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 11/27/15; Lessons Learned

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Princess Luna



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PostSubject: 11/27/15; Lessons Learned   Sun Nov 29, 2015 4:52 am

Princess Luna. The last time that the princess had seen Mist, she had placed her within the castle's infirmary. It seemed the proper place, where she could recover and with a nurse to watch over her after the strain the book's power had put on her. Luna had since then sealed Knights of the Moon away in the Canterlot Vault, but she had not returned to her usual duties. Luna had allowed herself some hours' downtime in her quarters, long enough she hoped, for Mist to have a full sleep. And, hoping she was awake by now, the lunar deity went on her way to the infirmary, rehearsing what she'd had planned to say in her head along the way.

Mist Feather woke up in a strange bed with a splitting headache and ravenous hunger, the pain severe enough to elicit a strangled cry from her parched lips probably enough to get anypony's attention, bloodshot eyes cracked half open as she fidgeted and twisted in the infirmary bedding.

Princess Luna soon came upon the infirmary doors, her approach muffled by the rich carpet. She paused only briefly by the double doors- as large and decorative as anywhere else in the castle- her ears flicking forward at the sound of a cry. If there was ever a sign that Mist was awake, that was it. The doors opened before Luna at her touch and she strode inside, stepping gracefully past the rows of beds and their open, snowy curtains, to where Mist lay. "Good morning, Mist. How are you faring?"

Mist Feather bleated something but couldn't really form coherent words yet, turning her head up to the princess of the night giving her a pitiful look, then licked her lips some whispering. "I'm..alive.. did I succeed? is Equestria freed?" trying to turn proved to result in more agony so she stopped trying too much.

Princess Luna gave Mist a sympathetic look and shook her head; but that gesture was vague in itself. "Equestria was already free long before you ever made your attempt. Even with the dark powers of that book, you would have never been able to strike Discord down- it would have only destroyed you." Luna replied solemnly, lifting a hoof and gesturing at Mist to lay still.

Mist Feather folded her ears back she had failed, failed and that nightmare would go on. "I.. failed..?" laying still now she simply stared at her ruler and friend, knowing she was in trouble she already adopted a pose of submission preparing herself for the punishment.

Princess Luna quirked an eyebrow at Mist, noting how it was only her failure that she'd focused on. The submissive body language she'd noticed too and the princess heaved a sigh. "It is not your failure that I am disappointed in. Far be it. I am glad you failed at harming Discord at all. He is our ally now, and he is on our side. He seems to still struggle with what is right, or wrong, and how far is too far.. but I should tell you, he helped me last night with healing you. That book's power put quite a strain on your body, and if you had held it any longer.. you would have been lost to us. In other words, dead." Luna told her in that same solemn tone. She had more to say, but she wanted to give Mist some time to take it in- it was a lot to say.

Mist Feather had the decency to look remorseful and looked at Luna nodding slowly, squeezing her eyes shut at the reprimanding however and cringed. "B-but he's s-so dangerous he takes foals away never to be seen again.." at hearing what the book had done to her she gasped and nodded in understanding.

Princess Luna shook her head, frowning a little. "Those are only tales that ponies tell their children to make them behave. The same reason ponies have told tales of me, when I was Nightmare Moon. This whole.. 'being gobbled up by Nightmare Moon' nonsense during Nightmare Night when foals do not share their candy." Luna explained patiently. "I am sure if Discord attempted anything so terrible, or worse, the six will set him straight. Imprison him again, at the very worst."

Mist Feather sighed and hid her face in her hooves. "I'm a foal Luna.." curling up under her blankets she shook her head slowly to try and see if the headache would go away. "Why do you keep up with me?" she sounded tired just tired of always doing things so drastically, maybe she tried too hard to be the guard she believed her sibling to be.

Princess Luna frowned and stepped closer to the edge of the infirmary bed, reaching a hoof up to Mist's shoulder. "It is because everypony deserves a chance to show their better selves. You are struggling as anypony else would with doing what is right and what you think is right. Sometimes, you let your emotions rule your head." Luna pointed out. "You lied to me, tricked me into putting power you could not control into your hooves last night. A dangerous power that could have destroyed you. What you did is not irredeemable, however. I am capable of forgiveness, and I am ready to forgive you for it.. as long as you can promise me that you do not let this keep happening. I value honesty, as it was one of the Elements I once bore as my own."

Mist Feather kept herself prostrated to the princess knowing what she had done was wrong but it had been with good intention even if the road to Tartarus is paved with such. "I know.. forgive me, I promise I shall not lie to you again to both you as my ruler and as my friend, I just wanted to help so badly to be like Sunny and like real heroes like the bearers."

Princess Luna tilted her head and moved her hoof from Mist's shoulder to her chin, bidding her to rise from her pose. "An interesting desire, and a noble one. You are one of the royal guard, those who have sworn to protect their princesses and their ponies. You are helping." Luna assured her, dropping her hoof. "Equestria is the bastion of love and light, a great and shining jewel that all with dark, greedy hearts seek to possess as their own. This nation has not yet seen the end to those of evil intent, and I daresay you will be able to do your part."

Mist Feather rested her chin on the princess's hoof and relaxed nodding softly. "I knew the book would probably have a cost, but it seemed so worth it at the time.. L-luna.. I really fear Discord very much." she nodded again knowing she would likely help more in the defense of their fair land one day.

Princess Luna nodded her understanding. "He is the spirit of chaos and disharmony, the very opposite of what we ponies need. We thrive off of our harmony, and for someone like Discord to come along, to cause such an upset.. threatens our very way of life. However, the six have managed to temper his wild ways, and he is slowly learning how important friendship is- even to such a being as he." Luna replied. "I do understand your plight. Sometimes we think there is only one option left to us. But might I ask, how did you learn of such a book? Mirage claims he has never told you of it."

Mist Feather flattened her ears another lie exposed now her princess would of course ask such. "I asked an acquaintance if she knew about any ancient artifacts used against strong monsters in days of old, she mentioned the book, and I wildly guessed ponies like you or Mirage could possess it the library disaster was dumb luck."

Princess Luna looked intrigued when Mist mentioned an acquaintance who'd told her about it. "You were correct in your assumptions. Since it is a dangerous book, it would have been locked away as it was in Mirage's library before we came along. Now it resides in the Vault, where it will be undisturbed, out of the hooves of ponies who would misuse it." Luna told her. "Pray tell, who is this acquaintance of yours to know about the Knights of the Moon?"

Mist Feather cursed in a mumble and lowered her eyes having thought she could have gotten away with it but Luna was more clever than that. "I broke into the archives..." there it was out, no more lying and maybe she would get thrown into a dungeon or out of the guard as a whole.

Princess Luna quirked an eyebrow and reached forward to tilt Mist's face back up to hers, if she allowed it. "Honesty, remember?" The princess chided, but a ghost of a smile played around her lips. "There was no need to break into the Archives, but I understand your reasoning. I would.. highly suggest that you cease breaking and entering, on top of the lying, hm?" Luna  suggested. "No more of this, from this point onward."

Mist Feather dared not to look away, and of course allowed her snout to be lifted it was the princess who did it after all. "I won't.. I promise, if this leaks out however Princess Twilight will certainly kick me out of her houseguard.."

Princess Luna made a thoughtful noise in her throat as she withdrew her hoof yet again. "I will mark your promise, and I will not tell Twilight. This will be between us, and perhaps my sister- I keep nothing from her. You need not fear punishment, unless you do decide to keep up with these dishonest antics. I do believe you will keep your promise, however."

Mist Feather nodded obediently she wasn't a bad mare, she just had unorthodox ways of trying to solve her dilemmas and let emotions reign her in far too easily. "Maybe I should ask a transfer and be stationed with Sunny..."

Princess Luna frowned briefly, though the expression changed to a more thoughtful one. "Who is this Sunny? Are they a friend of yours?" The moonbringer queried, curious. "If so.. it may be an idea. You seem like you need a friend to help you, and help guide you." She said, both eyebrows raised a little. "On the other hoof, if you do not want to leave Twilight's castle unguarded.. you can always ask this Sunset to join you. A friend would be happy to keep you company."

Mist Feather sighed softly. "Sunset Glow is my sister Princess, she serves as a day guard for Princess Celestia, and I'm sure she's very happy in Canterlot, I just left for Ponyville to escape our parents, they never approved of us becoming guards even if they paid for our education."

Princess Luna had a look of realization cross her face and she smiled in an embarrassed sort of way. "Oh, yes, of course. You mentioned her last night. In all that had happened since, I had forgotten all about her." She chuckled softly. "It is always worth talking to her about it. You never know if she is as interested in getting away, too. It is a shame to hear that your parents did not support your choices, however."

Mist Feather nodded. "Daddy is a jeweler and mom is a cloud sculptor, but when Sunny said she wanted to serve Equestria and protect ponykind I wholeheartedly agreed with my older sibling and begged dad for an education too in the hope to become a hero."

Princess Luna listened curiously, a faint smile playing across her lips as the pegasus described her parents, and following her sister. "I, too, would follow my sister anywhere, and I have. It is a great thing to hear that you are so close with her to want to share such a thing with her. I would advise not to mind what your parents say. If you had listened to them, you would be living an unhappy life and doing a job that is unfulfilling."

Mist Feather nodded and smiled. "Yet my cutiemark is nothing like that of a royal guard at all princess, sometimes I fear that my parents are right and that I only followed her because I wanted to stay with her, yet I do feel good knowing that I work towards keeping ponies more safe."

Princess Luna cocked her head to one side and lifted an eyebrow at Mist. "Nothing like that of a royal guard?" The alicorn echoed. "It all depends on how you interpret it. You may be as much a royal guard as any of the others.. although, if your cutiemark turns out to not be such, it is no loss. Even the arrival of a cutiemark does not mean you have quite figured yourself out yet, and that can be a fulfilling journey." Luna pointed out. "I still do understand. If being able to protect others is what you want to do in life, nopony can stop you."

Mist Feather snarked softly. "You can stop me, Celestia can stop me, Discord can stop me." but she nodded with a small smile laying back in the bed with a thump. "My head is killing me Luna.. punishment for my own zealous blindness I suppose.. and I think I'm starving."

Princess Luna snorted in response, but there was amusement in it. "We certainly could not. If we stopped you from being a guard here, what is to say you would not try elsewhere?" She returned with a smile and a quirked eyebrow. "You may need more rest, but I can see about fetching you some food from the kitchens. Your body will need the nourishment after the stress it has gone through."

Mist Feather sighed looking at the ceiling. "Am I trying too hard princess? will I always stay in the shadow of those wonderful ponies that slay horrors beyond our imagination?"

Princess Luna fixed the bedridden pegasus with an unreadable look, her ears perked forward upon hearing Mist utter those words. She stayed silent for a moment, mulling over her answer, and settled on an honest one. "They did not achieve greatness because they wanted to, but had greatness thrust upon them by fate." Luna paused, averting her eyes at the ground. "I have experience with living in the shadow of one far brighter than I, but in that darkness I have learned something. It is better to make a name for yourself, rather than trying to do what others have done already. You should try to carve your own path."

Mist Feather nodded somewhat guessing the princess had a point there, becoming a great hero was a filly's dream, adult pegasi had to face the fact that the world didn't work as simple as that. "You know? I really did want to become a knight of the moon, even if I took a dreaded shortcut."

Princess Luna gave voice to a soft, short laugh in response. "Indeed you did, but you wish to become one of the night guard? It would certainly be welcome." She replied, turning away. "I could have more ponies in which to converse with.. The nights can sometime be terribly dull, unless something like a monster attack calls me away." Luna added, peering back at Mist. "I should go and fetch thee some food, while I have the chance to."

Mist Feather nodded laying back more comfortably, mumbling to herself. "If the book hadn't hurt me so those monsters wouldn't have been a problem for you anymore Luna..." she then waited patiently for the food that the princess went off to get, a memory coming back, horn, wings, heart, then shuddered.

Princess Luna left the room to make her little trip to the kitchen, allowing herself to get a breather and relax in that in between time. Sometimes lecturing others could make one quite nervous, no? But it was over now, and all was well. The princess felt a little better by the time she'd fetched some food on a covered silver platter and returned to the infirmary. The platter hovered ahead of her on her way back to the bed that Mist lay on, and she set it on the bedside table. All that lay within were some sandwiches, some fresh vegetables, and a jug of water. "The sun soon rises, so I will not be around for much longer, but I hope this will be enough to sate you."

Mist Feather nodded softly. "It will sate me enough ro hold me till later Luna, when I recover I hope to turn my ways around and perhaps try and do my actual work for a change instead of trying to rid the world of chaos gods."

Princess Luna smiled serenely at Mist, pleased to hear it. "I believe you will, too. You seem to manage a lot when you put your mind to it, but just know that we ponies are flawed. It is okay to make mistakes, as we are all still learning. Even I am." She replied and chuckled faintly once the pegasus mentioned Discord. "Indeed. You will be surprised at what you accomplish once you do."

Mist Feather nodded and started on her food and water, wondering a moment if use of magic made Sunny this hungry as well after a day of work.

Princess Luna watched Mist eat for a moment, noting that she seemed to have a healthy appetite. Any sign of normal from her was a good sign, it meant the book's effects wouldn't persist. She'd hazard in another day of rest, Mist would feel like her old self- if she didn't already. "If you feel able to, you are free to be released at any time to return home. If not, you may stay as long as you need to rest. The nurses will be able to tend to any ailments caused by the dark magic, I am sure."

Mist Feather nodded at her while chewing and looked generally happier, the dark grip of the book having let go of the pegasus, yet a shiver ran down her back as she gazed at her alicorn friend, horn, wings, heart. "Thank you kindly princess."

Princess Luna swept a wing across her own chest, partially covered as it was by the shape of her necklace, as she bent her head to Mist. "You are very welcome, Mist. Should you feel odd or require my help, do not hesitate to send for me. Until then, it may be time for me to take my rest." Luna replied, straightening with a smile and folding her wing in its place against her side.

Mist Feather nodded and sipped some water. "Rest well then Luna, and I will see you later." she would perhaps need a normal day or two to get her things in order and perhaps.. "Hey Luna? do royal guards have the option for psychological help?"

Princess Luna looked a little surprised by the sudden question, but she nodded. "Indeed, we have counselors and the like to help our guard, as well as our castle staff should the requirement arise. I can send one of them a letter to arrange something with you, should you want it." The princess told her, turning away but not yet leaving, not until Mist gave her an answer.

Mist Feather nodded softly. "I still hear some of the whispers.. or it's my imagination.."

Princess Luna looked a little troubled by the response and nodded. "It may be the lingering effects from that tome's magic. It may pass, in time, but I will see to it that you receive help." She gently said and turned away. "Until then, I bid you good night, Mist. Or I suppose 'good morning' will have to do for now." Luna smiled back at the pegasus and made her way back out of the infirmary- no doubt straight to her room to sleep from there.

End.
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11/27/15; Lessons Learned
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