Wealth Granted from Generosity

Third main installment in the Tutelary Spirit universe. Recommended reading order: Loyalty, Honesty, Generosity, Kindness, Laughter, and Friendship.
In an urban metropolis, many ages after the original adventures of the Elements of Harmony, a young unicorn finds the Element of Generosity. And as the living embodiment of her Element, Generosity, like the rest of her friends, is always willing to guide and teach a pony of Equestria.

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/229682/wealth-granted-from-generosity

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1. A Sunflower in the City

Like spires covered in glittering gems, tall buildings scraped against the night sky with their impressive height as each's interior lighting escaped through the various windows that lined their sides. The land, once a simple field of grass and rivers many ages ago, now glowed brightly from its urban covering that stretched on for miles with squared, brick buildings packed tightly against each other. Each of these buildings, both small and impressive, were covered in a multitude of glowing dots that shined from their hollowed interiors. With so many sparks of light gathered together in one area, the earthy land would have been able to over-shown the starry sky in dazzling brightness.

But many centuries ago, when the Princess of the Night had returned from her thousand-year exile, the moon goddess looked over this new grounded rival with a casual indifference more suited for a single campfire, before simply willing her stars to shine just a little bit brighter.

And then the stars did so; shining so visibly so despite the competition it received from the urbanized earth below. It was almost as if the princess had so easily taken a painting of the nighttime city and dabbed her stars with a thicker coat of paint.

With the stars shining as brightly as ever, the ground covered in luminescent dots, and the city's light-speckled towers branching the two, a pony could almost be forgiven for mistaking the skyscrapers for enormous support beams that held up the sky; preventing the two dazzling oceans from slamming into each other.

But down in between the crags of buildings and lights, where paved roads of grayed cobblestone intersected over the city's layout like hairline fissures on skin, ponies dawdled on, under-appreciating of the setting of wonder around them. To them, whom many have been born and lived most of their lives in such a setting, they have grown used to the marvelous sights that surround them. Instead, they focus their attention away from the eye-drawing sights and onto their own lives of little pleasures and daily duties.

For one pony in the city though, one daily duty was lasting much longer than it rightly should.

In a backroom office, behind an old, wooden desk that was absolutely covered in tiny stacks of logistic papers, account reports, and many other lists of economic information, sat a green-coated unicorn. A stallion, this unicorn had youthful features, a messy silver mane, and wore a disheveled suit that gave him an overall ragged appearance.

"Thrift."

At the sound of his name being called, the unicorn looked up to find a pegasus stallion standing at the entrance of his office, a white chef's hat atop his head.

"Evening, Sous," greeted the green-coated unicorn politely, before letting his teal irises travel across the pegasus more closely to notice that his chef uniform was lacking the required apron, "packing it in for the day?" he asked.

A nod, "Shift's over; I'm heading home," Sous said curtly, before giving his employer an inquisitive eyebrow, "what about you?"

Thrift glanced down at his paper-covered desk, momentarily analyzing his workload, "...I'll be awhile."

"Again?"

Levitating a pen over the stacks of paper, Thrift answered, "Yeah... again."

Standing in the doorway stoically, Sous quietly stared across the room at the working unicorn before speaking up, "You know... I could stay awhile and help."

"That's alright, Sous," said Thrift, not even looking up from his papers, "just get on home and get a good night's rest."

"...Right. Good night, Thrift," turning around, Sous trotted out of the office. The sound of his hoofsteps noisily filled up the empty building before a deafening slam of a metal door was sounded off, it's clanging echo bouncing off of the restaurant's walls before it too quieted down to nothing, leaving only the shuffling of papers and pen scratchings to fill up the silence.

Not even a half-hour later of such noise happening, as Thrift tightly closed the small safe under his desk after counting the day's earnings, did a pungent smell fill his nostrils.

"What in Equestria?" spoke up Thrift as his muzzle scrunched inward in disgust. Exiting out of his office, it only took a quick search of his restaurant to discover the filled garbage bag lying lazily against a random corner of the kitchen, its rampant stench dominating his establishment.

"Dang buscolts," Thrift grumbled distastefully under his breath, "or dishwashers, or whoever's supposed to take the darn trash out." His horn lighting up from his magic, the trash bag was soon covered in a teal aura that lifted it up in the air. Turning around and walking across the kitchen with the disgusting bag levitating behind him, Thrift headed toward the metal door located on the opposite side of the kitchen.

Swinging the door open, Thrift stepped into the back alley situated behind his restaurant. The unseen urban gaps of every society, this alley was shadowed between two buildings that shrouded it in rampant darkness. The collection of sweeped-away grime and tattered trash that piled up in this alley, like they do with every alley, were barely visible in the darkness as they stuck like mold to the urban walls.

Set in the dazzling landscape that was the nighttime city, the only source of light that these forgotten crags of society ever received came from the leftover rays of street lampposts situated at the mouth of each alley, and the few twinkling stars that were able to peek over the towering buildings that walled these backstreets.

Stepping into the decrepit alley, Thrift quickly came upon the large dumpster that collected all of the unwanted leftovers of his restaurant. Popping the lid and unceremoniously throwing the bag of garbage into the bin, Thrift turned back to the kitchen door; soon to exit the alley as quick as he entered it.

"Excuse me," spoke up a soft voice behind Thrift, just as the green unicorn was about to head back inside.

Turning around, Thrift found a unicorn mare trotting toward him from the mouth of the alley that led to the street. Coated a bright yellow with an even brighter mane, the blue-eyed mare contrasted greatly with her dreary settings, even more so with the large, unfolded map in her magical aura. What was most disconcerting to Thrift though was the look of hope upon the mare's face.

"Hi! Um, don't mean to be a bother, but can you tell me where I can find Cobblestone street?" she asked, her tone innocent and pleasant.

And just like that, Thrift found his metropolitan blood freeze up in fright as he found himself in the worst nightmare that every city-dweller feared to be in: giving directions to a clueless tourist.

Mares of Harmony save him.

Glancing back to the door wantonly before facing the mare again, Thrift stammered out an escape, "Look, I'd like to help you, I really would, but I'm in the middle of a lot of work right now and need to get back to it and..." as Thrift gestured to the door behind him while excusing himself as politely as he could, he drifted off when he noticed the edges of the mare's small smile curve downward just the slightest bit while her eyes began to lose their brightness, "...and ...yeah, sure. I'll help you," he relented.

Despite the fact that the alleyway was just as dark as ever, nothing seemed to lighten it up like the mare's grin did.

"So Cobblestone street, right?" he asked, which the mare nodded in confirmation, "Alright, well then, what you wanna do is just keep going down the road you were on until you get to Corners street. There you turn left and... and..."

The blonde mare was no longer looking at Thrift, but instead staring at the unfolded map she opened with a confused scrutiny, "Wait, isn't Corners street on the other side of the city?" she asked aloud, then, to his utter horror, the mare actually twisted the map around. Thrift's fear that the mare was really that clueless of a tourist that she had actually been looking at the map upside down this whole time was swiftly discarded when she quickly righted the map back to how she was looking at it previously. Though that respect was spared, the fact that the mare was still quizzically examining the map did not put Thrift at ease.

Standing there, to the back entrance of his restaurant while the confused, lost mare stared at her map, Thrift let loose a tired, quiet sigh that could have been mistaken for a groan if it had been louder, before levitating a ring of keys from his suit pocket.

"Can't believe I'm doing this," he muttered to himself as he locked the door behind him.

"Hey," at the stallion's voice, the mare looked up from her map to see the green unicorn levitating a ring of keys into his suit pocket, "Look..." he said, resentment in his tone, "Cobblestone street isn't that far from here, so... how about I just take you there?"

"Really?" asked the delighted mare, smiling as bright as the street lampposts, "That's so sweet of you to do."

"Yeah, yeah, don't mention it," Thrift replied, casually trotting past the beaming mare, "come on, let's hurry this up. I've got work to get back to."

Heading toward the open street at the mouth of the alley, the mare soon joined up next to Thrift, "I'm Sunflower, by the way," she introduced herself with a cheerful step in her trot.

Briefly glancing back at the appropriately named yellow-coated, blonde mare, whose very mark was a single sunflower, Thrift gave his own introduction, "Thrift," he said tersely, "Thrift Spender."

As Thrift walked, curious blue eyes traced over the golden bit that marked his flank.

 

 

Upon a gray road of stone, many tall, rectangular houses were tightly packed against each other on both sides of the street. Pressed against the street and each other so tightly, these brick houses were squeezed out of any yard to have, instead only granting the remaining space for the paved sidewalk. A necessary sacrifice noted by the two unicorns that were able to trot down the road safely, before stopping at the corner of the two intersecting streets.

"And here's Cobblestone street," spoke up Thrift, raising a hoof to gesture to the street on their left, before turning to the yellow mare next to him with a raised eyebrow, "so should I leave you here or do you also need help finding the house?"

She giggled, "No thanks, I'm not that hopeless," she replied with a playful roll of her eyes. She then focused on Thrift more attentively, "but you know... my sis's home is only three houses down and I'm sure that she's got some warm soup cooking right now. I'd doubt she'd mind if-"

"SUNFLOWER!"

The loud yelling of the yellow mare's name caught the attention of both unicorns, who turned to look down the sidewalk to see an auburn-coated mare galloping toward them at an impressive speed.

An impressive speed that may have had something to do with the barely visible rainbow trailing behind her.

Seeing this, Sunflower squeezed her eyes shut and braced her body. A wise move as the running mare was pistoning toward her at an impressive speed that quickly ended with the mare tackling Sunflower into a crushing hug when she reached her.

"Where were you?! You were supposed to be here hours ago!" yelled the mare as she held Sunflower tightly to her, "I knew it. I knew I shouldn't have let you travel here by yourself, you always get lost so easily."

Toughening the squeezing hug surprisingly well, Sunflower rolled her eyes away from the hugging mare in exasperation, "Not that easily, sis," she grumbled under her breath.

The auburn mare pulled away and gave Sunflower an accusing look, "Sunny..." she deadpanned, "you couldn't find your way out of an open cardboard box."

"One time! And I was a filly for Luna's sake!"

As the two mares argued, Thrift stood beside them and silently examined the mare that was apparently Sunflower's sister. Now that she was closer, Thrift could see that the mare was an earth pony, had a pair of bright blue eyes and a blonde mane that was almost just like her sister's. What was different with it though was that the strands of her mane ended in a myriad of colors, almost like she had dipped the ends into a rainbow fountain.

With her rainbow-tipped mane coupled with her impressive speed, where every swift movement seemed to leave a light spectrum in her absence, Thrift realized that this was a mare who had been graced by Loyalty. Almost as an involuntary motion, Thrift found himself glancing up at the black, starry sky above, as if expecting to see a trailing rainbow arching over his head.

"Who's this?" the graced mare asked suddenly, and Thrift pulled his head back in surprise as, with an almost prism-like bolt, the mare snapped from her place beside her sister to just a few inches from Thrift's muzzle; her eyebrows scrunched downward as she gave him an examining look.

Coming to his rescue, Sunflower piped up from behind her sister, "That's Thrift Spender, he helped me find the street."

Hearing this, the mare smiled and politely relented away from Thrift's space, "Really? Well then, I'm Iridescence," she introduced herself, "and thanks for helping my sister," the subtlest of smirks appeared over her face, "seriously, if you hadn't helped her she'd probably end up dead on the corner of Somewhere and Lost street. Poor lass barely knows left from right."

"Oh, come on!" groaned out Sunflower as she exasperated a pain that only a loving family member could bring out.

Iridescence looked back at Sunflower with a warm smile, "It only hurts 'cause you know it's true, sweetie," she said in an infuriating sunny disposition before turning back to Thrift, "anyways, since you went through the trouble of bringing my sister home, why don't you join us for dinner?"

"Oh! Uh... thank you, that's kind of you to offer," replied Thrift, smiling weakly as a show of politeness, before scratching the back of his mane awkwardly, "but... I actually have to get back to work, so I'm going to have to decline your offer."

"You sure?" asked Iridescence with a raised eyebrow, "I make a mean peach soup, and it'd sure be a shame to let you leave without having any." She then took a moment to look Thrift up and down, "Hmm, you look white collar. Does this work of yours involve diddling up numbers or some such?"

"...Yeah, kind of," Thrift said hesitantly, not quite sure how to react to being called 'white collar.'

"Then problem solved," she said with a smile, "you join us for dinner, then Sunflower here can help you with your work. She's a mathematician, believe it or not, so she's great with numbers."

Stepping forward, Sunflower gave Thrift another one of her beaming smiles, "I wouldn't mind taking the time to help you at your restaurant," she said sincerely.

Thrift stood there, baffled as he stared at the two smiling mares, "...Look, that's really... generous of you to offer," he said, his tone awkward and uncomfortable, "but—and please don't take this the wrong way, I mean no offence—but I'm not really into the habit of accepting help from ponies I don't really know."

Sunflower's beaming smile no longer beamed. She was still smiling, just not as much as before, "Oh! ...Um, okay."

"I understand," spoke up Iridescence, "really, I do," for a brief moment, her eyes focused onto her rainbow locks before quickly returning back to Thrift, "trust is something that needs to be earned, and city life can be a tough life," she gave him a small smile, "but hey, the dinner offer still stands. So if you ever change your mind, our door'll be open to you."

Thrift returned the smile, "Thank you, I... I may take you up on that offer some time. Until then, it was nice meeting you," he gave her a short, polite nod before turning to Sunflower, "And you too, Miss Sunflower," he said with another nod.

Polite goodbyes done, Thrift Spender then turned around and began his trot back to his restaurant. He only made it a couple steps, before pausing when he noticed that Sunflower had followed him by his side. When he turned to her with a raised eyebrow, she, much to his shock, leaned forward and gave him a quick peck on the cheek.

Pulling away with a slight blush on her cheeks, Sunflower showed off another one of her pearly white grins, "Just wanted to say thanks again for, you know, helping me," she informed him in an almost bashful tone, before galloping off back to her sister with a giggle.

Iridescence was removing her hoof from her face as she saw her sister's actions, before turning to Sunflower with a deadpan stare, "You are such a damsel."

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