• Published 18th Jan 2019
  • 477 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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Gathering

Cadance drove up to Crystal Prep and got out of her car with a smile as she looked upon Crystal Prep. She loved the school with all of her heart, and that love was one of the many reasons she started S.M.I.L.E.. She wanted to keep it safe. Make it welcoming and warm, not have it be some kind of "survival of the fittest free-for-all" arena like it's been since Cinch took over from her mother.

Cadance entered Crystal Prep and sighed happily as memories from her days as a student played out in her mind. Chats with Radiant Hope. Friendly students everywhere. Her mother was still the principal and headmistress and Abacus Cinch was just a Dean. It was a bittersweet feeling for her now, looking back on her halcyon days. So much had changed since then, and that was just another reason why S.M.I.L.E. came into being. Now, even without multitudes of students in the halls, hostility and over-competitiveness was still palpable in the halls... even if just barely.

Continuing to her office, Cadance caught sight of the district's Superintendent. Keeping her smile genuine, she walked over to greet him. "Hello, Superintendent Neighsay." All agents of S.M.I.L.E. knew that the Superintendent had been assisting Cinch ever since her first day in office, so they kept their distance from him unless spoken to. Cadance, on the other hand...

"Ah, Dean Cadance," Neighsay said. "Good to see you, as always."

"Likewise," Cadance said with a nod. "As usual, you're the first here for the meeting."

"I pride myself on my punctuality, and I see you do as well."

"I'm not the Dean for nothing, Superintendent," Cadance said with a laugh.

"Indeed," Neighsay said, raising an eyebrow in mild amusement. "I will await you in the meeting room, then."

Cadance nodded. "See you there." Her attention became diverted when she heard grumbling in the background. She turned around to see a balding man wearing a fez. His black eyes were narrowed as his yellow-gloved fingers scratched at his jowls. As he began to unbutton his grey coat, he noticed her.

"Cadance," the man shouted as he began to hobble towards her. Cadance turned around and heaved a sigh. If Cinch was at the top of her list of people she found difficult to deal with, then Principal Gruff would come in second. He was notoriously difficult to please, ornery, and just about as prideful as Cinch herself when it came to his school.

Cadance turned around and smiled. "Hello, Principal Gruff," she said with as much kindness as she could muster.

Gruff walked up to her. "There'd better be coffee in there," he said grumpily as he wagged a bony finger. "If there ain't no coffee, there's gonna be hell to pay!" He harrumphed, then continued hobbling all the way to the meeting room.

Well, Cadance thought. That was one of the more pleasant encounters I've had with him, all thing considered. A hand on her shoulder snapped her out of her thoughts. She turned to see a bright blue woman with dark blue hair. Her bright red eyes shone, daring Cadance to look away as though they were engaged in a staring contest. Deciding not to waste any more time, the Dean glanced at the woman's white horn-shaped earrings. "Principal Ember," she greeted, then gestured to the meeting room. "Give my regards to Torch," she said as Ember ran off. She sighed. Ember was one of the newer principals in the district, but she treated nearly everything like a competition. She prayed that this Ember wouldn't turn into another Abacus Cinch. One was enough as it is!

"Dean Cadance," a friendly voice called out. The Dean smiled as a man in a bright orange shirt walked towards her with a smile, his dark blue and green coat following his every movement. His rose eyes twinkled as he reached her and offered a light green hand to her.

Cadance accepted the handshake. "Good to see you, Principal Thorax," she said with a smile. Thorax was almost as new to his leadership role as Ember, but he was thankfully levelheaded and kind. The district needed more caring principals like him, even if he could be a bit naive every now and then. "How's Dean Pharynx?"

Thorax broke the handshake. "He's still getting used to the idea of me being Principal. He'd been working under Principal Chrysalis for so long that he's still a little aggressive to students."

"I'm sure he'll change soon enough," Cadance said. "Oh," she leaned into Thorax and whispered. "Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself." She winked. "I'll be rooting for you."

"Thanks," Thorax said with a laugh, then walked into the meeting room.

A sudden series of clacking noises on the floor diverted Cadance's attention. She turned around to see a thin light pink skinned woman with neon purple hair, her dark purple heels being responsible for the noise. Her strong magenta eyes were half-lidded as she smiled. "Dean Cadance, it is good to see you!"

"Principal Novo," Cadance said happily. "So glad you could make it!" Next to Celestia and Luna, Novo was one her favorite principals. Unflappable, witty, and confident, Novo always kept her cool. It was a quality the Dean admired.

Novo grinned. "Guess it's time to show the new generation and old farts in there how a school should be run, eh Cadance?"

"Show 'em what you've got," Cadance said with an equally wide grin. Novo pat her the shoulder and walked into the meeting room.

"Cadance," Celestia called from the hallway. "How are you?"

Cadance smiled. "I'm doing fine, all things considered." While Cadance wasn't as close with Celestia as she was with Luna, the two were at least on good terms with one another. "Tell Vice-Principal Luna I said hi!"

"Will do," Celestia said, then entered the meeting room.

"Dean Cadance," said a voice that the Dean was all too familiar with.

Dean Cadance smiled as best she could as Abacus Cinch crossed her path. "Good morning, Principal Cinch." As she passed, the Dean clenched her hands into fists. Her blood began to simmer. She had every right to despise that woman. After all that she did. She usurped the position of Principal from her mother. She changed Crystal Prep from a haven to a hellhole. But worst of all... Dean Cadance thought as she shed a tear.

Principal Cinch shut the door behind her.

"...You killed my mother..." she whispered.

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