• Published 18th Jan 2019
  • 494 Views, 59 Comments

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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Alone with a Memory

Cadance flopped on her couch with a sigh as she kicked her shoes off. Today had been an emotional day for her, and she now had the memory of Cinch's first day as Principal looming over her head. If it isn't one thing... She grumbled as she buried her head underneath one of the pillows, welcoming the darkness that now surrounded her vision.

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Cadance sniffled after she had no more tears left, and looked up at Neighsay. "You... you're still going to work for that m-monster after this, aren't you?!"

Neighsay put a hand on Cadance's head as he smiled sadly. "I'm afraid I have no choice in the matter if I want to keep my job." He ran a hand through her hair. "I don't like this any more than you do... but perhaps I can at least try to keep her in check. That may be the least I can do."

Cadance sighed heavily. "It's not fair..."

"I know it isn't, Cadenza... I know it isn't..." Neighsay broke the hug with her. "...but there's nothing either of us can do."

Cadance stared at the floor as her rage began to boil. "There's got to be something!" She stomped her foot on the floor.

Neighsay took a deep breath, then sighed. If Cadenza was anything at all like her mother, it meant there would be no talking her out of it. Just like the Amore the night she... He shook his head as he felt tears well up. He looked his daughter figure in the eyes.

Cadance eased up at the sight of Neighsay's teary eyes.

"Mi Amore Cadenza."

Cadance blinked in surprise. While Neighsay had called her "Cadenza," he rarely used her full name, even less often in a public space!

"I want you to promise me that whatever you end up doing, I want you to think carefully about how you're going to go about it. Nothing half-baked, do you hear me?"

Cadance nodded. "I do."

"That means that you do not make any sort of move against her until you're absolutely positive that everything's in place. As many possibilities considered as possible."

"...In other words, no immediate action."

Neighsay nodded. "That is correct. You cannot simply go after Abacus Cinch, Cadenza. You know all too well what her father is capable of."

"Isn't his health declining, though?"

"It is, but that hasn't diminished his pull around here. Remember, he was the-" The school bell rang, cutting Neighsay off. He put his hands on Cadance's shoulders. "Stay strong, Cadenza. I have a feeling that this is the beginning of a long, long road."

"You and me both," Cadance said. "You and me both." She and Neighsay went their separate ways.

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Cadance lifted her head up with a sigh. She'd just have to roll with it. Not much choice but to let it play out in her head. Besides, it might serve as a motivator to take down Cinch...

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Cadance's first class ended. She had begun to feel empty during class as her outburst replayed through her mind. The fury she felt. The injustice of it all. The absolute gall of-

"Cadance!"

Cadance turned around to see a teary-eyed Radiant Hope rush towards her and embrace her tightly. She stood still in surprise until her friend sobbed loudly, causing her to return the hug as tears of her own began to well up. "H-How could she?!" Hope's voice was muffled, but the anger in her tone was more than evident as her hands gradually balled into fists that shook.

Cadance broke, unable to bear Hope's sadness. The two held each other tightly, together in grief and anger until they each had no more tears left. The bell for second period rang, and Hope and Cadance looked at each other. "Talk later," asked the former.

"Yeah... talk later." Hope began to walk away until Cadance grabbed her by the arm. She turned around to face her friend.

"Do you feel any better?"

Hope sighed and gave Cadance a small but sad smile. "Not by much... but crying it out helped."

Cadance nodded. "See you at lunch?"

"Yeah. See you then."

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The day dragged by for Cadance as she walked the halls of Crystal Prep. She felt dread as she neared the cafeteria, knowing that the main topic of discussion among her peers would be her mother's "sudden retirement". With a heavy sigh, she walked over to the lunch line, steeling herself as she neared the end. She almost wanted to tell her fellow students the truth... but would they believe her? As sad as the situation was, Cadance believed that she would gain nothing from doing so. Perhaps everyone here would be better off knowing a saddening lie rather than a tragic truth.

Cadance reached a table and idly poked at her food with a fork, tuning out the conversations around her. She nearly yelped when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Turning around, she saw Hope.

"Hey." Hope's tone sounded hollow, suggesting that she wasn't feeling any better than the last time she and Cadance saw each other. She sat down with a heavy sigh, then put her head in her hands. Cadance put a hand on Hope's back, rubbing it for emotional support. Several moments would pass until she lifted her head. "I wish there was something we could do..."

Cadance smiled faintly, reflecting back to her conversation with Neighsay. "Maybe there is," she said as she lifted her hand off Hope's back.

"Like what?"

Cadance stared at the table. "Truth be told, I don't know... but whatever we end up doing, we can't half-ass it. This is Abacus Cinch we're going to go up against."

Hope scoffed. "Tell me something I don't know."

"We probably shouldn't even be speaking about this in public," Cadance whispered. "Who knows what'll happen if we get caught?"

Hope rolled her eyes and folded her arms. "You're acting paranoid for no reason."

Cadance's eyes widened. "No reason? Do you have any idea who her father is?"

"As a matter of fact, I don't, and I don't see what that has to do with this."

Cadance leaned into Hope and whispered his name.

"What?!"

Cadance put a finger to her lips, making a shushing noise.

Hope calmed, but put a hand to her forehead. "Oh god... that makes so much sense." She shuddered, then took a drink of water. "We should brainstorm later."

Cadance nodded, then turned the topic of conversation to other matters, acting as though everything was normal until lunch ended.

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Cadance entered her room, emotionally drained from the day and the memory of Cinch's first day as Principal of Crystal Prep. As she changed into her pajamas, she sighed. That day in particular may have been terrible, but it was nothing compared to what lie ahead for her... Praying for a decent dream, she slowly fell asleep.

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