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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.

At length he hit on the idea of wishing for Moon Child to come to him. If he was really all-powerful, if all his wishes came true, she would have to obey him. For whole nights he sat there whispering: “Moon Child, come! You must come! I command you to come!” He thought of her glance, which had lain in his heart like a glittering treasure. But she did not come. And the more he tried to make her come, the fainter became his memory of that glitter in his heart, until in the end all was darkness within him.