• Published 14th Sep 2018
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Sunset the Shadowbolt - snq144

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Prologue: Entrance Exam

A happy murmur escaped Sunset’s lips as she finished stretching, the nearly non existent morning light filtering through her blinds, colouring her room and its contents a dull grey.

“We sent in your application as you asked, Sunset.” Adagio had said the previous night over supper. “Your cover, as it were, is one of the daughters of the Bainhoof family, one of our many aliases overseas. We are having some of our…”

“Lackeys is the word she’s looking for.” Aria commented, steak juice dripping down her chin, earning a chuckle from Sunset and Sonata, and a mighty groan from Adagio.

“We are getting you official paperwork made from Great Bridle, as you will undoubtedly require them. After that we can use them to set up ones for here.”

Sunset had worn a massive smile the rest of the night. She was finally going to be a valid person in this world! Who cared if it was being done somewhat illegally!? She wasn’t a criminal anymore; she just wanted to live a normal life!

Apparently an automated response said that the faculty would be back in today, so hopefully they would hear back! She was getting giddy! In a couple weeks she could be back in school, finishing her education!

For now though, she would focus on cleaning up her room, and doing some actual studying on what Crystal Preparatory Academy was really like, as all she knew was that they had an extremely one sided rivalry with CHS, the Wondercolts always playing second fiddle to the CPA Shadowbolts.

Her lazing about clothes landing easily in the hamper as she turned and straightened out her errant bedding. She had always been an active sleeper, her bed nearly destroyed each morning. She sighed as she grabbed her hamper, hoisting it before starting to make her way towards the laundry room. The poor machines were in for a work out today as she paused outside the door, her hand hovering over the doorknob as a newly familiar sound seeped through the door, causing Sunset to grown before leaving her hamper at the side of the door and tromping downstairs.

“Look, I know this is your guys’ home, and you asked me if it was okay and all,” Sunset paused as she entered the kitchen, Adagio pausing and looking up from her book, her skin positively glowing. “but do you three gotta do it freaking everywhere!?”

Adagio gave a knowing chuckle, after all it had been her who had asked Sunset about her opinion on the matter. “Well, I can only speak for myself, but Aria and Sonata, for as much as they bicker with one another, always find time for a roll in the hay.”

Sunset groaned as she grabbed a tall glass, filling it with ice chilled water as she shook her head. “Yeah, but every night? I don’t want to sleep with earplugs!”

“We’ve offered for you to join us.” Adagio said simply, a small, lascivious smile on her face as she traced her eyes down Sunset’s frame. Ever since that night at the bar, the Sirens had been way more forward with Sunset regarding certain things.

“Like I said, I need more than that if I’m gonna be in a relationship with the three of you. I’m some silly teenager to get wrapped up in the hustle of a relationship, I need something more.”

“And you spoke so highly of your times back in Equestria.” a cruel smile split Adagio’s face as she leaned forward, observing Sunset like a spider in her web.

“Hey now, you know what that is like.” the amber girl pointed a finger at Adagio, wagging it for good, if ultimately inane, measure. “Plus, we’d need magic. Actual, honest to goodness, Equestrian Magic.”

“Ah yes, your little dominant streak… I am certain I could wrap you around my pinkie finger if I so desired.”

“And I assure you that you wouldn’t even notice that you were wrapped around mine, my little sub.” Sunset winked playfully, only for a distressed cry to fill the air, coinciding with a familiar clattering.

“Sunset!?” Aria’s voice carried her annoyance down the halls and into the kitchen. “Why is your fucking hamper sitting in the middle of the fucking hallway again!?”

“Maybe if you’d stop using the laundry room all the time, I wouldn’t have to leave i5 there!” she shouted back, setting down her glass and looking at Adagio, warning on her face as well as her tongue. “I swear to Celestia, if I find out Aria’s stolen any of my underwear again-”

“But Aria needs the shaking to-”

“Don’t you dare finish that comment, Sonata!!” Aria interrupted, a sad cry radiating from Sonata as Sunset approached the stairs, groaning loudly.

(V):.:(V)

“I told you, Aria! I’m not going looking like you did the other night at the bar!” Sunset shouted through her door, patting her own back for remembering to lock it as she changed. “This is an application to a school that has an actual uniform! I can’t look like someone looking for a one night stand!”

“I’m just saying that you shouldn’t go looking like some prude.” came the sarcastic response from the stocky Siren, no doubt she was leaning against the wall. “I’d also hurry if were you. The bus should be here soon.”

“This would go a lot faster if you’d just shut up already!” exasperation was on the menu, served fresh with exhaustion as Sunset raced around her room, trying to decide on what to wear. She frenziedly pulled her hair back into a ponytail, the style feeling strangely liberating as she paused at the entrance to her walk in closet. It was a quarter of what she normally had, thanks to Aria and Sonata doing something to the washing machine, but she still had a few choices to sort through.

She groaned as she grabbed her outfit from that night at the bar, shimmying into them as she hopped on one foot towards her body mirror, pausing to make sure everything was straight and neat, no hairs sticking out at awkward angles.

The scab over her eye had finally started to vanish, leaving her with a rather noticeable scar, but at least she was able to see out of it well enough. She ran her hand down its length, a permanent reminder of her past.

It still looked pretty bitching though.

“Okay, so I got two changes of clothes in my backpack, photocopies of my illegal documentation, and enough change to send me on bus from here to Trottawa.” Sunset said, pausing at the edge of the doorway. “Oh, right! Sneakers!”

“Swimsuit, running gear… Writing utensils?” Adagio asked, tracking things down on her fingers as she and Aria watched Sunset tie her shoes together and hang them off of her backpack strap as Sonata bounced out of the kitchen.

“Pencils, mechanical pencils, pens, and erasers!” she sang as she handed an overwhelming handful of the stated items to Sunset, the girl chuckling and stuffing them into her bag.

“Thanks, Sona. I think that should be everything.” she chuckled as she hoisted the backpack once more over her shoulders. “I’ll make sure to text you three when I get there.”

“Best of luck, Sunset!” Sonata called out as the taller girl exited the door out to the cool winter day. “Worst case scenario we’ll just buy the school!”

Sunset chuckled as the door shut behind her, not doubting for an instant that the Sirens could do that while she she raced towards the nearby bus stop. She was lucky, the bus stopped right across the street from the school during its route, making it easy to remember where to get on and off, and not remember to swap buses.

She arrived just in time, pausing and watching as the bus rounded the corner about a block away. Sunset was amazed that they even allowed buses in this part of town, most of the houses had at least one limousine, if not more, so what use would a bus be? Not that she was complaining, it was going to make things easier for her.

She couldn’t afford to have the Sirens drive her, as part of her background was that she was a student wanting to study abroad after some altercations at her previous school; a small twist on the actual happenings. Sunset always found it easier to lie if you just slightly distorted the truth.

She took a half step forward as the bus finally pulled up in front of her, smiling and nodding to the bus driver as she fished out some change and depositing it in the marked receiver before walking back and grabbing a seat just as her pocket buzzed. She pulled out her phone; a new, top of the line model that the Sirens had gotten her. Her mind washing back to the shopping trip, and one store in particular...

(V):..:(V)

“Oi, Shimmer!” Sunset turned her eyes to the side for half a moment as Aria walked over towards her. “What the hell are you doing? You’ve been standing there looking at the floor for like, four minutes!”

“I don’t know, Aria.” she gave a self conscious chuckle as she returned to looking at the tiled floor, one in particular seeming to demand her attention. “Just… That tile seems to speak to me.”

“...What?” the purple Siren looked at Sunset as if she had just sprouted a horn again as she pointed a long amber finger towards one of the uncountable tiles covering the floor of the electronics shop.

“I think it would listen to me quite well.” she shrugged as she watched Adagio and Sonata approach. “Are we good to go now?”

“I think we can end this here. You have a lot of sorting to do once we get home, as well as memorizing your new number.” Adagio chuckled as she handed the bag to Sunset. “Here, you can carry the heavy part.”

“Gee, thanks Adagio.”

(V):...:(V)

It wasn’t until recently that Sunset switched over to using this new phone, she was still slightly stigmatized with phones, but they were a necessary evil of the modern society. At least it was fast, unlike that well used second hand one she had had since shortly after arriving.

She looked down and noticed that Sonata had sent her a little kissy face emoji, as well as a message wishing her the best of luck with her entrance exam. Sunset was still amazed that they were willing to try and get her in today; classes were still a couple days out, after all. It probably had something to do with the Sirens she figured.

The bus ride was relatively short, all things considered, much quicker than her walk to CHS had ever been, even on the worst of days. She nodded as she exited the bus, thanking the bus driver; she swore she could see a single tear roll down his cheek as she did so. She paused and pulled out her phone again, looking at the notes that she had written for today. Apparently the Dean of Students was going to meet her just outside of the school, apparently her name was Cadence.

She chuckled as she looked up, the chuckle freezing at the site of Crystal Prep Academy jutting up into the sky. This thing was massive! What sort of school was it!? Four stories high, with great, spiked looking pillars resting to the side of the entrances. The school ran for a block either direction at the very least, the school grounds perfectly maintained even in this snowy winter.

It was intimidating to say the least as she tore her eyes away, looking down both sides of the street. No vehicles were coming, so she quickly jaywalked her way across the snow covered pavement and over to the front gate, it’s wrought iron posts capped with crystal like spines, just like the school building. She couldn’t help but take out her phone and start to snap a few photos of the place.

“Sunstrike? What are you doing here?” Sunset paused for a quarter second before returning to snapping photos. Obviously someone else was getting called. It wasn’t until the voice called out a second time, closer to Sunset that she paused to look to her side at the approaching figure.

“You do know that classes don’t start for a few days, correct?” the cerise skinned woman gave a warm smile, Sunset picking out the small, crystalline heart pinned to her coat, her blond, rose, and violet hair obviously well maintained as it flowed behind her, ending in great curls.

Sunset paused as she looked around, before gazing back at the woman and pointing to herself. “Er, are you talking to me?” she asked, confused.

“Yes, I… Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were one of our students. You’re a splitting image of her.” the woman, who Sunset guessed was this world's version of Princess Cadence, paused and gave an apologetic smile, bowing slightly. “My apologies.”

Sunset started to laugh, a warm smile on her face as she ran her hand across the back of her head, thumb swimming through her ponytail, before pulling her backpack aside and rooting through it for the copies of her Great Bridal documentation and holding it towards Cadence. “No worries. I’m just sort of looming here, sorry. My name is Sunset Shimmer, I’m supposed to be doing an entrance exam today.”

“Oh, wonderful!” Cadence clapped her hands together as she smiled back at Sunset, eyes twinkling merrily as she motioned for Sunset to return the papers to her backpack. “It’s so nice to finally meet you, Sunset. My name is Cadence, I’m the Dean of Students here at Crystal Prep. I’ll be one of the three faculty members overlooking your exam today.”

“Thank you for getting me in so early.” Sunset watched as Cadence pulled a key card out of her purse, swiping it along a sensor built onto the wall, the electronic gate giving a loud click before swinging inwards on its hinges. “I was surprised when I received the email from back home that I was supposed to come today.”

“Yes, that would be the Academy head’s doing, Principal Cinch. She’s quite interested in you. The Bainhoof family has quite the reputation of excellence to them.” Cadence chuckled as Sunset looked away in mock sheepishness, scratching at the back of her head.

“Yeah, though sadly there’s some… conflicts with having a name.” the amber girl gave an uneasy chuckle, the woman laying an affectionate hand on her broad shoulders.

“I’m sorry to hear that, dear. Hopefully things go better for you here.” Cadence’s smile was just as warm and filled with love as Sunset remembered from her run ins with the pegasus turned Alicorn back in Equestria, the duo pausing just in front of the entry ways.

Sunset looked up now that she was more or less at the foot of the building, standing in awe at the building towering above her. Immaculate didn’t even start to describe the masterpiece of architecture that was Crystal Prep Academy. Her bag slipped from her hand as she stood with her mouth gaping. From a distance it seemed fancy, but now standing in front of it? It was almost equal to Celestia’s School back in Equestria!

“It sure is something.” Cadence chuckled as she stood beside Sunset, the Equestrian blushing in embarrassment as she picked her bag back up and threw it over her shoulder once more.

“S-Sorry about that.” she apologized as she followed after Cadence, the duo continuing to share small talk as they made their way into the building.

“There you are, Dean Cadence. I was wondering what was taking so long.” a disinterested voice, to say the least, greeted the two of them as the doors shut behind them. “Though I do wonder why Miss Sunstrike is with you..”

“Principal Cinch!” Cadence seemed to jump in spot slightly as she turned to address the woman that called out from them. “Sorry about that, vehicle problems again. And this isn’t Sunstrike, this is Sunset Shimmer.”

“I see… The resemblance is uncanny, save for the scar. Regardless, welcome to Crystal Preparatory Academy, Miss Shimmer.” the woman, Principal Cinch apparently, turned towards Sunset, and even though Sunset towered over her, the girl still felt like Cinch was staring down at her from on top a mountain. “I hope you make this interesting.”

Sunset simply nodded as she watched the woman stand aside and motion to Cadence, the woman then waving at Sunset to follow.

“Well she was… cordial.” Sunset said softly when they were out of earshot.

“That was downright hospitable.” came the quiet response from Cadence. “But don’t worry about it, she doesn’t show her face often around here.”

“Yay…?” Sunset said with a soft chortle. “So what all do I have for this exam? I was just told to bring swimming gear, running gear, and writing utensils.”

“Ah, yes.” the woman nodded, turning to look at Sunset. “We use an entrance exam entirely of our own making, derived to give you an example of the dedication required to be a Shadowbolt.”

Sunset nodded, she had read some of this last night, though the site wouldn’t say anything about what was actually in the entrance exam, though judging by her backpack’s contents, it would be a mix of physical and mental examination.

“Over the course of the next hour, with five minute breaks between each segment, you shall be demonstrating to us both you physical and scholastic aptitude and limits. You shall start of with a five minute kilometer run in our state of the art indoor running track, followed by fifteen minutes to swim eight hundred meters in one of our Olympic standard swimming pools, followed lastly by half an hour to finish as many questions out of one hundred as possible on our randomized exam paper.”

Sunset struggled not to let her facade cave in on itself. The women’s world record for those were just barely under those! This wasn’t something that someone passed, this was something someone tried their best to reach! This was Wunderkind levels of ability!

Sunset watched as Cadence looked around, before bending over and cupping a hand around her mouth. “Don’t worry, only a small percent of students technically pass. Just do your best.” she smiled warmly as she stood back up, before motioning to a doorway to her side, swiping her card from earlier against the little box beside the sliding door. “In here is our women's change room. Please feel free to leave your belongings in here while the exam is underway. When you are changed, proceed out to the running track, it’s the only other exit. Best of luck, Sunset.”

(V):....:(V)

Sunset slowed down as she crossed over the finish line, her legs burning as they eventually came to a stop with Sunset bending over slightly and resting her hands on her thighs. Her lungs felt like they were trying to rip themselves out of her chest as she tilted her head up, the sweat pouring down her face. A proud smirk spread over her face as she saw the clock stop; three minutes and a half minutes.

“Acceptable.” Cinch’s voice called out over the intercom, Sunset looking up at the viewing area again, spotting both the shorter head of school and taller Dean of Students, but also a third member. The man was a giant, powerfully built with ebony locks standing surprisingly stark against his rippling dark grey skin. His face was unreadable, though his brows were slightly furrowed. “You will proceed to the change room to shower before heading to natatorium two.”

Sunset gave a tired nod as she threw up a outstretched thumb, before starting to carry herself towards the changing room. Five minutes to try and clean up, this was going to be rough. She was the first to admit that she took long showers back home, the hot water running down her body was her favourite part of her mornings. Well, hot anything was; fire magic was her favourite to practice back in Equestria, and the hot summer sun beating down on her only served to energize her on those summer days.

She had barely rounded the corner of into the changing room before she started to strip her top off, picking up her pace as she raced to grab her shampoo and body wash. She didn’t want to risk being late, and she doubted the extra time from finishing her run early would allow her a longer shower.

(V):.....:(V)

“You may begin once you hear the buzzer.” Cinch said aloud as Sunset sat down the only desk in the small room, setting an array of her erasers, pens, and pencils down next to the mammoth book of paper that rested in the middle of the writing surface.

The swim had gone well, a little over ten minutes for eight laps was pretty good considering how little she had actually swam in this world; pools where too far away and/or expensive, and the beach was used more to show off in her past. But she succeeded, thanking the lessons she had gotten back in Equestria combined with the little bit of reading she had done in this world in her earlier years here.

She grabbed one of her mechanical pencils and started flipping it through her fingers with robotic efficiency as she watched the small timer countdown on the clock sitting behind Cinch and Cadence. The earlier man had vanished, leaving Sunset to theorize that he was there either for safety, or that he was in charge of the physical academics at CPA.

A loud, quick buzz filled the air, breaking Sunset out of her thoughts and sending her hand down to the line wanting her to print her name upon it. A quick scribble and she flipped the page over, the back thankfully empty. The next page was stuffed full of text however, Sunset swearing that she needed glasses to even see it.

1. What is the molecular formula for Dextrose, and what is its molar mass?

Sunset paused; this was an easy question to start with. The name would throw some people off most likely, but glucose wasn’t the hardest thing to calculate molar mass for.

Dextrose, also known more commonly as Glucose, is C6H12O6 ; and it’s molar mass is 180.15.48

C(arbon) - 6 x 12.0107 = 72.0642

H(ydrogen) - 12 x 1.00794 = 12.09528

O(xygen) - 6 x 15.999 = 95.994

72.0642 + 12.09528 + 95.994 = 180.15348

She paused as she moved onto the next question, this one completely different; focusing on math instead.

If two trains-

Sunset gave an annoyed sigh.

(V):......:(V)

Waiting.

Waiting..

Waiting

“I wonder what’s taking her so long?” Cadence said, looking at the door to the Principal’s office with a hint of confusion. Sunset silently prayed that the paperwork the Sirens had provided would check out. “I don’t think that you should be declined, in all honesty, you were amongst our top ever applicants.”

“Oh? Uh, thanks! Truth be told, I’ve been a little lazy of late thanks to everything, so I think I was a little rusty there, heh…” Sunset scratched at the back of her head with an embarrassed smile. She would have to admit that the entrance exam had actually been enjoyable to undertake; she haaad been Princess Celestia’s prized protégé before her… before she left, and everything at CHS had been woefully uninteresting after the first year, failing to meet her educational demands.

“Well if it were up to me, you would fit in here quite well, Sunset.” Cadence smiled happily up at the girl, her hands resting clasped across the front of her pants.

“...” Principal Cinch’s face looked disinterested, but there was a hint of something more sinister in her eyes as she walked slowly out of her office, the duo having jumped to attention as the door flew open.

“Congratulations, Sunset. You passed among the top of our applicants.” the woman said, her tone not holding the slightest hint of pride as she echoed Cadence, or rather, Dean Cadence. “Our classes resume on Monday. Dean Cadence here shall explain more and show you around the school premises. Show her floors fourteen and fifteen when you get the chance.”

“Oh, thank you so much!” Sunset beamed proudly, ignoring the last sentence Cinch said in her excitement for the chance to continue her schooling in this world, and maybe even push herself slightly if the test earlier was any example. “I look forward to studying here!”

Cinch nodded as she walked past, leaving a giddy Sunset alone with a smiling Cadence. “Well? Shall I show you around, Shadowbolt?”

“Absolutely!” Sunset couldn’t nod fast enough as she followed after the giggling woman.

“Good to hear, because we have a lot to go over. For now, we will start with the less interesting, but more important, bits. Crystal Prep Academy, as you will no doubt hear Principal Cinch say many times during your time here, has a reputation of high results in all of its academic programs, ranging from maths and sciences, to more abstract, like politics.

“We pride ourselves on our academic achievements, and our students do the same. The student body here is the best of the best, and as such we expect you to be on your best behaviour at all times.”

“Sounds simple enough…” commented Sunset as the pair stopped in front of a massive science lab, labelled as the third of such rooms.

“Good to hear. Now, while you are on school grounds you shall be expected to wear the school’s uniform. It, along with many other items, shall be provided to you. You are expected to take care of these uniforms, or else Cinch will have words with you.”

“Joy…” Sunset gave an uneasy chuckle, the thought of seeing more of that woman already causing tendrils of dread in the back of her mind. “Are these custom made? I, uh… I don’t fit in most regular sizes…”

The pair started chuckling as they studied Sunset. “Yes, they are. However, you may have to make due until they arrive. Our seamstress isn’t due back from holidays until towards the end of the week.”

“I-I see… Carry on.”

“Another part of attending Crystal Prep is the student housing.” Cadence explained as they started down a flight of stairs.

“Student housing? I already have a place to stay.”

“I understand, however it is one of the requirements with enrolling here.” Cadence gave a small, understanding smile as she paused halfway down the stairs. “But don’t worry, curfew isn’t until nine o'clock, so you are more than free to visit friends and family off school hours as well as going home for the holidays if you so desire. I will also let you know that the student housing is state of the art! I will be taking you there once we are done with the school tour.”

Sunset just nodded diligently as she continued to follow the woman around the school, conflict starting to build in the back of her mind. The Sirens had been willing to take her in, and she enjoyed her time living with them immensely; but she knew she was a fourth wheel, and they had been altering their lifestyles for her- their home for her. She shelved the thoughts as the duo walked into the cafeteria.

“I should let you know about our student funding program.” Cadence said as she turned once again to Sunset. “You see, while we do charge a tuition fee, we also have some investments from some rather large scholastic organizations from around the world. As such, while food is not provided here free of charge, you are able to use your student funding, often called among the students as Shadowbucks- yes, I think the name is stupid as well- to pay for items and services not only on school grounds, but the nearby Crystal Empire Mall.”

“G-Gotcha!” Sunset said between giggles at the silly nickname, amazed at the prospect of being able to go shopping at a mall for once. “That’s actually really generous of the school to do!”

“Well one thing to keep in mind is that the better you do during classes, the more it will affect your ranking in the school. The higher you rank, the more funding you will receive among other perks. I will show you one at the student housing complex here shortly.”

(V):.......:(V)

“...And here I thought the school was massive…” Sunset said as she tried to make out the roof of the massive complex in front of her. It had two tall prongs on either side, connected to the middle building which stood roughly to the middle of the two towers.

“Yes, we get this a lot.” Cadence chuckled as she flashed her card across the small box beside the gate entrance. “You will be getting your own identification card that you can use to enter school premises. It will prevent you from entering certain off limit areas, however, such as the other genders change rooms and living quarters.”

“Gotcha.” Sunset’s mind was still reeling with everything that she had heard and seen while at the school proper. “That makes sense.”

“Each side of the dormitories has a prefect for each grade, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth. They answer directly to me and Principal Cinch should anything arise, and are chosen personally by us. Girl’s side is to the left, and boy’s yo the right. The middle is free range, though students are expected to leave before eleven o’clock each night.”

“So be back on these grounds before nine, and head to bed by eleven, sounds reasonable I guess.”

“Students are welcome to use all the facilities provided in the commons ground, and they range from an arcade, to a computer lab, as well as small cafeteria’s, though they are mainly vending machines. Ah, here comes our prefect for the twelfth grade. How are you this afternoon, Starlight?”

Sunset watched as the pale lavender girl walk into the open room from what looked like an elevator, nodding and smiling towards Cadence. Sunset felt uneasy, the little voice in the back of her mind screaming caution as she noticed the hints of falsity in the girl’s smile, the nefarious glint in her eyes as she regarded the woman.

“Good afternoon, Dean Cadence. I’m am doing reasonably well.” Starlight responded, before turning slowly to look at Sunset, the disdain evident in her gaze. “Hello, Sunstrike.”

“Heh, I guess that’s gonna be happening a lot here, huh?” Sunset chuckled as she rubbed the back of her head. The warning sirens were blaring full on in the back of her mind, telling her to distance herself from this girl and ignore anything she said. She did her best to play it cool, trying not to give the girl any ammunition as Dean Cadence spoke up.

“Ah, this isn’t Sunstrike, Miss Glimmer. This is Sunset Shimmer, our newest student her at Crystal Prep Academy.” Cadence wore a warm smile as the two girl looked over at her. Sunset struggled not to keep her eyes locked on this Starlight Glimmer girl, and she could tell that Cadence wasn’t getting the same vibes as she was.

“Oh, my apologies. You look just like our resident rabble rouser.” Starlight gave an immensely fake laugh as she turned and looked at Sunset again, a “welcoming” smile on her face as she held out a hand. “I’ll properly introduce myself. My name is Starlight Glimmer, and I’m the student prefect for the twelfth grade. If you do run into Sunstrike, do your best to pay her no mind.”

“I’ll withhold judgements till that point; thank you though.” Sunset grinned as she reached forward and shook hands with the girl, applying a little more force to her grip as she saw the girl’s facade slip for a fraction of a second, anger threatening to break through. “We should let you get back to whatever you were doing, Dean Cadence here was just showing us around.”

“Yes! Sorry for interrupting you, Starlight.” Dean Cadence bowed slightly as Starlight waved and started back on her way, her gaze passing over Sunset.

“...I don’t trust her.” Sunset said softly as the duo arrived at a staircase leading up.

“Oh, don’t worry about her.” a knowing chuckle escaped Cadence’s lips. “She just takes her leadership role a little too seriously.”

The pair walked through the entire complex, not running into another individual their entire time as Cadence showed Sunset the further facilities available to the students of Crystal Prep.

“Even though we provide all of these, nothing is stopping you from personalizing your own room.” Cadence explained as they left the massive computer lab. Each of those systems put anything CHS had to offer to shame. Heck, Sunset’s old, refurbished, second-hand laptop could barely browse the internet! “I’ll show you that perk I mentioned back at the school now.”

“Each of the roughly three hundred students here at Crystal Prep Academy have their own room.” Cadence explained as the pair walked over to the door on the north side of the wall, a sign reading “Girl’s Dormitories, Third Floor” hanging above it. “However the students that reach the top of the rankings having two floors dedicated entirely to them.”

Sunset nodded as the pair walked up, and up, and further up the building, the pair pausing to look over the town from their vantage point every few floors, the city looking smaller and smaller each time.

“Here we are, fourteenth floor.” Cadence grabbed her card out once again and swiped it across the small digital pad, the electronic door, entire opaque, sliding into the wall and allowing them in. “It has space for twenty students in here.”

Sunset looked around in shocked amazement; she had thought that everything she had seen so far was fancy and high tech, but this place made the previous floors look like they belonged to cavemen!

The entryway had a massive closet beside her, countless coats, boots, and shoes stashed away in a neat, orderly manner. Further in revealed what could only be described as a living room, couches and chairs planted around next to tables on the plush looking carpet.

As they walked in, Sunset got to see the kitchen next, a massive, double wide fridge sitting built into the wall, counters hanging out and leading over to the stove and sink. An island stood just a little ways away, letting people sit and eat whatever they made.

“While there is a common eating area, each room has their own private washroom.” Cadence explained as the duo walked up the stairs to the second floor, then into one of the rooms. It was empty, which only added onto its massive presence. It was even larger than what she had at the Sirens’ house! “Well, what do you think?”

“Me? This is amazing; even compared to what I’ve been staying in of late!” Sunset laughed as she nodded, looking around the room still. There was a lot of space here for someone to really do something special!

“Good to hear. Now, we have currently have rooms number three, and seven available on the first floor, and rooms eleven, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, seventeen, and nineteen available here on the second floor… Sunset?”

“I get to choose one of these?” she looked at Cadence in amusement. “I know you said I did well, but I doubt I did this well.”

“Well you can talk to Principal Cinch if you want, but…” Sunset froze at the woman’s comment, causing her to burst out into laughter. “But yes, I need to know which of the rooms you want so I can start processing your ID card. Don’t worry too much, all the rooms are the same.”

“Oh, uh… This one?” she shrugged at Cadence’s question, the Dean nodding before the pair walked out of the room that Sunset just chose, noting the fancy eleven painted on the door. “Well, uh… When do I start moving in then?”

“Well for now we need to finish some paperwork back at the school, and then I can get you a temporary ID card made.” Cadence said, walking Sunset out of the room and closing it behind her. “So tomorrow, if you'd like.”

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