"Excellent Lark, once more?"
"Very well, once more, and then I believe it is time for dinner?"
The final training session was... strange, to say the least. And by strange, I mean awkwardly easy, and yet incredibly difficult at the same time. In order to transform at will, it's simply a matter of envisioning the full moon in my mind, and mimicking the sensation I get when in it's light. To prevent the transformation while under the moon's light is a different story. It requires intense mental focus, and a constant conscious effort. Just as changing at will requires imagining the moon, refraining from doing so means imagining that it isn't there, even when it clearly is. I had to convince myself that it was not present, almost to the point of hallucination. Basically, rejecting it's existence to the point that even if I look right at it, I wouldn't see it. This would take far longer than we had, and while I had succeeded once, It left me sweating with the strain of having gone through, then reversed, a partial transformation. I was not yet at the point that I could do it consistently, or for long periods of time. Luna explained that the entire training usually takes years, and only my intense discipline that comes from playing what is considered a 'finicky' instrument perfectly had expedited the process.
"Well, I guess that will have to be good enough. Even though you can't prevent your transformations, you can control yourself when you do change. This is the last of what I can teach you. The rest will come with practice. As such, you are no longer my charge. You are free to go." Luna stated. Freedom. It has been a long time since I have known the meaning of that word. Even though I went where I pleased during my travels, I was never free, as I had always been a cage for myself, to contain the beast. Now that it was tame, for the first time, I was able to do whatever I wanted, without fear of what I may do if I lost control.
"Then, that's it then?"
"Indeed, That's it. Now, all that remains is the political debacle regarding your..... position.... here at the castle." She gave a sigh.
"Of course. Now, when they arrive, how should we explain the situation?"
"They're going to investigate the castle, and when they find the silver cell, they're going to assume you were kept in there."
I scratched my chin. "Well, that's simple enough. Due to being unable to control myself, I came to you and asked for your assistance. I requested the cell so I might wait out my transformations. As for why I was your servant, I insisted that I repay your kindness in helping me gain control of myself by being your butler, which includes keeping you company during the long hours of the night as you held court."
"Do you think they will believe it?"
"They will, so long as I get a new suit."
The time leading up to the wedding, as well as the visit from the diamond dogs, sped by. I took the opportunity to brush up on my manservant skills. Serving tea, fetching books, cleaning the study, organizing knickknacks, and various other tasks that are part of a butler's manifest. Most of all, I played music. It is what I'm meant to do, and I was happy to entertain the princess who had given me so much.
As for my suit, it was a classic black tuxedo, with white undershirt and cuffs, and a black tie. There was a small, crescent moon pin on the breast pocket, and shiny, black shoes. Luna had several sets of this suit commissioned with the royal tailor, Silk Thread. I find it strange that each pony's name matches their job or special talent, despite the fact that they are named before they discover what it is and earn their mark, but this is a world of magic and lucky occurrence. Who would have believed that a witches spite could send me to a world not only free of the war, disease, and banditry that plagued my home, but also to the place that would ultimately let me control my curse.
"Lark." Luna called from her astronomy room. Filled with charts and telescopes of all kinds, as well as other tools such as sextants, protractors, and a single abacus. She had her eye at one of the larger telescopes, but it was not aimed at the night sky. No, it was aimed down, at the entrance to the city.
"Prepare thyself. We have company. I have no doubt that we will win this day, but, still, I wish you good luck."
"And I, you. Shall we go?"
"Yes, it's time to wage politics."