When the ancient scrolls were read aloud, THEY, would come.

Sarah worked at a feverish pace in a desperate bid to unlock the secrets of the scrolls. It took her nearly six years to locate them in the ruins of a long forgotten temple in Nepal. Those six years sapped her once youthful exuberance as intrigue transformed into obsession—as her natural beauty hardened and cracked from stress. It was her lust to solve the mystery, to find what ancient pleasure awaited the finder of the scrolls that drove her to this point.

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What was once considered as nothing more than mere folklore became real—as real as anything she’d ever known—when an inadvertent stumble into a wall knocked loose a dust-covered stone and unveiled the hiding place of the scrolls. It was in what the locals referred to in their language as the Temple of Lost Time which this event occurred. It happened so unceremoniously, with such an anticlimactic reveal, that Sarah felt almost disappointed by the sudden ease of finding them. After six grueling years searching for the scrolls she felt there should’ve been some grand opponent—some insurmountable obstacle standing between her and the end of her quest that she would have to overcome to finally reap the fruits of her countless labors. Instead, it was an accidental slip of her foot upon the iced-over ground that gave to her the prize.

It had been over a week since her archaeological team explored the temple. They were set to return the next day to continue their research, but inclement weather conditions prevented further excursions into the snowy mountains. The team was understandably disappointed at this unfortunate turn of events—with Sarah taking the extended delay extra hard. Or at least that’s what the team thought as she stayed for the better part of a week locked in her room at the inn they all shared. This seemed reasonable to them as it was her who brought them to this location. It was her incessant study about the legend of the Ananta Sukha, also known as the Scrolls of Infinite Pleasures, which led them on this trip. What they didn’t know was that she wasn’t distraught at all about getting snowed in. In fact, she couldn’t have anticipated a better result than a blizzard blocking future exploration. For unbeknownst to the team, she had selfishly smuggled the scrolls out of the temple via the inner pockets of her coat. Nobody was around when she discovered them. Now, she could pore over the contents of the Ananta Sukha without interference.

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A wooden clock on the desk boomed with a thunderous clap at the stroke of midnight, shattering the silence in the dimly lit hotel room. The sound was much louder than such a small clock should’ve been able to produce. Sarah looked up from the scrolls at a breakneck speed—her blurred vision made is so she could barely make out the time. Then with a startled revelation, it dawned on her; she hadn’t slept in at least two days.

A gust of wind knocked the outside shutters against the window with light smacks, rattling the exhausted woman’s sleep deprived mind. Even with her eyes drooping and nerves on edge, she refused to stop working. It was so close to being finished now. One more line of transcription and the mystery of the scrolls would be known to her. Her fingers moved the pen at a furious pace. So close. Six years of her life would finally find meaning. Just a few more words. Her palm cramped more and more with each line stroke. Only a couple more letters. Sweat dripped from her brow and melted into the rough yellowing paper of the scroll like a snowflake on warm skin. One more stroke, and it was finished.

Sarah sank back into the chair in exhaustion. She pushed her sweaty palms against the hot skin of her face. Why had this been so difficult? Why did she feel the need to rush through this in secrecy? A deep desire called out to her to read the scrolls aloud. A force greater than her will—more powerful than anything she could’ve imagine. She had no choice. The words were already escaping her mouth before she even knew what was happening.

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