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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2. The Cat and the Old Mare

As Thrift traveled the streets, sleepy houses were slowly traded away for the more bustling business and office buildings that made up the city's commercial district. Much more active than the residential area, even at such a late hour, there were still a couple ponies that trotted the streets.

But Thrift paid these ponies no mind. With head held high, yet directed downward toward the gray pavement, his mind was elsewhere as he trotted though the city's muddled transition between residential and commercial.

Abruptly, he stopped his walking.

Standing in front of some apartment block and a random office building, Thrift, with hooves still placed forward, looked back toward the residential district. He looked back toward the housings, where those two mares, Iridescence and Sunflower, were undoubtedly inside their warm home, enjoying their supper together. He looked back and wondered.

...Should he?

Thrift turned back forward toward the commercial district, his expression resolute.

No.

Just as Thrift was about to step forward and continue his trot back to his business; he felt it.

The hoof raised to take a step forward was instead brought up to his chest in bewilderment. Thrift was startled at this sudden sensation and he looked down in confusion at his chest as he pressed his hoof against it. Although he could see nothing visibly different with it, he could not deny the weird feeling that he felt.

Right in the area between where his rib cage hanged and his beating heart sat, something intangible, yet still apart of him, was pulling him.

And the direction that this visceral feeling was pulling him toward was to the alleyway that opened on his left.

Turning his head toward the black gap situated between the two buildings, the pulling sensation in Thrift's chest practically lurched forward as his eyes rested on the dark alley. He didn't know what this feeling was; this pulling sensation. It was obviously some form of magic, but not any that Thrift was familiar with. He was not the most knowledgeable ponies of the arcane, but even he could tell that this pulling sensation was not any form of enchantment or mind control that he was aware of. He felt no burning need to follow where this magical pull guided him, nor did he feel that he was being manipulated against his will. The best explanation that Thrift could give this magical pulling sensation was as if a new path had been formed before him. He had no obligation to go down this new path, but considering that it seemed to have been made specifically for him...

Thrift looked back down the street he was walking by, where the pulling seemed weaker, before turning back to the alleyway.

Hesitant, Thrift took a few wary steps into the alley, before picking up his pace as he entered away from the brightly lit streets. Delving into another urban gap of society once again, Thrift allowed the buildings' shadows to darken his olive coat as he traversed forth between them. His eyes were front-forward as he allowed himself to be pulled to where he needed to be.

Deep into the shadowed chasm of brick and mortar, Thrift ceased his trotting when he felt no longer pulled. The magical sensation had disappeared when he found himself at one of the crossroads that dotted the forgotten backstreets hidden behind the many city buildings.

And sitting in the middle of this particular crossroad, under one of the few spots where the moonlight peaked over the buildings, was a small cat. On Thrift's approach, the cat made no indication that it noticed the unicorn's presence, instead busying itself with licking the fur of one of its paws.

Similar in size to most domesticated cats, this particular one seemed to belong to one of the long-haired breeds as its white coat puffed out in length around its body. Almost entirely white in color, what Thrift found unusual about this cat were its tail and paws. In contrast to the rest of its white appearance, each paw seemed to have been dipped into liquid gold as all four glittered with the golden color that the ore was famous for. Its furry tail seemed to have gone through the same process, except instead of gold, it was silver that had drenched it and now made it shimmer in the moonlight.

With golden paws and a silver tail, this glimmering cat ceased the licking of its paws and showed notice of Thrift's presence. It stared up at him with a look that could only be described as unimpressed.

In a near pompous manner, the cat stood up on all fours and began walking away from Thrift, before stopping at the edge of the moonlight. It turned its flat face back toward Thrift with a look more belonging to what a master would give to a servant, raised one of its golden paws, and proceeded to make a downward swiping motion.

Thrift's eyebrows were raised slightly in surprise at the sight. It seemed that this strange cat was beckoning him to follow.

For a moment, Thrift just stood there in the moonlight awkwardly. Hesitantly, he took one last glance at the open streets at the end of the alley behind him, before quickly following after the cat.

 

 

The hallway was mucked with dirt and dust, stains marked the carpet and plastered walls, and even the wooden doors seemed rotted from age. All in all, the hallway gave an accurate image of a neglected apartment block.

As Thrift trotted through the grimy hallway, he glanced down at the golden-pawed cat in front of him who walked forward with a superior air about it as if it presumed that it was the very landlord that owned this place. Having followed the silver tail of this cat through the many twists and turns of the city's back alleys, he had found himself led to the back door of an unfamiliar apartment block. Thinking that the strange cat just wanted his help in getting back into the building where it probably lived, he opened the surprisingly unlocked door and the cat proceeded in before turning around to give him the same paw-beckoning motion that it had given him before, wanting him to know to continue following.

So now he followed the strange cat in an unfamiliar and possibly dangerous building.

As Thrift quietly contemplated his sanity, the silver-tailed cat suddenly stopped before one of the many doors in the hallway. An average looking door, it looked practically identical to all the others in the hallway; there were no marks or numbers to indicate this door above the rest. Yet the silver-tailed cat chose this door above the rest and now sat before it, turning to Thrift to give him a bored, impatient look.

Staring back at the cat for a moment before glancing at the particular door, Thrift let out a tired sigh before knocking against the door three times. The first two knocks yielded nothing, but by the third the door swung open to reveal a bitter, wrinkled mass that may have possibly been a unicorn.

"Who are you!? What do you—" she demanded loudly in a wretched tone, waving around a feather duster threateningly as she fixed Thrift an accusing glare, before cutting herself off as she noticed the golden-pawed cat sitting next to Thrift.

"Opal!" she shouted delightfully. Quickly switching from old croon to loving grandmother, she gave the cat a big smile, "How good it is to see you again! It's been quite a few years since last you came about," the old mare let out a few chuckles, "of course, with her finally back you're probably so much more active now."

The golden-pawed cat apparently named Opal responded to the old mare's sweet ramblings with its first display of affection. Purring softly, the cat stepped forward and began rubbing its back against the old mare's foreleg.

Ceasing her sweet rambling, the old mare suddenly snapped her gaze to Thrift's, her eyes narrowing as she pointed her feather duster at him, "You!" she said, her tone accusatory again, "Where are your manners? Why didn't you tell me you were just the deliverycolt? Shame on you, making an old mare like me think that you're some intruder and yelling at you all unjust-like. It's unseemly!"

Stepping back at the reproach, Thrift could only stammer out, "I... er... what?"

"Hush now, foal, your elders are conversing" dismissed the old mare before turning back to Opal with a pleasant smile, "Now just hold on here, sweetie, and I'll get you what you love," after she slammed the door closed so fast that the resultant wind blew Thrift's silver mane wildly, the sound of various items being haphazardly thrown about were heard from the other side, along with distasteful muttering coming from the old mare.

Suddenly, the door was flung open again and a basket of assortments was levitated into Thrift's face.

"Here we are!" said the old mare enthusiastically, "One can of tuna given to me by that sweet griffon stall owner in the market, two of the softest towels from that delightful spa masseuse downtown, a bag of the best catnip from Mr. Old Abbey upstairs, and, of course, my specially-brewed shampoo," proclaimed the old mare proudly, before giving Thrift a warning look, "now do be careful with this, it's Opal's favorite, and I can't make another batch all willy-nilly, you hear me?"

Confusion evident on his face, Thrift nonetheless wrapped the basket of assortments into his teal aura of magic as he kept it levitated, "Um... okay, but what is this all—"

"Shush-shush-shush-shush!" shushed the old mare, placing her feather duster over Thrift's muzzle to thoroughly shush him more effectively, "I'm sure that whatever's going on with you will be resolved without me needing to answer all these questions," she informed him distractedly, "just keep following Opal here and you'll be fine."

Shoving the dirty duster out of his face, Thrift gave the old mare a frustrated look, "Why!?" he demanded loudly, his sudden outburst surprising even himself, "Why should I follow this cat? Why am I even following this cat?"

Wrinkled eyes narrowed at Thrift, "What are you, an idiot?" asked the old mare incredulously, before muttering aside to herself, "Poor foal don't even know why he's following a cat," she focused back on him, "Why does anypony follow anypony? Because they're being led somewhere," she smiled knowingly, "...or to someone."

Thrift stared back at the strange old mare, "...And who is this cat leading me to?"

The old mare let out a few crooning chuckles, "You'll find out who soon enough. Now, if you'll excuse me..." the old mare turned to the golden-pawed cat with an apologetic look, "I know how you hate it and I'm so sorry about how dirty this apartment block has become. I'd clean it like how I'd used to do for the landlord, but these old bones just ain't what they are anymore. I hate to impose on you, but this place could only barely afford to hire a cleaning-mare, and I was wondering if you would..."

Abruptly, the golden-pawed cat named Opal stood up and turned away from the aged mare. Then, after beating its silver tail against the floor three times and causing dust to kick up, the cat casually pawed away from the two ponies and down the hallway without so much as a meow.

"Oh, thank you, Opal! You're such a generous dear!" called out the smiling old mare as she levitated out a brush and a small shovel.

Befuddlement practically pouring over his form at seeing such radically different reactions, Thrift could not help but turn to the old mare in confusion, "Wait, I don't get it. What just—"

"What did I just tell you!?" interrupted the old mare loudly, furiously giving him an indignant look that grandparents reserved for unruly grandchildren, "Keep. Following. Opal!" she enunciated before waving her brush at him threateningly, "Now get out of here! Git! Skedaddle!"

Fully intent on avoiding any unnecessary brush-smacking, Thrift quickly galloped down the hall after the golden-pawed cat with the basket levitating behind him. Reaching the end of the hallway, Thrift took a glance back to see the old mare brushing up the dust that Opal had kicked up into her small shovel.

But as Thrift looked closer, he could see that the dust now had a silvery glint to it that it did not have before. 

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