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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.