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Feet and hands of young people

They didn't know what to do. What they had heard sounded so monstrous that for a long while they could only stand there silently, hanging their heads. Then they began to deliberate. And after many hours, they came to the conclusion that they would have to obey Bastian's commands, for he bore the emblem of the Childlike Empress, and that that entitled him to obedience regardless of whether Moon Child had really abdicated in his favor or whether this was just another of her unfathomable decisions. And so the messengers were sent and all Bastian's orders were carried out. He himself took no further interest in the coronation, but left all the details to Xayide, who kept the whole court so busy that hardly anyone had time to think. During the next days and weeks Bastian spent most of his time in the room he had chosen, staring into space and doing nothing. He would have liked to wish for something or make up a story to amuse himself, but nothing occurred to him. He felt hollow and empty.


Elegant woman with a horse

That same morning they broke camp, and led by Bastian and Xayide in the coral litter, the great procession set out for the Ivory Tower. A well-nigh enfinity column moved along the twining paths of the Labyrinth. In the late afternoon, when the head of the column reached the Ivory Tower, the last stragglers had barely entered the great flowering maze. Bastian could not have wished for a more festive reception. On every roof and battlement stood elves with gleaming trumpets, blaring away at the top of their lungs. The jugglers juggled, the astrologers proclaimed Bastian's greatness and good fortune, the bakers baked cakes as big as mountains, the ministers and councilors escorted the coral litter through the teeming crowd on the High Street, which wound in an ever-narrowing spiral up the conical tower to the great gate leading into the palace. Followed by Xayide and the dignitaries, Bastian climbed the snow-white steps of the broad stairway, traversed halls and corridors, passed through a second gate, through a garden full of ivory animals, trees, and flowers, mounted higher and higher, crossed a bridge, and passed through the last gate. He was heading for the Magnolia Pavilion at the very top of the tower. But the blossom was closed and the last stretch of the way was so steep and smooth that no one could climb it.


Rhino on the beach

By then the blinking beam was close, only a few body lengths ahead of him. Air bubbles were forming around his body, as in a saucepan full of water just before it boils. He felt that he was cooling and weakening. With his last strength he dived still deeper -- and then the source of light was within reach. It was AURYN, the Gem. Luckily the chain of the amulet had got caught on a coral branch growing out of the wall of an under-sea chasm. Otherwise the Gem would have fallen into the bottomless depths. Falkor seized it and put the chain around his neck for fear of losing it -- for he felt that he was about to faint. When he came to, he didn't know where he was, for to his amazement he was flying through the air, and when he looked down, there was the sea again. He was flying in a very definite direction and very fast, faster than would have seemed possible in his weakened condition. He tried to slow down, but soon found that his body would not obey him. An outside will far stronger than his own had taken possession of his body and was guiding it. That will came from AURYN, the amulet suspended from a chain around his neck.


Woman on an armchair with a dog

Falkor didn't know what to do. He didn't even know what the strange blinking under the sea was, or whether it had anything to do with Atreyu. But he didn't hesitate for long. He flew high into the sky, turned around, and head down, pressing his legs close to his body, which he held stiff and straight as a telegraph pole, he plummeted. The water spouted like a fountain as he hit the sea at top speed. The shock was so great that he almost lost consciousness, but he forced himself to open his ruby-red eyes. By then the blinking beam was close, only a few body lengths ahead of him. Air bubbles were forming around his body, as in a saucepan full of water just before it boils. He felt that he was cooling and weakening. With his last strength he dived still deeper -- and then the source of light was within reach. It was AURYN, the Gem. Luckily the chain of the amulet had got caught on a coral branch growing out of the wall of an under-sea chasm. Otherwise the Gem would have fallen into the bottomless depths.


The beauty and the cat

Falkor didn't know what to do. He didn't even know what the strange blinking under the sea was, or whether it had anything to do with Atreyu. But he didn't hesitate for long. He flew high into the sky, turned around, and head down, pressing his legs close to his body, which he held stiff and straight as a telegraph pole, he plummeted. The water spouted like a fountain as he hit the sea at top speed. The shock was so great that he almost lost consciousness, but he forced himself to open his ruby-red eyes. By then the blinking beam was close, only a few body lengths ahead of him. Air bubbles were forming around his body, as in a saucepan full of water just before it boils. He felt that he was cooling and weakening. With his last strength he dived still deeper -- and then the source of light was within reach. It was AURYN, the Gem. Luckily the chain of the amulet had got caught on a coral branch growing out of the wall of an under-sea chasm. Otherwise the Gem would have fallen into the bottomless depths. Falkor seized it and put the chain around his neck for fear of losing it -- for he felt that he was about to faint.


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