June 29, 2012

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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