yet again. Leona knew that her honesty could be abused by the wrong person, but she had no reason to lie about her academic qualifications. Leona was no once-in-a-generation scholarly talent who could revolutionize any field she chose to study. She was just a girl from the desert looking to make her way in the world and possibly climb the academic ladder a little.

    "I'm no amazing scholar. I am interested in archaeology, but I'm not any good at it on my own and I don't have any formal education in it. I just help out doctors who need a little extra muscle." Leona said to him as they neared the tent. Dr. Crouch smiled a little more.

    "Maybe you don't have any formal education in archaeology now, Miss Jarnefeldt, but there's always a chance to get it. I wouldn't count you out just yet." He replied. Leona was not sure whether he was being sincere or just saying that to make her feel better as compensation for the cruel treatment he had put her through days ago, but she chose to believe that he was trying to encourage her not to rule out getting formal education. Whether he genuinely believed that she would be a good archaeologist or if he was trying to boost his reputation by being the one to get a Wizard Saint to enroll in Crocus Magicka University was up in the air. Again she chose to believe that he saw potential in her, the potential to rise beyond being just an assistant and become an archaeologist in her own right.

    [Post Word Count: 1,248]
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    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 24th October 2020, 12:14 pm

    "If I ever wanted to go to Crocus Magicka University one day, how do I handle the issue of not having an "official" diploma or transcripts?" Leona asked Dr. Crouch as he opened the flap to the tent for her. The tent was a nondescript rectangular tent just like Dr. Crouch's own tent and the collection tent. Leona obligingly walked inside carrying the precious cargo.

    -Inside the tent-

    Aside from a table in the back and center of the room, there was nothing except royal army members standing guard with semi-automatic rifles. Leona counted one man in each corner of the room plus two standing at each side of the table. She carried the crate and Dr. Crouch moved just ahead of her to direct her where to set it down.

    "Down here should be fine." Dr. Crouch told her, pointing towards a space on the ground a short distance in front of the table. Leona carefully lowered the crate to the ground to avoid jostling the contents with a sharp descent and possibly damaging them. Dr. Crouch was right about another one of his disparaging remarks... the Magic Council could always make more Wizard Saints, but it could not make more records dating from the time of King Saarghon. If "his" records ended up damaged the sultan would probably do away with Leona and her home village, so she had to be very careful.

    Once the crate had been gently deposited the pair quickly exited the tent and resumed the conversation where they had left off.

    -In the camp-

    "The quickest solution I can think of is for you to apply for and take a GED test." Dr. Crouch answered Leona's question after the delay. Leona blinked.

    "What's a GED? And what's a GED test?" Leona asked him as they started walking back towards the collection tent to pick up another crate.

    "GED stands for General Educational Development. And it's a special test that you can take if you dropped out of school or otherwise didn't complete your primary education. If you pass it, you earn the equivalent of a high school diploma. It'll at least get your foot in the door for the Crocus Magicka University entrance exam." Dr. Crouch answered patiently. Leona was intrigued by this option. Since the village school did not keep very good records, if any records at all, the Wizard Saint would rather take a GED test than try to navigate the bureaucratic nightmare of trying to obtain records from her school and get them recognized by Crocus Magicka University or another institute of higher education.

    "What's the Crocus Magicka University entrance exam?" Leona asked Dr. Crouch as they continued to walk through the camp.

    "It's a special exam that students who want to get into the university but don't have a traditional academic background have to take. It's meant to weed out the academically fit from those who aren't serious about their studies. Since you don't have "official" high school documentation, it's your safest bet to try and get in." Dr. Crouch explained. Leona thought that the test was a bit much, especially if prospective students were not trying to enter any elite programs. However, she did not make the rules, so she would just have to grin and bear it if she wanted to apply for Crocus Magicka University.

    "OK. Where's a good place to take the GED test?" Leona asked him. Dr. Crouch smiled.

    "You're in luck, Miss Jarnefeldt. Crocus Magicka University operates a GED program that functions as an unofficial pipeline to the university. Taking and passing the test is no guarantee that you'll get into Crocus Magicka University, but graduates of the GED program tend to have a better chance of passing the entrance exam that they have to take if they want to go to the next level." Dr. Crouch explained. It sounded like a shameless plug for his alma mater, but Leona was willing to bite. The whole idea was a good one. Leona would look good for earning her way into Crocus Magicka University through official channels and the university would look good for not cutting a special deal just to enroll a current Wizard Saint. That was an uncommon situation where both parties benefited.

    "I'll definitely look into it. Thanks." Leona thanked the doctor for letting her know about her options should she want to take the plunge and pursue higher education. That was no idle comment. As soon as she got back to Silver Wolf Guild Hall she would learn to use her Daggerbook and look into both the GED program and the Outside Scholars program.

    "It's no problem, Miss Jarnefeldt." He said to Leona. The pair continued towards the collection tent for the Wizard Saint to pick up a second crate to carry to the tent guarded by the royal army. Leona was glad to hear about an opportunity to get a formal education that everyone would recognize. She would have to be the one to make the decision, but making the decision was a lot easier now that she had some basic facts to go on given to her by a sitting Doctor of Archaeology at Crocus Magicka University.

    Together the pair entered the collection tent to pick up another crate for transport. Now that she knew where the crates were to be deposited she could make the trip on her own while Dr. Crouch supervised the students, but to her surprise Dr. Crouch stayed by her side. Was he supervising her or did he actually enjoy her company?

    -Forty-five minutes later, in the camp-

    Leona had deposited the last of the five crates that had been filled with records destined for the sultan and the pair were on their way back to the collection tent when Dr. Crouch spoke to her again.

    "Thank you for deciding to help me after the regretful things I've said and done to you." Dr. Crouch thanked Leona for her help moving the crates. She had saved him and his team hours of work by doing so.

    "It's no problem." Leona assured him. She was not saying that out of obligation. She had left the verbal and physical abuse behind days ago. Dr. Crouch still looked regretful.

    "It's no excuse for what I said and did, but I was stressed out. I'm several years over the mandatory retirement age and my critics say that the only reason I'm still allowed to teach is that my family's been on the university's faculty since it was founded. I want to prove them wrong, but my attitude hasn't been helping matters." Dr. Crouch explained part of the reason for his hostile attitude towards her. Leona refrained from commenting and let the man speak.

    "I was looking to make one last discovery before I retired. One last thing to make my legacy a little better than it is now. When you first arrived I was afraid that you'd get all the credit, that my role would be reduced to that of the man who helped Leona Jarnefeldt discover one of the archives of King Saarghon. I was afraid... and jealous." He confessed. Leona looked at him and blinked.

    "Jealous?" Leona asked in genuine surprise. Why would he be jealous of her?

    [Post Word Count: 1,212]
    [Total Word Count: 8,974/11,000]


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    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 29th October 2020, 9:47 am

    Leona blinked and blinked again when Dr. Crouch said what he did. Why would a university-educated person with a doctorate in archaeology be jealous of her? There was nothing of her to be jealous about. He was born into wealth and prestige and had a career that was practically his for the asking. He was the fifth man in the Crouch family to be a faculty member of Crocus Magicka University since the university was founded centuries ago.

    "I know it sounds absurd for me to be jealous of you, but I am." Dr. Crouch repeated to Leona, who was not quite believing what she was hearing. She kept all comments to herself and let him speak. He took a deep breath before speaking to the Wizard Saint.

    "I was born into wealth and prestige and I practically had a university education handed to me, but somehow it feels... empty. It feels like everything I have was handed to me because of who my parents were. I don't feel like I earned any of it." He started explaining to her why he felt as he did. Right off the bat Leona could identify with that feeling of having something handed to her. It was a feeling that lessened in intensity as time went on and she performed more great deeds to prove her right to hold her esteemed titles, but the thought that she had just gotten lucky by being in the right place at the right time still came up from time to time.

    "It also feels like my life really isn't my own. I went into academia because it was expected of me, because all the men of the Crouch family had gone into academia. I didn't want to disappoint my family and my peers by not going into academia, so I did. I studied archaeology and I became a doctor of archaeology like my father, my grandfather, and the other men before them." He explained further, adding that he felt more like he was living someone else's life than the life that he had wanted to live. Leona could also identify with that feeling. Her mother Sophia tried her best to get Leona to give up her life of independence to return to Nebdoui and start a family, something Leona was adamantly opposed to. It felt like her mother was trying to take away her daughter's independence. It also felt like her mother was trying to use Leona as a means to go through life a second time as Sophia would have gone through it had she a chance to do it all over again.

    "I'm jealous of you because you've made your life with your own hands. You didn't have anything handed to you because of who your parents were. You didn't have any great expectations set upon your shoulders because of your family lineage." Dr. Crouch said to her with a small but noticeable trace of bitterness. Leona saw where he was coming from when he made those claims and could not really contest them. The Wizard Saint chose this time to try and say something but kept quiet when he spoke again.

    "I'm jealous of you because people look up to you, Miss Jarnefeldt. There's nothing admirable about a career academic who's spent most of his life sitting in a desk that was practically reserved for him. I don't have magic and I never will. You, you're different. You're a young woman from the desert who came from very little to seize power and fame with your own two hands. That's what people admire." Dr. Crouch finished his explanation with a very good point. Leona had not thought much about the appeal of someone rising to prominence by their own efforts instead of having it handed to them because of bloodlines. Then again, Leona was not renowned as a deep thinker. Since Dr. Crouch was not speaking, Leona chose this time to try and say something. She would do her best to avoid sounding patronizing or dismissive of how the doctor felt, but there was a chance that she would come across as such anyway.

    "I can see where you're coming from, Doctor. It's true that I came from a remote desert village and won everything I have through a lot of work. I don't see what is particularly admirable about me, though." Leona replied. She was not displaying false modesty. She honestly did not see what was so great about being known for beating up bandits day in and day out. Then she put a little more thought into it and realized that there were other feats she had accomplished that others saw as admirable.

    She had went toe-to-toe with an entire pack of werewolves and their alpha and killed a good many of them.

    She had fought and won against pumpkin beasts from out of this world on Celestial Sanctum with the help of Johann Von Weiss, Nessa Cordelia Lux, Haraka Omaras, and Arcadia Fairchilde during the "Night of Eternal Darkness."

    Despite being a Wizard Saint she had infiltrated a doomsday cult and lived to tell the tale.

    She had fought against angels and won.

    She had slain a dragon alongside Luna Mira.

    She had repeatedly pushed back the oldest enemy of her village and won, forcing them to drastically alter their tactics just to stand a chance of fighting her.

    Not everyone could claim that they had slain a dragon or had gone toe-to-toe with an entire pack of werewolves and won. Leona had done a lot more in over two years than most people did in their entire lives. Aside from her numerous triumphs over all manner of enemies, she had also helped professional archaeologists make discoveries that expanded knowledge of ancient peoples. It was safe to say that the young woman from the desert had seen and done a lot during her brief life. Dr. Crouch listened patiently as the Wizard Saint continued to talk.

    "I'm looking for something that would make me more than a fighter. I want some accomplishment to my name that doesn't involve fighting." Leona admitted to him. It sounded really boastful to imply that she was bored of fighting because it made her sound like no enemy could challenge her anymore. It sounded boastful, but there was no other way to put what she was trying to say. While it was true that she was a mage of considerable power with few equals other than her fellow Wizard Saints and their dark mage counterpart the Warlords, Leona was far from invulnerable. She had learned the hard way that charging headlong into combat was not always the best idea.

    Now that Leona had learned that lesson combat went a lot easier for her. By thinking before acting she had won quite a few victories against opponents who had outnumbered her. She had been shot in the left shoulder by a pirate captain, but that was not the end of her career. Leona just had to adapt to the fact that firearms would always be a threat to her; even the outlaws of Desierto had caught onto the fact that shooting a target from a distance was safer than getting within sword range of one. Now they were arming themselves with rifles as fast as they possibly could.

    While Leona had quite a few ranged spells, the best way to counter firearms was with a firearm of her own. She would have to shop around for a weapon that best suited her, but that could wait. She needed to finish this job before she could think about getting a new weapon.

    "If you want accomplishments that don't involve fighting, perhaps I can help you with that." Dr. Crouch said with a smile.

    [Post Word Count: 1,296]
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    Surviving The Ancient Archives Empty Re: Surviving The Ancient Archives

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 29th October 2020, 10:04 am

    Leona was interested in what the doctor had to offer. If he could help her get accomplishments that involved something other than fighting, particularly accomplishments in the field of archaeology, she was all ears. She decided to ask about that while the subject was still on her mind before it got buried by other concerns.

    "What do you mean?" Leona asked Dr. Crouch.

    "I have a colleague or two who might need your skills, Miss Jarnefeldt. I also have a daughter who is following in my footsteps... in a fashion. She's a good archaeologist, but she's determined not to be stuck behind a desk like I am. She takes a lot of risks, risks that I'd prefer she didn't take, but I'm not going to stand in the way of what she really wants. I have no right to stand in her way." Dr. Crouch clued her in to more job opportunities. Leona continued to listen to the doctor with keen interest.

    "I also have a friend by the name of Professor Charles Fauntleroy. He was a classmate of mine back when we were both students, which should tell you something about how far we go back. Anyway, he's looking for someone to join his expedition into southern Desierto that's looking for a rumored "Secret Archives" belonging to King Saarghon." Dr. Crouch offered up another job opportunity to the Wizard Saint. She was willing to take it because she would be learning more about archaeology from another Crocus Magicka University professor. Helping professors make big finds was always a decent career boost even if her name did not make the headlines. Leona would be sure to check into that opportunity when she got a chance to do so. The blonde's attention turned back to Dr. Crouch's daughter... she had never gotten the young woman's name.

    "If I may ask, what's the name of your daughter?" Leona asked the doctor. He paused for a moment before realizing that he had not given the Wizard Saint her name the first time the subject of his daughter was brought up.

    " Oh dear, I forgot to tell you! Eleanor Crouch is her name. She's a young woman only a few years older than you. She's currently a freelance archaeologist who is determined to stay in the field until she retires. I'm trying to get her to at least sign on with the university so that she'd have consistent funding, but she refuses because she believes that it'd look like she was hired because she's my daughter." Dr. Crouch replied, giving the young woman's name. Leona also learned that her father was trying to get her to sign on with Crocus Magicka University, but Eleanor was refusing because if she was accepted it would look like she had taken advantage of nepotism to secure her place. Leona knew that feeling... her mother had been distant towards her because there was cheap talk floating around Nebdoui that Sophia would use her new role as advisor to Chief Joshua to increase her family's status at the expense of everyone else, talk which was utterly untrue. Sophia was a teacher and a scholar, not a schemer. Sophia was as surprised as anyone else when she was appointed an official advisor to Chief Joshua and Leona got the impression that she would gladly give up the job to return to a normal life of teaching the village's children.

    "Where is she now?" Leona asked him.

    "She has a house in Capital Crocus just a short distance from mine, but she really lives in the field. She travels all over the world, so I can't give you an exact location Eleanor stays in because she's frequently away from Capital Crocus. One day she's in Midi and the next she's in Clover Town or Desierto. There's no telling where she is on any given day." Dr. Crouch answered with a bit of frustration in the last sentence. Leona was familiar with the "on the road" lifestyle that Dr. Crouch's daughter led. Leona had a room at Silver Wolf Guild Hall, but she was frequently out of the guild hall on one job or another. Thankfully her faithful Aces were there to pick up the slack when paperwork needed to be done.

    "If you're looking for an easier start, I'd suggest helping my friend Professor Fauntleroy. He's going to lead an expedition to Southern Desierto soon in search of the so-called Secret Archives. Are you familiar with them?" Dr. Crouch asked.

    "Emeritus Professor Rosetta told me a bit about them. He told me that they were a storage place for edicts that King Saarghon didn't want people to know about, edicts like assassination orders for people who were too troublesome to leave alive but who just couldn't be publicly executed on trumped-up charges." Leona answered by using the scraps of knowledge she had on the Secret Archives. Dr. Crouch nodded.

    "Yes, exactly. It's said that the Secret Archives are home to assassination orders for troublesome nobles. It's also said that the orders were written in a special variation of Court Heiromesh known only to King Saarghon and his most trusted nobles and scribes. A number which can be counted on one hand, I might add. Two hands if you're feeling generous." Dr. Crouch gave her a bit more information on what Professor Fauntleroy was looking for.

    "I read that in his later years King Saarghon was paranoid and saw spies and assassins everywhere. I guess the revitalized Muserians knocking at his front door didn't help either." Leona chimed in, alluding to the revolution that toppled the king's empire after only a century. The doctor nodded.

    "Yes, King Saarghon was infamously paranoid in his older years. As he aged the nobles conspired to unseat him and install a king who would give them more of a role in running the empire. Unfortunately for them he was not going to give up his throne without a fight. A lot of those nobles died of "unexplained causes" right up until the empire disintegrated." Dr. Crouch added. Leona had a little knowledge of the king's paranoia, but she did not know that it lasted up until the empire's defeat at the hands of the Muserians and the other disaffected peoples the empire had held together by force. The pair reached the collection tent and paused outside of it.

    "Come on, Miss Jarnefeldt. There's still work to be done. Think about everything I've told you." The doctor said to her in a friendly manner.

    "Of course, Doctor." Leona said before entering the tent alongside the doctor. He was right. There were still records to be translated and packed for transport to the sultan, but that was not the only work that remained to be done. She also had other things to consider. The Outside Scholar program with the university library and the GED test remained to be looked into. She also had several job opportunities to look into with Dr. Crouch's colleagues, his old friend Professor Fauntleroy, and his daughter Elanor.

    The next few days would be busy ones for the Wizard Saint. She already had a lot on her plate and several more things had just been dumped onto it. It was fine, though. No one ever said that being a Wizard Saint was easy.

    [Post Word Count: 1,220]
    [Total Word Count: 11,490/11,000]


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    Surviving The Ancient Archives KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)

      Current date/time is 24th April 2024, 12:13 am