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Legs and flowers

There he informed them that the Golden-eyed Commander of Wishes had left him, Bastian Balthazar Bux, power over the enfinity Fantastican Empire, and that he was now taking her place. In conclusion he demanded perfect obedience. "Even, or I might say especially," he added, "when my decisions are beyond your understanding. For I am not of your kind." He then announced that in exactly seventy-seven days he would crown himself Childlike Emperor of Fantastica and that the event would be celebrated with such splendor that it would outshine anything ever done in Fantastica. And he ordered the councilors to send messengers forthwith to every part of the realm, for he wished every nation of the Fantastican Empire to be represented at his coronation. Thereupon Bastian withdrew, leaving the councilors and other dignitaries alone with their bewilderment.


Sunset on the beach

And he ordered the councilors to send messengers forthwith to every part of the realm, for he wished every nation of the Fantastican Empire to be represented at his coronation. Thereupon Bastian withdrew, leaving the councilors and other dignitaries alone with their bewilderment. 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.


Girl running in a field

He then announced that in exactly seventy-seven days he would crown himself Childlike Emperor of Fantastica and that the event would be celebrated with such splendor that it would outshine anything ever done in Fantastica. And he ordered the councilors to send messengers forthwith to every part of the realm, for he wished every nation of the Fantastican Empire to be represented at his coronation. Thereupon Bastian withdrew, leaving the councilors and other dignitaries alone with their bewilderment. 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.


Beauty in the forest

That same night he summoned all the ministers and councilors who had served Moon Child to a meeting in the large, circular hall where the congress of physicians had once met. There he informed them that the Golden-eyed Commander of Wishes had left him, Bastian Balthazar Bux, power over the enfinity Fantastican Empire, and that he was now taking her place. In conclusion he demanded perfect obedience. "Even, or I might say especially," he added, "when my decisions are beyond your understanding. For I am not of your kind." He then announced that in exactly seventy-seven days he would crown himself Childlike Emperor of Fantastica and that the event would be celebrated with such splendor that it would outshine anything ever done in Fantastica. And he ordered the councilors to send messengers forthwith to every part of the realm, for he wished every nation of the Fantastican Empire to be represented at his coronation. Thereupon Bastian withdrew, leaving the councilors and other dignitaries alone with their bewilderment.


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.


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.


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