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.



3. Up the Tower

Moonlight stretched downwards into the shadowed crags of civilization, illuminating the darkened areas with Luna's azure glow. What had remained hidden in the shadows have now become visible in Luna's gaze as her moon hanged overhead in the starry sky.

Now the olive green unicorn, the golden-pawed cat, and the small, metal door that they stood before could be seen clearly without the aid of a lantern.

Taking a deep breath, Thrift let out a tired sigh that misted in the cold night air before him.

The old mare in the apartment block had been eccentric, crazy, and possibly even senile. Yet Thrift Spender still did exactly what she told him to do. He followed the golden-pawed cat, following its silver tail as it led him once again through the forgotten passageways that are the city's alleys. He grumbled and had a sour disposition, but he still followed, carrying the basket of shampoo and canned tuna in his magical aura behind him.

And now he found himself before another door; this time outside in the cold. Thrift thought that it looked very similar to the back entrance of his restaurant and absently wondered if he had been led back unawares.

Trailing his eyes upwards, Thrift arched his head back to better look at the building that the door in front of him was attached to.

"...Definitely not my restaurant," he breathed out in awe.

Like a spire covered in glittering gems, the building reached high up toward the night sky; it's glowing dots of escaped interior lighting intermingling with the ocean of stars above interchangeably, making it incredibly difficult to distinguish where the skyscraper ended and the sky began.

A shiver ran down Thrift's spine as he stared up in awe from the base of this monolith.

He glanced down at Opal, who sat before the door uncaring of the massive building towering over, instead only giving Thrift an expectant look.

Taking a deep breath, Thrift raised his hoof to knock against the door, hoping that this time another crazy, old pony didn't pop out.

Before he even had the chance to bang his hoof against it, Thrift got his answer when the door suddenly opened to reveal a pony that was neither crazy nor old, but unusually not unicorn, earth, nor pegasus in origin.

Decked out in royal armor, the stallion that stood before Thrift had no coat of fur or mane, but instead was skinned in maroon scales that covered the body with ridges of larger scales in-place of the mane that trailed along the back of his neck to his large, lizard-like tail. Where for most ponies there would only be hooves at the end of their legs, this stallion also had three claws at the end of each.

A longma: a dragon-pony hybrid brought into the equine genus long ago by way of one of the multitude of unions that the gods and spirits of the world occasionally indulge in with each other when they're not being vied for by mortals. With the union between the Mare of Generosity and the Guardian of the Elements being specifically responsible for the creation of this subspecies.

Standing slightly taller than him, the longma narrowed his serpentine eyes at Thrift suspiciously before noticing the golden-pawed cat next to him and the basket which Thrift carried. With a grin that showed sharp teeth, he snorted out a puff of magical, green flame. The same green flame that was passed down to all longma from their Ancestral Father.

"Well look at what Opalescence has dragged in," snarked the longma with a chuckle. He then fully turned around and lowered his tail to the floor, to which the golden-pawed cat slowly proceeded to climb up and sit on the longma's back. Turning his head back to Thrift with that same toothy grin, the longma said, "Well, come on then. Let's get you upstairs."

The longma guard began marching away, with Opalescence sitting upright upon his back like a noble lord would upon a righteous steed.

Only standing still to stare at this rare, unusual sight for but a moment, Thrift quickly followed after the longma into the massive building; it's interior composing of clean hallways. After just a minute or so of traversing the hallways that seemed to only lead to utility closets, laundry rooms, and once a kitchen, the trio entered an exquisite lobby room.

Upon marble flooring rested red velvet carpets and clear glass tables adorned with beautiful bouquets of flowers that bloomed impressively outward from their hoof-crafted vases. Grand chandeliers hanged from the ceiling between the massive, marble columns and over the decorated fountains. Around these impressive aspects of architecture, well-dressed ponies headed in and out of the building as red-shirted bellcolts trailed behind them, carrying their large and no-doubt important luggage.

"Wow," muttered Thrift as he looked around in amazement, his bottom lip barely hanging from the surprising sight, "it's been awhile since I've been in a place like this."

The longma guard that he followed did not slow to take in the sights as Thrift did, and he had to quicken his pace to catch up again as they traversed between two grand staircases for the elevator doors that waited beyond. After the guard clicked the elevator call button once, and a couple moments of waiting later, the doors parted and the two proceeded in.

"Good evening, sir," greeted the elevator operator, an elderly, pencil-mustached earth pony attired similarly to the buscolts. Giving the guard a polite nod before raising an eyebrow just a smidge at the golden-pawed cat riding the guard's back, he said, "I assume you will be wanting the top floor?"

The longma guard nodded.

"And ...uh, you, sir?" asked the elevator operator, turning toward Thrift and giving the disheveled-suited and messy-haired unicorn an obvious once over.

"He's with me," informed the guard neutrally.

"...Of course, sir," said the operator before pushing against the large lever on the elevator floor.

As the elevator began its ascent, Thrift tried not to make his huff of indignation too obvious as he discreetly glared holes into the back of the operator's head. Instead, he switched his gaze to the columns of numbers on the side of the elevator that indicated floor levels and watched as numbers of higher increments lighted up before dimming again as the elevator passed their respective floors.

From the corner of his eye, Thrift glanced at the golden-pawed cat that sat upon the longma guard's back. Apparently, who ever owned this cat was able to afford the highest and likely the most expensive room in one of the most luxurious hotels that Thrift has ever seen—and he's seen quite a few in his life.

What itched Thrift's brain the most though was the cat's full name: Opalescence. Why did that name sound so familiar to Thrift? Where did he hear it before?

Thrift's pondering ceased when he was briefly lurched off of his hooves by the elevator's sudden stop.

"Your floor, sirs," monotoned the elevator operator with not but the subtlest of smirks as he watched Thrift's stumbling attempts to regain his footing.

"Thank you," nodded the guard as he stepped out of the elevator, with Thrift quickly following behind him before immediately stopping to stare in awe of the sight before him.

The four alicorn princesses.

Princess Celestia and Princess Luna flew high in the air, with the Princess of Love and the Princess of Friendship flying just below them. By some form of enchantment, each of the princesses's forms stayed in place as they magically floated in the air.

Thrift had to admit, whoever crafted those marble statues had to have been incredibly talented. On top of accurately crafting the princesses' facial features and flowing manes, the mason also crafted their poses in such a way so that each of their horns would always point to the center floating orb that continually dispensed water into the fountain pool below.

The owners of the hotel must have had to pay a fortune for the intricate fountain. Thrift thought that it was too bad that most ponies wouldn't be able to see it as the squared hallroom that it was placed in seemed to be only reserved for the most elite of the elite. Besides the elevator behind Thrift, there were only three doors, one on each wall, that no doubt led to the hotel's most lavish rooms.

"I'm amazed she didn't take you on your offer," a sultry voice echoed across the hallroom, "from what I remember of her, she's usually much more... generous with suitors gall enough to approach her,"

"I wouldn't say that she declined my offer," responded a deeper, smoother voice, "more so that she simply convinced me that I, in her own words, did not truly desire the entrancing diamond atop the mountain."

At the edge of the fountain's pool that laid under the levitating statues of the four princesses, two ponies conversed. One was a white-coated unicorn stallion well-dressed in a black suit with a red rose interwoven in its fabric. The other was a beautiful mare of pegasus breed. Long, black locks pooled over her head and her bright, green eyes hid mischievous allure. What was most entrancing about her though was her red coat, and how it seemed to glitter and sparkle with a light that was its own.

"Is that so?" asked the glittering mare as she leaned forward with an inquisitive smile, "Now you've got me curious, Hearth. After all, I've watched and even helped train you at the behest of your parents for years to become a proper suitor. What in Equestria did she say to you to convince you of letting a diamond like her go?"

With the most obvious of intended-to-be-subtle smirks, the stallion levitated the red rose from his suit and replied, "She said, that on the way to the diamond, I found myself entranced with a sparkling ruby much more treasurable to my heart."

The mare reared her head back in surprise at the rose that now floated in front of her, "Oh!" she whispered breathlessly, shocked. Her eyes flickered between the offered rose and the stallion before her, before she looked away with a blush on her cheeks, "Oh, you prude," she said dismissively, "vying for an older mare like me."

"A twelve year difference is hardly call for such accusations," replied the stallion coolly, the smirk still on his face, "besides, we both know that I've approached much older."

She giggled, "Yes, I suppose you are shameless like that."

It was at this point in their conversation that the two ponies finally noticed the arrival of Thrift and the longma guard who led him. As Thrift followed the guard, he took a glance toward the couple and his gaze met the mare's. At first, she seemed surprised to find somepony like Thrift here, but then a warm smile grew on her face and her gaze became knowing as she watched him pass by.

"That cat on the guard's back," whispered the stallion, "isn't that—"

"Yes," interrupted the mare casually, "It's her's. Her mystical familiar whose silver tail and golden paws can turn dust into silver and water into gold." She turned back to the stallion with a playful smirk on her face, "Why? Are you so disappointed in your failure to attain her herself that you've opted to latch onto her pet as the next best thing?"

"Maybe," replied the stallion, returning the playful smirk, "I mean if only she truly is, as you say, the next best thing. After all, what would be the risk compared to the... golden benefits."

"Well for one, if she doesn't like you, she'll swipe at you with her claws and turn your blood gold," informed the glittering mare in a sugar-sweet tone, "which is quite a curse to live with, I assure you."

The stallion frowned, though there was no truly noticeable disappointment in his expression, "Mmm, I'm going to assume that it's not the blood poisoning that would make up this curse."

"Oh, of course," she replied, turning her head away and closing her eyes in casually uncaring mock-superiority, "you'll be quite fine with golden blood. Magic is funny like that. But," she opened her alluring eyes once more, "depending on how greedy your friends and the ponies around you are, it does make the phrase 'bleeding you dry' take a much more literal meaning."

"Really?" said the stallion in mock-amazement, "Well then, you've convinced me. Generosity's familiar is just too unattainable for the likes of me."

The playful smug grin that the glittering mare wore quickly fell off in surprise when she felt the unicorn's magic pushing against her backside. Suddenly, she found herself pushed into the stallion's chest; her looking up at him, him looking down at her, their muzzles a breath apart.

Placing the rose in her mane, the stallion quietly said, "I suppose I'll just have to settle for one of her graced instead."

Having quite enough of this social dancing, the glittering mare wrapped a hoof around the stallion and brought him in for a kiss. She then pulled a hairbreadth away, faster before he could regain his wits and recuperate, and she whispered, "And I suppose I can continue teaching this spoiled brat how to be generous."

As the couple busied themselves with interlocking each other, on the other side of the intricate fountain, behind the longma guard that busied himself with unlocking the door at the end of the hallroom, Thrift Spender stared in shock at the cat upon the longma's back.

He had heard the couple's conversation.

Opalescence, the golden-pawed, silver-tailed cat that Thrift had been following around the city this whole time, was a Mare of Harmony's familiar. Generosity's familiar, to be specific. Which meant that behind that door was—

*Click* sounded off the door's lock.

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