• Published 18th Jan 2019
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Before the Friendship Games: Dean Cadance - CapNTilfy



Dean Cadance is hiding something. Something that very few people know. Book Seven of The Crystal Prep Chronicles: Before the Friendship Games.

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Tryout Day

Author's Note:

Four days until the Friendship Games.

Cadance exited her car and entered Crystal Prep earlier than normal. She was so excited about Hope's news from the previous night that she forgot to speak to her about it! Making it her first priority of the day, she headed for her friend's office. Oh, I hope she's in there! She rounded a corner and stopped mere inches away from Hope. "Oh, am I glad to see you!"

Hope blinked in confusion. "I'm... glad to see you too, Cadance. But we just saw each other last night."

"Sorry about the over-enthusiasm." Cadance blushed. "I meant to tell you something while we were still at Roma's..."

"All right, then. Walk and talk."

On the way to Hope's office, Cadance told Hope about Lemon's second fight with Sour and all the details she knew. "...I'm worried about Sour, Hope. She always seems so miserable, and with this new insight, I think she might be lonely."

Hope put a hand on Cadance's shoulder as they reached Hope's office. "I understand where you're coming from, Cadance. I really do. But unless the situation becomes dire, all we can do is have faith that Sour will open up to us."

Cadance smiled warmly. "I suppose you're right. I just don't want Sour to suffer, and I want to do something about it."

Hope removed her shoulder from Cadance. "Have faith, Cadance... have faith."

"All right. I will." With that, she headed over to her office.

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Cadance entered her office and began her work until her phone rang. She picked it up. "Yes, this is Dean Cadance."

There was silence for a moment until a feminine voice spoke up. "C... Cadance?" The voice sounded weary and on the verge of tears. She recognized it almost immediately.

"Shimmering Glaze? What's wrong?"

Glaze sniffled. "Sunny..."

Cadance felt a chill down her spine. "Is she okay?"

Glaze took a deep breath, exhaled, and told Cadance everything that happened to her daughter over the weekend. By the time she had finished, the Dean was tearing up. She knew all too well the pain of losing a loved one before their time. "Oh... oh god..." She fought her emotions until she heard more sniffling on the phone. "Stellar? Is that you?"

"Please talk to our daughter." Stellar's voice broke. "Nobody should have to go through what she has." He began sobbing, then hung up.

"I-I have to go." Glaze sniffled and hung up.

"Cadance, my dear. Don't be sad. You're at your most beautiful...when you...smile..."

Cadance broke. Premature deaths always triggered her to some degree, but the fact that it was a loved one to the person in question made it all the worse. For several minutes she had her head in her hands, sobbing uncontrollably until she had none left in her. With a shudder, she blew her nose and wiped away her tears. Her phone rang again.

"Hello?"

"Cadence, did you know about Sunny Flare's...'condition'?" It was Crystal Clarity.

"Yes." she answered.

"And you heard about what happened with her boyfriend?"

"Yes. Her parents called me." said Cadence.

"They called you, and not Cinch?" Crystal sounded relieved.

"Yes. I can't imagine why they'd call her."

"Then why did Sunny Flare tell me that Cinch not only knew about her boyfriend, but how he died?"

Cadance gasped as her phone dropped the floor. She picked it up in a hurry. "I'm sorry, I just lost my grip on my phone." She paused for a moment. "How could she possibly know about Rutherford? Almost all of the staff here are on our side."

"You said almost all of the staff." said Crystal.

"Those of the staff who aren't with us are too afraid to take action against her. They're worried about their careers, but also...their families." Cadence sighed. "They mostly keep to themselves, and only interact with her if they have no other option."

"Someone had to have told her, Cadence. Abacus Cinch isn't psychic!" Crystal snapped.

"Calm down, Crystal. I know you want this madness to end as much as I do..." said Cadence.

Crystal sighed deeply. "I know...but I feel bad for Sunny. Hasn't she been through enough?"

"Normally I'd be inclined to agree, but there's something special about her, Indigo Zap, Lemon Zest, Sugarcoat and Sour Sweet...and perhaps even Twilight Sparkle. Vice-Principal Luna tipped me off about how things have been improving at Canterlot High because of six girls and their courage against these strange magical forces I've been hearing about. I believe if we get those girls exposed to the girls from Canterlot High, they might see that a change is in order around here." said Cadence.

"I still find it hard to believe that magic is a thing that exists." said Crystal.

"Me too, Crystal, but here we are."

"Cadance...what are we going to do if this plan of ours falls through?" said Crystal.

"I have the utmost confidence that it won't."

"Very well. But back to the main topic at hand: How did Cinch know about Rutherford?" said Crystal.

"Don't worry, Crystal. Myself, Luna, Hope and Benefactor will look into this. Rest assured." She didn't have to look into it, as she knew who told Cinch right off the bat. As to how he found out about it was a different matter.

"I'll try, but you know how I can worry sometimes." said Crystal.

"I do."

"Goodbye, Cadance."

"Goodbye, Crystal."

Cadance hung up and sighed heavily. Nothing could ever be simple, could it? No matter. She still had work to do.

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Some time later, Cadance joined Principal Cinch in a large room filled with students as she carried many test papers. Abacus nodded, then spoke. "This first round of tryouts will involve academics," she announced. Nearly half of those waiting groaned.

"The hell did you guys expect, moto-cross racing?!" Sour Sweet shouted.

Cadance managed to keep her composure.

Principal Cinch pinched the bridge of her nose. "As I was saying...the first round of tryouts will involve academics. The top fifty scores will move on to the next round. To your seats!" All students went to their seats. "And...begin!" said Cinch.

Cadance walked up and down the aisles, keeping an eye on the students so they wouldn't cheat. It wouldn't surprise her if at least one of them did. Cinch's damned "Do-anything-to-win" mentality had infected the students over time ever since she took over.

After some time, Principal Cinch shouted "Pencils down!" and there was a noise of pencils being put on the desks. "The results of these tests will be posted later today in the hallways." She said as Dean Cadence went to pick up the tests. "Dismissed!"

As the students left, Cadance gave the papers to Cinch and headed back to her office.

"Cadance!"

Cadance turned around to see Radiant Hope rushing towards her. The counselor took a moment to catch her breath, then sighed heavily. "You're not going to like what you're about to hear..."

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By the time Radiant Hope had told Cadance everything she learned about Sour Sweet, the Dean had a hand to her mouth in shock. "Oh god," she whispered. "It's worse than I thought. Far, far worse..." She hugged Hope tightly. "Thank you."

Hope returned the hug with a warm smile. "You're welcome."

Cadance broke the hug and returned the smile. "I guess it's back to work, then."

"Yeah."

"See you later."

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The rest of the day seemed to drag on as little else of note happened, but throughout all that time, Cadance couldn't stop thinking about Neighsay's knowledge of the accident that took Sunny Flare's boyfriend's life. She decided to put the matter to rest as she got in her car and dialed him up.

Now Calling: Neighsay/Benefactor

The call was picked up.

"Yes?" Neighsay said in his natural voice.

Cadance narrowed her eyes. "We need to talk."

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