Longest Night: Everypony's Day

by Fizzy Orange

Filthy Rich's Day: Desperation

Filthy Rich's Day
by HopeFox

“Hurry up, Daddy! We’re going to be late for the Longest Night Festival!”

Filthy Rich did his best not to pay attention to his daughter pounding on his bedroom door as he donned his very best collar and tie. The Longest Night Festival only came around once a year, and with the elite of Ponyville – the entire population of Ponyville, in fact – out and about, he was determined to impress everypony.

One pony above all others, of course.

He turned from the mirror to see his wife tightening the sashes of her favourite dress with her teeth, while their unicorn maid carefully styled her mane and tail. The soft pink earth pony mare was already bedecked in diamonds – her earrings, necklace and bracelets all sparkled in the gaslight.

“You look dazzling, my love,” crooned Filthy Rich, giving his wife a gentle kiss on the cheek. “As you always do.”

“And you look as fine as the day I married you,” replied Diamond Dazzle. She picked up a brooch on the dresser and stuck it through Filthy’s shirt, watching its own diamond shine. “This is going to be a magical night.”

“Daddy!” came the insistent hammering at the door. Dust Buster set aside her combs and opened the door with her magic, admitting Diamond Tiara into the room. “Finally! Are we ready to go yet? Mommy, you look amazing!”

“Thank you, dear,” her mother replied. “You look perfect as well.” Diamond Tiara was wearing her finest purple dress and matching frilly saddle, which complemented her coat and mane nicely while hiding her cutie mark, or the lack thereof.

Diamond Tiara preened at the compliment, then narrowed her eyes at Dust Buster. “Why is she all dressed up, Daddy?” she demanded. “She’s not coming with us, is she?”

“Diamond Dazzle Tiara!” chided Filthy Rich. “You mind your tone with your maid, if you don’t want to make your own bed for the next month.”

“I’m sorry, Daddy,” Diamond Tiara said, casting her gaze downwards and scuffing her purple-shod hoof on the floor in a perfect imitation of penitence. “But you make her look after me at the Longest Night Festival every year! I don’t need a foalsitter anymore! I’m not a baby!”

Filthy Rich leaned down to nuzzle his daughter gently. “I know, princess, but the Festival isn’t like other nights. There are ponies everywhere, especially from out of town, and I don’t want to risk anything happening to you.”

Diamond Tiara rolled her eyes. “But Daddy!”

“Actually, sir, I agree,” said Dust Buster. “She is growing up, and besides, Princess Luna will be in attendance tonight. I hardly think any ruffians or Night Court schemers are going to try to spirit her away under the Princess’s muzzle. Why not let her enjoy the festivities on her own for once?”

“See, Daddy?” said Diamond Tiara, trotting over to rub her head against the pony she had been sneering at not thirty seconds before. “I’ll be fine! And I’ll be with Silver Spoon the whole night, anyway. We can look after each other.”

Filthy Rich shared a glance with his wife, then with Dust Buster. They both nodded, and he shrugged. “Alright, princess. You can go and do your own thing. But we’ll meet up at midnight, at the town square... no, that’ll be far too crowded. We’ll meet outside the Carousel Boutique. Promise me you’ll be there at midnight, darling?”

“I promise, Daddy.”

The small party of ponies set out for the town square, a couple of hours before sundown. Ponyville was usually packed with ponies for the festival, as all of the ponies from the outlying farms crowded into the town. Tonight was even busier than most years, with the promised attraction of Princess Luna’s attendance. Filthy Rich bid a fond hello to many friends, customers and business associates as he and his family wound their way into town.

The booming voice of an exuberant stallion reached his ears. “Filthy! Over here, Filthy!”

Filthy Rich turned to meet the one stallion from whom he would tolerate that name. Partly because he had no desire to tell the wealthiest pony in Ponyville how he could and couldn’t address him, but mostly because that pony was his best friend, and had been so since they were both colts.

“Sterling!” he called back, trotting over to meet his friend. Sterling Silver was a tall earth pony stallion with a steel-grey coat and a rather incongruous green mane. He was flanked by his orange-coated wife and their lighter grey daughter, who immediately ran over to exchange some kind of complicated hoofshake with Diamond Tiara.

“Good to see you, Filthy!” Sterling Silver greeted him. “Glad you could make it out!”

“I wouldn’t miss tonight for the world, Sterling,” Filthy Rich replied. “Not with Princess Luna here, on top of everything else. I’ve heard great things about seeing her raise the moon in person. Aren’t you and the Princess old friends?”

“Never met her in my life,” admitted Sterling cheerfully. “You’re thinking of Grandma Shining. She was one of the Princess’s economic consultants in her day, back when your grandpa was getting the zap apple jam business off the ground. You did pretty well out of that, wouldn’t you say?”

“We did just fine, Sterling, that we did.”

Filthy Rich was interrupted by his daughter tugging on his tail. “Daddy? Can Silver Spoon and I go now?”

He patted his daughter’s mane gently. “Of course, princess. Go and have fun. And remember, the boutique at midnight!”

Filthy Rich watched his daughter disappear into the crowd, and then flicked his gaze over to Dust Buster, who gave him a reassuring nod. Satisfied, he turned back to Sterling Silver. “Now that I think about it, Princess Luna and your family go way back, don’t you?”

“All the way back to when we made our fortune, that’s right. You know, when there was the... unpleasantness.” Both stallions’ eyes involuntarily flicked over to the orb of the sun, as it slowly edged towards the western horizon. Sterling paused for a few moments in discomfort before speaking again. “As old as she is, she probably thinks of her dealings with the Silver family as just one long conversation with the same pony. I’m going to see if I can track her down before she’s fully booked out. I’ll see you around the party, Filthy!”

Filthy Rich waved as the Silver ponies trotted off, then turned to Dust Buster. “You should go and enjoy yourself, dear,” he told her. “Diamond Tiara will be fine, you’ve got the night off. Have fun! I don’t want to see you before sunrise, you understand me?”

Dust Buster chuckled, and gave Filthy Rich a quick bow, then nuzzled Diamond Dazzle. “I understand, sir. You two have a great time too.”

Filthy Rich and his wife trotted happily through the festival, marvelling at juggling acts, watching youngsters compete at games of skill, and taking in the food, the drink and the sheer festive air of the afternoon. They joined a small knot of ponies hovering around a large strength-testing machine, where a gaily dressed carnival hawker showed off a display of large stuffed animals, and challenged onlookers to try their strength.

“Is the Longest Night Festival always this crowded in Ponyville?” asked a dark blue earth pony mare standing next to Filthy Rich. “These are the kind of crowds I would have expected from Fillydelphia.”

“Everypony’s very excited about seeing Princess Luna,” replied Diamond Dazzle, giving the unfamiliar mare a warm, welcoming smile. “The raising of the moon is a spectacle most ponies never witness first-hoof. And, of course, the Princess herself is said to be the most beautiful mare in Equestria.”

“Oh, really?” said the dark blue mare, seeming to be a little taken aback. “Do you, um, think so yourself?”

“She must be,” said Diamond Dazzle, smiling brightly. “Look at Equestria’s fashion industry. Every fashion house and modelling agency points towards Princess Luna’s appearance as the archetype of equine beauty. She has the look that everypony aspires to. Don’t you agree, dear?”

“Ah, I’m afraid not, darling,” chuckled Filthy Rich, nuzzling his wife’s shoulder. “You see, I’ve already met the most beautiful mare in Equestria, and I married her.” He gave the dark blue mare a conspiratorial grin. “Don’t tell the Princess I said that, alright?”

“My lips are sealed,” the blue mare agreed. She seemed about to say something else when the crowd cleared between Filthy Rich and the strength tester, and the operator called to him. “Step right up, my little ponies, step right up! Win a stuffed dragon for the lovely lady?”

Diamond Dazzle arched a brow at her husband. “Go on, then, love,” she urged him. “Show all these ponies how strong you are.”

Filthy Rich swaggered up to the machine, projecting confidence with every step. He was a businesspony, after all, and producing confidence with nothing to back it up was a very important business skill. He flipped a mouthful of coins to the operator and planted his front hooves securely on the ground, bucking the machine with all his might.

The slider rose halfway up the machine, then fell down again with a sad sort of clunking noise.

“Aww, too bad, buddy,” chuckled the stall operator. “Have another try? Don’t want to disappoint your darling wife, do you?”

Filthy Rich chuckled and stepped away from the stall, gesturing to his wife. “Oh, she won’t be disappointed, I’m sure of it. Care to show them, dear?” He threw another bunch of coins to the operator and stood back to watch Diamond Dazzle at work.

The elegant pink mare struck a series of poses in front of the strength tester, drawing calls of admiration from the crowd as her diamond jewellery flashed in the setting sun. To the right of the carnival stall, the Mayor was making a speech, but most eyes were riveted on Diamond Dazzle as she commanded the attention of the small crowd near the game. She then drove her back hooves into the machine hard enough to dent the bell at the top.

The game operator stared at Diamond Dazzle in shock for a few moments, as the crowd cheered wildly. Diamond Dazzle picked up a large stuffed dragon from the operator’s stall and placed it on Filthy Rich’s back as he stood next to her.

“Fillies and gentlecolts, my wife, Diamond Dazzle,” he said proudly, bowing to the audience along with her. They trotted happily back down into the crowd, and Filthy Rich gave the dark blue mare a wink. “I’m sure Princess Luna has her charms, but I think you’ll agree that I backed the right horse.”

The mare perked up. “Oh, I’m supposed to be on stage! Do excuse me.” She bunched her legs and sprang directly onto the stage, whereupon she glowed with a soft blue light and merged with a pegasus and unicorn on the stage, forming into the unmistakable form of Princess Luna. “My little ponies,” she spoke, her voice soft yet powerful. “Your Princess of the Night has arrived.”

Oh, horseapples.

Husband and wife lay on a small hill overlooking Ponyville, enjoying the cool air just before midnight. It had been the magical evening that they were both expecting. There had been dancing to the accompaniment of phonographs, which had brought back fond memories of their courtship. There had been all manner of snacks to keep them going through the night. Diamond Dazzle had had to remind Filthy Rich that the festival was for relaxing, not work, so the mystery of Applejack losing her monopoly on the festival’s catering would have to wait for another day. There was a magic show in the town square, in front of the Night Court Representative’s house. They had spotted Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon watching the performer, enthralled, and had decided to leave them to their night of freedom and frivolity. Princess Luna had even apologised for her deception earlier in the night, and paid a deep and sincere compliment to Diamond Dazzle’s beauty.

Now, they watched the goings-on from a vantage point away from the noise and lights of the festival, leaning against each other companionably. “The crowd sure loved you tonight, dear,” murmured Filthy Rich. “Do you ever think about going back to the big time?”

“Modelling in Manehattan again?” mused Diamond Dazzle. “Only if I’m allowed to buck Photo Finish in the face if she ever comes near me again. Sure, modelling part-time for Rarity isn’t exactly the high life, and I do miss it. But I’d miss you more, you and our darling Tiara.”

“I would miss you too, my love.” Filthy Rich looked over the town, towards the eastern horizon. “Remember how we used to come here when we were dating? You’d take the train into town after a long stint of work in Manehattan, and I’d make sure I had the day cleared, and we’d sit together and watch the sun... come... up...”

Both ponies stared at the horizon, appalled, as the golden disc of the sun rose, in spite of the moon and stars overhead. They paused in shock for a few long moments, then looked at each other.

“Diamond Tiara!” they gasped, then galloped down the hill towards Ponyville. They heard Luna’s Royal Canterlot Voice urging her ponies to flee, and if Diamond Tiara had been with them, they would have done just that. Instead, they pushed themselves harder and raced into town, just before a wall of fire sprang up behind them, sealing them in and singeing Filthy Rich’s tail.

“We have to get to the Boutique,” gasped Diamond Dazzle, shielding her eyes from both the fire and the shockingly bright sun in the sky. “We have to find –”

She was rendered speechless as the sun flashed three times and silence descended upon the town like a heavy blanket of snow. Both ponies found themselves staring upwards in horror as a monster out of Equestria’s darkest legends descended from the sky.

Filthy Rich and Diamond Dazzle clung to each other in fright as Corona’s voice boomed across Ponyville. They knew they had to find Diamond Tiara – they had to get to the Carousel Boutique, and hope against hope that she was already there – but the Tyrant Sun’s voice was enough to leave them cowering on the ground, their heads and tails hanging in submission. Filthy Rich was pressing his head into his wife’s mane, weeping in abject terror, when that horrendous voice sounded over Ponyville again.

“Rejoice, my subjects! Your true queen hath returned! In celebration, there shall be an unbroken ten days of glorious sunshine! On the tenth day, if all has gone as I wish it – if I am obeyed – your foals shall be returned to you.”

“Our... foals?” stammered Diamond Dazzle, burying her head in her fetlocks.

Filthy Rich gritted his teeth and looked up into the sky, where the Tyrant Sun was winging her way north, towards Canterlot. A herd of perhaps fifty foals and a dozen adult ponies trailed behind her, glowing in the hot white aura of Corona’s magic. Filthy Rich stared until his eyes burned, but he could not say for certain whether the flashes of pink and purple in the crowd belonged to his daughter.

Slowly, on shaking legs, he helped his wife to her hooves. “I don’t know, love,” he said in response to her wordless question. “I couldn’t see.”

Diamond Dazzle struck out towards the Carousel Boutique, still speechless with shock. Filthy Rich turned back towards the town square briefly, but the sounds of an angry mob made him hurry along after his wife. They were running hard, almost galloping, but it felt like they were walking through knee-deep snow.

The yard around the Carousel Boutique was mostly clear of ponies. A husband and wife ran past in the direction of the town hall – probably more desperate parents. Diamond Dazzle collapsed in a heap underneath Rarity’s clothes line, and a moment later, a green unicorn mare galloped into view from the direction of the square.

“Mister Rich! Ma’am!” gasped Dust Buster, racing to the couple’s side. “You’re safe! Thank the Princess you’re both safe!”

“We’re fine, Dust Buster,” said Filthy Rich, giving his employee and friend a quick nuzzle. “What’s going on? Did Corona take Diamond Tiara?”

“I’m so sorry, sir... I couldn’t see. Corona... she sent Princess Luna away, said she was banished to the moon. Corona said she’d give our foals back if we obeyed her, but nopony believes that! The new Representative tried to sell us out to her, and there’s a mob about to attack her house. Ponyville isn’t safe anymore.”

“Can you find her, Dust Buster?” wailed Diamond Dazzle, tugging on the maid’s tail. “Can you find our little princess?”

“I will. If she’s here, I promise I’ll find her. If she’s been taken, then I’ll do whatever it takes to get her back. I promise.” Dust Buster nodded grimly and rested a fetlock against Diamond Dazzle’s shoulder for a moment, gazing into her eyes.

“I’ll come with you,” said Filthy Rich, shaking his head as if to cast off his fear. “I can’t just stand here.”

“No, sir, it’s too dangerous!” protested Dust Buster. “There’s no telling what these ponies will do. You need to stay here, in case Diamond Tiara finds her way here by herself. Just trust me, sir.”

The unicorn maid’s horn shone with an orange light, and her hooves glowed briefly. She lowered her head in determination and galloped back towards the town square at an unsettlingly quick pace, her horn pulsing in a slow, regular beat.

Filthy Rich sank down to lie on his stomach, exhaling deeply. “Luna bless that mare,” he said, laying his neck against his wife’s. “Worth every bit we pay her.”

“What if she’s not in Ponyville, my love?” said Diamond Dazzle, trying to force back her tears. “What if the Tyrant Sun took her?”

Filthy Rich stroked Diamond Dazzle’s mane gently, trying to think of the best possible scenario. Several of the worst had already crossed his mind. “If anypony can live through this, it’s Diamond Tiara, dear. She’s smart, resourceful and tough. And we’ve trained her for this, remember? Every year, we make her tell us what she has to do if she’s kidnapped.”

“By Night Court operatives or Manehattan crime bosses, maybe. Not... not the Tyrant Sun...”

“Do you remember the time Diamond Tiara said she’d been kidnapped at school?” asked Filthy Rich. The distraction attempt was obvious, but it still did the trick. “We were so horrified until she said that Silver Spoon had paid Snips and Snails to kidnap her. Kids have such great imaginations.”

Diamond Dazzle wiped away a few of her tears, smiling despite the day’s horrors. “She was so proud that she’d done everything right. Didn’t argue with her captors, found out what they wanted, sat tight and waited for a ransom or for a competent escape attempt that she could cooperate with. Everything we expected from our princess.”

“And she did get rescued, too, she said. One of the nice pegasus fillies at school, I think? I do wish she’d make more friends. I worry about her sometimes,” said Filthy Rich, as if his daughter’s social aloofness were a greater problem than her potential kidnapping by the Tyrant Sun. “We’ll try to get her to socialise more once we’re all home.”

“We will,” agreed Diamond Dazzle. “When we’re all home together.”

An eternity passed, as the sun hung motionless above them.

Filthy Rich was jolted from his reverie by the cadence of rapid hoofbeats approaching the Boutique. He looked up from his wife’s side, and saw Dust Buster limping into the yard, with a whimpering pink form clinging to her mane.

“Daddy!” wailed Diamond Tiara, springing from Dust Buster’s back and galloping into her father’s embrace.

“Diamond Tiara!” gasped Filthy Rich, pressing his muzzle against his daughter’s shoulder. “I was so worried! I thought the Tyrant Sun had taken my little pony away forever!”

“Daddy, she –”

“Are you alright? Did Corona see you? Did anypony hurt you in the riot? Give your mother a hug, she was so worried too!”

“Daddy, listen, the –”

“I’ve never going to let you go again, princess! I’m not going to let you out of my sight until I know that everything’s safe and –”

“Daddy! The Queen took Silver Spoon!”

Filthy Rich felt his jaw fall open, his immense relief suddenly replaced by a new terror clutching at his heart. Silver Spoon, his best friend’s daughter, and possibly his daughter’s only true friend. Taken as hostage by a mad mare without compassion or reason.

He forced himself to remain calm, drawing his face into a semblance of composure. “Take a deep breath, darling. Tell me everything that happened.”

Diamond Tiara fought to steady her breath as her mother lipped at her mane, calming her beloved daughter like a newborn foal. Her voice was still shaky, but coherent as she related the evening’s events. “We were watching the Great and Powerful Trixie putting on a magic show, and it was really good, and then she disappeared at the end, but we figured we’d stick around and have some snacks, and everypony was talking about the show... and then the sun came up and Princess Luna was shouting at us to run...”

The filly buried her face in her mother’s mane, as another fit of crying overwhelmed her. Dust Buster saw her charge’s continued distress, and summoned her grooming kit, which appeared from a glowing orange sphere. She held a brush in her telekinetic grip and started brushing Diamond Tiara’s tail with slow, soothing strokes. Between the brushing and her mother’s embrace, she was able to compose herself enough to speak again. “We went and hid in Trixie’s house, but the Queen pulled Silver Spoon out with her magic, and I tried to hold her back but I wasn’t strong enough. The Queen said she was going to take the foals to make sure we obeyed her, but I don’t think she’s going to give them back!

“But it’s okay, right, Daddy?” Diamond Tiara continued, gazing up at Filthy Rich, her eyes wide and full of tears. “You’ll pay somepony to fix this and it’ll all be okay! Daddy’s money can fix anything!”

Not this, princess. Not this.

Filthy Rich realised that his wife, his daughter and his maid were all looking to him for direction. He sighed inwardly and put on his business face, the one that made him look like he knew precisely what he was doing.

“Alright. Here’s what we’re going to do. Dust Buster and I will go to the Silver house and help Mister and Mrs Silver deal with this. Diamond Tiara, you go home with your mother.”

“No, Daddy!” cried Diamond Tiara, breaking free of her mother’s embrace and clinging to her father’s leg. “I’m not going anywhere without you!”

Filthy Rich exchanged a glance with his wife, then nodded. “Alright. We’ll all go and visit the Silvers. It’s probably best that we stay together.”

The Silver mansion, Filthy Rich had to admit, was a lot more tasteful than the Rich mansion. When Stinking Rich made his fortune distributing zap apple jam, he had made sure that all of Ponyville knew of his success. As such, the Rich mansion was built with no expense spared to demonstrate its owner’s wealth, with expensive wood panelling inlaid with silver, and marble floors in the kitchen and bathrooms.

The home of the Silver family was, likewise, built to resemble its owner’s wealth – a legacy that had lasted a thousand years and would live for another thousand unless the world crumbled around it. The structure was granite, not marble, built as soon as the Silvers moved to Ponyville, with the apparent intention of outlasting the rest of the town. Many of the furnishings were old wooden pieces which predated their owners, bearing the warm glow of well-used and well-loved chairs and tables. The house had not been fitted with gas heating, but a carefully constructed set of pipes in the basement allowed heat from coal fires to spread evenly throughout the house.

Sterling Silver and his wife were sitting in their library, stunned, when the Rich family found them. Diamond Dazzle and Diamond Tiara had managed to coax some life out of Mrs Silver, persuading her to drink some tea and talk about inconsequential matters. Dust Buster helped the Silver’s butler prepare a light meal while Filthy Rich tried to bring Sterling Silver out of his shock.

“We’ll get her back,” Filthy Rich said to his friend for the fifth time. “Silver Spoon is a smart girl. She’s done the drills, just like Diamond Tiara. She won’t do anything foalish. Corona wouldn’t take hostages if she simply meant to kill them. We just have to be patient.”

“I don’t think she’s ever going to give them back, Filthy,” said Sterling Silver. “She’s mad, you know that. She’ll come up with a reason to keep them no matter what. It’s all about her power and greed. She won’t give anything up.”

Filthy Rich frowned thoughtfully, giving Sterling a careful nudge with his head. “We can still hope. But there might be something we can do. Diamond Tiara always believes that I can solve anything with money... maybe this is no exception. We could hire mercenaries?”

“To fight the Tyrant Sun? What good would that do? The Royal Guard are probably already arraying against her. I suppose we could help the Guard financially. I imagine Canterlot is throwing all of their resources behind them. What’s happening in Canterlot, anyway? Has Captain Shining Armor declared martial law? Probably...”

“I’ll see if I can find somepony to travel to Canterlot and investigate. If anypony is willing to leave Ponyville, that is.” Filthy Rich got to his hooves and started pacing around the library. “If anypony else were behind this, I’d say we could ransom Silver Spoon back. Corona doesn’t want money, though. She wants... she wants all of Equestria to fall under her rule. We can’t give her that.”

A thought occurred to Filthy Rich as he looked at Sterling Silver. It was a distasteful, disgraceful thought, but one which he couldn’t set aside. He walked past his wife and daughter, who had started a game of bridge with Mrs Silver and Dust Buster, and nuzzled them both lovingly. He then browed the shelves until he found a certain book, and stepped into Sterling Silver’s private office, gesturing for his friend to follow him.

Once the door was closed behind them, Filthy Rich addressed Sterling Silver in a low voice. “There is one thing Corona wants that we can give her.”

He laid the copy of Mineral Trading: Equestria and Neighbours on Sterling’s desk, and nosed it open to a very particular page.


Sterling Silver flinched and backed away from his friend, shying in trepidation. “That’s insane,” he said softly, his voice laced with horror.

“Gold is hardly traded in Equestria anymore, but we can buy it for thirty bits per ounce in Caballeria. You know the stories, Sterling. When Corona went mad, she commanded that the streets of Canterlot be paved in gold to reflect the glory of the Sun. She’s greedy. She wants everything. Surely the amount of gold we can acquire together will be enough to buy the life of one foal.”

Sterling breathed shallowly, his nostrils flaring. “This is treason.”

“I know.”

“It’s worse than treason. It’s... it’s blasphemy.”

“I know.”

“I remember the stories too, Filthy. My family was there. After Princess Luna cast Corona into the sun, the economy was ruined. Not only did Corona beggar the nation with her demands, the ponies of Canterlot refused to use gold for their currency after her betrayal, and the rest of Equestria followed suit. We were trapped in a barter system for decades. Barter, Filthy. Like animals. It was my ancestor, Silver Standard, who used her family’s silver mines to forge a new currency out of the ashes. She struck Equestria’s first silver coin with her own hooves. Ever since that day, the Silvers have safeguarded Equestria’s currency. And you’re asking me to turn my back on that.”

“I know.”

Sterling stamped his hooves nervously, pacing around his office. “Turn my back on a thousand years of tradition. A thousand years of loyal service to Princess Luna.”

Filthy Rich nodded silently.

“You would have me betray my own family. Forty generations of Silver ponies...”

“Each of whom would do exactly the same thing in your situation.”

Sterling Silver hung his head. “I know. I’ll do it. It’s the best plan we have. It just feels so wrong.”

He opened a concealed compartment in his desk and drew out a polished oaken seal, heavy with age. “Filthy... old friend... can you make this happen? You know all the right traders and shipping companies. I can’t even think straight, with Silver Spoon taken hostage and this... this... gold...”

Filthy Rich took the seal between his teeth and slipped it carefully into his saddlebags. “Of course, Sterling. I’ll make sure nopony knows what we’re doing. And I won’t spare my own funds, either. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my best friend’s daughter, or my daughter’s best friend.”

He nosed open the door and stepped out into the library, to find Diamond Tiara’s face gazing up at him pleadingly. “What’s going on, Daddy?” she asked, her voice trembling, but filled with faith in her father. “Are you going to get Silver Spoon back?”

Filthy Rich bent down and kissed his daughter’s forehead. “Don’t worry, princess,” he said. “Daddy’s money is going to fix everything.”