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The change did not actually take place in Nikolayev alone,

source:Flawless Webedit:datatime:2023-12-04 10:18:44

Corpang covered his eyes with one hand, and prayed silently. After a few minutes the light sensibly faded. Then Maskull knelt as well, but he continued looking.

The change did not actually take place in Nikolayev alone,

It grew darker and darker, until all was like the blackest night. Sight and sound no longer existed; he was alone with his own spirit.

The change did not actually take place in Nikolayev alone,

Then one of the three Colossi came slowly into sight again. But it had ceased to be a statue - it was a living person. Out of the blackness of space a gigantic head and chest emerged, illuminated by a mystic, rosy glow, like a mountain peak bathed by the rising sun. As the light grew stronger Maskull saw that the flesh was translucent and that the glow came from within. The limbs of the apparition were wreathed in mist.

The change did not actually take place in Nikolayev alone,

Before long the features of the face stood out distinctly. It was that of a beardless youth of twenty years. It possessed the beauty of a girl and the daring force of a man; it bore a mocking, cryptic smile. Maskull felt the fresh, mysterious thrill of mingled pain and rapture of one who awakes from a deep sleep in midwinter and sees the gleaming, dark, delicate colours of the half-dawn. The vision smiled, kept still, and looked beyond him. He began to shudder, with delight - and many emotions. As he gazed, his poetic sensibility acquired such a nervous and indefinable character that he could endure it no more; he burst into tears.

When he looked up again the image had nearly disappeared, and in a few moments more he was plunged back into total darkness.

Shortly afterward a second statue reappeared. It too was transfigured into a living form, but Maskull was unable to see the details of its face and body, because of the brightness of the light that radiated from them. This light, which started as pale gold, ended as flaming golden fire. It illumined the whole underground landscape. The rock ledges, the cliffs, himself and Corpang on their knees, the two unlighted statues - all appeared as if in sunlight, and the shadows were black and strongly defined. The light carried heat with it, but a singular heat. Maskull was unaware of any rise in temperature, but he felt his heart melting to womanish softness. His male arrogance and egotism faded imperceptibly away; his personality seemed to disappear. What was left behind was not freedom of spirit or lightheartedness, but a passionate and nearly savage mental state of pity and distress. He felt a tormenting desire to serve. All this came from the heat of the statue, and was without an object. He glanced anxiously around him, and fastened his eyes on Corpang. He put a hand on his shoulder and aroused him from his praying.

"You must know what I am feeling, Corpang."

Corpang smiled sweetly, but said nothing.

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