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On the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Vs. Cynicism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon page.)

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Estee, I love you. XD

And so she had installed the dark wood of the Blind Box in the most shadowed corner of the library, followed by very carefully not approaching it during operating hours. Anypony who needed to pay a late fee could simply drop off their copy of the notice through the top slot, along with their financial penalty. Twilight simply checked the contents after the tree had shut down for the day, then marked those accounts as properly settled.

Now that was honestly brilliant. And Twilight begins to grasp the concept of subtlety.

A wonderful story all around, an epic journey that led both to something she did not wish to find, and someone that she was quite pleased to find.

And how do you even get a Mark in something like that? Never mind, don't tell me, on second thought I really don't want to know.

Donkeys flavored their money, allowing a species whose nation was prone to heavily overcast skies to sort out matters in dim light by taste alone: however, the most natural tendencies of that species also manifested in their choice of flavors, and so being an accountant in Eeyorus was truly bitter work.

Eeyorus?! :rainbowhuh: :rainbowlaugh:

"I heard those quotes."

reminds me of a gag in a comic book: Peter Parker is at an airport, and overhears this exchange:
"thus speaks DOCTOR DOOM."
"how do you do that?"
"how do i do what?"
"how do you speak in all capital letters like that?"
"silence, minion!"

-Estee writes about the coin jar on her shelf.
-We read with fascination.

I swear, if the Worlds Least Interesting Story Topic had not already been done so well, with dramatic reading, I would bet it was next.

... her inquire about their refund policy. It took a double corona to make them create one and she politely saved them the trouble of having to open the safe for her, along with saving everypony the trouble of ever trying to close it again.

Ya know, if the dame ever decides to change careers, dere's a Family in Manehattan who'd hire her in a jiffy for the task of opening up certain closed devices which contain things the Family would like to have for themselves, just say'in.

I’ve been looking forward to this ever since you mentioned it in that blog. Your characterisation of Twilight is fertile ground for this tale. And this story is magnificent. A truly appropriate ending too, with the Princess of Friendship adding to her circle. Wonderful! No doubt someone will be shipping them by the time I’ve posted this comment.


The donkey homelands are named... Genius! That elicited a well earned laugh from me.

But he did have an ongoing exasperation with one regular who just insisted that there was something which could be done with beans, and he hoped to never find out what that was.

It wasn't much of a stampede, really. Twilight had been through stampedes: ponies, cattle, and there were still three who insisted nothing was worse than bunnies. There were barely enough ponies involved in this one to qualify as a 'stam'. It was just that she was standing in front of the entrance, and thus was blocking the only readily available exit.

oh, THIS made me think of a line in a Spider Robinson book: "the omelette was so big it qualified as a full-fledged omel."

Twilight had been working on a rather abstract theory which suggested that assembling enough of the iron alloy discs would result in something with its own discernible gravity, and was fully prepared to suggest that the central bank in Polis was on the verge of pulling the rest of the capital into the vault.

Not what one usually means by a market collapse, but certainly a valid description of such an event.

... Eeyorus. You named the donkey nation Eeyorus. I can't help but imagine there's a peninsula, the Tail of Eeyorus, that irregularly experiences floods that turn it into an island.

"I think that was a double-dash," Twilight protested. "Added to the quotes."

She learned how to lie from Rarity. She learned how to hear punctuation from Pinkie.

And for what it ultimately turned out to be worth, she was right.

It's amazing how ominous this innocent looking sentence feels.

I do hope we get to hear about that 1.78 Gala meeting some day.

I know nopony stolely anything because the alarms didn'tly go off

I flinched at "didn'tly," and that was because my mind edited out "stolely" like it was trying to protect itself from the fnords.

But he did have an ongoing exasperation with one regular who just insisted that there was something which could be done with beans, and he hoped to never find out what that was.

Rather ironic given his current customer...

And most of the leaves are at least semi-legal.

Always a bonus.

Delightful stuff from start to finish. Thank you for bringing this particular idea to fruition.

Can confirm, am shipping. Rapturously staring into eyes does that, with or without the light of Literature.

I should have remembered that this was going to be a thing sooner than I actually did.

But he did have an ongoing exasperation with one regular who just insisted that there was something which could be done with beans, and he hoped to never find out what that was.

I understood that reference. Also, I think the joke was that you can do basically anything with soybeans. Come on, you can cheat them into at least three different food groups or a condiment, what's a marital aid in comparison? Or at least that's how the Syeekoh Logic went.

Out of all the stories you have written, I think this is the one Twilight learned the most. About a lot of things. Now she can surprise her friends with such unexpected knowledge!

And it shows that she have grown a lot since the beginning. Before, I think she would have simply run screaming at the realization of where she was.

Kudo to Steath, he sure knew how to keep his calm. He looked so proud of his little shop and the quality services.

And that's another great use of Earth pony magic right there!


Can confirm, am shipping. Rapturously staring into eyes does that, with or without the light of Literature.

There is no doubt over who wears the pants in that relationship. It is, after all, how they met...

Okay, I am ashamed of that joke. But I do think they are adorable together.

(The same could be said for reading their literature. Twilight owned a comprehensive guide for such works, and tended to keep it near chocolate at all times.)

Is the chocolate for comfort, or complementary bitterness?

Wings attempted to adopt a posture of complete innocence, and might have even done so had Twilight possessed any idea as to what that actually looked like. "I did?"

LOL, sounds like Twi needs to read Mood Wings, though I'm not sure how much that would actually help.

Still, she boarded while being almost completely sure that none of her friends had followed her or spied out the trail in any way. ('Almost' was a mandatory qualifier. It was a fairly overcast day, and that provided any number of places for one mare to perch -- but the train had been twenty minutes late and Twilight hadn't heard any overhead snoring, so Rainbow was probably out.)

I would think 'almost' would have to be a mandatory qualifier, period. Because Pinkie.

(This was true. It was also, for somepony who was smaller than the majority of adolescents, something of a technicality.)

I feel your pain, Twi. Boy, does my twenty-something, yet still only 5' 2'' self ever feel it.

And, 9993163, I had to slow down and read all of his dialogue, almost word-by-word, because my brain kept auto-correcting everything he said. And more than a few times, the corrections didn't make any sort of sense at all.

1) Do you think Twilight is ever going to tell the pony that accidentally left the token what happened? And if so, how do you think they will react?

2) I sincerely doubt that Rarity recognized the token from a "book" he wrote, which means she's been there at least once. It's also been established in the past that she has no problem creating lingerie, and garments for more "eclectic" bedroom interests. So, with that, I'm guessing she made at least one outfit used in the performance.

That guy's ... accent? Verbal tick? Plague upon language itself? does a lot to show how your brain actually reads works, as in it checks the first & last letter, some of the context, and the letter count before making an assumption. If the assumption doesn't make sense then it actually starts to pay attention, which happens just about every time he adds a '-ly' to something.

Having books kept past their return date was bad enough,

Yes, Point Of No Return is still several years in the future

I got through a lot of this story and almost thought you were referencing the Spintriae, the alleged Roman brothel coins. Because the Emperor's visage couldn't be used in brothels, somehow (or that it just made it easier to sort out pay for the working girls, or a host of other reasons).

And I wondered just how you'd noticed I had joked in a couple places about making a clopfic out of that concept.

Better idea, though, to give Twilight a kink-tail for a literature friend. :twilightblush:

Ancient History (because much to her ongoing frustration, nopony ever checked out anything from Ancient History)

What is wrong with Ponies? Ancient history is so amazing, it explains the history of their country, their rulers, everything. The mystery of it, the connection between their times and the past, the ponies. I mean was there no Renaissance in Equestria, no Middle Ages where there was a tremendous love of all things ancient or is it like our times were the interest is lost but somehow worse because still there is tons of scholarship and love in reality but in Equestria no one goes to the archives. What is wrong with these crazy ponies?

So the discussion of the Governments is strange. Estee has in his universe a magically perfect Autocracy in the form of Equestria(yes Equestria isn't perfect but the government body is) and a magically perfect direct Democracy in the form of Maizen(with a perfect intelligence test and I assume people who fail do not have their rights being slowly taken away) but the Zebra's and Griffon's don't get a magically perfect version of their own government. Griffon's have a Republic with heavy flaws and Zebra's have City States in at least some level of agression towards each other. Why the discrepancy?

New friend/ possible date?? For Twilight.

Also... wut did I read???

Come with the species. If you check documentaries, you will learn that Zebra are real asshole. And griffins in MLP are... well griffins.

Thoroughly enjoyed it. Keep up the good work !

It's not a Roostercoin. It is a Cockoin.


I imagine erotica shops - successful ones - are fewer and harder to find in Equestria than in our world, simply because so few Ponies have the right Cutie Mark to run one... :twilightoops:

Ratchette is going to be jealous Twilight has a new reading partner.
Albeit for something other than how magic functions.

*Looks at title*
Damnit, Estee, now I have that damn song stuck in my head again.

Heh, the minotaurs use iron currency, despite being Athenian in flavor. Speaking of which, how do you pronounce "Mazein?"

Eeyorus. Oy.

Which country uses the hryvnia, anyway?

Somehow I was not expecting Canterlot to have its own Shades.

I know nopony stolely anything because the alarms didn'tly go off, but I step into the stockroom forly five minutes and everypony leaves?

Is that meant to read "for only five minutes..."?

Well. That was an... interesting read. Huh. Will we be seeing more of Belles-Lettres?

You know if It wasn't for the mature rating with the sex tag... ah screw it... This pony.... shop owner sounds like ned flanders... if ned flanders was um... yeah...:facehoof:


Is that meant to read "for only five minutes..."?

No. It was supposed to read "I step into the stockroom for five minutes..." like it was in an exasperated tone, but he slaps "-ly" onto random words, so it became forly.

I regret that I only have one thumbs-up and star to stick to this story. It was more than worth the time.


Part of the problem is that Equestria as a country and a culture is incredibly static. A pony from 500 years ago could be dropped in the midst of Canterlot and they'd probably have very little trouble finding their way around. Between the enduring presence of Celestia as their immortal ruler, and Cutie Marks as a life-long vocation, ponies don't have very much interest at all in changing anything. They are incredibly adept at doing what they've always done before, and they distrust the unfamiliar unless their princess or somepony with a new kind of Mark is leading the way.

I'm quite surprised Twilight doesn't have an Automatic Returns Trigger spell, or a collections agency on retainer.


Holy shit that's perfect.

"I think that was a double-dash," Twilight protested."

It should be an m-dash Twilight, the double-dash is just a convention for places you can't actually use one :twilightangry2:

"Yes," Twilight repeated, not entirely comfortable with the total focus of his attention on her eyes. "Lu -- Princess Luna gave it to me. As a token of her thanks for -- everything." All of the Bearers had one, and Spike had been included in the gift. "But she took it out of her memory chest, so it isn't as if it's ever been money , really. Since it was never circulated. And I'm sure adding her personal sigil to the back didn't help the value. It's really just a keepsake." Thin shoulders managed a shrug. "Not that I would ever sell it. I'm pretty sure she'd be hurt by that -- are you feeling all right, sir?"

Does she wave raw steaks under the noses of starving carnivores too?

That's not an explanation. Yes in cannon Equestria Griffons have it bad but this is no where close to cannon Equestria. And what do you mean Zebra's are assholes? I'm sorry if this is rude

Thank you, that's a really good explanation!

This was such a fun, interesting and beautiful story! You are a great writer!

like the story, especially Twi's new friend. Eeyorus, that's brilliant. The guy just adding -ly to everything is one of the weirder things you've done. And you've done some weird stuff in these stories

For the Zebra are asshole, go see in Google 'Zebra are jerks' or 'Why don't we ride Zebra instead of horses".

For the Griffons, 90% of those we have seen in the show were Scrooge level of greedy. It's mainly due to the culture and the current economic situation but still, a lot if the attitude seems to come from instinct.

Bits for the library. Brass for the jar. Salary for postage. And --

BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!!! :flutterrage:

Please Estee, make Twigles-Lettres a thing in the continuum, they'd be lovely together :raritystarry:

Not by the time. Before :pinkiecrazy:

Ok that makes sense with the Zebras except this is a fantasy story. I mean we have no indication in universe that Zebra's are biologically predetermined to be jerks. I mean real life ponies can't fly, teleport or control the earth. As for Griffins, this is a different universe then Cannon Equestria. In Cannon Equestria Griffins have no government and before they had a monarchy. In Estee's Universe.there is no indication they are greedy and they live in a Republic.

She mentioned she had considered it to Filthy Rich in Cart-ography.

"If I used an animation spell on a book, all by itself, and told it to come back to the library, focusing on a central signal," she continued as his skin began to pale beneath cold fur, "I think -- it would try to take the most direct route. It would lift off the table, or a shelf, or tear through a saddlebag, and -- it would move in a straight line. Homing in. It wouldn't notice buildings, or trees. It wouldn't know anything was in the way. It would just go forward until it hit something, and then maybe it would keep hitting it. There might be a way to make it so the spell knew what the streets were like, give it some kind of map, or tell it to start by flying high -- but that still doesn't tell it what the inside of a house looks like, or how to get out. You'd have to give a book a sensorium, Mr. Rich. Proximity detection of solids, at the very least. And then it would have to act on whatever it's sensing. That's hard. A single command -- come home, search for an empty spot and hide -- that's not so bad. But to react to everything around it and keep reacting... you're getting close to making something which can think, if only about how not to crash into things. Creating true thought is supposed to be impossible, and just setting up the right series of automatic reactions..."

I was more thinking of teleportation, or making the book emit increasingly bright light and loud noises.

Of course. Duh. :facehoof:

Twilight is not evil, she wouldn't send collections agencies after ponies. I figure that in Estee's Equestria, there are almost certainly collections agencies, and they'll be at least as scummy as the real ones.

This writing style givesly me a Pratchett vibe in the bestly possible way.

Never thought i'd see a picture for an old Irish penny on this website. My grandad had an old box of coins i used to stack when i was a kid. Weird nostalgia:derpyderp1:

She was briefly confounded by the existence of the produce section. However, there was very little food available in this part of town and some of his customers entered hungry. Plus there were just so many things which could be done with the right cucumber. Or squashes. Eggplants were rather popular, as were certain kinds of zucchini. But he did have an ongoing exasperation with one regular who just insisted that there was something which could be done with beans, and he hoped to never find out what that was.

Is that a beanis reference?

That was smoother than I thought it'd be.

This is hilarious! I can only imagine that Twilight would make it so much worse if and when she tried to tell the truth to everyone about her visits.

Also I couldn't help thinking Awww, she made a new friend!

Oh wait, not a friend—a friend. :raritystarry: I guess some of the other things available there would come in handy. (I could be entirely wrong but...)

And finally, you absolutely killed me with Eeyorus literature. But I can breath again, thank you very much. :facehoof:


How many dates can Twilight go on before she realizes that they're dating?


genius, such a nice lead up and delivery, and leaving so much to the readers imagination. I applaud you for a work that had me in suspense, then had me rolling around in laughter.

I admit until the final moment of reveal I half expected since it was a rooster on it that the coin had something to do with Celestia, you know raises the sun similar to a crowing rooster, and kinky stuff.

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