No Nose Knows

by Irrespective

Chapter 14: 14. - State of Bean

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“Mornin’ sweetie,” Garbanzo called out to Lima while she strode into the pre-morning peace that permeated the kitchen of the Zuerst.

He could not help but smile. This many years, and the mare still had the ability to make his heart skip a beat when she walked into a room. Lima was one peach of a Bean, and he would never regret the day when she had made him the happiest stallion in Equestria.

“Hey hon,” she replied, and she leaned over to give her husband a quick peck while she walked by. “Counting down the bread order?”

“Yeah. Looks like they shorted us a loaf again.”

Lima let out a small snort. “Maybe we need to find a new supplier. This is just ridiculous now.”

“I’ll look into it,” he replied, and then he looked up from the order sheet. “Sip got some tea ready and the paper should just be right over there.”

“Thanks. Anything good in it?”

“I’m not sure, I just glanced at the bottom part. Looked like there was some big to-do in Canterlot yesterday.”

“Did we just get another princess?” Lima moaned playfully.

“Probably.” Garbanzo chuckled. “They’re becoming a dime a dozen, aren’t they?”

“Yeah. Wonder what she is the Princess of?”

“Poached eggs I bet.”

“Be nice.” Lima giggled, and she playfully nipped his ear. “Maybe she’ll be the Princess of wayward ponies and she can help Baked find his way.”

“So are we talking about a princess or a life coach?”

“Oh, hush up and get that finished. We still need to get the soup prepped.”

“All right, all right.”

Garbanzo chuckled as his wife grabbed the paper, placed it on the tea tray, and then walked into the main area. He then quickly finished with the bread paperwork, filed it, and then began whistling as he started to fill the large stock pot with water for the minestrone.

The sound of a teacup smashing into the granite floor tile out in the main area quickly ended the whistling. Garbanzo hurriedly shut off the water and quickly moved to check on Lima.

“Hon? You all right?” he called out as he pushed the door open.

Lima didn’t reply, and what Garbanzo saw as he stepped through made him scramble in alarm. His wife was white as a sheet, frozen in place, and her eyes were wide in horror. The smashed teacup lay scattered by the feet of the chair, and the newspaper was scattered across the table before her, with some of the pages still floating down from the ceiling.

“Lima! What happened? Are you ok?!” he urgently asked once he reached her side.

She let out a small whimper through a tight lipped, horrified frown, and her eyes didn’t move to meet his. Instead, one hoof tapped the page of newspaper in front of her.

“What is…” Garbanzo asked as he glanced at the paper, but then he did a double take. His chest began to heave wildly as he grabbed the paper in both hooves, and his rear legs gave out on him as he read and began shaking.

“What have we done?” he asked in a gasping, breathless voice.

“Morning, Auntie Celly, Auntie Luna!”

“Good morning, Cadence!” Celestia replied with a warm smile. “Where is your husband?”

“Out in the hallway having a ‘discussion’ with Bean about the best Buckball team. Shining is adamant the Thunder will take the conference next season but Bean disagrees. They will probably join us when they settle the matter, so sometime next week, maybe?”

“Well, if they miss pancakes it’s their own fault.” Celestia hummed to herself while she placed a plate down for Cadence.

“So, how are things between you and Bean?”

“Just can’t help yourself, can you?” Luna quipped.

“Nope!” Cadence smiled brightly. She then propped her head in her hooves, put her elbows on the table, and gave Celestia a very eager look. “C’mon! I need details! How serious are you two?”

“We’re married. I don’t think it can get any more serious if we tried.”

“Yes, it can.” Cadence blew a raspberry. “So, how’s he in bed?”

After a moment of absolute silence, Cadence leaned forward with a teasing grin. “Okay, maybe that’s a little far for just a week. You’ve done some snuggling under the sheets, though. Right? Kissing at the very least? Anything? Really?”

“If you must know, no,” Celestia slowly replied, her smile fading. “Bean seems to be hesitant to do anything beyond rubbing noses. And even then, he’s very cautious.” Celestia could feel that smile returning. “He’s so sweet.”

“Well, look at what he’s working with,” Luna cut in. “For his whole life, the only way he’s known you is as Princess Celestia, The Bringer of the Day. You’re asking him to overcome twenty-odd years of conditioning in a week. That is a rather large jump to make. He is probably afraid of bursting into flames if he touches you wrong.”

“Auntie Luna is right. You have to admit you’re more than a little intimidating,” Cadence added, while waving a fork full of food in the air with her magic. “Marriage is sharing.”

“I understand that. I haven’t tried to push anything on him because of it,” said Celestia.

“But you’d like him to maybe give a little bit more,” Cadence said knowingly. “Without you telling him.”

“Well, we are married and we are planning on staying together. Why shouldn’t we?”

“I agree. You just need to encourage him a little.”


“Here we go,” Luna groaned with an ill-hidden smirk. “Cadence is going to be in rare form today, I can tell.”

“Of course I am. I’m trying to get my beloved Aunt Celly’s love life going,” she replied with a smug grin. “A thousand years with nopony to truly claim as your own is quite long enough.”

“She’s got a point,” Luna conceded, as Celestia sat at the table with food for the both of them. “My dear sister deserves more than a Bean Bag.”

“I am not calling him Bean Bag.”

“Probably for the best. You’d forget he was a pony and you’d sit on him.”

“How do you know he wouldn’t like that?” Cadence said with a knowing bob of her eyebrows.

“You two are insufferable!” Celestia proclaimed with a snort of amusement.

“No, the trick is to start small and work your way up,” Cadence continued. “I had to do that with Shiny, because the lovable dope kept locking up on me when I’d flirt with him. Seduce him, but just little bits at a time, and only here or there.”

“But don’t go overboard,” Luna warned. “You can gain much by simply being you. I would say you’re doing pretty good with this already, from what I see. Bean’s little flame of love for you has come about because he has seen Celly instead of Celestia. Lure him in, yes, but also still be you.”

“Right,” Cadence agreed. “Honestly, just try one or two things to start, and spread them out. Keep booping him, but maybe add a little nip on the neck, or a quick kiss on his cheek here and there, too. Shiny likes it when I go for the ears.” She giggled. “We play keepaway, but he always loses.”

“Ears are popular,” Luna agreed. “Especially on earth ponies. The neck is good too.”

“And you two really think he’ll like that?” Celestia said with a curious look.

“He’ll like it,” Cadence said slyly. “He’ll just be super embarrassed about it first. He is cute when he blushes, right?”

Celestia didn’t say anything, but the playfully intrigued look that suddenly overtook her was answer enough.

“Shiny is too.” Cadence said with a smug grin. “I have an idea, something we can try and we’ll see how Bean reacts.”

Luna groaned playfully. “This should be good.”

“I’m telling you,” Shining argued as the princes finally entered the dining hall, “Wild Wind is going to take them all the way this year.”

“But she is always on the injured reserve list!” Bean protested.

“Yeah, but when she’s healthy they’re unstoppable.”

“And when she’s down they lose everything. They really need to trade her and get some more balanced players in.”

“Gentlecolts, good morning,” Celestia greeted. Bean and Shining stopped in mid-stride, looked at the casually neutral faces of the Princesses, then at each other.

“What’s going on?” Shining asked.

“Breakfast, but not for much longer. Have a seat, I will bring your pancakes out shortly.”

The two then warily sat down, but next to each other. Bean looked at Luna, who was quietly and politely eating, and Shining’s eyes were on his wife, who was sitting with a pleasant smile on her face.

“Princess Luna.” Bean dared to offer a greeting.

“Bean,” she replied simply. “A pleasure to see you again.”

“Did I do something?” he jumped to the question.

“I’m quite sure you have. It is rather hard to be alive and to do absolutely nothing.”

“No, I mean did I do something wrong?”

“Not that I am aware of. Do you wish to confess?”

Bean gulped and left the question unanswered. This reeked of some kind of setup, and even Shining was looking worried.

The Empire’s Prince then decided to use a tried and true tactic: start apologizing and see if that makes the wife happy. Granted, it was always a gamble but it was all they had to work with at the moment.

“Hey, I’m sorry I held Bean up in the hallway. We should have come in sooner.”

“No need to apologize, my dear Shiny,” Cadence replied evenly. “We understand.”

Shining immediately clammed up. That had not worked, and if he kept going he’d make things worse.

“Here we go!” Celestia cheerfully announced as she entered. “The pancakes might be a bit cold, but you know a warming spell, don’t you, Captain?”


“Wonderful! Now, I’m afraid I’m late for Day Court, so I will meet with you both later. I’d like to go over some items relating to the Empire while you are here. Cadence?”

“Coming!” she called, and she quickly stood.

“You’re leaving?” Shining asked, as Cadence moved over to Celestia.

“Mm-hm. I’m going to help with Court today.”

“Oh. Well, okay. I guess we’ll catch up.”

“We’ll see you both later,” Cadence called over her shoulder, and the two Princesses began to leave.

Bean suddenly felt a furious heat burning in his cheeks as his eyes locked on to Celestia’s swaying hips. Did she always walk like that, or was she putting a bit more allure in to it this time? Why was he still watching it?! He couldn’t stop! He was entranced, and…

A bit of confusion worked in. Was he really attracted to her sway? Was he actually enjoying what he was seeing?

Celestia teasingly flicked her tail as she left the room, an impressive feat given the ethereal nature of it. Bean’s eyes stayed locked on the doorway as he tried to come to terms with what he had seen and felt, but he did hear Shining giggling like an lovestruck idiot.

“Bean, my friend,” he said with a nudge to Bean’s ribs, “you and I have to be the two luckiest stallions in the whole of existence. I’ve yet to find a better pair of hips than on my Cady, and I’d bet my horseshoes you’re feeling the same about Celly.”

A pleased smile began to show on Bean. “You know what? You’re completely right.”

“Did he really?” Celestia snickered furiously.

“Both of them did,” Luna replied. “For as yellow as he is, he blushed like a lit match.”

“See?” Cadence said smugly. “Now, don’t do that again for a little bit. Just throw it at him every now and then. Flirting like that will get things going for you.”

“Thanks, Cadence,” Celestia pulled her niece into a quick hug. “Lulu, thank you as well.”

Luna smiled and nodded. “It was my pleasure to assist, dear sister. I believe I shall leave you, though, and retire for the day.”

“I’ll see you tonight, then,” Celestia replied with a quick hug, and she watched her sister’s retreat for a moment before turning to Cadence again. “Well, shall we go have lunch?”

“What are they serving today?”

“I’ve asked for daffodil salads. I hope Bean will actually be able to eat this one.”

“Why wouldn’t he?”

“It appears my chefs have been using too much salt,” Celestia replied, as they walked towards the kitchen. “With his background, he notices nuances like that and he has a hard time eating.”

“So he’s a picky eater.”

“No, he’s not,” she defended. “He just has a certain threshold for sodium.”

“Picky,” Cadence repeated.

“Dear niece, I am going to have him cook something for you to prove my point. He made a minestrone soup a few nights ago that was the most flavorful soup I have ever had.”

“Are you talking about me?”

“Bean!” Celestia said warmly. “As a matter of fact, we were! How long have you been there?”

“I just came around the corner and saw you two, so only a couple of seconds. All I caught was minestrone the other night.”

“Yes, I was just telling Cadence about that. Might it be possible to request another demonstration of your cooking prowess? You can make anything you like, soup or no soup.”

“You want me to cook something for you two?” he repeated.

“I’m sure Shiny would like to eat too,” Cadence replied.

Bean had a sneaky smile on his smug face now. “Whatever I want to make?”

“Yes,” Celestia answered. She then leaned down to his ear. “And if you cook something extra delicious, I will personally see to it that you receive a fair reward.”

She then pulled back and smiled lovingly at his furious blushing.

“Chef Sugar Beet!”

“Oh! Princess!” Sugar Beet bowed. “Good afternoon! What can I do for you?”

“There’s been a change in plans for lunch today,” Celestia replied. “Prince Bean is going to make lunch for myself, Cadence, and Prince Armor. I need you to show him where things are and give him whatever he needs.”

“Really?” Baked Bean could not help but catch the surreptitious glance the chef made at a nearby fire extinguisher, but he tried to ignore it.

“Is that a problem?”

“Oh no, no problem,” the ruddy mare replied. “I’m more than happy to let Prince Bean cook. I just didn’t know he could.”

“Very well. Bean, I’m eager to see what you come up with.”

“I’ll do my best,” he replied.

Celestia then left him, and he glanced around. Pots were clanking and bubbling, plates were being tossed around like hot potatoes, knives were flying, ponies were shouting to each other in a sort of language that used foodstuffs as profanities, and all about was the steam and the smells of a truly efficient kitchen.

Baked Bean was well pleased.

However, he knew that another body would really be inconvenient right now. While he had a good idea of what to try, he didn’t want to compound things by being in the way. “Chef, this is obviously a bad time for me to be back here. Do you have just an out of the way corner for me, or perhaps a side kitchen somewhere?”

“Oh, it’s not a problem, Your Highness. I can get you whatever you need and get you in wherever you want. Just tell me what you need done.”

“All right. I need tofu, zucchini, and couscous to start.”

Bean then simply marched over to what looked like an unused stovetop. If he had stolen it from somepony, so be it. It only took a moment for Sugar Beet to bring the requested items, but Bean frowned deeply when she deposited a large salt shaker as well.

“What. Is. That?”


“Did I ask for salt?” he asked with a great deal of self restraint.

“No, but I know you’re going to need it.”

“And how, exactly, do you know that?”

Sugar Beet obviously realized the thin ice she was on, and she took a step back. “Because Celestia wants extra salt.”

“She does?” Bean asked, his annoyance flipping to confusion quickly. “Why does she want extra salt?”

“I don’t know. All I know is that she has asked to have extra salt in her meals.”

“When was this? When did she say that?” Bean asked.

“Two years ago, when she hired me as head chef. She had sent back the steamed broccoli I had made with instructions to add salt to it and any other meal I made for her.”

“Did she tell you that personally or was it the waiter at the time who told you that?”

“Well, um…” She grew embarrassed. “It was the waiter.”

“And was she talking about every meal or just that particular dish?”

“Uh… well…”

Bean smiled in a kindly way. “I tell you what. She can’t fire me, so let’s make this together and we’ll see what she says. If she likes it, then you know to cut back on the salt.”

“I hope she does. I have really hated having to add it in every time. It really limits what you can make.”

Bean chuckled. “That it would. Grab some knives and we’ll get to work on the tofu.”

“Wait, wait. How could his parents not believe it was you?!” Cadence asked incredulously.

“I had no guards or staffers with me, so that was part of it. The other part is just that they simply didn’t believe Bean. They’re both so convinced that Bean’s true calling is with them, cooking, so if anything is presented that runs counter to that then they find ways to explain it away. I’m really not surprised or offended by it; most ponies are the same way.”

“Why didn’t you just move the moon around a bit, or bring the sun up for just a quick second?”

“I promised Lulu when she returned that I would only touch the moon in an emergency or with her permission. It is rightfully hers, and I wish to show the proper respect to my sister and the Princess of the Night. As for the sun, well. I could have done as you say, but for one thing the Astrological Society would have had a collective conniption, not to mention the panic attack it would have given to Twilight and any other pony awake at that time. However, the more important reason is—”

The door to the dining room opened, and both Princesses watched Chef Sugar Beet enter with three domed trays on a trolley. Two of them were then placed on the table before them, and Celestia smiled as a delectable aroma drifted up to her nose.

“Where is Baked Bean?” Cadence asked.

“He sends his regards and says it’s bad luck for the Chef to eat with his patrons.”

Celestia offered a diplomatic smile. “Will you please go tell my husband—and I want you to use these exact words—that if he doesn’t get his sorry rump in here, I will plant him right back in the sunflower patch where I found him.”

“Uh, sure. I’ll go tell him.”

“Whatever he made smells wonderful,” Cadence remarked. “I bet I’m going to eat my words along with this meal.”

Celestia’s smile flipped over to genuine. “Maybe I can talk him into a rhubarb pie. I always did like those.”

“I’ve never had one. Are they any good?”

“I think they would be an acquired taste. Maybe with enough sugar you could tolerate it.”

“Plant me in the sunflowers, huh?” Bean quipped as he entered the room.

“Yes,” Celestia said firmly. “I do expect you to spend your mealtimes with me, cook or no.”

“In fairness, Chef Sugar Beet helped quite a bit. She gets at least equal billing for this meal.”

“What did you make?”

Bean smiled smugly and lifted the domes off the trays. A woosh of steam erupted as he did so, and two princess mouths began to water.

“Stuffed Zucchini Surprise. I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Please, please.” He motioned to the silverware. “Dig in.”

“Has anyone seen my husband?” Cadence suddenly asked as she glanced around the room.

“He’s out in the hallway discussing buckball with one of your guards.”

“Oh, for pity’s sake. Shining Armor, get in here!”

“I didn’t know you knew how to use the Royal Voice,” Bean remarked while rubbing the inside of one ear with his hoof.

“All wives know how to use it instinctively.” Cadence took a bite. “Mmm! And this is really, really good!”

“You bellowed, my lady?” Shining joked as he entered.

“Quit talking buckball for five minutes and come eat.”

“Yes, dear.”

“Where is your plate?” Celestia asked once Bean had delivered Shining’s plate to him.

“You said to feed Cadence, yourself, and Shining,” he replied smugly. “You didn’t say anything about me.”

She gave him a very sour look. “You know full well I meant you too.”

“It’s still bad luck to eat with your patrons. Besides, I sampled enough while I was preparing the meal to tide me over.”

Celestia stuck her tongue out at him. “Well, I expect you to eat with me next time, bad luck or no bad luck.”

“I’ll bear that in mind. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I promised Chef Beet that I would give her the recipe for the meal you’re enjoying.”

“Oh, no you don’t. You are going to sit down and at least make polite conversation. You can give her the recipe later.”

“Well, if you insist. Any chance I can learn how to use the Royal Voice? I am a royal after all.”

“It’s all in the diaphragm,” Cadence began to explain.

“Is it ever,” Shining added with exasperation.

Celestia had found over the years that Day Court typically tended to be slow on Tuesdays, given that it was a workday. However, today was slower than normal since Wysteria was dealing with any pony making inquiries into Celestia and Bean’s marriage, and thus the majority of the ponies who were coming to the palace.

She was glad that Cadence was there to chat with during the lulls in between petitioners, and they had been able to come up with some rather fun ideas for her wedding party in those times. They had also agreed that Shining and Cadence should go with Bean to Ponyville, as Shining could help Bean navigate the town while Cadence went over the party ideas with Pinkie Pie. Celestia had sent a letter asking Twilight if Thursday would be too busy for a visit, but she had not yet received a reply.

Bean had disappeared into the kitchen somewhere, and Celestia surmised that he had probably gotten engaged in a cooking-related discussion with the staff there. Shining was… well, missing, but Cadence was convinced he was doing something very productive to move the affairs of the Crystal Empire forward.

Or, the buckball part of the Empire, at least.

It was thus that Celestia found herself near the end of Day Court, with perhaps half an hour remaining. She and Cadence were chatting about some other flirtatious moves to try on Bean when a guard entered and bowed before the throne with a cough.

“Yes? What is it, Sergeant?”

“Two ponies are seeking an audience with you, Your Highness, but they are declining to give their names. All they will say is that it is urgent they speak with Prince Bean.”

“What do they look like?”

“One is a mare of yellow with a black mane, the other is a stallion of grey with a red mane. They are perhaps in their late forties.”

Celestia smiled a bit. “Go ahead and show them in. I believe I know them.”

The guard nodded and left.

“Auntie Celly? Who is it?” Cadence asked.

“You’ll see,” Celestia mystically replied.

It only took a moment for the two visitors to be shown in. Like all newcomers to the Throne, they were initially overwhelmed with the grandeur of the hall, and the stallion removed his flat cap as he gaped at the singular scene before him.

“Garbanzo and Lima! What an honor it is to see you again, and so soon!”

Two sets of eyes grew wide, and two noses immediately went to the floor in respect.

“O great Celestia! Please forgive us!” Lima called out. “We have been fools, and we have come before your greatness to beg your mercy!”

“Mercy?” Celestia asked, as she quickly descended and moved across the hall to them. Her wing then reached out and gently lifted their gazes to meet hers. “You have no need of my mercy, for you have done nothing that requires it. You are innocent before me.”

“But we have insulted you, deeply!” Garbanzo cried as a tear slipped out. “We called you a fraud!”

“No. If I had been in your position, I would have not believed myself either. You have done no wrong to me. However, I believe you have something to say to my husband.”

More tears came, and eyes went wide in hopeful horror as Celestia’s wing retracted and her horn glowed. She smiled warmly as her magic reached out across the palace, found Bean, and then teleported him into the throne room, but with his nose nearly touching the wall by the main doors.

“I mean, everypony knows the moon is made of cheese,” he stated, his eyes closed in an effort to look wise. He then opened them and blinked a few times.

“Uh, Celly? Did you just teleport...”

His sentence stalled out as he looked over his shoulder and beheld the visitors. He then turned, his face a picture of shocked surprise.

“Mom?!” he breathlessly asked. “Dad?!”

And to his everlasting credit, Baked Bean broke out into a dead run towards his parents.

Celestia felt tears flowing down her cheeks as the family shared both hugs and tears of reconciliation. She had been worried that Bean would not be so forgiving of his parents, that he would instead drive them away and proclaim the wounds they inflicted to be too deep, but she was most pleased to find that this was not the case. The Bean family was again as it should be.


She smiled a bit more as Bean motioned for her to come join the hug. She had to drop down onto her knees to do so, but the warmth and light she felt as her nose touched his and as several pairs of arms and hooves locked with hers was so rich and ennobling that she was proud to call herself a Bean. This was a family that was exemplary, and though they would still have issues and troubles in the future, this one moment would forever change the dynamics for all of them, and in all the good ways one could think of. The bonds between all of them were now stronger than steel, and that was as it should be.

“So, may I call myself Celestia Bean now?” she asked softly.

There was laughter from all, and then Bean spoke the thought that the others were sharing:

“Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but I think we could get used to it.”

Dinner that evening was one of the most pleasant dinners Celestia had ever had the pleasure of attending. As it turned out, Garbanzo and Lima had shut down their restaurant completely and had paid for the rest of their employees to travel with them, and so the dining room was now filled with such a wonderful assortment of ponies that it was making for quite a lively and happy scene.

She wasn’t quite sure how it had happened, but Celestia found Lima to her right, Bean next to her, Garbanzo next, and then Sip. Cadence was on her left, then Shining, then Grumps, Shake and Bake, and Luna—who looked amused and a bit perplexed—was at the end. The staff had made Bean’s stuffed zucchini, and everyone was quite enjoying the meal – though Cadence had whispered to Celestia that Bean’s rendition had been slightly better. There was laughter, there was a small argument when Garbanzo’s life long support of the Broncos came to light, but mostly there was happiness, friendship, and love.

If only all of her state dinners could be this way.

It was as the dinner was winding down that Celestia found Lima leaning towards her. She smiled, and asked if she was enjoying herself.

“Oh, yes. This has been quite an enjoyable meal,” Lima replied. “But I wanted to ask you something, if I may.”


“Why didn’t you just prove you were the princess the other night?” she asked, the confusion obvious in her voice. “If you had just raised the sun for a few seconds we both would have been convinced.”

Celestia smiled a bit more. “I suppose I could have. There was probably a few different things I could have done to convince you. But I am a teacher when I’m not a Princess, and that moment provided me an opportunity to teach you something.”

“To trust our son,” Lima said softly.

“To trust in your son, to have faith in him,” Celestia kindly added. “He’s a wonderful young stallion, and there are many reasons why I have the feelings that I do for him. But it’s hard to accept when your children’s plans differ from yours. By letting you suffer through what you did, I believe you have learned to not sell Baked Bean short. He can do wonderful things for Equestria, but what is far more important is that he has your full faith and support. As time goes on and as he assumes more responsibilities, he will need all the support he can get. If I had used my powers to prove who I was, you would not respect and trust your son in the way that you do now.”

“But Garbanzo and I were so worried he’d reject us,” Lima replied. “We spent the whole train ride here worrying about what he’d do, or what he might say.”

It seemed that panic was a family trait, but Celestia did not believe it was a bad trait. “Then perhaps this was a test for Bean, too.” Celestia put on her best wise look. “Could he offer forgiveness to you, despite your actions? There was the risk he would reject you, as you say. He would be understandably justified if he did. But now we all know a bit more about his true character, and I believe that, in the end, we have all been elevated by this event.”

Lima nodded thoughtfully. “I think you’re right.”

“Besides, now that you’re here we can go over your new titles.”

This made all three Beans stop in their tracks, and both father and son looked over to Celestia.

“Titles?” Garbanzo asked.

“Of course! I do believe, by ancient custom, that the in-laws of the Prince and Princess are to be a Duke and Duchess. Am I wrong, Sister?”

“I do believe you are right,” Luna replied with a small smile. “Though I believe in these modern times the titles are more symbolic than anything else.”

“Alas, that they are,” Celestia confirmed. “You both will be a Duke and Duchess, but there are no lands or tax revenues⁽*⁾ that come with it.”
(*) There was a ten bit per year⁽¹⁾ tax on royal titles to pay for the Department of Royal Regalia, but it had slipped Celestia’s mind at the moment.
(1) The tax was waived for Princess Luna on her return, since the sum total of fees, penalties, and back interest exceeded the yearly gross domestic product of Equestria by a large sum.

“That’s for the best,” Garbanzo replied. “I’m happy with just running my restaurant.”

“Bean, do you plan on taking your parents on that promised tour tomorrow?”

“Oh!” he exclaimed, and he looked to his parents with a broad smile. “Of course! I’ll take all of you out, and show you everything. We’ll make a day of it.”

“Could we possibly see the sunflower patch where you ambushed the Princess?” Sip asked.

“We’ll make that the first stop.”

Next Chapter: 15. - Good Night Estimated time remaining: 5 Hours, 32 Minutes
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