The quintet arrived at the shores of the Dead Sea in no time, thanks to the Library of Books’ designated transporter terminal in the back room, which linked to branch libraries all around the world. Hera noticed one of the buttons on the terminal said Mount Olympus, and she quickly realised they have a branch of the library back on the Mount, but decided to keep quiet about it. The terminal was a portal, a swirling gateway in which they stepped through after selecting their desired destination. It was quick, easy and free.

“Oh, doesn’t the Dead Sea look wonderful?” mused Athena, after they all stepped outside into the Pompeian sunshine. There were no waves to lap along the shore, so the waterline merely rippled, and reflected bright shards of white light. The air was warm, and thick with the scent of cut grass and suntan lotion. The branch library was directly on the shores of the sea, with a walkway that led around the outside of the white marble building, separating the water from the walls. Pillars appeared to hold up the ornate roof of the building, and in between each pillar stood impressive marble statues.

“Ooh, look, Hez… there’s you!” Aphrodite smiled noticing Hera’s statue.

“I don’t think much of that artist.” Hera grumbled. “He’s made me look proper grumpy.”

“I think he’s got your likeness spot on!” Aphrodite said, realising her comment wasn’t as helpful as it had sounded in her head.

“Anyway, we aren’t here for sightseeing.” Hera said sternly. “Back inside we go… we have Dead Sea Scrolls to find.”

Athena and Adonis walked back into the building first, followed by Carpo, and then Hera and Aphrodite. Hera found the directory, and saw the Bibliotheca Proper (Library Proper) was on the fifth floor. The lift was out of order, so they had to take the stairs.

“You’d think they’d have one of those transporter things going to each floor,” panted Carpo by the time they reached the third floor, “it doesn’t make sense being able to travel practically halfway around the world in the blink of an eye, yet have to walk the rest of the way at the destination.”

“You could say that about anything, Carpo,” Adonis replied, “you can only take the bus so far.”

Eventually, and breathlessly, they arrived at the doorway to the proper library. Hera tried to pull the door open, only to find it wouldn’t move. “Oh… it appears to be closed, after all that!” She folded her arms in frustration.

Athena, the ever-wise, gently moved Hera to one side, and pushed the door open, “It was just a little stiff.” She offered, helpfully.

Inside the library proper, there were five aisles, and each had a sign at the entrance to each aisle labelling what each aisle held. Aisle number two held the Ancient Manuscripts, Readings and Scrolls.

“OK, that’s our aisle, folks!” Hera decided she needed to appear to be in command after the door incident.Β  “Adonis, you go right down to the back and check the end and both sides down there. Carpo and I will check the left shelves and Aphrodite and Athena, the right.”

“But what are we looking for?” Adonis asked, thinking he was sure, but wanted to make it so.

“The Dead Sea Scrolls. I can’t believe you’ve forgotten that, considering we’ve just been talking about the Dead Sea itself!” Hera was losing her command.

“I hadn’t forgotten, Hera, I was making sure everyone else knew.” Adonis stormed off to the end of the aisle.

Aphrodite and Athena glanced at each other, and started looking at the shelves on their side of the aisle. “You check the top, and I’ll do the bottom,” Athena said, “but please try not to trip over me, Aph.”

“As if,” Aphrodite said, “you’ll most probably trip me. I’ll go first, just in case.”

“That’s a good idea, Carpo.” Hera said. “You start by checking the bottom, and then I’ll follow checking the top.” Carpo smiled, and got down onto her hands and knees to start browsing the bottom five shelves. Hera started to scan the top five, and took a step to her right, instantly falling over Carpo, who hadn’t moved along. With a thud, Hera landed onto the marble floor.

“Oh, goodness! Hera!” Carpo gushed, as she, Athena and Aphrodite helped Hear back to her feet.

“You didn’t move along!” Hera complained.

“I was still checking… I wasn’t ready to move along yet. I can’t help it if I’m a slow reader.” Carpo now folded her arms indignantly.

“OK, then,” Athena interrupted. “Why don’t we work end to end. Carpo and Aphrodite start at the far end, and Hera and I shall start here. We will check all shelves from top to bottom, and meet in the oven. We should find what we’re looking for then.”

“Oven, Ath?” Aphrodite was confused.

“Oven, Aph? What are you talking about?” Athena now too was confused.

“You just said we’ll meet in the oven.”

“No I didn’t. Why would I say we’ll meet in the oven? Who meets in an oven?” Athena backtracked over what she’d said. “I said we’ll meet in the centre.”

Athena couldn’t say anything else, as Adonis shouted a rather loud “Found them!” from the end of the aisle. “They don’t make much sense, though,” Adonis continued as he held one of the scrolls aloft, allowing it to unfurl from above his head down to the ground, “they’re written in weird squares and triangles, just like the ones back at the other library.”

The three Goddesses and Carpo looked at each other without saying a word.

This is the tenth part to the Legendary Circles II story. The previous parts are on the Storylines page.

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