• Published 11th Dec 2011
  • 6,518 Views, 73 Comments

Letters from Canterlot - wanderingbishop

Fancypants relates his early years as a young businesspony making his first steps into high society.

  • ...

4th Letter

My dear friend Rarity

In my last letter, I related the circumstances surrounding my meeting and eventual marriage to Fleur. In this, my final letter, I will relate the series of events that cemented my rise to prominence.

Given our past history, it is unsurprising that few anticipated our marriage announcement – even Rapier Wit had to enquire quite solemnly if I had taken leave of my senses. The merging of our two empires into one was also a complete surprise – and an unwelcome one to our competitors. From two of the major players in Canterlot's economy, we became a corporation that dominated the financial landscape of the city. Fleur and I also discovered that our personalities played off one another well. Fleur had become so used to steering a business alone that she hadn't realised how much of her energy it was consuming, while I once again had a canny business partner who could keep me in check and keep my ambitions focused. We were now, without a doubt, two of the most affluent ponies in Equestria.

Many assumed that I was spearheading the operation and that Fleur was simply a trophy wife – the public quickly and conveniently forgetting that she had owned a business at least as strong as mine before the merger. Fleur and I found this rather amusing – indeed, rather than correct the misconception, Fleur capitalized on it, and withdrew from a more prominent position in the business, deliberately playing up the role of vain socialite in order to improve her talent for surprising the unwary business rival. And, dare I say it, she relished having a legitimate excuse to show off.

With our meteoric rise in power, it was inevitable that we would eventually be invited into the folds of that most elite and desirable of social circles – high society. You might think that this marks the end of the story – nothing could be further from the truth. You see, over the years, I had forgotten about a pony who had risen to prominence well before I had. And now that Fleur and I were becoming members of high society, our paths would cross once again.

The event which could conceivably mark the "moment" that I became part of the elite was an art auction held a year after Fleur and I were married. Most of Canterlot's aristocracy were present, as the auction was being hosted by the palace. I had attended such functions on occasion before, but this time we received a formal invitation. We were both positively thrilled at the honour, and attended dressed in our best finery. We observed the proceedings, making a few modest bids on pieces that attracted our interest, but making no concerted effort to win anything – we were there to observe and be observed, not draw attention to ourselves. As it happened, we did so anyway.

In between two sessions of bidding, I looked around at the assembled aristocracy, to see who I could recognize. My gaze passed by an imperious unicorn stallion, slate-grey with a white mane. Next to him, a caramel-coloured pegasus with a chocolate-brown mane. It had been so many years, that at first I did not recognize them. But when the stallion turned his haughty, prideful visage in my direction, there could be no mistake – Silver Podium and his wife Liquid Satin had once again crossed my path. Silver Podium caught my eye, and the attempt to hide the contempt on his face was so poorly done as to be transparent.

The sudden appearance of my old enemies was a shock, to say the least. Fleur was aware of my past hardships, but this marked the first time that she had seen the two. She snapped me out of my daze and I turned back to talk to her while she continued to observe the two. I did not see the arrival of our next great shock of the evening until I saw Fleur's eyes widen. I turned back to my two rivals, and saw standing behind them the last pony I wanted to see – Silver Snake. How he had found the two of them, or even arranged for a meeting was beyond my comprehension. But there he was – Fleur's greatest enemy standing next to mine. We didn't even bother to try and work out if they knew of Fleur's past – that would have been one of the first things Silver Snake told them. We had seen enough for one night. We left the auction as quickly and quietly as we could.

That night, Fleur was beside herself, convinced that this was the end. I tried to be the pillar of courage for both of us, but the sight of Silver Podium and Liquid Satin had shattered my confidence, reducing me to the broken pony I had been after my last great defeat. We were a sorry sight. Finally, I proposed the only course of action that I could think of – confide in my friend Rapier Wit. Fleur was against the idea, but as I pointed out, if Silver Podium intended to go public with the information he had, evidence or no evidence, it would hardly make a difference when Rapier Wit heard the tale. And who knew? Maybe he could offer some advice.

At this point, I must make a confession – while I valued my friendship with Rapier, I had always thought of him as somewhat shallow – a bachelor with no interests beyond nights round the card table with his friends, and adding to his ever-increasing tally of failed wooing attempts. So when Rapier's first response after hearing the tale was to enquire if the escort agency Fleur had worked at was in the district surrounding the old Mareseille courthouse, we were both taken aback. Rapier Wit revealed that he had contacts in Mareseille – and more importantly, a distant cousin who worked as a private investigator in the city. For as he put it "whatever that mule of a unicorn is up to, it will all come back to Mareseille in the end".

On the advice of Rapier Wit, I penned a letter to this detective, explaining the situation in as discrete a manner as I could, and including a letter of reccomendation that Rapier himself had written. With that letter sent by mail pegasus, the three of us began to find out what we could here in Canterlot. Silver Podium and Liquid Satin would not be content to rest on their laurels – they would be finding some way to ruin myself and Fleur, socially if not financially. We put all our spare resources into finding out when and where Silver Snake had met my old rivals.

After a week of investigation, we discovered that the three had first met no more than a fortnight before the auction – the amount of lost ground we had to recover was mercifully small. It was no less deadly, unfortunately. Silver Snake had been in long-distance communication with Mareseille. Who he had contacted and what he had said, we did not know, but it was clear that something was being planned.

At this point, we received word back from Rapier Wit's investigator friend, who had agreed to help uncover what was going on. Communication was difficult over such long distances, but we managed to settle into a routine, sending each other an update on what we had discovered each week, along with a recommendation or two on what leads to follow next. For a month, we slowly uncovered Silver Podium and Silver Snake's plan. They were intending to publicly disgrace Fleur: hardly a surprise. Since I had destroyed all the physical evidence that Silver Snake had, they were resorting to less conventional methods. Our private investigator filled in the blanks, reporting that Silver Snake seemed to be calling in old favours in order to do some investigating of his own, looking for a specfic mare, the identity of whom we had yet to uncover. Meanwhile, we attempted to stay clear of Silver Podium and Liquid Satin at social functions. The state of affairs was stressfull enough without confronting the two of them.

While our investigation made progress, such progress was excruciatingly slow. I assured Fleur that we were gaining ground, but secretly I believed the situation to be nothing short of hopeless. Truthfully, everything may have been lost, if our enemies had not made one fatal mistake. The hubris of a foe who is assured of victory can be a powerful ally.

One snowy day, a month before Hearth's Warming Eve, an unexpected visitor barged into my office. It was none other than Liquid Satin – and I am not afraid to admit that the sight of her across my desk chilled me to the bone, even after so many years. As near as I could tell, they had become aware of our investigation, and now she was here to manipulate me into ceasing. At first she tried a teary, innocent facade, attempting to convince me that I had it all wrong and they had no intention of harming Fleur. I cordially requested her to stop insulting my intelligence.

At this, she switched to a hurt, offended persona, trying to make me feel guilty about my actions. This display almost succeeded – until I remembered how shamefully and cruelly she had treated me. I remained resolute, and returned her hurt looks with a stern, disapproving glare, until the charade became too much for me to endure without retort. I interrupted her stream of chatter by questioning her common sense, given her apparent amnesia of our previous relationship, ending with a comment on how childish she seemed to me.

This seemed to hit a nerve. Dropping all pretense of innocence, Liquid Satin began to berate me, calling into question everything from my intelligence to my parentage. She called me a fool for thinking I could stop them, called Fleur several things which I will not commit to paper, and declared that Lavender Rose would make sure I was never accepted into society again.

When I realised the incredible clue that Liquid Satin had let drop, I was ecstatic. It took all my self control to keep a solemn face and endure the rest of Liquid Satin's tirade. She probably would have continued for quite some time, had Fleur not arrived at the office. The silence that settled over the room was palpable, and the looks that Fleur and Satin gave each other would have curdled butter. Finally, Liquid Satin left with a toss of her mane, declaring that we should enjoy our final days as members of society.

Once Liquid Satin left, Fleur almost collapsed, sitting back with a look of crushed defeat on her face. I, however, was unrepentantly smug. It took Fleur a while to notice the wry smile on my face, and when she asked how I could possibly be in a good mood after a visit from Satin, I asked Fleur if the name "Lavender Rose" meant anything to her.

It was as I had suspected – Lavender Rose was the name of the pony that Silver Podium and Liquid Satin were seeking in Mareseille. An old work colleague of Fleur's who, if Fleur's estimation of her was right, would not be above publicly disrediting her for a hefty sum of money. With this name, we had the break we needed. Fleur formulated a plan – she kept the details close to her chest, and since it was her reputation on the line as much as mine, I had no issue with this. In our next letter to Rapier Wit's private investigator friend, we told him what we had learned, and requested that he put us in contact with two old colleagues of Fleur's – one, a matron of the Hazel Street establishment, the other a friend that Fleur had covered for in an altercation several years ago.

Included in the letter was a sealed piece of correspondence that Fleur had penned to the two of them, with instructions to deliver it to them once they were located. Fleur explained that the two would be distrustful of a private investigator, and would probably have trouble believing it truly was Fleur that was contacting them, especially since her name had been Elizabeth back when she knew them. The sealed letter was to gain their confidence – and to my surprise, it worked. Whatever Fleur had said to them, they had agreed to, and they confirmed that they would be travelling to Canterlot with all haste. We could expect them within a week.

Things seemed to have worked out for the best – Fleur was genuinely happy for the first time since we had seen Silver Podium and Liquid Satin in the art auction all those months ago. But alas, fate had one last surprise in store for us.

A week went by, and Fleur's friends did not turn up. A day went by with no word. Then another. Then, the third day after their expected arrival, we received a letter. It turned out that while enroute to Canterlot, the train that Fleur's friends had taken had been caught in a freak snowstorm, and the engine was now stuck in a snowdrift the size of the Wonderbolt's Derby stadium. While the passenger carriages had all been rescued and taken back to the previous stop along the line, they were now going to be stuck for a long time – certainly for another week. This letter was followed later in the day by the announcement that Silver Podium and Liquid Satin were holding a grand Hearth's Warming Eve party and inviting almost the entirety of Canterlot's upper class to the proceedings. Rumours were circulating that they had an announcement they intended to make after the traditional pageant, which only fueled interest. Fleur and I knew what this meant – they were ready to make their move. This would be the event where they would reveal their trump card, Lavender Rose, and have her confess to Fleur's past.

Fleur despaired. Even Rapier Wit's unflappable attitude was deflated at the news. Our one chance to turn the tables was now stuck in a small railway town halfway to the edge of Equestria. We were ready to give up and accept our defeat.

That night, unable to sleep, I lay awake, thinking the situation over in my head. It would have been close to two in the morning when an idea struck me. It was crazy. It was a stab in the dark. But it was the only possible solution.

The next day, I called Rapier Wit and Fleur to my office. When they arrived, I asked if there was anything they needed to take care of before leaving Equestria for an extended period. Fleur thought that I had given up and was preparing to flee Equestria, an idea which confused Rapier Wit, as he wasn't directly threatened by the whole business. I replied that I was not intending to run away. I explained my plan to them. We would leave Canterlot on my personal airship – the production model that had been gifted to me by the airship company after I had won them their first big break with the shareholders. All these years later, it was still one of the fastest airships in Equestria. It would be slower than going by train, but if conditions stayed favourable, we would be able to reach Fleur's friends, pick them up, and transport them back to Canterlot before Hearth's Warming Eve.

My plan was met with silence. For a moment, I thought that perhaps my idea had been too outrageous. Then, Rapier Wit asked if he could be skipper and get a fancy hat to wear during the voyage. Fleur tried and failed to suppress a laugh. With a broad grin, I announced in mock solemnity that I would personally assign Rapier Wit the rank of lieutenant if we managed to get back to Canterlot in time to stop Silver Podium.

We didn't waste another day – a few emergency purchases of supplies and fuel were the only delays before the three of us boarded my personal air yacht and left the Canterlot air docks, swinging the prow of the ship around towards the west. The setting sun led our way, and a brisk tailwind meant that we made good time. The night was clear, so I took first watch, navigating by the stars and the ship's compass – I did not want to waste a single minute of time.Rapier Wit took over for the second half of the night, and in the morning, Fleur and I checked the rigging and the engines, making sure that everything was in good order. The craftmanship of the vessel was superb, but I had never flown it for longer than an afternoon, so I was nervous about whether the ship would be up to the task. My fears proved unfounded, and we reached the station where Fleur's friends were staying within four days.

To say that everypony was surprised by our appearance would be a gross understatement. Nearly every pony in the town looked up in wonderment at the sleek, regal vessel that descended out of the morning clouds. Fleur spotted her old friends while we were still descending, and waved to get their attention. They had an elated conversation with each other, even as we touched down in the town's main square. We ushered them aboard and took off again, Rapier Wit cajoling a cheer from the crowd as the airship's engines spun up to full speed. I swung us about for Canterlot, spinning the wheel back into position with a flourish. We were halfway there, and we had a week to spare before Hearth's Warming Eve.

On the journey back, we got to know one another better. Fleur's friends were a charming pair of ladies – a young earth pony with a bright golden coat called Summer Shine, and an older, matronly pony with a forest green coat called Willow Spring. They were well-educated, intelligent mares, and one would never had guessed their profession simply by talking with them. Both were very pleased to see Fleur again after so many years, and were very consoling and supportive, promising that they'd move mountains before they let a spoiled Canterlot aristocrat (no offence to myself), ruin Fleur's hard-earned success. The tailwind that had carried us to Fleur's friends was no longer with us, so progress was slower, but by the end of the fourth day we beheld Canterlot, a shining beacon of ivory and plaster on the royal mountainside as the sun set behind us, turning the snow-covered ground below into a sea of blazing orange.. The cloud cover was thick, so we decided it best to stop for the night. Dropping anchor into a rock gorge, we secured the rigging and retired to bed, leaving Rapier Wit as sentry for the first half of the night.

We were woken by Rapier Wit pounding on the door of the cabin, shouting for us to get on deck. We came out to a howl of wind, and sheets of stinging hail whipping across the railings. A storm had come down from the north, and the first gust of wind had ripped the ship's anchor cable free from it's mooring. We were now being blown around by the winds, with no light to let us know which way we were going. I took hold of the wildy spinning wheel, struggling against the storm as I tried to pull the airship round to point east in the direction of Canterlot, relying entirely on the compass to navigate. I shouted for the others to get to the rigging and tighten it up – the last thing we needed was for the airship's envelope to come loose.

Summer Shine and Willow Spring were clearly terrified, but they helped as best they could, hanging for dear life to the rigging as Rapier Wit and Fleur shifted the ballast bags to keep the airship level. I was almost blinded by the sleet and hail, but I held onto the wheel with a deathgrip, never taking my eyes off the ship's compass. The wind howled around us as the night wore on, when the storm finally abated an hour or so before dawn, most of the others fell asleep from exhaustion where they stood. I myself had barely enough energy to drag everypony into the warm and dry of the cabin, and throw the anchor back over the side to moor us to the ground, before I slid down against the forecastle and fell asleep.

I was woken by Fleur some time around noon the next day, to find myself back in the cabin. The rest of the crew had been flying the ship for a few hours already, and had given me the opportunity to rest and recover. Fleur didn't hide the truth – things were looking grim. We had been blown well off course, and had lost nearly a day of ground. Not only that, but the engines had been damaged from the strain of fighting the storm, and we couldn't risk pushing them at full speed anymore. And finally, all our reserve fuel had been lost overboard. With the lost ground from the storm, we had no gaurantee that we would be able to reach Canterlot at all, let alone in time to stop Silver Podium. We discussed what to do throughout the afternoon, and as the sun set, we reached a consensus.

That night, we came down to land. Rapier Wit and Fleur disembarked, and we unloaded everything we could afford to. We left only the most meagre of rations and water, all funishings, mattresses and containers were removed, and the gold edgings of the railing were stripped. Fleur and Rapier would travel by foot back to Canterlot, while I would continue on in the airship with Summer Shine and Willow Spring. With the reduced weight, we might just be fast enough to make it back to Canterlot before Hearth's Warming Eve. Fleur explained to me what needed to be done to let Summer Shine and Willow Spring do their job, and at first light, we continued on.

We made some conversation as Canterlot slowly came closer, but the atmosphere on board was very much one of quiet pensiveness, that only increased as Hearth's Warming Eve drew close. The morning of Hearth's Warming Eve arrived, and we set out before the sun rose, so anxious we were to arrive in time. Noon passed, and we were not yet there. Late afternoon: still we did not arrive. One of the starboard engines let out an ominous sputtering noise, as the fuel line was briefly interrupted – the tank was running low. Early evening, and still we flew. The sun was leaving the sky as my airship drifted into the Canterlot air docks, all finery stripped from its deck, the engines coughing and spluttering as they used up the last fumes of fuel to nudge us past the pier. The three of us ran down the gangplank and out of the dock, leaving the dockmaster to call after us and demand payment for docking our ship without prior arrangment. Silver Podium's Hearth's Warming Eve pageant was scheduled for sundown – it would have already begun, and it would take a full half hour to get from the docks to the venue of the pageant. Summer Shine and Willow Spring had trouble keeping up with me, but I spurred them on – we were so close to succeeeding, and every minute counted.

We arrived at the pageant to the sound of applause as the final curtain fell. Willow Spring told me to join the audience – she and Summer Shine would take it from there. I was too out of breath to reply, so I merely nodded my acknowledgement and slipped into the audience as the actors took their curtain call. Once the applause had died down, Silver Podium and Liquid Satin came onstage to hand the actors their congratulatory boquets, before calling for silence as Silver Podium prepared to make a speech. He began by thaking the audience for attending, before proceeding to relay apologies from well-known personalities who had been unable to attend, but sent their regards. I was surprised to hear Fleur and myself listed, seeing as how we had done no such thing. Before Silver Podium could read out what we had 'said', however, he was interrupted by a commotion coming from the audience.

An earth pony with a deep purple coat forced her way on stage, tossing her bright red mane as she demanded to be heard – no doubt, this was Lavender Rose. Silver Podium feigned surprise at her apperance, asking what reason she could possibly have to interrupt the proceedings. Lavender Rose replied by saying that she could not stand idly by after hearing Fleur-de-Lis' name read out. She proceeded with exactly what we had expected her to say – that Fleur was in fact Elizabeth, and that her past was one that no respectable mare of Canterlot society could have. As the details were declared across the room, the audience began to murmur amongst themselves, clearly unsure what to make of the whole business. Silver Podium made a few feeble attempts to stop Lavender's speech, just to keep up appearences, but there was no stopping her. I was beginning to think that Fleur had made a terrible mistake, and that Summer Shine and Willow Spring had betrayed us at the last second.

My fear was, thankfully, completely unfounded, for at that moment the two ponies burst through the doors, looking as if they'd just run across Canterlot (which, to be fair, they had). Willow Spring expressed melodramatic relief at finding Lavender Rose safe and sound, followed by a demand to know just what the meaning of her sudden depature from Mareseille was about. Lavender Rose was clearly unprepared for something like this, and floundered, unable to answer. Willow Spring continued to keep Lavender off balance, recounting Lavender Rose's sudden disappearance and how it had left everypony in so worried – having established for the audience that the whistle-blower on stage had come up especially for the pageant, Willow Spring turned to a hapless member of the audience and asked what was going on.

The pony stammered out a rough summary of Lavender's shocking revelation, to which the surrounding audience nodded in agreement. Willow Spring and Summer Shine reacted to this with a twittering laugh of amusement. Willow Spring asked Lavender if she had quite taken leave of her senses, and Summer Shine commented that she had never used the name Fleur-de-Lis before. This left everypony confused, myself included, until Willow Spring explained that the pony with her was in fact the Elizabeth from Lavender's story, and they had come to Canterlot after Lavender Rose had received a letter, a large sum of money, and had taken a fast train to Canterlot the next day.

By this point the audience was thoroughly confused, and a number were angrily demanding to know just what was going on. Lavender Rose nervously tried to demy Willow Spring's claims, but the mare had already moved on to a new target. With a sudden dramatic cry of "YOU!" she pointed at Silver Snake with a flourish. Silver Snake had been standing in a coner of the audience hall, staying out of the way as he observed the proceedings. Willow Spring declared that she should have known a criminal of Silver Snake's caliber was behind this all, and demanded to know which aristocrat he'd been trying to frame this time. Willow Spring then cleared up the matter for the audience by stating that Silver Snake was known to the 'girls' in Mareseille, as somepony who took advantage of them and used them to blackmail and disgrace aristocrats of that city in order to get money out of them. He had disapppeared in recent months – clearly he had moved to Canterlot to try his hand there.

Silver Podium tried to take control of the situation by saying that they couldn't accept the word of a pony who was clearly of base and disreputable standing, but at that point Lavender Rose herself provided the final blow to Silver Podium's credibility. The shouting and arguing proved too much for the pony and she broke down into tears. She admitted between sobs that Silver Snake had convinced her to come to Canterlot, get up on stage and help him ruin Fleur's repuation. Thankfully, she said it in such a way that made it seem like Fleur had been wrongly framed, and with Silver Snake exposed as the criminal that he was, Silver Podium and Liquid Satin had no cards left to play. The audience began to shout angrily about this shameful and laughable attempt to slander a member of the Canterlot aristocracy, and the police were called in to put a lid on the riot that threatened to break out. I slipped out of the audience before things got too ugly, and met Willow Spring and Summer Shine as they came out again. Summer Shine asked me if she'd been convincing. I assured her that after her performance, not a single pony in Canterlot would believe Silver Podium.

Sure enough, Silver Podium and Liquid Satin were socially ruined. Not only had they acted in a most disgraceful manner, but the revelation that Silver Snake was a criminal meant that their business contacts were all severed, leaving them very firmly in the lower levels of Canterlot's economy. Never again would they be able to threaten myself and Fleur. I had mixed feelings about this – having been on the receiving end of a similar crushing defeat, I could not in all good conscience feel happy about their fate. However, as Fleur reminded me once she and Rapier Wit arrived back in Canterlot, they had chosen to consort with a criminal and use blackmail and extortion – they had left Fleur no choice but to fight fire with fire. And I had to admit that the knowledge that Silver Podium and Liquid Satin would never have any kind of power over me again was a tremendous relief.

With Silver Podium and Liquid Satin forcibly removed from the aristocracy, the ponies who had formed their social circle needed a new center to congregate around. With my own successful business empire, and the added pity points of having to suffer such an ignoble attack on my wife's credibility, I found myself the center of attention. There was more work to be done – several social functions and business deals to cement my position – but Silver Podium's defeat was the event that truly signified my reaching the top. I was now the center of attention, and the pony in every topic of gossip. I was, truly, Canterlot's most important pony.

And there you have it, my dear Rarity – quite a tale, if I may be permitted a modicum of pride. I trust that you found it both informative and interesting. To be able to tell the tale to another has been a surprisingly liberating experience for myself, and I gather from your own correspondence that you are immensely flattered to have been trusted with the tale. We look forward to your next visit to Canterlot, and invite you to stay a few nights, if you can afford to spend that much time away from your work. Wishing you the best of health.

Yours Faithfully,


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Comments ( 32 )

Fancy Pants and friends are best ponies.

The last installment in this fantastic fic is well-written and held several twists that, admittedly vaguely hinted at, I didn't really see coming! :yay:

Mighty fine job, my friend, keep up the good work!

#3 · Jan 26th, 2012 · · ·

Good stuff! I've anticipated this chapter for a while.

"On the advice of Rapier Wit, I penned a letter to this detective, explaining the situation in as discrete a manner as I could, and including a letter of reccomendation that Rapier himself had written."

Should be "discreet" instead of "discrete".

so much epic!

#5 · Jan 26th, 2012 · · ·

This is one of my top 5 fanfictions, sir. Very very good job!

Bravo sir, a tale of epic Proportions, not so much in length as in height.

Therefore I would like to humbly request more of the same. :twilightsmile:

Great story! Very interesting backstory to Fancypants- especially as he is the only Canterlot elite that isn't up himself! (that much) Need more episodes with him!!:raritywink:

#8 · Jan 26th, 2012 · · ·

I like this story a lot. The plot is both plausible and interesting, the characters are believable, and the format of a letter makes for a unique reading experience. :yay:

#9 · Jan 27th, 2012 · · ·

Fancy pants is best pony:twilightsmile:

Loved! This was a great ending to a fantastic tale.:pinkiehappy:

I'm just concerned that Fancy Pants and Fleur mailing the stuff in the last couple chapters is like positioning a knife at both their backs. Granted, they obviously wanted the therapy of confiding in somepony, and I expect they're savvy enough to know that Rarity is one of the few businessponies in the area with both the discretion and decency to guard this story with her life. But...

I mean hell, imagine if Ditzy Doo spaced out and dropped it at the wrong address, or if Nasty Pimphooves has been rifling through Fancy Pants's correspondence, or if one of Rarity's clients starts trying to dig up dirt on her while she's in the other room and stumbles on this instead. This is playing with major fire for all three of them.

Not to mention there's a distinct chance we might get :unsuresweetie: poking around for crusading supplies, stumbling on this, and asking some very awkward questions. No, you're not getting your cutie mark for escort service >_>

The story's excellent and I'm glad we heard it somehow; just saying maybe this is the kind of thing they should have confided in person if at all. You really captured the consummate candor that made us all love Fancy Pants when he was introduced, and his early tragedies lent a lot of depth to why he tries to be so wholesome -- it really feels like one of those backstories where what we already know just sorta feels like the natural conclusion without feeling forced at all. Fleur's vapid socialite behavior in the episode being a facade seems a tad cliche, but one that fits very well and also feels natural; probably what lent it so much credence is that it's the first thing Fancy Pants himself saw right up until she started kicking his tail.

Such a good story, first one I've ever read the whole way through :rainbowkiss:

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged was clinging into my mind at each word of this. Nice!

165753 As a matter of fact, this was the major problem I had with the story - namely that it would never actually be commited to paper. Unfortunately I didn't realise that until about halfway through chapter 2, and by then of course I'd already commited XD. Still, I don't think I could have done it another way. I deliberately chose the style of a letter because I was going to be doing a lot of skimming over of individual details in favour of covering several years worth of events without timeskipping all over the place.

Good to know that the story worked regardless of that gaping plot hole, though :P

Making Fleur a secret con artist was actually what prompted me to start writing the story in the first place - the editor on Equestria Daily put out a joking request for someone to write a story where that was her personality and I thought "you know what, I could do something with this..."

''My plan was met with silence. For a moment, I thought that perhaps my idea had been too outrageous. Then, Rapier Wit asked if he could be skipper and get a fancy hat to wear during the voyage.''

161329 Nope, discrete is right - I use English spelling, not US. :P

Great story! I loved the letter format, and this is the first Fancy Pants story i've read where I really liked his characterization. Way to go!:yay:

You, quite frankly, are a genius! You conveyed the world of business as it really is, a game of intrigue that reveals the honest players and the cheaters alike. The great equalizer between ambition and compassion. So few stories use capitalism and the free market as anything other than a den of thieves in suits. I found this to be an excellent story for that alone. You took it a step further by actually expanding on not only Fancypants, but Fleur de Lis, as well as other members of the social circles. They are all unique and believable.

I must ask. May I include this work as fanon? I ask because I myself, am writing my very first fanfiction and Fancypants serves as the mentor figure and best friend of my central protagonist. (Admittedly a self-insert. What can I say? I think the two of us would get along.) You would be accredited, as well as the other bronies who I've asked to cameo.

383127 Yep, that's completely okay with me. Have fun writing ^^

Also, glad to hear my portrayal of the business world turned out to be accurate, because it was mostly artistic license and educated guessing as to how the stock market works. XD

Very lovely beautifully written!


I put it down to a combination of overconfidence from years of successful, unchallenged blackmailing (I'd imagine that back in Mareseille he almost never even had to produce evidence to get the aristocrats to cave in to his demands), and his belief that no upper-class pony, unicorn or otherwise, would so much as sympathize with an ex-escort, let alone cover for them.

Fancy Pants for the Win!!

good job on the fic!:twilightsmile:


But seriously, this is a very good story featuring Fancypants and Fleur. You don't often see these letter written stories and this is an excellent example. I applaud the fact you've managed to characterize the ponies so well through the letters. There are a few uses of human expressions 'hands' for example, but apart from that the story is quite technically accurate and flows well. I do wonder what happens to Crystal Curl after she left Fancypants though... and there is something I don't quite get.

I get how Fancypants and Fleur have a sort of higher than friendship type of bond which led them to get married, but they do love each other... though Fancypants doesn't say so... I think that they do love each other, although it isn't the passionate type of lustful love, its more of the intimacy/commitment type... Mind explaining because I'm slightly confused by that.

I only wonder what type of response you'd get if you wrote this in third person and continued on with Fancypant's and Fleur's tale...

Oh and BTW... Rapier Wit is awesome.


Heh heh, good to hear - introducing OC's with a part to play in the story can be a bit of a gamble at times, good to know Rapier Wit came off right.

And yes, you've basically got it - when he says they're not in love, he means they aren't wrapped up in the "feeling in love" emotion which a lot of people think love is. Lot's of bad romances, on and off the writer's page, fall apart because people make the mistake of thinking that "love" is the same as "in love", when they're really completely seperate things and the existence of one does not mean the other exists as well. When it comes to a long-term relationship like a marriage, something as transient and temporary as being in love is a dangerous justification - for the relationship to last, it needs to be built around things like trust and mutual respect. So yeah, I threw in a bit of a moral lesson there :P

2191547 So is there a sequel incoming?


Chances are slim to none. There aren't really any avenues to expand on, and I don't like the idea of writing a sequel for the sake of writing a sequel. I would have to go away and invent a reason for a sequel to exist, and with nothing in the existing narrative to hook it into, it would seem tacked-on (because, well, it would be).

I'm not very good at the "making a story out of nothing" skill that more prolific writers seem to have. I wait around until I get an idea for a story that I really want to tell, and then tell it. Currently that means churning out 2 stories in a year is high volume production for me XD

Do Fancy Pants and Fleur Dis Lee have a platonic marriage or is it more like a "friends with benefits" sort of thing?

*double-take* huh, my message notifications seem to have switched themselves off, only just seen that comment XD

As for the marriage thing - well, unsure what the current modern term for it would be, but personally I'm envisaging it as whatever the traditional marriage setup in Equestria is, with the relationship being based first and foremost on the fact that they trust each other implicitly.

So... Do they ever... get intimate?

5179497 Not the kind of story where that's a relevant question :P

Are you sure? Because at least in American spelling, "discrete" and "discreet" have different meanings. Check this link: http://grammarist.com/usage/discrete-discreet/

My gaze passed by an imperious unicorn stallion, slate-grey with a white mane.

I thought Silver Podium was a pegasus?

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