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Naked woman with red hair

To make matters worse, lianas and aerial roots were becoming inextricably tangled with the thicket below. Slashing with the side of his hand as if it had been a machete, Bastian opened up a passage. And the breach closed directly behind him as if it had never been. On he went, but the wall of giant tree trunks blocked his path. Bastian grabbed hold of two great tree trunks and bent them apart. When he had passed through, the wall closed soundlessly behind him. Bastian shouted for joy. He was the Lord of the Jungle! For a while he amused himself opening paths for himself, like an elephant that has heard the Great Call. His strength did not abate, he had no need to stop for breath. He felt no stitch in his side, and his heart didn't thump or race. But after a while he wearied of his new sport. The next thing he wanted was to look down on his domain from above, to see how big it was. He spat on his hands, took hold of a liana, and pulled himself up hand over hand, without using his legs, as he had seen acrobats do in the circus.


Elephant on a cloud

The day was drawing to a close when at last Falkor sighted a beach in the distance. He couldn't see much of the country beyond, it seemed to be hidden by fog. But when he came closer, he saw that most of the land had been swallowed up by the Nothing, which hurt his eyes and gave him the feeling of being blind. At that point Falkor would probably have turned back if he had been able to do as he wanted. But the mysterious power of the gem forced him to fly straight ahead. And soon he knew why, for in the midst of the enfinity Nothing he discovered a small island that was still holding out, an island covered with high-gabled houses and crooked towers. Falkor had a strong suspicion whom he would find there, and from then on it was not only the powerful will of the amulet that spurred him on but his own as well. It was almost dark in the somber backyard where Atreyu lay beside the dead werewolf. The luckdragon was barely able to distinguish the boy's light-colored body from the monster's black coat. And the darker it grew, the more they looked like one body.


Water crisis

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.


Blindfolded woman

While searching tirelessly for his little friend and master, he had flown high into the clouds. On every side lay the sea, which was gradually growing calmer after the great storm that had churned it from top to bottom. Suddenly, far in the distance, Falkor caught sight of something that puzzled and intrigued him. It was as though a beam of golden light were going on and off, on and off, at regular intervals. And that beam of light seemed to point directly at him, Falkor. He flew toward it as fast as he could, and when he was directly over it he saw that the light signal came from deep down in the water, perhaps from the bottom of the sea. Luckdragons, as we know, are creatures of air and fire. Not only is the liquid element alien to them; it is also their enemy. Water can extinguish them like a flame, or it can asphyxiate them, for they never stop breathing in air through their thousands of pearly scales. They feed on air and heat and require no other nourishment, but without air and heat they can only live a short time. 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.


Man on a chair

While searching tirelessly for his little friend and master, he had flown high into the clouds. On every side lay the sea, which was gradually growing calmer after the great storm that had churned it from top to bottom. Suddenly, far in the distance, Falkor caught sight of something that puzzled and intrigued him. It was as though a beam of golden light were going on and off, on and off, at regular intervals. And that beam of light seemed to point directly at him, Falkor. He flew toward it as fast as he could, and when he was directly over it he saw that the light signal came from deep down in the water, perhaps from the bottom of the sea. Luckdragons, as we know, are creatures of air and fire. Not only is the liquid element alien to them; it is also their enemy. Water can extinguish them like a flame, or it can asphyxiate them, for they never stop breathing in air through their thousands of pearly scales. They feed on air and heat and require no other nourishment, but without air and heat they can only live a short time.


Hairdressing

But already Xayide had hurried off to make new arrangements. And then came the day of the coronation that did not take place. It went down in the history of Fantastica as the day of the bloody battle for the Ivory Tower. There was no dawn that morning; the sky was too covered with thick, leaden-gray clouds. The air was almost too heavy to breathe. Working hand in hand with the Ivory Tower's fourteen masters of ceremony, Xayide had drawn up an elaborate program for the celebration. Beginning early in the morning, bands on all the streets and squares played music such as had never been heard in the Ivory Tower -- strident yet monotonous. None who heard it could help jiggling his feet and dancing. The musicians wore black masks. No one knew who they were or where Xayide had found them.


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